Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 11, 2017
How plankton and bacteria shape ocean spray
As the oceans ebb and flow, the resulting waves and splashes form tiny bubbles.The bubbles burst and release a vapor -- called sea spray aerosol -- into the air.

Combining heroin and commonly prescribed non-opioid pain killers leads to a significant rise in overdose deaths
A multi-disciplinary study has shown that the recent substantial increase in prescriptions for two drugs, pregabalin and gabapentin, used widely for a range of neurological disorders is closely correlated with a rise in the number of overdose deaths in England and Wales.

Learning styles -- A once hot debate redshifts
A new study, published in Frontiers in Psychology, reveals while most higher education faculty believe Learning Styles is an important approach for teaching, they don't actually use the pedagogical tool because it is fundamentally flawed.

'Fire-streaks' are created in collisions of atomic nuclei
At very high energies, the collision of massive atomic nuclei in an accelerator generates hundreds or even thousands of particles that undergo numerous interactions.

Low heart rate linked to stalking behaviors in men in SHSU study
A low resting heart rate, which has been linked to aggression and violent offending, has been implicated in stalking behavior in males, according to a recent study.

Six-legged livestock -- sustainable food production
Farming crickets for human consumption is less of a burden on the environment than other livestock production systems according to a new study by the University of Copenhagen's Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports and Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences.

Baleen whales' ancestors were toothy suction feeders
Modern whales' ancestors probably hunted and chased down prey, but somehow, those fish-eating hunters evolved into filter-feeding leviathans.

Experts warn parents of the risks of getting vegan diets wrong in young children
Experts at the 50th Annual Meeting of the European Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN) are today warning that young children who follow a vegan diet without medical and dietary advice carry the risk of a number of nutrient deficiencies, including vitamin B12, calcium, zinc and high quality protein, which can have potentially devastating health effects.

Beauty requires thought, neuroscientists find
Experiencing beauty requires thought, a team of neuroscientists finds, in a new study that confirms an 18th-century claim by the philosopher Immanuel Kant.

Research increases distance at which supernova would spark mass extinctions on Earth
KU researcher Adrian Melott examines the effects of a supernova on Earth's biology in new research to appear in Astrophysical Journal.

Ancient Mars impacts created tornado-like winds that scoured surface
Plumes of vapor generated by ancient impacts on Mars created tornado-like winds possibly swirling at more than 500 miles per hour, which explain mysterious streaks seen near large impact craters on the Martian surface.

New study identifies biomarker that may indicate risk of atrial fibrillation
Researchers have identified a microRNA biomarker that demonstrates a strong association with the incidence of atrial fibrillation, the most common abnormal heart rhythm.

Combining risk scores improves identification of AFib patients at increased risk of dementia
Combining risk scores helps clinicians better identify atrial fibrillation patients who face increased risks of developing dementia, researchers have found.

Zinc acetate lozenges may increase the recovery rate from the common cold by 3 fold
According to a meta-analysis of three randomized controlled trials published in Open Forum Infectious Diseases, zinc acetate lozenges may increase the rate of recovery from the common cold three fold.

Discovering the brain mechanisms to diagnose diseases and prescribe treatments
Development of approaches to reduce medical errors.

The human sense of smell: It's stronger than we think
The assertion that animals have a better sense of smell than humans is a 19th century myth with no scientific proof, says Rutgers University-New Brunswick neuroscientist John McGann who spent part of the last year reviewing existing research, examining data and delving into the historical writings that helped create the long-held misconception.

Is this the 'holey' grail of batteries?
In a battery system, electrodes containing porous graphene scaffolding offer a substantial improvement in both the retention and transport of energy, a new study reveals.

Compound corrects iron-delivery defects
Investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital, in collaboration with colleagues at University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, describe a compound known as Hinokitiol which can correct iron-delivery defects in preclinical models.

Magnet study sees potential for MRE in measuring liver fibrosis in children
Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, with collaborators across the nation, have determined that magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) can be an accurate, non-invasive tool to identify liver fibrosis in children.

Liquid-crystal and bacterial living materials self-organize and move in their own way
Smart glass, transitional lenses and mood rings are not the only things made of liquid crystals; mucus, slug slime and cell membranes also contain them.

Study looks at the prevalence, challenges of athletes with ADHD
It's estimated there are more than six million children in the United States with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Irreversible ocean warming threatens the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf
By the second half of this century, rising air temperatures above the Weddell Sea could set off a self-amplifying meltwater feedback cycle under the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf, ultimately causing the second-largest ice shelf in the Antarctic to shrink dramatically.

Better a 'no' than no answer at all
After experiencing social exclusion, a minimum of attention suffices to reduce individuals' negative emotions.

Drug used for alcohol dependence might also treat stuttering, suggest researchers
Baclofen, a drug that has recently been used to treat alcohol dependence despite not officially being licensed for this condition, might also help stop stuttering, suggest researchers in the journal BMJ Case Reports.

Free C3d regulates immune checkpoint blockade and enhances anti-tumor immunity
Researchers have found a protein that stops cancer's ability to prevent the immune system from destroying cancer cells.

Some forests have been hiding in plain sight
A new estimate of dryland forests suggests that the global forest cover is at least 9 percent higher than previously thought.

Scientists confirm correlation between malignant hyperthermia and exertional heat stroke
New research published online in The FASEB Journal may ultimately help athletes and trainers better understand who may be more at risk for heat stroke.

Positive father-child relationship can moderate negative effects of maternal depression
A new study has examined for the first time whether fathering can moderate the negative effects of maternal depression on family-level functioning.

This myth smells fishy
When listing animals with a keen sense of smell, people are not likely to place their own species, humans, at the top, perhaps picking rabbits or dogs instead.

Famous tree-climbing lions of Uganda roaming farther as prey animals decrease
Scientists in Uganda studying the behaviors of the country's famous tree-climbing lions have found that the home ranges of lion prides in the study areas have increased over time as they search farther for diminishing numbers of prey animals.

Belief increases buzz: Mixing energy drinks and alcohol
Participants of the study who believed they were drinking an energy drink and alcohol cocktail were more likely to believe themselves quite drunk and uninhibited.

Not survival of the fittest for Tassie devils
Fit and healthy Tasmanian devils are being taken down by deadly facial tumors that are attacking the 'best' animals in the population, according to novel research led by Griffith University.

Rodents with trouble walking reveal potential treatment approach for most common joint disease
Maintaining the supply of a molecule that helps to nourish cartilage prevented osteoarthritis in animal models of the disease, according to a report published in Nature Communications online May 11.

Combining risk scores improves decision-making process for AFib patients and physicians
By combining a patient's traditional risk score with the Intermountain Mortality Risk Score, physicians and patients are better equipped to evaluate a patient's individual risk of stroke, bleeding, and mortality with atrial fibrillation, according to a new study of more than 80,000 patients from the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Salt Lake City.

Beware of parasites in raw/undercooked fish, warn doctors
An unseen hazard of eating raw or undercooked fish/seafood is on the rise in Western countries, where dishes, such as sushi, are becoming increasingly popular, warn doctors today in BMJ Case Reports.

Saying goodbye to glaciers
Glaciers around the world are disappearing before our eyes, and the implications for people are wide-ranging and troubling, Twila Moon, a glacier expert at the University of Colorado Boulder, concludes in a Perspectives piece in the journal Science today.

Tropical Cyclone Ella wrapped in NASA imagery
Tropical Cyclone Ella has large bands of thunderstorms wrapping around the center and from the east of center in imagery from the NASA-NOAA Suomi NPP satellite.

FAU study and new tool proves 'all is not lost' to dementia
For people with dementia, communicating needs, emotions and interacting with others becomes increasingly difficult as communication deteriorates as dementia progresses.

Marijuana use tied to poorer school performance
When high school students started smoking marijuana regularly they were less likely to get good grades and want to pursue university, according to a new study from the University of Waterloo.

Scientists ID human protein essential for human cytomegalovirus replication
Scientists have demonstrated that a human protein known as valosin containing protein (VCP) is essential for replication of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV).

Video imaging reveals how immune cells sense danger
How do T cells, the beat cops of the immune system, detect signs of disease without the benefit of eyes?

Interrupting inflammatory signals decreases repeat artery blockage
Results from the DANCE trial (Dexamethasone Infusion to the Adventitia to Enhance Clinical Efficacy after Femoropopliteal Revascularization) were presented today as a late-breaking clinical trial at the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) 2017 Scientific Sessions in New Orleans.

Scientists show protective effects of suppressing thyroid hormone receptors in retina
New research published online in The FASEB Journal ( suggests that the suppression of thyroid hormone receptor activity locally in the retina protects cone photoreceptor cells in mouse models of human retinal degenerative diseases.

Researchers identify nutrient metabolism that drives breast tumor metastasis
A multinational group of scientists, led by professor Sarah-Maria Fendt (VIB-KU Leuven), have discovered that breast cancer cells that have invaded other organs rely on a different nutrient metabolism to produce energy than normal cells and non-metastasizing cancer cells.

First comprehensive map of subcellular localization of proteins reveals new insights
The first analysis of how proteins are arranged in a cell was published today in Science, revealing that a large portion of human proteins can be found in more than one location in a given cell.

Cut UK smokers to under 5 percent to lop millions off healthcare and productivity costs
Setting an ambitious UK target of a smoking prevalence of less than 5 percent by 2035 would avoid nearly 12,500 new cases of serious disease and save more than £600 million in healthcare and lost productivity costs in that year alone, conclude researchers in Tobacco Control.

TV accentuates traditional women's roles at expense of their needs
College women who frequently watch television or who believe that the content is real, tend to endorse the gender roles that are portrayed often on TV, says a University of Michigan researcher.

More natural dust in the air improves air quality in eastern China
Man-made pollution in eastern China's cities worsens when less dust blows in from the Gobi Desert, according to a study published May 11 in Nature Communications.

Rare feline genetic disorders identified through whole genome sequencing at MU
In 2009, Joan Coates, a veterinary neurologist, along with other researchers at the University of Missouri and the Broad Institute, found a genetic link between degenerative myelopathy (DM) in dogs and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig's disease in people.

Study finds bacteria in marine sponge produce toxic flame retardant-like compounds
A Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego-led research team discovered for the first time that a common marine sponge hosts bacteria that specialize in the production of toxic compounds nearly identical to man-made fire retardants.

Tamoxifen protects against obesity-related metabolic disorders
Tamoxifen is the gold standard for endocrine treatment of estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer.

Unexpectedly primitive atmosphere found around distant 'warm Neptune'
A new study led by NASA with contributions from the University of Maryland reveals that the distant planet HAT-P-26b has a primitive atmosphere composed almost entirely of hydrogen and helium.

NASA study finds unexpectedly primitive atmosphere around 'warm Neptune'
By combining observations from NASA's Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes, a new study has found that the planet HAT-P-26b has an atmosphere composed almost entirely of hydrogen and helium, with a relatively cloudless sky.

'Molecular prosthetics' can replace missing proteins to treat disease
Researchers have demonstrated that a small molecule can transport iron in human cells and live animals when proteins that normally do the same job are missing, a condition that often causes severe anemia in patients.

Compiling big data in a human-centric way
When a group of researchers in the Undiagnosed Disease Network at Baylor College of Medicine realized they were spending days combing through databases searching for information regarding gene variants, they decided to do something about it.

Dementia-related brain changes observed before memory or thinking problems are noticeable
Scientists discover a potential predictor for early dementia that could inform the development of drug and therapeutic interventions to treat or slow down the disease.

Research suggests link between imbalanced gut microbiome and systemic sclerosis
Americans and Norwegians with systemic sclerosis had higher levels of bacteria that can cause inflammation and lower levels of bacteria that are believed to protect against inflammation compared with healthy people.

Oldest buckthorn fossilized flowers found in Argentina
Around 66 million years ago, at the end of the Cretaceous period, a giant asteroid crashed into the present-day Gulf of Mexico, leading to the extinction of the non-avian dinosaurs.

Cilia structure plays a major role in determining susceptibility to neural tube defects
Research published online in The FASEB Journal shows that the improper methylation of a protein called 'Septin2,' which regulates the structure of cilia, was associated with an increased risk of having a neural tube defect (NTD) and confirms that cilia are important factors in determining susceptibility of NTDs.

This nasal receptor mediates the appetizing smell of fish food
The aquatic environment is full of tantalizing chemicals that can guide a fish to mates or meals.

Certain medical diagnoses may increase hospitalized patients' risk of kidney injury
Patients who were admitted to the hospital with sepsis, heart diseases, polytrauma, liver disease, and cardiovascular surgery were at elevated risk for developing acute kidney injury (AKI).

New insights into the tumor metabolism
Tumors, inflammation and circulatory disorders locally disturb the body's acid-base balance.

Knowledge of DNA repair mechanisms advances with new paper from Mayo Clinic scientists
We humans like to think our DNA is well-protected in the nucleus of each cell.

Measuring the impact of a changing climate on threatened Yellowstone grizzly bears
A new analysis of Yellowstone grizzly bear diets reveals that grizzlies in the region continue to feed upon the products of an endangered tree species currently declining at the hands of climate change.

Hepatitis C increasing among pregnant women
Hepatitis C infections among pregnant women nearly doubled from 2009-2014, likely a consequence of the country's increasing opioid epidemic that is disproportionately affecting rural areas of states including Tennessee and West Virginia.

Organ signal find raises hopes of immune disorder treatments
The discovery of key signals that help tissues repair after injury could pave the way for new treatments for asthma and organ scarring, a study suggests.

Three new sub-species of snow leopard discovered
A recent research paper in the Journal of Heredity reveals that there are three sub-species of snow leopard.

Sniffing out stem cell fates in the nose
Single-cell RNA sequencing has allowed researchers to identify adult stem cells as they transform into mature cells, but the process becomes complicated when stem cells can transform into several different types of cells.

Teleconnection between the tropical Pacific and Antarctica
The higher the seawater temperature in the tropical Pacific, the more likely ice breakup will occur in East Antarctica, according to Hokkaido University researchers.

A watery exoplanet of unexpected composition -- and perhaps origin
Astronomers have discovered that a Neptune-sized planet orbiting another star has an atmosphere containing water and clouds.

Movement of early humans into the Indian subcontinent
Scientists in India have used a diffusion model to study the movement and merger of early humans into and in the Indian subcontinent starting from their initial location as determined by archaeologists.

Beauty requires thought -- study supports philosophical claim
Does the experience of beauty require a person to think?

Antibiotic-resistant microbes date back to 450 million years ago, well before the age of dinosaurs
Leading hospital 'superbugs,' known as the enterococci, arose from an ancestor that dates back 450 million years -- about the time when animals were first crawling onto land (and well before the age of dinosaurs), according to a new study.

Dartmouth tuberculosis vaccine passes important milestone
Investigators at Dartmouth's Geisel School of Medicine announced that two new studies of DAR-901, their investigational vaccine against tuberculosis (TB), have moved it to the forefront of new vaccines in development for global control of this deadly infectious disease.

Dramatic cooperation between two infectious bacteria revealed by BIDMC researchers
New methodology allowed researchers at BIDMC to more easily investigate mechanisms of infection and provide new insight into how pathogens can work together to cause disease.

Primitive atmosphere discovered around 'Warm Neptune'
A pioneering new study uncovering the 'primitive atmosphere' surrounding a distant world could provide a pivotal breakthrough in the search to how planets form and develop in far-flung galaxies.

Stem cell therapy holds promise for treating most severe cases of angina
Results from 'CD34+ Stem Cell Therapy Improves Exercise Time and Mortality in Refractory Angina: A Patient Level Meta-Analysis' were presented today as a late-breaking clinical trial at the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) 2017 Scientific Sessions in New Orleans.

Alzheimer's experts call for changes in FDA drug approval standards
Leading Alzheimer's disease researchers and a prominent patient advocate today published an analysis, 'Single Endpoint for New Drug Approvals for Alzheimer's Disease,' urging the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to clarify and modernize its current approach for approving new treatments for Alzheimer's disease.

Bacteria living in marine sponge produce toxic compounds found in man-made products
Researchers have discovered for the first time that a common marine sponge hosts bacteria that specialize in the production of toxic compounds nearly identical to man-made fire retardants, a finding that could help scientists better understand the human health implications of these common additives.

Americans divided on whether recent science protests will benefit scientists' causes
Americans are split in their support of recent science marches and whether these events will make a difference, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

Analysis shows increased risk of early stroke with new-onset atrial fibrillation post-TAVR
Results from 'Effect of bivalirudin versus unfractionated heparin in patients with baseline or new-onset atrial fibrillation in transcatheter aortic valve replacement: From the BRAVO-3 randomized trial' were presented today as a late-breaking clinical trial at the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) 2017 Scientific Sessions in New Orleans.

Cancer metastasis: The unexpected perils of hypoxia
The low oxygen concentrations that prevail in many tumors enhance their propensity to metastasize to other tissues.

Why one eye-targeting virus could make for a useful gene-delivery tool
In their quest to replicate themselves, viruses have gotten awfully good at tricking human cells into pumping out viral proteins.

New understanding of superconductor's 'normal' state may help solve longstanding puzzle
experiments done at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the Madhavan and Abbamonte laboratories, in collaboration with researchers at six institutions in the US, Canada, United Kingdom, and Japan, have shed new light on the electronic properties of this material at temperatures 4°K above Tc.

Populations adapt as nature and nurture work together
A study of fruit fly larvae leads researchers to conclude that nature and nurture do collaborate in determining the behavior of a population.

Who in Europe drinks the most?
For the first time, researchers have found a way to compare how much alcohol Europeans drink.

Biological activity found to affect aerosols produced from sea spray
Chemists have discovered that tiny particulate matter called aerosols lofted into the atmosphere by sea spray and the bursting of bubbles at the ocean's surface are chemically altered by the presence of biological activity.

First study of Oncolytic HSV-1 in children & young adults with cancer indicates safety, tolerability
HSV1716 -- an oncolytic herpes simplex virus-1 -- has been studied in adults via injection into the brain and superficial tumors.

UC3M researchers analyze link between employment status and domestic violence
Researchers from the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) have carried out a study that analyzes sociodemographic characteristics related to gender-based violence.

Migratory seabird deaths linked to hurricanes
Stronger and more frequent hurricanes may pose a new threat to the sooty tern, a species of migratory seabird found throughout the Caribbean and Mid-Atlantic, a new Duke-led study reveals.

Warmer temperatures cause decline in key runoff measure
Since the mid-1980s, the percentage of precipitation that becomes streamflow in the Upper Rio Grande watershed has fallen more steeply than at any point in at least 445 years, according to a new study led by NCAR.

Scientist identify key locations for spread of pin-tailed whydahs
Invasive parasites are a biological oxymoron. And yet, they are in our backyards!

Cornell researches black bear boom in New York
The black bear population in southern New York has grown and expanded its range since the early 1990s, which has led to increased encounters with humans.

A dual-functional GLP-1 analogue may improve insulin sensitivity and help fight diabetes
According to research published online in The FASEB Journal, scientists have discovered a dual peptide called 'PGLP-1' that promotes insulin secretion and inhibits gluconeogenesis (a metabolic process that produces glucose).

Study of worms reveals 'selfish genes' that encode a toxin -- and its antidote
UCLA scientists found that a worm commonly used in lab research possesses a pair of genes that encode both a poison and its antidote.

Mannequin, trained actors help physicians learn to diagnose and communicate brain death
A Loyola Medicine study has found that two simulation techniques dramatically improved physicians' brain death diagnostic and communications skills.

Disentangling chloroplast genetics
Proper DNA inheritance is essential for healthy chloroplast: the energy center of all plant cells.

Can crab shells provide a 'green' solution to malaria?
A non-toxic mixture of chitin-rich crab shell powder and nanosized silver particles could be an environmentally friendly way of curbing the spread of disease-carrying mosquitoes, and malaria in particular.

Ancient ground squirrels prove to belong to a present-day species
Members of the Faculty of Biology of the Lomonosov Moscow State University have studied arctic ground squirrels, inhabiting the Indigirka river basin, and found out that their relatives now inhabit Kamchatka.

Smiling makes you look younger? Not according to a new Ben-Gurion University study
The researchers believe that smiling makes a person look older because of the wrinkle lines that form around the eyes.

NASA caught Tropical Storm Adrian quickly losing steam
The first tropical storm of the Eastern Pacific Ocean season was already losing steam when the Suomi NPP satellite passed overhead the day it formed.

Enterococci may have evolved antimicrobial resistance millions of years ago
Enterococci bacteria are the bane of hospitals, causing thousands of multidrug-resistant infections in patients each year.

Cutting smoking rates could save the NHS £67 million a year
If smoking rates dropped to 5 percent in the UK by 2035, the NHS could save £67million in just one year, according to research published in Tobacco Control today.

NASA analyzed powerful Tropical Cyclone Donna's extreme rainfall
Tropical Cyclone Donna was one of the most powerful out-of-season tropical cyclones ever recorded in the southern hemisphere and generated extreme amounts of rainfall along its path.

Study shows 'walking a mile in their shoes' may be hazardous to your health
When it comes to empathy, the idiom that suggests 'walking a mile in their shoes' turns out to be problematic advice, according to new research published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology.

Plasma membrane protein may help generate new neurons in the adult hippocampus
New research published online in The FASEB Journal sheds important light on the inner workings of learning and memory. 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