Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 29, 2012
Scripps researchers pinpoint hot spots as earthquake trigger points
Scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego have come a step closer to deciphering some of the basic mysteries and mechanisms behind earthquakes and how average-sized earthquakes may evolve into massive earthquakes.

Aging kidneys may hold key to new high blood pressure therapies
Gaining new insight to managing sodium balance and blood pressure, investigators at the University of Houston College of Pharmacy believe their work may identify future therapeutic targets to control hypertension.

Soil Science Society of America announces 2012 award recipients
The Soil Science Society of America announces the following 2012 awards that will be formally presented during their annual meetings, Oct.

Scientist creates new cancer drug that is 10 times more potent
In a new study, MU medicinal chemists have taken an existing drug that is being developed for use in fighting certain types of cancer, added a special structure to it, and created a more potent, efficient weapon against cancer.

Tropical Storm Kirk looks more like a comet on NASA infrared imagery
Tropical Storm Kirk looks more like a comet than a tropical storm in infrared imagery from NASA's Aqua satellite because of wind shear.

NASA sees Hurricane Isaac make double landfall in Louisiana
Hurricane Isaac made two landfalls in southeastern Louisiana. Isaac's first landfall occurred in southeastern Louisiana on Aug.

Oversized fat droplets: Too much of a good thing
As the national waistline expands, so do pools of intra-cellular fat known as lipid droplets.

Japanese spacecraft to search for clues of Earth's first life
In a Physics World special report on Japan, Dennis Normile reports on how the Japanese space agency JAXA plans to land a spacecraft onto an asteroid in 2018 to search for clues of how life began on Earth.

Controlling gait of horses may be possible, says key study from Texas A&M
Analysis of a specific mutation in a gene in horses that affects the ability of horses to use alternate gaits is strongly related to racing performance and is advantageous for harness-racing horses.

Many trendy 'microgreens' are more nutritious than their mature counterparts
The first scientific analysis of nutrient levels in edible microgreens has found that many of those trendy seedlings of green vegetables and herbs have more vitamins and healthful nutrients than their fully grown counterparts.

A breath of fresh air: Childhood Asthma Leadership Coalition launches
Today the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services (SPHHS) announced the launch of the Childhood Asthma Leadership Coalition, a group of advocates and experts dedicated to raising awareness and advancing public policies to improve the health of children who suffer from asthma.

FDA's 2012 Science Writers Symposium
This is a special event for science and health journalists featuring lab tours and scientific presentations on a variety of topics including gene therapy, neural interfaces, scientific computing, medical countermeasures, vaccine adjuvant safety, and salmonella.

New antibacterial coating for sutures could reduce infections after surgery
Responding to an urgent need for better antibacterial coatings on surgical sutures, scientists are reporting the discovery of a new coating that is almost 1,000 times more effective than the most widely used commercial coating.

New Nature study illuminates 55 million years of the carbon cycle and climate history
A study in the August 30 issue of Nature provides, in unprecedented detail, the history of a crucial indicator of the relationship between the carbon cycle and climate processes over the past 55 million years.

Tracing the Paralympic movement's 'freak show' roots
Former wheelchair bronze medalist-turned scholar sheds light on disability and the Paralympic movement.

Don't cut lifesaving ICDs during financial crisis, ESC warns
Lifesaving implantable cardioverter defibrillators are at risk of being cut during the financial crisis in Europe, warned European Society of Cardiology leaders today.

Could a cancer drug potentially prevent learning disabilities in some kids?
A drug originally developed to stop cancerous tumors may hold the potential to prevent abnormal brain cell growth and learning disabilities in some children, if they can be diagnosed early enough, a new animal study suggests.

Mayo Clinic: Diabetes can be controlled in patients after pancreas removal
Removing the entire pancreas in patients with cancer or precancerous cysts in part of the organ does not result in unmanageable diabetes -- as many physicians previously believed, research at Mayo Clinic in Florida has found.

Springer now publishing open access books
Springer is expanding its open access (OA) program by offering a fully open access option for books, which will extend Springer's established SpringerOpen and BioMed Central journal portfolio, and its Springer Open Choice option.

Flu is transmitted before symptoms appear, study suggests
Research at Imperial College London examining influenza transmission in ferrets suggests that the virus can be passed on before the appearance of symptoms.

Coral scientists use new model to find where corals are most likely to survive climate change
Marine conservationists from the Wildlife Conservation Society working with other coral reef experts have identified heat-tolerant coral species living in locations with continuous background temperature variability as those having the best chance of surviving climate change, according to a new simplified method for measuring coral reef resilience.

Sweet result from ALMA
A team of astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) has spotted sugar molecules in the gas surrounding a young Sun-like star.

Aspirin may help men with prostate cancer live longer, study suggests
Men who have been treated for prostate cancer, either with surgery or radiation, could benefit from taking aspirin regularly, says a new study that includes a researcher at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

American Society of Agronomy announces 2012 award recipients
The American Society of Agronomy (ASA) announces the following 2012 awards that will be formally presented during their Annual Meetings, Oct.

A CNIO team creates a unique mouse model for the study of aplastic anaemia
A team at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre led by Maria Blasco has successfully created a transgenic mouse model that simulates the disease in humans.

NIH media availability: Protein linked to increased risk of heart failure and death in older adults
A protein known as galectin-3 can identify people at higher risk of heart failure, according to new research supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health.

Crop Science Society of America announces 2012 award recipients
The Crop Science Society of America announces the following 2012 awards that will be formally presented during their Annual Meetings, Oct.

What are the social implications of medical screening?
Book edited by Leicester academics examines sociological issues related to medical screening.

Collagen-seeking synthetic protein could lead doctors to tumor locations
A new synthetic protein can pinpoint cancer and other diseases in the body by finding nearby damaged collagen.

Dinosaur abdominal contents reveal hunting prowess
Analysis of the abdominal contents of two dinosaur fossil specimens reveals new information about their hunting and eating behavior.

Math ability requires crosstalk in the brain
A new study by researchers at UT Dallas' Center for Vital Longevity, Duke University, and the University of Michigan has found that the strength of communication between the left and right hemispheres of the brain predicts performance on basic arithmetic problems.

WSU/USDA scientist creates test, treatment for malaria-like sickness in horses
A therapy used in an outbreak of equine piroplasmosis at the storied King Ranch in Texas is now being evaluated as a standard US treatment protocol.

TAVI restricted to very old or very sick patients
Cardiologists are restricting the use of transcatheter aortic valve implantation to very old or very sick patients at high surgical risk, according to research presented at the ESC Congress today.

Living against the clock: Does loss of daily rhythms cause obesity?
When Thomas Edison tested the first light bulb in 1879, he could never have imagined that his invention could one day contribute to a global obesity epidemic.

Gold standards of success defined for AF ablation
Gold standards of success for catheter and surgical ablation of atrial fibrillation have been set out in an international consensus statement enabling patients to choose doctors that are up to scratch.

Penn State ARL to lead defense manufacturing research project
Streamlining the design and manufacture of U.S. Department of Defense equipment, including vehicles, weapons and other complex systems, is the goal of a $48 million contract recently awarded to Penn State's Applied Research Laboratory through the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Instant Foundry Adaptive through Bits (iFAB) program, which is part of the agency's Adaptive Vehicle Make (AVM) portfolio.

Earphones 'potentially as dangerous as noise from jet engines,' according to new study
University of Leicester research identifies for the first time how high volumes of sound damage nerve cell coating leading to temporary deafness

Southern elephant seals likely detect prey bioluminescence for foraging
Bioluminescence may play a key role in successful foraging for southern elephant seals, a deep-sea predator, according to research published Aug.

Added benefit of fampridine is not proven
Fampridine (trade name Fampyra) has been approved in Germany since July 2011 for adult patients suffering from a higher grade walking disability, as a result of multiple sclerosis (MS).

Rare find: Feathered dinosaur feasts on flying food
University of Alberta researchers found evidence that a feathered, but flightless dinosaur was able to snag and consume small flying dinosaurs.

Twitter data crunching: The new crystal ball
Fabio Ciulla from Northeastern University, Boston, USA, and his colleagues demonstrated that the elimination of contestants in TV talent shows based on public voting, such as American Idol, can be anticipated.

Synchronized lasers measure how light changes matter
How matter responds to light lies at the core of vision, photosynthesis, solar cells, and many other fields of scientific and practical import.

New HIV/AIDS registry to help answer key questions
A new community-based HIV/AIDS registry, one of the first in the nation to include patients from rural areas, will provide a unique opportunity to find answers to myriad medical questions, from the impact of drugs such as marijuana on the virus to why some patients naturally ward off the disease.

Chemicals today, drugs tomorrow: U-M's new Center for Drug Discovery
A new center at the University of Michigan will accelerate the progression to the marketplace of drugs under development at laboratories across campus.

NASA satellite sees remnants of Tropical Storm Bolaven racing over China and Russia
Tropical Storm Bolaven made landfall on Aug. 28 and has been moving quickly over land while undergoing a transition.

A new approach for controlling the skyrocketing cost of health care
A potentially powerful new approach for limiting health care costs -- which account for almost $1 out of every $5 spent in the U.S. each year -- is the topic of the feature story in this week's edition of Chemical & Enginering News (C&EN), the weekly news magazine of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world's largest scientific society.

Soaking up the Sun
Engineers from Drexel University and The University of Pennsylvania are teaming up to make dye-sensitized solar panels more efficient.

Climate change could increase levels of avian influenza in wild birds
Rising sea levels, melting glaciers, more intense rainstorms and more frequent heat waves are among the planetary woes that may come to mind when climate change is mentioned.

Potential methane reservoirs beneath Antarctica
The Antarctic Ice Sheet could be an overlooked but important source of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, according to research published today in Nature and conducted by an international team led by Professor Jemma Wadham from the University of Bristol's School of Geographical Sciences.

Climate change stories from the abyss
A team of scientists including those from the University of Southampton have shed new light on the world's history of climate change.

Smokers more than double their risk of burst aneurysm
Smoking more than 20 cigarettes a day doubles the risk of a potentially fatal brain bleed as a result of a burst aneurysm, finds research published online in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.

Chimpanzees create social traditions
Researchers have revealed that chimpanzees are not only capable of learning from one another, but also use this social information to form and maintain local traditions.

African-American males most likely to lose academic scholarships, MU study finds
Charles Menifield, a professor in the Truman School of Public Affairs at MU, found that more than 50 percent of African-American males lost state-funded scholarships over the course of a four-year academic career.

UC Riverside developing biofuel formulations for California
Researchers at the University of California, Riverside's College of Engineering - Center for Environmental Research and Technology are working with the state of California to develop diesel formulations with higher levels of renewable biofuels.

Entomologists to discuss threat and management of wide range of insect pests
How are chemical pesticides impacting honey bees? How can the spread of the deadly Asian citrus psyllid be controlled by a wasp, its natural enemy?

ASA, CSSA, and SSSA present 2012 scholarships and fellowships
The American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America announce the following 2012 scholarships and fellowships.

Warning on deterioration of famous Swedish warship, Vasa
The famous warship, Vasa, displayed in a museum that gets 1.2 million visitors every year and ranks as one of Sweden's most popular tourist attractions, is deteriorating despite ongoing preservation efforts, scientists are reporting.

Morality for robots?
In his new book,

Researchers pioneer world's first HIV/AIDS nanomedicines
Scientists at the University of Liverpool are leading a £1.65 million project to produce and test the first nanomedicines for treating HIV/AIDS.

Study pinpoints malignant mesothelioma patients likely to benefit from drug pemetrexed
Previous studies have hypothesized that low levels of the enzyme thymidylate synthase (TS) likely mark patients who will benefit from the drug pemetrexed - but results have been inconclusive at best and at times contradictory.

Adelaide joins with Italy to develop 'super spaghetti'
University of Adelaide researchers are working with colleagues in Italy to produce better quality pasta that also adds greater value to human health.

Eyeless Australian fish have closest relatives in Madagascar
Researchers from Louisiana State University and the American Museum of Natural History has discovered that two groups of blind cave fishes on opposite sides of the Indian Ocean are each other's closest relatives.

Study suggests large methane reservoirs beneath Antarctic ice sheet
The Antarctic Ice Sheet could be an overlooked but important source of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, according to a report by an international team of scientists.

US performs worst on potentially preventable death rates compared to France, Germany, and the UK
The United States lags three other industrialized nations -- France, Germany, and the United Kingdom -- in its potentially preventable death rate, and in the pace of improvement in preventing deaths that could have been avoided with timely and effective health care, according to a Commonwealth Fund-supported study published as a web first online today in Health Affairs.

Increased risk of prematurity and low birth weight in babies born after 3 or more abortions
One of the largest studies to look at the effect of induced abortions on a subsequent first birth has found that women who have had three or more abortions have a higher risk of some adverse birth outcomes, such as delivering a baby prematurely and with a low birth weight.

New TGen, Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center study targets non-small cell lung cancer
A Phase I/II, multi-center trial designed to test the safety and preliminary efficacy of a first in class cancer treatment opened worldwide today at the Virginia G.

Aspirin-clopidogrel no better than aspirin alone for patients with lacunar stroke
Aspirin combined with the antiplatelet drug clopidogrel is no better than aspirin alone for stroke prevention in people with a history of lacunar strokes, and the combination carries a greater risk of gastrointestinal bleeding, according to results of a trial funded by the National Institutes of Health.

URI oceanographers find there is one-third less life on Earth
Estimates of the total mass of all life on Earth should be reduced by about one third, based on the results of a study by a team of scientists at the University of Rhode Island's Graduate School of Oceanography and colleagues in Germany.

GW professor receives grant to study the role of genes in drug addiction
Norman H. Lee, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, received a total of $405,001 in grant funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to continue to study the correlation between genetics and susceptibility to drug abuse.

NIH scientists map first steps in flu antibody development
National Institutes of Health scientists have identified how a kind of immature immune cell responds to a part of influenza virus and have traced the path those cells take to generate antibodies that can neutralize a wide range of influenza virus strains.

New research eclipses existing theories on moon formation
A recent study published in Icarus proposes a new perspective on the theory in answer to the Lunar paradox.

A single gene has a major impact on gaits in horses and in mice
Researchers have discovered a mutation in a single gene in horses that is critical for the ability to perform ambling gaits, for pacing and that has a major effect on performance in harness racing.

Study shows hope of greater global food output, less environmental impact of agriculture
Can we have enough to eat and a healthy environment, too?

For diabetics, a steady job is good for your health
If you're diabetic or prone to diabetes, having a steady job appears to be good for your health, and not just because of the insurance coverage.

Chocolate: A sweet method for stroke prevention in men?
Eating a moderate amount of chocolate each week may be associated with a lower risk of stroke in men, according to a new study published in the Aug.

MRI scanners affect concentration and visuospatial awareness
Standard head movements made while exposed to one of the three electromagnetic fields produced by a heavy duty MRI scanner seem to temporarily lower concentration and visuospatial awareness, shows an experimental study published online in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Mayo Clinic marks its first births from time-lapse incubator use for in vitro fertilization
Mayo Clinic recently marked its first births resulting from in vitro fertilization using a new time-lapse incubator that minimizes disturbances from human handling as embryos develop and helps fertility specialists better identify the healthiest embryos.

When to worry about kids' temper tantrums
Temper tantrums in young children can be an early signal of mental health problems, but how does a parent or pediatrician know when disruptive behavior is typical or a sign of a serious problem?

Bacterial cause found for skin condition rosacea
Scientists are closer to establishing a definitive bacterial cause for the skin condition rosacea.

New diagnostic biomarkers offer ray of hope for Alzheimer's disease
Alzheimer's disease is one of the most common brain disorders, with an estimated 35 million people affected worldwide.

Neuroscience 2012 press program features latest brain science news
New research about the brain and related disorders will be unveiled at Neuroscience 2012 in New Orleans, Oct.

International study reveals alarming levels of extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis
A large, international study published Online First in The Lancet reveals alarming levels of tuberculosis (TB) that are resistant to both first-line and second-line drugs.

Sweet building blocks of life found around young star
Life is made up of a series of complex organic molecules, including sugars.

Breakthrough in nanotechnology
A University of Central Florida assistant professor has developed a new material using nanotechnology, which could help keep pilots and sensitive equipment safe from destructive lasers.

Physics faculty try innovative teaching methods
A study of physics faculty awareness and use of research-based instructional techniques offers greater understanding of what is missing from current educational reform efforts.

Chronic stress linked to high risk of stroke
Chronic stress, prompted by major life stressors and type A personality traits, is linked to a high risk of stroke, finds research published online in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.

Fast food restaurant lighting and music can reduce calorie intake and increase satisfaction
Researchers Wansink and Ittersum found that while softening the lighting and music in fast-food restaurants didn't change what people ordered, it caused them to eat 18 percent less of what they ordered (775 calories instead of 949) and to rate the food as more enjoyable.

Mount Sinai researchers solve mystery surrounding the death of two sisters nearly 50 years ago
Researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine have identified the genetic cause of a rare and fatal bone disease by studying frozen skin cells that were taken from a child with the condition almost fifty years ago.

New study evaluates noninvasive technology to determine heart disease
A study published in the most recent issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association presented encouraging news regarding physicians' ability to determine blood flow and associated coronary artery disease using noninvasive CT scanning technology.

Biomass characterization technology research highlighted in Industrial Biotechnology journal
Biomass recalcitrance--the problem of how to break down complex plant-based cellulosic feedstock into sugars that can be fermented to produce sustainable biofuels and other renewable biobased products--can be overcome through improved methods of biomass characterization.

Young children share rewards based on merit
Young children take merit into account when sharing resources, according to research published Aug.

UTMB receives $1.2 million to provide HPV vaccine
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston's Dr. Abbey Berenson has been awarded a $1.2 million grant to start a program that will provide a vaccination against cervical cancer to many hundreds of low-income women who receive health care services at UTMB.

DFG sponsors completion of the critical edition of the works of Friedrich Schlegel
Academics at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz have been granted financial support by the German Research Foundation to finish the complete critical edition of the works of Friedrich Schlegel (1772-1829).

Nurse leader resistance perceived as a barrier to high-quality, evidence-based patient care
A new national survey of more than 1,000 registered nurses suggests that serious barriers - including resistance from nursing leaders - prevent nurses from implementing evidence-based practices that improve patient outcomes.

Belimumab for lupus erythematosus: Added benefit not proven
Belimumab (trade name Benlysta) has been approved since July 2011 as an add-on therapy for adult patients with the autoimmune disease systemic lupus erythematosus.

Computer viruses could take a lesson from showy peacocks
Computer viruses are constantly replicating throughout computer networks and wreaking havoc.

Malaria nearly eliminated in Sri Lanka despite decades of conflict
Despite nearly three decades of conflict, Sri Lanka has succeeded in reducing malaria cases by 99.9 percent since 1999 and is on track to eliminate the disease entirely by 2014.

TacSat-4 participates in Navy fleet experiment Trident Warrior
NRL provides TacSat-4 SATCOM testing and training during the 2012 Trident Warrior Experiment.

ESC analysis reveals arrhythmia treatment gaps between Eastern and Western Europe
An ESC analysis of arrhythmia treatments during 2008-2012 has revealed large treatment gradients from West to East, with Eastern European countries performing significantly fewer procedures.

Early career distinction: Prestigious award recognizes physicist's work in electron dynamics
Matthias Kling, assistant professor of physics, recently received the Early Career Research Program Award from the US Department of Energy.

Heatwaves to move toward coasts, study finds
A new study by researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, suggests that the nature of California heatwaves is changing due to global warming.

Internet addiction -- Causes at the molecular level
Everybody is talking about Internet addiction. Medically, this phenomenon has not yet been as clearly described as nicotine or alcohol dependency.

Project MICREAgents: Self-assembling smart microscopic reagents to pioneer pourable electronics
The project MICREAgents plans to build autonomous self-assembling electronic microreagents that are almost as small as cells. 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