Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 12, 2012
Inexpensive paper-based diabetes test ideal for developing countries
The latest episode in the American Chemical Society's (ACS') award-winning Global Challenges/Chemistry Solutions podcast series describes a new, inexpensive paper-based device that is ideal for diabetes testing in rural and developing areas, such as in India and China.

UAF researchers poised to gain international partnerships
When a small team of glaciologists and mathematicians at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute developed the Parallel Ice Sheet Model in 2003, they had no idea that the software program would rise to international prominence.

Diagnostic tool could help in the clinical diagnosis of cattle diseases in sub-Saharan Africa
New research has found the use of a low-cost diagnostic decision support tool could lead to the improvement in clinical practice by veterinary and animal health officers in sub-Saharan Africa.

Collagenase for Dupuytren's contracture: Added benefit not proven
It is not proven that treatment with the new drug collagenase offers advantages for patients who are unable to straighten their fingers due to Dupuytren's contracture.

Tamarisk biocontrol efforts get evolutionary boost
UC Santa Barbara scientists trying to control the invasive tamarisk plant have been getting a boost from evolution, in the form of a rapidly evolving beetle that has been changing its life cycle to more efficiently consume the noxious weed.

Study questions whether becoming a doctor pays off for women
Women who go to medical school just for the financial rewards of being a doctor could be making a mistake, according to a study published in the Journal of Human Capital.

Sailing with nerves of glass
In the world of racing, tiny details can be the difference between victory and defeat.

New Au. sediba fossils discovered in rock
Scientists from the Wits Institute for Human Evolution based at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg will announce the discovery of a large rock containing significant parts of a skeleton of an early human ancestor on Friday, July 13, 2012.

Male sex ornaments are fishing lures, literally
Talk about a bait-and-switch. Male representatives of the tropical fish known as swordtail characins have flag-like sex ornaments that catch mates just like the bait on a fishing rod would.

Salt cress genome yields new clues to salt tolerance
Salt cress genome yields new clues to salt tolerance.

New Notre Dame research raises questions about iris recognition systems
Since the early days of iris recognition technologies, it has been assumed that the iris was a

Drive toward a viable 'City of the Future'
Cities consume energy and raw materials, produce waste and pollutants, and overload their transportation systems.

Viruses linked to algae that control coral health
Scientists have discovered two viruses that appear to infect the single-celled microalgae that reside in corals and are important for coral growth and health, and they say the viruses could play a role in the serious decline of coral ecosystems around the world.

Protecting the hearts of those waiting for kidney and liver transplants
Thousands of Americans await a life-saving kidney or liver transplant, and many are over age 50 and at risk for heart disease.

The Clovis First Theory is put to rest at Paisley Caves
New international research shows that people of another culture were present concurrently or even previous to those of Clovis - a deadly blow to the

Sake, soy sauce, and the taming of the microbes
We all know that humans have domesticated plants and animals for our sustenance and enjoyment, but we've tamed various microbes as well.

Multiple sclerosis: New marker could improve diagnosis
Diagnosing multiple sclerosis is a challenge even for experienced neurologists.

Keeping electric vehicle batteries cool
Heat can damage the batteries of electric vehicles - even just driving fast on the freeway in summer temperatures can overheat the battery.

Sports 1, housework, 0
Pressure to be more involved in their children's lives has many middle class men turning to sports as a way to nurture their kids.

Boost in earnings from businesses
The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft continued to grow in 2011. Financial resources rose 12 percent to 1.85 billion euros.

Winemaking goes high-tech at the University of British Columbia
A team of researchers at UBC's Wine Research Centre -- which has received funding from the Government of Canada through the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) -- is working to resolve the allergic reaction some people have to wine.

UGA study shows why hypertension increases damage to eyes of diabetic patients
Hypertension frequently coexists in patients with diabetes. A new University of Georgia study shows why the co-morbid conditions can result in impaired vision.

NASA sees hot towers as Tropical Storm Fabio's trigger
NASA research has indicated whenever

Pulverized rocks, coral reefs, seawater chemistry, and continental collisions
Geology highlights include understanding new evidence for rock pulverization by catastrophic events near major faults in California and Japan; modern-day examples of active arc-continent collision in Taiwan; discovery and study of the highest-latitude coral reefs presently known on Earth, located in Japan; the puzzling record of the changing isotope ratio of calcium in seawater over the last 500 million years; and a possible refutation of hypotheses concerning shallow-water methane seep fauna.

Peering into the heart of a supernova
Using computer simulations, researchers from the California Institute of Technology have determined that if the interior of a dying star is spinning rapidly just before it explodes in a magnificent supernova, two different types of signals emanating from that stellar core will oscillate together at the same frequency.

Large, medically important class of proteins starts to yield its secrets
A recent wave of articles, most recently in the July 13, 2012, issue of Science, all published this year by collaborations headed by the Scripps Research Institute laboratory of Professor Raymond Stevens, illuminate a large and medically important family of proteins called G protein-coupled receptors.

Satellite sees remnants of former Tropical Storm Daniel
Daniel is no longer a tropical storm, and has weakened to a remnant low pressure system, but its circulation is still visible on satellite imagery today, July 12 as it moves south of Hawaii.

Leiden researchers achieve highest resolution ever for human protein
Never has a crystal structure of a human protein molecule in a cell wall been so crystal clear.

Platinum is wrong stuff for fuel cells
Fuel cells are inefficient because the catalyst most commonly used to convert chemical energy to electricity is made of the wrong material, a researcher at Case Western Reserve University argues.

Discovery of chemical that affects biological clock offers new way to treat diabetes
Biologists at UC San Diego have discovered a chemical that offers a completely new and promising direction for the development of drugs to treat metabolic disorders such as Type 2 diabetes -- a major public health concern in the United States due to the current obesity epidemic.

UK space sector trajectory rises through the economic storm
The UK Space Agency this week revealed the figures from its latest report on the 'Size and Health of the UK Space Sector'.

Italy pledges to be part of ELIXIR research infrastructure
Italy has pledged to participate in ELIXIR, a major undertaking to safeguard the results of life science research in Europe.

Antarctica faces major threats in the 21st century, says Texas A&M researcher
The continent of Antarctica is at risk from human activities and other forces, and environmental management is needed to protect the planet's last great wilderness area, says an international team of researchers, including a Texas A&M University oceanographer, in a paper published in the current issue of Science magazine.

Childhood trauma linked to adult smoking for girls
Adverse childhood experiences can stay with us for life. New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy explains how these events can be tied up with adult smoking patterns, especially for women, and suggests that treatment and strategies to stop smoking need to take into account the psychological effects of childhood trauma.

Tannins in sorghum and benefits focus of university, USDA study
Genetic research with sorghum brings a step forward in improved health, pharmaceuticals and nutritional values of plants.

Fossil egg discovered in Lleida (Spain) links dinosaurs to modern birds
Researchers from the Complutense University of Madrid and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona identified in Lleida a series of dinosaur eggs with a unique characteristic: They are oval in shape.

Concussions affect college players at high rates too, study says
As interest in concussion rates and prevention strategies at all levels continues to grow, one population that appears to have increasing head injury rates is collegiate football players.

First ever videos of snow leopard mother and cubs in dens recorded in Mongolia
For the first time, the den sites of two female snow leopards and their cubs have been located in Mongolia's Tost Mountains, with the first known videos taken of a mother and cubs, located and recorded by scientists from Panthera, a wild cat conservation organization, and the Snow Leopard Trust.

1 in 5 women with breast cancer has a reoperation after breast conserving surgery
One in five women with breast cancer who opt for breast conserving surgery rather than a mastectomy have a re-operation, according to a national study published on today.

Road trip reveals vibrancy of America's religious life
A road trip across the US to gather information for a book on religious faith steered two Penn State researchers through a spiritual landscape that was as diverse and vibrant as America's scenery.

Advertisers could target online audiences more efficiently with personality scale, MU study finds
A new study at the University of Missouri School of Journalism has developed a method that could help advertisers target online audiences easier by knowing their personality types.

Noninvasive imaging technique may help kids with heart transplants
Cardiologists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have developed a noninvasive imaging technique that may help determine whether children who have had heart transplants are showing early signs of rejection.

Controlling inflammatory and immune responses
Researchers at the IRCM, led by geneticist Dr. Jacques Drouin, recently defined the interaction between two essential proteins that control inflammation.

Oregon's Paisley Caves as old as Clovis sites -- but not Clovis
A new study of Oregon's Paisley Caves confirms that humans used the site as early as 12,450 radiocarbon years ago, and the projectile points they left behind were of the

Experts from John Theurer Cancer Center to participate in the AAMDSIF Patient and Family Conference
Experts in bone marrow diseases from John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center, one of the nation's 50 best cancer centers, will be presenting treatment updates at an educational conference hosted by the Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Foundation.

Cleveland Clinic researchers receive $5 million grant to discover novel pathways to heart disease
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has awarded a $4.78 million grant to researchers at Cleveland Clinic's Lerner Research Institute to use metabolomics -- a new approach that focuses on the small-molecule byproducts of metabolism -- for discovery of novel pathways linked to the development of cardiovascular diseases.

Discovery opens door to attacking biofilms that cause chronic infections
Using super-resolution microscopy and continuous fluorescent imaging, UC Berkeley's Veysel Berk has for the first time revealed the structure of bacterial biofilms, which are responsible for the tenacious nature of bacterial diseases such as cholera, chronic sinusitis and lung infections in CF patients.

Messy experiment cleans up physics mystery of cornstarch
Most people buy cornstarch to make custard or gravy, but Scott Waitukaitis and Heinrich Jaeger have used it to solve a longstanding physics problem with a substance known to generations of Dr.

The challenges facing the vulnerable Antarctic
A century ago, the South Pole was one of Earth's last frontiers, but now the Antarctic is under threat from human activity.

To extinguish a hot flame, DARPA studied cold plasma
DARPA theorized that by using physics techniques rather than combustion chemistry, it might be possible to manipulate and extinguish flames.

Regenstrief and IHTSDO start collaborative efforts
The Regenstrief Institute, whose Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes, or LOINC, is the most accepted international terminology for medical tests and measurements, and the International Health Terminology Standards Development Organisation, provider of the leading comprehensive clinical terminology for health care, called SNOMED CT, are exploring a long-term collaborative relationship to develop coded content to support order entry and result reporting critical to the computerized transmission of medical information.

Our coral reefs: In trouble - but tougher than we thought
Coral reefs in the Indo-Pacific region, including the Great Barrier Reef, recover faster from major stresses than their Caribbean counterparts, leading marine scientists said today.

Stimulant marketed as 'natural' in sports supplement actually of synthetic origin
A new study published in the journal Drug Testing and Analysis found that DMAA, a stimulant often found in many nutritional and sports supplements, does not originate from natural substances and is actually comprised of synthetic compounds.

Nocebo: Induced to be ill
In the latest issue of Deutsches Ärzteblatt International, Winfried Häuser of the Technical University of Munich and his co-authors present the underlying neurobiological mechanisms and highlight the relevance of the nocebo effect in everyday clinical practice.

Disentangling information from photons
Theoretical physicist Filippo Miatto and colleagues from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK, have found a new method of reliably assessing the information contained in photon pairs used for applications in cryptography and quantum computing.

Veterinary vaccines found to combine into new viruses, prompting regulatory response
Research from the University of Melbourne has shown that two different vaccine viruses- used simultaneously to control the same condition in chickens- have combined to produce new infectious viruses, prompting early response from Australia's veterinary medicines regulator.

Paisley Caves yield 13,000-year old Western Stemmed points, more human DNA
Western Stemmed projectile points dating to at least 13,200 calendar years ago have been uncovered in Oregon's Paisley Caves.

Many more elderly people could benefit from drugs to prevent heart disease
More patients aged 75 and over should be prescribed drugs to help lower their risk of cardiovascular disease, a study published today on suggests.

$4.7 million study looks at why diabetes makes heart disease worse
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have received a $4.7 million grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to investigate heart disease in patients with diabetes.

Solar system ice: Source of Earth's water
Scientists have long believed that comets and, or a type of very primitive meteorite were the sources of early Earth's volatile elements.

New study on media violence and kids could have applications on school bullying
A new study may provide schools with a new tool to help them profile students who are more likely to commit aggressive acts against other students.

In adult humans, brown fat is actually beige
The calorie-burning and heat-generating brown fat found in full-grown humans is actually not quite brown; It's beige.

Finished heart switches stem cells off
Transcription factor Ajuba regulates stem cell activity in the heart during embryonic development.

Solar storm protection
Massive explosions on the sun unleash radiation that could kill astronauts in space.

From aflatoxin to sake
Study maps the genetic changes involved in the domestication of Aspergillus oryzae, one of the fungi used to make sake, soy sauce and miso.

NASA's Aqua satellite providing 2 views of Hurricane Emilia
NASA's Aqua satellite has several instruments onboard that are providing forecasters with different views of Hurricane Emilia in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

Researchers hit back at early bodycheck theory
A University of Alberta study shows no evidence to back up the popular theory that teaching kids to body check earlier prevents injuries later.

Obese kids as bright as thinner peers
Obesity is not to blame for poor educational performance, according to early findings from research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.

Georgetown University, MedStar National Rehabilitation Network create unique brain center
New collaboration harnesses the research expertise of Georgetown University and MedStar National Rehabilitation Network's clinical research and patient care teams to form the Center for Brain Plasticity and Recovery.

Current and former smokers at risk for recurrent hepatitis post-liver transplantation
Transplant recipients who smoke or have smoked increase their risk of viral hepatitis reinfection following liver transplantation according to new research available in the July issue of Liver Transplantation, a journal published by Wiley on behalf of American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

Dana-Farber study shows newly isolated 'beige fat' cells could help fight obesity
Scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have isolated a new type of energy-burning fat cell in adult humans which they say may have therapeutic potential for treating obesity.

Plasmonic chains act like polymers
Researchers establish points of reference between plasmonic particles and polymers.

Researchers create highly conductive and elastic conductors using silver nanowires
Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed highly conductive and elastic conductors made from silver nanoscale wires.

The Ben & Catherine Ivy Foundation contributes $10 million to TGen for brain cancer research
The Ben & Catherine Ivy Foundation has awarded $10 million in grants for two groundbreaking brain cancer research projects at the Translational Genomics Research Institute.

Caterpillar gets more from its food when predator is on the prowl
Animals that choose to eat in the presence of a predator run the risk of being eaten themselves, so they often go into a defensive mode and pay a physical penalty for the lack of nutrients.

ASHA grant funds cutting-edge AIDS research at Tel Aviv University
Through a generous grant from USAID's American Schools and Hospitals Abroad program, Tel Aviv University has fully equipped a new state-of-the-art bio-safety lab dedicated to researching the AIDS virus and developing new therapies, diagnostics, and vaccines.

Study: Wolverines need refrigerators
A new study released by the Wildlife Conservation Society and partners says that the distribution of wolverines in the wild relates to the species' ability to store and

Non-surgical treatment of common shoulder injury may increase chances of return-to-play
Surgically repairing a painful shoulder injury in baseball players known as a SLAP tear (superior labral) varies widely and often doesn't allow for return to play at the same level as before the injury.

University of Utah physicists invent 'spintronic' LED
University of Utah physicists invented a new

UMD creates new tech for complex micro structures for use in sensors & other apps
University of Maryland Chemistry Professor John Fourkas and his research group have developed new materials and nanofabrication techniques for building miniaturized versions of components needed for medical diagnostics, sensors and other applications.

Louisiana Tech biomedical engineering professor earns recognition, funding for research
Dr. Teresa Murray, assistant professor in biomedical engineering at Louisiana Tech University, has received notice from the National Institute of Health that her proposal titled

Sandia seeks commercial partners for revolutionary 'SpinDx' medical diagnostic tool
Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories have developed a lab-on-a-disk platform that they believe will be faster, less expensive and more versatile than similar medical diagnostic tools.

Controlling your computer with your eyes
Millions of people suffering from multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's, muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injuries or amputees could soon interact with their computers and surroundings using just their eyes, thanks to a new device that costs less than £40. 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