Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 20, 2012
UCSB scientists examine effects of manufactured nanoparticles on soybean crops
Sunscreens, lotions, and cosmetics contain tiny metal nanoparticles that wash down the drain at the end of the day, or are discharged after manufacturing.

Electrifying success in raising antioxidant levels in sweet potatoes
Already ranked by some as number one in nutrition among vegetables, the traditional sweet potato can be nutritionally supercharged -- literally -- with a simple, inexpensive electric current treatment that increases its content of healthful polyphenols or antioxidants by 60 percent, scientists said here today.

Cleaner fuel for cruise ships and other big vessels from ingredients in detergents, medicines
Scientists today described development of a new fuel mixture to ease the major air pollution and cost problems facing cruise ships, oil tankers and container ships.

Canada needs national approach to protect against drug shortages
Canada needs a national approach to managing its supply of pharmaceutical drugs, starting with a mandatory reporting system for drug shortages, argues an editorial in CMAJ and CPJ.

WiggleZ confirms the big picture of the Universe
We know that stars group together to form galaxies, galaxies clump to make clusters and clusters gather to create structures known as superclusters.

Heart failure decreasing in Ontario, especially in people over age 85
The number of new cases of heart failure in Ontario decreased 33 percent over a decade, suggesting preventive efforts may be working.

Scientist finds new way to predict heat layer troublemaker
Researchers at a recent worldwide conference on fusion power have confirmed the surprising accuracy of a new model for predicting the size of a key barrier to fusion that a top scientist at the US Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory has developed.

No evidence that drug used for preventing life-threatening bleeding in women during labor works
There is insufficient evidence for the effectiveness of a drug that is being used increasingly to prevent life-threatening bleeding in women after giving birth in community settings in low income countries, according to a review of all the available research by researchers at Queen Mary, University of London, published on Monday in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.

Teaching a microbe to make fuel
A genetically modified organism could turn carbon dioxide or waste products into a gasoline-compatible transportation fuel.

Celebrating the Silver Anniversary of National Chemistry Week
The event that has introduced millions of school children to the wonders of science -- and helped launch careers in science, technology, engineering, medicine and other fields -- is being honored at a special symposium here today.

Anthrax targets
A trawl of the genome of the deadly bacterium Bacillus anthracis has revealed a clutch of targets for new drugs to combat an epidemic of anthrax or a biological weapons attack.

CU-Boulder researchers gear up for NASA radiation belt space mission
The University of Colorado Boulder will receive roughly $18 million for its participation in a NASA mission to study how space weather affects Earth's two giant radiation belts known to be hazardous to satellites, astronauts and electronics systems on Earth.

Toward a portable emergency treatment for stopping life-threatening internal bleeding
Progress toward a new emergency treatment for internal bleeding -- counterpart to the tourniquets, pressure bandages and Quick Clot products that keep people from bleeding to death from external wounds -- was reported here today at the 244th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society.

SIAM's John von Neumann Lecture awarded to John Ball
Sir John Ball of the University of Oxford received the 2012 John von Neumann Lecture in recognition of his deep contributions to our understanding of the mechanics of materials.

Model shows dramatic global decline in ratio of workers to retired people
A new statistical model predicts that by 2100 the number of people older than 85 worldwide will increase more than previously estimated, and there will be fewer working-age adults to support them than previously expected.

Evidence that new biomimetic controlled-release capsules may help in gum disease
Scientists are trying to open a new front in the battle against gum disease, the leading cause of tooth loss in adults and sometimes termed the most serious oral health problem of the 21st century.

New oil spill dispersant made from ingredients in peanut butter, chocolate, ice cream
With concerns about the possible health and environmental effects of oil dispersants in the Deepwater Horizon disaster still fresh in mind, scientists today described a new dispersant made from edible ingredients that both breaks up oil slicks and keeps oil from sticking to the feathers of birds.

Hebrew SeniorLife links delirium and long-term cognitive decline in Alzheimer's patients
Patients with Alzheimer's disease who suffered episodes of delirium while hospitalized had a sharply increased rate of mental decline for up to five years after being hospitalized compared to those who did not have any such episodes, according to a study by researchers at the Institute for Aging Research at Hebrew SeniorLife, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School.

Stanford/Intel study details power of new chip to diagnose disease, analyze protein interactions
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and Intel Corp. have collaborated to synthesize and study a grid-like array of short pieces of a disease-associated protein on silicon chips normally used in computer microprocessors

Houston Clean Air Network offering real-time online ozone report
Houstonians can track ozone levels through the Houston Clean Air Network.

Researchers assess stereotypes of immigrants and views on the impact of immigration
A new study led by the University of Cincinnati examines stereotypes of immigrants from four global regions and measures opinions of the impact of immigration on US society.

Declining rates of US infant male circumcision could add billions to health care costs
A team of disease experts and health economists at Johns Hopkins warns that steadily declining rates of US infant male circumcision could add more than $4.4 billion in avoidable health care costs if rates over the next decade drop to levels now seen in Europe.

How well is depression in women being diagnosed and treated?
Pregnant women have a higher rate of undiagnosed depression than non-pregnant women, according to a study published in Journal of Women's Health.

Neural interface for prosthesis can restore function in motor control brain areas
Amputation disrupts not only the peripheral nervous system but also central structures of the brain.

NASA Radiation Belt Storm Probes to launch, UNH components aboard
At 4:08 am Thursday, August 23, NASA's twin Radiation Belt Storm Probes are scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida on a two-year mission to investigate Earth's hazardous radiation belt environment as never before.

Celebrating the golden anniversary of a remarkable science agency
Today scientists are gathering for a special symposium honoring the 50th anniversary of an agency that has improved the health and well-being of millions of people over the last half-century.

NASA satellites capture 3 days of Hurricane Gordon's Atlantic track
NASA's Terra and Aqua satellite have captured Hurricane Gordon over three days as it neared the Azores Islands in the eastern Atlantic Ocean.

A material to rejuvenate aging and diseased human vocal cords
A new made-in-the-lab material designed to rejuvenate the human voice, restoring the flexibility that vocal cords lose with age and disease, is emerging from a collaboration between scientists and physicians, a scientist heading the development team said here today as he delivered the Kavli Foundation Innovations in Chemistry lecture at the 244th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.

Spirituality correlates to better mental health regardless of religion, say MU researchers
Despite differences in rituals and beliefs among the world's major religions, spirituality often enhances health regardless of a person's faith, according to University of Missouri researchers.

Typhoon Tembin forms fast in Philippines
NASA's Terra satellite captured the newest Typhoon in the western North Pacific Ocean, Tembin, as it moves parallel to Luzon, Philippines.

Savvy tots to grown-ups: 'Don't be such a crybaby'
Children as young as three apparently can tell the difference between whining and when someone has good reason to be upset, and they will respond with sympathy usually only when it is truly deserved, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association.

Nobel prize-winning scientist cites evidence of link between extreme weather, global warming
New scientific analysis strengthens the view that record-breaking summer heat, crop-withering drought and other extreme weather events in recent years do, indeed, result from human activity and global warming, Nobel Laureate Mario J.

Fueling the future with renewable gasoline and diesel
A new process for converting municipal waste, algae, corn stalks and similar material to gasoline, diesel and jet fuel is showing the same promise in larger plants as it did in laboratory-scale devices, the developers reported here today.

COPD Foundation and BWH announces second phase of groundbreaking COPDGene project
The COPD Foundation recently announced that the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute will fund the second phase (2012-2017) of the COPDGene project as R01 grants to National Jewish Health and the Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Study examines risk of heart attack associated with various psoriasis treatments
Use of tumor necrosis factor inhibitors for treatment of psoriasis is associated with a significantly reduced risk for heart attack (myocardial infarction) compared to other forms of treatment.

The Innocence Project: Science helping innocent people proven guilty
A symposium that showcases chemistry's pivotal role in righting some of the highest-profile cases of innocent people proven guilty unfolds today at the 244th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society.

Women could play key role in correcting crisis in clean drinking water and sanitation crisis
People in ancient Rome 2,000 years ago had better access to clean water and sanitation that keeps disease-causing human excrement out of contact with people than many residents of the 21st century, a scientist said here today.

Stroke disrupts how brain controls muscle synergies
A new study from MIT, Harvard Medical School and the San Camillo Hospital in Venice finds that after a stroke, muscle synergies are activated in altered ways.

Couch-potato kids are biggest child health problem in the US, adults say
'Not enough exercise' cited as top children's health concern, obesity second, according to U-M's National Poll on Children's Health annual top 10 list.

Professor Christopher Bielawski to receive Journal of Polymer Science Innovation Award
John Wiley & Sons, Inc., today announced that the inaugural Journal of Polymer Science Innovation Award will be issued today to Professor Christopher Bielawski at the Fall American Chemical Society meeting in Philadelphia, PA.

IU researchers interview pro-anorexic bloggers for groundbreaking new study
A groundbreaking new research study from Indiana University suggests there may be benefits to the controversial activities of

Brain enzyme is double whammy for Alzheimer's disease
β-amyloid -- a toxic protein known to accumulate in the brains of most Alzheimer's disease patients -- is formed by several enzymes, including BACE1.

Nanoparticles added to platelets double internal injury survival rate
Nanoparticles tailored to latch onto blood platelets rapidly create healthy clots and nearly double the survival rate in the vital first hour after injury lab research led by Case Western Reserve University, shows.

Drink made from berry wine may provide tasty drug for diabetes
In evaluating the bioactive compounds of Illinois blueberry and blackberry wines, University of Illinois scientists have found compounds that inhibit enzymes responsible for carbohydrate absorption and assimilation.

Dual action polyclonal antibody may offer more effective, safer protection against osteoporosis
A new study suggests that a polyclonal antibody that blocks follicle-stimulating hormone in mice without ovaries might offer a more effective way to prevent or arrest osteoporosis than currently available treatments.

Marine species at risk unless drastic protection policies put in place
Many marine species will be harmed or won't survive if the levels of carbon dioxide continue to increase.

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for Aug. 21, 2012
This release contains information about articles being published in the Aug.

UBC researcher to help NASA peer deep into the centre of Mars
NASA has approved funding for the Mars InSight lander, a mission that will enable scientists, including UBC geophysicist Catherine Johnson, to gather the first seismic information from any planet other than Earth.

Making sense out of the biological matrix of bipolar disorder
In a new paper, Dr. Inti Pedroso and colleagues utilize an integrative approach to probe the biology of bipolar disorder.

First evidence discovered of planet's destruction by its star
The first evidence of a planet's destruction by its aging star has been discovered by an international team of astronomers.

UT Southwestern named the official health care team of the Dallas Stars
UT Southwestern Medical Center physicians will oversee the health needs of the Dallas Stars as the team's official medical provider, marking the first time a single organization has managed the entire spectrum of medical care for the National Hockey League club.

Breast density does not influence breast cancer death among breast cancer patients
The risk of dying from breast cancer was not related to high mammographic breast density in breast cancer patients, according to a study published Aug.

Big Bang theory challenged by big chill
The start of the Universe should be modeled not as a Big Bang but more like water freezing into ice, according to a team of theoretical physicists at the University of Melbourne and RMIT University, Australia.

Ecologist: Genetically engineered algae for biofuel pose potential risks that should be studied
Algae are high on the genetic engineering agenda as a potential source for biofuel, and they should be subjected to independent studies of any environmental risks that could be linked to cultivating algae for this purpose, two prominent researchers say.

Coconut water is an excellent sports drink -- for light exercise
Coconut water (Coconut liquid endosperm) is widely consumed in many countries as a refreshing beverage but its unique chemical composition of electrolytes and nutrients can make it a good natural substitute of sports drink.

Scientists shed light on glowing materials
Researchers at King's College London, in collaboration with European research institutes ICFO and AMOLF, have succeeded in mapping how light behaves in complex photonic materials inspired by nature, like iridescent butterfly wings.

Vitamin D supplementation can decrease risk of respiratory infections in children
A study conducted in Mongolian schoolchildren, all of whom had low blood levels of vitamin D at the start of the study, found that vitamin D supplementation cut the risk of respiratory infections in half.

The role of voluntary associations and citizenship
A new paper by a sociologist at Indiana University argues there's no need to pick sides in an old argument about how to build better citizens.

Sea life 'facing major shock'
Life in the world's oceans faces far greater change and risk of large-scale extinctions than at any previous time in human history, a team of the world's leading marine scientists has warned.

Imprisoned molecules 'quantum rattle' in their cages
Scientists have discovered that a space inside a special type of carbon molecule can be used to imprison other smaller molecules such as hydrogen or water.

Intense bursts of star formation drive fierce galactic winds
Fierce galactic winds powered by an intense burst of star formation may blow gas right out of massive galaxies, shutting down their ability to make new stars.

World Food Prize winner among speakers at agronomy, crop and soil science societies meetings
2012 World Food Prize recipient, Daniel Hillel, is among several noteworthy speakers at the 2012 ASA-CSSA-SSSA annual meetings in October.

Politics and prejudice -- insights from Psychological Science
New research from psychological science explores factors operating in political attitudes that could explain why political ideology and prejudice are often linked.

HIV home testing kits prove their worth
Thirty years into the HIV epidemic, many people who are at high risk of HIV infection cannot or will not adopt safer sexual practices, such as abstinence and condom use.

Mayo Clinic cardiologists dramatically cut patient radiation exposure from X-rays
Each year, hundreds of thousands of X-rays are performed across the country to help detect and treat common cardiovascular conditions such as coronary artery disease, valve disease and other heart problems.

Study projects increases in health care costs, infections with declines in male circumcision
Using a computer-based simulation model, researchers project that a continued decline in male circumcision rates in the United States to levels in Europe, where the procedure is not routinely covered by insurance, may be associated with increased estimated lifetime medical costs and a higher estimated prevalence of infections including human immunodeficiency virus and human papillomavirus.

Obesity, metabolic factors linked to faster cognitive decline
People who are obese and also have high blood pressure and other risk factors called metabolic abnormalities may experience a faster decline in their cognitive skills over time than others, according to a study published in the Aug.

Lao skull earliest example of modern human fossil in Southeast Asia
An ancient skull recovered from a cave in the Annamite mountains in northern Laos is the oldest modern human fossil found in Southeast Asia, researchers report.

Survey finds symptoms of burnout common among US physicians
A national survey of 7,288 physicians (26.7 percent participation rate) finds that 45.8 percent of physicians reported at least one symptom of burnout.

Secondhand smoke impairs vital cough reflex in kids
Research from the Monell Center reveals that exposure to secondhand smoke decreases sensitivity to cough-eliciting respiratory irritants in healthy children and adolescents.

Researchers identify evidence-based public health interventions for policy makers
Researchers analyzed more than 1,000 scientific studies and identified the public health interventions with the strongest evidence for improving dietary habits, increasing physical activity and reducing smoking.

Experiment would test cloud geoengineering as way to slow warming
A University of Washington scientist has proposed an experiment to test cloud brightening, a geoengineering concept that alters clouds in an effort to counter global warming.

New biorefinery finds treasure in Starbucks' spent coffee grounds and stale bakery goods
With 1.3 billion tons of food trashed, dumped in landfills and otherwise wasted around the world every year, scientists today described development and successful laboratory testing of a new

Canine tail chasing resembles human obsessive compulsive disorders
A new research led by Professor Hannes Lohi at the University of Helsinki, Finland, revealed several similarities between compulsive behavior in dogs and humans: Early onset, recurrent compulsive behaviors, increased risk for developing different types of compulsions, compulsive freezing, the beneficial effect of nutritional supplements, the effects of early life experiences and sex hormones and genetic risk.

Binge drinking college students are happier than their non-binge drinking peers
Why do some colleges have persistently high levels of binge drinking?

Specific toxic byproduct of heat-processed food may lead to increased body weight and diabetes
Researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine have identified a common compound in the modern diet that could play a major role in the development of abdominal obesity, insulin resistance, and Type 2 diabetes.

Brain-wave-reading robot might help stroke patients
Robotics and a noninvasive brain wave interface being developed by Rice University, the University of Houston and TIRR Memorial Hermann might help stroke victims.

Psychologists link emotion to vividness of perception and creation of vivid memories
Have you ever wondered why you can remember things from long ago as if they happened yesterday, yet sometimes can't recall what you ate for dinner last night?

Shirley O. Corriher wins American Chemical Society's prestigious journalism award
Nationally renowned author, speaker, TV personality and all-around

Carers and pharmacists confused about paracetamol doses for overweight kids
Carers and pharmacists are confused about how much paracetamol to give sick children who are obese or overweight, finds research published online in the European Journal of Hospital Pharmacy.

Saving a penny: Stem cell therapy shows promise in repairing stress urinary incontinence
Stress urinary incontinence can occur due to sneezing, coughing, exercising or even laughing and happens because the pelvic floor muscles are too weak causing leakage when the bladder is put under pressure.

Next generation 3-D theater: Optical science makes glasses a thing of the past
Even with current digital technology, the latest Hollywood blockbusters still rely on clunky glasses to achieve a convincing 3-D effect.

New tool for clinicians proves effective predictor of lung cancer risk
A lung cancer risk prediction model developed by scientists at the University of Liverpool has been shown to be a viable tool for selecting high risk individuals for prevention and control programs.

Halo of neutrinos alters physics of exploding stars
Sparse halos of neutrinos within the hearts of exploding stars exert a previously unrecognized influence on the physics of the explosion and may alter which elements can be forged by these violent events.

Speeding the search for better carbon capture
Berkeley Lab researchers helped develop the first computational model to accurately predict the interactions between flue gases and a special variety of the carbon dioxide-capturing molecular systems known as metal-organic frameworks.

U of S-led team unlocks link between sex and the female brain
An international team of scientists led by Gregg Adams at the University of Saskatchewan has discovered that a protein in semen acts on the female brain to prompt ovulation, and is the same molecule that regulates the growth, maintenance, and survival of nerve cells.

Science preview: October 2012 meetings of agronomy, crop, and soil science societies
Nanoparticles in the environment, wastewater reuse, global food security, and automated weed identification are among the research topics to be covered at the 2012 meetings of the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America and Soil Science Society of America.

Patterning defect-free nanocrystal films with nanometer resolution
A new process developed at MIT could enable better LED displays, solar cells and biosensors -- and foster basic physics research.

Scientists report promising new direction for cognitive rehabilitation in the elderly
Research has found that declines in temporal information processing, the rate at which auditory information is processed, underlies the progressive loss of function across multiple cognitive systems in the elderly, including new learning, memory, perception, attention, thinking, motor control, problem solving, and concept formation.

It's always sunny in Caltech Lab
In orbit around Earth is a wide range of satellites that we rely on for everything from television feeds to GPS navigation.

NASA watches as Tropical Storm Bolaven develops
Tropical Storm Bolaven was born over the weekend of Aug/ 18-19 in the western North Pacific, and NASA captured infrared satellite imagery of its birth and growth.

Acupuncture offers low cost alternative to knee surgery for osteoarthritis
Acupuncture can relieve the pain of knee osteoarthritis and offer a low cost alternative to surgery for the condition, finds research published online in Acupuncture in Medicine.

Distressing life events and poverty behind many abortions in US
Most women accessing abortion services in the US have faced a major life stressor, such as job loss or separation, in the preceding year, finds research published online in the Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care.

Barbara Keyfitz receives awards for research and service in applied mathematics
Barbara Keyfitz of the Ohio State University received the 2012 SIAM Prize for Distinguished Service to the Profession and AWM-SIAM Sonia Kovalevsky Lecture.

As smart electric grid evolves, Virginia Tech engineers show how to include solar technologies
An economically feasible way to store solar energy in existing residential power networks is the subject of an award winning paper written by two Virginia Tech electrical engineers and presented at an international conference.

Information overload in the era of 'big data'
The ability of botanists and other scientists to generate data quickly and cheaply is surpassing their ability to access and analyze it.

Study to evaluate zoning code reforms and physical activity
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have received a $1.5 million federal grant to examine the relationship between zoning code reforms, the physical environment, and physical-activity behavior in communities throughout the US.

Scientists to investigate preventing life-threatening complications in transplant patients
Scientists from the University of Southampton have received a grant from the blood cancer charity Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research to explore ways of preventing life-threatening side effects in patients receiving bone marrow transplants.

American Indian spiritual beliefs influential in spurring youth to avoid drugs and alcohol
New research indicates that urban American Indian youth who follow American Indian traditional spiritual beliefs are less likely to use drugs and alcohol.

Researchers elucidate cause of death of photoreceptor cells in retinitis pigmentosa
Research conducted at the Angiogenesis Laboratory at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, has for the first time, identified the mode of death of cone photoreceptor cells in an animal model of retinitis pigmentosa.

EARTH: Do-it-yourself lava flows
It's not every day that lava flows through a college campus parking lot.

Why do the Caribbean Islands arc?
The Caribbean islands have been pushed east over the last 50 million years, driven by the movement of the Earth's viscous mantle against the more rooted South American continent, reveals new research by geophysicists from USC. 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