Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 23, 2017
Fatal attractions for disease-carrying mosquitoes
ISCA Technologies, a California-based biotech firm, is working on several innovations to stop outbreaks of malaria-spreading mosquitos before they occur by using pheromones and other naturally occurring attractants.

Lack of REM sleep may lead to higher risk for dementia
Spending less time in REM (rapid eye movement) sleep and taking longer to enter REM sleep are separately associated with a higher risk of developing dementia.

Is MRI needed in children with a sports-related concussion?
A new study reviewed more than five years of records of pediatric patients treated for sports concussion, the most common form of traumatic brain injury (TBI) among children, to determine if magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed structural changes to the brain that may be related to persistent symptoms.

Peas that like it hot
As the global climate changes and temperatures continue to rise, heat stress is becoming a major limiting factor for pea cultivation.

On the other hand, the immune system can also cause cancer
CU Cancer Center study describes how immune response designed to scramble viral DNA can scramble human DNA as well, sometimes in ways that cause cancer.

11 minutes of mindfulness training helps drinkers cut back
Brief training in mindfulness strategies could help heavy drinkers start to cut back on alcohol consumption, finds a new UCL study published in the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology.

Lego proteins revealed
According to Dr. Emmanuel Levy and his group in the Weizmann Institute of Science's Structural Biology Department, Lego-like assemblies should have formed relatively frequently during evolution.

Less REM sleep tied to greater risk of dementia
People who get less rapid eye movement (REM) sleep may have a greater risk of developing dementia, according to a new study published in the Aug.

Anglers' delight as algal blooms breakthrough highlights innovative science
Millions of fish-deaths caused by toxic Prymnesium algal blooms could be prevented with the application of a household chemical best known for bleaching hair, breakthrough research has revealed.

Amid environmental change, lakes surprisingly static
In recent decades, change has defined our environment in the United States.

New research finds deep evolutionary origins of a unique mammalian anatomical pattern
By performing detailed dissections and corresponding examinations of embryological development, researchers at Midwestern University, led by Margaret Hall, Ph.D. and Jeffrey Plochocki, Ph.D., show that the muscles that control the unique mammalian perineal structures follow a surprisingly ancient pattern.

What the world's tiniest 'monster truck' reveals
The world's shortest race by distance -- a fraction of the width of a human hair -- was a huge success for scientists working at the nanoscale.

New understanding of how muscles work
Muscle malfunctions may be as simple as a slight strain after exercise or as serious as heart failure and muscular dystrophy.

Study finds link between malnutrition, alcoholism and tuberculosis in India
A new study reveals a striking link between malnutrition, heavy alcohol use and tuberculosis in southern India.

Canadian children's nutrition suffers during school hours
Canadian children don't eat enough vegetables, fruit and dairy products during school hours, causing them to fall short of several daily dietary recommendations on school days, a new UBC study has found.

This week from AGU: New research bolsters evidence for life on Mars
This Week from AGU features recent research published in journals of the American Geophysical Union.

Antipsychotics common for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities
Antipsychotic medication is frequently being prescribed to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, often without a psychiatric diagnosis, a new study conducted by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences has found.

Scientists discover common obesity and diabetes drug reduces rise in brain pressure
Research led by the University of Birmingham, published today in Science Translational Medicine, has discovered that a drug commonly used to treat patients with either obesity or type 2 diabetes could be used as a novel new way to lower brain pressure.

Studies reveal worrisome trend for health of wild dolphins
Twelve years of data on the health of two Atlantic bottlenose dolphin populations paints a grim reality concerning the wellbeing of the Atlantic Ocean.

Climate game changer
New research from University of Alberta and University of Vienna microbiologists provides unparalleled insight into the Earth's nitrogen cycle, identifying and characterizing the ammonia-oxidizing microbe, Nitrospira inopinata.

Personality drives purchasing of luxury goods
People who are extraverted and on low incomes buy more luxury goods than their introverted peers to compensate for the experience of low financial status, finds new UCL research.

Big and strong may not last as long, according to UBC prof
In a new study from UBC's Okanagan campus, researchers in the School of Health and Exercise Sciences have found that women are considerably less exhausted after natural, dynamic muscle exercises than men of similar age and athletic ability.

Mosquitoes fatally attracted to deadly, sweet-smelling potion
Mosquitoes have a sweet tooth, relying on plant nectar to survive.

Smokers in clinical studies who say they've quit often haven't
A new US study published by the scientific journal Addiction has found that a high proportion of smokers enrolled in stop-smoking programs during a hospital stay report having quit when in fact they have not.

Low-Income extraverts spend more on status than introverted peers
The types of goods and services that low-income individuals buy may depend, at least in part, on their personality traits, according to new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Improvised explosive devices inflict much more serious injuries than land mines
The types of close contact injuries inflicted by improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are much more serious than those associated with land mines, finds research published in the online journal BMJ Open.

Wing shape helps swifts glide through storms, study suggests
They are among nature's best fliers, spending most of their time in flight ... now scientists have shed new light on how swifts can glide with ease, whatever the weather.

Chemists get step closer to replicating nature with assembly of new 3-D structures
A team of New York University chemists has created a series of three-dimensional structures that take a step closer to resembling those found in nature.

NASA sees Tropical Depression Harvey's rebirth
NASA's Aqua satellite provided an infrared look at the cloud top temperatures of newly reborn Tropical Depression Harvey.

Artificial intelligence helps with earlier detection of skin cancer
New technology being developed by researchers at the University of Waterloo and the Sunnybrook Research Institute is using artificial intelligence (AI) to help detect melanoma skin cancer earlier.

Omega-3 intake reduces cardiac death risk according to comprehensive new study
Results from a new study showed that in 14 randomized, controlled trials (RCTs) of 71,899 people, consumption of EPA and DHA omega-3s reduced the risk of cardiac death by a statistically-significant average of 8 percent.

Researchers link high levels of 'good' cholesterol with excessive mortality
In striking contrast to the general perception, researchers from the University of Copenhagen have shown in a new study that people with extremely high levels of HDL -- the 'good' cholesterol -- in their blood have a more than 65 percent higher mortality rate than people with normal HDL levels.

Best ever image of a star's surface and atmosphere
Using ESO's Very Large Telescope Interferometer astronomers have constructed the most detailed image ever of a star -- the red supergiant star Antares.

New insights into the world of trypanosomes
Such detailed images of the pathogen that causes sleeping sickness inside a host are unique so far: They illustrate the manifold ways in which the parasites move inside a tsetse fly.

Labor market effects of trade liberalization
A new study on the Brazilian labor market found that workers in regions with industries facing increased competition from imports experienced a steady decrease in earnings over time in comparison to other regions.

Comparing food allergies: Animals and humans may have more in common than you think
Not only people, but mammals like cats, dogs and horses suffer from symptoms and problems of food intolerance and allergies.

Discovery fuels hope for Rett syndrome treatment
Vanderbilt University researchers have relieved symptoms of Rett syndrome in a mouse model with a small molecule that works like the dimmer switch in an electrical circuit.

Methamphetamine use linked to heightened stroke risk in the young
The stimulant methamphetamine, also popularly known as 'speed,' 'ice' and 'meth,' is linked to a heightened risk of stroke among young people, reveals a review of the available evidence, published online in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.

Spinning plant waste into carbon fiber for cars, planes
Using plants and trees to make products such as paper or ethanol leaves behind a residue called lignin.

More education linked to better cognitive functioning later in life
New research from the University of California, Berkeley, analyzed the performance of around 196,000 Lumosity subscribers to quantify the cumulative effect of attending school on cognition, finding that more education is linked to better cognitive functioning later in life.

Linking mental health and the gut microbiome
Better understanding the gastrointestinal microbiome may help psychiatrists treat mental health disorders such as depression, highlights a review in Frontiers in Psychiatry.

Large studies find screening reduces mortality for those with detectable type 2 diabetes but not for general population
Three large trials published today in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes) show that screening for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular risk factors may not reduce mortality and cardiovascular disease in the general population.

New fly fossil sheds light on the explosive radiation of flies during the Cenozoic Era
The first unambiguous fossil from the botfly family adds to the few known fossils of a major clade of flies (Calyptratae), shedding light on their rapid radiation during the Cenozoic Era, according to a study published Aug.

Epigenetics may explain how Darwin's finches respond to rapid environmental change
Epigenetics may explain how Darwin's finches respond to rapid environmental changes, according to new research published in the open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology.

Tropical Storm Kevin battered by wind shear on satellite imagery
Satellite imagery revealed that wind shear and cooler sea surface temperatures have taken their toll on the once hurricane Kenneth.

Children with fragile X syndrome have a bias toward threatening emotion
Anxiety occurs at high rates in children with fragile X syndrome (FXS), the most common form of inherited intellectual disability.

Giving cancer-killing viruses a boost
Scientists have found a compound that helped a tumor-targeting virus kill liver cancer more effectively while sparing healthy cells, which could someday translate to a viable treatment approach in humans.

Disease-carrying mosquitoes rare in undisturbed tropical forests
A new study by scientists from the Smithsonian, the Panamanian government and the US Environmental Protection Agency, among other institutions, concludes that conserving old-growth tropical rainforest is 'highly recommended' to prevent new outbreaks of viral and parasitic mosquito-borne diseases.

Psychotic disorders and obesity: New report shows big waistlines are to blame
A number of factors, including obesity, shorten the lifespan for those with schizophrenia by 20 years and by 10 years for those with bipolar disorder compared to the general population.

DNA sensor system developed for specific and sensitive measurement of cancer-relevant enzyme activity
The development of DNA sensor systems is of great importance for advances in medical science.

Root behavior changes as woody trees age
Comparing nighttime and daytime root extension in several species of Serianthes leads to interesting results.

Study of homeless finds women at disadvantage for accessing disability benefits
A recent study of homeless adults finds that women are at a significant disadvantage compared to men when it comes to accessing disability benefits.

Special focus issue of Bioanalysis explores bioanalytical outsourcing strategies
Bioanalysis, a leading MEDLINE-indexed journal for bioanalysts, has published a special focus issue on 'Outsourcing Strategies in Bioanalysis.'

Data mining finds more than expected beneath Andean Plateau
Seismologists investigating how Earth forms new continental crust have compiled more than 20 years of seismic data from a wide swath of South America's Andean Plateau and determined that processes there have produced far more continental rock than previously believed.

'Shapeshifter' that regulates blood clotting is visually captured for the first time
It has not been possible to witness exactly how von Willebrand factor senses and harnesses mechanical forces in our blood vessels -- until now.

Bacterial infection stresses hematopoietic stem cells
It is becoming clear that immune cells are not the only cells that react to bacterial infection.

Understanding Caribbean mammal extinctions of the past spurs renewed focus on conservation
A Johns Hopkins paleontologist and her collaborative team of scientists report they have clear evidence that the arrival of humans and subsequent human activity throughout the islands of the Caribbean were likely the primary causes of the extinction of native mammal species there.

Antioxidant/zinc supplement cost saving and effective for degenerative eye disease
A supplement that combines antioxidants with zinc and copper is a relatively inexpensive and effective means of halting the progression of a certain type of degenerative eye disease, concludes research published online in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.

New prospects on the spread of tumors
Scientists of Technische Universit├Ąt Dresden, the University of Applied Sciences HTW Dresden and the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research Heidelberg have gained new prospects on the invasion mechanism of malignant tumours using mathematical models and computer simulations.

Pheromone genes could dictate colony structure of the red fire ant
Proteins involved in the production and perception of pheromones may determine if red fire ant colonies contain a single queen or multiple queens.

Arsenic risk in Pakistan much greater than expected
Arsenic-contaminated groundwater may threaten the health of 50 to 60 million people in Pakistan.

Brain activity may be predictor of stress-related cardiovascular risk
A pattern of brain activity that occurs during psychological stress may predict bodily reactions, such as surges in our blood pressure, that increase risk for cardiovascular disease.

Don't multitask while you read this
How much do all of the distractions in our lives reduce our ability to remember?

NASA's Aqua Satellite spots Typhoon Hato's Landfall in China
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Typhoon Hato just hours after it made landfall in southeastern China.

Parenting style reduces kids' distress in war
Researchers in Israel have found that maternal authoritativeness and warmth helps to protect against psychological distress and mental health symptoms in children exposed to war.

Reducing infant mortality in Nigeria
A doctor in Nigeria and a professor at Michigan State University have teamed up to reduce infant mortality in the African nation.

How 139 countries could be powered by 100 percent wind, water, and solar energy by 2050
The latest roadmap to a 100 percent renewable energy future from Stanford's Mark Z.

Climate change is luring Kodiak bears away from their iconic salmon streams
Kodiak brown bears are abandoning salmon-their iconic prey-due to climate change, according to a new study.

Use of brain-computer interface, virtual avatar could help people with gait disabilities
Researchers from the University of Houston have shown for the first time that the use of a brain-computer interface augmented with a virtual walking avatar can control gait, suggesting the protocol may help patients recover the ability to walk after stroke, some spinal cord injuries and certain other gait disabilities.

Anticoagulants used for arrhythmia can have different thrombus formation rates
Anticoagulants are recommended for atrial fibrillation due to the high risk of stroke.

'Nano-hashtags' could provide definite proof of Majorana particles
In Nature today an international team of researchers from Eindhoven University of Technology, Delft University of Technology and the University of California - Santa Barbara presents an advanced quantum chip that will be able to provide definitive proof of the mysterious Majorana particles and a crucial step towards their use as a building block for future quantum computers.

UA integrative medicine residency program flourishes
Faculty at the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine and their collaborators successfully demonstrated the feasibility and effectiveness of an online approach to train more family medicine residents in integrative medicine.

Major leap towards data storage at the molecular level
Now scientists at the University of Manchester have proved that storing data with a class of molecules known as single-molecule magnets is more feasible than previously thought.

Black holes: Scientists 'excited' by observations suggesting formation scenarios
Physicists have described how observations of gravitational waves limit the possible explanations for the formation of black holes outside of our galaxy; either they are spinning more slowly than black holes in our own galaxy or they spin rapidly but are 'tumbled around' with spins randomly oriented to their orbit.

UChicago scientists detect first X-rays from mystery supernovas
A team of scientists, including scholars from the University of Chicago, appear to have found the first X-rays coming from type Ia supernovae.

A more complete picture of the nano world
Aerosol particles, says Xiaoji Xu, assistant professor of chemistry at Lehigh University, are among the many materials whose chemical and mechanical properties cannot be fully measured until scientists develop a better method of studying materials at the microscale as well as the much smaller nanoscale (1 nm is one-billionth of a meter).

A song's structure can be linked to its popularity
Music can elicit strong emotions, which can be hard to describe.

A pair of medical magnets shows promise as a new tool for creating an anastomosis
An experimental device that employs a pair of magnets offers surgeons a new safe and simple alternative to standard methods for creating an anastomosis for the first time in nearly 50 years.

Liquid nutrition may benefit children with Crohn's disease
An analysis of published studies indicates that exclusive enteral nutrition (EEN) -- when individuals receive only liquid nutrition -- may be an effective treatment for children with Crohn's disease.

The science of fluoride flipping
So much of what happens inside cells to preserve health or cause disease is so small or time-sensitive that researchers are just now getting glimpses of the complexities unfolding in us every minute of the day.

USC researcher identifies a new way to treat HIV
Medical treatment that targets human proteins rather than ever-mutating viruses may one day help HIV-positive people whose bodies have built a resistance to 'cocktails' currently used to keep them healthy.

Death rates from rheumatic heart disease falling since 1990
The risk of dying from rheumatic heart disease, a condition of damaged heart valves caused by bacterial infection that leads to rheumatic fever, has dropped around the world over the last 25 years, according to a new scientific study published today in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Nutlin-3, a p53-Mdm2 antagonist for nasopharyngeal carcinoma treatment
Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is a form of head and neck cancer that is highly prevalent among men in the populations of Southern China and Southeast Asia.

Extensive arsenic contamination found in groundwater beneath Pakistan's Indus plain
Researchers report widespread arsenic contamination of groundwater beneath the Indus Plain in Pakistan, posing a significant health hazard to the estimated 50 million to 60 million people who depend on that resource for drinking water.

Scientists discover species of dolphin that existed along South Carolina coast
Continuing to uncover fossil evidence along the coast of South Carolina, researchers, led by a faculty member at College of Charleston, have discovered a species of extinct dolphin.

New use of blood cleaning device saves high-risk patients with liver failure
University of Maryland School of Medicine researchers report that a device that removes toxins from the blood can also effectively provide a bridge to liver transplantation or buy time for a traumatically injured liver to heal, suggesting broader uses for the device than previously thought.

New guidelines point way toward more effectively addressing hypertension in kids, teens
The first new national guidelines since 2004 on identifying and treating high blood pressure in children and adolescents (aged 3-18 years old) have been published by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which convened a panel of experts to produce the new recommendations.

Allergies? Exhausted regulatory T cells may play a role
Research led by St. Jude Children's Research Hospital highlights the importance of immune cell metabolism for maintaining a balanced immune response.

17.6 million Americans live close to active oil and gas (and fracking) wells
An estimated 17.6 million Americans live within one mile of an active oil or gas well, according to a study published today in Environmental Health Perspectives, a peer-reviewed journal published by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

The toes tell the tale
Though modern horses now have a single toe, their earliest ancestors had three on their front legs, and four on the back.

Methane from tundra, ocean floor didn't spike during previous natural warming period
A new study published this week in the journal Nature suggests that the last ice age transition to a warmer climate some 11,500 years ago did not include massive methane flux from marine sediments or the tundra.

Confederate submarine crew killed by their own weapon
A powerful shockwave from the H.L. Hunley's own weapon killed the crew of the Confederate combat submarine as it sunk a Union ship.

Altered mitochondria associated with increased autism risk
Mitochondria, the tiny structures inside our cells that generate energy, may play a key role in autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

Selecting most effective materials for dental pulp tissue engineering
To regenerate dental pulp tissue after emptying of a tooth's root canals researchers compared the effectiveness of 3-D scaffolds made of natural or customized synthetic materials containing pulpal stem cells and dentin-derived growth factors.

Could nicotine reduction help curb addiction?
A new study examining the effects of nicotine reduction among more vulnerable smokers supports the FDA's recent recommendation for lowering nicotine to non-addictive levels.

Two studies support intensive blood pressure control for long-term health, quality of life
Two studies provide additional support for lowering systolic blood pressure to an intensive goal of 120 mmHg -- far below the standard guidelines of 140 mmHg -- to reduce the risk of heart disease in high-risk patients with hypertension.

Development of screening tests for endocrine-disrupting chemicals
A new article published in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry looks under the hood of how US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) scientists develop and validate testing methods that support regulatory decisions.

Countries in Europe with the richest biodiversity do not always receive more funding
A recent study, published in the journal Conservation Biology, reveals that the investments and resources allotted for conservation only partially tally with the levels of biodiversity in the European Union.

The crew of the Civil War submarine HL Hunley likely died from airblast injuries
The crew of the Civil War submarine HL Hunley likely died from airblast injuries, according to a study published Aug.

UCLA research reveals how new behaviors appear and spread among capuchin monkeys
A study led by UCLA professor of anthropology Susan Perry reveals that older, sociable capuchins are prone to inventing more new types of social behaviors, many of which seem to function either as tests of friendship or displays against enemies.

High-resolution modeling assesses impact of cities on river ecosystems
New mapping methods developed by researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory can help urban planners minimize the environmental impacts of cities' water and energy demands on surrounding stream ecologies.

Advanced Practice Nurses Improve Health Care for Nursing Home Residents
To improve health care for the nation's aging population, researchers from the Sinclair School of Nursing at the University of Missouri are studying how advanced practice nurses (APRNs) can improve nursing home care by serving as leaders of health care teams in nursing homes.

The breaking point
What, exactly, happens right around the edge of the crack, in the area in which those large stresses are concentrated?

You and some 'cavemen' get a genetic checkup
Evolution has weeded out genetic variants associated with diseases for millennia and propagated variants that protect against ailments, a comparative genetics study shows.

Treating arthritis with algae
Researchers at ETH Zurich, Empa and the Norwegian research institute SINTEF are pursuing a new approach to treating arthritis.

Putting it to the test
University of Utah researchers led by chemical engineering and chemistry professor Marc Porter and U surgeon and professor Courtney Scaife have developed a rapid portable screening test for liver cancer that doesn't involve sending a specimen to a blood lab and cuts the wait time for results from two weeks to two minutes.

Test reveals potential treatments for disorders involving MeCP2
A team of researchers has developed a strategy that allows them to identify potential treatments that would restore altered levels of MeCP2.

Radiological crimes investigation
The results of the fifth and latest Collaborative Materials Exercise of the Nuclear Forensics International Technical Working Group, a global network of nuclear forensics experts, will be discussed at the American Chemical Society's national meeting in Washington DC on August.

Blood test for colitis screening using infrared technology could reduce dependence on colonoscopy
A fast, simple blood test for ulcerative colitis using infrared spectroscopy could provide a cheaper, less invasive alternative for screening compared to colonoscopy, which is now the predominant test, according to a study between the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State University.

So-called 'bright girl effect' does not last into adulthood, study finds
The notion that young females limit their own progress based on what they believe about their intelligence -- called the 'bright girl effect' -- does not persist into adulthood, according to new research from Case Western Reserve University.

International eye cancer research project to improve future therapies
A new international research project, involving the University of Liverpool's leading eye cancer research group, has identified specific subtypes of ocular melanoma that will help develop improved management strategies and therapies in the future.

Zika monkey study suggests worse fetal effects for vaginal versus mosquito transmission
Rhesus macaques that were vaginally infected with Zika virus showed higher prevalence of Zika in the reproductive tract than previously seen in macaques that received skin injections of the virus.

Answers needed on sly grog trade
James Cook University researchers in Australia have found sophisticated tactics are being used to smuggle illicit alcohol into Indigenous communities -- with sly grog traders selling alcohol for up to 11 times its retail price.

New drug targets for a rare kidney and liver disease
(Osaka, Japan) In a joint international study, researchers from Osaka University have partnered with research groups from the United States and Spain to uncover how mutations in a single gene called PKHD1 lead to symptoms associated with a rare kidney and liver disease, ARPKD (autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease).

Scientists develop modern Medical Terms to enhance precise Chinese Medicine
A novel calendric system, called the Twenty-four Medical Terms, has been proposed as an upgraded version of the traditional Twenty-four Solar Terms which was invented by Chinese ancestors some 3000 years ago.
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