Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 26, 2012
Sandia shows why common explosive sometimes fails
The explosive PETN has been around for a century and is used by everyone from miners to the military, but it took new research by Sandia National Laboratories to begin to discover key mechanisms behind what causes it to fail at small scales.

Geometry plays a role in GPCR transmembrane signaling
A recent study in the Journal of General Physiology characterizes the movement of rhodopsin, a GPCR and member of a large family of transmembrane receptors responsible for many cellular responses and involved in many human diseases.

Ocean acidification: Finding new answers through National Science Foundation research grants
With increasing levels of carbon dioxide accumulating in the atmosphere and moving into marine systems, the world's oceans are becoming more acidic.

Grant to help citizen scientists assess impact of environmental change in the National Park System
A $250,000 grant from the National Science Foundation will pair citizen scientists with researchers from the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory, National Park Service and the SERC Institute in effort to genetically identify plant and animal species in Acadia National Park and Frenchman's Bay.

Inner city infants have different patterns of viral respiratory illness than infants in the suburbs
Children living in low-income urban areas appear especially prone to developing asthma, possibly related to infections they acquire early in life.

AACR to host fifth annual Cancer Health Disparities Conference
Conference to highlight new developments in disparities research taking place in San Diego, Calif., Oct.

Pregnancy generates maternal immune-suppressive cells that protect the fetus
A new study published online in the journal Nature suggests it might be possible to develop vaccines to prevent premature birth and other pregnancy complications.

Researchers uncover biochemical events needed to maintain erection
For two decades, scientists have known the biochemical factors that trigger penile erection, but not what's needed to maintain one.

NSF invests $50 million in research to secure our nation's cyberspace
The National Science Foundation today awarded $50 million for research projects to build a cybersecure society and protect the United States' vast information infrastructure.

Viewing gender-specific objects influences perception of gender identity
Spending too much time looking at high heels may influence how a viewer perceives the gender of an androgynous face, according to new research published Sept.

'I'm bored!' -- Research on attention sheds light on the unengaged mind
Boredom is often seen as a trivial and temporary, but it can also be a chronic and pervasive stressor that has significant consequences for health and well-being.

Moffitt Cancer Center researchers say smoking relapse prevention a healthy step for mothers, babies
Researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center, concerned that women who quit smoking during their pregnancies often resume smoking after they deliver their baby, tested self-help interventions designed to prevent postpartum smoking relapse.

Inadequate cellular rest may explain effects of aging on muscles
Is aging inevitable? What factors make older tissues in the human body less able to maintain and repair themselves, as in the weakening and shrinkage of aging muscles in humans?

UCSB evolutionary psychologists study the purpose of punishment and reputation
For two decades, evolutionary scientists have been locked in a debate over the evolved functions of three distinctive human behaviors: the great readiness we show for cooperating with new people, the strong interest we have in tracking others' reputations regarding how well they treat others, and the occasional interest we have in punishing people for selfishly mistreating others.

AgriLife Research expert: Salt cedar beetle damage widespread after warm summer
Salt cedar along the waterways of the southern and eastern Panhandle is rapidly being defoliated and dying back, and one Texas A&M AgriLife Research entomologist believes he knows why.

Sandia experts help when sinkhole opens up in Louisiana
The US Geological Survey turned to Sandia National Laboratories for help when the earth opened up last month near Bayou Corne, La.

Study finds large proportion of intellectual disability is not genetically inherited
New research published Online First in the Lancet suggests that a high proportion of severe intellectual disability results from genetic causes that are not inherited.

WSU study finds dioxin causes disease and reproductive problems across generations
Since the 1960s, when the defoliant Agent Orange was widely used in Vietnam, military, industry and environmental groups have debated the toxicity of its main ingredient, the chemical dioxin, and how it should be regulated.

Study looks at risk factors for HIV in US Navy and Marines during 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'
Same-sex partners and inconsistent condom use were among the major risk factors for HIV infection among US Navy and Marines personnel during the

Women twice as likely to suffer infection with kidney stones and other urinary blockages
While more men than women develop kidney stones and other obstructions in the urinary tract, women are more than twice as likely to suffer infections related to the condition, according to a new study led by Henry Ford Hospital researchers.

Research breakthrough opens door to new strategy for battling HIV
New research showing how the HIV virus targets

Elsevier launches new open access journal - NeuroImage: Clinical
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, announces the launch of NeuroImage: Clinical, a new open access journal, and sister journal to NeuroImage.

NYU Langone collaborates on groundbreaking international initiative for autism research
NYU Langone Medical Center announced today the creation of a new groundbreaking collaboration in autism research.

Making the healthy choice
When making healthy choices, we often have to engage in an internal struggle.

Antibiotics could replace surgery for appendicitis
Although the standard approach to acute appendicitis is to remove the appendix, a study at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, reveals that treatment with antibiotics can be just as effective in many cases.

Cannabis withdrawal symptoms might have clinical importance
Cannabis users have a greater chance of relapse to cannabis use when they experience certain withdrawal symptoms, according to research published Sep.

Exposure to snot-nosed kids ups severity of cold infections
Exposure to school-age children raises the odds that a person with lung disease who catches a cold will actually suffer symptoms like a runny nose, sore throat and cough.

The Physiological Society and Wiley renew partnership
John Wiley & Sons, Inc., and the Physiological Society have announced the renewal of their publishing partnership, building on over eight years of collaboration.

Barrow researchers make breakthrough on immune system and brain tumors
In what could be a breakthrough in the treatment of deadly brain tumors, a team of researchers from Barrow Neurological Institute and Arizona State University has discovered that the immune system reacts differently to different types of brain tissue, shedding light on why cancerous brain tumors are so difficult to treat.

Reducing acrylamide levels in french fries
The process for preparing frozen, par-fried potato strips -- distributed to some food outlets for making french fries -- can influence the formation of acrylamide in the fries that people eat, a new study has found.

First use in patient of conditionally reprogrammed cells delivers clinical response
Using a newly discovered cell technology, Georgetown University Medical Center researchers were able to identify an effective therapy for a patient with a rare type of lung tumor.

Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology: There's an app for that
The Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology has debuted a new app, available for iPad users, that will allow readers to access interventional radiology literature and multimedia -- when they choose, ensuring fast, convenient access to up-to-the-minute peer-reviewed articles, podcasts, images and more.

2012 GSA Annual Meeting technical program & events -- media advisory 2
The program for GSA's 124th Annual Meeting & Exposition is now set and searchable online.

Singing in the brain
What does anger sound like? What music does sorrow imply?

Artificially intelligent game bots pass the Turing test on Turing's centenary
An artificially intelligent virtual gamer has won the BotPrize by convincing a panel of judges that it was more human-like than half the humans it competed against.

New insights into functionality of cystic fibrosis protein
CFTR is an important protein that, when mutated, causes the life-threatening genetic disease cystic fibrosis.

A birth control pill for men? When?
When will men have their own birth control pill? Scientists have been predicting the debut of a male pill within five years for the last 30 years.

University of Kentucky research sheds light on pain pill abuse
A study by a team of University of Kentucky researchers has shed new light on the potential habit-forming properties of the popular pain medication tramadol, in research funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Springer will publish book series with British Society for Immunology
Springer and the British Society for Immunology have entered into an agreement to publish six books per year, to be included in Springer's long-running book series, Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology.

New study will examine the incidence and impact of gluten intolerance in the UK
A University of Nottingham expert has been awarded £80,000 by two national charities to study the impact of gluten intolerance on patients in the UK.

Researchers define 2 categories of multiple sclerosis patients
A research team led by Philip De Jager, M.D., Ph.D., BWH Department of Neurology, senior study author, has found a way to distinguish patients with multiple sclerosis into two meaningful subsets.

UF biologist discovers mammal with salamander-like regenerative abilities
A small African mammal with an unusual ability to regrow damaged tissues could inspire new research in regenerative medicine, a University of Florida study finds.

Buddhist statue, discovered by Nazi expedition, is made of meteorite, new study reveals
It sounds like an artifact from an Indiana Jones film; a 1,000 year-old ancient Buddhist statue which was first recovered by a Nazi expedition in 1938 has been analyzed by scientists and has been found to be carved from a meteorite.

Date palm juice: A potential new 'green' anti-corrosion agent for aerospace industry
The search for a

Loss of species makes nature more sensitive to climate change
When we wipe out the most sensitive species, human beings reduce the resilience of ecosystems to climate change, reveals a new study from biologists at the University of Gothenburg, published today in the journal Ecology Letters.

New AACAP Practice Parameter on gay, lesbian, bisexual, and gender variant issues
The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry is proud to announce its new Practice Parameter on issues related to and affecting gay, lesbian, bisexual, and gender variant youth.

Slave rebellion is widespread in ants
Ants that are held as slaves in nests of other ant species damage their oppressors through acts of sabotage.

Joslin scientists identify molecular process in fat cells that influences stress and longevity
Scientists at Joslin Diabetes Center have identified a new factor -- microRNA processing in fat tissue -- which plays a major role in aging and stress resistance.

Pollution-busting laundry additive gets set to clean up
Within just two years, we could all be wearing clothes that purify the air as we simply move around in them.

PETA calls for wider acknowledgement of IOM report on chimpanzee research
In a new letter published in the journal Blood, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals calls for greater acknowledgement by the scientific community of a landmark Institute of Medicine report that concluded,

First evidence of fetal DNA persisting in human brain tissue
Small portions of male DNA, most likely left over in a mother's body by a male fetus can be detected in the maternal brain relatively frequently, according to a report published Sept.

Large 2012 earthquake triggered temblors worldwide for nearly a week
It's known that large quakes trigger smaller quakes hours later as the strong seismic waves pass through the Earth.

Extreme climate change linked to early animal evolution
An international team of scientists, including geochemists from UC Riverside, has uncovered new evidence linking extreme climate change, oxygen rise, and early animal evolution.

Psychology of equine performance and the biology behind laminitis
Achieving the best performance from a horse is the goal of professional riders and the millions of amateur riders all over the world.

Touch-sensitive tentacles catapult prey into carnivorous plant traps
Swift predators are common in the animal world but are rare in the plant kingdom.

Satellite sees Miriam weaken to a tropical storm
Once a powerful hurricane, Miriam is now a tropical storm off the coast of Baja California, Mexico.

Launch of new center to monitor effects of droughts, floods and land use change
University of Leicester launches its new Centre for Landscape and Climate Research.

Rare great earthquake in April triggers large aftershocks all over the globe
Large earthquakes can alter seismicity patterns across the globe in very different ways, according to two new studies by US Geological Survey seismologists.

Bigger wind turbines make greener electricity
The latest episode in the American Chemical Society's award-winning Global Challenges/Chemistry Solutions podcast series concludes that the larger the wind turbine, the greener the electricity it produces.

Scientists find way to control sugars
A study co-led by Simon Fraser University and Purdue University has found that the intestinal enzymes responsible for processing starchy foods can be turned on and off, helping to better control those processes in people with Type 2 diabetes.

Patient safety improves when leaders walk the safety talk
When nurses feel safe admitting to their supervisors that they've made a mistake regarding a patient, they are more likely to report the error, which ultimately leads to a stronger commitment to safe practices and a reduction in the error rate, according to an international team of researchers.

Forest governance critical to global forest conservation, industry sustainability
Protecting forests and the livelihoods they support depends on the ability to develop and implement effectively policy and other initiatives with global cooperation, according to Dr.

Contributions of deaf people to entomology: A hidden legacy
Written by the Harry G. Lang, a deaf scholar, and by entomologist Jorge A.

Dartmouth smartphone app targets driver safety
Dartmouth smartphone app targets driver safety.

Asteroid's troughs suggest stunted planet
A new analysis of enormous troughs on the surface of the asteroid Vesta finds a resemblance between the troughs and surface features known as graben which are usually found on larger bodies, such as planets or moons.

Total knee replacements: Effective, costly and booming
University of Iowa researchers find that total knee replacement surgeries have more than doubled in 20 years.

Study reveals complex rupture process in surprising 2012 Sumatra quake
The massive earthquake that struck under the Indian Ocean southwest of Sumatra on April 11, 2012, came as a surprise to seismologists and left them scrambling to figure out exactly what had happened.

New 'Skinny' on Leptin
Leptin -- commonly dubbed the

Learning requires rhythmical activity of neurons
Memory-forming signal transmission in the hippocampus has been elucidated.

II Iberoamerican Conference on Nutrition for Children and Teens
The conference will take place in the Congress and Exhibition Center in Granada, Spain from Dec.

Salt marsh carbon may play role in slowing climate warming, study shows
A warming climate and rising seas will enable salt marshes to more rapidly capture and remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, possibly playing a role in slowing the rate of climate change, according to a new study published in the Sept.

Gut bacteria could cause diabetes
Studying gut bacteria can reveal a range of human illness.

Preserving large females could prevent overfishing of Atlantic cod
Cod are among Sweden's most common and most popular edible fish and have been fished hard for many years.

The rich colors of a cosmic seagull
This new image from ESO's La Silla Observatory shows part of a stellar nursery nicknamed the Seagull Nebula.

Search for element 113 concluded at last
The most unambiguous data to date on the elusive 113th atomic element has been obtained by researchers at the RIKEN Nishina Center for Accelerator-based Science.

Colorectal cancer genetics research gets $13 million boost
Uncovering colon cancer's genetic roots is the focus of a new $13 million, four-year, National Cancer Institute-funded project at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Hurricane Irene polluted Catskills watershed
The water quality of lakes and coastal systems will be altered if hurricanes intensify in a warming world, according to a Yale study in Geophysical Research Letters.

Scientists make old muscles young again in attempt to combat aging
An international team of scientists have identified for the first time a key factor responsible for declining muscle repair during aging, and discovered how to halt the process in mice with a common drug.

Retweeted health messages may not be what the patient ordered
People are more likely to trust health messages tweeted by doctors who have a lot of followers, but not the messages they retweet, according to researchers.

Melatonin and exercise work against Alzheimer's in mice
The combination of two neuroprotective therapies, voluntary physical exercise, and the daily intake of melatonin has been shown to have a synergistic effect against brain deterioration in rodents with three different mutations of Alzheimer's disease.

Taking the battle against the toxic trio beyond 'Leaves of 3, leave it be'
With more than half of all adults allergic to poison ivy, oak and sumac, scientists are reporting an advance toward an inexpensive spray that could reveal the presence of the rash-causing toxic oil on the skin, clothing, garden tools, and even the family pet.

New simulation method produces realistic fluid movements
What does a yogurt look like over time? The food industry will soon be able to answer this question using a new fluid simulation tool developed by the Department of Computer Science at the University of Copenhagen as part of a broad partnership with other research institutions.

How immune cells defend themselves against HIV
A team of scientists led by virologists Prof. Oliver T.

Duke Medicine news -- Protein structure unlocks 1 mystery of multi-drug tolerance
The structures of key bacterial proteins have revealed one of the biochemical secrets that enables bacteria to outwit antibiotics.

Researchers develop blood test that accurately detects early stages of lung, breast cancer in humans
In less than an hour, a test can detect breast cancer and non-small lung cancer -- the most common type of lung cancer -- before symptoms like coughing and weight loss start.

Elsevier announces the winner of the 4th Ahmed Zewail Prize in Molecular Sciences
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, and the editors of the leading international journal Chemical Physics Letters are pleased to announce that the 4th Ahmed Zewail Prize in Molecular Sciences has been awarded to Professor Noel S.

How is a Kindle like a cuttlefish
Research out today from a multidisciplinary team headed by the University of Cincinnati examines parallels between e-Paper technology (the technology behind sunlight-readable devices like the Kindle) and biological organisms that change color.

Big quake was part of crustal plate breakup
Seismologists have known for years that the Indo-Australian plate of Earth's crust is slowly breaking apart, but they saw it in action last April when at least four faults broke in a magnitude-8.7 earthquake that may be the largest of its type ever recorded.

Ready for your close-up?
As the saying goes,

Severe hunger increases breast cancer risk in war survivors
Jewish women who were severely exposed to hunger during World War Two were five times more likely to develop breast cancer than women who were mildly exposed.

Tracking koala disease: New findings from old DNA
DNA extracted from the skins of koalas displayed in European and North American museums shows that a retrovirus has been a problem for the animals for much longer than was thought, according to Alfred Roca, an assistant professor of animal sciences at the University of Illinois, and Alex Greenwood of the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin.

Biology and management of the green stink bug
A new article in the Journal of Integrated Pest Management,

Pluto/Charon poses for sharpest ground-based images ever
Using a method called reconstructive speckle imaging, the researchers took the sharpest ground-based snapshots ever obtained of Pluto and Charon in visible light.

TB drug could reduce mortality for MDR-TB and XDR-TB cases
Results from an observational study evaluating a new anti-TB drug have found that the treatment can improve outcomes and reduce mortality among patients with both MDR-TB and XDR-TB.

AMP appeals breast cancer gene patent case to US Supreme Court
The Association for Molecular Pathology has petitioned the United States Supreme Court to review the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit's recent ruling in Association for Molecular Pathology v.

Canadian Stroke Congress 2012
Researchers from across Canada and around the world are gathering in Calgary for the largest-ever Canadian Stroke Congress, drawing much-needed attention to one of society's leading health issues.

GW receives record 5-year, $134 million grant to study type 2 diabetes medications
John Lachin, professor of biostatistics, epidemiology and statistics at the George Washington University, has been awarded a five-year, $134 million grant from the National Institute of Health's National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases to conduct a clinical trial examining the long-term effectiveness of several glucose-lowering medications for treatment of people with type 2 diabetes.

NASA sees very heavy rain in Super Typhoon Jelawat and heavy rain pushed from Ewinar's Center
NASA's TRMM satellite measured the rainfall of Super Typhoon Jelawat and Tropical Storm Ewiniar as they continue moving through the western North Pacific Ocean.

NSF & Mozilla announce winning big ideas for new applications
Today, an open innovation challenge called Mozilla Ignite announced eight winning ideas for innovative applications that offer a glimpse of what the Internet's future might look like--and what the lives of Americans may look like as well.

HZDR intensifies its cooperation with the Netherlands
On September 26, 2012, the Board of Directors of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf will sign an agreement of cooperation with the President of the Radboud University Nijmegen, Prof.

As population, interest in outdoor recreation grow, more pressure likely for northern forests
Despite just modest gains in population and participation in outdoor recreation compared to the rest of the nation, there is a strong likelihood of increasing pressure on forest and other undeveloped lands in northern states as the population grows and recreation demands shift.

Antipsychotic drugmakers target marketing dollars at DC Medicaid psychiatrists
The DC Department of Health has released a study by George Washington University School of Public Health & Health Services indicating the high levels of marketing by antipsychotic drug manufacturers to Medicaid psychiatrists in the District of Columbia.

MBARI researchers discover what vampire squids eat
Over the last 100 years, perhaps a dozen scientific papers have been published on the mysterious vampire squid, but no one has been able to figure out exactly what it eats.

Researchers determine how inflammatory cells function, setting stage for future remedies
A research team led by investigators at New York University and NYU School of Medicine has determined how cells that cause inflammatory ailments, such as Crohn's disease, multiple sclerosis, and arthritis, differentiate from stem cells and ultimately affect the clinical outcome of these diseases.

New method of resurfacing bone improves odds of successful grafts
Coating a bone graft with an inorganic compound found in bones and teeth may significantly increase the likelihood of a successful implant, according to Penn State researchers.

Men on the mind: Study finds male DNA in women's brains
Male DNA is commonly found in the brains of women, most likely derived from prior pregnancy with a male fetus, according to first-of-its-kind research conducted at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

BGI presents a metagenome-wide association study of gut microbiota in type 2 diabetes
BGI presents a metagenome-wide association study of gut microbiota in type 2 diabetes.

Paper: Federal law needed to safeguard 'digital afterlives'
Federal law ought to play a stronger role in regulating social networking sites by allowing users to determine what happens to their

U of M receives $4.3 million NSF grant to study interactions between water and land-use systems
The University of Minnesota announced today that it has received a $4.3 million Water Sustainability and Climate grant over five years from the National Science Foundation to lead a study on the interactions between climate, water and land-use systems. 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