Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 14, 2013
Researchers create nanoscale spinning magnetic droplets
Researchers have successfully created a magnetic soliton -- a nano-sized, spinning droplet that was first theorized 35 years ago.

New beautifully colored long-horned beetle from Yunnan, China
A new beautifully colored long-horned beetle species, Schwarzerium yunnanum, has been discovered in the Yunnan province, China.

Surprising rate of women depressed after baby
A surprisingly high number of women have postpartum depression, reports a new, large-scale study of 10,000 women.

Autism Speaks trailblazer study -- Blocking cell distress signals can ease autism symptoms
Robert Naviaux, M.D., Ph.D., a Suzanne and Bob Wright Trailblazer Award researcher, presents a new theory in PLOS ONE that autism may result from chronic danger signaling by mitochondria.

Researchers advance fight against biggest hidden virus
The Cardiff University and La Jolla Institute collaboration makes headway in developing a vaccine for the leading infectious cause of congenital birth defects.

Testing can improve learning among young and old people
Testing can improve learning among young and old people alike, according to new research from Rice University.

Guiding responsible research in geoengineering
In an article published March 15 in the journal Science, Edward Parson of UCLA and David Keith of Harvard University outline how the current deadlock on governance of geoengineering research poses real threats to the sound management of climate risk.

Dinosaur-era climate change study suggests reasons for turtle disappearance
Dramatic climate change was previously proposed to be responsible for the disappearance of turtles 71-million-years ago, because they were considered to be

New research discovers the emergence of Twitter 'tribes'
A project led by scientists from Royal Holloway University in collaboration with Princeton University, has found evidence of how people form into tribe-like communities on social network sites such as Twitter.

Study shows how vitamin E can help prevent cancer
Researchers have identified an elusive anti-cancer property of vitamin E that has long been presumed to exist, but difficult to find.

Know thyself: How mindfulness can improve self-knowledge
Mindfulness -- paying attention to one's current experience in a non-judgmental way -- might help us to learn more about our own personalities, according to a new article published in the March 2013 issue of Perspectives on Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

People with peanut/tree nut allergies can minimize risk of reactions on airplane flights
Few situations can provoke more anxiety for people with peanut or tree-nut allergies than having an allergic reaction while flying on an airplane and being unable to get help.

Brain researcher James Poulet receives the 2013 Paul Ehrlich Prize for Young Researchers
The €60,000 Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize for Young Researchers is awarded this year to Dr.

Cord blood effective alternative to matched donor stem cells for kids with rare disorder
Transplants of blood-forming stem cells from umbilical cord blood may be an effective alternative to transplants of matched donor bone marrow stem cells to treat children with a rare, debilitating disease known as Hurler's syndrome, according to results of a study published online today in Blood, the Journal of the American Society of Hematology.

UCLA, Harvard experts propose new structure to guide governance of geoengineering research
Specific steps to advance progress on governance of geoengineering research are proposed in an article published in the journal Science this week.

A better understanding of the impacts of grazing sheep
A USDA scientist is giving guidance to growers in Montana and the Dakotas on how grazing sheep when fields are left fallow will affect soil quality.

Rapid hearing loss may be a symptom of rare Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease
Rapid hearing loss in both ears may be a symptom of the rare but always-fatal Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease and should be considered a reason for clinicians to test for the disorder.

Hovering is a bother for bees: Fast flight is more stable
Bumblebees are much more unstable when they hover than when they fly fast, according to new research published this month in the Journal of Theoretical Biology.

New structural insight into neurodegenerative disease
A research team from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology released their results on the structure and molecular details of the neurodegenerative disease-associated protein Ataxin-1.

Pediatric cardiologist at CHOP receives major teaching award at ACC National Conference
Paul M. Weinberg, M.D., F.A.A.C., a pediatric cardiologist at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, received the 2013 Distinguished Teacher Award from the American College of Cardiology on March 11 at its national conference, ACC.13, in San Francisco.

Water signature in distant planet shows clues to its formation, Lawrence Livermore research finds
A team of international scientists including a Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory astrophysicist has made the most detailed examination yet of the atmosphere of a Jupiter-size like planet beyond our solar system.

Mutations in VCP gene implicated in a number of neurodegenerative diseases
New research, published in Neuron, gives insight into how single mutations in the VCP gene cause a range of neurological conditions including a form of dementia called Inclusion Body Myopathy, Paget's Disease of the Bone and Frontotemporal Dementia, and the motor neuron disease Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

Intense terahertz pulses cause DNA damage but also induce DNA repair
Terahertz radiation, a slice of the electromagnetic spectrum that occupies the middle ground between microwaves and infrared light, is rapidly finding important uses in medical diagnostics, security, and scientific research.

DNA study clarifies relationship between polar bears and brown bears
A new genetic study of polar bears and brown bears upends prevailing ideas about the evolutionary history of the two species.

Series of studies first to examine acupuncture's mechanisms of action
While acupuncture is used widely to treat chronic stress, the mechanism of action leading to reported health benefits are not understood.

Fungus uses copper detoxification as crafty defense mechanism
A potentially lethal fungal infection appears to gain virulence by being able to anticipate and disarm a hostile immune attack in the lungs, according to findings by researchers at Duke Medicine.

NASA sees Cyclone Tim develop in the Coral Sea
System 96P has been moving through the Coral Sea near northeastern Australia over the last couple of days, and today, March 14, NASA's Aqua satellite captured the storm as it matured into Tropical Storm Tim.

Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience receives new grant funding
The Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience, the first and only US extension of the prestigious Max Planck Society, today announced it has received approximately $1,257,500 in grant funding from prestigious national and international organizations to fund research into Parkinson's, epilepsy and other neurological disorders.

Green tea, coffee may help lower stroke risk
Green tea and coffee may help lower your risks of having a stroke, especially when both are a regular part of your diet.

Chemical chameleon tamed
How you get the chameleon of the molecules to settle on a particular

Geneticist Mary-Claire King receives the 2013 Paul Ehrlich Prize
The €100,000 Paul Ehrlich Prize goes this year to Mary-Claire King, American Cancer Society Professor at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Mayo Clinic and Illinois researchers develop new sensor for methylated DNA
Collaborators from Mayo-Illinois Alliance for Technology Based Healthcare have developed a new, single molecule test for detecting methylated DNA.

College kids who don't drink milk could face serious consequences
College-age kids who don't consume at least three servings of dairy daily are three times more likely to develop metabolic syndrome than those who do, said a new University of Illinois study.

Particles and fields package integrated on upcoming Mars-bound spacecraft
The six science instruments that comprise the Particles and Fields Package that will characterize the solar wind and ionosphere of Mars have been integrated aboard NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN spacecraft.

Witnessing starbursts in young galaxies
Researchers discuss their findings that the universe was producing stars much earlier than expected and at a rate 1,000 times greater than today's Milky Way.

How can we stlil raed words wehn teh lettres are jmbuled up?
Researchers in the UK have taken an important step towards understanding how the human brain 'decodes' letters on a page to read a word.

Immune finding aids quest for vaccines to beat tropical infections
Scientists are a step closer to developing vaccines for a range of diseases that affect 200 million people, mainly in tropical Southeast Asia, Africa and Central America.

More good news for pronghorn
The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) today announced a $20,000 grant from Orvis Company, Inc. that will help fund the WCS North America Program's continued conservation efforts along the

'Hot spots' ride a merry-go-round on Jupiter
In the swirling canopy of Jupiter's atmosphere, cloudless patches are so exceptional that the big ones get the special name

No sons linked to lower contraception use in Nepal
While poverty and under-education continue to dampen contraception use in Nepal, exacerbating the country's efforts to reduce maternal and child mortality rates, researchers say another, more surprising factor may be more intractable: Deeply held cultural preferences for sons over daughters.

No clear evidence that decline in HRT use linked to fall in breast cancer
There is no clear evidence that the decline in the use of hormone replacement therapy is linked to a reported fall in the numbers of new cases of breast cancer, as has been claimed, suggests a study in the Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care.

Sleepwalkers sometimes remember what they've done
Three myths about sleepwalking -- sleepwalkers have no memory of their actions, sleepwalkers' behavior is without motivation, and sleepwalking has no daytime impact -- are dispelled in a recent study led by Antonio Zadra of the University of Montreal and its affiliated Sacré-Coeur Hospital.

Polar bears' family secrets revealed with DNA sequencing
Brown bears on an Alaskan archipelago are the descendants of an ancient polar bear population rather than being the ancestors of modern polar bears, new research published in PLOS Genetics shows.

TGen findings highlighted at 7th annual cancer conference
The Translational Genomics Research Institute will present its latest research about a cancer known as multiple myeloma at a free public conference hosted by the Arizona Myeloma Network (AzMN).

The mysterious GRIN3A and the cause of schizophrenia
Since the 1960s, psychiatrists have been hunting for substances made by the body that might accumulate in abnormally high levels to produce the symptoms associated with schizophrenia.

Balancing act: Direct and indirect costs of managing musculoskeletal disorders
The value of medical treatment can be far greater than the cost of the treatment finds a study in BioMed Central's open access journal Cost Effectiveness and Resource Allocation.

Building the massive simulation sets essential to Planck results
The Planck collaboration will soon release its first cosmological results from trillions of measurements of the cosmic microwave background.

Transplanted brain cells in monkeys light up personalized therapy
For the first time, scientists have transplanted neural cells derived from a monkey's skin into its brain and watched the cells develop into several types of mature brain cells, according to the authors of a new study in Cell Reports.

X-ray laser allows scientists to take live snapshots of chemical reactions
An international team under the leadership of Hamburg scientists has observed a catalyst in action on the molecular level with the world's strongest X-ray laser.

Oh mother, where art thou?
Recent research has shed some light on whether family relationships play a role in beachings of otherwise healthy whales.

23andMe identifies multiple genetic factors impacting development of nearsightedness
In the largest ever genome-wide association study on myopia, 23andMe, the leading personal genetics company, identified 20 new genetic associations for myopia, or nearsightedness.

Night shifts may be linked to increased ovarian cancer risk
Working night shifts might increase the risk of developing ovarian cancer, indicates research published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Revolutionary imaging software offers more detailed, clearer scans of heart conditions
Innovative software has been developed that greatly enhances the detail quality and field of view of conventional ultrasound images.

Knowing how brown fat cells develop may help fight obesity
Brown fat cells are the professional heat-producing cells of the body.

Annual Urban Pest Management Conference set for March 26
How can termites, bed bugs and Argentine ants be effectively controlled?

Social bees mark dangerous flowers with chemical signals
Scientists already knew that some social bee species warn their conspecifics when detecting the presence of a predator near their hive, which in turn causes an attack response to the possible predator.

HPV vaccine trends point to failures in patient education, vaccine programs
Completion rates for the human papillomavirus vaccine series across both genders continue to remain alarmingly low nearly seven years after its introduction, suggesting that better patient education and increased public vaccine financing programs are needed, according to new research from the University of Texas Medical Branch.

Distant planetary system is a super-sized solar system
A team of astronomers, including Quinn Konopacky of the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics, University of Toronto, has made the most detailed examination yet of the atmosphere of a Jupiter-like planet beyond our Solar System.

News tips from the journal mBio®, volume 4, issue 1
This covers the topics: Disarming one of the deadliest pathogens, lessons from a decade of plague in a port city, and a gene library for Staph.

CITES makes historic decision to protect sharks and rays
CITES plenary today accepted Committee recommendations to list five species of highly traded sharks under the CITES Appendices, along with those for the listing of both manta rays and one species of sawfish.

Teen sexting, the gender gap
A survey of US adolescents reveals a gender gap in attitudes towards sexting and perceived harm.

Outside the box: UCLA uses brain aneurysm treatment to stop irregular heart rhythms
For the first time, a UCLA team has used a technique normally employed in treating brain aneurysms to treat severe, life-threatening irregular heart rhythms in two patients.

New early warning system for the brain development of babies published in video journal
A new research technique, pioneered by Dr. Maria Angela Franceschini, will be published in JoVE (Journal of Visualized Experiments) on March 14th.

Breakthrough research shows chemical reaction in real time
The ultrafast, ultrabright X-ray pulses of the Linac Coherent Light Source have enabled unprecedented views of a catalyst in action, an important step in the effort to develop cleaner and more efficient energy sources.

Bladder condition may worsen insomnia symptoms in older adults
A new study suggests that the bladder condition nocturia may worsen the already poor sleep of older adults with insomnia.

Discards ban could impact seabird populations
Species of seabirds could successfully return to their natural foraging habits following changes to European fisheries policies, scientists have suggested.

Garbled text messages may be the only symptoms of stroke
Difficulty or inability to write a coherent text message, even in patients who have no problem speaking, may become a

Race, geographic location may affect care of patients with kidney disease
A study of kidney failure patients found that fewer patients in large-metro and rural counties received kidney specialist care before developing kidney failure than patients in medium/small-metro counties.

Novel treatment approach for bladder pain using a herpes simplex virus vector reported
An exciting new treatment strategy for chronic pain associated with conditions such as bladder pain syndrome/interstitial cystitis is described in an article in Human Gene Therapy.

New cancer diagnostic technique debuts
Cancer cells break down sugars and produce the metabolic acid lactate at a much higher rate than normal cells.

Energy from the interior of the Earth supports life in a global ecosystem
The Earth's oceanic crust covers an enormous expanse, and is mostly buried beneath a thick layer of mud that cuts it off from the surface world.

UF researcher describes new 5-million-year-old saber-toothed cat from Florida
A University of Florida researcher has described a new genus and species of extinct saber-toothed cat from Polk County, Fla., based on additional fossil acquisitions of the animal over the last 25 years.

Case Western Reserve receives Helmsley Trust grant to develop new glucose-sensitive insulin
Case Western Reserve University's School of Medicine has received a nearly $1 million grant from The Leona M. and Harry B.

New drugs may improve quality of life for people with Parkinson's disease
Three studies released today present possible positive news for people with Parkinson's disease.

Study: Dynamic new software improves care of aging brain
Innovative medical records software developed by geriatricians and informaticians from the Regenstrief Institute and the Indiana University Center for Aging Research will provide more personalized health care for older adult patients, a population at significant risk for mental health decline and disorders.

Brain stent offers alternative to shunt for fixing potentially blinding vein narrowing
A team of interventional neuroradiologists and neurosurgeons at Johns Hopkins reports wide success with a new procedure to treat pseudotumor cerebri, a rare but potentially blinding condition marked by excessive pressure inside the skull, caused by a dangerous narrowing of a vein located at the base of the brain.

Children of divorced parents more likely to start smoking
Both daughters and sons from divorced families are significantly more likely to initiate smoking in comparison to their peers from intact families, shows a new analysis of 19,000 Americans.

Blood pressure changes warn of premature death for African-Americans with kidney disease
African-Americans with kidney disease whose blood pressure changed significantly from day to day were nearly three times as likely to die prematurely than patients whose blood pressure changed very little.

Kobelco Eco-Solutions and VTT announce cooperation in development of novel environmental technology
Kobelco Eco-Solutions and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland have signed an agreement on cooperation to develop new environmental solutions which are especially related to water and waste issues.

Major grant to investigate limits of quantum theory
A University of Southampton academic has received a major research grant to help him explore the limitations of quantum theory.

2-pronged immune cell approach could lead to a universal shot against the flu
Researchers report in PLOS Pathogens that influenza virus-specific CD8+ T cells or virus-specific non-neutralizing antibodies are each relatively ineffective at conferring protective immunity alone.

Capitalism and democracy not compatible on the Internet, author says
In debates about the Internet, there's an

Study questions the role of kinship in mass strandings of pilot whales
Pilot whales that have died in mass strandings in New Zealand and Australia included many unrelated individuals at each event, a new study concludes, challenging a popular assumption that whales follow each other onto the beach and to almost certain death because of familial ties.

Smoking linked with worse urothelial cancer prognosis in patients, especially women
Smoking significantly increases individuals' risk of developing serious forms of urothelial carcinoma and a higher likelihood of dying from the disease, particularly for women.

Pig brain models provide insights into human cognitive development
A mutual curiosity about patterns of growth and development in pig brains has brought two University of Illinois research groups together.

Researchers building stronger, greener concrete with biofuel byproducts
A group of Kansas State University civil engineers are adding bioethanol byproducts to cement to reduce concrete's carbon footprint and make it stronger.

A new method for measuring the flow of traffic a street has to bear by measuring atmospheric noise
The system is able to distinguish between the flow of cars, LGVs, HGVs or motorbikes/scooters travelling along a certain road.

Exoplanet's spectrum hints at its origin
A young exoplanet, orbiting a star known as HR 8799, has water and carbon monoxide in its atmosphere -- but not methane -- researchers say.

UK military personnel at increased risk of violent offending
Men who have served in the UK Armed Forces are more likely to commit a violent offense during their lifetime than their civilian counterparts, according to new research published as part of a Lancet special issue on Iraq.

NASA's first laser communication system integrated, ready for launch
A new NASA-developed, laser-based space communication system will enable higher rates of satellite communications similar in capability to high-speed fiber optic networks on Earth.

Big improvements in preconception health trends among women of reproductive age reported
The CDC has set national objectives for women of reproductive age, and young women are making important gains toward achieving some of those health goals, while some trends are less encouraging, as reported in a study published in J Women's Health.

Playing action videogames improves visual search
Researchers at the University of Toronto have shown that playing shooting or driving videogames, even for a relatively short time, improves the ability to search for a target hidden among irrelevant distractions in complex scenes.

Predicting hotspots for future flu outbreaks
A major pandemic could occur if bird flu were to become highly contagious among humans.

New details of atomic structure of water under extreme conditions found
The results show that the microscopic structure of water remains homogeneous throughout the range of examined temperatures and pressures.

Olive oil makes you feel full
Reduced-fat food products are gaining in popularity. But whether these products are effective or not is a matter of dispute: While it is true that they contain fewer calories, people tend to overcompensate by eating more.

'Metasurfaces' to usher in new optical technologies
New optical technologies using

Cellular bells - Key step in the manufacture of red blood cells decoded
A team of EPFL researchers has identified a key step in the process by which red blood cells are born.

Eurofins MWG Operon and Queen Mary, University Of London commence genome sequencing analysis of Ash
Institutions sign a cooperation agreement on the genome sequencing analysis of Ash applying latest hybrid de novo sequencing strategy.

One gene, many mutations
In a new paper, Harvard researchers show that changes in coat color in mice are the result not of a single mutation, but many separate mutations, all within a single gene.

Researchers divide enzyme to conquer genetic puzzle
Rice University researchers have found a way to divide and modify enzymes to create what amounts to a genetic logic gate.

Alcohol, fibromyalgia, and quality of life
Low and moderate drinkers of alcohol reported lower severity of symptoms of fibromyalgia than teetotallers, finds a study in BioMed Central's open access journal Arthritis Research & Therapy.

U of T scientists map genome that causes Dutch Elm Disease
Researchers from the University of Toronto and SickKids Research Institute announced today that they have successfully mapped the genes in the fungus that causes Dutch Elm Disease.

Problems of pathological gambling differ for younger and older gamblers
To successfully treat pathological gambling, you need to intervene at an early stage, according to Susana Jiménez-Murcia from the University Hospital of Bellvitge in Spain and colleagues.

High-fat dairy products linked to poorer breast cancer survival
Patients who consume high-fat dairy products following breast cancer diagnosis increase their chances of dying from the disease years later, according to a study by Kaiser Permanente researchers.

Tiny implants signal new way to treat cancer tumors
Cancer patients could be treated more effectively in future with tiny, sensory implants that will monitor tumors in real time and in great detail.

Penn research shows that suppressing the brain's 'filter' can improve performance in creative tasks
The brain's prefrontal cortex is thought to be the seat of cognitive control, working as a kind of filter that keeps irrelevant thoughts, perceptions and memories from interfering with a task at hand.

What do American bullfrogs eat when they're away from home? Practically everything!
A control program on southern Vancouver Island provided the carcasses of over 5,000 adult and juvenile invasive alien American bullfrogs. 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