Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 11, 2012
Discovery reveals important clues to cancer metastasis
New research led by investigators at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center explains how mesenchymal stem cells help cancer cells to spread beyond primary tumor.

Antibiotic resistance a growing concern with urinary tract infection
As a result of concerns about antibiotic resistance, doctors in the United States are increasingly prescribing newer, more costly and more powerful antibiotics to treat urinary tract infections, one of the most common illnesses in women.

New treatments for epilepsy, behavioral disorders could result from Wayne State studies
Three studies conducted as part of Wayne State University's Systems Biology of Epilepsy Project could result in new types of treatment for the disease and, as a bonus, for behavioral disorders as well.

Nearby super-Earth likely a diamond planet
New research suggests that a rocky planet twice Earth's size orbiting a nearby star is a diamond planet.

When galaxies eat galaxies
Using gravitational

Preemies from low-income families at high risk for dangerous brain bleeds
Babies born prematurely to low-income parents have a disproportionately high risk for developing dangerous brain bleeds that require multiple surgeries and extensive follow-up, according to a small Johns Hopkins Children's Center study.

New report calls for global efforts to prevent fragility fractures due to osteoporosis
For World Osteoporosis Day, the International Osteoporosis Foundation has released a new report,

Meteorite delivers Martian secrets to University of Alberta researcher
A meteorite that landed in the Moroccan desert 14 months ago is providing more information about Mars, the planet where it originated.

Alzheimer's sufferers may function better with less visual clutter
An individual's inability to recognize once-familiar faces and objects may have as much to do with difficulty perceiving their distinct features as with the capacity to recall from memory.

How food marketers can help consumers eat better while improving their bottom line
Food marketers are masters at getting people to crave and consume the foods they promote.

University of Houston and Agilent Technologies announce Petroleum Research Collaboration
The University of Houston and Agilent Technologies Inc. announced they will work together on a research project to further the understanding of the geology and composition of crude oil.

Researchers create 'nanoflowers' for energy storage, solar cells
Researchers from North Carolina State University have created flower-like structures out of germanium sulfide (GeS) - a semiconductor material - that have extremely thin petals with an enormous surface area.

Scientists use new method to help reduce piglet mortality
To help increase the survival of newborn piglets, US Department of Agriculture scientists have developed a new method that predicts animals' mortality and nursing ability.

Plasma screens enhanced as disorder strikes
A new study improves our understanding of plasma sources, a state of matter similar to gas in which a certain portion of the particles are ionized and which are used for example in plasma display panels.

Bouncing on Titan
ESA's Huygens probe bounced, slid and wobbled its way to rest in the 10 seconds after touching down on Saturn's moon, Titan, in January 2005, a new analysis reveals.

Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation launches ATHENA trial
Timothy Henry, M.D. of the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation treated the first patient in the ATHENA study, injecting the patient's own stem cells into the heart to restore blood flow and help regenerate heart muscle.

Exercise could fortify immune system against future cancers
Small pilot study suggests that T cells become more responsive in exercising cancer survivors weeks after chemo ends.

Researchers ID unique geological 'sombrero' uplift in South America
Scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego have identified a geological oddity in the central Andes region, home to the largest active magma body in Earth's continental crust.

SAGE acquires primary sources publisher Adam Matthew
SAGE, one of the world's leading independent academic and professional publisher, announced the purchase of primary sources publisher Adam Matthew at the Frankfurt Book Fair today.

'Jury Decision Making: The State of the Science'
Dennis Devine, Ph.D., and an assistant professor of psychology at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, explores a new theory of how juries reach verdicts and what influences outcomes

A gene implicated in schizophrenia risk is also associated with risk for cannabis dependence
A paper by Shizhong Han and colleagues in the current issue of Biological Psychiatry implicates a new gene in the risk for cannabis dependence.

In the bacterial world of your mouth, nurture wins out over nature
The human mouth is home to a teeming community of microbes, yet still relatively little is known about what determines the specific types of microorganisms that live there.

Duke Medicine news -- Anti-cancer drug fights immune reaction in some infants with Pompe disease
Adding a third anti-cancer agent to a current drug cocktail appears to have contributed to dramatic improvement in three infants with the most severe form of Pompe disease -- a rare, often-fatal genetic disorder characterized by low or no production of an enzyme crucial to survival.

Organic solar cells with high electric potential for portable electronics
A new breakthrough in solar technology means portable electronic devices such as e-book readers could soon be re-charged on the move in low light levels and partial shading.

Tying our fate to molecular markings
A Simon Fraser University physicist has helped discover that understanding how a chemical mark on our DNA affects gene expression could be as useful to scientists as fingerprints are to police at a crime scene.

Earth sunblock only needed if planet warms easily
A new computer analysis of future climate change that considers emissions reductions together with sunlight reduction shows that such drastic steps to cool the earth would only be necessary if the planet heats up easily with added greenhouse gases.

Scientists discuss stem cell discoveries at New York Stem Cell Foundation Conference
For the second day, The New York Stem Cell Foundation Seventh Annual Translational Stem Cell Research Conference hosts the world's most preeminent stem cell scientists to present their findings on how advances in stem cell science lead to better treatments and cures for disease and injury.

New tool determines leukemia cells' 'readiness to die,' may guide clinical care
Dana-Farber researchers have developed a method for determining how ready acute myeloid leukemia cells are to die, a finding that may enable oncologists to choose more effective treatments for their patients.

Soft-shelled turtles urinate through mouth
Turtles spend most of their lives in water, but why do these air breathing animals immerse their heads in puddles for hours at a time when their watery homes dry up?

Parental bonding makes for happy, stable child
Infants who have a close, intimate relationship with at least one parent are less likely to experience emotional or behavioral problems in childhood, according to a University of Iowa study.

White construction workers in Illinois get higher workers' comp settlements: Study
White non-Hispanic construction workers are awarded higher workers' compensation settlements in Illinois than Hispanic or black construction workers with similar injuries and disabilities, according to researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health.

Satellite sees 16th Atlantic tropical depression born near Bahamas
The 16th tropical depression of the Atlantic Ocean season has formed northeast of the Bahamas and NOAA's GOES-14 satellite captured a visible image of the storm as it tracks to the southwest.

University of Tennessee receives DOE funds to improve nuclear safety
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, will take part in two US Department of Energy projects totaling more than nine million dollars which involve a team of institutions to improve upon nuclear energy safety and efficiency.

Nerve signal discovery backs Nobel winner's theory
Scientists have proved a 60-year-old theory about how nerve signals are sent around the body at varying speeds as electrical impulses.

UCI gets $1 million to combat elder abuse
UC Irvine's Program in Geriatrics has received a three-year, one million dollar grant from the US Administration on Aging to combat elder abuse.

Queen's develops new environmentally friendly MOF production method
Chemists at Queen's University Belfast have devised a novel, environmentally friendly technique, which allows the rapid production of Metal-Organic Frameworks porous materials.

Eco-friendly optics: Spider silk's talents harnessed for use in biosensors, lasers, microchips
Spiders use their silk to catch lunch. Now physicists are using it to catch light.

Minutes of hard exercise can lead to all-day calorie burn
Engaging in hard exercise for just 2.5 minutes per day led volunteers to burn an extra 200 calories a day.

New report examines potential impact of changes in Texas' Women's Health Program
A new report finds that Texas policies to exclude Planned Parenthood clinics from a state family planning program - the Women's Health Program - would result in leaving tens of thousands of women unable to get care.

More than just 'zoning out' -- Exploring the cognitive processes behind mind wandering
It happens innocently enough: One minute you're working on a report and the next minute you're thinking about how you need to do laundry.

All healthcare professionals need training to deal with the sexual needs of patients
Providing healthcare staff with a one-day training course on dealing with the sexual needs of people with an acquired physical disability gave them greater understanding of the issues patients faced and enabled them to address intimate questions more comfortably and proactively.

Safety results of intra-arterial stem cell clinical trial for stroke presented
Early results of a Phase II intra-arterial stem cell trial for ischemic stroke showed no adverse events associated with the first 10 patients, allowing investigators to expand the study to a targeted total of 100 patients.

Canadian Cardiovascular Congress 2012
The Canadian Cardiovascular Congress brings together over 4,000 heart health experts to exchange ideas and present the latest breaking research at Canada's largest health and science meeting.

Feeding the Schwanns: New technique could bring cell therapy for nerve damage a step closer
A new way to grow cells vital for nerve repair, developed by researchers from the University of Sheffield, could be a vital step for use in patients with severe nerve damage, including spinal injury.

Weizmann Institute Scientists observe quantum effects in cold chemistry
A half-century-long quest to observe chemical reactions in the quantum realm has now been achieved at the Weizmann Institute.

AACR to host cancer prevention conference
The American Association for Cancer Research will host the 11th Annual AACR International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research at the Hilton Anaheim from Oct.

Scientist awarded $1.6 million to develop innovative chemical reactions for rare natural products
A scientist from the Florida campus of the Scripps Research Institute has been awarded more than $1.6 million from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health to develop innovative chemical reactions as tools for the laboratory preparation of rare and structurally diverse natural products with significant therapeutic potential.

Engineered flies spill secret of seizures
Scientists have observed the neurological mechanism behind temperature-dependent -- febrile -- seizures by genetically engineering fruit flies to harbor a mutation analogous to one that causes epileptic seizures in people.

Stopping the itch -- new clues into how to treat eczema
More than 15 percent of children suffer with eczema, or atopic dermatitis, an inflammatory skin disease that in some cases can be debilitating and disfiguring.

New web-based model for sharing research datasets could have huge benefits
A group of researchers have proposed creating a new web-based data network to help researchers and policymakers worldwide turn existing knowledge into real-world applications and technologies and improve science and innovation policy.

Diverse intestinal viruses may play a role in AIDS progression
In monkeys and humans with AIDS, damage to the gastrointestinal tract is common.

University of Washington researchers focus on quorum sensing to better understand bacteria
In a study appearing in the Oct. 12 issue of the journal Science, University of Washington researchers examine the relatively new field in microbiology known as quorum sensing, a type of bacterial communication.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Research Symposium
A cadre of leading researchers in hematology, oncology, cell biology, and biotechnology are conducting presentations and discussions at this symposium to review the latest advances in blood cancer research

President's Bioethics Commission releases report on genomics and privacy
To ensure medical progress in whole genome sequencing, we must protect individual privacy.

Transplantation of embryonic neurons raises hope for treating brain diseases
The unexpected survival of embryonic neurons transplanted into the brains of newborn mice in a series of experiments at the University of California, San Francisco raises hope for the possibility of using neuronal transplantation to treat diseases like Alzheimer's, epilepsy, Huntington's, Parkinson's and schizophrenia.

IU and Regenstrief to collaborate with 19 Indiana nursing facilities to improve care
A multi-million-dollar award from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or CMS, will enable Indiana University and Regenstrief Institute clinician-researchers to work with 19 central Indiana nursing facilities to improve the quality of care, reduce hospitalizations and increase access to palliative care for long-stay nursing facility residents.

Fly genomes show natural selection and return to Africa
New studies of the genomes of almost 200 strains of Drosophila flies show natural selection and a

Brown University receives $1.75 million Center for Chemical Innovation grant
Researchers at Brown University have been awarded $1.75 million to explore the potential of using carbon dioxide instead of fossil fuels in the production of common industrial chemicals.

Airborne superbugs elude hospital cleaning regimes
Hospital superbugs can float on air currents and contaminate surfaces far from infected patients' beds, according to University of Leeds researchers.

Researchers seek way to make solar cells ultra-thin, flexible
Researchers at The University of Texas at Dallas are developing nanotechnology that could lead to a new platform for solar cells, one that could drive the development of lighter, flexible and more versatile solar-powered technology than is currently available.

Scripps Research Institute professor Phil Baran wins 2012 Distinguished Scientist Award
Presented by the American Chemical Society-San Diego, the award recognizes Baran's

Focus on space debris: Envisat
Space debris came into focus last week at the International Astronautical Congress in Naples, Italy.

2 Boston University faculty members named 2012 Massachusetts Academy of Sciences Fellows
Two members of the Boston University community are among the new class of Fellows of the Massachusetts Academy of Sciences.

Unusual genetic structure confers major disease resistance trait in soybean
Scientists have identified three neighboring genes that make soybeans resistant to the most damaging disease of soybean.

Novel mechanisms underlying major childhood neuromuscular disease identified
A study suggests that spinal muscular atrophy, a genetic neuromuscular disease in infants and children, results primarily from motor circuit dysfunction, not motor neuron or muscle cell dysfunction, as is commonly thought.

Fisheries benefit from 400-year-old tradition
A new study by the Wildlife Conservation Society and James Cook University says that coral reefs in Aceh, Indonesia are benefiting from a decidedly low-tech, traditional management system that dates back to the 17th century.

Nurture trumps nature in study of oral bacteria in human twins, says CU study
A new long-term study of human twins by University of Colorado Boulder researchers indicates the makeup of the population of bacteria bathing in their saliva is driven more by environmental factors than heritability.

Notre Dame researcher helps make Sudoku puzzles less puzzling
For anyone who has ever struggled while attempting to solve a Sudoku puzzle, University of Notre Dame researcher Zoltan Toroczkai and Notre Dame postdoctoral researcher Maria Ercsey-Ravaz are riding to the rescue.

Enzyme triggers cell death in heart attack
University of Iowa study shows that CaM kinase II enzyme activity triggers heart cell death by making the cells' energy-producing mitochondria leaky.

Arctic and Southern Oceans appear to determine the composition of microbial populations
Differing contributions of freshwater from glaciers and streams to the Arctic and Southern oceans appear to be responsible for the fact that the majority of microbial communities that thrive near the surface at the Poles share few common members, according to an international team of researchers, some of whom were supported by the National Science Foundation.

Biodiversity defaulters
The BAC-Basque Autonomous Community (region) satisfies 83 percent of its demand for materials by means of imports, which greatly impacts on the environment and social situation of the supplier countries.

UK and USA should learn from each other on health care
The healthcare systems of the USA and the UK are often thought of as polar opposites, yet the two countries may have much to learn from each other as they both embark upon significant health reforms, according to the authors of a Health Policy paper, published in the Lancet.

New book reveals audience responses to film subtitling
Do subtitles have an impact on how audiences understand the movie?

Prospective Alzheimer's drug builds new brain cell connections
Washington State University researchers have developed a new drug candidate that dramatically improves the cognitive function of rats with Alzheimer's-like mental impairment.

UMass Amherst research scores advance in manipulating T-cells
Until recently, medical researchers had little hope of experimentally manipulating naïve T cells to study their crucial roles in immune function, because they were largely impenetrable, says polymer scientist Gregory Tew:

Target for obesity drugs comes into focus
Researchers at the University of Michigan have determined how the hormone leptin, an important regulator of metabolism and body weight, interacts with a key receptor in the brain.

India's public school students on par with private students
Contrary to past research, private school students in India do not outperform their counterparts in public schools, finds a new study by a Michigan State University education researcher.

NASA sees Typhoon Prapiroon doing a 'Sit and Spin' in the Philippine Sea
As Typhoon Prapiroon slowed down and became quasi-stationary in the Philippine Sea NASA's Terra satellite passed overhead and captured an image of the storm.

Developmental biologist proposes new theory of early animal evolution
A developmental biologist whose life's work has supported the theory of evolution has developed a concept that dramatically alters one of its basic assumptions -- that survival is based on a change's functional advantage if it is to persist.

England World Cup wins and losses linked to 30 percent rise in domestic violence
Domestic violence rates rose by an average of 30 percent each time England won or lost their games during the 2010 World Cup, but draws had little impact on the statistics.

Research findings in solar cells will have an impact on solar panel industry
University of Luxembourg's Laboratory for Photovoltaics has established a method to observe and prevent solar cell degradation before solar cell production is finished, which has implications for the solar cell manufacturing industry since chemical damage to solar cells can occur quickly.

Researchers work across fields to uncover information about hadrosaur teeth
An unusual collaboration between researchers in two disparate fields resulted in a new discovery about the teeth of 65-million-year-old dinosaurs.

Mug handles could help hot plasma give lower-cost, controllable fusion energy
New hardware lets engineers maintain the plasma used in fusion reactors in an energy-efficient, stable manner, making the system potentially attractive for use in fusion power plants.

New model to explain the role of dopamine in immune regulation described
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is associated with emotions, movement, and the brain's pleasure and reward system.

Survey shows supplement users have strong interest in natural solutions to manage their cholesterol
As emerging science is evaluating whether the microbiome, and gut bacteria specifically, can play a role in health and certain chronic diseases such as heart disease, highlights of new market research conducted by Micropharma Limited found that heart health is very important for supplement users; a strong interest in a better, more holistic long-term solution to high cholesterol; and the majority understand that different probiotic strains confer different health benefits.

UT study: Natural playgrounds more beneficial to children, inspire more play
Children who play on playgrounds that incorporate natural elements like logs and flowers tend to be more active than those who play on traditional playgrounds with metal and brightly colored equipment, according to a recent study from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Las Cumbres Observatory achieves first light with NRES spectrograph
Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope (LCOGT)achieved first light this week with their prototype Network of Robotic Echelle Spectrograph (NRES).

Single gene variant in donors may affect survival of transplanted kidneys
In the largest study of its kind, a variant within the multidrug resistance 1 (MDR-1) gene in kidney transplant donors was linked to a 69 percent increased risk for long-term failure of transplanted organs.

Surprising solution to fly eye mystery
Fly eyes have the fastest visual responses in the animal kingdom, but how they achieve this has long been an enigma.

Terrorism risk greatest for subway/rail commuters, says MIT paper at INFORMS conference
Despite homeland security improvements since 9/11, subway and rail commuters face higher risks of terror than frequent flyers or those engaged in virtually any other activity.

New gene test flags risk of serious complications in sarcoidosis
Researchers at the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System have identified a genetic signature that distinguishes patients with complicated sarcoidosis, an inflammatory lung disease that can be fatal, from patients with a more benign form of the disease.

Using cell phone data to curb the spread of malaria
New research that combines cell phone data from 15 million people in Kenya with detailed information on the regional incidence of malaria has revealed how human travel patterns contribute to the disease's spread.

UCI garners $11.5 million in continued support of systems biology center
UC Irvine has been awarded $11.5 million over five years to further support the biologists, mathematicians, physicists, engineers and computer scientists who collaborate in pursuit of a more comprehensive and accurate understanding of complex biological systems.

Choreography of submerged whale lunges revealed
Submerged for tens of minutes at a time, no one knew exactly how foraging whales execute foraging lunges through shoals of krill until a band of pioneers began attaching tags to whales.

South Central Climate Science Center receives funds for seven projects
The South Central Climate Science Center--one of eight Department of Interior regional climate science centers nationwide--hosted by the University of Oklahoma, has received funding for seven projects totaling $826,534.

Techniques used to infer pathways of protein evolution found unreliable
Biologists have published thousands of papers that used statistical techniques to infer the likely evolutionary paths that led to the present-day forms of proteins.

From gender identity disorder to gender identity creativity
Childhood gender independence, or gender creativity, is often viewed as an abnormality in need of a cure - but it's that attitude that needs to be fixed, according to Concordia University political science professor, Kimberley Manning.

New studies reveal connections between animals' microbial communities and behavior
New research is revealing surprising connections between animal microbiomes--the communities of microbes that live inside animals' bodies--and animal behavior, according to a paper by University of Georgia ecologist Vanessa O.

Documented decrease in frequency of Hawaii's northeast trade winds
Scientists at University of Hawaii at Manoa have observed a decrease in the frequency of northeast trade winds and an increase in eastern trade winds over the past nearly four decades, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research.

Research gives new insight into celiac disease
For the first time, scientists have visualized an interaction between gluten and T-cells of the immune system, providing insight into how celiac disease, which affects approximately one in 133 people, is triggered.

1 CVD death in China every 10 seconds
Every year three million Chinese people die from cardiovascular disease and every 10 seconds there is one death from CVD in China,

DNA confirms genetically distinct lion population for Ethiopia
A team of international researchers has provided the first comprehensive DNA evidence that the Addis Ababa lion in Ethiopia is genetically unique and is urging immediate conservation action to preserve this vulnerable lion population.

A new cave-dwelling reef coral discovered in the Indo-Pacific
A new species of reef coral is discovered, which lives on the ceilings of dark caves.

The Marshmallow Study revisited
For the past four decades, the

Transparent solar cells for windows that generate electricity
The latest episode in the American Chemical Society's award-winning Global Challenges/Chemistry Solutions podcast series reports development of a new transparent solar cell, an advance toward giving windows in homes and other buildings the ability to generate electricity while still allowing people to see outside.

Exercise helps ease premature cardiovascular aging caused by type 2 diabetes
Exercise helps attenuate the premature cardiovascular aging that type 2 diabetes can cause.

INFORMS presents 12 new fellows awards, inducts analytics leaders
The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, the leading professional association for advanced analytics professionals, today announced 12 new recipients of the annual INFORMS Fellows Award.

Large international study finds 21 genes tied to cholesterol levels
In the largest-ever genetic study of cholesterol and other blood lipids, an international consortium has identified 21 new gene variants associated with risks of heart disease and metabolic disorders.

Nerve and muscle activity vary across menstrual cycle
Nerve fibers, and the muscles they control, behave differently at different points along the menstrual cycle, potentially making women more vulnerable to knee injuries. 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