Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 29, 2017
First pan-European field study shows neonicotinoid pesticides harm honeybees and wild bees
Researchers from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) publish results of a large-scale, field-realistic experiment to assess neonicotinoid impacts on honeybees and wild bees across Europe, in the peer-review journal Science on June 29, 2017.

Bringing CRISPR into focus
Harvard Medical School researchers have generated near-atomic resolution images of key steps in CRISPR-Cas3 function.

Are people 'rolling the dice' when it comes to food safety?
A new study, conducted by a team of UK based researchers led by the University of Liverpool known as the ENIGMA Project, has revealed the levels of bad behaviours in UK kitchens which increase the public's risk of getting food poisoning.

Variation at a central metabolic gene influences male fruit fly lifespan
The overexpression of an important gene that regulates energy metabolism can cause a severe shortening of lifespan in male fruit flies but has only a small negative effect on lifespans of female fruit flies, according to new research from North Carolina State University.

A perturbed skin microbiome can be 'contagious' and promote inflammation, Penn study finds
In a new study, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have shown for the first time that, not only can infection with the Leishmania parasite alter the skin microbiome of affected mice, but this altered microbial community can be passed to uninfected mice that share a cage with the infected animals.

One step closer to a DNA vaccine against dengue virus
In a new study, researchers inoculated mice with a new DNA vaccine candidate (pVAX1-D1ME) in order to evaluate its efficiency.

Bumble bees make a beeline for larger flowers
Bumble bees create foraging routes by using their experience to select nectar-rich, high-rewarding flowers.

NASA detects drop in global fires
The ongoing transition from nomadic cultures to settled lifestyles and intensifying agriculture has led to a steep drop not only in the use of fire on local lands, but in the prevalence of fire worldwide, researchers at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and colleagues found.

More milkweeds located throughout the landscape can help conserve monarchs
Adding milkweeds and other native flowering plants into midwestern agricultural lands is key to restoring monarch butterflies, with milkweed sowers from all sectors of society being critically needed for success.

Elephantiasis on the decline in Cameroon
Lymphatic filariasis -- a parasitic infection commonly known as elephantiasis -- is among the 10 neglected tropical diseases that the World Health Organization (WHO) is aiming to eliminate by 2020.

For some US counties, climate change will be particularly costly
A highly granular assessment of the impacts of climate change on the US economy suggests that each 1°Celsius increase in temperature will cost 1.2 percent of the country's gross domestic product, on average.

Depression linked to physical health decline in cancer caregivers
A new report finds that symptoms of depression are the only significant predictor of caregivers' physical health decline.

Bright thinking leads to breakthrough in nuclear threat detection science
Taking inspiration from an unusual source, a Sandia National Laboratories team has dramatically improved the science of scintillators -- objects that detect nuclear threats.

University of Surrey's research reveals secrets of success of tourism entrepreneurs
University of Surrey research into innovative entrepreneurs starting to work in tourism has found, in some of the first analysis undertaken, how they have to use initiative and hard work -- and often work for nothing -- to overcome the barriers in setting up their innovation.

State revenue declines lead to cuts in children's Medicaid benefits, education spending
State spending cuts during economic downturns fall more heavily on children than the elderly, according to new research by experts at Rice University.

A new ribosomal biogenesis regulation point to treat cancer and 5q- syndrome
Researchers in the Oncobell program at IDIBELL-ICO have unveiled a new role for free 40S ribosomes as guardians of genetic information required to synthesize themselves.

Global forest network cracks the case of tropical biodiversity
Why does biodiversity grade from exuberance at the equator through moderation at mid-latitudes toward monotony at higher ones?

Discovery could influence methods to control bacteria on medical and other surfaces
New research has revealed how bacteria thin the liquid they are swimming through in order to free themselves when trapped by walls or other obstacles.

New avenue for the large-scale synthesis of 'God' Janus particles
The research team led by Prof. WANG Shutao and Prof.

Success with first 20 patients undergoing minimally invasive pancreatic transplant surgery
Surgeons at Johns Hopkins Medicine report that their first series of a minimally invasive procedure to treat chronic pancreas disease, known as severe pancreatitis, resulted in shorter hospital stays, less need for opioids and fewer complications, compared with standard surgical approaches.

Cancer researchers overestimate reproducibility of preclinical studies
Cancer scientists overestimate the extent to which high-profile preclinical studies can be successfully replicated, new research from McGill University suggests.

Treating lymphatic fluid leaks improves protein loss in patients with single-ventricle heart disease
Focusing on a rare but devastating complication in patients with single-ventricle heart disease, a research team has revealed the role of leakage from the liver lymphatic system, and used a novel procedure to seal off those leaks and improve symptoms in patients.

Genetic 'fossils' reveal long-term viral partnerships in grass
Defective viruses incorporated into grass genomes may adapt to form partnerships with other genome-incorporated viruses in order to complete their life cycle, according to a new PLOS Pathogens study.

Cellulosic biofuels can benefit the environment if managed correctly
Could cellulosic biofuels -- or liquid energy derived from grasses and wood -- become a green fuel of the future, providing an environmentally sustainable way of meeting energy needs?

New anesthesia dosing models may increase safety of remifentanil for obese patients and children
-Researchers have developed new dosing models that may provide the scientific basis for more accurate administration of remifentanil, a synthetic opioid commonly used during surgery, in children and obese patients.

The Statue of Liberty's true colors (video)
The Statue of Liberty is an iconic blue-green symbol of freedom.

Solving a sweet problem for renewable biofuels and chemicals
Reed Cartwright and Xuan Wang have teamed up to try to break through the innovation bottleneck for the renewable bioproduction of fuels and chemicals.

Patients with multiple sclerosis may benefit from over-the-counter therapy
A pilot study suggests over-the-counter antioxidant lipoic acid holds promise for treating patients with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis.

Genetic evidence from the South Caucasus region shows surprising long-term stability
The South Caucasus -- home to the countries of Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan -- geographically links Europe and the Near East.

ACP Applauds House for Passage of Multifaceted Approach to Medical Liability Reform
The American College of Physicians (ACP) applauds the House of Representatives for its passage of a multifaceted approach to medical-liability reform, the

Ancient South Carolina whale yields secrets to filter feeding's origins
The blue whale is the largest animal that has ever lived.

Researchers find link between food allergies and childhood anxiety
Researchers studied the link between food allergy and childhood anxiety and depression among a sample of predominantly low socioeconomic status minority children and found that children with a food allergy had a significantly higher prevalence of childhood anxiety.

People lived in chilly Andean highlands year-round over 7,000 years ago
UC Davis study confirms that intrepid hunter-gatherers -- women, men, and children -- called the Andean highlands home over 7,000 years ago.

Acoustic scientist sounds off about the location of cave paintings
One popular theory about the Paleolithic cave paintings proposes that sites were chosen based on the acoustics in the caves.

Camera-trap research paves the way for global monitoring networks
In recent years, there have been numerous calls for coordinated global monitoring networks to understand and mitigate the effects of ecosystem change and biodiversity loss around the world.

Live-pig markets and traders could provide insight to controlling African swine fever
Understanding how live pigs are traded between villages and backyard farmers can help health agencies better understand how devastating swine diseases spread, according to a study published recently in the journal PLOS ONE.

Ancient viral 'fossils' reveal evolutionary mechanisms
Studying DNA fragments left by ancient viruses in their host's genome has shown even non-autonomous viruses could prosper by helping each other.

Car seat laws for older kids have limited impact
Laws that require increasingly older kids to sit in car safety seats appear to have limited impact, new research has found.

Researchers refute textbook knowledge in molecular interactions
Van der Waals interactions between molecules are among the most important forces in biology, physics, and chemistry, as they determine the properties and physical behavior of many materials.

Globally, the rise of agriculture is squashing some fires
A global assessment reveals that burned areas have declined by approximately 24 percent over the past 18 years, with the expansion of agricultural playing a major part.

Human activities worsen air quality in Dunhuang, a desert basin in China
Due to the increasing contribution of human activities, air quality has become worse in the most recent decade over the Dunhuang area, and the main reason is a shift to a mixture of coarse and fine particles, having previously been due to dust aerosol alone.

Social status of listener alters our voice
People tend to change the pitch of their voice depending on who they are talking to, and how dominant they feel, a study by the University of Stirling has found.

3-D-printed implants can improve integration of amputee prosthetic devices with bone
A new study evaluated two additive manufacturing methods for producing either fine or coarse textured titanium implants and compared the strength of bone integration, interlocking, and torque in rats given one or both types of the implants in the distal femurs.

Osaka University researchers push metals to their limits
Osaka University-led research team develops a new metal alloy with exceptional mechanical performance at ultrahigh temperatures

Making sense of petunia scents
Researchers have identified a key protein that helps release the flowery essence of petunias.

Banned chemicals pass through umbilical cord from mother to baby, research finds
Trace amounts of flame retardants, banned in the US for more than a decade, are still being passed through umbilical cord blood from mothers to their babies, according to new Indiana University research.

CVIA volume 2 issue 2 major new China focus issue
The new journal Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications (CVIA) has just published the second issue of Volume 2, with a Special China Focus Issue.

Is this the long-sought answer to the question of tropical biodiversity?
The question of 'Why so many species of tropical trees and other organisms' has challenged biologists for centuries.

Field tests show sustained neonicotinoid exposure negatively affects bees
In two of the first large-scale, field-realistic studies to date, researchers in Europe and Canada have affirmed what's been hypothesized about neonicotinoids -- that prolonged exposure to these insecticides negatively affects bees.

UTA study recommends that children with autism be checked for DCD
UTA researchers are recommending in a new study that children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder should be checked for developmental coordination disorder since the two maladies are linked.

UCI: Earth is losing its fire power
The world's open grasslands and the beneficial fires that sustain them have shrunk rapidly over the past two decades, thanks to a massive increase in agriculture, according to a new study led by University of California, Irvine and NASA researchers published today in Science.

NASA observes Tropical Storm Dora dissipating rapidly
Two days of satellite imagery from the Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core satellite showed that Dora, formerly a hurricane, went from generating moderate rainfall to barely any rainfall.

AI helps to fight against lung cancer
Lung cancer has been the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in 2015 in United States.

Study examines palliative care trends in patients with end-stage liver disease
A new study has uncovered low rates of referral for palliative care in US patients with end-stage liver disease, although rates have been slowly increasing over time.

Does carrying extra weight offer better survival following a stroke?
Despite the fact that obesity increases both the risk for stroke and death, a new study has found that people who are overweight or even mildly obese survive strokes at a higher rate as compared to those with a normal body weight.

Promising new therapeutic approach for debilitating bone disease
Australian researchers have demonstrated that a new type of therapeutic could greatly reduce bone disease in patients with the bone cancer, multiple myeloma.

Incremental discovery may one day lead to photosynthetic breakthrough
Photosynthesis is one of the most complicated and important processes -- responsible for kick-starting Earth's food chain.

Exploiting acidic tumor microenvironment for the development of novel cancer nano-theranostics
The acidic tumor microenvironment (TME), which is mainly resulted from the high glycolytic rate of tumor cells, has been characterized as a hallmark of solid tumor and found to be a pivotal factor participating in tumor progression.

Even perfectly clean hands can lead to MRSA transmission in NICU babies
A new study led by Drexel University found that even if hospital workers follow handwashing guidelines as closely as possible, MRSA can still be transmitted among their newborn patients in the NICU.

Research suggests association between gut bacteria and emotion
Researchers have identified gut microbiota that interact with brain regions associated with mood and behavior.

Who is responsible if a brain-controlled robot drops a baby?
As brain-controlled robots enter everyday life, an article published in Science states that now is the time to take action and put in place guidelines that ensure the safe and beneficial use of direct brain-machine interaction.

A new way out of the cycle of rejection
People who are feeling rejected or isolated are more likely to engage in healthy activities if they see messages that appeal to emotion rather than rationality.

The sharpest laser in the world
With a linewidth of only 10 mHz, the laser that the researchers from the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) have now developed together with US researchers from JILA, a joint institute of the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the University of Colorado Boulder, has established a new world record.

New technique enables safer gene-editing therapy using CRISPR
Scientists took an important step toward safer gene-editing cures for life-threatening disorders, from cancer to HIV to Huntington's disease, by developing a technique that can spot editing mistakes a popular tool known as CRISPR makes to an individual's genome.

Hydrogen peroxide protects plants against sun damage
Plants use hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) -- best known for use in bleach and hair treatments -- to control how their cells react to varying levels of light, new research shows.

Surprisingly exact timing of voluntary movements
Almost everything we do -- walking, talking, or drinking coffee -- is completely dependent on accurate timing when activating many muscles at once.

Scientists move closer to defeating 'superbugs' with simplified forms of teixobactin
Scientists have produced new, effective and simplified forms of teixobactin -- a new generation antibiotic which defeats multi-drug resistant infections such as MRSA -- as part of a pioneering research effort to tackle antimicrobial resistance.

Dialysis membrane made from graphene filters more quickly
Now MIT engineers have fabricated a functional dialysis membrane from a sheet of graphene -- a single layer of carbon atoms, linked end to end in hexagonal configuration like that of chicken wire.

Researchers ID new mechanism for keeping DNA protein in line
Electrostatic forces known as phosphate steering help guide the actions of an enzyme called FEN1 that is critical in DNA replication and repair, finds a new study led by Berkeley Lab researchers.

AGU, SSA reaffirm position statement on the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty
Scientific research in Earth and space sciences advances our understanding of our world and contributes to strong global economies, security, and public health and safety.

Cocoa & chocolate are not just treats -- they are good for your cognition
In a recent review published in Frontiers in Nutrition, Italian researchers examined the available literature for the effects of acute and chronic administration of cocoa flavanols on different cognitive domains.

OSC data processing helps uncover the impact of loan forgiveness programs
Most of us have been affected by the burden of student debt.

Penn collaboration produces surprising insights into the properties of butterfly wings
A collaboration between biologists and materials scientists at the University of Pennsylvania is yielding new insights into the wings of the

New method could enable more stable and scalable quantum computing, Penn physicists report
Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University and Goucher College, have discovered a new topological material which may enable fault-tolerant quantum computing.

Pain neuron may protect fungal inflammation and bone destruction
Scientists discovered unexpected functions of pain neuron. Pain neuron may inhibit fungi-induced osteo-inflammation via CGRP-Jdp2 axis.

Newly identified small RNA fragments defend the genome when it's 'naked'
Today in Cell, a team from CSHL describes its discovery of what might be considered emergency replacements for the epigenetic 'sentries' that normally protect the genome from transposons and viruses.

New opioid use in older adults with COPD associated with increased risk of cardiac death
Older adults with COPD who recently started using opioids have an increased risk of coronary artery disease-related death compared to non-opioid users, researchers at St.

New research identifies key mechanism behind some deafness
Although the basic outlines of human hearing have been known for years -- sensory cells in the inner ear turn sound waves into the electrical signals that the brain understands as sound -- the molecular details have remained elusive.

Ryanair random seat allocation is not so random says Oxford University expert
Passengers have more chance of winning the National Lottery jackpot than being allocated middle seats at random on a Ryanair flight, according to new Oxford University analysis.

Study: Climate change damages US economy, increases inequality
Unmitigated climate change will make the United States poorer and more unequal, according to a new study published in the journal Science.

New study examines effectiveness of labor induction in India
Researchers from the University of Liverpool with colleagues from Gynuity Health Care in New York and the Government Medial College, Nagpur, India, have published a major study of two different types of labour induction methods in The Lancet.

Wildlife of northern Central African Republic in danger
The first aerial assessment of the impact of Central African Republic's recent conflict on wildlife and other natural resources in the northern part of the country shows that wildlife populations have been depleted in large areas of their former range, yet there is hope as some populations of Kordofan giraffe, giant eland, buffalo, roan, and other key species that still survive in low numbers.

Study shows high pregnancy failure, nutritional stress in southern resident killer whales
A multi-year survey of the nutritional, physiological and reproductive health of endangered southern resident killer whales suggests that up to two-thirds of pregnancies failed in this population from 2007 to 2014.

Treatment benefits patients with thalassaemia and HCV
Many individuals with the blood disorder thalassaemia also carry the hepatitis C virus (HCV) due to contaminated transfusions before 1990.

Bullying and bias can cost schools millions in lost funding
When children avoid school to avoid bullying, many states can lose tens of millions of dollars in lost funding, and California alone loses an estimated $276 million each year because children feel unsafe.

Immersive journalism in a post-truth world
Immersive journalism allows viewers to have an intensely subjective experience of an objective situation.

Possible early diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder
Measuring a set of proteins in the blood may enable earlier diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to a study from the Peter O'Donnell Jr.

Mitochondria-targeted antioxidant SkQ1 helps to treat diabetic wounds
Members of the Faculty of Biology and A.N. Belozersky Institute of Physico-Chemical Biology, a unit of the Lomonosov Moscow State University, have tested on a mouse model a mitochondria-targeted antioxidant, helping to treat diabetic wounds.

Controlling a single brain chemical may help expand window for learning language and music
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists have discovered that curtailing activity of the neuromodulator adenosine extends the critical period of auditory learning in mice and offers promising results for humans.

Test identifies breast cancer patients with lowest risk of death
A molecular test can pinpoint which patients will have a very low risk of death from breast cancer even 20 years after diagnosis and tumor removal, according to a new clinical study led by UC San Francisco in collaboration with colleagues in Sweden.

University of Leicester develops pioneering X-ray technique to analyze ancient artifacts
Leicester leads an international team to develop new method for conducting materials analysis on historical objects.

Exposure to neonics results in early death for honeybee workers and queens, York U study
Worker and queen honeybees exposed to field realistic levels of neonicotinoids die sooner, reducing the health of the entire colony, a new study led by York University biologists has found.

Scientists make giant molecular cages for energy conversion and drug delivery
The porous, 'sponge'-type molecules have an enormous internal surface area.

Researchers demonstrate new firewall that protects cellphones from security threat
Some 400 million people change their phone's components, such as touchscreens, chargers, and battery or sensor assemblies, which are all susceptible to significant security breaches and attacks.

NIST 'noise thermometry' yields accurate new measurements of boltzmann constant
By measuring the random jiggling motion of electrons in a resistor, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have contributed to accurate new measurements of the Boltzmann constant, a fundamental scientific value that relates the energy of a system to its temperature.

Study shows antibiotics effective for treatment of small skin infections
New multicenter research, which included Vanderbilt University Medical Center investigators, could change treatment approaches to simple skin abscesses, infections often caused by Staphylococcus aureus (staph) bacteria.

Biomechanical acoustics study sheds light on running injuries
Devoted runners suffer from a surprisingly high rate of injury.

Why does acupuncture work?
New study offers answers for why acupuncture works and why other studies found conflicting results on its effectiveness.

Common antimicrobials help patients recover from MRSA abscesses
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria are resistant to multiple antibiotics and commonly cause skin infections that can lead to serious or life-threatening infection in other parts of the body.

Oceans are warming rapidly, study says
Scientists examine the ocean heat content change on decadal and multi-decadal scales and at different ocean basins and find that the oceans are robustly warming, regardless of which data was used.

Discovering the early age immune response in foals
Researchers at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine have discovered a new method to measure tiny amounts of antibodies in foals, a finding described in the May 16 issue of PLOS ONE.

Confusion over symptoms may be affecting whether women take tamoxifen for breast cancer
Women who are at high risk of developing breast cancer may be failing to take the preventive anti-cancer drug tamoxifen because they are confusing naturally occurring symptoms with side effects from the medicine, according to a study of nearly 4,000 women led by Queen Mary University of London.

Scientists find mechanism behind precise spinal cord development
Scientists have uncovered how nerve cells in the spinal cord are organized in precise patterns during embryo development -- a finding that could give insight into regenerative medicine.

Lung cancer screening could save money as well as lives, research shows
Lung cancer screening is likely to be cost-effective, particularly if it also identifies other tobacco-related conditions in high-risk people, suggests new research published in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology.

Eighty-five percent of Spanish children eat too much salt
Salt is a hidden enemy in children's diets. So says the conclusion of a study by researchers from the Complutense University of Madrid, which suggests that over 80 percent of Spanish schoolchildren consume excess salt; this is associated to greater risk of high blood pressure, osteoporosis and obesity.

Most modern horses are descendants of recently imported oriental stallions
Researchers who have analyzed the Y chromosomes of more than 50 horses representing 21 breeds have found that the paternal lines of nearly all modern horses trace to stallions brought to Europe from the Orient over the last 700 years.

New insights into why the immune system fails to see cancer
Investigators have uncovered a critical strategy that some cancers may be using to cloak themselves -- they find evidence of this genetic program across 30 human cancers of the peripheral tissue, including melanoma skin cancer.

Future-proofing 'big data' biological research depends on good digital identifiers
'Big data' research runs the risk of being undermined by the poor design of the digital identifiers that tag data.

Serious pain afflicts a third of nursing home residents in last 6 months of life
Many nursing home residents have a fairly pain-free experience until the end of life, but at least a third suffer persistent, significant pain during their last six months, according to a new study from the University of Manitoba, University of British Columbia and University of Alberta that could have implications for end-of-life care in Canada.

Understanding the epidemiology of sarcopenia throughout the lifecourse
Recent definitions of sarcopenia have integrated information on muscle mass, strength, and physical function.

Scientists investigate link between air pollution and type 2 diabetes
Researchers from University of Leicester and EarthSense examine associations of air pollution in Leicestershire.

A wave's 'sweet spot' revealed
For surfers, finding the 'sweet spot,' the most powerful part of the wave, is part of the thrill and the challenge.

Exciting new material uses solar energy to remove man-made dye pollutants from water
A novel composite material has been developed by scientists in the Energy Safety Research Institute (ESRI) at Swansea University which shows promise as a catalyst for the degradation of environmentally-harmful synthetic dye pollutants, which are released at a rate of nearly 300,000 tonnes a year into the world's water. 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