Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 25, 2012
News consumption of political stories not enough to retain political knowledge
Researchers from the University of Missouri found that adolescents who spend more time thinking and talking about the news with their peers and relatives tend to know more about political developments in the country.

Rice University lab encodes collagen
In a discovery with implications for drug design, tissue engineering and the treatment of disease, Rice University researchers have created a program to encode self-assembling collagen proteins.

Hypertension not so simple
A recently published editorial in the Journal of the American Society of Hypertension,

Going viral to kill zits
Watch out, acne. Doctors soon may have a new weapon against zits: a harmless virus living on our skin that naturally seeks out and kills the bacteria that cause pimples.

Cost-efficient method developed for maximizing benefits from wine waste
A new study in the Journal of Food Science, published by the Institute of Food Technologists, shows that grape skin and seeds generated from winemaking -- known as wine pomace -- are a good source of antioxidant dietary fiber and can be used to fortify various food products such as yogurts and salad dressings with enhanced nutritional value and extended shelf-life.

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter explores the Moon in 3-D
Scientists using the camera aboard NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter are acquiring stereo images of the moon in high resolution that provide 3-D views of the surface.

OSA partners with SIOM to launch new journal: Photonics Research
OSA will launch a new peer-reviewed, open-access journal - Photonics Research - in partnership with the Shanghai Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics and Chinese Laser Press.

Study examines usage, outcomes of knee replacement procedures among Medicare patients
There has been an increase in total knee arthroplasty (TKA; knee replacement) procedures over the past 20 years that has been driven by both an increase in the number of Medicare enrollees and increase in per capita utilization.

NYU biologists uncover dynamic between biological clock and neuronal activity
Biologists at NYU have uncovered one way that biological clocks control neuronal activity--a discovery that sheds new light on sleep-wake cycles and offers potential new directions for research into therapies to address sleep disorders and jetlag.

'The Dust Queen's' research stars in new American Chemical Society video
A new episode in the American Chemical Society's popular Prized Science video series features insights into the effects of wind-blown dust on human health and climate from Vicki Grassian, Ph.D.

October LITHOSPHERE delivered online
The October issue of Lithosphere covers geology in Wyoming, USA; the California Coast Ranges, USA; the Alpine Fault, New Zealand; the South Atlantic seafloor; the central Himalaya in Nepal; and Sidekan, Kurdistan Region, Iraqi Zagros suture zone.

Hubble goes to the eXtreme to assemble farthest-ever view of the universe
Like photographers assembling a portfolio of best shots, astronomers have assembled a new, improved portrait of mankind's deepest-ever view of the universe.

Plan a springtime visit to Rome: Attend Europe's premier bone meeting in 2013
Some 5- 6,000 delegates from more than 80 countries are expected to attend Europe's key bone meeting 2013, the European Congress on Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis.

Coral hotspots found in deepwater canyons off northeast US coast
For the first time in decades, researchers have conducted an extensive exploration for deep-sea corals and sponges in submarine canyons off the northeastern coast of the US.

UTMB awarded $750,000 National Institute of Justice grant
The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston has received a three-year, nearly $750,000 grant from the United States Office of Justice Programs National Institute of Justice to continue a long-term study on healthy and unhealthy teen dating relationships.

Hotter might be better at energy-intensive data centers
New research examines the issue of temperature management in data centers, and suggests that allowing warmer temperatures than are normally recommended might be justifiable.

Pioneering photonics institute celebrates 30 years of innovation
The Institute for Ultrafast Spectroscopy and Lasers at The City College of New York, a pioneering center for photonic science and technology, will commemorate three decades of research into the generation and harnessing of light with a celebratory conference in October.

Images reveal potential for NIR imaging to detect success of breast reconstruction
In 2010 breast reconstruction entered the Top Five list of reconstructive procedures in the US, with 93,000 procedures performed, up 8% from 2009, and 18% from 2000.

Change in treatment regime for cryptococcal meningitis may be needed
The most cost-effective treatment for cryptococcal meningitis (a serious infection of the brain membranes, usually in people with AIDS or other immune system deficiencies) is different to that currently recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), warranting a review of policy, according to the findings of a study published in this week's PLOS Medicine.

Future health risks for obese children may be greater than previously thought
Being obese as a child or adolescent may have a larger effect on future health than previously thought, suggests a study published on today.

Chronic kidney disease a warning sign independent of hypertension or diabetes
New research finds the presence of chronic kidney disease can be a strong indicator of the risk of death and end-stage renal disease even in patients without hypertension or diabetes

Spirituality key to Chinese medicine success
Are the longevity and vitality of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) due to its holistic approach?

Computers match humans in understanding art
Understanding and evaluating art has widely been considered as a task meant for humans, until now.

Language use is simpler than previously thought, finds Cornell study
For more than 50 years, language scientists have assumed that sentence structure is fundamentally hierarchical, made up of small parts in turn made of smaller parts, like Russian nesting dolls.

BGI and Gates Foundation sign MOU on collaboration for global health and agricultural development
BGI and Gates Foundation sign MOU on collaboration for global health and agricultural development.

PLOS Medicine editors comment on progress of World Health Report 2012
In this month's editorial, the PLOS Medicine Editors comment on the World Health Organization's (WHO) latest World Health Report, originally planned for publication in 2012, and the outcomes of the journal's collaboration with WHO on the intended theme of

Grief stages can be likened to pinball machine workings, Baylor University Researcher says
Moving through the stages of grief can be as unpredictable as playing a pinball machine, with triggers of sorrow acting like pinball rudders to send a mourner into a rebound rather than an exit, according to a case study by a Baylor University researcher.

NASA infrared data compares Super Typhoon Jelawat with Tropical Storm Ewiniar
NASA's Aqua satellite has been obtaining infrared, visible and other data everytime it passes over Typhoon Jelawat and Tropical Storm Ewiniar in the western North Pacific, and a combination of two images from Aqua's AIRS satellite puts the storms in perspective.

Cutting-edge technology makes NASA's hurricane mission a reality
Cutting-edge NASA technology has made this year's NASA Hurricane mission a reality.

Most European languages in danger of digital extinction
More than 20 European languages face digital extinction because of a lack of technological support, a study by Europe's leading language technology experts has found.

Human brains develop wiring slowly, differing from chimpanzees, GW University professor finds
Research comparing brain development in humans and our closest nonhuman primate relatives, chimpanzees, reveals how quickly myelin in the cerebral cortex grows, shedding light on the evolution of human cognitive development and the vulnerability of humans to psychiatric disorders, a GW professor finds.

Starting to snore during pregnancy could indicate risk for high blood pressure, U-M study says
Sleep-related breathing problem associated with serious, expensive conditions like preeclampsia, gestational hypertension

New UF study shows river turtle species still suffers from past harvesting
University of Florida researchers studying river turtles in Missouri found populations of the northern map turtle have not recovered from harvesting in the 1970s.

$10 million NSF grant to help computer scientists understand the world of cybercrime
Computer scientists at the University of California, San Diego, the International Computer Science Institute at Berkeley and George Mason University have received a $10 million, five-year grant from the National Science Foundation to map out the illicit activities taking place in the cybersecurity underworld and to understand how the mind of a cybercriminal works.

JoVE article shows steps to isolate stem cells from brain tumors
A new video protocol in Journal of Visualized Experiments details an assay to identify brain tumor initiating stem cells from primary brain tumors.

Wayne State University researcher's calculations will help unlock new energy sources
A Wayne State University researcher is part of a national project to find accessible sources of natural gas.

After a 2-year slowdown, health spending grew 4.6 percent per capita in 2011, says HCCI report
US health care spending grew at a faster pace than expected in 2011, according to a new report from the Health Care Cost Institute.

Using corticosteroid for children undergoing tonsillectomy may not increase risk of serious bleeding
Administration of the corticosteroid dexamethasone to children during a tonsillectomy was not associated with excessive, serious bleeding events following surgery compared to patients who received placebo.

Large donors are forcing the World Health Organization to reform
The current practice of large donors is forcing the World Health Organization and the World Bank to reflect on how to reform to remain more appealing to the wider set of stakeholders and interests at play, according to Devi Sridhar from the University of Oxford writing in this week's PLOS Medicine.

'Green IT' to be presented in Baltimore
A UC doctoral student is among the top researchers to be featured at a women's technology conference, as she presents on an emerging field: Green technology.

Medical screening for older drivers is misguided, argues senior doctor
Medical screening of older drivers is misguided and typifies a

Hubble goes to the 'eXtreme' to assemble the deepest ever view of the universe
Like photographers assembling a portfolio of their best shots, astronomers have assembled a new, improved portrait of our deepest-ever view of the Universe.

Researchers develop new technique for IDing proteins secreted by cells
Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a new technique to identify the proteins secreted by a cell.

Images of 300 million old insects revealed
Stunning 3D images of 300 million-year-old insects have been revealed for the first time by University of Manchester researchers.

Mechanism that leads to sporadic Parkinson's disease identified
Researchers in the Taub Institute at Columbia University Medical Center have identified a mechanism that appears to underlie the common sporadic (non-familial) form of Parkinson's disease, the progressive movement disorder.

Exercise does a body -- and a mind -- good
We've heard it time and time again: exercise is good for us.

Should celebrities get involved in public health campaigns?
In this week's BMJ, two experts debate whether celebrity involvement in public health campaigns can deliver long term benefits.

Improved communication could reduce STD epidemic among black teenagers
Black urban teenagers from low-income families face a rate of sexually transmitted disease up to 10 times higher than their white counterparts, but recent studies have identified approaches to prevention programs that might reduce this problem.

Improving cancer treatment through better decisions
A new $13.6 million program award from the National Cancer Institute awarded to a national team of researchers centered at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center will examine how patients make treatment decisions, how doctors make treatment recommendations and how to improve the process for better outcomes.

Georgia Tech creating high-tech tools to study autism
Researchers in Georgia Tech's Center for Behavior Imaging have developed two new technological tools that automatically measure relevant behaviors of children, and promise to have significant impact on the understanding of behavioral disorders such as autism.

Into the mind of the common fruit fly
Although a nuisance in every home, fruit flies have made surprising contributions to medical science.

The science of sound resonates at Acoustical Society Meeting in Kansas City, October 22-26
Perfect pitch, dolphin communication, and noise in the community and in nature are just some of the intriguing topics that will be presented at the 164th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America.

Disparity in breast cancer between black and white women can be eliminated by regular screening
Regular mammography screening can help narrow the breast cancer gap between black and white women, according to a retrospective study published in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment in August.

Making it easier to make stem cells
Researchers at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute discovered several kinase inhibitors that, when added to skin cells, help generate many more induced pluripotent stem cells than the standard method.

Category 2 Hurricane Miriam Seen in East Pacific by NASA satellite
The MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA's Aqua and Terra satellites provide some of the most clear and stunning imagery of tropical cyclones, and captured a visible image of Category 2 hurricane Miriam off the western coast of Mexico.

Impaired protein degradation causes muscle diseases
New insights into certain muscle diseases, the filaminopathies, are reported by an international research team of the RUB's University Hospital Bergmannsheil in Brain.

NASA satellites see Tropical Storm Nadine 'refuse to go away'
Nearly two weeks after becoming a tropical storm in the central Atlantic back on September 11th, NASA satellites confirm that Nadine is still spinning away south of the Azores as a minimal tropical storm.

Robotic surgery through the mouth safe for removing tumors of the voice box, study shows
Robotic surgery though the mouth is a safe and effective way to remove tumors of the throat and voice box, according to a study by head and neck cancer surgeons at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - Arthur G.

Cryopreservation of induced pluripotent stem cells improved the most by one product
To determine the best cryopreservation solution to maintain induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, researchers compared 12 commercially prepared and readily available cryopreservation solutions and found that

Pre-op steroids to prevent nausea do not significantly increase post-op bleeding
Corticosteroids are often given to children undergoing tonsillectomy to reduce postoperative nausea and vomiting; however, previous research has suggested that corticosteroids may increase the risk of hemorrhage during and after surgery.

Boosting natural marijuana-like brain chemicals treats fragile X syndrome symptoms
American and European scientists have found that increasing natural marijuana-like chemicals in the brain can help correct behavioral issues related to fragile X syndrome, the most common known genetic cause of autism.

Incorporating safety into design important for active living and injury prevention
New report provides guidelines for urban planners, architects, public health advocates, and others to consider when promoting active designs.

Mouse pancreatic stem cells successfully differentiate into insulin producing cells
Investigating how transplanted islet cells can differentiate and mature into insulin-producing pancreatic cells, researchers found that islet cells could be transduced into mouse pancreatic stem cells (PSCs) using Sendai virus (SeV) a mouse influenza virus, to carry a specific set of transcription factors.

Minority children at a higher risk for weight problems in both the US and England
With ties to diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol, childhood obesity in wealthy countries is certainly of growing concern to researchers.

Urban coyotes never stray: New study finds 100 percent monogamy
Coyotes living in cities don't ever stray from their mates, and stay with each other till death do them part, according to a new study.

Mathematics and fine art: Digitizing paintings through image processing
A paper published this month in the SIAM Journal on Imaging Sciences proposes a simple technique for reliable digitization of paintings using fusion of photographs taken from different angles through statistical methods without the need for professional-grade photographic equipment.

Oscillating microscopic beads could be key to biolab on a chip
An MIT team finds a way to manipulate and measure magnetic particles without contact, potentially enabling multiple medical tests on a tiny device.

Dr. Yutaka Niihara: Novel therapy helps ease pain and suffering for sickle cell patients
Chronic, debilitating pain and potential organ failure are what approximately 100,000 sickle cell patients in the United States live with each day.

Palliative care experts call for better home care
Improved home care resources for people with conditions such as dementia, who would prefer to die at home, are key to providing better end of life care and reducing the strain of the UK's aging population on the NHS, according to researchers at King's College London.

New tools will make sharing research data safer in cyberspace
Harvard researchers will receive a four-year NSF grant totaling nearly $5 million to study and enhance the privacy of research data.

The crucial Asian American note
Asian Americans likely to vote in November strongly prefer Barack Obama over Mitt Romney, but a large portion of voters -- nearly one-third -- remain undecided and could play a crucial role in battleground states, according to two reports released today by the National Asian American Survey.

FIK and TECNALIA develop 'Sentient' to enable the design of tailor-made election campaigns
Messages, attires, gestures, themes or melodies that are liked by the public are some of the aspects that guarantee the success of a political party.

Physicist receives two prestigious grants to support research, purchase world-class laser system
A Kansas State University assistant professor has been honored with two prestigious national awards for his research that will develop a deeper understanding of the basic laws of nature at the quantum level.

Finding new paths forward for sustainable energy
In 2011, the National Science Foundation created the Sustainable Energy Pathways program to spark innovative energy solutions that meet societal needs without creating burdens for future generations.

Compelling evidence that brain parts evolve independently
An evolutionary biologist at the University of Manchester, working with scientists in the United States, has found compelling evidence that parts of the brain can evolve independently from each other.

Study of cigarette and waterpipe tobacco smoking shows knowledge gap in perceived health risks
People who smoke both cigarettes and waterpipes - dual users - lack sufficient knowledge about the risks of tobacco smoking and are at considerable risk for dependence and tobacco-related diseases, such as cancer, heart disease and stroke later in life, according to findings of a new study by Virginia Commonwealth University.

Doctors' 'gut feeling' should not be ignored
Doctors who experience a gut feeling about serious illness when treating a child in primary care should take action upon this feeling and not ignore it, a study published today on suggests.

Montreal technology uses cold to treat heart condition
A team of cardiologists from the Montreal Heart Institute has used for the very first time in Canada, a technology developed in Montreal to treat a patient with atrial fibrillation.

What can the water monster teach us about tissue regeneration in humans?
Based on two new studies by researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, regeneration of a new limb or organ in a human will be much more difficult than the mad scientist and supervillain, Dr.

How is Earth's water system linked with land use, climate change and ecosystems?
To better understand how planet Earth's water cycle works, the National Science Foundation and the United States Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture awarded grants totaling almost $27 million through the Water Sustainability and Climate program.

Population aging will have long-term implications for economy
The aging of the US population will have broad economic consequences for the country, particularly for federal programs that support the elderly, and its long-term effects on all generations will be mediated by how -- and how quickly -- the nation responds, says a new congressionally mandated report from the National Research Council.

By improving pain treatment, therapy in dogs, research offers medical insight for humans
From the use of hot and cold packs to new forms of narcotics, a Kansas State University professor is studying ways to improve post-surgery pain treatment and osteoarthritis therapy in dogs.

Prison rehab tied to parole decisions
According to a new study co-authored by Simon Fraser University economics professor Steeve Mongrain, parole board decisions can have a huge impact on whether or not prisoners are motivated to rehabilitate.

Backpack-toting birds help UBC researchers reveal migratory divide, conservation hotspots
By outfitting two British Columbia subspecies of Swainson's thrushes with penny-sized, state-of-the-art geolocators, University of British Columbia researchers have been able to map their wildly divergent migration routes and pinpoint conservation hotspots.

Nothing fishy about fish oil fortified nutrition bars
In today's fast-paced society, consumers often reach for nutrition bars when looking for a healthy on-the-go snack.

Your right size without measuring for online shopping
A group of Ph.D. students from the Computer Vision Centre (Universitat Autònoma de Bacelona) have developed an app called Verisize with which you can know your right size for any brand and garment when buying online.

MSU-led projects to help war veterans
A pair of projects totaling $1.5 million and led by a Michigan State University professor will help Michigan National Guard members and their families in the often stressful transition from battlefield to civilian life.

New tool for CSI? Geographic software maps distinctive features inside bones
A common type of geographic mapping software offers a new way to study human remains.

Making and breaking heterochromatin
Scientists discover two further mechanisms necessary for the formation of heterochromatin.

Treatment for 'untreatable' progeria has roots in untargeted basic cell research
The good news widely reported this morning of positive results from a clinical drug trial at Boston Children's Hospital for the previously

Oropharyngeal cancer patients with HPV have a more robust response to radiation therapy
UC Davis cancer researchers have discovered significant differences in radiation-therapy response among patients with oropharyngeal cancer depending on whether they carry the human papillomavirus, a common sexually transmitted virus.

Could viruses be used to treat acne?
Scientists have isolated and studied the genomes of 11 viruses, known as phage, that can infect and kill the acne-causing bacterium Propionibacterium acnes, potentially paving the way for topical therapies that use viruses or viral products to treat this vexing skin condition. 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