Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 07, 2011
CAMH study confirms genetic link to suicidal behavior
A new study from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health has found evidence that a specific gene is linked to suicidal behavior, adding to our knowledge of the many complex causes of suicide.

'Non-invasive' cultivar? Buyer beware
Cultivars of popular woody ornamental plants that have reduced viable seed production and are being advertised as

Removal of restrictions can decrease music piracy
Contrary to the traditional views of the music industry, removal of digital rights management restrictions can actually decrease piracy, according to new research from Rice University and Duke University.

University of Tennessee scientist searches for moons around asteroids
Most people know that some planets have moons but would be surprised to know that some asteroids do, too.

Study tracks mutations causing CDA II back to the Roman Empire
A study led by the ENERCA member professor Achille Iolascon analyzes two mutations (E109K and R14W) of the SEC23B gene and discovers one of them is responsible for the higher frequency of CDA II in Italian population.

Astrophysics and extinctions: News about planet-threatening events
Space is a violent place. If a star explodes or black holes collide anywhere in our part of the Milky Way, they'd give off colossal blasts of lethal gamma-rays, X-rays and cosmic rays and it's perfectly reasonable to expect Earth to be bathed in them.

Strong attachment to local communities made oil spill more stressful for many coastal residents
In one of the first publications to present systematically collected public health data on coastal populations affected by the catastrophic oil spill of 2010, LSU sociologists Matthew Lee and Troy Blanchard report that individuals having a stronger sense of attachment to their community exhibited higher self-reported levels of anxiety, worry, nervousness and fear.

Markham teacher awarded prize for excellence in teaching genomics
The Ontario Genomics Institute has announced that Jacqueline Ross, who teaches biotechnology at Thornlea Secondary School, is the recipient of its 2011 Genomics Teaching Prize.

Imaging agents offer new view of inflammation, cancer
A series of novel imaging agents could make it possible to

MyPlate: Make half your plate fruits and vegetables
The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans were released earlier this year and USDA has developed consumer messages, one of which is

Stanford engineers create touchscreen Braille writer
In a two-month summer course on high-performance computing, promising undergrads compete to create innovative applications.

Notre Dame researchers report progress on compound to treat neurological diseases
Results of a study by a group of University of Notre Dame researchers represent a promising step on the road to developing new drugs for a variety of neurological diseases.

Babies show sense of fairness, altruism as early as 15 months
A new study presents the first evidence that a basic sense of fairness and altruism appears in infancy.

Cleveland Clinic study discovers new targets for treating inflammatory, autoimmune diseases
Researchers have discovered a cellular pathway that promotes inflammation in diseases like asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease, and multiple sclerosis.

UCSF MRI technology center gets $5 million NIH grant to develop powerful new imaging system
The University of California, San Francisco has been awarded $5.5 million by the National Institutes of Health to advance new magnetic resonance imaging technology that may offer doctors the chance to rapidly create scans of tumors and other diseased tissue that are far more detailed than any method now being used.

Jonesing for java: Could caffeine use predict risk for cocaine abuse?
A new study that examined responses to stimulants is the first to demonstrate that caffeine reinforcement prospectively predicts the positive effects of another drug.

New book on protein homeostasis from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press
A new book,

Doctor to the world's poor to speak at Loyola
Paul Farmer, M.D., Ph.D., an internationally known researcher and advocate for people who are sick and living in poverty, will speak at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine on Tuesday, Oct.

New research: Are global honey bee declines caused by diesel pollution?
Scientists are investigating a possible link between tiny particles of pollution found in diesel fumes and the global collapse of honey bee colonies.

Market transactions and economics in general affect biological invasions
Biological invasions, i.e., the spread of introduced, non-native species, not only serve as ecological model systems, but also bring out the importance of economic activities on ecological processes.

Wireless window contacts -- no maintenance, no batteries
Window contacts tell us which of a house's windows are open or closed.

British Academy and Wiley-Blackwell announce major new prize in economics
The British Academy is strengthening its relationship with Wiley-Blackwell, the scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly publishing business of John Wiley & Sons Inc., with the creation of a major new prize for an outstanding contribution to economics.

Learning to live in mountain lion country
Photographs and videos captured by remote wildlife cameras confirm that mountain lions make regular visits to Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, Stanford Univesity's 1,189-acre field research site in the hills five miles west of the main campus.

Strategy for improving health care for uninsured, low-income, and minorities in the US
A new set of strategies released today by the Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System could dramatically improve how the US health care system serves vulnerable populations -- those in the US who are uninsured, low-income, or members of racial and ethnic minority groups.

Physicists localize 3-D matter waves for first time
University of Illinois physicists have experimentally demonstrated for the first time how three-dimensional conduction is affected by the defects that plague materials.

Prague's 88 nature reserves threatened by invasive plant species
Cities are generally regarded as hostile for wildlife and urbanization a dramatic form of destruction of natural habitats.

Raising 'good' cholesterol levels reduces heart attack and stroke risk in diabetes patients
Increasing levels of high-density lipoproteins, better known as HDL or

World-renowned Utah medical geneticist John M. Optiz to receive Allan Award
John M. Optiz is to receive the 2011 William Allan Award in Human Genetics for pioneering work identifying and understanding genetic syndromes.

UMass Amherst School of Public Health wins $2.5 million training grant
Training to improve the nation's public health system by strengthening the technical, scientific, managerial and leadership competence of current and future public health workers will soon be underway in Springfield, Holyoke, Pittsfield and the Berkshires, supported by a four-year, $2.5 million grant to the School of Public Health and Health Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Chromosome inheritance? Not the same for all the chromosomes
New findings of researchers from the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia show that in aphids the two X chromosomes have a different inheritance.

UNC researcher to help lead new esophageal cancer network
Dr. Nicholas Shaheen, professor in the UNC School of Medicine, adjunct professor in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and director of the UNC Center for Esophageal Diseases and Swallowing, will co-direct Barrett's Esophagus Translational Research Network projects.

UMass Amherst wins major grant to host $7.5 million Northeast Climate Science Center
In Washington, D.C. on Friday, Oct. 7, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced that the University of Massachusetts Amherst has been chosen to lead a consortium of seven universities and host a major new center, the Northeast Climate Science Center through a five-year, $7.5 million grant.

Survey gives clues to origin of Type Ia supernovae
The 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded for groundbreaking use of supernovae to measure the expansion of the universe, which yielded a surprise: it's accelerating, not slowing down.

Carnegie's Christoph Lepper receives prestigious Early Independence Award
Staff associate Christoph Lepper, at Carnegie's Department of Embryology, is one of 10 recipients of the NIH Director's Early Independence Awards.

2 cell phones in 1
More and more companies are providing their employees with smartphones.

Measuring elusive neutrinos flowing through the Earth, physicists learn more about the sun
Using one of the most sensitive neutrino detectors on the planet, an international team including physicists Laura Cadonati and Andrea Pocar at the University of Massachusetts Amherst are now measuring the flow of solar neutrinos reaching earth more precisely than ever before.

LSUHSC awarded NIH grant to develop pneumonia vaccine
Dr. Judd Shellito, Chief of Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, has been awarded approximately $9 million in grant funding to develop a vaccine against pneumocystis, an important cause of pneumonia in people with HIV infection.

Gray jays' winter survival depends on food storage, study shows
A new University of Guelph study shows that gray jays hoping to survive and reproduce through Canada's harsh winters need to be able to store food in the right kinds of trees.

University of Oklahoma selected to host one of eight regional Climate Science Centers nationwide
The University of Oklahoma has been selected by the Department of the Interior as the site of one of only eight regional climate science centers nationwide.

Early detection of plant disease
Each year, plant viruses and fungal attacks lead to crop losses of up to 30 percent.

Aquatic fish jump into picture of evolutionary land invasion
Some fully aquatic fishes, says a Northern Arizona University researcher, can jump effectively on land without specialized anatomical attributes -- a finding with significant implications for evolutionary biology.

University of Hawai'i chosen for new Climate Science Center
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced on Oct. 7 the establishment of the Pacific Islands Climate Science Center, a consortium led by the University of Hawaii at Manoa, the University of Hawaii at Hilo, and the University of Guam. 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