Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 05, 2013
5 Washington organizations make joint grant
A product development team at the University of Washington will receive $390,000 from five organizations dedicated to fostering technology commercialization in Washington.

Keep stricter audit committee standards flexible, argues new study from the University of Toronto
Independent, financially-literate audit committees lead to higher firm values and less diversion of resources by management, shows a new study by researchers at the University of Toronto.

Study reveals new insight into how cheetahs catch their prey
A new research study has revealed that the cheetah, the world's fastest land animal, matches and may even anticipate the escape tactics of different prey when hunting, rather than just relying on its speed and agility, as previously thought.

Julia Yeomans awarded the EPJE Pierre-Gilles de Gennes Lecture Prize
The European Physical Journal E has awarded the Pierre-Gilles de Gennes Lecture Prize to Professor Julia Yeomans of the University of Oxford, UK.

Made-to-order materials
Engineers at the California Institute of Technology have mimicked lightweight yet strong biological materials by creating nanostructured, hollow ceramic scaffolds, and have found that their small building blocks, or unit cells, display remarkable strength and resistance to failure despite being more than 85 percent air.

Test bench to provide homes with greater energy quality
The ENEDI Group of the University of the Basque Country is working to improve the quality of homes and all existing buildings in general in line with the criteria established by European directives on energy saving, thermal insulation and energy efficiency of buildings.

New coating may reduce blood clot risk inside stents
A new stent coating may someday eliminate a common side effect of the treatment.

Antenatal taurine relieves brain injury in the fetus with intrauterine growth restriction
Increased brain cell apoptosis in intrauterine growth-restricted fetal rats is a key reason for unfavorable long-term prognosis of the nervous system.

Overgrazing turning parts of Mongolian Steppe into desert
Overgrazing by millions of sheep and goats is the primary cause of degraded land in the Mongolian Steppe, one of the largest remaining grassland ecosystems in the world, researchers say in a new report.

Authentic brain waves improve driver security
One-time entry authentication methods are suitable for to a protected building or a private web page.

Biodiversity where you least expect it: A new beetle species from a busy megacity
Biologists from the Ateneo de Manila University have discovered a new species of aquatic beetle within their campus, a green oasis nestled among the concrete buildings and flyovers of busy Metro Manila.

NASA's HS3 Mission Global Hawk data used in National Hurricane Center forecast of Gabrielle
Data from the dropsondes that are dispersed from one of NASA's Global Hawk unmanned aircraft assisted forecasters at the National Hurricane Center when analyzing the environment of newborn Tropical Storm Gabrielle at 11 p.m.

NASA sees 'hot towers' in newborn Tropical Depression 12e hinting at intensification
Tropical Depression 12E formed off the southwestern coast of Mexico at 5 a.m.

Some immune cells appear to aid cancer cell growth, U-M study finds
A new study from researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center found that a subset of immune cells, called myeloid derived suppressor cells, provide a niche where cancer stem cells survive.

Protecting 17 percent of Earth's land could save two-thirds of plant species
Protecting key regions that comprise just 17 percent of Earth's land may help preserve more than two-thirds of its plant species, according to a new Duke University-led study by an international team of scientists.

Pico-world of molecular bioscavengers, mops and sponges being designed
A new world of molecular bioscavengers, sponges and mops is now closer.

Hydrolyzed or non-hydrolyzed collagen: which one is suitable for nerve cell culture?
Hydrolyzed or non-hydrolyzed collagen: which one is suitable for nerve cell culture?

UCSB researcher explores relationship between landscape simplification and insecticide use
A new UCSB study that analyzed US Department of Agriculture Census of Agriculture data spanning two decades (1987-2007) shows that the statistical magnitude, existence, and direction of the relationship between landscape simplification -- a term used for the conversion of natural habitat to cropland -- and insecticide use varies enormously year to year.

University of Tennessee professor and student develop device to detect biodiesel contamination
A professor and student team at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has developed a quick and easy-to-use sensor that can detect trace amounts of biodiesel contamination in diesel.

First hardware from South Africa delivered to ATLAS detector at CERN
Physicists from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg have reached an important milestone and have made the first South African contribution of a

Female tiger sharks migrate from Northwestern to Main Hawaiian Islands during fall pupping season
A quarter of the mature female tiger sharks plying the waters around the remote coral atolls of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands decamp for the populated Main Hawaiian Islands in the late summer and fall, swimming as far as 2,500 kilometers (1,500 miles) according to new research from University of Florida and the University of Hawaii.

Disease-causing genes spread easily in emerging lethal fungus infection
A rare, emerging fungal disease that is spreading throughout Canada and Northwestern USA can easily pass its deadly genes to related fungal strains within the species but less readily to more distant relatives, according to a study part-funded by the Wellcome Trust.

Rice University wins neuroengineering grant
The National Science Foundation awards Rice and Baylor College of Medicine $2.8 million to train graduate students in neuroengineering.

Certification of aquaculture: 1 of the strategies to sustainable seafood production
Certification of products from aquatic farming -- aquaculture -- is contributing to sustainable production, but it also has serious limits.

Wide range of differences, mostly unseen, among humans
Bioinformatics researchers at Rutgers University and the Technische Universitaet Muenchen have investigated how protein function is affected by changes at the DNA level.

Salk scientists and colleagues discover important mechanism underlying Alzheimer's disease
Alzheimer's disease affects more than 26 million people worldwide. It is predicted to skyrocket as boomers age -- nearly 106 million people are projected to have the disease by 2050.

Relocation, relocation
Scientists at the Zoological Society of London have devised a novel method to identify suitable new homes for animals under threat from climate change.

Clues in coral bleaching mystery
Coral reefs are tremendously important for ocean biodiversity. Unfortunately they have been in great decline in recent years, much of it due to the effects of global climate change.

400-year study finds Northeast forests resilient, changing
A joint Harvard-Smithsonian study released today in the journal PLOS ONE reveals how much -- and how little -- Northeastern forests have changed after centuries of intensive land use.

Job dissatisfaction encourages workers to choose temping
The unhappiness of being in a bad job is strongly linked to people's decision to leave permanent work for the uncertain world of temporary employment, according to the British Sociological Association's conference in Warwick heard today.

Sept. 5, 2013 update 2 -- satellite data shows a very active tropical Atlantic, Gabrielle weakens
Tropical Storm Gabrielle has weakened to a depression by 11 a.m.

U-M technical reports examine hydraulic fracturing in Michigan
University of Michigan researchers today released seven technical reports that together form the most comprehensive Michigan-focused resource on hydraulic fracturing, the controversial natural gas and oil extraction process commonly known as fracking.

Body's 'safety procedure' could explain autoimmune disease
Monash University researchers have found an important safety mechanism in the immune system that may malfunction in people with autoimmune diseases, such as Multiple Sclerosis, potentially paving the way for innovative treatments.

Space around others perceived just as our own
A study from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden has shown that neurons in our brain 'mirror' the space near others, just as if this was the space near ourselves.

Study IDs trouble areas, aims to speed up construction projects
Research from North Carolina State University identified factors that cause construction site managers to schedule more time than necessary for specific tasks.

Blue-green algae a 5-tool player in converting waste to fuel
Fuzhong Zhang, Ph.D., assistant professor of engineering at Washington University in St.

Drug resistance-associated genes: A cornerstone for the control and protection against tuberculosis
GI in collaboration with Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and other Chinese institutes, have completed the genome sequencing of 161 Mycobacterium tuberculosis that can cause an infectious disease tuberculosis.

No evidence of planetary influence on solar activity
In 2012, Astronomy & Astrophysics published a statistical study of the isotopic records of solar activity, in which Abreu et al. claimed that there is evidence of planetary influence on solar activity.

Shining a little light changes metal into semiconductor
By blending their expertise, two materials science engineers at Washington University in St.

Finally mapped: The brain region that distinguishes bits from bounty
Researchers have identified a topographical map of numerosity in the brain.

NASA satellite animation records birth of Tropical Storm Gabrielle near Puerto Rico
One hour before midnight Eastern Daylight Time on Sept. 4, Tropical Depression 7 strengthened into Tropical Storm Gabrielle just 70 miles south of Ponce, Puerto Rico.

Older women still feel cultural pressure to tone down
New research by one of the UK's leading sociologists shows many older women still feel under pressure to tone down their dress.

LSUHSC researchers develop new system to better study behavior, cell function
A team of researchers led by Charles D. Nichols, PhD, Associate Professor of Pharmacology at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, has successfully translated a new technology to better study behaviors and cellular function to fruit flies.

More land needs protection to satisfy treaties, study shows
According to Lucas Joppa from Microsoft Research in Cambridge, England, and colleagues from the United Kingdom and the United States, the regions of the world that need the most protection, such as Caribbean islands and Mediterranean ecosystems, don't necessarily coincide with national parks and protected lands.

Genetics Society of America joins editorial partnership for CBE-Life Sciences Education
The Genetics Society of America continues to expand its educational repertoire by joining with American Society for Cell Biology as an editorial partner on leading life science education publication CBE-Life Sciences Education.

Zhang receives prestigious DARPA Young Faculty Award to use bacteria to make gasoline
Fuzhong Zhang, PhD, assistant professor of energy, environmental & chemical engineering at Washington University in St.

Powerful jets blowing material out of galaxy
Intercontinental radio-telescope network's sharp detail indicates that a black-hole-powered

Interstellar winds buffeting our solar system have shifted direction
Scientists, including University of New Hampshire astrophysicists involved in NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer mission, have discovered that the particles streaming into the solar system from interstellar space have likely changed direction over the last 40 years.

Researchers determine digestibility of blood products as feed in weanling pigs
Because weanling pigs do not tolerate great quantities of soybean meal in the diet, alternative sources of protein must be used.

Molecular marker predicts patients most likely to benefit longest from 2 popular cancer drugs
Johns Hopkins scientists have identified a molecular marker called

Winton Symposium's material world
On 30 September, Cambridge's Department of Physics will host the second annual Winton Symposium at the Cavendish Laboratory on 'Materials Discovery'.

UN: Rising reuse of wastewater in forecast but world lacks data on 'massive potential resource'
Amid growing competition for freshwater from industry and cities, coupled with a rising world shortage of potash, nitrogen and phosphorus, an international study predicts a rapid increase in the use of treated wastewater for farming and other purposes worldwide.

Genetics society and cell biologists partner for life sciences education journal
Behind the acronyms GSA + ASCB = LSE stands a new editorial partnership between the Genetics Society of America (GSA) and the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) to support the online journal, CBE-Life Sciences Education (LSE).

Why do black women have a higher risk of death from heart disease than white women?
Among a group of women with symptoms of angina who were tested for a suspected coronary blockage, nearly 3 times as many black women as white women died of heart disease.

Human gut microbes alter mouse metabolism, depending on diet
Germ-free mice that received gut bacteria from obese humans put on more weight and accumulated more fat than mice that were given bacteria from the guts of lean humans, according to a new study.

Research findings point to new therapeutic approach for common cause of kidney failure
A protein called polycystin-1 may help shepherd another protein, polycystin-2, to a cell's antenna, or cilium.

Inner-ear disorders may cause hyperactivity
Behavioral abnormalities are traditionally thought to originate in the brain.

Prion-like proteins drive several diseases of aging
Two leading neurology researchers have proposed a theory that could unify scientists' thinking about several neurodegenerative diseases and suggest therapeutic strategies to combat them.

What are the risks of student cyberbullying?
Details of a survey of middle and high school student attitudes to cyberbullying and online safety will be published in the International Journal of Social Media and Interactive Learning Environments.

Cheaper Chinese solar panels are not due to low-cost labor
A study of the photovoltaic industries in the US and China shows that China's dominance in solar panel manufacturing is not driven solely by cheaper labour and government support, but by larger-scale manufacturing and resulting supply-chain benefits.

Why can Shuyusan treat corticosterone-induced impairment?
Why can Shuyusan treat corticosterone-induced impairment?

Social media + behavior psychology leads to HIV testing, better health behaviors
A new UCLA study demonstrates that an approach that combines behavioral science with social media and online communities can lead to increased AIDS testing and improved health behaviors among men at risk of HIV infection.

Risk to consumers from fungal toxins in shellfish should be monitored
To protect consumers, screening shellfish for fungal toxins is important, say scientists.

Smoking + asthma + pregnant = a dangerous combination
New research shows that pregnant women who smoke as well as having asthma are greatly increasing the risk of complications for themselves and their unborn children.

Coldest brown dwarfs blur lines between stars and planets
Astronomers are constantly on the hunt for ever-colder star-like bodies, and two years ago a new class of such objects was discovered.

New model of Earth's interior reveals clues to hotspot volcanoes
UC Berkeley scientists have discovered channels of slow-moving seismic waves in Earth's upper mantle, a finding that helps explain

WUSTL engineers to study process of moving iron from soil into plants
With a one-year grant from Washington University's International Center for Advanced Renewable Energy & Sustainability, researchers at Washington University in St.

UF: Newly discovered tiger shark migration pattern might explain attacks near Hawaii
The migration of mature female tiger sharks during late summer and fall to the main Hawaiian Islands, presumably to give birth, could provide insight into attacks in that area, according to a University of Florida scientist.

11 spacecraft show interstellar wind changed direction over 40 years
Like the wind adjusting course in the middle of a storm, scientists have discovered that the particles streaming into the solar system from interstellar space have most likely changed direction over the last 40 years.

Sudoku saves photographers from copyright theft
A new watermarking technology based on a system akin to the permutation rules used to solve the numeral puzzles known as Sudoku has been developed by computer scientists in Malaysia.

'The Forest Unseen' wins best book award from National Academies
The National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine announced today the recipients of the 2013 Communication Awards.

Lung conditions responsible for 1 in 10 of all deaths in Europe
A major new publication from the European Respiratory Society ahead of its annual congress (Barcelona, 7 Sept 2013), shows that lung conditions are responsible for 1 in 10 of all deaths across Europe, with deaths due to lung cancer and COPD predicted to rise over the coming decades.

What is the brain telling us about the diagnoses of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder?
On the one hand, the American Psychiatric Association has introduced the fifth iteration of the psychiatric diagnostic manual, DSM-V, representing the current best effort of the brightest clinical minds in psychiatry to categorize the enormously complex pattern of human emotional, cognitive, and behavioral problems.

People who lie while texting take longer to respond
Ever been trading a flurry of text messages when there's an awkward pause?

Engineers make golden breakthrough to improve electronic devices
A Kansas State University chemical engineering team has discovered that a new member of the ultrathin materials family has great potential to improve electronic and thermal devices.

New computational approaches speed up the exploration of the universe
Chemical analyzes can take a long time to complete. Now a potentially groundbreaking collaboration between a chemist and a computer scientist from the University of Southern Denmark shows that time spent on chemical analyzes can be reduced considerably.

IBEX spacecraft measures changes in the direction of interstellar winds buffeting our solar system
Data from NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer spacecraft reveal that neutral interstellar atoms are flowing into the solar system from a different direction than previously observed.

Health information laws can be coordinated with health system delivery improvements under EPSDT
A new analysis by researchers at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services examines the relationship between health information laws and health system improvements for children and adolescents under Medicaid's Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) benefit.

Peering into genetic defects, CU scientists discover a new metabolic disease
An international team of scientists, including University of Colorado School of Medicine and Children's Hospital Colorado researchers, has discovered a new disease related to an inability to process Vitamin B12.

Report reveals missed opportunities to save water and energy
Water managers are missing substantial opportunities to save energy and money, according to a report by Water in the West.

Is that a testes or an iridescent stripe? A female squid's male-like true colors
Male squid are aggressive towards their female counterparts, so anything to make the female look more like a male would be an advantage for her.

Basic fibroblast growth factor protects injured spinal cord motor endplates
In current studies, the degeneration and protection measures in the distal end of the injured spinal cord and target organ muscle effector have scarcely been investigated.

Religious leaders can be key to biological diversity
Leaders of the major world religions can play a key role in preserving biological diversity.

Scientists confirm existence of largest single volcano on earth
A University of Houston professor led a team of scientists to uncover the largest single volcano yet documented on Earth.

Molecular beacons light path to cardiac muscle repair
Having a pure population of cardiac muscle cells is essential for avoiding tumor formation after transplantation, but has been technically challenging.

Scientific reproducibility is hampered by a lack of specificity of the material resources
A key requirement when performing scientific experiments is the accessibility of material resources, including the reagents or model organisms, needed to address a specific hypothesis.

Programmed cell death activates latent herpesviruses
Researchers have found that apoptosis, a natural process of programmed cell death, can reactivate latent herpesviruses in the dying cell.

Arresting model stops cars
Researchers in China have developed a mathematical model that could help engineers design a flexible vehicle-arrest system for stopping cars involved in criminal activity or terrorism, such as suspect car bombers attempting break through a check point, without wrecking the car or killing the occupants.

Global warming has increased risk of record heat, say Stanford scientists
Researchers calculate that intense heat like that in the summer of 2012 is up to four times more likely to occur now than in pre-industrial America, when there was much less carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Beneath Earth's surface, scientists find long 'fingers' of heat
Scientists seeking to understand the forces at work beneath the surface of the Earth have used seismic waves to detect previously unknown

Dishonest deeds lead to 'cheater's high,' as long as no one gets hurt, study finds
People who get away with cheating when they believe no one is hurt by their dishonesty are more likely to feel upbeat than remorseful afterward, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association.

New recommendations for standardizing studies of thyroid hormone and disease from ATA taskforce
A new report from the American Thyroid Association's Taskforce on Approaches and Strategies to Investigate Thyroid Hormone Economy includes 70 specific recommendations and accompanying commentaries on a range of topics.

Terramechanics research aims to keep Mars rovers rolling
Researchers from MIT, Washington University and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, have developed a model that accurately simulates Mars rover mobility over various types of soil and terrain.

UCLA researchers describe new form of irritable bowel syndrome
UCLA researchers have described a new form of irritable bowel syndrome that occurs after an acute bout of diverticulitis, a finding that may help lead to better management of symptoms and relief for patients.

Wellcome Trust renews support for major overseas program in Malawi
The Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme -- one of the Wellcome Trust's major overseas programs -- is to receive around £14 million over 5 years in renewed funding, it is announced today.

Young adults with autism found to have difficulty transitioning into employment
A study published in the Sept. 2013 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry found that young adults with an autism spectrum disorder have more difficulty transitioning into employment than their peers with different disabilities.

Sleep deprivation increases food purchasing the next day
People who were deprived of one night's sleep purchased more calories and grams of food in a mock supermarket on the following day in a new study published in the journal Obesity, the official journal of The Obesity Society.

Illinois biologists and bioinformaticians unite to explore the origins of social behavior
A new $3 million grant from the Simons Foundation to the Institute for Genomic Biology at the University of Illinois will fund a multidisciplinary collaborative effort to search for similarities in the ways that the brains of many different species, including our own, produce social behavior.

Study expands use of biomarker for early diagnosis of acute kidney injury
A biomarker test developed initially to identify early acute kidney injury (AKI) after surgery has been shown to successfully detect AKI in emergency room patients with a variety of urgent health issues.

Neuronal-like cell differentiation of non-adherent BMSCs
It is widely believed that bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells are highly adherent fibroblastic cells, defined as colony-forming unit-fibroblasts.

Cell death protein could offer new anti-inflammatory drug target
Scientists in Melbourne, Australia, have revealed the structure of a protein that is essential for triggering a form of programmed cell death, making possible the development of new drugs to treat chronic inflammatory diseases such as Crohn's disease and rheumatoid arthritis.

Researchers find new opportunites for waste heat
Physicists at the Texas Center for Superconductivity at the University of Houston are working on an innovation that could boost vehicle mileage by 5 percent and power plant and industrial processing performance as much as 10 percent, by capturing waste heat and converting it to electrical power.

New technique to assess the cost of major flood damage to be unveiled at international conference
A new approach to calculating the cost of damage caused by flooding is to be presented at the International Conference of Flood Resilience: Experiences in Asia and Europe at the University of Exeter this week.

Simulating Alzheimer's disease in transgenic mice
Death of neurons in the dorsal raphe nucleus and locus coeruleus is a pathological characteristic of the disease. 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