Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 08, 2013
Scientific breakthrough reveals how vitamin B12 is made
A scientific breakthrough by researchers at the University of Kent has revealed how vitamin B12/antipernicious anemia factor is made -- a challenge often referred to as

National Chiao-Tung University names NYU-Poly's Spencer Szu-pin Kuo a distinguished alumnus
Spencer Szu-pin Kuo, a professor of electrical engineering at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University and noted researcher in microwave plasma interactions, has been named a distinguished alumnus of National Chiao-Tung University, Taiwan, R.O.C.

New NASA mission to help us learn how to mine asteroids
Over the last hundred years, the human population has exploded from about 1.5 billion to more than seven billion, driving an ever-increasing demand for resources.

California Health Interview Survey releases new 2011-12 data on health of Californians
New data based on interviews with approximately 45,000 households in California were released today by the California Health Interview Survey, which is conducted by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.

Atomic insights into plant growth
Researchers from Tübingen resolve how a plant steroid hormone makes plants grow.

Poised for discovery: Gemini's much-anticipated infrared instrument goes on-sky
Gemini Observatory's latest instrument, a powerful infrared camera and spectrograph at Gemini South, reveals its potential in a series of striking on-sky commissioning images released today.

Motor outcomes of patients with a complete middle cerebral artery territory infarct
Professor Sung Ho Jang and colleagues from College of Medicine, Yeungnam University investigated 23 patients with a complete middle cerebral artery territory infarct subjected to comprehensive rehabilitative management, including movement therapy and neuromuscular electrical stimulation of the affected finger extensors and ankle dorsiflexors, for more than three months.

JILA researchers discover atomic clock can simulate quantum magnetism
Researchers at JILA have for the first time used an atomic clock as a quantum simulator, mimicking the behavior of a different, more complex quantum system.

Virtual control room helps nuclear operators, industry
The Human System Simulation Lab at Idaho National Laboratory is a full-scale virtual nuclear control room that can test the safety and reliability of proposed technology replacements before they are implemented in commercial nuclear control rooms.

Scientists devise innovative method to profile and predict the behavior of proteins
A team of researchers has found a way to map an enzyme's underlying molecular machinery, revealing patterns that could allow them to predict how an enzyme behaves -- and what happens when this process disrupted.

Telemedicine consultations significantly improve pediatric care in rural emergency rooms
Telemedicine consultations with pediatric critical-care medicine physicians significantly improve the quality of care for seriously ill and injured children treated in remote rural emergency rooms, where pediatricians and pediatric specialists are scarce, a study by researchers at UC Davis Children's Hospital has found.

NYU Nursing awarded scholarships through RWJF NCIN Program
The NCIN Scholarship Program was launched in 2008 by RWJF and the AACN to expand enrollment in accelerated degree programs in schools of nursing while increasing diversity in the nursing workforce.

Neurocognitive testing more accurate than self-reporting of cheerleaders' concussion recovery
In sports, cheerleading has the highest rate of catastrophic injury, with some studies reporting approximately six percent of total injuries as concussions.

Kids born small should get moving
Female mice who were growth restricted in the womb were born at a lower birth weight, but were less active and prone to obesity as adults, said researchers from Baylor College of Medicine and the USDA/ARS Children's Nutrition Research Center at BCM and Texas Children's Hospital in a report that appears online in the International Journal of Obesity.

A path to better MTV-MOFs
A team of Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley researchers have developed a method for accurately predicting the ability of MTV-MOFs (multivariate metal organic frameworks) to scrub carbon dioxide from the exhaust gases of fossil fuel power plants.

Terahertz technology fights fashion fraud
Scientists from the National Physical Laboratory have published research that demonstrates how a technique called terahertz time-domain spectroscopy could be used to help spot fakes and combat textile counterfeiting.

Study reveals role of 'peacekeeper' in the gut
A new study has shone a spotlight on the peacekeeping mechanisms in our intestines.

F1000Prime and Public Library of Science collaborating on article-level metrics
Faculty of 1000's F1000Prime article recommendation service has partnered with Public Library of Science to provide enhanced information to researchers on the impact of their published articles.

FASEB announces BioArt image and video competition winners
The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology is proud to announce the winners of its second annual BioArt competition.

Increase in woodpecker populations linked to feasting on emerald ash borer
In a study published this week in the journal Biological Invasions, US Forest Service entomologist Andrew Liebhold and Cornell University scientist Walter Koenig and others document how an EAB invasion fueled a population boom for four species of birds in the Detroit area.

Nutritional values established in 3 new, high-energy protein ingredients fed to weanling pigs
The use of soybean meal in diets fed to weanling pigs is limited due to the presence of anti-nutritional factors that young pigs can't tolerate.

Use digital signal processing engineering to prevent a flash crash, says NJIT prof
NJIT Professor Ali Akansu, Ph.D., wants to prevent another flash crash on Wall Street.

Study suggests way to fight therapy resistant leukemia by blocking DNA repair
New research posted online by the Nature journal Leukemia suggests blocking part of a DNA repair complex that helps some types of leukemia resist treatment can increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy and enhance survival.

New technology to guide people through healthcare decisions
The goal of a two-year, $460,000 National Institute of Nursing Research-supported project at Case Western Reserve University's school of nursing is to develop and test an avatar-based decision technology, called Electronic Surrogate Decision Maker Resources and Tailored Training.

Investigational malaria vaccine found safe and protective
An investigational malaria vaccine has been found to be safe, to generate an immune system response, and to offer protection against malaria infection in healthy adults, according to the results of an early-stage clinical trial published Aug.

Genetic analysis reveals historic demographic change that shaped today's population in India
India experienced a demographic transformation several thousand years ago, from a region in which mixture between highly different populations was common to one in which mixture even between closely related groups became rare.

Latino genomes point way to hidden DNA
Researchers have discovered the hiding place of 20 million base pairs of human genome sequence, finding a home for 10 percent of the DNA that is thought to be missing from the standard reference map of the human genome.

How to achieve a well-balanced gut
Creating an environment that nurtures the trillions of beneficial microbes in our gut and, at the same time, protects us against invasion by food-borne pathogens is a challenge.

NYU Nursing receives a $1.5M NEPQR grant from HRSA
This grant reflects a practice/education partnership between the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing, the NYU College of Nursing, the NYU Silver School of Social Work, the Touro College of Pharmacy, and the Visiting Nurse Service of New York.

Immigration bill offers big economic boost but no major health benefits
A landmark immigration bill passed by the Senate would create new pathways to citizenship and provide a much-needed boost to the US economy but would do little to ease immigration-related disparities in health care, according to a new report from the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services.

£125k additional funding to help develop innovations that shift UK electricity use to off peak times
Climate-KIC, Europe's largest public-private innovation partnership working to address the challenge of climate change, has awarded more than £125,000 through the Climate Market Accelerator program to a project aimed at shifting electricity usage towards renewable energy at off-peak times.

Game on: Tobacco-Free Teens app goes live on iTunes
An app to prevent teens from smoking and encourage them to quit if they've started is now just a few taps away and available free on the Apple iTunes Store.

Signs of MERS coronavirus found in dromedary camels
Researchers searching for signs of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in livestock animals have found antibodies specific to the new virus in dromedary camels.

Hubble Space Telescope finds source of Magellanic Stream
Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have solved a 40-year mystery on the origin of the Magellanic Stream, a long ribbon of gas stretching nearly halfway around our Milky Way galaxy.

Typical protein profile of tumor cells decoded
How does an ordinary somatic cell become cancerous? What are the distinct characteristics of tumor cells that make them divide uncontrollably?

Molecules form 2-D patterns never before observed
Tessellation patterns that have fascinated mathematicians since Kepler worked out their systematics 400 years ago -- and that more recently have caught the eye of artists and crystallographers -- can now be seen in the laboratory.

'Digging up' 4-billion-year-old fossil protein structures to reveal how they evolved
Very little is known about how and when over the course of evolution 3-D protein structures arose.

L-3-n-butylphthalide protects against cognitive dysfunction in vascular dementia
L-3-n-butylphthalide may be a potentially beneficial and promising drug for the treatment and prevention of vascular dementia through upregulation of Akt expression in the hippocampus.

New drug improves walking performance for Duchenne muscular dystrophy patients
Results from a clinical trial of eteplirsen, a drug designed to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy, suggest that the therapy allows participants to walk farther than people treated with placebo and dramatically increases production of a protein vital to muscle growth and health.

What do people expect from sexting?
As many as 20 percent of adolescents and 44 percent of young adults have shared nude or semi-nude photos of themselves via cell phone or social networking sites, a behavior known as sexting.

NOAA reports discovery of table coral, Acropora cytherea, off O'ahu
NOAA scientists report the discovery of the first known colony of table coral off of the south shore of O'ahu in Hawai'i.

UNC-Malawi cancer pathology laboratory is a model for Sub-Saharan Africa
The UNC-Malawi cancer pathology laboratory has provided an invaluable service to patients and has also built capacity at a national teaching hospital, according to an analysis of the first 20 months of operation published online by PLOS ONE.

Top engineers, scientists descend upon Greenville
Clemson University is hosting the world's leading scientists and engineers at the 15th International Conference on MacroMolecular Complexes (MMC-15) to discuss the latest advances in polymers and how they play a vital role in transforming the technological landscape for the betterment of humankind.

Cities with high racial economic inequality and widespread poverty increase police force size
University of Missouri sociologists recently documented the influence of racial division and economic inequality on the size of a city's police force.

Ozone hole might slightly warm planet
Now a new computer-modeling study suggests that the ozone hole might actually have a slight warming influence, but because of its effect on winds, not temperatures.

Fast detector for a wide wavelength range
Free-electron lasers are extremely versatile research tools because their intense, super short light flashes permit a closer look at new materials and even biological molecules; thus, allowing effects to be observed that had not been known previously.

UI researcher finds human activity muddies causes of Texas floods
Periodic flooding in Texas -- one the most flood-prone states in the nation -- cannot be firmly linked to climate change due to numerous dams and other man-made structures introduced over the years, according to a University of Iowa study published in the August 2013 issue of the Journal of the American Water Resources Association.

Muscle health depends on sugar superstructure
In a new study, published online Aug. 8 in the journal Science, a University of Iowa team led by Kevin Campbell, Ph.D., has pinpointed not just one, but three proteins that are required for constructing a key, early section of a critical sugar chain.

Autism Speaks receives $3 million gift from the estate of Charles Meixner
The estate of Charles Meixner has donated $3 million to support Autism Speaks' Translational Research Initiative to accelerate the discovery of treatments for autism.

Following Higgs discovery, physicists offer vision to unravel mysteries of universe
After nine days of intensive discussions, nearly 700 particle physicists from about 100 universities and laboratories concluded nine months of work with a unified framework for unmasking the hidden secrets of matter, energy, space and time during the next two decades.

Cesareans weaken gut microbiota and increase risk of allergies
Children who came into the world by Cesarean section are more often affected by allergies than those born in the natural way.

Capturing live tumor cells in the blood
Tumor cells circulating within a patient's bloodstream can carry cancer from a primary tumor site to distant sites of the body, spreading the disease.

Scripps Florida team awarded $10.6 million to decipher root causes of human aging
Professor Paul Robbins of The Scripps Research Institute will be principal investigator of the new five-year study, which will focus on identifying just how damage that accumulates over time drives the human aging process.

Tumor microenvironment allows cancer cells to hide from the immune system
In this issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Gerard Blobe and colleagues at Duke University identify a mechanism by which tumors evade detection.

JCI early table of contents for Aug. 8, 2013
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, Aug.

Sanford-Burnham scientists identify key protein that modulates organismal aging
Scientists at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute have identified a key factor that regulates the autophagy process, a kind of cleansing mechanism for cells in which waste material and cellular debris is gobbled up to protect cells from damage, and in turn, modulates aging.

Standardized methods for the GMO monitoring of butterflies and moths: The whys and hows
Lepidoptera, or butterflies and moths, fulfill important ecological role as herbivores, pollinators and prey organisms in many terrestrial ecosystems.

Scripps Research Institute study shows microRNAs can trigger lymphomas
A small group of immune-regulating molecules, when overproduced even moderately, can trigger the blood cancers known as lymphomas, according to a new study led by scientists from the Scripps Research Institute.

Helper cells aptly named in battle with invading pathogens
By tracking the previously unknown movements of a set of specialized cells, Whitehead Institute scientists are shedding new light on how the immune system mounts a successful defense against hostile, ever-changing invaders.

Robot treats brain clots with steerable needles
Surgery to relieve the damaging pressure caused by hemorrhaging in the brain is a perfect job for a robot.

New forensic technique for analyzing lipstick traces
A study by forensic scientists at the University of Kent has established a new way of identifying which brand of lipstick someone was wearing at a crime scene without removing the evidence from its bag, thereby avoiding possible contamination.

GMP monitoring must take into account important types of indicators
The 8th issue of the open access Biorisk journal is devoted to the topic of development and standardization of monitoring of genetically modified plants (GMP).

Gene regulator is key to healthy retinal development and good vision in adulthood
Scientists are developing a clearer picture of how visual systems develop in mammals.

OU biologist focuses on global environmental change in lakes
To understand how organisms adapt to changing environments, a University of Oklahoma biologist will observe the evolutionary consequences of change in a natural population.

UTSA, Southwest Research Institute to develop low-cost method to treat fracking water
Researchers at The University of Texas at San Antonio and Southwest Research Institute jointly announce they are investing $200,000 in new research to develop a low-cost method to treat flow-back water following hydraulic fracturing.

Faith-based re-entry program for prisoners saves money, reduces recidivism, Baylor study finds
A faith-based prisoner re-entry program in Minnesota has saved an estimated $3 million by reducing recidivism, according to a Baylor University study published in the International Journal of Criminology and Sociology.

HSCI researchers extend human epigenomic map
New research by the Harvard Stem Cell Institute's Alex Meissner, published online as a letter in the journal Nature, describes the dynamics of DNA methylation across a wide range of human cell types.

LEC: A multi-purpose tool
A little-studied factor known as the Little Elongation Complex plays a critical and previously unknown role in the transcription of small nuclear RNAs, according to a new study led by scientists at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research and published in the Aug.

Pass the salt: Common condiment could enable new high-tech industry
Chemists have identified a compound that could significantly reduce the cost and potentially enable the mass commercial production of silicon nanostructures -- materials that have huge potential in everything from electronics to biomedicine and energy storage.

UTSW receives $1 million Reynolds Foundation grant for geriatrics education
The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, an advocate for teaching geriatrics to clinicians since 1996, has awarded a $1 million, four-year grant to the Geriatrics section of the Department of Internal Medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center that emphasizes the burgeoning role of interprofessional education.

How parents see themselves may affect their child's brain and stress level
A mother's perceived social status predicts her child's brain development and stress indicators, finds a new Boston Children's study -- the first to link brain function to maternal self-perception.

Carnegie Mellon research shows cellphone use may not cause more car crashes
Published in the American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, the study uses data from a major cellphone provider and accident reports to contradict previous findings that connected cellphone use to increased crash risk.

Hubble finds source of Magellanic Stream
Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have solved the 40-year-old mystery of the origin of the Magellanic Stream, a long ribbon of gas stretching nearly halfway around the Milky Way.

Chemists' work will aid drug design to target cancer and inflammatory disease
Chemists at Indiana University Bloomington have produced detailed descriptions of the structure and molecular properties of human folate receptor proteins, a key development for designing new drugs that can target cancer and inflammatory diseases without serious side effects.

Scientists watch live brain cell circuits spark and fire
Scientists used fruit flies to show for the first time that a new class of genetically engineered proteins can be used to watch nerve cell electrical activity in live brains.

Views you can use? How online ratings affect your judgment
Study: Positive comments create an illusory snowball effect, while negative responses get cancelled out.

A powerful strategy for developing microbial cell factories by employing synthetic small RNAs
A Korean research team led by Distinguished Professor Sang Yup Lee at the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, a prestigious science and engineering university in Korea, reported the development of a strategy for efficiently developing microbial cell factories by employing synthetic small RNAs.

With early, obvious benefit of a targeted cancer drug, should expensive clinical testing continue?
If the science behind a drug shows it to be rationally targeted at a cancer-causing genetic mutation, and if early clinical trials show the drug is safe and happens to be especially effective, should the drug be held to the same time-consuming and expensive testing standards of traditional chemotherapies?

Low childhood conscientiousness predicts adult obesity
Results from a longitudinal study show that children who exhibit lower conscientiousness (e.g., irresponsible, careless, not persevering) could experience worse overall health, including greater obesity, as adults.

Study shows elementary and middle schools can get students moving, not just thinking
Despite widespread cuts to physical education classes and recess, an Indiana University study has shown that schools can play an important role in helping their students live healthier lives.

Study shows who survives Burkitt lymphoma
Treatment advances have helped improve survival of Burkitt lymphoma, a highly aggressive cancer, but not among the elderly, patients at a late stage, or black people.

European Research Council awards significant funding to a University of Eastern Finland researcher
Associate Professor Annele Virtanen at the Department of Applied Physics of the University of Eastern Finland has been granted substantial funding by the European Research Council within its call for Starting Grants.

Dialysis patients may live longer if their kidney specialist sees fewer patients
Dialysis patients receiving treatment from kidney specialists with a higher patient caseload have a greater risk of dying prematurely than those receiving care from specialists with a lower caseload, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Genetic evidence shows recent population mixture in India
Researchers have found that modern-day India is the result of recent population mixture among divergent demographic groups.

Robotic intubation prototype crawls to the lungs in difficult situations
Graduates of the Hebrew University's Biodesign program revealed a robotic intubation device that automatically identifies the lungs using an infrared source and navigates toward it.

Engineered rice protects against rotavirus infection
In the current issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Yoshikazu Yuki and colleagues at the University of Tokyo report the development of a strain of rice that produces a rotavirus-specific antibody.

Regional gray matter atrophy in multiple sclerosis causes neuropsychologcal problems
Dr. Aiyu Lin and colleagues from the First Affiliated Hospital of Fujian Medical University used the voxel-based morphometry method to compare the difference in the clinical manifestations and imaging parameters of Chinese patients with multiple sclerosis and healthy controls.

Autism affects different parts of the brain in women and men
Autism affects different parts of the brain in females with autism than males with autism, a new study reveals. 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