Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 30, 2017
Must children attend obesity treatment with parents to be effective?
Childhood overweight or obesity is associated with negative health outcomes and family-based obesity treatment delivered to both children and parents is considered to be effective.

A tough talk: How to improve cost transparency in cancer care
Being transparent about the cost of cancer treatments with patients has been increasingly recommended to help minimize financial harm and improve care, but what's preventing or derailing those conversations is less understood.

Groundwater 'pit stops' enabled survival and migration of our ancient ancestors
An international team led by a researcher at Cardiff University believe that the movement of our ancestors across East Africa was shaped by the locations of groundwater springs.

Flash glucose monitoring offers accuracy, ease of use, and clinical benefit for type 1 diabetes
Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) sensors are now so accurate that two CGM devices, including the first approved 'Flash Glucose Monitoring' system, have received regulatory approval for nonadjunctive use by individuals with type 1 diabetes to guide insulin dosing.

Common antioxidant could slow symptoms of aging in human skin
New work from the University of Maryland suggests that a common, inexpensive and safe chemical could slow the aging of human skin.

Study makes breakthrough in understanding of proteins and their impact on immune system
Researchers at the University of Birmingham have made a breakthrough in the understanding of how our genetic make-up can impact on the activity of the immune system and our ability to fight cancer.

Heavy particles get caught up in the flow
By teasing out signatures of particles that decay just tenths of a millimeter from the center of a trillion-degree fireball that mimics the early universe, nuclear physicists smashing atoms at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) are revealing new details about the fundamental particles that make up our world.

Awareness, adherence key to improved osteoporosis care
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, approximately 1.5 million Americans suffer osteoporosis-related fractures each year.

Identifying species from a single caviar egg
A new tool enables identification of high-end caviar from Beluga sturgeons by analyzing DNA from a single caviar, a development that helps ensure the fair international trade of caviar and contributes to conservation of the species in the wild.

Penn physicists discover why drying liquid crystal drops leave unusual 'coffee rings'
In previous papers, UPenn physicists investigated the 'coffee ring effect,' the ring-shaped stain of particles left after drops of coffee evaporate.

Lawn mower injuries send 13 children to the emergency department every day
A recent study from the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine shows that, while there has been a decrease in the number of children injured by lawn mowers over the last few decades, this cause of serious injury continues to be a concern.

Neural crest cells contribute an astrocyte-like glial population to the spleen
Neural crest cells (NCC) are multi-potent cells of ectodermal origin that colonize organs, including the gastrointestinal tract, to form the enteric nervous system (ENS) and hematopoietic organs (bone marrow, thymus) where they participate in lymphocyte trafficking.

Your sex life is only as old as you feel
The closer you feel to your actual age, the less likely you are to be satisfied with your sex life, a University of Waterloo study has found.

Breaking glass in infinite dimensions
With the help of some mathematical wizardry borrowed from particle physics -- plus around 30 pages of algebraic calculations, all done by hand -- Duke postdoctoral fellow Sho Yaida has laid to rest a 30-year-old mystery about the nature of glass.

New plasmonic sensor improves early cancer detection
A new plasmonic sensor developed by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will serve as a reliable early detection of biomarkers for many forms of cancer and eventually other diseases.

Biologists find missing link for the 'safe' signal in plants
Plant biologists at Utrecht University and colleagues from the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, have discovered how the plant metabolises jasmonic acid, issuing the signal 'safe'.

PNG expedition discovers largest trees at extreme altitudes
The first field campaign surveying Papua New Guinea's lush primary forests from the coast to clouds has revealed the high mountain tops may house the largest trees recorded globally at such extreme altitudes.

Violence against conflict-affected teenage girls in Africa is widespread
A majority of displaced adolescent girls are victimized by violence, according to a new study in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia by researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.

Older mothers have higher rates of severe complications in childbirth
The risk of potentially life-threatening morbidity around childbirth, such as renal failure, obstetric shock, and amniotic fluid embolism, increases in older mothers, according to a study published by Sarka Lisonkova from the University of British Columbia, Canada and colleagues in PLOS Medicine.

Diabetes linked to bacteria invading the colon, study finds
In humans, developing metabolic disease, particularly type 2 diabetes, is correlated with having bacteria that penetrate the mucus lining of the colon, according to a study led by Drs.

Infection with seasonal flu may increase risk of developing Parkinson's disease
Most cases of Parkinson's have no known cause, and researchers continue to debate and study possible factors that may contribute to the disease.

High-sensitivity assay gives more reassurance to chest pain patients
For some time now, patients in Sweden's emergency clinics complaining of chest pain have been evaluated using the 'high-sensitivity troponin T' assay.

Triple immunotherapy for rare skin cancer shows promise in small, early-stage trial
Combo of T-cell therapy, newly FDA-approved drug and another immunotherapeutic agent kept cancer at bay for three out of four patients with metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma.

Childhood obesity causes lasting damage to the body
Obesity in childhood has long term health implications stretching into adulthood, a new study in the journal Obesity Reviews reveals.

First step taken toward epigenetically modified cotton
Scientists have produced a 'methylome' for domesticated cotton and its wild ancestors, a powerful new tool to guide breeders in creating cotton with better traits based on epigenetic changes.

People walking to work or an errand more likely to stroll into dangerous areas, study says
Pedestrians with a purpose, such as going to work or a store, were more likely to walk in areas with a higher risk of being hit by a car, compared to walkers on recreational strolls, a new study has found.

Stem cells yield nature's blueprint for body's vasculature
A team led by Igor Slukvin, a University of Wisconsin-Madison professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, and cell and regenerative biology, describes the developmental pathway that gives rise to the different types of cells that make up human vasculature.

Motor neuron disease discovery offers new insights into potential treatment targets
Scientists have discovered how certain forms of motor neuron disease begin and progress at cellular and molecular levels, revealing potential new ways to slow down or even stop this process.

Amazon rainforest may be more resilient to deforestation than previously thought
Taking a fresh look at evidence from satellite data, and using the latest theories from complexity science, researchers at the University of Bristol have provided new evidence to show that the Amazon rainforest is not as fragile as previously thought.

How the popularity of sea cucumbers is threatening coastal communities
Coastal communities are struggling with the complex social and ecological impacts of a growing global hunger for a seafood delicacy -- sea cucumbers -- according to a new study from the University of British Columbia.

Vegetables rotting? Check bacteria conversation
Bacteria 'conversation' may be an early trigger for plant pathogens virulence, show scientists from Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência.

The next enchanted ring?
Using genomics, a chemistry lab has worked out the biosynthetic machinery that makes a new class of antibiotic compounds called the beta-lactones.

Scientists detect light-matter interaction in single layer of atoms
Researchers have pioneered a way to detect the interaction of light and matter on a single layer of atoms.

Nanosubmarine with self-destroying activity
Autonomous targeting and release of drugs at their site of action are desired features of nanomedical systems.

Neutron lifetime measurements take new shape for in situ detection
Neutrons are inherently unstable and don't last long outside an atomic nucleus, and because they decay on a time scale similar to the period for Big Bang Nucleosynthesis, accurate simulations of the BBN era require thorough knowledge of the neutron lifetime, but this value is still not precisely known.

Cigarette damage to unborn children revealed in stem cell study
Chemicals found in cigarette smoke have been shown to damage foetal liver cells.

NASA sees Tropical Cyclone Mora making landfall in Bangladesh
Tropical Cyclone Mora formed in the Bay of Bengal and in just two days it strengthened into a tropical storm and was making landfall in Bangladesh.

Penn studies show hope for multiple cancers with pembrolizumab combination therapies
The combination of pembrolizumab and the checkpoint inhibitor known as epacadostat is leading to promising responses and is generally well tolerated in patients with triple-negative breast cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, squamous cell cancer of the head and neck, and several other cancers, according to researchers from the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania.

Chemical coatings boss around bacteria, in the bugs' own language
Princeton researchers have developed a way to place onto surfaces special coatings that chemically 'communicate' with bacteria, telling them what to do.

Frequency modulation accelerates the research of quantum technologies
In quantum devices, frequency modulation is utilized in controlling interactions.

Women underrepresented in philosophy journals, data reveals
Women are underrepresented in philosophy journals, even when compared to their already low rate of representation among faculty, according to new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York.

The rules of baboons
How do baboons succeed in coordinating the movements of their group?

Blocking cancer-specific mutations in leukemia and brain tumors
The substitution of a single amino acid in a metabolic enzyme can be the cause of various types of cancer.

Rice lab creates tough, but tender, cancer fighters
Rice University researchers develop analogs of anti-tumor agents as potential drugs that proved highly effective at killing even drug-resistant cancer cell lines.

More frequent extreme ocean warming could further endanger albatross
As scientists grapple with the behavioral, ecological and evolutionary impacts of extreme climatic events, the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B created a special June issue to explore what is known on the topic and pioneer new approaches to this challenging and rapidly expanding field of study.

How circadian clocks communicate with each other
Multiple biological clocks control the daily rhythms of physiology and behavior in animals and humans.

LGBQQ college students face barriers to campus mental health services, study finds
One of the largest-ever mental health surveys of college students finds that while students who identify as being LGBQQ suffer from psychological distress more often than their straight peers, they are more likely to seek help for their mental health problems.

CMU's interactive tool helps novices and experts make custom robots
A new interactive design tool developed by Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute enables both novices and experts to build customized legged or wheeled robots using 3-D-printed components and off-the-shelf actuators.

Do obese children need to attend treatment to lose weight?
One-third of American children are overweight or obese. Family-based treatment (FBT) has been considered the best model for the treatment of obese children as it provides both parents and children with education and behavior therapy techniques but is provided mainly in a hospital setting.

Blocking TB germs' metabolic 'escape pathways' may be key to better, shorter treatment
New research suggests the bacteria that cause tuberculosis alter their metabolism to combat exposure to antimicrobials, and that these metabolic 'escape pathways' might be neutralized by new drugs to shorten the troublesome duration of therapy.

Many cancer patients' Emergency Department visits appear preventable
As many as 53 percent of cancer patients' Emergency Department visits that do not require admission could be avoided with better symptom management and greater availability of outpatient care tailored to their needs, according to a new study from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Assessing and addressing the impact of childhood trauma
People experiencing psychosis become more prone to experiencing unusual thoughts, beliefs, and experiences that make it harder to distinguish reality.

New method allows real-time monitoring of irradiated materials
MIT researchers have developed a much faster, non-contact method of studying how materials change in a high-radiation environment, such as inside a nuclear reactor.

A lightning-fast flu virus detector
A research team at Tokyo Medical and Dental University built a novel biosensor for the rapid detection of human influenza A virus using a modified poly (3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) conducting polymer.

New scaling law predicts how wheels drive over sand
Engineers at MIT have come up with a scaling law to describe how objects move through sand.

Gender minority adults more likely to report poor or fair health
Gender minority adults report more health disparities than their peers who are cisgender (gender identity corresponds to gender at birth), according to a research letter published by JAMA Internal Medicine.

Emergency room patients routinely overcharged, study finds
An analysis of billing records for more than 12,000 emergency medicine doctors across the United States shows that charges varied widely, but that on average, adult patients are charged 340 percent more than what Medicare pays for services ranging from suturing a wound to interpreting a head CT scan.

A glove powered by soft robotics to interact with virtual reality environments
Engineers at UC San Diego are using soft robotics technology to make light, flexible gloves that allow users to feel tactile feedback when they interact with virtual reality environments.

Subduing the rebellion: Unmasking rogue cells in the immune system
OIST researchers discovered a target to single out immune system cells responsible for autoimmune diseases such as arthritis or irritable bowel syndrome.

The synchronized dance of skyrmion spins
A research group in Singapore has used computer simulations to further probe the behaviors of skyrmions, gaining insight that can help scientists and engineers better study the quasi-particles in experiments.

Springs were critical water sources for early humans in East Africa, Rutgers study finds
About 1 to 2 million years ago, early humans in East Africa periodically faced very dry conditions, with little or no water in sight.

Tactile feedback adds 'muscle sense' to prosthetic hand
Engineers from Rice University and the Research Center 'E.Piaggio' of the University of Pisa and the Italian Institute of Technology have found that tactile feedback on the skin allowed blindfolded test subjects to more than double their ability to discern the size of objects grasped with a prosthetic hand.

Small molecule prevents blood clots without increasing bleeding risk
It may be possible to disrupt harmful blood clots in people at risk for heart attack or stroke without increasing their risk of bleeding, according to a new study published in Nature Communications.

Fossil skeleton confirms earliest primates were tree dwellers
Earth's earliest primates dwelled in treetops, not on the ground, according to an analysis of a 62-million-year-old partial skeleton discovered in New Mexico -- the oldest-known primate skeleton.

Just how old are animals?
Researchers from the University of Bristol and Queen Mary University of London have examined recent approaches to dating the 'tree of life', i.e. use of the molecular clock, RelTime, and found it failed to relax the clock.

Causes of major birth defects still largely unknown
Causes of major birth defects remain largely unknown, say US researchers in The BMJ today, who were able to establish a definite cause in only one in every five infants they studied.

Does stress lead to lengthier periods of sick leave?
The duration of a person's unfitness for work is determined by more than his/her primary diagnosis.

Researchers measure the coherence length in glasses using the supercomputer JANUS
Thanks to the JANUS II supercomputer, researchers from Spain and Italy (Institute of Biocomputation and Physics of Complex Systems of the University of Zaragoza, Complutense University of Madrid, University of Extremadura, La Sapienza University of Rome and University of Ferrara), have refined the calculation of the microscopic correlation length and have reproduced the experimental protocol, enabling them to calculate the macroscopic length.

Overhead signs on freeways: Are drivers being told too much?
The growing trend to install multiple road signs at the same location along Australian freeways might be practical and cost-effective but is it safe?

Not such a 'simple' sugar -- glucose may help fight cancer and inflammatory disease
Scientists have just discovered that glucose, the most important fuel used in our bodies, also plays a vital role in the immune response.

Fruity with a note of fungus: How fungal infections change the aroma of wine
A recent study examining how two common types of fungal infection affect the aroma of wine reveals that both bunch rot (Botrytis cinerea) and powdery mildew (Erysiphe necator) do in fact change the aroma of wine, due to changes in chemical aroma substance composition.

Study identifies factors that lead to greater college success
Researchers identify three competencies most frequently showed evidence of supporting students' college persistence and success, as measured by grades, retention and graduation: A sense of belonging, a growth mindset and personal goals and values.

Breakthrough curved sensor could dramatically improve digital camera image quality
If you've ever tried to take a picture in a dark restaurant, you know that it is difficult to get a clear, quality image.

Understanding T cell activation could lead to new vaccines
Scientists could be one step closer to developing vaccines against viruses such as Zika, West Nile or HIV, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers.

Brain opioids help us to relate with others
A new Finnish research reveals how brain's opioids modulate responses towards other people's pain.

Study: Ketamine doesn't affect delirium or pain after surgery
A new study, with an accompanying editorial, published today in The Lancet sought to discover what effect ketamine has on delirium and pain -- two serious postoperative complications.

Magnetoelectric memory cell increases energy efficiency for data storage
A team of researchers has now developed a magnetoelectric random access memory (MELRAM) cell that has the potential to increase power efficiency, and thereby decrease heat waste, by orders of magnitude for read operations at room temperature.

Corals in peril at a popular Hawaiian tourist destination due to global climate change
Researchers from the Coral Reef Ecology Lab at the Hawai'i Institute of Marine Biology documented the third global bleaching event as it occurred from 2014 to 2016 at the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve (HBNP) on the island of O'ahu, Hawai'i.

AHCA could jeopardize health coverage for young adults, study suggests
As the US Senate takes up the proposed American Health Care Act (AHCA), a large study provides evidence that eliminating the individual mandate could jeopardize health care coverage for young adults.

Physicists explore elusive high-energy particles in a crystal
A new phenomenon in an unconventional metal, found by physicists at MIT and elsewhere, could provide a new way of making highly sensitive detectors for mid-infrared wavelengths.

Prenatal stress predisposes female mice to binge eating
Stress changes our eating habits, but the mechanism may not be purely psychological, research in mice suggests.

Just ask: Documenting sexual orientation and gender identity among transgender patients
Transgender patients feel it is more important for health care providers to know their gender identity (GI) than their sexual orientation (SO), but are willing to disclose SO/GI in general.

Gender and homicide: Important trends across four decades
A comprehensive review of four decades of national homicide data show important gender differences and trends among homicide victims and offenders in the U.S., related to prevalence and the characteristics of the crimes and the men and women involved.

'Quantum leap' for Liverpool
Physicists from the University of Liverpool have made a huge step forwards towards building a novel experiment to probe the 'dark contents' of the vacuum.

Charismatic leaders: Too much of a good thing?
How important is charisma in a leader? While at least a moderate level is important, too much may hinder a leader's effectiveness, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.

One blood pressure drug therapy associated with lower health-care costs
About half of patients diagnosed with high blood pressure will need their medication adjusted within the first year to address side effects or failure to control blood pressure properly.

Drug believed to reduce postoperative pain and delirium does neither
Anesthesiologists routinely give surgery patients low doses of the drug ketamine to blunt postoperative pain and reduce the need for opioid drugs.

NASA's 'Webb-cam' captures engineers at work on Webb at Johnson Space Center
NASA's special

Chimpanzees adapt their foraging behavior to avoid human contact
Research by PhD candidate Nicola Bryson-Morrison from the University of Kent's School of Anthropology and Conservation (SAC) suggests chimpanzees are aware of the risks of foraging too close to humans.

Quality improvement measures cut hospital readmissions but do not always produce savings
Efforts to reduce hospital readmissions are working, but they're not always saving money, according to a new Cedars-Sinai study.

Better treatment for kidney cancer thanks to new mouse model
Research in the field of kidney cancer, also called renal cancer, is vital, because many patients with this disease still cannot be cured today.

Evolution on the fast lane -- 1 flounder species became 2
A research group at the University of Helsinki discovered the fastest event of speciation in any marine vertebrate when studying flounders in an international research collaboration project.

Mosquitoes infected with virus-suppressing bacteria could help control dengue fever
Mosquitoes infected with the bacteria Wolbachia are significantly worse vectors for dengue virus, but how to establish and spread Wolbachia in an urban mosquito population is unclear.

Reservoirs of latent HIV can grow despite effective therapy, study shows
Researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine report new evidence that immune cells infected with a latent form of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are able to proliferate, replenishing the reservoir of virus that is resistant to antiretroviral drug therapy.

NIH scientists find real-time imaging in mice a promising influenza study tool
Real-time imaging of influenza infection in mice is a promising new method to quickly monitor disease progression and to evaluate whether candidate vaccines and treatments are effective in this animal model, according to scientists from NIAID.

Higher odds of late breast cancer diagnosis in isolated white communities, researchers say
Living in a segregated white community has been associated with higher odds of being diagnosed with late-stage breast cancer, according to a recent study led by a researcher in the School of Public Health at Georgia State University.

NASA observes heavy monsoon rainfall in Sri Lanka
NASA's Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM satellite constellation provided rainfall data after the monsoon generated large amounts of precipitation in Sri Lanka that caused landslides over the week of May 22.

Do stars fall quietly into black holes, or crash into something utterly unknown?
Astronomers at The University of Texas at Austin and Harvard University have put a basic principle of black holes to the test, showing that matter completely vanishes when pulled in.

Cost of a common ER visit? Study finds most health care providers don't know
Researchers found an average of only 38 percent of emergency medicine healthcare professionals -- including physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners -- accurately estimated the costs for three common conditions seen in the emergency department.

Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
A new study finds that drone deliveries emit less climate-warming carbon dioxide pollution than truck deliveries in some -- but not all -- scenarios.

A more energy-efficient catalytic process to produce olefins
Research at the University of Pittsburgh into a more energy-efficient catalytic process to produce olefins, the building blocks for polymer production, could influence potential applications in diverse technology areas from green energy and sustainable chemistry to materials engineering and catalysis.

Mobile technology and child and adolescent development
A new special section of Child Development shows how particularly diverse the use of mobile technology is among children and adolescents, and points to great complexity in the effects of that usage.

Study documents opioid abuse following urologic surgery
About 1 in 1,111 patients who undergo urologic surgery for conditions such as prostate cancer and kidney stones experience opioid dependence or overdose (ODO), a Loyola Medicine study has found.

Handwashing: Cool water as effective as hot for removing germs
We all know that washing our hands can keep us from spreading germs and getting sick.

Hunting can help European ecosystems
Hunting as an outdoor activity is underrated in how it helps nature and society to regulate problem animal overpopulations.

Genetic analysis of New World birds confirms untested evolutionary assumption
Biologists have always been fascinated by the diversity and changeability of life on Earth and have attempted to answer a fundamental question: How do new species originate?

Preventing software from causing injury
Workplace injuries don't just come from lifting heavy things or falling off a ladder.

Household chemicals may impair thyroid in young girls
Early childhood exposures to specific phthalates were associated with depressed thyroid function in girls at age 3, according to scientists at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.

'Halos' discovered on Mars widen time frame for potential life
Lighter-toned bedrock that surrounds fractures and comprises high concentrations of silica -- called 'halos' -- has been found in Gale crater on Mars, indicating that the planet had liquid water much longer than previously believed.

The first genome data from ancient Egyptian mummies
An international team, led by researchers from the University of Tuebingen and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, successfully recovered ancient DNA from Egyptian mummies dating from approximately 1400 BCE to 400 CE, including the first genome-wide nuclear data, establishing ancient Egyptian mummies as a reliable of ancient DNA.

More to the bunch: Study finds large chromosomal swaps key to banana domestication
A banana reference genome was completed by Angélique D'Hont's group at the CIRAD French research institute and the French National Sequencing Center in 2012.

Nitrogen fixation research could shed light on biological mystery
Half the world's population depends for its survival on nitrogen fixed by bacteria, but we still don't know how the bacteria do it.

Body- and sex related problems are separate from other forms of psychological problems
Body- and sex related problems constitute a distinct group of psychological ailments that is most common in middle aged women, according to scientific research.

New method of characterizing graphene
Scientists have developed a new method of characterizing graphene's properties without applying disruptive electrical contacts, allowing them to investigate both the resistance and quantum capacitance of graphene and other two-dimensional materials. 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