Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 24, 2010
President Obama awards National Medals of Science to America's best and brightest scientific minds
On Nov. 17, President Obama presented 10 researchers with the highest technical and scientific award given by the United States, the the National Medal of Science.

Location, location, location: Some coral reefs less vulnerable to rising sea temperatures
New research highlighting coastal locations where coral can better withstand rising sea temperatures, a leading cause of stress to coral reefs, may guide efforts to conserve the largest living structures on Earth.

Researchers shine light on how some melanoma tumors evade drug treatment
Researchers have unearthed one of the key players behind drug resistance in melanoma.

Overseas lab seeks US weed control 'recruits'
The search is on for insects, mites, microbes or nematodes that could be used in a biologically based approach to controlling silverleaf nightshade, an invasive weed from the Americas that has spread to southern Europe, Africa, India, Australia and elsewhere.

Jet-lagged and forgetful? It's no coincidence
Holiday travel can leave people cranky and tired, in part because of jet lag, the result of your body's internal clock being out of synch with your current time zone.

New guidance issued for first responders collecting suspected biothreat agents
NIST and a coalition of federal, state and local agencies and other organizations have updated a standard and provided overall guidance and recommendations to help the nation's first responders and law enforcement agencies deal with collecting and managing samples of suspicious powders.

Cholera and vaccine experts urge United States to stockpile vaccine
Public health workers in Haiti are focusing their efforts on treating those with cholera-like symptoms and providing clean water and adequate sanitation to control the disease's spread.

Finger-trap tension stabilizes cells' chromosome-separating machinery
Cells stabilize their machinery for forcing apart chromosomes in an amazingly simple way.

Workplace asthma costs UK at least $158 million a year
Workplace asthma costs the UK at least $158 million a year, and may be as high as $214 million, reveals research published online in Thorax.

Whale sharks do the math to avoid that sinking feeling
They are the largest fish species in the ocean, but the majestic gliding motion of the whale shark is, scientists argue, an astonishing feat of mathematics and energy conservation.

New drug treatment has potential to help cure millions infected with tropical parasite
The drug tribendimidine seems to be as safe and effective as the drug of choice, praziquantel, against infection with the Southeast Asian liver fluke, providing almost complete egg elimination and a cure rate of 70 percent.

Early intervention essential to success for at-risk children: Queen's University study
Children living in disadvantaged neighborhoods are more likely to succeed if they participate in a community-based prevention program, according to findings released recently from a multi-year research study based at Queen's University.

Study of 10 other hospitals found no reduction in adverse medical events over 6 years
Despite concerted efforts, no decreases in patient harm were detected at 10 randomly selected North Carolina hospitals between 2002 and 2007, according to a new study from the Stanford University School of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.

UCLA researchers discover drug resistance mechanisms in most common form of melanoma
Researchers with UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center have found that melanoma patients whose cancers are caused by mutation of the BRAF gene become resistant to a promising targeted treatment through another genetic mutation or the overexpression of a cell surface protein, both driving survival of the cancer and accounting for relapse.

Heavy metals in seafood: Satisfactory results of interlaboratory comparison
A new study which benchmarks the abilities of laboratories around the world to measure heavy metals (arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, methylmercury and inorganic arsenic) in seafood has been published today by the Joint Research Centre.

Deciphering how CD4 T cells die during HIV infection
Gladstone scientists have solved a long-standing mystery about HIV infection -- how HIV promotes the death of CD4 T cells.

Being a 'good sport' can be critical to maintaining lifelong physical activity
It's never fun riding the bench -- but could it also make you less likely to be physically active in the future?

Each 5-degree temperature rise boosts kids' hospital admissions for serious injury by 10 percent
Every 5°C rise in maximum temperature pushes up the rate of hospital admissions for serious injuries among children, reveals one of the largest studies of its kind published online in Emergency Medicine Journal.

Study finds that the same face may look male or female
Neuroscientists at MIT and Harvard have made the surprising discovery that the brain sees some faces as male when they appear in one area of a person's field of view, but female when they appear in a different location.

Short, on-chip light pulses will enable ultrafast data transfer within computers
Electrical engineers generated short, powerful light pulses on a chip -- an important step toward the optical interconnects that will likely replace the copper wires that carry information between chips within today's computers.

Climate change clues in the rough seas of the Southern Ocean
On Nov. 30, 2010, scientists aboard the RRS James Cook will be leaving Punta Arenas, Chile, to study the movement of water in the Southern Ocean -- from the surface to the deep abyss.

Pulsating star mystery solved
By discovering the first double star where a pulsating Cepheid variable and another star pass in front of one another, an international team of astronomers has solved a decades-old mystery.

MIT biologists find that restoring the gene for cancer protein p53 slows spread of advanced tumors
In a new study to be published in the Nov.

Diabetes drug could work against Alzheimer's
Scientists from Berlin, Bonn and Dundee show in animal models that the diabetes drug metformin has an effect against one of the main causes of the Alzheimer's disease.

Bonn physicists create a 'super-photon'
Physicists from the University of Bonn have developed a completely new source of light, a so-called Bose-Einstein condensate consisting of photons.

A decade of refinements in transplantation improves long-term survival of blood cancers
A decade of refinements in marrow and stem cell transplantation to treat blood cancers significantly reduced the risk of treatment-related complications and death, according to an institutional self-analysis of transplant-patient outcomes conducted at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Growth-factor gel shows promise as hearing-loss treatment
A new treatment has been developed for sudden sensorineural hearing loss, a condition that causes deafness in 40,000 Americans each year, usually in early middle-age.

Mildew-resistant and infertile
Two proteins involved in powdery mildew infection in plants also play an important role in fertilization.

An answer to a longstanding question: How HIV infection kills T cells
Researchers appear to have an explanation for a longstanding question in HIV biology: how it is that the virus kills so many CD4 T cells, despite the fact that most of them appear to be

Dartmouth study uses the patient's tumor to form vaccine
A new process for creating a personalized vaccine may become a crucial tool in helping patients with colorectal cancer develop an immune response against their own tumors.

Quartz crystal microbalances enable new microscale analytic technique
A new chemical analysis technique developed by a research group at NIST uses the shifting ultrasonic pitch of a small quartz crystal to test the purity of only a few micrograms of material.

Erythromycin A produced in E. coli for first time
For the first time, researchers have made the antibiotic erythromycin A, and two variants, using E. coli as the production host.

Experts urge US to create emergency cholera vaccine stockpile for humanitarian use
In the wake of devastating cholera outbreaks in refugee camps in earthquake-wracked Haiti, a group of leading experts from Harvard Medical School, George Washington University, and the International Vaccine Institute have urged the United States to create an emergency stockpile of cholera vaccines for future humanitarian use.

When Belgium sneezes, the world catches a cold
As the Eurozone continues to wobble, a new analysis of countries' economic interconnectedness finds that some of the countries with the greatest potential to cause a global crash have surprisingly small gross domestic production.

UBC physicists make atoms and dark matter add up
Physicists at the University of British Columbia and TRIUMF have proposed a unified explanation for dark matter and the so-called baryon asymmetry -- the apparent imbalance of matter with positive baryon charge and antimatter with negative baryon charge in the Universe.

How pathogens hijack host plants
Infestation by bacteria and other pathogens result in global crop losses of over $500 billion annually.

Proton-pump inhibitors and birth defects -- some reassurances, but more needed warns epidemiologist
Despite the reassurances of Pasternak and Hviid in their study,

The most aggressive forms of breast cancer elude cellular control mechanisms in order to expand
Scientists at IRB Barcelona have provided new data on how certain types of aggressive breast cancer bypass tumor suppression mechanisms.

Female fish -- and humans? -- lose interest when their male loses a slugfest
If you see your special someone lose a competition, your subconscious may start whispering,

Remarkable biological complexity of bacterial cells is focus of newly released book
As summarized in a new book from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press,

New study reveals how cannabis suppresses immune functions
An international team of immunologists studying the effects of cannabis have discovered how smoking marijuana can trigger a suppression of the body's immune functions.

Fatal blood clot genetic risk breakthrough announcement
An international team led by researchers from the Universities of Leicester and Cambridge has announced a breakthrough in identifying people at risk of developing potentially fatal blood clots that can lead to heart attack.

Danish researchers finally solve the obesity riddle
Researchers at Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen, now unveil the results of the world's largest diet study: Eat more proteins and less refined starch.

Massive galaxies formed when universe was young
Scientists have found a number of very massive, highly luminous galaxies that existed almost 12 billion years ago when the universe was only about 1.5 billion years old.

New imaging technique accurately finds cancer cells, fast
The long, anxious wait for biopsy results could soon be over, thanks to a tissue-imaging technique developed at the University of Illinois.

Breastfeeding while taking seizure drugs may not harm child's IQ
There's good news for women with epilepsy. Breastfeeding your baby while taking your seizure medication may have no harmful effect on your child's IQ later on, according to a study published in the Nov.

Epilepsy drugs may not affect IQ of breastfed babies, study says
According to a recent study, breastfeeding a baby while taking a seizure medication may have no harmful effect on the child's IQ later in life.

Can cacti 'escape' underground in high temperatures?
In the scorching summer heat of the Chihuahuan Desert in southwest Texas, air temperatures can hover around 97°F (36°C) while at the surface of the soil temperatures can exceed 158°F (70°C).

IOF and ESCEO position on atypical femoral fractures and long-term bisphosphonate use
An ESCEO-IOF position paper on

Chronic high cholesterol diet produces brain damage
Research from the Laboratory of Psychiatry and Experimental Alzheimers Research at the Medical University Innsbruck demonstrated that chronic high fat cholesterol diet in rats exhibited pathologies similar to Alzheimer's disease. 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