Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 20, 2012
NASA sees more severe weather over eastern Texas, Oklahoma
A low pressure area is centered over eastern Oklahoma, and its associated cold front drapes south into eastern Texas.

Pesticide additives cause drifting droplets, but can be controlled
Chemical additives that help agricultural pesticides adhere to their targets during spraying can lead to formation of smaller

No evidence that higher regional health care costs indicate inappropriate care, study shows
There is no solid evidence to support the widely held belief that regions of the United States that spend more on health care and have higher rates of health care use deliver more unnecessary care to patients, or that low-cost areas deliver higher quality and more efficient care.

NSA Science of Security 'Lablet' established at NC State
North Carolina State University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Carnegie Mellon University are each receiving an initial $2.5 million in grant funds from the US National Security Agency to stimulate the creation of a more scientific basis for the design and analysis of trusted systems.

Ibuprofen decreases likelihood of altitude sickness, Stanford researchers find
A new study led by Grant Lipman, M.D., an emergency medicine physician at Stanford Hospital & Clinics and a clinical assistant professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine, has found that ibuprofen, a widely available, over-the-counter drug, may help relieve acute mountain sickness, or altitude illness.

SDSC's 'big data' expertise aiding genomics research
The San Diego Supercomputer Center at the University of California, San Diego, has in the last three years undergone a major reboot, remaking itself into a center of expertise on all aspects of

International Polar Year conference: From knowledge to action
The IPY 2012 From Knowledge to Action Conference will be one of the largest and most important scientific conferences for polar science and climate change, impacts and adaptation.

How do you say global business success? In English, says new research from Rotman School
English continues to reign supreme in international business, and it's not just because some of the biggest economies speak it.

Dresden's Helmholtz Center celebrates anniversary and presents HZDR awards
On March 15, 2012, the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf celebrated its 20th anniversary with a special Museum Afternoon for all employees in the Technische Sammlungen Dresden.

Taking vitamin E does not impact women's heart failure risk
Long-term vitamin E supplementation does not affect heart failure risk among women.

Satellite captures images of sandstorm
ESA's Envisat satellite has captured images of a sandstorm over Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and southern Iraq and Iran.

Use of stem cells for adults receiving related donor kidney transplants appears to improve outcomes
Among patients with end-stage renal disease undergoing living-related kidney transplants, the use of bone-marrow derived mesenchymal (cells that can differentiate into a variety of cell types) stem cells instead of antibody induction therapy resulted in a lower incidence of acute rejection, decreased risk of opportunistic infection, and better estimated kidney function at 1 year, according to a study in the March 21 issue of JAMA.

Increase seen in use of anesthesiologists to provide sedation during endoscopies, colonoscopies
Between 2003 and 2009, the use of anesthesia services to provide sedation during endoscopies and colonoscopies increased substantially, according to a study in the March 21 issue of JAMA.

BGI, University of Helsinki and Wuhan University sign a MOU concerning cooperation on genomics
To facilitate the genomics research and communication between BGI, the world's largest genomics organization, University of Helsinki and Wuhan University, researchers from these organizations have reached a Memorandum of Understanding setting forth a framework for some subjects of mutual interest in the field of genomics, such as archaeal organisms from hypersaline environments, among others.

New hope for treating Alzheimer's Disease: A role for the FKBP52 protein
New research in humans published today reveals that the so-called FKBP52 protein may prevent the Tau protein from turning pathogenic.

Teachers, parents trump peers in keeping teens engaged in school
Teachers and parents matter more than peers in keeping adolescents engaged in school, according to a new study that counters the widespread belief that peers matter most in the lives of adolescents.

Research provides new hope for those suffering from Crohn's disease
Researchers from the Hotchkiss Brain Institute and the Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases at the University of Calgary's Faculty of Medicine have discovered a pathway that may contribute to the symptoms related to Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, collectively known as inflammatory bowel disease.

$4.2 million grant helps plan, launch first Alzheimer's prevention trials
Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has received nearly $4.2 million from the Alzheimer's Association to accelerate the launch of the first clinical trials to prevent the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.

Study to test new tinnitus 'treatment'
A new clinical trial is to test whether a pocket-sized device that uses sound simulation to reboot faulty

Canadian Journal of Cardiology publishes new atrial fibrillation guidelines
The Canadian Journal of Cardiology has published a focused update to the Canadian Cardiovascular Society's atrial fibrillation guidelines.

Electricity from trees
Plants have long been known as the lungs of the Earth, but a new finding has found they may also play a role in electrifying the atmosphere.

The world's largest heart failure congress -- Heart Failure Congress 2012
Four days of scientific sessions will be devoted to the latest advances and controversies in heart failure at this year's Heart Failure Congress 2012.

Livermore lab teams with industry to advance energy technologies using high performance computing
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory today announced the selection of six industry projects for the advancement of energy technologies using high performance computing.

Difference in left and right arm blood pressure indicates survival chances
Patients suffering from high blood pressure who have different blood pressure readings in each arm are at a reduced chance of survival over 10 years, claims a study published today on

Iowa State researchers receive $1.7 million award to improve electricity markets
Three Iowa State University researchers are working to reduce costs and maintain reliability as more renewable energy is added to the nation's energy grid.

EARTH: Danger in paradise -- the hidden hazards of volcano geotourism
Beautiful views and exotic thrills draw millions of tourists to volcanic sites each year.

Better organic electronics
At Berkeley Lab's Molecular Foundry, scientists have provided the first experimental determination of the pathways by which electrical charge is transported from molecule-to-molecule in an organic thin film.

Super-Earth unlikely able to transfer life to other planets
While scientists believe conditions suitable for life might exist on the so-called

Not just for the birds: Man-made noise has ripple effects on plants, too
A growing body of research shows that animals change their behavior in response to man-made noise.

Collaboration rapidly connects fly gene discovery to human disease
A collaborative study by scientists at Baylor College of Medicine and the Montreal Neurological Institute of McGill University, and published March 20 in the online, open access journal PLoS Biology, has discovered that mutations in the same gene that encodes part of the vital machinery of the mitochondrion can cause neurodegenerative disorders in both fruit flies and humans.

Detection of cosmic effect may bring universe's formation into sharper focus
A project initiated at Princeton made the first observation of a cosmic effect theorized 40 years ago that could provide astronomers with a more precise tool for understanding the forces behind the universe's formation and growth, including the enigmatic phenomena of dark energy and dark matter.

ASCO honors Ching-Hon Pui, M.D., for work advancing childhood cancer research and treatment
Ching-Hon Pui, M.D., a renowned leader in the research and treatment of childhood leukemia, is the recipient of the 2012 Pediatric Oncology Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

JCI early table of contents for March 26, 2012
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, March 26, 2012, in the JCI:

UCSB researchers to examine the effects of year-old NOAA West Coast 'Catch Shares' program
UC Santa Barbara resource economists Christopher Costello and Robert Deacon will be examining the ongoing effects of a fisheries management system implemented by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in January 2011.

When our skin fails to protect us
A conversation about disorders affecting skin and hair featuring professor Thomas Krieg (University of Cologne), Dr.

From diabetes to disaster relief: Story opportunities at Internal Medicine 2012 in New Orleans
More than 5,000 internal medicine physicians, or internists, subspecialists, medical students, and allied health professionals will meet in New Orleans for Internal Medicine 2012, the annual scientific meeting of the American College of Physicians, April 19-21, at the Ernest N.

Aspirin to prevent and treat cancer: The evidence continues to build
A collection of three papers (two published in the Lancet and one in the Lancet Oncology) add to the growing evidence base suggesting that daily aspirin can be used to help prevent and possibly treat cancer.

NOAA science supports New York's offshore energy planning
A newly released NOAA study will help New York state officials make advances in managing their coastal waters and guiding future development of offshore wind energy projects.

Low-calorie diet may be harmful for bowel disease patients
In a surprising result, Michigan State University researchers looking at the effects of diet on bowel disease found that mice on a calorie-restricted diet were more likely to die after being infected with an inflammation-causing bacterial pathogen in the colon.

How cost effective are US cancer prevention services?
Prevention is better than cure; however, when it comes to screening for cancer new research shows that US health services are not as cost-effective as international, and publicly run, counterparts.

Wayne State creating Detroit's innovative wireless networking and apps through NSF grants
Wayne State University researchers are helping create the future in metropolitan Detroit with the help of national initiatives.

Study finds state wealth affects women's heart disease risk
According to new research from Brigham and Women's Hospital, a state's level of wealth or poverty is linked with levels of cardiovascular inflammation in women.

Neiker-Tecnalia develops new types of substrates using sewage sludge and metallurgical waste
Neiker-Tecnalia, the Basque Institute for Agricultural Research and Development, has developed new types of artificial soils -- Technosols to be used as growing substrates in the greenhouses.

NASA GPM satellite's dual-frequency precipitation radar arrives at Goddard
The Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar built by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency for the Global Precipitation Measurement GPM mission's Core Observatory arrived on Friday, March 16 and was unloaded today at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

A new pipewort species from a unique, but fragile habitat in India
The Laterite plateau of India is a fragile habitat, notable for its unique biodiversity of ephemeral plants.

AGU: Venice hasn't stopped sinking after all
The water flowing through Venice's famous canals laps at buildings a little higher every year - and not only because of a rising sea level.

New evidence links Alzheimer's disease and diabetes
An emerging body of research suggests that Alzheimer's disease may be linked to insulin resistance, constituting a third type of diabetes.

Curcumin shows promise in attacking Parkinson's disease
Curcumin, a compound found in the spice turmeric, is proving effective at preventing clumping of a protein involved in Parkinson's disease, says a Michigan State University researcher.

Newer anti-psychotic drugs may be less effective than clinicians realize
A study in this week's PLoS Medicine suggests that the apparent clinical effectiveness of the newer form of drugs used to treat schizophrenia and other psychotic illnesses (second-generation anti-psychotic drugs) may be enhanced by the selective reporting of trials of these drugs in medical journals -- a phenomenon called publication bias.

Beating famine: Sustainable food security through land regeneration in a changing climate
Leading thinkers in agriculture, climate change and the environment will gather in Nairobi, Kenya, this April to review innovative ways to tackle Africa's unending cycle of drought and food insecurity.

Frank Glorius wins the first Springer Heterocyclic Chemistry Award
Springer's new award for outstanding achievement in the field of heterocyclic chemistry has been given to Frank Glorius from the University of Muenster, Germany.

Use of anesthesia providers during GI procedures is growing, but may be unnecessary
A new study finds that as much as $1.1 billion in annual spending on anesthesia services for colonoscopies and other outpatient gastroenterology screening procedures may be unnecessary.

Ethical considerations of military-funded neuroscience
The United States military and intelligence communities have developed a close relationship with the scientific establishment.

Test to improve peanut allergy diagnosis
Researchers from Murdoch Childrens Research Institute and the University of Melbourne in Australia have identified a new way to accurately test for peanut allergy

NASA's Swift narrows down origin of important supernova class
Studies using X-ray and ultraviolet observations from NASA's Swift satellite provide new insights into the elusive origins of an important class of exploding star called Type Ia supernovae.

SRI International releases report on costs and benefits of online learning programs
A new SRI International report prepared for the US Department of Education provides guidance to educational leaders as they work to implement successful, cost-effective online learning programs for secondary schools.

NRL tests robotic fueling of unmanned surface vessels
Engineers from NRL successfully demonstrate the Rapid Autonomous Fuel Transfer system, designed for the autonomous transfer of fuel to unmanned surface vehicles at sea.

New discovery of proteins involved in positioning muscular nuclei
The position of cellular nuclei in muscle fibres has an important role in some muscle weaknesses.

How old are these rocks, how were they made, and how long ago did these geologic changes happen?
New GSA BULLETIN science published online 9-20 March includes studies in the western Aleutians, south-central Alaska, Canada, Iceland, the Southern Pyrenees, and the western Gulf of Mexico.

Increasing clarity for medics in suspected physical abuse cases
Researchers at the University of Sheffield and The Children's Hospital, Sheffield, are developing techniques which will help clinicians more accurately identify whether injuries sustained by young children are as a result of accident or abuse.

Study confirms oil from Deepwater Horizon disaster entered food chain in the Gulf of Mexico
Since the explosion on the BP Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico in April of 2010, scientists have been working to understand the impact the disaster has had on the environment.

Study highlights risks from arm difference in blood pressure
The findings of the study support that there is a link between a difference in blood pressure between arms and vascular disease and mortality -- and further emphasizes the need for two-arm blood pressure checks to become the norm.

Novel mouse model for autism yields clues to a 50-year-old mystery
Early disruptions in serotonin signaling in the brain may contribute to autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and other

CD4 cell counts help in assessment of AIDS or death risk in HIV-infected adults on cART
Using data from the Collaboration of Observational HIV Epidemiological Research in Europe (COHERE), Jim Young and colleagues from the Opportunistic Infections Project Team of COHERE show in this week's PLoS Medicine that in successfully treated patients, the risk of a new AIDS event or death follows a CD4 cell count gradient in patients with viral suppression.

Proteins shine a brighter light on cellular processes
Scientists have designed a molecule which, in living cells, emits turquoise light three times brighter than possible until recently.

What was B.F. Skinner really like? A new study parses his traits
Besides Sigmund Freud, B.F. Skinner was the most famous and perhaps the most influential psychologist of the 20th century.

Study shows colorectal cancer screening rates high in patients with multiple health problems
A study by University of Kentucky researchers showed that in Appalachia, colorectal cancer screening rates were higher in the population with multiple morbidities or diseases compared to those who had no morbidities at all.

Nuclear fusion simulation shows high-gain energy output
A computer simulation that shows a release of high-yield fusion energy much greater than previously achieved at Sandia's Z accelerator is being prepared for testing in 2013.

Unexpected discovery reveals a new mechanism for how the cerebellum extracts signal from noise
Research at the University of Calgary's Hotchkiss Brain Institute has demonstrated the novel expression of an ion channel in Purkinje cells -- specialized neurons in the cerebellum, the area of the brain responsible for movement.

Hutchinson Center and TGen scientists discover potential 'break through' in pancreatic cancer
Scientists at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the Translational Genomics Research Institute have discovered a literal 'break through' in pancreatic cancer.

International research finds quality and safety problems in hospitals throughout 13 countries
In one of the largest studies of its kind, a consortium of investigators from 13 countries led the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing in the US and the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium in Europe, found that nurses who reported better working conditions in hospitals and less likelihood of leaving also had patients who were more satisfied with their hospital stay and rated their hospitals more highly.

Friendly to a fault, yet tense: Personality traits traced in brain
A personality profile marked by overly gregarious yet anxious behavior is rooted in abnormal development of a circuit hub buried deep in the front center of the brain.

BPA could affect reproductive capabilities, cause infection of the uterus
Researchers at the University of Cincinnati have found evidence that, in addition to affecting the heart, brain and nervous system, bisphenol A (BPA), could affect a mammal's ability to reproduce by altering the structure of the uterus in ways that can progress to a potentially fatal infection.

New paper by Notre Dame researchers describes method for cleaning up nuclear waste
A new paper by a team of University of Notre Dame researchers showcases Notre Dame Thorium Borate-1 as a crystalline compound which can be tailored to safely absorb radioactive ions from nuclear waste streams.

NIH researchers highlight progress, path forward for developing TB vaccines
In the past decade, scientists have made significant progress building the critical knowledge and infrastructure needed to identify and develop novel tuberculosis vaccine candidates and move the most promising ones into human clinical trials.

New vaccine strategy to advance solutions for tuberculosis
Against a backdrop of growing concern about the impact of tuberculosis on children, top scientific experts today published a global plan of action for developing the vaccines that are seen as critical to eliminating the disease.

DFG announces recipients of 2012 Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize
The new recipients of the most important prize for early-career researchers in Germany have been announced.

Is there good research evidence for health systems interventions?
This week in PLoS Medicine, the last paper in a three-part series on health systems guidance addresses the question of how much confidence to place in different types of research evidence, which the authors argue is key to informing judgments regarding policy options to address health systems problems.

A camera that peers around corners
A new imaging system, developed in MIT's Media Lab, could use opaque walls, doors or floors as

Double whammy: RNAi enhances lung cancer therapy
Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), the most common form of lung cancer, is usually treated with surgery and chemotherapy.

American Society of Plant Biologists honors early career women scientists
Each year the American Society of Plant Biologists awards travel grants to early career women investigators through a competitive process to attend the Plant Biology Annual Meeting.

EPA to highlight innovative ways to detect and respond to biological threats
EPA emergency responders and researchers to highlight innovative ways to detect and respond to biological threats at 5th National Bio-Threat Conference, Denver, Colo., March 27-29, 2012.

Contact with 'rivals' changes male behavior
Males consistently change their mating behavior depending on whether they have spent time with other males before mating, according to new findings by scientists at the University of East Anglia.

Kripke Legend Award salutes Nancy Hopkins of MIT
Nancy Hopkins, Ph.D., noted cancer biologist and prominent advocate of equality for women in science, is the 2012 recipient of the Margaret L.

Pregnancy is safe for women with estrogen receptor positive breast cancer
New research to be presented at the eighth European Breast Cancer Conference in Vienna has shown for the first time that it is safe for women who have been diagnosed with estrogen receptor positive breast cancer to become pregnant, despite doctors' previous fears that pregnancy could boost levels of estrogen in the body and cause the cancer to return.

Young researcher taking fight against global killer to the next level in Vietnam
An Australian scientist will bring effective screening for tuberculosis a step closer with his latest study in Vietnam -- where he now lives and works.

Scientists measure how energy is spent in martial arts
Researchers at the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil have found a way to measure the contributions of individual energy systems for any type of exercise.

Checks and balances for medical practitioners?
A USC Marshall study finds video capture and other automated systems cut down medical errors and minimize the tendency to operate outside normal procedures.

A.J. Drexel Autism Institute receives $1.5 million from the Charles and Barbara Close Foundation
Drexel University has received a gift of $1.5 million from the Charles and Barbara Close Foundation to help establish the A.J.

Produce safety future focus of supermarkets, farmers and consumers
Shoppers will continue to see the Fresh Local Produce sign in supermarkets, but stores will increasingly require growers to show proof of good agricultural practices, according to Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences researchers.

Marijuana-like chemicals inhibit human immunodeficiency virus in late-stage AIDS
Mount Sinai School of Medicine researchers have discovered that marijuana-like chemicals trigger receptors on human immune cells that can directly inhibit a type of human immunodeficiency virus found in late-stage AIDS.

Evidence mounts for link between opioids and cancer growth
Opioid drugs used to relieve pain in postoperative and chronic cancer patients may stimulate the growth and spread of tumors, according to two studies and a commentary in the 2012 annual Journal Symposium issue of Anesthesiology.

Leading air pollution experts awarded prestigious 2012 Tyler Environmental Prize
The Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement honors two experts on air pollution with the 2012 Tyler Prize for their work to advance the scientific understanding of air pollution, and develop solutions to reduce the danger to human health and the impact on climate change.

Why getting healthy can seem worse than getting sick
A new article in the Quarterly Review of Biology helps explain why the immune system often makes us worse while trying to make us well.

Sedative may reduce duration of mechanical ventilation, improve comfort for ICU patients
The results of two randomized trials indicate that among intensive care unit (ICU) patients receiving prolonged mechanical ventilation, use of the sedative dexmedetomidine was not inferior (outcome not worse than treatment compared to) to the standard sedatives midazolam and propofol in maintaining light to moderate sedation; also, dexmedetomidine reduced the duration of mechanical ventilation compared with midazolam, and improved patients' ability to communicate pain compared with the other drugs, according to a study in the March 21 issue of JAMA.

2 servings of salmon a week is healthy for pregnant women and their babies
University of Granada researchers have proven that eating two servings of salmon reared at a fish farm (enriched with omega-3 fatty acids and only slightly contaminated) a week during pregnancy is beneficial both for the mother and child.

Nudging government to greater accountability
There is an increasing need for stronger accountability of government and thus greater demands on transparency of the diplomatic and national security apparatus.

In certain jobs supervisor support can reduce absenteeism
A supportive supervisor can keep employees in certain hazardous jobs from being absent even when co-workers think it's all right to miss work, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association.

Explosive stars with good table manners
In two comprehensive studies of SN 2011fe -- the closest Type Ia supernova in the past two decades -- there is new evidence that indicates that the white dwarf progenitor was a particularly picky eater, leading scientists to conclude that the companion star was not likely to be a sun-like star or an evolved giant.

Publication bias involving psychiatric medications may provide physicians with an incomplete picture
Physicians who prescribe antipsychotic medications may be basing their decisions on incomplete information, according to new research published by scientists at Oregon Health & Science University.

For youth sexting: Public supports education, not criminal charges
New National Poll on Children's Health report measures public opinion about legislation addressing teens who send sexually explicit text messages.

Stopping marketers from treating customers like monkeys
Ever wonder about the marketing value of Facebook

Pain relievers could be spiking your blood pressure
Both doctors and patients should be aware that many common over-the-counter and prescription medications can be the underlying cause of hypertension, says Prof.

Jellyfish inspires latest ocean-powered robot
American researchers have created a robotic jellyfish, named Robojelly, which not only exhibits characteristics ideal to use in underwater search and rescue operations, but could, theoretically at least, never run out of energy thanks to it being fueled by hydrogen.

How the smell of food affects how much you eat
Bite size depends on the familiarly and texture of food.

Is Earth overpopulated?
Most of our serious problems in the world today can be traced back to the impact of human populations on the environment.

Tips from the journals of the American Society for Microbiology
This release includes information on the following articles; High Pressure Kills Pathogens, Maintains Green Onions' Taste and Color; Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Proliferate in Agricultural Soils: Cross-Reactive Antibodies Vanquish H5N1 in Preclinical Study; and Viruses Kill Pancreatic Tumors in Preclinical Model. 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