Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 17, 2016
People ignore software security warnings up to 90 percent of the time
Software developers listen up: if you want people to pay attention to your security warnings on their computers or mobile devices, you need to make them pop up at better times.

Study finds bias, disgust toward mixed-race couples
Interracial marriage has grown in the United States in recent years, and polls show that most Americans accept mixed-race relationships.

Modeling mood swings
Scientists developed a smart phone app to collect large-scale data about human behavior and demonstrate how humans routinely sacrifice their short-term happiness for their long-term welfare.

Aggressive lung cancer's aggressiveness may be its Achilles' heel
Researchers have discovered a flaw in the armor of the most aggressive form of lung cancer, a weakness that doctors may be able to exploit to slow or even stop the disease.

Compound kills pain as well as morphine but may lack overdose risk, researchers say
Investigators at the Stanford University School of Medicine and their collaborators at three other institutions have identified a novel compound that appears to exhibit painkilling power comparable to morphine but lacks that drug's most lethal property: respiratory suppression, which results in some 30,000 drug overdose deaths annually in the United States.

New mechanism discovered for Alzheimer's risk gene
Salk scientists reveal why people with the ApoE4 gene are more susceptible to Alzheimer's disease.

Association for molecular pathology establishes new standard for clinical utility of molecular Dx
The Association for Molecular Pathology, the premier global, non-profit organization serving molecular diagnostic professionals, today announced a new report that addresses the challenges in defining the clinical utility of molecular diagnostics for inherited diseases and cancer.

TERRA, the RNAs that protect telomeres
Despite their especially compact structure that is difficult to access, telomeres transcribe information like the rest of the DNA.

New ranger patrol method shows major improvements in detection
A team of scientists from WCS, University of York, and Uganda Wildlife Authority have developed a new method of detecting illegal activities in protected areas by as much as 250 percent.

Antipsychotic medication poses little risk to developing fetus
Researchers found that the use of APMs in pregnancy does not meaningfully increase the risk of congenital malformations or cardiac malformations, with the possible exception of risperidone.

Study finds that views of swing voters do not matter much to presidential candidates
Despite the familiar belief that candidates must appeal to the 'moderate middle' of the voting public in order to win elections, US presidential candidates routinely take less-than moderate positions on a variety of issues.

JNeurosci: Highlights From the Aug. 17 Issue
Check out these newsworthy studies from the Aug. 17, 2016, issue of JNeurosci.

Interscatter enables first implanted devices, contact lenses, credit cards to 'talk' WiFi
University of Washington engineers have introduced a new way of communicating that allows power-constrained devices such as brain implants, contact lenses, credit cards and smaller wearable electronics to talk to everyday devices such as smartphones and watches.

Study examines use of antipsychotics early in pregnancy, risk of birth defects
A study of 1.3 million pregnant women suggests antipsychotic medication early in pregnancy was not associated with a meaningful increase in the risk of birth defects when other mitigating factors were considered, although the medication risperidone needs further research, according to a study published online by JAMA Psychiatry.

New method for quantifying methane emissions from manure management
The EU Commision requires Denmark to reduce drastically emissions of greenhouse gases from agriculture.

US social media strategy can weaken ISIS influence on Twitter
Opponents of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria are six times greater in number on Twitter than ISIS supporters, but those sympathetic to the group are more active on the social media platform, according to a new RAND Corporation study.

Sulfoxaflor found to be less harmful to insect predators than broad-spectrum insecticides
A new study appearing in the Journal of Economic Entomology has found that the selective insecticide sulfoxaflor is just as effective at controlling soybean aphids (Aphis glycines) as broad-spectrum insecticides, without causing significant harm to some beneficial predators of the aphid.

New techniques boost understanding of how fish fins became fingers
The cells that make fin rays in fish play a central role in forming the fingers and toes of four-legged creatures, one of the great transformations required for the descendants of fish to become creatures that walk on land.

Pre-Hispanic Mexican civilization may have bred and managed rabbits and hares
Humans living in the pre-Hispanic Mexican city of Teotihuacan may have bred rabbits and hares for food, fur and bone tools, according to a study published Aug.

Scientists uncover origin of high-temperature superconductivity in copper-oxide compound
Brookhaven physicist Ivan Bozovic and his team have an explanation for why certain materials can conduct electricity without resistance at temperatures well above those required by conventional superconductors.

Experts from Saxony assist raw material exploration in Greenland
The technical expertise of the Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology has been requested to support mineral exploration of zinc deposits in West Greenland.

Unveiled: Earth's viral diversity
Plumbing the Earth's microbial diversity requires learning more about the poorly-studied relationships between microbes and the viruses that infect them, impacting their abilities to regulate global cycles.

NASA sees sixth tropical cyclone form in Atlantic
Tropical Depression 6 developed in the far eastern North Atlantic Ocean and NASA and NOAA satellites provided infrared and visible views at the storm.

How we escaped from the Big Bang
A Griffith University physicist is challenging the conventional view of space and time to show how the world advances through time.

Can cell phones make you feel less connected to your friends and family?
Researchers from Kent State University's College of Education, Health and Human Services surveyed 493 students, ranging in age from 18-29, to see whether cell phone use, including texting and talking, was associated with feeling socially connected to their parents and peers.

Burning desire comes down to beetles
Beetles could hold the key to when controlled burns should be lit, ensuring forest ecosystems are not unduly damaged by well-meaning fire minimization plans.

Poaching patrol: New ranger methods decrease illegal activities
Ecologists from the University of York have tested a new method to detect and decrease wildlife poaching, using data to better predict where illegal activities occur in protected areas.

MDI Biological Laboratory receives funds for research on nerve damage
The MDI Biological Laboratory has announced that it has received a grant of $456,500 over two years from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the study of peripheral neuropathy.

Two Barbados bird species enter the select club of string-pullers
The Barbados bullfinch and Carib grackle can pass the popular animal cognition test of string-pulling, but this ability may be unrelated to performance on six other cognitive tests, according a study published Aug.

Roadblocks to research: UNC bioethicist addresses lack of HIV studies in pregnant women
UNC School of Medicine's Anne Lyerly is addressing the urgent need for effective HIV prevention and treatment for the estimated 1.5 million women worldwide with HIV who give birth each year.

Researchers shed light on vascular growth factors in thyroid eye disease
Researchers have identified new underlying mechanisms of proptosis in patients with acute thyroid eye disease.

Babies' spatial reasoning predicts later math skills
Spatial reasoning measured in infancy predicts how children do at math at four years of age, finds a new study.

How a protein could become the next big sweetener
High-fructose corn syrup and sugar are on the outs with calorie-wary consumers.

Researchers watch catalysts at work
Physicists at the University of Basel have succeeded in watching a silver catalyst at work for the first time with the aid of an atomic force microscope.

How are dreaded multidrug-resistant pathogens brought into hospitals?
In largest study of its kind in Europe, DZIF scientists from the University of Cologne investigated this question and discovered that almost ten percent of patients admitted into hospitals already bring these dreaded pathogens along with them from home.

Study suggests early learning in native language can help English skills
New research from the University of Missouri shows that Spanish-speaking preschoolers experience significant improvements in their English skills when they have a good grasp of Spanish letters and numbers.

New Phase 1 clinical trial to test Durvalumab in pediatric patients
In an innovative, first-in-pediatrics study, available only at Children's Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA), researchers will be enrolling children between 1 and 18 years of age who have certain types of relapsed or treatment-resistant cancer.

Biophysics: Stopping the random walk
The cell's internal skeleton undergoes constant restructuring. Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet in Munich physicists now show that its associated proteins can be efficiently transported to their sites of action by diffusion -- provided they can be arrested when they get there.

GSA 2016 technical program & meeting highlights
Geoscientists from around the globe will be presenting more than 4,700 papers at the Geological Society of America's Annual Meeting & Exposition in Denver, Colorado, 25-28 Sept.

Nuclear puzzle may be clue to fifth force
In a new paper, University of California, Riverside theoretical physicist Flip Tanedo and his collaborators have made new progress towards unraveling a mystery in the beryllium nucleus that may be evidence for a fifth force of nature.

Post-transplant anxiety linked to complex instructions, caregiver empathy
Some anxiety is perfectly normal for kidney transplant patients, but new research suggests that medical staff can help patients feel more at ease when they leave the hospital and that could decrease the chances they'll be readmitted.

Study reveals ethnic differences in mental illness severity when hospitalized
Chinese and South Asian patients in Ontario experience more severe mental illness at the time of hospital admission than other patients, according to a new study that examined the association between illness severity and ethnicity.

Music demonstrated to alleviate cancer patients' symptoms
A review looking at studies on the effect music interventions have on the treatment of cancer patients found treatment benefits for anxiety, pain, fatigue and overall quality of life.

For sensation-seekers, the color red can elicit rebelliousness, study finds
The widespread use of the color red to signal danger can actually be counterproductive for certain people, says soon-to-be published research co-written by Ravi Mehta, a professor of business administration at Illinois.

Effectiveness of medical management vs revascularization for intermittent leg claudication
Among patients with intermittent claudication, those who had revascularization had significantly improved walking function, better health-related quality of life, and fewer symptoms of claudication at 12 months compared with those who had medical management (walking program, smoking cessation counseling, and medications), according to a study published online by JAMA Surgery.

Researchers discover a special power in wheat
A new photosynthesis discovery at the University of Queensland may help breed faster-growing wheat crops that are better adapted to hotter, drier climates.

Study paves way for steroid treatments with fewer side effects
An improved therapy to replace essential steroids in the body is a step closer thanks to University of Edinburgh research.

Digital calculator provides the estimated risk for GIST recurrence
Finnish digital technology company Netmedi has developed an online calculator that significantly improves the process of evaluating the risk of GIST (Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor) recurrence and the need for additional treatment after surgery.

Fresh outlook on the photocatalytic reduction of carbon dioxide
'Photocatalytic Reduction of Carbon dioxide: Issues and Prospects,' a recent critical review article published in the latest issue of Current Catalysis, attempts to place the various hurdles that pulls back the CO2 photoreduction from the track and summarizes the information on the subject.

ACA coverage hikes prescription drug use, lowers out-of-pocket spending, study finds
There are few studies tracking changes in the use of health services by people newly insured under the federal Affordable Care Act.

Calcium supplements linked to dementia risk in women with certain health conditions
According to a new study, calcium supplements may be associated with an increased risk of dementia in older women who have had a stroke or other signs of cerebrovascular disease.

A molecular alarm clock awakens resting ovules
How does each resting ovule know that it is time to prepare for ovulation?

Acetaminophen does not aggravate children's asthma
Contrary to earlier reports, giving acetaminophen (Tylenol, etc.) for pain and fever does not worsen asthma in young children with the condition, concludes a randomized trial in the Aug.

Study links self-reported childhood abuse to death in women years later
A study of a large number of middle-aged adults suggests self-reported childhood abuse by women was associated with an increased long-term risk of death, according to an article published online by JAMA Psychiatry.

Real-time visualization of the function of bone-resorbing cells within animals
Researchers of Osaka University have discovered a way to visualize sites where bone-resorbing cells (osteoclasts) were in the process of resorbing bone in living mice.

UA phononics pioneer probes the untapped powers of sound
A founder of phononics, the emerging science of sound, receives $1.8 million from the NSF to bend acoustic waves in nature-defying ways.

Genetic influence in juvenile songbird babblings
Researchers from Hokkaido University have discovered familial differences in the earliest vocal babblings of juvenile songbirds, suggesting a possible genetic basis for the variations.

CRISPR-Cas9 breaks genes better if you disrupt DNA repair
UC Berkeley research shows that the popular gene-editing tool CRISPR-Cas9 competes with DNA repair, continually cutting what repair enzymes fix until the enzymes make a mistake, resulting in a broken gene.

Leukaemia blood testing has 'massive potential'
Researchers at The University of Manchester have unlocked the potential of a new test which could revolutionise the way doctors diagnose and monitor a common childhood Leukaemia.

Many underestimate financial loss due to poor arithmetic
Anyone who has lost out on an investment in recent weeks -- from pension funds and stocks to the housing rental market and currency exchange -- may have lost more than they realize, according to new research from the University of Stirling.

Annual wind report confirms tech advancements, improved performance, and low energy prices
Wind energy pricing remains attractive to utility and commercial purchasers, according to an annual report released by the US Department of Energy and prepared by the Electricity Markets & Policy Group at Berkeley Lab.

Isotope research opens new possibilities for cancer treatment
A new study at Los Alamos National Laboratory and in collaboration with Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource greatly improves scientists' understanding of the element actinium.

Long-term exposure to female scents changes courtship behavior in male mice
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found a specific kind of neuron only in male mice that detects a pheromone in female urine.

Logging can decrease water infiltration into forest soils, study finds
Researchers have found that logging operations can negatively affect soil density and water infiltration within forests, particularly along makeshift logging roads and landing areas where logs are stored before being trucked to sawmills.

Life expectancy in some CKD patients could be improved with nephron-sparing treatment
A nephron-sparing treatment selection for small renal masses based on the nephrometry score may improve life expectancy in patients with mild or moderate CKD, a study in the Aug.

Precision medicine will benefit from animal models
One year into the National Institutes of Health's Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI), the massive project could still benefit from incorporating experimental studies of animal models of human disease, according to Kent Lloyd and colleagues in this Editorial.

Anemic adults may have a higher risk of death after stroke
Anemic adults may have a higher risk of death after stroke.

A neuron's hardy bunch
The brain has exquisitely organized communication machinery that ensures ultrafast transmission of signals between neurons.

Jefferson Lab 2015 Thesis Prize awarded for research on interacting protons and neutrons
Or Hen has been awarded the 2015 Jefferson Science Associates Thesis Prize for his written thesis featuring research on how protons and neutrons interact inside the nucleus of the atom at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility.

New insights into human genetic variation revealed: Nature paper
A powerful new analysis of the protein-coding region of the human genome known as the exome will boost efforts to pinpoint clinically relevant genetic variations linked to human disease.

Employers who promote ethics should reward workers who exhibit them, Baylor study suggests
Tying company values such as honesty and respect into employee awards and job evaluations is being championed by public relations, marketing and human resources departments in some prominent companies, a Baylor University study has found.

Tulane professor receives grant to improve stem cell survival
Kim O'Connor, a professor in Tulane University's Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, received a three-year $599,638 grant from the National Science Foundation to study ways to improve the survival of mesenchymal stem cells once they are implanted in patients.

Sex bias in human surgical clinical research
An analysis of about 1,300 peer-reviewed research articles found that few studies included men and women equally, less than one-third performed data analysis by sex, and there was wide variation in inclusion and matching of the sexes among the specialties and the journals reviewed, according to a study published online by JAMA Surgery.

Low-income kids less likely to receive strabismus diagnoses
Back to school eye exams may not be the norm for all kids.

What are the health risks of having a different 'Facebook self'?
People may express their true self more easily on Facebook than in person, and the more one's 'Facebook self' differs from their true self, the greater their stress level and the less socially connected they tend to be, according to a new study published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.

Sayonara, kudzu bug?
A few strains of wild soy are able to fight the kudzu bug by limiting the ability of its nymphs, or young, to survive.

Genetic tests for potentially fatal heart anomaly can misdiagnose condition in black Americans
Researchers trace the roots of this diagnostic disparity to the lack of racial diversity in decades-old studies that misidentified benign genetic variants as disease causing.

Designer agent blocks pain in mice without morphine's side effects
Scientists have synthesized a molecule with a unique profile of highly specific pain-relieving properties and demonstrated its efficacy in mice.

New standard helps ensure accurate clinical measurements of HER2 breast cancer gene
Study demonstrates value of new measurement reference for both evaluating assay performance and increasing confidence in reporting HER2 amplification for clinical applications.

NASA sees Tropical Storm Chanthu moving over northern Japan
Tropical Storm Chanthu was bringing heavy rainfall and gusty winds to the big island of Japan when NASA's Aqua satellite passed overhead.

Flowering meadows benefit humankind
The more it swarms, crawls, flies the better it is.

Reduced US cocaine and methamphetamine use linked to controls on commercial chemicals
A study by University of Arizona-led team finds that disruptions in access to sodium permanganate, used in cocaine production, and pseudoephedrine, a methamphetamine precursor chemical, which occurred in 2006 and 2007, were associated with the reductions.

Mouse study points way to shut down harmful immune response in lupus
Molecules that scavenge debris from dying cells appear to halt the cycle of chronic inflammation in lupus, while also enhancing the body's ability to combat flu, according to Duke Health studies in mice.

Climate change alters the rules of sperm competition in the sea
Researchers from the University of Exeter have shown that increasing ocean acidification, brought about by manmade carbon emissions, reduces sperm performance in a species of sea urchin.

New study: Are voters influenced by campaign visits?
Despite their extensive national press coverage, campaign visits might not be worth presidential candidates' time and resources.

Curbing the life-long effects of traumatic brain injury
A fall down the stairs, a car crash, a sports injury or an explosive blast can all cause traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Study quantifies risk factors for preterm birth
A significant portion of preterm births might be avoided by reducing or eliminating three major risk factors: abnormalities in the interval between pregnancies, the mother's body mass index prior to pregnancy, and the amount of weight gain in pregnancy.

Calixarenes in lipase biocatalysis and cancer therapy
Calixarenes bear a fascinating class of macrocycles that have served broadly in molecular recognition and supramolecular chemistry.

New 'food group'? Ketone esters improve endurance exercise and cognitive function
New research published online in The FASEB Journal shows that in rats, a substance called a ketone ester significantly increase exercise endurance, cognitive function and energy levels in the heart at high workloads.

Recent connection between North and South America reaffirmed
Long ago, one great ocean flowed between North and South America.

Free sports physicals reveal high rates of obesity in student athletes
Student-athletes were found to have similar rates of obesity and high blood pressure readings as the general adolescent population.

Astronomy shown to be set in standing stone
University of Adelaide research has for the first time statistically proven that the earliest standing stone monuments of Britain, the great circles, were constructed specifically in line with the movements of the Sun and Moon, 5000 years ago.

NIH grant will fund new JAX Resource for Research of Peripheral Neuropathy
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has made a grant to The Jackson Laboratory to develop mouse models for inherited peripheral neuropathies and neurodegenerative diseases including Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.

NTU Singapore and JTC test-bed new bendable concrete that is stronger and more durable
Nanyang Technological University scientists from the NTU-JTC Industrial Infrastructure Innovation Centre have invented a new type of concrete called ConFlexPave that is bendable yet stronger and longer lasting than regular concrete.

NIFA awards $17.8 million to cultivate the next generation of farmers and ranchers
In a meeting with new and beginning farmers at Iowa State University today, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced a new investment of $17.8 million for 37 projects to help educate, mentor, and enhance the sustainability of the next generation of farmers.

When you don't feel valued in a relationship, sleep suffers
We spend up to one-third of our life asleep, but not everyone sleeps well.

Thin tropical clouds cool the climate
Thin clouds at about 5 km altitude are more ubiquitous in the tropics than previously thought and they have a substantial cooling effect on climate.

Novel tracer safely and effectively maps sentinel lymph nodes in breast cancer patients
A recent study by researchers at Peking University Cancer Hospital & Institute demonstrates the effectiveness and safety of Tc-99m-rituximab, a new SLN radiotracer, that targets the antigen CD20, which is expressed extensively in lymph nodes.

New method to identify microscopic failure
The Autonomous Materials Systems Group at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology has recently found a new way to identify microscopic damage in polymers and composite materials before total failure occurs.

Homelessness linked to poor antipsychotic medication adherence
Simon Fraser University health sciences researcher Stefanie Rezansoff has published a new study on the treatment of serious mental illnesses among people who are homeless.

Normalizing tumor oxygen supply could be key factor in the fight against cancer
The lack of oxygen in tumor cells changes the cells' gene expression, thereby contributing to the growth of cancer.

New guidelines for managing hyperthyroidism and other causes of thyrotoxicosis
New evidence-based recommendations from the American Thyroid Association (ATA) provide guidance to clinicians in the management of patients with all forms of thyrotoxicosis (excessively high thyroid hormone activity), including hyperthyroidism.

The gender divide in urology: Surgeon gender shapes the clinical landscape
Although female certified urologists are still a minority within the specialty, they perform many more procedures on women than their male colleagues, who perform more procedures on men than their female colleagues.

New book on Antibiotics and Antibiotic Resistance from CSHLPress
'Antibiotics and Antibiotic Resistance' from CSHLPress examines the major classes of antibiotics, together with their modes of action and mechanisms of resistance.

Study finds average of 2 injuries every hour in the US from strollers, carriers
A study found that, over a 21-year period from 1990 through 2010, almost 361,000 children aged 5 years and younger were treated in US hospital emergency departments for stroller- or carrier-related injuries -- that's about two children every hour.

Mayo Clinic, collaborators working to advance aging research
Mayo Clinic, along with other members of the Geroscience Network, has published six manuscripts that map strategies for taking new drugs that target processes underlying aging into clinical trials.

Survey shows broad support for national precision medicine study
In a recent survey designed to measure public attitudes about the Precision Medicine Initiative Cohort Program, a majority of respondents expressed willingness to participate in the nationwide research effort.

Syracuse University physicists awarded grant study collective behavior of active matter
A physicist at Syracuse University's the College of Arts and Sciences has been awarded a major grant to support her ongoing study of active matter -- collections of self-driven entities that take energy from the environment to produce coordinated motion.

Study links two genes to breast cancer survival
Testing for the activity of two genes could pick out women who are at increased risk of dying from their breast cancers, suggests a new study of almost 2,000 patients.

Unexpected complexity in coral
Scientists used DNA analysis to explore genetic correlation among Japanese coral population.

2 percent testosterone solution improves sex drive and energy levels in men with hypogonadism
For men with hypogonadism, a condition in which the body does not produce enough testosterone, low sex drive and fatigue are common symptoms.

Something fishy
Ichthyologist Milton Love co-authors a new report on Arctic species that will help guide future research and management decisions.

New retrospective study to find mutations to better diagnose breast cancer in the future
Mr. Peter Goodhand, President of The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, today announced a new collaborative research study in partnership with Thermo Fisher Scientific and Queen's University to help bring more targeted diagnosis and treatment to breast cancer patients in the future.

Shining a light on damage within polymers
When it comes to even the most advanced materials, the adage 'if it does not bend, it breaks' is often true.

Reducing gas flares -- and pollution -- from oil production
Last year, dozens of major oil companies and oil-producing nations agreed to end the routine flaring of natural gas from wells by 2030.

New findings detail how beneficial bacteria in the nose suppress pathogenic bacteria
Staphylococcus aureus is a common colonizer of the human body.

Scientists discover possible new weapon in the fight against gum disease
If you hate going to the dentist, here's some good news.

Lab team spins ginger into nanoparticles to heal inflammatory bowel disease
Researchers with the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State University have developed 'edible ginger-derived nanoparticles' that they believe may be good medicine for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, the two main forms of inflammatory bowel disease.

Researchers develop safer opioid painkiller from scratch
Researchers have developed a new opioid drug candidate that blocks pain without triggering the dangerous side effects of current prescription painkillers.

Can't stand the heat? Study reveals how we work out if we're too hot
With temperatures soaring across the UK, our ability to detect and avoid places that are too warm is vital for regulating our body temperature.

Fluoride consumption linked to diabetes using mathematical models
A recent study published in the Journal of Water and Health examined links between water fluoridation and diabetes.

NASA-funded balloon mission begins fourth campaign
From a site in Sweden, the BARREL team is launching a series of miniature scientific balloons to measure X-rays in Earth's atmosphere near the North Pole. 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