Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 20, 2013
Science synthesis to help guide land management of nation's forests
A team of more than a dozen scientists from the US Forest Service's Pacific Southwest and Pacific Northwest research stations, universities and Region 5 Ecology Program recently released a synthesis of relevant science that will help inform forest managers as they revise plans for the national forests in the Sierra Nevada and southern Cascades of California.

Elsevier wins 6 PROSE Awards
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, today announced that it received six 2012 PROSE Awards and three Honorable Mentions.

Researchers identify variations in 4 genes associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer
An international research team co-led by cancer prevention researcher Ulrike

Bilingual children have a better 'working memory' than monolingual children
A study conducted at the University of Granada and the University of York in Toronto, Canada, has revealed that bilingual children have a better working memory, which holds, processes and updates transitory information.

Human heart tissue development slower than other mammals
The walls of the human heart are a disorganized jumble of tissue until relatively late in pregnancy, despite having the shape of a fully functioning heart, according to a pioneering study.

Searching for the solar system's chemical recipe
The ratio of isotopes in elements like oxygen, sulfur, and nitrogen were once thought to be much the same everywhere, determined only by their different masses.

Handheld device for detecting counterfeit and substandard medicines tested by PQM
Device may perform well detecting counterfeits; not suited to identifying substandard medicines.

MIT researchers build Quad HD TV chip
At the International Solid-State Circuits Conference this week, MIT researchers unveiled their own HEVC chip.

Potential benefits of inertial fusion energy justify continued R&D
The potential benefits of successful development of an inertial confinement fusion-based energy technology justify investment in fusion energy research.

Study advances LSUHSC research, shows fish oil component reduces brain damage in newborns
Research conducted by a team of scientists from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and Dr.

Researchers find crime drama viewers more likely to aid sexual assault victims
Viewers of prime-time crime dramas, like NCIS, CSI or Law & Order, are more inclined than non-viewers to see themselves intervening on behalf of the victim of a sexual assault, according to recent research at Washington State University.

Employees shed pounds in worksite-based weight loss intervention with behavioral counseling
Workplace-based programs that include dietary advice coupled with behavioral counseling appear to be a promising approach for men and women with significant weight loss goals, based on the results of a pilot study conducted by researchers at Tufts University.

Using 3-D printing and injectable molds, bioengineered ears look and act like the real thing
Cornell bioengineers and physicians have created an artificial ear -- using 3-D printing and injectable molds -- that looks and acts like a natural ear, giving new hope to thousands of children born with a congenital deformity called microtia.

Bracelet-like device controls chronic acid reflux, study finds
A bracelet-like device with magnetic beads can control the chronic digestive disorder gastroesophageal reflux disease, according to a study published online today in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Wiley launches Stat
John Wiley & Sons, Inc., today announced the launch of Stat, the new online-only, rapid communication research journal of the International Statistical Institute, publishing articles in all facets of statistics and related interdisciplinary areas.

Common acne drug not associated with increased risk of IBD
Doctors should not be discouraged from prescribing isotretinoin to adolescents for inflammatory acne, according to a new study published February 20 in JAMA Dermatology by Canadian and US scientists showing the drug does not increase the risk of inflammatory bowel disease.

Low-pitched song indicates fairy-wren size
A male fairy-wren's low pitch song indicates body size, a new international study has shown.

New IOM report highlights PEPFAR's successes
The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief has saved and improved millions of lives worldwide and offered proof that HIV/AIDS services.

Cool Earth Solar and Sandia team up in first-ever public-private partnership on Open Campus
In a public-private partnership that takes full advantage of the Livermore Valley Open Campus for the first time, Sandia National Laboratories and Cool Earth Solar have signed an agreement that could make solar energy more affordable and accessible.

Digital processing system avoids 17.4 million drug errors in US in 1 year
Processing a prescription through an electronic ordering system can halve the likelihood of a drug error, and avert more than 17 million such incidents in US hospitals in one year alone, indicates research published online in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.

Healthy rivalry could boost sport and business performance
New research shows that people can recover from poor performance when rivals comment on their failures.

Being stoic for the spouse's sake comes at a high cost
In the wealth of studies about parental grief, little attention has been paid to precisely how couples relate to each other as they struggle to come to terms with the death of a child.

Omega-3 lipid emulsions markedly protect brain after stroke in mouse study
Triglyceride lipid emulsions rich in an omega-3 fatty acid injected within a few hours of an ischemic stroke can decrease the amount of damaged brain tissue by 50 percent or more in mice, reports a new study by researchers at Columbia University Medical Center.

Secrets of human speech uncovered
A team of researchers at UC San Francisco has uncovered the neurological basis of speech motor control, the complex coordinated activity of tiny brain regions that controls our lips, jaw, tongue and larynx as we speak.

Scientists publish analysis of algae parasite impact on algae biofuel in PLOS ONE
As part of an ongoing effort to improve commercial scale algae biofuel production, a group of scientists, led by crude oil producer Sapphire Energy Inc. today announced the completion of a collaborative study (published in PLOS ONE journal) which identified the morphology, ultrastructure, and life history of A. protococcarum, one of the most difficult to manage algae parasites.

New injectable hydrogel encourages regeneration and improves functionality after a heart attack
University of California, San Diego bioengineers have demonstrated in a study in pigs that a new injectable hydrogel can repair damage from heart attacks, help the heart grow new tissue and blood vessels, and get the heart moving closer to how a healthy heart should.

A self-healing protective coating for concrete
Scientists are reporting development of what they describe as the first self-healing protective coating for cracks in concrete, the world's most widely used building material.

New research on migratory behavior of oceanic whitetip sharks can help shape conservation strategies
As the nations of the world prepare to vote on measures to restrict international trade in endangered sharks in early March, a team of researchers has found that one of these species - the oceanic whitetip shark - regularly crosses international boundaries.

New imaging device that is flexible, flat, and transparent
Digital cameras, medical scanners, and other imaging technologies have advanced considerably during the past decade.

Clinician-powered EHR selection resource announces new content provider
American Medical Informatics Association joins AmericanEHR Partners.

Independent panel to present findings on diagnosing gestational diabetes mellitus
To better understand the benefits and risks of various gestational diabetes mellitus diagnostic approaches, the National Institutes of Health is convening a Consensus Development Conference Mar.

Background checks, permanent records needed for all firearm transfers, not just gun sales by retailers
Gun violence in the United States can be substantially reduced if Congress expands requirements for background checks on retail gun sales to cover firearm transfers between private parties, a new report by the director of the UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program concludes.

Power connects decision makers to the future
Decision makers who feel powerful and in control of resources are more likely than others to make decisions that will benefit their future selves, according to researchers at the USC Marshall School of Business.

Bullied children can suffer lasting psychological harm as adults
Bullied children grow into adults who are at increased risk of developing anxiety disorders, depression and suicidal thoughts, according to a study led by researchers at Duke Medicine.

Cooling may prevent trauma-induced epilepsy
In the weeks, months and years after a severe head injury, patients often experience epileptic seizures that are difficult to control.

Study shows long-term efficacy of minimally invasive therapy for patients with Barrett's esophagus
According to a new study, patients with Barrett's esophagus and early or pre-cancerous cells have been shown to significantly benefit from minimally invasive therapy delivered through an endoscope.

Antioxidants in your diet may not reduce risk of stroke or dementia
Contrary to other research, a new study found that the total level of antioxidants in people's diets is not related to their risk of developing stroke or dementia.

Researchers say sunlight yields more efficient carbon dioxide to methanol model
In a method that is more efficient and inexpensive than current models, researchers at The University of Texas at Arlington are using carbon dioxide, copper oxide nanowires and simulated sunlight to create methanol.

Researchers find multiple tests needed to detect infection in low birth-weight newborns
New research by Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine and Yale University School of Medicine finds that cultures commonly used to detect bacterial infections in low birth-weight newborns with early onset sepsis may actually overlook some germs.

A simple view of gravity does not fully explain the distribution of stars in crowded clusters
Gravity remains the dominant force on large astronomical scales, but when it comes to stars in young star clusters the dynamics in these crowded environments cannot be simply explained by the pull of gravity.

Using millions of gigs of data to improve human health
With biomedical scientists struggling to collect and analyze millions of gigabytes of data in their efforts to improve human health, the National Institutes of Health has launched a $700 million project to develop a common data-sharing framework and start training future scientists to tap that gold mine of information.

Study: Resveratrol shows promise to protect hearing, cognition
Resveratrol, a substance found in red grapes and red wine, may have the potential to protect against hearing and cognitive decline, according to a published laboratory study from Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

Signaling pathway linked to fetal alcohol risk
Scientists have identified a molecular signaling pathway that plays an important role in the development of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.

Mushroom-supplemented soybean extract shows therapeutic promise for advanced prostate cancer
A natural, nontoxic product called genistein-combined polysaccharide, or GCP, which is commercially available in health stores, could help lengthen the life expectancy of certain prostate cancer patients, UC Davis researchers have found.

New findings on debated authorship
University of Adelaide researchers have provided new evidence on the long-debated authorship of two famous texts -- the US Federalist Papers and the Letter to the Hebrews in the New Testament.

Kepler spacecraft helps astronomers find tiny planet beyond our solar system
Astronomers have discovered a planet beyond our solar system that's about the size of the Earth's moon -- the first time they've found a planet smaller than any of the planets orbiting our sun.

Ancient 'Egyptian blue' pigment points to new telecommunications, security ink technology
A bright blue pigment used 5,000 years ago is giving modern scientists clues toward the development of new nanomaterials with potential uses in state-of-the-art medical imaging devices, remote controls for televisions, security inks and other technology.

Human cognition depends upon slow-firing neurons
Good mental health and clear thinking depend upon our ability to store and manipulate thoughts on a sort of

Little did we know about beetle diversity: Astonishing 138 new species in a single genus
Researchers in Santa Barbara, California have described in a single paper 138 new species in a genus of tropical beetles.

Increasing evidence links high glycemic index foods and dairy products to acne
A study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has determined that there is increasing evidence of a connection between diet and acne, particularly from high glycemic load diets and dairy products, and that medical nutrition therapy can play an important role in acne treatment.

Scrap 'unwinnable' drugs war and divert funds into curbing global antibiotic misuse
Governments around the world should stop squandering resources fighting an

Recipients of 2013 Dan David Prize announced
Leading public intellectual and New Republic editor Leon Wieseltier is among the 2013 Dan David Prize laureates, which will be awarded by Tel Aviv University at the university's International Board of Governors Meeting in June.

Can insurers save money by providing free diabetes-related medications and supplies?
The economic and patient-perceived benefits of eliminating co-payments for diabetes-related medications and supplies are described in a trend-setting study published in Population Health Management.

NASA's SDO observes fast-growing sun spot
Over the course of Feb. 19-20, 2013, scientists watched a giant sunspot form in under 48 hours.

Mosquitoes exposed to DEET once are less repelled by it a few hours later
Mosquitoes are able to ignore the smell of the insect repellent DEET within a few hours of being exposed to it, according to research published Feb.

Myth that UK supply of innovative new pharma drugs is drying up
The widely held belief that the UK supply of innovative new medicines has conspicuously dwindled in recent decades, is not borne out by the evidence, reveals research published in the online journal BMJ Open.

Explosives vapor detection technology: The new 'sniff test'
A quick, accurate and highly sensitive process to reliably detect minute traces of explosives on luggage, cargo or traveling passengers has been demonstrated by scientists at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

'Inspiring' teens with 'research virus': Expert-mentored bioscience contest proves a powerful vector
Testimonials and responses to a survey from 375 past teen participants in a Canadian biotechnology competition -- mentored in professional labs by expert scientists -- show a majority of respondents were influenced by the experience to pursue science research studies and careers, offering a potential model for countries worldwide to advance their health and economic interests.

Data pooling in biobanks: The BIOPOOL project
A European consortium of medical, research and higher education institutions are developing a network of biobanks known as BIOPOOL to share digitalised data on human tissues to aid doctors diagnose possible cancers.

Does bariatric surgery impact medical costs associated with obesity?
Is Bariatric surgery successful in the long run in reducing costs associated with medical care for obesity?

Fragile X makes brain cells talk too much
The most common inherited form of mental retardation and autism, fragile X syndrome, turns some brain cells into chatterboxes, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Molecules assemble in water, hint at origins of life
Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology are exploring an alternate theory for the origin of RNA: They think the RNA bases may have evolved from a pair of molecules distinct from the bases we have today.

NASA's SDO shows a little rain on the sun
Eruptive events on the sun can be wildly different. Some come just with a solar flare, some with an additional ejection of solar material called a coronal mass ejection, and some with complex moving structures in association with changes in magnetic field lines that loop up into the sun's atmosphere, the corona.

Painting with catalysts: Nano-engineered materials for detoxifying water by use of sunlight
Only light, aerial oxygen, and a catalyst are needed to remove pollutants from water.

Tool boosts success of online collaborations by redistributing the burdens of leadership
The Web makes it possible for lots of people to collaborate on projects, but it doesn't make it easy to lead them.

Gladstone scientist named inaugural winner of breakthrough prize in life sciences
Gladstone Institutes' Senior Investigator Shinya Yamanaka, MD, Ph.D., is one of 11 medical researchers to win a new, high-profile $3 million award from a group of high-tech sponsors, including the founders of Facebook and Google.

Engineer's research employs semiconductors to better store, use solar energy
The National Science Foundation has awarded a $400,000 Early Career Development grant to Fuqiang Liu, an assistant professor of materials science and engineering, to improve the way solar energy is captured, stored and transmitted for use.

Sweeping the dust from a cosmic lobster
A new image from ESO's VISTA telescope captures a celestial landscape of glowing clouds of gas and tendrils of dust surrounding hot young stars.

Montana State to host 1 of world's first celebrations for Einstein's theory, gravitational waves
Montana State University will celebrate Einstein with a free public celebration and international conference from April 2 to 7.

Creeping epidemic of obesity hits Asia Pacific region
Over eating, sedentary lifestyles, cultural attitudes, and lack of prevention programs are to blame for the rising epidemic of obesity in the Asia Pacific region.

Children with brain lesions able to use gestures important to language learning
Children with brain lesions suffered before or around the time of birth are able to use gestures -- an important aspect of the language learning process -- to convey simple sentences.

Regenstrief study: Informatics tools underutilized in prevention of hospital-acquired infection
A new study from the Regenstrief Institute has measured the awareness, adoption and use of electronic medical record systems and health information exchange by hospital-based infection preventionists to report and share information critical to public health.

Trustworthy mating advice deepens bond between straight women and gay men
A new psychology study suggests the glue that cements these unique relationships is honest, unbiased relationship advice.

Perceptions of health improve with pension receipt, researcher says
A University of Missouri researcher found that South African men and women viewed their health more positively when they began receiving their pensions, but their heightened sense of well-being faded over time.

New bioengineered ears look and act like the real thing
Physicians at Weill Cornell Medical College and biomedical engineers at Cornell University have succeeded in building a facsimile of a living human ear that looks and acts like a natural ear.

Simple measures to promote sleep can reduce delirium in intensive care patients
A lack of sleep among patients in an ICU can cause delirium -- an altered mental state that may delay their recovery and lead to short and long-term confusion and memory problems.

Building trust for online health research
Bioethicists writing in Science Translational Medicine acknowledge the potential research value of personal health information shared online but argue that to be ethically acceptable for use in research, traditional models of informed consent must be adapted to suit the dynamic online environment.

Smoking cessation in old age: Less heart attacks and strokes within 5 years
Smokers increase their risk of myocardial infarction (heart attack) and stroke with every cigarette they smoke.

People with disabilities at greater risk of violence and subsequent mental ill-health
People with disabilities are at a greater risk of being the victims of violence and of suffering mental ill health when victimized, according to research published Feb.

Cost of medication and stigma leading asthma sufferers to risk health
The high cost of medication, stigmatization and poor acceptance of their condition are causing young adults to take a dangerous approach to managing their asthma, according to new research published today in the journal BMJ Open.

3 NASA satellites see wide-eyed Cyclone Haruna
Cyclone Haruna strengthened into a cyclone and quickly developed an eye that became apparent on visible and infrared imagery from NASA's Aqua satellite.

NIH-funded researchers begin trial of Shigella vaccine candidates
Researchers have launched an early-stage human clinical trial of two related candidate vaccines to prevent infection with Shigella, bacteria that are a significant cause of diarrheal illness, particularly among children.

Organic tomatoes accumulate more vitamin C, sugars than conventionally grown fruit
Tomatoes grown on organic farms accumulate higher concentrations of sugars, vitamin C and compounds associated with oxidative stress compared to those grown on conventional farms, according to research published Feb.

'I'm not just fat, I'm old!'
Similar to talking about being fat, talking about being old is an important an indicator of body dissatisfaction, shows research in BioMed Central's open access journal Journal of Eating Disorders.

New taxonomy of platinum nanoclusters
Physicists have gained new insights into the inner intricacies of the structural variations of metallic nanoclusters.

Setting the record straight on Medicare's overhead costs: New study
The traditional Medicare program allocates only 1 percent of total spending to overhead compared with 6 percent when the privatized portion of Medicare, known as Medicare Advantage, is included, according to a new study of government reports.

Scripps Florida scientist awarded prestigious Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award
Ron Davis, PhD, chair of the Neuroscience Department on the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute, has been selected to receive a prestigious $3.5 million Jacob K.

American Association of Nurse Practitioners selects Journal for Nurse Practitioners
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, is pleased to announce that The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, the leading source of information for practicing nurse practitioners, has been chosen as an official publication of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.

Pitt study examines cost-effectiveness of medicare drug plans in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder
A new study published online today in the American Journal of Managed Care found that in Medicare Part D, generic drug coverage was cost-saving compared to no coverage in bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, while also improving health outcomes.

The brainless origin of our head
A study by researchers from the Sars Centre in Bergen (Norway) and Ulrich Technau from the Deptartment of Molecular Evolution and Development (University Vienna) has shed new light on the evolutionary origin of the head.

Prescription problems for vets on reflux drug
US veterans diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease are frequently prescribed doses of proton pump inhibitors, such as omeprazole (commonly known by brand names such as Prilosec), that are much higher than recommended -- and they are kept on the drug far too long, according to a new Northwestern Medicine study.

The nano-channel that disentangles knots
The DNA tends to become entangled, yet according to a research carried out by Cristian Micheletti of the International School for Advanced Studies of Trieste and by Enzo Orlandini of Universita di Padova, it is possible to obtain knot-free filaments by having them pass through a nano-channel.

The ethics of access: Comparing 2 federal health care reform efforts
Two major health reform laws, enacted 25 years apart, both try to meet an ethical standard to provide broad access to basic health care.

6 in 10 people worldwide lack access to flush toilets or other adequate sanitation
It may be the 21st century, with all its technological marvels, but 6 out of every 10 people on Earth still do not have access to flush toilets or other adequate sanitation that protects the user and the surrounding community from harmful health effects, a new study has found.

Preclinical study shows potential of new technologies to detect response to cancer therapy earlier
This study found that by using two non-invasive technologies, a patient's response to therapy can be detected earlier than by relying on tumor volume changes.

Molecular basis identified for tissue specific immune regulation in the eye and kidney
Scientists at The University of Manchester have made important advances in understanding why our immune system can attack our own tissues resulting in eye and kidney diseases.

Researchers decipher modus operandi of potential Alzheimer's drug
The chemical compound known as

UCLA life scientists identify drug that could aid treatment of anxiety disorders
Scopolamine is a drug with many uses. Treating anxiety disorders may become a new use for it, new UCLA life science research suggests.

Research secured for the future: Pensoft Publishers takes on CLOCKSS archival technology
Pensoft Publishers is pleased to announce the full integration of its open access journals with the CLOCKSS Archive.

Genome-wide imaging study identifies new gene associated with Alzheimer's plaques
A study combining genetic data with brain imaging, designed to identify genes associated with the amyloid plaque deposits found in Alzheimer's disease patients, has not only identified the APOE gene -- long associated with development of Alzheimer's -- but has uncovered an association with a second gene, called BCHE.

Nanyang Technological University and Xenon Technologies make a splash with the flash
Scientists from Nanyang Technological University have made a revolutionary capacitor that overcomes the limitations of current capacitors, which are needed to store enough energy to fire a powerful flash like those found on digital cameras but are too big to fit in slim mobile devices.

Gains made towards treatment of rare bone disease
Diagnosed in toddlers, X-linked hypophosphatemia (XLH) is the most common form of heritable rickets, in which soft bones bend and deform, and tooth abscesses develop because infections penetrate soft teeth that are not properly calcified.

New technology in the magnetic cooling of chips
Luis Hueso, the CICnanoGUNE researcher, together with researchers from the University of Cambridge, among others, has developed a new technology in the magnetic cooling of chips based on the straining of materials.

Staff satisfaction at hospitals may affect the quality of patient care
The satisfaction levels among a hospital's staff are closely linked to the quality of healthcare it provides, say a team of doctors from Imperial College London.

First signals from brain nerve cells with ultrathin nanowires
Electrodes operated into the brain are today used in research and to treat diseases such as Parkinson's.

Weather warning
A new report, co-authored by Michael McElroy, the Gilbert Butler Professor of Environmental Studies, and D.

UC San Diego cancer scientist wins $3 million award
Napoleone Ferrara, M.D., Ph.D., the molecular biologist credited with helping decipher how tumors grow and now senior deputy director for basic sciences at the University of California, San Diego Moores Cancer Center, was today named one of 11 recipients of the inaugural Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, which comes with a $3 million cash award.

Geneticist Svante Pääbo receives the $500,000 Gruber Genetics Prize
Svante Pääbo, PhD, director of the Department of Genetics at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, is the recipient of the 2013 Genetics Prize of The Gruber Foundation. 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