Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 11, 2015
Scientists in Barcelona discover a potential treatment for cirrhosis
Cirrhosis is the main risk factor for liver cancer. The same target may be the key to preventing and treating this condition.

Healthy or sick? Tiny cell bubbles may hold the answer
Rutgers scientists have uncovered biological pathways in the roundworm that provide insight into how tiny bubbles released by cells can have beneficial health effects, like promoting tissue repair, or may play a diabolical role and carry disease signals for cancer or neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's.

New study finds nearly half of American Muslim doctors feel scrutinized on the job
In a national survey of 255 Muslim American physicians published online this month by the journal AJOB Empirical Bioethics, researchers found that nearly half of respondents felt greater scrutiny at work compared to their peers.

Treatment associated with changes in brain activity in borderline personality disorder
According to newly published research, a specialized psychotherapy has been linked to changes in activation patterns in certain areas of the brain in patients with borderline personality disorder, suggesting its impact may go deeper than symptom change.

New sister Interoperability Center opens in Europe
As global electric vehicle sales continue to rise, the European Union opened the first European Interoperability Center for Electric Vehicles and Smart Grids last month to make sure all of these cars have a standard plug and equipment that can work anywhere.

Study uncovers influence of Earth's history on the dawn of modern birds
The evolution of modern birds was greatly shaped by the history of our planet's geography and climate.

FaceDirector software generates desired performances in post-production, avoiding reshoots
Some film directors are famous for demanding that scenes be shot and re-shot repeatedly until actors express just the right emotion at the right time, but directors will be able to fine-tune performances in post-production, rather than on the film set, with a new system developed by Disney Research and the University of Surrey.

Targeted assistance needed to fight poverty in developing coastal communities
Researchers say there needs to be a better understanding of how conservation and aid projects in developing countries impact the people they are designed to help.

DCIS patients receiving anastrozole reported symptoms different from those receiving tamoxifen
Analysis of patient-reported outcomes (PRO), a secondary endpoint of the phase III, NSABP B-35 clinical trial, in which anastrazole and tamoxifen were compared in postmenopausal women with ductal carcinoma in-situ (DCIS) who underwent lumpectomy plus radiotherapy, found that there were no differences in outcomes related to quality of life but some differences in outcomes related to symptoms in the two treatment groups, according to data presented at the 2015 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, held Dec.

At ASCB 2015: CRISPR/Cas9 + HPSC = human PKD lab model
By linking up CRISPR/Cas9 with another cutting edge technology, human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs), Benjamin Freedman, now at the University of Washington, and his colleagues in Joseph Bonventre's lab at Harvard Medical School, have used CRISPR/Cas9 to guide hPSCs into becoming a human cell-based lab model system for polycystic kidney disease (PKD).

No significant differences in recurrence rates among women with DCIS taking anastrozole or tamoxifen
Postmenopausal women with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) had similar outcomes with disease recurrence whether they took tamoxifen or the aromatase inhibitor anastrozole for five years after surgery, but women in the two groups had different side effects, according to results from the phase III IBIS-II DCIS clinical trial presented at the 2015 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, held Dec.

Designing an epidemiologic study of neurologic disorders in Gulf War vets
The US Department of Veterans Affairs requested that the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine conduct a study to respond to Public Law 110-389 to determine the incidence, prevalence, and risk of developing multiple sclerosis and other neurologic diseases -- including migraines, Parkinson's disease, brain cancers, and central nervous system abnormalities difficult to diagnose precisely -- as a result of service in the 1990-1991 Persian Gulf and post 9/11 Global Operations theaters.

Weyl fermion discovery named Top Ten Breakthrough of 2015 by Physics World
Princeton University Professor of Physics M. Zahid Hasan is one of three physicists whose efforts to observe Weyl fermions, an elusive massless particle theorized 85 years ago, have been named among the Top Ten Breakthroughs of 2015 by Physics World magazine.

Thyroid cancer patients report poor quality of life despite 'good' diagnosis
Thyroid cancer survivors report poor quality of life after diagnosis and treatment compared with other patients who are diagnosed with more lethal cancers, according to new research from the University of Chicago Medicine.

NASA measures rainfall in Tropical Cyclone Bohale
NASA analyzed the rainfall rates occurring in Tropical Cyclone 05S, now renamed Tropical Cyclone Bohale.

Drug provides another treatment option for an early form of breast cancer
The drug anastrozole is effective in treating an early form of breast cancer, according to a clinical trial led by Queen Mary University of London.

The artificial materials that came in from the cold
Berkeley Lab researchers have developed a freeze-casting technique that enables them to design and create strong, tough and lightweight materials comparable to bones, teeth, shells and wood.

Cold, hot or dry: Persistent weather extremes associated with decreased storm activity
A decrease in storm activity over large parts of the US, Europe, Russia, and China is found to influence weather extremes -- cold ones in winter, hot or dry ones in summer.

More attention needed to results of simple test of kidney function
Kidney disease in the United States is both common and under-diagnosed, but two new studies led by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers suggest that paying close attention to results of a simple blood test can help predict the likelihood that patients are headed for kidney failure or death.

Cooperative catalysts offer unique route to alkenes
Chemists at Princeton have developed a new chemical approach to dehydrogenation, a reaction found in important processes such as the biosynthesis of essential fatty acids in the body and the commercial production of detergents, that combines the various advantages from existing methods.

The world's smallest terrorist: Virus hijacks protein machine and then kills the host
A research team has established how a virus exploits one of its host's proteins when the virus is about to replicate its genetic material during an infection.

UC Davis scientists demonstrate DNA-based electromechanical switch
Researchers from UC Davis and the University of Washington have demonstrated that the conductance of DNA can be modulated by controlling its structure, thus opening up the possibility of DNA's future use as an electromechanical switch for nanoscale computing.

Wearable energy generator uses urine to power wireless transmitter
A pair of socks embedded with miniaturized microbial fuel cells and fueled with urine pumped by the wearer's footsteps has powered a wireless transmitter to send a signal to a PC.

NASA sees formation of Tropical Depression Melor in northwestern Pacific Ocean
NASA's Aqua satellite captured an image as Tropical Depression Melor formed in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean close to the island of Yap.

Postpartum family planning services should be a top reproductive health priority
Despite their importance for both healthy pregnancies and the well-being of existing children, postpartum and post-abortion family planning have received insufficient attention and resources in recent years.

T-DM1 improved overall survival for heavily pretreated patients with HER2-positive breast cancer
Among patients with HER2-positive, metastatic breast cancer that had progressed despite treatment with two or more forms of HER2-targeted therapy (trastuzumab [Herceptin] and lapatinib [Tykerb]), median overall survival was increased for those treated with trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1 [Kadcyla]) compared with those who received treatment of physician's choice, according to results from the phase III TH3RESA clinical trial presented at the 2015 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, held Dec.

Swiss students are not fond of brain-doping
Switzerland has honest students: The vast majority of the students that were questioned were against pharmacological cognitive enhancement.

Scientists paint a detailed picture of the chemical structure of oceans 520 million years ago
Ocean chemistry has strongly shaped the evolution of life and biogeochemical cycles on the Earth.

Preventing diabetes at the office
For people who already have high blood sugar, preventing diabetes could amount to just another day at the office.

ESSC statement on climate change
The European Space Sciences Committee (ESSC) supports the Article (2) agreement on climate change of the Declaration of the '2015 Budapest World Science Forum on the enabling power of science'.

Forest Service research and development bridging the gender gap
'Bridging the gender gap: demographics of scientists in the USDA Forest Service and academia,' explored the role of the institutions employing ecological scientists in bridging the gender gap.

Analyzing options for increasing affordability of flood insurance
A new congressionally mandated report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine identifies an approach for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to evaluate policy options for making premiums through the National Flood Insurance Program more affordable for those who have limited ability to pay.

Researchers receive $10.2 million to study new malaria-prevention method
In collaboration with partners in Europe and Africa, researchers at Penn State have received a five-year, $10.2-million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to investigate a new method for preventing the transmission of malaria.

Tropical groundwater resources resilient to climate change
Tropical groundwater may prove to be a climate-resilient source of freshwater in the tropics as intense rainfall favors the replenishment of these resources, according to a new study published in Environmental Research Letters.

Study finds there is less knowledge about global species diversity than previously assumed
Many of the previous studies on global species diversity are inaccurate.

New study finds nearly half of American Muslim doctors feel scrutinized on the job
In a national survey of 255 Muslim American physicians published online this month by the journal AJOB Empirical Bioethics, researchers found that nearly half of respondents felt greater scrutiny at work compared to their peers.

Phobia of sicknesses leads to Angelina Jolie syndrome
The politicization and commercialization of health issues in today's Western culture have led to growing healthism -- a peremptory idea of self-preserving behavior.

Project to develop new poultry vaccines awarded £5.7 million
Cheap and effective vaccines for poultry that will reduce infections in humans and minimize antibiotics in the food chain will be developed by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine as part of a £5.7 million grant from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.

Fallopian tube organoids promise better understanding of ovarian cancer and infertility
A new way of growing Fallopian tube cells in culture is expected to give a boost to our understanding and prevention of female genital diseases, such as infertility, inflammatory disease, and ovarian cancer.

EARTH magazine: Narratives from Nepal
EARTH magazine brings you a special feature that describes how initial data informed relief efforts and a community ranging from mountaineers to geophysicists to engineers is helping Nepal rebuild.

Review explores cancer screening, prevention, and treatment in people with mental illness
A new report suggests that healthcare system and societal factors are just as critical as individual lifestyle factors in creating health disparities among people with metal illness.

Non-small cell lung cancers can be sorted in clusters by endocytic changes
Endocytosis is not normal in cancer cells but how dysregulated the process is in cancer cells has just been revealed by Sarah Elkin and colleagues in the University of Texas (UT) Southwestern Medical Center lab of Sandra Schmid.

Stress in older people increases risk for pre-Alzheimer's condition
Feeling stressed out increases the likelihood that elderly people will develop mild cognitive impairment -- often a prelude to full-blown Alzheimer's disease.

New ASU worldwide resource for exploring genes' hidden messages
An international scientific team, led by Arizona State University professor and Biodesign Institute researcher Marco Mangone, has added a new worldwide resource with the first library built for researchers to explore genes' deep and hidden messages.

New report calls for more consistent regulations for mobile app transportation
Innovative transportation services such as car sharing, bike sharing, and transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft are changing mobility for millions of people, yet regulation of these services often varies greatly across geographic areas and industry segments.

MSK studies highlight potential of liquid biopsy at San Antonio Breast Cancer Meeting
Information gleaned from a liquid biopsy may help predict how individual women with advanced breast cancer will respond to certain therapies as well as reveal genetic mutations that can impact prognosis, according to two new studies led by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Physician-in-Chief José Baselga and physician-scientist Sarat Chandarlapaty.

New catalyst paves way for bio-based plastics, chemicals
Washington State University researchers have developed a catalyst that easily converts bio-based ethanol to a widely used industrial chemical, paving the way for more environmentally friendly, bio-based plastics and products.

Violence in Mexico affected children's mental health
Children who lived in Juarez, Mexico -- once dubbed the murder capital of the world -- in 2010 have high levels of behavioral and emotional problems, according to new research by Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso.

Noise can't hide weak signals from this new receiver
Electrical engineers at the University of California, San Diego developed a receiver that can detect a weak, fast, randomly occurring signal.

Scientists discover new computerized linguistic approach to detect Alzheimer's disease
Researchers have discovered how to diagnose Alzheimer's disease with more than 82 percent accuracy by evaluating the interplay between four linguistic factors; and developing automated technology to detect these impairments.

Volcanic event caused ice age during Jurassic Period, new research suggests
Pioneering new research has shed new light on the causes behind an 'ice-age' that took place on Earth around 170 million years ago.

Aural feedback for oral hygiene
Researchers in Japan have discovered that how effectively we clean our teeth and how satisfied we are with the brushing job we do depends a lot on the sound of the bristles scrubbing against the enamel.

The days are getting longer
Scientists are studying past changes in sea level in order to make accurate future predictions of this consequence of climate change, and they're looking down to Earth's core to do so.

Higher workloads can make freelance workers happier
As the hours of freelance or portfolio workers fluctuate, so does their well-being, finds a new study published in the SAGE journal Human Relations.

AIDS treatment benefits health, economics of people without HIV, study shows
Hans-Peter Kohler of the University of Pennsylvania, along with Victoria Baranov from the University of Melbourne and Daniel Bennett from the University of Chicago, discovered that AIDS treatment can help HIV-negative people by quelling fear of the virus and boosting mental health and productivity.

Rhine-Main Universities establish strategic alliance
The presidents of Technische Universität Darmstadt, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, and Goethe University Frankfurt have signed a cross-border framework agreement intended to promote further collaboration between the three universities.

Diagnostics with birefringence
ETH researchers led by Raffaele Mezzenga have developed a new diagnostic method.

2016 EurekAlert! Fellows reflect changing media landscape in China, India
Four early-career journalists from China and India have emerged from the fiercest competition to date to win the 2016 EurekAlert!

Harvard, Wildlife Conservation Society launch new 'Planetary Health Alliance' with support from the Rockefeller Foundation
Today Harvard University, the Wildlife Conservation Society, and a range of other partner organizations are launching the Planetary Health Alliance, a new effort to dramatically improve our understanding of the linkages between environmental change and human health across the globe.

Earlier intervention leads to better weight recovery in children with multiple risk factors for weight faltering
Young children who are underweight experienced greater weight recovery the earlier an intervention was started, and the recovery was more significant in children with multiple household risk factors, according to a study published this week in The Journal of Pediatrics.

Lava attraction: 74 new beetle species found hiding in plain sight on a Hawaiian volcano
Within the limits of Haleakala volcano, Maui Island, Hawaii, the beetle fauna turns out to be not only extremely diverse, but quite abundant as well.
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