Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 18, 2016
Homosexual termite regicide
Termites not only raid people's homes, but also the humble abodes of other happy termite couples.

Unhealthy diet during pregnancy could be linked to ADHD
New research led by scientists from King's College London and the University of Bristol has found that a high-fat, high-sugar diet during pregnancy may be linked to symptoms of ADHD in children who show conduct problems early in life.

Using nature's recipe to create mother of pearl
Researchers have created a synthetic nacre remarkably similar to the natural material, which is also known as mother of pearl, though their synthetic version forms in weeks instead of months or years.

Moffitt study highlights importance of regular lung cancer screenings for those at high risk
A new study by researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center found patients who tested negative for lung cancer by a detailed X-ray screening called low-dose helical computed tomography but later went on to develop lung cancer within the following two years had poorer outcomes than patients who initially had a non-cancerous positive LDCT screen.

UNC researcher provides recommendations to stop violence against clinicians in China
Responding to the number of violent attacks on physicians in China, Joseph D.

UTEP researchers innovate brain preservation technique
By figuring out how to preserve specimens in the remote locations in which they are found -- locations almost completely opposite those of a controlled laboratory or 21st century urban area -- researchers from The University of Texas at El Paso have given science one more way to study a wide range of creatures, particularly those threatened by global climate change.

Stanford scientists combine satellite data and machine learning to map poverty
The availability of accurate and reliable information on the location of impoverished zones is surprisingly lacking for much of the world.

Zika infection of placental macrophages in culture
In this issue of JCI Insight, Erol Fikrig and colleagues at Yale University examined Zika virus infection of different cell types of the placenta, including cytotrophoblasts, placental macrophages, and fibroblasts.

Tool or weapon? New research throws light on stone artifacts' use as ancient projectiles
IU Bloomington professor Geoffrey Bingham and colleagues in the United Kingdom and United States contend that the stones served not as tools by as weapons for defense and hunting.

Osteoblastic metastases distinguished from enostoses using CT attenuation measurements
A team of Boston researchers found that CT attenuation measurements can be used to distinguish untreated osteoblastic (bone-related) metastases from enostoses (benign bone lesions).

Brazil's environmental licensing under threat
In a paper published in Science this week, Philip M.

Urbanization affects diets of butterflies: NUS study
A study led by researchers from the National University of Singapore revealed that most tropical butterflies feed on a variety of flower types, but those that are 'picky' about their flower diets tend to prefer native plants and are more dependent on forests.

Face changing technology showing sun damage is most effective at promoting sun safe behavior
Researchers from the University of Surrey examined the way sun safe messages are conveyed to young women, and found that visual communication using technology to age participant's faces to emphasis sun damage and premature aging is most effective.

Smoking marijuana provides more pain relief for men than women
Researchers from Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) found that men had greater pain relief than women after smoking marijuana.

CU Researchers win National Science Foundation grant to study brain
Researchers from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and the University of Colorado Boulder have won a $800,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to try and reconnect neural communication between parts of the brain where it has been severed.

Mount Sinai research collaboration identifies genes responsible for CMD risk
In a study being published in the Aug. 19 issue of Science, researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, in collaboration with scientists from Tartu University Hospital in Estonia, the Karolinska Institutet and Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab) in Sweden, and AstraZeneca, have identified a profound new level of complexity and interaction among genes within specific tissues responsible for mediating the inherited risk for cardiometabolic diseases, including processes that lead to heart attack and stroke.

X-ray optics on a chip
Waveguides are widely used for filtering, confining, guiding, coupling or splitting beams of visible light.

Neural stem cells control their own fate
To date, it has been assumed that the differentiation of stem cells depends on the environment they are embedded in.

Penn team identifies strategy to reverse the disease dyskeratosis congenita
In a new study published in Cell Stem Cell, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania led by Christopher J.

Innovative device simulates cataract replacement experience
A vision simulator developed by the Instituto de Optica, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Spain, works to help patients test artificial lens designs prior to implantation in the eye.

Modifying a living genome with genetic equivalent of 'search and replace'
Researchers including George Church have made further progress on the path to fully rewriting the genome of living bacteria.

Greater intake of dietary omega-3 fatty acids associated with lower risk of diabetic retinopathy
In middle-aged and older individuals with type 2 diabetes, intake of at least 500 mg/d of dietary long-chain ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, easily achievable with 2 weekly servings of oily fish, was associated with a decreased risk of sight-threatening diabetic retinopathy, according to a study published online by JAMA Ophthalmology.

Are urban black males shortchanged in classroom?
Giving special treatment to young urban black males in the high school classroom runs the risk of shortchanging these students academically once they get to college, indicates a new study by a Michigan State University education scholar.

Afatinib in advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the lung: Added benefit not proven
Neither the direct nor the indirect comparison conducted by the drug manufacturer allows conclusions on advantages or disadvantages in comparison with the appropriate comparator therapy.

Fungus causing fatal infections in hospitalized patients has unique growth patterns
The multidrug-resistant yeast Candida auris, which has caused fatal infections in some hospitalized patients, has at least two different growth patterns and some of its strains are as capable of causing disease as the most invasive type of yeast called Candida albicans, according to a study published this week in mSphere, an open access journal from the American Society for Microbiology.

Carbon molecular sieve membranes could cut energy in hydrocarbon separations
A research team from the Georgia Institute of Technology and ExxonMobil has demonstrated a new carbon-based molecular sieve membrane that could dramatically reduce the energy required to separate a class of hydrocarbon molecules known as alkyl aromatics.

Postoperative telephone clinic can be used in lieu of in-person care for some patients
Implementation of a telephone postoperative clinic at a Veterans Affairs facility significantly improved utilization of surgeon and facility resources while maintaining satisfactory patient outcomes, according to study results published as an 'article in press' on the Journal of the American College of Surgeons website ahead of print publication.

In cells, some oxidants are needed
But some studies are showing that these reactive oxygen species (ROS) molecules sometimes can aid in maintaining health -- findings now boosted by a surprising discovery from Joslin Diabetes Center researchers.

UCLA physicists discover 'apparent departure from the laws of thermodynamics'
UCLA physicists have revolutionized our understanding of a popular technique, known as buffer gas cooling, which is crucial in fields ranging from forensics to the production of antimatter.

Yale study identifies how Zika virus infects the placenta
In a new study, Yale researchers demonstrate Zika virus infection of cells derived from human placentas.

Neural stem cells in adult mice also vulnerable to Zika
Zika infection kills off neural stem cells in adult mice bred to be vulnerable to the virus, researchers at the Rockefeller University and the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology report Aug.

Brivaracetam in epilepsy: Added benefit still not proven
The indirect comparison submitted subsequently in the commenting procedure is methodologically better and covers more outcomes than the previous indirect comparisons.

Most island vertebrate extinctions could be averted, concludes new study
Eight of every ten species extinctions has occurred on islands, and invasive mammals are the leading reason for those losses.

Predicting poverty by satellite with detailed accuracy
By combining satellite data and sophisticated machine learning, researchers have developed a technique to estimate household consumption and income.

Study shows acetaminophen can be tolerated by young children with mild, persistent asthma
In a study of children with mild, persistent asthma, scientists found that acetaminophen was tolerated without the worsening of asthma, when compared with ibuprofen use.

Study shows how mutations disrupt ALS-linked protein
Structural biologists provide a new explanation for how ALS-associated genetic flaws interfere with the proper function and behavior of the protein TDP-43.

How genomic sequencing may be widening racial disparities in cancer care
As scientists learn more about which genetic mutations are driving different types of cancer, they're targeting treatments to small numbers of patients with the potential for big payoffs in improved outcomes.

Nobel laureate, new technologies show how cancer cells protect chromosomes from decay
Nobel laureate and University of Colorado Cancer Center investigator, Thomas Cech, PhD, uses CRISPR gene editing technology and live cell, single molecule microscopy to watch in real-time, for the first time, the essential interaction between telomerase and telomeres.

Recording analog memories in human cells
MIT biological engineers have devised a way to record complex histories in the DNA of human cells, allowing them to store and retrieve memories of past events.

Scientists explain why Russian tuberculosis is the most infectious
Scientists conducted a large-scale analysis of the proteins and genomes of mycobacterium tuberculosis strains that are common in Russia and countries of the former Soviet Union and found features that provide a possible explanation for their epidemiological success.

New clues found to how 'cruise-ship' virus gets inside cells
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified the protein that norovirus uses to invade cells.

Emtricitabine/tenofovir alafenamide in HIV infection: Added benefit not proven
Partly no data were available, partly the appropriate comparator therapy was not adhered to.

New flu strains and old antibodies: How sinful is 'original antigenic sin'?
Immune memory ensures a quick, specific response to previously encountered pathogens.

Olympic stomach upsets -- leaky gut symdrome?
A number of competitors at the Rio Olympics have reported stomach problems.

First 3-D map of cell-building protein linked to cancer
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute researchers have revealed for the first time the three-dimensional molecular 'map' of a protein that has been pinpointed as a driver of many types of cancers.

Common cold viruses originated in camels -- just like MERS
There are four globally endemic human coronaviruses which, together with the better known rhinoviruses, are responsible for causing common colds.

Venus-like exoplanet might have oxygen atmosphere, but not life
The distant planet GJ 1132b intrigued astronomers when it was discovered last year.

NASA sees Tropical Depression 10W form near Guam
NASA's Terra satellite captured an infrared image of the developing Tropical Storm 10W in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean near Guam.

Flexitime works better for men than women, study finds
Flexitime and having autonomy over working hours -- known as schedule control -- impacts differently on men and women and may increase the gender pay gap.

NASA sees Tropical Storm 12W over the open Northwestern Pacific Ocean
Tropical Storm 12W formed over the open waters of the Northwestern Pacific Ocean, far southeast of the big island of Japan.

Female forensic scientists more stressed than males
Women may be at the forefront of the fast-growing forensic science field, but they're also more stressed than their male counterparts, indicates new research led by a Michigan State University criminologist.

UC receives $4.3 million from NIH for Mouse Metabolic Phenotyping Center
Researchers at the University of Cincinnati have been awarded a five-year, $4.3 million renewal grant from the National Institutes of Health to continue work at the university's Mouse Metabolic Phenotyping Center in Reading, Ohio.

Turning textbook highlighting into time well-spent
College students love highlighting textbook passages while they study, and a team of researchers in three states will apply the latest techniques from machine learning and cognitive science to help turn that habit into time well-spent.

NASA sees formation of Atlantic Ocean's Tropical Storm Fiona
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed over Tropical Storm Fiona as it developed in the northeastern Atlantic Ocean and captured a visible image of the strengthening storm.

Zika infection may affect adult brain cells
A new study shows for the first time that the Zika virus can infect the mouse adult brain in regions that are vital to learning and memory.

Researchers identify gene associated with age-related hearing loss
A large screening program has identified several genes associated with age-related conditions including hearing loss, retinal degeneration and osteoarthritis.

EARTH: Why is a gallon of gas cheaper than a gallon of milk?
Robert L. Fares explores what causes the cost of gallon of milk to be so much higher than a gallon of gas.

NSF awards Pitt engineering professor with grant to study decline of pollinating insects
Research will investigate the economic impact of declining insect-mediated pollination in the United States.

High-tech imaging reveals precolonial Mexican manuscript hidden from view for 500 years
Researchers from the University of Oxford's Bodleian Libraries and from universities in the Netherlands have used high-tech imaging to uncover the details of a rare Mexican codex dating from before the colonization of the Americas.

University of Washington paleontologists discover major T. rex fossil
Paleontologists with the University of Washington's Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture have discovered a Tyrannosaurus rex, including a very complete skull.

'Ecosystem canaries' provide early warning signs of catastrophic changes to ecosystems
New research, led by the University of Southampton, demonstrates that 'ecosystem canaries' can provide early warning signals of large, potentially catastrophic, changes or tipping points in ecosystems.

An imaging method to quantify dermal fat
In this issue of JCI Insight, Caroline Alexander and her colleagues at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, report the development of a non-invasive MRI-based method to measure dermal white adipose tissue, total white adipose tissue volume, and brown adipose tissue activation in mice and humans.

More evidence that 'healthy obesity' may be a myth
The term 'healthy obesity' has gained traction over the past 15 years, but scientists have recently questioned its very existence.

Over-the-counter laser pointers a threat to eyesight
Some laser pointers that can be bought over the counter are unsafe -- to the point that they can cause blindness.

Ramucirumab in stomach cancer: Added benefit not proven
Both studies submitted were unsuitable for the assessment of an added benefit because they did not meet the specifications on the comparator therapy and on the target population.

Unexplained developmental disorder linked to gene involved in essential cellular processes
A neurodevelopmental disorder for which there was no known cause has been linked to SON, a gene that is involved in essential mechanisms a cell uses to translate DNA into protein, as well as in DNA replication and cell division.

Polyunsaturated fat in adipose tissue linked to lower mortality
In a study from Uppsala University, published in the American journal JAMA Cardiology, the fatty acid linoleic acid (Omega 6) in subcutaneous adipose tissue was linked to lower mortality among older men followed over a 15-year period.

Superconductivity: After the scenario, the staging
Superconductivity with a high Tc continues to present a theoretical mystery.

New oral diabetes drugs may also protect patients' kidney health
In a clinical trial of patients with type 2 diabetes, canagliflozin (a sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitor) slowed kidney function decline to a greater extent than glimepiride (a sulfonylurea), while having similar blood sugar-lowering effects.

Revolutionary method to map brains at single-neuron resolution successfully demonstrated
Neuroscientists today publish in Neuron details of a revolutionary new way of mapping the brain at the resolution of individual neurons, which they have successfully demonstrated in the mouse brain.

Diabetes drug may also offer vascular protection
Obesity and type 2 diabetes are associated with vascular stiffening and the development of cardiovascular disease.

Addressing changes in regional groundwater resources: Lessons from the high plains aquifer
This Critical Issues Forum is a 1-½ day meeting that will cover multiple aspects of groundwater depletion in the High Plains and will include abundant time for participant discussion.

Cell therapy promotes axon remyelination in a mouse model
A new report in JCI Insight from Arjun Saha and colleagues at Duke University demonstrates that a cell therapy product called DUOC-01 can accelerate remyelination of axons in mice treated with a demyelinating chemical agent.

TSRI scientists find potential treatment for 'painful blindness' form of dry eye
A new study in animal models, led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute, suggests that lacrimal glands can be repaired by injecting a kind of regenerative 'progenitor' cell.

Insecticide treatment of cattle to kill sand flies and combat leishmaniasis
With an estimated 500,000 human infections and 50,000 deaths annually, visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is the second most prevalent parasitic killer, behind malaria.

ORNL collaborates with 6 small businesses on clean energy tech
Six small companies will tap the expertise of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory to move their manufacturing, fuel cell, geothermal and vehicle technologies closer to the marketplace.

Insights into the dawn of the universe
What did the universe look like just after the Big Bang?

New manual on Fission Yeast from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press
'Fission Yeast' from CSHLPress provides an authoritative collection of core experimental procedures that underpin modern fission yeast research.

The science of spotting fake foods (video)
The Food and Drug Administration recently found that several sellers in the US were filling their batches with lower-cost cheeses or even cellulose, also known as wood pulp.

Rates of early prostate cancer continue decline after USPSTF recommendation
Incidence rates of early prostate cancer have continued to drop since the US Preventive Services Task Force recommendation against routine prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing in all men, according to an article published online by JAMA Oncology.

An unexpected finding
A rare iodine polymer discovery is key to starch-iodine mystery.

Heart muscle made from stem cells aid precision cardiovascular medicine, study shows
Heart muscle cells made from induced pluripotent stem cells faithfully mirror the expression patterns of key genes in the donor's native heart tissue, according to researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Regenstrief project assembles health information from different electronic medical records
Regenstrief Institute's Center for Biomedical Informatics is pilot-testing new, efficient method for compiling health-care information electronically.

Canine babesiosis outbreak in UK under control -- but needs monitoring
Scientists at the University of Liverpool are using the health records of dogs to monitor the status of a potentially fatal tick-borne disease that appears to have been imported into the UK.

Not all tumor cells are equal
Scientists led by Dr. Manel Esteller find that colorectal tumors present epigenetic heterogeneity relates to the clinical course of the disease.

New report presents bundled payment model for breast cancer screening
According to a new report by the Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute, mammography may present an opportunity for the expanded use of bundled payments in radiology.

Study shows swimming is an effective part of the treatment for fibromyalgia
A study performed by researchers at the Federal University of São Paulo shows swimming is as effective as walking to relieve pain and improve quality of life for patients with fibromyalgia, that experience chronic diffuse non-inflammatory pain in the musculoskeletal system deriving from malfunctioning of the system that transmits and modulates the transmission of nervous stimuli between the periphery of the body and the brain.

Born prepared for global warming... thanks to their parents' songs
By calling to their eggs, zebra finch parents may be helping their young prepare for a hotter world brought on by climate change.

Blue Cut Fire in California spreads quickly
The Blue Cut Fire, just outside of Los Angeles, is a quickly growing fire that is currently an imminent threat to public safety, rail traffic and structures.

Pacific sea level predicts global temperature changes
Sea level changes in the Pacific Ocean can be used to estimate future global surface temperatures, according to a new paper in Geophysical Research Letters.

Fruit flies could be key to fighting cervical cancer caused by human papillomavirus
HPV is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections in the US and has been identified as a cause of cancer in women.

Pope Francis to visit ESC Congress 2016 in Rome
The European Society of Cardiology is proud to announce that His Holiness Pope Francis will visit ESC Congress 2016, the largest scientific summit on cardiovascular medicine.

TSRI study supports new strategy to fight cocaine addiction
An international team led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute has found strong evidence supporting a new strategy against drug addiction.

Natural compound from a deep-water marine sponge found to reduce pancreatic tumor size
A deep-water marine sponge collected off of Fort Lauderdale's coast contains leiodermatolide, a natural product that has the ability to inhibit the growth of cancer cells as well as block cancer cells from dividing using extremely low concentrations of the compound.

Nivolumab in advanced lung cancer: Indication of major added benefit
Patients with advanced nonsquamous NSCLC who have already undergone chemotherapy survive longer with the drug than with docetaxel.

Natural scale caterpillar soft robot is powered and controlled with light
Researchers at the Faculty of Physics at the University of Warsaw, using the liquid crystal elastomer technology, originally developed in the LENS Institute in Florence, demonstrated a bioinspired micro-robot capable of mimicking caterpillar gaits in natural scale.

Oxford University Press to publish the Journal of the European Economic Association
Oxford University Press has signed an agreement with the European Economic Association to publish the Journal of the European Economic Association, one of the leading journals in the field, beginning in Jan.

Hawaiian fruit flies had multiple ancestors
Scientists in Japan have discovered that Hawaiian drosophilids (fruit flies) had plural ancestors from continents, refuting the 'Single Hawaiian origin' hypothesis.

Gallstone disease may increase heart disease risk
A history of gallstone disease was linked to a 23 percent increased risk of developing coronary heart disease.

Mussel flexing: Bivalve save drought-stricken marshes, research finds
As coastal ecosystems feel the heat of climate change worldwide, new research shows the humble mussel and marsh grass form an intimate interaction known as mutualism that benefits both partner species and may be critical to helping these ecosystems bounce back from extreme climatic events such as drought.

Study confirms long-term effects of 'chemobrain' in mice
Women undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer have long complained of lingering cognitive impairments after treatment.

Researchers find prenatal infection may create risk for later disorders
A University of Delaware researcher is looking into whether prenatal and postnatal infections can be a risk factor for developmental disorders years later.

A new way to display the 3-D structure of molecules
Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley Researchers have developed nanoscale display cases that enables new atomic-scale views of hard-to-study chemical and biological samples. 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