Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (September 2012)

Science news and science current events archive September, 2012.

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Top Science News & Current Event Articles from September 2012

Wild bees: Champions for food security and protecting our biodiversity
Pollinators provide many benefits, including pollinating food crops and wild flowers in the countryside which in turn provide food for a wide range of animals. The threats to them are numerous and have already caused severe declines. The status of European pollinators, the causes of declines, and their value to society were presented by scientists at a special symposium of the 5th EurBee meeting held in Germany.

A celestial witch's broom?
The Pencil Nebula is pictured in a new image from ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile. This peculiar cloud of glowing gas is part of a huge ring of wreckage left over after a supernova explosion that took place about 11,000 years ago. This detailed view was produced by the Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-meter telescope.

News consumption of political stories not enough to retain political knowledge
Researchers from the University of Missouri found that adolescents who spend more time thinking and talking about the news with their peers and relatives tend to know more about political developments in the country.

Compensation for forced labor under National Socialism: Negotiations to practices
RUB-historians publish four volumes about the foundation

Care New England joins The Conversation Project
Care New England has joined with five other pioneering organizations to support a new effort by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) to better prepare health care providers to receive and respect patients' wishes about end-of-life care. The initiative is a critical companion to The Conversation Project, which launched nationwide last month.

OU receives award from Council of Graduate Schools
The University of Oklahoma Graduate College and the Center for Applied Social Research have received one of five awards nationwide from the Council of Graduate Schools to integrate research ethics education into international collaborations in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics fields.

Health inequalities in Europe could worsen unless action is taken now
Health inequality in Europe is resulting in huge social and economic costs to the region, and progress towards reducing health inequalities should be one of the main criteria by which the effectiveness of health systems and governments as a whole are assessed, according to a Review published in the Lancet today.

Himalayan glaciers retreating at accelerated rate in some regions but not others
Glaciers in the eastern and central regions of the Himalayas appear to be retreating at accelerating rates, similar to those in other areas of the world.

Dengue Vaccine Initiative welcomes latest progress in vaccine development
Today, the Dengue Vaccine Initiative welcomed new clinical trial results that reveal progress in developing the first-ever dengue vaccine. In a publication in the Lancet, pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur reported results from the first study conducted to evaluate the efficacy of any dengue vaccine candidate against clinical dengue disease in a population naturally exposed to dengue.

Yogurt consumption, blood pressure, and incident hypertension
Adding more yogurt to your diet without increasing the number of calories you eat may help lower your risk of high blood pressure, according to new research presented at the American Heart Association's High Blood Pressure Research 2012 Scientific Sessions.

Anti-HIV drug simulation offers 'realistic' tool to predict drug resistance and viral mutation
Pooling data from thousands of tests of the antiviral activity of more than 20 commonly used anti-HIV drugs, AIDS experts at Johns Hopkins and Harvard universities have developed what they say is the first accurate computer simulation to explain drug effects. Already, the model clarifies how and why some treatment regimens fail in some patients who lack evidence of drug resistance.

Solving the stink from sewers
The rotten egg gas leaking from sewer pipes and costing billions of dollars worldwide in odour control may soon be far less of a problem thanks to new research discussed at the 2012 International Water Association (IWA) conference this week. Trials with a magic mix of chemicals, called Cloevis, on sewers in the Gold Coast region in Australia stopped 99 per cent of the rotten egg gas or hydrogen sulphide emitted from these pipes.

Chronic fatigue syndrome is not linked to suspect viruses
The causes of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) have long eluded scientists. Since investigations by several laboratories have been unable to detect XMRV or pMLV in CFS patients, CII at Columbia's Mailman School collaborated on a study with several partners to resolve this issue. Findings show no evidence of the xenotropic murine leukemia virus (XMRV) or polytropic MLV in samples from the recruited CFS control subjects.

Study in mice suggests sleep problems may be early sign of Alzheimer's
Sleep disruptions may be among the earliest indicators of Alzheimer's disease, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis report Sept. 5 in Science Translational Medicine.

Cleveland trio will demonstrate energy-saving app to DOE
Three Cleveland app developers who took second place in the student division of DOE's Apps for Energy challenge will demonstrate their energy-saving product to federal energy, science, and environmental officials and industry leaders in Washington Monday, Oct 1.

Measuring glucose without needle pricks
Pricking a finger everyday is just part of everyday life for many diabetes patients. A non-invasive measurement approach could release them from the constant pain of pin pricks. The linchpin is a biosensor engineered by Fraunhofer researchers: A tiny chip combines measurement and digital analysis - and can be radioed to a mobile device.

NSF awards $1.2 million grant to Clemson professor for energy storage research
Clemson University physics professor Apparao Rao has received a $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation to explore the use of carbon nanomaterials for energy storage.

UNC Lineberger scientists lead cancer genome analysis of breast cancer
A team of scientists with The Cancer Genome Atlas program reports their genetic characterization of 800 breast tumors, including finding some of the genetic causes of the most common forms of breast cancer, providing clues for new therapeutic targets, and identifying a molecular similarity between one sub-type of breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

Experts convene to address major cause of childhood illness and death
This week, more than 350 leading scientific, public and private sector experts convened to discuss progress and next steps in reducing the global incidence of rotavirus, the most common cause of diarrheal hospitalizations and deaths among children worldwide. Rotavirus takes the lives of approximately 188,000 Asian children under five each year.

White shark diets vary with age and among individuals
White sharks, the largest predatory sharks in the ocean, are thought of as apex predators that feed primarily on seals and sea lions. But a new study by researchers at UC Santa Cruz shows surprising variability in the dietary preferences of individual sharks.

Managing soil copper in crops irrigated with cattle footbath wastewater
Getting a head start on stopping soil copper buildup will now be a bit easier, thanks to studies by US Department of Agriculture scientists. This research could help Pacific Northwest farmers develop long-term irrigation management strategies to protect crops from potentially dangerous soil copper levels.

Researchers find multiple similarities between cancer cells and induced pluripotent stem cells
UC Davis investigators have found new evidence that a promising type of stem cell now being considered for a variety of disease therapies is very similar to the type of cells that give rise to cancer.

Sandia shows why common explosive sometimes fails
The explosive PETN has been around for a century and is used by everyone from miners to the military, but it took new research by Sandia National Laboratories to begin to discover key mechanisms behind what causes it to fail at small scales.

Genetically-engineered preclinical models predict pharmacodynamic response
A new comparison of four different methodologies for pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic testing of the anti-melanoma agent carboplatin, demonstrates that genetically-engineered mouse models provide tumor delivery of drug most comparable to the response seen in melanoma patients.

World Heart Federation says heart health starts earlier than you think
A new multi-national survey reveals the extent of misconceptions about when is the right time to start taking action to prevent cardiovascular disease. In a four-country survey sample of 4,000 adults, 49 percent answered age 30 years or older when asked at what age they believe people should start to take action about their heart health to prevent conditions such as heart disease and stroke.

Notre Dame receives $6.1 million NSF grant award to advance Quarknet Program
The University of Notre Dame has received a five-year, $6.1 million award from the National Science Foundation to support the continuation of the nationwide QuarkNet program, which uses particle physics experiments to inspire students and provide valuable research, training and mentorship opportunities for high school teachers.

Rice University lab encodes collagen
In a discovery with implications for drug design, tissue engineering and the treatment of disease, Rice University researchers have created a program to encode self-assembling collagen proteins.

NASA sees wind shear battering Tropical Storm Nadine
Tropical Storm Nadine is struggling against wind shear and some dry air. Infrared satellite imagery from NASA showed that Nadine's most powerful thunderstorms were being pushed east of the center.

Environment: Pooling information to combat the threat of alien species in Europe
EASIN, the European Alien Species Information Network, launched today by the European Commission's in-house science service, the Joint Research Centre, takes a first step towards answering these and other questions related to 16,000 alien species currently reported all over Europe.

Excavations in Jaffa confirm presence of Egyptian settlement on the ancient city site
The Old Testament Studies and Biblical Archaeology division of the Faculty of Protestant Theology at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and the University of California in Los Angeles this year again conducted excavations on the ancient hill of Jaffa in Israel. The recent excavations have not only shed new light on the destruction of elements of the fortification, but also unearthed evidence pointing towards the presence of an Egyptian population on the site.

Northeastern's Barnett Institute announces formation of leading analytics company, BioAnalytix, LLC
The Barnett Institute of Chemical and Biological Analysis, a part of Northeastern University's College of Science has partnered in the formation of BioAnalytix, LLC -- a company specializing in the application of advanced biologic drug characterization methods and technologies to enable better, faster and more effective drug development and commercialization.

Khoe-San peoples are unique, special -- largest genomic study finds
The largest genomic study ever conducted among Khoe and San groups reveals that these groups from southern Africa are descendants of the earliest diversification event in the history of all humans - some 100,000 years ago, well before the 'out-of-Africa' migration of modern humans.

Geometry plays a role in GPCR transmembrane signaling
A recent study in the Journal of General Physiology characterizes the movement of rhodopsin, a GPCR and member of a large family of transmembrane receptors responsible for many cellular responses and involved in many human diseases.

Ovarian cancer cells hijack surrounding tissues to enhance tumor growth
In this issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, researchers at MD Anderson Cancer Center report that ovarian cancer cells activate the HOXA9 gene to compel stromal cells to create an environment that supports tumor growth.

Crews complete first block of North America's most advanced neutrino experiment
Today, technicians in Minnesota will begin to position the first block of the NOvA far detector, which will be part of the largest, most advanced neutrino experiment in North America.

CEO incentives should be more strategic
CEOs are sometimes rewarded for taking excessive risks - a practice that helped fuel the recent recession but could be altered if companies are more strategic in how they compensate their chief executives, a Michigan State University scholar argues in a new study.

When it rains, it pours
Global warming is expected to intensify extreme precipitation, but the rate at which it does so in the tropics has remained unclear. Now an MIT study has given an estimate based on model simulations and observations.

Behavior issues are a bigger headache for children with migraines
Kids who get migraine headaches are much more likely than other children to also have behavioral difficulties, including social and attention issues, and anxiety and depression. The more frequent the headaches, the greater the effect, according to research out now in the journal Cephalagia, published by SAGE.

Non-alcoholic red wine may help reduce high blood pressure
Non-alcoholic red wine was more effective at lowering blood pressure than traditional red wine or gin. Red wine's polyphenols uninhibited by alcohol seem to be the blood pressure reducing element.

Hands-on activities for high schoolers effectively teach about antibiotics
A hands-on project to educate high schoolers about appropriate antibiotic use was highly effective, promoting more sophisticated understandings of bacteria and antibiotics and increasing understanding of the dangers of antibiotic resistance, and was even enjoyable, as reported Sep. 12 in the open access journal PLOS ONE.

Hypertension not so simple
A recently published editorial in the Journal of the American Society of Hypertension,

Stanford bioengineer Christina Smolke wins NIH Director's Pioneer Award
Christina Smolke, PhD, associate professor of bioengineering at Stanford University, has won a Director's Pioneer Award from the National Institutes of Health. The award includes a five-year, $2.5 million grant to be used in highly innovative approaches that have the potential to affect a broad area of biomedical or behavioral research.

Using a laser to 'see' the smallest world
A multi-university team has employed a high-powered laser based at UC Santa Barbara to dramatically improve one of the tools scientists use to study the world at the atomic level. The team used their amped-up electron paramagnetic resonance spectrometer to study the electron spin of free radicals and nitrogen atoms trapped inside a diamond.

Theory: Music underlies language acquisition
Contrary to the prevailing theories that music and language are cognitively separate or that music is a byproduct of language, theorists at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music and the University of Maryland, College Park, advocate that music underlies the ability to acquire language.

UF researchers name new cusk-eels useful for understanding environment
A study by University of Florida and University of Kansas researchers describing eight new cusk-eel species provides data for better understanding how disasters like the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill impact biodiversity and the environment.

Further steps needed to reduce stigma and expand access to substance abuse
Outdated approaches to preventing and treating substance abuse, barriers to care, and other problems hinder the US Defense Department's ability to curb substance use disorders among military service members and their families.

Infection data may not be comparable across hospitals, study shows
Research highlights differing methods of reporting central line infections in hospitals.

Two-thirds of the world's new solar panels were installed in Europe in 2011
Europe accounted for two thirds of the world-wide newly installed photovoltaic (PV) capacity in 2011, with 18.5 GW. Its overall PV capacity totalled 52 GW. The yearly electricity produced by PV could power a country with the electricity demand of Austria, which corresponds to two percent of the EU's electricity needs.

Ocean acidification: Finding new answers through National Science Foundation research grants
With increasing levels of carbon dioxide accumulating in the atmosphere and moving into marine systems, the world's oceans are becoming more acidic.

Neuroscientists investigate lotteries to study how the brain evaluates risk
A new video article in Journal of Visualized Experiments uses functional magnetic resonance imaging to characterize subjective risk assessment while subjects choose between different lotteries to play.

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