Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 15, 2016
Slight change to antibacterial drug may improve TB treatments
Researchers with Vanderbilt University have discovered that one small chemical change to an existing antibacterial drug results in a compound that is more effective against its target enzyme in tuberculosis.

Heart attack patients with cardiogenic shock fair well 60 days post-discharge
Heart attack patients who experience cardiogenic shock have a higher risk of death or rehospitalization than non-shock patients in the first 60 days post-discharge, but by the end of the first year, the gap between the two groups narrows, according to a study published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Readmission rates at children's hospitals influenced by patients' characteristics
A team of researchers from children's hospitals across the country, including a University of Colorado School of Medicine faculty member, found that hospitals serving children may face financial penalties for patient readmissions due to factors beyond the control of the hospital.

Penn study: Visualizing a parasite crossing the blood brain barrier
Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine and colleagues from across the country have identified how the parasite Toxoplasma gondii makes its way across the blood-brain barrier.

Membership of social/community groups after retirement linked to longer life
Membership of social groups, such as book clubs or church groups, after retirement is linked to a longer life, with the impact on health and wellbeing similar to that of regular exercise, suggests research published in the online journal BMJ Open.

Mind-controlled prosthetic arm moves individual 'fingers'
Physicians and biomedical engineers from Johns Hopkins report what they believe is the first successful effort to wiggle fingers individually and independently of each other using a mind-controlled artificial 'arm' to control the movement.

The mystery about the Chelyabinsk superbolide continues three years later Español
On Feb. 15, 2013, the approach of asteroid (367943) Duende to our planet was being closely monitored by both the public and the scientific community worldwide when suddenly a superbolide entered the atmosphere above the region of Chelyabinsk in Russia.

New study finds clear differences between organic and non-organic milk and meat
Both organic milk and meat contain around 50 percent more beneficial omega-3 fatty acids than conventionally produced products.

Caregivers likely to experience emotional, physical, financial difficulties
Being a caregiver for an older adult isn't easy. A new study suggests that family and unpaid caregivers who provide substantial help with health care were more likely to miss out on valued activities, have a loss of work productivity and experience emotional, physical and financial difficulties, according to an article published online by JAMA Internal Medicine.

'Swiss army knife' molecule
Scientists at ETH Zurich and an ETH spin-off have developed a novel polymer for coating materials, in order to prevent biofilms from forming on their surfaces.

All sugars are not alike: Isomaltulose better than table sugar for type 2 diabetes patients
Like sucrose (table sugar), the natural disaccharide isomaltulose (PalatinoseTM) consists of glucose and fructose, but it is apparently more suitable for people with type 2 diabetes with regard to regulating blood glucose levels.

Interferon not beneficial for most stage III melanoma
Final results for the Sunbelt Melanoma Trial, published online this month in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, show that thanks to current diagnostic techniques, most stage III melanoma patients do not benefit from treatment with interferon.

A novel canonical transformation provides insights into many-particle physics
The concepts of rotation and angular momentum play a crucial role in many areas of physics, ranging from nuclear spectroscopy to molecular collisions and precision measurements.

Global research community mobilizes with high-level conference on Dengue fever
On 24-26 February, leading Dengue researchers will meet in Sri Lanka for a large research conference and a collaborative mobilisation effort to advance the fight against Dengue fever.

Trapped in amber: Flower identified by Rutgers plant biologist as new species
A Rutgers scientist has identified a flower trapped in ancient amber as belonging to a species completely new to science.

Research offers new evidence about the Gulf of Mexico's past
Geologists studying a region in the Mexican state of Veracruz have discovered evidence to explain the origin of the Wilcox Formation, one of Mexico's most productive oil plays, as well as support for the theory that water levels in the Gulf of Mexico dropped dramatically as it was separated from the rest of the world's oceans and the earth entered a period of extreme warming.

Sustainable solutions for challenges in developing countries
On Friday, Feb. 12, 2016, Leuphana University of Lüneburg and information solutions provider Elsevier announce the top five candidates for the first Green and Sustainable Chemistry Challenge.

Manager supported wellness
From helping new employees get settled in a job to setting deadlines and job expectations, it goes without saying that managers have a huge influence on employee behavior.

Scientists explore whether estrogen is key in making younger, obese women hypertensive
There's no doubt estrogen plays a big role in the differences between males and females, and now researchers want to know if it also helps explain emerging sex differences in what makes younger, obese men and women hypertensive.

Genetic variation shown in patients with severe vascular complications of infection
Major infections such as influenza and bacterial sepsis kill millions of people each year, often resulting from dangerous complications that impair the body's blood vessels.

Tailored acupuncture lessens pain intensity in chronic pain (fibromyalgia)
Nine weekly sessions of individually tailored acupuncture lessen perceived pain intensity, and improve functional capacity and quality of life, in people with the chronic pain condition, fibromyalgia, finds research published online in Acupuncture in Medicine.

Signpost for sentinel cells
Sentinel cells of the immune system can enter the finest lymphatic capillary vessels present in tissues.

Vulnerability to depression linked to noradrenaline
The team of Bruno Giros, a researcher at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute and professor of psychiatry at McGill University, reports the first-ever connection between noradrenergic neurons and vulnerability to depression.

Infants should sleep in their own beds to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome
The advice given to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, SIDS, has worked well, but the potential to save more lives exists.

Project to estimate the size of the lesbian, gay and bisexual community in England
Public Health England (PHE) has commissioned a health service research team from Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry (PUPSMD) to model the size of the LGB population in England.

Rooting the family tree of placental mammals
The roots of the mammalian family tree have long been shrouded in mystery -- when did the placental mammals go their separate ways?

Le Bonheur's Heart Institute named among top 10 nationally
Le Bonheur Children's Hosptial's Heart Institute recently received the highest possible three-star rating from The Society of Thoracic Surgeons.

New technique for turning sunlight into hydrogen
A new photoelectrode boosts the ability of solar water-splitting to produce hydrogen.

Wide and stubborn variations in longevity across Europe over past 20 years
Wide and stubborn variations in longevity have persisted across Europe over the past 20 years, indicates research published online in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

Better water management could halve the global food gap
Improved agricultural water management could halve the global food gap by 2050 and buffer some of the harmful climate change effects on crop yields.

Ancient flowering plant was beautiful -- but probably poisonous
Researchers today announced the discovery of the first-ever fossil specimens of an 'asterid' -- a family of flowering plants that gave us everything from the potatoes to petunias and our morning cup of coffee.

Scientists discover new microbes that thrive deep in the earth
They live several kilometers under the surface of the earth, need no light or oxygen and can only be seen in a microscope.

No change in epilepsy incidence in younger patients; Increase among elderly
There appears to have been no change in the incidence of epilepsy in patients younger than 65 over the past 40 years in Finland but an increased incidence among older patients, which a new study suggests means no progress in preventing new cases of epilepsy, according to an article published online by JAMA Neurology.

Solar cells help purify water in remote areas
Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have developed a water purification plant that provides clean water far beyond the reach of the electrical grid -- thanks to solar cells.

Humanitarian Award for Frankfurt-based physician
Professor Kai Zacharowski was presented an award by the Patient Safety Movement Foundation in California alongside US President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden for his important contribution to reducing the number of preventable patient deaths.

Light used to measure the 'big stretch' in spider silk proteins
While working to improve a tool that measures the pushes and pulls sensed by proteins in living cells, biophysicists at Johns Hopkins say they've discovered one reason spiders' silk is so elastic: Pieces of the silk's protein threads act like supersprings, stretching to five times their initial length.

New research challenges cascading effects of shark declines
New Florida State University research appearing today in Scientific Reports, a Nature journal, challenges a 2007 study published in Science claiming that shark declines led to rising populations of cownose rays, which were responsible for the collapse of oyster and shellfish industries along the Atlantic coast.

What do the world's leading shark researchers think of shark conservation policy?
University of Miami Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy researchers investigated the conservation policy preferences of shark scientists, and their personal histories of conservation advocacy and their opinions about the environmental non-profit community.

An international group synthesizes georgeite for first time
An international group of researchers has synthesized an extremely rare mineral and used it as a catalyst precursor to improve two reactions that are of great importance to the chemical industry.

Genome of bed bug decoded
An international group of biologists, among them scientists from the University of Cologne's Zoological Institute, have succeeded in decoding the bed bug's genome.

Chewing sugar free gum could save the NHS £8.2 million a year
The NHS could save £8.2 million a year on dental treatments -- the equivalent to 364,000 dental check-ups -- if all 12-year-olds across the UK chewed sugar free gum after eating or drinking, thanks to the role it plays in helping to prevent tooth decay.

Cybathlon -- A global Olympic-style competition to advance assistive & robotic technologies
Slicing bread, pouring a cup of coffee, and sitting down at the kitchen table are a part of everyday life for most people, but for people with physical impairments such as limb amputations or neurological lesions, these tasks can present an insurmountable challenge without support.

Engineering material magic
University of Utah engineers have discovered a new kind of 2-D semiconducting material for electronics that opens the door for much speedier computers and smartphones that also consume a lot less power.

Discovery lays the foundation to expand personalized chemotherapy for leukemia patients
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists lead a study of how inherited genetic variations in the NUDT15 gene cause serious chemotherapy toxicity; findings point to potential genetics-guided precision medicine.

Childhood obesity, rapid growth linked to pregnant moms eating lots of fish
Eating fish more than three times a week during pregnancy was associated with mothers giving birth to babies at increased risk of rapid growth in infancy and of childhood obesity, according to an article published online by JAMA Pediatrics.

Sweet discovery in leafy greens holds key to gut health
A critical discovery about how bacteria feed on an unusual sugar molecule found in leafy green vegetables could hold the key to explaining how 'good' bacteria protect our gut and promote health.

Virtual reality therapy could help people with depression
An immersive virtual reality therapy could help people with depression to be less critical and more compassionate towards themselves, reducing depressive symptoms, finds a new study from UCL (University College London) and ICREA-University of Barcelona.

Drug development crisis linked to bad technology choices, experts argue
Despite lower costs and increased speed of research inputs, the budget for getting a drug to market is soaring.

Tissue fluid flow can reveal onset of osteoarthritis
Reflecting the overall structural alterations in the tissue, changes in the flow of interstitial fluid in articular cartilage could be an indicator revealing the onset of osteoarthritis, according to a new study from the University of Eastern Finland.

To encourage exercise, losing a financial reward is more effective than gaining one
Financial incentives aimed at increasing physical activity were most effective when the rewards were put at risk of being lost, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Raising a child has a bigger effect on the immune system than gastroenteritis
Raising a child together has a greater effect on your immune system than the seasonal 'flu vaccine or travellers' gastroenteritis, a study by researchers at VIB and KU Leuven in Belgium and the Babraham Institute in the UK has found.

Study: Low-dose imaging system performs as well as CT scans to assess pediatric condition
When a child needs repeated x-rays, exposure to radiation is always a concern for parents.

X-raying of fossil beetles
The layman considers fossil beetles just stones. Even experts were able to describe the shape of the millimeter-sized fossils only.

Paying employees to exercise doesn't work, but the reverse might
Financial incentives for promoting daily physical activity goals are most effective when the award can be lost, according to a randomized, controlled trial published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Penn engineers use network science to predict how ligaments fail
Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania's School of Engineering and Applied Science are using network science to gain new insights into 'subfailure' ligament injuries, which can lead to pain and dysfunction despite the lack of obvious physical evidence.

Newly identified genes impact how transplanted stem cells give rise to blood cells
Scientists identify crucial genes needed for successful transplantation of blood-forming stem cells; research offers opportunities to study further the development of therapeutic interventions.

Oncogene controls stem cells in early embryonic development
Many animal species delay the development of their embryos to ensure that their offspring is born at a favorable time.

Delirium, muscle weakness among overlooked symptoms of sepsis
Delirium, muscle weakness and other neurological complications of sepsis often are overlooked and poorly understood, according to a study published in the journal Current Neurology and Neurosciences Reports.

A new spin on quantum computing: Scientists train electrons with microwaves
In what may provide a potential path to processing information in a quantum computer, researchers have switched an intrinsic property of electrons from an excited state to a relaxed state on demand using a device that served as a microwave 'tuning fork.'

Solved protein structure holds key to much-needed therapies for metabolic disorder
Researchers have shed new light on the structure of phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH) -- the enzyme that is defective in patients with Phenylketonuria (PKU).

Observing brain diseases in real time
An innovative tool allows researchers to observe protein aggregation throughout the life of a worm.

Aerobic fitness may protect liver against chronic alcohol use
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, excessive alcohol use is responsible for more than 80,000 deaths in the United States each year.

UNH research: Lactation, weather found to predict milk quality in dairy cows
The quality of colostrum -- the nutrient-rich milk newborn dairy calves first drink from their mothers -- can be predicted by the mother's previous lactation performance and weather, according to new research from the NH Agricultural Experiment Station at the University of New Hampshire.

UNC School of Medicine scientists discover new way bacterial infections spread in the body
UNC School of Medicine scientists studying one of the world's most virulent pathogens and a separate very common bacterium have discovered a new way that some bacteria can spread rapidly throughout the body -- by hitchhiking on our own immune cells.

New subgroups of ILC immune cells discovered through single-cell RNA sequencing
A relatively newly discovered group of immune cells known as ILCs have been examined in detail in a new study published in the journal 'Nature Immunology'.

Proton pump inhibitors may be associated with increased risk of dementia
The use of proton pump inhibitors, the popular medications used to treat gastroesophageal reflux and peptic ulcers, may be associated with an increased risk of dementia in a study using data from a large German health insurer, according to an article published online by JAMA Neurology.

Leading research to be highlighted at 2016 Multidisciplinary Head & Neck Cancer Symposium
The 2016 Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancer Symposium, sponsored by the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the American Head & Neck Society (AHNS), will explore the heterogeneous group of tumors in head and neck cancers and the various complexities and factors in providing treatment.

Tiny red crystals dramatically increase biogas production
UNSW Australia-led researchers have discovered a way to produce a tenfold increase in the amount of methane gas emitted by naturally occurring microbes living in coal seams and on food waste.

Freezing steak improves tenderness of some cuts, study finds
Kansas State University researchers have found that freezing strip loin and inside round steaks makes those cuts as much as 10 percent more tender when it comes time to eat them.

The science of jet noise
Daniel Bodony, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), is looking into the science surrounding the aeroacoustics of jet engines and researching how to make them quieter.

An innovative air conditioning system enabling 27 percent savings to be made
Tecnalia is leading the development of an innovative air conditioning system enabling savings of 27 percent to be made.

Scientists prove feasibility of 'printing' replacement tissue
Using a sophisticated, custom-designed 3-D printer, regenerative medicine scientists at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center have proved that it is feasible to print living tissue structures to replace injured or diseased tissue in patients.

Ice sheet modeling of Greenland, Antarctica helps predict sea-level rise
Predicting the expected loss of ice sheet mass is difficult due to the complexity of modeling ice sheet behavior.

'Invisible work' takes toll on unpaid caregivers
Unpaid family and friends who assist older people with disabilities by coordinating doctor appointments and managing medications are significantly more likely to experience emotional, physical and financial difficulties than caregivers who don't provide this type of support, new research finds.

Scientists: Think more broadly to predict wildlife climate change survival
In a paper published this week in the journal Trends in Ecology and Evolution, Dr.

New study highlights effectiveness of a herpesvirus CMV-based vaccine against Ebola
As the latest in a series of studies, researchers have shown the ability of a vaccine vector based on a common herpesvirus called cytomegalovirus (CMV) expressing Ebola virus glycoprotein (GP), to provide protection against Ebola virus in the experimental rhesus macaque, non-human primate (NHP) model.

Eternal 5D data storage could record the history of humankind
Scientists at the University of Southampton have made a major step forward in the development of digital data storage that is capable of surviving for billions of years.

Jawless fish brains more similar to ours than previously thought
Researchers at the RIKEN Evolutionary Morphology laboratory and other institutions in Japan have shown that complex divisions in the vertebrate brain first appeared before the evolution of jaws, more than 500 million years ago. 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