Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 02, 2013
NASA measures rainfall as Cyclone Zane approaches Queensland, Australia
NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission or TRMM satellite passed over Cyclone Zane as it was approaching Queensland Australia's Cape York Peninsula and measured rainfall rates within the storm.

Focus on STD, not cancer prevention, to promote HPV vaccine use
The HPV vaccine can prevent both cervical cancer and a nasty sexually transmitted disease in women.

Dehydration is a problem in combat sports
Athletes in combat sports often try to shed body weight in order to compete against lighter and smaller opponents.

Researchers estimate a cost for universal access to energy
Universal access to modern energy could be achieved with an investment of between 65 and 86 billion US dollars a year up until 2030, new research has shown.

Cyberthreats must require governments and businesses to be 'cyberrisk intelligent'
In an age where cybersecurity is of foremost interest for governments and businesses, public and private organizations must deploy risk-intelligence governance to secure their digital communications and resources from eavesdropping, theft or attack, according to a new paper from Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy.

Newly-discovered human fat cell opens up new opportunities for future treatment of obesity
The body's brown fat cells play a key role in the development of obesity and diabetes.

Exercise proves to be ineffective against care home depression
Researchers at the University of Warwick and Queen Mary, University of London have shown that exercise is not effective in reducing burden of depression among elderly care home residents.

GSA's top geoscience journal posts 9 new articles
New Geology papers cover ancient iron oceans; the Antarctic and global climate/carbon-cycle feedbacks; evidence of catastrophic spillover from kilometer-deep bodies of water on Mars; the role of volcanic emissions in ozone depletion;

U of M researchers discover link between heart, blood, and skeletal muscle
New research out of the Lillehei Heart Institute at the University of Minnesota shows that by turning on just a single gene, Mesp1, different cell types including the heart, blood and muscle can be created from stem cells.

Fellowship offers reporters valuable insight as America ages
The MetLife Foundation Journalists in Aging Fellows Program -- responsible for nearly 200 news stories by 48 alumni to date -- will continue for a fourth year thanks to a grant renewal from the MetLife Foundation.

Dual-color lasers could lead to cheap and efficient LED lighting
A new semiconductor device capable of emitting two distinct colors has been created by a group of researchers in the US, potentially opening up the possibility of using light emitting diodes universally for cheap and efficient lighting.

An anarchic region of star formation
The Danish 1.54-meter telescope located at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile has captured a striking image of NGC 6559, an object that showcases the anarchy that reigns when stars form inside an interstellar cloud.

Study opens new prospects for developing new targeted therapies for breast cancer
A study led by prominent breast cancer experts from Europe and the US has revealed a number of potentially important prospects for targeted therapies, and brings opportunities of truly personalized therapy for breast cancer a step closer.

Regular, moderate exercise does not worsen pain in people with fibromyalgia
For many people who have fibromyalgia, even the thought of exercising is painful.

3D simulation shows how form of complex organs evolves by natural selection
Researchers at the Institute of Biotechnology at the Helsinki University and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona have developed the first three-dimensional simulation of the evolution of morphology by integrating the mechanisms of genetic regulation that take place during embryo development.

IAU and UNESCO sign new agreement
The International Astronomical Union and UNESCO have renewed their Memorandum of Understanding at UNESCO's Headquarters.

Increased risk of heart attack and death with progressive coronary artery calcium buildup
Patients with increasing buildups of coronary artery calcium face a six-fold increase in risk of heart attack or death from heart disease.

Study confirms everolimus can overcome trastuzumab resistance in HER-2 positive early breast cancer
A study that aimed to understand how the cancer drug everolimus helps overcome the resistance breast cancers can develop to trastuzumab showed a statistically non-significant benefit in clinical response rates when everolimus is added to trastuzumab.

Fires in Southern Australia
Today's image of Southern Australia shows a combination of both planned fires and some bushfires.

Gene variant appears to predict weight loss after gastric bypass
Massachusetts General Hospital researchers have identified a gene variant that helps predict how much weight an individual will lose after gastric bypass surgery, a finding with the potential both to guide treatment planning and to facilitate the development of new therapeutic approaches to treating obesity and related conditions like diabetes.

2 prestigious recognitions awarded to UCR Medical School Official Phyllis A. Guze, M.D.
Phyllis Guze, M.D., associate vice chancellor, health affairs and executive dean for the School of Medicine at the University of California, Riverside, was awarded the Dema C.

Tick-borne Lone Star virus identified through new super-fast gene sequencing
The tick-borne Lone Star virus has been conclusively identified as part of a family of other tick-borne viruses called bunyaviruses, which often cause fever, respiratory problems and bleeding, according to new research led by scientists at UC San Francisco.

Researchers find active transporters are universally leaky
Illinois professor of biochemistry Emad Tajkhorshid and his team found that as active transporters in cell membranes undergo conformational changes to allow their main substrates to pass through through, small molecules like water slip through as well.

No greater death risk for children admitted to emergency out-of-hours intensive care
Children admitted to UK intensive care units in out-of-hours emergencies are at no greater risk of dying than children arriving during normal working hours, according to new research.

Scientists revolutionize the creation of genetically altered mice to model human disease
Using a bacteria-based technique, Whitehead Institute Founding Member Rudolf Jaenisch has efficiently created mouse models with multiple gene mutations in a matter of weeks.

Is the humble fig more than just a fruit?
Figs and fig trees are familiar to a wide cross-section of human society, both as a common food and for their spiritual importance.

Unethical advertising at launch of antidepressants
When the new generation of antidepressant drugs was launched in the early 1990s, sales multiplied over the course of just a few years.

Making cancer less cancerous
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have identified a gene that, when repressed in tumor cells, puts a halt to cell growth and a range of processes needed for tumors to enlarge and spread to distant sites.

PLOS ONE study: Droplet Digital™ PCR works for GMO quantification
Researchers discover that Droplet Digital PCR technology is a suitable alternative to real-time PCR for quantifying GMO in food, feed, and seeds.

IUPUI environmental researcher to serve as senior scientist for the US Department of State
Gabriel Filippelli, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Earth Sciences at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, has been named a Jefferson Science Fellow, a prominent advisory position with the US Department of State in which he will serve as a senior scientist on international matters related to the climate and the environment.

Primate hibernation more common than previously thought
Until recently, the only primate known to hibernate as a survival strategy was a creature called the western fat-tailed dwarf lemur, a tropical tree-dweller from the African island of Madagascar.

Dieting youth show greater brain reward activity in response to food
Research results imply that dieting characterized by meal skipping and fasting would be less successful than weight loss efforts characterized by intake of low energy dense healthy foods.

On-site asbestos detector offers promise of better workplace safety
Asbestos was once called a miracle material because of its toughness and fire-resistant properties, used as insulation, incorporated into cement and even woven into firemen's protective clothing.

Researchers find that some 'green' hot water systems fail to deliver on promises
Two researchers affiliated with the Virginia Tech College of Engineering have published a paper which reports that hot water recirculating systems touted as

Bigger birth weight babies at greater risk of autism
The biggest study of fetal growth and autism ever has reported that babies whose growth is at either extreme in the womb, either very large or very small, are at greater risk of developing autism.

Gene expression test distinguishes between breast cancer patients at high and low risk of late recurrence
A test that measures the expression levels of 58 genes in estrogen receptor-positive breast cancers can effectively differentiate between patients who are at higher and lower risk for having their cancer recur elsewhere in the body more than five years after diagnosis.

Springer launches new book series Trends in Augmentation of Human Performance
Springer, a leading global scientific publisher, is launching a new book series entitled Trends in Augmentation of Human Performance.

Summit fire in Southern California
According to the CBS affiliate in Los Angeles,

Robotic insects make first controlled flight
In the very early hours of the morning, in a Harvard robotics laboratory last summer, an insect took flight.

Breast cancer heterogeneity no barrier to predictive testing, study shows
Breast cancers contain many different cell types with different patterns of gene expression, but a new study provides reassurance that this variability should not be a barrier to using gene expression tests to help tailor cancer treatments to individual patients.

GOES-R EXIS instrument ready for integration
The first of six instruments that will fly on GOES-R, NOAA's next-generation of geostationary operational environmental satellites, has been completed on schedule, seven months before its scheduled installation onto the spacecraft.

Strides in math education, community outreach add up to Piper honor
An ardent supporter of mathematics education at the university, high school and middle school levels, University of Houston professor Jeffrey J.

UnitedHealth Group grants more than $1 million for the heart of New Ulm project
UnitedHealth Group and the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation, in conjunction with Allina Health and the community of New Ulm, Minn., recently announced two grants from the company totaling more than $1 million.

Frontiers news briefs
This week's news briefs include: Inherently analog quantity representations in baboons; common muscle synergies for balance and walking; and what Italian defense attorneys know about factors affecting eyewitness accuracy.

Study reveals magnitude of variation in gene expression measurements within breast cancers
An important new study has revealed the clearest picture yet of precisely how much measurement variation influences gene expression profiles of breast cancer.

Cleveland Clinic receives $2 million to endow Chair in colorectal surgery
Kenneth M. Garschina and his wife, Sara Story, have pledged $2 million to Cleveland Clinic's Digestive Disease Institute to create an endowed chair for research in colorectal surgery.

How graphene and friends could harness the Sun's energy
Combining wonder material graphene with other stunning one-atom thick materials could create the next generation of solar cells and optoelectronic devices, scientists have revealed.

Bonding with your virtual self may alter your actual perceptions
When people create and modify their virtual reality avatars, the hardships faced by their alter egos can influence how they perceive virtual environments, according to researchers.

UCLA study shows that individual brain cells track where we are and how we move
UCLA Researchers have gained new insights into how our brains form maps of our environment.

Kids with brains that under-react to painful images
When children with conduct problems see images of others in pain, key parts of their brains don't react in the way they do in most people.

Fires in West Africa
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer on NASA's Aqua satellite detected hundreds of fires burning in the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Angola on May 1, 2013.

Persistent pain after stressful events may have a neurobiological basis
A new study led by University of North Carolina School of Medicine researchers is the first to identify a genetic risk factor for persistent pain after traumatic events such as motor vehicle collision and sexual assault.

7 simple lifestyle steps may decrease risk of blood clots
Blood clots in the legs or lungs (deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism) kill an American about every 5 minutes.

Troubling levels of toxic metals found in lipstick
UC Berkeley researchers found lead, cadmium, chromium, aluminum and five other metals in a sample of 32 different lipsticks and lip glosses commonly found in drugstores and department stores.

Autism Speaks and the Simons Foundation announce new brain tissue network
Autism Speaks and the Simons Foundation announced the establishment and funding of Autism BrainNet, a new multi-site network of sites to collect brain tissue advancing autism research through brain donation, based on more than a decade of contributions to the tissue-based research community made by Autism Speaks Autism Tissue Program and other brain banks.

Children with milk allergy may be 'allergic to school'
According to a study published in the May issue of Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, the scientific journal of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, chalk dust can contain the milk protein, casein, triggering respiratory symptoms in milk allergic students.

More effective, cheaper concrete manufactured with ash from olive residue biomass
The plasticity and cohesion of this type of concrete mean no compaction is needed when used in construction and, moreover, it has advantages with respect to conventional concrete.

New National Inventors Hall of Fame inductees received vital NSF support
Today, Andrew Viterbi, Donald Bitzer and John Daugman will be among 17 honorees inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame at the United States Patent and Trademark Office headquarters in Alexandria, VA.

Researchers determine where best to place defibrillators
Prompt use of an automated external defibrillator, or AED, can greatly increase the survival rates of people who suffer a cardiac arrest.

New views on controlling the global tobacco epidemic
The Lancet and The Lancet Respiratory Medicine today publish a special collection of papers on tobacco control, published ahead of the 2013 American Thoracic Society conference, to be held in Philadelphia, PA, 17-22 May.

New ACS journal Environmental Science and Technology Letters to rapidly publish urgent research
ACS Publications is pleased to announce the launch of Environmental Science & Technology Letters.

Genetic and clinical factors best to predict late recurrence in estrogen receptor POS breast cancer
A new analysis has provided a comprehensive comparison of scores designed to predict which women with estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer are at high risk of recurrence beyond five years after diagnosis, and may benefit from prolonged endocrine treatment.

Study looks at muscle adaptation of transition to minimalist running
As barefoot and minimalist running become increasingly popular, a new University of Virginia study is looking at how muscles are affected by the transition from traditional footwear.

DCIS Score quantifies risk of IBE
The ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) Score quantifies the risk of ipsilateral breast event (IBE) and invasive IBE risk, complements both traditional clinical and pathologic factors, and helps provide a new clinical tool to improve the process of selecting individualized treatment for women with DCIS who meet the criteria, according to a study published May 2 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Plant geneticist elected member of country's first learned society
Renowned geneticist Susan Wessler at the University of California, Riverside has been elected a member of the American Philosophical Society, founded in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin for the purpose of

Benchtop NMR breakthrough
Scientists from the Institute of Food Research have been test-driving a prototype instrument that promises to revolutionize access to NMR.

Stem cell discovery could aid research into new treatments
Scientists have made a fundamental discovery about how the properties of embryonic stem cells are controlled.

Heart cells change stem cell behavior
Stem cells drawn from the amniotic fluid of pregnant women change their behavior when near heart cells, but do not become heart cells.

CWRU School of Medicine researchers discover new target for personalized cancer therapy
A common cancer pathway causing tumor growth is now being targeted by a number of new cancer drugs and shows promising results.

Satellite instrument package to assess space weather ready for delivery by CU-Boulder
A multimillion dollar University of Colorado Boulder instrument package to study space weather has passed its pre-installation testing and is ready to be incorporated onto a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellite for a 2015 launch.

'Oil for the joints' offers hope for osteoarthritis sufferers
Boston University researchers have developed a new polymer that promises longer relief for osteoarthritis sufferers than current treatment.

Duke researchers identify gene mutations associated with nearsightedness
Mutations in a gene that helps regulate copper and oxygen levels in eye tissue are associated with a severe form of nearsightedness, according to a study published in the American Journal of Human Genetics on May 2, 2013.

New imaging technique to visualize bio-metals and molecules simultaneously
Metal elements and molecules interact in the body, but visualizing them together has always been a challenge.

Study uncovers mechanism for how grapes reduce heart failure associated with hypertension
A study appearing in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry demonstrates that grapes are able to reduce heart failure associated with chronic high blood pressure (hypertension) by increasing the activity of several genes responsible for antioxidant defense in the heart tissue.

Understanding student weaknesses
As part of a unique study that surveyed 181 middle school physical science teachers and nearly 10,000 students, researchers showed the science teachers were most successful when they could predict their students' wrong answers on standardized tests.

Weight loss surgery safe and effective for an expanded group of patients
The LAP-BAND® weight loss procedure is safe and effective in an expanded group of patients, not just in people who are morbidly obese.

Rice's OpenStax College doubles down on free, online textbooks
Rice University-based publisher OpenStax College today announced plans to more than double the number of titles in its catalog of free, high-quality textbooks by 2015, thanks to a grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.

NIH study uses Botox to find new wrinkle in brain communication
National Institutes of Health researchers used the popular anti-wrinkle agent Botox to discover a new and important role for a group of molecules that nerve cells use to quickly send messages.

Researchers plot locations where AEDs could save more lives
Prompt use of an automated external defibrillator, or AED, can greatly increase the survival rates of people who suffer a cardiac arrest.

Genetic factor predicts success of weight-loss surgery
A genome-wide association study published by Cell Press May 2nd in The American Journal of Human Genetics reveals that the amount of weight loss after gastric bypass surgery can be predicted in part by a DNA sequence variation found on chromosome 15.

Increases in heart disease risk factors may decrease brain function
Increases in heart disease risk factors may decrease brain function.

Freeman elected to National Academy of Science
Katherine Haines Freeman, professor of geosciences, Penn State, has been elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences for her excellence in original scientific research.

Adult cells transformed into early-stage nerve cells, bypassing the pluripotent stem cell stage
A University of Wisconsin-Madison research group has converted skin cells from people and monkeys into a cell that can form a wide variety of nervous-system cells -- without passing through the do-it-all stage called the induced pluripotent stem cell, or iPSC.

Scientists uncover relationship between lavas erupting on sea floor and deep-carbon cycle
Scientists from the Smithsonian and the University of Rhode Island have found unsuspected linkages between the oxidation state of iron in volcanic rocks and variations in the chemistry of the deep Earth.

Cell biologists say immigration reform critical to scientific education and competitiveness
Progress in American scientific research and reform in American immigration law must go hand in hand, the American Society for Cell Biology declared today in a position paper that outlines four recommendations for modernizing US immigration policy.

Turning human stem cells into brain cells sheds light on neural development
Medical researchers have manipulated human stem cells into producing types of brain cells known to play important roles in neurodevelopmental disorders such as epilepsy, schizophrenia and autism.

Ebola's secret weapon revealed
Researchers have discovered the mechanism behind one of the Ebola virus' most dangerous attributes: its ability to disarm the adaptive immune system.

'Dark genome' is involved in Rett Syndrome
Researchers at the Epigenetics and Cancer Biology Program at IDIBELL led by Manel Esteller, ICREA researcher and professor of genetics at the University of Barcelona, have described alterations in noncoding long chain RNA sequences in Rett syndrome.

How to get more followers on Twitter
What do all Twitter users want? Followers -- and lots of them. 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