Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 24, 2017
Walking the dog may boost older people's physical activity, come rain or shine
Taking the dog out for a walk may boost older people's physical activity levels -- whatever the weather -- and seems to lop an average of 30 minutes off their daily sitting time, suggests research published online in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

Eye test could help diagnose autism
A new study out in European Journal of Neuroscience could herald a new tool that helps physicians identify a sub-group of people with Autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

Molecular archaeology
Evolutionary biologists from Konstanz help solve puzzle of evolutionary relationships among vertebrates.

Fungi that evolved to eat wood offer new biomass conversion tool
Twenty years ago, microbiologist Barry Goodell, now a professor at UMass Amherst, and colleagues discovered a unique system that some microorganisms use to digest and recycle wood.

Physics of bubbles could explain language patterns
Language patterns could be predicted by simple laws of physics, a new study has found.

Could 'cocktail geoengineering' save the climate?
Geoengineering is a catch-all term that refers to various theoretical ideas for altering Earth's energy balance to combat climate change.

GSA publication advocates oral health promotion across professions
Recognizing oral health as an essential element of healthy aging, The Gerontological Society of America has released a new white paper -- 'Interprofessional Solutions for Improving Oral Health in Older Adults: Addressing Access Barriers, Creating Oral Health Champions' -- that makes six specific recommendations aimed at raising people's quality of life as they age.

New non-photosynthesizing plant species discovered on Ishigaki island, Japan
A new species of non-photosynthesizing parasitic plant has been discovered on the subtropical island of Ishigaki in Okinawa, Japan and named Sciaphila sugimotoi.

Tropical Storm Kulap forms a fist on satellite image
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite captured an image of Tropical Storm Kulap moving through the open waters of the Northwestern Pacific Ocean and the spiral of thunderstorms into the center made it appear like a clenched fist.

First basic physics simulation of impact of neutrals on turbulence
This article describes simulation of recycled neutral atoms on plasma turbulence in fusion experiments.

NASA watches as Vietnam braces for Tropical Storm Sonca
NASA's Aqua satellite took a look at an elongated Tropical Storm Sonca in the South China Sea as it approached Vietnam where it is expected to make landfall.

Research targets long-term brain deficits in cardiac arrest survivors
Research conducted by Jason Middleton, PhD, Assistant Professor of Cell Biology and Anatomy, and Neuroscience at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine, and colleagues may lead to a treatment to prevent long-term sensory problems by restoring normal brain function in survivors of cardiac arrest.

Benefits of continued statin use after adverse reactions
A new study by researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital explores outcomes for patients who continue receiving statins after experiencing an adverse reaction, finding that they had a lower risk of death and cardiovascular events.

Reaching black men in barbershops could lead to early detection of colorectal cancer
NYU Langone researchers find that black men who enrolled in a patient navigator program at local barbershops were twice as likely to get colorectal cancer screening.

Does the affordable care act impact patient visits in the emergency department?
As the debate surrounding the Affordable Care Act (ACA) looms in the US Congress, Johns Hopkins researchers are weighing in on one aspect of the law.

Fearing surveillance, dads with a record avoid kids' schools
A Cornell University sociologist and former elementary school teacher recently identified a mechanism that may explain why these kids whose parents have spent time behind bars, have worse educational outcomes -- and strong, lasting, negative consequences that often span generations.

Rainforest metropolis casts 1,000 km shadow on wildlife
Urban food demand in the Amazon could be hitting wildlife up to 1,000 km away from the city, according to new research.

NASA flights gauge summer sea ice melt in the Arctic
Earlier this year Arctic sea ice sank to a record low wintertime extent for the third straight year.

Infected insects cause a stink
In a paper published today in Scientific Reports, a team led by Adler Dillman, assistant professor of parasitology in UCR's College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, has shown how nematodes use smell to seek out uninfected insects, which they then enter and kill.

Study finds 90 percent of American men overfat
Researchers reported earlier this year in the journal Frontiers of Public Health that up to 76 percent of the world's population may be overfat.

NASA sees Typhoon Noru raging near the Minami Tori Shima Atoll
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite captured an image of Typhoon Noru raging near the unpopulated atoll of Minami Tori Shima in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean.

Stroke survivors without early complications at long-term risk of death, stroke
People who survive a stroke or a mini-stroke without early complications have an increased risk of death, another stroke or heart attack (myocardial infarction) for at least five years following the initial stroke, found a new study published in CMAJ.

What do sex in moss and neurons have in common?
For many years biologists have wondered why plants have so many genes coding for proteins that are known to be essential for the nervous system of animals, called glutamate receptors.

Researchers find corn gene conferring resistance to multiple plant leaf diseases
Researchers at North Carolina State University have found a specific gene in corn that appears to be associated with resistance to two and possibly three different plant leaf diseases.

Small drop in measles vaccinations would have outsized effect, study estimates
Small reductions in childhood measles vaccinations in the United States would produce disproportionately large increases in the number of measles cases and in related public health costs, according to a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and Baylor College of Medicine.

Anti-cancer chemotherapeutic agent inhibits glioblastoma growth and radiation resistance
A collaborative team of neuro-oncology surgeon/scientists -- led by Ichiro Nakano, M.D., Ph.D., University of Alabama at Birmingham, and Maode Wang, M.D., Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, China -- has discovered a unique and previously unidentified molecular mechanism that maintains glioma stem cells, and they have tested it as a potential therapeutic target in glioblastoma, using a novel small molecule inhibitor they designed and synthesized

Stress hormone linked to mood and hippocampus volume
Individual differences in the pattern of release of the hormone cortisol in response to a stressful experience reveal how stressed a person actually feels, suggests a study of healthy women published in The Journal of Neuroscience.

Psychologists say our 'attachment style' applies to social networks like Facebook
The new paper in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin describes four studies that lend insight into the interplay between attachment style and how people manage and perceive friendship networks.

A new model yields insights into glaciers' retreats and advances
A University of Alaska Fairbanks study looking at the physics of tidewater glaciers has yielded new insights into what drives their retreat-and-advance cycles and the role that climate plays in these cycles.

First evidence for American nurses credentialing center Pathway to Excellence program
In a new study, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing's Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research, and the Rutgers University School of Nursing examined the factors influencing the likelihood of missed nursing care in the home care setting.

UMD engineers invent the first bio-compatible, ion current battery
Engineers at the University of Maryland have invented a new kind of battery; one that is bio-compatible because it produces the same kind of ion-based electrical energy used by humans and other living things.

Genome editing with CRISPR-Cas9 prevents angiogenesis of the retina
A research team from the Schepens Eye Research Institute of Massachusetts Eye and Ear has successfully prevented mice from developing angiogenesis of the retina--the sensory tissue at the back of the eye--using gene-editing techniques with CRISPR-Cas9.

Breast cancer patients can use antiperspirants during radiotherapy
Women undergoing daily radiation therapy for breast cancer are commonly told they should not use antiperspirant for fear that it could cause greater radiation damage to the skin, but a new study from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania showed there was no difference in the radiation skin dose absorbed by these patients with or without these deodorants.

Multitasking monolayers
Two-dimensional materials that can multitask. That is the result of a new process that naturally produces patterned monolayers that can act as a base for creating a wide variety of novel materials with dual optical, magnetic, catalytic or sensing capabilities.

US study of dapivirine ring in lactating women finds little drug gets into breast milk
The antiretroviral drug dapivirine contained in a vaginal ring for HIV prevention, is absorbed in very low concentrations into breastmilk, according to a US study of the dapivirine ring in women who were no longer nursing their babies but still producing milk.

Swaziland survey shows impressive progress in confronting the HIV epidemic
Key findings from the second Swaziland HIV Incidence Measurement Survey, SHIMS2, reveal impressive progress in confronting the HIV epidemic in the country.

Immune cells the missing ingredient in new bladder cancer treatment
New research offers a possible explanation for why a new type of cancer treatment hasn't been working as expected against bladder cancer.

CNO: How can US Navy prevail in contest for maritime supremacy?
The U.S. Navy has enjoyed uncontested global maritime supremacy for the past 25 years, said Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm.

Brain stimulation may improve cognitive performance in people with schizophrenia
Brain stimulation could be used to treat cognitive deficits frequently associated with schizophrenia, according to a new study from King's College London.

Study finds 275,000 calls to poison control centers for dietary supplement exposures
US Poison Control Centers receive a call every 24 minutes, on average, regarding dietary supplement exposures.

Drug interaction concerns may affect HIV treatment adherence among transgender women
Transgender women -- at high risk of HIV acquisition -- are a key population for HIV prevention and treatment efforts.

Scientists gain clearer picture of how genes affect lean body mass
Scientists from the Institute for Aging Research (IFAR) at Hebrew SeniorLife (HSL), along with several other research institutions are making great strides in understanding the genetics behind lean body mass, which is largely made up of muscle mass).

Obamacare led to gains for children, but gaps persist for Latino kids
A new Drexel University-led study found that the national implementation of the Affordable Care Act led to improved health insurance coverage and well-child visits for all youth, but disparities remained for Latino children.

Study: Indian monsoons have strengthened over past 15 years
An MIT study published in Nature Climate Change finds that the Indian summer monsoons, which bring rainfall to the country each year between June and September, have strengthened in the last 15 years over north central India.

Satellite view of a compact Hurricane Hilary
Imagery from NOAA's GOES-West satellite shows a more organized and compact Hurricane Hilary on July 24.

New math equation predicts acceleration-induced cavitation
Cavitation can damage underground water pipes and ship propellers and has even been linked to some brain injuries.

Monitoring fluid intake may help improve outcomes for bariatric surgery patients
A well-structured water distribution and documentation process led to increased water intake at one hospital.

Bird songs provide insight into how developing brain forms memories
Researchers at the University of Chicago have demonstrated, for the first time, that a key protein complex in the brain is linked to the ability of young animals to learn behavioral patterns from adults.

NASA sees Tropical Depression Roke over Hong Kong
NASA's Terra satellite captured Tropical Depression Roke over Hong Kong after it made landfall on July 23.

New therapeutic approach for difficult-to-treat subtype of ovarian cancer identified
A potential new therapeutic strategy for a difficult-to-treat form of ovarian cancer has been discovered by Wistar scientists.

Undetected infection
The raccoon that topples your trashcan and pillages your garden may leave more than just a mess.

Greatest threat to eastern forest birds is habitat loss on wintering grounds
Human-caused habitat loss looms as the greatest threat to some North American breeding birds.

Dark matter is likely 'cold,' not 'fuzzy,' scientists report after new simulations
Scientists have used data from the intergalactic medium -- the vast, largely empty space between galaxies -- to narrow down what dark matter could be.

Using money to buy time linked to increased happiness
New research is challenging the age-old adage that money can't buy happiness.

Antidepressant use in pregnant women linked to small increase in autism
Antidepressant use in pregnant women was linked to increased cases of autism in their children, though the absolute risk appeared to be small.

NASA sees Tropical Storm Irwin getting in better shape
Everyone likes to get in better shape and that's what's happening with Tropical Storm Irwin.

Dog walking could be key to ensuring activity in later life
A new study has shown that regularly walking a dog boosts levels of physical activity in older people, especially during the winter.

Higher cognitive abilities linked to greater risk of stereotyping, new study finds
People with higher cognitive abilities are more likely to learn and apply social stereotypes, finds a new study.

Researchers develop new method to generate human antibodies
An international team of scientists has developed a method to rapidly produce specific human antibodies in the laboratory.

Tai chi may help prevent falls in older and at-risk adults
An analysis of published studies indicates that tai chi may help reduce the number of falls in both the older adult population and at-risk adults.

Kidney disease risk score can be built into patients' electronic health records
Designed by Brigham and Women's Hospital investigators, this tool draws upon recent research that has identified several tests that can be used to calculate an individual's risk score.

Risk score may help in the care of patients with suspected appendicitis
A new study indicates that a classification system based on patient symptoms and basic lab tests can reduce the need for diagnostic imaging, hospital admissions, and surgery in patients with suspected appendicitis.

Alcohol boosts recall of earlier learning
Drinking alcohol improves memory for information learned before the drinking episode began, new research suggests.

NCI-COG Pediatric MATCH trial to test targeted drugs in childhood cancers
Investigators at the National Cancer Institute and the Children's Oncology Group announce the opening of enrollment for NCI-COG Pediatric MATCH, a unique precision medicine clinical trial to explore whether targeted therapies can be effective for children and adolescents with solid tumors that harbor specific genetic mutations and have progressed during or after standard therapy.

New study challenges prevailing theory about how deep-sea vents are colonized
Despite being relatively close together, two recently discovered hydrothermal vent fields in the Gulf of California host very different animal communities.

'Hindcasting' study investigates the extreme 2013 Colorado flood
Using a publicly available climate model, Berkeley Lab researchers 'hindcast' the conditions that led to the Sept.

Reported doubling in child mortality in Iraq following UN sanctions untrue
The reported almost doubling in child mortality in Iraq following the imposition of economic sanctions in 1990 was a 'remarkable fiction' cooked up by Saddam Hussein's government to stir up international condemnation and get the sanctions lifted, say experts in the online journal BMJ Global Health.

AAP counsels pediatricians to focus on clusters of cardiometabolic risk factors to help obese kids
Since frameworks used to identify adults at heightened risk for such complications are a poor fit for kids, the American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends that pediatricians instead focus on clusters of cardiometabolic risk factors that are associated with obesity.

Three new 'club-tailed' scorpions join the tree of life
Dr. Lauren Esposito, one of the world's only female scorpion biologists, and her colleagues describe two new genera and three new species of Earth's oldest living, land-based arthropods.

Satellite shows Tropical Storm Greg losing shape
Tropical Storm Greg appears to be less-rounded and more elongated on satellite imagery from NOAA's GOES-West satellite.

Experimental HIV vaccine regimen is well-tolerated, elicits immune responses
Results from an early-stage clinical trial called APPROACH show that an investigational HIV vaccine regimen was well-tolerated and generated immune responses against HIV in healthy adults.

The oldest 'bad boy' in the world
He's Australian, around half a centimeter long, fairly nondescript, 300 million years old -- and he's currently causing astonishment among both entomologists and palaeontologists.

Enhanced recovery pathway for colorectal surgical patients improves outcomes, reduces cost
A protocol that standardizes care before, during, and after colorectal operations has reduced hospital stays by more than half, reduced complications by more than one-third, and cut costs up to $11,000 per procedure, according to study results presented yesterday at the American College of Surgeons 2017 Quality and Patient Safety Conference.

Chances to treat childhood dementia
Although dementia is most often seen in adults, childhood or adolescent dementia does occur.

Allowable 'carbon budget' most likely overestimated
While most climate scientists, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, implicitly define 'pre-industrial' to be in the late 1800s, a true non-industrially influenced baseline is probably further in the past, according to an international team of researchers who are concerned because it affects the available carbon budget for meeting the 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) warming limit agreed to in the Paris Conference of 2015.

Scientists capture first image of major brain receptor in action
Columbia University Medical Center researchers have captured the first three-dimensional snapshots of the AMPA-subtype glutamate receptor in action.

Study identifies new brain death pathway in Alzheimer's disease
In a new study published today, Arizona State University-Banner Health neuroscientist Salvatore Oddo led a study that identified a new way for brain cells to become fated to die during Alzheimer's diseases.

Shining rings: A new material emits white light when exposed to electricity
Scientists at Nagoya University have developed a new way to make stimuli-responsive materials in a predictable manner.

Scientists propose novel therapy to lessen risk of obesity-linked disease
With obesity related illnesses a global pandemic, researchers propose in the Journal of Clinical Investigation using a blood thinner to target molecular drivers of chronic metabolic inflammation in people eating high-fat diets to limit weight gain and disease.

Child living with HIV maintains remission without drugs since 2008
A nine-year-old South African child who was diagnosed with HIV infection at one month of age and received anti-HIV treatment during infancy has suppressed the virus without anti-HIV drugs for eight and a half years, scientists reported today at the 9th IAS Conference on HIV Science in Paris.

Working around spinal injuries
A new study in rats shows that changes in the brain after spinal cord injury are necessary to restore at least some function to lower limbs.

High-temperature superconductivity in B-doped Q-carbon
Researchers at North Carolina State University have significantly increased the temperature at which carbon-based materials act as superconductors, using a novel, boron-doped Q-carbon material.

Reshaping computer-aided design
Researchers from MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and Columbia University are trying to make the process faster and easier: In a new paper, they've developed InstantCAD, a tool that lets designers interactively edit, improve, and optimize CAD models using a more streamlined and intuitive workflow.

Target 'best connected neighbors' to stop spread of infection in developing countries
An innovative new study takes a network theory approach to targeted treatment in rural Africa, and finds that a simple algorithm may be more effective than current policies, as well as easier to deploy, when it comes to preventing disease spread -- by finding those with 'most connections to sick people.'

FSU researcher paves new path toward preventing obesity
People who experience unpredictable childhoods face a higher risk of becoming obese as adults.

Weight in adolescence may affect colorectal cancer risk
A new study has uncovered a link between being overweight or obese in adolescence and an increased risk of developing colon cancer in adulthood.

Scientists enlist baker's yeast in a hunt for new medicines
An international team of scientists from Canada, US and Japan have come up with a new way to predict potentially useful drugs from a pool of undefined chemicals.

Nutritional value of soybean meal varies among sources from different countries
Research from the University of Illinois is helping swine producers know what they're getting when they buy soybean meal from different countries.

Molecular hitchhiker on human protein signals tumors to self-destruct
Vanderbilt University engineers find existing human protein is ideal carrier for powerful molecules that can signal tumors to self-destruct.

Receptors for neuron communication in humans vital for reproduction in mosses
Glutamate receptors, which play a central role in the human nervous system, have been thought to only function in neural transmission.

Neuroticism may postpone death for some
Data from a longitudinal study of over 500,000 people in the United Kingdom indicate that having higher levels of the personality trait neuroticism may reduce the risk of death for individuals who report being in fair or poor health.

New vaccine production could improve flu shot accuracy
For decades, vaccine manufacturers have used chicken eggs to grow the flu virus strains included in the seasonal vaccine.

Exposure to violence hinders short-term memory, cognitive control
Being exposed to and actively remembering violent episodes -- even those that happened up to a decade before -- hinders short-term memory and cognitive control, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Mice feel others' pain -- literally
Pain sensitivity associated with alcohol withdrawal may activate the same brain region in both drinking and non-drinking mice, finds a study published in eNeuro.

Additional studies needed to evaluate CVD risks of hormone therapy for transgender patients
Additional studies needed to evaluate cardiovascular disease risks of long-term, hormone therapy for transgender patients

Issues with maternal screening for congenital cytomegalovirus infection
Human cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a common virus found worldwide. When CMV infects fetuses, it can cause serious complications such as hearing difficulties and mental retardation in affected infants.

After bunion surgery, immediate x-rays predict recurrence risk
For patients undergoing surgery to repair a bunion deformity of the foot, non-weight-bearing x rays taken immediately after surgery can provide a good estimate of the risk that the bunion will return over time, reports a study in the current issue of The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

'Strong for surgery' shows promise in reducing smoking rates for patients facing surgery
New ACS quality improvement program is linked to a two-thirds decrease in the rate of smoking in patients undergoing cervical and lumbar spine procedures.

Algae cultivation technique could advance biofuels
Washington State University researchers have developed a way to grow algae more efficiently -- in days instead of weeks -- and make the algae more viable for several industries, including biofuels.

New map may lead to drug development for complex brain disorders, USC researcher says
Just as parents are not the root of all their children's problems, a single gene mutation can't be blamed for complex brain disorders like autism, according to a Keck School of Medicine of USC neuroscientist.

Writing with the electron beam: Now in silver
For the first time an international team realized direct writing of silver nanostructures using an electron beam applied to a substrate.

What happens when materials collide? Observing fracture in stressed materials
International team led by Osaka University researchers reports the first direct observations of a material's dynamic fracture at the atomic scale, from X-ray diffraction measurements of tantalum.

NASA mission surfs through waves in space to understand space weather
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.

AGS encourages bipartisan collaboration on health reform proposals
With the US Senate continuing to move forward with plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, the American Geriatrics Society calls on Congressional leaders to work across the aisle and with stakeholders to develop policy proposals that will support the health and well-being of all Americans.

TPU scientists equip chemical sensors with 'traps' to detect toxic substances
Scientists from Tomsk Polytechnic University and the University of Chemistry and Technology (Prague, Czech Republic) have created novel chemical sensors for Raman spectrometers.

Scientists spy new evidence of water in the moon's interior
Using satellite data, Brown University researchers have for the first time detected widespread water within ancient explosive volcanic deposits on the moon, suggesting that its interior contains substantial amounts of indigenous water.

Aggressive UTI bacteria hijack copper, feed off it
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have shown that Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria -- those at the root of hard-to-treat urinary tract infections (UTIs) -- hijack trace amounts of copper in the body and use it as a nutrient to fuel growth.

UC research examines lung cell turnover as risk factor & target for treatment of influenza pneumonia
Most of the 500,000 annual deaths worldwide from influenza are due to influenza pneumonia.

Strength of tectonic plates may explain shape of the Tibetan Plateau, study finds
Geoscientists have long puzzled over the mechanism that created the Tibetan Plateau, but a new study finds that the landform's history may be controlled primarily by the strength of the tectonic plates whose collision prompted its uplift.

Two undergrads improve plant carbon-cycle models
In the summer of 2012, two undergraduate students tackled a problem that plant ecology experts had overlooked for 30 years.

Potential public health, economic consequences of declining childhood vaccination
An article published by JAMA Pediatrics estimates the number of measles cases in U.S. children and the associated economic costs under different scenarios of vaccine hesitancy, which is the delay or refusal to vaccinate based on nonmedical personal beliefs.

The coast is not so clear
For nearly a century, the O'Shaughnessy seawall has held back the sand and seas of San Francisco's Ocean Beach.

How fear alone can cause animal extinction
Fear alone may contribute to the extinction of animal populations according to a recent study. 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