Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 13, 2012
NASA sees wind shear battering Tropical Storm Nadine
Tropical Storm Nadine is struggling against wind shear and some dry air.

Stanford bioengineer Christina Smolke wins NIH Director's Pioneer Award
Christina Smolke, PhD, associate professor of bioengineering at Stanford University, has won a Director's Pioneer Award from the National Institutes of Health.

Genes render some rice species sterile
Researchers have identified a set of three genes that are responsible for hybrid sterility in rice, or the inability of many hybrid rice species to pass their genes on to the next generation.

Do it yourself and save: Open-source revolution is driving down the cost of doing science
Open-source software and hardware, coupled with a friendly community of expert users, is allowing researchers to make their own lab equipment at a huge savings.

New report: The ACA'S PCIP serving as a bridge; High-risk pools not a long-term solution
The Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan, established by the Affordable Care Act, is providing a coverage option for people with pre-existing health conditions until they are eligible to purchase insurance through the new state exchanges in 2014.

UMass Amherst chemists develop nose-like sensor array to 'smell' cancer diagnoses
In the fight against cancer, knowing the enemy's exact identity is crucial for diagnosis and treatment, especially in metastatic cancers, those that spread between organs and tissues.

Migratory moths profit from their journey
It isn't only birds that move south as autumn approaches.

UA engineering professor Shane Snyder to speak in Korea on international water quality
University of Arizona professor Shane Snyder, who earlier this year won best paper honors from the American Water Works Association (AWWA), has been invited to present in Korea this month to an expected audience of 3,500 at the 2012 International Water Association's (IWA) World Water Congress.

URMC geneticists verify cholesterol-cancer link
University of Rochester Medical Center scientists discovered new genetic evidence linking cholesterol and cancer, raising the possibility that cholesterol medications could be useful in the future for cancer prevention or to augment existing cancer treatment.

Study finds that natural killer T-cells in fat tissue guard against obesity
Invariant natural killer T-cells (iNKT) are a unique subset of immune cells that are known to influence inflammatory responses.

Should I marry him?
In the first scientific study to test whether doubts about getting married are more likely to lead to an unhappy marriage and divorce, UCLA psychologists report that when women have doubts before their wedding, those doubts are often a warning sign of trouble if they go ahead with the marriage.

Relieving plant stress could eventually help humans relax
Federica Brandizzi, Michigan State University plant biologist, is using a grant from the National Institutes of Health to study how plants overcome stress as they grow.

Daily disinfection of isolation rooms reduces contamination of healthcare workers' hands
New research demonstrates that daily cleaning of high-touch surfaces in isolation rooms of patients with Clostridium difficile or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus significantly reduces the rate of the pathogens on the hands of healthcare personnel.

IU chemist develops new synthesis of most useful, yet expensive, antimalarial drug
In 2010 malaria caused an estimated 665,000 deaths, mostly among African children.

Computer program can identify rough sketches
Computer scientists have developed a new program that can recognize rough sketches in real time, something that up to now had been very difficult for computers to do.

Stress breaks loops that hold short-term memory together
Stress has long been pegged as the enemy of attention, disrupting focus and doing substantial damage to working memory -- the short-term juggling of information that allows us to do all the little things that make us productive.

Immune system compensates for 'leaky gut' in inflammatory bowel disease susceptibility
New research could clarify how inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), conditions that include ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, are triggered and develop.

Penn State's Applied Research Laboratory is awarded Navy Contract
The US Navy's Naval Sea Systems Command awarded Penn State's Applied Research Laboratory a contract for up to $853 million over the next 10 years to support critical defense work.

Translation of research into practice for post-stroke care goes national
Researcher-clinicians from the Regenstrief Institute, the Department of Veterans Affairs and Indiana University School of Medicine are leading a national effort to coordinate and organize acute stroke care across the entire VA medical system.

'Smart growth' strategies curb car use, greenhouse gas emissions, SF State study suggests
Smart growth approaches to urban planning could substantially reduce the number of miles that residents drive in a year according to research published in the BE Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy.

In lung cancer, smokers have 10 times more genetic damage than never-smokers
Lung cancer patients with a history of smoking have 10 times more genetic mutations in their tumors than those with the disease who have never smoked, according to a new study from Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Snakes minus birds equals more spiders for Guam
Ecologists have found as many as 40 times more spiders in Guam's remote jungle than are found on nearby islands.

MARC travel awards announced for the 2012 APS Integrative Biology of Exercise meeting
FASEB MARC (Maximizing Access to Research Careers) Program has announced the travel award recipients for The American Physiological Society (APS) Integrative Biology of Exercise Meeting in Westminster, CO from October 10-13, 2012.

Water-wise biofuel crop study to alter plants metabolic, photosynthesis process
A five-year, multi-institutional $14.3 million United States Department of Energy grant to explore the genetic mechanisms of crassulacean acid metabolism and drought tolerance in desert-adapted plants was awarded to a team of researchers including John Cushman, a biochemistry professor at the University of Nevada, Reno; Xiaohan Yang at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL); James Hartwell at the University of Liverpool, UK; and Anne Borland at Newcastle University, UK and ORNL.

Long menopause allows killer whales to care for adult sons
Scientists have found the answer to why female killer whales have the longest menopause of any non-human species - to care for their adult sons.

Water quality study shows need for testing at state migrant camps
The drinking water at one-third of migrant farmworker camps in eastern North Carolina failed to meet state quality standards, according to a new study from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

Daniel Kahneman's 'Thinking, Fast and Slow' wins best book award from academies
Recipients of the tenth annual Communication Awards were announced today by the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine.

UCLA's Aydogan Ozcan lauded as one of world's most brilliant innovators by Popular Science
Popular Science magazine has named Aydogan Ozcan, an associate professor of electrical engineering and bioengineering at UCLA, one of the world's

Parental divorce linked to stroke in males
Men with divorced parents are significantly more likely to suffer a stroke than men from intact families, shows a new study from the University of Toronto.

'Saving brains' in developing countries: $11.8 million for innovative ideas worldwide
With the goal of helping children in resource-poor countries meet their full intellectual potential, 11 projects in Asia, Africa and South America will receive in all some $11.8 million from the Government of Canada via Grand Challenges Canada to test innovations to address four impediments to cognitive development -- inadequate nurturing, nutrition deficiency, premature birth, and infection.

Missing pieces of DNA structure is a red flag for deadly skin cancer
Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital have discovered a new biomarker for melanoma.

Moffitt cancer center researchers find novel predictor for MDS progression risk
Researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center and colleagues have discovered that changes in the physical characteristics of the effector memory regulatory T cell can predict the progression risk of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) to acute myeloid leukemia.

Foraging baboons are picky punters
Baboons choose which tree to find food in and who to take foraging, just like humans decide where to shop and who to go shopping with.

Nanoengineers can print 3D microstructures in mere seconds
A novel technology can fabricate, in mere seconds, microscale three dimensional (3D) structures out of soft, biocompatible hydrogels.

Gestational exposure to urban air pollution linked to vitamin D deficiency in newborns
Gestational exposure to ambient urban air pollution, especially during late pregnancy, may contribute to lower vitamin D levels in offspring, according to a recent study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Under-twisted DNA origami delivers cancer drugs to tumors
Scientists at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden describe in a new study how so-called DNA origami can enhance the effect of certain cytostatics used in the treatment of cancer.

CDC funds Wayne State University research to understand, prevent teen dating violence
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has awarded Wayne State University's School of Social Work a three-year, $1,049,223 grant for researching the factors that facilitate and discourage intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetration among middle school and high school youth.

Neural implant recovers ability to make decisions
Researchers have taken a key step towards recovering specific brain functions in sufferers of brain disease and injuries by successfully restoring the decision-making processes in monkeys.

Cloned receptor paves way for new breast and prostate cancer treatment
Researchers at Uppsala University have cloned a T-cell receptor that binds to an antigen associated with prostate cancer and breast cancer.

Study explains decrease in insulin-producing beta cells in diabetes
Scientists generally think that reduced insulin production by the pancreas, a hallmark of Type 2 diabetes, is due to the death of the organ's beta cells.

Children of immigrants come out ahead of peers
Children of immigrants are outperforming children whose family trees have deeper roots in the United States, learning more in school and then making smoother transitions into adulthood, sociologists find.

'Pink Lemonade,' 'Razz,' 'Sweetheart,' and 'Cara's Choice': superb blueberries from ARS
As a plant geneticist with USDA's Agricultural Research Service, Mark K.

Kids with food allergies can fall through the cracks
More can be done to properly manage the care of American children with food allergies, especially when it comes to diagnostic testing and recognizing non-visual symptoms of severe allergic reactions, according to a new Northwestern Medicine study.

Mutation breaks HIV's resistance to drugs
The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) can contain dozens of different mutations, called polymorphisms.

Scientists use sound waves to levitate liquids, improve pharmaceuticals
Scientists at the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory have been using an

Scientists use prosthetic device to restore and improve impaired decision-making ability in animals
Imagine a prosthetic device capable of restoring decision-making in people who have reduced capacity due to brain disease or injury.

Home sweet lab: Computerized house to generate as much energy as it uses
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has unveiled a new laboratory designed to demonstrate that a typical-looking suburban home for a family of four can generate as much energy as it uses in a year.

Researchers develop rapid method to measure carbon footprints
Researchers have developed new software that can rapidly calculate the carbon footprints of thousands of products simultaneously, a process that up to now has been time consuming and expensive.

NASA sees Sanba become a super typhoon
Tropical Storm Sanba exploded in intensity between Sept. 12 and 13, becoming a major Category 4 Typhoon on the Saffir-Simpson Scale.

MARC travel awards announced for 2012 American Society for Bone & Mineral Research annual meeting
FASEB MARC (Maximizing Access to Research Careers) Program has announced the travel award recipients for The American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) Annual Meeting in Minneapolis, MN from October 12-16, 2012.

Low cost design makes ultrasound imaging affordable to the world
Underwater sonar technology expert Jeff Neasham, from Newcastle University, UK, has invented the first ultra low-cost, portable ultrasound scanner that can be plugged into any computer with a USB port and could save the lives of hundreds of thousands of women and children around the world.

How early social deprivation impairs long-term cognitive function
Children who suffer severe neglect have cognitive impairments as adults.

Increased dietary fructose linked to elevated uric acid levels and lower liver energy stores
Obese patients with type 2 diabetes who consume higher amounts of fructose display reduced levels of liver adenosine triphosphate -- a compound involved in the energy transfer between cells.

Honestly? Just sign here -- first
Tax collectors and insurance agencies trying to boost honest reporting could improve compliance simply by asking people to sign their forms at the beginning instead of at the end.

Surviving without ice
Some crustaceans, previously thought to spend their entire lives on the underside of Arctic sea ice, were recently discovered to migrate deep underwater and follow ocean currents back to colder areas when the ice melts.

Met Office model to better predict extreme winters
Severe UK winters, like the 'big freeze' of 2009/10, can now be better forecast months in advance using the Met Office's latest model, new research suggests.

'Mini' stroke can cause major disability, may warrant clot-busters
Patients with transient ischemic attack, TIA or

Honoring excellence in personality and social psychology
Personal myths, aversive racism, heat and retaliation in baseball, and the power of writing about personal trauma - these are just a few of the research areas of the winners of the 2012 annual awards from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology.

Puberty turned on by brain during deep sleep
Slow-wave sleep, or 'deep sleep', is intimately involved in the complex control of the onset of puberty, according to a recent study accepted for publication in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Laser-powered 'needle' promises pain-free injections
From flu shots to immunizations, needle injections are among the least popular staples of medical care.

Warmer temperatures make new USDA plant zone map obsolete
Gardeners and landscapers may want to rethink their fall tree plantings.

World's hottest temperature cools a bit
If you think this summer was hot, it's nothing compared to the summer of 1913, when the hottest temperature ever recorded was a searing 134 F in Death Valley, Calif.

UMD study shows exercise may protect against future emotional stress
Moderate exercise may help people cope with anxiety and stress for an extended period of time post-workout, according to a study by kinesiology researchers in the University of Maryland School of Public Health.

People who read food labels stay thinner
An international team of scientists headed from the University of Santiago de Compostela ensures that reading the labels on food products is linked to obesity prevention, especially in women.

Children's intensive care units performing well despite low staffing levels
New report by University of Leeds and the University of Leicester on pediatric intensive care units.

A rare feat: 2 scientists at Salk score NIH New Innovator Awards
The Salk Institute announced today that researchers Björn Lillemeier, and Axel Nimmerjahn, have been named recipients of the prestigious 2012 National Institutes of Health Director's New Innovator Award.

2 studies could lead to new personalized therapies for lung cancer patients
Lung cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide and is associated with very low survival rates.

Wits Health Sciences Research Day and PG Expo promises to showcase health through research
The 2012 Health Sciences Research Day and Postgraduate Expo takes place on Wednesday, 19 September 2012 under the theme: 'Excellence.

Perceived control affects complication rates in patients with acute coronary syndrome
Patients admitted to hospital with obstructed heart arteries were three times more likely to experience complications when they were in hospital if they felt they were not in control of their condition.

Fruit flies reveal surprising new evolutionary link for studying human health
New research reveals that fruit flies and mammals may share a surprising evolutionary link in how they control body temperature through circadian rhythm, unlocking new ways to study the insects as models of human development and disease.

Shine and rise
In a new study, a light-sensitive moiety has been added to propofol, a commonly used anesthetic, allowing its narcotic effect to be controlled by light.

Lack of oxygen in cancer cells leads to growth and metastasis
The proteins HIF-1a and CD24 have both been implicated in the aggressive characteristics of hypoxic cancers.

Doctors who perform abortions are compelled by conscience, just like those who refuse
University of Michigan bioethicist, gynecologist says providers have moral reasons for offering abortions, in essay published in New England Journal of Medicine.

The once-in-a-lifetime experience of totality
Seeing a total solar eclipse is often described as a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

UCF nanoscientist receives $2 million NIH award
The National Institutes of Health today awarded University of Central Florida Professor Ming Su its coveted New Innovator award, which comes with a two million dollar grant.

How fast can ice sheets respond to climate change?
A new Arctic study in the journal Science is helping to unravel an important mystery surrounding climate change: How quickly glaciers can melt and grow in response to shifts in temperature.

Study reveals how common gene mutation affects kids with autism spectrum disorders
In children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, a common gene mutation has been found to impact the network of connections between different areas of the brain involved in social behavior, such as recognizing the emotions shown on people's faces.

UK's first academic research institute to investigate the 'science of cyber security'
A new academic Research Institute to improve understanding of the science behind the growing Cyber Security threat was announced today.

Cell death mystery yields new suspect for cancer drug development
A mysterious form of cell death, coded in proteins and enzymes, led to a discovery by UNC researchers uncovering a prime suspect for new cancer drug development.

Do SAT scores help or hurt in decisions about who will do well in college?
Every year, nervous high school juniors and seniors sit down and take the SAT.

Three Penn State research pioneers among first Golden Goose honorees
Three Penn State scientists have received national honors for their pioneering research, begun more than 40 years ago, that led to the development of implant materials widely used today in human bone and joint repairs.

Kidney society describes ways to eliminate wasteful tests and procedures
Kidney disease patients and their physicians should question and discuss certain medical tests and procedures, taking into consideration patients' preferences, needs, and health goals.

Study of giant viruses shakes up tree of life
A new study of giant viruses supports the idea that viruses are ancient living organisms and not inanimate molecular remnants run amok, as some scientists have argued.

U-M guidelines help family physicians evaluate, manage urinary incontinence for women
Urinary incontinence is a common and sometimes embarrassing problem for millions of women - but many don't address it with their doctors.

Looking at you: Face genes identified
Five genes have been found to determine human facial shapes, as reported by researchers from the Netherlands, Germany, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia in the open-access journal PLOS Genetics.

New national clinical trials network for neurological disorders to foster cutting-edge treatments
UT Southwestern Medical Center's expertise in neurology has earned it a place in an innovative national clinical trials network that will make it easier to test promising treatments for patients with brain, muscle and nerve disorders.

Eight scientists honored in first annual Golden Goose Awards
Eight scientists, including four Nobel prize winners, will be honored at first annual Golden Goose Awards ceremony on Capitol Hill.

Joseph Leidy Award goes to Stony Brook evolutionary biologist
A leading evolutionary biologist whose textbooks on evolution are widely read by college students will receive the prestigious Joseph Leidy Award, the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University announced today.

Large Europe-wide study confirms work stress linked to greater risk of heart disease
People who have highly demanding jobs and little freedom to make decisions are 23 percen more likely to experience a heart attack compared with their counterparts without such work stress, according to a study of nearly 200,000 people from seven European countries, published Online First in the Lancet.

Boiling water without bubbles
Every cook knows that boiling water bubbles, right? New research from Northwestern University turns that notion on its head.

Great interest in science and technology among Swedish students
Science in school doesn't capture students' interest in science and technology, but science in society does.

NIH-funded analysis estimates effective PrEP dosing
Several large clinical trials have demonstrated that a daily oral dose of one or two antiretroviral drugs used to treat HIV infection can prevent infection in an approach known as pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP.

Maturitas publishes clinical guide on low-dose vaginal estrogens for vaginal atrophy
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, announced today the publication of a position statement by the European Menopause and Andropause Society in the journal Maturitas.

New analysis in Science tells how world eradicated deadliest cattle plague
A new analysis published today in Science traces the recent global eradication of the deadliest of cattle diseases, crediting not only the development of a new, heat-resistant vaccine, but also the insight of local African herders, who guided scientists in deciding which animals to immunize and when.

Neural stem cells regenerate axons in severe spinal cord injury
In a study at the University of California, San Diego and VA San Diego Healthcare, researchers were able to regenerate

Madidi conservationist wins award at World Conservation Congress
Oscar Loayza of WCS's Madidi Program in Bolivia has received the Kenton Miller Award for Innovation in Protected Areas Management at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Jeju, Republic of Korea (Sept.

Charting the SH2 pool
New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal Cell Communication and Signaling describes a large set of interactions which maps the range of phosphotyrosine-dependent interactions with SH2 domains underlying insulin, insulin-like growth factor-1 and fibroblast growth factor signaling pathways.

Stanford bioengineer Karl Deisseroth wins NIH Transformative Research Award
Karl Deisseroth, MD, PhD, professor of bioengineering and of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University, has won a Transformative Research Award of $22.48 million over five years from the National Institutes of Health through a program designed to encourage high-risk, high-reward approaches to science.

Poorest miss out on benefits, experience more material hardship, since 1996 welfare reform
Although the federal government's 1996 reform of welfare brought some improvements for the nation's poor, it also may have made extremely poor Americans worse off, new research shows.

Healthy outlook leads to a healthy lifestyle: study
A 'can do' attitude is the key to a healthy lifestyle, University of Melbourne economists have determined.

Mild increases in thyroid-stimulating hormone not harmful in the elderly
There is no evidence to link mildly elevated thyroid-stimulating hormone levels to an increase in mortality among the elderly, according to a recent study accepted for publication in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Effects of stopping alcohol consumption on subsequent risk of esophageal cancer
Cancer of the esophagus is becoming more common in Europe and North America.

Gladstone scientists map the genomic blueprint of the heart
Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes have revealed the precise order and timing of hundreds of genetic

NIH New Innovator Award helps Sanford-Burnham scientist pursue high-risk, high-reward project
The National Institutes of Health announces that Duc Dong, Ph.D., assistant professor at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, will receive a New Innovator Award.

Scripps Research scientists reveal how deadly virus silences immune system
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have determined the structure of a critical protein from the Marburg virus, a close cousin of Ebola virus.

Study: Gingko biloba does not improve cognition in MS patients
Many people with multiple sclerosis for years have taken the natural supplement Gingko biloba, believing it helps them with cognitive problems associated with the disease.

LA BioMed investigator, Dr. Rodney White, receives the 2012 Golden Goose Award
Rodney White, M.D., lead investigator at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, and Chief, Division of Vascular Surgery, Department of Surgery at Harbor-UCLA, has been chosen as a recipient for the 2012 Golden Goose Award for his work with coralline ceramics.

MARC travel awards announced for the 2012 SACNAS Annual Meeting
FASEB MARC (Maximizing Access to Research Careers) Program has announced the travel award recipients for the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) Annual Meeting in Seattle, WA from October 11-14, 2012.

Sharing the research on car-sharing
Researchers from the Concordia Institute of Information Systems Engineering have piloted a computer model that can help determine how a car-sharing service can grow, maximize customer satisfaction and be profitable.

Ceramic Society announces selection of Ichinose, Lawn and Moskowitz as 2012 Distinguish Life Members
The American Ceramic Society (ACerS) today announced the names of the organization's three newest Distinguished Life Members.

Low ghrelin -- reducing appetite at the cost of increased stress?
Ghrelin is a hormone released by the lining of the stomach that promotes feeding behavior.

FASEB letter comments on house policy bill that will over-regulate the National Institutes Of Health
The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) sent a letter to the House Appropriations Committee stating that the fiscal year (FY) 2013 Labor, Health and Human Services (LHHS) appropriations bill will underfund and over-regulate the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Whitehead scientists bring new efficiency to stem cell reprogramming
New genetic markers identified by researchers at Whitehead Institute and MIT could help make the process for reprogramming regular body cells into pluripotent stem cells more efficient, allowing scientists to predict which treated cells will successfully become pluripotent. 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