Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 12, 2011
Entomological Foundation announces 2011 award winners
The Entomological Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to build a future for entomology by educating young people about science through insects, has announced the winners of its 2011 student and professional awards.

Transfusion not always best treatment for anemia, age of stored blood may play a role
University of Kentucky researchers have recently published a paper suggesting that transfusion may not always be the best treatment for hospitalized patients with anemia.

By reprogramming skin cells into brain cells, scientists gain new insights into mental disorders
By reprogramming skin cells from patients with mental disorders, scientists are creating brain cells that are now providing extraordinary insights into afflictions like schizophrenia and Parkinson's disease.

New mystery on Mars' forgotten plains
One of the supposedly best understood and least interesting landscapes on Mars is hiding something that could rewrite the planet's history.

Potential new drugs plug brain's biological 'vacuum cleaner' and target HIV
In an advance toward eliminating pockets of infection in the brain that help make HIV disease incurable, scientists report the development of new substances that first plug the biological vacuum cleaner that prevents anti-HIV drugs from reaching the brain and then revert to an active drug to treat HIV.

UNH researchers receive NSF grant to 'scale up' stream ecology
University of New Hampshire scientists have received National Science Foundation (NSF) funding to explore how small-scale ecological experiments can be applied to understand the behavior of entire ecosystems, part of the agency's nascent effort to investigate large-scale biological responses to climate and land-use change.

Warning signs can prevent deer-vehicle collisions, Canadian study shows
Collisions between wild deer and vehicles not only hinder conservation efforts but pose a serious danger to drivers.

Increasing cardiovascular disease in China: Urgent need for prevention
At over 40 percent, the mortality rate due to cardiovascular disease in China is amongst the highest in the world and has been rightly described as an epidemic.

Scientists find vitamin D crucial in human immune response to TB
A team of scientists has found that vitamin D plays an essential role in the body's fight against infections such as tuberculosis.

UofL researcher awarded $2.6 million NIH grant renewal
Gary Hoyle, Ph.D., professor, University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences, will build on his research to develop an effective medical treatment to counteract chlorine-induced lung injuries caused by chemical accidents or acts of terrorism.

Talk to the virtual hands
New research, published Oct. 12 in the online journal PLoS ONE, finds that the lack of gestural information from both speaker and listener limits successful communication in virtual environments.

NYU scientists' creation of self-replication process holds promise for production of new materials
NYU scientists have developed artificial structures that can self-replicate, a process that has the potential to yield new types of materials.

Mayo Clinic and Indian science leaders formalize collaborations
Mayo Clinic and the top science and technology organization in India have signed an agreement to collaborate on research.

'Evidence in European Asylum Procedures'
This thesis explores the particular framework of evidentiary assessment of three selected appellate national asylum procedures in Europe and discusses the relationship between these procedures, on the one hand, and between these procedures and other legal systems, including the EU legal order and international law, on the other.

Certain mouth bacteria signal pancreatic cancer
Particular types of mouth bacteria, some of which are found in gum disease, are associated with the development of pancreatic cancer, indicates a small study published online in the journal Gut.

Metal shortages alert from leading geologists
Inexorable demand for consumer goods places strain on supply of metals.

UK study shows that a general practice domestic violence training program greatly increases referral of women to domestic violence advocacy organizations (IRIS study)
General practitioners (GPs) and practice nurses given specialist training to ask their patients about domestic violence and a simple referral pathway to advocacy organizations are 22 times more likely to record referral of women experiencing abuse than GPs and nurses without this specialist training.

Minnesota discovery could make fuel and plastics production more energy efficient and cost effective
A University of Minnesota team of researchers has overcome a major hurdle in the quest to design a specialized type of molecular sieve that could make the production of gasoline, plastics and various chemicals more cost effective and energy efficient.

If oxygen becomes the undoing of proteins
Scientists from the Faculty of Biology and Biotechnology at the RUB have published a report in the Journal of Biological Chemistry explaining why enzymes used for the production of hydrogen are so sensitive to oxygen.

Kids with blocked tear ducts at higher risk for 'lazy eye'
Amblyopia, sometimes referred to as

Feeding the world while protecting the planet
An international team of researchers from Canada, the US, Sweden and Germany has come up with a plan to double the world's food production while reducing the environmental impacts of agriculture.

Oil exploration would endanger the most biodiverse region in the western hemisphere, say scientists
The Yasuní-ITT Initiative at the United Nations General Assembly proposes that Ecuador receive compensation for half of the revenues the nation would lose by protecting the estimated 846 million barrels of oil that lie beneath the forest.

Distant galaxies reveal the clearing of the cosmic fog
Scientists have used ESO's Very Large Telescope to probe the early Universe at several different times as it was becoming transparent to ultraviolet light.

First practical scientific test to date and authenticate priceless silk masterpieces
Scientists are reporting development of the first fast and reliable scientific method to determine the age and authenticity of priceless silk tapestries and other treasures -- such as Civil War General Phillip Sheridan's famous red-and-white battle flag -- in museums and other collections around the world.

BMC pediatricians find increase in SNAP benefits associated with healthier children
Pediatric researchers from Boston Medical Center, in partnership with Children's HealthWatch investigators in Boston, Minneapolis, Little Rock, Philadelphia, and Baltimore, have found that higher benefit amounts in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) protected the health and well-being of very young, low-income children during a period of great financial hardship for many families in America.

'Cute' chimps in ads may harm the species' survival
Television ads featuring cute chimpanzees wearing human clothes are likely to distort the public's perception of the endangered animals and hinder conservation efforts, according to a team of primatologists and a marketing professor at Duke University.

Researchers make older beta cells act young again
Longtime JDRF-funded researchers at Stanford University have identified a pathway responsible for the age-related decline of insulin-producing beta cells, and have shown that they can tweak it to get older beta cells to act young again -- and start dividing.

New molecular target for diabetes treatment discovered at Stanford
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have identified a key molecular pathway responsible for the natural decrease in the proliferation of insulin-producing cells that occurs as a person ages.

Erasing history? Temporal cloaks adjust light's throttle to hide an event in time
Moti Fridman and his colleagues Cornell University have demonstrated for the first time that it's possible to cloak a singular event in time, by sending a beam of light down an optical fiber and through a pair of

Stanford researchers examine impact of 'green politics' on recent national elections
Democrats who took

NRL scientists demonstrate the power of optical forces in blood cell identification
Biological analysis systems that rely on labels can be costly, labor intensive, and depend upon prior knowledge of the target in question.

Health sciences students key to emergency preparedness staffing plan
Building on the success of Louisville's response to the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, Ruth Carrico, Ph.D., plans to use a $250,000 one-year cooperative agreement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to create an emergency countermeasure staffing plan that utilizes nursing, pharmacy and public health students.

Folic acid supplements in early pregnancy may reduce the risk of severe language delay in children
A collaborative study between investigators at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health has now reported that mothers who took folic acid supplements from fpur weeks before to eight weeks after conception reported a significantly lower prevalence of severe language delay in their children at age three.

Mayo Clinic finds estrogen may prevent younger menopausal women from strokes
Estrogen may prevent strokes in premature or early menopausal women, Mayo Clinic researchers say.

Millions of new regulatory elements found in human genome
An international research team led by Kerstin Lindblad-Toh at the Broad Institute, US and Uppsala University, Sweden has mapped and compared the genomes of 29 mammals.

Success of Maryland Innovation Partnership earns recognition
An innovative Maryland technology transfer program -- the first of its kind in the US to partner federal labs and public universities -- has received an award for its success.

ASU's Center for Meteorite Studies marks 50 years
For 50 years the Center for Meteorite Studies at Arizona State University has served as the intellectual hub for research on meteorites.

Looking for a link between seizures and migraine after traumatic brain injury in soldiers
Two University of Utah researchers are teaming up with the Department of Defense to investigate the long-term effects of traumatic brain imjury in US soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Testing protein leverage in lean humans: a randomised controlled experimental study
Obesity is a growing problem worldwide, but proper protein consumption can help keep it at bay, according to a paper published Oct.

New Saudi Arabias of solar energy: Himalaya Mountains, Andes, Antarctica
Mention prime geography for generation of solar energy, and people tend to think of hot deserts.

Cold War's nuclear wastes pose challenges to science, engineering, society
Papers published in the current issue of Technology and Innovation, Proceedings of the National Academy of Inventors, report on efforts by the US Department of Energy to ensure continued safe and secure storage and disposition of 50 years worth of spent nuclear fuel, surplus nuclear materials, and high-level wastes at DOE facilities.

APEC Climate Symposium hosted by UHM International Pacific Research Center
The APEC Climate Center is holding its Annual Symposium at the East-West Center, Honolulu, from Oct.

NTU and A*STAR Institute of Microelectronics develop cheaper yet efficient thin film solar cells
Researchers in Singapore have exploited advanced nanostructure technology to make a highly efficient and yet cheaper silicon solar cell.

Scientists move closer to predicting who will and will not fight off severe infections
Why are some people prone to severe infections, while others handle them with less difficulty?

Scientists develop new technology to detect deep sea gas leaks
A new ultra-sensitive technology which can monitor leaks from underwater gas pipelines has been developed by scientists at the University of Southampton.

Clean correction of a patient's genetic mutation
For the first time, scientists have cleanly corrected a gene mutation in a patient's stem cells, bringing the possibility of patient-specific therapies closer to reality.

Survival disparities in African-American and white colo-rectal cancer patients
African-American patients with resected stage II and stage III colon cancer experienced worse overall and recurrence-free survival compared to whites, but similar recurrence-free intervals, according to a study published Oct.

Scientists first to characterize barley plant-stem rust spore 'communication'
Washington State University scientists have established that a barley plant recognizes an invader and begins to marshal its defenses within five minutes of an attack.

Violent games emotionally desensitizing
After excessively violent events, shoot 'em up games regularly come under scrutiny.

Recognition for 7 Concordia professors
Seven Concordia University professors have received new funding to advance research in fields ranging from linguistics to cancer.

Researcher identifies autism employment resources, tips for people with autism spectrum disorders
Preliminary employment studies indicate that the autism population may earn less and be employed at a lower rate compared to other people with disabilities.

Falls prevention in Parkinson's disease
A study carried out by the Primary Care Research Group at the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, supported by the National Institute for Health Research and NIHR PenCLAHRC, has analysed the results of an exercise program to prevent falls in those with Parkinson's disease.

MIT research: Sugar high for bees
Mathematicians at MIT have found that efficient feeding depends on how sugary a flower's nectar is, and whether an animal dips or sucks the nectar out.

How watching TV and their relationship to Mom affects teenagers' sexual attitudes
Can teenagers' relationship with their mother protect them from the negative effects that television has on their sexual attitudes?

Caltech researchers take the temperature of Mars' past
Researchers at the California Institute of Technology have directly determined the surface temperature of early Mars for the first time, providing evidence that's consistent with a warmer and wetter Martian past.

Why many cells are better than one
Researchers from Johns Hopkins have quantified the number of possible decisions that an individual cell can make after receiving a cue from its environment, and surprisingly, it's only two.

Launch of BioLynx provides a boost for the international malaria research community
A new biotech company, BioLynx Technologies Pte. Ltd., has been spun off from the National University of Singapore, to provide research tools, targeting the international malaria research community.

NIH grant will allow researchers to look for viral cause of most severe form of multiple sclerosis
A team of investigators from the University of Utah has received a two-year, $275,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to fund novel research that may help to uncover a viral cause for the most acute and severe form of multiple sclerosis.

Nearly 1 in 4 people with psoriasis may have undiagnosed psoriatic arthritis
New research shows one in four people with psoriasis may have undiagnosed psoriatic arthritis, in addition to the up to 2 million people already diagnosed with the disease.

FDA grant launches Atlanta Pediatric Device Consortium
A two-year, $1.8 million grant from the Food and Drug Administration will launch the new Atlanta Pediatric Device Consortium and foster the development of medical devices for children.

Understanding the constraints of evolution provides roadmap to mammalian biology
In a report that appears online in the journal Nature, researchers produced a high-resolution genomic map of more than 3.5 million constrained elements that account for approximately four percent of the human genome.

Paternity of subordinates raises cooperative effort in cichlids
The highly social cichlid fish Neolamprologus pulcher displays cooperative breeding behavior, where non-parents contribute to rearing the offspring of the dominant breeding pair.

Education research shows LGBTQ-identified students at higher risk than straight-identified students
New research findings reported in the October 2011 issue of Educational Researcher highlight differences between LGBTQ- and straight-identified youth in health outcomes and educational equity.

New hi-tech study finds T. rex was bigger and grew faster than previously thought
A new study reveals that T. rex grew more quickly and reached significantly greater masses than previously estimated.

Dark matter of the genome revealed through analysis of 29 mammals
An international team of researchers has discovered the vast majority of the so-called

Study could help improve gene therapy for heart disease, cancer
A Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine study could lead to improved gene therapies for conditions such as heart disease and cancer as well as more effective vaccines for tuberculosis, malaria and other diseases.

Does a bigger brain make for a smarter child in babies born prematurely?
New research suggests the growth rate of the brain's cerebral cortex in babies born prematurely may predict how well they are able to think, speak, plan and pay attention later in childhood.

Study compares narrow band imaging to chromoendoscopy for the detection of dysplasia in IBD patients
A new study finds that narrow band imaging appears to be a less time-consuming and equally effective alternative to chromoendoscopy for the detection of dysplasia in patients with long-standing inflammatory bowel disease.

Focus on fats
Almost everyone knows that fats are the culprits in expanding waistlines and killer diseases, but scientific understanding of the roles of

MU statisticians to develop statistical models for US Census Bureau's American Community Survey
University of Missouri statisticians have been awarded a $2.85 million, five-year grant from the National Science Foundation and the US Census Bureau to develop new data analysis and modeling methodologies for the American Community Survey.

Malaysia endorses proposed World Environment Organization
Malaysia's Prime Minister has fueled international momentum towards a World Environment Organization, endorsing proposals to create such a body when global leaders meet for a global summit in Rio de Janiero next June.

Bacterial communication could affect Earth's climate
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) scientists have discovered that bacterial communication could have a significant impact on the planet's climate.

Elsevier offers 950 new health titles to Research4Life
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, today announced that it is contributing an additional 950 electronic books to Research4Life, a public-private partnership working to achieve the UN's Millennium Development Goals by providing developing world access to critical scientific research.

Clearing the cosmic fog of the early universe: Massive stars may be responsible
The space between the galaxies wasn't always transparent. In the earliest times, it was an opaque, dense fog.

Researchers reconstruct genome of the Black Death
An international team -- led by researchers at McMaster University and the University of Tubingen in Germany -- has sequenced the entire genome of the Black Death, one of the most devastating epidemics in human history.

Do US men value fatherhood over their careers?
A new national study found that cultural and identity factors were more important than economic ones when considering men's feelings on fatherhood.

Interfacility helicopter ambulance transport of neurosurgical patients
When a patient needs to travel between hospitals and time is of the essence, helicopter transport is generally assumed to be faster and more desirable than taking a ground ambulance, but a paper published today in the online journal PLoS ONE refutes this common assumption, revealing that the actual times to treatment for patients transported by helicopter may not justify the expense relative to ground ambulances.

Pain characteristics suggest higher benefit from gallbladder surgery
Better understanding of a patient's abdominal pain could help physicians know which patients will benefit most from surgical removal of the gallbladder.

UK doctors still undertreating major risk factor for stroke
Despite significant improvements in stroke prevention over the past decade, and a fall in incidence and deaths, UK doctors are still undertreating one of the major risk factors - atrial fibrillation - reveals research published in BMJ Open.

Borrowing from brightly-colored birds: Physicists develop lasers inspired by nature
Researchers at Yale University are studying how two types of nanoscale structures on the feathers of birds produce brilliant and distinctive colors.

North Carolina State part of grant to design blueprint for future internet
North Carolina State University researchers are part of a team that will be designing a blueprint for a future version of the Internet, with funding from the National Science Foundation.

Intelligent cars alert each other to hazards
The largest field test for vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication worldwide is about to get under way.

College students limit technology use during crunch time
A new University of Washington study found college students -- only weeks away from final exams and in the library -- tend to pare use of electronics.

New buzzwords 'reduce medicine to economics'
Physicians who once only grappled with learning the language of medicine must now also cope with a health care world that has turned hospitals into factories and reduced clinical encounters to economic transactions, two Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center physicians lament.

Human development experts recommend tuning in to family, not devices
University of Missouri human development specialists say powering down digital devices is a vital step in maintaining family relationships and health.

Entomological Society of America announces 2011 award winners
The Entomological Society of America is pleased to announce the winners of its 2011 awards.

Skin color matters when it comes to Canadians' health: UBC study
A new University of British Columbia study finds that Black Canadians with darker skin are more likely to report poorer health than Black Canadians with lighter skin.

Salk to accelerate brain research with $4.5 million NIH grant
The National Institutes of Health has announced that the Salk Institute will receive $4.5 million to establish a Neuroscience Core Center, a new research center intended to accelerate brain research that lays the foundation for developing new ways to treat congenital brain defects and neurological diseases.

Smoking cigarettes simulates cystic fibrosis
If you smoke cigarettes, you have more in common with someone who has cystic fibrosis than you think.

Tagging tumors with gold: Scientists use gold nanorods to flag brain tumors
When removing a brain tumor, even the slightest mistake could have serious health consequences.

Genome sequencing unlocks the mysteries of naked mole rat
Genome sequencing by international research team unlocks the mysteries of naked mole rat.

Protein plays role in helping plants see light
University of Missouri scientists report for the first time the elusive role a critical protein plays in this molecular signaling pathway that regulates phototropism in plants.

UBC-Providence Health research to examine new treatments for heroin addiction
A clinical trial to test better treatment options for chronic heroin addiction is expected to begin in Vancouver at the end of this year.

Improved faculty quality of life essential to productivity at academic medical centers
Academic medical centers must make systematic changes to improve quality of life -- and thus productivity -- of their faculty, according to a commentary that will appear in the Oct.

UT Southwestern and University of Cape Town announce 5-year affiliation agreement
UT Southwestern Medical Center and the faculty of health sciences of the University of Cape Town in South Africa, signed a five-year affiliation agreement today.

Barshop Institute, global team sequences DNA of naked mole rat
Sequencing the genome of the long-lived naked mole rat opens a

Autism Speaks awards 10 research grants funding nearly $1.8 million over 3 years
Autism Speaks, the world's largest autism science and advocacy organization, has awarded 10 new research grants totaling $1,782,934 in funding over the next 3 years.
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