Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 23, 2013
The brain of the ampelosaur from Cuenca (Spain) revealed
The differences with the only species of the genus known so far suggest that it could be a new species.

'Navigating Life with a Brain Tumor'
Empowering patients during the course of their treatment is the goal of a new book, Navigating Life with a Brain Tumor, written by neuro-oncologists from Mayo Clinic in Arizona and Tufts Medical Center in Boston.

Marginal lands are prime fuel source for alternative energy
Marginal lands--those unsuited for food crops--can serve as prime real estate for meeting the nation's alternative energy production goals.

Key elements in preventing homophobic bullying in schools
How are non-heterosexual people affected by discrimination endured in the school environment due to their affective-sexual orientation?

Children's complex thinking skills begin forming before they go to school
New research reveals that children begin to show signs of higher-level thinking skills as young as age 4 and a half.

Treatment targeting PI3K may delay resistance to anti-HER2 therapy in breast cancer patients
Early use of PI3K inhibitors may prevent or delay treatment resistance.

Women must do more to reap same positive health outcomes as men, MU research suggests
Research conducted at the University of Missouri suggests certain exercises that benefit obese men may not have the same positive results for obese women.

Modifications of a nanoparticle can change chemical interactions with cell membranes
Researchers at Syracuse University's Department of Biomedical and Chemical Engineering at L.C.

Effect of taking smaller bites outweighs tendency to eat more when distracted
Eating while distracted generally makes people eat more without being aware of it, but reducing bite sizes may be able to counter this effect, according to new research published Jan.

Setting the dark on fire
A new image from the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) telescope in Chile shows a beautiful view of clouds of cosmic dust in the region of Orion.

Panel recommends changing name of common disorder in women
An independent panel convened by the National Institutes of Health has issued a final report regarding future research and clinical priorities for polycystic ovary syndrome.

Studies provide insights into inherited causes of autism
The most consistent finding of autism research lies in the revelation that the disorders are incredibly complex.

ASU graduate student to build infrared camera for nanosatellite
Michael Veto, a third-year graduate student in the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University, has been chosen to build an infrared and visible light camera system that will launch on a space satellite.

Retrovirus in the human genome is active in pluripotent stem cells
A retrovirus called HERV-H, which inserted itself into the human genome millions of years ago, may play an important role in pluripotent stem cells.

Ice detector warns drivers in advance
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has developed an automatic slipperiness detection system for cars.

Underwater CO2 shows potential as barrier to Asian carp
As the Asian carp population grows and the threat of the invasive species entering Lake Michigan through one of the Chicago canals is monitored, a University of Illinois researcher believes using two barrier methods is better than one.

Teenagers avoid early alcohol misuse through personality management
Personality-targeted school interventions delivered to high risk adolescents manage to reduce and postpone problem drinking, which is responsible for nine percent of the deaths in young people between the ages of 15 and 29 in developed countries.

Smokers who quit before age 40 have lifespan almost as long as people who never smoked
Smokers who quit when they are young adults can live almost as long as people who never smoked, groundbreaking new research has found.

Ohio State implants first brain pacemaker to treat Alzheimer's
An Ohio woman is the first Alzheimer's patient in the United States to have a pacemaker implanted in her brain.

Greenland ice cores provide vision of the future
Ice cores drilled in the Greenland ice sheet, recounting the history of the last great warming period more than 120,000 years ago, are giving scientists their clearest insight to a world that was warmer than today.

New brain circuit sheds light on development of voluntary movements
All parents know the infant milestones: turning over, learning to crawl, standing, and taking that first unassisted step.

Climate change could cause massive losses in Pyrenees ski resorts
An increase in temperatures due to climate change could mean that the Andorran ski resorts have a shorter season in the future, especially in lower areas.

Oxygen chamber can boost brain repair
Through the use of hyperbaric, oxygen-rich chambers, Tel Aviv University's Dr.

Previous unknown fox species found
Researchers from Wits University and the University of Johannesburg in South Africa, together with international scientists announced on Tuesday, Jan.

Inside a machine for turning coffee into science
In its recently published fifth issue, the Journal of Unsolved Questions invites readers to take a look behind the doors of researchers' offices and laboratories, presenting

Beta-catenin molecule is required for tooth root formation
Today, IADR/AADR published a paper titled

Motion control keeps electric car's 4 wheels -- and 4 motors -- on the road
It weighs half as much as a sports car, and turns on a dime -- so its no surprise that the electric car being developed at Ohio State University needs an exceptional traction and motion control system to keep it on the road.

Frequent multitaskers are bad at it
Most people believe they can multitask effectively, but a University of Utah study indicates that people who multitask the most -- including talking on a cell phone while driving -- are least capable of doing so.

New method of producing nanomagnets for information technology
An international team of researchers has found a new method of producing molecular magnets.

Cornell bioengineers discover the natural switch that controls spread of breast cancer cells
With a desire to inhibit metastasis, Cornell biomedical engineers have found the natural switch between the body's inflammatory response and how malignant breast cancer cells use the bloodstream to spread.

Estrogen fights urinary infection in mouse study
Estrogen levels drop dramatically in menopause, a time when the risk of urinary tract infections increases significantly.Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Emergency admissions death toll significantly higher on public holidays
Patients admitted to hospital as emergencies on public holidays are significantly more likely to die than those admitted on other days of the week - including weekends - indicates research published online in Emergency Medicine Journal.

Parasites of Madagascar's lemurs expanding with climate change
Rising temperatures and shifting rainfall patterns in Madagascar could fuel the spread of lemur parasites and the diseases they carry.

Female criminals -- questioning popular perceptions
Is a female offender an anomaly? We tend to think of women as being less prone to violence than men.

ERC grant for quantum physicist Joerg Schmiedmayer
The group of Joerg Schmiedmayer at the Vienna University of Technology is looking for new quantum states between order and disorder.

Parents numb to misuse of narcotic pain meds by youth, new poll shows
Only 1 in 5 parents say they are very concerned about children and teens misusing narcotics, according to U-M's National Poll on Children's Health.

New study reveals sex to be pleasurable with or without use of a condom or lubricant
A new study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine reveals that within a nationally representative study of American men and women, sex was rated as highly arousing and pleasurable whether or not condoms and/or lubricants were used.

Study reveals gaps in availability of radiotherapy services across Europe
Wide disparities in access to radiotherapy services, patchy provision, unmet need, and unequal spending on resources are revealed in a European-wide study published Online First in The Lancet Oncology.

Learn to be more understanding by watching The Bachelor (this season, anyway)
A new USC study finds evidence suggesting that the brain works hard to understand those who have different bodies when watching them in action.

Learning and memory may play a central role in synesthesia
People with color-grapheme synesthesia experience color when viewing written letters or numerals, usually with a particular color evoked by each grapheme (i.e., the letter 'A' evokes the color red).

New additions increase number of records in USP food fraud database by 60 percent
Nearly 800 new records of

Microdosing: Updating its role in developing new medicines
One of yesterday's most promising new tools for speeding the development of new medicines --

Study: Transparent pricing doesn't curb doctors' use of high-cost hospital imaging tests
In a study designed to see if doctors who are told the exact price of expensive medical tests like MRIs in advance would order fewer of them, Johns Hopkins researchers got their answer: No.

EMBL-EBI researchers make DNA storage a reality
Researchers at the EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute have created a way to store data in the form of DNA - a material that lasts for tens of thousands of years.

Self-assembling silica microwires may herald new generation of integrated optical devices
Silica microwires are the tiny and as yet underutilized cousins of optical fibers.

New research to develop chemical supplies for industry
Finding alternative ways of supplying chemicals for fuels and industrial use is one of the key challenges facing the industrial biotechnology industry today.

Household chores: Gender equality's final frontier
Working-class couples that buck convention and live together rather than marry take on traditional roles when it comes to housework, according to a new study by a Cornell University sociologist.

The benefits of social grooming
Researchers found that in chimpanzees the hormone oxytocin is likely to play a key role in maintaining social relations with both kin and non-kin cooperation partners.

Researchers create self-healing, stretchable wires using liquid metal
Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed elastic, self-healing wires in which both the liquid-metal core and the polymer sheath reconnect at the molecular level after being severed.

Greenland ice cores reveal warm climate of the past
Between 130,000 and 115,000 years ago, Earth's climate was warmer than today.

More efficient way to make popular prescription medication
In a demonstration of the power of green chemistry, scientists are reporting development of a new and more efficient process for making one of the most costly and widely used medications for severe mental illness.

Personal epigenetic 'signatures' found consistent in prostate cancer patients' metastases
In a genome-wide analysis of 13 metastatic prostate cancers, scientists at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center found consistent epigenetic

Mental health approach to teenage alcohol prevention is successful, finds new study
Targeted psychological interventions aimed at teenagers at risk of emotional and behavioral problems significantly reduce their drinking behavior, and that of their schoolmates, according to the results from a large randomized controlled trial led by King's College London's Institute of Psychiatry.

Immigrants: Highly educated, underpaid
The cab driver who was an engineer in his home country, the gas station attendant who used to teach physics, the cashier who trained as a pediatrician.

Scientists identify new strategy to fight deadly infection in cystic fibrosis
New research suggests that lowering excessive levels of a protein in immune system cells could be a strategy to clear an infection that is deadly to patients with cystic fibrosis.

ORNL research paves way for larger, safer lithium ion batteries
Looking toward improved batteries for charging electric cars and storing energy from renewable but intermittent solar and wind, scientists have developed the first high-performance, nanostructured solid electrolyte for more energy-dense lithium ion batteries.

New way to identify 'smoked' grapes and wines
With climate change sparking concern about an increased risk of wildfires, scientists are reporting development of a way to detect grapes exposed to smoke from those fires, which otherwise could be vented into bad-tasting wine.

Putting the squeeze on cells
By deforming cells, researchers can deliver RNA, proteins and nanoparticles for many applications.

Owl monkeys who 'stay true' reproduce more than those with multiple partners, Penn study finds
Breaking up is hard to do -- and can be detrimental to one's reproductive fitness, according to a new University of Pennsylvania study.

Better outlook for dwindling black macaque population in Indonesia
Since at least the 1970s, the population of critically endangered Sulawesi black macaques living in an Indonesian nature reserve has been dropping.

Can changes in nutrition labeling help consumers make better food choices?
The Nutrition Facts label was introduced 20 years ago and provides consumers with important information, including: the serving size, the number of servings in the package, the number of calories per serving, and the amount of nutrients for each serving of a packaged food.

Hailstones reveal life in a storm cloud
It isn't life on Mars, but researchers have found a rich diversity of microbial life and chemicals in the ephemeral habitat of a storm cloud, according to a study published Jan.

New study suggests many apples a day keep the blues at bay
Eating more fruit and vegetables may make young people calmer, happier and more energetic in their daily life, new research from New Zealand's University of Otago suggests.

Deep ice cores show past Greenland warm period may be 'road map' for continued warming of planet
A new study by an international team of scientists analyzing ice cores from the Greenland ice sheet going back in time more than 100,000 years indicates the last interglacial period may be a good analog for where the planet is headed in terms of increasing greenhouse gases and rising temperatures.

Self-reported BMI bias estimates increasing due to weight bias, not weight loss
The gap between obesity levels measured by self-reported height and weight and obesity recorded by measured height and weight is increasing.

Controlled crumpling of graphene forms artificial muscle
Duke University engineers are layering atom-thick lattices of carbon with polymers to create unique materials with a broad range of applications, including artificial muscles.

The global gene pool of the goat is seriously under threat
Amongst the range of domestic livestock species, the goat is not just the 'black sheep' but a resource of survival in impoverished countries, and many breeds are at great risk of disappearing.

Experts propose overhaul of ethics oversight of research
The longstanding ethical framework for protecting human volunteers in medical research needs to be replaced because it is outdated and can impede efforts to improve health care quality, assert leaders in bioethics, medicine, and health policy in two companion articles in a Hastings Center Report special report,

Microbiologists eavesdrop on the hidden lives of microbes
Scientists track ocean microbe populations in their natural habitat to create a 'day in the life' montage.

Health and environment: A closer look at plastics
Rolf Halden, a researcher at Arizona State University's Biodesign Institute has been following the chemical trail of plastics, quantifying their impact on human health and the environment.

GP judgement not enough to accurately diagnose cases of pneumonia
Pneumonia cannot be accurately diagnosed solely on a doctor's analysis of symptoms and patient history, according to new findings.

Santiago, Chile, will get drier and warmer
Already nowadays 10 percent or more of the population in the Metropolitan Region of Santiago de Chile is affected by extreme heat or floods.

NJIT professor Alexander Haimovich named IEEE Fellow
A pioneer in the field of signal processing in adaptive arrays and multiple sensor radar, NJIT professor Alexander Haimovich has been named an IEEE Fellow.

USDA grant advancing deadly plant disease, insect research
A competitive grant is helping a Kansas State University doctoral student turn the insect responsible for spreading one of the worst plant diseases into a tool that stifles the disease's transmission.

Planning for bacteria in cancer patients may help hospitals fight infections
A University of Colorado Cancer Center study published in this month's issue of the International Journal of Infectious Diseases shows the answer: E. coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae are especially prevalent in patients with lung and GI cancers, more so for Klebsiella if these patients have been treated previously with aminopenicillins.

Nanoparticles digging the world's smallest tunnels
The world's smallest tunnels have a width of only a few nanometers.

Forecasting brain tumors like a storm
The critical question shortly after a brain cancer patient starts treatment: how well is it working?

Magma in Earth's mantle forms deeper than once thought
Magma forms far deeper than geologists previously thought, according to new research results.

A special issue of Sprintronics in Science China: Physics, Mechanics & Astronomy
Science China Physics, Mechanics & Astronomy invited some Chinese experts and researchers in the field of spintronics to write a series of review articles in this special issue, in order to assist undergraduate, master's and doctoral students, as well as young researchers to understand this fast growing field.

SNPs associated with breast cancer risk alter binding affinity for pioneer factor FOXA1
Dartmouth scientists showed that more than half of all the SNPs associated with breast cancer risk are located in distant regions and bound by FOXA1, a protein required for estrogen receptor-alpha function according to a paper published in the journal Nature Genetics in November.

Novel approaches needed to end growing scourge of 'superbugs'
With the rising awareness of the so-called

Scientists underestimated potential for Tohoku quake. Now what?
The massive Tohoku, Japan, earthquake in 2011 and Sumatra-Andaman superquake in 2004 stunned scientists because neither region was thought to be capable of producing a megathrust earthquake with a magnitude exceeding 8.4.

How the purple and pink sunscreens of reef corals work
New research by the University of Southampton has found a mechanism as to how corals use their pink and purple hues as sunscreen to protect them against harmful sunlight.

Implementation of smoke-free legislation reduces the number of acute myocardial infarctions by 11 percent
Researchers of Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute from Barcelona, the Josep Trueta Hospital, the Blanes Hospital and IDIAP Jordi Gol from Girona have carried out a study to assess the impact of the partial smoke-free legislation passed in 2006 on the incidence of acute myocardial infarction in the province of Girona and observed it has dropped 11 percent.

Blocking digestive enzymes may reverse shock, stop multiorgan failure
New research from the University of California, San Diego moves researchers closer to understanding and developing treatments for shock, sepsis and multiorgan failure.

Gun control: Focus on manufacturers, not just buyers, study shows
As the gun control debate continues, Kevin D. Bradford, an associate professional specialist in marketing at the University of Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business, says the focus should be on those who distribute guns, not solely on those who buy them.

NIH clinical trial begins for treatment of rare, fatal neurological disorder
A clinical trial to evaluate a drug candidate called cyclodextrin as a possible treatment for Niemann-Pick disease type C1 (NPC), a rare and fatal genetic disease, will start today, researchers announced.

Salk Institute awarded historic $42 million grant from the Helmsley Charitable Trust
The Salk Institute for Biological Studies has received a $42 million gift-the largest in the Institute's history-to establish the Helmsley Center for Genomic Medicine, a research center dedicated to decoding the common genetic factors underlying many complex chronic human diseases.

Encyclopedia of NMR
Published by Wiley, this new 10-volume set captures every aspect of the interdisciplinary nature of magnetic resonance and provides the most complete and up-to-date source in the field.

£35 million to support research for vital industrial sector
In a speech later today, Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts, will announce £35 million funding to boost research in Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy.

Attitudes to speed among learner drivers predict unsafe driving once qualified
Attitudes to speed and risk-taking on the road develop at the learner driver stage and predict those who will go on to be potentially dangerous drivers once fully licensed, indicates research published online in Injury Prevention.

Pavlov's rats? Rodents trained to link rewards to visual cues
In experiments on rats outfitted with tiny goggles, scientists say they have learned that the brain's initial vision processing center not only relays visual stimuli, but also can

Free clinics reduce emergency department visits
People who receive primary care from free clinics are less likely to use the emergency department for minor issues, according to a team of medical researchers.

Social Scientists call for more effective teaching in Higher Education
A new position paper, 'The Professionalisation of Academics as Teachers in Higher Education,' has been published today by the European Science Foundation.

Knobbly knees in competition with fingerprints
Forget digital fingerprints, iris recognition and voice identification, the next big thing in biometrics could be your knobbly knees.

Forcing choice may hamper decision-making, study finds
Constraining choice isn't necessarily a good thing when it comes to managers' problem-solving, according to a new Canadian study.

First special edition updating progress on efforts to map human proteins
Almost 10 years after completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003, scientists are making progress toward the next major goal in applying the genetic information in that

Moffitt study shows smoking cessation more successful for cancer patients who quit before surgery
Lung and head and neck cancer patients who smoked before surgery are more likely to relapse than those who had quit before surgery, Moffitt Cancer Center researchers say.

Experts believe plain packaging of tobacco products would cut smoking
Experts believe that plain packaging of tobacco products would cut smoking, a new study has found.

Bioengineer studying how to send drugs to lungs through nanotechnology
A UT Arlington bioengineering researcher has teamed with a UT Southwestern colleague to develop a nanoparticle drug delivery system that will help stimulate lung growth and function after partial lung removal or destructive lung disease.

Right target, but missing the bulls-eye for Alzheimer's
Researchers at UCLA have, for the first time, isolated a particular segment of a toxic form of the Abeta protein and discovered a unique hairpin-like structure that facilitates

Risk of lung cancer death has risen dramatically among women smokers in recent decades
Female smokers have a much greater risk of death from lung cancer and chronic obstructive lung disease in recent years than did female smokers 20 or 40 years ago, reflecting changes in smoking behavior.

Migraine triggers may not be as strong as you think
A new study suggests that triggers for migraine with aura may not be as strong as some people think.

Studies show biosolids can boost soil phosphorus levels for years
Treated wastewater solids called biosolids are sometimes used by farmers to boost soil nutrient levels.

Study shows high blood calcium levels may indicate ovarian cancer
A new study from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center is the first to report that high blood calcium levels might predict of ovarian cancer, the most fatal of the gynecologic cancers.

There were more small meat-eating dinosaurs than first thought
University of Alberta researchers used fossilized teeth to identify at least 23 species of small meat-eating dinosaurs.

Breakthrough: How salt stops plant growth
Until now it has not been clear how salt, a scourge to agriculture, halts the growth of the plant-root system.

NIH-developed candidate dengue vaccine shows promise in early-stage trial
A candidate dengue vaccine developed by scientists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has been found to be safe and to stimulate a strong immune response in most vaccine recipients, according to results from an early-stage clinical trial sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the NIH.

New research may aid treatment of multiple myeloma patients
A study led by Robert G. Hawley, Ph.D., professor and chair of the department of anatomy and regenerative biology at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, may help predict which patients with multiple myeloma will respond better to certain treatments.

Caloric restriction has a protective effect on chromosomes
According to a study carried out by a team led by María Blasco, the director of the Spanish National Cancer Centre and head of the Telomeres and Telomerase Group, a sustained lowering of food intake over time results in an increase of telomere length -- the ends of chromosomes -- in adult mice, which has a protective effect on the DNA and genetic material.

NASA sees massive rainfall totals from Tropical Storm Oswald
Tropical Storm Oswald's heavy rains have caused flooding in Queensland, Australia and NASA's TRMM satellite measured almost two feet of rain fell in certain areas.

Tall and thin not so great for lung disease
Tall, thin women face a greater risk of infection with nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM), cousins of the organism that causes tuberculosis, according to researchers at National Jewish Health.

Researchers discover promising prognostic marker for aggressive breast cancer
A team of researchers led by Goutham Narla at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and University Hospitals Case Medical Center, and collaborators at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Erasmus Medical Center, have discovered a gene variant that drives the spread of breast cancer.

Type 1 diabetes in urban children skyrockets, increasing by 70 percent in children under age 5
Over the past two decades, the incidence of type 1 diabetes in very young children under age five has increased by 70 percent in the city of Philadelphia, according to research from a University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing researcher who currently maintains the only US registry of diabetes in children that has collected data continuously since 1985.

'Invisible' Filipino history in Annapolis documented by UMD researchers
Filipinos have been an invisible minority in Annapolis, Md., for more than a century.

Whole-exome sequencing identifies inherited mutations in autism
While autism clearly runs in some families, few inherited genetic causes have been found.

Astrocytes identified as target for new depression therapy
Neuroscientists from Tufts have found that our star-shaped brain cells may be responsible for the rapid improvement in mood in depressed patients after acute sleep deprivation.

Space instrument adds big piece to the solar corona puzzle
How can the solar atmosphere get hotter, rather than colder, the farther you go from the sun's surface?

NASA catches the very brief life of Tropical Cyclone Peta
Infrared data from NASA's Aqua satellite has shown that soon after a low pressure system in northwestern West Australia became Tropical Storm Peta, it made landfall and started to fall apart.

Reinventing retirement: New pathways, new arrangements, new meanings
Special issue outlining the historical and social context of retirement as a concept and identifies some of the most dramatic broad-based forces of change that in recent years have shaken this established construct to its core.

Global plant diversity hinges on local battles against invasive species
In Missouri forests, dense thickets of invasive honeysuckle decrease the light available to other plants, hog the attention of pollinators and offer nutrient-stingy berries to migrating birds.

Researchers design a new imaging technique for identifying the age and sex of a corpse
A new technique is based on a computing system designed by researchers at the Forensic Anthropology Laboratory of the University of Granada. 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