Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 07, 2014
Video by UC Riverside lab receives honorable mention in international competition
A video produced by a UC Riverside lab has received an honorable mention in the highly acclaimed International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge given by the National Science Foundation and the journal Science.

The fatality rate among hard drug users is 14 times higher than for the general population
A new study analyzes the risk factors and excess mortality among heroin and cocaine consumers admitted to treatment in Spain.

New application of physics tools used in biology
A Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory physicist and his colleagues have found a new application for the tools and mathematics typically used in physics to help solve problems in biology.

Anderson recognized with TMS Application to Practice Award
Iver Anderson, senior metallurgist at the US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory, has been chosen as a recipient of the 2014 Application to Practice Award by the Minerals, Metals and Materials Society.

Ice age's arctic tundra lush with wildflowers for woolly mammoths, study finds
A recent study in the journal Nature finds that nearly 50,000 years ago during the ice age, the landscape was filled with colorful wildflowers, which helped sustain woolly mammoths and other giant grazing animals.

Panel issues report on gray wolf science
As the Endangered Species Act celebrated its 40th anniversary at the end of 2013, its administrative agency, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, was mired in controversy.

Women fare worse than men following stroke
The good news: More people survive stroke now than 10 years ago due to improved treatment and prevention.

Study identifies protein to repair damaged brain tissue in MS
Dr. Vittorio Gallo, Director of the Center for Neuroscience Research at Children's National Health System, and other researchers have found a

Measuring the quality and quantity of sleep at home
A new measuring system is enabling sleep monitoring in your own bed.

Researchers use genetic signals affecting lipid levels to probe heart disease risk
New genetic evidence strengthens the case that one well-known type of cholesterol is a likely suspect in causing heart disease, but also casts further doubt on the causal role played by another type.

Thinking skills take biggest hit from anxiety in midlife women with HIV
Hot flashes, depression, and most of all, anxiety, affect the thinking skills of midlife women with HIV, so screening for and treating their anxiety may be especially important in helping them function, according to a study just published online in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society.

NASA spots fourteenth tropical cyclone of Southern Indian Ocean season
The fourteenth tropical cyclone of the Southern Indian Ocean season was born as NASA's Terra satellite passed overhead.

Tiny soft medicine factories
A novel biomedical technology is awarded with a European Research Council Consolidator Grant: Localized synthesis of drugs within biocatalytic therapeutic vascular implants for site-specific drug delivery to target organs and tissues.

'Steak-knife' teeth reveal ecology of oldest land predators
The first top predators to walk on land were not afraid to bite off more than they could chew, a University of Toronto Mississauga study has found.

Dating is refined for the Atapuerca site where Homo antecessor appeared
One of the issues of the Atapuerca sites that generates the most scientific debate is the dating of the strata where the fossils are found.

Biophysical Society Meeting in San Francisco, Feb. 15-19
Journalists are invited to discover the world of biophysics later this month in San Francisco, when the largest gathering of biophysicists in the world convenes from February 15-19 at the Moscone Center on Howard Street for the 58th Annual Meeting of the Biophysical Society.

Endocrine Society calls for large-scale studies to evaluate testosterone therapy risks
According to a statement issued today by the Endocrine Society, the risks and benefits of testosterone therapy for older men with declining levels of the hormone need to be fully evaluated.

Rugged, rapid monitor safeguards space crews
The Multi-Gas Monitor, a shoebox-sized, battery-powered monitor aboard the space station, can measure the concentrations of multiple gases within the air inside of it in less than one second.

Newly found tactics in offense-defense struggle with hepatitis C virus
The hepatitis C virus (HCV) has a previously unrecognized tactic to outwit antiviral responses and sustain a long-term infection.

Study shows drop in crime rates is less where Wal-Mart builds
The study titled

The biomass of ocean mesopelagic fish is 10 times higher than estimated
An international team, in which AZTI-Tecnalia researchers are participating and which is being led by the doctor in oceanography Xabier Irigoien, has discovered that mesopelagic fish, in other words, ones found at depths of between 200 and 1,000 meters in ocean areas, abundance could be at least 10 times higher than the original estimate.

Cancer immunotherapy leader Allison to receive 2014 Szent-Gyorgyi Prize
NFCR honors MD Anderson scientist for life-saving T cell research and drug development.

Variability of contact precaution policies in US emergency departments
In a study published in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology on Feb.

NASA spots very heavy rainfall rates in Tropical Cyclone Edilson
Imagine receiving as much as 7 inches of rain in one hour.

Bottom-up insight into crowd dynamics
Stampedes unfortunately occur on too regular a basis. Previously, physicists developed numerous models of crowd evacuation dynamics.

Researchers at UGent and VIB, discovered potential novel treatment against septic shock
Scientists of VIB and UGent, supervised by Peter Vandenabeele, demonstrated in a mouse study that a potential novel treatment for sepsis may consist of the simultaneous neutralization of two harmful cytokines in the blood circulation, namely interleukin-1 and interleukin-18.

Against thirst and drought
How can the increasingly scarce resource called water be exploited and used intelligently?

European Union launches Nordic climate innovation center
As part of a major push for a cleaner economy, Connie Hedegaard -- EU commissioner for Climate Action -- today opens a new Nordic centre for Europe's main climate innovation initiative, Climate-KIC.

Study provides surprising new clue to the roots of hunger
Investigators from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center make a surprising discovery about the neurons that drive appetite and hunger.

Stroke trigger more deadly for African-Americans
African-Americans were 39 times more likely to die of a stroke if they were exposed to an infection.

New plant species a microcosm of biodiversity
Biologists working in the Andes mountains of Ecuador have described a new plant species, a wild relative of black pepper, that is the sole home of an estimated 40-50 insect species, most of which are entirely dependent on this plant species for survival.

Social or stinky? New study reveals how animal defenses evolve
Some animals are

Diaphragm pacing in spinal cord injury successful in weaning patients from ventilators
Study finds laparoscopic diaphragm mapping is safe and can be successfully performed in multiple centers; early diaphragm mapping can quickly determine if a phrenic nerve injury is complete, allowing for early ventilator planning and prevention of weaning trials, and pacing can successfully wean traumatic cervical SCI patients.

Analysis of calls to IBD clinic predicts emergency visits and hospitalizations, Pitt finds
A comprehensive analysis of patient telephone records at an inflammatory bowel disease clinic revealed that 15 percent of patients account for half of all calls to the clinic.

UCLA gets $6 million to study new ways to restore hand movement after paralysis
The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering has awarded UCLA neurosurgeon Dr.

WASP gives NASA's planetary scientists new observation platform
Scientists who study Earth, the sun and stars have long used high-altitude scientific balloons to carry their telescopes far into the stratosphere for a better view of their targets.

Fish biomass in the ocean is 10 times higher than estimated
With a stock estimated at 1,000 million tons so far, mesopelagic fish dominate the total biomass of fish in the ocean.

Huntington disease prevention trial shows creatine safe, suggests slowing of progression
The first clinical trial of a drug intended to delay the onset of symptoms of Huntington disease reveals that high-dose treatment with the nutritional supplement creatine was safe and well tolerated by most participants.

New method developed for ranking disease-causal mutations within whole genome sequences
Researchers from the University of Washington and the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology have developed a new method for organizing and prioritizing genetic data.

Protein structure: Peering into the transit pore
The lipid-rich membranes of cells are largely impermeable to proteins, but evolution has provided a way through -- in the form of transmembrane tunnels.

Smithsonian reports GMO soybean pollen threatens Mexican honey sales
A Smithsonian researcher and colleagues helped rural farmers in Mexico to quantify the genetically modified organism soybean pollen in honey samples rejected for sale in Germany.

Rett syndrome genetic variants now available for advance testing, diagnosis & research
Through collaboration between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and members of the clinical-laboratory and non-profit-research communities, 35 DNA samples containing many common RS genetic variants have now been characterized and made publicly available, eliminating a major stumbling-block for investigators and opening the possibility of earlier, more accurate diagnosis of Rett syndrome, reports The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics.

Shape-sifting: NIST categorizes bio scaffolds by characteristic cell shapes
Getting in the right shape might be just as important in a biology lab as a gym.

Computer models help decode cells that sense light without seeing
Researchers have found that the melanopsin pigment in the retina is potentially more sensitive to light than its more famous counterpart, rhodopsin, the pigment that allows for night vision.

Beta blockers and perioperative care: EHJ editorial addresses controversy
Whether beta blockers in perioperative care are protective, safe or harmful continues to be a subject of debate.

Catalyzing gigabit apps for learning and workforce development
Wonder how we'll be using the Internet in five to 10 years? 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