Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 19, 2012
Where to put nuclear waste?
Researchers in Finland have found that acceptance of the site of a spent nuclear fuel repository can depend on gender and economic background.

NASA sees some heavy rainfall in tropical storm talim
Tropical Storm Talim formed in the South China Sea yesterday, June 18, just south of Hainan Island, China, and NASA's TRMM satellite captured rainfall data right after its birth, revealing some heavy rain.

NIH study finds HIV-positive young men at risk of low bone mass
Young men being treated for HIV are more likely to experience low bone mass than are other men their age, according to results from a research network supported by the National Institutes of Health.

Toward a more economical process for making biodiesel fuel from algae
A new process to transform algae directly into biodiesel and other renewable fuels uses carbon dioxide in place of toxic solvents.

Child welfare investigation predicts mental health problems in young children
A study published in the June 2012 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry found that young children who have been investigated for maltreatment by child welfare agencies have a higher prevalence of mental health problems and that very few receive treatment for those problems.

Eat less meat and farm efficiently to tackle climate change
We need to eat less meat and recycle our waste to re-balance the global carbon cycle and reduce our risk of dangerous levels of climate change.

Lipid-related markers addition linked with slight improvement in cardiovascular disease prediction
Among individuals without known cardiovascular disease (CVD), the addition of certain apolipoproteins and lipoproteins to risk scores containing total cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) was associated with slight improvement in CVD prediction, according to a study in the June 20 issue of JAMA.

Schooling fish: Wild zebrafish assess risk through social learning
Sarah Zala and Dustin Penn from the Konrad Lorenz Institute of Ethology of the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna investigated whether zebrafish use social learning to assess risk.

Sustainable denim manufacturing process creates 'green' jeans
An emerging green chemistry process can produce a pair of denim jeans using up to 92 percent less water and up to 30 percent less energy than conventional denim manufacturing methods, scientists reported today at the 16th annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference.

Mother goats do not forget their kids
Mother goats remember the calls of their kids for up to 11-17 months, scientists from Queen Mary, University of London have found.

Breaking your budget? Why consumers overspend on exceptional purchases
Consumers routinely overspend on un-budgeted purchases such as birthday gifts, car repairs, or luxury chocolates because they underestimate the overall number of such

Study: 21 percent of newly admitted nursing home residents sustain a fall during their stay
One in five short-stay nursing home patients sustains a fall after their admission, and certified nursing assistant staffing is associated with decreased fall risk, according to a study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

NOAA scholarship awarded to Jan Vicente to study the impact of ocean acidification on marine sponges
The world's corals are at risk of disintegrating thanks to increasingly acidic ocean waters, but what about the sponges?

Parents say that healthy eating is challenging for youth who play sports
Food and beverages available to youth participating in organized sports can often be unhealthy, according to a new study in the July/August issue of Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. users will translate web as they learn a new language
Users of a new, free website,, will help tackle the gargantuan task of translating the Web even as they learn a new language.

Moving 3D computer model of key human protein is powerful new tool in fight against cancer
Researchers long have relied on static images of human P-glycoprotein, a major contributor to chemotherapy failure in recurring cancers.

Genetic marker in vitamin D receptor gene associated with increased pancreatic cancer survival
Pancreatic cancer patients with a genetic marker linked to increased expression of the receptor for vitamin D have higher rates of overall survival, according to findings presented at the American Association for Cancer Research's Pancreatic Cancer: Progress and Challenges conference, held June 18-21.

First example of a heritable abnormality affecting semantic cognition found
Four generations of a single family have been found to possess an abnormality within a specific brain region which appears to affect their ability to recall verbal material, a new study by researchers at the University of Bristol and University College London has found.

An ant scientist's picnic: The highly diverse ant fauna of the Philippines
The generic diversity of ants in the Philippines is truly amazing.

Solar nanowire array may increase percentage of sun's frequencies available for energy conversion
Using a nanowire substrate to anchor advanced photovoltaic materials, researchers are able to alleviate strains between materials that otherwise would shorten life spans for photovoltaic products.

Repelling the rays: New American Chemical Society video on sunscreens
Just in time for the first day of summer, the American Chemical Society explores the science behind sunscreen in the latest episode of its award-winning Bytesize Science series.

Research on improvements in diagnosing and treating tuberculosis
Scientists at the Carlos III University in Madrid are participating in a European research project designed to study tuberculosis treatments.

Researchers calculate size of particles in Martian clouds of CO2 snow
New research shows that, much like Earth, the polar caps of Mars change with the seasons.

Soda companies' PR campaigns are bad for health
Health advocates need to organize strong public health campaigns to educate the public and policymakers about the dangers of both sugary beverages and the misleading industry corporate social responsibility campaigns that distract from their products' health risks, according to US experts writing in this week's PLoS Medicine.

Scientists develop first satellite deforestation tracker for whole of Latin America
An international team of researchers in Colombia, the UK, US and Switzerland have developed the first ever system to monitor deforestation across Latin America in near real-time using satellite data.

Inhibitors of shuttle molecule show promise in acute leukemia
A novel family of experimental agents that blocks a molecule from shuttling proteins out of the cell nucleus might offer a new treatment for people with acute leukemia.

Nerve growth factors elevated in pancreatic cancer model
Severe pain is a major symptom of pancreatic cancer. The results of a new study show that four different factors involved in the growth and maintenance of nerves are elevated in a mouse model of pancreatic cancer.

Should consumers trust their feelings as information?
Consumers who trust their feelings are more likely to make choices based on what

Private healthcare no more efficient, accountable or effective than public sector in LMICs
A systematic review conducted by Sanjay Basu of the University of California, San Francisco and colleagues re-evaluated the evidence relating to comparative performance of public versus private sector healthcare delivery in low- and middle-income countries.

Time to act on COPD
The EU COPD Coalition is using the presence of a major international conference on lung health in Birmingham in England to call for lung testing to be a basic health right for all across Europe and better training for healthcare professionals.

Detector of DNA damage: Structure of a repair factor revealed
Double-stranded breaks in cellular DNA can trigger tumorigenesis. Researchers from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet in Munich have now determined the structure of a protein involved in the repair and signaling of DNA double-strand breaks.

2 NASA visualizations selected for computers graphics showcase
A NASA computer animation that shows how the sun's heat drives the Earth's swirling winds and ocean currents and a series that tours the lunar surface and the evolution of the moon are the scientific visualizations selected by an annual conference that presents and publishes the best in computer graphics and technical research.

Study finds that single mothers can reduce stress by playing, engaging with children
A group of Kansas State University researchers is studying ways to help single mothers improve their relationship with their children.

Study finds significantly higher rate of untreated kidney failure among older adults
In a study that included nearly 2 millions adults in Canada, the rate of progression to untreated kidney failure was considerably higher among older adults, compared to younger individuals, according to a study in the June 20 issue of JAMA.

Noisy environments make young songbirds shuffle their tunes
iPod owners aren't the only ones who frequently shuffle their favorite tunes.

To ensure safety of offshore drilling and production, government should modify oversight practices
To ensure the effectiveness of recently mandated Safety and Environmental Management System programs for offshore drilling and production operations, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement should take a holistic approach that modifies some of its existing practices, says a new report from the National Research Council.

UK cyclists take different paths
Vast differences in cycling cultures have been found in UK cities; For some cycling is a traditional transport accessible to all while for others it is a new edgy, urban subculture according to recent findings from a research project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.

Abnormal gene product associated with prostate cancer generated by unusual mechanism
Researchers have identified a potential new pathway in prostate cancer cells by which cancer-driving gene products can be generated, according to a study published in Cancer Discovery, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

A new indicator for breast cancer relapse identified
Researchers at the IMIM have proven that the absence of the 14-3-3 protein sigma in breast cancer cells is directly associated with these cells' capacity to activate the signaling of a protein complex called NF-kB, which is related to tumor progression.

Planning ahead: Consumers prefer fewer options when thinking about the future
Consumers generally prefer having more options when choosing among products but not when making choices involving the distant future, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Penn study describes molecular machinery that pulls apart protein clumps
In a new study researchers address an urgent need to find ways to promote beneficial amyloid fiber assembly or to reverse its pathogenic assembly, at will.

UCLA's Yi Tang receives Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award from EPA
Yi Tang, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, and of chemistry and biochemistry at UCLA, has been awarded the prestigious 2012 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award from the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Fishing for answers to autism puzzle
Fish cannot display symptoms of autism, schizophrenia or other human brain disorders.

Adaptable decision making in the brain
Researchers at the University of Iowa, together with colleagues from the California Institute of Technology and New York University, have discovered how a part of the brain helps predict future events from past experiences.

Rush joins elite group of institutions with accredited research programs
The Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs, Inc. has awarded Rush University Medical Center full accreditation for the next three years.

UMMS researcher Victor Ambros, Ph.D., named co-recipient of 2012 Janssen Award for Biomedical Research
Longtime collaborators Victor R. Ambros, Ph.D., of the University of Massachusetts Medical School and Gary B.

Reaxys announces winners of the 2012 Reaxys Ph.D. Prize
Reaxys announces the winners of the Reaxys Ph.D. Prize. Awarding innovative and original research in organic, organometallic and inorganic chemistry, the Reaxys Ph.D.

Inhibiting Hedgehog signaling pathway may improve pancreatic cancer treatment
Combining a new targeted therapy with standard chemotherapy may help defeat pancreatic cancer, according to results presented at the American Association for Cancer Research's Pancreatic Cancer: Progress and Challenges conference, held June 18-21.

From pomegranate peel to nanoparticles
Food waste is a growing problem in many parts of the world, but discarded fruit peel, in the case of pomegranates, could be put to good use in the burgeoning field of nanotechnology according to research published in the International Journal of Nanoparticles.

Retail therapy: Shopping to cope with future challenges
Consumers often shop to cope with stressful situations but they are much more selective when it comes to shopping as a way to cope with future challenges, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

The role of dopamine in sleep regulation
A group of Spanish researchers has discovered a new function of the neurotransmitter dopamine in controlling sleep regulation.

BGI's second HPC Innovation Excellence Award marks its impetus in biocomputing
BGI's second HPC Innovation Excellence Award marks its impetus in biocomputing.

Molecular machinery that pulls protein clumps apart
Amyloid fibers in the brain are a hallmark of many neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's disease, for which there are no effective treatments.

Paddle vs. propeller: Which competitive swimming stroke is superior?
In time for the US Olympic Trials, engineers settle the argument over which swim stroke technique -- deep catch or sculling -- is faster.

Soil moisture climate data record observed from space
Soil moisture is a crucial parameter to understand climate change.

Tips from the Journals of the American Society for Microbiology
This month has research out on:

Low/moderate drinking in early pregnancy has no adverse effects on children aged 5
Low and moderate weekly alcohol consumption in early pregnancy is not associated with adverse neuropsychological effects in children aged five, suggests a series of papers published today (20 June) in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

New report evaluates progress of Everglades Restoration Plan
'Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Fourth Biennial Review, 2012' is a new Congressionally mandated report from the National Research Council.

RLIP76 contributes to pancreatic cancer cell resistance to chemotherapy and radiation
Researchers at the City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center have not only identified a protein that allows pancreatic cancer cells to resist therapy but also developed a way to block it, according to results presented at the American Association for Cancer Research's Pancreatic Cancer: Progress and Challenges conference, held June 18-21.

Black brant geese show lifetime relationship good for goose and gander
Not all birds mate for life, but for those species that do, wildlife biologists have found a clear benefit to the birds from such long-term relationships: Greater longevity and breeding success, according to a study led by University of Nevada, Reno scientists that was recently published in Behavioral Ecology.

A combination of TH-302 and radiation reduced human pancreatic tumor growth in hypoxic xenografts
A combination of the prodrug TH-302 and radiation may provide an effective treatment strategy for pancreatic cancer, according to preclinical results presented at the American Association for Cancer Research's Pancreatic Cancer: Progress and Challenges conference, held June 18-21.

IU Kelley School study: Mutual fund portfolio risk increased when managers favor home-state stocks
Inexperienced mutual-fund managers and those working for funds with limited resources tend to invest too heavily in companies from their home states without the benefit of actual knowledge of the companies.

Adding erlotinib to bevacizumab/chemoradiotherapy regimen for pancreatic cancer safe, tolerable
The addition of high doses of erlotinib to the treatment regimen of bevacizumab and capecitabine with radiotherapy seems to benefit patients with locally advanced pancreatic cancer, according to results of a phase I study presented at the American Association for Cancer Research's Pancreatic Cancer: Progress and Challenges conference, held June 18-21.

Does background noise make consumers buy more innovative products?
Moderate background noise enhances creativity and makes consumers more likely to buy new and innovative products, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Tai Chi increases brain size, benefits cognition in randomized controlled trial of Chinese elderly
Scientists from the University of South Florida and Fudan University in Shanghai found increases in brain volume and improvements on tests of memory and thinking in Chinese seniors who practiced Tai Chi three times a week, reports an article published today in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

Notre Dame health IT expert says electronic medical records finally catching on
The U.S. Olympic Committee is converting to electronic medical records (EMRs) this month for hundreds of athletes who will be competing in London, as well as thousands of other athletes who have been seen by Olympic Committee doctors in recent years.

'Color blind' policies could make diversity harder to achieve
Whether it be growing concerns about bias or recognition of the value of diversity, many organizations and institutions have elected to de-emphasize race or remove it entirely from their decision-making processes.

International Nanomedicine Conference bound for Sydney: July 2-4, 2012
The future of medicine is taking shape on the nano-scale and making possible healthcare solutions once confined to the realm of science fiction.

Latest edition of the 'Particle Physics Bible' now online
'The Review of Particle Physics,' a panorama of the world of high-energy and astroparticle physics known as

NHS productivity challenge would be 'undoable' says expert
Asking the NHS to find nearly £50 billion in efficiency savings would be

Food industry needs more scrutiny from the public health community
In an editorial to launch a major new series on

Hulk smash? Maybe not anymore: Scientists block excess aggression in mice
Pathological rage can be blocked in mice, researchers have found, suggesting potential new treatments for severe aggression, a widespread trait characterized by sudden violence, explosive outbursts and hostile overreactions to stress.

Blogging relieves stress on new mothers
New mothers who read and write blogs may feel less alone than mothers who do not participate in a blogging community, according to family studies researchers.

In nanotube growth, errors are not an option
At the right temperature, with the right catalyst, there's no reason a perfect single-walled carbon nanotube 50,000 times thinner than a human hair can't be grown a meter long.

Leukemia inhibitory factor may be a promising target against pancreatic cancer
Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer, defying most treatments.

Asymptomatic rhinovirus infection outnumbers symptomatic infection 4 to 1 among university students
The common cold virus may be more common than previously thought in university students not reporting any symptoms.

Sun exposure and sun-sensitive skin type decreased risk for pancreatic cancer
High levels of ultraviolet radiation at an individual's birth location, sun-sensitive skin type and a history of skin cancer each decreased risk for pancreatic cancer, according to study results presented at the American Association for Cancer Research's Pancreatic Cancer: Progress and Challenges conference, held June 18-21.

Most quasars live on snacks, not large meals
Black holes in the early universe needed a few snacks rather than one giant meal to fuel their quasars and help them grow, a new study shows.

Assessing Olympic terrorism threats
The former Head of Department of Asymmetric Threats at the Joint Military Intelligence Division of Hellenic National Defense General Staff, in Athens, Greece, Ioannis Galatas suggests that the 2012 Olympic Games to be held in London in July and August represent a potential terrorist threat as the successor to the late Osama bin Laden and a medical doctor himself, struggles to regain

Resveratrol may be a natural exercise performance enhancer: U of A medical research
A natural compound found in some fruits, nuts and red wine may enhance exercise training and performance, demonstrates newly published medical research from the University of Alberta.

Global collaboration aims to improve mother and newborn health
Researchers from across the world have joined forces to improve the quality of midwifery care and reduce maternal, newborn and infant mortality.

Coronary rehabilitation programs in Europe are underused
Large proportions of European coronary patients are not benefiting from cardiac rehabilitation services, according to results of the third EUROASPIRE survey published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

23andMe contributes to genetic discoveries related to male pattern baldness
23andMe has contributed to the finding of six novel genetic associations for early onset male pattern baldness in a genome-wide association study now published online in the journal PLoS Genetics.

NASA satellites see Tropical Storm Guchol affecting Japan
Tropical Storm Guchol became the first tropical cyclone to hit Japan this year and NASA's TRMM and Aqua satellites have captured radar, infrared and visible imagery of the recently weakened storm.

Restoring streamside forests helps songbirds survive the winter in California's Central Valley
A new study by PRBO Conservation Science (PRBO) and the National Aviary finds that restoring floodplain forests in the Central Valley of California helps songbirds survive through the winter, a finding previously substantiated only for summer nesting birds.

Long-term cancer survivors struggle to keep regular work hours
Long-term cancer survivors take sick leave more often than their disease-free colleagues, suggesting that they struggle at work despite their ability to work five years after diagnosis.

Trouble on the horizon for GM crops?
Pests are adapting to genetically modified crops in unexpected ways, including dominant resistance not previously observed in the lab, researchers have discovered.

Product selection: Many consumers just want better features
Consumers who are less knowledgeable about a product typically make choices based on differences that are easy to compare among the available options, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Metformin treatment caused cancer stem cell death in pancreatic cancer cell lines
Results of some preclinical trials have shown that low doses of the antidiabetic drug metformin may effectively destroy cancer stem cells, a group of cells that are considered to be responsible for tumor initiation and, because they are resistant to standard chemotherapies, tumor relapse.

Wayne State researcher seeks to understand effect of dog-human interaction on social skills
It may seem intuitive to believe that working with animals has a positive effect on people, but a Wayne State University researcher is trying to determine the nature of that effect, and whether it holds true for various groups.

UTHealth study addresses barriers to physical activity counseling
Lack of time, knowledge and training in health promotion and lack of success with changing patient behavior were among the top barriers to including effective physical activity counseling in the primary care setting, according to research by the University of Texas School of Public Health, part of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

Cedars-Sinai researchers, with stem cells, advance understanding of spinal muscular atrophy
Cedars-Sinai's Regenerative Medicine Institute has pioneered research on how motor-neuron cell-death occurs in patients with spinal muscular atrophy, offering an important clue in identifying potential medicines to treat this leading genetic cause of death in infants and toddlers.

Dog-associated house dust protects against respiratory infection linked to asthma
House dust from homes with dogs appears to protect against infection with a common respiratory virus that is associated with the development of asthma in children.

Why we like the Old Spice guy: Consumer identity and product preferences
Consumers may embrace products linked to a social identity such as gender or university affiliation when that identity is threatened by negative information, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Over 30 years of global soil moisture observations for climate applications
Water held in soil plays an important role in the climate system.

American Association for the Advancement of Science - Pacific Division convenes in Boise June 24-27
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Pacific Division will convene in Boise from June 24-27 with presentations and field trips that span the fields of science and hold strong appeal for researchers, science students and the public.

Demonstrating value remains elusive goal
Providing evidence of value remains an elusive goal for academic libraries across geographic borders, according to a new report published today.

Study: Willingness to be screened for dementia varies by age but not by sex, race or income
The first study to examine the actual willingness of older adults to be screened for dementia has found that acceptance of screening is pervasive, although it varies by age.

Physicians are biased when evaluating medical conflict of interest policies
Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh investigated whether medical professionals making conflict of interest policy decisions are able to separate their policy judgments from their personal, vested interests.

Why environmental science, including human ecology, must drive Rio+20 talks
Twenty years ago, world leaders met at the UN Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro and agreed that rising income inequality, environmental destruction and population growth required a radical shift in approaches to economic development.

Population displacement during disasters predicted using mobile data
Using data supplied by a mobile operator, researchers at Sweden's Karolinska Institutet have shown that population movements after the 2010 Haiti earthquake followed regular patterns.

Americans' preferences for outdoor recreation changing
The USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) recently published a national study, Outdoor Recreation Trends and Futures, showing that Americans' current choices for outdoor recreation differ noticeably from those made by previous generations of Americans.

Study: No-fat, low-fat dressings don't get most nutrients out of salads
The vegetables in salads are chock-full of important vitamins and nutrients, but you won't get much benefit without the right type and amount of salad dressing, a Purdue University study shows.

UK Space Agency makes stellar investment in mission to the Sun
The UK Space Agency has announced a planned £11.5M investment for the scientific payloads for Solar Orbiter - the first medium mission in the European Space Agency's Cosmic Vision program.

New review outlines screening strategies for osteoporosis in young adults
An International Osteoporosis Foundation scientific working group has issued a review which outlines the pathophysiology, diagnosis and management of osteoporosis in young adults, providing a clear screening strategy that includes the use of clinical and laboratory exams.

Infants can't distinguish between large and small groups
Human brains process large and small numbers of objects using two different mechanisms, but infants have not yet developed the ability to make those two processes work together, according to new research from the University of Missouri.

Does night work put women's health at risk?
The results of a study carried out by the researchers of the Inserm unit 1018 and published in the International Journal of Cancer show that the risk of developing breast cancer is higher among women who have worked at night.

Giving makes young children happy, UBC study suggests
If it is indeed nobler to give than to receive, it may also make you happier - even if you're a toddler, according to a new study co-authored by three psychologists at the University of British Columbia.

Biomarker panel to screen for pancreatic cancer may be possible
The development of a highly accurate, blood-based pancreatic adenocarcinoma screen that would be accurate enough to test the general population for this deadly disease may not be far out of reach, according to data presented at the American Association for Cancer Research's Pancreatic Cancer: Progress and Challenges conference, held June 18-21, 2012.

Research identifies specific bacteria linked to indoor water-damage and mold
Bacterial contamination in water-damaged buildings has been identified as a potential cause of health problems, including infection and respiratory conditions like asthma.

Global Energy Assessment identifies pathways to a sustainable energy future
The key findings of the Global Energy Assessment (GEA) will be released this week (Tuesday June 19th) during the RIO+20 Conference on Sustainable Development. 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