Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 13, 2013
Events in the future seem closer than those in the past
Time flies, marches on, and flows like a river -- our descriptions of time are closely linked to our experiences of moving through space.

Education resource focuses on teaching population genetics using current research
Genetics and life sciences instructors, who teach undergraduate students about population and evolutionary genetics, have a new teaching resource: the March 2013 Primer in the Genetics Society of America's journal GENETICS uses current research on transcriptome divergence in two closely related species of field crickets to explain population genetics.

Peter Piot awarded Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize for Medical Research
Professor Peter Piot, Director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, will be awarded the Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize for Medical Research, the Government of Japan have announced.

It's all in the way we move
A study led by Wits University researchers published in the journal PLoS ONE on March 12, 2013 examine connections between bone form and locomotor behavior in bipedal and quadrupedal marsupials.

Gorillas caught in the crossfire in the DRC
The world's leading conservation organizations have joined together to fight for the survival of the Endangered Grauer's or eastern lowland gorilla.

Polo takes the bait
A seemingly obscure gene in the female fruit fly that is only active in cells that will become eggs has led researchers at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research to the discovery of a atypical protein that lures, traps, and inactivates the powerful Polo kinase, widely considered the master regulator of cell division.

Surprising control over photoelectrons from a topological insulator
Electrons flowing swiftly across the surface of topological insulators (TIs) are

1 in 4 colonoscopies in Medicare patients found to be potentially inappropriate
A new study by researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston published online today in JAMA Internal Medicine shows that one out of four colonoscopies paid for by Medicare is potentially inappropriate under current screening guidelines set forth by the United States Preventive Services Task Force.

Overheard phone calls more memorable, rated more distracting than other background talking
A one-sided cellphone conversation in the background is likely to be much more distracting than overhearing a conversation between two people, according to research published March 13 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Veronica Galván and colleagues from the University of San Diego.

Bruno Latour wins the 2013 Holberg Prize and Ingvild Almås wins the 2013 Nils Klim Prize
The Board of the Ludvig Holberg Memorial Fund has decided to award the 2013 Holberg International Memorial Prize to anthropologist and sociologist Bruno Latour.

2 new marine protected areas created on Argentina's southern coasts
The Wildlife Conservation Society applauds the Government of Argentina for creating two enormous marine protected areas in Patagonia, a region filled with majestic shorelines and abundant wildlife.

Biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development
This meeting brings together thousands of leading US and international experts to present and hear the latest interdisciplinary research in child development.

ALMA finds 'monster' starburst galaxies in the early universe
Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope have discovered starburst galaxies earlier in the Universe's history than they were previously thought to have existed.

Study: Probiotics reduce stress-induced intestinal flare-ups
Stress has a way of significantly altering gut bacteria, leading to intestinal inflammation and often times, belly pain for those with IBS.

LA BioMed physician-researchers honored as top doctors
LA BioMed physician-researchers honored as America's Top Doctors and Southern California Super Doctors.

Dwelling on stressful events can increase inflammation in the body, study finds
Dwelling on negative events can increase levels of inflammation in the body, a new Ohio University study finds.

Ancient, highly active galaxies discovered
Using information gathered from several telescopes, a team of astronomers, including Carnegie's Eric Murphy, searched the sky for very rarely seen dusty starburst galaxies, formed soon after the Big Bang.

Biodegradable nappies from recycled cardboard
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has developed a process that enables recycled paper and cardboard to be used as a raw material for nonwovens.

Turing Award to the Weizmann Institute's Shafi Goldwasser
The Award was given for innovations that became the gold standard for enabling secure internet transactions.

NIST mechanical micro-drum used as quantum memory
JILA researchers demonstrated that information encoded as a specific point in a traveling microwave signal -- the vertical and horizontal positions of a wave pattern at a certain ime -- can be transferred to the mechanical beat of NIST's micro-drum and later retrieved with 65 percent efficiency.

Chicken pox vaccine saving children's lives
The widespread introduction of a chicken pox vaccine in Australia in 2006 has prevented thousands of children from being hospitalized with severe chicken pox and saved lives, according to new research.

EASL calls on UK to tackle alcohol consumption problem through implementation of minimum pricing
EASL urges UK government to press ahead with proposed implementation of the minimum unit pricing of alcohol.

Neuron loss in schizophrenia and depression could be prevented with an antioxidant
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) deficits have been implicated in schizophrenia and depression.

Shock treatment can kill -- Clinical trial shows how 'standard' procedure results in children's deaths
Results from the Fluid Expansion as Supportive Therapy trial in East Africa show that children who are given fluid to treat shock have an increased risk of death due to cardiovascular collapse at 48 hours.

International research agreement set to transform wound care
An innovative research agreement will put patients first in a bid to advance technology in the treatment and management of wounds - saving valuable time and money for health organizations throughout the world and helping to deliver safe and effective care.

Paving the way for greater use of ancient medical knowledge
Scientists are reporting an advance toward overcoming a major barrier to tapping the potential of traditional Chinese medicine and India's Ayurvedic medicine in developing new and more effective modern drugs.

Extreme water
Earth is the only known planet that holds water in massive quantities and in all three phase states.

Burgess Shale worm provides crucial missing link
Canada's 505 million year-old Burgess Shale fossil beds, located in Yoho National Park, have yielded yet another major scientific discovery -- this time with the unearthing of a strange phallus-shaped creature.

NASA sees large decrease in Cyclone Sandra's rainfall intensity
NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite, also known as TRMM, flew over Cyclone Sandra twice in one day and noticed a large decrease in rainfall intensity over a nine hour period.

AAN: Doctors caution against prescribing attention-boosting drugs for healthy kids
The American Academy of Neurology, the world's largest professional association of neurologists, is releasing a position paper on how the practice of prescribing drugs to boost cognitive function, or memory and thinking abilities, in healthy children and teens is misguided.

Normal prion protein regulates iron metabolism
An iron imbalance caused by prion proteins collecting in the brain is a likely cause of cell death in Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, researchers at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have found.

International gender difference in math and reading scores persists regardless of gender equality
Even in countries with high gender equality, sex differences in math and reading scores persisted in the 75 nations examined by a University of Missouri and University of Leeds study.

Doing business with a parrot
The team of Alice Auersperg from the Department of Cognitive Biology from the University of Vienna has for the first time succeeded in observing self-control of cockatoos in exchange experiments.

UI study of Midwest finds increase in heavy rainfalls over 60 years
Heavy rains have become more frequent in the upper Midwest over the past 60 years, according to a study from the University of Iowa.

Structured weight loss program helps kids from low-income families lower BMI
Overweight and obese children in low-income households can meet or exceed the Expert Committee Recommendations Regarding the Prevention, Assessment, and Treatment of Childhood and Adolescent Overweight and Obesity when given access to a structured weight management program, according to a new study published in Academic Pediatrics.

SAGE announces winners of the ACJS SAGE Junior Faculty Teaching Award
SAGE and the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS) are pleased to announce the winners of the 2013 ACJS SAGE Junior Faculty Teaching Award.

Computer models predict how patients will respond to HIV drugs
Results of a study published online in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy today, demonstrate that computer models can predict how HIV patients whose drug therapy is failing will respond to a new treatment.

Molecule's structure reveals new therapeutic opportunities for rare diabetes
Researchers at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute have determined the 3D structure of a protein called HNF-4α.

Playing computer games for fun and research
A new $2.7 million, three-year grant from the John Templeton Foundation will support a one-of-a-kind project called Wordovators.

AAP and AJPM&R announce Excellence in Research Writing Award winners
The Association of Academic Physiatrists (AAP) and the editors of American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (AJPM&R), the official journal of the AAP, announced that Alberto Esquenazi, MD, has been named winner of the 2012 AAP Excellence in Research Writing Award for Best Paper.

New monoclonal antibody developed that can target proteins inside cancer cells
Scientists from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Eureka Therapeutics have collaborated to create a unique monoclonal antibody that can effectively reach inside a cancer cell.

Neiker-Tecnalia set to turn organic waste from biogas plants into high quality fertilizers
The Basque Institute for Agricultural Research and Development, Neiker-Tecnalia, and the Guipuzkoa-based company Ekonek will be building a pilot plant to treat organic waste destined for producing high, added value fertilizers.

Tobacco industry appears to have evaded FDA ban on 'light' cigarette descriptors
Boston-Harvard School of Public Health research shows one year after the U.S. government passed a law banning such descriptors as

Immune cells cluster and communicate 'like bees,' researcher says
The immune system's T cells, while coordinating responses to diseases and vaccines, act like honey bees sharing information about the best honey sources, according to a new study by scientists at UC San Francisco.

Video game 'exercise' for an hour a day may enhance certain cognitive skills
Playing video games for an hour each day can improve subsequent performance on cognitive tasks that use similar mental processes to those involved in the game, according to research published March 13 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Adam Chie-Ming Oei and Michael Donald Patterson of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

Springer partners with the American Meteorological Society
Springer has entered into a partnership with The American Meteorological Society for the electronic distribution of their book titles for the next three years on SpringerLink.

American University researcher awarded $2.4 million NIH grant
Jonathan Tubman, Vice Provost for Graduate Studies and Research and a developmental psychologist, was recently awarded a $2.4 million grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, part of the National Institutes of Health, to investigate the validity of a two-question screener designed to promote early identification of and intervention with alcohol use problems among children and teenagers.

Feynman's double-slit experiment brought to life
The precise methodology of Richard Feynman's famous double-slit thought-experiment - a cornerstone of quantum mechanics that showed how electrons behave as both a particle and a wave - has been followed in full for the very first time.

ALMA rewrites history of Universe's stellar baby boom
Observations with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) show that the most vigorous bursts of star birth in the cosmos took place much earlier than previously thought.

Vitamin D supplements may help African Americans lower blood pressure
Vitamin D supplements may help African-Americans lower their blood pressure.

Younger doctors more likely to train and work closer to home
Younger doctors are more likely than older generations to train and work in the same region as their home before entering medical school.

Bursts of star formation in the early universe
Galaxies have been experiencing vigorous bursts of star formation from much earlier in cosmic history than previously thought, according to new observations by a Caltech-led team.

Protein may alter inevitability of osteoarthritis
BCM researchers unravel the effects of a naturally occurring protein called lubricin, or Proteoglycans 4, that appears to protect against the age as well as post-injury related changes.

ASU scholars advocate innovation in regulatory, payment pathways for personalized medicine
Two innovative programs designed to improve the availability of emerging medical technologies that can help patients receive more effective, efficient and personalized health care are advanced in a commentary written by a team of scientists and policy experts, including seven from Arizona State University, and published today in Science Translational Medicine.

Tapeworm DNA contains drug weak spots
Tapeworms cause devastating disease around the world and new treatments are urgently needed.

Polycystic ovary syndrome puts glucose control in double jeopardy
Polycystic ovary syndrome, a condition affecting about 10 percent of women and characterized by excess male hormone and increased risk of diabetes and heart disease, appears to cause a sort of double jeopardy for those struggling the hardest to control blood sugar levels, researchers report.

Researchers advance fight against leading infectious cause of congenital birth defects
A virus most people probably have never heard of, but that the majority of us carry, is the No.

Critical dairy cow fertility focus of new $3 million study
Fertility in dairy cattle is normally considered a result of multiple environmental factors, but more recently, scientists have determined there may be a greater genetic connection than once thought, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientist.

Symbols, such as traffic lights, on menus effective in educating diners
Brenna Ellison, a professor of agricultural and consumer economics, says the combination of a symbol and a numeric calorie count on a menu is the most effective way to influence patrons to select lower-calorie items.

Paraffin encapsulated in beach sand material as a new way to store heat from the sun
The search for sustainable new materials to store heat captured from the sun for release during the night has led scientists to a high-tech combination of paraffin wax and sand.

Bradley Hospital researchers find age-related changes in how autism affects the brain
Newly released findings from Bradley Hospital published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry have found that autism spectrum disorders affect the brain activity of children and adults differently.

UCLA-led study finds devices no better than meds in recovery from clot-caused strokes
In a recently completed multi-site trial in which UCLA served as the Clinical Coordinating Center, researchers found that using brain imaging to identify the best candidates for an embolectomy (a device that removes a blood clot) failed to demonstrate any better results than standard post-stroke care.

High-performance, NW-OPTs open the way for optoelectronic device miniaturization
Research team of Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, Ulsan, South Korea, developed high-performance organic phototransistors based on single-crystalline n-channel organic nanowires.

Study reveals 10 factors in wrongful conviction cases
Jon Gould and his team spent three years looking at over 400 cases to identify key factors which contribute to wrongful convictions of innocent people using a social science approach.

International collaboration to investigate disappearing reptiles and amphibians
The National Science Foundation has awarded $2 million in grants to fund a collaborative research project to investigate how climate change is affecting plant communities and animal populations around the world.

New approaches for controlling pesticide exposure in children
New research on household pesticide contamination emphasizes the need for less reliance on pesticides and more emphasis on neatness, blocking cracks where insects can enter and other so-called

Will natural gas exports raise prices for consumers?
How much of the United States' newfound bounty of natural gas should stay at home, keeping prices low for domestic customers?

Goats' milk with antimicrobial lysozyme speeds recovery from diarrhea
Milk from goats that were genetically modified to produce higher levels of lysozyme, a human antimicrobial protein, has proved effective in treating diarrhea in young pigs and may one day be used to help prevent human diarrheal diseases that each year claim the lives of 1.8 million children around the world.

GW researcher receives federal grant to study hedgehog regulation of cell-cell interaction
Xiaoyan Zheng, Ph.D., assistant professor of anatomy and regenerative biology at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, received a $747,000 grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to research Hedgehog signaling pathway regulation of cell-cell adhesion and segregation.

Ancient Chinese coin found on Kenyan island by Field Museum expedition
A joint expedition of scientists led by Chapurukha M. Kusimba of The Field Museum and Sloan R.

Virginia Tech's Danfeng Yao awarded $450,000 from ONR to improve cyber security
Cyber attacks and cyber espionage are a top threat against the US, according to the intelligence community.

States select benchmark plans for essential health benefit required by Affordable Care Act
Twenty-four states and D.C. have selected the health insurance plan in their state that will serve as the

Behind the wheel of company profits
A new report analyzing resource efficiency in the car manufacturing sector finds surprising changes in performance in the 2008 recession.

Evidence supports blocking immune response to enhance viral therapy against solid tumors
Following several years of study, investigators have found more evidence that viral therapy to treat solid tumors can be enhanced by blocking the body's natural immune response.

Foundations of carbon-based life leave little room for error
Life as we know it is based upon the elements of carbon and oxygen.

Biomass research collaboration seeks to improve biofuel efficiency, bio-products quality
A Kansas State University biochemical engineer has a key role in a research project between universities, industries and federal agencies that seeks to refine and improve the conversion of biomass into better drop-in biodiesel, biolubricants, jet fuel and other value-added products.

More accurate, sensitive DNA test allows early identification of fungus causing WNS
This month, the journal Mycologia will publish research by a team of US Forest Service scientists and partners identifying additional species of Geomyces and describing development of a highly sensitive DNA-based technique for early identification of Geomyces destructans on bats as well as in soils and on cave walls.

New MRI method fingerprints tissues and diseases
A new method of magnetic resonance imaging could routinely spot specific cancers, multiple sclerosis, heart disease and other maladies early, when they're most treatable, researchers at Case Western Reserve University suggest in the journal.

US lifespans lags other high-income countries, tied to mortality rates under age 50
A University of Pennsylvania study suggests higher mortality rates among Americans younger than 50 are responsible for much of why life expectancy is lower in the United States than most of the world's most developed nations.

Implementing HPV vaccinations at a young age is significant for vaccine effectiveness
Initial vaccinations for human papillomavirus (HPV) at a young age is important for maximizing quadrivalent HPV vaccine effectiveness according to a Swedish study published March 13 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

What can sports teams learn from the manufacturing industry? Plenty
What can sports teams learn from the manufacturing industry? Plenty, according to Timothy Chan of the University of Toronto and Douglas Fearing of the Harvard Business School.

Punishment can enhance performance, Nottingham academics find
A study led by researchers from the University's School of Psychology, published recently in the Journal of Neuroscience, has shown that punishment can act as a performance enhancer in a similar way to monetary reward.

UH Case Medical Center awarded highest certification as Comprehensive Stroke Center
University Hospitals Case Medical Center has become the first hospital in Northeast Ohio and 19th in the nation to achieve The Joint Commission's standards for Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification, joining an elite group of providers focused on complex stroke care.

New technique creates stronger, lightweight magnesium alloys
Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a new technique for creating stronger, lightweight magnesium alloys that have potential structural applications in the automobile and aerospace industries.

'Nuisance' data lead to surprising star-birth discovery
South Pole Telescope observations show the dust-filled galaxies were bursting with stars much earlier in cosmic history than previously thought.

UT study identifies ways children can meet recommended activity goals
Despite overwhelming evidence about the benefits of physical activity for children, most American youngsters are not meeting the federal recommendation of 60 minutes a day.

Scripps Research and Takeda Pharmaceuticals announce expanded research collaboration
The Scripps Research Institute and the Takeda Pharmaceutical Company have announced plans to expand their recent research collaboration to search for new drug targets for a variety of diseases.

Open software platform to bring down energy costs
Energy is getting more and more expensive, and experts are predicting record electricity and heating prices.

Strange phallus-shaped creature provides crucial missing link
Christopher Cameron of the University of Montreal's Department of Biological Sciences and his colleagues have unearthed a major scientific discovery -- a strange phallus-shaped creature they found in Canada's Burgess Shale fossil beds, located in Yoho National Park.

Answering messages behind the wheel is as dangerous as being twice over the limit
Scientists from various Australian universities in collaboration with the University of Barcelona have compared the effects of mobile use while driving with the effects of alcohol using a simulation.

Drug treatment corrects autism symptoms in mouse model
Autism results from abnormal cell communication. Testing a new theory, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have used a newly discovered function of an old drug to restore cell communications in a mouse model of autism, reversing symptoms of the devastating disorder.

Study: Catheter-based varicose vein treatments more cost-effective
Treating varicose veins with vein-stripping surgery is associated with higher costs than closing the veins with heat, according to a study at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

Breakthrough in battle against leukemia
Scientists at Griffith University's Institute for Glycomics have discovered a critical weakness in leukemic cells, which may pave the way to new treatments.

Sex at zero gravity
University of Montreal researchers found that changes in gravity affect the reproductive process in plants.

Violence returns to the streets of Northern Ireland
In 1998, the Real Irish Republican Army, an IRA splinter group, detonated a car bomb in a shopping area of Omagh, Northern Ireland, that killed 29 people.

Predictability: The brass ring for synthetic biology
DNA sequences and statistical models have been unveiled that greatly increase the reliability and precision by which microbes can be engineered.

ALMA rewrites history of Universe's stellar baby boom
Observations with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) show that the most vigorous bursts of star birth in the cosmos took place much earlier than previously thought.

Scientists discover novel chemical that controls cell behavior
It's the spread of the original cancer tumor that kills most people.

Carnivores, livestock and people manage to share same space study finds
In the southern Rift Valley of Kenya, the Maasai people, their livestock and a range of carnivores, including striped hyenas, spotted hyenas, lions and bat-eared foxes, are coexisting fairly happily according to a team of coupled human and natural systems researchers.

Canadians support interventions to reduce dietary salt
Many Canadians are concerned about dietary sodium and welcome government intervention to reduce sodium intake through a variety of measures, including lowering sodium in food, and education and awareness, according to a national survey.

Bottlenose dolphin leaders more likely to lead relatives than unrelated individuals
Traveling into uncharted territory in search of food can be a dangerous undertaking, but some bottlenose dolphins may benefit by moving through their habitat with relatives who may be more experienced or knowledgeable.

ALMA exposes hidden star factories in the early universe
Using entire galaxies as gigantic gravitational lenses, UA astronomers have obtained new measurements of some of the oldest galaxies in the universe.

Vitamin D may lower blood pressure in African-Americans
High blood pressure, a risk factor for heart attacks, heart failure and stroke, is 40 percent more common in African-Americans than in other American ethnic groups.

Whale's streaming baleen tangles to trap food
Many whales filter food from water using racks of baleen plates in their mouths, but no one had ever investigated how baleen behaves in real life.

No attention-boosting drugs for healthy kids, doctors urge
Doctors at Yale School of Medicine and the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) have called upon their fellow physicians to limit or end the practice of prescribing memory-enhancing drugs to healthy children whose brains are still developing.

Sun spits out 2 CMEs
The sun recently erupted with two coronal mass ejections (CMEs).

An accurate way of predicting landslides
A landslide can seriously injure or even kill people. Now, a new early warning system will be the first to employ geological data in tandem with the latest weather forecasts to provide a concrete warning in emergency situations.

Lower incidence of genital warts in young girls
The incidence of genital warts, or condylomata, declined by 93 percent in girls given the HPV vaccine before the age of 14, according to a Swedish national registry study.

Joslin scientists discover mechanism that regulates production of energy-burning brown fat
Joslin scientists have discovered a mechanism that regulates the production of brown fat, a type of fat which plays an important role in heat production and energy metabolism. 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