Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 13, 2016
High levels of urate in blood associated with lower risk of Parkinson's disease
Men who have high levels of urate, also known as uric acid, in their blood may be less likely to develop Parkinson's disease, according to a study published in the Jan.

Couples' quality of life linked even when one partner dies
When one spouse passes away, his or her characteristics continue to be linked with the surviving spouse's well-being, according to new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

New report provides conservation, management strategies for yellow-cedar in Alaska
The US Forest Service's Pacific Northwest Research Station today released a new report that outlines a climate adaptation strategy for yellow-cedar in Alaska.

Tufts researchers to study how West Point grooms cadets to be leaders
Researchers at Tufts University are collaborating with the United States Military Academy on a first-of-its-kind, five-year longitudinal study of how West Point develops character and leadership in its cadets, a project that could help predict which practices produce successful officers and influence character and leadership education in schools, businesses, and other organizations.

New app 'hides' user location from third parties
A research team led by Linke Guo, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Binghamton University, developed an app that blocks third parties from identifying an individual's location based on what they search for online.

New insights into animal-borne disease outbreaks
To better understand the dynamics of zoonotic diseases, researchers have examined the epidemiology of plague among black-tailed prairie dogs.

First human in vitro model of rare neurodegenerative condition created
Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego have created the first stem cell-derived in vitro cellular model of a rare, but devastating, neurodegenerative condition called Cockayne syndrome.

NHS Health Check study estimates 2,500 heart attacks and strokes prevented over 5 years
The first major evaluation of the NHS Health Check in England, led by Queen Mary University of London, finds that the programme is effectively identifying people at risk of developing a major cardiovascular incident such as heart attack or stroke, and is estimated over first five years to have prevented 2,500 cases from treatment following the check, as well as helping diagnose cases of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and chronic kidney disease.

A coffee to keep New Year fitness resolutions
In a paper published this month in the scientific journal Sports Medicine, Professor Samuele Marcora, a University of Kent endurance expert, suggests the use of caffeine could help people stick to their fitness plans.

New report: Future pandemics pose massive risks to human lives, global economic security
Infectious disease outbreaks that turn into epidemics or pandemics can kill millions of people and cause trillions of dollars of damage to economic activity, says a new report from the international, independent Commission on a Global Health Risk Framework for the Future.

New microscopy may identify best sperm cells
New microscopic technology from Tel Aviv University promises to be a game-changer in the field of reproductive assistance.

Screening technique to reinforce fight against ash dieback
Researchers at the University of York led a pioneering study which opens up a new front in the battle against a disease affecting ash trees across Europe.

An IRCM team unveils a mechanism that controls neuron production from stem cells
A study conducted by a research team led by Michel Cayouette, Full IRCM Research Professor and Director of the Cellular Neurobiology research unit, in collaboration with a team led by Stéphane Angers, Associate Professor at the University of Toronto, makes the cover of the latest edition of Developmental Cell following the discovery of a mechanism enabling the production of cellular diversity in the developing nervous system.

American University's business school finds DC is highly attractive to millennials
The Kogod Greater Washington Millennials Index found the Washington DC region remains a top city for Millennials to live and work.

Charting the growth of 1 of the world's oldest babies
The discovery of a juvenile Chasmosaurus -- one of the rarest dinosaur discoveries -- made headlines around the world in late 2013: Professor Philip Currie from the University of Alberta and his colleagues have now published the results of their scientific findings in an alpha-level taxonomic description in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

Asthma in many adolescents is not an allergic disease
New research indicates that asthma in many adolescents is not likely to involve inflammation of the airways and therefore should not be considered an allergic disease.

'Radiolabeling' lets scientists track the breakdown of drugs
A new iron-catalyzed reaction for labeling molecules with radioactive elements offers a unique method that could let chemists more easily track how drugs under development are metabolized in the body.

Unique breathing cycles may be an important defense for insects
Insects exhibit breathing patterns called discontinuous gas-exchange cycles that include periods of little to no release of carbon dioxide to the environment.

Scientists discover how we play memories in fast forward
Neuroscientists have discovered how the brain compresses memories of say, a trip to the grocery store or an entire episode of a TV show, into just a few seconds.

Why do some infections persist? Blame bacterial socialism, says new study
New research to be published in Scientific Reports uses time lapse microscopy to show that bacteria use a hedging strategy to trade off varying degrees of antibiotic resistance even when they are not under threat.

Model 'no buy' list criteria could dramatically reduce youth exposure to TV alcohol ads
A set of 'no buy' list criteria developed by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health could greatly reduce underage viewers' exposure to alcohol advertising on cable TV, a new study finds.

Research finds reason advertising boosts stock prices for some companies and not others
New research from professors at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas and the W.

Cutting down runway queues
Engineers at MIT have developed a queuing model that predicts how long a plane will wait before takeoff, given weather conditions, runway traffic, and incoming and outgoing flight schedules.

New role for motor neurons discovered
Researchers from Sweden´s Karolinska Institutet have demonstrated a new, direct signalling pathway through which motor neurons influence the locomotor circuits that generate rhythmic movements.

Green pea galaxy provides insights to early universe evolution
Astronomers gain a new understanding of the re-ionization of the universe by studying a nearby dwarf 'green pea' galaxy.

Annihilating nanoscale defects
Researchers at the University of Chicago and Argonne may have found a way for the semiconductor industry to hit miniaturization targets on time and without defects.

Sunshine vitamin linked to improved fertility in wild animals
High levels of vitamin D are linked to improved fertility and reproductive success, a University of Edinburgh study of wild sheep has found.

NHS policies failing to stop bullying by managers and staff sickness
Bullying and discrimination by NHS managers has led to absences among mental health workers, and past policies have failed to stop this, research shows.

NASA analyzes Hurricane Pali's rainfall rates
Tropical storm Pali intensified late on Jan. 11 to become the earliest hurricane ever recorded in the Central Pacific Ocean.

Mosquito net safe to use in inguinal hernia repair
Sterilized mosquito nets can replace costly surgical meshes in the repair of inguinal (groin) hernias without further risk to the patients, according to a new Swedish-Ugandan study.

The Lancet HIV: Preventing HIV infection with prophylactic drugs important to reversing HIV epidemic among men who have sex with men in the UK
The use of antiretroviral therapy (ART) taken as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) [1] could lead to a marked decline in HIV incidence -- the annual rate of infection -- among men who have sex with men (MSM) in the UK by the end of this decade, new modelling research published in The Lancet HIV journal suggests.

Common gene mutation bad for liver values, good for blood lipids in children
A common mutation in the TM6SF2 gene raises liver values but at the same time improves blood lipid values in healthy children, according to a recent study from the University of Eastern Finland.

The cellular protein shredder is impaired by cigarette smoke and in COPD patients
Scientists at Helmholtz Zentrum München, together with an international team and colleagues from the University Hospital of the University Munich and the German Center for Lung Research, have shown for the first time that cigarette smoke reduces the activity of the immunoproteasome.

Shiny fish skin inspires nanoscale light reflectors
A nature-inspired method to model the reflection of light from the skin of silvery fish and other organisms may be possible, according to Penn State researchers.

Researcher gets grant to study how immune system can prevent inflammatory bowel diseases
A Georgia State University researcher has received a private grant of nearly $300,000 to investigate how the immune system can prevent inflammatory bowel disease.

De-mystifying the study of volatile organic plant compounds
Plant volatile organic compounds are elusive and influential chemicals that are an essential part of how plants react with their environment and that also affect the earth's climate globally.

Two companies to receive seed funds to develop medical devices for children
The Philadelphia Pediatric Medical Device Consortium (PPDC) has announced seed grants to two companies developing medical devices for children.

Fewer than 1 in 25 Seattleites can really eat locally
A new University of Washington study finds that urban crops in Seattle could only feed between 1 and 4 percent of the city's population, even if all viable backyard and public green spaces were converted to growing produce.

Brazilian torrent frogs communicate using sophisticated audio, visual signals
Brazilian torrent frogs may use sophisticated audio and visual signals to communicate, including inflating vocal sacs, squealing, and arm waving, according to a study published Jan.

Protein patterns -- a new tool for studying sepsis
Researchers from Lund University and the University of Zurich have developed a way to use mass spectrometry to measure hundreds of proteins in a single blood sample.

Racial makeup of labor markets affects who gets job leads
The racial composition of a labor market plays a significant role in whether workers find out about job leads -- regardless of the race of the worker, according to new research from Rice University and North Carolina State University.

Low resistance to stress at age 18 years can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes in adulthood by up to 50 percent
New research published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes) shows that low resistance to stress in men at age 18 years can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes in adulthood by up to 50 percent.

CA's state fish can benefit from restoring and protecting streamside meadows
Rising temperatures can create stressful and possibly lethal stream habitat for native trout.

Fires burning in Africa and Asia cause high ozone in tropical Pacific
A new study suggests that the burning of forests and vegetation may play a larger role in climate change than previously realized.

Heart disease, related risk factors may increase risk of early death in patients with dementia
Diabetes, smoking, coronary heart disease, and congestive heart failure may increase the risk of premature death for hospitalized individuals and nursing home residents with dementia.

Physical activity may help keep fat children fit
A recent Finnish study shows that high body adiposity, low physical inactivity, and particularly their combination are related to poorer physical fitness among 6-8 year old children.

Wild populations of popular cage bird face catastrophic declines
New research suggests that wild populations of Grey Parrots--one of the world's most popular cage birds -- have been virtually wiped out by poaching and habitat loss.

Study: Workplace flexibility benefits employees
New research released today shows that workers at a Fortune 500 company who participated in a pilot work flexibility program voiced higher levels of job satisfaction and reduced levels of burnout and psychological stress than employees within the same company who did not participate.

What do lasers and oranges have in common? A possible cure for citrus greening
A group of researchers from the University of Florida are taking a new approach to the devastating citrus greening disease by studying a unique application of lasers on citrus leaves.

World's largest canyon could be hidden under Antarctic ice sheet
The world's largest canyon may lie under the Antarctic ice sheet, according to analysis of satellite data by a team of scientists, led by Durham University.

Modifying the structure of wood alters plant microbiome
Modifying the structure of poplar wood can also alter the endosphere microbiome, the bacteria that reside inside tree tissue.

First light for future black hole probe
Zooming in on black holes is the main mission for the newly installed instrument GRAVITY at ESO's Very Large Telescope in Chile.

How bacterial communication 'goes with the flow' in causing infection, blockage
Researchers from Princeton University have found that fluid flow and environment have important consequences for how bacterial cells talk to each other and act collectively to cause diseases or clog pipes.

New TSRI study: Flipping molecular 'switch' may reduce nicotine's effects in the brain
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have discovered that a lipid (fat molecule) in brain cells may act as a 'switch' to increase or decrease the motivation to consume nicotine.

Novel blood thinner found to be safe and effective in women
In new research, investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital compared the safety and efficacy of cangrelor to another commonly used anti-platelet therapy, clopidogrel, to see whether the effects differed between men and women.

Surgical treatment restores penis length
A new study shows that a surgical treatment can be effective for treating Peyronie's disease, a disorder that leads to scarring and shortening of the penis.

NASA sees Ula go extra-tropical
NOAA's GOES-West satellite and NASA's RapidScat instrument provided a look at Tropical Cyclone Ula after it became extra-tropical north of New Zealand.

3-D images of megaenzymes may lead to improved antibiotics
For the first time, McGill researchers have been able to take a series of 3-D images of a large section from a medicine-synthesizing enzymes in action.

NASA analyzes winds and rainfall in unusual Atlantic system 90L
NASA's RapidScat instrument and Global Precipitation Measurement or GPM core satellite analyzed the surface winds and rainfall rates occurring System 90L, an unusual storm in the Northern Atlantic Ocean, which may become subtropical.

Food allergy linked to hyperactive immune system at birth
A study of more than 1,000 Victorian babies has shown those with hyperactive immune cells at birth, detected in their cord blood, were more likely to develop food allergies in their first year of life.

Experimental immunotherapy zaps 2 most lethal Ebola virus strains
Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases have engineered the first antibodies that can potently neutralize the two deadliest strains of the virus that causes Ebola hemorrhagic fever.

Taoyuan No. 3: New high-yield lettuce for subtropical regions
A new high-yielding lettuce cultivar for subtropical regions was developed by introducing the high growth rate trait from romaine lettuce 'Jhih Li Wo' into high-yielding Batavia lettuce 'Fu San'.

The post Big Bang revelead
One billion year after the Big Bang, the Universe is observed to be reheated, and hydrogen is again ionize.

Immigrants play increasing role in US science and engineering workforce
From 2003 to 2013, the number of scientists and engineers residing in the United States rose from 21.6 million to 29 million.

Research reinforces call for early scoliosis detection, appropriate treatment
In light of new research confirming the effectiveness of early and appropriate treatment for scoliosis, a newly revised position statement strongly supports timely screening and appropriate treatment to halt or minimize further curvature of the spine.

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) as safe as aspirin
UCLA researchers reviewed major studies of both PrEP for HIV prevention and aspirin for heart attack prevention.

The importance of public service broadcasting in politics and society
A new article finds that people living in countries with public service broadcasting are better informed about government and politics, are more trusting of other people, and have more positive civic attitudes.

What happens with the environment when your car moves?
The study conducted by high school student Gleb Rukhovich demonstrates that platinum and palladium salts readily aggregate into various clusters and give rise to a number of metal species upon a contact with water.

Migrant values adapt over just 1 generation
A study led by the University of Exeter has concluded that the children of people who migrated to the UK tend to think and reason in a way that is more typical of the wider UK population.

Nano-hybrid materials create magnetic effect
A Rice University and Montreal Polytechnic theoretical study defines the electromagnetic properties of graphene and boron nitride hybrids.

3-D mapping of entire buildings with mobile devices
Computer scientists working in a group led by ETH Professor Marc Pollefeys have developed a piece of software that makes it very easy to create 3-D models of entire buildings.

Toxins related to 'red tides' found in home aquarium
Many shore residents and beach-goers are already familiar with the health risks of 'red tide,' algal blooms along coastlines that can trigger respiratory illness and other effects in people who inhale the toxins the algae release.

Trauma team members face risk of 'compassion fatigue' and burnout
Trauma team members are at risk of compassion fatigue and burnout syndrome, as supported by the new research by Gina M.

Human-made climate change suppresses the next ice age
Humanity has become a geological force that is able to suppress the beginning of the next ice age, a study now published in the renowned scientific journal Nature shows.

The Danforth Center collaborates with U of I to Develop more efficient crops
Research will focus on enhancing nitrogen use efficiency.

HKU discovers a new plant growth technology that may alleviate climate change and food shortage
A research team led by Dr. Lim Boon-leong with his former Ph.D. student Dr.

Mammals shape their microbiome to prevent disease
Gut microbes are well known to contribute to health and disease, but what has been less clear is how the host controls gut microbes.

Ancient going on nouveau
Discerning consumers are seeking out alternatives to basic white bread.

Antisocial behavior: Understanding the influence of genes and the environment
A gene involved in the regulation of emotions and behavior could influence the long-term impact of violence experienced in childhood on antisocial behavior.

Plague may have persisted in Europe during 300-year period, including 'Black Death'
The bacteria that causes plague, Y. pestis, may have persisted long-term in Europe from the 14th to 17th century in an unknown reservoir, according to a study published Jan.

Could campaigns like Dry January do more harm than good?
Could alcohol abstinence campaigns like Dry January do more harm than good?

'Spermbots' could help women trying to conceive (video)
Sperm that don't swim well rank high among the main causes of infertility.

Children with epilepsy are at increased risk of dying early
While epilepsy and migraines in children and adolescents are closely related neurologic disorders, youth with epilepsy face a significantly higher risk of dying prematurely.

Nivolumab in melanoma: Data subsequently submitted improve assessment result
New analyses on side effects allow the balancing of benefit and harm: The extent of added benefit increased to 'considerable' in women with BRAF V600 wt tumor, and to 'Major' in men.

Liver recovery difficult even with improved diet -- but faster if sugar intake is low
Liver damage caused by the typical 'Western diet' -- one high in fat, sugar and cholesterol that's common in developed countries such as the United States -- may be difficult to reverse even if diet is generally improved, a new study shows.

Protecting workers with stiffer safety penalties
The new year could be a safer one for workers.

Climate change could cut First Nations fisheries' catch in half
First Nations fisheries' catch could decline by nearly 50 percent by 2050, according to a new study examining the threat of climate change to the food and economic security of indigenous communities along coastal British Columbia, Canada.

First demonstration of sexual selection in dinosaurs identified
Large ornamental structures in dinosaurs, such as horns and head crests are likely to have been used in sexual displays and to assert social dominance, according to a new analysis of Protoceratops carried out by scientists at Queen Mary University of London.

Dabrafenib/trametinib in advanced BRAF V600 mutated melanoma: Indication of added benefit
Dabrafenib (trade name: Tafinlar) has been approved since 2013 for the treatment of adults with advanced melanoma with a BRAF V600 mutation.

New drug target for X-linked lymphoproliferative disease identified
An international research collaboration with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital reveals how impairment of a crucial signaling enzyme in humans may translate to the development of new therapeutics for an often-fatal immunodeficiency disease

ORNL, SCIEX sign license agreement for analytical chemistry tech
The Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory and SCIEX of Framingham, Mass., have signed a licensing agreement for technologies that speed up, simplify and expand the use of analytic chemistry equipment.

Blueberries, citrus fruits and red wine associated with reduced erectile dysfunction
Flavonoid-rich foods are associated with a reduced risk of erectile dysfunction -- according to a new collaborative study from the University of East Anglia and Harvard University.

Physicists propose the first scheme to teleport the memory of an organism
The transporter in 'Star Trek' that can teleport a person from one location to a remote location is fascinating.

Louisiana Tech University student coauthors research in ACS journal
Joshua Tully, senior chemistry student at Louisiana Tech University, has coauthored a paper titled 'Halloysite Clay Nanotubes for Enzyme Immobilization,' which has been published in 'Biomacromolecules,' a highly influential, international journal of the American Chemical Society.

Ice sheets may be hiding vast reservoirs of powerful greenhouse gas
A new study in Nature Communications shows that ice sheets may be containing vast reservoirs of methane, adding a new concern regarding rapid ice sheet retreat.

Experts recommend immediate treatment for severe primary adrenal insufficiency symptoms
The Endocrine Society today issued a Clinical Practice Guideline (CPG) on diagnosis and treatment of primary adrenal insufficiency, a condition commonly known as Addison's disease that occurs when the body produces too little of the hormone cortisol.

ISU professor: Teaching social justice to privileged students necessary for change
Social justice educational initiatives often focus on giving a voice to students of color and low-income students, but Katy Swalwell, an assistant professor of education at Iowa State University, says such efforts alone may not be enough to bring about real change.

Rooting out doping in racehorses
Doping in the horseracing industry has spurred regulations banning performance-enhancing drugs, as well as calls for an anti-doping agency in the US But as in human sports, testing for certain kinds of prohibited substances has been a challenge.

The evidence for saturated fat and sugar related to coronary heart disease
Atherosclerotic Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) is responsible for one in every six deaths in the United States as well as being the leading cause of death throughout the developed world.

TGen study targets SGEF protein in treating glioblastoma brain tumors
The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) has identified a protein called SGEF that promotes the survival of glioblastoma tumor cells and helps the cancer invade brain tissue.

Regorafenib in metastatic colorectal cancer: Still hint of minor added benefit
Since the company presented no better data, the second dossier assessment reached the same conclusion as the first one: Patients survive longer, but severe side effects are more common.

Long-term survivors of childhood cancer living longer thanks in part to treatment changes
Research led by St. Jude Children's Research Hospital found that deaths from late effects of childhood cancer treatment have declined in recent decades and survivors are living longer.

Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovation Awards granted for pioneering ideas in cancer research
The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation announced that seven scientists with novel approaches to fighting cancer have been named 2016 recipients of the Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovation Award.

'No-buy' lists could cut kids' exposure to alcohol ads
Young people's exposure to alcohol advertisements on television could be almost eliminated if companies used so-called 'no-buy' lists, according to a study in the January issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

Maximizing sea life's ability to reduce atmospheric carbon may help combat climate change
New research on West Antarctic seabed life reveals that the remote region of the South Orkney Islands is a carbon sink hotspot.

MDC's CIO Alf Wachsmann gets DDN Pioneer Award
Dr. Alf Wachsmann, Chief Information Officer at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin, Germany, was awarded the 'DDN Pioneer Award 2015.' With this prize, the US-based company DDN distinguishes individuals, groups, or institutions 'who are embracing leading-edge high performance computing technologies to shatter long-standing technical limits and to accelerate business results and scientific insights.'

Emotion dysregulation in borderline personality disorder: A problem of too much drive and too little control?
Borderline personality disorder is a diagnostic label applied to people who have problems regulating emotional mood swings.

Environmental changes can elicit fast changes in pathogens
Changes in environmental conditions may affect epidemics not only by altering the number of free-living pathogens but also by directly increasing pathogen virulence with immediate changes in the physiological status of infecting bacteria.

Trauma experts study treatment of pregnant trauma patients to improve neonatal outcomes
Expectant mothers who sustain a traumatic injury and receive care at a hospital with a designated trauma center experience better outcomes than those treated at a non-trauma hospital.

Plague-riddled prairie dogs a model for infectious disease spread
Sporadic outbreaks of plague among black-tailed prairie dogs is an ideal model for the study of infectious zoonotic disease, say Colorado State University biologists.

Superoxide gives lithium-air batteries a jolt
In a recent experiment, Argonne battery scientists Jun Lu, Larry Curtiss and Khalil Amine, along with American and Korean collaborators, were able to produce stable crystallized lithium superoxide (LiO2) instead of lithium peroxide during battery discharging.

Repetitive blast exposure causes cerebellar dysfunction in combat veterans
A team of brain injury experts led by researchers at the VA Puget Sound Health Care System have found that the more blasts veterans are exposed to, the more they show chronic changes in neuron activity in specific brain regions.

New study to investigate how good antibodies go bad
Research led by University at Buffalo oral biology researcher Jill Kramer aims to re-examine whether a seemingly harmless antibody plays a significant role in Sjögren's syndrome.

Low-fiber diet may cause irreversible depletion of gut bacteria over generations
A study by Stanford University School of Medicine investigators raises concerns that the lower-fiber diets typical in industrialized societies may produce internal deficiencies that get passed along to future generations. 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