Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 05, 2017
ACA marketplace plans offer fewer mental health providers compared to primary care
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 aimed to achieve parity in coverage between mental health care and other forms of health care.

Foundations: A remedy, with shortcomings, to the journalism crisis
Nonprofit journalism organizations have made notable civic contributions, but fall short of offering a strong critical alternative to the market failure and professional shortcomings of commercial journalism, finds a new study from NYU's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.

High-flying ducks cross Himalayas
A high-flying duck species reaches altitudes of up to 6,800 meters (22,000 feet) to cross the Himalayas, new research shows.

Discovery of boron on Mars adds to evidence for habitability
The discovery of boron on Mars gives scientists more clues about whether life could have ever existed on the planet, according to a paper published today in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

Study shows contrasting long-term cognitive effects of psychiatric drugs in schizophrenia
A long-term study has found that low cumulative exposure to benzodiazepine and antidepressant medications does not seem to affect cognition in schizophrenia.

Racial and ethnic differences seen in antibiotics prescribed for viral illnesses in pediatric EDs
Non-Latino white children seeking treatment for viral infections in the Emergency Department are about twice as likely to receive an antibiotic unnecessarily compared with non-Latino black children or Latino children, a multi-center study indicates.

Boosting a lipid fuel makes mice less sensitive to the cold
Humans, like other animals, become more sensitive to cold with age.

Mice on ketogenic diets live longer and healthier in old age
Two independent mouse studies provide evidence that a ketogenic diet improves memory in older animals, as well as the chances that an animal lives to old age.

Physical activity can lead to difference in diet preferences between males, females
Recent studies have shown that approximately 90 percent of adult Americans fail to reach the US Department of Health guidelines for physical activity, which could be contributing to surging obesity rates.

NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite spots Lidia dissipating
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite captured an image of Lidia as it degenerated into a remnant low pressure area on Sept.

'Bee' informed: Public interest exceeds understanding in bee conservation
Many people have heard bee populations are declining due to such threats as colony collapse disorder, pesticides and habitat loss.

Insects can see the world in much finer resolution than previously thought
Insects have much better vision and can see in far greater detail than previously thought, a new study from the University of Sheffield has revealed.

Ketogenic diet improves healthspan and memory in aging mice
A ketogenic diet significantly improved memory in aging mice and increased their chances of surviving to old age.

Longer, stronger summers in the Gulf of Maine
Summer in the Gulf of Maine is as much as two months longer and warmer than it has ever been before, according to a new study published in the journal Elementa.

Study shows transgender students are at significant risk for suicidal thoughts
Nearly 35 percent of transgender youth in California reported suicidal thoughts in the past year, almost double that of non-transgender youth, reports a study published in the September 2017 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Was the primordial soup a hearty pre-protein stew?
How proteins evolved billions of years ago, when Earth was devoid of life, has stumped many a scientist.

'Extreme' telescopes find the second-fastest-spinning pulsar
By following up on mysterious high-energy sources mapped by NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, a Netherlands-based radio telescope has discovered a new pulsar, the second fastest-spinning known.

NASA sees development of Tropical Depression 19W
NASA's Aqua satellite looked at cloud top temperatures in Tropical Depression 19W as it developed just north of northern coast of Luzon, Philippines.

Study identifies new metabolic target in quest to control immune response
A surprising discovery that immune cells possess an internal warehouse of glycogen used to activate immune responses could help to increase immune activity in vaccines or suppress immune reactions in autoimmune disease or hyper-inflammatory conditions.

A revolution in lithium-ion batteries is becoming more realistic
The modern world relies on portable electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, cameras or camcorders.

Gene related to brain damage in pre-term infants identified
A gene has been identified by researchers at King's College London that is thought to be associated with the types of brain damage that can be caused by pre-term birth.

Rejection, volunteering and morality: The latest in social and personality psychology
From rejection to volunteering and innocence, the following research recently published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

Mystery solved: How thyroid hormone prods red blood cell production
For more than a century, the link between thyroid hormone and red blood cell production has remained elusive.

Newly identified growth factor inhibitors selectively target the cells that cause fibrosis
Fibrosis is a progressive and sometimes fatal response to organ injury.

An overlooked and rare new gall-inducing micromoth from Brazil
A new species and genus of primitive micromoth from the Brazilian Pampa biome induces hardly noticeable galls on the stems of the Uruguayan pepper tree.

California Academy of Sciences assembles genome of threatened northern spotted owl
A charismatic owl iconic to Pacific Coast forests is no longer ruling the roost, and scientists now have another tool for understanding its decline.

Prenatal lack of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids linked to schizophrenic symptoms in mice
Researchers at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute in Japan have discovered a process through which changes in nutrition during early mouse pregnancy lead to offspring that develop schizophrenic-like symptoms as adults.

Sweet success: Nanocapsule perfectly binds sucrose in water
Researchers from Tokyo Institute of Technology and Kyoto University have developed an artificial receptor that can bind sucrose in water with exquisite precision.

Dig, dive, survive
We humans aren't the only creatures drawn by the smell of a good meal.

How to implement Advance Care Planning for patients
International recommendations for patient care in the last days of life have been drawn up by researchers.

New insights into bacterial toxins
A toxin produced by a bacterium that causes urinary tract infections is related to, yet different in key ways from, the toxin that causes whooping cough, according to new research.

Aeroices: Newly discovered ultralow-density ice
Relatively little is known about the effects of extreme negative pressure on water molecules.

Studies call for expansion and digitization of Arctic museum collections
New volume of studies highlights how Arctic collections are biodiversity and cultural repositories that help monitor rapidly changing ecosystems, preserve cultural heritage, and enhance public engagement in science and culture.

Older wombs linked to complications in pregnant mice
Deciding to start a family later in life could be about more than just the age of your eggs.

Surgeons create 'vacuum' procedure to remove infected pacemaker
Electrophysiologists get creative in removing infected pacemaker wires of a patient unable to have open heart surgery.

Heparin stimulates food intake and body weight gain in mice
Research shows that heparin, which is well known for its role as an anticoagulant, can also promote food intake and body weight increase in animal models.

Children with bone, joint infection often carry the same infectious bacteria in throat
The presence of the bacterium Kingella kingae in children's throats was strongly linked to bone and joint infection with the same bacterium, according to new research published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Rice U. solubility study could impact energy, biology, environment
Rice University chemical engineers have used the most realistic computer model yet devised to simulate the precise atomic and molecular interactions that come into play when water mixes with alkanes, a family of hydrocarbons that includes methane, propane and other refined products.

Kessler Foundation scientists find link between cognitive fatigue and effort and reward
Injury and disease of the brain increase the likelihood of cognitive fatigue, which can be disabling.

How rubber makes sports possible (video)
Sports balls of all varieties owe their resilience and reliability to an unusual polymer -- one whose derivatives and spinoffs are everywhere you look, from cars to shoes to rocket fuel.

New strategy for vaccinating pregnant mothers against malaria holds promise for protecting infants
A mother and infant in Malawi have the same repertoire of antibodies to Plasmodium falciparum, the malaria parasite.

Scientists find new evidence about how to prevent worsening pneumonia
Sodium channels in the cells that line the tiny capillaries in our lungs play an important role in keeping those capillaries from leaking and potentially worsening conditions like pneumonia, scientists report.

Researchers develop Lassa fever treatment effective eight days after infection
A collaborative team of scientists, led by a group at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, have successfully protected nonhuman primates against one of the most deadly viruses in the world, Lassa fever, eight days after they became infected.

Stanford professor tests a cooling system that works without electricity
Stanford scientists cooled water without electricity by sending excess heat where it won't be noticed -- space.

Newly-discovered semiconductor dynamics may help improve energy efficiency
Researchers examining the flow of electricity through semiconductors have uncovered another reason these materials seem to lose their ability to carry a charge as they become more densely 'doped.'

The sniff test of self-recognition confirmed: Dogs have self-awareness
A new research carried out by the Department of Psychology of the Barnard College in the USA, in publication on the journal Behavioural Processes, used a sniff-test to evaluate the ability of dogs to recognize themselves.

Warmer world may bring more local, less global, temperature variability
Many tropical or subtropical regions could see increases in naturally occurring temperature variability as Earth warms over coming decades, a Duke-led study suggests.

Study shows coping skills affect women's anxiety levels
Research shows that having a strong sense of coherence and good coping skills- can help women facing adversity to overcome anxiety.

Nanoparticles limit damage in spinal cord injury
After a spinal cord injury, significant secondary nerve damage is caused by inflammation and internal scarring that inhibits the ability of the nervous system to repair itself.

Muscles maintain proper function by producing reactive oxygen species at the right time
. Although reactive oxygen species can damage cells when produced in high amounts, according to a study published online Sept.

Alectinib: ALEX and ALUR trials show CNS benefit in NSCLC
Data from two separate phase 3 studies to be presented at the ESMO 2017 Congress in Madrid, show alectinib's particular central nervous system (CNS) activity in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer involving a mutation of the anaplastic lymphoma kinase gene (ALK-positive NSCLC).

Glowing cancer tool illuminates benign, but dangerous, brain tumors during pituitary surgery
An experimental imaging tool that uses a targeted fluorescent dye successfully lit up the benign brain tumors of patients during removal surgery, allowing surgeons to identify tumor tissue, a new study from researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania shows.

Contributions to veterans in the US criminal justice system identified
New research from the University of Missouri establishes that alcohol and drug use, difficulty adjusting to civilian life, and economic disadvantages are main contributors to criminal justice involvement for veterans.

Rare footage of a new clearwing moth species from Malaysia reveals its behavior
Unique footage of a shiny blue, elusive new species of clearwing moth has been recorded in a primeval rainforest in Peninsular Malaysia.

Readmission rates decline when hospitals develop skilled nursing facility networks
A new study on hospital re-admission rates found that hospitals with formal networks of skilled nursing facilities as part of their care management efforts had reduced readmission rates among patients discharged to skilled nursing facilities as compared to hospitals without such networks.

Superhuman 'night' vision during the total eclipse?
It was dark as night during the recent total solar eclipse, yet people and objects were easier to see than on a typical moonless night.

How receptors for medicines work inside cells
G protein-coupled receptors are the key target of a large number of drugs.

NASA's SDO captures image of mid-level flare
The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 4:33 pm EDT on Sept.

Swings in dad's testosterone affects the family -- for better or worse -- after baby arrives
Testosterone levels are a key factor in a family's health and happiness after a newborn arrives.

'Waves' of neural activity give new clues about Alzheimer's
While unconscious during deep sleep, millions of neurons' activity travels across the cerebral cortex.

When not to eat your kids
Even though it is known to be a cannibal, the mangrove rivulus or killifish of the Americas will never eat one of its own embryos, even if it is hungry.

Life in the fast lane: How plants avoid traffic jams
Scientists at the John Innes Centre in Norwich, Norfolk, UK and the University of Tokyo have discovered how plants ingenuously avoid internal traffic jams.

On a quest to improve treatments for inflammatory bowel disease
Scientist Shomyseh Sanjabi, PhD, joined the Gladstone Institutes seven years ago, and she brought with her a special type of mice that develop inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

FDG-PET/CT predicts melanoma patients' response to immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy
Research highlighted in the featured article of the September issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine demonstrates that combined PET/CT scanning early in treatment of advanced melanoma could identify whether the therapy will benefit a particular patient.

Zika virus could be used to treat brain cancer patients, study suggests
Recent outbreaks of Zika virus have revealed that the virus causes brain defects in unborn children.

Invasive plants change ecosystems from the bottom up
Research has shown that even when two different Phragmite lineages are grow side-by-side in the same ecosystem, the bacterial communities in the soil differ dramatically.

Eating meat linked to higher risk of diabetes
A new Duke-NUS Medical School study has found that higher intake of red meat and poultry is associated with significantly increased risk of developing diabetes, which is partially attributed to their higher content of heme iron in these meats.

NASA sees development of Tropical Storm Jose
As Tropical Storm Jose was forming in the Eastern Atlantic Ocean, NASA's Aqua satellite analyzed its cloud top temperatures.

Vaccine to prevent most cervical cancers shows long-term effectiveness
A vaccine that can literally eradicate the majority of cervical cancer cases shows long-term effectiveness in a study published today in The Lancet.

Preventing exercise-induced bronchospasm
Italian researchers have explored previous research for the best methods to identify, prevent and treat exercise-induced bronchospasm (EIB) in children with and without asthma.

Man-made reefs: A compelling diving alternative -- Ben-Gurion U. study
The researchers examined diving habits and behavior around Eilat's natural and artificial reefs.

2011 Tohoku-oki earthquake: Results from seismic reflection data
A striking finding of the 2011 Tohoku-oki earthquake (Mw 9.0) is that more than 50 meters of coseismic fault slip reached the trench axis.

NASA sees Irma strengthen to a category 5 hurricane
NASA and NOAA satellites have been providing valuable satellite imagery to forecasters at the National Hurricane Center, and revealed that Hurricane Irma has strengthened to a Category 5 hurricane on Sept.

Large-scale study of genetic data shows humans still evolving
In a study analyzing the genomes of 210,000 people in the United States and Britain, researchers at Columbia University find that the genetic variants linked to Alzheimer's disease and heavy smoking are less frequent in people with longer lifespans, suggesting that natural selection is weeding out these unfavorable variants in both populations.

The STING of death in T cells
EPFL scientists show that the STING signaling pathway, which helps coordinate the innate immune system, causes cell death in T cells of the adaptive immune system.

More durable, less expensive fuel cells
A team of engineers at UD has developed a technology that could make fuel cells cheaper and more durable. Hydrogen-powered fuel cells are a green alternative to internal combustion engines because they produce power through electrochemical reactions, leaving no pollution behind. Platinum is the most common catalyst in the type of fuel cells used in vehicles, but it's expensive.

Research shows how DNA molecules cross nanopores
Research from Northwestern University sheds new light on the understanding of the measurement of polymer properties in diverse chemical industries such as plastics manufacturing and food processing, and the design of biosensors.

Split-brain fruit fly research gives new insight into autism
Neuroscientists working in the biology department at the University of Nevada, Reno have identified a new genetic mechanism in fruit flies they believe is responsible for disruption of the brain pathways connecting the left and right hemispheres of the brain; which has separately been linked to autism.

Getting hook bending off the hook
Bending of a hook into wire to fish for the handle of a basket by crow Betty 15 years ago stunned the scientific world.

Adding commercial soy in developing countries brings unique challenges
Growing commercial soybean in developing countries comes with a set of unique challenges.

Opioid abuse can be treated successfully in primary care settings, study finds
While many medical strategies have been shown helpful in treating opioid and alcohol abuse, the approaches are often most available in specialized treatment centers that are costly and limited in number.

Engineers develop tools to share power from renewable energy sources during outages
A team of engineers at the University of California San Diego developed algorithms that would allow homes to use and share power from their renewable energy sources during outages by strategically disconnecting these devices, called solar inverters, from the grid.

Contagious yawning more closely associated with perceptual sensitivity than empathy
A new study out of Tohoku University suggests that contrary to common belief that the yawning contagion is associated with empathy, it is in fact, more likely that perceptual sensitivity is to blame.

Aspirin-like pain reliever diflunisal blocks hearing protein
A Rice University study has found that the aspirin-like drug diflunisal blocks the action of prestin, a key protein that is required for hearing.

Fox News viewing influences likelihood of voting for Republican presidential candidates
Channel surfing voters who stumble across Fox News first in their cable news channel lineup are more likely to vote for a Republican presidential candidate, according to a new study from researchers at Emory University and Stanford University in the American Economic Review.

Protein shown to be predictor of kidney damage in children
High levels of a protein known as suPAR, which has been shown to be a marker and likely cause of kidney damage, is as reliably predictive in children as in adults, according to results of a study published online today in JAMA Pediatrics, a clinical publication of the American Medical Association.

New app replaces ultrasound with smartphone camera to measure heart health
Engineers have developed an app that can measure key benchmarks of heart health using just a smartphone's camera.

Discrimination in the housing market is hindering successful integration
Males with an Arabic name face discrimination in the rental housing market in Finland.

Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, September 2017
ORNL story tips: 3-D printing process repairs and strengthens Cummins engine without recasting parts.

Could switchgrass help China's air quality?
Researchers from the United States and China have proposed an idea that could improve China's air quality, but they're not atmospheric scientists.

Global 'community' rallies for the Reef
Who cares about the Great Barrier Reef? Many people, and according to a paper published today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, some of the most passionately connected individuals can come from far away places, across the globe.

Scientists developed 'smart fertilizer'
Scientists of Siberian Federal University and Krasnoyarsk scientific center of SB RAS developed the 'smart fertilizer.' Researchers combined traditional fertilizer with a biodegradable polymer, which allowed to slow down the process of decomposition and release of a nutrient into the soil.

Zika virus kills brain cancer stem cells
While Zika virus causes devastating damage to the brains of developing fetuses, it one day may be an effective treatment for glioblastoma, a deadly form of brain cancer.

Spotting risky behavior crucial in cutting road accidents
A study published by a lecturer at the UPV/EHU's Faculty of Education -- Bilbao concludes that aggressive thoughts at the wheel lead to aggressive behavior, which in turn unleashes risky behavior associated with accident-related events.

Side effects of antidepressants used for chronic pain relief
The study, recently published in Frontiers in Neurology, collected all reported adverse effects for these drugs in the clinical literature from the past two decades.

Study suggests simple way to predict preterm births
MIT research offers a new approach to evaluating the risk of preterm birth by analyzing the properties of cervical mucus.

Can height increase risk for blood clots in veins?
Risk of blood clots in the veins was associated with height, with the lowest risk in participants who were five feet tall or shorter.

Eat fat, live longer?
As more people live into their 80s and 90s, researchers have delved into the issues of health and quality of life during aging.

Oregon's marijuana legalization prompted big drop in sales in Washington's border counties
Three days after recreational marijuana sales became legal in Oregon, sales across the border in Washington, where retail availability already existed, dropped by 41 percent, say University of Oregon economists.

Building a morphogen gradient by simple diffusion in a growing plant leaf
The team of Associate Professor Kensuke Kawade at OIB/NIBB showed that a transcriptional co-activator ANGUSTIFOLIA3 (AN3) forms a signaling gradient along the leaf proximal-to-distal axis to determine cell-proliferation domain.

Team finds way to measure key cell regulator's activity
UT Health San Antonio researchers and co-authors in New York state on Sept.

Blood is thicker than water for the common reed -- At least that's what the soil tells us
Northeastern University Professor Jennifer Bowen and University of Rhode Island Professor Laura Meyerson published a paper in Nature Communications on the native and invasive species of common reed Phragmites australis.

New, ultra-rare gene mutations implicated in eating disorders
A combination of whole exome sequencing, machine learning, and network analysis, has identified new, ultra-rare gene mutations within specific biological pathways that may contribute to eating disorders, according to a study by researchers at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine and the Eating Recovery Center in Dallas, Texas.

NYU Bluestone Center discovers that skin color affects skin sensitivity to heat, mechanical stimuli
Researchers at the Bluestone Center for Clinical Research at the New York University College of Dentistry (NYU Dentistry) have identified a novel molecular mechanism which explains why dark-skinned and light-skinned people respond differently to heat and mechanical stimulation.

Hop, skip, run, leap: Unpredictability boosts survival for bipedal desert rodents
Sometimes it pays to be unpredictable. A new study shows that when bipedal desert rodents called jerboas are being chased, sudden changes in direction, gait and speed help them elude hungry predators and likely give them a competitive edge over their quadrupedal neighbors.

Childhood socioeconomic status associated with arterial stiffness in adulthood
The multicenter trial coordinated by the Research Centre of Applied and Preventive Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Turku, Finland, shows that lower socioeconomic status in childhood is associated with arterial stiffness in adulthood.

Birds choose mates with ornamental traits
A recurring theme in nature documentaries is that of choosy females selecting brightly colored males.

Midwestern University researchers discover previously unknown cause of nTOS
Neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome (nTOS) is a common neurologic syndrome resulting in pain, numbness, and/or weakness in the arm, forearm, and hand.

Longtime antidepressant could slow Parkinson's
Michigan State University scientists now have early proof that an antidepressant drug that's been around for more than 50 years could slow the progression of Parkinson's.

Safety, feasibility of PrEP for adolescent men who have sex with men
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) was safe and well-tolerated in a study of adolescent men who have sex with men, although adherence to the daily medication waned and some HIV infections occurred among those with poor adherence, according to an article published by JAMA Pediatrics.

Outreach interventions improve colorectal cancer screening
Outreach and notification to patients and physicians improved colorectal cancer (CRC) screening among patients who were not up-to-date or nonadherent with CRC screening, according to two studies published by JAMA.

Research dog helps scientists save endangered carnivores
Scat-sniffing research dogs are helping scientists map out a plan to save reclusive jaguars, pumas, bush dogs and other endangered carnivores in the increasingly fragmented forests of northeastern Argentina, according to a new study from Washington University in St.

Recommendations vary for vision screening in young children
The US Preventive Services Task Force recommends vision screening at least once in all children 3 to 5 years of age to detect amblyopia (also known as 'lazy eye') or its risk factors (a B recommendation); and concludes that the current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of vision screening in children younger than 3 years (an I statement).

Change in medical exemptions from immunization after elimination of personal belief exemptions in California
An increase in California in medical exemptions from immunization after elimination of personal belief exemptions suggests that some vaccine-hesitant parents may have located physicians willing to exercise the broader discretion provided by California Senate bill 277 for granting medical exemptions, according to a study published by JAMA.

Deforestation long overlooked as contributor to climate change
When it comes to tackling climate change, the focus often falls on reducing the use of fossil fuels and developing sustainable energy sources.

The protein TAZ sends 'mixed signals' to stem cells
Just as beauty exists in the eye of the beholder, a signal depends upon the interpretation of the receiver.

Sharp rise in common ownership
An analysis using a new way of measuring the financial links that tie together hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, hospices and home health agencies reveals a surprisingly large -- and rapidly growing -- degree of consolidation across various sectors of the health care industry.

Engineer develops key mathematical formula for driving quantum experiments
For more than a decade, Jr-Shin Li has sought a better way for pulse design using the similarity between spins and springs by using numerical experiments. 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