Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 27, 2012
University of Tennessee supercomputer sets world record for energy efficiency
An Appro Xtreme-X Supercomputer named Beacon, deployed by the National Institute for Computational Sciences (NICS) of the University of Tennessee, tops the current Green500 list, which ranks the world's fastest supercomputers based on their power efficiency.

Compound found in rosemary protects against macular degeneration in laboratory model
Researchers at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute report that carnosic acid, a component of the herb rosemary, promotes eye health.

A rather thin and long new snake crawls out of one of Earth's biodiversity hotspots
A team of Ecuadorian and American scientists have discovered a new species, belonging to a neotropical group of remarkably long arboreal (tree-dwelling) snakes: the blunt-headed vine snakes, from the Choco biodiversity hotspot in northwestern Ecuador.

Researchers find chemical 'switches' for neurodegenerative diseases
By using a model, researchers at the University of Montreal have identified and

Researchers identify physiological evidence of 'chemo brain'
Chemotherapy can induce changes in the brain that may affect concentration and memory, according to a new study.

Graphene switches: HZB research group makes it to first base
Ever since graphene was first isolated a few years ago, this quasi-two-dimensional network made up of a single layer of carbon atoms has been considered the magic material.

NIH study suggests immune system could play a central role in AMD
Changes in how genes in the immune system function may result in age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of visual impairment in older adults.

4 common antipsychotic drugs found to lack safety and effectiveness in older adults
In older adults, antipsychotic drugs are commonly prescribed off-label for a number of disorders outside of their Food and Drug Administration-approved indications -- schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Clinician-scientists at The Neuro receive funding for Parkinson's and HIV research
Two clinician-scientists at The Neuro have been awarded grants today to further research on Parkinson's disease and HIV/AIDS.

Study finds heavily indebted med students choosing primary care face greater financial challenges
Researchers at Boston University and the Association of American Medical Colleges have determined that heavily indebted medical students choosing primary care careers will experience difficulty paying their student debt unless they consider alternative strategies to support repayment.

Women with dense breasts welcome additional screening
A survey of women undergoing routine screening mammography found that many of them would be interested in pursuing additional screening tests if notified they had dense breast tissue, despite the possibility of false positives, invasive procedures, and out-of-pocket costs, according to a new study.

West coast log exports up slightly in third quarter of 2012
Log exports from Washington, Oregon, northern California, and Alaska increased about nine percent in the third quarter of 2012, totaling 412 million board feet, according to the U.S.

New thermoelectric material could be an energy saver
By using common materials found pretty much anywhere there is dirt, a team of Michigan State University researchers have developed a new thermoelectric material.

Researchers study cry acoustics to determine risk for autism
Researchers at Women & Infants' Brown Center for the Study of Children at Risk in collaboration with researchers at University of Pittsburgh have been studying the cry acoustics of six-month-old infants.

Resolving conflicts over end-of-life care: Mayo experts offer tips
It's one of the toughest questions patients and their loved ones can discuss with physicians: When is further medical treatment futile?

Early intervention prevents behavioral problems
To prevent negative behavior among children, the work must start early.

Being bullied can cause trauma symptoms
Problems caused by bullying do not necessarily cease when the abuse stops.

The installed price of solar photovoltaic systems in the US continues to decline at a rapid pace
The installed price of solar photovoltaic power systems in the United States fell substantially in 2011 and through the first half of 2012, according to the latest edition of Tracking the Sun, an annual PV cost-tracking report produced by the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Flu outbreaks predicted with weather forecast techniques
Scientists have developed a new system that adapts techniques used in weather prediction to generate local forecasts of seasonal influenza outbreaks.

GSA Bulletin: From Titan to Tibet
GSA Bulletin articles posted online between Oct. 2 and Nov.

Reducing sibling rivalry in youth improves later health and well-being
Sibling conflict represents parents' No. 1 concern and complaint about family life, but a new prevention program -- designed and carried out by researchers at Penn State -- demonstrates that siblings of elementary-school age can learn to get along.

Surface analysis techniques for advanced materials enhance Mazovia's research potential
Properties of several of the most external atomic layers of materials can be studied at Mazovia Centre for Surface Analysis by a number of modern techniques.

From Mediterranean coasts to Tatra Mountains and beyond: Plant chromosome number variation
It is well known that plants show huge variation in chromosome numbers, mainly because of multiple genome copies.

NASA sees Tropical Storm Bopha intensifying in Micronesia
Tropical storm warnings are in effect in Micronesia as NASA and other satellite imagery indicates that Tropical Storm Bopha continues to intensify.

Breast cancer risk estimates increased with repeated prior ct and nuclear imaging
Researchers reviewing the records of approximately 250,000 women enrolled in an integrated healthcare delivery system found that increased CT utilization between 2000 and 2010 could result in an increase in the risk of breast cancer for certain women, including younger patients and those who received repeat exams.

'Fountain of youth' technique rejuvenates aging stem cells
A new method of growing cardiac tissue is teaching old stem cells new tricks.

How infidelity helps nieces and nephews
A University of Utah study produced new mathematical support for a theory that explains why men in some cultures often feed and care for their sisters' children: where extramarital sex is common and accepted, a man's genes are more likely to be passed on by their sister's kids than by their wife's kids.

Projected sea-level rise may be underestimated
The rate of sea-level rise in the past decades is greater than projected by the latest assessments of the IPCC, while global temperature increases in good agreement with its best estimates.

Scientists at the Institute of Molecular Biology identify key event for sex determination
Scientists at the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB) in Mainz have identified a protein essential for initiating the development of male sex organs.

Binghamton University Decker School receives $757,000 grant
The Decker School of Nursing has received a two-year, $757,000 traineeship grant from the U.S.

The hungry caterpillar: Beware your enemy's enemy's enemy
When herbivores such as caterpillars feed, plants may

Measles vaccine given with a microneedle patch could boost immunization programs
Measles vaccine given with painless and easy-to-administer microneedle patches can immunize against measles at least as well as vaccine given with conventional hypodermic needles, according to research done by the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

USC, Oxford researchers find high fructose corn syrup-global prevalence of diabetes link
A new study by University of Southern California and University of Oxford researchers indicates that large amounts of high fructose corn syrup found in national food supplies across the world may be one explanation for the rising global epidemic of type 2 diabetes and resulting higher health care costs.

Most women who have double mastectomy don't need it, U-M study finds
About 70 percent of women who have both breasts removed following a breast cancer diagnosis do so despite a very low risk of facing cancer in the healthy breast, new research from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center finds.

Research from ASCO'S Quality Care Symposium shows advances and challenges in improving the quality of cancer care
New studies released today reveal important advances in cancer care quality measurement, physician adherence to quality standards, and end-of-life care, while highlighting the overuse of contralateral prophylactic mastectomy.

NIH-funded researchers show possible trigger for MS nerve damage
High-resolution real-time images show in mice how nerves may be damaged during the earliest stages of multiple sclerosis.

Digoxin increases deaths in patients with atrial fibrillation
Digoxin, a drug derived from the foxglove plant and that has been used worldwide for centuries to treat heart disease, is associated with a significant increase in deaths in patients with atrial fibrillation, according to results from a study published online in the European Heart Journal.

Common heart failure drugs could benefit more patients
A novel study from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden suggests that commonly used drugs to treat heart failure and high blood pressure may have a wider range of application than earlier known, and also can be used against so called HFPEF -- a type of heart failure that until now has been impossible to treat.

'Walking on marbles' could be a thing of the past for arthritis patients
Researchers at the University of Southampton are to undertake a new stage of a study aimed at improving the health and mobility of those suffering from the common complaint of 'walking on marbles' associated with Rheumatoid Arthritis in the feet.

Researcher studies 'middle ground' of sea-level change
The effects of storm surge and sea-level rise have become topics of everyday conversation in the days and weeks following Hurricane Sandy's catastrophic landfall along the mid-Atlantic coast.

UC Riverside geophysicist awarded Roebling Medal
Harry W. Green II, a distinguished professor of the Graduate Division in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of California, Riverside, has been awarded the 2012 Roebling Medal by the Mineralogical Society of America.

NASA's TRMM satellite confirms 2010 landslides
A NASA study using TRMM satellite data revealed that the year 2010 was a particularly bad year for landslides around the world.

GOES-R satellite program undergoes successful review
The GOES-R Series Program, which is leading the effort to replace and upgrade NOAA's existing fleet of geostationary satellites that track severe weather across the United States, received a favorable appraisal conducted by an external team of aerospace experts of its preparations to launch the new series, beginning in late 2015.

Malaria study suggests drugs should target female parasites
Fresh insight into the parasite that causes malaria suggests a new way to develop drugs and vaccines to tackle the disease.

New mechanism for cancer progression discovered by UNC and Harvard researchers
University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and Harvard researchers have discovered an alternative mechanism for activating rhe oncogene Ras that does not require mutation or hormonal stimulus.

Developing 'second skin' military fabric to repel chemical and biological agents
The researchers say the fabric will be able to switch reversibly from a highly breathable state to a protective one in response to the presence of the environmental threat without the need for an external control system.

Upgrade to visualization and analysis system eases path for beginning supercomputer users
Nautilus, the supercomputer at the heart of the University of Tennessee's Remote Data Analysis and Visualization Center, has recently been upgraded.

Researchers explore social media as preventative method for infectious diseases
Catching the social media bug might keep you from catching a nasty bug this winter.

Increasing drought stress challenges vulnerable hydraulic system of plants, GW professor finds
The hydraulic system of trees is so finely-tuned that predicted increases in drought due to climate change may lead to catastrophic failure in many species.

New review associates vitamin D with lower rates of tooth decay
Health scientists have long disputed the role of vitamin D in preventing tooth decay.

Scripps Research Institute study points to potential new therapies for cancer and other diseases
Researchers at the Scripps Research Institute are fueling the future of cancer treatment by improving a powerful tool in disease defense: the body's immune system.

Protein injection points to muscular dystrophy treatment
Scientists have discovered that injecting a novel human protein into muscle affected by Duchenne muscular dystrophy significantly increases its size and strength, findings that could lead to a therapy akin to the use of insulin by diabetics.

Administrative data set not always best source for number of surgical complications
Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco extracted data on hospital readmissions following spine surgery at their institution from an administrative database to assess the clinical relevance of the information and to define clinically relevant predictors of readmission.

Study suggests different organ-derived stem cell injections improve heart function
Regeneration of contractile myocardium has been a target of cell therapy.

The Journal of Nursing Research receives impact factor ranking
The Taiwan Nurses Association announced today that its official publication, The Journal of Nursing Research, is now recognized by the 2011 Journal Citation Reports® and is the first Taiwan nursing journal to receive an Impact Factor ranking .

Galapagos tortoises are a migrating species
The large, dominant male Galapagos giant tortoises usually start their annual migration at the beginning of the dry season

Kentucky study finds common drug increases deaths in atrial fibrillation patients
Digoxin, a drug widely used to treat heart disease, increases the possibility of death when used by patients with a common heart rhythm problem -- atrial fibrillation (AF), according to new study findings by University of Kentucky researchers.

Safer spinach? Scientist's technique dramatically reduces E. coli numbers
University of Illinois scientists have found a way to boost current industry capabilities when it comes to reducing the number of E. coli 0157:H7 cells that may live undetected on spinach leaves.

Scatter radiation from mammography presents no cancer risk
The radiation dose to areas of the body near the breast during mammography is negligible, or very low, and does not result in an increased risk of cancer, according to a new study.

How devout are we? Study shows evangelicals surge as Catholics wane
The drop in intensity could present challenges for the Roman Catholic Church, the study suggests, both in terms of church participation and in Catholics' support for the Church's social and theological positions.

Heart failure drug less effective in real world
A large study addressing the effectiveness and safety of aldosterone antagonist therapy for older heart failure patients has found notable differences between the drug's results in clinical trial vs. what occurs in actual practice, according to researchers at Duke Medicine.

Elsevier launches new open access journal -- 'Case Studies in Engineering Failure Analysis'
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services announces the launch of a new, international, open access journal, Case Studies in Engineering Failure Analysis.

Preventing posttraumatic stress disorder by facing trauma memories
A new study by Dr. Barbara Rothbaum and colleagues reports that a behavioral intervention delivered to patients immediately post-trauma is effective at reducing posttraumatic stress reactions.

What keeps a cell's energy source going
Most healthy cells rely on a complicated process to produce the fuel ATP.

New studies show effects of mammography guideline changes
Researchers assessing the impact of revised guidelines for screening mammography issued by the US Preventive Services Task Force found evidence that the new recommendations may lead to missed cancers and a decline in screening, according to two new studies.

Research reveals new understanding of X chromosome inactivation
In a paper published in the Nov. 21 issue of Cell, a team led by Mauro Calabrese, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of North Carolina in the lab of Terry Magnuson, chair of the department of genetics and member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, broadens the understanding of how cells regulate silencing of the X chromosome in a process known as X-inactivation.

Ecologists shed new light on effects of light pollution on wildlife
Light pollution is often associated with negative effects on wildlife.

Fast forward to the past: NASA technologists test 'game-changing' data-processing technology
It's a digital world. Or is it? NASA technologist Jonathan Pellish isn't convinced.

Risk of pertussis increases as time since last dose of DTaP vaccine lengthens
In an examination of cases of childhood pertussis in California, researchers found that children with pertussis had lower odds of having received all 5 doses of the diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis vaccine (DTaP) vaccine series.

How vegetables make the meal
Adding vegetables to a meal can make you a better cook and a better person.

For some feathered dinosaurs, bigger not necessarily better
Researchers have started looking at why dinosaurs that abandoned meat in favor of vegetarian diets got so big, and their results may call conventional wisdom about plant-eaters and body size into question.

Princeton research: Embracing data 'noise' brings Greenland's complex ice melt into focus
Princeton University researchers developed an enhanced approach to capturing changes on the Earth's surface via satellite could provide a more accurate account of how geographic areas are changing as a result of natural and human factors.

New method for diagnosing malaria
Danish researchers have developed a new and sensitive method that makes it possible to diagnose malaria from a single drop of blood or saliva.

Cell Transplantation reports islet cell advancement increases impact on transplantation
Transplanted islet cells are challenged by hypoxic conditions and host immune reactions.

GI researcher co-author of international permafrost report
University of Alaska Fairbanks researcher Vladimir Romanovsky is one of four scientists who authored a report released today by the United Nations Environmental Programme.

Radiologic and physical findings identify elder abuse
Radiologists in Toronto have begun to identify a pattern of injuries that may be indicative of elder abuse, according to a new study.

Pioneering electrical engineering work recognized
Alexander A. Balandin, a professor of electrical engineering in the Bourns College of Engineering and founding chair of materials science and engineering at the University of California, Riverside has been named an IEEE Fellow for 2013.

Three new arthropod species have been found in the Maestrazgo Caves in Teruel
A team of scientists from the University of Navarra and the Catalan Association of Biospeleology have discovered three new collembolan species in the Maestrazgo caves in Teruel, Spain.

New test to help heavy drinkers reduce alcohol intake
Researchers at the University of Liverpool have developed a computer-based test that could help heavy drinkers reduce their alcohol consumption.

Enzyme explains angina in diabetics
In a new study published in the scientific journal Circulation, scientists at Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital in Sweden show that an enzyme called arginase might have a key part to play in the development of cardiovascular disease in patients who already have type II diabetes.

Rocks, water, air, space ... and humans: An NSF recipe for AGU success
The National Science Foundation is suggesting adding a bit of spice to a geophysical scientist's research recipe of rocks, water, air, space and life: humans.

Studies examine whether therapies for heart failure are associated with improved survival
An analysis of two heart failure therapies finds differing outcomes regarding improvement in survival.

Combining better physical fitness and statins significantly improves survival in people with unhealthy blood fat or cholesterol levels
Taking statins or being even modestly physically fit markedly improves survival in people with dyslipidaemia, according to new research published Online First in The Lancet.

One child mothers with pre-eclampsia at higher risk of heart problems
Women who develop pre-eclampsia during their first pregnancy (known as preterm pre-eclampsia) -- and who don't go on to have any more children -- are at greater risk of dying from heart disease in later life than women who have subsequent children, finds a study published on today.

East Asia faces unique challenges, opportunities for stem cell innovation
A new consensus statement from the Hinxton Group focuses on stem cell innovation and intellectual property rights in Japan and China.

Do missing Jupiters mean massive comet belts?
Using ESA's Herschel space observatory, astronomers have discovered vast comet belts surrounding two nearby planetary systems known to host only Earth-to-Neptune-mass worlds.

Sea-levels rising faster than IPCC projections
Sea-levels are rising 60 per cent faster than the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's central projections, new research suggests.

GSA Today: Human transformation of land threatens future sustainability?
Social and physical scientists have long been concerned about the effects of humans on Earth's surface -- in part through deforestation, encroachment of urban areas onto traditionally agricultural lands, and erosion of soils -- and the implications these changes have on Earth's ability to provide for an ever-growing population.

Study examines anticoagulation treatment following aortic valve replacement
Although current guidelines recommend three months of anticoagulation treatment after bioprosthetic aortic valve replacement surgery, a study that included more than 4,000 patients found that patients who had warfarin therapy continued between three and six months after surgery had a lower rate of cardiovascular death.

Gene linked to respiratory distress in babies
Some infants are more susceptible to potentially life-threatening breathing problems after birth, and rare, inherited DNA differences may explain why, according to research at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Elsevier and Dutch Fulbright Center collaborate to aid early career researchers in the Netherlands
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, today announces its collaboration with the Dutch division of the Fulbright Center, a bi-national non-profit organization focused on enhancing the collaboration between the United States and the Netherlands in science.

James' bond: A graphene/nanotube hybrid
A seamless graphene/nanotube hybrid created at Rice University may be the best electrode interface material possible for many energy storage and electronics applications.

Man's best friend: Common canine virus may lead to new vaccines for deadly human diseases
Researchers at the University of Georgia have discovered that a virus commonly found in dogs may serve as the foundation for the next great breakthrough in human vaccine development.

Man and nature 3200 BC to the Middle Ages
New postgraduate research group to study early concepts of Man and Nature from 3200 BC to the Middle Ages.

Fish ear bones point to climate impacts
Scientists believe that fish ear bones and their distinctive growth rings can offer clues to the likely impacts of climate change in aquatic environments.

The selling of wartime needs sold the US on advertising, author says
It's hard to imagine today, but the advertising industry once faced fierce public opposition, in the 1930s.

Topical simvastatin shown to accelerate wound healing in diabetes
Delayed wound healing is a major complication of diabetes because the physiological changes in tissues and cells impair the wound healing process.

An energy conscious workforce: New research looks at how to encourage staff to go green
A new £1.3m project, being led by researchers at The University of Nottingham, is to look at people's attitudes to energy consumption in the workplace and how to encourage colleagues to work together in reducing their organisation's carbon footprint.

How to invent and protect your invention: A guide to patents for scientists and engineers
Introducing an easy-to-read, jargon-free overview of the patent application process for scientists and engineers:

New computerized approach could revolutionize design and manufacturing
Engineers have made important advances that may dramatically change how machines get built, with a concept that could turn the approaches used by modern industry into a historic relic.

Illuminating the no-man's land of waters' surface
Sylvie Roke, scientist in EPFL's Bioengineering Institute, is refuting previously held theories and offering a new explanation of electrochemical phenomena occurring at the interface between water and a hydrophobic matter.

How to buy an ethical diamond
Trina Hamilton, a University at Buffalo expert in corporate responsibility, is leading an ongoing study that looks at how retailers are marketing ethical diamonds to consumers.

Paralysis by analysis should not delay decisions on climate change
Uncertainty about how much the climate is changing is not a reason to delay preparing for the harmful impacts of climate change says Professor Jim Hall of the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford and colleagues at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, writing today in Nature Climate Change.

Amyloid imaging helps in evaluating possible Alzheimer disease
A test to detect brain amyloid deposits associated with Alzheimer disease (AD) provides doctors with useful information on treatment and further testing for patients with cognitive impairment, according to a study published online by the journal Alzheimer Disease & Associated Disorders.

4 is the 'magic' number
According to psychological lore, when it comes to items of information the mind can cope with before confusion sets in, the

Tracking down smallest biomarkers
A new device is to provide the metrological basis for promising biomarkers.

A new look at wetting models: Continuum analysis
Researchers considered the wetting phenomenon on a general substrate from a new viewpoint of continuum mechanics.

Gene that causes tumor disorder linked to increased breast cancer risk
New Johns Hopkins research showing a more than four-fold increase in the incidence of breast cancer in women with neurofibromatosis-1 adds to growing evidence that women with this rare genetic disorder may benefit from early breast cancer screening with mammograms beginning at age 40, and manual breast exams as early as adolescence.

Ruling out deep vein thrombosis at the primary care level
Algorithms improve certainty in ruling out deep and pelvic vein thrombosis at the primary level of patient care, say Lobna El Tabei and her co-authors in the current issue of the Deutsches Ärzteblatt International (Dtsch Arztebl Int 2012; 109[45]: 761-6).

Tracking pollution from outer space
Prof. Pinhas Alpert of Tel Aviv University is turning to three of NASA's high-tech satellites for a comprehensive view of pollutants in the atmosphere.

Seeing the world through the eyes of an orangutan
A captive bred Sumatran orangutan and a University of Nottingham neuroscientist in Malaysia are hoping to explain some of the mysteries of the visual brain and improve the lives of captive bred animals.

Thyroid problems linked to irregular heart rhythm
People with an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism) carry a greater risk of developing irregular heart rhythm (known as atrial fibrillation) than those with normal thyroid function, finds 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