Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 30, 2017
Biosensor could help diagnose illnesses directly in serum
In this age of fast fashion and fast food, people want things immediately.

Conservation hindered by geographical mismatches between capacity and need
New research suggests that geographical mismatches between conservation needs and expertise may hinder global conservation goals.

Adoption of robotics into a hospital's daily operations requires broad cooperation
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland studied the implementation of a logistics robot system at the Seinäjoki Central Hospital in South Ostrobothnia.

Nanoparticles loaded with mRNA give disease-fighting properties to cells
A new biomedical tool using nanoparticles that deliver transient gene changes to targeted cells could make therapies for a variety of diseases -- including cancer, diabetes and HIV -- faster and cheaper to develop, and more customizable.

Silicon solves problems for next-generation battery technology
Silicon -- the second most abundant element in the earth's crust -- shows great promise in Li-ion batteries, according to new research from the University of Eastern Finland.

Expanding tropical forest spells disaster for conservation
A North Carolina State University study shows that fire suppression efforts in Brazilian savannas turn many of those areas into forest lands, with negative consequences for the plants and animals that live there.

American pika disappears from large area of California's Sierra Nevada mountains
The American pika, a small mammal adapted to high altitudes and cold temperatures, has died out from a 165-square-mile span of habitat in California's northern Sierra Nevada mountains, and the cause appears to be climate change.

Psychotic experiences put kids at higher suicide risk
Otherwise healthy people who experience hallucinations or delusions are more likely to have later suicidal thoughts or attempts, an international study has found.

NASA sees strengthening Tropical Cyclone Sanvu develop a tail
Tropical Storm Sanvu is strengthening and imagery from NASA's Aqua satellite revealed what looks like a thick tail to the storm.

Researchers raise health concerns about off-road vehicles and inhalation of asbestos
Preventing injuries may not be the only reason children shouldn't use off-road vehicles (ORVs).

A big difference between Asian and African elephants is diet
New research has shown that there are significant differences between the Asian and the African forest elephant -- and it isn't just about size and the shape of their ears.

Soybean rust develops 'rolling' epidemics as spores travel north
Although Midwestern soybean growers have yet to experience the brunt of soybean rust, growers in the southern United States are very familiar with the disease.

Artificial intelligence analyzes gravitational lenses 10 million times faster
Researchers from the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have for the first time shown that neural networks -- a form of artificial intelligence -- can accurately analyze the complex distortions in spacetime known as gravitational lenses 10 million times faster than traditional methods.

Volcanic eruptions drove ancient global warming event
A natural global warming event that took place 56 million years ago was triggered almost entirely by volcanic eruptions that occurred as Greenland separated from Europe during the opening of the North Atlantic Ocean, according to an international team of researchers that includes Andy Ridgwell, a University of California, Riverside professor of earth sciences.

Barbers, hair salons market cosmetic surgery on Instagram
A new study shows the majority of providers advertising aesthetic surgery services on Instagram are not board certified-plastic surgeons, so patients who respond to the ads are putting themselves at risk.

NASA sees 14th eastern Pacific Ocean potential tropical cyclone
Potential tropical cyclone 14E of the Eastern Pacific Ocean hurricane season appeared to be coming together off the southwestern coast of Mexico.

Protein turnover could be clue to living longer
Overactive protein synthesis found in premature aging disease may also play role in normal aging.

When it comes to looking for jobs, it's not how many you know, but how well you know them
CATONSVILLE, MD, August 30, 2017 - While online networking sites enable individuals to increase their professional connections, to what extent do these ties actually lead to job opportunities?

Breastfeeding reduces risk of endometriosis diagnosis
A new study by investigators at Brigham and Women's Hospital finds that women who breastfed for longer periods of time had significantly lower risk of being diagnosed with endometriosis, offering new insights into a condition that, up until now, has had very few known, modifiable risk factors.

Good as gold
Few experiences invoke as much anxiety as a call from your doctor saying 'you need to come back for more tests.' Your imagination goes wild and suddenly a routine medical screening becomes a minefield of potential life-threatening diseases.

Nano chip system measures light from single bacterial cell to enable chemical detection
Researchers at the Hebrew University have created a nanophotonic chip system using lasers and bacteria to observe fluorescence emitted from a single bacterial cell.

Making 3-D printing safer
Within the past decade, 3-D printers have gone from bulky, expensive curiosities to compact, more affordable consumer products.

A magic formula to predict attraction is more elusive than ever
Dating websites often claim attraction between two people can be predicted from the right combination of traits and preferences, but a new study casts doubt on that assertion.

Protecting the guardians
A guardian gene that protects against type 1 diabetes and other autoimmune diseases exerts its pancreas-shielding effects by altering the gut microbiota.

Z-endoxifen shows promise as new treatment for common breast cancer type
ROCHESTER, Minn. - Z-endoxifen, a potent derivative of the drug tamoxifen, could itself be a new treatment for the most common form of breast cancer in women with metastatic disease.

Shared custody equals less stress for children
Children who live full time with one parent are more likely to feel stressed than children in shared custody situations.

Inflammation required for 'smell' tissue regeneration
In a mouse study designed to understand how chronic inflammation in sinusitis damages the sense of smell, scientists at Johns Hopkins say they were surprised to learn that the regeneration of olfactory tissue requires some of the same inflammatory processes and chemicals that create injury and loss of smell in the first place.

UT Health San Antonio researchers developing drug for recurring ER-positive breast cancer
Researchers at UT Health San Antonio and two partner institutions are developing a new, first-in-class agent that has stopped the growth of estrogen receptor-positive (ER-positive) breast cancer in its tracks.

Shaking up the fish family tree: 'Living fossil' not as old as we thought
Polypterids are weird and puzzling African fish that have perplexed biologists since they were discovered during Napoleon's expedition to Egypt in the late 1700s.

Human settlement in the Americas may have occurred in the late Pleistocene
Analysis of a skeleton found in the Chan Hol cave near Tulum, Mexico, suggests human settlement in the Americas occurred in the late Pleistocene era, according to a study published Aug.

US investors shun Quebec firms
A new study led by the UBC Sauder School of Business has found significant US institutional investor bias against firms located in Quebec relative to firms located in the rest of Canada due to language differences.

Do squirrels teach bears to cross the railroad? Grizzlies dig squirrel middens for grains
Grains have been reported to regularly trickle from hopper cars travelling via the railway through Canada's Banff and Yoho National Parks.

Researchers set new bar for water-splitting, CO2-splitting techniques
Researchers from North Carolina State University have significantly boosted the efficiency of two techniques, for splitting water to create hydrogen gas and splitting carbon dioxide to create carbon monoxide.

UMass Amherst environmental chemist flashes warning light on new nanoparticle
The UMass Amherst and Chinese research team found that layered BP's cytotoxicity is based on the fact that it generates reactive oxygen species (ROS).

Profitable cooperation: Ants protect and fertilize plants
Profitable cooperation: Ants protect and fertilize plants In a new article, researchers from Aarhus University, Denmark, describe how the waste left by ants on plant leaves serves as a valuable fertilizer for the plants -- handed on a silver platter.

NIAID scientists illuminate mechanism of increased cardiovascular risks with HIV
Scientists at the National Institutes of Health have expanded the understanding of how chronic inflammation and persistent immune activation associated with HIV infection drive cardiovascular disease risk in people living with HIV.

Spectroscopy: Simple solution for soil sample
Traditional ways of analyzing soil texture are slow. Danish researchers have shown a new, high-tech method that is fast, cost-effective, and portable.

New robot rolls with the rules of pedestrian conduct
Engineers at MIT have designed an autonomous robot with 'socially aware navigation,' that can keep pace with foot traffic while observing these general codes of pedestrian conduct.

U study provides new insight toward reducing racial bias in courtroom
The study, titled 'Minority Mens Rea' and published in the Hastings Law Journal, offers positive news for a criminal justice system that has become keenly aware of the need for improved responses to race biases.

'Open gym' format shortens waiting time for cardiac rehab
Changing from scheduled appointments to an 'open gym' format can reduce waiting times for cardiac rehabilitation, reports a study in the September/October issue of Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention.

When making decisions, monkeys use different brain areas to weigh value and availability
Seventeenth-century mathematician Blaise Pascal first introduced the idea of expected value, which is reached by multiplying the value of something (how much it's wanted or needed) with the probability that we might be able to obtain it.

The underwater jungles of the sea give clearer water
When you take a swim in the sea and entangle your toes in underwater plants you can stay calm, they are doing good.

Is changing languages effortful for bilingual speakers? Depends on the situation
Research on the neurobiology of bilingualism has suggested that switching languages is inherently effortful, requiring executive control to manage cognitive functions, but a new study shows this is only the case when speakers are prompted, or forced, to do so.

Some birds better than others at adjusting to habitat degradation
Before habitat degradation begins to cause population declines, the first response by wildlife usually comes in the form of behavioral changes -- for example, switching their diets in response to changes in food availability.

Higher levels of cooperation for provision than for maintenance of public goods
A research team was able to show that people are less willing to cooperate to maintain public goods than to provide new ones.

Hidden deep in the brain, a map that guides animals' movements
New research has revealed that deep in the brain, in a structure called striatum, all possible movements that an animal can do are represented in a map of neural activity.

More TV & less physical activity ramps up risk of walking disability
Risk jumped three-fold for older people who watched more than five hours of TV per day and reported three or fewer hours per week of total physical activity, according to first-of-a-kind study.

Magnetic fields in distant galaxy are new piece of cosmic puzzle
Astronomers have measured magnetic fields in a galaxy 4.6 billion light-years away -- a big clue to understanding how magnetic fields formed and evolved over cosmic time.

Discovery of drug combination: Overcoming resistance to targeted drugs for liver cancer
A KAIST research team presented a novel method for improving medication treatment for liver cancer using systems biology, combining research from information technology and the life sciences.

Two distinct brain regions have independent influence on decision-making
Mount Sinai research finds that when making decisions, monkeys use different brain areas to weigh value and availability.

Antibacterial combination could fight drug-resistant tuberculosis
Pairing the antibiotic ceftazidime with the enzyme inhibitor avibactam may be an effective treatment for drug-resistant tuberculosis, a new study reports.

A blood test can predict early lung cancer prognosis
Cancer cells obtained from a blood test may be able to predict how early-stage lung cancer patients will fare, a team from the University of Michigan has shown.

The power of society: Scientists propose new area of study in energy generation
The growth of humanity is limited by our tools. Each era of human development, from caves to the Industrial Revolution to sending Curiosity to Mars, is marked by technological evolution.

New clue may reveal the fate of famous French explorer
An anthropologist at The Australian National University (ANU) may have stumbled across a clue to resolving one of the most enduring mysteries of Pacific history - the fate of famous French navigator, Jean François de Galaup, Comte de La Pérouse who disappeared in 1788.

Machine-learning earthquake prediction in lab shows promise
By listening to the acoustic signal emitted by a laboratory-created earthquake, a computer science approach using machine learning can predict the time remaining before the fault fails.

GPM satellite sees Tropical Storm Irma forming near Cape Verde Islands
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) upgraded a low pressure area in the far eastern Atlantic Ocean to tropical storm Irma on Aug.

New study: Shifting school start times could contribute $83 billion to US economy within a decade
RAND Corporation and RAND Europe have released the first-ever analysis of the economic implications of a shift in school start times in the US The study shows that a nationwide move to 8.30 a.m. could lead to an economic gain of $83 billion to the US economy within a decade.

Monkeys with Parkinson's disease benefit from human stem cells
A team of Japanese neurosurgeons at the Center for iPS Cell Research and Application, Kyoto University, Japan, report two new strategies to improve outcomes of iPS cell-based therapies for Parkinson's disease in monkey brains.

Tick saliva may hold potential treatment for reducing HIV-linked heart disease risk
Scientists may have found a clue to why people living with HIV have double the likelihood of developing heart disease.

Stroke patient improvement with a brain-computer interface
Australian researchers have shown that it is possible for stroke patients to improve motor function using special training involving connecting brain signals with a computer.

Gut bacteria that 'talk' to human cells may lead to new treatments
Scientists developed a method to genetically engineer gut bacteria to produce molecules that have the potential to treat certain disorders by altering human metabolism.

IFCT-0302 results question role of CT-scan in NSCLC post-surgery follow-up
The optimal follow-up protocol for patients with completely resected non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) remains elusive after results of the IFCT-0302 trial, to be presented at the ESMO 2017 Congress in Madrid, did not show a difference in overall survival (OS) between patients who received computed tomography (CT) scans as part of their follow-up, and those who did not.

Scientists discover spring-loaded mechanism in unusual species of trap-jaw ant
Researchers provide the first mechanical description of the jaws of a group of trap-jaw ants that can snap their spring-loaded jaws shut at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour -- just fast enough to capture their elusive prey.

Cardiac arrests in black neighborhoods less likely to get CPR, defibrillation
Compared to people who live in predominantly white neighborhoods, those who live in predominantly black areas are much less likely to receive CPR or defibrillation from a bystander when their heart suddenly stops beating while they are at home or out in the community.

New 'carbs study' shows salacia extract helps curb appetite and manage blood sugar
In the recent CARBS (an acronym for Carbohydrate, Appetite Reduction, Blood Sugar and Satiety) study, researchers at Rutgers University observed that a proprietary salacia extract demonstrated appetite reduction, satiety and blood sugar management benefits.

Acting like a muscle, nano-sized device lifts 165 times its own weight
New Brunswick engineers have discovered a simple, economical way to make a nano-sized device that can match the friendly neighborhood Avenger, on a much smaller scale.

Jordan faces likelihood of much more frequent long and severe droughts
Jordan is among the world's most water-poor nations, and a new, comprehensive analysis of regional drought and land-use changes in upstream Syria suggests the conditions could get significantly worse.

Perfect mannequins a turnoff for some consumers
Mannequins' long legs, tiny waistlines and perfect busts can sour some shoppers on the products they're wearing, especially consumers who don't like the look of their own bodies.

Leaf sensors can tell farmers when crops need to be watered
Plant-based sensors that measure the thickness and electrical capacitance of leaves show great promise for telling farmers when to activate their irrigation systems, preventing both water waste and parched plants, according to researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

Fetal membranes may help transform regenerative medicine
A new review looks at the potential of fetal membranes, which make up the amniotic sac surrounding the fetus during pregnancy, for regenerative medicine.

Breakthrough in understanding mitochondria
Scientists have made a breakthrough in understanding how mitochondria -- the 'powerhouses' of human cells -- are made.

How invasive species threaten bats
A new review is the first to describe the scope of threats to bats by invasive species.

Periodic table of ecological niches could aid in predicting effects of climate change
A group of ecologists has started creating a periodic table of ecological niches similar to chemistry's periodic table.

A slam dunk for women head coaches -- so drop the bias
Having a man in charge of a US female basketball league team does not necessarily translate into more on court success.

Inherited herpesvirus study finds links to ancient humans
Research into inherited human herpesvirus 6 identifies origins in a small number of people thousands of years ago and highlights the potential to 'reactivate.'

St. Jude unveils powerful resource to advance treatment of pediatric solid tumors
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is offering the global scientific community no-cost access to an unprecedented collection of pediatric solid tumor samples and data to fuel research and move treatment forward.

Lithium-ion batteries will get more efficiency due to silicon, germanium, carbon nanowalls
Members of the D. V. Skobeltsyn Institute of Nuclear Physics together with their colleagues from the Faculty of Chemistry of the Lomonosov Moscow State University developed a new silicon- and germanium-based material that could significantly increase.

Millennials prefer healthy habits, less likely to choose opioids to manage pain
Often spending their days hunched over phones, tablets or computers and their free time at spin class or playing sports, millennials are the next generation poised to experience chronic pain.

Scientists from the California Academy of Sciences uncover factors that shape sea life
On its 50th anniversary, the landmark theory of island biogeography -- the study of the distribution of species on islands over time -- expands from land to sea with fascinating results.

Robot learns to follow orders like Alexa
In a new paper, researchers from MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL present an Alexa-like system that allows robots to understand a wide range of commands that require contextual knowledge about objects and their environments.

Blunting CRISPR's 'scissors' gives new insight into autoimmune disorders
A research team led by University of California scientists has used a modified version of the gene-editing technique CRISPR to find enhancers -- not by editing them but by prompting them into action.

Dog walkers motivated by happiness, not health
It appears to be a case of 'do what makes you happy' for people who regularly walk their dogs.

A decline in navigational skills could predict neurodegenerative disease
Changes in how humans map their surroundings and construct and follow directions as they age have been understudied compared to effects on memory and learning.

Largest study to date evaluates occupational health risks to hardmetal workers
Workers in the hardmetal industry are not at increased risk for lung cancer or any of 63 other potential causes of death, concluded the largest and most definitive study on this population to date.

Scientists recover nova first spotted 600 years ago by Korean astrologers
A new study pinpoints the location of a nova first spotted by Korean astrologers almost 600 years ago that now undergoes smaller-scale 'dwarf nova' eruptions.

Techniques used in forensic science help discover new molecular fossils
Researchers in Japan and China believe they have found new molecular fossils of archaea using a method of analysis commonly used in forensic science.

Improving earthquake resistance with a single crystal
A new heating method for certain metals could lead to improved earthquake-resistant construction materials.

Eating protein three times a day could make our seniors stronger
Loss of muscle is an inevitable consequence of aging that can lead to frailty, falls or mobility problems.

Study negates concerns regarding radioactivity in migratory seafood
International research team shows negligible risk from consumption of meat from migratory marine predators following Fukushima nuclear disaster.

NASA shows how Harvey saturated areas in Texas
NASA analyzed the soil moisture in southeastern Texas before and after Harvey made landfall and found the ground was already somewhat saturated.

New approach to genetic testing leads to dramatic response in MET fusion lung cancer
University of Colorado Cancer Center case study published today in the journal JCO Precision Oncology tests for alterations in many genes simultaneously, resulting in the first published report describing successful targeting of MET fusion in a lung cancer patient.

Tracking down the whale-shark highway
MBARI biological oceanographer John Ryan and his colleagues recently discovered that whale sharks in the Eastern Tropical Pacific follow fronts -- the dynamic boundaries between warm and cold ocean waters.

Sequencing all 24 human chromosomes uncovers rare disorders
Non-invasive prenatal screening is one of the great success stories of genomics research.

NASA finding Harvey's strongest storms
Infrared data provides temperature information and the highest, coldest cloud tops in tropical cyclones indicate where the strongest storms are located.

Virus that causes mono may increase risk of MS for multiple races
Like whites, Hispanic and black people who have had mononucleosis, commonly known as mono, which is caused by Epstein-Barr virus, may have an increased risk of multiple sclerosis, according to a new study published in the Aug.

Sharks with frickin' lasers: Gold nanoparticles fry cancer on glowing mice
A University of Colorado Cancer Center study takes a new approach to killing cancer: Why not fry it into oblivion with vibrating gold nanoparticles?

'Seeing' robot learns tricky technique for studying brain cells in mammals
Imperial scientists have successfully taught robots to perform a challenging brain technique only previously mastered by a handful of humans.

Hope for improving protection of the reticulated python
Trading in skins of the reticulated python is such a lucrative business that illegal exports are rising sharply and existing trade restrictions are being circumvented on a large scale.

Fungal spore 'death clouds' key in gypsy moth fight
A fungus known to decimate populations of gypsy moths creates 'death clouds' of spores that can travel more than 40 miles to potentially infect populations of invasive moths, according to a new Cornell study.

Peptide mass fingerprinting can identify whale species based solely on their baleen
Peptide mass fingerprinting accurately identified 10 species of whales from their baleen alone, according to a study published Aug.

Stabilizing TREM2 -- a potential strategy to combat Alzheimer's disease
A gene called triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2, or TREM2, has been associated with numerous neurodegenerative diseases.

ALMA finds huge hidden reservoirs of turbulent gas in distant galaxies
ALMA has been used to detect turbulent reservoirs of cold gas surrounding distant starburst galaxies.

Robotic system monitors specific neurons
MIT engineers have devised a way to automate the process of patch-clamping, using a computer algorithm that analyzes microscope images and guides a robotic arm to the target cell to record its electrical activity.

Researchers discover MRI can measure kidney scarring and predict future kidney function
Researchers from St. Michael's Hospital have made what are believed to be two world-first discoveries: an MRI can measure kidney damage and can predict future kidney function within one year while avoiding needle biopsies.

Study finds pallid bat is unfazed by venom of Arizona bark scorpion
The Arizona bark scorpion is the most venomous scorpion in North America.

Fish food for marine farms harbor antibiotic resistance genes
From isolated caves to ancient permafrost, antibiotic-resistant bacteria and genes for resistance have been showing up in unexpected places.

T cell responses may help dodge dengue virus symptoms during infection
Scientists now have new insight into the immune responses that prevent people infected with dengue virus from experiencing clinical symptoms, which could help optimize ongoing vaccine development efforts.

Researchers find optimal rules for seedings in knock-out tournaments
Researchers from the Higher School of Economics and the Stanford Graduate School of Business have conducted a study on tournaments using the playoff system, which is one of the most popular forms of sporting competitions.

Researchers tackle methane emissions with gas-guzzling bacteria
An international research team co-led by a Monash biologist has shown that methane-oxidising bacteria -- key organisms responsible for greenhouse gas mitigation -- are more flexible and resilient than previously thought.

Fast-forward aging due to DNA damage
In the course of time the DNA accumulates more and more damage -- aging is one of the results.

Researchers propose how the universe became filled with light
University of Iowa researchers have a new explanation for how the universe changed from darkness to light.

An island getaway: Why some Listeria strains survive good food hygiene standards
researchers from Vetmeduni Vienna have now shown that certain Listeria strains -- figuratively speaking -- take refuge on an island.

Motorized molecules drill through cells
Motorized molecules that target diseased cells may deliver drugs to or kill the cells by drilling into the cell membranes.

Patient plays saxophone while surgeons remove brain tumor
Music is not only a major part of Dan Fabbio's life, as a music teacher it is his livelihood.

Study examines dietary fats' impact on healthy, obese adults
Metabolically healthy obese adults consuming a diet high in unsaturated fat and low in saturated fat may be able to decrease their total cholesterol by 10 points, a new study suggests.

Key factor identified in gene silencing
In a paper published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Hengbin Wang and colleagues describe a key role for a protein called RSF1 in silencing genes.

Columbia engineers and clinicians first to build a functional vascularized lung scaffold
A Columbia Engineering team led by Professors Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic (Columbia Engineering) and N.

Expanding access to new tools to study childhood cancers
HHMI Investigator Michael Dyer and colleagues are widely sharing data and samples from nearly 100 new tumor models representing 12 pediatric cancers.

Understanding perceptions of reputation and identity offers opportunity, study shows
Research by Brittany Solomon found that, regardless of how people personally view another person, they also are aware of how that person sees themselves, as well as how they are generally perceived by others.

New research on fossil whales' teeth shows they were ferocious predators
International research involving Monash biologists has provided new insights into how the feeding habits of the whale -- the biggest animal -- have evolved.

Wolf behaviour undeterred by tailings ponds and pit mines
New UAlberta research shows that predation rates of moose have increased near areas of high human disturbance, but low human activity, such as tailings ponds and pit mines.

Research on the meaning of ancient geometric earthworks in southwestern Amazonia
Researchers examine pre-colonial geometric earthworks in the southwestern Amazonia from the point of view of indigenous peoples and archaeology.

Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest treatment, outcomes varies by racial make-up of neighborhood
Individuals who experienced an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) in neighborhoods with higher percentages of black residents had lower rates of bystander CPR and defibrillator use and were less likely to survive compared to patients who experienced an OHCA in predominantly white neighborhoods, according to a study published by JAMA Cardiology.

Robots on the move: How to better track movement
Pop culture promises a wide array of robots to aid humans, from the Jetsons' housekeeper, Rosie, to the adorable and helpful R2D2 and BB8 in the Star Wars universe.

New device could turn heat energy into a viable fuel source
A new device being developed by Washington State University physicist Yi Gu could one day turn the heat generated by a wide array of electronics into a usable fuel source. 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