Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 25, 2013
Miriam researcher helps develop global hepatitis C recommendations for injection-drug users
Dr. Lynn Taylor from The Miriam Hospital in Providence, RI was the only US researcher invited to join an expert panel to develop the first international recommendations for treating hepatitis C in people who inject drugs.

Medical illustrator wins Elsevier's Netter art contest
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, today announced the winner of the first Netter Atlas Medical Illustration Contest.

NASA probes detect 'smoking gun' to solve radiation belt mystery
Space scientists have discovered a massive particle accelerator in the heart of one of the harshest regions of near-Earth space, a region of super-energetic, charged particles surrounding the globe called the Van Allen radiation belts.

NASA mission involving CU discovers particle accelerator in heart of Van Allen radiation belts
Using data from a NASA satellite, a team of scientists led by the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and involving the University of Colorado Boulder have discovered a massive particle accelerator in the heart of one of the harshest regions of near-Earth space, a region of super-energetic, charged particles surrounding the globe known as the Van Allen radiation belts.

Rensselaer scientist Susan Gilbert awarded $2 million NIH MERIT Award
Susan Gilbert, professor and head of the Department of Biology at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, has been awarded a National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council National Institutes of Health Method to Extend Research in Time Award, a recognition of the high quality of her research contributions over time.

Bad night's sleep? The moon could be to blame
Many people complain about poor sleep around the full moon, and now a report appearing in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication, on July 25 offers some of the first convincing scientific evidence to suggest that this really is true.

Key target responsible for triggering detrimental effects in brain trauma identified
Researchers studying a type of cell found in the trillions in our brain have made an important discovery as to how it responds to brain injury and disease such as stroke.

High-school course on smoking behavior research wins Science magazine prize
By engaging students in the real practice of science, Munn and her colleagues at the University of Washington have been selected to win the Science Prize for Inquiry-Based Instruction.

Scientists model 'extraordinary' performance of Bolt
As the world's best athletes descend on London today to take part in the Olympic Anniversary Games, a group of researchers from Mexico has provided an insight into the physics of one of the greatest athletic performances of all time.

Over 90 percent of dementia cases in China are undetected
An international team of researchers has found that over 90 percent of dementia cases in China go undetected, with a high level of undiagnosed dementia in rural areas.

NASA's Hubble: Galaxies, comets, and stars! Oh my!
Approaching the sun, Comet ISON floats against a seemingly infinite backdrop of numerous galaxies and a handful of foreground stars.

New nuclear fuel-rod cladding could lead to safer power plants
A substitute for traditional zircaloy could greatly reduce the danger of hydrogen explosions.

Watching catalysts at work -- at the atomic scale
Developing materials with novel catalytic properties is one of the most important tasks in energy research.

Princeton release: Princeton researcher digs into the contested peanut-allergy epidemic
The path of the peanut from a snack staple to the object of bans at schools, day care centers and beyond offers important insights into how and why a rare, life-threatening food allergy can prompt far-reaching societal change, according to a Princeton University researcher.

Suffocating tumors could lead to new cancer drugs
Scientists have discovered a new molecule that prevents cancer cells from responding and surviving when starved of oxygen and which could be developed into new treatments for the disease, according to new research published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society today.

Study shows supplement with omega fatty acids promising for 30 million dry eye sufferers
Study findings published online, ahead of print, in Cornea show that daily dietary supplementation with a unique combination of omega fatty acids (GLA, EPA and DHA) for six months is effective in improving ocular irritation symptoms and halting the progression of inflammation that characterizes moderate to severe dry eye.

Van Allen Probes pinpoint driver of speeding electrons
Researchers believe they have solved a lingering mystery about how electrons within Earth's radiation belt can suddenly become energetic enough to kill orbiting satellites.

Ghost glaciers and cosmic trips: New GSA Bulletin postings for July 2013
July 2013 GSA Bulletin postings cover the solid Earth's influence on the sea; the diverging geologic histories of the North America Cordillera;

Certain blood pressure drugs slow dementia deterioration
A class of drug, called ACE inhibitors, which are used to lower blood pressure, slow the rate of cognitive decline typical of dementia, suggests research published in the online journal BMJ Open.

Notre Dame researchers develop system that uses a big data approach to personalized healthcare
University of Notre Dame researchers have developed a computer-aided method that uses electronic medical records to offer the promise of rapid advances toward personalized health care, disease management and wellness.

Trust in leaders, sense of belonging stir people to safeguard common goods, analysis shows
Charitable contributions are at historical lows, fossil fuel reserves are shrinking, and climate change threatens the future of our planet.

Extinct ancient ape did not walk like a human, study shows
UT anthropologists find Miocene ape was physically incapable of walking habitually on two legs.

Rapamycin: Limited anti-aging effects
The drug rapamycin is known to increase lifespan in mice.

Global warming to cut snow water storage 56 percent in Oregon watershed
A new report projects that by the middle of this century there will be an average 56 percent drop in the amount of water stored in peak snowpack in the McKenzie River watershed of the Oregon Cascade Range -- and that similar impacts may be found on low-elevation maritime snow packs around the world.

Broad-scale genome tinkering with help of an RNA guide
Duke researchers have devised a way to quickly and easily target and tinker with any gene in the human genome.

Managing waters shared across national boundaries: Treasury of papers helps capture 20 years of lessons
A treasury of new articles capture expert advice and lessons learned through $7 billion in projects over 20 years involving waters shared across national boundaries.

MIIR scientist awarded $293,000 NIH grant
Dr. Jingwei Xie, a senior scientist at the Marshall Institute for Interdisciplinary Research, has been awarded a $293,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to lead a project to develop a technique that may improve surgical repair of rotator cuff injuries.

Need for national Canadian strategy for EGFR testing
Researchers in Canada examined the barriers to the initial implementation of the national EGFR testing policy.

Adenosine therapy reduces seizures and progression of epilepsy
In this issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Detlev Boison and colleagues at Legacy Research show an increase of DNA methylation in the hippocampi of epileptic animals.

Boston Children's researchers observe new mechanism for diabetes resolution
Though existing research has shown gastric bypass surgery resolves type 2 diabetes, the reason has remained unclear.

Bad sleep around full moon is no longer a myth
Many people complain about poor sleep around full moon. Scientists at the University of Basel in Switzerland now report evidence that lunar cycles and human sleep behavior are in fact connected.

Microbial who-done-it for biofuels
A multi-institutional collaboration led by researchers with the Joint BioEnergy Institute and Joint Genome Institute has developed a promising technique for identifying microbial enzymes that can effectively deconstruct biomass into fuel sugars under refinery processing conditions.

Should a woman's ovaries be removed during a hysterectomy for noncancerous disease?
Other than a woman's cancer risk, the most important factor that should determine ovarian conservation vs. removal is her age -- whether she is older or younger than 50 -- according to a Review article published in Journal of Women's Health.

NASA's IRIS telescope offers first glimpse of sun's mysterious atmosphere
As the telescope door opened on July 17, 2013, IRIS's single instrument began to observe the sun in exceptional detail.

Researchers find potential new target to treat malignant pleural mesothelioma
In the September issue of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer's journal, the Journal of Thoracic Oncology, researchers conclude that Ephrin B2 seems to play an important role in malignant pleural mesothelioma cell lines and tumors.

NASA's Van Allen Probes discover particle accelerator in the heart of Earth's radiation belts
New results from NASA's Van Allen Probes now show that the acceleration energy comes from within the belts themselves.

Scientists ID compounds that target amyloid fibrils in Alzheimer's, other brain diseases
UCLA scientists report an advance toward

The limits to galactic growth
In the system NGC 253, astronomers observe outflows of matter curtailing the birth of stars.

Frequent and longer patient-doctor contact key to dialysis patients' health
The frequency and duration of patient-doctor contact during dialysis care vary appreciably across countries.

Bacterial blockade
Harvard researchers have identified a pair of genes which appear to be responsible for allowing a specific strain of bacteria in the human gut to break down Lanoxin -- a widely prescribed cardiac drug -- into an inactive compound, as well as a possible way to turn the process off.

Honey bee gene targeting offers system to understand food-related behavior
On July 25th JoVE, the Journal of Visualized Experiments will publish a new technique that will help scientists better understand the genes that govern food-related behavior in honey bees.

Nature: Elementary physics in a single molecule
A team of physicists has succeeded in performing an extraordinary experiment: They demonstrated how magnetism that generally manifests itself by a force between two magnetized objects acts within a single molecule.

What if quantum physics worked on a macroscopic level?
Quantum physics concerns a world of infinitely small things. But for years, researchers from the University of Geneva, Switzerland, have been attempting to observe the properties of quantum physics on a larger scale, even macroscopic.

Scientists identify key fungal species that help explain mysteries of white nose syndrome
US Forest Service researchers have identified what may be a key to unraveling some of the mysteries of White Nose Syndrome: The closest known non-disease causing relatives of the fungus that causes WNS.

Twitter predicted to become a big TV screen
New research from scholars at Columbia Business School and the University of Pittsburgh predicts that Twitter will become much like TV.

U-M study of veterans finds links between outdoor activities, improved mental health
Veterans participating in extended outdoor group recreation show signs of improved mental health, suggesting a link between the activities and long-term psychological well-being, according to results of a new University of Michigan study.

Cancer researchers PTEN discovery provides knowledge to individualize treatment
Scientists at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre have discovered a function of the tumor suppressor gene PTEN that helps explain why certain promising therapies fail in many cancer patients, a finding that could aid in delivering tailored, personalized cancer medicine based on an individual's genetics.

American Chemical Society launches 2013 edition of popular Prized Science video series
Developing ways to treat cancer patients with drugs that kill only cancer cells and that have fewer side effects is one of the topics in the premiere segment of the 2013 season of a popular video series from the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society.

Pigeons fly home with a map in their heads
It is a fascinating phenomenon that homing pigeons always find their way home.

NASA puts Tropical Storm Dorian in the infrared spotlight
The newest tropical storm to form in the Atlantic was put in NASA's

Cincinnati Children's finds higher than expected numbers of pressure ulcers in children
A new study has uncovered a problem in pediatrics thought to be a major issue only in adult medicine: pressure ulcers.

Silky brain implants may help stop spread of epilepsy
Silk has walked straight off the runway and into the lab.

Deciphering the air-sea communication
A German-Russian research team has investigated the role of heat exchange between ocean and atmosphere in long-term climate variability in the Atlantic.

Educators explore innovative 'theater' as a way to help students learn physics
By physically acting out the flow of energy, students develop an intuitive understanding of challenging science concepts.

CMU's Kathryn Roeder to receive Outstanding Achievement by a Woman in Statistical Sciences award
Carnegie Mellon University's Kathryn Roeder has been chosen to receive the Janet L.

UI researchers help answer long-standing question about Van Allen radiation belts
Two University of Iowa researchers and their colleagues have advanced scientists' knowledge of the Earth's Van Allen radiation belts by answering a long-standing question about the belts by finding that electron acceleration takes place in the heart of the radiation belts.

JCI early table of contents for July 25, 2013
The following release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, July 25, 2013, in the JCI:

Salk scientist discovers novel mechanism in spinal cord injury
More than 11,000 Americans suffer spinal cord injuries each year, and since over a quarter of those injuries are due to falls, the number is likely to rise as the population ages.

Montana scientists discover surprising importance of 'I Love Q' for understanding neutron stars
Two Montana State University astrophysicists have discovered why scientists can learn a tremendous amount about neutron stars and quark stars without knowing the details of their internal structure.

Fires in Northern Territory Australia
On July 23 the Aqua satellite flew over the region, allowing the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument flying aboard to capture this true-color image of the winter's fires.

Bipolar disorder takes different path in patients who binge eat, study suggests
Bipolar disorder evolves differently in patients who also binge eat, a study by Mayo Clinic, the Lindner Center of HOPE and the University of Minnesota found.

IDRI and Zydus sign agreement for development of IDRI's vaccine candidate for visceral leishmaniasis
In a unique partnership, Zydus, India's fourth largest healthcare group and an innovation-led global healthcare provider, and IDRI, a Seattle-based non-profit research and product development organization, announced today they are collaborating on the production and clinical development of IDRI's visceral leishmaniasis vaccine candidate, designed to prevent the deadly parasitic disease.

Computer can infer rules of the forest
Cornell researchers have devised a computer algorithm that takes intermittent samples -- for example, the number of prey and predating species in a forest once a year, or the concentration of different species in a chemical bath once an hour -- and infer the likely reactions that led to that result.

Technology/equipment issues account for almost 1 in 4 operating room errors
Around a quarter of all operating room errors are caused by technology/equipment problems, indicates an analysis of the available evidence, published online in BMJ Quality & Safety.

Flow restrictors may reduce young children's accidental ingestion of liquid medications
Over 500,000 calls are made to poison control centers each year after accidental ingestion of medications by young children, and the number of emergency department visits for unsupervised medication ingestions is rising.

Fullest clinical report of Saudi MERS points to important differences with SARS cases to date
Saudi and UK scientists provide the most detailed picture yet of the clinical and laboratory characteristics of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus, revealing a wide range of clinical symptoms and an extremely high death rate among patients with co-existing medical conditions.

A molecular chaperon prevents antibiotic associated hearing loss
In this issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Lisa Cunningham and colleagues at the National Institutes of Health investigate the mechanism underlying the protective effect of HSP70 on antibiotic induced hair cell loss.

UI researchers help answer long-standing question about Van Allen radiation belts
University of Iowa researchers and their colleagues have found that the energy in the Earth's Van Allen radiation belts originate within the belts themselves, from accelerating electrons.

Behavior of turbulent flow of superfluids is opposite that of ordinary fluids
A superfluid moves like a completely frictionless liquid, seemingly able to propel itself without any hindrance from gravity or surface tension.

A lifespan-extending drug has limited effects on aging
In the current issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Dan Ehninger and colleagues at the German Center for Neurodegenrative Diseases evaluated age-associated characteristics in mice treated with rapamycin.

UCSB study reveals mechanism behind squids' and octopuses' ability to change color
Color in living organisms can be formed two ways: Pigmentation or anatomical structure.

Effect of obesity on patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer
Obesity increases health risks for many things. Researchers wanted to know the impact of obesity on outcomes of patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer.

NIH researchers discover how brain cells change their tune
NIH researchers may have answered a long-standing, fundamental question about how brain cells communicate by showing that brief bursts of chemical energy coming from rapidly moving power plants, called mitochondria, may tune synaptic transmission.

Sherlock Homes inspired real life CSI
Two of literature's most famous detectives had a major influence on the development of the modern crime scene investigation, according to a historian from The University of Manchester.

Springer launches new society journal on health disparities
Springer has entered into an agreement with the W. Montague Cobb/National Medical Association Health Institute to publish the Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities.

Cinderellas reign in Final Four ratings
Research shows that Cinderella teams boost Final Four ratings by 35 percent - 3 million more homes in a semifinal and 4.5 million in a title game.

Secret of plant geometry revealed
Researchers at the University of Leeds have discovered how plants set the angles of their branches relative to gravity.

Captured: Mysterious oyster killers
University of British Columbia researchers have apprehended tiny, elusive parasites that have plagued oysters from British Columbia to California.

NIH study uncovers a starring role for supporting cells in the inner ear
Researchers have found in mice that supporting cells in the inner ear, once thought to serve only a structural role, can actively help repair damaged sensory hair cells, the functional cells that turn vibrations into the electrical signals that the brain recognizes as sound.

U of T report says 3.9 million Canadians struggle to afford food
A new report by researchers at the University of Toronto shows that almost four million Canadians are struggling to put the food they need on the table because of food insecurity.

False memories incepted into mouse brain shed light on neural basis of human phenomenon
Researchers at the RIKEN-MIT Center for Neural Circuit Genetics and MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory have implanted false memories into mice, potentially illuminating the mechanisms underlying the human phenomenon of

Analysis of 26 networked autism genes suggests functional role in the cerebellum
A team of scientists has obtained intriguing insights into two groups of autism candidate genes in the mammalian brain that new evidence suggests are functionally and spatially related.

Researchers get better metrics on laser potential of key material
Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed more accurate measurements of how efficiently a polymer called MEH-PPV amplifies light, which should advance efforts to develop a new generation of lasers and photonic devices.

Epilepsy in a dish: Stem cell research reveals clues to disease's origins and possible treatment
A new stem cell-based approach to studying epilepsy has yielded a surprising discovery about what causes one form of the disease, and may help in the search for better medicines to treat all kinds of seizure disorders.

Obese kidney failure patients receive survival benefit from transplantation
Most obese individuals with kidney failure can prolong their lives by receiving a kidney transplant, although this survival benefit is lower in severely obese individuals.

Study explains Pacific equatorial cold water region
A new study published this week in the journal Nature reveals for the first time how the mixing of cold, deep waters from below can change sea surface temperatures on seasonal and longer timescales.

World changing technology enables crops to take nitrogen from the air
A major new technology has been developed by The University of Nottingham, which enables all of the world's crops to take nitrogen from the air rather than expensive and environmentally damaging fertilizers.

MIT neuroscientists show ability to plant false memories
MIT study pinpoints where the brain stores memory traces, both false and authentic.

NASA's infrared data shows Tropical Storm Flossie's strength
Tropical Storm Flossie formed in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and strengthened quickly on July 25.

Women's height linked to cancer risk
The taller a postmenopausal woman is, the greater her risk for developing cancer, according to a study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

A faster vessel for charting the brain
Princeton University researchers have created

Delay in seeking stroke care costs women best treatment
In the Netherlands, women with strokes caused by blood clots were less likely than men to get to the hospital in time to receive the best treatment.

New Sackler Institute and Chair for Translational Neurodevelopment at King's College London
King's College London has received a transformative gift from the Dr.

18th century specimen reveals new South African weevil genus
An old specimen collected probably between 1772 and 1775 has been found to belong to an unknown, relict South African genus of weevils (snout beetles).

Spain honors Valentin Fuster, M.D., Ph.D., of The Mount Sinai Medical Center
World-renowned cardiologist Valentin Fuster, M.D., Ph.D., Director of Mount Sinai Heart and Physician-in-Chief at The Mount Sinai Medical Center, is the recipient of the 2013 Camino Real Award by the Research Institute of North American Studies

International research network for the digital humanities
Digital Scholarly Editions Initial Training Network, a research network funded by the European Commission, has been initiated at the University of Cologne. 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