Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 02, 2011
Earth from space: Irene's eye
This week we look at two images taken simultaneously with different Envisat sensors of Hurricane Irene, which struck the US east coast last week.

Videoblogs take to all languages equally
It is not easy for those school pupils who, besides being adolescents, are immigrants.

Nearly half of runners may be drinking too much during races
Nearly half of recreational runners may be drinking too much fluid during races, according to a survey of runners by Loyola University Health System researchers.

EARTH: Thinking outside the rocks in the search for ancient earthquakes
EARTH details in its Sept. feature, 'Thinking Outside the Rocks in the Search for Ancient Earthquakes,' modern-day scientists are getting creative in the search for information about past quakes.

Growth hormone helps repair the zebrafish ear
Loud noise, especially repeated loud noise, is known to cause irreversible damage to the hair cells inside the cochlea and eventually lead to deafness.

Using a mathematical model to evaluate microsatellite genotyping from low-quality DNA
When using low quality samples, PCR-generated errors such as allelic drop-out and false alleles occur and have long perplexed researchers.

Rare martian lake delta spotted by Mars Express
ESA's Mars Express has spotted a rare case of a crater once filled by a lake, revealed by the presence of a delta.

Researchers investigate new mechanism for predicting how diseases spread
Northwestern University professor Dirk Brockmann and his group at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science have investigated the outcomes of a previously ignored mechanism in modeling how humans travel.

Louisiana Tech University researchers, NASA partner to conduct zero-gravity experiments
Researchers from Louisiana Tech University will be floating high above the Gulf of Mexico this month to conduct zero-gravity testing of an experimental DNA analysis instrument developed at Tech that could benefit future NASA astronauts.

Hemophilia research gets NIH boost to a tune of $5.5 million
At a time when research funding is hard to come by, a University of Central Florida and University of Florida partnership has landed almost $5.5 million in National Institutes of Health highly competitive grants for hemophilia research.

Powerful antioxidant resveratrol prevents metabolic syndrome in lab tests: U of A study
Researchers in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Alberta have discovered that resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant found in common foods, prevents a syndrome in some offspring that could lead to later health issues such as diabetes.

Prof. Amos Bairoch rewarded by the HUPO Distinguished Achievement Award
Prof. Amos Bairoch, Director of the Structural Biology and Bioinformatics Department at Geneva University, and Group Leader at the SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, will receive the « HUPO Distinguished Achievement Award in Proteomic Sciences » on 7 September.

Low-dose naltrexone (LDN): Tricking the body to heal itself
Researchers at the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, have discovered the mechanism by which a low dose of the opioid antagonist naltrexone (LDN) can suppress cell proliferative-related disorders such as cancer and autoimmune diseases.

Glucocorticoid treatment may prevent long-term damage to joints
Joint injury can result in irreversible damage of cartilage which, despite treatment and surgery, often eventually leads to osteoarthritis (OA) in later life.

Researchers develop new way to predict heart transplant survival
Johns Hopkins researchers say they have developed a formula to predict which heart transplant patients are at greatest risk of death in the year following their surgeries, information that could help medical teams figure out who would benefit most from the small number of available organs.

Seizing the opportunity: treating epilepsy in cats
Cats with epilepsy are known to show strange types of seizures in which not all of their body is affected.

Firewood movement leading cause of oak infestation in San Diego County
A catastrophic infestation of the goldspotted oak borer, which has killed more than 80,000 oak trees in San Diego County in the last decade, might be contained by controlling the movement of oak firewood from that region, according to researchers at the University of California, Riverside.

Why cancer cells change their appearance?
Like snakes, tumor cells shed their skin. Cancer is not a static disease but during its development the disease accumulates changes to evade natural defenses adapting to new environmental circumstances, protecting against chemotherapy and radiotherapy and invading neighboring organs, eventually causing metastasis.

DOE Nuclear Program awards $1.6 million to Penn State
Three Penn State-led projects have received more than $1.6 million in combined research and development grants from the U.S.

Africa's math and science stars to shine at new center in Senegal
Mathematics underpins science, technology and modern society -- from cell phones to computers and satellites.

ATS statement regarding White House decision to delay new ozone standard
Today, the White House issued a press release stating they would not move to issue a final standard on ozone pollution.

People think the 'typical' member of a group looks like them
What does a typical European face look like according to Europeans?

New insight in how cells' powerhouse divides
New research from UC Davis and the University of Colorado at Boulder puts an unexpected twist on how mitochondria, the energy-generating structures within cells, divide.

Researchers explain how railways within cells are built in order to transport essential cargos
Every cell in the human body contains a complex system to transport critical material such as proteins and membrane vesicles from one point to another.

Simulation training in obstetric clerkship improves medical students' examination scores
Medical students who practiced on a high-fidelity patient simulator before assisting in real-life vaginal deliveries scored significantly higher on their final obstetric clerkship examinations than did students receiving a lecture only, a new study led by University of South Florida researchers reports.

MU program gives social workers tools to strengthen relationships, marriages
Child welfare professionals know that children are safer and healthier when the adults in their lives have healthy relationships, but most social workers are not trained to educate couples about strong relationships and marriages.

Engaging land-use stakeholders is model behavior
Taking land-use models out of the lab for a test drive with the people who live the models gives scientists a new way to develop possible future scenarios.

Distinct features of autistic brain revealed in novel Stanford/Packard analysis of MRI scans
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital have used a novel method for analyzing brain-scan data to distinguish children with autism from typically developing children.

Teaching grammar to the iPhone generation
An innovative iPhone App (the interactive Grammar of English,

Hiding objects with a terahertz invisibility cloak
Northwestern University professor Cheng Sun has created a new kind of cloaking material that can render objects invisible in the terahertz range.

Trauma experts criticize BBC's Holby City for 'peddling dangerous drugs'
Expert in prevention and treatment of serious traumatic injury criticize misreporting of treatment in BBC medical drama.

Research for digital dialogue
Email, blogging, Twitter, Skype... digital communication and information technologies have long been a part of our everyday lives.

Engineers test effects of fire on steel structures, nuclear plant design
Ten years after Sept. 11, researchers at Purdue University are continuing work that could lead to safer steel structures such as buildings and bridges and also an emerging type of nuclear power plant design.

To treat rare disease, NIH scientists repurpose FDA-approved drug
A new study reports that a drug already approved by the FDA for use in patients undergoing a bone marrow transplant may also have promise for treating people who have a rare immune deficiency known as WHIM syndrome.

DMP for diabetes type 1: guidelines indicate some need for revision
IQWiG has published the results of a literature search for evidence-based clinical practice guidelines on the treatment of people with diabetes mellitus type 1.

NSF funds NJIT's participation in program to retain engineering students
The ENGAGE program (Engaging Students in Engineering) has awarded NJIT a grant valued at $100,000 which includes NJIT matching funds.

U of T study suggests sexual orientation unconsciously affects our impressions of others
Studies by psychologists at the University of Toronto reveal that when it comes to white men, being straight may make you more likable but in the case of black men, gays have a likability edge. 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