Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 03, 2016
Study reveals how interaction between neural networks changes during working memory
Investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital have found that dopamine signaling within the cerebral cortex can predict changes in the extent of communication between key brain networks during working memory.

Research into building walls based on the 'Lego principle' wins international prize
Scientists at the University of Luxembourg have developed new masonry elements for the construction of mortarless walls.

Cobimetinib in advanced melanoma with BRAF V600 mutation: Added benefit now considerable
Further advantages of the drug in comparison with the comparator therapy resulted from the analyses subsequently submitted by the drug manufacturer in the commenting procedure.

BluePen Biomarkers announces collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania has co-founded and structured BluePen Biomarkers in collaboration with BluePrint Bio, Inc. and Emerald Logic, Inc. to conduct biomarker research and identification.

When it comes to making patients safer, is a hospital's 'safety culture' that important?
If you work in a hospital these days, you've probably gotten the invitation: Take a survey about how well you, your team and your hospital do at protecting patients from harm, and how empowered you feel to do the right thing.

PTSD may negatively affect sex life satisfaction in male and female veterans
New research reveals that posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was a strong, negative predictor of sexual satisfaction in both male and female veterans who returned from warzones in recent Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.

Mechanisms of persistent infection for the human T-cell leukemia virus
Joint research between scientists from Kumamoto University, Japan and Imperial College London, UK has revealed the mechanisms of persistent latent infection of the human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1).

Social adversity early in life may affect the expression of stress-related genes
New research suggests that early severe social deprivation may impact DNA modifications that affect the expression of stress-related genes.

Students experience 'NASA Satellites 101'
Astronauts aren't the only ones who get to use NASA technology.

Study of first procedure-free gastric balloon shows they are safe and lead to similar weight loss as other balloon procedures
New research on the first procedure-free gastric balloon, presented at this year's European Obesity Summit in Gothenburg, Sweden (June 1-4) shows it is safe and results in similar weight loss to other balloon procedures that use endoscopy.

Crowds of crows spread C. jejuni: Are humans vulnerable?
Large, highly concentrated populations of crows can easily spread disease -- not only amongst their own species, but quite possibly to humans, either via livestock, or directly.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Kent State & Cleveland Metroparks launch learning app
Educators, scientists, and technologists from the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Kent State University and Cleveland Metroparks have partnered to develop a new learning app that is now live and freely available on iTunes.

Promising treatment prospects for invasive breast cancer
Scientists from the University of Zurich have been able to understand for the first time why many cancer cells adapt relatively quickly to the treatment with therapeutic antibodies in invasive forms of breast cancer.

Snails reveal how 2 brain cells can hold the key to decision making
Scientists at the University of Sussex have discovered how just two neurons in the brain hold the key to explaining how complex behavioral decisions are made.

Meaningful work not created -- only destroyed -- by bosses, study finds
Bosses play no role in fostering a sense of meaningfulness at work -- but they do have the capacity to destroy it and should stay out of the way, new research shows.

Winston-Salem Surgeon Louis C. Argenta, MD, FACS, receives 2016 Jacobson Innovation Award
Louis C. Argenta, MD, FACS, received the 2016 Jacobson Innovation Award of the American College of Surgeons at a dinner held in his honor this evening in Chicago, Ill.

NASA satellite sees heavy rain in tropical depression Bonnie
The Global Precipitation Measurement mission known as GPM passed over Tropical Depression Bonnie and found heavy rainfall from a few thunderstorms within.

New alloy promises to boost rare earth production while improving engine efficiency
Researchers have developed aluminum alloys that are both easier to work with and more heat tolerant than existing products.

Majority of medical marijuana users benefit from treatment, according to Ben-Gurion U. study
Users reported in later interviews that their pain, nausea, anxiety, appetite, and general feeling had improved.

Psychopathy need not be a disadvantage
Persons with high psychopathy values are egotistic, scheming, and sabotage their colleagues unscrupulously to look better themselves.

Empagliflozin, alone or in combination, in type 2 diabetes: Added benefit again not proven
The dossiers had the same weaknesses as in 2014. Data from the large study EMPA-REG-Outcome additionally submitted were unsuitable for an assessment of the added benefit in Germany.

Investigational immunotherapy drug shrinks tumors in high-risk neuroblastoma patients
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital investigators report promising preliminary results at the annual meeting of ASCO for an experimental monoclonal antibody when combined with chemotherapy for newly diagnosed patients.

Gene circuits in live cells can perform complex computations
MIT researchers have developed a technique to integrate both analogue and digital computation in living cells, allowing them to form gene circuits capable of carrying out complex processing operations.

Skyrmions à la carte
Magnetic vortices -- so-called skyrmions -- are presently being discussed as candidates for high density, energy-saving data storage and processing.

Finding connections to nature in cities is key to healthy urban living
The authors of a Science perspective piece discuss the growing tension between an arguably necessary role urban areas play in society and the numbing, even debilitating, aspects of cities that disconnect humans from the natural world.

Males were saved by agriculture
The emergence of agriculture is suggested to have driven extensive human population growth.

Squeezing out opal-like colors by the mile
Researchers have devised a new method for stacking microscopic marbles into regular layers, producing intriguing materials which scatter light into intense colors, and which change color when twisted or stretched.

Recipe for a competitive economy in the developing world
New members of the Global Science & Innovation Advisory Council help Malaysia progress towards developed country status in unique 'kitchen cabinet.' New member Hayat Sindi details trailblazing 'Institute for Imagination and Ingenuity' in Saudi Arabia, opening doors for innovators and entrepreneurs.

Giving chemotherapy after radiotherapy improves survival for patients with rare brain tumour
GIVING chemotherapy after radiotherapy delays further growth of a rare type of brain tumour, increasing the number of patients alive at five years from 44 per cent to 56 per cent.

Diabetes drug metformin holds promise for cancer treatment and prevention
Use of Metformin -- commonly used as the front-line treatment for type 2 diabetes -- improves survival for some breast cancer patients, and shows promise as a treatment for patients diagnosed with endometrial hyperplasia, according to the results of two new studies presented by researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting.

Constructing shale gas sites
Extracting gas from shale rock not only causes environmental disturbances below ground, the surface infrastructure required to drill the wells can cause a variety of problems above ground, from fragmenting fragile habitats, eroding soil, degrading freshwater systems and displacing rare species.

CTCA Western clinical research director authors five innovative studies presented at ASCO
Advances in lung cancer, ovarian cancer and new immunotherapy treatments are among the scientific studies presented this year at ASCO by Dr.

Dartmouth team makes breakthrough toward fish-free aquaculture feed
Dartmouth College scientists have discovered that marine microalgae can completely replace the wild fish oil currently used to feed tilapia, the second most farmed fish in the world and the most widely farmed in the United States.

Ramucirumab in colorectal and lung cancer: Partly added benefit, partly lesser benefit
There were effect modifications in both new therapeutic indications: Depending on sex or age, advantages or disadvantages predominate.

Advances in deep learning to be presented at ISFA-Columbia University workshop in Lyon
Insilico Medicine scientists will present the advances in deep learning in biomedicine at the ISFA-Columbia University Actuarial Science Workshop on June 27th and 28th in Lyon, France.

Cancer patients miss appointments, prescriptions due to inability to afford care
A study led by University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers found that more than one-in-four cancer patients had to pay more for medical care than they could afford, and 18 percent of those patients said they were unable to afford prescription medications.

The therapeutic antibody eculizumab caught in action
In collaboration with Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., scientists from Aarhus University have used X-rays to understand how the therapeutic antibody eculizumab prevents our immune system from destroying red blood cells and damaging kidney tissue.

Graphene-based transparent electrodes for highly efficient flexible OLEDS
A Korean research team led by Professor Seunghyup Yoo from the School of Electrical Engineering, KAIST and Professor Tae-Woo Lee from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) has developed highly flexible OLEDs with excellent efficiency by using graphene as a transparent electrode (TE) which is placed in between titanium dioxide (TiO2) and conducting polymer layers.

Anti-DNA antibody prefers damaged dsDNA over native
The researchers of Kazan Federal University, Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, and the University of Pennsylvania ?onducted a study of structural mechanisms of an antigen recognition and interaction of anti-DNA antibodies which provides a basis for understanding the role of DNA-containing immune complexes in human pathologies and for new treatments.

Repairing chronic wounds
Chronic wounds cause nearly 80,000 lower leg amputations annually in the US alone and are associated with an increased likelihood of death.

Obesity continues to increase in Sweden, even in the last few years
Sweden, the country hosting this year's European Obesity Summit in Gothenburg (1-4 June) has always been associated with good health indicators.

Bacteria found in female upper reproductive tract, once thought sterile
In a preliminary finding (abstract 5568) presented Monday, June 6, at the 2016 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting in Chicago, researchers revealed they have found bacteria in the ovaries and in the fallopian tubes.

Overweight very young children consume larger meals, say data from UK survey
Data from a large UK survey on the eating habits of very young children (aged 4-18 months) show that overweight children consume larger meals, but do not eat more frequently, than healthy weight children.

Latest Penn studies of personalized cell therapies define optimal doses
More precise dosing methods and cellular engineering techniques show promise in the effort to improve treatment of aggressive cancers with personalized cellular therapies, according to new studies from researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine and the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania and The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia which will be presented during the 2016 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting.

UTSW study shows Zika virus directly infects brain cells and evades immune system detection
The mosquito-borne Zika virus linked to microcephaly and other neurological problems in newborns of affected mothers directly infects the brain progenitor cells destined to become neurons, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers report in a study published online today in Cell Reports.

Study shows how judgment of sensory simultaneity may develop in the brain
In a study using tadpoles, neuroscientists tracked how the brain develops its sense of whether two sensory inputs -- for example, vision and touch -- happened at the same time.

What impact might Brexit have on UK agriculture?
With the United Kingdom's referendum on continued membership in the European Union (EU) approaching, experts are considering the impact of a vote to leave ('Brexit') on numerous aspects of UK society, including agriculture.

$1.7 million NIH grant to help researcher find answers about how cells talk to each other
A Florida State University College of Medicine researcher has received a $1.7 million grant from the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health to examine how cancer and other diseases might result from the way damaged human cells communicate with healthy ones.

Shy wild boars are sometimes better mothers
The personality of wild boar mothers can affect the wellbeing of their young.

EARTH: Seeing the seafloor in high definition
As the US celebrates National Oceans Month in June, scientists who study the seafloor are excited because they believe that humans will end this century with a far better view of our seafloor than at any other time in human history.

Technique could help climate models sweat the small stuff
Research led by a Brown University physicist reveals a way to include small-scale dynamics into computer simulations of large-scale phenomena, which could make for better climate models and astrophysical simulations.

Personality changes can affect fish body shape, locomotion
Fish that are bred to be bolder or more shy show corresponding changes to their body shape and locomotion, suggesting that personality changes affect other seemingly unrelated traits.

Chemotherapy and exercise: The right dose of workout helps side effects
Researchers at the University of Rochester Wilmot Cancer Institute discovered something simple and inexpensive to reduce neuropathy in hands and feet due to chemotherapy -- exercise.

Testing blood metabolites could help tailor cancer treatment
Testing for metabolic changes in the blood could indicate whether a cancer drug is working as designed, a new study reports.

Counseling patients at risk for cancer over the phone reduces costs and access burdens
Delivering genetic test results to patients at risk for cancer-causing genetic mutations over the phone helps to ease cost and transportation burdens and, compared to receiving results in person, does not cause patients additional stress, according to a new study from the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania which will be presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting (abstract 1502).

University of Delaware-led team to create realistic model of vocal cords
A University of Delaware-led research team has received a five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health to engineer a tissue model that can be used to investigate vocal fold development, health, and disease, and more importantly, to facilitate the development and testing of new treatment options.

Cancer cell immunity in the crosshairs: Worth the expense?
Japanese scientists have found unique genetic alterations that could indicate whether expensive immune checkpoint inhibitors would be effective for a particular patient.

Study finds that our level of wisdom varies depending on the situation
While we may think some people are consistently wise, we actually demonstrate different levels of wisdom from one situation to the next, and factors such as whether we are alone or with friends can affect it, according to new research from the University of Waterloo.

Researchers report improved progression-free survival for lutathera over octreotide
Moffitt Cancer Center will present results of the phase 3 NETTER-1 study, showing clinically meaningful and significant results for Lutathera (77Lu-DOTA0-Tyr3-Octreotate) in patients with metastatic midgut neuroendocrine tumors (NETs).

Liquid by-products from wood and forest industry find use in wood-plastic composites
A novel method for adding liquid by-products from the wood industry into wood-plastic composites (WPCs) prior to manufacturing was developed in a new study from the University of Eastern Finland.

Type 2 diabetes drug could be beneficial for head and neck cancer patients
Researchers at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine have found that adding increasing doses of an approved Type 2 diabetes drug, metformin, to a chemotherapy and radiation treatment regimen in head and neck cancer patients is not well tolerated if escalated too quickly, but allowing slower escalation could be beneficial.

UMMS scientists offer first look at how our cells can 'swallow up and quarantine' Zika
Eight weeks after receiving their first samples of Zika virus, scientists at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) have shown that a very small protein we all have in our bodies, interferon-induced protein 3 (IFITM3), can dramatically reduce the ability of Zika virus to infect human and mouse cells.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital research being presented at ASCO Annual Meeting
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital research related to survivorship and the pediatric solid tumors neuroblastoma, adrenocortical carcinoma and nasopharyngeal carcinoma will be presented at the 2016 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting.

Pluto: A cosmic lava lamp
Using computer models, New Horizons team members have been able to determine the depth of the layer of solid nitrogen ice within Pluto's distinctive 'heart' feature -- a large plain informally known as Sputnik Planum -- and how fast that ice is flowing. 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