Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 12, 2012
Tree nut consumption associated with lower body weight and lower prevalence of health risks
In a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, researchers compared risk factors for heart disease, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome of nut consumers versus those who did not consume nuts.

Determining total fertility in strip-tilled fields
Band fertilizer placement may cause non-uniform distribution in the soil.

Decision-making can and must be learned -- new test measures risk intelligence provides information about how well individuals can assess risks.

Pride and prejudice: Pride impacts racism and homophobia
A new University of British Columbia study finds that the way individuals experience the universal emotion of pride directly impacts how racist and homophobic their attitudes toward other people are.

Dr. William Oh named 2012 Legend of Neonatology
Dr. William Oh from Women & Infants Hospital and Brown University has been inducted into the Legends of Neonatology Hall of Fame.

Rapid climate change threatens Asia's Rice Bowl
As Asia's monsoon season begins, leading climate specialists and agricultural scientists warned today that rapid climate change and its potential to intensify droughts and floods could threaten Asia's rice production and pose a significant threat to millions of people across the region.

Sex, tools and chromosomes
Researchers at UC Davis have discovered a key tool that helps sperm and eggs develop exactly 23 chromosomes each.

BUSM researchers identify key regulator of inflammatory response
Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine have identified a gene that plays a key role in regulating inflammatory response and homeostasis.

Study resolves debate on human cell shut-down process
Researchers at the University of Liverpool have resolved the debate over the mechanisms involved in the shut-down process during cell division in the body.

NASA Goddard engineers testing Webb Telescope's OSIM and BIA instruments
Several critical items related to NASA's next-generation James Webb Space Telescope are being tested in the giant thermal vacuum test chamber at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

Under climate change, winners and losers on the coral reef
As ocean temperatures rise, some species of corals are likely to succeed at the expense of others, according to a report published online on April 12 in the Cell Press journal Current Biology that details the first large-scale investigation of climate effects on corals.

New study identifies promising, achievable solutions to Nigeria's childhood mortality crisis
A study released today by the International Vaccine Access Center at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has identified the most feasible and impactful solutions for Nigeria's immunization program that could offer the best hope yet for scaling up vaccine access to the nation's most rural areas and taking aim at the country's precipitous number of child deaths.

UF-led team uses new observatory to characterize low-mass planets orbiting nearby star
University of Florida astronomers have found compelling evidence for two low-mass planets orbiting the nearby star Fomalhaut, just 25 light years from Earth.

Decoding worm lingo
All animals seem to have ways of exchanging information -- monkeys vocalize complex messages, ants create scent trails to food, and fireflies light up their bellies to attract mates.

Research teams discover cellular system for detecting and responding to poisons and pathogens
Two Massachusetts General Hospital-based research teams, along with a group from the University of California at San Diego, have discovered that animals have a previously unknown system for detecting and responding to pathogens and toxins.

Fine-scale analysis of the human brain yields insight into its distinctive composition
Scientists at the Allen Institute for Brain Science have identified similarities and differences among regions of the human brain, among the brains of human individuals, and between humans and mice by analyzing the expression of approximately 1,000 genes in the brain.

Stem cells 'by default'
In spite of considerable research efforts around the world, we still do not know the determining factors that confer stem cells their main particular features: capacity to self-renew and to divide and proliferate.

Study finds significant skull differences between closely linked groups
In order to accurately identify skulls as male or female, forensic anthropologists need to have a good understanding of how the characteristics of male and female skulls differ between populations.

High levels of phthalates can lead to greater risk for type-2 diabetes
There is a connection between phthalates found in cosmetics and plastics and the risk of developing diabetes among seniors.

U of I study: Lose body weight before gaining baby weight
A new University of Illinois study contains a warning for obese women who are planning pregnancies.

In environmental disasters, families respond with conflict, denial, silence
Environmental disasters impact individuals and communities; They also affect how family members communicate with each other, sometimes in surprising ways, according to a paper published by a faculty member at the University at Buffalo in the Journal of Family Issues.

New research puts focus on earthquake, tsunami hazard for southern California
Scientists will convene in San Diego to present the latest seismological research at the annual conference of the Seismological Society of America, April 17-19.

Stoneflies mapped across Ohio, with implications for water quality and nature conservation
In a large-scale analysis of stonefly diversity in the state of Ohio, researchers have mapped their distribution and species richness across Ohio and into neighboring states and correlated that with information on watercourses and on the functional evolution of these taxa.

Breakthrough discovery unveils 'master switches' in colon cancer
Researchers at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have identified a new mechanism by which colon cancer develops.

Wayne State receives grant to assess road bridge conditions in Michigan
State officials have engaged a Wayne State University College of Engineering researcher in their effort to make roads and highways safer.

Migrant women adapt in economic crises
With the global recession and the food price spike of 2008, one would expect migrants to be particularly affected, but a recent University of Illinois study revealed migrants in at least one Central Illinois county to be surprisingly resilient in their ability to control their environment through work, particularly women.

Exercise and attitude may be thermostat for hot flashes
Attitude may play an important role in how exercise affects menopausal women, according to Penn State researchers, who identified two types of women -- one experiences more hot flashes after physical activity, while the other experiences fewer.

Genetic adaptation of fat metabolism key to development of human brain
About 300,000 years ago humans adapted genetically to be able to produce larger amounts of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids.

Manatee hearing good enough to sense approaching motorboats
Every year, manatees are injured in boat collisions. Why don't they just move when they hear a boat approach?

Out-of-hand tree nut consumption associated with better diet quality in children and adults
In a new study published in Nutrition Research, researchers looked at the association of out-of-hand nut consumption with nutrient intake, diet quality and the prevalence of risk factors for cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome in both children and adults.

Biomarker family found for chemo resistant breast cancers
Biomarkers which could help to predict resistance to chemotherapy in breast cancer patients have been identified by researchers from the University of Hull, UK.

Test links strains of common parasite to severe illness in US newborns
Scientists have identified which strains of the Toxoplasma gondii parasite, the cause of toxoplasmosis, are most strongly associated with premature births and severe birth defects in the United States.

Do monkeys know what others need?
If you have seen a child just eat an entire ice-cream, and she begs you to buy her one, what will your reaction be?

Researchers call for a new direction in oil spill research
Research on oil spills has concentrated mostly on effects at the sea surface and nearby coasts.

Discovery of the Musket Ball Cluster
Using a combination of powerful observatories in space and on the ground, astronomers have observed a violent collision between two galaxy clusters in which so-called normal matter has been wrenched apart from dark matter through a violent collision between two galaxy clusters.

Probing hydrogen under extreme conditions
How hydrogen -- the most abundant element in the cosmos -- responds to extremes of pressure and temperature is one of the major challenges in modern physical science.

Listen up, parents: For toddlers (and chimps), the majority rules
A study published online on April 12 in the Cell Press journal Current Biology offers some news for parents: even toddlers have a tendency to follow the crowd.

BMC study shows diverting passengers to elevators could help reduce falls at Logan Airport
A first of its kind study conducted by researchers at Boston Medical Center's Injury Prevention Center found that one fall requiring first responder emergency medical services response occurs, on average, approximately every 56 hours at Boston Logan International Airport, with 37 percent of those incidents involving transport to a hospital.

Resurfacing urban areas to offset 150 billion tons of CO2
Imagine a world where the rooftops and pavements of every urban area are resurfaced to increase the reflection of the sun's light rays.

Targeting glucagon pathway may offer a new approach to treating diabetes
Maintaining the right level of sugar in the blood is the responsibility not only of insulin, which removes glucose, but also of a hormone called glucagon, which adds glucose.

Athletic frogs have faster-changing genomes
Physically fit frogs have faster-changing genomes, says a new study of poison frogs at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center in Durham, North Carolina.

Gulf Coast residents say BP Oil Spill changed their environmental views, UNH research finds
University of New Hampshire researchers have found that residents of Louisiana and Florida most acutely and directly affected by the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster -- the largest marine oil spill in US history -- said they have changed their views on other environmental issues as a result of the spill.

Excessive worrying may have co-evolved with intelligence
Worrying may have evolved along with intelligence as a beneficial trait, according to a recent study by scientists at SUNY Downstate Medical Center and other institutions, who found that high intelligence and worry both correlate with brain activity measured by the depletion of the nutrient choline in the subcortical white matter of the brain.

Kinase test may yield big gains for drug-resistant cancers
In a paper published today in the journal Cell, a team from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill unveils the first broad-based test for activation of protein kinases

Rebuffing racial insults: How culture shapes our behavior
The color of our skin or where we come does matter when it comes to how we react to a racist insult.

Determining a stem cell's fate
What happens to a stem cell at the molecular level that causes it to become one type of cell rather than another?

Southeast Asia's billion dollar cassava industry at high risk due to climate change
Severe outbreaks of new, invasive pests triggered by rising temperatures could threaten Southeast Asia's multi-billion dollar cassava industry, as well as the livelihoods of the hundreds of thousands of small farmers that rely on the crop for income, according to research from the International Center for Tropical Agriculture.

Magnetic test technique helps ensure reliability of microelectronics, PV cells & MEMS
Taking advantage of the force generated by magnetic repulsion, researchers have developed a new technique for measuring the adhesion strength between thin films of materials used in microelectronic devices, photovoltaic cells and microelectromechanical systems.

UCLA-engineered stem cells seek out and kill HIV in living organisms
Expanding on previous research providing proof-of-principal that human stem cells can be genetically engineered into HIV-fighting cells, a team of UCLA researchers have now demonstrated that these cells can actually attack HIV-infected cells in a living organism.

Teamwork: IBEX and TWINS observe a solar storm
On April 5, 2010, the sun spewed a two-million-mile-per-hour stream of charged particles toward the invisible magnetic fields surrounding Earth, known as the magnetosphere.

Studies reveal how cells distinguish between disease-causing and innocuous invaders
The specific mechanisms by which humans and other animals are able to discriminate between disease-causing microbes and innocuous ones in order to rapidly respond to infections have long been a mystery to scientists.

Policies, learning-by-doing played important role in reducing ethanol costs
A new study co-authored by Madhu Khanna, a professor of agricultural and consumer economics at Illinois, and Xiaoguang Chen, of the U. of I.

Engineers put 5-story building on seismic shake table to test for earthquake and fire readiness
What happens when you put a fully equipped five-story building, which includes an intensive care unit, a surgery suite, piping and air conditioning, fire barriers and even a working elevator, through series of high-intensity earthquakes?

Parolees behaving badly
Police officers are always trying to control the misconduct of those who are on parole in order to control crime in the community, but what types of behaviors land them back in jail and what can law enforcement officials do about it?

Elsevier launches new journal Algal Research
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, announces the launch of the new journal Algal Research.

UCSB researchers detect 'hypervirulent' Salmonella bacteria
A recent discovery of

President, CEO Leppävuori, VTT: Finland should create a national bioeconomy strategy
We must react to the sudden structural changes taking place in the Finnish IT sector and in traditional forestry industry.

Multitasking - not so bad for you after all?
Our obsession with multiple forms of media is not necessarily all bad news, according to a new study.

AstraZeneca and DNDi to collaborate on drug screening for neglected tropical diseases
AstraZeneca and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative today announce an agreement to collaborate on drug-compound screening for leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, and sleeping sickness, three neglected tropical diseases which together affect nearly 10 million people worldwide.

Radars in cars to detect the presence of pedestrians and prevent them being run over
Researchers at the UPNA-Public University of Navarre are currently working on the Peatones (Pedestrians) project that aims to develop new systems to protect pedestrians against frontal impact if they are about to be knocked down.

New advances in the understanding of cancer progression
Researchers at the Hospital de Mar Research Institute have discovered that the protein LOXL2 has a function within the cell nucleus thus far unknown.

Herschel sees dusty disc of crushed comets
Astronomers using ESA's Herschel Space Observatory have studied a ring of dust around the nearby star Fomalhaut and have deduced that it is created by the collision of thousands of comets every day.

ALMA reveals workings of nearby planetary system
Observations with the ALMA telescope, still under construction, have helped resolve a controversy about the planetary system of Fomalhaut, 25 light-years away.

Poor spring rain projected in Africa
Spring rains in the eastern Horn of Africa are projected to begin late this year and be substantially lower than normal.

Volcker awarded 2012 Moynihan Prize
The American Academy of Political and Social Science announced that Paul Volcker will be the recipient of the 2012 Daniel Patrick Moynihan Prize, recognizing him for his use of evidence and social research in advancing the public good.

Majority-biased learning
In humans and chimpanzees knowledge is transmitted within a group by means of a majority principle.

SMART heart eases heart ache, targets cardiac patients' emotional well-being
The SMART Heart program at Northwestern Memorial Hospital focuses on improving quality of life and the management of stress for cardiac surgical patients.

Deep sequencing of 15 samples of traditional Chinese medicines
Researchers at Murdoch University have used new DNA sequencing technology to reveal the animal and plant composition of traditional Chinese medicines (TCMs).

Nutrient and toxin all at once: How plants absorb the perfect quantity of minerals
In order to survive, plants should take up neither too many nor too few minerals from the soil.

Traffic harms Asturian amphibians
Midwife toads and palmate newts are run over and their habitats are fragmented by roads in the Trubia valley.

Endangered bats find sanctuary in Israeli 'ghost bunkers'
Abandoned army bunkers along a 60 mile stretch of land in the north of Israel have new tenants, according to a Tel Aviv University researcher -- 12 indigenous bat species, including three already designated as endangered, have moved into the shelters and are flourishing.

Volcanic plumbing provides clues on eruptions and earthquakes
Two new studies into the

Strip-till improves soybean yield
Crop yield can be improved by ensuring adequate nutrient availability.

ALMA reveals workings of nearby planetary system
A new observatory still under construction has given astronomers a major breakthrough in understanding a nearby planetary system and provided valuable clues about how such systems form and evolve.

ONR taps research teams to help reduce jet noise
The deafening roar of supersonic aircraft can cause hearing damage to Sailors and Marines on flight decks, so the Office of Naval Research is funding a new project to help reduce jet noise, officials announced April 12.

Drastic changes needed to curb most potent greenhouse gas
Meat consumption in the developed world needs to be cut by 50 percent per person by 2050 if we are to meet the most aggressive strategy, set out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, to reduce one of the most important greenhouse gases, nitrous oxide.

Nearly 30 percent of all college athlete injuries a result of 'overuse'
Overuse injuries -- found most often in low-contact sports that involve long training sessions or where the same movement is repeated numerous times -- make up nearly 30 percent of all injuries sustained by collegiate athletes. 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