Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 19, 2016
MRI technology quantifies liver response in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis patients
Researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine have found that a form of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) that non-invasively measures fat density in the liver corresponds with histological (microscopic tissue analyses) responses in patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).

Future Science Group shares top Zika-related articles
Future Science Group has today announced that they are making some top review and commentary articles freely available, to aid the Zika research effort.

NASA monitors the 'new normal' of sea ice
This year's melt season in the Arctic Ocean and surrounding seas started with a bang, with a record low maximum extent in March and relatively rapid ice loss through May.

A new Goldilocks for habitable planets
The search for habitable, alien worlds needs to make room for a second 'Goldilocks,' according to a Yale University researcher.

Organic farmers to grow and harvest the manure of the future
In the long term the Danish organic agricultural organizations want to phase out the use of conventional animal manure in organic production.

Increased eye cancer risk linked to pigmentation genes that dictate eye color
New research links specific inherited genetic differences to an increased risk for eye (uveal) melanoma, a rare form of melanoma that arises from pigment cells that determine eye color. scientists report the first evidence of a strong association between genes linked to eye color and development of uveal melanoma.

Refining optogenetic methods to map synaptic connections in the brain
A fundamental question in neuroscience is how neuronal circuits give rise to brain function, as disruptions in these connections can lead to brain disorders.

Natural mother of pearl structure, synthetic replication
Chemists at the University of Konstanz, in cooperation with the University of Science and Technology of China, synthetically reproduced the structural configuration of natural mother of pearl or 'nacre.'

Study finds better definition of homelessness may help minimize HIV risk
Being homeless puts people at greater risk of HIV infection than those with stable housing, but targeting services to reduce risk behaviors is often complicated by fuzzy definitions of homelessness.

Scientists have created a ceramic, resistant to extreme temperatures
Scientists managed to create a new multi-layered ceramic material with heat resistance of the upper layer of more than 3,000 degrees Celsius.

NASA's Terra Satellite sees Tropical Storm Dianmu over Vietnam
NASA's Terra satellite saw Tropical Storm Dianmu after making landfall in northeastern Vietnam.

Methamphetamine and skin wounds: NYIT researcher wins NIH grant to study immune response
NYIT researcher Luis Martinez, Ph.D. has won a $431,700 National Institutes of Health grant to investigate, in mice, methamphetamine's effects on the underlying biological mechanisms that cause inflammation and impair wound healing.

Vaping may lead to fewer respiratory infections for ex-smokers
The majority of smokers who successfully switch to vaping say they have fewer respiratory infections, according to a study led by Queen Mary University of London.

Research-based online tool empowers Peace Corps work in Africa
Researchers with the University of Kansas will tailor resources from the Community Tool Box to fit the needs of volunteers working in Africa to combat HIV/AIDS and advance overall public health.

Vertebroplasty helps reduce acute pain among patients with spinal fractures
Vertebroplasty is a safe and effective procedure to reduce acute pain and disability in patients who have experienced spinal fractures within a 6-week period, according to a new study published this week in The Lancet.

Proton pump found to regulate blood pH in stingrays
Researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego have discovered the same enzyme used by 'boneworms' to dissolve whale carcasses, and that helps promote photosynthesis in corals, also regulates blood pH in stingrays.

Spider silk: Mother Nature's bio-superlens
Hot on the heels of a paper revealing that a team at Bangor University's School of Electronic Engineering has used a nanobead-derived superlens to break the perceived resolution barrier, the same team has achieved another world first by using spider silk as a superlens to increase the microscope's potential.

Does early voting affect political campaigns and election outcomes?
A study of early voting patterns in states that have adopted an extended voting period shows several important trends related to voter age and partisanship (voters with strong party affiliations versus independents).

That's not fair! -- Managing envy in the workplace
In a recent University of Cincinnati Lindner College of Business study, Joel Koopman, UC assistant professor of management, looked at envy in the workplace.

Cloth masks offer poor protection against air pollution
Results of a new study by environmental health scientists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst suggest that inexpensive cloth masks worn by people who hope to reduce their exposure to air pollution vary widely in effectiveness and could be giving users a false sense of security, especially in highly polluted areas.

Maternal language shapes infants' cry melodies
The very first cry of neonates is marked by their maternal language.

Being the primary breadwinner is bad for men's psychological well-being and health
Gendered expectations in marriage are not just bad for women, they are also bad for men, according to a new study by University of Connecticut sociologists.

Flesh-eating infections in rheumatoid arthritis patients spur new discovery
Rheumatoid arthritis patients taking medications that inhibit interleukin-1beta, a molecule that stimulates the immune system, are 300 times more likely to experience invasive Group A Streptococcal infections than patients not on the drug, according to University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers.

Parents more likely to support HPV vax requirements if states include opt-out provisions
Parents are more likely to support laws that would make the human papillomavirus vaccine mandatory for school entry if their state offers opt-out provisions, however, the study's lead author cautioned that such opt-out provisions may weaken the effectiveness of the vaccine requirements.

Europe's oldest known living inhabitant
A Bosnian pine (Pinus heldreichii) growing in the highlands of northern Greece has been dendrocronologically dated to be more than 1,075 years old.

Majority of parents support HPV vaccination requirements for school, but with opt-outs
A national survey found that parents were more likely to agree that laws requiring students to be vaccinated against HPV for school entry are a 'good idea' when there is an opt-out clause.

Why do they treat me like that? Taking the mask off of envy
While overt signs of envy can often be received badly, University of Cincinnati Lindner College of Business research indicates that how that envy is perceived and attributed by the envied person makes all the difference in how it is handled.

New study challenges assumption of asbestos' ability to move in soil
A new study led by Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego scientist Jane Willenbring challenges the long-held belief that asbestos fibers cannot move through soil.

Study shows standing up for beliefs in face of group opposition is worth the effort
Going with the flow might appear easier than sticking up for yourself when confronted with unanimous disagreement.

NASA spots strong convection in strengthening Tropical Storm Kay
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over tropical cyclone Kay as it was designated a depression in the Eastern Pacific and identified areas of strong convection.

Chinese researchers reveal redox sensor protein role in pathogenic mycobacteria
A new research report appearing on Aug. 30, 2016, in Cell Reports dissects the cellular role of WhiB6, one of the WhiB redox sensor family proteins, in virulence and intracellular survival of pathogenic mycobacteria, according to researchers from the Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases, Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

PNNL helping make hydropower cheaper, more fish-friendly
Helping fish migrate past dams could cost a fraction of conventional fish ladders with the help of PNNL's upcoming study of Whooshh Innovations' so-called Salmon Cannon.

Guarana found to have higher antioxidant potential than green tea
Researchers at the University of São Paulo's Public Health School have discovered that the seeds of the tropical shrub guarana, used in fizzy drinks popular in Brazil, contain more than 10 times the amount of catechins found in green tea.

The first stage of the cascade
G proteins are molecular switches on the insides of cell membranes.

Super stair-climbers
They have big ambitions: nine students from ETH Zurich and ZHdK are preparing to take on developers from renowned manufacturers and universities from around the world with their 'Scewo' wheelchair at the Cybathlon.

Do Pokémon Go and augmented reality games offer real health benefits?
The combination of augmented reality technology, geocaching, and other novel techniques to create innovative active video games has potential personal and public health implications, as discussed in the Editorial 'Pokémon Go, Go, Go, Gone?' published in Games for Health, a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers.

NSF funds new integrative approaches to study the brain
The National Science Foundation has awarded 18 grants to multidisciplinary teams from across the United States to conduct frontier research focused on neural and cognitive systems.

NASA sees Tropical Storm Lionrock south of Japan
Tropical Storm Lionrock was moving south of Japan when NASA's Terra satellite passed overhead and looked at the large storm in infrared light.

Scientists have conducted a mathematical analysis of a rare cavernicolous crustacean
A scientific collaboration of researchers from the Lomonosov Moscow State University and the Smithsonian Institution has discovered previously unknown regularities of arthropod limbs based on studies of the remipede Speleonectes tulumensis, a rare crustacean found in saline waters of caves.

2014 Napa earthquake continued to creep, weeks after main shock
The 2014 Napa earthquake continued to creep, weeks after the main shock.

'Born to be bad' or 'born to be benign' -- testing cells for esophageal cancer risk
Genetically analyzing lesions in the food pipe could provide an early and accurate test for esophageal cancer, according to research led by Queen Mary University of London, Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam and Arizona State University.

NASA sees wind shear affecting Tropical Storm Fiona
An image from NASA's Aqua satellite showed that southwesterly wind shear was affecting Tropical Storm Fiona, pushing clouds to the northeast of the center.

Scripps Florida study finds 'missing evolutionary link' of widely used natural drug source
A well-known family of natural compounds, called 'terpenoids,' have a curious evolutionary origin.

Research team wins $2 million NSF EFRI grant to explore non-reciprocal elastic wave propagation
A University of Washington mechanical engineering professor will explore non-reciprocal elastic wave propagation in solid-state media through a new four-year, $2 million Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation grant from the National Science Foundation.

Young, gifted, first-generation minority science students motivated by prosocial values
There are as many motives as there are undergraduates taking introductory science courses, but if you look closely at groups of freshmen science students such as those from underrepresented minority (URM) backgrounds, you can see striking motivational differences across and within these groups.

NASA spies Tropical Storm Mindulle's southern side strength
NASA's Terra satellite provided an infrared view of Tropical Storm Mindulle that showed thunderstorm development was strongest in the southern quadrant of the storm.

Bartending and family life might not mix, study says
If you want to mix drinks for a living, don't expect to have a typical family life. 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