Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 13, 2016
New microbiome center to combine UChicago, Marine Biological Laboratory, Argonne expertise
The University of Chicago, the Marine Biological Laboratory, and the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory announced today a new partnership called The Microbiome Center that will combine the three institutions' efforts to understand the identity and function of microbes across environments.

Wildfires: More people, less fires
Every year, about 350 million hectares of land are devastated by fires worldwide, this corresponds to about the size of India.

Gene therapy against brain cancer
A team from the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) in Trieste has obtained very promising results by applying gene therapy to glioblastoma.

Conservation laws need reshaping to protect sea turtles, research finds
An illegal trade in marine turtles is continuing despite legislation and conservation awareness campaigns, a pioneering study has shown.

UM researchers earn $1.4 million grant to study biomass
University of Montana forestry Professor Beth Dodson is the project director of a grant recently funded for $1.4 million from the US Department of Agriculture and US Department of Energy's Biomass Research and Development Initiative.

CHEST: On the front lines of pulmonary and critical care in China
The American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST) has been working on the ground for nearly five years in China to prepare physicians in the first-ever government-recognized medical subspecialty in China in the area of pulmonary and critical care medicine.

Study finds nationality is not a good indicator of work-related cultural values
Researchers and businesses have often operated under the idea that work-related cultural values are defined by country -- just think of stereotypes about countries that are known to have hard workers or are team-oriented.

Psychology: The power of expectations
'You are much less sensitive to pain than others!' People who are told so endure pain better afterwards.

Noninvasive monitor assesses patients' response to painful stimulation during surgery
A novel measure for assessing the body's response to surgery may allow for better anesthesia management in the O.R., less pain when regaining consciousness from anesthesia and better postoperative outcomes.

Novel insight into interaction between discharge plasma and cells via TRP channel
Researchers have discovered that the short-lived reactive species generated by plasma can enhance the calcium ion influx into cells.

Steps that lead to genes being switched on revealed in atomic simulation
Researchers have modelled every atom in a key part of the process for switching on genes, revealing a whole new area for potential drug targets.

Under Pressure: New technique could make large, flexible solar panels more feasible
A new, high-pressure technique may allow the production of huge sheets of thin-film silicon semiconductors at low temperatures in simple reactors at a fraction of the size and cost of current technology.

Genetic biomarker may predict nerve pain side effects associated with prostate cancer treatment
Taxanes are a group of drugs commonly used to treat cancers of the breast, lung, ovary, or prostate, but its use can be limited by significant side effects.

Beware of microbial traffic jams
Grains of sand in an hourglass or candy in a gumball machine often jam up, and physicists have studied this granular flow for decades.

Neuroscientists discover new learning rule for pattern completion
'Fire together, wire together' is the famous abridged version of the Hebbian rule.

UW researchers unleash graphene 'tiger' for more efficient optoelectronics
In traditional light-harvesting methods, energy from one photon only excites one electron or none depending on the absorber's energy gap.

ASU, White House to investigate mysteries of the microbiome
The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) announced today a new National Microbiome Initiative (NMI) to foster the integrated study of microbiomes across different ecosystems.

Research finds more EMS calls in areas with lots of licensed alcohol establishments
Researchers found a 7.8 times higher risk of ambulance calls for patients with trauma in areas with the highest density of bars and restaurants licensed to serve alcohol, compared to a low density of such establishments.

Gene mutation patterns in melanoma vary from North to South in New Zealand
Melanomas in patients from New Zealand's South Island are significantly more likely than those of North Islanders to carry a gene mutation that has implications for mutation-targeted drug therapies and for patient outcomes, new University of Otago-led research suggests.

UC College of Medicine researcher receives $1.7 million grant to study cardiac hypertrophy
A new $1.7 million National Institutes of Health grant will help University of Cincinnati researchers continue their investigation of the protein Human Antigen R and its possible role in cardiovascular disease, with the ultimate goal of translating this research to improve human health.

Mayo Clinic joins the National Microbiome Initiative
The Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine joined the National Microbiome Initiative sponsored by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Arterial switch to 12 o'clock associated with reduced coronary reserve in adolescence
Arterial switch to the 12 o'clock position is associated with abnormal coronary perfusion in adolescence, reveals research presented today at EuroCMR 2016.1 Babies born with transposition of the great arteries undergo the arterial switch operation in the first days of life.

Proton-conducting material found in electrosensory organs of sharks
Sharks, skates, and rays can detect very weak electric fields produced by prey and other animals using an array of unusual organs known as the ampullae of Lorenzini.

Clarifying the role of CHOP/GADD153 in cell death
In the May 2016 Nature Communications, investigators at the Medical University of South Carolina report that CHOP/GADD153-dependent apoptosis is mediated by the micro-RNA miR-216b.

Omega-3 lowers childhood aggression in short term, Penn research shows
Consuming omega-3 initially improves a child's aggressive behavior, according to University of Pennsylvania researchers Adrian Raine and Therese Richmond, but the effects eventually vanish.

96th American Association of Thoracic Surgery Annual Meeting
96th AATS Annual Meeting at a glance along with links to featured presentations.

Carbon capture is substantial in secondary tropical forests
One of the most effective methods for capturing carbon from the atmosphere in the tropics of Latin America -- allowing secondary forests to regenerate on their own -- is overlooked by global climate change policies.

Ancient Irish musical history found in modern India
An archaeologist studying musical horns from iron-age Ireland has found musical traditions, thought to be long dead, are alive and well in south India.

New ice age knowledge
An international team of researchers headed by scientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute has gained new insights into the carbon dioxide exchange between ocean and atmosphere, thus making a significant contribution to solving one of the great scientific mysteries of the ice ages.

The granite of Sierra de Guadarrama requests designation of origin
The Prado Museum and The monastery of El Escorial are some of the monuments built with berroqueña stone, the traditional name of the high-quality Madrid granites which are also used in airports, for example Athens, and modern shopping centers around the world such as China.

Evaluating animal threats and human intentions uses common brain network
Assessing whether a fluffy bunny or a giant spider poses a threat to our safety happens automatically.

Penn study shows high retention rate for IUDs inserted after vaginal delivery
Though some studies have suggested intrauterine devices (IUDs) have a tendency to be expelled when inserted immediately following vaginal childbirth, a new study shows that at least 85 percent of these devices placed after delivery are still in place six weeks later.

Myocardial fibrosis identified as new therapeutic target
Myocardial fibrosis could be a future therapeutic target after researchers found it correlated with adverse cardiovascular outcomes in patients with obstructive sleep apnoea referred for cardiac magnetic resonance.

UC San Diego to participate in White House's National Microbiome Initiative
On May 13, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) announced a new National Microbiome Initiative, a coordinated effort to better understand microbiomes and to develop tools to protect and restore healthy microbiome function.

The Lancet Respiratory Medicine: US patients face significant barriers in accessing adequate care for chronic lung disease
Despite being the third leading cause of death in the USA, people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (lung disease) face significant challenges in accessing care, with treatment costs remaining out of reach for many, and hospitals failing to provide recommended standards of care, according to a new report commissioned by The Lancet Respiratory Medicine journal, presented at the American Thoracic Society conference in San Francisco.

Genetic history of the 'ship of the desert' revealed
A unique and pioneering study of the ancient and modern DNA of the 'ship of the desert' -- the single humped camel or dromedary -- has shed new light on how its use by human societies has shaped its genetic diversity.

Uncovering the secrets of Arctic seabird colonies
Seabirds nest by the hundreds of thousands in colonies along the Norwegian coast.

Florida archaeological site yields clues to early civilization in southeast US
The discovery of stone tools alongside mastodon bones in a Florida river shows that humans settled the southeastern United States as much as 1,500 years earlier than scientists previously believed, according to a research team led by a Florida State University professor.

Findings expand potential of cancer drug
New research from the Canadian Cancer Trials Group has discovered that a new subset of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer could benefit from taking the drug cetuximab.

Researchers determine the best strategy for preventing ulcers when taking NSAIDs
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) -- including ibuprofen, diclofenac, naproxen and others -- are commonly used pain medications that are generally safe but may increase the risk of developing stomach and intestinal ulcers.

Coral stress test found in the genes
Unique sections of coral DNA can indicate a higher tolerance to environmental stress, researchers have revealed for the first time.

2016 Passano Award recognizes cholesterol research by UTSW geneticists Hobbs, Cohen
UT Southwestern Medical Center geneticists Dr. Jonathan Cohen and Dr.

This 'nanocavity' may improve ultrathin solar panels, video cameras and more
Recently, engineers placed a single layer of MoS2 molecules on top of a photonic structure called an optical nanocavity made of aluminum oxide and aluminum.

New studies reveal Italian cheese, alcohol, and sleep impact blood pressure
High blood pressure, or hypertension, affects one-third -- or 70 million -- US adults.

Retreat of the ice followed by millennia of methane release
Methane was seeping from the seafloor for thousands of years following the retreat of the Barents Sea ice sheet, shows a groundbreaking new study in Nature Communications.

Can a smartphone application help treat anxiety and depression?
In a joint project between the universities of Liverpool and Manchester researchers have examined the initial trial of a smartphone application designed to help people manage their problems.

New findings explain the connection between melatonin and type 2 diabetes
A new experimental and clinical study from Lund University in Sweden shows that the sleep hormone melatonin impairs insulin secretion in people with a common gene variant.

2016 NIH Addiction Science Awards announced at ISEF
A project showing how negative attitudes about stress impact key factors that influence vulnerability to addiction, including sleep, emotion and cognition, won a first place Addiction Science Award at the 2016 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) -- the world's largest science competition for high school students.

American Cancer Society report assesses progress against goals set for nation
A new report assesses how the nation fared against the ambitious challenge goal set by the American Cancer Society to reduce the cancer death rates by 50 percent over 25 years ending in 2015.

Study reveals effectiveness of text message-based remote monitoring for postpartum hypertension
Text messaging could hold the key to identifying postpartum women at-risk for developing potentially life-threatening complications resulting from preeclampsia, according to a new study from researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

A global edge: Chief of Naval Research to moderate International Naval S&T Panel
Military leaders from across the globe will meet in a public forum to discuss the critical importance of science and technology for naval forces -- and to analyze where future international S&T collaborations might take place.

ORNL exclusively licenses carbon fiber processing inventions to RMX Technologies
RMX Technologies and Oak Ridge National Laboratory have signed an exclusive licensing agreement for a new technology that dramatically reduces the time and energy needed in the production of carbon fiber.

UTA scientists use advanced astronomical software to date 2,500 year-old lyric poem
Physicists and astronomers from the University of Texas at Arlington have used advanced astronomical software to accurately date lyric poet Sappho's 'Midnight Poem,' which describes the night sky over Greece more than 2,500 years ago.

Possums in New Zealand prefer leaves high in available protein
Researchers at the Australian National University have found possums in New Zealand prefer to eat leaves high in available protein, giving authorities new evidence to help them limit possum damage to New Zealand's forests.

Patients with celiac disease should receive pneumonia vaccine
Researchers have found that patients with celiac disease are at high risk of acquiring pneumonia if they haven't received the pneumococcal vaccine.

Girls from progressive societies do better at math, study finds
Researchers find that the performance gap between girls and boys is far less pronounced in societies that hold progressive and egalitarian views about the role of women.

Attosecond physics: Using laser pulses to direct protons
Using ultrashort laser pulses an international team at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet in Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics has managed to manipulate the positions of atoms in hydrocarbon molecules in a targeted fashion.

Physicists measure van der Waals forces of individual atoms for the first time
Physicists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute and the University of Basel have succeeded in measuring the very weak van der Waals forces between individual atoms for the first time.

Louisiana Tech University students present research at Senior Projects Conference
Senior class students from Louisiana Tech University's College of Engineering and Science showcased their research and innovative solutions to real-world problems at the College of Engineering and Science Senior Projects Conference held recently on the Louisiana Tech campus.

Bioengineered blood vessel is safe for dialysis patients, study finds
A Yale scientist collaborated with researchers at Duke University and surgeons in Poland and the United States to create bioengineered blood vessels for kidney-disease patients on dialysis.

Using precision-genetics in pigs to beat cancer
Because of their similarities to people, using new technology in pigs turn up as a valuable alternative to rodent models of cancer.

New cardiac imaging technique improves accuracy by removing need to breathe
A new technique for cardiac magnetic resonance imaging improves accuracy by removing patients' need to breathe, reveals research presented today at EuroCMR 2016 by Professor Juerg Schwitter, director of the Cardiac MR Centre at the University Hospital Lausanne, Switzerland.

Is a written asthma action plan for children necessary?
Parents of children with asthma need ongoing education and guidance on this chronic condition and how to prevent and manage symptoms, but does a written asthma action plan improve outcomes more than ongoing asthma education?

New evidence that humans settled in southeastern US far earlier than previously believed
The discovery of stone tools found in a Florida river show that humans settled the southeastern United States far earlier than previously believed -- perhaps by as much as 1,500 years, according to a team of scientists that includes a University of Michigan paleontologist.

Hubble spies a spiral snowflake
Together with irregular galaxies, spiral galaxies make up approximately 60 percent of the galaxies in the local universe.

Researchers find blood marker that determines who will respond to colorectal cancer drug
Cancer researchers have identified a marker that shows up in a blood test that determines which patients with colorectal cancer that has spread would benefit from receiving the drug cetuximab.

'OB Nest': A novel approach to prenatal care
'OB Nest': Just the name may bring warm feelings to parents and prospective parents.

When selling good karma goes bad
A new study by researchers from the University of California, Riverside and the University of Louisville has examined how consumers' beliefs about karma influence their responses to charitable appeals in advertising.

The gluten-free diet in children: Do the risks outweigh the benefits?
The prevalence of celiac disease (CD), an autoimmune disease, is increasing.

Another reason for wine lovers to toast resveratrol
Red wine lovers have a new reason to celebrate. Researchers have found a new health benefit of resveratrol, which occurs naturally in blueberries, raspberries, mulberries, grape skins and consequently in red wine.

A better hologram for fraud protection and wearable optics
Researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences have programmed polarization into compact holograms.

Rapid eye movement sleep: Keystone of memory formation
For decades, scientists have fiercely debated whether rapid eye movement sleep -- the phase where dreams appear -- is directly involved in memory formation.

Study: Symptoms of 'chronic multisymptom illness' may be common in Iraq, Afghanistan vets
In a study of more than 300 soldiers who had deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, a majority reported symptoms consistent with 'chronic multisymptom illness' -- a diagnosis that up till now has been associated mainly with Gulf War service.

Berkeley Lab participates in new National Microbiome Initiative
The initiative will advance the understanding of microbiome behavior and enable the protection of healthy microbiomes, which are communities of microorganisms that live on and in people, plants, soil, oceans, and the atmosphere.

Natural regeneration of tropical forests reaps benefits
Research shows that natural forest regrowth in Latin America plays major role in climate mitigation and carbon sequestration.

Prenatal stress could enhance protective mechanisms of babies
Maternal stress and depression during pregnancy may activate certain protective mechanisms in babies. 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