Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 01, 2012
A next-generation X-ray telescope ready to fly
Nanoflares from the sun may be the missing piece of the puzzle to help understand what seeds the cascade that causes a much bigger flare, or to explain how the sun transfers so much energy to its atmosphere that it's actually hotter than the surface.

Federal government renews contract for collecting and maintaining national stem cell transplantation database
The Medical College of Wisconsin Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research successfully competed for, and was awarded, renewal of the Stem Cell Therapeutics Outcomes Database contract with the US Health Resources and Services Administration.

Iowa State, Ames Lab researchers find 3 unique cell-to-cell bonds
Researchers led by Sanjeevi Sivasankar of Iowa State University and the Ames Laboratory are studying how biological cells connect to each other.

How the negative trumps the positive in politics
Negatively framed political attitudes (

Church-going teens go further with school
A national study found religiously-affiliated youth are 40 percent more likely to graduate high school than their unaffiliated peers and 70 percent more likely to enroll in college.

Could chloroplast breakthrough unlock key to controlling fruit ripening in crops?
University of Leicester biologists discover plant cell regulation process affects chloroplasts

Computational medicine enhances way doctors detect, treat disease
Computational medicine, a fast-growing method of using computer models and sophisticated software to figure out how disease develops -- and how to thwart it -- has begun to leap off the drawing board and land in the hands of doctors who treat patients for heart ailments, cancer and other illnesses.

Great differences between EU Member States in how well transport systems cope with weather phenomena
In a broad-based study covering all 27 EU Member States, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland lead an evaluation of the risks posed to transport by extreme weather phenomena.

Wolters Kluwer Health selected as publisher for the Harvard Review of Psychiatry
Wolters Kluwer Health and the Harvard Review of Psychiatry announced today an agreement to publish the journal effective with the January 2013 issue.

Architects addressing coastal challenges During UH symposium
UH's Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture will host the symposium

$2.8M grant gives diverse students a healing opportunity
A San Diego State University program that prepares underrepresented students to become doctors and scientists is doubling in size thanks to a federal grant.

Stem cells show promise for treating infertility in cancer patients
A promising stem-cell-based approach for treating infertility has been successfully demonstrated in non-human primates, as reported in a study published by Cell Press in the November issue of the journal Cell Stem Cell.

NASA adds up Hurricane Sandy's rainfall from space
NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission, or TRMM, satellite acts as a rain gauge in space as it orbits the Earth's tropics.

Feedback loop maintains basal cell population
Notch -- the protein that can help determine cell fate -- maintains a stable population of basal cells in the prostate through a positive feedback loop system with another key protein -- TGF beta (transforming growth factor beta), said Baylor College of Medicine researchers in the journal Cell Stem Cell.

UCSB scientists report 'new beginning' in split-brain research, using new analytical tools
UC Santa Barbara has reported an important discovery in the interdisciplinary study of split-brain research.

The ins and outs of in-groups and out-groups
We humans organize ourselves in myriad kinds of social groups, from scout troops and sports teams to networks of colleagues and classmates.

Forum to bring together leading-edge ophthalmic researchers and investors
The newest ophthalmic innovations with market potential will be the focus of a one-day seminar in Seattle on May 3, 2013 that will connect scientists, venture capitalists, pharmaceutical representatives and others.

Economist wins grant to study domestic violence in Latin America
Domestic violence in Latin America devastates families and may weaken the region's workforce over time, according to an economist at the University of California, Riverside who has received a $35,000 grant from the Inter-American Development Bank to study the issue.

Laser-light testing of breast tumor fiber patterns helps show whose cancer is spreading
Using advanced microscopes equipped with tissue-penetrating laser light, cancer imaging experts at Johns Hopkins have developed a promising, new way to accurately analyze the distinctive patterns of ultra-thin collagen fibers in breast tumor tissue samples and to help tell if the cancer has spread.

George Mason University researchers target breast cancer in 3 trials
Researchers at George Mason University are attacking breast cancer in three separate trials, including one that uses a malarial drug that shows promise as a way to stop breast cancer before it starts.

Anthropocene continues to spark scientific debate
How have humans influenced Earth? Can geoscientists measure when human impacts began overtaking those of Earth's other inhabitants and that of the natural Earth system?

Malaysia to battle 'nutrition transition' problem emerging worldwide: More income, poorer diet choices
With health problems like obesity and diabetes on the rise due to changing diets in emerging economies, Malaysia announces new linkages with international scientists and institutions in hopes of mitigating the problem.

Congenital diarrheal disorder linked to a mutation in DGAT1
In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Robert Farese and colleagues at the University of California, San Francisco, identified a family with two of three children affected by CDD.

Male fertility can be restored after cancer treatment, says Pitt team
An injection of banked sperm-producing stem cells can restore fertility to males who become sterile due to cancer drug side effects, according to researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Magee-Womens Research Institute.

Drug combination shrinks secondary brain tumours in breast cancer without substantial side effects of radiotherapy
The sizeable and increasing proportion of women with advanced breast cancer whose disease has spread to the brain could be effectively treated systemically with a combination of two drugs, sparing them the debilitating neurological side effects of whole brain radiotherapy, suggests new research published Online First in The Lancet Oncology.

Rethinking reading
Many educators have long believed that when words differ on only one sound, early readers can learn the rules of phonics by focusing on what is different between the words.

Bigger human genome pool uncovers rarer variants
Thanks to powerful computational tools developed at Simon Fraser University, more than 100 scientists from around the world have genetically mapped the largest and most varied number of human genomes to date.

Plants recognise pathogenic and beneficial microorganisms
In collaboration with national and international experts, researchers from Aarhus University have revealed new fundamental features of biomolecular interactions that enable plants to identify and respond appropriately to microorganisms.

A glimpse into neurosurgical risk prevention and the surgical checklist
The November issue of Neurosurgical Focus is dedicated to lessening the number and severity of adverse events surrounding neurosurgical intervention.

LSUHSC research identifies new therapeutic target for Alzheimer's disease
Research led by Chu Chen, PhD, Associate Professor of Neuroscience at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, has identified an enzyme called Monoacylglycerol lipase as a new therapeutic target to treat or prevent Alzheimer's disease.

Rice team boosts silicon-based batteries
Rice researchers crush their custom silicon sponges to make battery anodes that outperform those in current batteries and should easily scale up for manufacturing.

Study: Use of antipsychotic drugs improves life expectancy for individuals with schizophrenia
Results of a Johns Hopkins study suggest that individuals with schizophrenia are significantly more likely to live longer if they take their antipsychotic drugs on schedule, avoid extremely high doses and also regularly see a mental health professional.

Suomi NPP satellite captures Hurricane Sandy's Mid-Atlantic blackout
The Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite captured a night-time view of New York City, New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania that revealed the extent of the power outages caused from Hurricane Sandy's landfall on Oct.

Bridging the gap between genomics and education
Today the Nowgen Schools Genomics Programme website launches with a range of free, multimedia resources created with leading researchers in order to update the study of modern genetics in schools and colleges.

An elephant that speaks Korean
An Asian elephant named Koshik can imitate human speech, speaking words in Korean that can be readily understood by those who know the language.

Genetic test results for Lynch syndrome improved with new computer program
Genetic testing for Lynch syndrome, a hereditary predisposition to colon cancer, often proves inconclusive, but two new studies show that two-thirds to three-fourths of genetic variants can be classified into the categories that indicate the most appropriate screening and treatment guidelines.

Developmental bait and switch
During the early developmental stages of vertebrates,cells undergo extensive rearrangements, and some cells migrate over large distances to populate particular areas and assume novel roles as differentiated cell types.

Scientists create 'endless supply' of myelin-forming cells
In a new study appearing this month in the Journal of Neuroscience, researchers have unlocked the complex cellular mechanics that instruct specific brain cells to continue to divide.

Stem cells could heal equine tendon injuries
Tendon injuries affect athletic horses at all levels. Researchers from the University of Connecticut are studying the use of stem cells in treating equine tendon injuries.

MIT and Northwestern economists find kinship networks play key role to access credit
Borrowing and lending among households acts as an informal system to distribute capital from formal financial institutions.

Health of kidney disease patients: Diet and blood pressure
Adding fruits and vegetables to the diet improves kidney disease patients' health.

Brain imaging alone cannot diagnose autism
In a column appearing in the current issue of the journal Nature, McLean Hospital biostatistician Nicholas Lange, ScD, cautions against heralding the use of brain imaging scans to diagnose autism and urges greater focus on conducting large, long-term multicenter studies to identify the biological basis of the disorder.

Space science receives supergrant
Space research at the University of Bergen has been awarded with one of the most prestigious grants in Europe.

Carnegie Institution for Science receives Grand Challenges Explorations grant
The Carnegie Institution announced today that it is a grant recipient of the Grand Challenges Explorations initiative funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

New technique enables high-sensitivity view of cellular functions
Rensselaer researchers develop tool to detect low levels of sugars produced by living organisms.

Houston Blue
After four years and more than 100 interviews, Mitchel Roth and Tom Kennedy published

Predicting what topics will trend on Twitter
A new algorithm predicts which Twitter topics will trend hours in advance and offers a new technique for analyzing data that fluctuate over time.

More evidence needed to support use of autism interventions
A new study finds there is not evidence to fully endorse any nonmedical interventions designed to help children with autism spectrum disorders.

Study details essential role of trust in agricultural biotech partnerships
Trust between partners is a fundamental requisite in agricultural biotech projects, according to Canadian researchers who today published insights from a four year study into what built or undermined trust in eight African case studies.

Bristol scientists perform new experiment to solve the 'one real mystery' of quantum mechanics
What is light made of: waves or particles? This basic question has fascinated physicists since the early days of science.

IU Business Outlook forecast: 2013 will be generally similar to 2012, marked by slow growth
For the second consecutive year, the United States economy managed to underachieve relative to economists' unambitious expectations.

Edith Sanford Breast Cancer Foundation and TSRI partner in genomic breast cancer research
The Edith Sanford Breast Cancer Foundation and the Scripps Research Institute today announced the formation of a dynamic partnership that will lay the groundwork for lifesaving advancements in personalized breast cancer treatment and care.

The cost of prescription drugs -- a comparison of 2 countries
In the United States, the cost paid for statins (drugs to lower cholesterol) in people under the age of 65 who have private insurance continues to exceed comparable costs paid by the government in the United Kingdom by more than threefold.

Study: Repeated surgeries appear to extend life of patients with deadliest of brain cancers
People who undergo repeated surgeries to remove glioblastomas -- the most aggressive and deadliest type of brain tumors -- may survive longer than those who have just a one-time operation, new Johns Hopkins research suggests.

Orange County partnership to target cancer health disparities
Researchers from UC Irvine's Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and California State University, Fullerton's Health Promotion Research Institute have formed a partnership to help reduce cancer disparities in Orange County.

MSU-led team to combat Puerto Rico's murder epidemic
Hoping to curb Puerto Rico's soaring murder rate, the Justice Department has tapped a renowned team of homicide investigators led by a Michigan State University criminologist to help the island's police force.

UNH space scientists to develop state-of-the-art radiation detector
Scientists from the Space Science Center at the University of New Hampshire have been selected by NASA to develop a space radiation detector that possesses unprecedented performance capabilities despite a design requiring only minimal resources with respect to mass, volume, power, and cost.

Super-rare, super-luminous supernovae are likely explosion of universe's earliest stars
The most-distant, super-luminous supernovae found to date have been observed by an international team, including Raymond Carlberg of the University of Toronto's Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics.

IU researchers report first effective treatment of tumors arising from common genetic disease NF1
Physician-researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine have reported the first effective therapy for a class of previously untreatable and potentially life-threatening tumors often found in children.

California is home to extreme weather, too
Climate change is affecting overall weather patterns, scientists say, and could affect water availability in California.

WSU researcher to study ecology of antibiotic resistance
Doug Call wants look at the ecological and socioeconomic factors behind antibiotic resistance, from the genes of bacteria to the landscapes they live in to the pathways by which they travel through people and animals.

African American women with HIV/HCV less likely to die from liver disease
A new study shows that African American women coinfected with human immunodeficiency virus and hepatitis C virus are less likely to die from liver disease than Caucasian or Hispanic women.

NASA sees Tropical Storm Rosa's rains southeast of center
Wind shear is pushing the bulk of Tropical Storm Rosa southeast of the storm's center, and that's evident on infrared imagery from NASA's Aqua satellite.

Jeffrey P. Kahn's book about anxiety and depression.

Nereidum Montes helps unlock Mars' glacial past
On 6 June, the high-resolution stereo camera on ESA's Mars Express revisited the Argyre basin as featured in our October release, but this time aiming at Nereidum Montes, some 380 km northeast of Hooke crater.

Scientists launch international study of open-fire cooking and air quality
Expanding its focus on the link between the atmosphere and human health, NCAR is launching a three-year, international study into the impact of open-fire cooking on regional air quality and disease.

Asteroid belts of just the right size are friendly to life
Solar systems with life-bearing planets may be rare if they are dependent on the presence of asteroid belts of just the right mass, according to a study by Rebecca Martin, a NASA Sagan Fellow from the University of Colorado in Boulder, and astronomer Mario Livio of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Md.

UC Davis scientists identify new target for lung cancer treatment
A team of UC Davis investigators has discovered a protein on the surface of lung cancer cells that could prove to be an important new target for anti-cancer therapy.

Music in our ears: The science of timbre
New research, published in PLOS Computational Biology, offers insight into the neural underpinnings of musical timbre.

Meth vaccine shows promising results in early tests
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have performed successful tests of an experimental methamphetamine vaccine on rats.

New target discovered for food allergy treatment
Researchers at National Jewish Health have discovered a novel target for the treatment of food allergies.

NIH-funded genetic sequencing tool speeds drug discovery, disease diagnostics
Physicists at Wake Forest University and NanoMedica, their biotechnology company partner, received a $700,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to bring to market a new drug-discovery tool using next-generation genetic sequencing.

Sitting still or going hunting: Which works better?
If you're a microbe floating in the ocean, there's no single best strategy for getting food, MIT research shows.

Inflammation and cognition in schizophrenia
There are a growing number of clues that immune and inflammatory mechanisms are important for the biology of schizophrenia.

New medication shows promise as lipid-lowering therapy for rare cholesterol disorder
An international effort led by researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania has resulted in positive phase 3 clinical trial results for a new medicine to treat patients suffering from a rare and deadly cholesterol disorder, homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia.

HJF works with global team to develop equine vaccine against deadly hendra virus
The technology used to develop a new vaccine as an aid in the prevention of clinical disease caused by Hendra virus in horses has been licensed from The Henry M.

Trickle-down anxiety: Study examines parental behaviors that create anxious children
Parents with social anxiety disorder are more likely than parents with other forms of anxiety to engage in behaviors that put their children at high risk for developing angst of their own, according to a small study of parent-child pairs conducted at Johns Hopkins Children's Center.

Ontario Genomics Institute invests in validation of a novel protein interaction technology at U of T
The Ontario Genomics Institute is providing $100,000 through its Pre-commercialization Business Development Fund to the University of Toronto's Mammalian Membrane Two-Hybrid project, which seeks to develop and commercialize a process to better understand membrane proteins in mammalian cells.

'Career Planning for Research Bioscientists'
'Career Planning for Research Bioscientists' is a newly published international careers book written specifically for doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers.

Solving a biological mystery
A team of Harvard researchers, led by Associate Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology Cassandra Extavour, have shown that insects like crickets possess a variation of a gene, called oskar, that has been shown to be critical to the production of germ cells in 'higher' insects, particularly fruit flies.

What natural disasters can teach us
Learning about surviving disasters, a study funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, has resulted in a unique bank of research data which provides insights into what makes an effective community response at this critical time.

A protein's role in helping cells repair DNA damage
In a new study, University at Buffalo scientists describe the role that a protein called TFIIB plays in helping cells repair DNA damage, a critical function for preventing the growth of tumors.

Privacy vs. protection
When foot-and-mouth disease swept through the British countryside in early 2001, more than 10 million sheep, cattle and pigs were slaughtered to control the disease.

UK butterfly populations threatened by extreme drought and landscape fragmentation
A new study has found that the sensitivity and recovery of UK butterfly populations to extreme drought is affected by the overall area and degree of fragmentation of key habitat types in the landscape.

Why seas are rising ahead of predictions
Sea levels are rising faster than expected from global warming, and University of Colorado geologist Bill Hay has a good idea why.

Gene switch important in cancer discovered
Scientists at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and the University of Helsinki in Finland have shown that the

Air pollution, gone with the wind
As urban populations expand, downtown buildings are going nowhere but up.

USDA patents method to reduce ammonia emissions
Capturing and recycling ammonia from livestock waste is possible using a process developed by U.S.

Caffeine's effect on the brain's adenosine receptors visualized for the first time
Molecular imaging with positron emission tomography has enabled scientists for the first time to visualize binding sites of caffeine in the living human brain to explore possible positive and negative effects of caffeine consumption.

Berkeley Lab scientists help develop promising therapy for Huntington's disease
There's new hope in the fight against Huntington's disease. Berkeley Lab scientists have helped design a compound that suppresses symptoms of the devastating disease in mice.

New light on the genetic basis of inflammatory diseases
In one of the largest studies of its kind ever conducted, an international team of scientists has thrown new light on the genetic basis of the inflammatory bowel diseases.

Cyberbullying in the workplace 'worse than conventional bullying'
Cyberbullying -- using modern communications technology such as e-mails, texts or web-postings to abuse people -- is as common in the workplace as

Softening arteries, protecting the heart
Arterial stiffening has long been considered a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

Brain may 'see' more than the eyes, study indicates
University of Virginia researchers have found that the simple eyes of fruit fly larvae provide just enough visual input to allow the animal's relatively large brain to assemble images.

Combination treatment may improve survival of breast cancer patients with brain metastases
Adding an angiogenesis inhibitor to treatment with a HER2-inhibiting drug could improve outcomes for patients with HER2-positive breast cancer who develop brain metastases.

Gene required for nerve regeneration identified
A gene that is associated with regeneration of injured nerve cells has been identified by scientists led by Melissa Rolls of Penn State University.

TESARO and Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center announce first patient in clinical trial of TSR-011
TESARO Inc. announced today that the first clinical trial of its proprietary anaplastic lymphoma kinase inhibitor, TSR-011, has commenced with the dosing of the first patient at the Virginia G.

Living donors fare well following liver transplantation
Researchers in Japan report that health-related quality of life (HRQOL) for donors following living donor liver transplantation was better than the general Japanese population (the norm).

Bulletin: German nuclear exit delivers economic, environmental benefits
Following the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in 2011, the German government took the nation's eight oldest reactors offline immediately and passed legislation that will close the last nuclear power plant by 2022.

Researchers use blood testing to predict level of enzymes that facilitate disease progression
Researchers are developing a technique for predicting from a simple blood sample the amount of cathepsins -- protein-degrading enzymes known to accelerate certain diseases -- a specific person would produce.

Institute for Population Health Improvement releases buyers' guide for health information exchange
The UC Davis Health System's Institute for Population Health Improvement today released the first edition of its

Gen X overtaking baby boomers on obesity
New research from the University of Adelaide shows that Generation X is already on the path to becoming more obese than their baby boomer predecessors.

New book on physics principles by Wayne State professor explains life as we know it
A new book that delves into the unexpected properties of life at the nanoscale was released this week by Basic Books.

Weill Cornell receives $1.5 million in Grand Challenges Explorations grants
Weill Cornell Medical College announced today that it is a Grand Challenges Explorations winner, an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Baylor University scientist receives major grants for health research on 1991 Gulf War veterans
Baylor University has been awarded two new federal grants for research on Gulf War illness, the complex medical condition that affects veterans of the 1991 war.

Novel technique to produce stem cells from peripheral blood
Stem cells are a valuable resource for medical and biological research, but are difficult to study due to ethical and societal barriers.

Sleep problems cost billions
Insomnia and sleep apnoea are turning us into major health service consumers, causing us to be less productive at work, and may even lead to serious accidents.

Bird tree tells new tale of evolution
Using the world's first family tree linking every known bird species, scientists, including two at Simon Fraser University, have discovered that birds appear to be accelerating their rate of evolution.

NASA's Fermi measures cosmic 'fog' produced by ancient starlight
Astronomers using data from NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope have made the most accurate measurement of starlight in the universe and used it to establish the total amount of light from all of the stars that have ever shone, accomplishing a primary mission goal.

Regular physical activity reduces risk of dementia in older people
Physical activity significantly reduces the risk of dementia in older people.

BRI receives Grand Challenges Explorations Grant
Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason (BRI) announced today that it is a Grand Challenges Explorations winner, an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Researchers 'watch' antibiotics attack tuberculosis bacteria inside cells
Weill Cornell Medical College researchers report that mass spectrometry, a tool currently used to detect and measure proteins and lipids, can also now allow biologists to

NASA sees Tropical Depression Nilam blanket southern India
After Tropical Cyclone Nilam made landfall in southeastern India NASA's Terra satellite passed overhead and saw the storm's clouds blanket the entire southern portion of the country from Chennai southward.

Cheaper and more effective test available for women following pre-cervical cancer treatment
Testing women to see if they are cured of HPV (the virus that can cause genital warts and cervical cancer) following treatment for abnormal cells on the surface of the cervix is more effective and cheaper than cytology testing (cervical screening) alone, suggests a study published on today. 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