Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 22, 2016
After the quake -- data can help predict consequences of the next event
Seismology geophysicist Steve Roecker is using a network of broadband seismometers to learn more about the complex overlap between tectonic plates that causes an 8.3 magnitude earthquake near Illapel, Chile in 2015.

Inauguration of Akaike Memorial Lecture Award
The Institute of Statistical Mathematics and the Japan Statistical Society have inaugurated the Akaike Memorial Lecture Award as a memorial to the legacy of Dr.

Parasite proteins prompt immune system to fight off ovarian tumors in mice
Scientists identified the specific proteins secreted by the parasite Toxoplasma gondii that cause the immune system in mice to attack established ovarian tumors.

New remote-controlled microrobots for medical operations
Scientists at EPFL and ETHZ have developed a new method for building microrobots that could be used in the body to deliver drugs and perform other medical operations.

Neuroscience 2016 media registration now open
San Diego becomes the epicenter of neuroscience in November as 30,000 researchers, clinicians, and advocates from around the world gather November 12-16 to explore and share the latest developments in brain research.

Us suicide rate for people with Epilepsy exceeds levels in general population
Researchers studied the prevalence of suicide among people with epilepsy compared to the population overall and estimated that the annual suicide mortality rate among those with epilepsy was 22 percent higher than in the general population.

Blood of King Albert I identified after 80 years
The death of King Albert I of Belgium in 1934 -- officially a climbing accident -- still fuels speculation.

NASA catches Estelle becoming post-tropical
The Suomi NPP satellite passed over Tropical Storm Estelle as it was transitioning to a post-tropical storm in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

Mice survive brain cancer tumors lacking key surface proteins
A new scientific study has characterized a checkpoint protein that allows certain brain tumor cells to avoid the immune system.

Brain activity and response to food cues differ in severely obese women, UTSW study shows
The brain's reward centers in severely obese women continue to respond to food cues even after they've eaten and are no longer hungry, in contrast to their lean counterparts, according to a recent study by a multidisciplinary team at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

Novel compounds arrested epilepsy development in mice
A team led by Nicolas Bazan, M.D., Ph.D., Boyd Professor and Director of LSU Health New Orleans' Neuroscience Center of Excellence, has developed neuroprotective compounds that may prevent the development of epilepsy.

Why do consumers participate in 'green' programs?
From recycling to reusing hotel towels, consumers who participate in a company's 'green' program are more satisfied with its service, finds a new study co-led by a Michigan State University researcher.

Newly discovered material property may lead to high temp superconductivity
Researchers at the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Ames Laboratory have discovered an unusual property of purple bronze that may point to new ways to achieve high temperature superconductivity.

New research to be highlighted at Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery Boston meeting
The Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery's (SNIS) 13th Annual Meeting -- to be held July 25 - 28 in Boston -- will feature new research and best practices in improving stroke systems of care, addressing difficult stroke cases, understanding interventionalist approaches to oncology, and treating arteriovenous malformations and aneurysms, and more.

NIH grant provides postdoctoral research, teaching experience for deaf students
A nearly $4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health will help advance research, teaching experiences and career preparation in the biomedical and behavioral sciences fields for deaf and hard-of-hearing postdoctoral students.

Study: Violations of privacy rights by fusion centers are the exception, not the rule
Concerns that law enforcement fusion centers are violating individuals' privacy rights as they gather intelligence on terrorism, criminals and other threats to public safety are the exception and certainly not the rule, according to a study published in the Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology.

Study confirms: Forms of HIV can cross from chimps to humans
A new study led by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln reports the first in vivo evidence that strains of chimpanzee-carried simian immunodeficiency viruses can infect human cells.

Hey robot, shimmy like a centipede
Researchers at Kyoto University have used computer simulations and robotics to uncover a surprising insight into the mechanics of locomotion, namely that taming instability -- a factor that might be a disadvantage -- is a key to the centipede's success.

Flower bud uniformity beholden to time and space
A study of sepals in Arabidopsis plants reveals the mystery of how uniformity in flowers and organs occurs.

US land capacity for feeding people could expand with dietary changes
A new 'food-print' model that measures the per-person land requirements of different diets suggests that, with dietary changes, the US could feed significantly more people from existing agricultural land.

Ultrasensitive sensor using N-doped graphene
A highly sensitive chemical sensor based on Raman spectroscopy and using nitrogen-doped graphene as a substrate was developed by an international team of researchers working at Penn State.

Significant pain increases the risk of opioid addiction by 41 percent
What do we really know about the relationship between the experience of pain and risk of developing opioid use disorder?

Designer protein gives new hope to scientists studying Alzheimer's disease
Researchers design new protein which strongly resembles Abeta.

NASA spots Tropical Storm Darby as warnings posted in Hawaii
On July 22, NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite and NASA's RapidScat instrument gathered data on Tropical Storm Darby as it neared Hawaii and triggered warnings.

Gastrointestinal disorders involve both brain-to-gut and gut-to-brain pathways
New research indicates that in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or indigestion, there is a distinct brain-to-gut pathway, where psychological symptoms begin first, and separately a distinct gut-to-brain pathway, where gut symptoms start first.

James Kakalios wins 2016 Gemant Award from AIP
James Kakalios, a successful book author and accomplished physicist at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, is the winner of the 2016 Andrew Gemant Award, an annual prize recognizing significant contributions to the cultural, artistic or humanistic dimension of physics, the American Institute of Physics (AIP) announced today.

Do think-tanks matter? A UBC professor says 'think again'
Carey Doberstein, an assistant professor of political science at UBC's Okanagan campus, recently published an experimental study of public sector workers and determined that many give a written report or study purported to be from a university more credibility than one from a think-tank or advocacy group.

A 'smart dress' for oil-degrading bacteria
The modified polyelectrolyte-magnetite nanocoating was applied to functionalize the cell walls of oil decomposing bacteria Alcanivorax borkumensis.

The European CYCLALG project will develop an algae-based biorefinery
Six R&D centres in the Basque Autonomous Community, Navarre and France -NEIKER-Tecnalia, National Centre of Renewable Energies (CENER), Tecnalia Research & Innovation, Association of Industry of Navarre (AIN), Association for the Environment and Safety in Aquitaine (APESA) and the Centre for the Application and Transformation of Agro-resources (CATAR-CRITT)- are participating in the European CYCLALG project to drive forward an algae-based biorefinery which aims to develop and validate technological processes designed to obtain biodiesel through algae cultivation.

Lichen: Apparently happy couple really a threesome
Lichen aren't just a happy couple made up of a single fungus and a single algae.

NASA's Viking data lives on, inspires 40 years later
Forty years ago, the Viking spacecraft landed on Mars. Now, employees at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, are digitizing microfilm from the mission so that anyone can access it online.

German scientist receives lifetime achievement award from American Society for Materials
In order to create new materials, scientists need to understand the interior structures of materials.

The Lancet: Simpler, cheaper psychological treatment as effective as cognitive behavioural therapy for treating depression
A simple and inexpensive psychotherapy or talking therapy known as behavioral activation (BA) is as effective at treating depression in adults as the gold-standard cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and can be delivered by non-specialist staff with minimal training at far less cost, according to new research published in The Lancet.

Drug targeting BRAF mutation slows thyroid cancer, too
Researchers from Penn Medicine and other institutions found that treating metastatic thyroid cancer patients harboring a BRAF mutation with the targeted therapy vemurafenib -- originally approved for melanoma patients with the mutation -- showed promising anti-tumor activity in a third of patients.

Similarities unite 3 distinct gene mutations of Treacher Collins syndrome
Scientists at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research have reported a detailed description of how function-impairing mutations in polr1c and polr1d genes cause Treacher Collins syndrome (TCS), a rare congenital craniofacial development disorder that affects an estimated one in 50,000 live births.

Behavioral activation as effective as CBT for depression, at lower cost
A simple and inexpensive therapy is equally as effective at treating depression as the 'gold standard' of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a large-scale study has concluded.

NASA's GPM observes newly formed Tropical Storm Georgette
As Tropical Storm Georgette was forming, the Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core satellite flew overhead and gathered data that showed an intensifying storm.

Vaccine strategy induces antibodies that can target multiple influenza viruses
Scientists have identified three types of vaccine-induced antibodies that can neutralize diverse strains of influenza virus that infect humans.

Genes find their partners without matchmakers
A new study provides more evidence that identical sections of DNA can match up with each other without the help of other molecules.

One giant leap for space robotics
According to the recent white paper, Space Robotics and Autonomous Systems: Widening the horizon of space exploration, the UK space sector and R&D community possess strong expertise and test facilities, taking leadership in current and future missions that involve robots (like the rover, arm and drill) as well as technologies in sensing, perception and autonomy.

Saint Louis University research: Plant compounds give '1-2' punch to colon cancer
A preliminary cell study at Saint Louis University finds combining curcumin, the active ingredient in spicy curry dishes, and silymarin, a component of milk thistle, inhibited the spread of colon cancer cells and increased cancer cell death.

When it comes to empathy, don't always trust your gut
Is empathy the result of gut intuition or careful reasoning?

NASA spots 'hot towers' in intensifying Tropical Storm Frank
As tropical storm Frank was forming in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, NASA analyzed rainfall and cloud heights and found 'hot towers' that indicated intensification was likely.

Attosecond physics: Mapping electromagnetic waveforms
Munich physicists have developed a novel electron microscope that can visualize electromagnetic fields oscillating at frequencies of billions of cycles per second.

Pathogenic bacteria hitchhiking to North and Baltic Seas?
With increasing water temperatures comes an increasing likelihood of potentially pathogenic bacteria appearing in the North and Baltic Seas.

Shaken baby syndrome accepted as diagnoses by majority of physicians
Survey data reveals a high degree of medical consensus that shaking a young child is capable of producing subdural hematoma (a life-threatening pooling of blood outside the brain), severe retinal hemorrhage, coma or death, according to a study published in The Journal of Pediatrics.

Can't see the wood for the climbers -- the vines threatening our tropical forests
Woody climbing vines, known as lianas, are preventing tropical forests from recovering and are hampering the ability of forests to store carbon, scientists are warning.

New gene therapy prevents muscle wasting associated with cancer
A new gene therapy could be used to prevent the loss of muscle mass and physical strength associated with advanced cancer

Researchers get new insight into deadly fungal infections
Most people don't think of fungal infections as deadly - they are generally viewed as annoyances -- athlete's foot, for instance. 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