Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 02, 2012
Alzheimer's cognitive decline slows in advanced age
The greatest risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD) is advancing age.

Research shows how protein component that enables cell replication gets ferried to chromosome tips
Stem cells are special. Nestled in muscle and skin, organ and bone, they bide their time over years or decades until called to replace damaged or lost tissue.

Scripps Florida scientists identify a critical tumor suppressor for cancer
Scientists from the Florida campus of the Scripps Research Institute have identified a protein that impairs the development and maintenance of lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes), but is repressed during the initial stages of the disease, allowing for rapid tumor growth.

It's in our genes: Why women outlive men
Scientists are beginning to understand one of life's enduring mysteries - why women live, on average, longer than men.

NSF research alliances begin new efforts to accelerate innovation
The National Science Foundation recently awarded nearly six million dollars for eight emerging-technology projects that may result in technologies poised for commercialization.

Mending a broken heart -- with a molecule that turns stem cells into heart cells
Scientists have long been looking for a source of heart cells to study cardiac function or perhaps even to replace damaged tissue in heart disease patients.

Google it?: Internet searches often provide inaccurate information about infant sleep safety
In 2010, 59 percent of the US population used internet searches for health information, and parents searching for information regarding their children were among the top users.

New drug shows promise for kidney disease
Scientists at UC Santa Barbara have demonstrated in the laboratory that a new drug is effective in treating a very common kidney disease -- although it will be a few years before it becomes available for clinical testing.

PETA grant helps Egypt replace animal labs with modern simulators
Egypt has completely ended the use of animals in its leading trauma training program, following a donation of state-of-the-art human-patient simulators from PETA.

New bat virus could hold key to Hendra virus
Australian scientists have discovered a new virus in bats that could help shed light on how Hendra and Nipah viruses cause disease and death in animals and humans.

Are large earthquakes linked across the globe?
The past decade has been plagued with what seems to be a cluster of large earthquakes, with massive quakes striking Sumatra, Chile, Haiti and Japan since 2004.

Multiple husbands serve as child support and life insurance in some cultures says MU researcher
Marrying multiple husbands at the same time, or polyandry, creates a safety net for women in some cultures, according to a recent study by an MU researcher.

Genetic copy-number variants and cancer risk
Genetics clearly plays a role in cancer development and progression, but the reason that a certain mutation leads to one cancer and not another is less clear.

Neutron scattering explains how myoglobin can perform without water
Proteins do not need to be surrounded by water to carry out their vital biological functions, according to scientists from the Institut de Biologie Structurale in Grenoble, the University of Bristol, the Australian National University, the Institut Laue Langevin and the Jülich Centre for Neutron Science.

Mechanisms for a beneficial effect of moderate alcohol consumption on osteoporosis in women
Women after menopause tend to develop weaker bones from what is known as osteoporosis, which may lead to fractures (especially hip fractures) from falling.

'Unhealthy' changes in gut microbes benefit pregnant women
The composition of microbes in the gut changes dramatically during pregnancy, according to a study published by Cell Press in the August 3rd issue of the journal Cell.

No bones about it
Computer-generated characters have become so lifelike in appearance and movement that the line separating reality is almost imperceptible at times.

HCOs find risks & opportunities in quest for reduced costs & improved quality
Many health care systems have declined participation in the CMMS ACO program, developed under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, to improve efficiency and quality of health care delivery.

DiGeorge Medal honors genetics expert for longstanding work on chromosome deletion syndrome
Donna McDonald-McGinn, M.S., CGC, associate director of Clinical Genetics and program director of the

Anti-aging elixir for solar cells
Photovoltaic modules deliver power without risks to the environment and climate.

AAAS Arctic Division to join Northern Nations at International Congress on circumpolar health
The AAAS Arctic Division will hold its 2012 annual meeting jointly with the 15th triennial International Congress on Circumpolar Health, where representatives of nine Arctic nations and other interested participants will gather to discussion the science and policy related to a broad range of health issues that affect people who live in the Far North.

Biologists to meet with members of Congress
The American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) is pleased to announce the start of the 4th Annual Biological Sciences Congressional District Visits event.

CINEMA among 11 tiny modular CubeSats to be launched Aug. 3
CINEMA, a tiny nanosatellite designed and built by students at UC Berkeley and universities in Korea and Puerto Rico, is scheduled for launch on Aug.

Google it?: Internet searches often provide inaccurate information about infant sleep safety
In 2010, 59 percent of the US population used Internet searches for health information, and parents searching for information regarding their children were among the top users.

Close to the bone
Researchers have uncovered nine new genes associated with bone health.

NASA satellites see Tropical Storm Saola and Typhoon Damrey arm-in-arm near China
Tropical Storm Saola and Typhoon Damrey appear on NASA satellite imagery to be arm-in-arm as they enter China on Aug.

Within reach: Drexel engineers to add arms and hands to unmanned aerial vehicles
Unmanned aerial vehicles, such as those used by the military for surveillance and reconnaissance, could be getting a hand -and an arm- from engineers at Drexel University as part of a National Science Foundation grant to investigate adding dexterous limbs to the aircrafts.

Detecting thyroid disease by computer
Researchers in India have developed an improved expert system for the diagnosis of thyroid disease.

Plant-based compound slows breast cancer in a mouse model
The natural plant compound phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC) hinders the development of mammary tumors in a mouse model with similarities to human breast cancer progression, according to a study published Aug.

Note to waitresses: Wearing red can be profitable
In many restaurants throughout the world, wait staff's income depends largely on the tips received from customers.

Health care organizations quest for reduced costs and improved quality
Many health care systems across the US have declined to participate in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' Accountable Care Organization program, developed under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, to improve efficiency and quality of health care delivery.

Quark Matter 2012: Latest findings on primordial 'soup' and nature's strongest force
Physicists from the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), the only operating collider in the U.S., located at the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory, and the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), located at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), will present the latest results from their explorations of the primordial quark-gluon plasma that permeated the early universe at the Quark Matter 2012 conference in Washington, DC.

Mapping the future of climate change in Africa
The African continent is especially vulnerable to the impact of climate change because it relies on rain-fed agriculture and many of its countries have a low adaptive capacity.

Studying couples to improve health, better relationships
It is not always best to forgive and forget in marriage, according to new research.

SU2C, Dutch Cancer Society announce new International Translational Cancer Research Grant recipients
Stand Up To Cancer and the Dutch Cancer Society, along with the American Association for Cancer Research, SU2C's Scientific Partner, announce the recipients of the Sta Op Tegen Kanker International Translational Cancer Research Grant.

'Spray-on skin' could revolutionize treatment of venous leg ulcers
Scientists have developed a revolutionary new 'spray-on skin' treatment for venous leg ulcers which could vastly improve the recovery time for people suffering from this painful and debilitating condition, according to an article published Online First in the Lancet.

Deep-sea squid can 'jettison arms' as defensive tactic
A researcher at the University of Rhode Island has observed a never-before-seen defensive strategy used by a small species of deep-sea squid in which the animal counter-attacks a predator and then leaves the tips of its arms attached to the predator as a distraction.

Stanford expert brings climate change science to heated Capitol Hill
Now's the time to prepare for the heat waves, heavy rains and droughts that climate change will bring, Stanford's Chris Field, a noted climate researcher, told a US Senate hearing on climate change Wednesday.

Research could lead to improved oil recovery, better environmental cleanup
Researchers have taken a new look at an old, but seldom-used technique developed by the petroleum industry to recover oil, and learned more about why it works, how it could be improved, and how it might be able to make a comeback not only in oil recovery but also environmental cleanup.

Heat-shock factor reveals its unique role in supporting highly malignant cancers
Whitehead Institute researchers have found that an ancient, highly conserved cell survival factor drives expression of a specific set of genes that is strongly associated with metastasis and death in patients with breast, colon, and lung cancers.

Invasive insects cause staggering impact on native tree
Tiny insect may be the demise of an important forest tree in Guam.

Study finds mechanism that turns white fat into energy-burning brown fat
Columbia University Medical Center researchers have identified a mechanism that can give energy-storing white fat some of the beneficial characteristics of energy-burning brown fat.

Bears, scavengers count on all-you-can-eat salmon buffet lasting for months
Watersheds need a mix of steep, cold-running streams and meandering streams of warmer water to keep options open for salmon.

Notre Dame research into oaks helps us understand climate change
Jeanne Romero-Severson, associate professor of biological sciences at the University of Notre Dame, and her collaborators, are tracking the evolution of the live oaks of eastern North America, seeking to understand how the trees adapted to climate change during glacial periods.

Autism Speaks and SAGE® Labs develop rat models for translational autism research
Autism Speaks and Sigma Advanced Genetic Engineering Labs are expanding their collaboration to develop the first rat models with modified autism associated genes, intended to accelerate discovery and translational autism research following initial behavioral studies demonstrating that the first two publicly available gene knockout rats exhibit hallmark characteristics of autism, such as social deficits and repetitive behaviors, not seen in other animal models currently used for autism research.

Catching the cap-snatcher
Researchers at EMBL Grenoble have determined the detailed three-dimensional structure of part of the flu virus' RNA polymerase, an enzyme that is crucial for influenza virus replication.

Boston University researchers expand synthetic biology's toolkit
A new method for creating genetic components dramatically expands synthetic biologists' toolkit beyond off-the-shelf bacterial components, greatly expanding the size and complexity of genetic circuits they can build.

Killer infections targeted by hospital study
A major international study led by University of Adelaide researchers aims to prevent death and serious illness caused by one of the most common infections contracted by patients in hospitals.

Smart wireless power outlets
Many homeowners dream of being able to wash a load of laundry when the photovoltaic panels on the roof are delivering a maximum of electricity, even when they are not at home.

Mountains, seaway triggered North American dinosaur surge
The rise of the Rocky Mountains and the appearance of a major seaway that divided North America may have boosted the evolution of new dinosaur species, according to a new Ohio University-led study.

New chemical sensor makes finding landmines and buried IEDs easier
A chemical sensing system developed by engineers at the University of Connecticut is believed to be the first of its kind capable of detecting vapors from buried landmines and other explosive devices with the naked eye rather than advanced scientific instrumentation.

Fingering the culprit that polluted the Solar System
For decades it has been thought that a shock wave from a supernova explosion triggered the formation of our Solar System.

Planarians offer a better view of eye development
Whitehead Institute researchers have created a complete catalog of genes active in the planarian eye.

Homing in on a potential pre-quake signal
In a new analysis of the 2004 magnitude 6.0 Parkfield earthquake in California, David Schaff suggests some limits on how changes measured by ambient seismic noise could be used as a pre-earthquake signal.

New target for treating diabetes and obesity
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified a potential target for treating diabetes and obesity.

What sets allergies in motion?
Professor Ronit Sagi-Eisenberg of Tel Aviv University has identified a group of proteins that determine how cells react to allergens, and two of them may hold the key to future preventative medications.

Implementing a therapeutic hypothermia program for post-cardiac arrest in acute care hospitals
The results of a survey of all 73 acute care hospitals in New Jersey evaluating the adoption and implementation of therapeutic hypothermia from 2004-2011 are published in Therapeutic Hypothermia and Temperature Management.

Disorders of consciousness: How should clinicians respond to new therapeutic interventions?
New tools have confirmed high rates of misdiagnosis of patients with chronic disorders of consciousness, such as the vegetative state.

Embryonic blood vessels that make blood stem cells can also make beating heart muscles
UCLA stem cell researchers have found for the first time a surprising and unexpected plasticity in the embryonic endothelium, the place where blood stem cells are made in early development.

British Academy honor for Nottingham scholar
A Nottingham academic has been honored by the British Academy for her research into the literary landscape of Britain.

Timing of antibiotics important in reducing infections after C-section
Giving antibiotics before cesarean section surgery rather than just after the newborn's umbilical cord is clamped cuts the infection rate at the surgical site in half, according to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Infants exposed to specific molds have higher asthma risk
In the United States, one in ten children suffers from asthma but the potential environmental factors contributing to the disease are not well known.

UT MD Anderson study finds link between depressive symptoms and cancer survival
Research from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center has found that symptoms of depression in patients with newly diagnosed metastatic kidney cancer are associated with survival and inflammatory gene regulation may explain this link.

Breast cancer charity under fire for overstating the benefits of screening
The world's largest breast cancer charity comes under fire from experts today for using misleading statistics to persuade women to undergo mammography.

5-year survey confirms Uruguay's world-leading tobacco control strategy is delivering results
The International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project today launched a new report on the effectiveness of tobacco control policies in Uruguay.

Dangerous experiment in fetal engineering
A new paper just published in the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry uses extensive Freedom of Information Act findings to detail a risky and extremely troubling off-label medical intervention employed in the US on pregnant women to intentionally engineer the development of their fetuses for sex normalization purposes.

Study shows how elephants produce their deep 'voices'
A new study in Science shows that elephants rely on the same mechanism that produces speech in humans (and the vocalizations of many other mammals) to hit the extremely low notes they use to communicate.

Extinction risk factors for New Zealand birds today differ from those of the past
What makes some species more prone to extinction? A new study of nearly 300 species of New Zealand birds -- from pre-human times to the present -- reveals that the keys to survival today differ from those of the past.

Usain Bolt could break his own record with the help of altitude and the wind
Imagine the following situation. The 100 meters finals in the London Olympic Games.

Modest weight loss can have lasting health benefits, research shows
Modest weight loss can have lasting health benefits.

Target for potent first-strike influenza drugs identified
Scientists at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital have reported details of how certain drugs can precisely target and inhibit an enzyme essential for the influenza virus' replication.

Judging the role of religion in law
There's a passage in the Old Testament's Deuteronomy that says if a case too difficult to decide comes before the courts, it should be brought to the Levite priests who will render a verdict in God's name.

Researcher's fish-eye view could offer insights for human vision
A research team uncovered an enzyme's role in the regulation of eye size in zebrafish.

Aerial photos reveal dynamic ice sheet
Despite the current and rapid melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet, it remains uncertain just when we will have reached a point when scientists will be able to predict its disappearance.

Vaporizing the Earth
A team of scientists at Washington University in St. Louis have vaporized the Earth -- if only by simulation, that is mathematically and inside a computer.

Researchers find genetic cause for body tremors
Researchers at the University of Montreal and its affiliated CHU Sainte-Justine and CHUM hospitals have linked some cases of Essential Tremor (ET) to a specific genetic problem.

Bacteria-immune system 'fight' can lead to chronic diseases, study suggests
Results from a study conducted at Georgia State University suggest that a

Early relationships, not brainpower, key to adult happiness
Positive social relationships in childhood and adolescence are key to adult well-being, according to Associate Professor Craig Olsson from Deakin University and the Murdoch Children's Research Institute in Australia, and his colleagues.

New structural information on functionalization of gold nanoparticles
Nanometre-scale gold particles are currently intensively investigated for possible applications as catalysts, sensors, biolabels, drug delivery devices, biological contrast agents and as components in photonics and molecular electronics.

Psychology of possibilities can enhance health, happiness, research says
First-time mothers who pay attention to their emotional and physical changes during their pregnancy may feel better and have healthier newborns than new mothers who don't, according to research to be presented at American Psychological Association's 120th Annual Convention.

Study finds healthy seafood comes from sustainable fish
When ordering seafood, the options are many and so are some of the things you might consider in what you order.

'Cry' of a shredded star heralds a new era for testing relativity
Last year, astronomers discovered a quiescent black hole in a distant galaxy that erupted after shredding and consuming a passing star.

Chronic vulvar pain related to irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia and interstitial cystitis
Increasingly prevalent chronic pain conditions are known to be under-diagnosed - and new data sheds more light on how they may also be related.

Study shows higher healing rate using unique cell-based therapy in chronic venous leg ulcers
A new study finds that treating chronic venous leg ulcers with a topical spray containing a unique living human cell formula provides a 52 percent greater likelihood of wound closure than treatment with compression bandages only.

Cuckoo tricks to beat the neighborhood watch
To minimize the chance of being recognized and thus attacked by the birds they are trying to parasitize, female cuckoos have evolved different guises. 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