Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 02, 2016
Researchers use genes as early warning system for harmful algae blooms
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers have sequenced the genes of a harmful algae bloom, unveiling never-before-seen interactions between algae and bacteria that are thought to propagate their growth.

Hearing deficits in schizophrenia tied to specific brain receptor
Columbia University researchers reported that people with schizophrenia who have difficulty hearing subtle changes in pitch may be helped with auditory training exercises and a drug that targets NMDA receptors in the brain.

Novel anti-PSMA imaging agent quickly identifies prostate cancer lesions
New research demonstrates that a novel imaging agent can quickly and accurately detect metastasis of prostate cancer, even in areas where detection has previously been difficult.

Researchers find link between antidepressant use and congenital anomalies or stillbirths
Academics at Swansea University have carried out a dose-response analysis which suggests that pregnant women who take a specific type of antidepressant in early pregnancy have a small but significantly greater risk of having babies with major congenital anomalies (sometimes referred to as birth defects) or stillbirths compared with those who did not take these antidepressants.

An open harbor for research data
Large-scale experiments and simulations in science supply an increasing amount of data.

Seismically active Kathmandu region in store for larger earthquake
An earthquake much more powerful and damaging than last year's 7.8 magnitude quake could rock Katmandu and the Himalayan Frontal Fault, an international team of seismic experts, led by Geophysics professor and director of the Center for Neotectonic Studies, Steve Wesnousky of the University of Nevada, Reno, has concluded.

Kidney disease hospitalization and mortality rates continue to decline in the US
According to an annual data report from the United States Renal Data System (USRDS), hospitalization and mortality rates for patients with chronic kidney disease continue to decline in the US.

Cataracts linked to increased odds of depression in older adults
Older adults with cataracts are more likely to have symptoms of depression, reports a study in the December issue of Optometry and Vision Science, official journal of the American Academy of Optometry.

Biologists unlock 51.7-million-year-old genetic secret to landmark Darwin theory
Scientists have identified the cluster of genes responsible for reproductive traits in the Primula flower, first noted as important by Charles Darwin more than 150 years ago.

'Chariot' on course to deliver healthier homes and lower energy bills
Successful trials of Chariot, a unique new system that simultaneously records temperature, humidity and energy use in the home, have opened the way for low-income households to save money while reducing risks to their health.

Hubble spotlight on irregular galaxy IC 3583
This delicate blue group of stars -- actually an irregular galaxy named IC 3583 -- sits some 30 million light-years away in the constellation of Virgo (The Virgin).

More than 100,000 people challenge Einstein in a unique worldwide quantum physics experiment
On Nov. 30, more than 100,000 people participated in the BIG Bell Test, a global experiment to test the laws of quantum physics.

A radiation-free approach to imaging molecules in the brain
Scientists hoping to see molecules that control brain activity have devised a probe that lets them image such molecules without using chemical or radioactive labels.

Faster, noninvasive method to determine the severity of a heart failure
Researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology and the Catharina Hospital in Eindhoven have developed a method that is very quick, noninvasive, cost-effective and can be performed at the hospital bedside.

New aspect of atom mimicry for nanotechnology applications
Tokyo Tech researchers show dendrimers that mimic the electron valency of atoms can also mimic polymerisation yielding controlled one and two-dimensional arrays of nanocontainers.

Dresden-based carbon concrete scientists win the Deutsche Zukunftspreis 2016
TU Dresden's professors Manfred Curbach, Chokri Cherif, and Peter Offermann are the winners of the 'Deutscher Zukunftspreis 2016' (German Future Award).

Research uses mobile technology to help people quit smoking
What if a smartphone app could help you avoid relapsing back to smoking even before you knew you were at risk?

Team to build health informatics platform for patient care coordination
Researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas will take part in a project that aims to design and construct a patient-focused and personalized health system that addresses the currently fractured structure of health care information.

Indigenous seafood consumption 15 times higher per capita than national averages
Coastal Indigenous people eat, on average, 15 times more seafood per person than non-Indigenous people in the same country, finds a Nippon Foundation-Nereus Program study published today in PLOS ONE.

PolyU and Huawei jointly set up the first lab in optical communication and advanced computing system in Hong Kong
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) is proud to unveil the plaque today for the 'PolyU-Huawei Joint Laboratory for Optical Interconnection Network and Advanced Computing System' (Joint Lab).

Shape matters when light meets atom
Scientists at the Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore have shown that a photon's shape affects how it is absorbed by a single atom.

NYU researchers identify stress-hormone differences among gay men
Increased stigma and discrimination can affect circadian HPA-axis functioning; the majority of previous studies have been conducted among white heterosexuals, with very little research examining HPA-axis functioning between different minorities.

Mount Sinai Health System researchers present influential research at ASH 2016
Physicians and researchers from Mount Sinai Health System are presenting influential research and study updates at the American Society of Hematology's Annual Meeting and Exposition in San Diego, Calif., Dec.

Johns Hopkins researchers uncover more genetic links to brain cancer cell growth
Two recently discovered genetic differences between brain cancer cells and normal tissue cells -- an altered gene and a snippet of noncoding genetic material -- could offer clues to tumor behavior and potential new targets for therapy, Johns Hopkins scientists report.

Researchers may have found first polluted river from before Bronze Age
Industrial pollution may seem like a modern phenomenon, but in fact, an international team of researchers may have discovered what could be the world's first polluted river, contaminated approximately 7,000 years ago.

New method improves stability, extends shelf life of protein drugs
Matthew Webber, University of Notre Dame professor, tested a novel route for non-covalent protein modification and results reveal a new way to improve the stability of common protein drugs and extend shelf-life.

New gene therapy for pseudarthrosis trialed at Kazan University
A team headed by Professor Albert Rizvanov, director of the Gene and Cell Technologies Open Lab, created a gene therapy drug that encodes growth factors for the stimulation of blood vessel and bone formation.

Evaluation of scientific rigor in animal research
The 'reproducibility crisis' in biomedical research has led to questions about the scientific rigor in animal research, and thus the ethical justification of animal experiments.

New test identifies high-risk liver patients
Newcastle scientists and medics have developed a promising new test to identify patients with a rare liver disease who will not respond to standard treatment, allowing earlier intervention with alternatives.

Map of drugs reveals uncharted waters in search for new treatments
Scientists have created a map of all 1,578 licensed drugs and their mechanisms of action -- as a means of identifying 'uncharted waters' in the search for future treatments.

Fast, efficient sperm tails inspire nanobiotechnology
Just like workers in a factory, enzymes can create a final product more efficiently if they are stuck together in one place and pass the raw material from enzyme to enzyme, assembly line-style.

AACR recognizes Fergus Couch and Max Wicha for contributions to breast cancer reseach
Fergus J. Couch, Ph.D., of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, will receive the ninth annual AACR Outstanding Investigator Award for Breast Cancer Research, funded by Susan G.

Treatment significantly reduces chemotherapy-induced hearing loss in children
Investigators from Children's Hospital Los Angeles and 37 other Children's Oncology Group hospitals in the US and Canada have determined that sodium thiosulfate prevents cisplatin-induced hearing loss in children and adolescents with cancer.

Open-source tools accelerate plant breeding in developing countries
The GOBII Project has developed new software to help plant breeders in developing countries to pick the best parent varieties for adding new traits into existing high-yield crops.

When artistic freedom violates somebody's privacy
It can be quite an honor to be included in a literary work -- but it may also be a demeaning experience.

Construction of practical quantum computers radically simplified
Scientists at the University of Sussex have invented a ground-breaking new method that puts the construction of large-scale quantum computers within reach of current technology.

Overcoming the limitations of optical microscopy
A research group led by Professor Dr. Benjamin Judkewitz at Charité -- Universitätsmedizin Berlin is planning to overcome the limitations of optical microscopy and produce images of deeper tissue layers.

Mechanism of probiotic health promotion revealed
In several clinical trials, the probiotic bacterium Lactobacillus paracasei DG has been shown to promote health, but until now, the mechanism has remained a black box.

Lung function decline accelerates in menopausal women
Menopausal women appear to experience an accelerated decline in lung function, according to new research published online ahead of print in the American Thoracic Society's American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Advanced imaging of intact brains during ischemic stroke reveals a new role for pericytes
Pericytes are the primary locus of matrix-mellaproteinase-9-dependent (MMP-9) capillary damage and blood leakage during ischemia, report Medical University of South Carolina investigators in The Journal of Neuroscience.

Turning off asthma attacks
Working with human immune cells in the laboratory, Johns Hopkins researchers report they have identified a critical cellular 'off' switch for the inflammatory immune response that contributes to lung-constricting asthma attacks.

Research points to Orb2 as a physical substrate for memory strength, retention
How do you remember what happened today in the weeks and months that follow?

Environmental scientist's early warning indicators win the prize
Promising environmental researcher David Seekell has been awarded a prestigious prize: the Science and SciLifeLab Prize for Young Scientists.

Student's award-winning graphene battery could slash electric-car charging times
A student engineer from the University of Sussex in the UK has won a car industry award for designing a new battery that could revolutionize electric vehicles.

NASA's AIM observes early noctilucent ice clouds over Antarctica
Data from NASA's AIM spacecraft shows the sky over Antarctica is glowing electric blue due to the start (an early one) of noctilucent, or night-shining, cloud season in the Southern Hemisphere.

What makes your voice yours?
What are the characteristics of the way you say, 'hello,' (or anything else for that matter) that makes you recognizable over the phone?

Triggerfish needed to grow reefs, new research finds
A study of complex coral reef ecosystems in the western Indian Ocean found that one species of fish -- the orange-lined triggerfish -- may play a significant role in maintaining a reef's ability to thrive and grow, according to investigations by WCS.

Seafood consumption 15 times higher among Indigenous than non-Indigenous people
Coastal Indigenous people eat on average 15 times more seafood per person than non-Indigenous people in the same country, according to new research from the University of British Columbia.

Putting fundamental rights of persons with disabilities on the map
The WORLD Policy Analysis Center at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health produced a far-reaching analysis of countries' efforts, since adoption of Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, to enact and address global rights, laws and policies affecting persons with disabilities.

E-cigarettes effectively deliver nicotine
New research shows that e-cigarettes are as effective at delivering nicotine as conventional cigarettes, especially when used by experienced vapers.

New mothers preoccupied with their problems can find it more difficult to respond to their babies
Mothers who have repetitive and self-focused negative thoughts about their own problems can have poorer-quality relationships with their babies, new research from the University of Exeter shows.

Superconductivity of pure Bismuth crystal at 0.00053 K
Scientists at TIFR Mumbai have discovered superconductivity of pure Bismuth crystal.

High-precision magnetic field sensing
Scientists have developed a highly sensitive sensor to detect tiny changes in strong magnetic fields.

Bailey, Borwein, Mattingly, and Wightwick to receive 2017 AMS Conant Prize
David Bailey, Jonathan Borwein, Andrew Mattingly, and Glenn Wightwick will receive the 2017 AMS Levi L.

Exotic insulator may hold clue to key mystery of modern physics
Experiments using laser light and pieces of gray material the size of fingernail clippings may offer clues to a fundamental scientific riddle: What is the relationship between the everyday world of classical physics and the hidden quantum realm that obeys entirely different rules?

Physicists decipher electronic properties of materials in work that may change transistors
University of Texas at Dallas physicists have published new findings examining the electrical properties of materials that could be harnessed for next-generation transistors and electronics.

Tunneling holds key to high-speed modulation of transistor and laser development
In 2004, electrical engineering pioneers Nick Holonyak Jr. and Milton Feng at the University of Illinois invented the transistor laser -- a three-port device that incorporated quantum-wells in the base and an optical cavity -- increasing its capacity to transmit data one hundred-fold.

Cement made from steel production byproduct can lead to a huge CO2 reduction
Steel production generates some hundred million tons of steel slag worldwide each year.

Researcher Bruce McCandliss to address brain science and educational success in Seattle Dec. 6
Dr. Bruce McCandliss, a renowned scholar on developmental cognitive neuroscience, will deliver a lecture titled 'Early Education and the Brain: Making Novel Connections' as part of the American Educational Research Association's Centennial Lecture Series.

Penn Medicine team to present findings of personalized cellular therapies at ASH Meeting
Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia will present the latest advances from their studies of personalized cellular therapies for blood cancers during the 58th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology in San Diego.

New tool uses UV light to control inflammation
Cornell researchers have developed a chemical tool to control inflammation that is activated by ultraviolet (UV) light.

Where giant galaxies are born
An international team of scientists, with IAC participation, has discovered that the biggest galaxies in the universe develop in cosmic clouds of cold gas.

Saturated fat could be good for you
A Norwegian study shows that saturated fat actually could be good for you.

Short-term sleep deprivation affects heart function
Too little sleep takes a toll on your heart, according to a new study to be presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America. 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