Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 24, 2016
Small brain -- astounding performance
The elephantnose fish explores objects in its surroundings by using its eyes or its electrical sense -- sometimes both together.

Researchers offer new theory on how climate affects violence
Researchers have long struggled to explain why some violent crime rates are higher near the equator than other parts of the world.

'Flower Power': Photovoltaic cells replicate rose petals
With a surface resembling that of plants, solar cells improve light-harvesting and thus generate more power.

'Amazing protein diversity' is discovered in the maize plant
New research establishes the amazing diversity of maize -- specifically the variety of proteins that the plant's genes can generate.

NIH-funded drug abuse program explores problems such as racism, incarceration
University of Illinois social work professor Liliane Windsor and Ellen Benoit of New York University awarded $2 million NIH grant for expanded study of Community Wise, a drug abuse program that addresses effects of racism, sexism, poverty and incarceration.

Siberian larch forests are still linked to the ice age
The Siberian permafrost regions include those areas of the Earth, which heat up very quickly in the course of climate change.

Scientists uncover route for finding out what makes individuals nice or nasty
A University of Exeter scientist has helped develop an innovative mathematical model for exploring why some individuals evolve to be genetically programmed to be nice, while others stay nasty.

Neonicotinoid pesticides cause harm to honeybees
One possible cause of the alarming bee mortality we are witnessing is the use of the very active systemic insecticides called neonicotinoids.

Relationship quality tied to good health for young adults
For young people entering adulthood, high-quality relationships are associated with better physical and mental health, according to the results of a recently published study by a University at Buffalo-led research team.

Eyewitnesses who collaborate make fewer mistakes in police interview
Witnesses correct each other's errors. Two recently published research studies by legal psychologists Annelies Vredeveldt and Peter van Koppen at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam show that witnesses make fewer errors when they are interviewed together than when they are interviewed separately.

Beneficial bacteria may protect breasts from cancer
Bacteria that have the potential to abet breast cancer are present in the breasts of cancer patients, while beneficial bacteria are more abundant in healthy breasts, where they may actually be protecting women from cancer, according to Gregor Reid, Ph.D., and his collaborators.

Female blue tits sing in the face of danger
Birdsong has long been associated with courtship or competitive behavior.

Researchers devise new tool to measure polarization of light
Researchers have developed a new tool for detecting and measuring the polarization of light based on a single spatial sampling of the light, rather than the multiple samples required by previous technologies.

MicroRNAs identified as novel targets for treating asthma
A new study shows that microRNAs, which are small, noncoding RNA molecules that can silence genes, have an important role in inducing asthma.

Tiny algae ideal for sniffing out nutrient pollution in water
Tiny algae, called diatoms, living in water could be key to providing a definitive and clear measure of whether streams, rivers and lakes have damaging levels of nutrients in them.

Genetic signatures expose drug susceptibility in breast cancer cells
A genomics approach at the Medical University of South Carolina has unmasked genetic signatures in breast cancer cells that predict their sensitivity to certain drugs.

Hairs, feathers and scales have a lot in common!
The potential evolutionary link between hairs in mammals, feathers in birds and scales in reptiles has been debated for decades.

Computer sketches set to make online shopping much easier
A computer program that recognizes sketches pioneered by scientists from Queen Mary University of London could help consumers shop more efficiently.

Insects were already using camouflage 100 million years ago
Those who go to a masked ball consciously slip into a different role, in order to avoid being recognized.

Energy from sunlight: Further steps towards artificial photosynthesis
Chemists from the universities of Basel and Zurich in Switzerland have come one step closer to generating energy from sunlight: for the first time, they were able to reproduce one of the crucial phases of natural photosynthesis with artificial molecules.

In mice, daughters of overweight dads have altered breast tissue, higher cancer risk
Obese male mice and normal weight female mice produce female pups that are overweight at birth through childhood, and have delayed development of their breast tissue as well as increased rates of breast cancer.

Molecular scissors help evolutionary investigation
Scientists at KIT detected an important mechanism in the evolution of plant genomes: using Arabidopsis thaliana as a model organism, they studied the formation of tandem repeat DNA sequences and found out that these sequences form if both DNA strands are broken at a significant distance from each other.

Regenerative medicine offering new treatment for bronchopleural fistulas
For the first time in human application, Mayo Clinic researchers successfully closed an open wound on the upper chest caused by postoperative complications of lung removal.

Faster detection of pathogens in the lungs
What used to take several weeks is now possible in two days: thanks to new molecular-based methods, mycobacterial pathogens that cause pulmonary infections or tuberculosis can now be detected much more quickly.

Depression decreases adherence to COPD maintenance medications
A recent study in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society found that in a nationally representative sample of Medicare beneficiaries who were newly diagnosed with COPD, adherence to maintenance medications decreased with new episodes of depression.

3-D-printed kidney helps doctors save woman's organ during complicated tumor removal
Innovative Solution: Doctors and scientists at Intermountain Medical Center in Salt Lake City printed and used a 3-D kidney to help save a patient's organ during a complicated tumor-removal procedural.

Research connects discrimination, thoughts of death among African-Americans
Racial discrimination, whether it's derogatory language or unequal treatment, impacts communities and individuals in different ways.

Top story for cancer research
A team of researchers led by Dr. Friederike J. Gruhl and Professor Andrew C.

KAIST participates in summer Davos Forum 2016 in China
Three KAIST professors will participate in the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Tianjin, China, June 26-28, 2016 to discuss biotechnology, artificial intelligence, and robotics under the theme of 'The Fourth Industrial Revolution and Its Transformational Impact.'

Cross talk between hormone receptors has unexpected effects
Although the estrogen receptor is considered dominant in breast cancer, the progesterone receptor assumes control when both receptors are present and exposed to estrogens and progestins.

UTSW research: Primary care visits result in more colon cancer screening, better followups
People who visit their primary care physicians are more likely to get potentially life-saving colon cancer screenings and follow up on abnormal stool blood test results -- even in health systems that heavily promote mail-in home stool blood tests that don't require a doctor visit, a study involving UT Southwestern population health researchers shows.

Where do rubber trees get their rubber?
Researchers at the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science (CSRS) in Japan along with collaborators at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) have succeeded in decoding the genome sequence for Hevea brasiliensis, the natural rubber tree native to Brazil.

Beach replenishment helps protect against storm erosion during El Niño
Sand added to three San Diego County beaches in 2012 has partially remained, surviving the large waves of the El Niño winter of 2015-16.

How does climate affect violence? Researchers offer new theory
Researchers have long struggled to explain why some violent crime rates are higher near the equator than other parts of the world.

What did Earth's ancient magnetic field look like?
New work from Carnegie's Peter Driscoll suggests Earth's ancient magnetic field was significantly different than the present day field, originating from several poles rather than the familiar two.

New era opens as first UK Robotics Week begins
A new era of innovation and discovery opens tomorrow when the first UK Robotics Week June 25-July 1 begins.

Amber fossils reveal ancient insect camouflage behavior
Dr. Wang Bo from the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and his colleagues have now reported a diverse insect assemblage of exceptionally preserved debris carriers from Cretaceous Burmese, French, and Lebanese ambers, including the earliest known chrysopoid larvae (green lacewings), myrmeleontoid larvae (split-footed lacewings and owlflies), and reduviids (assassin bugs).

New devices causing 'paradigm shift' in stroke care
New devices called stent retrievers, which effectively reverse strokes, are revolutionizing the treatment of certain stroke patients.

American Heart Association honors cardiologist Emelia Benjamin with its highest award
Emelia J. Benjamin, M.D., Sc.M., FACC, FAHA, professor of medicine in the section of cardiovascular medicine at Boston University School of Medicine, is the recipient of the American Heart Association's 2016 Gold Heart Award.

ASHG honors CCGF and Senator James Cowan with Advocacy Award
ASHG has named the Canadian Coalition for Genetic Fairness and Senator James Cowan of the Parliament of Canada as the 2016 recipients of its annual Advocacy Award.

Intervening during scar process could help cardiac patients, reviewers say
Targeting non-muscle cells in the heart responsible for cardiac scarring could lead to new treatments for heart disease, international researchers say.

Combination therapy may hold the key to slowing down Alzheimer's disease
This review summarizes the relevance of resveratrol in the pathophysiology of AD.

For nature, gravel-bed rivers most important feature in mountainous western North America
Gravel-bed river floodplains are some of the most ecologically important habitats in North America, according to a new study by scientists from the US and Canada.

Study on a novel fault diagnosis method of rolling bearing in motor
In order to diagnose the early faults of bearings, a novel method for early diagnosis of rolling bearing faults based on resonance-based sparse signal decomposition and principal component analysis was proposed in the present paper.

Rheumatology leaders respond to MACRA proposed rule
The American College of Rheumatology praised the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for recognizing the important role qualified clinical data registries will play in the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) payment pathway, but expressed a number of concerns regarding the complexity and timing of requirements for small and solo practices, the absence of key cost data in the Resource Use category of MIPS, and the formidable barriers that exclude many rheumatologists from participating in the Alternative Payment Model track.

Arsenic accumulates in the nuclei of plants' cells
Toxic arsenic initially accumulates in the nuclei of plants' cells.

Scientists begin modeling universe with Einstein's full theory of general relativity
Research teams on both sides of the Atlantic have shown that precise modeling of the universe and its contents will change the detailed understanding of the evolution of the universe and the growth of structure in it.

The use of non-fit messaging may improve patient choices
When it comes to helping patients make the best choices for themselves, sometimes you have to challenge their usual way of dealing with the world, according to new research published by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology.

How the federal government limits valid scientific research on Cannabis sativa
The use of medical marijuana for millions of patients suffering from a wide range of health conditions and the subsequent therapeutic benefits has long been documented.

Coal to solar: Retraining the energy workforce
As the solar industry booms, coal workers have the opportunity to pursue new work. 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