Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 02, 2012
Happiness at work depends on a good salary, but also on how much colleagues earn
One of the keys to happiness at work is earning a lot of money, but what is equally important, if not more important, is that our earnings not be inferior to those of our peers, that is, of the colleagues we compare ourselves to.

Kessler Foundation scientists present cognitive research findings at European MS conference
Researchers at Kessler Foundation are presenting new findings in multiple sclerosis research at the European Committee for the Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis conference at the Lyon Convention Center in Lyon, France, Oct.

Children's bicycle helmets shown to be effective in impact and crush tests
To determine the effectiveness of bicycle helmet use, a research team at the Illinois Neurological Institute and Bradley University tested how well helmets withstood forces of impact and crush tests when covering human cadaver skulls.

Sea Education Association tall ship departs on major marine debris research cruise
A tall ship owned and operated by Sea Education Association will depart tomorrow on a research expedition dedicated to examining the effects of plastic marine debris, including debris generated by the 2011 Japanese tsunami, in the ocean ecosystem.

Superman-strength bacteria produce gold
At a time when the value of gold has reached an all-time high, Michigan State University researchers have discovered a bacterium's ability to withstand incredible amounts of toxicity is key to creating 24-karat gold.

'Superweeds' linked to rising herbicide use in GM crops
A new study out of Washington State University finds that the use of herbicides in the production of three genetically modified herbicide-tolerant crops -- cotton, soybeans and corn -- has actually increased.

Study confirms link between indoor tanning and skin cancer risk
Indoor tanning increases the risks of developing non-melanoma skin cancer (known as basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma), particularly among those exposed before the age of 25, finds a study published on today.

New research model to aid search for degenerative disease cures
Efforts to treat disorders like Lou Gehrig's disease, Paget's disease, inclusion body myopathy and dementia will receive a considerable boost from a new research model created by UC Irvine scientists.

Wiley announces collaboration with the American Dental Association to publish new Practical Guide
John Wiley & Sons, Inc., recently announced a collaboration with the American Dental Association (ADA) to publish the latest book in their

Length matters in gene expression
A research team at Aarhus University reveals a surprising interplay between the ends of human genes: If a protein-coding gene is too short it becomes inactive!

Cardiac medication may help reduce stiffness caused by certain muscle diseases
Preliminary research finds that for patients with nondystrophic myotonias, rare diseases that affect the skeletal muscle and cause functionally limiting stiffness and pain, use of the anti-arrhythmic medication mexiletine resulted in improvement in patient-reported stiffness

Hopkins study suggests treatments for 'wet' AMD keep elderly drivers behind the wheel
This study reports the impact of treatment for age-related macular degeneration on driving.

New findings on the workings of the inner ear
The sensory cells of the inner ear have tiny hairs called stereocilia that play a critical part in hearing.

Prehistoric builders reveal trade secrets
A long-overlooked museum fossil is a clue to vanished skills of prehistoric animal architects.

Beta-blocker use not associated with lower risk of cardiovascular events
Among patients with either coronary artery disease (CAD) risk factors only, known prior heart attack, or known CAD without heart attack, the use of beta-blockers was not associated with a lower risk of a composite of cardiovascular events that included cardiovascular death, nonfatal heart attack or nonfatal stroke.

NASA sees heaviest rainfall in Tropical Storm Maliski's eastern side
Wind shear is pushing the heaviest rainfall within Tropical Storm Maliksi east of the storm's center, and NASA's TRMM satellite captured it on Oct.

Smoking clouds the brain after stroke
A study of stroke patients from Southern Ontario found those who smoke have more difficulty with problem-solving and decision-making than non-smokers.

New research into species extinction under climate change
Nine researchers from University of Copenhagen are awarded the prestigious Sapere Aude grant.

Brown University to lead multi-university research on quantum metamaterials
Through a new Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative awarded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, researchers from Brown University will lead an effort to study new optical materials and their interactions with light quantum scale.

Study uncovers racial disparities in diabetic complications among underinsured
Diabetes is among the ten leading causes of death in both white and African American patients, but the prevalence of diabetic complications are race-specific, according to a recent study accepted for publication in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

National Science Foundation awards grants for research on coupled natural and human systems
Mile-a-minute weed or forest killer, it's called. Mikania micrantha is an exotic, invasive species that spreads quickly, covering crops, smothering trees and rapidly altering the environment.

ESO releases 'The Jewel on the Mountaintop'
ESO's brand-new history book,

New firework causes severe eye injuries, warn doctors
A new type of firework caused severe eye injuries and blindness in children and adults at last year's bonfire night celebrations, warn doctors in a letter to this week's BMJ.

A national mental health policy for Uganda
In another installment of the PLOS Medicine series on Global Mental Health Practice, Joshua Ssebunnya from the Butabika National Referral and Teaching Mental Hospital in Kampala and colleagues describe their work developing a national mental health policy for Uganda.

NSF awards CU-Boulder led team $12 million to study effects of natural gas development
The National Science Foundation has awarded a $12 million grant to a University of Colorado Boulder-led team to explore ways to maximize the benefits of natural gas development while minimizing negative impacts on ecosystems and communities.

Low vitamin D levels linked to more severe multiple sclerosis symptoms
Low blood levels of vitamin D are associated with an increased number of brain lesions and signs of a more active disease state in people with multiple sclerosis, a new study finds, suggesting a potential link between intake of the vitamin and the risk of longer-term disability from the autoimmune disorder.

Obesity and under-nutrition prevalent in long-term refugees living in camps
A quarter of households in refugee camps in Algeria are currently suffering from the double burden of excess weight and under-nutrition.

Patients with rheumatoid arthritis appear to be at increased risk for blood clots
A study that included more than 45,000 residents of Sweden with rheumatoid arthritis finds that individuals with this disease had an associated higher risk of venous thromboembolism (a blood clot that forms within a vein), and that this elevated risk was stable for 10 years after the time of diagnosis.

New analysis of presidential candidates' health care plans estimates uninsured by 2022
The number of uninsured individuals is estimated to increase in every state and to 72 million nationwide -- with children and low- and middle-income Americans particularly hard hit -- under Governor Mitt Romney's plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with block grants to states for Medicaid and new tax incentives, according to a new Commonwealth Fund report.

PETA scientists analyze animal use in HPV chemicals challenge program
In an article published today (October 2, 2012) in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP), People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals reports that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) High Production Volume Chemicals Challenge Program had the potential to use 3.5 million animals in new testing, but after the application of animal-saving measures, approximately 127,000 were actually used.

Novel MRI technique could reduce breast biopsies
Water diffusion measurements with MRI could decrease false-positive breast cancer results and reduce preventable biopsies, according to a new study.

Vitamin D supplementation does not reduce rate or severity of colds
Although some data have suggested a possible inverse association between serum vitamin D levels and the incidence of upper respiratory tract infections (colds), participants in a randomized controlled trial who received a monthly dose of 100,000 IUs of vitamin D3 did not have a significantly reduced incidence or severity of colds

A mammal lung, in 3-D
A University of Iowa-led research team has created the most detailed, three-dimensional rendering of a key region of a mammal lung.

Does gender affect acute concussive injury in soccer players? 'No' according to this study
Many studies suggest gender-related differences in athletes' responses to sports-related concussion.

Sticky paper offers cheap, easy solution for paper-based diagnostics
Global health researchers are working on cheap systems like a home-based pregnancy test that might work for malaria, diabetes or other diseases.

Allergy rises not down to being too clean, just losing touch with 'old friends'
This report dismantles the myth that the allergy epidemic is due to overdoing hygiene.

Among voters lacking strong party preferences, Obama faces 20% handicap due to race bias
An online study of eligible voters around the country revealed that preferences for whites over blacks among the least politically‑partisan voters are strong enough to have substantial impact on their presidential candidate preference.

US edition of launched
This week we're launching a US edition of

Payoff lacking for casino comps
A study of widely used complimentary offers at Atlantic City casinos finds that common giveaways such as free rooms and dining credits are less profitable -- and lead to unhealthy competition among casinos -- than alternative comps such as free travel and parking.

Sea urchin's spiny strength revealed
For the first time, a team of Australian engineers has modelled the microscopic mechanics of a sea urchin's spine, gaining insight into how these unusual creatures withstand impacts in their aquatic environment.

WHO prequalifies a new artemisinin-based combination treatment for malaria
Cipla, one of the leading generic pharmaceutical companies, along with the non-profit research and development organization Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative today announced the prequalification of the fixed dose combination of Artesunate and Mefloquine - ASMQ FDC - by the World Health Organization.

American Society for Bone and Mineral Research Annual Meeting Oct. 12-15
The American Society for Bone and Mineral Research 2012 Annual Meeting is the largest scientific meeting in the world on bone and mineral metabolism, offering an exceptional scientific program on innovative research, technology and new clinical treatments in bone diseases and disorders of mineral metabolism.

UC Davis smartphone application to allow instant polling for presidential debate Wednesday
When President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney square off in their first debate Wednesday, college students across the country will pilot test a new real-time smartphone polling application developed by researchers at the University of California, Davis, the University of Maryland, and the University of Arkansas, Little Rock.

NASA sees strong thunderstorms in Tropical Storm Gaemi
Infrared NASA satellite imagery revealed that the strongest thunderstorms within Tropical Storm Gaemi in the western North Pacific Ocean were located around the storm's center and in a band of thunderstorms east of the center.

Intelligence is in the genes, but where?
You can thank your parents for your smarts--or at least some of them.

Quantum causal relations: A causes B causes A
A deeply rooted concept in everyday life is causality; the idea that events in the present are caused by events in the past and, in turn, act as causes for what happens in the future.

Gene responsible for many spontaneous breast cancers identified
A team of scientists analyzed the genome of mammary tumors in mice to look for common mutations that drive tumors.

New antibiotic cures disease by disarming pathogens, not killing them
A new type of antibiotic can effectively treat an antibiotic-resistant infection by disarming instead of killing the bacteria that cause it.

Digital mammography improves population-based breast cancer screening
New research from the Netherlands shows that the switch from screen film mammography to digital mammography in large, population-based breast cancer screening programs improves the detection of life-threatening cancer without significantly increasing detection of clinically insignificant disease.

The genetics of HIV-1 resistance
Drug resistance is a major problem when treating infections. This problem is multiplied when the infection, like HIV-1, is chronic.

The Asian-American vote in California
California Asian Americans -- who account for 10 percent of registered voters in the Golden State -- support a tax measure proposed by Gov.

University of Minnesota engineers invent new device that could increase Internet download speeds
A team of scientists and engineers at the University of Minnesota has invented a unique microscale optical device that could greatly increase the speed of downloading information online and reduce the cost of Internet transmission.

Study for new satellite mission underway to make more accurate predictions of climate change
The National Physical Laboratory is leading a project seeking to launch a satellite which will provide more accurate climate data, improving our understanding of the impact of climate change.

NIST Special Publications 1200: New means of disseminating lab procedures
When scientists and engineers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) want to tell their peers about experimental methods they have

Clemson introduces first medical device reprocessing certificate program
Engineers train to recycle medical devices.

Work is more fun if the character fits the bill
Anyone who can apply his or her personal character strengths in his or her career experiences more enjoyment, flow and meaning at work.

University of Alberta has $12.3-billion impact on Alberta economy
The University of Alberta's impact on the Alberta economy is estimated to be $12.3 billion, which is five per cent of the province's gross domestic product--or the equivalent of having 135 Edmonton Oilers NHL teams in Alberta, according to a new study.

Sleep apnea plays dual role in stroke
Improvements to the diagnosis and screening of sleep apnea are critical to stroke prevention.

Alzheimer's disease in men linked to low levels of hormone, IGF-1
Low serum levels of insulin-like growth factor-1 and insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3 are associated with Alzheimer's Disease in men, but not women, according to a recent study accepted for publication in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Ames Laboratory finds ordered atoms in glass materials
Scientists at the US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory have discovered the underlying order in metallic glasses, which may hold the key to the ability to create new high-tech alloys with specific properties.

Study: An apple a day lowers level of blood chemical linked to hardening of the arteries
Eating an apple a day might in fact help keep the cardiologist away, new research suggests.

Iowa Powder Atomization Technologies wins John Pappajohn Iowa Business Plan Competition
Iowa Powder Atomization Technologies, a start-up company based on technology developed at the Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory, has won the 2012 John Pappajohn Iowa Business Plan Competition.

Specialty contact lenses may one day help halt the progression of nearsightedness in children
Recent experimental work by SUNY researchers supports the development of a potential cure for nearsightedness, or myopia, by using specialty contact lenses that coax the eye to grow in a way that can correct nearsighted vision while reducing myopia progression.

UW scientists team with Coast Guard to explore ice-free Arctic Ocean
University of Washington scientists are teaming with the US Coast Guard to study the new frontier in the Arctic Ocean opened up with the melting ice.

Cedars-Sinai study sheds light on bone marrow stem cell therapy for pancreatic recovery
Researchers at Cedars-Sinai's Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute have found that a blood vessel-building gene boosts the ability of human bone marrow stem cells to sustain pancreatic recovery in a laboratory mouse model of insulin-dependent diabetes.

3-D medical scanner: New handheld imaging device to aid doctors on the 'diagnostic front lines'
Engineers have created a new imaging tool for primary care physicians: a handheld scanner that would enable them to image all the sites they commonly examine--such as inner ears or the health of patients' retinas.

Surgeons recreate eggs in vitro to treat infertility
Researchers report that a rat model successfully produced eggs; a step that may one day lead to restoring human fertility.

1 glue, 2 functions
University of Akron polymer scientists and biologists have discovered that this house spider -- in order to more efficiently capture different types of prey -- performs an uncommon feat.

Trojan horse drug therapy provides new approach to treating breast cancer
When administrative assistant Linda Tuttle was diagnosed with breast cancer, she never imagined her experience would inspire her colleagues to design new treatments to tackle the disease.

November symposium focuses on forensics at NIST
To showcase how NIST is helping improve the accuracy and reliability of forensic science by developing calibration methods and reference standards, advancing state-of-the-art measurement techniques, and helping establish performance and procedural criteria, the agency is hosting

Adult stem cells change their epigenome to generate new organs
The team led by Manel Esteller, director of the Cancer Epigenetics and Biology Program in the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute, Professor of Genetics at the University of Barcelona and ICREA researcher, has identified epigenetic changes that occur in adult stem cells to generate different body tissues.

Provincial effort to improve stroke care in Alberta is 'paying off'
Stroke care has improved considerably in Alberta following the implementation of the Alberta Provincial Stroke Strategy, leading to more targeted patient care and fewer health complications.

Stroke recovery and treatment studies win top honors at Canadian Stroke Congress
Two outstanding studies - one measuring the ability of the brain to recover from stroke and the other a tool to predict clinical outcomes after stroke - were honoured for their innovation and impact at the 2012 Canadian Stroke Congress.

Volcano expert wins MacArthur 'Genius Grant'
A geochemist who studies the workings of the deep earth and their influence on some of the world's most explosive volcanoes has been awarded a $500,000 MacArthur Fellowship.

The Journal of Evidence-Based Dental Practice focuses on periodontal and implant treatments
What's the latest, research-supported best practice in periodontal care and implant dentistry?

Doctors speak out about unnecessary care as cost put at $800 billion a year
Leading doctors are calling for action to tackle unnecessary care that is estimated to account for up to $800 billion in the United States every year.

Study finds no gender-related difference in neurocognitive testing after sports-related concussions
A Vanderbilt University Medical Center study, conducted to review symptoms and neurocognitive findings in male and female high school soccer players, shows no gender-related differences.

Tanning beds linked to non-melanoma skin cancer
Indoor tanning beds can cause non-melanoma skin cancer -- and the risk is greater the earlier one starts tanning, according to a new analysis led by UCSF.

Low levels of vitamin D are associated with mortality in older adults
Low levels of vitamin D and high levels of parathyroid hormone are associated with increased mortality in African American and Caucasian older adults, according to a new study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

2 NSF sustainability research networks are each awarded $12 million
To explore ways of maximizing the benefits of natural gas development while minimizing potential negative effects on human communities and ecosystems, the National Science Foundation has entered into a cooperative agreement with a University of Colorado Boulder-led team of scientists, engineers and educators and eight partner organizations.

'A-game' strategies for parents, coaches in youth sports
Parents typically are the biggest headaches for coaches in youth sports.

Study suggests immune system can boost regeneration of peripheral nerves
Modulating immune response to injury could accelerate the regeneration of severed peripheral nerves, a new study in an animal model has found.

Serious complications in people with type 1 diabetes and ongoing poor blood sugar control
Strategies implemented in high-income countries to improve blood glucose control in people with type 1 diabetes and so reduce complications, such as heart attacks, strokes, and early death, are working, but there is much need for further improvement, according to a study from Scotland published in this week's PLOS Medicine.

Expand telestroke in all provinces to save lives, reduce disability
Widespread use of telestroke -- two-way audiovisual linkups between neurologists in stroke centres and emergency rooms in underserved and rural areas -- would save lives, reduce disability and cut health-care costs in all parts of Canada.

Egyptian toe tests show they're likely to be the world's oldest prosthetics
The results of scientific tests using replicas of two ancient Egyptian artificial toes, including one that was found on the foot of a mummy, suggest that they're likely to be the world's first prosthetic body parts.

The water flow of the Amazon River in a natural climate archive
Oxygen isotopes in tree rings are an excellent archive of precipitation dynamics in the tropical Amazon region.

FASEB releases new resource showing local impact by district of NIH-funded research
The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology has released a new series of factsheets ( describing the value of National Institutes of Health funding in congressional districts around the country.

New coffee-table book published in celebration of ESO's 50th anniversary
The much-anticipated

Amazonian tribal warfare sheds light on modern violence, says MU anthropologist
In the tribal societies of the Amazon forest, violent conflict accounted for 30 percent of all deaths before contact with Europeans, according to a recent study by University of Missouri anthropologist Robert Walker.

Acoustic cell-sorting chip may lead to cell phone-sized medical labs
A technique that uses acoustic waves to sort cells on a chip may create miniature medical analytic devices that could make Star Trek's tricorder seem a bit bulky in comparison, according to a team of researchers.

RI Hospital: Differences in diagnosis, treatment of nonepileptic seizures in US, Chile
Epileptic and psychogenic nonepileptic seizures (PNES) may look similar, but actually have different causes and treatments.

Research!America honors trailblazers in health research advocacy
Research!America's 17th annual Advocacy Awards will convene leaders from government, academia, industry and health advocacy organizations to honor leading medical and health research advocates of our time.

Social scientists contribute to policy in central government
According to latest research, social scientists with Ph.D.s working in central government make valuable contributions to policy, and report that holding a Ph.D. can enhance their credibility with senior officials.

Where there is no paramedic
Aaron Orkin from the Northern Ontario School of Medicine and colleagues describe their collaboration that developed, delivered, and studied a community-based first response training program in a remote indigenous community in northern Canada.

Infrared NASA imagery shows Nadine still has an eye, despite being a tropical storm
Forecasters know that Tropical Storm Nadine is a fighter as it continues to stay alive in the eastern Atlantic Ocean.

Visionary transparent memory a step closer to reality
Researchers at Rice University are building transparent, two-terminal, three-dimensional computer memories on flexible sheets that show promise for making transparent electronics and sophisticated heads-up displays.

Calgary stroke support programs help navigate life after stroke
It takes one to know one, especially when it comes to stroke recovery, according to two new Calgary programs providing support and resources to 1,200 stroke patients.

For elephants, deciding to leave watering hole demands conversation, Stanford study shows
In the wilds of Africa, when it's time for a family of elephants gathered at a watering hole to leave, the matriarch of the group gives the

Balancing fertility and child survival in the developing world
Children in smaller families are only slightly more likely to survive childhood in high mortality environments, according to a new study of mothers and children in sub-Saharan Africa seeking to understand why women, even in the highest fertility populations in world, rarely give birth to more than eight children.

State-mandated planning, higher resident wealth linked to more sustainable city transportation
Transportation practices tend to be more environmentally friendly in wealthier metropolitan areas located within states that mandate comprehensive planning, new research suggests.

UMass Amherst physicist wins prestigious Dayhoff Award
Ross is one of five researchers to be honored during a symposium at the society's 57th annual meeting in February in Philadelphia.

Study reveals differences in overall health of Latino-American subgroups
Despite a shared Latino heritage, there are significant differences in the overall health and the use of health-care services among Cuban-Americans, Mexican-Americans and Puerto Rican-Americans -- even between men and women in the same subgroup -- according to two recently published studies by Florida State University researchers.

Hydroponic gardening initiative for Boston youths blooms with NSF grant
A $250,000 NSF grant will allow Boston College professor of education Mike Barnett, the Salvation Army's Kroc Center and the Boston STEM Garden Initiative to launch Boston's largest youth hydroponic gardening project.

Solar cell consisting of a single molecule
Photosynthesis allows plants to convert light into chemical energy. Utilizing this process to produce electrical energy is a research goal worldwide.

Manatees reflect quality of health in marine ecosystems, longterm study finds
A longterm study conducted by researchers at George Mason University may be a benchmark in determining health threats to marine mammals.

Concussion spectrum in college athletes wearing helmets: 'Not so simple,' say researchers
Much has been written in recent years about the short- and long-term consequences of concussions sustained in sports, combat, and accidents.

Both obesity and under-nutrition affect long-term refugee populations
Both obesity and under-nutrition are common in women and children from the Western Sahara living in refugee camps in Algeria, highlighting the need to balance both obesity prevention and management with interventions to tackle under-nutrition in this population, according to a study by international researchers published in this week's PLOS Medicine.

Too little nitrogen may restrain plants' carbon storage capability, U of M paper shows
Plants' ability to absorb increased levels of carbon dioxide in the air may have been overestimated, a new University of Minnesota study shows.

UCLA life scientist Elissa Hallem awarded MacArthur 'genius' grant
UCLA life scientist Elissa Hallem has been selected as a 2012 MacArthur Fellow.

Sandia builds Android-based network to study cyber disruptions
As part of ongoing research to help prevent and mitigate disruptions to computer networks on the Internet, researchers at Sandia National Laboratories in California have turned their attention to smartphones and other hand-held computing devices. 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