Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 25, 2012
Smoking takes 10 years off life expectancy in Japan, not 4 as previously thought, experts warn
Smoking reduces life expectancy by ten years in Japan, but much of the risk can be avoided by giving up smoking, a paper published on today shows.

'Adoption activity days' can help children find new families
Children's parties or activity days, where prospective adopters meet children awaiting adoption, could be part of the solution to the current adoption crisis, according to research that will be showcased during the Economic and Social Research Council Festival of Social Science.

After-effects of Saturn's super storm shine on
The heat-seeking capabilities of the international Cassini spacecraft and two ground-based telescopes have provided the first look at the aftermath of Saturn's 'Great Springtime Storm'.

Size does matter in sexual selection, at least among beetles
The size of genital spines has a measurable effect on sexual success in beetles, according to a recent paper by researchers from the University of Cincinnati and Uppsala University in Sweden.

Traditional fisheries management approach jeopardizes marine ecosystems worldwide
In a Perspectives article,

Students win $100K for 3-D printer to turn waste plastic into composting toilets, rainwater systems
Three undergraduates won $100,000 to form a company that will work with partners in Oaxaca, Mexico, to build giant 3-D printers that can transform waste plastic into composting toilets and pieces for rainwater harvesting systems.

DNA's double stranded stretch
Theoretical physicists like to play with very unconventional toys. Manoel Manghi from Toulouse University in France and his colleagues have adopted a seemingly playful approach to examining what happens to a double stranded molecule of DNA when it is stretched to the breaking point, in a study about to be published in EPJ E.

First FDA approved subcutaneous implantable defibrillator available for patients
On Sept. 28th, 2012, the FDA approved the world's first totally subcutaneous implantable defibrillator.

CWRU's Maxwell J. Mehlman's book examines issues emerging in genetic engineering
Men and women could soon have the option to change the course of human evolution through genetic engineering.

Temple-Penn team identifies gatekeeper protein, new details on cell's power source
Researchers at Temple University's Center for Translational Medicine and the University of Pennsylvania have identified a protein gatekeeper that controls the rush of calcium into the cell's power source, the mitochondria.

NASA spacecraft sees huge burp at Saturn after large storm
NASA's Cassini spacecraft has tracked the aftermath of a rare massive storm on Saturn.

Male competition over females
When a female mates with several males, these will compete over the fertilization her eggs.

Journal of Public Health Management and Practice now available on the iPad
The Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, the premier source of practice-based information for public health management expert, announced today the availability of the journal on the iPad to be launched with a special November/December issue focused on public health services and systems research.

Highlights of the 25th Congress of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology 2012
In the course of the 25th ECNP Congress leading experts and five and a half thousand psychiatrists, neurologists, neuroscience researchers and public health professionals from over 90 different countries met from Oct.

Individual gene differences can be tested in zebrafish
The zebrafish is a potential tool for testing one class of unique individual genetic differences found in humans, and may yield information helpful for the emerging field of personalized medicine, according to a team led by Penn State College of Medicine scientists.

Academia should fulfill social contract by supporting bioscience startups, case study says
Universities not only provide the ideal petri dish for cultivating bioscience with commercial potential, but have a moral obligation to do so, given the opportunity to translate public funding into health and jobs, according to a new case study by UCSF researchers.

Further delay to revised EU Tobacco Products Directive 'will raise serious questions about whose interest the EU Commission is promoting'
The EU's revised Tobacco Products Directive - which was set to place substantial new restrictions on tobacco companies' promotion of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, including banning

Scientists to study the role genes play in treating TB
The University of Liverpool has been awarded funding to determine whether differences in our genes determine how patients respond to drugs used to treat Tuberculosis in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Results of the POSEIDON trial presented at TCT 2012
A hydration regimen tailored to the patient's fluid status was effective in reducing damage to kidneys in patients undergoing cardiac catheterization, according to a study presented at the 24th annual Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) scientific symposium, sponsored by the Cardiovascular Research Foundation.

Monster galaxy may have been stirred up by black-hole mischief
Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have obtained a remarkable new view of a whopper of an elliptical galaxy, with a core bigger than any seen before.

US investment in biomedical and health research on downward trend
Biomedical and health research and development spending from all sources declined by more than $ four billion or three percent between FY10 and FY11 according to Research!America's 2011 US Investment in Health Research report.

Dysentery epidemic killed many in the 1700s-1800s
In the 1700s-1800s, dysentery was a disease causing many deaths.

1-year results of ADAPT-DES presented at TCT 2012
Patients who receive a drug-eluting stent and demonstrate low levels of platelet inhibition are more likely to have blood clots form on the stent and suffer a possible heart attack; conversely, patients with higher levels of platelet inhibition are at greater risk for bleeding complications.

Elevated formaldehyde levels found in day care centers
A study of 40 child-care facilities in California found that most had levels of formaldehyde and a few other contaminants that exceeded exposure guidelines.

An animal model of typhoid fever could lead to better vaccines
The first mouse model of the common bacterial disease typhoid fever is reported in a study published by Cell Press Oct.

A clearer picture of how assassin bugs evolved
Assassin bugs, which lie in ambush for prey they attack with speed and agility, are found all over the world.

Triclosan needs to be monitored
Researchers from Germany and Slovakia have pointed out that the chemical triclosan is one of those particularly harmful substances for the ecological status of rivers that are still not sufficiently monitored.

US NAS and Royal Society Issue Statement on Earthquake Case in Italy
The case of six Italian scientists sentenced to be jailed for failing to warn of the L'Aquila earthquake in Italy in 2009 highlights the difficult task facing scientists in dealing with risk communication and uncertainty.

The modern view of nature has religious roots
All over the planet, people are fighting to save animals and plants from extinction - even though many species have no utilitarian value for us.

A 'nanoscale landscape' controls flow of surface electrons on a topological insulator
Boston College physicists report new insights into the behavior of electrons on the surface of a topological insulator, a class of material with unique properties that challenge some of the oldest laws of physics.

Sharing space:
A new University of Michigan study shows that when researchers share a building, and especially a floor, the likelihood of forming new collaborations and obtaining funding increases dramatically.

Restricting high-risk individuals from owning guns saves lives
A new report by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health examines policies and initiatives for reducing gun violence in the US by reforming current gun policies.

Steroid injection linked to increased risk of bone fractures
Patients treated with an epidural steroid injection for back pain relief are at increased risk of bone fractures in the spine, according to a Henry Ford Hospital study.

Scientists deepen genetic understanding of MS
Five scientists, including two from Simon Fraser University, have discovered that 30 percent of our likelihood of developing Multiple Sclerosis can be explained by 475,806 genetic variants in our genome.

New study brings a doubted exoplanet 'back from the dead'
A second look at data from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope is reanimating the claim that the nearby star Fomalhaut hosts a massive exoplanet.

NASA saw Tropical Storm Murjan making landfall on the Horn of Africa
NASA's Aqua satellite watched from space as Somalia in the Horn of Africa experienced a landfalling tropical cyclone on Oct.

Lonely older adults face more health risks
Research has shown that lonely older adults are at greater risk of developing health problems but a new study by Professor Carsten Wrosch offers hope.

Experts call for increased neonatal inclusion in pediatric drug trials
Clinical drug trials are a vital part of pharmaceutical manufacturers gaining approval for use by the US Food and Drug Administration.

Results of the AIDA STEMI MRI sub-study presented at TCT 2012
A study confirmed no differences in various measures of heart damage, according to cardiac magnetic resonance (MRI) imaging, in patients receiving the anti-clotting medication abxicimab directly into the heart (intracoronary) compared to those receiving it intravenously.

Structure discovered for promising tuberculosis drug target
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have figured out the three-dimensional shape of the protein responsible for creating unique bonds within the cell wall of the bacteria that cause tuberculosis.

SDSU researchers to study China's national treasure
A $1.3 Million NSF award will send an SDSU-led research team to China to improve understanding and education of payments for ecosystem services.

Peer review option proposed for biodiversity data
Data publishers should have the option of submitting their biodiversity datasets for peer review, according to a discussion paper commissioned by the Global Biodiversity Information Facility.

NASA sees power in Hurricane Sandy moving toward Bahamas
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Hurricane Sandy as it was moving over eastern Cuba early on Oct.

Small organisms could dramatically impact world's climate
Warmer oceans in the future could significantly alter populations of phytoplankton, tiny organisms that could have a major impact on climate change.

Changing the balance of bacteria in drinking water to benefit consumers
The latest episode in the American Chemical Society's award-winning Global Challenges/Chemistry Solutions podcast series reports that scientists have discovered a plausible way to manipulate the populations of mostly beneficial microbes in

Why astronauts experience low blood pressure after returning to Earth from space
When astronauts return to Earth, their blood pressure drops. Orthostatic hypotension occurs in about half of astronauts on short-term missions, and in nearly all astronauts after long-term missions.

New genomics study shows ancestry could help solve disease riddles
A new study by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute, Scripps Health, and Scripps Translational Science Institute reveals that by comparing the genomes of diseased patients with the genomes of people with sufficiently similar ancestries could dramatically simplify searches for harmful mutations, opening new treatment possibilities.

Study shows PFO closure may be superior to medical therapy in preventing stroke
Results of a large-scale, randomized clinical trial called RESPECT revealed that patent foramen ovale closure may be superior to medical therapy in preventing recurrent stroke, according to a presentation of findings today at the Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics conference in Miami.

Stanford researchers develop efficient, protein-based method for creating iPS cells
Now researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have devised an efficient and safer way to make these induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells, by using just the proteins that the genes encode.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Journal announces global expansion initiatives
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (PRS), official journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, announced today two publishing initiatives that will expand the reach of PRS to the international plastic surgery community.

Genetic tradeoff: Harmful genes are widespread in yeast but hold hidden benefits
The genes responsible for inherited diseases are clearly bad for us, so why hasn't evolution, over time, weeded them out and eliminated them from the human genome altogether?

New bio-adhesive polymer demonstrated in JoVE
A new video-article in JoVE, Journal of Visualized Experiments, details the use of a new laser-activated bio-adhesive polymer.

NY-Presbyterian Hospital announces participation in trial for hard-to-treat hypertension
Patients with hypertension whose blood pressure cannot be brought down to safe levels despite taking three or more medications may have some relief coming their way.

Sam Houston state developing lab test for bath salts
Sam Houston State University received a federal grant from the National Institute of Justice to create a test for key components of bath salts in biological samples in crime labs.

A black widow's Tango Mortale in gamma-ray light
Max Planck scientists discovered a record-breaking millisecond pulsar with a new analysis method.

UC Davis researchers develop new drug delivery system for bladder cancer using nanoparticles
A team of UC Davis scientists has shown in experimental mouse models that a new drug delivery system allows for administration of three times the maximum tolerated dose of a standard drug therapy for advanced bladder cancer, leading to more effective cancer control without increasing toxicity.

Science magazine prize goes to course focused on endophytes
Because of its ability to draw students into the world of scientific discovery, Endophyte Discovery has been selected as the winner of the Science Prize for Inquiry-Based Instruction.

Gene that's usually bad news loses its punch if you live to your 90s, Mayo study finds
A gene linked to the risk of developing Alzheimer's, heart disease and diabetes becomes less important to quality of life once people hit their 90s, a Mayo Clinic study shows.

Tracking environmental causes of good and bad health
A Simon Fraser University scientist working at one of Canada's first epigenomics mapping centres says new federal funding will accelerate researchers' ability to unravel how we develop some of the most common life threatening cancers.

BMJ and Daily Telegraph's fake hip exposes failing European device regulation
A joint investigation by the BMJ and Daily Telegraph has exposed the major flaws in the current EU system used for regulating medical devices, such as hip replacements and breast implants.

Seminal events in 2012 Alzheimer's disease research evaluated at international conference
International Clinical Trials to release new findings on Alzheimer's Disease clinical trials.

New genes discovered for adult BMI levels
A large international study has identified three new gene variants associated with body mass index levels in adults.

Moffitt researchers identify unique immune gene signature across thousands of patients' solid tumors
Researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center have discovered a unique immune gene signature that can predict the presence of microscopic lymph node-like structures in metastatic melanoma.

Omega-3 intake heightens working memory in healthy young adults
In the first study of its kind, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have determined that healthy young adults ages 18-25 can improve their working memory even further by increasing their Omega-3 fatty acid intake.

Using planarian flatworms to understand organ regeneration
Researchers report in the journal Developmental Cell that they have identified genes that control growth and regeneration of the intestine in the freshwater planarian Schmidtea mediterranea.

Researchers at the doorstep of stem cell therapies for MS, other myelin disorders
In a review article appearing today in the journal Science, University of Rochester Medical Center scientists Steve Goldman, M.D., Ph.D., Maiken Nedergaard, Ph.D., and Martha Windrem, Ph.D., contend that researchers are now on the threshold of human application of stem cell therapies for a class of neurological diseases known as myelin disorders -- a long list of diseases that include conditions such as multiple sclerosis, white matter stroke, cerebral palsy, certain dementias, and rare but fatal childhood disorders called pediatric leukodystrophies.

Study reveals impact of public DNS services; researchers develop tool to help
A new study by Northwestern University researchers has revealed that public DNS services could actually slow down users' web-surfing experience.

Sensory neurons identified as critical to sense of touch
While studying the sense of touch, scientists at Duke Medicine have pinpointed specific neurons that appear to regulate perception.

USF researchers identify gene mutation linked to old age hearing loss
Researchers have identified a genetic mutation linked to age-related hearing loss, a discovery that can lead to better prevention measures.

Traumatic consequences long after fall of the Berlin Wall
One in three former political prisoners of the GDR still suffers from sleeping disorders, nightmares and irrational fear.

Study reveals rate at which key genetic deletions contribute to male infertility
A large-scale analysis of Y chromosomes from more than 20,000 men finds that two spontaneously recurring deletions along a complex region of the Y chromosome are responsible for approximately 8 percent of cases of failed sperm production, according to Whitehead Institute researchers.

Antibiotics that only partly block protein machinery allow germs to poison themselves
Powerful antibiotics that scientists and physicians thought stop the growth of harmful bacteria by completely blocking their ability to make proteins actually allow the germs to continue producing certain proteins -- which may help do them in.

NASA sees Tropical Storm Son-tinh moving into South China Sea
Tropical Storm Son-tinh soaked the Philippines and is now moving into the South China Sea.

Resveratrol falls short in health benefits
Resveratrol, an ingredient in red wine thought to improve insulin sensitivity, reduce risk of heart disease and increase longevity, does not appear to have those benefits in healthy women, according to new research from Washington University School of Medicine in St.

'Worm Mutants' discovery-based genetics course wins Science magazine prize
The lab module Worm Mutants allows students to formulate their own questions and lay out their own experimental plans.

Feinstein Institute receives $1 million grant to study impact of World Trade Center attacks on responders
The main objective of the proposed study is to establish an expanded occupational health surveillance system that summarizes overall health status of WTC responders over time, and also provides information about symptoms not previously reported.

Dennis Trombatore to receive the William B. Heroy Jr. Award for Distinguished Service to AGI
Dennis Trombatore, long-time member and Chair of the GeoRef Advisory Committee, has been named the 2012 winner of the William B.

Penn-Temple team discovers gatekeeper for maintaining health of cell energy source
Control of a cell's energy production is an ongoing shuttle of calcium to the mitochondria, which relies on this transfer to make enough ATP to support normal cell metabolism.

Study reveals genetic causes of a male infertility disorder
Severe spermatogenic failure is a genetic condition that causes low sperm count and infertility.

New anti-tumor cell therapy strategies are more effective
Targeted T-cells can seek out and destroy tumor cells that carry specific antigen markers.

Canadian researchers discover fossils of first feathered dinosaurs from North America
The new study, led by Canadian researchers, describes the first ornithomimid specimens preserved with feathers, recovered from 75 million-year-old rocks in the badlands of Alberta, Canada.

Exercise boosts satisfaction with life, researchers find
Had a bad day? Extending your normal exercise routine by a few minutes may be the solution, according to Penn State researchers, who found that people's satisfaction with life was higher on days when they exercised more than usual.

Smithsonian launches global marine biodiversity project with $10 million donation
The Smithsonian announced today that it will launch a major long-term project to study coastal marine biodiversity and ecosystems around the globe.

Did the changing climate shrink Europe's ancient hippos?
Giant German hippopotamuses wallowing on the banks of the Elbe are not a common sight.

Autism Speaks creates Delivering Scientific Innovation for Autism LLC
Autism Speaks announced the formation of Delivering Scientific Innovation for Autism LLC an independent not-for-profit affiliate of Autism Speaks that will work directly with for-profit sector partners to more rapidly and effectively stimulate the conversion of breakthroughs from scientific research in the lab into products including medicines, treatments, diagnostic tools, therapeutic technologies and devices needed by both the autism and medical communities.

University of Toronto study demonstrates impact of adversity on early life development
It's time to end the nature versus nurture debate and embrace growing evidence that it's the interaction between biology and environment that influences human development.

Now the mobile phone goes emotional
ForcePhone is a mobile synchronous haptic communication system. During phone calls, users can squeeze the side of the device and the pressure level is mapped to vibrations on the recipient's device.

Stroke survivors who smoke raise risk of more strokes, heart attack, death
Stroke survivors who smoke face greater risk of additional strokes, heart attack or death than those who never smoked.

C'est difficile
This release highlights new work that could improve treatment of C. diff. infections.

NASA sees warming cloud tops indicating Tropical Storm Tony weakening
In a tropical cyclone, strong uplift of air pushes the tops of thunderstorms high into the troposphere.

A new technique to study how myeloids become white blood cells
Researchers have created a new technique to study how myeloids, a type of blood stem cell, become the white blood cells important for immune system defense against infections and tissue damage.

Anesthesia drugs really do put us to sleep
When patients are put under anesthesia, they are often told they will be

Genes, depression and life satisfaction
Vulnerability to major depression is linked with how satisfied we are with our lives.

New opportunity for rapid treatment of malaria
Researchers have identified a new means to eradicate malaria infections by rapidly killing the blood-borne Plasmodium parasites that cause the disease.

Lucy and Selam's species climbed trees
Australopithecus afarensis was an upright walking species, but the question of whether it also spent much of its time in trees has been the subject of much debate.

For the Milky Way, it's snack time
Yale astronomers have caught the Milky Way having a snack.

Robots in the home: Will older adults roll out the welcome mat?
In a Georgia Tech study, older adults indicated that they would generally prefer robotic help over human help for chores such as cleaning the kitchen, doing laundry and taking out the trash.

When she says, 'It's not you, it's me,' it really might be you, UCLA study suggests
Long after women have chosen Mr. Stable over Mr. Sexy, they struggle subconsciously with the decision, suggests a new study from UCLA researchers who look at subtle, unconscious behaviors during ovulation.

Safety glass - cut to any shape
Shock-resistance is the great benefit of safety glass. However, the cut of the glass pane can make this difficult: With conventional processes, only straight cuts are possible.

Lancet series explores latest developments in cardiac arrhythmia
A new Lancet series explores the latest developments in the diagnosis, treatment and biology of cardiac arrhythmias, ahead of the American Heart Association's annual meeting taking place this year on Nov.

Report: Bushmeat pushes Southern African species to the brink
A recent report says illegal hunting of wildlife in South African Development Community states can lead to the eradication of many species across extensive areas and even complete ecological collapse.

Far from random, evolution follows a predictable genetic pattern, Princeton researchers find
Princeton University research suggests that knowledge of a species' genes -- and how certain external conditions affect the proteins encoded by those genes -- could be used to determine a predictable evolutionary pattern driven by outside factors.

Results of the PC trial presented at TCT 2012
A clinical trial that compared catheter-based PFO closure using an investigational device found that there was no significant reduction in ischemic and bleeding events compared to standard medical therapy; stroke risk was non-significantly reduced with device therapy.

Sleep-deprived bees have difficulty relearning
Everyone needs sleep and sleep is key to memory formation, so how does sleep help us to alter preformed memories?

Protein regulation linked to intellectual disability
Genetics researchers at the University of Adelaide have solved a 40-year mystery for a family beset by a rare intellectual disability - and they've discovered something new about the causes of intellectual disability in the process.

APS Division of Fluid Dynamics Meeting
The 65th Annual Meeting of the American Physical Society's Division of Fluid Dynamics will include more than 2,000 compelling presentations from across the physical sciences, engineering, and medicine.

Small marine organisms' big changes could affect world climate
In the future, warmer waters could significantly change ocean distribution of populations of phytoplankton, tiny organisms that could have a major effect on climate change.

Results of the RESPECT trial presented at TCT 2012
A clinical trial indicates that using an investigational medical device to close a PFO, or

Whitehead scientists identify major flaw in standard approach to global gene expression analysis
Whitehead Institute researchers report that common assumptions employed in the generation and interpretation of data from global gene expression analyses can lead to seriously flawed conclusions about gene activity and cell behavior in a wide range of current biological research.

Scientists create first mouse model of typhoid fever
Researchers have created the first true mouse model of typhoid infection.

The Biggest Loser a big turnoff
University of Alberta researchers find depiction of workouts in extreme weight-loss TV fuels negative attitudes about exercise. 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