Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 09, 2011
Signaling pathways point to vulnerability in breast cancer stem cells
Whitehead Institute researchers have identified signals impinging on breast epithelial cells that can induce those cells to acquire and stably display migratory and self-renewing characteristics.

Mutations in essential genes often cause rare diseases
Mutations in genes essential to survival are behind so-called orphan diseases, explaining in part why these diseases are rare and often deadly, according to a study appearing in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

Earth-bound asteroids carried ever-evolving, life-starting organic compounds
Detailed analysis of the most pristine meteorite ever recovered shows that the composition of the organic compounds it carried changed during the early years of the solar system.

New imaging tech promising for diagnosing cardiovascular disease, diabetes
Researchers have developed a new type of imaging technology to diagnose cardiovascular disease and other disorders by measuring ultrasound signals from molecules exposed to a fast-pulsing laser.

NASA provides a 2-satellite view and video of the Chilean volcano eruption
NASA's Aqua satellite and the GOES-13 satellite both captured their own unique views of the eruption of the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano in Chile this week.

Study confirms safety, cancer-targeting ability of nutrient in broccoli, other vegetables
Sulforaphane, one of the primary phytochemicals in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables that helps them prevent cancer, has been shown for the first time to selectively target and kill cancer cells while leaving normal prostate cells healthy and unaffected.

FASEB announces new client: The International Conference on Human Immunity to Tuberculosis
The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) announced today the signing of its newest client, the International Conference on Human Immunity to Tuberculosis, which will hold its symposium at the Emory Conference Center in Atlanta, Georgia, on April 13-14, 2012.

First wood-digesting enzyme found in bacteria could boost biofuel production
Researchers funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council-led Integrated Biorefining Research and Technology Club have identified an enzyme in bacteria which could be used to make biofuel production more efficient.

'Decade of vaccines' has potential to save lives, but challenges ahead
Vaccinating children around the world against infectious diseases has saved the lives of millions over the past several decades.

Nicotine triggered appetite suppression site identified in brain
It is widely known that smoking inhibits appetite, but what is not known, is what triggers this process in the brain.

New hospital mortality rate index to be used across UK
A team from the University of Sheffield's School of Health and Related Research has developed a new index to measure hospital mortality rates that has been accepted for use by the Department of Health.

B vitamins in mother's diet reduce colorectal cancer risk in offspring
Mice born to mothers who that fed a diet supplemented with B vitamins are less likely to develop intestinal tumors.

Vaccines are saving 2 million lives are year but could save more than double that; middle-income countries could be left behind in new decade of vaccines
In the fourth paper in the series, Dr. Orin S.

Elsevier launches new Article of the Future prototypes
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, announced today the launch of a variety of new Article of the Future prototypes.

New method for measuring Parkinson's disease prevalence reveals sharp increase in Israel
In a new study published today in the inaugural issue of the Journal of Parkinson's Disease, Israeli researchers report that by tracking pharmacy purchases of anti-Parkinson drugs they could estimate the number of Parkinson's disease (PD) cases in a large population.

Discovery may pave way to quitting smoking without gaining weight
Smokers tend to die young, but they tend to die thinner than non-smokers.

UW-Madison chemists devise better way to prepare workhorse molecules
Writing in the current online issue (June 9) of the journal Science, a team led by University of Wisconsin-Madison chemistry Professor Shannon Stahl reports a new, environmentally friendly way to make substituted aromatic molecules that can be customized for different industrial needs.

Structural biologist wins $150K for 'membrane mimic' technology
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute researcher Dr Matthew Call has been awarded a $150,000 Victorian Endowment for Science, Knowledge and Innovation Fellowship by the Victorian Government to continue his novel studies of immune cell receptors and signaling.

Mayo Clinic-led research team tests alternative approach to treating diabetes
In a mouse study, scientists at Mayo Clinic Florida have demonstrated the feasibility of a promising new strategy for treating human type 2 diabetes, which affects more than 200 million people worldwide.

Integrating agriculture and forestry in the landscape is key to REDD
A multifunctional approach to REDD will be far more effective in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing food production than the practice of intensifying agriculture and sparing forests.

Fragile X protein acts as toggle switch in brain cells
New research shows how the protein missing in fragile X syndrome -- the most common inherited form of intellectual disability -- acts as a molecular toggle switch in brain cells.

New parallelization technique boosts our ability to model biological systems
Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a new technique for using multi-core chips more efficiently, significantly enhancing a computer's ability to build computer models of biological systems.

Dr. Frank Fisher of Stevens selected for Fulbright specialist roster
Dr. Frank Fisher at Stevens Institute of Technology has recently been added to the Fulbright Specialist Roster for his expertise in engineering education.

Potential new target for smoking cessation without weight gain
A new study uncovers a brain mechanism that could be targeted for new medications designed to help people quit smoking without gaining weight.

Hormone test helps predict success in IVF
In a new study, women with high levels of the hormone AMH produced more eggs for in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures, and pregnancies were more likely to occur than in women with low levels.

Early agricultural piracy informs the domestication of rice
The origins of rice have been cast in a new light by research publishing in the open-access journal PLoS Genetics on June 9, 2011.

Want better math teachers? Train them better, says MSU scholar
It's time for the United States to consider establishing higher standards for math teachers if the nation is going to break its

Physicists hit on mathematical description of superfluid dynamics
A century after the discovery of superfluids, scientists using a powerful supercomputer have devised a theoretical framework that explains the real-time behavior of superfluids.

Efficiency record for flexible CdTe solar cell due to novel polyimide film
DuPont Kapton colorless polyimide film, a new material currently in development for use as a flexible superstrate for cadmium telluride thin film photovoltaic modules, has enabled a new world record for energy conversion efficiency.

A new way to make lighter, stronger steel -- in a flash
A Detroit entrepreneur surprised university engineers here recently, when he invented a heat-treatment that makes steel 7 percent stronger than any steel on record -- in less than 10 seconds.

Office of Naval Research engages international partners at OCEANS 2011
The Office of Naval Research's Global department joined the international scientific community at OCEANS 11 IEEE Santander Conference from June 6-9 in Spain to exchange ideas and support student participation to develop future experts in marine technology.

The downside -- and surprising upside - of microcredit
Microcredit, which involves giving small loans to very small businesses in an effort to promote entrepreneurship, has been widely touted as a way to reduce poverty and stimulate economic growth.

New genetic technique converts skin cells into brain cells
A research breakthrough has proven that it is possible to reprogram mature cells from human skin directly into brain cells, without passing through the stem cell stage.

The diving bell and the water spider: How spiders breathe under water
Water spiders spend their entire lives under water, only venturing to the surface to replenish their diving bell air supply.

Children eschew the fat if dads aren't lenient
This Father's Day, dad's choice of where to eat could literally tip the scales on his children's health.

Radiation after prostate removal is cost-effective, but less likely to be recommended by urologists
Receiving radiation therapy immediately after a radical prostatectomy is a cost-effective treatment for prostate cancer patients when compared with waiting and acting on elevated prostate-specific antigen levels, according to a new study by researchers at Thomas Jefferson University.

Outstanding high school students receive AGA Research Foundation Fellowship Awards
The American Gastroenterological Association Research Foundation has announced the 2011 Student Research Fellowship Award recipients.

Controlling starch in sugar factories
Factory trials conducted by US Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists have led to recommendations for controlling or preventing starch buildup in processed raw sugars and products made with those sugars.

Oxford University Press acquires Journal of Legal Analysis
Oxford University Press is pleased to announce its acquisition of Journal of Legal Analysis.

How killer immune cells avoid killing themselves
After eight years of work, researchers have unearthed what has been a well-kept secret of our immune system's success.

Factors affecting vaccine production, access and uptake: Are we ready for another flu pandemic?
In the third paper of the series, Professor Jeffrey W.

Simple test could hold key to early diagnosis of cancers
Cancers of the gut, stomach and pancreas could be detected much sooner with a simple urine test, research suggests.

Jefferson oncologist named 'Practitioner of the Year' by Philadelphia County Medical Society
Edith Mitchell, M.D., clinical professor of Medicine and Medical Oncology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, is the recipient of the 2011

NASA catches system 92W become fifth NW Pacific tropical depression
The low pressure system that has been bringing rainfall to the northwestern Philippines has strengthened into the fifth tropical depression of the Northwest Pacific Ocean's hurricane season.

Researchers work to turn back the clock on bone-producing stem cells
Bone-weakening osteoporosis results in a fracture every three seconds worldwide, according to the International Osteoporosis Foundation.

Crowdsourcing: Improving the quality of scientific data through social networking
Crowdsourcing may be described as a distributed information production and problem-solving activity, today performed mostly online.

AgriLife research helps pave the way for a new livestock feed product
A two-year study by a Texas AgriLife Research team in Amarillo has helped bring a new product to market that could allow the cattle feeding industry to realize efficiencies in mills and more weight on cattle, according to Dr.

Landmark study analyzes scientific productivity and impact of the top 100 PD investigators
IOS Press is pleased to announce the publication of a landmark study in which both traditional and innovative scientometric approaches have been employed to identify the top 100 Parkinson's disease (PD) investigators since 1985 and measure their scientific productivity as well as the impact of their contributions to the field.

Scripps Research scientists awarded $2.2 million to develop treatment for multi-drug addiction
The Scripps Research Institute has been awarded a $2.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop novel therapeutics for the treatment of addiction to multiple substances in a national effort with the University of Kansas.

Agreement with Roche gives UCLA researchers early access to leading-edge technologies
An agreement between UCLA and Roche will provide stem cell and cancer researchers with leading-edge technologies that will drive research capabilities and further the understanding of complex disease.

NASA's infrared image of major Hurricane Adrian reveals its stormy life's blood
Strong thunderstorms are the life's blood of tropical cyclones, and infrared and radar satellite data from NASA today confirms that the eastern Pacific Ocean's first hurricane has plenty of them and they're over nine miles high.

Dramatic fall in cases of meningitis A in 3 west African nations after new vaccine introduction
Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger report the lowest number of meningitis A cases ever recorded during an epidemic season following the successful introduction of a new vaccine six months ago, announced the Meningitis Vaccine Project (MVP).

Adjustable valves gave ancient plants the edge
Controlling water loss is an important ability for modern land plants as it helps them thrive in changing environments.

Banning federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research would derail related work
Banning federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research would have

Meteorite holds clues to organic chemistry of the early Earth
Carbonaceous chondrites are organic-rich meteorites that contain samples of the materials that took part in the creation of our planets nearly 4.6 billion years ago.

Study suggests police officer wrongfully convicted for missing the 'obvious'
In a new study, researchers tested the claims of a Boston police officer who said he ran past a brutal police beating without seeing it.

Large-scale early education linked to higher living standards and crime prevention 25 years later
High-quality early education has a strong, positive impact well into adulthood, according to research led by Arthur Reynolds, co-director of the Human Capital Research Collaborative and professor of child development, and Judy Temple, a professor in the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.

Physician participation in lethal injection executions should not be banned, argue 2 ethicists
Should physicians assist in a lethal injection execution -- or lose professional certification if they do?

New animal study shows promise for development of Parkinson's disease drug
Few treatments for Parkinson's disease (PD) restore function for extended periods.

Genome sequence could reveal 'Achilles' heels' of important wheat disease
Research published in PLoS Genetics today (June 9) provides insights into how an important fungal disease is able to evade wheat's defenses.

Penn researchers show new evidence of genetic 'arms race' against malaria
For tens of thousands of years, the genomes of malaria parasites and humans have been at war with one another.

The new decade of vaccines
The Lancet this week launches its latest series -- on the new decade of vaccines.

'The Anatomy of Palms' showcases the science and art inside palms
Palms are recognized as icons of the tropics, in addition to being the source of many economically significant products that extend relevance of the group to millions of people daily.

Cancer protein discovery may aid radiation therapy
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists have uncovered a new role for a key cancer protein, cyclin D1, a finding that could pave the way for more-effective radiation treatment of a variety of tumors.

Unprecedented international meeting releases preliminary vision for our energy future
A unique, international summit of scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs and future leaders from around the world has concluded with the release of the Equinox Summit: Energy 2030 Communiqué.

Why animals don't have infrared vision
On rare occasion, the light-sensing photoreceptor cells in the eye misfire and signal to the brain as if they have captured photons, when in reality they haven't.

Brain imaging study of preschoolers with ADHD detects brain differences linked to symptoms
In a study published today in the Clinical Neuropsychologist, researchers from Kennedy Krieger Institute found differences in the brains of preschool children with symptoms of ADHD.

Canine telepathy?
Can dogs read our minds? According to Monique Udell and her team, from the University of Florida in the US, the way that dogs come to respond to the level of people's attentiveness tells us something about the ways dogs think and learn about human behavior.

Biologists uncover regulatory mechanism for gene expression in the visual system
Biologists have uncovered a key regulatory mechanism used for gene expression in the visual system.

UT Southwestern research uncovers genetic link between emphysema, lung cancer
A gene linked to emphysema also can be a factor for developing lung cancer unrelated to cigarette smoking, UT Southwestern Medical Center research indicates.

Penn engineers envision 2-dimensional graphene metamaterials and 1-atom-thick optical devices
Two University of Pennsylvania engineers have proposed the possibility of two-dimensional metamaterials.

Expert: Ruling in private pension case could have implications for retirees
A recent US Supreme Court ruling paves the way for monetary damages when companies misrepresent changes they make to employee pension plans, says Richard L.

NASA's Dawn spacecraft approaches protoplanet Vesta
NASA's Dawn mission to the doughnut-shaped asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter is approaching Vesta, some 220 million miles from Earth.

Additional comments with the series, including 'is immunisation child protection?' and 'the last mile in global poliomyelitis eradication'
In a comment, Professor Helen Rees says that it cannot be business as usual in the new decade of vaccines.

Stretched-out low soaking the Caribbean in GOES-13 satellite imagery
GOES-13 satellite imagery on June 9 shows that the pesky low pressure area in the north Caribbean Sea is stretching out and bringing soaking rains to Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica and Puerto Rico.

Sucking up to the boss may move you up and keep you healthy
Savvy career minded individuals have known for some time that ingratiating oneself to the boss and others -- perhaps more commonly known as

Vaccine discovery and translation of new vaccine technology
The second paper in the Lancet series on the New Decade of Vaccines focuses on vaccine discovery and translation of new vaccine technology.

Societal and scientific challenges in the next decade of vaccines
In the first paper of the Lancet series on the New Decade of Vaccines, Professor Richard Moxon, University of Oxford and John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, UK, and Professor Claire-Anne Siegrist, Geneva University Hospitals, Switzerland, discuss societal and scientific challenges for vaccines in the next 10 years.

UCSB physicists apply Einstein's theory to superconducting circuits
Using Einstein's general theory of relativity, UC Santa Barbara scientists have demonstrated that the Josephson junction could be reproduced.

Addressing the vaccine confidence gap: More research needed globally on local factors influencing public trust in vaccines
In the fifth and final paper in the Series, Dr Heidi J Larson (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK) and colleagues analyze the complex range of factors that are causing loss of public confidence in vaccines: the so-called vaccine confidence gap.

Sport doctors say non-alcoholic wheat beer boosts athletes' health
Amateur athletes have long suspected what sports medicine researchers at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen have now made official: evidence, gathered during the world's largest study of marathons, that consumption of non-alcoholic weissbier, or wheat beer, has a positive effect on athletes' health.

Engaging high school students in soil science inquiry
Soil science is an important component of many important global issues.

Research Institute of the MUHC awarded $1.4M grant
The Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre was one of three winners in the Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec (FRSQ) competition 2011-2012.

'Super varieties' of wheat expected to boost yields and block deadly threat to food security
Five years after the launch of a global effort to protect the world's most important food crop from variants of Ug99, a new and deadly form of wheat rust, scientists say they are close to producing super varieties of wheat that will resist the potent pathogen, while boosting yields by as much as 15 percent.

From body builders to baby boomers: IFT session explores protein recommendations beyond muscle
From body builders to baby boomers, more Americans are consuming higher-protein diets for benefits beyond building muscle.

Asteroid served up 'custom orders' of life's ingredients
Some asteroids may have been like

Curtailing embryonic stem cell research would also hurt iPS cell research, Stanford expert finds
Any legislation that slows human embryonic stem cell research is likely to also seriously harm the study of induced pluripotent stem cells, according to a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine, the Mayo Clinic and the University of Michigan.

Ultracold neutrons for science: UCNs will help to solve mysteries of astrophysics
Scientists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz in Germany have built what is currently the strongest source of ultracold neutrons.

Deaths and major morbidity from asbestos-related diseases in Asia likely to surge in next 20 years
An alarming new article in Respirology issues a serious warning of massive rises in deaths from asbestos-related lung diseases in Asia.

TGen Drug Development partners with Imaging Endpoints for comprehensive clinical trial services
TGen Drug Development (TD2) and Imaging Endpoints have teamed up to enable the rapid development of anti-cancer drugs and deliver them faster to patients in need, the companies announced today.

UGA researcher leads discovery of a new driving force for chemical reactions
New research just published in the journal Science by a team of chemists at the University of Georgia and colleagues in Germany shows for the first time that a mechanism called tunneling control may drive chemical reactions in directions unexpected from traditional theories.

New research describes key function of enzyme involved in RNA processing
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine researchers have identified a cellular mechanism that is critical in maintaining normal cell function.

Pioneering hospital pay-for-performance program falls short of its goals
Massachusetts' innovative use of 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