Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 11, 2011
Outbreak C. difficile strain common in Chicago hospitals, investigation finds
An outbreak strain of Clostridium difficile, a bacterium that causes diarrhea and sometimes life-threatening inflammation of the colon, is common in Chicago-area acute care hospitals, an investigation published in the September issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, suggests.

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County makes scientific history with 'pregnant plesiosaur'
A paper to be published on Aug. 12, 2011, in the authoritative magazine Science reveals that Dr.

Coke addicts prefer money in hand to snowy future
When a research team asked cocaine addicts to choose, hypothetically, between money now or cocaine of greater value later,

Visiting researcher at IU leads international team in formal identification of new fungi class
A visiting researcher from Sweden in the Indiana University College of Arts and Sciences' Biology Department has led an international team in culturing, characterizing and formally naming a new class of fungi that previously had only been identified through DNA sequencing from environmental samples.

Hysterectomy in Germany
Hysterectomy elevates the risk of stroke and coronary heart disease in young women when combined with the removal of both ovaries in the same operation.

Scientists explore the role of aeroecology in bat conservation and ecosystem health
Using Doppler weather radar and other technologies relatively new to the field of ecology, ecologists will discuss the role of atmospheric conditions in bat behavior and the effectiveness of acoustic deterrents in reducing bat fatalities at wind farms.

EPA announces availability of Waste Management Planning and Response Tool
On Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2011, the US EPA will hold a public meeting announcing the availability of the Incident Waste Management Planning and Response Tool.

Supernovae parents found
Observations of Type Ia supernovae has led to the discovery that the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate and the notion of dark energy.

New data shows El Mayor-Cucapah earthquake was simple on surface, complicated at depth
Like scars that remain on the skin long after a wound has healed, earthquake fault lines can be traced on Earth's surface long after their initial rupture.

Stick-on tattoos go electric
Through a combination of careful theoretical modeling and precise micro-manufacturing, a team of engineers and scientists has developed a new type of ultra-thin, self-adhesive electronics device that can effectively measure data about the human heart, brain waves and muscle activity -- all without the use of bulky equipment, conductive fluids, or glues.

University of Colorado Cancer Center genetically sequences most common bladder cancer
University of Colorado Cancer Center conducts first ever genetic sequencing of most common bladder cancer.

Dark beer has more iron than pale beer
A team of researchers from the University of Valladolid has analyzed 40 brands of beer, discovering that dark beer has more free iron than pale and non-alcoholic beers.

Stem cell mobilization therapy found to be safe for bone marrow donors
According to a study published in Blood, the Journal of the American Society of Hematology, researchers have reported that administration of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, a drug that releases stem cells from the bone marrow into the blood, is unlikely to put healthy stem cell donors at risk for later development of abnormalities involving loss or gains of chromosomes that have been linked to hematologic disorders such as myelodysplastic syndromes and acute myeloid leukemia.

Software predicted risk in California West Nile virus epidemic
A computer model of the spread of West Nile virus was able to predict areas where human cases would be concentrated, especially around Sacramento in 2005.

FASEB MARC program announces the travel award recipients for the 2011 Leadership Development and Grant Writing Seminar for graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and new assistant professors
FASEB MARC Program has announced the travel award recipients for the 2011 Leadership Development and Grant Writing Seminar Program in Virginia Beach, Va., from Aug.

Shooting light a curve
Paving the way for fast-as-light, ultra-compact communication systems and optoelectronic devices, Berkeley Lab scientists have developed a technique for steering the curved path of plasmonic Airy beams -- combinations of laser light and quasi-particles called surface plasmon polaritons.

University of Minnesota researchers reveal Wikipedia gender biases
Computer science researchers in the University of Minnesota's College of Science and Engineering are leading a team that has confirmed a substantial gender gap among editors of Wikipedia and a corresponding gender-oriented disparity in the content.

Status of nuclear power 2010
Risoe DTU has made its eighth report in the series

New tool may yield smaller, faster optoelectronics
The steady improvement in speed and power of modern electronics may soon hit the brakes unless new ways are found to pack more structures into microscopic spaces.

Like humans, chimps are born with immature forebrains
In both chimpanzees and humans, portions of the brain that are critical for complex cognitive functions, including decision-making, self-awareness and creativity, are immature at birth.

Common class of pain drugs reduces severity of postpartum breast cancers
During involution -- the process during which milk-producing cells are killed and replaced by fat cells -- the breast is especially susceptible to the development of aggressive cancers.

Metabolomics as a basis for gender-specific drugs
Analyses of the metabolic profile of blood serum have revealed significant differences in metabolites between men and women.

Decade-long study reveals recurring patterns of viruses in the open ocean
Viruses fill the ocean and have a significant effect on ocean biology, specifically marine microbiology, according to a professor of biology at UC Santa Barbara and his collaborators.

USF researchers get $2.6 million NIH grant to investigate new post-stroke therapy
University of South Florida researchers have received a $2.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to investigate the potential for cells derived from human bone marrow to benefit post-stroke patients by repairing the blood-brain barrier, which prevents harmful substances in circulating blood from entering the brain while allowing passage of needed substances.

Intestinal protein may have role in ADHD, other neurological disorders
A biochemical pathway long associated with diarrhea and intestinal function may provide a new therapeutic target for treating ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) other neuropsychiatric disorders, according to a team of scientists from China and the United States reporting Aug.

New technology could capture ammonia from liquid manure
A new method of extracting ammonium from liquid animal manure could be exciting news for both confined animal operations and environmental groups, according to a Texas AgriLife Extension Service engineer.

Researchers fight cholera with computer forecasting
Just as the rainy season is driving a new surge of cholera cases in Haiti, a new computational model could forecast where outbreaks are likely to occur.

Carnegie Mellon's Nicolas Christin tracks illegal online pharmacies
A Carnegie Mellon research team found rogue websites were rediercting consumers to illicit pharmacies.

'Good fat' most prevalent in thin children
Researchers at Joslin Diabetes Center and Children's Hospital Boston have shown that a type of

NIH-led team maps route for eliciting HIV-neutralizing antibodies
Researchers have traced in detail how certain powerful HIV neutralizing antibodies evolve, a finding that generates vital clues to guide the design of a preventive HIV vaccine, according to a study appearing in Science Express this week.

Dual-action protein developed at Stanford better restricts blood vessel formation
Stanford bioengineers have created a single protein able to target two different chemical receptors at the same time, yielding a promising new direction in the development of cancer treatments and other biomedical applications.

Scientists copy the ways viruses deliver genes
Scientists at the National Physical Laboratory have mimicked the ways viruses infect human cells and deliver their genetic material.

Durham University solar car takes on World Solar Challenge
Students will be setting off on a sun-powered adventure this autumn when the Durham University Solar Car takes part in the World Solar Challenge.

Knowledge society still pending in the Basque Country
Far from the industrial nature that has marked it, but not managing to reach the desired goal of what we call the knowledge society, the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country still has some way to go in order to overcome the socioeconomic transition that started when it was accepted that industrial decline was irreversible - in the mid-nineties.

New model of ALS is based on human cells from autopsied tissue
By isolating cells from patients' spinal tissue within a few days after death, researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health have developed a new model of the paralyzing disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

How you read the Bible is tied to fellow worshippers' education, Baylor researcher finds
Regardless of a person's educational background, he or she is less likely to approach the Bible in a literal word-for-word fashion when surrounded by a greater number of church members who went to college, according to a Baylor University sociologist.

Common themes emerge in hospitals' anti-MRSA efforts: Study
Researchers from the Indiana University have identified common barriers and strategies for successfully implementing practice changes in Intensive Care Units (ICUs).

Taking a 'shine' to heart repair
Professor Uri Oron at Tel Aviv University says that

Chinese households save more than American households, MU study finds
Researchers at the University of Missouri have found that urban Chinese households, on average, save much more than American households.

Researchers decode workings of mysterious, but critical TB drug
A new study, led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, suggests that PZA binds to a specific protein named RpsA and inhibits trans-translation, a process that enables the TB bacteria to survive under stressful conditions.

Scientists explain unique activity of TB drug pyrazinamide
Pyrazinamide has been used in combination with other drugs as a first-line treatment for people with tuberculosis (TB) since the 1950s, but exactly how the drug works has not been well understood.

Polar climate change may lead to ecological change
Ice and frozen ground at the North and South Poles are affected by climate change induced warming, but the consequences of thawing at each pole differ due to the geography and geology, according to a Penn State hydrologist.

Worldwide map identifies important coral reefs exposed to stress
Marine researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society and other groups have created a map of the world's corals and their exposure to stress factors, including high temperatures, ultra-violet radiation, weather systems, sedimentation, as well as stress-reducing factors such as temperature variability and tidal dynamics.

Contrary to earlier findings, excess body fat in elderly decreases life expectancy
Research published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society showed that men over 75 with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 22.3 had a 3.7-year shorter life expectancy, and women over 75 with a BMI greater than 27.4 had a 2.1-year shorter life expectancy.

La Jolla Institute opens major RNAi center for identifying genetic triggers of disease
A major center that will propel scientific efforts to pinpoint the specific genes involved in causing immune diseases, cancer and other diseases will be opened today at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology.

Hidden soil fungus, now revealed, is in a class all its own
A type of fungus that's been lurking underground for millions of years, previously known to science only through its DNA, has been cultured, photographed, named and assigned a place on the tree of life.

Stanford engineers redefine how the brain plans movement
New neurological measurement technologies and algorithms are allowing researchers a more complete look into how the brain functions.

Bilayer graphene: Another step toward graphene electronics
The Nobel Prize-winning scientists professors Andre Geim and Kostya Novoselov have taken a huge step forward in studying the wonder material graphene and revealing its exciting electronic properties for future electronic applications.

Pregnant women in Vancouver may not be getting enough vitamin D
Pregnant women taking prenatal supplements may not be getting enough vitamin D, shows a new Vancouver-based study led by the Child & Family Research Institute at BC Children's Hospital that was published in the Canadian Journal of Public Health.

Alien world is blacker than coal
Imagine a giant world like Jupiter, but more alien than any planet in our solar system.

University Hospitals Neuromuscular Center EMG labs awarded accreditation
The American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine has awarded accreditation status to four electromyography laboratories affiliated with the University Hospitals Neuromuscular Center in Northeast Ohio.

Depression linked to increased risk of stroke in women
Depression is associated with a moderately increased risk of stroke.

Arctic ice melt could pause for several years, then resume again
Although Arctic sea ice appears fated to melt as the climate continues to warm, the ice may temporarily stabilize or somewhat expand at times over the next few decades, new research indicates.

When you can recite a poem but not remember who asked you to learn it a few days earlier
Episodic memory, the ability to remember specific events such as what you did yesterday, is known to be vulnerable to brain damage involving the hippocampus.

For bugs within bugs within mealybugs, life is a 'patchwork'
In the case of sap-feeding insects, intimate associations with microbes offer a source for essential nutrients that their sugary diets just don't include.

New TB vaccine enters proof-of-concept trial in people living with HIV
Aeras and the Oxford-Emergent Tuberculosis Consortium (OETC) announce today the start of a Phase IIb proof-of-concept efficacy trial of a new investigational tuberculosis (TB) vaccine that involves people living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Carnegie Mellon scientists discover how molecular motors go into 'energy save mode'
The transport system inside living cells is a well-oiled machine with tiny protein motors hauling vital cargo around the cell.

New research explains how estrogen could help protect women from cardiovascular disease
The sex hormone estrogen could help protect women from cardiovascular disease by keeping the body's immune system in check, new research from Queen Mary, University of London has revealed.

Alcohol consumption in relation to acute pancreatitis
A study on the effect of different alcoholic beverages and drinking behavior on the risk of acute pancreatitis was conducted, using the Swedish Mammography Cohort and Cohort of Swedish Men, to study the association between consumption of spirits, wine and beer and the risk of acute pancreatitis.

National Center for Systems Biology to be established at Medical College
The Medical College of Wisconsin has received a five-year, $13 million grant to establish a National Center for Systems Biology.

Corn silage hybrids and seeding rates
Cornell scientist William Cox investigated the response of eight hybrids (three Bt and a non-Bt hybrid, two brown midrib and two silage specific Bt hybrids) to four seeding rates (25,000, 30,000, 35,000, and 40,000 kernels/acre).

Smart skin: Electronics that stick and stretch like a temporary tattoo
Engineers have developed a device platform that combines electronic components for sensing, medical diagnostics, communications and human-machine interfaces, all on an ultrathin skin-like patch that mounts directly onto the skin with the ease, flexibility and comfort of a temporary tattoo.

After-hours care affects emergency department use in Leduc
A researcher at the University of Alberta recently completed a study that examined whether or not there was a clear association between the number of visits to the emergency department and the availability of an after-hours care clinic in Leduc, Alberta.

Radiofrequency ablation safely and effectively treats Barrett's esophagus
Radiofrequency ablation is a safe and effective option for the treatment of dysplastic Barrett's esophagus that attains lasting response.

Catalyst that makes hydrogen gas breaks speed record
Looking to nature for their muse, researchers have used a common protein to guide the design of a material that can make energy-storing hydrogen gas.

Effortless sailing with fluid flow cloak
Duke engineers have already shown that they can

Urban impacts on phosphorus in streams
Scientists from Washington State University-Vancouver and the University of California-Davis have investigated the link between human sources of phosphorus and phosphorus concentrations in rivers draining into California's Central Valley.

The flight of the bumble bee: Why are they disappearing?
A US Department of Agriculture scientist is trying to learn what is causing the decline in bumble bee populations and also is searching for a species that can serve as the next generation of greenhouse pollinators.

In quest for new therapies, clinician-scientist team unlocks hidden information in human genome
Researchers created a model resource that not only identifies but also outlines the function of some of the most common mutations in the human genome.

Engineered bacteria mop up mercury spills
Thousands of tonnes of toxic mercury are released into the environment every year.
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