Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 18, 2013
Evolution is not a one-way road towards complexity
The larvae of the Wirenia argentea hold a much more complex muscular architecture than their adults -- they remodel during their metamorphosis.

New Rocky Mountain field guide demonstrates the area's dynamic, enigmatic nature
The US Rocky Mountain region has been the subject of continuous, exhaustive scientific work since the first organized geologic trips to the area in the 1860s.

Overnight dialysis boosts kidney health -- while reducing risk of heart disease
Receiving dialysis at home while sleeping not only improves kidney health and quality of life for people with kidney disease, it could also decrease their risk of heart disease, says new study presented at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress.

High blood pressure during pregnancy could elevate the risk of a future stroke
High blood pressure during pregnancy could dramatically raise a woman's lifetime risk of stroke, according to a study presented today at the Canadian Stroke Congress.

€15 million project to revolutionize railway tracks
Institute of Railway Research to play key role in the CAPACITY4RAIL project to develop modular, all-steel track sections embedded with fiber optics.

Lots of oxygen does not necessarily lead to the evolution of advanced life
Any textbook will tell you that oxygen is essential for advanced life to evolve.

Wrangling flow to quiet cars and aircraft
With the use of high voltage equipment, very small plasmas can be used to manipulate fluid flows.

AgriLife researcher Xiuren Zhang receives National Science Foundation CAREER grant
Dr. Xiuren Zhang, a biochemist and geneticist with Texas A&M AgriLife Research in College Station, has been awarded almost $1.3 million from the National Science Foundation to further his studies on RNA silencing and plant stem cells, which ultimately could help breed more productive plants.

BMC receives 2 awards to study delivery of patient care
Boston Medical Center (BMC) has been approved to receive two research awards from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute.

Skid row cancer study has implications for treatment today, Penn researcher says
An ethically dubious medical research study from the 1950s and 60s, known as the

Habitat research methods give a new peek at tiger life with conservation
From a tiger's point of view, yesterday's thoughtful conservation plans might be today's reason to branch out.

Salmonella sensing system
Foodborne illnesses spread easily and, as such, are a difficult-to-control problem -- even more so in developing nations.

Study strengthens link between low dietary fiber intake and increased cardiovascular risk
A new study published in the December issue of The American Journal of Medicine shows a significant association between low dietary fiber intake and cardiometabolic risks including metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular inflammation, and obesity.

NASA's TRMM satellite monitors Typhoon Francisco
Typhoon Francisco passed west of Guam on Oct. 18 as NASA and the Japan Space Agency's TRMM satellite passed overhead and measured its heavy rainfall.

MOOC research to be unveiled at UT Arlington
The University of Texas at Arlington will host a conference in collaboration with the MOOC Research Initiative, a project at Canada's University of Athabasca.

NIH awards UT Southwestern $28.6 million Clinical and Translational Science Award
UT Southwestern Medical Center has received a new $28.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to promote rapid translation of basic laboratory findings into patient care.

Fostering community gardens in an area with historic soil contamination
The soil in industrial cities is often an overlooked resource.

How 'phenotype switching' can make melanoma become metastatic and resistant to drugs
One of the challenges of understanding cancer is trying to determine the mechanisms that drive metastasis, or the process by which tumor cells are able to spread throughout the body.

'Celestial Sleuth'
A new book, Celestial Sleuth, recounts intriguing cases in which astronomy has been used as a tool to solve mysteries from art, history and literature.

Montreal combo plate cuts weight and health risks in obese individuals
Lifestyle programs focused on high-intensity interval training combined with nutritional counseling on the Mediterranean diet have shown dramatic results for improving the heart health of people with abdominal obesity, finds a study released at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress.

Mutations in cancer often affect the X chromosome
Every cell in a woman's body inactivates one of its two X chromosomes.

To swallow or to spit?
Llamas and alpacas are becoming increasingly popular in Europe and are appreciated as trekking animals and as sources of wool.

The benefits of bacteria for gut health
Scientists from the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, United States have shown that specific gut bacteria are beneficial for maintaining a healthy intestine in the fruit fly Drosophila and mice and also contribute to the overall health of these organisms.

Gallo Research Center announces new round of awards for $20m US Army-funded research program
The UCSF-affiliated Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center has issued a second round of grants under its US Army-funded research program intended to accelerate the discovery and development of new medications to treat alcohol and substance abuse in the context of post-traumatic stress and combat injury.

CNIO researchers delve into the behavior of cohesins
The results, published today in the online version of The EMBO Journal, contribute to improving our understanding of how Pds5 proteins modulate the behavior of cohesins, either by stabilizing or destabilizing the binding of cohesins to the chromosomes.

New app provides new direction for researchers examining how children learn from nature
An iPad app is the first of its kind to be used as a research technique that examines how children respond to certain environments.

Scientists identify key genes for increasing oil content in plant leaves
Scientists have identified the key genes required for oil production and accumulation in plant leaves and other vegetative plant tissues.

Learning dialects shapes brain areas that process spoken language
Using advanced imaging to visualize brain areas used for understanding language in native Japanese speakers, a new study from the RIKEN Brain Science Institute finds that the pitch-accent in words pronounced in standard Japanese activates different brain hemispheres depending on whether the listener speaks standard Japanese or one of the regional dialects.

Starting from scratch: RIT program teaches first-year students how to learn
Rochester Institute of Technology is launching a $900,000 National Science Foundation-funded program to improve the retention of deaf, hard-of-hearing and first-generation undergraduates majoring in science, engineering and computer science.

DFG establishes 5 new research units
The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) is establishing five new Research Units.

Fires in China Oct. 18, 2013
Since China is known to have underground coal fires it is not unreasonable to posture that the fires seen on this satellite image might be from coal seam fires.

Tiny 'Lego brick'-style studs make solar panels a quarter more efficient
Rows of aluminum studs help solar panels extract more energy from sunlight than those with flat surfaces.

Tiny sea creatures are heading for extinction, and could take local fisheries with them
Research led by Deakin University (Warrnambool, Australia) and Swansea University (UK) has found that a species of cold water plankton in the North Atlantic, that is a vital food source for fish such as cod and hake, is in decline as the oceans warm.

SDSC, Indiana University, University of Texas to build Science Gateway Service Platform
The National Science Foundation has awarded a $5 million grant for a collaborative five-year project under which researchers at the San Diego Supercomputer Center at the University of California, San Diego will help develop and build a Science Gateway Platform as a service to advance scientific discovery by providing researchers improved access to a variety of hosted or cloud services.

Agricultural fires in India October 18, 2013
Agricultural fires was probably the case on October 18, 2013, when MODIS on NASA's Aqua satellite captured this natural-color image.

Glacial buzz-saws, gold in fool's gold, fingerprints in sea water, and fluvial iron
New article postings for Geology cover glacial erosion and glacial slip; the work of marine organisms in changing the face of Earth; collisional shortening in the Central Alps; changes in sediment transport in Taiwan after typhoon Morakot in 2009; a new type of iron formation, dubbed

Satellite sees extra-tropical Typhoon Wipha affecting Alaska
Powerful Typhoon Wipha never made landfall in the northwestern Pacific but affected several land areas there as seen by NASA's Aqua and Terra satellites.

Geoscience Workforce Currents #80
A new survey summarizes the experiences of recent geoscience graduates and their post-graduation plans for finding jobs or pursuing graduate school.

Automatic speaker tracking in audio recordings
A new system dispenses with the human annotation of training data required by its predecessors but achieves comparable results.

Tanning gene linked to increased risk of testicular cancer, according to NIH scientists
A gene important in skin tanning has been linked to higher risk for testicular cancer in white men, according to a study led by scientists from the US National Institutes of Health and the University of Oxford in England.

Oral nutritional supplements may help hospitals achieve readmission reduction policies
In the US, one in five Medicare patients is readmitted to a hospital each year at an estimated cost of $17.5 billion annually.

Rwandan teens learn mapping skills with smart phones and tablet PCs
Two RIT professors will train 225 high school students in Rwanda to map the natural resources in their communities using tablet computers and smart phones as part of the Innovation for Education, a national initiative the Rwanda Ministry of Education launched earlier this year. 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