Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 14, 2017
Ecological underpinnings of rural poverty
A first-of-its-kind effort to examine the ecological drivers of rural poverty combines economic, ecological and epidemiological models.

The last survivors on Earth
The world's most indestructible species, the tardigrade, an eight-legged micro-animal, also known as the water bear, will survive until the sun dies, according to a new Oxford University collaboration.

Spark Therapeutics announces publication in The Lancet of pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial data for investigational voretigene neparvovec
Spark Therapeutics (NASDAQ: ONCE), a fully integrated gene therapy company dedicated to challenging the inevitability of genetic disease, today announced The Lancet, a highly ranked peer-reviewed journal, has published Phase 3 clinical trial data of voretigene neparvovec, an investigational, potential one-time gene therapy candidate for the treatment of patients with vision loss due to confirmed biallelic RPE65-mediated inherited retinal disease (IRD).

ASU-TGen led study identifies source of cell-specific change in Alzheimer's disease
ASU and TGen researchers have identified altered expression of a gene called ANK1, which only recently has been associated with memory robbing Alzheimer's disease, in specific cells in the brain.

Fluorine grants white graphene new powers
Fluorination of hexagonal boron nitride, a common insulator, turns it into a magnetic semiconductor.

Strong friendships among women in the workplace reduce conflict, according to new study
According to a new study in the INFORMS journal Organization Science, when employers foster an office environment that supports positive, social relationships between women coworkers, especially in primarily male dominated organizations, they are less likely to experience conflict among women employees.

NASA analyzes US midwest heavy rainfall, severe storms
Heavy rain resulted in significant flooding in the U.S. Midwest over the week of July 7 to 14, 2017.

Mica provides clue to how water transports minerals
In a new study from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, in collaboration with the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Delaware, chemists have been able to look at the interface between water and muscovite mica, a flat mineral commonly found in granite, soils and many sediments.

Helping robots learn to see in 3-D
While it's relatively straightforward for robots to 'see' objects with cameras and other sensors, interpreting what they see, from a single glimpse, is difficult.

Scientists discovered one of the brightest galaxies known
Thanks to an amplified image produced by a gravitational lens, and the Gran Telescopio CANARIAS a team of scientists from the Polytechnic University of Cartagena and the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias have discovered one of the brightest galaxies known from the epoch when the universe had 20 percent of its present age.

Increased sample size in 2015 survey
The National Science Foundation's National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics has more than doubled the sample size of its 2015 Survey of Doctorate Recipients in order to examine employment characteristics for specific fields of degree for the first time.

Peptide complex formed in the brain is responsible for Alzheimer's disease
Members of the Faculty of Fundamental Medicine at the Lomonosov Moscow State University have determined the structure of a peptide complex, formed in the brain at the early stages of Alzheimer's disease progression.

Study identifies new target to preserve nerve function
Scientists have identified an enzyme that plays a crucial role in the degeneration of axons, the threadlike portions of a nerve cell that transmit signals within the nervous system.

Hubble spots a barred lynx spiral
Discovered by British astronomer William Herschel over 200 years ago, NGC 2500 lies about 30 million light-years away in the northern constellation of Lynx.

When life gives you lemons, make bioplastics!
Chemists at ICIQ in Tarragona developed an environmentally friendly method to produce BPA-free polycarbonate from limonene and CO2.

How protein interactions drive cellular death
Researchers use a simplified model of a protein network to explain how apoptosis is regulated, whose malfunction is linked to cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.

New gene mutation associated with Fanconi anemia
Fanconi anemia is a rare genetic disease characterized by high cancer risk.

New gene therapy treatment routes for motor neurone disease uncovered in new study
Scientists investigating the genetic causes and altered functioning of nerve cells in motor neurone disease (MND) have discovered a new mechanism that could lead to fresh treatment approaches for one of the most common forms of the disease.

COPD -- changes in the lungs, changes in the microbiome
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can result in structural changes within the lungs over time.

Feinstein Institute identifies potential cause for lupus
Research profiles how a particular protein could cause immune system to attack healthy cells.

Researchers identify potentially safer substitutes for BPA
Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine have identified a group of potential substitutes for bisphenol A (BPA) that lack the adverse effects typically associated with BPA.

NASA gives Hurricane Fernanda a close-up
Hurricane Fernanda is moving through the deep tropics and there's nothing in its way to prevent it from becoming a major hurricane.

Fermented Red Clover extract stops menopausal hot flushes and symptoms
It cannot be said that red clover alone reduces menopause symptoms, but a recently published Danish study finds that fermented-red clover extract effectively prevents hot flushes, hormonal swings and bone loss.

Advance furthers stem cells for use in drug discovery, cell therapy
Using an automated screening test that they devised, William Murphy, a professor of biomedical engineering, and colleagues Eric Nguyen and William Daly have invented an all-chemical replacement for the confusing, even dangerous materials, now used to grow stem cells.

Females with autism show greater difficulty with day-to-day tasks than male counterparts
Women and girls with autism may face greater challenges with real world planning, organization and other daily living skills, according to a study published in the journal Autism Research.

Study links restless legs syndrome to poor sleep quality, impaired function in pregnancy
A new study of pregnant women shows that restless legs syndrome (RLS) is common and is strongly associated with poor sleep quality, excessive daytime sleepiness, and poor daytime function, which are frequent complaints during pregnancy.

Scientists create first laboratory generation of astrophysical shock waves
Feature describes first laboratory generation of an astrophysical shock wave.

Researchers make improbable discovery
Scientists had long believed that the waters of the Central and Northeast Pacific Ocean were inhospitable to certain species of deep-sea corals, but a marine biologist's discovery of an odd chain of reefs suggests there are mysteries about the development and durability of coral colonies yet to be uncovered.

FSU researcher makes deep-sea coral reefs discovery in depths of the North-Pacific
FSU researcher discovers improbable coral reefs in the hostile waters of the North Pacific.

Unabated climate change would reverse the development gains in Asia: Report
Unabated climate change would bring devastating consequences to countries in Asia and the Pacific, which could severely affect their future growth, reverse current development gains, and degrade quality of life, according to a report produced by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).

Immunosuppression underlies resistance to anti-angiogenic therapy
A Massachusetts General Hospital research team has identified a novel mechanism behind resistance to angiogenesis inhibitors -- drugs that fight cancer by suppressing the formation of new blood vessels.

Walking like ants gives spiders a chance
To avoid being eaten, some jumping spiders pretend to be ants.

Teen girls at higher risk OK with emergency department offering pregnancy prevention info
Adolescent girls receiving a wide range of medical care in the Emergency Department (ED) are receptive to receiving information about preventing pregnancy, according to the results of a cross-sectional survey published online July 11 in The Journal of Pediatrics.

New limits to functional portion of human genome reported
An evolutionary biologist at the University of Houston has published new calculations that indicate no more than 25 percent of the human genome is functional.

Decline in financing could undermine malaria efforts
Global malaria elimination funding is declining at a time when it remains crucial to eliminating the disease worldwide, according to a study published in the open access Malaria Journal.

Hamburg researchers develop new transistor concept
Transistors, as used in billions on every computer chip, are nowadays based on semiconductor-type materials, usually silicon.

Not all muscle building supplements are equal
Popular muscle building supplements, known as branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) are ineffective when taken in isolation, according to new research from the University of Stirling.

Shh! Proven security for your secrets
Researchers show the security of their cipher based on chaos theory.

Researchers find first genomic biomarkers in extracellular vesicles in veterinary patients
Researchers at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University have discovered important biomarkers in extracellular vesicles in dogs with myxomatous mitral valve disease and congestive heart failure.

Bacteria never swim alone
Many animal species display flocking behavior, but the fact that microorganisms do is not as well known.

Prior dengue infection does not increase Zika disease severity
A study involving 65 people who live in and around São José do Rio Preto (São Paulo State, Brazil), where dengue is endemic and there was a particularly rapid outbreak of Zika during the 2016 epidemic, show that prior dengue infection in human beings infected by Zika does not necessarily lead to a worse illness.

Afghans with disabilities lack access to quality health care
Despite 15 years of investment in the Afghan health care sector by the international community, vulnerable groups -- including persons with disabilities -- cite a growing rate of insufficient access to quality health care, finds a new Washington University in St.

FSU researchers discover an ugly truth about attractiveness
New research from Florida State University finds the attractiveness of a romantic partner can influence a person's desire to diet and seek a slim body, though that motivation contrasts sharply between men and women.

Climate change: Biodiversity rescues biodiversity in a warmer world
Climate change leads to loss of biodiversity worldwide. However, ecosystems with a higher biodiversity in the first place might be less affected a new study in Science Advances reports.

Synchrotron light used to show human domestication of seeds from 2000 BC
Scientists from UCL have used the UK's synchrotron facility, Diamond Light Source, to document for the first time the rate of evolution of seed coat thinning, a major marker of crop domestication, from archaeological remains.

Coupling a nano-trumpet with a quantum dot enables precise position determination
Scientists from the Swiss Nanoscience Institute and the University of Basel have succeeded in coupling an extremely small quantum dot with 1,000 times larger trumpet-shaped nanowire. 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