Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 19, 2012
Yogurt consumption, blood pressure, and incident hypertension
Adding more yogurt to your diet without increasing the number of calories you eat may help lower your risk of high blood pressure, according to new research presented at the American Heart Association's High Blood Pressure Research 2012 Scientific Sessions.

Genetically-engineered preclinical models predict pharmacodynamic response
A new comparison of four different methodologies for pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic testing of the anti-melanoma agent carboplatin, demonstrates that genetically-engineered mouse models provide tumor delivery of drug most comparable to the response seen in melanoma patients.

Using a laser to 'see' the smallest world
A multi-university team has employed a high-powered laser based at UC Santa Barbara to dramatically improve one of the tools scientists use to study the world at the atomic level.

Neuroscientists investigate lotteries to study how the brain evaluates risk
A new video article in Journal of Visualized Experiments uses functional magnetic resonance imaging to characterize subjective risk assessment while subjects choose between different lotteries to play.

Systems biologist receives $2.5 million Pioneer Award for genome research
Edward Marcotte aims to improve next generation sequencing to enable the identification of individual peptides or proteins in a sample.

Johns Hopkins astrophysicist spies ultra-distant galaxy amidst cosmic 'dark ages'
A team of astronomers has spotted what could be the most distant galaxy ever detected.

Stop diabetes with insulin tablets
Could a capsule of insulin crystals a day stop the development of type 1 diabetes?

New cranial neural crest cell line developed
Researchers have successfully developed a stable population of neural crest cells derived from mice that can be grown in large quantities in the laboratory and that demonstrates the potential to develop into many different cell types needed throughout the body.

Climate scientists put predictions to the test
A study has found that climate-prediction models are good at forecasting long-term climate patterns on a global scale but lose their edge when applied to time frames shorter than three decades and on smaller geographic scales.

Press invitation to attend world's largest entomology meeting
More than 3,000 insect scientists are expected to attend Entomology 2012, the 60th Annual Meeting of the Entomological Society of America, this November in Knoxville, TN.

Seaside publishes research supporting disease-modifying potential of STX209 for fragile X syndrome
Seaside Therapeutics today announced the publication of two papers in Science Translational Medicine, supporting its lead candidate, STX209 (arbaclofen), for the treatment of fragile X syndrome (FXS).

Self-forming biological scaffolding
A new model system of the cellular skeletons of living cells is akin to a mini-laboratory designed to explore how the cells' functional structures assemble.

Robotic tuna is built by Homeland Security
Homeland Security's BIOSwimmerâ„¢ is a unmanned underwater vehicle designed for high maneuverability in harsh environments and hard-to-reach underwater places where inspection and security is necessary.

Tips from the journals of the American Society for Microbiology
Titles in this release include: New Insights Into How Certain Slow Progressers Control HIV Infection, Researchers Map Molecular Details That Encourage H1N1 Transmission To Humans Probiotics to Decontaminate Your Gut?, Wild Boars Are Reservoir of Hepatitis E Virus: High Prevalence Among Forestry Workers in Eastern France.

Blind people develop accurate mental map by playing 'video' game
Researchers have developed a new

Satellite sees post-Tropical Cyclone Lane fizzle in a blanket of low clouds
Former Hurricane Lane has fizzled and its remnant circulation was spotted in a blanket of low clouds in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

Emotional neglect in children linked to increased stroke risk later in life
The results from a new study by neurological researchers from the Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center at Rush University Medical Center suggest that people who were emotionally neglected as children may have a higher risk of stroke in later adulthood.

Warming ocean could start big shift of Antarctic ice
Fast-flowing and narrow glaciers have the potential to trigger massive changes in the Antarctic ice sheet and contribute to rapid ice-sheet decay and sea-level rise, a new study has found.

University of Houston India Studies Program presents 'Circuits of Empire: India as Metropole'
University of Pennsylvania professor Ania Loomba will speak on

Experiment in University of Florida laboratory corrects prediction in quantum theory
An international team of scientists is rewriting a page from the quantum physics rulebook using a University of Florida laboratory once dubbed the coldest spot in the universe.

Fraunhofer supports continuation of 'Clean Sky' program
Aviation will produce fewer emissions, save more fuel and become more environmentally friendly - these are the goals that leading aviation companies and research institutions have set for themselves in the EU project dubbed

UNICEF studies highlight the importance of equity in maternal and child health improvement strategies
Two studies from UNICEF, forming The Lancet Series on equity in child survival, health, and nutrition, provide compelling evidence for the strategic importance of focusing global health improvement efforts on the poorest and hardest to reach children.

IU optometrist receives $1.9 million to assess street-crossing program
An Indiana University assistant professor and low-vision optometrist working to advance pedestrian safety has been awarded more than $1.9 million by the National Institutes of Health to evaluate street-crossing decision-making performance in pedestrians who are elderly, visually impaired or blind.

Split-dose preparation for colonoscopy increases precancerous polyp detection rates
A new study from researchers at the Mayo Clinic Arizona showed that system-wide implementation of a split-dose preparation as the primary choice for colonoscopy significantly improved both polyp detection rates and adenoma (precancerous polyp) detection rates, overall quality of the preparation, and colonoscopy completion rates.

People change moral position without even realizing it
Shortly after expressing a moral view about a difficult topic, people may easily endorse the opposite view and remain blind to the psychological mismatch, according to research published Sept.

Your memory is like the telephone game
Your memory is a lot like the telephone game, according to a new study.

A TECNALIA study reveals the loss of nanomaterials in surface treatments caused by water
Researchers at TECNALIA recently published a study in the prestigious science magazine, Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, which reveals the emission of nanomaterials caused by water runoff on surfaces containing nanomaterials.

Invasive 'Rasberry Crazy Ant' in Texas now identified species
The Rasberry Crazy Ant is an invasive ant that was first noticed infesting areas around Houston, Texas, 10 years ago, but its species identity has only been established in a paper published Sept.

Child mortality in Niger plummets
Niger, one of the world's poorest countries, has bucked regional trends to achieve dramatic reductions in child mortality in recent years, according to a Countdown country case study published in The Lancet.

Oyster genome uncover the stress adaptation and complexity of shell formation
Chinese scientists report oyster genome uncover the stress adaptation and complexity of shell formation.

Diseases of aging map to a few 'hotspots' on the human genome
Researchers have long known that individual diseases are associated with genes in specific locations of the genome.

Revolutionary ultrathin, flat lens: Smartphones as thin as a credit card?
Scientists are reporting development of a revolutionary new lens -- flat, distortion-free, so small that more than 1,500 would fit across the width of a human hair -- capable in the future of replacing lenses in applications ranging from cell phones to cameras to fiber-optic communication systems.

Medication effective in treating social withdrawal in Fragile X and potentially autism patients
An investigational compound that targets the core symptoms of fragile X syndrome is effective for addressing the social withdrawal and challenging behaviors characteristic of the condition, making it the first such discovery for fragile X syndrome and, potentially, the first for autism spectrum disorder, a study by researchers at Rush University Medical Center and the University of California, Davis MIND Institute has found.

Odorant shape and vibration likely lead to olfaction satisfaction
A new study lends support to a controversial theory of olfaction: Our noses can distinguish both the shape and the vibrational characteristics of odorant molecules.

Study unveils clue to the origin of dyslexia
Even though dyslexia is defined as a reading disorder, it also affects how a person perceives spoken language.

Dyslexia cause may be different than previously thought
Dyslexia may result from impairment of a different linguistic system than previously thought, according to research published Sept.

Climate change to fuel northern spread of avian malaria, study finds
Malaria has been found in birds in parts of Alaska, and global climate change will drive it even farther north, according to a new study published in the journal PLOS ONE.

ASGE initiative addresses endoscopy simulators for training and skill assessment
The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy's Preservation and Incorporation of Valuable Endoscopic Innovations initiative addresses the use of endoscopy simulators for training and assessing skills in an article appearing in the September issue of GIE: Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, ASGE's peer-reviewed scientific journal.

CT scan and 3-D print help scientists reconstruct an ancient mollusk
Using a combination of traditional and innovative model-building techniques, scientists in the US and a specialist in Denmark have created a lifelike reconstruction of an ancient mollusk, a multiplacophoran, offering a vivid portrait of a creature that lived about 390 million years ago, and answering questions about its place in the tree of life, as described in the Sept.

Researchers propose new way to save Africa's beleaguered soils
A Washington State University researcher and colleagues make a case in the journal Nature for a new type of agriculture that could restore the beleaguered soils of Africa and help the continent feed itself in the coming decades.

Children with autism experience interrelated health issues, says MU expert
A new study by a University of Missouri researcher found that many children with ASD also experience anxiety, chronic gastrointestinal problems and atypical sensory responses, which are heightened reactions to light, sound or particular textures.

Selective grazing and aversion to olive and grape leaves achieved in goats and sheep
Researchers from the Research Group on Ruminants led by Elena Albanell, lecturer in Animal and Food Science at Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, have successfully achieved to prevent sheep and goats from chewing on the young leaves of olive trees and grapevines when grazing.

Emotional neglect in children linked to increased stroke risk later in life
New research suggests that people who were emotionally neglected as children may have a higher risk of stroke in adulthood.

War causes mental illness in soldiers
One in every two cases of post-traumatic stress disorder in soldiers remains undiagnosed.

Equitable approach the best way to rapidly increase overall maternal and child health coverage
The first ever global study to examine how changes in health inequality are related to overall coverage of maternal and child health interventions has shown that the countries making the most rapid progress in increasing maternal and child health coverage are those with programmes which most effectively address the needs of the poorest women and children in a population.

Did a 'forgotten' meteor have a deadly, icy double-punch?
When a huge meteor collided with Earth about 2.5 million years ago and fell into the southern Pacific Ocean it not only could have generated a massive tsunami but also may have plunged the world into the Ice Ages, a new study suggests.

NYU neuroscientists find promise in addressing Fragile X afflictions
Neuroscientists at NYU have devised a method that has reduced several afflictions associated with Fragile X syndrome (FXS) in laboratory mice.

NASA satellite sees fading rainfall in Tropical Storm Nadine
Tropical Storm Nadine continues to bring rains and winds to the Azores in the eastern Atlantic Ocean, but that rainfall continues to diminish according to data from NASA satellites.

Can disclosure hurt the translation of research?
One might assume that the methodological rigor of the study matters to physicians more than the disclosure.

Study: DNA barcoding can ID natural health products
DNA barcoding developed by University of Guelph researchers has proven up to 88 percent effective in authenticating natural health products, according to a new U of G study.

Development aid for maternal and child heath stalls, despite increasing number of donors
Latest figures from the Countdown to 2015 group, published in The Lancet, show that official development aid for maternal, newborn, and child health activities stalled for the first time in 2010, with the total volume of aid given decreasing slightly, despite a growing number of donors being recorded.

Autism symptoms could arise from unreliable neural responses
Diverse symptoms associated with autism could be explained by unreliable activity of neurons in the brain in response to basic, nonsocial sensory information, according to a study published by Cell Press on September 19th in the journal Neuron.

Specialist urologists should handle vasectomy reversal cases says 10-year study
Vasectomy reversals should be carried out by urology specialists with access to appropriate micro-surgical training and assisted reproductive technologies and not general urology surgeons.

Cancer in the movies
Films that feature characters with cancer have become a familiar sight for movie-goers in recent years, but they rarely portray the patient's chances of survival accurately, Italian reserachers will report at the ESMO 2012 Congress of the European Society for Medical Oncology in Vienna, Austria.

Boomers and beyond
It's often referred to as the

Evolution is as complicated as 1-2-3
A team of researchers at Michigan State University has documented the step-by-step process in which organisms evolve new functions.

Single-atom writer a landmark for quantum computing
A research team led by Australian engineers has created the first working quantum bit based on a single atom in silicon, opening the way to ultra-powerful quantum computers of the future.

Tampa partnership awarded $1 million grant
A regional partnership led by the University of South Florida has been awarded $1 million by the US Commerce Department to support new web and mobile app ventures, a project designed to launch new companies and create hundreds of high-wage jobs in the greater Tampa Bay region.

Researchers find sudden cardiac death is associated with a thin placenta at birth
Researchers studying the origins of sudden cardiac death have found that in both men and women a thin placenta at birth was associated with sudden cardiac death.

GEOLOGY adds 30 new articles online
This month, GSA's top geoscience journal, Geology, has posted 30 new articles ahead of print.

Adolescent male chimps in large community strive to be alphas
An Ohio University anthropologist reports the first observation of dominance relationships among adolescent male chimpanzees, which he attributes to the composition of their community.

Simple routine could help athletes avoid choking under pressure
Some athletes may improve their performance under pressure simply by squeezing a ball or clenching their left hand before competition to activate certain parts of the brain, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association.

Columbia awarded 1 of first 'Provocative Questions' grants from NCI
Since the 1980s, scientists have thought that DNA methylation (a mechanism cells use to lock genes in the

Vall d'Hebron, VHIO and SOLTI head up an international 'dream team' against breast cancer
The Vall d'Hebron Breast Cancer Unit, the Vall d'Hebron Institute of Oncology and SOLTI, an academic breast cancer research group , are heading up a multi-center international study involving four Spanish and three North American research centers.

World record holder
Northwestern University scientists have developed a thermoelectric material that is the best in the world at converting waste heat to electricity.

Blood pressure diet works, but adherence drops among African-Americans
Better adherence to the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet is associated with significant reductions in blood pressure.

Ancient tooth may provide evidence of early human dentistry
Researchers may have uncovered new evidence of ancient dentistry in the form of a 6,500-year-old human jaw bone with a tooth showing traces of beeswax filling, as reported Sept.

Study shows how consumers shift expectations and goals
A new study shows how consumers shift expectations and goals.

Obese children have less sensitive taste-buds than those of normal weight
Obese kids have less sensitive taste-buds than kids of normal weight, indicates research published online in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Research suggests promise of cell therapy for bowel disease
New research shows that a special population of stem cells found in cord blood has the innate ability to migrate to the intestine and contribute to the cell population there, suggesting the cells' potential to treat inflammatory bowel disease.

Toward a better material for hip replacement and other joint implants
In an advance toward a new generation of improved hip and other joint replacements, scientists are describing development of a potential implant material that flexes more like natural bone, fosters the growth of bone that keeps implants firmly in place and is less likely to fail and require repeat surgery.

Genetic mutation may have allowed early humans to migrate throughout Africa, research says
A genetic mutation that occurred thousands of years ago might be the answer to how early humans were able to move from central Africa and across the continent in what has been called

Preemies' brains reap long-term benefits from Kangaroo Mother Care
Kangaroo Mother Care -- a technique in which a breastfed premature infant remains in skin-to-skin contact with the parent's chest rather than being placed in an incubator -- has lasting positive impact on brain development, revealed Universite Laval researchers in the October issue of Acta Paediatrica.

Concordia welcomes Banting fellows
This fall, major funding from the federal scholarship initiative will allow Marie-Odile Richard, Monica Eileen Patterson and Jeff Scheible to pursue innovative scholarship in their respective fields of expertise.

Using a laser to 'see' the smallest world
A multi-university team has employed a high-powered laser to dramatically improve one of the tools scientists use to study the world at the atomic level.

Researchers identify possible key to slow progression toward AIDS
Research has shown that HIV-positive people who progress to full blown AIDS slower than others carry a rare immune gene variant.

Ultra-distant galaxy spied amidst cosmic 'Dark Ages'
With the combined power of NASA's Spitzer and Hubble Space Telescopes, as well as a cosmic magnification effect, a team of astronomers, including Carnegie's Daniel Kelson, have spotted what could be the most distant galaxy ever seen.

Scripps Research Institute receives $20 million to shed light on HIV drug resistance
The Scripps Research Institute has received a grant totaling approximately $20 million over five years from the National Institutes of Health to research the development of drug resistance in HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

Autistic adults have unreliable neural responses, Carnegie Mellon-led research team finds
New research led by Carnegie Mellon University neuroscientists takes the first step toward deciphering the connection between general brain function and the emergent behavioral patterns in autism.

Child mortality declines in Niger
A study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Niger Countdown Case Study Working Group found that child mortality in Niger--one of the world's poorest countries--declined nearly 50 percent over the last decade.

Human brains share a consistent genetic blueprint and possess enormous biochemical complexity
Scientists at the Allen Institute for Brain Science reported in the latest issue of the journal Nature that human brains share a consistent genetic blueprint and possess enormous biochemical complexity.

Scientists show biological mechanism can trigger epileptic seizures
Scientists have discovered the first direct evidence that a biological mechanism long suspected in epilepsy is capable of triggering the brain seizures - opening the door for studies to seek improved treatments or even preventative therapies.

Birth is no reason to go to hospital
A new Cochrane Review concludes that all countries should consider establishing proper home birth services.

Angling for gold
A study on how gold atoms bond to other atoms using a model that takes into account bonds direction has been carried out by physicist Marie Backman from the University of Helsinki, Finland, and colleagues.

Nearly half of kidney recipients in live donor transplant chains are minorities
The largest US multicenter study of living kidney transplant donor chains showed that 46% of recipients are minorities.

New processes for cost-efficient solar cell production
Many people answer with a resounding

NEIKER and INRA discover that BDA symptoms in grapevine leaves are a sign of esca
Scientists at the Basque Institute of Agricultural Research and Development, NEIKER-Tecnalia, and the National Institute of Agricultural Research in Bordeaux have come to the conclusion that alleged symptoms of 'black dead arm' (BDA) on grapevine leaves are, in fact, those of esca disease in its initial phase.

CFSP co-hosts conference on financial deepening in developing countries
The Consortium on Financial Systems and Poverty, jointly with the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the UK Department for International Development, will host a conference titled,

GEN reports on growth of biobanking operations
Many biotech observers maintain that the future of healthcare will largely be based on the field of personalized medicine, reports Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News.

Explosions are the main cause of spine injuries to wounded military personnel
Spinal injuries are among the most disabling conditions affecting wounded members of the US military.

Joint UT study: Reading food labels helps shoppers stay thinner
Shoppers -- particularly women -- who take the time to read food labels are thinner than those who don't.

Can post-breakup Facebook surveillance delay emotional recovery?
More than 900 million people worldwide are active users of the social networking site Facebook, and it is estimated that as many as one-third report using Facebook to check on the activities of former romantic partners.

The 'slippery slope to slime': Overgrown algae causing coral reef declines
Researchers for the first time have confirmed some of the mechanisms by which overfishing and nitrate pollution can help destroy coral reefs -- it appears they allow an overgrowth of algae that can bring with it unwanted pathogens, choke off oxygen and disrupt helpful bacteria.

Team GB only likely to clock up 46 medals in Olympic Games in Rio 2016
Team GB is only likely to clock up 46 medals in the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016, say researchers who used a mathematical formula three years ago to predict performance for London 2012, and came up with a medal haul of 63.

New targeted drug for treating fragile X syndrome, potentially autism, is effective
An investigational compound that targets the core symptoms of fragile X syndrome is effective for addressing the social withdrawal and challenging behaviors characteristic of the condition, making it the first such discovery for fragile X syndrome and, potentially, the first for autism spectrum disorder, a study by researchers at the UC Davis MIND Institute and Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, has found.

UGA researchers boost efficacy of drugs by using nanoparticles to target 'powerhouse of cells'
Nanoparticles have shown great promise in the targeted delivery of drugs to cells, but researchers at the University of Georgia have refined the drug delivery process further by using nanoparticles to deliver drugs to a specific organelle within cells.

FEMA awards $1 Million to WPI to develop groundbreaking toxic gas sensors for firefighters
Researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute have received a $1 million award from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to develop a sensor that could significantly reduce line of duty injuries and firefighter deaths caused by the inhalation of hydrogen cyanide and carbon monoxide, colorless and odorless toxic gases.

New, content-based geographic map search tool unveiled
How can you find similar sections of a very large map?

African Americans less likely to adhere to DASH diet for lowering blood pressure
The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet is a proven effective treatment for hypertension.

Arctic sea ice hits smallest extent in satellite era
The frozen cap of the Arctic Ocean appears to have reached its annual summertime minimum extent and broken a new record low on Sept.

Weight gain worry for stressed black girls
Could the impact of chronic stress explain why American black girls are more likely to be overweight than white girls?

Minister to meet the future of manufacturing
David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, will today tour universities in the East Midlands to meet senior research academics and business people developing the science and technologies that can power the next generation of UK manufacturing and help to drive economic growth.

BIDMC and Diagnostics For All create first low-cost, paper-based, point of care liver function test
A new postage stamp-sized, paper-based device could provide a simple and reliable way to monitor for liver damage at a cost of only pennies per test, say researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and Diagnostics For All (DFA), a Cambridge, MA nonprofit dedicated to improving the health of people living in the developing world.

Clemson psychology professor conducts sleep research at Vienna university
Clemson University psychology professor June Pilcher returned recently from Austria, where she worked with University of Vienna researchers to study ways college students' sleep habits affect how they function socially.

Sesame and rice bran oil lowers blood pressure, improves cholesterol
A blend of sesame and rice bran oil reduced blood pressure almost as well as a common medication.

'Sweet' chemicals from a 'green' raw material
The biobased world's traditional focus on producing fuels for cars, trucks and aircraft is quietly undergoing a major transition this summer toward production of chemicals needed for manufacture of hundreds of different consumer products, according to an article in the current edition of Chemical & Engineering News.

Fighting melanoma's attraction to the brain
A Tel Aviv University researcher is delving deeper into the way the brain attracts cancer cells, and his breakthrough is giving scientists new hope for better therapies.

Geosphere adds to four themed issues, plus more new science
New Geosphere papers in themed issues include a study showing, for the first time, that a major fault runs under central Reno, Nevada, USA (

FASEB sponsors stand up for science competition
The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology is sponsoring a competition for the most effective demonstration of how the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, or other federally funded research improves the health, quality of life, or economy in local communities.

New airport system facilitates smoother take-offs and landings
For airline passengers who dread bumpy rides to mountainous destinations, help is on the way.

How close were we to armageddon? 50 years on, why should we still study the Cuban Missile Crisis?
Why, 50 years on, is the Cuban Missile Crisis still a subject of considerable fascination for academics and professionals alike?

Misinformation: Psychological Science shows why it sticks and how to fix it
Childhood vaccines do not cause autism. Barack Obama was born in the United States.

Guideline: Test can help make diagnosis of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
A new guideline released by the American Academy of Neurology may help doctors in making the diagnosis of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

Tissue around tumor holds key to fighting triple negative breast cancer
A preclinical study published in PLOS ONE September 19 by Thomas Jefferson University researchers found that decorin, a well-studied protein known to help halt tumor growth, induces a series of tumor suppressor genes in the surrounding tissue of triple negative breast cancer tumors that help stop metastasis.

UNH labs receive 2 NSF grants totalling $1.35m for research instruments
University of New Hampshire researchers will have two new instruments - a DNA sequencer and a computer cluster capable of modeling space weather - to advance their work, thanks to two National Science Foundation Major Research Instrumentation grants to the university.

Carbon dioxide from water pollution, as well as air pollution, may adversely impact oceans
Carbon dioxide (CO2) released into the oceans as a result of water pollution by nutrients -- a major source of this greenhouse gas that gets little public attention -- is enhancing the unwanted changes in ocean acidity due to atmospheric increases in CO2.

The key to cooperation? Think fast
A team of researchers trying to answer an age-old question about human goodness have found evidence for a

Barack Obama good for Israel; Barack Hussein Obama less so
President Obama's middle name, Hussein, makes Israelis - both Jewish and Arab - perceive him as less pro-Israeli, reveals a new study conducted by the University of Haifa and the University of Texas. 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