Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 24, 2017
Research sheds new light on the link between gut bacteria and anxiety
Research published in the open access journal Microbiome sheds new light on how gut bacteria may influence anxiety-like behaviors.

Research reveals how estrogen regulates gene expression
The sequential recruitment of coactivators to the estrogen receptor complex results in dynamic specific structural and functional changes that are necessary for effective regulation of gene expression.

Ringing in ears keeps brain more at attention, less at rest, study finds
Tinnitus, a chronic ringing or buzzing in the ears, has eluded medical treatment and scientific understanding.

SwRI-led study captures science data from Great American Eclipse
Two NASA WB-57F research aircraft successfully tracked the August 21 solar eclipse as part of a NASA project led by Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) to study the solar corona and Mercury's surface.

NASA satellite reveals formation of Philippine Sea Tropical Depression 16W
NASA's Aqua satellite provided an infrared look at the newly formed Tropical Depression 16W in the Philippine Sea.

ILCregs play an important role in regulation of intestinal inflammation
Researchers from FAN Zusen's group at the Institute of Biophysics (IBP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have identified a regulatory subpopulation of ILCs (called ILCregs) that exist in the gut and harbor a unique genetic identity distinct from ILCs or regulatory T cells (Tregs).

New study provides high-resolution insights into plants' light harvesting process under low light
CHANG Wenrui-LI Mei's group, ZHANG Xinzheng's group and LIU Zhenfeng's group from the Institute of Biophysics (IBP) at CAS collaborate and solved two cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) structures of C2S2M2-type PSII-LHCII supercomplex from pea at 2.7 and 3.2 Å resolution, respectively.

The pancreas provides a potential drug candidate for brain disease
Osaka University researchers show FGF21, a factor secreted by the pancreas, promotes remyelination in the central nervous system after injury.

DNA sensor plays critical role in cancer immunotherapy via response to unexpected DNA form
UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers report for the first time that tumors stressed by cancer immunotherapy release their mitochondrial DNA into nearby immune cells, triggering a host alert system.

No batteries required: Energy-harvesting yarns generate electricity
An international research team led by scientists at The University of Texas at Dallas and Hanyang University in South Korea has developed high-tech yarns that generate electricity when they are stretched or twisted.

NASA's Webb Telescope will study our solar system's 'ocean worlds'
NASA's James Webb Space Telescope will use its infrared capabilities to study the

Scientists from the MSU adjusted a microalgal technology for wast
Members of the Faculty of Biology of the Lomonosov Moscow State University proved that under Nordic conditions wastewaters could be treated with the help of microalgae, while algal biomass is suitable for processing into biofuel.

New therapeutic antibody for dog cancers
Scientists have developed a new chimeric antibody that suppresses malignant cancers in dogs, showing promise for safe and effective treatment of intractable cancers.

Penn ethicist proposes new category for psychiatric patients to justify instances of compulsory treatment
The 'involuntary treatment' of unwilling psychiatric patients has long been accepted as necessary in some cases, for the sake of patients and society, though it can raise serious ethical concerns as well as legal barriers.

A new twist toward practical energy harvesting
Scientists have developed a type of 'yarn,' made from carbon nanotubes that can harvest energy from twisting or stretching motions.

DNA detectives crack the case on biothreat look-alikes

HPV vaccination rates lag for vulnerable population of childhood cancer survivors
Research suggests health providers are key to boosting HPV vaccination rates of childhood cancer survivors, who, as a group, are at increased risk for second cancers associated with the human papillomavirus.

1 in 5 women with postpartum mood disorders keep quiet
A recent study finds that 21 percent of recent mothers experiencing postpartum mood disorders, such as anxiety and depression, do not disclose their symptoms to healthcare providers.

The Medici Effect: Highly flexible, wearable displays born in KAIST
A research team led by Professor Kyung Cheol Choi at the School of Electrical Engineering presented wearable displays for various applications including fashion, IT, and healthcare.

UBC researchers test new technique to help with concussion diagnosis
Sports-related concussions are a major public health concern and are notoriously difficult to diagnose.

How the human brain detects the 'music' of speech
Researchers at UC San Francisco have identified neurons in the human brain that respond to pitch changes in spoken language, which are essential to clearly conveying both meaning and emotion.

Fossils reveal how bizarre mammal beat extinction
Animals that live on islands are among the most at risk from extinction.

NASA finds heavy rainfall in intensifying Tropical Storm Harvey
NASA examined Harvey as it began to intensify and organize and found heavy rainfall in the system.

Brain recovery longer than clinical recovery among athletes following concussion, new research suggests
University athletes with a recent concussion had changes in their brain structure and function even after they received medical clearance to return to play, a new study has found.

Baby boomer squirrels master tricky timing
Female squirrels who align their reproduction to take advantage of food-rich years and align have more pups that survive to maturity, according to new research from UAlberta biologists

Exploring the ground truth: NASA's twin study investigates metabolites
Stanford University School of Medicine Postdoctoral Fellow Tejaswini Mishra, Ph.D., is integrating multi-omics data for NASA's Twins Study and comparing all the metabolites in retired twin astronauts Scott and Mark Kelly.

Scientists develop novel 'dot' system to improve cancer detection
SBP researchers advance tumor-imaging nanosystem for enhanced diagnostic imaging.

Enzyme produced in the liver promotes obesity, fatty liver disease and insulin resistance
In mice that are given a high-fat diet, an increased production of the enzyme DPP4* by the liver promotes an increase in body fat, the development of fatty liver disease and insulin resistance.

Outperforming nature's water filtration ability with nanotubes
At just the right size, carbon nanotubes can filter water with better efficiency than biological proteins, a new study reveals.

Ice age era bones recovered from underwater caves in Mexico
When the Panamanian land bridge formed around 3 million years ago, Southern Mexico was in the middle of a great biotic interchange of large animals from North and South America that crossed the continents in both directions.

ASU/Biodesign researchers enter race for early Alzheimer's test
In a new study, Paul Coleman and his colleagues demonstrate the promise of an early blood test for Alzheimer's disease.

Farming, cheese, chewing changed human skull shape
The advent of farming, especially dairy products, had a small but significant effect on the shape of human skulls, according to a recently published study from anthropologists at UC Davis.

FSU researchers find school board diversity reduces school suspensions
A new study from criminology researchers at Florida State University reveals that a more diverse school board can lead to more equitable school punishment among black, white and Hispanic students.

Flu vaccine rates for kids may drop when the nasal spray vaccine is unavailable
Influenza vaccination rates in children may have decreased for the 2016-17 influenza season because of a recommendation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that the nasal spray version of the vaccine not be used, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers.

Scientists discover how tuberculosis hijacks the immune system
Scientists have unlocked a key element in understanding how human lungs fight tuberculosis (TB).

PPPL physicist discovers that some plasma instabilities can extinguish themselves
PPPL physicist Fatima Ebrahimi has for the first time used advanced models to accurately simulate key characteristics of the cyclic behavior of edge-localized modes, a particular type of plasma instability.

Researchers closer to understanding how a drug could induce health benefits of exercise
Scientists have identified a mechanism that 'switches on' the exercise response in mammals, opening up the possibility that drugs could eventually be developed to produce or enhance the health benefits of physical activity.

World's oldest Italian wine just discovered
Researchers discover Italian wine residue from the Copper Age, debunking current belief wine growing and wine production in Italy developed during the Middle Bronze Age.

Researchers discover cancer stem cell pathway in endometrial cancer
A team of Cleveland Clinic researchers have discovered a key pathway that leads to recurrence and treatment resistance in endometrial cancer, providing the potential for much needed new therapies for women with limited options.

New imaging technique spots prostate tumors starved of oxygen
A new imaging technique uncovers oxygen levels in prostate tumors and could lead to a noninvasive way to determine which tumors are more difficult to treat, according to a Cancer Research UK-funded study published in Theranostics.

Antibiotic resistance rises in 'lonely' mutating microbes
A major study led by the University of Manchester has discovered that so called 'lonely' microbes, those living at low population densities, are more likely to mutate causing higher rates of antibiotic resistance.

More solar power thanks to titanium
Earth-abundant, cheap metals are promising photocatalytic electrode materials in artificial photosynthesis.

As Tolstoy noted (sort of), all unhappy microbiomes are unhappy in their own way
The bacterial communities that live inside everyone are quite similar and stable when times are good, but when stress enters the equation, those communities can react very differently from person to person.

Scientists take first snapshots of a molecular propeller that runs at 100 degrees Celsius
Scientists have made a crucial new discovery into how a group of ancient microbes that can survive in some of the world's harshest environments, propel themselves forward.

Finding what fuels the 'runaway train' of autoimmune disease
Researchers from Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School have discovered that rogue immune cells trigger an 'override' of the body's tolerance to its tissues, launching the vicious cycle of autoimmune disease.

The spacefaring power of... pee? (video)
Space scientists have to take advantage of all the materials available to them on a deep-space mission.

New research examines avocados' potential impact on cognitive health in older adults
Consuming one fresh avocado per day may lead to improved cognitive function in healthy older adults due to increased lutein levels in the brain and eye, according to new research published in the journal Nutrients.

Study explains why patients with shingles feel pain
The immune mechanisms triggered by the virus when it is reactivated, changing the way that sensory neurons work and resulting in herpetic neuralgia, are described by researchers affiliated with the University of São Paulo in an article published in the Journal of Neuroscience.

New green solvent could help clean our air
French researchers have patented an eco-friendly liquid mixture that could help trap harmful pollutants from the air.

This is how belly fat could increase your cancer risk
A new Michigan State University study now offers new details showing that a certain protein released from fat in the body can cause a non-cancerous cell to turn into a cancerous one.

Illinois researchers develop origami-inspired robot
New research from a team of University of Illinois Mechanical Science and Engineering professors and students, published as an invited paper in Smart Materials and Structures, details how origami structures and bio-inspired design can be used to create a crawling robot.

Change your diet, change your microbiota
The microbiota of a group of hunter-gatherers in Tanzania undergo changes in composition depending on seasonal changes in their diets, a new study reveals.

Metal simplifies synthesis of antibody drugs
Rice University chemists have designed a plug-in metalloprotein to simplify the task of making targeted antibody therapies.

Caffeine tempers taste, triggering temptation for sweets
Caffeine, the widely consumed stimulant and igniter of sluggish mornings, has been found to temper taste buds temporarily, making food and drink seem less sweet, according to new Cornell University research.

New virtual model reveals details of declining lung function in mice
Scientists have developed a new virtual model of mouse lung function that illuminates the relative importance of different factors that contribute to lung changes accompanying chronic inflammation.

CRI scientists characterize regulatory DNA sequences responsible for human diseases
Scientists from the Children's Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern have developed an innovative system to identify and characterize the molecular components that control the activities of regulatory DNA sequences in the human genome.

The dinosaur museum that visits you
The vast expanses of the Gobi Desert are a prime destination for paleontologists.

Severity of North Pacific storms at highest point in over 1,200 years
Ice cores from Denali and Mount Logan offer insight into global climate connections and the history on intensifying storms.

How people discern changes in pitch to extract meaning from language
The ability for humans to discern changes in pitch as they listen to a speaker is essential for extracting meaning from words, and now researchers have identified a set of neurons responsible for detecting such relative changes in pitch.

HIIT releases endorphins in the brain
Finnish researchers at the University of Turku have revealed that exercise-induced endorphin release in the brain depends on the intensity of the exercise.

Cancer drug can reactivate HIV
People living with HIV must take a combination of three or more different drugs every day for the rest of their lives.

General patient infections transferred similarly to hospital-acquired infections
A new study shows that the networks formed by patterns of patient transfers between hospitals in France are very similar among three patient populations: those diagnosed with hospital-acquired infections (HAIs), those with suspected HAIs, and the general patient population.

LGB older adults suffer more chronic health conditions than heterosexuals, stu
A University of Washington study finds that lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) older adults were found to be in poorer health than heterosexuals, specifically in terms of higher rates of cardiovascular disease, weakened immune system and low back or neck pain.

Hunter-gatherers' seasonal gut-microbe diversity loss echoes our permanent one
A study led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine is the first to look at seasonal variations in the gut-microbial composition, or microbiota, of the Hadza, one of the world's few remaining traditional hunter-gatherer populations.

Carbon nanotubes worth their salt
Lawrence Livermore scientists, in collaboration with researchers at Northeastern University, have developed carbon nanotube pores that can exclude salt from seawater.

Everyone's an expert, but a computer program may be able to pick the best ones
Combining the intuition of humans with the impartiality of computers could improve decision-making for organizations, eventually leading to lower costs and better profits, according to a team of researchers.

New dinosaur discovery suggests new species roosted together like modern birds
The Mongolian Desert has been known for decades for its amazing array of dinosaurs, immaculately preserved in incredible detail and in associations that give exceedingly rare glimpses at behavior in the fossil record.

Average cost of first 2 years of oropharyngeal cancer treatment in Texas is $139,749
In Texas, the average cost for the first two years of health care after a diagnosis of oropharyngeal cancer was $139,749.

Reduced performance triggers turnover for nonprofit executives
Nonprofit organizations that have declining expenditures -- an indication of reduced operations -- are more likely to seek new leadership, according to a new study.

Physicists find strange state of matter in superconducting crystal
New research published this week shows a rare state of matter in which electrons in a superconducting crystal organize collectively.

Manipulating a single gene defines a new pathway to anxiety
Removing a single gene from the brains of mice and zebrafish causes these animals to become more anxious than normal.

Making better batteries via real-time TEM observation
South Korea's Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology has made a surprising discovery: Making better batteries via real-time TEM obervation.

HKBU clinical observation finds efficacy rate of over 70 percent in Chinese medicine treatment of chronic renal failure
The School of Chinese Medicine of Hong Kong Baptist University recently conducted a clinical observation on Chinese medicine treatment of chronic renal failure.

Rapid diagnostic test helps distinguish between severe and uncomplicated malaria in Africa
Working at a health center in rural Uganda, researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill demonstrated for the first time the potential of using a low-cost, routinely available rapid diagnostic test to distinguish between severe and uncomplicated malaria in children.

Leprosy turns the immune system against itself, study finds
Leprosy hijacks our immune system, turning an important repair mechanism into one that causes potentially irreparable damage to our nerve cells, according to new research that uses zebrafish to study the disease.

High-dimensional quantum encryption performed in real-world city conditions for first time
For the first time, researchers have sent a quantum-secured message containing more than one bit of information per photon through the air above a city.

Mathematical tools improve theory and prediction in psychiatry
Recent years have seen an explosion in the use of mathematical models to integrate insights emerging from studies of the brain and behavior.

Even after reforms, few ineffective teachers are identified as ineffective, study finds
The study examined the impact of reforms made to teacher evaluation systems in the wake of a 2009 report that highlighted the failure of US public schools to recognize and act on teacher effectiveness.

Young children's sense of self is similar to that of adults
Young children's sense of self is similar to that of older kids and adults.

Monitoring network traffic more efficiently
Researchers at MIT, Cisco Systems, and Barefoot Networks have come up with a new approach to network monitoring that provides great flexibility in data collection while keeping both the circuit complexity of the router and the number of external analytic servers low.

Revolutionary approach brings 3-D sound into the living room
Computer vision and sound experts at the University of Surrey have demonstrated 'Media Device Orchestration' -- an innovative home audio concept which enables users to enjoy immersive audio experiences by using all available devices in a typical living room.

Manganese in underground drinking water is cause for concern
Underground drinking water sources in parts of the US and three Asian countries may not be as safe as previously thought due to high levels of manganese, especially at shallow depths, according to a study led by a researcher at the University of California, Riverside.

Mathematical mystery of ancient Babylonian clay tablet solved
UNSW Sydney scientists have discovered the purpose of a famous 3,700-year old Babylonian clay tablet, revealing it is the world's oldest and most accurate trigonometric table, possibly used by ancient mathematical scribes to calculate how to construct palaces and temples and build canals.

3-D scanning methods allow an inside look into fossilized feces
Coprolites are fossilized feces that give evidence of an organism's behavior and often contain food residues, parasite remains and other fossils that provide clues to ancient paleoecological relations.

How the emotions of others influence our olfactory sense
The emotional facial expression of others influences how positive or negative we perceive an odor.

'Pop drop' study finds more ER visits & higher costs for older disabled patients
Fatigue, sadness and poor health among the spouses who take care of disabled elders can mean higher Medicare bills for the patients.

Panic disorder symptoms may be tied to acid-sensing receptor
A pilot study at the University of Cincinnati -- the first to evaluate the TDAG8 expression in patients with panic disorder -- reveals significantly increased levels in patients with panic disorder, relative to their healthy control subjects.

New receptor found on scavenger cells
Scientists demonstrate how adenovirus invades the immune system of mice.

Long, mysterious strips of RNA contribute to low sperm count
Scientists have found distinctive portions of genetic material -- known as lncRNAs -- that help sperm develop.

Researchers report breakthrough in magnesium batteries
Magnesium batteries are safe -- unlike traditional lithium ion batteries, they are not flammable or subject to exploding -- but until now their ability to store energy has been limited.

Elucidating the biology of extinct cave bears
One of the largest known species of bear, the cave bear (Ursus spelaeus), ranged widely through Eurasia all the way to the Mediterranean in the south and to the Caucasus Mountains and northern Iran in the east during Late Pleistocene times.

Upon prolonged irradiation, human stem cells' defenses are activated
Researchers discovered that ionizing radiation causes a cell cycle delay, which leads to faster repairs of radiation-induced DNA double-strand breaks, with fewer errors.

Potential impacts of planned Andean Amazon dams outweigh benefits, scientists say
An international team of scientists investigating the effects of six planned or potential Andean dams on the Amazon river system has found that major negative ecological impacts can be expected both above the dams and throughout the lowland floodplains and the Amazon Delta.

The first hard evidence for the 'outside-in' theory of the origin of teeth
Researchers studying a 400-million-year-old bony fish from Estonia believe that they have found evidence for the origins of teeth.

Missed nursing care due to low nurse staffing increases patient mortality
Failure to deliver complete nursing care explains why hospitals with lower registered nursing (RN) staff levels have a higher risk of patient death, a new University of Southampton study has shown.

Study shows incisionless surgery with MR-HIFU effective in destroying painful bone tumors
Doctors from the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation at Children's National Health System have completed a clinical trial that demonstrates how osteoid osteoma, a benign but painful bone tumor that commonly occurs in children and young adults, can be safely and successfully treated using an incisionless surgery method called magnetic resonance-guided high-intensity focused ultrasound.

Man-made fossil methane emission levels larger than previously believed
A team of researchers led by Vasilii Petrenko, an assistant professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Rochester, spent seven weeks in Antarctica collecting and studying 2,000-pound samples of glacial ice cores that date back nearly 12,000 years.

Researchers report better way to create organic bioelectronics
Researchers with the University of Houston and Pennsylvania State University have reported a new fabrication technique for biocompatible neural devices that allow more precise tuning of the electrical performance of neural probes, along with improved properties for drug delivery.

Illegal dumping during road construction in Ethiopia affects child mortality
Researchers have shown that living near newly built roads in Ethiopia is associated with higher rates of infant mortality.

Studies explore the potential benefits of red raspberries
Participants in short-term human trials experienced an improvement in glucose control and increased satiety, while longer-term animal trials revealed promising effects on the gut microbiota after red raspberry intake.

Survival of soil organisms is a wake-up call for biosecurity
Tiny creatures in soil that attack plants have the ability to survive for at least three years stored in dry conditions, showed a recent AgResearch study.

Anesthesia and surgery during infancy may impact white matter during childhood
General anesthesia and surgery in otherwise healthy infants under the age of one year could be associated with decreases in the amount of white matter in the brain, as well as reductions in the remaining white matter's integrity, according to a new University of Iowa Health Care study published this week in the Online First edition of Anesthesiology, the peer-reviewed medical journal of the American Society of Anesthesiologists.

Plant 'smells' insect foe, initiates defense
It cannot run away from the fly that does it so much damage, but tall goldenrod can protect itself by first 'smelling' its attacker and then initiating its defenses, according to an international team of researchers.

Fantastic beasts and why to conserve them
Beliefs in magical creatures can impact the protection of biodiversity and the field of conservation needs to consider them seriously, researchers have warned.

Variation in the recovery of tetrapods
The end-Permian mass extinction (EPME) occurred about 250 million years ago and represents the Earth's most catastrophic extinction event.

Androgen deprivation therapy increases risk of heart failure in men with prostate cancer
Men with localized prostate cancer who received androgen deprivation therapy, a hormone treatment, were at significantly higher risk of heart failure than men who did not receive this therapy, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published today in the British Journal of Cancer.

Updated assessment of the health risks posed by longer-term consumption of foods contaminated with fipronil
Based on currently available information, the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment assumes that illegal applications of products containing fipronil have apparently been carried out over an extended period of time.

Age-related hearing loss and communication breakdown in the clinical setting
It was not uncommon for older adults to report mishearing a physician or nurse in a primary care or hospital setting, according to a study published by JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

Viewers who tweet during presidential debates learn more about political issues
A team of researchers at the University of Missouri's Political Communication Institute have found evidence that social media engagement -- or social watching -- during last year's presidential debates produced beneficial effects for those engaged on Twitter while watching the debates on TV.

Physical activity in midlife not linked to cognitive fitness in later years, long-term study shows
A study led by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers that tracked activity levels of 646 adults over 30 years found that, contrary to previous research, exercise in mid-life was not linked to cognitive fitness in later years.

ICU patients who survive ARDS may suffer from prolonged post-intensive care syndrome
New study of 645 ARDS survivors by researchers at Intermountain Medical Center, Johns Hopkins University, and University of Utah, has identified subgroups of ARDS survivors who suffer what's been called post-intensive care syndrome, a collection of symptoms that can linger for years.

Understanding how omega-3 dampens inflammatory reactions
By studying macrophages isolated from mice and humans, researchers found that the omega-3 fatty acids activated the autophagy and specifically affected some proteins that transform the signals from the environment.

Gene therapy with BMP4 protects against weight gain and insulin resistance in mice
There was no weight gain, despite a higher energy intake, and insulin sensitivity was increased. 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