Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 12, 2016
Researchers work on lowering greenhouse gas emissions from poultry houses
A research team from the University of Delaware, USDA, University of Tennessee and Oklahoma State is looking at how adding alum as an amendment to poultry litter reduces ammonia and greenhouse gas concentrations and emissions, specifically carbon dioxide, in poultry houses.

Two new species of frogs are discovered in Madagascar
The Tsaratanana Massif, the highest mountain on Madagascar and one of the island's most remote regions, is home to several indigenous species.

Racial disparity in premature births contributes significantly to infant mortality problem
Black women are nearly four times more likely than white women to have a baby born between 16 and 22 weeks gestation, a time period in which the life of a baby outside the womb is not viable.

Researchers further illuminate pathway for treatment of cystic fibrosis
By studying alveolar macrophages, which provide our airways with a crucial defense against pathogens, UNC scientists are now able to more fully understand the larger picture of CF symptoms and continue progress towards targeted treatments, aside from addressing the mutated CFTR gene.

Women, men with heart failure both benefit from implanted defibrillators
Women with heart failure benefit from implantable cardiac defibrillators as much as men.

Anemic, underweight pregnant women at greater risk for deadly hepatitis E, study suggests
Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have found a link between pre-existing nutritional deficits and immune dysfunction and the risk of hepatitis E infection during pregnancy.

Scientists identify molecule that appears to fuel deadly genetic illness
Researchers have identified a molecular target and experimental treatment strategy for DNA repair defects behind Fanconi anemia -- a complex genetic disorder responsible for birth anomalies, organ damage, anemia and cancer.

Preventing food waste better strategy than turning it into biogas
Efforts to find alternative sources of energy has more and more municipalities looking at biogas facilities designed to recycle food waste.

Cocaine addiction: Scientists discover 'back door' into the brain
Individuals addicted to cocaine may have difficulty in controlling their addiction because of a previously-unknown 'back door' into the brain, circumventing their self-control, suggests a new study led by the University of Cambridge.

Microscopy advancement by Eric Betzig, colleagues wins 2015 AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize
An advancement in microscopy that provides an unprecedented understanding of the inner workings of live cells has won the 2014-2015 Newcomb Cleveland Prize of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Cancer-killing proteins destroy tumor cells in bloodstream
Cornell researchers have discovered potent cancer-killing proteins that can travel by white blood cells to kill tumors in the bloodstream of mice with metastatic prostate cancer.

UW computer scientists to make financial products better and more available for the poor
With a new grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, University of Washington computer scientists are launching a new research group to develop technological solutions that will make financial products more available to the lowest-income people around the world.

Frozen vs. fresh fecal transplantation for C. diff. infection shows similar effectiveness
Among adults with Clostridium difficile infection that is recurrent or not responsive to treatment, the use of frozen compared with fresh fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) did not result in a significantly lower rate of resolution of diarrhea, indicating that frozen FMT may be a reasonable treatment option for these patients, according to a study in the Jan.

NASA's Terra satellite spots record-breaking Hurricane Pali
Shortly after NASA's Terra satellite passed over Tropical Storm Pali it strengthened into a record-breaking hurricane.

An invaluable guide to navigating the new revolution in health care
David Agus, M.D., the bestselling author of 'The End of Illness and A Short Guide to a Long Life,' has released 'The Lucky Years,' helping people navigate a new world of healthcare wherein you can live a much longer, much more enjoyable life than ever before.

National Cancer Institute honors Leonard I. Zon, M.D., with Knudson Award in Cancer Genetics
Leonard I. Zon, M.D., Director of the Stem Cell Program at Boston Children's Hospital and Grousbeck Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, is the recipient of the 20th annual Alfred G.

Potato consumption before pregnancy linked to diabetes risk during pregnancy
Higher consumption of potatoes before pregnancy is associated with greater risk of developing diabetes while pregnant (known as gestational diabetes mellitus or GDM), concludes a study published by The BMJ today.

How copper makes organic light-emitting diodes more efficient
Copper as a fluorescent material allows for the manufacture of inexpensive and environmentally compatible organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs).

Northern methane
Not all sources of methane emissions are man-made. A new study shows that northern freshwaters are critical emitters of this greenhouse gas.

Future Science Group partners with Enago to offer pre-submission editing services
Future Science Group today announced their partnership with Enago, who provide English editing and proofreading of scientific manuscripts for authors for whom English is a second language.

What should be the role of computer games in education?
Game advocates are calling for a sweeping transformation of conventional education to replace traditional curricula with game-based instruction.

Neils help removing epigenetic marks
Scientists at the Institute of Molecular Biology in Mainz have identified a missing piece of the puzzle in understanding how epigenetic marks are removed from DNA.

Sedentary behavior linked to poor health in adults with severe obesity
Sedentary behavior is associated with poor cardiovascular health and diabetes in adults with severe obesity, independent of how much exercise they perform, a University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health-led study showed for the first time.

Taking statins before heart surgery can help reduce post-surgical complications
Using statins before and after coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery can help reduce cardiac complications, such as atrial fibrillation, following surgery and also can reduce the risk of death during and after surgery, according to a review article posted online today by The Annals of Thoracic Surgery.

Parents in dark about using epinephrine shot for kids' food allergies
When a child has a food allergy, it's critical for pediatricians and allergists to show parents when and how to use an epinephrine auto-injector and to provide a written emergency food allergy action plan for home and school.

Simplified artesunate regimen is non-inferior to WHO-recommended malaria treatment
In African children, a 3-dose intramuscular (i.m.) artesunate regimen is non-inferior to the WHO-recommended regimen for the treatment of severe malaria, according to a trial published this week in PLOS Medicine.

'Strong Field Problems in Quantum Theory'
Topics to be discussed at this Workshop include: Quantum field theory with unstable vacuum.

Traumatic brain injury induces mental impairments using mechanisms linked with Alzheimer's
A new study from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston fills an important gap in understanding the link between traumatic brain injury and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease.

Springer Heterocyclic Chemistry Award 2016 goes to Jérôme Waser
The Springer Heterocyclic Chemistry Award 2016 has been given to Jérôme Waser from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) for his exceptional research achievements.

Ocean current in Gulf of Mexico linked to red tide
A new study found that a major ocean current in the Gulf of Mexico plays an important role in sustaining Florida red tide blooms.

Inflammation markers could guide depression treatments
Depressed patients with signs of systemic inflammation have elevated levels of glutamate in regions of the brain that are important for motivation.

Real-time fishery management significantly reduces bycatch
Using real-time ocean management to regulate fisheries can significantly reduce accidental bycatch with less economic impact on fishermen, a Duke-led study finds.

New tool estimates looming risk of kidney failure in people with kidney disease
An online tool combining results of common medical tests can accurately estimate the risk of whether someone with chronic kidney disease will develop kidney failure in the next two to five years, an international team of researchers led by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has found.

People who experience rage attacks have smaller 'emotional brains'
Neuroimaging studies suggest that frontolimbic regions of the brain, structures that regulate emotions, play an important role in the biology of aggressive behavior.

TSRI chemists awarded $2.1 million to create potential new therapies with click chemistry
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have received a grant of more than $2.1 million from the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of General Medical Sciences to create and screen a new library of drug candidates, using a branch of click chemistry.

Common dementia drug found to improve Parkinson's symptoms
Scientists have discovered that a commonly prescribed dementia drug could hold the key to helping prevent debilitating falls for people with Parkinson's.

CU-Boulder study: Mountains west of Boulder continue to lose ice as climate warms
New research led by the University of Colorado Boulder indicates an ongoing loss of ice on Niwot Ridge and the adjacent Green Lakes Valley in the high mountains west of Boulder is likely to progress as the climate continues to warm.

New book highlights research in emerging field of video bioinformatics
The first book to review the emerging interdisciplinary field of video bioinformatics was published in December by Springer.

The unexpected chemistry of honey (video)
Honey is great. It's perfect for drizzling over your toast or stirring into your tea, it's also the special ingredient in your favorite lip balm.

Innate immune defenses triggered by unsuspected mechanism
A previously unsuspected mechanism is activated in the presence of pathogens after only a few hours: the activation of thousand of genes in the cells of the innate immune system and the triggering of its immune defenses.

Deep poverty puts young children at risk for poor health and development
Young children in deep poverty, whose family income is below 50 percent of the federal poverty line, fare even worse on health and development indicators than children in poverty, according to a study released by the National Center for Children in Poverty at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.

PPPL engineers complete the design of Wendelstein 7-X scraper unit
Engineers at the US Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory have finished designing a novel component for the Wendelstein 7-X (W7-X) stellarator, which recently opened at the Max Planck Institute of Plasma Physics in Griefswald, Germany.

Revealed: The awful anchor that lets UTIs take hold
This bacterium's freaky, flexible coils let it survive where others cannot.

A cultural look at moral purity: Wiping the face clean
Moral purity is both universal and culturally variable. Its existence is found East and West.

Standardized approach makes outpatient thyroid surgery safe for even the elderly, super-elderly
A standardized treatment approach that starts with good screening and ends with patients going home to well-prepared caregivers, means outpatient thyroid surgery is safe for the vast majority of patients, including the elderly and super-elderly, physician-scientists say.

Long-term opioid use associated with increased risk of depression
Opioids may cause short-term improvement in mood, but long-term use imposes risk of new-onset depression, a Saint Louis University study shows.

DNA supply chain
MIT chemists discover how a single enzyme maintains a cell's pool of DNA building blocks.

Neurosurgeons challenged to eliminate all infant deaths from hydrocephalus
Every year, thousands of babies worldwide die from untreated hydrocephalus, a condition in which the head swells from a buildup of excess fluid.

Brain monitoring takes a leap out of the lab
Bioengineers and cognitive scientists have developed the first portable, 64-channel wearable brain activity monitoring system that's comparable to state-of-the-art equipment found in research laboratories.

Researchers' advice to save the relationships of parents of small children
According to Statistics Sweden, 30 percent of all parents of young children in Sweden separate.

Runaway stars leave infrared waves
Astronomers from the University of Wyoming have discovered roughly 100 of the fastest-moving stars in the Milky Way galaxy with the aid of images from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, and use of the Wyoming Infrared Observatory on Jelm Mountain near Laramie, Wyo.

Scientists discover why X chromosome lacks 'housekeeping genes'
A team of researchers led by the University of Bath studying the evolution of the X chromosome has discovered why it contains such an unusual mixture of genes.

New LED with luminescent proteins
Scientists from Germany and Spain have discovered a way to create a BioLED by packaging luminescent proteins in the form of rubber.

How plants interact with beneficial microbes in the soil
A team of molecular biologists led by Dong Wang at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, working with the alfalfa-clover Medicago truncatula, has found how a gene in the host plant encodes a protein that recognizes the cell membrane surrounding the symbiotic bacteria, then directs other proteins to harvest the nutrients.

CRIQ and INRS awarded a patent for a system that removes micropollutants from wastewater
A US patent was recently awarded jointly to Centre de recherche industrielle du Québec and Institut national de recherche scientifique for a system and a process that remove emerging micropollutants from industrial wastewater.

Researchers uncover 'predictive neuron orchestra' behind looking and reaching movements
Different groups of neurons 'predict' the body's subsequent looking and reaching movements, suggesting an orchestration among distinct parts of the brain, a team of neuroscientists has found.

How black men can succeed in IT careers
Expanding the range of black men's career options in an increasingly technology-oriented world will help alleviate high unemployment and poverty they often experience, according to a study examining the career paths of successful black men in college.

Poison warmed over
University of Utah lab experiments found that when temperatures get warmer, woodrats suffer a reduced ability to live on their normal diet of toxic creosote -- suggesting that global warming may hurt plant-eating animals.

Fungus attacks new type of grain thanks to an evolutionary trick
For the past few years, mildew has been able to infect triticale grain, which up to then had been resistant to this fungal disease.

NASA and NOAA satellite data see North Atlantic system more concentrated
NASA and NOAA satellites continue to monitor the North Atlantic Ocean's non-tropical low pressure system for hints of development into a subtropical storm.

Abrupt excitation phenomenon in high-temperature plasma
In the Large Helical Device (LHD) at the National Institute for Fusion Science, engaging in collaborative research with Kyushu University's Research Institute for Applied Mechanics, researchers have discovered the new phenomenon of abrupt excitation of fluctuations, and they and have clarified the mechanism of this phenomenon.

Immigrant kids' diet is different, less nutritious than mom's
The diet of Mexican immigrant children in the US is different from what their mothers eat, according to Penn State sociologists, and that may mean kids are trading in the generally healthy diet of their moms for less nutritious American fare.

Basic ratio capacity may serve as building block for math knowledge
Understanding fractions is a critical mathematical ability, and yet it's one that continues to confound a lot of people well into adulthood.

Tiebreaks push competition -- not only in sports
The strategy used for resolving ties and determining bid limits decides on whether competition is pushed or not.

New geological evidence aids tsunami hazard assessments from Alaska to Hawaii
New geological evidence aids tsunami hazard assessments from Alaska to Hawaii.

Biological methylation: Fundamental mechanisms in health and disease
This SRC is focused on the role of Methylation Dynamics in nuclear and cytoplasmic biological processes and how this modification impacts development, epigenetic cellular identity, tissue homeostasis and disease.

Colorectal cancer more likely to affect minorities at younger age
Colorectal cancer is the third most common form of cancer and the second most common cause of cancer deaths in the United States.

Tropical Cyclone Ula's winds, rainfall seen by NASA's GPM and RapidScat
A weaker Tropical Storm Ula continued to move through the Southern Pacific Ocean on Jan.

Brain receptor regulates fat burning in cells
Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes have discovered an unusual regulator of body weight and the metabolic syndrome: a molecular mechanism more commonly associated with brain cells.

Use small plates to lose weight
There are small easy steps that we can take to tackle the burgeoning problem of obesity.

Green Detergents developed from MIT Portugal Ph.D. thesis win the 'Green Project Awards'
Did you know that, when cleaning your house, you may also be polluting the planet?

Concerns over prescribed opioid use among pregnant women
The increase in use of prescribed opioids among women during pregnancy has probably contributed to the rise in neonatal abstinence syndrome, argues Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health, in The BMJ today.

DFG underlines expectations of new excellence initiative
At the start of 2016, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft has underlined the expectations of the research community with regard to the planned new federal-state initiative for the further development of the Excellence Initiative.

Experts call for more tailored liver cancer care in developing countries
International liver cancer guidelines could be preventing patients from getting life-saving treatments in developing countries, according to a new study published in the journal Heliyon.

Greenland ice sheet melts more when it's cloudy
Clouds play a bigger role in the melting of the Greenland ice sheet than was previously assumed.

Ants respond to social information at rest, not on the fly
Ants don't get distracted by social information when on the move, only fully responding to it when at rest, a new study from the University of Bristol, UK indicates.

Microbots individually controlled using 'mini force fields'
Researchers are using a technology likened to 'mini force fields' to independently control individual microrobots operating within groups, an advance aimed at using the tiny machines in areas including manufacturing and medicine.

BU study finds geography influences government grading of medicare advantage plans
Geographic location is an important predictor of the quality grades assigned to Medicare Advantage insurance plans, and the federal government should consider accounting for geographic differences to allow for fairer comparisons among plans, Boston University School of Public Health researchers say in a new study.

Pinning down the ticking of the neural clock
Our innate ability to track time is important for our everyday lives.

Overwhelming evidence? It's probably a bad thing
The old adage that says 'If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is' has finally been put to the test -- mathematically -- in research led by the University of Adelaide.

Satellites find sustainable energy in cities
Underground heat islands in cities have an enormous geothermal potential.

Tough times for the tree of life on coral reefs
Marine scientists are calling for a re-think of how marine protected areas are planned and coordinated, following a global assessment of the conservation of tropical corals and fishes.

Grazing towards sustainability
The first international Global Farm Platform conference hosted by the University of Bristol this week, Jan.

Researchers discover novel factor in Parkinson's disease
A team of local researchers have discovered a previously unknown cellular defect in patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease, and identified a sequence of pathological events that can trigger or accelerate premature death of certain neurons in the brain seen in this disease.

Men's strategies for dealing with masculine insufficiency more varied than expected
Previous research has claimed that poor marginalized men tend to gravitate towards compensatory and violent masculinities to deal with their sense of masculine insufficiency.

Uncovering oxygen's role in enhancing red LEDs
Last week, an international group of researchers shed light on oxygen's role in enhancing red LEDs and reported that the quantity and location of oxygen in gallium nitride (GaN) can be fine-tuned to improve the optical performance of europium-doped GaN devices.

Pre-pregnancy potato consumption may be linked to gestational diabetes risk
Women who eat more potatoes before pregnancy may have higher rates of gestational diabetes -- the form that occurs during pregnancy -- compared to women who consume fewer potatoes, suggests a National Institutes of Health study.

Treatment for severe emphysema improves exercise capacity
In preliminary research for patients with severe emphysema, a minimally invasive intervention involving the implantation of coils in the lungs with an endoscope resulted in improved exercise capacity at six months, although with high short-term costs, according to a study in the Jan.

The most energetic light ever observed from a few kilometers large star
Scientists working with the Major Atmospheric Gamma-ray Imaging Cherenkov (MAGIC) observatory have reported the discovery of the most energetic pulsed emission radiation ever detected from the neutron star in the center of the supernova of 1054 A.D., known as the Crab pulsar.

Lung cell found to act as sensor, regulator of immune response
An uncommon and little-studied type of cell in the lungs has been found to act like a sensor, linking the pulmonary and central nervous systems to regulate immune response in reaction to environmental cues.

Singing in the brain: Songbirds sing like humans
Research on Bengalese finches showed that each of their vocal muscles can change its function to help produce different parameters of sounds, in a manner similar to that of a trained opera singer.

Clouds, like blankets, trap heat and are melting the Greenland Ice Sheet
The Greenland Ice Sheet is the second largest ice sheet in the world and it's melting rapidly, likely driving almost a third of global sea level rise.

Spider web research shows promise for noninvasive genetic sampling
Using web samples from black widow spiders fed with crickets, researchers at the University of Notre Dame have successfully used DNA samples to identify both the spider and the species of its prey.

New type of antidepressant found to act quickly in mice
The compound CGP3466B, already proven nontoxic for people, may effectively and rapidly treat depression, according to results of a study in mice.

A century after Endurance Shackleton diagnosed with 'hole in the heart'
On the 100th anniversary of the Endurance expedition to Antarctica led by Sir Ernest Shackleton, doctors writing in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine believe the inspirational explorer may have had the congenital defect commonly known as a 'hole in the heart.' Shackleton was capable of severe exertion and made the first crossing of the mountains and glaciers of South Georgia without any health problems.

Dementia: New insights into causes of loss of orientation
The University of Exeter Medical School led two studies, each of which moves us a step closer to understanding the onset of dementia, and potentially to paving the way for future therapies.

Pomalidomide in multiple myeloma: No hints of added benefit
No added benefit can be inferred from the drug manufacturer dossier: The study data presented were unsuitable for one patient group, and data were missing completely for a second one.

Largest-ever study of cornea condition reveals hidden risk factors
A large new study reveals previously unknown risk factors associated with an eye condition that causes serious progressive nearsightedness at a relatively young age.

Mental health conditions common among bariatric surgery patients
Mental health conditions, such as depression and binge eating disorder, are common among patients seeking and undergoing bariatric surgery, according to a study in the Jan.

Newly identified enzyme may be the culprit in Pierce's disease grapevine damage
A newly identified enzyme appears to play a key role in transmitting Pierce's disease from insects to grapevines.

The long-term benefits of improving your toddler's memory skills
New research shows that preschoolers who score lower on a memory task are likely to score higher on a dropout risk scale at the age of 12.

SCAI releases expert consensus for cardio-oncology patients treated in cardiac catheterization labs
The Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) has released an expert consensus statement providing cardiologists, oncologists and internal medicine physicians guidance for treating patients facing concomitant cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Gut reaction: Smart pill smells out the body's fiber factor
Researchers have conducted the first ever trials of smart pills that can measure intestinal gases inside the body, with surprising results revealing some unexpected ways that fiber affects the gut.

UMass Amherst shark research leads biologists to create 'Beastcam'
Duncan J. Irschick and students at UMass Amherst have developed a multi-armed platform that integrates several cameras plus a computer system they call the 'Beastcam' because it can rapidly and easily create 3-D models of living animals and other objects.

Springer to publish Schmalenbach business journals
As of Jan. 1, 2016, Springer is expanding its business administration journal portfolio to include two renowned research journals: Schmalenbachs Zeitschrift für betriebswirtschaftliche Forschung and its international counterpart, the Schmalenbach Business Review.

Heart valves made from tissue rather than metal may be better for middle-aged patients
Patients between the ages of 40 and 70 who undergo aortic valve replacement (AVR) may fare better with tissue-based valves rather than metal-based valves, according to a review article posted online today by The Annals of Thoracic Surgery.

Source of stem cells used for bone marrow failure treatment varies worldwide
Ayami Yoshimi, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Freiburg, Germany, and colleagues examined the use of peripheral blood stem cells and bone marrow as stem cell sources for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in patients with bone marrow failure worldwide and factors associated with the use of each stem cell source.

Kidney failure risk equations show accuracy in geographically diverse patient population
Kidney failure risk equations developed in a Canadian population showed accuracy in predicting the two-year and five-year probability of kidney failure in patients with chronic kidney disease from over 30 countries with a wide range of variation in age, sex and race, according to a study in the Jan.

New twists in the diffraction of intense laser light
A discovery by University of Strathclyde researchers could have a major impact on advancing smaller, cheaper, laser-driven particle accelerators -- and their potential applications.

Top-5 achievements at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory in 2015
This article describes the top 5 scientific and engineering advances at PPPL during the past year. 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