Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 05, 2012
Study in mice suggests sleep problems may be early sign of Alzheimer's
Sleep disruptions may be among the earliest indicators of Alzheimer's disease, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Clemson plant pathologist working to raise cucurbit yields, lower production costs
Growers of pickling cucumbers and other crops susceptible to infection by downy mildew may someday benefit from higher yields and lower production costs thanks to collaborative research by Clemson University's School of Agricultural, Forest and Environmental Sciences and North Carolina State University.

Exceptional upward mobility in the US is a myth, international studies show
The rhetoric is relentless: America is a place of unparalleled opportunity, where hard work and determination can propel a child out of humble beginnings into the White House, or at least a mansion on a hill.

Alternatives to Medicare's fee-for-service payment system examined
For years policymakers have attempted to replace Medicare's fee-for-service payment system with approaches that pay one price for an aggregation of services.

Archaeology team announces 'huge step forward' in King Richard III search
A University of Leicester team confirms it has found medieval Grey Friars Church -- the burial place of Richard III.

Children exposed to 2 phthalates have elevated risk of asthma-related airway inflammation
Children exposed to diethyl phthalate and butylbenzyl phthalate -- phthalate chemicals commonly found in personal care and plastic products -- have elevated risk of asthma-related airway inflammation, according to researchers at Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health at the Mailman School of Public Health.

Most English football teams don't follow international guidelines on concussion
Most professional English football teams don't comply with international guidelines on concussion among players, which ensure they are safe to return to play, indicates research published online in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Kessler Foundation releases preliminary research findings for Ekso in spinal cord injury
Kessler Foundation released preliminary research findings from its clinical study of the wearable robotic exoskeletal device, Ekso (Ekso Bionics).

Powerful new explosive could replace today's state-of-the-art military explosive
Borrowing a technology used to improve the effectiveness of drugs, scientists are reporting discovery of a new explosive more powerful than the current state-of-the-art explosive used by the military, and just as safe for personnel to handle.

LEDs winning light race to save energy, the environment
A PNNL report shows light-emitting diode light bulbs, also known as LEDs, are more environmentally friendly than compact fluorescent and incandescent lights.

Wildlife Conservation Society releases list of Asian species at the conservation crossroads
The Wildlife Conservation Society today released a list of Asian species that are at a conservation crossroads calling for governments to take immediate action with the 'Three R's Approach: Recognition, Responsibility, Recovery.'

Center will create self-powered health monitoring devices
North Carolina State University will lead a national nanotechnology research effort to create self-powered devices to help people monitor their health and understand how the surrounding environment affects it, the National Science Foundation announced today.

Are restrictions to scientific research costing lives?
In 'Censors on Campus', Index on Censorship asks whether lives might be saved by making vital research freely available.

Dinosaur die-out might have been second of 2 closely timed extinctions
New research indicates that shortly before an asteroid impact spelled doom for the dinosaurs, a separate extinction triggered by volcanic eruptions killed life on the ocean floor.

Millions of DNA switches that power human genome's operating system are discovered
Genes make up only 2 percent of the human genome and are easy to spot, but the on/off switches controlling those genes were encrypted within the remaining 98 percent of the genome.

Call for a new approach to fighting tuberculosis
Each year, nearly two million people die from tuberculosis -- a treatable disease that has been brought under control in the United States, but continues to ravage other parts of the world.

The evolving role of CIOs in organizations: Top CIOs to gather at UC Berkeley
The world's most visionary chief information officers will come together at the University of California, Berkeley's Haas School of Business to share ideas and insights about the future of their important roles in organizations.

BUSM/VA researchers examine new PTSD diagnosis criteria
Results of a study led by researchers at Boston University School of Medicine and the Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System indicate that the proposed changes to the diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder will not substantially affect the number of people who meet criteria for the disorder.

West coast log, lumber exports down in first half of 2012
Log exports from Washington, Oregon, northern California, and Alaska totaled 736 million board feet in the first six months of 2012, a decrease of 25 percent compared to the same time last year, according to the US Forest Service's Pacific Northwest Research Station.

Why does Alzheimer's disease affect twice as many women as men?
A group of experts has developed consensus recommendations for future research directions to determine why nearly two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer's disease (AD) are women.

The CNIO welcomes the new academic year with a spotlight on cancer genetics
The Distinguished Seminars series, the most prestigious scientific conferences at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre, welcome the new academic year with a double bill focusing on cancer genetics next Thursday and Friday.

Galileo didn't invent thermometer that bears his name
The great Italian scientist Galileo may have been the first person to use a telescope to observe the heavens, helping spark the scientific revolution of the 16th century, but Galileo definitely did not invent the famous thermometer and captivating curiosity that bears his name.

Possible new therapy for the treatment of a common blood cancer
Research from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden shows that sorafenib, a drug used for advanced cancer of the kidneys and liver, could also be effective against multiple myeloma.

Harnessing anticancer drugs for the future fight against influenza
The researchers at the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland together with their collaborators developed a new cell screening method that can be used to identify potential anti-influenza drugs.

Tests for silent neck artery narrowing to curb stroke risk: Waste of resources
Tests to screen for

Ginkgo biloba extract does not prevent Alzheimer's dementia
Ginkgo biloba extract does not significantly reduce the likelihood of diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease in older people, according to the results of the largest ever Alzheimer's prevention study in Europe, published in Lancet Neurology.

The best strategy to defeat HIV in South Africa
Researchers at UCLA suggest a strategy being proposed by the World Health Organization to combat HIV in South Africa is badly flawed.

Fathers who sleep closer to children have lower testosterone levels
Closer sleeping proximity between fathers and children is associated with a greater decrease in the father's testosterone level, with possible implications for parenting behavior.

UMASS Medical School faculty annotate human genome for ENCODE project
The first comprehensive decoding and annotation of the human genome is being published today by the ENCyclopedia Of DNA Elements (ENCODE) project, an international consortium of scientists from 32 institutions, including the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

London Olympics anti-doping labs set for first-of-a-kind repurposing
The United Kingdom will convert the London 2012 Olympics anti-doping center, which conducted more than 6,000 drug tests on athletes during the Olympic and Paralympic Games, into a facility that could help revolutionize 21st century health care.

In massive genome analysis ENCODE data suggests 'gene' redefinition
As part of a huge collaborative effort called ENCODE (Encyclopedia of DNA Elements), a research team at CSHL has analyzed all the RNA messages, called transcripts, produced within human cells.

Researchers identify biochemical functions for most of the human genome
A new map finds that genetic regulatory elements account for 80 percent of our DNA.

Quantum physics at a distance
Physicists at the University of Vienna and the Austrian Academy of Sciences have achieved quantum teleportation over a record distance of 143 km.

Mapping a genetic world beyond genes
Comprised of more than 30 participating institutions, including the Broad Institute, the ENCODE Project Consortium has helped to ascribe potential biochemical function to a large fraction of the non-coding genome.

Brainy beverage: Study reveals how green tea boosts brain cell production to aid memory
It has long been believed that drinking green tea is good for the memory.

Establishment of Danish digital laboratory opens up new possibilities for humanities research
'Laboratories are normally associated with the natural sciences, but now we're opening the doors for Denmark's first digital laboratory for humanities researchers.

Kinsey Reporter: Free app allows public to anonymously report, share information on sexual behavior
Indiana University has released Kinsey Reporter, a global mobile survey platform for collecting and reporting anonymous data about sexual and other intimate behaviors.

EU FET program funds research on 3D neuronal structures mimicking human brain tissue
European Commission's Future and Emerging Technologies scheme has granted four M€ to an international consortium aiming to construct a functional 3D neuronal structure mimicking the human brain.

Pint-size microRNAs show promise against weighty problem, researchers say
Virginia Tech phenotyping experts team up with molecular biologists at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas to show how two specific mini-molecules called microRNAs may be potential drug targets to help solve the nation's obesity problem.

Gender equality influences how people choose their partners
Men and women clearly have different strategies for picking sexual partners, but the reason why differences exist is less clear.

Wireless window sentinel
Window contacts tell users if a window is open or closed.

New study examines how ocean energy impacts life in the deep sea
A new study of deep-sea species worldwide examines how gradients in food and temperature in the deep sea's dark, frigid waters affect the creatures that live there.

Yale team finds order amidst the chaos within the human genome
The massive Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) unveiled Sept. 5 reveals a human genome vastly more rich and complex than envisioned even a decade ago.

CHOP's Center for Autism Research receives five-year grant as an NIH Autism Center of Excellence
The Center for Autism Research at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia will continue its research to identify early signs of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) through a grant from the NIH Autism Centers of Excellence (ACE) research program.

Trout will become extinct in the Iberian Peninsula in less than 100 years
Climate change, pollution, the extraction of water for irrigation and overfishing all threaten the survival of the common trout.

NFL players may be at higher risk of death from Alzheimer's and ALS
New research shows that professional football players may be at a higher risk of death from diseases that damage the cells in the brain, such as Alzheimer's disease and ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig's disease), compared to the general US population.

Internal relations
Cybersecurity experts are working to keep medical devices -- and the patients they help -- safe from hackers.

Hospital-acquired UTIs rarely reported in data used to implement penalties
Statewide analysis by the University of Michigan shows that removing pay for hospital-acquired, catheter-associated UTIs didn't lead to financial savings.

NASA sees Tropical Storm Leslie was causing a problem for itself
Infrared data from NASA's Aqua satellite shows that Tropical Storm Leslie has been causing problems for itself.

When do we lie? When we're short on time and long on reasons
Almost all of us have been tempted to lie at some point, whether about our GPA, our annual income, or our age.

Adolescents in foster care require guidelines for safe social media use, MU expert says
About 73 percent of online American teens use social networking sites, such as Facebook, to share photos, interests and experiences with others, according to Pew Research Center.

Grant funds West Coast Metabolomics Center
With a $9.3 million start-up grant from the National Institutes of Health, UC Davis plans to open the West Coast Metabolomics Center, a high-tech consortium of research and service laboratories that will help scientists better understand and develop more effective treatments for complex diseases like diabetes, cancer and atherosclerosis.

The best strategy to defeat HIV in South Africa
The World Health Organization is about to embark on a new strategy to prevent AIDS in South Africa, a country thought to have more people with HIV/AIDS than any other country in the world.

Study: How a high-fat diet and estrogen loss leads women to store more abdominal fat than men
A high-fat diet triggers chemical reactions in female mice that could explain why women are more likely than men to gain fat in the abdomen after eating excess saturated fat, new research suggests.

Loss of tropical forests reduces rain
Deforestation can have a significant effect on tropical rainfall, new research confirms.

Social exclusion on the playground
Being the last one picked for the team, getting left out of the clique of cool girls, having no one to sit with at lunch...

The ENCODE Project publishes new genomic insights in special issue of Genome Research
Genome Research publishes online and in print today a special issue dedicated to The ENCODE (ENCyclopedia Of DNA Elements) Project, whose goal is to characterize all functional elements in the human genome.

NASA imagery reveals strength in Tropical Storm Michael's 'arm'
NASA's Aqua satellite shows that tiny Tropical Storm Michael had some strong thunderstorms wrapped around its center and in a band of thunderstorms in its northeastern

HIF gene mutation found in tumor cells offers new clues about cancer metabolism
For the first time, a mutation in HIF2α, a specific group of genes known as transcription factors that is involved in red blood cell production and cell metabolism, has been identified in cancer tumor cells.

UC Santa Cruz provides access to encyclopedia of the human genome
The ENCODE project has enabled scientists to assign specific functions for 80 percent of the human genome, providing new insights into the mechanisms of gene regulation and giving biomedical researchers a solid genetic foundation for understanding how the body works in health and disease.

Tough gel stretches to 21 times its length, recoils, and heals itself
A team of experts in mechanics, materials science, and tissue engineering at Harvard have created an extremely stretchy and tough gel that may pave the way to replacing damaged cartilage in human joints.

Scientists dramatically reduce plaque-forming substances in mice with Alzheimer's disease
Scientists have found that eliminating an enzyme from mice with symptoms of Alzheimer's disease leads to a 90 percent reduction in the compounds responsible for formation of the plaques linked to this type of dementia.

Seeing the birth of the universe in an atom of hydrogen
Professor Rennan Barkana of Tel Aviv University is using radio telescopes to find radio waves emitted by hydrogen atoms, which were abundant in the early days of the universe.

Comprehensive transcriptome analysis of human ENCODE cells
ENCODE, an international research project led by the National Human Genome Research Institute, has produced and analyzed 1649 data sets designed to annotate functional elements of the entire human genome.

Genome-wide scan maps mutations in deadly lung cancers; reveals embryonic gene link
Scientists have completed a comprehensive map of genetic mutations linked to an aggressive and lethal type of lung cancer.

Huge human gene study includes Penn State University research
The first integrated understanding of how the human genome functions will be published this week -- the triumphant result of a collaborative five-year project called ENCODE, involving more than 440 researchers working in 32 labs worldwide.

Can gene therapy cure fatal diseases in children?
That low bone density causes osteoporosis and a risk of fracture is common knowledge.

A cluster with a secret
A new image from ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile shows the spectacular globular star cluster Messier 4.

CU-Boulder-led mountain forest study shows vulnerability to climate change
A new University of Colorado Boulder-led study that ties forest

Georgetown Lombardi researcher awarded 'Provocative Question' grant from NCI
The National Cancer Institute awards a grant under its

Prenatal exposure to pesticide additive linked with childhood cough
Children exposed in the womb to the widely used pesticide additive piperonyl butoxide have heightened risk of noninfectious cough at ages 5 and 6, according to researchers at the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health at the Mailman School of Public Health and of Columbia University Medical Center.

Understanding the human genome: ENCODE at BioMed Central
The completion of the human genome project in 2003 was an immeasurably important milestone, but (like an book written in code) left many biologists wondering what the sequence might actually mean.

NSF awards $450,000 to UNH, Conductive Compounds Inc. for solar panel innovation
University of New Hampshire researchers and Conductive Compounds Inc. in Hudson recently received $450,000 from the National Science Foundation to help produce more conductive and cost-effective solar panels.

Math tree may help root out fraudsters
Fraudsters beware: The more your social networks connect you and your accomplices to the crime, the easier it will be to shake you from the tree.

Forcing the molecular bond issue
Researchers at Berkeley Lab's Molecular Foundry developed a first-of-its-kind model for providing a comprehensive description of the way in which molecular bonds form and rupture.

AGU: Glacial thinning has sharply accelerated at major South American icefields
For the past four decades scientists have monitored the ebbs and flows of the icefields in the southernmost stretch of South America's vast Andes Mountains, detecting an overall loss of ice as the climate warms.

Major advances in understanding the regulation and organization of the human genome
The National Human Genome Research Institute today announced the results of a five-year international study of the regulation and organization of the human genome.

Guys, take note: Male birth control pill may be ready soon, says Texas A&M professor
Attention men: The day may be coming soon when you can take your own birth control pill with no side effects, according to a study done by a group of scientists that includes a Texas A&M University researcher.

University of Hawaii cancer researchers discover gene defect responsible for cancer syndrome
University of Hawai'i Cancer Center researchers have discovered germline BAP1 mutations are associated with a novel cancer syndrome characterized by malignant mesothelioma, uveal melanoma, cutaneous melanoma and atypical melanocytic tumors.

DNA sequences need quality time too - guidelines for quality control published
DNA sequence data have become an indispensable source of information in biology, finding diverse uses such as molecular species identification and the exploration of biodiversity in complex environments like soil and seawater.

Teens tell different tales about themselves depending on gender
During adolescence, the stories young people tell about themselves reflects their development of a personal identity and sense of self, and those autobiographical narratives vary depending on the teens' gender, according to a University of Missouri psychologist and her colleagues.

Can videogaming benefit young people with autism spectrum disorder?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 88 children in the U.S. has autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a broad group of neurodevelopmental disorders.

FASEB encourages improvements in graduate and postdoctoral research training
The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology strongly supports the effort to

Ecosystems cope with stress more effectively the greater the biodiversity
Ecosystems with a high degree of biodiversity can cope with more stress, such as higher temperatures or increasing salt concentrations, than those with less biodiversity.

Animal study finds anti-HIV vaginal ring can prevent virus transmission
Population Council scientists have found that a vaginal ring releasing an anti-HIV drug can prevent the transmission of SHIV in macaques.

Tumor suppressor genes vital to regulating blood precursor cells in fruit flies
UCLA stem cell scientists have shown that two common tumor suppressor genes, TSC and PTEN, are vital to regulating the stem cell-like precursor cells that create the blood supply in Drosophila, the common fruit fly.

Researchers unlock disease information hidden in genome's control circuitry
The majority of genetic changes associated with more than 400 common diseases and clinical traits affect the genome's regulatory circuitry.

New book on stereology by Mark West is essential reading for neurobiologists
Stereological approaches allow researchers to estimate the number, size and shapes of cellular structures, neurons, and other features of biological tissue viewed under the microscope, using sampling techniques to provide a quantitative three-dimensional picture.

Infections in rheumatoid arthritis patients: Mayo Clinic study finds way to pinpoint risk
Rheumatoid arthritis alone is painful and disabling, but it also puts patients at higher risk of death.

Toddlers increasingly swallowing liquid detergent capsules
Doctors are calling for improved safety warnings and childproof packaging for laundry and dishwasher detergent liquitabs, following a cluster of incidents in which toddlers have inadvertently swallowed the capsules.

Study in mice discovers injection of heat-generating cells reduces belly fat
The injection of a tiny capsule containing heat-generating cells into the abdomens of mice led those animals to burn abdominal fat and initially lose about 20 percent of belly fat after 80 days of treatment.

Study uncovers simple way of predicting severe pain following breast cancer surgery
Women having surgery for breast cancer are up to three times more likely to have severe pain in the first week after surgery if they suffer from other painful conditions, such as arthritis, low back pain and migraine, according to a Cancer Research UK study published today in the British Journal of Cancer.

New UCLA Engineering research center to revolutionize nanoscale electromagnetic devices
A multidisciplinary team of researchers from UCLA and other universities is poised to help turn science fiction into reality -- in the form of some of the world's tiniest electromagnetic devices -- thanks to a major grant from the National Science Foundation's Engineering Research Center program.

Albatross 'dynamic soaring' achieved by repeated curve-altitude oscillation
Albatrosses leverage the energy of the wind to fly with essentially no mechanical cost to themselves, very rarely flapping their wings, and new work published Sep.

SfN announces winners of brain awareness video contest
The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) announced today the winners of the SfN Brain Awareness Video Contest, which highlight engaging videos that educate and inspire the public about the wonders of the brain and mind.

Back to the future: A new science for a changing planet
A new book co-authored by UA ecologist Rafe Sagarin advocates for science to rediscover its roots of observing the natural world unimpeded by the strict protocols of experimental manipulations - and this is especially important if we are to tackle the enormously complex problems of global change.

Alan Tennant from Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin has been awarded with Europhysics Prize 2012
Alan Tennants group from HZB has, in cooperation with international research groups, for the first time observed magnetic monopoles and how they emerge in a real material.

NASA sees fading post-Tropical Cyclone John's warmer cloud tops
Post-tropical cyclone John has been

Telaprevir: Added benefit in certain patients with hepatitis C
The new drug telaprevir offers advantages in various groups of patients with chronic hepatitis C infection of genotype 1.

Insignia Technologies Ltd chooses BioCity Scotland for its base
Innovative packaging and labeling company Insignia Technologies has recently moved into 1,200 square feet of dedicated office and laboratory facilities in BioCity Scotland, the center for life science businesses in Newhouse, Lanarkshire.

Students create low-cost biosensor to detect contaminated water in developing nations
Diarrheal disease is the second leading cause of death in children under five years old -- killing as many as 1.5 million children worldwide every year.

Epigenetic causes of prostate cancer
Researchers observe modified methylation patterns in a group of prostate cancers.

Fast forward for biomedical research: ENCODE scraps the junk
An international team of researchers has revealed that much of what has been called 'junk DNA' in the human genome is actually a massive control panel with millions of switches regulating the activity of our genes.

Concern about plans to close unique Canadian environmental project
The Canadian government's plans to discontinue in 2013 a unique environmental research project that has yielded insights into water pollution, climate change and other topics for almost 40 years would be a

Improved cancer treatments the focus of $6 milion research project
Research into the natural process of cell death, its role in the development of blood cancers and harnessing cell death to improve cancer therapies has seen a Walter and Eliza Hall Institute research team from Melbourne, Australia, awarded a grant of more than six million dollars by the US-based Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. 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