Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 23, 2017
Friends help female vampire bats cope with loss
When a female vampire bat loses a close relative, she may starve, because she depends on her mother and daughters to share blood by regurgitation.

Making biological drugs with spider silk protein
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have managed to synthesise lung surfactant, a drug used in the care of preterm babies, by mimicking the production of spider silk.

Depression risk following natural disaster can be predicted via pupil dilation
Pupil dilation could identify which individuals are at greatest risk for depression following disaster-related stress, and help lead to targeted interventions, according to new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York.

Cowbird moms choosy when selecting foster parents for their young
Despite their reputation as uncaring, absentee moms, cowbird mothers are capable of making sophisticated choices among potential nests in order to give their offspring a better chance of thriving, a new study shows.

US child welfare system could save $12 billion, improve outcomes
Improving prevention and treatment services are realistic reforms to the child welfare system that could improve long-term outcomes for children while cutting $12 billion in costs.

Exposure to particulate matter from traffic and residential heating
A study by researchers at the University of Tartu found that exposure to traffic-related particulate matter (PM) could be associated with cardiac diseases among people in the city of Tartu, Estonia, whereas PM from residential heating did not.

Loss of airway blood vessels is associated with risk of death in smokers without COPD
In a new study, CT-measured vascular pruning -- the diminution of distal pulmonary blood vessels (vessels on the outer edges of the lungs) -- was associated with increased risk of death in smokers without chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Comparison of antibiotic treatments for cellulitis
Among patients with uncomplicated cellulitis, the use of an antibiotic regimen with activity against MRSA did not result in higher rates of clinical resolution compared to an antibiotic lacking MRSA activity; however, certain findings suggest further research may be needed to confirm these results, according to a study published by JAMA.

Researchers untangle causes of differences in East Coast sea level rise
For years, scientists have been warning of a so-called 'hot spot' of accelerated sea-level rise along the northeastern US coast, but understanding the causes has proven challenging.

ACP brings prescription to improve American health care to Congress
The American College of Physicians today released a set of recommendations aimed at providing a forward-thinking agenda for health care reform, 'A Prescription for a Forward-Looking Agenda to Improve American Health Care.' The paper articulates ACP's view that now is the time to move away from the debate over repealing and replacing the ACA, and instead, urges Congress and the administration to join with ACP and others to create and implement a forward-looking agenda to improve American health care.

How to prevent 3-D printing hacks? Install secret flaws and share the decoder ring
Since the global supply chain for additive manufacturing (AM)-- also called 3-D printing-- requires companies to share CAD files within the organization or with outside parties via email or cloud, intellectual-property thieves and malefactors have many opportunities to filch a manufacturer's design files to produce counterfeit parts.

Fiber-rich diet linked to lowered risk of painful knee osteoarthritis
A fiber-rich diet is linked to a lowered risk of painful knee osteoarthritis, finds the first study of its kind, published online in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

Should you pee on a jellyfish sting? (video)
We all know the evils that come from a run-in with a jellyfish's tentacles.

Microhabitats enhance butterfly diversity in nature's imitation game
The spectacular range of colors and patterns that butterflies use to deter predators appears to result in part from very specific environmental conditions in so-called 'microhabitats,' researchers have found.

Chondroitin sulfate as good as widely used anti-inflammatory for knee osteoarthritis
High quality (pharmaceutical grade) chondroitin sulfate is as good as a widely prescribed non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (celecoxib) for the treatment of painful knee osteoarthritis, concludes research published online in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

Biosynthetic secrets: How fungi make bioactive compounds
Biological engineers at Utah State University have successfully decoded and reprogrammed the biosynthetic machinery that produces a variety of natural compounds found in fungi.

Understanding stars: How tornado-shaped flow in a dynamo strengthens the magnetic field
A new simulation based on the von-Kármán-Sodium (VKS) dynamo experiment takes a closer look at how the liquid vortex created by the device generates a magnetic field.

School choice policies may impact segregation and diversity of public schools
Despite decades of educational reform and legal efforts, many U.S.

Mortality rates lower at major teaching hospitals
In an analysis that included more than 21 million Medicare discharges, admission to a major teaching hospital was associated with a lower overall 30-day risk of death compared with admission to a nonteaching hospital, according to a study published by JAMA.

Mortality rates at teaching hospitals lower compared with non-teaching hospitals
Patients admitted to major teaching hospitals are less likely to die compared with patients admitted to minor teaching or non-teaching hospitals, according to a large national study from Harvard T.H.

Among all cancers, lung cancer appears to put patients at greatest suicide risk
A lung cancer diagnosis appears to put patients at the greatest risk of suicide when compared to the most common types of non-skin cancers, according to new research presented at the ATS 2017 International Conference.

Using a genetic signature to overcome chemotherapy-resistant lung cancer
Patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) often respond to standard chemotherapy, only to develop drug resistance later, and with fatal consequences.

Oyster farming to benefit from new genetic screening tool
Oyster farmers are set to benefit from a new genetic tool that will help to prevent disease outbreaks and improve yields.

Follow-up imaging is less when radiologists read ED ultrasounds
According to a study presented at the American College of Radiology annual meeting, the use of follow-up imaging is significantly less when initial emergency department (ED) ultrasound examinations are interpreted by a radiologist than a nonradiologist.

Recreational cocaine: Brain area involved in addiction activated earlier than thought
Even among non-dependent cocaine users, cues associated with consumption of the drug lead to dopamine release in an area of the brain thought to promote compulsive use, according to researchers at McGill University.

Immunotherapy target suppresses pain to mask cancer
Duke University researchers found that a molecule called PD-L1, which is blocked by the immunotherapy drug nivolumab, acts not only on immune cells but also on the nerve cells that signal pain.

Special X-ray technique allows scientists to see 3-D deformations
In a new study published last Friday in Science, researchers at Argonne used an X-ray scattering technique called Bragg coherent diffraction imaging to reconstruct in 3-D the size and shape of grain defects.

Study leads to breakthrough in better understanding acute myeloid leukemia
A study led by the University of Birmingham has made a breakthrough in the understanding of how different genetic mutations cause acute myeloid leukemia.

Study offers guidance for targeting residual ovarian tumors
MIT researchers who are working on an implantable device that could make intraperitoneal chemotherapy more bearable have published a new study that offers insight into how to improve chemotherapy strategies for ovarian cancer, and how to determine which patients would be most likely to benefit from their device.

Scientists uncover dietary strategy to address obesity using component in red chili
Scientists have discovered a dietary strategy that may address obesity by reducing endotoxemia, a major contributor to chronic, low-grade inflammation (CLGI).

Increased lysyl oxidase may be a significant contributor to heart disease and cancer
It's known that people with high blood pressure have increased levels of the enzyme lysyl oxidase (LOX), but it has not been clear if LOX actually contributes to heart disease.

First study shows tie between probiotic and improved symptoms of depression
This is the first study showing improved depression scores with a probiotic.

Research decoding the first deep-sea mussel genome published in Nature
A joint research led by HKBU and HKUST has assembled the 1.64 gigabytes genome of a deep-sea mussel, which is roughly equivalent to 50 percent of the size of human genome.

Solar cells more efficient thanks to new material standing on edge
Researchers from Lund University in Sweden and from Fudan University in China have successfully designed a new structural organization using the promising solar cell material perovskite.

Parents' reasons for not vaccinating children influence public attitudes toward them
Mothers are viewed negatively if their child hasn't been vaccinated, no matter the reason.

Atomic structure of irradiated materials is more akin to liquid than glass
Materials exposed to neutron radiation tend to experience significant damage.

Tracking cancer's signaling pathways
Malignant melanoma is one of the most common and dangerous types of cancer.

Scientists develop new concept of confined catalysis under 2-D materials
The research group led by Profs. FU Qiang and BAO Xinhe from the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences revealed both the geometric constraint and confinement field in 2-D space between a graphene overlayer and Pt(111).

Improve evolution education by teaching genetics first
Evolution is a difficult concept for many students at all levels, however, a study publishing on May 23 in the open access journal PLOS Biology has demonstrated a simple cost-free way to significantly improve students' understanding of evolution at the secondary level: teach genetics before you teach them evolution.

Monash researchers find piece in inflammatory disease puzzle
Inflammation is the process by which the body responds to injury or infection but when this process becomes out of control it can cause disease.

A new strategy reported to combat influenza and speed recovery
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists have used a drug being developed to fight solid tumors to restore normal metabolism in flu-infected cells and reduce viral production without the threat of drug resistance.

Tracking down the scent of recycled plastic
Recycling plastic has an important role in sustainable manufacturing. However, there are still barriers to using recycled plastic not only because of its material and processing properties but also because of its smell.

A new T-cell population for cancer immunotherapy
Scientists at the University of Basel in Switzerland have, for the first time, described a new T cell population that can recognize and kill tumor cells.

Fall calving season may yield higher returns for southeastern beef producers
Using simulation models based on 19 years of data, University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture researchers determined that for Southeastern beef cattle producers the fall calving season, calving between mid-September and mid-November, was most profitable and had the smallest amount of variation in profits, meaning fall calving was less risky as compared to spring calving.

Rare tooth find reveals horned dinosaurs in eastern North America
A chance discovery in Mississippi provides the first evidence of an animal closely related to Triceratops in eastern North America.

New chemical reaction developed at UCLA could eventually yield new fuels and medications
UCLA chemists have developed a new technique to convert carbon-hydrogen bonds into carbon-carbon bonds using catalysts made of silicon and boron, both abundant and inexpensive elements.

Mystery of butterfly research resolved
It has only been one year since the material scientists around Prof.

'Pregnant' housefly males demonstrate the evolution of sex determination
An international team headed up by researchers from the University of Zurich has discovered the gene that determines the male sex in houseflies.

Flight delay? Lost luggage? Don't blame airline mergers, Indiana University research shows
An analysis of 15 years of US Department of Transportation statistics found that airline consolidation has had little negative impact on on-time performance.

How to obtain highly crystalline organic-inorganic perovskite films for solar cells
Members of the Laboratory of New Materials for Solar Energetics, working at the Faculty of Material Sciences, in cooperation with their colleagues from the Faculty of Chemistry of the Lomonosov Moscow State University have elaborated a new method.

Rising incidence of tick-borne Powassan virus infection in North America
Cases of human infection with Powassan virus (POWV), which can cause fatal neuroinvasive disease and long-term neurological effects, appear to be increasing in the United States.

Going with the flow: The forces that affect species' movements in a changing climate
Scientists have developed a simple metric to capture the directional agreement between ocean currents and warming, revealing how ocean currents affect the range shift of marine biota in a changing climate.

Crazy for ant eggs
The 'yellow crazy ant' lays trophic eggs to provide nutrition to their larvae.

Recommended daily protein intake too low for the elderly
The minimum protein requirement for healthy adults has been set almost 15 years ago to 0.80 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.

Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's diseases share common crucial feature
A study has found that abnormal proteins found in Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases share a similar ability to cause damage when they invade brain cells.

Scientists gain better understanding of how Ebola disables people's immune defenses
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston scientists have unlocked mysteries of how the Ebola virus hampers the body's natural defenses to speed the rate of infection and its accompanying lethal disease, according to a new report in PLOS Pathogens.

Pope's encyclical boosted his credibility on climate change, especially among liberals
The Pope's 2015 encyclical on climate change did not directly influence people's beliefs about the seriousness of climate change or its effect on the poor, a study in Cognition has found.

Study: Street gangs, crime serve as deviant leisure activities for youths
Street gang membership, criminal activities provide deviant leisure activities for at-risk youths, suggests a new study by University of Illinois researchers Liza Berdychevsky, Kim Shinew and Monika Stodolska.

Lizards may be overwhelmed by fire ants and social stress combined
Lizards living in fire-ant-invaded areas are stressed. However, a team of biologists found that the lizards did not exhibit this stress as expected after extended fire ant exposure in socially stressful environments, leading to questions about stress overload.

Rethinking exercise: Replace punishing workouts with movement that makes you happy
Many women start fitness programs to lose weight, and when they don't, they feel like failures and stop exercising

Birds, bees and other critters have scruples, and for good reason
Humans are not the only species to show a strong work ethic and scruples.

Common artificial sweetener likely a safe, effective birth control and pesticide
Erythritol, a non-nutritive sweetener found in products like Truvia, has proven effective in killing fly larvae and slowing down their egg production, making it a good candidate for human and pet-safe pesticide use.

Vitamin D supplements could help pain management
Vitamin D supplementation combined with good sleeping habits may help manage pain-related diseases.

Researchers reveal bioelectric patterns guiding worms' regenerative body plan after injury
Researchers have succeeded in permanently rewriting flatworms' regenerative body shape by resetting their internal bioelectric pattern memory, causing even normal-appearing flatworms to harbor the 'code' to regenerate as two-headed worms.

Do consent decrees adequately address police misconduct?
In recent years, the US Department of Justice has forced reform in police departments through the consent decree process, in which departments have agreed to take specific actions without admitting fault or guilt.

Food is not just the sum of its nutrients
The nutritional value of a food should be evaluated on the basis of the foodstuff as a whole, and not as an effect of the individual nutrients.

South highest, Northeast lowest for child auto fatalities
The number of motor vehicle fatalities involving children under age 15 varies widely by state, but occurrences are more common in the South, and are most often associated with improperly or unused restraints and crashes on rural roads, a new review of child-related auto fatalities shows.

Phone-based transitional care program has high engagement among surgical patients
A research team used the framework of a successful phone-based transitional care program adapted to the needs of surgical patients, based on a systems engineering approach.

Dentists in good compliance with American Heart Association guidelines, according to Rochester epidemiology project
In the first study examining dental records in the Rochester Epidemiology Project, results show that dentists and oral surgeons are in good compliance with guidelines issued by the American Heart Association (AHA) in 2007, describing prophylactic antibiotic use prior to invasive dental procedures.

A new tool for discovering nanoporous materials
EPFL scientists have developed a mathematical 'face-recognition' method for identifying and discovering nanoporous materials based on their pore size.

Blood test offers improved breast cancer detection tool to reduce use of breast biopsy
A Clinical Breast Cancer study demonstrates Videssa Breast can inform better next steps after abnormal mammogram results and potentially reduce biopsies up to 67 percent.

Off-the-shelf, power-generating clothes are almost here
A lightweight, comfortable jacket that can generate the power to light up a jogger at night may sound futuristic, but materials scientist Trisha Andrew at UMass Amherst could make one today.

Where body fat is carried can predict cancer risk
Scientists have found that carrying fat around your middle could be as good an indicator of cancer risk as body mass index (BMI), according to research published in the British Journal of Cancer today.

Regular chocolate consumption may be linked to lower risk of heart flutter
Regular chocolate consumption may be linked to a lower risk of developing the heart rhythm irregularity atrial fibrillation, also known as heart flutter, finds research published online in the journal Heart.

Optimization of hemp-ground tire rubber/high density polyethylene composites
Recent interest in lignocellulosic fibers was devoted to improve the mechanical properties of polymers.

Discovery of a key regulatory gene in cardiac valve formation
Researchers from the University of Basel in Switzerland have identified a key regulator gene for the formation of cardiac valves -- a process crucial to normal embryonic heart development.

Despite partisanship surrounding voter ID, most voters don't believe it suppresses turnout
Most Americans -- even average Democrats -- do not accept the argument that voter identification laws can suppress voter turnout, according to a new study that includes a University of Kansas professor.

Genetic mutation trade-offs lead to parallel evolution
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have shown how evolutionary dynamics proceed when selection acts on two traits governed by a trade-off.

VLA reveals new object near supermassive black hole in famous galaxy
When astronomers took a new look at a famous galaxy with the upgraded Very Large Array, they were surprised by the appearance of a new, bright object that had not appeared in previous images.

CAST project places new limitations on dark matter
CERN research results deliver no evidence for the existence of solar axions.

New study examines child death rates in motor vehicle crashes by state
New research finds that an estimated 1,100 pediatric deaths could be averted over five years with an absolute 10 percent improvement in child restraint use.

How X-rays helped to solve mystery of floating rocks
Experiments at Berkeley Lab's Advanced Light Source have helped scientists to solve a mystery of why some rocks can float for years in the ocean, traveling thousands of miles before sinking.

Collecting real-time data for material microstructural evolution during radiation exposure
It may be surprising to learn that much remains unknown about radiation's effects on materials.

Stem cells may significantly improve tendon healing by regulating inflammation
New research published online in The FASEB Journal suggests that tendon stem may be able to significantly improve tendon healing by regulating inflammation, which contributes to scar-like tendon healing and chronic matrix degradation.

What will happen to European criminal law after Brexit?
Britain will not be able to select which sections of the European Union criminal law system it abides by, as was previously the case.

Two missing World War II B-25 bombers documented by Project Recover off Papua New Guinea
Two B-25 bombers associated with American servicemen missing in action from World War II were recently documented in the waters off Papua New Guinea by Project Recover -- a collaborative team of marine scientists, archaeologists and volunteers who have combined efforts to locate aircraft and associated MIAs from World War II.

Why our brain cells may prevent us burning fat when we're dieting
A study carried out in mice may help explain why dieting can be an inefficient way to lose weight: key brain cells act as a trigger to prevent us burning calories when food is scarce.

Just one alcoholic drink a day increases breast cancer risk, exercise lowers risk
A new report that analyzed the global scientific research on how diet, weight and exercise affect breast cancer risk finds there are steps women can take to lower their risk.

Stingless bees have specialized guards to defend their colonies, study reveals
Several species of stingless bees have specialized guards or soldiers to defend their colonies from attacks by natural enemies.

Declawing linked to aggression and other abnormal behaviors in cats
According to research published today in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery*, declawing increases the risk of long-term or persistent pain, manifesting as unwanted behaviors such as inappropriate elimination (soiling/urinating outside of the litter box) and aggression/biting.

Online pulmonary rehabilitation not inferior to face-to-face rehab
Online pulmonary rehabilitation for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) was found to be as effective as face-to-face rehabilitation programs at improving patients' exercise capacity and symptom control, according to new research presented at the 2017 American Thoracic Society International Conference.

Eating chocolate may decrease risk of irregular heartbeat
Consuming moderate amounts of chocolate was associated with significantly lower risk of being diagnosed with atrial fibrillation (AF)--a common and dangerous type of irregular heartbeat--in a large study of men and women in Denmark led by researchers at Harvard T.H.

A CLOUD of possibilities: Finding new therapies by combining drugs
The CeMM Library of Unique Drugs (CLOUD) is the first condensed set of FDA-approved drugs representing all clinical compounds.

Paper: DNA may have only modest impact on sexual assault arrests
Crime labs' DNA testing may influence arrests in just a small number of sexual assault cases, because most arrests occur before crime lab results are available, suggests a new study led by University of Illinois social work senior research specialist Theodore P.

Better science faster
Scientists at UCSB's NCEAS are transforming how complex marine data from the Ocean Health Index is synthesized, communicated and used for coastal management.

World-first discovery of protein that causes liver disease brings hope for new treatments
In a world-first discovery, Australian scientists have identified a protein that causes liver fibrosis, paving the way for new treatments for liver disease to be developed.

ACR opposes sweeping healthcare cuts in Trump administration budget
The American College of Rheumatology expressed opposition to the Trump Administration's proposed budget cuts to federal programs and institutions that provide critical resources in the fight against rheumatic diseases, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

You don't see what I see?
Kyoto University researchers shows that an ability to perceive differences between similar images depends on the cultural background of the viewer.

UT study shows snakes, thought to be solitary eaters, coordinate hunts
Snakes, although as social as birds and mammals, have long been thought to be solitary hunters and eaters.

The high plains aquifer: Can we make it last?
he heart of the United States is a highly productive agricultural region.

NASA sees powerful storms with advancing monsoon in Bay of Bengal
Storms associated with the advancing monsoon in the Northern Indian Ocean's Bay of Bengal were analyzed by NASA with the GPM or Global Precipitation Measurement mission core satellite.

Weather patterns' influence on frost timing
The frost-free season in North America is approximately 10 days longer now than it was a century ago.

Lawson and Western researchers suggest dual gait testing as early predictor of dementia
In a new study, researchers at Lawson Health Research Institute and Western University are demonstrating that gait, or motion testing, while simultaneously performing a cognitively demanding task can be an effective predictor of progression to dementia and eventually help with earlier diagnosis.

Wolves need space to roam to control expanding coyote populations
Wolves and other top predators need large ranges to be able to control smaller predators whose populations have expanded, according to a study appearing May 23 in Nature Communications.

Neptune: Neutralizer-free plasma propulsion
Plasma propulsion concepts are gridded-ion thrusters that accelerate and emit more positively charged particles than negatively charged ones.

Enforcing a weekday bedtime could help your child get sufficient sleep
Enforcing rules about bedtimes could help your child get the sleep they need on weekdays, according to new research published in the open access journal BMC Public Health.

A review of denoising medical images using machine learning approaches
This paper attempts to identify suitable machine learning approach for image denoising of radiology based medical application.

Three new mini thorn snails described from Georgia (USA), Belize and Panama
Computer tomographic scans are used in a pioneering initiative by Adrienne Jochum and her interdisciplinary team of scientists to describe snails too small to handle.

Family history of Alzheimer's may alter metabolic gene that increases risk for disease
A new Iowa State University study may have identified the link that explains years of conflicting research over a mitochondrial gene and the risk for Alzheimer's disease.

Probing problems with bariatric surgery: Reoperations, variation are common
Every year, nearly 200,000 Americans turn to surgeons for help with their obesity, seeking bariatric surgery to lose weight and prevent life-threatening health problems.

Pediatricians can play a pivotal role in reducing pediatric firearm-related injuries
A review led by Children's National Health System researchers published May 23, 2017 in Hospital Pediatrics indicates that while firearms are present in 18 percent to 64 percent of US homes, almost 40 percent of parents erroneously believe that their children are unaware where weapons are stored, and 22 percent of parents wrongly think that their children have never handled household firearms.

Strategic brain training positively affects neural connectivity for individuals with TBI
A study from the Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas at Dallas shows that a specific instructor-led brain training protocol can stimulate structural changes in the brain and neural connections even years after a traumatic brain injury (TBI). 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