Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 30, 2017
Fixation of powder catalysts on electrodes
Chemists at Ruhr-Universität Bochum have developed a new method to tightly fix catalyst powders on electrode surfaces.

Alzheimer's disease patients with psychosis more likely to be misdiagnosed, study suggests
People with Alzheimer's disease who experience psychosis -- including delusions and hallucinations -- are five times more likely to be misdiagnosed with dementia with Lewy bodies compared to patients who do not, new research suggests.

Popular class of drugs reverse potentially harmful genetic changes from heart disease
Beta blockers are commonly used world-wide to treat a variety of cardiovascular conditions, such as arrhythmias and heart failure.

Exposure to cardiovascular risk factors linked with arterial distensibility in adolescence
The longitudinal study on children and adolescents conducted by the Research Centre of Applied and Preventive Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Turku, Finland, is unique worldwide.

Method elucidates inner workings of neural networks
A new technique helps elucidate the inner workings of neural networks trained on visual data.

Self-powered system makes smart windows smarter
Researchers developed a new type of smart window: a self-powered version that promises to be inexpensive and easy to apply to existing windows, with potential to save heating and cooling costs.

How do impurities move in tungsten?
The National Institute for Fusion Science (NIFS) has developed a method for investigating at high-speed utilizing a supercomputer the migration paths of plasma particles (impurity atoms) that immerged inside the fusion reactor materials.

Mistaken identity of East Asian vine species resolved after 100 years
New light has been shed on a misclassified vine species in the Ryukyu Islands of East Asia.

The black forest and climate change
Silver and Douglas firs could replace Norway spruce in the long run due to their greater resistance to droughts.

Disney Research, Pixar Animation Studios and UCSB accelerate rendering with AI
Researchers from Disney Research, Pixar Animation Studios, and the University of California, Santa Barbara have developed a new technology based on artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning that eliminates noise from the simulation of light flow in 3D scenes and thereby enables production-quality rendering at much faster speeds.

Singapore scientists uncover how the liver unclogs itself
A multi-disciplinary team of researchers from the Mechanobiology Institute, Singapore at the National University of Singapore, the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology of A*STAR, and BioSyM, Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology have described the mechanical principles adopted by liver cells as they remove excess bile during obstructive cholestasis.

Black carbon varies, but stubbornly persists, in snow and ice around the world
A new University of Colorado Boulder study comparing dissolved black carbon deposition on ice and snow in ecosystems around the world (including Antarctica, the Arctic, and alpine regions of the Himalayas, Rockies, Andes, and Alps) shows that while concentrations vary widely, significant amounts can persist in both pristine and non-pristine areas of snow.

Tiny 'motors' are driven by light
MIT researchers have simulated the first system in which particles can be manipulated by a beam of ordinary light.

In urban Baltimore, poor neighborhoods have more mosquitoes
A new study published in the Journal of Medical Entomology reports that in Baltimore, Maryland, neighborhoods with high levels of residential abandonment are hotspots for tiger mosquitoes (Aedes albopictus).

Rare, exceptionally preserved fossil reveals lifestyle of ancient armor-plated reptile
An exceptionally preserved fossil from the Alps in eastern Switzerland has revealed the best look so far at an armored reptile from the Middle Triassic named Eusaurosphargis dalsassoi.

Altering gut bacteria pathways may stimulate fat tissue to prevent obesity
Cleveland Clinic researchers have uncovered a biological link between gut bacteria metabolism and obesity.

Picture overload hinders children's word learning from storybooks
While publishers look to produce ever more colourful and exciting texts to entice buyers, University of Sussex psychologists have shown that having more than one illustration per page results in poorer word learning among pre-schoolers.

Older Americans don't get -- or seek -- enough help from doctors & pharmacists on drug costs
The majority of Americans over age 50 take two or more prescription medicines to prevent or treat health problems, and many of them say the cost weighs on their budget, a new poll finds.

New measurement will help redefine international unit of mass
Using a state-of-the-art device for measuring mass, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have made their most precise determination yet of Planck's constant, an important value in science that will help to redefine the kilogram, the official unit of mass in the SI, or international system of units.

Wilderness areas are being destroyed but the World Heritage Convention can protect them
A University of Queensland-led international study published today urges the UNESCO World Heritage Convention to better conserve wilderness areas within Natural World Heritage Sites.

No pain, no gain?
A study shows that people find sport less strenuous if they believe it's doing them good.

New method of measurement could lead to cheaper, more accurate sensors
New method of measurement could lead to cheaper, more accurate sensors.

Subtle molecular changes along the upper digestive tract could guide cancer therapy
Based on a new molecular study of tissues biopsied from various parts of the upper digestive tract, researchers at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center have identified significant, if subtle, differences in gene mutations and other factors that could help in developing more tailored treatment options for cancer patients.

Liquid biopsies: A non-invasive look at treatment response
A new study, to be presented at the ESMO 19th World Congress on Gastrointestinal Cancer, shows that so-called

Andalusian experts indicate new elements responsible for instability in chromosomes
The researchers state that RNA joins with DNA by chance or because of a disease, the structure of the chromatin, the protein envelope of the chromosomes is altered, causing breaks in the DNA.

New study reveals new drug target for gout and other inflammatory diseases
Particle-driven diseases sound exotic and include things like silicosis and asbestos, but actually also include much more common diseases like Alzheimer's, gout and even atherosclerosis.

New clues found to common respiratory virus
Scientists have solved the structure of a protein that helps a common respiratory virus evade the immune system.

Dragonflies reveal how biodiversity changes in time and space
In one of the first studies of its kind, Rice University ecologists monitored East Texas dragonfly communities for years to show that simple mechanisms could be used to predict how biodiversity varies across time and space.

Inhibition of tau protein aggregation by rhodanine-based compounds
Several peptide-polymer conjugates were synthesized to enhance the uptake of compounds into cells and thus to improve their biomedical application.

Researchers find out how bromine fits into Venusian chemistry
Venus and Earth are almost twins as planets, but they have evolved very differently so studying atmosphere of Venus might help us understand why Earth evolved as it has.

To buzz or to scrabble? To foraging bees, that's the question
A team of UA biologists has discovered that for a hard-working bumblebee, foraging for pollen versus nectar is very different -- and tougher than you might think.

Spinning electrons open the door to future hybrid electronics
A discovery of how to control and transfer spinning electrons paves the way for novel hybrid devices that could outperform existing semiconductor electronics.

New insight into how telomeres protect cells from premature senescence
Researchers at the Institute of Molecular Biology and Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz have further uncovered the secrets of telomeres, the caps that protect the ends of our chromosomes.

Overactive scavenger cells may cause neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's
For the first time, researchers at the University of Zurich have demonstrated a surprising effect of microglia, the scavenger cells of the brain: If these cells lack the TDP-43 protein, they not only remove Alzheimer's plaques, but also synapses.

Mid-infrared images from the Subaru telescope extend Juno spacecraft discoveries
Subaru Telescope images reveal weather in Jupiter's atmosphere in the mid-infrared.

Genes may cause tumor aggressiveness and drug resistance in African-American prostate cancer
A form of genetic variation, called differential RNA splicing, may have a role in tumor aggressiveness and drug resistance in African-American men with prostate cancer, according to research published out of the George Washington University Cancer Center in Nature Communications.

Table top plasma gets wind of solar turbulence
Scientists from India and Portugal recreate solar turbulence on a table top using a high intensity ultrashort laser pulse to excite a hot, dense plasma and followed the evolution of the giant magnetic field generated by the plasma dynamics.

Birds become immune to influenza
An influenza infection in birds gives a good protection against other subtypes of the virus, like a natural vaccination, according to a new study.

Illegal activities threaten natural World Heritage -- IUCN
Illegal fishing, logging and poaching, are impacting two-thirds of the 57 natural World Heritage sites monitored by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) this year, putting some of the world's most precious and unique ecosystems and species at risk.

Zoning in on specifics of Mediterranean diet for colorectal health
The benefits of a 'Mediterranean diet' (MD) are well-known when it comes to colorectal protection, but it's hard to know specifically what elements of the diet are the healthiest.

Hubble eyes a powerful galaxy with a password name
Not all galaxies have the luxury of possessing a simple moniker or quirky nickname.

Japanese children learn to write through rhythm
How do we learn to write? A Japanese study looked at the development of writing skills in Japanese first-grade students, and revealed aspects of handwriting development that have been largely neglected in research carried out in Latin alphabet communities.

Power to the people
The first rule of advocating for climate change-related legislation is: You do not talk about 'climate change.' The term has become so polarizing that its mere mention can cause reasonable people to draw seemingly immutable lines in the political sand.

Most reproductive-age women using opioids also use another substance
The majority of reproductive-age and pregnant women who use opioids for non-medical purposes also use at least one other substance, ranging from nicotine or alcohol to cocaine, according to a University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health analysis.

Colon cancer nuclear pore dynamics are captured by HS-AFM
Using high-speed atomic force microscope, for the first time, a team of researchers from Kanazawa University has captured

Miniature technology, big hope for disease detection
Researchers develop a simple printing method to create effective disease detection tools.

CAS researchers develop selective electrocatalysts to boost direct methanol fuel cell performance
A research group from the Institute of Process Engineering (IPE) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences recently reported the development of a new technology to boost performance of direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) using high-concentration methanol as fuel, shedding some light on the design of clean and affordable alternative energy sources for portable electric devices.

Bizarro comet challenging researchers  
Scientists pursue research through observation, experimentation and modeling. They strive for all of these pieces to fit together, but sometimes finding the unexpected is even more exciting.  That's what happened to University of Central Florida's astrophysicist Gal Sarid, who studies comets, asteroids and planetary formation and earlier this year was part of a team that published a study focused on the comet 174P/Echeclus.

Ancient Swiss reptile shows its bizarre scale armor for the first time
Grisons, 241 million years ago -- Instead of amidst high mountains, a small reptile suns itself on an island beach in a warm shallow sea, where many fish and marine reptiles frolic.

Size not important for fish in the largest mass extinction of all time
Understanding modern biodiversity and extinction threats is important. It is commonly assumed that being large contributes to vulnerability during extinction crises.

Negative density dependence explains tropical biodiversity
The diversity of woody plant species is one of the most notable aspects of forests worldwide. 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