Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 17, 2013
Wayne State University researcher to evaluate success of text message diabetes intervention
A Wayne State University researcher has received a combined $36,000 in grants from the Southeastern Michigan Health Association and Greater Cincinnati HealthBridge, Inc. to help determine the success of a Type 2 diabetes intervention program currently being piloted in southeast Michigan, greater Cincinnati and New Orleans.

U Alberta researchers move Barkhausen Effect forward
Almost 100 years after the initial discovery, a team of scientists at the University of Alberta and the National Institute for Nanotechnology in Edmonton have harnessed the Barkhausen Effect as a new kind of high-resolution microscopy for the insides of magnetic materials.

Cancer mortality down 20 percent from 1991 peak
An annual report from the American Cancer Society finds as of 2009, the overall death rate for cancer in the United States had declined 20 percent from its peak in 1991, translating to the avoidance of approximately 1.2 million deaths from cancer, 152,900 of these in 2009 alone.

NASA beams Mona Lisa to Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter at the moon
As part of the first demonstration of laser communication with a satellite at the moon, scientists with NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter beamed an image of the Mona Lisa to the spacecraft from Earth.

Study offers new insights into the mechanics of muscle fatigue
A study in The Journal of General Physiology examines the consequences of muscle activity with surprising results, indicating that the extracellular accumulation of potassium that occurs in working muscles is considerably higher than previously thought.

Why wolves are forever wild, but dogs can be tamed
Now, doctoral research by evolutionary biologist Kathryn Lord at the University of Massachusetts Amherst suggests the different behaviors are related to the animals' earliest sensory experiences and the critical period of socialization.

Gastric banding an effective long-term solution to obesity
Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding - lap banding - is a safe and effective long-term strategy for managing obesity, according to the findings of a landmark 15-year follow-up study of patients treated in Australia.

Deodorants: Do we really need them?
New research from the Children of the 90s study at the University of Bristol shows that more than 75 percent of people with a particular version of a gene don't produce under-arm odor but use deodorant anyway.

Dietary shifts driving up phosphorus use
Dietary changes since the early 1960s have fueled a sharp increase in the amount of mined phosphorus used to produce the food consumed by the average person over the course of a year, according to a new study led by researchers at McGill University.

Springer to collaborate with Scion on open access journal
Starting in Jan. 2013, Springer and Scion, a New Zealand Crown Research Institute, will cooperate to publish the New Zealand Journal of Forestry Science.

Mayo Clinic researchers identify enzyme involved in deadly brain tumors
One of the most common types of brain tumors in adults, glioblastoma multiforme, is one of the most devastating.

New insights into how leprosy infection spreads could pave the way for early intervention
A new study, published by Cell Press Jan. 17 in the journal Cell, reveals that the bacteria responsible for leprosy spread infection by hijacking specialized cells in the adult nervous system, reprogramming them into a stem cell-like state, and converting them to muscle-like cells.

Abortions are safe when performed by advanced practice nurses and physician assistants, study shows
First trimester abortions are just as safe when performed by trained nurse practitioners, physician assistants and certified nurse midwives as when conducted by physicians, according to a new six-year study led by UCSF.

New study challenges links between day care and behavioral issues
Researchers from the US and Norway studied 75,000 Norwegian children and found no evidence that time spent in child care leads to behavioral problems.

40 U-M students named Dow Sustainability Fellows
Forty master's and professional-degree students from eight schools and colleges at the University of Michigan are beginning the Dow Sustainability Fellows Program today, marking the first cohort of fellows in the $10 million program launched last spring.

How cells know when it's time to eat themselves
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have identified a molecular mechanism regulating autophagy, a fundamental stress response used by cells to help ensure their survival in adverse conditions.

World's most complex 2-D laser beamsteering array demonstrated
As reported in the current issue of the journal Nature, DARPA researchers have recently demonstrated the most complex 2-D optical phased array ever.

New key to organism complexity identified
Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley researchers have discovered that the transcription factor protein TFIID coexists in two distinct structural states, a key to genetic expression and TFIID's ability to initiate the process by which DNA is copied into RNA.

A global approach to monitoring biodiversity loss
In contrast to climate change, there is no coordinated global system in place for measuring and reporting on biodiversity change or loss.

Fraunhofer shows bio-tiles and heat-resistant biopolymers
Even tiles can be organic - if they are made of renewable raw materials.

Global plant diversity still hinges on local battles against invasives, study suggests
Scientists at Washington University in St. Louis have long suspected that studies of the impact of invasive species on biodiversity sometimes come to different conclusions because the impact depends on the size of the study site.

Mount Sinai researchers discover how the flu virus tells time
According to researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, the flu knows how much time it has to multiply, infect other cells, and spread to another human being.

Feed a cold, starve a fever.... and your worms!
Scientists from the University of Manchester have discovered that weight loss seen during an intestinal worm infection is beneficial in fighting off the parasite.

UNC researchers use luminescent mice to track cancer and aging in real-time
In a study published in the Jan. 18 issue of Cell, researchers from the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center have developed a new method to visualize aging and tumor growth in mice using a gene closely linked to these processes.

Irregular heart beat elevates risk of kidney failure
Many people who suffer from chronic kidney disease progressively lose their kidney function over time and eventually develop a condition called end-stage renal disease -- the complete failure of the kidneys -- placing them in need of lifelong dialysis or a kidney transplant.

A hidden treasure in the Large Magellanic Cloud
Nearly 200,000 light-years from Earth, the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way, floats in space, in a long and slow dance around our galaxy.

Corita Grudzen, M.D., named a practice change leader to improve health care for older adults
Corita Grudzen, M.D., MSHS, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine and Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai has been selected as one of 10 inaugural members of The Practice Change Leaders for Aging and Health program for experts in geriatric care.

A nano-gear in a nano-motor inside you
Diverse cellular processes require many tiny force-generating motor proteins to work in a team.

The new age of proteomics: An integrative vision of the cellular world
The head of CNIO's Proteomics Core Unit, Javier Muñoz, working alongside Dutch researchers, revises the technology of the post-­‐genomic age and its contributions to the advance of biomedicine.

Quail really know their camouflage
When it comes to camouflage, ground-nesting Japanese quail are experts.

Want to ace that interview? Make sure your strongest competition is interviewed on a different day
Whether an applicant receives a high or low score may have more to do with who else was interviewed that day than the overall strength of the applicant pool, according to new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Is athleticism linked to brain size?
Is athleticism linked to brain size? Researchers at the University of California, Riverside performed laboratory experiments on house mice and found that mice that have been bred for dozens of generations to be more exercise-loving have larger midbrains than those that have not been selectively bred this way -- the first example in which selection for a particular mammalian behavior has been shown to result in a change in size of a specific brain region.

Notre Dame to be part of $194 million university research center network
The University of Notre Dame has been selected to lead one of six new university microelectronics research centers that will share $194 million in funding from the Semiconductor Research Corporation and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to support the continued growth and leadership of the US semiconductor industry.

Critically ill flu patients saved with artificial lung technology treatment
In recent weeks, the intensive critical care units at University Health Network's Toronto General Hospital have used Extra Corporeal Lung Support to support five influenza patients in their recovery from severe respiratory problems.

Botox beats steroids for painful foot condition, plantar fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is the most frequent cause of chronic heel pain, leaving many sufferers unable to put their best foot forward for months at a time.

Titan gets a dune 'makeover'
Titan's siblings must be jealous. While most of Saturn's moons display their ancient faces pockmarked by thousands of craters, Titan -- Saturn's largest moon -- may look much younger than it really is because its craters are getting erased.

INRS researchers actively involved in compact particle accelerator development
Professors Jean-Claude Kieffer, François Legare, and Patrizio Antici of the INRS Energy Materials Telecommunications Research Centre will play a leading role in developing a new type of particle accelerator using laser wakefield acceleration.

Vaginal delivery is the safest option for women with pelvic girdle pain
Caesarean section increases the risk of persistent pelvic girdle pain after delivery compared with vaginal delivery, according to a new study from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

Fighting sleep: UGA discovery may lead to new treatments for deadly sleeping sickness
While its common name may make it sound almost whimsical, sleeping sickness, or African trypanosomiasis, is in reality a potentially fatal parasitic infection that has ravaged populations in sub-Saharan Africa for decades, and it continues to infect thousands of people every year.

Hearing-loss-prevention drugs closer to reality thanks to new UF test
A new way to test anti-hearing-loss drugs in people could help land those medicines on pharmacy shelves sooner.

Cheating to create the perfect simulation
Together with colleagues from the Universities of Jena and Darmstadt (both Germany) Axel Maas has succeeded in simulating the strong atomic nuclear interactions to enable its calculability while at the same time preserving the typical characteristics of a neutron star.

Researchers create method for more sensitive electrochemical sensors
A Northwestern University research team and partners in India have recently developed a new method for amplifying signals in graphene-based electrochemical sensors, a step that could make the sensors more sensitive at lower detection ranges.

Genetic admixture in southern Africa
Ancient Khoisan lineages survive in contemporary Bantu groups.

Novel technique reveals dynamics of telomere DNA structure
Biomedical researchers studying aging and cancer are intensely interested in telomeres, the protective caps on the ends of chromosomes.

Lack of key enzyme in the metabolism of folic acid leads to birth defects
Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin have discovered that the lack of a critical enzyme in the folic acid metabolic pathway leads to neural tube birth defects in developing embryos.

Scientists expose new vulnerabilities in the security of personal genetic information
Using only a computer, an Internet connection, and publicly accessible online resources, a team of Whitehead Institute researchers has been able to identify nearly 50 individuals who had submitted personal genetic material as participants in genomic studies.

Power's punishing impact
New research by Scott Wiltermuth, a USC Marshall School of Business assistant professor of management and organization, and co-author Francis Flynn of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, found that providing a sense of power to someone instills a black-and-white sense of right and wrong (especially wrong).

Guided care provides better quality of care for chronically ill older adults
Patients who received Guided Care, a comprehensive form of primary care for older adults with chronic health problems, rated the quality of their care much higher than patients in regular primary care, and used less home care.

In minutes a day, low-income families can improve their kids' health
When low-income families devote three to four extra minutes to regular family mealtimes, their children's ability to achieve and maintain a normal weight improves measurably, according to a new University of Illinois study.

'Jet-lagged' fruit flies provide clues for body clock synchronisation
New research led by a team at Queen Mary, University of London, has found evidence of how daily changes in temperature affect the fruit fly's internal clock.

A new dimension in mobile telecommunications
The primary objective of the E3Network project, also known as Future Internet, and led by researchers from the CEIT-IK4 research center, is to design a transceiver that allows data transmission at a speed of 10Gbps via a new infrastructure network in EU member countries.

Sniffing immune cells
A research paper by the group of Michael Sixt, Assistant Professor at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria), published today in Science, provides new insights into how immune cells find their way through tissues.

Molecular twist helps regulate the cellular message to make histone proteins
In a collaborative effort published online in the Jan. 18, 2013 issue of the journal Science, researchers at the University of North Carolina and Columbia University show for the first time how two key proteins in messenger RNA communicate via a molecular twist to help maintain the balance of histones to DNA.

How the brain copes with multi tasking alters with age
The pattern of blood flow in the prefrontal cortex in the brains alters with age during multi-tasking, finds a new study in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Neuroscience.

Mouse research links adolescent stress and severe adult mental illness
Working with mice, Johns Hopkins researchers have established a link between elevated levels of a stress hormone in adolescence -- a critical time for brain development -- and genetic changes that, in young adulthood, cause severe mental illness in those predisposed to it.

Trading wetlands no longer a deal with the devil
If Faust had been in the business of trading wetlands rather than selling his soul, the devil might be portrayed by the current guidelines for wetland restoration.

The neurobiological consequence of predating or grazing
Scientists from Tuebingen compare neuronal network connections in two worm species.

Great Oxidation Event: More oxygen through multicellularity
The appearance of free oxygen in the Earth's atmosphere led to the Great Oxidation Event.

New insights into the 'borderline personality' brain
New work by University of Toronto Scarborough researchers gives the best description yet of the neural circuits that underlie a severe mental illness called Borderline Personality Disorder, and could lead to better treatments and diagnosis.

RUB researchers find over active enzyme in failing hearts
A certain enzyme, the CaM kinase II, keeps the cardiac muscle flexible.

1,800 Michigan doctors launch effort to improve health care for Medicare patients
More than 1,800 Michigan physicians will work together to tackle the challenge of providing better medical care and slowing the growth of health costs, in a new effort that will help them care for 81,000 of their Medicare-enrolled patients.

Study of cancer cell metabolism yields new insights on leukemia
University of Rochester Medical Center scientists have proposed a new reason why acute myeloid leukemia, one of the most aggressive cancers, is so difficult to cure: A subset of cells that drive the disease appear to have a much slower metabolism than most other tumors cells.

Gothenburg researchers make world top 10
As a Scientific Highlight for 2012, the journal Science has listed the top ten scientific articles published in Science and Nature during the year.

Learning the alphabet of gene control
Swedish scientists have made a large step towards the understanding of how human genes are regulated.

Amputations among people with diabetes can be reduced by 50 percent
Every 30 seconds somebody in the world is amputated as a consequence of foot complication due to diabetes.

Final agenda available for CRF sponsored conference on stem cell therapy for heart disease
The Eighth International Conference on Cell Therapy for Cardiovascular Disease, sponsored by the Cardiovascular Research Foundation, will be held Jan.

Doubling down on energy efficiency
Spending on energy efficiency programs funded by electric and natural gas utility customers will double by 2025 to about $9.5 billion per year, according to projections published by researchers at Berkeley Lab.

Inadequate food facilities in NC migrant camps could cause illness
Farmworkers are at potential risk from food and waterborne illnesses because of the condition of cooking and eating facilities available to them, according to a new study from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

University of Minnesota awarded $28 million grant to lead microelectronics development
The University of Minnesota announced today that it has been awarded a $28 million grant over five years to lead a new national research center focused on developing the next generation of microelectronics.

Implicit race bias increases the differences in the neural representations of black and white faces
Racial stereotypes have been shown to have subtle and unintended consequences on how we treat members of different race groups.

Climate events drive a high-arctic vertebrate community into synchrony
Climate change is known to affect the population dynamics of single species, such as reindeer or caribou, but the effect of climate at the community level has been much more difficult to document.

Compensation negotiation among women in the workplace
Studies have shown that women are less likely to take the most direct approach to ensure that they receive fair pay compared to their male counterparts - simply asking.

Academia: A brake on UN development goals
Creating transdisciplinary dialogue between academia and experts from outside will help in the work to achieve the United Nations' millennium development goals.

Novel sensor provides bigger picture
Duke University engineers have developed a novel sensor that is more efficient, versatile and cheaper for potential use in such applications as airport security scanners and collision avoidance systems for aircraft, cars or maritime vessels.

Univ. of Miami profs Chen and Soden named Fellows of AMS, Albrecht receives AMS Teaching Award
UM Rosenstiel School Professors Shuyi Chen and Brian Soden were elected as Fellows of the American Meteorological Society (AMS), the nation's leading professional society for scientists in the atmospheric and related sciences.

Soft Lego built in the computer
Barbara Capone of the Computational Physics Group of the University of Vienna has developed a new method for the construction of building blocks at the nanoscale.

Bringing fusion electricity to the grid
The European Fusion Development Agreement (EFDA) has published a roadmap which outlines how to supply fusion electricity to the grid by 2050.

It's a dog's life: Doggy database aims to define pet health
Using data collected about Labrador Retrievers, research published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Veterinary Research is beginning to quantify the health, illnesses, and veterinary care of dogs.

How are middle-aged women affected by burnout?
In contrast to previous research findings that showed burnout in middle-aged women to be stable over time, women in a new study were clustered into groups characterized by different developmental patterns of burnout.

Viagra converts fat cells
Researchers from the University of Bonn treated mice with Viagra and made an amazing discovery: The drug converts undesirable white fat cells and could thus potentially melt the unwelcome

Health and law expert: NFL not alone in handling concussions as 'benign' problems
If a lack of speed in tackling concussions warrants criticism, the NFL isn't the only player deserving a penalty, according to a study co-authored by health care and law expert David Orentlicher, who teaches at Indiana University Robert H.

Factors linked with survival differences between Black, White kidney failure patients
Residence in areas with higher average household income was linked with improved survival in kidney failure patients.

Understanding personality for decision-making, longevity, and mental health
Extraversion does not just explain differences between how people act at social events.

New model may help predict response to chemotherapy for colorectal cancer
Scientists may be able to better predict which patients with colorectal cancer will respond to chemotherapy using a new mathematical model that measures the amount of stress required for a cancer cell to die without harming healthy tissue.

A new world record for solar cell efficiency
In a remarkable feat, scientists at Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, have developed thin film solar cells on flexible polymer foils with a new record efficiency of 20.4 percent for converting sunlight into electricity.

Integrated neglected tropical disease control and elimination programs: A global health 'best buy'
A recently released report, entitled

New book analyzes Hollywood and real life crime
A new book by Dr. Willard Oliver of Sam Houston State University's College of Criminal Justice compares real life crimes to Hollywood versions of the event.

Potential new treatment for gastrointestinal cancers discovered
Researchers have identified a complex of proteins that promotes the growth of some types of colon and gastric cancers, and shown that medications that block the function of this complex have the potential to be developed into a new treatment for these diseases.

Study findings have potential to prevent,reverse disabilities in children born prematurely
OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital researchers report for the first time that low blood and oxygen flow to the developing brain does not, as previously thought, cause an irreversible loss of brain cells, but rather disrupts the cells' ability to fully mature.

People with low risk for cocaine dependence have differently shaped brain to those with addiction
People who take cocaine over many years without becoming addicted have a brain structure which is significantly different from those individuals who developed cocaine-dependence, researchers have discovered.

Berkeley-Haas professors honored for excellence in research and scholarly service
Professor Teece, the Thomas W. Tusher Professor in Global Business and faculty director of the Institute for Business Innovation, received the Royal Honour of Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Wild animals may contribute to the resurgence of African sleeping sickness
Wild animals may be a key contributor to the continuing spread of African sleeping sickness, new research published in PLOS Computational Biology shows.

GI tract bacteria may protect against autoimmune disease
Early life exposure to normal bacteria of the GI tract (gut microbes) protects against autoimmune disease in mice, according to research published online in the Jan.

Weight loss helps to oust worms
Scientists from The University of Manchester have discovered that weight loss plays an important role in the body's response to fighting off intestinal worms.

Drug targets hard-to-reach leukemia stem cells responsible for relapses
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered that hard-to-reach, drug-resistant leukemia stem cells that overexpress multiple pro-survival protein forms are sensitive -- and thus vulnerable -- to a novel cancer stem cell-targeting drug currently under development.

New UAlberta research shows commonly prescribed medications could have adverse effects
A research team with the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Alberta reported findings that significantly improve understanding of how widely used drugs in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension affect the heart health of treated patients.

Bacteria's hidden skill could pave way for stem cell treatments
A discovery about the way in which bugs spread throughout the body could help to develop stem cell treatments.

Savanna study highlights African fuelwood crisis
The dwindling reserves of fuelwood in Africa have been illuminated in a new study published today, which shows a bleak outlook for supplies across savannas in South Africa.

Questions about biosafety? Ask a biosafety expert
DIYbio.org and the Synthetic Biology Project have launched a new website to provide free and timely safety advice to Do-It-Yourself biologists.

Drug abuse impairs sexual performance in men even after rehabilitation
An article published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine in the US reveals that alcohol is the drug that most affects sexual arousal (erectile capacity).

UA explores promoting teen health via text message
A new UA study, published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, looks at the use of text messaging to send nutrition and physical activity information to teenagers.

Separating gases using a rigid polymer sieve
A new polymer developed by researchers at Cardiff University may lead to more efficient large-scale separation of gas mixtures for chemical engineering and energy generation.

Empa spin-off bound for success with its electronic bedside care assistant
The first product to hit the Swiss market from Empa and ETH Zurich spin-off compliant concept is surpassing all expectations.

NSF Supports GlobalNSF supports global research to advance science and engineering for sustainability
The National Science Foundation today announced the 12 projects funded in a fourth round of Partnerships for International Research and Education awards.
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