Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 23, 2011
Hopkins scientists turn on fountain of youth in yeast
Collaborations between Johns Hopkins and National Taiwan University researchers have successfully manipulated the life span of common, single-celled yeast organisms by figuring out how to remove and restore protein functions related to yeast aging.

How drought-tolerant grasses came to be
If you eat stuffing or grain-fed turkey this Thanksgiving, give thanks to the grasses -- a family of plants that includes wheat, corn and rice.

Creating safer surgery to save more lives
Surgical procedures save and improve lives worldwide, but the figures on serious complications and deaths are high.

Meteorologists Wyngaard, Thompson receive high honors
The American Meteorological Society has honored two Penn Staterts -- John C.

Short waits, long consults keep most patients very happy with their physicians
Patients overall in the United States are very satisfied with their physicians and with treatment they receive in outpatient settings, according to new information which challenges common public perceptions about outpatient medical treatment.

Doctors could learn from Shakespeare's deep understanding of mind-body connection
Shakespeare was a master at portraying profound emotional upset in the physical symptoms of his characters, and many modern day doctors would do well to study the Bard to better understand the mind-body connection, concludes an analysis of his works, published in Medical Humanities.

They call it 'guppy love': UCLA biologists solve an evolution mystery
Guppies in the wild have evolved over at least half-a-million years -- long enough for the males' coloration to change dramatically.

Genetic study confirms: First dogs came from East Asia
Researchers at Sweden's KTH Royal Institute of Technology say they have found further proof that the wolf ancestors of today's domesticated dogs can be traced to southern East Asia -- findings that run counter to theories placing the cradle of the canine line in the Middle East.

New butterfly species identified in Yucatan peninsula
Identification and characterization of 160,000 species of butterflies and moths can be complicated by the fact that each species has an immature caterpillar and a mature butterfly form, as well as the reliance on the physical appearance for classification.

Closer to a cure for eczema
Scientists have found that a strain of yeast implicated in inflammatory skin conditions, including eczema, can be killed by certain peptides and could potentially provide a new treatment for these debilitating skin conditions.

ESF awards 13th European Latsis Prize to James Vaupel on pioneering demographic research
The European Science Foundation has awarded this year's European Latsis Prize to Professor James W.

Mice with fewer insulin-signaling receptors don't live longer
Would having one copy, rather than two, of the IGF1 receptor gene help mammals live longer?

Tags? We're it. NIST opens new 'biolabeling' research facility
With the recent opening of its new Biomolecular Labeling Laboratory, NIST has become one of a small handful of facilities in the world that specializes in tagging large molecules with different isotopes to make them easier to analyze.

Firefighters more likely to be injured exercising than putting out fires
Firefighters are more likely to be injured while exercising than while putting out fires, suggests research published online in Injury Prevention.

Blossom end rot: Transport protein identified
Poor calcium distribution in agricultural crops causes substantial loss of income every year.

Earth's core deprived of oxygen
Scientists know that the Earth's liquid outer core consists mainly of iron, but it is believed that small amounts of some other elements are also present.

We drink water, bathe in it and we are made mostly of water, yet the common substance poses major mysteries.

Researchers surprised to find fatty liver disease poses no excess risk for death
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is a common condition associated with obesity and heart disease long thought to undermine health and longevity.

Researchers develop method for advancing development of antipsychotic drugs
Researchers interested in the treatment of schizophrenia and dementia have clarified how antipsychotic drugs that target a complex of two receptors at the surface of cells in the brain work, according to a new study published online Nov.

Finger (mal)formation reveals surprise function of desert DNA
Scientists from the EPFL and the University of Geneva have discovered a genetic mechanism that defines the shape of our members in which, surprisingly, genes play only a secondary role.

Scripps Research scientists uncover new role for gene in maintaining steady weight
Against the backdrop of the growing epidemic of obesity in the United States, scientists from the Florida campus of the Scripps Research Institute have made an important new discovery regarding a specific gene that plays an important role in keeping a steady balance between our food intake and energy expenditure.

UMMS scientists present draft sequence of monarch butterfly genome
Neurobiologists at the University of Massachusetts Medical School are the first to sequence and analyze the monarch butterfly genome.

Doctors can do better if they learn from their mistakes
We rely on our doctors to make appropriate decisions for our treatment, but this process can be subject to a variety of potentially conflicting influences.

Tiny levers, big moves in piezoelectric sensors
A team of university researchers, aided by NIST scientists, has succeeded in integrating a new, highly efficient piezoelectric material into a silicon microelectromechanical system.

Insect cyborgs may become first responders
Research conducted at the University of Michigan College of Engineering may lead to the use of insects to monitor hazardous situations before sending in humans.

Overweight individuals more susceptible to risk factors for further weight gain
Some risk factors for obesity become stronger the more overweight a person is, according to a study published Nov.

Boston University School of Medicine professor honored by American College of Nutrition
Michael F. Holick, PhD, MD, director of the General Clinical Research Unit and professor of medicine, physiology and biophysics at Boston University School of Medicine was selected by the American College of Nutrition Awards Committee as the 2011 recipient of the ACN Communication Media Award.

Tecnalia is looking into the upcycling of end-of-life tyres for the roadway noise barrier sector
The massive production of tires and the difficulties in disposing of them after use has been one of the most serious environmental problems worldwide in recent years.

Study finds online marketplaces overplay safeguards and ignore social aspects of transactions
As Cyber Monday approaches, a new study of e-commerce giants eBay and Amazon argues that auction sites may have

Jumpstarting STEM careers workshop
Jumpstart your STEM career in 2012 at Arizona State's winter workshop, Jan.

Nanoparticle electrode for batteries could make grid-scale power storage feasible
Stanford researchers have used nanoparticles of a copper compound to develop a high-power battery electrode that is so inexpensive to make, so efficient and so durable that it could be used to build batteries big enough for economical large-scale energy storage on the electrical grid -- something researchers have sought for years.

Salmon genome in final phases of completion
The International Cooperation to Sequence the Atlantic Salmon Genome has awarded the Phase II contract for next-generation sequencing and analysis of the Atlantic salmon genome to the J.

Studying bat skulls, evolutionary biologists discover how species evolve
A new study involving bat skulls, bite force measurements and scat samples collected by an international team of evolutionary biologists is helping to solve a nagging question of evolution: Why some groups of animals develop scores of different species over time while others evolve only a few.

Artificial trachea recipient is fit and well five months after pioneering transplant
An article describing the world's first transplant of an artificial trachea seeded with stem cells is published Online First by the Lancet today.

Physicists set strongest limit on mass of dark matter
Brown University physicists have set the strongest limit for the mass of dark matter, the mysterious particles believed to make up nearly a quarter of the universe.

Simple night time airflow control device eases persistent asthma symptoms
A simple device that filters out airborne asthma triggers during sleep can ease persistent symptoms of the condition during the day and improve quality of life, suggests research published online in Thorax.

Brain imaging, behavior research reveals physicians learn more by paying attention to failure
Research on physicians' decision-making processes has revealed that those who pay attention to failures as well as successes become more adept at selecting the correct treatment.

Exercise helps us to eat a healthy diet
A healthy diet and the right amount of exercise are key players in treating and preventing obesity but we still know little about the relationship both factors have with each other.

Techna Institute to lead University Health Network's collaboration with INO, agreement signed
The new Techna Institute at University Health Network (UHN) has signed its first agreement with INO of Quebec City and Hamilton.

Scientific sleuths pinpoint the guilty coral killers
The elusive culprits that are killing countless coral reefs around the world can now be nabbed with technology normally used to diagnose human diseases, marine researchers say.

How old yeast cells send off their daughter cells without the baggage of old age
The accumulation of damaged protein is a hallmark of aging that not even the humble baker's yeast can escape.

Scientists determine how antibody recognizes key sugars on HIV surface
HIV is coated in sugars that usually hide the virus from the immune system.

'The Wondrous Universe: Creation without Creator?'
'The Wondrous Universe' presents the knowledge that we have about our world for non-experts.

Earth's past gives clues to future changes
Scientists are a step closer to predicting when and where earthquakes will occur after taking a fresh look at the formation of the Andes, which began 45 million years ago.

New magnetic-field-sensitive alloy could find use in novel micromechanical devices
A multi-institution team of researchers has combined modern materials research and an age-old metallurgy technique to produce an alloy that could be the basis for a new class of sensors and micromechanical devices controlled by magnetism.

Coming to terms with terror
How will the terrorist attacks in Norway on July 22 change the country?

Caltech scientists point to link between missing synapse protein and abnormal behaviors
Although many mental illnesses are uniquely human, animals sometimes exhibit abnormal behaviors similar to those seen in humans with psychological disorders.

Dyslexic adults have more trouble if background noise levels are high
Dyslexia affects up to 17.5 percent of the population, but its cause remains somewhat unknown.

The scoop on the dangers of snow shoveling
Urban legend warns shoveling snow causes heart attacks, and the legend seems all too accurate, especially for male wintery excavators with a family history of premature cardiovascular disease.

UIC study identifies a key molecular switch for telomere extension by telomerase
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine describe for the first time a key target of DNA damage checkpoint enzymes that must be chemically modified to enable stable maintenance of chromosome ends by telomerase, an enzyme thought to play a key role in cancer and aging.

Introducing the monarch butterfly genome
The Monarch butterfly is famous for its ability to travel up to 2,000 miles from North America to central Mexico every fall.

UN overhaul required to govern planet's life support system: Experts
Reducing risk of environmental disaster requires reforms of international governance comparable in scale and importance to those that followed World War II, experts say.

Incidences and severity of prostate cancer correlated with meat consumption
Increased consumption of ground beef or processed meat is positively associated with aggressive prostate cancer, according to a study published Nov.

UMD poll: Egyptians see military putting brake on revolution 2:1
A new University of Maryland public opinion poll finds Egyptians harboring serious doubts about their military's commitment to the revolution that ousted the Mubarak regime last spring.

Mite-y genomic resources for bioenergy crop protection
The cost of controlling the damage wreaked by the tiny two-spotted spider mite, which can extract the nutrients needed from leaves of more than a thousand different plant species including bioenergy feedstocks and food staples, hovers around $1 billion annually.

Dana-Farber/Children's Hospital Boston study identifies possible therapy for radiation sickness
Researchers found a combination of two drugs may alleviate radiation sickness in people who have been exposed to high levels of radiation, even when the therapy is given 24 hours after the exposure occurred.

Spider mite's secrets revealed
The cost of chemically controlling damage caused by the spider mite exceeds USD 1 billion per year.

Enhanced treatment of brain tumors
Scientists of the German Cancer Research Center and Heidelberg University Hospitals have tested a combination of radiation treatment and a substance that blocks the transforming growth factor beta for treating glioblastoma.

ONR TechSolutions' rope ascender premieres in 'Modern Marvels' TV episode
The History Channel will feature an Office of Naval Research-sponsored device that could help Sailors and Marines scale walls like Batman during its

Is short stature associated with a 'shortage' of genes?
New research sifts through the entire genome of thousands of human subjects to look for genetic variation associated with height.

Interactive map of sea level changes launched
A new interactive map that allows users to explore changes in sea level worldwide over five decades has been launched by the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level, operated by the UK's National Oceanography Center.

Researchers discover clues to developing more effective antipsychotic drugs
Researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, have identified the pattern of cell signaling induced by antipsychotic drugs in a complex composed of two brain receptors linked to schizophrenia.

Big pest, small genome
A University of Utah biologist and an international research team decoded the genetic blueprint of the two-spotted spider mite, raising hope for new ways to attack the major pest, which resists pesticides and destroys crops and ornamental plants worldwide.

QUT to study appropriate level of medical treatment for dying patients
Queensland University of Technology will undertake a study into why futile medical treatment is, at times, provided to dying patients.

Public restrooms ripe with bacteria, study says
Everyone wonders what bugs might be lurking in public bathrooms.

Diabetes drug shows promise in reducing risk of cancer
An inexpensive drug that treats Type 2 diabetes has been shown to prevent a number of natural and man-made chemicals from stimulating the growth of breast cancer cells, according to a newly published study by a Michigan State University researcher.

Vitamin D-fortified yoghurt improves cholesterol levels and heart disease biomarkers for diabetics
People with diabetes are known to have an increased risk of heart disease.

University and BP provide 100 additional student scholarships
BP is offering a further 100 scholarships across the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Manchester to support future growth in the UK and global economy.

Dreaming takes the sting out of painful memories
They say time heals all wounds, and new research from the University of California, Berkeley, indicates that time spent in dream sleep can help. 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