Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 28, 2010
BOEMRE leads study of deepwater communities post-Deepwater Horizon spill
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement today announced that a team of scientists led by BOEMR will embark on a research cruise that will examine deep sea coral and chemosynethetic community sites in the Gulf of Mexico.

December 2010 Lithosphere highlights
The December 2010 Lithosphere analyzes tectonic histories across the Llano Uplift, Texas; activity along the ~85-mile-long Kern Canyon fault, southern Sierra Nevada; deformed mantle materials in the Twin Sisters ultramafic body of Washington State; a giant granitic intrusion called the Sahwave Intrusive Suite near Reno, Nevada; the Socorro Magma Body, New Mexico; gravity anomalies on and offshore of the Antarctic continent; and the shallow upper mantle stratification of the

A wiki for the biofuels research community
Researchers at the Joint BioEnergy Institute have created an on-line wiki-based technoeconomic model that should help accelerate the development of clean, green biofuels that can compete with gasoline.

Origin of skillful stone-tool-sharpening method pushed back more than 50,000 years
A highly skillful and delicate method of sharpening and retouching stone artifacts by prehistoric people appears to have been developed at least 75,000 years ago, more than 50,000 years earlier than previously thought, according to a new study led by the University of Colorado at Boulder.

VCU Massey Cancer Center awarded $2.4 million grant from Virginia Tobacco Commission
Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center recently was awarded a two-year, $2.4 million grant from the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission.

Insulin-creating cell research may lead to better diabetes treatment
Beta cells, which make insulin in the human body, do not replicate after the age of 30, indicating that clinicians may be closer to better treating diabetes.

Protein preserves delicate balance between immune response and host
The immune system possesses a highly effective arsenal of cellular and chemical weapons that stand ready to defend us from harmful pathogens.

Paradise lost -- and found
Researchers at Tel Aviv University have uncovered an ancient royal garden at the site of Ramat Rachel near Jerusalem, and are leading the first full-scale excavation of this type of archaeological site anywhere in the pre-Hellenistic Levant.

2 people can learn to cooperate intuitively, but larger groups need to communicate
Two people can learn to cooperate with each other intuitively -- without communication or any conscious intention to cooperate.

Researchers to develop cyberinfrastructure for geography software
The National Science Foundation has awarded $4.4 million to an initiative led by the University of Illinois that will combine cyberinfrastructure, spatial analysis and modeling, and geographic information science to form a collaborative software framework encompassing many research fields.

Analyzed relation between sleep disorders and risk perception by drivers with disorder
Researchers at the University of Granada are analyzing how sleep disorders affect risk perception in driving.

Jekyll-Hyde microRNA binding variant linked to improved outcome in early-stage colorectal cancer
MicroRNA variant also predicts worse survival in later stages of cancer.

Rictor protein offers scientists a new molecular target for cancer therapies
The discovery that a protein called Rictor plays a key role in destroying a close cousin of the AKT oncogene could provide scientists with a new molecular target for treating certain cancers, including breast cancer.

Parasite infects poor women's reproductive organs
A new Danish study from LIFE -- Faculty of Life Sciences at the University of Copenhagen shows that the parasitic disease, commonly known as snail fever, or schistosomiasis, almost eats its way into women's reproductive organs.

Small-molecule inhibitors effectively targeted active colon cancer enzyme
More specific target increases efficacy, decreases toxicity. Small-molecule inhibitors could be developed into oral-based therapies.

4,000 numbers crunchers count on Austin
When 4,000 experts in everything from laws about using your cell phone while driving to using math to decide whether to punt or pass on fourth down come to Austin, the city will find itself deluged not only by smart people who use math for a living but also problem solvers who tackle America's greatest threats.

Not putting the clocks back this weekend will improve health, says expert
Not putting the clocks back this weekend but still putting them forward in the spring would be a simple and effective way to vastly improve our health and well-being, says an expert in this week's BMJ.

New system for monitoring electricity use heralds greener homes and cheaper bills
During the winter months the days grow colder and the nights longer causing households to use more electricity, often resulting in higher bills.

Scientists describe new approach for identifying genetic markers for common diseases
A group of researchers at the Scripps Research Institute and the Scripps Translational Science Institute has published a paper that reviews new strategies for identifying collections of rare genetic variations that reveal whether people are predisposed to developing common conditions like diabetes and cancer.

National research study to assess new treatment for painful vertebral fractures
Physicians at the Medical College of Wisconsin are conducting the KAST clinical trial at Froedtert Hospital to assess the safety and effectiveness of a new vertebral augmentation treatment for painful vertebral compression fractures due to osteoporosis.

New test measures DNA methylation levels to predict colon cancer
An investigational DNA methylation test could alter the screening landscape for colorectal cancer, according to data presented at the American Association for Cancer Research special conference on Colorectal Cancer: Biology to Therapy, held Oct.

Study identifies 5 risk factors for late-stage head and neck cancer
A new Henry Ford Hospital study has identified five risk factors for late-stage head and neck cancer: two genes, tumor grade and vascular invasion and location of the tumor.

FAK inhibitor effectively blocked colon cancer cell growth and viability
Y15, a novel FAK inhibitor, may be useful for treating colon cancer.

Obese children experience later mortality post liver transplantation
A new study from the University of Washington reported obese children are at increased mortality risk in later years following primary liver transplantation (LT).

Algeo tracks evidence of 'The Great Dying'
University of Cincinnati geologist Thomas Algeo sorts 251-million-year-old chemical evidence to understand the

Scientists call for tighter regulations on food adverts during children's TV viewing
Psychologists at the University of Liverpool have called for tighter advertising regulations after a study revealed unhealthy foods are more likely to be advertised during children's peak viewing times than at any other point in the broadcasting schedule.

Scientists investigate evolution of new polio virus
Scientists at the University of Liverpool have completed the first major review of diagnostic methods and treatments for a rapidly evolving virus that causes hand, foot and mouth disease in children.

Broad range of research presented to Geological Society of America
With presentations on topics ranging from extinction to continental drift to fossil colors, the University of Cincinnati geology department is strongly represented among research presentations at the Geological Society of America 2010 annual meeting.

Helping fish get rid of the 'Ich'
Copper sulfate has emerged as an effective treatment for Ichthyophthirius multifiliis, also known as

Exposure to BPA associated with reduced semen quality
Increasing urine BPA (Bisphenol-A) level was significantly associated with decreased sperm concentration, decreased total sperm count, decreased sperm vitality and decreased sperm motility, according to a Kaiser Permanente study appearing in the journal of Fertility and Sterility.

Media alert: Agronomists, crop and soil scientists to convene in Long Beach
What would be the impact of the next green revolution on global food security?

Henry Ford physicist awarded for cancer radiation therapy research
Henry Ford Hospital physicist Lei Ren, Ph.D., is among an elite group to be awarded for basic science research in radiation oncology at the 52nd annual ASTRO meeting in San Diego.

3 million Californians use health plans with high out-of-pocket costs
Three million Californians are enrolled in high-deductible health plans, insurance policies that offer consumers a lower monthly premium in return for higher out-of-pocket spending for health care services, according to a new report from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.

NC State develops more precise genetic 'off switches'
Researchers at North Carolina State University have found a way to

Found: First complete remains of early sauropod dinosaur
Scientists have discovered in China the first complete skeleton of a pivotal ancestor of Earth's largest land animals -- the sauropod dinosaurs.

UNH's Fred Short adds seagrass data to major conservation study
A major new study that sounds a conservation alarm for the world's vertebrate species notes that the world's seagrass species are faring somewhat better, says a University of New Hampshire researcher who was a coauthor of the study.

Getting a grip on CO2 capture
Researchers at the University of Calgary and University of Ottawa have provided deeper insights to CO2 capture by

Uncovering the cause of a common form of muscular dystrophy
An international team of researchers led by an investigator from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has made a second critical advance in determining the cause of a common form of muscular dystrophy known as facioscapulohumeral dystrophy, or FSHD.

International Conference on Biotherapy to be held in the US
The 8th International Conference on Biotherapy will be held in Los Angeles, Nov.

People with specific kind of lung cancer respond to new targeted treatment
A study in the New England Journal of Medicine shows more than half of patients with a specific kind of lung cancer are responding positively to a treatment that targets the gene that drives their cancer.

NIH renews Nanomedicine Center focused on treating single-gene disorders for $16.1 million
The Georgia Tech-led Nanomedicine Center for Nucleoprotein Machines was renewed by NIH for $16.1 million.

Penn study shows 2-sided immune cell could be harnessed to shrink tumors
Researchers have found that a protein called inducible costimulator (ICOS) is necessary for the growth and function of human Th17 cells, while CD28, a transmembrane protein on CD4 cells, stops the ICOS signal.

New software to improve foodstuffs
Max Planck Innovation GmbH, the technology transfer organization of the Max Planck Society, has awarded an exclusive license for the analysis software TagFinder to Metabolomic Discoveries GmbH, a service provider in biochemical research.

Paul G. Allen receives Krieg Lifetime Achievement Award for contributions in neuroscience
Allen Institute for Brain Science founder and philanthropist Paul G.

American Chemical Society co-hosts Science and Society discussion on food safety on Nov. 1
The American Chemical Society Science & the Congress Project invites news media to attend a discussion with leading scientists and others on the topic of food safety on Nov.

Is our too clean culture making our kids sick?
Rising levels of allergic asthma and eczema in North American children have Canadian scientists wondering if there is such a thing as being

Study identifies flaws in Medicare prescription drug program
Millions of Medicare recipients have been forcibly reassigned to different prescription drug plans because Part D reimbursements to insurance companies covering low-income patients are lower than the actual costs incurred, according to a study released online by Health Affairs.

Olive oil protects liver
Extra-virgin olive oil can protect the liver from oxidative stress.

Americans with 'phytonutrient gap' fall short in nutrients that may support immune health
The majority of Americans report getting a cold or flu in the past year, and more than a third say they'll make lifestyle changes to prevent getting sick again this year.

UM School of Medicine receives $45 million private donation for celiac research
With a new $45 million private gift from the family of a grateful patient, the University of Maryland School of Medicine is planning to establish the nation's only major research enterprise devoted to the study of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases like celiac disease, multiple sclerosis, asthma and type 1 diabetes.

Spacecraft will enable scientists to study space environment around moon, Earth
Two spacecraft are starting to study the moon's environment as part of a NASA mission called ARTEMIS, whose principal investigator is Vassilis Angelopoulos, a UCLA professor of Earth and space sciences.

Genetic variants may affect the risk of breast cancer in women with BRCA2 mutations
An international study led by researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center has identified genetic variants in women with BRCA2 mutations that may increase or decrease their risk of developing breast cancer.

Researchers build colony of colon cancer stem cells to test new approach to therapy
Colon cancer stem cells may be the root of therapy resistance.

The unhealthy ego: What can neuroscience tell us about our 'self'?
In the Dana Foundation's new briefing paper,

Caltech/JPL experiments improve accuracy of ozone predictions in air-quality models
A team of scientists led by researchers from Caltech and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (have fully characterized a key chemical reaction that affects the formation of pollutants in smoggy air.

New Brain Connectivity journal captures latest advances in neuroscience research
Mary Ann Liebert Inc. announces the release of a new peer-reviewed journal in an expanding area of systems neuroscience, Brain Connectivity.

Multiple sclerosis will become a controlled disease like AIDS
In recent years around 20 genes related to Multiple Sclerosis have been identified.

Study says solar systems like ours may be common
A survey of 166 nearby stars like our sun reveals increasing numbers of smaller planets down to the smallest planets detectable today -- super-Earths about three times the mass of the Earth.

New study suggests most preschool-age children exceed daily screen time recommendations
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents limit combined screen time from television, DVDs, computers and video games to two hours per day for preschool-age children.

Fingers detect typos even when conscious brain doesn't
Expert typists are able to zoom across the keyboard without ever thinking about which fingers are pressing the keys.

Low birth weight may lead to poor growth rate in children with kidney disease
The lower the birth weight, the greater the chance of poor growth rate in children with chronic kidney disease, according to a new study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Immigrant Latinos in rural Illinois have unique child care needs
Immigrant Latino mothers in rural areas need child care that meets a certain cultural comfort level, is affordable for them, and is available during shift work, according to

Organic solvent system may improve catalyst recycling and create new nanomedicine uses
Noble metals such as platinum and palladium are becoming increasingly important because of growth in environmentally friendly applications such as fuel cells.

Potential new treatment for deadly nipah and hendra viruses identified by Weill Cornell researchers
Scientists at Weill Cornell Medical College have identified a potential new treatment for the Nipah and Hendra viruses, two lethal and emerging viruses for which there is currently no treatment or vaccine available.

Tighter ethics rules have reduced industrial relationship of NIH scientists
The 2005 ethics rules that govern relationships between researchers within the National Institutes of Health and industrial companies have significantly reduced the prevalence of such collaborations without affecting standard measures of research productivity, according to a study from the Mongan Institute for Health Policy at Massachusetts General Hospital.

New test equipment enhances police traffic surveillance
Police surveillance of seatbelt compliance and speeding receives a boost with the new test equipment.

The more someone smokes, the smaller the number of gray cells
A specific region of the cerebral cortex of smokers is thinner than that of people who have never smoked in their lives.

Researchers find 'Goldilocks' of DNA self-assembly
Researchers from North Carolina State University have found a way to optimize the development of DNA self-assembling materials, which hold promise for technologies ranging from drug delivery to molecular sensors.

National Council launches pilot program to improve how people with schizophrenia function
The National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare today announced a new eight-month pilot program designed to advance standards of care for people living with schizophrenia.

Rett Syndrome research gets 'SMART' with Pepsi Challenge funding
On Oct. 1, IRSF became the recipient of a $250,000 grant from the Pepsi Refresh contest, a highly-competitive, online grant program to benefit non-profit organizations, which will be used to fund the

Newly discovered regulatory mechanism essential for embryo development and may contribute to cancer
Researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine have identified a mechanism controlling the function of a protein that binds to DNA during embryonic development and may function to prevent abnormal tumor growth.

U of M researchers identify possible key to treating, understanding post-traumatic stress disorder
University of Minnesota Medical School and Minneapolis Veterans Affair Medical Center researchers have discovered a correlation between increased circuit activity in the right side of the brain and the debilitating, involuntary flashbacks triggered by post traumatic stress disorder.

Professor Nikolaus Rajewsky becomes EMBO member
Systems biologist professor Nikolaus Rajewsky from the Max Delbrueck Center for Molecular Medicine Berlin-Buch, Germany, has been elected member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO).

Science selects physics website at Rutgers for prestigious prize
Among the intriguing things professor Eugenia Etkina could put on a resume is the fact that she can demonstrate Newton's Laws of Motion on Rollerblades.

Chemical & Engineering News picks photo contest winner
Chemical & Engineering News today announced the winners of its inaugural photo contest.

Root of the matter: A new map shows life-saving forests' scarcity defies past estimates
Countless people clung to life in the branches of trees hemming the shorelines during the deadly 2004 tsunami that killed more than 230,000 coastal residents in Indonesia, India, Thailand and Sri Lanka.

Naval Science and Technology Conference to highlight solutions to warfighter challenges
The 2010 Naval Science and Technology Partnership Conference, to be held Nov.

New clinical test to predict lupus flares moves closer to the market
A discovery made by Lupus Research Institute-funded investigator Emily Baechler Gillespie, Ph.D., at the University of Minnesota has been licensed to a major clinical laboratory for development and could soon result in a test that quickly and easily enables patients and their physicians to determine when a lupus flare is imminent.

Cancer's hiding spots revealed
In a study of mice with lymphoma, MIT biologists have discovered that a small number of cancer cells escape chemotherapy by hiding out in the thymus, an organ where immune cells mature.

In response to chemo, healthy cells shield cancer cells
Many times, cancer patients respond very well to chemotherapy initially only to have their disease return, sometimes years later.

UM researchers are studying child-mother interactions to design robots with social skills
University of Miami developmental psychologists and computer scientists from the University of California in San Diego are studying infant-mother interactions and working to implement their findings in a baby robot capable of learning social skills.

Facebook study finds race trumped by ethnic, social, geographic origins in forging friendships
Race may not be as important as previously thought in determining who buddies up with whom, suggests the UCLA-Harvard study of American college students on Facebook.

Kidney transplant numbers increase for elderly patients
Elderly patients with kidney failure get kidney transplants more often than they did a decade ago, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Many male cancer patients are missing out on sperm banking
Many men -- whose fertility may be at risk from cancer treatment -- are not being offered the chance to store their sperm according to new research published Thursday in the Annals of Oncology.

Phosphorus identified as the missing link in evolution of animals
A University of Alberta geomicrobiologist and his PhD student are part of a research team that has identified phosphorus as the mystery ingredient that pushed oxygen levels in the oceans high enough to establish the first animals on Earth 750 million years ago.

Wild Scottish sheep could help explain differences in immunity
Strong immunity may play a key role in determining long life, but may do so at the expense of reduced fertility, a Princeton University study has concluded.

Telomere length affects colorectal cancer risk
Telomeres of some young-onset colorectal cancer patients showed accelerated aging.

Size of protein aggregates, not abundance, drives spread of prion-based disease
In a study that challenges the conventional wisdom about infections caused by proteins called prions, Brown researchers report in Science that the size of protein structures, rather than their abundance, determines their transmission among cells.

Hutchinson Center and China CDC sign agreement for research and training collaboration
The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC) and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center today formalized an ongoing relationship by signing a collaboration agreement.

UNH awarded $700K for dairy farm GHG emissions study
Scientists from the University of New Hampshire have been awarded $700,000 from the US Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture to do a baseline study of greenhouse gas emissions at both traditional and organic dairy farms operated by UNH.

Researchers generate iPSCs to further treatments for lung disease
A team of researchers from Boston University's Center for Regenerative Medicine and the Pulmonary Center have generated 100 new lines of human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) from individuals with lung diseases, including cystic fibrosis and emphysema.

'Wireless' humans could form backbone of new mobile networks
Members of the public could form the backbone of powerful new mobile internet networks by carrying wearable sensors.

A recent IRCM breakthrough impacts cancer research
A team of scientists at the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montreal led by Dr. 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