Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 12, 2015
Photons on a chip set new paths for secure communications
Researchers from RMIT University in Melbourne have helped crack the code to ultra-secure telecommunications of the future in an international research project that could also expedite the advent of quantum computing.

'No evidence' that bone-growth agent for spinal fusion increases cancer risk
A new study may alleviate concerns regarding increased cancer risk for patients undergoing spinal fusion surgery with recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein.

Innovative planet-finding technology passes another hurdle
A potentially revolutionary instrument now being developed to first find Earth-like planets in other solar systems and then study their atmospheres to identify chemical signatures of life has just passed another technological hurdle that makes it an even stronger contender for a future astrophysics mission.

Taste bud biomarker forecasts better post-surgery results for some sinusitis patients
A simple taste test can identify patients who will have highly successful sinus surgery, researchers from Penn Medicine and the Monell Chemical Senses Center report in this week's International Forum of Allergy & Rhinology.

Feeding at-risk infants gluten increases risk of developing celiac disease
Intake of gluten up until two years of age increases risk of celiac disease at least two-fold in children with genetic risk factors for this disease, according a study published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the official clinical practice journal of the American Gastroenterological Association.

Eggs without yolk can hatch too
Most animals reproduce by laying eggs. As the embryo develops, its feeds on the egg yolk.

New research shows La Niña is not helping Hawai'i's rainfall and groundwater
Historically when El Niño events occur, Hawai'i has experienced nearly six months of drought, from November to April.

Protein's work in eye lens suggests a way to tame cancer
How does a protein called connexin put the clamps on cancer?

Increased deforestation could substantially reduce Amazon basin rainfall
Continued deforestation of the Amazon rainforest could diminish the amount of rain that falls in the Amazon River basin, finds a new study.

Grabbing a parasite by the tail: U-M team solves 'jumping gene' mystery
Deep within your DNA, a tiny parasite lurks, waiting to pounce from its perch and land in the middle of an unsuspecting healthy gene.

NYU chemist Seeman wins 2016 Franklin Award
New York University chemist Nadrian Seeman has been awarded the 2016 Franklin Award in chemistry for his pioneering work in founding the field of DNA nanotechnology.

Declining snowpacks may cut many nations' water
Gradual melting of winter snow helps feed water to farms, cities and ecosystems across much of the world, but this resource may soon be critically imperiled.

Lenalidomide plus rituximab produces durable responses in mantle cell lymphoma patients
New research from Moffitt Cancer Center and its collaborators find that the drug combination rituximab plus lenalidomide was effective and produced long-term responses in patients with mantle cell lymphoma.

Cox, Little, and O'Shea to receive 2016 AMS Steele Prize for Exposition
The AMS Leroy P. Steele Prize for Exposition will be awarded to three mathematicians: David Cox (Amherst College), John Little (College of the Holy Cross), and Donal O'Shea (New College of Florida).

Sharks' hunting ability destroyed under climate change
The hunting ability and growth of sharks will be dramatically impacted by increased CO2 levels and warmer oceans expected by the end of the century, a University of Adelaide study has found.

Team of appraisers across six states find home buyers will pay premium for solar homes
Photovoltaics added value to homes in six markets, according to a new report led by a researcher from Berkeley Lab and a home appraisal expert.

Fossilized bees were finicky pollen collectors
The ancestors of honeybees, living 50 million years ago, were fairly choosy when it came to feeding their offspring.

NASA's Fermi satellite detects first gamma-ray pulsar in another galaxy
Researchers using NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope have discovered the first gamma-ray pulsar in a galaxy other than our own.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center study sheds light on side effects of COX-2 drugs
It's been about a decade since the promise of COX-2 inhibitors -- drugs that relieve arthritis pain and inflammation without the gastrointestinal side effects of other painkillers -- was tempered by the realization that they could cause heart problems in some patients.

Kidney failure and its treatment may impact cancer risk
Risk of kidney and thyroid cancers was especially high when kidney failure patients were on dialysis.

Wild birds choose love over food
Wild birds will sacrifice access to food in order to stay close to their partner over the winter, according to a study by Oxford University researchers.

Extinction can spread from predator to predator, researchers have found
The extinction of one carnivore species can trigger the demise of fellow predators, conservation biologists at the University of Exeter have confirmed.

Barry Simon to receive 2016 AMS Steele Prize for Lifetime Achievement
Barry Simon of the California Institute of Technology will receive the 2016 AMS Leroy P.

New class of materials for organic electronics
Polymeric carbon nitride is an organic material with interesting optoelectronic properties.

Regenstrief, IU study: Seniors with dementia make more emergency department visits
Older adults with dementia are more frequent visitors to emergency departments, returning at higher rates and incurring greater costs than older adults without dementia, according to a new study from the Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University Center for Aging Research.

GSA's Orlando press briefing schedule covers latest news in aging
Two press briefings designed to inform reporters about issues affecting America's aging population have been scheduled for The Gerontological Society of America's upcoming 68th Annual Scientific Meeting.

The Genome Analysis Centre announces an important milestone in wheat research
A more complete and accurate wheat genome assembly is being made available to researchers, by The Genome Analysis Centre on Nov.

Online abuse affects 3 in 5 Australians: study
Three in five Australians have been the target of online harassment and abuse, landmark RMIT University research reveals.

Thyroid cancer biomarker assays may show inaccurate readings
Two thyroid cancer biomarkers go through a clumping cycle that may interfere with cancer detection tests.

Binghamton University professor develops framework for teaching networks
A framework co-developed by a Binghamton University researcher could help future scientists improve their understanding of all types of networks, from social media channels to beehives.

Baffin Island provides insights into origin of Earth's water
Analysis of lava from deep within Earth's mantle suggests that water-soaked dust grains present early in the solar system, as the planets were just beginning to form, are the source of our planet's water.

Study: Preschoolers need more outdoor time at child care centers
A new study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine finds child care centers play a pivotal role when it comes to the physical activity levels of preschoolers.

Experimental drug targeting Alzheimer's disease shows anti-aging effects
A Salk team finds a molecule that slows the clock on key aspects of aging in animals.

Modeling the promise and peril of gene drive
A new report from recently published in the journal GENETICS builds on recent experimental work being carried out in gene drive using mathematical models to estimate how quickly such gene replacement can spread through a population, finding that genes can be fixed in a population quite quickly.

Entrepreneurial activity breeds entrepreneurial passion
The more effort one ploughs into one's company's success, the more enthusiastic about one's own entrepreneurial activity one becomes.

Cornell engineers develop 'killer cells' to destroy cancer in lymph nodes
Cornell biomedical engineers have developed specialized white blood cells -- dubbed 'super natural killer cells' -- that seek out cancer cells in lymph nodes with only one purpose: destroy them.

Bitter taste may predict surgical outcome in certain chronic rhinosinusitis patients
Research from the Monell Center and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania reports that non-polyp chronic rhinosinusitis patients most sensitive to the bitter taste of phenylthiocarbamide had the greatest improvement following functional endoscopic sinus surgery.

It's music to my eyes
When people are listening to music, their emotional reactions to the music are reflected in changes in their pupil size.

Receptors on bone cells connected to inflammatory bone loss and bone formation
Receptors on bone cells activate bone loss in contact with bacteria that cause inflammation in patients resulting in loosening of the teeth, loosening dental and orthopaedic implants or arthritis.

Groundbreaking global alliance forms to find effective response to deadliest brain tumor
This year approximately 12,000 individuals in the US and tens of thousands more around the globe, will receive a diagnosis of glioblastoma multiforme.

Dietary potassium may help prevent kidney and heart problems in diabetics
Higher levels of urinary potassium excretion, which closely correlate with intake amounts, were linked with a slower decline of kidney function and a lower incidence of cardiovascular complications among patients with type 2 diabetes and normal kidney function.

Oceans -- and ocean activism -- deserve broader role in climate change discussions
Researchers argue that both ocean scientists and world leaders should pay more attention to how communities are experiencing, adapting to and even influencing changes in the world's oceans.

Blood sample new way of detecting cancer
A new RNA test of blood platelets can be used to detect, classify and pinpoint the location of cancer by analysing a sample equivalent to one drop of blood.

HIV spreads faster as violent conflict looms
A new Brown University analysis of HIV incidence in 36 sub-Saharan African countries finds that new HIV infections rise significantly in the five years before armed conflict breaks out.

Blanket approach to asthma treatment not ideal, researchers find
University of Queensland research into the effects of dust mite and cockroach allergens has found that different types of asthma respond differently to a new experimental treatment.

Medicaid coverage improves access to health care and chronic disease control: AJPH study
Low-income Americans with Medicaid insurance have more awareness and better treatment of chronic diseases, such as high blood pressure, than their uninsured counterparts, a group of Harvard researchers said today.

Personalized anti-nausea therapy better for cancer patients, Ottawa researchers
World-first trial published in JAMA-Oncology shows younger patients, women, those with history of either pregnancy-associated morning sickness or travel sickness, lower alcohol consumption, at greater risk of nausea and vomiting

Brain cancer experts crowdsource a cure for deadly glioblastoma
One hundred and thirty clinicians and researchers from major cancer centres from around the world will meet in Washington, DC on Thursday to crowdsource a way to design an ambitious clinical trial aimed at rapidly identifying a cure for the world's deadliest and most common brain cancer, glioblastoma.

NASA adds up rainfall from 2 historic Yemen tropical cyclones
One week ago to the day Cyclone Chapala, the first Category 1 cyclone to strike Yemen in recorded history made landfall in Yemen, then a second tropical cyclone named Megh made landfall.

Psychiatric assessments for predicting violence are ineffective
Standard approaches for investigating risk of violence in psychiatric patients and prisoners are inaccurate and should be abandoned in all future studies, according to researchers from Queen Mary University of London (QMUL).

Analysis exposes faster disintegration of major Greenland glacier
'The acceleration rate of its ice velocity tripled, melting of its residual ice shelf and thinning of its grounded portion doubled, and calving is occurring at its grounding line,' the authors report on the the Zachariæ Isstrøm glacier today in Science.

Superconductor survives ultra-high magnetic field
Physicists from the universities of Groningen and Nijmegen (the Netherlands) and Hong Kong have discovered that transistors made of ultrathin layers molybdeendisulfide (MoS2) are not only superconducting at low temperatures but also stay superconducting in a high magnetic field.

Researchers identify liver pathway linked to negative impacts of high-fat, high-cholesterol diet
It's no secret that a high-fat, high-cholesterol 'junk food' diet has been linked to major health problems, including high blood cholesterol and the buildup of plaques in the arteries, known as atherosclerosis.

New stem cell gene correction process puts time on researchers' side
Researchers from the Morgridge Institute for Research and the Murdoch Children's Research Institute in Australia have devised a way to dramatically cut the time involved in reprogramming and genetically correcting stem cells, an important step to making future therapies possible.

Shrinking shelf and faster flow for Greenland glacier
A major glacier in northeast Greenland known as Zachariæ Isstrøm began a rapid retreat in recent years, a new study reports.

Barriers to health care increase disease, death risk for rural elderly
A new study of adults ages 85 or older has found that rural residents have significantly higher levels of chronic disease, take more medications, and die several years earlier than their urban counterparts.

Ancient mass extinction led to dominance of tiny fish, Penn paleontologist shows
According to new research led by the University of Pennsylvania's Lauren Sallan, a mass extinction 359 million years ago known as the Hangenberg event triggered a drastic and lasting transformation of Earth's vertebrate community.

Eating sweets forms memories that may control eating habits, study finds
Eating sweet foods causes the brain to form a memory of a meal, according to researchers at Georgia State University, Georgia Regents University and Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center.

A new resource for managing crop-damaging greenbugs
A new paper in the open-access Journal of Integrated Pest Management provides an overview of greenbugs (Schizaphis graminum) and a summary of control methods.

For better sales, connect with coworkers
For successful salespeople, it's all about who you know -- particularly within your own firm.

Uneven growth of identical twins may begin in first few days after conception
Unequal growth between genetically identical monozygotic twins in the womb may be triggered in the earliest stages of human embryo development, according to a new study led by King's College London.

NASA's Cassini finds monstrous ice cloud in Titan's south polar region
New observations made near the south pole of Titan by NASA's Cassini spacecraft add to the evidence that winter comes in like a lion on this moon of Saturn.

A 'blood rain' infiltrates villages of Spain
The rainwater that fell in some of the villages of Zamora (Spain) last autumn brought along a strange traveller: a green microalgae that turns a reddish colour when in a state of stress.

Mayo Clinic researchers identify new diabetes risk mechanism
Researchers at Mayo Clinic have discovered an unexpected effect from a gene known to increase diabetes risk.

Despite health law's bow to prevention, US public health funding is dropping: AJPH study
Although the language of the Affordable Care Act emphasizes disease prevention -- for example, mandating insurance coverage of clinical preventive services such as mammograms -- funding for public health programs to prevent disease have actually been declining in recent years.

MSU receives $18.5 million in USAID grants, continues legacy of fighting global hunger
Michigan State University will use two grants, awarded by the US Agency for International Development and totaling more than $18 million, to support two African nations as they fight hunger and take charge of their own food security future.

Today's disposable society: Pharmaceuticals and other contaminants of emerging concern
An increasing amount of drugs taken by humans and animals make it into streams and waterways, and pharmaceutical pollution has had catastrophic ecosystem consequences despite low levels of concentration in the environment.

International Tree Nut Council supports meta-analysis on nuts and cardiovascular disease
In a study published yesterday in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of controlled trials to investigate the effects of tree nuts on blood lipids, lipoproteins, blood pressure and inflammation in adults 18 years and older without prevalent cardiovascular disease.

Software architect's book a comprehensive guide to developing Android apps
An accomplished software architect, Adam Gerber focuses primarily on software engineering for enterprise Java and Android development.

Breeding flexibility helps migratory songbirds adjust to climate warming
Phenological mismatches, or a mistiming between creatures and the prey and plants they eat, is one of the biggest known impacts of climate change on ecological systems.

Carbon accumulation by US forests may slow over the next 25 years
Currently, the carbon sequestered in US forests partially offsets the nation's carbon emissions and reduces the overall costs of achieving emission targets to address climate change -- but that could change over the next 25 years.

Researchers pinpoint roadblocks to lab-grown stem cells' maturation
Johns Hopkins researchers report that a new study of mouse cells has revealed reasons why attempts to grow stem cells to maturity in the laboratory often fail, and provided a possible way to overcome such 'developmental arrest.'

'Pale orange dot': Early Earth's haze may give clue to habitability elsewhere in space
An atmospheric haze around a faraway planet -- like the one which probably shrouded and cooled the young Earth -- could show that the world is potentially habitable, or even be a sign of life itself.

Miniaturizable magnetic resonance
A garnet crystal only one micrometer in diameter was instrumental in a University of Alberta team of physicists creating a route to 'lab-on-a-chip' technology for magnetic resonance, a tool to simplify advanced magnetic analysis for device development and interdisciplinary science.

Houston-Galveston region could be better protected from impact of hurricanes and severe storms
New structural and nonstructural solutions could better protect the Houston-Galveston region from the impact of hurricanes and severe storms, according to a research paper by energy, engineering and environmental law experts at Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy.

CTI BioPharma and Tisch Cancer Institute announce international research fellowship
CTI BioPharma Corp. and the Tisch Cancer Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai today announced the establishment of a new $1.5 million research endowment fund.

New information about bacterial enzymes to help scientists develop more effective antibiotics, cancer drugs
New research from Argonne, Scripps Research Institute and Rice University now allows researchers to manipulate nature's biosynthetic machinery to produce more effective antibiotics and cancer-fighting drugs.

Male bees have more than a one-track mind
Male bumblebees are just as smart as female worker bees despite their dim-witted reputation, according to new research from Queen Mary University of London.

New book on DNA recombination from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press
'DNA Recombination' from CSHLPress covers all aspects of recombinational DNA repair, meiotic recombination, and the regulation of these processes.

Exploring vulnerabilities of the Cryptosporidium parasite
Cryptosporidium parvum is a gastrointestinal parasite that can cause moderate to severe diarrhea in children and adults, and deadly opportunistic infection in AIDS patients.

Long-snouted Amazonian catfishes including three new species to form a new genus
Being close relatives within the same genus, eight catfishes showed enough external differences, such as characteristic elongated mouths, hinting to their separate origin.

Lead exposure impacts children's sleep
A new research study from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing (Penn Nursing) shows that lead exposure in early childhood are associated with increased risk for sleep problems and excessive daytime sleepiness in later childhood.

Discovery: Molecular mechanism at root of familial amyloidosis and other diseases
A team of local researchers has proposed a molecular mechanism that may be responsible for the development of life-threatening diseases called amyloidoses.

TGen identifies drug that could limit the spread of deadly brain tumors
In a significant breakthrough, the Translational Genomics Research Institute has identified a drug, propentofylline or PPF, that could help treat patients with deadly brain cancer.

The Lancet: UN report shows that despite substantial progress, the world fell short of the maternal mortality target in the Millennium Development Goals
New research published today in The Lancet shows that, despite reducing maternal mortality by an impressive 44 percent between 1990 and 2015, the world fell well short of the target of a 75 percent reduction that appeared in the Millennium Development Goals.

Program addresses the unique challenges affecting female same-sex couples
Researchers report on the development and results of a pilot program at a national health convention in Chicago.

NIST team proves 'spooky action at a distance' is really real
Einstein was wrong about at least one thing: There are, in fact, 'spooky actions at a distance,' as now proven by researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Fossils tell a different ancestral story of North American mammoths
A detailed analysis of mammoth teeth from around the globe suggests that the first mammoth species to arrive in North America was much more evolved than previously thought.

NASA spies Extra-Tropical Storm Kate racing through North Atlantic
On Nov. 12 at 4 a.m. EST the National Hurricane Center issued the last advisory on Extra-Tropical Cyclone Kate, located several hundred miles south-southeast of Cape Race, Newfoundland.

The rise of do-it-yourself biology: A look at the Baltimore Underground Science Space
In a new documnentary, the Synthetic Biology Project explores the growth of do-it-yourself biology (DIYbio) as seen through the BUGSS community lab in Baltimore, Md.

Target gene identified for therapies to combat muscular dystrophy
Researchers at the University of São Paulo's Bioscience Institute in Brazil, at Harvard Medical School and Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in the United States, have shown that a gene called Jagged1, or JAG1 for short, could be a target for the development of new approaches to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a genetic disorder characterized by progressive muscle degeneration.

Youth involvement in justice system linked to increased risk of early death
In the US the chances of being arrested are one in three by age 23.

New report highlights gains in child survival, progress needed to address leading killers
The 2015 Pneumonia and Diarrhea Progress Report: Sustainable Progress in the Post-2015 Era, released today by the International Vaccine Access Center at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, documents the progress of the 15 countries experiencing the greatest burden of pneumonia and diarrhea.

The University of Chicago Medicine and Ingalls Health System announce intent to combine
The University of Chicago Medicine and Ingalls Health System announced today that they signed a Letter of Intent to pursue a combined integrated health delivery system.

In new study, Illinois scientists trace activity of cancer-fighting tomato component
Years of research in University of Illinois scientist John Erdman's laboratory have demonstrated that lycopene, the bioactive red pigment found in tomatoes, reduces growth of prostate tumors in a variety of animal models.

Researchers discover other enzyme critical to maintaining telomere length
Since the Nobel Prize-winning discovery of the enzyme telomerase in 1984, identifying other biological molecules that lengthen or shorten the protective caps on the ends of chromosomes has been slow going.

New study finds financial incentives to help pregnant women stop smoking are highly cost-effective
The scientific journal Addiction has today published the first cost-effectiveness analysis of financial incentives to help pregnant women stop smoking.

Ancient bees gathered pollen in 2 ways
Were ancient bees specialists, devoting their pollen-collecting attentions to very specific plant partners?

Hartridge awarded Michelson Posdoctoral Prize
Michael Hartridge, a new professor at the University of Pittsburgh, won the 2015 Michelson Postdoctoral Prize for his work exploring how to make and control quantum electrodynamic systems.

Massive northeast Greenland glacier is rapidly melting, UCI-led team finds
A glacier in northeast Greenland that holds enough water to raise global sea levels by more than 18 inches has come unmoored from a stabilizing sill and is crumbling into the North Atlantic Ocean.

CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing: Check 3 times, cut once
CRISPR-Cas9 is a powerful tool to edit genomes, but off-target edits are a concern.

New study explores how anxiety can aggravate asthma
The study involved mimicking asthma symptoms to see how anxiety sensitivity affected asthma sufferers.

Searching for answers in the real world
Researchers from the University of Houston have analyzed brain activity data collected from more than 400 people who viewed an exhibit at the Menil Collection, offering evidence that useable brain data can be collected outside of a controlled laboratory setting.

Andrew J. Majda to receive 2016 AMS Steele Prize for Seminal Contribution to Research
Andrew J. Majda will receive the AMS Leroy P. Steele Prize for Seminal Contribution to Research.

Less effective antimalarial therapies can help fight malaria better
Oxford University scientists have found that the more effective way to beat malaria is to use less effective drugs some of the time: simultaneously using a non-artemisinin therapy amongst more effective artemisinin-based combinations slows the spread of artemisinin-resistant parasites.

Reproductive history and risk of cognitive impairment in elderly women
Researchers led by Professor Jun-Fen Lin at Zhejiang Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention have found that reproductive history, an important modifier of estrogen exposure across women's lifetime, is associated with risk of cognitive impairment in postmenopausal women.

Shocking new way to get the salt out
A new MIT system uses shockwaves to remove salt from water.

Big pharma inconsistent with disclosure of information on clinical trials, new study finds
Information on clinical trials for drugs approved by the US Food and Drug Administration varied widely among some of the world's largest drug companies, according to a study by NYU Langone Medical Center.

Behavior modeling and verification of MA of CTCS-3 using AADL
Formal specification and verification of embedded systems entails improved safety and reliability, but remain challenging for designers.

Brain structure may be root of apathy
Oxford scientists find evidence of a biological basis for apathy in health people.

Researchers trains Watson AI to 'chat,' spark more creativity in humans
Researchers have programmed IBM's Watson so that he can have a real-time, Q&A conversation about ways to creatively solve problems in a wide-variety of professions.

Scientists publish unique genomic discoveries with single molecule, real-time sequencing
An analysis results in greater understanding of important biological traits related to crop drought tolerance.

Mass extinctions don't favor large vertebrates
A new study finds that, similar to the mass extinction that's underway now, the end-Devonian extinction resulted in the loss of most large-bodied vertebrates. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to