Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 20, 2012
Dr. Joan Miller selected to deliver the prestigious Edward Jackson Memorial Lecture
Dr. Joan W. Miller was selected by the American Academy of Ophthalmology to deliver the prestigious Edward Jackson Memorial Lecture.

Nanotech device mimics dog's nose to detect explosives
A research team at UCSB has designed a detector that uses microfluidic nanotechnology to mimic the biological mechanism behind canine scent receptors.

New coronavirus related to viruses from bats
The virus that is causing alarm among global public health authorities after it killed a man in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia earlier this year and is now linked to two other cases of disease is a novel type of coronavirus most closely related to viruses found in bats, according to a genetic analysis to be published in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, on Nov.

Maple syrup, moose, and the local impacts of climate change
In the northern hardwood forest, climate change is poised to reduce the viability of the maple syrup industry, spread wildlife diseases and tree pests, and change timber resources.

New electrically-conductive polymer nanoparticles can generate heat to kill colorectal cancer cells
Researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center have modified electrically-conductive polymers, commonly used in solar energy applications, to develop revolutionary polymer nanoparticles for a medical application.

Researchers find decline in availability and use of key treatment for depression
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is considered the most effective treatment option for patients with severe depression who cannot find symptom relief through antidepressant medications or psychotherapy.

Engineered bacteria can make the ultimate sacrifice
Scientists have engineered bacteria that are capable of sacrificing themselves for the good of the bacterial population.

UCSB anthropologist studies reciprocity among chimpanzees and bonobos
When your neighbor asks to borrow a cup of sugar and you readily comply, is your positive response a function of the give and take that characterize your longstanding relationship?

Gastric bypass surgery: Follow up as directed to lose more
Gastric bypass patients who attended five follow-up office visits in two years as recommended by their surgeons lost nearly twice as much weight as patients who attended only two follow-up visits, according to a University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing study in Obesity Surgery.

Filtering spam
Spammers have recently turned high-tech, using layers of images to fool automatic filters.

How healthy are young people's lifestyles?
This is the question asked by two of the articles in this week's issue of Deutsches Ärzteblatt International.

UAlberta prostate cancer researcher and team developing 'homing beacon drugs' to target cancer cells
A medical researcher with the University of Alberta and his team just published their findings about their work on developing 'homing beacon drugs' that kill only cancer cells, not healthy ones, thanks to nano-technology.

Detention of asylum seekers' children inhuman
A University of Huddersfield researcher attended an important event at the United Nations, Switzerland, to make the case for global policy changes so that children subject to immigration processes are never locked up by immigration officials.

Beneficial microbes are 'selected and nurtured' in the human gut
Animals, including humans, actively select the gut microbes that are the best partners and nurture them with nutritious secretions, suggests a new study led by Oxford University, and published Nov.r 20 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology.

Asia's next rice granary: Myanmar?
As Myanmar comes out of isolation with recent political reforms, the international community is closing ranks to help the country recover - with a focus on helping rice farmers reach the country's production potential.

Nearly 90 percent of clinical trialists think data should be more easily shared
Nearly nine out of 10 clinicians carrying out biomedical research trials believe that trial data should be shared more easily, even though they do express some practical concerns, a study published today on reveals.

Call to establish 'Centers of Excellence' for pituitary diseases
The time has come to develop a pituitary

Discovery offers new treatment for epilepsy
New drugs derived from components of a specific diet used by children with severe, drug-resistant epilepsy could offer a new treatment, according to research published today in the journal Neuropharmacology.

Music to the ears for a good night's sleep?
Researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center have conducted a pilot clinical study to determine whether a non-invasive approach, that uses musical tones to balance brain activity, can 'reset' the brain and effectively reduce insomnia.

Wormholes from centuries-old art prints reveal the history of the 'worms'
A new technique is the first of its kind to use printed art as a

Wolters Kluwer Health and International Association of Forensic Nurses partner to publish the Journal of Forensic Nursing
Wolters Kluwer Health and the International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN) are pleased to announce an agreement to publish Journal of Forensic Nursing, the official journal of IAFN.

Human obedience: The myth of blind conformity
In the 1960s and 1970s, classic social psychological studies were conducted that provided evidence that even normal, decent people can engage in acts of extreme cruelty when instructed to do so by others.

Dance boosts young girls' mental health
Young girls can dance their way to better mental health.

Rate of suicide by hanging/suffocation doubles in middle-aged men and women
First paper to examine changes in the method of suicide committed in the US over the past decade.

Warming to shift heavy rainfall patterns in the UK
A group of researchers from Germany has taken to investigating the potential changes in extreme rainfall patterns across the UK as a result of future global warming and has found that in some regions, the time of year when we see the heaviest rainfall is set to shift.

Impulsivity in first grade predicts problem gambling in late teen years for urban boys
Results of a Columbia University study indicate that a developmental pattern of impulsiveness in young males is linked with gambling problems in late adolescence.

Gabrielle's Angel Foundation for Cancer Research announces 2 collaborative research grants
Gabrielle's Angel Foundation for Cancer Research announces $800K grants for groundbreaking research.

Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography Foundation introduces Sonography Research Institute
The SDMS Foundation would like to introduce the Sonography Research Institute (SRI) which has been established through a strategic partnership among sonography organizations to assist sonographers with acquiring the skills and expertise to conduct and publish original sonographic research.

Adenotonsillectomy may help resolve obstructive sleep apnea in children with Prader-Willi syndrome
Children with Prader-Willi syndrome may receive relief from sleep disorders after undergoing an adenotonsillectomy, suggests a new study from Nationwide Children's Hospital published in the November print issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.

Scientists at Mainz University identify inhibitor of myelin formation in the central nervous system
Scientists at the Mainz University Medical Center have discovered another molecule that plays an important role in regulating myelin formation in the central nervous system.

Study finds link between access to online health information and use of clinical services
Patients with online access to their medical record, including secure email communication with clinicians, had an associated increase in use of some clinical services, according to new Kaiser Permanente research published this month in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Algae can draw energy from other plants
Even children learn that plants use sunlight to gather energy from earth and water.

Planck spots hot gas bridging galaxy cluster pair
European Space Agency's Planck space telescope has made the first conclusive detection of a bridge of hot gas connecting a pair of galaxy clusters across 10 million light-years of intergalactic space.

Queen's Professor joins ranks of engineering elite
A Queen's University Professor has joined Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the world-wide-web, as one of only a small number of engineers worldwide to have been awarded the Mountbatten Medal.

Proposals to record the age of youngsters when buying mobile phones
Mobile telephone operators should verify the age of children and youngsters when they access multimedia services by having a record of users' dates of birth.

Robotic fish research swims into new ethorobotics waters
Polytechnic Institute of New York University researchers have published findings in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface that illuminate the emerging field of ethorobotics -- the study of bioinspired robots interacting with animal counterparts.

Trial results 'do not support the use of general health checks' warn experts
Researchers have found that routine general health checks, which have become common practice in some countries, do not reduce the number of deaths from cardiovascular disease or cancer.

Novel breast screening technology increases diagnostic accuracy
The addition of three-dimensional breast imaging--a technology called tomosynthesis--to standard digital mammography significantly increases radiologists' diagnostic accuracy while reducing false positive recall rates, according to the results of a multi-center study.

Research shows diabetes drug improves memory
An FDA-approved drug initially used to treat insulin resistance in diabetics has shown promise as a way to improve cognitive performance in some people with Alzheimer's disease.

Europe must not lose momentum in marine biodiversity research
A new Marine Board Future Science Brief presents a roadmap for marine biodiversity science in Europe and warns against complacency.

Major international push to maximize bioscience research to help world's poorest farmers
Sequencing historical DNA to tackle wheat's worst enemy. Unlocking ancient rice secrets to overcome rainfall extremes.

Citicoline does not improve functional, cognitive status in patients with traumatic brain injury
Although approved for use for treating traumatic brain injury (TBI) in nearly 60 countries, use of citicoline in a randomized trial that included more than 1,200 participants with TBI did not result in improvement in functional and cognitive status.

Why do meningiomas grow during pregnancy?
Meningiomas are a common type of benign brain tumor that sometimes grows dramatically in pregnant women.

Patients with online access to clinicians, medical records have increased use of clinical services
Patients with online access to their medical records and secure e-mail communication with clinicians had increased use of clinical services, including office visits and telephone encounters, compared to patients who did not have online access.

Seals gamble with their pups' futures
Some grey seal mums adopt risky tactics when it comes to the future of their young, a strategy that can give their pup a real advantage, according to scientists.

Frequency of alcohol consumption and cardiovascular risk factors
The purpose of this paper was to examine whether drinkers who consume lower-risk amounts on more frequent occasions have favorable risk factor profiles compared with those who drink more per occasion but less frequently.

GHSU researcher assesses driving capability in MS patients
A simple, accurate testing protocol to determine driving fitness in individuals with multiple sclerosis is the aim of a three-year study at Georgia Health Sciences University.

NASA spacecraft observe Nov. 20 solar eruption
On Nov. 20, 2012, at 7:09 a.m. EST, the sun erupted with a coronal mass ejection or CME.

High-speed video and artificial flowers shed light on mysteries of hummingbird-pollinated flowers
How flowers have evolved particular colors, shapes and scents to attract pollinators has long fascinated ecologists.

King's Water Research Group co-convenes global conference on food and water security
A team of experts from King's College London have played a major role in delivering an international conference on food and water security in Qatar this week.

Making chocolate an affordable luxury
Mars Incorporated, in partnership with the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and national partners, will increase the production of cocoa for smallholder farmers in Côte d'Ivoire.

Timely change for tweeters' tune
Do birds change their tune in response to urban noise?

New European Union study launched to research lifelong learning
How can successful companies use lifelong learning to have a competitive advantage in their enterprises?

New guidance for cluster randomized trials
In this week's PLOS Medicine, Charles Weijer and colleagues present the Ottawa Statement on the Ethical Design and Conduct of Cluster Randomized Trials, which aims to provide researchers and research ethics committees with detailed guidance on the ethical design, conduct, and review of CRTs.

VTT: A low-carbon Finland is a great challenge, but an achievable one
The EU low-carbon economy targets for 2050 are strict, but within Finland's reach, according to VTT.

The evolution of human intellect: Human-specific regulation of neuronal genes
A new study has identified hundreds of small regions of the genome that appear to be uniquely regulated in human neurons.

Reasons for severe bleeding in hemophilia revealed
New insights into what causes uncontrollable bleeding in hemophilia patients are provided in a study published by Cell Press on November 20th in the Biophysical Journal.

New test for tuberculosis could improve treatment, prevent deaths in Southern Africa
A new rapid test for tuberculosis (TB) could substantially and cost-effectively reduce TB deaths and improve treatment in southern Africa -- a region where both HIV and tuberculosis are common.

Discovery of molecular pathway of Alzheimer's disease reveals new drug targets
The discovery of the molecular pathway that drives the changes seen in the brains of Alzheimer's patients is reported today, revealing new targets for drug discovery that could be exploited to combat the disease.

Researchers improve technology to detect hazardous chemicals
Scientists at Imperial College London have developed a system to quickly detect trace amounts of chemicals like pollutants, explosives or illegal drugs.

'Obese but happy gene' challenges the common perception of link between depression and obesity
McMaster scientists have uncovered evidence that the gene FTO - the major genetic contributor to obesity - is associated with an eight percent reduction in the risk of depression.

New American Chemical Society video series shines a light on transparent solar cells
The American Chemical Society today launched a new video series highlighting headline-making research from ACS journals.

Adolescents with low status among peers are more likely to become adult smokers
A new study from Sweden reveals that having low peer status in adolescence is a strong risk factor for regular and heavy smoking in adulthood.

Executive pay limits narrowed scope of TARP banking rescue
A study of 263 publicly traded banks approved for the Troubled Asset Relief Program finds that 35 banks may have rejected TARP dollars because of limits the program imposed on CEO pay, researchers report in the Journal of Banking, Finance & Accounting.

Scotch tape finds new use as grasping 'smart material'
Scotch tape, a versatile household staple and a mainstay of holiday gift-wrapping, may have a new scientific application as a shape-changing

Researchers build synthetic membrane channels out of DNA
Physicists at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen and the University of Michigan have shown that synthetic membrane channels can be constructed through

Huddersfield professor's ground-breaking research shows just how well the 2012 Games were run
Research conducted by Professor David Bamford confirms just how successfully the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics were designed, organized and delivered.

IUDs don't cause pelvic inflammatory disease in women
The risk of developing pelvic inflammatory disease following insertion of an intrauterine device is very low, whether or not women have been screened beforehand for gonorrhea and chlamydia, according to a joint study of nearly 60,000 women by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, and Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research.

New method helps target Parkinson's disease
Health professionals may soon have a new method of diagnosing Parkinson's disease, one that is noninvasive and inexpensive, and, in early testing, has proved to be effective more than 90 percent of the time.

Teens in arts report depressive symptoms, study says
Teens who participate in after-school arts activities such as music, drama and painting are more likely to report feeling depressed or sad than students who are not involved in these programs, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association.

Low muscle strength in adolescence linked to increased risk of early death
Low muscle strength in adolescence is strongly associated with a greater risk of early death from several major causes, suggests a large study published on today.

Nanomedicine breakthrough could improve chemotherapy for childhood cancer
In a world-first, researchers from the Australian Centre for Nanomedicine at the University of New South Wales in Sydney have developed a nanoparticle that could improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy for neuroblastoma by a factor of five.

Tiny probes shine brightly to reveal the location of targeted tissues
Nanostructures called BRIGHTs seek out biomarkers on cells and then beam brightly to reveal their locations.

Xpert test for TB could help prevent deaths in southern Africa, but at substantial cost
A rapid test for tuberculosis (TB) could help to reduce TB deaths, improve TB treatment, and also offer reasonably good value for money if introduced in southern Africa, an area that has high rates of HIV and a type of TB that is resistant to some drugs (multi-drug resistant TB), according to a study published in this week's PLOS Medicine.

Michael Barnett of Boston College named Professor of the Year for Massachusetts
Boston College Lynch School of Education Associate Professor of Science Education and Technology G.

Rituximab shows promise for clinical problems tied to antiphospholipid antibodies
Rituximab, a drug used to treat cancer and arthritis, may help patients with antiphospholipid antibodies who suffer from aPL-related clinical problems that do not respond to anticoagulation, such as cardiac disease and kidney disease, according to a new study by rheumatology researchers at Hospital for Special Surgery.

More than a machine
Rather than target RNA viruses directly, aiming at the host cells they invade could hold promise, but any such strategy would have to be harmless to the host.

King's College London finds rainbows on nanoscale
New research at King's College London may lead to improved solar cells and LED-displays.

CWRU dental and nursing students collaborate for 'one-stop' healthcare
Patients in dental chairs at the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine will see something new: a nurse.

Researchers decode birch tree genome sequence for the first time
Scientists from Queen Mary, University of London have sequenced the genetic code of a birch tree for the first time, which could help protect British birch populations.

Researchers implicate well-known protein in fibrosis
Scientists have uncovered a new role for the protein toll-like receptor four in the development of tissue fibrosis, or scarring.

Sweat glands play major role in healing human wounds, U-M research shows
U-M researchers have discovered one of the body's most powerful secret weapons in healing: sweat glands.

JTCC researchers play important role in groundbreaking study that may change transplant practices
Researchers from John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center played an important role in a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Oct.

Researchers develop guidebook for promoting healthy lifestyles among Hispanic populations
Recent studies have shown that Hispanic populations living in the US have higher rates of obesity and diabetes, and lower rates of physical activity and fruit and vegetable consumption, compared with Caucasians.

More work needed on models to predict risk of chronic kidney disease
Models used for predicting the likelihood of individuals developing chronic kidney disease and for predicting disease progression in people who already have the condition are useful tools but not yet robust enough to help inform clinical guidelines, according to a study published in this week's PLOS Medicine.

Is Facebook a factor in psychotic symptoms?
Internet communication is exploding -- and so is the possibility of a related psychopathology called Internet addiction. 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