Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 01, 2016
Researchers identify candidate biomarker of accelerated onset diabetic retinopathy
Mass. Eye and Ear researchers describe, for the first time, an association between a defective myogenic response of blood vessels in the retina and early, accelerated development of retinopathy in patients with type 1 diabetes.

Rise of the ridiculously resilient ridge: California drought patterns becoming more common
Atmospheric patterns resembling those that appeared during the latter half of California's ongoing multi-year drought are becoming more common.

Ancient Southwest marked by repeated periods of boom and bust
The heavily studied yet largely unexplained disappearance of ancestral Pueblo people from southwest Colorado is not all that unique, say Washington State University scientists.

Chemical in antibacterial soap may disrupt mix of organisms in digestive tract
Use of a common nonprescription antimicrobial, triclocarban, during pregnancy and breast-feeding may alter the offspring's composition of intestinal bacteria and other micro-organisms, called the gut microbiota, a new animal study finds.

BC scientists engineer immune cells to protect organs from transplant rejection
Scientists at BC Children's Hospital and the University of British Columbia have developed a gene therapy that programs a type of immune cell called T regulatory cells (Tregs) to protect transplanted tissues from rejection by the patient's immune system.

NIH awards $1.7 million to UTA professor to fight chronic kidney disease
University of Texas at Arlington kinesiology professor Paul Fadel has received a $1.7 million National Institutes of Health grant to find a solution for thwarting cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure in patients with chronic kidney disease.

Discovery of cellular counting mechanism used for size control in algae with links to cancer genetics
Cell size is a critical trait for improved yields of algal biofuels.

Ruthenium nanoframes open the doors to better catalysts
Researchers have created the first ruthenium nanoframes by manipulating the metal's crystal structure.

Engineered monomeric streptavidin
A novel streptavidin variant with improved biotin binding characteristics allows stable monovalent detection of biotinylated targets for imaging applications and can be recombinantly fused to introduce a biotin binding tag.

BPA changes fetal development of the mammary gland, can raise breast cancer risk
A new culture system that tests the role of chemical exposure on the developing mammary gland has found that bisphenol A (BPA) directly affects the mammary gland of mouse embryos.

New test can predict death in patients with serious liver disease
Researchers from Aarhus University Hospital and Aarhus University in Denmark have found that the biomarker CD163 can predict mortality in blood samples from patients with acute on chronic liver failure.

NYU Tandon researcher synthesizes hybrid molecule that delivers a blow to malignant cells
A new molecule developed at NYU Tandon School of Engineering shows promise for treating breast cancer.

NSF awards 2016 Graduate Research Fellowships
The National Science Foundation has named 2,000 individuals as this year's recipients of awards from the Graduate Research Fellowship Program.

Low-cost and lightweight
For the first time, researchers have been able to see what makes this titanium alloy so strong -- and then make it stronger.

How to control chlamydia
They are young and mostly female: with more than 3.2 million cases between 2005 and 2014, chlamydia remains the most commonly reported sexually transmitted infection across Europe.

Attention deficit after kids' critical illness linked to plasticizers in medical tubes
Children who are often hospitalized in intensive care units are more likely to have attention deficit disorders later, and new research finds a possible culprit: a high level of plastic-softening chemicals called phthalates circulating in the blood.

X-rays reveal how a solar cell gets its silver stripes
The silver electrical contacts that carry electricity out of about 90 percent of the solar modules on the market are also one of their most expensive parts.

Is there a link between oral health and the rate of cognitive decline?
The findings, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, come from the first systematic review of studies focused on oral health and cognition -- two important areas of research as the older adult population continues to grow, with some 36 percent of people over age 70 already living with cognitive impairments.

Ancient DNA shows European wipe-out of early Americans
The first large-scale study of ancient DNA from early American people has confirmed the devastating impact of European colonization on the Indigenous American populations of the time.

Monetary incentives for healthy behavior can pay off, says CU-Boulder study
Monetary rewards for healthy behavior can pay off both in the pocketbook and in positive psychological factors like internal motivation, according to a new University of Colorado Boulder study.

Brain processes social information at high priority
An international research team has found that our perception is highly sensitized for absorbing social information.

Brain changes seen in veterans with PTSD after mindfulness training
Like an endlessly repeating video loop, horrible memories plague people with post-traumatic stress disorder.

New insights in blood vessel formation
How vascular tubes build, maintain and adapt continuously perfused lumens to meet local metabolic needs remains poorly understood.

Use of peripheral nerve blocks associated with improved joint replacement outcomes
The use of peripheral nerve blocks (PNBs) is associated with better outcomes following hip and knee replacement, according to an award-winning study at Hospital for Special Surgery.

Invited review: Artisanal Mexican cheeses
Artisanal cheesemaking is an important industry in Mexico, but many varieties of artisanal Mexican cheeses are in danger of disappearing because they have not been adequately documented.

NSF awards $35 million to the University of Wisconsin-Madison to continue operating IceCube Neutrino
The National Science Foundation today announced that it has renewed a cooperative agreement with the University of Wisconsin-Madison to operate the IceCube Neutrino Observatory, a massive particle detector buried deep in the ice beneath the South Pole.

New method proposed to detect bacterial infection in preterm infants
A Japanese research group is proposing a new criterion for diagnosis of bacterial infection in preterm infants.

UH pharmacology student to present research on Fragile X April 3
Luis Martinez, a pharmacology doctoral candidate at the University of Houston College of Pharmacy, has earned a spot to present his research on Fragile X Syndrome (FXS) at the 2016 Experimental Biology Meeting April 2-6 in San Diego.

Ice Age Antarctic Ocean gives clue to 'missing' atmospheric carbon dioxide
Syracuse University Earth sciences Assistant Professor Zunli Lu and international collaborators explored the question of carbon dioxide storage in the oceans.

Autism diagnosis taking too long, experts say
Medical experts in Newcastle, UK, say that children with autism spectrum disorder are still being diagnosed later than they should be, meaning they are not getting access to specialist services early enough.

Kaiser Health News Senior Correspondent receives Endocrine Society journalism award
Kaiser Health News Senior Correspondent Julie Rovner received the Endocrine Society's annual Award for Excellence in Science and Medical Journalism, the Society announced today.

California drought patterns becoming more common
Atmospheric scientists have found that California's highest temperatures are almost always associated with blocking ridges, regions of high atmospheric pressure than can disrupt wind patterns -- including one known as the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge.

The Lancet: People who live in activity-friendly neighbourhoods take up to 90 minutes more exercise per week
Living in an activity-friendly neighborhood could mean people take up to 90 minutes more exercise per week, according to a study published in The Lancet today.

New plasma source favorable for hydrogen negative ion beam is developed
Researchers at Tohoku University have discovered a new plasma wave phenomenon, leading to the development of a negative ion source for fusion plasma heating.

New study links coffee consumption to decreased risk of colorectal cancer
Researchers at the University of Southern California (USC) Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center of Keck Medicine of USC have found that coffee consumption, including decaf, instant and espresso, decreases the risk of colorectal cancer.

Researchers use 3-D printing to create structure with active chemistry
For the first time, researchers have demonstrated how to use commercial 3-D printers to create a structure with active chemistry.

Preference for dating smarter partners negatively affects women's attitudes toward STEM
Women with a preference for more intelligent partners are less likely to show interest in male-dominated fields such as math and science, according to a newly published study from the University at Buffalo.

NASA's GPM satellite examines tornadic thunderstorms
The Global Precipitation Measurement, or GPM, mission core satellite, a joint mission between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, measured heavy rainfall in severe storms early on Friday, April 1, in the southern U.S.

HIV-positive children and adolescents: Added benefit of rilpivirine not proven
Drug manufacturer only presented data from a one-arm study, which are unsuitable for the derivation of an added benefit in comparison with the comparator therapy.

Seeing cell to cell differences for first time explains symptoms of rare genetic disorders
Every cell in the body has two genomes, one from the mother and one from the father.

Anti-mullerian hormone may predict rate of trans-menopausal bone loss
Doctors have devised a test which could help them predict which women going through menopause will lose bone faster than average, new research reports.

More Latinas screened for breast cancer after 'Promotora' visits
Latina women were nearly twice as likely to be screened for breast cancer after they were visited in their homes by trained community health workers, known as Promotoras, according to a study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.

Researchers demonstrate a new way to characterize twisted light
Researchers at the University of Rochester have overcome experimental challenges to demonstrate a new way for getting a full picture of twisted light: characterizing the Wigner distribution.

In mildly obese patients, sleeve-it surgery may increase weight loss and glycemic control
In mildly obese ('class I') patients, sleeve with ileal transposition (sleeve-IT) surgery results in better glycemic control than either gastric bypass or clinical treatment, a new study from Brazil suggests.

Vaccine adjuvant protects against post-burn infection
Research findings published in the April 2016 issue of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, suggests that the use of a FDA-approved drug may serve a dual purpose by protecting people who are at high risk of infection, including those with severe burns, cancer, and other conditions that may compromise their immune systems' ability to ward off disease.

Professional burnout associated with physicians limiting practice
At a time when the nation is facing projected physician shortages, a Mayo Clinic study shows an association between burnout and declining professional satisfaction with physicians reducing the number of hours they devote to clinical practice.

Lower home temperature in winter is associated with lower waist measurement
Elderly adults are bigger around the middle when they turn up the heat inside their homes during the cold season and have smaller waistlines when their homes stay cool, new research finds.

Lifting the veil on sex: Can males be less expensive?
A Kyoto University research team has shown that males can 'cost' less when there is a higher proportion of females, a result that may have broad implications for studies of the evolution and sustainability of sexual reproduction.

Older overweight and obese adults with diabetes benefit from better diet and exercise
Lifestyle changes that include healthier diet and routine physical exercise help older overweight and obese adults with Type 2 diabetes improve glucose control, body composition, physical function and bone quality, according to preliminary findings of an ongoing clinical trial.

Global study finds neighborhood design helps put best foot forward for health
More walkable neighborhoods, parks and public transit could all reduce your chance of becoming one of the 600 million adults who battle obesity worldwide, according to researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.

For rechargeable batteries that crush the competition, crush this material
By modifying and pulverizing a promising group of chemical compounds, NIST scientists have potentially brought safer, solid-state rechargeable batteries two steps closer to reality.

Louisiana Tech University students, professor to present research at national conference
Students and faculty from Louisiana Tech University will present their research in 3-D bio-printing and regenerative medicine at 2016 Experimental Biology, as part of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology's Annual Meeting, April 2-6 in San Diego, California.

ACR responds to FDA draft guidance on biosimilars labeling
The American College of Rheumatology releases official statement supporting the US Food and Drug Administration's draft guidance on biosimilars labeling; encourages additional measures that will help rheumatologists ensure the safety and efficacy of biosimilars for patients.

Your viruses could reveal your travel history, and more
The genomes of two distinct strains of the virus that causes the common lip cold sore, herpes simplex virus type 1, have been identified within an individual person -- an achievement that could be useful to forensic scientists for tracing a person's history.

Number of science and engineering graduate students up in 2014
The number of science and engineering graduate students at US academic institutions rose by 3 percent between 2013 and 2014, owing largely to a 13.1 percent increase in foreign graduate enrollment.

Study raises online golf tutorials to above par
The internet is overflowing with online tutorials dedicated to improving your game of golf and other motor skills.

Infants with strong sucking skills are more likely to gain additional weight
A new study of African-American infants finds that those who feed more vigorously at one month of age have higher weight at four months, which may be associated with a later risk for obesity.

Growing skin in the lab
Using reprogrammed iPS cells, scientists from the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology in Japan have, along with collaborators from Tokyo University of Science and other Japanese institutions, successfully grown complex skin tissue -- complete with hair follicles and sebaceous glands -- in the laboratory.

Obesity can be predicted as early as 6 months of age, says study
Severe obesity can be predicted using a simple body mass index (BMI) measurement as early as 6 months of age, according to a new study.

New cause of exceptional Greenland melt revealed
A new study by researchers from Denmark and Canada's York University, published in Geophysical Research Letters, has found that the energy associated with air temperature and moisture content, rather than radiant energy from the sun, was responsible for more melt during the 2012 exceptional melt episodes on the Greenland Ice Sheet.

Asthma is associated with polycystic ovary syndrome and excess weight
Among reproductive-age women, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) as well as overweight and obesity are independently linked with asthma, new preliminary research from Australia suggests.

Confronting diseases in Africa
The Society for Public Health Education proudly announces the publication of Health Education & Behavior's supplement, 'Noncommunicable Diseases in Africa and the Global South.' Co-edited by Collins Airhihenbuwa, PhD, and Gbenga Ogedegbe, MD, the supplement includes 13 peer-reviewed articles devoted to the rise of noncommunicable diseases in Africa and other regions in the Global South and promising solutions to prevent and reduce the prevalence of chronic diseases.

Nepali textile find suggests Silk Road extended further south than previously thought
Analyses of cloth remains found near a gold/silver funerary mask in the Samdzong tomb complex in Nepal point to connections with north-east Asia and suggest the possibility that Samdzong was inserted into the long-distance trade network of the Silk Road.

Breakthrough in cybersecurity is no phish story
Corporations, small businesses and public sector entities have tried unsuccessfully for years to educate consumers and employees on how to recognize phishing emails, those authentic-looking messages that encourage users to open a cloaked, though malicious, hyperlink or attachment that appears harmless.

Anti-Mullerian hormone may predict rate of trans-menopausal bone loss
Doctors have devised a test which could help them predict which women going through menopause will lose bone faster than average, new research reports.

Engineered ovary implant restores fertility in mice
Northwestern University scientists created a prosthetic ovary using a 3-D printer -- an implant that allowed mice that had their ovaries surgically removed to bear live young.

Transgender veterans have high rates of mental health problems
Among military veterans identifying as transgender, 90 percent have at least one mental health diagnosis, such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or depression, and nearly 50 percent had a hospitalization after a suicide attempt or suicidal thoughts.

Heart rate variability predicts epileptic seizure
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that causes seizures of many different types.

Some sunscreen ingredients may disrupt sperm cell function
Many ultraviolet (UV)-filtering chemicals commonly used in sunscreens interfere with the function of human sperm cells, and some mimic the effect of the female hormone progesterone, a new study finds.

American Cancer Society awards new research and training grants
The American Cancer Society has approved funding for 103 research and training grants totaling nearly $44 million to investigators at 74 institutions across the United States.

Call them spare tires or love handles -- belly fat is bad
Bad news. It's not just obesity that can increase the risk of heart failure.

Artificial molecules
A new method allows scientists at ETH Zurich and IBM to fabricate artificial molecules out of different types of microspheres.

Springer opens research articles that can make a difference
Springer is launching a new online initiative called Change the World, One Article at a Time: Must-Read Articles from 2015.

Feeding the world: Uncovering a key regulator of flower head development in rice
Discovering how rice flower structures develop in response to environmental cues will help breeders increase the productivity of this crucial food crop.

Researcher receives patent for Huntington's disease treatment
The University of Wyoming's Jonathan Fox developed a method for decreasing the levels of the disease-causing mutant huntingtin protein.

Polymer researcher receives NSF grant for multifunctional tough hydrogels
Dr. Jie Zheng, associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at The University of Akron, has recently been awarded his fourth grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Light helps develop programmable materials
Light of a certain wavelength can be used to put so-called active materials into motion and control their movement.

Scientists divide magnetic vortices into collectivists and individualists
In manganese monosilicide, microscopic magnetic vortices -- skyrmions -- may behave as 'collectivists' or 'individuals,' i.e. they are able to create a single structure, or they can also split up individually.

Penn research reveals brain region crucial for using boundaries to navigate
Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania discovered which region of the brain helps us use boundaries to navigate.

Noted experts speak out about the issues surrounding child poverty in the US
One in five children in the US lives below the federal poverty level and nearly half of children in America are classified as poor or near poor.

Massive deforestation found in Brazil's Cerrado
Agricultural expansion in Brazil's Cerrado is quickly chewing up rainforests and savannas -- even altering the region's water cycle, a first-of-its-kind study finds.

New toolkit can improve primary healthcare for people with developmental disabilities
Adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities have more health issues than other adults, but they are less likely to receive preventative care.

Scientists discover how gypsum forms -- and how it might tell us more about water on Mars
A new explanation of how gypsum forms may change the way we process this important building material, as well as allow us to interpret past water availability on other planets such as Mars.

Endocrine Society encourages clinicians to avoid prescribing compounded hormones
A new scientific statement issued today by the Endocrine Society advises clinicians to avoid using compounded hormone medications to treat menopausal symptoms, female sexual dysfunction and other hormone conditions.

Sports-related brain injuries: 12 new articles in April issue of Neurosurgical Focus
April's Neurosurgical Focus offers 12 articles presenting the most up-to-date knowledge of what constitutes sports-related brain injury, the latest diagnostic assessment tools, the neuropathology underlying symptoms, complications that may arise, prevention, and case management strategies.

An overfed fetus may become an overweight adolescent
Higher levels of blood markers in the umbilical cord indicate that the baby has more fat and may continue having more fat into late childhood and adolescence, new research suggests. 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