Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 10, 2017
Different breast cancer treatment options vary widely in their cost-effectiveness
A new study published today in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute indicates that different therapies for early-stage breast cancer have very different relative values.

DNA misspelling correction method is very accurate
IBS scientists prove that a gene editing technique used for substituting a single nucleotide in the genome is highly accurate.

Diamonds coupled using quantum physics
Researchers at TU Wien have succeeded in coupling the specific defects in two such diamonds with one another.

Two new species of orchids discovered in Okinawa
Two new species of parasitic plants have been discovered on the main island of Okinawa, Japan, and named Gastrodia nipponicoides and Gastrodia okinawensis.

Exploring association between reduced HPV infection and genetic variations in Western Asia
New research provides an insight into why cervical cancer is less common in certain regions of the world even though they may have limited screening and fewer or no prevention programs.

Food webs entangle humans in complex relationships with animals, crops and the environment
Reconstructed food webs from the Ancestral Puebloan southwestern United States show the complexity and interconnectedness of humans, other animals, crops and the environment, in an area of uncertain climate and resources, according to researchers, who think climate change and human decisions then, may shed light on future human choices.

UK and US share a similar mindset when it comes to horizontal drilling for shale energy
While an entire ocean separates the UK from the US, when the issue of fracking arises, the great divide -- philosophically speaking -- narrows considerably.

Dry needling offers alternative to cortisone injection for hip pain
Dry needling may be a viable treatment alternative to cortisone injection for patients with chronic, intermittent pain and tenderness on the outside of the hip, thus avoiding the potentially harmful effects of steroids, according to a new study published in the April 2017 issue of the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy®.

New breed of supermolecule 'hunts down' harmful drugs and removes them from water
A University of Surrey academic is leading research that has found an effective, environmentally friendly way to monitor and remove pharmaceuticals from water.

Common sedatives linked to increased risk of pneumonia in people with Alzheimer's disease
Commonly used sedatives called benzodiazepines are associated with an increased risk of pneumonia when used in people with Alzheimer's disease, according to a study published in CMAJ.

Physician breast cancer screening recommendations amid changing guidelines
Disagreement persists between professional societies and organizations over the best time to start and to discontinue mammography for breast cancer screening, as well as the optimal amount of time between screenings.

Blood test shows promise in detecting abusive head trauma in infants
Researchers at Pitt and Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC have developed a blood test that could help identify bleeding of the brain in infants as a result of abusive head trauma.

Quest for balance in radiation leads to lower doses
A new study led by UC San Francisco has found that radiation doses can be safely and effectively reduced -- and more consistently administered -- for common CT scans by assessing and comparing doses across hospitals, and then sharing best practices for how much radiation to use.

Ultra-thin multilayer film for next-generation data storage and processing
A team of scientists led by Associate Professor Yang Hyunsoo from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the National University of Singapore's Faculty of Engineering has invented a novel ultra-thin multilayer film which could harness the properties of skyrmions as information carriers for storing and processing data on magnetic media.

AHA survey finds patients uncertain about how to best manage their cholesterol
The survey was conducted as part of Check.Change.Control.Cholesterol™, the association's new initiative to help people better understand and manage their overall risk for cardiovascular disease, especially as it relates to cholesterol.

Why green spaces are good for grey matter
Walking between busy urban environments and green spaces triggers changes in levels of excitement, engagement and frustration in the brain, a study of older people has found.

Video analysis of factors associated with response time to monitor alarms
A new article published by JAMA Pediatrics used video analysis to examine factors associated with response times to bedside monitor alarms that alert nurses to potentially life-threatening physiologic changes in patients.

Womb lining grown in lab could reveal secrets of menstrual cycle and early pregnancy
Scientists at the University of Cambridge have succeeded in growing miniature functional models of the lining of the womb (uterus) in culture.

Laser-based dermatological procedures could be revolutionized with new technique
Clinicians and dermatologists have seen a rise in demand for minimally invasive laser-based treatments, including tattoo removal.

Putting a spin on logic gates
Computer electronics are shrinking to small-enough sizes that the electrical currents underlying their functions can no longer be used for logic computations in the ways of their larger-scale ancestors.

NASA's MAVEN reveals Mars has metal in its atmosphere
Mars has electrically charged metal atoms (ions) high in its atmosphere, according to new results from NASA's MAVEN spacecraft.

Scientists one step closer to cracking the mystery of bacterial adaptation to antibiotics
In this study, the team has demonstrated that this complex can have a U-shaped structure in addition to the regular V-shaped conformation reported in prior research.

Children notice what adults miss, study finds
Although adults can beat children at most cognitive tasks, new research shows that children's limitations can sometimes be their strength.

Wake Forest Baptist researchers find novel way to induce pancreatic cancer cell death
Pancreatic cancer, most frequently pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, is the most lethal and aggressive of all cancers.

Iowa State researchers use graphene, electricity to change stem cells for nerve regrowth
Two Iowa State research groups are combining their expertise to change stem cells for nerve regrowth.

NASA sees new Tropical Cyclone Cook moving past New Caledonia
Tropical Cyclone Cook formed in the Southern Pacific Ocean and on Sunday, April 9, 2017, and moved across the island of New Caledonia in the South Pacific Ocean on early on April 10.

Discovery of 'helical molecular glue'
Hideto Tsuji, professor in Toyohashi University of Technology, and his colleagues have made a world-first discovery of 'molecular glue' action of a counterclockwise-helical molecule to glue two structurally-different clockwise-helical molecules together.

Mysterious outbreak of disfiguring tropical disease in western Uganda linked to decades of walking barefoot in volcanic soils
A puzzling surge in western Uganda patients diagnosed with a painful, disfiguring skin condition known as elephantiasis was caused not by the parasitic worms typically associated with the affliction, but by long-term exposure to irritating soil minerals absorbed while walking barefoot, according to a new study published today in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Vaccines save lives, but maintaining widespread coverage is essential
Emory Vaccine Center leaders emphasize vaccines' life-saving and economic benefits along with importance of community confidence in vaccination.

Many new doctors may be posting unprofessional content on Facebook
When researchers searched Facebook for the public accounts of all urologists who graduated from US residency programs in 2015, they found that a substantial proportion of these accounts contained self-authored unprofessional content based on the professionalism guidelines of three physicians' organizations.

Some bed bugs show early signs of resistance to 2 common insecticides
Pest management professionals battling the ongoing resurgence of bed bugs are wise to employ a well-rounded set of measures that reduces reliance on chemical control, as new research shows the early signs of resistance developing among bed bugs to two commonly used insecticides, chlorfenapyr and bifenthrin.

NASA catches Tropical Cyclone Ernie being blown apart
NASA's Aqua satellite provided a birds-eye view of Tropical Cyclone Ernie as it was being battered by strong vertical wind shear and torn apart.

Behind the scenes: Philly 'soda tax' passed on reveneue appeal
In a behind-the-scenes look at how policymakers formed Philadelphia's sugar-sweetened beverage tax, researchers from Drexel University found that an emphasis on revenue generation for pre-kindergarten education, not health benefits, served as a winning strategy.

The survival of journalism is fraught with danger and being squeezed from all directions
Around the world there are squeezes on press freedom from all directions, and with the rise of what has been dubbed 'fake-news', it is a time for thorough journalism, says Rachael Jolley, editor of the Index on Censorship Magazine, on the publication of a special report called 'The Big Squeeze: Freedom of Speech Under Pressure'.

Weather-forecast tool adapted to evaluate brain health of oxygen-deprived newborns
UT Southwestern Medical Center pediatric researchers have harnessed an analytical tool used to predict the weather to evaluate the effectiveness of therapies to reduce brain injury in newborns who suffer oxygen deprivation during birth.

Social media tools can reinforce stigma and stereotypes
Researchers have developed new software to analyze social media comments, and used this tool in a recent study to better understand attitudes that can cause emotional pain, stigmatize people and reinforce stereotypes.

What obese fruit flies may tell us about the evolution of cold tolerance
Researchers have hypothesized that migrations into higher, colder latitudes may lead to evolution of fast-burning metabolisms that keep cells warm in chilly conditions.

Researchers gain insight into protein critical to Zika virus reproduction
Berkeley Lab researchers collaborated with colleagues from the University of Indiana and Texas A&M University to solve the atomic structure of a Zika virus protein that is key to viral reproduction.

Americans use more clean energy in 2016
Americans used more renewable energy in 2016 compared to the previous year, according to the most recent energy flow charts released by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Hubble spots auroras on Uranus
This is a composite image of Uranus by Voyager 2 and two different observations made by Hubble -- one for the ring and one for the auroras.

Patients at hospital-based primary practices more likely to get unnecessary tests
Patients with common conditions such as back pain, headache and upper respiratory infections are more likely to get tests and services that are unnecessary or of little diagnostic and therapeutic benefit -- so-called low-value care -- if they visit hospital-based primary care practices instead of community-based ones.

Communication from doctors could reduce anxiety for macular degeneration patients
Highly effective current treatments for vision loss need to be allied with careful counselling to ensure patients maintain good psychological health as well as good vision, new research recommends.

Study examines stroke hospitalization rates, risk factors
A new article published by JAMA Neurology examines acute stroke hospitalization rates in younger adults 18 to 64 by stroke type and patient age, sex and race/ethnicity, along with associated risk factors.

Fast capture of cancer markers will aid in diagnosis and treatment
A nanoscale product of human cells that was once considered junk is now known to play an important role in intercellular communication and in many disease processes, including cancer metastasis.

Discovered a key mechanism in the plant defense against fungal infections
Fungi cause important crop losses and pose a serious risk for human and animal health.

In harm's way: Wolves may not risk 'prey switching' say USU ecologists
Utah State University researchers report Yellowstone wolves seldom hunt bison, though plentiful, and instead pursue elk, a scarcer, yet safer, target.

Pinpoint creation of chirality by organic catalysts
A team of chemists at Nagoya University has developed a new catalytic system that enables highly stereoselective synthesis of amino acid derivatives.

Matching tumor size to strength of immune response allows melanoma drug tailoring
A new study published in Nature provides clues that could enhance physicians' ability to pinpoint, in real-time, which patients are not responding to therapy -- and intervene with additional drugs to boost the chances of shrinking tumors.

Brain stimulation influences honest behavior
Researchers at the University of Zurich have identified the brain mechanism that governs decisions between honesty and self-interest.

Threat of firearm use affects PTSD symptoms among female victims of partner violence
A new study shows that the threat of firearm use by a male partner in an intimate relationship is a significant predictor of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom severity in women, independent of other forms of interpersonal partner violence.

USC Viterbi researchers develop new class of optoelectronic materials
Researchers at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering have pioneered a new class of semiconductor materials that might enhance the functionality of optoelectronic devices and solar panels -- perhaps even using one hundred times less material than the commonly used silicon.

Student and school variables can predict high school dropout, study finds
The gap in the high school dropout rate among students of different racial and demographic backgrounds narrows when certain variables, such as socioeconomic status and school size, are the same, according to a Georgia State University study.

Greenhouse gas effect caused by mangrove forest conversion is quite significant
Clear-cutting of tropical mangrove forests to create shrimp ponds and cattle pastures contributes significantly to the greenhouse gas effect, one of the leading causes of global warming, new research suggests.

Huge permafrost thaw can be limited by ambitious climate targets
New study suggests that nearly 4 million square kilometres of frozen soil -- an area larger than India -- could be lost for every additional degree of global warming experienced.

Promiscuity slows down evolution of new species
Promiscuity mixes up the gene pool and dilutes genetic differences between populations, slowing down the evolution of new species, says new research by an international team led by the University of Bath's Milner Centre for Evolution.

Wide variability in coroner decision-making around investigating deaths
Coroners in England and Wales don't seem able to agree on what caused a person's death or whether the death merits an inquest or not -- despite being faced with identical case information -- reveals a small study published online in the Journal of Clinical Pathology.

Research uncovers potential new treatment to treat and stop progression of cystic fibrosis
Researchers published in Nature Medicine from the George Washington University, the University of Perugia, and the University of Rome have discovered a potential new drug to treat and stop the progression of cystic fibrosis.

Rice U. scientists add to theory about Huntington's mechanism
A balancing act between two terminal sequences in the huntingtin protein plays a role in the complex mechanism behind Huntington's disease, according to Rice University scientists.

From heart failure to health: Pump shown to restore organ to fitness
A study has shown that nearly 40 percent of severe heart failure patients initially fitted with a mechanical heart which was later removed go on to fully recover.

Researchers at Stanford create new method for recording bird flight in 3-D
Researchers in the Lentink lab developed a new way to record wing shape during bird flight in 3-D.

North America's freshwater lakes are getting saltier
North America's freshwater lakes are getting saltier due to development and exposure to road salt.

Flammable floodplains are weak spot of Amazon forest
Peripheral parts of the Amazon forest were long thought to be most vulnerable to climate-induced collapse.

What triggers a high-school student to suddenly drop out?
Divorcing parents, a car accident, a job layoff or any other major stressful event can provoke adolescents to quit their studies, a new UdeM study shows.

Obesity in Hispanic adolescents linked to nearly sixfold increase in high blood pressure
Obesity raises the prevalence of high blood pressure among adolescents but the increase is particularly pronounced among Hispanics compared to white, African-American or Asian ethnic groups, according to a study by researchers at McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).

Long ago and far away, an average galaxy
Using a giant galaxy cluster as a cosmic-scale lens, astronomers have discovered a galaxy from the early universe that they think is 'typical' of its time.

Distracted? Slowing down, not a safe option
Drivers who slow down while using mobile phones have the potential to increase on-road conflicts, a new QUT study warns.

New approach makes cells resistant to HIV
Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute have found a way to tether HIV-fighting antibodies to immune cells, creating a cell population resistant to the virus.

Everyone has different 'bad spots' in their vision
The ability to distinguish objects in peripheral vision varies significantly between individuals, finds new research from UCL, Paris Descartes University and Dartmouth College, USA.

Light-emitting particles open new window for biological imaging
For certain frequencies of short-wave infrared light, most biological tissues are nearly as transparent as glass.

Virginia Tech researchers fill critical gap in fossil record of Chinese phytosaurs
The skeleton of a small, short-snouted reptile found in China was recently identified as the oldest known member of the phytosaurs--an extinct group of large, semi-aquatic reptiles that superficially resembled the distantly-related crocodylians and lived during the Triassic Period, approximately 250 million years ago to 200 million years ago.

Fish social lives may be key to saving coral reefs
Fish provide a critical service for coral reefs by eating algae that can kill coral and dominate reefs if left unchecked.

El Nino shifts geographic distribution of cholera cases in Africa
Cholera cases in East Africa increase by roughly 50,000 during El Niño, the cyclical weather occurrence that profoundly changes global weather patterns, new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health research suggests.

New chemical composition of 'poppers' linked to retinal damage
The new chemical composition of the legal high 'poppers' is linked to retinal damage at the back of the eye, finds a small study published online in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.

Strong correlation between corruption and electoral success of populist parties
The quality of society's institutions affects not only the service people receive but also who wins the political power.

Recent advances and new insights into quantum image processing
Researchers who are active scientists in quantum information processing shared their comprehensive review and incisive views on quantum image processing.

Avocados may help combat the metabolic syndrome
A new review investigates the effects of avocados on different components of metabolic syndrome, which is a clustering of risk factors including high blood sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure, and body mass index.

The latest HKU study clarifies how many dolphins there are in Hong Kong waters
The latest study by researchers at the University of Hong Kong (HKU) delivered the first-ever comprehensive population assessment of the Chinese white dolphins that inhabit Hong Kong waters, and what they found differs from the common public belief.

HKU palaeontologist reconstructs feathered dinosaurs in the flesh
Until now it has been hard to get an accurate idea of the shape of a dinosaur from its fossilised remains, as only their bones are usually preserved.

Are your sensors spying on you?
Cyber experts at Newcastle University, UK, have revealed the ease with which malicious websites and installed apps can spy on us using just the information from the motion sensors in our mobile phones.

Study: Higher wages linked to immigrant diversity
Diverse immigrant populations do more than enrich a city's cultural fabric.

New technology can detect tiny ovarian tumors
MIT engineers have developed a highly sensitive way to reveal ovarian tumors: In tests in mice, they were able to detect tumors smaller than 2 millimeters in diameter.

HKU marine ecologists discover and name the first endemic tree-climbing crab
The Mangrove Ecology and Evolution Lab, led by Dr Stefano Cannicci at the Swire Institute of Marine Sciences (SWIMS) and School of Biological Sciences, the University of Hong Kong (HKU), has recently discovered, described and named a new species of mangrove-climbing micro-crab from Hong Kong, Haberma tingkok, and published the description in ZooKeys, a peer-reviewed and open access international journal dedicated to animal taxonomy.

Benefits and harms of osteoporosis medications unclear for patients with CKD
More research is needed to determine the benefits and harms of osteoporosis medications on bone mineral density, fracture risk, and safety among patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD).

New species of arowana (osteoglossid fish) discovered from the eocene of China
Dr. ZHANG Jiangyong from the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology and Dr.

Proton-nuclei smashups yield clues about 'quark gluon plasma'
Findings from Rice University physicists working at Europe's Large Hadron Collider are providing new insight about an exotic state of matter called the 'quark-gluon plasma' that occurs when protons and neutrons melt.

Obesity may influence rheumatoid arthritis blood tests
New research reveals that in women, obesity may influence blood tests used to diagnose and monitor rheumatoid arthritis.

Cold temperatures perceived in a photo increase cognitive control
'Previous research focused on the actual effect of temperature on the psychological phenomenon known as 'cognitive control,'' says Dr.

Soy protein concentrate can replace animal proteins in weanling pig diets
Plant-derived proteins are less expensive than animal proteins if used in weanling pig diets, but may contain anti-nutritional factors that can negatively affect gut health and growth performance.

Forget sponges: The earliest animals were marine jellies
One of the longest-running controversies in evolutionary biology has been, 'What was the oldest branch of the animal family tree?' Was it the sponges, as had long been thought, or was it the delicate marine predators called comb jellies?

Humans and sponges share gene regulation
Humans have a lot in common with the humble sea sponge, according to research that changes the way we think about animal evolution.

What happens to the boats?
In their paper published this week in Geosphere, authors Clara Vasconcelos, Joanna Torres, and Joana Costa point out the need for continued geoscience education on the topic of tsunamis and other earthquake-related hazards.

A little inhibition shapes the brain's GPS
Researchers from King's College London have discovered a specific class of inhibitory neurons in the cerebral cortex which plays a key role in how the brain encodes spatial information.

Improving traffic safety with a crowdsourced traffic violation reporting app
Research team of Professor Uichin Lee at KAIST designed and evaluated Mobile Roadwatch, a mobile app that helps citizen record traffic violation with their smartphones and report the recorded videos to the police.

Study examines factors of inmate relationships during incarceration and STI/HIV prevention
The study, 'The Committed Inmate Relationships During Incarceration and STI/HIV Prevention,' aimed to characterize the relationships of incarcerated African-Americans and the influence of those characteristics in protection against STI/HIV risk when in the community, when STI/HIV transmission risk is greatest.

Smelling the risk of infection
Humans and monkeys are social beings and benefit from a community.

Researchers find mechanism to protect biomolecules against light-induced damage
A team at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) together with researchers in Sweden and the USA has analyzed a mechanism which protects biomolecules such as the DNA against damage by light.

Protein hampers the positive power of brown and beige fat
Too much of a protein already associated with prostate cancer appears to also diminish the energy burning power of brown fat, scientists report.

Researchers develop mouse that could provide advance warning of next flu pandemic
Researchers in Germany have developed a transgenic mouse that could help scientists identify new influenza virus strains with the potential to cause a global pandemic.

Mouse experiment sheds light on the dietary benefits of extra virgin olive oil
Experiments carried out in mice have revealed that a compound commonly found in extra virgin olive oil can reverse some of the negative effects of a high-fat diet.

Logging threatens breeding turtles
Debris from logging in tropical forests is threatening the survival of hatchling leatherback turtles and the success of mothers at one of the world's most important nesting sites in Colombia.

UTHealth microbiologists discover possible new strategy to fight oral thrush
An antimicrobial protein caused a dramatic reduction in the creamy white lesions associated with oral thrush in a preclinical study, report microbiologists with McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).

Study identifies a role for the metabolism regulator PPARγ in liver cancer
This week in the JCI, research led by Ganna Panasyuk at INSERM examined the link between PPARγ and liver tumor formation.

The Forecaster's Dilemma: Evaluating forecasts of extreme events
Accurate predictions of extreme events do not necessarily indicate the scientific superiority of the forecaster or the forecast method from which they originate.

Interpersonal abuse in early life may lead to concentration issues later in life
Does a history of abuse before the age of 18 affect later capacity to concentrate and stay focused?

It's the thought that counts: The neuro-anatomical basis of forgiveness revealed
New research by Trieste's SISSA, published in the Scientific Reports, has studied the areas of the brain involved in processes which prompt us to forgive those who have seriously, but unintentionally, messed up.

CRISPR mines bacterial genome for hidden pharmaceutical treasure
In the fight against disease, many weapons in the medicinal arsenal have been plundered from bacteria themselves.

New tool can help estimate genetically modified pollen spread
Food purists may have cause to celebrate thanks to a recent international study directed by the University of British Columbia.

Newfound signal helps pancreatic cancer cells hide from immune system
Researchers have uncovered another pathway by which pancreatic cancer cells turn off the system charged with attacking them.

Are you listening? Your pupils indicate if you are
A new Dartmouth study finds that listeners are most likely to tune in when a speaker delivers the most emotional peaks of his/her narrative, as revealed by synchronous pupil dilation patterns of speakers and listeners due to shared attention.

Antarctic Mesoscale Prediction System precipitation products prove to be reliable
The Antarctic Mesoscale Prediction System (AMPS) is a key tool--specifically, for studying precipitation over the region.

Life skills are important for wellbeing in later life
Life skills, such as persistence, conscientiousness and control, are as important to wealth and wellbeing in later life as they are when people are much younger, according to new research led by UCL.

Mild, wet summer in the midwest predicted by Mizzou weather expert
Tony Lupo, a professor of atmospheric science at Mizzou, says normal temperatures and average rainfall this summer should help boost agriculture in the region after a dry winter.

Time-lapse video reveals cells essential for 'birth' of blood stem cells
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital study examines origin of blood stem cells during development and offers clues for making 'donor blood' in the laboratory for therapeutic use.

Cause of an inherited neurological disorder discovered
Researchers at the University of Liverpool have identified the basis for how a single gene mutation can cause a rare neurological movement disorder known as dystonia.

The first live-attenuated vaccine candidate completely protects against Zika infection
The first live-attenuated Zika vaccine still in the development stage completely protected mice against the virus after a single vaccination dose, according to new research from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and Instituto Evandro Chagas at the Ministry of Health in Brazil.

As fins evolve to help fish swim, so does the nervous system
The sensory system in fish fins evolves in parallel to fin shape and mechanics, and is specifically tuned to work with the fish's swimming behavior, according to new research from the University of Chicago.

New study shows that three quarters of deep-sea animals make their own light
In the first quantitative analysis of deep-sea bioluminescence, MBARI researchers Séverine Martini and Steve Haddock show that three quarters of the animals in Monterey Bay from the surface down to 4,000 meters deep can produce their own light.

Eat wild venison to support native woodland birds, says ecologist
Wild deer in Britain should be hunted for venison to drastically reduce their populations and support the re-emergence of our native woodland birds, according to an academic at the University of Nottingham.

Researchers identify link between birth defect and neurodegenerative diseases
A new study has found a link between neurological birth defects in infants commonly found in pregnant women with diabetes and several neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases. 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