Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 11, 2012
36 in one fell swoop -- researchers observe 'impossible' ionization
Using the world's most powerful X-ray laser in California, an international research team discovered a surprising behaviour of atoms: with a single X-ray flash, the group led by Daniel Rolles from the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL) in Hamburg (Germany) was able to kick a record number of 36 electrons at once out of a xenon atom.

Climate change threatens giant pandas' bamboo buffet -- and survival
China's endangered wild pandas may need new dinner reservations - and quickly - based on models that indicate climate change may kill off swaths of bamboo that pandas need to survive.

Touch-sensitive plastic skin heals itself
A team of Stanford chemists and engineers has created the first synthetic material that is both sensitive to touch and capable of healing itself quickly and repeatedly at room temperature.

Schizophrenia genetic networks identified; Connection to autism found
Although schizophrenia is highly genetic in origin, the genes involved in the disorder have been difficult to identify.

'Groundwater inundation' doubles previous predictions of flooding with future sea level rise
Scientists from the University of Hawaii at Manoa published a study today in Nature Climate Change showing that besides marine inundation (flooding), low-lying coastal areas may also be vulnerable to

New form of brain plasticity: Study shows how social isolation disrupts myelin production
Animals that are socially isolated for prolonged periods make less myelin in the region of the brain responsible for complex emotional and cognitive behavior, researchers at the University at Buffalo and Mt.

Cultural dimensions of climate change are underestimated, overlooked and misunderstood
The impact of climate change on many aspects of cultural life for people all over the world is not being sufficiently accounted for by scientists and policy-makers.

Digital tablets improve speed and ease of reading for people with moderate vision loss
People who have eye diseases that damage their central vision can regain the ability to read quickly and comfortably by using digital tablets, according to a recent study.

Report offers new guidance on family involvement of child abuse case reviews
Child protection professionals are to be offered new guidance on how best to involve families in the case reviews that follow the death or serious injury of a child as a result of abuse or neglect.

CSHL-led team discovers new way in which plants control flower production
The timing of flowering in plants is critical. It can have profound effects on flower, fruit, and seed production, and consequently agricultural yields.

Making a better invisibility cloak
The first functional

A better brain implant: Slim electrode cozies up to single neurons
A thin, flexible electrode developed at the University of Michigan is 10 times smaller than the nearest competition and could make long-term measurements of neural activity practical at last.

Early stress may sensitize girls' brains for later anxiety
High levels of family stress in infancy are linked to differences in everyday brain function and anxiety in teenage girls, according to new results of a long-running population study by University of Wisconsin-Madison scientists.

Gene variations linked to lung cancer susceptibility in Asian women
An international group of scientists has identified three genetic regions that predispose Asian women who have never smoked to lung cancer.

Researchers discover 2 genetic flaws behind common form of inherited muscular dystrophy
An international research team co-led by a scientist at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has identified two genetic factors behind the third most common form of muscular dystrophy.

Game changer for arthritis and anti-fibrosis drugs
In a discovery that can fundamentally change how drugs for arthritis, and potentially many other diseases, are made, University of Utah medical researchers have identified a way to treat inflammation without exposing patients to a serious side effect of current medications: the increased risk for infection.

Mutations in genes that modify DNA packaging result in Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy
A worldwide group of collaborators have found that the way DNA is packaged in people with this form of muscular dystrophy may be responsible for their disease.

Systematic incarceration of African American males is a wrong, costly path
Mental health experts from Meharry Medical College School of Medicine have released the first comprehensive report on the correlation between the incarceration of African American males and substance abuse and other health problems in the United States.

Scientists discover new method of gene identification
Scientists studying the genes and proteins of human cells infected with a common cold virus have identified a new gene identification technique that could increase the genetic information we hold on animals by around 70 to 80 per cent.

Undersea gas leaks off Israel's coast are discovered by University of Haifa researchers
Undersea gas leaks off Israel's coast are discovered by University of Haifa researchers.

Why Antarctic sea ice cover has increased under the effects of climate change
The first direct evidence that marked changes to Antarctic sea ice drift have occurred over the last 20 years, in response to changing winds, is published this week in the journal Nature Geoscience.

It's not just what you eat, but when you eat it
Fat cells store excess energy and signal these levels to the brain.

Using rust and water to store solar energy as hydrogen
How can solar energy be stored so that it can be available any time, day or night, when the sun shining or not?

Study provides recipe for 'supercharging' atoms with X-ray laser
Researchers using a free-electron X-ray laser have found a way to strip most of the electrons from xenon atoms, creating a

First noiseless single photon amplifier
Research physicists have demonstrated the first device capable of amplifying the information in a single particle of light without adding noise.

Brain injury and stress disorder strong indicators of vision problems for veterans
Many veterans of the United States armed forces who have traumatic brain injury or post-traumatic stress disorder also have undiagnosed, chronic vision problems, according to two studies presented today at the 116th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, jointly conducted this year with the Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology.

Glaucoma-related vision loss may increase risk for auto accidents
The first study to compare accident rates for drivers who have advanced glaucoma -- an eye disease that affects peripheral vision -- with normal-vision drivers, found that the glaucoma group had about twice as many accidents.

Did wild birds cause the 2010 deadly West Nile virus outbreak in Greece?
In 2010, 35 people in Greece died from a West Nile virus (WNV) outbreak, with a further 262 laboratory-confirmed human cases.

Detection, analysis of 'cell dust' may allow diagnosis, monitoring of brain cancer
A novel miniature diagnostic platform using nuclear magnetic resonance technology is capable of detecting minuscule cell particles known as microvesicles in a drop of blood.

Limiting carbs to dinner reduces diabetes and cardiovascular risks
An experimental diet with carbohydrates eaten mostly at dinner could benefit people suffering from severe and morbid obesity, say Hebrew University of Jerusalem researchers.

Mayo: Age-related macular degeneration treatment works even with other eye problem
The primary treatment for wet macular degeneration, a chronic eye condition that causes vision loss, is effective even if patients have macular traction problems, a Mayo Clinic study shows. 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