Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 04, 2017
New sensor integrates inflammatory bowel disease detection into colonoscopy procedure
Researchers have developed the first sensor capable of objectively identifying inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and distinguishing between its two subtypes.

Researchers discover new mechanism for Type IV pili retraction in Vibrio cholerae
Although pathogenic bacteria often rely on a specialized molecular motor to retract their pili, a new study in PLOS Pathogens reveals that a minor pilin protein elicits pilus retraction in the cholera bacterium, Vibrio cholerae.

Not feeling the music
Researchers at the University of Barcelona and the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital of McGill University have discovered that people with this condition showed reduced functional connectivity between cortical regions responsible for processing sound and subcortical regions related to reward.

Precise location, distance provide breakthrough in study of fast radio bursts
Lone repeater among the mysterious Fast Radio Bursts is precisely located, enabling a world-wide team to find its host galaxy and determine its distance, marking a major advance in understanding these objects.

Yoga may help kids with cancer -- special issue of Rehabilitation Oncology highlights physical therapy for pediatric cancer
A yoga program for children with cancer can be carried out even during cancer treatment, and has quality of life (QOL) benefits for the children as well as their parents, suggests a study in Rehabilitation Oncology, official journal of the Oncology Section of the American Physical Therapy Association.

'We could make that!' -- Chance meeting leads to creation of antibiotic spider silk
An interdisciplinary team of scientists at The University of Nottingham has developed a technique to produce chemically functionalized spider silk that can be tailored to applications used in drug delivery, regenerative medicine and wound healing.

280 million-year-old fossil reveals origins of chimaeroid fishes
High-definition CT scans of the fossilized skull of a 280 million-year-old fish reveal the origin of chimaeras, a group of cartilaginous fish related to sharks.

ELFI: Engine for Likelihood-Free Inference facilitates more effective simulation
The Engine for Likelihood-Free Inference is open to everyone, and it can help significantly reduce the number of simulator runs.

Murky Amazon waters cloud fish vision
African cichlid fish evolved in calm, clearwater lakes saturated with sunlight, and are known for their incredible visual system, which relies on a diverse array of visual pigment proteins called opsins.

A view from the edge: Creating a culture of caring
In an article to be published in the Jan. 5 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine, a Henry Ford Hospital critical care medicine physician describes in candid detail about how her own near-death experience inspired an organizational campaign to help health professionals communicate more effectively and demonstrate more empathy to their patients.

Fast radio burst tied to distant dwarf galaxy, and perhaps magnetar
Since first detected 10 years ago, fast radio bursts have puzzled astronomers.

Male pipefish pregnancy, it's complicated
In the upside-down world of the pipefish, sexual selection appears to work in reverse, with flashy females battling for males who bear the pregnancy and carry their young to term in their brood pouch.

Potential biofuel crops in Hawaii may successfully sequester carbon in soil
Two potential biofuel crops in Hawaii -- sugarcane and napiergrass -- may sequester more carbon in soil than is lost to the atmosphere, according to a study published Jan.

New drugs, higher costs offer little survival benefit in advanced lung cancer
According to a University of Colorado Cancer Center study published this week in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, a decade that saw the development of new therapies for non-small cell lung cancer resulted in little survival benefit for patients with advanced-stage disease.

Stem cell therapy trial at Sanford first of its kind in US for shoulder injuries
The first FDA-approved clinical trial of its kind in the United States using a person's own fat-derived adult stem cells to treat shoulder injuries is available at Sanford Health.

Scripps Florida scientists expand toolbox to study cellular function
Scientists on the Florida campus of the Scripps Research Institute have developed a new tool for studying the molecular details of protein structure.

Liquid nicotine for electronic cigarettes is toxic for kids
A 6-year-old child who accidentally swallowed liquid nicotine intended for her parents' electronic cigarettes required immediate emergency medical treatment that included intubation and an overnight stay in a pediatric intensive care unit.

The fire through the smoke: Working for transparency in climate projections
To help policymakers more confidently prepare for the effects of climate change, a group of preeminent climate scientists evaluated the scientific work and expert judgments behind the most recent projections from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change regarding the potential ecological, social, economic and meteorological repercussions of climate change.

People aren't the only beneficiaries of power plant carbon standards
A research team from Drexel University, Syracuse University, Boston University and Harvard University has projected the potential affects of carbon emissions standards in the year 2020.

Research reinforces role of supernovae in clocking the universe
New research by cosmologists at the University of Chicago and Wayne State University confirms the accuracy of Type Ia supernovae in measuring the pace at which the universe expands.

It's a girl! Tweaking the names of a pest fanworm group
A species group of colorful marine fanworms get in the way at harbors by prolifically growing chalky tubes on man-made structures.

App to help smokers quit is developed by health psychologists and game designers
A smartphone app that could help smokers stick to New Year's resolutions to quit has been developed by academics at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) and Kingston University.

Vitamin D deficiency increases risk of chronic headache
Vitamin D deficiency may increase the risk of chronic headache, according to a new study from the University of Eastern Finland.

Psychiatric emergency patients in Massachusetts wait longest for hospital beds
Patients having mental health emergencies who require hospital admission wait nearly four times longer for an inpatient bed than their medical counterparts and more than five times as long for transfer to another facility, according to a study published online today in Annals of Emergency Medicine ('Analysis of Emergency Department Length of Stay for Mental Health Patients at Ten Massachusetts Emergency Departments').

Researchers get first look at new, extremely rare galaxy
Approximately 359 million light-years from Earth, there is a galaxy with an innocuous name (PGC 1000714) that doesn't look quite like anything astronomers have observed before.

Single fecal transplant no more effective than standard of care in treating C. diff
Researchers at the University Health Network have found that when treating recurrent Clostridium difficile infection (RCDI), a single fecal transplantation delivered by enema is no more effective than the existing standard of care for RCDI, administration of oral vancomycin taper.

Mediterranean diet may have lasting effects on brain health
A new study shows that older people who followed a Mediterranean diet retained more brain volume over a three-year period than those who did not follow the diet as closely.

Study confirms steady warming of oceans for past 75 years
Scientists have solved a puzzling break in continuity of ocean warming records that sparked much controversy after climate data was published in the journal Science in 2015.

Fewer see e-cigarettes as less harmful than cigarettes
The perception that e-cigarettes are less harmful than regular cigarettes fell between 2012 and 2014, a sign that fewer people see them as a safe alternative to smoking tobacco, a new study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests.

'Screen and treat' approach to prevent type 2 diabetes unlikely to have major impact
'Screen and treat' policies to preventing type 2 diabetes are unlikely to have substantial impact on this growing epidemic, concludes a study published by The BMJ today.

The Lancet: Living close to major roads linked to small increase in dementia risk
Dementia is more common in people who live within 50 meters of a major road than those who live further away, according to a study looking at 6.6 million people published in The Lancet.

Turning your living room into a wireless charging station
Researchers demonstrate that the technology already exists to produce a wireless power transfer system similar to a flat-screen TV that could remotely charge any device within its line of sight.

China's innovation future depends on intellectual property rights protection
China's private firms are more innovative when their intellectual property is protected.

Katherine High talks gene therapy progress for hemophilia & inherited retinopathies
Gene therapy has shown some of its most promising early results in treating patients with hemophilia and inherited retinal disorders that cause vision loss and blindness, both important research and drug development targets during the career of Katherine High, M.D., President and Chief Scientific Officer of Spark Therapeutics.

Humpback habitats off Madagascar revealed as energy exploration ramps up
How humpback whales use marine habitats off the eastern coast of Africa is only partially understood, and that has become a conservation concern as offshore energy exploration expands in the region.

Preterm infants fare well in early language development
Preterm babies perform as well as their full-term counterparts in a developmental task linking language and cognition, a new study from Northwestern University has found.

Scientists develop new antibiotic for gonorrhea
Scientists at the University of York have harnessed the therapeutic effects of carbon monoxide-releasing molecules to develop a new antibiotic which could be used to treat the sexually transmitted infection gonorrhea.

The BMJ reveals private firms run one-third of CCGs' schemes to screen GP referrals
Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in England are spending millions of pounds on schemes that screen patient referrals from GPs to specialist services, reveals an investigation by The BMJ today.

Increased reaction to stress linked to gastrointestinal issues in children with autism
One in 45 American children lives with autism spectrum disorder, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

JNeurosci: Highlights from the Jan. 4 issue
Check out these newsworthy studies from the Jan. 4, 2017, print issue of JNeurosci.

Researchers identify factors responsible for chronic nature of autoimmune disease
Researchers have uncovered two factors responsible for the chronic, lifelong nature of autoimmune disorders, which tend to flare up intermittently in affected patients.

Who gets most distracted by cell phones?
Researchers have verified that the mere presence of a cell phone or smartphone can adversely affect our cognitive performance, particularly among infrequent internet users.

Center for Infectious Disease Research, Fred Hutch: Success in humans with malaria vaccine
A clinical trial with human volunteers has found that a next-generation malaria vaccine that uses genetically attenuated parasites shows a favorable safety profile, is well tolerated and stimulates an appropriate immune response, according to a study published today in Science Translational Medicine by scientists at the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Out in the cold: Why are the oldest people the most excluded?
People over the age of 85 are significantly more likely to suffer social exclusion than those in the 65 to 84-year-old bracket, according to new research.

Scientists learn how to ramp up microbes' ability to make memories
Researchers have identified a mutation that prompts bacterial cells to acquire genetic memories 100 times more frequently than they do naturally.

Tamed malaria parasite vaccine passes early trial
Results from a first-in-human phase 1 study reveal a weakened form of the malaria parasite safely activated strong immune responses in 10 healthy volunteers, whose antibodies completely protected mice from malaria infection.

Bridget Terry Long to address college student access and success at Los Angeles event
Dr. Bridget Terry Long, a renowned higher education researcher who specializes in the transition from high school to higher education and beyond, will deliver a public lecture titled 'Supporting College Student Access and Success: Making Sure Hard Work Pays Off,' as part of the American Educational Research Association's Centennial Lecture Series.

German Arctic Office to act as consultant to politics and industry
The rapid climate changes in the Arctic are no longer just the domain of scientists.

Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, January 2017
Researchers identify patterns that could be valuable resource for superconductivity research; ORNL researchers developing approaches to preserve forests, wildlife; ORNL supercomputer helping scientists push boundaries; New measurement technique opens pathway to new graphene-based energy, electronic applications; and ORNL cryogenic memory cell circuit could advance pathway to quantum computing.

Eelgrass in Puget Sound is stable overall, but some local beaches suffering
Eelgrass, a marine plant crucial to the success of migrating juvenile salmon and spawning Pacific herring, is stable and flourishing in Puget Sound, despite a doubling of the region's human population and significant shoreline development over the past several decades.

SwRI to lead NASA's Lucy mission to Jupiter's Trojans
NASA has selected Southwest Research Institute to lead Lucy, a landmark Discovery mission to perform the first reconnaissance of the Trojans, a population of primitive asteroids orbiting in tandem with Jupiter.

As neighborhood status falls, cardiovascular disease risk among black residents spikes
A Drexel University-led study found that significant increases in cardiovascular disease was linked to black residents of neighborhood with lower socioeconomic status and higher levels of violence and disorder.

Big data shows how what we buy affects endangered species
We don't have to snuff out species when we eat a hamburger or buy a tee-shirt -- if we know how our consumption affects endangered and threatened species.

First study of diet's impact on dementia, Alzheimer's disease begins in January
The first study of its kind designed to test the effects of a diet on the decline of cognitive abilities among a large group of individuals 65 to 84 years who currently do not have cognitive impairment will begin in January.

First snapshot of Inuit gut microbiome shows similarities to Western microbiome
Researchers at the University of Montreal, in Canada, have characterized the gut microbiome of the Canadian Arctic Inuit for the first time.

Living near major traffic linked to higher risk of dementia
People who live close to high-traffic roadways face a higher risk of developing dementia than those who live further away, new research from Public Health Ontario (PHO) and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) has found.

Medication adherence a problem in atrial fibrillation patients
Anticoagulant therapy is important for stroke prevention in people with atrial fibrillation, but a new study shows many people don't stick with it.

Cancer authority pulls together the principles, practice and ethics of cancer care
Selected publications by Samuel Hellman, M.D., former physician-in-chief at the nation's top cancer center, former chair of radiation therapy at the Harvard Medical School and past president of two of the most influential cancer organizations, collected in a new book from Oxford Press.

Increasing rainfall in a warmer world will likely intensify typhoons in western Pacific
An analysis of the strongest tropical storms over the last half-century reveals that higher global temperatures have intensified the storms via enhanced rainfall.

Study: Medicaid expansion boosts Michigan's economy and will more than pay for itself
Michigan's expansion of Medicaid health insurance coverage has boosted the state's economy and budget, and will continue to do so for at least the next five years, according to a new study.

More frequent hurricanes not necessarily stronger on Atlantic coast
Active Atlantic hurricane periods, like the one we are in now, are not necessarily a harbinger of more, rapidly intensifying hurricanes along the US coast, according to new research performed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Sea sponges offer clues to how human-made structures can resist buckling
Brown University engineers looked to nature to find a shape that could improve all kinds of slender structures, from building columns to bicycle spokes -- they found an answer in sea sponges.

Hidden secrets of Orion's clouds
This spectacular new image is one of the largest near-infrared high-resolution mosaics of the Orion A molecular cloud, the nearest known massive star factory, lying about 1350 light-years from Earth.

More frequent hurricanes not necessarily stronger on Atlantic coast
Active Atlantic hurricane periods, like the one we are in now, are not necessarily a harbinger of more, rapidly intensifying hurricanes along the US coast, according to new research performed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Promising results using silver-releasing scaffolds in MRSA infection of bone
Researchers developed a biocompatible scaffold capable of controlled-release of silver ions and have shown in a new study that it can inhibit infection of bone by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, known as MRSA.

Witnessing fear in others can physically change brain, scientists say
Scientists at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute have discovered that observing fear in others may change how information flows in the brain.

UNIST wins 4 2016 Spark Design Awards
A product design 'Babyking' by Professor Yunwoo Jung of Design and Human Engineering at Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology has been recognized with the highest 2016 Spark Product Design Award.

Scientists tissue-engineer part of human stomach in laboratory
Scientists report in Nature using pluripotent stem cells to generate human stomach tissues in a Petri dish that produce acid and digestive enzymes.

Researcher's discovery of new crystal structure holds promise for optoelectronic devices
A Florida State University professor has observed a never-been-seen crystal structure that holds promise for optoelectronic devices.

Unpublished research calls into question efficacy of common morning sickness drug
Previously unpublished research calls into question the efficacy of the most commonly prescribed medication for nausea in pregnancy.

Contributors to the development of adverse outcome pathways receive monetary awards from PETA science group
Madison, and Selventa, Inc., are being recognized by the PETA International Science Consortium Ltd. with awards for their contributions to the Adverse Outcome Pathway Wiki, which was created by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre, the US Environmental Protection Agency, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Promising new drug stops spread of melanoma by 90 percent
Michigan State University researchers have discovered that a chemical compound, and potential new drug, reduces the spread of melanoma cells by up to 90 percent.

When the Arctic coast retreats, life in the shallow water areas drastically changes
The thawing and erosion of Arctic permafrost coasts has dramatically increased in the past years and the sea is now consuming more than 20 meters of land per year at some locations.

Study shows cardiovascular benefits continue 5 years after weight loss program
Participants in the Why WAIT (Weight Achievement and Intensive Management) program lost substantial amounts of weight, and even those who maintained relatively little loss of weight after five years demonstrated reduced risks of cardiovascular disease.

UTA to develop faster, cheaper methods to synthesize compounds used in drug discovery
Chemists at The University of Texas at Arlington are developing new methods to synthesize groups of chemical compounds to provide faster, less expensive routes to produce the compounds for subsequent use in medical drug discovery and development.The project focuses on compounds containing carbon-silicon bonds, which are called organosilanes or organosilanols.

Nano-chimneys can cool circuits
Rice University researchers show that tweaking graphene to place cones between it and nanotubes grown from its surface would form 'nano-chimneys' that help heat escape.

What do Google search queries reveal about brand attitudes?
It has been widely thought that brand search volume -- the counts of queries that a search engine receives from users that include specific brand names, like 'iPhone' -- can predict sales for that brand.

Global warming hiatus disproved -- again
UC Berkeley scientists calculated average ocean temperatures from 1999 to 2015, separately using ocean buoys and satellite data, and confirmed the uninterrupted warming trend reported by NOAA in 2015, based on that organization's recalibration of sea surface temperature recordings from ships and buoys.

Study sheds light on esophageal cancer, offers insight into increasingly common disease
A comprehensive analysis of 559 esophageal and gastric cancer samples, collected from patients around the world, suggests the two main types of esophageal cancer differ markedly in their molecular characteristics and should be considered separate diseases.

Evolving deep brain stimulation patterns
Duke University biomedical engineers have used computational evolution to develop temporal patterns of deep brain stimulation used to treat Parkinson's disease.

UNC-Chapel Hill researchers use light to launch drugs from red blood cells
Scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have developed a breakthrough technique that uses light to activate a drug stored in circulating red blood cells so that it is released exactly when and where it is needed.

Researcher examines role of nonprofits in community recovery from Deepwater Horizon oil spill
A grant from the National Academies will enable a researcher at KU to study community cohesion and recovery after the Deepwater Horizon spill.

Human neocortical neurons have unique membrane properties that enhance signal processing
Scientists have presented the first direct evidence that human neocortical neurons have unique membrane properties that enhance signal processing.

Cosmic source found for mysterious 'fast radio burst'
Cornell University researchers and a global team of astronomers have uncovered the cosmological source of a sporadically repeating milliseconds-long 'fast radio burst.' Once thinking these bursts had emanated from within the Milky Way galaxy, or from cosmic neighbors, the astronomers now confirm that they are long-distance flashes from across the universe -- more than 3 billion light-years away, according to a new report published Jan.

Corporal punishment viewed as more acceptable and effective when referred to as spanking
Corporal punishment is viewed as more acceptable and effective when called spanking, according to a new study at Southern Methodist University, Dallas.

Green chemistry: Au naturel catalyst mimics nature to break tenacious carbon-hydrogen bond
A new catalyst for breaking the tough molecular bond between carbon and hydrogen holds the promise of a cleaner, easier, cheaper way to derive products from petroleum, say researchers at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, and the Johns Hopkins University.

Preventing mortality after myocardial infarction
How much blood to give to anemic patients after a heart attack?

Review examines diversity in dermatology clinical trials
Racial and ethnic groups can be underrepresented in medical research.

Neotropical spotted cats may appear more frequently near protected areas
Neotropical spotted cats may occur more near protected areas, according to a study published Jan.

Routes of migratory birds follow today's peaks in resources
Movement of migratory birds is closely linked to seasonal availability of resources.

New study finds girls feel unprepared for puberty
Girls from low-income families in the US are unprepared for puberty and have largely negative experiences of this transition.

Artificial leaf goes more efficient for hydrogen generation
A new study, affiliated with Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology has introduced a new artificial leaf that generates hydrogen, using the power of the Sun to mimic underwater photosynthesis.

Feature issue on nonlinear optics provides insight into field's latest ideas
A special feature of The Journal of the Optical Society of America B has been published called Nonlinear optics near the fundamental limit.

Scientists discover a molecular motor has a 'gear' for directional switching
A study just published in Nature Communications offers a new understanding of the complex cellular machinery that animal and fungi cells use to ensure normal cell division, and scientists say it could one day lead to new treatment approaches for certain types of cancers.

NASA selects mission to study Jupiter's Trojan asteroids
NASA has selected a mission that will perform the first reconnaissance of the Trojans, a population of primitive asteroids orbiting in tandem with Jupiter.

Study suggests route to improve artery repair
People with any form of diabetes are at greater risk of developing cardiovascular conditions than people without the disease.

Manufacturing platform makes intricate biocompatible micromachines
Columbia Engineering researchers have developed a way to manufacture microscale-sized machines from biomaterials that can safely be implanted in the body.

Specific Technologies announces new results and a major new NIAID grant award
Specific Technologies today announces development of a new paradigm for the quantitative determination of antibiotic efficacy.

High fiber diets may alleviate inflammation caused by gout
New research published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, shows that a high-fiber diet likely inhibits gout-related inflammation caused by monosodium urate (MSU) crystals.

New technique uses immune cells to deliver anti-cancer drugs
Some researchers are working to discover new, safer ways to deliver cancer-fighting drugs to tumors without damaging healthy cells.

Most veterans experience good quality of life after military service
With a few notable exceptions, the majority of post-9/11 US veterans appear to do well in regards to work and family quality of life after departing from military service despite their exposure to the war zone.

Study finds potential instability in Atlantic Ocean water circulation system
One of the world's largest ocean circulation systems may not be as stable as today's weather models predict, according to a new study.

Higher pay no enticement to blue-collar politicians, study finds
Contrary to popular belief, increasing politicians' paychecks is not likely to encourage more working class people to run for office, according to new research from Duke University.

Innovative technique to examine blood vessels in 3-D help unlock secrets of the brain
A study published today in the Journal of Anatomy has made an important breakthrough in the examination of blood vessels in the brain giving scientists a clearer understanding of how dementia, brain cancer and stroke can affect veins and capillaries in this organ.

Immunotherapy, gene therapy combination shows promise against glioblastoma
In a new University of Michigan study, gene therapy deployed with immune checkpoint inhibitors demonstrates potential benefit for devastating brain cancer.

MSU lands $1 million USAID grant to fight Zika
Michigan State University has landed a highly competitive grant from USAID to fight the Zika virus in Mexico.

Women as decorative accessories: Keep silent or take a stance?
How do Italian women react once they are made aware that using bikini-clad models draped over sports cars or scantily dressed actresses on television actually degrades and objectifies the female sex into mere sexual objects?

HKU biologist reveals important role cities play in conservation of threatened species
The exhaustive international trade of wildlife has pushed many species to the brink of extinction.

Most younger adults with high LDL-C levels do not take a statin
Despite recommendations, less than 45 percent of adults younger than 40 years with an elevated low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) level of 190 mg/dL or greater receive a prescription for a statin, according to a study published online by JAMA Cardiology.

'Complementary' feeding for infants -- ESPGHAN position paper offers guidance
Updated evidence-based recommendations on introducing complementary foods to infants' diet -- solids and liquids other than breast milk -- appear in a position paper of the European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN).

York U research identifies icy ridges on Pluto
Using a model similar to what meteorologists use to forecast weather on Earth and a computer simulation of the physics of evaporating ices, a new study by York University's Professor John Moores, Department of Earth and Space Science and Engineering at York's Lassonde School of Engineering, has found evidence that snow and ice features previously only seen on Earth, have been spotted on Pluto. 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