Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 18, 2017
Obese and overweight less likely to consider next meal when making portion size decisions
University of Bristol researchers have found that people with obesity tend to ignore how long it will be until the next meal when choosing how much to eat.

'Superbugs' study reveals complex picture of E. coli bloodstream infections
The first large-scale genetic study of Escherichia coli (E. coli) cultured from patients with bloodstream infections in England showed that drug resistant 'superbugs' don't always out-compete other strains.

Making data-driven 3-D modeling easier
A new computational method, to be demonstrated at SIGGRAPH 2017, is addressing a well-known bottleneck in computer graphics: 3-D content creation.

27 Phase III and 8 Phase II Alzheimer's drugs on track to launch in next 5 years
Twenty-seven Alzheimer's drugs in Phase III clinical trials and eight drugs in Phase II clinical trials may launch in the next five years, according to a revised Alzheimer's pipeline analysis presented today at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC) by ResearchersAgainstAlzheimer's (RA2), an UsAgainstAlzheimer's network.

Large-scale study of adaptation in yeast could help explain the evolution of cancer
Lehigh University's Gregory Lang uses a genome sequencing approach to reveal the 'drivers' of adaptation in laboratory-evolved yeast.

Gamma-ray telescopes reveal a high-energy trap in our galaxy's center
A combined analysis of data from NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope and the High Energy Stereoscopic System (H.E.S.S.), a ground-based observatory in Namibia, suggests the center of our Milky Way contains a 'trap' that concentrates some of the highest-energy cosmic rays, among the fastest particles in the galaxy.

Study: Reducing hospital readmissions does not increase mortality rates
Recent advances in reducing hospital readmission rates for three key medical conditions occurred without causing an increase in death rates, according to a new Yale-led study.

High-dose vitamin D does not reduce risk of common cold among young children
Among children 1 to 5 years of age, daily high-dose administration of vitamin D did not reduce overall wintertime upper respiratory tract infections, according to a study published by JAMA.

A breakthrough in 'dead layer' of antiferromagnet
Professor WU Wenbin's group from University of Science and Technology of China of Chinese Academy of Sciences made a breakthrough to solve the 'dead layer' effect problem.

Fused imaging reveals 16th-century writing hidden inside bookbinding
By fusing visible hyperspectral imaging with X-ray fluorescence, Northwestern University researchers safely reveal Roman law code hidden inside of a 16th century bookbinding.

To swallow food, some sharks shrug their shoulders
Sophisticated X-ray imaging technology has allowed scientists to see that to keep food moving down toward the digestive tract, bamboo sharks use their shoulders to create suction.

Parasitic worms may lead to agricultural stem cell breakthrough
A plant parasitic nematode is a pest that parasitizes the roots of agricultural crops and creates nests called 'galls' which deprive plants of nutrition.

New bacterial defense mechanism of the CRISPR-Cas system uncovered
Researchers led by Martin Jinek of the University of Zurich have found an unprecedented defense mechanism by which bacteria defend themselves against invading viruses.

Ancient, massive asteroid impact could explain Martian geological mysteries
A colossal impact with a large asteroid early in Mars' history may have ripped off a chunk of the northern hemisphere and left behind a legacy of metallic elements in the planet's interior.

Scientists develop new supplement that can repair, rejuvenate muscles in older adults
Whey protein supplements aren't just for gym buffs according to new research from McMaster University.

Networking is key for cells during bone formation
A new study into the way bone cells organise during bone formation could open the door to a better understanding of diseases such as osteoporosis.

What patients value about access to their visit notes
New findings from researchers at OpenNotes and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center shed light on what patients value about having access to their visit notes and being invited to participate more actively in the safety of their care.

Making chicken feathers
Does each cell in the embryo have a genetically predetermined fate, or are cell interactions important?

Failures in stethoscope hygiene can lead to patient infections
You can lead a doctor to disinfection, but how do you get them to clean ... or wipe ... or swab a stethoscope?

How CD44s gives brain cancer a survival advantage
In the case of glioblastoma multiforme, the deadliest type of brain cancer, researchers have discovered that the molecule CD44s seems to give cancer cells a survival advantage.

Study shows language development starts in the womb
A month before they are born, fetuses carried by American mothers-to-be can distinguish between someone speaking to them in English and Japanese.

NASA looks at compact Tropical Storm Don in infrared light
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over newly formed Tropical Storm Don gathering temperature data from the compact storm's clouds.

Pause to read the traffic sign: Regulation of DNA transcription in bacteria
The survival of the cell is -- apart from other important aspects -- a question of timing: Scientists of Goethe University together with colleagues from other universities have now identified the different parts of this mechanism and introduced a model of the process.

New research highlights optimal methods for administering children's medications
New research published today, conducted by a research team from the University of Liverpool and Alder Hey Children's Hospital, aims to help solve the problem of dose optimisation of children's medicines.

Testosterone prescribing in VA varies by provider's age, experience, specialty and region
Providers in the Veterans Health Administration (VA) system vary in their testosterone prescribing practices, according to a study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Antibiotic-releasing polymer may help eradicate joint implant infection
A team of Massachusetts General Hospital investigators has developed an antibiotic-releasing polymer that may greatly simplify the treatment of prosthetic joint infection.

Making lab equipment on the cheap
Laboratory equipment is one of the largest cost factors in neuroscience.

Did life begin on land rather than in the sea?
UC Santa Cruz astrobiologists David Deamer and Bruce Damer hypothesize that life began not in the sea, but on land.

Study reveals ways in which cells feel their surroundings
Researchers used computer modeling to show how cells can feel their way through their surroundings, for example, when a tumor cell invades a new tissue or organ.

3-D models help scientists gauge flood impact
Using one of the world's most powerful supercomputers, a University of Iowa team performed one of the first highly resolved, 3-D, volume-of-fluid Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) simulations of a dam break in a natural environment.

UN-backed initiative greatly improves the health of women, children, adolescents
Globally, the health and well-being of women, children and adolescents are improving faster than at any point in history, even in the poorest nations.

Manmade aerosols identified as driver in shifting global rainfall patterns
In a new study, scientists found that aerosol particles released into the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels are a primary driver of changes in rainfall patterns across the globe.

Study: Omega-3 fatty acids fight inflammation via cannabinoids
Chemical compounds called cannabinoids are found in marijuana and also are produced naturally in the body from omega-3 fatty acids.

One amino acid, a whale of a difference
A single amino-acid variation in a key receptor in whales may help explain why some species of cetaceans evolved sleek, muscular bodies to hunt fish and seals, while others grow to massive sizes by filter-feeding on large volumes of plankton, an international research team has found.

Using omega 3 fatty acids to treat Alzheimer's & other diseases?
Understanding how dietary essential fatty acids work may lead to effective treatments for diseases and conditions such as stroke, Alzheimer's disease, age-related macular degeneration, Parkinson's disease and other retinal and neurodegenerative diseases.

New gel coatings may lead to better catheters and condoms
Catheters, intravenous lines, and other types of surgical tubing are a medical necessity for managing a wide range of diseases.

Bornean orangutans' canopy movements flag conservation targets
Bornean orangutans living in forests impacted by human commerce seek areas of denser canopy enclosure, taller trees, and sections with trees of uniform height, according to new research.

New test distinguishes Zika from similar viral infections
A new test is the best-to-date in differentiating Zika virus infections from infections caused by similar viruses.

Identification of PTPRZ as a drug target for cancer stem cells in glioblastoma
The research group of Professor Masaharu Noda and Researcher Akihiro Fujikawa of the National Institute for Basic Biology (NIBB) showed that the enzymatic activity of PTPRZ is requisite for the maintenance of stem cell properties and tumorigenicity in glioblastoma cells.

High-dose vitamin D doesn't appear to reduce the winter sniffles for children
Giving children high doses of vitamin D doesn't appear to reduce the winter sniffles, a new study has found.

Analytic technique could allow neural networks to run on cellphones
Method for modeling neural networks' power consumption could help make the systems portable.

Structured physical activity results in small reduction in sedentary time among older adults
In older adults with mobility impairments, long-term, moderate-intensity physical activity was associated with a small reduction in total sedentary time, according to a study published by JAMA.

Internal medicine physicians pleased with proposed rule to improve medicare payments
The American College of Physicians (ACP) today noted they are pleased with the 2018 Physician Fee Schedule proposed rule released last week by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

Antibiotic insight may help in battle against bacterial resistance
Bacteria or 'superbugs' that have adapted to resist multiple antibiotics are responsible for around 700,000 deaths globally a year; new types of antibiotics are urgently needed.

Complex immune system changes are observed within the first hour after traumatic injury
Within the first hour after a person experiences a traumatic injury, their immune system undergoes a series of complex, dynamic changes, according to a new study published in PLOS Medicine by Jon Hazeldine, of the University of Birmingham, UK, and colleagues.

'Golden Hour' study details earliest changes to the immune system after trauma
Scientists from the University of Birmingham are carrying out pioneering research as part of a major £10 million study aimed at improving outcomes for patients who have suffered a traumatic injury.

Sequencing reveals how Porphyra thrives in a tough environment
In the intertidal zone, one of the most physically stressful habitats on Earth, Porphyra umbilicalis -- laver or Atlantic nori -- and its ancestors have survived and thrived.

Removing CO2 from the air required to safeguard children's future
Reducing greenhouse-gas emissions is not enough to limit global warming to a level that wouldn't risk young people's future, according to a new study published in Earth System Dynamics by a team of scientists who say we need negative emissions.

Why do BRCA1 mutations cause predominantly breast and ovarian cancer?
Researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center, now called UT Health San Antonio, report a new, previously unrecognized function of the BRCA1 gene that explains why BRCA1 gene mutation carriers are at increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

What are the best ways to diagnose and manage asthma?
A team of experts from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston examined the current information available from many different sources on diagnosing and managing mild to moderate asthma in adults and summarized them.

New combination of anti-obesity drugs may have beneficial effects
Research conducted in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania has revealed that a unique combination of hormone-based drugs can produce enhanced weight loss in laboratory tests with obese animals.

Rude customers linked to workers' shopping binges
Service workers who face verbal abuse from customers during the workday are more likely to go on unnecessary shopping sprees in the evening, indicates new research co-authored by a Michigan State University business expert.

Pre-pregnancy obesity increases risk for neurocognitive problems in premature babies
A new study has found that children born extremely premature to women who are overweight or obese before the pregnancy are at an increased risk for low scores on tests of intelligence and cognitive processes that influence self-regulation and control, according to researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

Sibling bonding is stronger when dad's around
For many female mammals, mothers and maternal sisters dominate all aspects of an individual's social life.

Reversing fetal alcohol damage after birth
Two commonly used drugs erased the learning and memory deficits caused by fetal alcohol exposure when the drugs were given after birth, thus potentially identifying a treatment for the disorder, reports a new study.

Study: Health insurance costs threaten farm viability
A new USDA funded study found that 64 percent of American farmers have preexisting conditions.

Evolution of the fungus that is devastating wheat crops
Wheat blast fungus is a pathogen that has been devastating wheat crops in South America since the mid-1980s and recently caused heavy yield losses in Asia.

Non-toxic alternative for next-generation solar cells
Researchers have demonstrated how a non-toxic alternative to lead could form the basis of next-generation solar cells.

AARP, GSA focus on effects of negative attitudes on aging
The ways in which negative attitudes about aging can affect people's health and quality of life are the focus of 12 peer-reviewed research papers in a new AARP-sponsored supplement issue of The Gerontologist -- the respected research and analysis journal published by The Gerontological Society of America since 1961.

New findings suggest a genetic influence on aging into the 90s but not beyond
Variants of a gene thought to be linked to longevity appear to influence aging into the 90s, but do not appear to affect exceptional longevity, or aging over 100, a new study has found.

A tale of two fishes: Biologists find male, female live-bearing fish evolve differently
A Kansas State University study has found that male and female live-bearing fish evolve differently: female evolution is influenced more strongly by natural selection, while male evolution is influenced more strongly by sexual selection.

Republicans and Democrats tend to follow news in similar ways
Republicans and Democrats are very much alike in the ways they follow the news despite their differing opinions of the media, according to a report released today by the Media Insight Project, a collaboration of the American Press Institute and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Eat more chicken: Scientists hone in on genetics behind chicken weight adaptation
Taking advantage of a special experimentally-bred population, the Virginia chicken lines, Uppsala University scientist Orjan Carlborg has now led an international research to achieve a better understanding of the genetic architecture behind chicken weight.

The asymmetric synthesis of halogenated compounds from carboxylic acids is world first
Toyohashi University of Technology research team developed a new reaction to produce chlorinated compounds with high isomeric purity.

Benefits of gastric bypass surgery linked to changes in sweet taste preference
Worldwide, the number of patients struggling with obesity is rapidly increasing in both adults and children.

Replacing a palatable high-fat diet with low fat food causes withdrawal-like symptoms in mice
Researchers have found that mice fed a palatable high-fat diet experience stress responses that resemble drug withdrawal when their food is switched to a low-fat diet.

Heavy drinking during adolescence: Dire effects on the brain
A review of the literature shows that the effects of heavy drinking among young people on the brain are serious -- binge drinking among young people is associated with a thinning or reduction of areas of the brain that play a key role in memory, attention, language, awareness and consciousness, which include cortical and subcortical structures.

Finding leaks while they're easy to fix
An MIT-developed system can inspect water or gas pipes from the inside and find even tiny leaks.

Weight gain from early to middle adulthood linked to increased risk of major chronic diseases, death
Weight gain from early adulthood (age 18 or 21 years) to age 55 was associated with an increased risk of major chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and death, and a decreased odds of healthy aging, according to a study published by JAMA.

People with dementia benefit from goal-oriented therapy
A large-scale trial led by the University of Exeter, presented at the international Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC) 2017 on Tuesday, July 18, has found that cognitive rehabilitation leads to people seeing satisfying progress in areas that enable them to maintain their functioning and independence.

Could aggressive blood pressure treatments lead to kidney damage?
Aggressive combination treatments for high blood pressure that are intended to protect the kidneys may actually be damaging the organs, new research from the University of Virginia School of Medicine suggests.

How blood vessels slow down and accelerate tumor growth
Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center and Heidelberg University have discovered a new mechanism that causes faster sprouting of blood vessels.

At the cellular level, a child's loss of a father is associated with increased stress
The absence of a father -- due to incarceration, death, separation or divorce -- has adverse physical and behavioral consequences for a growing child.

Revealing particle separation
Traces of biomolecules such as DNA can be detected with a new 'dynamic' technique based on the observation of association and dissociation events of gold nanoparticles.

Madoff rip-off shattered trust, changed investment behavior
Notorious financier Bernie Madoff bilked more than 10,000 investors out of billions of dollars in the 1990s and 2000s in the largest financial fraud in US history.

Scientists unlock planthoppers' potential to control future crop disease outbreaks
Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Institute of Zoology have discovered how a severe rice virus reproduces inside the small brown planthopper, a major carrier of the virus.

Heart tissues of different origins can 'beat' in sync
Until now, it remained unknown whether a piece of cultured tissue can merge with host cardiac tissue and function correctly.

Empowering robots for ethical behavior
Scientists at the University of Hertfordshire in the UK have developed a concept called Empowerment to help robots to protect and serve humans, while keeping themselves safe.

The UN actually does prevent war, according to study of General Assembly votes
The first quantitative study of UN voting records shows that the world body is more effective at achieving its mandate of avoiding wars than many experts think.

New study suggests blueprint for adult visual system is present at birth
Harvard Medical School research reveals the presence of a blueprint for the complex visual system already present at birth.

Fear of arrest stops some needed calls to 911 after opioid overdose is administered
Fear of being arrested still undercuts an Indiana law that shields anyone who administers naloxone from criminal charges, according to a survey conducted by two researchers at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

Investments in conservation easements reap benefits for Colorado
A new analysis from Colorado State University found that each dollar invested by the state for these easements produced benefits of between $4 and $12 for Coloradans.

'Plant cinema' shows the flow of energy
Nothing works without fuel: plants also depend on fuel for growth and development.

New hearing test to establish fitness-for-duty among military personnel
Researchers at the University of Southampton have devised a new hearing test for military personnel that they hope will better assess whether soldiers have sufficient hearing ability to be safe and effective in a combat situation.

Harvard researchers describe pneumatic actuator that generates cyclical motion
A new study demonstrated the design, potential applications, and advantages of an innovative multi-chambered soft pneumatic actuator.

Does exercise facilitate body weight control? The answer may depend on sex.
Healthcare practitioners regularly prescribe diet and exercise as a method for patients to lose weight.

Low-dose diazepam can increase social competitiveness
EPFL scientists have discovered how low-dose anxiolytics increase the social competitiveness of high-anxious individuals by boosting the energy output of mitochondria in an area of the mammalian brain that controls motivation and reward.

In Mexico, type of work is tied to mobility disparities as people age
In middle-income countries like Mexico, people who work in physically demanding occupations suffer more mobility limitations as they grow older, contributing to income-based disparities in disability.

One minute of running per day associated with better bone health in women
A single minute of exercise each day is linked to better bone health in women, new research shows.

Reduction in hospital readmission rate not associated with increased risk of death following discharge
Although there has been the concern that the reduction in hospital readmission rates may possibly result in an increase in mortality rates after discharge, a new study published by JAMA finds that among Medicare beneficiaries hospitalized for heart failure, heart attack or pneumonia, reductions in hospital 30-day readmission rates were associated with a reduction in 30-day mortality rates following discharge.

Collaboration of therapists and clients may improve family therapy
A new article addresses ongoing conversations about bridging the gap between practice and research within the field of family therapy.

Young adult obesity: A neglected, yet essential focus to reverse the obesity epidemic
The overall burden of the US obesity epidemic continues to require new thinking, says William Dietz, M.D., Ph.D., Chair of the Sumner M.

Parasite revealed: New insights into dicyemida
Researchers decisively classify marine parasite Dicyemida, yielding new opportunities for understanding parasites and evolution.

Urbanization and electricity are not to blame for sleep loss
Urbanization and the electrification of homes do not decrease the amount that we sleep, a new study in the journal Scientific Reports finds.

Satellite image captures development of Tropical Storm Depression 8E
As Hurricane Fernanda moves toward the Central Pacific, and Tropical Storm Greg moves away from the Mexican coast, a new tropical depression formed in between the two tropical cyclones.

Scientists 'resurrect' ancient proteins to provide clues about molecular innovation
A growing body of research on the use of ancestral protein resurrection has been published in recent years to address a variety of issues on protein evolution and protein engineering.

Evaluating low-dose toxicity from endocrine active chemicals
A new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine proposes a strategy that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should use to evaluate the evidence of adverse human health effects from low doses of exposure to chemicals that can disrupt the endocrine system.

Estrogen in the brain prevents obesity and glucose intolerance during menopause in lab animal study
Researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) have found that adding estrogen in the brain may improve health in obese females after menopause.

Partnering cells turn off immune attack on pancreatic tumors
Two cell types work together to protect pancreatic tumors from destruction by the immune system.

The chemistry of fried chicken (video)
Battered and deep-fried chicken might be one of the most delicious foods ever.

Helping EU cities and regions cut carbon emissions
A series of first-ever maps shows regional-scale differences in carbon footprints in the EU.

Early menopause is independently linked to an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes
Women with early or normal onset menopause are at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those with late onset menopause, concludes new research published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes).

Titan simulations show importance of close 2-way coupling between human and Earth systems
By using supercomputers such as the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility's Titan, a large multidisciplinary team of scientists developed a new integrated climate model designed to reduce uncertainties in future climate predictions as it bridges Earth systems with energy and economic models and large-scale human impact data.

New insights into complex processes
The blood-brain barrier is a unique mechanism to shield the brain.

The need to understand what works in social prescribing
In a piece published today, July 18, 2017, in BMJ Opinion, a health service research expert from the University of Plymouth warns that, in order for social prescribing to reach its full potential and make a true difference to patients, more needs to be done to understand what works, for whom, and in what circumstances.

Weight gain from early to middle adulthood may increase risk of major chronic diseases
Cumulative weight gain over the course of early and middle adulthood may increase health risks later in life, according to a new study led by researchers from Harvard T.H.

Improving the 'wait and see' approach in MDS blood cancer treatment
Researchers are closer to helping the 50 per cent of people with a group of blood disorders that can transform into acute leukaemia, but who don't respond to the best available treatment.

Individualistic practices and values increasing around the world
Individualism is thought to be on the rise in Western countries, but new research suggests that increasing individualism may actually be a global phenomenon. 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