Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 06, 2012
Tale of 2 scientific fields -- ecology and phylogenetics -- offers new views of Earth's biodiversity
Scientists are taking a new look at Earth patterns, studying the biodiversity of yard plants in the US and that of desert mammals in Israel, studying where flowers and bees live on the Tibetan plateau and how willow trees in America's Midwest make use of water.

NASA's Aqua satellite shows strongest side of Tropical Storm 13W
When NASA's Aqua satellite captured an infrared view of the northwestern Pacific's latest tropical storm, Tropical Storm 13W, the data revealed the bulk of the heavy rainfall on the northern side of the center.

MU program receives national award for improving access to health care
national award for its comprehensiveness, partnerships and responsiveness to community needs.

Research links extreme summer heat events to global warming
A new statistical analysis by NASA scientists has found that Earth's land areas have become much more likely to experience an extreme summer heat wave than they were in the middle of the 20th century.

Brain signal IDs responders to fast-acting antidepressant
Scientists have discovered a biological marker that may help to identify which depressed patients will respond to an experimental, rapid-acting antidepressant.

The scientific side of steroid use and abuse
Leslie Henderson investigates the cellular basis for behavioral changes seen with the abuse of anabolic androgenic steroids.

Study finds correlation between injection wells and small earthquakes
Most earthquakes in the Barnett Shale region of north Texas occur within a few miles of one or more injection wells used to dispose of wastes associated with petroleum production such as hydraulic fracturing fluids, according to new research from The University of Texas at Austin.

Empa X-ray expert 'decodes' diesel soot
Since June 2012, it is official: The World Health Organisation has classified diesel soot as a lung carcinogen.

Study examines racial/ethnic disparities in cranial CT among children
The odds of undergoing cranial computed tomography (CT) among children with minor blunt head trauma who were at higher risk for clinically important traumatic brain injury did not appear to differ by race/ethnicity in a secondary analysis of a study of injured children

Racial differences in diabetes diagnostic thresholds
Health-care providers should take into account differences among racial groups when using hemoglobin A1C levels to diagnose and monitor diabetes, new research from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center suggests.

NASA sees Typhoon Haikui approaching China in visible and infrared light
Two NASA satellites have captured data on the activity of Typhoon Haikui as it nears the China coast.

Leaky water pipes problem solved by Sheffield engineers
A leak detection system that can identify damaged water pipes swiftly and accurately has been developed by engineers at the University of Sheffield.

Scientists define new limits of microbial life in undersea volcanoes
By some estimates, a third of Earth's organisms live in our planet's rocks and sediments, yet their lives are almost a complete mystery.

New approaches needed for uncovering, identifying, and treating buried chemical warfare material
The current approach for identifying and destroying buried chemical munitions and related chemical warfare materials uncovered during environmental remediation projects is neither reliable enough nor has the capability to efficiently tackle large-scale projects, says a new report from the National Research Council.

Rutgers-Camden genetics researcher receives NSF CAREER Award
A Rutgers-Camden genetics researcher has earned an NSF CAREER Award.

'Green biased' yellow fever swept through Irish Immigrants in 19th century US
New research by University of Warwick historian Dr. Tim Lockley has found why yellow fever had a green bias in 19th century fever outbreaks in the southern states of the US.

Researchers peek at the early evolution of sex chromosomes
Two new studies offer insight into sex chromosome evolution by focusing on papaya, a multimillion dollar crop plant with a sexual problem (as far as growers are concerned) and a complicated past.

Generic language helps fuel stereotypes, NYU, Princeton researchers find
Hearing generic language to describe a category of people, such as

UNC team describes novel inflammatory protein function
A UNC-led team of scientists describes the function of a previously un-characterized protein that dramatically influences inflammation.

A new line of defense: Researchers find cattle vaccine works to reduce E. coli O157:H7
A commercial vaccine for cattle can effectively reduce levels of E. coli O157:H7 by more than 50 percent, a Kansas State University study has found.

Risk of stroke from cardiac catheterizations
When a patient undergoes a cardiac catheterization procedure such as a balloon angioplasty, there's a slight risk of a stroke or other neurological complication.

UC San Diego team aims to broaden researcher access to protein simulation
Using just an upgraded desktop computer equipped with a relatively inexpensive graphics processing card, a team of computer scientists and biochemists at the University of California, San Diego, has developed advanced GPU accelerated software and demonstrated for the first time that this approach can sample biological events that occur on the millisecond timescale.

Behavioral intervention can reduce tics in adults with Tourette syndrome
Specially designed comprehensive behavioral therapy is more effective than sessions offering patient support and education in helping adults with Tourette syndrome manage their tics according to a study in the August issue of Archives of General Psychiatry.

ER overcrowding hurts minorities in California
Hospitals in areas with large minority populations are more likely to be overcrowded and to divert ambulances, delaying timely emergency care, according to a multi-institutional study focused on California.

JCI early table of contents for Aug. 6, 2012
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, Aug.

A KAIST research team has developed a high performance flexible solid state battery
The team of Professor Keon Jae Lee from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, KAIST has developed a high performance flexible all-solid-state battery, an essential energy source for flexible displays.

Researchers find evidence of ritual use of 'black drink' at Cahokia
People living 700 to 900 years ago in Cahokia, a massive settlement near the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, ritually used a caffeinated brew made from the leaves of a holly tree that grew hundreds of miles away, researchers report.

Preschool children who can pay attention more likely to finish college
Young children who are able to pay attention and persist on a task have a 50 percent greater chance of completing college, according to a new study at Oregon State University.

Moffitt Cancer Center researcher and colleagues test new drug for patients with neuroendocrine tumors
A researcher at Moffitt Cancer Center and his international team of colleagues have reported study results on a novel multireceptor-targeted somatostatin analogue called pasireotide manufactured by Novartis Pharma AG.

More education, socioeconomic benefits equals longer life
Despite advances in health care and increases in life expectancy overall, Americans with less than a high school education have life expectancies similar to adults in the 1950s and 1960s.

Gladstone scientists discover that epilepsy drug reverses memory loss in animal model of AD
Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes have discovered that an FDA-approved anti-epileptic drug reverses memory loss and alleviates other Alzheimer's-related impairments in an animal model of the disease.

New bird species discovered in 'cloud forest' of Peru
A colorful, fruit-eating bird with a black mask, pale belly and scarlet breast -- never before described by science -- has been discovered and named by Cornell University graduates following an expedition to the remote Peruvian Andes.

Study examines effects of growth hormone-releasing hormone on cognitive function
Treatment with growth hormone-releasing hormone appears to be associated with favorable cognitive effects among both adults with mild cognitive impairment and healthy older adults

ONR system selected to help DoD track human subjects studies
A web-based application developed by the Office of Naval Research will form the basis of the nation's first Defense Department-wide system to track and manage human subject studies funded by the federal government, officials announced Aug.

First Indian-European research networking projects in the social sciences launched
First set of projects for networking and social science research cooperation between researchers in India and four European countries is approved.

The genetic cause of a severe skeletal disease in Brazilian Terrier puppies revealed
Researchers at the University of Helsinki, Finland, have discovered the cause of a life-threatening skeletal disorder affecting Brazilian Terriers.

MSU to lead new global food security effort
Michigan State University will use a $7.3 million federal grant to cultivate the next generation of agricultural scientists in Africa and Asia, in hopes of improving food security and nutrition there.

Microbes, sponges, and worms add to coral reef woes
Microbes, sponges, and worms -- the side effects of pollution and heavy fishing -- are adding insult to injury in Kenya's imperiled reef systems, according to a recent study by the Wildlife Conservation Society and the University of Azores.

Northwestern researchers investigate treatment for tumor cells in spinal fluid
In two to five percent of women with breast cancer, tumor cells migrate into the spinal fluid invading the tissue surrounding the brain and spinal cord.

Virtual nanoscopy: Like 'Google Earth' for cell biologists
Just as users of Google Earth can zoom in from space to a view of their own backyard, researchers can now navigate biological tissues from a whole embryo down to its subcellular structures thanks to recent advances in electron microscopy and image processing, as described in the Journal of Cell Biology.

Increased productivity, not less energy use, results from more efficient lighting
More light, rather than lower costs, should be the result of increased efficiencies of LED lighting.

Meeting in Jordan to educate medical professionals on latest advances in osteoporosis
The second Middle East & Africa Osteoporosis Meeting & PAOC'6 will be the key bone event in the Middle East & Africa region.

Holy bat detector! Ecologists develop first Europe-wide bat ID tool
Just as differences in song can be used to distinguish one bird species from another, the pips and squeaks bats use to find prey can be used to identify different species of bat.

New research studies policy divergence, voter polarization in elections
Estimating the distribution of voter preferences and the extent of policy divergence between the candidates' platforms, economics professors Stefan Krasa and Mattias Polborn are able to separate observed changes in voter behavior into those driven by voter radicalization versus those due to increased policy differences between the two parties.

Critically ill uninsured Americans still at risk of being turned away from hospitals despite law
Despite a 25-year-old law that bans

New Hampshire leads nation in percent tree cover
Tree cover in the nation's Lower 48 states covers 659 million acres, more than one-third of the nation, according to a US Forest Service study of national tree cover and impervious surfaces.

Press freedom leads to happiness, environmental quality, MU study finds
Researchers at the University of Missouri have found that citizens of countries with press freedom tend to be much happier than citizens of countries without free presses.

Long-term use of blood pressure meds promoting sun sensitivity may raise lip cancer risk
Long-term use of commonly used blood pressure medications that increase sensitivity to sunlight is associated with an increased risk of lip cancer in non-Hispanic whites, according to a Kaiser Permanente study that appears in the current online issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.

Weight training associated with lower risk of type 2 diabetes in study of men
Weight training was linked with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes in a study of male health professionals, and those men who engaged in weight training and aerobic exercise for at least 150 minutes a week had the greatest reduction in risk

Taking a hit or 2
Cancer only arises if two or more genes are mutated.

Identifying a new target for ALS treatment
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive disease wherein the cells of the central nervous system involved in movement and coordination are destroyed.

Seafood, wild or farmed? The answer may be both
Most people think of seafood as either wild or farmed, but in fact both categories may apply to the fish you pick up from your grocery store.

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for Aug. 7, 2012 issue
Below is information about articles being published in the Aug.

Pupil dilation reveals sexual orientation in new Cornell study
For the first time, researchers at Cornell University used a specialized infrared lens to measure pupillary changes to participants watching erotic videos.

Off-label drug use common, but patients may not know they're taking them, Mayo finds
Many people have probably heard of off-label drug use, but they may not know when that applies to prescriptions they are taking, a Mayo Clinic analysis found.

Forensic tools for catching poachers
The trade in ivory was largely outlawed in 1989, but poaching continues and remains a serious threat to the African elephant.

Quantum physics: New insights into the remote control of quantum systems
An international collaboration led by physicists of the University of Vienna shines new light on the question of the resources required for achieving quantum information processing.

Despite financial challenges, safety-net hospitals provide high quality care
A Yale study of the care quality received at safety-net hospitals -- which provide care for the majority of uninsured and other vulnerable populations -- found that quality at these facilities is similar to non-safety-net hospitals.

Researchers gain information advantage from surprising quantum source
New research lends hope that a phenomenon called quantum discord could bring quantum technologies within easier reach.

US-born Latinas at great risk of having babies with retinoblastoma
In a large epidemiologic study, researchers at UCLA's Jonsson Cancer Center found that the children of US-born Latina women are at higher risk of having retinoblastoma, a malignant tumor of the retina which typically occurs in children under six.

USC computer science professor to release comprehensive 3-D deformable object library for free
On Monday, Aug. 6, USC professor Jernej Barbic will release the world's most comprehensive library of 3-D deformable modeling software for free open source download.

Poorest Americans at risk if states opt out of Medicaid expansion
Health coverage for the poorest Americans could be in jeopardy in many states as a result of the US Supreme Court's ruling last month on the Affordable Care Act, according to a new legal analysis.

NASA watches Tropical Storm Florence develop and weaken
The sixth tropical storm of the Atlantic Ocean hurricane season formed over the past weekend, and NASA kept an on its progression.

Too many Facebook friends bad news for charities
New research suggests the more friends we have on Facebook, the less likely we are to share information about charitable causes.

New genetic study defines the genetic map of the Jewish Diasporas
A new genetic analysis focusing on Jews from North Africa has provided an overall genetic map of the Jewish Diasporas.

Physical activity associated with lower risk of death in patients with diabetes
Higher levels of physical activity were related to lower risk of death in patients with diabetes, according to a report published Online First by Archives of Internal Medicine, a JAMA Network publication.

Birds do better in 'agroforests' than on farms
Compared with open farmland, wooded

Imagining how light behaves in a 2-D world gives researchers insights for faster 3-D rendering
Though sophisticated three-dimensional imagery is abundant in computer-generated games and movies, a group of researchers from Disney Research, Zurich, University of California, San Diego, Limbic Software, and RWTH Aachen University say they have gained insights to improve the rendering of those images by envisioning a flat, two-dimensional world.

Curiosity ready to rove Mars
Almost nine months after it was launched, Curiosity, NASA's latest rover, landed safely in the Gale Crater of Mars in the wee hours of Aug.

University of Pennsylvania and Novartis form alliance to expand use of personalized T cell cancer therapy
In an alliance aimed at bringing a new, personalized immunotherapy approach to patients with a variety of cancers, the University of Pennsylvania and Novartis announced today an exclusive global research and licensing agreement to further study and commercialize novel cellular immunotherapies using chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) technologies.

New study examines injuries to US workers with disabilities
A new study conducted by researchers at the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital and the Ohio State University compared medically attended nonoccupational and occupational injuries among US workers with and without disabilities.

New method provides fast, accurate, low cost analysis of BRCA gene mutations in breast cancer
Individuals with mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes have a significantly higher risk of developing breast and ovarian cancers.

Extreme plasma theories put to the test
The first controlled studies of extremely hot, dense matter have overthrown the widely accepted 50-year-old model used to explain how ions influence each other's behavior in a dense plasma.

Adalimumab is a promising therapy for children with Crohn's disease
Adalimumab (an anti-tumor necrosis factor antibody) is effective in maintaining remission in certain pediatric patients with Crohn's disease.

Scripps Florida scientists awarded nearly $1.5 million to develop new approaches to treat cancer
Scientists from the Florida campus of the Scripps Research Institute have been awarded approximately $1.5 million from the National Institutes of Health to identify and develop new therapeutic approaches against a broad spectrum of cancers.

Researchers discover blood biomarker for Lou Gehrig's disease, could lead to new treatments
Researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital are the first to discover that changes in monocytes (a type of white blood cell) are a biomarker for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease.

Brain's stem cells 'eavesdrop' to find out when to act
Working with mice, Johns Hopkins researchers say they have figured out how stem cells found in a part of the brain responsible for learning, memory and mood regulation decide to remain dormant or create new brain cells.

Disney Research technique improves rendering of smoke, dust and participating media
Computer graphic artists often struggle to render smoke and dust in a way that makes a scene look realistic, but researchers at Disney Research, Zurich, Karlsruhe Technical Institute in Germany, and the University of Montreal in Canada have developed a new and efficient way to simulate how light is absorbed and scattered in such scenes.

A 'learning health system' moves from idea to action
In the United States, clinicians are struggling to provide better and more affordable health care to more people -- while keeping up with new scientific developments.

Investing in quality of care for diabetic patients reduces costs
University of Minnesota School of Public Health researchers have found that medical group practices can reduce costs for patients with diabetes by investing in improved quality of care.

UK riots 2011: Holding media to account after the riots
Study by University of Leicester sociologist examines media's impact on communities.

Louisiana Tech University receives EDA award to support rural high-growth job creation
Louisiana Tech University has received one of 13 awards for its I-20 Corridor Regional Accelerator proposal as a winner of the Rural Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge - a national competition designed to spur job creation and economic growth in rural communities by identifying and leveraging local assets and strengthening linkages to industry.

Seeing through walls: Laser system reconstructs objects hidden from sight
Researchers combined bouncing photons with advanced optics to enable them to

NYU College of Nursing's Dr. Anastasi awarded $2.5 million from NIH to study IBS symptom management
A $2.5 million NIH grant has been awarded to NYUCN's Dr.

NASA sees a strengthening Tropical Storm Ernesto
Tropical Storm Ernesto continues to track through the Caribbean and satellite data and NOAA hurricane hunter aircraft revealed a strengthening storm mid-day on Monday, Aug.

Lab in the Wild asks: What's your Internet like?
One size fits all? Not on the Web. Users from different countries and cultures actually interact with information in different ways.

Bariatric surgery does not increase risk of broken bones
An international study, led by researchers at the Medical Research Council Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit at the University of Southampton, has found that obese patients who undergo bariatric surgery are not at an increased risk of broken bones in the first few years after the operation.

Infants of overweight mothers grow more slowly
Babies born to overweight mothers gain less weight and grow more slowly than those born to normal-weight mothers, a University of Iowa study has found.

Sun monitor set to go on the market
A monitor developed at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland, to help prevent over-exposure to the sun is set to go on the market as part of a new spinout company.

Vanderbilt researchers find proteins may point way to new prostate cancer drug targets
Two proteins that act in opposing directions -- one that promotes cancer and one that suppresses cancer -- regulate the same set of genes in prostate cancer, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center researchers have found.

Those who are covered, recover
Insurance status is a better predictor of survival after a serious cardiac event than race, and may help explain racial disparities in health outcomes for cardiovascular disease.

Implantable defibrillators lead to decrease in cardiac arrests
Researchers estimate that implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) account for a third of the decrease in cardiac arrests caused by ventricular fibrillation (VF).

Paddlefish's doubled genome may question theories on limb evolution
The American paddlefish -- known for its bizarre, protruding snout and eggs harvested for caviar -- duplicated its entire genome about 42 million years ago, according to a new study published in the journal Genome Biology and Evolution.

Possible muscle disease therapeutic target found
The study of muscular system protein myostatin has been of great interest to researchers as a potential therapeutic target for people with muscular disorders.

Creatine aids women in outmuscling major depression
Women battling stubborn major depression may have a surprising new ally in their fight -- the muscle-building dietary supplement creatine.

OU research group awarded $9.7 million NIH CoBRE grant in structural biology
A University of Oklahoma research team has been awarded a five-year, $9.7 million National Institutes of Health grant to fund research that can lead to a greater understanding of human diseases and conditions associated with aging, osteoporosis, diabetes, bacterial and parasitic infections.

Study examines decision-making brain activity in patients with hoarding disorder
Patients with hoarding disorder exhibited abnormal activity in regions of the brain that was stimulus dependent when deciding what to do with objects that did or did not belong to them.

Fainting: All in the family?
Fainting has a strong genetic predisposition, according to new research published in the August 7, 2012, print issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Intelligent cars warn each other
One of the largest fleet tests in the world was launched today in Germany.

Study: Telling fewer lies linked to better health and relationships
New research from the University of Notre Dame shows that when people managed to reduce their lies in given weeks across a 10-week study, they reported significantly improved physical and mental health in those same weeks.

WSU researcher sees how forests thrive after fires and volcanoes
Forests hammered by windstorms, avalanches and wildfires may appear blighted, but a Washington State University researcher says such disturbances can be key to maximizing an area's biological diversity.

Mothers, children underestimate obesity in China
Childhood obesity is on the rise in China, and children and parents there tend to underestimate body weight, according to Penn State health policy researchers.

White children more likely to receive CT scans than Hispanic or African-American children
White children are more likely to receive cranial CT scans in an emergency department following minor head trauma, compared with African-American or Hispanic children, a study published by researchers at UC Davis has found.

Vaginal delivery as safe as cesarean for most early preterm births
Vaginal delivery for early preterm fetuses presenting head first, or vertex presentation, had a high rate of success with no difference in neonatal mortality compared to cesarean delivery, a new study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology reports.

Airborne technology helps manage elephants
For years, scientists have debated how big a role elephants play in toppling trees in South African savannas.

Researchers unlock secret of the rare 'twinned rainbow'
Scientists have yet to fully unravel the mysteries of rainbows, but a group of researchers from Disney Research, Zurich, UC San Diego, Universidad de Zaragoza, and Horley, UK, have used simulations of these natural wonders to unlock the secret to a rare optical phenomenon known as the twinned rainbow.

Research represents major breakthrough in macular degeneration
University of Kentucky researchers, led by Dr. Jayakrishna Ambati, have made an exciting finding in the

Weight training associated with reduced risk of type 2 diabetes
Men who do weight training regularly -- for example, for 30 minutes per day, five days per week -- may be able to reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes by up to 34 percent, according to a new study by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and University of Southern Denmark researchers.

Researchers pursue red flag for schizophrenia relapse
Blood levels of a protein that helps regulate inflammation may also serve as a red flag for relapse in some schizophrenia patients, researchers said.

Anti-angina drug shows protective effects from carbon monoxide
An international research team, led from the University of Leeds, has found that a common anti-angina drug could help protect the heart against carbon monoxide poisoning. 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