Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 19, 2017
Wildebeest feast: Mass drownings fuel the Mara River ecosystem
Each year, more than a million wildebeest migrate through Africa's Serengeti Mara Ecosystem.

Could therapy animal visitation pose health risks at patient facilities?
A survey of United States hospitals, eldercare facilities and therapy animal organizations revealed their health and safety policies for therapy animal visits varied widely, with many not following recommended guidelines for animal visitation.

Ebola vaccine developed in Canada shows promising results
A phase 1 randomized controlled trial has found an Ebola virus disease vaccine, developed in Canada, was well-tolerated with no safety concerns, and high antibodies were present in participants six months after immunization.

150-year records gap on Sulawesi ends with 5 new species in the world's largest tree genus
Coming 150 years after the last description from Sulawesi, five new species from the world's largest genus of trees, Syzygium, highlight the extent of unexplored botanical diversity on the Indonesian island.

Good nutrition, physical training and mental exercises can reverse physical frailty in the elderly
A four-year study conducted by researchers from the National University of Singapore showed that a combination of nutritional, physical and cognitive interventions can reverse physical frailty in elderly people.

New study from KKI shows feasibility of acupuncture in young children with ASD
A pilot feasibility study to determine if young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their parents would tolerate and adhere to an office- and home-based acupuncture/acupressure intervention showed completion of all 16 biweekly sessions and measurements of their effects before, during, and after the protocol.

Sugar-coated nanomaterial excels at promoting bone growth
There hasn't been a gold standard for how orthopaedic spine surgeons promote new bone growth in patients, but now Northwestern University scientists have designed a bioactive nanomaterial that is so good at stimulating bone regeneration it could become the method surgeons prefer.

How to stop the nasty lurking toxoplasmosis parasite? Target its 'stomach,' study suggests
One in three people has a potentially nasty parasite hiding inside their body -- tucked away in tiny cysts that the immune system can't eliminate and antibiotics can't touch.

Leicester academics argue sexualised drinks advertising undermines anti-rape campaigns
Academics examined the effectiveness of a rape prevention campaign in bars and nightclubs in Liverpool.

'Full toolbox' needed to solve the climate change problem
Solving the climate change problem means transitioning to an energy system that emits little or no greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Discovery could lead to sustainable ethanol made from carbon dioxide
A recent discovery by Stanford University scientists could lead to a new, more sustainable way to make ethanol without corn or other crops.

Self-medication misuse is high in the Middle East
A new review indicates that there is a massive problem of self-medication misuse in the Middle East.

CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing reverses Huntington's in mouse model
Emory researchers used CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing to snip part of a gene producing toxic Huntington's disease protein aggregates in the brains of 9-month old mice.

A no-brainer? Mouse eyes constrict to light without direct link to the brain
Experimenting with mice, neuroscientists at Johns Hopkins Medicine report new evidence that the eye's iris in many lower mammals directly senses light and causes the pupil to constrict without involving the brain.

Chemistry of sea spray particles linked for first time to formation process
A team of researchers led by the University of California San Diego has identified for the first time what drives the observed differences in the chemical make-up of sea spray particles ejected from the ocean by breaking waves.

Researchers sample a DC swamp to study a spineless creature
Its name is Stygobromus hayi, the Hay's Spring amphipod. It is spineless.

New branch in family tree of exoplanets discovered
In a new Caltech-led study, researchers have classified exoplanets in much the same way that biologists identify new animal species.

Poll: Nearly two-thirds of mothers 'shamed' by others about their parenting skills
Six in 10 mothers of children ages 0-5 say they have been criticized about parenting.

Financial incentives improve viral suppression among people living with HIV
The HPTN 065 study, conducted by the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN), showed that financial incentives can motivate some people living with HIV (PLWH) to take their HIV antiretroviral therapy (ART) medication regularly and maintain viral load suppression.

CCNY researchers produce molecules with potential against HIV
As the HIV/AIDS epidemic approaches its fourth decade, each year brings promising news of pioneering research to alleviate the scourge.

Scientists throw light on mysterious ice age temperature jumps
Scientists believe they have discovered the reason behind mysterious changes to the climate that saw temperatures fluctuate by up to 15°C within just a few decades during the ice age periods.

Researchers found the impervious regulating thresholds on mitigating urban heat islands
Urban land-use/cover changes and their effects on the eco-environment have long been an active research topic in the urbanization field.

Family of patients with NAFLD and cirrhosis are at increased risk of liver fibrosis
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease can progress to cirrhosis and eventual liver disease.

Flights can make aircrew sick, Stirling study suggests
Flying a plane should come with a health warning, according to research led by the University of Stirling.

How ticks get a proper foothold
How the bloodsuckers overcome the variety of substrates and manage to cling on to various surfaces is shown by a current study by Dr Dagmar Voigt (Technische Universität Dresden, Germany) and Professor Dr Stanislav Gorb (Kiel University, Germany).

A diagnostic test for ALS
Researchers at VIB, KU Leuven, and UZ Leuven, in collaboration with researchers at the University of Jena, have demonstrated that measuring neurofilaments provides reliable confirmation of an ALS diagnosis.

Is your doctor prescribing the wrong treatment for pink eye?
A new study suggests that most people with acute conjunctivitis, or pink eye, are getting the wrong treatment.

Mathematical modeling uncovers mysteries of HIV infection in the brain
After uncovering the progression of HIV infection in the brain thanks to a new mathematical model developed by a UAlberta research team, clinicians and researchers are developing a nasal spray to administer drugs more effectively.

Riding a romantic roller coaster? Relationship anxiety may be to blame
In a recent study in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, Florida State University graduate student Ashley Cooper explores how high levels of fluctuation in how secure an individual feels in his or her relationship may actually doom its success.

Babies' DNA affects mothers' risk of pre-eclampsia in pregnancy, study finds
A major new international study has revealed for the first time that some features in a baby's DNA can increase the risk of its mother developing pre-eclampsia -- a potentially dangerous condition in pregnancy.

Healthcare providers should individualize patient education
Health information should be tailored to a patient's ability to understand health concepts and keep them motivated to maintain long-term changes.

Electron caught in the act
Australia's fastest camera has revealed the time it takes for molecules to break apart.

Firefly gene illuminates ability of optimized CRISPR-Cpf1 to efficiently edit human genome
Scientists on the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have improved a state-of-the-art gene-editing technology to advance the system's ability to target, cut and paste genes within human and animal cells -- and broadening the ways the CRISPR-Cpf1 editing system may be used to study and fight human diseases. 

Unearned fun tastes just as sweet
We may be inclined to think that a fun experience -- say, watching a movie or indulging in a tasty treat -- will be all the more enjoyable if we save it until we've finished our work or chores, but new research shows that this intuition may be misguided.

Psychiatric medication protects developing mouse brain from birth defects
A clinically available anxiety drug safely and effectively protects against brain defects caused by the mouse version of a common human virus, finds new research published in The Journal of Neuroscience.

How cells combat chromosome imbalance
MIT biologists have now identified a mechanism that the immune system uses to eliminate genetically imbalanced cells from the body.

Medicaid expansion states saw ER visits go up, uninsured ER visits go down
States that expanded Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act (the ACA) saw 2.5 emergency department visits more per 1,000 people after 2014, while the share of emergency department visits by the uninsured decreased by 5.3 percent.

Smartphone app directs first responders to cardiac arrest three minutes before ambulance
A novel smartphone application (app) has been developed that can direct first responders to cardiac arrest victims more than three minutes before the emergency services arrive.

How often do youth with opioid use disorder get buprenorphine or naltrexone?
Dispensing buprenorphine and naltrexone to adolescents and young adults with opioid use disorder has increased over time, although the medications appear to still be underutilized in young people and disparities exist with female, non-Hispanic black and Hispanic youth less likely to receive them, according to a new study published by JAMA Pediatrics.

Vaccine that lowers cholesterol offers hope of immunizing against cardiovascular disease
A vaccine to immunise people against high levels of cholesterol and the narrowing of the arteries caused by build-up of fatty material (atherosclerosis) may be possible following successful results in mice.

Volcanic eruptions triggered dawn of the dinosaurs
Huge pulses of volcanic activity are likely to have played a key role in triggering the end Triassic mass extinction, which set the scene for the rise and age of the dinosaurs, new Oxford University research has found.

Like a moth to a flame
In the last decade, 7 million hectares of boreal forest in Eastern Canada have been destroyed by the voracious insect known as the spruce budworm.

Sound waves direct particles to self-assemble, self-heal
Berkeley Lab scientists have demonstrated how floating particles will assemble and synchronize in response to acoustic waves.

Mapping how words leap from brain to tongue
How the brain narrows down a smorgasbord of related concepts to the one word you're truly seeking is a complicated and poorly understood cognitive task.

Freshwater from salt water using only solar energy
A federally funded research effort to revolutionize water treatment has yielded a direct solar desalination technology that uses energy from sunlight alone to heat salt water for membrane distillation.

How viewing cute animals can help rekindle marital spark
One of the well-known challenges of marriage is keeping the passion alive after years of partnership, as passions tend to cool even in very happy relationships.

Potential Atlantic Ocean Tropical Cyclone 2 examined by NASA
NASA provided rainfall data and cloud height information to the forecasters monitoring the developing tropical cyclone 2 in the western Atlantic Ocean.

Medications underutilized when treating young people with opioid use disorder
Only one in four young adults and teens with opioid use disorder (OUD) are receiving potentially life-saving medications for addiction treatment, according to a new Boston Medical Center (BMC) study published online in JAMA Pediatrics.

Understanding HIV's persistence
Study sheds new light on the mechanism underlying the persistence of HIV-1 infected cells despite antiviral treatment.

Study: Most state pension plans paper over unfunded liabilities
An analysis of state pension plans from across the country finds that the already troubling state of pension finances may be worse than it first appears because many pension managers are making their plan's financial condition look better by perpetually putting off payments.

Mutant mosquitos make insecticide-resistance monitoring key to controlling Zika
One of the most common insecticides used in the battle against the Aedes aegypti mosquito has no measurable impact when applied in communities where the mosquito has built up resistance to it, a study led by Emory University finds.

Is it sometimes ok to cheat?
When both partners benefit from a relationship -- husband and wife or pollinator and flower -- the relationship is known as a mutualism.

Risk of infection higher for patients with obesity after bypass surgery: University of Alberta research
A series of studies demonstrates BMI associated with various outcomes in patients with heart disease.

Cells that make blood vessels can also make tumors and enable their spread
While it's widely held that tumors can produce blood vessels to support their growth, scientists now have evidence that cells key to blood vessel formation can also produce tumors and enable their spread.

A & E departments need to do more to identify young people with alcohol problems
Nine of out of ten Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments are failing to identify young people with alcohol problems, preventing them from getting the vital help they need, a new study in the Emergency Medicine Journal has found.

DNA delivery technology joins battle against drug-resistant bacteria
Tel Aviv University researchers have developed a new DNA delivery technology to fight drug-resistant bacteria.

Deadly heatwaves will continue to rise, according to study
Seventy-four percent of the world's population will be exposed to deadly heatwaves by 2100 if carbon gas emissions continue to rise at current rates, according to a study published in Nature Climate Change.

To connect biology with electronics, be rigid, yet flexible
Scientists have measured a thin film made of a polymer as it interacted with ions and electrons.

Discovery could guide immunotherapy for lung cancer
Scientists have discovered a new type of immune cell that could predict which lung cancer patients will benefit most from immunotherapy treatment, according to a Cancer Research UK funded study* published today (Monday) in Nature Immunotherapy.

Yoga is an effective alternative to physical therapy for easing low back pain
A study of 320 predominantly low-income, racially diverse adults with chronic low back pain found that yoga was as safe and effective as physical therapy for restoring function and relieving pain.

Acetaminophen: A viable alternative for preventing acute mountain sickness
Trekking and mountain climbing are quickly growing in popularity, of the challenges that climbers face is acute mountain sickness (AMS).

Ancient DNA reveals role of Near East and Egypt in cat domestication
DNA found at archaeological sites reveals that the origins of our domestic cat are in the Near East and ancient Egypt.

New report looks at 6 key impact areas of shale oil and gas development in Texas
A comprehensive review of the impacts of oil and gas development in Texas by a cross-disciplinary task force of top researchers -- organized by The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas (TAMEST) -- finds a wide range of both benefits and consequences for the state's environment and communities.

Grape-based compounds kill colon cancer stem cells in mice
Compounds from grapes may kill colon cancer stem cells both in a petri dish and in mice, according to a team of researchers.

Treating autism by targeting the gut
Therapies to change the bacteria in the gut, through diet, pro-and prebiotic supplements, faecal matter transplants or antibiotics, could treat autism.

Implant infections could be banished thanks to scaffold breakthrough
Researchers in Ireland have taken a major step forward in the battle against medical implant infections.

New research points to potential for more targeted treatments of neuroblastoma tumors
Genetic variations appear to pre-dispose children to developing certain severe forms of neuroblastoma, according to new research by the University of Chicago Medicine.

Figuring out the 3-D shape of molecules with a push of a button
A team of researchers has developed a program that automates the process of figuring out a molecule's three-dimensional structure.

Scientists demonstrate adaptation of animal vision in extreme environments
Cell biologists at the University of Toronto have discovered animals can adapt their ability to see even with extreme changes in temperature.

Study reveals factors associated with hospital discharges against doctors' advice
A new study has found that certain factors are linked with a person's decision to leave the hospital against the advice of his or her care provider.

Probiotics could improve survival rates in honey bees exposed to pesticide, study finds
In a new study from Lawson Health Research Institute (Lawson) and Western University, researchers have shown that probiotics can potentially protect honey bees from the toxic effects of pesticides.

Alloying materials of different structures offers new tool for controlling properties
New research into the largely unstudied area of heterostructural alloys could lead to greater materials control and in turn better semiconductors, advances in nanotechnology for pharmaceuticals and improved metallic glasses for industrial applications.

Does roasting level affect the antioxidant & anti-inflammatory properties of coffee beans?
Researchers compared the caffeine and chlorogenic acid components of coffee beans at different roasting levels and tested the protective antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of the different coffee extracts in human cell models.

UTEP doctoral student discovers 3 chameleon species
University of Texas at El Paso doctoral candidate Daniel Hughes has discovered three new species of chameleons.

New ultrasound scoring system for thyroid nodules to reduce unnecessary biopsies
A national committee of experts have published American College of Radiology guidelines for an ultrasound-based risk stratification system to identify nodules that warrant biopsy or sonographic follow-up.

New CDC data shows gaps remain in surveillance for mosquitoes that transmit Zika
As concerns over Zika virus have grown since 2015, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has turned to local public health professionals to compile data on distribution of the two primary mosquito species capable of transmitting the virus, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus.

Scientists identify single-gene mutations that lead to atopic dermatitis
Researchers have identified mutations in a gene called CARD11 that lead to atopic dermatitis, or eczema, an allergic skin disease.

X-ray eyes in the sky: Drones and WiFi for 3-D through-wall imaging
Researchers at UC Santa Barbara professor Yasamin Mostofi's lab have given the first demonstration of 3-D imaging of objects through walls using ordinary wireless signal.

Brain stimulation protocol reduces spasticity in spinal cord injury patients
Spasticity, uncontrolled muscle contractions, is a common disorder experienced by patients with spinal cord injuries (SCI).

Fighting global warming and climate change requires a broad energy portfolio
Can the continental United States make a rapid, reliable and low-cost transition to an energy system that relies almost exclusively on wind, solar and hydroelectric power?

Birds of all feathers work together to hunt when army ants march
When army ants move out, a new Drexel University study found that, instead of chasing each other away, birds work together to follow the column and hunt the insects that marching ants scare out of hiding.

Tiny fossils reveal backstory of the most mysterious amphibian alive
Researchers have determined that the fossils of an extinct species from the Triassic Period are the long-missing link that connects Kermit the Frog's amphibian brethren to wormlike creatures with a backbone and two rows of sharp teeth.

Researchers find demographic differences in both diabetes rates and care sought
Diabetes is a serious health condition that affects millions of people in the United States and has more than doubled in prevalence over the past 20 years.

Believing the system is fair predicts worsening self-esteem and behavior for youth
Disadvantaged youth who believe that the American social system is fair develop lower self-esteem, engage in risky behaviors, and are less attentive in the classroom over the course of middle school, finds a study led by NYU's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.

First atomic structure of an intact virus deciphered with an X-ray laser
An international team of scientists has for the first time used an X-ray free-electron laser to unravel the structure of an intact virus particle on the atomic level.

Bacterial classification may be more elusive than previously thought
Dartmouth study provides new insights into processes behind the evolution of microorganisms and describes what it means for existing bacterial classification approaches.

Tumor immune fitness determines survival of lung cancer patients
In recent years, immunotherapy, a new form of cancer therapy that rouses the immune system to attack tumor cells, has captivated the public's imagination.

Poor adolescent diet may influence brain and behavior in adulthood
Adolescent male mice fed a diet lacking omega-3 fatty acids show increased anxiety-like behavior and worse performance on a memory task in adulthood, according to new research published in The Journal of Neuroscience.

Surgery patients placed in alternate ICUs due to crowding get less attention from doctors
Research has indicated that ICU boarder

The Asian summer monsoon -- a smokestack to the Northern Hemisphere stratosphere
The formation of Asian tropopause aerosol layer is considered to be caused by the Asian summer monsoon, which effectively pumps the Asian pollutants to the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere, leading to enhanced aerosol formation.

Close failing banks before they cost US billions of dollars, says study
Billions of dollars could be saved if Congress revises a law to allow regulators to be more aggressive in reducing losses from insolvent banks, according to a recent study co-authored by a faculty member from FAU's College of Business.

Deaths of migrating wildebeests key to Serengeti's vibrant ecosystem
Wildebeest carcasses, casualties of the world's largest overland animal migration, pile up annually on the banks of the Mara River in Africa and play a crucial role in vibrant ecosystem of the Serengeti plains, a new Yale-led study has found.

Looking for trouble: Territorial aggressions and trespasses pay off among primates
Two decades of research show group augmentation, increased offspring or propensity for offspring, and other rewards outweigh risks in territorial boundary patrols by male chimpanzees.

Combining immunotherapies effective against mouse model of cancer
A recent study by researchers at The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital points to a new treatment strategy for rhabdomyosarcoma that takes advantage of the body's own immune response.

Financial incentives increased viral suppression in HIV-positive patients in care
Gift cards offered as financial incentives helped to increase viral suppression in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive patients in a community-based clinical trial in New York and Washington, D.C., two communities severely affected by HIV, according to a study published by JAMA Internal Medicine.

Monitoring soil structure changes after compaction
Soil compaction is a global threat to soil ecosystem services, causing tremendous costs to society.

Inexpensive organic material gives safe batteries a longer life
Modern batteries power everything from cars to cell phones, but they are far from perfect -- they catch fire, they perform poorly in cold weather and they have relatively short lifecycles, among other issues.

Unusual soybean coloration sheds a light on gene silencing
Today's soybeans are typically golden yellow, with a tiny blackish mark where they attach to the pod.

Study shows how an opportunistic microbe kills cancer cells
New study results show for the first time how dying cells ensure that they will be replaced, and suggests an ingenious, related new approach to shrinking cancerous tumors.

Mixed conifer and beech forests grow more as they complement each other
Complementarity between Scots pine and broad-leafed species in the use of the available resources, such as water, may increase the growth of mixed forests comprising both species compared with pure forests, those comprising only one.

Scientists step closer to drug treatment for hepatitis B
A major new insight into how hepatitis B virus works could pave the way for new drug treatments for the infection which is the major cause of liver cancer worldwide.

Wheat coproducts vary in protein digestibility when fed to pigs
Research from the University of Illinois is helping to determine the quality of protein in wheat middlings and red dog, two coproducts of the wheat milling process that can be included in diets fed to pigs and other livestock.

Researchers produce biofuel for conventional diesel engines
In accordance with an EU directive, conventional automotive diesel is supplemented with seven percent biodiesel.

Financial incentives enhance viral suppression among HIV-positive persons in the US
The use of gift cards significantly increased viral suppression and clinic attendance among HIV-positive patients.

We are much more unique than assumed
Every human being has a unique DNA 'fingerprint'. In other words, the genetic material of any two individuals can be clearly distinguished. 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