Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 19, 2011
Breaking rules makes you seem powerful
When people have power, they act the part. Powerful people smile less, interrupt others and speak in a louder voice.

Sniff sniff: Smelling led to smarter mammals, researchers say
A rose by any other name would smell as sweet; the saying is perhaps a testament to the acute sense of smell that is unique to mammals.

Tel Aviv University's Sackler Prizes awarded to 2 North American chemists
Two North American chemical researchers, professor Martin T. Zanni of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and professor Gregory D.

Identification of 'fingerprint' of rare tumor leads to development of cheap and reliable new test
Researchers at the University of Oxford have developed a cheap and reliable diagnostic test for a rare form of cancer.

New report on health reform implementation: How to ensure access to coverage is maintained
Modifications to current policies could help ensure that health insurance coverage and subsidies provided under the Affordable Care Act remain stable even through major life changes, according to a new Commonwealth Fund report.

Research ship Polarstern returns from Antartica
The research vessel Polarstern of the German Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association will arrive back at its homeport of Bremerhaven after a seven-month expedition on Friday, May 20.

NIH awards Salk Institute $5.5 million grant to study Williams syndrome
A multi-institutional team headed by Ursula Bellugi, professor and director of the Laboratory for Cognitive Neuroscience at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, has been awarded a $5.5 million Program Project Grant by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to link social behavior to its underlying neurobiological and molecular genetic basis using Williams syndrome as a model.

Lab samples of live smallpox should not be destroyed to ensure critical research continues
In a comment published online first by the Lancet to coincide with the World Health Assembly, scientists appeal to the internationally community not to set an arbitrary date for the destruction of the final smallpox-causing variola virus samples held in two high-security labs.

How you think about death may affect how you act
How you think about death affects how you behave in life.

The traditional remedy bitter cumin is a great source antioxidant plant phenols
Bitter cumin is used extensively in traditional medicine to treat a range of diseases from vitiligo to hyperglycemia.

Archaeologists uncover oldest mine in the Americas
Archaeologists have discovered a 12,000-year-old iron oxide mine in Chile that marks the oldest evidence of organized mining ever found in the Americas, according to a report in the June issue of Current Anthropology.

ASU Professor Jim Bell receives Sagan Medal for excellence in public communication
Professor Jim Bell, planetary scientist at Arizona State University, is the 2011 recipient of the Carl Sagan Medal for Excellence in Public Communication in Planetary Science.

Women entering the workforce expect less than men, study finds
Women have lower career expectations than men, anticipating smaller paycheques and longer waits for promotions, according to a new study involving a University of Guelph researcher.

Is fear deficit a harbinger of future psychopaths?
Psychopaths are charming, but they often get themselves and others in big trouble; their willingness to break social norms and lack of remorse means they are often at risk for crimes and other irresponsible behaviors.

Predicting the fate of personalized cells next step toward new therapies
Discovering the step-by-step details of the path embryonic cells take to develop into their final tissue type is the clinical goal of many stem cell biologists.

The use of voice on stage takes dancing towards an extradisciplinary dimension
The appearance of certain experimental choreographies has incorporated the use of the voice into contemporary dance, either through articulated words or through the mere emission of sounds.

Strobe eyewear training may improve visual abilities
Strobe-like eyewear designed to train the vision of athletes may have positive effects in some cases, according to tests run by a team of Duke University psychologists who specialize in visual perception.

African-Americans with SLE more responsive to flu vaccine than patients of European descent
New research shows that African-Americans with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) had a higher antibody response to influenza vaccination than European American patients.

Implant jab could solve the misery of back pain
University of Manchester scientists have developed a biomaterial implant which could finally bring treatment, in the form of a jab, for chronic back pain.

NTU wins Platinum Award from BCA for sustainable design
Nanyang Technological University today receives the Green Mark Platinum Award from the Building and Construction Authority for adopting best practices in environmental sustainability.

Ben Mottelson in distinguished company in American Philosophical Society
A professor at the Niels Bohr Institute, Ben Mottelson, has been appointed as a member of the distinguished American Philosophical Society, which was founded by the American statesman and scientist Benjamin Franklin.

DNA repair system affects colon cancer recurrence and survival
Colorectal cancer patients with defects in mismatch repair -- one of the body's systems for repairing DNA damage -- have lower recurrence rates and better survival rates than patients without such defects, according to a study published online May 19 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Researchers create nanopatch for the heart
Engineers at Brown University and in India have a promising new approach to treating heart-attack victims.

Radio documentaries came of age in postwar idealism and Cold War fear
In the aftermath of World War II, some of radio's brightest talents, among them Edward R.

The peculiar feeding mechanism of the first vertebrates
A fang-like tooth on double upper lips, spiny teeth on the tongue and a pulley-like mechanism to move the tongue backwards and forwards -- this bizarre bite belongs to a conodont and, thanks to fresh fossil finds, has now been analyzed and reconstructed by a research team headed by paleontologists from the University of Zurich.

A G8 report released today in Paris indicating an increase in financing for women's and children's health
A G8 report released today in Paris indicating an increase in financing for women's and children's health was welcomed by the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH).

The Academy of Natural Sciences and Drexel University announce an historic affiliation
The Academy of Natural Sciences President and CEO George W.

Wireless sensor network monitors microclimate in the forest
During a forest monitoring operation, forestry scientists measure various environmental values.

Bearing through it: How caregivers of mentally ill kin can cope
Caring for a family member with a mental illness can be a taxing experience marked by personal sacrifices and psychological problems.

Packaging process for genes discovered in new research
A major milestone has been achieved in the attempt to assemble, in a test tube, entire chromosomes from their component parts.

Paraplegic man stands, steps with assistance and moves his legs voluntarily
A team of scientists at the University of Louisville, UCLA and the California Institute of Technology has achieved a significant breakthrough in its initial work with a paralyzed male volunteer at Louisville's Frazier Rehab Institute.

Does eating give you pleasure, or make you anxious?
While most people have a great deal of difficulty in dieting and losing weight, particularly if a diet extends over many months or years, individuals with anorexia nervosa can literally diet themselves to death.

Wolbachia bacteria reduce parasite levels and kill the mosquito that spreads malaria
Researchers found that artificial infection with different Wolbachia bacteria strains can significantly reduce levels of the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, in the mosquito, Anopheles gambiae.

Report outlines successes, challenges in cancer prevention efforts
A new report from the American Cancer Society details cancer control efforts and outlines improvements as well as gaps in preventive behavior that contribute to cancer mortality.

VIMS grad student organizes first-ever statewide terrapin survey
Graduate student Diane Tulipani of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science has organized a statewide, volunteer-based survey of diamondback terrapins that could lead to more effective management of human activities that contribute to terrapin mortality.

Dietary inorganic nitrate may reduce heart dysfunction caused by powerful anti-cancer drug
Virginia Commonwealth University researchers have found that nutrient supplementation, like the kind that is found in leafy greens, spinach and lettuce, may reduce the damage to the heart caused by a powerful anti-cancer drug.

Validating preschool programs for children with autism
Researchers from the University of Miami Department of Psychology participated in a multisite study to examine different teaching models for children with autism spectrum disorder.

Pitt researchers build a better mouse model to study depression
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine researchers have developed a mouse model of major depressive disorder (MDD) that is based on a rare genetic mutation that appears to cause MDD in the majority of people who inherit it.

Ex-Dallas Maverick survives rare form of leukemia thanks to experimental drug treatment
Ray Johnston, former Dallas Maverick, credits an experimental drug for killing his rare, stubborn form of cancer.

Eat a protein-rich breakfast to reduce food cravings, prevent overeating later, researcher finds
Eating a healthy breakfast, especially one high in protein, increases satiety and reduces hunger throughout the day, according to a University of Missouri researcher.

440-year-old document sheds new light on native population decline under Spanish colonial rule
Analysis of a 440-year-old document reveals new details about native population decline in the heartland of the Inca Empire following Spanish conquest in the 16th century.

Exercise helps women fight smoking cravings, but effect is short-lived
For years researchers have found that exercise can curb nicotine cravings, but have struggled to show a practical benefit in trials.

Editing scrambled genes in human stem cells may help realize the promise of stem cell-gene therapy
In principle, genetic engineering is simple, but in practice, replacing a faulty gene with a healthy copy is anything but.

Pioneer of lasers and optics Orazio Svelto receives Julius Springer Prize for Applied Physics 2011
This year's Julius Springer Prize for Applied Physics will be awarded to professor Orazio Svelto for his pioneering, long-lasting and innovative work in the fields of lasers and optics.

Caltech researchers release first large observational study of 9.0 Tohoku-Oki earthquake
When the magnitude 9.0 Tohoku-Oki earthquake and resulting tsunami struck off the northeast coast of Japan on March 11, they caused widespread destruction and death.

John Theurer Cancer Center and the Promise Foundation partner to offer free skin cancer screenings
The John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center's Cutaneous Malignancies Program has partnered with The Promise Foundation to host a skin cancer screening event on Thursday, June 2, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

SAGE Open launches for social and behavioral scientists
SAGE recently published its first articles in SAGE Open, the only broad-based open access journal featuring content from the social and behavioral sciences and the humanities.

LSU researchers study methods to use river sediment to repair the coast
They say that time and tide wait for no man -- well, neither does the mighty Mississippi River.

Emerging Explorers award to WHOI's Kakani Katija
Kakani Katija, a postdoctoral scholar at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, has been selected as one of 14 National Geographic Emerging Explorers for 2011 for her investigation into the role swimming animals might play in mixing and moving the oceans and other large bodies of water.

New commitments to save women and children
Today 16 countries announced new commitments to dramatically reduce maternal, newborn and child mortality, as part of the Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health.

Cassini and telescope see violent Saturn storm
NASA's Cassini spacecraft and a European Southern Observatory ground-based telescope tracked the growth of a giant early-spring storm in Saturn's northern hemisphere that is so powerful it stretches around the entire planet.

Interdisciplinary research to look at patient safety in spinal manipulation
A recent team grant by the Canadian Institute for Health Research is providing an innovative approach to researching patient safety for those who provide and receive spinal-manipulative therapy.

Viagra could reduce multiple sclerosis symptoms
UAB researchers have discovered that Viagra drastically reduces multiple sclerosis symptoms in animal models with the disease.

Breakthrough medical food reverses risk of heart disease and diabetes
Researchers at the University of Florida and Metagenics Inc. today announced that a program consisting of a breakthrough medical food combined with a low-glycemic, Mediterranean-style diet is almost twice as effective as one of the best diets alone for lowering risk factors for cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in the US.

Record efficiency of 18.7 percent for flexible CIGS solar cells on plastics
Scientists at Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, have further boosted the energy conversion efficiency of flexible solar cells made of copper indium gallium (di)selenide (also known as CIGS) to a new world record of 18.7 percent -- a significant improvement over the previous record of 17.6 percent achieved by the same team in June 2010.

Graduate marine science students head to the Mediterranean Sea
In June 2011, the UK's National Oceanography Centre is to take part in an ambitious project to

Studies focus on feed ingredient's effects on levels of E. coli O157:H7 in cattle
After corn is processed to make ethanol, what's left of the corn looks something like slightly dampened cornmeal, though a somewhat darker yellow, and not as finely ground.

Atomic-scale structures of ribosome could help improve antibiotics
In a development that could lead to better antibiotics, scientists from several institutions including Berkeley Lab derived atomic-scale resolution structures of the cell's protein-making machine, the ribosome, at key stages of its job.

Liquid crystal droplets discovered to be exquisitely sensitive to an important bacterial lipid
A discovery reported from the University of Wisconsin-Madison suggests that micrometer-sized droplets of liquid crystal, which have been found to change their ordering and optical appearance in response to the presence of very low concentrations of a particular bacterial lipid, might find new uses in a range of biological contexts.

Use of naltrexone reduces inflammation in Crohn's patients
Naltrexone reduced inflammation in Crohn's patients in a research study at Penn State College of Medicine.

Mammals first evolved big brains for better sense of smell
Mammals first evolved their characteristic large brains to enable a stronger sense of smell.

UCSB localizing fruit, vegetable consumption doesn't solve environmental, health issues
To David Cleveland, a professor of environmental studies at UC Santa Barbara, it seemed as though Santa Barbara County would be a great example of what many are advocating as a solution to the problems of a conventional agrifood network -- a local food system.

Poll finds most Americans favor increased funding for stronger food safety oversight
Among likely voters surveyed across the nation, 66 percent support additional funding for the US Food and Drug Administration to carry out new responsibilities related to food safety, according to a Pew-commissioned poll released today by the bipartisan team of Hart Research and American Viewpoint.

Important info about CHIPRA core set of recommended health care quality measures released
The Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) legislation required a core set of recommended health care quality measures to be identified for voluntary use by State Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Programs (CHIP), which together cover almost 40 million American children and adolescents.

New study suggests dietary supplement can protect against pre-eclampsia
A dietary supplement containing an amino acid and antioxidant vitamins, given to pregnant women at high risk of pre-eclampsia, can reduce the occurrence of the disease, finds a study published on today.

$1.88 million grant will help new CU 8-year medical-training track fill Colorado physician gaps
The University of Colorado established a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science-Doctor of Medicine program in 2010 to cultivate more physicians to serve Colorado's underserved communities.

Caltech research helps paraplegic man stand and move legs voluntarily
Researchers from UCLA, Caltech and the University of Louisville have used a stimulating electrode array to assist a paralyzed man to stand, step on a treadmill with assistance, and, over time, to regain voluntary movements of his limbs.

Combating the C. diff terrorists on the loose in hospitals
Just like intelligence agents watching for the real terrorists threatening to attack, monitoring health-care worker adherence to mandatory hand-washing protocols via hand-washing squads in hospitals can go a long way to stop outbreaks of the opportunistic C. diff bacteria, says Irena Kenneley, an infection prevention and control expert and assistant professor of nursing from the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University.

Scientists discover new drug target for squamous cell carcinoma
Researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center have discovered a new drug target for squamous cell carcinoma -- the second most common form of skin cancer.

Looking deep into a huge storm on Saturn
ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) has teamed up with NASA's Cassini spacecraft to study a rare storm in the atmosphere of the planet Saturn in more detail than has ever been possible before.

Researchers uncover a new level of genetic diversity in human RNA sequences
A detailed comparison of DNA and RNA in human cells has uncovered a surprising number of cases where the corresponding sequences are not, as has long been assumed, identical.

Large brains in mammals first evolved for better sense of smell
High-resolution CT scans reveal that tiny mammals from the Jurassic fossil beds of China had much larger brains than expected for specimens of their period.

Cell phone use may reduce male fertility
Men who have been diagnosed with poor sperm quality and who are trying to have children should limit their cell phone use.

Of frogs, chickens and people
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have uncovered new details of an unusual biological mechanism in the brains of diverse species that not only helps regulate how their brains develop, but also how they function later in life.

LSU professor Patrick Hesp receives Fulbright to study sand dunes in Brazil
Patrick Hesp, R.J. Russell Professor in Geography and Anthropology in the College of Humanities & Social Sciences, has been awarded a prestigious Fulbright Fellowship for the fall of 2011.

Researchers connect electrical brain disturbances to worse outcomes following neurotrauma
Electrical disturbances that spread through an injured brain like tsunamis have a direct link to poor recovery and can last far longer than previously realized, researchers at the University of Cincinnati Neuroscience Institute have found.

G8+ science academies release statements on science education, water quality
In advance of next week's G8 summit in Deauville, France, the science academies of those eight nations and five others today released statements recommending that their governments take action to improve water quality, sanitation, and science education.

Curcumin compound improves effectiveness of head and neck cancer treatment, U-M study finds
A primary reason that head and neck cancer treatments fail is the tumor cells become resistant to chemotherapy drugs.

Social marketing in public health conference adds emphasis on environmental issues
To better meet the growing demand for social marketing, this year's conference has expanded its roster of leaders in the field and added an emphasis on social marketing and the environment.

Antibody production gets confused during long-term spaceflight
The trip to Mars just got more difficult since researchers discovered that antibodies that fight off disease might become compromised during long-term space flights.

Herbal remedies offer hope as the new antibiotics
Cancer treatments often have the side effect of impairing the patient's immune system.

Animal results may pave way to treating rare mitochondrial diseases in children
A human drug that both prevents and cures kidney failure in mice sheds light on disabling human mitochondrial disorders, and may represent a potential treatment in people with such illnesses.

Microscope -- handy, quick and flat
Suspicion of melanoma: in the future, doctors can pull out a new type of microscope to get to the bottom of suspicious changes in the skin.

Paraplegic man stands, steps with assistance and moves his legs voluntarily
A team of scientists at the University of Louisville, UCLA and the California Institute of Technology has achieved a significant breakthrough in its initial work with a paralyzed male volunteer at Louisville's Frazier Rehab Institute -- the result of 30 years of research to find potential clinical therapies for paralysis.

Ensuring the safety of radiation therapy
Louis Potters, MD, North Shore-LIJ's chairman of radiation medicine, and his colleagues designed a new program that seeks to improve the quality of complex processes by identifying and removing the causes of errors, and reducing variables that increase the risk of mistakes.

Malaria risk reduced by genetic predisposition for cell suicide
A human genetic variant associated with an almost 30 percent reduced risk of developing severe malaria has been identified. 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