Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 01, 2017
New images from under Alaska seafloor suggest high tsunami danger
Scientists probing under the seafloor off Alaska have mapped a geologic structure that they say signals potential for a major tsunami in an area that normally would be considered benign.

Cheap and simple detection of neurotoxic chemicals
Chemical contamination from pesticides is a serious problem. Detection methods can be complicated, difficult to implement, and expensive.

Weight gain between pregnancies linked to increased risk of gestational diabetes
The risk of developing gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) increases with increased weight gain between pregnancies, according to a new study published in PLOS Medicine by Linn Sorbye of the University of Bergen, Norway, and colleagues.

Kids, cash, and snacks: What motivates a healthier food choice?
What determines how kids decide to spend their cash on snacks?

Help from the stomach for dry eyes
After a long day of working at the computer, scratchy contact lenses are not only painful, over longer periods of time they can also damage ocular tissue.

Detecting radio waves with entangled atoms
Researchers at ICFO have harnessed the weirdness of quantum entanglement to detect ultra-faint radio signals.

Study charts flu shot's impact on pregnant women and their babies
For most of us, getting the flu is a miserable inconvenience, but for some it can be dangerous, even deadly.

How the electrodes of lithium-air batteries become passivated
Using molecular dynamics simulation technique, members of the Faculties of Physics and Chemistry of the Lomonosov Moscow State University have defined the processes, underlying the transition of lithium-air batteries' electrodes to inactive state.

NASA tracks Tropical Depression Emily across Florida into Atlantic
Just after Tropical Storm Emily made landfall in west central Florida, NASA's Terra satellite passed overhead.

New imaging tracer allows early assessment of abdominal aortic aneurysm risk
Yale University researchers have developed a way in which medical imaging with SPECT/CT could potentially be used to assess a patient's rupture risk for abdominal aortic aneurysm.

Taking it to the Tweets -- statistics proves Twitter a powerful tool in forecasting crime
Although most people don't broadcast in advance their intention to engage in criminal activity, University of Virginia Assistant Professor of Systems and Engineering Information Matthew Gerber has discovered that the use of Twitter can help predict crime.

Typhoon Noru gives NASA's Terra satellite the eye
NASA's Terra satellite passed over Typhoon Noru in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean and captured a close look at the eye of the storm.

New insights into diagnosing and treating invasive fungal infections will help save lives
Thousands of patients suffering from invasive fungal infections in intensive-care units or after organ transplantation will benefit from the latest insights into diagnostic and therapeutic interventions.

Magnetized viruses attack harmful bacteria
Antibacterial phages combined with magnetic nanoparticle clusters effectively kill infectious bacteria found in water treatment systems.

UC study examines opioid prescribing and practices in Ohio emergency departments
A survey led by a team of researchers at the University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center reports that the majority of Ohio's emergency department (ED) administrators and physicians are in support of the most recent state guidelines for prescribing opioids, but challenges still exist in implementation.

Pregnancy loss and the evolution of sex are linked by cellular line dance
In new research published this week (Aug. 1, 2017) in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Levitis and his collaborators report that meiosis takes a heavy toll on the viability of offspring.

Study examines fees, finances of medical specialty boards
Although many physicians have objected to high certification fees of the American Board of Medical Specialties member boards, which are nonprofit organizations and have a fiduciary responsibility to match revenue and expenditures, most of these boards had overall revenue that greatly exceeded expenditures in 2013, according to a study published by JAMA.

Algorithms that can sketch, recreate 3-D shapes
A University of British Columbia computer scientist has created a new software that can create a design sketch of an everyday object, addressing the challenge of accurately describing shapes.

Genome sequencing shows spiders, scorpions share ancestor
Researchers have discovered a whole genome duplication during the evolution of spiders and scorpions.

Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Aug. 2017
New method turns used cooking oil into biofuel with carbon derived from recycled tires; novel technique protects innermost fusion reactor wall from energy created when hydrogen isotopes reach sun-like temps; new catalyst production process doubles output of high-value renewable BTX used in plastics and tires; crystalline thin film vanadium dioxide makes outstanding electrode for lithium-ion batteries.

Revealed: brain 'switch' tells body to burn fat after a meal
Scientists at Monash University's Biomedicine Discovery Institute have found a mechanism by which the brain coordinates feeding with energy expenditure, solving a puzzle that has previously eluded researchers and offering a potential novel target for the treatment of obesity.

Noise helps cells make decisions
Random differences between cells could be the key to making different types of cells, according to new research.

Celebrity Twitter accounts display 'bot-like' behavior
'Celebrity' Twitter accounts -- those with more than 10 million followers -- display more bot-like behavior than users with fewer followers, according to new research.

NASA catches formation of Tropical Depression 13W
The thirteenth tropical cyclone of the northwestern Pacific Ocean typhoon season has formed and NASA's Terra satellite obtained a visible-light image of the storm revealing that it's already battling wind shear.

Cancer patients turning up in emergency departments with delirium likely to die earlier
According to a new study published in The Oncologist, patients with advanced cancer who are diagnosed with delirium when turning up in emergency departments are more likely to be admitted to hospital and more likely to die earlier than patients without delirium.

Study: History of gum disease increases cancer risk in older women
Postmenopausal women who have a history of gum disease also have a higher risk of cancer, according to a new study of more than 65,000 women that's also the first to report an association between gum disease and gallbladder cancer risk.

Statistical analysis of batter productivity from changed strike zone could spell trouble
New statistical analysis examining changes in batter productivity as a result of the recently changed strike zone could raise concern for the Major League Baseball Players Union and individual baseball players.

Zika infections unlikely to be passed by kissing, casual contact
According to researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who conducted studies with monkeys, casual contact like kissing or sharing a fork or spoon is not enough for the virus to move between hosts.

Boat noise disrupts fish cooperation
Noise from motorboats changes the behavior of cleaner fish and the species they help.

New theory of polymer length provides improved estimates of DNA and RNA size
Since the seminal work of Paul Flory, researchers have developed various formulas for calculating distance between the ends of a curved polymer.

Wine snobbery: Fact vs. fiction (video)
We all know at least one wine snob who goes through all sorts of rituals that they swear will bring out the best flavor, like swirling the glass and decanting the bottle before drinking.

Pennsylvania snowshoe hares differ from those in Yukon
Snowshoe hares in Pennsylvania -- at the southern end of the species' range -- show adaptations in fur color and characteristics, behavior and metabolism, to enable them to survive in less wintry conditions than their far northern relatives, according to a team of researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

Effects of cognitive behaviour therapy on parents of children with autism
Jonathan Weiss, Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology, discovered that parents who participate in cognitive therapy with their children with autism also experience improvements in their own depression, emotion regulation.

Wildfires continue to beleaguer Western Canada
Like tourist season, wildfire season is also in full swing in British Columbia.

Size matters, and so do temperature and habitat, to scavengers and the carcasses they eat
Size matters in the carrion world, and so do habitat and temperature.

NASA continues to study pulsars, 50 years after their chance discovery
These rotating 'lighthouse' neutron stars begin their lives as stars between about seven and 20 times the mass of our sun.

A new HER2 mutation, a clinical trial and a promising diagnostic tool for metastatic breast cancer
A phase II clinical trial of neratinib in patients with metastatic breast cancer carrying a HER2 mutation produces encouraging results in that about 30 percent of patients and a promising diagnostic tool for metastatic breast cancer.

Smart underwear proven to prevent back stress with just a tap
Unlike other back-saving devices, this one is mechanized and was tested with motion capture, force plates and electromyography.

Safely releasing genetically modified genes into the wild
So, you've genetically engineered a malaria-resistant mosquito, now what? How many mosquitos would you need to replace the disease-carrying wild type?

'Code Blue' equals lower survival for cancer patients
Patients with advanced cancer who suffer cardiac arrest in the hospital have a survival rate of less than 10 percent -- half the rate of other patients without cancer, according to a nationwide study led by the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Study shows adolescent depression increases risk for violence
Adolescent depression increases the risk of violence, suggests a study published in the August 2017 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Baby fish exercising, a surprising source of adaptive variation in fish jaws
A frustration of evolutionary biologists, says Craig Albertson at UMass Amherst, is that genetics can account for only a small percent of variation in physical traits.

Researchers demonstrate transmission of diabetes symptoms via prion-like mechanism
Researchers from McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston have discovered that the symptoms of diabetes can be induced by a misfolded form of a pancreatic protein.

Dietary restriction can improve learning in worms
Dietary restriction -- the reduction of a specific nutrient or total dietary intake without triggering malnutrition -- increases longevity and improves learning, but are these processes regulated separately?

Steroid treatment for type of kidney disease associated with increased risk for serious infections
Among patients with IgA nephropathy and excess protein in their urine, treatment with pills of the steroid methylprednisolone was associated with an unexpectedly large increase in the risk of serious adverse events, primarily infections, according to a study published by JAMA.

Hospital patients with dementia and other causes of confusion 'have worse outcomes'
Hospital patients with dementia and other causes of confusion have longer stays and worse treatment outcomes than people without the condition, research led by the University of Stirling has found.

For white middle class, moderate drinking is linked to cognitive health in old age
Older adults who consume alcohol moderately on a regular basis are more likely to live to the age of 85 without dementia or other cognitive impairments than non-drinkers, according to a University of California San Diego School of Medicine-led study.

Resistance training may slow down the progression of multiple sclerosis
In the past, multiple sclerosis patients were advised not to exercise for fear of exacerbating the illness.

Ferroelectric phenomenon proven viable for oxide electrodes, disproving predictions
Flux-closure domain structures are microscopic topological phenomena found in ferroelectric thin films that feature distinct electric polarization properties.

Aye group discovers avenue for precision cancer treatment
One of the goals of personalized medicine is to be able to determine which treatment would work best by sequencing a patient's genome.

Whole genome sequencing identifies cause of zoonotic epidemic
For the first time, researchers have used whole genome sequencing to identify the cause of a zoonotic infection that sparked a national epidemic.

Researchers describe structures, mechanisms that enable bacteria to resist antibiotics
Iowa State University's Edward Yu has spent years studying the structures and mechanisms bacteria use to resist antibiotics.

Lifelike 3-D cinematic imaging promises numerous medical uses
Newly developed 'cinematic rendering' technology can produce photorealistic 3-D images from traditional CT and MRI data, with potential applications in medical education, communication with patients and physicians, and early disease detection, according to an article published in the August 2017 issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR).

New NOAA Fisheries research reveals ecosystem cascades affecting salmon
New research reveals that shifts in ocean conditions in the Gulf of the Farallones leads to changes in bird predation, affecting the number of California salmon that return as adults.

'Antibiotic stewardship teams' must be planned and paid for to halt dangerous infections
There is an urgent need to plan and fund teams of specialist health workers to promote appropriate use of antibiotics, according to an expert commentary in Clinical Microbiology and Infection.

Gene-regulatory factors shown to improve pancreatic cancer response to chemotherapy
TMDU researchers revealed that, in pancreatic cancer, the microRNAs miR-509-5p and miR-1243 can promote E-cadherin expression and thereby reduce the likelihood of cells undergoing epithelial-mesenchymal transition, or indeed reverse this transition.

Building bridges within the cell -- using light
Each cell in the body is made up of a number of tiny sealed membranous subunits called organelles, and they send things like lipids back and forth to allow the cell to function.

Molecule's role in maintaining liver size and function revealed
Researchers at TMDU found that the YAP molecule is a key mediator in the identification and clearance of damaged cells from the liver.

ESA, NASA's SOHO reveals rapidly rotating solar core
After four decades of searching, solar scientists have at long last found evidence of a type of seismic wave in our Sun, thanks to ESA and NASA's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, or SOHO.

WSU researchers develop alternative to wasteful methane flaring
WSU researchers say they have a solution to the oil field flares wasting 3.5 percent of the world's natural gas: an inexpensive reactor that can convert methane to electricity.

NASA sees tiny Tropical Depression Irwin winding down
Infrared imagery from NASA looked at cloud top temperatures in Tropical Depression Irwin found a very small area of cold clouds and no strong storms.

Missing signals lead to diabetic nerve injury
Molecules that help cells communicate with each other--called cytokines--might be the key to repairing diabetic nerve damage, according to a new study published in Experimental Neurology.

Scientists in China identify way to treat nerve damage caused by insecticides and chemical
New research has uncovered a potential new therapy for the currently untreatable delayed neuropathy caused by acute exposure to insecticides or chemical weapons that attack the nervous system.

Kent State researchers help find pathologic hallmarks of Alzheimer's in aged chimpanzee brains
Humans are considered uniquely susceptible to Alzheimer's disease, potentially due to genetic differences, changes in brain structure and function during evolution, and an increased lifespan.

Increased α5β1 integrin could improve tumor cell-killing performance in geriatric patients
A new report in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology describes an important step toward developing cancer treatments involving the body's immune system.

Booty, booby and nitwit: Academics reveal funniest words
Booty, booby and nitwit are officially some of the funniest words in the English language, according to new peer-reviewed research by the University of Warwick.

Can insects be used as evidence to tell if a body has been moved?
The use of insects as indicators of post-mortem displacement is a familiar technique depicted on many crime investigation TV shows.

Study examines drowning-induced brain injury in children
A new study indicates that children who develop brain injury due to non-fatal drowning often experience severe motor deficits but maintain relatively intact perceptual and cognitive capabilities.

City College engineers produce long lasting, energy density battery
A new generation of manganese dioxide-zinc batteries with unprecedented cycle life and energy density is the latest innovation at the City College of New York-based CUNY Energy Institute.

Evolution of fan worm eyes
Scientists examining the multiple eyes found on the tentacles of fan worms have discovered they evolved independently from their other visual systems, specifically to support the needs of their lifestyle.

Black holes are formed as a result of the most powerful explosions in the universe
Scientists from the Lomonosov Moscow State University have managed to register for the first time polarization of intrinsic optical radiation of gamma-ray bursts -- the most powerful and very short bursts in the Universe, which last for several tens of seconds.

Vorinostat renders dormant HIV infection vulnerable to clearance
For the first time researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have developed an assay that can measure antigen production and clearance caused by a latency-reversing agent.

Elective freezing of IVF embryos linked to higher pregnancy rates in some cases
A delay in transferring embryos to the mother improves the success of in vitro fertilization in certain cases, according to a study by scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine, Celmatix Inc. and several other institutions.

New algorithm finds the optimal bond breaking point for single molecules
Recent developments in atomic-force microscopy have enabled researchers to apply mechanical forces to individual molecules to induce chemical reactions.

Magic helps unmask how the brain works
Scientists have used the 'mirror box' illusion -- an old magic trick - in a number of neuroscience studies.

New approach on research and design for CQD catalysts in World Scientific NANO
A new study that provides a new approach for the rational design of carbon quantum dots (CQD) modified catalysts with potential applications in energy and environmental areas has published in World Scientific's NANO journal.

Oral bacteria may help forensic scientists estimate time since death
Accurately determining the time since death is an important aspect of forensic sciences and casework.

Bird with super senses inspires researchers
Not much surprises the oilbird. Its senses are super sharp and when combined, may function in a way that can inspire researchers to construct better drones and more advanced technology.

It's never too cold for quantum
The peculiar characteristics demonstrated by 'quantum critical points' at absolute zero remain one of the great unsolved mysteries of science.

Nanoparticles for 3-D printing in water open door to advanced biomedical materials
A new type of photoinitiator for (3-D printing in water could further the development of biomedical accessories, bring advances in traditional industries such as plastics, and offer an environmentally friendly approach to additive manufacturing.

Study identifies enzyme that protects cells from toxic fat
A new study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Howard Hughes Medical Institute sheds light on how a key fat-producing enzyme helps protect cells from a toxic form of fat.

No simple way of predicting breathing difficulties in pugs, French bulldogs and bulldogs from external features
As many as a half of all short-nosed dogs such as pugs, French bulldogs and bulldogs experience breathing difficulties related to their facial structure.

Deadly fungus affecting hibernating bats could spread during summer
The cold-loving fungus (Pseudogymnoascus destructans, or Pd) that causes white-nose syndrome, a disease that has killed millions of North American bats during hibernation, could also spread in summer months.

Poor appetite and food intake in older adults
Strategies to improve our appetites as we age include reducing portion size, increasing meal frequency, and using flavor enhancers.

FSU research: Chemical weathering could alleviate some climate change effects
A team of Florida State University scientists has discovered that chemical weathering, a process in which carbon dioxide breaks down rocks and then gets trapped in sediment, can happen at a much faster rate than scientists previously assumed and could potentially counteract some of the current and future climate change caused by humans.

Periodontal disease is associated with higher risk of several cancer types
Periodontal disease was associated with increased risk of several types of cancer in postmenopausal women, even in women who had never smoked.

Adorable alpine animal acclimates behavior to a changing climate
As climate change brings new pressures to bear on wildlife, species must 'move, adapt, acclimate, or die.' Erik Beever and colleagues review the literature on acclimation through behavioral flexibility, identifying patterns among invertebrates, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, and fishes, in ESA's journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, with focus on the American pika.

Investigators use light to kill microbial 'vampires'
If S. aureus is going to drink our blood like a vampire, let's kill it with sunlight.

Technique enables printable and rewritable color images
A chemical process that allows color images to be printed on specially coated paper and then erased so that different images can be printed on the same paper has been developed by researchers at Rice, Yonsei and Korea universities.

Are artificial sweeteners counterproductive when dieting?
Artificial sweeteners combined with a low carbohydrate diet increases overall food consumed, a new study reveals.

Characteristics of metabolically unhealthy lean people
Compared to people who are of normal weight and metabolically healthy, subjects who are of normal weight but metabolically unhealthy have a three-fold higher risk of mortality and/or cardiovascular events. 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