Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 26, 2011
First report on fate of underwater dispersants in Deepwater Horizon oil spill
Scientists are reporting that key chemical components of the 770,000 gallons of oil dispersants applied below the ocean surface in the Deepwater Horizon spill did mix with oil and gas spewing out of the damaged wellhead and remained in the deep ocean for two months or more without degrading.

Making a point
Northwestern University researchers have developed a new technique for rapidly prototyping nanoscale devices and structures that is so inexpensive the

Low socioeconomic status increases depression risk in rheumatoid arthritis patients
A recent study confirmed that low socioeconomic status is associated with higher risk of depressive symptoms in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Casualties of war: Wounded veterans more likely to die of coronary heart disease
War-time stress may lead to an increased risk death by coronary heart disease in later life.

Arizona companies team up, providing quick development of cancer drugs
TGen Drug Development and Flagship Biosciences today announced a strategic alliance that should help speed new drugs safely into human testing and quickly benefit cancer patients.

NASA's TRMM Satellite sees TD10S strengthen into Tropical Storm Bianca
The life of a cyclone is a complex one, and NASA satellites have kept track of a low that has now become Tropical Storm Bianca just off the northern coast of Western Australia.

Mount Sinai researchers identify potential therapeutic target for improving long-term memory
Researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine have identified a therapy that may enhance memory and prevent the loss of long-term memory.

Genetic archaeology finds parts of our genome more closely related to orangutans than chimps
In a study published online today in Genome Research, in coordination with the publication of the orangutan genome sequence, scientists have presented the surprising finding that although orangutans and humans are more distantly related, some regions of our genomes are more alike than those of our closest living relative, the chimpanzee.

Data point to role of cellular bioenergetics as a new mechanistic approach to treat immune disorders
Lycera Corporation, a biopharmaceutical company pioneering an innovative approach to developing novel oral medicines to treat autoimmune diseases, today announced positive data from the University of Michigan demonstrating the role of bioenergetics in selectively inhibiting pathogenic lymphocytes while preserving and enhancing the normal immune system.

Orangutan DNA more diverse than human's, remarkably stable through the ages
An international team of scientists, led by Washington University School of Medicine in St.

APS commends President Obama's commitment to scientific research
The American Physical Society, the nation's largest organization of physicists, takes special note of President Obama's speech last night that increasing scientific research and innovation and improving education are crucial to our nation's long-term economic growth.

MDC researchers and clinicians identify mediator of blood pressure regulation in the liver
For 60 years, scientists have puzzled over the possibility of a hepatic osmoreceptor that influences blood pressure regulation.

Secondhand smoke laws may reduce childhood ear infections
Harvard School of Public Health researchers and colleagues from Research Institute for a Tobacco Free Society have found that a reduction in secondhand smoking in American homes was associated with fewer cases of otitis media, the scientific name for middle ear infection.

Chemists turn gold to purple -- on purpose
Professor Richard Watt and his chemistry students suspected that a common protein could potentially react with sunlight and harvest its energy -- similar to what chlorophyll does during photosynthesis.

NASA's Aqua Satellite sees Tropical Depression Anthony heading toward Australia
NASA's Aqua Satellite captured a visible image of the former Tropical Storm Anthony, now weakened to a tropical depression, but forecasters aren't counting Anthony out yet.

Research suggests HIV causes rapid aging in key infection-fighting cells
A new study suggests that HIV pushes a specific subset of the CD4+

UT Southwestern researchers uncover potential 'cure' for type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes could be converted to an asymptomatic, non-insulin-dependent disorder by eliminating the actions of a specific hormone, new findings by UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers suggest.

Zebrafish popular with researchers
The zebrafish is becoming increasingly popular among researchers, such as Dr.

Sharing child caregiving may increase parental conflict, study finds
Parents who share caregiving for their preschool children may experience more conflict than those in which the mother is the primary caregiver, according to a new study.

Laboratories, universities unite to build radioecology expertise
To build the pool of radioecology expertise both here and abroad, the US Department of Energy's Savannah River National Laboratory is working with universities across the US and laboratories in France and the Ukraine to form the National Center for Radioecology, a network of excellence for environmental radiation risk reduction and remediation.

2011 Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine
The 2011 2011 Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine is awarded to the German biologist Stefan Jentsch, a director at the Max-Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried, and to the Norwegian neurobiologists Edvard and May-Britt Moser, director and co-director respectively of the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim.

Highly interactive training helps workers in dangerous jobs avoid deadly mistakes
Hands-on safety training for workers in highly hazardous jobs is most effective at improving safe work behavior, according to psychologists who analyzed close to 40 years of research.

LSU's Mark Batzer decodes orangutan genome
Mark Batzer, LSU System Boyd Professor and Dr. Mary Lou Applewhite Distinguished Professor of Biological Sciences, and an international consortium of scientists led by Devin Locke and the Genome Center at Washington University, have decoded the orangutan genome for the first time to discover more about its evolution and untangle its odd history of genetic diversity.

Nanosat-6 Flight Competition Review winners announced and Nanosat-7 Competition begins
The Nanosatellite-6 Program Flight Competition Review sponsored by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics was held at the Sheraton Uptown Hotel in Albuquerque, N.M., recently where a panel of judges from the Air Force Research Laboratory, Space Test Program, Air Force Institute of Technology and industry selected the winners.

Hubble sees farther back in time than ever before
Astronomers, including Carnegie Observatories' Ivo Labbé, have found what they believe to be the most distant object ever seen in the universe -- at a distance of 13.2 billion light years, some 3 percent of the age of universe.

Hubble finds a new contender for galaxy distance record
Pushing the Hubble Space Telescope to the limit of its technical ability, an international collaboration of astronomers have found what is likely to be the most distant and ancient galaxy ever seen, whose light has taken 13.2 billion years to reach us (a redshift of around 10).

Gender and hygiene: Could cleanliness be hurting girls?
Little girls growing up in western society are expected to be neat and tidy --

Canadian researchers discover new way to prevent infections in dialysis patients
Researchers have discovered that a drug used to treat dialysis catheter malfunction in kidney dialysis patients may now also help prevent both malfunction as well as infections.

UNH research recommends new regulatory structure to mitigate financial risk in China
New research from the University of New Hampshire suggests that China should establish a unified supervisory agency, similar to what is used in Singapore, to oversee its complex financial sector.

New anti-HIV gene therapy makes T-cells resistant to HIV infection
An innovative genetic strategy for rendering T-cells resistant to HIV infection without affecting their normal growth and activity is described in a paper published in Human Gene Therapy, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert Inc.

2 rockets set to launch from Poker Flat Research Range
Scientists from Virginia Tech and the University of Colorado are preparing to launch two NASA sounding rockets for two experiments at Poker Flat Research Range north of Fairbanks.

Earth and space scientists applaud Obama science pledge
The American Geophysical Union, the world's largest organization of Earth and space scientists, applauds President Barack Obama's call in his State of the Union address on Tuesday for nurturing and strengthening the American investment in science research and education.

Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology debuts new look, reflects global impact
The Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology -- the monthly, peer-reviewed flagship publication of the Society of Interventional Radiology -- announced several major changes for 2011 -- all directed at highlighting the global impact of this minimally invasive medical specialty and its lead journal.

Agave fuels global excitement as a bioenergy crop
Agave, currently known for its use in the production of alcoholic beverages and fibers, thrives in semi-arid regions where it is less likely to conflict with food and feed production.

'Hidden plumbing' helps slow Greenland ice flow
Hotter summers may not be as catastrophic for the Greenland ice sheet as previously feared and may actually slow down the flow of glaciers, according to new research.

New $23m research center by NTU, ETH Zurich, UNC-Chapel Hill to make virtual communication reality
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, Switzerland, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, N.C., have come together to set up a new international research center for telepresence and telecollaboration, known as the BeingThere Centre.

Boston College physics professor Stephen Wilson receives NSF Career Award
Boston College Assistant Professor of Physics Stephen Wilson, whose research focuses on the behavior of electrons in new classes of materials, has received a career award from the National Science Foundation.

ONR, Marine Corps show alternative energy use at forward operating bases can save dollars, lives
To cut down on convoys trucking fuel to forward operating bases, as well as implement the Department of the Navy's vision for energy efficiency, the Office of Naval Research and elements within the Marine Corps have successfully demonstrated their goal to reduce petroleum and energy usage in remote locations in Afghanistan.

Pitt team finds teen brains over-process rewards, suggesting root of risky behavior, mental ills
Pitt researchers made the first electrode recordings of individual neuron activity in adolescent and adult rat brains -- or any other brain -- during the performance of a task.

Fishy consequences of transplanting trout, salmon, whitefishes
Not all trout are created equal. Those swimming up the streams of the United States might resemble their cousins from Canada, yet their genetic makeup is regionally affected and has an impact on how they reproduce, grow and react to environmental stressors.

Research shows how pathogenic bacteria hide inside host cells
A new study into Staphylococcus aureus, the bacterium which is responsible for severe chronic infections worldwide, reveals how bacteria have developed a strategy of hiding within host cells to escape the immune system as well as many antibacterial treatments.

Study suggests new treatment option to reduce metastasis in ovarian cancer
A paper published in the January issue of the journal Nanomedicine could provide the foundation for a new ovarian cancer treatment option -- one that would use an outside-the-body filtration device to remove a large portion of the free-floating cancer cells that often create secondary tumors.

The water temperature in the subtropical Atlantic falls due to wind action
The temperature of water situated in the subtropical Atlantic experienced a drop of 0.15ºC between 1998 and 2006.

If you knew Susie -- the sequence of the orangutan genome
A large international consortium -- involving more than 30 laboratories from eight different countries -- has published the full sequence of the orangutan genome.

First pediatric surgical quality program shows potential to measure children's outcomes
A first of its kind surgical quality improvement program for children has the potential to identify outcomes of children's surgical care that can be targeted for quality improvement efforts to prevent complications and save lives.

The production of plant pollen is regulated by several signaling pathways
Plants producing flower pollen must not leave anything to chance.

Membrane molecule keeps nerve impulses hopping
New research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine describes a key molecular mechanism in nerve fibers that ensures the rapid conductance of nervous system impulses.

Stimulating the brain's immune response may provide treatment for Alzheimer's disease
CD45 molecule, a receptor on the surface of the brain's microglia cells, cells that support the brain's neurons and also participate in brain immune responses, may be a new target for the prevention of adverse immune responses identified as factors in the development of Alzheimer's disease.

President Obama calls for increased investment in science, including biomedical research
Last night, in his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama presented the nation with a vision of a better future through investment in education, infrastructure, and research.

Brain 'GPS' illuminated in migratory monarch butterflies
A new study takes a close look at the brain of the migratory monarch butterfly to better understand how these remarkable insects use an internal compass and skylight cues to navigate from eastern North America to Mexico each fall.

Hardware, software advances help protect operating systems from attack
The operating system (OS) is the backbone of your computer.

First study of dispersants in Gulf spill suggests a prolonged deepwater fate
To combat last year's Deepwater Horizon oil spill, nearly 800,000 gallons of chemical dispersant were injected directly into the oil and gas flow coming out of the wellhead nearly one mile deep in the Gulf of Mexico.

Waterhemp rears its ugly head ... again
Waterhemp has done it again. University of Illinois researchers just published an article in Pest Management Science confirming that waterhemp is the first weed to evolve resistance to HPPD-inhibiting herbicides.

Megalomaniac CEOs: Good or bad for company performance?
According to a new study, dominant CEOS, who are powerful figures in the organization as compared to other members of the top management team, drive companies to extremes of performance.

Study: Diabetes affects patients' well-being and also impacts spouses
Older patients with diabetes who are not dealing well with the disease are likely to have symptoms of depression, and spouses of older patients also suffer distress related to diabetes and its management, according to research from Purdue University.

Discovery of a biochemical basis for broccoli's cancer-fighting ability
Scientists are reporting discovery of a potential biochemical basis for the apparent cancer-fighting ability of broccoli and its veggie cousins.

Astronomers find most distant galaxy candidate yet seen
Astronomers studying ultra-deep imaging data from the Hubble Space Telescope have found what may be the most distant galaxy ever seen, about 13.2 billion light-years away.

Centuries of sailors weren't wrong: Looking at the horizon stabilizes posture
Everybody who has been aboard a ship has heard the advice: if you feel unsteady, look at the horizon.

RIC study suggests researchers are entering a new era of advances in brain research
Scientists at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago report that, thanks to improvements in technology and data analysis, our understanding of the functional principles that guide the development and operation of the brain could improve drastically in the next few years.

Racial stereotyping found in US death certificates
Study by sociologists at the University of Oregon and University of California, Irvine, finds causes of death more often linked to Native Americans and blacks can lead to assumptions about racial classifications when race is not clear.

Microproteomics, immunoimaging featured in Cold Spring Harbor Protocols
The February issue of

Small particles show big promise in beating unpleasant odors
Scientists are reporting development of a new approach for dealing with offensive household and other odors -- one that doesn't simply mask odors like today's room fresheners, but eliminates them at the source.

Scripps Research study shows map of brain connectivity changes during development
Connected highways of nerve cells carry information to and from different areas of the brain and the rest of the nervous system.

Florida State, UT researchers: Swear words less offensive on cable than broadcast TV
Four letter words may offend you more depending on which television channel you watch, according to a recent study out of Florida State University and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Forest Service offers free guide to managing invasive plants
The USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station is distributing free copies of a new guide, titled

Eating poorly can make us depressed
Researchers from the SUN Project (University of Navarra Diet and Lifestyle Tracking Program) have shown that trans-fats increase the risk of depression, and that olive oil helps avoid this risk.

Ancient body clock discovered that helps to keep all living things on time
The mechanism that controls the internal 24-hour clock of all forms of life from human cells to algae has been identified by scientists.

Course correction needed for Alzheimer's therapies, experts warn
Brain researchers suggest a paradigm change is necessary to move Alzheimer's disease treatments forward.

Personalizing medicine
A $2.2 million federal grant will help the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Anschutz Medical Campus advance the cutting-edge field of personalized medicine.

International conference puts food safety under the microscope
The Food Integrity and Traceability Conference will take place at Queen's University Belfast March 21-24, 2011.

Support not punishment is the key to tackling substance abuse and addiction among nurses
As many as 10 to 20 percent of nurses and nursing students may have substance abuse and addiction problems, but the key to tackling this difficult issue -- and protecting public safety -- is support and treatment, not punishment.

Little-known growth factor enhances memory, prevents forgetting in rats
A naturally occurring growth factor significantly boosted retention and prevented forgetting of a fear memory when injected into rats' memory circuitry during time-limited windows when memories become fragile and changeable.

February 2011 Lithosphere highlights
Lithosphere articles published in the February issue cover present-day movements and past deformation in El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua; the tectonics of the northern Owens Valley in California; the paleoseismology of the eastern North Anatolian fault at Yaylabeli, Turkey; exhumation in the southeastern Canadian Cordillera; and the diverse tectonic history of Tunisia.

Shockable cardiac arrests are more common in public than home
Cardiac arrests that can be treated by electric stimulation, also known as shockable arrests, were found at a higher frequency in public settings than in the home, according to a National Institutes of Health-funded study appearing in the Jan.

The undead may influence biodiversity, greenhouse gas emissions
Dormant microbes are less like zombies and more like hibernating bears.

Deliverology 101
Tony Blair's former chief adviser on delivery, Sir Michael Barber, has published a new book aiming to be the

Infiltrating cancer's recruitment center
Dr. Neta Erez of Tel Aviv University's Sackler Faculty of Medicine has shown for the first time that the fibroblasts can be

Food-borne bacteria causes potentially fatal heart infection
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine have found that particular strains of a food-borne bacteria are able to invade the heart, leading to serious and difficult to treat heart infections.

Princess Margaret Hospital researchers identify a key enzyme that affects radiation response
Cancer researchers at Princess Margaret Hospital have discovered that targeting an enzyme called Uroporphyrinogen Decarboxylase can sensitize diseased tissue to radiation and chemotherapy, which could mean fewer side effects for individuals with head and neck cancer.

Fish smile but some consumers frown at new genre of phosphate-free detergents
Phosphate-free automatic dishwashing detergents -- introduced to combat the phosphate-fed algae blooms that foul the nation's lakes and rivers -- may be making the fish happy.

The cryptic African wolf: Canis aureus lupaster is not a golden jackal
New molecular evidence reveals a new species of grey wolf living in Africa.

Growth-factor-containing nanoparticles accelerate healing of chronic wounds
Massachusetts General Hospital investigators have developed a novel system for delivery of growth factors to chronic wounds such as pressure sores and diabetic foot ulcers.

Smart USC fences recognize bad airport neighbors
A perimeter-protection system created by a team from the USC Viterbi School of Engineering took Best Paper prize at the IEEE Homeland Security Conference in November 2010, and is now moving to deployment at a Florida airport, while also being considered for further installations by the Transportation Security Administration.

Molecular mechanism links stress with predisposition for depression
A new study provides insight into how stress impacts the brain and may help to explain why some individuals are predisposed to depression when they experience chronic stress.

Genome analysis outlines variations in orangutans of Borneo, Sumatra
In the forests of Borneo and Sumatra orangutans are an endangered primate population so similar and yet different from man and each other, according to a recently published genome analysis of the two populations of orangutans still existing in the world.

Female lizard turns the table: Why exaggerated coloration makes her a good mate
Most nature lovers know that the more colorful a male fish, reptile, or bird, the more likely it is to attract a female and to have healthy offspring.

Non-alcoholic energy drinks may pose 'high' health risks
Highly-caffeinated energy drinks -- even those without alcohol -- may pose a significant threat to individuals and public health, say researchers at the University of Maryland and Wake Forest University.

Hormones dictate breeding success in birds
Some animals produce more offspring than others do. Hormones like prolactin and corticosterone can exercise a crucial influence on the behavior of birds in the breeding season and therefore on their reproductive success.

Getting more anti-cancer medicine into the blood
Scientists are reporting successful application of the technology used in home devices to clean jewelry, dentures, and other items to make anticancer drugs like tamoxifen and paclitaxel dissolve more easily in body fluids, so they can better fight the 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