Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 08, 2012
Environmental factors can mitigate genetic risk for developing alcohol problems
Previous research suggests that genetic influences on drinking are moderated by environmental factors.

Antioxidants may ease PAD blood pressure increase
Low antioxidant levels contribute to increased blood pressure during exercise for people with peripheral arterial disease, according to researchers at Penn State Hershey Heart and Vascular Institute.

Intensive farming with a climate-friendly touch: Farming/woodland mix increases yields
In the world of agriculture, climate protection and intensive farming are generally assumed to be a contradiction in terms.

Tactile croc jaws more sensitive than human fingertips
Crocodile bodies are peppered in thousands of minute pigmented bumps, which are restricted to the head of alligators.

Report: Cleanup of some contaminated groundwater sites unlikely for decades
At least 126,000 sites across the US have contaminated groundwater that requires remediation, and about 10 percent of these sites are considered

Study: Education levels in Asian American neighborhoods affect residents' health
Higher neighborhood education is associated with better self-rated health among Asian Americans who live in Asian ethnic neighborhoods, but this correlation between individual health and neighborhood education levels does not exist for Asian Americans living in non-Asian neighborhoods, according to a recent study in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

Exome sequencing: Potential diagnostic assay for unexplained intellectual disability
Research confirming that de novo mutations represent a major cause of previously unexplained intellectual disability were presented, Nov.

Study shows young adults with addiction benefit from active 12 step group participation
Young adults undergoing addiction treatment benefit from regular participation in Twelve Step-based self-help groups after discharge, according to a naturalistic study published electronically and in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

Researchers to study impacts of pollutant nitrogen on plant species diversity
A group of scientists, including researchers at the University of California, Riverside, has received a one-year $100,000 grant from the John Wesley Powell Center for Analysis and Synthesis of the US Geological Survey to examine the evidence for impacts of pollutant nitrogen on plant species diversity across the United States.

Program helps kidney specialists discuss difficult news with patients
Kidney specialists do not routinely receive formal education on how to talk with patients about end-of-life and other serious issues.

Mayo Clinic gets FDA approval for new imaging agent for recurrent prostate cancer
Mayo Clinic has received US Food and Drug Administration approval to produce and administer Choline C 11 Injection, an imaging agent used during a positron emission tomography scan to help detect sites of recurrent prostate cancer.

Ben-Gurion University develops side-illuminated ultra-efficient solar cell designs
The new cell architecture developed at the David Ben-Gurion National Solar Research Center at BGU can exceed an ultra-efficient 40 percent conversion efficiency with intensities equal to 10,000 suns.

Latest coffee and health research to be debated at the World Congress on Prevention of Diabetes
Recent scientific evidence has consistently linked regular, moderate coffee consumption with a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Stanford researchers develop light-based 'remote control' for proteins inside cells
Scientists at Stanford University have developed an intracellular remote control: a simple way to activate and track proteins, the busiest of cellular machines, using beams of light.

Fighting bacteria with mucus
Results from a recent MIT study suggest a possible new source of protection against biofilm formation: polymers found in mucus.

Springer to publish new open access journal with the Korean Society for Micro and Nano Systems
Beginning in March 2013, Springer and the Korean Society for Micro and Nano Systems will partner to publish a new interdisciplinary journal Micro and Nano Systems Letters.

CHOP experts describe research in pediatric heart disease
Physician-researchers from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia presented new findings on pediatric cardiovascular disease at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions.

Parents talking to their teens about being overweight
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 28 percent of adolescents are overweight.

3,000 insect scientists coming to Knoxville next week
Nearly 3,000 insect scientists are expected to attend Entomology 2012, the 60th Annual Meeting of the Entomological Society of America, Nov.

New cells found that could help save people's sight
Eye experts and scientists at the University of Southampton have discovered specific cells in the eye which could lead to a new procedure to treat and cure blinding eye conditions.

UK funding for infectious disease research neglects key areas of disease
UK funding for infectious diseases research is neglecting some of the diseases that result in the highest rates of death and disability, according to an article published Online First in the Lancet Infectious Diseases.

Cosmic sprinklers explained
Astronomers using ESO's Very Large Telescope have discovered a pair of stars orbiting each other at the center of one of the most remarkable examples of a planetary nebula.

Environmentally friendly chemistry important for manufacturing pharmaceuticals
Limiting the quantity of catalysts - substances that trigger a chemical reaction - used in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals is important, and research from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, has now demonstrated that small quantities of copper work well in this respect.

EPFL startup explores new directions in open access
The EPFL startup Frontiers announced today that it is launching 13 new open-access journals in fields including Physics, Bioengineering, and Public Health.

Dream symbols could help in psychotherapy
Dream images could provide insights into people's mental health problems and may help with their treatment, according to a psychology researcher from the University of Adelaide.

Spraying insecticide? There's an app for that
US Department of Agriculture scientists have released two mobile phone applications, or

Researchers find linkages between climate change and political, human impacts among ancient Maya
An international team of archaeologists and earth science researchers has compiled a precisely dated, high-resolution climate record of 2,000 years that shows how Maya political systems developed and disintegrated in response to climate change.

Preschoolers' counting abilities relate to future math performance, researcher says
New research from the University of Missouri suggests reciting numbers is not enough to prepare children for math success in elementary school.

Taking on the challenges of replication in psychological science
Psychological science has come of age. But the rights of a mature discipline carry with them responsibilities, among them the responsibility to maximize confidence in our findings through good data practices and replication.

SDSU opens new regenerative research institute
IRRI to be the hub of regeneration research in the San Diego region.

Extra chromosome 21 removed from Down syndrome cell line
Scientists succeeded in removing the extra copy of chromosome 21 in cell cultures derived from a person with Down syndrome.

The audience as co-creators -- a challenge for composers of interactive music
Interactive music contradicts the traditional notion of musical composition by focusing on the audience's desires instead of those of the originator.

Alcoholic men demonstrate a deficit in empathy and distorted view of irony
Emotions are often implicit undertones to our communication interactions, and decoding them requires substantial social and cognitive abilities.

UMass Amherst cell biologists identify new protein key to asymmetric cell division
Recently biologists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst led by Wei-lih Lee have identified a new molecular player in asymmetric cell division, a regulatory protein named She1 whose role in chromosome- and spindle positioning wasn't known before.

New Australian telescope set to find 700,000 galaxies
Australia's newest radio telescope is predicted to find an unprecedented 700,000 new galaxies, say scientists planning for CSIRO's next-generation Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP).

Capnography training video by BMC published in New England Journal of Medicine
Physicians at Boston Medical Center have developed a training video for health care providers about how to effectively use capnography to monitor ventilation and carbon dioxide levels for patients under anesthesia or conscious sedation.

Pull with caution
It's not easy to drive long molecule chains - such as DNA - through a

Even yeast mothers sacrifice all for their babies
A mother's willingness to sacrifice her own health and safety for the sake of her children is a common narrative across cultures - and by no means unique to humans alone.

FASEB lauds Air India for transporting research animals
The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) commends Air India for continuing to transport research animals.

Fairy-wren babies need password for food
It's always a good idea to listen to your mother, but that goes double for baby fairy-wrens even before they are hatched.

Interventions needed to promote healthy behaviors among perinatally HIV-infected youth
As youth infected at birth with HIV reach adolescence and young adulthood, a new study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases underscores the need to promote healthy behaviors as some of these young people become sexually active.

Scientists reveal key protein interactions involved in neurodegenerative disease
Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute have defined the molecular structure of an enzyme as it interacts with several proteins involved in outcomes that can influence neurodegenerative disease and insulin resistance.

Future warming likely to be on high side of climate projections, analysis finds
Climate model projections showing a greater rise in global temperature are likely to prove more accurate than those showing a lesser rise, according to a new analysis by NCAR.

Is housework a health hazard? Sheet-Fitting palsy described by wake forest baptist physicians
What do a tight, fitted bed sheet and a blood clot in the wrist have in common?

Examining transition from student to teacher
Every year thousands of students make the transition from student to teacher and the stories of those who struggle are often missing from our conversations.

National nursing conference to address veterans' health needs
Nursing education and research designed to meet the health needs of veterans, service members and their families will be the focus when he nation's top nurse educators and scientists gather Nov.

Are 'hookups' replacing romantic relationships on college campuses?
A new study by researchers with the Miriam Hospital in Providence, RI suggests college students are not actually hooking up as frequently as one might think.

Meet Xenoceratops: Canada's newest horned dinosaur
Scientists have named a new species of horned dinosaur (ceratopsian) from Alberta, Canada.

The right pace of neural development protects against autism and intellectual disability
Neurodevelopmental disorders such as intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorders are marked by mutations that impair signaling between neurons.

Scientists uncover secrets of how intellect and behavior emerge during childhood
Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute have shown that a single protein plays an oversized role in intellectual and behavioral development.

Stem cell scientists discover potential way to expand cells for use with patients
Canadian and Italian stem cell researchers have discovered a new

Rethinking body mass index for assessing cancer risk
A study by researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University suggests that body mass index -- the most commonly used weight-for-height formula for estimating fatness -- may not be the best measure for estimating disease risk, and particularly the risk of certain types of cancer.

Corals attacked by toxic seaweed use chemical 911 signals to summon help
Corals under attack by toxic seaweed do what anyone might do when threatened -- they call for help.

Noted scientists named for Kavli lectures at American Chemical Society meetings
Two noted scientists who are developing sustainable energy sources for the 21st century will deliver the next two lectures in the prestigious

Injection is the best method for cutting ammonia emissions from slurry spreading on lands
In order to contribute to the development of the primary sector and environmental care, the Basque Institute of Agricultural Research and Development, NEIKER-Tecnalia, has analysed various ways of spreading slurry on arable land to determine the most appropriate way of cutting the amount of ammonia that is released into the atmosphere.

The brain of OCD sufferers is more active when faced with a moral dilemma
Patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder are characterized by persistent thoughts and repetitive behaviors.

Mesothelioma drug slows disease progression in patients with an inactive NF2 gene
Preliminary findings from the first trial of a new drug for patients with mesothelioma show that it has some success in preventing the spread of the deadly disease in patients lacking an active tumour suppressor gene called NF2.

Ovarian cancer patients have lower mortality rates when treated at high-volume hospitals
A study by researchers at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, recently e-published ahead of print by the Journal of Clinical Oncology, suggests that women who have surgery for ovarian cancer at high-volume hospitals have superior outcomes than similar patients at low-volume hospitals.

Driven by friendship
For the first time, the dynamics of how Facebook user communities are formed have been identified.

Autism Speaks announces the release of new genetic data for researchers
Autism Speaks has released biological and clinical data from 383 new families (653 individuals) participating in Autism Speaks Autism Genetic Resource Exchange (AGRE) to researchers.

Feel-good hormone helps to jog the memory
The feel-good hormone dopamine improves long-term memory. This is the finding of a team lead by Emrah Düzel, neuroscientist at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases and the University of Magdeburg.

Space research institute awards postdoctoral fellowships to 4 scientists
The National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) has awarded postdoctoral fellowships to four young scientists.

Molecular 'portraits' of tumors match patients with trials in everyday clinical practice
Researchers in France are taking advantage of the progress in genetic and molecular profiling to analyse the make-up of individual cancer patients' tumours and, using this information, assign them to particular treatments and phase I clinical trials -- an approach that could become part of everyday clinical practice.

Gannets could be affected by offshore energy developments
Scientists at the University of Liverpool have discovered that proposed offshore renewable energy developments in the English Channel have the potential to affect the foraging behaviour of northern gannets from Alderney in the Channel Islands.

DNA variants explain over 10 percent of inherited genetic risk for heart disease
The research have pinpointed 20 previously unidentified DNA mutations during a meta-analysis of 63,746 patients with coronary heart disease.

New, improved mouse model of human Alzheimer's may enable drug discovery
Researchers have developed a transgenic mouse that carries a human gene known to increase risk of Alzheimer's 15-fold.

Merck and Regenstrief Institute establish evidence-based care collaboration
The Regenstrief Institute and Merck, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, have signed a five-year agreement to collaborate on a range of projects that will use clinical data to inform personalized delivery of health care.

First trial in humans of 'minicells': A completely new way of delivering anti-cancer drugs
A completely new way of delivering anti-cancer drugs to tumours, using 'minicells' derived from bacteria, has been tested for the first time in humans and found to be safe, well-tolerated and even induced stable disease in patients with advanced, incurable cancers with no treatment options remaining.

Cambridge software improves quality of sound for hearing aid users
A new software product developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge could greatly improve sound perception for users of hearing aids.

MicroRNAs in plants: Regulation of the regulator
MicroRNAs are essential regulators of the genetic program in multicellular organisms.

Tips from the journals of the American Society for Microbiology
This release focuses on these articles: Cigarette Smoke Boosts Virulence in Staphylococcus aureus Norovirus Disinfection: How Much is Enough?

New book on contemporary Scandinavian and Anglophone crime fiction
Stieg Larsson's novel character Lisbeth Salander stands out from the ordinary.

Chernobyl cleanup workers had significantly increased risk of leukemia
A 20-year study following 110,645 workers who helped clean up after the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident in the former Soviet territory of Ukraine shows that the workers share a significant increased risk of developing leukemia.

Learning who's the top dog: Study reveals how the brain stores information about social rank
Researchers supported by the Wellcome Trust have discovered that we use a different part of our brain to learn about social hierarchies than we do to learn ordinary information.

UC Riverside postdoctoral scholar receives high honor at CERN
Sudan Paramesvaran, a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, Riverside, has won the Compact Muon Solenoid achievement award for the Hadron Calorimeter subdetector at CERN, near Geneva, Switzerland.

Novel type 2 diabetes genetic study involves 5 major ancestry groups
A consortium of scientists is taking a novel approach to detect the genetic variations that predispose individuals to type 2 diabetes.

Medical devices powered by the ear itself
For the first time, researchers power an implantable electronic device using an electrical potential -- a natural battery -- deep in the inner ear.

Clinical trials for bacterial meningitis treatments are not keeping pace with the rise of resistance
New vaccines and drug treatments are urgently needed for bacterial meningitis, a devastating disease which kills or maims around a fifth of people who contract it, according to medical experts writing in a new Series on bacterial meningitis, published in The Lancet.

Cool pavements, warm buildings, rising electricity bills
A push to replace old, heat-trapping paving materials with new, cooler materials could actually lead to higher electricity bills for surrounding buildings, engineers at the University of California, San Diego, have found.

Pre-drinking is a risky way to begin an evening out
Prior research has shown that

Patient preferences often ignored in treatment decisions, warn experts
Patients' preferences are often misinterpreted or ignored in treatment decisions, leading to a 'silent misdiagnosis' that is damaging to both doctors and patients, warn experts on today.

Significant relationship between mortality and telomere length discovered
Researchers have identified a significant relationship between mortality and the length of telomeres, the stretches of DNA that protect the ends of chromosomes.

Renewal grant supports genetic research into arthritis of the spine
An international team of scientists searching for genes that determine the susceptibility and severity of arthritis of the spine has been awarded a five-year renewal grant of $4.3 million from the National Institutes of Health.

More bang for the biofuel buck
Berkeley Lab researchers have shown that a fermentation process used in World War I to make cordite for bullets and artillery shells, in combination with a modern palladium catalyst could produce gasoline, diesel or jet fuel from the sugars found in biomass.

College women who act impulsively when distressed are at risk for alcohol problems
Young adult women are engaging in heavy drinking behavior in greater numbers.

Cells from skin create model of blinding eye disease
For the first time, Wisconsin researchers have taken skin from patients and, using induced pluripotent stem cell technology, turned them into a laboratory model for an inherited type of macular degeneration.

Nanocrystals and nickel catalyst substantially improve light-based hydrogen production
Hydrogen is an attractive fuel source because it can easily be converted into electric energy and gives off no greenhouse emissions.

What if the nanoworld slides
Some researchers at the International School for Advanced Studies have published in PNAS a study to better understand sliding friction in nanotribology: a new simulation model opens the way to new research methods, thanks to colloidal crystals.

Diabetes study: 'Mindful eating' equals traditional education in lowering weight and blood sugar
Eating mindfully, or consuming food in response to physical cues of hunger and fullness, is just as effective as adhering to nutrition-based guidelines in reducing weight and blood sugar levels in adults with Type 2 diabetes, a new study suggests.

New habitable zone super-Earth found in exosolar system
Astronomers have discovered a new super-Earth in the habitable zone, where liquid water and a stable atmosphere could reside, around the nearby star HD 40307.

'Read my lips' - it's easier when they're your own
People can lip-read themselves better than they can lip-read others, according to a new study by Nancy Tye-Murray and colleagues from Washington University.

A B C -- 1 2 3, but what is good for me?
Child care settings can serve as a platform to teach children about nutrition in our fight against childhood obesity, as nearly 50 percent of children in the United States under age 5 are enrolled in child care.

Testing pain killers on humans could save money and speed the arrival of new drugs
Deliberately inflicting carefully controlled painful stimuli on human volunteers and seeing how well specific drugs reduce the feeling of pain can be an effective way of testing new drugs.

Going with your gut
Decision-making is one of the most mysterious parts of the human experience, and we're taught to weigh our options carefully before deciding.

Extreme weather preceded collapse of Maya civilization
Decades of extreme weather crippled, and ultimately decimated, first the political culture and later the human population of the ancient Maya, according to a new study by an interdisciplinary team of researchers that includes two University of California, Davis, scientists.

Inpatient brain injury education increases bike helmet use, study finds
A 30-minute brain injury education program taught in the hospital may increase children's use of bicycle helmets, Georgia Health Sciences University researchers report.

Despite their thick skins, alligators and crocodiles are surprisingly touchy
Researchers have discovered that alligators and crocodiles possess one of the most acute senses of touch in the animal kingdom.

New era in metabolomics begins at University of Michigan
New era in metabolomics takes shape at the University of Michigan with an NIH grant to improve disease diagnosis through metabolic profiling.

Canada and Europe fund intelligent senior homes
Technology may soon be helping seniors to live longer, healthier lives.

Comet collisions every 6 seconds explain 17-year-old stellar mystery
Every six seconds, for many millions of years, comets have been colliding near a star visible to the naked eye, astronomers report.

NC State launches work on more efficient computers using 3DIC technology
North Carolina State University researchers are launching an initiative to develop a computer that utilizes three-dimensional integrated chip (3DIC) technology and is significantly more energy efficient than anything else on the market today.

Carbon dioxide - our salvation from a future ice age?
Mankind's emissions of fossil carbon and the resulting increase in temperature could prove to be our salvation from the next ice age.

Sweet new approach discovered to help produce metal casting parts, reduce toxicity
Based on a new discovery, the world's multi-billion dollar foundry industry may soon develop a sweet tooth.

Unique spinal nerve cell activity discovery announced by University of Leicester biologists
Research team identifies novel forms of activity linked to development of motor behaviors such as swimming.

Circulating blood factor linked with a leading cause of kidney failure
Most patients with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, a leading cause of kidney failure, have high levels of a factor called suPAR circulating in their blood. suPAR levels could help doctors monitor the disease's progression as well as patients' response to different therapies. suPAR might be a therapeutic target of future treatments for this difficult-to-treat disease.

ACP and WellPoint collaborate to give physicians the tools they need to participate in PCMH programs
Physician practices in 14 states that participate in WellPoint's affiliated health plans' patient-centered primary care programs will be eligible to have licensed access, at no cost, to Medical Home Builder 2.0, an online practice-management tool developed by the American College of Physicians.

Researchers find why nicotine in cigarettes may relieve anxiety in smokers
Preclinical data suggests inactivation of a specific sub-class of nicotinic receptors may be an effective strategy to help smokers quit without feeling anxious, according to Virginia Commonwealth University researchers.

Pregnancy and birth complications more likely in mothers with bipolar disorder
Babies born to mothers with bipolar disorder are at increased risk of preterm birth (before 37 weeks) a study published today on suggests.

The collapse of Classic Maya civilization linked to drought
The Classic Maya culture thrived in rainy times and then collapsed in turmoil as the weather turned to drought, according to new research.

AIUM 2013 Annual Convention provides an in-depth look into ultrasound first
Registration is now open for the 2013 American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine Annual Convention and Preconvention Program to be held in New York, New York, April 6-April 10, 2013, at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel.

Sugar and spice and everything not so nice
Spice allergy affects foodies and cosmetic users alike. A new study being presented at the 2012 ACAAI Annual Scientific Meeting finds two to three percent of people have a spice allergy, a number that's expected to grow.

Making memories: Drexel researchers explore the anatomy of recollection
With the help of data collected from intracranial electrodes implanted on epilepsy patients, researchers in Drexel's School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems are getting a rare look inside the brain in hopes of discovering the exact pattern of activity that produces a memory.

Unexplained intellectual disability explained by state-of-the-art genetic analysis
A research team reported that next generation sequencing of the exome, the one to two percent of the DNA containing the genes that code for proteins, enabled the identification of the genetic causes of unexplained intellectual disability in over 50 percent of patients in a study. 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