Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 02, 2011
Mutations found in human induced pluripotent stem cells
Ordinary human cells reprogrammed as induced pluripotent stem cells may revolutionize personalized medicine by creating new and diverse therapies unique to individual patients.

Polishing the apple's popular image as a healthy food
Scientists are reporting the first evidence that consumption of a healthful antioxidant substance in apples extends the average lifespan of test animals, and does so by 10 percent.

Symposium honoring UD Nobel Laureate Richard Heck set for May 26
On Thursday, May 26, the University of Delaware will host the scholarly symposium

Scientists show how men amp up their X chromosome
Vive le difference? Not at the level of DNA. Men must increase gene expression on their lone X chromosome to match the two X's possessed by women.

4 new species of Zombie ant fungi discovered in Brazilian rainforest
Four new Brazilian species in the genus Ophiocordyceps have been published in the online journal PLoS ONE.

Scientists from Toronto and Helsinki discover genetic abnormalities after creation of stem cells
Dr. Andras Nagy at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital and Dr.

Trust, clarity and openness in the workplace
In times of uncertainty, employers should engage more openly with their staff and drop the jargon to improve communication and allow feedback, according to a paper in this month's International Journal of Productivity and Quality Management.

Just like me: Online training helpers more effective when they resemble students
Opposites don't always attract. A study from North Carolina State University shows that participants are happier -- and perform better -- when the electronic helpers used in online training programs resemble the participants themselves.

York U researchers uncovering how ovarian cancer resists chemotherapy
York University researchers have zeroed in on a genetic process that may allow ovarian cancer to resist chemotherapy.

Nature study: Jefferson researchers unravel protein's elusive role in embryo and disease development
Reporting in Nature, scientists from Thomas Jefferson University have determined that a single protein called FADD controls multiple cell death pathways, a discovery that could lead to better, more targeted autoimmune disease and cancer drugs.

Fighting cancer at your local Indian restaurant
Dr. Shahar Lev-Ari of the Sackler Faculty of Medicine at Tel Aviv University has found that curcumin, an ingredient found in turmeric -- a bright yellow spice from south Asia and the main ingredient in curries -- can fight cancer when used in combination with a popular anti-inflammatory drug.

Sustaining the biodiversity of the western Great Plains
Fire, cattle and even prairie dogs all could play a role in sustaining the biodiversity of the western Great Plains, according to a US Department of Agriculture researcher.

Worms strike see-saw balance in disease resistance
New research, funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council has shown that nematode worms have to trade-off resistance to different diseases, gaining resistance to one microbe at the expense of becoming more vulnerable to another.

New growth inhibitors more effective in plants, less toxic to people
A Purdue University scientist and researchers in Japan have produced a new class of improved plant growth regulators that are expected to be less toxic to humans.

Combined molecular study techniques reveal more about DNA proteins
Illinois researchers have combined two molecular imaging technologies to create an instrument with incredible sensitivity that provides new, detailed insight into dynamic molecular processes.

2 new crustaceans discovered in Iberian Peninsula
A team of scientists has described two cladocerous crustaceans, which could be endemic to the Iberian Peninsula, and which were found in two lagoons, one in the lower basin of the Guadalquivir river, and the other in the grasslands of Extremadura.

Does fluoride really fight cavities by 'the skin of the teeth'?
In a study that the authors describe as lending credence to the idiom,

Louisiana Tech professor to chair international information technology, systems conference
Sumeet Dua, associate professor of computer science and coordinator of information technology research at Louisiana Tech University, will serve as the program chair for the 5th Conference on Information Systems, Technology and Management, March 10-12, in Gurgaon, India.

Office of Naval Research serves up revamped software for Navy chefs
The next time a Navy chef sautés shrimp scampi, he may be managing the meal using food-preparation software developed by the Office of Naval Research.

Penn physicists develop scalable method for making graphene
New research from the University of Pennsylvania demonstrates a more consistent and cost-effective method for making graphene, the atomic-scale material that has promising applications in a variety of fields, and was the subject of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics.

Nanofabrication tools may make silicon optical chips more accessible
In an effort to make it easier to build inexpensive, next-generation silicon-based electro-optical chips, which allow computers to move information with light and electricity, a University of Washington photonics professor, Dr.

Penn research identifies potential mechanisms for future anti-obesity drugs
An interdisciplinary group of researchers at the University of Pennsylvania has, for the first time, identified the neurological and cellular signaling mechanisms that contribute to satiety -- the sensation of feeling full -- and the subsequent body-weight loss produced by drugs used to treat Type 2 diabetes.

An appeal to the caregiving values of rural women for breast cancer prevention
A new study published in the Journal of Consumer Affairs finds that two types of reasons motivate rural Appalachian women to perform breast health self-examinations, get mammograms, and to talk with doctors about their breast health.

NIH joins SOT to celebrate 50 years of toxicology science
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Toxicology Program, part of the National Institutes of Health, will mark the 50th anniversary of the Society of Toxicology at the SOT annual meeting in Washington, D.C., March 6-10, 2011.

6-month drug regimen cuts HIV risk for breastfeeding infants, NIH study finds
Giving breastfeeding infants of HIV-infected mothers a daily dose of the antiretroviral drug nevirapine for six months halved the risk of HIV transmission to the infants at age 6 months compared with giving infants the drug daily for six weeks, according to preliminary clinical trial data presented today at the 18th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Boston.

JAMIA: Evaluating clinical information systems, patients who use PHRs, how clinicians use EHRs
JAMIA reports on new research findings related to how EHRs are used by clinicians and by patients.

The dusty disc of NGC 247
This image of NGC 247, taken by the Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-meter telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile, reveals the fine details of this highly inclined spiral galaxy and its rich backdrop.

Flood-tolerant rice plants can also survive drought, say UC Riverside scientists
Sensitive to drought due to its high water requirement, rice is particularly vulnerable to how global climate change is altering the frequency and magnitude of floods and droughts.

NIST, Food Marketing Institute co-host webinar on ensuring accurate net weights in retail
A reliable and trustworthy system of weights and measures is vital for economic activity.

New advances in genetic studies of Fanconi anemia patients
An international consortium of researchers led by Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona genetically characterizes almost all Spanish patients and studies the clinical impact of the mutations.

Shift work may be associated with decreased risk of skin cancer
Melatonin is known to have cancer-protective properties, and shift work can induce desynchrony of the circadian system, reducing melatonin production.

NIST seeks comments on security control catalog for federal information systems and organizations
NIST computer scientists are requesting comments from interested parties on their biennial update of the catalog of security controls for the federal government.

Study shows pine bark naturally improves kidney function in patients with metabolic syndrome
A study published in the June 2010 issue of Panminerva Medica reveals Pycnogenol (pic-noj-en-all), an antioxidant plant extract from the bark of the French maritime pine tree, demonstrates kidney health benefits in metabolic syndrome patients, with effective blood pressure control, reduced blood sugar, and further noticed lowered Body Mass Index (BMI) due to weight loss.

US college licenses intelligence courses to Canada's top public safety educator
The Mercyhurst College Institute for Intelligence Studies, one of the US thought leaders on intelligence analysis and innovative research, has licensed seven of its academic courses to the Justice Institute of British Columbia, Canada's leading public safety educator, to use as a model upon which to establish its own intelligence studies program.

Lithosphere: New research posted Feb. 10
The following Lithosphere articles were posted online in pre-issue publication Feb.

Tobacco smoking impacts teens' brains, UCLA study shows
In a study comparing teenage smokers and non-smokers, UCLA researchers found that the greater a teen's addiction to nicotine, the less active an area of the brain called the prefrontal cortex (PFC) became.

'A little off the top' helps NIST map cells with submicrometer resolution
In an effort to identify the early-onset, subtle chemical changes occurring in a cell heading toward malignancy, NIST researchers and the National Cancer Institute have developed a technique that slices off the top of a cell and makes the structures accessible to spectroscopic examination of their chemical

UofL biostatistician to develop statistical model that could help answer medical questions
A University of Louisville professor is developing a statistical model that, among other things, may help determine what prolongs cancer free survival.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs linked to increased risk of erectile dysfunction
Men who take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs three times a day for more than three months are 2.4 times more likely to have erectile dysfunction compared to men who do not take those drugs regularly, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published online in the Journal of Urology.

Study in PLoS: Intensive adherence counseling to HIV treatment improves patient outcomes
Intensive adherence counseling around the time of HIV treatment initiation significantly reduces poor adherence and virologic treatment failure in sub-Saharan Africa, according to a recent study in PLoS Medicine by Dr.

March 6 public briefing on plan for evaluating DC public schools
On Sunday, March 6, the National Research Council will hold a public briefing.

Scripps oceanography researchers discover arctic blooms occurring earlier
Warming temperatures and melting ice in the Arctic may be behind a progressively earlier bloom of a crucial annual marine event, and the shift could hold consequences for the entire food chain and carbon cycling in the region.

CROI -- Day 3: Selected highlights of NIH-supported research
Day three of this major HIV/AIDS research conference included the following selected presentations from scientists supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health.

Algal antifreeze makes inroads into ice
Sea-ice algae -- the important first rung of the food web each spring in places like the Arctic Ocean -- can engineer ice to its advantage.

IL28B gene predicts treatment outcome for liver transplantation patients
German researchers have found a significant association of IL28B genotypes to interferon-based antiviral treatment outcome, and to graft inflammation caused by hepatitis C virus (HCV).

Clouds amplify ecological light pollution
The brightness of the nightly sky glow over major cities has been shown to depend strongly on cloud cover.

Potassium levels possible key to racial disparity in Type 2 diabetes
Lower potassium levels in the blood may help explain why African-Americans are twice as likely to be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes as whites, according to a new study by Johns Hopkins researchers.

Blood protein in lung cancer could improve diagnosis and treatment
Scientists are reporting discovery of a protein in the blood of lung cancer patients that could be used in a test for the disease -- difficult to diagnose in its earliest and most treatable stages -- and to develop drugs that stop lung cancer from spreading.

Depression following miscarriage can continue after healthy birth
Women who experience depression and anxiety after a miscarriage can continue to experience these symptoms for years, even if they subsequently go on to have a healthy child.

Solar mystery solved
The sun has been in the news a lot lately because it's beginning to send out more flares and solar storms.

JQI physicists demonstrate coveted 'spin-orbit coupling' in atomic gases
Physicists at the Joint Quantum Institute, a collaboration of the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the University of Maryland-College Park, have for the first time caused a gas of atoms to exhibit an important quantum phenomenon known as spin-orbit coupling.

Penn researchers find new role for cancer protein p53
The gene for the protein p53 is the most frequently mutated in human cancer.

Improved lesion detection with time-of-flight PET scans affirmed
For the first time, quantitative -- not qualitative -- data analysis has demonstrated that time-of-flight (TOF) positron emission tomography (PET) scans can improve cancer detection.

Hands-on learning turns children's minds on to science
Thousands of schoolchildren will soon be asking the questions when inquiry-based learning comes to science classrooms across Europe, turning the traditional model of science teaching on its head.

Hair dyeing poised for first major transformation in 150 years
Technological progress may be fast-paced in many fields, but one mundane area has been almost left in the doldrums for the last 150 years: The basic technology for permanently coloring hair.

Excellence Initiative II: KIT with 3 new proposals in the final
Karlsruhe Institute of Technologywill go into the final round of the Excellence Initiative II with three new and three follow-up proposals.

New national study finds boxing injuries on the rise; youth head injury rates also concerning
The risk and nature of injury in the sport of boxing has generated a great deal of controversy in the medical community, especially in relation to youth boxing.

The buzz on BEES: New web app simplifies use of NIST's economically green building products tool
A powerful scientific tool for selecting cost-effective and environmentally preferable building products is now available as a free, web-based application.

Black holes: a model for superconductors?
Black holes are some of the heaviest objects in the universe.

$3.6 million research project underway to reduce mother and baby deaths in Malawi
Warwick Medical School has just begun a €2.6 ($3.6) million three year research and training program to train Malawian clinical officers in a bid to reduce the country's high death rate for pregnant mothers and babies.

Breast Health Center earns national accreditation
The Breast Health Center at Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island recently earned a three-year accreditation from the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC).

Using artificial, cell-like 'honey pots' to entrap deadly viruses
Researchers from NIST and Weill Cornell Medical College have designed artificial

NIH-funded study shows early brain effects of HIV in mouse model
A new mouse model closely resembles how the human body reacts to early HIV infection and is shedding light on nerve cell damage related to the disease, according to researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Federal grant funds OSC support of industrial modeling
The White House today (March 2, 2011) announced a $5 million initiative by the Council on Competitiveness, the Ohio Supercomputer Center and several partner organizations to support the advanced manufacturing efforts of midwestern small- and medium-sized manufacturers (SMEs).

Cements that self-repair cracks and store latent heat energy
Cement (and derivatives thereof) is one of the materials most commonly used in construction, given its good performance at low cost.

Research suggests alcohol consumption helps stave off dementia
Experts agree that long-term alcohol abuse is detrimental to memory function and can cause neurodegenerative disease.

NSF partners with Entertainment Industries Council
In honor of National Engineers Week, the National Science Foundation and the Entertainment Industries Council Inc. have announced a new partnership to promote careers in science, engineering and technology.

Scientists target aggressive prostate cancer
Researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center have identified a potential target to treat an aggressive type of prostate cancer.

UK youth are happy after all?
Young people in the UK are very satisfied with their lives with 70 percent rating themselves as happy or very happy.

To bring effective therapies to patients quicker, use the team approach
The current clinical trial process in the US is on shaky ground.

Researchers focus on human cells for spinal cord injury repair
For the first time, scientists discovered that a specific type of human cell, generated from stem cells and transplanted into spinal cord injured rats, provide tremendous benefit, not only repairing damage to the nervous system but helping the animals regain locomotor function as well.

Joint pain in children: Is it just a sore knee, or ... ?
While lab tests and imaging can sometimes help diagnose juvenile idiopathic arthritis, a physical examination and thorough patient history are the most valuable tools in identifying this disease.

Productivity and quality of grape vary according to plot of vineyard under cultivation
Not all the terrain of the same vineyard has the same properties.

Researchers predict age of T cells to improve cancer treatment
The effectiveness of the cancer therapy known as adoptive T cell transfer is limited by the cells' finite lifespan.

Research shows how bacteria communicate with each other
A pathway whereby bacteria communicate with each other has been discovered by researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Sugarcane bioethanol: Environmental implications
An article in the current issue of Global Change Biology Bioenergy assessed the net greenhouse gas savings of bioethanol from sugarcane as compared to the use of fossil fuels.

New treaty on search for life-saving medicines in remote areas
Real-life scientists, whose work has overtones of Indiana Jones as they search for plants in remote areas of the world that could become the source of life-saving new medicines, are currently trying to figure out how a new international agreement on biodiversity will affect their work.

Study shows treatment with eribulin extends lives of heavily pre-treated breast cancer patients compared with treatments of physician's choice
Extending the lives of women who have had extensive treatment for breast cancer that has spread is not a lost cause, conclude authors of a study published online first in the Lancet.

Dude, you throw like a crybaby!
A UCLA-University of Glasgow study of baseball tosses has found that body language is more likely to be judged as masculine when it seems to convey anger and as feminine when is seems to convey sadness.

New study suggests ALS could be caused by a retrovirus
A retrovirus that inserted itself into the human genome thousands of years ago may be responsible for some cases of the neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gherig's disease.

2 languages in peaceful coexistence
Physicists and mathematicians from the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain are putting paid to the theory that two languages cannot coexist in one society.

New publication fundamentally changes federal information security risk management
NIST has published the final version of a special publication that can help guide organizations in more effectively integrating information security risk planning into their mission-critical functions and overall goals.

Study: Over 16-year span, Wisconsin teacher salaries lag private sector wages
New research by a University of Illinois expert in employment relations and labor economics shows that, for more than a decade, Wisconsin teacher salaries have fallen behind changes in the cost of living as well as wage growth in the private sector.

New interpretation of Antarctic ice cores
Climate researchers at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association expand a prevalent theory regarding the development of ice ages.

Has the Earth's sixth mass extinction already arrived?
UC Berkeley researchers have delved into the fossil record to compare past animal extinctions, in particular the five

Stevens' Dr. A. K. Ganguly receives Topliss Award Lecture from University of Michigan
Dr. A. K. Ganguly, Distinguished Research Professor of Chemistry at Stevens Institute of Technology, recently gave the Topliss Award Lecture at the University of Michigan.

Effectiveness of wastewater treatment may be damaged during a severe flu pandemic
Existing plans for antiviral and antibiotic use during a severe influenza pandemic could reduce wastewater treatment efficiency prior to discharge into receiving rivers, resulting in water quality deterioration at drinking water abstraction points, according to a new paper in Environmental Health Perspectives.

Parents rationalize the economic cost of children by exaggerating their parental joy
Any parent can tell you that raising a child is emotionally and intellectually draining.

New MIT developments in quantum computing
At the Association for Computing Machinery's 43rd Symposium on Theory of Computing in June, associate professor of computer science Scott Aaronson and his graduate student Alex Arkhipov will present a paper describing an experiment that, if it worked, would offer strong evidence that quantum computers can do things that classical computers can't.

Protein identified that serves as a switch in a key pathway of programmed cell death
Work led by St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists identified how cells flip a switch between cell survival and cell death that involves a protein called FLIP.

Good fungi might prove even better for plant, human health
Scientists have come closer to understanding how a common fungus

NIST expert software 'lowers the stress' on materials problems
Before you can build that improved turbojet engine, before you can create that longer-lasting battery, you have to ensure all the newfangled materials in it will behave the way you want.

March 4 convocation on assessment of research-doctorate programs
On Friday, March 4, the NRC will hold a convocation to explore how universities and researchers are using the data and to discuss future directions for this sort of effort.

Montana State University team solves mystery of missing sunspots, helps predict space weather
Three scientists who started collaborating while at Montana State University have published a paper that explains for the first time why sunspots disappeared from 2008 to 2010.

UF Pine lsland pollen study leads to revision of state's ancient geography
A new University of Florida study of 45-million-year-old pollen from Pine Island west of Fort Myers has led to a new understanding of the state's geologic history, showing Florida could be 10 million to 15 million years older than previously believed.

Ibuprofen may lower risk of Parkinson's disease
New research suggests that ibuprofen may offer protection against developing Parkinson's disease, according to one of the largest studies to date investigating the possible benefits of the over-the-counter drug on the disease.

Scientists study control of invasive tree in western US
Simply by eating the leaves of an invasive tree that soaks up river water, an Asian beetle may help to slow down water loss in the Southwestern United States.

Earth's sixth mass extinction: Is it almost here?
With the steep decline in populations of many animal species, scientists have warned that Earth is on the brink of a mass extinction like those that have occurred just five times during the past 540 million years.

How much can a cell uptake?
Immunological research at the University of Haifa, Israel, has made a new breakthrough, revealing a critical component in the

Jekyll and Hyde: Cells' executioner can also stave off death
An enzyme viewed as an executioner, because it can push cells to commit suicide, may actually short circuit a second form of cell death, researchers at Emory University School of Medicine have discovered.

New drug regimens cut HIV spread from mother to infant
Pregnant women who are unaware that they have HIV miss the chance for drug treatment that can benefit not only their own health, but could also prevent them from transmitting the virus to their infants.

Stink bug experts gather in Pennsylvania to address growing problem
State, federal, university and industry entomologists from the eastern US and Canada will converge in Harrisburg, Pa., March 18-21, 2011, to discuss the brown marmorated stink bug plague during the 82nd Annual Meeting of the Entomological Society of America's Eastern Branch during a symposium called

Study shows ibuprofen may reduce risk of developing Parkinson's disease
A new study by Harvard School of Public Health researchers shows that adults who regularly take ibuprofen, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, have about one-third less risk of developing Parkinson's disease than non-users. 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