Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 17, 2017
NASA Ppotects its super heroes from space weather
When astronauts travel in space they can't see or even feel radiation.

Scientist emphasizes importance of multi-level thinking
An unusual paper by Prof. Michael E. McIntyre from University of Cambridge touches on a range of deep questions, including insights into the nature of science itself, and of scientific understanding -- what it means to understand a scientific problem in depth -- and into the communication skills necessary to convey that understanding and to mediate collaboration across specialist disciplines.

Communicating in a foreign language takes emotion out of decision-making
If you could save the lives of five people by pushing another bystander in front of a train to his death, would you do it?

Energy dense foods may increase cancer risk regardless of obesity status
While there is a proven link between obesity and certain types of cancer, less is known about how the ratio of energy to food weight, otherwise known as dietary energy density (DED), contributes to cancer risk.

Managing western flower thrips
Managing Western Flower Thrips (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on Lettuce and Green Peach Aphid and Cabbage Aphid (Hemiptera: Aphididae) on Broccoli with Chemical Insecticides and the Entomopathogenic Fungus Beauveria bassiana (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae).

Simulation shows the high cost of dementia, especially for families
A new simulation of the dementia epidemic estimates the economic impact the disease has on households and public insurance programs and provides a tool for projecting the impact that different interventions could have.

New Pathology Atlas maps genes in cancer to accelerate progress in personalized medicine
A new Pathology Atlas is launched today with an analysis of all human genes in all major cancers showing the consequence of their corresponding protein levels for overall patient survival.

How the genome sets its functional micro-architecture
EPFL scientists show how DNA is organized into specific regions, and that this depends on a combination of genomic distance and the presence of the CTCF protein.

New proposal for a subspecies definition triggered by a new longhorn beetle subspecies
The discovery of a new Scandinavian longhorn beetle subspecies triggered a discussion on the vague classification rank.

Noninvasive retinal imaging may improve early detection of Alzheimer's disease
In this issue of JCI Insight, researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center adapted a noninvasive retinal imaging approach to characterize amyloid-β deposition, the pathological hallmark of Alzheimer's disease, in the retinas of patients and healthy controls.

NASA's ICESat-2 preps for laser tests
Lasers that will fly on NASA's Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2, or ICESat-2, are about to be put to the test at the agency's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

Smithsonian manatee count informs policy recommendations
Smithsonian scientists use sonar to estimate Antillean Manatee populations in the murky waters of Panama's internationally protected San San Pond Sak wetlands.

UBC researcher looks to the future of bone replacements
A UBC Okanagan researcher has discovered a new artificial bone design that can be customized and made with a 3-D printer for stronger, safer and more effective bone replacements.

Male fruit flies can smell a good mate based on her metabolism
A female fruit fly must balance her energy usage between making eggs now and storing nutrients for later.

Two-step process leads to cell immortalization and cancer
Immortalization of cells is a necessary step in the development of cancer, and scientists think that the main cause is turning on an enzyme -- telomerase -- that lengthens chromosomal telomeres and prevents normal cell death.

Are stem cells the link between bacteria and cancer?
A new mechanism of stomach gland regeneration reveals impact of Helicobacter pylori infection.

Vitamin C may encourage blood cancer stem cells to die
Vitamin C may 'tell' faulty stem cells in the bone marrow to mature and die normally, instead of multiplying to cause blood cancers.

Poisonings went hand in hand with the drinking water in Pompeii
The ancient Romans were famous for their advanced water supply.

Families bear most of the costs related to dementia care
A new study on the lifetime cost of dementia indicates that families of people living with the disease incur the largest financial burden.

Super-photostable fluorescent labeling agent for super-resolution microscopy
Chemists at ITbM, Nagoya University have developed a super-photostable fluorescent dye, PhoxBright 430 (PB430), to visualize cellular ultrastructure by super resolution microscopy.

Collagen in cartilage tissues behaves like liquid crystals in a smart phone screen
Cartilage in our joints contains collagen which behaves a bit like the liquid crystals on a smart phone screen, according to researchers at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL).

Female mouse embryos actively remove male reproductive systems
A protein called COUP-TFII determines whether a mouse embryo develops a male reproductive tract, according to researchers at the National Institutes of Health and their colleagues at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston.

Cholesterol crystals are sure sign a heart attack may loom
A new Michigan State University study on 240 emergency room patients shows just how much of a role a person's cholesterol plays, when in a crystallized state, during a heart attack.

New study reassures women about the safety of vaginal estrogen
Although hot flashes are the most commonly reported problem associated with menopause, between 20 percent and 45 percent of women also complain of sexual and urinary issues.

Potato waste processing may be the road to enhanced food waste conversion
With more than two dozen companies in Pennsylvania manufacturing potato chips, it is no wonder that researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences have developed a novel approach to more efficiently convert potato waste into ethanol.

Older users like to snoop on Facebook, but worried others might snoop on them
Older adults are drawn to Facebook so they can check out pictures and updates from family and friends, but may resist using the site because they are worried about who will see their own content, according to a team of researchers.

An unusual white dwarf may be a supernova leftover
Astronomers have identified a white dwarf star in our galaxy that may be the leftover remains of a recently discovered type of supernova.

Wistar scientists develop novel immunotherapy technology for prostate cancer
A study led by Wistar scientists describes a novel immunotherapeutic strategy for the treatment of cancer based on the use of synthetic DNA to directly encode protective antibodies against a cancer-specific protein.

New terahertz imaging approach could speed up skin cancer detection
Researchers have developed a new terahertz imaging approach that, for the first time, can acquire micron-scale resolution images while retaining computational approaches designed to speed up image acquisition.

Outdoor light at night linked with increased breast cancer risk in women
Women who live in areas with higher levels of outdoor light at night may be at higher risk for breast cancer than those living in areas with lower levels, according to a large long-term study from Harvard T.H.

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form
What makes quasicrystals so interesting? Their unusual structure. A Cornell lab has joined scientists pursuing this relatively new area of study.

Hemorrhagic fevers: Countering inflammation to prevent circulatory failure
Hemorrhagic fevers are severe viral diseases that are often fatal.

Scientists identify central neural circuit for itch sensation
A recent study carried out by Dr. Sun Yangang's lab at the Institute of Neuroscience of the Chinese Academy of Sciences discovered a central neural circuit that is critical for transmitting the itch signal.

Florida flood risk study identifies priorities for property buyouts
A study of flood damage in Florida by scientists at UC Santa Cruz and the Nature Conservancy proposes prioritizing property buyouts based on flood risk, ecological value, and socioeconomic conditions.

Algal blooms cost Ohio homeowners $152 million over six years
In a new study, researchers at The Ohio State University estimate algal blooms at two Ohio lakes cost Ohio homeowners $152 million in lost property value over six years.

Gender norms are still important for women's choice of college major
Traditional cultural norms about gendered roles and femininity still matter for women's choice of college major, says Ann Beutel of the University of Oklahoma in the US.

First evidence that e-cigarettes may be prompting UK teens to try the real thing
E-cigarettes may be prompting UK teens to start smoking the real thing, and to escalate tobacco consumption, finds the first UK study to report this trend, and published online in the journal Tobacco Control.

Higher rural suicide rates driven by use of guns
Suicide rates in rural areas of Maryland are 35-percent higher than in the state's urban settings, a disparity that can be attributed to the significantly greater use of firearms in rural settings, according to new research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Worm atlas profiles gene readouts in every cell type in the animal
A worm atlas has been built that profiles gene readouts for every kind of cell in the animal.

Computer approaches human skill for first time in mapping brain
A WSU research team for the first time has developed a computer algorithm that is nearly as accurate as people are at mapping brain neural networks -- a breakthrough that could speed up the image analysis that researchers use to understand brain circuitry.

Researchers show how particular fear memories can be erased
Researchers at the University of California, Riverside have devised a method to selectively erase particular fear memories by weakening the connections between neurons involved in forming these memories.

How we recall the past
Neuroscientists who study memory have long believed that when we recall an event, our brains turn on the same hippocampal circuit that was activated when the memory was originally formed.

University of Florids, US Army develop model for lighter armor
The US Army Research Laboratory is working on developing new light-weight ceramic materials that resist fracture, and has teamed with researchers from the University of Florida to better understand exactly how these materials, which are suited for Soldier personal protection and Army systems, fracture, and how they can be further improved.

Antibiotics found to weaken body's ability to fight off disease
Adding another reason for doctors to avoid the overuse of antibiotics, new research shows that a reduction in the variety of microbes in the gut interferes with the immune system's ability to fight off disease.

Peroxisomes identified as 'fighters' in the battle against bacterial infections
University of Alberta researchers have found that peroxisomes are required for cells in the innate immune response to bacteria and fungi.

Lab tests show molecule appears to spur cell death in tumors, inflammation
A drug-like molecule developed by Duke Health researchers appears to intercede in an inflammatory response that is at the center of a variety of diseases, including some cancers, rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn's disease.

Gold nanostars and immunotherapy vaccinate mice against cancer
By combining an FDA-approved cancer immunotherapy with an emerging tumor-roasting nanotechnology, Duke researchers improved the efficacy of both therapies in a proof-of-concept study using mice.

Bird-brained? Not at all: Reed warblers reveal a magnetic map
Writing in the current issue of Current Biology an international team of biologists, including Richard Holland and Dmitri Kishkiniev of Bangor University, UK, explain how they identified for the first time, that mature reed warblers are able to detect the declination from magnetic north, and use the scale of the declination or change from true north to geolocate themselves to a longitude, from which they orient themselves towards their autumnal migration from Russia to Africa.

Army researcher's paper named 'Editor's Pick' in journal Optics Letters
A recently published paper by Army Research Laboratory Scientist Dr.

AI implications: Engineer's model lays groundwork for machine-learning device
In what could be a small step for science potentially leading to a breakthrough, an engineer at Washington University in St.

Slippery liquid surfaces confuse mussels
Mussels are one of the worst perpetrators of biofouling, or the unwanted accumulation of organisms on underwater structures.

Researchers unlock cheesemaking secret
Researchers say their new knowledge on the inner workings of a bacterium has important implications for Australia's billion dollar cheese industry.

Spoiler alert: Computer simulations provide preview of upcoming eclipse
A research team from Predictive Science Inc. (PSI) used the Stampede2 supercomputer at The University of Texas at Austin's Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) to forecast the corona of the sun during the upcoming eclipse.

Cloudy water linked to gastrointestinal illnesses
A review of studies from both North America and Europe found links between acute gastrointestinal illness, which typically includes diarrhea and vomiting, and cloudy drinking water.

Ocean exploration uncovers one of Cuba's hidden natural treasures
After nearly two years of planning, a team of scientists from the US and Cuba has explored never-before-studied mesophotic coral reefs during a month-long circumnavigation of the entire coast of Cuba, spanning about 1,500 miles.

Federal snack program does not yield expected impacts, Virginia Tech researchers find
The research team examined the US Department of Agriculture's Smart Snacks in School regulation.

Community health workers lead to better health, lower costs for Medicaid patients
As politicians struggle to solve the nation's healthcare problems, a new study finds a way to improve health and lower costs among Medicaid and uninsured patients.

Visual impairment among older adults associated with poor cognitive function
In a nationally representative sample of older US adults, visual impairment was associated with worse cognitive function, according to a study published by JAMA Ophthalmology

Do occupational factors affect reproductive health and chronic disease risk for nurses?
A prospective study of more than 20,000 nurses aged 20-45 years, 88 percent of whom had worked night shifts, reported their most common health issues, disease history, reproductive experiences, occupational exposures, and other lifestyle- and work-related factors.

A better way to measure mortality trends?
A new study from Cleveland Clinic suggests long-term mortality trends may be better understood by focusing on life-years lost -- remaining life expectancy for a decedent -- instead of solely looking at cause of death.

Schoolchildren who use e-cigarettes are more likely to try tobacco
New research suggests that teenagers who had tried an e-cigarette were almost four times more likely to start smoking a conventional cigarette within a year, when compared to classmates who had not.

Contraceptive pill linked to lowered risk of rheumatoid arthritis
Taking the contraceptive pill, particularly for seven or more consecutive years, is linked to a lowered risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, finds research published online in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

Researchers develop dissolvable, easy-to-use milk capsules
Have your coffee without spilling the milk: researchers at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg have developed a milk capsule that dissolves when placed in a hot drink.

Genome analysis with near-complete privacy possible, say Stanford researchers
It is now possible to scour complete human genomes for the presence of disease-associated genes without revealing any genetic information not directly associated with the inquiry, say Stanford University researchers.

Reprogrammed cells rescue infertility in mice
Reprogramming cells carrying a third chromosome resulted in the loss of the extra chromosome in mice and human cells, scientists report, which could eventually pave the way to novel approaches that treat developmental defects or infertilities associated with extra chromosomes.

Reed warblers have a sense for magnetic declination
Researchers recently showed that migratory reed warblers depend on an internal geomagnetic map to guide them on their long-distance journeys.

Tuberculosis drug may work better than others in its class
Treatment of tuberculosis involves a combination of several drugs, sometimes including drugs from a class known as fluoroquinolones.

New method identifies brain regions most likely to cause epilepsy seizures
Scientists have developed a new way to detect which areas of the brain contribute most greatly to epilepsy seizures, according to a PLOS Computational Biology study.

Coronary artery disease in patients undergoing coronary angiography
Historically, from the 1930s to the 1950s, the rate of cardiovascular disease in high-income countries was high.

UTA astrophysicists predict Earth-like planet in star system only 16 light years away
Astrophysicists at the University of Texas at Arlington have predicted that an Earth-like planet may be lurking in a star system just 16 light years away.

Researchers make surprising discovery about how neurons talk to each other
New findings challenge existing dogma that neurons release fixed amounts of chemical signal at any one time and could have implications for brain disorders including Parkinson's and schizhophrenia.

Disrupted gut microbiome makes children more susceptible to amoebic dysentery
Children with lower diversity of microbial species in their intestines are more susceptible to severe infection with the Entamoeba histolytica parasite, according to a new study published in PLOS Pathogens.

New gene catalog of ocean microbiome reveals surprises
In a recent report published in Nature Microbiology, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa (UHM) oceanography professor Ed DeLong and his team report the largest single-site microbiome gene catalog constructed to date.

Study of nervous system cells can help to understand degenerative diseases
A collaborative research by Brazilian and Dutch scientists shows that many of the genes that are expressed by microglia are different between humans and mice, which are frequently used as animal models in research on Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.

Pioneering research reveals how altered brain networks can lead to seizures
An international team of scientists, led by mathematicians from the University of Exeter's Living Systems Institute, have developed a ground-breaking new method that can identify regions of brain tissue most likely to generate seizures in people with epilepsy.

Scientists have transferred an office scanner into a new tool for soil color evaluation
A scientist of the Soil Science Department of the Lomonosov Moscow State University together with the colleagues have designed a simple technique for quantitative characteristic of soil color with the help of a low-cost digital device.

Noninvasive eye scan could detect key signs of Alzheimer's years before patients show symptoms
Cedars-Sinai neuroscience investigators have found that Alzheimer's disease affects the retina -- the back of the eye -- similarly to the way it affects the brain.

The laws of attraction: Pheromones don't lie, fruit fly research suggests
For the first time, scientists have shown that a female fruit fly's pheromone signals can actually tell males how much energy her body has invested in egg production versus in storing away energy for her own survival.

Discovery could lead to new catalyst design to reduce nitrogen oxides in diesel exhaust
Researchers have discovered a new reaction mechanism that could be used to improve catalyst designs for pollution control systems to further reduce emissions of smog-causing nitrogen oxides in diesel exhaust.

Kids learn moral lessons more effectively from stories with humans than human-like animals
A study by researchers at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto found that four to 6-year-olds shared more after listening to books with human characters than books with anthropomorphic (human-like) animals.

Smells like queen spirit
To reign supreme in a colony, queen ants exude a special scent, or pheromone, on the waxy surface of their body that suppresses ovary development in their sisters, rendering the latter reproductively inactive workers that find food, nurse the young and protect the colony.

UMass Amherst computer scientists offer new techniques to measure social bias in software
Brun says,

Study validates East Antarctic ice sheet to remain stable even if western ice sheet melts
A new study from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis validates that the central core of the East Antarctic ice sheet should remain stable even if the West Antarctic ice sheet melts.

Bacteria stab amoebae with micro-daggers
Researchers from ETH Zurich and the University of Vienna have discovered a type of bacteria that uses tiny daggers to prevent itself from being eaten by amoebae.

Satellites show Hurricane Gert being affected by wind shear
NASA's Aqua satellite and NOAA's GOES-East satellite provided an infrared and visible look at Atlantic Hurricane Gert.

Artificial womb raises hope for premature babies
Researchers hope an artificial womb used to incubate healthy baby lambs can be used in future technology for premature babies.

New technique overcomes genetic cause of infertility
Scientists have created healthy offspring from genetically infertile male mice, offering a potential new approach to tackling a common genetic cause of human infertility.

Slowing dangerous bacteria may be more effective than killing them, researchers report
A new study suggests it may be possible to slow dangerous infections by manipulating the messages microbes send to one another, allowing the body to defeat an infection without causing the bacteria to develop resistance to the treatment.

First successful wild whale shark health assessments performed
For the first time ever, scientists successfully performed health assessments, including collecting blood and biological samples, taking measurements and attaching satellite tracking tags, to a population of wild whale sharks -- the world's largest fish, classified as 'endangered' since 2016.

Latency of seizures determined by diet
Scientists are increasingly appreciating estrogen's role in brain health. The latest research from Hiroshima University connecting DHA synthesis to estrogen production, and consequentially brain health, backs up further the old adage that a daily intake of fish oil is good for you.

Early Indian Ocean trade routes bring chicken, black rat to eastern Africa
The earliest introduction of domestic chickens and black rats from Asia to the east coast of Africa came via maritime trade routes between the 7th and 8th centuries AD.

Ray of hope for more abundant wheat crops
Using infrared gas analyzers connected to a miniature controlled environment chamber, Dr.

Smoking linked to frailty in older adults
A recent paper published in Age & Ageing, the scientific journal of the British Geriatrics Society, finds that current smoking in older people increases the risk of developing frailty, though former smokers did not appear to be at higher risk.

When Russian teenagers start drinking
High school students intending to pursue vocational education consume alcohol more often than their peers who are planning to go to universities.

College freshmen who weighed themselves daily lost body fat
The study found that female college-aged students who reported at least one period of daily self-weighing over a two-year study saw a drop in their body mass index.

Astrophysicists explain the mysterious behavior of cosmic rays
The model focuses mainly on the nature of Fermi bubbles and explains the spectral distribution of the observed cosmic rays flux.

Young people with chronic illness more likely to attempt suicide
Young people between the ages of 15 and 30 living with a chronic illness are three times more likely to attempt suicide than their healthy peers, according to a new study from the University of Waterloo.

Should I stay or should I leave?
Knowing whether to stay in or leave a romantic relationship is often an agonizing experience and that ambivalence can have negative consequences for health and well-being.

Researchers describe gene that makes large, plump tomatoes
Farmers can grow big, juicy tomatoes thanks to a mutation in the Cell Size Regulator gene that occurred during the tomato domestication process.

Digging in the dirt
University of Delaware researchers have developed new methods for assessing the loss of phosphorus in soil.

Experiences of stroke survivors with visual impairments examined
A new University of Liverpool study, published in Brain and Behaviour, identifies simple measures that could substantially improve the quality of life of stroke survivors with visual impairments.

Recently discovered brain chemical 'NPGL' controls appetite and body fat composition
NPGL, a recently discovered protein involved in brain signalling, has been found to increase fat storage by the body -- even when on a low-calorie diet.

Only two-thirds of trainee GPs plan to work in NHS general practice
A new study by the University of Warwick indicates that only two in three doctors who are completing their training to become GPs plan to work in NHS general practice.

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet
Researchers have developed inks made of graphene-like materials for inkjet printing.

Scientists compare soil microbes in no-till, conventional tilling systems of Pacific Northwest farms
Wheat growers of the inland Pacific Northwest have been slow to adopt no-till farming, in part because short-term residue accumulation can encourage fungal soil-borne disease outbreaks.

No direct flights for memory retrieval
According to new research from the RIKEN-MIT Center for Neural Circuit Genetics, experiencing something and remembering it later is not a neural 'direct flight.' The pathway in the brain's hippocampus that underlies long-term memory formation contains at least one 'stopover' that is important specifically for retrieving episodic, personally experienced memories.

Lubricant-infused material is a slick trick against mussels
A lubricant-infused polymer could reduce the problem of fouling, in which mussels, barnacles and other organisms encrust themselves to ship hulls and marine pipes.

NASA sees Tropical Depression 9 form east of Lesser Antilles
NOAA's GOES-East Satellite spotted Tropical Depression 9 organizing east of the Lesser Antilles.

Data revealed under FOI shows benefits of MS drug currently blocked by regulators
A drug that is blocked by the EU regulatory system has now been found to improve the quality of life of people with multiple sclerosis, according to a study by Queen Mary University of London.

Archaeologists uncover ancient trading network in Vietnam
A team of archaeologists from The Australian National University has uncovered a vast trading network which operated in Vietnam from around 4,500 years ago up until around 3,000 years ago.

Mind flex
The human brain has a region of cells responsible for linking sensory cues to actions and behaviors and cataloging the link as a memory.

Breaching the sexual differentiation paradigm for reproductive tract development
Going against the general consensus, scientists have unveiled an unexpected mechanism for sexual differentiation of critical reproductive structures during embryonic development.

Journalists successfully used secure computing to expose Panama Papers, researchers say
A team of researchers from Clemson University, Columbia University and the University of Washington has discovered a security success in an unlikely place: the 'Panama Papers.'

Early rotator cuff surgery yields good long-term outcomes
Early surgery to repair tears of one of the shoulder rotator cuff muscles provides lasting improvement in strength, function, and other outcomes, reports a study in the Aug.

Study shows cigarette makers shifted stance on nicotine patches, gum
A new study conducted by scientists at UC San Francisco reports that tobacco companies have known for decades that, without counseling, NRT hardly ever works, and that consumers often use it to complement smoking.

Solutal Marangoni flows of miscible liquid drive transport without surface contamination
A research team led by Hyoungsoo Kim, a professor of Mechanical Engineering at KAIST, succeeded in quantifying the phenomenon called, the Marangoni effect, which occurs at the interface between alcohol and water. 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