Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 16, 2014
Transfer of knowledge learned seen as a key to improving science education
Attendees of a workshop at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science will be immersed into

Volcanoes, including Mt. Hood, can go from dormant to active quickly
A new study suggests that the magma sitting 4-5 kilometers beneath the surface of Oregon's Mount Hood has been stored in near-solid conditions for thousands of years, but that the time it takes to liquefy and potentially erupt is surprisingly short -- perhaps as little as a couple of months.

Uncovering the secrets of tularemia, the 'rabbit fever'
Tularemia, aka

Malaria vaccine development paves way for protective therapy
Scientists have made a significant contribution towards the development of a vaccine to prevent malaria.

Using crowdsourcing to solve complex problems
Northwestern University's Haoqi Zhang designs new forms of crowd-supported, mixed-initiative systems that tightly integrate crowd work, community process and intelligent user interfaces to solve complex problems that no machine nor person could solve alone.

Scientists call for new stewardship of the deep ocean: Earth's last frontier
Humans are encroaching more vigorously into the ocean's deep regions, exploiting its resources and putting its habitats and natural services at risk.

Bacterial superbug protein structure solved
A research team from Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn., is the first to decipher the 3-D structure of a protein that confers antibiotic resistance from one of the most worrisome disease agents: a strain of bacteria called methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which can cause skin and other infections.

Thinking it through: Scientists seek to unlock mysteries of the brain
Pioneering researchers work to uncover the circuitry of human cognition, identify the genetic roots of disease, unlock the power of Big Data for diagnosis, build a new generation of computing hardware inspired by the brain, and perform revolutionary experiments on a realistic model of the brain.

ASU professor explores the ethics of scientific research and why they matter
Discovery and innovation are important to science, but how are they connected to each other, and how can they be fostered to benefit the wider public?

Researchers hijack cancer migration mechanism to 'move' brain tumors
One factor that makes glioblastoma cancers so difficult to treat is that malignant cells from the tumors spread throughout the brain by following nerve fibers and blood vessels to invade new locations.

Archaeologists lend long-term perspective to food security and climate shock
What role does pre-existing vulnerabilities play for people who experience a climate shock?

What is known about the pathway to aging well?
Through his research, Daniel Mroczek has found that personality traits have emerged as unique predictors of health, well-being and longevity across various segments of the adult lifespan.

Loneliness is a major health risk for older adults
Feeling extreme loneliness can increase an older person's chances of premature death by 14 percent, according to research by John Cacioppo, professor of psychology at the University of Chicago.

Deep ocean needs policy, stewardship where it never existed
Plans to begin mining nodules of valuable metals from deep ocean deposits have oceanographers concerned about the lack of public awareness or international agreements governing these habitats.

Nanoelectronics key to advances in renewable energy
An Arizona State University electrical engineer explains why advances in nanoelectronics will shape the future of renewable energy technologies.

New study shows growing opposition to animal tests
Americans' moral opposition to animal testing has grown significantly since 2001, according to a new study presented today at the annual meeting of the prestigious American Association for the Advancement of Science in Chicago.

Mount Hood study suggests volcano eruptibility is rare
Forecasts of when a volcano is ready to erupt could be a little closer thanks to work by geologists at UC Davis and Oregon State University.

CU-Boulder stem cell research may point to new ways of mitigating muscle loss
New findings on why skeletal muscle stem cells stop dividing and renewing muscle mass during aging points up a unique therapeutic opportunity for managing muscle-wasting conditions in humans, says a new University of Colorado Boulder study.

New eye layer has possible link to glaucoma
A new layer in the human cornea -- discovered by researchers at The University of Nottingham last year -- plays a vital role in the structure of the tissue that controls the flow of fluid from the eye, research has shown.

Harvesting light, the single-molecule way
New insights into one of the molecular mechanisms behind light harvesting, which enables photosynthetic organisms to thrive, even as weather conditions change from full sunlight to deep cloud cover, will be presented at the 58th Annual Biophysical Society Meeting.

U of M study finds fertilization destabilizes global grassland ecosystems
A new study led by University of Minnesota researchers demonstrates that fertilization of natural grasslands -- either intentionally or unintentionally as a side effect of global farming and industry -- is having a destabilizing effect on global grassland ecosystems.

Study on flu evolution may change textbooks, history books
A new study reconstructing the evolutionary tree of flu viruses challenges conventional wisdom and solves some of the mysteries surrounding flu outbreaks of historical significance.

Researchers rejuvenate stem cell population from elderly mice, enabling muscle recovery
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have pinpointed why normal aging is accompanied by a diminished ability to regain strength and mobility after muscle injury: over time, stem cells within muscle tissues dedicated to repairing damage become less able to generate new muscle fibers and struggle to self-renew.

New 'pomegranate-inspired' design solves problems for lithium-ion batteries
A novel battery electrode features silicon nanoparticles clustered like pomegranate seeds in a tough carbon rind.

New blood cells fight brain inflammation
Hyperactivity of our immune system can cause a state of chronic inflammation.

Iowa State University's Wintersteen talks partnerships at national science meeting
Wendy Wintersteen, dean of Iowa State University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, spoke on Sunday of the importance of public-private partnerships in strengthening global food security during the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Chicago.

Do Guam mantas plan moon parties?
Guam mantas will be forever mentioned in the scientific literature because of UOG Master of Biology candidate Julie Hartup's passion for her research subject.

Obesity in Samoa: A global harbinger?
Solving the mystery of how the population of the Samoan archipelago developed one of the world's highest rates of obesity is important not only for addressing the problem but also possibly for predicting the course of obesity in other parts of the developing world.

Global perspectives on human biology and health
The research will draw on data collected from field sites in North and South America, Asia, the South Pacific and Africa to generate insights into human immune function, reproductive aging, nutrition and metabolism and chronic disease.

Epigenetic regulation required to ensure correct number of chromosomes
Abnormal number of chromosomes is often associated with cancer development.

Misconceptions of science and religion found in new study
The public's view that science and religion can't work in collaboration is a misconception that stunts progress, according to a new survey of more than 10,000 Americans, scientists and evangelical Protestants.

Worldwide study finds that fertilizer destabilizes grasslands
Fertilizer could be too much of a good thing for the world's grasslands.

River samples shed light on the spread of potential 'superbugs'
Experts from Newcastle University, UK, and the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi, call on policymakers around the world to recognize the importance of clean drinking water in our fight against antibiotic resistance. 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