Nav: Home

Science Current Events and Science News | Brightsurf | May 25, 2017


Can fat 'feel' fat?
Researchers at the University of Iowa have discovered that a molecule which can sense the swelling of fat cells also controls a signaling pathway that allows fat cells to take up and store excess glucose.
Approach tested at FAU first to look at dolphin immune system
For humans, there are hundreds of antibodies available on the market today to evaluate immune status in health and diseases.
Genetic test for anal cancer could identify those at high risk
A new test, based on a patient's epigenetics, could be an accurate and inexpensive way to find and treat those at highest risk of anal cancer -- a disease with growing incidence in women, men who have sex with men (MSM) and people with HIV.
US nuclear regulators greatly underestimate potential for nuclear disaster
The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission relied on faulty analysis to justify its refusal to adopt a critical measure for protecting Americans from nuclear-waste fires at dozens of reactor sites around the country, according to an article in the May 26 issue of Science magazine.
Argonne scientists make vanadium into a useful catalyst for hydrogenation
In a new study, Argonne chemist Max Delferro boosted and analyzed the unprecedented catalytic activity of an element called vanadium for hydrogenation -- a reaction that is used for making everything from vegetable oils to petrochemical products to vitamins.
Study provides understanding of how nerve cells are damaged by accumulation of abnormal proteins
A new study has uncovered a molecular mechanism in the prion protein, a protein responsible for neurodegenerative diseases, which may explain why nerve cells degenerate in these disorders.
Engines of twingenuity: NASA's twin study investigators have a meeting of the minds
NASA's Twins Study investigators met in Houston this week to discuss findings from the final data collections.
Study provides better understanding of how brain tumors 'feed'
All cancer tumors have one thing in common - they must feed themselves to grow and spread, a difficult feat since they are usually in a tumor microenvironment with limited nutrients and oxygen.
Safe space for illegal drug consumption in Baltimore would save $6 million a year
A new cost-benefit analysis conducted by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and others suggests that $6 million in costs related to the opioid epidemic could be saved each year if a single 'safe consumption' space for illicit drug users were opened in Baltimore.
Infections, other factors raise risk of pregnancy-related stroke in women with preeclampsia
Infections, chronic high blood pressure and bleeding or clotting disorders increase the risk of pregnancy-related stroke in women with preeclampsia.
Sediment from Himalayas may have made 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake more severe
Sediment that eroded from the Himalayas and Tibetan plateau over millions of years was transported thousands of kilometers by rivers and in the Indian Ocean -- and became sufficiently thick over time to generate temperatures warm enough to strengthen the sediment and increase the severity of the catastrophic 2004 Sumatra earthquake.
Zika infections could be factor in more pregnancies
Zika virus infection passes efficiently from a pregnant monkey to its fetus, spreading inflammatory damage throughout the tissues that support the fetus and the fetus's developing nervous system, and suggesting a wider threat in human pregnancies than generally appreciated, University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers have found.
An inflammatory inference
The surface proteins responsible for navigating immune cells to sites of inflammation are identified.
Bouldering envisioned as new treatment for depression
UA researcher Eva-Maria Stelzer and her colleagues involved more than 100 individuals in a bouldering intervention in Germany, where some hospitals have begun to use climbing as a therapeutic treatment.
Research could bring 'drastically' higher resolution to your TV and smartphone
By developing a way to tune the color of individual pixels, researchers have eliminated the need for subpixels -- allowing a greater density of pixels and much higher resolution for video displays.
Landscape-scale erosion instabilities in the northern Gabilan Mesa, California
If you ever fly from L.A. to San Francisco, California, you may notice the Gabilan Mesa off to the east as you begin your descent into San Francisco International Airport.
First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'
Astronomers publish predictions of planetary phenomena on Jupiter that informed spacecraft's arrival.
First results from Juno show cyclones and massive magnetism
On Aug. 27, 2016, the Juno spacecraft made its first close pass around our solar system's largest planet, Jupiter, obtaining insights into its atmosphere and interior that challenge previous assumptions.
Preliminary: BRCA variations may work alongside COMT variation to reduce breast cancer
George Washington University researchers, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, find through looking at genetic data sets of presumed cancer-free women who carry BRCA 1/2 variants, the co-occurrence of a rare COMT genetic variant in some women.
Tiny shells indicate big changes to global carbon cycle
Experiments with tiny, shelled organisms in the ocean suggest big changes to the global carbon cycle are underway, according to a study from the University of California, Davis.
Look at Eva, 4 months old and standing
Both the literature and practice indicate that children can stand without support starting at around 9 months old.
Dads show gender biases, in both brain responses and behaviors toward toddlers
A toddler's gender influences the brain responses as well as the behavior of fathers -- from how attentive they are to their child, to the types of language that they use and the play that they engage in, a new study by Emory University finds.
Mountain honey bees have ancient adaptation for high-altitude foraging
Mountain-dwelling East African honey bees have distinct genetic variations compared to their savannah relatives that likely help them to survive at high altitudes, report Martin Hasselmann of the University of Hohenheim, Germany, Matthew Webster of Uppsala University, Sweden, and colleagues May 25, 2017, in PLOS Genetics.
Study finds tai chi significantly reduces depression symptoms in Chinese-Americans
A Massachusetts General Hospital study finds that a 12-week program of instruction and practice of the Chinese martial art tai chi led to significantly reduced symptoms of depression in Chinese-Americans not receiving any other treatments.
Brain images reveal roots of kids' increasing cognitive control
As children age into adolescence and on into young adulthood, they show dramatic improvements in their ability to control impulses, stay organized, and make decisions.
Sorting out HIV
Researchers at EMBL, ESPCI Paris, and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative have developed a new technique for rapidly sorting HIV viruses, which could lead to more rapid development of a vaccine for HIV, as they report in Cell Chemical Biology.
Targeted conservation could protect more of Earth's biodiversity
A new study finds that major gains in global biodiversity can be achieved if an additional 5 percent of land is set aside to protect key species.
The big star that couldn't become a supernova
For the first time in history, astronomers have been able to watch as a dying star was reborn as a black hole.
Changing climate could have devastating impact on forest carbon storage
New research from a multi-university team of biologists shows what could be a startling drop in the amount of carbon stored in the Sierra Nevada mountains due to projected climate change and wildfire events.
Viral protein may help chickenpox virus spread within the body
The virus that causes chickenpox -- varicella zoster virus (VZV) -- possesses a protein that could enhance its ability to hijack white blood cells and spread throughout the body, according to new research published in PLOS Pathogens.
Cellular stress in the brain may contribute to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
Research published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation Insight shows that cellular stress in the brain may contribute to development of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
Marmoset monkeys learn to call the same way human infants learn to babble
Human social groups have a strange tendency to share responsibility for taking care of infants; parents, older siblings, and other adult relatives all help to nurture babies.
New study finds lean pork fits in a balanced eating plan for weight loss and healthy aging
Including nutrient-rich lean pork as part of a weight-loss diet could help women achieve their weight-loss success and improve their ability to get around, according to new research published in Current Developments in Nutrition.
Insurance vs. out-of-pocket payment not a big factor in weight-loss outcomes
Individuals whose insurance covered the cost of a comprehensive medical weight-loss program had one-year outcomes very similar to those of patients who paid for the treatment out of pocket, according to an observational study conducted at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.
Nation's beekeepers lost 33 percent of bees in 2016-17
Beekeepers across the United States lost 33 percent of their honey bee colonies during the year spanning April 2016 to April 2017, according to the latest preliminary results of an annual nationwide survey.
In fruit fly and human genetics, timing is everything
Using fruit flies, UNC-Chapel Hill researchers discovered a cascade of molecular signals that program gene activity to drive the fly from one stage of maturation to the next, like a baby turning into an adult.
CRKL in 22q11.2; a key gene that contributes to common birth defects
The research findings imply that patients with genitourinary birth defects due to 22q11.2 changes in gene dosage should also be evaluated for other potential birth defects seen in patients with DiGeorge syndrome that would affect the patient's future health.
'Authentic' teachers are better at engaging with their students
Teachers who have an authentic teaching style are more positively received by their students, according to new research published in the National Communication Association's journal, Communication Education.
Increased leaf abundance is a double-edged sword
A new global assessment reveals that increases in leaf abundance are causing boreal areas to warm and arid regions to cool.
A flip switch for binge-eating?
Researchers have identified a subgroup of neurons in the mouse brain that, upon activation, immediately prompt binge-like eating.
The 'ideal' teacher? It's all in your mind
Two Concordia researchers are turning to Reddit for a more accurate picture of public perceptions of teachers and teaching.
SwRI-led Juno mission to Jupiter delivers first science results
NASA's Juno mission, led by Southwest Research Institute's Dr. Scott Bolton, is rewriting what scientists thought they knew about Jupiter specifically, and gas giants in general, according to a pair of Science papers released today.
Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds
How water relates to and interacts with biological systems -- like DNA, the building block of all living things -- is of critical importance, and a Cornell University group has used a relatively new form of spectroscopy to observe a previously unknown characteristic of water.
Researchers drill deep to understand why the Sumatra earthquake was so severe
An international team of scientists has found evidence suggesting the dehydration of minerals deep below the ocean floor influenced the severity of the Sumatra earthquake, which took place on Dec.
Collapsing star gives birth to a black hole
Astronomers have watched as a massive, dying star was likely reborn as a black hole.
New metamaterial-enhanced MRI technique tested on humans
Scientists from the Netherlands and Russia designed and tested a new metasurface-based technology for enhancing the local sensitivity of MRI scanners on humans for the first time.
Balancing rights and responsibilities in insurers' access to genetic test results
At the annual conference of the European Society of Human Genetics tomorrow (Saturday), Anya Prince, J.D.
Government transparency limited when it comes to America's conserved private lands
A new study led by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison examined why private-land conservation data is sometimes inaccessible and found that limited capacity within some federal agencies as well as laws prohibiting others from disclosing certain information are to blame.
Stroke risk factors for pregnant women with preeclampsia uncovered
Researchers at Columbia University discovered that women with preeclampsia have a higher stroke risk during pregnancy and postpartum if they have urinary tract infections, chronic high blood pressure, or blood disorders.
Researchers develop magnetic switch to turn on and off a strange quantum property
A NIST-led research team has developed the first switch that turns on and off a quantum behavior called the Berry phase.
Ag/ZnO-Nanorods Schottky diodes based UV-PDs are fabricated and tested
The current-voltage characteristics of the Ag/ZnO-Nanorod Schottky contacts were studied at forward applied bias over the range 0 V to 1 V, under dark and UV light.
Mechanisms of neuronal cell death in AGE-exposed retinas -- research and literature review
Gradual accumulation of glycated proteins, lipids and nucleic acid is a common process in normal aging, however rise in blood glucose levels, an increase of oxidative stress over time triggering further protein modification and resulting in impairment of defense mechanisms.
Researchers find crucial clue to manipulating reproduction in plants
A team of researchers, led by a UC Riverside plant cell biologist, has for the first time identified a small RNA species and its target gene that together regulate female germline formation in plants -- crucial knowledge for manipulating plant reproduction in order to improve agriculture.
New research proves the 'migrant work ethic' exists, in the short term
The research shows that migrant workers are over three times less likely to be absent from work than native UK workers, a measure which economists equate with work ethic.
Development of compound that captures specific alkane gas molecule with its color change
A ring-shaped molecule based on pillar[5]arene conjugated with benzoquinone has been developed, the powder of which selectively captures n-alkane gas molecule by host-guest complexation but not branched or cyclic alkane molecule.
New approach predicts threats to rainforests
A new study by scientists from the universities of Oxford, Montana, and the US Forest Service highlights novel approaches to tackling deforestation.
Ancient genetic markers in sockeye salmon can help manage healthier fish stocks
A recent study from UBC's Okanagan campus identifies new genetic markers in sockeye salmon that can help improve management of fish populations.
How fear can develop out of others' traumas
What happens in the brain when we see other people experiencing a trauma or being subjected to pain?
High pressure key to lighter, stronger metal alloys, Stanford scientists find
Subjecting complex metal mixtures called high-entropy alloys to extremely high pressures could lead to finer control over the arrangement of their atoms, which in turn can result in more desirable properties.
Kidney transplants from diabetic donors will save more lives, sooner
In a study published today in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, have found that the best chance of survival, for older patients, those who live in areas with long waits for transplantation, or those who already have diabetes, may come from accepting a kidney from a deceased donor who had diabetes.
Modeling invasive activity: Zebra mussels' infiltration of North American rivers
The invasion of nonnative species has widespread and detrimental effects on local and global ecosystems.
Designer worm spit supercharges healing
Every day 12 Australian diabetics have a limb amputated because of a non-healing wound.
Multiscale modeling reveals key events during early atherosclerotic plaque development
A new computational modeling technique could indicate when atherosclerotic plaques will likely undergo rapid growth, reports a study published this week in PLOS Computational Biology.
New medicine shows potential to reduce oral steroid use in severe asthma patients
The results of the trial, published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine, demonstrate that patients treated with a potential new medicine and antibody, called benralizumab, were more than four times likely to reduce their usage of oral corticosteroids than those taking a placebo.
Solving the riddle of the snow globe
A new Tel Aviv University study finds the sedimentation of asymmetric objects in liquid is very different from that of symmetrical objects like spheres.
Summer rainfall in vulnerable African region can be predicted
Summer rainfall in one of the world's most drought-prone regions can now be predicted months or years in advance, climate scientists at the Met Office and the University of Exeter say.
Penn Medicine researchers identify brain network organization changes
In a new study, published this week in Current Biology, a team of University of Pennsylvania researchers report newly mapped changes in the network organization of the brain that underlie those improvements in executive function.
Controlling 3-D behavior of biological cells using laser holographic techniques
A research team led by Professor YongKeun Park of the Physics Department at KAIST has developed an optical manipulation technique that can freely control the position, orientation, and shape of microscopic samples having complex shapes.
New drug therapy could improve brain function and life expectancy of ALS patients
The Ben-Gurion U. researcher successfully redesigned a portion of MabThera, an FDA-approved drug used to treat certain autoimmune diseases and types of cancer, into a new molecule to treat ALS.
Ancient DNA evidence shows hunter-gatherers and farmers were intimately linked
In human history, the transition from hunting and gathering to farming is a significant one.
Do men have worse chemotherapy-induced cardiomyopathy than women?
Men seem to have worse chemotherapy-induced cardiomyopathy than women despite receiving similar cancer treatments, according to research presented today at EuroCMR 2017.
No evidence that brain-stimulation technique boosts cognitive training
Transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS) -- a non-invasive technique for applying electric current to areas of the brain -- may be growing in popularity, but new research suggests that it probably does not add any meaningful benefit to cognitive training.
Children at increased risk of suicide
Teenagers injured through drinking, drug abuse or self-harming have a five-fold increased risk of dying from suicide in the next decade.
Kidneys from diabetic donors may benefit many transplant candidates
Patients who received kidney transplants from donors with diabetes had better survival compared with those who remained on the waitlist.
Resetting balance in reward centers may help treat alcohol addiction
The human brain functions on a delicate balance of reinforcing positive behaviors and suppressing negative ones, which takes place in the dorsal striatum, a brain region critical for goal-directed behavior and implicated in drug and alcohol addiction.
Misconceptions about foot disease common among Ethiopian children
Podoconiosis, also called nonfilarial elephantiasis or 'mossy foot,' can be prevented -- in the African countries where it's common -- by wearing shoes.
Why this IndyCar driver is outpacing diabetes
New Michigan State University research is the first to help a professional race car driver with diabetes improve his performance during competition, helping him capture two top-5 finishes at the Indianapolis 500.
Study implicates 2 genetic variants in bicuspid aortic valve development
Researchers report a key protein is affected during heart valve formation, in the first genome-wide study of bicuspid aortic valve.
Aggressive care at end of life for advanced lung cancer patients linked to poorer outcomes
For patients with advanced cancer, aggressive care -- chemotherapy, mechanical ventilation, acute hospitalizations and intensive care unit admissions -- at the end of life is commonplace.
New hair growth mechanism discovered
In experiments in mice, UC San Francisco researchers have discovered that regulatory T cells (Tregs; pronounced 'tee-regs'), a type of immune cell generally associated with controlling inflammation, directly trigger stem cells in the skin to promote healthy hair growth.
Unveiling the quantum necklace
Researchers simulate quantum necklace-like structures in superfluids.
One in 3 high blood pressure patients failing to take medication
University of Leicester researchers design novel urine test to help to diagnose adherence to blood pressure medications.
UW engineers borrow from electronics to build largest circuits in eukaryotic cells
UW synthetic biology researchers have demonstrated a new method for digital information processing in living cells, analogous to the logic gates used in electric circuits.
How to prevent lying and drinking in teens, according to research
Adolescents who have a greater tendency to lie to their parents are also more likely to start using alcohol at an earlier age, while excessive parental supervision may aggravate rather than solve the problem.
Fathers' brains respond differently to daughters than sons
Fathers with toddler daughters are more attentive and responsive to those daughters' needs than fathers with toddler sons are to the needs of those sons, according to brain scans and recordings of the parents' daily interactions with their kids.
ATS 2017 Wrap-up: Rapid sepsis treatment, predicting mortality after the ICU and more
Thousands of critical care and pulmonology specialists from across the world gathered this week for the American Thoracic Society International Conference in Washington, D.C., to share research, medical developments and best practices for patient care.
Researchers find new way to control light with electric fields
Researchers from North Carolina State University have discovered a technique for controlling light with electric fields.
Jupiter's complex transient auroras
Combined observations from three spacecraft show that Jupiter's brightest auroral features recorded to date are powered by both the volcanic moon Io and interaction with the solar wind.
The perils of publishing location data for endangered species
While the increasing accessibility of data from scientific studies creates many benefits -- and represents a process that should be broadly embraced -- in the context of conserving endangered species it can actually be problematic, write David Lindenmayer and Ben Scheele in this Essay.
MIT researchers engineer shape-shifting food
Researchers from MIT's Tangible Media Group have concocted something akin to edible origami, in the form of flat sheets of gelatin and starch that, when submerged in water, instantly sprout into three-dimensional structures, including common pasta shapes such as macaroni and rotini.
Study: A new way to slow cancer cell growth
Researchers have identified a new way to potentially slow the fast-growing cells that characterize all types of cancer.
New species of bus-sized fossil marine reptile unearthed in Russia
A new species of a fossil pliosaur (large predatory marine reptile from the 'age of dinosaur') has been found in Russia and profoundly change how we understand the evolution of the group, says an international team of scientists.

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Rethinking Anger
Anger is universal and complex: it can be quiet, festering, justified, vengeful, and destructive. This hour, TED speakers explore the many sides of anger, why we need it, and who's allowed to feel it. Guests include psychologists Ryan Martin and Russell Kolts, writer Soraya Chemaly, former talk radio host Lisa Fritsch, and business professor Dan Moshavi.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#538 Nobels and Astrophysics
This week we start with this year's physics Nobel Prize awarded to Jim Peebles, Michel Mayor, and Didier Queloz and finish with a discussion of the Nobel Prizes as a way to award and highlight important science. Are they still relevant? When science breakthroughs are built on the backs of hundreds -- and sometimes thousands -- of people's hard work, how do you pick just three to highlight? Join host Rachelle Saunders and astrophysicist, author, and science communicator Ethan Siegel for their chat about astrophysics and Nobel Prizes.