Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 07, 2013
Researchers identify potential target for age-related cognitive decline
As the elderly age, their ability to concentrate, reason, and recall facts tends to decline in part because their brains generate fewer new neurons than they did when they were younger.

Surgeons find better ways to treat nerve compression disorder that can sideline athletes
Two new studies from Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Scientists team with business innovators to solve 'big data' bottleneck
Researchers have demonstrated that a crowdsourcing platform pioneered in the commercial sector can solve a complex biological problem more quickly than conventional approaches--and at a fraction of the cost.

Unique peptide could treat cancers, neurological disorders, and infectious diseases
UT Southwestern scientists have synthesized a peptide that shows potential for pharmaceutical development into agents for treating infections, neurodegenerative disorders, and cancer through an ability to induce a cell-recycling process called autophagy.

First anti-tuberculosis medicine under USAID-supported PQM program achieves WHO prequalification
Helping to increase the availability of affordable, high-quality medicines to treat patients worldwide suffering from multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, technical assistance provided at no cost to manufacturers under the Promoting the Quality of Medicines program -- a U.S.

Subcortical damage is 'primary cause' of neurological deficits after 'awake craniotomy'
Injury to the subcortical structures of the inner brain is a major contributor to worsening neurological abnormalities after

Translation error tracked in the brain of dementia patients
In certain dementias silent areas of the genetic code are translated into highly unusual proteins by mistake.

Stanford Engineering's Jens Norskov wins Boudart Award for catalysis
Norskov has contributed extensively to the development of computational methods and models of surface reactivity.

UT Arlington engineer wins NSF award to support microfluidic analyses of tissue, cell samples
A UT Arlington mechanical engineer has been honored by the National Science Foundation with a $400,000 Early Career Development grant to support her work with microfluidic devices, which promise to improve 3D tissue and cell sample analyses.

New study highlights Chagas disease as a growing health and socio-economic challenge
Today, The Lancet Infectious Diseases published a new report that examines the global economic burden of Chagas disease.

Rutgers-Newark professors receive $500,000 grant from National Institute of Justice
Dr. Leslie Kennedy, Dr. Joel Caplan, and Dr. Eric Piza of the Rutgers School of Criminal Justice received a two-year, $500,000 grant from the National Institute of Justice to use risk terrain modeling to help various police agencies define high-risk environments and measure the extent to which allocating police patrols to those areas affects the frequency of new crime events.

NASA scientists build first-ever wide-field X-ray imager
Three NASA scientists teamed up to develop and demonstrate NASA's first wide-field-of-view soft X-ray camera for studying

Cells forged from human skin show promise in treating MS, myelin disorders
A study out today in the journal Cell Stem Cell shows that human brain cells created by reprogramming skin cells are highly effective in treating myelin disorders, a family of diseases that includes multiple sclerosis and rare childhood disorders called pediatric leukodystrophies.

Hastings Center resources chart progress in debate over medical research with animals
The scientific and ethical debate over the use of animals in medical research has raged for years, but perspectives are shifting, viewpoints are becoming more nuanced, and new initiatives are seeking alternatives to animal testing, according to a special report by the Hastings Center,

Research could ensure that crowd work becomes a career option, not a dead end
Crowdsourcing is an effective way to mobilize people to accomplish tasks on a global scale, but some researchers fear that crowd work for pay could easily become the high-tech equivalent of a sweat shop.

43 percent reduction in deaths from paracetamol due to smaller pack sizes
The number of deaths and liver transplants due to paracetamol overdoses has significantly reduced thanks to UK legislation to make pack sizes smaller, a paper published today on suggests.

ORNL scientists solve mercury mystery, Science reports
By identifying two genes required for transforming inorganic into organic mercury, which is far more toxic, scientists today have taken a significant step toward protecting human health.

The amazing amphibians and reptiles of the Philippine island Luzon
Renewed interest in exploring the unique fauna of the northern Philippines has produced a series of notable discoveries, drawing attention to the astonishingly high level of species diversity in this small island archipelago.

Reassuring evidence: Anticancer drug does not accelerate tumor growth after treatment ends
Studies in animals have raised concerns that tumors may grow faster after the anticancer drug sunitinib is discontinued.

Social network use reflects East-West disparity
The stark contrast between America's

New technology may help doctors monitor concussions, aging, and neurological function
Doctors track their patients' hand-eye coordination to monitor any neuromuscular deficits, but the tests used to track this kind of information may be subjective and qualitative.

Vilcek Prize for Biomedical Science split between 2 giants of immunology
The Vilcek Foundation announces the recipients of the 2013 Vilcek Prizes, honoring immigrant contributions to the American arts and sciences.

8 Stanford Engineering faculty elected to National Academy of Engineering
Eight professors from the Stanford University School of Engineering are among the newly elected National Academy of Engineering members.

Scientists find key to growth of 'bad' bacteria in inflammatory bowel disease
Scientists have long puzzled over why

Clot-retrieval devices failed to improve stroke-related disability
A stroke survivor's chances of living independently after 90 days are not improved by the use of devices inserted into the artery to dissolve or remove a stroke-causing clot shortly after the onset of symptoms, according to a controlled trial.

Hubble captures strobe flashes from a young star
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has produced a time-lapse movie of a mysterious protostar that behaves like a flashing light.

Permanent stress can cause type 2 diabetes in men
Men who reported permanent stress have a significantly higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than men who reported no stress.

Few pregnant women treated for sexually transmitted infections
Many pregnant women with sexually transmitted infections aren't getting the treatment they need when they visit emergency rooms, according to a new Michigan State University study that highlights a wholly preventable risk to unborn children and raises questions about current medical guidelines.

Southern diet could raise your risk of stroke
Eating lots of Southern cuisine is linked to increased stroke risk.

Indonesian fishing communities find balance between biodiversity and development
Fishing communities living on the islands of Indonesia's Karimunjawa National Park have found an important balance, improving their social well-being while reducing their reliance on marine biodiversity, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society and the University of Western Australia.

Dickkopf makes fountain of youth in the brain run dry
Cognitive decline in old age is linked to decreasing production of new neurons.

Triple-negative breast cancer subtypes identified using microRNA
A new, large-scale study of triple-negative breast cancer shows that small molecules called microRNA can be used to define four subtypes of this aggressive malignancy.

Colon cancer exhibits a corresponding epigenetic pattern in mice and humans
The epigenetic investigation of mice can as a result contribute to early diagnosis of cancer in humans.

For drug makers, new 3-D control opens wealth of options
A team of scientists anchored at Yale University has demonstrated a new, highly versatile approach for quickly assembling drug-like compounds, establishing a broad new route to drug discovery and medical treatment.

Graduate student video on sequestration wins prize
The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology is pleased to announce the winner of its inaugural advocacy competition, Stand Up for Science.

Researchers create 'building block' of quanutm networks
A proof-of-concept device that could pave the way for on-chip optical quantum networks has been created by a group of researchers from the US.

A privacy risk in your DNA
Tel Aviv University's Prof. Eran Halperin has found that advances in DNA sequencing carry with them an enormous risk -- the theft of personal information from genetics databases poses a serious threat to privacy.

Immune systems of healthy adults 'remember' germs to which they've never been exposed
It's established dogma that the immune system develops a

NASA telescopes discover strobe-like flashes in a suspected binary protostar
Two of NASA's great observatories, the Spitzer and Hubble space telescopes, have teamed up to uncover a mysterious infant star that behaves like a strobe light.

Researchers building foundation for heat-tolerant electronics
Case Western Reserve University is leading an international investigation of a finicky alternative to silicon-based electronics and its use in high temperatures or under radiation that would render traditional components useless.

New evidence suggests comet or asteroid impact was last straw for dinosaurs
While many assume that a comet or asteroid impact killed off the dinosaurs, the actual dates of the impact and extinction are imprecise enough that some have questioned the connection.

Magnetic map guides salmon home
For sockeye salmon coming home after years spent at sea, a magnetic map is apparently responsible for their remarkable sense of direction.

Treatment with clot-busting drug yields better results after stroke than supportive therapy alone
In an update to previous research, Johns Hopkins neurologists say minimally invasive delivery of the drug tPA directly into potentially lethal blood clots in the brain helped more patients function independently a year after suffering an intracerebral hemorrhage, a deadly and debilitating form of stroke.

Advisory committee recommends continued investment in Jefferson Lab
A committee appointed by the US Department of Energy and National Science Foundation to review and recommend the future course of nuclear physics research in the United States has issued a report supporting the continued funding of the experimental program at the US Department of Energy's Jefferson Lab.

Collaboration and innovation win CWRU School of Medicine grant to study gastric cancer
The Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine has received a $220,000 grant from the DeGregorio Family Foundation to study gastric cancers, which remain among the most deadly forms of disease.

How a fall in duck hunting is shooting a financial hole into conservation efforts
The annual duck hunting season in the United States is traditionally big business, but while bird numbers are rising faster than they have for decades, the number of hunters continues to fall.

Smart satnav drives around the blue highway blues
Endlessly frustrated by congested roads, computer scientists at California State University, in Fullerton have developed a satellite navigation system, GeoTNavi, which hooks into historical traffic data and current vehicle movements to find the shortest commute and avoid the traffic jams.

Fruits and vegetables may help protect the kidneys
Adding fruits and vegetables to the diet is an effective alternative to medication to reduce metabolic acidosis and kidney injury in late-stage chronic kidney disease.

Scientists discover how the world's saltiest pond gets its salt
Antarctica's Don Juan Pond exists only because its high salinity -- the highest of any body of water on the planet -- keeps it from freezing.

Placental mammal diversity exploded after age of dinosaurs
Researchers have reconstructed the common ancestor of placental mammals--a diverse group including animals ranging from rodents to whales to humans--using the world's largest dataset of both genetic and physical traits.

Animal magnetism: First evidence that magnetism helps salmon find home
When migrating, sockeye salmon typically swim up to 4,000 miles into the ocean and then, years later, navigate back to the upstream reaches of the rivers in which they were born to spawn their young.

Poll: Americans back climate change regulation, not taxes
Now that President Obama has put climate change back on the table in his second inaugural address, a new national poll finds growing public support for regulating greenhouse gas emissions and requiring utilities to switch to lower-carbon fuel sources.

UAB researchers cure type 1 diabetes in dogs
Researchers at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona have succeeded in completely curing type 1 diabetes in dogs with a single session of gene therapy.

Hopkins researchers uncover key to antidepressant response
Through a series of investigations in mice and humans, Johns Hopkins researchers have identified a protein that appears to be the target of both antidepressant drugs and electroconvulsive therapy.

USC research finds certain contraceptive may pose risk of Type 2 diabetes for obese women
A first-of-its-kind study by researchers at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California indicates that healthy, obese, reproductive-age women who use long-acting reversible contraception containing the hormone progestin have a slightly increased risk for developing Type 2 diabetes when compared to those who use non-hormonal contraception.

Lancet Oncology: Long-term side-effects of targeted therapies in pediatric cancer patients
Already we know that molecularly targeted therapies may stunt the growth of pediatric patients, delay puberty or speed the onset of diabetes.

Concordia University professor among Canada's best
Concordia University marketing professor Jordan LeBel has been awarded a 3M National Teaching Fellowship in recognition of his contributions to higher education in Canada.

Study identifies liver gene that regulates cholesterol and fat blood levels
Researchers have identified a microRNA liver gene, miR-27b, which regulates lipid (cholesterol or fat) levels in the blood.

Waste dump at the end of the world
Ecologists of Jena University (Germany) found out, the environment of the Antarctic is by far less intact than many people might think.

Salmon may use magnetic field as a navigational aid
The mystery of how salmon navigate across thousands of miles of open ocean to locate their river of origin before journeying upstream to spawn has intrigued biologists for decades.

UF researchers include humans in most comprehensive tree of life to date
An international team of scientists including University of Florida researchers has generated the most comprehensive tree of life to date on placental mammals, which are those bearing live young, including bats, rodents, whales and humans.

Health costs of income inequality in marriage, jealousy and parenting, humor and conflict
In time for Valentine's Day, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin is featuring several new studies all about relationships -- including the link between income in marriage and health, the role of jealousy in becoming a parent, and how humor affects romantic couples in conflict.

Researchers explore quantum entanglement
Researchers propose a way in which

UIC researchers to study how young adults use e-cigarettes, snus
How do young adults use

GSA receives grant to strengthen social work practice for older adults
Thanks to $1.35 million in recently awarded funding from The John A.

Stress at work very unlikely to cause cancer
Work-related stress is not linked to the development of colorectal, lung, breast or prostate cancers, a study published today on suggests.

Veterans with mild traumatic brain injury have brain abnormalities
A recent study by psychiatrists with the Iowa City VA Medical Center and University of Iowa Health Care finds that soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with mild TBI have measurable abnormalities in the white matter of their brains when compared to returning veterans who have not experienced TBI.

No increase in brain aneurysm rupture risk during pregnancy and delivery
For women with aneurysms involving the brain blood vessels, pregnancy and delivery don't appear to increase the risk of aneurysm rupture, reports a paper in the February issue of Neurosurgery, official journal of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons.

In the brain, broken down 'motors' cause anxiety
When motors break down, getting where you want to go becomes a struggle.

Surveillance system can identify and track emerging infectious diseases
A team of researchers developed a method to identify the cause of infectious disease outbreaks based on online reports about the symptoms, the season, and the ratio of cases to fatalities.

Almost 8 percent of US stroke survivors may have suicidal thoughts
Stroke survivors are more likely to report recent suicidal thoughts or wish they were dead compared with individuals with previous heart attack, diabetes or cancer.

Excess protein linked to development of Parkinson's disease
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine say overexpression of a protein called alpha-synuclein appears to disrupt vital recycling processes in neurons, starting with the terminal extensions of neurons and working its way back to the cells' center, with the potential consequence of progressive degeneration and eventual cell death.

Key protein revealed as trigger for stem cell development
A natural trigger that enables stem cells to become any cell type in the body has been discovered by scientists.

For ant pupae, status means being heard
For young ants at the pupal stage of life--caught between larva and adulthood--status is all about being heard.

A Spanish breakthrough allows the electroporation of cell cultures for less than 1 Euro
Researchers from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia have developed a technique that improves and cuts the cost of a technique called electroporation, which involves opening pores in cell membranes using an electric field to introduce substances like drugs and DNA.

Some stroke patients whose life support is withdrawn may have achieved a less-than-ideal
Some patients whose life support ended after bleeding in the brain might have recovered some acceptable function if life support was continued.

Specific warning signs of complications in colorectal surgical patients released
A panel of surgical experts has developed a list of postoperative complications that should prompt colorectal surgical patients to contact their surgeon or visit the emergency room.

Going along means getting along -- and that's not always good, Baylor study finds
Caving in to social pressure -- such as saying that you love a movie because friends do -- makes for good vibes about being part of a group and can produce more of the same conduct, according to a Baylor University sociological study.

HIV exploits a human cytokine in semen to promote its own transmission
A new report suggests that the concentration of one human cytokine, interleukin 7 (IL-7), in the semen of HIV-1-infected men may be a key determinant of the efficiency of HIV-1 transmission to an uninfected female partner.

Infant, child stroke survivors prone to seizures, epilepsy
Infants and children who survive bleeding strokes may be prone to seizures and epilepsy within two years.

UT Arlington software engineer's tool makes for quicker tests
A UT Arlington software engineer is refining a computer testing tool that reduces the amount of time and expense companies must spend to determine whether a new program works.

Largest-ever study of mammalian ancestry completed by renowned research team
A groundbreaking six-year research collaboration has produced the most complete picture yet of the evolution of placental mammals, the group that includes humans.

Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal for obesity research expert
Dr. Mark Tremblay has been awarded a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal from the Governor General of Canada.

A*STAR scientists' groundbreaking discovery of nucleus structure crucial to understanding diseases
Scientists from Singapore and Germany have identified that the proteins lamin A and lamin B receptor are essential for holding silent genes in their correct position at the edge of the nucleus, in the form of heterochromatin .

Dan Doctoroff, David Rubenstein, and Bloomberg Philanthropies unveil Target ALS
Daniel L. Doctoroff, Bloomberg LP CEO and president; David M.

Canadian researcher helps put humans on the tree of life
A University of Toronto Scarborough researcher was part of a team that reconstructed the family tree of placental mammals -- a diverse group that includes cats, dogs, horses and humans.

Observed: The outburst before the blast
Researchers discover a star's

Boston College researchers' unique nanostructure produces novel 'plasmonic halos'
Boston College researchers report developing a unique nanostructure capable of filtering visible light into

Surgical procedure appears to improve outcomes after bleeding stroke
A minimally invasive surgery appears safe and may reduce long-term disability after a bleeding stroke.

New guide will allow electric utilities to develop Green Button Web tools
A new guide for Web developers recently released by NIST will make it easier for electric utilities and vendors to give customers convenient, electronic access to their energy usage data with tools and applications developed as part of the new

Asians are far more likely than Anglos to be college-educated
Asians (about 60 percent) are much more likely to be college-educated than Anglos (under 40 percent), according to Rice University's Kinder Institute Houston Area Asian Survey, the first systematic look at the local Asian population based on three surveys conducted over a 16-year period.

Over 12,000 Wiley Online Books made available in developing countries via Research4Life
John Wiley & Sons, Inc., today announced that its 12,200 Online Books would be made available through the Research4Life initiatives of HINARI, AGORA and OARE, benefitting research and academic communities in 80 low- and middle-income countries including Malawi, Cambodia, and Bolivia.

New report in Science illuminates stress change during the 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake
The 11 March 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake produced the largest slip ever recorded in an earthquake, over 50 meters.

NASA sees the sun produce 2 CMEs
In the evening of Feb. 5, 2013, the sun erupted with two coronal mass ejections or CMEs that may glance near-Earth space.

15th International Celiac Disease Symposium will unveil new research, dispel gluten-free myths
Scientists, practitioners, students and patients from around the world will gather in Chicago from Sept.

Study shows disease spread in ladybirds with sexually transmitted disease
A study at the University of Liverpool into the spread of sexually transmitted infection in ladybirds has shown that disease risk to large populations cannot be predicted without a full understanding of the disease dynamics at small geographical scale.

Experimental gene therapy treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy offers hope for youngster
Jacob Rutt is a bright 11-year-old who likes to draw detailed maps in his spare time.

By their powers combined
Thanks to new research by an international team of researchers led by the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory, physicists have developed new methods for controlling magnetic order in a particular class of materials known as

UT Arlington bioengineer to use hybrid imaging system to see deep tissue
A UT Arlington bioengineer has been awarded a $407,163 National Science Foundation Early Career Development grant to use light and sound to produce an accurate image of a patient's deep tissue.

Zinc helps against infection by tapping brakes in immune response
New research suggests that zinc helps control infections by gently tapping the brakes on the immune response in a way that prevents out-of-control inflammation that can be damaging and even deadly.

Peering into living cells -- without dye nor fluophore
Thanks to holographic microscopy, two young EPFL scientists have developed a device that can create 3D images of living cells, almost in real time, and track their reaction to various stimuli without the use of contrast dyes or fluorophores.

Protein paves the way for correct stem cell differentiation
A single embryonic stem cell can develop into more than 200 specialized cell types that make up our body.

Frequent dialysis poses risks for kidney disease patients
Compared with standard dialysis, frequent dialysis can cause complications related to repeated access to the blood.

Information Technology improves patient care and increases privacy, MU informatics expert says
The federal government invested more than $25 billion in health information technology (IT) as a result of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act; yet, little is known about how IT applications improve patient safety and protect their privacy.

Compound developed by scientists protects heart cells during and after attack
Using two different compounds they developed, scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute have been able to show in animal models that inhibiting a specific enzyme protects heart cells and surrounding tissue against serious damage from heart attacks. 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