Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 23, 2012
Study helps pancreatic cancer patients make hard choices
Researchers have examined SEER data on 25,476 pancreatic cancer patients, correlating days spent on medical care with disease stage, type of treatment and survival time.

Therapeutic avenues for Parkinson's investigated at UH
Scientists at the University of Houston have discovered what may possibly be a key ingredient in the fight against Parkinson's disease.

Good news from the bad drought: Gulf 'Dead Zone' smallest in years, says Texas A&M expert
The worst drought to hit the United States in at least 50 years does have one benefit: It has created the smallest

Histone-modifying proteins, not histones, remain associated with DNA through replication
A study of Drosophila embryos from Jefferson's Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology published ahead of print in Cell Aug.

Field guide to the Epstein-Barr virus charts viral paths toward cancer
A team of researchers from the Wistar Institute and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center published the first annotated atlas of the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) genome, providing the best look yet at how EBV interacts with human genes and proteins.

For juvenile moose, momma's boys and girls fare best
A new Wildlife Conservation Society study shows that if you're a juvenile moose trying to make it in the real world, you can't beat an overprotective mom.

Advantage flu virus
Northwestern University scientists have discovered one of the ways the influenza virus disarms our natural defense system.

Past tropical climate change linked to ocean circulation, says Texas A&M team
A new record of past temperature change in the tropical Atlantic Ocean's subsurface provides clues as to why the Earth's climate is so sensitive to ocean circulation patterns, according to climate scientists at Texas A&M University.

Fit Brains, online portfolio of cognitive games, reaches milestone of 75 million brain scores
Fit Brains, a top online brain fitness platform, announces its 75 millionth brain game score achieved.

For mitochondria, bigger may not be better
Abnormalities in mitochondrial length promote the development of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's.

NASA sees newborn Tropical Storm Joyce in the Central Atlantic
Tropical Depression 10 appeared more organized on NOAA's GOES-13 satellite imagery early on Aug.

Team receives $22.5 million to shed light on the immune system
A team led by a scientist at the Scripps Research Institute has received a $22.5 million, five-year project renewal from the National Institutes of Health to uncover the workings of the immune system.

New findings show some Type Ia supernovae linked to novae
In the Aug. 24 issue of the journal Science, astronomers show for the first time that at least some thermonuclear (Type Ia) supernovae come from a recurrent nova.

Antarctic ice sheet quakes shed light on ice movement and earthquakes
Analysis of small, repeating earthquakes in an Antarctic ice sheet may not only lead to an understanding of glacial movement, but may also shed light on stick slip earthquakes like those on the San Andreas fault or in Haiti, according to Penn State geoscientists.

Prostate cancer survival rates improved since introduction of PSA testing
The routine use of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing for screening and monitoring prostate cancer has led to early and more sensitive detection of the disease.

Prestigious Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene journals join Oxford University Press
The Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene's two prestigious journals will join the Oxford University Press collection in a new partnership announced between the organizations.

Canadian researcher is on a mission to create an equal playing field at the Paralympic Games
Vancouver-based clinician and researcher Dr. Andrei Krassioukov is packing for the upcoming Paralympic games in London.

Spacetime: A smoother brew than we knew
Photons from a gamma-ray burst jetted seven billion light years across the universe and arrived at Earth in a virtual tie, calling into question the universe's foaminess.

Cuckolded males sing louder
Rock sparrows indicate their age and their reproductive success with their songs and react to infidelity with a higher song volume.

August 2012 tips from the journals of the American Society for Microbiology
In this month's issue:

NASA sees Tropical Storm Isaac bring heavy rains to Eastern Caribbean
NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite captured rainfall data from Tropical Storm Isaac as it continues moving through the Caribbean Sea.

Cancer survival in Germany after the fall of the Iron Curtain
Two decades after the fall of the Wall, cancer survival rates in East and West Germany have become almost equal.

1-molecule-thick material has big advantages
New research suggests that a whole family of two-dimensional materials may open up possibilities for applications that could change many aspects of modern life.

ChemCam laser first analyses yield beautiful results
Members of the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover ChemCam team, including Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists, squeezed in a little extra target practice after zapping the first fist-sized rock that was placed in the laser's crosshairs last weekend.

Changing epidemiology of rare disease links sinus irrigation with contaminated tap water, 2 deaths
When water containing the Naegleria fowleri amoeba, a single-celled organism, enters the nose, the organisms may migrate to the brain, causing primary amebic meningoencephalitis, a very rare -- but usually fatal -- disease.

How does body temperature reset the biological clock?
Ueli Schibler, professor at the University of Geneva, Switzerland, unveils a molecular mechanism by which body temperature rhythms influence the expression of 'clock genes' and synchronize local oscillators.

IBC 2012: Mini-camera with maxi-brainpower
Torrential rapids, plunging mud holes and soaring hurdles: In the outdoor competitions at the Olympic Games, athletes pushed themselves to the limit.

U of M researchers: Newly discovered genetic markers could signal colon cancer development
University of Minnesota Medical School and Masonic Cancer Center researchers have partnered with geneticists from Genentech, Inc., to discover how some proteins may cause the development of some forms of colon cancers.

Researchers develop simplified approach for high-power, single-mode lasers
Northwestern University researchers have developed a new resonator that creates the purest, brightest, and most powerful single-mode quantum cascade lasers yet at the eight-12 micron range, a wavelength of great interest for both military and industrial use.

New survey of ocean floor finds juvenile scallops are abundant in Mid-Atlantic
NOAA researchers are getting a comprehensive view of the ocean floor using a new instrument, and have confirmed that there are high numbers of young sea scallops off of Delaware Bay.

Geology's 'Mystery Interval,' the 'Great Deepening,' and the largest kill-off in Earth history
New Geology postings include understanding the

Supernovae of the same brightness, cut from vastly different cosmic cloth
The multi-institutional Palomar Transient Factory (PTF) team presents the first-ever direct observations of a Type 1a supernova progenitor system.

Engineers achieve longstanding goal of stable nanocrystalline metals
A new method developed by MIT researchers could produce materials with exceptional strength and other properties.

IBC 2012: New standard HEVC encodes films more efficiently
Television resolution is constantly improving - and this must go hand-in-hand with transmitting the data more efficiently.

Nanoparticles reboot blood flow in brain
Nanoparticles show promise in restoring blood flow to the brain when administered soon after a traumatic brain or other injury.

Repairing cartilage with fat: Problems and potential solutions
New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal Stem Cell Research & Therapy shows that fat-derived stem cells secrete VEGF and other factors, which can inhibit cartilage regeneration.

Primate of the opera: What soprano singing apes on helium reveal about the human voice
Have you ever heard an opera singing ape? Researchers in Japan have discovered that singing gibbons use the same vocal techniques as professional soprano singers.

Cloud control could tame hurricanes, study shows
They are one of the most destructive forces of nature on Earth, but now environmental scientists are working to tame the hurricane.

Dartmouth hosts international meeting of black hole scholars
Dartmouth welcomed astrophysicists from around the world who met to exchange ideas about the nature of supermassive black holes found at the center of galaxies.

Farmer-led irrigation schemes could alter food security in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia
As food prices escalate globally due to the failed monsoon season in Asia and the

Language and emotion -- insights from Psychological Science
We use language every day to express our emotions, but can this language actually affect what and how we feel?

Gene 'switch' may explain DiGeorge syndrome severity
The discovery of a 'switch' that modifies a gene known to be essential for normal heart development could explain variations in the severity of birth defects in children with DiGeorge syndrome.

Vanderbilt-led study reveals racial disparities in prostate cancer care
A study led by investigators from Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Nashville, Tenn., finds that black men with prostate cancer receive lower quality surgical care than white men.

SAGE to publish Australian Journal of Education and Australian Journal of Career Development
SAGE and the Australian Council for Educational Research today announced a new agreement to publish its two journals, the Australian Journal of Education and the Australian Journal of Career Development, from April 2013.

Study reveals optimal treatment for most common infection after organ transplantation
Waiting to treat the commonest viral infections in transplant recipients until they reach a certain threshold is better than prophylactically treating all recipients, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

World's largest meeting of ear, nose, and throat doctors
The 2012 Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO of the American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery Foundation, the largest meeting of ear, nose, and throat doctors in the world, will convene Sept.

Brain & Behavior Research Foundation hosts 2012 Women's Mental Health Conference on Sept. 14
This national event features the world's leading mental health experts to address the core issues in the treatment and care of those with mental illness.

Research on wood formation sheds light on plant biology
Scientists at North Carolina State University have discovered a phenomenon never seen before in plants while studying molecular changes inside tree cells as wood is formed.

Science: Human lungs brush out intruders
A new study helps to explain how human airways clear mucus out of the lungs.

Historic search for King Richard III begins in Leicester
First ever archaeological search for the grave of an anointed King of England to begin on anniversary of his burial.

Sensor detects glucose in saliva and tears for diabetes testing
Researchers have created a new type of biosensor that can detect minute concentrations of glucose in saliva, tears and urine and might be manufactured at low cost because it does not require many processing steps to produce.

AGU: Link found between cold European winters and solar activity
Scientists have long suspected that the Sun's 11-year cycle influences climate of certain regions on Earth.

Flat lens offers a perfect image
Applied physicists at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences have created an ultrathin, flat lens that focuses light without imparting the distortions of conventional lenses.

March Madness brings September students
A new study examines the impact that college sports success has in drawing prospective students.

Video-gaming fish play out the advantages of groups
Princeton University researchers designed a video game for predatory fish that has unraveled some lingering evolutionary questions about group formation and movement in animals.

New insights into salt transport in the kidney
Sodium chloride, better known as salt, is vital for the organism, and the kidneys play a crucial role in the regulation of sodium balance.

Study reveals human drive for fair play
People will reject an offer of water, even when they are severely thirsty, if they perceive the offer to be unfair, according to a new study funded by the Wellcome Trust.

Novel technique to synthesize nanocrystals that harvest solar energy
A new video protocol in Journal of Visualized Experiments focuses on the liquid phase synthesis of two nanocrystals that produce hydrogen gas or an electric charge when exposed to light.

Novel microscopy method offers sharper view of brain's neural network
An Italian research team has, for the first time, imaged a fluorescent mouse brain in its entirety with the highest resolution to date.

2016 International Congress of Entomology to be held in Orlando, Fla.
The Entomological Society of America will host ICE 2016, the XXV International Congress of Entomology, Sept.

ASU program aims to improve access to STEM classes for blind, visually impaired students
Arizona State University is kicking off a pilot program aimed at improving access to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math classes for students who are blind or visually impaired.

Study identifies human melanoma stem cells
Cancer stem cells are defined by three abilities: differentiation, self-renewal and their ability to seed a tumor.

IBN develops superior fuel cell material
Using a mixture of gold, copper and platinum nanoparticles, IBN researchers have developed a more powerful and longer lasting fuel cell material.

How to feed data-hungry mobile devices? Use more antennas
Rice University researchers today unveiled Argos, a new multi-antenna technology that could help wireless providers keep pace with the voracious demands of data-hungry smartphones and tablets.

University of Minnesota-led experiment to fly on NASA mission to Earth's radiation belts
A University of Minnesota-led experiment is set for launch Friday, Aug.

Research: NCAA football exploits players in 'invisible labor market'
College football exploits players in an

Origami inspires research into materials that self-assemble when exposed to light
A multi-university research team led by North Carolina State University will be developing methods to create two-dimensional materials capable of folding themselves into three-dimensional objects when exposed to light.

New insights into why humans are more susceptible to cancer and other diseases
Chimpanzees rarely get cancer, or a variety of other diseases that commonly arise in humans, but their genomic DNA sequence is nearly identical to ours.

'Naked Darth Vader' approach could tame antibiotic resistant superbugs
Rather than trying to kill bacteria outright with drugs, Université de Montréal researchers have discovered a way to disarm bacteria that may allow the body's own defense mechanisms to destroy them.

Circadian clock research may enable designer plants, and cancer and diabetes treatments
The Herman Frasch Foundation has awarded chemist Brian Zoltowski, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, a $250,000 grant for research that could enable plants to grow outside their normal environment.

No-till could help maintain crop yields despite climate change
Reducing tillage for some Central Great Plains crops could help conserve water and reduce losses caused by climate change, according to studies at the US Department of Agriculture.

Scientists produce H2 for fuel cells using an inexpensive catalyst under real-world conditions
Scientists at the University of Cambridge have produced hydrogen, H2, a renewable energy source, from water using an inexpensive catalyst under industrially relevant conditions (using pH neutral water, surrounded by atmospheric oxygen, O2, and at room temperature).

Most mutations come from dad
Humans inherit more than three times as many mutations from their fathers as from their mothers, and mutation rates increase with the father's age but not the mother's, researchers have found in the largest study of human genetic mutations to date.

More clues about why chimps and humans are genetically different
In research published in September's American Journal of Human Genetics, Georgia Tech's Soojin Yi looked at brain samples of each species.

SDSC, ECSU, IU, Purdue, TACC and Michigan awarded NSF planning grant for Science Gateways Institute
The San Diego Supercomputer Center at the University of California, San Diego is the lead institution on a National Science Foundation planning grant for a Science Gateway Institute that would offer a complete range of services aimed at connecting numerous individual groups developing domain-specific, user-friendly, Web-based portals and tools that enable scientific research.

Learning 1 of cancer's tricks
Researchers at the California Institute of Technology have shown for the first time that a specific sugar, known as GlcNAc (

Is this real or just fantasy? ONR Augmented-Reality Initiative progresses
The Office of Naval Research (ONR) is demonstrating the next phase of an augmented-reality project Aug. 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