Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 15, 2013
Mount Sinai's Arvin Dar, Ph.D., receives NIH New Innovator Award for drug development
Arvin Dar, PhD, structural and chemical biologist in oncological sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, is one of 41 national recipients of the prestigious National Institutes of Health Director's New Innovator Awards for High-Risk, High Reward Research.

Cropland Capture game brings citizen science to global food research
IIASA's GeoWiki project today released a new game, Cropland Capture, which turns global land cover research into an addictive game for tablet and smartphone users.

Quantum state world record smashed
A normally fragile quantum state has been shown to survive at room temperature for a world record 39 minutes, overcoming a key barrier towards building ultrafast quantum computers.

Italian study examines clinical predictors of acute urinary symptoms after radiotherapy for prostate
An interim study by Italian researchers showed that using a modelling program together with IPSS and dosage measure can predict the severity of acute urinary symptoms in patients with early prostate cancer who underwent radiotherapy.

Study unveils SINE's potential of re-activating tumor fighting proteins within a cell
A new study suggests that selective blockade of CRM1-dependent nuclear export represents a completely novel, tumor metastasis-selective approach for the treatment of advanced metastatic prostate cancers.

Success of climate talks vital for 2°C target
Achieving a global climate agreement soon could be crucial for the objective to keep global mean temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius.

Vivax malaria may be evolving around natural defense
Researchers at Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute have discovered recent genetic mutations in a parasite that causes over 100 million cases of malaria annually -- changes that may render tens of millions of Africans who had been considered resistant, susceptible to infection.

Safety in numbers? Not so for corals
Traditionally, it was assumed that corals do not face a risk of extinction unless they become very rare or have a very restricted range.

Ocean acidification: Hard to digest
Ocean acidification impairs digestion in marine organisms, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Study shows wind turbines killed 600,000 bats last year
More than 600,000 bats were killed by wind energy turbines in 2012, a serious blow to creatures who pollinate crops and help control flying insects, according to a new study from the University of Colorado Denver.

Whither the teakettle whistle
The source and mechanism of a whistling kettle has never been fully described scientifically; acknowledging the vibrations made by the build-up of steam escaping through two metal spout plates is about as far as the explanation went.

Can certain herbs stave off Alzheimer's disease?
Saint Louis University researchers have found that antioxidant extracts from spearmint and rosemary fight mild cognitive impairment in an animal model.

Large-scale analysis finds inappropriate lab testing throughout medicine
A new study examining 15 years' worth of published research finds that, on average, 30 percent of all lab tests are probably unnecessary -- and equally as many may be going unordered.

Penn Dental Medicine team identifies molecule critical to healing wounds
Skin provides a first line of defense against viruses, bacteria and parasites that might otherwise make people ill.

Blocking signal-transmitting cellular pores may prevent damage to kidneys
A group of Massachusetts General Hospital investigators has identified a molecule that plays a key role in the breakdown of the kidney filter, presenting a potential therapeutic target for stopping the damage before it becomes irreversible.

Team-based approaches needed to fight high blood pressure
Despite proven treatments, blood pressure control is still a challenge in the United States.

Researchers develop algorithm to identify individual grains in planetary regolith
A team of researchers, led by Suniti Karunatillake at LSU's Department of Geology and Geophysics, and including Stony Brook University, USGS-Flagstaff AZ, and Rider University, developed an image analysis and segmentation algorithm specifically to aid planetary scientists with the task of analyzing soil samples taken by Mars rovers.

Mandatory calorie postings at fast-food chains often ignored or unseen, does not influence food choice
Posting the calorie content of menu items at major fast-food chains in Philadelphia, per federal law, does not change purchasing habits or decrease the number of calories that those customers consume, researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center reported today at the Obesity Society's annual scientific meeting, held in Atlanta, Georgia.

Inflammatory skin damage in mice blocked by bleach solution, Stanford study finds
Processes that age and damage skin are impeded by dilute bleach solution, according to a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

NASA-USGS landsat data yield best view to date of global forest losses, gains
The ravages of deforestation, wildfires, windstorms and insects on global forests during this century are revealed in unprecedented detail in a new study based on data from the NASA-US Geological Survey Landsat 7 satellite.

Persistent gene therapy in muscle may not require immunosuppression
In this issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Christian Mueller and colleagues at the University of Massachusetts Medical School evaluated the persistence of rAAV-mediated expression the gene encoding M-type α-1 antitrypsin in patients that were AAT deficient

Population Council presents new research at the International Conference on Family Planning
This week, the Population Council presented findings from more than 40 research studies at the International Conference on Family Planning in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

New book from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press on transplantation
Written and edited by experts in the field,

Bait research focused on outsmarting destructive beetle
University of Alberta researchers are closing in on finding an effective bait to get ahead of the destructive spread of mountain pine beetle, which is now killing not only lodgepole pine forests, but jack pine.

Tasmania home to first alpine sword-sedge
Australian botanists have described a unique new species of sedge (family Cyperaceae, which includes Papyrus and Chinese Water Chestnut) from the mist-shrouded mountains of Tasmania.

Scientists report human dietary supplement cures lab animals infected with human intestinal parasite
Laboratory animals fed a modified version of a common human dietary supplement were completely cured of intestinal worms that belong to a family of parasites that currently infect 1.5 billion people, or almost one quarter of the world's population, according to new research presented today at the annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Rising concerns over tree pests and diseases
New research has found that the number of pests and disease outbreaks in trees and forests across the world has been increasing.

Variation of halogens in martian soil calls for an atmosphere-surface cycle
In the November issue of Icarus, researchers from LSU's Department of Geology & Geophysics and Stony Brook's Department of Geosciences assess the details of halogen variability and an unusual process that may influence it.

How teens choose their friends
A national study led by a Michigan State University scholar finds that the courses students take in high school have powerful effects on the friendships they make.

'What could possibly go wrong?' A lot
The Tough Mudder, an extreme sports event that bills itself as

Exercise training is effective as 'prehabilitation' before surgery in an elderly population
Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing assessment and exercise training in an elderly population is safe and well tolerated, according to the results of a new feasibility study, conducted in the UK.

A decline in creativity? It depends on how you look
Research in recent years has suggested that young Americans might be less creative now than in decades past, even while their intelligence -- as measured by IQ tests -- continues to rise.

Revisiting quantum effects in MEMS
Micro- and nano-electromechanical devices, referred to as MEMS and NEMS, are ubiquitous.

Overcoming brittleness: New insights into bulk metallic glass
Berkeley Lab researchers have found a bulk metallic glass based on palladium that's as strong as the best composite bulk metallic glasses and comparable to steel, aluminum and titanium.

New hologram technology created with tiny nanoantennas
Researchers have created tiny holograms using a

Nanoparticles to probe mystery sperm defects behind infertility
A way of using nanoparticles to investigate the mechanisms underlying 'mystery' cases of infertility has been developed by scientists at Oxford University.

JCI early table of contents for Nov. 15, 2013
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, Nov.

CHICA, automated system developed by Regenstrief and IU, improves autism screening rate
An automated system developed by researchers from the Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University to help pediatricians focus on the specific health needs of each patient in the short time allotted for preventive care improves autism screening rates by identifying at-risk children at the 24-month visit.

BGI Tech and Carlsberg Laboratory joined collaboration for the DNA sequencing of barley chromosome 6
BGI Tech and Carlsberg Laboratory joined collaboration for the DNA sequencing of barley chromosome 6.

Protein quality: It matters
As science continues to support the role of protein in building and maintaining lean muscle, maintaining weight and aging healthy, consumers are embracing the important role of protein in the diet.

American Society for Cell Biology 2013 meeting
The American Society for Cell Biology annual meeting is Saturday to Wednesday, Dec.

Organic lights and solar cells straight from the printer
Flickering façades, curved monitors, flashing clothing, fluorescent wallpaper, flexible solar cells -- and all printable.

Student invention delivers better, safer heart shocks
A student team has invented a system to shock a dangerously irregular heart back into normal rhythm more safely and effectively.

Cataract surgery saves $123.4 billion in direct, indirect costs, delivers a 4,567 percent return to society
Cataract surgeries performed over one year eventually save $123.4 billion over 13 years and delivers a 4,567 percent financial return on investment to society according to the results of a cost-utility study, published online today in the Academy's official journal, Ophthalmology, and will be presented on Nov.

The Gorgons of the eastern Pacific: scientists describe 2 new gorgonian soft coral species
Gorgonians are a type of soft corals easily distinguishable by the complex branching shape, which has also probably inspired their name, coming from the Gorgon Medusa -- a creature from the Greek mythology that had hair made of venomous snakes.

NASA-led firefly mission to study lightning
In mid-November, a football-sized mission called Firefly, which is funded by the National Science Foundation, will launch into space to study lightning and these gamma ray flashes from above.

New research finds potential risk for millions in Africa believed resistant to vivax malaria
Provocative new research shows that the Plasmodium vivax parasite, responsible for nearly 20 million cases of malaria in 2010, may be

RI Cardiovascular Institute to present 20+ abstracts at AHA annual Scientific Sessions
Researchers from the Cardiovascular Institute at Rhode Island, The Miriam and Newport hospitals will present 22 abstracts, both poster and oral presentations, at the upcoming American Heart Association Scientific Sessions, to be held in Dallas Nov.

Chronic diseases hinder good cancer survival rates
For bowel cancer patients with several other diseases, the one-year survival rate is 46 percent.

Study shows being an elite male athlete protects against type 2 diabetes in later life
A study of almost 400 former elite male athletes shows that former status as an elite athlete reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in later life by 28 percent.

Multicenter study underscored the need of a uniform approach to the treatment of BCa
A new study, involving eight Italian research centers, concluded that an aligned approach to the treatment of advanced bladder cancer is much needed, while confirming previously published results on survival estimates of associated salvage therapies.

Treatment of pelvic nodes individualized by inclusion of sentinel nodes is feasible with IMRT, says
Treatment of pelvic nodes individualized by inclusion of sentinel nodes can be easily integrated into an IMRT-based treatment strategy, according to the new study conducted by a group of researchers from Tübingen and Munich in Germany.

Enrollment in SNAP does not substantially improve food security or dietary quality
In the past, SNAP has been shown to reduce poverty among the poorest Americans and generate economic activity.

Ambiguous results in screening for celiac disease among young people
Most children who undergo screening to detect gluten intolerance, celiac disease, can handle it well.

Tipping the balance between senescence and proliferation
p53 is produced as various isoforms as the result of alternative splicing and promoter usage.

NIH-funded study finds donor age not a factor in most corneal transplants
Ten years after a transplant, a cornea from a 71-year-old donor is likely to remain as healthy as a cornea from a donor half that age, according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health.

U of M researchers find HIV protein may impact neurocognitive impairment in infected patients
A protein shed by HIV-infected brain cells alters synaptic connections between networks of nerve cells, according to new research out of the University of Minnesota.

Sunspots: Coming and going
Two large, complex sunspots are moving across the face of the sun.

Drug offers promising approach to improve outcome for children with high-risk leukemia
Combining the drug gemtuzumab ozogamicin with conventional chemotherapy may improve the outcome of bone marrow transplantation for some children battling high-risk acute myeloid leukemia, according to a study led by St.

DOE awards $25.4 million for 'extreme scale' supercomputer interconnect design
Research and development contracts of $25.4 million have been given to five leading companies in high-performance computing to accelerate the development of next-generation supercomputers. 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