Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 19, 2012
Beneficial bacteria may help ward off infection
In a new study, Cheryl Nickerson and her group at ASU's Biodesign Institute, in collaboration with an international team explore the role of Lactobaccilus reuteri -- a natural resident of the human gut -- to protect against food-borne infection.

Elsevier launches new open-access journal: Respiratory Medicine Case Reports
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and solutions, is pleased to announce the launch of Respiratory Medicine Case Reports, a new online open access journal on general respiratory medicine that is dedicated to publishing case reports.

Study implements community-based approach to treat HIV-infection in rural Uganda
New research from the University of Alberta's School of Public Health has demonstrated that community-based resources in rural Uganda can successfully provide HIV treatments to patients, where economic and geographical barriers would typically prevent access to care.

How to build a middleweight black hole
A new model shows how an elusive type of black hole can be formed in the gas surrounding their supermassive counterparts.

Hundreds of random mutations in leukemia linked to aging, not cancer
Hundreds of mutations exist in leukemia cells at the time of diagnosis, but nearly all occur randomly as a part of normal aging and are not related to cancer, new research shows.

Using neuroeconomics to study psychiatry
Neuroeconomics is a relatively new field that traditionally has studied the decision-making process of healthy individuals.

HPV improves survival for African-Americans with throat cancer
According to a new Henry Ford Hospital study, HPV has a substantial impact on overall survival in African-Americans with oropharyngeal cancer, a cancer that affects part of the throat, the base of the tongue, the tonsils, the soft palate (back of the mouth), and the walls of the pharynx (throat).

Scientists discover melanoma-driving genetic changes caused by sun damage
It's been a burning question in melanoma research: tumor cells are full of ultraviolet-induced genetic damage caused by sunlight exposure, but which mutations drive this cancer?

500 international cloud researchers meet in Leipzig
From July 30-Aug. 3, 2012, the 16th International Conference on Clouds and Precipitation will take place in Leipzig.

Elsevier Foundation, TWAS and OWSD launch awards for women scientists in developing countries
The Elsevier Foundation, the academy of sciences for the developing world (TWAS) and the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World announced today the launch of an awards program recognizing talented early career women scientists from Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.

Leopard in dramatic photo traced to 2004 camera trap
A dramatic photo of a male leopard dragging a massive gaur (or Indian bison) calf in Karnataka's Bandipur Tiger Reserve turned out to be the same animal photographed by a WCS camera trap nearly eight years ago.

Farmers tough on artificial limbs
When a farmer or rancher is injured on the job, there's an 11 percent chance that an amputation will occur.

Research funding targets bone health
A Simon Fraser University researcher is leading a team of scientists working to create new drugs to stimulate bone regeneration.

Spatial knowledge vs. spatial choice: The hippocampus as conflict detector?
Hippocampal NMDA receptors in the brain help to make the right decision when faced with complex orientation problems.

3-D tumor models improve drug discovery success rate
Imagine millions of cancer cells organized in thousands of small divots.

Viruses' copying mechanism demystified, opening the door to new vaccine strategies
Certain kinds of viruses such as those that cause the common cold and hepatitis, copy themselves using a unique mechanism, according to a team of Penn State University scientists.

Stanford researchers first to determine entire genetic sequence of individual human sperm
The entire genomes of 91 human sperm from one man have been sequenced by Stanford University researchers.

Study questions safety and effectiveness of common kidney disease drugs
Phosphate binders, drugs commonly prescribed to patients with chronic kidney disease, may not be as effective as previously thought.

IRVE-3 flight hardware test sounding rocket
NASA will launch an inflatable aeroshell/heat shield technology demonstrator on a Black Brant XI sounding rocket July 22 from the agency's launch range at the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

Reorganizing brain could lead to new stroke, tinnitus treatments
UT Dallas researchers recently demonstrated how nerve stimulation paired with specific experiences, such as movements or sounds, can reorganize the brain.

Blood condition is highly predictive of graft failure in pediatric kidney transplant
For children receiving kidney transplants, a potentially correctable blood condition present in about one in four recipients is associated with a moderately increased risk of the graft's later failure, suggesting that clinicians should weigh whether transplant is advisable when the condition is present, according to UC Davis research presented today at the International Congress of the Transplantation Society in Berlin.

A wrinkle in space-time
Mathematicians at UC Davis have come up with a new way to crinkle up the fabric of space-time -- at least in theory.

The Yin and Yang of stem cell quiescence and proliferation
Not all adult stem cells are created equal. Some are busy regenerating worn out or damaged tissues, while their quieter brethren serve as a strategic back-up crew that only steps in when demand shoots up.

Scripps Research scientists show potent new compound virtually eliminates HIV in cell culture
A new study by scientists on the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute shows, in cell culture, a natural compound can virtually eliminate human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in infected cells.

Does presence of oxidants early in life help determine life span?
Why do we age, and what makes some of us live longer than others?

Blood vessel forming potential of stem cells from human placenta and umbilical cord blood
This study compared endothelial colony-forming cells derived from human placenta to those derived from human umbilical cord blood to find which were more proliferative and better at forming new blood vessels.

Media registration opens for Neuroscience 2012, world's largest brain science meeting
Neuroscience 2012, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, is the world's largest source of emerging news on brain science and health.

Novel anti-malarial drug target identified
An international team of scientists, led by researchers from the Department of Pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, have identified the first reported inhibitors of a key enzyme involved in survival of the parasite responsible for malaria.

Herbal remedy used to treat hepatitis C proves ineffective, Penn study finds
Silymarin, an extract of milk thistle commonly used to treat chronic liver disease by millions of people around the World, does not offer significant improvements for patients, according to a new study conducted by a nationwide group of researchers including faculty at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Global CO2 emissions continue to increase
Global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) -- the main cause of global warming -- increased by 3 percent last year, reaching an all-time high of 34 billion tons in 2011.

Scientists read monkeys' inner thoughts
Scientists at Washington University in St. Louis who were decoding the activity of populations of neurons in the motor cortex discovered that they could tell how a monkey was planning to approach a reaching task.

UGA researchers develop rapid diagnostic test for pathogens, contaminants
Using nanoscale materials, researchers at the University of Georgia have developed a single-step method to rapidly and accurately detect viruses, bacteria and chemical contaminants.

NASA sees sun send out mid-level solar flare
This image was captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory on July 19, 2012 of an M7.7 class solar flare.

Tropical Depression Khanun blankets South Korea
Tropical Depression Khanun came ashore with some heavy rainfall in the morning hours (local time) on Thursday, July 19.

Belgian scientists develop way to detect superparasites
Belgian scientists of the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium, made a breakthrough in bridging high tech molecular biology research on microbial pathogens and the needs of the poorest of the poor.

Debate ends: Everyone was right
Scientists at the Stowers Institute of Medical Research have developed an innovative method to count the number of fluorescent molecules in a cluster and then applied the novel approach to settle a debate rampant among cell biologists -- namely, how DNA twists into a unique chromosomal structure called the centromere.

NYU Langone Medical Center's tip sheet to the Alzheimer's Association International Conference
Experts from the Comprehensive Center on Brain Aging at NYU Langone Medical Center will present new research at The 2012 Alzheimer's Association International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease to be held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, July 14-19.

Crossing the gap: Civil engineers develop improved method for detecting, measuring bridge damage
A ratings system developed by a group of Kansas State University researchers could keep bridges safer and help prevent catastrophic collapses.

Micro businesses' role for a more competitive agricultural food sector in Spain
Pablo Murta Albino studied the situation of the agricultural food industry in Spain from the perspectives of competitiveness, growth and performance.

Of flies and men
What do you get when you dissect 10,000 fruit fly larvae?

RIT professor receives National Science Foundation grant to improve on-chip networks with wireless technology
Amlan Ganguly, an assistant professor of computer engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology, is part of the team that received an $800,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.

New report describes 7 essential steps toward an AIDS-free generation
The end of AIDS is within our reach. But as the authors of a new special supplement in the August 2012 Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiencies (JAIDS) point out, new financial investments -- and renewed commitments -- from countries around the world will be critical to fully implement proven treatment and prevention tools already at hand and to continue essential scientific research.

In utero exposure to diesel exhaust a possible risk factor for obesity
Pregnant mice exposed to high levels of air pollution gave birth to offspring with a significantly higher rate of obesity and insulin resistance in adulthood than those that were not exposed to air pollution.

Like a transformer? Protein unfolds and refolds for new function
New research has shown that a protein does something that scientists once thought impossible: It unfolds itself and refolds into a completely new shape.

Triangles guide the way for live neural circuits in a dish
Korean scientists have used tiny stars, squares and triangles as a toolkit to create live neural circuits in a dish.

Preclinical data support ongoing clinical trials testing IDO inhibitors as a treatment for cancer
Inhibitors of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase are being assessed in clinical trials as a potential treatment for recurrent or refractory solid tumors.

Lack of insurance linked to advanced stage cervical cancer
A new study led by American Cancer Society researchers finds lack of insurance was second only to age as the strongest predictor of late stage at diagnosis, a gap the authors say is likely attributable to lack of screening.

Generation X is surprisingly unconcerned about climate change
Generation X is lukewarm about climate change -- uninformed about the causes and unconcerned about the dangers, according to a new report.

Strategies to improve renewable energy feedstocks
To enable greater reliance on renewable biomass resources, combination approaches offer advantages and challenges.

What did we learn from the 2010 California whooping cough epidemic?
Because whooping cough (pertussis) is almost as contagious as measles (affecting ~12-17 individuals with each case), clinicians are required to report cases of this bacterial respiratory tract infection to the state's department of public health.

Harvard's Wyss Institute to develop smart suit that improves soldiers' physical endurance
Harvard's Wyss Institute has received $2.6 million in funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to develop a novel wearable system that could potentially delay the onset of fatigue, enabling soldiers to walk longer distances, and also improve the body's resistance to injuries when carrying heavy loads.

In neutrino-less double-beta decay search, UMass Amherst physicists excel
Physicists Andrea Pocar and Krishna Kumar of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, part of an international research team, recently reported results of an experiment conducted at the Enriched Xenon Observatory, located in a salt mine one-half mile under Carlsbad, N.M., part of a decades-long search for evidence of the elusive neutrino-less double-beta decay of Xenon-136.

Menu labeling requirements lead to healthier options at chain restaurants
The recent Supreme Court decision on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has cleared the way for national requirements about posting nutritional information at chain restaurants.

Team discovers how western corn rootworm resists crop rotation
A new study answers a question that has baffled researchers for more than 15 years: how does the western corn rootworm -- an insect that thrives on corn but dies on soybeans -- persist in fields that alternate between corn and soybeans?

Rice receives $1 million INSPIRE award from National Science Foundation
A $1 million INSPIRE award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to Rice University will fund research on how bacterial decision-making occurs at the molecular level.

The search for medical technologies abroad
A study published in the current issue of Technology and Innovation -- Proceedings of the National Academy of Inventors found that the search for medical technologies through

New technique reveals cross-talk between 2 essential cellular processes
Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute have simultaneously mapped two of the most important types of protein-modification in cells, revealing their extensive cooperation during an essential cellular process.

New study finds fastest-growing cities not the most prosperous
As communities seek new ways to emerge from the recession, many may look to growing their population as a strategy.

New research questions how fat influences flavor perception
A joint study carried out by the University of Nottingham and the multinational food company Unilever has found for the first time that fat in food can reduce activity in several areas of the brain which are responsible for processing taste, aroma and reward.

Disorderly conduct
New work looks at the curious relation between disorder (usually a disruptive thing) and quantum coherence

Scientists connect seawater chemistry with climate change and evolution
Humans get most of the blame for climate change with little attention paid to the contribution of other natural forces.

First Huntington's disease center established in Washington, D.C., area
Georgetown University Medical Center in collaboration with MedStar Georgetown University Hospital announce the launch of the Huntington Disease Care, Education and Research Center.

Searching for 1,000 times the capacity of 4G wireless
Researchers at Polytechnic Institute of New York University have assembled a powerful consortium of government and business to advance beyond today's fourth generation (4G) wireless technologies toward 5G cellular networks that could potentially increase cell phone capacity by more than 1,000 times.

Researchers pioneer game-changing approach for drought monitoring
A team led by Arizona State University will use cloud platform to deliver drought information to aid risk management.

Scientists take unprecedented snapshot of single sperm cell's genome
Every sperm cell looks essentially the same, with that characteristic tadpole appearance.

Despite clear benefits, heart failure clinics are rarely utilized
A new study published in the current issue of the Canadian Journal of Cardiology finds that despite guidelines that encourage physicians to recommend heart failure clinics, very few patients recently hospitalized with HF receive referrals or use one.

Being in awe can expand time and enhance well-being
It doesn't matter what we've experienced -- whether it's the breathtaking scope of the Grand Canyon, the ethereal beauty of the Aurora Borealis, or the exhilarating view from the top of the Eiffel Tower -- at some point in our lives we've all had the feeling of being in a complete and overwhelming sense of awe.

Moderate alcohol intake is associated with a lower risk of kidney cancer
A majority of previous epidemiologic studies have shown that moderate drinking is associated with a lower risk of kidney cancer, which may affect about 1 percent of the general population.

Better management of traumatic brain injury
New treatments to lessen the severity of the more than 21,000 traumatic brain injury cases that occur in Australia each year are on the horizon.

New ultracapacitor delivers a jolt of energy at a constant voltage
A researcher from the University of West Florida has designed an ultracapacitor that maintains a near steady voltage.

Meta-analysis: Interventions improve depression in cancer patients
Despite guidelines recommending screening for depression in cancer patients, it's been unclear whether interventions designed to treat this depression are effective.

Stem cell research aids understanding of cancer
An international team of researchers led by renowned stem cell scientist professor Martin Pera has discovered a novel marker that plays an important role in our understanding of how cancer develops in the liver, pancreas and esophagus.

University of Tennessee professor wins world's top prize for ecology, environmental science
Daniel Simberloff, a professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has won the 2012 Ramon Margalef Award for Ecology.

Understanding flirtation in negotiation, 'shooter bias,' love during marriage, and more
Story leads this month include new articles on the effects of flirtation on negotiation, causes of

New study announced that will use genetics to test for Alzheimer's risk
In a new Alzheimer's disease risk assessment study, researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital are offering genetic testing and Alzheimer's risk estimates for people who are experiencing mild cognitive impairment.

Top science organizations pose critical science questions to presidential candidates
Through collaborative efforts with other top scientific societies, the American Geosciences Institute has helped formulate a list of critical science policy questions to pose to President Barack Obama and presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney in the upcoming presidential election.

Locating muscle proteins
Max Planck scientists bring the basis of muscle movement into sharper focus.

Red hair is a sign of oxidative stress in wild boars, but gray is a-ok
A coat of a certain color could be costly for wild boars, according to research published in the journal Physiological and Biochemical Zoology.

UMass Amherst, Harvard experts say better systems needed for medical device cybersecurity
Researchers from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Harvard Medical School and the University of Massachusetts Amherst analyzed reports from decades of US Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) databases and found that established mechanisms for evaluating device safety may not be suitable for security and privacy problems.

Keystone Symposia announces new 3-year grant to tackle major global health challenges
Keystone Symposia has received a three-year $2.25 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to tackle major global health challenges and extend the research enterprise to the developing world

TRMM sees Fabio's remnants fading in cool Pacific waters
NASA's TRMM satellite noticed that Fabio's remnants have

Anti-tau drug improves cognition, decreases tau tangles in Alzheimer's disease models
Penn Medicine research presented today at the 2012 Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC) shows that an anti-tau treatment called epithilone D (EpoD) was effective in preventing and intervening the progress of Alzheimer's disease in animal models, improving neuron function and cognition, as well as decreasing tau pathology.

An earthquake in a maze
The powerful magnitude-8.6 earthquake that shook Sumatra on April 11, 2012, was the largest strike-slip quake ever recorded.

Virus discovered in Cultus Lake sport fish
A Simon Fraser University fish-population statistician, working in collaboration with non-government organization scientists, has uncovered evidence of a potentially deadly virus in a freshwater sport fish in B.C.

Engineering the 'smart health care' of the future
Pioneering scientists at the University of Nottingham have won a £1.2 million grant for research into the engineering of nanomaterials that could transform the global healthcare industry.

Think pink! Success of pink bacteria in oceans of the world
Researchers at the DSMZ have now discovered that, through plasmids, representatives of the Roseobacter group may exchange such important genetic characteristics as the capability to perform photosynthesis.

Immune drug helps patients with serious kidney disorder
Patients with a particular kidney immune disorder experienced remission when taking the immune drug rituximab, even when standard therapies had failed.

Mild HIV type slows development of AIDS and makes new preventive treatments possible
A new study from Lund University in Sweden has opened the way for new approaches to slowing the development of AIDS in HIV-1-infected patients.

University of Texas Medical Branch to study hospital readmission
A research team at the University of Texas Medical Branch has received a grant of nearly $1 million from the National Institutes of Health to study why some patients are more likely to be readmitted to a hospital shortly after they are discharged.

Colorful science sheds light on solar heating
Using a new technique created by Nicholeen Viall, a solar scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. creates images of the sun reminiscent of Van Gogh, with broad strokes of bright color splashed across a yellow background.

SIAM-NSF Workshop on Modeling across the curriculum
The Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics was recently awarded a National Science Foundation grant for an initiative to increase mathematical modeling and computational applied mathematics in high school and college curricula.

Innovation promises to cut massive power use at big data companies in a flash
Princeton researchers have developed a technique to allow flash memory to substitute for RAM in many applications, allowing for savings in equipment costs and power consumption.

Aesthetic Surgery Journal receives APEX Award for Publication Excellence
Aesthetic Surgery Journal (published by SAGE) was recently honored by the editors of Writer's Web Watch with an Annual Awards for Publication Excellence Competition (APEX) award in the category of Magazines & Journals -- Electronic & Web.

A good night's sleep could keep you out of a nursing home
Fragmented or interrupted sleep could predict future placement in a nursing home or assisted living facility.

Inflammatory pathway spurs cancer stem cells to resist HER2-targeted breast cancer treatment
Researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center have discovered one reason why cancer cells become resistant to herceptin: they turn on a completely different pathway, one that is involved in inflammation, fueling the cancer independently of HER2. 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