Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 02, 2015
UM scientist earns grant to study carbon across North America
University of Montana researcher Ashley Ballantyne recently was awarded a nearly $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to study ecosystem carbon production and consumption across North America.

Cosmic recycling
Dominating this image is part of the nebula Gum 56, illuminated by the hot bright young stars that were born within it.

Saving coral reefs depends more on protecting fish than safeguarding locations
A new study by Wildlife Conservation Society has found that coral reef diversity 'hotspots' in the southwestern Indian Ocean rely more on the biomass of fish than where they are located, a conclusion that has major implications for management decisions to protect coral reef ecosystems.

3-D printing revives Bronze Age music
An archaeologist has 3-D printed a replica of an Iron Age artifact to revive a rich musical culture in ancient Ireland.

WSU scientists discover mechanism for air pollution-induced liver disease
A research team led by Kezhong Zhang, Ph.D., at the Wayne State University School of Medicine's Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics, has discovered that exposure to air pollution has a direct adverse health effect on the liver and causes liver fibrosis, an illness associated with metabolic disease and liver cancer.

Exposure to phthalates could be linked to pregnancy loss
A new study of more than 300 women suggests that exposure to certain phthalates -- substances commonly used in food packaging, personal-care and other everyday products -- could be associated with miscarriage, mostly between five and 13 weeks of pregnancy.

EORTC trial opens for patients with recurrent grade II or III meningioma
Meningiomas are a type of brain tumor that form on membranes covering the brain and spinal cord just inside the skull.

First ancient genome recovered from the Mediterranean area
An international team of researchers has sequenced the first complete genome of an Iberian farmer, which is also the first ancient genome from the entire Mediterranean area.

Loons return faithfully to the same wintering sites year after year
Common Loons nest on lakes across Canada and the northern US, but every winter they disperse, many to the open ocean where they're difficult to track.

The symmetry of the universe
Why did anti-matter disappear almost completely from our universe, whereas matter did not?

Study shows how fracking documentary influenced public perception and political change
Social scientists have long argued documentary films are powerful tools for social change.

Disruption of a crucial cellular machine may kill the engine of deadly cancers
In a way, cancer resembles a runaway car with a gas pedal stuck to the floor, hurling out of control.

Zooplankton study could bridge gap between ecology and evolution
UT Arlington biologist Matthew Walsh hopes to bridge the gap between ecology and evolution through his study of zooplankton in more than 20 lakes in Alaska and Wisconsin.

Artificial intelligence authors crowdsourced interactive fiction
Georgia Institute of Technology researchers have developed a new artificially intelligent system that crowdsources plots for interactive stories, which are popular in video games and let players choose different branching story options.

Manipulation of food structure could lead the way to a healthier diet
A new study led by scientists at King's College London shows that preserving the natural structure of dietary fiber during food production can help to slow the rise in blood sugar levels after a meal.

A marine creature's magic trick explained
Crystal structures on the sea sapphire's back appear differently depending on the angle of reflection

Men in China face increasing tobacco-related cancer risks
In China, smoking now causes nearly a quarter of all cancers in adult males.

Endocrine Society's Clinical Endocrinology Update Meeting sets attendance record
The Endocrine Society's 67th annual Clinical Endocrinology Update provides the latest information on a variety of endocrine conditions, including diabetes, obesity, thyroid conditions, reproductive disorders, osteoporosis and other bone diseases, adrenal conditions and pituitary disorders.

Ancient cold period could provide clues about future climate change
Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have found that a well-known period of abrupt climate change 12,000 years ago occurred rapidly in northern latitudes but much more gradually in equatorial regions, a discovery that could prove important for understanding and responding to future climate change.

DRI Model 2015 Carbon Analyzer added to Magee Scientific's International Product Line
The Desert Research Institute has entered into agreement with Magee Scientific of Berkeley, California, and its European partner company Aerosol of Ljubljana, Slovenia, to manufacture and market the new DRI Model 2015 Multiwavelength Laboratory Carbon Analyzer.

Supply signals critical to firms' profitability
Advance supply signals, such as financial health and production viability, contain rich information on supplier conditions.

Study provides insights into the mechanisms of fine-tuning of wheat to diverse environments
A Kansas State University researcher has helped identify the last major vernalization gene in wheat.

How protein tangles accumulate in the brain and cause neurological disorders
The appoptosin protein initiates a path that leads to the accumulation of tau, a key component of brain lesions.

IASLC to hold Third Annual CT Screening Workshop
The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer's Strategic Screening Advisory Committee will hold the Third CT Screening Workshop on Saturday, Sept.

For 2-D boron, it's all about that base
If two-dimensional boron can be made at all, the material's substrate will have a significant impact on its final form, according to Rice University scientists.

Biodiversity belowground is just as important as aboveground
Although most of the world's biodiversity is below ground, surprisingly little is known about how it affects ecosystems or how it will be affected by climate change.

Scientists see motor neurons 'walking' in real time
The new approach shows how cells in the spinal cord synchronize many neurons at once to allow complex movements, which could have implications for treating spinal cord injuries and diseases.

FSU researcher: Change in environment can lead to rapid evolution
A new study by Florida State University is showing that rapid evolution can occur in response to environmental changes.

Tracking down the causes of Alzheimer's
Genes are not only important for regular memory performance, but also for the development of Alzheimer's disease.

NSF and USAID announce latest round of awards to address global development challenges
Building sustainable fisheries, monitoring landslide risk, studying the emerging bioeconomy: these are some of the research projects announced today in the newest round of an interagency partnership to foster collaborative global research.

Newly discovered protein may protect kidney cells from injury
A new discovery by Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) researchers may change how kidney disease is treated in the future.

Making fuel from light
Photosynthesis has given life to the planet. While scientists have been studying and mimicking the natural phenomenon in the laboratory for years, understanding how to replicate the chemical process behind it has largely remained a mystery -- until now.

Silk bio-ink could help advance tissue engineering with 3-D printers
Advances in 3-D printing have led to new ways to make bone and some other relatively simple body parts that can be implanted in patients.

Blueberry extract could help fight gum disease and reduce antibiotic use
Gum disease is a common condition among adults that occurs when bacteria form biofilms or plaques on teeth, and consequently the gums become inflamed.

Evidence that Earth's first mass extinction was caused by critters not catastrophe
The Earth's first mass extinction event 540 million years ago was caused not by a meteorite impact or volcanic super-eruption but by the rise of early animals that dramatically changed the prehistoric environment.

Radioactive contaminants found in coal ash
A Duke University-led study has found radioactive contaminants in coal ash from all three major US coal-producing basins.

Study: 'Guilting' teens into exercise won't increase activity
Adults who try to guilt middle-schoolers into exercising won't get them to be any more active, according to a new study.

Seal pups listen for long distance calls to locate their mothers
Antarctic fur seal pups identify the mother's vocal pitch at longer distance and use other components of the vocal signature at closer range to identify their mother in densely populated breeding colonies.

Hiring more minority teachers in schools gives fairer perception of discipline
Black students in schools with more black teachers have more positive attitudes and higher perceptions of fairness in school discipline, according to a new study that includes a University of Kansas researcher.

Animal without synapses feeds by external digestion using global, local cellular control
A multicellular marine animal without organs, Trichoplax's feeding behavior may include cellular coordination, resulting in external food digestion.

NASA sees a weaker Tropical Storm Ignacio north of Hawaiian Islands
When NASA's Terra satellite passed over Tropical Storm Ignacio on Sept.

Cellular recycling complexes may hold key to chemotherapy resistance
Upsetting the balance between protein synthesis, misfolding, and degradation drives cancer and neurodegeneration.

Only above-water microbes play a role in cave development
Only the microbes located above the water's surface contribute to the development of hydrogen-sulfide-rich caves, suggests an international team of researchers.

Fire in the Amazon
A six-year controlled burn experiment in the Amazon reveals a forest that is initially resilient to fires but vulnerable in the face of drought and repeated fire, which produced high tree mortality and encouraged grassland incursion.

Reversible Writing with Light
Self-assembling nanoparticles take their cues from their surroundings.

NSF, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency support development of new Arctic maps
The National Science Foundation, in partnership with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, is supporting development of high-resolution topographic maps of the Arctic that for the first time will provide consistent coverage of the entire globally significant region, including Alaska.

Typhoon Kilo moving through northwestern Pacific Ocean
NOAA's GOES-West satellite spotted the eye in a strong Typhoon Kilo moving through the Northwestern Pacific Ocean.

IU researchers lead $1.2 million effort to unlock economic potential of maker movement
Indiana University researchers have received $1.2 million from the National Science Foundation to study maker movements, repair collectives and 'hackerspaces' in the Midwest and Asia as a potential a driver of the US economy.

Researchers identify a new approach for lowering harmful lipids
Xian-Cheng Jiang, Ph.D., professor of cell biology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, has led a study identifying a new approach for lowering 'bad' lipids in blood circulation, a critical means to combat devastating cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis.

Queen's University developing new drug against leading causes of death -- sepsis and ARDS
The novel anti-inflammatory drug, SAN101, is being developed by a team of scientists and clinicians at Queen's.

Studies show exercise is safe, improves quality of life for pulmonary hypertension patients
Exercise training for patients with pulmonary hypertension was shown to be safe and to improve quality of life, according to an analysis by UT Southwestern Medical Center cardiologists of studies involving more than 400 participants.

Who gets a transplant organ
A Rutgers study examines how decisions are made when it comes to allocating scare resources.

Best of ESC Congress 2015
With 32,773 registrations this year, ESC Congress 2015 broke yet another record in attendance.

Driving with central visual field loss
Vision researchers in Boston have published the second paper of a study designed to determine if a driver who suffers from loss of central vision is able to detect pedestrians in a timely manner when driving.

From sounds to the meaning
Without understanding the 'referential function' of language (words as 'verbal labels', symbolizing other things) it is impossible to learn a language.

Struggles ahead in China for chemical and pharmaceutical companies
China's economic downturn plus other factors, including overcapacity and tightening regulations, mean the next two to three years could be challenging for the foreign chemical and pharmaceutical companies located there.

This week from AGU: Water tables, 3D rock formations, wind speed maps & hydrothermal vents
This week from AGU: High water tables, 3-D rock formations, wind speed maps & hydrothermal vents.

The springy mechanics of large and small gecko toe pad adhesion
Reporting in the current issue of PLOS ONE, functional morphologist Duncan J.

Experts address earth's water challenges
Water, and the critical lack thereof, is a growing worldwide problem.

UMass Amherst to train students in use of soft materials for life sciences
Polymer scientist Kenneth Carter, who co-directs the program with colleague Gregory Tew, says the NRT will engage 74 students over five years in polymer science and engineering, immunology, food science and several engineering fields.

ONR: Big opportunities for small business at Navy Gold Coast
To maintain the technological superiority of the American warfighter -- and build partnerships with small businesses--the Office of Naval Research joined entrepreneurs, start-ups and already established companies last week at the 27th annual Navy Gold Coast Small Business Procurement Event at the San Diego Convention Center.

NASA sees Tropical Storm Fred losing its punch
Tropical Storm Fred is losing its punch. Satellite imagery shows that there are no strong thunderstorms developing in the tropical storm indicating that the storm is weakening.

Fingerprinting erosion
Watershed health and water quality issues are a growing concern.

Prophylactic surgery nearly doubles in men with breast cancer
The number of men with breast cancer who undergo surgery to remove the unaffected breast has risen sharply.

Phagraphene, a 'relative' of graphene, discovered
A group of scientists from Russia, the USA and China, led by Artyom Oganov from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, using computer generated simulation have predicted the existence of a new two-dimensional carbon material, a 'patchwork.'

Penn researchers report long-term remissions in first personalized cell therapy trial
Eight of 14 patients in the first trial of the University of Pennsylvania's personalized cellular therapy for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) responded to the therapy, with some complete remissions continuing past four and a half years.

Mutated p53 tumor suppressor protein uses epigenetics to drive aggressive cancer growth
Aggressive cancer growth and alterations in gene activity without changes in DNA sequence (epigenetics) are associated with mutant p53 proteins, which has implications for such difficult-to-treat cancers as those in the pancreas and breast.

Elucidation of the molecular mechanisms involved in remyelination
Researchers in Japan have revealed the molecular mechanism involved in the process of repair to damage of the myelin sheath.This achievement shows that it is possible to encourage the regeneration of the myelin sheath by inhibiting the action of PTPRZ in endogenous oligodendrocyte precursor cells, indicating a new potential treatment for demyelinating diseases.

New symptom may help ID sleep apnea in older women
Obstructive sleep apnea may be underdiagnosed in postmenopausal women. A new study strongly associates the condition's traditional risk factors with nocturnal enuresis (bedwetting), suggesting that it may be an additional screening factor for doctors to consider.

Seeing the forest and the trees, all 3 trillion of them
A new international study estimates that there are more than 3 trillion trees on Earth, about seven and a half times more than some previous estimates.

NASA's GPM sees Hurricane Jimena's intense eyewall
NASA's Global Precipitation Measurement or GPM core satellite passed over Hurricane Jimena and saw an intense eyewall with heaviest rainfall occurring in the northern and eastern sides of the storm.

How does your microbiome grow?
The reproduction rates of the bacteria in one's gut may be a good indicator of health or disease.

Stanford soil sleuths solve mystery of arsenic-contaminated water
Stanford Earth scientist Scott Fendorf helped discover how trace amounts of arsenic were moving from sediments into groundwater aquifers in Southern California.

The Lancet Psychiatry: Long-term study links common psychiatric disorders with increased risk of violent reoffending in ex-prisoners
Ex-prisoners with common psychiatric disorders such as bipolar disorder (manic-depressive disorder) and alcohol and drug abuse are substantially more likely to commit a violent crime after release than other prisoners, according to new research published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal.

Diabetes and brain tangles may be linked independently of Alzheimer's disease
Diabetes may be linked to the buildup of tangles or tau in the brain, separate from Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study published in the Sept.

Food insecurity linked to adolescent obesity, metabolic syndrome
New research indicates that household food insecurity dramatically increases the likelihood of metabolic diseases in children, with many showing chronic disease markers before they graduate from high school.

Many North American birds may lose part of range under climate change scenarios
Over 50 percent of nearly 600 surveyed bird species may lose more than half of their current geographic range across three climate change scenarios through the end of the century in North America.

Neighbors, but not classmates
Contrary to assumptions that disadvantaged neighborhoods trap children in failing schools, a Johns Hopkins University sociologist has found the opposite to be true: as a neighborhood's income decreases, its range of educational experiences greatly expands.

Soil area the size of Berlin lost each year due to water erosion in the EU
A recent assessment carried out by the JRC estimates that water erodes 970 million tonnes of soil every year in the EU.

Lowering sugar-sweetened beverage intake by children linked to favorable HDL-C changes
A study measuring blood lipid levels of a diverse sample of Boston area schoolchildren found that reducing SSB intake by at least one serving a week was associated with a greater increase in HDL-cholesterol over 12 months.

Skeletons found in mass graves are those of 17th century Scottish soldiers
New analysis carried out on skeletons discovered in a centuries-old mass grave in Durham, UK, has led experts to conclude they are the remains of Scottish soldiers taken prisoner after the 1650 Battle of Dunbar.

Bisexual and questioning women have higher risk of eating disorders
Young women who are attracted to both sexes or who are unsure about who they are attracted to are more likely to develop an eating disorder than those attracted to only one sex, according to a new study from Drexel University.

CT scan of Earth links deep mantle plumes with volcanic hotspots
Geophysicists have detected plumes of hot rock rising through the mantle from the core-mantle boundary, and hypothesized that they remain stationary for millions of years, generating volcanic island chains as the crust moves over them.

Decade-long Amazon rainforest burn yields new insight into wildfires
The longest and largest controlled burn experiment ever conducted in the Amazon rainforest has yielded new insight into the ways that tropical forests succumb to -- and bounce back from -- large-scale wildfires, according to new research co-authored by a University of Colorado Boulder professor.

Columbia Engineering team develops targeted drug delivery to lung
Researchers from Columbia Engineering and Columbia University Medical Center have developed a new method that can target delivery of very small volumes of drugs into the lung.

Childhood coeliac disease discovery opens door for potential treatments
A new study has revealed childhood coeliac disease mirrors the condition in adults, increasing the possibility a coeliac disease therapy that could enable patients to eat gluten again will work in children.

Texas A&M team finds neuron responsible for alcoholism
Scientists have pinpointed a population of neurons in the brain that influences whether one drink leads to two, which could ultimately lead to a cure for alcoholism and other addictions.

'Authenticity' in Mexican restaurants depends on views of managers and patrons
According to a new University of Missouri study, whether or not a Mexican restaurant is considered 'authentic' is completely subjective; yet, authentic Mexican restaurants, while symbolizing boundaries between private cultural and ethnic customs, also function as sites for public display of ethnic and cultural identities.

International research project gets high level of funding
Antibodies are protein molecules that are produced by the body to fight pathogens.

Taking apart termite mounds
Researchers have for the first time has described in detail how termite mounds are ventilated.

The risk of cognitive impairment in children born prematurely may be predicted using MRI after birth
School age children who are born prematurely are more likely to have low mathematical achievement, thought to be associated with reduced working memory and number skills, according to a new study published today in the neurology journal Brain.

Waste coffee used as fuel storage
Scientists have developed a simple process to treat waste coffee grounds to allow them to store methane.

Microbial diversity insights are often strongly biased
Substantial methodological biases in soil fungal diversity were demonstrated by an Estonian-German research consortium.

Risk of financial crisis higher than previously estimated
The risk of a financial crisis is substantially higher than previously estimated, according to new research that accounts for multiple levels of interconnectedness in the financial system.

Flu study, on hold, yields new vaccine technology
Vaccines to protect against an avian influenza pandemic as well as seasonal flu may be mass produced more quickly and efficiently using technology described today by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the journal Nature Communications.

Ancient new guinea pot makers surprising innovation
Archaeologists have unearthed the oldest known pottery from Papua New Guinea in a surprisingly remote location in the rugged highlands.

NASA sees shapeless Tropical Depression 14E
Tropical Depression 14E can't get its act together and still appears as a shapeless, asymmetric mass of clouds and thunderstorms on infrared imagery from NASA's Aqua satellite.

Reward, aversion behaviors activated through same brain pathways
New research at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Scientists discover key clues in turtle evolution
A team led by NYIT Assistant Professor Gaberiel Bever has determined that Eunotosaurus africanus is the earliest known branch of the turtle tree of life.

Study shows that nutrient shortfalls are a serious and persistent health disparity
A study published Monday in the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved concludes that ethnicity is associated with nutrient shortfalls of important nutrients.

New research discovers immune system protein can fix cystic fibrosis cells
Scientific experiments examining what happens to the faulty channel protein that causes cystic fibrosis during inflammation have yielded unexpected and exciting results.

Feeling blue and seeing blue: Sadness may impair color perception
The world might seem a little grayer than usual when we're down in the dumps and we often talk about 'feeling blue' -- new research suggests that the associations we make between emotion and color go beyond mere metaphor.

Changing the biological data visualization world
Scientists at TGAC, alongside European partners, have created a cutting-edge, open source community for the lifesciences.

New genetic mutation identified in melanoma cancer cells
There is strong evidence that the protein complex APC/C may function as a tumor suppressor in multiple cancers including lymphoma, colorectal and breast cancer, and now melanoma.

The power of film
Researcher at the University of Iowa is the first to use the Internet and social media to systematically show how a documentary film shaped public perception and ultimately led to municipal bans on hydraulic fracking.

Telomerase targeting drug demonstrates benefit in myelofibrosis treatment
Imetelstat, a novel drug that targets telomerase, has demonstrated potential value in treating patients with myelofibrosis, according to the results of a study published today in the New England Journal of Medicine. 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