Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 14, 2012
Kicking the habit -- new research examines the barriers to quitting smoking for smokers with asthma
The findings will be presented at the 46th annual convention of the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies.

UConn receives Grand Challenges Explorations Grant for research in global health and development
UConn researchers are launching an innovative project intended to increase crop yields in developing countries through the expanded use of beneficial bacteria.

Sequencing a mini-pig: The whole story
The Wuzhishan miniature pig is one of 72 breeds native to China.

Tolerance to malaria by means of iron control
In a study published in the latest issue of Cell Host & Microbe, scientists at Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia, Portugal, discovered that the development of severe malaria can be prevented by a mechanism that controls the accumulation of iron in tissues of the infected host.

UC research explores relationship-building program for male same-sex couples
The program focused on the

Study investigates headshaking in horses
A study has found a pioneering new surgical procedure, called caudal compression of the infraorbital nerve, could be a viable option for headshaking in horses with a long-term success rate of nearly 50 percent.

New dating of sea-level records reveals rapid response between ice volume and polar temperature
A new study has revealed a rapid response between global temperature and ice volume/sea-level, which could lead to sea-levels rising by over one meter.

Bug repellent for supercomputers proves effective
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researchers have used the Stack Trace Analysis Tool, a highly scalable, lightweight tool to debug a program running more than one million MPI processes on the IBM Blue Gene/Q-based Sequoia supercomputer.

Preserving van Gogh's priceless masterpieces
The chrome yellow pigment that renowned post-Impressionist artist Vincent van Gogh favored in priceless masterpieces like Sunflowers, the Yellow House and Wheatfield with Crows is especially sensitive to certain types of light and should be protected to prevent darkening.

Researcher: Military should reassess reproductive health care for women
Noting that active-duty servicewomen have higher rates of unintended pregnancy than the general population and lower reported contraception use, one researcher at Women & Infants Hospital is suggesting the answer might be a review of the health care offered to females in the military and veterans.

NIH awards Penn scientists $10 million over 5 years for innovative research on single cells
Two Penn researchers will be studying the role of how messenger RNA molecules vary in their function in individual cells with a five-year, $10 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Announcing press briefings and media registration for Society for Personality and Social Psychology 2013

Discover the science behind how people think, interact, and behave in an ever-changing world.

Captive animals show signs of boredom, study finds
Wondering if your caged hamster gets bored? It's highly likely if the critter has nothing to do all day.

Preserve the services of mangroves -- Earth's invaluable coastal forests, experts urge
Experts urge policy makers to preserve mangroves and their essential services to nature and humanity alike, saying their replacement with shrimp farms and other forms of development is a bad economic tradeoff both short and long-term.

22 young group leaders recognized as European Molecular Biology Organization Young Investigators
European Molecular Biology Organization announced today the selection of 22 young researchers as EMBO Young Investigators.

Nanometer-scale diamond tips improve nano-manufacturing
One of the most promising innovations of nanotechnology has been the ability to perform rapid nanofabrication using nanometer-scale tips.

Keeneland Project deploys new GPU supercomputing system for the National Science Foundation
Georgia Tech, along with partner research organizations on the Keeneland Project, including the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, the National Institute for Computational Sciences and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, announced today that the project has completed installation and acceptance of the Keeneland Full Scale System.

Finally! The pig genome is mapped
In a major international study, the pig genome is now mapped.

Remixed brain waves reveal soundtrack of the human brain
Scientists have combined and translated two kinds of brain wave recordings into music, transforming one recording (EEG) to create the pitch and duration of a note, and the other (fMRI) to control the intensity of the music.

UC research examines advocacy by unions in the criminal justice sector
UC research to be presented this coming weekend at the American Society of Criminology conference examines the impacts that unions associated with criminal justice systems have in terms of political policies.

University of Cincinnati research examines why some people are afraid to relax
Are you one of those people who can't sit still?

Queen's research gives fresh hope to couples with 'unexplained infertility'
New research from Queen's University Belfast has uncovered the cause of infertility for 80 per cent of couples previously diagnosed with

People identify symptoms of depression more readily in women than men
The ability to correctly identify signs of depression depends on the gender of both the identifier and the person with depression, as well as individual psychological differences, according to research published Nov.

Pig genomes provide massive amount of genomic data for human health
Researchers provide a whole-genome sequence and analysis of number of pig breeds, including a miniature pig that serves a model for human medical studies and therapeutic drug testing.

Finding the true meaning of religion in America
University of Akron sociologists have released the book,

Exploring the financial costs of sadness
Your emotions can certainly impact your decisions, but you might be surprised by the extent to which your emotions affect your pocketbook.

Even moderate drinking in pregnancy can affect a child's IQ
Relatively small levels of exposure to alcohol while in the womb can influence a child's IQ, according to a new study led by researchers from the universities of Bristol and Oxford using data from over 4,000 mothers and their children in the Children of the 90s study (ALSPAC) and published today in PLOS ONE.

Regenerating heart tissue topic of UH lecture Nov. 27
With chronic heart failure affecting 5.4 million people and 690,000 new cases being diagnosed each year, therapies for reversing disease progression are needed.

UC Riverside receives 3 grants to assist graduate students in pursuing doctoral degrees
The University of California, Riverside has received three grants from the US Department of Education to assist graduate students with excellent records who demonstrate financial need and plan to pursue the highest degree available in a field of national need.

Register now for the key osteoporosis meeting in the Asia-Pacific region
Register for the Asia-Pacific Osteoporosis Meeting in Kuala Lumpur and take part in the region's most important bone event of the year.

Chronic fatigue syndrome -- a system under stress
Evidence links autonomic functioning to cognitive impairment in chronic fatigue syndrome.

Changing climate, not tourism, seems to be driving decline in chinstrap-penguin populations
The breeding population of chinstrap penguins has declined significantly as temperatures have rapidly warmed on the Antarctic Peninsula, according to researchers funded in part by the National Science Foundation.

Penn Dental Medicine receives $1.5 million grant to support student scholarships
The University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine has received a $1.5 million grant for student scholarships from the Health Resources and Services Administration of the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Heart failure in older breast cancer patients linked to medication
Heart failure is a relatively common complication in older women with breast cancer, but the risk is even higher in those patients treated with adjuvant trastuzumab, Yale School of Medicine researchers report in the current issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Meningitis A vaccine breaks barrier; first to gain approval to travel outside cold chain
Signaling a potential breakthrough for immunization programs in resource-poor countries, researchers today announced at the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene conference that regulatory authorities--after conducting a rigorous review of stability data--will for the first time allow a vaccine in Africa to be transported and stored for as long as four days without refrigeration or even an icepack.

Astronomers find 'homeless' planet wandering through space
A planet that is not orbiting a star, effectively making it homeless, has been discovered by a team of University of Montreal (UdeM) researchers working with European colleagues and data provided by the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) and the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope (VLT).

A risk gene for cannabis psychosis
The ability of cannabis to produce psychosis has long been an important public health concern.

Governing economic growth in the cloud
Gross domestic product can be boosted by cloud computing, the system in which remote computers on the Internet are used to store, manage and process data rather than the users' local machines.

Pig genome offers insights into the feistiest of farm animals
The pig and its cousin the wild boar have much in common with humans.

Winners named in 2012 AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Award Competition
Stories about the microbial hitchhikers we all harbor, the largest dam-removal project in North America, and issues raised by the new era of personal genomics are among the winners of the 2012 AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Awards.

All-female team ties for first at National Engineering Management contest
A team of undergraduate students from the University of Arizona student chapter of the American Society for Engineering Management traveled across country to the annual meeting of industry professionals in Virginia Beach, Va., and captured first place in the national engineering student competition.

GW researcher receives $4.1 million grant to find alternative treatment for kidney stones
Jeremy Brown, M.D., associate professor of emergency medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, has received a federal grant to potentially give kidney stone patients more options with fewer complications.

A new European network crosses the boundaries for excellence in language and perception research
The EU invests €4.15 million to study human abilities to map visual information and language.

Rare parasitic fungi could have anti-flammatory benefits
Scientists at The University of Nottingham have discovered that a rare parasitic fungus that lives on hibernating caterpillars in Tibet could have a role to play in anti-inflammatory drugs for conditions such as asthma.

Ingredient in diarrhea medicine leads to sustainable new farm fertilizer
The search for a sustainable slow-release fertilizer -- a key to sustaining global food production at a time of burgeoning population growth -- has led scientists to an ingredient used in some diarrhea medicines.

The leggiest animal on Earth lives in the outskirts of Silicon Valley
With 750 legs, the millipede Illacme plenipes is the leggiest animal on Earth.

Could poor sleep contribute to symptoms of schizophrenia?
Neuroscientists studying the link between poor sleep and schizophrenia have found that irregular sleep patterns and desynchronised brain activity during sleep could trigger some of the disease's symptoms.

Georgia Tech releases cyber threats forecast for 2013
The year ahead will feature new and increasingly sophisticated means to capture and exploit user data, escalating battles over the control of online information and continuous threats to the US supply chain from global sources.

Does science need 'open evaluation' in addition to 'open access?'
In an editorial accompanying an ebook titled

You can be a star -- on science's stage
The rapid growth in

What lies beneath? New survey technique offers detailed picture of our changing landscape
A new surveying technique developed at The University of Nottingham is giving geologists their first detailed picture of how ground movement associated with historical mining is changing the face of our landscape.

Bored mink snack between meals, lie awake in bed
How can you tell when an animal is bored? Researchers have found that mink housed in boring conditions consume more food treats between meals, and lie awake for a large portion of the day compared to mink that live in interesting environments.

Tuberculosis's genetic 'family tree' may hold the key to tackling outbreaks quickly and effectively
New genetic sequencing techniques can map the 'family tree' of a tuberculosis (TB) outbreak allowing the spread of disease to be tackled quickly and effectively.

New ancient shark species gives insight into origin of great white
The great white shark is one of the largest living predatory animals and a magnet for media sensationalism, yet its evolutionary history is as misunderstood as its role as a menace.

Spatial cognition researchers will connect through grant-funded virtual institute
The Spatial Intelligence and Learning Center, headquartered at Temple, has been awarded a $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to form the Thematic Network in Spatial Cognition, a virtual institute which will connect researchers from around the world in support of advancing the study of spatial cognition.

NASA satellite sees newborn Tropical Depression 25W raining on southern Vietnam
The twenty-fifth tropical depression of the western North Pacific Ocean season formed today and is already affecting southern Vietnam.

Brain waves make waves
Listening abilities depend on rhythms in the brain.

Television: Chronicle of a death foretold?
Not only is TV not endangered, but it also has a unifying social impact on the nuclear family across the country.

Babies born to stressed mothers more likely to be bullied at school
Children whose mothers were overly stressed during pregnancy are more likely to become victims of bullying at school.

PCBs, other pollutants may play role in pregnancy delay
Couples with high levels of PCBs and similar environmental pollutants take longer to achieve pregnancy in comparison to other couples with lower levels of the pollutants, according to a preliminary study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and other institutions.

Traumatic brain injury patients, supercomputer simulations studied to improve helmets
Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories and the University of New Mexico are comparing supercomputer simulations of blast waves on the brain with clinical studies of veterans suffering from mild traumatic brain injuries to help improve helmet designs.

Melting glaciers raise sea level
Anthropogenic climate change leads to melting glaciers and rising sea level.

How safe are our roads for Bradley and the nation's cyclists?
A new government-funded study is to be carried out into how Britain's roads could be made safer for cyclists to reduce the risk of cycling injuries, encourage more people to use bikes and improve public health.

Climate change increases stress, need for restoration on grazed public lands
Eight researchers in a new report say that climate change is causing additional stress to many western rangelands, and land managers should consider a significant reduction, or in some places elimination of livestock and other large animals from public lands.

Diabetic patients have higher prevalence of hearing impairment
Patients with diabetes have a significantly higher prevalence of hearing impairment than patients without diabetes, according to a recent study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Study: Job autonomy, trust in leadership keys to improvement initiatives
Frontline employees will commit to improving their organization if they perceive a high degree of autonomy in their jobs and trust their leaders, says research Gopesh Anand and Dilip Chhajed, professors of business administration at Illinois.

World's largest respiratory genetics study launches on World COPD Day
Researchers from the Universities of Nottingham and Leicester are leading the largest ever study of the genetics relating to lung disease.

Thermodynamics really from scratch -- in a new textbook
A new textbook on thermodynamics, written by two professors from the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, transmits the most important ideas of thermodynamics in an unsophisticated way presenting it as a field of science with consistent, logical and clear structure.

Boosting the sensitivity of airport security screening
Scientists are reporting a simple way to improve the sensitivity of the test often used to detect traces of explosives on the hands, carry-ons and other possessions of passengers at airport security screening stations.

The hidden consequences of helping rural communities in Africa
Improving water supplies in rural African villages may have negative knock-on effects and contribute to increased poverty, new research published today [Nov.

Tropical Indo-Pacific climate shifts to a more El Niño-like state
Climate models predict a slowdown of the Walker circulation with global warming.

Pancreas stem cell discovery may lead to new diabetes treatments
Stem cells in the adult pancreas have been identified that can be turned into insulin producing cells, a finding that means people with type 1 diabetes might one day be able to regenerate their own insulin-producing cells.

Higher proportion of California children uninsured than in US, USC analysis shows
Compared to the nation, a higher proportion of children in California are uninsured, one in every 10 children or more than 1.1 million in 2011.

Research breakthrough could halt melanoma metastasis
In laboratory experiments, scientists have eliminated metastasis, the spread of cancer from the original tumor to other parts of the body, in melanoma by inhibiting a protein known as melanoma differentiation associated gene-9 (mda-9)/syntenin.

Total solar eclipse viewed from Australia
On Nov. 13, 2012, a narrow corridor in the southern hemisphere experienced a total solar eclipse.

How cells in the nose detect odors
A team of scientists, led by neurobiologists at the University of California, Riverside, has studied the olfactory receptor for detecting carbon dioxide in Drosophila, and identified a large multi-protein complex in olfactory neurons, called MMB/dREAM, that plays a major role in selecting the carbon dioxide receptors to be expressed in appropriate neurons.

Nottingham researchers in Alzheimer's risk gene discovery
Researchers from Nottingham have played their part in the discovery of a rare genetic mutation that increases the risk of Alzheimer's disease, in a study with major implications for understanding the causes of the disease.

Titan is also a green powerhouse
Not only is Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Titan the world's most powerful supercomputer, it is also one of the most energy efficient.

Timing of first menstrual cycle may be predictor of cardiovascular disease risk in women
Age at onset of menarche (first menstrual cycle) is associated with increased body mass index, waist circumference, and overall obesity in adulthood, according to a recent study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Calcium supplements remain a valuable tool for maintaining bone health
Individuals who do not obtain recommended intake levels of calcium through dietary sources can safely utilize calcium supplements to achieve optimal bone health, an expert panel concludes.

New brain gene gives us edge over apes, study suggests
Scientists have taken a step forward in helping to solve one of life's greatest mysteries -- what makes us human?

Transporting hypothermia victims to advanced heart and lung care facilities 'worth the trip'
Hypothermia victims whose hearts have stopped functioning should be transported to a medical facility with advanced heart and lung support equipment, even if that means longer travel time, according to a new study by a University of British Columbia medical resident.

OU research groups awarded NSF grants to expand research and training in science and engineering
University of Oklahoma research groups will be able to expand the capabilities of research and training in science and engineering on the Norman campus with the assistance of almost $2 million in grants from the National Science Foundation.

Enhancing breast cancer detection
Straightforward imaging with an infrared, thermal, camera for detecting breast cancer early without the discomfort or inconvenience of mammography or biomolecular tests, according to a study to be published in the International Journal of Innovative Computing and Applications.

Life and death in a star-forming cloud
The aftershock of a stellar explosion rippling through space is captured in this new view of supernova remnant W44, which combines far-infrared and X-ray data from ESA's Herschel and XMM-Newton space observatories.

Gene nearly triples risk of Alzheimer's, global team including Mayo Clinic finds
A gene so powerful it nearly triples the risk of Alzheimer's disease has been discovered by an international team including researchers from Mayo Clinic.

'Missing link' discovered in the defence mechanism of the tuberculosis pathogen
Flemish biologists lead by Joris Messens (VIB / Vrije Universiteit Brussel) have discovered that Mycobacterium tuberculosis -- the bacterium that causes tuberculosis -- has an ingenious defense mechanism against oxygen.

Antibody-coated stents: Indication of disadvantages
If coronary vessels have to be widened or opened, a vascular support (stent) is usually inserted.

'Cloning' could make structurally pure nanotubes for nanoelectronics
Researchers from the University of Southern California and NIST have demonstrated a technique for growing virtually pure samples of single-wall carbon nanotubes with identical structures, a process they liken to

Lost in space: Rogue planet spotted?
Astronomers using ESO's Very Large Telescope and the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope have identified a body that is very probably a planet wandering through space without a parent star.

Exposure to light at night may cause depression, learning issues
Exposure to too much bright light at night may elevate the risk of depression and learning issues.

New study reveals more inspiring reasons to serve veggies at dinner
Parents may have some new motivations to serve their kids vegetables.

Possible link between immune system and Alzheimer's
An international research team including scientists from the University of Toronto's Faculty of Medicine has discovered a link between a mutation in an immune system gene and Alzheimer's disease.

Driving drones can be a drag
A new MIT study shows that distractions may alleviate boredom and improve drone operators' performance.

Give pregnant women vitamin D supplements to ward off MS, say researchers
The risk of developing multiple sclerosis is highest in the month of April, and lowest in October, indicates an analysis of the available evidence, published online in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.

Want better employees? Get somebody else to rate their personalities, suggests new study
Businesses will get more accurate assessments of potential and current employees if they do away with self-rated personality tests and ask those being assessed to find someone else to rate them, suggest results from a new study.

NIST study suggests carbon nanotubes may protect DNA from oxidation
NIST researchers have provided evidence that single-wall carbon nanotubes may help protect DNA molecules from damage by oxidation, which can lead to mutations.

In financial ecosystems, big banks trample economic habitats and spread fiscal disease
Researchers from Princeton University, the Bank of England and the University of Oxford applied methods inspired by ecosystem stability and contagion models to banking meltdowns and found that large national and international banks wield an influence and potentially destructive power that far exceeds their actual size.

USC scientists 'clone' carbon nanotubes to unlock their potential for use in electronics
Scientists have developed a method of

Research4Life publisher partners commit to free and low cost access through 2020
The Research4Life partners announced today that they have agreed to extend their partnership through 2020.

Discovery could lead to faster diagnosis for some chronic fatigue syndrome cases
For the first time, researchers have landed on a potential diagnostic method to identify at least a subset of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome - testing for antibodies linked to latent Epstein-Barr virus reactivation.

Paper-and-scissors technique rocks the nano world
Sometimes simplicity is best. Northwestern University researchers have discovered an easy way to make nanofluidic devices: using paper and scissors.

Cancer therapy -- Nanokey opens tumors to attack
There are plenty of effective anticancer agents around. The problem is that, very often, they cannot gain access to all the cells in solid tumors.

Pig gene discovery could help combat animal and human disease
Insights into the genetic code of pigs that reveal how the species evolved could improve the health of animals in future.

Oldest fossil of giant panda family discovered
New fossils found in Spain are thought to be of the oldest recorded ancestor of the giant panda.

BPA shown to disrupt thyroid function in pregnant animals and offspring
In utero exposure to bisphenol A can be associated with decreased thyroid function in newborn sheep, according to a recent study accepted for publication in Endocrinology, a journal of The Endocrine Society.

Why yawning is contagious in bonobos
Being socially close to another bonobo is more likely to make bonobo apes yawn in response to the other's yawns, according to research published Nov.

New freeform standards to support scanning CMMs
The National Physical Laboratory, the UK's National Measurement Institute, has developed a new range of three dimensional standards for verifying freeform coordinate measurement machines.

Hebrew University researchers show how we can do math problems unconsciously
Can we actually read words and phrases and solve multi-step mathematical problems without our having consciously been aware of them?

Researchers find way to boost WiFi performance 400-700 percent
As many WiFi users know, WiFi performance is often poor in areas where there are a lot of users, such as airports or coffee shops.

Triclosan in cosmetics and personal care products can increase allergy risk
Triclosan -- an antibacterial chemical found in toothpaste and other products -- can contribute to an increased risk of allergy development in children.

Feinstein announces submission of new drug application for diagnosing parkinsonian syndromes
The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research announced today the submission of a New Drug Application to the US Food and Drug Administration for the Fluorodopa F 18 positron emission tomography scan used to diagnose parkinsonian syndromes. 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