Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 26, 2013
MARC travel awards announced for the GSA: 19th International C. elegans Meeting
The FASEB MARC (Maximizing Access to Research Careers) Program has announced the travel award recipients for the GSA: 19th International C. elegans Meeting in Los Angeles, Calif., from June 26-30, 2013.

How visual attention affects the brain
New work at UC Davis shows for the first time how visual attention affects activity in specific brain cells.

Simple 2-drug combination proves effective in reducing risk of stroke
Results of a Phase III clinical trial showed that a simple drug regimen of two anti-clotting drugs -- clopidogrel and aspirin -- lowered the risk of stroke by almost one-third, compared to the standard therapy of aspirin alone, when given to patients who had minor or transient stroke symptoms to prevent subsequent attacks.

Pufferfish neurotoxin may serve as treatment for cancer therapy related pain
Researchers at the Brain and Spine Institute at John Theurer Cancer Center at HackensackUMC, one of the nation's 50 best hospitals for cancer, are studying a possible alternative to side effect-ridden opioid-based medications to treat cancer-related pain.

Zebrafish study paves the way for new treatments for genetic disorder
Scientists from the University of Sheffield have paved the way for new treatments for a common genetic disorder thanks to pioneering research on zebrafish -- an animal capable of mending its own heart.

MARC travel awards announced for the AAI 2013 Introductory Course in Immunology Meeting
The FASEB MARC (Maximizing Access to Research Careers) Program has announced the travel award recipients for the American Association of Immunologists 2013 Introductory Course in Immunology meeting in Philadelphia, Pa., from July 13-18, 2013.

Unraveling the largest outbreak of fungal infections associated with contaminated steroid injections
Investigators from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describe pathologic findings from 40 case reports of fungal infection in patients who had been given contaminated epidural, paraspinal, or intra-articular (into joints) steroid injections and correlate these findings with clinical and laboratory data.

People with a disability more likely to be obese, have chronic illnesses
Adults with a disability are more likely to be obese or extremely obese than those without a disability according to a study led by researchers at the University of Texas School of Public Health, which is part of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

Calcium and vitamin D help hormones help bones
Should women take calcium and vitamin D supplements after menopause for bone health?

MBL researchers find zinc's crucial pathway to the brain
A new Marine Biological Laboratory study helps explain how parts of the brain maintain their delicate balance of zinc, an element required in minute but crucial doses, particularly during embryonic development.

When cloning mice, a little drop of blood'll do ya
Since Dolly the sheep in 1996, reproductive cloning has continued to advance; nearly 20 different mammalian species have now been cloned.

Drug-induced liver injury is on the rise
More people are being affected by drug-induced liver injury than ever before, according to a new study in Gastroenterology, the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association.

Sociologists to explore inequality at Annual Meeting in New York City, Aug. 10-13
The conference will feature nearly 600 sessions and more than 3,600 studies covering such subjects as same-sex marriage, immigration, mass shootings, social media, sex, climate change, family, work, health and healthcare, relationships, education, bullying, technology, religion, race, socioeconomics, children, politics, disability, substance abuse, animals, gender, and an abundance of others.

Researchers discover human activity threatens Sumatran tiger population
Virginia Tech wildlife researchers have found that tigers in central Sumatra live at densities lower than previously believed.

Solar power heads in a new direction: Thinner
Atom-thick photovoltaic sheets could pack hundreds of times more power per weight than conventional solar cells.

People's perception of the effect of stress on their health is linked to risk of heart attacks
People who believe that stress is having an adverse impact on their health are probably right, because they have an increased risk of suffering a heart attack, according to new research published in the European Heart Journal.

Antibiotics: Change route of delivery to mitigate resistance
New research suggests that the rapid rise of antibiotic resistance correlates with oral ingestion of antibiotics, raising the possibility that other routes of administration could reduce the spread of resistance.

Nurse practitioners can boost quality of care for older patients with chronic conditions
A study suggests that care for older patients with chronic geriatric conditions such as dementia and depression was significantly improved when co-managed by both a primary care physician and a nurse practitioner, highlighting the crucial role these nurses can play in treating these conditions.

Air Force announces universities to receive research equipment awards
The Air Force announced today that 29 university researchers at 26 academic institutions have been selected to receive awards to support the purchase of research instrumentation.

Efficacy of acupressure to relieve migraine nausea presented at International Headache Congress
Leading headache physician, Dr. Zoltan Medgyessy of the Berolina Clinic in Lohne, Germany demonstrated in a trial that pressure to the P6 antiemetic point with an acupressure wristband is an effective and quick therapy for relieving nausea of migraine sufferers.

Patient suicide and homicide risk often missed say researchers
The assessment of risk in patients who go on to die by suicide or commit homicide is often poor, a new study has found.

LSUHSC's Hollier one of few ever awarded coveted national lectureship
Dr. Larry H. Hollier, Chancellor of LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, has joined Dr.

Helping many people boosts social standing more than helping many times
A business may build a better reputation as a good corporate citizen by donating $100,000 to 10 charities, as opposed to $1 million to one charity, suggested University of Missouri anthropologist Shane Macfarlan.

Comparing genomes of wild and domestic tomato
You say tomato, I say comparative transcriptomics. Researchers in the US, Europe and Japan have produced the first comparison of both the DNA sequences and which genes are active, or being transcribed, between the domestic tomato and its wild cousins.

Toward broad-spectrum antiviral drugs for common cold and other infections
Scientists are reporting progress in the search for the first broad-spectrum drugs to combat human rhinoviruses, which cause humanity's most common infectious diseases.

Astronaut view of Colorado fires
Thick smoke billows across the landscape in these digital photographs of the western United States.

A stepping-stone for oxygen on Earth
For most terrestrial life on Earth, oxygen is necessary for survival.

How chewing gum or a shed hair can let strangers read your 'Book of Life'
Someone finds that piece of chewing gum you pitched today, uses the saliva to sequence your DNA and surreptitiously reads your book of life -- including genetic secrets like your susceptibility to diseases.

New dispatch system could save money for trucking industry, make life easier for drivers
Engineers are studying a new approach to organize and route truck transportation that could save millions of dollars, improve the quality of life for thousands of truck drivers and make freight transportation far more efficient.

Asian neighborhoods: Separate but equal
Asians have been described as the least segregated minority group in the US.

East Peak fire burn scar, Colorado
On June 22, 2013, the Operational Land Imager on Landsat 8 captured a false-color image of the East Peak fire burning in southern Colorado near Trinidad.

CU-Boulder joins Sloan Digital Sky Survey to map stars, galaxies and quasars in 3-D
The University of Colorado Boulder has become a full institutional member of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey-IV, an ambitious effort by some of the world's top astronomers to map the celestial sky in three dimensions to learn more about the structure and evolution of the universe.

How does pedestrian head-loading affect the health of women and children in sub-Saharan Africa?
A Huddersfield researcher has co-authored a paper that looks at how the practice of head-loading can affect the health of women and children, with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa.

MARC travel awards announced for the July 2013 FASEB Science Research Conferences
The FASEB MARC (Maximizing Access to Research Careers) Program has announced the travel award recipient for the FASEB Science Research Conferences held in July 2013.

Illegal marijuana grows threaten fishers in the southern Sierra Nevada
Rat poison used on illegal marijuana grows is killing fishers in the southern Sierra Nevada, according to a recent study conducted by a team of scientists from the US Forest Service's Pacific Southwest Research Station, University of California, Davis, University of California, Berkeley, and the Integral Ecology Research Center.

Location of upwelling in Earth's mantle discovered to be stable
A study published in Nature today shares the discovery that large-scale upwelling within Earth's mantle mostly occurs in only two places: Beneath Africa and the Central Pacific.

Rutgers-Camden professor examines social capabilities of performing multiple-action sequences
A Rutgers-Camden scholar is examining how action planning generalizes to collaborative actions performed with others in a study, titled

Quantum engines must break down
Our present understanding of thermodynamics is fundamentally incorrect if applied to small systems and need to be modified, according to new research from University College London and the University of Gdansk.

Cell biologist to begin work on discovering structure of malaria parasite genome
Plasmodium, which causes malaria, requires specific human and mosquito tissues to complete its life cycle.

Songbirds turn on and tune up
Bullfinches learn from human teachers to sing melodies accurately, according to a new study by the late Nicolai Jürgen and researchers from the University of Kaiserslautern in Germany.

New data support community-wide approach to addressing child obesity
In an analysis of data from the first two school years of the Shape Up Somerville: Eat Smart Play Hard™ intervention, Tufts University researchers showed that schoolchildren in Somerville, Massachusetts gained less weight and were less likely to be obese or overweight than schoolchildren in two similar control communities.

Babies can read each other's signals
Research shows that babies can understand each others emotional signals at five months of age.

University of East Anglia scientists make major advances important for cancer research
Scientists at the University of East Anglia have made a major advancement in understanding tissue development that has important implications for cancer.

Social network size predicts social cognitive skills in primates
The size of a primate's social group can predict cognitive skills related to social abilities, according to research published June 26 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Evan MacLean and colleagues from Duke University.

Hold the medicinal lettuce
In 2011 and 2012, research from China's Nanjing University made international headlines with reports that after mice ate, bits of genetic material from the plants they'd ingested could make it into their bloodstreams intact and turn the animals' own genes off.

UCI researchers awarded $2.27 million to create novel diabetes treatments
Two UC Irvine research groups have received $2.27 million from the JDRF to develop innovative methods of treating and possibly curing Type 1 diabetes.

University of Houston receives $675,000 grant to address smoking cessation
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tobacco use continues to be the leading preventable cause of death in the US resulting in more than 440,000 premature deaths a year.

Loyola nuclear medicine technologist named National Technologist of the Year
Nuclear medicine technologist Rebecca Sajdak of Loyola University Medical Center has been named National Technologist of the Year by the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging.

Autism Speaks funds nearly $700,000 for high priority research
Autism Speaks awarded $685,968 to fund research to advance understanding and treatment of autism including study of dementia in older persons with autism and translational postdoctoral fellowships to study light exposure and sleep-wake patterns; use fNIRS to monitor responses during therapy; EEG and ERP to explore brain response and positive feedback; rapamycin alters brain-protein production; explore hypersensitivities and hyposensitivities to visual cues; and create autism brain cell models based on specific autism risk genes.

Bladder function restored in animals with severe spinal cord injury
For the first time, researchers have restored significant bladder function through nerve regeneration in rats with the most severe spinal cord injuries.

OSIRIS-REx team member selected by White House as a Citizen Science Champion of Change
Dolores H. Hill from the Lunar and Planetary Lab of the University of Arizona, Tucson is the recipient of the Citizen Science Champions of Change Award for her work on

Major rethink needed if chemical industry is to meet greenhouse gas targets
The UK chemical industry requires

Socioeconomic status plays major role in opioid pain control
Patients in moderate to severe pain in emergency rooms across the US are less likely to receive opioid pain medications if they are black, Hispanic, poor, or have less education, compared to more affluent patients, according to a University of Rochester Medical Center study reported in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

The evolution of throwing
The ability to throw an object with great speed and accuracy is a uniquely human adaptation, one that Harvard researchers say played a key role in our evolution.

Yukon gold mine yields ancient horse fossil
When University of Alberta researcher Duane Froese found an unusually large horse fossil in the Yukon permafrost, he knew it was important.

Grant to further childhood sarcoma therapeutic research
Researchers at Nationwide Children's Hospital will use a $6.3 million grant to further their study of pediatric sarcomas, a rare form of the disease that affects bone or soft tissue and accounts for 11 percent of all childhood cancers.

Impact of iPad® on radiology residents' daily clinical duties is limited, study suggests
While the iPad® is being used for intraoperative procedure guidance, percutaneous procedure planning, and mobile interpretation of some imaging examinations, the majority of radiology residents are using it primarily as an educational tool, according to a study published online in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

Chimps or humans-- Who's the better baseball pitcher?
Little leaguers and professional baseball players alike have our extinct ancestors to thank for their success on the mound, shows a study by George Washington University researcher Neil Roach, which is featured on the cover of the June 27 edition of the journal Nature.

American Cancer Society journal reaches top ranking among all journals
The American Cancer Society flagship journal, CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, has been ranked with the highest impact factor on record for any journal recorded in the ISI Journal Citation Reports.

Have a brain injury? You may be at higher risk for stroke
People who have a traumatic brain injury may be more likely to have a future stroke, according to research that appears in the June 26, 2013, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

21 percent of homes account for 50 percent of greenhouse gas emissions
Energy conservation in a small number of households could go a long way to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, scientists are reporting.

Announcing the Community for Zero Hunger
At the 2012 Rio+20 Conference, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon unveiled the Zero Hunger Challenge.

Issue III registry defines best syncope candidates for cardiac pacing
The PREFER AF registry study, which provides a

MARC travel awards announced for the 27th Protein Society Symposium 2013
The FASEB MARC (Maximizing Access to Research Careers) Program has announced the travel award recipients for the 27th Protein Society Symposium in Boston, Mass., from July 20-24, 2013.

New research: Wolf Lake ancient forest is endangered ecosystem
New research from the University of Guelph, published Tuesday in the journal Biodiversity and Conservation, says that allowing industrial extraction in a northern Ontario old-growth red pine forest -- the largest remaining in the world -- would significantly threaten biodiversity in Canada.

Can home-culture images impair second-language skills?
New research from Columbia Business School Professor Michael Morris and Postdoctoral Research Scholar Shu Zhang shows that reminders of your heritage culture can trigger troubles in your second language.

Race apparently a factor in sleep apnea, Wayne State University researcher finds
A Wayne State University researcher has found that sleep apnea severity is higher among African-American men in certain age ranges, even after controlling for body mass index.

Huge falls in diabetes mortality in UK and Canada since mid-1990s
Both the UK and Canada have experienced huge falls in diabetes-related mortality since the mid-1990s, with the result that the gap in mortality risk between those with and without diabetes has narrowed substantially.

ISFR-IOF experts propose standardized measurements of clinical outcomes in wrist fractures
Despite their clinical significance, evidence-based practice and clinical research on wrist fractures are hampered by the lack of standardized methods of outcome measurement.

Study: Christians tweet more happily, less analytically than atheists
A computer analysis of nearly 2 million text messages (tweets) on the online social network Twitter found that Christians use more positive words, fewer negative words and engage in less analytical thinking than atheists.

NASA satellites see Eastern Pacific's hurricane Cosme weaken
NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission or TRMM satellite captured the third named Eastern Pacific tropical cyclone as it grew to hurricane strength.

DNA 'reverse' vaccine reduces levels of immune cells believed responsible for Type 1 diabetes
A clinical trial of a vaccine, led by Stanford University School of Medicine researchers and designed to combat Type 1 diabetes, has delivered initially promising results, suggesting that it may selectively counter the errant immune response that causes the disease.

Influenza infection increases likelihood of bacterial pneumonia 100-fold, U-Michigan-led study finds
It's been known for more than two centuries that pneumonia cases increase during flu epidemics.

Feature stops apps from stealing phone users' passwords
ScreenPass, built by Duke computer scientist Landon Cox and his team, adds security to app logins on touchscreen devices.

Teenage physical fitness reduces the risk of suicidal behavior later in life
Being in good physical shape at 18 years of age can be linked with a reduced risk of attempted suicide later in life.

Having a job helps women with HIV manage their illness, according to new research
Having a job helps women with HIV manage their illnesses, according to researchers from Case Western Reserve University and the University of California at San Francisco.

Ingested nanoparticle toxicity
Ingestion of commonly encountered nanoparticles at typical environmental levels is unlikely to cause overt toxicity, according to US researchers.

Sea level along Maryland's shorelines could rise 2 feet by 2050, according to new report
A new report on sea level rise recommends that the State of Maryland should plan for a rise in sea level of as much as 2 feet by 2050.

MARC travel award announced for the 2013 ISMB/ECCB Meeting
The FASEB MARC (Maximizing Access to Research Careers) Program has announced the travel award recipient for the 2013 Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology/European Conference on Computational Biology meeting in Berlin, Germany, from July 19-23, 2013.

Los Alamos/Tribogenics create highly portable imaging system
Los Alamos National Laboratory and Tribogenics, the pioneer of innovative X-ray solutions, have partnered to create a unique, lightweight, compact, low-cost X-ray system that uses the MiniMAX (Miniature, Mobile, Agile, X-ray) camera to provide real-time inspection of sealed containers and facilities.

New brain imaging study provides support for the notion of food addiction
Consuming highly processed carbohydrates can cause excess hunger and stimulate brain regions involved in reward and cravings, according to a Boston Children's Hospital research team led by David Ludwig, M.D., Ph.D., director, New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center.

MARC travel awards announced for the 2013 Society for the Study of Reproduction Meeting
The FASEB MARC (Maximizing Access to Research Careers) Program has announced the travel award recipients for the Society for the Study of Reproduction meeting in Montreal, Canada, from July 22-26, 2013.

Virtual skin model reveals secrets of skin aging
We constantly grow new skin and slough off the old.

MARC travel awards announced for the AAI 2013 Advanced Course in Immunology Meeting
The FASEB MARC (Maximizing Access to Research Careers) Program has announced the travel award recipients for the American Association of Immunologists 2013 Advanced Course in Immunology meeting in Boston, Mass., from July 28-Aug.

Program and registration open for International Annual Meeting of Human Factors/Ergonomics Professionals
The annual meeting is expected to draw 1,500 HF/E professionals, including psychologists, researchers, engineers, web designers and product designers, who will present their work on a vast range of topics, patient safety, distracted driving, human-robot interaction, workplace safety, human-systems integration, and much more.

Faculty of 1000 announces partnership between F1000Prime and docwise
F1000Prime recommendations to appear in docwise's personalized aggregated reader platform for physicians.

Traffic congestion charges: Prices are more effective than restrictions
The citizens of Gothenburg, Sweden will vote soon on whether to continue the already up-and-running congestion charge.

Complex genetic architectures: Some common symptoms of trisomy 21
In a study conducted by Professor Stylianos Antonarakis' group from the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Geneva, researchers have identified the genomic variations associated with trisomy 21, determining the risk of congenital heart disease in people with Down syndrome.

A 700,000 year old horse gets its genome sequenced
It is nothing short of a world record in DNA research that scientists at the Centre for GeoGenetics at the Natural History Museum of Denmark have hit.

Chapman University unearths data in animal habitat selection that counters current convention
Scientists have long presumed that animals settle on breeding territories according to the ideal free model.

Social animals have more social smarts
Lemurs from species that hang out in big tribes are more likely to steal food behind your back instead of in front of your face.

New €6.1million project to develop new antifungal agents to treat resistant fungal infections
The University of Manchester and F2G Ltd, a privately-held antifungal drug discovery and development company and today announced the start of a 6.1 million euro EU-funded project to discover and develop novel antifungal drugs to treat serious, life-threatening fungal infections.

Sailors most often injure their knees -- on land
The knees are the body part that is injured the most by dinghy sailors.

Exaggeration, exaggeration, exaggeration: Parties over-egg claims on education
Both major political parties have overstated their claims and counter-claims on education, according to an independent review of Labour's record in office.

A circuitous route to therapy resistance
Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center and Heidelberg University Hospital have discovered a cause of resistance to therapy in cases of brain cancer.

'Human Evolutionary Genetics' by Jobling, Hollux, Hurles, Kivisild, and Tyler-Smith
Now in full-color, the Second Edition of Human Evolutionary Genetics has been completely revised to cover the rapid advances in the field since publication of the highly regarded First Edition.

Whole genome or exome sequencing: An individual insight
Focusing on parts rather than the whole, when it comes to genome sequencing, might be extremely useful, finds research in BioMed Central's open access journal Genome Medicine.

DNA found outside genes plays largely unknown, potentially vital roles
A new UC San Francisco study highlights the potential importance of the vast majority of human DNA that lies outside of genes within the cell.

1 in 5 grade 7-12 students report having a traumatic brain injury in their lifetime
One in five adolescents surveyed in Ontario, Canada said they have suffered a traumatic brain injury that left them unconscious for five minutes or required them to be hospitalized overnight, a statistic researchers in Toronto say is much higher than previously thought.

Getting the carbon out of emissions
MIT researchers propose method to remove carbon from emissions that could be more efficient than previous systems and easier to retrofit in existing power plants.

UCSB research points to a potential therapeutic approach to Alzheimer's disease
Building on research published eight years ago in the journal Chemistry and Biology, Kenneth S.

Tired and edgy? Sleep deprivation boosts anticipatory anxiety
UC Berkeley researchers have found that a lack of sleep, which is common in anxiety disorders, may play a key role in ramping up the brain regions that contribute to excessive worrying.

Ben-Gurion U. and UChicago research collaboration targets water resource innovations
The first wave of research proposals include fabricating new materials tailored to remove contaminants, bacteria, viruses, and salt from drinking water at a fraction of the cost of current technologies; biological engineering that will help plants maximize their own drought-resistance mechanisms; and polymers that can change the water retention properties of soil in agriculture.

2 University of Houston students chosen as Albert Schweitzer Fellows
Two University of Houston students, one from the UH Graduate College of Social Work and one from UH College of Pharmacy, will lead health-related service initiatives for underserved individuals and communities during 2013-2014 under the Houston-Galveston Albert Schweitzer Fellowship Program.

Bluefin tuna experts dispute assessment of fish populations
Leading Bluefin tuna researchers at the universities of Massachusetts and Maine issued a rebuttal to a

Sleep deprivation, pacing protect runners' muscles in 200-mile long mountain race
Runners who complete one of the world's most challenging ultra-marathons experience less neuromuscular fatigue, muscle damage and inflammation compared to those who run distances half to one quarter as long, according to the results of research published June 26 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Jonas Saugy and colleagues from the University of Lausanne, Switzerland.

Promising Alzheimer's 'drug' halts memory loss
A new class of experimental drug is showing great promise in preventing early memory loss in Alzheimer's disease.

Salmonella infection is a battle between good and bad bacteria in the gut
A new study in PLOS ONE that examined food poisoning infection as-it-happens in mice revealed harmful bacteria, such as a common type of Salmonella, takes over beneficial bacteria within the gut amid previously unseen changes to the gut environment.

First transiting planets in a star cluster discovered
All stars begin their lives in groups. Most stars are born in small groups that quickly fall apart.

Research shows Vitamin D levels drop after pediatric heart surgery, increasing sickness
Compelling evidence that children with congenital heart disease require even higher levels of Vitamin D intake in the months preceding surgery.

People prefer 'carrots' to 'sticks' when it comes to healthcare incentives
To keep costs low, companies often incentivize healthy lifestyles. Now, new research suggests that how these incentives are framed -- as benefits for healthy-weight people or penalties for overweight people -- makes a big difference.

Crabgrass' secret: The despised weed makes herbicide to kill neighboring plants
Contrary to popular belief, crabgrass does not thrive in lawns, gardens and farm fields by simply crowding out other plants. 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