Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 03, 2011
Kidney transplant recipients: Get moving to save your life
Low physical activity increases kidney transplant patients' likelihood of dying early, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology.

Keeping soft fruit 'fur-free' for longer
A new way of improving the shelf life of soft fruit like strawberries and raspberries is being pioneered by researchers at the University of Nottingham.

Shrinking tundra, advancing forests: how the Arctic will look by century's end
A shifting of climate types in the Arctic will mean tundra in Alaska, Canada, Scandinavia and Asia giving way to trees and plants typical of more southerly climates, according to a team of US and South Korean climatologists.

Will loss of plant diversity compromise Earth's life-support systems?
Biodiversity around the world is increasingly threatened by global warming, habitat loss, and other human impacts.

Researchers pinpoint genetic pathways involved in breast cancer
Using recent advances in genomics, researchers have uncovered a genetic pathway that affects the development of breast cancer, work that could help predict which patients are at risk of relapse for the disease.

Solving a traditional Chinese medicine mystery
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine have discovered that a natural product isolated from a traditional Chinese medicinal plant commonly known as thunder god vine, or lei gong teng, and used for hundreds of years to treat many conditions including rheumatoid arthritis works by blocking gene control machinery in the cell.

Research into chromosome replication reveals details of heredity dynamics
A novel study from the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet has deepened the understanding of how chromosome replication, one of life's most fundamental processes, works.

Cancer patients' partners become ill themselves
People who are married to or cohabiting with a cancer patient suffer more illness in the year following their spouse or partner's cancer diagnosis.

6 out of 10 male drug-addicts abuse their partners, a study says
A research conducted at the University of Granada has revealed a high rate of gender-based violence -- both physical and psychological -- directed by drug-addict men against their partners.

Scripps Research scientists create cell assembly line
Borrowing a page from modern manufacturing, scientists from the Florida campus of the Scripps Research Institute have built a microscopic assembly line that mass produces synthetic cell-like compartments.

Rising CO2 is causing plants to release less water to the atmosphere, researchers say
As carbon dioxide levels have risen during the last 150 years, the density of pores that allow plants to breathe has dwindled by 34 percent, restricting the amount of water vapor the plants release to the atmosphere, report scientists from Indiana University Bloomington and Utrecht University in the Netherlands in an upcoming issue of PNAS.

Doctors lax in monitoring potentially addicting drugs
Few primary care physicians pay adequate attention to patients taking prescription opioid drugs -- despite the potential for abuse, addiction and overdose, according to a new study by researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

In search of cancer's common ground: A next-generation view
Researchers have synthesized the vast literature on cancer to produce a next-generation view of the features that are shared amongst all cancer cells.

Stigma weighs heavily on obese people, contributing to greater health problems
The discrimination that obese people feel, whether it is poor service at a restaurant or being treated differently in the workplace, may have a direct impact on their physical health, according to new research from Purdue University.

m:Ciudad project makes mobile phone users producers of content
Through its Telecom Unit, Tecnalia has coordinated the m:Ciudad project, aimed at developing new services infrastructure using the mobile phone and which will enable companies and individuals to become superprosumers, i.e., consumers and producers of content at the same time.

Brain rhythm predicts real-time sleep stability, may lead to more precise sleep medications
A new study finds that a brain rhythm considered the hallmark of wakefulness not only persists inconspicuously during sleep but also signifies an individual's vulnerability to disturbance by the outside world.

Watching Earth from space: How surveillance helps us -- and harms us
Satellite technology positively impacts many people every day -- weather satellites tracking a snowstorm or thunderstorm or GPS directions while driving.

What is good for you is bad for infectious bacteria
Plants are able to protect themselves from most bacteria, but some bacteria are able to breach their defenses.

Society of Interventional Radiology showcases high-quality, efficient medical treatments
The Society of Interventional Radiology will feature minimally invasive scientific advances and new discoveries in treating a host of diseases at its 36th Annual Scientific Meeting March 26-31 at McCormick Place (West) in Chicago, Ill.

Latest findings of Dartmouth HIV/AIDS study could turn treatment 'on its head'
A clinical study of anti-HIV/AIDS medicines in the developing world is on the verge of turning

New study to look at economics, groundwater use of bioenergy feedstocks
Biofuel feedstock production in the Texas High Plains could significantly change the crop mix, which could affect regional income and groundwater consumption, according to Texas AgriLife Research and Texas AgriLife Extension Service economists.

Men in low income neighborhoods drink more than women: Study
Men living in low-income neighborhoods consume more than three times as many alcoholic drinks each week compared to women in these neighborhoods, according to a study led by St.

ATS issues report recommending research priorities in treatment of sleep apnea
The American Thoracic Society has released a new official report recommending research priorities in incorporating ambulatory management of adults with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) into health-care systems.

Brigham and Women's Hospital researcher named National Space Biomedical Research Institute Fellow
Christopher J. Morris, Ph.D., of the Division of Sleep Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital, is one of four scientists selected by the National Space Biomedical Research Institute for a postdoctoral fellowship.

Optical tweezers software now available for the iPad
Optics researchers from the universities of Glasgow and Bristol have developed an iPad application for accurate, easy and intuitive use of optical tweezers.

Scripps Research study points to liver, not brain, as origin of Alzheimer's plaques
Unexpected results from a Scripps Research Institute and ModGene, LLC study could completely alter scientists' ideas about Alzheimer's disease -- pointing to the liver instead of the brain as the source of the

Grazing of cattle pastures can improve soil quality
A team of US Department of Agriculture scientists has given growers in the Piedmont guidance on how to restore degraded soils and make the land productive.

The UK maintains a positive outlook, despite the recession
A survey of households across the UK taken at the height of the recession in 2009 show 67 percent of people in full-time work were living comfortably or doing all right and that unemployed people were broadly optimistic about their future prospects.

New method allows human embryonic stem cells to avoid immune system rejection, Stanford study finds
A short-term treatment with three immune-dampening drugs allowed human embryonic stem cells to survive and thrive in mice, according to researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Mapping human vulnerability to climate change
Researchers already study how various species of plants and animals migrate in response to climate change.

Trouble with the latest dance move? GABA might be to blame
If you tend to have trouble picking up the latest dance moves or learning to play a new piano piece, there might be an explanation.

UCI researchers find new light-sensing mechanism in neurons
A UC Irvine research team led by Todd C. Holmes has discovered a second form of phototransduction light sensing in cells that is derived from vitamin B2.

Feet first? Old mitochondria might be responsible for neuropathy in the extremities
The burning, tingling pain of neuropathy may affect feet and hands before other body parts because the powerhouses of nerve cells that supply the extremities age and become dysfunctional as they complete the long journey to these areas, Johns Hopkins scientists suggest in a new study.

18th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections: Day 4 NIH highlights
Highlighted below are selected presentations from March 2 on research supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, both components of the National Institutes of Health.

Public's budget priorities differ dramatically from House and Obama
When it comes to the federal budget, the public is on a different page than either the House of Representatives or the Obama administration -- with a different set of priorities and a greater willingness to cut spending and increase taxes -- concludes a new analysis by the University of Maryland's Program for Public Consultation.

New model predicts patient's chances of walking again after serious spinal cord injury
The combination of a person's age and the results of four neurological tests accurately predicts the chances of that person walking again after a serious spinal cord injury.

Mapping food deserts
Two Michigan State University professors have developed interactive maps that offer a visual perspective of urban food deserts.

Drop in temperature may explain the increase in dry eye suffering
Springtime may be just what the doctor orders for individuals suffering from dry eye condition, a disorder resulting from insufficient tear production or altered tear film composition.

Researchers find new mechanism behind the formation and maintenance of long-term memories
Researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine have found that lactate, a type of energy fuel in the brain, plays a critical role in the formation of long-term memory.

Using wastewater to enhance mint production
Researchers have discovered that residual distillation water of some aromatic plant species has a beneficial effect on yield and can increase essential oil content in mint crops.

Decline in CP diagnoses in premature infants suggests improvements in perinatal care
Cerebral palsy is a neurodevelopmental condition that affects motor function, more often in children born prematurely.

Portable, less costly peritoneal dialysis shows no additional catheter risk factors
Patients with end-stage renal disease who opt for peritoneal dialysis experience no greater risk of catheter infection than those who undergo hemodialysis, a retrospective study at UT Southwestern Medical Center has found.

Queen's develops new brain training app for research into aging minds
Researchers at Queen's University Belfast are taking the first step towards discovering the true effectiveness of brain training exercises with the release of their own app aimed at those over 50.

Humans give prey the edge in food web
A new paper in PLoS ONE that found prey species have an advantage over predators in wilderness areas subject to human disturbance related to recreation and resource development.

Scientists call for 'swifter and sounder' testing of chemicals
Scientific societies representing 40,000 researchers and clinicians are asking that federal regulators tap a broader range of expertise when evaluating the risks of chemicals to which Americans are being increasingly exposed.

Civil engineers to honor NJIT's Priscilla Nelson for research
Priscilla P. Nelson, PhD, professor in the NJIT Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering will receive a notable civil engineering award next month as a leader of the design and construction industry who has improved peoples' lives around the world.

Soot packs a punch on Tibetan Plateau's climate
New research shows that soot from industrial and agricultural pollution is landing on the Tibetan Plateau is causing snow to melt earlier on the plateau.

Book publication: How to develop a serious game
Many designers, policy makers, teachers and other practitioners are beginning to realise the usefulness of serious games.

Method developed to match police sketch, mug shot
A team of Michigan State University researchers has developed a set of algorithms and created software that will automatically match hand-drawn facial sketches to mug shots that are stored in law enforcement databases

Established German journal on controlling goes international
Starting in spring 2011, the German-language journal Zeitschrift für Planung und Unternehmenssteuerung will be published entirely in English under the title Journal of Management Control.The journal editors and Springer decided to make this move to keep up with the increasingly international nature of research in this field.

New clue to controlling skin regeneration -- as well as skin cancer
Researchers in the Stem Cell Program at Children's Hospital Boston have now found a regulator of gene activity that tells epidermal stem cells when it's time to grow more skin, as well as a

Better brain wiring linked to family genes
How well our brains function is largely based on our family's genetic makeup, according to a University of Melbourne-led study.

Enzyme enhances, erases long-term memories in rats
Even long after it is formed, a memory in rats can be enhanced or erased by increasing or decreasing the activity of a brain enzyme.

Federal Supply Schedule pricing added to ProspectoRx from Elsevier/Gold Standard
Elsevier/Gold Standard, a leading developer of drug databases and medication management solutions, announced today several enhancements to its pricing tool, ProspectoRx, including the addition of Federal Supply Schedule pricing to facilitate pricing analysis.

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan speaks out on the costs of government activism
In an article to be published in the forthcoming issue of International Finance, Dr.

Boston Medical Center receives grant from Astrazeneca to 'end diabetes'
In an effort to reduce the risks of diabetes and obesity while improving cardiovascular health, Boston Medical Center (BMC) today announced it has partnered with the YMCA of Greater Boston to form the Exercise and Nutrition to Decrease Diabetes (END Diabetes) Program.

Researchers find possible new treatment strategies for pancreatic cancer
New University of Georgia research has identified a protein that can be modified to improve the effectiveness of one of the most common drugs used to treat pancreatic cancer.

'David and Goliath' viruses shed light on the origin of jumping genes: UBC study
University of British Columbia researchers have identified a small virus that attacks another virus more than 100 times its own size, rescuing the infected zooplankton from certain death.

Solving the puzzle of Henry VIII
The numerous miscarriages suffered by the wives of Henry VIII could be explained if the king's blood carried the Kell antigen.

Study finds MRSA danger in gyms may be exaggerated
Community gym surfaces do not appear to be reservoirs for MRSA transmission, according to a study published in the March issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, the official publication of APIC, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology.

Sperm quality and counts worsening in Finland
A new study published in the International Journal of Andrology reveals that semen quality has significantly deteriorated during the last ten years in Finland, a country that previously was a region with high sperm counts.

Am I safe here?: How people with HIV/AIDS perceive hidden prejudices in their communities
People in marginalized groups, such as the disabled or racial minorities, feel stigmatized -- condemned, feared or excluded -- when other people stigmatize them.

University of Nevada, Reno, teams with IMMY to make new life-saving blood test
A new, rapid blood test that could lead to early diagnosis and potentially save the lives of hundreds of thousands of people stricken with fungal meningitis, a leading cause of AIDS-related deaths in developing countries, is getting closer to market with a recent collaboration between the University of Nevada, Reno, and Immuno-Mycologics (IMMY) in Oklahoma.

Our ancestors lived on shaky ground
An international team of scientists has established a link between the shape of the landscape and the habitats preferred by our earliest ancestors.

Australia Fellowship gives $4 million boost to cancer origin research
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute cancer researcher professor Jane Visvader has received a $4 million fellowship from the Australian Government to continue her work into the origin of breast, ovarian and lung cancers.

AgriLife Research scientists trumpeting possible new adaptation of tropical flower
Texas AgriLife Research scientists are trying to bring more beauty to the colder regions of the state by breeding winter-hardiness into a tropical ornamental plant, the angel's trumpet flower.

ATS issues report on emerging issues in HIV-associated pulmonary disease
The American Thoracic Society has released a new report detailing recent global changes in the management of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-associated pulmonary disease.

New findings on drug tolerance in TB suggest ideas for shorter cures
A study of host-pathogen responses in tuberculosis elucidates molecular mechanisms of antibiotic tolerance in tuberculosis and further suggests a strategy for shortening curative therapy (currently six months) using a class of drugs -- efflux pump inhibitors -- that are already approved for treating high blood pressure and angina, and available for use in people.

Some Antarctic ice is forming from bottom
Scientists working in the remotest part of Antarctica have discovered that liquid water locked deep under the continent's coat of ice regularly thaws and refreezes to the bottom, creating as much as half the thickness of the ice in places, and actively modifying its structure.

Food forensics: DNA links habitat quality to bat diet
All night long, bats swoop over our landscape consuming insects, but they do this in secret, hidden from our view.

California islands give up evidence of early seafaring
Evidence for a diversified sea-based economy among North American inhabitants dating from 12,200 to 11,400 years ago is emerging from three sites on California's Channel Islands.

Scientists identify susceptibility factor for bipolar disorder
A new study provides fascinating insight into the genetic basis of bipolar disorder, a highly heritable mood disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of mania and depression.

26 percent of herbs eaten in Spain are contaminated with bacteria
A research team from the University of Valencia has discovered that up to 20 percent of spices and 26 percent of herbs sold in Spain are contaminated by various bacteria, reducing their quality.

LAMMPS supercomputer code developer earns special recognition
Sandia National Laboratories researcher Steve Plimpton, who led development of a widely used computer code that models how materials behave, has been invited to present a keynote lecture at the Feb.

American Society for Microbiology to host 111th General Meeting in New Orleans
The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) will hold its 111th General Meeting May 21-24, 2011, in New Orleans.

Genetic analysis reveals history, evolution of an ancient delicacy -- morels
A research team has published one of the most detailed genetic analyses ever done on morels, to help identify their ancestry, show how they evolved and what conservation policies may be needed to manage and protect this valuable resource.

Oldest objects in solar system indicate a turbulent beginning
Scientists have found that calcium, aluminum-rich inclusions (CAIs), some of the oldest objects in the solar system, formed far away from our sun and then later fell back into the mid-plane of the solar system.

Oxygen isotope analysis tells of the wandering life of a dust grain 4.5 billion years ago
The X-wind theory proposes that in the early solar system, the sun's magnetic field whipped up the dust in the protoplanetary disk and threw it widely, including out of the plane of the disk.

How sunlight may reduce the severity of multiple sclerosis
New research into the neurodegenerative disease, multiple sclerosis offers new insight into the link between sunlight, vitamin D3, and MS risk and severity.

Fossils of horse teeth indicate 'you are what you eat,' according to NYCOM researchers
Fossil records verify a long-standing theory that horses evolved through natural selection, according to groundbreaking research by two anatomy professors at New York College of Osteopathic Medicine of New York Institute of Technology.

Probing atomic chicken wire
Graphene, the material that makes up pencil

For birds, the suburbs may not be an ideal place to raise a family
There comes a time in life for every bird to spread its wings and leave the nest, but for gray catbirds, that might be the beginning of the end.

College students surveyed on guns on campus
According to research led by Dr. Jeffrey Bouffard at Sam Houston State University's College of Criminal Justice, more students were uncomfortable with concealed weapons on campus than those at ease with guns on college grounds.

The more secure you feel, the less you value your stuff, UNH research shows
People who feel more secure in receiving love and acceptance from others place less monetary value on their possessions, according to new research from the University of New Hampshire.

String blossom thinner proves effective across stages of bloom development
Stone fruit producers seeking information about the cost-effectiveness of string blossom thinning now have more data about the range of thinning times.

Stanford scientists create neurons with symptoms of Parkinson's disease from patient's skin cells
Neurons have been derived from the skin of a woman with a genetic form of Parkinson's disease and have been shown to replicate some key features of the condition in a dish, say researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

New observations of the giant planet orbiting beta Pictoris
Astronomy & Astrophysics is publishing new observations of the giant planet around beta Pictoris.

Carotid artery stenting shown to be cost-effective alternative to endarterectomy
Researchers determined that carotid artery stenting (CAS) with embolic protection is an economically attractive alternative to endarterectomy (END) for patients at increased surgical risk.

Stigma weighs heavily on obese people, contributing to greater health problems
The discrimination that obese people feel, whether it is poor service at a restaurant or being treated differently in the workplace, may have a direct impact on their physical health, according to new research from Purdue University.

Researchers discover new shapes of microcompartments
Researchers at Northwestern University have discovered and explored new shapes of microcompartments, the molecular shells that encapsulate cellular components.

Women who miscarry continue to have mental health problems
The depression and anxiety experienced by many women after a miscarriage can continue for years, even after the birth of a healthy child, according to a study led by University of Rochester Medical Center researchers and published online today by the British Journal of Psychiatry.

Johns Hopkins team explores PARIS; finds a key to Parkinson's
Johns Hopkins scientists have discovered that PARIS -- the protein -- facilitates the most common form of Parkinson's disease, which affects about one million older Americans.

Discrimination creates racial battle fatigue for African-Americans
Just as the constant pressure soldiers face on the battlefield can follow them home in the form of debilitating stress, African-Americans who face chronic exposure to racial discrimination may have an increased likelihood of suffering a race-based battle fatigue, according to Penn State researchers.

Student innovation at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute could lead to better breast cancer screening
Recent research by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute doctoral student Sevan Goenezen holds the promise of becoming a powerful new weapon in the fight against breast cancer.

Not everyone treated equally when it comes to kidney transplantation
Not all racial and ethnic groups have equal access to kidney transplantation, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology.

Star-shaped brain cells feed long-term memory
Star-shaped cells in our brains called astrocytes were once considered little more than structures to fill the gaps between all-important neurons.

Chicken litter provides organic alternative to synthetic fertilizers
A natural, plentiful byproduct of the poultry industry has proven to be an effective fertilizer for use in commercial marigold production. 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