Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 18, 2012
Fighting obesity with thermal imaging
Fighting obesity -- with a pioneering thermal imaging technique. Scientists at the University of Nottingham are using this heat-seeking technology to trace our reserves of brown fat -- the body's

Oral immunotherapy shows promise as treatment for egg allergy
Giving children and adolescents with egg allergy small but increasing daily doses of egg white powder holds the possibility of developing into a way to enable some of them to eat egg-containing foods without having allergic reactions, according to a study supported by the National Institutes of Health.

NASA sees Tropical Storm Khanun weakening for South Korea landfall
Infrared imagery of Tropical Storm Khanun shows that the storm is weakening as it heads toward a landfall in the Chungcheongnam-do province of western South Korea.

Heliophysics nugget: Riding the plasma wave
Using data from the WAVES instrument on NASA's Wind mission, NASA scientists have discovered evidence for a type of plasma wave moving faster than theory predicted it could move.

Extending the range of electric vehicles
Researchers at the University of California, Riverside, believe they can extend the range of electric vehicles by at least 10 percent by taking into account real-time traffic information, road type and grade and passenger and cargo weight.

Doctors and rheumatoid arthritis patients differ on perception of disease activity
Researchers from Austria have determined that patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and their doctors differ on perception of RA disease activity.

Sugar-sweetened drinks are not replacing milk in kid's diets
National data indicate that milk consumption has declined among children while consumption of sweetened beverages of low nutritional quality has more than doubled.

Special issue of Cell Transplantation features research presented at IANR
In this special issue of Cell Transplantation, members of the International Association of Neurorestoratology (IANR) present research aimed at improving the lives of people with neurological conditions such as amytrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy, stroke and muscular dystrophy.

Higher job strain associated with increased cardiovascular risk for women
Ten-year study shows high job strain associated with almost 70 percent increase in heart attack risk

Sleep deprivation may reduce risk of PTSD according to Ben-Gurion U. researchers
The new study was published in the international scientific journal, Neuropsychopharmacology.

Are cardiac risk factors linked to less blood flow to the brain?
Metabolic syndrome, a term used to describe a combination of risk factors that often lead to heart disease and Type 2 diabetes, seems to be linked to lower blood flow to the brain, according to research by the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

NASA sees withering post-tropical storm Fabio moving toward coast
Infrared satellite data from NASA's Aqua satellite showed a very small area of strong thunderstorms north of the center of what is now post-tropical storm Fabio as it moves toward the southern California coast.

Lungs respond to hospital ventilator as if it were an infection
When hospital patients need assistance breathing and are placed on a mechanical ventilator for days at a time, their lungs react to the pressure generated by the ventilator with an out-of-control immune response that can lead to excessive inflammation, new research suggests.

Police need sleep for health, performance
Researchers at the University of Iowa have found that limited sleep may adversely affect police officers' health and job performance.

Oxford University Press acquires joint ownership of Journal of Surgical Case Reports
Oxford University Press has just announced a major new acquisition that will see the publisher take joint ownership of the Journal of Surgical Case Reports.

ESC Congress 2012 media alert
The world's greatest event in cardiology, ESC Congress 2012, will take place in Munich, Germany, from Aug.

Mount Sinai finds that oral immunotherapy shows promise as treatment for children with egg allergy
A team of researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine and four other institutions have found that young children with egg allergies can benefit from treatment with oral immunotherapy.

Efficacy of herbal remedies for managing insomnia
Over-the-counter herbal remedies are often used to treat insomnia, but surprisingly, very little research has been done to study their efficacy, according to an article in Alternative and Complementary Therapies.

Developing policy on moving threatened species called 'a grand challenge for conservation'
An expert group of researchers publishes its consensus on the multiple factors that should be considered when managed relocation of a threatened species or other biological grouping is being considered as a response to climate change.

New research association started: Magnesium implants shall facilitate bone fracture healing
In collaboration with the university hospitals of Hamburg, Hannover and Graz, as well as further partners, the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht will establish a Virtual Institute, whose focus will be set on degradable magnesium implants.

New studies show spinal cord injury and ALS respond to cell transplantation
Two studies report on the therapeutic efficacy of stem cell transplantation in animal models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and spinal cord injury.

Dopamine: A substance with many messages
In the insect brain, dopamine-releasing nerve cells are crucial to the formation of both punished and rewarded memories.

ACS: White House Initiative to create a national corps of STEM teachers is vital
The American Chemical Society (ACS) applauds a White House initiative unveiled yesterday to create a national corps of 10,000 master teachers in the next four years who are exceptional in teaching science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects.

Carnegie Mellon's George Loewenstein documents the pitfalls of personal loans
As an old proverb goes,

APEX takes part in sharpest observation ever
An international team of astronomers has observed the heart of a distant quasar with unprecedented sharpness, two million times finer than human vision.

Green plants reduce city street pollution up to 8 times more than previously believed
Trees, bushes and other greenery growing in the concrete-and-glass canyons of cities can reduce levels of two of the most worrisome air pollutants by eight times more than previously believed, a new study has found.

Enhanced royal jelly produces jumbo queen bee larvae
Scientists have discovered a way to make worker bees produce an enhanced version of royal jelly (RJ) -- the super-nutritious substance that dictates whether larvae become workers or queens, and that is also renowned as a health supplement for people.

MCG student receives national medical honor society research fellowship
A student at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Health Sciences University is among 47 recipients of the 2012 Carolyn L.

ASTRO publishes 'Safety is No Accident: A Framework for Quality Radiation Oncology and Care'
The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) is proud to announce the publication of Safety is No Accident: A Framework for Quality Radiation Oncology and Care, a comprehensive book detailing minimum recommended guidelines for radiation oncology practices.

Not so impossible journey
The Geological Society of America announces a new volume in its Special Paper series.

Environmental concerns increasing infectious disease in amphibians, other animals
Climate change, habitat destruction, pollution and invasive species are all involved in the global crisis of amphibian declines and extinctions, researchers suggest in a new analysis, but increasingly these forces are causing actual mortality in the form of infectious disease.

Leaf litter and soil protect acorns from prescribed fire
US Forest Service scientists have found that prescribed fires with the heat insulation of leaf litter and soil can help restore oak ecosystems.

Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, July 2012
This release contains summaries are noteworthy research from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in July 2012.

Hookah smoking increasingly common among first-year college women
Nearly a quarter of college women try smoking tobacco with a hookah, or water pipe, for the first time during their freshman year, according to new research from the Miriam Hospital's Center for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine.

Child's behavior linked to father-infant interactions, study shows
Children whose fathers are more positively engaged with them at age three months have fewer behavioral problems at age twelve months, according to new research funded by the Wellcome Trust.

UCF discovers exoplanet neighbor smaller than Earth
The University of Central Florida has detected what could be its first planet, only two-thirds the size of Earth and located right around the corner, cosmically speaking, at a mere 33 light-years away.

Researchers publish results of an iron fertilization experiment
An international research team has published the results of an ocean iron fertilization experiment (EIFEX) carried out in 2004 in the current issue of the scientific journal Nature.

American Geophysical Union and Wiley-Blackwell announce publishing partnership
The American Geophysical Union, the world's leading society of Earth and space science, and Wiley-Blackwell, the scientific, medical, technical and scholarly business of John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

New targeting technology improves outcomes for patients with atrial fibrillation
In a landmark study of atrial fibrillation, researchers from UCLA, UC - San Diego and Indiana University report having found for the first time that these irregular heart rhythms are caused by small electrical sources within the heart, in the form of electrical spinning tops (

Botanical compound could prove crucial to healing influenza
Building on previous work with the botanical abscisic acida, researchers in the Nutritional Immunology and Molecular Medicine Laboratory (NIMML) have discovered that abscisic acid has anti-inflammatory effects in the lungs as well as in the gut.

Mouse with human immune system may revolutionize HIV vaccine research
One of the challenges to HIV vaccine development has been the lack of an animal model that reflects the human immune response to the virus.

Stanford-SLAC team uses X-ray imaging to observe running batteries in action
Scientists at Stanford and SLAC are using X-ray technology to observe lithium-sulfur batteries in action.

New technology improves heart rhythm treatment
Researchers from UC San Diego, the University of California Los Angeles and Indiana University report having found, for the first time, that atrial fibrillation or irregular heart rhythms is caused by small electrical sources within the heart, in the form of electrical spinning tops (

Helping Alzheimer's patients stay independent
Family members or professional caregivers who do everything for older adults with Alzheimer's disease may just be wanting to help, but one University of Alberta researcher says that creating excess dependency may rob the patients of their independence and self-worth.

Single-cell parasites co-opt 'ready-made' genes from host: UBC research
Two species of single-cell parasites have co-opted

First Polypill trial in people selected on age alone (50 and over) shows substantial health benefit
Results of a randomized trial carried out by academics at Queen Mary, University of London and published on Wednesday in PLoS ONE show that a four-component Polypill given to people aged 50 and over to reduce their risk of heart attack and stroke, the most common causes of death worldwide, achieved large reductions in blood cholesterol and blood pressure, the main causes of these two diseases.

OHSU discovery may lead to new treatment for ALS
Researchers at OHSU School of Dentistry have discovered that TDP-43, a protein strongly linked to ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) and other neurodegnerative diseases, appears to activate a variety of different molecular pathways when genetically manipulated.

Social identification, not obedience, might motivate unspeakable acts
What makes soldiers abuse prisoners? How could Nazi officials condemn thousands of Jews to gas chamber deaths?

Promiscuous squid fatigued after mating
In order to pass on their genes, southern dumpling squid engage in up to three hours of mating with each partner, but University of Melbourne researchers have found that this results in a reduced ability to swim for up to 30 minutes afterwards.

Elsevier launches International Journal for Parasitology: Parasites and Wildlife
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and solutions, in association with the Australian Society for Parasitology, is pleased to announce the launch of a new journal, International Journal for Parasitology: Parasites and Wildlife.

Protein build-up leads to neurons misfiring
Using a two-photon microscope capable of peering deep within living tissue, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have found new evidence that alpha-synuclein protein build-up inside neurons causes them to not only become

Dancing the time warp in the quantum world
Imagine dancing in a nightclub -- and it's your movements that are controlling not only the sound but also a range of stunning, bright visual effects surrounding you.

MindSpec announces 'Bridging Parents with Autism Science' webinar series
MindSpec announces the launch of its new science outreach webinar series,

The taste and fragrance of orange, vanilla, rose and more -- courtesy of bacteria and yeast
Suppliers of the orange, vanilla and other flavor and fragrance ingredients used in hundreds of products are putting their faith in microbes as new sources for these substances.

Treating the whole person with autism
Autism Speaks will hold the National Conference for Families and Professionals,

Astronomers report the earliest spiral galaxy ever seen, a shocking discovery
Astronomers have discovered the first spiral galaxy in the early universe, billions of years before many other spiral galaxies formed.

El Zotz masks yield insights into Maya beliefs
A team of archaeologists led by Stephen Houston has made a new discovery at the Maya archaeological site in El Zotz, Guatemala, uncovering a pyramid believed to celebrate the Maya sun god.

Frequent antenatal screening dramatically reduces maternal mortality on Thai-Myanmar border
Frequent antenatal screening has allowed doctors to detect and treat malaria in its early stages on the border of Thailand and Myanmar, dramatically reducing the number of deaths amongst pregnant women.

NRL brings inertia of space to robotics research
To emulate the classical mechanics of physics found in space on full-scale replica spacecraft on Earth, NRL researchers grapple

Actions don't always speak louder than words -- At least, not when it comes to forgiveness
People are more likely to show forgiving behavior if they receive restitution, but they are more prone to report they have forgiven if they get an apology, according to Baylor University research published in the Journal of Positive Psychology.

Scientists develop new carbon accounting method to reduce farmers' use of nitrogen fertilizer
It's summer. For many of us, summer is a time synonymous with fresh corn, one of the major field crops produced in the United States.

New metric for obesity strongly correlated to premature death
Researchers have developed a new metric to measure obesity, called A Body Shape Index, or ABSI, that combines the existing metrics of Body Mass Index (BMI) and waist circumference and shows a better correlation with death rate than do either of these individual measures.

Do dolphins think nonlinearly?
Research from the University of Southampton, which examines how dolphins might process their sonar signals, could provide a new system for man-made sonar to detect targets, such as sea mines, in bubbly water.

Lowering the national ozone standard would significantly reduce mortality and morbidity
Establishing a more stringent ozone standard in the US would significantly reduce ozone-related premature mortality and morbidity, according to a new study published online July 18 in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

Friends with benefits
As reported in paper published July 18 in PLoS One, Associate Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology Anne Pringle and Ben Wolfe, a Post-Doctoral Fellow in FAS Center for Systems Biology, that Amanita mushrooms' evolution has largely been away from species that help decompose organic material and toward those that live symbiotically on trees and their roots.

Discovery of new heart failure trigger could change the way cardiovascular drugs are made
In their quest to treat cardiovascular disease, researchers have been interested in developing new medicines that activate a protein called APJ.

Unique Neandertal arm morphology due to scraping, not spearing
Unique arm morphology in Neandertals was likely caused by scraping activities such as hide preparation, not spear thrusting as previously theorized, according to research published July 18 in the open access journal PLoS ONE.

A stronger doctor-patient relationship for the costliest patients
Patients who are frequently hospitalized account for a disproportionate amount of health care spending in the United States.

Elsevier announces publishing the Journal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism Education
Elsevier, a world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and solutions, is pleased to announce acquiring the respected Journal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism Education.

AAN: New guideline on how to best treat involuntary movements in Huntington's disease
A new guideline released by the American Academy of Neurology recommends several treatments for people with Huntington's disease who experience chorea -- jerky, random, uncontrollable movements that can make everyday activities challenging.

Primate behavior: Chimps select smart tools, monkeys intentionally beg
Chimpanzees use weight to pick the best tool, and monkeys beg more when they're paid attention to.

Children allergic to eggs can benefit from 'egg therapy'
Giving children with egg allergies increasingly higher doses of the very food they are allergic to can eliminate or ease reactions in most of them, according to results from a federally funded study conducted at Johns Hopkins Children's Center and four other US institutions.

Researchers win $3 million grant to probe surprising science learning gap
Researchers at the University of Connecticut and the University of Central Florida have been awarded a $3 million National Science Foundation grant to study urban schools where students are regularly outperforming city and suburban peers on standardized tests that measure science achievement.

Could volcanic eruptions in the south-west Pacific save the Great Barrier Reef?
World-first research conducted by Queensland University of Technology geologist Dr.

This is your brain on pain
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston professor Volker Neugebauer has been awarded a four-year, $1.36 million grant by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke to conduct an innovative study of the relationship between pain and parts of the brain associated with cognitive thought and emotional response.

Free online tool to provide deeper analysis of microarray data developed by Stanford scientists
Now a new software program designed by scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine enables researchers to see the whole picture of gene expression in a sample.

Slow gait tied to higher risk of cognitive decline, Mayo Clinic finds
Problems walking including slow gait and a short stride are associated with an increased risk of cognitive decline, Mayo Clinic researchers have discovered.

New study: Elderly Medicare beneficiaries most satisfied with their health insurance
Elderly beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare plans are more satisfied with their health insurance, have better access to care, and are less likely to have problems paying medical bills than people who get insurance through employers or those who purchase coverage on their own, a new Commonwealth Fund study published in Health Affairs finds.

The future of biomaterial manufacturing: Spider silk production from bacteria
A new video article inthe Journal of Visualized Experiments demonstrates procedures to harvest and process synthetic spider silk from bacteria.

UNC researchers discover promising new treatment for egg allergy
Giving egg-allergic children small amounts of egg over many months found to reduce severe reactions, help some shed the allergy entirely.

Parental consent for HPV vaccine should not be waived, poll says
Most adults say parents should be involved in decision for adolescents to get the vaccination that protects against genital warts and cervical cancer.

Moffitt Cancer Center researchers find potential key to new treatment for mantle cell lymphoma
Researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center and colleagues have demonstrated that the inhibition of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 in mouse models of mantle cell lymphoma, an aggressive and incurable subtype of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma that becomes resistant to treatment, can harness the immune system to eradicate residual malignant cells responsible for disease relapse.

Study shows colon and rectal tumors constitute a single type of cancer
The pattern of genomic alterations in colon and rectal tissues is the same regardless of anatomic location or origin within the colon or the rectum, leading researchers to conclude that these two cancer types can be grouped as one, according to the Cancer Genome Atlas project's large-scale study of colon and rectal cancer tissue specimens.

Clemson researcher awarded prestigious science and technology policy fellowship
Clemson University researcher Julie P. Martin has been awarded a science and technology policy fellowship by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Poll: Racial resentment tied to voter ID support
A new National Agenda Opinion Poll by the University of Delaware's Center for Political Communication reveals support for voter identification laws is strongest among Americans who harbor negative sentiments toward African Americans.

What would Batman eat?
This Cornell University study investigated whether the priming of a role model's food choices or the priming of healthy foods could influence children to make healthier fast food choices.

Duke receives new grant for AIDS vaccine research
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded a new grant to Duke University Medical Center for work developing vaccines that can induce IgA antibodies for preventing HIV-1 infection.

Binge drinking increases the risk of cognitive decline in older adults
Researchers from the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Exeter, will present the findings of a new study suggesting a link between binge drinking in older adults and the risk of developing dementia.

TandemLaunch licenses new 3-D technology
Max Planck Innovation, the technology transfer organization of the Max Planck Society together with the Patent Marketing Agency of Saarland Universities have licensed a new method for processing digital stereo image content to TandemLaunch Technologies, a Canada based company, which develops multimedia inventions into consumer technologies.

Leading scientists call for improved innovation policy across Europe
A new report from the European Science Foundation assesses the science of innovation in Europe.

NIH to test maraviroc-based drug regimens for HIV prevention
Scientists are launching the first clinical trial to test whether drug regimens containing maraviroc, a medication currently approved to treat HIV infection, are also safe and tolerable when taken once daily by HIV-uninfected individuals at increased risk for acquiring HIV infection.

A study shows that men and women have the same sexual fantasies
University of Granada researchers interviewed 2,500 Spanish men and women aged between 18 and 73 years, who have had a heterosexual relationship of at least six months.

Hepatitis C may increase deaths from both liver-related and other diseases
In a long-term study of people infected with the hepatitis C virus, researchers found increased deaths from both liver-related and non-liver related diseases in patients with active infections who had not cleared their infection.

New biomarker in the blood may help predict Alzheimer's disease
Higher levels of a certain fat in the blood called ceramides may increase a person's risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, according to a study published in the July 18, 2012, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Hidden secrets in the world's most northerly rainforests
In a study just published in Molecular Genetics, researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and the Nord-Trondelag University College report extremely high genetic diversity for individuals of an uncommon lichen species, Lobaria pulmonaria, that grow on the same tree.

Black gay men are more affected by AIDS than any population in the developed world
The Black AIDS Institute releases its latest report,

PSU study finds 'caffeinated' coastal waters
A new study finds elevated levels of caffeine at several sites in Pacific Ocean waters off the coast of Oregon -- though not necessarily where researchers expected.

Study points to causes of high dolphin deaths in Gulf of Mexico
The largest oil spill on open water to date and other environmental factors led to the historically high number of dolphin deaths in the Gulf of Mexico, concludes a two-year scientific study released today.

Alcohol problems account for a quarter of Scottish intensive care unit admissions
A quarter of patients admitted to Scottish intensive care units have alcohol problems and the majority of those have chronic alcohol disease, with particular problems among men and younger people.

Long-term ADHD drug use appears safe
Drugs used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) do not appear to have long-term effects on the brain, according to new animal research from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

What we know and don't know about Earth's missing biodiversity
Researchers address great uncertainties in number of species and emphasize the use of technology to accelerate the rate of species discovery.

Researchers identify mechanisms that allow embryonic stem cells to become any cell in the human body
New research at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem sheds light on pluripotency -- the ability of embryonic stem cells to renew themselves indefinitely and differentiate into all types of mature cells.

X-rays illuminate the origin of volcanic hotspots
Scientists have recreated the conditions at the Earth's core-mantle boundary 2,900 km beneath the surface.

New media, old messages: Obama and family are target of 'blackface' racism on Facebook
Fans of Facebook hate groups, while using new media to target President Obama and his family, are relying heavily on old stereotypes of blacks as animalist, evil or shiftless -- including depictions of the President as a chimp or sporting a bandana and a mouth full of gold teeth, according to a Baylor University study.

Study reveals Neanderthals at El Sidron, Northern Spain, had knowledge of plants' healing qualities
An international team of researchers, led by the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona and the University of York, has provided the first molecular evidence that Neanderthals not only ate a range of cooked plant foods, but also understood its nutritional and medicinal qualities.

All-they-can-eat diet for lab mice and rats may foster inaccurate test results
The widespread practice of allowing laboratory rats and mice to eat as much as they want may be affecting the outcome of experiments in which scientists use these 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