Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 09, 2017
Researchers examine contaminants in hunted wildlife
Concerning environmental contaminants, game species are not subject to the same safety testing as commercially marketed livestock.

Prairie-chicken nests appear unaffected by wind energy facility
Wind energy development in the Great Plains is increasing, spurring concern about its potential effects on grassland birds, the most rapidly declining avian group in North America.

Weight loss surgery's effects on bone marrow fat and bone mass
Bone marrow fat is thought to regulate bone metabolism, and high levels of marrow fat are seen in states of low bone mass, severe underweight, and diabetes.

Industry to play critical role in funding neurosurgery research
With federal funding increasingly restricted, industry will play a critical role in funding neurosurgery research, according to a report by three prominent neurosurgeons in the journal World Neurosurgery.

Identifying a new type of liver tumor
Investigators at Children's Hospital Los Angeles have succeeded in better defining a rare pediatric malignant liver disease -- a necessary step in achieving an optimum treatment.

A battery-inspired strategy for carbon fixation
Scientists working toward the elusive lithium-air battery discovered an unexpected approach to capturing and storing carbon dioxide away from the atmosphere.

Salamanders that breed in the fall are less likely to disperse
With changing environments, pond-breeding salamanders face increasingly hazardous treks as the space between breeding ponds and their non-breeding habitat widens or is degraded.

New optical method pinpoints weak spots in jet engine thermal coatings
In The Optical Society journal Optics Express, the researchers demonstrated that changes in refractive index, a measure of how fast light travels through a material, could be observed when a piece of metal coated with a ceramic thermal barrier coating was pulled in a controlled manner.

Landscapes give latitude to 2-D material designers
Researchers at Rice University and Oak Ridge National Laboratory predict and experimentally confirm that two-dimensional materials grown onto a cone allows control over where defects appear.

Fruit fly mutation foretells 40 million years of evolution
Small, seemingly insignificant mutations in fruit flies may actually hold clues as to how a species will evolve tens of millions of years in the future.

Mapping the brain
A significant development in understanding the brain: As part of her doctoral thesis, Katharina Eichler, a doctoral student at the University of Konstanz under the supervision of the neurobiologist Dr.

Young breast cancer patients undergoing breast conserving surgery see improved prognosis
A new analysis indicates that breast cancer prognoses have improved over time in young women treated with breast conserving surgery.

Early puberty may mean less time in education for girls
The age at which girls have their first period may influence how long they stay in education.

Environmental policy, pollution and economic growth
A new study suggests that air pollution policy reduces the extent to which population growth in metropolitan areas results in increased pollution emissions without disrupting the economic growth from this urbanization.

Moon's magnetic field lasted far longer than once believed
The moon's magnetic field lasted 1 billion to 2.5 billion years longer than once thought -- a finding with important implications for habitability on other moons and planets throughout the universe, a Rutgers University-New Brunswick professor says.

Disadvantaged kids may be at higher risk for heart disease later in life
Children from socially and economically disadvantaged families and neighborhoods appear more likely to have thicker carotid artery walls, which in middle-aged and older adults has been associated with higher risk for heart attack and stroke.

This week from AGU: Scientists discover cause of Atlantic coast's sea level rise hot spots
This Week from AGU features new research published in AGU journals.

New 13-million-year-old infant skull sheds light on ape ancestry
The discovery in Kenya of a remarkably complete fossil ape skull reveals what the common ancestor of all living apes and humans may have looked like.

Vitamin therapy may help prevent melanoma
A new review highlights the potential of nicotinamide (vitamin B3) for preventing melanoma in high-risk individuals.

Incomplete drought recovery may be the new normal
The amount of time it takes for an ecosystem to recover from a drought is an important measure of a drought's severity.

Eating disorders linked to increased risk of theft and other criminal behavior
In an analysis of nearly 960,000 females, individuals with eating disorders were more likely to be convicted of theft and other crimes.

Insight into learning via 'friend of fragile X' gene
Fragile X syndrome, caused by a disruption of the gene FMR1, is the most common inherited form of intellectual disability.

New technique offers clues to measure the deoxygenation of the ocean
The living, breathing ocean may be slowly starting to suffocate.

Extinction mystery solved? Evidence suggests humans played a role in monkey's demise in Jamaica
Radiocarbon dating of a fossilized leg bone from a Jamaican monkey called Xenothrix mcgregori suggests it may be the one of the most recent primate species anywhere in the world to become extinct, and it may solve a long-standing mystery about the cause of its demise.

Scientists develop improved, potentially safer Zika vaccine
ASU Biodesign Institute scientist Qiang 'Shawn' Chen has led his research team to develop the world's first plant-based Zika vaccine that could be more potent, safer and cheaper to produce than any other efforts to date.

Report confirms 2016 was another warm year
A new report published in Weather confirms that 2016 was another exceptionally warm year, with global temperature having reached 0.77± 0.09 degrees C above its level between 1961 and 1990.

Researchers 'count cars' -- literally -- to find a better way to control heavy traffic
There's 'Counting Crows,' counting sheep, counting blessings and now researchers at Florida Atlantic University have their own version of 'counting cars' -- literally -- in an attempt to improve traffic flow on South Florida's and our nation's overcrowded roads.

Artificial intelligence uses internet searches to help create mind association magic trick
Scientists from Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) have created an artificial intelligence (AI) that uses internet searches to help co-design a word association magic trick.

Research opens possibility of reducing risk of gut bacterial infections with next-generation probiotic
In laboratory-grown bacterial communities, the co-administration of probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri and glycerol selectively killed C. difficile.

How ambient energy could power the Internet of things
In the modern world, we are increasingly surrounded by digital sensors, cameras and communications devices sending data cloud-based analysis services.

Increased endometrial cancer rates found in women with high levels of cadmium
Through a five-year observational study recently published in PLOS One, researchers at the University of Missouri found that women with increased levels of cadmium -- a metal commonly found in foods such as kidneys, liver and shellfish as well as tobacco -- also had an increased risk of endometrial cancer.

Lunar dynamo's lifetime extended by at least 1 billion years
In a paper published today in Science Advances, researchers from MIT and Rutgers University report that a lunar rock collected by NASA's Apollo 15 mission exhibits signs that it formed 1 to 2.5 billion years ago in the presence of a relatively weak magnetic field of about 5 microtesla.

Apathy is common and may decrease life expectancy in nursing home patients
In a study of nursing home patients, apathy was linked with an increased risk of dying over a four-month period, even after controlling for depression.

Parents' disagreements about bedtime can affect coparenting relationship
Positive parental teamwork is key to promoting healthy child development, but when mothers have stronger opinions than fathers about how to tend to their infants in the middle of the night, the coparenting relationship can suffer, says a group of researchers.

Increases in alcohol use, especially among women, other groups
Alcohol use, high-risk drinking and alcohol use disorders increased in the US population and across almost all sociodemographic groups, especially women, older adults, racial/ethnic minorities and individuals with lower educational levels and family income, according to a new study published by JAMA Psychiatry.

Study shows how food preservatives may disrupt human hormones and promote obesity
Can chemicals that are added to breakfast cereals and other everyday products make you obese?

Too near, or too far? What fruit flies teach us about personal space
Until now, little has been understood about the mechanisms that allow us to determine when someone is 'too near' our personal space or too far away.

Hepatitis A vaccination for Alaskan children has wiped out the virus
A comprehensive hepatitis A vaccination program established in Alaska in the 1990s, which became a requirement for school entry in 2001, has virtually wiped out the virus in the native peoples of Alaska, where it had been endemic.

C-section delivery associated with increased risk of complications from hysterectomy
Having a previous cesarean delivery significantly increased the risk of reoperation and complications among women undergoing a hysterectomy later in life, according to a study published by JAMA Surgery.

Spying on malaria parasites at -196 Celsius
By combining two advanced microscope techniques an international team of scientists led by postdoc Sergey Kapishnikov from the Niels Bohr Institute has managed to obtain new information about the ravaging mode of operation applied by malaria parasites when attacking their victims.

The effects of increased inflammatory markers during pregnancy
Researchers from Charité -- Universitätsmedizin Berlin in collaboration with colleagues from the University of California -- Irvine, Oregon Health and Science University and the University of North Carolina in the USA have shown that increased levels of inflammatory markers during pregnancy can lead to changes in fetal brain development.

Engineers find better way to detect nanoparticles
An engineering team from Washington University in St. Louis has made major strides recently in the study and manipulation of light.

Family break-ups lead to domestic violence in fruit fly relationships
Male fruit flies with strong family ties are less likely to become abusive during mating than others, according to new Oxford research.

How the tongue keeps its tastes straight
New research at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) has revealed how special molecules help the tongue communicate with the brain to identify the correct taste.

Marijuana associated with three-fold risk of death from hypertension
Marijuana use is associated with a three-fold risk of death from hypertension, according to research published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

Biochar shows benefits as manure lagoon cover
Manure is a reality in raising farm animals. Manure can be a useful fertilizer, returning valued nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium to the soil for plant growth.

Crystallography provides battle-plan blueprints for attacking disease-causing bacteria
X-rays helped scientists to look under the bonnet of two common bacteria that opportunistically infect people, so as to better understand the mechanics involved.

NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite takes a double look at Tropical Storm Franklin
When NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed over Tropical Storm Franklin instruments aboard provided a night-time view of the storm's clouds and measured their temperatures, revealing a strengthening storm.

RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The ethics of animal research
The ethics pertaining to animal research have evolved over centuries, but there is still need for refining and improving them.

ASU graduate student leads study estimating oxygen loss in ancient global ocean
What can an oceanic extinction event 94 million years ago tell us about the future of today's oceans?

Pioneering immunotherapy shows promise in type 1 diabetes
It may be possible to 'retrain' the immune system to slow the progression of type 1 diabetes, according to results of a clinical trial published today in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

Preparing for longevity -- we don't need to become frail as we age
Age-related frailty may be a treatable and preventable health problem, just like obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, highlights a review in Frontiers in Physiology.

UF scientists discover cause of Atlantic coastline's sea level rise hot spots
A new study, published online today, shows that seas rose in the southeastern US between 2011 and 2015 by more than six times the global average sea level rise that is already happening due to human-induced global warming.

Dutch and Canadian researchers detail one of the biggest proteins ever found
A bacterium living in the icy-cold waters of Antarctica manages to survive by gripping on to the ice surface.

Researchers advise caution about recent US advice on aggressively lowering blood pressure
Medical researchers at Trinity College Dublin are advising caution when treating blood pressure in some older people -- after results from a study contrasted with recent advice from the US, based on the SPRINT trial, to attempt to aggressively lower blood pressure in all adults to targets of 120mmHg.

Use of common heart drugs dropped after price increases, Cleveland Clinic study finds
Following major price increases, the use of two cardiac medications -- nitroprusside and isoproterenol -- decreased by one-half and one-third between 2012 and 2015, according to a Cleveland Clinic study published in the Aug.

Analysis highlights failings in US's advanced nuclear program
Despite repeated promises over the past 18 years, the US Office of Nuclear Energy (NE) is unlikely to deliver on its mission to develop and demonstrate an advanced nuclear reactor by the mid-21st century.

First winged mammals from the Jurassic period discovered
Two 160-million-year-old mammal fossils discovered in China show that the forerunners of mammals in the Jurassic Period evolved to glide and live in trees.

Classmates could spur 'contagious' interest in STEM
College students who thought their high school classmates were interested in science classes were more likely to intend to pursue STEM careers, a new study reports.

Study shows universal vaccination has wiped out hepatitis B and associated liver cancer in Alaska's young people
Updated research presented at this year's World Indigenous Peoples' Conference on Viral Hepatitis in Anchorage, Alaska, USA, shows that the universal hepatitis B vaccination program introduced for all newborn Alaskan children in the 1980s has wiped out hepatitis B infection and liver cancer cases associated with the infection.

Researchers look to improve detection of skin cancer lacking pigment melanin
UNC Lineberger scientists were part of a multi-institution research team that identifed key features linked to amelanotic melanoma, a form of skin cancer that lacks the brown or black color that stems from the pigment melanin.

How cicadas manage to 'wing it' 
Unlike locusts and many other flying insects, cicadas don't soar through the air with the greatest of ease.

Chaotic magnetic field lines may answer the coronal heating problem
It is known that the sun's corona is roughly 100 times hotter than its photosphere -- the sun's visible layer.

Men, not women, may be having fewer strokes
The overall rate of stroke in the United States has been declining in recent years and while that has been good news, a new study suggests it may be primarily good news for men.

The benefits -- and potential pitfalls -- of urban green spaces
Urban green space projects are often pursued as a way to increase biodiversity and ecological restoration.

What it takes to recover from drought
According to a study published Aug. 10 in Nature, the length of drought recovery depends on several factors, including the region of the world and the post-drought weather conditions.

Biosimilar insulin lispro shown not inferior to Humalog® in efficacy or safety
A study comparing the safety and efficacy of SAR342434, a biosimilar (follow-on form) of insulin lispro-Humalog®, found it to be comparable to that of the brand name drug in patients also using insulin glargine.

Study finds patients needed fewer opioid tablets than prescribed after hernia surgery
A study by investigators from Massachusetts General Hospital and Newton-Wellesley Hospital found that patients prescribed opioid medications after inguinal hernia surgery used significantly fewer tablets than prescribed, even though they had received fewer than typically administered for such surgery.

Supporting women's autonomy in prenatal testing
Early, noninvasive prenatal genetic testing promises substantial benefits to patients, but also raises ethical concerns.

Researchers create biomaterial that delivers both a powerful drug and gene silencers
Clinicians today have a huge arsenal of drugs at their disposal for treating cancers.

Ancient pottery reveals insights on Iroquoian population's power in 16th century
An innovative study published today in the journal Science Advances demonstrates how decorations on ancient pottery can be used to discover new evidence for how groups interacted across large regions.

Antidepressant use increases risk of head injuries among persons with Alzheimer's disease
Antidepressant use is associated with an increased risk of head injuries and traumatic brain injuries among persons with Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study from the University of Eastern Finland.

Improving detection of a 'date rape' drug
Because gamma hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), commonly known as a 'date rape drug' is rapidly absorbed and metabolized by the body, it's difficult for law enforcement to tell if someone has been given GHB.

Smart windows that go from clear to dark in under a minute
Stanford University engineers have developed dynamic windows that can switch from transparent to opaque or back again in under a minute and do not degrade over time.

The color of people's clothing affects lizard escape behavior
The color of T-shirts people wear affects escape behavior in western fence lizards, according to a study published Aug.

Potentially inappropriate medications still pose challenge in nursing home
A Canadian research team investigated how often healthcare providers prescribed PIMs to older adults living with dementia or other mental health concerns and who were being admitted to nursing homes.

Older adults may need better follow-up after ER screenings for suicide
When healthcare providers see older adults in the ED, some may be too quick to assume that the warning signs for suicide are just a natural part of aging.

Study compares treatment and outcomes in asthma patients in 2 countries
In two countries with a Western lifestyle, similar health systems, and similar asthma prevalence, investigators observed differences in asthma management and treatment costs, despite comparable outcomes.

The mystery of the pulsating blue stars
In the middle of the Chilean Atacama desert, a team of Polish astronomers are monitoring millions of celestial bodies.

1 in 12 doctors accepts payment from pharmaceutical companies related to opioids
One in twelve physicians -- and nearly one in five family medicine physicians -- accepted payments from pharmaceutical companies related to opioids, according to a new study out of Boston Medical Center's Grayken Center for Addiction Medicine.

Finger prick test allows patients taking autoimmune drug to avoid blood draws
A new study shows that patients with rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune conditions who take the drug adalimumab can monitor drug levels in their bodies with a finger prick rather than undergoing a full blood draw.

Immunotherapy shown to be safe for diabetes
In a landmark, placebo-controlled trial for treatments that could halt the progression of type 1 diabetes, scientists report that an immunotherapy was safe and showed metabolic effects.

Racial gap in survival after in-hospital cardiac arrest narrows
There has been a substantial reduction in racial differences in survival after in-hospital cardiac arrest, with a greater improvement in survival among black patients compared with white patients, according to a study published by JAMA Cardiology.

Rewired taste system reveals how flavors move from tongue to brain
By creating mice with mixed-up taste sensors, HHMI Investigator Charles Zuker and colleagues show how the taste system continually remakes itself.

Chaco Canyon petroglyph may represent ancient total eclipse says CU professor
As the hullabaloo surrounding the Aug. 21 total eclipse of the sun swells by the day, a University of Colorado Boulder faculty member says a petroglyph in New Mexico's Chaco Canyon may represent a total eclipse that occurred there a thousand years ago.

Bipartisan collaboration opens door to strengthen nation's healthcare system, AGs
With renewed calls for bipartisan collaboration supporting high-quality, person-centered, and affordable health coverage for us all as we age, the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) has reached out to leaders from the US Senate and House of Representatives to reinforce core priorities

People with mental illness reoffend less if on specialty probation
Each year, some 2 million people with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses are arrested for various crimes, inadvertently turning the US correctional system into the nation's primary provider of inpatient psychiatric care.

A personalized approach to Alzheimer's disease prevention
In a new study, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, James E.

Increased risk of suicide, mental health conditions linked to sexual assault victimization
An analysis of nearly 200 independent studies involving more than 230,000 adult participants finds that having been sexually assaulted is associated with significantly increased risk of anxiety, depression, suicidality, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, obsessive-compulsive disorder and bipolar disorder.

Intraindividual reaction time variability independently predicts mortality
Inconsistent performance in responding to a stimulus, rather than the speed with which one responds, is a marker of accelerated ageing and predicts mortality in older people, according to research published by the Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA), UNSW Sydney.

Defining standards for genomes from uncultivated microorganisms
As genomic data production has ramped up over the past two decades and is being generated on various platforms around the world, scientists have worked together to establish definitions for terms and data collection standards that apply across the board.

Ants dominate waste management in tropical rainforests
A study by the University of Liverpool has found that ants are responsible for moving more than half of food resources from the rainforest floor, playing a key role in maintaining a healthy ecosystem.

Spider peptides battle superbugs and cancer
As antibiotic resistance rises and fears over superbugs grow, scientists are looking for new treatment options.

Transforming skin cells to insulin
Norwegian researchers are one step closer to curing diabetes by making insulin-producing cells from skin cells.

New analysis casts doubt on predicted decrease in Oklahoma earthquakes
The disposal of wastewater from oil and gas production by injecting it deep into the ground has been linked to a dramatic increase in earthquake activity in Oklahoma since 2009.

Managers can help prevent employees from working while sick
A new study indicates that managerial support can help prevent employees who work extremely hard out of an obsessive drive ('workaholics') from forcing themselves to attend work when feeling sick.

Review: Cholera vaccines effective for adults, much less so for children
A new review of the research literature led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health shows that cholera vaccines provide substantial protection for adults but provide significantly less protection for children under age 5, a population particularly at risk for dying from this diarrheal disease.

Replacing some old pipes can still result in lead-contaminated water
Lead in drinking water is a decades-old problem and still poses serious public health risks today.

More veterans have enrolled in college with post-9/11 G.I. bill
The Post-9/11 G.I. Bill, which covers educational costs for veterans beyond tuition, has boosted college enrollment rates among veterans by 3 percentage points compared with the earlier G.I.

Study in mice may reveal insights into causes of miscarriages for some women
Researchers at St. Michael's Hospital have identified how natural killer cells in the mouse placenta can cause a fetus to fail to grow in the womb or cause miscarriages.

Personalized melanoma genomic risk triggers family conversations
A new study published in the British Journal of Dermatology indicates that personalized melanoma genomic risk information can prompt discussions about skin cancer prevention and skin examinations with family and health professionals.

Arrival of modern humans in Southeast Asia questioned
Humans may have exited out of Africa and arrived in Southeast Asia 20,000 years earlier than previously thought, a new study involving University of Queensland researchers suggests.

Successful filming of fastest aurora flickering
Researchers conducted a 3 year continuous high-speed imaging observation at Poker Flat Research Range, Alaska, USA, and identified the physics behind the flickering of aurora.

Damming and its effects on fish
The BioScience Talks podcast ( features discussions of topical issues related to the biological sciences.

Exposure to antimicrobials during development may cause irreversible outcomes
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists have discovered that exposure to environmental levels of triclocarban (TCC), an antibacterial chemical common in personal care products like soaps and lotions as well as in the medical field, can transfer from mother to offspring and interfere with lipid metabolism.

Rain increases joint pain? Google suggests otherwise
New research indicates that weather conditions in 45 US cities are indeed associated with Google searches about joint pain.

Human bones may have been engraved as part of a cannibalistic ritual
Human bones may have been engraved as part of a cannibalistic ritual during the Paleolithic period, according to a study published Aug.

FSU research: Ancient ocean deoxygenation provides an urgent warning
A 94-million-year-old climate change event that severely imperiled marine organisms may provide some unnerving insights into long-term trends in our modern oceans, according to a Florida State University researcher.

Why massive galaxies don't dance in crowds
Australian scientists have discovered why heavyweight galaxies living in a dense crowd of galaxies tend to spin more slowly than their lighter neighbours.

Scientists unearth cell 'checkpoint' that stops allergic diseases
Scientists from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, have made a significant breakthrough in understanding the regulation of immune cells that play a pivotal role in allergic diseases such as asthma and eczema.

Portland State laser mapping project shows global warming effects in Antarctica
Portland State University researchers and the National Science Foundation (NSF) have publically released high-resolution maps of the McMurdo Dry Valleys, a globally unique Antarctic polar desert.

Updated computer code improves prediction of particle motion in plasma experiments
A computer code used by physicists around the world to analyze and predict tokamak experiments can now approximate the behavior of highly energetic atomic nuclei, or ions, in fusion plasmas more accurately than ever.

Reaction time variation may be a marker that predicts mortality in old age
A common indicator of neurobiological disturbance among the elderly may also be associated with mortality, according to a study published Aug.

A portable DNA sequencer enables researchers to monitor the evolution of Zika virus
Article in Nature describing the analysis of 54 new whole genomes suggests that Zika virus arrived in Brazil in February 2014 and spread silently through the Americas for at least a year. 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