Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 17, 2011
Milk better than water to rehydrate kids: McMaster study
Children become dehydrated during exercise, and it's important they get enough fluids, particularly before going into a second round of a game.

Man in the moon looking younger
Earth's Moon could be younger than previously thought. The prevailing theory of our Moon's origin is that it was created by a giant impact between a large planet-like object and the proto-Earth.

Stanford/Packard scientists find new uses for existing drugs by mining gene-activity data banks
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have paired up medicines and maladies with help from a molecular

Research team achieves first 2-color STED microscopy of living cells
Current applications of STED microscopy have been limited to single color imaging of living cells and multicolor imaging in

Cellular laser microsurgery illuminates research in vertebrate biology
Using an ultrafast femtosecond laser, researchers at Tufts University in Medford, Mass., were able to label, draw patterns on, and remove individual melanocytes cells from a species of frog tadpole (Xenopus) without damaging surrounding cells and tissues.

Ambitious goals = satisfaction
Consumers who set ambitious goals have a greater level of satisfaction compared to those who set conservative goals, according to a recently published paper by the Cecile K.

Researchers push to import top anti-bullying program to US schools
KiVa, implemented in Finland in 2007, has impressed researchers with its proven reduction in bullying incidents.

Model shows polar ice caps can recover from warmer climate-induced melting
New University of Washington research indicates that even if Earth warmed enough to melt all polar sea ice, the ice could recover if the planet cooled again.

GSA journals among most-cited aging publications
New impact factor metrics released in the latest issue of Journal Citation Reports: Social Sciences Edition show three of the Gerontological Society of America's (GSA) journals as among the highest ranked in their field.

New compound may accelerate bone healing, prevent osteoporosis
An Indiana University scientist studying human bone growth has received a $2.6 million grant from the US Department of Defense to study a chemical compound with potential to fight osteoporosis and accelerate broken bone healing.

Penn physicists undo the 'coffee ring effect'
A team of University of Pennsylvania physicists has shown how to disrupt the

Virus uses 'Swiss Army knife' protein to cause infection
In an advance in understanding Mother Nature's copy machines, motors, assembly lines and other biological nano-machines, scientists are describing how a multipurpose protein on the tail of a virus bores into bacteria like a drill bit, clears the shavings out of the hole and enlarges the hole.

AGU Fall Meeting: News media registration opens; book hotels now
The American Geophysical Union's Fall Meeting returns to the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California, on Dec.

GOES-11 satellite sees Tropical Storms Fernanda and 'little brother' Greg chasing each other
The Eastern Pacific Ocean is fired up with two tropical storms today, Fernanda and Greg, and both were caught in one image from the GOES-11 satellite.

Common vein condition increases risk for developing life-threating blood clots
Patients with clinically diagnosed superficial vein thrombosis (SVT), a blood clot in the veins just beneath the skin that commonly resolves on its own without treatment, are four to six times more likely to develop venous thromboembolism (VTE), a dangerous, often life-threatening condition, according to study results published today in Blood , the Journal of the American Society of Hematology (ASH).

Maternal fat has negative impact on embryo development
Exposing eggs to high levels of saturated fatty acids -- as commonly found in the ovaries of obese women and those with type 2 diabetes -- compromises the development of the embryo, according to new research published in PLoS ONE.

Human pathogen killing corals in the Florida Keys
A research team from Rollins College in Florida and the University of Georgia has identified human sewage as the source of the coral-killing pathogen that causes white pox disease of Caribbean elkhorn coral.

The future of inks, paints and coatings takes shape
If you've ever spilled a drop of coffee on a surface, you might have noticed the curious way the color concentrates at the edges when the coffee dries.

New method can speed development of organic semiconductors for flexible displays
A team led by researchers at Stanford and Harvard universities has not only created a new material for high-speed organic semiconductors, it has come up with a new approach that can take months, even years, off the development timeline.

Study aims to improve fuel economy by 30 percent
Researchers at the University of California, Riverside along with their research partners have received a $1.2 million grant from the US Department of Energy to study and evaluate technologies that provide feedback to drivers so they can cut harmful emissions and reduce fuel use by up to 30 percent.

Insecticide resistance could threaten long-term malaria prevention and elimination in Africa
Research in Senegal has found that growing resistance to a common class of insecticide by Anopheles gambiae (the species of mosquito responsible for transmitting malaria to humans in Africa), coupled with increasing susceptibility of older children and adults (probably due to decreasing protective immunity because of a lack of exposure to malaria) has resulted in a resurgence of malaria.

Study focuses on relationship between glaucoma and diabetes, hypertension
Many Americans suffer from diabetes and hypertension and, according to a study by researchers at the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center, these individuals may have an increased risk of developing open-angle glaucoma.

Sniffer dogs can be used to detect lung cancer
Sniffer dogs could be used for the early detection of lung cancer, according to new research published in the European Respiratory Journal.

AIDS researchers isolate new potent and broadly effective antibodies against HIV
A team of researchers at and associated with the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), The Scripps Research Institute, the biotechnology company Theraclone Sciences and Monogram Biosciences Inc., a LabCorp company, report in the current issue of Nature the isolation of 17 novel antibodies capable of neutralizing a broad spectrum of variants of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

UT leads charge to smart grid with NSF-DOE award
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has received NSF's most prestigious award given to a university industry team.

Concerns about efforts to foster the biofuel boom
Despite growing evidence that biofuels may not be the cure-all once envisioned, many countries are still rushing headlong with biofuels development policies that experts say are having negative as well as positive impacts on the sustainable-energy dream.

NSF funds research to simulate geoscience field trips
College geoscience students with mobility impairments will soon be able to explore a computer-generated simulation of a large cave system to meet the degree requirements of field-based learning experiences.

Better diagnostics could reduce risky surgery for asymptomatic carotid stenosis
New research from Neurologist Dr. David Spence of the University of Western Ontario has shown that using 3-D ultrasound to identify ulcers in the carotid arteries is an effective way to pinpoint the small number of high-risk patients with asymptomatic carotid stenosis (ACS) who would benefit from surgery to prevent stroke.

Working together can help battle effects of fatigue
Fatigue can lead to dangerous errors by doctors, pilots and others in high-risk professions, but individuals who work together as a team display better problem-solving skills than those who face their fatigue alone, new research shows.

Grant will develop tools to help farmers deal with climate change
Climate and growing seasons are changing, and a Michigan State University professor is helping farmers adapt to those changes.

Mayo Clinic receives FDA approval for ovarian and breast cancer vaccines
Mayo Clinic has received investigational new drug approval from the Food and Drug Administration for two new cancer vaccines that mobilize the body's defense mechanisms to destroy malignant cells.

American Chemical Society's highest honor goes to pioneer of controlled-release drugs
Robert S. Langer, Sc.D., the David H. Koch Institute Professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has been named winner of the 2012 Priestley Medal by the American Chemical Society (ACS).

Effects of prenatal stress passed across generations in mice
Sons of male mice exposed to prenatal stress are more sensitive to stress as adults, according to a study in the Aug.

Rhode Island Hospital study identifies fish oil's impact on cognition and brain structure
Researchers at Rhode Island Hospital's Alzheimer's Disease and Memory Disorders Center have found positive associations between fish oil supplements and cognitive functioning as well as differences in brain structure between users and non-users of fish oil supplements.

Why spiders don't drop off of their threads
It has five times the tensile strength of steel and is stronger then even the best currently available synthetic fibers: Spider thread.

Study shows suburban schools have worked to 'hoard' advantages
As suburban school districts have gained advantages over their urban counterparts, they have tenaciously clung to them, often at the expense of urban districts

National engineering honor for eminent Queen's professor
One of Queen's University's most eminent female professors has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Consumers willing to pay more for sustainable apparel if business is transparent, MU study finds
University of Missouri researchers have found that consumers are willing to support apparel companies that do have employ sustainable and ethical practices; but those businesses have to prove it.

New tool allows first responders to visualize post-event disaster environments
Using iPad™ mobile devices, emergency preparedness officials and first responders participating last month in the Federal Emergency Management Agency's National Level Exercise 2011 (NLE-11)were able, for the first time, to make use of a new, science-based software tool that allows them to view and modify accurate models of building damage and other post-event disaster effects.

Computational method predicts new uses for existing medicines
Scientists used computers and publicly available genomic information to predict new uses for existing medicines.

Most physicians will face malpractice claims, but risk of making payment is low
While most US physicians will face a malpractice lawsuit at some time in their careers, the vast majority of those suits will not result in payment to a plaintiff.

Lions in Greece, the reforestation of the West and the use of satire in environmental conservation
As the Greek economy maintains its slide towards default and the global climate continues to change for the worse, one organization, writing in Biotropica, has come up with some novel answers to both problems.

Mayo Clinic wins grant to gauge genetic risk of heart attacks, adverse drug reactions
Mayo Clinic researchers will receive more than $3 million in a four-year grant from the National Human Genome Research Institute to translate recent genomic discoveries into tools for individualized medicine.

Gator in your tank: Alligator fat as a new source of biodiesel fuel
Amid growing concern that using soybeans and other food crops to produce biodiesel fuel will raise the price of food, scientists have identified a new and unlikely raw material for the fuel: Alligator fat.

Researchers find new hope for treatment of chronic leukemia
While testing a new drug designed to treat chronic leukemia, researchers at Cleveland Clinic discovered new markers that could identify which patients would receive maximum benefit from the treatment.

New risk score spots patients at high risk of serious blood clots
A new risk prediction tool can identify patients at high risk of serious blood clots who might need preventative treatment, according to a study published online.

Arctic ice melt could pause in coming decades
Despite the rapid retreat of Arctic sea ice in recent years, the ice may temporarily stabilize or somewhat expand at times over the next few decades, new research indicates.

American Chemical Society launches new edition of popular Bytesize Science videos
The American Chemical Society (ACS), the world's largest scientific society, today launched a new edition of its award-winning Bytesize Science video series, which has been fascinating viewers of all ages since its inception in 2007.

Moon younger than previously thought
Analysis of a piece of lunar rock brought back to Earth by the Apollo 16 mission in 1972 has shown that the Moon may be much younger than previously believed.

Researchers complete first major survey of amphibian fungus in Asia
An international team of researchers has completed the first major survey in Asia of the deadly chytridiomycosis fungus that has wiped out more than 200 species of amphibians worldwide.

Computers will be able to tell social traits from the face
Researchers have developed new computational tools that help computers determine whether faces fall into categories like attractive or threatening, according to a recent paper published in the journal PLoS ONE.

German Center for Research and Innovation releases first annual report
Since its launch in 2010, the German Center for Research and Innovation (GCRI) has facilitated a number of strategic partnerships between Germany and the United States in academia and industry, many of which resulted from discussions initiated during events organized by GCRI and its partners.

Stock markets can regulate themselves
A look at the history of the markets offers an insight into the effects of regulation on the success of initial public offerings.

Everyday clairvoyance: How your brain makes near-future predictions
Every day we make thousands of tiny predictions -- when the bus will arrive, who is knocking on the door, whether the dropped glass will break.

Greenhouse gases: The measurement challenge
A new report sponsored by NIST focuses on one of the key challenges to developing an effective strategy for managing Earth's greenhouse gases: defining and developing the measurement technology needed to quantify greenhouse gas emissions.

Study: College students not eating enough fruits and veggies
College students aren't eating enough fruits and vegetables -- in fact, a new study shows students aren't even eating one serving per day, far from the recommended five daily servings.

NRL flight-tests autonomous multi-target, multi-user tracking capability
Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets generate vast amounts of data that can overwhelm human operators.

NIST uncovers reliability issues for carbon nanotubes in future electronics
Carbon nanotubes theoretically can carry 1,000 times more electric current than a metal conductor of the same size, so researchers hope they might replace copper wiring in future nanoscale electronics, but recent tests at NIST suggest device reliability is a major issue.

Johns Hopkins Evidence-based Practice Center awarded $475,000 project
An estimated $25 billion is spent annually on treating chronic wounds on patients in the United States.

New nanostructured glass for imaging and recording
University of Southampton researchers have developed new nano-structured glass, turning it into new type of computer memory, which has applications in optical manipulation and will significantly reduce the cost of medical imaging.

Near-infrared imaging system shows promise as future pancreatic cancer diagnostic tool
A team of researchers from four Boston-area institutions led by Nicusor Iftimia from Physical Sciences, Inc. has demonstrated for the first time that optical coherence tomography (OCT), a high resolution optical imaging technique that works by bouncing near-infrared laser light off biological tissue, can reliably distinguish between pancreatic cysts that are low-risk and high-risk for becoming malignant.

No bones about it: Eating dried plums helps prevent fractures and osteoporosis
When it comes to improving bone health in postmenopausal women -- and people of all ages, actually -- a Florida State University researcher has found a simple, proactive solution to help prevent fractures and osteoporosis: eating dried plums.

Competitive Scrabble makes you smarter
A new study of competitive Scrabble players shows that it is possible to develop visual word recognition ability in adulthood, beyond what researchers previously thought was achievable.

Parasite-infected rodents attracted to cat odor study finds
New research shows how a brain parasite can manipulate rodent fear responses for the parasite's own benefit.

Popular herbal supplements may adversely affect chemotherapy treatment
Acai berry, cumin, herbal tea, turmeric and long-term use of garlic -- all herbal supplements commonly believed to be beneficial to your health -- may negatively impact chemotherapy treatment according to a new report.

Gene combination increases risk of lung cancer, particularly in light smokers, CAMH study finds
Smokers with variations in two specific genes have a greater risk of smoking more cigarettes, becoming more dependent on nicotine and developing lung cancer, a new study from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health shows.

Arizona State University taking lead role in accelerating solar energy advances
A new research center supported by the National Science and the Department of Energy, and led by Arizona State University engineering faculty, will apply the principles of quantum mechanics to solving the technological challenges to developing economically viable and sustainable solar energy systems.

Study finds majority of pharmaceutical ads do not adhere to FDA guidelines
A study led by Mount Sinai School of Medicine researchers of 192 pharmaceutical advertisements in biomedical journals found that only 18 percent were compliant with Food and Drug Administration guidelines, and over half failed to quantify serious risks including death.

Want to improve employee engagement? Make it part of the performance management process
The performance management process should evaluate and focus on employee engagement in addition to job performance, according to a paper published from the University of Toronto and University of Guelph.

HIV havens: Caltech researchers find new clues about how HIV reservoirs may form
Much like cities organize contingency plans for emergencies, chronic infectious diseases like HIV form reservoirs that ensure their survival in adverse conditions.

Moon and Earth may be younger than originally thought
New research using a technique that measures the isotopes of lead and neodymium in lunar crustal rocks shows that the moon and Earth may be millions of years younger than originally thought.

Getting inside the mind (and up the nose) of our ancient ancestors
Reorganisation of the brain and sense organs could be the key to the evolutionary success of vertebrates, one of the great puzzles in evolutionary biology, according to a paper by an international team of researchers, published today in Nature.

Kinder, gentler cell capture method could aid medical research
A NIST research team has come up with a potential solution to a two-pronged problem in medical research: How to capture cells on a particular spot on a surface using electric fields and keep them alive long enough to run experiments on them.

Friendship, timing key differences between US, Eastern European love
The importance of friendship in romantic love and the time it takes to perceive falling in love are two key differences in how residents in the US, Lithuania and Russia see romantic love, according to a study recently published in Cross-Cultural Research, a SAGE journal.

Researchers find way to align gold nanorods on a large scale
Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a simple, scalable way to align gold nanorods, particles with optical properties that could be used for emerging biomedical imaging technologies.

Giant space blob glows from within
Observations from ESO's Very Large Telescope have shed light on the power source of a rare vast cloud of glowing gas in the early Universe.

Better mattresses improve care, cut hospital costs: U of T study
Hospitals could reduce health-care costs arising from pressure ulcers, commonly known as bedsores, by investing in pressure-reduction mattresses for elderly patients in emergency departments, according to new research from the University of Toronto.

Researchers improving GPS accuracy in the 3rd dimension
Researchers who are working to fix global positioning system (GPS) errors have devised software to take a more accurate measurement of altitude -- particularly in mountainous areas.

23andMe replicates over 180 genetic associations with Web-based research platform
23andMe Inc. has replicated over 180 genetic associations from a list of 400 curated by the National Human Genome Research Institute's Office of Population Genomics (

Using powder-free latex gloves reduces latex allergy rate in health care workers
Researchers at The Medical College of Wisconsin investigating latex allergy in health care workers have demonstrated the most effective public health strategy to prevent allergic sensitization is by stopping the use of powdered latex gloves.

Device no better than cheaper alternatives for preventing intraoperative awareness
Anesthesiology researchers have shown that a device to reduce the risk that patients will recall their surgery does not lower the risk of intraoperative awareness any more than a less expensive method.

Engineer to measure vehicle emissions on highways
Heejung Jung, a University of California, Riverside assistant professor of engineering, has received a $41,000 grant from the UC Transportation Center to build a portable device, install it on test vehicles and use it to map real-time particulate matter concentrations on Southern California highways.

Scientists discover the most primitive living eel
Scientists at the Smithsonian and partnering organizations have discovered a remarkably primitive eel in a fringing reef off the coast of the Republic of Palau.

Quantum optical link sets new time records
Quantum communication could be an option for absolutely secure transfer of data.

Fading ability to taste iron raises health concerns for people over age 50
People lose the ability to detect the taste of iron in drinking water with advancing age, raising concern that older people may be at risk for an unhealthy over-exposure to iron, scientists are reporting in results they term

NIST tests help ensure reliable wireless alarm beacons for first responders
Tests at NIST are helping to ensure that wireless safety equipment such as alarm beacons for firefighters and other emergency responders will operate reliably in the presence of other wireless devices.

Life on the wind: Study reveals how microbes travel the Earth
Scientists from the UK and Switzerland have investigated the remarkable distance that microorganisms may be able to blow between continents, raising questions about their potential to colonize new lands and also potentially to spread diseases. 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