Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 29, 2015
Microorganisms in the womb set stage for diseases
Researchers review importance of microorganisms that exist in the gut, suggesting perturbation of the environment during pregnancy, delivery and early infancy could impact the developing baby's early microbiome and set the stage for health problems later in life.

Plain packaging effective in reducing misperceptions of tobacco products among Australian Indigenous
Following the introduction of plain packaging on tobacco products in 2012, Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were 12 percent less likely to think certain tobacco brands were less harmful than others, a new study found.

Reptile fossils offer clues about elevation history of Andes Mountains
Tortoise and turtle fossils, the first from the Miocene epoch found in Bolivia, suggest the Altiplano, near Quebrada Honda, was likely less than a kilometer above sea level 13 million years ago.

Physicists come up with a way to make cleaner fuel cells
An international group of scientists from Russia, France, and Germany have developed ion-exchange synthetic membranes based on amphiphilic compounds that are able to convert the energy of chemical reactions into electrical current.

NASA looks at deadly weather over the US
NASA's Global Precipitation Measurement or GPM mission core satellite analyzed extreme weather that affected the US over the course of five days.

No easy answers in UW study of legal marijuana's impact on alcohol use
Does legalization of marijuana lead pot users to drink more, or are they likely to substitute alcohol for weed?

Scientists variable vectoring technique for propeller powered unmanned aerial vehicles
The maneuverability of unmanned aerial vehicles can be greatly enhanced through the use of variable vectoring technique.

Clinical research experts comment on the state of their fields
In an Editorial published this week in PLOS Medicine, editors ask an international panel of eleven expert researchers and clinicians spanning a range of specialties to answer questions on their field and what developments they hope and expect to see in 2016.

ORNL cell-free protein synthesis is potential lifesaver
Lives of soldiers and others injured in remote locations could be saved with a cell-free protein synthesis system developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

UW center receives $16 million to work on first implantable device to reanimate paralyzed limbs
The University of Washington-led Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering has received a $16 million NSF grant to develop the first implantable device to reanimate paralyzed limbs and restore motor function in stroke or spinal cord injury patients.

Early-life exercise alters gut microbes, promotes healthy brain and metabolism
The human gut harbors a teeming menagerie of over 100 trillion microorganisms, and researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder have discovered that exercising early in life can alter that microbial community for the better, promoting healthier brain and metabolic activity over the course of a lifetime.

St. Jude researchers develop powerful interactive tool to mine data from cancer genome
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital has developed a web-based application to advance pediatric cancer research, collaboration and clinical care through enhanced exploration of the pediatric cancer genome

Technology aids kidney transplant patients
Mobile technology helps kidney transplant patients adhere to a rigorous schedule of medications and monitor their own blood pressure.

New breast cancer drug may be effective against other types of cancer
Palbociclib, a new oral drug whose efficacy in combating breast cancer has been demonstrated alone and in combination with endocrine therapy, also has potential to combat other types of cancer, according to a literature review and additional original research conducted by experts at the Abramson Cancer Center in the University of Pennsylvania published this month in JAMA Oncology.

A clue to generate electric current without energy consumption at room temperature
Researchers in Japan and China identified the requirements for the development of new types of extremely low power consumption electric devices by studying thin films made of Cr-doped (Sb, Bi)2Te3.

Study ties insurgency phase of Iraq War to higher PTSD rates
Guerilla tactics such as suicide attacks and roadside bombs may trigger more post-traumatic stress than conventional warfare, suggests a Veterans Affairs study of 738 Iraq veterans.

Geomorphic impact of the flooding caused by Tropical Storm Lee in September 2011
In their article for Geosphere, R. Craig Kochel and colleagues discuss the geomorphic impact of the flooding caused from Tropical Storm Lee in September 2011 on several large watersheds of the Susquehanna River in the Appalachian Plateau region of north-central Pennsylvania.

Thermal microscopy of single cells
Researchers in France working wondered whether it might be possible to tap into active thermography camera technology -- behind night-vision equipment and the thermal imaging of buildings -- to create a sort of thermal microscope to produce heat maps of single cells to help them understand the thermal behavior of the cells or go a step even further by detecting diseased conditions at the sub-cell scale.

Increased long-term death risk for adolescents hospitalized for adversity-related injury
Adolescents discharged from hospitals in England after an admission for violent, drug- or alcohol-related, or self-inflicted injuries have increased risks of subsequent death and emergency re-admission up to a decade later, according to a study published this week in PLOS Medicine.

NTU scientists unveil social and telepresence robots
NTU Singapore unveiled two social and telepresence robots today. One is Nadine, a friendly human-like robot who will greet you back and shake your hand.

Expanded regimens associated with improved treatment response in MDR-TB
Treating multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR TB) with regimens that include a greater number of drugs may improve outcomes, and baseline drug susceptibility testing (DST) could identify drugs with the greatest likelihood of success, according to a paper published this week in PLOS Medicine.

Factors predicting low patient accrual in cancer clinical trials
Nearly one in four publicly sponsored cancer clinical trials fail to enroll enough participants to draw valid conclusions about treatments or techniques.

Improving accuracy in genomic mapping with time-series data
Researchers at the University of Minnesota and BioNano Genomics have improved a nanochannel-based form of mapping by using dynamic time-series data to measure the probability distribution, or how much genetic material separates two labels, based on whether the strands are stretched or compressed.

The chemistry of hangovers (video)
It's almost New Year's Eve, and many will be ringing in 2016 with champagne, wine, beer and cocktails.

Temple study finds opioid prescribing guideline significantly decreases prescription rates
Emergency medicine physicians at Temple University Hospital have found that an opioid prescribing guideline had an immediate and sustained impact on opioid prescribing rates for minor conditions and chronic noncancer pain in an acute care setting.

PRO as a sustainable energy production system is crippled by biofouling
According to the new study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, researchers at the Zuckerberg Institute and Yale University found that, 'power generation by PRO produces little and next to nothing due to biofouling caused by bacteria that clog the membrane structure and the feed channel.' Prior to this study, researchers from Yale reported that this technology is thermodynamically challenging and is hardly viable.

Being anxious could be good for you -- in a crisis
New findings could help explain the apparent 'sixth sense' we have for danger in social situations, with the direction of a person's gaze being a crucial cue.

High-throughput evaluation of synthetic metabolic pathways
A central challenge in the field of metabolic engineering is the efficient identification of a metabolic pathway genotype that maximizes specific productivity over a robust range of process conditions.

Modeling Amazonian transitional forest micrometeorology
What can mathematical modeling teach us about the micrometeorology of the southern Amazonian 'transitional' forest?

'Spectre' villain fails neuroanatomy in latest Bond film
James Bond's nemesis in the most recent film likely failed neuroanatomy, said real-life neurosurgeon and scientist Dr.
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