Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 08, 2017
Four new fruit fly species from the Himalaya and information about their flower visitation
The first record of flower visitation in a group of fruit flies from Himalayan India, as well as a total of four new species are described in the open access journal ZooKeys.

Highly skilled workers more likely to have control over their working day
People in high-skilled jobs and supervisory roles are more likely to enjoy control over their working hours, new research from a University of Kent expert in work-life balance shows.

Regular energy drink use linked to later drug use among young adults
Could young adults who regularly consume highly caffeinated energy drinks be at risk for future substance use?

Mainz-based researchers stabilized gold in very rare oxidation state +II
A team of chemists led by Professor Katja Heinze at the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry and Analytical Chemistry of JGU has been able to isolate and analyze gold in the very rare oxidation state +II.

Scientists restore youthful plasticity to the brains of adult mice
Like the rest of the body, the brain loses flexibility with age, impacting the ability to learn, remember, and adapt.

Fitness technology increases satisfaction, lowers perceived exertion in new exercisers
A new study published in the Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise journal found that adding visual effects to a structured workout creates an 'immersive' fitness experience that increases satisfaction and lowers the rate of perceived exertion (RPE) for new exercisers.

New battery is activated by your spit
Researchers at Binghamton University, State University of New York have developed the next step in microbial fuel cells (MFCs): a battery activated by spit that can be used in extreme conditions where normal batteries don't function.

New theory on the origin of dark matter
Scientists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz in Germany have come up with a new theory on how dark matter may have been formed shortly after the origin of the universe.

JCU scientist finds alcohol-free solution works
A James Cook University scientist has made a discovery that will make life easier for surgery patients and their surgeon.

Clinical trial shows ready-to-use cells are safe and effective to treat viral infections
A phase II clinical trial shows that patients who received a hematopoietic stem cell transplant and developed a viral infection could be helped by receiving immune cells specialized in eliminating that particular virus.

Even bacteria have baggage -- and understanding that is key to fighting superbugs
New research points to treatment strategies for multi-drug antibiotic resistance using currently available drugs.

New noninvasive method of intracranial pressure monitoring
German researchers report preliminary findings that show a noninvasive method of monitoring intracranial pressure (ICP) that could rival the gold standards of invasive intraventricular and intraparenchymal monitoring.

Music therapy for children with autism does not improve symptoms
Among children with autism spectrum disorder, improvisational music therapy resulted in no significant difference in symptom severity compared to children who received enhanced standard care alone, according to a study published by JAMA.

A taste cell encyclopedia
A significant technological advance from the Monell Center now allows scientists to identify the complete set of genes in any type of taste receptor cell.

Turning homes into power stations could cut household fuel bills by more than 60 percent -- report
Energy bills could be cut by more than 60 percent -- saving the average household over £600 a year -- if homes were designed to generate, store and release their own solar energy, a report published today has revealed.

New study discovers 'killer peptide' that helps eliminate resistant cancer cells
A new study by University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center researchers shows that when therapy-sensitive cancer cells die, they release a 'killer peptide' that can eliminate therapy-resistant cells.

Human gut microbe may lead to treatment for multiple sclerosis
Mayo Clinic researchers, along with colleagues at the University of Iowa, report that a human gut microbe discovered at Mayo Clinic may help treat autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis.

Swedish researchers and global fishing companies form coalition for sustainable seas
A new article in the scientific journal PNAS describes how researchers from Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University convened the CEOs of several of the world's largest seafood companies to form a new global coalition aiming to end unsustainable practices such as overfishing, modern slavery and destructive impacts on habitats and marine species.

Penguin forensics
Knowing where and how Antarctic penguins, and other seabirds and marine predators, migrate is critical for conservation efforts.

Early diagnostic imaging to prevent kidney disease
Osaka University researchers, in collaboration with several Japanese companies, translate neuroimaging tools to study renal fibrosis in rat kidney.

Tiny terahertz laser could be used for imaging, chemical detection
For more than 20 years, Qing Hu, a distinguished professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT, and his group have been working on sources of terahertz radiation that can be etched onto microchips.

NASA sees Tropical Depression Noru fading over Japan
NASA Infrared imagery showed warming cloud top temperatures in Tropical Depression Noru as it continued weakening over Japan.

High quality early intervention for children with autism quickly results in costs savings
A recent study by Penn Medicine researchers published online ahead of print in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry found that the costs associated with the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM), one evidence-based treatment for young children with autism, were fully offset after only two years following intervention due to reductions in children's use of other services.

Sleep disorders linked to preterm birth in large California study
Pregnant women who are diagnosed with sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and insomnia appear to be at risk of delivering their babies before reaching full term, according to an analysis of California births by researchers at UC San Francisco.

New ultrafast method for determining antibiotic resistance
Researchers at Uppsala University have developed a new method for very rapidly determining whether infection-causing bacteria are resistant or susceptible to antibiotics.

New research reveals failure of World War One loan scheme
The British government's initial efforts to pay for World War One through loans from the public was a spectacular failure, according to a new study using restricted Bank of England ledgers.

Controlled manipulation
Researchers around the world are looking at how they can manipulate the properties of carbon nanostructures to customise them for specific purposes; the idea is to make the promising mini-format materials commercially viable.

Prostate cancer cells become 'shapeshifters' to spread to distant organs
Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center scientists report they have discovered a biochemical process that gives prostate cancer cells the almost unnatural ability to change their shape, squeeze into other organs and take root in other parts of the body.

Biological bypass shows promise in coronary artery disease
A new gene therapy that targets the heart and requires only one treatment session has been found safe for patients with coronary artery disease, according to a successful trial carried out in Finland.

The mystery of the yellowing sugarcane
Since 2011, a mysterious illness known as Yellow Canopy Syndrome (YCS) has afflicted Australian sugarcane causing $40 million in losses.

How to trick your heart into thinking you exercise
Researchers have discovered that a protein called cardiotrophin 1 (CT1) can trick the heart into growing in a healthy way and pumping more blood, just as it does in response to exercise and pregnancy.

Warm periods in the 20th century are not unprecedented during the last 2,000 years
CAS scientists collected a large number of proxies and reconstructed a 2,000-year temperature series in China with a 10-year resolution, enabling them to quantitatively reveal the characteristics of temperature change in China over a common era.

Researchers identify recommendations in new effort to improve surgical patients' recovery
Collaborators in a new nationwide program for hospitals designed to improve the recovery of surgical patients have identified their first set of evidence-based recommendations: a care plan for colon and rectal surgical procedures.

Sleep makes it possible for babies to associate words with content -- and not with noise
For babies every moment is a new experience -- until the infant brain organises the flood of stimulations.

Protein critical to early stages of cellular HIV infection identified
A Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) -led research team identified a protein, MELK, required for the HIV-1 virus to efficiently infect its target cells.

Machine learning could be key to producing stronger, less corrosive metals
Researchers have studied grain boundaries for decades and gained some insight into the types of properties grain boundaries produce, but no one has been able to nail down a universal system to predict if a certain configuration of atoms at grain boundaries will make a material stronger or more pliable.

Bush and Obama's gifts to Trump: More war-making powers
Thanks to the military interventions by the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations, the former presidents have effectively expanded executive authority for Donald Trump to go to war, a study from the University of Waterloo has found.

One fall too many
Adults age 65 and older who go to the emergency department (ED) for a fall-related injury are not likely to participate in a fall prevention program after being discharged, despite being given a flyer for a local program before leaving the hospital.

Local collaboration key to protecting pollinators while managing ticks, mosquitoes
Managing mosquito and tick populations and protecting the health of pollinators are growing concerns on a global scale, but success in both requires teamwork on the local level.

Where there's a will
UC Santa Barbara mechanical engineer Paolo Luzzatto-Fegiz was frustrated. Once again, the delicate tip of the instrument he was using to measure water density -- a conductivity probe -- had broken, rendering the setup useless and his work in temporary limbo.

Eradicating exotic pests with 'infertility genes' may be possible
University of Adelaide researchers have shown that it may be possible to eradicate populations of invasive pest animals through the inheritance of a negative gene -- a technique known as gene drive.

Distributed wind power keeps spinning, growing
America's use of distributed wind -- which is wind power generated near where it will be used -- continues to grow, according to the 2016 Distributed Wind Market Report.

Blocking enzyme linked to Alzheimer's may reverse memory loss
MIT researchers have now shown that they can reverse memory loss in mice by interfering with the enzyme that forms the blockade.

Smoking is on the rise among pregnant women with depression
Smoking is increasing among pregnant women with depression in the United States.

Dopaminergic neurons derived from iPSCs in non-human primate model
Researchers have demonstrated the ability to generate dopaminergic neurons in the laboratory from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) derived from fibroblast cells of adult marmoset monkeys.

Magnetic fields turn up the heat on bacterial biofilms
A short exposure to an alternating magnetic field might someday replace multiple surgeries and weeks of IV antibiotics as treatment for stubborn infections on artificial joints, new research suggests.

New scanning process allows unprecedented look inside live insects
Conventional insect scanning usually requires killing the insect. A new collaborative process developed at Western University in London, Canada, shows live insects can be scanned if they're anesthetized temporarily with carbon dioxide.

'Ego-dissolving' psychedelic drugs could assist with mental health
The altered state of consciousness and temporary lack of ego that results from using psychedelic drugs could help some mental health patients recover from their symptoms, according to academics at the University of Adelaide.

Online team-based game helps patients with diabetes lower blood glucose
Researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System have found that an online, team-based game designed to teach patients about diabetes self-management had a sustained and meaningful impact on a key measure of diabetes control.

No longer water under the bridge, statistics yields new data on sea levels
While the scientific community has long warned about rising sea levels and their destructive impact on some of the United States' most populous cities, researchers have developed a new, statistical method that more precisely calculates the rate of sea level rise, showing it's not only increasing, but accelerating.

Violent news videos can be a moral motivator, says UB researcher
Violent news events present editors with a troubling journalistic decision: how much of the violence, if any, should the audience see as part of the story?

Racial differences for trends in colorectal cancer mortality rates
Colorectal cancer mortality rates have decreased since 1970 in black individuals 20 to 54 years of age, but have increased in white individuals since 1995 among those ages 30 to 39 years and since 2005 among those 40 to 54 years of age following decades of decline, according to a study published by JAMA.

Researchers discover potentially harmful nanoparticles produced through burning coal
Environmental scientists led by the Virginia Tech College of Science have discovered that the burning of coal produces incredibly small airborne particles of a highly unusual form of titanium oxide with the potential to be toxic to humans.

Playing with your brain
Human-computer interactions, such as playing video games, can have a negative impact on the brain, says a new Canadian study published in Molecular Psychiatry.

MRI reveals striking brain differences in people with genetic autism
In the first major study of its kind, researchers using MRI have identified structural abnormalities in the brains of people with one of the most common genetic causes of autism, according to a new study.

Longevity hormone klotho boosts memory and protects against brain aging in mice
A single injection of a fragment of the longevity hormone klotho into both young and old mice improved spatial and working memory and strengthened connections between neurons in the hippocampus rapidly, and these cognitive benefits lasted for several weeks, according to a study published in Cell Reports.

One step closer in explaining MS relapse during upper respiratory infection
For most of us, the flu is just the flu.

Asian hornet to colonize UK within 2 decades without action
The yellow legged or Asian hornet -- a voracious predator of honey bees and other beneficial insects -- could rapidly colonize the UK unless its spread is combated, according to new research by the universities of Warwick and Newcastle, working with the National Bee Unit.

State crime researchers uncover role of Western companies in Uzbek corruption scandal
Evidence in a new research report published today shows that the government of Uzbekistan acted as an organised crime network, with state agencies conducting racketeering activity that benefited political heiress Gulnara Karimova, the elder daughter of Islam Karimov, the leader of Uzbekistan from 1989 to his death in 2016.

Hormone shows promise as cognition enhancer
In a study that augurs well for the therapeutic potential of klotho - a life-extending protein hormone that a minority of people naturally produce at high levels - scientists at UC San Francisco have found that administering a fragment of the klotho protein to young, aging or impaired mice rapidly improves their cognitive and physical performance.

You are how you play: Some video games are better for your brain than others
Regularly playing action video games reduces the grey matter in a person's brain, particularly in the hippocampus region that is involved in spatial learning, navigation and memory.

New genes discovered regulating brain metastases in lung cancer
Researchers set out to find which genes can regulate the cells that initiate brain metastases, the genes that are sending the signal to leave the lung tumour, go into the blood stream, invade the blood-brain barrier and form a tumour in the brain.

CCP program in Nigeria increases modern contraceptive use, study suggests
Over a four-year period, new research suggests, a program led by the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs (CCP) in six large Nigerian cities was associated with a 10 percentage- point increase in the use of modern contraceptive methods and a similar increase in the desire of women to have fewer children.

New microscope technique reveals internal structure of live embryos
University of Illinois researchers have developed a way to produce 3-D images of live embryos in cattle that could help determine embryo viability before in vitro fertilization in humans.

An updated classification for freshwater crayfishes
A new paper published in the Journal of Crustacean Biology provides an updated classification system that includes all the known crayfishes worldwide.

Annual wind report confirms tech advancements, improved performance, low wind prices
Wind energy pricing for land-based, utility-scale projects remains attractive to utility and commercial purchasers, according to an annual report released by the US Department of Energy and prepared by Berkeley Lab.

Colorectal cancer death rates rising in people under 55
A new report finds that colorectal cancer mortality rates have increased in adults under 55 since the mid-2000s after falling for decades.

UCI celestial census indicates that black holes pervade the universe
After conducting a cosmic inventory of sorts to calculate and categorize stellar-remnant black holes, astronomers from the University of California, Irvine have concluded that there are probably tens of millions of the enigmatic, dark objects in the Milky Way -- far more than expected.

Amateur collectors in Japan discover country's first and oldest fossil diving bird
Two brothers from a small town in Hokkaido, Japan, made the discovery of their lives -- the first and oldest fossil bird ever identified in their country.

Drug hope for acute myeloid leukemia
A new drug that strips cancer cells of their 'immortality' could help to treat patients suffering from one of the most aggressive forms of leukemia.

Cherokee Nation American Indian Tribe showing it is possible to eliminate hepatitis C
The Cherokee Nation American Indian population is aiming to eliminate hepatitis C virus (HCV) among its tribal citizens, where already almost half have been screened for the virus and around one quarter of those estimated to be infected have already been cured.

MPFI researchers make significant advance in understanding calcium channel function
A new study conducted by researchers at the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience uncovers critical aspects of calcium channel function.

First-in-class drug holds promise for therapy-resistant breast cancer
UT Southwestern Simmons Cancer Center researchers have shown that a first-in-class molecule can prevent breast cancer growth when traditional therapies stop working.

How superhydrophobic materials stay totally dry (video)
Raincoats, car windshields, waterproof phones: They all use a little chemistry to stay dry.

Extreme heat linked to climate change may adversely affect pregnancy
A systematic review links extreme heat exposure to changes in gestation length, birth weight, stillbirth and neonatal stress.

Extreme melt season leads to decade-long ecosystem changes in Antarctica's Dry Valleys
An abnormal season of intense glacial melt in 2002 triggered multiple distinct changes in the physical and biological characteristics of Antarctica's McMurdo Dry Valleys over the ensuing decade, new research funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) shows.

Laser mapping project shows effects of physical changes in Antarctica's Dry Valleys
Researchers funded by the National Science Foundation have publicly released high-resolution maps of Antarctica's McMurdo Dry Valleys, a globally unique polar desert.

Are learning and unlearning bedfellows?
We know that sleep helps us integrate knowledge acquired during the day.

Like father like son? How we balance work and family life may be learned from our parents
The extent to which we prioritise work versus family life may be shaped by our childhood experiences in the family home, according to a study co-authored by Dr Ioana Lupu from Queen Mary University of London (QMUL).

Newly discovered pathway for pain processing could lead to new treatments
The discovery of a new biological pathway involved in pain processing offers hope of using existing cancer drugs to replace the use of opioids in chronic pain treatment, according to scientists at McGill University.

Multi-nutrient rice against malnutrition
ETH researchers have developed a new rice variety that not only has increased levels of the micronutrients iron and zinc in the grains, but also produces beta-carotene as a precursor of vitamin A.

New research shows indigenous peoples are much more likely to be infected by hepatitis B and/or C
A new meta-analysis of global hepatitis data -- presented at this year's World Indigenous Peoples' Conference on Viral Hepatitis in Anchorage, Alaska, USA -- shows that indigenous peoples are up to 10 times more likely to be infected by viral hepatitis than the general population in their respective countries.

Can AI prevent the spread of HIV in homeless youth?
Researchers from the USC Center for AI for Society (CAIS), a joint research initiative between the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work have developed algorithms that are over 150 percent more effective in spreading public health information than methods currently used by many social service agencies

NYITCOM researcher discovers potential cancer treatment breakthrough
In a July issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), Dong Zhang Ph.D., associate professor of Biomedical Sciences at New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine (NYITCOM) and a team of researchers detail findings that suggest new synthetic lethal interactions could inhibit the growth of tumors in mesenchymal cells, cells that develop into connective tissue such as those found in bones, soft tissues, and the central nervous system.

NI former-paramilitaries can help deter future generations
Researchers at the University of Huddersfield look at the important role former-paramilitaries can play in de-mythologizing the Troubles in Northern Ireland and deterring young people from embracing violence.

Scientists prevent neurodegeneration-associated protein clumping in lab study
By artificially exposing FUS proteins to the natural process of phosphorylation, researchers were able to prevent them from forming the harmful clumps associated with ALS and frontotemporal dementia.

Relieving antibiotic resistance: Researchers take steps toward new treatment for E. coli
By understanding the functional differences between proteins expressed by two E. coli strains, researchers at Kansas State University are exploring new opportunities to inhibit their impacts to human health.

Amniotic sac in a dish: Stem cells form structures that may aid of infertility research
The first few weeks after sperm meets egg still hold many mysteries.

NASA measures Tropical Storm Franklin's soaking rains from space
Tropical Storm Franklin was generating heavy rain when NASA's GPM satellite observed the rainfall from space.

Calcium in arteries influences heart attack risk
Patients without calcium buildup in the coronary arteries had significantly lower risk of future heart attack or stroke despite other high risk factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or bad cholesterol levels, new research from UT Southwestern cardiologists shows.

Development of molecular container with caps that can regulate uptake/release of objects
We designed a host-guest system using a non-equilibrium kinetically trapped state for on-demand and time-programmable control of molecular functions, and synthesized a macrocyclic metallohost that has anion caps at both sides of the cation-binding site.

Post-glacial history of lake of the woods
The extent and depth of lakes in glaciated regions of North America are controlled by climate and the influence of differential isostatic rebound of the land's surface that began when Pleistocene ice melted from the continent.

Not all glaciers in Antarctica have been affected by climate change
A new study by scientists at Portland State University and the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado Boulder has found that the effects of climate change, which are apparent in other parts of the Antarctic continent, are not yet observed for glaciers in the western Ross Sea coast.

Dino hips discovery unravels species riddle
New research from University of Alberta paleontologists shows one of North America's most broadly identified dinosaur species, Troodon formosus, is no longer a valid classification, naming two others in its stead.

Assembling nanomachines in bacteria
Osaka University researchers use X-ray crystallography and electron microscopy to resolve the assembly of the export gate apparatus in Salmonella.
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