Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 24, 2013
Great Lakes waterfowl die-offs: Finding the source
A deadly menace stalks the loons, gulls and other water birds of the Great Lakes region: Type E botulism.

How living cells solved a needle in a haystack problem to produce electrical signals
Scientists have figured out how cells do the improbable: pick the charged calcium ions out of vast sodium sea to generate electrical signals.

Decay used to construct quantum information
Usually, when researchers work with quantum information, they do everything they can to prevent the information from decaying.

Scientists prove X-ray laser can solve protein structures from scratch
A study shows for the first time that X-ray lasers can be used to generate a complete 3-D model of a protein without any prior knowledge of its structure.

The secrets of owls' near noiseless wings
Many owl species have developed specialized plumage to effectively eliminate the aerodynamic noise from their wings -- allowing them to hunt and capture their prey in silence.

Black hole jets pack a powerful punch
High-speed 'jets' spat out by black holes pack a lot of power because they contain heavy atoms, astronomers have found.

UNL scientists develop novel X-ray device
A laser-driven device developed by scientists at the Diocles Extreme Light Laboratory at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln could do for research-quality X-rays what the smart phone did for computing.

Your first hug: How the early embryo changes shape
In research published today in Nature Cell Biology, Australian scientists have revealed new insights into how cells organize and form an early mammalian embryo.

Unusual greenhouse gases may have raised ancient Martian temperature
Much like the Grand Canyon, Nanedi Valles snakes across the Martian surface suggesting that liquid water once crossed the landscape, according to a team of researchers who believe that molecular hydrogen made it warm enough for water to flow.

A new, flying jellyfish-like machine
Up, up in the sky: It's a bird! It's a plane!

New genomic study provides a glimpse of how whales could adapt to ocean
In a paper published in Nature Genetics, researchers from Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology, Korea Genome Research Foundation, BGI, and other institutes presented the first high-depth minke whale genome and their new findings on how whales successfully adapted to ocean environment.

Pill-popping galaxy hooked on gas
Our Galaxy may have been swallowing

NIST demonstrates how losing information can benefit quantum computing
Suggesting that quantum computers might benefit from losing some data, physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have entangled -- linked the quantum properties of -- two ions by leaking judiciously chosen information to the environment.

Even if emissions stop, carbon dioxide could warm Earth for centuries
Princeton University-led research suggests that even if carbon-dioxide emissions came to a sudden halt, the carbon dioxide already in Earth's atmosphere could continue to warm our planet for hundreds of years.

Study identifies protein essential for immune recognition, response to viral infection
A Massachusetts General Hospital-led research team has identified an immune cell protein that is critical to setting off the body's initial response against viral infection.

X-rays reveal another feature of high-temperature superconductivity
Classical and high-temperature superconductors differ hugely in their critical temperature when they lose electrical resistance.

Diamond 'flaws' pave way for nanoscale MRI
Breakthrough offers high-sensitivity nanoscale sensors, and could lead to magnetic imaging of neuron activity and thermometry on a single living cell.

New tool developed for profiling critical regulatory structures of RNA molecules
A molecular technique that will help the scientific community to analyze -- on a scale previously impossible -- molecules that play a critical role in regulating gene expression has been developed by a research team led at Penn State Universtiy.

Gene-silencing study finds new targets for Parkinson's disease
Scientists at the National Institutes of Health have used RNA interference technology to reveal dozens of genes which may represent new therapeutic targets for treating Parkinson's disease.

Scientists find brain region that helps you make up your mind
One of the smallest parts of the brain is getting a second look after new research suggests it plays a crucial role in decision making.

The physics of beer tapping
An old, hilarious if somewhat juvenile party trick involves covertly tapping the top of someone's newly opened beer bottle and standing back as the suds foam out onto the floor. 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