Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 03, 2013
New mechanism for human gene expression discovered
University of Chicago researchers have identified yet another layer of complexity to how genes are expressed, with their discovery of the first human

After millennia of mining, copper nowhere near 'peak'
New research shows that existing copper resources can sustain increasing world-wide demand for at least a century, meaning social and environmental concerns could be the most important restrictions on future copper production.

Gladstone scientists identify molecular switch that kick starts formation of arteries
Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes have identified the molecular signals that direct the formation of arteries during embryonic development.

Gateway for metastases
Activated blood platelets enable cancer cells to penetrate blood vessels.

COPING research findings launch
The COPING project represents one of the largest research efforts undertaken in understanding how children react and fare when a parent is imprisoned.

Tiny tweezers allow precision control of enzymes
Hao Yan and his colleagues at Arizona State University's Biodesign Institute describe a pair of tweezers shrunk down to an astonishingly tiny scale.

Moms often talk to children about the results of cancer genetic testing
Mothers commonly talk to their children about genetic test results even if they test positive for a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation, which sharply increases a woman's risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer.

Mobile at university -- Fit for life
Sojourning in a foreign country has positive effects on the personal development of young adults, for instance in terms of growing openness and emotional stability.

Clues about autism may come from the gut
In new research appearing in the journal PLOS ONE, a team led by Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown, a researcher at Arizona State University's Biodesign Institute, present the first comprehensive bacterial analysis focusing on commensal or beneficial bacteria in children with autism spectrum disorder.

People's diets show a sugar-fat seesaw
New research review shows why people find it hard to follow nutrition guidelines to cut their fat and sugars intake at the same time -- a phenomenon known as the sugar-fat seesaw.

Exercise reorganizes the brain to be more resilient to stress
A research team based at Princeton University found that physical activity reorganizes the brain so that its response to stress is reduced and anxiety is less likely to interfere with normal brain function.

IRCM scientists find a novel research model for the study of auto-immune diseases
A team of researchers at the IRCM, led by Dr.

Powerful animal tracking system helps research take flight
Call it a bird's eye view of migration. Scientists have created a new animal tracking system using a big data approach.

New knowledge about early galaxies
The early galaxies of the universe were very different from today's galaxies.

Elsevier selected to publish new journal: Travel Behaviour and Society
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, is pleased to announce it has been selected to publish the new journal of the Hong Kong Society for Transportation Studies, Travel Behaviour and Society.

Bacteria communicate to help each other resist antibiotics
New research from Western University (Canada) unravels a novel means of communication that allows bacteria such as Burkholderia cenocepacia (B. cenocepacia) to resist antibiotic treatment.

Antifreeze, cheap materials may lead to low-cost solar energy
A process combining some comparatively cheap materials and the same antifreeze that keeps an automobile radiator from freezing in cold weather may be the key to making solar cells that cost less and avoid toxic compounds, while further expanding the use of solar energy.

Lifesaving HIV treatment could reach millions more people following landmark study
Millions more people could get access to life-saving HIV drug therapy, following a landmark study led by Australian researchers based at the Kirby Institute at the University of New South Wales.

Shape-shifting disease proteins may explain variable appearance of neurodegenerative diseases
Neurodegenerative diseases are not all alike. Two individuals suffering from the same disease may experience very different age of onset, symptoms, severity, and constellation of impairments, as well as different rates of disease progression.

Violent video games don't always reduce subsequent helpfulness
Violent or antisocial video games like Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto do not reliably reduce helpful behaviors in players shortly after playing, according to research published July 3 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Morgan Tear and Mark Nielsen from the University of Queensland, Australia.

Study challenges long-held assumption of gene expression in embryonic stem cells
Whitehead Institute researchers have determined that the transcription factor Nanog, which plays a critical role in maintaining the self-renewal of embryonic stem cells, is expressed in a manner similar to other pluripotency markers.

Cancer-linked FAM190A gene found to regulate cell division
Johns Hopkins cancer scientists have discovered that a little-described gene known as FAM190A plays a subtle but critical role in regulating the normal cell division process known as mitosis, and the scientists' research suggests that mutations in the gene may contribute to commonly found chromosomal instability in cancer.

Altered protein shapes may explain differences in some brain diseases
It only takes one bad apple to spoil the bunch, and the same may be true of certain proteins in the brain.

Genetic signals reflect the evolutionary impact of cholera
An international research team has used a novel approach to identify genetic factors that appear to influence susceptibility to cholera.

UC research describes how Maya court -- and its occasionally exotic members -- tried to save society
As Maya society began to collapse, city-state rulers adapted the government to elevate the role of the royal court.

Forest fires near James Bay, Quebec
At present the forest fires plaguing the area near James Bay in Quebec are causing air quality problems in the area and as far away as Maine.

Military sonar can alter blue whale behavior
Some blue whales off the coast of California change their behavior when exposed to the sort of underwater sounds used during US military exercises.

Boston University study identifies molecular circuitry that helps tuberculosis survive for decades
- In a study from Boston University's National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories, researchers have generated a map of the cellular circuitry of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of human tuberculosis.

Johns Hopkins GI doctors use endoscopy to place transpyloric stent
Physicians at Johns Hopkins say they are encouraged by early results in three patients of their new treatment for gastroparesis, a condition marked by the failure of the stomach to properly empty its contents into the small intestine.

Great ape genetic diversity catalog frames primate evolution and future conservation
A catalog of great ape genetic diversity, the most comprehensive ever, elucidates the evolution and population histories of great apes from Africa and Indonesia.

Study reports on declines in ecosystem productivity fueled by nitrogen-induced species loss
Humans have been affecting their environment since the ancestors of Homo sapiens first walked upright, but never has their impact been more detrimental than in the 21st century.

Climate change deniers using dirty tricks from 'Tobacco Wars'
Fossil fuel companies have been funding smear campaigns that raise doubts about climate change, writes John Sauven in the latest issue of Index on Censorship magazine.

NASA satellite sees Dalila become a hurricane in Eastern Pacific
The tropical storm that has been hugging the southwestern coast of Mexico moved toward open ocean and strengthened into a hurricane on July 2.

Urine test can diagnose, predict kidney transplant rejection
Analysis of three biomarkers in the urine of kidney transplant recipients can diagnose -- and even predict -- transplant rejection, according to results from a clinical trial sponsored by NIAID.

Improved outlook for immune-based therapies
The idea of fighting infections and even cancers by inducing protective immune responses may now be a step closer to clinical practice.

Hot flashes take heavier toll on women with HIV
Women with HIV are living longer, so more are entering menopause.

Study confirms adding chemotherapy to surgery improves survival in advanced gastric cancer
At the meeting Prof Sung Hoon Noh, a gastric surgeon from Yonsei University College of Medicine, Korea, presented 5-year follow-up from the phase III CLASSIC trial, which added combination chemotherapy to a standard surgical procedure called D2 gastrectomy.

Evidence suggests Antarctic crabs could be native
A new study has cast doubt on the claim that crabs may have disappeared from Antarctica only to return due to warming seas.

Pediatric neurosurgeon honored for major contributions to epilepsy research
UCLA pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Gary Mathern was recently honored with the Ambassador for Epilepsy Award by the International Bureau for Epilepsy and the International League Against Epilepsy.

Urine biomarker test can diagnose as well as predict rejection of transplanted kidneys
A breakthrough non-invasive test can detect whether transplanted kidneys are in the process of being rejected, as well as identify patients at risk for rejection weeks to months before they show symptoms, according to a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

First supper is a life changer for lizards
For young lizards born into this unpredictable world, their very first meal can be a major life changer.

New book finds Gaia Hypothesis implausible
A new book presents the first detailed and comprehensive analysis of the famous Gaia Hypothesis, and finds it to be inconsistent with modern evidence.

Dodging antibiotic side effects
A team of scientists at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University has discovered why long-term treatment with many common antibiotics can cause harmful side effects -- and they have uncovered two easy strategies that could help prevent these dangerous responses.

New insights concerning the early bombardment history on Mercury
A team led by Dr. Simone Marchi, a Fellow of the NASA Lunar Science Institute located at the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) Boulder, Colo., office, collaborating with the MESSENGER team, including Dr.

News coverage of female politicians focuses on personality, males on the issues
With more and more women representing the 50 states on Capitol Hill every year, many have noted that female politicians are not given the same treatment as males in the media.

Computer programs improve fingerprint grading
Subjectivity is problematic when evaluating fingerprints, and quality is in the eye of the examiner.

Rotman professor named to the Order of Canada
David Beatty, an adjunct professor of strategic management, at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management has been named as a member of the Order of Canada.

New evidence suggests impulsive adolescents more likely to drink heavily
Scientists at the University of Liverpool have shown that young people who show impulsive tendencies are more prone to drinking heavily at an early age.

Biomarker predicts heart attack risk based on response to aspirin therapy
Aspirin has been widely used for more than 50 years as a common, inexpensive blood thinner for patients with heart disease and stroke, but doctors have little understanding of how it works and why some people benefit and others don't.

Newly developed medium may be useful for human health, biofuel production, more
Texas A&M University System scientists from the departments of nutrition and food science and poultry science have developed a new medium for the cultivation of beneficial microorganisms called lactobacilli.

First comprehensive regulatory map is a blueprint for how to defeat tuberculosis
Despite decades of research on the bacterium that causes tuberculosis (TB), scientists have not had a comprehensive understanding of how the bacterium is wired to adapt to changing conditions in the host.

Reaxys announces winners of the 2013 Reaxys Ph.D. Prize
Reaxys®, a unique workflow solution for chemistry research, has today announced the winners of the 2013 Reaxys Ph.D.

Semantics on the basis of words' connectivity
Two Brazilian physicists have now devised a method to automatically elucidate the meaning of words with several senses, based solely on their patterns of connectivity with nearby words in a given sentence -- and not on semantics.

DNA markers in low-IQ autism suggest heredity
Researchers who compared the DNA of patients with autism and intellectual disability to that of their unaffected siblings found that the affected siblings had significantly more

Grassland fencing threatens the survival of wild ungulates
Area of grassland accounted for about a quarter of land area of China, where use to be the pastoral area.

Genetic factors shaping salamander tails determine regeneration pace
Researchers have found that salamanders' capacity to regrow a cut tail depends on several small regions of DNA in their genome that impact how wide the tail grows.

Cockatoos 'pick' puzzle box locks
A species of Indonesian parrot can solve complex mechanical problems that involve undoing a series of locks one after another, revealing new depths to physical intelligence in birds.

Single men, smokers at higher risk for oral human papillomavirus infection, Moffitt study shows
Smokers and single men are more likely to acquire cancer-causing oral human papillomavirus (HPV), according to new results from the HPV Infection in Men Study.

Discovered the role of noncoding 5S rRNA in protecting the p53 tumor suppressor gene
Researchers of the Cancer Metabolism group at the IDIBELL and the University of Cincinnati, led by George Thomas, have discovered a role for ribosomal 5S RNA in the formation of a complex that regulates the stability of p53.

Knowing the end goal increases productivity
A new study from Aarhus University provides insights about how science can help us to become more cooperative and productive -- in private life, administration, business and industrial production.

Fossil insect traces reveal ancient climate, entrapment, and fossilization at La Brea Tar Pits
The La Brea Tar Pits have stirred the imaginations of scientists and the public for over a century.

UF researcher shows hawkmoths use ultrasound to combat bats
For years, pilots flying into combat have jammed enemy radar to get the drop on their opponents.

Scientists identify genetic cause of 'spongy' skin condition
Scientists have identified the genetic cause of a rare skin condition that causes the hands and feet to turn white and spongy when exposed to water.

New approaches to understanding infection may uncover novel therapies against influenza
The influenza virus' ability to mutate quickly has produced new, emerging strains that make drug discovery more critical than ever.

Remarkable 32 new wasp species from the distinctive Odontacolus and Cyphacolus genera
Scientists have described a remarkable 32 new Odontacolus and Cyphacolus wasp species, providing extensive morphological phylogenetic analysis of these previously understudied genera.

Maintaining immune balance involves an unconventional mechanism of T cell regulation
New findings from St. Jude Children's Research Hospital reveal an unconventional control mechanism involved in the production of specialized T cells that play a critical role in maintaining immune system balance.

Thin-film diamonds
A team of researchers at Advanced Diamond Technologies, Inc., in Illinois report a new method for creating thin films of diamonds in the journal Applied Physics Letters.

Reproductive BioMedicine Online publishes study on assisted reproduction
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, today announced the publication of a recent retrospective study in Reproductive BioMedicine Online to better understand treatment considerations and outcomes for same-sex male couples and single men when using assisted reproduction treatment.

Does being a bookworm boost your brainpower in old age?
New research suggests that reading books, writing and participating in brain-stimulating activities at any age may preserve memory.

Evolution's toolkit seen in developing hands and arms
Thousands of sequences that control genes are active in the developing human limb and may have driven the evolution of the human hand and foot, a comparative genomics study led by Yale School of Medicine researchers has found.

Scientists identify gene that controls aggressiveness in breast cancer cells
Whitehead Institute researchers have determined that in basal breast cancer cells a transcription factor known as ZEB1 is held in a poised state, ready to increase the cells' aggressiveness and enable them to transform into cancer stem cells capable of seeding new tumors throughout the body.

Study of mitochondrial DNA ties ancient remains to living descendants
Researchers report that they have found a direct genetic link between the remains of Native Americans who lived thousands of years ago and their living descendants.

Research team improves immunization strategies for dengue fever in Thailand
Results have implications for designing more effective vaccine studies, says UMass Amherst biostatistician Nicholas Reich, who led the team.

Older women who quit smoking can cut heart disease risk regardless of diabetes status
Postmenopausal women who quit smoking reduced their risk of heart disease, regardless of whether they had diabetes, according to a study in JAMA.

IOF 4th Asia-Pacific Osteoporosis Meeting is influential forum for regional bone research
The IOF Regionals 4th Asia-Pacific Osteoporosis Congress in Hong Kong from December 12-15, 2013 is expected to attract a record 1500 specialists and clinicians.

Gasification method turns forest residues to biofuel with less than a euro per liter
According to the new research results of the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, lignocellulosic biomass can be used in the production of high-quality biofuels for the price of less than one euro per liter.

EULAR issues updated rheumatoid arthritis management recommendations
The European League Against Rheumatism has released updated recommendations for the management of RA.

Study finds both cousin marriage and older mothers double risk of birth defects
Marriage between first cousins can more than double the risk of giving birth to a baby with a congenital anomaly (eg, heart and lung defects, Down syndrome), although the absolute risk is low, according to a multiethnic study of more than 11300 babies from the city of Bradford in the UK, published in The Lancet.

Immune-boosting colorectal cancer drug shows promise
The findings confirm the biological action of the drug called MGN1703 and suggest it may be possible to identify which gastrointestinal cancer patients will benefit most from the treatment, reported Prof Hans-Joachim Schmoll from Martin Luther University, Halle, Germany.

Homicide by mentally ill falls, but patient suicide rises in England
The number of people killed by mental health patients has fallen to its lowest level in a decade -- figures released today show.

New Catalyst replaceable platinum for electric-automobiles
Korean researchers from Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, S.

Animal master-burglars: Cockatoos show technical intelligence on a 5-lock problem
An international team of scientists around Alice Auersperg from the Department of Cognitive Biology of the University of Vienna has shown that members of an Indonesian parrot species, the Goffin Cockatoo, can solve a complex mechanical five-step problem and so retrieve a nut from a puzzle box.

Archaeologists unearth carved head of Roman god in ancient rubbish dump
An 1,800-year-old carved stone head of what is believed to be a Roman god has been unearthed in an ancient rubbish dump in Northern England.

Epigenetic changes to fat cells following exercise
Exercise, even in small doses, changes the expression of our innate DNA.

Tweet timing tells bots, people and companies apart
Tweet timing can differentiate individual, corporate and bot-controlled Twitter accounts independent of the language or content of a tweet, according to research published July 3 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Aldo Faisal and Gabriela Tavares from Imperial College London, UK.

New papers identify a microRNA that drives both cancer onset and metastasis
A mere 25 years ago, noncoding RNAs were considered nothing more than

Researcher warns banned fountain of youth drug may be making a comeback
Despite it being more than 30 years since the

EARTH: The energy-water nexus: Managing water in an energy-constrained world
Of all the water on Earth, less than 3 percent is available for human use, and as climates change and populations boom, the strategies used to extract it will become increasingly complex.

BGI and Association of Czech genetic centers announce opening of a joint prenatal test facility
BGI Health and Association of Czech genetic centers announce the opening of a joint prenatal test facility. 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