Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 25, 2010
Neuralstem files FDA application for first chronic spinal cord injury stem cell trial
Neuralstem submits IND application to the FDA to treat chronic spinal cord injury with its human spinal cord stem cells.

Students need help to save money, but don't always know it: Waterloo study
Students could use help saving more money, but they don't always know it.

Tofu ingredient yields formaldehyde-free glue for plywood and other wood products
In a real-life

Vitamin D may treat and prevent allergic reaction to mold in cystic fibrosis patients
Vitamin D may be an effective therapy to treat and even prevent allergy to a common mold that can cause severe complications for patients with cystic fibrosis and asthma, according to researchers from Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Louisiana State University School of Medicine.

Gene involved in Fuchs corneal dystrophy is found
A 13-member research team led by University of Oregon scientist Dr.

Electricity collected from the air could become the newest alternative energy source
Imagine devices that capture electricity from the air -- much like solar cells capture sunlight -- and using them to light a house or recharge an electric car.

Co-products and cornstalk residue can cut cow feed costs by a dollar a day
University of Illinois researchers recently discovered that feeding co-products and cornstalk residue in the winter can save cow-calf producers up to $1 per day per cow as compared to feeding hay.

Christopher Marley and James McWilliams to give plenary speeches at Entomology 2010
Entomology 2010, the 58th Annual Meeting of the Entomological Society of America, will feature two plenary speakers during the meeting in San Diego, Calif., Dec.

Plant scientists move closer to making any crop drought-tolerant
A collaborative team of scientists has made a significant advance on the breakthrough discovery last year by the University of California, Riverside's Sean Cutler of pyrabactin, a synthetic chemical that mimics a naturally produced stress hormone in plants to help them cope with drought conditions.

Growing drought-tolerant crops inching forward
A collaborative team of scientists led by researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin, in Milwaukee, has used the tools of structural biology to understand how a synthetic chemical mimics abscisic acid, a key stress hormone that helps plants cope with adverse environmental conditions such as drought.

Scripps Research scientists uncover new mechanism of memory formation
Scientists from the Florida campus of the Scripps Research Institute have discovered a mechanism that plays a critical role in the formation of long-term memory.

Research heralds potential for early diagnosis of degenerative brain disorders
A team of American scientists claim that a new method of testing for neurological diseases could provide doctors with a rapid and noninvasive method of diagnosing degenerative disorders.

Sad mothers have small babies
Clinical depression and anxiety during pregnancy results in smaller babies that are more likely to die in infancy, according to new research published in the open-access journal BMC Public Health.

Coalition's first 100 days in office: The business verdict
Small- and medium-sized businesses have given their verdict on the first 100 days of the coalition government in an online survey run by the University of Nottingham Institute for Enterprise and Innovation.

Doctors' religious beliefs strongly influence end-of-life decisions
Atheist or agnostic doctors are almost twice as willing to take decisions that they think will hasten the end of a very sick patient's life as doctors who are deeply religious, suggests research published online in the Journal of Medical Ethics.

ARRA funds bolster broadband access and improve connectivity among institutions
Today, the National Science Foundation announced 17 awards, totaling $20 million, through the Research Infrastructure Improvement Inter-Campus and Intra-Campus Cyber Connectivity program.

Rutgers researchers find a 'great fizz' of carbon dioxide at the end of the last ice age
Imagine loosening the screw-top of a soda bottle and hearing the carbon dioxide begin to escape.

Study predicts massive impact of drought tolerant maize in Africa
As climate change intensifies drought conditions in Africa and sparks fears of a new cycle of crippling food shortages, a study released today finds widespread adoption of recently developed drought-tolerant varieties of maize could boost harvests in 13 African countries by 10 to 34 percent and generate up to $1.5 billion in benefits for producers and consumers.

Tobacco industry may be using YouTube to market its products
Tobacco companies may be using Web 2.0 media, such as YouTube, to market their products to young people, so getting round marketing restrictions for tobacco content in place elsewhere, suggests research published online in Tobacco Control.

Hyperspectral imaging speeds detection of Campylobacter
A type of high-tech imaging can be used to distinguish the foodborne pathogen Campylobacter from other microorganisms as quickly as 24 hours after a sample is placed on solid media in a Petri dish, according to a study published by US Department of Agriculture scientists.

Exposure to low doses of BPA alters gene expression in the fetal mouse ovary
A study posted today at the online site of the journal Biology of Reproduction reports that exposure of pregnant female mice to the endocrine-disrupting chemical bisphenol A may produce adverse reproductive consequences on gene expression in fetal ovaries as early as 12 hours after the mother has first been exposed to the chemical.

Buzz off: Popular insect repellents pack a powerful '1-2' punch
Two new studies reveal that the commonly used insect repellents DEET and citronellal each work through a dual stimulation of insect sensory systems.

North American continent is a layer cake, scientists discover
The North American continent is not one thick, rigid slab, but a layer cake of ancient, 3-billion-year-old rock on top of much newer material probably less than 1 billion years old, according to a new study by UC Berkeley seismologists.

NICS to add more than 300 teraflops to the NSF's computing capacity
With twin awards from the National Science Foundation totaling $3.4 million, the University of Tennessee-managed National Institute for Computational Sciences will add 300 teraflops to the TeraGrid's total computational capability.

Copy number variation found to cause rare kidney disease
A rare form of kidney disease linked to a genetic mutation in the innate immune system has been identified by researchers funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Medical Research Council.

AACR supports NIH stem cell research
The American Association for Cancer Research, the world's oldest and largest cancer research organization, reiterates its support for the responsible conduct of human embryonic stem cell research that, up until this week, was funded by the National Institutes of Health and expresses concern that the recent Federal District Court injunction to block federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research is a setback for scientific discovery.

Mayo researchers develop new laboratory cell lines to study treatment for ATC
To their deep dismay, researchers at Mayo Clinic discovered several years ago that laboratory samples of anaplastic thyroid cancer they were using to help them find new treatments for this lethal disease were probably some other kind of cancer.

Georgia Tech's Nick Feamster named top young innovator by Technology Review's TR 35 Listing
The Georgia Tech College of Computing today announced that Assistant Professor Nick Feamster of the School of Computer Science has been recognized by Technology Review magazine as one of the world's top innovators under the age of 35 for his research in computer networks.

A novel method for collecting dolphin DNA
Scientists at Georgetown University, the National Aquarium and the University of Queensland are the first to extract DNA from dolphin blow (breath exhalations).

Seeing the world with new eyes: Biosynthetic corneas restore vision in humans
A new study from researchers in Canada and Sweden has shown that biosynthetic corneas can help regenerate and repair damaged eye tissue and improve vision in humans.

UCI-Scripps study links cellular motors to memory
Functioning much like machine gears, cellular motor proteins are critical to dynamic functions throughout the body, including muscle contraction, cell migration and cellular growth processes.

SNM applauds US Senate's introduction of CARE Act
SNM supports the US Senate in its introduction of the Consistency, Accuracy, Responsibility and Excellence in Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy Act of 2010 (CARE Act), S.

Major moral decisions use general-purpose brain circuits to manage uncertainty
Scientists at Harvard University have found that humans can make difficult moral decisions using the same brain circuits as those used in more mundane choices related to money and food.

New GSA Special Paper asks a deceptively complicated question
Since ancient times, humankind has been acutely aware of Earth's volcanic activity.

Grapefruit's bitter taste holds a sweet promise for diabetes therapy
A joint Harvard and Hebrew University study demonstrates the mechanism by which a single grapefruit compound controls fat and glucose metabolism, replacing multiple drugs.

Applying stem cell technology to liver diseases
Great excitement greeted the discovery a few years ago that certain cells from mice and humans could be reprogrammed to become inducible pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) as they hold promise for cell replacement therapy and modeling human disease.

'Dry water' could make a big splash commercially
An unusual substance known as

Trouble with sputter? Blame giant nanoparticles
Sputter deposition is used to make many products from the lining of potato chip bags to the coatings on advanced X-ray lenses.

Fields medal awarded to top young mathematicians
On Aug. 19 in Hyderabad, India, the International Congress of the International Mathematical Union awarded the prestigious Fields Medal to four mathematicians.

Fuel treatments reduce wildfire severity, tree mortality in Washington forests
A study conducted by US Forest Service and University of Washington scientists has found that fuel treatments -- even of only a few acres -- can reduce fire severity and protect older trees desirable for their timber, wildlife and carbon-storage value.

Why fish don't freeze in the Arctic Ocean
Bochum researchers have discovered how natural antifreeze works to protect fish in the icy waters of the Arctic Ocean from freezing to death.

NOAA, SeaWeb partner to communicate the value of coral reefs
NOAA and SeaWeb have entered into a partnership to enhance understanding of the nation's valuable but increasingly vulnerable coral reef ecosystems in the Caribbean, Florida, Hawaii and the Pacific Islands.

NASA's SOFIA will likely help solve mysteries about our galaxy
How were millions of young stars able to form at the center of our galaxy in the presence of an enormous black hole with a mass nearly four million times that of the sun?

JCI table of contents: Aug. 25, 2010
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for papers to be published Aug.

Insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes linked to plaques associated with Alzheimer's disease
People with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes appear to be at an increased risk of developing plaques in the brain that are associated with Alzheimer's disease, according to new research published in the Aug.

Arizona researchers create tests to assess Down syndrome
The Arizona Cognitive Test Battery, designed by UA psychologists Lynn Nadel and Jamie Edgin with collaborators at Johns Hopkins and Emory, can quickly assess the cognitive abilities of persons with Down syndrome.

Cement, the glue that holds oyster families together
Researchers from Purdue University and the University of South Carolina have shown that oysters produce a unique adhesive material for affixing themselves to each other, a cement that differs from the glues used by other marine organisms.

Rice study identifies 4 types of evangelicals in American leadership
Lindsay found that most evangelical leaders fit into one of four categories when it comes to their decision-making: pragmatic, heroic, circumspect and brazen.

Research shows gender difference in energy compensation effect
The results of a new scientific study from Oxford Brookes University show that the consumption of caloric beverages has different affects on short-term total energy intake in men and women.

Mutation leading to kidney disease in Cypriot families is traced back to 1 ancestor more than 300 years ago
A study published online first in the Lancet has identified a genetic mutation in the immune system which leads to chronic kidney disease in those affected.

A dog's life -- physiotherapy for arthritic pets
Animals with osteoarthritis are generally offered the same types of physiotherapy as humans, although most of the methods have not been directly tested on animals.

Microneedle, quantum dot study opens door to new clinical cancer tools
Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed extremely small microneedles that can be used to deliver medically relevant nanoscale dyes called quantum dots into skin -- an advance that opens the door to new techniques for diagnosing and treating a variety of medical conditions, including skin cancer.

New targeted therapy for advanced melanoma associated with 80 percent response rate
A multicenter study has concluded that treatment with a new targeted therapy called PLX4032 (also called RG7204) resulted in significant tumor shrinkage in 80 percent of patients with advanced melanoma.

Targeted drug leads to regression of metastatic melanoma with mutated BRAF gene
Use of an experimental targeted drug to treat metastatic melanoma tumors with a specific genetic signature was successful in more than 80 percent of patients in a phase 1 clinical trial.

Scientists say natural selection alone can explain eusociality
Scientists at Harvard University have sketched a new map of the

Coral off Puerto Rico's coast 'ideal case study' for Gulf oil spill's impact
Coral living off the coast of Puerto Rico may provide researchers valuable information about the potential impact of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Commercial road would disrupt world's greatest migration
The Wildlife Conservation Society and the Zoological Society of London are requesting that the government of Tanzania reconsider the proposed construction of a commercial road through the world's best known wildlife sanctuary -- Serengeti National Park -- and recommend that alternative routes be used that can meet the transportation needs of the region without disrupting the greatest remaining migration of large land animals in the world.

The strange case of solar flares and radioactive elements
When researchers found an unusual linkage between solar flares and the inner life of radioactive elements on Earth, it touched off a scientific detective investigation that could end up protecting the lives of space-walking astronauts and maybe even rewriting some of the assumptions of physics.

Banana plantain fibers could treat Crohn's disease
Scientists at the University of Liverpool have found that soluble fibers found in plantain, a type of large banana, could be used to treat patients with Crohn's disease.

New test allows individualized profiles of cigarette smoking
A test for one of the thousands of chemicals in cigarette smoke has the potential for more accurately estimating smokers' mouth level exposure and may have applications for developing custom-tailored quitting approaches for the more than 43 million people in the United States who still smoke, and hundreds of millions elsewhere, scientists said here today at the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society.

A fitting tribute to William T. Reid by John Burns at the SIAM Annual Meeting
SIAM is pleased to announce that Professor John A. Burns of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University received the W.

Tecnalia participates in creation of glass that optimizes use of solar energy
The Construction Unit at Tecnalia (in conjunction with the University of Cantabria) has taken part in the Sunglass project, the aim of which is to develop a new building product.

Liver cells created from patients' skin cells
By creating diseased liver cells from a small sample of human skin, scientists have for the first time shown that stem cells can be used to model a diverse range of inherited disorders.

Sunlight spawns many binary and 'divorced' binary asteroids
Asteroids that are slightly out of round can start spinning because of impinging sunlight.

Biosynthetic corneas formulated with recombinant collagen restore vision and nerve growth
FibroGen Inc., today announced results of a two-year clinical study demonstrating that surgical implantation of biosynthetic corneas formulated with the company's proprietary recombinant human type III collagen (rhCIII) restored vision and promoted nerve regeneration (restoring sensitivity) in patients who had corneal damage and significant vision loss.

BPA and testosterone levels
An international group of researchers led by the Peninsula Medical School and the University of Exeter have for the first time identified changes in sex hormones associated with BPA exposure in men, in a large population study.

Scientists discover how chemical repellants trip up insects
Fire up the citronella-scented tiki torches, and slather on the DEET: Everybody knows these simple precautions repel insects, notably mosquitoes, whose bites not only itch and irritate, but also transmit diseases such as West Nile virus, malaria and dengue.

Juicing up laptops and cell phones with soda pop or vegetable oil?
Scientists today reported development of a new battery-like device that opens the possibility that people one day could

'Greening' your flat screen TV
An estimated 70 percent of heavy metals in US landfills come from discarded electronics, and as big screen TVs get less expensive, environmental costs continue to mount.

Where the fat's at
In a paper published in the September issue of the Journal of Lipid Research, a team of scientists, led by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, has mapped for the first time the actual locations of specific lipids within a single cell.

Why are sunspots a source of radio emissions? NJIT researcher explains more
Why sunspots are a strong source of radio emissions and what information those emissions carry will be the focus of an invited talk by NJIT Research Professor Jeongwoo Lee tomorrow at the International Astronomical Union Symposium on the Physics of Sun and Star Spots in Ventura, Calif.

5 years after Katrina, satellites monitor flood defenses
The disaster that hit New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina was caused by poor flood defenses.

Neuron-damaging mechanism discovered in mouse model of inherited ALS
New research uncovers what may be a primary neuron-damaging insult that occurs in an inherited form of a devastating neurodegenerative disorder.

Evolution writ small
A unique experiment at Rice University that forces bacteria into a head-to-head competition for evolutionary dominance has yielded new insights about the way Darwinian selection plays out at the molecular level.

When galaxies collide: How the first super-massive black holes were born
Astronomers believe they have discovered the origin of our universe's first super-massive black holes, which formed some 13 billion years ago.

Plantain and broccoli fibers may block key stage in Crohn's disease development
Plantain and broccoli fibers may block a key stage in the development of the inflammatory bowel disorder, Crohn's disease, suggests preliminary research published online in Gut.

Waiting for the right moment
Pathogens make themselves feel at home in the human body, invading cells and living off the plentiful amenities on offer.

Mathematics explained for primary teachers by Derek Haylock
In this new fourth edition of Derek Haylock's much loved textbook, published by SAGE, the text has been fully revised and restructured to match the current attainment targets for mathematics in England.

University of Nevada professor studies structural basis for autism disorders
There is still much that is unknown about autism, but a University of Nevada, Reno psychologist has added to the body of knowledge that researchers around the world are compiling to try to demystify, prevent and treat the mysterious condition.

Up to 1 in 4 patients report more physical problems a year after surgery than before
Fifteen percent of patients experience more pain, physical and emotional problems a year after surgery than before their operation and 24 percent have less vitality, according to a study of over 400 patients published online by the British Journal of Surgery.

Freeze or run? Not that simple
Scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Monterotondo, Italy, and GlaxoSmithKline in Verona, Italy, have identified the specific type of neurons that determine how mice react to a frightening stimulus, showing that deciding whether or not to freeze in fear is a more complex task for our brains than we realized.

LSU expert teams with Ohio State researcher to track species affected by Gulf oil spill
To establish a baseline for measuring and predicting the biological impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, a LSU ichthyologist and an Ohio biomedical informatics researcher are using Ohio Supercomputer Center, or OSC, systems to help map data on the extent of the spill and chemicals and the distribution of various fish species.

University of Minnesota math institute receives $20.5 million NSF grant
The University of Minnesota's Institute for Mathematics and its Applications has been awarded a $20.5-million National Science Foundation renewal grant over the next five years.

Scientists develop the first atomic view of key genetic processes
Scientists have created the first 3-D picture of genetic processes that happen inside every cell of our bodies.

Wild porcupines under threat due to illegal hunting
Research from the University of East Anglia, published in Biological Conservation, has shown that the consumption of the Southeast Asian porcupine as a specialty food is having a devastating effect on wild populations.

Octopus mimics flatfish and flaunts it
The mimic octopus, which can imitate flatfish and sea snakes to dupe potential predators, may well be the king of impersonation.

International study shows some asteroids live in own little worlds
While the common perception of asteroids is that they are giant rocks lumbering about in orbit, a new study involving the University of Colorado at Boulder shows they actually are constantly changing

Spouses do not grow more alike, study finds
Contrary to popular belief, married couples do not become more similar over time, according to a team of researchers led by Michigan State University.

University of Pennsylvania-led study identifies new genetic risk factor for Lou Gehrig's disease
An international study led by biologists and neuroscientists from the University of Pennsylvania has identified a new genetic risk factor for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease.

Use the common cold virus to target and disrupt cancer cells?
A novel mechanism used by adenovirus to sidestep the cell's suicide program, could go a long way to explain how tumor suppressor genes are silenced in tumor cells and pave the way for a new type of targeted cancer therapy, report researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in the Aug.

'Soyscreen': Sunscreen for fungus to expand biological control of crop pests
Scientists today at the 240th American Chemical Society National Meeting & Exposition described development and successful initial tests on a substance that acts as a sunscreen for the microscopic spores of a fungus, brightening prospects for wider use of the fungus as a means of wiping out insect pests that attack food crops. 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