Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 22, 2013
Preschoolers exposure to television can stall their cognitive development
Television is a powerful agent of development for children, particularly those in preschool.

UTSA opens Cloud and Big Data Laboratory
The University of Texas at San Antonio has opened a new laboratory to support the Open Compute Project through cloud computing and big data research and development.

Acid raid, ozone depletion contributed to ancient extinction
Around 250 million years ago, at the end of the Permian period, there was a mass extinction so severe that it remains the most traumatic known species die-off in Earth's history.

Colossal new predatory dino terrorized early tyrannosaurs
A new species of carnivorous dinosaur -- one of the three largest ever discovered in North America -- lived alongside and competed with small-bodied tyrannosaurs 98 million years ago.

In plant photosynthesis, scientists see clues for improving solar energy cells
Solar cells optimized to suit local light conditions, or made more efficient by using a broader part of the solar spectrum, are among the imaginative applications foreseen from ground-breaking new insights into plant photosynthesis pioneered in Canada.

Steroid injections for premature babies linked to mental health risk
Steroid injections given to pregnant women before premature birth may increase the child's risk of later behavioral and emotional difficulties, a study has found.

Investments in aging biology research will pay longevity dividend, scientists say
Finding a way to slow the biological processes of aging will do more to extend the period of healthy life in humans than attacking individual diseases alone, according to some of the nation's top gerontologists writing in the latest issue of Public Policy & Aging Report, titled

LSUHSC research finds combo of plant nutrients kills breast cancer cells
A study led by Madhwa Raj, Ph.D., Research Professor in Obstetrics and Gynecology at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans and its Stanley S.

Biodiversity higher in the tropics, but species more likely to arise at higher latitudes
A study of 2300 species of mammals and 6700 species of birds helps explain why there are more species in the tropics than at higher latitudes.

Copper promises cheaper, sturdier fuel cells
Duke chemists are exploring the use of copper nanowires in fuel cells to convert solar energy into storable fuel.

Extent of obesity not strongest factor for patients when choosing weight loss operation
A new study investigating why obese patients choose one type of weight loss operation over another reveals that the main factors influencing decision making are whether patients have type 2 diabetes, how much weight they want to lose, and their tolerance for surgical risk to achieve their ideal weight.

IceCube provides proof of neutrinos from the cosmos -- start of the neutrino astronomy era
The IceCube Neutrino Observatory at the South Pole was the first to discover ultrahigh-energy neutrinos which most likely were the result of cosmic acceleration in outer space.

Continued increases in ADHD diagnoses and treatment with medication among US children
A new study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry found that an estimated two million more children in the United States have been diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder between 2003-04 and 2011-12.

Smaller islands host shorter food chains
That smaller islands will typically sustain fewer species than large ones is a widespread pattern in nature.

Greenland's shrunken ice sheet: We've been here before
The Greenland Ice Sheet was smaller -- as small as it has ever been in recent history -- from 3-5,000 years ago, according to scientists who studied the ice sheet's history using a new technique they developed for interpreting the Arctic fossil record.

Evidence of jet of high-energy particles from Milky Way's black hole found by astronomers
For decades, astronomers have sought strong evidence that the supermassive black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy is producing a jet of high-energy particles.

Study finds link between allergies and increased risk of blood cancers in women
A team of scientists looking into the interplay of the immune system and cancer have found a link between a history of airborne allergies -- in particular to plants, grass and trees -- with risk of blood cancers in women.

Different gene expression in male and female brains may help explain sex differences in brain disorder
UCL scientists have shown that there are widespread differences in how genes, the basic building blocks of the human body, are expressed in men and women's brains.

Extra-Tropical Storm Melissa spinning into history
The National Hurricane Center issued their final advisory on Extra-Tropical Storm Melissa as it spins toward to Azores Islands and weakens.

Expert assessment: Sea-level rise could exceed 1 meter in this century
Sea-level rise in this century is likely to be 70-120 centimeters by 2100 if greenhouse-gas emissions are not mitigated, a broad assessment of the most active scientific publishers on that topic has revealed.

Found: 1 of civilization's oldest wine cellars?
A team of American and Israeli researchers has unearthed what could be the largest and oldest wine cellar in the Near East.

Cannabis use among teens is on the rise in some developing countries
A study published online today in the scientific journal Addiction reveals that cannabis use is declining in rich countries but stable or increasing in developing countries.

UT Dallas professor wins $2.3 million NIH award
Dr. Robert Gregg, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering and bioengineering at UT Dallas, received the award based on his creative, innovative and potentially impactful work to improve prosthetic limbs and orthotic devices.

Sea level rise forecasts helped by insights into glacier melting
Predictions of sea level rise could become more accurate, thanks to new insight into how glacier movement is affected by melting ice in summer.

New dinosaur discovered in Utah
Researchers at The Field Museum, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, and North Carolina State University have discovered a new, giant predatory dinosaur that walked the Earth approximately 100 million years ago, in the Cedar Mountain Formation in Utah.

Political correctness could affect holiday weight gain
As the festivities proceed, so do countless tips for keeping off extra weight this season.

Research team discovers 'immune gene' in Neanderthals
A research group at Bonn University and international collaborators discovered a novel receptor, which allows the immune system of modern humans to recognize dangerous invaders.

Stuck on flu
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have shown for the first time how influenza A viruses snip through a protective mucus net to both infect respiratory cells and later cut their way out to infect other cells.

New study helps explain why some ear and respiratory infections become chronic
Scientists have figured out how a bacterium that causes ear and respiratory illnesses is able to elude immune detection in the middle ear, likely contributing to chronic or recurrent infections in adults and children.

Patients with diabetes who use mail order pharmacy are less likely to visit ERs
Patients with diabetes who received prescribed heart medications by mail were less likely to visit the emergency room than those patients who picked up prescriptions in person, according to a new Kaiser Permanente study published in the American Journal of Managed Care.

Education, in-home inspections key to fire prevention
University of Louisville School of Nursing associate professor Carlee Lehna, Ph.D., and her team are collaborating with the Office of Child Advocacy at Kosair Children's Hospital and the Louisville Fire Department to enhance fire prevention education.

Antidepressant medication does not increase the risk of autism
A large Danish study shows that pregnant women's use of antidepressant medication does not increase the risk of having children with autism.

Powerful tool for genetic engineering
Viruses cannot only cause illnesses in humans, they also infect bacteria.

'Wise chisels': Art, craftsmanship, and power tools
An MIT project melds personal style and technique with computerized control systems.

Sugar-sweetened beverage consumption increases endometrial cancer risk
Postmenopausal women who consumed sugar-sweetened beverages were more likely to develop the most common type of endometrial cancer compared with women who did not drink sugar-sweetened beverages, according to a study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Satellite trio to explore the Earth's magnetic field
SWARM is an ESA mission as part of its

Lessons to be learned about influenza A, 4 years after the public alarm
With autumn just around the corner and a new flu strain lying in wait for us, the presentation of a study analyzing the management of the 2009 influenza A crisis could not, if anything, be better timed.

Archaeologists discover largest, oldest wine cellar in Near East
Archaeologists have unearthed what may be the oldest -- and largest -- ancient wine cellar in the Near East, containing 40 jars, each of which would have held 50 liters of strong, sweet wine.

NASA sees Tropical Cyclone Alessia form, threaten western Australia
The low pressure area previously known as System 90S has continued organizing and consolidating and infrared data from NASA's Aqua satellite helped confirm its strengthening into Cyclone Alessia in the Southern Indian Ocean.

Chemotherapy: When our intestinal bacteria provide reinforcement
Research jointly conducted by investigators at Institut Gustave Roussy, Inserm, Institut Pasteur and French National Agronomic Research Institute has led to a rather surprising discovery on the manner in which cancer chemotherapy treatments act more effectively with the help of the intestinal flora (also known as the intestinal microbiota).

UT Arlington sociology professor's book explores race, ethnicity in sports and their impact on modern race relations
UT Arlington associate professor Krystal Beamon explores athletics, race and culture as a social construction in America in

NASA's solar observing fleet to watch Comet ISON's journey around the sun
It began in the Oort cloud, almost a light year away.

New microscope captures movements of atoms and molecules
A new microscope invented at Michigan State University allows scientists to zoom in on the movements of atoms and molecules.

NASA sees Cyclone Helen making landfall in eastern India
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Cyclone Helen as it was making landfall in eastern India on Nov.

Research funding has become prone to bubble formation
Fashions in research funding, reward structures in universities and streamlining of scientific agendas undermine traditional academic norms and may result in science bubbles.

Scientists have been able to grow artificial skin using stem cells from the umbilical cord
This important scientific breakthrough, developed by the University of Granada, will aid the immediate use of artificially-grown skin for major burn patients, since the skin could be stored in tissue banks and made available when needed.

Epigenetic changes may explain chronic kidney disease
Researchers found, in a genome-wide survey, significant differences in the pattern of chemical modifications on DNA that affect gene expression in kidney cells from patients with chronic kidney disease versus healthy controls.

Paths not taken: Notch signaling pathway keeps immature T cells on the right track
One protein called Notch, which has well-known roles in the development of multiple tissues, plays an essential role in triggering T-cell development.

An inside look at a MOF in action
A unique inside look at the electronic structure of a highly touted metal-organic framework (MOF) as it is adsorbing carbon dioxide gas should help in the design of new and improved MOFs for carbon capture and storage. 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