Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 20, 2013
Greening the blues -- what business can learn from Avatar
Norm Borin of California Polytechnic State University and Arline Savage of the School of Business at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, argue that the fictitious mining company in the 2009 James Cameron movie, Avatar, makes a perfect case study for how not to be a sustainable company and offers lesson to more down to earth corporations hoping to gain green credentials as opposed to the blues.

Pew announces 2013 Marine Fellows
Five distinguished scientists and conservationists based in Canada, India, Indonesia, Palau, and Rwanda, are this year's recipients of the Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation.

New study highlights strong anti-cancer properties of soybeans
First study to report that proteins found in soybeans, could inhibit growth of colon, liver and lung cancers, published in Food Research International.

University of South Florida researchers play key role in discovery of new drug to combat malaria
University of South Florida researchers played a key role in an international multidisciplinary project that has yielded a promising new antimalarial drug with the potential to cure the mosquito-borne disease and block its transmission with less expensive, low doses.

Miriam study reveals financial benefits of a plant-based, Mediterranean diet
People who followed a six-week cooking program and followed simple, plant-based recipes decreased their total food spending, purchased healthier food items and improved their food security.

Metal stents are effective treatment for blocked bile ducts
A multi-center analysis, led by Weill Cornell Medical College and published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, shows the use of temporary

NTU scientist develops a multi-purpose wonder material to tackle enviromental challenges
NTU Assoc Prof Darren Sun and his team of researchers have invented a new wonder material that can treat wastewater, generate hydrogen and produce clean water all at the same time in the presence of sunlight.

Aerospace industry adapts to global marketplace
The aerospace industry is a key sector of the Canadian economy.

Thin films of nickel and iron oxides yield efficient solar water-splitting catalyst
University of Oregon chemists say that ultra-thin films of nickel and iron oxides made through a solution synthesis process are promising catalysts to combine with semiconductors to make devices that capture sunlight and convert water into hydrogen and oxygen gases.

The Scandinavian Plant Physiology Society and Wiley extend over 60 years of partnership
John Wiley & Sons, Inc., has renewed its relationship with the Scandinavian Plant Physiology Society (SPPS); a partnership which began over sixty years ago.

Low-income parents say child care subsidies help them keep jobs
Low-income parents who receive federal child care subsidies are more satisfied with their child care than those who don't receive such help, according to a recent study.

Clues point to cause of a rare fat-distribution disease
Studying a protein that gives structure to the nucleus of cells, Johns Hopkins researchers stumbled upon mutations associated with familial partial lipodystrophy, a rare disease that disrupts normal patterns of fat distribution throughout the body.

AAOS awards recognize innovative orthopaedic research
The Kappa Delta Sorority and the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation presented four research awards to scientists who are helping to close the gap between basic research and patient treatment and care.

BIDMC investigator James Mier, M.D., awarded prominent grant for kidney cancer research
James Mier, M.D., Director of Basic Research for the Biologic Therapy Program at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center has been awarded a prestigious AACR-Kure It Grant for Kidney Cancer Research.

Roman mausoleum tested for ancient earthquake damage
A Roman mausoleum was knocked off-kilter, and the likely cause was an earthquake, according to a new detailed model by Klaus-G.

Sleep consolidates memories for competing tasks
Sleep plays an important role in the brain's ability to consolidate learning when two new potentially competing tasks are learned in the same day, research at the University of Chicago demonstrates.

Abnormal stress response seen in toddlers exposed to meth in womb
Some two-year-olds whose moms used methamphetamine during pregnancy may have an abnormal response to stressful situations, according to a study in the May issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

Women abused as children more likely to have children with autism
Women who experienced physical, emotional, or sexual abuse as children are more likely to have a child with autism than women who were not abused.

2013 Canada Gairdner Global Health Award goes to King Holmes for STD work
Dr. King K. Holmes, chair of the UW Department of Global Health, won the prestigious 2013 Canada Gairdner Global Health Award for his work in sexually transmitted diseases, the Gairdner Foundation announced March 20.

Older grandfathers pass on autism risk through generations
Men who have children at older ages are more likely to have grandchildren with autism compared to younger grandfathers, according to new research.

Expression of emotion in books declined during 20th century, study finds
The use of words with emotional content in books has steadily decreased throughout the last century, according to new research from the Universities of Bristol, Sheffield, and Durham.

Scientists discover reasons behind snakes' 'shrinking heads'
An international team of scientists led by Dr Kate Sanders from the University of Adelaide, and including Dr Mike Lee from the South Australian Museum, has uncovered how some sea snakes have developed 'shrunken heads' -- or smaller physical features than their related species.

UC Davis research advances efforts to prevent dangerous blood clots
New research from the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, published in the Journal of Surgical Research, may help clinicians determine which patients are at highest risk for post-surgical blood clots in the legs or lungs.

Study suggests demographic factors can predict risk of operative births in UK women
Independent maternal demographic factors such as social status, ethnicity and maternal age can predict the likelihood of operative births in the UK, according to a new study published today (20 March) in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

WUSTL's Wang to study oxygen consumption in cells with NSF grant
Lihong Wang, Ph.D., the Gene K. Beare Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Washington University in St.

Researchers spot molecular control switch for preterm lung disorders
Researchers at Yale School of Medicine have made major discoveries that could lead to new treatments for lung disorders in premature babies.

Hip implant patients with unexplained pain likely to have tissue damage
The cause of unexplained pain among metal-on-metal hip implant patients is more likely to be tissue damage than wear of the implant, Hospital for Special Surgery researchers have found.

Roads could help rather than harm the environment, say experts
Two leading ecologists say a rapid proliferation of roads across the planet is causing irreparable damage to nature, but properly planned roads could actually help the environment.

New book highlights pressing need for hydrogen-powered vehicles
Sandia National Laboratories reveals the breadth of its hydrogen fuel expertise in the recently published

Teen mentors inspire healthier choices in younger children
The results of an eight-week clinical trial conducted by Ohio State University researchers suggest that school systems could consider using teen mentors to instruct younger children in select health-related programs.

3-year olds know rules of sharing but don't follow them until older
Children as young as three know the rules of equal sharing but if sharing involves a cost to the self, they only follow the rules when they are older, according to research published March 20 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Craig Smith from the University of Michigan and colleagues from other institutions.

Baffling blood problem explained
Some 200,000 people in Europe and a similar number in North America are

Estrogen may relieve post-menopausal joint pain
Post-menopausal women, who often suffer from joint pain, could find some long-term relief by taking estrogen-only medication.

Measuring mercury: Common test may overestimate exposure from dental amalgam fillings
A common test used to determine mercury exposure from dental amalgam fillings may significantly overestimate the amount of the toxic metal released from fillings, according to University of Michigan researchers.

Can intraplate earthquakes produce stronger shaking than at plate boundaries?
New information about the extent of the 1872 Owens Valley earthquake rupture, which occurs in an area with many small and discontinuous faults, may support a hypothesis proposed by other workers that these types of quakes could produce stronger ground shaking than plate boundary earthquakes underlain by oceanic crust, like many of those taking place along the San Andreas fault.

Restoration and recommendations for flood-damaged bottomlands
Although the 2012 drought in the Midwest may have dimmed the memories for some of the 2011 Ohio and Mississippi River flood, engineers, landowners, conservationists, crop scientists and soil scientists haven't forgotten.

TGen researcher leads distinguished international panel at genetics conference in Phoenix
Dr. Lisa Baumbach-Reardon, an Associate Professor at the Translational Genomics Research Institute will lead a panel discussion about Arthrogryposis today at the 2013 American College of Medical Genetics Annual Clinical Genetics Meeting.

'Toxicity map' of brain may help protect cognition for cancer patients
New research from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center is giving radiation oncologists who treat brain tumors a better understanding of how to preserve the brain's functions while still killing cancer.

A step forward in the treatment of chronic urticaria
An international study involving dermatologists from the Hospital del Mar and IMIM has concluded that a drug normally used to treat severe bronchial asthma caused by allergies (Omalizumab) rapidly eliminates the symptoms of spontaneous chronic urticaria, a development that it is expected will significantly improve the quality of life of chronic urticaria sufferers.

Scientists develop drug that might be next best hope against malaria
Scientists at Oregon Health & Science University and the Portland VA Medical Center have developed a drug that may represent one of the world's best hopes for treating and preventing malaria -- a disease that kills more than one million people each year.

Media coverage of mass shootings contributes to negative attitudes towards mental illness
A study finds reading a news article describing a mass shooting raised readers' support for both gun restrictions for persons with serious mental illness, and for a ban on large-capacity ammunition magazines.

'Brain waves' challenge area-specific view of brain activity
Our understanding of brain activity has traditionally been linked to brain areas, but new research by an international team led by David Alexander and Cees van Leeuwen shows that this view may be overly rigid.

Altered brain activity responsible for cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia
Cognitive problems with memory and behavior experienced by individuals with schizophrenia are linked with changes in brain activity; however, it is difficult to test whether these changes are the underlying cause or consequence of these symptoms.

Current and past smokers face greater risk for hip replacement failure
Smoking has been linked to prolonged healing time and greater risk for complications in orthopaedic and other surgeries, according to a new study presented today at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

CPF, PFF, and ATS announce new research grant for pulmonary fibrosis research
The Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis (CPF), the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF), and the American Thoracic Society (ATS) -- the world's leading professional organization for pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine -- today announced that the CPF and the PFF will again partner with the ATS to fund pulmonary fibrosis research.

BIDMC's Mark Andermann, Ph.D., receives Smith Family Foundation Biomedical Research Award
Mark Andermann, Ph.D., an investigator in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is the recipient of an award from the Smith Family Awards Program for Excellence in Biomedical Research.

Brain mapping reveals neurological basis of decision-making in rats
Scientists at UC San Francisco have discovered how memory recall is linked to decision-making in rats, showing that measurable activity in one part of the brain occurs when rats in a maze are playing out memories that help them decide which way to turn.

America's lower-wage workforce: Employer and worker perspectives
The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research announces the publication and availability of a major two-part study designed to better understand how lower-wage workers and those who employ them view such jobs and the opportunities for advancing the careers of lower wage workers.

Atypical brain circuits may cause slower gaze shifting in infants who later develop autism
A study led by UNC School of Medicine researchers finds that infants at 7 months of age who go on to develop autism are slower to reorient their gaze and attention from one object to another when compared to 7-month-olds who do not develop autism, and this behavioral pattern is in part explained by atypical brain circuits.

Explaining how extra virgin olive oil protects against Alzheimer's disease
The mystery of exactly how consumption of extra virgin olive oil helps reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD) may lie in one component of olive oil that helps shuttle the abnormal AD proteins out of the brain, scientists are reporting in a new study.

John Moores gives $2 million to Scripps Research to develop river blindness field test
Philanthropist, businessman and community leader John Moores has given the Scripps Research Institute approximately $2 million to fund the development of a new field test for Onchocerciasis, or river blindness, a parasitic infection that affects tens of millions of people in Africa, Latin America and other tropical regions.

Natural climate swings contribute more to increased monsoon rainfall than global warming
Natural swings in the climate have significantly intensified Northern Hemisphere monsoon rainfall, showing that these swings must be taken into account for climate predictions in the coming decades.

New book explores Obama and JFK's strategies of ethnic avoidance
There are striking parallels in the candidacies of Presidents Barack Obama and John F.

AGU: Voyager 1 has left the solar system, sudden changes in cosmic rays indicate
Thirty-five years after its launch, Voyager 1 appears to have travelled beyond the influence of the Sun and exited the heliosphere, according to a new study appearing online today.

NRL Nike Laser focuses on nuclear fusion
Researchers at the US Naval Research Laboratory successfully demonstrate a single-step focal zooming process to maximize the efficiency of the world's largest operating krypton fluoride gas laser.

Segregation of Hispanics on the decline -- except for Mexicans
Even as the Hispanic population continues to grow rapidly, the residential separation of most Hispanic groups has declined sharply in the last two decades, according to a new analysis of census data released by the US2010 Project at Brown University.

Ph.D. students rethink the tenure track
The holy grail for Ph.D. students has traditionally been a professorship at a prestigious university.

Weather and climate predictions are worth their weight in gold
The economic costs of damaging weather events have an immense and increasing impact on the US economy, and these costs could be anticipated and mitigated by improved weather and climate predictions, say a range of experts in the public and private sectors.

Study reveals potential immune benefits of vitamin D supplements in healthy individuals
Research from Boston University School of Medicine shows that improving vitamin D status by increasing its level in the blood could have a number of non-skeletal health benefits.

WUSTL's Kelleher receives Sloan Research Fellowship
Caitlin Kelleher, Ph.D., assistant professor of computer science, has received a prestigious research fellowship from the Alfred P.

'After the Genome' tackles tough questions about medicine, miracles and morality
Medical advances in biotechnology seem to come faster than the public can understand them all or even discuss how society should handle ethical, legal and moral considerations.

Bradley Hasbro Children's Research Center receives $1.5m grant to explore HIV treatment compliance
Larry Brown, M.D., and Laura Whiteley, M.D., adolescent behavioral researchers from the Bradley Hasbro Children's Research Center, have been awarded a $1.5 million grant to improve antiretroviral treatment adherence in HIV infected youth and young adults.

Discovery of first motor with revolution motion in a virus-killing bacteria advances nanotechnology
Scientists have cracked a 35-year-old mystery about the workings of the natural motors that are serving as models for development of a futuristic genre of synthetic nanomotors that pump therapeutic DNA, RNA or drugs into individual diseased cells.

United States should execute new strategy toward Syria, Baker Institute special report says
As Syria's raging civil war approaches the two-year mark, the United States should prepare a more focused strategy that strengthens the moderate political forces in Syria and engages Syria's regional and international stakeholders, according to a new special report from Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy.

Estrogen helps keep joint pain at bay after hysterectomy
Estrogen therapy can help keep joint pain at bay after menopause for women who have had a hysterectomy.

Innovative neurology text includes patient videos
Practical Neurology Visual Review, a powerful educational tool for mastering the clinical practice of neurologic diagnosis, is now available in a fully revised and updated Second Editon.

Some Alaskan trout use flexible guts for the ultimate binge diet
The stomach and intestines of certain Dolly Varden trout double to quadruple in size during month-long, salmon-egg-eating binges in Alaska each August.

Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas embraces open access through Open Repository
BioMed Central is pleased to welcome its first South American Open Repository client, the Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas, based in Lima, Peru.

Peru surprises with 2 new amazing species of woodlizards
Two new beautifully coloured woodlizard species from the genus Enyalioides have been discovered during expeditions to the unexplored jungles of Cordillera Azul National Park in the Peruvian Andes.

97 percent of UK doctors have given placebos to patients at least once
A survey of UK doctors found that 97 percent have prescribed placebo treatments to patients at least once in their career.

Insights into the immune system, from the fates of individual T cells
By charting the differing fates of individual T cells, researchers have shown that previously unpredictable aspects of the adaptive immune response can be effectively modeled.

FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program needs an updated approach to analyzing flood risk
In administering the National Flood Insurance Program, the Federal Emergency Management Agency needs a more modern approach to analyzing and managing flood risk behind levees -- one that would give public officials and individual property owners a clearer idea of the risks they face and how they should address them, says a new report from the National Research Council.

UNC study shows how 2 brain areas interact to trigger divergent emotional behaviors
New research from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine for the first time explains exactly how two brain regions interact to promote emotionally motivated behaviors associated with anxiety and reward.

The neuroscience of finding your lost keys
Ever find yourself racking your brain on a Monday morning to remember where you put your car keys?

New imaging agent enables better cancer detection, more accurate staging
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have shown that a new imaging dye, designed and developed at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, is an effective agent in detecting and mapping cancers that have reached the lymph nodes.

Research shows potential for quasicrystals
Amit Agrawal, professor in the Syracuse University College of Engineering and Computer Science, along with his colleagues from the University of Utah, present the history of quasicrystals and how this area can open up numerous opportunities in fundamental optics research.

Warm springs may be best winter refuge for Florida manatees
Natural warm water springs may offer the best protection to Florida manatees trying to survive cold winter periods, according to research published Mar.

Partner abuse counseling for women insufficient
Only about one in five central Pennsylvania women who have experienced intimate partner violence is asked or counseled by a health care provider about abuse, according to Penn State medicine and public health science researchers.

Charges for emergency room visits often based on incorrect assumptions
Visits to the ER are not always for true medical emergencies -- and some policymakers have been fighting the problem by denying or limiting payments if the patient's diagnosis upon discharge is for

Hunting for meat impacts on rainforest
Hunting for meat in the African rainforests has halved the number of primates.

NIST guides seek interoperability for automated fingerprint ID systems
A new set of NIST publications could make it easier, faster, and most importantly, more reliable, for forensic examiners to match a set of fingerprints with those on file in any database, whether local, state or national.

Research show little support for controls on overseas fertility treatment
Problems in accessing donor sperm and eggs at home appear to be behind a reported increase in the number of UK citizens who seek fertility treatment abroad, despite the fact that this is widely seen as risky.

CWRU professor offers 'lessons from abroad' on caring for a graying population
Aging expert M.C. Terry Hokenstad, PhD, social work professor in aging from the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University, calls his research findings,

Robots to spur economy, improve quality of life, keep responders safe
A group of more than 160 experts from universities, industry and government came together to evaluate the use of robotics across various applications from manufacturing to space.

Spiral beauty graced by fading supernova
About 35 million light-years from Earth, in the constellation of Eridanus (The River), lies the spiral galaxy NGC 1637.

A milestone for new carbon-dioxide capture/clean coal technology
An innovative new process that releases the energy in coal without burning -- while capturing carbon dioxide, the major greenhouse gas -- has passed a milestone on the route to possible commercial use, scientists are reporting.

Men may have natural aversion to adultery with friends' wives
After outgrowing teenage infatuations with the girl next door, adult males seem to be biologically designed to avoid amorous attractions to the wife next door, according to a University of Missouri study that found adult males' testosterone levels dropped when they were interacting with the marital partner of a close friend.

AIBS names emerging public policy leaders
The American Institute of Biological Sciences has selected two graduate students to receive the 2013 AIBS Emerging Public Policy Leadership Award.

Scripps scientists discover 'lubricant' for Earth's tectonic plates
Scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego have found a layer of liquefied molten rock in Earth's mantle that may be acting as a lubricant for the sliding motions of the planet's massive tectonic plates.

NIH-supported researchers identify new class of malaria compounds
A group of researchers from 16 institutions around the world has identified a new class of anti-malarial compounds that target multiple stages of the malaria parasite's life cycle.

Parents should do chores together, study says
research finds that keeping score with chores isn't the best path to a high-quality relationship.

Stem cells entering heart can be tracked with nano-'hitchhikers,' Stanford scientists say
he promise of repairing damaged hearts through regenerative medicine -- infusing stem cells into the heart in the hope that these cells will replace worn out or damaged tissue -- has yet to meet with clinical success.

Humanoid robot helps train children with autism
An interdisciplinary team of mechanical engineers and autism experts at Vanderbilt University have developed an adaptive robotic system and used it to demonstrate that humanoid robots can be powerful tools for enhancing the basic social learning skills of children with autism.

Elsevier announces the launch of a new journal: Wound Medicine
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, is pleased to announce the launch of Wound Medicine -- The International Wound Journal for Clinical and Health Economics Research and Applications.

Researchers develop new anatomically based classification for diagnosing cervical spinal stenosis
Physician-researchers at the Rothman Institute at Jefferson have developed a new, clinically meaningful scale of severity for diagnosing patients with cervical spinal stenosis.

Tackling issues of sexuality among people with dementia
Managing the delicate issue of sexual expression amongst people with dementia is the focus of a new education resource produced by Griffith University researcher Dr.

Computers predict basketball national championship
When Georgia Tech opens the doors to the Georgia Dome next month as the host institution for the 2013 Final Four, expect third-seeded Florida to walk out as the national champion.

Follow-up study describes declining efficacy of malaria vaccine candidate over 4 years
Long-term follow-up of a phase II study from KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme and Oxford University researchers in Kenya shows that the efficacy of a malaria vaccine candidate, RTS,S, wanes over time and varies with exposure to the malaria parasite.

Biodiversity does not reduce transmission of disease from animals to humans
A new analysis pokes holes in widely accepted theory that connects biodiversity abundance with a reduced disease risk for humans.

Antidepressants for pregnant moms don't affect infants' growth
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants taken by a woman during pregnancy do not impact her infant's growth over the first year, reports a new study.

NIST tests underscore potential hazards of green laser pointers
Using a low-cost apparatus designed to quickly and accurately measure the properties of handheld laser devices, NIST researchers tested 122 laser pointers and found that nearly 90 percent of green pointers and about 44 percent of red pointers tested were out of compliance with federal safety regulations.

To forgive or not to forgive: What Josh Hamilton tells us about sports fandom
Celebrity confessionals are becoming more commonplace, and it is important that events be examined from the perspective of fans.

Fear factor increases, emotions decrease in books written in last 50 years
Books written in the second half of the 20th century use fewer emotional words than those written in the earlier half, according to research published March 20 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Alberto Acerbi from the University of Bristol, UK and colleagues from other institutions.

Sustainable Development Goals must sustain people and planet
A team of international scientists have published a call in the journal Nature today, arguing for a set of six Sustainable Development Goals that link poverty eradication to protection of Earth's life support.

For polar bears, it's survival of the fattest
Climate change is forcing the animals to take to the shore earlier in the summer and delay their departure until later in the fall.

Maternal diabetes impairs methylation of imprinted gene in oocytes
Offspring of diabetic mothers display a higher incidence of malformations and fetal death, which Dr.

Researchers link Gulf War Illness to physical changes in brain fibers that process pain
Researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center have found what they say is evidence that veterans who suffer from

Family dinners nourish good mental health in adolescents
Regular family suppers contribute to good mental health in adolescents, according to a study co-authored by McGill professor Frank Elgar, Institute for Health and Social Policy.
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