Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 09, 2013
Why we love it or hate it: The 3 E's
Why do brands such as Manchester United and Apple capture hearts and minds?

Could eating peppers prevent Parkinson's?
New research reveals that Solanaceae--a flowering plant family with some species producing foods that are edible sources of nicotine--may provide a protective effect against Parkinson's disease.

Where on Earth did the moon's water come from?
Water is perhaps the most important molecule in our solar system.

Bacterial infection in mosquitoes renders them immune to malaria parasites
Scientists funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, have established an inheritable bacterial infection in malaria-transmitting Anopheles mosquitoes that renders them immune to malaria parasites.

Loss of eastern hemlock will affect forest water use
The loss of eastern hemlock from forests in the Southern Appalachian region of the United States could permanently change the area's hydrologic cycle, reports a new study by US Forest Service scientists at the Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory located in Otto, North Carolina, published online in the journal Ecological Applications.

St. Jude scientist named Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator
Michael Dyer, Ph.D., a scientist at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, has been selected as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator.

Turning old hearts
Two Harvard Stem Cell Institute researchers have identified a protein in the blood of mice and humans that may prove to be the first effective treatment for the form of age-related heart failure that affects millions of Americans.

No-win situation for agricultural expansion in the Amazon
The large-scale expansion of agriculture in the Amazon through deforestation will be a no-win scenario, according to a new study.

2 UCLA faculty elected to National Academy of Sciences
UCLA professors Edward De Robertis and Ernest Wright have been elected by their peers to the prestigious National Academy of Sciences in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.

Unleashing the watchdog protein
McGill University researchers have unlocked a new door to developing drugs to slow the progression of Parkinson's disease.

Rejuvenating hormone found to reverse symptoms of heart failure
Heart failure is one of the most debilitating conditions linked to old age.

Toddlers from socially-deprived homes most at risk of scalds, study finds
Toddlers living in socially-deprived areas are at the greatest risk of suffering a scald in the home, researchers at The University of Nottingham have found.

Chuan He named Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator
The Howard Hughes Medical Institute on May 9 announced the selection of Chuan He, professor in chemistry and the current director of the Institute for Biophysical Dynamics at the University of Chicago, as a new HHMI investigator who will receive the flexible support necessary to move his research in creative new directions.

Patients should have right to control genomic health information
Doctors should not have the right or responsibility to force-feed their patients with genomic information about their future health risks, according to bioethicists writing on May 9 in Trends in Biotechnology, a Cell Press publication.

Elevated cadmium levels linked to disease
People with higher levels of cadmium in their urine -- evidence of chronic exposure to the heavy metal found in industrial emissions and tobacco smoke -- appear to be nearly 3.5 times more likely to die of liver disease than those with lower levels, according to a study by Johns Hopkins scientists.

Air pollution increases risk of insulin resistance in children
New research shows that growing up in areas where air pollution is increased raises the risk of insulin resistance (the prescursor to diabetes) in children.

UMass medical school professor named Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator
A leader in the study of glial cells, the brain's most abundant and overlooked cell type, Marc R.

Researchers discover dynamic behavior of progenitor cells in brain
By monitoring the behavior of a class of cells in the brains of living mice, neuroscientists at Johns Hopkins discovered that these cells remain highly dynamic in the adult brain, where they transform into cells that insulate nerve fibers and help form scars that aid in tissue repair.

The Liverpool Care Pathway -- improvement in quality of end-of-life care
This is a study to assess the effectiveness of the LCP on the quality of end-of-life care provided to adult cancer patients during their last week of life in hospital.

Penn State to host pollinator health conference
With populations of wild and domesticated pollinators, such as honeybees, in decline, some of the world's foremost scientists in the field will converge on Penn State this summer to discuss the latest research aimed at understanding and overcoming challenges to pollinator health.

Research finds identifies social needs of young people with cancer
Research conducted by Xiao-Cheng Wu, MD, PhD, Associate Professor and Director of the Louisiana Tumor Registry at the LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Public Health, and colleagues, reports adolescents and young adults with cancer may be at higher risk for social isolation and that a substantial proportion of them have unmet social needs that could adversely affect their health.

Dad's genome more ready at fertilization than mom's is -- but hers catches up
Researchers from Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah have discovered that while the genes provided by the father arrive at fertilization pre-programmed to the state needed by the embryo, the genes provided by the mother are in a different state and must be reprogrammed to match.

Exit discovered in cellular garbage truck
A protein known as Alix is present in cells during viral infections.

Gene identified, responsible for a spectrum of disorders affecting the bones and connective tissue
Researchers from the RIKEN Center for Integrative Medical Sciences have identified a gene that when mutated is responsible for a spectrum of disorders affecting the bones and connective tissue.

Dust in the clouds
An interdisciplinary team from MIT, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and elsewhere has identified the major seeds on which cirrus clouds form.

Wildlife Crime Symposium
Rutgers School of Criminal Justice will sponsor the Wildlife Crime Symposium, May 14, to mark the inauguration of its Center for Conservation Criminology.

Massachusetts launches gambling study, believed most comprehensive to date
Epidemiologist Rachel Volberg says,

Phones, probes and sensors to transform healthcare
Innovative projects including: smart-phone test and tracking systems for infectious diseases; fibre optic probes that can monitor people's condition in intensive care; and in-home sensors that can relay patient information to doctors immediately, have benefitted from a £32 million investment.

NIH scientists create new tool for identifying powerful HIV antibodies
A team of NIH scientists has developed a new tool to identify broadly neutralizing antibodies capable of preventing infection by the majority of HIV strains found around the globe, an advance that could help speed HIV vaccine research.

Scripps Research Institute scientists find key to gene-silencing activity
A team led by scientists at the Scripps Research Institute has found how to boost or inhibit a gene-silencing mechanism that normally serves as a major controller of cells' activities.

Parental addictions linked to adult children's depression
The offspring of parents who were addicted to drugs or alcohol are more likely to be depressed in adulthood, according to a new study by University of Toronto researchers.

Genes define the interaction of social amoeba and bacteria
In a report in the journal Current Biology, researchers from Baylor College of Medicine use the model of the social amoeba -- Dictyostelium discoideum -- to identify the genetic controls on how the amoeba differentiate the different bacteria and respond to achieve their goal of destruction.

Do insomnia and disrupted sleep during menopause increase a woman's risk of heart disease?
Evidence that a combination of altered sleep duration and insomnia among women ages 50-79 doubled their risk of both CHD and CVD over a period of more than 10 years is presented in an article in Journal of Women's Health.

Study finds brain system for emotional self-control
Different brain areas are activated when we choose to suppress an emotion, compared to when we are instructed to inhibit an emotion, according a new study from the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience and Ghent University.

Peter Baumann named Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator
Stowers Institute Investigator Peter Baumann, Ph.D., has been appointed to the prestigious position of Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator.

Discovery pinpoints cause of 2 types of leukemia
Patients with two forms of leukemia, who currently have no viable treatment options, may benefit from existing drugs developed for different types of cancer, according to a study conducted by researchers at the Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University.

Mosquito survey identifies reservoir of disease
A large scale, five year study of mosquitoes from different ecological regions in Kenya, including savannah grassland, semi-arid Acacia thorn bushes, and mangrove swamps, found a reservoir of viruses carried by mosquitoes (arboviruses) that are responsible for human and animal diseases.

Nobody likes a 'fat-talker,' Notre Dame study shows
Women who engage in

OUP publishes advice from the CDC on travel and disease
CDC's user-friendly

Advance in tuberous sclerosis brain science
By manipulating the timing of disease-causing mutations in the brains of developing mice, Brown University researchers have found that early genetic deletions in the thalamus may play an important role in course and severity of the developmental disease tuberous sclerosis complex.

Experience leads to the growth of new brain cells
How do organisms evolve into individuals that are distinguished from others by their own personal brain structure and behavior?

Women altering menstruation cycles in large numbers, UO study shows
A surprisingly large number of women 18 or older choose to delay or skip monthly menstruation by deviating from the instructions of birth-control pills and other hormonal contraceptives, a team of researchers found in a study of female students at the University of Oregon.

Methylphenidate 'normalizes' activation in key brain areas in kids with ADHD
The stimulant drug methylphenidate

Biomaterial shows promise for Type 1 diabetes treatment
Researchers have made a significant first step with newly engineered biomaterials for cell transplantation that could help lead to a possible cure for Type 1 diabetes, which affects about 3 million Americans.

Scientists demonstrate pear shaped atomic nuclei
Scientists at the University of Liverpool have shown that some atomic nuclei can assume the shape of a pear which contributes to our understanding of nuclear structure and the underlying fundamental interactions.

Early infant growth rate linked to composition of gut microbiota
The composition of gut microbiota in a new-born baby's gut has been linked to the rate of early infant growth, reports research published this week in PLOS Computational Biology.

University of Rochester named Center for AIDS Research by the National Institutes of Health
The University of Rochester was named a Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) by NIH, a designation that infuses $7.5 million into HIV/AIDS work across the University.

Hubble finds dead stars 'polluted' with planetary debris
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has found signs of Earth-like planets in an unlikely place: the atmospheres of a pair of burnt-out stars in a nearby star cluster.

Study highlights under-appreciated benefit of oyster restoration
A new study shows that healthy oyster reefs would help to buffer the increasing acidity of coastal waters.

Variations in antibiotic prescribing of acute rhinosinusitis in united states ambulatory settings
Antibiotics for acute rhinosinusitis are prescribed frequently -- especially for younger adult patients and in primary care settings -- despite recent consensus guidelines that discourage antibiotic use in mild cases, according to a study in the May 2013 issue of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.

Salk researchers chart epigenomics of stem cells that mimic early human development
Scientists have long known that control mechanisms known collectively as

No holes in Swiss online networking theory
Often, it's not what you know, but who you know when it comes to business and research success and that still applies even in the age of online social networking, according to results to be published in the International Journal of Organisational Design and Engineering.

New advance in biofuel production
Joint BioEnergy Institute researchers have developed an enzyme-free ionic liquid pretreatment of cellulosic biomass that makes it easier to recover fermentable sugars for biofuels and to recycle the ionic liquid.

Research finds opportunity in health care system to reach out to youth contemplating suicide
More than 80 percent of youth who die by suicide had some form of contact with the health care system in the year before their death, according to a new study from St.

Obese students' childbearing risk varies with high school obesity rates
For young women in high school, the risk of childbearing may depend on the prevalence of obesity in their schools, according to sociologists, who found that as the prevalence of obesity rises in a school, so do the odds of obese high school students bearing children.

U-M's Yamashita named Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator
Yukiko Yamashita of the University of Michigan's Life Sciences Institute is one of 27 biomedical researchers named today as Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigators.

Researchers identifies gene associated with eczema in dogs
A novel gene associated with canine atopic dermatitis has been identified by a team of researchers led by professors Kerstin Lindblad-Toh, Uppsala university and Åke Hedhammar, SLU, Sweden.

Operating without interrupting warfarin reduces risk of bleeding after cardiac device surgery
A new Canadian study shows that operating without interrupting warfarin treatment at the time of cardiac device surgery is safe and markedly reduces the incidence of clinically significant hematomas compared to the current standard of care.

Scientists define a new mechanism leading to tumor hypoxia
Hypoxia is a negative prognostic indicator for radiotherapy, chemotherapy or surgery that predicts for an aggressive and metastatic phenotype.

Australian statistician elected Fellow of the Royal Society
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute researcher Professor Terry Speed has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society, the UK's national academy promoting excellence in science.

Frontiers news briefs
In this week's news briefs: flexible echolocation behavior of fishing bats; showing positive emotions at work; and metabolic plasticity and functional redundancy in freshwater bacterioplankton communities.

Pets may help reduce your risk of heart disease
Owning a pet, particularly a dog, could reduce your risk of heart disease.

Heady mathematics
Two UC Berkeley applied mathematicians have found a way to mathematically describe the evolution and disappearance of a foam.

Coral reefs suffering, but collapse not inevitable, researchers say
Coral reefs are in decline, but their collapse can still be avoided with local and global action.

Sexuality in the Muslim world
While women have witnessed a rising tide of discrimination and persecution from conservative groups, they have also strategized for and demanded more gender equality.

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope finds dead stars 'polluted with planet debris'
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has found the building blocks for Earth-sized planets in an unlikely place -- the atmospheres of a pair of burned-out stars called white dwarfs.

Social connections drive the 'upward spiral' of positive emotions and health
People who experience warmer, more upbeat emotions may have better physical health because they make more social connections, according to a new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

No-win situation for agricultural expansion in the Amazon
The large-scale expansion of agriculture in the Amazon through deforestation will be a no-win scenario, according to a new study.

New method for the early detection of vineyard mildew, powdery mildew and botrytis
The Basque Institute for Agricultural Research and Development, Neiker-Tecnalia, has developed a new method for the early detection of the diseases mildew, powdery mildew and botrytis in vines.

Your immune system: On surveillance in the war against cancer
Predicting outcomes for cancer patients based on tumor-immune system interactions is an emerging clinical approach, and new research from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center is advancing the field when it comes to the most deadly types of breast cancer.

Study finds that bacteria organize according to 'rich-get-richer' principle
Like pioneers in search of a better life, bacteria on a surface wander around and often organize into highly resilient communities, known as biofilms.

Water on moon, Earth have a common source
New research finds that water inside the moon's mantle comes from the same source as water on Earth.

Research reveals cancer-suppressing protein 'multitasks'
The understanding of how a powerful protein called p53 protects against cancer development has been upended by a discovery by Walter and Eliza Hall Institute researchers.

USF gets $2.8M NIH grant with Aetna to study genetic testing and breast cancer treatment
The University of South Florida (Tampa, FL) and Aetna are launching a groundbreaking study that will examine the influence genetic testing may have on clinical treatment decisions among breast cancer patients and their doctors.

Scientists show how nerve wiring self-destructs
Many medical issues affect nerves, from injuries and chemotherapy to glaucoma and multiple sclerosis.

The Scripps Research Institute's Ardem Patapoutian named HHMI Investigator
Ardem Patapoutian, professor in the Dorris Neuroscience Center at the Scripps Research Institute, has been named a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, based on demonstrated potential to contribute significantly to biomedical science.

Climate record from bottom of Russian lake shows Arctic was warmer millions of years ago
The Arctic was very warm during a period roughly 3.5 to 2 million years ago -- a time when research suggests that the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was roughly comparable to today's -- leading to the conclusion that relatively small fluctuations in carbon dioxide levels can have a major influence on Arctic climate, according to a new analysis of the longest terrestrial sediment core ever collected in the Arctic.

Using bacteria to stop malaria
Mosquitoes are deadly efficient disease transmitters. Research conducted at Michigan State University, however, demonstrates that they also can be equally adept in curing diseases such as malaria.

Water on moon, Earth came from same primitive meteorites
The water found on the moon, like that on Earth, came from small meteorites called carbonaceous chondrites in the first 100 million years or so after the solar system formed, researchers from Brown and Case Western Reserve universities and Carnegie Institution of Washington have found.

Popular diabetes drug does not improve survival rates after cancer: Study
Despite previous scientific studies that suggest diabetes drug metformin has anti-cancer properties, a new, first-of-its-kind study from Women's College Hospital has found the drug may not actually improve survival rates after breast cancer in certain patients.

After the breakup in a digital world: Purging Facebook of painful memories
The era is long gone when a romantic breakup meant ripped-up photos and burned love letters.

UNM Cancer Center selected for national clinical trial
The University of New Mexico Cancer Center is among the few select institutions nationwide participating in a Phase 3 clinical trial studying a novel treatment for men with newly diagnosed, localized prostate cancer.

Doctor's choice of words may influence family's decision to permit CPR in critically ill
A physician's choice of words when talking with family members about whether or not to try cardiopulmonary resuscitation if a critically ill patient's heart stops may influence the decision, according to a study by University of Pittsburgh researchers in the June edition of Critical Care Medicine and now available online.

NYU Langone Medical Center researcher named Howard Hughes Investigator
The Howard Hughes Medical Institute has announced the appointment of Evgeny Nudler, Ph.D., to the 2013 class of HHMI Investigators.The appointment ranks as one of the highest honors that can be bestowed on a biomedical research scientist.

New technique to improve quality control of lithium-ion batteries
Researchers have created a new tool to detect flaws in lithium-ion batteries as they are being manufactured, a step toward reducing defects and inconsistencies in the thickness of electrodes that affect battery life and reliability.

Study finds link between sexual harassment and 'purging' -- in men
Men who experience high levels of sexual harassment are much more likely than women to induce vomiting and take laxatives and diuretics in an attempt to control their weight, according to a surprising finding by Michigan State University researchers.

Scientists develop device for portable, ultra-precise clocks and quantum sensors
In a joint project between the Universities of Strathclyde and Glasgow, Imperial College London and the National Physical Laboratory, researchers have developed a portable way to produce ultracold atoms for quantum technology and quantum information processing.

Mapping the embryonic epigenome
A large, multi-institutional research team involved in the NIH Epigenome Roadmap Project has published a sweeping analysis in the current issue of the journal Cell of how genes are turned on and off to direct early human development.

John Theurer Cancer Center brings leading experts for its Ninth Annual Neuro-Oncology Symposium
John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center, one of the nation's top 50 cancer centers, will host its Ninth Annual Neuro-Oncology Symposium on Friday, May 17, from 8 a.m.-1 p.m.

Studies generate comprehensive list of genes required by innate system to defend sex cells
Investigators from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory today publish studies revealing many previously unknown components of an innate system that defends sex cells -- the carriers of inheritance across generations -- from the ravages of transposable genetic elements.

The Lancet Series on bipolar disorder
Bipolar disorder -- where patients experience recurrent episodes of mood disturbance, ranging from extreme elation (mania) to severe depression -- is thought to affect roughly 2 percent of the world's population in its most pronounced forms (bipolar I and II), with milder forms of the disorder affecting another 2 percent.

Power plants: UGA researchers explore how to harvest electricity directly from plants
The sun provides the most abundant source of energy on the planet.

Notre Dame's Reilly Center Reports available online
The University of Notre Dame's Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values has reestablished Reilly Center Reports, an online collection of essays addressing the ethical, social, legal and policy implications of science and technology.

Flawed diamonds promise sensory perfection
By extending the coherence time of electron states to over half a second, a team of scientists from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the University of California at Berkeley, and Harvard University has improved the performance of one of the most potent sensors of magnetic fields on the nanoscale -- a diamond defect no bigger than a pair of atoms called a nitrogen vacancy center.

Positive social support at work shown to reduce risk of diabetes
Dr. Sharon Toker of Tel Aviv University's Faculty of Management has found that low levels of social support and high levels of stress in the workplace accurately predict the development of diabetes over the long term -- even in employees who appear to be healthy otherwise.

How state and local governments can address the obesity epidemic
Researchers suggest that simple and innovative measures at the state and local level can play a significant role in promoting healthier eating habits.

Fred Hutch evolutionary geneticist Harmit Malik selected as an HHMI investigator
Harmit Singh Malik, Ph.D., an evolutionary geneticist at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center who studies genetic conflict -- the competition between genes and proteins with opposing functions that drives evolutionary change -- has been selected to become a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. 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