Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 26, 2016
Researchers succeed in developing a genome editing technique that does not cleave DNA
A team involving Kobe University researchers has succeeded in developing Target-AID, a genome editing technique that does not cleave the DNA.

Five Irish brothers who mapped the British Empire
A new book by Charles Drazin from Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) takes the reader on a historical journey from a small village in rural Ireland to the farthest flung outposts of the early twentieth century British empire.

Spherical tokamaks could provide path to limitless fusion energy
This article describes spherical tokamak as model for limitless energy.

NIST study provides voice for evacuation needs of mobility impaired
A new study conducted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) details the challenges faced by people with mobility impairments during emergency evacuation from multistory buildings.

Electrons at the speed limit
Electronic components have become faster and faster over the years, thus making powerful computers and other technologies possible.

Annual production of gallium and germanium could be much higher
The global supply potential of the high-tech metals gallium and germanium is much greater than actual annual production levels.

Crystal unclear: Why might this uncanny crystal change laser design?
New research suggests that the relatively large crystals used to change several properties of light in lasers -- changes that are crucial for making lasers into practical tools -- might be created by stacking up far smaller, rod-shaped microcrystals that can be grown easily and cheaply.

Novel inhibitory brain receptor may be mechanism for remission of epilepsy in adolescence
Research led by SUNY Downstate Medical Center shows that, at the onset of puberty, the emergence of a novel inhibitory brain receptor, α4βδ (alpha four beta delta), reduces seizure-like activity in a mouse model of epilepsy.

Bacteria in smokeless tobacco products may be a health concern
Several species of bacteria found in smokeless tobacco products have been associated with opportunistic infections, according to a paper published Aug.

Typhoon Lionrock threatening Japan
Depending on the intensity track of Typhoon Lionrock, it could pass over Japan with the strength of a lion or or the weakness of a lamb.

Breast milk sugar may protect babies against deadly infection
A type of sugar found naturally in some women's breast milk may protect newborn babies from infection with a potentially life threatening bacterium called Group B streptococcus, according to a new study from Imperial College London.

Scientists experimentally realize optomechanically induced non-reciprocity
Dong Chunhua's group and Zou Changling from the Key Laboratory of Quantum Information, University of Science and Technology of China of the Chinese Academy of Sciences first experimentally demonstrated non-magnetic non-reciprocity using optomechanical interactions in a whispering gallery microresonator.

A visual nudge can disrupt recall of what things look like
Interfering with your vision makes it harder to describe what you know about the appearance of even common objects, according to researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Waterloo chemists develop promising cheap, sustainable battery for grid energy storage
Chemists at the University of Waterloo have developed a long-lasting zinc-ion battery that costs half the price of current lithium-ion batteries and could help enable communities to shift away from traditional power plants and into renewable solar and wind energy production.

The first epigenetic test to diagnose tumors of unknown origin
An article published in The Lancet Oncology by Dr. Manel Esteller (IDIBELL) shows that it is possible to use a newly-developed epigenetic test called EPICUP® to find out what type of primary tumor is responsible for the metastasis in the patient in cancer of unknown primary cases, which will allow doctors to develop more specific treatments against it.

Allergy research: Response to house dust mites is age-dependent
In adults with a house dust mite allergy, a cascade of inflammatory signals on the surface of the airways leads to airway remodeling.

Nanoscope Technologies awarded Audacious Goal Initiative grant by National Eye Institute
Nanoscope Technologies has been awarded an Audacious Goal Initiative grant by the National Eye Institute for exploring novel laser based therapeutic gene delivery to the eye.

Mechanism identified through which lead may harm neural cells, children's neurodevelopment
Researchers have identified a potential molecular mechanism through which lead, a pervasive environmental toxin, may harm neural stem cells and neurodevelopment in children.

UTA study finds air contamination near fracking sites result of operational inefficiencies
Chemists at the University of Texas at Arlington have published a new study that indicates that highly variable contamination events registered in and around unconventional oil and gas developments are the result of operational inefficiencies and not inherent to the extraction process itself.

Scientists succeed at growing noroviruses in human intestinal cell cultures in the lab
The USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture supports NoroCORE, a multidisciplinary research collaborative of 30 researchers from 25 universities who are joining forces to understand and control foodborne virus risks.

Moth takes advantage of defensive compounds in Physalis fruits
Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology found that the specialist moth Heliothis subflexa benefits from secondary plant components by turning the original defensive function of these compounds into its own advantage.

The sound of a healthy reef
A new study from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) will help researchers understand the ways that marine animal larvae use sound as a cue to settle on coral reefs.

Nanocatalysis for organic chemistry
Nanocatalysis has attracted much attention in the past few years.

Cave study designed to solve puzzle of prehistoric megadroughts in western US
A paleoclimatic cave study in California is designed to identify the factors that made megadroughts commonplace in the western US from 5,000 to 8,000 years ago.

NASA's GPM examines Tropical Storm Lester
The Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core satellite analyzed Tropical Storm Lester after it became the 12th named storm of the 2016 eastern Pacific Ocean on Aug.

NJIT co-hosts inaugural Computer Science Education awards ceremony
The award ceremony celebrates the contributions and commitment to teaching college-level computer science.

Two NASA satellites take a bead on Gaston's movements
Gaston is currently sitting smack in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean churning away.

Aquatic scientists take big steps toward successful management of alien invasive weeds in Botswana
The review paper 'Alien Invasive Aquatic Plant Species in Botswana: Historical Perspective and Management' describes the species biology, distribution, historical spread, negative impacts, and control achieved right from their discovery in Botswana.

Banning tobacco sales near schools could reduce socioeconomic disparities, new study shows
Banning tobacco sales within 1,000 feet of schools could reduce socioeconomic and racial/ethnic disparities in tobacco density across neighborhoods, according to a study being published today in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research.

Novel schistosomiasis vaccine: New phase of clinical studies
The Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, will start the phase II clinical trials of a vaccine for schistosomiasis, called 'Sm14 Vaccine.' The initiative is one of the health research and development projects prioritized by the World Health Organization (WHO), aiming to ensure the access of populations from developing countries to public health tools based on cutting edge technologies.

Selective protection of genetic information by epigenetic system
DNA is replicated to pass genetic information to the daughter cells during cell proliferation.

Discovery of a novel Wnt inhibitor with potential to eradicate colorectal cancer stem cells
A team of researchers has announced the development of a novel small-molecule Wnt inhibitor named NCB-0846.

Sights set on the next generation of shuttle peptides to target the brain
IRB Barcelona researchers publish a review article on the emerging field of drug transporters that have the capacity to reach the brain more efficiently.

Probing how CRISPR-Cas9 works
A study in The Journal of Cell Biology by scientists at the University of Massachusetts Medical School reveals important new details about the inner workings of the CRISPR-Cas9 machinery in live cells that may have implications for the development of therapeutics that use the powerful gene editing tool.

Force triggers gene expression by stretching chromatin
How genes in our DNA are expressed into traits within a cell is a complicated mystery with many players, the main suspects being chemical.

Shifts in the microbiome impact tissue repair and regeneration
Researchers at the Stowers Institute have established a definitive link between the makeup of the microbiome, the host immune response, and an organism's ability to heal itself.

Next steps in understanding brain function
As scientists around the globe join efforts to understand brain function, we enter the era of Big Data and stir up debate on how science is done and how it can affect us all.

Businesses that show commitment to sustainability inspire greener customers
Spending a little to prove a commitment to sustainability can help tourism industry businesses such as hotels inspire customers to conserve resources -- and save money in the process, according to new research from Simon Fraser Unviersity's Beedie School of Business.

3-D-printed structures 'remember' their shapes
Engineers from MIT and Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) are using light to print three-dimensional structures that 'remember' their original shapes.

From rigid to flexible
A physical mechanism to make the transport of cellular cargo efficient and specific

NASA examines System 99L over Hispaniola in infrared light
When NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the tropical low pressure area known as System 99L it was located over Hispaniola.

Research priorities for the field of atmospheric chemistry -- new report
Increasing energy demands and expanding industrial and agricultural activities worldwide are changing the composition of the atmosphere and contributing to major global challenges like climate change and air pollution.

Sensor systems identify senior citizens at risk of falling within 3 weeks
Each year, millions of people -- especially those 65 and older -- fall.

CAS researchers and Nobel Laureate develop new monomer fluorescent protein for SR imaging
Professor Xu Pingyong at the Institute of Biophysics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences recently developed a new type of monomer, RSFP Skylan-NS (sky lantern for nonlinear structured illumination).

Penn study finds nasal spray effective and safe anesthesia for dental work
A fear of pain causes many people with dental phobias to avoid or delay needed treatment.

FAA announces new Center of Excellence
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Michael Huerta announced on Aug.

Researchers report new Zika complication
Dr. John England, Professor and Chair of Neurology at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine, and colleagues in Honduras and Venezuela have reported a new neurological complication of infection with the Zika virus.

A few extra pounds can't hurt you -- or can they?
Being overweight increases the chances of premature death, said Jonathan Samet of USC.

Researchers find a new way to identify and target malignant aging in leukemia
Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Moores Cancer Center have identified RNA-based biomarkers that distinguish between normal, aging hematopoietic stem cells and leukemia stem cells associated with secondary acute myeloid leukemia (sAML), a particularly problematic disease that typically afflicts older patients who have often already experienced a bout with cancer.

Structural, regulatory and human error were factors in Washington highway bridge collapse
When an important bridge collapsed on Interstate 5 near Mount Vernon, Washington, in 2013, questions were raised about how such a catastrophic failure could occur.

Physician advice to patients on e-cigarettes varies, reveals knowledge gaps, study shows
Researchers analyzed an online medical forum to better understand what patients want to know about e-cigarettes and how doctors respond to those questions. 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