Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 29, 2011
Lava fingerprinting reveals differences between Hawaii's twin volcanoes
Hawaii's main volcano chains -- the Loa and Kea trends -- have distinct sources of magma and unique plumbing systems connecting them to the Earth's deep mantle, according to UBC research published this week in Nature Geoscience, in conjunction with researchers at the universities of Hawaii and Massachusetts.

Abstinence-only education does not lead to abstinent behavior, UGA researchers find
States that prescribe abstinence-only sex education programs in public schools have significantly higher teenage pregnancy and birth rates than states with more comprehensive sex education programs, researchers from the University of Georgia have determined.

Minorities pay more for water and sewer
Racial minorities pay systemically more for basic water and sewer services than white people, according to a study by Michigan State University researchers.

How to decide who keeps the car
A paper published in Nature Communications by a team of researchers from Canada and Switzerland explores the concept of coin flipping in the context of quantum physics that uses light particles, so-called photons, to allow communication tasks in a manner that outperforms standard communication schemes.

Higher petrol taxes don't hurt the poor
Increased petrol taxation is a very effective instrument to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Action needed to improve men's health in Europe
Policies aimed specifically at men are urgently needed to improve the health of Europe's men, say experts on bmj.com today.

Geosphere highlights: New research posted Nov. 22, 2011
Geosphere articles published online Nov. 22 include

Low staffing and poor quality of care at nation's for-profit nursing homes
The nation's largest for-profit nursing homes deliver significantly lower quality of care because they typically have fewer staff nurses than non-profit and government-owned nursing homes.

E. coli bacteria engineered to eat switchgrass and make transportation fuels
Strains of E. coli bacteria were engineered to digest switchgrass biomass and synthesize its sugars into gasoline, diesel and jet fuel.

Lighting the way to understanding the brain
In a scientific first that potentially could shed new light on how signals travel in the brain, how learning alters neural pathways, and might lead to speedier drug development, scientists at Harvard have created genetically-altered neurons that light up as they fire.

OSU study questions cost-effectiveness of biofuels and their ability to cut fossil fuel use
A new study by economists at Oregon State University questions the cost-effectiveness of biofuels and says they would barely reduce fossil fuel use and would likely increase greenhouse gas emissions.

Industrialization weakens important carbon sink
Australian scientists have reconstructed the past six thousand years in estuary sedimentation records to look for changes in plant and algae abundance.

Body rebuilding: Researchers regenerate muscle in mice
Scientists from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and CellThera have regenerated functional muscle tissue in mice, opening the door for a new clinical therapy for major muscle trauma.

Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation awards $6 million for earthquake early warning research
The Moore Foundation is providing research funds to UC Berkeley, Caltech and the Univ. of Washington to pave the way for a full-blown West Coast earthquake early warning system similar to the one in Japan that performed well after March's magnitude 9.0 Tohoku quake.

Lysosomal storage disorders more common than thought among children in developed countries raising questions around screening
An analysis of dried blood spots from around 35,000 babies in Austria has shown that lysosomal storage disorders -- those in which the lysosome or

Presumed consent not answer to solving organ shortage in US, researchers say
Changing the organ donation process in this country from opt-in -- by, say, checking a box on a driver's license application -- to opt-out, which presumes someone's willingness to donate after death unless they explicitly object while alive, would not be likely to increase the donation rate in the United States, new Johns Hopkins research suggests.

SomaLogic and Ambergen announce agreement for commercial applications of photocleavable biotin
SomaLogic Inc. and AmberGen Inc. announce that they have entered into a licensing agreement whereby AmberGen will provide its proprietary photocleavable biotin reagent for the commercial use of SomaLogic's SOMAscanTM technology platform.

Graphene lights up with new possibilities
Rice University researchers discover a highly controllable way to attach organic molecules to pristine graphene, making it suitable for a range of new applications.

Climate change stunting growth of century-old Antarctic moss shoots
A paper to appear in the January issue of Global Change Biology shows how the dominant plants in Antarctica have been affected by modern climate change.

NJIT professor Alexander Haimovich named to endowed chair in electrical engineering
NJIT professor Alexander Haimovich has been named the new Ying Wu Endowed Chair in Wireless Telecommunications in the NJIT Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Newark College of Engineering.

A beast with 4 tails
The Milky Way galaxy continues to devour its small neighboring dwarf galaxies and the evidence is spread out across the sky.

End to the 30-year war against AIDS in sight
Thirty years, 30 million deaths and 60 million infections after HIV appeared, medical researchers now have the tools to halt the deadly epidemic.

Is the end of polio truly in sight?
Declaring the eradication of polio will be far more difficult than it was for smallpox, according to a review published in the Journal of General Virology.

Microscopic worms could hold the key to living life on Mars
The astrophysicist Stephen Hawking believes that if humanity is to survive we will have up sticks and colonize space.

Making a light-harvesting antenna from scratch
At Washington University in St. Louis's Photosynthetic Antenna Research Center scientists have succeeded in making a light-harvesting antenna from scratch.

A smarter way to make ultraviolet light beams
Existing coherent ultraviolet light sources are power hungry, bulky and expensive.

ONR-funded guided rockets hit fast-moving boat targets in test
A weapon prototype developed by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) successfully hit two high-speed boat targets during recent testing.

New hip implants no better than traditional implants
New hip implants appear to have no advantage over traditional implants, suggests a review of the evidence published on bmj.com today.

Imperfections may improve graphene sensors
Although they found that graphene makes very good chemical sensors, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered an unexpected

NTU-led research probes potential link between cancer and a common chemical in consumer products
A study led by a group of Nanyang Technological University researchers has found that nanosized zinc oxide commonly used in consumer products, can potentially cause cancer.

Introducing CerAxon Oral Solution
CerAxon -- The first & only oral solution medical food for dietary management of brain ischemia in patients with dysphagia.

Genetic buzzer-beater genes may save fish
Two distinct populations of rainbow trout -- one in Alaska, the other in Idaho -- share a genetic trait that could have huge implications for fisheries conservation and management, an eight-member research team reports.

Taking the pulse of an iceberg -- scientists simulate laser imaging for NASA missions
A scientist at Rochester Institute of Technology is giving NASA better tools for assessing changes in the fragile polar region.

Kessler Foundation receives grant to study cognitive reserve in traumatic brain injury
Denise Krch, Ph.D., and James Sumowski, Ph.D., research scientists in the Neuropsychology and Neuroscience Laboratory at Kessler Foundation, received a $379,000 grant from New Jersey Commission on Traumatic Brain Injury Research for a three-year study of cognitive reserve in traumatic brain injury.

Chronic post-traumatic stress disorder in women linked to history of rape, child abuse
A Florida State University clinical psychologist has identified factors that could cause some women with post-traumatic stress disorder to have chronic, persistent symptoms while others recover naturally over time.

"Look at that!" -- ravens use gestures, too
Ravens gesture with their beaks to point out objects to each other.

Shedding light on the 'dark matter' of the genome
Scientific serendipity strikes again: ETH Zurich researchers led by professor Bruce McDonald showed for the first time that non-coding parts of genes called introns can copy themselves and move around the genome.

The implications of disease coexistence
In order to better counsel patients, it is key for clinicians of different disciplines to be aware of, and diagnose, the

Big boost to plant research
The four largest nonprofit plant science research institutions in the US have joined forces to form the Association of Independent Plant Research Institutes in an effort to target plant science research to meet the profound challenges facing society in a more coordinated and rapid fashion.

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.

Are there too many women in medicine?
In the UK, women doctors are set to outnumber their male counterparts by 2017.

Surgeon studies with world-renowned oncoplastic pioneer
The sabbatical is key to making the novel surgical technique available to breast cancer patients through Women & Infants, which is the first facility in New England using this new approach to breast and cosmetic preservation.

Dr. Luther T. Clark to present Merck Academy Talk at SUNY Downstate
Luther T. Clark, M.D., FACC, will discuss preclinical drug discovery and development at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Thursday, Dec.

Virtual childbirth simulator improves safety of high-risk deliveries
Newly developed computer software combined with magnetic resonance imaging of a fetus may help physicians better assess a woman's potential for a difficult childbirth.

Gene acts as a brake on breast cancer progression
New research out of McGill University's Goodman Cancer Research Centre provides compelling new evidence that a gene known as 14-3-3σ plays a critical role in halting breast cancer initiation and progression.

GSA Bulletin highlights: New research posted ahead of print
Highlights for GSA BULLETIN articles published ahead of print between Nov.

Supercomputer seeks way to mimic mollusk shell
One of the first tasks for Warwick's new £1.3 million super computer is to use its monster megabytes to analyze the natural properties of the tiny mollusk shell.

Seaweed hotspots, illegal logging, and discovering new species under the desert
More than 450 world experts from 60 countries will converge on Adelaide this week to discuss the importance of DNA

Concordia student awarded 2012 Rhodes Scholarship
Michael Noonan, an undergraduate student at Concordia University has been selected as a 2012 Rhodes Scholar.

New research aims to shed light on how aging affects immunity
Efforts to understand the effect of aging on the immune system received a boost today as the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council announced investment in a new £3.6 million research project.

NYU Steinhardt researchers receive $1.2 million grant to assess impact of head start programs
Researchers at New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development have received a $1.2 million grant from the Administration for Children and Families to assess Head Start programs.

Study: No decline in running economy for older runners
Runners over the age of 60 are the fastest-growing group in the sport.

Scale-up of voluntary male circumcision cost-effective way to prevent HIV in S. and E. Africa
A collection of nine new articles to be published in PLoS Medicine and PLoS ONE, in conjunction with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS and the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, highlights how scaling up voluntary medical male circumcision for HIV prevention in eastern and southern Africa can help prevent HIV at both individual and community/population level as well as lead to substantial cost savings for countries due to averted treatment and care costs.

Walnut trees may not be able to withstand climate change
Warmer, drier summers and extreme weather events considered possible as the climate changes would be especially troublesome -- possibly fatal -- for walnut trees, according to research at Purdue University.

The interplay of dancing electrons
Negative ions play an important role in everything from how our bodies function to the structure of the universe.

Researchers validate preclinical effectiveness of TB drug target
In research at SRI International, scientists evaluating new drug targets against tuberculosis recently validated the preclinical effectiveness of a target that could rapidly eliminate infections and potentially shorten treatment time.

MRSA: From a nosocomial pathogen to an omnipresent source of infection
In German hospitals, each year 132,000 patients contract infection with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

Emerging new properties at oxide interfaces
Researchers from the National University of Singapore demonstrate that an oxide interface can exhibit a collective electronic state, including ferromagnetism that has not been observed before, in either component of these oxide materials, separately.

'Heading' a soccer ball could lead to brain injury
Using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to study the effects of soccer 'heading,' researchers have found that players who head the ball with high frequency have brain abnormalities similar to those found in traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients.

Going to the dogs: University's newest patent for improving canine health
Researchers modeled the synthetic canine antimicrobial on a naturally occurring peptide found in the white blood cells of dogs.

Wiley-Blackwell joins CrossMark service to ensure content integrity
Wiley-Blackwell, the scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly publishing business of John Wiley & Sons Inc., announced today it is a participant in the CrossMark service from CrossRef -- a multi-publisher initiative to provide a standard way for readers to identify and locate the publisher-maintained version of a piece of content.

Youth smoking at all-time low; teen binge drinking, driving after cannabis use remain concerns
Fewer Ontario teens are smoking cigarettes than ever before -- good news that is tempered by continuing concerns around binge drinking, and driving while under the influence of cannabis, according to the 2011 Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey released today by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

Honey bee mystery protein is a freight train for health and lifespan
Why are bee colonies worldwide suffering mysterious deaths? A unique study describes a single bee protein that can promote bee health and solve a major economic challenge.

Seeking to be the 'perfect parent' not always good for new moms and dads
Parents of newborns show poorer adjustment to their new role if they believe society expects them to be

UI engineers conduct residential soils study, one of few such US studies ever done
University of Iowa engineers collected soils in the residential areas of downtown Cedar Rapids and analyzed them for industrial pollutants known as PCBs and chlordanes.

Growth hormone increases bone formation in obese women
In a new study, growth hormone replacement for six months was found to increase bone formation in abdominally obese women.

Tolerant Swedish schools accommodate religiously conservative parents
Swedish teachers are conflict averse, and consequently stubborn parents often get their way.

Drexel expert: Efficiency metrics for energy storage devices need standardization
In a piece published in the Nov. 18 edition of Science, Drexel's Dr.

Language test as a smartphone app
The app enables scientists to collect large volumes of data on language processing in the brain.

Frequent 'heading' in soccer can lead to brain injury and cognitive impairment
Using advanced imaging techniques and cognitive tests, researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and Montefiore Medical Center, the University Hospital and academic medical center for Einstein, have shown that repeatedly heading a soccer ball increases the risk for brain injury.

UNH scientists to provide sea level rise data for next IPCC report
Scientists at the University of New Hampshire's Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space have been funded by NASA to improve estimates of how melting mountain glaciers around the globe will contribute to sea level rise in the future.

Tools for predicting diabetes exist but are not used, research shows
New research from Queen Mary, University of London suggests that many cases of diabetes could be prevented by making use of existing prediction tools.

'Skin bones' helped large dinosaurs survive, new study says
Bones contained entirely within the skin of some of the largest dinosaurs on Earth might have stored vital minerals to help the massive creatures survive and bear their young in tough times, according to new research by a team including a University of Guelph scientist.

Study shows medical marijuana laws reduce traffic deaths
A new study shows that laws legalizing medical marijuana lead to fewer traffic deaths and less consumption of alcohol.

U of I study: Kindergarten friendships matter, especially for boys
High-quality friendships in kindergarten may mean that boys will have fewer behavior problems and better social skills in first and third grades, said Nancy McElwain, a University of Illinois associate professor of human development.

Breakthrough in the battle against malaria
An international team of scientists has announced a breakthrough in the fight against malaria, paving the way for the development of new drugs to treat the deadly disease.

Everolimus prolongs progression-free survival for patients with neuroendocrine tumors
Combination treatment with octreotide shows improved results in tumors associated with carcinoid syndrome.

Is there a central brain area for hearing melodies and speech cues? Still an open question
Previous studies have suggested a particular hotspot in the brain might be responsible for perceiving pitch, but auditory neuroscientists are still debating whether this

WSU researchers use a 3-D printer to make bone-like material
It looks like bone. It feels like bone. For the most part, it acts like bone.

Norwegian study finds opening bars longer increases violence
A new study published today in the international journal Addiction demonstrates that even small changes in pub and bar closing hours seem to affect the number of violent incidents.

Stress response predictor in police officers may indicate those at high risk for PTSD
A study led by Dr. Charles Marmar, professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the NYU Langone Medical Center, is one of the largest to identify a possible method for predicting vulnerability to stress during and after a traumatic event.

New technology gives patients control of medical image sharing
Patients at three major medical institutions can control the sharing of their medical images and reports with their doctors and medical providers.

New study supports mammography screening at 40
Women in their 40s with no family history of breast cancer are just as likely to develop invasive breast cancer as are women with a family history of the disease, according to a new study.

Crash experts find car seats protect overweight kids, too
Researchers at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's Center for Injury Research and Prevention found no evidence of increased injury risk among crash-involved children across a broad weight range, when they were properly restrained in the correct child safety seat or booster seat for their height and weight.

Study demonstrates a connection between a common chemical and Parkinson's disease
A new study demonstrates a connection between a common chemical and Parkinson's disease.

Cobblestones fool innate immunity
Coating the surface of an implant such as a new hip or pacemaker with nanosized metallic particles reduces the risk of rejection, and researchers at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, can now explain why: they fool the innate immune system.

High blood sugar levels in older women linked to colorectal cancer
Elevated blood sugar levels are associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer, according to a study led by researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University.

Graphene earns its stripes
Researchers from the London Centre for Nanotechnology have discovered electronic stripes, called

Gene is first linked to herpes-related cold sores
A team of researchers from the University of Utah and the University of Massachusetts has identified the first gene associated with frequent herpes-related cold sores.

Tall fescue helps protect peach trees from nematodes
Planting tall fescue grass as a ground cover in peach orchards helps protect peach trees from nematodes that attack tree roots, according to US Department of Agriculture scientists.

New tuberculosis research movement needed
New tools and coordination are needed to boost research in tuberculosis and accelerate progress to control TB around the world.

Want to defeat a proposed public policy? Just label supporters as 'extreme'
New research shows how support for a generally liked policy can be significantly lowered, simply by associating it with a group seen as

Use of opioid painkillers for abdominal pain has more than doubled
Across US outpatient clinics between 1997 and 2008, opioid prescriptions for chronic abdominal pain more than doubled.

Gray matter in brain's control center linked to ability to process reward
The more gray matter you have in the decision-making, thought-processing part of your brain, the better your ability to evaluate rewards and consequences.

A new system for forecasting the GDP of autonomous regions
A study coordinated by Universidad Carlos III de Madrid proposes a new methodology to carry out quarterly forecasts of GDP evolution in all autonomous regions.

Making collective wisdom wiser
A Tel Aviv University researcher has developed a new database technology that will make online information sites more reliable, and at a fraction of the current cost.

2 million dollar grant could make early earthquake warning a reality in the Northwest
A grant to the University of Washington from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation could pave the way for a system to provide a warning seconds to minutes in advance of a major offshore earthquake in the Northwest.

Environment and diet leave their prints on the heart
A University of Cambridge study, which set out to investigate DNA methylation in the human heart and the

New thinking required on wildlife disease
A University of Adelaide scientist says much more could be done to predict the likelihood and spread of serious disease -- such as tuberculosis or foot-and-mouth disease -- in Australian wildlife and commercial stock.
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