Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 19, 2013
New ultra-efficient HPC data center debuts
Scientists and researchers at the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory are constantly innovating, integrating novel technologies, and

Laser-like photons signal major step towards quantum 'Internet'
The realization of quantum networks is one of the major challenges of modern physics.

Researchers devise hidden dune filters to treat coastal stormwater runoff
When it rains, untreated stormwater can sweep pollutants into coastal waters, potentially endangering public health.

Wearable artificial lung to be developed at Pitt through $3.4 million grant
With the support of a $3.4 million National Institutes of Health grant, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh will develop an artificial lung to serve as a bridge to transplant or recovery in patients with acute and chronic lung failure.

Sex between monogamous heterosexuals rarely source of hepatitis C infection
Individuals infected by the hepatitis C virus (HCV) have nothing to fear from sex in a monogamous, heterosexual relationship.

DNA catalysts do the work of protein enzymes
Illinois chemists have used DNA to do a protein's job, creating opportunities for DNA to find work in more areas of biology, chemistry and medicine than ever before.

For polar bears, it's survival of the fattest
One of the most southerly populations of polar bears in the world -- and the best studied -- is struggling to cope with climate-induced changes to sea ice, new research reveals.

Study looks at longevity of total knee replacements in younger patients with juvenile arthritis
An international, multi-center study led by researchers at Hospital for Special Surgery has found that total knee replacements in younger patients with juvenile arthritis last at least 10 years in 92 percent of cases.

Monster from the deep hits the surface
The enigmatic giant squid is the same species in all oceans of the planet, shows new DNA-studies carried out at University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital announces issuance of US patent for cancer therapy
The United States Patent and Trademark Office today awarded St.

Mechanical forces play key role in assembly and disassembly of an essential cell protein
Researchers have for the first time shown that mechanical forces can control the depolymerization of actin, a protein critical to cells.

Mayo Clinic neurologists present research at American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting
Mayo Clinic neurology experts will present research findings on Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, sleep disorders, concussions, multiple sclerosis and more at the American Academy of Neurology annual meeting in San Diego, March 16.

Discharge diagnosis from emergency department may not accurately identify nonemergency visits
Among patients with emergency department (ED) visits with the same presenting complaint as those with visits ultimately given a primary care-treatable diagnosis based on the ED discharge diagnosis, a substantial proportion required immediate emergency care or hospital admission.

Can a tropical water flea invade European lakes?
Daphnia lumholtzi is a small crustacean that lives in the tropics.

Spanish researchers link cancer to failures in chromosome protection for the first time
A study published today in the journal Nature Genetics explores a new mechanism that may contribute to the development of several tumours, including Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia, a type of cancer that affects more than a thousand new patients in Spain each year.

Research explores road signs on the intracellular highway
Ligon has been awarded a five-year $1.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to explore directional indications on the cytoskeleton's intracellular highway.

Zoledronic acid does not prevent bone metastases in high-risk PCa patients
The initial study results of the Zometa European Study showed no difference in the incidence of bone metastases between the Zometa group and control arm, said Professor Manfred Wirth during the closing and fourth plenary session of the 28th Annual EAU Congress, which ends today.

High potency statins pose significantly higher risk of kidney injury than low potency, say experts
Patients taking high potency statins for high blood pressure are at a 34 percent higher risk of being hospitalized for acute kidney injury, compared with those taking low potency statins, a paper published today on suggests.

Brain tumor cells killed by anti-nausea drug
New research from the University of Adelaide has shown for the first time that the growth of brain tumors can be halted by a drug currently being used to help patients recover from the side effects of chemotherapy.

DDW: The latest and most thought-provoking research in GI
This year's Digestive Disease Week program in Orlando, Fla., will feature the latest and most thought-provoking research in the areas of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery.

Max Planck Florida Institute study points to major discovery for Alzheimer's disease
The Journal of Neuroscience has published a study led by researchers at the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience, the only US extension of the prestigious Max Planck Society, that may hold a stunning breakthrough in the fight to treat Alzheimer's disease.

SpringerPlus now indexed in Scopus and PubMed Central
SpringerPlus, Springer's interdisciplinary fully open access journal, is now indexed by PubMed Central and Scopus®.

Depression in Alzheimer's patients associated with declining ability to handle daily activities
More symptoms of depression and lower cognitive status are independently associated with a more rapid decline in the ability to handle tasks of everyday living, according to a study by Columbia University Medical Center researchers in this month's Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

Study points to risk factors of mesh-related complications in prolapse surgery patients
Younger age, less prominent prolapse and concomitant hysterectomies are associated with a higher risk of peri-operative and mesh-related complications after prolapse repair with trocar-guided transvaginal mesh, according to a study presented by a Russian group at the 28th Annual EAU Congress.

Under the skin, a tiny laboratory
EPFL scientists have developed a tiny, portable personal blood testing laboratory: a minuscule device implanted just under the skin provides an immediate analysis of substances in the body, and a radio module transmits the results to a doctor over the cellular phone network.

Adults who experience stroke before age 50 have higher risk of death over long-term
In an examination of long-term mortality after stroke, adults 50 years of age and younger who experienced a stroke had a significantly higher risk of death in the following 20 years compared with the general population, according to a study in the Mar.

Greenhouse gas policies ignoring gap in household incomes: University of Alberta study
Government policies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from consumers need to be fairer for household income levels, says a University of Alberta researcher.

'Plant Purple-Grow Hope' campaign digs in for third season
The Maumee Valley Growers, who helped initiate the

'Kill Bill' character inspires the name of a new parasitoid wasp species
Three new parasitoid wasp species from the genus Cystomastacoides have been described from Thailand and Papua New Guinea.

How proteins read meta DNA code
Three-quarters of the DNA in evolved organisms is wrapped around proteins, forming the basic unit of DNA packaging called nucleosomes, like a thread around a spool.

Mayo Clinic researchers develop test to gauge severity of concussions
Neurologists at Mayo Clinic in Arizona have taken a promising step toward identifying a test that helps support the diagnosis of concussion.

Practice makes perfect with Webb telescope mirror placement
NASA engineers and scientists have been making practice runs to ensure the placement of primary mirror segments on the James Webb Space Telescope go perfectly when the flight equipment is ready.

Inherited genetic variations have a major impact on childhood leukemia risk
Humans have between 20,000 and 25,000 genes that carry instructions for assembling the proteins that do the work of cells.

Ben-Gurion U. researchers and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. develop psoriasis drug
The research team developed a method to inhibit IL-17 pro-inflammatory signals and proved that their engineered receptor, IL-17R, is highly effective in reducing IL-17 induced inflammatory signals in mice models.

University of Minnesota Regents Professor named prestigious Cozzarelli Prize recipient
The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) Editorial Board has selected six papers published by PNAS to receive the 2012 Cozzarelli Prize, an award that recognizes outstanding contributions to the scientific disciplines represented by the National Academy of Sciences.

Study finds tiny, targeted drug particles may be effective in treating chronic diseases
Doses of medicine 100,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair prevent the tissue damage associated with atherosclerosis and other chronic diseases in mice.

Study could aid development of new drugs to treat gout
Findings from a study published in Nature Communications could lead to new drugs to treat gout.

UCLA researchers create tomatoes that mimic actions of good cholesterol
UCLA researchers have genetically engineered tomatoes to produce a peptide that mimics the actions of good cholesterol when consumed.

Spine patients who quit smoking report diminished pain
Smoking is a known risk factor for back pain and disc disease.

Newly incarcerated have 1 percent acute hepatitis C prevalence
A study published in the March issue of Hepatology, a journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, estimates that the prevalence of acute hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is nearly one percent among newly incarcerated inmates with a history of recent drug use.

American Society for Microbiology to host 113th General Meeting in Denver
The American Society for Microbiology will hold its 113th General Meeting, May 18-21, 2013, in Denver, Colo.

International technology partnership to focus on water problems
The University of Chicago and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev have signed an agreement to begin exploring a research partnership that would create new water production and purification technologies for deployment in regions of the globe where fresh water resources are scarce.

Military personnel return to duty following severe injury to lower extremity
The Return to Run program is an integrated orthotic and rehabilitation initiative designed to return high-level function to wounded warriors.

Origins of human teamwork found in chimpanzees
Teamwork has been fundamental in humanity's greatest achievements, but scientists have found that working together has its evolutionary roots in our nearest primate relatives -- chimpanzees.

Los Alamos science sleuth on the trail of a Martian mystery
When it comes to examining the surface of rocks on Mars with a high-powered laser, five is a magic number for Los Alamos National Laboratory postdoctoral researcher Nina Lanza.

Record simulations conducted on Lawrence Livermore supercomputer
Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have performed record simulations using all 1,572,864 cores of Sequoia, the largest supercomputer in the world.

Alloy developed at Sandia National Laboratories has potential for electronics in wells
An alloy that may improve high-temperature electronics in oil, gas and geothermal wells fills a unique niche.

Tenfold boost in ability to pinpoint proteins in cancer cells
A new method for color-coding cells allows cancer researchers to illuminate 100 biomarkers, a ten-time increase from the current standard.

Preventing heart disease requires a universal approach
Preventive cardiology is now on the political as well as clinical agenda.

Anxiety, depression identify heart disease patients at increased risk of dying
Heart disease patients who have anxiety have twice the risk of dying from any cause compared to those without anxiety.

President's Bioethics Commission releases report on pediatric medical countermeasure research
In a report released today, the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues concluded that the federal government would have to take multiple steps before anthrax vaccine trials with children could be ethically considered.

180,000 deaths worldwide may be associated with sugary soft drinks
Sugar-sweetened beverages may be linked to about 180,000 deaths in the world each year.

Cushioned heel running shoes may alter adolescent biomechanics, performance
Many of today's running shoes feature a heavy cushioned heel.

Is surgery the only option for meniscal tear and osteoarthritis?
New research from Brigham and Women's Hospital suggests that physical therapy may prove just as effective as surgery for some patients with meniscus tear and underlying knee osteoarthritis.

New disorder could classify millions of people as mentally ill
Millions of people could be mislabeled as mentally ill when psychiatry's bible of diagnoses is updated in May, warns a senior doctor in this week's BMJ.

Researchers identify a promising target for multiple sclerosis treatments
In a study selected as among the top 10 percent most interesting articles published in the Journal of Immunology, the team identifies the elevated presence in MS patients of a type of white blood cell (CD4 T cell) that expresses NKG2C, a highly-toxic molecule harmful to brain tissues.

Highlights from the March GIE: Gastrointestinal Endoscopy special issue on colorectal cancer
In recognition of National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, GIE: Gastrointestinal Endoscopy has published a special issue for March on colorectal cancer.

African immunization systems fall short, African experts say
In Africa, issues of vaccine supply, financing, and sustainability require urgent attention if the Millennium Development Goals are to be achieved, according to African experts writing in this week's PLOS Medicine.

Are survivors of childhood leukemia and lymphoma at greater risk of chronic fatigue as adults?
Chronic fatigue, a persistent lack of energy that does not improve with rest, is at least three times more prevalent among adult survivors of acute lymphoblastic leukemia and lymphoma experienced during childhood or adolescence than in the general adult population, according to an article in Journal of Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology.

SMU Lyle School of Engineering course sparks CCL study
The Center For Creative Leadership will send a team of researchers to SMU's Lyle School of Engineering to study the interdisciplinary learning techniques at work in a first-year student design course.

Forsyth Institute receives $4.1 million grant for new center
The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center today announced a $4.1 million capital grant to the Forsyth Institute for a newly-created Forsyth Center for Salivary Diagnostics (FCSD).

Biennial mammograms best after 50, even for women with dense breasts
Screening for breast cancer every two years appears just as beneficial as yearly mammograms for women ages 50 to 74, with significantly fewer

Fantastic flash memory combines graphene and molybdenite
EPFL scientists have combined two materials with advantageous electronic properties -- graphene and molybdenite -- into a flash memory prototype that is very promising in terms of performance, size, flexibility and energy consumption.

Pre-college talk between parents and teens likely to lessen college drinking
Teen-age college students are significantly more likely to abstain from drinking or to drink only minimally when their parents talk to them before they start college, using suggestions in a parent handbook developed by Robert Turrisi, professor of biobehavioral health, Penn State.

University of Maryland researchers identify fish protein that may inhibit cancer metastasis
Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine have identified a peptide, or protein, derived from Pacific cod that may inhibit prostate cancer and possibly other cancers from spreading, according to preclinical research published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Spying on spy apps: SnT researchers receive Google grant
Researchers of the University of Luxembourg's Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust, together with their colleagues from Pennsylvania State University and Technische Universität Darmstadt have received a Google Faculty Research Award endowed with $50,000.

Living in a sunny climate does not improve vitamin D levels in hip fracture patients
While it is well known that a majority of hip fracture patients of all ages and both sexes have insufficient or deficient levels of vitamin D, a new study presented today at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons looks at whether or not living in a warm, sunny climate improves patient vitamin D levels.

Brain-mapping increases understanding of alcohol's effects on first-year college students
A research team that includes several Penn State scientists has completed a first-of-its-kind longitudinal pilot study aimed at better understanding how the neural processes that underlie responses to alcohol-related cues change during students' first year of college.

Study explores long-term water quality trends in near-pristine streams
For the first time, a study has compared water quality trends in forested streams across the country that are largely undisturbed by land use or land cover changes.

NASA's LRO sees GRAIL's explosive farewell
Many spacecraft just fade away, drifting silently through space after their mission is over, but not GRAIL.

Caffeine 'can significantly protect against crash risk' for long distance heavy vehicle drivers
Long distance commercial drivers who consume caffeinated substances such as coffee or energy drinks, to stay awake while driving, are significantly less likely to crash than those who do not, even though they drive longer distances and sleep less, finds a study published today on

Registration for 'sb13 munich' conference now open
As part of a series of international sustainable building conferences, the sb13 munich conference will take place from April 24 through 26, 2013.

Military personnel return to duty following severe injury to the lower extremity
High-energy lower-extremity trauma is common in modern warfare, often resulting in severe tissue damage, chronic pain, neurovascular injury and significant muscle loss, according to the new research presented today at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Nurses can play key role in reducing deaths from world's most common diseases
The 38-page report, issued by WHO, highlights evidence-based, value-added nursing interventions which have been shown to reduce such lifestyle risk factors as tobacco use, alcohol dependence, physical inactivity and unhealthy diets.

DFG establishes 8 new research units
DFG establishes eight new research units.

To make health systems more effective, physicians say time is now for clinician-led innovation
Physician experts in health system issues propose a timely alternative process for harnessing and supporting physician-led innovations to rapidly address front-line health care delivery problems and improve health.

Advance press registration for Apr. 7-11 meeting of largest scientific society
News media advance registration for coverage of the American Chemical Society's (ACS') 245th National Meeting & Exposition, Apr.

Cell Transplantation study finds stem cells in deer antler
Deer antlers regenerate annually and contain multipotent stem cells that could be useful for tissue regeneration.

Discounts on purchases of healthy foods can improve diets, study finds
Interest has been growing in food discount programs as a strategy to improve diets.

Sports and recreation injuries drop 12 percent for children ages 5-14 during past decade
New research presented today at the at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons found that overall, sports and recreation musculoskeletal injuries have declined 12.4 percent in the US over the past 10 years for children ages 5 to 14 years.

Combined hyperbaric O2 -- normobaric hyperoxia associated with improved outcome of severe TBI
Researchers in Minneapolis report that the combined use of hyperbaric oxygen and normobaric hyperoxia therapies provides better outcomes in patients with severe traumatic brain injury than the standard intensive neurosurgical care recommended for this injury.

Sexual function improves significantly after hip or knee replacement surgery
Osteoarthritis of the hip or knee, affecting millions of Americans each year, is known to limit sexual activity.

Public lecture at UC Riverside to address brain-mapping project
The Brain Activity Map Project is a collaborative and ambitious research initiative that aims at mapping brain activity on a large scale.

Most men with erectile dysfunction remain untreated, say US scientists
Despite the high erectile dysfunction (ED) prevalence most patients receive no treatment, according to a new US study, presented at the 28th Annual EAU Congress.

Gene profile may help identify risk for hormone-sensitive, hormone-insensitive breast cancer
Levels of 13 genes were elevated in the unaffected breasts of women with hormone receptor-negative breast cancer.

Conscientious people are more likely to have higher GPAs
Conscientious people are more likely to have higher grade point averages, according to new research from psychologists at Rice University.

Electrical signals dictate optical properties
Researchers at the University of Southampton's Optoelectronics Research Centre have created an artificial material, a metamaterial, with optical properties that can be controlled by electric signals.

Are accountable care organizations 'improving population health'?
Accountable care organizations, a key feature of the Affordable Care Act, aim to control health care costs, enhance quality in health care and improve population health.

It's a sure thing: Knowledge of the game is not an advantage in sports gambling
Professor Pinhas Dannon of Tel Aviv University has found that neither betting experience nor knowledge of the details of the game provides an advantage to strategic sports gamblers.

MRI may predict adverse tissue reaction in metal-on-metal hip replacement patients
Magnetic Resonance Imaging can detect a failing, or potentially failing, metal-on-metal hip implant early on, according to a new study presented today at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Heart failure patients with depression have 4 times risk of death
Moderate-to-severe depression quadruples the death rate among heart failure patients.

Caterpillar-walk exhumation, the downfall of the Moche, and trilobites in camouflage
New Geology articles posted online ahead of print cover everything from cratering on Mars to leopard-like camouflage in trilobites.

Studies for approval of new drugs have insufficient patients to evaluate safety
For medicines intended for chronic use, the number of patients studied before regulatory approval is insufficient to properly evaluate safety and long-term efficacy, requiring the need for new legislation, according to a study by European researchers published in this week's PLOS Medicine.

Tiny RNA molecule may have role in polycystic ovary syndrome, insulin resistance
A group of tiny RNA molecules with a big role in regulating gene expression also appear to have a role in causing insulin resistance in woman with polycystic ovary syndrome and, perhaps, in all women, researchers report.

US company identified as manufacture of lead paint in Africa
House paint containing dangerous concentrations of lead is being sold in Cameroon by an American company -- and the company is refusing to remove the paint from store shelves.

Genes identify breast cancer risk and may aid prevention
A newly identified set of genes may predict which women are at high risk for getting breast cancer that is sensitive to estrogen and, thus, would be helped by taking drugs to prevent it, reports a new study.

Atypical brain circuits may cause slower gaze shifting in infants who later develop autism
Children who are later diagnosed with autism have subtle but measurable differences in attention as early as 7 months of age.

Drug does not significantly reduce risk of death among patients with severe sepsis
Administration of the drug eritoran to patients with severe sepsis and septic shock failed to demonstrate a significant effect on reducing all-cause 28-day mortality or one-year mortality, compared with placebo, according to a study in the Mar.

IUPUI stem cell research could expand clinical use of regenerative human cells
A biology professor at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis has produced sustainable retinal cells in a lab environment, completely free of additional animal agents.

Risk management in fish: How cichlids prevent their young from being eaten
Adoption is fairly widespread in the animal kingdom, even though this fact would seem to counteract Darwin's theory of evolution, which suggests that animals should raise as many of their own offspring as possible.

Program highlights from the upcoming meeting of the American Physiological Society
APS has programmed some 2,700 scientific abstracts and dozens of symposia for EB 2013.

More career options may explain why fewer women pursue jobs in science and math
Women may be less likely to pursue careers in science and math because they have more career choices, not because they have less ability, according to a new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

New clues in hunt for heredity in type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes has strong hereditary tendencies and the genes we are born with cannot be changed.

Dartmouth researchers invent real time secondhand smoke sensor
Making headway against a major public health threat, Dartmouth College researchers have invented the first ever secondhand tobacco smoke sensor that records data in real time, a new study in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research shows.

First of its kind study in Canada looks at who is taking aspirin to prevent heart attack or stroke
A new study out of the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry shows a large population of healthy people are taking Aspirin to prevent cardiovascular disease, despite the fact that new literature shows it isn't as beneficial as once thought.

Sexually naïve male mice, fathers respond differently to pups
Sexually naive male mice respond differently to the chemical signals emitted by newborn pups than males that have mated and lived with pregnant females, according to a study published March 20 in The Journal of Neuroscience.

3 UH optometry educators earn top honors at eye care convention
The University of Houston College of Optometry was in the spotlight with three of its educators recently taking top honors from the Texas Optometric Association.

Wireless, implanted sensor broadens range of brain research
A compact, self-contained sensor recorded and transmitted brain activity data wirelessly for more than a year in early stage animal tests, according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health.

High-carb intake in infancy has lifelong effects, UB study finds
Consumption of foods high in carbohydrates immediately after birth programs individuals for lifelong increased weight gain and obesity, a University at Buffalo animal study has found, even if caloric intake is restricted in adulthood for a period of time.

'OzoneMap' app delivering real-time air quality reports
Houstonians have a new tool to help determine air quality in their communities and throughout the greater metropolitan area.

Fewer women pursue jobs in science because they have more career options
Women may be less likely to pursue careers in science -- not because they have less ability -- but because they have more career choices, according to a University of Pittsburgh study published today in Psychological Science.

Immigration reform needs to address access to health care
With comprehensive immigration reform a priority for President Obama and gaining bipartisan and public support, there is a need and an opportunity to consider how the millions of undocumented immigrants should be integrated into our health care system, concludes a new report from The Hastings Center.

'End of men'? Not even close
UC San Diego report on gender in the professions shows that males retain lion's share of power and prestige in post-recession economy

AgedBrainSYSBIO, a medium-scale research initiative against neurodegenerative diseases
A European group of academic laboratories and industrial scientists from SMEs will combine integrative systems biology and comparative genomics for studying human brain aging and/or most common age-related diseases with a special emphasis on late-onset Alzheimer's disease for identifying and validating new molecular targets and biomarkers.

Index on Censorship magazine launches new print edition
To celebrate more than 40 years as the world's most influential free speech magazine, Index on Censorship has launched a new print edition.

Genetic testing may be used to identify BPH patients with increased risk of prostate cancer
Patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia carrying prostate cancer (PCa) a risk alleles are a potential target population for PCa screening and follow-up, according to a study, which was presented yesterday at the 28th Annual EAU Congress in Milan.

Transportation study reveals potential for deep cuts to petroleum use and carbon emissions
The US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Argonne National Laboratory today announced the release of the Transportation Energy Futures study, an assessment of avenues to reach deep cuts in petroleum use and greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector. 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