Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 24, 2013
Physicists decode decision circuit of cancer metastasis
Researchers from Rice University's Center for Theoretical Biological Physics have deciphered the operating principles of a genetic circuit that allows cancer to metastasize.

Natural dyes from common (and a few uncommon) ingredients: A new video by the American Chemical Society
From crimson red to lavender to mustard yellow, vibrant hues can be coaxed from common -- and a few uncommon -- ingredients to add color to fabrics.

When scaling the quantum slopes, veer for the straight path
Princeton University researchers found that the

ALMA reveals ghostly shape of 'coldest place in the universe'
At a cosmologically crisp one degree Kelvin (minus 458 degrees Fahrenheit), the Boomerang Nebula is the coldest known object in the Universe -- colder than the faint afterglow of the Big Bang, which is the natural background temperature of space.

GW School of Engineering and Applied Science receives grant to improve cloud computing reliability
The National Science Foundation has awarded a nearly $408,000 grant to three faculty members at the George Washington University School of Engineering and Applied Science to develop technologies that will allow cloud computing providers to tailor the availability and reliability of cloud computing services to meet the needs of various consumers.

Researcher is optimistic about meeting 'Grand Challenge' of global prosperity
Lawrence M. Cathles, Cornell University professor of earth and atmospheric sciences, outlines his optimism about the world's prospects for sustaining the human population in an environmentally responsible way in his article,

Clemson hosting scientists who study devastating diseases
Clemson University is hosting the region's leading scientists for discussions about the causative agents of some of the most devastating and intractable diseases of humans, including malaria, amoebic dysentery, sleeping sickness, Chagas disease and fungal meningitis.

Young, black women at highest risk for lupus, suffer more life-threatening complications
Lupus prevalence was three times higher than previous estimates, reaching one in 537 black female Michiganders in the region, compared to one in 1,153 white women.

Copious community-associated MRSA in nursing homes
More than one quarter of residents of 26 nursing homes in Orange County, California carry community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which spread more easily, and may cause more severe infection than MRSA traditionally associated with healthcare facilities, according to a paper published in the November 2013 issue of the Journal of Clinical Microbiology.

Obesity may increase the risk of Clostridium difficile infection
Researchers from Boston Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine have identified obesity as a possible risk factor for clostridium difficile infection.

Coyote more likely to make a meal out of moose than we thought: Study
It has long been believed that coyotes were incapable of taking down an adult moose, but researchers have recently discovered that eastern coyotes and coyote x wolf hybrids (canids) have preyed on adult moose in central Ontario.

EUREKA grant to fund development of new 'optogenetic' technique for mapping neural networks at UMMS
University of Massachusetts Medical School Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology Gang Han, PhD, has received a $1.3 million EUREKA (Exceptional Unconventional Research Enabling Knowledge Acceleration) grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to develop light activated nanoparticles that can be used to image live brain tissue.

Inquiry course into radioactivity wins Science magazine prize
As one result of his exploration, Andy Johnson's course materials entitled Inquiry into Radioactivity have been selected to win the Science Prize for Inquiry-Based Instruction.

Could the Colorado River once have flowed into the Labrador Sea?
In the November issue of GSA Today, James W. Sears of the University of Montana in Missoula advocates a possible Canadian connection for the early Miocene Grand Canyon by arguing for the existence of a

Getting a grip on inventory management using RF
More and more manufacturers are offering their products cooperatively through small retailers, as well as in web shops.

Clifford Jack Jr., M.D., elected to Institute of Medicine
Clifford Jack Jr., M.D., radiologist and noted Alzheimer's disease researcher at Mayo Clinic, has been elected to the Institute of Medicine, part of the national academies.

Study by researchers at Saarland University demonstrates preventive effect of sterols in Alzheimer's
It's no secret that phytochemicals in fruit and vegetables have a positive effect on our health.

How are children affected by maternal anxiety and depression?
Maternal symptoms of anxiety and depression increased the risk of emotional and disruptive problem behaviors in children as early as 18 months of age, according to new research findings from the TOPP study.

King of beasts losing ground in Uganda's paradise
Conservationists from the Wildlife Conservation Society and the University of St.

Just 2 weeks in orbit causes changes in eyes
Just 13 days in space may be enough to cause profound changes in eye structure and gene expression, report researchers.

Gene variants in immune system pathways are correlated with composition of microbes of human body
Human genes in immunity-related pathways are likely associated with the composition of an individual's microbiome, which refers to the bacteria and other microbes that live in and on the body.

Researchers identify gene variant that raises risk for colorectal cancer from eating processed meat
A common genetic variant that affects one in three people significantly increases the risk of colorectal cancer from the consumption of red meat and processed meat.

OU research team developing novel biomass conversion process
A 3-million dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Energy will allow a University of Oklahoma multidisciplinary research team to develop a novel biomass conversion process to obtain a bio-oil compatible with refinery operations.

'Anklebot' helps determine ankle stiffness
MIT researcher's 'Anklebot' helps determine ankle stiffness, could aid in rehabilitation from strokes, other motor disorders.

New class of drug shows promise for treating asthma and COPD
Scientists have developed a new drug (RPL554) that could treat obstructive airway diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in two ways at once, according to new research published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.

Researchers design global HIV vaccine that shows promise in monkeys
The considerable diversity of HIV worldwide represents a critical challenge for designing an effective HIV vaccine.

NASA sees Super-typhoon Lekima ready to make the curve
Super-typhoon Lekima is poised to

EORTC study suggests detecting ERG gene deletion useful for risk stratification in childhood ALL
Results of EORTC trial 58951 suggest that detecting ERG gene deletion at diagnosis of childhood B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia would be useful for risk stratification.

NIH funds development of novel robots to assist people with disabilities, aid doctors
Three projects have been awarded funding by the National Institutes of Health to develop innovative robots that work cooperatively with people and adapt to changing environments to improve human capabilities and enhance medical procedures.

Gold nanoparticles give an edge in recycling CO2
It's a 21st-century alchemist's dream: turning Earth's superabundance of carbon dioxide -- a greenhouse gas -- into fuel or useful industrial chemicals.

Unique chemistry in hydrogen catalysts
Making hydrogen easily and cheaply is a dream goal for clean, sustainable energy.

Building culture in digital media
Fox Harrell's new book presents a 'manifesto' detailing how computing can create powerful new forms of expression and culture.

Why plants usually live longer then animals
Stem cells are crucial for the continuous generation of new cells.

Yeast, human stem cells drive discovery of new Parkinson's disease drug targets
Using a discovery platform whose components range from yeast cells to human stem cells, Whitehead Institute scientists have identified a novel Parkinson's disease drug target and a compound capable of repairing neurons derived from Parkinson's patients.

Killer apps that could keep you healthy
The Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory hosted a competition this summer where graduate students designed two mobile apps to fight the threats of food-related illnesses and the flu.

KAIST's classes now available to take from all around the world
The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and Coursera, the world's largest provider of massive open online courses, agreed on October 14th, 2013 to partner for the provision of internet-based open learning to Korean and global learners.

MTV, AP-NORC Center survey finds that online bullying has declined
MTV and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research today released the results of a new survey exploring the pervasiveness of digital abuse among teens and young adults, how it is affecting America's youth and how they're responding to it.

Preclinical study finds drug helps against pancreatic cancer
An investigational drug that disrupts tumor blood vessels shows promise against a rare type of pancreatic cancer, scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have found.

Exercise during pregnancy improves vascular function of offspring into adulthood
Exercise during gestation has the potential to program vascular health in offspring into their adulthood, in particular significantly altering the vascular smooth muscle, shows a new study published today [25 October] in the journal Experimental Physiology.

Molecular biology: Designer of protein factories exposed
For 10 years, Patrick Cramer and his colleagues at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet in Munich have probed the structure of RNA polymerase I, a crucial cog in the machinery of all cells.

Need different types of tissue? Just print them!
What sounds like a dream of the future has already been the subject of research for a few years: simply printing out tissue and organs.

100 percent of the image restored using a version containing between 1 and 10 percent of the information
In his PhD thesis, Daniel Paternain-Dallo, Computer Engineer of the NUP/UPNA-Public University of Navarre, has developed algorithms to reduce and optimize images; using a reduced image (with between 1 percent and 10 percent of the information from the original image), they allow 100 percent of the pixels in the initial image to be restored.

Training the future biomanufacturing workforce
To maintain strong growth of the bioeconomy, a pool of skilled workers is needed to fill biomanufacturing jobs in the areas of bioenergy and biobased products.

Dry air and cooler waters weakening Tropical Depression Lorenzo
GOES captured a visible image of Tropical Depression Lorenzo that showed very little convection happening throughout the system because dry air and cooler sea surface temperatures.

NASA analyzes Hurricane Raymond's copious rainfall
Powerful hurricane Raymond, located off Mexico's south-central Pacific coast, weakened to a tropical storm and has dropped a lot of rain over central western Mexico's coast.

For fish and rice to thrive in Yolo Bypass, 'just add water'
From a fish-eye view, the rice fields of California's Yolo Bypass are one big dehydrated food web.

Participation in mindfulness-based program improves teacher well-being
Teacher well-being, efficacy, burnout-related stress, time-related stress and mindfulness significantly improve when teachers participate in the CARE (Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Education) for Teachers program, according to Penn State researchers.

Better sex in return for good gifts
If a male spider goes to the trouble of finding a good gift, wraps it up nicely in spider silk and offers it to a female he would like to mate, he has far better chances of fathering her offspring than if he skipped the present.

NASA sees rainfall in Tropical Storm Francisco
NASA's TRMM satellite flew above the center of Tropical Storm Francisco in the western North Pacific Ocean early on Oct.

Gene-diet interaction may help explain link between eating meat & colorectal cancer risk
A significant interaction between genetic variant rs4143094 and processed meat consumption was detected in first study with statistical power to identify such an association across genome of large population.

Fungus that causes white-nose syndrome in bats proves hardy survivor
After taking an in-depth look at the basic biology of a fungus that is decimating bat colonies as it spreads across the US, researchers report that they can find little that might stop the organism from spreading further and persisting indefinitely in bat caves.

Hypoxia issues in the Gulf of Mexico
Nitrogen, phosphorus export must be reduced; faster action by ag industry needed.

Grafted limb cells acquire molecular 'fingerprint' of new location, UCI study shows
Cells triggering tissue regeneration that are taken from one limb and grafted onto another acquire the molecular

First gene detected for most common form of mitral valve prolapse
DNA of large, multi-generational family provided genetic clue to location of gene for common heart disease, mitral valve prolapse.

Washing your hands makes you optimistic
Washing our hands influences how we think, judge and decide.

WUSTL researchers developing hospital patient early warning system
A team of Washington University in St. Louis engineers and physicians is combining areas of expertise to prevent hospitalized patients from deteriorating while in the hospital and from being readmitted soon after discharge.

Experimental drug reduces brain damage, eliminates brain hemorrhaging in rodents afflicted by stroke
Developed by a team led by USC physician-scientist Berislav V.

Finding psychiatric drugs in the movements of mice
Using a computational method called data mining, Dr. Neri Kafkafi of Tel Aviv University has discovered a small number of mouse behaviors that can be used to categorize psychiatric drugs more quickly and easily than standard tests.

Study finds that paying people to become kidney donors could be cost-effective
Paying living donors $10,000 could be cost-saving even if it only resulted in a 5 percent increase in the number of donors.

UMass Amherst researcher quantifies the effectiveness of video ads
Online video is a

Cancer imaging centers get £35 million boost
Cancer imaging is set to get a major boost from a £35 million nationwide initiative to develop cutting edge imaging technologies for basic and clinical cancer research.

Bee sting allergy could be a defense response gone haywire, Stanford scientists say
New findings by Stanford University School of Medicine scientists may provide an evolutionary explanation for severe allergic reactions.

Does the timing of surgery to treat traumatic spinal cord injury affect outcomes?
Performing surgery to take pressure off the spine after a traumatic injury soon after the event could prevent or reverse some of the secondary damage caused by swelling and decreased blood flow to the injured spine.

IU, Regenstrief initiative aims to decrease hospitalization of nursing home residents
The OPTIMISTIC study, an innovative initiative developed by research-clinicians from Indiana University and the Regenstrief Institute to improve health care, reduce avoidable hospitalizations and increase access to palliative care, is now underway in 19 nursing facilities throughout Central Indiana.

Reservoir of hidden HIV larger than previously thought
In the fight to cure human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), researchers have been dealt a blow.

Study ties bone marrow transplant to negative sexual side effects
New research ties preparative procedures and complications associated with blood or bone marrow transplantation (stem cell transplantation, SCT) with diminished sexual health in both men and women who have undergone the lifesaving procedure.

Unleashing the power of the crowd
Over the past three years, 300,000 gamers have helped scientists with genomic research by playing Phylo, an online puzzle game.

NIH and CDC launch registry for sudden death in the young
A registry of deaths in young people from conditions such as heart disease and epilepsy is being created to help researchers define the scope of the problem and set future research priorities.

Bigger, better, faster
The molecular machine that makes essential components of ribosomes is like a Swiss-army knife, researchers at EMBL Heidelberg and collaborators have found.

Behavior problems in preschool and child care centers may be an issue of genes
A new study suggests that some children may be genetically predisposed to developing behavioral problems in child care and preschool settings.

Researchers apply brainpower to understanding neural stem cell differentiation
How do humans and other mammals get so brainy? In a paper that will be published in Cell Reports on October 24, USC researcher Wange Lu, Ph.D., and his colleagues explained how neural stem and progenitor cells differentiate into neurons and related cells called glia.

That allergic reaction to bee stings? It's meant to protect you
Allergic reactions to bee stings can be damaging or even deadly, but new evidence from two independent studies of mice reported in the Cell Press journal Immunity on Oct.

Hands-free ultrasound device with clot-busting drug safe for stroke patients
A hands-free ultrasound device combined with clot buster was safe for ischemic stroke patients.

NASA's SDO sees sun emit a mid-level solar flare
The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare that peaked at 8:30 pm EDT on Oct.

Barrier to HIV cure bigger than previously thought
HIV infection is typically treated with antiretroviral therapy, which targets actively replicating HIV but doesn't affect inactive or latent forms of the virus.

A thermoelectric materials emulator
Converting heat directly into power could be a major source of renewable energy.

Avicenna's Medicine
An ancient Arabic medical encyclopedia written in the eleventh century provides a model for practicing individualized medicine, says a Georgetown University Medical Center scientist who, with two colleagues, has translated the original text into English.

Taking a close look, whatever the scale
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Development Center X-ray Technology work with the biggest and smallest computed tomography scanners in the world -- equipment that is able to scan everything from entire shipping containers to tiny biological samples.

Johns Hopkins and Belgian research center to expand health care applications for silicon nanotech
Researchers and physicians at The Johns Hopkins University will collaborate with Belgian nanoelectronics research center imec to advance silicon applications in health care, beginning with development of a point-of-care device to enable a broad range of clinical tests to be performed outside the laboratory.

Mayo Clinic study: Uterine fibroids have significant impact on quality of life, workplace performance
Uterine fibroids cause significant fear and morbidity and can compromise workplace performance, according to a recently published survey of nearly 1,000 women in the US.

Novel genetic mutations cause low metabolic rate and obesity
Researchers from the University of Cambridge have discovered a novel genetic cause of severe obesity which, although relatively rare, demonstrates for the first time that genes can reduce basal metabolic rate -- how the body burns calories.

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in smokeless tobacco products
The concentration of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in smokeless tobacco products can differ by as much as 60 fold - the highest levels arein moist snuff, dry snuff and soft pellets; the lowest levels were in snus.

American University to study Pennsylvania performing arts organizations
Changing lifestyles, economic pressures and the digital age have made it more challenging for performing arts organizations to stay ahead.

Grasshopper mice are numb to the pain of the bark scorpion sting
The painful, potentially deadly stings of bark scorpions are nothing more than a slight nuisance to grasshopper mice, which voraciously kill and consume their prey with ease.

What is it about your face?
Berkeley Lab researchers found thousands of gene enhancers -- regulatory sequences of DNA that act to turn-on or amplify the expression of a specific gene -- are involved in the development of the human face.

BROCA sequencing approach evaluates all 24 genes implicated in breast cancer
Comprehensive testing for all known inherited breast cancer gene mutations explains occurrence of the cancer in women with normal BRCA genes and family history of the disease, Mary-Claire King, Ph.D., and Tomas Walsh, Ph.D., report at ASHG 2013.

Aboriginal hunting practice increases animal populations
In Australia's Western Desert, Aboriginal hunters use a unique method that actually increases populations of the animals they hunt, according to a study co-authored by Stanford Woods Institute-affiliated researchers Rebecca and Doug Bird.

Genetic analysis reveals insights into the genetic architecture of OCD, Tourette syndrome
An international research consortium led by investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital and the University of Chicago has answered several questions about the genetic background of obsessive-compulsive disorder and Tourette syndrome, providing the first direct confirmation that both are highly heritable and also revealing major differences between the underlying genetic makeup of the disorders.

Foreign private patients provide a lucrative source of NHS income
Foreign patients coming to the UK for private medical treatment are a lucrative source of income for the NHS, according to a new study by researchers at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and the University of York.

Ultrasound device combined with clot-buster safe for stroke, say UTHealth researchers
A study led by researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston showed that a hands-free ultrasound device combined with a clot-busting drug was safe for ischemic stroke patients.

Increasing toxicity of algal blooms tied to nutrient enrichment and climate change
Nutrient enrichment and climate change are posing yet another concern of growing importance: an apparent increase in the toxicity of some algal blooms in freshwater lakes and estuaries around the world, which threatens aquatic organisms, ecosystem health and human drinking water safety.

Climate change and coevolution: We've done the math
When scientists attempt to understand how climate change might reshape our environment, they must grapple with the seemingly endless complexity of interacting systems.

National Robotics Initiative Awards provide $7 million for Carnegie Mellon research projects
Robotic rotorcraft for inspecting bridges and other infrastructure, tools for minimally invasive surgery that guide surgeons by creating 3D maps of internal organs and assistive robots for blind travelers are among seven new Carnegie Mellon University research projects sponsored through the National Robotics Initiative.

Scientists solve mystery of odd patterns of oxygen in solar system's earliest rocks
By re-creating conditions in the solar nebula, the swirl of gas that coalesced to form our star, the planets and the remnant rocky debris that circles the Sun as asteroids, the researchers demonstrated that a simple chemical reaction, governed by known physical principles, can generate silicate dust with oxygen anomalies that match those found in the oldest rocks in the solar system.

Elsevier adds open access journal: Annals of Medicine and Surgery to its medical journal portfolio
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, announces it has added Annals of Medicine and Surgery, an online-only, open access journal devoted to physicians and surgeons in training, to its medical journal portfolio.

Identifying a mystery channel crucial for hearing
Our ability to hear relies on hair cells, sensory receptors that mechanically amplify low-level sound that enters the inner ear through a transduction channel.

New testing strategy detects population-wide vitamin and mineral deficiencies
Levels of certain proteins in the bloodstream may be used to estimate levels of essential vitamins and minerals without directly testing for each nutritional factor.

Reading this in a meeting? Women are twice as likely as men to be offended by smartphone use
In an increasingly uncivil world, a new study from the USC Marshall School of Business and Howard University is the first to provide hard evidence for how attitudes about acceptable or rude mobile phone use actually break down across gender, age and region.

Deadly gaps persist in new drug development for neglected diseases
In a study published today in the open-access journal the Lancet Global Health, the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative and other researchers report a persistent deficiency in truly new therapeutics for neglected diseases, despite nominal progress and an acceleration in research and development (R&D) efforts.

Persuading light to mix it up with matter
MIT team documents a never-before-seen coupling of photons with electrons on the surface of an exotic crystal.

Samurai sword protein makes strategic cuts in cell skeletons
Ram Dixit's lab at Washington University in St. Louis has shown that a protein named after the katana, or samurai sword, plays a crucial role in patterning the

Research education consortium announced
Lacawac Sanctuary Foundation, the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University and Drexel University today announced an agreement to form an environmental research and education consortium at Lacawac Sanctuary, a popular National Natural Landmark and ecological field research station in the Pocono Mountains.

Genetic mutation provides clues to battling childhood obesity
A new paper identifies a possible genetic root to the insatiable appetite and slow metabolism of some obese patients.

Experts clarify conflicting criteria for diagnosing polycystic ovary syndrome
The Endocrine Society today issued a Clinical Practice Guideline for the diagnosis and treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome, the most common hormone disorder in women of reproductive age and a leading cause of infertility.

Mutations in novel tumor suppressor gene associated with early onset breast cancer
Researchers have identified association between heritable, rare mutations in RINT1 gene and increased risk of early onset breast cancer.

UMass Amherst polymer scientists jam nanoparticles, trapping liquids in useful shapes
Russell says,

Study shows no increased risk for heart attacks among HIV-positive patients with high CD4 cell count
Patients who are HIV-positive and have high CD4 cell counts -- or have a high number of white blood cells that fight infections -- aren't at an increased risk for heart attacks compared to patients who are HIV-negative, according to a Kaiser Permanente study that appears in the current online issue of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.

Curing HIV/AIDS gets tougher: Study shows far more 'hidden' and potentially active virus than once thought
In a cover-story report on the research to be published in the journal Cell online Oct. 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