Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 02, 2012
New super-Earth detected within the habitable zone of a nearby cool star
An international team of scientists led by Carnegie's Guillem Anglada-Escudé and Paul Butler has discovered a potentially habitable super-Earth orbiting a nearby star.

DNA test that identifies Down syndrome in pregnancy can also detect trisomy 18 and trisomy 13
A recent study by Drs. Glenn Palomaki and Jacob Canick of Women & Infants Hospital shows that a new DNA test that identifies Down syndrome in pregnancy can also detect trisomies 18 and 13.

Malaria kills nearly twice as many people than previously thought, but deaths declining rapidly
Malaria is killing more people worldwide than previously thought -- 1.2 million -- but the number of deaths has fallen rapidly as efforts to combat the disease have ramped up, according to new research from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.

'Goldilocks' gene could determine best treatment for TB patients
Tuberculosis patients may receive treatments in the future according to what version they have of a single 'Goldilocks' gene, says an international research team from Oxford University, King's College London, Vietnam and the USA.

Lecture or listen: When patients waver on meds
According to a new analysis of hundreds of recorded office visits, doctors and nurse practitioners typically issued orders and asked closed or leading questions when talking to their HIV-positive patients about adherence to antiretroviral therapy.

Where is memory stored?
Brain researchers from world-leading universities will be convening at the University of Haifa next week and will be presenting over 100 new studies in the field, focused on revealing the answer to the question of where and how memory is stored.

Studying butterfly flight to help build bug-size flying robots
By figuring out how butterflies flutter among flowers with amazing grace and agility, researchers hope to help build small airborne robots that can mimic those maneuvers.

Sexually transmitted infections double in older population in 10 years
Sexually active adults aged 45 and over are being encouraged to pay more thought to safe sex in line with recent figures showing that STIs in 50-90 year olds have doubled in the past ten years.

Rearranging the cell's skeleton
Cell biologists at Johns Hopkins have identified key steps in how certain molecules alter a cell's skeletal shape and drive the cell's movement.

Rivaroxaban has less risk of brain bleeding in patients at high risk for stroke
For patients with a type of irregular heart beat called atrial fibrillation, a new anti-clotting drug might be better at preventing clot-related strokes while minimizing the risk of causing a bleeding stroke.

UT biosolar breakthrough promises cheap, easy green electricity
A professor of biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology, at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and a team of researchers have developed a system that taps into photosynthetic processes to produce efficient and inexpensive energy.

Understanding how bacteria come back from the dead
Salmonella remains a serious cause of food poisoning, in part due to its ability to thrive and quickly adapt to the different environments in which it can grow.

Triglyceride levels predict stroke risk in postmenopausal women
A new study by researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center and colleagues found that traditional risk factors for stroke -- such as high cholesterol -- are not as accurate at predicting risk in postmenopausal women as previously thought.

New RNA-based therapeutic strategies for controlling gene expression
Small RNA-based nucleic acid drugs represent a promising new class of therapeutic agents for silencing abnormal or overactive disease-causing genes, and researchers have discovered new mechanisms by which RNA drugs can control gene activity.

Gene regulator in brain's executive hub tracked across lifespan -- NIH study
Scientists have tracked the activity, across the lifespan, of an environmentally responsive regulatory mechanism that turns genes on and off in the brain's executive hub.

Scripps research scientists demonstrate effective new 'biopsy in a blood test' to detect cancer
Scientists from the Scripps Research Institute, Scripps Health, and collaborating cancer physicians have successfully demonstrated the effectiveness of an advanced blood test for detecting and analyzing circulating tumor cells -- breakaway cells from patients' solid tumors -- from cancer patients.

Google Earth ocean terrain receives major update
Internet information giant Google updated ocean data in its Google Earth application this week, reflecting new bathymetry data assembled by Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, NOAA researchers and many other ocean mapping groups from around the world.

New research confirms need for lung cancer testing
Different kinds of lung cancer behave in different ways, suggesting they are fundamentally different diseases.

Cardiovascular Nursing Spring Meeting
The 12th Annual Spring Meeting on Cardiovascular Nursing is taking place March 16- 17, 2012 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Treasure trove of wildlife found in Peru park
The Wildlife Conservation Society's Peru program announced today the discovery of 365 species previously undocumented in Bahuaja Sonene National Park in southeastern Peru.

Combination drug therapy urged to battle lung cancer
Combination drug therapy may be needed to combat non-small cell lung cancer, according to a study by the Translational Genomics Research Institute and Van Andel Research Institute.

Hubble zooms in on a magnified galaxy
Thanks to the presence of a natural

Young children exposed to anesthesia multiple times show elevated rates of ADHD
Mayo Clinic researchers have found that multiple exposures to anesthesia at a young age are associated with higher rates of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

The effect of occasional binge drinking on heart disease and mortality among moderate drinkers
Most studies have found that binge drinking is associated with a loss of alcohol's protective effect against ischemic heart disease and most studies have found an increase of coronary risk among binge drinkers.

Human immune cells react sensitively to 'stress'
Scientists working with Professor Bernd Kaina of the Institute of Toxicology at the Medical Center of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz have demonstrated for the first time that certain cells circulating in human blood - so-called monocytes - are extremely sensitive to reactive oxygen species .

New website shares information about deadly tree pathogens
A recently launched website, developed jointly by the Pacific Southwest Research Station and Oregon State University, hopes to share with scientists and land managers the latest information on the species of Phytophthora that affect the world's forests.

Technology that translates content to the Internet protocol of the future
A new protocol, IPv6, is being introduced across the Web.

Untangling the mysteries of Alzheimer's
Researchers have found new evidence that confirms the significance of a protein that neuroscientists call tau to the development of Alzheimer's disease.

Sanford-Burnham researchers find molecular switch that allows melanoma to resist therapy
In a paper published Feb. 3 in Cell, researchers at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute identified a molecular switch that controls the protein Activating Transcription Factor 2 (ATF2), which is associated with poor prognosis in melanoma.

Scientists coax shy microorganisms to stand out in a crowd
Scientists have advanced a method that allowed them to single out a marine microorganism and map its genome even though the organism made up less than 10 percent of a water sample teeming with many millions of individuals from dozens of identifiable groups of microbes.

FCVB 2012: The scientific Olympics!
The London meeting of FCVB 2012: The scientific Olympics! will provide unique insight into future of cardiovascular medicine.

Malaria kills twice as many as previously thought, with close to half of all deaths in children over 5 years and adults
New research published in this week's edition of the Lancet shows that malaria kills 1.2 million people worldwide each year: Twice as many as previously thought.

At International Stroke Conference, Cedars-Sinai neurology researchers present findings
Stroke experts from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center will present research updates at the International Stroke Conference of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association Feb.

Football findings suggest concussions caused by series of hits
A two-year study of high school football players suggests that concussions are likely caused by many hits over time and not from a single blow to the head, as commonly believed.

Sex-specific behaviors traced to hormone-controlled genes in the brain
The new evidence shows that the sex hormones - testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone - act in a key region of the brain, switching certain genes on and others off.

ICTP South American Institute for Fundamental Research begins activities in Brazil
The ICTP South American Institute for Fundamental Research located in Sao Paulo,Brazil, will start activities on Feb.

Rituximab possible treatment option for patients with primary biliary cirrhosis
An open-label study of rituximab, a monoclonal antibody for human CD20, was shown to be safe in patients with primary biliary cirrhosis who had an incomplete response to the standard ursodeoxycholic acid therapy.

WHOI scientists will install first real-time seafloor earthquake observatory at Cascadia Fault
A $1 million grant from the W. M. Keck Foundation to scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution will fund the first seafloor geodesy observatory above the expected rupture zone of the Pacific Northwest's Cascadia fault -- an offshore, subduction zone fault capable of producing a magnitude 9 earthquake and generating a large tsunami.

A battle of the vampires, 20 million years ago?
They are tiny, ugly, disease-carrying little blood-suckers that most people have never seen or heard of, but a new discovery in a one-of-a-kind fossil shows that

Innsbruck scientists show positive effects of affirmative action policies promoting women
Interventions to promote women have continuously been criticized as ineffective and inhibiting performance.

The discovery of deceleration
Stellar astrophysics helps to explain the behavior of fast rotating neutron stars in binary systems.

UAHuntsville business faculty investigate research ethics; Results are published in Science magazine
Two UAHuntsville faculty members from the College of Business were published today in the prestigious journal Science for their investigation of an important issue in research ethics.

NASA satellites see wind shear battering Tropical Depression Iggy
NASA satellites have watched as wind shear has torn Cyclone Iggy apart over the last day.

2011 International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge winners announced
A colorful computer illustration that depicts the emergence of structure in the universe, spanning 240 million light years, is among the entries being recognized by the 2011 International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge, which is sponsored jointly by journal Science and the US National Science Foundation.

Springer to publish journal and book series for Entomological Society of Brazil
Starting in 2012 Springer will partner with the Entomological Society of Brazil to publish the journal Neotropical Entomology and a new book series Entomology in Focus.

Castaway lizards provide insight into elusive evolutionary process
A biologist who released lizards on tiny uninhabited islands in the Bahamas has shed light on the interaction between evolutionary processes that are seldom observed.

Identical twins reveal mechanisms behind aging
In a recent study led by Uppsala University, the researchers compared the DNA of identical twins of different age.

Lewis Weintraub, MD, honored for excellence
Lewis Weintraub, MD, a hematologist/oncologist at Boston Medical Center and professor of medicine in the section of hematology-oncology at Boston University School of Medicine, has been named the 2011 recipient of the Jerome Klein Award for Physician Excellence at BMC.

EARTH: Dangerous dust
What would you do if you found out that the roads you drive on could cause cancer?

A zap of cold plasma reduces harmful bacteria on raw chicken in Drexel study
A new study by food safety researchers at Drexel University demonstrates that plasma can be an effective method for killing pathogens on uncooked poultry.

Using plants to silence insect genes in a high-throughput manner
Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Germany, are now using a procedure which brings forward ecological research on insects: They study gene functions in moth larvae by manipulating genes using the RNA interference technology (RNAi).

Sickle cell anemia stroke prevention efforts may have decreased racial disparities
The disparity in stroke-related deaths among black and white children dramatically narrowed after prevention strategies changed to include ultrasound screening and chronic blood transfusions for children with sickle cell anemia, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2012.

Hand counts of votes may cause errors, says new Rice University study
Hand counting of votes in postelection audit or recount procedures can result in error rates of up to two percent, according to a new study from Rice University and Clemson University.

ORNL, partners earn FLC honor for cookstove technology
Envirofit International, the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Colorado State University have won a Federal Laboratory Consortium award for excellence in technology transfer for a clean-burning cookstove designed for the developing world.

Being confined to bed...
Being confined to bed...can have fatal consequences. Incorrect fastening of restraints and inadequate monitoring led to the death of 19 people in care.

High triglyceride levels found to predict stroke in older women
In a surprising finding with significant implications for older women, researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and NYU School of Medicine have found that high levels of triglycerides are the strongest risk factor for the most common type of stroke in older women - more of a risk factor than elevated levels of total cholesterol or of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol.

Elevated glucose associated with undetected heart damage
A new study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests that hyperglycemia injures the heart, even in patients without a history of heart disease or diabetes.

Graphene electronics moves into a third dimension
Wonder material graphene has been touted as the next silicon, with one major problem - it is too conductive to be used in computer chips.

Study flags over-reliance on computer tests in return-to-plan decisions after concussion
A new study by researchers at Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus and Pace University is critical of the widespread use of computerized neuropsychological tests in decisions regarding when athletes can return to play after suffering a concussion.

The shape of things to come: Researchers examine the future of UK high streets
At a time when the future of UK town centers is high on the political agenda and the Government's response to the Portas Review4 is awaited, researchers at the University of Southampton have been awarded over £250,000 to evaluate alternative visions of the future of UK high streets over the next 25 years.

NIH study uncovers probable mechanism underlying resveratrol activity
National Institutes of Health researchers and their colleagues have identified how resveratrol, a naturally occurring chemical found in red wine and other plant products, may confer its health benefits.

Diabetes rates vary widely in developing countries, 1 in 10 cases untreated
Rates of diabetes vary widely across developing countries worldwide, according to a new analysis led by Dr.

Heat and cold damage corals in their own ways, Scripps study shows
Around the world coral reefs are facing threats brought by climate change and dramatic shifts in sea temperatures.

How to tell apart the forgetful from those at risk of Alzheimer's disease
It can be difficult to distinguish between people with normal age-associated memory loss and those with amnestic mild cognitive impairment.

NPL wins MTA award for best training scheme
The National Physical Laboratory has won the 2012 MTA Manufacturing Industry Award for Best Training Scheme.

Investigational urine test can predict high-risk prostate cancer in men who chose 'watchful waiting'
Initial results of a multicenter study coordinated by researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center indicates that two investigational urine-based biomarkers are associated with prostate cancers that are likely to be aggressive and potentially life-threatening among men who take a

New investment aims to establish the UK as a global graphene research hub
Today sees the announcement of full details of how an additional £50 million will be spent to keep the UK at the forefront of research into 'wonder material' graphene.

New ACS video celebrates the science behind one of Super Bowl Sunday's favorite foods
With pizza, nachos and other cheesy dishes on the menu for an estimated 60 percent of Super Bowl Sunday football fans, the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society, released a video today on the chemistry that transforms milk into cheese, a year-round favorite food.

A silver bullet to beat cancer?
The internet is awash with stories of how silver can be used to treat cancer.

Best management practices for invasive crane flies in northeastern United States sod production
A new study recently published in the Journal of Integrated Pest Management explains the best management practices for consideration and adoption by sod producers in the northeastern US.

Anemia may more than triple your risk of dying after a stroke
Being anemic could more than triple your risk of dying within a year after having a stroke, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2012.

Snapshot of dialysis: Who's getting treated at home?
Home-based dialysis treatments are on the rise in both the developing and developed worlds, but developed countries appear to be turning to them less often, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology.

Coffee consumption reduces fibrosis risk in those with fatty liver disease
Caffeine consumption has long been associated with decreased risk of liver disease and reduced fibrosis in patients with chronic liver disease.

Potential new treatment identified for leishmaniasis
Researchers at the University of Dundee have identified fexinidazole as a possible, much-needed, new treatment for the parasitic disease visceral leishmaniasis.

Predicting system crashes in nature and society
The researchers present a mathematical methodology that uses easily obtainable information to providing early warning of crashes in natural or societal systems such as fisheries or economies.

Plant power: The ultimate way to 'go green'?
Researchers are turning to plants and solar power in the search for new sources of renewable and sustainable energy that can support the transition from rapidly depleting fossil fuels to a bio-based society.

Bouquet bargains
Most creatures face compromises when they reproduce -- the more energy they devote to having lots of babies, the less they can invest in each one.

Intermittent exercise improves blood glucose control for diabetics
Intermittent exercise with and without low oxygen concentrations can improve insulin sensitivity in type two diabetics, however exercise while under hypoxic conditions provides greater improvements in glycemic control than intermittent exercise alone, according to a recent study accepted for publication in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

'First light' taken by NASA's newest CERES instrument
The doors are open on NASA's Suomi NPP satellite and the newest version of the Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) instrument is scanning Earth for the first time, helping to assure continued availability of measurements of the energy leaving the Earth-atmosphere system.

Planets circling around twin suns
Double suns -- stars that are formed as a pair -- are a common phenomenon in the cosmos.

Hurricane gave researchers a rare opportunity to study evolution
In the first experimental study of the founder effect in a natural setting, UC Davis researchers found that natural selection does not overwhelm the founder effect.

A new screening method for prostate cancer
A new study by NYU Langone Medical Center and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine shows novel PSA velocity risk count testing may provide a more effective way for physicians to screen men for clinically significant prostate cancer.

Southampton research shows early bone growth linked to bone density in later life
Researchers from the University of Southampton, in collaboration with a research group in Delhi, India, have shown that growth in early childhood can affect bone density in adult life, which could lead to an increased risk of developing bone diseases like osteoporosis.

Institute for Aging research awarded $2.7 million grant to investigate 'dowager's hump'
The Institute for Aging Research of Hebrew SeniorLife, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, today announced that Dr.

Scripps Research alumnus wins International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge
A powerful 3-D animation tool created by Graham Johnson at the Scripps Research Institute has been selected as the winning video in the ninth annual International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge.

Male and female behavior deconstructed
Now a team of scientists at the University of California, San Francisco has uncovered many genes influenced by the male and female sex hormones testosterone and estrogen that, in turn, govern several specific types of male and female behaviors in mice.

Erratic heart rhythm may account for some unexplained strokes
Occasional erratic heart rhythms appear to cause about one-fifth of strokes for which a cause is not readily established, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2012.

Heart failure linked to thinner bones and fractures
Heart failure is associated with a 30 percent increase in major fractures and also identifies a high-risk population that may benefit from increased screening and treatment for osteoporosis, according to a recent study accepted for publication in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 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