Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 26, 2012
SFU duo's protein discovery links to cancer research
A Simon Fraser University graduate student's collaboration with her thesis supervisor on how a particular type of protein controls the growth of another protein could advance cancer research.

Toddlers object when people break the rules
We all know that, in general, it's wrong to kill people, it's inappropriate to wear jeans to bed, and we shouldn't ignore people when they're talking.

Terrorism and the Olympics by-the-numbers: Analysis from UMD-based START
History offers a warning, but no clear pattern on the true risk of terrorism at the Olympic Games, concludes a new report by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism based at the University of Maryland.

Powerful lasers, deep-sea bacteria's pressure tolerance, and more at meeting of crystallographers
The Annual Meeting of the American Crystallographic Association will be held July 28 - Aug.

The brightest stars don't live alone
A study using ESO's Very Large Telescope has shown that most very bright high-mass stars do not live alone.

Teamwork against Benzene
With modern analytical procedures scientists of the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research have succeeded for the first time in tracking the path of the harmful substance Benzene through such a bacterial community with proteins.

DNA damage in roofers due to PAH exposure - possible cancer link
A University of Colorado Cancer Center study published this week in the British Medical Journal Open shows that roofers have higher PAH blood-levels after a shift than before and that these high levels of PAHs are linked with increased rates of DNA damage, and potentially with higher cancer risk.

RIT leads development of next-generation infrared detectors
The National Science Foundation has awarded Rochester Institute of Technology $1.2 million to develop, fabricate and test an entirely new family of infrared detectors grown on silicon wafer substrates by Raytheon Visions Systems.

Solving the mystery of how cigarette smoking weakens bones
Almost 20 years after scientists first identified cigarette smoking as a risk factor for osteoporosis and bone fractures, a new study is shedding light on exactly how cigarette smoke weakens bones.

New research confirms efficacy of transcranial magnetic stimulation for depression
In one of the first studies to look at transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in real-world clinical practice settings, researchers at Butler Hospital, along with colleagues across the US, confirmed that TMS is an effective treatment for patients with depression who are unable to find symptom relief through antidepressant medications.

Lower vitamin D could increase risk of dying, especially for frail, older adults
A new study concludes that among older adults - especially those who are frail - low levels of vitamin D can mean a much greater risk of death.

Breast cancer patients who lack RB gene respond better to neoadjuvant chemotherapy
Breast cancer patients whose tumors lacked the retinoblastoma tumor suppressor gene (RB) had an improved pathological response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy, researchers at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson report in a retrospective study published in a recent online issue of Clinical Cancer Research

Entropy can lead to order, paving the route to nanostructures
Researchers trying to herd tiny particles into useful ordered formations have found an unlikely ally: Entropy, a tendency generally described as

Photovoltaics from any semiconductor
Berkeley Lab researchers have developed a technology that enables low-cost, high efficiency solar cells to be made from virtually any semiconductor material.

Kessler Foundation and Heldrich Center issue brief on hiring workers with disabilities
For the ADA anniversary, Kessler Foundation and the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development released a research brief on disability employment.

No LOL matter: Tween texting may lead to poor grammar skills
Text messaging may offer tweens a quick way to send notes to friends and family, but it could lead to declining language and grammar skills, according to researchers.

New drug could help maintain long-term weight loss
A new drug could aid in losing weight and keeping it off.

Controlling monkey brains and behavior with light
Researchers reporting online on July 26 in Current Biology, have for the first time shown that they can control the behavior of monkeys by using pulses of blue light to activate particular brain cells.

LA BioMed investigator, Dr. Yutaka Niihara, developing novel cellular therapy
Yutaka Niihara, M.D., lead investigator at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, and his team - Fawzia Bardag-Gorce, Ph.D. and Joan Oliva Vilana, Ph.D.

Genome analysis of brain tumors showing the way to new treatment strategies
As part of the International Cancer Genome Consortium, scientists in a project coordinated by the German Cancer Research Center are systematically investigating the genomes of pediatric brain tumors (medulloblastoma and pylocytic astrocytoma).

Research links sexual imagery and consumer impatience
How do sexual cues affect consumer behavior?

Whole-genome sequencing of African hunter-gatherers reveals human genetic diversity
Genome sequences of African hunter-gatherers from three different populations reveal insights into how humans have adapted to distinct environments over evolutionary history.

Repetitious, time-intensive magical rituals considered more effective, study shows
New UT psychology study shows the reasons why people find logic in magical rituals.

Salk Professor Terrence Sejnowski receives IEEE Frank Rosenblatt Award
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the world's largest professional association dedicated to advancing technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity, has awarded Terrence Sejnowski, professor and head of the Salk Institute's Computational Neurobiology Laboratory, the 2013 IEEE Frank Rosenblatt Award.

Unique scientific collaboration reveals hard facts on European drug use
Surveys of drug use form an important basis for the development of effective drug policies, and also for measuring the effectiveness of existing policies.

Race, insurance status related to likelihood of being assessed for kidney transplantation
Young black patients and patients without private health insurance are less likely to be assessed for a kidney transplant when they start dialysis, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Connectomics: Mapping the neural network governing male roundworm mating
In a study published online in Science, researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have determined the complete wiring diagram for the part of the nervous system controlling mating in the male roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans, an animal model intensively studied by scientists worldwide.

Climate concerns
As reported in a paper published in the July 27 issue of Science, a team of researchers led by James G.

The Olympic Games are not always profitable
The economic impact of the Olympics has not been the same for all host countries.

Ion selectivity in neuronal signaling channels evolved twice in animals
Excitation of neurons depends on the selected influx of certain ions through specific channels.

New biomarker for common lung cancer predicts responses to chemotherapy
Patients with the most common type of lung cancer are notoriously insensitive to chemotherapy drugs, including cisplatin.

Delving into the molecular mechanism behind deep-sea bacteria's pressure tolerance
A Japanese research team has been investigating how deep-sea bacteria adapt to such high-pressure conditions.

Rivers flowing into the sea offer vast potential as electricity source
The latest episode in the American Chemical Society's award-winning Global Challenges/Chemistry Solutions podcast series describes a process that could pave the way for a new genre of electric power-generating stations.

Alcohol could intensify the effects of some drugs in the body
Scientists are reporting another reason -- besides possible liver damage, stomach bleeding and other side effects -- to avoid drinking alcohol while taking certain medicines.

MRSA cases in academic hospitals double in 5 years: study
Infections caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) doubled at academic medical centers in the US between 2003 and 2008, according to a report published in the August issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.

Do ovaries continue to produce eggs during adulthood?
A compelling new genetic study tracing the origins of immature egg cells, or 'oocytes', from the embryonic period throughout adulthood adds new information to a growing controversy.

NASA X-ray concept inspired from a roll of Scotch® tape
The inspiration behind NASA scientist Maxim Markevitch's quest to build a highly specialized X-ray mirror using a never-before-tried technique comes from an unusual source: a roll of Scotch® tape.

Shift work linked to increased risk of heart attack and stroke
Shift work is associated with an increased risk of major vascular problems, such as heart attacks and strokes, concludes a study published on bmj.com today.

New technology represents next-generation tool for detecting substandard and counterfeit medicines
A new platform for detecting substandard and counterfeit medicines using microfluidics has been recognized with a grant from Saving Lives at Birth's

NIST updates guidance on network attacks and malware
NIST is asking for comments on two updated guides for improving malware prevention, detection and response.

A pinch of opportunity makes deep inequality more palatable
Just a tiny hint of opportunity has a disproportionately powerful effect - making unfairness more acceptable to disadvantaged people, new research has found.

German National Academy of Sciences issues a critical statement on the use of bioenergy
In a publication on the chances and limits of using bioenergy, the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina comes to the conclusion that in quantitative terms, bioenergy plays a minor role in the transition to renewable, sustainable energy sources in Germany at the present time and probably in the future.

AGI joins Science, Technology and Innovation Expert Partnership
As a part of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's 2012 Global Diaspora Forum, the American Geosciences Institute (AGI), other top scientific organizations, and the US Department of State have signed a mutual memorandum of understanding establishing the Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Expert Partnership.

Science magazine prize goes to virtual world where undergrads explore DNA
Now an associate professor in the biology department at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, White is the winner of the Science Prize for Inquiry-Based Instruction (IBI).

WHOI scientists/engineers partner with companies to market revolutionary new instruments
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) researchers have partnered with two companies to build and market undersea technology developed at WHOI: The Imaging FlowCytobot, an automated underwater microscope, and BlueComm, an underwater communications system that uses light to provide wireless transmission of data, including video imagery, in real or near-real time.

Software features and inherent risks: NIST's guide to rating software vulnerabilities from misuse
A new NIST guide describes a 'scoring system' that computer security managers can use to assess the severity of security risks arising from software features that, while meant to be beneficial, could be accidentally or maliciously misused.

Men with prostate cancer more likely to die from other causes
Men diagnosed with prostate cancer are less likely to die from the disease than from largely preventable conditions such as heart disease, according to a new study from Harvard School of Public Health.

Interactive molecular biology resource wins Science magazine prize
As one of the creators of that online educational system, known as Case It!, Bergland, and colleagues Karen Klyczek, Chi-Cheng Lin, Mary Lundeberg, Rafael Tosado-Acevedo, Arlin Toro, Dinitra White and Bjorn Wolter, are the winners of the Science Prize for Inquiry-Based Instruction (IBI).

Study pinpoints a genetic cause of most lethal brain tumor -- may lead to new treatment
Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center have discovered that some cases of glioblastoma, the most common and aggressive form of primary brain cancer, are caused by the fusion of two adjacent genes.

Robotic surgery outcomes data presented at head and neck cancer annual meeting
Predictors of disease severity in human papillomavirus-derived head and neck cancer, tobacco use, and the dramatic benefits of robotic surgery in people with head and neck cancer are among landmark research presented by Mount Sinai School of Medicine at the Eighth International Conference on Head and Neck Cancer.

Decoding the secrets of balance
Scientists had previously believed that the brain decoded this information linearly and therefore actually attempted to reconstruct the time course of velocity and acceleration stimuli.

Speed and power of X-ray laser helps unlock molecular mysteries
By outrunning a laser's path of destruction, an international research team has created 3D images of fragile but biologically important molecules inside protein nanocrystals.

World's smallest semiconductor laser created by University of Texas scientists
Physicists at the University of Texas at Austin, in collaboration with colleagues in Taiwan and China, have developed the world's smallest semiconductor laser, a breakthrough for emerging photonic technology with applications from computing to medicine.

Switching the state of matter
Developed at RIKEN, the device uses the electrostatic accumulation of electrical charge on the surface of a strongly-correlated material to trigger bulk switching of electronic state.

NIH team describes protective role of skin microbiota
A research team at the National Institutes of Health has found that bacteria that normally live in the skin may help protect the body from infection.

Space research institute awards funding to promising medical products
Two small US companies have received awards to enhance products that can address unmet health and performance needs in space and on Earth.

Researchers discover biological mechanism for growing massive animal weapons, ornaments
In the animal kingdom, huge weapons such as elk antlers or ornaments like peacock feathers are sexy.

First photo evidence of snub-nosed monkey species in China
Chinese researchers have published the first evidence that a population of the recently discovered snub-nosed monkey, Rhinopithecus strykeri, live in China.

Yoga may help stroke survivors improve balance
Group yoga can help patients' balance improve long after a stroke.

Genomic study of Africa's hunter-gatherers elucidates human variation and ancient interbreeding
In a report to be featured on the cover of the Aug.

The first robot that mimics the water striders' jumping abilities
The first bio-inspired microrobot capable of not just walking on water like the water strider -- but continuously jumping up and down like a real water strider -- now is a reality.

A new genre of diagnostic tests for the era of personalized medicine
A new genre of medical tests -- which determine whether a medicine is right for a patient's genes -- are paving the way for increased use of personalized medicine, according to the cover story in the current edition of Chemical & Engineering News.

VCU medical team recommends preventive antibiotic for COPD sufferers
Patients suffering from the chronic lung condition COPD, which is the third-leading cause of death and disability in the United States, may benefit greatly from a three-times-a-week dose of an antibiotic, according to a study by Virginia Commonwealth University physicians published in today's issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Microbes make 'clean' methane
Microbes that convert electricity into methane gas could become an important source of renewable energy, according to scientists from Stanford and Penn State universities.

NIST measurement advance could speed innovation in solar devices
A novel measurement system assembled by NIST researchers can accurately and quickly measures the energy output of solar power devices.

Hoard of Crusader gold found in ruins
A team of Tel Aviv University archaeologists recently uncovered a hoard of real-life buried treasure -- a trove of gold coins at the 13th century Crusader castle of Arsur between the ancient ports of Jaffa and Caesarea.

Researchers unveil molecular details of how bacteria propagate antibiotic resistance
A research team may have found a new way to prevent

Unprecedented accuracy in locating brain electrical activity with new device
Researchers at Aalto University in Finland have developed the world's first device designed for mapping the human brain that combines whole-head magnetoencephalography (MEG) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology.

ASTRO announces 2012 fellows class
The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) has named its 2012 class of Fellows.

Bone marrow transplant eliminates signs of HIV infection
Two men with longstanding HIV infections no longer have detectable HIV in their blood cells following bone marrow transplants.

The fin whale, under more threat in the Mediterranean than thought
Until now it was thought that fin whales in the Strait of Gibraltar and the Alboran Sea made up part of the distribution of this species of whale in the Mediterranean.

Molecule found that inhibits recovery from stroke
Researchers at UCLA have identified a novel molecule in the brain that, after stroke, blocks the formation of new connections between neurons.

New HPTN 052 study results reveal additional benefits of early HIV treatment
Study results released by the HIV Prevention Trials Network show additional benefits of of early antiretroviral therapy in HIV clinical outcomes.

New study associates excess maternal iodine supplementation with congenital hypothyroidism
Congenital hypothyroidism is thyroid hormone deficiency at birth that, if left untreated, can lead to neurocognitive impairments in infants and children.

Wolters Kluwer Health and the Transplantation Society announce a partnership
Wolters Kluwer Health and the Transplantation Society are pleased to announce a partnership affiliation to advance content and access to Transplantation journal, the official journal of the Transplantation Society, for society members and subscribers.

Environmental groups should pool efforts to reach the public
A lot of time, effort, and money are spent by agencies, municipalities, and other non-governmental organizations to inform and educate the public about environmental concerns.

University of Leeds and Chinese Academy of Sciences join forces
The University of Leeds and the Chinese Academy of Sciences have teamed up to create a joint research institute to develop next generation energy storage systems.

Early HIV treatment may improve socioeconomic conditions in rural sub-saharan Africa
Adults with HIV in rural sub-Saharan Africa who receive antiretroviral drugs early in their infection may reap benefits in their ability to work and their children's ability to stay in school, according to a first-of-its-kind clinical study in Uganda that compared socioeconomic outcomes with CD4+ counts -- a standard measure of health status for people with HIV.

Methane measurements at low level flight
First time measurements of large-scale methane emissions have been taken from the extensive Arctic permafrost landscapes.

The modeling of new enzymes helps develop therapies for cocaine abuse
Researchers from the University of Kentucky have designed and discovered a series of highly efficient enzymes that effectively metabolize cocaine.

Should high-dose interleukin-2 continue to be the treatment of choice for metastatic melanoma?
Administering high-doses of interleukin-2 has been the preferred treatment for patients with stage IV metastatic melanoma.

PETA files complaint with European ombudsman over animal testing for REACH
The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Foundation UK submitted a complaint to the European ombudsman today alleging that the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) is failing to fulfil its mandated responsibilities by not properly investigating cases in which animal testing could be avoided under the rules of REACH.

Ken Bierly of the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board to receive ESA Regional Policy Award
The Ecological Society of America (ESA) will present its fifth annual Regional Policy Award to Ken Bierly of the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board during the Society's upcoming conference in Portland, Oregon.

Researchers dig through the gene bank to uncover the roots of the evolutionary tree
A team of researchers, led by a professor at the State University of New York at Buffalo and including area high school students, has developed a novel method to search the vast archives of known gene sequences to identify and compare similar proteins across the many kingdoms of life.

Climate change could open trade opportunities for some vulnerable nations
Unlike many developing nations, Tanzania has the potential to benefit from climate change, according to researchers from Stanford University, the World Bank, and Purdue University.

1 act of remembering can influence future acts, NYU researchers find
Can the simple act of recognizing a face as you walk down the street change the way we think?

New stroke treatments becoming a reality
Scientists led by the president of the University of Manchester have demonstrated a drug which can dramatically limit the amount of brain damage in stroke patients.

ASBMR task force urges use of fracture liaision services to reduce costly osteoporosis bone breaks
An international expert task force is calling on health-care providers to aggressively identify and provide care for the millions of people who have suffered their first osteoporosis-related fracture, in order to prevent subsequent fractures.

Big horns trump smooth pickup lines every time
Elk and rhinoceros beetles aren't diabetic, but to grow big horns and attract mates it appears that the males are insulin-dependent.

A further step towards preventing diabetes
Having identified the important role in controlling insulin secretion played by the protein Cx36, a team of scientists at the University of Geneva have perfected an innovative method which enables testing the effectiveness of thousands of molecules potentially usable in the fight against diabetes.

'Basarab' surname may not indicate direct relation to Vlad the Impaler
A study by the Genographic Project has shown that not all individuals carrying the Romanian

Writing in cursive with your eyes only
A new technology described in the paper published online on July 26 in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication, might allow people who have almost completely lost the ability to move their arms or legs to communicate freely, by using their eyes to write in cursive.

A pulsar with a tremendous hiccup
Max Planck scientists discover a young and energetic neutron star with unusually irregular rotation.

Chasing science as a service
Staff at TACC created the AGAVE Advanced Programming Interface (API) to make scientific computing on the web more functional and intuitive.

BUSM study identifies receptor's role in regulating obesity, type 2 diabetes
A recent study led by Boston University School of Medicine demonstrates that the A2b-type adenosine receptor, A2bAR, plays a significant role in the regulation of high fat, high cholesterol diet-induced symptoms of type 2 diabetes.

MU receives $13.3 million grant to provide better health care at a lower cost
An innovative way to deliver better patient care at a lower cost will be developed at the University of Missouri with support from a $13.3 million grant.

IU biologist receives Department of Energy's top young faculty award
An Indiana University biologist investigating how microbes might interact to better produce biofuels from renewable resources has received a $750,000 US Department of Energy Early Career Research Program award, the agency's most prestigious award for early-career, tenure-track teachers and scholars.

Telephone therapy technique brings more Iraq and Afghanistan veterans into mental health treatment
A brief therapeutic intervention called motivational interviewing, administered over the telephone, was significantly more effective than a simple

Deadly E. coli strain decoded
The secret to the deadly 2011 E. coli outbreak in Germany has been decoded, thanks to research conducted at Michigan State University.

Standard radiation therapy dose provides pain relief for painful heel spurs
Patients with plantar fasciitis (painful bone heel spur) experience significantly less pain and improved quality of life following a standard dose of external beam radiation therapy, a common cancer treatment similar to receiving an X-ray, according to a randomized, cooperative group study that was published online July 25, 2012, in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics, the official scientific journal of the American Society for Radiation Oncology.

Study associates excess maternal iodine supplementation with congenital hypothyroidism in newborns
Congenital hypothyroidism is thyroid hormone deficiency at birth that, if left untreated, can lead to neurocognitive impairments in infants and children.
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