Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 19, 2011
Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, August 2011
These story tips include

Insulation from public pressure leads to more accurate suicide reporting by death investigators
Medical examiners and appointed coroners are less likely to underreport suicides than are elected coroners, that's according to a new study from Temple University.

Enzyme's structure reveals basis for head, sex organ deformities
Scientists in Texas, Wisconsin and the Czech Republic also reported the structure of two enzyme mutations that result in congenital defects.

New method detects emerging sunspots deep inside the sun, provides warning of dangerous solar flares
Sunspots spawn solar flares that can cause billions of dollars in damage to satellites, communications networks and power grids.

Time to begin anticipating and adapting to climate change
Despite the uncertainties surrounding climate change, leaders in the transportation sector agree it is time to start developing effective strategies that will keep the nation's transportation systems and other critical infrastructure running in the face of the adverse impacts that seem increasingly likely to occur.

NASA satellites see heavy rains for Central America from Tropical Depression 8
The eighth tropical depression of the Atlantic Ocean hurricane season formed from the low pressure System 93L on Aug.

Metformin and exercise combination less effective for glucose control
University of Alberta researchers looking at the effects of metformin and exercise in Type 2 diabetes patients found that a combination of these modalities didn't lower glucose control as much as hoped.

Office of Naval Research taking on challenges of unmanned underwater vehicles
As the Office of Naval Research (ONR) increases its science and technology (S&T) investment in unmanned systems, a number of hurdles need to be overcome including autonomy and littoral operations, ONR's director of innovation said at an Aug.

Nitrogen in the soil cleans the air
Nitrogen-containing soil is a source of hydroxyl radicals that remove pollutants from the atmosphere.

Acne-treating antibiotic cuts catheter infections in dialysis patients
A minocycline-EDTA solution prevents bacterial infections in the catheters of dialysis patients.

Growth of cities endangers global environment
The explosive growth of cities worldwide over the next two decades poses significant risks to people and the global environment, according to a meta-analysis published Aug.

Deadly medication?
The corpus delicti is a plain flacon from among the possessions of Pharaoh Hatshepsut, who lived around 1450 B.C., which is on exhibit in the permanent collection of the Egyptian Museum of the University of Bonn.

Lessons learned from the 2 worst oils spills in US history
One year after the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and two decades after the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska's Prince William Sound, the scientific lesson is clear -- microbes matter!

Northwestern nets NIH grant to tailor drugs to patients' genome
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine researchers have received a $762,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to tailor drug treatments to patients' genomic information.

Malaria parasites camouflage themselves from the immune defenses of expectant mothers
Collaborative research between LSTM and the University of Copenhagen, published last week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, have answered a long standing mystery, why and how malaria parasites go unnoticed by the immune defenses of pregnant mothers.

Is oil pricing itself out of the market?
University of Alberta researcher Andrew Leach likes the way Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal thinks.

Metabolic syndrome may cause kidney disease
Metabolic syndrome comprises a group of medical disorders that increase people's risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and premature death when they occur together.

New piece to the puzzle of brain function
Researchers at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen have collaborated with the company NeuroSearch to generate new knowledge about an important part of the brain's complex communication system.

Traumatic brain injury increases risk of Parkinson's disease, UCLA researchers say
While traumatic brain injury was known to be a risk factor for Parkinson's disease (PD), no one knew why.

Parasite uses the power of sexual attraction to trick rats into becoming cat food
Rats infected with the parasite Toxoplasma seem to lose their fear of cats -- or at least cat urine.

Mother's BMI linked to fatter babies
Babies of mothers with a higher pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI) are fatter and have more fat in their liver, a study has found.

UCSD researchers alarmed at rise in hookah use among California youth
Hookah use among California youth ages 18 to 24 is rising rapidly according to a study conducted by researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.

University of Kentucky Sanders-Brown Center on Aging receives $7 million from NIA
The University of Kentucky Sanders-Brown Center on Aging Alzheimer's Disease Center is receiving more than $7 million from the National Institute on Aging, a division of the National Institutes of Health, to continue and further research and clinical initiatives geared toward treating Alzheimer's disease.

Marcus Garvey movement owes large debt to Caribbean expats, UCLA historian finds
A UCLA historian has written the first book of a multi-volume series on Marcus Garvey's Universal Negro Improvement Association and the Caribbean.

Researchers on the trail of a treatment for cancer of the immune system
Danish researchers from the University of Copenhagen have become the first in the world to regulate a special receptor or bio-antenna that plays a vital part when the Epstein Barr herpes virus infects us and when this infection appears to be mutating into cancer of the immune system.

The grass is always greener
By combining data from 17 of the largest and longest-running biodiversity experiments, scientists from universities across North America and Europe have found that previous studies have underestimated the importance of biodiversity for maintaining multiple ecosystem services across many years and places.

International team to use Hubble Space Telescope to answer key astronomy questions
An international team of scientists led by the University of Exeter is aiming to answer some of the biggest questions facing astronomy today.

English language ads better reach Latino audience
English language ads have a greater impact in mobilizing Latino voters than Spanish language ads, according to a study recently published in American Political Research, a SAGE journal.

Southampton researchers awarded $28 million to progress pioneering nutrition and respiratory research
Clinicians and scientists working in the Southampton Centre for Biomedical Research, established by the partnership between Southampton's University Hospitals Trust and the University of Southampton, have been awarded £17 ($28) million to progress the city's world-leading nutrition and respiratory research facilities. 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