Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 02, 2013
Scientists discover that for Australia the long-beaked echidna may not be a thing of the past
The western long-beaked echidna, one of the world's five egg-laying species of mammal, became extinct in Australia thousands of years ago... or did it?

Biologists unlock 'black box' to underground world
A BYU biologist is part of a team of researchers that has unlocked the

Nature-inspired advance for treating sensitive teeth
Taking inspiration from Mother Nature, scientists are reporting an advance toward preventing the tooth sensitivity that affects millions of people around the world.

Electric stimulation of brain releases powerful, opiate-like painkiller
Researchers used electricity on certain regions in the brain of a patient with chronic, severe facial pain to release an opiate-like substance that's considered one of the body's most powerful painkillers.

NASA sees a struggling post-Tropical Storm Freda affecting New Caledonia
Tropical Storm Freda may no longer be a tropical storm, but as a low pressure area it is bringing rainfall and gusty winds to New Caledonia.

New and revised standards for omega-3s, natural sweeteners and other food ingredients proposed
To help ensure the quality of popular food ingredients increasingly being incorporated into products sold in the United States and worldwide, standards for omega 3-rich krill oil and natural, low-calorie stevia sweeteners are among the latest proposed revisions to the Food Chemicals Codex (FCC).

ALMA sheds light on planet-forming gas streams
Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array telescope have seen a key stage in the birth of giant planets for the first time.

New UGA research helps explain why girls do better in school
Why do girls get better grades in elementary school than boys -- even when they perform worse on standardized tests?

Previous studies on toxic effects of BPA couldn't be reproduced
Following a three-year study using more than 2,800 mice, a University of Missouri researcher was not able to replicate a series of previous studies by another research group investigating the controversial chemical BPA.

Common data determinants of recurrent cancer are broken, mislead researchers
In order to study the effectiveness or cost effectiveness of treatments for recurrent cancer, you first have to discover the patients in medical databases who have recurrent cancer.

Nature: Political action the biggest swing factor in meeting climate targets
The most important factor affecting the likelihood of limiting climate change to internationally agreed targets is when people start to do something about it, according new research from IIASA, ETH Zurich, and other institutions.

Food for friendship: Bonobos share with strangers in exchange for company
Bonobos voluntarily share food and will even forgo their own meals for a stranger, but only if the recipient offers them social interaction, according to research published Jan.

Let crying babes lie: Study supports notion of leaving infants to cry themselves back to sleep
Waking up in the middle of the night is the most common concern that parents of infants report to pediatricians.

Treating stable flies in pastures
USDA scientists are developing strategies to help livestock producers control stable flies, the most damaging arthropod pests of cattle in the United States.

JCI early table of contents for Jan. 2, 2013
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, Jan.

A new fish species from Lake Victoria named in honor of the author of Darwin's Dreampond
A newly described cichlid species from Lake Victoria is named in honor of Tijs Goldschmidt.

Toward reducing the greenhouse gas emissions of the Internet and telecommunications
Amid growing concern over the surprisingly large amount of greenhouse gas produced by the Internet and other telecommunications activities, researchers are reporting new models of emissions and energy consumption that could help reduce their carbon footprint.

Identifying the molecular causes of vision loss in demyelinating disease
In this issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, researchers led by Sanjoy Bhattacharya at the University of Miami investigated the role of deimination in retinal nerve damage in a mouse model of demyelinating disease.

While in womb, babies begin learning language from their mothers
Babies only hours old are able to differentiate between sounds from their native language and a foreign language, scientists have discovered.

EARTH: Famous fossils and spectacular scenery at British Columbia's Burgess Shale
The Burgess Shale provides us with a rare glimpse into the softer side of paleontology.

Measuring the exertion of mini-basketball players
The main aim of the thesis produced by Maite Fuentes was to find out what the perception of exertion is of young mini-basketball players, girls and boys, while they are competing.

'Protecting' psychiatric medical records puts patients at risk of hospitalization
Medical centers that elect to keep psychiatric files private and separate from the rest of a person's medical record may be doing their patients a disservice, a Johns Hopkins study concludes.

For those short on time, aerobic, not resistance, exercise is best bet for weight, fat loss
New study finds that when balancing time commitments against health benefits, aerobics training is optimal for reducing fat- and body mass.

Itchy wool sweaters explained
Johns Hopkins researchers have uncovered strong evidence that mice have a specific set of nerve cells that signal itch but not pain, a finding that may settle a decades-long debate about these sensations, and, if confirmed in humans, help in developing treatments for chronic itch, including itch caused by life-saving medications.

Bisexual men on the 'down low' run risk for poor mental health
Bisexual men are less likely to disclose their sexual orientation than gay men.

Some men voice complaints of shortened penis following prostate cancer treatment
Researchers at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center report a small percentage of men in a prostate cancer study complained that their penis seemed shorter following treatment, causing them to regret the type of treatment they chose.

Secure communication technology can conquer lack of trust
Many scenarios in business and communication require that two parties share information without either being sure if they can trust the other.

New study documents the natural relationship between CO2 concentrations and sea level
By comparing reconstructions of atmospheric CO2 concentrations and sea level over the past 40 million years, researchers based at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton have found that greenhouse gas concentrations similar to the present (almost 400 parts per million) were systematically associated with sea levels at least nine meters above current levels.

'Having Success with NSF: A Practical Guide'
Wiley is pleased to announce the publication of a practical how-to guide to apply and re-apply to the National Science Foundation, written by authors with successful grant histories and NSF

Study refutes accepted model of memory formation
A study by Johns Hopkins researchers has shown that a widely accepted model of long-term memory formation -- that it hinges on a single enzyme in the brain -- is flawed.

Communication is key to medication adherence
Even the best medicines in the world can be rendered ineffective if they are not taken as prescribed.

Bonobos will share with strangers before acquaintances
Bonobos, those notoriously frisky, ardently social great apes of the Congo, value social networking so much, they share food with a stranger before an acquaintance.

Researchers develop tool to evaluate genome sequencing method
Advances in bio-technologies and computer software have helped make genome sequencing much more common than in the past.

Dance of water molecules turns fire-colored beetles into antifreeze artists
Certain plants and animals protect themselves against temperatures below freezing with antifreeze proteins.

Galactic geysers fuelled by star stuff
Enormous outflows of charged particles from the center of our galaxy, stretching more than halfway across the sky and moving at supersonic speeds, have been detected and mapped with CSIRO's 64-m Parkes radio telescope.

LA BioMed's Dr. Marianne Gausche-Hill honored by Emergency Medical Services Authority
Recognized as a pioneer in the field of emergency medical services (EMS) over the past two decades, Marianne Gausche-Hill, M.D., lead investigator at The Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, was honored by the Emergency Medical Services Authority with a Distinguished Service Award for her contributions and sustained statewide leadership, research and education in improving EMS for children.

Research unearths terrace farming at ancient desert city of Petra
New archaeological research dates the heyday of terrace farming at the ancient desert city of Petra to the first century.

Researchers identify an early predictor for glaucoma
A new study finds that certain changes in retinal blood vessels provide an early warning of increased glaucoma risk.

What do cyborgs, shale gas and TSCA reform have in common?
What were the most notable advances in the chemical world in 2012?

Magnetic fields created before the first stars
Magnets have practically become everyday objects. Earlier on, however, the universe consisted only of nonmagnetic elements and particles.

Researchers demonstrate record-setting p-type transistor
At the IEEE's International Electron Devices Meeting in December, researchers from MIT's Microsystems Technology Laboratories presented a p-type transistor with the highest

The laws of global warming
A University of Iowa law professor believes the legal ramifications of geo-engineering need to be thought through now and a global governance structure put in place soon to oversee these efforts to fight climate change.

Promising compound restores memory loss and reverses symptoms of Alzheimer's
A new ray of hope has broken through the clouded outcomes associated with Alzheimer's disease.

New method for uncovering side effects before a drug hits the market
Side effects are a major reason that drugs are taken off the market and a major reason why patients stop taking their medications, but scientists are now reporting the development of a new way to predict those adverse reactions ahead of time.

Bacterial imbalance contributes to intestinal inflammation and carcinogenesis
In this issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, researchers led by Mathias Chamaillard at the University Lille Nord de France in Lille, France, examined intestinal inflammation and tumorigenesis in a mouse model of dysbiosis.

ALMA shows how young star and planets grow simultaneously
The ALMA telescope gives astronomers their first glimpse of a fascinating stage of star formation and helps resolve a mystery about how young planets and their infant star can both grow at the same time.

Physician review websites rely on few patient reviews
Millions of Americans read physician ratings on websites such as, but such ratings are based on scores from an average of only 2.4 patients, a Loyola University Medical Center study has found.

Oh, Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree
As twelfth night approaches and the Christmas decorations start to look increasingly congruous as the last crumbs of cake are swept away and the remnants of the turkey have finally been consumed, there is the perennial question as to what to do with the tree.

PET/CT shows clear advantages over conventional staging for breast cancer patients
New research published in the January issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine shows that 18F-fludeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) positron emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography (CT) imaging offers significant prognostic stratification information at initial staging for patients with locally advanced breast cancer.

Risk genes for Alzheimer's and mental illness linked to brain changes at birth
This study by University of North Carolina School of Medicine researchers is the first to report the impact of common gene variants on brain structure in newborns.

Pitt-led team finds molecule that polices TB lung infection, could lead to vaccine
The presence of a certain molecule allows the immune system to effectively police tuberculosis of the lungs and prevent it from turning into an active and deadly infection, according to a new study led by researchers at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Scientists join forces to bring plant movement to light
Elementary school students often learn that plants grow toward the light.

In Ethiopia, HIV disclosure is low
In Ethiopia, where more than 1.2 million people are infected with HIV, disclosure of infection by patients is important in the fight against the disease.

Treating sleep-disordered breathing in pregnancy may improve fetal health
A new study suggests that treatment of mild sleep-disordered breathing with continuous positive airway pressure therapy in pregnant women with preeclampsia improves fetal activity levels, a marker of fetal well-being.

Baby started to crawl? You might be up more at night
Infants who have started crawling wake up more often at night compared to the period before the crawling, reveals a new study from the University of Haifa.

UC research unveils how some medieval cultures adapted to rise of Islam
UC history research examines how border areas and frontiers of the past adapted to major political, cultural and social shifts, specifically in terms of the rise of Islam in Asia and the Middle East. 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