Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 03, 2017
One step closer to reality: Devices that convert heat into electricity
The same researchers who pioneered the use of a quantum mechanical effect to convert heat into electricity have figured out how to make their technique work in a form more suitable to industry.

Infant's prolonged infection reveals mutation that helps bacteria tolerate antibiotics
A life-threatening infection in an infant with leukemia led to a St.

Medicare bundled-payments model cut joint replacement costs by more than 20 percent
Bundled payment models can push Medicare and health system costs down considerably without sacrificing quality of care, according to new research.

Woman hospitalized after developing complication of a New Year 'detox'
A middle-aged woman developed a potentially life-threatening complication following a New Year 'detox' that involved drinking lots of fluids and taking various herbal remedies, reveal doctors writing in the online journal BMJ Case Reports.

Stuttering linked to reduced blood flow in area of brain associated with language
A study led by researchers at Children's Hospital Los Angeles demonstrates that regional cerebral blood flow is reduced in the Broca's area -- the region in the frontal lobe of the brain linked to speech production -- in persons who stutter.

Songbirds divorce, flee, fail to reproduce due to suburban sprawl
New University of Washington research finds that for some songbirds, urban sprawl is kicking them out of their territory, forcing divorce and stunting their ability to find new mates and reproduce successfully, even after relocating.

Not all Europeans receive the same care for Duchenne muscular dystrophy
Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), a progressive muscle disease affecting one in 3,800-6,300 live male births and leads to ambulatory loss, respiratory problems, cardiomyopathy, and early death of patients in their 20s or 30s.

Rice U probes ways to turn cement's weakness to strength
Rice University scientists show how cement particles can handle stress by gradually passing it from one layer to the next and turning weakness to strength.

American College of Physicians asks Senate to oppose repealing Affordable Care Act
In a letter sent today to leaders in the Senate, the American College of Physicians (ACP) implored them to vote no on a budget resolution that would start the process of repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

New research: Feral cats now cover over 99.8 percent of Australia
Feral cats cover over 99.8 percent of Australia's land area, including almost 80 percent of the area of our islands.

Common antioxidant may guard against liver disease, says CU Anschutz researcher
A common antioxidant found in human breast milk and foods like kiwi fruit can protect against nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in the offspring of obese mice, according to researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.

Ticks that carry Lyme disease found in eastern national parks
Lyme disease has been spreading across the United States over the past several decades, and a new study has confirmed that ticks carrying the disease are present in eastern national parks.

JAMA Internal Medicine publishes more articles on firearm violence
JAMA Internal Medicine is publishing another collection of articles on firearm violence, including two original investigations, two commentaries and an editorial.

New research examines trends in radiology journal publications relating to patient-centered care
New research reports that the number of articles within radiology journals designated as dealing with patient-centered care has increased substantially in recent years, although a very limited number of radiology journals have published multiple original research articles on the topic.

North-South divide in science may hinder action on climate change
Northern domination of science relevant to climate-change policy and practice globally and lack of research led by Southern researchers in Southern countries may hinder development and implementation of global agreements and nationally-appropriate actions.

Maternal depression across the first years of life impacts children's neural basis of empathy
Since 15-18 percent of women in industrial societies and up to 30 percent in developing countries suffer from maternal depression, it is of clinical and public health concern to understand the effects of maternal depression on children's development.

Powerful anti-inflammatory molecule may block vision loss in diabetic retinopathy
A more powerful version of an anti-inflammatory molecule already circulating in our blood may help protect our vision in the face of diabetes.

How to 3-D print your own sonic tractor beam
After demonstrating the first acoustically driven tractor beam platform, researchers develop a simpler, cheaper version using 3-D printable parts and open-source electronic components for the maker community.

Genes affecting our communication skills relate to genes for psychiatric disorder
By screening thousands of individuals, an international team led by researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, the University of Bristol, the Broad Institute and the iPSYCH consortium has provided new insights into the relationship between genes that confer risk for autism or schizophrenia and genes that influence our ability to communicate during the course of development.

Antidepressant side effects reported more by patients with co-occurring panic disorder
Patients who take medication for depression report more side effects if they also suffer from panic disorder, according to a new study led by researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

Study finds more extreme storms ahead for California
MIT scientists have found that extreme precipitation events in California should become more frequent as the Earth's climate warms over this century.

Clinical genetic evaluation of patients with auditory neuropathy spectrum
Hearing loss -- a form of auditory neuropathy -- is the most prevalent sensory disease in humans, caused by a variety of genetic and environmental factors.

Understanding the causes of neurological abnormalities that result from premature birth
New research shows motor abnormalities frequently associated with low birth weight babies could originate due to peripheral nerve defects.

Experts update best practices for diagnosis and treatment of earwax (cerumen impaction)
An updated clinical practice guideline from the American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery Foundation published today in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery provides evidence-based recommendations on diagnosis and treatment of earwax (cerumen impaction) as well as important patient information on the dos and don'ts of earwax and healthy ear care.

The researchers created a tiny laser using nanoparticles
Researchers at Aalto University, Finland are the first to develop a plasmonic nanolaser that operates at visible light frequencies and uses so-called dark lattice modes.

Shell game: Understanding gene patterns behind mollusk diversity
Bernard Degnan et al. have begun to peel back the complex gene networks that control the secretions from the outer layer of cells on the mantle.

Germanium's semiconducting and optical properties probed under pressure
Germanium may not be a household name like silicon, its group-mate on the periodic table, but it has great potential for use in next-generation electronics and energy technology.

Vaccine shows promising results for early-stage breast cancer patients
Immunotherapy is a fast growing area of cancer research. It involves developing therapies that use a patient's own immune system to fight and kill cancer.

Enzyme could protect against type of colorectal cancer by suppressing tumors, study finds
An enzyme that plays an active role in inflammation could be a natural way to suppress tumors and ulcers in the colon that are found in colitis associated cancer (CAC), a type of colorectal cancer that is driven by chronic inflammation, according to a new study.

Why odds are against a large Zika outbreak in the US
Is the United States at risk for a large-scale outbreak of Zika or other mosquito-borne disease?

Detecting misinformation can improve memory later on
Exposure to false information about an event usually makes it more difficult for people to recall the original details, but new research suggests that there may be times when misinformation actually boosts memory.

Deeper than obesity: A majority of people is now overfat
Researchers put forth the notion of overfat, a condition of having sufficient excess body fat to impair health.

Studies suggest gaming your brain to treat depression
Researchers have found promising results for treating depression with a video game interface that targets underlying cognitive issues associated with depression rather than just managing the symptoms.

Economics made simple with physics models
Both physical and economic phenomena may possess universal features that could be uncovered using the tools of physics.

Gambling addiction triggers the same brain areas as drug and alcohol cravings
Gambling addiction activates the same brain pathways as drug and alcohol cravings, suggests new research.

Improving health should be the focus of commercial diet programs, not just losing weight
If losing weight is on your list of New Year resolutions, be sure to include both diet and exercise.

Geologists publish new details about evolution of East African Rift Valley
Researchers in the College of Arts and Sciences at Syracuse University have published new details about the evolution of the East African Rift (EAR) Valley, one of the world's largest continental rift zones.

Nanowire 'inks' enable paper-based printable electronics
Thin films made from silver nanowires are 4,000 times more conductive than films made from other nanoparticle shapes, like spheres or microflakes, says a new study by Duke University researchers.

Technology for diagnosing vestibular function disorders created in Kaunas
Researchers of Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) and Lithuanian University of Health Sciences (LSMU) have joined forces developing technology for vestibular system disorders diagnosis and research.

Study shows new global evidence of the role of humans, urbanization in rapid evolution
A new study led by the University of Washington that examines 1,600 global instances of phenotypic change -- alterations to species' observable traits such as size, development or behavior -- shows more clearly than ever that urbanization is affecting the genetic makeup of species that are crucial to ecosystem health and success.

NASA adds up heavy rainfall from southeastern US severe weather
Severe thunderstorms spawned tornadoes and generated flooding rainfall over the Southeast on Monday evening, Jan.

NTU and German scientists turn memory chips into processors to speed up computing tasks
A team of international scientists have found a way to make memory chips perform computing tasks.

UIC to continue study of risky behavior by sexual-minority women
The University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing has received a $3.25 million federal grant to continue its research to identify risk and protective factors related to drinking and drinking-related problems among sexual-minority -- lesbian or bisexual -- women.

Random access memory on a low energy diet
Memory chips are among the most basic components in computers.

First experimental proof of a 70 year old physics theory
This study presents the first observation of magnetic phase transition in 2-D materials, as predicted by the Nobel winner Onsager in 1943.

Reducing severe violence among adolescents
A special section of the journal Child Development includes new research exploring severe youth violence.

TSRI scientists take step toward mapping how the brain stores memories
A new study led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute sheds light on how the brain stores memories.

How we know Zika virus causes Guillain-Barre Syndrome and birth defects
A structured analysis of the evidence confirms that infection with mosquito-borne Zika virus is a cause of the neurological disorder Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS), in addition to microcephaly and other congenital brain abnormalities, according to a systematic review published in PLOS Medicine by Nicola Low of the University of Bern, Switzerland, and colleagues in the World Health Organization (WHO) Zika Causality Working Group.

Special issue of Future Oncology highlights the field of Psycho-oncology
The Future Science Group (FSG) published journal, Future Oncology, has released a special issue that examines the field of psycho-oncology, which aims to bring together the biomedical and psychosocial aspects of cancer care.

Quantum simulation technique yields topological soliton state in SSH model
Using atomic quantum-simulation, an experimental technique involving finely tuned lasers and ultracold atoms about a billion times colder than room temperature to replicate the properties of a topological insulator, a team of researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has directly observed for the first time the protected boundary state of the topological insulator trans-polyacetylene.

Streamlining the Internet of Things and other cyber-physical systems
In an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) keynote paper, computer engineers lay out a framework to improve research on cyber-physical systems.

Null results research now published by major behavioral medicine journal
Translational Behavioral Medicine, a major scientific behavioral medicine journal, now publishes research studies that have null results.

Chemo-brain among women with breast cancer is pervasive, study shows
The largest study to date of a condition known as 'chemo-brain' shows that women with breast cancer report it's a substantial problem after chemotherapy for as long as six months after treatment, according to investigators at University of Rochester's Wilmot Cancer Institute.

Study provides new look at Cesarean rate in China
A study in JAMA by NYU Professor Jan Blustein finds that the current Chinese cesarean rate is substantially lower than what had been reported by the World Health Organization, and is comparable to the US rate for the same year.

Tenfold jump in green tech needed to meet global emissions targets
The global spread of green technologies must quicken significantly to avoid future rebounds in climate-warming emissions, a Duke study shows.

Sex hormone-sensitive gene complex linked to premenstrual mood disorder
Researchers have discovered molecular mechanisms that may underlie a woman's susceptibility to disabling irritability, sadness, and anxiety in the days leading up to her menstrual period.

Worries about food waste appear to vanish when diners know scraps go to compost
Diners waste far less food when they're schooled on the harm their leftovers can inflict on the environment.

New study estimates frequency of flight-disrupting volcanic eruptions
Holidaymakers concerned about fresh volcanic eruptions causing flight-disrupting ash clouds across Northern Europe might be reassured by a study setting out the first reliable estimates of their frequency.

The beating heart of solar energy
Using solar cells placed under the skin to continuously recharge implanted electronic medical devices is a viable one.

Childhood poverty can rob adults of psychological health
A large and growing body of research shows that poor kids grow up to have a host of physical problems as adults.

Sandia forms Spray Combustion Consortium to improve engine design
Sandia National Laboratories has formed an industry-funded Spray Combustion Consortium to better understand fuel injection by developing modeling tools.

UBC discovery opens up new treatments for problem gamblers
After looking at images of slot machines and roulette, problem gamblers experience increased activity in the same part of the brain that lights up when drug addicts have cravings, according to a new UBC psychology study.

Researchers uncover mechanism for cancer-killing properties of pepper plant
UT Southwestern Medical Center scientists have uncovered the chemical process behind anti-cancer properties of a spicy Indian pepper plant called the long pepper, whose suspected medicinal properties date back thousands of years.

Research on sweat glands suggests a route to better skin grafts
Scientists have discovered the signaling pathways that help hair follicles and sweat glands form during development, and identified the mechanism that allows both of these features to coexist in human skin.

Does cough syrup really work? (video)
What do you do when you have a bad cough?

Inflammation halts fat-burning
Scientists at the University of Bonn have shown in mice that excess pounds can simply be melted away by converting unwanted white fat cells into energy-consuming brown slimming cells.

Gun violence research underfunded, understudied compared to other leading causes of death
Funding and publication of gun violence research are disproportionately low compared to other leading causes of death in the United States, according to new research from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai published online today in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

New tool promotes collaboration and productivity
Pair Research simplifies the process of asking and receiving help.

New study finds EPA and DHA omega-3s lower risk of coronary heart disease
EPA and DHA omega-3s reduce the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), according to results of a new, comprehensive meta-analysis published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Zinc eaten at levels found in biofortified crops reduces 'wear and tear' on DNA
A new study by researchers from the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Research Institute (CHORI) shows that a modest 4 milligrams of extra zinc a day in the diet can have a profound, positive impact on cellular health that helps fight infections and diseases.

Chemically modified insulin is available more quickly
Replacing a hydrogen atom by an iodine atom in insulin, the hormone retains its efficacy but is available more rapidly to the organism.

BUSM researcher awarded Ellison Foundation grant to study Parkinson's disease target
Richard Myers, Ph.D., professor of neurology at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), was recently awarded $100,000 from the Ellison Foundation for research to further study a Parkinson's disease (PD) target.

Rolling out an e-sticker revolution
High-speed fabrication developed at KAUST can turn out adhesive and flexible electronic devices in any shape imaginable.

Syracuse University researchers explore link between tropical glaciers, water supply
Syracuse University researchers in the College of Arts and Sciences are closer to understanding how the loss of glaciers in the Cordillera Blanca of Peru is affecting water resources in a region responding to global climate change.

Will climate change leave tropical birds hung out to dry?
The future of the red-capped manakin and other tropical birds in Panama looks bleak.

Sugar-free and 'diet' drinks no better for healthy weight than full sugar drinks
Sugar-free and 'diet' drinks are often seen as the healthier option -- but researchers from Imperial College London have argued that they are no more helpful for maintaining a healthy weight than their full-sugar versions.

Biodiversity project in Azores delivers detailed abundance data for 286 arthropod species
A long-term biodiversity project conducted at the Azores Islands has resulted in a large arthropod dataset, including detailed information on individual species distribution and abundance, and ranking of conservation priorities for the fauna of the archipelago. 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