Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 20, 2017
Cow antibodies yield important clues for developing a broadly effective AIDS vaccine
As outlined in a study published today in Nature, lead author Devin Sok, Director, Antibody Discovery and Development at the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), reports the elicitation of powerful, HIV-blocking antibodies in cows in a matter of weeks - a process that usually takes years in humans.

Immune-cell numbers predict response to combination immunotherapy in melanoma
Whether a melanoma patient will better respond to a single immunotherapy drug or two in combination depends on the abundance of certain white blood cells within their tumors, according to a new study conducted by UC San Francisco researchers joined by physicians from UCSF Health.

Microscopic silk cocoons may facilitate drug design
Microfluidics technology enables silk protein capsules to self-assemble

Innate reaction of hematopoietic stem cells to severe infections
Researchers at the University of Zurich have shown for the first time that hematopoietic stem cells detect infectious agents themselves and begin to divide -- that is, without signals from growth factors.

High-dose flu vaccine reduces hospital visits for nursing home residents
Patients in nursing homes that provided a high-dose flu vaccine were significantly less likely than residents in standard-dose homes to go to the hospital during flu season, according to a new study.

Semiliquid chains pulled out of a sea of microparticles
An electrode brought to the surface of a liquid that contains microparticles can be used to pull out surprisingly long chains of particles.

Strengthening 3-D printed parts for real-world use
From aerospace and defense to digital dentistry and medical devices, 3-D printed parts are used in a variety of industries.

'Social media triangulation' provides new approach for emergency responders
During emergency situations like severe weather or terrorist attacks, local officials and first responders have an urgent need for accessible, reliable and real-time data.

Why sugary drinks and protein-rich meals don't go well together
Having a sugar-sweetened drink with a high-protein meal may negatively affect energy balance, alter food preferences and cause the body to store more fat, according to a study published in the open access journal BMC Nutrition.

In making decisions, are you an ant or a grasshopper?
Findings in a recent publication by UConn psychology researcher Susan Zhu and colleagues add to a growing body of evidence that, although it may seem less appealing, the ant's gratification-delaying strategy should not be viewed in a negative light.

Reducing inflammation protects stem cells during wound repair
Scientists have found a new way to protect stem cells from harsh inflammation during wound repair.

A sodium surprise
Irregular heartbeat -- or arrhythmia -- can have sudden and often fatal consequences.

Shifting storms to bring extreme waves, seaside damage to once placid areas
The world's most extensive study of a major stormfront striking the coast has revealed a previously unrecognised danger from climate change: as storm patterns fluctuate, waterfront areas once thought safe are likely to be hammered and damaged as never before.

Taste and health affect consumer choices for milk and nondairy beverages
To learn more about what affects consumer decisions regarding fluid milk purchases, researchers from North Carolina State University used surveys, conjoint analysis, and means-end-chain analysis to uncover the underlying values among dairy milk and nondairy beverage consumers.

NIH-supported scientists elicit broadly neutralizing antibodies to HIV in calves
Scientists supported by the National Institutes of Health have achieved a significant step forward, eliciting broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) to HIV by immunizing calves.

Opioids and obesity, not 'despair deaths,' raising mortality rates for white Americans
Drug-related deaths among middle-aged white men increased more than 25-fold between 1980 and 2014, with the bulk of that spike occurring since the mid-1990s when addictive prescription opioids became broadly available, according to new CU Boulder research.

New PET-CT scan improves detection in rare cardiac condition
Using a new imaging technique that can diagnose cardiac sarcoidosis much more accurately than traditional tests, researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago have found that the disease affects other organs in 40 percent of patients with cardiac sarcoidosis.

Most precise measurement of the proton's mass
By means of precision measurements on a single proton, scientists have been able to improve the precision of the measurement of the mass of the proton by a factor of three and also corrected the existing value, finding it is significantly lighter than previously believed.

Molting feathers may help birds deal with environmental contaminants
Mercury is a ubiquitous environmental contaminant that affects the health of birds and other wild animals.

A super-algae to save our seas
Solutions to climate change, and particularly its effects on the ocean, are needed now more than ever.

Heritage and ancient grain project feeds a growing demand
After a century of markets dominated by a few types of wheat and white flour, ancient and heritage wheat varieties are making a comeback.

Similar improvements between speech language therapy delivered online and in-person
A recent Baycrest study found that patients who accessed speech language therapy over the Internet saw large improvements to their communication abilities that were similar to those of patients doing in-person therapy.

Engaging Islamic religious leaders to improve AA Muslim women's attitudes towards breastfeeding
While research has demonstrated the positive impact a woman's social support network and faith community can have on influencing decisions to breastfeed, little is known regarding the influence of Islamic traditions on the breastfeeding beliefs and practices of African American Muslims.

Parents have critical role in preventing teen drinking
Fewer Australian teenagers are drinking alcohol but more needs to be done to curb the drinking habits of Aussie students, based on the findings of the latest study by Adelaide researchers.

Molecular 'pulleys' help boost battery performance
In lithium batteries with a silicon anode, researchers have applied a sophisticated method using molecular 'pulleys' that aid in the expansion and contraction of the anode during cycling.

Stanford researchers discover biological hydraulic system in tuna fins
The unique system of hydraulic control of fins discovered in tuna indicates a new role for the lymphatic system in vertebrates.

Pulses of electrons manipulate nanomagnets and store information
Skyrmions are a kind of nanomagnet, comprised of a spin-correlated ensemble of electrons acting as a topological magnet on certain microscopic surfaces.

Experts: 1 in 3 cases of dementia preventable, nonmedical therapies ideal for dementia
A report by the first Lancet Commission on Dementia Prevention and Care identifies powerful tools to prevent dementia and touts the benefits of nonmedical interventions for people with dementia.

Mixed outcomes for plants and animals in warmer 2080s climate
More than three quarters of plants and animals in England are likely to be significantly affected by climate change by the end of the century, say researchers.

Library of CRISPR targeting sequences increases power of the gene-editing method
CRISPR, the gene-editing technology that has taken biology by storm, is now more powerful than ever.

Study finds gene variant increases risk for depression
A University of Central Florida study has found that a gene variant, thought to be carried by nearly 25 percent of the population, increases the odds of developing depression.

Reclaiming the prairie
A Northern Illinois University study finds that tallgrass prairie restoration at a large Illinois preserve is working at a foundational level -- in the soil.

fMRI, EEG may detect consciousness in patients with acute, severe traumatic brain injury
A Massachusetts General Hospital study finds that the use of functional magnetic resonance imaging and electroencephalography may be able to identify ICU patients with severe traumatic brain injuries who have a level of consciousness not revealed by the standard bedside neurological examination.

Researchers improve method to identify aquatic species using environmental DNA
Researchers from the University of Notre Dame have improved their method of tracking species by using the biological material those organisms leave behind known as environmental DNA (eDNA).

New mutations related to hereditary neuroendocrine tumours
The presence of a germline mutation in the GOT2 gene found in a patient with metastasis gives rise to increased activity of the encoder enzyme.

Surgery is a low risk treatment option for patients with pectoralis major tendon ruptures
Surgery is an effective and safe option to treat patients with pectoralis major tendon (PMT) ruptures, generally demonstrating a low risk of re-rupture and complications, according to research presented today at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's Annual Meeting in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Enhancing the resilience of the nation's electricity system
With growing risks to the nation's electrical grid from natural disasters and as a potential target for malicious attacks, the US Department of Energy (DOE) and the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) should work closely with utility operators and other stakeholders to improve cyber and physical security and resilience, says a new congressionally mandated report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

First direct observation and measurement of ultra-fast moving vortices in superconductors
Researchers have made the first direct visual observation and measurement of ultra-fast vortex dynamics in superconductors.

Alzheimer's drug cuts hallmark inflammation related to metabolic syndrome by 25 percent
Feinstein Institute researchers repurpose existing medication with healing properties traced to ancient Greeks.

Study finds aboriginal community with strong ethno-cultural identity and connection to the land has lower suicide rates
A University of Guelph-Humber funded study investigating mental health perceptions and practices of an aboriginal community in northern Ontario, and its significantly lower rates of mental health services utilization and suicide, suggests that a strong ethno-cultural identity and connection to the land are significant factors to positive mental health outcomes in this region.

Want to win at sports? Take a cue from these mighty mice
As student athletes hit training fields this summer to gain the competitive edge, a new study shows how the experiences of a tiny mouse can put them on the path to winning.

A plastic planet
Industrial ecologist Roland Geyer measures the production, use and fate of all the plastics ever made, including synthetic fibers.

NASA's Hubble sees martian moon orbiting the Red Planet
Hubble captured the tiny moon Phobos during its orbital trek around Mars: so small, it appears star-like in the Hubble pictures.

Researchers discover how CRISPR proteins find their target
In addition to the Cas9 protein that bacteria use to bind and snip DNA, bacteria have other Cas proteins that know where to insert that viral DNA into the CRISPR region to remember which viruses have attacked and mount a defense.

Is mental health associated with perception of nasal function?
A study of preoperative patients for rhinoplasty suggests poor mental well-being and low self-esteem were associated with poorer perceptions of nasal function, according to a new study published by JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery.

Setting the record straight: PPIs do not cause Dementia
Several studies have reported associations between proton-pump inhibitor (PPI) use and dementia.

Nesting aids make agricultural fields attractive for bees
Wild bees are important pollinators of many crop plants - sometimes they are even more efficient than honeybees.

Scientists reveal how patterns of brain activity direct specific body movements
New research by Columbia scientists offers fresh insight into how the brain tells the body to move, from simple behaviors like walking, to trained movements that may take years to master.

3-D printing sweeps toy manufacturing off the shelves
People have scoffed that 3-D printers are simply toys themselves.

A robot that grows
Mechanical engineers develop a robot that can navigate its environment by extending its reach.

Perceiving oneself as less physically active than peers is linked to a shorter lifespan
Stanford researchers found that US adults who believed that they were less active than their peers died younger than those who believed they were more active -- even if their actual activity levels were similar.

Family factors may influence a child's temperament
A new article addresses ongoing conversations about bridging the gap between practice and research within the field of family therapy.

Sunny, rainy, or cloudy: New study shows how weather impacts response to mobile ads
Among the many factors that impact digital marketing and online advertising strategy, a new study in the INFORMS journal Marketing Science provides insight to a growing trend among firms and big brands ... weather-based advertising.

Reciprocal effects
Postdoctoral research fellow Julia Buck discovers a new paradigm for describing trophic cascades caused by infectious agents.

Fernanda weakens to Tropical Storm
As of 5 a.m. July 20 (0900 UTC), Fernanda had weakened to tropical storm status.

USF Biologists find frog's future health influenced by gut microbes as tadpoles
University of South Florida biologists have found that a crucial window in the development of tadpoles may influence a frog's later ability to fight infectious diseases as an adult.

Study predicts heart cell's response to dwindling oxygen
MIT researchers have developed a model that predicts a single heart cell's response to dwindling supplies of oxygen.

Hiring risk executives to protect US banks backfired, contributing to 2008 crash
Why did America's biggest banks become heavily exposed to high-risk derivatives in the lead-up to the recent credit crisis?

Laser treatment reduces eye floaters
Patients reported improvement in symptoms of eye floaters after treatment with a laser, according to a study published by JAMA Ophthalmology.

Concurrent chemotherapy, proton therapy improves survival in patients with advanced lung cancer
For patients with advanced, inoperable stage 3 lung cancer, concurrent chemotherapy and the specialized radiation treatment, proton therapy, offers improved survival compared to historical data for standard of care, according to a new study from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Spiral arms allow school children to weigh black holes
Astronomers from Swinburne University of Technology, Australia, and the University of Minnesota Duluth, USA, have provided a way for armchair astronomers, and even primary school children, to merely look at a spiral galaxy and estimate the mass of its hidden, central black hole.

The first light atomic nucleus with a second face
To some degree of approximation, atomic nuclei look like spheres which in most cases are distorted to a greater or lesser extent.

A changing society -- 100 is the new 80
When it comes to aging successfully and remaining in good health, are centenarians the perfect role models?

'Sound' research shows slower boats may cause manatees more harm than good
Slower boat speeds reduce risks to manatees. Or do they?

Small survey: Most primary care physicians can't identify all risk factors for prediabetes
Johns Hopkins researchers who distributed a survey at a retreat and medical update for primary care physicians (PCPs) report that the vast majority of the 140 doctors who responded could not identify all 11 risk factors that experts say qualify patients for prediabetes screening.

Shooting the achilles heel of nervous system cancers
A cooperative research team led by researchers at Dartmouth's Norris Cotton Cancer Center devised a strategy to target cancer cells while sparing normal cells by capitalizing on vulnerabilities that are exposed only in tumor cells.

Study finds day-to-day experiences affect awareness of aging, mood
A study of older adults finds an individual's awareness of aging is not as static as previously thought, and that day-to-day experiences and one's attitude toward aging can affect an individual's awareness of age-related change -- and how that awareness affects one's mood.

Battery breakthrough using 2016 Nobel Prize molecule
A KAIST research team reported a molecular pulley binder for high-capacity silicon anodes of lithium ion batteries.

Risk factors identified for elbow and shoulder injuries in professional baseball pitchers
Increasing numbers of elbow-related injuries in professional baseball pitchers has led to research studying risk factors, especially those that can be modified and adjusted to help prevent lost playing time.

A healthy lifestyle increases life expectancy by up to 7 years
Maintaining a normal weight, not smoking, and drinking alcohol at moderate levels are factors that add healthy years to life.

Using a pig model to study chronic diseases may help minimize drug failure rate
Scientists may be able to minimize the failure rate of drugs for diseases linked to high-calorie diets, such as colon cancer and type 2 diabetes, if they test treatments using a pig model, according to an international team of researchers.

Faulty support cells disrupt communication in brains of people with schizophrenia
New research has identified the culprit behind the wiring problems in the brains of people with schizophrenia.

Youth patellar dislocations may pose risk for future injuries later in life
Young patients who suffer patellar dislocations are at a higher risk of recurring dislocations, especially long-term after their initial injury, according to research presented today at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's Annual Meeting in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Individual personal pensions fare worse than group pensions, shows research
People who take out an individual personal pension can expect lower returns than those who invest in a group personal pension plan, suggests new research from the University of Bath.

Could sharks help save shipping industry billions?
Whales, sharks, butterflies and lotus leaves might together hold the secret to saving the shipping industry millions and help save the planet, according to a marine biologist at the University of Portsmouth, UK.

Alternative antimicrobial compounds could come from wastewater
Municipal wastewater may become a key ally in the fight against antibiotic-resistant disease-causing bacteria and fungi, a new study at Stellenbosch University (SU) in South Africa found.

Study offers potential diagnostic and prognostic tools for HIV-associated neurocognitiv
UAlberta researchers believe they have a clearer picture of why people living with HIV so commonly suffer from dementia and other neurocognitive disorders.

In frogs, preventing early-life gut microbiome disruptions leads to better health
Biologists at the University of Connecticut and University of South Florida have found that a crucial window in the development of tadpoles may influence a frog's ability to fight infectious diseases as an adult.

Probiotics: Novel biosynthetic tool to develop metallic nanoparticles
Probiotics, being live microbes, exert numerous beneficial health effects on the host cells.

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system
Now in 2017, inspired by the event in Boulder, NASA scientists will explore the moon's eclipse of the sun to learn more about Earth's energy system.

Native leech preys on invasive slug?
Citizen science has revealed the spread of the invasive giant slug Limax maximus and its potential native predator in Japan, providing new insights into predator-prey dynamics between introduced prey and native predators.

New research uncovers a cause of schizophrenia
A new study from the University of Copenhagen shows that genetic defects may damage the supporting cells of the brain -- the glial cells -- which may lead to a number of brain disorders, including schizophrenia.

An experiment proposed by Stanford theorists finds evidence for the Majorana fermion, a particle that's its own antiparticle
In a discovery that concludes an 80-year quest, Stanford and University of California researchers found evidence of particles that are their own antiparticles.

High-dose influenza vaccine leads to lower hospitalizations in nursing home residents
In the largest nursing home study to date on the effect of a high-dose flu vaccine, researchers found that vaccines with four times the antigen of standard flu vaccines significantly reduced the risk of respiratory and all-cause hospitalization during flu season.

Scientists get best measure of star-forming material in galaxy clusters in early universe
The international Spitzer Adaptation of the Red-sequence Cluster Survey (SpARCS) collaboration based at the University of California, Riverside has combined observations from several of the world's most powerful telescopes to carry out one of the largest studies yet of molecular gas -- the raw material which fuels star formation throughout the universe -- in three of the most distant clusters of galaxies ever found, detected as they appeared when the universe was only four billion years old.

Scientists discover combined sensory map for heat, humidity in fly brain
Northwestern University neuroscientists now can visualize how fruit flies sense and process humidity and temperature together through a 'sensory map' within their brains, according to new research.

The unexpected source of tuna's fin finesse
The precise control that tuna have of their fins for tight turns and movement while swimming is aided by hydraulic activity of the lymphatic system, a new study reveals.

Young adult cancer survivors struggle to get back to normal
Cancer survivors often talk about wanting to get back to normal, but a new study indicates many young adults who survived the disease struggle with attaining this goal two years after their initial diagnosis.

Search and rescue dogs do their jobs despite travel stress
When disaster strikes, you want the very best tools, functioning at their peak.

Molecular changes with age in normal breast tissue are linked to cancer-related changes
New research provides insight into how changes that occur with age may predispose breast tissue cells to becoming cancerous.

Paying farmers not to cut down trees in Uganda helps fight climate change, new study shows
An interdisciplinary team of researchers found that they could slow deforestation and preserve endangered chimpanzee habitats by paying poor landowners in Uganda not to cut down trees on their property.

Shale gas development spurring spread of invasive plants in Pa. forests
Vast swaths of Pennsylvania forests were clear-cut circa 1900 and regrowth has largely been from local native plant communities, but a team of researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences has found that invasive, non-native plants are making significant inroads with unconventional natural gas development.

The way rivers function reflects their ecological status and is rarely explored
A study conducted by a UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country research group within the framework of the European Globaqua project proposes going beyond the study of river ecosystems and incorporating into the studies routinely carried out a set of processes that regulate not only the fluxes of matter but also the fluxes of energy within an ecosystem.

Curbing deforestation
A new Northwestern University study suggests that paying people to conserve their trees could be a highly cost-effective way to reduce deforestation and carbon emissions and should be a key part of the global strategy to fight climate change.

Self-proclaimed slackers may be sabotaging own health
People who think they're less active than others their age have a greater chance of dying younger than people who perceive themselves as more active, even if their actual activity levels are the same, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.

Social scientists reveal structure of AIDS denialist online communities
HSE researchers examined the structure of online communities of Russian AIDS denialists -- people who deny the reality of HIV and AIDS -- and the manner in which they spread their ideas.

Loma Linda University researchers finds links between meal frequency and BMI
A study by researchers from Loma Linda University School of Public Health and the Czech Republic has found that timing and frequency of meals play a role in predicting weight loss or gain.

Report links USGov global health funding to thousands of US jobs, millions lives saved
President Trump's proposal to slash public investments in the fight against global threats such as malaria, Ebola and AIDS would imperil programs that generate thousands of jobs in the United States, as they deliver breakthrough innovations that are saving millions of lives around the world, according to a new report issued today from the Global Health Technologies Coalition.

High levels of antibiotic-resistance in Indian poultry farming raises concerns
A new study from India raises questions about the dangers to human health of farming chicken with growth-promoting antibiotics -- including some of the same drugs used in raising millions of chickens in the United States and worldwide.

Reintroduced Przewalski's horses have a different diet
The preferred fodder of horses is grass. This is true for domestic horses and wild horses in the Gobi Desert.

University of Sussex to carry out vital skin cancer research thanks to new grant
The Spencer Lab has been awarded a £428K grant to research a protein present in high amounts in melanoma.

3-D imaging of surface chemistry in confinement
EPFL researchers have developed an optical imaging tool to visualize surface chemistry in real time.

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot
A newly developed vine-like robot can grow across long distances without moving its whole body.

Elephant seals recognize each other by the rhythm of their calls
Every day, humans pick up on idiosyncrasies such as slow drawls, high-pitched squeaks, or hints of accents to put names to voices from afar.

Ancient Italian fossils reveal risk of parasitic infections due to climate change
In 2014, a team of researchers led by a paleobiologist from the University of Missouri found that clams from the Holocene Epoch (that began 11,700 years ago) contained clues about how sea level rise due to climate change could foreshadow a rise in parasitic trematodes.

Insurance approval rates for clinical trial participation rose under Affordable Care Act
Approval rates for privately insured patients seeking to enroll in oncology clinical trials increased after the passage of the Affordable Care Act.

Genetic predisposition to breast cancer due to non-brca mutations in ashkenazi Jewish women
Genetic mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancer in Ashkenazi Jewish women.

Why was MacronLeaks' influence limited in the French election?
A research leader at the University of Southern California's Information Sciences Institute has found that #Macronleaks was mostly shared by foreigners outside of France.

North American monsoon storms fewer but more extreme
The North American Monsoon now brings more extreme wind and rain to central and southwestern Arizona than in the past.

Researchers identify critical need for standardized organ donation metrics
With more than 117,000 people awaiting a lifesaving organ transplant, these OPOs work very hard to identify as many organ donors as possible to help save these lives.

Nutrition advice aimed at children also improves parents' diets
Nutrition advice aimed at children also improves parents' diets, according to research published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

Payments to protect forests are worth it
Trees play a critical role in mitigating global carbon emissions and now a new study in Uganda shows that the cost of giving landowners a modest fee to refrain from cutting down their trees is substantially lower than the carbon-related costs that are incurred when trees are lost.

Our brains synchronise during a conversation
The rhythms of brainwaves between two people taking part in a conversation begin to match each other.

NASA imagery shows disorganized Tropical Depression 8E
Infrared imagery from NASA's Aqua satellite revealed a lack of organized circulation in Tropical Depression 8E.

Cucumbers in space provide insights on root growth
Scientists have untangled the competing influences of water and gravity on plant roots -- by growing cucumbers during spaceflight.

Crustal limestone platforms feed carbon to many of Earth's arc volcanoes
A new analysis suggests that much of the carbon released from volcanic arcs, chains of volcanoes that arise along the tectonic plates of a subduction zone, comes from remobilizing limestone reservoirs in the Earth's crust.

Sexual health clinics should ask about abuse
Training clinicians to proactively ask patients about domestic violence is feasible for sexual health clinics to implement and could increase referrals to specialist services, according to a study by Queen Mary University of London and the University of Bristol involving over 4,300 women.

Holographic imaging could be used to detect signs of life in space
Caltech engineer Jay Nadeau says a method called digital holographic microscopy could be used to detect living microbes in space.

Mountain glaciers recharge vital aquifers
Small mountain glaciers play a big role in recharging vital aquifers and in keeping rivers flowing during the winter, according to a new study published in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.
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