Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 24, 2013
Red explosions: The secret life of binary stars is revealed
A University of Alberta professor has revealed the workings of a celestial event involving binary stars that results in an explosion so powerful it ranks close to supernovae in luminosity.

'Connection error' in the brains of anorexics
When people see pictures of bodies, a whole range of brain regions are active.

Researchers prevent cancer spread by blocking tissue scarring
What to fear most if faced by a cancer diagnosis is the spread of the cancer to other parts of the body.

Discovering the secrets of tumor growth
Scientists at the University of Copenhagen's Center for Healthy Ageing have identified a compound that blocks the expression of a protein without which certain tumors cannot grow.

Pensoft Publishers integrate their journal platform with OpenAIRE
Pensoft Publishers, publisher of books and open access journals in biodiversity and natural history, have now integrated their editorial management platform with the OpenAIRE platform.

Nottingham expertise in major European drug discovery partnership
Scientists from Nottingham are part of a major European-wide project aimed at developing the next generation of medicines that are more effective and longer lasting.

A scanner for hereditary defects
Our genetic material is constantly exposed to damage, which the body's own proteins normally repair.

HIV-like viruses in non-human primates have existed much longer than previously thought
Viruses similar to those that cause AIDS in humans were present in non-human primates in Africa at least five million years ago and perhaps up to 12 million years ago, according to study published Jan.

Dung beetles use stars for orientation
An insect with a tiny brain and minimal computing power has become the first animal proven to use the Milky Way for orientation.

New book encourages readers to 'Know Soil, Know Life'
Published by the Soil Science Society of America and targeted to high school students,

Kidney disease accounts for most of the increased risk of dying early among diabetics
Among people without diabetes or kidney disease, 10-year mortality was 7.7 percent.

Researchers uncover gene's role in rheumatoid arthritis, findings pave way for new treatments
University of Michigan research sheds new light on why certain people are more likely to suffer from rheumatoid arthritis -- paving the way to explore new treatments for both arthritis and other autoimmune diseases.

'Cool' kids in middle school bully more, UCLA psychologists report
Bullying boosts the social status and popularity of middle school students, reveals a new UCLA psychology study shows, and popular students engage most in bullying.

Fetal exposure to tributyltin linked to obesity
Exposing pregnant mice to low doses of the chemical tributyltin -- which was used in marine antifouling paints and is used as an antifungal agent in some paints, certain plastics and a variety of consumer products -- can lead to obesity for multiple generations without subsequent exposure, a UC Irvine study has found.

Bats split on family living
For the tiny Daubenton's bat, the attractions of family life seem to vary more with altitude than with the allure of the opposite sex.

Gift helps Kansas State University's Smart Grid Lab amp up research in software-defined networking
Researchers in Kansas State University's Smart Grid Laboratory are studying ways to improve electrical systems.

Liquid metal makes silicon crystals at record low temperatures
A new way of making crystalline silicon, developed by U-M researchers, could make this crucial ingredient of computers and solar cells much cheaper and greener.

Science needs a second opinion: Researchers find flaws in study of patients in 'vegetative state'
A team of researchers led by Weill Cornell Medical College is calling into question the published statistics, methods and findings of a highly publicized research study that claimed bedside electroencephalography identified evidence of awareness in three patients diagnosed to be in a vegetative state.

Neuroinflammation may be behind general-anesthesia-associated learning disabilities
In the March issue of Anesthesiology, Massachusetts General Hospital researchers report an animal study indicating that several factors - age, the specific anesthetic agent used and the number of doses - combine to induce impairments in learning and memory accompanied by the inflammation of brain tissue.

Breast feeding okay for mothers taking immunosuppressant drug
The breast milk of mothers taking the immunosuppressant tacrolimus contains only very low levels of the drug.

Can you 'train' yourself to have more willpower?
Researchers at the Miriam Hospital's Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center say that with a little practice, it may be possible to strengthen and improve your self-control -- and lose more weight.

Science magazine prize goes to teaching tool for undergraduate genomics course
Wanting to replicate the kind of research exposure she encountered outside of her freshman science classes, Susan Singer has developed a Web-based undergraduate teaching tool called Genomics Explorers, which is the winner of the Science Prize for Inquiry-Based Instruction.

HFES 2013 International Symposium on Human Factors & Ergonomics in Health Care: Advancing the Cause
The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society has just released the preliminary program for the 2013 International Symposium on Human Factors & Ergonomics in Health Care: Advancing the Cause, to be held March 10-13, 2013, in Baltimore MD US.

Scientists discover how epigenetic information could be inherited
New research reveals a potential way for how parents' experiences could be passed to their offspring's genes.

Chameleon star baffles astronomers
New observations of a pulsar challenge all proposed pulsar emission theories, a team reports in Science.

Adolescent sexual and reproductive health priorities identified
Researchers identified research priorities for adolescent sexual and reproductive health in in low- and middle-income countries.

Love triumphs over hate to make exotic new compound
Northwestern University graduate student Jonathan Barnes had a hunch for creating an exotic new chemical compound, and his idea that the force of love is stronger than hate proved correct.

Virginia Tech computer scientists develop new way to study molecular networks
Computer scientists at Virginia Tech developed a new approach to address the shortcomings in the computational analysis of the multiple ways interactions can occur within cells.

Ovarian tumor, with teeth and a bone fragment inside, found in a Roman-age skeleton
A team of researchers led by the UAB has found the first ancient remains of a calcified ovarian teratoma, in the pelvis of the skeleton of a woman from the Roman era.

New, cost-cutting approach to formulating pest-killing fungi
Biopesticides containing beneficial fungi are often grown on grains or other solids, but US Department of Agriculture scientists have shown a liquid diet can work better.

Urban metabolism for the urban century
Yale University's Journal of Industrial Ecology is pleased to announce a special issue on Sustainable Urban Systems that focuses on the integration of engineered infrastructures, people, and natural systems in the pursuit of environmentally sustainable cities.

Recent breakthroughs in cocoa flavanol research discussed by European research consortium and expert panel
Over 50 leading experts will meet today in Brussels, Belgium, to discuss recent breakthroughs in the field of cocoa flavanol research and the key findings of FLAVIOLA - an EU-funded consortium dedicated to state-of-the-art research into flavanols, their health benefits and potential applications.

Research: Lupus drugs carry no significant cancer risk for patients
People who take immunosuppressive drugs to treat lupus do not necessarily increase their cancer risk according to new research led by scientists at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre.

Fast, low-cost device uses the cloud to speed up diagnostic testing for HIV and more
Columbia biomedical engineering professor Samuel Sia has taken his innovative lab-on-a-chip and developed a way to not only check a patient's HIV status anywhere in the world with just a finger prick, but also synchronize the results automatically and instantaneously with central health-care records -- 10 times faster than the benchtop ELISA.

Sun shoots out 2 coronal mass ejections
On Jan. 23, 2013, at 9:55 a.m. EST, the sun erupted with an Earth-directed coronal mass ejection, or CME.

NASA sees Tropical Cyclone Garry continue to intensify
Tropical Cyclone Garry is in a good environment to intensify and satellite imagery from NOAA's GOES-15 satellite helped confirm that the storm has become more organized.

Meta-analysis confirms folic acid supplementation unlikely to increase cancer risk
Researchers have established that short-term use of folic acid supplements is unlikely to substantially increase or decrease overall cancer risk and has little effect on the risk of developing any specific cancer including cancer of the colon, prostate, lung, and breast, according to a meta-analysis involving almost 50,000 individuals published Online First in the Lancet.

Out-of-pocket costs for breast cancer probably manageable for most Canadian women
Out-of-pocket costs resulting from breast cancer care in the year following diagnosis are likely manageable for most women, but some women are at a higher risk of experiencing the financial burden that comes from those costs in Canadian breast cancer patients, according to a study published Jan.

Organizing human specimen collections: Getting the best out of biobanks
The diversity of biobanks, collections of human specimens from a variety of sources, raises questions about the best way to manage and govern them, finds a study published in BioMed Central's open access journal Genome Medicine.

Researchers say it's time to treat anemia seriously
A paper published online today in the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia says that hospitals that do treat patients with anemia have better outcomes, including fewer blood transfusions and infections and shorter hospital stays.

Pitt team finds 'Achilles Heel' of key HIV replication protein
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine may have found an

NASA Super-TIGER balloon shatters flight record
Flying high over Antarctica, a NASA long duration balloon has broken the record for longest flight by a balloon of its size.

The 2013 International Conference on Genomics in Europe will take place in Ghent, Belgium
The 2013 International Conference on Genomics in Europe will take place in Ghent, Belgium.

Low vitamin D levels linked to high risk of premenopausal breast cancer
A prospective study led by researchers from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine has found that low serum vitamin D levels in the months preceding diagnosis may predict a high risk of premenopausal breast cancer.

Spotting fetal growth problems early could cut UK stillbirths by 600 a year
Growth restriction in an unborn child is the single largest risk factor for stillbirth, especially when it goes unrecognized before birth, finds a study published on today.

Mayo Clinic named Regional TB Training and Medical Consultation Center
Mayo Clinic has been designated a Regional Tuberculosis Training and Medical Consultation Center by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Chameleon pulsar baffles astronomers
A pulsar that is able, without warning, to dramatically change the way in which it shines has been identified by an international team including scientists from The University of Manchester.

NSF cooperating with Italy, New Zealand in search for downed plane in Antarctica
Officials with the US Antarctic Program are cooperating with their Italian and New Zealand counterparts, as well as the Rescue Coordination Centre in Wellington, NZ, in a search-and-rescue effort to locate a propeller-driven aircraft that is believed to have crashed in a remote and mountainous part of Antarctica.

Prenatal inflammation linked to autism risk
Maternal inflammation during early pregnancy may be related to an increased risk of autism in children, according to new findings supported by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health.

New Year brings (potentially) good news for conservation of species on Earth
Claims that most species will go extinct before they can be discovered have been debunked in the latest issue of Science, by researchers from the University of Auckland, Griffith University, and the University of Oxford.

Climate change beliefs of independent voters shift with the weather, UNH study finds
There's a well-known saying in New England that if you don't like the weather here, wait a minute.

School system favors pupils driven by worry and conscientiousness
It is well known that children perform differently at school, but how can two children with the same IQ, similar home backgrounds and the same teacher get completely different grades?

New drug improves survival in multiple myeloma relapse, Moffitt Cancer Center researchers say
Researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center and colleagues have investigated the safety, efficacy and the maximum tolerated dose of pomalidomide for patients with multiple myeloma who have disease relapsed after treatments with other drugs, such as bortezomib and lenalidomide.

Canada launches first gene therapy trial for Fabry disease
Fabry disease, a rare inherited enzyme deficiency, can shorten the lifespan of people who have it by as much as 40 years.

Cells 'flock' to heal wounds
Like flocks of birds, cells coordinate their motions as they race to cover and ultimately heal wounds to the skin.

Genetic landscape of common brain tumors holds key to personalized treatment
Nearly the entire genetic landscape of the most common form of brain tumor can be explained by abnormalities in just five genes, an international team of researchers led by Yale School of Medicine scientists report online in the Jan.

Some minority students may fare better than whites when working part time, new research finds
African-American and Hispanic students may be less likely than non-Hispanic white students to hold a job during the school year, but when they do, they tend to work somewhat longer hours and seem less likely to see their grades suffer than non-Hispanic white students with jobs, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association.

New supercomputer coming to EMSL this summer, supplied by Atipa Technologies
A new supercomputer expected to rank among the world's fastest machines will be ready to run computationally intense climate and biological simulations along with other scientific programs this summer.

Construction begins on Canada's largest radio telescope
Construction is now under way in Penticton, B.C., on Canada's largest radio telescope -- and the first research telescope to be built in the country in more than 30 years.

Maglev tissues could speed toxicity tests
In a development that could lead to faster and more effective toxicity tests for airborne chemicals, scientists from Rice University and the Rice spinoff company Nano3D Biosciences have used magnetic levitation to grow some of the most realistic lung tissue ever produced in a laboratory.

Pathogenic bacteria adhering to the human vascular wall triggers vascular damage during meningococcal sepsis
Researchers at the Paris Cardiovascular Research Center have shown how adhesion of Neisseria meningitidis to human microvessels in a humanized mouse model leads to the characteristic cutaneous lesions of meningococcal sepsis.

Temple scientists find cancer-causing virus in the brain, potential connection to epilepsy
Researchers at Shriner's Hospital Pediatric Research Center at Temple University School of Medicine, and the University of Pennsylvania have evidence linking HPV16, the most common cause of cervical cancer, to a form of epilepsy.

Valuing nature is not enough
Is it possible to put a price tag on the natural world?

Grammar undercuts security of long computer passwords
When writing or speaking, good grammar helps people make themselves be understood.

Chance finding reveals new control on blood vessels in developing brain
Zhen Huang freely admits he was not interested in blood vessels four years ago when he was studying brain development in a fetal mouse.

A blend of soy and dairy proteins promotes muscle protein synthesis when consumed after exercise
A new study published in the Journal of Nutrition demonstrates the benefits of consuming a protein blend for muscle protein synthesis after exercise.

Vocabulary instruction failing US students
Vocabulary instruction in the early years is not challenging enough to prepare students for long-term reading comprehension, argues a study led by a Michigan State University education researcher.

Ractopamine is safe for use in Brazilian pork
Researchers in Brazil found that a low does of the feed additive ractopamine does not change how pork looks or tastes.

Immune cell suicide alarm helps destroy escaping bacteria
A University of North Carolina School of Medicine study may have implications for thwarting the effects of bio-terrorism attack with lethal microbes, as well as finding a way to save people in septic shock, an overwhelming bacterial infection of the blood.

New suite of chemicals seen causing disease generations later
Washington State University researchers have lengthened their list of environmental toxicants that can negatively affect as many as three generations of an exposed animal's offspring.

Abuse during childhood linked to uterine fibroids in African-American women
According to a new study from the Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University, African-American women who reported sexual or physical abuse before age 11 had a greater risk of uterine fibroids in adulthood compared with women who had no such abuse history.

Elsevier launches new review journal: Global Food Security
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and solutions, is pleased to announce the launch of a new review journal: Global Food Security.

PNNL awarded $2.8 million to keep troops cool while using less fuel
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has been awarded $2.8 million to adapt its energy-efficient adsorption chilling system for field military bases.

New dinosaur fossil challenges bird evolution theory
The discovery of a new bird-like dinosaur from the Jurassic period challenges widely accepted theories on the origin of flight.

The thesis of the UPV/EHU researcher Teresa Fuertes receives a prize in the Fertiberia awards
Teresa Fuertes-Mendizábal, Ph.D. holder in Biological Sciences of the University of the Basque Country, was a runner-up in the 13th Edition of the Fertiberia Awards for best Ph.D. theses on agricultural subjects.

Medical cannabis provides dramatic relief for sufferers of chronic ailments
Though still controversial, medical cannabis has been gaining ground as a valid therapy for cancer, PTSD, and chronic pain.

Genes provide clues to gender disparity in human hearts
Healthy men and women show little difference in their hearts, except for small electrocardiographic disparities.

Cancer expert remains to be convinced by breast screening review
In this week's BMJ, a leading cancer expert says he remains to be convinced that the benefits of breast screening outweigh the harms.

The impact of affirmative action bans in graduate fields of study
The article,

Tracking the spread of dengue fever: Domestic networks drive rapid transmission of human infection
The mosquitoes that spread dengue fever tap into the domestic networks of humans, along with their bloodstreams, finds a study recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Elza Erkip elected to the Science Academy Society of Turkey
Elza Erkip, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University, has been elected to the inaugural class of the Science Academy Society of Turkey.

Clemson University researchers: What happens to peaches when the chill is gone?
The warmer-than-normal temperatures of 2012 -- the fourth warmest year on record in South Carolina -- signal potential challenges for growers of the state's best-known fruit.

Liquid crystal's chaotic inner dynamics
Polish physicists have demonstrated that the application of a very strong alternating electric field to thin liquid crystal cells leads to a new distinct dynamic effect in the response of the cells.

Extinction rates not as bad as feared ... for now
Concerns that many animals are becoming extinct, before scientists even have time to identify them, are greatly overstated according Griffith University researcher, Professor Nigel Stork.

Organic ferroelectric molecule shows promise for memory chips, sensors
A cheap, flexible organic molecule could replace inorganic crystals as the working parts for memory chips, sensors and energy-harvesting systems.

Stigma stymies prostate cancer screening, treatment in Ghana
A new study published in January in the journal BMC Cancer, led by Kosj Yamoah, M.D., Ph.D., a resident in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Thomas Jefferson University and Hospital, takes aim at cancer disparities and stigma by investigating prostate cancer diagnoses and treatment delivery in black men living in the West African region, in order to devise research strategies to help improve health outcomes.

Digital diagnostic tools lead to patient dissatisfaction, says MU expert
Health care practitioners now can access patients' data using electronic medical records, which often include information systems that assess individuals' medical histories and clinical research to facilitate doctors' diagnoses.

Gene sequencing project mines data once considered 'junk' for clues about cancer
Genome sequencing data once regarded as junk is now being used to gain important clues to help understand disease.

Dung beetles follow the Milky Way
You might expect dung beetles to keep their

Queen's and NSPCC publish Northern Ireland's first child death and serious injury review
The first ever review of abuse cases related to child death or serious injury in Northern Ireland will be launched at Queen's University today.

The 3D fireworks of a star
In 1901 the star GK Persei gave off a powerful explosion that has not stopped growing and astonishing ever since.

Mouse menopause model sheds light on UTIs in post-menopausal women
Researchers from Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, show that reservoirs of uropathogenic E. coli within the bladder exist in higher numbers post-menopause than pre-menopause in a mouse model, a finding that could help explain the greater prevalence of urinary tract infections in post-menopausal women.

Minister announces £350 million investment to train future science leaders
One of the UK's largest investments in training for the engineering and physical sciences was announced today by Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts.

Depression-era drainage ditches emerge as sleeping threat to Cape Cod salt marshes
Cape Cod, Massachusetts has a problem. The iconic salt marshes of the famous summer retreat are melting away at the edges, dying back from the most popular recreational areas.

Female mice exposed to BPA by mothers show unexpected characteristics
Female mice exposed to Bisphenol A through their mother's diet during gestation and lactation were found to be hyperactive, exhibit spontaneous activity and had leaner body mass than those not exposed to the chemical, researchers at the University of Michigan School of Public Health have discovered.

Eliminating rare diseases
Today, the EU has announced 38 million Euro funding for research towards new treatments and for the development of a central global rare disease hub involving 70 institutions that will allow scientists to share data from their genomics research projects.

False beliefs persist, even after instant online corrections
It seems like a great idea: Provide instant corrections to web-surfers when they run across obviously false information on the Internet.

Rush researchers studying stem cell therapy to repair damaged knee cartilage
Rush University Medical Center is conducting the nation's first clinical study of an innovative stem cell drug, Cartistem, to repair knee cartilage damaged by aging, trauma or degenerative diseases such as osteoarthritis.

Don't ignore the snore: Snoring may be early sign of future health risks
Snoring may be more than a common bedtime nuisance, say researchers at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

A new Advanced Metrology Laboratory at NPL
David Willetts, Minister of State for Universities and Science, has announced a £25 million investment in a new Advanced Metrology Laboratory at the National Physical Laboratory.

NASA sees remnants of Tropical Storm Oswald still strong
Infrared imagery from NASA's Aqua satellite revealed that a band of thunderstorms on the eastern side of Tropical Storm Oswald's remnants still contained some punch.

The storm that never was: Why the weatherman is often wrong
Have you ever woken up to a sunny forecast only to get soaked on your way to the office?

UCI neuroscientists create fiber-optic method of arresting epileptic seizures
UC Irvine neuroscientists have developed a way to stop epileptic seizures with fiber-optic light signals, heralding a novel opportunity to treat the most severe manifestations of the brain disorder.

Newly discovered 'scarecrow' gene might trigger big boost in food production
With projections of 9.5 billion people by 2050, humanity faces the challenge of feeding modern diets to additional mouths while using the same amounts of water, fertilizer and arable land as today.

Newly approved oral medication slows rheumatoid arthritis joint damage
A Phase 3 clinical trial demonstrates that tofacitinib improves disease activity and inhibits progression of joint damage in rheumatoid arthritis patients who did not respond to methotrexate.

Fruit and vegetable intake is associated with lower risk of ER- breast cancer
There is no association between total fruit and vegetable intake and risk of overall breast cancer, but vegetable consumption is associated with a lower risk of estrogen receptor-negative (ER-) breast cancer, according to a study published Jan.

Discovery of new class of damage-prone DNA regions could lead to better cancer treatments
Cancer is thought to arise from DNA damage at fragile sites in the genome.

Synthetic corkscrew peptide kills antibiotic-resistant Gram-negative bacteria
An engineered peptide provides a new prototype for killing an entire category of resistant bacteria by shredding and dissolving their double-layered membranes, which are thought to protect those microbes from antibiotics.

Rutgers astronomer creates computer models that help explain how galaxies formed and evolved
Modern telescopes peer to the farthest reaches of space, revealing how galaxies looked as they took shape billions of years ago.

Research ties lightning to onset of headache, migraines
University of Cincinnati researchers have found that lightning may affect the onset of headaches and migraines.

New thesaurus created for the astronomy community
The American Institute of Physics and IOP Publishing have jointly announced the gift of a new astronomy thesaurus called the Unified Astronomy Thesaurus to the American Astronomical Society that will help improve future information discovery for researchers.

Vaccinating children against rotavirus may indirectly protect adults too, study finds
Pediatric rotavirus vaccination also indirectly protects unvaccinated adults from the highly contagious cause of severe diarrhea and vomiting, suggests a new study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases and available online.

Researchers discover new mutations driving malignant melanoma
Two new mutations that collectively occur in 71 percent of malignant melanoma tumors have been discovered in what scientists call the

Introducing 'more patient reality' into NHS spending decisions
A study by health economists at the University of York has, for the first time, produced an estimate of the impact on other NHS patients of new and more costly drugs and other treatments.

Technology center at Royal Holloway, University of London, named among the world's top think tanks
Royal Holloway's ICT4D Centre has today been named as the world's 10th top Science and Technology think tank, in a report launched at the World Bank and United Nations. 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