Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 28, 2017
2 methods to de-identify large patient datasets greatly reduced risk of re-identification
Two de-identification methods, k-anonymization and adding a 'fuzzy factor,' significantly reduced the risk of re-identification of patients in a dataset of 5 million patient records from a large cervical cancer screening program in Norway.

Broadband light sources with liquid core
Research scientists from Jena were successful in producing broadband laser light in the mid-infrared range with the help of liquid-filled optical fibers.

ALMA confirms complex chemistry in Titan's atmosphere
Saturn's frigid moon Titan has a curious atmosphere. In addition to a hazy mixture of nitrogen and hydrocarbons, like methane and ethane, Titan's atmosphere also contains an array of more complex organic molecules, including vinyl cyanide, which astronomers recently uncovered in archival ALMA data.

Estrogen regulates pathological changes of bones via bone lining cells
The female sex hormone estrogen plays an important role in the structural stability of bones.

NASA's Aqua satellite tracks Typhoon Nesat headed toward Taiwan
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Typhoon Nesat as the storm continued moving north toward Taiwan.

Scientists use new data mining strategy to spot those at high Alzheimer's risk
The push to develop treatments for Alzheimer's disease has yielded a greater understanding of the disease, but has failed to generate successful new drugs.

Dulled taste may prompt more calories on path to obesity
Cornell University food scientists have found that people with a diminished ability to taste food choose sweeter -- and likely higher-calorie -- fare.

Trigeminal nerve stimulation shows promise for management of traumatic brain injury
Researchers at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and the department of neurosurgery at the Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine, announced today that they have published a paper with research findings that could have implications for the treatment of many neurological conditions, including severe traumatic brain injury (TBI).

NASA's Aqua satellite tracking Typhoon Noru in northwestern Pacific
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Typhoon Noru in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean as the storm continued moving toward the southwest and remaining far from the big island of Japan.

Computer models provide new understanding of sickle cell disease
Simulations developed by Brown University mathematicians provide new details of how sickle cell disease manifests inside red blood cells, which could help in developing new treatments.

A molecule for proper neural wiring in the cerebellum
A molecule produced by insulating glial cells facilitates the functional wiring of brain cells involved in motor coordination.

Sleep or sex? How the fruit fly decides
Choosing between sex or sleep presents a behavioral quandary for many species, including the fruit fly.

Scientists discover new magnet with nearly massless charge carriers
Advances in modern electronics has demanded the requisite hardware, transistors, to be smaller in each new iteration.

Tropical Storm Irwin's eastern side builds on satellite imagery
Thunderstorm development on the eastern side of Tropical Storm Irwin appears to have improved in infrared imagery from NOAA's GOES-West satellite.

Hubble Friday
This beautiful clump of glowing gas, dark dust and glittering stars is the spiral galaxy NGC 4248, located about 24 million light-years away in the constellation of Canes Venatici (The Hunting Dogs).

Researchers developing new tool to distinguish between viral, bacterial infections
Antibiotics are lifesaving drugs, but overuse is leading to antibiotic resistance, one of the world's most pressing health threats.

On-chip pumps achieve high-speed sorting of large cells
Nagoya University research developed a high-speed cell sorting method of large cells with high-viability using dual on-chip pumps.

Football judgments and driving too fast: The science of judging speed
Football officials watching slow-motion clips or drivers changing from motorways to 30 mph zones could be unconsciously misjudging speed -- and the motivations behind a person's movements -- because their perceptions of 'normal' have been altered by recent experiences, new research has found.

NASA's Aqua satellite finds a Tropical Cyclone sandwich
When NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the Northwestern Pacific Ocean early on July 28 it captured an image of a developing depression in the South China Sea, sandwiching the Philippines between two systems.

'Omnipresent' effects of human impact on England's landscape revealed
Scientists show how the Anthropocene has transformed England.

Rice U. scientists reel in structure of salmon virus
The structure of a protein key to the survival and spread of a virus that affects salmon could help researchers form strategies to treat the flu in humans.

'Missing lead' in Flint water pipes confirms cause of crisis
A study of lead service lines in Flint's damaged drinking water system reveals a Swiss cheese pattern in the pipes' interior crust, with holes where the lead used to be.

To pick a great gift, it's better to give AND receive
If it's the thought that makes a gift count, here's a thought that can make your gift count extra: Get a little something for yourself.

Making animated characters jump just got easier
The way a videogame character jumps, kicks, walks, runs or even breathes is determined by a loop of frames known as a motion cycle.

Researchers uncover how to boost learning efficiency in neurofeedback paradigm
Researchers from the HSE Centre for Cognition & Decision Making and the Control of Complex Systems Laboratory (Institute of Problems of Mechanical Engineering, Russian Academy of Sciences) have conducted a series of experiments to uncover what a person actually controls when they are tasked with independently affecting the activity of their own brain.

NASA finds moon of Saturn has chemical that could form 'membranes'
NASA scientists have definitively detected the chemical acrylonitrile, also known as vinyl cyanide, in the atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan, a place that has long intrigued scientists investigating the chemical precursors of life.

Artificial light from digital devices lessens sleep quality
A new study by researchers at the University of Houston College of Optometry, published in Ophthalmic & Physiological Optics, found that blue light emitted from digital devices could contribute to the high prevalence of reported sleep dysfunction.

Cancer cells put the brakes on immune system
In order for cancer cells to successfully spread and multiply, they must find a way to avoid the body's own immune system.

Engineering on a blue streak
A pair of engineers at the University of Delaware has developed a process to form interwoven polymer networks more easily, quickly and sustainably than traditional methods allow.

Are the world's highest paid football players overpaid? Big data says yes
Computer scientists used machine learning and data science to analyze the salaries of professional football players.

New surgical strategy offers hope for repairing spinal injuries
Repairing spinal injuries is a difficult business. Scientists previously developed a new surgical technique to reconnect sensory neurons to the spinal cord after traumatic spinal injuries.

Using science to combat illegal wildlife trade
Leading scientists from around the world convened this week at the International Congress for Conservation Biology in Cartagena, Colombia, to discuss how to better leverage science to combat illegal wildlife trade -- both within countries and across international borders.

New light-activated catalyst grabs CO2 to make ingredients for fuel
Scientists at Berkeley Lab have developed a 'spongy,' light-activated material that converts carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide, which can be used to turn into liquid fuels and other useful products.

LSUHealthNO research finds walnuts may promote health by changing gut bacteria
Research led by Lauri Byerley, Ph.D., R.D., Research Associate Professor of Physiology at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine, has found that walnuts in the diet change the makeup of bacteria in the gut, which suggests a new way walnuts may contribute to better health.

NASA sees Hilary weaken to Tropical Storm status
NASA's Aqua satellite provided infrared imagery Hurricane Hilary that showed it weakening.

Green tea ingredient may ameliorate memory impairment, brain insulin resistance, and obesity
A study published online in The FASEB Journal, involving mice, suggests that EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate), the most abundant catechin and biologically active component in green tea, could alleviate high-fat and high-fructose (HFFD)-induced insulin resistance and cognitive impairment.

Understanding the impact of childhood cancer rates across sub-Saharan Africa
New open access monograph gives unique insight into extent of childhood cancer in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Death rate for depressed heart patients double than for non-depressed heart patients
People who are diagnosed with coronary artery disease and then develop depression face a risk of death that's twice as high as heart patients without depression, according to a major new study.

One of the first examples of a local nautical map from Hispanic America
In the last third of the 16th century, the Spanish crown set in motion a project to obtain a complete map of the New World.

Newly discovered biomarkers may lead to promising diagnostic tool for Alzheimer's
Diagnosing Alzheimer's disease and determining a patient's prognosis is an inexact business, and that stands in the way of better personalized care and advances in treatment.

Researchers discover how human cells maintain the correct number of chromosomes
Researchers at Queen Mary University of London, UK, have discovered an important part of the mechanism involved in how chromosomes are pulled apart during cell division, so that one complete set goes into each of the new cells.

Design method helps animated characters gain physical form
Disney Research has developed a method for designing cable-driven mechanisms that help artists and hobbyists give physical form and motion to animated characters.

Hunger-controlling brain cells may offer path for new obesity drugs
Scientists identified two new populations of cells in the brain that potently regulate appetite.

Faster-acting antidepressants may finally be within reach
Neuroscientists have taken a major step toward answering longstanding questions about how Prozac and similar drugs act in the brain.

Touring senior centers, interacting with residents positively impacts health students
A new study has found that a community-based service learning experience involving greater interaction with older adults had a positive impact on career development for medical residents (physicians who have graduated from medical school and are starting work at a healthcare facility under supervision).

Dementia: New substance improves brain function
The protein amyloid beta is believed to be the major cause of Alzheimer's disease. 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