Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 31, 2012
New inhibitors of elusive enzymes promise to be valuable scientific tools
Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute have discovered the first selective inhibitors of an important set of enzymes.

5 year olds are generous only when they're watched
Children as young as five are generous when others are aware of their actions, but antisocial when sharing with a recipient who can't see them, according to research published Oct.

New micropumps for hand-held medical labs produce pressures 500 times higher than car tire
In an advance toward analyzing blood and urine instantly at a patient's bedside instead of waiting for results from a central laboratory, scientists are reporting development of a new micropump capable of producing pressures almost 500 times higher than the pressure in a car tire.

Health inequalities could be reduced by more effective health care, says new study
Health inequalities could be reduced by more effective healthcare, says new study.

New genetic links for inflammatory bowel disease uncovered
Researchers from the Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis communities have come together to share raw data as well as newly collected genetic information to dissect the biology of a group of conditions that affects millions of people.

1000 genomes study is 'guidebook' to how genes vary
A landmark project that has sequenced 1,092 human genomes from individuals around the world will help researchers to interpret the genetic changes in people with disease.

Men who do exercise produce better quality semen
A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Cordoba links moderate physical activity in males with better hormone levels and sperm characteristics that favour reproduction compared to sedentary men.

Guidelines developed for extremely premature infants at NCH proven to be life-changing
A new study shows that Small Baby Guidelines are not only improving survival rates for extremely premature infants, but also improving their quality of life.

Pond skating insects reveal water-walking secrets
This month's special issue of Physics World is devoted to animal physics, and includes science writer Stephen Ornes explanation of how pond skaters effortlessly skip across water leaving nothing but a small ripple in their wake.

Automated calls help patients in under-developed countries manage blood pressure, U-M study finds
For patients struggling with high blood pressure in countries with limited access to health care, the key to improving health may be as simple as a phone call.

Privately owned genetic databases may hinder diagnosis and bar the way to the arrival of personalized medicine
Companies that are not sharing private clinical databases are hindering genetic diagnosis and may bar the way to the advent of personalized medicine.

Navy oceanographers delve deeper in wave data to improve forecasts
The US Navy has one of the most active and vital operational oceanography programs in the world.

The role of stem cells in developing new drugs
DefiniGEN, a new spin-out company from the University of Cambridge, has been formed to supply hIPSC-derived cells to the drug discovery and regenerative medicine sectors.

Desert farming forms bacterial communities that promote drought resistance
When there is little water available for plants to grow, their roots form alliances with soil microbes that can promote plant growth even under water-limiting conditions, according to research published Oct.

First ever family tree for all living birds reveals evolution and diversification
The world's first family tree linking all living bids and revealing when and where they evolved and diversified since dinosaurs walked the earth has been created by scientists from the University of Sheffield.

Dust's warming counters half of its cooling effect
The mineral properties of the aerosol particles and the wavelength distribution of incident light combine to determine whether a dust particle reflects radiation and cools the local atmosphere, absorbs radiation and warms the local atmosphere, or both.

Opening of DWIH New Delhi: German science and industry join together in India
German science and industry have joined together to promote collaboration with Indian partners and expand existing contacts.

How race and touchdown celebrations affect football player rewards
The post-touchdown celebration is a familiar part of many football games.

Testosterone regulates solo song of tropical birds
An experiment in females uncovers male hormonal mechanism.

Regional analysis masks substantial local variation in health care spending
Reforming Medicare payments based on large geographic regions may be too bluntly targeted to promote the best use of health care resources, a new analysis from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health suggests.

Scientific team sequences 1,092 human genomes to determine standard range of human genetic variation
Completing the second phase of the 1,000 Genomes Project, a multinational team of scientists reports that they have sampled a total of 1,092 individuals from 14 different populations and sequenced their full genomes.

Stereotactic radiosurgery shows promise for kidney cancer
A first-of-its-kind clinical trial conducted at University Hospitals Case Medical Center Seidman Cancer Center has shown encouraging results for the use of stereotactic radiosurgery to treat kidney cancer.

Green tea found to reduce rate of some GI cancers
Women who drink green tea may lower their risk of developing some digestive system cancers, especially cancers of the stomach/esophagus and colorectum, according to a study led by researchers from Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.

Cellular landscaping: Predicting how, and how fast, cells will change
A NIST research team has developed a model for making quantifiable predictions of how a group of cells will react and change in response to a given environment or stimulus, and how quickly.

Evidence mixed on whether retail clinics disrupt doctor-patient relationships
As retail medical clinics have expanded rapidly, physicians have expressed concern that the outlets would disrupt their relationships with patients and diminish the value of primary care providers.

Tabletop fault model reveals why some quakes result in faster shaking
A new UC Berkeley study reveals that the more time an earthquake fault has to heal, the faster the shake it will produce when it finally ruptures.

UMSOM dean urges caution in revising diagnostic guidelines for gestational diabetes
A number of important questions should be addressed before changes are made to the guidelines for the diagnosis of gestational diabetes, according to a new article by University of Maryland School of Medicine Dean E.

Scientists find aphid resistance in black raspberry
There's good news for fans of black raspberries: a US Department of Agriculture scientist and his commercial colleague have found black raspberries that have resistance to a disease-spreading aphid.

For New York Times readers, fairness matters when it comes to paying for content
In a paper,

Fat molecule ceramide may factor in muscle loss in older adults
A small study of older and younger men conducted at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University suggests that a build-up of a fat molecule known as ceramide might play a leading role in muscle deterioration in older adults.

Taming mavericks: Stanford researchers use synthetic magnetism to control light
Stanford researchers in physics and engineering have demonstrated a device that produces a synthetic magnetism to exert virtual force on photons similar to the effect of magnets on electrons.

Excess nitrogen fertilizer increasing warming in China
Halving the amount of nitrogen fertilizer used in certain areas of China would substantially decrease greenhouse gas emissions without affecting crop productivity and the area's natural carbon sink.

SMU professor Louis Jacobs honored with prestigious award from Texas science teachers
Professor Louis L. Jacobs at Southern Methodist University in Dallas has been honored by the Science Teachers Association of Texas to receive its prestigious 2012 Skoog Cup.

Mice with 'humanized' livers improve early drug testing, Stanford scientists show
Stanford University School of Medicine scientists have used bioengineered mice with livers composed largely of human cells to characterize a drug about to enter early-stage clinical development for combating hepatitis C.

Microscopic packets of stem cell factors could be key to preventing lung disease in babies
Researchers at Boston Children's Hospital have found that microscopic particles containing proteins and nucleic acids called exosomes could potentially protect the fragile lungs of premature babies from serious lung diseases and chronic lung injury caused by inflammation.

Inspiration from Mother Nature leads to improved wood
Using the legendary properties of heartwood from the black locust tree as their inspiration, scientists have discovered a way to improve the performance of softwoods widely used in construction.

Western aspen trees commonly carry extra set of chromosomes
A large proportion of aspen in the western US sport an extra set of chromosomes in their cells, a phenomenon termed triploidy, according to new research published Oct.

Patients with diabetes left in the dark
Patients newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes feel

New report details Binghamton University's economic impact on Broome, Tioga and NYS
According to a new Economic Impact Report, Binghamton University's overall economic impact is approximately $965 million annually for Broome and Tioga counties alone, and $1.2 billion for New York state.

Sleep duration affects hunger differently in men and women
A new study suggests that increasing the amount of sleep that adults get could lead to reduced food intake, but the hormonal process differs between men and women.

Do clinicians and patients have same definition of remission from depression?
Rhode Island Hospital researcher Mark Zimmerman, M.D., director of outpatient psychiatry, has found that patients suffering from major depressive disorder define remission from depression differently than clinicians.

Social factors trump genetic forces in forging friendships, CU-led study finds
A new study led by the University of Colorado Boulder shows genetic similarities may help to explain why human birds of a feather flock together, but the full story of why people become friends is contingent upon the social environment in which individuals interact with one another.

New tick disease in Switzerland
Microbiologists from the University of Zurich have detected a new disease transmitted via tick bites.

Assembly not required
Scientists have created new kinds of particles, 1/100th the diameter of a human hair, that spontaneously assemble themselves into structures resembling molecules made from atoms.

NASA/NOAA's Suomi NPP captures night-time view of Sandy's landfall
As Hurricane Sandy made a historic landfall on the New Jersey coast during the night of Oct.

Folding funnels key to biomimicry
Berkeley Lab researchers have shown that a concept widely accepted as describing the folding of a single individual protein is also applicable to the self-assembly of multiple proteins.

Medical schools fall short on teaching students about obesity
It's no secret that obesity is a major problem in America.

Team uses antisense technology that exploits gene splicing mechanism to kill cancer cells
The voracious growth of all cancers is powered by an alteration in cellular energy consumption.

A heady discovery for beer fans: The first gene for beer foam could improve froth
The yeast used to make beer has yielded what may be the first gene for beer foam, scientists are reporting in a new study.

Biofuel breakthrough: Quick cook method turns algae into oil
It looks like Mother Nature was wasting her time with a multimillion-year process to produce crude oil.

Study finds that adding soy to the diet does not affect onset of menopausal hot flashes
A team of investigators led by UC Davis found that eating soy products such as soy milk and tofu did not prevent the onset of hot flashes and night sweats as women entered menopause.

New discovery shows promise in future speed of synthesizing high-demand nanomaterials
A new discovery by University of Oklahoma and North Carolina State University researchers shows a breakthrough in speeding up the process for synthesizing transition metal oxide nanostructures.

Single protein targeted as the root biological cause of several childhood psychiatric disorders
Research in The FASEB Journal may revolutionize the biological understanding of some childhood psychiatric disorders.

New study shows effects of prehistoric nocturnal life on mammalian vision
A new anthropology study from UT-Austin is the first to provide a large-scale body of evidence for the

Causation warps our perception of time
Events that occur close to one another in time and space are sometimes

Protoplanet Vesta: Forever young?
Like a movie star constantly retouching her make-up, the protoplanet Vesta seems to stay forever young.

Stars ancient and modern?
This colorful view of the globular star cluster NGC 6362 was captured by the Wide Field Imager attached to the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile.

1,000 Genomes Project paints detailed picture of human variation
First, there was the single human reference genome completed in 2003.

Do Australia's giant fire-dependent trees belong in the rainforest?
Australia's giant eucalyptus trees are the tallest flowering plants on earth, yet their unique relationship with fire makes them a huge puzzle for ecologists.

High blood pressure damages the brain in early middle age
Uncontrolled high blood pressure damages the brain's structure and function as early as young middle-age, and even the brains of middle-aged people who clinically would not be considered to have hypertension have evidence of silent structural brain damage, a study led by researchers at UC Davis has found.

Routine blood test predicts prognosis in aggressive skin cancer
A routine blood test may help predict survival in patients with an aggressive form of skin cancer known as Merkel cell carcinoma, according to new findings by Fox Chase Cancer Center researchers.

Higher risk of maternal complications/preterm deliveries for women undergoing multiple cesareans
The risk of maternal complications and preterm deliveries is significantly higher for women undergoing their fifth or more caesarean section, finds a new study published today in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Stanford scientists build the first all-carbon solar cell
Stanford University scientists have built the first solar cell made entirely of carbon, a promising alternative to the expensive materials used in photovoltaic devices today.

Obese dogs at risk of health condition experienced by humans
Veterinary scientists at the University of Liverpool have found that, like humans, obese dogs can experience metabolic syndrome, a condition that describes multiple health issues that occur in the body at the same time.

Graphene mini-lab
A team of physicists from Europe and South Africa showed that electrons moving randomly in graphene can mimic the dynamics of particles such as cosmic rays, despite travelling at a fraction of their speed, in a paper about to be published in EPJ B.

New metric to track prosthetic arm progress
A new validated and reliable measure of how well an adult amputee is able to perform everyday tasks with a prosthetic arm will help physical and occupational therapists, prosthetists, and doctors assess the progress that patients make during training with their new limb.

Settings standards for research into Rett syndrome
There is an urgent need for new drugs to treat Rett syndrome, a rare and severe neurological disease mainly affecting girls.

Alcohol increases activity of the resting brain in social drinkers
Short-term alcohol intake can increase the activity of functional connections across the human brain when it is at rest, according to research published Oct 31 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Panagiotis Bamidis and colleagues from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece.

Satellite captures the life and death of Hurricane Sandy on Halloween
Hurricane Sandy is giving up the ghost on Halloween over Penn.

Gut reaction: The evolution of IBD
This study has reveals that the two most common types of inflammatory bowel disease - Crohn's disease and Ulcerative colitis - share a vast amount of genetic overlap, suggesting that they share common biological pathways.

Virtual reality 'beaming' technology transforms human-animal interaction
Using cutting-edge virtual reality technology, researchers have

Foggy perception slows us down
Max Planck scientists show that, contrarily to what was previously believed, speed is overestimated in fog.

High blood cholesterol is overlooked
High blood cholesterol, a serious hereditary disease, is far more common than previously recognised and not treated sufficiently.

First-ever 3-D stress map of developing embryonic heart sheds light on why defects form
As a human fetus develops, its heart has to keep pace with the new body's ever-growing demands.

Sustainable cities must look beyond city limits
City leaders aspiring to transform their cities into models of sustainability must look beyond city limits and include in their calculation the global flow of goods and materials into their realm, argue researchers in the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences journal Ambio.

OHSU researchers discover potential way to repair brain damage in multiple sclerosis
Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University have discovered that blocking a certain enzyme in the brain can help repair the brain damage associated with multiple sclerosis and a range of other neurological disorders.

Fear of math can hurt
Fear of math can activate regions of the brain linked with the experience of physical pain and visceral threat detection, according to research published Oct.

London 2012 will inspire tomorrow's social scientists
The London 2012 Games legacy is an ideal way of encouraging young people not only to take up sport but to engage with social science as well, researchers at Bournemouth University believe.

Jamaican teen immigrants do better when they retain strong ties to original culture
Many young Jamaican immigrants are succeeding in the United States precisely because they remain strongly tied to Jamaican culture, said University of Illinois professor Gail M.

OU research team developing robotic devices to aid infants with cerebral palsy
Learning to crawl comes naturally for most infants, but those with cerebral palsy lack the muscle strength and coordination to perform the 25 individual movements required for crawling.

Unlocking the secrets of DNA repair
Scientists from the University of Sheffield have unlocked one of the secrets to DNA repair -- helping doctors identify DNA base damage and a patient's susceptibility to certain types of cancer.

Chronic kidney disease increases risk of death at all ages
A new study finds chronic kidney disease and its complications were associated with a higher risk of death regardless of age.

Medicare: Barrier to hospice increases hospitalization
Because of a Medicare policy that prevents simultaneous reimbursement for skilled nursing and hospice care, many families cannot choose hospice for loved ones who reside in nursing homes.

UC Santa Barbara scientists learn how to unlock the destiny of a cell: A gift for the tin man?
Scientists have discovered that breaking a biological signaling system in an embryo allows them to change the destiny of a cell.

Spot the difference
Scientists at EMBL and colleagues present the first map of human genetic variation that combines everything from tiny changes in the genetic code to major alterations in our chromosomes, based on the genomes of 1,092 healthy people from Europe, the Americas and East Asia.

Scientists unravel resistance to breast cancer treatment
Scientists have identified a molecular 'flag' in women with breast cancer who do not respond or have become resistant to the hormone drug tamoxifen.

New hope for survivors of stroke and traumatic brain injury
A new ground-breaking study about to be published in the Adis journal CNS Drugs provides clinical evidence that, for the first time, chronic neurological dysfunction from stroke or traumatic brain injury can rapidly improve following a single dose of a drug that targets brain inflammation, even years after the stroke or traumatic event.

Seniors particularly vulnerable in Sandy's aftermath
Older adults left in the wake of Hurricane Sandy will likely suffer disproportionately in the days ahead, based on data from other recent natural disasters.

Exhaustive family tree for birds shows recent, rapid diversification
A Yale-led scientific team has produced the most comprehensive family tree for birds to date, connecting all living bird species -- nearly 10,000 in total -- and revealing surprising new details about their evolutionary history and its geographic context.

Cancer drug reduces MS disease activity, even when first-line treatment has failed
A drug which was originally developed to treat leukemia and other cancers of the immune system offers substantial improvements over existing treatments in reducing relapse rates for people with multiple sclerosis, even when they have not responded well to first-line treatment, according to the results of two phase 3 trials published Online First in The Lancet.

Global genome effort seeks genetic roots of disease
By decoding the genomes of more than 1,000 people whose homelands stretch from Africa and Asia to Europe and the Americas, scientists have compiled the largest and most detailed catalog yet of human genetic variation.

New type of 'space weathering' observed on asteroid Vesta
The surface of the giant asteroid Vesta is weathering in a way that appears to be completely different from any other asteroid yet visited, according to new data recorded by NASA's Dawn spacecraft.

RI Hospital: Near-complete blood flow restoration critical for best outcomes in stroke
Two Rhode Island Hospital researchers recently found that restoring near-complete blood flow to the brain is necessary to restore or preserve neurological function following stroke.

Study suggests too much risk associated with SSRI usage and pregnancy
Elevated risk of miscarriage, preterm birth, neonatal health complications and possible longer term neurobehavioral abnormalities, including autism, suggest that a class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors should only be prescribed with great caution and with full counseling for women experiencing depression and attempting to get pregnant, say researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Tufts Medical Center and MetroWest Medical Center.

New MS drug proves effective where others have failed
A drug which

Best-selling author and '¬°Ask a Mexican!' columnist speaks at UH, Nov. 15
The University of Houston has invited best-selling author Gustavo Arellano, whose work includes the nationally syndicated column

The controversy over flame retardants in millions of sofas, chairs and other products
Flame retardants in the polyurethane foam of millions of upholstered sofas, overstuffed chairs and other products have ignited a heated debate over safety, efficacy and fire-safety standards -- and a search for alternative materials.

When people worry about math, the brain feels the pain
Mathematics anxiety can prompt a response in the brain similar to when a person experiences physical pain, according to new research at the University of Chicago.

Unexpected factor contributes to melanoma risk in red-haired, fair-skinned individuals
The established elevated risk of melanoma among people with red hair and fair skin may be caused by more than just a lack of natural protection against ultraviolet radiation.

Clinical hypnosis can reduce hot flashes after menopause, Baylor study shows
Clinical hypnosis can effectively reduce hot flashes and associated symptoms among postmenopausal women, according to a new study conducted by researchers at Baylor University's Mind-Body Medicine Research Laboratory.

BGI contributes sequencing and bioinformatics expertise to international 1000 Genomes research
BGI, the world's largest genomics organizations, announced today it is among 101 research organizations comprising the 1000 Genomes Project Consortium that has successfully constructed an integrated map of genetic variation from 1,092 human genomes, providing an invaluable resource for researchers to better understand the contribution of genetics to diseases. 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