Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 10, 2011
Knocking out key protein in mice boosts insulin sensitivity
By knocking out a key regulatory protein, scientists at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland dramatically boosted insulin sensitivity in lab mice, an achievement that opens a new door for drug development and the treatment of diabetes.

NYU Langone expert calls for awareness, research of sudden death in patients with epilepsy
Over time, epileptic seizures can lead to major health issues, including significant cognitive decline and even death, warns Orrin Devinsky, M.D., professor, Departments of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry at NYU Langone Medical Center.

Results of the PARTNER Trial Cohort B 2-year follow up presented at TCT 2011
A two-year study of patients in the landmark PARTNER trial, which compared transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) in patients who have severe aortic stenosis and are not candidates for open heart surgery, confirm the one-year findings and support the role of TAVR as the standard of care.

IPAL-EM launches to improve palliative care in emergency medicine
A new national initiative, IPAL-EM (Improving Palliative Care in Emergency Medicine) will integrate and increase the use of palliative care when seriously ill patients are admitted to the emergency department.

Use of Lady Health Workers to treat severe pneumonia in Pakistan reduces treatment delays and failures compared with standard care
Ahead of World Pneumonia Day on Saturday, Nov. 12, a study published online first by the Lancet shows that, in Pakistan, use of Lady Health Workers to treat severe pneumonia with amoxicillin in the community reduces treatment delays and failures compared with standard care.

Penn and Rutgers psychologists increase understanding of how the brain perceives shades of gray
Peoples' eyes, nerves and brains translate light into electrochemical signals and then into an experience of the world around them.

Large-scale jaw pain study sheds light on pain disorders
New findings about painful jaw problems that plague millions of Americans are leading to a better understanding of pain disorders.

New funding will help researchers learn how preschoolers move, battle early child obesity
University of Illinois researchers have received funding from the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development for a series of workshops that will help researchers learn about physical activity in preschool-aged children.

Around 90 million children contract seasonal flu each year worldwide, resulting in approximately 1 million hospital admissions
Ahead of World Pneumonia Day (Nov. 12, 2011), the first study to provide global estimates of seasonal influenza in children aged under five years and the resultant burden of influenza-related pneumonia is published online first by the Lancet.

Trees on tundra's border are growing faster in a hotter climate
Evergreen trees at the edge of Alaska's tundra are growing faster, suggesting that at least some forests may be adapting to a rapidly warming climate, says a new study.

New target identified to stop the spread of breast cancer
A new potential target to slow breast cancer tumor progression and metastasis has been identified by a team of researchers led by Dr.

Quality of life benefits of transcatheter aortic valve replacement differ by access site
Results of the PARTNER Cohort A QOL study demonstrate that transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) results in improved quality of life compared with surgical valve replacement, but only when performed via the transfemoral approach.

One molecule for muscle growth and insulin sensitivity
Two independent studies in the Nov. 11 issue of the journal Cell, a Cell Press publication, suggest a common way to pump up muscles and prevent diabetes.

Flexible rack systems sort molecules
Researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and Ruhr-Universit├Ąt Bochum have developed a flexible and efficient new process for the separation of enantiomers.

Volunteering, helping others decreases substance use in rural teens, MU study finds
Young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 report the highest rates of substance use and dependence, according to the National Survey on Drug Use & Health.

Coneheads (Protura) of Italy: What we know in their 'native' country after a century
Coneheads collected from all over the territory of Italy were studied by three researchers of Genoa University (Loris Galli, Matteo Capurro and Carlo Torti).

Storm chasers of Utah
A truck-mounted radar dish often used to chase Midwest tornadoes is getting a workout in Utah this month as University of Utah meteorologists use it to get an unprecedented look inside snow and rain storms over the Salt Lake Valley and the surrounding Wasatch and Oquirrh mountains.

Becoming part of global, shoestring team requires researchers only to play fair, share
Asking a scientist to take part in research that has little budget, less infrastructure and almost no central bureaucracy would appear a lost cause.

Plant with 'eggbeater' testure inspires waterproof coating
A floating weed that clogs waterways around the world has at least one redeeming feature: It's inspired a high-tech waterproof coating intended for boats and submarines.

Stem cell research hopes to repair brain damage of Parkinson's disease
Stem Cells Australia is a new 21 million dollar Australian Research Council Special Research Initiative bringing together Australia's leading stem cell scientists.

Protein love triangle key to crowning bees queens?
Arizona State University scientists reconcile conflicts in studies of bee development and the role of insulin pathways and partner proteins in queen-making.

Severe alcoholic hepatitis: An effective combination of 2 treatments
A French multi-center study has shown that a treatment combining an antioxidant with an anti-inflammatory was effective on 174 patients suffering from severe alcoholic hepatitis.

Dendritic cell subtype protects against atherosclerosis
Atherosclerosis, commonly referred to as

Understanding people, spaces and spatial cognition
A panel discussion on developing and implementing cross-disciplinary perspectives in architecture, cognitive sciences, and computational systems on Nov.

A 3-D way to release magnetic energy... fast!
Experiments discover a 3-D process by which magnetic reconnection can release energy faster than expected by classical theories.

Plasma etching pushes the limits of a shrinking world
Plasma etching, essential for semiconductor device fabrication in the nanoelectronics age, confronts the fundamental limits of physics and chemistry.

Racial inequalities exist for kids with kidney disease
Pediatric racial minorities are much less likely than whites to get kidney transplants before they need dialysis, regardless of their families' income.

Kawasaki disease linked to wind currents
surprising findings of an international team of scientists organized by Jane C.

GigaBlitz event seeks citizen scientists to capture images of nearby biodiversity
From a bike path in Montana to a backwater underneath a highway overpass in Austria, citizen scientists fanned out last June to capture high-resolution images for the first Nearby Nature GigaBlitz.

Bioethics commission to discuss human subjects protection
The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues will publicly meet Nov.

Between geometry and biology: How and why does the number of species depend on area
There are few universal rules in ecology, but arguably one is the relationship between the area of a study plot and the number of species counted within that plot.

Tokamak experiments come clean about impurity transport
Innovative experiments and computer simulations at MIT explore the movement of impurities in fusion plasmas.

Reduction in risk of coronary heart disease from alcohol consumption
In a prospective, observational study of approximately 150,000 Norwegians, the investigators found that alcohol consumption was associated with a large decrease in the risk of death from coronary artery disease.

Why do neurons die in Parkinson's disease?
Current thinking about Parkinson's disease is that it's a disorder of mitochondria, the energy-producing organelles inside cells, causing neurons in the brain's substantia nigra to die or become impaired.

Scientific collaboration between India and Germany reaches new dimension
Research collaboration between India and Germany has intensified. This was highlighted by Professor Matthias Kleiner, President of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, during a visit to India taking him to several universities and research institutes in New Delhi on Nov.

NCAR wind forecasts save millions of dollars for Xcel Energy
NCAR today announced that IBM will install major components of a petascale supercomputing system at the new NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center.

Requests for Alzheimer's disease research grants up by 33 percent, as federal funding in doubt
The American Health Assistance Foundation (AHAF), a nonprofit organization funding innovative research through its Alzheimer's Disease Research (ADR) program, today announced that the number of scientists seeking ADR research grants through its annual application process increased by 33 percent this year.

Patent application for innovative film - possible ITO replacement
The University of Cincinnati laboratory of Jude Iroh has contributed significantly to materials science.

A light wave of innovation to advance solar energy
Professors Koby Scheuer and Yael Hanin of Tel Aviv University's new Renewable Energy Center are developing a solar panel composed of nano-antennas instead of silicon semiconductors.

Researchers find risk-taking behavior rises until age 50
Willing to risk your knowledge, skills and monetary reward in competition?

New report offers broad approach to assessing impacts of ecological damage
The magnitude and depth of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill will require an unprecedented effort to determine the extent and severity of ecological damage and to develop restoration plans for affected areas in the Gulf of Mexico, says an interim report by the National Research Council.

Einstein researchers discover key to cell specialization
Researchers at then Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have uncovered a mechanism that governs how cells become specialized during development.

A new spin on understanding plasma confinement
Spinning plasma creates

Feeling the heat: 30 tons of fine control for fusion plasmas
Scientists add motion control to a major tokamak heating system to explore nonlinear interactions between internal current and pressure profiles.

December 2011 Geology highlights
Articles in the December 2011 issue of Geology include the discovery of microfossils in the Tayshir Formation, Mongolia; Examination of sediments in a deep crater lake on Kilimanjaro to understand past environmental change in East Africa; Determination of the timing of favorable environmental conditions that would allow human migration across southern Arabia; and zircon dating results in Jack Hills, Australia, that are expected to spark debate on the true nature of the Hadean Earth.

Whiskers marked milestone in evolution of mammals from reptiles
Research from the University of Sheffield comparing rats and mice with their distance relatives the marsupial, suggests that moveable whiskers were an important milestone in the evolution of mammals from reptiles.

Lancet pneumonia study offers new hope for reducing No. 1 cause of child death
Pneumonia is the world's leading killer of children. Too often, doctors and hospitals are out of reach.

UT MD Anderson study finds acupuncture can prevent radiation-induced chronic dry mouth
When given alongside radiation therapy for head and neck cancer, acupuncture has shown for the first time to reduce the debilitating side effect of xerostomia, according to new research from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center.

More fiber, but not necessarily less fat, good for teen diets
A diet high in fiber - but not necessarily one low in saturated fat or cholesterol - is tied to a lower risk of heart disease and type-2 diabetes in teenagers, according to new findings from Michigan State University.

Results of the RIFLE STEACS clinical trial reported at TCT 2011
Results of a randomized clinical trial suggest that using the transradial approach for angioplasty in patients with ST elevation acute coronary syndrome is preferable to the femoral approach, and should be the recommended access route.

Non-coding RNA relocates genes when it's time to go to work
Cells develop and thrive by turning genes on and off as needed in a precise pattern, a process known as regulated gene transcription.

Groundbreaking study finds home treatment of pneumonia better than hospital care
In a breakthrough study published online today in the Lancet, researchers from Boston University, Save the Children and the WHO found that young children treated at home for severe pneumonia by Pakistan's network of

Parkinsonian worms may hold the key to identifying drugs for Parkinson's disease
Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin have devised a simple test, using dopamine-deficient worms, for identifying drugs that may help people with Parkinson's disease.

Solar Energy Research Conference at Rensselaer draws solar experts from around the world
Experts from around the globe came together at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Nov.

First large-scale study of pain reveals risk factors
Researchers in the University at Buffalo are publishing a comprehensive set of clinical characteristics that they say will lead to the ability to identify individuals at risk for developing painful jaw conditions.

Sea change can forecast South American wildfires, UCI-led study finds
Tiny temperature changes on the Atlantic and Pacific oceans provide an excellent way to forecast wildfires in South American rainforests, according to UC Irvine and other researchers funded by NASA.

Scientists defuse the 'Vietnam time bomb'
A key mechanism by which a bacterial pathogen causes the deadly tropical disease melioidosis has been discovered by an international team of scientists.

Exploring the last white spot on Earth
Scientists will soon gain new insight into matter at conditions so extreme it can only be produced for microseconds using intense laser pulses.

For deep-sea cephalopods, 'switchable' camouflage saves the day
For animals living in the deep sea, it seems that there is no such thing as all-occasion camouflage.

Pine Island Glacier: A scientific quest in Antarctica to determine what's causing ice loss
An international team of researchers, funded by the National Science Foundation and NASA, will helicopter onto the Pine Island Glacier ice shelf, one of Antarctica's most active, remote and harsh spots, in mid-December 2011 -- weather permitting.

Researching graphene nanoelectronics for a post-silicon world
Copper's days are numbered, and a new study at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute could hasten the downfall of the ubiquitous metal in smart phones, tablet computers, and nearly all electronics.

Results of the PARTNER Trial Cohort A cost effectiveness analysis reported
The cost effectiveness of transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVR) compared to surgical aortic valve replacement (SAVR) depends on whether TAVR is performed via the femoral artery or transapically, through a small incision in the chest, according to a new study.

NASA's Hubble observes young dwarf galaxies bursting with stars
Using its near-infrared vision to peer nine billion years back in time, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has uncovered an extraordinary population of young dwarf galaxies brimming with star formation.

University of Houston physicist part of major solar energy research team
A University of Houston physicist is part of a multi-institution team that has received an $18.5 million NSF-DOE grant to develop new technologies to harness solar energy.

New turkey feed helps bird producers gobble up profits
As feed prices have risen in recent years, feeding turkeys has become more costly than many producers can bear.

Study evaluates risk factors for chronic TMJD
Scientists report preliminary results from the most comprehensive study yet of risk factors for chronic TMJD, a common jaw condition.

A revolution in knot theory
In his article

Mid-ocean creatures control light to avoid becoming snacks
If you're a snack-sized squid or octopus living in the ocean zone where the last bit of daylight gives way, having some control over your reflection could be a matter of life and death.

Studies agree on the best blood glucose levels for diabetics with kidney failure
Diabetic patients with kidney failure benefit the most when their hemoglobin A1C levels, which reflect blood glucose levels, are between seven percent and eight percent.

University of Tennessee microbiologist to develop biofilter to clean-up toxic water
Steven Wilhelm, microbiology professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is leading an effort to find bacteria to consume harmful algal toxins and clean up fresh water.

Violent passions -- jealous cleaner shrimp murder their rivals
The hermaphroditic cleaner shrimp Lysmata amboinensis usually live in monogamous pairs, but dark passions underlie their social structure.

Unexpected connection: Rotation reversal tied to energy confinement saturation
Recent tokamak experiments connect one of the newest observations, the sudden and spontaneous reversal of self-generated rotation, to one of the oldest, the saturation of energy confinement at high density.

Discussions of guns in the home part of comprehensive preventive health care
An article to be published online Nov. 10 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine reviews research about and analyzes available data around firearm injuries and prevention, and argues the importance of including firearm safety as part of physician-patient preventive care conversations.

Astronomers find clouds of primordial gas from the early universe
For the first time, astronomers have found pristine clouds of the primordial gas that formed in the first few minutes after the Big Bang.

Radar gun catches predator shredding turbulence in fusion plasma
Plasma turbulence and plasma flow self-organize in a predator-prey pattern, producing higher temperature plasmas.

More than 50 percent decline in elephants in eastern Congo due to human conflict: UBC research
Humans play a far greater role in the fate of African elephants than habitat, and human conflict in particular has a devastating impact on these largest terrestrial animals, according to a new University of British Columbia study published online in PLoS ONE this week.

Attention and awareness uncoupled
Brain imaging experiments uncouple two apparently intimately connected mental processes.

Under pressure: Ramp-compression smashes record
National Ignition Facility experiment achieves record pressure of 50 megabars.

Woodsmoke from cooking fires linked to pneumonia, cognitive impacts
UC Berkeley-led researchers have found a dramatic one-third reduction in severe pneumonia diagnoses among children in homes with smoke-reducing chimneys on their cookstoves.

I-mode powers up on alcator C-mod tokamak
A new, improved plasma confinement regime delivers improved performance over a wider power range.

Law barring doctors talking to patients about gun ownership undermines public health issue
A Florida law restricting physicians from counseling patients and parents about firearms safety endangers open communication between doctors and patients on a critical prevention and public health problem, experts warn in a

Researchers closer to the super bug puzzle
The treatment of serious infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus (Golden Staph) is complicated by the development of antibiotic resistance.

Hubble uncovers tiny galaxies bursting with starbirth in early Universe
Using its infrared vision to peer nine billion years back in time, the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has uncovered an extraordinary population of tiny, young galaxies that are brimming with star formation.

Prototype hand-held drug testing device launched
The world's first prototype of a hand-held fingerprint drug testing device has been created by UK technology company Intelligent Fingerprinting.

U-M study will test for Alzheimer's risk
In a first-of-its kind study, University of Michigan researchers will provide genetic testing and Alzheimer's risk estimates for people who are already experiencing mild cognitive impairment.

How does a plant survive with few mates or pollinators? A European herb has figured out its own way
In plants that rely on animals for pollination, the number of seeds they produce is influenced by pollinator visits and the successful deposition of pollen.

Most trainee doctors now working 48 hours a week
Most of the 300 doctors in training rotas exempted from the 48 hour limit on working time imposed by the European Working Time Directive are now compliant, according to a report by BMJ Careers today.

Effects of 'mini stroke' can shorten life expectancy
Having a transient ischemic attack (TIA), or

Giant planet ejected from the solar system
Just as an expert chess player sacrifices a piece to protect the queen, the solar system may have given up a giant planet and spared the Earth, according to an article recently published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

NRL's MIGHTI selected by NASA for potential space flight
A Naval Research Laboratory instrument designed to study the Earth's thermosphere is part of a future science mission that has been selected by NASA for evaluation for flight.

Ocean temperatures can predict Amazon fire season severity
By analyzing nearly a decade of satellite data, a team of scientists led by researchers from the University of California, Irvine and funded by NASA has created a model that can successfully predict the severity and geographic distribution of fires in the Amazon rain forest and the rest of South America months in advance.

NASA'S NPP satellite acquires first ATMS measurements
The Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS) on board NASA's newest Earth-observing satellite, NPP, acquired its first measurements on Nov.

Georgia Tech helps develop system that will detect insider threats from massive data sets
Researchers at Georgia Tech are developing new approaches for identifying

Results of the DEB-AMI Trial reported at TCT 2011
A clinical trial that compared the use of drug-eluting balloons (DEB) and bare metal stents (BMS) to both bare metal stents alone and drug-eluting stents (DES) found that the drug-eluting balloon group did not meet the primary endpoint of reduced late lumen loss.

Details of ancient shark attack preserved in fossil whale bone
A fragment of whale rib found in a North Carolina strip mine is offering scientists a rare glimpse at the interactions between prehistoric sharks and whales some 3- to 4-million years ago during the Pliocene.

Wood stove intervention can reduce childhood pneumonia
Cooking stoves with chimneys can lower exposure to indoor wood smoke and reduce the rate of severe pneumonia by 30 percent in children less than 18 months of age, according to a new air pollution study funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of the National Institutes of Health.

Women see naked men differently too
For both men and women, wearing revealing attire causes them to be seen as more sensitive but less competent, says a new study by University of Maryland psychologist Kurt Gray and colleagues from Yale and Northeastern University.

A nano car with molecular 4-wheel drive
Reduced to the max: The emission-free, noiseless 4-wheel drive car, jointly developed by Empa researchers and their Dutch colleagues, represents lightweight construction at its most extreme.

200 thousand dollars awarded to genomics researchers to spark new research technology development
The Ontario Genomics Institute has announced the recipients of its SPARK program, which was launched in April this year to seed high-impact, high-risk technology development projects in genomics.

With lithium, more is definitely better
Increasing the amount of lithium coating on fusion reactor walls improves performance.

2012: Killer solar flares are a physical impossibility
Given a legitimate need to protect Earth from the most intense forms of space weather - great bursts of electromagnetic energy and particles that can sometimes stream from the sun - some people worry that a gigantic

Citrus indica Tanaka - a progenitor species of cultivated Citrus
Recent findings of researchers from the North-Eastern Hill University, India show that C. indica occupies a special taxonomic position as reflected from the Karyomorphological data generated by them.

A fetus can sense mom's psychological state
As a fetus grows, it's constantly getting messages from its mother.

US Department of Energy Joint Genome Project selects two proposals submitted by Danforth Center
The US Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute has selected two projects from a highly competitive pool of applications, submitted by Danforth Plant Science Center Principal Investigators, Dr.

Society for Integrative Oncology releases findings presented at annual meeting
Today the Society for Integrative Oncology highlighted top research findings presented at the Eighth International Conference this week in Cleveland, Ohio.

Rare earth metal shortages could hamper deployment of low-carbon energy technologies
Following the release of a Commission report on critical raw materials in 2010, scientists at the Joint Research Center highlighted in a new report that five metals, essential for manufacturing low-carbon technologies, show a high risk of shortage.

Researcher finds elderly lose ability to distinguish between odors
Scientists studying the effect of aging on smell, have found that those 60 and over have more difficulty distinguishing between odors, putting them at risk from dangerous chemicals and poor nutrition.

Video simulation puts a new twist on fusion plasma research
Scientist creates video simulation that combines laboratory measurements and computer models to aid research into fusion reactor designs.

'Fishy lawnmowers' help save Pacific corals
Can fish save coral reefs from dying? UC Santa Barbara researchers have found one case where fish have helped coral reefs to recover from cyclones and predators.

Catching tokamak fastballs: Controlling runaway electrons
Scientists are developing improved methods to control and dissipate powerful electron beams that could damage reactor walls.

Using light, researchers convert 2-D patterns into 3-D objects
Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a simple way to convert two-dimensional patterns into three-dimensional objects using only light.

Iowa State study finds health value to children of National School Lunch Program
A recent study by current and former Iowa State University researchers confirmed that the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) improves the health outcomes of children who reside in low-income households.

Tweaking a gene makes muscles twice as strong
A team of researchers at EPFL, the University of Lausanne and the Salk Institute created super strong, marathon mice and nematodes by reducing the function of a natural inhibitor, suggesting treatments for age-related or genetically caused muscle degeneration are within reach.

Scientists discover how to design drugs that could target particular nerve cells
The future of drug design lies in developing therapies that can target specific cellular processes without causing adverse reactions in other areas of the nervous system.

Results of the STACCATO Trial reported at TCT 2011
Researchers said that transapical transcatheter aortic valve implantation (a-TAVI) may be inferior to surgical aortic valve replacement (SAVR) in operable elderly patients.

High fiber diet linked to reduced risk of colorectal cancer
Eating a diet high in fiber, particularly from cereal and whole grains, is associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer, finds a new study integrating all available evidence published on today. 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