Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 14, 2013
New accurate portable instrument to measure the light pollution levels of a city
Small and light, the instrument is easy to transport and can be used practically anywhere, without the need for large-scale installations like astronomical observatories.

E-commerce's future is in creating 'swift guanxi,' or personal and social rapport
Despite the reputation of online marketplaces being distant and impersonal, through social technologies such as instant messaging, they can create the sense of personal and social relationships between buyers and sellers, termed

Genomic assay as an alternative to animal testing
Earlier this spring, a ban on animal experiments for new cosmetics came into force in the EU.

Does including parasites upset food web theory? Yes and no, says new paper
A new paper in PLOS Biology this week shows that taking the unusual step of including parasites in ecological datasets does alter the structure of resulting food webs, but that's mostly due to an increase in diversity and complexity rather than the particular characteristics of parasites.

Older patients will make lifestyle changes to avoid fractures, study finds
Older patients who know they are at risk of fractures will make positive lifestyle changes to avoid them, such as exercising, wearing proper footwear and taking supplements, a new study has found.

Over 500 psychologists explore human motivation at conference in Rochester, June 27 to 30
Hundreds of psychologists from 38 countries will gather in Rochester to share the latest scientific insights into the mysteries of human motivation during the Conference on Self-Determination Theory, June 27 to 30.

Novel biomarkers improve diagnosis in rheumatoid arthritis
Data presented at EULAR 2013, the Annual Congress of the European League Against Rheumatism, show that novel antibody biomarkers could significantly improve diagnosis in rheumatoid arthritis.

Study: Blacks, Hispanics say Zimmerman arrested earlier if victim White
Blacks are more likely than both Hispanics and whites to believe race was a factor in the shooting of Trayvon Martin, a black teenager.

Scientists at UMass Medical School identify neurons that control feeding behavior in Drosophila
Scientists at UMass Medical School have developed a novel transgenic system which allows them to remotely activate individual brain cells in the model organism Drosophila using ambient temperature.

Developmental protein plays role in spread of cancer
A protein used by embryo cells during early development, and recently found in many different types of cancer, apparently serves as a switch regulating the spread of cancer, known as metastasis, report researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center in the June 15, 2013 issue of the journal Cancer Research.

CSHL geneticists solve mystery of EEC Syndrome's variable severity in children
By identifying a protein that acts as a genetic modifier, scientists have solved the mystery of why some infants are born with a grave syndrome consisting of cleft palate and major deformities of the skin and limbs, while other infants with the same predisposing genetic mutation bear little or no sign of the illness, called EEC.

NASA-led study explains decades of black hole observations
A new study by astronomers at NASA, Johns Hopkins University and Rochester Institute of Technology confirms long-held suspicions about how stellar-mass black holes produce their highest-energy light.

New array measures vibrations across skin may help engineers design tactile displays
A new array measures vibrations across skin may help engineers design tactile displays.

Genome decoding of the medieval leprosy pathogen
From skeletons and biopsies, an international team of scientists was successful in reconstructing a dozen medieval and modern genomes of the leprosy-causing bacteria Mycobacterium leprae.

Researchers solve mystery of X-ray light from black holes
Astrophysicists using high-powered computer simulartions demonstrate that gas spiraling toward a black hole inevitably results in X-ray emissions.

Discovery of how a gene that regulates factors involved in bacteria pathogenicity acts
In a piece of work carried out by the Carbohydrate Metabolism Research Team of the Institute of Agrobiotechnology, the discovery has been made of the way in which the glgS gene (now renamed as the

Energy from the windy heights
The electricity from our sockets could soon come from a high-tech device flying in the sky.

Researchers explode the myth about running injuries
Ordinary running shoes function perfectly well for new runners regardless of how they pronate, according to new research from Aarhus University.

Overweight and obese patients less likely to achieve remission in early RA
A new study presented today at EULAR 2013, the Annual Congress of the European League Against Rheumatism, shows that overweight and obese patients are less likely to achieve successful remission in early rheumatoid arthritis compared to those of normal weight.

Study of oceans' past raises worries about their future
A McGill-led international research team has completed the first global study of changes that occurred in the nitrogen cycle, at the end of the last ice age.

Smart technology makes its way into lighting
According to VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, the lighting systems of the future could be multi-purpose devices not dissimilar to smart phones.

Stress test and brain scans pinpoint 2 distinct forms of Gulf War illness
New research suggests that Gulf War illness may have two distinct forms depending on which brain regions have atrophied.

Migraine and headache specialists gather at international headache congress scientific sessions
Researchers and clinicians worldwide working in migraine, headache and brain injury share the field's latest scientific advances at the International Headache Congress, hosted by the International Headache Society and the American Headache Society.

Medications to prevent clots not reaching some patients
Researchers at Johns Hopkins report that hospitalized patients do not receive more than one in 10 doses of doctor-ordered blood thinners prescribed to prevent potentially lethal or disabling blood clots, a decision they say may be fueled by misguided concern by patients and their caregivers.

'Superconductivity: Discoveries and Discoverers'
The work of ten great scientists is presented in the new book Superconductivity: Discoveries and Discoverers -- Ten Physics Nobel Laureates Tell Their Story.

Researchers unearth bioenergy potential in leaf-cutter ant communities
As spring warms up Wisconsin, humans aren't the only ones tending their gardens.

Using math to kill cancer cells
Nature Communications has published a paper from Ottawa researchers today, outlining how advanced mathematical modelling can be used in the fight against cancer.

Penn Researchers design variant of main painkiller receptor
An interdisciplinary collaboration between researchers at the University of Pennsylvania has developed a variant of the mu opioid receptor that has several advantages when it comes to experimentation.

Predicting collective online behavior
A new study shows that small websites, in terms of daily user flux based on number of clicks, have a disproportionally high impact when it comes to traffic generation and influence compared to larger websites.

Intense: Navy, civilian planners get big assist in storm predictions
With the arrival of the Atlantic hurricane and Pacific typhoon season -- and the often dangerous storms that can accompany it -- new technology sponsored by the Office of Naval Research will help Navy and civilian officials alike plan for stormy weather.

2013 ESH/ESC Guidelines for the management of arterial hypertension
Lifestyle factors, lack of awareness by both patients and physicians, hesitancy in initiating and intensifying drug treatment, and healthcare structural deficiencies are amongst the reasons for the increasing problem of high blood pressure in Europe, according to new joint Guidelines issued today by the European Society of Hypertension and the European Society of Cardiology.

UCLA climate study predicts dramatic loss in local snowfall
By midcentury, snowfall on Los Angeles-area mountains will be 30 to 40 percent less than it was at the end of the 20th century, according to a UCLA study released today and led by UCLA climate expert Alex Hall.

High prevalence of NSAID prescription in those at risk of heart attack/death in primary care
New study data presented today at EULAR 2013, the Annual Congress of the European League Against Rheumatism, demonstrate a high prevalence of NSAID prescriptions in patients at risk of ischaemic heart disease.

Berkeley Lab team uncovers secrets of biological soil crusts
A team of Berkeley Lab researchers has performed molecular level analysis of desert biological soil crusts -- living ground cover formed by microbial communities -- to reveal how long-dormant cyanobacteria become activated by rainfall then resume dormancy when the precipitation stops.

Automated 'coach' could help with social interactions
New software system from MIT could help people improve their conversational and interview skills.

OU researchers collaborate on $20 million NSF EPSCoR grant
University of Oklahoma researchers will collaborate with researchers from Oklahoma State University, the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation and the University of Tulsa to advance understanding of how socio-ecological systems can adapt sustainability to increased climate change and variability in the state.

Visesa and Tecnalia to design 'eco' materials for the construction of healthier buildings
Visesa, a Public Company of the Basque Autonomous Community Government (region), and the Tecnalia Centre for Applied Research are set to work together to create

A perfect match -- new UK-India research partnerships unveiled
The growing strength of joint UK-India research was highlighted today by the announcement of 12 new collaborations in the areas of Advanced Manufacturing and Smart Energy Grids and Energy Storage.

Nurse-led programs help patients self-manage RA
Data first presented today at EULAR 2013, the Annual Congress of the European League Against Rheumatism demonstrate the benefits of a nurse-led program on patient self-management and the management of rheumatoid arthritis co-morbidities.

Incontinence takes mental toll on younger women
Research from the University of Adelaide shows middle-aged women are more likely to suffer depression from a common medical problem that they find too embarrassing to talk about: urinary incontinence.

Sugar overload can damage heart according to UTHealth research
Too much sugar can set people down a pathway to heart failure, according to a study led by researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

From Botswanan big cats to Surrey house cats
Scientists who designed GPS tracking collars to study hunting cheetahs in Botswana have miniaturized them to track 50 domestic cats in a Surrey village for a BBC program.

Memory-boosting chemical is identified in mice
Memory improved in mice injected with a small, drug-like molecule discovered by UC San Francisco researchers studying how cells respond to biological stress.

New findings regarding DNA damage checkpoint mechanism in oxidative stress
Researchers have uncovered a previously unknown surveillance mechanism, known as a DNA damage checkpoint, used by cells to monitor oxidatively damaged DNA.

Why are there so many youth baseball-throwing injuries?
After three years of research, a multicenter, national research study led by Beaumont orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist, Joseph Guettler, M.D., may have some answers as to why youth baseball pitching injuries continue to rise despite the implementation of nationally recommended pitching limits.

A turbocharger for nerve cells
Max Planck scientists in Goettingen have discovered a key mechanism that boosts the signalling function of neurons in the brain.

AMA awards $1 million to UCSF to transform physician training
The American Medical Association announced on June 14 that the UCSF School of Medicine is one of 11 medical schools nationwide that will receive $1 million over five years to develop and implement innovative curricula to train healthcare professionals in the best medical practices. 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