Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 22, 2013
Saving money by using electric vehicles
High battery costs still prevent many people from buying an electric vehicle.

Smart agriculture
Integrating embedded systems into the IT infrastructure holds immense potential for the productive sectors of the economy.

WUSTL researcher gets $2.25 million grant to better understand traumatic brain injury
Washington University in St. Louis engineering researchers have received a five-year, $2.25 million grant to better understand traumatic brain injuries in efforts to improve methods for prevention and treatment.

Keck Medical Center of USC offers new treatment for chronic reflux disease
Clinical trial results published in the New England Journal of Medicine offer additional evidence that a new device may help relieve chronic heartburn symptoms that standard treatment cannot.

NSF collaborates with federal partners to plan for comprehensive public access to research results
Today, the National Science Foundation, along with federal partners, announced its commitment to expand public access to the results of its funded research.

JCI early table of contents for Feb. 22, 2013
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, Feb.

Researchers find appointed justices outperform elected counterparts
State supreme court justices who don't face voters are generally more effective than their elected counterparts, according to research led by Princeton University political scientists.

Smarter lunchrooms make lunch choices child's play
In Jan. 2012, the United States Department of Agriculture passed a series of regulations designed to make school lunches more nutritious, which included requiring schools to increase whole grain offerings and making students select either a fruit or vegetable with their purchased lunch.

AZTI-Tecnalia is turning vegetable by-products destined for landfills into feedstuff
AZTI-Tecnalia has confirmed the nutritional and health viability of various vegetable by-products to be used as animal feed, by-products which are currently being managed as waste.

New Wiley Open Access title launches: Journal of Medical Radiation Sciences
John Wiley & Sons, Inc., today announced the launch of Journal of Medical Radiation Sciences, combining The Radiographer (now in its 60th volume) from the Australian Institute of Radiography and Shadows (in its 56th Volume) from the New Zealand Institute of Medical Radiation Technology.

Wayne State University professor selected for prestigious Sloan Research Fellowship
Wen Li, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry in Wayne State University's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, was one of 126 researchers selected to receive a $50,000 Sloan Research Fellowship for 2013 from the Alfred P.

NSF-funded researchers propose promising new technique for probing Earth's deep interior
National Science Foundation-funded researchers at Amherst College in Massachusetts and the University of Texas at Austin have described a new technique based in particle physics that might one day reveal, in more detail than ever before, the composition and characteristics of the deep Earth.

Cyclone Haruna makes landfall in Madagascar
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Cyclone Haruna after it made landfall in southwestern Madagascar.

Formation of nanoparticles can now be studied molecule-by-molecule
Atmospheric aerosol particles affect our climate by slowing down the global warming.

ADCELLPACK project advances the use of cellulose-based materials in food packaging
By developing cellulose packaging material to be used in atmosphere packaging techniques, the European ADCELLPACK consortium is aiming to create an alternative to the use of oil-based packaging materials in food packaging, especially for cheese.

Israel rocket attacks increase miscarriage likelihood -- Ben-Gurion U. research study
The study found that exposure to rocket attacks increased miscarriages (also known as Spontaneous Abortion) risk by 59 percent, as compared to women not experiencing this stress during or before pregnancy (in Sderot 6 percent compared with 4.7 percent in Kiryat Gat).

Reprogramming cells to fight diabetes
For years researchers have been searching for a way to treat diabetics by reactivating their insulin-producing beta cells, with limited success.

PNNL rolls out its clean energy tech at ARPA-E
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will present its ARPA-E projects related to solar power, electric and natural gas vehicles, magnets, and heating and cooling at the 2013 Energy Innovation Summit, Feb.

Controversial dam removals founded on value conflicts
Researchers at Umeå University in Sweden conclude that public opposition to dam removal is not based on knowledge deficiency, as is sometimes argued in dam removal science.

New grants to innovation corps 'nodes' further enhance public-private partnership
Today the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced the latest round of grant awards made under the NSF's Innovation Corps (I-Corps) effort.

UNC-led study documents head and neck cancer molecular tumor subtypes
By analyzing data from DNA microarrays, a UNC-led team has completed a study that confirms the presence of four molecular classes of the disease and extends previous results by suggesting that there may be an underlying connection between the molecular classes and observed genomic events, some of which affect known cancer genes.

Forecast is for more snow in polar regions, less for the rest of us
A new cli­mate model pre­dicts an increase in snow­fall for the Earth's polar regions and high­est alti­tudes, but an over­all drop in snow­fall for the globe, as car­bon diox­ide lev­els rise over the next century.

Light from silicon nanocrystal LEDs
Silicon nanocrystals have a size of a few nanometers and possess a high luminous potential.

Has evolution given humans unique brain structures?
Humans have at least two functional networks in their cerebral cortex not found in rhesus monkeys.

'Climate Forcing of Geological Hazards'
It is only relatively recently that geoscientists have begun to consider how the Earth's crustal systems will respond to the rapid climate change that is expected in the next century.

Asteroid searchers take the high ground
The launch of NEOSSat (Near-Earth Object Surveillance Satellite) 800 kilometres above the Earth next Monday will enable University of Calgary researchers to undertake a comprehensive study of asteroids -- and possibly comets -- orbiting between the Earth and the Sun.

Unique continuous processing pharmaceutical production line to be introduced in Finland
PROMIS Centre, a research center focused on the development of methods for analysis and optimisation of pharmaceutical processes, has built a new and unique continuous processing pharmaceutical production line -- the only one of its kind in Europe.

Genomic detectives crack the case of the missing heritability
Despite years of research, the genetic factors behind many human diseases and characteristics remain unknown, and has been called the

Hot flashes take toll on life, health, and work
Hot flashes put a damper on women's health and productivity at work and pump up the cost of health care.

New device better traps viruses, airborne pathogens
Washington University engineering researchers have created a new type of air-cleaning technology that could better protect human lungs from allergens, airborne viruses and ultrafine particles in the air.

UC Berkeley, UCSF and Stanford join forces to help commercialize university innovations
The University of California, Berkeley, UC San Francisco and Stanford University are collaborating on an educational program aimed at commercializing university research and fostering innovation locally and nationally, thanks to a three-year, $3.75 million grant from the National Science Foundation.

Pulmonary fibrosis: Between a ROCK and a hard place
In this issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Yong Zhou and colleagues at the University of Alabama at Birmingham identified a mechanosensitive cellular signaling pathway in myofibroblasts that is activated by the hardening of tissue that has become fibrotic.

Lessons from cockroaches could inform robotics
Running cockroaches start to recover from being shoved sideways before their dawdling nervous system kicks in to tell their legs what to do, researchers have found.

New study examines the factors underlying suicides in the Army National Guard
Studies report that since 2004, suicides rates in the US Army have been on the rise.

The lifetime journeys of manure-based microbes
Studies at the USDA are shedding some light on the microbes that dwell in cattle manure -- what they are, where they thrive, where they struggle, and where they can end up.

Top 10 H-1B visa companies all specialize in shipping American jobs overseas
The top 10 users of H-1B visas in FY 2012 were companies who specialize in shipping American jobs offshore, according to an analysis of government data by Computerworld magazine.

Geoscience Currents No. 70: Student choices for society membership in the geosciences
Geoscience Currents No. 70 presents the final data collected from the GeoConnection Recruitment Packets distributed from 2009 to 2011.

Interdisciplinary education seeks to improve palliative care
A unique curriculum at the University of Louisville is preparing medical, nursing, social work and pastoral care students to work together on interdisciplinary teams.

BESAFE Conference in Manchester: Working towards a brighter future for biodiversity
The EU FP7 projects BESAFE and BIOMOT are holding a joint meeting in Manchester, 20-22 Feb., to discuss results and set up priorities for the future.

UCLA researchers further refine 'NanoVelcro' device to grab single cancer cells from blood
Researchers at UCLA report that they have refined a method they previously developed for capturing and analyzing cancer cells that break away from patients' tumors and circulate in the blood.

Reforming US research ethics: Alex John London calls for system that works for all stakeholders
Within the US, serious questions are being raised about the role of Institutional Review Boards in overseeing such research.

Watching molecules grow into microtubes
A team of researchers at Washington University in St. Louis, headed by Srikanth Singamaneni, Ph.D., assistant professor of mechanical engineering & materials science, unexpectedly found the mechanism by which tiny single molecules spontaneously grow into centimeter-long microtubes by leaving a dish for a different experiment in the refrigerator.

How to mend a broken heart: Advances in parthenogenic stem cells
In this issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Wolfram Zimmerman and colleagues at Georg-August-Universität Göttingen in Göttingen, Germany, demonstrated that cells from the parthenogenote function as embryonic stem cells and maintain the capacity to develop into different types of tissue.

Color in fossil insects, diamonds from the ancient ocean floor and modeling the world's largest rivers
Geology articles posted online ahead of print on Feb. 20, 2013, include several modeling and simulation studies as well as studies on the Exmouth Sub-basin, Australia; the West Kunlun Range, northern Tibetan Plateau; Krakenes Lake, Norway; the Azores islands; and the hot springs of Colorado.

Smart way for seafarers to track effects of climate change
Seafarers are being encouraged to take part in a unique global study, using a mobile phone app to record the effects of climate change.

Parents talking about their own drug use to children could be detrimental
Parents know that one day they will have to talk to their children about drug use.

Flipping the 'off' switch on cell growth
A protein known for turning on genes to help cells survive low-oxygen conditions also slows down the copying of new DNA strands, thus shutting down the growth of new cells, Johns Hopkins researchers report.

1 week and counting: Don't cut the research that fuels the US economy
In individual video messages calling on Congress to stop the sequester, researchers and university officials outlined some of the ways federal investments in basic scientific research pay economic and other dividends -- and some of the ways these dividends are threatened by sequestration.

NAS receives $3.5 million gift to establish Prize in Psychological and Cognitive Sciences
Richard C. Atkinson has made a gift of $3.5 million to the National Academy of Sciences to establish the National Academy of Sciences Prize in Psychological and Cognitive Sciences.

Clean energy research targets idle engines
Simon Fraser University researcher Majid Bahrami is developing green air conditioning and refrigeration systems that will reduce fuel consumption and emissions caused by service vehicle and long-haul truck idling engines.

Fruit flies force their young to drink alcohol -- for their own good
When fruit flies sense parasitic wasps in their environment, they lay their eggs in an alcohol-soaked environment, essentially forcing their larvae to consume booze as a drug to combat the deadly wasps.

World's smallest space telescope
The smallest astronomical satellite ever built will launch shortly after 07:20 a.m.

SwRI ultraviolet instrument selected for ESA's JUICE mission to Jupiter's icy moons
An ultraviolet spectrograph designed by Southwest Research Institute has been selected for flight on the European Space Agency's Jupiter Icy Moon Explorer. 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