Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 16, 2013
Using transportation data to predict pandemics
In a world of increasing global connections, predicting the spread of infectious diseases is more complicated than ever.

Flow of research on ice sheets helps answer climate questions
Just as ice sheets slide slowly and steadily into the ocean, researchers are returning from each trip to the Arctic and Antarctic with more data about climate change, including information that will help improve current models on how climate change will affect life on the earth, according to a Penn State geologist.

Evolution helped turn hairless skin into a canvas for self-expression
Hairless skin first evolved in humans as a way to keep cool -- and then turned into a canvas to help them look cool, according to a Penn State anthropologist.

Historic legacy of lead pollution persists despite regulatory efforts
Efforts to reduce lead pollution have paid off in many ways, yet the problem persists and will probably continue to affect the health of people and animals well into the future, according to experts speaking at the AAAS meeting in Boston.

Malawi's bountiful harvests and healthier children
In Malawi, the fields are full -- and so are the children.

Mentoring models to move minorities to majorities in STEM
Evidence of a shift in US demographics and importance of minorities took center stage during the Presidential election, but how do those growing toward majority acquire representation in our educational and technological communities?

Previewing the next steps on the path to a magnetic fusion power plant
This is a summary of PPPL physicist George 'Hutch' Neilson's presentation to 2013 AAAS Annual Meeting.

When good habits go bad
Duke University neurologist and neuroscientist Nicole Calakos studies what happens when synaptic connections aren't as adaptable as they should be in the basal ganglia, the brain's

The research is in: Physical activity enhances cognition
University of Illinois psychology professor and Beckman Institute director Art Kramer will present a talk about how physical activity boosts cognition and brain health at the 2013 AAAS meeting.

Strengthening speech networks to treat aphasia
Decades of research have helped scientists like Sheila Blumstein of Brown University understand how the brain produces speech.

Going negative: Stanford scientists explore new technologies that remove atmospheric CO2
Reducing carbon dioxide emissions may not be enough to curb global warming, say Stanford University scientists.

Academics grapple with balancing their research with the need to communicate it to the public
Researchers today more than ever focus their work on real-world problems, often times making their research relevant to the public locally, regionally and nationally.

Studying networks to help women succeed in science
Northwestern University's Noshir Contractor is using his network expertise to help women succeed in research.

Modern life may cause sun exposure, skin pigmentation mismatch
As people move more often and become more urbanized, skin color -- an adaptation that took hundreds of thousands of years to develop in humans -- may lose some of its evolutionary advantage, according to a Penn State anthropologist.

Mussel-inspired 'glue' for surgical repair and cancer drug delivery
When it comes to sticking power under wet conditions, marine mussels are hard to beat.

The Elsevier Foundation, TWAS, and OWSD honor early career women scientists in developing countries
Five medical and life science researchers from Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean Basin today received the 2013 Elsevier Foundation Awards for Early Career Women Scientists in the Developing World for work that could contribute to life-saving knowledge and therapies worldwide.

MBL scientist Bruce Peterson wins ASLO Lifetime Achievement Award
Dr. Bruce J. Peterson, a senior scholar at the Marine Biological Laboratory has been selected by the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography to receive the 2013 Alfred C.

Preparing for climate change-induced weather disasters
The news sounds grim: Mounting scientific evidence indicates climate change will lead to more frequent and intense extreme weather that affects larger areas and lasts longer.

Brain prostheses create a sense of touch
Infrared sensing might be built into a whole-body prosthesis for paraplegics so patients wearing the

Seeing is believing: Biologists and physicists produce revealing images of cell organization, behavior
The leading edge of creative, interdisciplinary collaboration in microscopy will be explored in

Mussels cramped by environmental factors
The fibrous threads helping mussels stay anchored -- in spite of waves that sometimes pound the shore with a force equivalent to a jet liner flying at 600 miles per hour -- are more prone to snap when ocean temperatures climb higher than normal.
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