Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 18, 2013
UH SOEST and Hawai'i DAR provide new understanding of rare white shark movement around Hawai'i
A study just published by scientists at University of Hawai'i -- Manoa's School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology and Randy Honebrink of the Hawai'i DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources sheds new light on the relatively rare but occasionally recorded presence of white sharks in waters surrounding the Hawaiian Islands, and suggests a new method to help distinguish between white sharks and close relatives, such as mako sharks.

Vanderbilt study finds lack of exercise not a factor in health disparities
Health disparities between white and black adults in the South are not connected to a lack of exercise but more likely related to other factors such as access to health care, socioeconomic status and perhaps genetics, according to a Vanderbilt study published in the journal PLOS ONE.

No 'silver bullet' for science standards
America's K-12 teachers are not fully prepared to meet a new set of science standards, a Michigan State University education scholar argues in Science.

Production of toxic protein causes common neurodegenerative disorder
Researchers have recently discovered that an expansion of DNA in patients with the common neurodegenerative disorder Fragile X-associated tremor syndrome causes the production of an abnormal protein that is toxic to neurons.

Genital wart rate in young women plummets thanks to HPV vaccine, claim researchers
The proportion of young women diagnosed with genital warts in Australia has seen a significant decline thanks to the HPV vaccine, suggests a paper published today on bmj.com.

Nearly 30 percent of women fail to pick up new prescriptions for osteoporosis, study finds
Nearly 30 percent of women failed to pick up their bisphosphonate prescriptions, a medication that is most commonly used to treat osteoporosis and similar bone diseases, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published this week in the journal Osteoporosis International.

Previously unpublished paper by Francis Crick and Jeffries Wyman, 'A Footnote on Allostery'
A previously unpublished work by Francis Crick and Jeffries Wyman from 1965 is now available, together with Jean-Pierre Changeux's recollections on the origins of the theory of Allostery and several important texts by various authors on the subject.

Study reveals austerity's harmful impact on health in Greece
In one of the most detailed studies of its kind, a team of Greek and US researchers have vividly chronicled the harmful public health impacts of the economic austerity measures imposed on Greece's population in the wake of the global economic crisis.

New ablation technique holds promise for liver cancer patients
A new minimally invasive tumor ablation technique is providing hope for liver cancer patients who can't undergo surgery or thermal ablation, a study shows.

Notre Dame astrophysicist discovers 5-planet system like Earth
Researchers for the first time have identified Earth-sized planets within the habitable zone of a sun-like star.

Fossils provide insight into origin of unique Antarctic ecosystem
The origin of the unique plankton ecosystem of the circum-Antarctic Southern Ocean can be traced back to the emergence of the Antarctic ice sheets approximately 33.6 million years ago.

Outpatients, hospital patients face growing, but different problems with antibiotic resistance
A new study concludes that problems with antibiotic resistance faced by outpatients may be as bad as those in hospitalized patients, and that more studies of outpatients are needed -- both to protect their health and to avoid inappropriate or unnecessary drug use.

GAIN Index moves to Notre Dame
The Global Adaptation Index (GAIN) -- the world's leading Index showing which countries are best prepared to deal with the droughts, super-storms and other natural disasters that climate change can cause -- is moving to the University of Notre Dame.

Slow walking speed linked with premature death in kidney disease patients
In patients with chronic kidney disease, measures of lower extremity performance were at least 30 percent lower than predicted, but handgrip strength was relatively preserved.

Learned helplessness in flies and the roots of depression
When faced with impossible circumstances beyond their control, animals, including humans, often hunker down as they develop sleep or eating disorders, ulcers, and other physical manifestations of depression.

Early learning from educational media
Early mental and intellectual stimulation is important for subsequent learning.

Fascinating rhythm: The brain's 'slow waves'
New findings clarify where and how the brain's

New solar-cell coating could boost efficiency
New technique developed at MIT could enable a major boost in solar-cell efficiency.

Tell me where you're from and I'll tell you what tastes you prefer
Children love fatty and sugary foods. Or do they? New research contradicts the idea that all children under the age of ten have the same taste in food and highlights the importance of the country of residence, culture and age in these preferences.

New carnivorous dinosaur from Madagascar raises more questions than it answers
The first new dinosaur named from Madagascar in nearly a decade, Dahalokely tokana was a carnivore measuring 9-14 feet long.

Study says more efforts needed to regulate dietary supplements
Dietary supplements accounted for more than half the Class 1 drugs recalled by the US Food and Drug Administration from 2004-12, meaning they contained substances that could cause serious health problems or even death, a new study from St.

National awards celebrate top 10 clinical research achievements for 2012
Ten of the most outstanding clinical research projects from institutions around the country have been selected to receive the Clinical Research Forum's Annual Top 10 Clinical Research Achievement Awards.

Ben-Gurion U. and Fox Chase Cancer Center awarded NIH measles grant
Many viruses are known to persist in their target cells and establish chronic infection, long after resolution of their acute phase.

Scientists find ethnicity linked to antibodies
Cracking the DNA code for a complex region of the human genome has helped 14 North American scientists, including five at Simon Fraser University, chart new territory in immunity research.

Olympic Coast Sanctuary report is 'first step' in addressing effects of climate change
A new report on the potential effects of climate change on NOAA's Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary uses existing observations and science-based expectations to identify how climate change could affect habitats, plants and animals within the sanctuary and adjacent coastal areas.

When it comes to survival of the fittest, stress is a good thing
In a study led by Michigan State University and the University of Guelph, researchers showed for the first time how females' use social cues to correctly prepare their offspring for life outside the nest.

Superstorm Sandy shook the US
When Superstorm Sandy turned and took aim at New York City and Long Island last October, ocean waves hitting each other and the shore rattled the seafloor and much of the United States -- shaking detected by seismometers across the country, University of Utah researchers found.

High levels of glutamate in brain may kick-start schizophrenia
An excess of the brain neurotransmitter glutamate may cause a transition to psychosis in people who are at risk for schizophrenia.

Anesthesia increases success rates of turning breech babies, reduces delivery costs
A new study from the Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital shows anesthesia is cost-effective because it increases the likelihood the procedure will work.

Twitter can give power to the people
Twitter can easily teach people about social movements such as Occupy Wall Street and even entice them to participate, according to a new study by a Michigan State University education researcher.

Demanding physical work associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease
Two studies presented at this year's EuroPRevent 2013 congress suggest that demanding physical work has a detrimental effect on an individual's risk of coronary heart disease.

New algorithm helps evaluate, rank scientific literature
Keeping up with current scientific literature is a daunting task, considering that hundreds to thousands of papers are published each day.

Fertility needs in high-yielding corn production
Although advances in agronomy, breeding, and biotechnology have dramatically increased corn grain yields, soil test values indicate that producers may not be supplying optimal nutrient levels.

Why do babies calm down when they are carried?
Parents know that crying babies usually calm down when they are picked up and carried, but why is that?

IOF Medal of Achievement awarded to Professor Adolfo Diez-Perez
The IOF Medal of Achievement has been presented today to Professor Adolfo Diez-Perez, MD, PhD, Head Emeritus of the Department of Internal Medicine, Hospital del Mar, Director of the Bone and Joint Research Unit at the Municipal Institute of Medical Research and Professor of Medicine at the Autonomous University of Barcelona.

Adolescents with disabilities are more likely to have menstrual problems and need tailored care
Menstrual problems among adolescents with learning and physical disabilities are more common compared to the general population and there is no one-size fits all solution when managing the symptoms, says a new review published today (19th April) in The Obstetrician & Gynaecologist.

Preventing obesity in young children
More than 12 percent of preschoolers are obese. Evidence has shown that interventions that address families' dietary choices, mealtime behaviors, and patterns of physical activity have the highest likelihood of success early in life.

Laser optics plus ultrasound imaging holds promise as a noninvasive test for prostate cancer
Multispectral photoacoustic imaging, which combines laser optics and ultrasound imaging technologies, can reliably distinguish between benign and malignant prostate tissue, a new study indicates.

How deployment affects families
Approximately 2 million children in the United States have at least one parent deployed in military service; 750,000 of those children are 5 years old and younger.

Pierre Delmas Award presented in Rome to Professor Socrates Papapoulos
Professor Socrates Papapoulos, a long standing member of the IOF Board and leading researcher at the Leiden University Medical Center, has been named the recipient of the prestigious Pierre Delmas Award.

Electronic zippers control DNA strands
A research team from NPL and the University of Edinburgh have invented a new way to zip and unzip DNA strands using electrochemistry.

Silly phone game puts illiterate Pakistanis in touch with potential employers
A silly telephone game that became a viral phenomenon in Pakistan has demonstrated some serious potential for teaching poorly educated people about automated voice services and provided a new tool for them to learn about jobs, say researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and Pakistan's Lahore University of Management Sciences.

An SwRI-led remote-sensing study quantifies permafrost degradation in Arctic Alaskan wetlands
A team of geoscientists from Southwest Research Institute using newly available remote-sensing technology has achieved unprecedented detail in quantifying subtle, long-period changes in the water levels of shallow lakes and ponds in hard-to-reach Arctic wetlands.

Reinventing drug discovery
Using a new stem-cell based drug screening technology with the potential to reinvent and greatly reduce the cost of the way new pharmaceuticals are developed, Harvard Stem Cell Institute researchers have found a compound more effective in protecting the neurons killed in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis -- Lou Gehrig's disease -- than two drugs that failed in human clinical trials after hundreds of millions of dollars had been invested in them.

Community gardens may produce more than vegetables
People who community garden have a significantly lower body mass index -- and lower odds of being overweight or obese -- than do their non-gardening neighbors according to research at the University of Utah with local gardeners.

Food safety and bioterrorism defense may benefit from improved detection test developed at MU
From bird flu to mad cow disease, numerous food scares have made global headlines in recent years.

Dinosaur egg study supports evolutionary link between birds and dinosaurs
A small, bird-like North American dinosaur incubated its eggs in a similar way to brooding birds -- bolstering the evolutionary link between birds and dinosaurs, researchers at the University of Calgary and Montana State University study have found.

Smoking from hookah not a harmless alternative to cigarettes
Smoking tobacco through a hookah is a pastime gaining popularity among the college crowd, but many of them mistakenly believe that using the fragrant water pipe is less harmful than smoking cigarettes.

Kalamazoo center of geologic focus this May
Geoscientists from the north-central US and beyond will convene in Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA, on 2-3 May to celebrate GSA's 125th Anniversary and discuss new science, expand on existing science, and explore the unique geologic and historic features of the region, with a special emphasis on the Great Lakes.

Rats' and bats' brains work differently on the move
A new study of brain rhythms in bats and rats challenges a widely-used model -- based on rodent studies -- of how animals navigate their environment.

Despite superbug crisis, progress in antibiotic development 'alarmingly elusive'
Despite the desperate need for new antibiotics to combat increasingly deadly resistant bacteria, the US Food and Drug Administration has approved only one new systemic antibiotic since the Infectious Diseases Society of America launched its 10 x '20 Initiative in 2010 -- and that drug was approved two and a half years ago.

Liver disease: Understanding it will enable the provision of better treatment
A certain number of patients hospitalized for cirrhosis complications soon develop a syndrome characterized by acute liver failure and/or the failure of other vital organs.

Evolving genes lead to evolving genes
Researchers have designed a new method that is opening doors to understanding how we humans have genetically adapted to our local environments and identifying genes that are involved in human evolution.

Healthcare professionals need more guidance on surrogate pregnancy, says new review
Additional legislation and guidance around surrogate pregnancy is needed for healthcare professionals, says a new review published today (19th April) in The Obstetrician & Gynaecologist.

Scientists scan the human heart to create digital anatomical library
On April 18 JoVE will publish a new video article by Dr.

3 Mass. General researchers among recipients of Clinical Research Achievement awards
Three projects led by Massachusetts General Hospital investigators have been named among the Clinical Research Forum's Top 10 Clinical Research Achievements of 2012.

High-salt diet and ulcer bug combine to increase risk of cancer
Numerous epidemiologic studies have shown that a diet high in salt is associated with an increased risk of gastric cancer.

Bursts of brain activity may protect against Alzheimer's disease
Dr. Inna Slutsky of Tel Aviv University has found that bursts of electrical pulses applied to the brain can manipulate the balance of two proteins crucial to the development of Alzheimer's disease.

Risk factor for depression can be 'contagious'
A new study with college roommates shows that a particular style of thinking that makes people vulnerable to depression can actually

New research holds promise for treatments for a range of women's health issues
Natural lubricants play an important role in health, including helping prevent osteoarthritis in joints.

Margaret Gourlay wins Top 10 Clinical Research Achievement Award from Clinical Research Forum
For leading a study that was the first to define appropriate bone density screening intervals for older women, Margaret Gourlay, MD, MPH, of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine has been honored with a Top 10 Clinical Research Achievement Award from the Clinical Research Forum.

First steps of synapse building is captured in live zebra fish embryos
Using spinning disk microscopy on barely day-old zebra fish embryos, University of Oregon scientists have gained a new window on how synapse-building components move to worksites in the central nervous system.

Topical use of arthritis drug provides relief for dry eye disease
An estimated nine million people in the United State alone suffer from significant DED.

New ASTRO white paper recommends best practices to improve safety and effectiveness of IGRT
The American Society for Radiation Oncology has issued a new white paper,

National awards celebrate clinical research achievements in the US
Ten of the most outstanding clinical research projects from across the country are receiving the Clinical Research Forum's Annual Top 10 Clinical Research Achievement Awards.

Long-term exposure to fine particles of traffic pollution increases risk of heart disease
Long-term exposure to fine particle matter air pollution in part derived from traffic pollution is also associated with atherosclerosis independent of traffic noise.

New book explores relentless evolution in a constantly changing world
In his new book,

Indiana University surgeon's nanoparticle research takes inspiration from Greek mythology
An Indiana University School of Medicine breast cancer surgeon is pursuing research that will utilize glass, gold, nanotechnology and Greek mythology hoping to vanquish breast cancer that has metastasized to the brain.

New stem cell-based screen reveals promising drug for Lou Gehrig's disease
A study published on April 18th in Cell Stem Cell has revealed a novel stem-cell-based approach to screen for effective treatments of ALS, also called Lou Gehrig's disease, which are sorely lacking.

Phosphate-binding drug does not improve heart health of patients with mild kidney disease
The phosphate binder sevelamer carbonate did not improve cardiovascular measures in patients with early chronic kidney disease.

Cold winters freezing out breast cancer treatment
For women diagnosed with estrogen receptor positive breast cancer, tamoxifen is an essential drug used in treatment and prevention.

Frontiers news briefs
This release describes news briefs on scientific papers including: Numerical cognition in bees and other insects; Navigating comics: an empirical and theoretical approach to six strategies of reading comic page layouts; Respiratory and cardiovascular response during electronic control device exposure in law enforcement trainees.

Age matters to Antarctic clams
A new study of Antarctic clams reveals that age matters when it comes to adapting to the effects of climate change.

Mental vulnerability associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease
People deemed to be

Why does smallpox vaccine shield some, not others? It's in the genes, Mayo finds
How well people are protected by the smallpox vaccine depends on more than the quality of the vaccination: individual genes can alter their response, Mayo Clinic research shows.

Cross-cultural similarities in early adolescence
Acquiring self-esteem is an important part of a teenager's development.

Terrence 'Rock' Salt to receive Reitmeister-Abess Center Environmental Stewardship Award
The Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy at the University of Miami announced that Terrence

Professor Jack Barth selected as a Fellow of the Oceanography Society
The Oceanography Society would like to congratulate professor Jack Barth of the Oregon State University on being selected as the newest TOS Fellow.

Identified as responsible for breast and ovarian hereditary cancer 3 mutations at BRCA1 gene
Researchers of the hereditary cancer research group at the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute and the Catalan Institute of Oncology conducted a functional and structural study of seven missense variants of the BRCA1 gene concluding that three of these variants are pathogenic, linked to the risk of suffering breast or ovarian cancer.

Researchers use Web 2.0 apps to share vaccine study
Research utilizing a systems approach demonstrates that different vaccines lead to immunity via distinct immune response pathways.

Scientists throw new light on DNA copying process
Research led by a scientist at the University of York has thrown new light on the way breakdowns in the DNA copying process inside cells can contribute to cancer and other diseases.

Learning disabilities affect up to 10 percent of children
Up to 10 percent of the population are affected by specific learning disabilities, such as dyslexia, dyscalculia and autism, translating to 2 or 3 pupils in every classroom according to a new study.

Brain-behavior associations
Brains develop in the context of experience. Social experiences may be particularly relevant for developing neural circuits related to the experience of feeling or emotion.

University of Huddersfield and University of Pisa team up to find Peruvian mummy secrets
The mummified bodies of Peruvians who died up to 1,000 years ago will yield up their secrets, thanks to a prestigious research project by the University of Huddersfield's Dr Stefano Vanin and two of his students in collaboration with the University of Pisa and the Ancient World Society.

Discovery paves the way for ultra fast high resolution imaging in real time
Ultrafast high-resolution imaging in real time could be a reality with a new research discovery led by the University of Melbourne, Australia.

Distant blazar is a high-energy astrophysics puzzle
Blazars are the brightest of active galactic nuclei, and many emit very high-energy gamma rays.

Treatment for novel coronavirus shows promise in early lab tests
National Institutes of Health scientists studying an emerging coronavirus have found that a combination of two licensed antiviral drugs, ribavirin and interferon-alpha 2b, can stop the virus from replicating in laboratory-grown cells.

National consortium to lead North Carolina in big data innovation
A new collaboration called the National Consortium for Data Science aims to make North Carolina a national hub for data-intensive business and data science research, a move that will help develop a national strategy to ensure US leadership in the data-driven global economy.

Effects of Arizona's immigration law on Latino youth and families
Nearly 30 percent of Arizonans are Hispanic or of Latino origin.

100+ million mapped (and growing) records of nearly every living US species
Biodiversity Information Serving Our Nation or BISON is the only system of its kind; a unique, web-based Federal resource for finding species in the U.

Karl Deisseroth, Gero Miesenböck and Edward Boyden win Brandeis' Gabbay Award in Biotechnology
The researchers are being honored for their contributions to the discovery and applications of optogenetics, a technology that allows scientists to control the brain's activity by genetically engineering neurons to fire in response to light.

New Earth-like planets found
A team of scientists has discovered two Earth-like planets in the habitable orbit of a sun-like star.

European Commission must innovate to get value from €70 billion science funding program
The European Commission needs to make some key innovations in its science funding program if Europe is to enjoy the full benefits of the €70 billion to be spent on science research as part of the Horizon 2020 program kicking off in 2014, according to an academic paper published by SAGE in the Journal of Health Services Research & Policy today.

Neural activity in bats measured in-flight
Weizmann Institute scientists, for the first time, measured the activity of place cells in the brains of bats as they navigated in three-dimensional space.

Robot hands gain a gentler touch
Researchers at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have developed a very inexpensive tactile sensor for robotic hands that is sensitive enough to turn a brute machine into a dextrous manipulator.

Child's counting comprehension may depend on objects counted, study shows
University of Notre Dame associate professor of psychology Nicole McNeil, who researches how children think, learn and solve problems in mathematics, together with Notre Dame graduate student Lori Petersen found that use of certain objects have mixed results with preschoolers, particularly if those objects are rich in perceptual detail (bright and shiny).

Regenstrief announces winner of People's Choice for Healthcare Delivery contest
Are researchers asking the right questions? What are healthcare consumers saying?

Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital research suggests transmission of respiratory viruses in utero
The most common cause of lower respiratory tract infections in infants and young children, respiratory syncytial virus, can be transferred during pregnancy to an unborn baby, according to Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital research published online this week in the journal PLOS ONE.

Social media, social kids
Starting as early as ages 1 or 2, many children start using social media, increasing the likelihood that social media will influence the development of social skills, interpersonal dynamics, and social-emotional learning.

Natura 2000 networks: Improving current methods in biodiversity conservation
The current rapid decline in biodiversity caused by human mediated global change calls for the implementation of effective measurements worldwide.

Inaugural IOF Olof Johnell Science Award presented to Professor Harry Genant
Harry Genant, Professor Emeritus of the University of California San Francisco, has been named the winner of the International Osteoporosis Foundation's first Olof Johnell Science Award.

From mice to humans, comfort is being carried by mom
There is a very good reason mothers often carry their crying babies, pacing the floor, to help them calm down.

Screening breast ultrasound detects cancers missed on mammography in women with dense breasts
Screening breast ultrasound performed after mammography on women with greater than 50 percent breast density detects an additional 3.4 cancers or high risk lesions per one thousand woman screened, a detection rate just under that of screening mammography alone for women with less dense breasts, a new study shows.

Mayo Clinic researchers discover that stem cell senescence drives aging
Declining levels of the protein BubR1 occur when both people and animals age, and contribute to cell senescence or deterioration, weight loss, muscle wasting and cataracts.

Best and worst times to start a fire
In the Kimberley region of Western Australia, there are two distinct seasons: a wet season between December and March and a dry season between May and October.

Geology covers multiple disciplines and substantial territory in April's new postings
Geology postings from April 4-16, 2013, cover volcanoes, lithospheric phenomena, convergence between north and south China, a kill mechanism for a mass extinction, fossil soils, active faults, explosivity, marine sulfate levels, base metal ore deposits, garnets and diamonds, polar reversals, earthquakes, and archeology.

Science surprise: Toxic protein made in unusual way may explain brain disorder
A bizarre twist on the usual way proteins are made may explain mysterious symptoms in the grandparents of some children with mental disabilities.

UBC researchers weed out ineffective biocontrol agents
Biocontrol programs use an invasive plant's natural enemies (insects and pathogens) to reduce its population.

Experts examine Mediterranean diet's health effects for older adults
According to a study published in the Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, a baseline adherence to a Mediterranean diet is associated with a lower risk of hyperuricemia, defined as a serum uric acid concentration higher than 7mg/dl in men and higher than 6mg/dl in women.

The exciting life cycle of a new Brazilian leaf miner
A new species of leaf miner, Spinivalva gaucha, has been described from the Brazilian rainforests.
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