Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 03, 2015
New snake species with pitch black eyes from the Andes highlights hidden diversity
Extremely rare and hidden in the forests of the Andes, there are still new snake species left to find.

Novel study: Lower patient satisfaction in hospitals that employ more nurses trained abroad
Many Western countries including England and the United States have come to rely on nurses trained abroad in times of nurse shortages.

New funding for Ebola hides an ongoing decline
A new report gives the first ever picture of global investment in Ebola R&D, reporting that this investment might have come at the expense of efforts to develop health technologies for other neglected diseases.

Mutations before birth might disrupt heart and nervous system development
Scientists have determined why some children who are born with heart defects also often have developmental disabilities such as problems with speech and muscle coordination.

A step towards gene therapy against intractable epilepsy
By delivering genes for a certain signal substance and its receptor into the brain of test animals with chronic epilepsy, a research group at Lund University in Sweden with colleagues at University of Copenhagen Denmark has succeeded in considerably reducing the number of epileptic seizures among the animals.

Review of the landscape conservation cooperatives
Because fish, wildlife, habitats, and cultural resources extend beyond political boundaries, there is a national need to develop resource management strategies across jurisdictions and sectors, says a new congressionally mandated report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Penn Medicine study is first to map of paths of hundreds of urban males on violence risk
Gunshot violence is the leading cause of death among 10- to 24-year-old African American males and the second leading cause of death among 10- to 24-year-olds males overall in the United States.

Microwaves improve green workings of materials used to clean wastewater
A new method for making the material used for cleaning wastewater makes the production process greener -- and 20 times faster.

The Lancet Oncology: Price of cancer drugs varies by up to 388% between European countries, Australia, and New Zealand
The price of new cancer drugs varies widely (from 28% to 388%) between high-income countries in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, new research published in The Lancet Oncology has found.

Forum on how surgery can improve healthcare in SA
A national forum on surgery and anaesthesia and how it is an indispensable part of achieving universal health coverage will take place on Dec.

CMU's Center for Human Rights Science secures over $1 million for video, image analysis
Carnegie Mellon University's Center for Human Rights Science has secured $1,185,000 in funding to develop tools to collect, analyze and disseminate information gathered from human rights media.

HyPer-Tau provides spatially-resolved hydrogen peroxide sensing in cells
By attaching a hydrogen peroxide reporter protein to cellular microtubule structures, researchers have developed the first sensor able to show the location of the key cellular signaling chemical inside living cells with high resolution over time.

Research reveals how bacterial predators kill other bugs without killing themselves
New study into activity of potential 'living antibiotic' Bdellovibrio bacteria shows how it uses a protein as a shield to protect itself when invading its prey.

Study aims to set priorities for stillbirth research
Stillbirth, which in the UK refers to the death of a fetus after 24 weeks of pregnancy, is under-researched compared with other pregnancy outcomes.

VLA yields new insights on solar flares
Observations with the upgraded VLA radio telescope provide strong support for a proposed mechanism by which solar flares accelerate particles to nearly the speed of light.

Minutest absolute magnetic field measurement
Every measurement is potentially prone to systematic error. The more sensitive the measurement method, the more important it is to make sure it is also accurate.

Student discovers stellar chamaeleon that had the astronomers fooled for years
It is the brightest infrared star in the Northern sky, but a student has found that astronomers have been mistakenly interpreting the dust in the environment of a famous star that lies 450 light years from Earth.

Shared genetics in humans and roundworms shed light on infertility, Rutgers study finds
New Rutgers University research indicates that humans and worms are connected by a common ancestor that lived more than 700 million years ago and shared a gene that is required for sperm to function properly at fertilization.

Measuring nanoscale features with fractions of light
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) researchers are seeing the light, but in an altogether different way.

Genetic origin of neurodevelopmental disabilities in infants with heart disease
A new study identifies numerous genetic mutations that help explain why newborns with congenital heart disease have a high risk of neurodevelopmental disorders.

Overcoming immune exhaustion from chronic HIV infection -- the roles of PD-L1 blockage, regulatory T cells, and viral load
Chronic HIV infection results in exhaustion of the immune system.

Earth-sized telescope finds clue to black hole growth
For the first time, astronomers have detected evidence of magnetic fields near Sagittarius A, the black hole at the center of the Milky Way, taking the study of black hole growth from theoretical expectation to empirical fact.

Researchers develop method for higher purity in wheat flour
A new test developed by Kansas State University researchers helps millers assure wheat flour purity.

Researchers use ovarian follicles to preserve fertility
Researchers at the University of Michigan have identified a potential new approach to fertility preservation for young cancer patients that addresses concerns about beginning cancer treatment immediately and the possibility of reintroducing cancer cells during the fertility preservation process.

EARTH: Isotopes could reveal ancient American turquoise trade
A new study from geoscience researchers has important implications for studies of Mesoamerica and North America prior to the arrival of European settlers.

Newborns in intensive care exposed to thirdhand smoke residue
Despite hospitals operating a smoke free policy, newborns in intensive care may still be exposed to thirdhand smoke residue from their smoker parents, suggests a small study published online in the journal Tobacco Control.

Sperm carries information about dad's weight
Turns out dads are also eating for two. A study in Cell Metabolism reveals that a man's weight affects the heritable information contained in sperm.

Neurotoxic effects of chemotherapies on cognition in breast cancer survivors
Cancer-related cognitive impairment is often referred to as 'chemobrain' and anthracycline-based chemotherapy may have greater negative effects on particular cognitive domains and brain network connections than nonanthracycline-based regimens, according to an article published online by JAMA Oncology.

European cancer centers finally united in long-term collaborative partnerships
Long-term collaborations have been generated between top European cancer centers from the EurocanPlatform project which will carry a new phase of cooperation into the future: Cancer Core Europe and Cancer Prevention Europe.

Neoadjuvant use of pertuzumab in HER2-positive breast cancer: Hint of lesser benefit
In contrast to the use in advanced unresectable breast cancer, no positive effects have been proven.

Targeting protein homeostasis holds potential to treat solid tumors and blood cancers
In data published in two journals as well as to be presented at the American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting & Exposition, scientists identified an orally available molecule, CB-5083, that targeting protein homeostasis has the potential to treat solid tumors and blood cancers.

Vanderbilt study explores spinal cord stimulation to treat paralysis
A Vanderbilt neurosurgeon is looking to recruit patients with paraplegia to investigate whether intraspinal microstimulation technology can restore complex body movements.

Novogene and International Center for Tropical Agriculture to construct pan-genome of cassava
Novogene, a leading genomics solution provider with the largest Illumina-based sequencing capacity in China, and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture, a global agricultural research and development organization and custodian of the world's largest cassava gene bank, are partnering to construct a pan-genome of cassava (Manihot esculenta) and one of its closest wild relatives (M. e. peruviana).

Texas Biomed receives grant to study functional cure for babies born with HIV
The National Institutes of Health have awarded scientists at Texas Biomedical Research Institute and collaborators at the Food and Drug Administration, UCLA and the University of Pennsylvania a $5 million grant over the next 4 years to study a combination antiviral drugs and investigative AIDS vaccines aimed at treating infants and children affected by HIV.

New sand fly species discovered in Brazil
Researchers in Brazil examined sand fly specimens in museum collections.

Scientists see the light on microsupercapacitors
Rice University researchers who pioneered the development of laser-induced graphene have configured their discovery into flexible, solid-state microsupercapacitors that rival the best available for energy storage and delivery.

Protecting ocean species
A new study offers strategic guidance on the placement of marine protected areas to meet global conservation goals.

Research from AGS advances definition of person-centered care for older adults
According to an interprofessional panel of eldercare experts convened by the American Geriatrics Society (AGS), in collaboration with the University of Southern California (USC) and with support from The SCAN Foundation, 'person-centered care' means that people's values and preferences are obtained and, once expressed, guide all aspects of health care and support realistic health and life goals.

Exposure to violence makes you more likely to lie, cheat
Can watching a violent movie make you more likely to lie, cheat or steal?

Emissions rising too high despite the reduction targets set before the Paris negotiations
Nearly all of the world's countries have announced targets for reducing their greenhouse gas emissions.

What kinds of stars form rocky planets?
As astronomers continue to find more and more planets around stars beyond our own Sun, they are trying to discover patterns and features that indicate what types of planets are likely to form around different kinds of stars.

How to wake a sleeping cancer cell -- and why you might want to
Cancer cells that lie 'snoozing' in the skeleton can be awakened by changes in the bone that surrounds them, Australian scientists have shown.

Penn researchers make thinnest plates that can be picked up by hand
Despite being thousands of times thinner than a sheet of paper and hundreds of times thinner than household cling wrap or aluminum foil, newly developed corrugated plates of aluminum oxide spring back to their original shape after being bent and twisted.

Cannabis increases the noise in your brain
Several studies have demonstrated that the primary active constituent of cannabis, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (9-THC), induces transient psychosis-like effects in healthy subjects similar to those observed in schizophrenia.

How cold -- and a bacterium -- fight obesity
Mirko Trajkovski's team show that mice exposed to cold experience a sharp shift in their microbiota composition, rendering them leaner and more sensitive to insulin.

Marine debris travels far
Local wind and tide data was fed into a computer model to determine where sea-borne debris would come ashore.

Brain receptors for hunger hormone control food intake, study shows
Activating receptors in the brain for the body's hunger hormone increases food-related behaviors, such as gathering, storing and consuming food, a finding that has implications for the treatment of obesity, according to researchers at Georgia State University.

On human gene editing: International summit statement
Scientific advances in molecular biology over the past 50 years have produced remarkable progress in medicine.

NIH to convene workshop on total worker health
The National Institutes of Health will convene a Pathways to Prevention workshop to assess the available scientific evidence on the benefits of implementing a Total Worker Health (TWH) approach.

Clemson receives $150,000 grant from Wells Fargo to research devastating peach fungus
CLEMSON, S.C. -- Clemson University has received a $150,000 grant from Wells Fargo to support research aimed at preventing Armillaria root rot, a devastating fungus that can cause the destruction of peach crops throughout the Southeast.

Weaker breaths in kids linked to early pesticide exposure
A new study links early exposure to organophosphate pesticides -- widely used in agriculture -- to reduced lung capacity in kids.

CNIC researchers discover link between a mitochondrial defect and heart disease
A defect in mitochondria in the heart causes dilated cardiomyopathy, leading to heart disease and early death.

People with dementia exposed to low quality of life through lack of activity
People with dementia living in long-term care often show low levels of activity participation, which negatively impacts their quality of life.

Gut microbes trigger fat loss in response to cold temperatures
Exposure to cold temperatures is known to mimic the effects of exercise, protecting against obesity and improving metabolic health.

New study raises the global human freshwater footprint
Dams and irrigation raise the global human consumption of freshwater to a much higher level than previously thought, according to research from Stockholm University.

Why is the San Bernardino shooting rare among mass shootings?
The shooting in San Bernardino, CA yesterday marked the 355th mass shooting in the United States in less than as many days in 2015.

Live together or get married? Study finds similar emotional benefits
When it comes to emotional health, young couples -- especially women -- do just as well moving in together as they do getting married, according to a new national study.

Researchers identify biomarker of early lung cancer that may increase survival
Researchers in Taiwan have identified a biomarker that detects the most common lung cancer in its earliest stage.

Psychologists pinpoint change in weight required to look healthier and more attractive
A good poker face might prevent others knowing what cards you're holding, but it won't prevent them from knowing if you've gained or lost weight.

Stanford killifish project explores the genetic foundation of longevity
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have mapped the genome of an unusually short-lived fish, paving the way for scientists to use the organism to study how genes influence longevity.

One in 10 globally suffer from foodborne diseases, WHO study finds
One out of every 10 people worldwide suffer from foodborne diseases annually, and children and the poor suffer most, according to the findings of a World Health Organization task force headed by a University of Florida senior researcher.

Few migratory birds are adequately protected across migration cycle
Results from a new study reveal that just 9 percent of migratory birds receive adequate protection across their entire ranges.

Two genes linked to intellectual disability and circular skin creases on limbs
Clinical geneticists from KU Leuven, Belgium, have identified two genes that cause the rare congenital syndrome known as circumferential skin creases Kunze type.

Where did Australian cats come from?
Researchers have found that cats in Australia are most likely descended from those brought by European settlers.

When apps talk behind your back
Almost 9 percent of popular apps downloaded from Google Play interact with websites that could compromise users' security and privacy, according to a study released in December by researchers at the University of California, Riverside.

AAAS names NASA Goddard scientists 2015 Fellows
Three scientists at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, have been named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

It takes a village -- and much more -- to quench megacity water demands
scientists at Michigan State University propose a novel way to begin understanding what happens to the globe when large cities -- think Beijing, Los Angeles, Sao Paulo -- reach far to get the water they need.

Mental health courts significantly reduce repeat offenses, jail time
New research finds that mental health courts are effective at reducing repeat offending, and limiting related jail time, for people with mental health problems -- especially those who also have substance use problems.

'Nanobombs' might deliver agents that alter gene activity in cancer stem cells
Researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center -- Arthur G.

Study: 17K marine species unprotected
A new study says that more than 17,000 marine species worldwide remain largely unprotected, with the US among the bottom in supporting formal marine protected areas that could safeguard marine biodiversity.

Global toll of injuries down by almost a third since 1990
The global toll taken by injuries on daily life has fallen by almost a third in the past quarter of a century, reveals research published online in the journal Injury Prevention.

Study shows abiraterone acetate is useful even in most aggressive prostate cancers
In study of nearly 2,000 prostate cancer patients, treatment with the androgen-lowering drug abiraterone acetate (Zytiga) led to longer overall disease control, even when a very high Gleason score indicated especially aggressive cancer.

'Fear whistles along with us'
A psychological study by Goethe University, based on a survey amongst over 900 referees, gets to the bottom of aggression in amateur football (Soccer) and its causes.

Event Horizon Telescope reveals magnetic fields at Milky Way's central black hole
For the first time, astronomers have detected magnetic fields just outside the event horizon of the black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy.

Back from the 'dead': QUT scientists unlock secrets of Aussie 'resurrection' grass
QUT researchers have been studying the native grass, Tripogon loliiformis, because of its amazing ability to survive extreme environmental stresses.

DXL-2: Studying X-ray emissions in space
On Dec. 4, 2015, NASA will launch the DXL-2 payload at 11:45 p.m.

Shedding light on particle acceleration in solar flares
A recent set of observations captured by a large radio telescope, the Jansky Very Large Array, has shed light on an elusive structure known as a termination shock that is believed to play a key role in converting released magnetic energy from flares into kinetic energy in accelerated particles.

Potential biochemical mechanism underlying long-term memories identified
During the holidays, we often remember the past and create new memories.

Changes in foetal hearts found in pregnant women with diabetes or obesity
Seville, Spain - Dec. 3, 2015: Changes in foetal hearts have been found in pregnant women with diabetes or obesity, in research presented today at EuroEcho-Imaging 2015 by Dr Aparna Kulkarni, paediatric cardiologist from the Bronx, New York, USA.1

Research provides insights on how to improve face transplants
Over 30 face transplants have been performed to date, but little is known about the long-term outcomes of recipients.

Local human activity altering global water footprint more than thought
After accounting for evapotranspiration and runoff due to local water management strategies, humans may be consuming more fresh water and altering the water cycle to a greater degree than previously thought, a new study suggests.

Global effort 'needed to save migratory birds'
Scientists have called for a greater international collaborative effort to save the world's migratory birds, many of which are at risk of extinction due to loss of habitat along their flight paths.

Genetic link between heart and neurodevelopmental disease
Harvard Medical School researchers show that children with both congenital heart disease and neurodevelopmental delays share certain genetic mutations.

'Purpose in life' linked to lower mortality and cardiovascular risk
People who have a higher sense of purpose in life are at lower risk of death and cardiovascular disease, reports a pooled data analysis in Psychosomatic Medicine: Journal of Biobehavioral Medicine, the official journal of the American Psychosomatic Society.

Spreading cancer cells must change their environment to grow
Spreading cancer cells arriving in a new part of the body must be able to change their new environment to continue to grow.

Quick thinkers are charismatic
Charisma may rely on quick thinking, according to new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

NASA space telescopes see magnified image of the faintest galaxy from the early universe
Astronomers harnessing the combined power of NASA's Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes have found the faintest object ever seen in the early universe.

Dicamba drift affects non-target plants and pollinators
Dicamba herbicide drift onto plants growing adjacent to farm fields causes significant delays in flowering, as well as reduced flowering, of those plants, and results in decreased visitation by honey bees, according to researchers at Penn State and the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture.

Oregon research suggests color affects ethical judgments of brands
University of Oregon and University of Cincinnati researchers have found that everyday shoppers make assumptions about brands that use green colors.

Even for free online education, socioeconomic disparities remain
While the emergence of free online educational courses may seem like an advantage to all, students of lower socioeconomic backgrounds are less likely to enroll in such programs and earn a certificate than their peers of higher socioeconomic backgrounds, a new study finds.

Patient mood can impact medical procedure results
Feeling high levels of distress, fear and hostility prior to undergoing an angioplasty or other interventional radiology procedure may lead to a poor outcome, according to new research.

A more efficient way of converting ethanol to a better alternative fuel
A research team at the University of Rochester has developed a series of reactions that results in the selective conversion of ethanol to butanol, without producing unwanted byproducts.

Micro-map of hippocampus lends big hand to brain research
Researchers at The Neuro compile new tool designed to be shared with experts world-wide to accelerate research.

Depressed head and neck cancer patients three-and-one-half times less likely to survive, have higher recurrence risk
Depression is a significant predictor of five-year survival and recurrence in head and neck cancer patients, according to a new study from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

$13.4 million grant will help combat malnutrition in India
A Cornell University project to enhance access to nutritious food in India is set to grow thanks to a $13.4 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

NIH funds development of robots to improve health, quality of life
As part of the National Robotics Initiative (NRI), the National Institutes of Health announced that it will fund the development of three innovative co-robots--robots that work cooperatively with people.

Laser scanning shows rates, patterns of surface deformation from the South Napa earthquake and other recently released Geosphere articles
U.S. Geological Survey scientists used 3D laser scanning to make repeat measurements of an area affected by the 2014 magnitude 6.0 South Napa earthquake in order to define in great detail the surface deformation that occurred both during and after the earthquake.

UTA research could help transportation agencies determine best toll price
The use of managed lanes could help traffic move more efficiently on North Texas highways if researchers at The University of Texas at Arlington can determine a toll price that will encourage use without increasing congestion.

UTA research predicting lake levels, moving water to yield better data for water providers
A University of Texas at Arlington environmental engineer is creating an integrated decision support tool for optimal operation of water supply systems that will allow water providers to make better decisions about when to turn on pumps to transfer water from one reservoir system to another and when to release water downstream from the reservoirs.

How breast cancer cells cooperate to spur tumor growth
Allison Cleary, a cancer research pioneer who demonstrated that subpopulations of breast cancer cells cooperate to enable tumor growth, has been named the 2015 Grand Prize winner of the Science & SciLifeLab Prize for Young Scientists.

Effective policing depends on public trust, science shows
Public trust and confidence in the police have remained flat for several decades despite a declining crime rate in the US, a problem that has become especially salient in the wake of recent police shootings of unarmed black men.

Toward a universal flu shot (video)
Now that the fall season is fully here, it's time to get your annual flu shot!

Not mere trickery: Effects of behavioral nudges persist despite disclosure
A team led by Carnegie Mellon University behavioral economist George Loewenstein investigated whether the common assumption that defaults don't work if people are aware of them is true.

Graphene oxide could make stronger dental fillings
Graphene oxide could be used to make super strong dental fillings that don't corrode, according to a new study published in Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces.

£3.5m ancient music research project records the Celt's carnyx
THE University of Huddersfield is playing a key role in rediscovering sounds of the distant past and presenting them to modern audiences.

Storing electricity in paper
Researchers at Linköping University's Laboratory of Organic Electronics, Sweden, have developed power paper -- a new material with an outstanding ability to store energy.

First worldwide survey of religion and science: No, not all scientists are atheists
The study's results challenge longstanding assumptions about the science-faith interface.

First look at gut microbes in an American Indian community
Very little is known about how the diversity of gut microbes might vary among different groups of people, and whether and how those variations might play into well-recognized health disparities.

The fadeout effect
A meta-analysis shows that the beneficial effects of interventions to raise intelligence in young children fade over time.

Teaching parents about the importance of breakfast has benefits for both parent and child
A unique benefit of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is the inclusion of nutrition education.

OU team gets first look at gut microbes of an American Indian community
With no previous microbiome studies of American Indian tribes, a University of Oklahoma-led research team collaborated with the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes on a three-year study to establish a baseline of information related to the microbiome and American Indian health.

UM researcher, NASA team discover how water escapes from Saturn
A University of Montana professor who studies astrophysics has discovered how water ions escape from Saturn's environment.

Discovery of X-linked intellectual disability syndrome is aided by web tools
It's a genetic detective story with a distinct 21st-century flavor.

Prenatal maternal iron intake shown to affect the neonatal brain
In the first study of its kind, researchers have shown that inadequate maternal iron intake during pregnancy exerts subtle effects on infant brain development.

Tuning chocolate flavor through yeast research
Researchers of Leuven University and VIB in Belgium have shown that the yeasts used to ferment cocoa during chocolate production can modify the aroma of the resulting chocolate.

'Master switch' helps cancer cells survive stress
Scientists have discovered a 'master switch' within cancer cells that seems to override the normal stress response and allows them to survive conditions that would normally be lethal.

Internists have 'significant concerns' about pending insurance company mergers
The American College of Physicians (ACP) today told the US Department of Justice Antitrust Division that it has 'significant concerns about the pending mergers between Aetna/Humana and Anthem/Cigna and the potential negative effects they could have on competition in the health insurance market.'

WHO's estimates of the burden of disease caused by foodborne chemical toxins
The World Health Organisation Foodborne Disease Burden Epidemiology Reference Group Task Forces report their research in a series of papers published in several journals this week.

NYU study finds 3/4 of high school heroin users started with prescription opioids
The study is among the first nationally representative studies in the US to examine the linkages between nonmedical use of opioids and heroin in high school seniors.

Increasing and accurately measuring rabies vaccination coverage in Tanzania
Canine mediated rabies is endemic in Tanzania despite the fact that the disease can be prevented entirely by mass dog vaccination.

Researchers isolate cells implicated with breast cancer-derived brain tumors
Researchers from the Houston Methodist Research Institute have isolated genetic signatures of some circulating tumor cells found in breast cancer, which one day may lead to a preventive treatment for metastatic cancer cells.

First discovery of a hibernating primate outside Madagascar
Up to now, three species of lemurs on Madagascar were the only primates known to hibernate.

Can cancer itself damage the heart?
Seville, Spain - Dec. 3, 2015: Research presented today at EuroEcho-Imaging 2015 raises the possibility that cancer itself may damage heart muscle irrespective of exposure to cancer drug therapies.1 Researchers from the UK's first dedicated cardio-oncology clinic found that both treated and untreated cancer patients had impaired heart function.

Higher levels of Fukushima cesium detected offshore
Scientists monitoring the spread of radiation in the ocean from the Fukushima nuclear accident report finding an increased number of contaminated sites off the US West Coast, along with the highest detection level to date, from a sample collected about 1,600 miles west of San Francisco.

Magnetic stimulation of the brain may help patients with cocaine addiction
Baltimore, MD Targeted magnetic pulses to the brain were shown to reduce craving and substance use in cocaine-addicted patients.

Livermore Lab researchers use 3-D printing to build human physiology outside the body
The cardiovascular system is a complex web of tens of thousands of miles of arteries, capillaries and veins, branching throughout the body like tributaries of a great river. 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