Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 26, 2017
High levels of PFOA found in mid-Ohio River Valley residents from 1991 to 2013
New research from the University of Cincinnati reveals that residents of the mid-Ohio River Valley had higher than normal levels of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) based on serum samples collected over a 22-year span.

Designer viruses stimulate the immune system to fight cancer
Swiss scientists from the University of Geneva, Switzerland, and the University of Basel have created artificial viruses that can be used to target cancer.

Dramatic shift in gut microbes and their metabolites seen after weight loss surgery
A new study compares the two most common surgical therapies for obesity, known as Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB), and laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB).

Small non-profit's unconventional approach offers new hope with autism suramin trial
Results from a new clinical trial at UCSD School of Medicine using an old drug, suramin, in boys with autism may represent one of the most dramatic advances in autism yet.

Ontario town's 10-year, $2.7 million effort to save endangered turtles offers global lessons, template
With C$2.7 million in government and private funding from Canada and the US, a 10-year community-led project on the north shore of Lake Erie has dramatically reduced roadkill on a thoroughfare running through a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.

Self-healing catalyst films for hydrogen production
Chemists at the Centre for Electrochemical Sciences at Ruhr-Universität Bochum have developed a catalyst with self-healing properties.

Diesel pollution linked to heart damage
Diesel pollution is linked with heart damage, according to research presented today at EuroCMR 2017.

Total abdominal wall transplantation for complex transplant cases -- experts outline technique
For some patients undergoing intestinal or multi-organ transplantation, closing the abdominal wall poses a difficult surgical challenge.

Penn Medicine's Irene Hurford receives Exemplary Psychiatrist Award
Irene Hurford, MD, an assistant professor in the department of Psychiatry, has received a 2017 Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

Laptops and tablets in the classroom: How to integrate electronic devices in the university
For the authors, the high correlation between student tablet use and greater activity on social networks is worrying.

Study finds Congo's miners often resort to hunting wildlife for food
A new study by WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) has revealed how mining for valuable minerals in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a major driving factor in the illegal hunting of great apes and other wildlife for food.

Nagoya University researchers break down plastic waste
Nagoya University team develops ruthenium catalysts to hydrogenate inert amide bonds under mild conditions.

Open-access genetic screening for hereditary breast cancer is feasible and effective
Offering open-access genetic testing for the inherited breast cancers BRCA1 and 2 to Ashkenazi women unaffected by cancer, regardless of their family history, enables the identification of carriers who would otherwise have been missed.

Fungal enzymes team up to more efficiently break down cellulose
Cost-effectively breaking down bioenergy crops into sugars that can then be converted into fuel is a barrier to commercially producing sustainable biofuels.

Darwin was right: Females prefer sex with good listeners
Almost 150 years after Charles Darwin first proposed a little-known prediction from his theory of sexual selection, researchers have found that male moths with larger antennae are better at detecting female signals.

Study takes step toward mass-producible quantum computers
Study takes step toward mass-producible quantum computers.

Dog skull study reveals genetic changes linked to face shape
A study of dog DNA has revealed a genetic mutation linked to flat face shapes such as those seen in pugs and bulldogs.

Chemical array draws out malignant cells to guide individualized cancer treatment
Melanoma is a particularly difficult cancer to treat once it has metastasized, spreading throughout the body.

Why communication is vital -- even among plants and fungi
A plant protein vital to chemical signalling between plants and fungi has been discovered, revealing more about the communication processes underlying symbiosis.

Latin-Americans with different Native-American ancestry show different health risks
Latin-Americans originate from a mix of people with Native-American, European and African ancestry.

Study examines role of business angels during periods of austerity
Government support for 'business angels' is essential even in times of austerity, according to research involving the University of East Anglia (UEA) and University of Glasgow.

Bioelectricity new weapon to fight dangerous infection
Changing natural electrical signaling in non-neural cells improves innate immune response to bacterial infections and injury.

Conch shells may inspire better helmets, body armor
MIT engineers have uncovered the secret to the exceptional toughness of conch shells, and say the same principles can be used for body armor and helmets.

Camera on NASA's Lunar Orbiter survived 2014 meteoroid hit
Images from LRO show a brief violent movement of one of the Narrow Angle Cameras in October of 2014.

Penn study finds gray matter density increases during adolescence
A new study published by Penn Medicine researchers this month and featured on the cover of the Journal of Neuroscience may help resolve this puzzle, revealing that while volume indeed decreases from childhood to young adulthood, gray matter density actually increases.

Methicillin resistance among clinical isolates of Staphylococcus aureus in Egypt
In this article that appeared in Infectious Disorders - Drug Targets, Dr.

Researchers studying century-old drug in potential new approach to autism
In a small, randomized Phase I/II clinical trial (SAT1), researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine say a 100-year-old drug called suramin, originally developed to treat African sleeping sickness, was safely administered to children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), who subsequently displayed measurable, but transient, improvement in core symptoms of autism.

New cellular target may put the brakes on cancer's ability to spread
Researchers have discovered a biochemical signaling process that causes densely packed cancer cells to break away from a tumor and spread the disease elsewhere in the body.

Isolated Greek villages reveal genetic secrets that protect against heart disease
A genetic variant that protects the heart against cardiovascular disease has been discovered by researchers at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and their collaborators.

Coroners unable to agree on what caused a person's death
A FORMER top detective turned University of Huddersfield researcher has published his findings that coroners in England and Wales are seemingly unable to agree on what caused a person's death or whether it merits an inquest, even when faced with identical case information.

Increased facial and head injuries after motorcycle helmet law change in Michigan
Skull fractures and other head and facial injuries from motorcycle trauma in Michigan have doubled since that state relaxed its motorcycle helmet laws, reports a study in the June issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

Alzheimer's Association calls for new strategies against dementia in Scientific American
The time has come for advancing combination therapies against Alzheimer's disease, explains James A.

Vitamin D in pregnancy may help prevent childhood asthma
A new study published today in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology has found that taking Vitamin D supplements in pregnancy can positively modify the immune system of the newborn baby, which could help to protect against asthma and respiratory infections, a known risk factor for developing asthma in childhood.

Penn State DNA ladders: Inexpensive molecular rulers for DNA research
New license-free tools will allow researchers to estimate the size of DNA fragments for a fraction of the cost of currently available methods.

Statins associated with improved heart structure and function
Statins are associated with improved heart structure and function, according to research presented today at EuroCMR 2017.

A 3-D look at the 2015 El Niño
El Niño is a recurring climate pattern characterized by warmer than usual ocean temperatures in the equatorial Pacific.

Losing sleep over climate change
UC San Diego study of US data suggests a sleep-deprived planet by century's end.

Venetian physician had a key role in shaping early modern chemistry
Newly discovered notes show for the first time the Venetian doctor who invented the thermometer and helped lay the foundations for modern medical treatment also played a key role in shaping our understanding of chemistry.

Scientists identify protein linked to chronic heart failure
Researchers in Japan have identified a receptor protein on the surface of heart cells that promotes chronic heart failure.

'Tiny clocks' crystallize understanding of meteorite crashes
Scientists from Western University and the University of Portsmouth are using new imaging techniques to measure the atomic nanostructure of ancient crystal fragments at meteorite impact sites.

Study sweetens connection between cancer and sugar
In a new study, scientists at the University of Texas at Dallas have found that some types of cancers have more of a sweet tooth than others.

Marine species distribution shifts will continue under ocean warming
Scientists using a high-resolution global climate model and historical observations of species distributions on the Northeast US Shelf have found that commercially important species will continue to shift their distribution as ocean waters warm two to three times faster than the global average through the end of this century.

Knowledge gap on the origin of sex
There are significant gaps in our knowledge on the evolution of sex, according to a research review on sex chromosomes from Lund University in Sweden.

Scientists jump hurdle in HIV vaccine design
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have made another important advance in HIV vaccine design.

People match confidence levels to make decisions in groups
When trying to make a decision with another person, people tend to match their confidence levels, which can backfire if one person has more expertise than the other, finds a new study led by UCL and University of Oxford researchers.

Strathclyde-led research develops world's highest gain high-power laser amplifier
The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier -- by many orders of magnitude -- has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.

New insights into the ancestors of all complex life
A team of scientists led by the University of Bristol has provided new insights into the origins of the Archaea, the group of simple cellular organisms that are the ancestors of all complex life.

NASA's SDO sees partial eclipse in space
On May 25, 2017, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory saw a partial solar eclipse in space when it caught the moon passing in front of the sun.

Tornado spawning Eastern US storms examined by NASA's GPM satellite
On Wednesday May 24, 2017, severe weather affected a large area of the eastern United States.

Researchers develop faster and cheaper cardiac imaging test for developing countries
Researchers in the UK and Peru have developed a faster and cheaper cardiac imaging test that can be used in developing countries, according to the results of the INCA-Peru study presented today at EuroCMR 2017.

New photocatalyst speeds up the conversion of carbon dioxide into chemical resources
A new oxygen-deficient titanium dioxide prepared with Mg reduction method drastically improves the carbon dioxide conversion efficiency up to three times the efficiency of existing photocatalyst.

Mind-controlled device helps stroke patients retrain brains to move paralyzed hands
Stroke patients who learned to use their minds to open and close a plastic brace fitted over their paralyzed hands gained some ability to control their own hands when they were not wearing the brace, according to a new study from Washington University School of Medicine in St.

HIV patients sticking with therapy longer, Medicaid data show
A large new study based on Medicaid data identifies a clear trend of people staying on their HIV medications longer than they used to.

No green light for latest traffic light app following expert evaluation
Psychologist Dr Kyle Wilson takes a 'human look' at a new vehicle traffic light app ahead of plans to introduce similar devices into 'connected vehicles'

New drug reduces transplant and mortality rates significantly in patients with hepatitis C
Patients with hepatitis C who suffer from advanced stages of liver disease have renewed hope, thanks to findings by researchers who have discovered that a new drug significantly reduces their risk of death and need for transplantation. 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