Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 17, 2017
New study finds that lymph node removal isn't necessary for all melanoma patients
Many patients with melanoma need a sentinel-lymph-node biopsy to determine if cancer cells have spread there, but a positive finding doesn't mean all the lymph nodes in the area must be removed, according to new international study.

'No solid evidence' for biopesticide-diarrhea link
A report commissioned by EU food regulators wrongly linked a highly effective biopesticide with diarrhea in humans, an expert says.

New model projects an increase in dust storms in the US
A new statistical model developed by researchers at Princeton University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts that climate change will amplify dust activity in parts of the U.S. in the latter half of the 21st century, which may lead to the increased frequency of spectacular dust storms that have far-reaching impacts on public health and infrastructure.

Late-breaking mutations may play an important role in autism
A study of nearly 6,000 families, combining three genetic sequencing technologies, finds that mutations that occur after conception play an important role in autism.

Newly discovered gene variants link innate immunity and Alzheimer's disease
Three new gene variants, found in a genome wide association study of Alzheimer's disease (AD), point to the brain's immune cells in the onset of the disorder.

Unbalanced wind farm planning exacerbates fluctuations
If European countries cooperated better in the field of wind energy, wind power output would fluctuate less.

New study shows how exposure to a foreign language ignites infants' learning
A new study by the University of Washington, published July 17 in Mind, Brain, and Education, is among the first to investigate how babies can learn a second language outside of the home.

Amphibians can become tolerant to pesticides, but at a cost
Amphibians can develop tolerance to pesticides, but this tolerance can lead to increased susceptibility to parasites, according to new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York.

In baby's dirty diapers, the clues to baby's brain development
Can the kinds of microbes colonizing the gut at age 1 predict later cognitive development?

UTA mechanical engineer publishes findings that show blasts cause cavitation in the brain
Ashfaq Adnan, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at The University of Texas at Arlington, and his postdoctoral associate Yuan Ting Wu recently published research findings in Nature's Scientific Reports revealing that if battlefield blasts may cause cavitation in the brain's perineuronal nets, which, in turn, may collapse and cause neuronal damage.

Team develops fast, cheap method to make supercapacitor electrodes
University of Washington researchers have developed a fast, inexpensive method to make electrodes for supercapacitors, with applications in electric cars, wireless telecommunications and high-powered lasers.

UNIST reveals the whole genome sequences of rare red bat
South Korea's Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology has presented, for the first time, the whole genome sequence and analyses of the Myotis rufoniger.

Mutation speeds up sperm of zebra finches
Gene inversion gives reproductive advantage to zebra finches.

Tiny particles increase in air with ethanol-to-gasoline switch
The concentration of ultrafine particles less than 50 nanometers in diameter rose by one-third in the air of São Paulo, Brazil, when higher ethanol prices induced drivers to switch from ethanol to gasoline, according to a new study by a Northwestern University chemist, a National University of Singapore economist and two University of São Paulo physicists.

Rice U professor developing plasmon-powered devices for medicine, security, solar cells
A new method that takes advantage of plasmonic metals' production of 'hot' electrons and holes to boost light to a higher frequency could be suitable for medical, energy and security applications.

A new ligand extends the half-life of peptide drugs from minutes to days
EPFL scientists have developed a ligand molecule that connects peptide drugs to blood-serum albumin and keeps them from being cleared out by the kidneys too soon.

Happiness can affect physical health
A new review indicates that subjective well-being -- factors such as life satisfaction and enjoyment of life -- can influence physical health.

CAR T-cell therapy for leukemia leads to remissions in clinical trial
Researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center showed about 70 percent of patients with the most common adult leukemia had their tumors shrink or disappear following an experimental chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell immunotherapy.

DNA tracking tool tips the scales for distinguishing invasive fish
Rather than conduct an aquatic roll call with nets to know which fish reside in a particular body of water, scientists can now use DNA fragments suspended in water to catalog invasive or native species.

New test paves way for potential treatments to target Alzheimer's and other conditions
A simple methodology for capturing proteins implicated in the development of Alzheimer's disease and other conditions has been developed by researchers at the University of Bradford and University of Dundee.

Epigenetics between the generations
Max Planck researchers prove that we inherit more than just genes.

Microscopy technique could enable more informative biopsies
MIT and Harvard Medical School researchers have devised a way to image patient biopsy samples with much higher resolution -- an advance that could help pathologists develop more accurate and inexpensive diagnostic tests.

How dolphins inspired a potentially life-saving method for treating trauma victims
University at Buffalo researchers have successfully tested face cooling to prevent steep drops in blood pressure during simulated blood loss, a prehospital intervention that EMTs and battlefield medics could one day use to save lives.

Review article discusses potential role, benefits of non-rhizobia bacteria in root nodules of legume
Most scientific research on the root-soil interactions of legumes focuses on rhizobia and nitrogen-fixing root nodules.

Computers helping emergency doctors make better choices
Embedded clinical decision support in electronic health record decreases use of high-cost imaging in the emergency department.

Breathable, wearable electronics on skin for long-term health monitoring
A hypoallergenic electronic sensor can be worn on the skin continuously for a week without discomfort, and is so light and thin that users forget they even have it on, says a Japanese group of scientists.

NASA Neutron star mission begins science operations
The Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer, or NICER, payload completed commissioning and calibration and all systems are working as expected.

Research in the emergency room helps predict organ failure in critically injured patients
Testing blood samples within the first two hours of injury could help predict which critically injured patients are more likely to develop multiple organ failure, according to an early study led by Queen Mary University of London.

Daily crosswords linked to sharper brain in later life
The more regularly people report doing word puzzles such as crosswords, the better their brain function in later life, a large-scale and robust online trial has found.

Radiation prior to surgery reduces risk of secondary tumors in early-stage breast cancer
Moffitt researchers found that patients who have neoadjuvant radiation therapy have a significantly lower risk of developing a second primary tumor at any site.

Restaurant placemats can help promote healthy eating among children
Placemats can be used to encourage children to eat healthier food in restaurants, according to a new study by the University at Buffalo and Independent Health Foundation.

Artificial sweeteners linked to risk of weight gain, heart disease and other health issues
Artificial sweeteners may be associated with long-term weight gain and increased risk of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, according to a new study published in CMAJ.

Material from shellfish delivers a boost to bioassays and medical tests
Scientists at the University of Washington have discovered a simple way to raise the accuracy of diagnostic tests for medicine and common assays for laboratory research.

Estrogen therapy may prevent gum disease in women over 50
Treatment for osteoporosis may also help prevent gum disease, according to new University at Buffalo research that examined the prevalence of periodontitis in postmenopausal women.

T-cells lacking HDAC11 enzyme perform more effectively in destroying cancer cells
A team of researchers at the GW Cancer Center has identified a role for the HDAC11 enzyme in the regulation of T-cell function.

Cerebrospinal fluid of survivors of Ebola virus disease examined
A new research letter published by JAMA Neurology reports on examinations of cerebrospinal fluid collected from survivors of Ebola virus disease (EVD) to investigate potential Ebola virus persistence in the central nervous system.

More children living in high-poverty neighborhoods following Great Recession
More children are living in high-poverty neighborhoods following the Great Recession -- a troubling shift because children in these neighborhoods are a year behind academically.

Quantifying effectiveness of treatment for irregular heartbeat
In a small proof-of-concept study, researchers at Johns Hopkins report a complex mathematical method to measure electrical communications within the heart can successfully predict the effectiveness of catheter ablation, the standard of care treatment for atrial fibrillation, the most common irregular heartbeat disorder.

Ozone pollution connected to cardiovascular health
Exposure to ozone, a risk for impaired lung function, is also connected to health changes that can cause cardiovascular disease such as heart attack, high blood pressure and stroke, according to a new study of Chinese adults.

New study of brain circuits finds key links to symptoms of depression
Scientists have linked specific wiring in the brain to distinct behavioral symptoms of depression.

Why Tyrannosaurus was a slow runner
A beetle is slower than a mouse, which is slower than a rabbit, which is slower than a cheetah... which is slower than an elephant?

Depression among young teens linked to cannabis use at 18
A study looking at the cumulative effects of depression in youth, found that young people with chronic or severe forms of depression were at elevated risk for developing a problem with cannabis in later adolescence.

Scientists name new species of dinosaur after Canadian icon
A new species of troodontid theropod dinosaur identified, Albertavenator curriei, named after renowned Canadian palaeontologist Dr.

New Fanconi anemia-causing gene identified
Researchers from the group led by UAB Chair Professor Dr.

O2 and hyperbaric oxygen therapy reverses brain damage in drowned toddler
Dr. Paul Harch, Clinical Professor and Director of Hyperbaric Medicine at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine, and Dr.

One-third of fake images go undetected in recent study
Around one-third of fake images went undetected in a recent study by the University of Warwick, UK.

Immune system found to control eye tissue renewal in zebrafish
Researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine report evidence that zebrafishes' natural ability to regenerate their eyes' retinal tissue can be accelerated by controlling the fishes' immune systems.

Hyperacute immune response to traumatic injury precedes serious organ failure
Specific signatures of the immune mechanisms that lead to serious organ failure are evident in the hours immediately following injury, according to a study by Joanna Shepherd of Queen Mary University of London, UK, and colleagues, publishing in PLOS Medicine.

Does Medicare/Medicaid incentive payment affect home hospice care in last week of life?
A new study has shown that the new Service Intensity Add-on (SIA) payment for in-person routine home hospice care during the last 7 days of life, which was added to Medicare/Medicaid coverage in 2016, could increase visits by registered nurses or social workers during a patient's last week of life.

Where's the beef on the loss leader strategy?
The authors gathered data from 24 branches of a grocery chain in the Northeastern US over 49 weeks and found that deep discounting is a valid strategy supported by the numbers, with the caveat that broad discounting in a category may lead to diminishing returns.

Rooftop concentrating photovoltaics win big over silicon in outdoor testing
A concentrating photovoltaic system with embedded microtracking can produce over 50 percent more energy per day than standard silicon solar cells in a head-to-head competition, according to a team of engineers who field tested a prototype unit over two sunny days last fall.

Screening those at risk of psychosis may help prevent violence, reduce stigma
A new study of young persons at clinical high-risk of developing psychosis has identified measures of violence potential that may be useful in predicting both the increased risk of future violent behavior and the actual development of psychosis.

The glass transition caught in the act
Changes in a liquid as it becomes a glass are related to repulsion between atoms as they are crowded together.

First experimental observation of new type of entanglement in a 2-D quantum material
Scientists from EPFL and PSI have shown experimentally, for the first time, a quantum phase transition in strontium copper borate, the only material to date that realizes a famous quantum many-body model.

Comparing algorithms that search for cancer mutations
Scientists team up to evaluate the tools used to probe the cancer genome.

Studying argon gas trapped in two-dimensional array of tiny 'cages'
For the first time, scientists have trapped a noble gas in a two-dimensional porous structure at room temperature.

Oil impairs ability of coral reef fish to find homes and evade predators
Just as one too many cocktails can lead a person to make bad choices, a few drops of oil can cause coral reef fish to make poor decisions, according to a paper published today in Nature Ecology & Evolution.

Brief interactions spur lasting waves of gene activity in the brain
A five-minute encounter with an outsider spurs a cascade of changes in gene activity in the brain that can last for hours, researchers report in a study of stickleback fish.

Not all plant-based diets are created equal
Plant-based diets are recommended to reduce the risk of heart disease; however, some plant-based diets are associated with a higher risk of heart disease, according to a study published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Hundred-year-old law on fluid flow overturned by Imperial research
Engineers from Imperial College London have dispelled a 100-year-old scientific law used to describe how fluid flows through rocks.

New UMD research tracks global IT's shift from cost-cutting to revenue-boosting
Information technology is often credited for its role in helping companies cut costs.

Invasive plant species can enhance coastal ecosystems
Invasive plant species like seaweed can provide vital ecosystem functions in coastal areas where native habitats such as salt marshes and oyster reefs have severely declined.

Canada should continue with separate medical stream after cannabis is legalized for recreational use
After cannabis is legalized, Canada should continue with a separate medical cannabis stream to keep patients safe, argues a commentary in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

New device detects tumor cells in blood
Researchers at the URV's Department of Physical and Inorganic Chemistry-led by the ICREA researcher, Ramon Álvarez Puebla, and the professor of Applied Physics, Francesc Díaz, and the Department of Clinical Oncology of the HM Torrelodones University Hospital, have patented a portable device that can detect tumor cells in blood.

Diesel is now better than gas
Regulators, take note: a new international study shows that modern diesel passenger cars emit fewer carbonaceous particulates than gasoline-powered vehicles.

Large multi-ethnic study identifies many new genetic markers for lupus
Scientists from an international consortium have identified a large number of new genetic markers that predispose individuals to lupus.

New light on the secret life of badgers
Badgers are more sociable than often thought, with implications for how they transmit disease, new Oxford University research reveals.

Adrenal gland activity change under severe stress causing abnormal release of glucocorticoid stress
To respond to stress optimally, the body needs to produce glucocorticoid hormones, such as cortisol, extremely quickly.

New discovery in MND and dementia could pave the way to novel treatments
A new discovery by scientists at the University of Sheffield could help slow down the progression of neurodegenerative diseases such as motor neurone disease (MND), dementia and neurological decline associated with ageing.

Earlier blood testing for iron deficiency, anemia recommended for young women
Physicians should consider blood testing of female adolescents for iron deficiency within a few years of starting menses, according to two studies by Penn State College of Medicine researchers.

Study identifies tools to identify patients at risk for autism spectrum disorders
A tool intended to detect signs of autism in high-risk infants can be used to help identify and treat patients with tuberous sclerosis complex, a genetic disorder, who most need early intervention.

FOXI3 gene is involved in dental cusp formation
The teeth of hairless dogs teach researchers about the development and evolution of mammalian teeth.

A new era in the interpretation of human genomic variation
In a commentary published today in Genetics in Medicine, Heidi Rehm, PhD, highlights the pressing need for standardized human genomic variant interpretation and calls on more stakeholders to join the data sharing movement.

Medicaid 'churning' leads to increased acute care use for patients with major depression
For adult Medicaid beneficiaries with major depression, disruptions in coverage are followed by increases in emergency department (ED) visits and longer hospital stays after the person goes back on Medicaid, reports a study in the August issue of Medical Care.

Bacteria found in Alzheimer's brains
Researchers in the UK have used DNA sequencing to examine bacteria in post-mortem brains from patients with Alzheimer's disease.

Brain connectivity after 30 may predict psychological problems
Underdevelopment of the brain network underlying inhibition -- the ability to concentrate on a particular stimulus and tune out competing stimuli -- after 30 years of age is associated with self-reported psychological problems, according to a study published in The Journal of Neuroscience.

CNIC scientists find the key to improved cancer immunotherapy
Researchers at the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares Carlos III have investigated how different subtypes of essential immune-response cells called CD8+ T lymphocytes cooperate to mount a stronger anti-tumor response.

What makes red algae so different and why should we care?
The red algae called Porphyra and its ancestors have thrived for millions of years in the harsh habitat of the intertidal zone -- exposed to fluctuating temperatures, high UV radiation, severe salt stress, and desiccation.

Stronger winds heat up West Antarctic ice melt
Stronger winds 6000kms away on the East Antarctic, have generated waves that circle the continent at almost 700kmh.

Ebola virus can persist in monkeys that survived disease, even after symptoms disappear
Ebola virus infection can be detected in rhesus monkeys that survive the disease and no longer show symptoms, according to research published by Army scientists in today's online edition of the journal Nature Microbiology.

Researchers at IRB Barcelona discover a crucial gene involved in the development of the placenta
The study also solidifies an important role for both TLK1 and TLK2 in genome stability.

Mow before you spray, and other tips for protecting pollinators in grassy landscapes
With the right combination of methods, landscape managers can strike an effective balance between pest management and protecting pollinators in turfgrass settings.

NIH scientists find rare disease clues in cell's recycling system
Scientists have demonstrated how an investigational drug works against a rare, fatal genetic disease, Niemann-Pick type C1 (NPC1).

Combining genomics with farmers' traditional knowledge to improve wheat production
Producing better crops to meet the needs of the growing world's population may lie in combining the traditional knowledge of subsistence farmers with plant genomics.

Harnessing the right amount of sunshine
Researchers from MIT and the University of Verona have discovered how a key photoprotection protein allows moss and green algae to protect themselves from too much sun by dissipating the extra energy as heat.

Exclusion of mothers-to-be from clinical studies unfair and potentially harmful
The widely accepted principle that mothers-to-be are a 'vulnerable' group unfairly excludes them from taking part in clinical studies, and perpetuates the knowledge void around the impact of drugs taken during pregnancy, conclude researchers online in the Journal of Medical Ethics.

NASA-funded citizen science project discovers new brown dwarf
One night three months ago, Rosa Castro finished her dinner, opened her laptop, and uncovered a novel object that was neither planet nor star.

Bac-for good: Bacteria passed between generations benefits you more than others
Bacteria passed straight to children have more healthcare benefits than if they are transmitted via the surrounding environment, new Oxford University research reveals.

Climate impacts of super-giant oilfields go up with age, Stanford scientists say
Neglecting the changing energy requirements of aging oilfields can lead to an underestimate of their true climate impacts.

Black light helps diagnose common skin problem found in pregnant women
Researchers at Boston Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine have found that using a black light, or Wood's light, helps dermatologists determine disease extent of melasma, a hyperpigmentation condition that causes brown and gray patches to appear on the face.

Epilepsy biomarkers pave way for noninvasive diagnosis, better treatments
Researchers have identified a unique metabolic signature associated with epileptic brain tissue that causes seizures.

Space station project seeks to crystalize the means to counteract nerve poisons
The microgravity conditions of the International Space Station (ISS) may hold the key to improving our understanding of how to combat toxic nerve agents such as sarin and VX.

Gun violence prevention groups strike middle ground to meet goals
A study led by Oregon State University researchers found that American organizations identifying as gun violence prevention groups advocate for the right to bear arms and for some gun purchase and ownership conditions, which they argue will curb gun-related injuries and deaths.

A swell diagnostic method
Ludwig researchers show how a method that physically expands tissues can improve early breast cancer diagnostics and extend the capabilities of ordinary pathology labs

Team-based model reduces prescription opioid use among patients with chronic pain by 40 percent
A new, team-based, primary care model is decreasing prescription opioid use among patients with chronic pain by 40 percent, according to a new study out of Boston Medical Center's Grayken Center for Addiction Medicine, which is published online ahead of print in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Genome therapy could lead to new treatment for life-threatening blood disorders
By introducing a beneficial natural mutation into blood cells using the gene-editing technique CRISPR, a UNSW Sydney-led team of scientists has been able to switch on production of foetal haemoglobin - an advance that could eventually lead to a cure for sickle cell anaemia and other blood disorders.

Genes account for half of differences in social mobility
A new King's College London study suggests that genes account for nearly 50 per cent of the differences between whether children are socially mobile or not.

Tracking the mechanisms of artery formation
The Notch signal pathway could be the basis for new therapies for cardiovascular diseases.

Key to speeding up carbon sequestration discovered
Scientists identify the slow part of a chemical reaction that allows carbon to be sequestered in the ocean, and demonstrate how to speed it up with a common enzyme.

Sharing the wealth
Economic redistribution has been a core political dispute around the world for centuries.

Working at 'breastaurants' damaging to women's mental health
Women who work in restaurants that require their bodies to be on display through revealing uniforms may experience higher levels of anxiety and disordered eating, according to a new University of Tennessee, Knoxville, study.

Study: Eating at 'wrong time' affects body weight, circadian rhythms
A new high-precision feeding system for lab mice reinforces the idea that the time of day food is eaten is more critical to weight loss than the amount of calories ingested.

Deep blue carbon storage
Scientists at USC and Caltech have accelerated a normally slow, natural chemical reaction, by a factor of 500, which could store and neutralize carbon in the deepest recesses of the ocean without harming coral or other organisms.

Teens may be missing vaccines because parents aren't aware they need one
Parents may be up to speed on what vaccines their children need for kindergarten, but may be less sure during high school years, a new national poll suggests.

New hydrocarbon fuel cells with high efficiency and low cost
South Korea's Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology has introduced low cost, high efficiency hydrocarbon fuel cells.

Climatic stability resulted in the evolution of more bird species
More species of birds have accumulated in genera inhabiting climatically stable areas.

Improving ICU care and communication through technology use
In new research, led by Brigham and Women's Hospital, researchers tested a structured and technology-centered program that was focused on team communication and patient engagement.

New assessment identifies global hotspots for water conflict
More than 1,400 new dams or water diversion projects are planned or already under construction, fueling the potential for increased water conflict between some countries.

Researchers develop a novel type of optical fiber that preserves the properties of light
The fiber samples obtained by researchers have demonstrated great results, indicating good prospects for further development of such technological solutions.

Reduced oxygen nanocrystalline materials show improved performance
Researchers at the University of Connecticut have found that reducing oxygen in some nanocrystalline materials may improve their strength and durability at elevated temperatures, a promising enhancement that could lead to better biosensors, faster jet engines, and greater capacity semiconductors.

Record-breaking marine heatwave powered by climate change cooks Tasmania's fisheries
Climate change has warmed the waters east of Tasmania at four times the speed of the global average.

New tools help surgeons find liver tumors, not nick blood vessels
A Vanderbilt engineer created surgery-tested software that better marries CT scan images of the liver with a tracked tool's.

Is this Gulf of Mexico tubeworm the longest living animal in the world?
Large tubeworms living in the cold depths of the Gulf of Mexico may be among the longest living animals in the world.

Nipple-sparing mastectomy has low rate of breast cancer recurrence
Women with breast cancer who undergo nipple-sparing mastectomy have a low rate of the cancer returning within the first five years, when most recurrences in the breast are diagnosed, findings of a single-center study show.

Which infants exposed to Zika virus infection in pregnancy should have eyes examined?
Eye abnormalities in infants from Brazil born to mothers with confirmed Zika virus infection in pregnancy are described in an article published by JAMA Pediatrics.

Standardized policies needed for how and when police interact with trauma patients
Injured people often interact with police and other law enforcement agents before and during their injury care, particularly when their injuries are due to violence or major motor vehicle crashes.

The Breivik terrorist attacks in Norway led to mental illness in Denmark
A new study shows that the number of Danes diagnosed with trauma -- and stressor-related disorders (such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)) increased substantially following the terrorist attacks carried out by Anders Breivik in Oslo and on the nearby island of Utøya in Norway in the summer of 2011.

Humans hardwired to lean to the right while kissing the world over
New research that looked into people's kissing bias could have wider implications for cognitive and neuroscience.

Researchers look inside dangerous blood clots with optical clearing technique
A new technique that makes blood clots optically clear is allowing researchers to use powerful optical microscopy techniques to study the 3D structure of dangerous clots for the first time.

Two new genes linked to Alzheimer's risk
A team of researchers led by Cardiff University has identified two genes that influence a person's risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.

NASA listens in as electrons whistle while they work
NASA's Van Allen Probes have observed a new population of space sound waves, called plasmaspheric hiss, which are important in removing high-energy particles from around Earth that can damage satellites.

Newly identified genetic marker may help detect high-risk flu patients
Researchers led by St. Jude Children's Research Hospital have identified a genetic variation associated with influenza severity and the supply of killer T cells that help patients fight the infection.

Hospitalizations and cognitive decline in older adults
Emergency and urgent hospitalizations are associated with an increased rate of cognitive decline in older adults, report researchers at Rush University Medical Center. 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