Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 28, 2012
White shark diets vary with age and among individuals
White sharks, the largest predatory sharks in the ocean, are thought of as apex predators that feed primarily on seals and sea lions.

Researchers find multiple similarities between cancer cells and induced pluripotent stem cells
UC Davis investigators have found new evidence that a promising type of stem cell now being considered for a variety of disease therapies is very similar to the type of cells that give rise to cancer.

Notre Dame receives $6.1 million NSF grant award to advance Quarknet Program
The University of Notre Dame has received a five-year, $6.1 million award from the National Science Foundation to support the continuation of the nationwide QuarkNet program, which uses particle physics experiments to inspire students and provide valuable research, training and mentorship opportunities for high school teachers.

The true costs of cancer in Europe revealed
New studies that reveal for the first time the real economic and human costs of caring for cancer patients in Europe will be presented during the ESMO 2012 Congress of the European Society for Medical Oncology in Vienna.

NASA sees many things happening in Tropical Storm Ewiniar
There are a number of things happening under the hood of Tropical Storm Ewiniar's clouds that have been deciphered by satellite data today, Sept.

Study reveals wide discrepancy in surveillance for multidrug‑resistant organisms among ICUs
Screening practices for multidrug-resistant organisms in intensive care units vary widely from hospital to hospital, according to a new study published in the October issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, the official publication of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology.

Nanoparticles glow through thick layer of tissue
An international research team has created unique photoluminescent nanoparticles that shine clearly through more than three centimeters of biological tissue -- a depth that makes them a promising tool for deep-tissue optical bioimaging.

What makes surgeons happy?
Lack of control over operating rooms and other resources as well as a lack of work-life balance are among the main reasons general surgeons may be dissatisfied with their jobs, a new study has found.

Hospital observation units could save the health care system $3.1 billion
Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital estimate that maximizing the potential of an observation unit in a hospital could result in $4.6 million in savings annually for the hospital and $3.1 billion in overall savings for the health care system in the United States.

Electrons confined inside nano-pyramids
Quantum dots are nanostructures of semiconducting materials that behave a lot like single atoms and are very easy to produce.

Probing the mysteries of cracks and stresses
Analysis of molecular-level fracture and stress mechanisms could have broad implications for understanding materials' behavior.

Big science: Local funding supports open-access sequencing of the Puerto Rican Parrot genome
The critically endangered Puerto Rican Parrot is the only surviving parrot species native to the United States.

Gout guidelines arm patients and physicians with tools to fight painful disease
Gout is one of the most common forms of inflammatory arthritis, affecting nearly 4% of adult Americans.

Can exercise during pregnancy reduce the offspring's cancer risk?
If a mother exercises during her pregnancy, will that benefit her children?

New method monitors semiconductor etching as it happens -- with light
University of Illinois researchers have a new low-cost method to carve delicate features onto semiconductor wafers using light -- and watch as it happens.

NASA sees stubborn Nadine intensify into a hurricane again
Infrared data from NASA's Aqua satellite today, Sept. 28, revealed strong convection and thunderstorms have built up again in Tropical Storm Nadine as it moved over warm waters in the Eastern Atlantic Ocean.

URI scientists: Marine plants can flee to avoid predators
Scientists at the University of Rhode Island's Graduate School of Oceanography have made the first observation of a predator avoidance behavior by a species of phytoplankton, a microscopic marine plant.

When your eyes tell your hands what to think
You've probably never given much thought that picking up your cup of coffee presents your brain with a set of complex decisions -- how to aim your hand, grasp the handle and raise the cup to your mouth without spilling the contents on your lap.

World Heart Day: New European statistics released on heart disease and stroke
New figures released to mark World Heart Day show a significant improvement in Europe's heart health.

NASA sees sun unleash a wide, but benign, CME
The sun erupted with a wide, Earth-directed coronal mass ejection on Sept.

Effective HIV care benefited all HIV patients, regardless of demographics and behavioral risk
Improved treatment options, a multi-pronged treatment model, and federal funding from the Ryan White Program have helped an inner city Baltimore clinic improve outcomes for HIV patients across all groups, including those most often hardest hit by the disease.

NASA sees Tropical Storm Miriam takes final bow, replaced by Norman
Tropical Storm Miriam is taking her final bow in the eastern Pacific, and Tropical Storm Norman replaced her on the stage of the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

Tadpole shrimp a new pest of rice in the midsouthern United States
A new, open-access article in the Journal of Integrated Pest Management provides information on the life cycle of tadpole shrimp, as well as scouting methods and management implications.

Penn immunologists find a molecule that puts the brakes on inflammation
We couldn't live without our immune systems, always tuned to detect and eradicate invading pathogens and particles.

Therapy over the phone as effective as face-to-face
A new study reveals that cognitive therapy over the phone is just as effective as meeting face-to-face.

Eating cherries lowers risk of gout attacks by 35 percent
A new study found that patients with gout who consumed cherries over a two-day period showed a 35% lower risk of gout attacks compared to those who did not eat the fruit.

The book on South Asian birds
When it comes to the birds of South Asia, Pamela Rasmussen wrote the book on it.

UA engineering leads $5.5 million DOE project to create low-cost solar energy
Solar power may be clean and renewable, but solar panels are inefficient and do not work at night.

Study points to potential for improvement in the care, quality of life of epilepsy patients
Routine screening for psychiatric, cognitive and social problems could enhance the quality of care and quality of life for children and adults with epilepsy, according to a study by UC Irvine neurologist Dr.

Songs in the key of sea
Scientists at the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory have used special algorithms to create musical patterns from data collected from microbes in the western English Channel.

Local funding leads to big things in parrot genomics
Researchers at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez have sequenced the genome of the critically endangered Puerto Rican Parrot.

An old insect pest reemerges in organic orchards
A new, open-access article in the Journal of Integrated Pest Management offers information and methods of managing the apple flea weevil.

Learning to live on Mars
The Martian day, which is about 40 minutes longer than an Earth day, can cause havoc with the internal 24-hour body clock.

Autism Speaks awards nearly $5 million
Autism Speaks awarded nearly $5 million in research grants including studies of pre‐and post‐natal environmental risk factors; prenatal supplements; web-based autism screening; approaches for teaching language to nonverbal children; intervention to expand food choices in adolescents; community‐based parent‐training to promote social communication; acamprosate to relieve social disabilities; identification of biomarkers to predict response to medications; large-scale evaluation of autism prevalence and risk factors in South Asia; and interventions for enhancing social, language and motor development.

4 ASM-NSF biology scholars named leadership fellows
The ASM-NSF Biology Scholars Program is pleased to announce that four Scholar alumni have been chosen for a group created to recommend institutional-level improvements for undergraduate biology education.

'Carmaheaven': Closure of 405 in 2011 improved air quality up to 83 percent
In study findings announced Sept. 28, UCLA researchers report that they measured air pollutants during last year's Carmageddon (July 15) and found that when 10 miles of the 405 closed, air quality near the shuttered portion improved within minutes, reaching levels 83 percent better than on comparable weekends.

Notre Dame researchers part of team that discovered potentially dangerous new malaria mosquito
University of Notre Dame entomologists are part of a team of researchers that recently discovered a potentially dangerous new malaria-transmitting mosquito.

Study: Exposure to herbicide may increase risk of rare disorder
A common herbicide used in the United States may be linked to an increased risk of a congenital abnormality of the nasal cavity known as choanal atresia, say researchers at Baylor College of Medicine and other Texas institutions.

Ancient stinging nettles reveal Bronze Age trade connections
A piece of nettle cloth retrieved from Denmark's richest known Bronze Age burial mound Lusehøj may actually derive from Austria, new findings suggest.

Eliminating invasive cervical cancer possible, Moffitt Cancer Center researchers report
Researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center and colleagues at the University of South Florida and The Ohio State University have published a paper in the September issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention that provides an overview on preventing invasive cervical cancer.

Study ties early menopause to heart attack, stroke
Women who experience early menopause are more likely to have a heart attack or stroke than women whose menopause occurs at a later age, according to a new study by Melissa Wellons, M.D., assistant professor of Medicine in the Vanderbilt Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Loop the loop, DNA style
Scientists at EMBL and Oxford University discovered that, by forming or undoing gene loops, cells manipulate the path of the transcription machinery - which reads out instructions from DNA - controlling whether it moves along the genetic material in one direction or two.

High-Arctic heat tops 1,800-year high, says study
Summers on the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard are now warmer than at any other time in the last 1,800 years, including during medieval times when parts of the northern hemisphere were as hot as, or hotter, than today, according to a new study in the journal Geology.

Making headway on beta-blockers and sleep
Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital have found that melatonin supplementation significantly improved sleep in hypertensive patients taking beta-blockers.

Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education selected for inclusion in PubMed Central
The Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education (JMBE), an online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology and the premier journal for microbiology and biology education research, has been selected for indexing by PubMed Central.

Language and perception - Insights from Psychological Science
New research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, examines the nuanced relationship between language and different types of perception.

Venice Lagoon research indicates rapid climate change in coastal regions
Research undertaken by the University of Southampton and its associates in Venice has revealed that the sea surface temperature in coastal regions is rising as much as ten times faster than the global average of 0.13 degrees per decade.

Time bomb: Military ordnance in Gulf poses threat to shipping, says Texas A&M proffesor
Millions of pounds of unexploded bombs and other military ordnance that were dumped decades ago in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as off the coasts of both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, could now pose serious threats to shipping lanes and the 4,000 oil and gas rigs in the Gulf, warns two Texas A&M University oceanographers.

NASA sees super Typhoon Jelawat Affecting Japan
Super Typhoon Jelawat is a large and powerful storm that has been bringing very rough seas to areas in the western North Pacific.

TGen and Scottsdale Healthcare report first study of clonal evolution in Maxillary Sinus Carcinoma
Knowing how tumors evolve can lead to new treatments that could help prevent cancer from recurring, according to a study published today by the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and Scottsdale Healthcare.

Bored? Researchers shed light on why
This gives new meaning to the complaint

Nanosciences: All systems go at the biofactory
In order to assemble novel biomolecular machines, individual protein molecules must be installed at their site of operation with nanometer precision.

IUCN adopts new 'Green List' to show species on the path to conservation success
The IUCN World Conservation Congress has adopted a motion sponsored by the Wildlife Conservation Society and partners to create a Green List to assess conservation success.

Patient selection for bilateral total knee replacement needs improvement
Because there are more risks with having a total knee replacement in both legs at the same time than having a knee replacement in one leg, doctors in recent years have been selecting younger and healthier patients for the bilateral procedure. 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