Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 31, 2013
Active duty military personnel prone to sleep disorders and short sleep duration
A new study found a high prevalence of sleep disorders and a startlingly high rate of short sleep duration among active duty military personnel.

New stroke gene discovery could lead to tailored treatments
An international study led by King's College London has identified a new genetic variant associated with stroke.

Discovery in synthetic biology takes us a step closer to new 'industrial revolution'
Scientists report that they have developed a method that cuts down the time it takes to make new 'parts' for microscopic biological factories from two days to only six hours.

Corn cobs eyed for bioenergy production
Corn crop residues are often left on harvested fields to protect soil quality, but they could become an important raw material in cellulosic ethanol production.

2-step immunotherapy attacks advanced ovarian cancer
Most ovarian cancer patients are diagnosed with late stage disease that is unresponsive to existing therapies.

Diabetes distresses bone marrow stem cells by damaging their microenvironment
New research has shown the presence of a disease affecting small blood vessels, known as microangiopathy, in the bone marrow of diabetic patients.

Ozone depletion trumps greenhouse gas increase in jet-stream shift
Depletion of Antarctic ozone is a more important factor than increasing greenhouse gases in shifting the Southern Hemisphere jet stream in a southward direction, according to researchers at Penn State.

Sequencing hundreds of chloroplast genomes now possible
Researchers have developed a sequencing method that allows potentially hundreds of plant chloroplast genomes to be sequenced at once, facilitating studies of molecular biology and evolution in plants.

Joslin scientists find first human iPSC from patients with maturity onset diabetes of the young
Scientists at Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston report the first generation of human induced pluripotent stem cells from patients with an uncommon form of diabetes, maturity onset diabetes of the young (MODY).

First ever Welsh-led EU space program launched by Cardiff University
Cardiff University has launched the first ever Welsh-led European Union space research program, funded by a €2M award from the EU through its Framework Programme 7 SPACE program.

Patients can emit small, influenza-containing particles into the air during routine care
A new study suggests that patients with influenza can emit small virus-containing particles into the surrounding air during routine patient care, potentially exposing health care providers to influenza.

African Programme for Onchocerciasis Control 1995-2015: Model-estimated health impact and cost
A relatively inexpensive program set up to combat river blindness has resulted in major health improvements in Africa, shows a study conducted by Erasmus University Medical Center researchers.

Working alone won't get you good grades
Students who work together and interact online are more likely to be successful in their college classes, according to a study published Jan.

How cancer cells rewire their metabolism to survive
Many scientists have tried killing tumors by taking away their favorite food, a sugar called glucose.

Identifying all factors modulating gene expression is actually possible!
It was in trying to answer a question related to the functioning of our biological clock that a team lead by Ueli Schibler, a professor at the University of Geneva, Switzerland, has developed a method whose applications are proving to be countless.

New role for DNA methylation in subset of premature aging disorder patients
Scientists at the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute in Barcelona, Spain have found new evidence for the role of epigenetic changes on premature aging diseases.

Rehabilitation therapies can lead to recovery from chronic fatigue syndrome
Research led by Queen Mary, University of London, has shown that recovery from chronic fatigue syndrome is possible for some patients, and has identified two treatments most likely to lead to recovery.

Northwestern-Art Institute partnership expands with Mellon grant
Northwestern University has received a $2.5 million grant from the Andrew W.

A possible answer for protection against chemical/biological agents, fuel leaks, and coffee stains
A recent discovery funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research may very well lead to a process that not only benefits every uniformed service member of the Department of Defense, but everyone else as well: protection from Chemical/Biological agents, to self-cleaning apparel, to effortless thermal management, to fuel purification as well as enhanced control of leaks -- especially oil and fuels.

Policy, enforcement may stop employees from wasting time online at work, researcher finds
Researcher studied cyberloafing -- wasting time at work on the Internet -- and the effects of Internet use policies and punishment on reducing cyberloafing.

Improved prevention measures fail to reduce HIV levels in men who have sex with men in England and Wales
The rate of new HIV infections among men who have sex with men in England and Wales has remained unchanged over the past decade despite an almost four-fold increase in HIV testing, rising treatment coverage, and a 20 percent shortening of time-to-diagnosis, according to new research published Online First in the Lancet Infectious Diseases.

Zebrafish may hold the answer to repairing damaged retinas and returning eyesight to people
Zebrafish, the staple of genetic research, may hold the answer to repairing damaged retinas and returning eyesight to people.

Pediatric orthopaedic surgeons show age-related patterns of spine injury in ATV injuries
Children continue to account for a disproportionate percentage of morbidity and mortality from ATV-related accidents - up 240 percent since 1997, according to a Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics report published by pediatric orthopaedic surgeons at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital.

International team observe 'hungry twin' stars gobbling their first meals
Years of monitoring its infrared with the Spitzer instrument reveal that it becomes 10 times brighter every 25.34 days, Gutermuth and colleagues say.

2012 International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge winners announced
A three-dimensional computer simulation of a beating heart is among the first-place winners of the 2012 International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge, which is sponsored jointly by journal Science and the US National Science Foundation.

The effective collective: Grouping could ensure animals find their way in a changing environment
Princeton University researchers report in the journal Science that collective intelligence is vital to certain animals' ability to evaluate and respond to their environment.

A*STAR scientists solve century-old mystery by finding stable haploid strains of Candida albicans
A*STAR scientists from the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology have identified what eluded yeast scientists for the past 100 years, by constructing stable haploid strains of Candida albicans, the most prevalent human fungal pathogen.

24 new species of flower fly have been found in Central and Southern America
A team of scientists have described twenty four new species of dipterans belonging to Quichuana genus, of which only a further 24 species were known.

UNC study may lead to treatments that are effective against all MRSA strains
New research from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine has pinpointed a gene that causes the USA300 strain of MRSA infection to linger on the skin longer than other strains, allowing it to be passed more readily from one person to the next.

1 of the key circuits in regulating genes involved in producing blood stem cells is deciphered
Researchers from the group on stem cells and cancer at Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute have deciphered one of the gene regulation circuits which would make it possible to generate hematopoietic blood cells, i.e. blood tissue stem cells.

Genome-wide atlas of gene enhancers in the brain online
Berkeley Lab researchers have unveiled a first-of-its-kind atlas of gene-enhancers in the brain that should greatly benefit future research into the underlying causes of neurological disorders such as autism, epilepsy and schizophrenia.

New study highlights impact of environmental change on older people
Recent natural disasters illustrate vulnerability of older people: majority of deaths from the Great East Japan Earthquake (2011) and Hurricane Katrina (2005) occurred among older people.

A new mechanism that contributes to the evolution of cancer
This study demonstrates the existence of new fragile genomic sites responsible for chromosomal alterations in tumors.

Evidence of geological 'facelift' in the Appalachians
How does a mountain range maintain its youthful, rugged appearance after 200 million years without tectonic activity?

Electronic health records could help identify which patients most need ICU resources
What if patients' electronic health records could help a physician determine ICU admission by reliably calculating which patient had the highest risk of death?

UCSB anthropologists study effects of modernization on physical activity and heart disease
Heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death in the United States, and a sedentary lifestyle is often cited as a major contributing factor.

Biologistics: How fast do chemical trains move in living cells?
The rate of chemical processes in cells is dictated by the speed of movement (diffusion) of molecules needed for a given reaction.

New device traps particulates, kills airborne pathogens
A new device called a soft x-ray electrostatic precipitator protected immunocompromised mice from airborne pathogenic bacteria, viruses, ultrafine particles, and allergens, according to a paper published online ahead of print in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Winners of 10th annual International Science & Technology Visualization Challenge announced
The National Science Foundation, along with the journal Science, today announces the 53 winners and honorable mentions of the International Science & Technology Visualization Challenge, a highly competitive contest jointly sponsored by NSF and Science.

Health care providers may be at greater risk of flu exposure
Some people with the flu emit more of the air-borne virus than others, suggesting that the current recommendations for infection control among health care providers may not be adequate, according to a new study from researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

Safe sex practices among African American women
Researchers have found that African American women exhibit a higher risk for sexually transmitted infections including HIV/Aids.

Mutant gene responsible for pigeons' head crests
Scientists have decoded the genetic blueprint of the rock pigeon, unlocking secrets about pigeons' Middle East origins, feral pigeons' kinship with escaped racing birds and how mutations give pigeons traits like feather head crests.

Transition in cell type parallels treatment response, disease progression in breast cancer
A process that normally occurs in developing embryos - the changing of one basic cell type into another - has also been suspected of playing a role in cancer metastasis.

New Institute for Precision Medicine created at Weill Cornell and NewYork-Presbyterian
Recognizing that medicine is not

Medical school gift restriction policies linked to subsequent prescribing behavior
Doctors who graduate from medical schools with an active policy on restricting gifts from the pharmaceutical industry are less likely to prescribe new drugs over existing alternatives, suggests a study published on today.

NASA sees a coronal mass ejection erupt from the sun
On Jan. 31, 2013 at 2:09am EST, the sun erupted with an Earth-directed coronal mass ejection or CME.

Time spent watching television is not associated with death among breast cancer survivors
Spending a lot of time watching television after breast cancer diagnosis is not linked to death in these breast cancer survivors.

Scientists identify culprit in obesity-associated high blood pressure
Obesity and its related conditions such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and stroke are among the most challenging of today's healthcare concerns.

Study finds hormones can change the breast's genetic material
Melbourne scientists have discovered how female steroid hormones can make dramatic changes to the genetic material in breast cells, changes that could potentially lead to breast cancer.

Research analyses effects of gender violence in the psychological development of women
A Ph.D. thesis recently defended at the University of Deusto studied the effects of gender violence on the psychological development of women.

Disparities exist in kidney transplant timing
African Americans and individuals without private health insurance are less likely to receive a kidney transplant before needing dialysis.

Scientist: Ozone thinning has changed ocean circulation
A hole in the Antarctic ozone layer has changed the way that waters in the southern oceans mix, a situation that has the potential to alter the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere and eventually could have an impact on global climate change.

Men taking long-acting chronic pain meds 5xs more likely to have low testosterone levels
Low testosterone levels occur five times more often among men who take long-acting instead of short-acting opioids for chronic pain, according to a new Kaiser Permanente study published in The Clinical Journal of Pain.

Personalized medicine eliminates need for drug in 2 children
Using genome-wide analysis, investigators at the Sainte-Justine University Hospital Research Center and the University of Montreal have potentially eliminated a lifetime drug prescription that two children with a previously unknown type of adrenal insufficiency had been receiving for 14 years.

Discovery opens the door to a potential 'molecular fountain of youth'
UC Berkeley researchers were able to turn back the molecular clock of blood stem cells of old mice by infusing them with a longevity gene.

Blood vessel cells coax colorectal cancer cells into more dangerous state
Blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrients to tumors can also deliver something else - a signal that strengthens nearby cancer cells, making them more resistant to chemotherapy, more likely to spread to other organs and more lethal, scientists at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center report online in Cancer Cell.

Social networking: Gen Xers connect online as often as they socialize in person
Young adults in Generation X are as likely to socialize with friends, family and co-workers online as they are in person, according to a University of Michigan study.

Placental blood flow can influence malaria during pregnancy
Malaria in pregnancy causes a range of adverse effects, including abortions and stillbirths.

Mutant gene gives pigeons fancy hairdos
University of Utah researchers decoded the genetic blueprint of the rock pigeon, unlocking secrets about pigeons' Middle East origins, feral pigeons' kinship with escaped racing birds, and how mutations give pigeons traits like a fancy feather hairdo known as a head crest.

Training bystanders to spot drug overdoses can reduce deaths
Training bystanders to recognize and respond to drug overdoses can significantly reduce the number of fatalities, finds a study published on today.

Understanding 'master regulator' genes could lead to better cancer treatments
A pair of genes work together as

Disulfiram: New support for an old addiction drug
Disulfiram was the first medication approved for the treatment of alcoholism over 50 years ago.

Vultures foraging far and wide face a poisonous future
African vultures face an increasing risk of fatal poisoning, according to Durham University research.

Nanomaterials key to developing stronger artificial hearts
On January 30, 2013 ACS Nano published a study by Ali Khademhosseini, PhD, MASc, a researcher in the division of biomedical engineering at Brigham and Women's Hospital, detailing the creation of innovative cardiac patches that utilize nanotechnology to enhance the conductivity of materials to induce cardiac tissue formation.

In the planetary nursery
Astronomers determine the mass of the disk of gas and dust surrounding the star TW Hydrae.

'Entering an Unseen World: A Founding Laboratory and Origins of Modern Cell Biology 1910-1974'
In 1974, the Nobel Prize was awarded to three pioneering scientists for discoveries that linked structures inside cells to their functions--discoveries that led to the new science of cell biology.

Leadership Chair to champion tech devices for brain trauma, disease
Simon Fraser University and Fraser Health Authority are poised to become leaders in medical research and technology innovation with the launch of a $5.25 million Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation B.C.

Twelfth annual Wiley Prize in Biomedical Sciences awarded
Deborah E. Wiley, Chair of The Wiley Foundation, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., announced today that the twelfth annual Wiley Prize in Biomedical Sciences will be awarded to Dr.

NYU physicists shine a light on particle assembly
NYU physicists have developed a method for moving microscopic particles with the flick of a light switch.

People having stroke should get therapy within 60 minutes of hospital arrival
Clot-dissolving therapy should be administered to people having acute ischemic stroke within 60 minutes of hospital arrival.

Wiley Prize in Biomedical Sciences awarded to Rosbash, Hall and Young
The 12th annual Wiley Prize in Biomedical Sciences has been awarded to Brandeis professors Michael Rosbash and Jeffrey Hall and their colleague Michael Young of Rockefeller University for the discovery of the molecular mechanisms governing circadian rhythms.

Owl mystery unravelled: Scientists explain how bird can rotate its head without cutting off blood
Medical illustrators and neurological imaging experts at Johns Hopkins have figured out how night-hunting owls can almost fully rotate their heads - by as much as 270 degrees in either direction - without damaging the delicate blood vessels in their necks and heads, and without cutting off blood supply to their brains.

Gas promises bumper black hole 'weigh-in'
A new way of measuring the mass of supermassive black holes could revolutionize our understanding of how they form and help to shape galaxies.

The humble 'virtual chimney' fences that could reduce the impact of airport pollution
Simple 'blast' fences called baffles could deliver improvements in air quality for people living near airports, new research has found.

Marriage reduces the risk of heart attack in both men and women and at all ages
A large population-based study from Finland has shown that being unmarried increases the risk of fatal and non-fatal heart attack in both men and women, whatever their age.

Target 'super-spreaders' to stop hepatitis C
Each intravenous drug user contracting hepatitis C is likely to infect around 20 other people with the virus, half of these transmissions occurring in the first two years after the user is first infected, a new study estimates.

NASA sees cyclone felling squeeze between Madagascar and La Reunion
NASA satellite imagery ahowed Cyclone Felleng appear to squeeze between Madagascar and La Reunion island as it moves southward in the Mozambique Channel.

The potential of psilocybin to alleviate psychological distress in cancer patients is revealed
A recently published book chapter,

12th annual Wiley Prize in Biomedical Sciences awarded
Deborah E. Wiley, Chair of The Wiley Foundation, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., announced today that the twelfth annual Wiley Prize in Biomedical Sciences will be awarded to Dr.

NJIT students win seed capital and expert guidance to launch business ventures
Thanks to a unique Capital One and NJIT competition, four teams of Albert Dorman Honors College (ADHC) undergrads probably can't wait until next June when they'll move into their new roles as entrepreneurs with seed funding.

Flat boron by the numbers
Rice theoretical physicist Boris Yakobson and his colleagues detail several possible routes to the creation of two-dimensional sheets of boron.

More links found between schizophrenia and cardiovascular disease
A new study, to be published in the Feb. 7, 2013, issue of the American Journal of Human Genetics, expands and deepens the biological and genetic links between cardiovascular disease and schizophrenia.

Cyclone did not cause 2012 record low for Arctic sea ice
A huge Arctic cyclone in August was not responsible for the historic minimum seen soon after in Arctic sea-ice extent.

Protein origami: Quick folders are the best
The evolutionary history of proteins shows that folding is an important factor.

A positive family climate in adolescence is linked to marriage quality in adulthood
Experiencing a positive family climate as a teenager may be connected to your relationships later in life, according to new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Gum disease found to worsen infection in animal model of AIDS
Texas Biomed scientists in San Antonio have found that moderate gum disease in an animal model exposed to an AIDS-like virus had more viral variants causing infection and greater inflammation.

Glazer receives grant to study light-activated cancer drugs
University of Kentucky assistant professor of chemistry Edith

Lamont oceanographer recognized for pioneering work on global ocean currents
An oceanographer who has painstakingly collected measurements from each of the world's oceans to understand how the oceans move heat and freshwater around the planet to influence climate is the winner of the 2013 Prince Albert 1 Medal for outstanding contributions to oceanography, given by the International Association for the Physical Sciences of the Ocean.

Salk scientists use Amazon Cloud to view molecular machinery in remarkable detail
In this week's Nature Methods, Salk researchers share a how-to secret for biologists: code for Amazon Cloud that significantly reduces the time necessary to process data-intensive microscopic images.

VISIONS: Seeing the aurora in a new light
Armed with a series of instruments, the VISIONS rocket will soar high through the arctic sky to study the auroral wind, which is a strong but intermittent stream of oxygen atoms from Earth's atmosphere into outer space.

Examining the so-called Basque mutation of Parkinson's
A team from the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country came across a mutation of the LRRK2 gene, which is particularly prevalent among the population of Gipuzkoa.

Engineered oncolytic herpes virus inhibits ovarian and breast cancer metastases
A genetically reprogrammed Herpes simplex virus (HSV) can cure metastatic diffusion of human cancer cells in the abdomen of laboratory mice, according to a new study published January 31 in the Open Access journal PLOS Pathogens.

Planting trees may not reverse climate change but it will help locally
Please fine below and attached a study published in BioMed Central's open access journal Carbon Balance and Management that looks into afforestation and how planting trees in an area where there have previously been no trees, can reduce the effect of climate change by cooling temperate regions.

Researcher uncovers potential cause, biomarker for autism and proposes study to investigate theory
Every day, 125 children are diagnosed with autism in the US.

New park protects 15,000 gorillas
The Republic of Congo has declared a new national park that protects a core population of the 125,000 western lowland gorillas discovered by WCS in 2008.

Leading researchers warn of 'brain drain' as scientists struggle to find funding
A survey of more than 170 leading biomedical scientists reveals that a lack of dependable research funding threatens a brain drain of highly skilled scientists.

Jocks beat bookworms on brain test
English Premier League soccer players, NHL hockey players, France's Top 14 club rugby players, and even elite amateur athletes have better developed cognitive functions than the average university student, according to a perception study undertaken by Professor Jocelyn Faubert of the University of Montreal's School of Optometry.

Just 11 percent of adults, 5 percent of children participate in medical research
A new study from the University of Michigan takes an in-depth look at public participation in medical research across the United States.

This is what a fish thought looks like
For the first time, researchers have been able to see a thought

£12.9 million investment promises stronger, greener UK
The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council is investing £12.9 million in the UK Catalysis Hub, a UK-wide research program into catalytic science focused on supporting UK economic growth while helping reduce CO2 emissions, produce cleaner water and generate more sustainable energy.

How the tilt of a cell-surface receptor prevents cancer
Clear communication between cells is essential to every aspect of the body's internal function.

New Geology study raises questions about long-held theories of human evolution
A new analysis of the past 12 million years' of vegetation change in the cradle of humanity is challenging long-held beliefs about the world in which our ancestors took shape -- and, by extension, the impact it had on them.

A 'neurosteroid' found to prevent brain injury caused by HIV/AIDS
Scientists found that DHEA-S may prevent neurocognitive impairment affecting a significant percentage of AIDS patients.

NASA's SDO provides first sightings of how a CME forms
NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory and scientists were able to watch for the first time the very formation of something they had long theorized was at the heart of many eruptive events on the sun: a flux rope.

Solar power: Is it time for the big push?
There are great expectations for solar power in the coming years.

The genome of rock pigeon reveals the origin of pigeons and the molecular traits
The genome sequence of rock pigeon reveals the origin of pigeons and the molecular basis of a classic trait.

Second-generation CT scanner substantially reduces radiation exposure
Researchers using a newly approved advanced computed tomography (CT) system were able to significantly reduce radiation exposure in patients undergoing coronary CT angiography, according to a new study.

Novel materials shake ship scum
Just as horses shake off pesky flies by twitching their skin, ships may soon be able to shed the unwanted accumulation of bacteria and other marine growth with the flick of a switch. 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