Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 25, 2017
A new synthesis route for alternative catalysts of noble metals
Researchers have developed a new synthesis route for alternative catalysts of noble metals.

How texting can protect babies from sudden death
Educational videos delivered by text or email successfully encouraged new mothers to use safe sleep practices for their babies, reducing the risk of sudden unexpected infant death, a new study has found.

Hospitals should examine physician call coverage at stroke centers
Stroke centers average mechanical thrombectomies once every five days with nearly 60 percent of the procedures occurring during non-work hours.

Genetic predisposition to higher calcium levels linked with increased risk of coronary artery disease
A genetic predisposition to higher blood calcium levels was associated with an increased risk of coronary artery disease and heart attack, according to a study published by JAMA.

Research lacking when it comes to heart disease in prison populations
A multi-institution team found multiple areas of research that can be explored in both the incarcerated and released population -- which number more than 13 million Americans -- to better understand and prevent cardiovascular disease.

Natural molecule to boost the performance of electrodes for rechargeable batteries
Chlorophyll, blood, and vitamin B12 are all based on the porphyrin molecule.

Americans say discussions about clinical trials should be part of standard of care
An overwhelming majority of Americans (86%) agree that health care professionals should discuss clinical trials with patients diagnosed with a disease as part of their standard of care, according to a new national public opinion survey commissioned by Research!America.

Study explains link between academic performance and violence
A lack of variation in the stress hormone cortisol from morning to evening is tied to a wide range of negative health conditions, including inflammation and immune system dysfunction, new Northwestern University research suggests.

Dodder: A parasite involved in the plant alarm system
A team of scientists from the Kunming Institute of Botany in China and the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena has discovered that parasitic plants of the genus Cuscuta (dodder) not only deplete nutrients from their host plants, but also function as important 'information brokers' among neighboring plants, when insects feed on host plants.

Nanoparticles loaded with component of common spice kill cancer cells
Attaching curcumin, a component of the common spice turmeric, to nanoparticles can be used to target and destroy treatment-resistant neuroblastoma tumor cells, according to a new study published in Nanoscale.

A bar magnet creates chaos in plasma
Placing a magnet on your refrigerator might hold up your calendar, but researchers from India's Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics found that placing one outside a plasma chamber causes a localized, fireball-like structure.

People and wildlife now threatened by rapid destruction of central America's forests
Central America's largest remaining forests are disappearing at a precipitous rate due to illegal cattle ranching, oil palm plantations, and other human-related activities, all of which are putting local communities and the region's wildlife species at high risk.

A new optimization model could bring higher solar-power integration
With numerous installations of solar power systems for residential homes, there is a challenge to balance supply and demand to make these intermittent energy sources reliable.

NASA's infrared view ofpPowerful storms surrounding Typhoon Noru's eye
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Tropical Cyclone Noru and gathered infrared data on the cloud top temperatures which gave forecasters an idea of the powerful thunderstorms circling the eye.

Toddlers begin learning rules of reading, writing at very early age, study finds
New research from Washington University in St. Louis suggests that children as young as 3 already are beginning to recognize and follow important rules and patterns governing how letters in the English language fit together to make words.

Possible treatment for deadly weight loss
Many cancer patients are susceptible to potentially lethal weight loss.

Venus's turbulent atmosphere
A research paper published today by Nature Astronomy sheds light on the so far un-explored nightside circulation at the upper cloud level of Venus.

Cognitive cross-training enhances learning, study finds
Just as athletes cross-train to improve physical skills, those wanting to enhance cognitive skills can benefit from multiple ways of exercising the brain, according to a comprehensive new study.

Making polymer chemistry 'click'
A team including Berkeley Lab scientists has developed a faster and easier way to make a class of sulfur-containing plastics that will lower the cost of large-scale production.

High prevalence of evidence of CTE in brains of deceased football players
Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) was diagnosed post-mortem in a high proportion of former football players whose brains were donated for research, including 110 of 111 National Football League players, according to a study published by JAMA.

Study shows India can integrate 175 GW of renewable energy into its electricity grid
The US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has confirmed the technical and economic viability of integrating 175 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy into India's grid by 2022.

Humans imitate in unique ways: Comparing children and bonobos
A new study compared children's capacity to imitate behavior with the same capacity of humans' closest living great ape relatives, the bonobos.

New strategy to design mechano-responsive luminescent materials
Crystals made from gold complexes change color as they change structure from 'chiral' to 'achiral' when ground.

Taking technology to the next level
Physicists from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Ultrahigh bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems (CUDOS) developed a new hybrid integrated platform, promising to be a more advanced alternative to conventional integrated circuits.

Researchers offer new and novel paradigm for advancing research on beneficial microbes
While beneficial microbes are increasingly used in agriculture, environmental stressors such as heat can quickly kill or render them useless in the field; and discovering new and better treatments is slow due to the large microbial diversity in soils.

When should the police use confrontational tactics?
In a newly published article, Northwestern University economist Charles F.

VRC01 antibody prolonged time to HIV viral rebound after treatment interruption
A new study has shown that infusion of a broadly neutralizing antibody VRC01 in virally suppressed, early treated volunteers was associated with a modestly delayed rebound of HIV after interruption of antiretroviral therapy.

Violent sleep patterns & stress hormones change after a violent crime in the neighborhood
A new study has found that violent crime changes youth's sleep patterns the night immediately following the crime and changes patterns of the stress hormone cortisol the following day.

Dragonfly brains predict the path of their prey
New research from Australia and Sweden has shown how a dragonfly's brain anticipates the movement of its prey, enabling it to hunt successfully.

Could spraying particles into marine clouds help cool the planet?
A first test of humans' ability to modify clouds would help explain the behavior of clouds and aerosols, while also testing a possible future climate emergency measure.

What do Trump's tweets say about his personality?
The Twitter messages of Donald J. Trump, the entrepreneurial businessman turned US president, show that he is creative, competitive and a rule-breaker, but also has neurotic tendencies.

In adolescents, oral Truvada and vaginal ring for HIV prevention are safe, acceptable
A monthly vaginal ring and a daily oral tablet, both containing anti-HIV drugs, were safe and acceptable in studies of adolescents, investigators reported today at the 9th IAS Conference on HIV Science in Paris.

Molecular microscopy illuminates molecular motor motion
A toddler running sometimes loses footing because both feet come off the ground at the same time.

Color-shifting electronic skin could have wearable tech and prosthetic uses
Researchers in China have developed a new type of user-interactive electronic skin, with a color change perceptible to the human eye, and achieved with a much-reduced level of strain.

NASA looks at Hurricane Irwin in infrared light
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Tropical Storm Irwin as it was strengthening toward hurricane status.

Plant parasite dodder transmits signals among different hosts
Prof. WU Jianqiang from Kunming Institute of Botany of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (KIB/CAS) and the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Germany, found out, when a host plant is attacked by insects, dodders can transmit signals to the other dodder-connected hosts, activating defense responses.

HIV prevention dapivirine vaginal ring found safe and acceptable in US adolescent girls
The dapivirine vaginal ring, which had been found safe and to help protect against HIV in two Phase III trials in African women, was shown to be safe and acceptable in a study of US teen girls.

Autism severity detected with brain activity test
UCLA researchers have discovered that children with autism have a tell-tale difference on brain tests compared with other children.

Women entrepreneurs still lag behind men in accessing new business funding
Women entrepreneurs are finding it increasingly difficult to access venture capital funding for start-up businesses and remain much less likely to attract funding than male entrepreneurs, according to a new study published in Venture Capital: An International Journal of Entrepreneurial Finance.

Feeling stressed during the workday? Research says playing video games may help
Human factors/ergonomics researchers found that engaging in casual video game play during rest breaks can help restore mood in response to workplace stress.

We have a quorum
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh's Swanson School of Engineering have utilized computational modeling to mimic such quorum sensing behavior in synthetic materials, which could lead to devices with the ability for self-recognition and self-regulation.

The microscopic origin of thermodynamics
A deep understanding of the irreversibility of the arrow of time cannot ignore the quantum nature of the world that surrounds us.

MRI may help predict cognitive impairment in professional fighters
Images of the brain's gray and white matter obtained with multiple MRI techniques can help identify and track cognitive impairment in active professional fighters, according to a new study.

IU researchers offer new insights into how communities can tap into youth sports tourism
Two Indiana University researchers say creative marketing is needed to reach visitors in what's become a multibillion-dollar-a-year segment of the tourism industry: youth sports tourism.

Male hepatitis B patients suffer worse liver ailments, regardless of lifestyle
A new study determined that it doesn't matter where a person lives or the choices they make, male hepatitis B patients will always be at greater risk for more severe liver illnesses.

'Residual echo' of ancient humans in scans may hold clues to mental disorders
Researchers have produced the first direct evidence that parts of our brains implicated in mental disorders may be shaped by a 'residual echo' from Neanderthal DNA in our genomes.

Psychopaths are better at learning to lie, say researchers
Individuals with high levels of psychopathic traits are better at learning to lie than individuals who show few psychopathic traits, according to a study published in the open access journal Translational Psychiatry.

Pattern of marijuana use during adolescence may impact psychosocial outcomes in adulthood
A pattern of escalating marijuana use in adolescents is linked to higher rates of depression and lower educational accomplishments in adulthood.

UNIST hits new world efficiency record with perovskite solar cells
South Korea's Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology has presented a new cost-efficient way to produce inorganic-organic hybrid perovskite solar cells (PSCs) which sets a new world-record efficiency performance of 22.1 %.

Mobile health intervention improves adherence to safe sleep practices for infants
Among mothers of newborns, participation in a mobile health intervention that included receiving frequent educational emails or texts resulted in improved adherence to infant safe sleep practices such as the appropriate sleep position and no soft-bedding use, according to a study published by JAMA.

Timing matters: How to use tillage more effectively for weed management
In a study featured in the most recent edition of the journal Weed Science, researchers examined the impact of tillage on four sites in the northeastern US that were tilled every two weeks during the growing season.

Scientists find secret to cell size in world's biggest food producer
A gene controlling cell size has been identified in a microalgal group which underpins a fifth of the world's food chains.

New phase change mechanism could lead to new class of chemical vapor sensors
An interdisciplinary team of scientists at the US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) has demonstrated optical and electronic evidence of semiconductor-to-metallic phase transition when exposed to airborne chemical vapors, and how the behavior can be used to create an entirely new class of chemical vapor sensors.

Smart surface enables advanced manipulation of droplets
Researchers at the University of British Columbia have developed an inexpensive, scalable smart surface that is powered by just a conventional electric battery.

Study: Yoga helps back pain among veterans
A study that included 150 veterans with chronic low back pain found that those who completed a 12-week yoga program had better scores on a disability questionnaire, improved pain intensity scores, and a decline in opioid use.

New report concludes SBE sciences help advance national health, prosperity and defense
At the request of the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has produced a report,

Physical activity could combat fatigue, cognitive decline in cancer survivors
A new study indicates that cancer patients and survivors have a ready weapon against fatigue and 'chemo brain': a brisk walk.

No gene is an island
Genes do not exist in isolation. Like beads on a string, they sit next to each other on the chromosomes.

Zebrafish study reveals clues to healing spinal cord injuries
Fresh insights into how zebrafish repair their nerve connections could hold clues to new therapies for people with spinal cord injuries.

Gene therapy: Microdystrophin restores muscle strength in Duchenne muscular dystrophy
Researchers from Genethon, the AFM-Telethon laboratory, Inserm (UMR 1089, Nantes) and the University of London (Royal Holloway) demonstrated the efficacy of an innovative gene therapy in the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Noise pollution loudest in black neighborhoods, segregated cities
Noise pollution is inescapable in segregated cities, where noise pollution is worse for everyone, not just racial and ethnic minorities, according to the first breakdown of noise exposure along racial, ethnic and socioeconomic lines in the United States.

Health commentators say there is a lingering consent problem in biobanking
Researchers throughout the world are going to great lengths to get hold of your genes, tissue and health information.

New virus discovered in migratory bird in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Researchers at the University of São Paulo's Biomedical Science Institute (ICB-USP) in Brazil have discovered a new virus in a white-rumped sandpiper (Calidris fuscicollis), a migratory bird species captured in April 2012 in the Lagoa do Peixe National Park in Rio Grande do Sul State.

Ingestible drug-delivery materials may help patients comply with treatment regimens
To ensure patients receive full medicinal treatments, engineers at MIT and Brigham and Women's Hospital have developed a new set of hydrogel-based drug delivery materials, which can live in the stomach up to nine days, slowly releasing medication.

Sophisticated medical imaging technique proves useful for automotive industry
A new approach analyzing car paint based on the medical imaging technique optical coherence tomography (OCT) provides the car industry with a practical way to automatically analyze these metal flakes, which until now have been difficult to image, in order to improve the efficiency of the automotive finishing process.

Colorizing images with deep neural networks
For decades, image colorization has enjoyed an enduring interest from the public.

Long-acting injectable cabotegravir for PrEP well tolerated in HPTN 077
Study results released today by the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) show long-acting injectable cabotegravir (CAB LA) to be well tolerated by men and women and support the dosing schedule currently being used in a phase 3 HPTN study for HIV prevention.

Satellite shows Tropical Storm Greg being affected by wind shear
NOAA's GOES-East satellite provided an infrared look at a disorganized Tropical Storm Greg as it continues to weaken and get battered by wind shear in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

Coral gardening is benefiting Caribbean reefs, study finds
A new study found that Caribbean staghorn corals (Acropora cervicornis) are benefiting from 'coral gardening,' the process of restoring coral populations by planting laboratory-raised coral fragments on reefs.

Princeton researchers report new system to study chronic hepatitis B
Scientists from Princeton University have successfully tested a cell-culture system that will allow researchers to perform laboratory-based studies of long-term hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections with the goal of testing new therapies.

Chemical route towards electronic devices in graphene
Essential electronic components, such as diodes and tunnel barriers, can be incorporated in single graphene wires (nanoribbons) with atomic precision.

Cosmologists produce new maps of dark matter dynamics
New maps of dark matter dynamics in the Universe have been produced by a team of international cosmologists.

Antibiotics come with 'environmental side effects,' experts say
Researchers writing in Microchemical Journal are bringing attention to the fact that commonly used antibiotic drugs are making their way out into the environment, where they can harm microbes that are essential to a healthy environment.

Results of NRG-RTOG 0436 highlight need for biomarkers in treatment of esophageal cancer
NRG-RTOG 0436 has determined that adding an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitor to a chemo-radiation regimen does not improve overall survival for patients with locally advanced esophageal cancer treated in a non-operative manner.

Global health lessons from Thailand's successful liver fluke elimination campaign
Outreach and education efforts can play an outsize role in disease elimination programs, researchers suggest in a review publishing July 25 in Trends in Parasitology.

CU Cancer Center study may explain failure of retinoic acid trials against breast cancer
'What has been missing in clinical trials may just be the timing of the treatments,' says first author Lynsey Fettig.

New triggerable, tough hydrogels could make drug-releasing systems safer
A novel material may improve the safety of drug-delivery systems that reside in the stomach.

NASA spots a waning Tropical Depression Kulap
Kulap is now a tropical depression moving through the Northwestern Pacific Ocean, and NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite captured a visible light image of the diminishing storm.

Large, distant comets more common than previously thought
A team of astronomers led by James Bauer, a research professor of astronomy at the University of Maryland, found that there are about seven times more long-period comets measuring at least 1 kilometer across than previously predicted.

Thousands of genes exchanged within microbial communities living on cheese
Using cheese as a novel way to study microscopic communities, researchers have found that bacteria living on artisanal cheese varieties have transferred thousands of genes between each other.

New chromium-based superconductor has an unusual electronic state
When certain materials are cooled below a critical temperature they become superconductors, with zero electrical resistance.

When shallow defects align, diamonds shine for unprecedented quantum sensitivity
Imagine a sensor sensitive enough to detect changes in the proton concentration of a single protein, within a single cell.

Designing soft robots: Ethics-based guidelines for human-robot interactions
Soft-bodied robots offer the possibility for social engagement, and novel tactile human-robot interactions that require careful consideration of the potential for misplaced emotional attachments and personally and socially destructive behavior by users.

Comprehensive study shows a significant ongoing decline in sperm counts of Western men
A rigorous and comprehensive meta-analysis of data collected between 1973 and 2011 finds that among men from Western countries, sperm concentration declined by more than 50 percent, with no evidence of a 'leveling off' in recent years.

Scientists identify gene mutations in smoking-related cancers
African-Americans typically have worse outcomes from smoking-related cancers than Caucasians, but the reasons for this remain elusive.

Well-designed visual aids improve risk understanding
A University of Oklahoma professor, Edward T. Cokely, shows that informed decision making depends on the ability to accurately evaluate and understand information about risk in a newly published study in the scientific journal Human Factors.

Fungal spores harness physics to launch themselves
More than a century ago, Reginald Buller discovered that a spherical drop of water that forms close to a spore is crucial to the spore's dispersal.

How gene silencing works in plants
The group of Doctor Myriam Calonje Macaya have recently published a study in Genome Biology that means an advance in the knowledge of epigenetic regulation by means of Polycomb-group proteins in plants.

Chasing the Total Solar Eclipse from NASA's WB-57F jets
A team of NASA-funded scientists will take to the skies during the Aug.

Mediterranean-style diets linked to better brain function in older adults
Eating foods included in two healthy diets -- the Mediterranean or the MIND diet -- is linked to a lower risk for memory difficulties in older adults, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

People living in rural households have lower risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease
Living in rural households decreases a person's risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease, particularly for young children and adolescents, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Gastorenterology.

Study points to penile microbiome as a risk factor for HIV in men
Uncircumcised men with high levels of anaerobic penile bacteria at higher risk for HIV.

Shedding light on cause of resistance to tumor immunotherapy
In tumor immunotherapy, the body's own defense system is activated against the tumor cells.

How marriage may protect transgender couples
Transgender people who are married are less likely to experience discrimination than their unmarried counterparts, indicates a national study led by a Michigan State University sociologist.

Despite testing program, children with HIV remain undiagnosed
A two-year clinic-based HIV testing program in Zimbabwe failed to diagnose many cases of HIV in children in the surrounding area, Dr.

Knee joint signals bones to grow
Scientists from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, US, have revealed a communication system between the knee joint and developing bones in mice, which controls bone growth during early development and after injury.

Lutein may counter cognitive aging, study finds
Spinach and kale are favorites of those looking to stay physically fit, but they also could keep consumers cognitively fit, according to a new study from University of Illinois researchers.The study, which included 60 adults aged 25 to 45, found that middle-aged participants with higher levels of lutein -- a nutrient found in green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale, as well as avocados and eggs -- had neural responses that were more on par with younger individuals than with their peers.

NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP Satellite sees Hilary on verge of major hurricane status
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite captured an image of Hurricane Hilary as it continued to strengthen.

Senate vote starts process to take coverage from millions
The American College of Physicians (ACP) is gravely disappointed that 50 Senators plus Vice President Pence voted to begin debate on still-secret legislation that could result in tens of millions losing insurance coverage.

Measured soil moisture improves wildfire prediction
New research supports using different soil moisture measurement systems for more accurate wildfire risk assessment in Oklahoma and similar areas.

Discovery of why emus are grounded takes flight
Researchers from Monash University's Biomedicine Discovery Institute have helped solve the mystery of how emus became flightless, identifying a gene involved in the development and evolution of bird wings.

Elevated cholesterol's link with canine cancer includes a better prognosis
Usually thought of as a health detriment, elevated cholesterol may play a role in longer survival times for dogs with a common form of bone cancer.

NASA sees Tropical Storm Sonca making landfall in Vietnam
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Tropical Storm Sonca as it began making landfall in Vietnam.

A secret to giving the perfect gift: Stop being afraid
Researchers found that people would prefer to receive sentimentally valuable gifts, but instead they often receive superficial gifts related to their personal preferences.

Symbiosis: Butter for my honey
Textbooks tell us that, in arbuscular mycorrhizal symbioses, the host plant supplies its fungal symbionts solely with sugars, in return for inorganic nutrients.

Mind-body therapies immediately reduce unmanageable pain in hospital patients
After participating in a single, 15-minute session of one of these mind-body therapies, patients reported an immediate decrease in pain levels similar to what one might expect from an opioid painkiller.

Consuming walnuts may help keep the gut healthy, says new animal research
Conclusions from a new animal study suggest that walnut consumption may be beneficial for digestive health by increasing the amount of good probiotic-type bacteria in the gut.1 Walnuts do this by acting as a prebiotic to help nourish and grow the bacteria that keeps the digestive system healthy.

Large single-crystal graphene is possible!
The target of large, cheap and quick graphene synthesis achieved: 5 x 50 cm2 and beyond.

Cooler cows have healthier calves
Environmental influences affecting cows during pregnancy have been shown to induce life-long physical and metabolic changes in the offspring.

Magnetic quantum objects in a 'nano egg-box'
Magnetic quantum objects in superconductors, so-called 'fluxons,' are particularly suitable for the storage and processing of data bits.

New discovery could reverse tissue damage caused by heart attacks
A new discovery by University of Bristol scientists helps to explain how cells which surround blood vessels, called pericytes, stimulate new blood vessels to grow with the hormone 'leptin' playing a key role.

Improved imaging of neonatal soft-tissue tumors can help radiologists improve patient care
Better understanding of practical imaging techniques with regard to neonatal soft-tissue tumors can improve patient care, according to an article published in the July 2017 issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.

Novel class of antibiotics shows promise against plague, drug-resistant bacteria
Pathogenic bacteria are rapidly developing resistance to the arsenal of microbial therapies -- and driving researchers to identify families of therapeutics with new modes of action.

CCNY physicists master unexplored electron property
While the charge and spin properties of electrons are widely utilized in modern day technologies such as transistors and memories, another aspect of the subatomic particle has long remained uncharted.

Improved retention and outcomes with same-day HIV testing and treatment
Initiating antiretroviral therapy (ART) on the same day as HIV testing is feasible and leads to improved retention and health outcomes, according to a trial published in PLOS Medicine. 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