Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 21, 2012
SwRI building 8 NASA nanosatellites to help predict extreme weather events on Earth
NASA has selected a team including Southwest Research Institute to develop the Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System, which will provide better prediction capabilities for extreme weather events, particularly the intensification of hurricanes.

NASA sees Tropical Depression Talim becoming disorganized
Tropical Storm Talim has weakened overnight due to stronger wind shear and land interaction and is now a depression.

Astronomers with NASA's Kepler Mission find 'puzzling pair of planets'
Astronomers using data from NASA's Kepler Mission have found a planetary odd couple 1,200 light years from Earth.

Silicon strip detectors look for the heaviest element
The Institute of Electron Technology in Warsaw, Poland, has provided state-of-the-art silicon alpha-particle detectors for the nuclear research centre in Darmstadt.

Notre Dame researcher's paper examines the biology of tumor-derived microvesicles
A new paper by Crislyn D'Souza-Schorey, professor of biological sciences at the University of Notre Dame, discusses the biology of tumor-derived microvesicles and their clinical application as circulating biomarkers.

Neiker-Tecnalia identifies antitumour proteins in the latex of the plant Euphorbia trigona
The Basque Institute for Agricultural Research and Development Neiker-Tecnalia has developed a project that has been identified, isolated and characterized anti-tumor proteins present in the latex of the plant Euphorbia Trigona.

Flu fighters
Savira pharmaceuticals GmbH, a spin-off of EMBL based in Vienna, Austria, has signed a collaboration and license agreement with Roche, to promote the joint development of new and innovative drug-candidates to fight both seasonal and pandemic influenza.

Bomb threat? An app for that, too
In the first chaotic moments after suspicion of a bomb threat, first responders have a myriad of questions, assessments, and decisions to make, all at once, and all the while the scene could be changing rapidly.

Genomics and African queens
Researchers have started to unveil the genetic heritage of Ethiopian populations, who are among the most diverse in the world, and lie at the gateway from Africa.

Researchers tune the strain in graphene drumheads to create quantum dots
Researchers have shown that they can tune the strain in graphene suspended like drumheads over microscopic holes in a substrate of silicon oxide using the tip of an advanced scanning probe microscope and a conducting plate below the substrate.

Mercury rising: Greater L.A. to heat up an average 4 to 5 degrees by mid-century
A study led by UCLA climate expert Alex Hall shows climate change will cause temperatures in the Los Angeles region to rise an average of 4-5 degrees by midcentury, tripling the number of extremely hot days in downtown L.A., and quadrupling them in the valleys and high elevations.

Surgical 'sling' reduces risk of weakened bladder control after prolapse surgery, U-M study says
New research shows that patients who receive a type of surgical sling during surgery to fix pelvic organ prolapse have less than half the risk of urinary incontinence after surgery.

Work starts on fossil fuel free cargo ship set to transform shipping industry
Development is underway to design the modern world's first 100 percent fossil fuel free sailing cargo ships.

Autism Speaks provides strategies to help a child with autism shows difficult behaviors
Autism Speaks has released 'An Introduction to Behavioral Health Treatments, Applied Behavior Analysis and Toilet Training' parent's guides which provide strategies to increase desirable behaviors and decrease behavior problems, and to help parents when their children with ASD may lack the language skills and motor skills required to facilitate toileting.

Extensive water in Mars' interior
Until now, Earth was the only planet known to have vast reservoirs of water in its interior.

McGill researchers discover the cause of an inherited form of epilepsy
Researchers at McGill University have discovered the cause of an inherited form of epilepsy.

Celebrex-derived drug targets common childhood bone tumor
Jiayuh Lin, Ph.D., and colleagues at Nationwide Children's Hospital have developed a drug to target the most common cancerous bone tumor in children, osteosarcoma, using a version of the FDA-approved drug, Celebrex.

New way of monitoring environmental impact could help save rural communities in China
University of Southampton researchers are pioneering a new way of measuring and monitoring the impact of industrial and agricultural development on the environment.

Research shows how racial and gender profiling can affect outcome of traffic stops
A Kansas State University researcher is finding that racial profiling can involve an additional factor: Gender.

GSA Bulletin presents studies in Antarctica, Italy, Mexico, Algeria, Mongolia, and more
New GSA Bulletin postings include studies of the geomorphic impact of 19th-century placer mining along the Fraser River, British Columbia; seafloor images around Ross Island, obtained by the Swedish research vessel Oden from 2007-2011; a foray into the fossil record of early Tertiary mammal evolution in Africa via magnetostratigraphic analyses of exposed fossiliferous sequences in Algeria; and a new contribution to the growing volume of published geoscience research for southeastern Mongolia.

Research could help track stem cells in the body
Researchers at the University of Liverpool have developed new methods to track stem cells and further understanding of what happens to them after they have been in the body for a significant period of time.

Stopping and starting cancer cell cycle weakens and defeats multiple myeloma
Weill Cornell Medical College researchers have devised an innovative boxer-like strategy, based on the serial use of two anti-cancer drugs, to deliver a one-two punch to first weaken the defenses of multiple myeloma and then deliver the final knock-out punch to win the fight.

Focusing on water for Central Everglades essential to reversing whole ecosystem's continuing decline
Twelve years into a multibillion-dollar state and federal effort to save the Florida Everglades, little progress has been made in restoring the core of the ecosystem, says a new congressionally mandated report from the National Research Council.

Exercise program improved health of lung transplant patients and cut cardiovascular risk
Lung transplant patients who took part in a three-month structured exercise program when they were discharged from hospital improved their health-related quality of life and reduced their risk of cardiovascular problems.

Blood test for pregnant women could predict risk of having dangerously small babies
Researchers from the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and the University of Ottawa have found a protein in the blood of pregnant women that can predict if they are likely to have a fetus that doesn't grow properly, and thus has a high risk of stillbirth and long-term health complications.

New evidence in fructose debate: Could it be healthy for us?
A new study by researchers at St. Michael's Hospital suggests that fructose may not be as bad for us as previously thought and that it may even provide some benefit.

State budgets hinge on SCOTUS health ruling: UMD experts
Maryland and other states have a lot riding on the US Supreme Court's decision on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), regardless of how the justices rule, University of Maryland experts say.

Details revealed behind psoriasis and wound repair: 2 sides of the same coin
The dynamic properties of the skin that take charge when a cut or scrape needs healing are critical for maintaining the skin's integrity, but if they get out of control, they can cause problems in the form of psoriasis and other skin disorders.

Waves of Berkeley Lab responders deploy omics to track Deepwater Horizon cleanup microbes
In the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico two years ago, a team of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory researchers found that marine microbial communities also played a role in the dispersal process.

Avian flu viruses which are transmissible between humans could evolve in nature
It might be possible for human-to-human airborne transmissible avian H5N1 influenza viruses to evolve in nature, new research has found.

Penn researchers' study of phase change materials could lead to better computer memory
Memory devices for computers require a large collection of components that can switch between two states, which represent the ones and zeros of binary language.

Immune system molecule weaves cobweb-like nanonets to snag Salmonella, other intestinal microbes
A team of researchers led by UC Davis Health System has found that human alpha-defensin 6 (HD6) -- a key component of the body's innate defense system -- binds to microbial surfaces and forms

EARTH: Neutralizing the rain
In the 1980s, acid rain was a big topic of conversation.

Dad's brains mean more to his son's success than his money: Study
Sons of fathers with high incomes tend to end up with higher than average incomes themselves, but new research shows that it's not just dad's money that helps a son on his way.

University of Houston selected to participate in project that will help shape future internets
The University of Houston is one of ten universities nationwide to be involved in a project that help shape future internets.

Cancers with disorganized 'traffic systems' more difficult to treat: U of A research
Medical researchers at the University of Alberta reviewed test results from thousands of patients with various types of cancer and discovered that

Environmental estrogens affect early developmental activity in zebrafish
New research presented at the ongoing International Zebrafish Development and Genetics Conference in Madison, Wisconsin, reveals that environmental estrogens may influence human and animal development at the very beginning stages of embryonic development, which is earlier than previously realized.

Johns Hopkins African bioethics program receives 5-year continuation grant from NIH
The Fogarty African Bioethics Training Program at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics is planning its second decade of building capacity in research ethics across sub-Saharan Africa, thanks to a five-year grant from the Fogarty International Center of the US National Institutes of Health.

AGU: Elephant seals help uncover slower-than-expected Antarctic melting
A team of scientists have drilled holes through an Antarctic ice shelf, the Fimbul Ice Shelf, to gather the first direct measurements regarding melting of the shelf's underside.

Study explains functional links between autism and genes
A pioneering report of genome-wide gene expression in autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) finds genetic changes that help explain why one person has an ASD and another does not.

IU gastroenterologist develops practice guidelines for most prevalent liver disease
An Indiana University School of Medicine gastroenterologist led a team of distinguished physicians who developed the first guidelines for diagnosis and management of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

NASA sees Chris become first hurricane of Atlantic season
NASA satellites monitoring the life of Chris in the Atlantic saw the tropical storm become the first hurricane of the Atlantic Ocean season on June 21, 2012.

U-M forecasters predict second-smallest Gulf of Mexico 'dead zone'
A dry spring in portions of the Midwest is expected to result in the second-smallest Gulf of Mexico

How cheetahs outpace greyhounds
Cheetahs are the high-performance sports cars of the animal kingdom, but how do they outstrip other elite athletes when using the same sprint technique?

Photograph of a living human brain is the overall winner of Wellcome Image Awards 2012
A visceral photograph of a living human brain has been announced as the overall winner in this year's Wellcome Image Awards.

Study suggests poor mothers favor daughters
Poor mothers will invest more resources in daughters, who stand a greater chance of increasing their status through marriage than do sons, suggests a study in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.

Few nighttime sights offer more drama than the full Moon rising over the horizon.

Sandia seeks best ways to protect infrastructure, recover from disasters
Sandia National Laboratories is expecting the unexpected to help the nation prepare for severe weather and figure out the best ways to lessen the havoc hurricanes and other disasters leave on power grids, bridges, roads and everything else in their path.

NASA eyeing southern Gulf of Mexico low for tropical trouble
NASA satellites are providing data on a broad area of low pressure in the south-central Gulf of Mexico that has a medium chance for development into a tropical depression.

New anti-inflammatory drugs pinch off reactive oxygen species at the source
Scientists have identified a new type of anti-inflammatory compound that may be useful in treating a wide range of conditions, including neurodegenerative and autoimmune diseases.

From the mouths of monkeys: Swab technique spots tuberculosis in non-human primates
A new technique detected the first published evidence of tuberculosis pathogens in the mouths of macaques living near people in six Asian countries.

Mexican rock heroes trial novel 'green trading' system
One of Latin America's biggest rock bands is leading a novel project that proposes to tackle climate change at a local level and promote local sustainable development.

Parents seen as critical stakeholders in expanding newborn screening
In an article published by the Journal of Pediatrics, researchers from the University of Chicago Medicine argue that parents should be critical stakeholders in the expansion of newborn screening.

Astronomers spy 2 planets in tight quarters as they orbit a distant star
A research team led the University of Washington and Harvard University has discovered a bigger version of Earth locked in an orbital tug-of-war with a much larger, Neptune-sized planet as they orbit very close to each other around the same star.

Lab-engineered kidney project reaches early milestone
Regenerative medicine researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center have reached an early milestone in a long-term project that aims to build replacement kidneys in the lab to help solve the shortage of donor organs.

New deglaciation data opens door for earlier First Americans migration
A new study of lake sediment cores from Sanak Island in the western Gulf of Alaska suggests that deglaciation there from the last Ice Age took place as much as 1,500 to 2,000 years earlier than previously thought, opening the door for earlier coastal migration models for the Americas.

UCLA study uncovers new tools for targeting genes linked to autism
UCLA researchers have combined two tools - gene expression and the use of peripheral blood -- to expand scientists' arsenal of methods for pinpointing genes that play a role in autism.

Device is effective in managing incontinence after surgery
A device used to prevent incontinence in women who undergo a common pelvic-floor surgery reduces symptoms but increases side effects in these patients.

SFU scientists engage Science in fisheries debate
Three Simon Fraser University scientists are engaging in a verbal battle with the federal government over its budget cuts and legislative changes in departments with environmental responsibilities, on a powerful stage.

ACS hosts Capitol Hill briefing on nanomaterial safety and Toxic Substances Control Act
The American Chemical Society Science and the Congress Project invites news media to attend a luncheon briefing on

Researchers advance biometric security
Researchers at the University of Calgary have developed a way for security systems to combine different biometric measurements -- such as eye color, face shape or fingerprints -- and create a learning system that simulates the brain in making decisions about information from different sources.

Selenium suppresses staph on implant material
A coating of selenium nanoparticles significantly reduces the growth of Staphylococcus aureus on polycarbonate, a material common in implanted devices such as catheters and endotracheal tubes, engineers at Brown University report in a new study.

Warning to parents over magnet danger to children
Doctors are asking parents to take extra care that their children do not swallow small magnets from toys, after two children required surgical intervention following ingestion of such small magnets.

Preventing or better managing diabetes may prevent cognitive decline, according to UCSF study
Preventing diabetes or delaying its onset has been thought to stave off cognitive decline -- a connection strongly supported by the results of a nine-year study led by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco and the San Francisco VA Medical Center.

Risks and rewards of quantifying nature's 'ecosystem services'
How much is a stream worth? Can we put a dollar value on a wetland?

Top predators key to extinctions as planet warms
Global warming may cause more extinctions than predicted if scientists fail to account for interactions among species in their models, Yale and UConn researchers argue in Science.

Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment announces 2012 Environmental Venture Project awards
Five teams will receive seed funding for research tackling global sustainability challenges.

NOAA: Gulf of Mexico 'dead zone' predictions feature uncertainty
A team of NOAA-supported scientists is predicting that this year's Gulf of Mexico hypoxic zone could range from a low of approximately 1,197 square miles to as much as 6,213 square miles.

Graphene Research: Trapping light in a carbon net
Graphene, an ordered monolayer of carbon, is the thinnest substance known, and yet has extraordinary mechanical strength.

A new model to understand the supertasting phenomenon
Researchers have developed a new mouse model that may be useful to study supertasting, the ability to strongly detect food flavors such as bitter and sweet, which often affects a person's food preferences.

New candidate drug stops cancer cells, regenerates nerve cells
Scientists have developed a small-molecule-inhibiting drug that in early laboratory cell tests stopped breast cancer cells from spreading and also promoted the growth of early nerve cells called neurites.

Remote Siberian lake holds clues to Arctic -- and Antarctic -- climate change
Intense warm climate intervals -- warmer than scientists thought possible -- have occurred in the Arctic over the past 2.8 million years.

Research suggests new cause to blame for spinal muscular atrophy
UNC scientists have discovered that a commonly held assumption is wrong and that a separate role of the SMN gene -- still not completely elucidated -- is likely responsible for the disease's manifestations.

Study examines use of a natural language processing tool for electronic health records in assessing colonoscopy quality
A new study shows that natural language processing programs can

University of Exeter research uncovers rice blast infection mechanism
Scientists at the University of Exeter have made a new discovery that they hope might lead to effective control of rice blast disease.

A new vision for harnessing data about life on Earth
Experts from around the world are preparing to address the urgent need to improve understanding of the complexities and patterns of global biodiversity.

New data and methods paint clearer picture of emissions from tropical deforestation
A team led by researchers at Winrock International, a US environmental nonprofit organization, has developed an estimate of gross carbon emissions from tropical deforestation for the early 2000s that is considerably lower than other recently published estimates.

For our guts, not just any microbiome will do
Mice carrying a set of friendly microbes that are usually found in humans fail to develop a proper immune system and are left susceptible to illness as a result.

Aging Brain Care model receives $7.8 million in CMS innovation funding
A $7.8 million Health Care Innovation Award to Indiana University from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, will expand the Aging Brain Care model developed by researcher-clinicians from the IU Center for Aging Research and the Regenstrief Institute.

University of Tennessee professor receives funding for clean coal research
Peter Liaw, professor and Ivan Racheff Chair of Excellence of Materials Science and Engineering, and colleagues have received a $300,000 Clean Coal Research Award for Improved Structural Materials.

Climate drilling in the Arctic Circle
During the past 2.8 million years extreme warm periods occurred in the Arctic at irregular intervals.

Looking into the dark -- Nottingham scientists on satellite mission
Scientists at the University of Nottingham are among a global collaboration of astronomers who are on a mission to build a satellite that will help to unlock the mysteries of the 'dark universe.'

Eating disorder behaviors and weight concerns are common in women over 50
Eating disorders are commonly seen as an issue faced by teenagers and young women, but a new study reveals that age is no barrier to disordered eating.

Stanford-led study explains how stress can boost immune system
A study spearheaded by a Stanford University School of Medicine scientist has tracked the trajectories of key immune cells in response to short-term stress and traced, in great detail, how hormones triggered by such stress enhance immune readiness.

Task force recommends new lung cancer screening guidelines
A lung screening and surveillance task force, established by the American Association for Thoracic Surgery and led by medical professionals from Brigham and Women's Hospital, is strongly recommending new guidelines for lung cancer screening.

Autism Speaks awards nearly $2.9 million to fund autism research
Autism Speaks announces funding nearly $2.9 million in new autism research grants including a Suzanne and Bob Wright Trailblazer Award and pre- and postdoctoral fellowships.

Nano-infused paint can detect strain
Nanotube-infused paint developed at Rice University can reveal strain in materials by its fluorescence.

Our microbes, ourselves
Gut bacteria's key role in immunity is tuned to the host species, suggesting that the superabundant microbes lining our digestive tract are ultimately our evolutionary partners.

Limited amounts of alcohol during pregnancy do not harm children
Children born by mothers who have of consumed between one and six alcohol units per week are just as intelligent and well-developed as children of abstaining mothers.

Study shows stagnating life expectancies in US
Despite modest gains in lifespan over the past century, the United States still trails many of the world's countries when it comes to life expectancy, and its poorest citizens live approximately five years less than more affluent persons, according to a new study from Rice University.

Multiple sclerosis patients have lower risk of cancer: UBC-VCH research
Multiple sclerosis patients appear to have a lower cancer risk, according to a new study led by researchers at the University of British Columbia and Vancouver Coastal Health.

A virtual crystal ball
As governments gather in Rio for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, a coalition of researchers has a useful online tool that can help measure the environmental footprints of different policy actions.

Telehealth can reduce deaths and emergency hospital care, but estimated cost savings are modest
For people with long term conditions, telehealth can reduce deaths and help patients avoid the need for emergency hospital care, finds a study published on today.

Enzyme offers new therapeutic target for cancer drugs
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have uncovered a new signal transduction pathway specifically devoted to the regulation of alternative RNA splicing, a process that allows a single gene to produce or code multiple types of protein variants.

The ultimate social sciences online library is now live
SAGE, the world's leading independent academic and professional publisher today announced the full launch of SAGE Knowledge: The ultimate social sciences online library.

U of M Innovative Engineers receives international honor for wind energy work in Nicaragua
The University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering student organization Innovative Engineers has received international recognition for their wind energy project in Nicaragua.

Moffitt researchers: Darwin's principles say cancer will always evolve to resist treatment
According to researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center, cancer is subject to the evolutionary processes laid out by Charles Darwin in his concept of natural selection.

Versatility of zebrafish research highlighted at international conference
Amazingly, the small, black-and-white striped zebrafish has biological similarities to humans, and is increasingly a popular model organism for studying vertebrate development, genetics, physiology, and mechanisms of disease as featured at the ongoing 2012 International Zebrafish Development and Genetics Conference in Madison, Wisc.

Bringing down the cost of fuel cells
A new catalyst material developed at UW-Milwaukee could dramatically reduce the cost of producing microbial fuel cells.

Parents - not TV - may determine whether kids are active or couch potatoes
Researchers at Oregon State University have confirmed what we knew all along - children in this country are increasingly sedentary, spending too much time sitting and looking at electronic screens.

Mayo Clinic: Common blood pressure drug linked to severe GI problems
Mayo Clinic researchers have discovered an association between a commonly prescribed blood pressure drug, Olmesartan, and severe gastrointestinal issues such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss and electrolyte abnormalities -- symptoms common among those who have celiac disease.

Protein may be key to psoriasis and wound care
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder in which skin cells proliferate out of control.

A better way to help high-risk pregnant smokers
Cigarette smoking among drug dependent pregnant women is alarmingly high, estimated at 77 to 99 percent.

University of Nevada School of Medicine researcher reviews muscular dystrophy therapies
Leading muscular dystrophy researcher Dean Burkin, of the University of Nevada School of Medicine summarizes the impact of a new protein therapeutic, MG53, for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy in an article published this week in Science Translational Medicine. 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