Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 25, 2014
Star is discovered to be a close neighbor of the sun and the coldest of its kind
A 'brown dwarf' star that appears to be the coldest of its kind -- as frosty as Earth's North Pole -- has been discovered by a Penn State University astronomer using NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer and Spitzer Space Telescopes.

Fires in the Yucatan Peninsula in April 2014
April is in the middle of the dry season, which runs from January through May in this region, and naturally coincides with fire season.

Scripps Florida scientists find connection between gene mutation, key symptoms of autism
Scientists have known that abnormal brain growth is associated with autism spectrum disorder.

New Translational Addiction Sciences Center poised to make headway in treatment of addiction
The National Institute on Drug Abuse has awarded a five-year, $6.6 million grant to the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston to establish the Translational Addiction Sciences Center.

Tsetse fly genetic code sequenced
Scientists at the University of Liverpool have been part of a 10-year project which has successfully sequenced the genetic code of the tsetse fly -- making major advances in disease control possible.

Genome regions once mislabeled 'junk' linked to heart failure
Large sections of the genome that were once referred to as 'junk' DNA have been linked to human heart failure, according to research from Washington University School of Medicine in St.

New sensor molecules have potential for early cancer detection
A research team lead by Academy professor Kari Rissanen at the University of Jyvaskyla has discovered a new water-soluble fluorescent detection system that is extremely sensitive to pyrophosphate.

New genome-editing platform significantly increases accuracy of CRISPR-based systems
A next-generation genome editing system developed by Massachusetts General Hospital investigators substantially decreases the risk of producing unwanted, off-target gene mutations.

'Beneficial inflammation' may promote healing in pulmonary fibrosis
Inflammation has long been considered an integral part of the biological process that leads to deadly scarring in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Climate change: Don't wait until you can feel it
Despite overwhelming scientific evidence for the impending dangers of human-made climate change, policy decisions leading to substantial emissions reduction have been slow.

Researchers at LSTM part of the international team to sequence the tsetse genome
Researchers from LSTM are among those who have sequenced the genome of a species of tsetse fly (Glossina morsitans).

Revolutionary 'metamaterial' has potential to reshape neurosurgery
The development of graphene -- a highly advanced metamaterial with many unique and varied properties -- may lead to exciting new applications in the diagnosis and treatment of neurological diseases, according to a report in the May issue of Neurosurgery, official journal of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons.

Biologists discover a key regulator in the pacemakers of our brain and heart
Biologists have discovered how an outer shield over T-type channels change the electrochemical signaling of heart and brain cells.

Quantitative volumetric analysis of the optic radiation in the normal human brain
This release focuses on the quantitative volumetric analysis of the optic radiation in the normal human brain.

A civil war inside our cells: Scientists show how our bodies fight off 'jumping genes'
There's a civil war going on inside every one of the 37 trillion cells in your body.

Couples need just 1 conversation to decide not to have children
Many couples agree not to have children after only one discussion, and sometimes none at all.

Researchers trace HIV evolution in North America
A study tracing the evolution of HIV in North America involving researchers at Simon Fraser University has found evidence that the virus is slowly adapting over time to its human hosts.

It's not all wedded bliss: Marital stress linked to depression
Marital stress may make people more vulnerable to depression, according to a recent study by University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers and their colleagues.

Researchers generate immunity against tumor vessel protein
A group of researchers from the Abramson Cancer Center and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania is employing a novel DNA vaccine to kill cancer, not by attacking tumor cells, but targeting the blood vessels that keep them alive.

Traces of recent water on Mars
New research has shown that there was liquid water on Mars as recently as 200,000 years ago.

Are almonds an optimal snack?
In a satellite session on Sunday, April 27, researchers will explore the question, 'Are Almonds an Optimal Snack?' a hot topic given that snacking has become a way of life for most Americans.

Study finds almost half of homeless men had traumatic brain injury in their life
Almost half of all homeless men who took part in a study by St.

Scientists at the UA make critical end-stage liver disease discovery
The discovery of an unknown cellular pathway has helped scientists and physicians better understand end-stage liver disease and offers a potential target for new therapeutics that could slow or even reverse the disease's progression.

EPSRC-funded book, Synthetic Aesthetics, launches at V&A
The emerging field of synthetic biology crosses the boundary between science and design, in order to design and manufacture biologically based parts, devices and systems that do not exist in the natural world, as well as the redesign of existing, natural biological systems.

Reconstructed ancient ocean reveals secrets about the origin of life
A reconstruction of Earth's earliest ocean in the laboratory reveals the spontaneous occurrence of the chemical reactions used by modern cells to synthesize many of the crucial organic molecules of metabolism.

Specialized yoga program could help women with urinary incontinence
An ancient form of meditation and exercise could help women who suffer from urinary incontinence, according to a new study from UC San Francisco.

Function found for mysterious heart disease gene
A new study from researchers at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI), published today in Cell Reports, sheds light on a mysterious gene that likely influences cardiovascular health.

Today's statin users consume more calories and fat than their predecessors
People who took statins in the 2009-10 year were consuming more calories and fat than those who used statins 10 years earlier.

3-D printing cancer tumors
Wei Sun, Ph.D., a mechanical engineering researcher at Drexel University, has devised a method for 3-D printing tumors that could soon be taking cancer research out of the petri dish.

New approach to game theory focuses on players' reasoning in games
A new book on game theory, 'The Language of Game Theory: Putting Epistemics into the Mathematics of Games' (author: Adam Brandenburger, New York University, USA; publisher: World Scientific), describes a recently developed approach to analyzing games that makes players' reasoning about the game they are playing a central feature.

Rutgers gets up to $26 million grant to lead development of new antibiotics
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health has selected infectious disease expert David Perlin, executive director of the Public Health Research Institute at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, to lead a major research effort aimed at developing new forms of antibiotics to regain the upper hand over deadly bacteria that have become resistant to current treatments.

Metabolism may have started in our early oceans before the origin of life
The chemical reactions behind the formation of common metabolites in modern organisms could have formed spontaneously in the earth's early oceans, questioning the events leading to the origin of life.

Know your enemy
Researchers at Aarhus University, Denmark, have drawn up the most detailed 'image of the enemy' to date of one of the body's most important players in the development of Parkinson's disease.

UNC researchers link aging to cellular interactions that occur across generations
By studying the reproductive cells of nematodes -- tiny worms found in soil and compost bins -- Shawn Ahmed, Ph.D., an associate professor of genetics, identified the Piwi/piRNA genome silencing pathway, the loss of which results in infertility after many generations. 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