Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 19, 2016
Immunity gene fusions uncovered in plants
Dr. Ksenia Krasileva, Group Leader at The Genome Analysis Centre and Fellow at the Sainsbury Laboratory in collaboration with her TSL colleagues, Professor Jonathan Jones and Dr.

Blood test could transform tuberculosis diagnosis, treatment in developing countries
A simple blood test that can accurately diagnose active tuberculosis could make it easier and cheaper to control a disease that kills 1.5 million people every year.

Georgetown ID specialist discusses global health leadership and Zika at ICID
Georgetown infectious disease expert Daniel Lucey, M.D., M.P.H., will deliver a presentation titled 'WHO Reforms and UN Action' during the 'Ebola and Beyond: Preparing for the Next Pandemic' symposium March 3 at the 17th International Congress on Infectious Diseases in India.

Moving electrons around loops with light: A quantum device based on geometry
Researchers at the University of Chicago and the University of Konstanz have demonstrated the ability to generate a quantum logic operation, or rotation of the qubit, that is intrinsically resilient to noise as well as to variations in the strength or duration of the control.

Scripps Florida's Courtney Miller wins Presidential Early Career Award
Courtney Miller, associate professor on the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute, has been selected to receive a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on young professionals at the outset of their independent research careers.

Dartmouth researchers invent 'magic wand' to improve healthcare, cybersecurity
Dartmouth College researchers have developed a digital 'magic wand' to improve home healthcare and to prevent hackers from stealing your personal data.

Breakthrough in dynamically variable negative stiffness structures
HRL Laboratories has announced that researchers in its Sensors and Materials Laboratory have developed an active variable stiffness vibration isolator capable of 100x stiffness changes and millisecond actuation times, independent of the static load.

Uninsured children most at risk for insufficient health care experiences
Researchers at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California (USC) examined medical home trends in children's primary care from 2003 to 2012 and found that while this specific healthcare model has improved children's primary care overall, certain aspects of children's patient care experience have worsened.

New device may speed up DNA insertion into bacteria
A new microfluidic device developed by MIT engineers may help scientists quickly home in on the electric field 'sweet spot' -- the range of electric potentials that will harmlessly and temporarily open up membrane pores to let DNA in.

Bath salts difficult to detect in biological samples, SHSU study finds
Synthetic cathinones or 'Bath salts' continue to be popular among recreational drug users and a new study funded by the National Institute of Justice at Sam Houston State University highlights the challenges associated with the detection of these drugs in biological evidence.

Researchers find link between death of tumor-support cells and cancer metastasis
NIH-funded researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital find surprising link between the death of tumor-support cells and an increased risk of cancer metastasis in mice.

Topological insulators: Magnetism is not causing loss of conductivity
If topological insulators are doped with impurities that possess magnetic properties, they lose their conductivity.

Better survival of implanted cells improves healing of bone fractures
To treat a complicated, non-healing bone defect, surgeons often use an implant with living cells to promote bone repair, but the implanted cells have a small chance of surviving because they are not prepared for a lack of oxygen and nutrients at the fracture site.

Deception and trickery are rife in natural world, scientist says in new book
In 'Cheats and Deceits: How Animals and Plants Exploit and Mislead,' which launches next week, Dr.

Montana State University microbiologists advance CRISPR research
The research published in Nature brings to light an understanding of how CRISPRs differentiate virus' DNA from its own genetic material.

New study finds Transcendental Meditation reduces stress in family caregivers
A pilot study published in International Archives of Nursing and Health Care found Transcendental Meditation helped reduce stress associated with caregiving over a two-month period.

Stroke survivors using mail order pharmacies more likely to take meds
Stroke survivors who get medications by mail are more likely to take them as directed than patients who get medications from local pharmacies, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2016.

Shape-shifting engineered nanoparticles for delivering cancer drugs to tumors
University of Toronto engineering professor Warren Chan has spent the last decade figuring out how to deliver chemotherapy drugs into cancerous tumors -- and nowhere else.

Gene therapy: T cells target mutations to fight solid tumors
An international research team from the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) and the Charité (partners in the Berlin Institute of Health, BIH), the Humboldt University Berlin and the University of Chicago has successfully modified immune cells to recognize and specifically target tumor cells in mice.

Researchers discover new Ebola-fighting antibodies in blood of outbreak survivor
A research team that included scientists from The Scripps Research Institute has identified a new group of powerful antibodies to fight Ebola virus.

The magic of microbes: ONR engineers innovative research in synthetic biology
An exciting new scientific frontier -- synthetic biology -- took center stage as a celebrated scientist from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology recently spoke at the headquarters of the Office of Naval Research.

Tracking El Niño's impact
A team of geologists is set to measure coastal erosion and the effects of sea level rise brought by El Niño this winter.

Ancient lone star lizard lounged in lush, tropical Texas
Researchers have discovered a new species of extinct worm lizard in Texas and dubbed it the 'Lone Star' lizard.

NASA's GPM sees Tropical Cyclone Uriah start weakening trend
Over two days, the Global Precipitation Measurement or GPM core observatory satellite had excellent views of Tropical Cyclone Uriah in the South Indian Ocean.

Seeking Zika: Where and when will Zika-carrying mosquitoes strike next?
Zika: the virus has emerged as a major public health threat that's rapidly spreading through South and Central America and the Caribbean.

Data overload from personal tracking devices: A waste or an opportunity?
The explosive interest in wearable personal tracking devices is generating huge amounts of so-called 'quantified self' (QS) data, just waiting to be analyzed and used to improve human health.

Biochemical alteration responsible for brain tumor resistance identified
Researchers from the Institute of Neuroscience (INc) of the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB) have identified the biochemical and molecular alteration that causes resistance to radiotherapy and chemotherapy in the glioblastoma , the most aggressive of brain tumors.

Does sexual aggression alter the female brain?
Thirty percent of women worldwide experience some kind of physical or sexual assault during their lifetime.

Tumor heterogeneity resolved: A new technology isolates pure tumor cells from FFPE samples
A new study, published last week by Scientific Reports, presents a revolutionary method to isolate 100 percent pure tumor and stromal cell populations from minute formalin fixed, paraffin embedded specimens using the DEPArrayTM technology.

Researchers work to decipher genetic data in hunt for new prostate cancer treatments
Florida State University researchers are working on new approaches to deciphering genetic data that may lead to new, more targeted prostate cancer treatments.

IU School of Medicine researcher awarded NIH IGNITE grant to develop drug candidate
Dr. Elliot J. Androphy has been awarded an IGNITE, or Innovation Grants to Nurture Initial Translational Efforts, grant by the National Institutes of Health.

3-D protein map offers new malaria vaccine hope
The first three-dimensional 'map' of a critical protein that malaria parasites use to invade human red blood cells has been created, offering clues for developing a vaccine countering the most widespread species of the parasite.

New research reveals sound of deep-water animal migration
New research reveals the sound of deep-water animal migration.

Eye movement affected in former childhood cancer patients
Nowadays, the lives of the majority of all children with cancer can be spared.

New plant species discovered on Yakushima
Suetsugu Kenji, a project associate professor at the Kobe University Graduate School of Science, has discovered a new species of plant on the subtropical Japanese island of Yakushima (located off the southern coast of Kyushu in Kagoshima prefecture) and named it Sciaphila yakushimensis.

NIST's natural air standards support accurate greenhouse gas measurements
To help ensure accurate measurements of greenhouse gases, NIST has issued two new Standard Reference Materials that are puffs of naturally occurring air from far-flung parts of the globe.

Smart skin made of recyclable materials may transform medicine and robotics
Smart skin that can respond to external stimuli could have important applications in medicine and robotics.

How a waste product of exercise protects neurons from trauma damage
Researchers led by EPFL have found how lactate, a waste product of glucose metabolism can protect neurons from damage following acute trauma such as stroke or spinal cord injury.

Exposure to air pollution increases the risk of obesity
Laboratory rats who breathed Beijing's highly polluted air gained weight and experienced cardio-respiratory and metabolic dysfunctions.

Power surge: ONR, energy efficiency in the spotlight
A scientist sponsored by the Office of Naval Research has been named to the National Academy of Inventors for groundbreaking work in energy efficiency using gallium nitride -- with resulting improvements in everything from warfighter communications to hybrid cars.

TSRI and JCVI scientists find popular stem cell techniques safe
A new study led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and the J.

Bernini's 'Animas' were originally meant to be mythological sculptures
David García Cueto, arts history professor at the University of Granada, affirms that these two marble heads are not a representation of a Christian soul's personification enjoying the pleasures of heaven or tormented by the punishment received in hell (as believed until now), but they really are a nymph and a satyr, respectively.

Are big-city transportation systems too complex for human minds?
A team of researchers has attempted to work out the amount of information an urban transportation system map can contain before it exceeds human cognitive limits.

The 'ugliest fossil reptiles' who roamed China
Long before the dinosaurs, hefty herbivores called pareiasaurs ruled the Earth.

Some hospice patients experience care transitions near life's end
Care transitions -- such as going from home to an emergency room or hospital -- can be difficult for seriously ill older adults and their family members.

'Ice age blob' of warm ocean water discovered south of Greenland
Greenland experienced several abrupt and brutal climate changes during the last ice age.

New mathematical model explains variability in mutation rates across the human genome
Researchers developed a mathematical model to estimate the rates of mutation as a function of the nearby sequences of DNA 'letters' -- called nucleotides.

Nanotoxicity study wins top-download status from Royal Society of Chemistry in January 2016
A consortium of researchers at several US universities have conducted one of first environmental analyses of four engineered nanomaterials commonly used in semiconductor manufacturing, using samples provided directly from the industry.

Stretchable nano-devices towards smart contact lenses
Researchers at RMIT University and the University of Adelaide have created a stretchable nano-scale device to manipulate light.

Best to sleep on it: Brain activity patterns during sleep consolidate memory
Why does sleeping on it help? This is the question tackled by new research at the University of Bristol, which reveals how brain activity during sleep sorts through the huge number of experiences we encounter every day, filing only the important information in memory.

Scientists discover secret to promising new cancer drug
Australian researchers have resolved a mystery about how a promising new class of anti-cancer drugs, called nutlins, work -- paving the way for improving the future of cancer treatment.

Researchers make progress in genomic classification of bladder cancers
Now, it is possible to extract the DNA or RNA from cancer cells and establish a classification according to the type and quantity of mutations, active and inactive genes, and other molecular characteristics.

60 years after pioneering survey, Wisconsin prairies are changing rapidly
Between 1947 and 1956, John Curtis and his colleagues and students conducted their prairie relic study, surveying more than 200 undisturbed prairie remnants in Wisconsin.

Study examines Teach For America's impact on costs, hiring at 5 school systems
Study finds that five major school systems spent millions in finder's fees hiring Teach for America recruits.

Researchers demonstrate 'quantum surrealism'
New research demonstrates that particles at the quantum level can in fact be seen as behaving something like billiard balls rolling along a table, and not merely as the probabilistic smears that the standard interpretation of quantum mechanics suggests.

Longer-lived imaging agents could hasten Alzheimer's research
A chemist at Washington University in St. Louis hopes to develop bifunctional compounds that can be both therapeutic and diagnostic agents for Alzheimer's disease.

Antibody provide a more exact Alzheimer's diagnosis radioactive tracers
For the first time, researchers have succeeded in passing an antibody through the blood-brain barrier to act as a tracer for PET imaging of the brain.

Common problem for older adults: Losing the 5 key senses
In a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, researchers reported that 94 percent of the older adults they examined experienced loss in at least one of their senses; 67 percent had two or more sensory losses.

New drug reverses the effects of blood thinner in patients with brain hemorrhage
A new treatment can quickly and completely reverse the effects of the blood thinner dabigatran (Pradaxa) in patients suffering a brain bleed.

NASA sees major Tropical Cyclone Winston approaching Fiji
Powerful Tropical Cyclone Winston continued to intensify as it neared Fiji and NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite captured an image of the strengthening storm with a clear eye.

UGA researchers make link between genetics, aging
University of Georgia scientists have shown a hormone instrumental in the aging process is under genetic control, introducing a new pathway by which genetics regulates aging and disease.

Doctor calls on Australian government to lift threat of imprisonment from doctors
In The BMJ today, a doctor is calling on the Australian government to stop constraining doctors in the care of asylum seekers and refugees, and to adopt a humane stance to people seeking asylum.

Binge drinking dangerous for young adults
Having an occasional drink is fine, but 'binge' drinking is a known health hazard and now high blood pressure may need to be added to the list of possible consequences.

What's new in gut microbiota research?
World-leading experts will meet at the 5th World Summit 'Gut Microbiota For Health' in Miami, FL, U.S., from March 5 to 6, 2016, to discuss the latest findings in gut microbiota research and their significance for diet, health and disease. 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