Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 16, 2017
How China is poised for marine fisheries reform
China has introduced an unprecedented policy platform for stewarding its fisheries and other marine resources; in order to achieve a true paradigm shift a team of international scientists from within and outside of China recommend major institutional reform.

Sweat bees on hot chillies: Native bees thrive in traditional farming, securing good yield
Farming doesn't always have to be harmful to bees: Even though farmers on the Mexican peninsula of Yucatan traditionally slash-and-burn forest to create small fields, this practice can be beneficial to sweat bees by creating attractive habitats.

Liverpool scientists to develop liquid antennas
University of Liverpool researchers have been awarded £578,000 funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council to develop liquid antennas which have the potential to transform modern radio communications and radar.

Senescence promotes chemotherapy side effects and cancer relapse
Working in mice, researchers at the Buck Institute and elsewhere now show that standard chemotherapy promotes cancer relapse and metastasis as well as other side effects via a pro-inflammatory stress response termed cellular senescence.

Intensive animal production may boost flu pandemic threat
Mass livestock production is driving molecular changes in diseases that could lead to human pandemics, according to an expert from the University of Exeter.

New guidelines could help improve research into vascular cognitive impairment
New guidelines have been developed that it is hoped will help to progress research into vascular cognitive impairment following a study led by academics at the University of Bristol that brought together the views of over 150 researchers in 27 countries.

'Buying time' for natural killer cells could enhance cancer immunity
A team of researchers from Australia and France have uncovered new insights into how to prolong the lifespan of the body's disease-fighting natural killer (NK) cells.

Acupuncture may alleviate babies' excessive crying (infantile colic)
Acupuncture may be an effective treatment option for babies with infantile colic -- those who cry for more than three hours a day on three or more days of the week -- reveals research published online in Acupuncture in Medicine.

Dressing a metal in various colors
DGIST research team developed a technology to coat metal with several nanometers of semiconducting materials.

New research study creates new opportunities for treating brain diseases
Immunotherapy has proven to be effective against many serious diseases.

Self-assembling particles brighten future of LED lighting
Researchers have illuminated another path forward for LED technologies by refining the manufacturing of light sources made with crystalline substances known as perovskites, a more efficient and potentially lower-cost alternative to materials used in LEDs found on store shelves.

Patients recovering from depression show improvements in memory from the drug modafinil
Modafinil, a drug used to treat narcolepsy -- excessive daytime sleepiness -- can improve memory in patients recovering from depression, according to new research from the University of Cambridge.

Steroid discovered in dogfish sharks attacks Parkinson's-related toxin in animal model
A synthesized steroid mirroring one naturally made by the dogfish shark prevents the buildup of a lethal protein implicated in some neurodegenerative diseases, reports an international research team studying an animal model of Parkinson's disease.

Eating disorders are affecting more UK women in their 40s and 50s
In a UK study of 5,320 women, 3 percent were found to have an active eating disorder in mid-life, a figure higher than expected as eating disorders are primarily associated with adolescence or early adulthood.

New tools will drive greater understanding of wheat genes
Howard Hughes Medical Institute scientists have developed a much-needed genetic resource that will greatly accelerate the study of gene functions in wheat.

Trade-offs between economic growth and deforestation
In many developing countries, economic growth and deforestation seem to go hand in hand -- but the links are not well understood.

Galaxy murder mystery
Across the universe, galaxies are being killed and the question scientists want answered is, what's killing them?

Common crop chemical leaves bees susceptible to deadly viruses
A chemical that is thought to be safe and is, therefore, widely used on crops -- such as almonds, wine grapes and tree fruits -- to boost the performance of pesticides, makes honey bee larvae significantly more susceptible to a deadly virus, according to researchers at Penn State and the US Department of Agriculture.

Protein research: The computer as microscope
Using a combination of infrared spectroscopy and computer simulation, researchers at Ruhr-Universität Bochum have gained new insights into the workings of protein switches.

Lessons learned when commercialization of a new soft robot fails
Commercializing a new, innovative product is often the greatest challenge across the research and development landscape, as is evident in the failed attempt to bring jamming-based robotic gripper technology to market.

Maternal micronutrients, nurturing environment boost child development
A new study offers a recipe for parents who want smarter kids: maternal micronutrient supplements during pregnancy, early life nurturing, happy moms, and educated parents.

New insight into role of cell protein in learning ability and AIDS-related dementia
Researchers from the University of California (UCLA) and Cardiff University have made a breakthrough in the understanding of AIDS-related dementia, discovering the role of a neuron protein which was also found to affect learning abilities in healthy subjects.

Persistent infection keeps immune memory sharp, leading to long-term protection
For many infectious diseases, a single bout of the illness protects a person against contracting it again.

Study tracks 'memory' of soil moisture
SMAP's first year of observational data has now been analyzed and is providing some significant surprises that will help in the modeling of climate, forecasting of weather, and monitoring of agriculture around the world.

Poll: Parents struggle with when to keep kids home sick from school
Opinions differ when it comes to how sick is too sick to go to school, or the importance of sick day consequences such as parents missing work or kids missing tests, according to a new national poll.

Considering cattle could help eliminate malaria in India
The goal of eliminating malaria in countries like India could be more achievable if mosquito-control efforts take into account the relationship between mosquitoes and cattle, according to an international team of researchers.

Targets and patented drugs for chemotherapy of Chagas disease
Chagas disease is a parasitic infection typically spread by triatomine vectors, affecting millions of people all over Latin America.

Genome sequence of polar alga explains evolutionary adaptation to extreme variable climate
An international team of researchers has identified the genetic mutations which allowed microalgae (phytoplankton) from the Southern Ocean to adapt to extreme and highly variable climates -- a step towards understanding how polar organisms are impacted by climate change.

Solar power plan set to bring fresh water to out-of-reach villages
A solar-powered purification system could provide remote parts of India with clean drinking water for the first time.

Viral escape hatch could be treatment target for hepatitis E, Princeton-led study finds
The technique that the hepatitis E virus -- an emerging liver virus historically found in developing countries but now on the rise in Europe -- uses to spread could present a weak spot scientists can exploit to treat the disease, according to a Princeton University-led study.

Protein identified by Mass. General team may protect tumor-initiating breast cancer cells
Massachusetts General Hospital investigators have identified a protein that may play an essential role in maintaining a population of tumor-initiating cells -- treatment-resistant cells responsible for cancer recurrence and metastasis -- in breast cancer, as well as a compound that appears to reduce the molecule's ability to protect TICs from the effects of chemotherapy.

Harrington Discovery Institute announces 2017 grant funding to 11 physician-scientists
The Harrington Discovery Institute at University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio, has announced the 2017 recipients of Harrington Scholar-Innovator Awards.

ACP and AAFP release new hypertension recommendations
The American College of Physicians (ACP) and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) have published an evidence-based clinical practice guideline on the appropriate systolic blood pressure (the top number in a reading) target for adults 60 years old and older with hypertension.

HIV treatment might boost susceptibility to syphilis, say researchers
The antiretroviral drugs used to treat HIV infection might inadvertently be boosting gay/bisexual men's susceptibility to the bacteria responsible for syphilis, Treponema pallidum, conclude researchers in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections.

As Europe turned its back on Arabs
During the Renaissance, the Europeans began to supplant the Arabic roots of their culture: this is the gist of Dag Nikolaus Hasse's new book (Harvard University Press).

Fossils found reveal unseen 'footprint' maker
Fossils found in Morocco from the long-extinct group of sea creatures called trilobites, including rarely seen soft-body parts, may be previously unseen animals that left distinctive fossil 'footprints' around the ancient supercontinent Gondwana.

Scientists make plastic from pine trees
Most current plastics are made from oil, which is unsustainable.

Inception of the last ice age
A new model reconstruction shows in exceptional detail the evolution of the Eurasian ice sheet during the last ice age.

SMiLE-seq: A new technique speeds up genetics
Scientists at EPFL have developed a technique that can be a game-changer for genetics by making the characterization of DNA-binding proteins much faster, more accurate, and efficient.

Presumed young star turns out to be a galactic senior citizen
49 Lib, a relatively bright star in the southern sky, is twelve billion years old rather than just 2.3 billion.

Best treatment option written in cancer's genetic script
An international collaboration led by clinical researchers at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute has shown proof-of-concept that truly personalized therapy will be possible in the future for people with cancer.

Smoking-related imagery absent from only one James Bond movie to date
Smoking related imagery is conspicuous by its absence from only one Bond movie since 007 first graced cinema screens in 1962, finds an analysis in Tobacco Control.

Tracking Antarctic adaptations in diatoms
In the Antarctic Ocean, large populations of the diatom Fragillariopsis cylindrus dominate the phytoplankton communities.

Researchers found that certain anti-influenza compounds also inhibit Zika virus infection
Researchers from the University of Helsinki have shown that three anti-influenza compounds effectively inhibit Zika virus infection in human cells.

Study applies game theory to genomic privacy
A new study from Vanderbilt University presents an unorthodox approach to protect the privacy of genomic data, showing how optimal trade-offs between privacy risk and scientific utility can be struck as genomic data are released for research.

UV light can aid hospitals' fight to wipe out drug-resistant superbugs
A new tool -- a type of ultraviolet light called UVC -- could aid hospitals in the ongoing battle to keep drug-resistant bacteria from lingering in patient rooms and causing new infections.

Metastatic pancreatic cancer 'reprogrammed' for malignancy
Metastatic pancreatic cancer -- cancer that has spread from the pancreas to other tissues and is responsible for most patient deaths -- changes its metabolism and is 'reprogrammed' for optimal malignancy, according to new findings reported Jan.

Drug-resistant 'nightmare bacteria' show worrisome ability to diversify and spread
A family of highly drug-resistant and potentially deadly bacteria may be spreading more widely -- and more stealthily -- than previously thought, according to a new study from Harvard T.H.

Harrington Discovery Institute announces 2016 partnership scholars
Harrington Discovery Institute at University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio -- part of The Harrington Project for Discovery & Development -- has announced its 2016 partnership Scholars selected in collaboration with Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF), and Foundation Fighting Blindness and University of Oxford: Travis Dunckley, Ph.D., Arizona State University; Sung Ok Yoon, Ph.D., The Ohio State University; David M.

Frankly, do we give a damn...?
It's long been associated with anger and coarseness but profanity can have another, more positive connotation.

The first humans arrived in North America a lot earlier than believed
Anthropologists at Université de Montréal have dated the oldest human settlement in Canada back 10,000 years.

Basel physicist Daniel Loss receives the King Faisal International Prize
Professor Daniel Loss from the University of Basel's Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute has been awarded the King Faisal International Prize for Science 2017.

How 'stealth warrior' bacteria turn a tick's gut microbes against itself
Before infecting humans, tick-borne bacteria or viruses first have to get past a tick's defenses to colonize it.

Biomarker could identify patients with potential for recovery from advanced heart failure
Investigators at the University of Utah have identified distinct differences in the hearts of advanced heart failure patients who have defied the odds and showed signs of recovery from the disease.

ACP & AAFP release guideline for treatment of hypertension in older adults
The American College of Physicians and the American Academy of Family Physicians have published an evidence-based clinical practice guideline on the appropriate systolic blood pressure target for adults 60 years old and older with hypertension.

Theory lends transparency to how glass breaks
Rice University scientists explain how and why shear bands form in metallic glasses and make them more prone to break.

Every meal triggers inflammation
When we eat, we do not just take in nutrients -- we also consume a significant quantity of bacteria.

4G network infrastructure could mean fewer accidents by drivers
New research that suggests a pre-existing 4G network infrastructure could help drivers make safe decisions in or near accidents has won the 'Best Paper Award' at an international conference.

A natural compound can block the formation of toxins associated with Parkinson's disease
A naturally-occurring compound called squalamine has been found to block the molecular process underlying Parkinson's disease and suppress its toxic effects.

The lasting effects of ministrokes may contribute to dementia
Medical University of South Carolina investigators report preclinical research showing that microinfarcts induce prolonged dysfunction in brain areas estimated to be 12-times larger than the visible injury site in an article published online on Jan.

New study reveals the structure of DNA helicase at the replication fork
Scientists at Van Andel Research Institute and Rockefeller University have successfully described a crucial structure involved in DNA replication, placing another piece in the puzzle of how life propagates.

KAIST to participate in the 2017 Davos Forum
KAIST President Sung-Mo Kang and Distinguished Professor Sang Yup Lee of the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department will participate in the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting (a.k.a., Davos Forum) on Jan.

Robust rattan palm assessed as Endangered, new Species Conservation Profile shows
An African rattan palm species has recently been assessed as Endangered, according to the IUCN Red List criteria.

The next Horizon: Strategies to promote European competitiveness in innovation
EU-LIFE, the alliance of research centers in life sciences to support and strengthen European research excellence released today a statement with its recommendations for next framework program for Research & Innovation, FP9.

Imposing 'meaningful work' leads to staff burnout
Strategies to boost staff performance and morale by manipulating our desire for meaningful work often achieve the opposite -- damaging organizations and alienating employees -- a new study suggests.

Left wingers twice as likely to punish companies for tax avoidance, study finds
Left wingers are twice as likely to punish companies which aggressively avoid tax, according to a new study from Queen Mary University of London (QMUL).

Benzodiazepines and related drugs increase stroke risk among persons with Alzheimer's disease
The use of benzodiazepines and benzodiazepine-like drugs was associated with a 20 percent increased risk of stroke among persons with Alzheimer's disease, shows a recent study from the University of Eastern Finland.

Climate change forecast: More intense deluges and downpours Down Under
Expect strong increases in rainfall during extreme precipitation events in Australia as a result of global warming making Dorothy Mackellar's now classic view of Australia as a country of droughts and flooding rains truer than ever.

Nanoparticle exposure can awaken dormant viruses in the lungs
Nanoparticles from combustion engines can activate viruses that are dormant in in lung tissue cells.

For first time ever, X-ray imaging at Argonne captures material defect process
Researchers at Argonne National Laboratory have discovered a new approach to detail the formation of material defects at the atomic scale and in near-real time, an important step that could assist in engineering better and stronger new materials.

Rapidly meeting the mental health needs of older adults
There is only one geriatric psychiatrist for every 23,000 older Americans.

Study finds high survival rate for elderly patients with implantable defibrillator
Of patients over age 65 who received an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) after surviving sudden cardiac arrest or a near-fatal arrhythmia, almost 80 percent survived two years -- a higher rate than found in past trials performed to demonstrate the efficacy of the devices in this situation, according to a study today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

How safe is that driver next to you? A trucker's poor health could increase crash risk
As commuters shimmy past large, lumbering trucks on the road, they may glance over and wonder, 'How safe is that driver next to me?' If the truck driver is in poor health, the answer could be: Not very.

HIV therapy could be contributing to syphilis outbreak: UBC study
Drugs used to treat HIV could affect how the body responds to syphilis, inadvertently contributing to a current outbreak, a new study suggests.

Light source discovery 'challenges basic assumption' of physics
A widely-held understanding of electromagnetic radiation has been challenged in newly published research led at the University of Strathclyde.

Nanoscale view of energy storage
Through long shifts at the helm of a highly sophisticated microscope, researchers at Stanford recorded reactions at near-atomic-scale resolution.

£1.5 million trial to prevent fractures in people with brittle bone disease
People with a rare bone condition that can cause them to have hundreds of fractures during a lifetime are being invited to trial a potential treatment.

Retail therapy for jealous partners
When people in a relationships fees jealous about the attention their partners are receiving, they are more likely to purchase eye-grabbing products.

Potentially reversible changes in gene control 'prime' pancreatic cancer cells to spread
A multicenter team of researchers reports that a full genomic analysis of tumor samples from a small number of people who died of pancreatic cancer suggests that chemical changes to DNA that do not affect the DNA sequence itself yet control how it operates confer survival advantages on subsets of pancreatic cancer cells.

Three questions climate science must answer
In a Perspective article for Nature Climate Change the authors outline three key questions that are needed to direct the next generation of climate research.

New study refutes how fruit flies developed their tolerance for alcohol
Scientists from the University of Chicago, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Wisconsin-Madison conducted experiments investigating whether a molecular change in an enzyme gave the Drosophila melanogaster fruit fly species its superior ability to metabolize alcohol. 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