Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 28, 2013
Innovative uses of nanotechnology in food and agriculture
The US Department of Agriculture invests nearly $10 million a year to support about 250 nanoscale science and engineering projects that could lead to revolutionary advances in agriculture and food systems.

Global research team decodes genome sequence of 90 chickpea lines
Decoded genome of chickpea, a leading grain legume for many poor smallholder farmers, promises improved livelihoods in marginal environments.

New look at cell membrane reveals surprising organization
A new way of looking at a cell's surface reveals the distribution of small molecules in the cell membrane, changing the understanding of its organization.

Cardiac disease linked to higher risk of mental impairment, Mayo Clinic finds
Cardiac disease is associated with increased risk of mild cognitive impairment such as problems with language, thinking and judgment -- particularly among women with heart disease, a Mayo Clinic study shows.

New look at cell membrane reveals surprising organization
A look directly at the cell membrane is changing our understanding of its organization.

Study finds taking the stairs, raking leaves may have same health benefits as a trip to the gym
New research at Oregon State University suggests the health benefits of small amounts of activity - even as small as one- and two-minute increments that add up to 30 minutes per day - can be just as beneficial as longer bouts of physical exercise achieved by a trip to the gym.

Israeli researchers to participate in European Commission flagship
The European Commission has officially announced the selection of the Human Brain Project as one of its two Future Emerging Technologies Flagship projects.

Majority of Americans support dozens of policies to strengthen US gun laws
The majority of Americans support a broad array of policies to reduce gun violence, according to a new national public opinion survey conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

UCLA to play key role in worldwide effort to map human brain
UCLA's Laboratory of Neuro Imaging has entered into a partnership with academic centers from Europe and around the world in an unprecedented effort to understand the human brain.

Diabetes drug could hold promise for lung cancer patients
Ever since discovering a decade ago that a gene altered in lung cancer regulated an enzyme used in therapies against diabetes, Reuben Shaw has wondered if drugs originally designed to treat metabolic diseases could also work against cancer.

Study finds eating deep-fried food is associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer
Regular consumption of deep-fried foods such as French fries, fried chicken and doughnuts is associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer, and the effect appears to be slightly stronger with regard to more aggressive forms of the disease, according to a study by investigators at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Real angry birds 'flip the bird' before a fight
Male sparrows are capable of fighting to the death. But a new study shows that they often wave their wings wildly first in an attempt to avoid a dangerous brawl.

When food porn holds no allure: The science behind satiety
New research from the University of British Columbia is shedding light on why enticing pictures of food affect us less when we're full.

Progressive optics for side mirrors ends automobile blind spots without distorting view
A new optical prescription for automobile side-view mirrors may eliminate the dreaded

Economic analysis finds penicillin, not "the pill," may have launched the sexual revolution
The rise in risky, non-traditional sexual relations that marked the swinging '60s and advent of readily available contraception actually began as much as a decade earlier, during the conformist '50s, suggests an analysis recently published by the Archives of Sexual Behavior.

Studying possible ways of solving the crisis in the care function
The starting point of this thesis is the crisis in the care function.

Safeguards needed for tissue donors
Donors to biobanks -- vast collections of human tissue samples that scientists hope will lead to new treatments for diseases -- have a right to basic information about how their donations may be used, a Michigan State University ethicist argues in a new paper.

Discovering the missing 'LINC' to deafness
50 percent of hearing loss is linked to genetic mutations.

With hot air treatment, bacteria fly the coop
Poultry producers can reduce bacterial cross-contamination in poultry cages by treating the cages with forced air that's been heated to 122 degrees Fahrenheit, according to a study by US Department of Agriculture scientists.

Annals of Internal Medicine early release article for Jan. 29, 2013
Below is information about an article being published early online at

Skin, soft tissue infections succumb to blue light
Blue light can selectively eradicate Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections of the skin and soft tissues, while preserving the outermost layer of skin, according to a proof-of-principle study led by Michael R.

Dual-hormone artificial pancreas is a step closer for patients with Type 1 diabetes
For patients with Type 1 diabetes, a dual-hormone artificial pancreas system (also known as a closed-loop delivery system) improved the control of glucose levels and reduced the risk of hypoglycemia compared with conventional pump treatment in a trial published in CMAJ.

Blood pressure, cholesterol most important indicators of heart disease risk in diabetics
For people with diabetes, meeting the recommended guidelines for blood pressure and cholesterol is even more important than meeting the guidelines for blood sugar control in reducing the risk of heart attack or stroke, according to a new Kaiser Permanente study published today in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Academies recommend new measures in antibiotic research
A growing number of infections worldwide are caused by bacteria resistant to antibiotics - and ever fewer effective antibiotics are available.

Study finds significant microorganism populations in middle and upper troposphere
In what is believed to be the first study of its kind, researchers used genomic techniques to document the presence of significant numbers of living microorganisms -- principally bacteria -- in the middle and upper troposphere, that section of the atmosphere approximately four to six miles above the Earth's surface.

Primates too can move in unison
Japanese researchers show for the first time that primates modify their body movements to be in tune with others, just like humans do.

Researchers find genes behind aggressive endometrial cancer
In a major breakthrough for uterine serous carcinoma (USC) -- a chemo-resistant, aggressive form of endometrial cancer, Yale researchers have defined the genetic landscape of USC tumors, findings that point to new treatment opportunities.

Clinical trials with nonblinded outcome assessors have high observer bias
A new study of randomized clinical trials found significant observer bias toward a more beneficial treatment effect in nonblinded trials when the researcher knew the treatment being given to the participant.

Link found between insulin sensitivity, cells' powerhouses
Mice with decreased activity of a protein complex involved in mitochondrial function exhibit reduced body weight and decreased fat mass, and their media life span is 20 percent longer.

Why are there redheads? Birds might hold the clues
In a study released in the journal Physiological and Biochemical Zoology, Ismael Galvan and Anders P.

Artificial pancreas: The way of the future for treating type 1 diabetes
IRCM researchers, led by endocrinologist Dr. Rémi Rabasa-Lhoret, were the first to conduct a trial comparing a dual-hormone artificial pancreas with conventional diabetes treatment using an insulin pump and showed improved glucose levels and lower risks of hypoglycemia.

First guidelines for brain amyloid imaging in Alzheimer's released
To provide guidance for physicians, individuals and families affected by Alzheimer's, and the public, the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging and the Alzheimer's Association have jointly published the first criteria for the appropriate use of this imaging technology to aid in the diagnosis of people with suspected Alzheimer's disease.

Less invasive treatment is associated with improved survival in early stage breast cancer
Patients with early stage breast cancer who were treated with lumpectomy plus radiation may have a better chance of survival compared with those who underwent mastectomy, according to Duke Medicine research.

Elsevier launches new open access journal: Molecular Metabolism
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, is pleased to announce the launch of Molecular Metabolism in affiliation with the German Research Center for Environmental Health and the German Center for Diabetes Research.

Study of human specimen collections in the US offers first look at their huge diversity
Biobanks are organizations that collect, store and share human specimens (e.g., blood, solid tissues, hair) for research purposes.

ImpactStory metrics of academic research outreach piloted by Pensoft Publishers
ImpactStory offers alternative ways to measure the outreach and influence of scientific research.

Treating constipation in seniors: A review of current treatments
For seniors who are constipated, the use of polyethylene glycol and lactulose are effective, according to a review of current treatments published in CMAJ.

Smart organizations should also be stupid according to new theory
Critical reflection and shrewdness can help companies to avoid crises, but sometimes good old-fashioned stupidity can serve an important function in raising the efficiency of an organization, claims Mats Alvesson, Professor of Organisation Studies at the School of Economics and Management, Lund University, Sweden, in a new theory of 'functional stupidity' that has been published in the Journal of Management Studies.

Glial cells assist in the repair of injured nerves
When a nerve is damaged, glial cells produce the protein neuregulin1 and thereby promote the regeneration of nerve tissue.

Research: Military women may have higher risk for STIs
As the number of women in the military increases, so does the need for improved gynecologic care.

Stanford researchers break million-core supercomputer barrier
Stanford Engineering's Center for Turbulence Research has set a new record in computational science by successfully using a supercomputer with more than one million computing cores to solve a complex fluid dynamics problem -- the prediction of noise generated by a supersonic jet engine.

Using Twitter to track the flu: A better way to screen the Tweets
A new Twitter-screening method delivers real-time data on flu cases while filtering out online flu chatter that is not linked to actual infections.

The Human Brain Project: Winner of the of the largest European scientific funding competition
The European Commission has officially announced the selection of the Human Brain Project as one of its two FET Flagship projects.

University of Tennessee researcher finds 'first time' could predict sexual satisfaction
Research conducted by Matthew Shaffer, a doctoral psychology student at the University of Tennessee and C.

Soya protein can be replaced by rapeseed protein
Nutritionists at Jena University have conducted the first human study worldwide on the use of rapeseed protein for human nutrition.

The tales teeth tell
Using a first-of-its-kind method, a team of researchers from Harvard's Department of Human Evolutionary Biology used digital photographs to show that, after the eruption of their first molar tooth, many juvenile chimps continue to nurse as much, if not more, than they had in the past.

Hospital patient loads often at unsafe levels, physician survey says
Nationwide, more than one-quarter of hospital-based general practitioners who take over for patients' primary care doctors to manage inpatient care say their average patient load exceeds safe levels multiple times per month, according to a new Johns Hopkins study.

Climate change projected to alter Indiana bat maternity range
Research by U.S. Forest Service scientists forecasts profound changes over the next 50 years in the summer range of the endangered Indiana bat.

Some health benefits of berries may not make it past your mouth
For the first time, scientists have exposed extracts from numerous berries high in healthy pigments to human saliva to see just what kinds of health-promoting substances are likely to survive and be produced in the mouth.

New publication guidelines for systematic reviews from BMC Medicine
Two articles in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Medicine by Geoff Wong, Trisha Greenhalgh and colleagues, propose publication guidelines for both realist synthesis and meta-narrative reviews.

Best friends influence when teenagers have first drink
A University of Iowa study has found that teenagers who exhibit problem drinking likely got their first drink from a friend.

EU Commission selects Human Brain Project, with Israelis as partners
The European Commission has chosen the Human Brain Project, in which the Hebrew University of Jerusalem is participating, as one of two Future and Emerging Technologies Flagship topics.

Better survival rates seen with lumpectomy compared with mastectomy for early breast cancer
A new analysis has found that lumpectomy plus radiation for early breast cancer may provide patients with a better chance of survival than mastectomy.

Power helps you live the good life by bringing you closer to your true self
How does being in a position of power at work, with friends, or in a romantic relationship influence well-being?

Public report national audit of percutaneous coronary interventional procedures 2011
The 2011 annual report of the National Audit of Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) highlights the significant progress within hospitals to expand PCI services to treat more patients with acute coronary syndromes.

University of Hawaii scientist publishes first climate change textbook for college students
Dr. Charles Fletcher of the University of Hawaii at Manoa's School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology released this month the first edition of

Central Valley irrigation intensifies rainfall, storms across the Southwest
Agricultural irrigation in California's Central Valley doubles the amount of water vapor pumped into the atmosphere, ratcheting up rainfall and powerful monsoons across the interior Southwest, according to a new study by UC Irvine scientists.

A new material for environmentally friendlier electronics
Some materials, which have very important electrical properties in electronics, could be replaced by a new organic compound whose processing is simple, economical and respectful of the environment.

Islet transplant may slow progression of atherosclerosis
Minimally invasive islet transplantation for patients with type 1 diabetes achieves insulin independence and reverses the progression of atherosclerosis in the first few years after transplant, according to a University of Illinois at Chicago study.

Study finds energy use in cities has global climate effects
The heat generated by everyday energy consumption in metropolitan areas is significant enough to influence the character of major atmospheric circulation systems.

International network to study the causes behind IBS
Europe-wide network GENIEUR including researchers from Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, launch program for understanding the causes and improving the diagnosis and treatment of irritable bowel syndrome.

NPL part of €1 billion graphene research consortium
The UK's National Physical Laboratory is part of a consortium that has been funded half a billion Euros by the European Commission to develop the potential of graphene along with related materials for applications in computing, batteries and sensors.

Rutgers professor recognized for revolutionizing agriculture
Rutgers University Scientist Joachim Messing, among the world's top experts in molecular genetics, became famous for developing a genetic engineering technique used in laboratories to create plants that have produced disease-resistant crops considered vital to feeding the world's population.

New technique sheds light on RNA
Researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center have developed a technique to better understand why RNA may be different in cancer cells than in normal cells.

Understanding the human brain
The European Commission has officially announced the selection of the Human Brain Project as one of its two FET Flagship projects.

The Montreal Heart Institute designated as a North American Center of Excellence
The Montreal Heart Institute has just been designated as a Center of Excellence by Abbott Vascular for the percutaneous treatment of mitral valve failure with their MitraClip system.

Fewer people adding salt at the table
The number of people in England adding salt to food at the table fell by more than a quarter in the five years following a national campaign, according to research from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation grants prestigious awards to 17 young scientists
The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, a non-profit organization focused on supporting innovative early career researchers, named 15 new Damon Runyon Fellows at its fall Fellowship Award Committee review.

IST Austria contributes to Human Brain Project
Neuroscientist and IST Austria professor Peter Jonas is one of the three Austrian collaborators in the Human Brain Project which was presented to the public this morning in Brussels.

1 in, 2 out: Simulating more efficient solar cells
Using an exotic form of silicon could substantially improve the efficiency of solar cells, according to computer simulations by researchers at UC Davis and in Hungary.

Human Brain Project funded - 1 billion euros to map the human brain
King's College London is part of an international consortium of scientists who have today been awarded a grant of over one billion euros, over ten years, to simulate 'everything we know about the human brain' in supercomputers.

New study shows stable fisher population in the Southern Sierra Nevada
After experiencing years of population decline on the West Coast, a recent study examining fisher populations found that--at least in the southern Sierra Nevada--the animal's numbers appear to be stable.

Radial access should be first choice for PCI says ESC
The European Association of Percutaneous Cardiovascular Interventions, the Acute Cardiovascular Care Association and the Working Group on Thrombosis of the European Society of Cardiology decided it was time to write a consensus document outlining the advantages, disadvantages and expertise requirements of the radial approach for percutaneous coronary interventions.

Phone and mailed interventions significantly increase colorectal cancer screening rates
A mailing or phone call to help patients get screened for colorectal cancer significantly increases their chances of actually getting tested, according to a study published in the Jan. issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention by researchers at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson.

Bioinspired fibers change color when stretched
A team of materials scientists at Harvard University and the University of Exeter, UK, have invented a new fiber that changes color when stretched.

USGS-NOAA: Climate change impacts to US coasts threaten public health, safety and economy
According to a new technical report, the effects of climate change will continue to threaten the health and vitality of US coastal communities' social, economic and natural systems.

New LGBT Health journal launching in 2013
LGBT Health, a new peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers launching in fall 2013, will identify crucial LGBT healthcare needs and provide a much-needed authoritative source and international forum in all areas pertinent to LGBT health and healthcare services.

New research uncovers the neural mechanism underlying drug cravings
Addiction may result from abnormal brain circuitry in the frontal cortex, the part of the brain that controls decision-making.

Misconceptions about a popular pet treat
A popular dog treat, the

Study shows climate change could affect onset and severity of flu seasons
The American public can expect to add earlier and more severe flu seasons to the fallout from climate change, according to a research study published online Jan.

Slow-release 'jelly' delivers drugs better
Duke University biomedical engineers have developed a new delivery system that overcomes the shortcomings of a promising class of peptide drugs -- very small proteins -- for treating diseases such as diabetes and cancer.

Protein family linked to autism suppresses the development of inhibitory synapses
Synapse development is promoted by a variety of cell adhesion molecules that connect neurons and organize synaptic proteins.

Novel materials: Smart and magnetic
Smart materials alloys very often display glass-like magnetism. Other smart materials with similar properties include those which, when exposed to a magnetic field, change their electrical resistance, known as manganites, or change their temperature, known as magnetocaloric materials.

DRI to led efforts in clean water, sanitation and hygiene solutions in developing nations
Dr. Braimah Apambire recently has been selected as the Senior Assistant to the President for Global Sustainability and Director for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene programs at the Desert Research Institute.

DNA-repairing protein may be key to preventing recurrence of some cancers
Just as the body can become resistant to antibiotics, certain methods of killing cancer tumors can end up creating resistant tumor cells.

New research will help shed light on role of Amazon forests in global carbon cycle
Scientist Jeffrey Chambers and colleagues at the US Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have devised an analytical method that combines satellite images, simulation modeling and painstaking fieldwork to help researchers detect forest mortality patterns and trends.

EARTH: Drinking toilet water
Would you drink water from a toilet? What if that water, once treated, was cleaner than what comes out of the faucet?

New online, open access journal focuses on microbial genome announcements
The American Society for Microbiology has published the first issue of its new online-only, open access journal, Genome AnnouncementsTM, focusing exclusively on reports of microbial genome sequences.

Injecting botox into stomach does not promote weight loss
Despite conflicting data in support of the practice, some overweight Americans looking for an easy fix have turned to gastric botox injections to help them lose weight.

A safer way to vaccinate
MIT researchers describe a new type of vaccine-delivery film that holds promise for improving the effectiveness of DNA vaccines.

Pioneer of physics books
We are on the brink of gaining specific knowledge about one of the most sought-after components of the universe -- antimatter. 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