Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 25, 2013
New tool enhances the search for genetic mutations
Reed Cartwright, a researcher at Arizona State University's Biodesign Institute, along with colleagues at ASU, Washington University and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Cambridge, UK, report on a new software tool known as DeNovoGear, which uses statistical probabilities to help identify mutations and more accurately pinpoint their source and their possible significance for health.

Cocaine's effect on mice may explain drug-seeking behavior
Cocaine can speedily rewire high-level brain circuits that support learning, memory and decision-making, according to new research from the University of California, Berkeley, and UCSF.

Ocean fish acquire more mercury at depth
Mercury accumulation in the ocean fish we eat tends to take place at deeper depths, in part because of photochemical reactions that break down organic mercury in well-lit surface waters, according to new research from the University of Michigan and University of Hawai'i at Manoa.

Gallo Center study in mice links cocaine use to new brain structures
Mice given cocaine showed rapid growth in new brain structures associated with learning and memory, according to a research team from the Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center at UC San Francisco.

Researchers discover how inhibitory neurons behave during critical periods of learning
We've all heard the saying

Researchers uncover new biological target for combating Parkinson's disease
Researchers at Johns Hopkins and elsewhere have brought new clarity to the picture of what goes awry in the brain during Parkinson's disease and identified a compound that eases the disease's symptoms in mice.

Scientists analyze the extent of ocean acidification
Ocean acidification (OA) could change the ecosystems of our seas even by the end of this century.

Study finds rattling ions limit heat flow in materials used to reduce carbon emissions
A new study published today in the journal Nature Materials has found a way to suppress the thermal conductivity in sodium cobaltate so that it can be used to harvest waste energy.

Scientists pinpoint 105 additional genetic errors that cause cystic fibrosis
Of the over 1,900 errors already reported in the gene responsible for cystic fibrosis (CF), it is unclear how many of them actually contribute to the inherited disease.

Insight into marine life's ability to adapt to climate change
A study into marine life around an underwater volcanic vent in the Mediterranean, might hold the key to understanding how some species will be able to survive in increasingly acidic sea water should anthropogenic climate change continue.

Epilepsy drug dosage linked to specific birth defects
In a world first, new Australian medical research has given pregnant women with epilepsy new hope of reducing their chance of having a baby with physical birth defects.

Researchers find essential brain circuit in visual development
A study in mice reveals an elegant circuit within the developing visual system that helps dictate how the eyes connect to the brain.

Mercury levels in Pacific fish likely to rise in coming decades
University of Michigan researchers and their University of Hawaii colleagues say they've solved the longstanding mystery of how mercury gets into open-ocean fish, and their findings suggest that levels of the toxin in Pacific Ocean fish will likely rise in coming decades.

Leicester researchers discover a potential molecular defence against Huntington's disease
University of Leicester experts discover glutathione peroxidase activity improves symptoms in models of the neurodegenerative disorder.

Cancer scientists discover novel way gene controls stem cell self-renewal
Stem cell scientists at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre have discovered the gene GATA3 has a role in how blood stem cells renew themselves, a finding that advances the quest to expand these cells in the lab for clinical use in bone marrow transplantation, a procedure that saves thousands of lives every year.

Carbon-sequestering ocean plants may cope with climate changes over the long run
A year-long experiment on tiny ocean organisms called coccolithophores suggests that the single-celled algae may still be able to grow their calcified shells even as oceans grow warmer and more acidic in Earth's near future.

Study provides strongest clues to date for causes of schizophrenia
A new genome-wide association study estimates the number of different places in the human genome that are involved in schizophrenia.

Researchers offer explanation for strange magnetic behavior at semiconductor interfaces
In the current online edition of Nature Physics, researchers at The Ohio State University report the first-ever theoretical explanation for some unusual semiconductor behavior that was discovered in 2004.
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