Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (October 2015)

Science news and science current events archive October, 2015.

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Top Science News & Current Event Articles from October 2015

Racial bias in crosswalks? Study says yes
University of Arizona and Portland State University researchers found that African-American pedestrians waited longer than whites before drivers yielded. Now they will turn their attention to gender. The National Institute for Transportation and Community funded the study, and recently granted additional funds for a second study, this time considering both race and gender.

Rutgers Genetics Research Center awarded $6 million federal grant
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) has awarded a five-year grant worth up to $6,034,323 to RUCDR Infinite Biologics, a unit of Rutgers' Human Genetics Institute of New Jersey. With the new grant, the Rutgers operation will take over management of the NINDS stem cell repository. RUCDR also will provide a comprehensive range of stem-cell related services to researchers throughout the world investigating diseases including Parkinson's, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Huntington's.

UGA researchers discover mechanism that could lead to better ovarian cancer treatment
Resistance to chemotherapy is a major problem for those suffering from ovarian cancer -- a problem that prevents a cure from a disease dubbed the 'silent killer.' University of Georgia researchers are giving patients new hope with recent findings that help pinpoint the mechanisms causing chemoresistance.

QI program reduced use of indwelling urinary catheters in MICU by more than 77 percent
Many hospitalized patients have an indwelling urinary catheter, and previous studies have found up to one-third of IUCs are unneeded. A team of researchers from Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York, implemented an intervention that decreased the use of IUCs in patients from 92.3 percent to just 15 percent, representing a 77.3 percent reduction in use.

Collaborative behaviors, traditional practices
IOP Publishing and Research Information Network (RIN) release new report on information practices in the physical sciences. While cross-border and cross-disciplinary collaborations are breaking down subject siloes across the physical sciences, a culture of traditional and DIY information practices still holds sway among scientists when it comes to the curation, management and publication of formal research findings.

It takes a thief
The discovery by Berkeley Lab researchers of the structural basis by which bacteria are able to capture genetic information from viruses and other foreign invaders for use in their own immunological system holds promise for studying or correcting problems in human genomes.

Novel algorithm simulates water evaporation at the nanoscale
The evaporation of water that occurs when it meets a hot surface is understood in continuum theory and in experimentation. Before now, researchers were unable to study it at nanoscales in molecular simulation. YD and Maroo's algorithm has made that possible, and their paper, 'Surface-Heating Algorithm for Water at Nanoscale,' has garnered notable attention in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters.

TAK-733 shows challenge of using a promising drug in the human body
A study recently published online ahead of print in Oncotarget shows, on one hand, strong activity, and on the other hand, challenging pharmacokinetics of new drug TAK-733 against colorectal cancer.

New research offers first clinical evidence on the mental health toll of human trafficking
A new study by researchers from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience at King's College London provides the first clinical evidence on the toll human trafficking has on mental health, including high levels of post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, amongst a patient population in South London.

New finding offers clues for blocking cancer gene
A new study suggests a potential new way to block Notch, one of the most common cancer-causing genes, without causing severe side effects.

Antiplatelet therapy with blood thinners reduces mortality for angioplasty patients
Patients with acute coronary syndrome who have undergone angioplasty have a reduced risk of all-cause in-hospital mortality but an increased risk of bleeding when given glycoprotein 2b/3a inhibitors after the procedure, according to a study published today in JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions.

Job opportunities, after-school activities, cleaner city top urban teens' priorities
When researchers in New Haven, Conn., asked teens to identify solutions to reduce violence in their community, the adolescents had clear recommendations: better employment opportunities, more after-school activities and a cleaner city environment.

NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP spots twenty-fifth tropical depression in Northwestern Pacific
2015 has been an active year for tropical cyclones in the northwestern Pacific Ocean as NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite spotted the twenty-fifth tropical depression.

Transplanted human umbilical cord blood cells may offer therapy for Alzheimer's sufferers
Researchers injected human umbilical cord blood cells into mice modeled with Alzheimer's disease to investigate how the cells were distributed and retained in tissues, including the brain. The study also investigated questions about the bioavailability and safety of the procedure. They found that the transplanted cells migrated to brain tissue, were retained there for up to 30 days, and did not promote the growth of tumors.

Sigma Xi awards David R. Williams the William Procter Prize for Scientific Achievement
David R. Williams, widely regarded as one of the world's leading experts on human vision, has been named the recipient of Sigma Xi's 2015 William Procter Prize for Scientific Achievement. The prize is given annually since 1950 in recognition of 'outstanding achievement in scientific research and demonstrated ability to communicate the significance of this work to scientists in other disciplines.' Past Procter Prize recipients have included Jane Goodall, Vannevar Bush, Margaret Mead, Murray Gell-Mann, and Rita Colwell.

Study of pregnancy complications finds refugee women in Ontario have higher rates of HIV
Pregnant refugee women in Ontario have a higher prevalence of HIV than immigrants and Canadian-born women, a new study examining serious pregnancy and delivery complications has found.

Manipulating the brain to control maternal behavior in females & reduce aggression in males
Most female mammals give birth and care for their offspring, while the males often breed with multiple partners and play little role in parenting once the mating is over. Yet researchers have had a hard time pinpointing where, exactly, in the brain these differences between the sexes are located and how they translate into behavior. The extent of 'hardwired parental behavior' is hotly disputed.

Carnegie Mellon researchers hack off-the-shelf 3-D printer towards rebuilding the heart
A group of Carnegie Mellon researchers has used a new 3-D bioprinting method to bioprint models of hearts, arteries, bones and brains out of biological materials. The work could one day lead to a world in which transplants are no longer necessary to repair damaged organs.

Stability of surviving communities increases following mass extinction
By using fossil data, researchers have found that the structure of ecological communities leading up to the Permian-Triassic Extinction, one of the largest drivers of biodiversity loss in history, is a key predictor of the ecological communities that would demonstrate stability through the event.

Bristol to host international conference on sustainable livestock
With one in seven humans undernourished and with the challenges of population growth and climate change, the need for efficient food production has never been greater. The University of Bristol will host an international conference to discuss this issue early next year [12-15 Jan. 2016].

Paul D. Schomer named recipient of the ASA Distinguished Service Citation
Paul D. Schomer, Owner and Principal of Schomer and Associates, has been named recipient of the Acoustical Society of America Distinguished Service Citation. The award will be presented at the 170th meeting of the ASA on 4 November 2015 in Jacksonville, Florida

Elevated blood-sugar levels in pregnancy tied to baby's heart-defect risk
Pregnant women with elevated blood-sugar levels are more likely to have babies with congenital heart defects, even if their blood sugar is below the cutoff for diabetes, according to a new study from the Stanford University School of Medicine and Stanford Children's Health.

Evidence for long-lasting lakes on Mars
New data from the Curiosity rover reveals that a transient water system of deltas and lakes once dominated the landscape at Mars's Gale crater.

More rain leads to fewer trees in the African savanna
Princeton University researchers might have finally provided a solution to the ecological riddle of why tree abundance on Africa's grassy savannas diminishes in response to heavy rainfall despite scientists' expectations to the contrary. The researchers found that the ability of grasses to more efficiently absorb and process water gives them an advantage over trees. This raises concerns that the heavy tropical rains that could accompany climate change may lead to fewer trees on savannas.

Smart car cyberattack warning: QUT research finds flaws in security systems
How Australia acts today will determine the security and safety of driverless cars, autonomous vehicles and intelligent transport systems in the future, with Queensland University of Technology academics warning there is a risk of in-vehicle cyber attack without appropriate safeguards.

Social media usage at critical care conferences helps broaden reach
Social media is a tool that groups have adopted to help educate, market, and promote causes or topics to a broad audience. Researchers examined trends in social media use at pulmonary and critical care conferences and found substantial growth and adoption of Twitter. Over the past two years, three major critical care conferences have used Twitter and garnered impressions far surpassing the number of attendees at each conference.

Expanded AGS Beers Criteria offer new info, tools for safer medication use in older adults
Reflecting expert review of 6,700 studies, updates to the AGS Beers Criteria -- one of the American Geriatrics Society's most frequently cited references -- will enhance care quality as a platform for considering the risks and benefits of certain medications.

Scientists test new gene therapy for vision loss from a mitochondrial disease
Researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health have developed a novel mouse model for the vision disorder Leber hereditary optic neuropathy, and found that they can use gene therapy to improve visual function in the mice. LHON is one of many diseases tied to gene mutations that damage the tiny energy factories that power our cells, called mitochondria.

Blood test could match cancer patients to best treatments
Cancer Research UK-funded scientists have developed a blood test that could help pair cancer patients with the most suitable therapy for their disease and then track the tumor's progress to see if the treatment is working, according to research published Thursday in Clinical Cancer Research.

The golden anniversary of black-hole singularity
When a star collapses forming a black hole, a space-time singularity is created wherein the laws of Physics no longer work. In 1965 Sir Roger Penrose presented a theorem where he associated that singularity with so-called 'trapped surfaces' that shrink over time. That hypothesis -- one of the results of the general theory of relativity -- is now celebrating its anniversary.

Establishment of systems metabolic engineering strategies to develop microbial strains
Distinguished Professor Sang Yup Lee and Dr. Hyun Uk Kim, both from the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, have recently suggested ten general strategies of systems metabolic engineering to successfully develop industrial microbial strains.

Women with knee osteoarthritis experience greater pain sensitivity than men
Among patients with osteoarthritis of the knee, women experienced greater sensitivity to various pain modalities -- such as lower tolerance to heat, cold, and pressure -- and greater widespread pain than men.

Japanese sea defense guidelines could assist other tsunami-prone nations, study suggests
Japan's lead in implementing sea defense improvements is an important reference point for other tsunami-prone nations to help guard against future disasters, a study led by Plymouth University has suggested.

In an urban environment, not all vultures are created equal
Not being picky about your food means you can live just about anywhere, and some vultures are good at adapting to landscape fragmentation caused by humans, but new research forthcoming in The Condor: Ornithological Applications shows that different vulture species use city environments in different ways.

Building off known genomes to advance systems and ecosystems biology
The US Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (DOE JGI), a DOE Office of Science User Facility, has selected 27 new projects for the 2016 Community Science Program (CSP). The full list of projects may be found at http://jgi.doe.gov/our-projects/csp-plans/fy-2016-csp-plans/. Susannah Tringe, DOE JGI User Programs Deputy, noted that these projects 'build our portfolio in key focus areas including sustainable bioenergy production, plant microbiomes and terrestrial biogeochemistry.'

Emissions targets out of reach without a massive technological shift in basic industries
The targets for lower emissions of carbon dioxide from Europe's basic industries are out of reach, without urgent introduction of innovative carbon dioxide mitigation technologies. Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology draw this conclusion after several years of research into carbon-intensive industry in Europe.

Boosting levels of a key growth factor may help prevent cardiovascular disease
New research indicates that low levels of a growth factor called stem cell factor (SCF) -- which is thought to be important for blood vessel repair -- are linked with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Patients with lower income less likely to participate in clinical trials
Patients newly diagnosed with cancer were less likely to participate in clinical trials if their annual household income was below $50,000, according to an article published online by JAMA Oncology.

What are these nanostars in 2-D superconductor supposed to mean?
Physicists from France and Russia have discovered magnetic disturbances in two-dimensional layered superconductors, resembling small oscillating stars. This experimental observation is the direct confirmation of the famous Yu-Shiba-Rusinov theory which predicted an existence of these quantum bound magnetic states. It was found out that in the 2-D systems the magnetic excitations spread over longer distances as compared to ordinary 3-D superconducting materials. Building and manipulating such protected states is a crucial step towards quantum computers.

Antipsychotics initiated frequently and used for long term in Alzheimer's patients
Antipsychotic drugs are initiated in patients with Alzheimer's disease more frequently than in the general population -- already two to three years before the Alzheimer's diagnosis, according to a new study from the University of Eastern Finland. Most commonly, antipsychotics were initiated during the six months following the Alzheimer's diagnosis; however, the incidence of new antipsychotic users was high also later on. The results were published in British Journal of Psychiatry.

Scientists track speed of powerful internal waves
For the first time researchers directly measured the speed of a wave located 80 meters below the ocean's surface from a single satellite image. The new technique developed by researchers from the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science is a major advancement in the study of these skyscraper-high internal waves that rarely break the ocean surface.

Measurements of dinosaur body temperatures shed new light on 150-year debate
Were dinosaurs really fast, aggressive hunters like the ones depicted in the movie 'Jurassic World'? Or did they have lower metabolic rates that made them move more like today's alligators and crocodiles? New research by UCLA scientists indicates that some dinosaurs, at least, had the capacity to elevate their body temperature using heat sources in the environment, such as the sun.

Burnout and depression: Two entities or one? CCNY provides answer
Burnout and depression overlap considerably, according to the latest study on the subject led by psychology Professor Irvin S. Schonfeld of The City College of New York's Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership and his colleague, Renzo Bianchi, of the Institute of Work and Organizational Psychology, University of Neuchatel, Switzerland.

NASA satellite data shows Joaquin becoming a post-Tropical Cyclone
Infrared data from NASA's Aqua satellite showed Hurricane Joaquin weakening over cooler waters and transitioning into a post-tropical cyclone.

Protein reactions identified with subatomic resolution
Using subatomic resolution, researchers have gained insights into the dynamic modus operandi of two switch proteins which are responsible for the import of compounds into the nucleus and for cell growth. The team headed by Prof Dr Klaus Gerwert from the Department of Biophysics at the Ruhr-Universit├Ąt Bochum, together with partners from Dortmund and Shanghai, combined different methods in order to gain a resolution of one-hundredth of the atomic diameter.

Blueprints for limbs encoded in the snake genome
When researchers at the University of Georgia examined the genome of several different snake species, they found something surprising. Embedded in reptiles' genetic code was DNA that, in most animals, controls the development and growth of limbs -- a strange feature for creatures that are famous for their long, legless bodies and distinctive slither. Now, they've found an explanation.

Johns Hopkins biologist leads research shedding light on stem cells
A research team reports progress in understanding the mysterious shape-shifting ways of stem cells, which have vast potential for medical research and disease treatment.

New microscope helps scientists see the big picture
A new microscope developed at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Janelia Research Campus is giving scientists a clearer, more comprehensive view of biological processes as they unfold in living animals. The microscope produces images of entire organisms, such as a zebrafish or fruit fly embryo, with enough resolution in all three dimensions that each cell appears as a distinct structure.

Perceptions of fetal size influence interventions in pregnancy, BU study finds
Nearly one-third of women, without a prior cesarean, reported that they were told by their maternity care providers that their babies might be 'quite large,' leading to higher rates of medically induced labor or planned cesarean deliveries that may not be warranted, a new study co-authored by Boston University School of Public Health and Medicine researchers shows.

Older, part-time workers' outlook influenced by nature of their employment status
While the financial and social outlook of many older, part-time American workers depends on whether their employment status is voluntary or due to economic circumstances, three-quarters of part-time workers surveyed said those collecting Social Security benefits should be able to earn more before being taxed, according to a new Rutgers study.

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