Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 04, 2013
Toll-like receptor 4-mediated apoptosis of hippocampal neurons
Toll-like receptor 4 antibody, protein kinase B (AKT) inhibitor, LY 294002, and glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK-3β) inhibitor, LiCl, were used by Yu He and colleagues from Nantong University, China to attenuate or augment the effects of the TLR4-phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase/AKT-GSK-3β signaling pathway so as to identify the participation of this signaling system in the apoptosis of hippocampal neurons.

CU-Boulder-led team finds first evidence of primates regularly sleeping in caves
Scientists have discovered that some ring-tailed lemurs in Madagascar regularly retire to limestone chambers for their nightly snoozes, the first evidence of the consistent, daily use of the same caves and crevices for sleeping among the world's wild primates.

TGen, Barrow and PCH receive $4 million grant to study genetic basis of brain injuries
In an effort to lower medical costs, identify patients at risk for injury, and speed patient recovery, scientists will attempt to identify a molecular signal that indicates severity of brain-injury during a $4 million, five-year federal grant to Barrow Neurological Institute at St.

World Stem Cell Report 2013 highlights expert opinion and state-of-the-art science
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers announced the publication of the World Stem Cell Report 2013, a special supplement to the peer-reviewed journal Stem Cells and Development.

Predicting ovarian cancer survival through tumor-attacking immune cells
Scientists identify new way of counting cancer-fighting cells in ovarian cancer patients.

Mammography screening intervals may affect breast cancer prognosis
In a study of screening mammography-detected breast cancers, patients who had more frequent screening mammography had a significantly lower rate of lymph node positivity -- or cancer cells in the lymph nodes -- as compared to women who went longer intervals between screening mammography exams.

Parkinson's disease patients following subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation: fully understanding of social maladjustment
Subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation can significantly improve the motor features of the Parkinson's disease in carefully selected patients.

MR-guided ultrasound offers noninvasive treatment for breast cancer
A technique that uses focused ultrasound under magnetic resonance guidance to heat and destroy tumors may offer a safe and effective treatment for breast cancer, according to new research.

Women find sexually explicit ads unappealing -- unless the price is right
Sexual imagery is often used in magazine and TV ads, presumably to help entice buyers to purchase a new product.

Data centers can be cooled down in environmentally friendly, energy efficient ways
Data centers housing thousands of computers have enabled proliferation of new cloud-based services.

Humans threaten wetlands' ability to keep pace with sea-level rise
Left to themselves, coastal wetlands can withstand rapid levels of sea-level rise.

Blood vessels reorganize after face transplantation surgery
For the first time, researchers have found that the blood vessels in face transplant recipients reorganize themselves, leading to an understanding of the biologic changes that happen after full face transplantation.

Highly insulating windows are very energy efficient, though expensive
Highly insulating triple-pane windows keep a house snug and cozy, but it takes two decades or more for the windows to pay off financially based on utility-bill savings.

New algorithm makes quadrocopters safer
Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed a novel control algorithm that allows quadrocopters to continue to fly in spite of multiple motor or propeller failures.

Heads or tails? Random fluctuations in brain cell activity may determine toss-up decisions
An emerging field of study known as neuroeconomics combines the economists' insights with brain science to learn more about decision-making processes and how they can go awry.

An important discovery related to anxiety disorders and trauma
A team of Montréal researchers at the IRCM led by Dr.

New method for stabilizing hemoglobin could lead to stable vaccines, artificial blood
A UConn research team has found a way to stabilize hemoglobin, the oxygen carrier protein in the blood, a discovery that could lead to the development of stable vaccines and affordable artificial blood substitutes.

Textile materials protecting against ticks and bedbugs
Tecnalia participates with nine more partners in BETITEX project to obtain textile materials protecting against ticks and bedbugs.

Swallowing a diagnostic pill
A tiny capsule that can carry out a chemical analysis of the contents of one's stomach could identify the presence of so-called

Social stigmas against breast-feeding may contribute to African-American college students' hesitation
A researcher at the University of Missouri has found that African-American college students are aware of the benefits of breast-feeding for infants, yet some still are hesitant about breast-feeding future children.

American Society of Hematology releases list of commonly used tests and treatments to question as part of Choosing Wisely campaign
The American Society of Hematology, the world's largest professional organization dedicated to the causes and treatments of blood disorders, today released a list of common hematology tests, treatments, and procedures that are not always necessary as part of Choosing Wisely®, an initiative of the ABIM Foundation.

Silkworms spin colored silks while on a 'green' dyed-leaf diet
For some 5,000 years, cultivated silkworms have been spinning luxurious white silk fibers destined for use in the finest clothing.

UCSB researcher finds origin of inherited gene mutation causing early-onset Alzheimer's
The age and origin of the E280A gene mutation responsible for early-onset Alzheimer's in a Colombian family with an unusually high incidence of the disease has been traced to a single founder dating from the 16th century.

Investigating the link between Parkinson's and pesticides
In a seemingly simple experiment, a scientist exposes rats to a certain pesticide over several days, and the rodents start showing symptoms remarkably similar to those seen in Parkinson's patients.

Large differences in cancer survival between European countries still remain despite major improvements in cancer diagnosis and treatment
Cancer survival still varies widely between European countries despite major improvements in cancer diagnosis and treatment during the first decade of the 21st century, according to the latest EUROCARE-5 reports covering over 50 percent of the adult and 77 percent of the childhood population of Europe.

Radiographic imaging exposes relationship between obesity and cancer
Researchers at the National Institute for Aging are working to improve understanding about obesity and cancer.

Supernova blast provides clues to age of binary star system
Data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has revealed faint remnants of a supernova explosion and helped researchers determine Circinus X-1 -- an X-ray binary -- is the youngest of this class of astronomical objects found to date.

Study highlights massive benefits of HIV treatment in South Africa
Antiretroviral therapy for the treatment of HIV infection has saved 2.8 million years of life in South Africa since 2004 and is projected to save an additional 15.1 million years of life by 2030, according to a new study published online in The Journal of Infectious Diseases.

Smart composite human-computer interfaces follow consumers' actions and offer help when needed
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland recently coordinated a pan-European initiative called SMARCOS, which focused on developing technology based on internet sharing between devices.

Baicalin inhibits neurotoxicity of colistin sulfate effectively
Baicalin inhibits neurotoxicity of colistin sulfate effectively.

Industrial age helps some coastal regions capture carbon dioxide
Coastal portions of the world's oceans, once believed to be a source of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, are now thought to absorb as much as two-thirds more carbon than they emitted in the preindustrial age, researchers estimate.

Youthful suicide attempts a marker for lifelong troubles
Against a backdrop of rising youth suicide attempts during the global recession, a longitudinal study has found that people who had attempted suicide before age 24 are plagued by more health and psychiatric issues and had more economic difficulties than their peers when they reach their mid-30s.

University of Maryland scientists develop new understanding of chlamydial disease
Investigators at the Institute for Genome Sciences at the University of Maryland School of Medicine have developed a new technique that can track the activity of a disease-causing microbe and the host cell response to that pathogen simultaneously.

New observations from NASA's Van Allen Probes offer solution to radiation belts mystery
In 1958, scientists discovered two gigantic belts of radiation around Earth that have provided tantalizing mysteries to researchers ever since.

Building better high-speed robots with the help of cockroaches
Sensing the environment is difficult for cockroaches running at high speeds as their nervous systems are challenged by the rate of information.

CNIO team turns tumor suppressor into anti-cancer target
The laboratory of Marcos Malumbres, who is head of the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre's Cell Division & Cancer Group, working alongside Isabel Fariñas' team from the University of Valencia, shows, in a study published today in the journal Nature Communications, how in mice the elimination of the Cdh1 protein -- a sub-unit of the APC/C complex, involved in the control of cell division -- prevents cellular proliferation of rapidly dividing cells.

Active component of grape seed extract effective against cancer cells
Study: laboratory synthesis of most active component of grape seed extract, B2G2, kills prostate cancer cells while leaving healthy cells unharmed.

In the case of wholesale food distributors, it's all about location
In all but the shortest supply chains, food travels through wholesale distribution centers on its way from farm to consumer, and the location of these distributors can have a big impact on the efficiency of a food system.

New fossil species found in Mozambique reveals new data on ancient mammal relatives
In the remote province of Niassa, Mozambique, a new species and genus of fossil vertebrate was found.

The big unknown: Factoring marine sediments into climate calculations
A new EU-funded project called

Sound protection standards for secret spaces may be insufficient
What's the best place to conduct a conversation about a confidential or even classified matter?

Your smartphone as a 3D scanner
Scientists from the Computer Vision and Geometry Lab of ETH Zurich developed an app that turns an ordinary smartphone into a mobile 3D scanner.

Rising ocean acidification leads to anxiety in fish
A new research study combining marine physiology, neuroscience, pharmacology, and behavioral psychology has revealed a surprising outcome from increases of carbon dioxide uptake in the oceans: anxious fish.

Coastal sea change
Carbon dioxide pumped into the air since the Industrial Revolution appears to have changed the way the coastal ocean functions, according to a new analysis published this week in Nature.

Structure of key pain-related protein unveiled
In a technical tour de force, UC San Francisco scientists have determined, at near-atomic resolution, the structure of a protein that plays a central role in the perception of pain and heat.

MU researcher develops virtual wall which could stop the spread of oil and could help build invisible barrier for oil spills
Researchers at the University of Missouri have developed a technique to form a virtual wall for oily liquids that will help confine them to a certain area, aiding researchers who are studying these complex molecules.

Multi-dog study points to canine brain's reward center
After capturing the first brain images of two alert, unrestrained dogs last year, researchers at Emory University have confirmed their methods and results by replicating them in an experiment involving 13 dogs.

Dads: How important are they?
Even with today's technology, it still takes both a male and a female to make a baby.

Turning waste into power with bacteria -- and loofahs
Loofahs, best known for their use in exfoliating skin to soft, radiant perfection, have emerged as a new potential tool to advance sustainability efforts on two fronts at the same time: energy and waste.

Glimpsing the infrastructure of a gamma-ray burst jet
A new study using observations from a novel instrument provides the best look to date at magnetic fields at the heart of gamma-ray bursts, the most energetic explosions in the universe.

Study identifies protein that helps developing germ cells wipe genes clean of past imprints
A protein called Tet1 is partly responsible for giving primordial germ cells a clean epigenetic slate before developing into sperm and egg cells, according to a new study by researchers at Boston Children's Hospital.

Study finds that carbon monoxide can help shrink tumors and amplify effectiveness of chemotherapy
In recent years, research has suggested that carbon monoxide, the highly toxic gas emitted from auto exhausts and faulty heating systems, can be used to treat certain inflammatory medical conditions.

AIBS announces winners of Faces of Biology photo competition
The American Institute of Biological Sciences has selected three individuals as winners of its 2013 Faces of Biology: Broader Impacts Photo Contest.

Harlequin ladybirds escape enemies while native species succumb
The astonishing success of the alien invasive harlequin ladybird in Britain has given a team of scientists a unique opportunity to investigate a key ecological theory, the Enemy Release Hypothesis.

Communicating at a katydid's jungle cocktail party
In spite of the background noise of the nocturnal jungle, chirping male katydid insects have to coordinate their calls as a chorus to attract potential mates.

Telemedicine brings Parkinson's care to 'anyone, anywhere'
A new study shows that a neurologist in an office thousands of miles away can deliver effective specialized care to people with Parkinson's disease.

10 times more throughput on optic fibers
Two EPFL scientists have shown how to achieve a dramatic increase in the capacity of optical fibers.

Tripped tongues teach speech secrets
Tongue twisters are not just fun to say; it turns out that these sound-related slip-ups can also open windows into the brain's speech-planning processes.

Could a vaccine help ward off MS?
A vaccine used to prevent tuberculosis in other parts of the world may help prevent multiple sclerosis in people who show the beginning signs of the disease, according to a new study published in the Dec.

Quieting rail transit
When attached to the wheels or the tracks of rail transit systems, vibration absorbers may reduce the noise from trains, bringing more peace and quiet to passengers and those who work or live near the tracks.

An ecosystem-based approach to protect the deep sea from mining
A new paper describes the expert-driven systematic conservation planning process applied to inform science-based recommendations to the International Seabed Authority for a system of deep-sea marine protected areas to safeguard biodiversity and ecosystem function in an abyssal Pacific region targeted for nodule mining (e.g. the Clarion-Clipperton fracture zone, CCZ).

Rapid climate changes, but with a 120 year time lag
Regional climate changes can be very rapid. A German-British team of geoscientists now reports that such a rapid climate change occurred in different regions with a time difference of 120 years.

Not in the mood but want to be? New studies bring women hope
For women, passing midlife can deal a blow to their sex drive.

UC researchers unravel important role of Rb tumor suppressor in aggressive form of breast cancer
The retinoblastoma protein plays a critical role in suppressing the multi-step process of cell migration through the bloodstream, lymphovascular invasion and the metastasis of an aggressive type of breast cancer to the lung, researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) Cancer Institute, the Cincinnati Cancer Center and the UC Brain Tumor Center have found.

'Valley Girl' dialect expanding to males
The American English speech variant known as uptalk, or

What a Formula 1 race does to your eardrums
Craig Dolder, an acoustical engineer, always wanted to go to a Formula 1 Grand Prix but knew he needed to protect himself from the deafening roar of the engines.

Explosive growth of young star
A star is formed when a large cloud of gas and dust condenses and eventually becomes so dense that it collapses into a ball of gas, where the pressure heats the matter, creating a glowing gas ball -- a star is born.

NASA sees rainfall quickly fade in dying Depression 33W
NASA's TRMM satellite noticed that rainfall became scarce in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean's thirty-third tropical depression in its second day of life.

BUSM professor receives award for Alzheimer's research
Benjamin Wolozin, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of pharmacology and neurology at Boston University School of Medicine, has been awarded the Zenith Fellows Award from the Alzheimer's Association.

Ocean crust could store many centuries of industrial CO2
Researchers from the University of Southampton have identified regions beneath the oceans where the igneous rocks of the upper ocean crust could safely store very large volumes of carbon dioxide.

Engineer honored for contributions to precision strike systems
The chief engineer of Conventional Prompt Global Strike programs at Sandia National Laboratories has been honored with a national award for his outstanding contributions to precision strike systems.

Fledgling supernova remnant reveals neutron star's secrets
With the help of NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Australia Telescope Compact Array, an international team of astronomers has identified the glowing wreck of a star that exploded a mere 2,500 years ago -- the blink of an eye in astronomical terms.

Almost 600 under-16s take up smoking every day in the UK
Almost 600 under-16s take up smoking every day in the UK, suggests research published online in Thorax.

Intense 2-color double X-ray laser pulses: a powerful tool to study ultrafast processes
A team working at the SACLA X-ray Free-Electron Laser in Japan has succeeded in generating ultra-bright, two-color X-ray laser pulses, for the first time in the hard X-ray region.

IVF improving but fertility treatments keep multiple births high
More than one in three twin births and three of four births of triplets or more in the United States arise from fertility treatments, according to new estimates published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Mysteries of Earth's radiation belts uncovered by NASA twin spacecraft
Just over a year since launch, NASA's Van Allen Probes mission continues to unravel longstanding mysteries of Earth's high-energy radiation belts that encircle our planet and pose hazards to orbiting satellites and astronauts.

Scientists unearth secrets of Périgord truffles, the culinary 'black diamond'
Just in time for the holidays when cooks in France and elsewhere will be slipping bits of the coveted black Périgord truffle under their turkeys' skin for a luxurious flavor, scientists are revealing the secrets that give the culinary world's

OU professor receives national fellowship to complete biography on Ancel Keys and the American diet
A University of Oklahoma associate professor has received a National Endowment for the Humanities Research Fellowship to complete a biography on nutrition and heart disease researcher Ancel Keys (1904-2004).

Death of an adult son increases depressive symptoms in mothers, but not fathers
Mothers -- but not fathers -- exhibited more depressive symptoms and experienced a decline in overall health after the death of an adult son, while the death of a daughter had no such effect on either parent, according to one of the first studies to examine the impacts of the death of an adult child on parents aged 65 and older.

Droplet Digital PCR enables measurement of potential cancer survival biomarker
Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center use Droplet Digital PCR to quantify tumor-attacking immune cells (TILs) in cancer tissues in a promising effort to develop the use of TILs in immunotherapy as well as a cancer survival predictor.

Successful repair of bone defects using a novel tissue engineered bone graft
In this study, we engineered a novel biomimetic tissue engineered bone graft with MSCs isolated from rabbit adipose, using collagen I hydrogel to encapsulate the β-TCP scaffolds designed to enlarge the cells adhesion.

Multiple mates worth the risk for female prairie dogs
Mating with more than one male increases reproductive success for female prairie dogs, despite an increase in risks such as increased susceptibility to predation and increased exposure to diseases and parasites.

Spaces of the poor: Perspectives of cultural sciences on urban slum areas and inhabitants
Poverty in urban slums is the central topic of a new publication entitled

LADEE instruments healthy and ready for science
Now in orbit around the moon, NASA's newest lunar mission has completed the commissioning phase, and its science instruments have passed their preliminary checks.

CERN, eat your heart out? U of A research team helps identify an interstellar particle accelerator
Newly released research in Nature Communications from the University of Alberta has identified the existence of a giant cosmic accelerator above the Earth.

Study links sleep to mood disturbance and poor quality of life in obese
A new study shows that poor sleep quality is strongly associated with mood disturbance and lower quality of life among people with extreme obesity.

University of Tennessee study finds crocodiles are cleverer than previously thought
Vladimir Dinets, a research assistant professor at UT, is the first to observe two crocodilian species -- muggers and American alligators -- using twigs and sticks to lure birds, particularly during nest-building time.

Estrogen: Not just produced by the ovaries
A University of Wisconsin-Madison research team reports today that the brain can produce and release estrogen -- a discovery that may lead to a better understanding of hormonal changes observed from before birth throughout the entire aging process.

MassBiologics receives orphan drug status from FDA for hepatitis C treatment
MassBiologics of the University of Massachusetts Medical School has received an orphan drug designation from the US Food and Drug Administration for MBL-HCV1, a monoclonal antibody developed to prevent hepatitis C virus recurrence in patients receiving a liver transplant.

Shining a light on the damage that daily sun exposure can cause: Study highlights need for better sunscreens
A low level of daily exposure to a common component of sunlight can cause skin damage at the molecular level after just a few days, new research shows.

LSUHSC research finds inflammation linked to obesity in adults may be protective in young children
The first study of its kind, led by Melinda Sothern, Ph.D., CEP, Professor and Director of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Public Health, reveals that the same pro-inflammatory proteins linked to obesity and the metabolic syndrome in adults appear to protect children prior to puberty.

The first decade: Team reports on US trials of bioenergy grasses
The first long-term US field trials of Miscanthus x giganteus, a towering perennial grass used in bioenergy production, reveal that its exceptional yields, though reduced somewhat after five years of growth, are still more than twice those of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), another perennial grass used as a bioenergy feedstock.

Education -- not fertility -- key for economic development
A new study published in the journal Demography shows that improvements in education levels around the world have been key drivers of economic growth in developing countries that has previously been attributed to declines in fertility rates.

Can iPads help students learn science? Yes
A new study by Smithsonian researchers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics shows that students grasp the unimaginable emptiness of space more effectively when they use iPads to explore 3-D simulations of the universe, compared to traditional classroom instruction.

1 in 7 vets suffers burn-out within 10 years of qualifying
One in seven vets is likely to be burnt-out within 10 years of qualifying, reveals research published online in Veterinary Record.

New report on stem cell research reveals the field is growing twice as fast as the world average
Elsevier, EuroStemCell, and Kyoto University's Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS), today released

New study identifies 5 distinct humpback whale populations in North Pacific
The first comprehensive genetic study of humpback whale populations in the North Pacific Ocean has identified five distinct populations -- at the same time a proposal to designate North Pacific humpbacks as a single

Oldest hominin DNA sequenced
Max Planck researchers sequence the mitochondrial genome of a 400,000-year-old hominin from Spain.

New target identified for preventing bone destruction in diseases such as arthritis and cancer
A paper published in the December 6 issue of The Journal of Biological Chemistry announces the characterization of a new potent and selective PI3Kdelta inhibitor, GS-9820.

Depression in pregnant mothers may alter the pattern of brain development in their babies
Depression is a serious mental illness that has many negative consequences for sufferers.

Tune in, turn on, power up
Human beings don't come with power sockets, but a growing numbers of us have medical implants that run off electricity.

Fossils clarify the origins of wasps and their kin: alderfly ancestors, snakefly cousins
The insect order Hymenoptera -- wasps, bees, ants and relatives -- is the third most diverse animal group, but its origin remains controversial.

Storing carbon in the Arctic
As Arctic sea ice shrinks, the ocean stores more carbon, study finds.

How our nerves keep firing
University of Utah and German biologists discovered how nerve cells recycle tiny bubbles or

Sea-level rise to drive coastal flooding, regardless of changes in hurricane activity
Clamor about whether climate change will cause increasingly destructive tropical storms may be overshadowing a more unrelenting threat to coastal property -- sea-level rise -- according to a team of researchers writing in the journal Nature this week.

A blast from its past dates the youngest neutron-star binary
X-rays streaming toward Earth from the region near a neutron star that is cannibalizing its companion star have revealed the pair to be the youngest

Data on people's self-reported 'experienced' well-being could help inform policies
Gathering survey data on

AGU journal highlights -- Dec. 4, 2013
In this release: Interpreting the strongest deep earthquake ever observed, Ultrahigh-speed camera captures unexpected lightning attachment, Early geodynamo could have been driven by magma ocean in lower mantle, Using new satellite data would improve hurricane forecasts, New ice core record shows climate variability in West Antarctica, and Plasma loss mechanisms from Saturn's magnetosphere.

Working odd shifts can hurt parent-child relationships
Research from North Carolina State University shows that working a job that doesn't keep 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. hours can hurt the relationships between parents and adolescents, increasing the likelihood that children will engage in delinquent behaviors.

Study reveals impact of time differences on international trade
International time differences have a negative and economically significant impact on trade between countries, according to research published this week.

Sea level rise and shoreline changes are lead influences on floods from tropical cyclones
Writing in the current special issue of Nature dedicated to coastal regions, UMass Amherst geoscientist Woodruff, with co-authors Jennifer Irish of Virginia Tech University and Suzana Camargo of Columbia University, say,

Stomach 'clock' tells us how much to eat
University of Adelaide researchers have discovered the first evidence that the nerves in the stomach act as a circadian clock, limiting food intake to specific times of the day.

Study gives new meaning to 'let your fingers do the walking'
A psychological study has found that skilled typists can't identify the positions of many of the keys on the QWERTY keyboard and probably didn't memorize them even when they first learned to type.

Research & development for diseases of the poor: A 10-year analysis of impact of the DNDi model
Today, at a scientific meeting at Institut Pasteur, France, entitled 'Best Science for the Most Neglected: Where Do We Stand Ten Years On?', co-organized with Institut Pasteur and MSF and in collaboration with PLOS, the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative marks its 10-year anniversary by issuing a report exploring the lessons learned from a decade of research and development of new treatments for neglected diseases via a cost-effective, innovative, not-for-profit drug development model.

Carnegie Mellon scheme uses shared visual cues to help people remember multiple passwords
It turns out that the way to keep track of your many passwords to online accounts is the same as how to get to Carnegie Hall -- practice, practice, practice. 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