Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 27, 2017
Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past
Ice cores drilled from a glacier in a cave in Transylvania offer new evidence of how Europe's winter weather and climate patterns fluctuated during the last 10,000 years, known as the Holocene period.

Analysis: Gender differences in depression appear at age 12
An analysis just published online has broken new ground by finding gender differences in both symptoms and diagnoses of depression appearing at age 12.

Bullies and their victims more likely to want plastic surgery
11.5 percent of bullying victims have extreme desire to have cosmetic surgery, as well as 3.4 percent of bullies and 8.8 percent of teenagers who both bully and are bullied -- compared with less than 1 percent of those who are unaffected by bullying.

Light has new capacity for electronics
In 'Minority Report,' the protagonist uses gloves that give him the power of virtual manipulation.

Mushrooms get defensive
Some mushrooms produce long-chain unsaturated carboxylic acids as their chemical defense against insect larvae.

Engineers investigate a simple, no-bake recipe to make bricks from Martian soil
Explorers planning to settle on Mars might be able to turn the planet's soil into bricks without needing to use an oven or additional ingredients.

National mental-health survey finds widespread ignorance, stigma
Less than half of Americans can recognize anxiety. Most people don't know what to do about depression even when they spot it.

Pregnancy does not increase expectant mothers' melanoma risk
Expectant mothers need not be concerned that they are more prone to develop melanoma, or will have a worse prognosis if they do get this serious skin cancer, than women who are not pregnant, according to study results published online as an 'article in press' on the Journal of the American College of Surgeons website ahead of print publication.

Legal marijuana stores lead to increases in property crime
Legal marijuana shops are linked to higher levels of property crime in nearby areas, according to a nearly three-year study in Denver.

Rising carbon dioxide levels, ocean acidity may change crucial marine process
Climate change may be putting cyanobacteria that are crucial to the functioning of the ocean at risk as the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increases and the acidity of ocean water changes.

Can early experiences with computers, robots increase STEM interest among young girls?
Girls start believing they aren't good at math, science and even computers at a young age -- but providing fun STEM activities at school and home may spark interest and inspire confidence.

The key to long female lives may be heterogeneity
In sparrowhawks diversity in frailty and robustness helps females live longer.

New eye test detects earliest signs of glaucoma
Researchers at University College London (UCL) and the Western Eye Hospital have developed a simple, inexpensive diagnostic tool DARC (Detection of Apoptosing Retinal Cells).

Metal nanoparticles induced visible-light photocatalysis: Mechanisms, applications, ways of promoting catalytic activity and outlook
Photocatalysis induced by light absorption of metal nanoparticles (NPs) has emerged as a promising strategy for exploiting efficient visible-light-responsive composites for solar-energy conversion.

Animals actively choose to match their surroundings to avoid predation
Animals can match their background to avoid detection by predators.

New blood test may better predict gestational diabetes
Researchers have found that a single measurement of GCD59, a novel biomarker for diabetes, at weeks 24-28 of gestation identified, with high sensitivity and specificity, women who failed the glucose challenge test as well as women with gestational diabetes.

Molecule identified that helps give resident T cells in the skin their anti-cancer punch
The molecule CD103 is key to the long-term residence of T cells in the skin and to their anti-tumor function, report a collaborative team of researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina and Dartmouth In the April 14, 2017 Science Immunology.

Feeling the heat
How has thermal comfort changed in recent decades over China against the background of the global warming?

ECDC report shows strong potential of E-health to increase vaccination coverage in Europe
Twenty one EU/EEA countries have developed or are in the process of developing systems to digitally record information about vaccination, according to a new 'ECDC survey report on immunization information systems implementation and system characteristics'.

How do students with debt fare in community college?
Community college students who borrow up to $1,999 in student loans during their first two years of community college complete 17 percent fewer academic credits in that same time period than their peers who take out $2,000 to $3,999 in loans or do not take out any loans at all.

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract
Investigators report that an ingestible electronic capsule, complete with a capsule-sized antenna capable of receiving a radio signal wirelessly, can safely power a device in the gastrointestinal tract in preclinical models.

Diabetes app forecasts blood sugar levels
Glucoracle is a new app for people with type 2 diabetes that uses a personalized algorithm to predict the impact of particular foods on blood sugar levels.

NASA sees vertical wind shear affecting Tropical Storm Muifa
Vertical wind shear can weaken a tropical cyclone and that's what's happening to the now weaker Tropical Depression Muifa in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean.

A close look into the barley genome
An international consortium, with the participation of the Helmholtz Zentrum München, Plant Genome and Systems Biology Department (PGSB), has published methodologically significant data on the barley genome.

Resource availability drives person-to-person variations in microbes living in the body
The collection of microbial species found in the human body varies from person to person, and new research published in PLOS Computational Biology suggests that a significant part of this variation can be explained by variability in shared resources available to the microbes.

Allina Health shares LifeCourse model at the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement
In an Allina Health study, the LifeCourse care model improved patient experience and reduced costs for people with serious illnesses.

Unification could be good for North Korea, RAND report asserts
A new RAND report identifies the likely concerns of North Korean elites about their possible fates under various unification scenarios and recommends actions that the Republic of Korea (ROK), also known as South Korea, could take now to help North Korean elites feel more positive about, or at least less resistant to, unification.

UA trauma surgeon seeing rise in burns from electronic cigarettes
Dr. Gary Vercruysse, a UA-Banner burn surgeon, and his colleagues are seeing a rise in burns from electronic cigarettes.

First global simulation yields new insights into ring system
A team of researchers in Japan modeled the two rings around Chariklo, the smallest body in the Solar System known to have rings.

New fiber optic probe brings endoscopic diagnosis of cancer closer to the clinic
In an important step toward endoscopic diagnosis of cancer, researchers have developed a handheld fiber optic probe that can be used to perform multiple nonlinear imaging techniques without the need for tissue staining.

How shifts in excitation-inhibition balance may lead to psychiatric disorders
In a special issue of Biological Psychiatry titled 'Cortical Excitation-Inhibition Balance and Dysfunction in Psychiatric Disorders', guest editors Dr.

Looking for the quantum frontier
Researchers have developed a new theoretical framework to identify computations that occupy the 'quantum frontier' -- the boundary at which problems become impossible for today's computers and can only be solved by a quantum computer.

'Outstanding' results announced from new blood cancer study
Research led by University of Leicester and University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust reveals 'transformative outcomes' for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

UBC instructor uses math to investigate possibility of time travel
After some serious number crunching, a UBC researcher has come up with a mathematical model for a viable time machine.

Exercise and vitamin D better together for heart health
Johns Hopkins researchers report that an analysis of survey responses and health records of more than 10,000 American adults for nearly 20 years suggests a 'synergistic' link between exercise and good vitamin D levels in reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

A quarter of nursing home residents are colonized with drug-resistant bacteria
The significant presence of multidrug-resistant gram-negative bacteria (MDR-GNB), such as E. coli, among nursing home residents demonstrates the need for heightened infection control prevention and control measures in nursing homes, according to a meta-analysis published in the May issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, the official journal of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).

Mental Qigong can be just as rewarding as its physical cousin
New research in Frontiers in Psychology demonstrated through an extensive series of EEG measurements and statistical tests that mental practice of the dynamic Qigong technique Wu Qin Xi has the same effect on EEG brain activity as physical training of Qigong.

Cleveland Clinic discovers opportunities to overcome cancer treatment resistance
A collaborative Cleveland Clinic, University of Oxford and Moffitt Cancer Center team of researchers has proven the theory that, while resistance to targeted treatment in cancer is truly a moving target, there are opportunities to overcome the resistance that develops.

Symptoms of cystitis probably caused by bacterial infection, even when tests are negative
The majority of women suffering with pain when urinating, or needing to urinate often or urgently probably do have a bacterial infection, even when nothing is detected by standard urine testing.

Blood test predicts kids at risk for dengue shock syndrome
The most serious, life-threatening complication of dengue infection is dengue shock syndrome (DSS), seen primarily in children.

Food insecurity can affect your mental health
Food insecurity (FI) affects nearly 795 million people worldwide. Although a complex phenomenon encompassing food availability, affordability, utilization, and even the social norms that define acceptable ways to acquire food, FI can affect people's health beyond its impact on nutrition.

Findings suggest underdiagnosis of AMD not uncommon in primary eye care
Approximately 25 percent of eyes deemed to be normal based on dilated eye examination by a primary eye care ophthalmologist or optometrist had macular characteristics that indicated age-related macular degeneration (AMD), according to a study published by JAMA Ophthalmology.

Twitter could have predicted the outcome of the Brexit vote
Leave campaigners were not only victorious in the June 2016 Brexit vote but also in the battle of the twittersphere, a new study in the British Journal of Politics and International Relations reports.

Computational research details the activation mechanism of p38α
p38α is a protein involved in chronic inflammatory diseases and cancer, among other pathological conditions.

New analysis of brain network activity offers unique insight into epileptic seizures
Little is known about which specific areas of the brain contribute to a patient's epileptic network or the roles these different areas play.

Follow-up colonoscopies associated with a significantly lower incidence of bowel cancer
Patients at risk of developing bowel cancer can significantly benefit from a follow-up colonoscopy, finds research published today in Lancet Oncology.

Mechanism of the influence of the Tibetan-Iranian Plateaus on the circulation and climate in summer
The Iranian-Tibetan Plateaus have both dynamic and thermal influences on Asian climate and global circulation.

Shortage of essential diphtheria treatment drugs needs international action, experts warn
International action is needed to tackle a global shortage of medicine in Western nations which could hinder the ability of doctors to treat diphtheria, experts have warned.

Wanting more self-control could hinder our efforts to exert self-control, study finds
A new study shows that, ironically, wanting to have more self-control could actually be an obstacle to achieving it.

Study shows link between maternal marijuana use and low birth weight
Researchers at Lawson Health Research Institute, Western University and Brescia University College found that women who used marijuana while pregnant were almost three times more likely to have an infant with low birth weight.

DNA from extinct humans discovered in cave sediments
Researchers have developed a new method to retrieve hominin DNA from cave sediments -- even in the absence of skeletal remains.

What causes gene transfer to trigger T cell activation and exhaustion?
Researchers are beginning to gain a clearer understanding of how the immune system responds, in both a reactive and tolerant way, to gene therapy delivered using what has become the preferred gene delivery vector, adeno-associated viruses (AAV).

England's Cancer Drugs Fund 'failed to deliver meaningful value to patients and society'
Analysis of the drugs that were approved for use by the NHS Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) in England has shown that the fund was not good value for patients and society and may have resulted in patients suffering unnecessarily from toxic side effects of the drugs.

Mineral resources: Exhaustion is just a myth
Recent articles have declared that deposits of mineral raw materials will be exhausted within a few decades.

Scientists uncover interactions between bacteria that infect the lungs in cystic fibrosis
Substances produced by a harmful bacterium in the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients may enhance the growth of other bacteria that, in turn, inhibit the harmful bacterium's biofilm, according to new research published in PLOS Pathogens.

Control of molecular motion by metal-plated 3-D printed plastic pieces
EPFL scientists have combined 3-D-printing with electroplating to easily produce high-quality metal electrodes that can be used as a molecular beam-splitter.

Team science critical to diagnosis, prevention, treatment of diseases
Tackling complex biomedical research increasingly requires the development of new approaches to facilitate innovative, creative and impactful discoveries.

A turbo engine for tracing neurons
Putting a turbo engine into an old car gives it an entirely new life -- suddenly it can go further, faster.

E-cigarettes do not promote cancer growth in lab tests
A new study found no evidence that a commercially available e-cigarette vapor promotes the development of cancer in laboratory cells.

Mother's family history could pose risk for preterm birth -- Ben-Gurion U. study
The results of the study show that the medical history of a pregnant woman's mother and aunts should also be taken into account when considering the risk of pregnancy complications such as premature birth.

Fukomys livingstoni, I presume?
Two new species of African mole-rat have been discovered by researchers at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), together with colleagues in Tanzania and at the University of Pretoria.

Scientists examine impact of high-severity fires on conifer forests
The ability of some Western conifer forests to recover after severe fire may become increasingly limited as the climate continues to warm, scientists from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) and Harvard Forest found in a new study published today in Global Change Biology.

Can yoga reduce symptoms of menstrual disorders?
A systematic review of the published literature on yoga practice and common menstrual disorders found that all of the studies evaluated reported a beneficial effect and reduced symptoms.

Tibetan people have multiple adaptations for life at high altitudes
The Tibetan people have inherited variants of five different genes that help them live at high altitudes, with one gene originating in the extinct human subspecies, the Denisovans.

Stem cells edited to fight arthritis
Using CRISPR technology, a team of researchers led by Farshid Guilak, Ph.D., at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Antidepressant may enhance drug delivery to the brain
New research from the National Institutes of Health found that pairing the antidepressant amitriptyline with drugs designed to treat central nervous system diseases, enhances drug delivery to the brain by inhibiting the blood-brain barrier in rats.

Overweight/obese people with diabetes at increased risk of brain abnormalities
A new study published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes [EASD]) reveals that overweight and obese individuals with early stage type 2 diabetes (T2D) had more severe and progressive abnormalities in brain structure and cognition compared to normal-weight study participants.

How domestication altered the genome of ancient horses
Analyses of 14 ancient horse genomes reveal the significant selective pressures domestication put on these animals, and highlight a relatively recent loss in their genetic diversity.

A new technique makes it possible to extract the DNA from hominids preserved in sediments
The sediments forming the layers or strata at archaeological sites can be very rich in bone remains, but until now their possible fossil DNA content had not attracted the attention of paleoanthropologists.

Flawed forensic science may be hampering identification of human remains
Research from The Australian National University (ANU) has cast doubt on a method used in forensic science to determine whether skeletal remains are of a person who has given birth.

For first time, researchers measure forces that align crystals and help them snap together
For the first time, researchers have measured the force that draws tiny crystals together and visualized how they swivel and align.

A little support from their online friends calms test-anxious students
Reading supportive comments, 'likes' and private messages from social media friends prior to taking a test may help college students who have high levels of test-anxiety significantly reduce their nervousness and improve their scores, a new study by University of Illinois computer science researchers suggests.

NASA sees formation of Tropical Storm Frances near Darwin
Tropical Storm Frances has formed in the Beagle Gulf, east of the Timor Sea near Darwin, Australia, and NASA's Aqua satellite captured a clear image of the storm.

Cold-water corals: Acidification harms, warming promotes growth
The cold-water coral Lophelia pertusa is able to counteract negative effects of ocean acidification under controlled laboratory conditions when water temperature rises by a few degrees at the same time.

Discovery in northern lakes may be key to understanding early life on Earth
A team of researchers has discovered that many Canadian lakes can provide new insights into ancient oceans, and their findings could advance research about greenhouse gas emissions, harmful algal blooms, and early life forms.

Ocean warming to cancel increased CO2-driven productivity
University of Adelaide researchers have constructed a marine food web to show how climate change could affect our future fish supplies and marine biodiversity.

Researchers find key mechanism to control antibody production
The study may hold implications in future clinical applications concerning more efficient vaccine development or treatment of autoimmune diseases.

Staking self-worth on the pursuit of money has negative psychological consequences
Although people living in consumer-based cultures such as the US often believe that they will be happier if they acquire more money, the findings of a newly published paper by a University at Buffalo research team suggest that there may be downsides to this pursuit.

Treatment improved overall survival in elderly patients with early-stage esophageal cancer
Elderly patients with early-stage esophageal cancer that received treatment had an increased 5-year overall survival when compared to patients who received observation with no treatment.

Protein 'spy' gains new abilities
Rice University scientists discover a method to rapidly trigger the universal tagging of proteins being produced by a cell.

Strong parent connections enhance children's ability to develop healthy response to stress
Children in low-income families have an increased chance of thriving when their caregiver relationships include certain positive characteristics, according to new research.

Human DNA uncovered in caves without bones
In cave sediments lacking skeletal remains, scientists report having found DNA from ancient humans.

Using rooster testes to learn how the body fights viruses
Our bodies are constantly under siege by foreign invaders; viruses, bacteria and parasites that want to infiltrate our cells.

Study quantifies kidney failure risk in living kidney donors
Researchers have developed a risk calculator that estimates the risk of kidney failure after donation.

Chemoresistance in breast cancer is related to varying tumor cell populations
IDIBELL scientists have recreated and characterized the process of acquisition of resistance to chemotherapy in orthotopic animal models of breast cancer, unveiling the possibility of reversing this resistance after a period of rest from the treatment.

Spatial epidemiology used to identify 3 key hepatitis C hotspots in Massachusetts
Public health researchers from Tufts and colleagues conducted a spatial epidemiology study to identify hotspot clusters of hepatitis C infections in Massachusetts.

Study supporting glycated CD59 as a novel alternative for gestational diabetes screening
Mellitus, LLC reports publication of results from a prospective, investigator-initiated study conducted at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) demonstrating the potential clinical utility of glycated CD59 (GCD59) as a novel biomarker for the screening and diagnosis of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM).

Ripples in the cosmic web
A team of astronomers has made the first measurements of small-scale ripples in primeval hydrogen gas using rare double quasars.

A new interpretation of petrogenesis of the early continental crust rock (trondhjemite) in the earth
Petrogenesis of ancient granitoids is the key to understand the formation and evolution of the early continental crust in the earth.

Slender face identified as novel marker for left-handedness
Individuals with a slender lower face are about 25 percent more likely to be left-handed.

Weather extremes and trade policies were main drivers of wheat price peaks
Price peaks of wheat on the world market are mainly caused by production shocks such as induced for example by droughts, researchers found.

Lutein and zeaxanthin isomers demonstrates improved psychological stress levels
Lutein and zeaxanthin isomers -- known as the macular carotenoids -- are traditionally associated with eye health, but researchers at the University of Georgia found an interesting connection to their function in brain health, showing that they improved psychological stress levels and reduced serum cortisol.

Scythian horse breeding unveiled: Lessons for animal domestication
A new study led by Professor Ludovic Orlando and published in Science unveils the secrets of horse breeding by Iron Age Scythian nomads.

Mouse teeth providing new insights into tissue regeneration
Researchers hope to one day use stem cells to heal burns, patch damaged heart tissue, even grow kidneys and other transplantable organs from scratch.

When students pay attention in class, their brains are in sync
When people in a group are engaged with each other and with the world around them, their brainwaves show similar patterns.

Keratin hydrogels show significant potential to regenerate lost muscle tissue & function
The use of human hair-derived keratin biomaterials to regenerate skeletal muscle has shown promise in new research that documents significant increases in both new muscle tissue formation and muscle function among mouse models of volumetric muscle loss.

Scientists at MIPT explain the way Weyl particles 'dance' on crystal surface
In a theoretical study supervised by MIPT's Prof. Vladimir Volkov, Zhanna Devizorova, a Ph.D. student at MIPT solved the system of Weyl's equations for two valleys

Landmark clinical trial to help juvenile idiopathic arthritis sufferers
A clinical trial funded by Arthritis Research UK and the National Institute for Health Research led by professors from the universities of Liverpool and Bristol has discovered a drug combination that could help thousands of children with arthritis.

Diagnosed autism linked to maternal grandmother's smoking in pregnancy
Scientists from the University of Bristol have looked at all 14,500 participants in Children of the 90s and found that if a girl's maternal grandmother smoked during pregnancy, the girl is 67 percent more likely to display certain traits linked to autism, such as poor social communication skills and repetitive behaviors.

Physical activity helps to counteract weight gain from obesity-causing gene variant
Physical activity can reduce the weight-gaining effects of the genetic variant that carries the greatest risk of obesity, report Mariaelisa Graff of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Tuomas Kilpeläinen of University of Copenhagen and colleagues April 27, 2017, in PLOS Genetics.

Mapping the edge of reality
Australian and German researchers have collaborated to develop a genetic algorithm to confirm the rejection of classical notions of causality.

Hospital acquired complications may be especially dangerous for kidney disease patients
Potentially preventable hospital acquired complications were associated with increased risks of dying while hospitalized or within 90 days of discharge, as well as with a greater likelihood of staying longer in the hospital and needing to be readmitted.

Survey: Another good year for Chesapeake Bay's underwater grasses
An annual survey led by researchers at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science shows the abundance of underwater grasses in Chesapeake Bay increased 8 percent between 2015 and 2016, continuing an upward trend initiated in 2012.

Ocean acidification could impair the nitrogen-fixing ability of marine bacteria
While increased carbon dioxide levels theoretically boost the productivity of nitrogen-fixing bacteria in the world's oceans, because of its 'fertilizing' effect, a new study reveals how increasingly acidic seawater featuring higher levels of this gas can overwhelm these benefits, hampering the essential service these bacteria provide for marine life.

Neurons' faulty wiring leads to serotonin imbalance, depression-like behavior in mice
Columbia scientists have identified a gene that allows neurons that release serotonin to evenly spread their branches throughout the brain.

The upside of worrying
Worry -- it does a body good. And, the mind as well.

NRL breakthrough enables safer alternative to lithium-ion batteries
Researchers at NRL have developed a breakthrough alternative to fire-prone lithium-ion batteries.

Winemakers lose billions of dollars every year due to natural disasters
Every year, worldwide wine industry suffers losses of more than ten billion US dollars from damaged assets, production losses, and lost profits due to extreme weather events and natural disasters.

American Geriatrics Society voices opposition to amended American Health Care Act
Following a review of the recently released MacArthur Amendment to the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) remains opposed to this legislation that would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and which AGS experts believe would harm access to key health services for older adults, caregivers, and healthcare professionals.

Why do we like our classes? And each other? Our brain waves tell us, new research shows
The synchronization of brainwaves among students during class reflects how much they like the class and each other, a team of neuroscientists has found. 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