Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 13, 2017
Taking diabetes medications as prescribed, exercising and managing weight
People with diabetes who took their medications at least 80 percent of the time and people who exercised four or more times per week were at lower risk for poorly controlled blood sugar, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Pharmacy Benefits.

Do anti-wrinkle creams work? (video)
Skin can stay firm and stretchy thanks to protein fibers in the tissue beneath the surface.

Cellular stress increases the probability of developing autoimmune diseases
Researchers found that cellular stress enhances the activation of certain type of immune cells with implications in many chronic inflammatory conditions.

VST captures three-in-one
Two of the sky's more famous residents share the stage with a lesser-known neighbour in this enormous new three gigapixel image from ESO's VLT Survey Telescope (VST).

Climate change risk for animals living in prime conditions
The study examined whether birds might be able to evolve to adapt to changes to the natural environment within their range -- the geographical area where the birds nest, feed, migrate and hibernate over the course of their lifetimes.

What drives hacktivism? Weighing the payoffs against the risks
A new study examining factors that contribute to the likelihood of a hacktivist carrying out an attack showed, unexpectedly, that the payoffs are the main predictor, not the risks involved.

Magnets, all the way down!
If you can't move electrons around to study how factors like symmetry impact the larger-scale magnetic effects, what can you do instead?

Genetic variants linked to higher BMI may be protective against Parkinson disease
Genetic variants linked to higher body mass index (BMI) are associated with lower risk of Parkinson disease, according to a study published by Nicholas Wood and colleagues from the University College London, UK, in PLOS Medicine.

A&A special issue: The VLA-COSMOS 3 GHz large project
Astronomy & Astrophysics is publishing a series of articles on the results of the VLA-COSMOS 3 GHz Large Project.

Making art activates brain's reward pathway -- Drexel study
Coloring, doodling and drawing all showed significant bloodflow in the section of the brain related to feeling rewarded, a new study by a Drexel University art therapist found.

New evidence that all stars are born in pairs
Though astronomers have long known that many if not most stars are binaries, the question has always been, Were they born that way, or did one star capture another?

Researchers discover what may be earliest stage of Alzheimer's disease
Older adults with elevated levels of brain-clogging plaques -- but otherwise normal cognition -- experience faster mental decline suggestive of Alzheimer's disease.

Transcranial direct current stimulation improves mental manipulation of body part imagery
The lateral occipito-temporal cortex (LOTC) is known to be involved in the perception of body parts.

Galaxy alignments traced back 10 billion years
A new study led by Michael West of Lowell Observatory and Roberto De Propris of the University of Turku, Finland, reveals that the most massive galaxies in the universe have been aligned with their surroundings for at least ten billion years.

Does access to quality playgrounds vary with a child's socioeconomic status & obesity risk?
A study of all 3rd-5th grade youth in one US county examined differences in access to playgrounds and associations between youth weight and playground accessibility and quality.

Concussion effects detailed on microscopic level
New research has uncovered details about subcellular-level changes in the brain after concussion that could one day lead to improved treatment.

Research finds link between spacing out and giving up
People whose minds tend to wander are less likely to stick to their long-term goals, according to new research led by the University of Waterloo.

Researchers pinpoint how detecting social signals may have affected how we see colors
The arrangement of the photoreceptors in our eyes allows us to detect socially significant color variation better than other types of color vision, a team of researchers has found.

Study sheds light on determining surgical margins for feline tumors
Researchers are paving the way for more precision in determining surgical margins for an aggressive tumor common in cats by analyzing tissue contraction at various stages of the post-operative examination process.

Shining light on low-energy electrons
The classic method for studying how electrons interact with matter is by analyzing their scattering through thin layers of a known substance.

Can use of a drone improve response times for out-of-hospital cardiac arrests compared to an ambulance
In a study involving simulated out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, drones carrying an automated external defibrillator arrived in less time than emergency medical services, with a reduction in response time of about 16 minutes, according to a study published by JAMA.

Scientists make plastic from sugar and carbon dioxide
Some biodegradable plastics could in the future be made using sugar and carbon dioxide, replacing unsustainable plastics made from crude oil, following research by scientists from the Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies (CSCT) at the University of Bath.

What makes a mother risk her life to protect her children
Faced with imminent danger, parents will defend their young with their own life.

Molecule may help maintain brain's synaptic balance
Many neurological diseases are malfunctions of synapses, or the points of contact between neurons that allow senses and other information to pass from finger to brain.

People 'phone snubbed' by others often turn to phones, social media for acceptance, Baylor study
People who are phone snubbed -- or 'phubbed' -- by others are, themselves, often turning to their smartphones and social media to find acceptance, according to new research from Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business.

The role of vitamin A in diabetes
There has been no known link between diabetes and vitamin A -- until now.

Topical drug darkens human skin in a dish without UV
Researchers in Boston have developed a class of small molecules that successfully penetrates and darkens human skin samples in the laboratory.

Discovery by NUS researchers improves understanding of cellular aging and cancer development
A team of researchers led by Dr Dennis Kappei, a Special Fellow from the Cancer Science Institute of Singapore at the National University of Singapore, has discovered the role of the protein ZBTB48 in regulating both telomeres and mitochondria, which are key players involved in cellular ageing.

New technology enables effective simultaneous testing for multiple blood-borne pathogens
Identification of new pathogens requires a rapid response from industry to develop new tests and the FDA to assess test safety and efficacy.

Clinical study shows TempTraq detects fevers quicker than the current standard-of-care method
A University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center (UH) study shows TempTraq, a patented, wearable, Bluetooth continuous temperature monitor in the form of a soft, comfortable patch, can detect a rise in body temperature up to 180 minutes earlier, in a majority of patient cases, than the current standard-of-care (SOC) method.

Study shows pharmacists knew more about penicillin allergy than MDs
A new study shows many physicians who treat patients with 'penicillin allergy' listed in their charts may not fully understand important facts about penicillin allergy.

Treating nutritional iron-deficiency anemia in children
In a study published by JAMA, Jacquelyn M. Powers, M.D., M.S., of the Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, and colleagues compared two medications, ferrous sulfate and iron polysaccharide complex, for the treatment of nutritional iron-deficiency anemia in infants and children.

Graphene transistor could mean computers that are 1,000 times faster
Transistors based on graphene ribbons could result in much faster, more efficient computers and other devices.

Donor microbes persist two years after fecal transplant to treat C. difficile infection
University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers have made the first direct demonstration that fecal donor microbes remained in recipients for months or years after a transplant to treat the diarrhea and colitis caused by recurrent Clostridium difficile infections -- a serious and stubborn cause of diarrhea after an antibiotic treatment for some other illness.

Discovery of human blood cell destinies revises knowledge of immune cell development
Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) research has identified a human blood cell type that can only differentiate into monocytes, and is equivalent to mouse cells identified in earlier work.

University of Huddersfield collaborates with Australian firm for scientific research
Dr. Jason Camp is working with Circa Group, who produce the solvent Cyrene, to investigate the potential of a non-toxic and more greener way to produce a wide range of medicines.

Female and male mice suffer, recover from TBI differently
Male mice have much greater brain distress in the week following a traumatic brain injury (TBI) than female mice, including skyrocketing inflammation and nerve cell death, say researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center.

Cloudy with a chance of radiation: NASA studies simulated radiation
NASA's Human Research Program (HRP) is simulating space radiation on Earth following upgrades to the NASA Space Radiation Laboratory (NSRL) at the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Superconducting nanowire memory cell, miniaturized technology
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a new nanoscale memory cell that holds tremendous promise for successful integration with superconducting processors.

Autism risk linked to fever during pregnancy
Fever during pregnancy may raise the risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the child, according to a study led by scientists at the Center for Infection and Immunity (CII) at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.

Bed bug awareness poor among US travelers, but reactions are strong
Most US travelers can't identify a bed bug, and yet the pest evokes a stronger response than any other potential hotel-room deficiency -- putting the hospitality industry in a difficult spot.

UMD bioengineers develop new technologies to drive next-generation therapies for MS
Researchers in the University of Maryland Fischell Department of Bioengineering Jewell Laboratory are using quantum dots - tiny semiconductor particles commonly used in nanotechnology - to decipher the features needed to design specific and effective therapies for multiple sclerosis (MS) and other autoimmune diseases.

Pediatric nurses miss care more often in poor work environments, Penn study finds
In a new study, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing's Center for Health Outcome and Policy Research and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia examined the factors influencing the likelihood of missed nursing care in a pediatric setting.

NASA eyed rainfall rates in Tropical Storm Merbok before landfall
Tropical Storm Merbok formed in the South China Sea west of the Philippines on June 11 and made landfall east of Hong Kong, China on June 12.

Clinical trial shows traditional treatment is better for iron-deficiency anemia
A clinical trial compared new and traditional treatments for iron-deficiency anemia and determined that the traditional treatment, ferrous sulfate, can more effectively treat the anemia in young children.

Rare genetic disorders: New approach uses RNA in search for genetic triggers
In about half of all patients with rare hereditary disorders, it is still unclear what position of the genome is responsible for their condition.

Researchers show how a cancer gene protects genome organization
UNC School of Medicine researchers have cracked a long-standing mystery about an important enzyme found in virtually all organisms other than bacteria.

Opioid epidemic hits nearly all age groups in both rural and urban US areas
For this report, we took a regional approach, examining the data on opioid abuse and dependence, including cost information and respective treatment protocols, in five of the largest-populated cities and their respective states, and compared rural and urban areas.

Taking the guesswork out of forensic analysis of fingermarks
Scientists are using lasers to take the mystery out of the process of identifying the chemical compositions of fingermarks at a crime scene.

Elevated brain amyloid level associated with increased likelihood of cognitive decline
Among a group of cognitively normal individuals, those who had elevated levels in the brain of the protein amyloid were more likely to experience cognitive decline in the following years, according to a study published by JAMA.

Researchers repurpose former experimental cancer therapy to treat muscular dystrophy
Researchers at the National Institutes of Health's National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) and the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med) have demonstrated that a drug originally targeted unsuccessfully to treat cancer may have new life as a potential treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).

Long term exposure to aircraft noise linked to high blood pressure
Long term exposure to aircraft noise, particularly during the night, is linked to an increased risk of developing high blood pressure and possibly heart flutter and stroke as well, suggests research published online in Occupational & Environmental Medicine.

Ancient otter tooth found in Mexico suggests mammals migrated across America
An ancient otter tooth recently discovered in Mexico suggests certain mammals migrated across America during the Miocene geologic epoch.

Researchers discover new structures in bacteria, seek to determine function
Using high magnification imaging, a team of researchers has identified several never before seen structures on bacteria that represent molecular machinery.

Autumn Eurasian snow variability in response to atmospheric circulation
investigate the autumn Eurasian snow variability, intending to provide a better understanding of the factors involved in Eurasian snow changes and their impacts on the wintertime Arctic Oscillation.

Immuno-PET shows promise for detecting and treating pancreatic tumors
A first-in-human study presented at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) demonstrates the feasibility and safety of the novel human monoclonal antibody HuMab-5B1 with highly specific targeting for the cancer antigen (CA) 19-9, which is expressed on pancreatic tumors and a variety of other malignancies, including small cell lung cancer and tumors of the gastrointestinal system.

Research suggests seal oil could help people with Type 1 diabetes
A research team at the Krembil Neuroscience Centre in Toronto has published a paper that suggests seal oil has the potential to help promote nerve regeneration in patients with Type 1 diabetes.

A SMARTer way to discover new stroke treatments
Researchers examined if a particular trial type could be successfully applied to stroke patients -- and whether this approach may accelerate discovery of new treatments.

Human reproduction likely to be more efficient than previously thought
How difficult is it to conceive? According to a widely-held view, fewer than one in three embryos make it to term, but a new study from a researcher at the University of Cambridge suggests that human embryos are not as susceptible to dying in the first weeks after fertilization as often claimed.

NREL-led research effort creates new alloys, phase diagram
A multi-institutional team led by the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) discovered a way to create new alloys that could form the basis of next-generation semiconductors.

Makeup of vaginal microbiome linked to preterm birth
In a study of predominantly African-American women -- who have a much higher rate of delivering babies early compared with other racial groups -- researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

3-D-printed patch helps guide growing blood vessels
A research team led by Boston University Biomedical Engineering Professor Christopher Chen is pioneering an infused 3-D-printed patch that guides the growth of new blood vessels, avoiding some of the problems with other approaches to treating ischemia.

Understanding multi-decadal global warming rate changes
The multi-decadal global warming rate changes are primarily attributed to multiple ocean surface temperature changes, according to research by CAS Institute of Atmospheric Physics and Australian Bureau of Meteorology and it is the net impact of multiple ocean surface temperature changes, rather than a single ocean basin change, that plays a main driver for the multi-decadal global warming accelerations and slowdowns.

The designation as a Biosphere Reserve improves the life quality of the citizens
The environmental evolution and the socioeconomic and cultural evolution in Urdaibai since it was designated a Biosphere Reserve have been analyzed at the UPV/EHU.

Cognitive-related neural pattern to activate machines
A study conducted by the Spanish universities Pablo de Olavide in Sevilla and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona has identified a functional brain pattern linked to cognitive behavior able to activate an iPad's touchscreen.

Major new appetite regulator successfully manipulated in mice
A study from Imperial has found new a link between certain brain receptors and obesity, giving a possible new drug target for appetite regulation.

Stanford researcher sheds light on life of lesbians in Nazi Germany
History doctoral student Samuel Clowes Huneke analyzed several police files from the 1940s that illuminate the limited toleration some lesbians found during the Nazi regime.

Active implants: How gold binds to silicone rubber
Flexible electronic parts could significantly improve medical implants. However, electroconductive gold atoms usually hardly bind to silicones.

Ultrasound for children with abdominal trauma
Despite evidence showing that the routine use of sonography in hospital emergency departments can safely improve care for adults when evaluating for possible abdominal trauma injuries, researchers at UC Davis Medical Center could not identify any significant improvements in care for pediatric trauma patients.

Largest genome-wide study of lung cancer susceptibility identifies new causes
A huge study identified several new variants for lung cancer risk that will translate into improved understanding of the mechanisms involved in lung cancer risk

A docking site per calcium channel cluster
In our brain, information is passed from one neuron to the next at a structure called synapse.

Birds of a feather
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?

Spying on fish love calls could help protect them from overfishing
Scientists from The University of Texas Marine Science Institute and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography have discovered a way to use the incredibly loud, distinctive sounds that fish make when they gather to spawn to protect them from overfishing.

Why does an anesthetic make us lose consciousness?
Neuroscientists at Goethe University Frankfurt and the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization in Göttingen have now discovered that certain areas of the brain generate less information when under anesthesia.

Body contouring is only for the rich and insured
Only a small percentage of obese patients who have undergone bariatric surgery to help them control their weight follow up this procedure with further plastic surgery to reshape their bodies and remove excess rolls of skin.

A seaweed derivative could be just what lithium-sulfur batteries need
Lithium-sulfur batteries have great potential as a low-cost, high-energy, energy source for both vehicle and grid applications.

Altered virus may expand patient recruitment in human gene therapy trials
For many patients, participating in gene therapy clinical trials isn't an option because their immune system recognizes and fights the helpful virus used for treatment.

Gut check: A molecule that balances the immune system in the gut
In the May 19, 2017 issue of Scientific Reports, researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina identified a fundamental way immune cells in the gut learn the difference between good and bad microbes.

Scientists discover more effective, and potentially safer, crystallized form of DDT
A team of scientists has discovered a new crystal form of DDT that is more effective against insects than the existing one.

ARPA-E making progress toward achieving mission, says new assessment
The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) is making progress toward achieving its statutory mission and goals, says a new congressionally mandated report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Fighting fire blight and detecting Salmonella
ETH researchers have created an effective weapon against the plant disease fire blight and a new method for detection of Salmonella.

Mass. General-led study replicates tanning response in cultured human skin
Investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have developed a way of increasing pigmentation in human skin without the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation.

Hope for better lung cancer treatment on horizon
The researchers demonstrated a better way to recruit the right participants for promising new anti-cancer drugs called FGFR (fibroblast growth factor receptor) inhibitors, which are being investigated for treating lung squamous cell carcinoma.

Single dual time-point PET scan identifies dual Alzheimer's biomarkers
Identifying Alzheimer's disease before major symptoms arise is critical to preserving brain function and helping patients maintain quality of life.

Scientists reverse mechanism of fatty liver disease
Researchers have identified the mechanism which causes a build-up of fat in the liver in a disease affecting one in five in the UK -- and were able to reverse it in a mouse model.

From Genome Research: Environmental pressures on opportunistic fungal pathogen
With an estimated one million cases diagnosed worldwide each year, the human pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans, which can cause life-threatening fungal infections in immunocompromised patients, is an important health concern.

When the rubber hits the road: Recycled tires create stronger concrete
UBC engineers have developed a more resilient type of concrete using recycled tires that could be used for concrete structures like buildings, roads, dams and bridges while reducing landfill waste.

Risky bingeing: Women in Appalachian Ohio report higher rates of alcohol misuse
How much alcohol women drink may depend on where they live.

Researchers advocate statistical approach to search for Earth-like planets
A team of astronomers at the University of Chicago and Grinnell College seeks to change the way scientists approach the search for Earth-like planets orbiting stars other than the sun.

Study provides further support for genetic factors underlying addictions
Impairment of a particular gene raises increases susceptibility to opioid addiction liability as well as vulnerability to binge eating according to a new study.

Argonne X-rays used to help identify a key Lassa virus structure
Research done at Argonne National Laboratory's Advanced Photon Source was vital to the process of identifying the structure, which provides a guide for designing a Lassa virus vaccine.

Media microaggressions against female olympic thletes Up 40 percent
Researchers at the University of Missouri School of Journalism have found that microaggressions against female athletes in the media increased by nearly 40 percent from the 2012 Summer Olympic Games to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

Mosquito-killing fungi engineered with spider and scorpion toxins could help fight malaria
A new study from the University of Maryland and colleagues from Burkina Faso, China and Australia suggests that a mosquito-killing fungus genetically engineered to produce spider and scorpion toxins could serve as a highly effective biological control mechanism to fight malaria-carrying mosquitoes.

NASA's Aqua satellite sees Tropical Depression Calvin soak Mexico
Tropical Depression 3E briefly strengthened into a tropical storm and was renamed Calvin before it made landfall in southwestern Mexico.

Study sheds light on Neanderthal-Homo sapiens transition
Archaeologists at The Australian National University (ANU) and the University of Sydney have provided a window into one of the most exciting periods in human history -- the transition between Neanderthals and modern humans.

Loneliness contributes to self-centeredness for sake of self-preservation
Research conducted over more than a decade indicates loneliness increases self-centeredness and, to a lesser extent, self-centeredness also increases loneliness.

Small scale, big improvements
Chemical reactions that make improvements in water purification and batteries possible occur at scales too small to see.

US aid to combat malaria in Africa is associated with reduced risk of childhood mortality
In a study published in PLOS Medicine, Aleksandra Jakubowski of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, US, and colleagues show that funding from the US President's Malaria Initiative (PMI) in 19 sub-Saharan African countries was associated with a 16 person reduction in the annual risk of under-five child mortality in the years following introduction of the Initiative.

Photopower for microlabs
Miniaturized devices such as microsensors often require an independent, equally miniaturized power supply.

'Big Food' companies have less power than you might think
A Dartmouth study finds that 'Big Food' companies are striving to make food more sustainable from farm to factory but have less power than you might think.

VLA gives new insight into galaxy cluster's spectacular 'mini-halo'
New images give an unprecedented view, revealing multitude of new substructures that shed light on mechanisms creating the massive radio-emitting structure.

Uterine fibroid embolization helps restore fertility
A minimally invasive treatment can help restore fertility in women with uterine fibroids, according to a new study.

Assembly failure
The most frequent genetic cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia -- rare and related neurological disorders marked by progressive deterioration of motor or cognitive abilities -- may be due to errors in RNA splicing, an intermediary step for translating genetic instructions into functional proteins.

Emphasizing individual solutions to big issues can reduce support for government efforts
Experiments by political science graduate student Seth Werfel suggest that making individuals aware of how they can help solve large-scale problems makes them less likely to support government-based solutions.

E. coli bacteria's defense secret revealed
By tagging a cell's proteins with fluorescent beacons, Cornell researchers have found out how E. coli bacteria defend themselves against antibiotics and other poisons.

Ammonia on-demand? Alternative production method for a sustainable future
Highly efficient ammonia synthesis at room temperature, with the highest yield ever reported, was achieved by researchers from Waseda University and Nippon Shokubai Co.

The importance of time and space in brain development and disease
New research shows time and space during brain maturation are critical and better understanding of these physical changes could lead to new treatments and better diagnosis of a variety of conditions.

Charred flowers and the fossil record
One of the main types of fossil used to understand the first flowering plants (angiosperms) are charred flowers.

Silver atom nanoclusters could become efficient biosensors
Researchers have now managed to pinpoint what happens when light is absorbed by extremely small nanoclusters of silver atoms.

Hot rocks, not warm atmosphere, led to relatively recent water-carved valleys on Mars
Some scientists have interpreted water-carved valleys on Mars formed within the last few billion years as a sign of either an active groundwater system or of transient warm periods in the atmosphere.

International study identifies new genetic risk factors for testicular cancer
Moffitt researcherslaunched a large analysis of five major testicular cancer studies to investigate genetic risk factors linked to TGCT.

'Overturning established fact' leads to new new target in MLL-rearranged leukemia
A University of Colorado Cancer Center paper published today in the journal Cancer Cell challenges existing understanding of potential therapeutic targets in MLL-translocation leukemia.

Helium droplets offer new precision to single-molecule laser measurement
Chemical reactions necessarily involve molecules coming together, and the way they interact can depend on how they are aligned relative to each other. 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