Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 14, 2016
NASA sees large Hurricane Nicole moving past Bermuda
On Oct. 14 Nicole was racing east-northeastward over the Atlantic, but large ocean swells from the large storm were spreading northward along the US East Coast and into Atlantic Canada.

New library of human stem cells with the Brazilian genetic admixture
New human pluripotent stem cells lines increase the diversity of the available ones because are derived from individuals of the Brazilian population -- an admixture of European, African and Native American genomic ancestry.

Creative staff lead to satisfied customers says study
Organizations in the service sector that have more creative employees enjoy higher levels of customer satisfaction, according to new research led by the University of East Anglia.

Shock trauma to study body cooling for patients in cardiac arrest from massive bleeding
The R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland has opened a clinical trial to study whether rapidly cooling the body temperature of patients whose hearts stop due to massive blood loss will give surgeons extra time to find and repair injuries, and in turn, help save their lives.

UA Cancer Center team questions safety, efficacy of selenium and colorectal cancer risk
Selenium has been a popular nutritional supplement for decades, touted for its antioxidant properties and its role in stopping free radicals from damaging cells and DNA.

Giving credit where credit is due
UCSB informatics expert James Frew and international colleagues suggest a method for bringing academic citation into the database age.

Long-term experience supports efficacy and safety of PRRT for treating neuroendocrine tumors
More than 10 years of published clinical data and personal experience using PRRT-based targeted therapy of neuroendocrine tumors supports the effectiveness of this novel treatment approach and the ability to minimize and manage potential toxic side effects.

With designer lignin, biofuels researchers reproduced evolutionary path
When scientists reported in 2014 that they had successfully engineered a poplar plant 'designed for deconstruction,' the finding made international news.

Experimental drug, implanted in eye, could fight glaucoma
An experimental drug, consisting of cells manufactured and implanted in the eye to stimulate optic nerve growth and activity, could be an entirely new way of fighting glaucoma, according to BrightFocus Foundation.

Research to help develop next-generation food crops
Research led by The Australian National University is helping to develop food crops with bigger yields and greater ability to cope with drought compared with today's plants.

American College of Rheumatology releases statement on CMS final rule on MIPS and APMs
The American College of Rheumatology has issued an official statement on today's release by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) of its final policy implementing the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and the Advanced Alternative Payment Model (APM) incentive payment provisions in the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), collectively referred to as the Quality Payment Program.

Study critical of Payment by Results to distribute international aid
Using payment by results to distribute international development aid risks being more about looking good than doing good, according to an academic at the University of East Anglia.

Artificial enzyme for asymmetric synthesis using a synthetic chiral polymer
Cinchona alkaloid derivatives show catalytic activity in various kinds of asymmetric transformations in organic synthesis that are necessary steps in the production of pharmaceuticals.

Female chimpanzees don't fight for 'queen bee' status
Male and female chimpanzees achieve social status in dramatically different ways, says a new study by Duke University primatologists.

Stem cell-based screening methods may predict heart-related side effects of drugs
Coaxing stem cells from patients to become heart cells may help clinicians personalize drug treatments and prevent heart-related toxicity.

Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge
Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

Study finds surface texture of gallium nitride affects cell behavior
Researchers at North Carolina State University have determined that the surface texture of gallium nitride (GaN) materials can influence the health of nearby cells.

New molecule may help fight obesity by converting 'bad' fat to 'good' fat
New research, published online in The FASEB Journal, suggests that activation of a chemical called β-LGND2 by the estrogen receptor β (ER- β) reduces obesity and metabolic diseases in mice by converting bad fat (white fat) to good fat (brown fat).

Why private health insurers are losing money on the Affordable Care Act
The choice of young people to forgo health insurance combined with the high cost of providing care for the sickest Americans are together generating big losses for insurers participating in the Affordable Care Act's state insurance marketplaces.

International Human Cell Atlas Initiative
The first project of its kind, as ambitious as the Human Genome Project, the Human Cell Atlas aims to chart the types and properties of all human cells, across all tissues and organs, to build a reference map of the healthy human body.

Spinning semen provides a measurement of fertility
The maths of collective behavior has provided a new technique for selecting the best semen for artificial insemination in livestock.

Signature of a Quebec-Iceland agreement to stimulate development of sustainable energy
At the impetus of INRS, an international cooperation agreement has been forged between Quebec and Iceland.

A new spin on superconductivity
Researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have made a discovery that could lay the foundation for quantum superconducting devices.

Human transport has unpredictable genetic and evolutionary consequences for marine species
New research, led by the University of Southampton, has found that human activities such as shipping are having a noticeable impact on marine species and their native habitats.

New research offers insights into managing agricultural runoff and coastal dead zones
A study published today in Ecology Letters adds to a growing body of work examining the relationship between harmful algal blooms in the Gulf of Mexico and agricultural runoff.

Plant discovered that neither photosynthesizes nor blooms
Project Associate Professor Kenji Suetsugu has discovered a new species of plant on the subtropical Japanese island of Kuroshima (located off the southern coast of Kyushu in Kagoshima prefecture) and named it Gastrodia kuroshimensis.

UT Southwestern researcher receives prestigious NIH award
The Transformative Research Award -- one of four award categories -- promotes cross-cutting, interdisciplinary approaches in research with potential to create or challenge existing paradigms.

People infected by hepatitis C in Canada have limited access to direct-acting antivirals
The new direct-acting antivirals (DAA) are effective in curing the hepatitis C virus infection, a potentially fatal disease that attacks the liver.

Substance with the potential to postpone aging
The coenzyme NAD+ plays a main role in aging processes.

Diversified management provides multiple benefits in boreal forests
Forests provide multiple social and environmental benefits and play a key role in bioeconomy particularly in the Nordic countries.

Northeastern to launch innovative program in energy for underrepresented minority students
Northeastern researchers have received a $5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to establish an innovative scholarship and mentoring program that supports college transfer students from underrepresented backgrounds who are studying and doing research in energy.

American Academy of Pediatrics 2016 National Conference & Exhibition
More than 10,000 pediatricians will gather Oct. 21-25 for the 2016 American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) national conference and pre-conference symposium, where new policy recommendations and family resource tools will be unveiled as top medical experts address the most critical health issues facing today's children.

Cleveland Clinic researchers awarded R01 grant from National Institutes of Health
The National Institutes of Health National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute has awarded a $2.4 million grant over four years to Cleveland Clinic cancer researchers Jaroslaw Maciejewski, M.D., and Richard Padgett, Ph.D., to test the hypothesis that alterations in the pattern of splicing of target genes play a major role in the establishment or progression of myelodysplastic syndromes.

Healthy knees
Every year, about 250,000 people in the US -- primarily young adults participating in sports -- sustain injuries to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), and about half of these individuals end up having reconstructive surgery.

New formulation of ibuprofen may be superior for pain relief than the current version
Move over aspirin, a new formulation of ibuprofen might prove to be a 'wonder drug.' In a research report published online in The FASEB Journal, scientists used mice and rats to show that ibuprofen arginate may allow people to take higher doses without the cardiovascular side effects that are associated with current formulations found in over the counter products.

Scientists find static 'stripes' of electrical charge in copper-oxide superconductor
Understanding the electronic ordering in copper-oxide superconductors could help scientists find the 'recipe' for raising the temperature at which current can flow through these materials without energy loss.

Researchers use temperature to control droplet movement
An MIT team has found a way to make droplets move on a silicon surface just by adjusting the temperature, using a process called thermocapillary action and a lubricant-impregnated surface.

Notre Dame researchers to lead NSF Dimensions of Biodiversity study
The study will focus on the apple maggot fly, Rhagoletis pomonella, and the parasitoid wasps that attack the fly.

NASA sees Tropical Storm Sarika approaching the Philippines
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite provided a visible look at Tropical Storm Sarika after it formed and continued tracking toward the Philippines.

People with epilepsy face increased risks of discrimination and other negative life events
In a recent analysis, people with epilepsy were seven-fold more likely to have reported experiencing discrimination due to health problems than the general population.

The American College of Physicians statement on the MACRA Final Rule
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) today released the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) Final Rule, with the aim of evolving our payment system to one that recognizes and incentivizes quality and value rather than volume.

Storm wave study could help improve design of coastal defenses
Coastal defenses could be designed to better withstand powerful storms triggered by climate change, a study of wave dynamics suggests.

Genetic diversity crucial to Florida scrub-jay's survival
Legendary conservationist Aldo Leopold once advised: 'To keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution of intelligent tinkering.' For the endangered Florida scrub-jay, new research shows that saving every last grouping among its small and scattered remnant populations is vital to preserving genetic diversity -- and the long-term survival of the species.

New evidence for California Condors' genetic bottleneck
The researchers behind a new study in The Condor: Ornithological Applications analyzed samples from California Condor museum specimens dating back to the 1820s and found that the historical population was surprisingly diverse, but that a substantial amount of that diversity was lost in the last two centuries.

Agriculture development & its imprints in environmental records during Neolithic Age in north China
The Yellow River valley of northern China is the center for the domestication of millet crops (broomcorn millet and foxtail millet).

ENSO threatens food supply in southern Africa
Rapid climate change will lead to greater shortages of food, fuel, energy and animal feed in vast rural areas of eastern and southern Africa.

ACAAI 2016 Annual Scientific Meeting
ACAAI offers the most up-to-date scientific research on diagnosis and treatment of allergies and asthma.

Cocoa compound linked to some cardiovascular biomarker improvements
A new review of 19 randomized clinical trials finds that consumption of cocoa, and therefore compounds called flavanols, may improve some biomarkers related to lipids and insulin resistance.

Researchers find 2 distinct genetic subtypes in Crohn's disease patients
Crohn's disease, a common inflammatory disorder of the intestinal tract, can have devastating consequences and is notoriously hard to treat successfully, in part because its course and severity vary so much from one case to the next.

Lego-like wall produces acoustic holograms
Research Triangle engineers have developed a simple, energy-efficient way to create three-dimensional acoustic holograms.

Bendable electronic paper displays whole color range
Less than a micrometre thin, bendable and giving all the colours that a regular LED display does, it still needs ten times less energy than a Kindle tablet.

Researchers tackle land loss-climate change connection
LSU researchers in the Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences and the Department of Chemistry with collaborators at the University of Central Florida have been awarded a grant by the National Science Foundation to study the 'Fate of Coastal Wetland Carbon Under Increasing Sea Level Rise: Using the Subsiding Louisiana Coast as a Proxy for Future World-Wide Sea Level Projections.'

Crystal clear imaging: Infrared brings to light nanoscale molecular arrangement
A team of researchers working at Berkeley Lab has demonstrated infrared imaging of an organic semiconductor known for its electronics capabilities, revealing key nanoscale details about the nature of its crystal features and defects that affect its performance.

Small-scale agriculture threatens the rainforest
An extensive study led by a researcher at Lund University in Sweden has mapped the effects of small farmers on the rain forests of Southeast Asia for the first time.

Early detection method hopes to prevent psychosis
Mental health researchers have made a promising breakthrough in the early detection of the risk of psychosis, with the eventual hope that patients could be given appropriate treatments earlier to prevent psychotic episodes from occurring.

Soy protein early in life may help prevent bone loss in adulthood
Move over milk, soy protein early in life might be what's needed for strong, healthy bones in adulthood.

A team of physicists dispels Rayleigh's curse
The resolution of an optical system (like a telescope or a camera) is limited by the so-called Rayleigh criterion.

Greenland ice is melting 7 percent faster than previously thought
A hotspot in Earth's mantle caused scientists to underestimate ice loss in Greenland by 20 gigatons per year.

Dartmouth-led team develops WristWhirl, a smartwatch prototype using wrist as a joystick
Checking email, tracking fitness, and listening to music, are just a few things that a smartwatch can do but what if your hands aren't free?

Mount Sinai researchers use breakthrough technology to detect glaucoma progression
Mount Sinai researchers are using optimal coherence tomography angiography to look at the earliest stages of glaucoma and identify characteristic patterns of different forms of glaucoma based on their vascular patterns.

Factors of metabolic dysfunction are associated with increased risk for liver cancer
High body mass index, increased waist circumference, and type 2 diabetes mellitus were associated with increased risk for liver cancer in a large prospective cohort study.

Adding windows to vacant houses and clearing vacant lots reduces gun violence, saves money
Each dollar spent repairing abandoned buildings and vacant lots reduces neighborhood gun violence by as much as 39 percent and yields, respectively, a $5 and $26 return on investment (ROI) to taxpayers, and a $79 and $333 ROI to society at large through steps like installing working windows and doors in abandoned buildings, as well as removing trash and debris, and planting grass and trees.

JILA's superradiant laser may one day boost atomic clocks
JILA physicists have demonstrated a novel laser design based on synchronized emissions of light from the same type of atoms used in advanced atomic clocks.

Study finds knowingly taking placebo pills eases pain
This is the first study to demonstrate beneficial placebo effect for lower back pain sufferers who knew they were taking 'fake pills.' Patients who knowingly took placebos reported 30 percent less pain and 29 percent reduction in disability compared to control group.

Computer taught to intuitively predict chemical properties of molecules
Scientists from MIPT's Research Center for Molecular Mechanisms of Aging and Age-Related Diseases together with Inria research center, Grenoble, France have developed a software package called Knodle to determine an atom's hybridization, bond orders and functional groups' annotation in molecules.

How the gut microbiome may help us prevent IBD
In this Cellular and Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology research update, we highlight the most noteworthy research recently published in the journal, including a study offering the first example of a preventative approach to inflammatory bowel disease therapy.

Finding needles in chemical haystacks
A team of chemists including Daniel Weix from the University of Rochester has developed a process for identifying new catalysts that will help synthesize drugs more efficiently and more cheaply.

New study links neuropilin 2 deficiency to inflammation-induced edema & lymphedema
Edema frequently occurs in chronic inflammatory diseases including psoriasis and eczema.

America ranks in top 10 in empathy
A first-of-its-kind study that ranks nations by empathy puts the United States at No.

Chemist receives prestigious Israel research award
Northwestern University's Mercouri Kanatzidis has received the 2016 Samson Prime Minister's Prize for Innovation in Alternative Fuels for Transportation.

N-acetyl cysteine improves efficacy of adoptive T cell immunotherapy for melanoma
Boosting the immune system's cancer-fighting ability is the aim of adoptive T cell immunotherapy, in which the patient's T cells are harvested, expanded, and then reinfused.

Study reveals scope and characteristics of adverse drug reactions in the general population
In a study of 1,000 adult patients with unplanned admission to a tertiary hospital in Singapore, the prevalence of adverse drug reactions at the time of admission was 12.4 percent, and the prevalence of ADRs causing admission to the hospital was 8.1 percent.

Cohen Veterans Bioscience and Stanford partner to identify PTSD brain signatures
Despite many years of pioneering work characterizing the brains, behavior, and physiology of individuals with PTSD, the field of psychiatry lacks objective biological measures for determining who will benefit from which treatment.

Faster and better healing of infected wounds using negative pressure technique
Shorter wound healing time, fewer dressing changes and the opportunity for earlier discharge from the hospital.

Sedative may prevent delirium after an operation
A mild sedative could greatly reduce the risk of people experiencing delirium after an operation, according to new research.

High cholesterol triggers mitochondrial oxidative stress leading to osteoarthritis
New research using animal models, published online in The FASEB Journal, suggests that high cholesterol levels trigger mitochondrial oxidative stress on cartilage cells, causing them to die, and ultimately leading to the development of osteoarthritis.

Wonder wrap: ONR developing new ways to protect injured limbs
The Office of Naval Research is sponsoring work to develop a breakthrough medical wrap that will not only cover injured limbs, but also mitigate damage and protect tissue for up to three days.

DOE grant focuses on next generation anion exchange membranes
Low cost, durable, commercially viable polymer-based anion exchange membranes are the focus of a $2,300,000 grant from the US Department of Energy to an industry, government, university collaboration including Penn State. 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