Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 09, 2013
Newly invented shielding for stopping neutrons cold
When faced with the challenge of protecting sensitive scientific equipment and computers from radiation, engineers at the US Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility decided to take matters into their own hands.

Better preparedness against Tamiflu-resistant influenza viruses
Swedish researchers in Umeå and Uppsala have found that residues of the influenza drug Tamiflu in our environment can make the influenza virus in birds resistant.

Ancient fresh water lake on Mars could have sustained life
Scientists have found evidence that there was once an ancient lake on Mars that may have been able to support life, in research published today in the journal Science.

NASA eyes Tropical Cyclone Madi's rainfall
Tropical Cyclone Madi is headed for a landfall in southeastern India, and NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's TRMM satellite found that rainfall was heaviest north of the storm's center.

A personal antidepressant for every genome
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most commonly prescribed antidepressants, but they don't work for everyone.

Cardiovascular complications, hypoglycemia common in older patients with diabetes
Cardiovascular complications and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) were common nonfatal complications in adults 60 years of age and older with diabetes, according to a study published by JAMA Internal Medicine, a JAMA Network publication.

Study shows first link between altitude and concussion
A new study shows that high school athletes playing at higher altitudes suffer fewer concussions than those closer to sea-level, a phenomenon attributed to physiological changes in the brain causing it to fit more tightly in the skull.

Promising Alzheimer's drug trialled in a large EU study
An extensive European study is currently investigating whether a drug used to treat high blood pressure may also help patients with Alzheimer's disease.

UNH scientists launch 'CubeSats' into radiation belts
Twin, pintsized satellites built in part at the University of New Hampshire's Space Science Center by UNH graduate student Alex Crew were launched into orbit from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California just before midnight on Dec.

Peaceful bumblebee becomes invasive
European bumblebees were introduced into Chile as pollinators. However, these socially living insects have since spread across the southern part of South America -- very much to the detriment of native species.

Elsevier announces the launch of a new journal: Mental Health & Prevention
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and solutions, today announced the launch of a new journal Mental Health & Prevention.

Kids movies send mixed messages about eating habits and obesity
Many of the most popular children's movies from recent years feature both

Argonne scientists Rajh, Soderholm and Segre named AAAS Fellows
Physical chemist Tijana Rajh, chemist Lynda Soderholm and physicist Carlo Segre of Argonne National Laboratory have been named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Solar cell degradation observed directly for the first time
With the help of DESY's X-ray light source PETRA III, researchers of Technical University of Munich have, for the first time, watched organic solar cells degrade in real time.

EASL publishes revised clinical practice guidelines to optimise the management of hepatitis C virus
The European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) today publishes their revised Clinical Practice Guidelines on the management of hepatitis C virus infection (HCV).

Survey of supposed deep-sea chemical munitions dump off Southern California
At this week's meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco, researchers from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute describe a preliminary seafloor survey of an area off the Southern California coast marked on charts as a chemical munitions site.

Genetic flaw in males triggers onset of liver cancer, diabetes
Michigan State University researchers have uncovered a genetic deficiency in males that can trigger the development of one of the most common types of liver cancer and forms of diabetes.

Choloroquine reduces formation of bone resorbing cells in murine osteoporosis
In this issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Brendan Boyce and colleagues at the University of Rochester evaluated the role of TNF receptor-associated receptor 3 in promoting osteoclast formation.

REiNS collaboration seeks common outcome measures for neurofibromatosis clinical trials
As potentially effective new treatments for neurofibromatosis (NF) are developed, standardized research approaches -- including outcome measures specific to NF -- are needed.

Communities across US reduce teen smoking, drinking, violence and crime
Fewer high school students across the US started drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, committing crimes and engaging in violence before graduation when their towns used the Communities That Care prevention system during the teens' middle school years.

$2.8 million project to train more science teachers for high-need schools
A $2.8 million grant will allow Michigan State University to train science instructors in high-need schools across the nation.

Aging out of bounds
Despite aging being one the hottest topics in the media recently, scientists have no coherent explanation for it.

Study finds rivers and streams release more greenhouse gas than all lakes
Rivers and streams release carbon dioxide at a rate five times greater than the world's lakes and reservoirs combined, contrary to common belief.

Elsevier announces launch of open access journal: Operations Research Perspectives
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, is pleased to announce the launch of open access journal: Operations Research Perspectives.

ABC transporters enable leaf beetle larvae to accumulate defensive precursors when feeding
Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany, have discovered the decisive biological stimulator for the accumulation of defensive substances in leaf beetle larvae used by the insects to fend off predators: ABC transport proteins, which are found in large quantities in glandular cells of the larvae.

Gene sequencing project finds family of drugs with promise for treating childhood tumor
Drugs that enhance a process called oxidative stress were found to kill rhabdomyosarcoma tumor cells growing in the laboratory and possibly bolstered the effectiveness of chemotherapy against this aggressive tumor of muscle and other soft tissue.

The Basque Country, Europe's future machine-tool lab
The European CHAMELEON project, being led by the IK4 Alliance and with a significant presence of Basque organizations, has developed a type of machine tool with the capacity to adapt to a range of conditions and requirements by means of intelligent systems and devices.

JCI early table of contents for Dec. 9, 2013
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, December 9, 2013 in the JCI:Breast cancer prognosis associated with oncometabolite accumulation, Choloroquine reduces formation of bone resorbing cells in murine osteoporosis, Increased sugar uptake promotes oncogenesis via EPAC/RAP1 and O-GlcNAc pathways, Hematopoietic stem cells are acutely sensitive to Acd shelterin gene inactivation, Embryonic exposure to excess thyroid hormone causes thyrotrope cell death, and more.

Reproductive Health Matters announces publication of its latest themed issue: New development paradigm
The world is still underfunding health: so what kind of new development paradigm will succeed in ensuring comprehensive and equitable health care for all, and where will sexual and reproductive health and rights and gender equality fit in?

Study examines drug labeling and exposure in infants
Federal legislation encouraging the study of drugs in pediatric patients has resulted in very few labeling changes that include new infant information, according to a study by Matthew M.

Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, December 2013
The following are story ideas from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory for December 2013.

EUCelLEX Project: Assessment of the social issues raised by the use of regenerative medicine in Euro
The European EUCelLEX Project (Cell-based regenerative medicine: new challenges for EU legislation and governance) is coordinated by Inserm for a three-year period and funded to the tune of €500,000 from the European Union.

Partnership in cancer trials brings hope for patients
Cancer Research And Biostatistics (CRAB) today announced enrollment of the first patient into the inaugural clinical trial sponsored by its Clinical Trials Consortium (CTC).

May the cellular force be with you
Like tiny construction workers, cells sculpt embryonic tissues and organs in the 3-D space.

Ancient crater could hold clues about moon's mantle
Researchers from Brown University have found evidence of diverse mineralogy in the moon's South Pole Aitken basin, a giant crater left by an impact 4 billion years ago.

New book on mouse models of cancer from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press
Mouse models of cancer are important experimental tools in studies aimed at understanding the molecular basis of cancer and how it can be treated.

Math models enhance current therapies for coronary heart disease
Coronary heart disease accounts for 18 percent of deaths in the United States every year.

Hard rock life
Scientists are digging deep into the Earth's surface collecting census data on the microbial denizens of the hardened rocks.

Researchers develop world's highest quantum efficiency UV photodetectors
The technology, developed in Northwestern University's Center for Quantum Devices, could aid in the detection of missiles and chemical and biological threats.

Recycled plastic proves effective in killing drug-resistant fungi
Researchers at Singapore's Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology and California's IBM Research - Almaden have discovered a new, potentially life-saving application for polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which is widely used to make plastic bottles.

Prolonged viewing of Boston Marathon bombings media coverage tied to acute stress
Stepping away from the television, computer screen or smartphone in the aftermath of terrorist attacks or mass shootings may be beneficial to your mental health.

Network theory to strengthen the banking system
A mathematical and computational study by the Universidad Carlos III of Madrid based on network theory suggests that restructuring certain interbank loans would help to contain the spread of economic crises in the financial system.

A stopwatch for electron flashes
Physicists at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet in Munich and the Max-Planck-Institute of Quantum Optics measure the duration of energetic electron pulses using laser fields.

CWRU engineering researchers report nanoscale energy-efficient switching devices at IEDM 2013
Case Western Reserve University researchers have built nanoscale electromechanical switches and logic gates that operate more energy-efficiently than those now used by the billions in computers, tablets and smart phones.

3 major smoking cessation therapies pose no serious heart risks
Three major types of smoking cessation therapies pose no serious heart risks.

Balancing old and new skills
An MIT model explains how the brain can learn novel tasks while still remembering what it has already learned.

The smoking gun: Fish brains and nicotine
In researching neural pathways, it helps to establish an analogous relationship between a region of the human brain and the brains of more-easily studied animal species.

NASA's IRIS provides unprecedented images of sun
The region located between the surface of the sun and its atmosphere has been revealed as a more violent place than previously understood, according to images and data from NASA's newest solar observatory, the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, or IRIS.

Measuring life's tugs and nudges
Scientists at Harvard University have devised the first method to measure the forces cells exert on each other in living three-dimensional tissues, including developing embryos.

Enlightenment now 5 pounds heavier: Scholars produce massive Buddhist dictionary
Leaders of the two largest programs of the West's largest programs in Buddhist Studies have compiled the most comprehensive and authoritative dictionary of Buddhism ever produced in English.

Better guidelines, coordination needed for prostate cancer specialists
With a deluge of promising new drug treatments for advanced prostate cancer on the market, a new model of care is needed that emphasizes collaboration between urologists and medical oncologists, according to UC Davis prostate cancer experts.

Oregon scientists offer new insights on controlling nanoparticle stability
University of Oregon chemists studying the structure of ligand-stabilized gold nanoparticles have captured fundamental new insights about their stability.

Keep on exercising, researchers advise older breast cancer survivors
To build and maintain muscle strength, it is best for older breast cancer survivors to follow an ongoing exercise program of resistance and impact training.

New sensor tracks zinc in cells
Shifts in zinc's location could be exploited for early diagnosis of prostate cancer.

Hidden details revealed in nearby starburst galaxy
Using the new, high-frequency capabilities of the National Science Foundation's Robert C.

In surprise finding, blood clots absorb bacterial toxin
Blood clots play an unexpected role in protecting the body from the deadly effects of bacteria by absorbing bacterial toxins, researchers at UC Davis, have found.

Grant supports creation of patient-derived stem cell lines for Alzheimer's research
Researchers at UC Irvine's Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders have received a two-year, $600,000 grant from the National Institute on Aging to develop and study patient-derived stem cell lines.

New brief therapy eases symptoms of combat-related psychological trauma
A new brief therapy eases symptoms of combat-related psychological trauma, a University of South Florida nursing study shows.

Mapping the demise of the dinosaurs
About 65 million years ago, an asteroid or comet crashed into a shallow sea near what is now the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico, resulting in the extinction of many land plants and large animals, including most of the dinosaurs.

Mayo Clinic: Drug induces morphologic, molecular and clinical remissions in myelofibrosis
Imetelstat, a novel telomerase inhibiting drug, has been found to induce morphologic, molecular and clinical remissions in some patients with myelofibrosis a Mayo Clinic study has found.

Elsevier Foundation awards 2013 grants to champion libraries in developing countries and women in science
The Elsevier Foundation announced today the 2013 grant recipients for the Innovative Libraries in Developing Countries and New Scholars award programs.

35 year study finds exercise reduces risk of dementia
A study which monitored the health habits of 2,235 men over a 35-year period has confirmed exercise significantly reduces the risk of dementia.

Embargoed news from Annals of Internal Medicine -- ACP issues policy paper on prescription drug abuse
Below is information about articles being published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Gene 'driver' of Waldenstrom's Macroglobulinemia in up to one-third of patients identified
In nearly one-third of patients with Waldenstrom's Macroglobulinemia, a specific genetic mutation switches on the disease, and a new drug that blocks the defective gene can arrest the disease in animal models, researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and allied institutions will report at the 2013 annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology.

Inflammation in prostate may reduce cancer risk
Doctors at the North Shore-LIJ Health System have discovered that increased inflammation in the prostate may predict reduced risk for prostate cancer.

System 90L no longer suspect for development
The low pressure area known as

Scientists scale terahertz peaks in nanotubes
Rice scientists find plasmons at the root of a terahertz peak seen in carbon nanotubes, but only in certain types.

High chair-related injuries to children on the rise
Nationwide Children's Hospital researchers have conducted the largest and longest study of high chair injuries among children in the US, and found that there are more than 9,400 of these injuries a year in this country.

Pioneering path to electrical conductivity in 'tinker toy' materials to appear in Science
Sandia National Laboratories researchers have devised a novel way to realize electrical conductivity in metal-organic framework materials, a development that could have profound implications for the future of electronics, sensors, energy conversion and energy storage.

Millions of hidden share trades to be revealed
Millions of previously hidden US stock trades will be revealed for the first time on Monday Dec.

Ambitious science program will aid fishing industry and monitor effects of climate change on Europe's shellfish
The supply of shellfish we buy at the supermarket faces an uncertain future as our oceans become warmer and more acidic due to changing climate.

No pictures, please: Taking photos may impede memory of museum tour
Visit a museum these days and you'll see people using their smartphones and cameras to take pictures of works of art, archeological finds, historical artifacts, and any other object that strikes their fancy.

OHSU researchers develop new drug approach that could lead to cures for wide range of diseases
A team led by a longtime Oregon Health & Science University researcher has demonstrated in mice what could be a revolutionary new technique to cure a wide range of human diseases -- from cystic fibrosis to cataracts to Alzheimer's disease -- that are caused by

Marketing loans for fertility treatments raises ethical concerns
An increase in the number of lenders specializing in loans for fertility treatments enables more people to afford the treatments, but it also raises ethical concerns, concludes a commentary in the Hastings Center Report.

How 'sunshine vitamin' D may be helpful in fighting multiple sclerosis
In mice with a rodent form of multiple sclerosis, vitamin D appears to block damage-causing immune cells from migrating to the central nervous system, offering a potential explanation for why the so-called

Gladstone's Robert Mahley receives Wellcome Trust funds to combat Alzheimer's disease
Alzheimer's disease is one of the greatest challenges facing modern medicine, but there is new hope in the fight against this deadly disease.

New collaboration combines genomic sequencing and stem cell technology to understand disease
Today, the New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) Research Institute and announced a partnership to identify genetic and environmental contributions to trait and disease development.

Neural prosthesis restores behavior after brain injury
Scientists from Case Western Reserve University and University of Kansas Medical Center have used a neural prosthesis to restore motor function in a rat model of brain injury.

CU-Boulder scientist: 2012 solar storm points up need for society to prepare
A massive ejection of material from the sun initially traveling at over 7 million miles per hour that narrowly missed Earth last year is an event solar scientists hope will open the eyes of policymakers regarding the impacts and mitigation of severe space weather, says a University of Colorado Boulder professor.

Lack of proper national policy to get UK kids more active is mass 'child neglect'
The failure of successive governments to implement a comprehensive national policy to get UK kids more active and stave off the litany of health and other problems their sedentary lifestyle is storing up for them, is mass

First International Bioenergy Conference brings together world-leading experts
World-leading bioenergy researchers are coming together for the first UK multidisciplinary, integrated, science-led International Bioenergy Conference on 11th-13th March 2014 in Manchester, UK.

Research team finds way to make solar cells thin, efficient and flexible
A team of researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Central Florida in Orlando may be one step closer to tapping into the full potential of solar cells.

Surviving ovarian cancer: Rutgers scientists attack drug resistant cancer cells
Scientists at Rutgers University believe a targeted drug delivery system could make ovarian cancer more treatable for the most deadly gynecological cancer in the United States.

Breakthrough in treating leukemia, lymphoma with umbilical cord blood stem cells
Donated umbilical cord blood contains stem cells that can save the lives of patients with leukemia, lymphoma and other blood cancers.

UK women scientists have fewer studies funded, and are given less money, than men
Women scientists specialising in infectious disease research have fewer studies funded than men, and receive less funding across most topic areas in the specialty than their male peers, finds a study published in the online journal BMJ Open.

Supervolcanoes discovered in Utah
Evidence of an eruption 5,000 times larger than Mount St.

Awkward Facebook encounters
A friend posts a picture on Facebook that shows you picking food out of your teeth.

NLST data highlight probability of lung cancer overdiagnosis with low-dose CT screening
Data from the National Lung Cancer Screening Trial--conducted by the American College of Radiology Imaging Network and National Cancer Institute Lung Screening Study--provided researchers the opportunity to investigate the probability that cancer detected with screening low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) would not have progressed to become life threatening.

How 'good cholesterol' stops inflammation
High-density lipoprotein (HDL), known colloquially as

Innovative drug-dispensing contact lens delivers glaucoma medication continuously for a month
Researchers at Massachusetts Eye and Ear/Harvard Medical School Department of Ophthalmology, Boston Children's Hospital, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are one step closer to an eye drop-free reality with the development of a drug-eluting contact lens designed for prolonged delivery of latanoprost, a common drug used for the treatment of glaucoma, the leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide.

Penicillin equally effective as 'big gun' antibiotics for treating less severe childhood pneumonia
Children hospitalized for pneumonia have similar outcomes, including length of stay and costs, regardless of whether they are treated with

Study offers economical solutions for maintaining critical delta environments
A new study by WHOI geologist Liviu Giosan and his colleagues documents the historic sediment record along the Danube River delta, and offers simple and inexpensive strategies to enhance deltas's natural ability to trap sediment and maintain their floodplains against rising sea levels and increasingly frequent and severe storms.

Study suggests overdiagnosis in screening for lung cancer with low-dose CT
More than 18 percent of all lung cancers detected by low-dose computed tomography appeared to represent an overdiagnosis, according to a study published by JAMA Internal Medicine, a JAMA Network publication.

Ovarian cancer discovery deepens knowledge of survival outcomes
Researchers in the Women's Cancer Program at Cedars-Sinai's Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute have identified a series of 10 genes that may signify a trifecta of benefits for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer and ultimately reflect improved survival outcomes.

New insights into the immune system of the gastrointestinal tract
Lymphotoxin is a cytokine, or intercellular messenger, and plays an important role in the immunological balance of the gastrointestinal tract.

New USAID cooperative agreement with the Population Council facilitates contraceptive development
The Population Council was awarded a cooperative agreement from the US Agency for International Development's Office of Population and Reproductive Health,

SwRI scientists publish first radiation measurements from the surface of Mars
In the first 300 days of the Mars Science Laboratory's surface mission, the Curiosity rover cruised around the planet's Gale Crater, collecting soil samples and investigating rock structures while the onboard Radiation Assessment Detector made detailed measurements of the radiation environment on the surface of Mars.

A step closer to muscle regeneration
Muscle cell therapy to treat some degenerative diseases, including Muscular Dystrophy, could be a more realistic clinical possibility, now that scientists have found a way to isolate muscle cells from embryonic tissue.

Morphing material has mighty potential
The shape of a composite material invented at Rice University changes with the temperature in highly controllable ways.

Home teams hold the advantage
The home team holds the advantage over visitors - at least in the plant world.

Official opening of wildlife health genetic and forensic laboratory between EcoHealth Alliance and Sabah Wildlife Department
Today marks a momentous day with the official opening of Sabah's first bio-security 2 laboratory in Lok Kawi.

Researchers develop system for assessing how effective species are at pollinating crops
From tomatoes to pumpkins, most fruit and vegetable crops rely on pollination by bees and other insect species -- and the future of many of those species is uncertain.

New long-lived greenhouse gas discovered by University of Toronto chemistry team
Scientists from U of T's Department of Chemistry have discovered a novel chemical lurking in the atmosphere that appears to be a long-lived greenhouse gas.

Life and work -- 1 and the same?
Flexible workplaces may seem attractive when considering work-life balance but new research being published shows it's not unusual for firms to cash-in, profiting from our

Breast cancer prognosis associated with oncometabolite accumulation
In this issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation Stefan Ambs and colleagues at the National Cancer Institute discovered an association between the oncometabolite 2-hydroxyglutarate levels, DNA methylation patterns, and breast cancer prognosis.

Polymers can be semimetals
Polymers can behave like insulators, semiconductors and metals -- as well as semimetals.

Researchers see added nutritional benefits in organic milk
A team led by a Washington State University researcher has found that organic milk contains significantly higher concentrations of heart-healthy fatty acids compared to milk from cows on conventionally managed dairy farms.

Landsat 8 satellite helps unveil coldest place on Earth with help of CU-Boulder researchers
Scientists recently recorded the lowest temperatures on Earth at a desolate and remote ice plateau in East Antarctica, trumping a record set in 1983 and uncovering a new puzzle about the ice-covered continent.

How a concussion can lead to depression years later
A head injury can lead immune-system brain cells to go on

Astronomers solve temperature mystery of planetary atmospheres
An atmospheric peculiarity the Earth shares with Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune is likely common to billions of planets, University of Washington astronomers have found, and knowing that may help in the search for potentially habitable worlds. 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