Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 14, 2017
X-ray imaging with a significantly enhanced resolution
Physicists from Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) and Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY, Hamburg) have come up with a method that could significantly improve the quality of X-ray images in comparison to conventional methods.

NASA sees Tropical Storm Jova being ripped apart
Satellite imagery from NOAA's GOES-West satellite showed vertical wind shear was already tearing Tropical Storm Jova apart just two days after it formed.

Important to communicate cancer prevention message to young adults to reduce risks later in life
The latest estimates suggest that, by 2020, more than 1.9 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer each year.

Virulence factor made by influenza virus is potential target for vaccine drug development
A new study describes how NS1, a protein produced by influenza A viruses, suppresses the body's immune responses to viral infection.

Now showing: Researchers create first 3-D movie of virus in action
Imaging the movement of a virus demonstrates that single-particle X- ray scattering has the potential to shed new light on key molecular processes when paired with powerful new algorithms.

Running rats remember better
Young rats with access to a running wheel show improved memory later in life and increased activity of neurons generated in adulthood, finds a study published in eNeuro.

Coke or Pepsi? Partner's choices can make you miserable
It might not seem like a big deal if you like Coke while your partner likes Pepsi -- but new research suggests preferring different brands can affect our happiness in relationships more than shared interests or personality traits.

UCLA scientists identify a new way to activate stem cells to make hair grow
The research, led by scientists Heather Christofk and William Lowry, may lead to new drugs that could promote hair growth for people with baldness or alopecia.

A fleeting blue glow
In the 2009 film 'Star Trek,' a supernova hurtles through space and obliterates a planet unfortunate enough to be in its path.

NASA sees strengthening Tropical Storm Gert west of Bermuda
Tropical Depression Eight (TD8) formed around 11 p.m. EDT on Saturday, August 12 about 260 miles northeast of the southeastern Bahamas.

Discovery of new prostate cancer biomarkers could improve precision therapy
ROCHESTER, Minn. -- Mayo Clinic researchers have identified a new cause of treatment resistance in prostate cancer.

Study hints at experimental therapy for heart fibrosis
Researchers report encouraging preclinical results as they pursue elusive therapies that can repair scarred and poorly functioning heart tissues after cardiac injury.

Light-to-moderate alcohol consumption may have protective health effects
Light-to-moderate drinking can lower risk of mortality from all-causes and cardiovascular disease, while heavy drinking can significantly increase risk of mortality from all-causes and cancer, according to a new study published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Immune study points to new ways to treat lung disease
Fresh insight into how the immune system keeps itself in check could lead to new ways of fighting chronic lung disease.

Researchers achieve major improvement for lensless computational microscopy
Scientists from ITMO University and Tampere University of Technology managed to improve computational imaging of optical signal in lensless microscopes.

Oxytocin and social norms reduce xenophobia
How can xenophobia be reduced and altruism strengthened? Researchers at University Hospital Bonn have shown in a new study that the bonding hormone oxytocin together with social norms significantly increases the willingness to donate money to refugees in need, even in people who tend to have a skeptical attitude towards migrants.

NASA sees a tightly wound Typhoon Banyan
Satellite imagery from NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite showed powerful storms tightly would around Typhoon Banyan's center as it moved through the Pacific Ocean.

Exotic quantum states made from light
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows.

Clinical trial eligibility criteria a growing obstacle
Despite a decade-long call for simplification of clinical trials, the number of criteria excluding patients from participating in clinical trials for lung cancer research continues to rise.

Ozone treaty taking a bite out of US greenhouse gas emissions
The Montreal Protocol, the international treaty adopted to restore Earth's protective ozone layer in 1989, has significantly reduced emissions of ozone-depleting chemicals from the United States.

Balloons and drones and clouds; oh, my!
Last week, researchers at Sandia National Laboratories flew a tethered balloon and an unmanned aerial system, colloquially known as a drone, together for the first time to get Arctic atmospheric temperatures with better location control than ever before.

Researchers describe neural mechanisms for gregariousness and monogamy in zebra finches
Researchers describe neural mechanisms for gregariousness and monogamy in zebra finches.

Single molecules can work as reproducible transistors -- at room temperature
Columbia researchers published a study today in Nature Nanotechnology that is the first to reproducibly demonstrate current blockade -- the ability to switch a device from the insulating to the conducting state where charge is added and removed one electron at a time -- using atomically precise molecular clusters at room temperature.

Are your tweets feeling well?
A study finds opinion and emotion in tweets change when you get sick, a method that public health workers could use to monitor health trends.

A way to stabilize haploidy in animal cells
The emergence, in recent years, of the first mammalian haploid cell lines has raised great expectations in the scientific community.

The origin of the chloroplast
A new study, led by the University of Bristol, has shed new light on the origin, timing and habitat in which the chloroplast first evolved.

Drug approval: New country comparison shows great savings potential
The regulatory requirements for the approval of new drugs vary greatly internationally in regards to the resources allocated to the authorities, the evaluation periods for approval and the fees for the pharmaceutical companies.

Research review recommends eliminating widely ordered blood test for diagnosing heart attacks
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Mayo Clinic have compiled peer-reviewed evidence and crafted a guideline designed to help physicians and medical centers stop the use of a widely ordered blood test that adds no value in evaluating patients with suspected heart attack.

High sugar consumption gives rise to dental treatment costs in the billions
Worldwide, people are eating far too much sugar. This has negative consequences for their teeth and for their purses: seen at the global level, the costs of dental treatment are currently running at around $172 billion (€128 billion).

Smartphone tracking shows fear affects where youth spend time
Youth spend less time in their neighborhoods if area residents have a high fear of crime, according to a new study that used smartphones to track kids' whereabouts.

Injectable tissue patch could help repair damaged organs
A team of U of T Engineering researchers is mending broken hearts with an expanding tissue bandage a little smaller than a postage stamp.

'Smiley' emojis in formal workplace e-mails could create frowns, says Ben-gurion University study
'People tend to assume that a smiley is a virtual smile, but the findings of this study show that in the case of the workplace, at least as far as initial 'encounters' are concerned, this is incorrect,' Dr.

From cancer evolution to personalized therapies
Being able to predict the resistance or sensitivity of a tumor cell to a drug is a key success-factor of cancer precision therapy.

Cognitive abilities seem to reinforce each other in adolescence
One of the most striking findings in psychology is that almost all cognitive abilities are positively related, which allows researchers to summarize people's skills on a wide range of domains as one factor, known as 'g' or 'general intelligence.' Despite this, the mechanisms underlying 'g' remain somewhat mysterious.

A tiny fraction of oceans could satisfy the world's fish demand
Depleted fish stocks and over-fishing could be a thing of the past, according to a UCLA study published Aug.

Blood biopsy test reads platelets to detect human lung cancer
Researchers in the Netherlands have designed a different approach to the liquid biopsy.

How animals glow (video)
Fireflies, frogs, jellyfish, mushrooms and even parrots have the ability to emit light from their bodies.

International team of researchers redefines cosmic velocity web
The cosmic web -- the distribution of matter on the largest scales in the universe -- has usually been defined through the distribution of galaxies.

New blood test may transform the way cancer is monitored and treated
Stanford University scientists have described a new type of test that can detect genetic mutations in minute amounts of DNA released from cancer cells into the blood.

World's largest volcanic range may lurk beneath Antarctic ice
West Antarctica's vast ice sheet conceals what may be the largest volcanic region on earth, research has revealed.

Working memory may compensate for lack of attention
A study in eNeuro shows that, when remembering a sequence of events, the brain focuses on the event paid the least attention, rather than replaying the events in the order they occurred.

New 3-D simulations show how galactic centers cool their jets
Scientists at Berkeley Lab and Purdue University developed new theories and 3-D simulations to explain what's at work in the mysterious jets of energy and matter beaming from the center of galaxies at nearly the speed of light.

SLU surgeons study 'awake aneurysm surgery' for better outcomes
SLU researchers are encouraged by study results which they hope can reduce the risks associated with this type of brain surgery.

Cardiac stem cells from young hearts could rejuvenate old hearts, new study shows
Cardiac stem cell infusions could someday help reverse the aging process in the human heart, making older ones behave younger, according to a new study from the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute.

Older cancer patients rate own physical abilities as better than their caregivers do
Older cancer patients and their caregivers often differ in their assessment of the patient's physical abilities, with caregivers generally rating the patient's physical function as poorer, according to a new study published in The Oncologist.

How head-on collisions of DNA protein machines stop replication
Head-on collisions between the protein machines that crawl along chromosomes can disrupt DNA replication and boost gene mutation rates.

2-faced 2-D material is a first at Rice
Rice University materials scientists replace all the atoms on top of a three-layer, two-dimensional crystal to make a transition-metal dichalcogenide with sulfur, molybdenum and selenium.

Portland State researcher advises tracking transgender homicides
More research should be pursued about violence against transgender individuals, especially among young and Black or Latina transfeminine women, according to a recent study completed a researcher and professor in the Oregon Health Sciences University-Portland State University School of Public Health.

Nanomaterials help spiders spin the toughest stuff
Spiders' silk is already tough stuff -- just ask your friendly neighbourhood Spiderman.

Secret to happiness may include more unpleasant emotions
People may be happier when they feel the emotions they desire, even if those emotions are unpleasant, such as anger or hatred, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.

Automated fingerprint analysis is one step closer to reality
'We know that when humans analyze a crime scene fingerprint, the process is inherently subjective,' said Elham Tabassi, a computer engineer at NIST and a co-author of the study.

Understanding smartphone separation anxiety and what smartphones mean to people
What factors determine nomophobia, otherwise known as smartphone separation anxiety, and what behaviors and descriptors can help identify people with high nomophobia who tend to perceive smartphones as their extended selves?

Seafood for thought
Covering 70 percent of Earth's surface, the world's oceans are vast and deep.

Air pollution linked to cardiovascular disease; air purifiers may lessen impact
Exposure to fine particulate matter via air pollution, led to increases in stress hormones and, in a study of healthy college students in China.

Arthritis on the rise
Based on the examination of more than 2,000 skeletons from cadaveric and archaeological collections across the US, the Harvard study is the first to definitively show that knee osteoarthritis prevalence has dramatically increased in recent decades.

Lower-income children raised in counties with high upward mobility display fewer behavioral issues
Children who grow up in urban counties with high upward mobility exhibit fewer behavioral problems and perform better on cognitive tests, according to a study led by Princeton University.

From thousands of suspects, Yale researchers ferret out cancer-causing genes
A Yale-led team of researchers has identified specific gene combinations that can cause deadly brain cancer glioblastoma, using new technology that can also pinpoint triggers of other types cancers, they report Aug.

Tidally locked exoplanets may be more common than previously thought
Many exoplanets to be found by coming high-powered telescopes will probably be tidally locked -- with one side permanently facing their host star -- according to new research by astronomer Rory Barnes of the University of Washington.

Genetic mechanism prevents kidney injury after severe dehydration
In humans, even the most minor dehydration can compromise the kidneys causing lifelong, irreparable issues or even death.

Protein to stop acute cerebral hemorrhage
Korean researchers newly found thermo-responsive protein to accelerate development of biopharmaceuticals to treat brain diseases.

Doctors trained at lowest-ranked medical schools prescribe more opioids
Physicians trained at the United States' lowest-ranked medical schools write more opioid prescriptions than physicians trained at the highest-ranked schools, according to a study by Princeton University.

Binge-watching 'The Walking Dead?' You might feel like a zombie yourself
Binge-watching is a great way for young adults to catch up on multiple episodes of their favorite television series like 'The Walking Dead' or 'Game of Thrones,' but it comes at a price.

Most people expect physicians and nurses to protect them from harm in the hospital
Hospitals are not off limits to tragic shooting events, and with these incidents on the rise in public places, more than half of the general public expects that physicians and nurses will protect them from harm if an active shooter event erupts while they're in the hospital.

'Inefficient' sailing fleet keeps oyster fishery alive
Oyster stocks in a Cornish fishery are sustained thanks to 'inefficient' traditional fishing methods, new research suggests.

New plate adds plot twist to ancient tectonic tale
Misfit plates in the Pacific led Rice University scientists to the discovery of a microplate between the Galapagos Islands and the South American coast.

The critical point in breaking the glass problem
Famously described as 'the deepest problem in solid state physics' by Nobel Laureate, Philip Andersen, the glass transition, by which a liquid transforms into a solid without freezing, is shedding its mystique.

Does stronger initial response to cancer treatment predict longer overall survival?
It seems like such a simple question: Do patients whose tumors shrink more in response to targeted treatment go on to have better outcomes than patients whose tumors shrink less?

'Fat but fit' are at increased risk of heart disease
Carrying extra weight could raise your risk of heart attack by more than a quarter, even if you are otherwise healthy.

Long-term diabetes complication: Liver inflammation raises cholesterol levels
Inflammatory processes in the liver lead to elevated cholesterol levels in people with diabetes, thus promoting subsequent vascular diseases.

Clustering for health
The researchers searched for models in which a weakened immune response was associated to autoimmunity, thus identifying the membrane protein Caveolin-1 as a key regulator of this paradoxical scenario.

Researchers discover new class of chemical reaction
A new study led by Columbia Engineering Prof. Michael P.

The best place to treat type 1 diabetes might be just under your skin
A group of U of T Engineering researchers has demonstrated that the space under our skin might be an optimal location to treat type 1 diabetes (T1D).

Get them while they're young: Astronomers catch exploding supernova early
Thanks to a global network of telescopes, astronomers have caught the fleeting explosion of a Type Ia supernova in unprecedented detail.

Viruses up their game in arms race with immune system
Myxoma virus -- introduced to control the rabbit population in Australia in 1950 -- has developed a deadly ability to suppress the immune response in host rabbits.

Fundamentals of water repellency revealed at VTT
Principal Scientist of VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Dr.

High use of electronic cigarettes seen in 8th-9th graders in Oregon
The study showed that adolescents are using e-cigarettes at high rates, and many are using e-cigarettes before trying regular cigarettes or chewing tobacco.

Urban floods intensifying, countryside drying up
Drier soils and reduced water flow in rural areas -- but more intense rainfall that overwhelms infrastructure and causes flooding and stormwater overflow in urban centers.

Researchers from TU Dresden and CiQUS obtain decacene, the largest acene synthesised ever
A research collaboration, led by professors Francesca Moresco (TUD) and Diego Peña (CiQUS), chemists from CiQUS prepared stable decacene precursors by solution chemistry, while physicists from TUD used these precursors to prepare decacene on a gold surface under ultra-high vacuum, in order to stabilize this extremely reactive compound.

How Gata4 helps mend a broken heart
Gata4 alone is able to reduce post-heart attack fibrosis and improve cardiac function in a rat model of heart attack.

UTSW identifies weight-gain receptor linked to antipsychotic drugs
Many schizophrenic and depressed patients experience weight gain and type 2 diabetes in their quests for the life-changing benefits of a major class of antipsychotic drugs.

Granulins are brain treasure, not trash
Using new tools, Emory researchers can see granulins inside cells within lysosomes, and propose that granulins have important jobs in the lysosome that are necessary to maintain brain health, suppress neuroinflammation, and prevent neurodegeneration.

American workplace is physically and emotionally taxing, survey finds
Relatively little is know about how Americans view their workplace, despite its major role in their lives.

Why expensive wine appears to taste better
Price labels influence our liking of wine: The same wine tastes better to participants when it is labeled with a higher price tag.

Cancer detection with sugar molecules
Scientists from the University of Würzburg have synthesized a complex sugar molecule which specifically binds to the tumor protein Galectin-1.

Studying the Sun's atmosphere with the total solar eclipse of 2017
A total solar eclipse happens somewhere on Earth about once every 18 months.

Brain scan study adds to evidence that lower brain serotonin levels are linked to dementia
In a study looking at brain scans of people with mild loss of thought and memory ability, Johns Hopkins researchers report evidence of lower levels of the serotonin transporter -- a natural brain chemical that regulates mood, sleep and appetite.

Intoxication increases risk for heavy drinkers to commit violence against intimate partner
Intoxicated, heavy drinkers have a tendency to act rashly in response to negative emotions, which can intensify the risk for intimate partner aggression, according to a study by Georgia State University and Purdue University.

Breast cancer study in India shows how the country can avoid crisis
A new study examining breast cancer awareness in India has found that a lack of early diagnosis is leading the country towards an epidemic.

Ohio State Cancer researchers validate a clinical test for fusion genes
An assay that identifies a genetic change called gene fusions in solid tumors has been developed and validated.

The brain's solution for seeing as is and seeing flexibly
New experiments described in the Journal of Neuroscience support distinct roles for two brain pathways in processing information related to an object, with one carrying a largely invariant representation of an object and the other a flexible one depending on what we do with an object.

Neonics put bumblebees at risk of extinction by hindering colony formation, study reveals
Bumblebees are less able to start colonies when exposed to a common neonicotinoid pesticide, according to a new University of Guelph study.

How did the Franklin expedition crew die? U-M professor analyzes sailors' mouths for clues
A University of Michigan dentistry professor drew upon his expertise in oral health in developing a new theory to help explain the deaths of the famed Franklin naval expedition crew, a mystery that has captivated historians for more than 150 years.

Bacteria can feel their surroundings
For humans, our sense of touch is relayed to the brain via small electrical pulses.

The secret to beating bone and joint health injuries? Get to the right medical team
Orthopaedists can help prevent injuries; put people back together; provide patients with in-home exercises and ergonomically proper reconditioning programs; or pair patients with rehabilitation professionals for nonsurgical or post-surgical rehabilitation therapies.

Cancer-fighting T cells are smarter, stronger than experts thought
It takes a minuscule amount of force to make T cells behave in the lab as they behave in the body.

New study reveals late spread of breast cancer and backs key role of early diagnosis
Breast cancer cells that spread to other parts of the body break off and leave the primary tumor at late stages of disease development, scientists from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and their collaborators have found.

Change in protein production essential to muscle function
A group of genes involved in calcium handling undergoes a highly-regulated process called alternative splicing that changes the type of protein the genes produce as muscles transition from newborn to adult.

Brain injury in kids might lead to alcohol abuse
Researchers at Ohio State University have surveyed previous studies to investigate the relationship between traumatic brain injuries and alcohol abuse.

Neurological complications associated with Zika virus in adults in Brazil
A new article published by JAMA Neurology reports on a study of hospitalized adult patients with new-onset neurologic syndromes who were evaluated for Zika virus infection.

Varroa mites -- bees' archenemies -- have genetic holes in their armor
Seemingly indestructible Varroa mites have decimated honeybee populations and are a primary cause of colony collapse disorder, or CCD.

Researchers 3-D print first truly microfluidic 'lab on a chipl devices
Researchers at BYU are the first to 3-D print a viable microfluidic device small enough to be effective at a scale much less than 100 micrometers.

How testosterone regulates singing in canaries
Testosterone controls specific features of birdsong in two distinct regions of the canary brain that resemble the human motor cortex, according to a study published in The Journal of Neuroscience.

New cancer diagnosis may come with risk of thromboembolism
Patients newly diagnosed with cancer may have a substantially increased short-term risk of arterial thromboembolism, according to a study published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

'Acidic patch' regulates access to genetic information
Researchers at Princeton Universityhave uncovered new details about the way in which DNA, which is tightly packed into the cell's nucleus, is unwound so that it can be read and transcribed into proteins.

Binge-watching television associated with poor sleep in young adults
A new study is the first to link binge-watching in young adults with poorer sleep quality, more fatigue, and increased insomnia.

Probiotics help poplar trees clean up toxins in Superfund sites
Researchers from the University of Washington and several small companies have conducted the first large-scale experiment on a Superfund site using poplar trees fortified with a probiotic -- or natural microbe -- to clean up groundwater contaminated with trichloroethylene, or TCE.

Evidence on cannabis for chronic pain and PTSD
The scientific evidence is too limited to make firm conclusions about the effectiveness and safety of cannabis and cannabinoid products in treating chronic pain or post traumatic stress syndrome.

University of Sydney charges ahead on zinc-air batteries
University of Sydney researchers have found a solution for one of the biggest stumbling blocks preventing zinc-air batteries from overtaking conventional lithium-ion batteries as the power source of choice in electronic devices. 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