Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 11, 2016
Satellites and shipwrecks: Landsat satellite spots foundered ships in coastal waters
Using data from the NASA/USGS Landsat 8 satellite, researchers have detected plumes extending as far as 4 kilometers (about 2.5 miles) downstream from shallow shipwreck sites.

Differential immuno-capture biochip offers specific leukocyte counting for HIV diagnosis
Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a highly sensitive biosensor based on a differential immuno-capture technology that can detect sub-populations of white blood cells.

Functional heart muscle regenerated in decellularized human hearts
Massachusetts General Hospital researchers have taken some initial steps toward the creation of bioengineered human hearts using donor hearts stripped of components that would generate an immune response and cardiac muscle cells generated from induced pluripotent stem cells, which could come from a potential recipient.

Researchers dig up new molecular details on 'the other type' of stem cells
Scientists at IRB Barcelona and CSIC reveal that the combination of two molecular signals determines which cells that have already differentiated can regain their stem cell properties.

Social networks used in the assessment of damage caused by natural disasters
An international scientific study, involving Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M), has carried research into the use of social networks such as Twitter, as tools for monitoring, assessing and even predicting levels of economic damage caused by natural disasters.

Lower oil prices lead to higher CO2 emissions
If the price of oil decreases, carbon dioxide emissions increase.

Attribution of extreme weather events in the context of climate change -- new report
It is now possible to estimate the influence of climate change on some types of extreme events, such as heat waves, drought, and heavy precipitation, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Paradigm shift: Scientists demonstrate the wavelike nature of van der Waals Forces
A group of researchers, led by Alexandre Tkatchenko, Professor at the University of Luxembourg, demonstrated that the true nature of van der Waals forces differs from conventional wisdom in chemistry and biology.

Lake Huron's Chinook salmon fishery unlikely to recover due to ongoing food shortage
Lake Huron's Chinook salmon fishery will likely never return to its glory days because the lake can no longer support the predatory fish's main food source, the herring-like alewife, according to a new University of Michigan-led computer-modeling study.

Symbiosis with partner exchange
In worm-bacteria symbioses some microbes remain faithful to their hosts, others to their location.

Can nutritional supplements impact genetic hearing loss in children?
An enhanced diet helped reduce hearing loss in mice with the genetic mutation most commonly responsible for childhood deafness.

Katherine M. Dempsey M.S. C.G.C., receives the 2016 Richard King Trainee Award
Katherine Dempsey, M.S. C.G.C. of the Cancer Center at Houston Methodist Hospital is the recipient of the 2016 Richard King Trainee Award.

New, non-invasive method allows to determine whether a child is celiac or not
Researchers from the University of Granada have developed a new, quick and economic method that allows to determine if a child aged 2-4 suffers from silent celiac disease (the disease that goes unnoticed for the doctor because it presents minor symptoms, imperceptible even for the patient)

SLU hepatologist awarded NIH grant to study liver, gut disorders
Ajay Jain, M.D., a pediatric hepatologist and gastroenterologist, received a $703,620 grant from the National Institutes of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases to continue studying strategies for PN-associated disorders.

American Thoracic Society applauds action to reduce methane emissions
The American Thoracic Society applauds the collaborative effort of President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada to reduce methane emissions from the oil and natural gas sector.

World's thinnest lens to revolutionize cameras
Scientists have created the world's thinnest lens, one two-thousandth the thickness of a human hair, opening the door to flexible computer displays and a revolution in miniature cameras.

UTA research blends public health measures in regional transportation plan
A UTA interdisciplinary team is formulating recommendations for the North Texas Council of Governments that take into account public health measures in a regional transportation plan.

NSU researchers secure $2.75 million from NIH
A research team led by Nova Southeastern University's (NSU) Raymond L.

Neurofeedback reduces pain, increases quality of life for cancer patients suffering from chemotherapy-induced neuropathy
A new study from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center evaluating the use of neurofeedback found a decrease in the experience of chronic pain and increase quality of life in patients with neuropathic pain.

The European Solar Telescope, chosen as a strategic scientific installation for Europe
On March 10th, an official announcement was made about the updating of the ESFRI route map at a meeting in Amsterdam.

Drexel researchers testing most effective seizure treatments
Drexel University College of Medicine researchers are conducting an emergency medicine study to find out the most effective drug for treating established status epilepticus -- a life-threatening condition in which the brain is in a state of persistent seizure.

How a bad night's sleep might worsen cancer development
Recent studies have indicated that patients with sleep apnea may be associated with worse cancer outcomes.

Toward the IoT -- A framework for data analytics on digital device networks
With the support of the National Science Foundation, researcher Stacy Patterson is building tools that developers can use to easily perform data analytics over a multitude of devices.

Quality control for genetic sequencing
Genetic sequencing is in widespread use today, but until now has not been accurate enough to identify an antibody immune response.

Science curriculum tailored to English language learners boosts student achievement
In a large-scale study involving more than 6,000 fifth graders, an innovative science curriculum was found to have a positive impact on science learning for students with different levels of English proficiency.

Android smartphone data spies exposed like bank robbers
When a bank is robbed, the loot will often contain a wad of manipulated banknotes.

Study: Individual rewards can boost team performance at work
Conventional wisdom has held that boosting team performance in the workplace should focus on rewarding entire teams that perform well -- and that rewarding individuals increases competition rather than helping team performance.

New fuel cell design powered by graphene-wrapped nanocrystals
Researchers at Berkeley Lab have developed a new materials recipe for a battery-like hydrogen fuel cell that shields the nanocrystals from oxygen, moisture and contaminants while pushing its performance forward in key areas.

Spray-on coating could ice-proof airplanes, power lines, windshields
On your car windshield, ice is a nuisance. But on an airplane, a wind turbine, an oil rig or power line, it can be downright dangerous.

Penn experts warn that touting 'naturalness' of breastfeeding could backfire
Breastfeeding campaigns that extol breastfeeding as the 'natural' way to feed infants could result in harmful decision-making by some parents on other important health matters, according to experts from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

UTSW researchers find newly identified immunity pathway protects mammals from virus-cause
Building upon earlier research, investigators at UT Southwestern Medical Center and their collaborators have identified a new innate immunity pathway that protects mammals from viral oncogenesis, the process by which viruses cause normal cells to become cancerous.

Circuit for experience-informed decision-making ID'd in rats
Researchers have discovered how the rat brain 's memory and executive hubs talk with each other as decision-making is informed by past experiences.

Retirement is good for your health
A landmark study led by University of Sydney has found that people become more active, sleep better and reduce their sitting time when they retire.

Practicing tai chi reduces risk of falling in older adults
Recently, researchers compared the effects of tai chi to leg strengthening exercises (a physical therapy called 'lower extremity training,' or LET) in reducing falls.

Rates of prophylactic mastectomy have tripled in past decade despite no survival benefit
The use of contralateral prophylactic mastectomy, the surgical removal of a breast unaffected by cancer as part of the course of treatment for breast cancer, has more than tripled from 2002 to 2012 despite evidence suggesting no survival benefit over breast conservation, according to a new study from Brigham and Women's Hospital published in Annals of Surgery on March 11, 2016.

Beta-blockers could reduce the risk of COPD exacerbations
Beta-blockers could be used to reduce the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbations, according to new findings.

'Cadillac tax' on health benefits will hit middle class hardest: Study
Although both liberal and conservative economists have denounced the longstanding exemption of employment-based health benefits from taxes as tantamount to a 'regressive' tax subsidy that unfairly favors the rich, and have lauded a provision of Affordable Care Act that will impose a hefty tax on costlier ('Cadillac') benefit packages, those who stand to be hit hardest by the new provision are middle-income families, researchers say.

New book examines ecology of threatened prairie-chickens
A new volume in the Cooper Ornithological Society's Studies in Avian Biology series highlights the ecology of lesser prairie-chickens.

The Holberg Prize names Stephen Greenblatt as 2016 Laureate
Today, The Holberg Prize -- the largest international prize awarded annually to an outstanding researcher in the arts and humanities, social science, law and theology -- named American author, scholar and literature professor Stephen Greenblatt as its 2016 laureate.

2016 Pfizer/ACMG Foundation Genetics Combined Residency Fellowship Award announced
This award grants $75,000 per year to the two recipients selected by the ACMG Foundation through a competitive process and will provide for the sponsorship of one year of the trainee's clinical genetics subspecialty in translational genomics following residency.

Space station astronauts ham it up to inspire student scientists
On Thursday, March 10, 2016 astronauts on the International Space Station logged their 1,000th educational contact with the ground.

Rapid response for inflammation control in songbirds' brains could lead to therapies in humans
A biological process in the brains of zebra finches shows that the songbirds respond quickly to trauma and are capable of controlling the natural inflammation that occurs to protect the brain from injury.

CPAP may not improve glycemic control in people with diabetes
People with type 2 diabetes and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) may not experience improved glycemic control by using continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, as some studies have suggested, according to the results of a randomized, controlled trial published online ahead of print in the American Thoracic Society's American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Antitrust laws may hinder socially-responsible business collaboration
A new study suggests that US antitrust laws could hamper the efforts of companies to collaborate on sustainable and socially-responsible business practices, even as consumers and businesses increasingly value them.

A virus common among livestock depends on a micro-RNA to replicate
Increasingly, scientists are finding that small RNA molecules might be effective targets for antiviral drugs.

Jessica Tenney, M.D., wins 2016 ACMG Foundation/PerkinElmer Diagnostics travel award
Jessica Tenney, M.D., was honored as the 2016 recipient of the ACMG Foundation/PerkinElmer Diagnostics Travel Award at the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics 2016 Annual Clinical Genetics Meeting in Tampa, Fla.

'Popular girls' have less lice -- in the monkey world
Female Japanese macaques at the center of their social network had less lice thanks to the extra grooming they receive from their many friends.

Ultrasonic surgery reduces pain and swelling after chin surgery
For patients undergoing plastic surgery of the chin (genioplasty), the use of ultrasonic 'piezosurgery' equipment reduces trauma, pain, and swelling, compared to traditional surgical drills, reports a study in the The Journal of Craniofacial Surgery.

Polymer engineer wins Polymer Processing Society Early Career Award
Dr. Younjin Min, an assistant professor in Polymer Engineering at University of Akron, will receive the 2016 Early Career Award from the Polymer Processing Society.

ACMG Foundation announces recipient of 2016 Carolyn Mills Lovell Award
Gozde Akgumus, M.S., L.C.G.C. was honored as the recipient of the ACMG Foundation Carolyn Mills Lovell Award at the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) 2016 Annual Clinical Genetics Meeting in Tampa, Florida.

New 'AsthmaMap' could redefine disease and personalize treatment for patients
A new digital 'map' detailing different mechanisms that contribute to the development of asthma could help researchers redefine the disease.

Experiment shows magnetic chips could dramatically increase computing's energy efficiency
UC Berkeley scientists show magnetic bits operating at one-millionth the energy of today's chips.

A younger sibling may be good for your child's health
Becoming a big brother or big sister before first grade may lower a child's risk of becoming obese, a new study suggests.

Sanofi Genzyme/ACMG Foundation present Training Award in Clinical Biochemical Genetics
Mohammed Almannai, M.D., and Juanita Neira of Baylor College of Medicine were honored as the 2016-2017 recipients of the Sanofi Genzyme/ACMG Foundation Medical Genetics Training Award in Clinical Biochemical Genetics at the 2016 ACMG Annual Clinical Genetics Meeting in Tampa, Fla.

Ames Laboratory scientists join consortium to research lightweight materials
Scientists at the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Ames Laboratory will play a key role in the Lightweight Materials National Lab Consortium, or LightMAT.

Family-based counseling increases physical activity and improves diet quality in children
A recent Finnish study showed that individualized and family-based lifestyle counseling helps 6-8-year-old children increase their physical activity levels and improve their diet quality during a two-year follow-up.

New analytical model for e-sports predicts who is winning -- and why
A new analytical model for e-sports developed by researchers in Sweden, Denmark and Germany, not only helps game developers better understand how players perform, but can also predict the outcome of the game.

Parents of premature babies get confidence boost from home-from-hospital project
Researchers from the University of Bristol have found new parents benefit from help to prepare them to bring their premature babies home from hospital.

Paleontologists discover 250-million-year-old new species of reptile in Brazil
An international team of scientists, from three Brazilian universities and one UK university, have discovered a new fossil reptile that lived 250 million years ago in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, southernmost Brazil.

Early detection: Colorectal cancer rates declining in Germany
The introduction of screening colonoscopy in Germany is showing results: Within ten years of the start of this screening program for the early detection of colorectal cancer, the number of new cases has significantly dropped in the age groups 55 years and over.

Seismic for the spine: Vibration technology offers alternative to MRI
UAlberta twin control study shows vibration has potential as a diagnosis tool that could also identify new categories of back problems.

Change in mosquito mating may control Zika virus
Genetic cues from male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes passed on during sex affect which genes are turned on or off in a females' reproductive tract post-mating, including genes related to blood feeding, egg development and immune defense, according to new Cornell research.

Higher tax leads to better government quality
There is a positive connection between taxation of a state's citizens and how well the state's institutions works.

Multi-gene test identifies early breast cancer patients who can be spared chemo
Researchers have shown for the first time that it is possible to use a multi-gene test to identify early breast cancer patients who can be spared chemo and who will still be alive and well five years after diagnosis.

Burning more calories linked with greater gray matter volume, reduced Alzheimer's risk
Whether they jog, swim, garden or dance, physically active older persons have larger gray matter volume in key brain areas responsible for memory and cognition, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and UCLA Medical Center.

Chinese scientists realize quantum simulation of the Unruh effect
The Unruh effect is one of the most fundamental manifestations of the fact that the particle content of a field theory is observer dependent.

Different kinds of physical activity shown to improve brain volume & cut Alzheimer's risk in half
A new study shows that a variety of physical activities from walking to gardening and dancing can improve brain volume and cut the risk of Alzheimer's disease by 50 percent.

Science can now link climate change with some extreme weather events
Extreme weather events like floods, heat waves and droughts can devastate communities and populations worldwide.

NASA tracking the influence of tides on ice shelves in Antarctica
Ryan Walker and Christine Dow, researchers with the Cryospheric Sciences Laboratory at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, recently spent more than a month doing fieldwork in Antarctica to study the influence of tidal movements on a small, little-studied ice shelf.

How to purify water with waste materials
Sand, coral and even waste building materials can become extremely efficient sorbents for water purification from toxic substances, if they are subject to treat in a special way.

New lifeline for patients with inoperable neuroendocrine cancers
A novel drug proven to reduce the risk of disease progression by 79% as well as three new European Centres of Excellence, offer new hope to patients with inoperable metastatic advanced midgut neuroendocrine cancer.

Citizen science project draws up the first oral microbiome map for the youth
In the year following its launch, this project has brought bioinformatics closer to society, and highlighted the importance of the microbiome, with the participation of over 4,000 individuals.

WCM announces collaboration with J & J Innovation to investigate new cancer treatments
Weill Cornell Medicine has formed a strategic, preclinical research alliance with Janssen Biotech, Inc., one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, to develop new treatment approaches for certain types of cancer, the institution announced today.

Measuring crop plants
The measuring of crop plants and their response to a changing environment is at the heart of EMPHASIS, a new large-scale European project coordinated by researchers in Juelich.

Lack of TRPV2 impairs thermogenesis in mouse brown adipose tissue
Brown adipose tissue (BAT), a major site for mammalian non-shivering thermogenesis, could be a target for prevention and treatment of human obesity.

New app advises and reminds pregnant women about vaccinations
A new app to guide and remind pregnant women about vaccines recommended during pregnancy has been launched by researchers.

Heart attacks could be reduced by rethinking the way we prescribe statins
Millions of people today take statins to help lower their cholesterol level.

Soap bubbles for treating stenosed blood vessels
Liposomes are currently used as drug delivery vehicles but recognized by the immune system.

A foldable material that can change size, volume and shape
Harvard researchers have designed a new type of foldable material that is versatile, tunable and self actuated.

Prasit Phowthongkum, M.D. of University of WA receives Horizon Pharma /ACMG Foundation Award
The objective of this fellowship is to advance education, research, and standards of practice in medical genetics; expand laboratory expertise in medical genetics in the United States, and develop a broad-based infrastructure for industry funding of high quality projects in medical genetics.

Can we predict aggressiveness of prostate cancer before surgery with a blood test?
Prostate cancer is the most common male cancer, with 400,000 new cases every year in Europe. 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