Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 21, 2013
Penn researchers develop protein 'passport' that help nanoparticles get past immune system
The immune system exists to destroy foreign objects, whether they are bacteria, viruses, flecks of dirt or splinters.

Case Western Reserve University joins BrainGate clinical trial
Researchers at Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals Case Medical Center will begin testing the first of two technologies they plan to combine in a new effort to enable people with paralysis to regain some control of their arms and hands.

Entomological Society of America launches science policy program
The Entomological Society of America and the American Institute of Biological Sciences announced today a new partnership that will provide ESA members with an even stronger voice in the nation's science policy debates.

Study reveals new clues to Epstein-Barr virus
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) affects more than 90 percent of the population worldwide and was the first human virus found to be associated with cancer.

Immigration among Latin-American countries fails to improve income
Although immigration to the United States from Latin-American countries, particularly Mexico, has captured much public attention, immigrants also move between countries in Latin America have more difficulty economically than those moving to the United States.

Microbubbles improve myocardial remodelling after infarction
Scientists from the Bonn University Hospital successfully tested a method in mice allowing the morphological and functional sequelae of a myocardial infarction to be reduced.

Research to restore the retina
Biologist Ann Morris, Ph.D., is the Pew Charitable Trusts' featured biomedical researcher of the month for her creative research on vision in zebrafish.

Sniffing out the side effects of radiotherapy may soon be possible
Researchers at the University of Warwick and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust have completed a study that may lead to clinicians being able to more accurately predict which patients will suffer from the side effects of radiotherapy.

Rutgers neuroscientist sheds light on cause for 'chemo brain'
It's not unusual for cancer patients being treated with chemotherapy to complain about not being able to think clearly, connect thoughts or concentrate on daily tasks.

Science magazine prize goes to Mars research project
Because of its success with secondary students of all ages and levels of preparation, the Mars Student Imaging Project has been chosen to win the Science Prize for Inquiry-Based Instruction.

City layout key to predicting riots
In the future police will be able to predict the spread of riots, and how they impact on cities, thanks to a new computer model.

Why living against the clock is a risky business
Living against the clock -- working late-night shifts or eating at inappropriate times, for example -- can come with real health risks, metabolic syndrome, obesity, and diabetes among them.

Writing without keyboard: Handwriting recognition on the wrist
Typing text messages on the mobile phone via the tiny soft keyboard is very cumbersome.

Vibrant mix of marine life found at extreme ocean depths, Scripps analysis reveals
The first scientific examinations of data recorded during a record-setting expedition have yielded new insights about the diversity of creatures that live and thrive in the cold, dark, and highly pressurized habitats of the world's deepest points and their vastly unexplored ecosystems.

Geoengineering by coalition
Solar geoengineering is a proposed approach to reduce the effects of climate change due to greenhouse gasses by deflecting some of the sun's incoming radiation.

Research shows that coldness triggers northward flight in migrating monarch butterflies
Each fall millions of monarch butterflies migrate south in order to escape frigid temperatures, traveling up to 2,000 miles to an overwintering site in a specific grove of fir trees in central Mexico.

For monarchs to fly north, first they've got to chill
Monarch butterflies are well known for their ability to fly 2,000 miles south from North America to Mexico each fall and back again in the spring.

'Stressed' bacteria become resistant to antibiotics
Bacteria become resistant to antibiotics when stressed, finds research published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology.

A promising new method for next-generation live-attenuated viral vaccines against Chikungunya virus
Researchers have applied a novel method of vaccine creation for Chikungunya virus using a technique called large scale random codon re-encoding.

Modeling Alzheimer's disease using iPSCs
Researchers at Japan's Kyoto University and Nagasaki University have successfully modeled Alzheimer's disease (AD) using both familial and sporadic patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells, and revealed stress phenotypes and differential drug responsiveness associated with intracellular amyloid beta oligomers in AD neurons and astrocytes.

Influenza study: Meet virus' new enemy
Simon Fraser University virologist Masahiro Niikura and his doctoral student Nicole Bance are among an international group of scientists that has discovered a new class of molecular compounds capable of killing the influenza virus.

Same-sex attracted men neglected in Africa
HIV-related research and programming has excluded same-sex attracted men in Africa for three decades.

Antibacterial protein's molecular workings revealed
Vanderbilt investigators report new insights to the workings of calprotectin, an immune system protein that

Life's tiniest architects pinpointed by Yale researchers
If a genome is the blueprint for life, then the chief architects are tiny slices of genetic material that orchestrate how we are assembled and function, Yale School of Medicine researchers report Feb.

VP Forrest: U-M research funding up, but sequestration threatens budget
Federal sequestration spending cuts could cost the University of Michigan research budget up to $40 million this year, harming graduate students, research scientists and others whose jobs depend on the funding, Vice President for Research Stephen Forrest told the Board of Regents Thursday.

US government to announce new policies for dual use research
The US government today released two new documents to guide researchers in carrying out dual use research of concern.

ASU Mars education program wins science-teaching award from Science magazine
The Mars Education Program at Arizona State University has won the Science magazine Prize for Inquiry-Based Instruction.

Schizophrenia genes increase chance of IQ loss
People who are at greater genetic risk of schizophrenia are more likely to see a fall in IQ as they age, even if they do not develop the condition.

VHA plays leading role in health information technology implementation and research
The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is aiming to become a leader in using health information technology (HIT) to change the way patients experience medical care, to decrease medical mistakes, and to improve health outcomes.

Wayne State University researcher's techniques enable more, faster testing of biological liquids
Two National Science Foundation grants to a Wayne State University researcher could amount to far more than a drop in the bucket when it cassistant professor of electrical and computer eomes to handling liquids for biological screening.

Why sourdough bread resists mold
Sourdough bread resists mold, unlike conventionally leavened bread. Now Michael Gaenzle and colleagues of the University of Alberta, Edmonton, show why.

Elsevier announces the launch of a new journal: Case Studies on Transport Policy
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, is pleased to announce the launch of Case Studies on Transport Policy which will be published in collaboration with the World Conference on Transport Research Society beginning 2013.

The age from when children can hop on one leg
Motor development in children under five years of age can now be tested reliably: Together with colleagues from Lausanne, researchers from the University Children's Hospital Zurich and the University of Zurich have determined normative data for different exercises such as hopping or running.

How human language could have evolved from birdsong
Linguistics and biology researchers propose a new theory on the deep roots of human speech.

SAGE to publish Measurement and Control from April 2013
SAGE and the Institute of Measurement and Control today announced a new agreement to publish Measurement and Control from April 2013.

Energy symposium to address long-term energy strategy for US
With imported petroleum dropping from 60 percent of total consumption to less than 40 percent in the past six years, in part due to the explosion of onshore US oil exploration and development, the United States has made progress toward its goal of reducing dependence on foreign oil.

Drug delivery strategy eliminates myotonia symptoms in mice with myotonic dystrophy
By targeting the specific mutation that causes the hereditary neuromuscular disease myotonic dystrophy, it is possible to neutralize the mutant RNA toxicity and minimize or even eliminate the disabling symptoms of the disease.

Mercury may have harbored an ancient magma ocean
By analyzing Mercury's rocky surface, scientists have been able to partially reconstruct the planet's history over billions of years.

Researchers 'nanoweld' by applying light to aligned nanorods in solid materials
Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a way to melt or

Flu breakthrough: New drug developed to combat flu pandemic
CSIRO scientists have helped to design a new drug to safeguard against epidemic and pandemic flu strains -- as published in Science today.

Biologists lead international team to track Arctic response to climate change
Last summer was the highest ice retreat in the Arctic on record.

Catheters linked with high risk of infections, heart problems, and death in dialysis patients
Dialysis patients using catheters to access the blood have the highest risks for death, infections, and cardiovascular events compared with patients using other types of vascular access.

Early human burials varied widely but most were simple
A new study shows that the earliest human burial practices in Eurasia varied widely, with some graves lavish and ornate while the majority were simple.

Biomarker may identify neuroblastomas with sensitivity to BET bromodomain inhibitors
The MYCN gene is commonly amplified in neuroblastoma and associated with poor prognosis.

Scientists unveil secrets of important natural antibiotic
An international team of scientists has discovered how an important natural antibiotic called dermcidin, produced by our skin when we sweat, is a highly efficient tool to fight tuberculosis germs and other dangerous bugs.

New study indicates avocado consumption may be associated with better diet quality
New analysis of data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a program of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, indicates that consuming avocados may be associated with better diet quality and nutrient intake level, lower intake of added sugars, lower body weight, BMI and waist circumferences, higher

Research suggests malaria can be defeated without a globally led eradication program
Malaria does not have to be eradicated globally for individual countries to succeed at maintaining elimination of the disease, according to research from the University of Florida's Emerging Pathogens Institute and department of geography, to be published in the journal Science Feb.

Up, up and away: NTU soars to new heights in space exploration
Not long after building Singapore's first locally-made satellite and pioneering the country's first satellite research programme for undergraduates, NTU is once again soaring to new heights in space exploration.

New flu drug stops virus in its tracks
A new class of influenza drug has been shown effective against drug-resistant strains of the flu virus, according to a study led by University of British Columbia researchers.

In rich and poor nations, giving makes people feel better than getting, research finds
Feeling good about spending money on someone else rather than for personal benefit may be a universal response among people in both impoverished countries and rich nations, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association.

Study raises questions over effectiveness of recommended genetic testing strategy for inherited high cholesterol
Research published Online First in The Lancet provides new evidence that a substantial proportion of individuals with a clinical diagnosis of Familial Hypercholesterolaemia inherit a combination of small-effect changes in several genes (polygenic) rather than a large-effect mutation in a single gene (monogenic).

EASL publishes first comprehensive literature review on the burden of liver disease in Europe
Major progress has been made in the past 30 years in the knowledge and management of liver disease, yet approximately 29 million Europeans still suffer from a chronic liver condition.

Bees attracted to contrasting colors when looking for nectar
Flower colors that contrast with their background are more important to foraging bees than patterns of colored veins on pale flowers according to new research by Heather Whitney, University of Cambridge in the UK, and her colleagues.

February highlights from Ecological Society of America publications
This release highlights these topics: Weighing the costs and benefits of intensive vegetable production in plastic greenhouses.

ONR-funded software boosts marines civilian operations at fleet exercise
New software that takes advantage of mobile devices to streamline civilian assistance operations has received encouraging feedback from Marines who tested it this month during one of the largest annual multinational military exercises.

New therapy for heart failure may enhance body's stem cell response at cardiovascular injury site
Cardiovascular disease specialists at Florida Hospital Pepin Heart Institute and the University of South Florida have begun a clinical trial testing a novel gene therapy that may benefit heart failure after ischemic injury.

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

Backs bear a heavy burden
Damage to muscles and the skeleton is the frequent consequence of carrying heavy backpacks and occupational gear on our backs.

Student loans help women more than men in reaching graduation
Student loans provide more help to women than they do for men in encouraging graduation from college, a new nationwide study reveals.

'Green' homes save money but can trap air pollution indoors
Nathan Rabinovitch, MD, an asthma specialist at National Jewish Health, will describe the potential health hazards

Titanium dioxide nanoreactor
Tiny particles of titanium dioxide are found as key ingredients in wall paints, sunscreens, and toothpaste; they act as reflectors of light or as abrasives.

Misled by macronutrients? UC Researchers suggest alternative diet design
The search for the perfect diet--one that promotes weight loss and optimal health--has left many people empty handed.

Scientists make older adults less forgetful in memory tests
Scientists have found compelling evidence that older adults can eliminate forgetfulness and perform as well as younger adults on memory tests.

International collaboration seeks to develop noninvasive quantum electron microscope
By observing molecules in a new way, innovation would allow scientists to make unexpected discoveries and answer fundamental questions about life that have never before been approachable.

Local therapy followed by treatment with EGFR TKI is well tolerated
A recent study published in the March 2013 issue of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer's Journal of Thoracic Oncology, found that EGFR- mutant lung cancers with acquired resistance to EGFR TKI therapy are amenable to local therapy to treat oligometastatic disease when used in conjunction with continued EGFR inhibition.

Circadian clock linked to obesity, diabetes and heart attacks
Disruption in the body's circadian rhythm can lead not only to obesity, but can also increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease.

UCLA study finds endocrine disorder is most common cause of elevated calcium levels
UCLA researchers found that unusually high calcium levels in the blood can almost always be traced to primary hyperparathyroidism, an undertreated, underreported condition that affects mainly women and the elderly.

Stem cell 'homing' signal may help treat heart failure patients
In the first human study of its kind, researchers activated heart failure patients' stem cells with gene therapy to improve their symptoms, heart function and quality of life.

Journey to the limits of spacetime
Black holes shape the growth and death of the stars around them through their powerful gravitational pull and explosive ejections of energy.

Researchers propose new way to probe Earth's deep interior
Researchers propose a new technique that might one day reveal in higher detail than ever before the composition and characteristics of the deep Earth.

Solar energy to get boost from cutting-edge forecasts
Applying its atmospheric expertise to solar energy, NCAR is spearheading a three-year, nationwide project to create unprecedented, 36-hour forecasts of incoming energy from the sun.

Centre for Carbon Measurement set to deliver large carbon reductions
The Centre for Carbon Measurement at the National Physical Laboratory will deliver eight megatonnes of carbon emissions reductions and over half a billion pounds in economic benefit over the next decade, according to an independent report.

Scientists identify molecular system that could help develop treatments for Alzheimer's disease
Scientists from the University of Southampton have identified the molecular system that contributes to the harmful inflammatory reaction in the brain during neurodegenerative diseases.

Floral signs go electric
Flowers' methods of communicating are at least as sophisticated as any devised by an advertising agency, according to a new study, published today in Science Express by researchers from the University of Bristol.

Eliminating malaria has longlasting benefits for many countries
A review of malaria elimination conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute and other institutions suggests stopping malaria transmission completely has longlasting benefits for many countries and that once eliminated, the disease is unlikely to reemerge over time.

The long shadow cast by childhood bullying on mental health in adulthood
A new study shows that children who are exposed to bullying during childhood are at increased risk of psychiatric disorders in adulthood, regardless of whether they are victims or perpetrators.

Should grandma join Facebook? It may give her a cognitive boost, study finds
Preliminary research findings from the UA suggest learning to use Facebook may help give adults older than 65 a cognitive boost.

Omega-3s inhibit breast cancer tumor growth, study finds
A lifelong diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids can inhibit growth of breast cancer tumors by 30 percent, according to new research from the University of Guelph.

Cell therapy a little more concrete thanks to VIB research
VIB scientists associated to the UGent have developed a mouse model that can advance the research on iPS cells to the next step.

For embolism patients, clot-busting drug is worth risk
When doctors encounter a patient with a massive pulmonary embolism, they face a difficult choice: Is it wise to administer a drug that could save the patient's life, even though many people suffer life-threatening bleeding as a result?

Certain mutations affect kidney disease risk and prognosis
Certain mutations and combinations of mutations in immune-related genes affect individuals' risk of developing a rare but serious kidney condition.

Conserving corals by understanding their genes
In reef-building corals variations within genes involved in immunity and response to stress correlate to water temperature and clarity, finds a study published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Genetics.

Aspirin and omega-3 fatty acids work together to fight inflammation
Experts tout the health benefits of low-dose aspirin and omega-3 fatty acids but the detailed mechanisms involved in their effects are not fully known.

Scale-up of HIV treatment in rural South Africa dramatically increases adult life expectancy
The large antiretroviral treatment scale-up in a rural community in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, has led to a rapid and dramatic increase in population adult life expectancy.

Brown University researchers build robotic bat wing
Researchers at Brown University have developed a robotic bat wing that is providing valuable new information about dynamics of flapping flight in real bats.

Early life stress may take early toll on heart function
Early life stress like that experienced by ill newborns appears to take an early toll of the heart, affecting its ability to relax and refill with oxygen-rich blood, researchers report.

Activation of cortical type 2 cannabinoid receptors ameliorates ischemic brain injury
A new study published in the March issue of The American Journal of Pathology suggests that cortical type 2 cannabinoid receptors might serve as potential therapeutic targets for cerebral ischemia.

Baylor University researchers study barriers, resources to physical activity in Texas towns
Obesity, diabetes and other ailments plague impoverished communities at higher rates than the general United States population.

Inhaled betadine leads to rare complication
A routine step in preparing for cleft palate surgery in a child led to an unusual -- but not unprecedented -- case of lung inflammation (pneumonitis), according to a report in the The Journal of Craniofacial Surgery.

UCSB anthropologist studies cattle ranchers in Brazilian Amazon
For over a century, the rubber tappers of Acre, Brazil collected the valuable sap of the rubber trees from the forests of the western Amazon.

Queen's study shows psychotropic drug dispensing increases on entry to care homes
A study by Queen's University Belfast has found that the dispensing of psychotropic drugs to older people in Northern Ireland increases on entry to care homes.

Research discovers gene mutation causing rare eye disease
Research conducted by Dr. Jayne S. Weiss, Professor and Chair of Ophthalmology at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, and colleagues has discovered a new mutation in a gene that causes Schnyder corneal dystrophy.

When water speaks
Why certain catalyst materials work more efficiently when they are surrounded by water instead of a gas phase is unclear.

19 baby Siamese crocs released in Laos
The Wildlife Conservation Society announced today the successful release of 19 critically endangered baby Siamese crocodiles into a local wetland in Lao PDR, where they will be repatriated into the wild.

Caves point to thawing of Siberia
Evidence from Siberian caves suggests that a global temperature rise of 1.5 degrees Celsius could see permanently frozen ground thaw over a large area of Siberia, threatening release of carbon from soils, and damage to natural and human environments.

Why some soldiers develop PTSD while others don't
Pre-war vulnerability is just as important as combat-related trauma in predicting whether veterans' symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder will be long-lasting, according to new research published in Clinical Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

University of Colorado and Orphan Technologies sign agreement
The University of Colorado has signed exclusive, worldwide licensing and collaboration agreements with rare-disease research-and-development firm Orphan Technologies Ltd. to develop an enzyme replacement therapy for Cystathionine Beta-Synthase-deficient homocystinuria, a rare, inherited metabolic disease that is often fatal at a young age.

Facing disaster while averting tragedy
Nobody can foresee disaster, but changing climate conditions are prompting smart communities increasingly to prepare for them with solid emergency response plans and protocols.

Wanted: A life outside the workplace
New research at Michigan State University suggests the growing number of workers who are single and without children have trouble finding the time or energy to participate in non-work interests, just like those with spouses and kids.

Dr. Lewis Cantley awarded $3 million breakthrough prize in life sciences
Dr. Lewis Cantley, a leading cancer researcher credited with discovering a family of enzymes fundamental to understanding cancer, was named a winner of the inaugural Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, the world's richest academic prize for medicine and biology.

IBN creates unlimited source of human kidney cells
Researchers at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology have successfully generated human kidney cells from human embryonic stem cells in vitro1.

Greater representation of elderly patients in Phase III trials are needed
A recent study published in the March 2013 issue of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer's Journal of Thoracic Oncology, investigated the degree to which exclusion or underrepresentation of elderly occurs in practice-changing clinical trials in advanced NSCLC.

Discovering the birth of an asteroid trail
Unlike comets, asteroids are not characterised by exhibiting a trail, but there are now ten exceptions.

Astronomer at UC Riverside awarded Sloan Research Fellowship
Naveen Reddy, an assistant professor of physics and astronomy at the University of California, Riverside, has been awarded a Sloan Research Fellowship from the Alfred P. 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