Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 17, 2012
When it rains, it pours
Global warming is expected to intensify extreme precipitation, but the rate at which it does so in the tropics has remained unclear.

Behavior issues are a bigger headache for children with migraines
Kids who get migraine headaches are much more likely than other children to also have behavioral difficulties, including social and attention issues, and anxiety and depression.

Further steps needed to reduce stigma and expand access to substance abuse
Outdated approaches to preventing and treating substance abuse, barriers to care, and other problems hinder the US Defense Department's ability to curb substance use disorders among military service members and their families.

High-flying NASA aircraft helps develop new science instruments
Over the next few weeks, an ER-2 high altitude research aircraft operating out of NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Va., will take part in the development of two future satellite instruments.

Cystic fibrosis disrupts pancreas two ways in CF-related diabetes
A new University of Iowa study suggests there are two root causes of a type of diabetes associated with cystic fibrosis (CF).

Maya Angelou Center Brings International Women's Health Summit to Winston-Salem, NC
The Maya Angelou Center for Women's Health and Wellness at Forsyth Medical Center will hold a three-day international summit focusing on contemporary issues affecting women's and girls' health September 27-29.

New research presents most extensive pictures ever of an organism's DNA mutation processes
Biologists and informaticists at Indiana University have produced one of the most extensive pictures ever of mutation processes in the DNA sequence of an organism, elucidating important new evolutionary information about the molecular nature of mutations and how fast those heritable changes occur.

Leading stem cell scientists to focus on diabetes, eye diseases at Cedars-Sinai symposium
Leading scientists and clinicians from across the nation will discuss the latest findings on potential stem cell treatments for diabetes and eye diseases at the second Cedars-Sinai Regenerative Medicine Scientific Symposium.

Toxic protein build-up in blood shines light on fatal brain disease
A new light-based technique for measuring levels of the toxic protein that causes Huntington's disease (HD) has been used to demonstrate that the protein builds up gradually in blood cells.

Assessing a new technique for ensuring fresh produce remains Salmonella-free
Researchers at the Institute of Food Research have tested a new technique to ensure fresh produce is free of bacterial contamination.

NASA sees Eastern Pacific storms power up and down
While Tropical Storm Kristy faded into a remnant low pressure area, Lane strengthened into a hurricane.

Children evaluate educational games
Is it possible to create suitable and amusing educational computer games?

Risk of developing diabetes higher in neighborhoods that aren't walk-friendly: Study
Whether your neighborhood is conducive to walking could determine your risk for developing diabetes, according to a new study by researchers at St.

AGU journal highlights - 17 September 2012
The following highlights summarize research papers that have been recently published:

People who self-harm are 3 times as likely to die prematurely often due to poor physical health
People who have a history of self-harm are more than three times as likely to die prematurely as the general population, and not just from the obvious causes, with deaths due to natural causes at least two times greater than anticipated and the risk also much higher for individuals living in socially deprived areas, according to a UK study published Online First in the Lancet.

Alzheimer's breaks brain networks' coordination
Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have taken one of the first detailed looks into how Alzheimer's disease disrupts coordination among several of the brain's networks.

Precision motion tracking - Thousands of cells at a time
Researchers have developed a new way to observe and track large numbers of rapidly moving objects under a microscope, capturing precise motion paths in three dimensions.

US underestimates costs of carbon pollution and climate change
The US federal government is significantly underestimating the costs of carbon pollution because it is using a faulty analytical model, according to a new study published in the Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences.

UMN scientists get federal grant for biotechnology development to purify fracking water
A University of Minnesota research team has earned a new $600,000 grant from the National Science Foundation's Partnerships for Innovation program to develop innovative biotechnology to purify wastewater produced by hydraulic fracturing (fracking).

Attractive names sustain increased vegetable intake in schools
The age-old parental struggle of convincing youngsters to eat their fruits and vegetables has some new allies: Power Punch Broccoli, X-Ray Vision Carrots -- and a host of catchy names for entrees in school cafeterias.

Scientist receives $2.8 Million to study cell signaling mechanism and develop potential therapeutics
A scientist from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute has been awarded a pair of grants totaling $2.8 million from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health, and from TargAnox, a Massachusetts-based biotechnology firm.

Improving memory for specific events can alleviate symptoms of depression
Hear the word

Challengers to Clovis-age impact theory missed key protocols, new study finds
An interdisciplinary team of scientists from seven US institutions says a disregard of three critical protocols, including sorting samples by size, explains why a group challenging the theory of a North American meteor-impact event some 12,900 years ago failed to find iron- and silica-rich magnetic particles in the sites they investigated.

Newly demonstrated capabilities of low-powered nanotweezers may benefit cellular-level studies
Using ultra-low input power densities, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have demonstrated for the first time how low-power

Summer Geoscience from GSA Bulletin
GSA Bulletin papers posted online from 20 July through 14 September 2012 elaborate on geoscience from Algeria, Mexico, Spain, Turkey, Nova Scotia, Switzerland, New Mexico, and the U.S.

JCI early table of contents for Sept. 17, 2012
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published on Sept.17, 2012, in the JCI: A non-invasive method to track Huntington's disease progression; Improving pancreatic islet transplantation in humans; Loss of thyroid stimulating hormone contributes to osteoporosis; Cystic fibrosis ferrets model human cystic fibrosis-related diabetes; Growing hematopoietic stem cells in vitro; Drug used to treat blood clots may protect against osteoporosis; and many more.

Alpine glaciers contribute to carbon cycling
An international collaboration led by Tom Battin from the Department of Limnology of the University of Vienna unravels the role of Alpine glaciers for carbon cycling.

Tafamidis: Approval denotes proven added benefit
Tafamidis is a drug for the treatment of a rare disease (

Nearly $50 million in research funding awarded by NSF
The National Science Foundation (NSF), in partnership with NASA, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), today awarded just under $50 million to grantees around the country for the development and use of robots that cooperatively work with people and enhance individual human capabilities, performance and safety.

Researchers reveal underlying mechanism of powerful chemotherapy for prostate cancer treatment
The power of taxane-based chemotherapy drugs are misunderstood and potentially underestimated, according to researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College in the Sept.

International team of physicists makes discovery about temperature in convection
An international team of physicists is working to ascertain more about the fundamental physical laws that are at work in a process known as convection, which occurs in a boiling pot of water as well as in the turbulent movement of the liquid outer core of the Earth.

Dry-run experiments verify key aspect of Sandia nuclear fusion concept
Magnetically imploded tubes, intended to help produce controlled nuclear fusion at scientific

Mercyhurst University presents new research on managing spinal injuries to NFL
Mercyhurst University in collaboration with Sports Medicine Concepts and Shriners Hospital for Children has completed two years of research in identifying best practices in managing the on-field care of football players with suspected spinal cord injuries.

Millions of Europeans still at risk from high trans fatty acid content in popular foods
The heart health of millions of Europeans is still at risk because of the persistently high trans fatty acid content of certain fast and convenience foods, indicates research published in the online journal BMJ Open.

Evolutionary straitjacket means flies can't take the heat
Many species of fruit fly lack the ability to adapt effectively to predicted increases in global temperatures and may face extinction in the near future, according to new research.

Simple test to predict if pregnant women will give birth prematurely
Babies born early run a greater risk of serious complications.

JDRF announces winners of first phase of Agnes Varis Glucose-Responsive Insulin Challenge
JDRF, the leading global organization focused on type 1 diabetes research, announced today the winners of the Theoretical Phase of its first-ever public challenge, which called for novel theoretical ideas to approach the discovery and development of glucose-responsive insulin to treat diabetes.

Eating well during pregnancy reduces baby's obesity risk regardless of mom's size
If you are overweight and pregnant, your baby isn't destined to become obese, according to a research report published online in The FASEB Journal.

World's most powerful digital camera opens eye, records first images in hunt for dark energy
Scientists in the international Dark Energy Survey collaboration announced this week that the Dark Energy Camera, the world's most powerful digital camera, has achieved first light.

AACR to host 11th Annual Cancer Prevention Research Conference
This AACR Cancer Prevention Research Conference is to highlight new developments in cancer prevention.

No increased risk of cancer for people with shingles
Herpes zoster, or shingles, does not increase the risk of cancer in the general population, according to a study in Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Study suggests gap in treatment of sexually transmitted diseases among teens
California's pediatricians-in-training are not adequately educated about the methods to prevent recurrent sexually transmitted infections in teenagers.

Back to school: Is higher education making you fat?
A new study published today in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism looks beyond the much-feared weight gain common to first-year students and reports on the full 4-year impact of higher education on weight, BMI, and body composition.

Einstein researcher receives $10.8 million grant to study toxic blood reactions caused by hemoglobin
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded nearly $11 million to Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University to carry out a five-year multi-institutional study of hemoglobin toxicity that may complicate blood transfusions and reduce the effectiveness of blood substitutes.

Antibiotic-resistant pathogens persist in antibiotic-free pigs
Researchers from North Carolina State University have found identical strains of antibiotic-resistant Campylobacter coli in both antibiotic-free and conventionally raised pigs.

VTT and GE Healthcare developing novel biomarkers to predict Alzheimer's disease
Scientists from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland in collaboration with the University of Eastern Finland have recently discovered a serum biochemical signature which predicts progression to Alzheimer's disease months or even years before the first symptoms of the disease occur.

Legacy bead program helps children and their families cope with life-threatening illnesses
The St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Legacy Bead program gives patients a tangible way to illustrate their treatment journeys.

Sound level around seriously ill patients 'like a busy road'
Seriously ill patients in intensive care units are being cared for in environments with sound levels more than 20 dB higher than the WHO's recommendations.

Only children are significantly more likely to be overweight
Children who grow up without siblings have a more than 50 percent higher risk of being overweight or obese than children with siblings.

Sex matters: Guys recognize cars and women recognize birds best
New research finds that women are better than men at recognizing living things while men are better than women at recognizing vehicles.

Majority of US Schools not ready for next pandemic, SLU researchers say
Terri Rebmann Associate Professor at SLU's Institute for Biosecurity finds that many U.S. schools are unprepared for pandemics since the 2009 H1N1 pandemic

Hope on the horizon for asthma sufferers
A new study that identifies ways to reduce the factors that lead to an asthma attack gives hope to asthma sufferers.

Researchers call for early diagnosis of flesh-eating infections
Dr. Russell Russo, an Orthopedic Surgeon at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, and other researchers stress that orthopedists should have a high index of suspicion for necrotizing fasciitis, or flesh-eating bacterial infection, in every patient with pain or other symptoms that are out of proportion to the initial diagnosis.

Rapid urban expansion threatens biodiversity
A brief window of opportunity exists to shape the development of cities globally before a boom in infrastructure construction transforms urban land cover, according to a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Results from study of Mead Johnson's Enfamil® Human Milk Fortifier Acidified Liquid published in Pediatrics
Mead Johnson Nutrition announced today results of a new study published in Pediatrics that shows Enfamil Human Milk Fortifier Acidified Liquid supports significantly higher growth in premature infants than powdered fortifiers and is well-tolerated.

Spacetime ripples from dying black holes could help reveal how they formed
Researchers from Cardiff University have discovered a new property of black holes: their dying tones could reveal the cosmic crash that produced them.

Only half of adults say schools should take action when kids bully with social isolation
Most adults say schools should take action when bullies threaten physical safety, embarrass others, according to U-M's National Poll on Children's Health.

Berkeley Lab sensors enable first light for the dark energy camera
Mounted on a telescope high in the Andes, the Dark Energy Camera (DECam) saw first light September 12.

Your body doesn't lie: People ignore political ads of candidates they oppose
A recent study examined people's bodily responses while watching presidential campaign ads -- and discovered another way that people avoid political information that challenges their beliefs.

Phase 3 trial confirms abiraterone acetate efficacy for patients with advanced prostate cancer
Results of a phase three trial published in the Lancet Oncology have confirmed that the drug abiraterone acetate (marketed as Zytiga®) offers a significant survival benefit to patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer, which is spreading to other parts of their body.

The mountain in detail, on your mobile
You could almost say that María Teresa Ruiz-Monzón (Vitoria-Gasteiz, Basque Country, 1988) carries the mountain around in her pocket.

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for Sept. 18. 2012
Below is information about articles being published in the Sept.

2012 Pacific Global Health Conference
Hawaii is to host the 2012 Pacific Global Health Conference, which is expected to attract leading health professionals from across the globe.

UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business names winner of Inaugural CIO Lifetime Achievement Award
The Haas School's Fisher CIO Leadership Program has named Procter & Gamble Group President of Global Business Services and CIO, Filippo Passerini, recipient of the first annual Fisher-Hopper Prize for Lifetime Achievement in CIO Leadership.

Adequate sleep helps weight loss
Adequate sleep is an important part of a weight loss plan and should be added to the recommended mix of diet and exercise, states a commentary in Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Report: Cancer now leading cause of death in US hispanics
A new report from American Cancer Society researchers finds that despite declining death rates, cancer has surpassed heart disease as the leading cause of death among Hispanics in the US.

At the right place at the right time -- new insights into muscle stem cells
Muscles have a pool of stem cells in special niches which provides a source for muscle growth and for the regeneration of injured muscles.

Rice to take part in $10.8 million study of hemoglobin toxicity
Hemoglobin in healthy red blood cells is a life-giver, but hemoglobin can become deadly when cells break open and spill it directly into the bloodstream.

Canada needs approach to combat elder abuse
Canada needs a comprehensive approach to reduce elder abuse that includes financial supports and programs for seniors and their caregivers, argues an editorial in Canadian Medical Association Journal.

A non-invasive method to track Huntington's disease progression
In this issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, researchers led by Sarah Tabrizi at University College London report that mHTT can be detected in immune cells isolated during a normal blood draw.

Kessler Foundation scientist garners best poster award for MS research
At the 2012 Annual Meeting of the Consortium of MS Centers in San Diego, Calif.

Clinic-based community program helps with childhood obesity
A 6-month pilot study of a simplified clinic-based community childhood obesity program found 10 percent fewer participants were in the obese category at the end of the study.

New gene could lead to better bug-resistant plants
The discovery of a new gene could lead to better bug-resistant plants.

Rapid intensification of global struggle for land
The earth's limited surface is expected to stretch to everything: food for soon to be nine billion people, feed for our beef cattle and fowl, fuel for our cars, forests for our paper, cotton for our clothes.

Resuming warfarin after gastrointestinal tract bleeding linked with lower risk for thrombosis, death
A study of patients treated with the anticoagulant medication warfarin suggests that resuming warfarin therapy after an episode of gastrointestinal tract bleeding was associated with lower risk for thrombosis and death.

Why home cities matter, refueling willpower, decision speed and moral character, and more
Story leads this month include new articles on why home cities matter, how a mouth rinse can refuel willpower, differences in information preferences between East Asians and North Americans, how decision speed cues moral character, and more.

Added benefit of Cannabis sativa for spasticity due to multiple sclerosis is not proven
An extract from Cannabis sativa was approved in May 2011 for patients suffering from moderate to severe muscle spasms due to multiple sclerosis.

Mercyhurst University casts roving eye on Venus
Research undertaken by Mercyhurst University and Boston University centers on the evolution of the topographic relief of planet Venus.

Scientists reveal how natural antibiotic kills tuberculosis bacterium
A natural product secreted by a soil bacterium shows promise as a new drug to treat tuberculosis report scientists in a new study published in EMBO Molecular Medicine.

PARP inhibitors may have clinical utility in HER2-positive breast cancers
PARP inhibitors are promising treatments for BRCA-associated familial breast and ovarian cancers.

'Brain training' may lessen cognitive impairments associated with coronary bypass surgery
Each year in Quebec, nearly 6,000 people undergo coronary bypass surgery.

NASA sees powerful Typhoon Sanba make landfall
Typhoon Sanba made landfall in southern South Korea on Monday, Sept.

Study compares duodenal switch vs. gastric bypass for morbid obesity
A study comparing bariatric surgical procedures for obesity suggests that even though undergoing the less commonly used biliopancreatic diversion/duodenal switch (DS) may be associated with higher early risks compared with gastric bypass, the DS appears to achieve better weight loss and control of co-existing illnesses, especially among patients whose body mass index was more than 50.

Thalidomide relieves disabling cough for people with deadly lung disease, study shows
In the first clinical trial to demonstrate an effective treatment for constant, disabling cough among people with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine found that taking thalidomide significantly reduced the cough and improved quality of life.

Ancient diatoms could make biofuels, electronics and health food -- at the same time
Diatoms, tiny marine life forms that have been around since the dinosaurs, could finally make biofuel production from algae truly cost-effective -- because they can simultaneously produce other valuable products such as semiconductors, biomedical products and even health foods.

AGI releases the new 2012 Critical Needs Document
With less than two months before Election Day, AGI and its federation of 50 professional geoscience societies have come together again to provide a list of critical issues and policy recommendations for the next presidential administration.

Nobelist Andre Geim to receive 2012 Prange Prize
Nobel laureate Andre Geim of the University of Manchester, UK, has been named the 2012 recipient of the Richard E.

Sorghum eyed as a southern bioenergy crop
Sweet sorghum is primarily grown in the United States as a source of sugar for syrup and molasses, but the sturdy grass has other attributes that could make it uniquely suited to production as a bioenergy crop, US Department of Agriculture studies suggest.

UCI researchers find cause of chemotherapy resistance in melanoma
Researchers with UC Irvine's Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center have identified a major reason why melanoma is largely resistant to chemotherapy.

Studies of Desoto canyon and shelf in Gulf of Mexico uncover upwelling during Hurricane Isaac
As Hurricane Isaac barreled toward New Orleans, a team led by University of Miami (UM) Professor and Deep-C (Deep Sea to Coast Connectivity in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico) Co-Principal Investigator Nick Shay was planning NOAA's P-3 aircraft missions to fly into the storm.

Noteworthy studies at the ESMO 2012 Congress
Ahead of the top 48 abstracts (LBA and PR suffix) that will be released during the ESMO 2012 Congress, over 1,600 abstracts will be published online on Monday, Sept.

Considerably more patients may benefit from effective antidiabetic drug
The antidiabetic drug metformin is not prescribed for patients with reduced kidney function because the risk of adverse effects has been regarded as unacceptably high.

Cleveland Clinic study shows vitamin E may decrease cancer risk in Cowden syndrome patients
Cleveland Clinic researchers have discovered that vitamin E may prevent cancer in patients with an under-recognized genetic disorder.

Study links breast cancer risk to early-life diet and metabolic syndrome
Striking new evidence suggesting that diet and related factors early in life can boost the risk for breast cancer -- totally independent of the body's production of the hormone estrogen -- has been uncovered by a team of researchers at the University of California, Davis.

Team including UC Riverside entomologist honored for research leading to healthier potato chips
A research team including UC Riverside's John Trumble, a distinguished professor of entomology, has won the Integrated Pest Management Team Award from the Entomological Foundation.

New 'ATM' takes old phones and gives back green
With support from NSF, ecoATM of San Diego, Calif., has developed a unique, automated kiosk that lets consumers trade in cell phones for reimbursement or recycling.

Improved positioning indoors
Whether you're walking, biking or driving, navigation systems can help you get from A to B - as long as you have a GPS signal.

Carnegie Mellon voice verification technology prevents impersonators from obtaining voiceprints
Computer users have learned to preserve their privacy by safeguarding passwords, but with the rise of voice authentication systems, they also need to protect unique voice characteristics.

Proof of added benefit of apixaban in hip replacement
After the insertion of an artificial hip or knee, there is an increased risk of blood clots (thrombi).

Study: Parole decisions affect rehabilitation incentives
Dan Bernhardt, the IBE Distinguished Professor of Economics at Illinois, says rehabilitation incentives are maximized when the lengths of prison sentences are neither too short, nor too long.

NASA's Hurricane Mission explores Tropical Storm Nadine
NASA's Hurricane Severe Storms Sentinel Mission is in full-swing and one of the unmanned Global Hawk aircraft investigate Tropical Storm Nadine on Sept.

Mayo Clinic researchers identify new enzyme to fight Alzheimer's disease
An enzyme that could represent a powerful new tool for combating Alzheimer's disease has been discovered by researchers at Mayo Clinic in Florida.

Blue Brain Project accurately predicts connections between neurons
In a landmark paper, published the week of Sept. 17 in PNAS, the EPFL's Blue Brain Project has identified key principles that determine synapse-scale connectivity by virtually reconstructing a cortical microcircuit and comparing it to a mammalian sample.

Effectiveness and impact of climate change mitigation measures unclear
Strict targets for mitigating climate change require effective climate policy and emission reduction measures.

Cancer and chronic disease causes almost half of gradual deaths in Europe
Cancer and chronic disease account for almost half of gradual deaths in European Union countries, suggests research published online in BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care.

Oxford University Press title joins new model for open access publishing
Oxford University Press is pleased to announce that Progress of Theoretical and Experimental Physics has been identified for participation in SCOAP3 (Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics), a new collaborative initiative for open access publishing in high-energy physics, which aims to convert the literature of the field to open access by redirecting subscriptions fees to directly pay for the publishing services, in a way transparent to authors.

Songbirds shed light on brain circuits and learning
By studying how birds master songs used in courtship, scientists at Duke University have found that regions of the brain involved in planning and controlling complex vocal sequences may also be necessary for memorizing sounds that serve as models for vocal imitation.

New technology reduces data center energy consumption by more than 20 percent
ICT as a whole is responsible for about 2% of global CO2 emissions, a figure equivalent to the fuel consumption of aviation.

Shrinking snow depth on Arctic sea ice threatens ringed seal habitat
University of Washington scientists found that the habitat required for ringed seals -- animals under consideration for the threatened species list -- to rear their young will drastically shrink this century.

Cardiff scientists bid to develop anthrax vaccine to counteract world bioterrorism threat
A team of Cardiff University scientists is leading new research to develop a vaccine against anthrax to help counteract the threat of bioterrorism.

Food industry's high-quality co-streams used effectively as raw material for new products
European, Canadian, African and Indian researchers are developing together new ways of using the substantial co-streams from fish and oil plant processing.

Mobile phones and wireless networks: No evidence of health risk found
There is no scientific evidence that low-level electromagnetic field exposure from mobile phones and other transmitting devices causes adverse health effects, according to a report presented by a Norwegian Expert Committee. 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