Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 07, 2011
Bacteria on old-growth trees may help forests grow
The growth and development of many forests is thought to be limited by the availability of nitrogen.

Mammary gland development of blueberry-fed lab animals studied
US Department of Agriculture-funded studies of mammary gland development in laboratory rats fed blueberries or other foods of interest may aid breast cancer research.

Cruise to investigate impacts of ocean acidification
The UK research vessel RRS Discovery left Liverpool yesterday on the first research cruise specifically to study ocean acidification in European waters.

Native ants use chemical weapons to turn back invading Argentine ants
Stanford sophomores studying ants in a summer course discovered that the local ants were using poison to kill invading Argentine ants.

International AIDS Society urges world leaders at UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS to integrate a fourth pillar -- HIV cure research -- into the global response to the epidemic
As world leaders meet this week to review progress and chart the future course of the global AIDS response at the 2011 UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting on AIDS (UNGASS 2011) in New York, the International AIDS Society (IAS) calls on leaders to ensure the inclusion of HIV cure research and its global strategy into the international HIV agenda and in all discussions, political decisions and funding strategies.

American Chemical Society hosts Capitol Hill briefing on innovation, jobs and patents on June 8
The American Chemical Society Science & the Congress Project invites news media to attend a luncheon briefing on

Dangerous and under the radar
Sex work is unprotected, increasingly dangerous and needs to be decriminalized, according to a new report published in the Canadian Review of Sociology.

Clemson University research team to lead accessible voting technology project
A Clemson University research team has been chosen by the US Election Assistance Commission to lead a national effort to make voting systems more accessible.

People judge therapists by their offices, study shows
People may judge the quality and qualifications of psychotherapists simply by what their offices look like, a new study suggests.

GPS stations can detect clandestine nuclear tests
At the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization meeting this week, American researchers are unveiling a new tool for detecting illegal nuclear explosions: the Earth's global positioning system (GPS).

The heat is on for sodium-manganese oxide rechargeable batteries
By adding the right amount of heat, researchers have developed a method that improves the electrical capacity and recharging lifetime of sodium ion rechargeable batteries, which could be a cheaper alternative for large-scale uses such as storing energy on the electrical grid.

Elsevier announces winners of the Executable Paper Grand Challenge
Elsevier, a leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, has announced the winners of the Executable Paper Grand Challenge, a program Elsevier created to address the difficulties associated with reproducing computer science research results.

Fetal exposure to BPA changes development of uterus in primates
Exposure in the womb to bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical widely used in the food and medical industries, causes changes in female primates' uterus development, new research suggests.

Super-mini vehicles carry therapeutics and imaging agents into body with mega results
Self-assembling nano-sized devices designed to carry drugs and imaging agents into the body are revolutionizing medicine by improving drug solubility and bio-distribution, providing a platform for combining targeting and imaging agents, and enabling membrane barriers to be crossed as well as making drug and imaging agent combination therapies possible.This report covers two classes of self-assembled, nanoscale medical delivery devices currently used to transport drugs and also imaging materials across physiological barriers.

Bone cancer, from the lab to the clinic
A new study into osteosarcoma -- cancer of the bone -- will use advances in genomic research to identify new genes that give rise to the cancer and to create personalised blood tests for children and young adults.

Excessive pregnancy weight gain raises the risk of having a fat baby
Women who gain too much weight during pregnancy tend to have newborns with a high amount of body fat, regardless of the mother's weight before pregnancy, a new study finds.

UCSF finds new bee viruses, offers baseline to study colony collapse
A 10-month study of healthy honey bees by University of California, San Francisco scientists has identified four new viruses that infect bees, while revealing that each of the viruses or bacteria previously linked to colony collapse is present in healthy hives as well.

Emerging research in brain connectivity reveals new understanding of neurological disorders
Sophisticated imaging tools and techniques are emerging, making it possible to probe organization and activity of the brain at cellular and molecular levels, leading to better understanding of the complex networks that link brain structure and function.

Coffee drinking improves hepatitis C treatment response
Advanced hepatitis C patients with chronic liver disease may benefit from drinking coffee during treatment.

Using magnets to help prevent heart attacks
Blood viscosity can be reduced 20-30 percent by subjecting it to a small magnetic field, lowering potential damage to blood vessels and the risk of heart attack.

Cash talks when overbooked hotel guests walk
Cash bonuses can help hotel operators lure back disappointed customers who were displaced during overbooking snags, according to Penn State researchers.

NASA's solar dynamics observatory catches 'surfer' waves on the sun
Cue the surfing music. Scientists have spotted the iconic surfer's wave rolling through the atmosphere of the sun.

Drug shows promise in prostate cancer spread to bone
A new drug to treat prostate cancer shows early promise, particularly against tumors that have spread to the bone, a multi-site study shows.

Teens with type 2 diabetes already show possible signs of impaired heart function
Heart function may be affected in people with type 2 diabetes as early as adolescence, according to a new study that will be presented Sunday at The Endocrine Society's 93rd Annual Meeting in Boston.

Will the eel survive its management?
The European eel is on the way to disappearing for good.

Smithsonian study: Stranding records are faithful reflection of live whale and dolphin populations
Whales are the Earth's largest creatures, yet they are incredibly hard to study in the open ocean.

Development of a FRET sensor for real-time imaging of intracellular redox dynamics
A multidisciplinary research team within the Institute for Genomic Biology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign reports a FRET-based biosensor with defined sensitivity and dynamic range for imaging changes in the intracellular redox environment that appear to dictate cell fate.

Einstein offers easy-to-use genome analyzer to scientific community
Scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have developed a desktop genome analyzer and browser that allows biologists to rapidly and easily analyze and process their high-throughput data.

Health and safety of low-skilled workers should be priority for migration policy
In the fourth article in a six-part PLoS Medicine series on migration and health, Joan Benach from the Employment Conditions Network at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain, and colleagues discuss the health risks and policy needs associated with migration to destination countries, especially for low-skilled workers.

Late antique Latin patchwork poems piece together genre and original text
Texts comprising only quotations of somebody else's work are often referred to as plagiarism.

Carbon release and global warming now and in the ancient past
The present rate of greenhouse carbon dioxide emissions through fossil fuel burning is higher than that associated with an ancient episode of severe global warming, according to new research.

Overweight more harmful to the liver than alcohol in middle-aged men
Overweight carries a greatly increased risk of cirrhosis of the liver in men, reveals a new study from the Sahlgrenska Academy.

Paved surfaces can foster build-up of polluted air
New research focusing on the Houston area suggests that widespread urban development alters wind patterns in a way that can make it easier for pollutants to build up during warm summer weather instead of being blown out to sea.

Finnish twin study yields new information on how fat cells cope with obesity
The mechanisms by which obesity leads towards metabolic comorbidities, such as diabetes mellitus, are poorly understood and of great public health interest.

Using simulation to model the implementation of electronic health records
A University of Cincinnati emergency medicine researcher has received a two-year, $150,000 fellowship award from the Emergency Medicine Foundation to study the implementation of electronic health records in a suburban emergency department (ED).

Researchers find that inhibiting microRNAs may help prevent degenerative eye disorders
Blocking two tiny molecules of RNA -- a chemical cousin of DNA -- appears to suppress the abnormal growth of blood vessels that occurs in degenerative eye disorders, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have found.

$75,000 Grantham Prize winner announced
The 2011 winner of the Grantham Prize for Excellence in Reporting on the Environment goes to James Astill of The Economist for

Experts prove link between phosphate intake and heart disease
Lowering phosphate intake in humans can reduce heart disease, according to research by experts at the University of Sheffield.

Your attention please: 'Rewarding' objects can't be ignored
Scientists find you can be distracted by something totally worthless if that something was once associated with a reward.

Researcher tests drug's impact on neurological disease affecting women
A rare but increasingly more common disease striking overweight, younger women is the focus of a clinical trial at Michigan State University, where an osteopathic physician is testing the effectiveness of a certain drug against a potentially blindness-causing ailment.

Glaciations may have larger influence on biodiversity than current climate
An investigation by the Spanish Scientifc Council reveals that the large impacts occurred during the last ice age maintain their effects on the current distribution of dung beetles of the scarab family (Scarabaeidae).

Universal flu vaccine clinical trials show promise
A universal influenza vaccine targeting a protein common to all strains of influenza A has safely produced an immune response in humans.

Chernobyl revisited: Virtual issue explores ecological effects of nuclear disasters
The decision of the German government to phase out nuclear power by 2022 has reopened an energy debate that has far wider implications than Germany or Japan, which is still coming to terms with events at the damaged Fukushima plant.

Digital democracy? Study finds elite viewpoints dominate online content
Anyone with Internet access can generate online content and influence public opinion, according to popular belief.

UK Government plans for mentally ill prisoners are unrealistic, research suggests
Government plans to divert more mentally ill people out of the criminal justice system and into mental health services are unlikely to be achieved, according to new research from Queen Mary, University of London.

An 'all natural' diet? There's no such thing
From the paleolithic diet to the raw food diet, many health-conscious Americans now want to eat the way they believe our ancient ancestors ate.

Women warriors show resilience similar to men
Women service members who experience combat are apparently as resilient as the men they serve alongside, according to a study published by the American Psychological Association.

Hidden refugees in Gothenburg -- the city of events
Media often portray so-called hidden refugees as individuals who spend their days hiding behind closed curtains, and this leads to false perceptions of these people living underground and outside society.

No such thing as a red or blue state
Believe it or not, the odds are nearly 50/50 that a random person from a

New report equates dried fruits and fresh fruits
Internationally recognized health researchers presented their views at the 30th World Nut & Dried Fruit Congress on May 21, 2011, recommending that food policy makers consider dried fruits equivalent to fresh fruits in dietary recommendations around the world.

Environmental engineering students and faculty study Passaic River pollution
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection commissioned a study, conducted by students and faculty from Stevens Institute of Technology and Rutgers, to determine pollution loads in the Passic River.

Researchers discover biochemical weakness of malaria parasite -- vaccine to be developed
Every year, 10,000 pregnant women and up to 200,000 newborn babies are killed by the malaria parasite.

Rhode Island Hospital fellow receives funding to support research in myocardial perfusion
Antonio Lassaletta, M.D., a fellow in cardiothoracic surgery research at Rhode Island Hospital, has been awarded a Research Fellowship from the Thoracic Surgery Foundation for Research and Education (TSFRE) to support his project,

Chest journal news briefs -- June 2011 issue
Medical studies from the June issue of Chest are now available and cover non-physician staffing in the ICU; DVT prevention studies lacking for high risk; and noninvasive PE diagnosis.

BGI releases a complete de novo E. coli O104 genome and details of their detection kit
BGI and their collaborators at the University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf have now released their third version of the assembled genome, which includes new data from this E. coli O104.

First of its kind study conducted by BUSM finds women as resilient to combat stress as men
In what is believed to be the first published study on the topic, researchers affiliated with the Boston University School of Medicine believe female military service-members from Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom may be as resilient to combat-related stress as men.

Bursitis a common cause of painful hips, knees, heels and elbows
A new literature review examines a common condition called bursitis, often causing pain on movement.

Innovative device for quantum simulations
Quantum simulator prototype replicates structure of graphene -- first step to a new class of semiconductor nanostructures that probe the quantum world -- developed by a team of American and European researchers from Columbia Engineering, Italian National Research Council, Princeton University, University of Missouri, and University of Nijmegen.

'Library of Fishes' to feature thousands of specimens from remote locations
The stories they could tell, these fishes that once swam the ocean deep and are now in jars and bottles.

UT Southwestern research team's anti-malarial work wins international Project of the Year award
The discovery of a potential new anti-malarial drug by a UT Southwestern Medical Center-led research team has been awarded Project of the Year by Medicines for Malaria Venture.

Protein folding made easy
Computational methods of modeling protein folding have existed for a couple of decades.

Layout of Arabic manuscripts
Arabists of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena (Germany) take part in the new collaborative research center

Older age does not cause testosterone levels to decline in healthy men
A decline in testosterone levels as men grow older is likely the result -- not the cause -- of deteriorating general health, say Australian scientists, whose new study finds that age, in itself, has no effect on testosterone level in healthy older men.

Apple ingredient keeps muscles strong
In search of a way to prevent the muscle wasting that comes with illness and aging, researchers have landed a natural compound that might just do the trick.

Health care providers need training to recognize signs of domestic violence, says nursing expert
Despite billions of dollars spent on health care each year, the United States ranks 27th out of 33 developed countries for life expectancy at birth.

NASA sees a hot tower in first tropical depression of the eastern Pacific
The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite called TRMM has the ability to see rainfall rates and heights of thunderstorm clouds within a tropical cyclone, and data from the satellite confirmed a

University of Houston researcher receives grant to study water pollutants
Results from Galveston Bay research project likely will be used to determine how to best handle water pollutants.

University of Iowa researchers identify caffeine-consuming bacterium
As it turns out, humans aren't the only organisms that turn to caffeine for a pick-me-up.

NYU's Cranmer to participate in The Economist's 'Ideas Economy: Information' event
Kyle Cranmer, an NYU assistant professor of physics, will participate in The Economist's

USC: Active social, spiritual and physical life helps prevent health decline in seniors
Small, healthy lifestyle changes and involvement in meaningful activities -- going beyond just diet and exercise -- are critical to healthy aging, according to a new USC study.

The pill does not lead to weight gain
Many young women do not want to start taking the contraceptive pill because they are worried that they will put on weight, or come off it because they think that they have gained weight because of it.

Study: What mom thinks matters when it comes to mental illness
A new study led by a Northern Illinois University sociologist shows that while family members often provide critical support, they also can sometimes be the source of stigmatizing attitudes that impede the recovery of mentally ill relatives.

Adjuvant combo shows potential for universal influenza vaccine
Researchers at National Jewish Health have discovered how to prime a second arm of the immune system to boost influenza vaccine effectiveness.

'Wrong'-time eating reduces fertility in fruit flies
Researchers manipulated circadian rhythms in fruit flies and measured the affect on egg-laying capacity.

Optimum tax on foreign fishing in Africa protects stocks and domestic fishing
People living in coastal areas in Africa can rarely utilise their entire fishing zones as their simple boats only allow them to fish near the coast.

33-country survey reports 50 percent increase in sustainably managed tropical forests
A comprehensive assessment of tropical forest management reports a 50 percent increase in the area of tropical forest under sustainable management in just five years, but cautions that key drivers of that increase -- growing demand for certified timber and funding for climate change initiatives -- could have only a marginal impact in the long-term.

Apple peel makes mice mighty
A University of Iowa study shows that ursolic acid, a compound found in apple peel, reduces muscle wasting and promotes muscle growth in mice.

Red-light cameras critical to public safety, MU traffic researcher finds
As automated traffic monitoring systems such as red light cameras keep a law enforcement

Dolphins use double sonar
Dolphins and porpoises use echolocation for hunting and orientation. By sending out high-frequency sound, known as ultrasound, dolphins can use the echoes to determine what type of object the sound beam has hit.

Planning the urban future particularly important in poor, polluted cities
The capital of Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou, is not only one of the fastest growing cities in the world, it is also extremely polluted.

Joint replacement surgery riskier at hospitals with low surgical volume
Patients who undergo elective total hip or total knee arthroplasty at hospitals with lower surgical volume had a higher risk of venous thromboembolism and mortality following the procedure.

Mapping anemia risk in preschool-age children in West Africa
In this week's PLoS Medicine, Ricardo Soares Magalhaes and Archie Clements, from the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, describe how they used national cross-sectional household-based demographic health surveys to map the distribution of anemia risk in preschool-age children in Burkina Faso, Ghana and Mali.

Air quality worsened by paved surfaces
New research focusing on the Houston area suggests that widespread urban development alters weather patterns in a way that can make it easier for pollutants to accumulate during warm summer weather instead of being blown out to sea.

Coseasonality of influenza and invasive pneumococcal disease
Using a combination of sophisticated modeling and statistical analyses, David Fisman and colleagues show that infection with influenza likely increases the incidence of invasive pneumococcal disease.

NASA sees the sun having a solar blast
The Sun unleashed an M-2 (medium-sized) solar flare, an S1-class (minor) radiation storm and a spectacular coronal mass ejection (CME) on June 7, 2011 from sunspot complex 1226-1227.

Cuts are likely to hit charities harder than expected
Around one third of voluntary and charitable organizations in England receive public money to support their work and over 20,000 organizations say that the public sector is their most important source of income according to initial findings of research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.

Study links insulin action on brain's reward circuitry to obesity
Researchers reporting in the June issue of Cell Metabolism, a Cell Press publication, have what they say is some of the first solid proof that insulin has direct effects on the reward circuitry of the brain.

Construction industry has highest number of traumatic brain injuries in US workplace
Although TBI is one of the leading causes of death in the US, work-related TBI has not been well documented.

A decade dedicated to breast cancer care advocacy garners ASCO Award for researcher
Benjamin Anderson, M.D., a researcher in the Public Health Sciences Division of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and director of Seattle Cancer Care Alliance's Breast Health Clinic, is the 2011 recipient of the Partners in Progress award given by the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
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