Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 17, 2013
Deciphering butterflies' designer colors: Findings could inspire new hue-changing materials
A team of researchers in Hong Kong has uncovered how subtle differences in the tiny crystals of butterfly wings create stunningly varied patterns of color even among closely related species.

Danish survey evaluates the content of chemical contaminants in food
In general, Danes have no reason to worry about unwanted chemical compounds in the food they put on their table -- especially if they eat a varied diet.

Geosphere presents new studies on the nature and structure of North America and Taiwan
Eight new studies posted 26 June and 16 July add to Geosphere's cache of solid research on the nature and structure of North America.

Maize trade disruption could have global ramifications
Disruptions to US exports of maize could pose food security risks for many US trade partners due to the lack of trade among other producing and importing nations, says a Michigan State University study.

Bees under threat from disease-carrying bumblebee imports, research reveals
Stricter controls over bumblebee imports to the UK are urgently required to prevent diseases spreading to native bumblebees and honeybees, scientists have warned.

Personality may predict if you like spicy foods
Certain aspects of an individual's personality may be a determining factor in whether they like their food plain and bland or spicy and hot, according to research presented at the 2013 Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting & Food Expo.

Impossible material made by Uppsala University researchers
A novel material with world record breaking surface area and water adsorption abilities has been synthesized by researchers from Uppsala University, Sweden.

Outgoing people lead happier lives
Research from the University of Southampton has shown that young adults, who are more outgoing or more emotionally stable, are happier in later life than their more introverted or less emotionally stable peers.

Seafood still considered a good source of nutrients but consumers confused on safety
Seafood continues to be a proven strong nutrient-rich food providing essential vitamins, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids, but consumers and some toxicologists still keep a watchful eye on safety, according to a July 16 panel discussion at the 2013 Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting & Food Expo held at McCormick Place.

The Heart of Leonardo
Our contemporary understanding of the human heart and its workings is at the cutting edge of modern medical and biological research.

Accurate prognosis for epilepsy patients
Scientists at Bonn University Hospital and at the Max Planck Institute for neurological research in Cologne have developed a method with which the chances of success of a surgical procedure for temporal lobe epilepsy can be accurately predicted.

Mortality rates for emergency surgical admissions vary widely among hospitals in England
A new study reveals significant hospital-to-hospital variability in patient death rates following emergency surgical admissions in England.

Southern California crustacean sand-dwellers suffering localized extinctions
Two types of small beach critters -- both cousins of the beloved, backyard roly-poly -- are suffering localized extinctions in Southern California at an alarming rate, says a new study by UC Santa Barbara scientists.

Compound discovered at sea shows potency against anthrax
A team led by William Fenical at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego has discovered anthracimycin, a new chemical compound from an ocean microbe that could one day set the stage for new treatments for anthrax and other ailments such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

NASA sees Tropical Storm Cimaron pass between Taiwan and the Philippines
Tropical Depression 08W strengthened into a tropical storm and was renamed Cimaron by the morning of July 17.

UMMS scientists show proof-of-principal for silencing extra chromosome responsible for Down syndrome
Scientists at the University of Massachusetts Medical School are the first to establish that a naturally occurring X chromosome

Research to Prevent Blindness awards $5.3 million in grants to support eye research
Research to Prevent Blindness, the world's leading voluntary health organization supporting eye research, has awarded 43 grants totaling $5,308,000 for research into the causes, treatment, and prevention of all blinding diseases.

Compounds outsmart solid tumors' malfunctioning machinery
Molecular biologists in the School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio have found a novel way to fine-tune the activity of cells' protein-disposing machinery, with potentially cancer-fighting effects.

Birds and humans have similar brain wiring
It shows that humans and birds have brains that are wired in a similar way.

Protein responsible for 'bad' blood vessel growth discovered
The discovery of a protein that encourages blood vessel growth, and especially

The best defense against catastrophic storms: Mother Nature, say Stanford researchers
Stanford researchers say that natural habitats such as dunes and reefs are the best protection against storms and rising sea levels along the US coastline.

BPA + chlorine = bad news
The ubiquity of the endocrine-disrupting chemical bisphenol A led researchers to ask what it might be doing in publicly supplied, chlorinated drinking water.

Information in brain cells' electrical activity combines memory, environment, and state of mind
The information carried by the electrical activity of neurons is a mixture of stored memories, environmental circumstances, and current state of mind, scientists have found in a study of laboratory rats.

No benefit from oxytocin treatment for autism
The so-called trust hormone, oxytocin, may not improve the symptoms of children with autism, a UNSW-led study has found.

This only looks like the 405 freeway
UCLA mathematician creates video of a live fungus, with many millions of nuclei in a single cell.

Sex and BC East Asian teenagers
A new study by University of British Columbia researchers shows that although 90 percent of East Asian adolescents in British Columbia are not sexually active, those who are may engage in high-risk sexual behaviors.

'Intelligent knife' tells surgeon which tissue is cancerous
Scientists have developed an

Monkey nation: Study confirms wealth of primates in Tanzania
A five-year study by the Wildlife Conservation Society gives new hope to some of the world's most endangered primates by establishing a road-map to protect all 27 species in Tanzania -- the most primate-diverse country in mainland Africa.

Researchers reveal great white sharks' fuel for oceanic voyages: Liver oil
New research shows that great white sharks power their nonstop journeys of more than 2,500 miles with energy stored as fat and oil in their massive livers.

Pioneering student research program leads to international conference
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis will host scientists from around the world next week for the first-ever workshop devoted to Distributed Drug Discovery, an innovative, student-driven research program quickly becoming a high-impact, low-cost teaching model.

A new Anagnorisma moth species from the beautiful Binaloud Mountain Iran
Researchers described a new species of Noctuidae moth from Iran, which is the fifth described species of the genus Anagnorisma.

Newly discovered flux in the Earth may solve missing-mantle mystery
Researchers in MIT's Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences have identified a

NASA engineer achieves another milestone in emerging nanotechnology
A NASA engineer has achieved yet another milestone in his quest to advance an emerging super-black nanotechnology that promises to make spacecraft instruments more sensitive without enlarging their size.

Injectable 'smart sponge' holds promise for controlled drug delivery
Researchers have developed a drug delivery technique for diabetes treatment in which a sponge-like material surrounds an insulin core.

Uncovering a healthier remedy for chronic pain
Physicians and patients who are wary of addiction to pain medication and opioids may soon have a healthier and more natural alternative.

Cost of treating dizziness in the emergency room soars
A new Johns Hopkins research report says emergency room visits for severe dizziness have grown exponentially in recent years, with costs topping $3.9 billion in 2011 and projected to reach $4.4 billion by 2015.

Ironing out the origins of wrinkles, creases and folds
Engineers from Brown University have mapped out the amounts of compression required to cause wrinkles, creases, and folds to form in rubbery materials.

Among Indian immigrants, religious practice and obesity may be linked, study shows
A UCLA-led research team that examined the relationship between religious practices and obesity among Indian immigrants has found that religiosity in Hindus and Sikhs -- but not Muslims -- appears to be an independent factor associated with being overweight or obese.

Nano drug crosses blood-brain tumor barrier, targets brain-tumor cells and blood vessels
The blood-brain barrier protects the brain from poisons but also prevents drugs from reaching brain tumors.

New website will help farmers ensure hens maintain good feather cover
Hen pecking is a serious animal welfare concern and can cause great economic losses for the farmer and the egg-production industry as a whole.

Conflict threatens global nutrition progress, new report warns
Major progress in tackling child undernutrition in some of the world's toughest countries is under threat as military and security funding takes precedence, a new report from aid agency World Vision warns.

DFG to fund three new research units
The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft has approved the establishment of three new Research Units.

How rice twice became a crop and twice became a weed -- and what it means for the future
With the help of modern genetic technology and the resources of the International Rice GeneBank, which contains more than 112,000 different types of rice, evolutionary biologist Kenneth Olsen has been able to look back in time at the double domestication of rice (in Asia and in Africa) and its double

80 percent of Malaysian Borneo degraded by logging
A study published in the July 17, issue of the journal PLOS ONE found that more than 80 percent of tropical forests in Malaysian Borneo have been heavily impacted by logging.

Menopause symptoms worse in cancer survivors
Cancer survivors were twice as likely to experience severe menopausal symptoms compared to women who have not had cancer, a new Australian study has found.

Scripps Research Institute scientists find 3D structure of key drug target for diabetes
An international team led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute has determined and analyzed the three-dimensional atomic structure of the human glucagon receptor.

Willetts announces £85 million for 3 key technologies
Three key technologies, identified in the pre-budget statement by The Chancellor of the Exchequer as part of the government's

Empty decoys divert antibodies from neutralizing gene therapy in cell, animal studies
Gene therapy researchers have produced a bioengineered decoy that fools the immune system and prevents it from mistakenly defeating the benefits delivered by a corrective gene.

Ripped apart by a black hole
New observations from ESO's Very Large Telescope show for the first time a gas cloud being ripped apart by the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy.

A heart of gold
Dr. Tal Dvir of Tel Aviv University has integrated cardiac cells with nanofibers made of real gold particles to create functional engineered cardiac tissues.

VCU receives NIH grant to examine the biology of allergic disease
The National Institutes of Health has awarded Virginia Commonwealth University a grant totaling $1.8 million to study the biology of allergic disease -- work which may one day point researchers to the development of therapies to fight asthma, allergy and inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and heart disease.

Monitoring nutrient intake can help vegetarian athletes stay competitive
A balanced plant-based diet provides the same quality of fuel for athletes as a meat-based diet, provided vegetarians seek out other sources of certain nutrients that are more commonly found in animal products, according to a presentation at the 2013 Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting & Expo.

Epoetin alfa reduces anemia in breast cancer patients with no negative impact on survival
In patients with high-risk breast cancer, addition of the erythropoiesis-stimulating agent epoetin alfa to the chemotherapy regimen may help avoid the decrease in hemoglobin levels and resulting anemia often seen in these patients and does not negatively affect relapse-free or overall survival.

The key to ion beams' polarizability
Two German theoretical chemists, Volker Koch from Bielefeld University and Dirk Andrae from the Free University Berlin, have devised formulas providing the polarizability of atomic ions as a function of their total charge number.

Plant-eating dinosaurs replaced teeth often, carried spares
Some of the largest herbivorous dinosaurs replaced their teeth at a rate of approximately one tooth every 1-2 months to compensate for tooth wear from crunching up plants, according to research published July 17 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Michael D'Emic from Stony Brook University and colleagues from other institutions.

Bodychecking rules don't reduce concussions in elite hockey
Recent changes in hockey rules regulating contact to the head have not reduced the number of concussions suffered by players during National Hockey League season, according to research published July 17 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Michael Cusimano and colleagues from the Injury Prevention Research Office at St.

Keeping the reserve force home
Hematopoietic stem cells -- bone marrow-derived adult stem cells that give rise to the wide variety of specialized blood cells -- come in two flavors: the reserve force sits quietly waiting to be called upon while the active arm continually proliferates spawning billions of blood cells every day.

Splitting donated livers shown to be safe, allowing doctors to save 2 lives from single organ
Split liver transplantation carries no increased risk of failure in either recipient, allowing surgeons to safely save two lives from a single donated organ, according to new research from Boston Children's Hospital published online in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

Discovery of stone monument at El Perú-Waka' adds new chapter to ancient Maya history
Archaeologists tunneling beneath the main temple of the ancient Maya city of El Perú-Waka' in northern Guatemala have discovered an intricately carved stone monument with hieroglyphic text detailing the exploits of a little-known sixth-century princess whose progeny prevailed in a bloody, back-and-forth struggle between two of the civilization's most powerful royal dynasties.

Researchers target the Achilles' heel of bacteria behind hospital-associated infections
Kansas State University researchers are defeating persistent bacteria known for causing infections in hospitals.

Elastic electronics: Stretchable gold conductor grows its own wires
Networks of spherical nanoparticles embedded in elastic materials may make the best stretchy conductors yet, engineering researchers at the University of Michigan have discovered.

Big-nosed, long-horned dinosaur discovered in Utah
A remarkable new species of horned dinosaur has been unearthed in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, southern Utah.

Bert L. & N. Kuggie Vallee Foundation announces first recipients of its Young Investigator Awards
The Vallee Foundation announces the first recipients of its Young Investigator Awards.

Probiotic bacterium lessens severity of Salmonella infections by hoarding iron
UC Irvine microbiologists have learned how a probiotic bacterium used to treat irritable bowel syndrome can soothe gut bacterial infections caused by salmonella, paving the way for potential relief from foodborne illnesses that affect millions of people annually.

Cancer drug tested in pet dogs is now bound for human trials
Thanks to a new $2 million investment, a drug that spurs cancer cells to self-destruct while sparing healthy cells is on the road to human clinical trials.

Spectrum Health study first to identify heart attack-causing plaque in living patients
We may be closer to predicting who is at risk for a heart attack, according to a recently published Spectrum Health study.

Molecular switch controls the destiny of self-eating cells
In a new paper published in the journal Nature, researchers present a previously unknown mechanism that controls whether a cell survives autophagy, a process that can be compared to the cell consuming parts of itself.

TGen-TD2-Scottsdale Healthcare breast cancer pilot study shows value of proteomic mapping
The Side-Out Foundation's breast cancer pilot study, led by the Translational Genomics Research Institute, Translational Drug Development and Scottsdale Healthcare, has shown that cancer patients do better when their treatment is guided by molecular profiling.

Unattractive people more likely to be bullied at work, new Notre Dame study shows
It's common knowledge that high school can be a cruel environment where attractive students are considered

Anne Glover and Sir Michael Stratton to meet the press at The EMBO Meeting 2013 in Amsterdam
Predisposition to cancer and other diseases, genetic testing, infectious proteins and ubiquitin signalling -- these are some of the topics internationally renowned speakers will tackle at The EMBO Meeting 2013 to be held in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, from 21-24 September 2013.

The new frontier: Creating and marketing food products that prevent disease and obesity
Creating and promoting foods that contain natural inhibitors of unhealthy angiogenesis -- the formation of blood vessels that feed and promote disease, obesity and inflammation -- is the

Poor sleep in pregnancy can disrupt the immune system and cause birth-related complications
Poor sleep quality and quantity during pregnancy can disrupt normal immune processes and lead to lower birth weights and other complications, finds a University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine study published today in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine.

New way to target an old foe: Malaria
A team led by MIT researchers has now developed a way to grow liver tissue that can support the liver stage of the life cycle of the two most common species of malaria, Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax.

New technologies and ingredients provide better options for gluten-free eating
New technologies and ingredients are improving the taste, appearance and nutritional content of gluten-free food products, a market that is expected to grow to $6 billion by 2017, according to a presentation today at the 2013 Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting & Food Expo in Chicago.

Mutation linked to congenital urinary tract defects
Researchers have identified a genetic mutation that causes congenital malformations of the kidney and urinary tract, a common form of birth defect and the most common cause of kidney failure in children.

Gift creates Rosenberg Institute for Marine Biology and Environmental Science
San Francisco State University announced the creation of a new institute at the Romberg Tiburon Center (RTC), funded by Barbara and Richard Rosenberg.

Exercise, endurance sports increase arryhthmia and heart failure risk in carriers of ARVD/C mutation
A Johns Hopkins study finds that healthy people who carry a genetic mutation for arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia/cardiomyopathy are at much higher risk of developing the symptoms of the life-threatening heart disease if they participate in endurance sports and frequent exercise.

Earth's gold came from colliding dead stars
We value gold for many reasons: Its beauty, its usefulness as jewelry, and its rarity.

PFC exposure tied to altered thyroid function
Exposure to perfluorinated chemicals is linked to changes in thyroid function and may raise the risk of mild hypothyroidism in women, according to a recent study accepted for publication in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

NTU scientists hit the target
The search for new drugs, including those for cancer, is set to speed up thanks to a new research technique invented by scientists at the Nanyang Technological University, which could tell if drugs had reached their intended target.

Routine tasks pose problems for older individuals with vitamin D deficiency
Vitamin D-deficient older individuals are more likely to struggle with everyday tasks such as dressing or climbing stairs, according to a recent study accepted for publication in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Mountain Fire in California
A Mountain Fire in California began on July 15, 2013 near Palm Springs.

Cancer survivors have more frequent and severe menopausal hot flashes
Women who survive cancer have more frequent, severe, and troubling hot flashes than other women with menopausal symptoms, according to a study published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society.

Research to Prevent Blindness awards important laboratory grant to the University of Florida
Research to Prevent Blindness has awarded a prestigious, one-time laboratory grant of $600,000 to the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Florida, College of Medicine.

Royal Society -- EPSRC announce fellowships partnership
A new collaboration between the Royal Society and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council was announced today that will support early career Royal Society research fellows who are working within EPSRC's priority areas. 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