Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 06, 2016
How you manage your emails may be bad for your health
The research suggests many people have developed some bad habits when it comes to managing email.

Skin bacteria help cancer cells grow
Our skin is covered in millions of bacteria and most of them help keep us healthy.

Lab researcher helps team that may have a key solution to reducing carbon dioxide emissions
Meeting the Paris Climate Agreement goal of limiting the increase in the global average temperature to well below two degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels will require increased use of renewable energy and reducing the CO2 intensity of fossil energy use.

Statins may lower risk of heart disease in people with sleep apnea
Study suggests that statins may reverse the mechanisms that increase the risk of heart disease in people with sleep apnea.

Sugary drinks tax in Mexico linked with 12 percent cut in sales after one year
In Mexico, a 10 percent tax on sugar sweetened drinks has been associated with an overall 12 percent reduction in sales and a 4 percent increase in purchases of untaxed beverages one year after implementation, finds a study published by The BMJ this week.

The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology: Reducing sugar content in sugar-sweetened drinks by 40 percent over 5 years could prevent 1.5 million cases of overweight and obesity in the UK and 300,000 cases of diabetes
A new study published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal suggests that reducing sugar content in sugar sweetened drinks (including fruit juices) in the UK by 40 percent over five years, without replacing them with any artificial sweeteners, could prevent 500,000 cases of overweight and 1 million cases of obesity, in turn preventing around 300,000 cases of type 2 diabetes, over two decades.

Proposed link between liver cancer and adeno-associated virus challenged in human gene therapy
The conclusion drawn from a recent study that insertion of adeno-associated virus 2 into human DNA causes mutations leading to the development of hepatocellular carcinoma was resoundingly rejected by leading researchers in the fields of gene therapy and molecular genetics.

New open access journal highlights methods and clinical trial results
The first issue of Elsevier's new open access journal Contemporary Clinical Trials Communications features a new method to make cancer clinical trials more effective, a better way of determining whether a trial was successful and a dashboard that helps patients enroll in trials.

Research advocates unveil policy wish list for 2016
Research!America urges Congress to take action on several research and innovation priorities in 2016 in order to combat costly and devastating diseases that are taking a toll on our nation's health and economy.

Human activities trigger hypoxia in freshwaters around the globe
A new study shows that the increase in human activities and nutrient release have led to the current rise in the number of hypoxic lakes worldwide.

Men over 60 who pay for sex use less protection and purchase more sex as they age
A new study published today in the American Journal of Men's Health (a SAGE journal) surveyed American men between the ages of 60 and 84 who pay for sex and found that the older they were, the more frequently they paid for sex and the more likely they were to have experienced unprotected sexual intercourse multiple times with their favorite commercial sex providers.

Measuring Africa's unsustainable hunting on land -- by sea
Scientists hoping to help stem the rate of unsustainable hunting in West and Central Africa have developed two monitoring indicators based in part on methods used to track populations trends of organisms in an entirely different ecosystem: the sea.

Antibiotics pave way for C. diff infections by killing bile acid-altering bacteria
New research finds that bile acids which are altered by bacteria normally living in the large intestine inhibit the growth of Clostridium difficile, or C. diff.

Ambitious women must use their social capital to reach top jobs
Natasha Abajian said: 'Access to social networks typically differs for men and for women.

The waiter's weight
Whether you order a dessert or a drink might depend on your waiter.

Intelligent machine tool prototype operates like a 3-D printer
A Japanese research group has developed a prototype machine tool that can manufacture metal components and operates like a 3-D printer.

2015 AAAS Mentor Award honors Dr. Christine Grant, North Carolina State University
Dr. Christine Grant, Associate Dean for Faculty Advancement in the College of Engineering and Professor of Chemical Engineering at North Carolina State University (NC State), was chosen as the winner of the 2015 AAAS Mentor Award for facilitating dramatic education and research changes that resulted in an increased number of African-American and female students seeking doctorates in chemical engineering.

£2 million grant to reduce major aquaculture diseases
The University of Exeter and the Centre for the Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Sciences (Cefas) are leading on a £1.97M BBSRC-Newton Fund project to develop and apply new molecular biology techniques to reduce the impact of major diseases in aquaculture for the improvement of the livelihood of small-scale farmers in India, Bangladesh and Malawi.

Grant targets quantum computing's error control challenge
A team led by Duke University and University of Maryland researchers has been tapped by IARPA to take quantum computing efforts to the next level using one of the field's leading technologies -- ion traps.

Early trial shows injectable agent illuminates cancer during surgery
Doctors at the Duke University School of Medicine have tested a new injectable agent that causes cancer cells in a tumor to fluoresce, potentially increasing a surgeon's ability to locate and remove all of a cancerous tumor on the first attempt.

Ancient protein flexibility can drive 'new' functions
Scientists reveal how evolutionary fine-tuning has obscured the origin of the glucocorticoid receptor's ability to adopt different shapes.

Leaf-mimicking device harnesses light to purify water
For years, scientists have been pursuing ways to imitate a leaf's photosynthetic power to make hydrogen fuel from water and sunlight.

Harnessing the body's immune system to heal wounds naturally
Kara Spiller, PhD, an assistant professor in the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems, will seek to better understand the relationship between the body's natural healing process and tissue regeneration with a five-year $1.9 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Researchers develop technology to determine animal male sex selection
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center researchers have developed a low cost technology related to sex select semen that can be used with artificial insemination in animals.

High rate of symptoms, hospitalization following gastric bypass surgery for obesity
Although the vast majority of patients reported improved well-being after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) surgery, the prevalence of symptoms such as abdominal pain and fatigue were high and nearly one-third of patients were hospitalized, according to a study published online by JAMA Surgery.

Fish-flavored cat food could contribute to feline hyperthyroidism
Over the past three decades, the number of cats diagnosed with hyperthyroidism has increased.

Love hertz
James Cook University researchers have found sex sells when it comes to luring male mosquitoes.

Rice researcher awarded $1.5 million to study effects of entrepreneurship education
A leading researcher at Rice University's Jones Graduate School of Business has received a $1.5 million grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation to study the effects of entrepreneurship education on entrepreneurial success.

2016 Ocean Sciences Meeting: Housing deadline Jan. 28
Discover the latest in ocean science research at the 2016 Ocean Sciences Meeting, taking place from Feb.

Is your toddler ready for reading lessons?
Even before they can read, children as young as 3 years of age are beginning to understand how a written word is different than a simple drawing -- a nuance that could provide an important early indicator for children who may need extra help with reading lessons, suggests new research from Washington University in St.

International CTCA study shows statins could be effective against small cell lung cancer
Researchers at Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) at Western Regional Medical Center (Western), in collaboration with international colleagues, found that statins could be an effective therapeutic against metastatic small cell lung cancer.

Redirected flood waters lead to unintended consequences
1.2 million acres of farmland are protected from Ozark Plateau runoff by the Headwaters Diversion in Missouri.

NRL tests cooperative soaring concept for sustained flight of UAV sailplanes
Researchers at the US Naval Research Laboratory and the Air Vehicle Intelligence and Autonomy Lab at Pennsylvania State University, demonstrate autonomous soaring algorithms used to keep unmanned sailplanes aloft for sustained flight durations.

UC San Diego researchers link higher risk of leukemia to low sunlight and vitamin D
Epidemiologists at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine report that persons residing at higher latitudes, with lower sunlight/ultraviolet B (UVB) exposure and greater prevalence of vitamin D deficiency, are at least two times at greater risk of developing leukemia than equatorial populations.

Renewable energy for state renewable portfolio standards yielded sizable benefits
A new study estimates that billions in dollars in benefits come from reduced greenhouse gas emissions and from reductions in other air pollution for state renewable portfolio standard policies operating in 2013.

New methods help advance infectious disease forecasting
While tremendous progress has been made to eliminate malaria worldwide, about 3.2 billion people -- nearly half the world's population -- are at risk of the disease, according to the World Health Organization.

Factors in the blood during dieting may have anti-diabetes properties
Factors in the blood from calorie-restricted rats can modify energy-producing mitochondria within the insulin-producing cells that regulate blood sugar levels, new research shows.

One crop, two ways, multiple benefits
Recently published research demonstrates the effects of using faba beans in two different ways to increase soil health in Canadian soils.

NYU study links life's milestones to a non-circadian biological rhythm in teeth
Researchers at the NYU College of Dentistry, through metabolomic analysis of blood plasma of domestic pigs, have linked mammalian pace of growth and development variations to a non-circadian biological timing mechanism operating on multi-day (multidien) rhythms of growth and degradation.

Researchers discover link between stress and unhealthy microbiomes
Red squirrels living in a low-stress environment harbor healthier communities of micro-organisms, a result that might hold implications for human health, according to a new University of Guelph-led study.

Killer whales feast on salmon in summer
Salmon are the primary summer food source for an endangered population of killer whales in the Pacific Northwest, according to an analysis of fish DNA in killer whale poop published Jan.

Oral contraceptive use not linked to major birth defects
Oral contraceptive use just before or during pregnancy is not associated with an increased risk of major birth defects, suggest the findings of a study published in The BMJ this week.

Researchers uncover new details linking stress, fat metabolism
If you're under constant stress and can't lose weight, there might be a protein to blame.

NASA sees Tropical Cyclone Ula weakening
Tropical Cyclone Ula continued to move west, passing south of Fiji when NASA's Aqua satellite passed overhead and captured an image of the weakening storm.

Last meal reflects spiral-shaped intestine
A last meal provides new insights: The fossilized food remains of the extinct predatory fish Saurichthys reflect its spiral-shaped intestine.

Leopard sharks navigate with their nose
Olfaction may contribute to shark ocean navigation, likely based on their ability to sense chemical changes in the water as they swim, according to a study published Jan.

Aluminum nanoparticles could improve electronic displays
Whether showing off family photos on smartphones or watching TV shows on laptops, many people look at liquid crystal displays (LCDs) every day.

What motivates people to walk and bike? It varies by income
The environmental factors that motivate people to walk or bike vary by income, University of Washington researchers have found.

Drought, heat take toll on global crops
Drought and extreme heat slashed global cereal harvests between 1964 and 2007 -- and the impact of these weather disasters was greatest in North America, Europe and Australasia, according to a new study published in Nature led by UBC and McGill University researchers.

Walter Reed Army Institute of Research begins phase 2 clinical trial of Ebola vaccine
The Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) today began a Phase 2 clinical trial to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of a prime-boost Ebola vaccine regimen in both healthy and HIV-infected study volunteers.

Archaeological discovery yields surprising revelations about Europe's oldest city
New evidence suggests that an ancient Aegean city not only recovered but also flourished following the collapse of the Bronze Age.

Using nanoparticles to combat arteriosclerosis
In industrialized countries, a high number of people suffer from arteriosclerosis -- with fatal consequences: Deposits in the arteries lead to strokes and heart attacks.

Less prostate cancer screening may delay treatment for earlier onset cancers
The USPSTF recommendation against regular prostate specific antigen screening for prostate cancer has been in place for 2.5 years.

Wrapping up a year of landmark chemistry news
From a critical international climate pact to corporate mega mergers, 2015 was packed with history-making events in the chemistry world sure to have an impact far into the future.

Scientists root out the 'bad seeds' of liver cancer
Researchers have found the 'bad seeds' of liver cancer and believe they could one day reprogram them to remain responsive to cancer treatment, a new USC study has found.

Why low oxygen levels soon after birth may raise risk for learning & behavioral disorders
New research published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, shows that the development of white matter in the mouse brains is delayed when they are exposed to chronic low oxygen levels shortly after birth.

Flu virus hijacking tactics revealed by scientists, paving way for new treatments
Scientists at Imperial College London have discovered how flu viruses 'hijack' cell machinery when they infect the body.

Is there a bubble in the art market?
Researchers at the University of Luxembourg are warning of an overheating art market, one of the fastest-growing investment sectors of the past decade, after applying a new bubble detection method analyzing millions of auction records.

Droughts hit cereal crops harder since 1980s
Drought and extreme heat events slashed cereal harvests in recent decades by 9 percent to 10 percent on average in affected countries -- and the impact of these weather disasters was greatest in the developed nations of North America, Europe and Australasia, according to a new study led by researchers from McGill University and the University of British Columbia.

Oral contraceptive use not associated with increased birth defects risk
Oral contraceptives taken just before or during pregnancy do not increase the risk of birth defects, according to a new study by researchers from Harvard T.H.

Science-driven strategies for more effective endangered species recovery
In a report released by the Ecological Society of America, 18 conservation researchers and practitioners propose six broad strategies to raise the effectiveness of the ESA for endangered species recovery, based on a thorough review of the scientific literature on the status and performance of the law.

Cancer screening has never been shown to 'save lives,' argue experts
Cancer screening has never been shown to 'save lives' as advocates claim, argue experts in The BMJ today.

Loss of cells in brain's memory center linked to schizophrenia
Scientists have found that deficits in social memory -- a crucial yet poorly understood feature of psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia -- may be due to a decrease in the number of a particular class of brain cells, called inhibitory neurons, in a little-explored region within the brain's memory center.

Half of primary care doctors provide unnecessary specialty referrals upon patient request
A study recently published in the American Journal of Managed Care found that more than half of primary care providers reported that they made what they considered unnecessary referrals to a specialist because patients requested it.

Nanowalls for smartphones
Researchers at ETH Zurich have manufactured transparent electrodes for use in touchscreens using a novel nanoprinting process.

ALS protein dynamics highlight delicate balance between self-association and aggregation
The ALS-related protein TDP-43 takes the first steps toward pathologic aggregation as part of its normal function, according to a new study publishing in the open-access journal PLOS Biology on Jan.

'Seeing' black holes with a home-use telescope
An international research team reports that the activity of black holes can be observed as visible light during outbursts, and that flickering light emerging from gases surrounding black holes is a direct indicator of this.

DNA research offers clues on cell mutation
A Colorado State University team has found that RNA plays a new and important role in the DNA repair process.

Is it all just a myth -- does working too much actually affect your relationship?
Traditionally we have been told that the longer you work, the harder it is to maintain romantic relations.

HarvardX offers new MOOC on the Ebola crisis featuring Elsevier journal content
HarvardX has launched a new MOOC featuring content from several of Elsevier's high profile medical journals in response to the report of the Harvard-LSHTM Independent Panel on the Global Response to Ebola by the World Health Organization.

Toenail trim saves lab mice from common, life-threatening skin condition
In a new study, Stanford University School of Medicine researchers report finding an easy method to cure laboratory mice of a common, life-threatening skin disease: a pedicure.

Humans adding less nitrogen to oceans than models predict
Atmospheric models have suggested that a vast majority of nitrogen deposited in the open ocean is derived from human activities, but a new study suggests that's not so.

New FAU study suggests benefits of regular mammography extend to the elderly
Although a number of randomized trials demonstrate the clear benefits of mammography screening in women up to age 74 on reducing mortality, data are sparse in women over the age of 74, especially minorities.

Generous mothers are nagged less
For the first time, scientists have identified specific genetic variations in offspring that lead to preferential maternal treatment, which in turn improves offspring fitness.

Winship multiple myeloma study in The Lancet
Winship multiple myeloma expert Sagar Lonial, M.D., played a key role in the testing of daratumumab (trade name Darzalex), which received accelerated approval from the US FDA in November 2015.

Perimeter researchers earn prestigious cosmology prizes
Researchers from Perimeter Institute have won both first and third prizes in the 2015 Buchalter Cosmology Prize competition for work that sheds new light on the workings of space and time.

Transgender veterans diagnosed with significantly more mental and medical health disorders
The first large, controlled study of health disparities between clinically diagnosed transgender and non-transgender patients -- based on the medical records of more than 5,000 patients treated in the Veterans Health Administration -- showed that transgender veterans had a significantly greater prevalence of numerous psychiatric and medical conditions.

High-fidelity CRISPR-Cas9 nucleases have no detectable off-target mutations
A new engineered version of the gene-editing CRISPR-Cas9 nuclease appears to robustly abolish the unwanted, off-target DNA breaks that are a significant current limitation of the technology, reducing them to undetectable levels.

Testing the James Webb Space Telescope with radio waves
The instruments that will fly aboard NASA's James Webb Space Telescope not only have to be tough enough to survive in the cold of space, but they also have to work properly in the electromagnetic environment on the spacecraft, so they're tested for both.

Global research hub publishes QUT study on light exposure and kids' weight
Research journal PLOS ONE has published a paper on a world-first QUT study linking light exposure to weight gain in preschool-aged children.

Study: Bacteria attack lignin with enzymatic tag team
A study from Rice University, the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Joint BioEnergy Institute at Emeryville, Calif., shows how bacterial enzymes team up to attack lignin.

New Internet of Things research hub announced
Ed Vaizey, Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy, has today confirmed a new interdisciplinary Research Hub to drive forward UK research in the Internet of Things.

Male workers in typically female jobs are not motivated by money
Dr. Solowiej said: 'It is often assumed that men value careers with regular opportunities for promotion; however our study demonstrates that this isn't always the case.

Lab discovery gives glimpse of conditions found on other planets
Scientists have recreated an elusive form of the material that makes up much of the giant planets in our solar system, and the sun.

TTUHSC researcher receives NIH grant for vaccine
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center researcher Afzal A. Siddiqui, Ph.D., a Grover E.

New drug may overcome treatment resistance in a high-risk children's cancer
Pediatric oncologists from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia have reported their latest results in devising new treatments for stubbornly deadly forms of the childhood cancer neuroblastoma.

Deep-water ocean circulation may have awakened marine biodiversity climate change
In a new study, a research team headed from the Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen, has shown a direct link between the greatest increase in Phanerozoic marine biodiversity and the onset of a sudden icehouse.

Penn researchers identify cause of heart failure in pregnant women
Each year approximately 1 in 1,000 pregnant women will experience peripartum cardiomyopathy, an uncommon form of often severe heart failure that occurs in the final month of pregnancy or up to five months following delivery.

Cancer drug shows promise for treating Duchenne muscular dystrophy
A drug commonly used to treat leukemia is showing potential as a treatment that could slow the progression of the muscle-wasting condition, Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

New strategy aims to enhance efficacy and safety of bone repair treatment
Bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP2) is used clinically to promote bone repair.

NASA's Spitzer, Hubble find 'twins' of superstar Eta Carinae in other galaxies
Eta Carinae, the most luminous and massive stellar system within 10,000 light-years, is best known for an enormous eruption seen in the mid-19th century that hurled at least 10 times the sun's mass into space.

Were Panamanian islanders dolphin hunters?
Dolphins played an important part in the diet of inhabitants of Panama's Pedro Gonzalez Island 6000 years ago.

How two-tone cats get their patches comes to light in cell study
Scientists have discovered how the distinctive piebald patches seen in black and white cats and some horses are formed in the womb.

Should patients pay to see the GP?
Should patients pay to see the GP? Two doctors debate the issue in The BMJ today.

Tracing a cellular family tree
By combining sophisticated RNA sequencing technology with a new device that isolates single cells and their progeny, MIT researchers can now trace detailed family histories for several generations of cells descended from one 'ancestor.'

Hitchhiking mites can provide clues to forensic entomologists
Most forensic entomology investigations generally focus on insects such as blow flies or beetles.

Insulin-producing pancreatic cells created from human skin cells
Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes and the University of California, San Francisco have successfully converted human skin cells into fully-functional pancreatic cells.

This week from AGU: Blogs from #AGU15, ocean sounds & winds, & 5 new research papers
A new analysis helps consumers choose which appliances to swap for more efficient models and save money in the process, with some surprising results.

Biological 'clock' discovered in sea turtle shells
Radiocarbon dating of atomic bomb fallout found in sea turtle shells can be used to reliably estimate the ages, growth rates and reproductive maturity of sea turtle populations in the wild, according to Duke and NOAA researchers.

Globular clusters could host interstellar civilizations
Globular star clusters are extraordinary in almost every way. They're densely packed, holding a million stars in a ball only about 100 light-years across on average.

Lung cancer clinical trial finds lung function without additional imaging
A newly NIH funded clinical trial by University of Colorado Cancer Center investigators and collaborators is evaluating a new method for pinpointing and sparing healthy lung tissue during lung cancer radiotherapy.

Scientists call for new tools to explore the world's microbiomes
In October, an interdisciplinary group of scientists proposed forming a Unified Microbiome Initiative (UMI) to explore the world of microorganisms that are central to life on Earth and yet largely remain a mystery.

Exercise to improve skill and coordination can help reduce lower back pain
A new Cochrane Review published today shows that targeting exercises to muscles that support and control the spine offers another strategy to reduce pain and disability caused by lower back pain.

'Dry eye' linked to chronic pain syndromes
Physician-researchers with Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, part of UHealth-the University of Miami Health System, have found a link between 'dry eye' and chronic pain syndromes -- a finding that suggests that a new paradigm is needed for diagnosis and treatment to improve patient outcomes.

Buprenorphine found superior to Methadone in treating infants born in drug withdrawal
A study of two opioids used to wean babies born in withdrawal from drugs their mothers have taken shows that buprenorphine is superior to methadone in reducing duration of treatment and length of hospital stay.

Is there a connection between your age at menopause and later depression?
Is there a connection between your age at menopause and later depression? 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