Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 08, 2011
Researchers uncover genetic link to cattle diseases
The origin of three costly cattle diseases is genetically linked, according to findings from US Department of Agriculture researchers.

Powered by seaweed: Polymer from algae may improve battery performance
By looking to Mother Nature for solutions, researchers have identified a promising new binder material for lithium-ion battery electrodes that could not only boost energy storage, but also eliminate the use of toxic compounds now used in manufacturing the components.

Handier than Homo habilis?
The versatile hand of Australopithecus sediba makes a better candidate for an early tool-making hominin than the hand of Homo habilis

Study in Tanzania finds fishery improvements outweigh fuelwood losses
When the government of Tanzania established Saadani National Park in 2005, it enhanced protection of the coastal mangrove ecosystem from further degradation.

Cam-type deformities linked to MRI detected hip damage in asymptomatic young men
Hip impingement may be a risk factor of osteoarthritis of the hip.

Scientists discover genetic mutation that causes Parkinson's disease
A large team of international researchers have identified a new genetic cause of inherited Parkinson's disease that they say may be related to the inability of brain cells to handle biological stress.

$1.2 million education grant will train science and math teachers
San Francisco State University has been awarded $1.2 million from the National Science Foundation to launch an intensive teacher training program for undergraduates with science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) majors, as well as STEM graduates enrolled in the University's one-year teaching certification program.

Mother's diet influences baby's allergies -- new research
A possible link between what a mother eats during pregnancy and the risk of her child developing allergies has been identified in new research published in this month's the Journal of Physiology.

Sick body, vigilant mind
We know that in keeping the body physically healthy, the mind both conscious and unconscious is a principle actor.

Humans naturally cooperative, altruistic, social
A quick glance through today's news headlines seems to support the idea that humans by nature are aggressive, selfish and antagonistic.

Did the world really change? Marking the 10th anniversary of the sept. 11, 2001 attacks
A specially commissioned set of essays, published in the September 2011 issue of the Geographical Journal, argues that in the years following the 9/11 terrorist attacks the world did change, but not always in ways anticipated by policy-makers and pundits.

New complex offers potentially safer alternative for gene therapy delivery
Spontaneous ordering of DNA fragments in a special matrix holds the key to creating non-toxic gene therapy delivery vectors, according to a study recently published in the European Physical Journal E.

New evidence suggests that Au.sediba is the best candidate for the genus Homo
The five papers (by Dr. Lee Berger et al) will reveal new, important elements attributed to Au.

New management method helps reduce asthma exacerbations in pregnancy
A new treatment algorithm designed by Australian researchers helps reduce asthma exacerbations during pregnancy.

A*STAR scientists make headway for cancer treatment and cancer prevention with landmark discovery
Scientists at A*STAR's Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology have made a landmark discovery in the battle against the rapid spread of aggressive cancers.

Gene that controls chronic pain identified
A gene responsible for regulating chronic pain, called HCN2, has been identified by scientists at the University of Cambridge.

Physicians in varying specialties endure similar levels of mental effort, stress
Researchers from the University of Cincinnati's departments of public health sciences, neurology, psychology and anthropology used work intensity measurement tools to determine that the level of mental effort and stress within various specialty groups tends to be similar, a finding that may lead to more equitable payment for primary care physicians as well as validating these tools for further assessment of stress and workload in medicine with the goal of improving health care.

Reports highlight the evolving role of clinical microbiology laboratories
With the increasing availability of sophisticated technologies to rapidly diagnose and treat infectious diseases, the duties and the role of clinical laboratory microbiologists, who traditionally perform these tests, could see significant changes in the next few years.

Gladstone scientist finds new target for treating symptoms of Parkinson's disease
A scientist at the Gladstone Institutes has identified how the lack of a brain chemical known as dopamine can rewire the interaction between two groups of brain cells and lead to symptoms of Parkinson's disease.

Alcohol intake and 'successful aging'
Among 13,894 women in the Nurses' Health Study, investigators prospectively examined alcohol use assessed at midlife in relation to

Structured homeschooling gets an A+
A new study from Concordia University and Mount Allison University has found that homeschooling -- as long as it's structured or follows a curriculum -- can provide kids with an academic edge.

Gypsy moth caterpillars hormonal slaves to virus gene
Gypsy moth caterpillars infected with baculovirus forfeit safety and stay in the treetops during the day because a virus gene manipulates their hormones to eat continuously and forgo molting, according to entomologists.

Biomedical/health informatics scientists to present cutting-edge science, health IT
For the 35th consecutive year, biomedical and health informatics scientists in an array of disciplines will convene to present new research findings, innovative science, and cutting-edge health information technologies.

USC scientists probe connection between sight and touch in the brain
USC scientists have discovered that as you look at an object, your brain not only processes what the object looks like, but remembers what it feels like to touch it as well.

New research supports change to UK blood donation rules for men who have sex with men
New research published on today supports a change to the lifetime ban on blood donations from men who have sex with men.

Discovery of two new genetic variants points to potential new treatment for asthma
An international study has identified two new genetic variants or loci that increase susceptibility to asthma.

Big machines: 2 radiation generators mark major milestones in helping protect the US
Two remarkable pulsed-power machines used to test the nation's defenses against atomic weapons have surpassed milestones at Sandia National Laboratories: 4,000 firings, called

Insured and still at risk: Number of underinsured increased 80 percent between 2003 - 2010
The number of underinsured adults -- those with health insurance all year, but also with very high medical expenses relative to their incomes -- rose by 80 percent between 2003-2010, from 16 million to 29 million, according to a new Commonwealth Fund study in the September issue of Health Affairs.

Chinese researchers identify insect host species of a famous Tibetan medicinal fungus
Based on an extensive survey of the literature pertaining to the Chinese caterpillar fungus, a fungus with high medicinal and economic values, a team of researchers from the Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, investigated a total of 91 insect species and found 57 of these to be potential hosts to the fungus.

Rice unveils new method to grow synthetic collagen
In a significant advance for cosmetic and reconstructive medicine, scientists at Rice University have unveiled a new method for making synthetic collagen.

Fossil discovery supports evolutionary link between Australopiths And Homo, says Texas A&M prof
Skeletal remains found in a South African cave may yield new clues to human development and answer key questions of the evolution of the human lineage, according to a series of papers released today in Science magazine co-written by a Texas A&M University anthropology professor.

UM music professor analyzes the demographic profile of US high school music ensemble students
University of Miami Frost School of Music Professor Carlos R.

Chronic pain: Watch out before accepting diagnosis and treatment
A commentary in the FASEB Journal argues that patients be diligent in demanding proof of safety and benefit before beginning chronic pain treatment, as some have little evidence that they alleviate conditions for which they are prescribed.

Researchers find process that clears cholesterol and could reverse major cause of heart attack
Researchers at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute have discovered that an ancient pathway called autophagy also mobilizes and exports cholesterol from cells.

UNH scientists to build device for detecting contraband radioactive material
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire's Space Science Center, in partnership with Michigan Aerospace Corporation, have been contracted by the federal Defense Threat Reduction Agency to build a highly sensitive instrument that will detect illicit radioactive materials with pinpoint accuracy from a safe distance.

2 NASA satellites catch Tropical Storm Nate's quick formation
NASA's Aqua and TRMM satellites were on guard when Tropical Storm Nate developed late in the day yesterday, Sept.

Cancer Support Community Greater Miami, ASTRO join to promote cancer survivorship
As part of an initiative to give back to the cancer communities in the cities visited during its annual scientific meetings, the American Society for Radiation Oncology is partnering with the Cancer Support Community Greater Miami to raise awareness of cancer survivorship issues.

Inexpensive infection control measures could save thousands of lives, billions of dollars
A new study by UNC researchers finds that an inexpensive set of infection control measures could potentially save many thousands of lives and billions of dollars.

Caltech group applies new techniques and sees surprises in cell division
Researchers at the California Institute of Technology have obtained the first high-resolution, three-dimensional images of a cell with a nucleus undergoing cell division.

Scripps Research team overcomes major obstacle for stem cell therapies and research
Stem cells show great potential to enable treatments for conditions such as spinal injuries or Lou Gehrig's disease, and also as research tools.

Newslore revealed true feelings of ordinary americans after 9/11 attack
News-based folklore spread primarily on the web may offer insights into what ordinary Americans think about current events, including 9/11, according to a Penn State researcher.

Sunspot 1283 bristling with flares: An X1.8 and an M6.7
A third and fourth flare have erupted from sunspot 1283.

Latest on malaria, dengue, bedbugs, cholera in Haiti at ASTMH Annual Meeting
The 60th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene -- the largest of its kind in the world -- will bring together in one place global experts who are battling a wide range of bacteria, viruses, parasites and other pathogens that each year kill or sicken hundreds of millions of people.

First global picture of greenhouse gases emerges from pole-to-pole research flights
A three-year series of research flights from the Arctic to the Antarctic has successfully produced an unprecedented portrait of greenhouse gases and particles in the atmosphere.

NSF establishes Triangle (NC) Center for Soft Matter Research
Recognizing that some of the leading scientists and engineers involved in soft matter research are located in the Research Triangle Park area, the National Science Foundation has provided a six-year, $13.6 million grant to establish a multi-university center to investigate aspects of this promising area of scientific endeavor.

Sexual coercion common among students in Uganda
Almost one-third of students at a university in Uganda say that they have been subject to sexual coercion, an experience which was often linked to risky sexual behavior.

Chemotherapy is as effective before breast cancer surgery as after
Whether chemotherapy is given before or after breast-conserving therapy (BCT) does not have an impact on long-term local-regional outcomes, suggesting treatment success is due more to biologic factors than chemotherapy timing, according to a study by researchers at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Schwartz Center proposes agenda to promote compassionate care
In light of a national survey showing that only about half of patients believe the US health care system is a compassionate one, the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare today proposed an agenda for improving such care in an article in the September issue of Health Affairs, the nation's leading health policy journal.

Captivated by critters: Caltech and UCLA researchers find humans are wired to respond to animals
Some people feel compelled to pet every animal they see on the street, while others jump at the mere sight of a shark on their television.

Sediba hominid skull hints at later brain evolution
An analysis of a skull from the most complete early hominid fossils ever found suggests the large, complex human brain may have evolved more rapidly and at a later time than some other human characteristics.

HJF names 2011-12 fellowship award winners
The Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine Inc. has selected three promising Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences doctoral students to receive fellowships for the 2011-12 academic year.

Babies distinguish pain from touch at 35-37 weeks
Babies can distinguish painful stimuli as different from general touch from around 35-37 weeks gestation - just before an infant would normally be born - according to new research.

NC State lands grant to evaluate special ed assessment and accountability
Assessing educational progress in schools has become increasingly important since the passage of No Child Left Behind, but significant questions remain about the best way to measure schools' effectiveness when it comes to working with children in special education programs.

When infants gain the capacity for pain
A new study has for the first time revealed the time in development when infants appear able to tell the difference between pain and basic touch.

Critters on ocean floor communicating in synchronized rumbles
Study in Aquatic Biology uncovers the fact that mantis shrimp make noise, each individual seeming to have its own

Newly identified gene mutation linked to Parkinson's
Scientists at the University of British Columbia and Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute have discovered a new gene responsible for Parkinson's disease.

UH researchers work to develop screening method for superbug
A team of researchers from the University of Houston and St.

Concurrent chemo and radiation therepy improves long-term survival for inoperable stage III lung cancer
Nearly 50,000 Americans are diagnosed each year with stage III or locally advanced NSCLC, for which surgery is usually not a viable treatment option.

Targeted policing has knock-on benefits
With the police service undergoing budget reductions, and calls for more officers on the streets, a new study offers some reassuring conclusions.

Neuroscientists produce guide for ultrasound use to treat brain disorders in clinical emergencies
The discovery that low-intensity, pulsed ultrasound can be used to noninvasively stimulate intact brain circuits holds promise for engineering rapid-response medical devices.

Report offers framework for weighing health consequences of policies, projects
Factoring health and related costs into decision making is essential to confronting the nation's health problems and enhancing public well-being.

Scorecard of state performance on long-term services and supports finds wide variation
A new report released jointly today by AARP's Public Policy Institute, The Commonwealth Fund and The SCAN Foundation shows some states significantly out-perform others in the delivery of long-term services and supports (LTSS) to older adults and people with disabilities.

The last great fundraising opportunity: How identity can help charities increase legacy giving
Legacy giving should be a key focus for charity fundraising, say the authors of a study published today in Psychology & Marketing.

Australopithecus sediba paved the way for Homo species, new studies suggest
Researchers have revealed new details about the brain, pelvis, hands and feet of Australopithecus sediba, a primitive hominin that existed around the same time early Homo species first began to appear on Earth.

Hummingbirds all a-flutter during courtship
Though famous for their mid-air hovering during hunting, tiny hummingbirds have another trait that is literally telltale: males of some hummingbird species generate loud sounds with their tail feathers while courting females.

Boston College conference asks students what motivates science study
Leading researchers and high school students will meet at Boston College to look at factors that motivate students in science and math fields during a three-day meeting organized by the Education Development Center.

Human brain evolution, new insight through X-rays
A paper published today in Science reveals an accurate, high-resolution X-ray scan of the brain case of Australopithecus sediba, an early human ancestor.

Europe needs to tackle legal, ethical and cultural barriers to child organ donation
Doctors from a leading UK children's hospital have called for European countries to change the way they tackle the shortage of organ donations from children.

NASA sees 4 tropical cyclones in the Atlantic today
There are four tropical cyclones or remnants plaguing the Atlantic Ocean basin today, Sept.

Switching from coal to natural gas would do little for global climate, study indicates
Although the burning of natural gas emits far less carbon dioxide than coal, a new study by an NCAR researcher concludes that a greater reliance on natural gas would fail to significantly slow down climate change.

Promising minimally-invasive procedure fails to improve symptoms of emphysema in large international trial
A procedure that had shown early promise in alleviating the symptoms of severe emphysema has failed to replicate its initial success and shows no durable benefit in the first randomized trial of airway bypass, published in a special European Respiratory Society issue of The Lancet.

Politicians have less influence through news media
News coverage of Washington politicians and their rhetoric appears to have less influence on the American public compared to other news coverage, according to a study by a Michigan State University political scientist.

New report: US investment in health research remains stagnant
The US public and private sectors invested $140.5 billion in 2010 on research to find new ways to treat, cure and prevent disease and disability, according to Research!America's latest annual estimate.

Switching from coal to natural gas would do little for global climate, study indicates
Although the burning of natural gas emits far less carbon dioxide than coal, a new study concludes that a greater reliance on natural gas would fail to significantly slow down climate change.

Einstein to utilize electronic medical records system to analyze HIV/AIDS in central Africa
In 2004, the global community acted in earnest to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa.

Genomic analysis of superbug provides clues to antibiotic resistance
An analysis of the genome of a superbug has yielded crucial, novel information that could aid efforts to counteract the bacterium's resistance to an antibiotic of last resort.

New limits on physician training hours could prove costly for US teaching hospitals
The new limits on hours that physicians-in-training can work will prove costly for USteaching hospitals, which will need to spend up to $1.3 billion a year, and possibly more, to effect the changes.

Is estrogen going to your head?
Professor Israel Hershkovitz and Hila May of Tel Aviv University found that HFI, a hormonal condition that leads to the growth of bone masses in the inner skull, is far more likely to be found in young women today than in the past, when it was typically found in post-menopausal women.

Today's science for tomorrow's management
Elsevier, world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, organizes the 50th Estuarine & Coastal Sciences Association Conference:

Managing intellectual property a challenge for firms, innovators
The increasing complexity of multi-invention technologies such as laptops and smartphones raises serious challenges for firms looking to cash in with the

Mutation links inherited narcolepsy with multiple neuropsychiatric disorders
Now, a new study published by Cell Press on Sept.

Worrying rise in alcohol related deaths among patients with diabetes
Alcohol has become an important cause of death among patients with type 1 diabetes since the 1980s, concludes a study published on today.

Cellular communications visualized with a vibrant color palette
A University of Alberta-led research team has dramatically expanded the palette of fluorescent highlighters that can be used to track the movement of messengers inside of single cells.

Invisible world discovered
Usually, running five minutes late is a bad thing since you might lose your dinner reservation or miss out on tickets to the latest show.

Almost 17 percent of Spanish children suffer tics
Experts have confirmed it: tics are not a rare or uncommon disorder.

New translator app makes sense of foreign-language food menus
Researchers have created an application that enables cell phones and other portable devices to translate foreign-language food menus for English speakers and could be used for people who must follow restricted diets for medical reasons.

The breathtaking dance of plants
The way in which plants space out the pores through which they breathe depends on keeping a protein active during stem cell growth, according to John Innes Centre scientists.

NSF invests $20 million in Iowa's renewable energy and energy efficiency research
The National Science Foundation is investing $20 million and the Iowa Power Fund another $2 million to build Iowa's research capacity in sustainable energy systems.

Weakened malaria parasites form basis of new vaccine strategy
Using live but weakened malaria parasites as the basis of a vaccine represents a potentially encouraging anti-malaria strategy, according to results of follow-up animal studies performed after the conclusion of a recent clinical trial in humans.

Consolidation of health plans may help lower hospital costs, study finds
Increased consolidation among health plans nationally may benefit consumers by lowering hospital prices, at least in those regions where health plans are the most consolidated, according to a new RAND Corp. study.

Sleep disorders affect 40 percent of Canadians
Sleep disorders affect 40 [ercemt of adult Canadians according to a study conducted by Université Laval researchers under the supervision of Dr.

IEEE-USA/NAS Hollywood Forum describes engineering trends for entertainment industry professionals
Three leading sci-tech experts described engineering trends for entertainment industry professionals at a forum convened earlier this summer at the Directors Guild in Los Angeles.

Combination therapy rids common infection from implanted medical devices
Researchers at the University of Toronto have developed a therapy for a potentially deadly type of infection common in catheters, artificial joints and other 'in-dwelling' medical devices.

Hog waste producing electricity and carbon offsets
A pilot waste-to-energy system constructed by Duke University and Duke Energy this week garnered the endorsement of Google Inc., which invests in high-quality carbon offsets from across the nation to fulfill its own carbon neutrality goals.

Collaborative science and engineering
Northwestern University has received from the NSF a six-year, $16.2 million grant for support of the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC), one of the nation's oldest interdisciplinary research centers.

Sandia designs mobile facility to measure greenhouse gases
Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories have designed and built a mobile research facility to trace and identify the origin of greenhouse gases.

'What's in a name?' -- names, not social networks, bind us to global cultural and ethnic communities
Links between hundreds of millions of names belonging to people around the world have been analyzed by geographers from UCL and the University of Auckland.

Rising health costs eroding Americans' income gains, study finds
Fast-rising health care costs don't easily translate to the daily routine of Americans because many health expenses are hidden from view.

Fossil discovery could be our oldest human ancestor
Researchers have confirmed the age of possibly our oldest direct human ancestor at 1.98 million years old.

Biology of the soybean aphid, Aphis glycines (Hemiptera: Aphididae) in the United States
A new, open-access article in the Journal of Integrated Pest Management describes the biology and ecology profiles of the soybean aphid, an insect pest which can reduce soybean yields by $2.4 billion annually if left untreated.

McLean: Improvements are needed for accuracy in gene-by-environment interaction studies
A new study from McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School and the University of Colorado concludes that genetic research drawing correlations between specific genes, environmental variables and the combined impact they have on the development of some psychiatric illnesses needs additional scrutiny and replication before being accepted as true.

Health Impact Project director comments on new National Research Council report
Aarom Wernham, M.D., comments one the National Research Council report,

Soybean rust PIPE: Past, present and future
A new, open-access article in the Journal of Integrated Pest Management describes the origin, function, successes, limitations, and future of the Soybean Rust Pest Information Platform for Extension and Education (PIPE).

Macy Foundation report calls for sweeping graduate medical education reforms
A broad panel of leaders representing health care, academic medicine, and physician education today called for sweeping reforms in the content and format of US graduate medical education to ensure that physicians are trained more effectively and efficiently to meet public needs.

Legume ipmPIPE: A new option for generating, summarizing and disseminating real-time pest data
A new, open-access article in the Journal of Integrated Pest Management describes the background, usage, and value of the Legume Integrated Pest Management Pest Information Platform for Extension and Education (ipmPIPE).

800,000 years of abrupt climate variability
An international team of scientists, led by Dr. Stephen Barker of Cardiff University, has produced a prediction of what climate records from Greenland might look like over the last 800,000 years.

White House's Childhood Obesity Task Force must focus on providing treatment for minority children
To achieve the goals laid out by the White House's Childhood Obesity Task Force, researchers concluded that a shared emphasis on both obesity prevention and treatment strategies is required.

Have we met before?
MPI researchers discover direct connections between the areas of the brain responsible for voice and face recognition.

Researchers probe genetic link to blindness
University of Leeds researchers have used next-generation DNA sequencing techniques to discover what causes a rare form of inherited eye disorders, including cataracts and glaucoma, in young children.

2011 European Muldisciplinary Cancer Congress abstracts online Sept. 12
Europe's largest cancer congress, the 2011 European Multidisciplinary Cancer Congress, will be publishing the majority of the abstracts that are to be presented at the meeting in Stockholm online at midday on Monday, Sept.

Lifetime risk for COPD is one in four, much higher than risk of developing heart failure and several common cancers
One out of every four people aged 35 and older are likely to develop chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) during their lifetime, according to the first comprehensive estimate of lifetime risk for COPD published in a special European Respiratory Society issue of The Lancet.

Scientists identify viral gene driving sick gypsy moth caterpillars to climb high and die
For a century, scientists have watched European gypsy moth caterpillars infected with a virus use their last strength to do something that a healthy gypsy moth caterpillar would never do in daylight hours -- climb high into a tree and onto a leaf.

Appalachian tiger swallowtail butterfly is a hybrid of two other swallowtails, scientists find
Flitting among the cool slopes of the Appalachian Mountains is a tiger swallowtail butterfly species that evolved when two other species of swallowtails hybridized long ago, a rarity in the animal world, biologists from the University of Texas at Austin and Harvard University have found.

ORNL new material possible boon for lithium ion batteries
Batteries could get a boost from a discovery that increases power, energy density and safety while dramatically reducing charge time. 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