Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 19, 2012
The biodiversity crisis: Worse than climate change
Biodiversity is declining rapidly throughout the world. The challenges of conserving the world's species are perhaps even larger than mitigating the negative effects of global climate change.

Gastrointestinal bleeding: What many kidney failure patients stomach
Bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract causes serious health problems -- and even early deaths -- for many patients with kidney failure, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology.

Metastasis of pancreatic cancer in action
Penn researchers have discovered that pancreatic cancer cells in an animal model begin to spread before clinically obvious tumor tissue is detected.

Gender differences in liver cancer risk explained by small changes in genome
Men are four times more likely to develop liver cancer compared to women, a difference attributed to the sex hormones androgen and estrogen.

Abnormal chromosome indicator of treatment and outcome in patients with rare brain tumor
A Radiation Therapy Oncology Group trial shows that, in adults with an oligodendroglioma brain tumor, a chromosomal abnormality is associated with a near-doubling of median survival time and better prognosis when patients are treated with combined chemotherapy and radiation therapy compared to radiation therapy alone.

Many high-risk Americans don't get hepatitis B vaccine
A study investigating hepatitis B vaccination rates in the United States found that more than half of adults at risk for hepatitis B virus remain unvaccinated.

MIT researchers find critical speed above which birds- and drones- are sure to crash
MIT researchers find critical speed above which birds -- and drones -- are sure to crash.

Evidence suggests that lithium treatment can cause weight-gain, hypothyroidism, and hyperparathoidism; but evidence is uncertain on congenital abnormalities and lacking for skin or hair problems
New research published by The Lancet assesses almost 400 articles investigating the possible adverse effects of lithium, and concludes that thyroid and parathyroid abnormalities occur in about 25 percent of patients receiving lithium therapy, compared with 3 percent and 1 percent in the general population, respectively.

Carnegie's BioEYES honored twofold
Carnegie's educational outreach program, BioEYES, will be the recipient of the 2012 Viktor Hamburger Outstanding Educator Prize from the Society for Developmental Biology.

UCI team discovers how protein in teardrops annihilates harmful bacteria
A disease-fighting protein in our teardrops has been tethered to a tiny transistor, enabling UC Irvine scientists to discover exactly how it destroys dangerous bacteria.

The power of flowers: Research sprouts a closer look at sunflower genetics
A Kansas State University biology professor has two major research projects that involve evolutionary change in sunflowers, the state flower of Kansas.

Rutgers study finds paid family leave leads to positive economic outcomes
With a growing need for family-friendly workplace policies, a new study by Rutgers' Center for Women and Work commissioned by the National Partnership for Women & Families, with support from the Rockefeller Foundation, concludes that providing paid family leave to workers leads to positive economic outcomes for working families, businesses and the public.

UCSF team uncovers how immune cells move against invaders
UCSF scientists have discovered the unexpected way in which a key cell of the immune system prepares for battle.

Elsevier announces publishing the Ocular Surface
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, is pleased to announce newly acquiring the Ocular Surface, a peer-reviewed journal focusing on the external eye and vision.

Avalanche of reactions at the origin of life
The origin of life is seen as the formation of the first biomolecules which may be subject to multiplication and further development.

UGA College of Education finds exercise reduces anxiety symptoms in women
Approximately three percent of the US population suffers from excessive, uncontrollable worry that reduces their health and quality of life.

Snakes improve search-and-rescue robots
Existing search-and-rescue robots can climb and move over existing terrain, but the majority require large amounts of energy and are prone to overheating.

Study tests new treatments for the winter blues
If winter's long nights and cold weather have you feeling depressed, a new research study could lift your spirits.

Mysterious flotsam in Gulf of Mexico came from Deepwater Horizon rig, WHOI study finds
Using state-of-the-art chemical forensics and a bit of old-fashioned detective work, a research team led by scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution confirmed that mysterious material found floating in the Gulf of Mexico came from the Deepwater Horizon rig.

New drug labels for kidney disease patients -- what do they mean?
The US Food and Drug Administration recently recommended that clinicians be more conservative when they prescribe chronic kidney disease patients with drugs that treat red blood cell deficiencies.

Paper highlights need to identify and treat insomnia early to reduce risk of developing other illnesses
Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder, but despite advances it often goes unrecognized and untreated.

Native forest birds in unprecedented trouble, according to University of Hawaii at Manoa researchers
Native birds at Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge are in unprecedented trouble, according to a paper recently published in the journal PLoS ONE.

How the 'street pigeon' got its fancy on
Pigeons come in all colors, shapes, and sizes. Some have feathers reaching up over their heads like a hood.

Which way did it go?
On Jan. 31, 2012, David Fitzpatrick (Max Planck Florida Institute) and Joshua Sanes (Harvard University) will discuss how identifying motion-sensitive neurons in the visual system aids in understanding brain function and development.

Study finds patients receive half of recommended preventive health services at annual check-ups
More than 20 percent of US adults receive periodic health examinations each year, yet new research shows that patients who have an annual routine visit to their doctor may not receive recommended preventive screening tests and counseling services that could benefit their health.

Study: Communicating health risk is a risky task for FDA
The impact of FDA efforts to notify the general public and health care providers about unanticipated risks from approved medications has been

UF study: 'Rules' may govern genome evolution in young plant species
A new University of Florida study shows a hybrid plant species may experience rapid genome evolution in predictable patterns, meaning evolution repeats itself in populations of independent origin.

UC Davis researchers refine nanoparticles for more accurate delivery of cancer drugs
A new class of nanoparticles, synthesized by a UC Davis research team to prevent premature drug release, holds promise for greater accuracy and effectiveness in delivering cancer drugs to tumors.

Sitting it out
Youngsters in Norway today are not as fit as earlier generations, and even the best perform less well.

Media invited: Biophysical Society Annual Meeting
Credentialed journalists and freelance reporters are invited to attend the 56th annual meeting of the Biophysical Society, which will highlight innovations in medicine, environmental science, physics, interdisciplinary work, and more.

Delirium after stroke linked to poorer outcomes for patients
As many as three in 10 patients might suffer from an acute confused state, or delirium, shortly after a stroke.

Japan and New Zealand were hit hardest by earthquakes
Last year, earthquakes and their consequences, such as tsunamis, landslides, and ground settlements, caused a damage of 365 billion US dollars.

Homeless heavy drinkers imbibe less when housing allows alcohol
A study of a controversial housing project that allows chronically homeless people with severe alcohol problems to drink in their apartments found that during their first two years in the building residents cut their heavy drinking by 35 percent.

NASA sees Tropical Cyclone Funso develop, threaten Mozambique
Residents of Mozambique are still recovering from the flooding caused by Tropical Depression Dando earlier this week and now newly formed Tropical Cyclone Funso threatens to bring more rainfall to the country.

NASA satellite sees birth of Tropical Storm Ethel, now threatening Rodrigues
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Tropical Storm Ethel on Jan.

Benefits of high quality child care persist 30 years later
Adults who participated in a high quality early childhood education program in the 1970s are still benefiting from their early experiences in a variety of ways, according to a new study.

Catching a comet death on camera
On July 6, 2011, a comet was caught doing something never seen before: die a scorching death as it flew too close to the sun.

'Pulverized' chromosomes linked to cancer?
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute researchers have mapped out a mechanism by which micronuclei could potentially disrupt the chromosomes within them and produce cancer-causing gene mutations.

Findings prove Miscanthus x giganteus has great potential as an alternative energy source
A new University of Illinois study shows Miscanthus x giganteus is a strong contender in the race to find the next source of ethanol if appropriate growing conditions are identified.

Sexual activity is safe for most heart, stroke patients
Sexual activity is safe for most heart disease and stroke patients.

SpringerLink now offers more than 50,000 eBooks
Springer celebrates its 50,000th eBook, available on its online platform SpringerLink.

Researchers outline food security-climate change road map in Science
While last month's climate negotiations in Durban made incremental progress toward helping farmers adapt to climate change and reduce agriculture's climate footprint, a group of international agriculture experts, writing in the Jan.

Are religious people better adjusted psychologically?
Psychological research has found that religious people feel great about themselves, with a tendency toward higher social self-esteem and better psychological adjustment than non-believers.

Study finds delirium after stroke linked to poorer outcomes for patients
Up to 30 percent of patients hospitalized after a stroke develop delirium, according to a new study from St.

Tips from the journals of the American Society for Microbiology
This announcement includes the following articles: Colony Collapse Treatment Worsens Infections in Honeybees; Mitochondrial Disfunction and Type II Diabetes; Avian Influenza Targets Lung Cells; Single Dose of Antibiotic Increases Vulnerability to Intestinal Disease.

Blood protein predicts kidney disease risk in diabetes patients
Levels of certain blood proteins indicate which diabetes patients will likely develop life-threatening kidney problems in the future, according to two studies appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology.

NASA finds 2011 ninth-warmest year on record
The global average surface temperature in 2011 was the ninth warmest since 1880, according to NASA scientists.

Lawson researchers engineer a switch to tame aggressive cancers
A new imaging platform developed by Lawson Health Research Institute's Drs.

15 minutes of fame lasts a bit longer for artists who hit pop charts
A detailed analysis of American pop music data shows musicians that hit the album charts spend, on average, a little more than five years there.

Curiosity rover will serve as terramechanics instrument in explortation of Martian soils
NASA has announced that Raymond E. Arvidson, a planetary scientist at Washington University in St.

VCU study suggests antimicrobial scrubs may reduce bacteria
The use of antimicrobial impregnated scrubs combined with good hand hygiene is effective in reducing the burden of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus on healthcare workers' apparel and may potentially play a role in decreasing the risk of MRSA transmission to patients, according to a new study from Virginia Commonwealth University researchers.

Researchers find gene critical to sense of smell in fruit fly
UW-Madison researchers have discovered that a gene called distal-less is critical to the fly's ability to receive, process and respond to smells.

Rigged to explode?
An inherited mutation is likely the link between exploding chromosomes and the pediatric brain tumor which is the second most common cause of childhood mortality in developed countries, scientists at EMBL, DKFZ and the University Hospital, all in Heidelberg, Germany, have discovered.

Revamping HIV-prevention programs in the Caribbean
While global attention to HIV/AIDS remains strong, a lack of focus on prevention strategies is stonewalling health experts in many developing nations, specifically in the Caribbean.

Birds of a feather don't always stick together
Pigeons display spectacular variations in their feathers, feet, beaks and other physical traits, but a new University of Utah study shows that visible traits don't always coincide with genetics: A bird from one breed may have huge foot feathers, while a closely related breed does not; Yet two unrelated pigeon breeds both may have large foot feathers.

Bio architecture lab technology converts seaweed to renewable fuels and chemicals
A team of scientists from Bio Architecture Lab, has developed breakthrough technology that expands the feedstocks for advanced biofuels and renewable chemicals production to include seaweed.

Ecologists gain insight into the likely consequences of global warming
A new insight into the impact that warmer temperatures could have across the world has been uncovered by scientists at Queen Mary, University of London.

When it comes to accepting evolution, gut feelings trump facts
For students to accept the theory of evolution, an intuitive

Cell senescence does not stop tumor growth
The work explores the relationship between melanoma and senescence, the normal process where cells decline and eventually stop duplicating after reaching maturity.

ONR sets date for 2012 Naval S&T Partnership Conference
The Office of Naval Research's biennial 2012 Naval Science and Technology Partnership Conference will take place Oct.

Poorest smokers face toughest odds for kicking the habit
Quitting smoking is never easy. However, when you're poor and uneducated, kicking the habit for good is doubly hard, according to a new study by a tobacco dependence researcher at The City College of New York.

Where you vote may influence how you vote, Baylor University researchers find
Passersby who stopped to answer surveys next to churches reported themselves as more politically conservative and more negative toward non-Christians than did people questioned within sight of government buildings -- a finding that may be significant during elections, according to a Baylor University study.

MIT: The advantage of ambiguity in language
Cognitive scientists develop a new take on an old problem: Why human language has so many words with multiple meanings.

Sooner or later, we are all patients
Why does health care need to be redesigned? First - the current system is broken.

PCE in drinking water linked to an increased risk of mental illness
The solvent tetrachloroethylene widely used in industry and to dry clean clothes is a neurotoxin known to cause mood changes, anxiety, and depression in people who work with it.

Study: Quebec ban on fast-food ads reduced consumption of junk food
An outright ban on junk food advertising aimed at children would be more effective than the current industry-led ban, according to research by University of Illinois economist Kathy Baylis.

Efforts to control the 'Mighty Mississippi' result in flooded farmland and permanent damage
When the water in the Mississippi River rose to 58 feet with a forecast of 60 feet or higher in May 2011, the emergency plan to naturally or intentionally breach the levees, established over 80 years prior, was put in motion.

REL, Inc. teams with NYU-Poly to create lightweight, ultra durable automotive brake rotor
Researchers at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University and Michigan-based REL, Inc., are creating a next-generation aluminum composite brake rotor potentially weighing 60 percent less than today's cast iron rotors with triple the life expectancy.

Study finds potential key to immune suppression in cancer
In a study investigating immune response in cancer, researchers from Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla., and the University of South Florida have found that interaction between the immune system's antigen-specific CD4 T cells and myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) - cells that play a major role in cancer-related immune suppression - dramatically change the nature of MDSC-mediated suppression.

New team to navigate the retail sector
Building relationships, raising the profile of social science research and identifying opportunities for collaboration will be the main focus of a new Retail Knowledge Navigator Team.

Study reveals mechanism of lung-cancer drug resistance
New research indicates that targeted drugs such as gefitinib might more effectively treat non-small cell lung cancer if they could be combined with agents that block certain microRNAs.

Dung beetle dance provides crucial orientation cues
Dung beetle dance provides crucial orientation cues: Beetles climb on top of ball, rotate to get their bearings to maintain straight trajectory.

'Senior' runners never stop pushing their limits in marathons.
Romauld Lepers and Thomas Cattagni, researchers from Inserm Unit 1093

NJIT high speed rail expert to address DC conference next week
The controversial issues behind the building of high speed rail lines in China will be the topic of conversation next week when NJIT associate professor Rongfang Liu takes the stage at the annual 91st Transportation Research Board conference.

The helix in new colors
ESO's VISTA telescope, at the Paranal Observatory in Chile, has captured a striking new image of the Helix Nebula.

Quantum physics enables perfectly secure cloud computing
Researchers have succeeded in combining the power of quantum computing with the security of quantum cryptography and have shown that perfectly secure cloud computing can be achieved using the principles of quantum mechanics.

Why cholesterol-lowering statins might treat cancer
Cholesterol-lowering statins seem to keep breast cancer at bay in some patients.

Chemists unlock potential target for drug development
A receptor found on blood platelets whose importance as a potential pharmaceutical target has long been questioned may in fact be fruitful in drug testing, according to new research from Michigan State University chemists.

Low temperatures enhance ozone degradation above the Arctic
Extraordinarily cold temperatures in the winter of 2010/2011 caused the most massive destruction of the ozone layer above the Arctic so far: The mechanisms leading to the first ozone hole above the North Pole were studied by scientists of the KIT Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research.

Research highlights key role grandmothers play in mother and child nutrition and health
Grandmothers and other senior female family members should play a key role in nutrition and health programs for children and women in non-Western societies.

Color-coding, rearranging food products improves healthy choices in hospital cafeteria
A simple program involving color-coded food labeling and adjusting the way food items are positioned in display cases was successful in encouraging more healthful food choices in a large hospital cafeteria.

UC Davis investigators achieve important step toward treating Huntington's disease
A team of researchers at the UC Davis Institute for Regenerative Cures has developed a technique for using stem cells to deliver therapy that specifically targets the genetic abnormality found in Huntington's disease, a hereditary brain disorder that causes progressive uncontrolled movements, dementia and death.

Researchers discover green pesticide for citrus pests
When methionine is sprayed on leaves, it is 100 percent effective in killing larvae related to the Lime Swallowtail caterpillars within two to three days.

Hardy bacteria help make case for life in the extreme
The bottom of a glacier is not the most hospitable place on Earth, but at least two types of bacteria happily live there, according to researchers.

Pictures of food create feelings of hunger
External stimuli control the hormonal regulation of our eating behavior.

High risk oesophageal cancer gene discovered
New research from Queen Mary, University of London has uncovered a gene which plays a key role in the development of oesophageal cancer.

Report shows risk of blindness halved over last decade
Age-related macular degeneration is the most frequent cause of blindness in the Western World.

Carnegie Mellon study reveals potential of manganese in neutralizing deadly Shiga toxin
Carnegie Mellon researchers have discovered that manganese, an element commonly found in nature, might provide a way to neutralize the potentially lethal effects Shiga toxin.

Comparison of effects of red wine versus white wine on hormones related to breast cancer risk
Aromatase inhibitors prevent the conversion of androgens to estrogens, and could play a role in the development of breast cancer.

Jackson Laboratory researchers find mutation causing neurodegeneration
A Jackson Laboratory research team led by Professor and Howard Hughes Medical Investigator Susan Ackerman, Ph.D., has discovered a defect in the RNA splicing process in neurons that may contribute to neurological disease.

Another clue in the mystery of autism
A study of discordant twins -- twins in which one has autism spectrum disorder and one doesn't -- finds the lower birth weight twins are more than three times as likely to have ASD than heavier twins.

Climate change invites alien invaders - Is Canada ready?
A comprehensive multi-disciplinary synthesis just published in Environmental Reviews reveals the urgent need for further investigation and policy development to address significant environmental, social and economic impacts of invasive alien species and climate change.

Louis St. Laurent receives Nicholas P. Fofonoff Award from AMS
Louis St. Laurent of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution was selected by the American Meteorological Society to receive the prestigious Nicholas P.

Elusive Z- DNA found on nucleosomes
New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal Cell & Bioscience is the first to show that left-handed Z-DNA, normally only found at sites where DNA is being copied, can also form on nucleosomes.

Scientists make progress in assessing tornado seasons
A new study of short-term climate trends offers the first framework for predicting tornado activity up to a month out with current technology, and possibly further out as climate models improve, giving communities a chance to plan.

NSF grant will aid Wayne State professors' mathematical modeling of fatty liver predictors
Detroit - Predicting problems in one of the body's most complex organs soon may become easier because of work being done by Wayne State University researchers.

EARTH: Setting off a supervolcano
Supervolcanoes are one of nature's most destructive forces. In a matter of hours, an eruption from a supervolcano can force thousands of cubic meters of molten rock above ground, and scar landscapes with massive calderas and craters.

Joslin study identifies novel markers as key indicators of future renal failure in diabetes
Scientists at Joslin Diabetes Center have identified two novel markers that, when elevated in the blood stream, can predict accurately the risk of renal failure in patients with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

Marine's best friend shows explosive-detecting capabilities
Specialty canines were on a mission to sniff out trouble and display their explosive-detecting abilities Jan.

Balancing scientific freedom and national security
The US government's request that the journals Science and Nature withhold scientific information related to the genetically modified H5N1 virus because of biosecurity concerns does not violate the First Amendment, say two Georgetown University professors. 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