Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 20, 2012
Solving the stink from sewers
The rotten egg gas leaking from sewer pipes and costing billions of dollars worldwide in odour control may soon be far less of a problem thanks to new research discussed at the 2012 International Water Association (IWA) conference this week.

NSF awards $1.2 million grant to Clemson professor for energy storage research
Clemson University physics professor Apparao Rao has received a $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation to explore the use of carbon nanomaterials for energy storage.

Khoe-San peoples are unique, special -- largest genomic study finds
The largest genomic study ever conducted among Khoe and San groups reveals that these groups from southern Africa are descendants of the earliest diversification event in the history of all humans - some 100,000 years ago, well before the 'out-of-Africa' migration of modern humans.

Researchers develop new 'stamping' process to pattern biomolecules at high resolution
UCLA researchers have used rubber stamps to pattern biomolecules in a new way.

Elsevier congratulates its British Medical Association award winning medical authors and editors
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, is pleased to announce that 19 of its professional and scholarly products were honored at the annual BMA Medical Book Competition ceremony in London on the 13th September 2012.

Sleep apnea in obese pregnancy women linked to poor maternal and neonatal outcomes
A new study reports that newborns of obese pregnant women suffering from obstructive sleep apnea are more likely to be admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit than those born to obese mothers without the sleep-disordered breathing.

Cause of diabetes may be linked to iron transport
Scientists have been trying to explain the causes of diabetes for many years.

NYBG press publishes final volume of landmark 'Intermountain Flora' series
In a decades-long effort, scientists at The New York Botanical Garden have compiled the most authoritative record of the remarkably diverse plant life found between the Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountains.

Join GSA in San Diego for the Nation's Premier Aging Conference!
The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) invites all journalists to attend its 65th Annual Scientific Meeting -- the country's largest interdisciplinary conference in the field of aging -- from November 14 to 18 in San Diego.

In obesity, a micro-RNA causes metabolic problems
Scientists have identified a key molecular player in a chain of events in the body that can lead to fatty liver disease, Type II diabetes and other metabolic abnormalities associated with obesity.

$1.8 million grant supports investigation of psoriasis link to cardiovascular disease
Armed with a new $1.8 million grant from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, dermatology researcher Nicole Ward, PhD, assistant professor of dermatology and neurosciences at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine, will lead a study examining the link between psoriasis and heart attack and stroke.

Double assault on tough types of leukemias
Investigators have identified two promising therapies to treat patients with acute megakaryocytic leukemia, a rare form of leukemia where the number of cases is expected to increase with the aging population.

Research prizes from the Carlsberg Foundation to researchers from University of Copenhagen
The Carlsberg Foundations Research Prizes 2012 goes to Professor in molecular biology Kristian Helin and Professor in international politics Ole Waever.

A solution to reducing inflammation
Research carried out at The University of Manchester has found further evidence that a simple solution, which is already used in IV drips, is an effective treatment for reducing inflammation.

Media registration open for ASTRO's 54th Annual Meeting
ASTRO's Annual Meeting is the premier scientific meeting in radiation oncology and is expected to attract more than 11,000 attendees including oncologists from all disciplines, medical physicists, dosimetrists, radiation therapists, radiation oncology nurses and nurse practitioners, biologists, physician assistants, practice administrators, industry representatives and other health care professionals from around the world.

Modeling Good Research Practices' guidelines for modeling in health care research available now
SAGE and the Society for Medical Decision Making are pleased to announce the release of seven new reports that will have a significant impact on modeling techniques in health care research and medical decision making.

'Half-match' bone marrow transplants wipe out sickle cell disease in selected patients
In a preliminary clinical trial, investigators at Johns Hopkins have shown that even partially-matched bone marrow transplants can eliminate sickle cell disease in some patients, ridding them of painful and debilitating symptoms, and the need for a lifetime of pain medications and blood transfusions.

Secondhand smoke takes large physical and economic toll
Secondhand smoke is accountable for 42,000 deaths annually to nonsmokers in the United States, including nearly 900 infants, according to a new UCSF study.

Rice launches sweeping Energy and Environment Initiative
Rice University today announced the Energy and Environment Initiative, a sweeping plan to support interdisciplinary research that will draw experts from every corner of the university to work with Houston's energy industry to overcome barriers to the sustainable development and use of current and alternative forms of energy.

30 years on Yucca Mountain
This new Memoir from The Geological Society of America summarizes nearly 30 years of intense research at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA, and vicinity.

Commercial weight loss program evaluated
Anyone who wants to lose weight has a wide variety of diets to choose from, but knowledge of what works is often poor.

Physicists reveal striking similarities in sporting performance
Finding the similarities between volleyball and snooker may seem quite tricky.

Men and women are different in terms of genetic predispositions
A study led by Emmanouil Dermitzakis, Louis-Jeantet Professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Geneva reveals that the genetic predisposition to develop certain diseases may differ from one individual to another depending on their sex.

Mount Sinai researchers awarded 'Provocative Questions' grant from National Cancer Institute
Two Mount Sinai School of Medicine researchers are among a select group of scientists from around the world who have been recognized by the National Cancer Institute for their quest to answer the most pressing questions about cancer.

Virtual reality simulator helps teach surgery for brain cancer, reports Neurosurgery
A new virtual reality simulator--including sophisticated 3-D graphics and tactile feedback--provides neurosurgery trainees with valuable opportunities to practice essential skills and techniques for brain cancer surgery, according to a paper in the September issue of Neurosurgery, official journal of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons.

New strategies needed to combat disease in developing countries
So-called lifestyle diseases are gaining ground with epidemic speed in low-income countries.

Data link project provides new insight about the US R&D activities of multinational companies
Findings from the Research and Development Data Link Project showed that both parent companies of US multinational companies and US affiliates of foreign multinational companies devoted about three-fourths of their R&D expenditures to development activities in 2007.

NASA satellites and Global Hawk see Nadine display more tropical characteristics
Scientists and forecasters have been analyzing Tropical Storm Nadine using various NASA satellites as NASA's Global Hawk flew over the storm gathering information.

Nutrient in eggs and meat may influence gene expression from infancy to adulthood
Consuming greater amounts of choline -- a nutrient found in eggs and meat -- during pregnancy may lower an infant's vulnerability to stress-related illnesses, such as mental health disturbances, and chronic conditions, like hypertension, later in life.

The original Twitter? Tiny electronic tags monitor birds' social networks
A tiny, electronic tag provides a first look at the social lives of small animals in the wild.

NCD prevention 'more important than life or death'
Richard Smith, Professor of Health System Economics and Dean of the Faculty of Public Health and Policy at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, makes the case for far-reaching analysis of measures aimed at reducing the toll of obesity, diabetes, heart disease.

A mother's nutrition--before pregnancy--may alter the function of her children's genes
A pregnant mom's diet affects her child's health. Now, new research in mice suggests that what mom ate before pregnancy is also important.

How the cheetah got its stripes: A genetic tale by Stanford researchers
Feral cats in Northern California have enabled researchers to unlock the biological secret behind a rare, striped cheetah found only in sub-Saharan Africa, according to researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine, the National Cancer Institute and HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Huntsville, Alabama.

Business plan competitions may be key to job growth
A new study of high-tech startups that participated in the Rice Business Plan Competition shows that these entrepreneurs have a much higher rate of success than typical new ventures and are therefore more likely to contribute to job growth.

Treating disease by the numbers
Advances in mathematical modeling are allowing medical professionals to better understand the risk factors that lead to disease.

Novel plastic-and-papyrus restoration project
Environmental scheme funded by the German REWE Group aims to create

Fear can be erased from the brain
Newly formed emotional memories can be erased from the human brain.

TECNALIA leads research to develop new biocomposites based on wheat straw and recycled paper
TECNALIA is leading the development of new biocomposites based on the transformation of urban and agricultural waste into high-performance products for the construction sector.

COPD patients experience poorer sleep quality and lower blood oxygen levels
Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) experience poorer sleep quality than people of a similar age without COPD, according to research published in the journal Respirology.

Global economic pressures trickle down to local landscape change, altering disease risk
The pressures of global trade may heighten disease incidence by dictating changes in land use.

Computer simulations for multiscale systems can be faster, better, more reliable
University of Oregon scientists have found a way to correctly reproduce not only the structure but also important thermodynamic quantities such as pressure and compressibility of a large, multiscale system at variable levels of molecular coarse-graining.

Advancing the treatment of trauma
With traumatic injuries claiming almost six million lives a year, improvements in care, including in the challenging areas of brain and bone injuries, and haemorrhage, are urgently needed.

No 'July phenomenon' for neurosurgery patients, reports Neurosurgery
For patients undergoing neurosurgery at teaching hospitals, there's no

Optical waveguide connects semiconductor chips
A team of KIT researchers directed by Professor Christian Koos has succeeded in developing a novel optical connection between semiconductor chips.

Study reveals teenage patients attitude towards social media and privacy
A study of how chronically ill teenagers manage their privacy found that teen patients spend a great deal of time online and guard their privacy very consciously.

Pinpointing genes that control breast cancer key in finding treatments
As scientists continue to map breast cancer's complex genetic makeup, research at Michigan State University could lead to better diagnoses and new treatment targets.

Replacing intravenous catheters only when clinically necessary is safe and could save
New research published in the third article in The Lancet surgery-themed issue suggests that the millions of intravenous catheters used each year can be safely changed only when clinically necessary, overturning 40 years of accepted practice involving routine replacement every 3 days.

Sanofi and TB Alliance announce collaboration to accelerate new tuberculosis treatments
Sanofi and the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development announced today a new research collaboration agreement to accelerate the discovery and development of novel compounds against tuberculosis, a deadly infectious disease that resulted in almost 1.5 million deaths worldwide in 2010.

Gamers confront copyright law, says Rutgers law scholar
User-generated content has the potential to infringe upon copyright law, which is casting a shadow on the legality of gamer authorship.

Low calorie cranberry juice lowers blood pressure in healthy adults
Regularly drinking low-calorie cranberry juice may help get your blood pressure under control, according to new findings presented at the American Heart Association's High Blood Pressure Research 2012 Scientific Sessions.

Battles between steroid receptors to regulate fat accumulation
The androgen receptor in human cells inhibits fat accumulation, but its activity can be sabotaged by glucocorticoids, steroids that regulate fat deposition and are known drivers of obesity and insulin resistance.

VIB exceptionally sceptical about the Séralini research
VIB has reacted very sceptically to the

Sanford-Burnham's Erkki Ruoslahti named to Thomson Reuters' Nobel Prize watch list
Thomson Reuters has selected Erkki Ruoslahti, M.D., Ph.D., cancer researcher and distinguished professor at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, as one of its 2012 Citation Laureates.

Moving targets
At any given moment, millions of cells are on the move in the human body, typically on their way to provide a benefit to the structures around them.

Once usability becomes secure
Risk increases with comfort:

How bumblebees find efficient routes without a GPS
Scientists have used radar tracking to show how bumblebees find the most efficient route between flowers.

Mosquito virus could lead to new vaccines and drugs
The newly discovered Eilat virus is closely related to some of the world's most dangerous pathogens but incapable of infecting non-insect hosts.

ORNL research uncovers path to defect-free thin films
A team led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Ho Nyung Lee has discovered a strain relaxation phenomenon in cobaltites that has eluded researchers for decades and may lead to advances in fuel cells, magnetic sensors and a host of energy-related materials.

Informatics approach helps doctors, patients make sense of genome data
In a paper that appears today in the advance online edition of Genetics in Medicine, researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill unveil an analysis framework aimed at helping clinicians spot

Emory receives $20 million NSF grant for chemistry center
The National Science Foundation has awarded $20 million to Emory University's Center for Selective C-H Functionalization, which brings together scientists from leading research universities across the country working to revolutionize the field of organic synthesis.

$20 million gift launches new hub for global health at UCSF
The University of California, San Francisco has received a $20 million gift from philanthropist Chuck Feeney to build a new hub for Global Health Sciences at the UCSF Mission Bay campus.

Lancet Case Report highlights dangers of fake antimalarial drugs
A new Case Report, published in The Lancet, warns travellers of the dangers of purchasing fake antimalarial medicine after doctors in Spain treated a patient who became dangerously ill as a result of being sold counterfeit drugs in Equatorial Guinea.

Graphene Conference: From Research to Applications
This two-day conference will address some of the new concepts of graphene electronics and progress in understanding technology, physics and metrology.

Pesticides not yet proven guilty of causing honeybee declines
The impact of crop pesticides on honeybee colonies is unlikely to cause colony collapse, according to a paper in the journal Science.

Scientists honored for outstanding achievements in mental health research
This release focuses on The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation 2012 Outstanding Achievement Prizes.

How the cat got his blotches
As any cat lover knows, distinct patterns of dark and light hair color are apparent not only in house cats but also in their wild relatives, from cheetahs to tigers to snow leopards.

3-D display screen on mobile devices could be on the horizon
A team of scientists, led by the University of Bristol, have developed a new type of screen display that not only moves but also physically tilts.

Europe-wide study finds death rates after surgery double that of recent estimates
National estimates of death following general surgery have been too optimistic, suggests the first large-scale study to explore surgical outcomes across Europe published in the first Article in a special Lancet theme issue on surgery.

Einstein-Montefiore scientists awarded 2 NCI 'Provocative Questions' grants
Why does cancer arise in certain parts of the body and not others?

Taming physical forces that block cancer treatment
A Massachusetts General Hospital research team has identified factors that contribute to solid stress within tumors, suggesting possible ways to alleviate it, and has developed a simple way to measure such pressures.

Move to less impoverished neighborhoods boosts physical and mental health
Moving from a high-poverty to lower-poverty neighborhood spurs long-term gains in the physical and mental health of low-income adults, as well as a substantial increase in their happiness, despite not improving economic self-sufficiency, according to a new study published in the Sept.

New turtle tracking technique may aid efforts to save loggerhead
The old adage

NASA's solar fleet peers into coronal cavities
NASA investigates the temperatures of the sun's coronal cavities.

Two bionic ears are better than the sum of their parts
Dr. Yael Henkin of Tel Aviv University has discovered that children who had lost their hearing at a young age and were later provided with bilateral cochlear implants exhibited hearing similar to that of their normal hearing peers.

New uses for old tools could boost biodiesel output
Tried-and-true techniques could help optimize oilseed yield for biodiesel production, according to studies conducted by US Department of Agriculture scientists.

DNA analysis aids in classifying single-celled algae
For nearly 260 years -- since Carl Linnaeus developed his system of naming plants and animals -- researchers classified species based on visual attributes like color, shape and size.

Survival after general anaesthetic dramatically improved worldwide over past 50 years
Survival after a general anaesthetic and within 48 hours of surgery has greatly improved worldwide over the past 50 years, according to the second Article in The Lancet surgery-themed issue.

$3.4 million HHS grant to help UIC address shortage of Latino health providers
The University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine has received a five-year, $3.4 million federal grant to improve the severe shortage of Latino physicians and other health care professionals.

Bergen-Belsen lessons underline vital role that nurses can play in patient feeding
Nurses can play a key role in feeding people and restoring their humanity in times of great crisis and this was very evident during their little-known involvement in the liberation of Bergen-Belsen at the end of World War Two.

Free bus passes have health benefit, say researchers
Free bus passes for over-60s may be encouraging older people to be more physically active, say the authors of a study published today in the American Journal of Public Health.

Understanding the flight of the bumblebee
Scientists have tracked bumblebees for the first time to see how they select the optimal route to collect nectar from multiple flowers and return to their nest.

Marc Travel Awards announced for the 2012 Biomedical Engineering Society Annual Meeting
FASEB MARC (Minority Access to Research Careers) Program has announced the travel award recipients for the 2012 Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) Annual Meeting in Atlanta, GA from October 24-27, 2012.

'Psychopaths' have an impaired sense of smell
People with psychopathic tendencies have an impaired sense of smell, which points to inefficient processing in the front part of the brain.

As painkiller overdoses mount, researchers outline effective approaches to curb epidemic
Prescription painkillers are responsible for more fatal overdoses in the United States than heroin and cocaine combined.

Survival of safety-net hospitals at risk
Many public safety-net hospitals are likely to face increasing financial and competitive pressures stemming in part from the recent Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act, according to researchers at Penn State and the Harvard School of Public Health.

Study shows ancient relations between language families
Researchers introduce a new method using Bayesian phylogenetic approaches to analyse the evolution of structural features in more than 50 language families.

Humans were already recycling 13,000 years ago
A study at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili and the Catalan Institute of Human Paleoecology and Social Evolution reveals that humans from the Upper Palaeolithic Age recycled their stone artefacts to be put to other uses.

Obese people can be metabolically healthy and in good shape
This is the conclusion of a study published in the prestigious journal European Heart Journal conducted by professor Francisco B.

Pitt biologist receives $2 million to study genetic diversity of plants worldwide
Although polyploids, which are plants with more than two sets of chromosomes, are common, how they contribute to the biodiversity has remained a mystery -- until now.

Astrochemistry enters a bold new era with ALMA
New technology for both laboratory and telescope improves and speeds the process of identifying the

Manipulating hormone receptors may help in the fight against obesity
In the body's ongoing effort to maintain a healthy weight, an arsenal of cellular proteins called androgen receptors is critical for blocking fat accumulation.

American Physiological Society's latest conference focuses on integrative biology of exercise
The American Physiological Society's latest conference focuses on molecular mechanisms involved in exercise-mediated physiological changes in the body, including metabolic, cardiovascular, neurological, and dynamic molecular and cellular pathways.

In heterosexuals, transmitted HIV strains often resemble original infecting virus
A new study has found that even though HIV diversifies widely within infected individuals over time, the virus strains that ultimately are passed on through heterosexual transmission often resemble the strain of virus that originally infected the transmitting partner.

Computers get a better way to detect threats
UT Dallas computer scientists have developed a technique to automatically allow one computer in a virtual network to monitor another for intrusions, viruses or other kinds of threats.

Scientists uncover mechanism by which plants inherit epigenetic modifications
Scientists at CSHL have discovered that epigenetic modifications can be inherited in pollen and that this process is guided by small RNA.

Abnormal carotid arteries found in children with kidney disease
A federally funded study led by researchers at Johns Hopkins Children's Center has found that children with mild to moderate kidney disease have abnormally thick neck arteries, a condition known as carotid atherosclerosis, usually seen in older adults with a long history of elevated cholesterol and untreated hypertension.

Pioneering researcher receives Heart Association Lifetime Achievement Award
One of the first researchers to study the deadly link between cardiovascular disease and diabetes will receive an American Heart Association lifetime achievement award today at a ceremony in Washington, DC.

Pollen cells keep memory to control jumping genes
The cell's identity is defined by the combination of genes that are turned on or off, any given moment in time.

Children in Switzerland are using mobile phones to go online
In no other country in Europe do more children surf the Web using their handheld devices than in Switzerland.

Walking to the beat could help patients with Parkinson's disease
Walking to a beat could be useful for patients needing rehabilitation, according to a University of Pittsburgh study.

Playground peers can predict adult personalities
Even on the playground, our friends know us better than we know ourselves.

Intrinsically disordered proteins: A conversation with Rohit Pappu
For 100 years, the dogma has been that amino acid sequence determines protein folding and that the folded structure determines function.

Brain study reveals the roots of chocolate temptations
Researchers have new evidence in rats to explain how it is that chocolate candies can be so completely irresistible.

TECNALIA develops smart furniture
TECNALIA has taken another step in the manufacture of furniture of the future. 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