Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 27, 2012
Cleveland trio will demonstrate energy-saving app to DOE
Three Cleveland app developers who took second place in the student division of DOE's Apps for Energy challenge will demonstrate their energy-saving product to federal energy, science, and environmental officials and industry leaders in Washington Monday, Oct 1.

Major cancer protein amplifies global gene expression, NIH study finds
Scientists may have discovered why a protein called MYC can provoke a variety of cancers.

New partnership expands access to contraception
A new partnership announced today at the United Nations will make a safe, effective, long-acting, reversible method of contraception available to more than 27 million women in the world's poorest nations.

Optical mammography sheds new light on breast cancer
New optical imaging technology developed at Tufts University School of Engineering could give doctors new ways to both identify breast cancer and monitor individual patients' response to initial treatment of the disease.

La Jolla Institute wins $22 million contract renewal for innovative worldwide research tool
The ability to

Environment-friendly satellite navigation technology
GEKO NavSat, a new company located in the business incubator at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid science park, is working on the integration of satellite navigation technology with wireless communication networks for the development of environmental applications, like the investigation of forest fires and use in high-mountain search and rescue situations.

Dollars for donors: Many support financial incentives to encourage organ donation
70% and 40% of survey respondents found financial incentives to be acceptable for deceased and living kidney donors, respectively.

Research suggests shared genetic link in psychiatric and movement disorders
Fewer than 100 people in the world are known to be affected by a movement disorder called rapid-onset dystonia-parkinsonism (RDP), but its symptoms are life-changing.

Learning to overcome fear is difficult for teens
A new study by Weill Cornell Medical College researchers shows that adolescents' reactions to threat remain high even when the danger is no longer present.

Hopkins researchers solve key part of old mystery in generating muscle mass
Working with mice, Johns Hopkins researchers have solved a key part of a muscle regeneration mystery plaguing scientists for years, adding strong support to the theory that muscle mass can be built without a complete, fully functional supply of muscle stem cells.

Hearing brains are 'deaf' to disappearance of sounds, study reveals
Our brains are better at hearing new and approaching sounds than detecting when a sound disappears, according to a study published today funded by the Wellcome Trust.

Controlling the spread of diseases among humans, other animals and the environment
West Nile virus, Lyme disease and hantavirus are all infectious diseases spreading in animals and in people.

Hummingbirds make flying backward look easy
Animals that move backwards usually require a lot of energy, so Nir Sapir from the University of California Berkeley, USA, was surprised when he realized that hummingbirds execute this maneuver routinely.

Newspaper sales suffer due to lack of stimulating content
Since the newspaper industry started to experience a major decrease in readership in recent years, many people have deemed the internet and other forms of new media as the culprits.

Physical activity interventions for children have 'little impact'
Physical activity interventions for children have small impact on overall activity levels and consequently the body fat and mass of children, a study published on today suggests.

Possible link between infants' regulatory behaviors and maternal mental health
Functional somatic symptoms are physical complaints, such as headaches, pain, fatigue, and dizziness, that cannot be explained medically.

How tribal courts can end war
Mostly isolated from outsiders until the 1950s, Papua New Guinea's Enga tribes fought with bows and arrows until 1990, when their young people and mercenary

Cogmed Working Memory Training: Does it actually work? The debate continues...
Helping children achieve their full potential in school is of great concern to everyone, and a number of commercial products have been developed to try and achieve this goal.

Social bullying prevalent in children's television
Children ages 2-11 view an alarming amount of television shows that contain forms of social bullying or social aggression.

Retiring during economic booms could cause financial hardships for retirees, MU researcher finds
In a new study, a University of Missouri financial expert has found that many Americans choose to retire when the economic markets are peaking, an action that can, ironically, cause major problems for the long-term financial stability of retirees.

Rewriting the rules of teamwork
As scientists from different disciplines and regions help design a world-class nuclear research facility at Michigan State University, a team of MSU researchers will conduct one of the first major studies of how teams work together.

Simulations uncover 'flashy' secrets of merging black holes
A team that includes astrophysicists at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., is looking forward to that day by using computational models to explore the mergers of supersized black holes.

Honey bees fight back against Varroa
The parasitic mite Varroa destructor is a major contributor to the recent mysterious death of honey bee colonies.

Colorectal cancer gene database helpful in furthering research
The CRCgene database, which gathers all genetic association studies on colorectal cancer, allows for researchers to accurately interpret the risk factors of the disease and provides insight into the direction of further colorectal cancer research, according to a study published Sept.

The GOP has a feminine face, UCLA study finds
Female politicians with stereotypically feminine facial features are more likely to be Republican than Democrat, and the correlation increases the more conservative the lawmaker's voting record, find two UCLA researchers who looked at facial features among members of the U.S.

Smooth as silk 'transient electronics' dissolve in body or environment
Tiny, biocompatible electronic devices, encapsulated in silk, dissolve harmlessly into their surroundings after a precise amount of time.

Stanford bioengineers introduce 'Bi-Fi' -- The biological internet
Stanford bioengineers have created a biological mechanism to send genetic messages from cell to cell - something they've nicknamed the biological Internet, or

NASA sees light rainfall in Tropical Storm Nadine
NASA's TRMM satellite noticed that the intensity of rainfall in Tropical Storm Nadine has diminished today, Sept.

Study adds to efforts to find more effective anti-inflammatory drugs
Researchers have discovered a previously unknown function for a protein that could add to the expanding arsenal of potential new drugs for battling inflammation and tissue fibrosis in a number of disease processes.

Undergrad plant biology course wins Science magazine prize
Because of its success at engaging students in the scientific process and in the world of plants, The Personal Plant Project has been selected to win the Science Prize for Inquiry-Based Instruction.

BU School of Medicine receives award for work-life balance practices for academic physicians
Boston University School of Medicine is receiving a $250,000 grant from the American Council on Education and the Alfred P.

Mayo Clinic finds way to weed out problem stem cells, making therapy safer
Mayo Clinic researchers have found a way to detect and eliminate potentially troublemaking stem cells to make stem cell therapy safer.

Over 65s at increased risk of developing dementia with benzodiazepine
Patients over the age of 65 who begin taking benzodiazepine (a popular drug used to treat anxiety and insomnia) are at an approximately 50 percent increased risk of developing dementia within 15 years compared to never-users, a study published today on suggests.

Researchers examine bias among sports journalists on Twitter
Sports journalists covering the Penn State sex abuse scandal posted commentary on Twitter that was inherently biased, Clemson University and University of Louisville researchers say.

Next up: Electronics that vanish in the environment or the body
Physicians and environmentalists alike could soon be using a new class of electronic devices: small, robust and high performance, yet also biocompatible and capable of dissolving completely in water - or in bodily fluids.

NASA sees a wide-eyed Super Typhoon Jelawat
One day ago, Super Typhoon Jelawat's eye was about 25 nautical miles in diameter, today, Sept.

NSF adds 3 years, $12 million to ISU-based Center for Biorenewable Chemicals
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has added $12 million and another three years of support to the NSF Engineering Research Center for Biorenewable Chemicals based at Iowa State University.

Doctoral student developing next generation of batteries for improved mobile devices, electric cars
Kansas State University researchers are developing new materials that could be used in future lithium-ion batteries.

$20 billion for women's and children's health
The Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health has received about $20 billion in new money, according to a new report from the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health.

Liver cells, insulin-producing cells, thymus can be grown in lymph nodes, Pitt team finds
Lymph nodes can provide a suitable home for a variety of cells and tissues from other organs, suggesting a cell-based alternative to whole organ transplantation might one day be feasible, according to researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

HJF names 2012-13 fellowship award winners
The Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Inc. has selected three promising Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU) doctoral students to receive fellowships for the 2012-13 academic year.

Shared pathway links Lou Gehrig's disease with spinal muscular atrophy
Scientists have long known the main proteins that lead to the development of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and spinal muscular atrophy, respectively.

Historic collection of naturalist Alfred Wallace goes online for the first time
Treasure-trove of writings and images by the co-discoverer of natural selection; Project directed by researcher from the National University of Singapore.

La Bastida unearths 4,200-year-old fortification, unique in continental Europe
The archaeological excavations carried out this year at the site of La Bastida (Totana, Murcia, in Spain) have shed light on an imposing fortification system, unique for its time.

New clues about ancient water cycles shed light on US deserts, says Texas A&M-led study
The deserts of Utah and Nevada have not always been dry.

Early-career scientists' research on quality awarded grants by US Standards Organization
Recognizing international research focused on the quality of pharmaceuticals, food ingredients and dietary supplements, the United States Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) has awarded $150,000 in research grants through its 2012-2013 Global Fellowship program.

GSA Today: Active faults more accessible to geologists
The October GSA Today science article,

Breakthrough for new diabetes treatment
An international team of scientists, led from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, have discovered an entirely new approach to the treatment of type II diabetes.

More than 60 percent of people in low- and lower-middle income regions are not accessing any appropriate epilepsy treatment
The number of people with epilepsy in low- and lower-middle-income countries is more than double that in higher-income nations, and more than 60 percent of people in these regions are not accessing any appropriate epilepsy treatment, according to a paper published as part of the Lancet series on epilepsy.

Progesterone test can predict viability of pregnancy
Measuring progesterone levels in women with pain or bleeding during early pregnancy is a useful way to help discriminate between a viable and a non-viable pregnancy, finds a study published on today.

Canadian science and technology is healthy and growing, says expert panel
A newly released report by the Council of Canadian Academies entitled, The State of Science and Technology in Canada, 2012 provides a thorough analysis of the scientific disciplines and technological applications where Canada excels in a global context.

Scaling up polymer blobs
Scientists use simulations to test the limits of their object of study -- in this case thin films of polymers -- to extremes of scale.

Enhancing oral health via sense of coherence: A cluster randomized trial
Today the International and American Associations for Dental Research (IADR/AADR) published a study titled

New research in Science shows it's not too late for troubled fisheries
A study published in Science magazine contains new population assessments for thousands of fisheries around the globe, providing insight on the health of data-poor fisheries that account for more than 80 percent of the world's catch.

African-American youth exposed to more alcohol advertising than youth in general
New report finds African-American youths are over-exposed to alcohol advertising.

Obesity-related hormone discovered in fruit flies
Researchers have discovered in fruit flies a key metabolic hormone thought to be the exclusive property of vertebrates.

Vehicles to assist city drivers
All sorts of distractions and complex traffic situations make driving in the city particularly challenging.

Chocolate makes snails smarter
Chocolate isn't usually on the diet for snails, but when Lee Fruson and Ken Lukowiak from the University of Calgary, became curious about the effects of diet on memory, they decided to try a flavonoid from chocolate, epicatechin (epi) on the pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis to see if it improved the animals' memories.

New study identifies large gaps in lifetime earnings of specialist and primary-care physicians
A national study has found that earnings over the course of the careers of primary-care physicians averaged as much as $2.8 million less than the earnings of their specialist colleagues, potentially making primary care a less attractive choice for medical school graduates and exacerbating the already significant shortage of medical generalists.

NASA sees Tropical Storm Ewiniar embedded in low pressure
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Tropical Storm Ewiniar and noticed strong convection still persists in the storm, despite now being embedded in a subtropical area of low pressure off the coast of Japan.

Scientists find molecular link to obesity and insulin resistance in mice
Researchers have identified the first known molecular link between thermogenesis (burning calories to produce heat) and the development of inflammation in fat cells.

An old drug finds a new use
Dr. Anglea Wandinger-Ness and Dr. Laurie Hudson were awarded a Provocative Questions grant to investigate the use of R-ketorolac against ovarian cancer.

Predicting erectile dysfunction from prostate cancer treatment
Researchers have identified 12 DNA sequences that may help doctors determine which men will suffer from erectile dysfunction following radiation therapy for prostate cancer, according to a study to be published online Sept.

Aggressive cancer exploits MYC oncogene to amplify global gene activity
Whitehead Institute researchers have determined the mechanism used by c-Myc to increase the expression of all active genes in cancer cells.

Sandia probability maps help sniff out food contamination
Uncovering the sources of fresh food contamination could become faster and easier thanks to analysis done at Sandia National Laboratories' National Infrastructure Simulation and Analysis Center (NISAC).

Breakthrough in kitchen furniture production: Biocomposites challenge chipboard
Biocomposites challenge chipboard as furniture material. Researchers at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland have developed a kitchen furniture framework material from plastic polymers reinforced with natural fibre.

ASU scientists bring the heat to refine renewable biofuel production
Perhaps inspired by Arizona's blazing summers, Arizona State University scientists have developed a new method that relies on heat to improve the yield and lower the costs of high-energy biofuels production, making renewable energy production more of an everyday reality.

Browser plugin helps people balance their political news reading habits
As the US presidential election approaches, many voters become voracious consumers of online political news.

Dynamics of DNA packaging helps regulate formation of heart
A new regulator for heart formation has been discovered by studying how embryonic stem cells adjust the packaging of their DNA.

LandScope Chesapeake to provide shared conservation priority system for the Chesapeake Watershed
NatureServe, National Park Service, and US Geological Survey have launched LandScope Chesapeake, a shared system for practitioners and citizens to guide and track progress toward collaborative land protection and public access goals across the entire Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Cyborg surgeon: Hand and technology combine in new surgical tool that enables superhuman precision
Normally, surgeons' tiny hand tremors are inconsequential to the task, but for doctors specializing in fine-scale surgery, such as operating inside the human eye, freehand tremors can pose a serious risk for patients.

IU research study finds social bullying prevalent in children's television
A new research study led by an Indiana University professor has found that social bullying is just as prevalent in children's television as depictions of physical aggression.

World's first glimpse of a black hole 'launchpad'
A strange thing about black holes: they shine. But why is light coming out, when everything else goes in?

UCSD-based Cancer Consortium receives 5-year, $20 million grant renewal
An international consortium of scientists studying chronic lymphocytic leukemia, based at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, has been awarded a 5-year, $20 million grant by the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health.

BMI and shuttle run among techniques IOM Report recommends for youth fitness testing
Techniques ranging from running to push-ups to sit-and-reach tests have been used to measure various aspects of fitness.

UCSB scientists capture clues to sustainability of fish populations
Thanks to studies of a fish that gives birth to live young and is not fished commercially, scientists at UC Santa Barbara have discovered that food availability is a critical limiting factor in the health of fish populations.

Work-family conflict translates to greater risk of musculoskeletal pain for hospital workers
Nurses and other hospital workers, especially those who work long hours or the night shift, often report trying to juggle the demands of the job and family obligations.

Deadly complication of stem cell transplants reduced in mice
Studying leukemia in mice, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Major genetic discovery explains 10 percent of aortic valve disease
Researchers at the Sainte-Justine University Hospital Center and University of Montreal have identified genetic origins in 10 percent of an important form of congenital heart diseases by studying the genetic variability within families.

New fish species offers literal take on 'hooking up'
A new species of freshwater fish described by a North Carolina State University researcher has several interesting -- and perhaps cringe-inducing -- characteristics, including a series of four hooks on the male genitalia.

Rutgers College of Nursing professor's research links increased hospital infections to nurse burnout
A recent study by Dr. Jeannie P. Cimiotti of Rutgers College of Nursing and co-researchers concludes that the degree of

New efficiency record for photovoltaic cells - thanks to heterojunction
This week, EPFL's Institute of Microengineering presented in Frankfurt

Contrast-enhanced ultrasound better detects high-grade prostate cancers with less biopsies
Contrast-enhanced ultrasound was found to better detect high-grade prostate cancer than conventional methods, making it a more appropriate approach for screening clinically important cancers and monitoring low-risk ones with less biopsies, researchers from Thomas Jefferson University and Hospitals conclude in a phase III study published online in September in the Journal of Urology.

Researchers investigate aggression among kindergartners
Not all aggressive children are aggressive for the same reasons, according to Penn State researchers, who found that some kindergartners who are aggressive show low verbal abilities while others are more easily physiologically aroused.

Pitt's forthcoming laser shooter could better detect foreign substances for Homeland Security
With the help of a $1.12 million grant from the US Department of Defense, an engineer from the University of Pittsburgh will build upon the LIBS technique and related instruments to dramatically improve the detection sensitivity of the technology for substances of interest to Homeland Security.

Treating hepatitis C infection in prison is good public policy
Incarcerated patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection are just as likely to respond to treatment for the disease as patients in the community, according to findings published in the October issue of Hepatology, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

AgriLife Research to participate in $3.3 million wheat disease study
Texas A&M AgriLife Research in Amarillo will participate in a $3.3 million grant to look at wheat diseases caused by mite-vectored viruses, according to Dr.

Springer to convert 2 journals in high energy physics to open access
The SCOAP3 consortium, which aims to convert journals in high energy physics to open access, has chosen two Springer journals to participate in the initiative.

Routine screening for psychiatric, cognitive, and social comorbidities could enhance quality of care and quality of life for children and adults with epilepsy
The intricate relationship between epilepsy and cognitive, psychiatric, and social problems is explored in a new paper published as part of the Lancet series on epilepsy.

Popular HIV drug may cause memory declines
The way the body metabolizes a commonly prescribed anti-retroviral drug that is used long term by patients infected with HIV may contribute to cognitive impairment by damaging nerve cells, a new Johns Hopkins research suggests.

Bioengineers at UCSB design rapid diagnostic tests inspired by nature
By mimicking nature's own sensing mechanisms, bioengineers at UC Santa Barbara and University of Rome Tor Vergata have designed inexpensive medical diagnostic tests that take only a few minutes to perform.

Sandia gains national recognition for sustainable energy management
Sandia National Laboratories has received a 2012 Department of Energy Sustainability Award for energy management of its computer servers.

Study highlights the burden of epilepsy in the developing world
The burden of epilepsy in poorer parts of the world could be readily alleviated by reducing the preventable causes and improving access to treatment, according to a review article funded by the Wellcome Trust.

Nature's misfits: Reclassifying protists helps us understand how many species remain undiscovered
Since the Victorian era, categorizing the natural world has challenged scientists.

Helicopter heroes save lives
The benefits and cost effectiveness of helicopter transport for severely injured patients is of continued debate.

Key scientific meeting in Jordan highlights advances in osteoporosis and its management
Doctors, researchers and allied health professionals from some 60 countries around the world arrived today for the opening of the IOF Regionals - second Middle East and Africa Osteoporosis Meeting and the sixth Pan Arab Osteoporosis Congress PAOC'6, the region's largest bone-related congress.

Study researches genetic messenger rather than gene
Currently, most genetic cancer research focuses on DNA abnormalities. Dr.

Single-site laparoscopic surgery reduces pain of tumor removal
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have found that recovery from an emerging, minimally invasive surgical technique called Laparo-Endoscopic Single-Site Surgery was less painful for kidney cancer patients than traditional laparoscopic surgery.

Ames Laboratory and IWRC win award for virtual spray paint training software
Spray paint training and designing next-generation power plants don't seem, at first glance, to have much to do with one another.

Napiergrass: A potential biofuel crop for the sunny Southeast
A grass fed to cattle throughout much of the tropics may become a biofuel crop that helps the nation meet its future energy needs, according to a US Department of Agriculture scientist.

Identification of microbes in healthy lungs sheds light on cystic fibrosis
Healthy people's lungs are home to a diverse community of microbes that differs markedly from the bacteria found in the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients.

Disappearing act
An interdisciplinary team including Northwestern University researchers is the first to demonstrate

Experts call on Congress to create first US Weather Commission
With the US economy vulnerable to weather events costing billions of dollars, an expert panel today asked Congress to create the first US Weather Commission.

Three materials could hold the key to future hydrogen cars
New research funded by the prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER Award will look at how to safely and efficiently store hydrogen -- one of the key problems preventing hydrogen from being used as an alternative fuel.

Study: One-fifth of spine surgery patients develop PTSD symptoms
Nearly 20 percent of people who underwent low back fusion surgery developed post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms associated with that surgery, according to a recent Oregon Health & Science University study published in the journal Spine.

Landsat satellites find the 'sweet spot' for crops
Farmers are using maps created with free data from NASA and the US Geological Survey's Landsat satellites that show locations that are good and not good for growing crops.

Nickelblock: An element's love-hate relationship with battery electrodes
Battery materials on the nano-scale reveal how nickel forms a physical barrier that impedes the shuttling of lithium ions in the electrode, reducing how fast the materials charge and discharge.

Moffitt Cancer Center researchers find possible key to regulation of ovarian cancer stem cells
Researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center have discovered that the micro ribonucleic acid miR-214 plays a critical role in regulating ovarian cancer stem cell properties.

Landmark guidelines for optimal quality care of geriatric surgical patients just released
Journal of American College of Surgeons publishes joint recommendations set forth by American College of Surgeons and American Geriatrics Society that apply to every surgical patient 65 years and older as defined by Medicare regulations.

Predatory bacterial crowdsourcing
Scientists at Rice University and the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Medical School have discovered the mechanism that allows one of the world's smallest predators -- the soil bacteria Myxococcus xanthus -- to form collective waves that spread and engulf bacterial prey.

NASA sees a western weakness in Tropical Storm Miriam
NASA infrared satellite imagery showed Tropical Storm Miriam had strong convection and thunderstorm activity in all quadrants of the storm on Sept.

Now in Science: It's not too late for troubled fisheries
A study published in Science magazine and co-authored by Bren School Sustainable Fisheries Group researchers and their colleagues confirms suspicions that thousands of

Researchers find risk markers for erectile dysfunction following radiation in prostate cancer
In the first study of its kind, a research team led by Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University discovered 12 genetic markers associated with the development of erectile dysfunction in prostate cancer patients who were treated with radiation.

New way of fighting high cholesterol upends assumptions
Atherosclerosis has been presumed to be the consequence of complicated interactions between overabundant cholesterol and resulting inflammation in the heart and blood vessels.

Peering to the edge of a black hole
Using a continent-spanning telescope, an international team of astronomers has peered to the edge of a black hole at the center of a distant galaxy.

Measuring the universe's 'exit door'
An international team, led by researchers at MIT's Haystack Observatory, has for the first time measured the radius of a black hole at the center of a distant galaxy -- the closest distance at which matter can approach before being irretrievably pulled into the black hole.

Genetic sleuthing uncovers deadly new virus in Africa
An isolated outbreak of a deadly disease known as acute hemorrhagic fever, which killed two people and left one gravely ill in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the summer of 2009, was probably caused by a novel virus scientists have never seen before.

Uptick in cinematic smoking 
Top box office films last year showed more onscreen smoking than the prior year, reversing five years of steady progress in reducing tobacco imagery in movies, according to a new UCSF study.

Uranium-contaminated site yields wealth of information on microbes 10 feet under
At sites contaminated with heavy metals, remediation often involves feeding the naturally occurring bacteria in the soil to encourage them to turn soluble metals into solids that won't leech into aquifers and streams.

Study shows the MDHearingAid to be an effective low cost solution to hearing loss
Hearing loss affects millions in the US, but many are not covered by insurance or can't afford the high prices of custom hearing aids, says a researcher.

CNIO team discovers the first real indicator of longevity in mammals
A team of researchers from the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), headed by CNIO Director MarĂ­a Blasco, has demonstrated that longevity is defined at a molecular level by the length of telomeres. 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