Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 05, 2017
Performance of the RegCM4 regional climate model over China
The RegCM series of models are widely used throughout the world and in China.

'Dose sparing' flu vaccine could boost productivity and vaccine availability
The currently licensed seasonal trivalent influenza vaccines contain 15 micrograms of viral hemagglutinin protein per strain for adults, and up to 60 micrograms for elderly individuals; however, due to recent shortages, reducing these doses would be highly desirable.

Study analyzes what 'a' and 'the' tell us about language acquisition
A study co-authored by an MIT professor suggests that experience is an important component of early-childhood language usage although it doesn't necessarily account for all of a child's language facility.

Research shows global photosynthesis on the rise
Researchers found a global historic record by analyzing gases trapped in Antarctic snow to see the rapid rise in photosynthesis over the past 200 years.

New technique helps researchers determine how stem cells differentiate
Stem cell differentiation can now be seen thanks to a combination of machine learning and microfabrication techniques developed by scientists at the RIKEN Quantitative Biology Center in Japan.

Born to love superheroes
A Kyoto-based study appearing in Nature Human Behavior demonstrates that human infants recognize heroic acts from early stages of development, suggesting that our sense of justice -- and likewise, adoration for heroes -- is innate.

Plants have been helping to offset climate change, but now it's up to us
Plants are currently removing more CO2 from the air than they did 200 years ago, according to new work from Carnegie's Joe Berry and led by J.

Using Instagram can increase adolescents' closeness to friends
A recent study by a researcher at the University of Leuven found that adolescents' use of Instagram actually strengthened the closeness of their friendships.

Multivitamins not associated with heart disease risk, regardless of initial dietary intake
In a new study, published this week in JAMA Cardiology, investigators examined whether multivitamins might help prevent CVD events among those in the PHS II with less nutritious diets.

Like people, great apes may distinguish between true and false beliefs in others
Great apes help a person access an object when that person thinks they knows where it is but is mistaken, according to a study published April 5, 2017 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by David Buttelmann from Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Germany, and colleagues.

Study examines social outcomes in young adults with childhood-onset epilepsy
In a recent study, young adults who developed uncomplicated epilepsy as children (meaning that they did not have other neurologic or intellectual impairment) had similar social outcomes as their siblings, but only if they had not experienced a seizure in at least five years.

Addictive nut's derivatives could help smokers break the nicotine habit
As many as 600 million people in Asia chew areca nuts with betel leaves, sometimes adding tobacco leaves.

The Lancet: The war on tobacco: Latest estimates show need for 'renewed and sustained' efforts on control policies
More than one in 10 deaths worldwide (equivalent to 6.4 million deaths) are caused by smoking and half of these occur in just four countries -- China, India, USA, and Russia, according to the latest estimates from the Global Burden of Disease study published in The Lancet.

An unbalanced microbiome on the face may be key to acne development
At the Microbiology Society's Annual Conference, researchers will show that the overall balance of the bacteria on a person's skin, rather than the presence or absence of a particular bacterial strain, appears to be an important factor for acne development and skin health.

Fish eyes to help understand human inherited blindness
Discovery of a gene in zebrafish that triggers congenital blindness could lead to a suitable cure for similar disease in humans.

No rest for the aged: As people get older, sleep quantity and quality decline
As people get older, they sleep less and wake up more frequently.

Wikipedia articles on plane crashes show what we remember -- or forget
Disastrous current events trigger collective memory of certain past events, a new study of nearly 1,500 Wikipedia articles on airplane crashes and other incidents reports.

Innovative sensor can screen toxic drugs, help develop biomaterials, and much more
Researchers at the University of California, Riverside have found an innovative new use for a simple piece of glass tubing: weighing things.

Chemical sensor on the basis of materials possessing molecular memory created
Scientists from the Faculty of Chemistry of the Lomonosov Moscow State University have elaborated an electrochemical sensor on the basis of polymers with molecular imprinting, aimed at detection of saccharides and hydroxy acids.

Yoga helps patients with ulcerative colitis
Patients with ulcerative colitis, a chronic inflammatory bowel disease, often relapse at times of stress.

This Week from AGU: Weak solar activity could expose aircrews to higher radiation
Impending weak solar activity could expose aircrews to higher radiation levels.

Neonicotinoids detected in drinking water in agricultural area
Concern over the use of neonicotinoid pesticides is growing as studies find them in rivers and streams, and link them with declining bee populations and health effects in other animals.

Collagen-targeting PET probe may improve diagnosis and treatment of pulmonary fibrosis
A PET imaging probe developed by Massachusetts General Hospital investigators appears able to diagnose and stage pulmonary fibrosis -- an often life-shortening lung disease -- as well as monitor the response to treatment.

Cancer burden for aging US HIV population projected to shift
In findings presented at the 2017 American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting on April 5, a UNC-Chapel Hill researcher, in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reports the total number of HIV-positive cancer patients in the United States is projected to decrease through 2030.

Scientists make progress on unravelling the puzzle of merging black holes
Astrophysicists at the University of Birmingham have made progress in understanding a key mystery of gravitational-wave astrophysics: how two black holes can come together and merge.

Insurance expansion associated with increase in surgical treatment of thyroid cancer
The 2006 Massachusetts health reform, a model for the Affordable Care Act, was associated with significant increases in surgical intervention for thyroid cancer, specifically among nonwhite populations, according to a study published by JAMA Surgery.

Biomarker could lead to personalized therapies for prostate cancer
In 2016, more than 181,000 new cases of prostate cancer were reported in the US, according to the American Cancer Society.

Seaweed: From superfood to superconductor
Seaweed, the edible algae with a long history in some Asian cuisines, and which has also become part of the Western foodie culture, could turn out to be an essential ingredient in another trend: the development of more sustainable ways to power our devices.

Regular exercise, not BMI, before stroke may predict disability later
A new study suggests it's the amount of regular exercise people get, not the amount of body fat they have, that may predict just how well they recover from a stroke.

X-ray study reveals long-sought insights into potential drug target
X-ray studies done in part at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have produced surprising insights into the workings of a hormone receptor associated with blood pressure regulation.

As kids' weight climbs, power of healthy fat supplements drops
Body weight plays a significant role in how much benefit children may get from consuming 'good' fats, new research suggests.

Lego figures don't stand a chance against time reversal
Researchers use targeted sound waves to detect cracks in nuclear waste containers -- and to knock over Lego figures in epic fashion.

E-cigarette regulations may affect their effectiveness for smoking cessation
A study published today in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research, reveals that regulations on electronic cigarettes (ECs) may impact their effectiveness as a cessation tool.

Monoclonal antibody cures Marburg infection in monkeys
Scientists funded by the National Institutes of Health have found that an experimental treatment cured 100 percent of guinea pigs and rhesus monkeys in late stages of infection with lethal levels of Marburg and Ravn viruses, relatives of the Ebola virus.

Sodium citrate spray could temporarily restore sense of smell
A substance commonly used to treat bladder issues could temporarily treat people who have lost their sense of smell, according to research published in the journal Clinical Otolaryngology.

Trial: Abiraterone acetate responses even after initial hormone therapy failure
Results of a 40-person clinical trial published in JAMA Oncology show that 13 percent of prostate cancer patients deemed 'hormone refractory' did, in fact, have strong responses to treatment with the next-generation hormonal drug abiraterone acetate.

Carbon nanotubes self-assemble into tiny transistors
Carbon nanotubes can be used to make very small electronic devices, but they are difficult to handle.

Study: What makes for effective partnerships with Indigenous nations on the environment?
Protecting the environment often draws on a collaboration between community members, NGOs, academia, and, local, state and federal agencies.

JNeurosci highlights from the April 5 issue
Check out this newsworthy study from the April 5, 2017, issue of JNeurosci.

Stem cell patch shows early promise in treating heart failure
In a Phase I clinical trial, heart failure patients treated with patches made from their muscle cells showed improved exercise capacity and heart function after one year.

Deep sleep may act as fountain of youth in old age
As we grow old, our nights are frequently plagued by bouts of wakefulness, bathroom trips and other nuisances as we lose our ability to generate the deep, restorative slumber we enjoyed in youth.

Scientists unravel effect of ENSO and Atlantic multidecadal oscillation on the East Asian winter monsoon
Based on the observations and models' simulation, Drs. HAO Xin and HE Shengping found that the out-of-phase relationship between the variations in ENSO-like mode and the EAWM was significantly intensified when the AMO and ENSO-like SST anomalies are in phase.

Tumor necrosis factor found to directly regulate blood pressure
Investigators at the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research have discovered a surprising new role for tumor necrosis factor (TNF): namely, that it is a major regulator of small blood vessel function, the key determinant of blood pressure.

Stanford study explores risk of deforestation as agriculture expands in Africa
Multinational companies are increasingly looking to Africa to expand production of in-demand commodity crops such as soy and oil palm.

Potentially explosive methane gas mobile in groundwater, poses safety risk: U of G study
Potentially explosive methane gas leaking from energy wells may travel extensively through groundwater and pose a safety risk, according to a new study by University of Guelph researchers.

Sandpiper detectives pinpoint trouble spots in continent-wide migration
Understanding and managing migratory animal populations requires knowing what's going on with them during all stages of their annual cycle -- and how those stages affect each other.

The redomestication of wolves
Gray wolves provide an important case study for understanding ecosystem effects when apex predators reoccupy their former ranges.

Scientists determined the time of extinction of ancient porcupines
A team of specialists that included scientists from Siberia, the Urals, and the University of Arizona, USA, conducted radiocarbon dating of the teeth and bones of ancient porcupines found in the caves of Gorny Altai and the Urals.

Discovering how insulin-producing cells show their age
This research opens up an entirely new set of questions about the development of type 2 diabetes.

Research into why we remember some aviation disasters and forget others
Oxford University researchers have tracked how recent aircraft incidents or accidents trigger past events and how some are consistently more memorable than others.

Probiotics benefit in schizophrenia shaped by yeast infections
In a small pilot study of men with schizophrenia, researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine and Sheppard Pratt Health System say they have evidence that adding probiotics -- microorganisms, such as bacteria found in yogurts -- to the patients' diets may help treat yeast infections and ease bowel problems.

Charting the skies of history
Ice cores and ancient sediments can be gleaned for clues to weather and climate in the past.

High fat, high sugar diet during pregnancy 'programs' for health complications
Eating a high-fat, high-sugar diet when pregnant 'programs' both mother and child for potential health complications later in life by disrupting metabolic processes within the mother's body, researchers have found.

NASA's Aqua satellite spots development of Tropical Storm 14P in South Pacific Ocean
NASA's Aqua satellite analyzed cloud top temperatures in newly formed Tropical Cyclone 14P in the Southern Pacific Ocean.

Monounsaturated fats help roundworms live longer, Stanford researchers say
Pudgy roundworms storing a particular type of fat live longer than their more svelte counterparts, according to a study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Experience-based hospitality should standardize safety to continue success
University of Missouri researchers have found significant differences in how men and women view the experience-based hospitality industry, and the findings could help the young industry continue to grow.

Addressing addictions
A new study by Queen's University researcher Susan Brogly has revealed that 25 percent of women suffering from a prenatal opioid dependence were not being treated for their addiction.

Overactive bladder drug linked with increased risk of depression
A recent study found that women with overactive bladder who received antimuscarinics were 38 percent more likely to be diagnosed with depressive disorder within the next three years than those who did not receive antimuscarinics.

Nitrogen, phosphorus from fertilizers and pet waste polluting urban water
New research from the University of Minnesota points to lawn fertilizers and pet waste as the dominant sources of nitrogen and phosphorus pollutants in seven sub-watersheds of the Mississippi River in Saint Paul, Minn.

Raccoon dog is a more acute risk than raccoon as vector for local parasites
The increasing abundance of raccoons and raccoon dogs made them of interest to parasitologists as potential hosts for diseases.

Weak grip a strong predictor of metabolic disease and disability in adults
A simple test to determine a person's grip strength may be a predictor of developing metabolic disorders in middle or older age, a new cross-continental study has found.

Self-harm linked to violence towards others
There is a link between self-harm and the risk of violent criminality, according to a Swedish registry study carried out by researchers at Karolinska Institutet and published in the scientific journal JAMA Psychiatry.

Eagles migrate through bad weather to arrive in time to nest
Migration is tough, and birds do everything they can to optimize it.

New study sheds light on 'lung sparing effect'
A new study suggests that in cases of severe malnutrition, the body may prioritize lung development at the expense of other less vital growth.

FDA approves drugs more quickly than peer agency in Europe
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reviews and approves new medicines in a shorter timeframe than its peer agency in Europe, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), says a Yale researcher.

Experts debate the advantages of using stem cells for predictive toxicology screening
An esteemed panel of scientists and clinicians with expertise in developmental biology and toxicology examined the potential benefits and current limitations of using stem cell-based tissue and organ models to screen for the toxicity of chemicals and drugs in the laboratory.

Medscape doctor survey shows: Boost in job satisfaction, gender pay gap, race disparities
According to Medscape's Annual Physician Compensation Report, African-American physicians earn 15 percent less than their white colleagues, but are happier than white physicians in their jobs.

A mother's voice may help stabilize preterm infants
A recent review of published research indicates that hearing their mother's voice can benefit the health of preterm infants.

Newly discovered chemical reaction in eye may improve vision
A light-sensing pigment found in everything from bacteria to vertebrates can be biochemically manipulated to reset itself, an important therapeutic advantage, according to new research out of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

The 'Ferguson effect' or too many guns? Exploring the rise in violent crime in Chicago
In an article published today in Significance, Arizona State University professors Sherry Towers and Michael D.

Into the DNA of a coral reef predator
Researchers from OIST and Australia have sequenced and decoded for the first time the genome of the crown-of-thorns starfish, paving the way for the biocontrol of this invasive predator responsible for the destruction of coral reefs across Indo-Pacific oceans.

Project Hotspot
In their study published in Lithosphere this week, James Kessler and colleagues examine the geology of a scientific borehole drilled into the Snake River Plain, Idaho, USA, to investigate the potential for geothermal energy at depth.

A one-two punch hits pancreatic cancer where it hurts
Researchers have uncovered a promising new approach to treating pancreatic cancer, by targeting the tissue around the tumor to make it 'softer' and more responsive to chemotherapy.

One monoclonal antibody protects against 2 lethal viruses
A new study reports that one human monoclonal antibody therapy protected nonhuman primates from the lethal hemorrhagic fevers caused by both Marburg and Ravn viruses.

Researchers develop Marburg virus treatment effective five days after infection
An antibody treatment successfully protected nonhuman primates against the deadly Marburg and Ravn viruses even when given five days after becoming infected, according to the latest findings of a collaborative team from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc., and Vanderbilt University.

Ready for the new kelvin!
Scientists from the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) have determined the Boltzmann constant by means of a dielectric-constant gas thermometer with such accuracy that all obstacles to the redefinition of the unit of temperature, the kelvin, have been removed.

Public attitudes to end-of-life care in progressive neurological illness are conflicted
Public attitudes in UK and USA reveal support both for life-sustaining interventions and for measures to enable peaceful death in progressive neurological illness such as dementia, according to a survey carried out by researchers at the University of Cambridge.

Schizophrenia signs in mice linked to uncoordinated firing of brain cells, says study
Researchers at Columbia University have discovered that a small group of neurons fired haphazardly in mice with signs of schizophrenia.

Whiteflies provide insight into stabilizing manmade drones during takeoff
Tel Aviv University research explores how the whitefly, a tiny insect, successfully takes off without flapping its wings.

Predicting -- and preventing -- psychiatric morbidity after ARDS
A new study, published in Annals of the American Thoracic Society, examined symptoms of anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder in long-term survivors of ARDS and any associated changes in cortisol levels in the patients.

Unexpected protein structure findings could lead to new therapies
Scientists have determined unexpected characteristics of a key protein linked to blood pressure control and to nerve growth, pain control and heart tissue regeneration.

'Spiderman' worm-snails discovered on Florida shipwreck
Scientists have discovered a new species of worm-snail on a shipwreck in the Florida Keys.

Pedometers increase activity and decrease fatigue in rheumatoid arthritis patients
Providing pedometers, with and without providing step targets, to individuals with rheumatoid arthritis increased activity levels and decreased fatigue in a recent study.

Impostor feelings fuel negative mental health outcomes for minority students, study
While perceived discrimination on college campuses compromises the self-esteem, well-being and mental health of ethnic minority students, new psychology research from The University of Texas at Austin suggests the impostor phenomenon may worsen these effects.

House fly mortality by artificial sweetener: Starvation, not toxicity
While recent headlines have noted the potential insecticidal properties of common artificial sweeteners, don't go sprinkling Truvia around your home just yet.

New technology could offer cheaper, faster food testing
MIT researchers have come up with a new way to test food for bacterial contamination.

Could targeting oxtyocin help treat opioid addiction?
A new review of published research indicates that the oxytocin system -- a key player in social reward and stress regulation -- is profoundly affected by opioid use.

Ideal for kangaroos -- out of the pouch, but still living at home
Young kangaroos are more likely to survive in the wild if they spend more time alone with their mothers than among others of their own species.

New step towards the treatment of myotubular myopathy gene therapy restores strength and prolongs lives in affected dogs
A team of researchers in France demonstrated the efficacy of administration of a therapeutic vector by a single intravenous injection and identified the dose that restores long-term muscular strength in a large animal model of the disease.

What are common dermatologic features of classic movie villains?
Dermatologic features are used in movies to contrast good and evil in heroes and villains.

Artificial topological matter opens new research directions
An international team of researchers have created a new structure that allows the tuning of topological properties in such a way as to turn on or off these unique behaviors.

When the doctor recommends against the surgery a breast cancer patient wants
A new study from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center examines the complex interaction between patients' desires for contralateral prophylactic mastectomy and surgeons' responsibility to minimize harm.

A novel method for the fabrication of active-matrix 3-D pressure sensors
A new study, affiliated with South Korea's Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), developed a transistor-type active-matrix pressure sensor using foldable substrate and air-dielectric layer.

UCLA researchers discover a new cause of high plasma triglycerides
People with hypertriglyceridemia often are told to change their diet and lose weight.

73 percent of academics say access to research data helps them in their work; 34 percent do not publish their data
Combining results from bibliometric analyses, a global sample of researcher opinions and case-study interviews, a new report reveals that although the benefits of open research data are well known, in practice, confusion remains within the researcher community around when and how to share research data.

Young researchers head to Capitol Hill to advocate for science
Young scientists from colleges and universities across the United States will arrive on Capitol Hill on Thursday to talk with senators and representatives about the value of biomedical research.

WSU researchers find a 'sleep gene'
Washington State University researchers have seen how a particular gene is involved in the quality of sleep experienced by three different animals, including humans.

Researchers develop novel flu test to speed up respiratory treatment
Doctors and researchers in Southampton have developed a novel way of using a swab test which can rapidly diagnose flu and other viral infections in patients with severe respiratory conditions -- resulting in shorter courses of antibiotics and less time in hospital.

New approach developed by humanists and scientists maps evolution of literature
A classicist, biologist and computer scientist all walk into a room -- what comes next isn't the punchline but a new method to analyze relationships among ancient Latin and Greek texts, developed in part by researchers from The University of Texas at Austin.

Linguistic and cultural knowledge affect whether languages are identified correctly
A popular online game shows how linguistic and cultural knowledge may affect whether players can correctly identify different languages, according to a study published April 5, 2017 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Hedvig SkirgÄrd from the Australian National University, Australia and colleagues.

Catch shares slow the 'race to fish'
A detailed analysis of 39 US fisheries by Duke University economists shows that catch share programs slow the 'race to fish,' reducing costs and occupational hazards for fishermen, improving product quality, and allowing fishers to better time their catches to market demand.

Fruits and vegetables' latest superpower? Lowering blood pressure
New study by Keck School of Medicine of USC researcher links increased dietary potassium with lower blood pressure.

No sugar coating, but sweet nonetheless
First long-term stabile brain implant developed based on an anti-inflammatory coating.

Powers of attraction could decimate deadly starfish
An American who fell in love with both the Great Barrier Reef and his wife via The University of Queensland has led a breakthrough discovery that could protect one of the Seven Natural Wonders.

Simulations of DIII-D experiments shed light on mysterious plasma flows
Article describes how heating core of the plasma can create sheared flow that improves stability and performance of fusion devices.

Nearly 1 billion people still smoke daily
Despite strong declines in the rate of tobacco smoking over the past 25 years, one out of every four men still smoke daily, as do one out of every 20 women.

New function discovered for compound that may help slow aging
Researchers have found that a compound called rapamycin has unusual properties that may help address neurologic damage such as Alzheimer's disease, and reduce the cellular senescence associated with aging.

Monthly high-dose vitamin D supplementation does not prevent cardiovascular disease
Results of a large randomized trial indicate that monthly high-dose vitamin D supplementation does not prevent cardiovascular disease, according to a study published by JAMA Cardiology.

Green laser light probes metals for hidden damage (animation)
Imagine being able to check the structural integrity of an airplane, ship or bridge, without having to dismantle it or remove any material for testing, which could further compromise the structure.

Biological age-predicting 'epigenetic clock' for studying how to extend lifespan
In order to measure and test the effects of interventions in the lab, BWH investigators have developed an age-predicting clock designed for studies in mice.

Genes key to killer bee's success
In a new study, researchers from Uppsala University sequenced the genomes of Africanized bees that have invaded large parts of the world to find out what makes them so extraordinarily successful.

Algorithms can exploit human perception in graph design
Researchers have recently found an algorithmic approach to automatically improve the design of scatterplots by exploiting models and measures of human perception.

Research links decline in hemlock forests to changes in water resources
An insect infestation that is killing hemlock trees in New England forests is having a significant impact on the water resources of forested ecosystems that provide essential water supplies to one of the nation's most populous regions.

New Zealand's colorectal cancer rates are on the rise in young adults
A recent analysis found a decrease in the overall incidence of colorectal cancer in New Zealand, but an increased incidence of rectal cancer in those under 50 years of age.

Study shows health insurance plans too complicated to understand
A new survey by experts at the Health Disparities Institute of UConn Health shows that many patients across Connecticut are struggling to understand their complex, jargon-filled private health insurance plans and even to use their plan benefits correctly.

Veterinary professionals need to change how they connect with their clients
When advising on animal health and welfare, veterinarians often struggle to engage with the motivational needs of their clients.

Are biobank donor families worried about a confidentiality breach?
A new study examines how well families that donate tissue to a biobank -- or decide not to donate -- understand the risk and implications of a potential confidentiality breach.

Nerve cells actively repress alternative cell fates, Stanford researchers find
A neural cell maintains its identity by actively suppressing the expression of genes associated with non-neuronal cell types, including skin, heart, lung, cartilage and liver, according to a study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Cover, crimp, cultivate?
Can organic growers fight weeds and increase soil health? To grow crops organically, farmers fight weeds with chemical-free weapons.

Love it or hate it: Marmite may affect brain function
Scientists at the University of York have discovered a potential link between eating Marmite and activity in the brain, through the apparent increase of a chemical messenger associated with healthy brain function.

Curbing alcohol to fight HIV could save money in Kenya
Expanding a program in Kenya that fights the spread of HIV by curbing alcohol consumption could produce a net economic benefit, a new study projects. 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