Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 28, 2012
Health interventions for clergy must counteract need to put others first
Clergy's practice of putting others first can be detrimental to their own health, say researchers at Duke University.

New apps redefine poetry
Jason Lewis's work is an integral part of Concordia University's Department of Design and Computation Arts, with projects ranging from computer game development to typographic design.

Scientists proved that 'blindsight' is used in everyday life scenes
In this new study, the international collaborative research team led by assistant professor Masatoshi Yoshida demonstrated that blindsight in monkeys is available not only under the specific conditions of the laboratory, but also in everyday environments.

Plasma startup creates high-energy light to make smaller microchips
A pair of aeronautical engineers working on fusion energy -- harnessing the energy-generating mechanism of the sun -- may have found a way to etch the next generation of microchips.

Understanding what's up with the Higgs boson
On July 4, CERN will release the latest results of the search for the Higgs boson with the Large Hadron Collider.

Maya archaeologists unearth new 2012 monument
Archaeologists working at the site of La Corona in Guatemala have discovered a 1,300-year-old-year Maya text that provides only the second known reference to the so-called

UC Santa Barbara chemistry professor wins award for new, highly useful reagents in catalysis
UC Santa Barbara chemistry professor Bruce Lipshutz has been awarded the 2012 Encyclopedia of Reagents for Organic Synthesis (EROS) Best Reagent Award.

Stealthy microscopy method visualizes E. coli sub-cellular structure in 3-D
A sub-cellular world has been opened up for scientists to study E. coli and other tissues in new ways, thanks to a microscopy method that stealthily provides 3-D, high-quality images of the internal structure of cells without disturbing the specimen.

Flu immunity is affected by how many viruses actually cause the infection
Research in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology suggests both the number of viruses in initial flu infection, and the virus type, affects the patient's outcome.

Adoption of advanced techniques could propel crop improvement
Scientists could take greater strides toward crop improvement if there were wider adoption of advanced techniques used to understand the mechanisms that allow plants to adapt to their environments, current and former Purdue University researchers say.

What you eat can prevent arsenic overload
New research published in BioMed Central's open-access journal Nutrition Journal has demonstrated that people who ate more dietary vitamin B12 and animal protein had lower levels of arsenic (measured by deposition in toenails).

Taking the fate of stem cells in hand: RUB researchers generate immature nerve cells
RUB biologists have deliberately transformed stem cells from the spinal cord of mice into immature nerve cells.

A slow trek towards starvation: Scott's polar tragedy revisited
On the centenary of Scott's ill-fated Terra Nova expedition to the South Pole, a study to be presented at the Society for Experimental Biology meeting on Sunday, July 1, has shown that Scott's men starved to death because they were consuming far too few calories to fuel their daily exertion.

Fibrous Protein Nanocomposites Conference
This multidisciplinary conference on

2 year study helps African communities resolve conflicts, protect rights from land grab
A new report released today by Namati and the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) details an effective and cost-efficient process to help rural communities work together to protect their lands and natural resources -- a potential solution to the global land grab.

Undergrad geoscience class receives Science magazine prize for real-life research
Because of its effectiveness at bringing students into the world of real science and leading them to formulate questions stemming from their own curiosity, Egger's module has won the Science Prize for Inquiry-Based Instruction.

Cedars-Sinai researchers, with stem cells and global colleagues, develop Huntington's research tool
Cedars-Sinai scientists have joined with expert colleagues around the globe in using stem cells to develop a laboratory model for Huntington's disease, allowing researchers for the first time to test directly on human cells potential treatments for this fatal, inherited disorder.

A new source of maize hybrid vigor
Steve Moose, an associate professor of maize functional genomics at the University of Illinois and his graduate student Wes Barber think they may have discovered a new source of heterosis, or hybrid vigor, in maize.

New once-daily 'Quad' pill for HIV is a safe and effective alternative to traditional antiretroviral regimens
A new once-daily pill combining three antiretrovirals and a booster molecule is a safe and effective alternative to two widely used drug regimens for newly diagnosed HIV-positive adults who have had no previous treatment.

Researchers discover potential explanation for why a diet high in DHA improves memory
We've all heard that eating fish is good for our brains and memory.

UT Southwestern study shows treating diabetes early, intensively is best strategy
Intensive early treatment of type 2 diabetes slows down progression of the disease by preserving the body's insulin-producing capacity, a UT Southwestern study has shown.

Hubble, Swift detect first-ever changes in an exoplanet atmosphere
An international team of astronomers using data from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has made an unparalleled observation, detecting significant changes in the atmosphere of a planet located beyond our solar system.

LA BioMed investigator Dr. Christina Wang spearheads study on new male contraceptive gel
Christina Wang, M.D., lead investigator at Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute -- one of the leading biomedical research institutes in the country -- recently completed a study utilizing a new contraceptive gel that has the potential to be developed as a user controlled chemical birth control agent for males.

EASL-AASLD Special Conference on Therapy of Hepatitis C
The European Association for the Study of the Liver and the American Association for the Society of Liver Diseases bring you a Special Conference on the Therapy of Hepatitis C: Clinical Application and Drug Development.

Wake Forest Baptist study suggests Tasers don't cause cardiac complications
William P. Bozeman, M.D., an associate professor of emergency medicine at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, and colleagues reviewed 1,201 cases of real-life Taser uses by law enforcement agencies but found none in which the devices could be linked to cardiac complications, even when the Taser probes landed on the upper chest area and may have delivered a shock across the heart.

CSIC recovers part of the genome of 2 hunter-gatherer individuals from 7,000 years ago
Studies of the fossil remains suggest that current Iberians don't genetically come from these groups.

Insights into primate diversity: Lessons from the rhesus macaque
New research published in BMC Genetics shows that the rhesus macaque has three times as much genetic variation than humans.

Milky Way struck 100 million years ago, still rings like a bell
An international team of astronomers have discovered evidence that our Milky Way had an encounter with a small galaxy or massive dark matter structure perhaps as recently as 100 million years ago, and as a result of that encounter it is still ringing like a bell.

The ICG-7 and Bio-IT APAC 2012 to be held on Nov. 28-Dec. 1, 2012, in Hong Kong
The ICG-7 & Bio-IT APAC 2012 will be held on Nov.

Gene discovery helps explain how flu can cause severe infections
Scientists have discovered a new gene in the influenza virus that helps the virus control the body's response to infection.

UMass Amherst biochemists developing tools to stop plague and other bacterial threats
Many of these pathogens are listed as bioterrorism agents by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

You are where you email: Global migration trends discovered in email data
For the first time comparable migration data is available for almost every country of the world.

Screening horticultural imports: New models assess plant risk through better analysis
Weedy plants, many introduced to the US for sale through plant nurseries, are responsible for extensive environmental damage and economic costs.

Dramatic change spotted on a faraway planet
Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have seen dramatic changes in the upper atmosphere of a faraway planet.

40,000 Arizona student athletes receive concussion tests from Mayo Clinic
More than 40,000 student athletes in Arizona have taken advantage of computerized baseline concussion evaluations offered by Mayo Clinic in the program's first year.

2012 Krupp Prize goes to Christian Koos
This year's Alfried Krupp Prize for Young University Teachers goes to professor Christian Koos of KIT.

BUSM researchers identify role of FOXO1 gene in Parkinson's disease
A recent study led by researchers at Boston University School of Medicine revealed that the FOXO1 gene may play an important role in the pathological mechanisms of Parkinson's disease.

How an ancestral fungus may have influenced coal formation
The fossilized remains of plants that lived from around 360 to 300 million years ago, coal generated nearly half of the roughly four trillion kilowatt-hours of electricity consumed in the United States in 2010.

Studying fish to learn about fat
In mammals, most lipids (such as fatty acids and cholesterol) are absorbed into the body via the small intestine.

A group of fungi marked the end of the coal age 300 million years ago
These ancient organisms developed a system to efficiently decompose the huge amount of plant biomass generated in the Earth during the Carboniferous.

Sometimes, cheating is allowed
No lying, cheating or forging parents' signatures -- school children basically want to be honest.

Communication scheme makes popular applications 'gracefully mobile'
New MIT software keeps tens of thousands of people logged into remote computers from mobile devices, but the underlying technology could improve a host of other programs.

Looking for the next American hyrax?
Recent research by professor Eli Geffen and Ph.D. candidate Amiyaal Ilany of Tel Aviv University has uncovered more nuances in the hyrax song, including its variations among different functions, contexts, and reception.

Novel clay-based coating may point the way to new generation of green flame retardants
In searching for better flame retardants for home furnishings -- the largest source of fuel in house fires -- NIST researchers defied the conventional wisdom and literally hit a wall, one made of clay.

U Alberta resets date of earliest animal life by 30 million years
University of Alberta researchers have uncovered physical proof that animals existed 585 million years ago, 30 million years earlier than all previous established records show.

Undergraduate Student Summer Research Award recipients announced for the 2012 FASEB MARC summer research opportunity program
FASEB MARC (Maximizing Access to Research Careers) Program has announced undergraduate student award recipients for the 2012 FASEB MARC Summer Research Opportunity Program (SROP).

Dinosaurs were warm-blooded reptiles
The journal Nature has published a study analyzing the lines of arrested growth in the bones of around a hundred ruminants, representative of the specific and ecological diversity of that group of mammals.

Buck scientists correct Huntington's disease mutation in induced pluripotent stem cells
Researchers at the Buck Institute have corrected the genetic mutation responsible for Huntington's Disease using a human induced pluripotent stem cell that came from a patient suffering from the incurable, inherited neurodegenerative disorder.

Unemployed Americans face greater risk of mortality: UBC study
Employment policy is also health policy according to a University of British Columbia study that found that workers experienced higher mortality rates if they didn't have access to social protections like employment insurance and unemployment benefits.

Study on fungi helps explain coal formation and may advance future biofuels production
The evolution of white rot fungi might have helped bring an end to the geologic period characterized by the formation of large coal deposits, and may help lay the groundwork for the future production of biofuels.

With mind-reading speller, free-for-all conversations that are silent and still
Researchers have come up with a device that may enable people who are completely unable to speak or move at all to nevertheless manage unscripted back-and-forth conversation.

Caffeine boosts power for elderly muscles
A new study to be presented at the Society for Experimental Biology meeting on June 30 has shown that caffeine boosts power in older muscles, suggesting the stimulant could aid elderly people to maintain their strength, reducing the incidence of falls and injuries.

Interacting mutations promote diversity
Frequency-dependent selection fosters the diversity of populations but does not always increase the average fitness of the population.

'Recruitment by genotype' for genetic research poses ethical challenges, study finds
A potentially powerful strategy for studying the significance of human genetic variants is to recruit people identified by previous genetic research as having particular variants.

Winner of 2012 SAGE ALPSP Conference travel grant announced
SAGE today announced the recipient of their 2012 library travel grant for the ALPSP International Conference.

Lymph node roundabout
An organism's ability to make new antibodies is of central importance in the fight against pathogens.

NIST goes the distance for the Olympics
In yet another Olympian feat of measurement, NIST researchers recently calibrated a tape that will be used to measure out the distance of this summer's Olympic marathon -- a distance of 26 miles 385 yards -- to one part in 1,000.

Photosynthesis re-wired
Boston College chemists Kian L. Tan and Dunwei Wang have developed a process that closely resembles photosynthesis and proved capable of synthesizing compounds found in the pain-killers ibuprofen and naproxen.

Hark! Group demonstrates first heralded single photon source made from silicon
In an important step towards more practical quantum information processing, NIST researchers joined with two universities to build the first heralded single photon source made from silicon.

Games improve employee health and well-being, may reduce health insurance premiums for employers
Games that promote health can improve the well-being of employees, saving employers direct and indirect health care costs.

Life span of ovarian grafts longer than expected
Transplanting previously frozen ovarian tissue back into female cancer survivors can lead to long-term hormonal function and preservation of fertility, according to a new study by Samuel Kim from the University of Kansas Medical Center in the US.

MARC Travel Awards announced for 2012 XXXI Congress of the Societa Italiana di Pathologia e Medicina
FASEB MARC (Maximizing Access to Research Careers) Program has announced the travel award recipients for the American Society for Investigative Pathology (ASIP) 2012 XXXI Congress of the Societa Italiana di Pathologia e Medicina Traslazionale (SIPMeT) in Udine, Italy from Sept.

Research at UH finds cognitive-behavioral therapy effective in combatting anxiety disorders
Whether it is a phobia like a fear of flying, public speaking or spiders, or a diagnosis such as obsessive compulsive disorder, new research finds patients suffering from anxiety disorders showed the most improvement when treated with cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) in conjunction with a

Report shows overspending on cultural institutions in boom years
Civic leaders, arts organizations, donors and government officials can better plan new or expanded arts facilities by first focusing on the arts organizations' missions and assessing demand for the projects, according to a new study that looks at a major building boom in the United States from 1994 to 2008.

How sweet it is: Tomato researchers discover link between ripening, color and taste
For many grocery shoppers, those perfect, red tomatoes from the store just can't match the flavor from the home garden.

Study calls for drug trial patients to receive more information about effects of placebos
Research carried out at the University of Southampton has concluded that participants in drug trials should be better informed about the potential significant benefits and possible side-effects of placebos.

Study provides first evidence of coevolution between invasive, native species
Invasive species such as kudzu, privet and garlic mustard can devastate ecosystems, and, until now, scientists had little reason to believe that native plants could mount a successful defense.

Rice researchers develop paintable battery
Rice University researchers have developed a paint-on lithium-ion battery that can be applied to virtually any surface.

Both innate and adaptive immune responses are critical to the control of influenza
Both innate and adaptive immune responses play an important role in controlling influenza virus infection, according to a study, published in the open-access journal PLoS Computational Biology, by researchers from Oakland University, Mich., and Los Alamos National Laboratory, N.M., USA.

Forty's a crowd
Molecular geneticists call big boss proteins that switch on broad developmental or metabolic programs

Study identifies pathway to enhance usefulness of EGFR inhibitors in lung cancer treatment
A study published today in Cancer Research details the role of the Wnt signaling pathway in aiding lung cancer cell survival after EGFR inhibition therapy.

Searching for the origin of muscles
Ulrich Technau from the University of Vienna has addressed the origin of musculature.

Tropical Depression Dokuri weaker, but still potent
Tropical Storm Dokuri weakened into a tropical depression today, but NASA infrared satellite imagery is still showing some areas of strong convection and thunderstorms in the storm and they're being pushed away from the center.

Gladstone scientists use stem cell technology to tackle Huntington's disease
Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes and an international team of researchers have generated a human model of Huntington's disease -- directly from the skin cells of patients with the disease.

NASA's TRMM Satellite measures Debby's drenching Florida rains
NASA's TRMM satellite provided data that allowed scientists to calculate Tropical Storm Debby's rainfall totals across Florida.

Not-so-precious: Stripping gold from AFM probes allows better measurement of picoscale forces
JILA researchers found that removing an AFM probe's gold coating -- until now considered helpful -- greatly improved force measurements performed in a liquid, the medium favored for biophysical studies such as stretching DNA or unfolding proteins.

Modeling, Simulation And Optimization for the 21st Century Electric Power Grid Conference
Modeling, simulation and optimization have been important tools for grid management, planning, and recovery.

China's first international psychology journal launched with Wiley
John Wiley & Sons Inc. today announced the launch of PsyCh Journal, China's first international psychology journal.

Tracking the wave of success for Team GB's swimmers
Training sessions for Team GB's swimmers have been getting a helping hand from a new system incorporating cutting-edge movement tracking and sensor technologies.

Good news for aging eyes
Today's senior citizens are reporting fewer visual impairment problems than their counterparts from a generation ago, according to a new Northwestern Medicine study.

Human model of Huntington's disease created from skin's stem cells
An international consortium of Huntington's disease experts, including several from the Sue and Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center at UC Irvine, has generated a human model of the deadly inherited disorder directly from the skin cells of affected patients.

Pollutants could pose health risks for 5 sea turtle species
Researchers at the Hollings Marine Laboratory and four partner organizations have measured for the first time concentrations of 13 compounds in five different endangered species of sea turtles that approach the amounts known to cause adverse health effects in other animals.

Scientists warn Brazil's environmental leadership at risk
Scientists convening at the largest-ever meeting of tropical biologists congratulated Brazil for its global leadership on environment and science, but warned that recent developments could jeopardize that position, undermining progress on reducing deforestation, protecting indigenous lands, and safeguarding ecosystems outside the Amazon rainforest.

Study offers new insights into the effects of stress on pregnancy
Expectant mothers who dealt with the strain of a hurricane or major tropical storm passing nearby during their pregnancy had children who were at elevated risk for abnormal health conditions at birth, according to a study led by a Princeton University researcher that offers new insights into the effects of stress on pregnancy.

$500,000 Gruber Foundation Genetics Prize goes to Philadelphia scientist
Douglas C. Wallace, Ph.D., a pioneering genetics researcher who founded the field of mitochondrial genetics in humans, will receive the 2012 Genetics Prize of The Gruber Foundation.

U of M discovery to improve efficiencies in fuel, chemical and pharmaceutical industries
University of Minnesota engineering researchers are leading an international team that has made a major breakthrough in developing a catalyst used during chemical reactions in the production of gasoline, plastics, biofuels, pharmaceuticals, and other chemicals.

Has the speediest pulsar been found?
Researchers using three different telescopes -- NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and ESA's XMM-Newton in space, and the Parkes radio telescope in Australia -- may have found the fastest moving pulsar ever seen.

Epilepsy drugs increase risk of fractures and falls
New research has shed light on the high risk of fractures, falls, and osteoporosis among epilepsy patients using antiepileptic drugs with most patients unaware of the risks associated with taking the drugs.

Advanced Membrane Technology V Conference
Membrane technology is increasingly playing an essential role in our life.

Royal Astronomical Society and Oxford University Press partnership announced
Oxford University Press and the Royal Astronomical Society announced a new publishing partnership today for the Society's highly cited and internationally prestigious journals.

Earth's oldest known impact crater found in Greenland
Scientists in working in Western Greenland have found evidence of an asteroid or comet impact early in the Earth's history.

Saving the Baltic Sea
Over the last decade, an average of 60,000 square kilometers of the Baltic Sea bottom has suffered from hypoxia without enough oxygen to support its normal ecosystem.

Giant raft of data to help us understand disease
Scientists at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research at the University of Copenhagen have used a new method to assemble a massive catalog of data on proteins.

Programmable DNA scissors found for bacterial immune system
An international team of researchers has discovered a programmable RNA complex in the bacterial immune system that guides the cleaving of DNA at targeted sites.

Discovery may lead to new tomato varieties with vintage flavor and quality
A new genetic discovery may help plant breeders recapture heirloom flavor, processing quality and a health-promoting compound in modern tomato varieties, reports an international research team, which will publish its findings in the June 29 issue of Science.

Turning skin cells into brain cells
Johns Hopkins researchers, working with an international consortium, say they have generated stem cells from skin cells from a person with a severe, early-onset form of Huntington's disease, and turned them into neurons that degenerate just like those affected by the fatal inherited disorder.

Study finds genes associated with hippocampal atrophy
In a genome-wide association study, researchers from Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health have identified several genes which influence degeneration of the hippocampus, the part of the brain most associated with Alzheimer's disease.

Ecological Society of America announces 2012 award recipients
The Ecological Society of America (ESA) will present eight societal awards recognizing outstanding contributions to ecology during ESA's 97th annual meeting in Portland, Oregon. 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