Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 24, 2017
Data security in medical studies: IT researchers break anonymity of gene databases
DNA profiles can reveal a number of details about individuals.

An intriguing new gene candidate in the search for Alzheimer's disease therapies
Tau pathology is one of the defining features of Alzheimer's disease (AD), which is the most common form of dementia in older age.

UNC to create and test injectable long-acting implant to prevent HIV/AIDS
Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have received a three-year, $1.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop a new implantable drug delivery system for long-lasting HIV-prevention.

Survivors of childhood brain tumors have increased body fat
These findings suggest that one of the most important risk factors for heart disease and type 2 diabetes, which is excess total and central fat in the body, is present relatively early in survivors of childhood brain tumors.

The Hierarchical Taxonomy of Psychopathology (HiTOP): A new model that addresses limitations of traditional taxonomies
An inaugural publication from an international consortium of psychologists and psychiatrists offers a new approach to diagnosing mental disorders.

NASA sees Tropical Cyclone Caleb's heaviest rainfall
Tropical cyclone Caleb formed on March 23 in the South Indian Ocean southwest of the Indonesian Island of Sumatra.

Big data approach to predict protein structure
Nothing works without proteins in the body, they are the molecular all-rounders in our cells.

UTA quantifying coral species' disease susceptibility by examining immune traits
A biologist from the University of Texas at Arlington is leading a new study aimed at quantifying how susceptible coral species are to disease by examining their immunity through a series of novel experiments and approaches.

Immunotherapy drug becomes first therapy approved by FDA for rare skin cancer
The US Food and Drug Administration yesterday granted accelerated approval to the checkpoint inhibitor Bavencio (avelumab) for the treatment of patients with metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC), including those who have not received prior chemotherapy.

Genetics Society of America honors Richard Lewontin with 2017 Thomas Hunt Morgan Medal
The Genetics Society of America is pleased to announce that Richard C.

BRCA testing on the rise for those without breast or ovarian cancers
More women are requesting BRCA gene testing associated with certain types of cancer thanks to increased interest in the procedure.

New lab-on-a-chip platform seeks to improve pathogen detection
Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute have developed a new prototype lab-on-a-chip platform for the easy and versatile detection of molecular pathogens.

'Fingerprint' technique spots frog populations at risk from pollution
Researchers at Lancaster University in the UK have found a way to detect subtle early warning signs that reveal a frog population is at risk from pollution.

Study confirms prescription weight-loss medication helps with opiate addiction recovery
Researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston have confirmed that a prescription weight-loss pill decreases the urge to use opiates such as oxycodone.

Most Lithuanians still emigrate for economic reasons
Independent research, initiated and carried out by Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) interdisciplinary migration research cluster shows that introduction of Euro in Lithuania coincides with the fourth wave of emigration.

Land-based microbes may be invading and harming coral reefs
A new study suggests that coral reefs -- already under existential threat from global warming -- may be undergoing further damage from invading bacteria and fungi coming from land-based sources, such as outfall from sewage treatment plants and coastal inlets.

Biodiversity loss shifts flowering phenology at same magnitude as global warming
Researchers have revealed that declining plant diversity -- from habitat loss, human use, and other environmental pressures -- causes plants to flower earlier, and that the effects of diversity loss on the timing of flowering are similar in magnitude to the effects of global warming.

Astronomers identify purest, most massive brown dwarf
An international team of astronomers has identified a record breaking brown dwarf (a star too small for nuclear fusion) with the 'purest' composition and the highest mass yet known.

The role of context in ethnic/racial identity among minority youth
This special section of Child Development, edited by Drs. Eleanor Seaton, Stephen Quintana, Maykel Verkuyten and Gilbert Gee, adds important information to the research in this area.

New gene discovered associated with Tau, a common form of brain pathology
Investigators at Rush University Medical Center and the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston reported the discovery of a new gene that is associated with susceptibility to a common form of brain pathology called Tau that accumulates in several different conditions, including Alzheimer's disease, certain forms of dementia and Parkinsonian syndromes as well as chronic traumatic encephalopathy that occurs with repeated head injuries.

Academics call for Parliament to tackle the privatization of NHS
A bill to prevent the privatization of NHS services and to reinstate the NHS in England, supported and written by Newcastle University academics, is scheduled to be debated today.

Hydrophobic proteins on virus surfaces can help purify vaccines
Through experimental and computational tests, new research expands on the theory of virus surface hydrophobicity.

A little vigorous exercise may help boost kids' cardiometabolic health
As little as 10 minutes a day of high-intensity physical activity could help some children reduce their risk of developing heart problems and metabolic diseases such as diabetes, according to an international study led by a researcher at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

Schizophrenia-associated gene research funded by $3.1 million NIH grant
A research team at Emory University is embarking on a multipronged study of 3q29 deletion syndrome, a genetic mutation associated with a 40-fold increased risk for schizophrenia and a range of other neuropsychiatric conditions including mild to moderate intellectual disability, autism and anxiety.

Electrical 'switch' in brain's capillary network monitors activity and controls blood flow
New research has uncovered that capillaries have the capacity to both sense brain activity and generate an electrical vasodilatory signal to evoke blood flow and direct nutrients to neurons.

Scientists make new discovery about bird evolution
In a new paper published in National Science Review, a team of scientists from China described the most exceptionally preserved fossil bird discovered to date.

Research results in AI for drug discovery to be presented at the BioDataWorld West in San Francisco
Insilico Medicine, a Big Data analytics company applying deep learning techniques to drug discovery, biomarker development and human longevity research will present new research applying generative adversarial networks to developing new molecular structures for leads in oncology and other diseases at the BioDataWorld West, San Francisco, April 26-27.

Clock stars: Astrocytes keep time for brain, behavior
Star-shaped cells called astrocytes, long considered boring, 'support cells,' are finally coming into their own.

Leading French osteoporosis expert awarded IOF CNS Medal
Dr. Thierry Thomas, Professor of Medicine and Head of the Rheumatology Department, University hospital, St.

New study identifies successful method to reduce dental implant failure
A research team comprising scientists from the School of Biological Sciences, Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry and the School of Engineering at the University of Plymouth, have joined forces to develop and evaluate the effectiveness of a new nanocoating for dental implants to reduce the risk of peri-implantitis.

Why do guillemot chicks leap from the nest before they can fly?
It looks like a spooky suicide when small, fluffy guillemot chicks leap from the cliffs and fall several hundred meters towards the sea -- long before they are fully fledged.

Which drugs effectively treat diabetic nerve pain?
A federal health agency has found certain antidepressants and anti-seizure drugs are among medications that effectively treat diabetic nerve pain.

UTA's Robert J. Gatchel wins American Psychological Foundation's 2017 Gold Medal Award
Robert J. Gatchel, Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Nancy P.

Evolutionary advantage of the common periwinkle
A special kind of small sulfur-rich proteins, the metallothioneins, have an extraordinarily large capability for binding heavy metals.

The world's largest diamond foil
Material researchers of Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen Nürnberg have come a step closer to their goal of providing large diamond foils for practical applications.

The need to reinvent primary care
Primary care is 'first-contact, continuous, comprehensive, and coordinated care provided to populations undifferentiated by gender, disease, or organ system.' High-quality primary care has been associated with improved population health, lower costs, and greater equity.

Chance find has big implications for water treatment's costs and carbon footprint
A type of bacteria accidentally discovered during research supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council could fundamentally reshape efforts to cut the huge amount of electricity consumed during wastewater clean-up.

New research shows how metabolism and epigenetics play a role in cancer development
A study published in Briefings in Functional Genomics investigated how epigenetics can modulate human's genetic program -- it can emphasize or silence genes.

Study shows potential of stem cell therapy to repair lung damage
A new study has found that stem cell therapy can reduce lung inflammation in an animal model of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cystic fibrosis.

Neurosurgical practices must evolve and transform to adapt to rapidly changing healthcare industry
Neurosurgeons hoping to successfully navigate the rapidly changing healthcare industry must advance their strategies and adapt new ways of thinking in order to continue to thrive in an evolving environment.

NASA sees System 91P coming together east of Queensland
The area of tropical low pressure designated System 91P appears to be organizing in NASA satellite imagery on March 24.

On the trail of Parkinson's disease
The molecular causes of diseases such as Parkinson's need to be understood as a first step towards combating them.

OSIRIS-REx asteroid search tests instruments, science team
OSIRIS-REx did not discover any Earth-Trojan asteroids during a two-week search, but the spacecraft's cameras operated flawlessly and demonstrated they can image objects two magnitudes dimmer than originally expected.

'Jumonji' protein key to Ewing's sarcoma rampage
A University of Colorado Cancer Center study published in the journal Oncogene pinpoints a protein that may be essential to Ewing's sarcoma metastasis -- when researchers knocked down the protein KDM3A in Ewing's sarcoma tumor cells, one of a family known as Jumonji proteins, they also inhibited the cancer's metastatic ability.

'Bench to bedside to bench'
It's time to update the old 'bench-to-bedside' shorthand, researchers at The Jackson Laboratory, NHGRI and institutions across the US declare.

Brain scans may help clinicians choose talk therapy or medication treatment for depression
Researchers have found that specific patterns of activity on brain scans may help clinicians identify whether psychotherapy or antidepressant medication is more likely to help individual patients recover from depression.

Scientists discover shared genetic origin for ALS/MND and schizophrenia
The study, conducted by scientists at Trinity College Dublin, indicates that the causes of ALS/MND and schizophrenia are biologically linked.

Spread of ages is key to impact of disease, animal study finds
How a disease outbreak affects a group of animals depends on the breakdown of ages in the population, research has shown.

Severe psoriasis predominantly affects men
The fact that men are overrepresented in psoriasis registers and consume more psoriasis care have long led researchers to believe that the common skin disease disproportionately affects men.

Surprising twist in confined liquid crystals: A simple route to developing new sensors
Researchers at Georgia Tech found that a class of water soluble liquid crystals, called lyotropic chromonic liquid crystals, exhibited unexpected characteristics that could be harnessed for use in sensors and other potential applications.

Extreme space weather: Protecting our critical infrastructure
Extreme space weather has a global footprint and the potential to damage critical infrastructure on the ground and in space.

Microwave-induced bismuth salts-mediated synthesis of molecules of medicinal interests
The products obtained via bismuth salts-mediated reactions are medicinally active or starting materials for the synthesis of biologically active molecules including sex hormones, anticancer agents, antibacterial agents and agents for chagas diseases.

In a quantum race everyone is both a winner and a loser
Our understanding of the world is mostly built on basic perceptions, such as that events follow each other in a well-defined order.

Lighting up antibiotic resistance
Carbapenems are among the 'antibiotics of last resort' and can fight infections for which other drugs have long lost their effectiveness. 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