Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 12, 2017
Researchers create mosquito resistant to dengue virus
Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have genetically modified mosquitoes to resist infection from dengue virus, a virus that sickens an estimated 96 million people globally each year and kills more than 20,000, mostly children.

Improving longevity of functionally integrated stem cells in regenerative vision therapy
One of the challenges in developing stem cell therapies is ensuring that transplanted cells can survive long enough to work.

Malaria elimination: Vaccines should be tested on larger groups of volunteers
To find an effective vaccine against malaria it is crucial to test candidate vaccines on larger groups of people than previously thought -- according to a new study published in PLOS Computational Biology.

Study looks at strategies used by African-American women facing intimate partner violence
African-American women in abusive relationships use a variety of strategies pulled from three general categories to survive intimate partner violence (IPV), according to a new University at Buffalo study recently published in the journal Social Work.

Offenders' deadly thoughts may hold answer to reducing crime
It's something many of us may say in anger, but don't really mean.

Schizophrenia could directly increase risk of diabetes
People with early schizophrenia are at an increased risk of developing diabetes, even when the effects of antipsychotic drugs, diet and exercise are taken out of the equation, according to an analysis by researchers from King's College London.

Sanford neurosurgeon's pediatric stroke case published in national journal
A 9-day-old baby who suffered a normally fatal stroke was saved after a Sanford Health cerebrovascular neurosurgeon removed the clot by combining mechanical and medicinal therapies.

Seeing vape pen in use boosts desire to smoke among young adults
The newer e-cigarette vape pens (AKA vaporizers) may not look like cigarettes, but they stimulate the urge to smoke as powerfully as watching someone smoke a traditional tobacco cigarette.

Crybaby: The vitamins in your tears
Would you rather shed a couple tears or have your blood drawn?

New urine test can quickly detect whether a person has a healthy diet
Scientists have developed a urine test that measures the health of a person's diet.

Ocean acidification to hit West Coast Dungeness crab fishery, new assessment shows
The acidification of the ocean expected as seawater absorbs increasing amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere will reverberate through the West Coast's marine food web, but not necessarily in the ways you might expect, new research shows.

Annual report examines state of college student mental heath
Despite increased demand for counseling centers on college campuses, students aren't necessarily getting sicker.

Why do killer whales go through menopause? Mother-daughter conflict is key
Killer whales are one of only three species that are known to go through menopause, surviving long after they've stopped reproducing.

Inhibition of EZH2 might be new therapy of multiple myeloma
In a study published in the scientific journal Oncotarget, researchers from Uppsala University show how the protein EZH2 affects the development of multiple myeloma, and that inhibition of EZH2 could be used as a new strategy to treat the disease.

How navigational goals are represented in the bat brain
In bats, researchers have identified a subpopulation of neurons that represent navigational goals, a new study reports.

Wearable biosensors can flag illness, Lyme disease, risk for diabetes; low airplane oxygen
Can your smart watch detect when you are becoming sick?

Study: Vulnerable young women of color most likely to need abortion financial assistance
Abortion fund patients who get aid to help pay for abortions are younger and more likely to be African American when compared to general abortion patients in the US, according to the findings of a study just published online in the journal Social Work in Health Care.

Researchers capture first glimpse of ruby seadragons in the wild
Researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego and the Western Australian Museum capture on video the first-ever field sighting of the newly discovered third species of seadragon.

A sugary drinks tax has wider economic as well as health benefits
The wider economic benefits of a tax on sugary drinks need to be recognized by policymakers if retailers' pricing behavior is to be changed, according to a study led by the University of East Anglia.

Researchers reveal that not all violent acts are equal
People from different nationalities make similar judgements and decisions about the severity of different violent acts -- a finding that could help international organisations, such as the UN and World Health Organisation to better manage crime and violent behaviour -- according to research led by Queen Mary University of London (QMUL).

Vader Systems creates liquid metal 3-D printer for manufacturing
A father and son team have created a liquid metal 3-D printing machine that could represent a significant transformation in manufacturing.

Decreasing cocaine use leads to regression of coronary artery disease
People who use cocaine regularly are at high risk of coronary artery disease.

Markers for prostate cancer death can identify men in need of more aggressive treatment
Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital found that a prostate specific antigen (PSA) nadir greater than 0.5 ng/mL following radiation and androgen deprivation therapy, appears to identify men prior to PSA failure who are at high-risk for dying early as a result of treatment failure for their prostate cancer.

New research sheds light on why older mothers more likely to face birth complications
Using mouse models, researchers from King's College London have discovered that maternal age influences the structure of the uterus.

Awareness of biases is key to better health care decisions, says GSA
The Gerontological Society of America -- the nation's largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging -- has expanded its Communicating with Older Adults publication series with the release of 'Recognizing Hidden Traps in Health Care Decision Making.'

Maternal blood pressure before pregnancy may be related to babies' sex
A new paper published in the American Journal of Hypertension suggests that a woman's blood pressure before pregnancy is related to her likelihood of giving birth to a boy or girl.

Keys to hunting behavior tucked deep into vertebrate brain
The origin of hunting behavior may come from two sets of neurons tucked deep in the forebrain of most vertebrates, a new Yale University study suggests.

India was by no means as isolated as we thought
India gradually drifted away from Africa and Madagascar towards the north and collided with the Eurasian plate.

Cholera bacteria infect more effectively with a simple twist of shape
Princeton University researchers have discovered that the bacteria behind the life-threatening disease cholera initiates infection by coordinating a wave of mass shapeshifting that allows them to more effectively penetrate their victims' intestines.

Fish lightly to keep snapper on the reef
Scientists have looked at 253 coral reef sites across the Indian Ocean.

Viruses in the genome important for our brain
Over millions of years retroviruses have been incorporated into our human DNA, where they today make up almost 10 per cent of the total genome.

University of Miami doctors publish study of first locally acquired Zika transmission
Following the recent Zika outbreak in Miami-Dade County, a multidisciplinary team of physicians with the University of Miami Health System and Miller School of Medicine published a case study today in the New England Journal of Medicine, describing in detail the nation's first locally-transmitted case of Zika.

Protecting the ocean
Benjamin Halpern, director of NCEAS, to receive the 2017 Peter Benchley Ocean Award for Excellence in Science.

New research explores the effect of winter dormancy on cold-blooded cognition
Unlike mammals, amphibians who rest up during the winter do not forget the memories they made beforehand -- this is the surprising discovery of new scientific research.

Recent Alzheimer's drug disappointment illuminates pathway for progress against the disease
In a letter released today by UsAgainstAlzheimer's, Co-Founder and Chairman George Vradenburg said the negative clinical trial of a once-promising Alzheimer's drug, Solanezumab, which showed clinically insignificant ability to slow cognitive decline in Alzheimer's patients, should be viewed not as a failure, but as a development that 'provides valuable lessons and suggests a way forward in the fight against Alzheimer's.'

Medical imaging innovator Christine Hendon wins Presidential honor
Christine Hendon, assistant professor of electrical engineering at Columbia Engineering, has won the Presidential Early Career Award (PECASE), the highest honor the US government gives to young scientists and engineers.

Genetically engineered mosquitoes resist dengue fever virus
After decades of research and countless control attempts, dengue fever -- a mosquito-borne viral disease -- continues to infect an estimated 390 million people around the world each year.

High-resolution pH imaging elucidates energy mechanisms in creating bacterial flagella
Osaka University researchers established a state-of-the-art high-resolution imaging systems to measure pH-related variations in signal intensities of fluorescent pH probe pHluorin in live bacteria.

Type 2 diabetes shows marked increase in pediatric population
Private health insurance claim lines with a type 2 diabetes diagnosis more than doubled in the pediatric population (ages 0 to 22 years) from 2011 to 2015, increasing 109 percent, according to data from FAIR Health, a national, independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing transparency to healthcare costs and health insurance information.

Endocrine Society launches first open-access journal
The Endocrine Society unveiled the first issue of its open-access scholarly publication the Journal of the Endocrine Society today, marking the first time the society has introduced a new journal under its ownership in nearly 30 years.

Why are Australia's shrublands like 'knee-high tropical rainforests'?
A new UdeM study of the flora 'Down Under' breaks new ground by showing that soil biota play an important role in the maintenance of plant diversity in species-rich ecosystems.

Classic video game system used to improve understanding of the brain
The complexity of neural networks makes them difficult to analyze, but manmade computing systems should be simpler to understand.

Scientists reveal non-addictive pathway to pain relief
New research suggests an avenue for developing treatments for chronic pain that harness the medicinal properties of cannabis while minimizing the threat of addiction.

Exercise ... It does a body good: 20 minutes can act as anti-inflammatory
It's well known that regular physical activity has health benefits, including weight control, strengthening the heart, bones and muscles and reducing the risk of certain diseases.

BLAST: Greater speed, accuracy in recognizing brain injury
The Office of Naval Research is sponsoring the development of a portable, three-part system that can measure blast pressure, establish injury thresholds for the brain and analyze potential traumatic brain injury symptoms.

UTHealth study outlines framework for identifying disease risk in genome sequence
Imagine a day when you visit the doctor's office for your annual physical.

'Shrew'-d study: Arctic shrews, parasites indicate climate change effect on ecosystems
The shrew and its parasites -- even 40-year-old preserved ones -- are the new indicators of environmental change, according a Kansas State University researcher.

Tiny plants with huge potential
Researchers at the University of Jena, together with colleagues in India and Germany, have investigated the potential of various duckweeds as a human food source.

Now entering 'the valley of death'
Amid Trump comments and stock dive, let WUSTL expert in drug research and development Michael Kinch walk you through pharma 'Valley of Death.'

Macaques, like humans, know how well they can recall memories
Researchers have pinpointed a brain region monkeys use to evaluate their ability to recall memories.

There's no one-size-fits-all solution to climate change
The world's forests are crucial to slowing climate change, but they're being destroyed to make room for farms, mines, and other economic ventures.

New technology enables 5-D imaging in live animals, humans
The technique developed by an international team of scientists is faster, less expensive and more accurate than current imaging methods that can identify signs of disease.

Does recent randomized prostate cancer trial provide insights on best treatment?
For the first time, we now have a randomized trial comparing active monitoring, surgery, and radiation therapy for the management of localized prostate cancer.

Health effects of marijuana and cannabis-derived products presented in new report
A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine offers a rigorous review of scientific research published since 1999.

T cells join the fight against Zika
The worst of the global Zika virus outbreak may be over but many key questions remain, such as why the virus persists in certain tissues after the systemic infection has cleared; how does the immune system counteract the virus and protect against reinfection; what determines the likelihood of long-term complications?

Alternative payment model boosts quality of care for low-income patients
People receiving care by providers participating in a payment model that provides a lump sum to cover all care rather than each individual service, experienced improvements in quality of care, with the greatest gains observed among patients of lower-socio economic status.

Mutations responsible for cleft palate and related birth defects identified
Researchers located a novel gene mutation causing cleft lip and cleft palate defects, which slows the turnover of hyaluronan, an important component of the hard palate.

'Mysterious' non-protein-coding RNAs play important roles in gene expression
Enhancers boost the rate of gene expression from nearby protein-coding genes so a cell can pump out more of a needed protein molecule.

UTA study shows exercise, diet could offset effects of malaria
The right amount of diet and exercise can help lessen damage to the heart and skeletal muscles brought on by malaria, according to a new UTA study.

Laser metronome achieves record synchronization
Scientists at DESY have set up the world's most precise 'metronome' for a kilometre-wide network.

Biophysical Society announces 2017 New and Notable Symposium speakers
The Biophysical Society has announced the speakers for the New and Notable Symposium at the Society's 61st Annual Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Swimming for science
Researchers have developed the first successful 3-D computer modeling of the motions of zebrafish, which are increasingly the species of choice for biomedical research, particularly neurobehavioral studies that are critical to understanding the brain.

Modeling magma to find copper
About 70 percent of the copper comes from deposits formed several million years ago during events of magma degassing within the Earth's crust just above subduction zones.

Initiative encourages international sharing of data to combat infectious disease outbreaks
To protect people against potentially deadly infectious disease outbreaks, it is critical that scientists and governments rapidly share information about the pathogens that cause them.

Scientists switch on predatory kill instinct in mice
Researchers at Yale University have isolated the brain circuitry that coordinates predatory hunting, according to a study in the Jan.

Here be ruby seadragons! New species seen in the wild for the first time
The first live record of the ruby seadragon, Phyllopteryx dewysea, a species never before observed in the wild, is being published in the open-access journal Marine Biodiversity Records this week.

Mother-daughter conflict between killer whales can explain the evolution of menopause
An international research team, from the universities of Exeter, Cambridge and York, the Center for Whale Research and Fisheries and Oceans Canada have found that mother-daughter conflict can explain why killer whales are one of only three known species of mammal, including humans, to go through the menopause.

Oral iron drug found safe and effective for treating anemia in kidney disease patients
In a phase 3 trial of patients with chronic kidney disease, 52.1 percent of patients receiving oral ferric citrate experienced a significant boost in hemoglobin levels (a reflection of red blood cell counts) compared with 19.1 percent of patients receiving placebo.

Being rude to your child's doctor could lead to worse care
Emotions tend to run high in hospitals, and patients or patients' loved ones can be rude to medical professionals when they perceive inadequate care.

3-D printing could transform future membrane technology
Researchers at the University of Bath suggest developments in 3-D printing techniques could open the door to the advancement of membrane capabilities.

Pragmatic approach to using animal tissue
Using animals to research potentially life-saving treatments for humans is a necessary part of the scientific process, though progress has been made in reducing the number of animals involved.

Changing atmospheric conditions may contribute to stronger ocean waves in Antarctica
A new study led by Colorado State University provides important details on the extent of sea ice, which can protect ice shelves from the impacts of ocean storms, in the Antarctic Peninsula.

IUPUI study: Training computers to differentiate between people with the same name
How do you tell which Anna Hernandez authored a specific study or which Robert Jones is attempting to board an airplane flight?

Sleep health program reduces firefighter disability and injury
To test the hypothesis that a workplace-based Sleep Health Program (SHP) would improve firefighter health and safety compared to standard practice, researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital developed an SHP incorporating sleep health education and sleep disorder screening It is the first randomized prospective trial to demonstrate a reduction in risk of injury and disability through implementation of an SHP.

How well do we understand the relation between incorrect chromosome number & cancer?
Researchers at CSHL and MIT report surprising results of experiments intended to explore the consequences of having too many or too few chromosomes, a phenomenon that biologists call aneuploidy.

Profitable coral reef fisheries require light fishing
Fishing is fundamentally altering the food chain in coral reefs and putting dual pressures on the valuable top-level predatory fish, according to new research by the Wildlife Conservation Society, Lancaster University, and other organizations.

Building London's Houses of Parliament helped create clean-air laws
Britain's dazzling Houses of Parliament building, constructed from 1840 until 1870, is an international icon.

New system for forming memories
Until now, the hippocampus was considered the most important brain region for forming and recalling memory, with other regions only contributing as subordinates.

Twenty-five frogs added to the amphibian fauna of Mount Oku, Cameroon
While amphibians all over the world are undergoing a continuous decline, their status in certain regions, such as Central Africa, remains unknown due to incomplete information.

Major grant awarded to resolve debate on treatment after major surgery
Queen Mary University of London has been awarded $1.5 million (£1.2 million) by Edwards Lifesciences to carry out a study into a debated therapy for preventing complications, especially infections, after major surgery.

Wearable sensors can tell when you are getting sick, Stanford study shows
New research from Stanford shows that fitness monitors and other wearable biosensors can tell when an individual's heart rate, skin temperature and other measures are abnormal, suggesting possible illness.

Reef fish that conquer fear of sharks may help control excess algae
A UC Davis study found that coral reef fish experience landscapes of fear based on how much shelter from predators is available.

TSRI scientists discover master regulator of cellular aging
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have discovered a protein that fine-tunes the cellular clock involved in aging.

Can we produce a better wheat crop to feed the world? Single to multiple wheat genomics
Entering a 'wheat pan-genomics' era from single to multiple wheat DNA references, the Earlham Institute aims to diversify one of the world's most complex genomes to improve yield quality and increase wider production of this critical food crop.

New Caltech instrument poised to image the cosmic web
A Caltech team has designed and built a new imaging spectrograph to map streams of gas that feed forming galaxies.

Iowa State engineer helps journal highlight how pyrolysis can advance the bioeconomy
Iowa State's Robert C. Brown is a guest editor of the current issue of the journal Energy Technology.

IDRI contributes to first point-of-care Chagas disease diagnostic for US
With Chagas disease becoming more prevalent in the United States, a diagnostic to quickly and easily detect infection is needed.

Microbes rule in 'knee-high tropical rainforests'
Rainforests on infertile wet soils support more than half of all plant species.

Mapping movements of alien bird species
The global map of alien bird species has been produced for the first time by a UCL-led team of researchers.

Malaria infection depends on number of parasites, not number of mosquito bites
For the first time, researchers have shown that the number of parasites each mosquito carries influences the chance of successful malaria infection.

Study: Depression in pregnancy, low birth weight tied to biomarker
A biomarker in pregnant women is linked to depression and low fetal birth weight.

Simple fats and amino acids to explain how life began
Life is a process that originated 3.5 billion years ago.

Bacteria recruit other species with long-range electrical signals
Biologists at UC San Diego who recently found that bacteria resolve social conflicts within their communities and communicate with one another like neurons in the brain have discovered another human-like trait in these apparently not-so-simple, single-celled creatures.

In letters to Trump & Congress, AGS highlights programs essential to older adults
In letters to President-elect Donald Trump and Congress, the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) has reinforced the importance of collaborating to support older Americans through critical programs and policies.

Conservation practices may leave African indigenous populations behind
Conservation and logging groups in Central and West Africa are failing to fully incorporate local concerns into management, marginalizing the livelihoods of the local population, according to Nathan Clay, Ph.D. candidate in geography, Penn State.

Save the Date to report on meeting of largest medical specialty organization in US
Health care journalists can report on a broad array of clinical and policy topics and interview expert physician leaders at Internal Medicine Meeting 2017, the annual scientific meeting of the American College of Physicians (ACP), March 30 - April1 1, in San Diego (Thursday through Saturday) at the San Diego Convention Center.

Sex, race and financial factors affect rates of jaw surgery for sleep apnea
Jaw advancement surgery is one of the most effective surgical treatments for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) -- but it's less likely to be performed in men, racial/ethnic minorities, lower-income groups, and patients with Medicare coverage, reports a study in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery--Global Open®, the official open-access medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

Malaria transmission may increase when more parasites are transferred via mosquito bite
Mosquitos carrying a greater number of malaria-causing parasites may be more likely to cause infection in the people they bite, according to a new study published in PLOS Pathogens.

Survival artists in the Antarctic
Researchers study the ways in which moss can survive in hostile environments.

€29 million research grant to assess risk posed by deadly lung infections
Experts have received € 29 million to investigate serious lung infections that particularly affect babies and older people.

Blended galaxies
Galaxies are merging all the time, even our own galaxy, the Milky Way.

Melanoma mutation likes fat for fuel
Cancer cells love glucose, so a high-fat, low-carb diet should starve them, right?

Two-thirds of packaged foods and drinks in Canada have added sugars
An analysis of over 40,000 commonly available packaged foods and beverages in Canada has found that 66 percent of these products -- including some infant formulas and baby food products and many so-called 'healthier' foods such as yogurt, juice, breakfast cereals, and snack bars -- have at least one added sugar in their ingredients list, according to new research from Public Health Ontario and the University of Waterloo.

Children's National and Inova announce $2.8 million research and education collaboration
Children's National Health System and Inova this week announced a new three-year, $2.8 million research and education collaboration in maternal, fetal and neonatal medicine that aims to leverage the strengths of both health care facilities to improve the health of pregnant women and their children.

Benefits of renting a home may be underrated
Renting rather than owning a home may not be as expensive as many people think, according to financial research from the University of Stirling.

Biologists discover how viruses hijack cell's machinery
Biologists at UC San Diego have documented for the first time how very large viruses reprogram the cellular machinery of bacteria during infection to more closely resemble an animal or human cell -- a process that allows these alien invaders to trick cells into producing hundreds of new viruses, which eventually explode from and kill the cells they infect.

Huntsman Cancer Institute research holds promise for personalized lung cancer treatments
New research from scientists at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah uncovered distinct types of tumors within small cell lung cancer that look and act differently from one another.

How soil bacteria and fungi drive plant diversity
Two new studies shed light on how the composition of biota in soil drives plant diversity.

Target freshers to halt spread of meningitis, say researchers
A campaign targeted at students arriving at university for the first time could hold the key to reducing the spread of meningitis and septicemia, say researchers at the universities of Nottingham and Leicester.

In teens, strong friendships may mitigate depression associated with excessive video gaming
Teenagers who play video games for more than four hours a day suffer from symptoms of depression, but frequent use of social media and instant messaging may mitigate symptoms of game addiction in these teens, new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health-led research suggests.

Researchers find link between concussions and Alzheimer's disease
New research has found concussions accelerate Alzheimer's disease-related brain atrophy and cognitive decline in people who are at genetic risk for the condition.

Manchester scientists tie the tightest knot ever achieved
Scientists at The University of Manchester have produced the most tightly knotted physical structure ever known -- a scientific achievement which has the potential to create a new generation of advanced materials.

This bay in Scandinavia has world record in carbon storing
Forests are potent carbon sinks, but also the oceans' seagrasses can store enormous amounts of carbon.

Research evaluates treatment options for pelvic organ prolapse
New research has been published by a team at Women & Infants that offers insight into whether surgery or having a pessary better improves the symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse.

Fighting viruses to improve agriculture
A University of California, Riverside researcher is leading a team that will receive $300,000 over two years to study the life cycles of viruses that are harmful to humans and agricultural plants.

BBSRC BRAVO: Optimizing the performance of Brassica crops
A new five-year project BBSRC Brassica, Rapeseed and Vegetable Optimisation (BRAVO), will receive funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.

Family Medicine and Community Health journal volume 4, issue number 4 publishes
The Winter 2016 issue includes three original research articles, two review articles, a commentary article, a narrative analysis article and two China Focus articles addressing various topics in family medicine in both China and internationally.

Some cells need a 'haircut' before duplicating
Many of our cells are equipped with a hairlike 'antenna' that relays information about the external environment to the cell, and scientists have already discovered that the appearance and disappearance of these so-called primary cilia are synchronized with the process of cellular duplication, called mitosis

New drug in development shows improved survival for patients with advanced metastat
A new therapy in development for the treatment of midgut neuroendocrine tumors, a rare type of cancer that occurs in the small intestine and colon, shows improved progression-free survival and response rates for patients with advanced disease.

New study in Neurosurgery finds overlapping surgery is safe and efficient
Overlapping surgery occurs when a surgeon oversees two operations at the same time.

Women with high-risk congenital heart disease can have successful pregnancies
Women with high-risk congenital heart disease can have successful pregnancies but should seek counseling before conception to understand how their conditions could affect pregnancy and their child's health. 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