Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 26, 2012
New form of Mars lava flow dicovered
High-resolution photos of lava flows on Mars reveal coiling spiral patterns that resemble snail or nautilus shells.

Surprising results for use of dialysis for kidney failure in developing world
Researchers at Lawson Health Research Institute have discovered that developing countries have faster growing rates of use of home-based dialysis for kidney failure than the developed world.

New study chronicles the rise of agriculture in Europe
An analysis of 5,000-year-old DNA taken from the Stone Age remains of four humans excavated in Sweden is helping researchers understand how agriculture spread throughout Europe long ago.

Eating more berries may reduce cognitive decline in the elderly
Blueberries and strawberries, which are high in flavonoids, appear to reduce cognitive decline in older adults according to a new study published today in Annals of Neurology, a journal of the American Neurological Association and Child Neurology Society.

Water treatments alone not enough to combat fluorosis in Ethiopia
Increased intake of dietary calcium may be key to addressing widespread dental health problems faced by millions of rural residents in Ethiopia's remote, poverty-stricken Main Rift Valley, according to a new Duke University-led study.

Does technique that removes additional toxins benefit dialysis patients?
A technique that removes additional toxins during dialysis does not improve kidney failure patients' survival or heart health, but intense treatments may provide a benefit, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology.

Study may offer clues to reverse cognitive deficits in humans, Baylor University researcher says
The ability to navigate using spatial cues was impaired in mice whose brains were minus a channel that delivers potassium -- a finding that may have implications for humans with damage to the hippocampus, a brain structure critical to memory and learning, according to a Baylor University researcher.

Higher maternal age predicts risk of autism
In a study published in the May 2012 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, led by Mr.

Manipulating molecules in the heart protects mice on high-fat diets from obesity, affects metabolism
Researchers have demonstrated for the first time that the heart can regulate energy balance throughout the body, a finding that may point to more effective treatments for obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

Patel recognized with NSF Career Award for computer-modeling research on cell membranes
Sandeep Patel, assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Delaware, has received a prestigious Faculty Early Career Development Award from the National Science Foundation to support his research using novel computer modeling methods to study the biophysics of model cell membranes, with particular focus on cell-penetrating peptides.

Building muscle without heavy weights
Weight training at a lower intensity but with more repetitions may be as effective for building muscle as lifting heavy weights says a new opinion piece in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism.

Finding in arginine paradox study translates into treatment for teen
Bringing bench work to the clinic had life saving impact for one child.

For binge drinkers, even relatively minor burns can lead to serious complications
Binge drinking may slow recovery and increase medical costs for survivors of burn injuries, according to a study presented during the American Burn Association meeting.

Scott Waldman, M.D., Ph.D., awarded CURE grant to move colon cancer test closer to commercialization
Scott Waldman, M.D., Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at Thomas Jefferson University, has been awarded a Commonwealth Universal Research Enhancement (CURE) grant for almost $750,000 to help advance a molecular diagnostic test for colon cancer into commercialization.

Spanish researcher releases a video showing a beetle from the inside
This film has been awarded a prize at the SkyScan Micro CT Meeting, an international conference of computed microtomography recently celebrated in Brussels, Belgium.

'Warming hole' delayed climate change over eastern United States
Climate scientists at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences have discovered that particulate pollution in the late 20th century created a

Fetal membrane transplantation prevents blindness
Transplanting tissue from newborn fetal membranes prevents blindness in patients with a devastating disease called Stevens-Johnson syndrome, a Loyola University Medical Center study has found.

Carnegie Mellon's Luis von Ahn to receive Grace Hopper Award
The Association for Computing Machinery will honor Luis von Ahn, the A.

Advanced pancreatic tumors depend on continued oncogene activity
Researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have shown that advanced pancreatic cancers in mice are dependent on continued oncogenic Kras expression for tumor maintenance.

Novel genetic loci identified for high-frequency hearing loss
The genetics responsible for frequency-specific hearing loss have remained elusive until recently, when genetic loci were found that affected high-frequency hearing.

Science magazine prize goes to Rice University global health technologies course
Doctors in the African nation of Malawi may be able to save more lives among gravely ill infants because of a device developed by Rice University freshmen taking a course in developing new technologies to respond to global health challenges.

Cells in blood vessel found to cling more tightly in regions of rapid flow
The cells that coat the pipes leading to the heart cling more tightly together in areas of fast-flowing blood.

How stem cell therapy can keep the immune system under control
A new study, appearing in Cell Stem Cell and led by researchers at the University of Southern California, outlines the specifics of how autoimmune disorders can be controlled by infusions of mesenchymal stem cells.

Discovery of earliest life forms' operation promises new therapies for key diseases
Bacteria provide a well-known playground for scientists and the evolution of these earliest life forms has shed important perspective on potential therapies for some of the most common, deadly diseases.

Gladstone scientists identify mechanism that could contribute to problems in Alzheimer's
Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes have unraveled a process by which depletion of a specific protein in the brain contributes to the memory problems associated with Alzheimer's disease.

Elsevier to publish the International Journal of Management Education
Elsevier, a world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and solutions, is pleased to announce publishing the International Journal of Management Education.

Study explores link between smoking during pregnancy, autism
Women who smoke in pregnancy may be more likely to have a child with high-functioning autism, such as Asperger's disorder, according to preliminary findings from a study published online by the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

Small molecular bodyguards kill HPV-infected cancer cells by protecting tumor-suppressor
Researchers at the Wistar Institute announce the discovery of small molecules that kill cancer cells caused by infection with human papillomavirus.

Handheld probe shows great promise for oral cancer detection
A team of American researchers have created a portable, miniature microscope in the hope of reducing the time taken to diagnose oral cancer.

People with 'balanced time perspective' more likely to call themselves content
A new study by San Francisco State University researcher Ryan Howell and his colleagues demonstrates that having a certain

Purple sea urchin metamorphosis controlled by histamine
Now that hay fever season has started, sufferers are well aware of the effect of histamines.

Breastfeeding isn't free: Study reveals 'hidden cost' associated with the practice
Pediatricians and other breastfeeding advocates often encourage new mothers to breastfeed their babies for at least the first six months of their infants' lives based on the purported health benefits to both mothers and children.

Physician's mindfulness skills can improve care for patient and provider
Training physicians in mindfulness meditation and communication skills can improve the quality of primary care for both practitioners and their patients, University of Rochester Medical Center researchers report in a study published online this week in the journal Academic Medicine.

NIH study links genes to common forms of glaucoma
Results from the largest genetic study of glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness and vision loss worldwide, showed that two genetic variations are associated with primary open angle glaucoma, a common form of the disease.

Penn geneticists identify genes linked to Western African Pygmies' small stature
If Pygmies are known for one trait, it is their short stature: Pygmy men stand just 4'11

MOU between the Smithsonian and the National Park Service broadens access and research
Scientific, educational and programmatic access to specimens from some of America's most important sites has been enhanced through a new partnership between the Smithsonian Institution and the National Park Service.

New guide for research on multiblock polymers emerges
Thanks to advances in polymer chemistry and a wide variety of monomer constituents to choose from, the world of multiblock polymers is wide open.

UCLA researchers combat global disease with a cell phone, Google Maps and a lot of ingenuity
UCLA researchers have developed a compact and cost-effective RDT reader platform to combine digital reading of all existing rapid-diagnostic-tests.

Scripps Research Institute scientists solve a mystery of bacterial growth and resistance
Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute have unraveled a complex chemical pathway that enables bacteria to form clusters called biofilms.

Seeing inside the nose of an aircraft
Radio signals reach pilots on board an aircraft through the

How Twitter broke its biggest story, #WeGotBinLaden
By analyzing 600,000 tweets sent on the night US Special Forces captured Osama bin Laden, researchers studied how Twitter broke the story and spread the news.

Invisible helpers: How probiotic bacteria protect against inflammatory bowel diseases
Some lactic acid bacteria can alleviate inflammation and therefore prevent intestinal disorders.

3D X-ray reveals fibers that control heart rhythm
Scientists at the University of Liverpool have developed a new X-ray technique to identify tissue fibers in the heart that ensure the muscle beats in a regular rhythm.

Not enough is known about prescription drug use in pregnancy, say experts
Prescription drug use during pregnancy is prevalent, however, not enough is known about the adverse effects they may have on the developing fetus, concludes a new review published in The Obstetrician & Gynaecologist today, 27 April.

Why do the different people's bodies react differently to a high-fat diet?
A diet rich in greasy foods causes an imbalance in our gut flora.

Boron-nitride nanotubes show potential in cancer treatment
A new study has shown that adding boron-nitride nanotubes to the surface of cancer cells can double the effectiveness of

Nitric oxide supplementation treats common metabolic disease
A team of researchers has discovered a treatment for a common metabolic disorder.

Children today face reduced racial disparities in kidney transplantation
A policy instituted in 2005 has reduced racial disparities in kidney transplantation among children, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology.

Learning mechanism of the adult brain revealed
They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks.

Scientists have demonstrated a new technique that will transform epigenetics research
Collaboration between scientists at Cambridge University and the Babraham Institute have demonstrated a new technique that will significantly improve scientists' ability to perform epigenetics research and help unlock the door to understanding how cells develop and function.

URMC clinical trial tests new regimen for hypertension
Researchers are testing whether different doses of an established blood pressure medication - including doses lower than typically prescribed - can provide the same benefits as a standard dose in people with mild hypertension, possibly with fewer side effects and at a lower cost.

Scholars to apply facial recognition software to unidentified portrait subjects
Anyone who has admired centuries-old sculptures and portraits displayed in museums and galleries around the world at some point has asked one question: Who is that?

Striatal brain volume predicts Huntington disease onset
Using data from the ongoing PREDICT-HD study and led by Dr.

Smalleye pigmy sharks' bellies shine
Smalleye pigmy sharks have an eye-catching party trick: Their bellies glow.

Rocky Mountain Rio GeoFiesta invites geoscientists from across the region to New Mexico
More than 400 members of the Geological Society of America's Rocky Mountain Section will meet on May 9-11 in Albuquerque, N.M., USA, for a

New health legislation will have 'severe implications' for population data, warn experts
The Health and Social Care Act 2012 will have

Mainz University Medical Center attracts funding of Alexander von Humboldt Professorship
The Mainz University Medical Center has been successful in attracting funding of an Alexander von Humboldt Professorship worth € five million.

Gauging seizures' severity
In this week's issue of the journal Neurology, researchers at MIT and two Boston hospitals provide early evidence that a simple, unobtrusive wrist sensor could gauge the severity of epileptic seizures as accurately as electroencephalograms do -- but without the ungainly scalp electrodes and electrical leads.

For treatment of vocal fold disorders, UD researchers look to insect protein
UD researchers are exploring the potential of resilin-like materials for treating vocal fold disorders in humans.

Mini cargo transporters on a rat run
Kinesins assume a vital function in our cells: The tiny cargo transporters move important substances along lengthy protein fibers and ensure an effective transportation infrastructure.

Long-held genetic theory doesn't quite make the grade, NYU biologists find
NYU biologists have discovered new mechanisms that control how proteins are expressed in different regions of embryos, while also shedding additional insight into how physical traits are arranged in body plans.

Research represents major breakthrough in macular degeneration
University of Kentucky researchers, led by Dr. Jayakrishna Ambati, have made a major breakthrough in the

Lower food and fuel costs could result from MU researcher's battle against soy pest
University of Missouri plant pathologist Melissa Mitchum and colleagues recently received a $466,000 grant from the USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture to continue their research on protecting soybeans from nematode parasites, which cause $1.3 billion annually in soybean crop losses in the US.

Commission unveils plan to improve care, reduce health spending by $184 billion over the next decade
Noting the

First evaluation of the Clean Water Act's effects on coastal waters reveals major successes
Levels of copper, cadmium, lead and other metals in Southern California's coastal waters have plummeted over the past four decades, which USC researchers attribute to sewage treatment regulations that were part of the Clean Water Act of 1972 and to the phase-out of leaded gasoline in the 1970s and 1980s.

Translocation risks revealed
Disastrous disease outbreaks like the one which led to the decimation of the red squirrel in Britain can now be avoided through the implementation of new preventive measures developed by UK scientists.

Patient survival not impacted by liver transplants performed at night or on weekends
A new study, funded in part by a grant from the National Institutes of Health, shows that liver transplants performed at night or on weekends do not adversely affect patient or graft survival.

Analytic thinking can decrease religious belief: UBC study
A new University of British Columbia study finds that analytic thinking can decrease religious belief, even in devout believers.

Triple negative breast cancer symposium highlights current advances
The 5th Annual Jean Sindab Triple Negative Breast Cancer Symposium provides an intimate learning environment in which the most current advances in triple-negative breast cancers (TNBC) will be explored.

Mutant Kras drives pancreatic cancer maintenance via metabolic pathways
A genetic mutation that drives the initiation of pancreatic cancer also manipulates metabolic pathways to support tumor growth and progression, scientists report in the journal Cell.

Starting puberty very early carries risks of psychological problems, suggests new review
Girls who start puberty very early are more likely to have psychological problems and be at risk of sexual abuse and early pregnancy, suggests a new review published today, 27 April, in The Obstetrician & Gynaecologist.

Women have bigger pupils than men
From an anatomical point of view, a normal, non-pathological eye is known as an emmetropic eye, and has been studied very little until now in comparison with myopic and hypermetropic eyes.

Summer Olympic athletes must overcome skin conditions to reach for the gold
Skin problems rank among athletes' most common complaints, but there's little information available regarding dermatoses among Olympic athletes, according to findings from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

Research breakthrough for drugs via the skin
A research team at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden has succeeded in describing the structure and function of the outermost layer of the skin - the stratum corneum - at a molecular level.

The Generation X report
Generation X adults prepare an average of 10 meals a week, and eat out or buy fast food an average of three times a week, according to a University of Michigan report that details the role food plays in the lives of Americans born between 1961 and 1981.

Tom Curran, Ph.D., FRS, elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Tom Curran, Ph.D., FRS, an expert in childhood brain cancer at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, has been elected to the 2012 class of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Duke team turns scar tissue into heart muscle without using stem cells
Scientists at Duke University Medical Center have shown the ability to turn scar tissue that forms after a heart attack into heart muscle cells using a new process that eliminates the need for stem cell transplant.

A new generation of ultra-small and high-precision lasers emerges
Ultra fast, robust, stable, and high precision: these are some of the characteristics of a new laser developed by an international research team.

Columbia University Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital experts at American Academy of Neurology meeting
The following research from NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/ Columbia University Medical Center is being presented at the 64th annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), April 21-26, 2012, in New Orleans.

Post cancer-related fatigue 'overestimated'
Despite widespread belief to the contrary, as few as six percent of women experience cancer-related persistent fatigue a year after undergoing treatment for breast cancer, a new study has found.

Oil palm surging source of greenhouse gas emissions
Continued expansion of industrial-scale oil palm plantations on the island of Borneo will become a leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 unless strong forest and peatland protections are enacted and enforced, according to a National Academy of Sciences study.

Doubts over long term impact of group education for diabetes patients
The benefits of a one-off group education program for people with newly diagnosed type II diabetes are not sustained over the long term, concludes a study published on today.

To assess the mobility of bed-ridden patients
In June a monitoring system is becoming commercially available that will allow nursing staff to accurately record the mobility of bedridden persons.

From embryonic stem cells, a sperm replacement and easier path to genetic modification
Not only will the advance make it easier to produce genetically modified mice, but it may also enable genetic modification of animals that can't be modified by today's means.

Action videogames change brains
A team led by psychology professor Ian Spence at the University of Toronto reveals that playing an action videogame, even for a relatively short time, causes differences in brain activity and improvements in visual attention.

Gene 'switch' regenerates damaged heart cells in animal study
For the first time, researchers in an animal study have converted scar tissue that forms after a heart attack into regenerated heart muscle using microRNA.

University of Nevada, Reno first to show transgenerational effect of antibiotics
In a paper published today in Nature's open access journal Scientific Reports, researchers at the University of Nevada, Reno report that male pseudoscorpions treated with the antibiotic tetracycline suffer significantly reduced sperm viability and pass this toxic effect on to their untreated sons.

BGI receives 2012 Best Practices Award at Bio-IT World Expo
BGI receives 2012 Best Practices Award at Bio-IT World Expo.

Guidelines say diet, exercise, weight control improve odds after cancer diagnosis
New guidelines from the American Cancer Society say for many cancers, maintaining a healthy weight, getting adequate physical activity, and eating a healthy diet can reduce the chance of recurrence and increase the likelihood of disease-free survival after a diagnosis.

Scripps Research Institute scientists find the structure of a key 'gene silencer' protein
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have determined the three-dimensional atomic structure of a human protein that is centrally involved in regulating the activities of cells.

Progress against HIV thwarted by patients' unmet needs
In a groundbreaking study published last year, scientists reported that effective treatment with HIV medications not only restores health and prolongs life in many HIV-infected patients, but also curtails transmission to sexual partners up to ninety-seven percent.

Stem cell researchers map new knowledge about insulin production
Scientists from the Danish Stem Cell Center at the University of Copenhagen and Hagedorn Research Institute have gained new insight into the signaling paths that control the body's insulin production.

Berries keep your brain sharp
A new study by researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital finds that a high intake of flavonoid rich berries, such as strawberries and blueberries, over time, can delay memory decline in older women by 2.5 years.

Genes shed light on spread of agriculture in Stone Age Europe
One of the most debated developments in human history is the transition from hunter-gatherer to agricultural societies.

Scholars debate American exceptionalism in new journal
Scholars debate the meaning and origins of American exceptionalism in the journal American Political Thought.

$350,000 grant awarded to UC Riverside researcher to study foster youth
Teens who age out of foster care at 18 face independence with gaps in their education, no job skills and little emotional support.

EARTH: Mobile mapping with LIDAR hits the road
A new generation of LIDAR, or Light Detection and Ranging technology, is bringing the laser-based survey method down to Earth.

Bacteria subverts immune response to aid infection
Listeria, one of the most deadly causes of bacterial food poisoning, subverts a normally protective immune response to spread its infection more effectively, according to new research at National Jewish Health.

University of Delaware professor leads efforts to support science students with disabilities
Karl Booksh points to data collected by the National Science Foundation showing that Americans with disabilities make up some 10-15 percent of the population but account for less than one percent of those earning doctoral degrees in the sciences.

UCSD researchers: Where international climate policy has failed, grassroots efforts can succeed
The world can significantly slow the pace of climate change with practical efforts to control so-called

Slicing mitotic spindle with lasers, nanosurgeons unravel old pole-to-pole theory
The mitotic spindle, an apparatus that segregates chromosomes during cell division, may be more complex than the standard textbook picture suggests, according to researchers at Harvard.

Bullied children 3 times more likely to self harm
Children who are bullied in childhood are up to three times more likely to self harm up to the age of twelve, a study published today on suggests.

New study suggests gender gap around homophobic bullying
A new study from Educational and Psychological Measurement found that when it comes to homophobic bullying, there could be a gender gap.

Beyond Traditional Borders wins Science magazine's IBI Prize
Science magazine has awarded a Science Prize for Inquiry-Based Instruction to Rice University's hands-on engineering education program Beyond Traditional Borders (BTB).

Buttercups alert farmers to first signs of subarctic fungus in the UK
A plant disease normally found in subarctic climates has been identified for the first time in the UK in buttercups as far south as Herefordshire.

Heart study suggests city center pollution doubles risk of calcium build-up in arteries
City center residents who took part in a study were almost twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery calcification (CAC), which can lead to heart disease, than people who lived in less polluted urban and rural areas.

Genes linked to Western African Pygmies' small stature identified
If Pygmies are known for one trait, it is their short stature: Pygmy men stand just 4'11

Artificial hips find some sports wearing
Involvement in high-impact activities such as football, skiing, tennis or martial arts, significantly increases the wear rate and reduces the 'lifespan' of hip implants in adults who have undergone total hip replacement surgery more than a decade earlier.

3 Penn State faculty members awarded Evan Pugh Professorships
Three Penn State faculty members have been named Evan Pugh Professors, joining a list of only 62 recognized since the title's inception in 1960. 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