Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 22, 2012
Pasta made from green banana flour a tasty alternative for gluten-free diets
People with celiac disease struggle with limited food choices, as their condition makes them unable to tolerate gluten, found in wheat and other grains.

New technique allows simulation of noncrystalline materials
A multidisciplinary team of researchers at MIT and in Spain has found a new mathematical approach to simulating the electronic behavior of noncrystalline materials, which may eventually play an important part in new devices including solar cells, organic LED lights and printable, flexible electronic circuits.

Animal reservoir mystery solved
A new assay that uses mitochondrial DNA that mutates faster than nuclear DNA has allowed scientists at Washington University in St.

Predicting treatment response in central nervous system diseases
The commonly-used epilepsy drug, valproic acid, can have a highly beneficial effect on some babies born with spinal muscular atrophy, the number one genetic killer during early infancy.

'Trust' hormone oxytocin found at heart of rare genetic disorder
The hormone oxytocin -- often referred to as the

NASA sees first Atlantic hurricane fizzling in cool waters
Chris may have been the Atlantic Ocean Hurricane Season's first hurricane, but didn't maintain that title for long.

Foundational concept of ecology tested by experiment
How strong are the links in food webs? An experiment at Washington University in St.

The Affordable Care Act could have negative consequences for elderly recipients
Three provisions of the Affordable Care Act intended to enhance care transitions and prevent avoidable outcomes for the Medicare population are found to have inadequately addressed the needs of older, vulnerable recipients of long-term services and supports, according to George Washington University School of Nursing Assistant Research Professor Ellen Kurtzman, MPH, RN, FAAN.

Sea waves as renewable resource in new energy converter design
Researchers from the University of Beira Interior in Portugal have designed and simulated a new device that converts the irregular movements of low speed sea waves into electrical energy.

Parents' work-life stress hinders healthy eating
These days many parents are working harder than ever to support their families, and as a result, nutrition in the home suffers.

Maths tells us when to be more alert on the roads
Technicians from Madrid City Council and a team of Pole and Spanish researchers have analysed the density and intensity of traffic on Madrid's M30 motorway (Spain) throughout the day.

Disappearing grasslands: ASU scientists to study dramatic environmental change
The Earth's grasslands and savannas are experiencing a major transformation as woody plants, such as trees and shrubs, have begun to dominate arid lands.

South African daffodils may be a future cure for depression
Scientists have discovered that plant compounds from a South African flower may in time be used to treat diseases originating in the brain - including depression.

Infection biology: The elusive third factor
Researchers from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universit├Ąt in Munich have identified an enzyme that is involved in a modification pathway that is essential for bacterial pathogenicity.

Research: Many programs to help diabetics manage their health do work
A new study has found that programs aimed at helping people prevent or manage diabetes are most successful if they are directed at the patient or the health care system.

GMCSF treatment associated with improved cognition in cancer patients
Growth factors shown to cure Alzheimer's disease in a mouse model and administered to cancer patients as part of their treatment regimen were linked to significant improvements in the patients' cognitive function following stem cell transplantation, a preliminary clinical study reports.

New study: Snacking on raisins significantly reduces overall post-meal blood sugar levels
New research debuted at the American Diabetes Association's 72nd Annual Scientific Session suggests eating raisins three times a day may significantly lower postprandial (post-meal) glucose levels when compared to common alternative snacks of equal caloric value.

First paternity study of southern right whales finds local fathers most successful
The first paternity study of southern right whales has found a surprisingly high level of local breeding success for males, scientists say, which is good news for the overall genetic diversity of the species, but could create risk for local populations through in-breeding.

NASA satellite sees several western US fires blazing
Fires are raging in the western US and in one overpass from its orbit around the Earth, NASA's Aqua satellite picked up smoke and identified hot spots from fires in Colorado, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico.

NASA sees tropical trouble brewing in southern Gulf of Mexico
Imagery from NOAA's GOES-13 satellite has shown some towering thunderstorms within the low pressure area called System 96L, located in the southern Gulf of Mexico.

Zebrafish research shows how dietary fat regulates cholesterol absorption
New research suggests there may be a biological reason why fatty and cholesterol-rich foods, like buttery shrimp, fried eggs and burgers and fries are so appealing together.

Bandgap engineering for high-efficiency solar cell design
Researchers from University College London and the University of Bath have proposed a high-efficiency solar cell designed based on bandgap engineering of the solar absorber material ZnSnP2.

Higher quality of life seen among regular moderate drinkers than among abstainers
Data from a nationally representative sample of 5,404 community-dwelling Canadians ages 50 and older at baseline (1994/1995) was used to estimate the effects of alcohol drinking patterns on quality of life when subjects were aged =50 years and after a follow-up period.

New hospital guidelines to help mothers at risk of postpartum depression
Although 13 percent of new mothers experience postpartum depression in the first year after childbirth, few women recognize the symptoms and seldom discuss their feelings with a health care provider.

For minority college students, STEM degrees pay big
Minority college students who major in the STEM fields - science, technology, engineering and math - earn at least 25 percent more than their peers who study humanities or education, according to the results of a new study.

Researchers test carbon nanotube-based ultra-low voltage integrated circuits
A team of researchers from Peking University in Beijing, China, and Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, has demonstrated that carbon nanotube-based integrated circuits can work under a supply voltage much lower than that used in conventional silicon integrated circuits.

5th Latin American Conference on Lung Cancer
The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer is hosting the 5th Latin American Conference on Lung Cancer July 25 to 27 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Summer camp yields innovative apps
This week's ESA App Camp didn't see canoeing or campfires.

Myelodysplastic syndrome treated with deferasirox shows beneficial iron reduction, Moffitt says
Researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center and colleagues at six other institutions have recently tested a treatment for patients with myelodysplastic syndrome, or MDS, a blood-related malignancy that involves the ineffective production of blood cells, leaving patients anemic and in need of frequent blood transfusions.

Research finds Stonehenge was monument marking unification of Britain
After 10 years of archaeological investigations, researchers have concluded that Stonehenge was built as a monument to unify the peoples of Britain, after a long period of conflict and regional difference between eastern and western Britain.

'Cells to Civilizations: The Principles of Change That Shape Life'
Professor Enrico Coen of the John Innes Centre is the author of a new book that describes the unified principles behind the transformations that define life.

Is your leaf left-handed?
Research published in the Plant Cell shows that the spiral pattern of leaf formation from the point of growth affects the developing leaf's exposure to the plant hormone auxin; This exposure leads to measurable left-right asymmetry in leaf development, in species previously assumed to have symmetric leaves.

Notre Dame establishes professorships in adult stem cell research
Three new endowed professorships in adult and all forms of non-embryonic stem cell research, will strengthen Notre Dame's leadership in the field of stem cell research and enhance the University's effective dialogue between the biomedical research community and the Catholic Church on matters related to the use and application of stem cells and regenerative medicine.

Happy Father's Day! Another reason why dads and hopeful dads should quit smoking now
When shopping for dad's Father's Day gift, consider what he gave you when you were conceived.

AIUM and AUA guideline development leads to practice accreditation for urologic ultrasound
The American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM) and American Urological Association are proud to announce the collaborative development of practice and training guidelines in the practice of urologic ultrasound which has led to the availability of practice accreditation through the AIUM.

Grb2 holds powerful molecular signaling pathway in check
Once considered merely a passive link between proteins that matter, Grb2 - pronounced

Decisions on the second program phase of the Excellence Initiative
2.4 billion euros are given for top-level academic research. Grants committee selects 99 projects at 39 universities.

Earth observation for us and our planet
The Rio+20 summit on promoting jobs, clean energy and a more sustainable use of our planet's resources closed today after three days of talks.

Forgotten star cluster now found useful in studies of Sun and hunt for Earth-like planets
A loose group of stars, known for over 180 years but never before studied in detail, has been revealed to be an important new tool in the quest to understand the evolution of stars like the Sun, and in the search for planets like Earth.

Trial seeks to sniff out cancer
Cancer smells different. Past research has shown that dogs can detect lung cancer in a person's breath with great accuracy.

Danish scientists detect new immune alert signal
New discovery from Aarhus University expands our knowledge as to when the mammalian cell detects an incoming viral attack - and what the cell does to protect the body.

Making bad worse for expectant mothers
Some Norwegian women with birth anxiety face additional trauma in their meeting with the country's health service, according to research carried out in Stavanger.

Is arm length the reason women need reading glasses sooner than men?
Studies have consistently reported that women require reading glasses or bifocal lenses earlier than men.
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