Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 08, 2016
A newly discovered way for cells to die
In studying how worms develop from larvae into adults, scientists have discovered a previously unknown process in which cells are programmed to die.

Field project will track Southern Ocean clouds from a remote island off Antarctica
From a tiny island halfway between New Zealand and Antarctica, scientists hope to learn more about the physics of clouds above the stormy, inhospitable Southern Ocean.

Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act of 2015 passes US Senate
The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) commends the US Senate on passing a House-amended version of the Older Americans Act (OAA) Reauthorization Act of 2015, key legislation to deliver social and protective services to older Americans through 2018.

Scientists discover how Chinese medicinal plant makes anti-cancer compound
New research reveals how a plant used in traditional Chinese medicine produces compounds which may help to treat cancer and liver diseases.

Social peers' death may impact CEO decisions
CEOs alter their strategic decision making after experiencing the death of a social peer, new research suggests.

Cyclodextrin dissolves away cholesterol crystals
Cyclodextrin has been shown in mice to dissolve cholesterol crystals and prevent plaque formation.

Quantum dots enhance light-to-current conversion in layered semiconductors
Scientists combined the excellent light-harvesting properties of quantum dots with the tunable electrical conductivity of a layered tin disulfide semiconductor to produce a hybrid material that exhibited enhanced light-harvesting and energy transfer properties.

Dressed to kill: Tailoring a suit for tumor-penetrating cancer meds
Tiny capsules, called nanoparticles, are now being used to transport chemotherapy medicine to cancerous tumors.

Noviplex device will diagnose and track Zika in the Amazon
Brazilian officials are partnering with University of Nebraska-Lincoln researchers to distribute a device that could speed testing for the Zika virus in remote areas of Brazil.

How the index finger can be fooled
Fingers are a human's most important tactile sensors, but they do not always sense accurately and can even be deceived.

Intracellular recordings using nanotower electrodes
Toyohashi Tech researchers have developed an intracellular recording device, which has > 100-μm-long three-dimensional nanoscale-tipped microneedle-electrodes.

Jon Elster awarded this year's Johan Skytte Prize in Political Science
The Johan Skytte Prize annually recognizes the most valuable contribution to the field of Political Science.

Controlling 'bad cholesterol' production could prevent growth of tumors, study finds
Several studies have recognized a link between obesity and cancer.

Discovery of CTLA-4 in dendritic cells opens new possibilities to fight cancer
CTLA-4 is also produced and secreted by dendritic cells.

Bronchial carcinoma: Added benefit of crizotinib for first-line treatment not proven
In the only study of direct comparison, carboplatin in the control arm was not used in compliance with the Pharmaceutical Directive.

Six-step hand-washing technique found most effective for reducing bacteria
New research demonstrates that the six-step hand-hygiene technique recommended by the World Health Organization is superior to a three-step method suggested by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in reducing bacteria on healthcare workers' hands.

UW-led research team wins $7.5 million MURI grant to defend against advanced cyberattacks
A University of Washington-led research team has won a $7.5 million, five-year Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative grant from the Department of Defense to better model and mount defenses against stealthy, continuous computer hacking attacks known as 'advanced persistent threats.'

Zolav®: A new antibiotic for the treatment of acne
A scientific paper released today in the Journal of Drug Design, Development and Therapy show the effectiveness of Zolav®, a new antibiotic, in treating acne.

The International Liver CongressTM 2016 is less than a week away!
There are only six days to go until The International Liver CongressTM 2016 and media registration is still open!

Pinpointing the effects of fertilizer
Plant biologists at the University of Illinois and Michigan State University have pinpointed the area of genomes within nitrogen-fixing bacteria in roots, called rhizobia, that's being altered when the plant they serve is exposed to nitrogen fertilizer.

Curiosity leads us to seek out unpleasant, painful outcomes
Curiosity is a powerful motivator, leading us to make important discoveries and explore the unknown.

Protective effect of genetically modified cord blood on spinal cord injury in rats
Researchers of Kazan Federal University genetically modified cord blood which managed to increase tissue sparing and numbers of regenerated axons, reduce glial scar formation and promote behavioral recovery when transplanted immediately after a rat contusion spinal cord injury.

Kansas State University joins $317 million research initiative with Department of Defense
A multidisciplinary team from Kansas State University is taking part in a public-private initiative seeking technological revolutions in fibers and textiles.

Physicists discover flaws in superconductor theory
In the Journal of Applied Physics, from AIP Publishing, the researchers describe experiments whose results exhibited 'significant deviations' from those of the Critical State Model.

New assay offers improved detection of deadly prion diseases
Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), or prion diseases, are a family of rare progressive, neurodegenerative illnesses that affect both humans and animals.

Personal data revolution takes first step
A new way of managing personal information set to maximize people's chances of privacy is being developed by computer scientists, led by a researcher at Queen Mary University of London.

A twist on Hanbury Brown -- Twiss interferometry offers new approach for remote sensing
A team from the University of Rochester has shown that fluctuations in 'twisted light' could be exploited for a range of applications, from detecting rotating black holes to object detection by lidar, the light-equivalent of radar.

UB sociologist offers framework to analyze Bernard Madoff's con
A new book by a University at Buffalo sociologist describes the previously unexplored inner workings of Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme that swindled billions of dollars from unsuspecting investors.

Study finds skateboarding sent about 176 youth to US EDs every day
A study examined data for youth and adolescents 5-19 years of age who were treated in US emergency departments (EDs) for skateboarding-related injuries from 1990-2008.

Promising new blood test is first of its kind to detect liver scarring
Newcastle scientists and medics have developed a new type of genetic blood test that diagnoses scarring in the liver -- even before someone may feel ill.

Simultaneous cocaine, alcohol use linked to suicide risk
A new study of hundreds of emergency department visits finds that the links between substance misuse and suicide risk are complex, but that use of cocaine and alcohol together was particularly significant.

Changing monsoon patterns, more rain contribute to lower tea yield in Chinese provinces
Longer monsoon seasons with increased daily rainfall, aspects of climate change, are contributing to reduced tea yield in regions of China, with implications for crop management and harvesting strategies, according to findings by a global interdisciplinary team led by Tufts University researchers and published online today in Climate.

MU receives nearly $20 million to expand program aimed at improving nursing home care
The University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing today announced they have received nearly $20 million in funding from the US Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Medicare &Medicaid Services (CMS) to expand their Missouri Quality Initiative for Nursing Homes.

Body Dysmorphic Disorder symptoms improve, relapse preventable with sustained medication
People with Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) fare better and are less likely to relapse when treated with medication on a long-term basis, according to researchers at Rhode Island Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital.

New discoveries into how an ancient civilization conserved water
High-resolution, aerial imagery bears significance for researchers on the ground investigating how remote, ancient Maya civilizations used and conserved water.

Wearable sweat sensor thanks to battery-free 'water pump' inspired by plants
Plants and trees soak up water in the soil by letting it vaporize through pores in the leaves.

Pivotal inflammatory players revealed in diabetic kidney disease
In a new study, published in the online edition of the journal EBioMedicine, a multi-disciplinary team led by researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine has identified key inflammatory mechanisms underlying type 1 diabetes and obesity-related kidney dysfunction.

Is a popular painkiller hampering our ability to notice errors?
According to a new U of T study acetaminophen could be impeding error-detection in the brain.

HIV agencies yield insights on improving services
A University of Missouri researcher has published two studies after studying collaboration among these types of agencies in Baltimore, a severely HIV-affected city.

New magnetism research brings high-temp superconductivity applications closer
A research team by the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have discovered that only half the atoms in some iron-based superconductors are magnetic, providing the first conclusive demonstration of the wave-like properties of metallic magnetism.

New research from Pear Bureau Northwest
New research from an ongoing study led by Dr. Sarah A.

A key gene in the development of celiac disease has been found in 'junk' DNA
Forty percent of the population carry the main risk factor for celiac disease but only 1 percent go down with it.

Many ICU patients trade critical illness for new illness, ICU-acquired weakness
A new study found that some patients who suffer from muscle weakness six months after ICU discharge demonstrate persistent muscle wasting, even when the biologic functions that commonly cause muscles to atrophy have returned to normal.

Nemmers prizes in economics and mathematics announced
Northwestern University announced that Sir Richard Blundell, the David Ricardo Professor of Political Economy at University College London, is the recipient of the 2016 Erwin Plein Nemmers Prize in Economics, and János Kollár, the Donner Professor of Science and Professor of Mathematics at Princeton University, is the recipient of the 2016 Frederic Esser Nemmers Prize in Mathematics.

Maternal obesity and poor nutrition in the womb impairs fertility in female offspring
New research involving mice, published in the April 2016 issue of The FASEB Journal, suggests that maternal obesity and poor nutrition during pregnancy affects the egg reserves of female offspring.

Scientists to unlock the secrets of DNA sequence
The team -- made up of scientists from the University of Illinois Center for the Physics of Living Cells in the United States, Johns Hopkins University in the United States, and UNIST -- discovered that DNA molecules directly interact with one another based on sequence even in the absence of protein molecules.

A single ion impacts a million water molecules
EPFL researchers have found that water molecules are 10,000 times more sensitive to ions than previously thought.

Novel research lays the groundwork for new therapies against sepsis
Sepsis represents a serious complication of infection and is one of the leading causes of death and critical illness worldwide due in part to the lack of effective therapies.

The Lancet: US doctors report reconstructing new esophagus tissue in a critically ill patient
Writing in The Lancet, US doctors report the first case of a human patient whose severely damaged esophagus was reconstructed using commercially available FDA approved stents and skin tissue.

Novel optogenetic tool
Researchers in Bochum have utilised light-sensitive proteins from nerve cells of the eye -- so-called melanopsins -- to switch on specific signalling pathways in brain cells with high temporal precision.

Clearing the way for real-world applications of superhydrophobic surfaces
In their perspective article in the journal Science, researchers from Aalto University call for consistent and standardized testing of superhydrophobic, i.e. extremely water-repellent, materials.

SwRI-led team identifies clathrate ices in comet 67P
For decades, scientists have agreed that comets are mostly water ice, but what kind of ice -- amorphous or crystalline -- is still up for debate.

Crystal structure of PKG I suggests a new activation mechanism
rotein kinases, most scientists would agree, regulate nearly every aspect of cell life.

Violent video games eventually lose their ability to produce guilt in gamers
Rapidly advancing technology has created ever more realistic video games.

'Marijuana receptor' might hold the key to new fertility treatments for men
In a research report appearing in the April 2016 issue of The FASEB Journal, scientists show that a cannabinoid receptor, called 'CB2,' helps regulate the creation of sperm.

Transcranial direct current stimulation can boost language comprehension
How the human brain processes the words we hear and constructs complex concepts is still somewhat of a mystery to the neuroscience community.

The future is here: Interactive screens on your packages
Instead of reading a label, consumers could be interacting with an electronic screen on packaging in the future, thanks to a revolutionary new development by scientists at the University of Sheffield.

Application of novel alignment-free sequence descriptors in Zika virus characterization
Dr. Basak and his colleagues explained about their research on computer-assisted approaches towards surveillance and consequent design of drugs and vaccines to combat the growth and spread of the Zika virus.

HKU chemists develop new strategy to synthesize molecule
A team of researchers led by Professor Pauline Chiu from Department of Chemistry, the University of Hong Kong, has successfully achieved a formal total synthesis of cortistatin A, a molecule which could help mitigate the growth of cancer tumours.

Restoring ecosystems -- how to learn from our mistakes
In a joint North European and North American study led by Swedish researcher Christer Nilsson, a warning is issued of underdocumented results of ecological restorations. 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