Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 19, 2013
Second annual Golden Goose Award ceremony honors odd research with major societal benefits
Seven researchers, including two Nobel Prize winners, will be honored today at the second annual Golden Goose Award ceremony, celebrating researchers whose seemingly odd or obscure federally funded research turned out to have a significant impact on society.

UCSF awarded $20 million federal grant on tobacco regulatory science
UC San Francisco will receive a five-year, $20 million grant as part of a first-of-its-kind tobacco science regulatory program by the US Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health.

UI researchers: Bracing is effective in adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis
A multi-center study led by University of Iowa researchers to determine whether wearing back braces would prevent the need for spinal correction surgery in children with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis was cut short when early results were overwhelmingly in favor of bracing.

SfN awarded $525,000 to create Latin American and Caribbean Neuroscience Training Program
The Society for Neuroscience has been awarded $525,000 from The Grass Foundation to create a Latin American Neuroscience Training Program.

Immune cells open window to breast cancer risk
University of Adelaide researchers have made a major discovery that highlights the important role played by immune cells in the risk of developing breast cancer.

NIH announces awards to strengthen the biomedical research workforce
The National Institutes of Health is making available approximately $3.7 million for awards to enhance training opportunities for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars to prepare them for careers in the biomedical research workforce that could take them outside of conventional academic research.

New protein knowledge offers hope for better cancer treatment
Researchers from the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research at the University of Copenhagen have developed a sophisticated method for identifying modified proteins that affect a cell's ability to repair DNA damage.

Mine metals at Maine Superfund site causing widespread contamination
Toxic metals from the only open pit mine in an estuary system in the United States are widespread in nearby sediment, water and fish and may be affecting marine and coastal animals that feed on them beyond the mine site, a new Dartmouth study finds.

Songbirds may have 'borrowed' DNA to fuel migration
A common songbird may have acquired genes from fellow migrating birds in order to travel greater distances, according to a University of British Columbia study published this week in the journal Evolution.

Higher calorie diets increase weight gain, shorten hospital stays for teens with anorexia
Higher calorie diets produce twice the rate of weight gain compared to the lower calorie diets that currently are recommended for adolescents hospitalized with anorexia nervosa, according to a study by researchers at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital.

Container's material properties affect the viscosity of water at the nanoscale
Water pours into a cup at about the same rate regardless of whether the water bottle is made of glass or plastic.

New test enables early diagnosis of liver cancer
Researchers have found a way to make early liver cancer show its true colors.

After the storms, a different opinion on climate change
Extreme weather may lead people to think more seriously about climate change, according to new research published in Psychological Science.

OU spatial analysis group developing suite of tools for monitoring & analysis of Oklahoma offenders
The University of Oklahoma Center for Spatial Analysis has been developing a web-based tracking analysis application named TRACKS that facilitates Oklahoma parole and probation officers in the supervision of offenders on a GPS location-based monitoring system.

Seismologists puzzle over largest deep earthquake ever recorded
A magnitude 8.3 earthquake that struck deep beneath the Sea of Okhotsk on May 24, 2013, has left seismologists struggling to explain how it happened.

NASA sees Usagi become a typhoon
What was a tropical storm rapidly intensified into Typhoon Usagi within 24 hours as it moves through the Northwestern Pacific Ocean.

Global analysis reveals new insights into the ribosome -- with important implications for disease
In a first-of-its-kind study that broadly examines the composition of the riboproteome, a scientific team led by investigators at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center reveals previously unappreciated components of the ribosome, uncovering a large and dynamic structure that, among other things, can be altered in cancer.

National labs and Air Force partner to improve aircraft component design
Air Force and national labs partner to save potentially billions on designing high-performance military technology.

Moffitt Cancer Center launches prostate cancer study focused on black men
Prostate cancer kills more African-American and black men than any other group.

Study provides big-picture view of how cancer cells are supported by normal cells in and near tumors
Investigators at CSHL report important progress in research aimed at finding ways to fight cancer by targeting the local environment in which tumors grow and from which they draw sustenance.

Algae biofuel cuts CO2 emissions more than 50 percent compared to petroleum
Algae-derived biofuel can reduce life cycle CO2 emissions by 50 to 70 percent compared to petroleum fuels, and is approaching a similar Energy Return on Investment as conventional petroleum according to a new peer-reviewed paper published in Bioresource Technology.

School of public health gets $19 million grant for tobacco research
In what is the largest grant in Georgia State University history, the university's School of Public Health and its partners will receive $19 million over five years from the US Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health to establish one of 14 Tobacco Centers of Regulatory Science.

Southwestern Gulf system 95L targeted by NASA's Global Hawk
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over a developing low pressure area in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico and captured infrared data on what is now the latest destination for NASA's Hurricane and Severe Storms Sentinel mission.

Cleveland Clinic study shows long-term effects of bariatric surgery in patients with Type 2 diabetes
Overweight patients with Type 2 diabetes continue to experience the benefits of bariatric surgery up to nine years after the procedure, according to new research from Cleveland Clinic's Bariatric & Metabolic Institute, published online today in the journal, Annals of Surgery.

CHOP and Osage University Partners announce agreement for investing in hospital start-up projects
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is establishing a relationship with Osage University Partners, a venture capital fund that invests in new companies spun off from universities and academic research centers.

NASA sees heavy rains and hot towers in Hurricane Manuel
NASA's TRMM satellite passed over Manuel on Sept. 19 at 0116 UTC and measured its rainfall as it was strengthening into a hurricane.

Psychopathic traits in teenagers not cast in stone
Most youths are concerned about other people's feelings and adhere to social rules.

'Cascade of events' caused sudden explosion of animal life
The explosion of animal life on Earth around 520 million years ago was the result of a combination of interlinked factors rather than a single underlying cause, according to a new study.

Yellow peril: Are banana farms contaminating Costa Rica's crocs?
Shoppers spend over £10 billion on bananas annually and now this demand is being linked to the contamination of Central America's crocodilians.

SLU researcher finds a turtle eye muscle adapts to deal with obstructed vision
While researchers expected that the pond turtle's eyes would operate like other animals with eyes on the side of their heads, this particular species of turtle appears to have characteristics of both front and side-eyed animals.

Mayo Clinic researchers identify biomarker for smoker's lung cancer
Mayo Clinic researchers have shown that a specific protein pair may be a successful prognostic biomarker for identifying smoking-related lung cancers.

A possible strategy for helping 'tired' cells affected by mitochondrial disease
Findings published in the latest edition of Cell by researchers at the University of Padua and the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares have the potential to change the lives of patients with mitochondrial diseases, a group of pathologies characterized by malfunction of mitochondria, the organelles that supply the energy vital for cell function.

A genome-forward approach to tackling drug-resistant cancers
According to research published in the Cell Press publication Cell Reports on Sept.

Fuel-efficient cars and planes cheaper with magnesium drawn from ocean
A new, $2.7-million project is developing a novel process to extract the lightweight metal magnesium from seawater.

World Alzheimer Report 2013
The World Alzheimer Report 2013 'Journey of Caring: An analysis of long-term care for dementia', released today, calls for governments around the world to make dementia a priority by implementing national plans, and by initiating urgent national debates on future arrangements for long-term care.

The coelacanth leads a monogamous life
Scientists have successfully analyzed the genetic make-up of the offspring of pregnant coelacanth females for the first time.

First real-time detector for IV delivered drugs may help eliminate life-threatening medical errors
Today, computerized smart systems can deliver drugs intravenously in exact volumes to hospital patients.

Proteins that deliver leucine to prostate cancer cells are therapeutic targets
Like normal cells, cancer cells require amino acids for growth, maintenance, and cell signaling, and L-type amino acid transporters (LATs) are the delivery vehicles that supply them.

Earthworms can survive and recover after 3-week drought stress
A study suggests that earthworms could be established in drought-prone dryland soils to improve soil quality.

Got calcium? Mineral is key to restoring acid rain-damaged forests
Scientists have reversed the decline of a New Hampshire watershed by gradually adding calcium back into the soil over 15 years.

Mantas, devil rays butchered for apothecary trade now identifiable
Dried filters from the mouths of filter-feeding rays started appearing in apothecary shops in recent years, but there's been no way to know which of these gentle-natured rays was being slaughtered.

New models of drug-resistant breast cancer hint at better treatments
Breast cancer that spreads to other organs is extremely difficult to treat.

University of Houston receives $4 million to launch new chemistry initiative
The University of Houston will use a $4 million grant from the Welch Foundation to establish a Center of Excellence in Polymer Chemistry, recruiting new faculty and focusing on fundamental chemistry research as well as working with area petrochemical companies to develop new polymer products and technologies.

Circadian clock is key to firing up cell's furnace
Each of our cells has an energy furnace, and it is called a mitochondrion.

Geologists simulate deep earthquakes in the laboratory
In the Sept. 20 issue of the journal Science, geologist Harry Green at the University of California, Riverside and colleagues show how deep earthquakes can be simulated in the laboratory.

Stanford scientists reveal how beta-amyloid may cause Alzheimer's
Scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine have shown how a protein fragment known as beta-amyloid, strongly implicated in Alzheimer's disease, begins destroying synapses before it clumps into plaques that lead to nerve cell death.

Older adults live longer with a few extra pounds -- if they don't add more
Some overweight older adults don't need to lose weight to extend their lives, but they could risk an earlier death if they pack on more pounds.

Worm research: Right combination of sugars regulates brain development
If the development of our nervous system is disturbed, we risk developing serious neurological diseases, impairing our sensory systems, movement control or cognitive functions.

FDA and NIH create first-of-kind Tobacco Centers of Regulatory Science
The US Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health today, as part of an ongoing interagency partnership, have awarded a total of up to $53 million to fund tobacco-related research in fiscal year 2013 to create 14 Tobacco Centers of Regulatory Science.

Tiger, lion and leopard genomes revealed assisting big cats' conservation
An international team led by South Korea's Personal Genomics Institute and BGI unraveled the first whole genome of a nine-year-old male Amur tiger (Panthera tigris altaica), and compared it with the genomes of other big cats including the white Bengal tiger, lions, and snow leopards.

Versatile proteins could be new target for Alzheimer's drugs
A class of proteins that controls visual system development in the young brain also appears to affect vulnerability to Alzheimer's disease in the aging brain.

UMD to lead cutting edge research on tobacco and public health
The University of Maryland will launch a new research center focused on the study of a wide range of tobacco products and their impact on public health with approximately $19 million awarded to the university from the US Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health.

Study suggests check-cashing stores target areas with high crime
Check-cashing outlets may be strategically targeting persons who live in high-crime neighborhoods, according to researchers at St.

NIH study establishes benefits of bracing in adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis
Bracing in adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis reduces the likelihood that the condition will progress to the point that surgery is needed, according to a study published online today in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Can financial incentives inspire exercise?
When it comes to sticking to an exercise plan, we're all looking for solutions to ensure that new healthy habits transform into long-term lifestyle changes.

New islet cell transplant procedure offers improved outcomes for patients with type 1 diabetes
The latest approach to islet transplantation has produced substantially improved results for patients with type 1 diabetes, and may offer a more durable alternative to a whole pancreas transplant.

Overfishing of sharks is harming coral reefs
A team of scientists from Canada and Australia has discovered that a decline in shark populations is detrimental to coral reefs.

Clues to the growth of the colossus in Coma
A team of astronomers has discovered enormous arms of hot gas in the Coma cluster of galaxies by using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and ESA's XMM-Newton.

Cutting off all points of escape for melanoma cells
Despite the success of recent melanoma therapies, advanced cancers eventually evolve resistance to drugs.

CYGNSS hurricane satellite mission passes key review milestone
The Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System recently passed NASA's Systems Requirements Review and Key Decision Point-B and can now move into the next phase of development.

MERS Co-V genomes reveal complex transmission patterns
Exactly one year after the first published report on MERS-Coronavirus, the virus continues to defy expectation.

Antibacterial products fuel resistant bacteria in streams and rivers
Emma Rosi-Marshall, one of the paper's authors and an aquatic ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, N.Y., explains:

What people don't get about my job
Boston College Carroll School of Management professor Michael Pratt is the co-author of a study that looks at what can happen when certain jobs aren't fully understood.

Protein 'motif' crucial to telomerase activity, Wistar researchers say
In an effort to understand and control telomerase activity, researchers at the Wistar Institute have discovered a protein

Researchers tease apart workings of a common gene
Researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College have discovered why a tiny alteration in a brain gene, found in 20 percent of the population, contributes to the risk for anxiety, depression and memory loss.

Genetics in Medicine publishes special issue dedicated to genomics in electronic health records
Now, in the first collection of its kind, the October 2013 issue of Genetics in Medicine, the official peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics, provides a series of research articles detailing challenges and solutions for integrating genomic data into EHR.

How lethal bird flu viruses evolved
In a study published by Cell Press on Sept. 19 in Cell Host & Microbe, an in-depth evolutionary analysis of whole-genome sequences of different types of avian flu viruses has revealed that new H7N9 viruses emerged from distinct H9N2 viruses in a two-step process, first occurring in wild birds and then continuing in domestic birds.

CU-Boulder awarded $3.6 million for new way to produce magnesium for auto parts
A University of Colorado Boulder professor has been awarded a three-year, $3.6 million grant from the Energy Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency to develop a new process to produce magnesium that can be used to make lightweight vehicle parts.

Groundbreaking pain research by University of Kentucky scientists
The bodies of mammals, including humans, respond to injury by releasing endogenous opioids -- compounds that mitigate acute pain.

Could dog food additive prevent disabling chemotherapy side effect?
Working with cells in test tubes and in mice, researchers at Johns Hopkins have discovered that a chemical commonly used as a dog food preservative may prevent the kind of painful nerve damage found in the hands and feet of four out of five cancer patients taking the chemotherapy drug Taxol.

Largest genetic analysis of MERS coronavirus to date suggests that virus has transmitted from animals to humans more than once
The largest study of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus genomes to date, published in The Lancet today, reveals new information about how MERS-CoV is evolving, and its likely patterns of transmission.

Boys go camping, get shock of their lives
Eight-year-old twin boys, camping in a backyard tent, received penetrating blast injuries when a bolt of lightning struck a transformer near their tent, sending them to the emergency department for treatment.

Best-case scenario suggests that just one in five countdown countries can meet post-2015 targets for cutting child mortality rates by 2035
A comprehensive new analysis of interventions to reduce maternal and child deaths in developing countries, published in The Lancet, reveals that if current trends continue, just nine Countdown countries will meet internationally agreed targets to reduce the number of deaths of children under 5 to less than 20 deaths per 1000 births by 2035.

UPNA develops a method that automatically delimits areas of the brain in medical images
A piece of research submitted by the Artificial Intelligence and Approximate Reasoning Group of the NUP/UPNA-Public University of Navarre received an award from the European Association of Fuzzy Logic and Soft Computing during its biennial meeting, EUSFLAT 2013, held in Milan last week.

Disarming HIV with a 'pop'
A team of Drexel University researchers is trying to get one step ahead of the virus with a microbicide they've created that can trick HIV into

Scientists create new hydrogen fuel cell safety app
Engineers and scientists have developed an app that focuses on hydrogen safety.

$1.2 million grant boosts special education credential program at SF State
A $1.2 million grant from the US Department of Education will benefit a program at San Francisco State University that is helping fill a critical need for early childhood special educators.

Tropical Depression Humberto fizzling, 2 areas developing
Imagery from NOAA's GOES-East satellite on Sept. 19 showed Tropical Depression Humberto had lost its organization, while one tropical low struggled near Bermuda, and another one was taking shape in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico.

Journal of AIDS Oct. issue research highlights announced
JAIDS: Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes announced its research article highlights from the Oct. issue now available on the journal website.

UTHealth awarded $20 million to launch Tobacco Regulatory Science Center
The University of Texas School of Public Health has received $20 million in funding from the United States Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health today as part of an ongoing interagency partnership.

UNC partners with FDA, NIH to create Tobacco Centers of Regulatory Science
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill received two separate grants from the US Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health today as part of an on-going interagency partnership.

A brake in the head: German researchers gain new insights into the working of the brain
Scientists of the Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases have managed to acquire new insights into the functioning of a region in the brain that normally is involved in spatial orientation, but is damaged by the Alzheimer's disease.

Grant to explore better methods for delivering antidotes after chemical attacks
Delivering an antidote against exposure to chemical weapons could one day be as simple as slapping on a patch.

Paracetamol improves exercise endurance in the heat
Paracetamol has a significant effect on exercise performance and the body's ability to cope with the thermal challenge of exercise in the heat, shows a study published today in Experimental Physiology.

Carbon monoxide could hold promise of effective preeclampsia treatment, prevention
A new study provides evidence for the effects of carbon monoxide in pregnancy, and the role it might have in attenuating the signs of preeclampsia. 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