Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 27, 2013
'Many have mystic experiences'
An international conference in Münster will be held on the rediscovery of mysticism in the modern age; including a public lecture and Sufi concert with a dancing dervish in the Münster Petrikirche.

Genetic mutation increases risk of Parkinson's disease from pesticides
A study uses patient-derived stem cells to show that a mutation in the alpha-synuclein gene causes increased vulnerability to pesticides, leading to Parkinson's disease.

Parasite lost
Using advanced methodologies that pit drug compounds against specific types of malaria parasite cells, an international team of scientists, including researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation, have identified a potential new weapon and approach for attacking the parasites that cause malaria.

Figures of 8 and peanut shells: How stars move at the center of the Galaxy
Two months ago astronomers created a new 3D map of stars at the center of our Galaxy (the Milky Way), showing more clearly than ever the bulge at its core.

A fiery drama of star birth and death
The Large Magellanic Cloud is one of the closest galaxies to our own.

Negative BRCA testing may not always imply lowered breast cancer risk
Women who are members of families with BRCA2 mutations but who test negative for the family-specific BRCA2 mutations are still at greater risk for developing breast cancer compared with women in the general population, according to a study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

New Collection from PLOS and DNDi highlights a decade of R&D into neglected tropical diseases
As part of a collaborative initiative, PLOS and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) are delighted to launch a special Collection -- PLOS & DNDi: a decade of Open Access and Neglected Tropical Diseases R&D (Research and Development) -- to coincide with a joint event at the Institut Pasteur in Paris celebrating the 10-year anniversary of DNDi.

Fast, furious, refined: Smaller black holes can eat plenty
Gemini observations support an unexpected discovery in the galaxy Messier 101.

Making a gem of a tiny crystal
Nature builds flawless diamonds, sapphires and other gems. Now Northwestern University researchers are the first to build near-perfect single crystals out of nanoparticles and DNA, using the same structure favored by nature.

Occludin and connexin 43 expression in the pathogenesis of traumatic brain edema
Understanding the pathogenesis of brain edema may allow for the prevention and treatment of edema in the field of neurosurgery, thus resulting in better treatments for intracranial diseases.

Shortage of rheumatologists -- In some US regions closest doctor may be 200 miles away
A novel study published in the American College of Rheumatology journal, Arthritis & Rheumatism, shows that smaller micropolitan areas of the US -- those with less than 50,000 people -- have very few or no practicing adult rheumatologist.

World population mapping helps combat poverty and poor health
A team of researchers led by the University of Southampton has launched an online project to map detailed population information from countries around the world.

Northeastern University President Aoun elected as AAAS Fellow
North­eastern Uni­ver­sity Pres­i­dent Joseph E. Aoun has been elected a Fellow of the Amer­ican Asso­ci­a­tion for the Advance­ment of Sci­ence, the world's largest gen­eral sci­en­tific society.

SOHO shows new images of Comet ISON
As Comet ISON heads toward its closest approach to the sun -- known as perihelion -- on Nov.

Study finds vulnerability in malaria parasite
An international team of scientists, including researchers at Columbia University Medical Center, has identified a key metabolic enzyme that common malaria parasites require for survival at each stage of infection in humans.

Scientists develop way to successfully give nanoparticle therapeutics orally
Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Massachusetts Institute of Technology are the first to report in the field of nanomedicine a new type of nanoparticle that can be successfully absorbed through the digestive tract.

Paleotempestology and 2011's Hurricane Irene
A new study published in the December issue of GSA Today examines the geological legacy of Hurricane Irene, not only in terms of its impact on current coastal conditions but also in what it can tell geoscientists about the past.

Researchers discover promising new treatment to help people with spine injuries walk better
Scientists may have found a new treatment that can help people with spinal cord injuries walk better.

Active component from wine-processed Fructus corni inhibits hippocampal neuron apoptosis
This finding, published in the Neural Regeneration Research, provides theoretical evidence for the treatment of neurodegenerative disease with 5-hydroxymethylfurfural extracted from wine-processed Fructus corni and lays the foundations for clinical prevention and treatment of oxidative injury-related diseases in the brain.

Lakes discovered beneath Greenland ice sheet
The study, published in Geophysical Research Letters, discovered two subglacial lakes 800 meters below the Greenland Ice Sheet.

Children's National researcher receives grant for Pediatric Brain Cancer Research
Javad Nazarian, Ph.D., a researcher with Children's Research Institute at Children's National, is the recipient of a $99,979 grant from the DIPG Collaborative for his proposal entitled,

Physicists find a way to study coldest objects in the universe
In a new study published Nov. 28 in the Institute of Physics and German Physical Society's New Journal of Physics, a group of researchers from the UK and Australia have come up with a new way of measuring BECs by using a filter to cancel out the damage caused by the streams of light that are typically used to measure them.

Subarctic lakes are drying up at a rate not seen in 200 years
The decrease in snowfall observed in recent years in Canada's subarctic regions has led to worrisome desiccation of the regions' lakes.

Critical brain areas for sex hormone to induce diseases
The human brain is anatomically and functionally sexually dimorphic. While specific debates on this topic have occurred for decades, sexual dimorphism is generally acknowledged with respect to brain size, cognitive function, emotional expression, and other behavior patterns.

New effect couples electricity and magnetism in materials
Electricity and magnetism are closely linked -- but up until now, they were thought to lead to quite different effects in materials.

Clinical trial shows tongue-controlled wheelchair outperforms popular wheelchair navigation system
Individuals with paralysis in a new clinical trial were able to use a tongue-controlled technology to access computers and execute commands for their wheelchairs at speeds that were significantly faster than those recorded in sip-and-puff wheelchairs, but with equal accuracy.

Penn study shows automated prediction alert helps identify patients at risk for 30-day readmission
An automated prediction tool which identifies newly admitted patients who are at risk for readmission within 30 days of discharge has been successfully incorporated into the electronic health record of the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

The deadly news about all osteoporotic fractures
It is well known that hip and vertebral fractures increase the risk of premature death.

Cryptic new species of wild cat identified in Brazil
Researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on Nov.

New clues to memory formation may help better treat dementia
Do fruit flies hold the key to treating dementia? Biologists at the University of Houston have taken a significant step forward in unraveling the mechanisms of Pavlovian conditioning.

Labor mobility generates growth
If small European countries like Denmark are to match China's export growth rates, more companies need to venture out and expand to new export markets.

How does persimmon leaf flavonoid promote brain ischemic tolerance?
How does persimmon leaf flavonoid promote brain ischemic tolerance?

EU fishing fleets reap profits while taxpayers foot the bill
The European Union's taxpayers are paving the way for fishing fleets to reel in valuable catch in developing countries while fishing companies pocket the profits, according to University of British Columbia researchers.

New research shows pre-existing diabetes in pregnancy greatly increases the risk of death of the fetus or infant child
New research shows that pre-existing diabetes in pregnant women greatly increases the risk of death of their unborn fetus by around 4.5 times compared with pregnant women without diabetes, and also almost doubles the risk of death of infants after birth.

Chinese medicines that tonify the kidney inhibit dopaminergic neuron apoptosis
Parkinson's disease is a common neurodegenerative disease in the elderly, which is pathologically characterized by selective loss of dopaminergic neurons.

MAINZ award for Anna Maria Hofmann and Christine Tonhauser
The 2012 doctoral award of the Graduate School of Excellence

Circadian timing may give edge to West Coast NFL teams in night games
A new analysis of National Football League results suggests that the body's natural circadian timing gives a performance advantage to West Coast teams when they play East Coast teams at night.

Sorting good germs from bad, in the bacterial world
There are good E. coli and bad E. coli. Some live in your gut and help you keep healthy, others can cause serious disease -- even death.

NASA watches as India braces for Tropical Cyclone Lehar
Tropical Cyclone Lehar is weakening as it heads for a landfall in eastern India.

Modafinil reduces depression's severity when taken with antidepressants
A new study has concluded that taking the drug modafinil, typically used to treat sleep disorders, in combination with antidepressants reduces the severity of depression more effectively than taking antidepressants alone.

Pitt unlocks trove of public health data to help fight deadly contagious diseases
In an unprecedented windfall for public access to health data, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health researchers have digitized all weekly surveillance reports for reportable diseases in the US going back 125 years.

NASA sees Alessia reclaim her crown as a Tropical Storm
The former tropical storm Alessia reclaimed her title on Nov.

A celebration of a Persian mystic leads to better understanding of dynamics
Science can sometimes be all about serendipity. Three colleagues got together and watched a documentary on whirling dervishes.

What's the sound of a hundred thousand soccer fans?
Brazilian researchers study acoustics of the caxirola, official World Cup instrument, in work to be presented at the fall meeting of the Acoustical Society of America.

Geriatric care may help older patients become independent again after car accident or other trauma
A year after a trauma injury, seniors had difficulty with regular tasks such as simple shopping trips.

Improved safety measures by mental health service providers help to reduce suicide rates
Researchers from the University's National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness, commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership, examined patient suicide and the impact of services changes made by mental health service providers across the UK between 1997 and 2011.

Glaciers sizzle as they disappear into warmer water
The sounds of bubbles escaping from melting ice make underwater glacial fjords one of the loudest natural marine environments on earth, according to research to be presented at the fall meeting of the Acoustical Society of America.

NIH-funded scientists identify potential target for malaria drugs
Researchers have identified the protein in malaria-causing Plasmodium parasites that is inhibited by a newly discovered class of anti-malarial compounds known as imidazopyrazines.

New aggressive HIV strain leads to faster AIDS development
A recently discovered HIV strain leads to significantly faster development of AIDS than currently prevalent forms, according to new research from Lund University in Sweden.

Duo searching for new cancer drugs win 2013 Burnet Prize
Medicinal chemist Dr Guillaume Lessene and structural biologist Dr Peter Czabotar have been jointly awarded the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute's 2013 Burnet Prize, which is awarded annually to early career scientists who have undertaken pioneering work.

Over 70 new centers to train tomorrow's engineers and scientists
Details of how a £350 million fund will be used to train over 3,500 postgraduate students in engineering and physical sciences, will be announced today by Universities and Science Minister, David Willetts.

Scientists identify key protein responsible for controlling communication between brain cells
Scientists are a step closer to understanding how some of the brain's 100 billion nerve cells co-ordinate their communication.

Global study reveals pandemic of untreated cancer pain due to over-regulation of pain medicines
A ground-breaking international collaborative survey, published in Annals of Oncology, shows that more than half of the world's population live in countries where regulations that aim to stem drug misuse leave cancer patients without access to opioid medicines for managing cancer pain.

Hysterectomized women may benefit from testosterone
New research from Brigham and Women's Hospital has found that testosterone administration in women with low testosterone levels, whom previously had undergone hysterectomy with or without oophorectomy, was associated with improvements in sexual function, muscle mass and physical function.

New navigation system enables safe growth of port traffic
The DockingAssist system is a precise, high-speed port navigation system developed in a European research project.

The good news about the global epidemic of dementia
As many Americans share holiday meals with family members whose memories are impaired, here's some good news about dementia, in the New England Journal, from Eric B.

MD Anderson researchers identify a rescuer for vital tumor-suppressor
The tumor-suppessing protein PTEN is absent in many cancers, yet defects in the PTEN gene do not account for this disappearance.

Lasers deemed highly effective treatment for excessive scars
Current laser therapy approaches are effective for treating excessive scars resulting from abnormal wound healing, concludes a special topic paper in the December issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Ethical debate on face transplantation has evolved over time, reports Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Once viewed as an

Pills of the future: Nanoparticles
Researchers at MIT and BWH design drug-carrying nanoparticles that can be taken orally instead of being injected.

Study of young parents highlights links among stress, poverty and ethnicity
An avalanche of chronic stress affecting poor mothers and fathers is revealed in new data from a comprehensive national, federally funded study.

NIH director warns that US research funding is falling behind, calls for new focus on innovation
NIH Director Francis Collins was the keynote speaker at a conference that kicked off University of Maryland School of Medicine's Accelerating Innovation and Discovery in Medicine program in which the medical school asked a panel of world-famous scientists to act as advisers and consultants on where the School's research efforts should be.

Scientists work to engineer an injectable therapy for rotator cuff injuries
A research team at Georgia Tech is attempting to engineer an injectable therapy for the shoulder's supraspinatus tendon, a rotator cuff tendon that is commonly torn in sports.

Are you carrying adrenal Cushing's syndrome without knowing it?
Genetic research that will be published tomorrow in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests to Dr.

American College of Emergency Physicians to publish with Wiley
John Wiley & Sons, Inc., today announced a new publishing partnership with the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP).

Economic development can only buy happiness up to a 'sweet spot' of $36,000 GDP per person, study finds
Economists have shed light on the vexed question of whether economic development can buy happiness -- and it seems that life satisfaction actually dips among people living in the wealthiest countries.

Teaching matter waves new tricks: Making magnets with ultra cold atoms
A novel approach to understand magnets was taken by a team of scientists lead by Klaus Sengstock and Ludwig Mathey from the Institute of Laser Physics at the University of Hamburg, with collaborators from Dresden, Innsbruck and Barcelona.

IceCube particle detector in Antarctica records high-energy neutrinos
Scientists at the IceCube South Pole Neutrino Observatory have detected high-energy neutrinos that can be used to provide information about our universe's most violent and least-understood phenomena.

American Chemical Society podcast: Improving disease monitoring in remote locations
The latest episode in the American Chemical Society's award-winning Global Challenges/Chemistry Solutions podcast series features an advance in smartphone-based imaging that could help physicians in resource-limited locations monitor their patients' health.

Ocean rip currents claim more lives than other natural hazards
Rip currents claim more lives in Australia on average each year than bushfires, floods, cyclones and sharks combined, research led by the University of New South Wales shows.

Periodontal tissue differentiation of SC is expected to repair peripheral nerve injury
Periodontal tissue differentiation of SC is expected to repair peripheral nerve injury. 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