Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 03, 2012
Defending the Statue of Liberty: Understanding militant responses to terrorism
The traditional Southern belief that men must defend their honor is alive and well but not just among men.

Scientists discover key contribution to Melanesian blonde hair color
Researchers studying pigmentation in the South Pacific have uncovered a key genetic contribution to hair color.

Fabrication method can affect the use of block copolymer thin films
A new study by a team including NIST scientists indicates that thin polymer films can have different properties depending on the method by which they are made.

Biologists turn back the clock to understand evolution of sex differences
Male water striders benefit by mating frequently, females by mating infrequently: both have developed traits to give them the upper hand.

From the journal Ethics: 'Is polygamy inherently unequal?'
Recent raids of religious compounds in Texas and British Columbia make clear that polygamy is, to say the least, frowned upon by Western governments.

Prestigious Piper professor title bestowed upon UH's Simon Bott
No stranger to teaching excellence, chemistry professor Simon Bott has been selected as a Piper Professor of 2012 by the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation.

Better ethics education needed in community-based research
More health researchers are collaborating with community groups. But ethicists write that programs that educate researchers and community groups about research ethics

Stem cells poised to self-destruct for the good of the embryo
Embryonic stem cells are primed to kill themselves if damage to their DNA makes them a threat to the developing embryo.

OHSU study shows how mitochondrial genes are passed from mother to child
This finding helps answer some long-standing questions about how mitochondria- linked gene mutations are inherited.

New technique predictably generates complex, wavy shapes
A new technique predictably generates complex, wavy shapes and may help improve drug delivery and explain natural patterns from brain folds to bell peppers.

Rats recall past to make daily decisions
UCSF scientists have identified patterns of brain activity in the rat brain that play a role in the formation and recall of memories and decision-making.

Queen's scientists discover black hole ripping apart star
Astronomers from Queen's University Belfast have gathered the most direct evidence yet of a supermassive black hole shredding a star that wandered too close.

A fish a day keeps the doctor away?
Most people, whether healthy or having cardiovascular disease, would benefit from regular consumption of oily fish, concluded speakers at the EuroPRevent 2012 meeting.

Next-generation nanoelectronics: A decade of progress, coming advances
Nanoelectromechanical switch technology could change the future of electronics. In two recent journal articles, researchers in Northwestern University professor Horacio Espinosa's lab explore the progress and future applications of the burgeoning technology.

Columbia University Medical Center and NY-Presbyterian experts at APA meeting
Following are highlights of presentations that will be given by researchers from NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center at the upcoming American Psychiatric Association annual meeting in Philadelphia May 5-9, 2012.

A needle in a haystack: How does a broken DNA molecule get repaired?
Scientists from the Kavli Institute of Nanoscience at Delft University of Technology have discovered a key element in the mechanism of DNA repair.

Measuring progesterone receptor expression to improve hormone-receptor-positive cancer management
American and Spanish researchers have found potential ways for doctors to improve the treatment of hormone receptor-positive breast cancer even if they lack access to costly multi-gene tests, as they report at the 4th IMPAKT Breast Cancer Conference.

Jealousy and envy at work are different in men and women
A study carried out by researchers from Spain, the Netherlands and Argentina suggests that in a work environment, sexual competition affects women more than men.

Tidal wave of myopia sweeping across East Asian countries, up to 90 percent of young adults affected
Myopia, or short-sightedness, now affects between 80 and 90 percent of school-leavers in major East Asian cities, such as those in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea.

Study identifies possible protective blood factors against Type 2 diabetes
Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University in collaboration with Nurses' Health Study investigators have shown that levels of certain related proteins found in blood are associated with a greatly reduced risk for developing Type 2 diabetes up to a decade or more later.

'Rank' of suffering may stop people seeking help for depression and anxiety
People's judgements about whether they are depressed depend on how they believe their own suffering

Michael J. Fox Foundation grant to Dr. Samuel Young will provide Parkinson's drug development tools
Samuel M. Young, Jr., Ph.D., research group leader at the new Max Planck Florida Institute, has received his first grant from the Michael J.

Pleasure eating triggers body's reward system and may stimulate overeating
When eating is motivated by pleasure, rather than hunger, endogenous rewarding chemical signals are activated which can lead to overeating, according to a recent study accepted for publication in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Immune-response genes affecting breast tumor eradication
Breast cancer patients whose tumors express high levels of genes related to immune response are more likely to have their tumor completely eradicated by preoperative chemotherapy compared to patients with low expression of these genes, Belgian researchers report at the 4th IMPAKT Breast Cancer Conference in Brussels, Belgium.

NRL charges Marine Corps expeditionary power requirements
The need to supply sufficient electricity to Marines on the battlefield is the overarching objective of the USMC Expeditionary Energy Strategy.

Carnegie Mellon and McGill researchers challenge post-marketing trial practices
Published in Science, Carnegie Mellon and McGill University bioethicists argue that current research ethics frameworks do not flag drug trials that, while not putting patients at risk, produce biased evidence.

Clearing the air: PNNL technology wins award for improving submarine air quality
PNNL has developed a nanoporous-based air-cleansing system for the Navy that can rapidly remove high levels of carbon dioxide from a submarine's air environment.

Researchers find reducing fishmeal hinders growth of farmed fish
In a new study, researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources looked at the health effects of raising farmed fish on a diet incorporating less than the usual amount of fishmeal -- a key but expensive component of current commercial fish food products.

Presence of fetal cells in women lowers risk of breast cancer but raises risk of colon cancer
For the first time, scientists have found what could be a causative link between the concentration of circulating Y-chromosome fetal cells in women who gave birth to children of either sex and their risk of later developing breast cancer and colon cancer.

Flying 3-D eye-bots
They can be deployed as additional surveillance resources during major events, or as high-resolution 3-D street imaging systems.

Revolutionary technology enables objects to know how they are being touched
A doorknob that knows whether to lock or unlock based on how it is grasped, a smartphone that silences itself if the user holds a finger to her lips and a chair that adjusts room lighting based on recognizing if a user is reclining or leaning forward are among the many possible applications of Touché, a new sensing technique developed by a team at Disney Research, Pittsburgh, and Carnegie Mellon University.

How to get a good night's sleep: Earplugs in the intensive care unit ward off confusion
Patients in an intensive care unit (ICU) often become confused or delirious soon after, or within a few days of, admittance to the ICU.

Regular jogging shows dramatic increase in life expectancy
Undertaking regular jogging increases the life expectancy of men by 6.2 years and women by 5.6 years, reveals the latest data from the Copenhagen City Heart study presented at the EuroPRevent2012 meeting.

Cardiovascular safety concerns over smoking-cessation drug misleading
A popular smoking cessation medication has been under a cloud of suspicion ever since the Canadian Medical Association Journal published a study in July 2011 reporting

Environmental toxicants causing ovarian disease across generations
Washington State University researchers have found that ovarian disease can result from exposures to a wide range of environmental chemicals and be inherited by future generations.

Corneal transplantation: No longer necessary to transplant the whole cornea in many cases
Corneas are the most commonly transplanted tissue worldwide, and rapid advancements mean the long-developed technique of complete transplantation (penetrating keratoplasty) is no longer necessary in many cases.

New UF study shows early North Americans lived with extinct giant beasts
A new University of Florida study that determined the age of skeletal remains provides evidence humans reached the Western Hemisphere during the last ice age and lived alongside giant extinct mammals.

Waking embryos before they are born
Under some conditions, the brains of embryonic chicks appear to be awake well before those chicks are ready to hatch out of their eggs.

Majority of college-age kids get help from mom and dad
More than 60 percent of young adults between the ages of 19 and 22 received some financial help from mom and dad, according to a new University of Michigan study.

Aged hematopoietic stem cells rejuvenated to be functionally younger
Researchers have rejuvenated aged hematopoietic stem cells to be functionally younger, offering intriguing clues into how medicine might one day fend off some of the ailments of old age.

Identifying patients who benefit most from immune suppressant
A new analysis may help doctors identify breast cancer patients who will benefit from treatment with the immune suppressant drug everolimus, say French researchers at the 4th IMPAKT Breast Cancer Conference in Brussels, Belgium.

Life-size 3-D hologram-like telepods may revolutionize videoconferencing in the future
A Queen's University researcher has created a Star Trek-like human-scale 3-D videoconferencing pod that allows people in different locations to video conference as if they are standing in front of each other.

National handwashing campaign improved hygiene and reduced infection
An evaluation of the national

CNIO researchers describe new functions of cohesin relevant for human disease
Researchers of the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre under the direction of Ana Losada have identified new functions of cohesin SA1 that are relevant for two human diseases, cancer and Cornelia de Lange syndrome.

U of M researchers develop new muscular dystrophy treatment approach using human stem cells
Researchers from the University of Minnesota's Lillehei Heart Institute have effectively treated muscular dystrophy in mice using human stem cells derived from a new process that - for the first time - makes the production of human muscle cells from stem cells efficient and effective.

'Ethical Adaptation to Climate Change' envisions the good life in a harsher world
Think like a planet -- and reorganize society to reflect it, says Case Western Reserve University's environmental ethicist Jeremy Bendik-Keymer.

Battle of the sexes offers evolutionary insights
At one University of Cincinnati laboratory, the phrase

Are you a healthy grocery shopper?
Studies have shown that Americans obtain most of their food from grocery stores and their shopping habits are predictive of their consumption of fruits, vegetables, and sugared soft drinks.

Science nugget: Lightning signature could help reveal the solar system's origins
An electromagnetic signature, known as Schumann Resonance, had only been observed from Earth's surface until, in 2011, scientists discovered they could also detect it using NASA's Vector Electric Field Instrument (VEFI) aboard the US Air Force's Communications /Navigation Outage Forecast System (C/NOFS) satellite.

Digital breast tomosynthesis cuts recall rates by 40 percent
Adding digital breast tomosynthesis to 2D mammography screening results in a 40 percent reduction in patient recall rates compared to routine screening mammography alone, a new study shows.

Africa's Rift Valley saved by parks
A new book produced by the Wildlife Conservation Society and Albertine Rift Conservation Society documents how well-managed protected areas with good law enforcement have saved wildlife in Africa's Albertine Rift Valley despite decades of insecurity and war.

Geisel researchers sift through 'junk' to find colorectal cancer clues
Analysis of non-coding

The American College of Rheumatology issues guidelines for management of lupus nephritis
The American College of Rheumatology has issued newly created guidelines for the screening, treatment, and management of lupus nephritis -- a severe manifestation of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) where the disease attacks the kidneys.

New guidelines deliver concise messages for implementing cardiovascular prevention
The latest cardiovascular disease prevention guidelines have been overhauled to produce a user friendly document with concise messages that awards greater weight than ever before to evidence from clinical trials and observational population studies.

Earth history and evolution
In classical mythology, the cypress tree is associated with death, the underworld and eternity.

Study says screening accounts for much of black/white disparity in colorectal cancer
A new study finds differences in screening account for more than 40 percent of the disparity in colorectal cancer incidence and nearly 20 percent of colorectal cancer mortality between blacks and whites.

Age-related macular degeneration increasing due to aging populations
As populations age, the prevalence of age-related macular degeneration, which can cause progressive blindness, can only increase.

Study finds 'overmanagement' of benign breast disease
Contrary to current guidelines, women with benign breast biopsies do not need follow-up at six months; they may not need close surveillance at all, a new study shows.

Surgical excision unnecessary in some patients with benign papillomas
Imaging surveillance is an acceptable alternative to surgical excision in patients with benign papilloma, diagnosed at breast core biopsy without cell abnormalities, a new study shows.

Breast cancer patients with positive ultrasound guided axillary node biopsy need dissection
Contrary to a trend in treatment, breast cancer patients with suspicious lymph nodes should have an ultrasound-guided axillary node biopsy, and if that biopsy is positive these patients should undergo an axillary dissection, a new study shows.

Simple assault and ground level fall do not require cervical spine CT
Cervical spine CT examinations are unnecessary for emergency department patients who are a victim of

Better housing conditions for zebrafish could improve research results
Zebrafish behavior and the reliability of scientific results could be impacted if the environment zebrafish live in is altered, according to scientists.

Rapid Sierra Nevada uplift tracked by scientists at the University of Nevada, Reno
From the highest peak in the continental United States, Mt.

Researchers pinpoint genetic pathway of rare facial malformation in children
Researchers at Seattle Children's Research Institute and their collaborators have discovered a pair of defective genes that cause a rare congenital malformation syndrome that can make it impossible for the child to breathe or eat properly without reparative surgery.

'No family history' not a good reason for women 40-49 to stop yearly screening mammograms
More than half the women aged 40-49 diagnosed with breast cancer on screening mammography report no family history, a new study shows.

Autism, ADHD, and children's learning -- insights from Psychological Science
Critical issues in learning, ADHD and autism will be explored during the Association for Psychological Science annual convention in Chicago, from May 23-27.

UCSB researchers find that less is more, for female cowbirds
More modest male displays attract the females when it comes to brown-headed cowbirds, contrary to sexual selection theory, according to UC Santa Barbara researchers Adrian O'Loghlen and Stephen Rothstein.

Study reveals dynamic changes in gene regulation in human stem cells
A team led by scientists at the Scripps Research Institute and the University of California San Diego has discovered a new type of dynamic change in human stem cells.

Sloppy shipping of human retina leads IU researchers to discover new treatment path for eye disease
Sloppy shipping of a donated human retina to an Indiana University researcher studying a leading cause of vision loss has inadvertently helped uncover a previously undetected mechanism causing the disease.

Naturally blond hair in Solomon Islanders rooted in native gene, Stanford study finds
The common occurrence of blond hair among the dark-skinned indigenous people of the Solomon Islands is due to a homegrown genetic variant distinct from the gene that leads to blond hair in Europeans, according to a new study from the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Living in the countryside
How do changed living conditions in rural regions affect people's health and lifestyles?

Scientists core into California's Clear Lake to explore past climate change
One of the oldest lakes in the world, Clear Lake in northern California has deep sediments that contain a record of the climate and local plants and animals going back perhaps 500,000 years.

Extra gene drove instant leap in human brain evolution
A partial, duplicate copy of a gene appears to be responsible for the critical features of the human brain that distinguish us from our closest primate kin.

Black hole caught in a feeding frenzy
When it comes to scary things in the universe, it's hard to get much scarier than supermassive black holes.

Fast, low-power, all-optical switch
A new solid-state device uses one beam of light to switch another beam of light from one direction to another.

Awake mental replay of past experiences critical for learning
Awake mental replay of past experiences is essential for making informed choices, suggests a study in rats.

4 white dwarf stars caught in the act of consuming 'Earth-like' exoplanets
University of Warwick astrophysicists have pinpointed four white dwarfs surrounded by dust from shattered planetary bodies which once bore striking similarities to the composition of the Earth.

Mitigating disasters by hunting down Dragon Kings
Professional Dragon King hunter Didier Sornette from the Department of Management, Technology and Economics, ETH Zurich, Switzerland, together with his colleague Guy Ouillon, present the many facets of Dragon Kings in a review about to be published in EPJ ST.

New protocol enables wireless and secure biometric acquisition with web services
NIST researchers have developed and published a new protocol for communicating with biometric sensors over wired and wireless networks.

US spends far more for health care than 12 industrialized nations, but quality varies
The United States spends more on health care than 12 other industrialized countries yet does not provide

UC Riverside physicist awarded 2012 Bardeen Prize
Chandra Varma, a distinguished professor of physics at the University of California, Riverside, has been awarded the 2012 Bardeen Prize for his outstanding contributions to explaining the intriguing phenomenon of superconductivity.

Clinical trial targets acute respiratory distress syndrome with cholesterol drug
Queen's University and NUI Galway and are leading a clinical trial to investigate the possibility that statins, a drug commonly used to combat cholesterol, might help patients with acute severe respiratory failure.

Low oxygen levels could drive cancer growth
Low oxygen levels in cells may be a primary cause of uncontrollable tumor growth in some cancers, according to a new University of Georgia study.

HHS enlists Archimedes Inc. to expand government's use of health care modeling
To put high-powered mathematical analytics in the hands of its agencies, the US Department of Health and Human Services has contracted with Archimedes Inc., a healthcare modeling company based in San Francisco, Calif.

Scripps Research Institute scientists show how a gene duplication helped our brains become 'human'
A team led by scientists at the Scripps Research Institute has shown that an extra copy of a brain-development gene, which appeared in our ancestors' genomes about 2.4 million years ago, allowed maturing neurons to migrate farther and develop more connections.

Automated breast ultrasound dramatically reduces physician interpretation time
Automated breast ultrasound takes an average three minutes of physician time, allowing for quick and more complete breast cancer screening of asymptomatic women with dense breast tissue, a new study shows.

A study proves the positive effects of heart rehabilitation programs on patients
University of Granada researchers affirm that it is

Researchers unveil new assessment for diagnosing malnutrition
A new systematic assessment of malnutrition, created by researchers at Penn State, will aid dietitians and other health care providers in diagnosis and treatment.

Ultrasound idea: Prototype NIST/CU bioreactor evaluates engineered tissue while creating it
NIST researchers have developed a prototype bioreactor that both stimulates and evaluates tissue as it grows, mimicking natural processes while eliminating the need to stop periodically to cut up samples for analysis.

Hormone may help predict tubal ectopic pregnancy
Tubal ectopic pregnancy is currently the leading cause of pregnancy-related deaths during the first trimester and a recent study accepted for publication in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism shows that the hormone adrenomedullin may help predict this condition.

Blacks and Hispanics at higher risk for precancerous colorectal polyps
Blacks and Hispanics have a significantly higher risk of developing precancerous colorectal polyps compared with whites, according to a study by researchers at NewYork - Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center.

Cedars-Sinai stroke team earns award for improving region's quality of care
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center's Stroke Program was recently yeah. The little fish out there spotlighted by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for earning the highest achievement in the association's initiative to improve outcomes for patients suffering strokes: the Get With the Guidelines Gold Plus award.

Caltech researchers use stalagmites to study past climate change
By analyzing stalagmites, a team of Caltech researchers has determined that the climate signature in the tropics through four glacial cycles looks different in some ways and similar in others when compared to the climate signature at high latitudes.

First light: NIST researchers develop new way to generate superluminal pulses
NIST researchers have developed a novel way of producing light pulses that are

Breast cancer in young women: A distinct disease
Breast cancer in young women is a biologically unique disease that requires customized management strategies, researchers report at the 4th IMPAKT Breast Cancer Conference, in Brussels, Belgium.

New data improve understanding of breast cancer's multiple varieties
New findings presented at Europe's leading breast cancer translational research conference this year shed new light on the many biological differences between individual breast cancers.

Light touch keeps a grip on delicate nanoparticles
Using a refined technique for trapping and manipulating nanoparticles, NIST researchers have extended the trapped particles' useful life more than tenfold.

Atomic-scale visualization of electron pairing in iron superconductors
By measuring how strongly electrons are bound together to form Cooper pairs in an iron-based superconductor, scientists provide direct evidence supporting theories in which magnetism holds the key to this material's ability to carry current with no resistance.

Thanks for the memory: More room for data in 'phase-change' material
Engineers have discovered previously unknown properties of a common computer memory material, paving the way for new memory drives, movie discs and computer systems that absorb data more quickly, last longer and allow far more capacity than current data storage media.

Researchers show prebiotic can reduce severity of colitis
Researchers at Michigan State University have shown a prebiotic may help the body's own natural killer cells fight bacterial infection and reduce inflammation, greatly decreasing the risk of colon cancer.

Staging and risk stratification of thyroid cancer improved with SPECT/CT
The use of single positron emission computed tomography (SPECT)/computed tomography (CT) has been reported to change clinical management in a significant number of thyroid cancer patients according to research presented in the May issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

EARTH: North Star loses mass but still shines bright
The North Star, the Pole Star, the Guiding Star, Polaris: its many names reflect the many centuries humans have gazed northward to it for guidance.

Treatment guidelines updated for aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage
Doctors should consider an immediate transfer for patients with a type of bleeding stroke to hospitals that treat at least 35 such cases a year.

Plant diversity is key to maintaining productive vegetation, U of M study shows
Vegetation, such as a patch of prairie or a forest stand, is more productive in the long run when more plant species are present, a new University of Minnesota study shows.

Email 'vacations' decrease stress, increase concentration, researchers say
Being cut off from work email significantly reduces stress and allows employees to focus far better, according to a new study by UC Irvine and US Army researchers.

The Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research announces launch of iTeos Therapeutics SA
The Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research announced today the launch of a private biotechnology enterprise, iTeos Therapeutics SA, to develop a novel pre-clinical pipeline of immunomodulators to stimulate the immune system's ability to attack cancer.

Double duty: Versatile immune cells play dual roles in human skin
A new study helps to resolve an ongoing controversy about whether Langerhans cells (LCs) in human skin function to suppress the immune response and promote tolerance to normal human skin and its

Transatlantic alliance in marine research and education
International cooperation is important not only for research but also, increasingly, for training of the marine scientists of the future.

Some women may be genetically predisposed to smoking-related hot flashes
Women who smoke and carry specific variations in the genes that impact their metabolism are at higher risk of developing hot flashes in comparison with smokers who do not carry these gene variants, according to a recent study accepted for publication in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

TGen leads new National Institutes of Health study of brain tumors
The Translational Genomics Research Institute will lead a multidisciplinary search for new drugs that could help treat the most common and lethal form of brain cancer.

Insect glands may illuminate human fertilization process
Insect glands are responsible for producing a host of secretions that allow bees to sting and ants to lay down trails.

Increasing speed of Greenland glaciers gives new insight for rising sea level
Changes in the speed that ice travels in more than 200 outlet glaciers indicates that Greenland's contribution to rising sea level in the 21st century might be significantly less than the upper limits some scientists thought possible, a new study shows.

Researchers discover first gene linked to missing spleen in newborns
Researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College and Rockefeller University have identified the first gene to be linked to a rare condition in which babies are born without a spleen, putting those children at risk of dying from infections they cannot defend themselves against.

Study discovers genetic pathway impacting the spread of cancer cells
In a new study from Lawson Health Research Institute, Dr.

Bacteria discovery could lead to antibiotics alternatives
Scientists have discovered an Achilles heel within our cells that bacteria are able to exploit to cause and spread infection.

Trial seeks improved lung-cancer screening by combining imaging and biomarkers
National Jewish Health is seeking to refine and improve lung-cancer screening by combining a blood test with CT imaging to detect disease earlier and more effectively. 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