Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 12, 2017
Chronic liver inflammation linked to Western diet
A new study in The American Journal of Pathology reports that mice fed a Western diet, which is high in fat and sugar, resulted in hepatic inflammation, especially in males.

Between extinction and survival of endangered populations
Populations of endangered species reach a critical point and therefore, efforts to predict and prevent their extinction require a thorough understanding of the underlying mechanisms.

See-through heart tissue reveals hidden complexity
A technique borrowed from neuroscience to see through brain tissue is helping scientists to see the fine structure of the heart.

Carbon displays quantum effects
Chemists at Ruhr-Universität Bochum have found evidence that carbon atoms cannot only behave like particles but also like waves.

Synthesizing the human genome from scratch
For the past 15 years, synthetic biologists have been figuring out how to synthesize an organism's complete set of DNA, including all of its genes.

Study: After watching disturbing video, CPAP usage soars
More than 20 million Americans are diagnosed with sleep apnea, yet more than half of those prescribed a CPAP mask to keep their airways open at night don't use it.

NASA sees formation of Tropical Storm Fernanda in Eastern Pacific Ocean
The sixth tropical depression of the Eastern Pacific Ocean hurricane season formed near southwestern Mexico and quickly strengthened into Tropical Storm Fernanda.

Dignity Health St. Joseph's researchers discover indicator of lung transplant rejection
The featured research unveils that monitoring of transcription factor Zinc finger and BTB domain-containing protein 7A (ZBTB7A) can be an early predictor of chronic rejection after lung transplant.

New evidence in support of the Planet Nine hypothesis
Last year, the existence of an unknown planet in our Solar system was announced.

Synapses in the brain mirror the structure of the visual world
The research team of Professor Sonja Hofer at the Biozentrum, University of Basel, has discovered why our brain might be so good at perceiving edges and contours.

Quantum mechanics inside Earth's core
Physicists from the University of Würzburg have discovered surprising properties of nickel.

Creating music by thought alone
Neurologists have created a hands-free, thought-controlled musical instrument, which they've recently described in a report in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.

The number of illustrations in storybooks influences children's word learning
New research shows that the number of illustrations presented in a storybook can influence preschool children's ability to learn words from shared reading.

NASA's SDO watches a sunspot turn toward Earth
A new sunspot group has rotated into view and seems to be growing rather quickly in this video captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory between July 5-11, 2017.

This week from AGU: Greenland's summer ocean bloom likely fueled by iron
This week from AGU: Greenland's summer ocean bloom likely fueled by iron, new technique could help scientists track nitrous oxide sources, and more.

Is a biological driver behind the need for self-fulfillment?
As human beings, what drives us to higher levels of existence?

Evolution of a bacterial enzyme in green algae
A new jigsaw piece in the evolution of green algae has been identified by researchers at Ruhr-Universität Bochum together with colleagues from Max Planck Institute in Mülheim an der Ruhr.

In autism, genes drive eye gaze abnormalities
Using eye-tracking technology, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Release of treated wastewater from hydraulic fracturing contaminates lake
Hydraulic fracturing has enabled a domestic oil and gas boom in the US, but its rapid growth has raised questions about what to do with the billions of gallons of wastewater that result.

Programs that teach emotional intelligence in schools have lasting impact
Social and emotional learning programs for youth not only immediately improve mental health, social skills, and learning outcomes but also continue to benefit children years later.

Researchers study factors predicting school corporal punishment
The number of Southern natives and the average education level in a county are the most influential factors on the odds of a US public school using corporal punishment, according to new Penn State research.

New research points to treatment breakthrough for viruses
Researchers identified a protein that is activated by viruses, including influenza, rhinovirus (the common cold), dengue and HIV.

Data analysis in the kitchen
Researchers suggest a new, data-driven hypothesis that may increase our understanding of which flavors work well together, and why.

Nanomedicine opens door to precision medicine for brain tumors
Early phase research has demonstrated a potential new therapeutic strategy for treating deadly glioblastoma brain tumors.

Rice scientists simplify the incorporation of nitrogen into molecules
Rice University scientists generalize the synthesis of aminating agents to simplify the design and manufacture of drugs and other fine chemicals in which nitrogen atoms play key roles.

Research raises antibiotic questions
A James Cook University scientist has warned about the side effects of overusing topical antibiotics, including concerns they're contributing to global antibiotic resistance.

Effective protection against hip fracture during cortisone treatment
There is effective protection against hip fracture for the many elderly people whose skeleton is declining in strength, as a side effect of cortisone treatment.

Clemson researchers illuminate the field of microscopy with nanoparticle 'buckyswitch'
Clemson University scientists develop a nanoparticle

Experts call for a ban on children rugby tackling
In light of the British Lion's rugby success, Newcastle University experts warn steps need to be taken to ensure children's safety when they play the sport.

Mathematical modeling could help with personalized cancer care
A new study from the University of Southern California could pave the way for improving personalized lung cancer care and treatment.

Anti-CRISPR proteins decrease off-target side effects of CRISPR-Cas9
Viruses developed a weapon to thwart the Cas9 protein, which is the scissors that bacteria use to obliterate viruses.

Diabetes causes shift in oral microbiome that fosters periodontitis, Penn study finds
People with diabetes are susceptible to periodontitis, a gum infection that can result in tooth loss.

House dust spurs growth of fat cells in lab tests
Poor diet and a lack of physical activity are major contributors to the world's obesity epidemic, but researchers have also identified common environmental pollutants that could play a role.

Finally, a noninvasive measure to identify dangerous blood vessel plaques
A new method of analyzing images from routine heart scans can, for the first time, reliably and noninvasively measure blood vessel inflammation -- which may help doctors deploy preventative interventions for the patients most at-risk patients for cardiovascular disease.

Scientists discover novel treatment target for pulmonary fibrosis
Scientists have demonstrated that a unique population of immune cells plays a key role in the development of pulmonary fibrosis, and showed that targeting such cells could lead to new treatments for the disease.

Low oxygen in Chesapeake Bay
The BioScience Talks podcast ( features discussions of topical issues related to the biological sciences.

No statistically significant risk of ID in children from mothers using antidepressants
In a first-of its kind study, researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai found an elevated risk of intellectual disability (ID) in children born to mothers treated with antidepressants, but the risk was not statistically significant and is likely due to other factors, including parental age and the parents' psychiatric history.

Discovery of brain-like activity in immune system promises better disease treatments
The Australian National University (ANU) has led the discovery of brain-like activity in the immune system that promises better treatments for lymphoma, autoimmune diseases and immunodeficiency disorders, which collectively affect millions of people globally.

Babies born big more likely to become obese as children, study finds
Infants born with a high birthweight are more likely to become obese as children, a new study suggests.

First aid kit in some living organisms helps fix DNA after lengthy sun exposure
Sunburn in living organisms is caused by ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun damaging the DNA in the cells.

First aid in the brain: When language suddenly fails
After a stroke a person often suffers from language problems.

New biofuel technology significantly cuts production time
New research from a professor of engineering at UBC's Okanagan Campus might hold the key to biofuels that are cheaper, safer and much faster to produce.

MPFI scientists probe function of cerebellar interneurons with new technique
Researchers at the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience developed a technique for selectively targeting and controlling the interneurons of the cerebellar molecular layer relying on a genetically engineered mouse model that exploits a unique gene encoding c-Kit to differentiate interneurons from other cell types.

Blood test for early detection of pancreatic cancer headed to clinic
A newly identified biomarker panel could pave the way to earlier detection and better treatment for pancreatic cancer.

Nesting in cavities protects birds from predators -- to a point
Nesting in cavities provides birds with some protection from predators -- but it isn't foolproof.

Study provides evidence for naturality of high-purity stevia leaf extract sweeteners
New research published in the International Journal of Food Science and Technology found steviol glycosides are not altered during the extraction and purification process to make high-purity stevia extract.

How children look at mom's face is guided by genetics and disrupted in autism
Researchers have found striking evidence for the role of genetics in shaping a fundamental feature of human behavior: how children pay attention to the world -- what they look at, and what they don't -- is strongly influenced by genetics.

€3 billion in funding and 31,000 funded projects
DFG presents 2016 Annual Report /-- 'Best knowledge-driven research -- supported by broad political and public trust' -- Annual meeting in Halle concluded.

Metal-free MRI contrast agent could be safer for some patients
Researchers from MIT and the University of Nebraska have developed a metal-free MRI contrast agent that could be safer for certain patients.

Children's visual engagement is heritable and altered in autism
How children visually engage with others in social situations is a heritable behavior that is altered in children with autism, according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Multi-antioxidant nanoparticles to treat sepsis
From the energy sector to biology, ceria-zirconia nanoparticles remove free radicals and improve survival in animal models.

The wiser brain: Insights from healthy elders
The archetype of old wise elders distinguished for their wisdom and sound judgement continues to inspire dreams of reaching a bright and enlightened old age.

Slow earthquakes occur continuously in the Alaska-Aleutian subduction zone
Seismologists at the University of California, Riverside studying earthquakes in the seismically and volcanically active Alaska-Aleutian subduction zone have found that 'slow earthquakes' are occurring continuously, and could encourage damaging earthquakes.

Giant charge reversal observed for the first time
Charged surfaces submerged in electrolyte solutions can sometimes become oppositely charged.

Study finds toxic mercury is accumulating in the Arctic tundra
Vast amounts of toxic mercury are accumulating in the Arctic tundra, threatening the health and well-being of people, wildlife and waterways, according to a UMass Lowell scientist investigating the source of the pollution.

Smart atomic cloud solves Heisenberg's observation problem
Quantum physics: Scientists at the Niels Bohr Institute by University of Copenhagen have been instrumental in developing a 'hands-on' answer to a challenge intricately linked to a very fundamental principle in physics: Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle.

Mulling over the aromas of wine
A fine wine has an ideal balance of ingredients. Too much or too little of a component could mean the difference between a wine with a sweet and fruity aroma and one that smells like wet newspaper.

Everyday chemicals linked to chronic disease in men
Chemicals found in everyday plastics materials are linked to cardiovascular disease, type-2 diabetes and high blood pressure in men, according to Australian researchers.

Football boosts bone development in boys
Playing football can improve bone development in adolescent boys, new research shows.

Predicting heart events after liver transplant
The first app and score to determine the one-year risk of a liver transplant patient dying or being hospitalized for a heart attack or other cardiovascular complication has been developed.

Spread of breast cancer reduced by targeting acid metabolite
It's a metabolite found in essentially all our cells that, like so many things, cancer overexpresses.

Common strength 'genes' identified for first time
Common genetic factors that influence muscle strength in humans have been identified for the first time in a study led by researchers from the University of Cambridge and published today in Nature Communications.

Soft and stretchy fabric-based sensors for wearable robots
Wearable technologies are exploding in popularity, but most of the electronic sensors that detect and transmit data from wearables are made of hard, inflexible materials that can restrict both the wearer's natural movements and the accuracy of the data collected.

The wave nature of light in super-slow motion
Physicists at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) and Friedrich Schiller University Jena (FSU) have accomplished a quantum leap in light research.

Antibiotic nanoparticles fight drug-resistant bacteria
Researchers from MIT and other institutions are hoping to use nanotechnology to develop more targeted treatments for drug-resistant bugs.

Targeting 'broken' metabolism in immune cells reduces inflammatory disease
Scientists have uncovered a way to 'program' immune cells to cause less damage to the body, by tapping into a 'broken' chemical pathway in inflammation.

New approach to leukaemia can help improve successful treatment
New University of Liverpool research, presented at an international conference, confirms that a novel approach to the treatment of chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) can safely increase treatment success and reduce negative side effects.

Study: Diet not connected to GI problems in children with autism
Many children with autism spectrum disorder experience significant gastrointestinal issues, but the cause of these symptoms is unknown.

Half of kids who needed epinephrine didn't get it before trip to the emergency room
A new study in Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology showed that even kids who were prescribed an epinephrine auto injector didn't receive the life-saving medication when they needed it.

Behind Green Eyes: New Species of deep-water hermit crab finds itself unusual shelters
The Green-eyed hermit crab is a new species recently discovered off the West Coast of South Africa.

Online climate data benefits producers
A group from the USDA Agricultural Research Station (ARS) has introduced a web-based application to help farmers.

Study reveals the hidden ways math helps us in everyday life
A psychological intervention implemented to help students cope and learn more in a tough statistics course did more than just help them in the class, a new study found.

Hormone replacement therapies help breast cancer grow and spread
Research has indicated that women who take hormone replacement therapies have a higher incidence of breast cancer.

Predictive model may help forecast migraine attacks
A new model based on measuring stress from daily hassles may help forecast future migraine headache attacks in those who develop them frequently.

Scientists replay movie encoded in DNA
For the first time, a primitive movie has been encoded in -- and then played back from -- DNA in living cells.

Making two out of one
In view of climate change it has become important to significantly increase the efficiency of organic solar cells.

Female fish prefer averagely active lovers
In evolution, a high sex drive does not always pay off.

New analysis of rare Argentinian rat unlocks origin of the largest mammalian genome
New biological information gleaned from the red vizcacha rat, a native species of Argentina, demonstrates how genomes can rapidly change in size.

Sinus disease symptoms improve 10 years after patients quit smoking
Patients with chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) who quit smoking will see their condition improve over a period of about 10 years, according to the results of a new study led by the Sinus Center at Mass.

Taking cells out to the movies with new CRISPR technology
In a new study published in Nature, the same team shows in foundational proof-of-principle experiments that a new CRISPR system, as a first-of-its-kind approach, is able to encode information as complex as a digitized image of a human hand, reminiscent of some of the first paintings drawn on cave walls by early humans, and a sequence of one of the first motion pictures made ever, that of a galloping horse, in living cells.

Detecting long-term concussion in athletes
Lawyers representing both sides in concussion lawsuits against sports leagues may eventually have a new tool at their disposal: a diagnostic signature that uses artificial intelligence to detect brain trauma years after it has occurred.

Global warming could result in losses for the European wine industry
Slight increases in temperature in Mediterranean regions from global warming could potentially result in labor, productivity and economic losses for the European wine industry, an article in the journal Temperature suggests.

Should we screen for cirrhosis?
Should we screen high risk patients for cirrhosis -- long-term liver damage that can eventually lead to liver failure?

Why you might trust a quantum computer with secrets -- even over the internet
Writing in Physical Review X on 11 July, researchers in Singapore and Australia propose a way you could use a quantum computer securely, even over the internet.

Using treated graywater for irrigation is better for arid environments
'This condition, called 'graywater-induced hydrophobicity,' is likely temporary and disappears quickly following rainwater or freshwater irrigation events,' says Prof.

Early squirrel gets the real estate, U of G study finds
Those young squirrels now scampering around your neighborhood were born in this year's earliest litters and are more likely to survive than squirrels born later and still curled up in their nests, according to a new University of Guelph study.

New series of papers call for a global recovery treatment consensus for stoke patients
The absolute number of people who have a stroke every year; stroke survivors, related deaths, and the overall global burden of stroke is increasing.

Paleontologists solve pterosaur pelvis puzzle
Following a discovery in 2015 in Alberta's Dinosaur Provincial Park, Greg Funston puzzled for two years over a mysterious bone trying to identify the species of the animal -- as well as the part of the body -- the bone belonged to.

Cyber attacks can threaten public health
Gordon and Landman have authored a Perspective piece in the New England Journal of Medicine that addresses the growing threat of attacks on information systems and the potential implications on public health.

Expecting the worst: People's perceived morality is biased towards negativity
People who are believed to be immoral are unable to reverse individuals' perception of them, potentially resulting in difficulties in the workplace and barriers in accessing fair and equal treatment in the legal system, a new study in PLOS One reports.

How to grow a premium brand without killing its cachet? Outlet stores can help
The conventional wisdom is that relying on revenues from outlet stores can destroy a brand's cachet over time.

Big-data analysis points toward new drug discovery method
A research team led by scientists at UC San Francisco has developed a computational method to systematically probe massive amounts of open-access data to discover new ways to use drugs, including some that have already been approved for other uses.

Higher use of health care services throughout adult life linked with traumatic childhoods
A research paper in the Journal of Health Service Research & Policy provides, for the first time, the statistical evidence showing that, regardless of socio-economic class or other demographics, people who have adverse childhood experiences use more health and medical services through their lifetime.

Building a safer lithium-ion battery
Lithium-ion batteries have become an indispensable power source for our proliferating gadgets.

Anti-CRIPSR protein reduces off-target cutting during genome editing
Hinting at a new approach to regulating gene editing in mammalian cells, a study by Jiyung Shin, Jennifer Doudna and colleagues reports that an inhibitor protein from a Listeria bacteriophage can block the Cas9 component of CRISPR-Cas9 from interacting with DNA.

Does a candidate's religion matter to voters?
Religion is sometimes used as shorthand to define a political candidate's views -- 'evangelical' and 'antiabortion' may be considered interchangeable.

Climate change to deplete some US water basins used for irrigation
A new study by MIT climate scientists, economists, and agriculture experts finds that certain hotspots in the country will experience severe reductions in crop yields by 2050, due to climate change's impact on irrigation.

Machine-learning techniques unlock benefit of weight loss for type 2 diabetes patients
Losing weight reduces the risk of long-term cardiovascular illness and mortality for the majority of patients with type 2 diabetes, but for a small subgroup, weight-loss intervention can lead to dramatically worse outcomes, according to new research published today in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

The one trillion tonne iceberg -
A one trillion tonne iceberg -- one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice, monitored by the Swansea University-led MIDAS project, finally completed its path through the ice.

Massive iceberg breaks off from Antarctica
An iceberg about the size of the state of Delaware split off from Antarctica's Larsen C ice shelf sometime between July 10 and July 12, 2017.

Watch 3-D movies at home, sans glasses
While 3-D movies continue to be popular in theaters, they haven't made the leap to our homes just yet -- and the reason rests largely on the ridge of your nose.

Shortcut method in drug development
A research group at Uppsala University presents in PNAS a new, small-scale method that may become a smart shortcut for determining the 'bioavailability' of a pharmaceutical drug within cells.

What do high school principals know about concussion?
When it comes to helping high school student athletes recover from concussion, support is needed beyond the athletic field.

Cancer survivors get a taste for kefir after exercise
Kefir may be a beneficial post-exercise beverage for cancer survivors.

OU team details foreshock activities leading up to Pawnee earthquake
A University of Oklahoma geophysics professor, Xiaowei Chen, details the foreshock activities leading up to the Pawnee earthquake, and highlights the complicated relationship between seismicity and wastewater injection rates in a research study published this week in Scientific Reports.

RNA molecules live short lives
A research group at the Biozentrum, University of Basel, has developed a new method to measure the half-life of RNA molecules.

Clinical trial looks at tramadol for opioid withdrawal
A randomized clinical trial published by JAMA Psychiatry compared tramadol extended-release with clonidine and buprenorphine for the management of opioid withdrawal symptoms in patients with opioid use disorder in a residential research setting.

HIV hijacks surface molecule to invade cell
Researchers at the National Institutes of Health have discovered a key step in the process that HIV uses to inject its genetic material into cells.

WHO decision to downgrade Tamiflu 'comes far too late' argues expert
The World Health Organization's decision to downgrade the influenza drug Tamiflu on its essential medicines list is better late than never, but still comes far too late, argues an expert in The BMJ today.

WikiLeaks gave Trump edge in campaign race, Twitter study finds
Viral tweets relating to Hillary Clinton's WikiLeaks scandal played a part in her failure to win the US presidential election, according to computer-led analysis of social media.

To attract more students to STEM, highlight communal aspects of STEM careers
New research highlights the importance of showing students the communal aspects of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) careers in order to attract more students to STEM classes and careers.

Study explores antidepressant medication use during pregnancy
A study published by JAMA Psychiatry reports no evidence of an association between intellectual disability in children and mothers who took antidepressant medication during pregnancy when other mitigating factors, such as parental age and underlying psychiatric disorder, were considered.

Tumor-targeting drug shows potential for treating bone cancer patients
The treatment of osteosarcoma, the most common tumor of bone, is challenging.

ADHD medication tied to lower risk for alcohol, drug abuse in teens and adults
The use of medication to treat attention deficient hyperactivity disorder is linked to significantly lower risk for substance use problems in adolescents and adults with ADHD, according to a study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry and led by Indiana University.

Firearm-safety class rates in US little changed in 20 years
Information from nearly 4,000 US residents indicates that only 61 percent of all gun owners and 14 percent of non-owners who live with a firearm owner have received any formal gun training, percentages largely unchanged since 1994, according to a study from the University of Washington.

Seaside sparrows caught between predators and rising seas
Sea-level rise is a problem for saltmarsh birds, but so is predation, and birds sometimes find themselves caught between two threats: They can nest lower in vegetation to avoid predators, putting them at risk of flooding, or move up to keep dry but risk getting eaten.

NASA finds rainfall diminishing in a weakening Tropical Storm Eugene
Tropical Storm Eugene has been moving over cooler sea surface temperatures that have been sapping its strength.

Antibody against carcinogenic substance deciphered
When fat reacts with glowing coal at a barbecue, the substance benzopyrene is created, an environmental toxin that can cause cancer.

Microwaves reveal detailed structure of molecular motor
A team of scientists has used microwaves to unravel the exact structure of a tiny molecular motor.

Visual illusion could help you read smaller font
Exposure to a common visual illusion may enhance your ability to read fine print, according to new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Insufficient levels of Vitamin D in pregnancy detrimental to child development
Vitamin D deficiency in expectant mothers during pregnancy has a negative effect on the social development and motor skills of pre-school age children, a new study in the British Journal of Nutrition reports.

Granular media friction explained: Da Vinci would be proud
There is a very peculiar dynamics of granular matter, such as dry sand or grains of wheat.

Registry identifies early onset of heart failure and lack of defibrillators in Asia
For the first time this year a late breaking clinical trials session will be held at the Asian Pacific Society of Cardiology (APSC) Congress to highlight world-class research coming out of the region.

How Einstein's theory of gravitation experienced a Renaissance after World War II
Einstein's 1915 theory of gravitation (General Relativity), is now considered one of the pillars of modern physics. 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