Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 07, 2013
Amazon forest fire risk to increase in 2013
University and NASA researchers predict that the severity of the 2013 fire season will be considerably higher than in 2011 and 2012 for many Amazon forests in the Southern Hemisphere.

Detection of apple juices and cereals which exceed permitted levels of mycotoxins
Researchers from the University of Granada (Spain) have analysed the presence of patulin, a type of toxin produced by fungi, in several commercial apple juices.

Optogenetics is proving to be highly promising in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorders
Thanks to work carried out by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston, Eric Burguière, an Inserm researcher working in the MHI research center and his co-workers have succeeded in reducing the compulsive behavior of mice using optogenetics, a technique that combines light stimulation with genetic engineering.

'Long-awaited explanation' for mysterious effects in high-temperature superconductors
A German-French research team has constructed a new model that explains how the so-called pseudogap state forms in high-temperature superconductors.

Biomechanics experts at SMU team with Mark Cuban to research phony falls in basketball
Biomechanics experts at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, have teamed with Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban to study the unsavory practice of player flopping in basketball and other sports.

3 out of 20 scopes used to examine GI tracts and colons improperly cleaned
Three out of 20 flexible gastrointestinal endoscopes used for screening were found to harbor unacceptable levels of

Health of entire families at risk through under-use of genetic testing
French researchers who carried out the first-ever national study of the take-up of genetic testing for BRCA1 and 2 and MMR (Lynch syndrome) mutations have found that, although there had been a steady increase in tests performed for the cancer-causing mutations BRCA1 and BRCA2, this was not the case with the MMR mutation, where the numbers undergoing the test are still tiny.

Large-scale biodiversity is vital to maintain ecosystem health
Over the years ecologists have shown how biological diversity benefits the health of small, natural communities.

How do immune cells detect infections?
How do immune cells manage to sort through vast numbers of similar-looking proteins within the body to detect foreign invaders and fight infections?

Cedars-Sinai opens first-of-its-kind trial in western US for metastatic carcinoid cancer patients
Working to improve treatment and survivorship outcomes, the Cedars-Sinai Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute has opened a Phase III clinical trial of targeted radiation for patients with intestinal carcinoid cancer that has spread beyond the intestine.

New research findings on onset of uterine fibroids provide potential for novel treatments
Uterine leiomyomata, or fibroids, are benign tumors that nevertheless affect the health of millions of women.

NASA sees Tropical Storm Andrea cover half the East Coast
As Tropical Storm Andrea continued pushing up the east coast of the United States on Friday, June 7, NOAA's GOES-East satellite captured an image that showed its extensive cloud cover.

PD-like sleep and motor problems observed in α-synuclein mutant mice
In the quest for an animal model of Parkinson's disease that mimics motor and non-motor symptoms of human PD, scientists have developed strains of mice that overexpress α-synuclein.

UC Santa Barbara study provides a new framework for understanding the energetics of ionic liquids
A new study by researchers at UC Santa Barbara provides clues into the understanding of the behavior of the charged molecules or particles in ionic liquids.

Glove shows its true colors
Security takes top priority in laboratories and in production. In the future, employees exposed to risks will only have to put on a glove in order to receive a toxic substance warning: This textile identifi es poisonous substances, and points them out immediately.

Quality control in the manufacturing cycle
Even the minutest deviations are detected: Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Factory Operation and Automation IFF have created the

Research and development funding for businesses was virtually unchanged between 2009 and 2010
The National Science Foundation recently released a report detailing that the amount companies spent on US research and development during 2010 was essentially unchanged from the amount spent in 2009.

Computer games may help forensic psychiatry patients
Brain-training computer games may help restore memory and competency to forensic psychiatry patients in state mental hospitals, researchers say.

Whispering light hears liquids talk
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed optomechanical sensors in which extremely minute forces exerted by light are used to generate and control high-frequency mechanical vibrations of microscale and nanoscale devices that will help unlock vibrational secrets of chemical and biological samples at the nanoscale.

Climate conditions determine Amazon fire risk
Using an innovative satellite technique, NASA scientists have determined that a previously unmapped type of wildfire in the Amazon rainforest is responsible for destroying several times more forest than has been lost through deforestation in recent years.

New EPA pesticide guidance should result in fewer dead animals
The PETA International Science Consortium, Ltd., and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine are pleased with new EPA Guidelines

Mandatory flu vaccination of healthcare personnel does not lead to worker exodus
Mandatory influenza vaccination, as a condition of employment, did not lead to excessive voluntary termination, according to a four-year analysis of vaccination rates at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, IL.

Non-invasive first trimester blood test reliably detects Down's syndrome
New research has found that routine screening using a non-invasive test that analyzes fetal DNA in a pregnant woman's blood can accurately detect Down's syndrome and other genetic fetal abnormalities in the first trimester.

Teacher collaboration, professional communities improve many elementary school students' math scores
Many elementary students' math performance improves when their teachers collaborate, work in professional learning communities or do both, yet most students don't spend all of their elementary school years in these settings, a new study shows.

Reynolds grant supports aging education of doctors
A grant of $1 million over four years will support a program at Brown University to train medical residents, hospitalists and other local physicians in the medicine of healthy aging.

Diabetes drug shows promise in treatment of neurodegenerative disease
Researchers in Spain have found that a drug used to control type II diabetes can help repair the spinal cords of mice suffering from the inherited disease adrenoleukodystrophy which, untreated, leads eventually to a paralysis, a vegetative state and death.

Immortality research at UC Riverside awarded additional $100,000
The John Templeton Foundation has awarded UC Riverside philosophy professor John Martin Fischer an additional $100,000 to support research on issues related to immortality.

Oh brother, where art thou?
Many animals are able to discriminate between related and unrelated individuals but how they do so has proven remarkably difficult to understand.

Drought, river fragmentation forcing endangered fish out of water, biologist finds
A researcher is discovering that the North American drought has caused dramatic changes in native fish communities.

Study shows how young genes become essential for life
Researchers from UConn and other institutions in the US and abroad have shown how a relatively young gene can acquire a new function and become essential to an organism's life.

Jaguar Land Rover and EPSRC announce £10 million virtual engineering research program
Jaguar Land Rover will lead a five year research program with the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and four leading UK universities.

NSF-supported Antarctic science documentary is also a teaching tool for aspiring film students
An unusual Rutgers University program that involves undergraduates in making documentary films about science has released a three-minute trailer for a project that was filmed in the ice and beneath the frigid waters of the Antarctic Peninsula.

CLEO: 2013 press luncheon spotlights new techniques in optofluidics, temporal cloaking, cryolasers
CLEO: 2013, the Conference on Lasers and Electro Optics, brings together the world's foremost scientists and engineers working in the field of laser science.

Fires in northern Saskatchewan
NASA's Aqua satellite collected this natural-color image with the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, MODIS, instrument on June 5, 2013.

Bone tumor in 120,000-year-old Neandertal discovered
The first-known definitive case of a benign bone tumor has been discovered in the rib of a young Neandertal who lived about 120,000 years ago in what is now present-day Croatia.

Biomarker identification may lead to new noninvasive test for colorectal cancer detection
The average five-year survival for colorectal cancer is less than 10 percent if metastasis occurs, but can reach 90 percent if detected early.

Clinical sequencing technology identifies new targets in diverse cancers
Novel abnormalities in the FGFR gene, called FGFR fusions, were identified in a spectrum of cancers, and preliminary results with cancer cells harboring FGFR fusions suggested that some patients with these cancers may benefit from treatment with FGFR inhibitor drugs, according to data published in Cancer Discovery, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Vegetable oil IS good for you, MU researcher says
Since the 1970s, researchers have known that lineolic acid (LA) helps reduce blood cholesterol levels, and for decades, scientists have known that consuming LA can help lower the risk of heart disease.

Study shows medical devices complicate complex conditions in kids
As modern medical advances help more children with complex conditions live longer, a new study shows a significant number suffer from complications caused by medical devices that are also necessary for their survival.

Research on geological storage of CO2 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
£3.27 million has been awarded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, as part of the Research Councils UK Energy programme, to four research projects to study the geological viability and safety of storing CO2 underground in depleted North Sea oil and gas fields or saline aquifers.

Method developed for adding omega-3 fatty acids to foods
The omega-3 fatty acids contained in fatty salt-water fish are an important component of a healthy diet in humans.

Second annual Brain Tumor Biotech Summit 2013 at Weill Cornell
The nation's leading brain tumor and biotech industry experts again joined forces Friday, June 7, in a bid to accelerate more effective treatments for brain tumors and promote funding for the latest emerging therapies, as the Weill Cornell Brain and Spine Center and Voices Against Brain Cancer hosted its second annual Brain Tumor Biotech Summit.
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