Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 12, 2012
Scientists confirm tobacco use by ancient Mayans
Archaeologists examining late period Mayan containers have identified nicotine traces from a codex-style flask, revealing the first physical evidence of tobacco use by ancient Mayans.

Cabazitaxel with radiation and hormone therapy may improve prostate cancer survival
Jefferson's Kimmel Cancer Center has started a Phase I clinical trial investigating the latest prostate cancer chemotherapy drug to extend survival, Cabazitaxel, in combination with radiation and hormone therapy.

Research prevents eco-fraud
In recent years, the growing demand for organic food products has led to the faking of food and fraud.

Giving the electricity network more grunt
QUT's Chair in Power Engineering, professor Gerard Ledwich, said because renewable generation was not predictable other generation currently needed to be available to ensure continuity of supply.

NASA cold weather airborne campaign to measure falling snow 01.12.12
Beginning Jan. 17, NASA will fly an airborne science laboratory above Canadian snowstorms to tackle a difficult challenge facing the upcoming Global Precipitation Measurement satellite mission -- measuring snowfall from space.

VTT: One-third of car fuel consumption is due to friction loss
No less than one-third of a car's fuel consumption is spent in overcoming friction, and this friction loss has a direct impact on both fuel consumption and emissions.

Ergonomics in Design special issue on driver distraction now online
The October special issue of Ergonomics in Design: The Quarterly of Human Factors Applications featuring research on the science and technology of driver distraction is available online.

New culprit discovered in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia
A new study published in the journal Nature Medicine by NYU Cancer Institute researchers, shows how the cancer causing gene Notch, in combination with a mutated Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 protein complex, work together to cause T- cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

La Jolla Institute researchers identify pivotal immune cell in Type 1 diabetes in humans
Researchers at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology have proven -- for the first time in human tissues -- the specific immune system T cells which trigger the destruction of Type 1 diabetes in the pancreas.

Thousands of seniors lack access to lifesaving organs, despite survival benefit
Thousands more American senior citizens with kidney disease are good candidates for transplants and could get them if physicians would get past outdated medical biases and put them on transplant waiting lists, according to a new study by Johns Hopkins researchers.

Titanium dioxide film enhances the sun's natural disinfection power
With fears about overfishing and the sustainability of fish stocks in our seas fish farming is becoming big business.

Newly identified type of immune cell may be important protector against sepsis
Investigators in the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Systems Biology have discovered a previously unknown type of immune cell, a B cell that can produce the important growth factor GM-CSF, which stimulates many other immune cells.

Cold winters caused by warmer summers, research suggests
Scientists have offered up a convincing explanation for the harsh winters recently experienced in the Northern hemisphere: increasing temperatures and melting ice in the Arctic regions creating more snowfall in the autumn months at lower latitudes.

LSUHSC research identifies 'bath salts' as new source of flesh-eating infection
A study led by Russell R. Russo, M.D., a third-year orthopaedic surgery resident at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Medicine, has identified a new source of life-threatening necrotizing fasciitis --

Don't know much about charter schools
UC San Diego researchers say the best studies reflect only the best charter schools and must be boosted with

Anthrax capsule vaccine protects monkeys from lethal infection
Vaccination with the anthrax capsule -- a naturally occurring component of the bacterium that causes the disease -- protected monkeys from lethal anthrax infection, according to US Army scientists.

Boston College researchers locate protein that could 'turn off' deadly disease carrier
Genome sequencing leads to the identification of a protein crucial to the work of two parasites as they spread a pair of deadly diseases, toxoplasmosis and malaria.

NASA study shows health, food security benefits from climate change actions
A new study led by a NASA scientist highlights 14 key air pollution control measures that, if implemented, could slow the pace of global warming, improve health and boost agricultural production.

Deaf sign language users pick up faster on body language
Deaf people who use sign language are quicker at recognizing and interpreting body language than hearing non-signers, according to new research from investigators at UC Davis and UC Irvine.

In tackling lead pollution, fungi may be our friends
Fungi may be unexpected allies in our efforts to keep hazardous lead under control.

How the brain routes traffic for maximum alertness
A UC Davis study shows how the brain reconfigures its connections to minimize distractions and take best advantage of our knowledge of situations.

Grapes may help prevent age-related blindness
Can eating grapes slow or help prevent the onset of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a debilitating condition affecting millions of elderly people worldwide?

DOE awards record supercomputing time to UC San Diego, SDSC researchers
Scientists from the San Diego Supercomputer Center and other areas of the University of California, San Diego, conducting research in physics, computer science, earth science, and engineering, together were awarded an all-time high of more than a quarter billion hours in supercomputing processor time by the US Department of Energy as part of the agency's 2012 Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment program.

We may be less happy, but our language isn't
Research shows that English is strongly biased toward being positive.

Improving the performance of electric induction motors
The School of Engineers in Eibar was where Patxi Alkorta, a local professor, defended his thesis, following his research into advanced motor control devices.

Researchers find new, noninvasive way to identify lymph node metastasis
Using two cell surface markers found to be highly expressed in breast cancer lymph node metastases, researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center, working with colleagues at other institutions, have developed targeted, fluorescent molecular imaging probes that can noninvasively detect breast cancer lymph node metastases.

Study provides new insights into an ancient mechanism of mammalian evolution
A team of geneticists and computational biologists in the UK today reveal how an ancient mechanism is involved in gene control and continues to drive genome evolution.

The microbiome and disease: Gut bacteria influence the severity of heart attacks in rats
Research published in the FASEB Journal suggests the types and levels of intestinal bacteria may be used to predict a person's likelihood of having a heart attack, and manipulating these organisms may help reduce risk.

Caltech chemists devise chemical reaction that holds promise for new drug development
A team of researchers at the California Institute of Technology has devised a new method for making complex molecules.

Optical nanoantennas enable efficient multipurpose particle manipulation
University of Illinois researchers have shown that by tuning the properties of laser light illuminating arrays of metal nanoantennas, these nano-scale structures allow for dexterous optical tweezing as well as size-sorting of particles.

Berkeley Lab Director Paul Alivisatos wins Wolf Prize in Chemistry
Paul Alivisatos, Berkeley Lab director and UC Berkeley professor, has won the prestigious Wolf Foundation Prize in Chemistry for 2012.

Receptor for tasting fat identified in humans
Why do we like fatty foods so much? We can blame our taste buds.

Magnetic actuation enables nanoscale thermal analysis
In recent years an atomic force microscope-based technique called nanoscale thermal analysis has been employed to reveal the temperature-dependent properties of materials at the sub-100 nm scale.

Technology boost for math skills
The Economic and Social Research Council, in partnership with Higher Education Funding Council for England and the British Academy, are delighted to announce 20 new and innovative projects that aim to develop skills in this area.

Viral load a major factor affecting risk of sexually transmitting HIV
The level of HIV-1 in the blood of an HIV-infected partner is the single most important factor influencing risk of sexual transmission to an uninfected partner, according to a multinational study of heterosexual couples in sub-Saharan Africa.

Springer launches interdisciplinary open-access journal SpringerPlus
Springer's new open-access journal SpringerPlus is a further addition to the publishing company's SpringerOpen portfolio, underlining its flexible publication strategy.

Discrimination may harm your health, according to new Rice study
Racial discrimination may be harmful to your health, according to new research from Rice University.

Imagine that: How you envision others says a lot about you in real life
Researchers have found that study participants who conjured positive imaginary co-workers contributed more in the actual workplace, both in job performance and going above and beyond to help others.

Largest bird alters its foraging due to climate change
Wandering albatrosses have altered their foraging due to changes in wind fields in the southern hemisphere during the last decades.

Tropical Storm Heidi's temperature, cloud heights and rainfall grabbed by NASA satellites
NASA satellites got a look inside Tropical Storm Heidi over the last several days and provided data that enabled forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center to know she was going to strengthen before making landfall, and she did.

Mass media and health: Well-informed people eat better
Television, newspaper and the Internet, when used to get information, may turn out to be of help for health.

New 'smart' nanotherapeutics can deliver drugs directly to the pancreas
A research collaboration between the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University and Children's Hospital Boston has developed

Active compounds against Alzheimer's disease: New insights thanks to simulations
Various molecules have been synthesized that inhibit self-assembly of the amyloid beta peptide in vitro.

ONR's information discovery and sharing environment undergoes 'Marathon' experiment
The ability to catch international smugglers and terrorists just got upgraded with a Jan.

NIH scientists identify novel approach to view inner workings of viruses
Researchers at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, have developed a new way to see structures within viruses that were not clearly seen before.

Scientists learn how stem cell implants help heal traumatic brain injury
Researchers have identified key molecular mechanisms by which implanted human neural stem cells aid recovery from traumatic axonal injury.

Diverse ecosystems are crucial climate change buffer
Preserving diverse plant life will be crucial to buffer the negative effects of climate change and desertification in in the world's drylands, according to a new landmark study.

First detailed data of risk of using Rasilez with certain blood pressure-lowering drugs
Researchers at St. Michael's Hospital have published the first detailed figures showing the risk of using the prescription drug Rasilez in combination with certain other blood pressure-lowering medications.

Graphene quantum dots: The next big small thing
A Rice University laboratory has found a way to turn common carbon fiber into graphene quantum dots, tiny specks of matter with properties expected to prove useful in electronic, optical and biomedical applications.

ARVO launches new journal on translational research
The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) launched its third journal, Translational Vision Science & Technology (TVST), with an open call for manuscript submissions this month.

Educating women about heart attacks could save lives
Heart attacks in women go largely unrecognized 30 to 55 percent of the time and those who miss the warning signs and fail or delay getting help, run the risk of death or grave disability.

Expectant mothers on antidepressants risk newborns with high blood pressure
Persistent pulmonary hypertension is an increase in blood pressure in the lungs leading to shortness of breath and difficulty breathing.

New software designed to improve politics
Experts in political science and in simulation and computing technologies are working on the development of a new software that will allow politicians to analyze opinions expressed in social networks.

CRF hosts meeting on advances for chronic total occlusions and left main interventions
The Complex PCI: Left Main and CTO Summit is a three-day conference featuring state-of-the-art technologies, research findings and new developments in therapeutic procedures essential for interventional cardiologists to optimize success in chronic total coronary occlusions and left main coronary interventions.

Kadanoff to give Newton Lecture on life as a theoretical physicist
Professor Leo Kadanoff, winner of the 2011 Isaac Newton Medal, will give his Newton Lecture on Friday, Jan.

Finding the silent killer -- a biomarker test for atherosclerosis
Furring of the arteries, atherosclerosis, is a leading cause of death across the world.

Neurodisabled children to have a say in care
An exciting new study that will help put children with neurodisabilites at the centre of evaluating their own care has received almost £250,000 ($383,000) in funding.

Millennium Development Goal 4 focuses on child survival -- but what about the consequences for newborns that survive illness and complications in all world regions?
Many millions more babies are affected by illnesses and complications yet survive, and very little is known about of the risks of long-term impairment worldwide.

The European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention & Rehabilitation name change
SAGE and the European Society of Cardiology have announced that the European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention & Rehabilitation will become the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology from January 2012.

A muffin makeover: Dispelling the low-fat-is-healthy myth
To combat the

The world's smallest magnetic data storage unit
Scientists from IBM and the German Center for Free-Electron Laser Science have built the world's smallest magnetic data storage unit.

Particle-free silver ink prints small, high-performance electronics
University of Illinois materials scientists have developed a new reactive silver ink for printing high-performance electronics on ubiquitous, low-cost materials such as flexible plastic, paper or fabric substrates.

Explosives and fish are traced with chemical tags
Researchers at the University of Oviedo have come up with a way of tagging gunpowder which allows its illegal use to be detected even after it has been detonated.

Planets around stars are the rule rather than the exception
There are more exoplanets further away from their parent stars than originally thought, according to new astrophysics research.

Researchers: Honeybee deaths linked to seed insecticide exposure
Honeybee populations have been in serious decline for years, and Purdue University scientists may have identified one of the factors that cause bee deaths around agricultural fields.

Surgical robots to provide open-source platform for medical robotics research
Seven identical robots created and built at the UW will be flown to campuses across the country, where they will provide the first common research platform to develop the future of surgical robotics.

Study finds chlorophyll can help prevent cancer - but questions traditional research methods
A recent study found that the chlorophyll in green vegetables offers protection against cancer when tested against the modest carcinogen exposure levels most likely to be found in the environment.

Rice's Deem wins Texas academy's O'Donnell Award
Rice University bioengineer and physicist Michael Deem has earned one of Texas' highest scientific honors, the O'Donnell Award from The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas.

Hydrogen advances graphene use
A dose of hydrogen or helium can render the

'Open-source' robotic surgery platform going to top medical research labs
Robotics experts at the University of California, Santa Cruz and the University of Washington have completed a set of seven advanced robotic surgery systems for use by major medical research laboratories throughout the United States.

UH Manoa researchers discover novel chemical route to form organic molecules
An international team of scientists led by University of Hawai'i at Msnoa professor Ralf I.

Discovery in Africa gives insight for Australian Hendra virus outbreaks
A new study on African bats provides a vital clue for unraveling the mysteries in Australia's battle with the deadly Hendra virus.

Pioneering diabetes research earns UT Southwestern scientist state's top honor for medicine
Dr. Philipp Scherer, director of the Touchstone Center for Diabetes Research at UT Southwestern Medical Center, was recognized today as a rising star in Texas research by the Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas.

Girl power surges in India
An affirmative action law in India has led to a direct role model effect and is changing the way the girls as well as their parents think about female roles of leadership and has improved their attitudes toward higher career aspirations and education goals for women, according to a new Northwestern University study.

Products of biotechnological origin using vegetable and fruit by-products generated by the industry
Tecnalia will be developing new products of biotechnological origin using the products not used in the processing of fruit and vegetables as raw materials, since they constitute renewable matter with a high potential as a raw material for industry.

Conserving biodiversity could benefit the world's poor
A striking concordance between high-priority sites for terrestrial biodiversity conservation, provision of ecosystem services, and poverty of human populations is analyzed globally in spatial detail under a variety of economic assumptions.

Astronomers release unprecedented data set on celestial objects that brighten and dim
Astronomers from the California Institute of Technology and the University of Arizona have released the largest data set ever collected that documents the brightening and dimming of stars and other celestial objects -- two hundred million in total.

Research team discovers genes and disease mechanisms behind a common form of muscular dystrophy
Continuing a series of groundbreaking discoveries begun in 2010 about the genetic causes of the third most common form of inherited muscular dystrophy, an international team of researchers led by a scientist at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has identified the genes and proteins that damage muscle cells, as well as the mechanisms that can cause the disease.

Breakthrough model reveals evolution of ancient nervous systems through seashell colors
Determining the evolution of pigmentation patterns on mollusk seashells -- which could aid in the understanding of ancient nervous systems -- has proved to be a challenging feat for researchers.

New laboratory method uses mass spectrometry to rapidly detect staph infections
Georgia Tech and CDC researchers have developed a new laboratory test that can rapidly identify the bacterium responsible for staph infections.

Electron's negativity cut in half by supercomputer
Using several massive supercomputers, a team of physicists has split a simulated electron perfectly in half.

Researchers discover particle which could 'cool the planet'
Scientists have shown that a new molecule in the Earth's atmosphere has the potential to play a significant role in offsetting global warming by cooling the planet.

A scarcity of women leads men to spend more, save less
The perception that women are scarce leads men to become impulsive, save less, and increase borrowing, according to new research from the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management. 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