Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 29, 2016
UTA biologists study imperiled lizard in Texas and Mexico to develop conservation plan
University of Texas at Arlington biologists are studying a species of lizard found in parts of Texas and northeastern Mexico to find out why the reptile's numbers have been dwindling dramatically.

Cancer drug may treat sepsis, other uncontrollable immune responses to infection
Results from laboratory experiments and mouse studies suggest that small doses of drugs from a specific class of approved cancer medications called topoisomerase 1 (top1) inhibitors may protect against the overwhelming immune response to infection that sometimes leads to sepsis, a bacterial condition that kills as many as 500,000 people in the United States each year.

Trauma in a bee
Twisted-winged parasites of the species Stylops ovinae reproduce using so-called traumatic insemination.

Forming fogbows: Study finds limit on evaporation to ice sheets, but that may change
Although the coastal regions of the Greenland Ice Sheet are experiencing rapid melting, a significant portion of the interior of that ice sheet has remained stable -- but a new study suggests that stability may not continue.

VIB/UGent researchers use viral particles to trap intact mammalian protein complexes
Belgian scientists from VIB and UGent developed Virotrap, a viral particle sorting approach for purifying protein complexes under native conditions.

Press registration now open for ICHEP 2016, in Chicago
Registration for the 38th International Conference on High Energy Physics, which will take place Aug.

Exposure to particulate air pollutants associated with numerous cancers
Researchers have found that long-term exposure to environmental pollutants was associated with increased risk of mortality for many types of cancer in an elderly Hong Kong population.

Screening method uncovers drugs that may combat deadly antibiotic-resistant bacteria
In recent years, hospitals have reported dramatic increases in the number of cases of the highly contagious, difficult-to-treat, and often deadly antibiotic-resistant bacteria carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae.

ErgoX 2016: Practical, evidence-based solutions from leading ergonomics experts
ErgoX 2016: An Extraordinary Ergonomics Event is an interactive two-day conference providing ergonomists and safety specialists with practical, usable, and impactful solutions to workplace issues in a wide range of office and industrial settings.

CNIC researchers identify a new signaling mechanism implicated in congenital aortic valve disease
The research team has demonstrated the essential role of genes encoding components of the NOTCH signaling pathway in the development of the heart valves.

Birds of prey constrained in the beak evolution race
How birds' beaks evolved characteristic shapes to eat different food is a classic example of evolution by natural selection.

Don't retweet if you want to remember
Research at Cornell University and Beijing University finds retweeting or otherwise sharing information creates a 'cognitive overload' that interferes with learning and retaining what you've just seen.

Evidence points to widespread loss of ocean oxygen by 2030s
Climate change has caused a drop in the amount of oxygen dissolved in the oceans in some parts of the world, and those effects should become evident across large parts of the ocean between 2030 and 2040, according to a new study led by researchers at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado.

Experts link up to improve South Asia's potatoes
The International Potato Center, global seed potato company HZPC and the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture have announced a new partnership.

Good long-term quality of life after 'DIEP flap' breast reconstruction
For women who have undergone mastectomy for breast cancer, breast reconstruction using the abdominal 'DIEP flap' provides good long-term quality of life (QOL) -- similar to that of women without breast cancer, reports a study in the May issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

HPV infection can be identified in self-collected vaginal swabs
High risk, potentially cancer causing human papillomavirus infections are common among women in Papua New Guinea.

Mechanism discovered for plants to regulate their flowering in a warming world
Monash researchers have discovered a new mechanism that enables plants to regulate their flowering in response to raised temperatures.

In older adults, frailty and depression symptoms are linked and can affect spouses
Researchers writing in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society examined the effects of frailty and depression on married couples.

Clay nanotube-biopolymer composite scaffolds for tissue engineering
Scientists of Bionanotechnology Lab, Kazan Federal University, combined three biopolymers, chitosan and agarose (polysaccharides), and a protein gelatine, as the materials to produce tissue engineering scaffolds and demonstrated the enhancement of mechanical strength (doubled pick load), higher water uptake and thermal properties in chitosan-gelatine-agarose hydrogels doped with halloysite.

Light-powered 3-D printer creates terahertz lens
Created from a 3-D printed metamaterial, the new lens could be used for biomedical research and security imaging.

Save urban bees
Nature lovers and green-fingered enthusiasts are urged to plant bee-friendly flowers to help ailing pollinator populations and to attract one of the many hundreds of bees due to be released later this summer from the rooftops of Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) in a competition launched by the London Pollinator Project.

Finding sheds light on what may kill neurons after stroke
Strokes, seizures, traumatic brain injury and schizophrenia: these conditions can cause persistent, widespread acidity around neurons in the brain.

Stansfield honored by Southern Society for Pediatric Research
Dr. Brian K. Stansfield, neonatologist at Children's Hospital of Georgia and a 2004 graduate of the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, has received the 2016 Clinical Science Young Investigator Award from the Southern Society for Pediatric Research.

What lies beneath West Antarctica?
Three recent publications by early career researchers at three different institutions across the country provide the first look into the biogeochemistry, geophysics and geology of Subglacial Lake Whillans, which lies 800 meters (2,600 feet) beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

Unique fragment from Earth's formation returns after billions of years in cold storage
Astronomers have found a unique object that appears to be made of inner solar system material from the time of Earth's formation, billions of years ago.

New data improve techniques for determining whether a jaw bone comes from a man or woman
The scientific breakthrough, carried out by researchers at UGR and the Spanish National Research Council, is of great significance to the field of biological anthropology.

Newly discovered baby Titanosaur sheds light on dinosaurs' early lives
Long-necked sauropod dinosaurs include the largest animals ever to walk on land, but they hatched from eggs no bigger than a soccer ball.

Nanoparticles present sustainable way to grow food crops
Engineers at Washington University in St. Louis are using nanoparticle technology in an effort to meet the ever-increasing demand for food.

The Lancet Psychiatry: Depression symptoms that steadily increase in later life predict higher dementia risk, study shows
Depression symptoms that steadily increase in older adults are more strongly linked to dementia than any other types of depression, and may indicate the early stages of the disease, according to the first ever long-term study to examine the link between dementia and the course of depression, published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal.

Scientists discover oral sexual encounters in spiders
Researchers from Slovenia have discovered oral sexual encounters in a spider, and have published their findings on April 29, 2016 in the journal Scientific Reports.

Insulating layer of air above the Greenland ice sheet reduces precipitation
A warmer climate usually also means that there is more precipitation, but there has been no increase in the amount of precipitation on the Greenland ice sheet.

Ebola virus genome provides clues to repeated disease 'flare-ups' in Western Africa
Ebola virus samples taken from Liberian patients in June 2015 are genetically similar to other Ebola virus sequences from Western Africa, according to research published today in Science Advances.

Hormone and neurotransmitter systems disturbed in alcoholics' brains
The brain tissue of persons with alcohol dependence shows a variety of changes compared to non-alcoholic control persons.

Cooling graphene-based film close to pilot-scale production
Heat dissipation in electronics and optoelectronics is a severe bottleneck in the further development of systems in these fields.

'Machine learning' may contribute to new advances in plastic surgery
With an ever-increasing volume of electronic data being collected by the healthcare system, researchers are exploring the use of machine learning -- a subfield of artificial intelligence -- to improve medical care and patient outcomes.

Salts in the brain control our sleep-wake cycle
Danish research is behind a new epoch-making discovery, which may prove decisive to future brain research.

NIH creates Atlas of Human Malformation Syndromes in Diverse Populations
NHGRI researchers have collaborated with physicians and medical geneticists around the world to create the first Atlas of Human Malformation Syndromes in Diverse Populations.

Scientists map brain's 'thesaurus' to help decode inner thoughts
What if a map of the brain could help us decode people's inner thoughts?

Families, doctors, advocates urgently seeking answers in epilepsy deaths
One in 26 Americans will develop epilepsy over the course of a lifetime.

Failure to publish trial results exposes patients to risks without providing benefits
Although the publication of results of clinical trials carried out in the USA within 12 months of their completion has been mandatory since 2007, an astoundingly high number of Phase III radiotherapy trials did not do so, according to new research to be presented at the ESTRO 35 conference.

NASA's Fermi Telescope helps link cosmic neutrino to blazar blast
Nearly 10 billion years ago, the black hole at the center of a galaxy known as PKS B1424-418 produced a powerful outburst.

Surgery for chronic temporal headaches -- simplified approach shows good results
A modified surgical technique may provide a simpler approach to the surgical treatment for one type of chronic headache, according to an 'Ideas and Innovations' paper in the May issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

Lower weight, diabetes, and heart disease can worsen quality of life for frail older women
Researchers writing in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society recently learned that older women who are frail, and who have six or more chronic health conditions, are twice as likely to have a lower quality of life compared to women with less than three risk factors.

Professor Alison Smith elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society
John Innes Centre Programme Leader, Professor Alison Smith, has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society.

The big deal about big data
Addressing research methods surrounding big data and what it could mean for public policy, SAGE is hosting 'The big deal about big data: Improving national security and public policy decision making,' a lecture by Dr.

The gut microbiomes of infants have an impact on autoimmunity
By looking at the gut microbiomes of infants from three different countries, the team uncovered evidence that not only supports the hygiene hypothesis, but also points to interactions among bacterial species that may account, at least in part, for the spike in immune disorders seen in western societies.

Why can't a woman play tennis like a man?
The set-level analysis indicates that physical power, not competitiveness, is responsible for the different number of games per set.

Salt-inducible kinases may have therapeutic potential for autoimmune diseases
A new research report appearing in the May 2016 issue of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, suggests that specific enzymes, called 'salt-inducible kinases,' may be able to help curb runaway inflammation associated with autoimmune diseases like Crohn's disease, arthritis, and psoriasis.

Exposure to particulate air pollutants associated with numerous types of cancer
Long-term exposure to ambient fine particulate matter, a mixture of environmental pollutants, was associated with increased risk of mortality for many types of cancer in an elderly Hong Kong population.

Professor Jack Cuzick elected as Fellow of the Royal Society
Professor Jack Cuzick from Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) has been elected as a new Fellow of the Royal Society.

UC San Diego bioengineers create first online search engine for functional genomics data
University of California San Diego bioengineers have created what they believe to be the first online search engine for functional genomics data.

Are new therapies for Crohn's disease and chronic pancreatitis on the horizon?
Two new studies from CMGH offer insight into new interventions for Crohn's disease and chronic pancreatitis.

New literature review assesses benefits of stem cells for treating spinal cord injuries
Stem cell therapy is a rapidly evolving and promising treatment for spinal-cord injuries.

Spintronics for future information technologies
An international team headed by HZB researcher Jaime Sánchez-Barriga has shown how spin-polarised currents can be initiated in a controlled manner within samples of topological insulator material.

Is breast conserving therapy or mastectomy better for early breast cancer?
Young women with early breast cancer face a difficult choice about whether to opt for a mastectomy or breast conserving therapy (BCT).

Using oxygen to sterilize medical implants could save time and money
International researchers led by the University of Bath have demonstrated a cheap, effective and environmentally friendly way to sterilize medical implants without changing their properties, in contrast to some techniques. 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