Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 05, 2016
Potential phage therapy virus massively alters RNA metabolism during infection
Using metabolomic and transcriptomic analyses, a research group led by Rob Lavigne of the University of Leuven in Belgium and Laurent Debarbieux of the Institut Pasteur in France reveals that a bacteriophage that infects the opportunistic bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa, metabolizes host RNA to replicate itself inside the cell.

Children make poor dietary choices following unhealthy foods ads
The study examined 29 trials assessing the effects of unhealthy food and beverage marketing and analyzing caloric intake and dietary preference among more than 6,000 children.

Enjoying meals prepared at home: AQ short-cut to avoiding diabetes?
People who often consume meals prepared at home are less likely to suffer from type 2 diabetes than those who consume such meals less frequently, according to new epidemiological research reported by Qi Sun, of the Harvard T.H.

To these flies, cicada sounds are like love songs
A fly known as Emblemasoma erro uses sound, not smell, to locate its cicada hosts.

Increasing number of US adults living with congenital heart defects
More adults are living with congenital heart defects in the United States, creating the need for specialized health services and systems that track this medical condition across all ages.

More calories consumed from subsidized food commodities linked to cardiometabolic risks
JAMA Internal Medicine has published two related dietary studies and a commentary online.

Parkinson's disease biomarker found in patient urine samples
UAB researchers have found that stored samples of urine and cerebral-spinal fluid from patients with Parkinson's disease hold a brand-new type of biomarker -- a phosphorylated protein that correlates with the presence and severity of Parkinson's disease.

How water gets its exceptional properties
Using a new simulation method, chemists have explained some unusual properties of water, including the melting temperature of ice and the maximum density at four degrees Celsius.

Why do aged muscles heal slowly?
As we age, the function and regenerative abilities of skeletal muscles deteriorate, which means it is difficult for the elderly to recover from injury or surgery.

Neuroscience study identifies new trigger mechanism for fragile X syndrome in mice
A study published today in the Journal of Neuroscience led by Yongjie Yang of Tufts University School of Medicine identifies an astroglial trigger mechanism as contributing to symptoms of fragile X syndrome in mice.

Researchers determine fundamental limits of invisibility cloaks
The researchers' theory confirms that it is possible to use cloaks to perfectly hide an object for a specific wavelength, but hiding an object from an illumination containing different wavelengths becomes more challenging as the size of the object increases.

From super to ultra-resolution microscopy
A team at Harvard's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering has, for the first time, been able to tell apart features distanced only 5 nanometers from each other in a densely packed, single molecular structure and to achieve the so far highest resolution in optical microscopy.

Coconuts could inspire new designs for earth-quake proof buildings
Coconuts are renowned for their hard shells, which are vital to ensure their seeds successfully germinate.

The first AI system for human embryonic state analysis is available for testing
The first implementation of Embryonic.AI was launched by LifeMap Discovery, Inc, a subsidiary of BioTime, Inc and is freely available for beta testing.

Could goats become man's best friend?
Goats have the capacity to communicate with people like other domesticated animals, such as dogs and horses, according to scientists from Queen Mary University of London.

Most Ontario adults support government regulation over cannabis production and sale
Most Ontario adults support government-controlled options for producing and selling cannabis, according to new survey results from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

AOSSM presents prestigious research awards
In order to recognize and encourage cutting-edge research in key areas of orthopaedic sports medicine, the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM) will present research awards and grants during its Annual Meeting, July 7-10 in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide increasingly being legalized, although still relatively uncommon
Euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide in the United States, Canada, and Europe are increasingly being legalized, but they remain relatively rare, and primarily involve patients with cancer, according to a study appearing in the July 5 issue of JAMA.

Characteristics improving bean resistance to drought identified
According to a study by the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture in Colombia a combination of characteristics is the key to success for the genetic improvement of beans to make them resistant to droughts.

Policymakers fall short on global agreement to reduce marketing unhealthy foods to kids
A Virginia Tech researcher has found that while small steps have been taken by the global food and beverage industry to reduce the targeted marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages to children and teens, comprehensive measures to keep them from falling under the influence of such marketing efforts have fallen short of a World Health Organization resolution to reduce obesity.

Concern over number of premature babies not receiving potentially lifesaving care
Less than 60% of premature babies born in 11 European countries receive a package of four simple, widely available care measures known to improve survival, finds a study in The BMJ today.

Religion shown to steer adolescents away from pornography
Young people who attend religious services less likely to view porn.

European cancer scientists converge on Manchester to share latest research
Cancer experts from around Europe will converge on Manchester this weekend (July 9-12) to share expertise with the city's world-leading scientists at a special Congress.

Major energy savings when computers learn to share
Computer scientists have developed a tweak for computer operating systems that could make large data centers 25 percent more efficient by sharing their processing power.

Day-biting invasive mosquito species spreading its range in Austria
In the long term, the diurnal Asian bush mosquito could pester us during the rest of the day as well.

New brainstem model reveals how brains control breathing
Scientists from Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, have discovered how the brain controls our breathing in response to changing oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the blood.

Bouncing droplets remove contaminants like pogo jumpers
While the appeal of a self-cleaning, hydrophobic surface may be apparent, the extremely fragile nature of the nanostructures that give rise to the water-shedding surfaces greatly limit the durability and use of such objects.

A fluorescent protein from Japanese eel muscles used to detect bilirubin in newborns
A Japanese research group has clinically proven that a fluorescent protein sourced from Japanese eel muscles can be used to accurately detect unconjugated bilirubin in newborns.

Researchers tally huge number of venomous fishes, tout potential for medical therapies
A paper appearing this week in the journal Integrative and Comparative Biology catalogs instances of venomous aquatic life, for the first time showing that venom has evolved 18 separate times in fresh and saltwater fishes.

A new tool to study plant cell biomechanics
Researchers from the University of Vermont have developed a new method that promises to shed light on single cell biomechanics -- by capturing individual cells in microscopic gel beads.

Learning about the hummingbirds and the bees in floral diversity
The floral diversity and repeated shifts in pollination have inspired a series of scientists to study adaptive evolution in the genus.

Turtle power: How hatching together avoids capture
New research has found that green turtles hatching en masse from their nests 'swamp' predators, allowing more individuals to reach the safety of the sea.

Penn engineers develop $2 portable Zika test
University of Pennsylvania engineers have developed a rapid, low-cost genetic test for the Zika virus.

Game theory -- does the rhino poacher or the gamekeeper win?
Conservationists at the University of Kent have used game theory to look at the likely outcome of the battle between rhino poachers and the gamekeeper or rhino manager.

Energy-dense food consumption declines after Mexico's tax
Purchases of taxed foods declined beyond pre-tax trends following Mexico's 2014 tax on nonessential, energy-dense foods like salty snacks and frozen desserts, according to a survey-based study published as part of PLOS Medicine's special issue on Preventing Diabetes.

Pill organizers could cause adverse effects among elderly
New research from the University of East Anglia shows that switching to use a pill organizer could cause adverse effects among the elderly.

Penn chemists establish fundamentals of ferroelectric materials
Chemists from the University of Pennsylvania are enabling the next generation of research into ferroelectric materials.

CT follow-up sufficient for some lung nodules
Annual low-dose computed-tomography (CT) screening can eliminate the need for biopsy or surgery in nonsolid lung nodules, according to a new study.

No one is an island: The history of human genetic ancestry in Madagascar
To get at the heart of Malagasy genetic ancestry and reconstruct their history, a researcher team led by Dr.

Some genetic causes of ALS may need an epigenetic trigger to activate the disease
A new research report appearing online in The FASEB Journal ( shows why, for some people, having a genetic predisposition to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis may not be enough to actually guarantee having the disease.

Mixing cannabis with tobacco increases dependence risk, suggests study
People who mix tobacco with cannabis are less motivated to seek help to quit.

UT Southwestern study finds sensing mechanism in food poisoning bug
UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have uncovered a mechanism that a type of pathogenic bacteria found in shellfish use to sense when they are in the human gut, where they release toxins that cause food poisoning.

Study shows effectiveness of brief, simple test to screen for cognitive impairment in AD
For the first time, researchers have determined that a brief, simple number naming test can differentiate between cognitively healthy elderly individuals and cognitively impaired people with Alzheimer's disease, including those with mild cognitive impairment, as well as those with AD dementia.

Integrated trio of 2-D nanomaterials unlocks graphene electronics applications
Titled 'An integrated Tantalum Sulfide--Boron Nitride--Graphene Oscillator: A Charge-Density-Wave Device Operating at Room Temperature,' the paper describes the development of the first useful device that exploits the potential of charge-density waves to modulate an electrical current through a 2-D material.

New tool can predict individual's risk of psychotic disorders
A new risk calculator can predict an individual's risk of developing psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia, according to a new study published today in The American Journal of Psychiatry.

ORNL scientists isolate, culture elusive Yellowstone microbe
A microbial partnership thriving in an acidic hot spring in Yellowstone National Park has surrendered some of its lifestyle secrets to researchers.

New discovery could better predict how semiconductors weather abuse
Berkeley Lab scientists at DOE's Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis have found a way to better predict how thin-film semiconductors weather the harsh conditions in systems that convert sunlight, water and carbon dioxide into fuel.

NASA's Aqua satellite scans powerful Typhoon Nepartak
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Typhoon Nepartak after it became a major typhoon in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean.

The snow leopard -- world's most mysterious big cat -- may be more common than thought
The snow leopard has long been one of the least studied -- and therefore poorly understood -- of the large cats.

Aviragen Therapeutics licenses Georgia State Technology to develop antiviral therapies
The Georgia State University Research Foundation has entered into a licensing and sponsored research agreement with Aviragen Therapeutics, Inc., a Georgia-based pharmaceutical company developing the next generation of antivirals, to develop and commercialize respiratory syncytial virus replication inhibitors.

Jefferson Lab director awarded Glazebrook Medal
The director of the Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility and president of Jefferson Science Associates, LLC, Hugh E.

Researchers recommend an EU-own flight ticket tax
Several EU member states have failed to introduce taxes on air traffic.

It's time for NHS England to 'do the right thing' and fund PrEP for HIV prevention
It is time for NHS England to

Lush Venus? Searing Earth? It could have happened
It may not have taken much in the early solar system to set Earth and Venus on very different paths, according to Rice University researchers and their colleagues.

New targeted gene therapy could lead to improved treatment for emphysema
Researchers have developed a new strategy using lung-targeted gene therapy that may lead to improved treatments for inherited diseases including emphysema.

New 'game plan' for oncologists reflects rapid advances and need for immediate information
Getting information to oncologists in an accessible, timely and readable manner at the point of care is crucial, say the authors of an embargoed article to be published July 5 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

A short period of bed rest after intrauterine insemination makes no difference to pregnancy rates
Despite the positive results of small studies and a widely held belief in its benefit, the practice of keeping female patients immobilized after intrauterine insemination has no beneficial effect on pregnancy rates, according to results of a large randomized study presented here at the Annual Meeting of ESHRE in Helsinki.

First fossil facial tumor discovered in a dwarf duck-billed dinosaur from Transylvania
The first-ever record of a tumorous facial swelling found in a fossil has been discovered in the jaw of the dwarf dinosaur Telmatosaurus transsylvanicus, a type of primitive duck-billed dinosaur known as a hadrosaur.

Extra 1,000 steps a day shows benefits for children with type 1 diabetes
Keeping count of daily steps and boosting physical activity can really pay off for children with type 1 diabetes, according to new research from the University of Adelaide and the Women's and Children's Hospital.

Ostrich relative lived in North America 50 million years ago
The new species is named Calciavis grandei -- with 'calci' meaning 'hard/stone,' and 'avis' from the Latin for bird, and 'grandei' in honor of famed paleontologist Lance Grande who has studied the fossil fish from the same ancient North American lake for decades.

PREVAIL treatment trial for men with persistent Ebola viral RNA in semen opens in Liberia
The Partnership for Research on Ebola Virus in Liberia (PREVAIL), a US-Liberia joint Clinical Research Partnership, today announced the opening of PREVAIL IV, a treatment trial for men who have survived Ebola virus disease but continue to have evidence of Ebola virus genetic material, RNA, in their semen.

The story of how a touch screen helped a paralyzed chimp walk again
The case of Reo, a male chimpanzee that learned to walk again after being paralyzed due to illness, shows how much can be done to rehabilitate animals injured in captivity.

Changes in brain networks may help youth adapt to childhood adversity
A new study in Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging reports a neural signature of emotional adaptation that could help researchers understand how the brain adapts to childhood adversity and predict which kids may be vulnerable to developing later psychopathology.

An upside of marketing food to children
If you think it's too challenging to get young kids to willingly take vegetables, think again!

Plymouth dentistry academic contributes to new NICE guideline on care home oral care
Professor Liz Kay, Foundation Dean of the Peninsula Dental School at Plymouth University, is a member of the guideline development group which has created a new NICE guideline for improved oral health in care homes.

UMN researchers find distinct differences in structure, features of retroviruses
In the most comprehensive study of its kind, researchers in the Institute for Molecular Virology and School of Dentistry at the University of Minnesota report that most types of retroviruses have distinct, non-identical virus structures.

Study: How we explain things influences what we think is right
New research focuses on a fundamental human habit: When trying to explain something (why people give roses for Valentine's Day, for example), we often focus on the traits of the thing itself (roses are pretty) and not its context (advertisers promote roses).

Acid attack -- can mussels hang on for much longer?
Scientists from the University of Washington have found evidence that ocean acidification caused by carbon emissions can prevent mussels attaching themselves to rocks and other substrates, making them easy targets for predators and threatening the mussel farming industry.

Sac to the future: Cellular vessels predict likelihood of developing dementia
Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine say tiny micro-vesicle structures used by neurons and other cells to transport materials internally or dispose of them externally carry tell-tale proteins that may help to predict the likelihood of mild cognitive impairment developing into full-blown Alzheimer's disease.

Argentine tango 'therapy' helps restore balance for cancer patients with neuropathy
In an effort to help some patients regain their balance after cancer treatment, researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center are teaching them to dance.

Protein target may block deadly arterial remodeling in pulmonary hypertension
Pulmonary hypertension is a highly lethal disease that transforms the thin, flexible vasculature of the lungs into thick, dysfunctional blood vessels that can kill.

Immune cells cast nets to save us from harm
Our immune cells can undergo a spectacular form of cell death, using their own DNA to make nets that kill infectious microbes.

NASA analyzes first hurricane of the Eastern Pacific season
The second named tropical cyclone of the Eastern Pacific Ocean hurricane season has become a hurricane named Blas.

Warming pulses in ancient climate record link volcanoes, asteroid impact and dinosaur-killing mass
A new reconstruction of Antarctic ocean temperatures around the time the dinosaurs disappeared 66 million years ago supports the idea that one of the planet's biggest mass extinctions was due to the combined effects of volcanic eruptions and an asteroid impact.

Theoretical climbing rope could brake falls
University of Utah mathematicians showed it is theoretically possible to design ideal climbing ropes to safely slow falling rock and mountain climbers like brakes decelerate a car.

Research highlights adolescent abuse and neglect risk
New research from the University of Warwick reveals an increase in the number of adolescents who died or were seriously harmed as a result of abuse or neglect.

Weird pupils let octopuses see their colorful gardens
A UC Berkeley student and his Harvard astrophysicist father propose a way that cephalopods -- octopus, squid and cuttlefish -- can detect color despite being technically colorblind.

Maternal vaccination again influenza associated with protection for infants
How long does the protection from a mother's immunization against influenza during pregnancy last for infants after they are born?

Crude life
A new project that blends art and science to gather and communicate new information on the effects of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill has been funded by the National Academies Keck Futures Initiative, a project of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

An elegant way of pinpointing how new drugs exert beneficial effects
A collaborative effort by cancer researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) and chemists at Boehringer Ingelheim (BI), a pharmaceutical firm, has resulted in the identification of a new drug target in leukemia and creation of a candidate drug that hits the target.

Eye of the beetle: How the Emerald Ash Borer sees may be key to stopping it
This iridescent jewel beetle, responsible for the death of more than 50 million ash trees in the United States, has blazed an absolute path of destruction west since its discovery in Michigan in 2002.

Reconstruction of 12,000 year old funeral feast brings ancient burial rituals to life
One of the earliest funeral banquets ever to be discovered reveals a preplanned, carefully constructed event that reflects social changes at the beginning of the transition to agriculture in the Natufian period.

Study released on effects of supervision variables in treating ASD
Leading autism treatment provider, Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD), announced today a joint study with Chapman University about the effects of variables in treating autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Tropical Storm Agatha creates July 4th weekend fireworks in Eastern Pacific
The first named tropical storm of the Eastern Pacific Hurricane Season formed over the July 4th holiday weekend and by July 6 had weakened to a remnant low pressure area.

Want kids to eat their veggies? Turn squash into a superhero
Convincing kids to choose vegetables becomes easier when you deploy a team of animated characters to sell them on the good stuff, new research has found.

Former Rotman school dean appointed to the Order of Canada
The former Dean of the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management has received one of Canada's highest civilian honors.

Genetic mutations found linked to rare cases of multiple bowel tumors
Researchers have identified genetic mutations affecting the immune system which may lead to the development of more than one bowel tumour at the same time.

Clemson professor finds positive effects from bringing physical activity to the desk
A Clemson University psychology professor has published research revealing a positive link between mood, motivation and physical activity during work and study.

Moderate and vigorous exercise have comparable effects on nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
A brisk walk is just as good as a jog when it comes to fighting nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, study involving Tulane researchers finds.

Understanding forest fire history can help keep forests healthy
University of Missouri researchers have studied tree rings throughout Oklahoma and Tennessee to determine the history of fires in those areas.

Living longer associated with living healthier, study of centenarians finds
In a study of nearly 3,000 people, Einstein researchers have found that those who live 95 years or more are able to stave off age-related disease, with serious sickness compressed into only a few years late in life.

Landmark conference of nursing and midwifery leaders meet in Amman to create research agenda
On July 18-19, 2016, Columbia Global Centers | Amman and Columbia University School of Nursing will host the Global Nursing and Midwifery Clinical Research Development Initiative in Amman, Jordan.

New detection method paves the way for 100 percent detection of esophageal cancer
Recognizing early stages of esophageal cancer is difficult because it can easily be missed.

AGA and Pfizer Inc. call on scientists to offer new approaches to IBD research
The AGA Research Foundation and Pfizer Inc. are teaming up to offer three research grants to support innovative research projects related to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Real-time visualization tool reveals behavioral patterns in Bitcoin transactions
A novel visualization method for exploring dynamic patterns in real-time Bitcoin transactional data can zoom in on individual transactions in large blocks of data and also detect meaningful associations between large numbers of transactions and recurring patterns such as money laundering.

Higher consumption of unsaturated fats linked with lower mortality
Consuming higher amounts of unsaturated fats was associated with lower mortality, according to a Harvard T.H.

Palliative care-led meetings do not reduce anxiety, depression of families of patients with chronic
Among families of patients with chronic critical illness, the use of palliative care-led informational and emotional support meetings compared with usual care did not reduce anxiety or depression symptoms, according to a study appearing in the July 5 issue of JAMA.

No association found between contrast agents used for MRIs and nervous system disorder
In a study appearing in the July 5 issue of JAMA, Blayne Welk, M.D., M.Sc., of Western University, London, Canada, and colleagues conducted a study to assess the association between gadolinium exposure and parkinsonism, a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system characterized by tremor and impaired muscular coordination.

Analyzed the risk of the Pamplona bull run by means of a tool used in industry
Two lecturers at the Public University of Navarre (NUP/UPNA) have applied a tool used in industry to analyze the risk of the bull run in Pamplona.

CONRAD launches Quatro in South Africa and Zimbabwe
As the HIV infection rate in young African women continues to rise despite ongoing educational efforts, the prevention field is working to better understand the lifestyles and user preferences of this high risk group.

One small step for babies, one giant leap for mankind
Even before they stand up, infants have a rough idea of how to walk; they just need some time to lay down the right neural wiring.

Drug helps control involuntary, sudden movements of Huntington disease
In a study appearing in the July 5 issue of JAMA, Samuel Frank, M.D., of Harvard Medical School, Boston, and the Huntington Study Group, and colleagues evaluated the efficacy and safety of the drug deutetrabenazine to control a prominent symptom of Huntington disease, chorea, which is an involuntary, sudden movement that can affect any muscle and flow randomly across body regions.

Very premature infants: Towards better care
Born too soon, very premature infants are particularly vulnerable and need appropriate care.

Despite increasing global legalization of physician-assisted suicide, use remains rare
Despite increasing legalization of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide (PAS) worldwide, the practice remains relatively rare and, when carried out, is primarily motivated by psychological factors such as loss of autonomy or enjoyment of life, rather than physical pain.

Improving LGBT healthcare for military veterans
The U.S. Veterans Health Administration (VHA), which is likely the largest provider of LGBT healthcare in the world, is implementing various system-wide changes aimed at improving LGBT care, including transgender e-consultations to aid interdisciplinary providers and the addition of a self-identified gender identity field to all veteran record systems.

Malaria study shows how multiple infections make disease worse
Scientists have discovered why infections with the two most common types of malaria parasite combined lead to greater health risks -- because one species helps the other to thrive.

2016 Dirac Medal for Physics to Chapman University's Visiting Professor Sandu Popescu
Professor Sandu Popescu from the University of Bristol and Distinguished Visiting Professor and founding member of the Institute for Quantum Studies at Chapman University in California, has won the 2016 Dirac Medal in Physics for his research on fundamental aspects of quantum physics.

Chorea reduced by deutetrabenazine in study led by HSG
People with Huntington disease experienced improvements in chorea while taking deutetrabenazine compared to placebo, according to a paper published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association. 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