Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 27, 2016
Genomic study tracks African-American dispersal in the Great Migration
An assessment of genomic diversity in the United States of America clarifies the role of pre-Civil War admixture and early 20th century transit routes in shaping the migration history and genomic diversity among African-American communities.

Investors reap greater profits when trading stocks of firms with more connected boards
Companies could benefit from director networks because connected directors might divulge information they heard as members on other boards.

Arctic Ocean methane does not reach the atmosphere
250 methane flares release the climate gas methane from the seabed and into the Arctic Ocean.

Remains of bizarre group of extinct snail-eating Australian marsupials discovered
Fossil remains of a previously unknown family of carnivorous Australian marsupials that lived 15 million years ago have been discovered at the Riversleigh World Heritage Fossil Site in north-western Queensland by a UNSW Australia-led team of researchers.

Faster, more efficient CRISPR editing in mice
Creating transgenic mice, while critical to biomedical research, is laborious and expensive, despite improvements since the advent of CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing.

COHESION: Fighting diseases affecting the world's most vulnerable population
Supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Swiss Development Cooperation, the COHESION project -- which stands for COmmunity HEalth System InnovatiON -- aims to assess the current management of NTDs and NCDs in these countries, to understand its challenges and to develop country-specific interventions, in partnership with local stakeholders and taking into account cultural and gender issues.

Music for the eyes
Having relaxing music played just before eye surgery leads to patients feeling less anxiety and requiring less sedation, concludes a study presented at Euroanaesthesia 2016.

Skin cancer: A team synthesizes new drugs with surprising powers
Finding new, more effective and personalized treatments for cancer is the challenge of many researchers.

Cyborgs closer to becoming a reality of human evolution
Our excitement with and rapid uptake of technology -- and the growing opportunities for artificial brain enhancement -- are putting humans more firmly on the path to becoming cyborgs, according to evolution experts from the University of Adelaide.

3-D model reveals how invisible waves move materials within aquatic ecosystems
Garbage, nutrients and tiny animals are pushed around, suspended in the world's oceans by waves invisible to the naked eye according to a new 3-D model developed by mathematicians at the University of Waterloo.

Organism responsible for paralytic shellfish poisoning may affect fisheries
New research by scientists at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology suggests that ingestion of toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium fundyense changes the energy balance and reproductive potential of Calanus finmarchicus in the North Atlantic, which is key food source for young fishes, including many commercially important species.

Palliative, hospice care lacking among dying cancer patients, Stanford researcher finds
Medical societies, including the American Society of Clinical Oncology, recommend that patients with advanced cancer receive palliative care soon after diagnosis and receive hospice care for at least the last three days of their life.

Blood test supports use of potential new treatment for patients with stomach cancer
Testing cancers for 'addiction' to a gene that boosts cell growth can pick out patients who may respond to a targeted drug under development, a major new study reports.

New compound switches between liquid and solid states when exposed to light or heat
A Kobe University research group has developed a metal-containing compound which transforms into a solid when exposed to light and returns to liquid form when heated.

Study shows tax on plug-in vehicles is not answer to road-funding woes
Given declining revenues from gasoline and diesel fuel taxes and the need for new ways of funding road infrastructure, state and federal policymakers are considering or have enacted annual registration fees for plug-in vehicles.

New survey shows that only one-third of older Americans feel financially prepared for retirement
About a third of Americans age 50 or older expect to outlive their retirement savings, according to a recent survey by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Oncologists from NYP, CUMC and WCMPresent at ASCO Annual Meeting
Oncologists from NewYork-Presbyterian, Columbia University Medical Center and Weill Cornell Medicine will discuss their latest research findings at the American Society for Clinical Oncology annual meeting, June 3-7 in Chicago.

ANKRD55: A new gene involved in Multiple Sclerosis is discovered
The Ikerbasque researcher Koen Vandenbroeck, who heads the Neurogenomiks laboratory which reports to the Achucarro centre and the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country, together with other national and international groups, has shown that a genetic variant in the 5q11 chromosome, which is associated with susceptibility to developing multiple sclerosis, greatly regulates a gene known as ANKRD55.

Fast, stretchy circuits could yield new wave of wearable electronics
A team of University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers has created the world's fastest stretchable, wearable integrated circuits, an advance that could drive the Internet of Things and a much more connected, high-speed wireless world.

Designing acoustic devices using thin materials
Acoustic devices like mufflers and loudspeakers are all around us.

Tasty fat: X-rays finding the blueprint of why fat is yummy
Over three years, a University of Guelph team has brought increasingly complex samples of edible fat to the APS for research.

NASA looks at winds in developing tropical cyclone
The low pressure area located between Bermuda and the Bahamas, designated as System 91L became a little better defined today.

UTA engineer wins Air Force grant to help unmanned vehicle systems work together
Kamesh Subbarao, an associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, has received a three-year, $201,000 grant from the Air Force Research Laboratory to create an algorithm that will allow cooperative control of multiple spacecraft and address uncertainties and time delays in the information received.

Automating DNA origami opens door to many new uses
MIT researchers have developed an algorithm for building DNA nanoparticles automatically, paving the way to many more applications for 'DNA origami.'

Why robin eggs are blue
Testing the hypothesis that blue eggshells (unlike dark colors) both shield the interior from UV radiation and prevent the egg from heating up.

Slithery new species
In July of 2015 a team from Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology discovered a new species of boa during an expedition to a remote corner of the Bahamian Archipelago.

New model of T cell activation
T cell receptors are an important part of the human immune system.

Simple attraction: Researchers control protein release from nanoparticles without encapsulation
A U of T Engineering team has designed a simpler way to keep therapeutic proteins where they are needed for long periods of time.

Worldwide success of Tyrolean wastewater treatment technology
A biological and energy-efficient process, developed and patented by the University of Innsbruck, converts nitrogen compounds in wastewater treatment facilities into harmless atmospheric nitrogen gas.

UH physicist recognized for groundbreaking approach to seismology
A University of Houston physicist has been recognized by the Society of Exploration Geophysicists for pioneering work in extracting useful information from seismic data.

Teenage brain on social media
Teenagers' brains have been scanned while they used social media in a first-of-its-kind UCLA study.

Baby talk words with repeated sounds help infants learn language
Babies find it easier to learn words with repetitive syllables rather than mixed sounds, a study suggests.

Brivaracetam in epilepsy: Added benefit not proven
The indirect comparisons conducted by the drug manufacturer between the new drug and two of ten specified comparator agents were unsuitable for the derivation of an added benefit.

Telling irregularities
The heart rate may be an indicator of a person's life expectancy.

Zika virus infects human placental macrophages
One of Zika's mysteries is how the virus passes from an infected mother, through the placenta, to a developing fetus.

Study finds that protein puts the brakes on melanin
Skin, eye and hair pigmentation requires a delicate balance of acidity within the cellular compartments where melanin is made -- that balance is partly regulated, scientists now know, by a protein called TPC2.

Research reveals that sharks have individual personalities
A new study indicates that sharks of the same species can have different personalities.

Exeter expert leads research to pioneer new type of gel for food and home care
A materials scientist from the University of Exeter has been awarded a substantial research grant to pioneer a new type of gel that can be used in the food and home care industries.

PNNL helps lead national microbiome initiative
Scientists Janet Jansson and Ljiljana Paša-Toli are part of a core group of scientists leading a national effort to understand communities of microorganisms and their role in climate science, food production and human health.

Pharmacist prescribes education as key to curbing opioid abuse
Technologies that make it harder for people to abuse opioids - like doctoring pills so that they produce unpleasant side effects if broken, crushed or injected -- likely will have limited effectiveness in stemming the global epidemic of opioid abuse,

Guarding the gatekeepers
Calcium is a key signalling agent in the information networks of life.

New survey shows that retirement includes work for many older Americans
Departing the workforce entirely and entering retirement at age 65 is no longer a reality for many older people in the United States, according to a recent survey by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Vitamin nicotinamide riboside protects mice from diabetes complications
A naturally occurring vitamin, nicotinamide riboside, can improve metabolic symptoms and prevent peripheral nerve damage in mouse models of diabetes, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Iowa and the Iowa City VA Health Care System.

Restoring chemotherapy sensitivity by boosting microRNA levels
By increasing the level of a specific microRNA (miRNA) molecule, researchers have for the first time restored chemotherapy sensitivity in vitro to a line of human pancreatic cancer cells that had developed resistance to a common treatment drug.

Small talk: Electronic media keeping kids from communicating with parents
It happens in many households. Kids are tapping on their cell phones or are preoccupied by their favorite TV show as their parents ask them a question or want them to do a chore.

How Zika infects the placenta
Zika can infect Hofbauer placental macrophages, and to a lesser degree, cytotrophoblasts.

First-of-its-kind procedure combines scalp, skull, kidney and pancreas transplant
Simultaneous transplantation of a 'composite' skull and scalp flap plus a kidney and pancreas -- all from the same donor--provided excellent outcomes for a patient with a non-healing scalp defect and declining organ kidney and pancreas function, according to a report in the June issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Trouble with parasites? Just migrate!
The researchers developed a model to explore whether combating infection could, in theory, be a potential benefit of migration.

The dying child: Room for improvement in end-of-life care
Many pediatricians and pediatric subspecialists believe that their clinical care extends from treating ill children through end-of-life care.

Appalachian coal ash richest in rare earth elements
The first comprehensive study of the content of rare earth elements in coal ashes from the United States shows that coal originating from the Appalachian Mountains has the highest concentrations of scarce elements like neodymium, europium, terbium, dysprosium, yttrium and erbium that are needed for alternative energy and other technologies.

European Science Foundation presents 40 year archive to the European Union
The 40-year archive of the European Science Foundation has been officially presented to the Historical Archives of the European Union in Florence, Italy.

At the top of their game
Research by a former NCEAS postdoctoral scholar Adrian Stier highlights the factors necessary for successful apex predator recovery.

Spin glass physics with trapped ions
Researchers at ICFO and UB demonstrate how state-of-art quantum simulations with trapped ions can be used to tackle complex computational problems.

Hawk moths have a second nose for evaluating flowers
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany, showed that Manduca sexta hawk moth use their proboscis to smell the floral volatiles when they visit flowers.

Vismodegib in basal cell carcinoma: Added benefit not proven
The drug manufacturer presented no suitable data after expiry of the limitation period.

US military members who report poor sleep were less resilient in recent study
A new study found that military service members who reported insomnia symptoms or short sleep durations were less resilient than members who reported healthy sleep hygiene.

Rethinking hospital alarms
On average, there are about 480,000 patients in hospitals in the US -- each generating about 135 clinical alarms per day.

Study underlines gaps in pregnancy testing before surgery in women of reproductive age
New research presented at this year's Euroanaesthesia congress addresses the importance of discussing potential pregnancy and providing pregnancy testing for women of reproductive age before they undergo surgery, so that harm to mother and baby can be avoided.

DFG approves extension for TU Dresdens 2 Collaborative Research Centresin the fields of
The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) has announced today that the Collaborative Research Centre 940 'Volition and Cognitive Control: Mechanisms, Modulators and Dysfunctions' run by TU Dresden's Department of Psychology will be funded for a further four years.

In wake of Flint crisis, new proposal seeks to 'focus on the fix' for lead poisoning
The crisis of lead-contaminated drinking water in Flint, Mich., continues to make headlines--but it's just the most prominent example of an 'ongoing and needless tragedy of childhood lead poisoning,' according David E.

A new breakthrough in the synthesis of chiral 3,6-Dihydro-2H-pyrans
Bansal and co-workers have recently succeeded in obtaining a series of phenyl substituted 3,6-Dihydro-2H-pyran derivatives in 68 to 95 percent enantiomeric excess.

NUS Engineering team designs novel multi-field invisible sensor
A team of researchers from the National University of Singapore has invented a novel camouflage technique that effectively hides thermal and electronic sensors without compromising performance.

Expert urges voluntary family planning to mitigate climate change
Professor calls for action to tackle the effect of a rapidly growing world population on greenhouse gas production.

Study: Social media use may help identify students at risk of alcohol problems
Research finds that having an 'alcohol identity' puts college students at greater risk of having drinking problems -- and that posting about alcohol use on social media sites is actually a stronger predictor of alcohol problems than having a drink.

Strathclyde study identifies descendants of medieval Scottish king
A DNA sample provided by a businessman has confirmed him as a descendant of a medieval king of Scotland.

Fungi -- a promising source of chemical diversity
The fungus Aspergillus fumigatus produces a group of previously unknown natural products.

Predicting the spread of the Zika virus
A new tool by Japan-based researchers predicts the risk of Zika virus importation and local transmission for 189 countries.

Journal of Dairy Science announces 2 new article collections
Free article collections on stocking density for dairy cattle and lactic acid bacteria are now available from the Journal of Dairy Science as a service to the dairy science community.

Imaging study shows promising results for patients with schizophrenia
A team of scientists from across the globe have shown that the brains of patients with schizophrenia have the capacity to reorganize and fight the illness.

Forest Biotechnologist of the Year from northern Sweden
Stefan Jansson, a professor at Umeå University in northern Sweden has been appointed 2015 Forest Biotechnologist of the Year by the Institute of Forest Biosciences. 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