Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 06, 2017
A 'virtual heart' to simulate arrhythmia
A group of researchers from MIPT and Ghent University have proposed a mathematical model which is able to determine the factors responsible for the formation of different fibrosis patterns, which are believed to cause arrhythmia.

Scientific study review presents health promoting potential of mangoes
Research continually unveils new insights about mangoes and their role in the diet for health.

NASA sees Tropical Storm Katia develop near Mexico's east coast
NASA's Terra satellite passed over Tropical Storm Katia as it was developing along Mexico's east coast.

New study finds improved vaccine that protects against nine types of HPV
Cervical cancer is the second most common cause of cancer-related death worldwide, with almost 300,000 deaths occurring each year.

Finding better wind energy potential with the new European Wind Atlas
Over the last 25 years, the world has seen an increased dependency on wind energy that promises to continue growing.

Yoga and meditation improve brain function and energy levels
Practicing brief sessions of Hatha yoga and mindfulness meditation can significantly improve brain function and energy levels, according to a new study from the University of Waterloo.

Some stroke survivors may have underlying cancer
Some stroke survivors may have underlying cancer, according to an observational study to be presented at the ESMO 2017 Congress in Madrid.

Genetic effects are influenced by lifestyle
The risk for developing obesity is influenced by our lifestyle as well as our genes.

Firebricks offer low-cost storage for carbon-free energy
MIT researchers draw from an ancient technology in their latest solution to enabling rapid expansion of wind, solar and nuclear power.

New microscopy method for quick and reliable 3-D imaging of curvilinear nanostructures
EPFL scientists have developed a scanning transmission electron microscopy method that can quickly and efficiently generate 3-D representations of curvilinear nanostructures.

Late bedtime and lack of sleep lead to overweight children in China
Researchers at the University of Birmingham have found that Chinese children who go to bed later and sleep less are more likely to be more overweight.

The colon of patients with IBS reacts differently to bacteria
The intestinal barrier of patients with the gastrointestinal disease IBS allows bacteria to pass more freely than in healthy people, according to a study led by researchers at Linköping University in Sweden.

Cloud formation suppressed by biogenic organic emissions
Researchers have found evidence that near-ground biogenic emissions of organics suppress cloud formation in cool-temperate forests in autumn, providing clues to how global warming will affect cloud formation and the overall climate.

Unraveling a major cause of sea ice retreat in the Arctic Ocean
Quantitative analysis has evidenced the acceleration system of melting ice: dark water surfaces absorb more heat than white ice surfaces, thus melting ice and making more water surfaces in the Arctic Ocean.

Fuel economy standards cheaper, more beneficial than previously believed
The regulations that set fuel-economy and greenhouse-gas emission goals for cars and trucks have lower costs and higher benefits than previous analyses report, a new Carnegie Mellon University study shows.

Health insurance changes, access to care by patients' mental health status
A research letter published by JAMA Psychiatry examined access to care before the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and after the ACA for patients grouped by mental health status using a scale to assess mental illness in epidemiologic studies.

This one goes up to 11: Researchers crack code for genetic 'control dials'
Scientists at the Centre for Genomic Regulation in Barcelona, Spain, have developed a new technique to crack the underlying DNA code for the 'control dials' that determine levels of gene activity in bacteria.

Sleep may help eyewitnesses from choosing innocent suspects
Sleep may influence an eyewitness's ability to correctly pick a guilty person out of a police lineup, indicates a study by Michigan State University researchers.

PupilScreen aims to allow parents, coaches, medics to detect concussion, TBIs with a phone
University of Washington researchers are developing a smartphone app that is capable of objectively detecting concussion and other traumatic brain injuries in the field, which could provide a new level of screening for athletes and accident victims.

Patient satisfaction with pain management linked to nurse staffing
Hospital patients' satisfaction with pain management is linked to nurse staffing, according to an article authored by nurse researchers from the Connell School of Nursing at Boston College and published in the journal Pain Management Nursing.

Substance in coffee delays onset of diabetes in laboratory mice
In recent years, researchers have identified substances in coffee that could help quash the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Study quantifies potential for water reuse in permian basin oil production
Hydraulic fracturing has once again made the Permian Basin one of the richest oil fields in the world.

Accretion-powered pulsar reveals unique timing glitch
The discovery of the largest timing irregularity yet observed in a pulsar is the first confirmation that pulsars in binary systems exhibit the strange phenomenon known as a 'glitch.' The study is published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Why US battery startups fail -- and how to fix it
A new study published in MRS Energy & Sustainability investigates why so many of these American battery materials startups are failing under the current venture capital funding model.

Liar, liar, pants on fire! Groups lie more than individuals, according to new research
Do you pride yourself on being an honest person? Even individuals who have a proven track record of honest behavior are no match for the potentially negative influences present in a group dynamic, especially when money is at stake, according to a new study, published in the INFORMS journal Management Science.

Parkinson's severity assessed through drawing
Researchers in Australia asked volunteers to draw a spiral on a sheet of paper.

Eighteenth century nautical charts reveal coral loss
Centuries-old nautical charts, mapped by long-deceased sailors to avoid shipwrecks, have been used by modern scientists to study loss of coral reefs.

Voting vulnerability
Online attackers may be able to purchase -- for as little as a few thousand dollars -- enough personal information to potentially alter voter registration information in as many as 36 states and the District of Columbia.

Three-quarters of Americans see head injuries in football as major problem
A new national poll released today found three-quarters of fans say head injuries in football are a major problem and that playing football causes brain injuries, including CTE, which those surveyed said is a serious public health issue.

Mislabeled moisturizers create problems for skin disorder sufferers
A new Northwestern Medicine study found that nearly half of the moisturizers on consumer shelves marked 'fragrance free' could still cause a skin rash or allergy, 83 percent of moisturizers labeled 'hypoallergenic' had at least one potentially allergenic ingredient, and products labeled as 'dermatologist-recommended' often came with a higher price tag.

Keychain detector could catch food allergens before it's too late
For kids and adults with food allergies, a restaurant outing can be a fraught experience.

The bacteria responsible for legionellosis modulates the host cell metabolism to its advantage
Scientists at the Institut Pasteur, CNRS and Inserm, together with a team from Switzerland, have shown that the bacterial pathogen Legionella pneumophila has developed a specific strategy to target the host cell mitochondria, the organelles in charge of cellular bioenergetics.

Monkey sees ... monkey knows?
Monkeys had higher confidence in their ability to remember an image when the visual contrast was high.

New diagnostic tool spots first signs of Parkinson's disease
There are currently no laboratory tests for Parkinson's disease and by the time people have symptoms, nerve cells in their brains have already suffered irreversible damage.

New model for hard-to-study form of blindness paves way for future research
URMC researchers have created the first patient-derived laboratory model of macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss in older adults.

UCLA biologists slow aging, extend lifespan of fruit flies
In research that potentially could delay the onset of Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, cancer, stroke, cardiovascular disease, and other diseases of aging, UCLA biologists have produced a genetic one-two punch that significantly slowed aging and improved health in the middle-aged fruit flies they studied.

UNH researchers find campus sexual violence significantly affects academics
New research by the University of New Hampshire shows that aggressive sexual acts can also adversely impact school work and overall college experience.

A touch of EroS
Researchers interested in the evolution of multicellular life were looking for bacteria that stimulate Salpingoeca rosetta, single-cell saltwater dwellers that are the closest living relatives of animals, to form the rosette-shaped colonies that give them their name.

Researchers discover why redheads are more prone to melanoma
Red-haired people are known for pale skin, freckles, poor tanning ability and unfortunately, an increased risk for developing skin cancer.

Paving the way towards 'designer organelles'
New research paves the way towards 'designer organelles' as scientists create an alternative protein carrying pathway within the cell.

Aussie quantum tech has its sights set on human biochemistry
Australian scientists have developed a new tool for imaging life at the nanoscale that will provide new insights into the role of transition metal ions such as copper in neurodegenerative diseases.

Scientists: New device accurately identifies cancer in seconds
A team of scientists and engineers has invented a powerful tool that rapidly and accurately identifies cancerous tissue during surgery, delivering results in about 10 seconds.

Gut microbiota of larvae has an impact on mosquito's ability to transmit human pathogens
Researchers from the Institut Pasteur and CNRS, in collaboration with teams from IRD, University Claude Bernard Lyon1, and CIRMF in Gabon, have demonstrated that differential bacterial exposure during the development of mosquito larvae (Aedes aegypti) can have carry-over effects on adult traits related to an insect's ability to be a successful vector of arboviruses.

Green light for ultra-fine display colors
Chemical engineers from ETH Zurich have succeeded in generating ultra-pure green light for the first time.

Pollen stays on bee bodies right where flowers need it for pollination
After grooming, bees still have pollen on body parts that match the position of flower pollen-sacs and stigmas, according to a study published Sept.

Determining motor deficits more precisely following a stroke
After a stroke, many people are unable to successfully perform basic hand movements in everyday life.

Supercharging silicon batteries
OIST scientists designed a novel silicon-based anode to provide lithium batteries with increased power and better stability.

'Vampires' may have been real people with this blood disorder
Findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) reveal a newly discovered genetic mutation that triggers erythropoietic protoporphyria (EPP).

Chemists from the MSU have explained the origin of the green fluorescence
The members of the Faculty of Chemistry of the Lomonosov Moscow State University in cooperation with Danish molecular physicists have revealed the mechanism, determining the sensitivity of the green fluorescent protein to light exposure.

Art courses could help medical students become better clinical observers
In an effort to explore ways to improve clinical observation skills among medical students, researchers from Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, in collaboration with educators at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, published a study in Ophthalmology that found significant improvement in observational recognition skills among students who took an art observation course and demonstrated that art training could help teach medical students to become better clinical observers.

Earth as hybrid planet: New classification places Anthropocene era in astrobiological context
A team of researchers including the University of Washington's Marina Alberti has devised a new classification scheme for the evolutionary stages of worlds based on 'non-equilibrium thermodynamics' -- a planet's energy flow being out of synch, as the presence of life could cause.

NASA satellite sees Barbuda in the eye of Hurricane Irma
In a unique image, NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed over Hurricane Irma when the island of Barbuda was in the center of the storm's eye.

Blood tumor markers may warn when lung cancer patients are progressing
University of Colorado Cancer Center study suggests that rather than screening for disease, blood tumor markers could be useful in monitoring therapeutic outcomes in those with already established disease.

Health of more than half of US adults affected by obesity
Considering weight across the life course, the prevalence of obesity among adults in the US rises considerably, suggesting that the effects on population health may be even more pervasive than previously understood, according to a new study led by a Boston University School of Public Health researcher.

Emoji fans take heart: Scientists pinpoint 27 states of emotion
The Emoji Movie, in which the protagonist can't help but express a wide variety of emotions instead of the one assigned to him, may have gotten something right.

Common cerebral white matter abnormalities found in children with autistic traits
Brain imaging study shows white matter structural changes in children correspond to severity of autistic traits.

Overcoming barriers to recruiting blacks/African-Americans for dementia research
In a paper published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, lead author Eseosa Ighodaro, Ph.D., encouraged fellow researchers to address the challenges associated with studying dementia in blacks/African-Americans.

Handheld 'pen' may bring real-time cancer diagnosis to surgeons' fingertips
Scientists have developed a handheld probe capable of non-destructively distinguishing between tumors and healthy tissue within 10 seconds, which could enable rapid cancer diagnoses and help surgeons remove all traces of malignant masses during operations.

Genetic alterations that make a type of brain cancer more aggressive were identified
The study set out to identify the mechanisms that make astrocytomas so aggressive and to find ways to customize treatment to patient needs.

Army, UMD researchers develop water-based lithium-ion batteries that don't explode
Researchers at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory and the University of Maryland have developed for the first time a lithium-ion battery that uses a water-salt solution as its electrolyte and reaches the 4.0 volt mark desired for household electronics, such as laptop computers, without the fire and explosive risks associated with some commercially available non-aqueous lithium-ion batteries.

NIST, NFL, GE and Under Armour announce grand prize winner in Head Health Challenge III
The US Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology, the National Football League, GE, and Under Armour today announced that a team of materials designers led by Dynamic Research Inc. has been selected as the grand prize winner of Head Health Challenge III, a contest meant to spur the discovery, design and development of advanced materials to better absorb or mitigate force within helmets, pads and other sports and consumer products that protect against traumatic brain injury.

New tool for characterizing quantum simulators
Physicists are developing quantum simulators, to help solve problems that are beyond the reach of conventional computers.

Breakthrough study reveals new diagnosis for Alzheimer's
In the largest and most conclusive study of its kind, researchers have analyzed blood samples to create a novel and non-invasive way of helping to diagnose Alzheimer's disease and distinguishing between different types of neurodegenerative disorders.

Why many Russians have gladly agreed to online censorship
The Russian government has persuaded many of its citizens to avoid websites and social media platforms that are critical of the government, a new study has found.

Increasing effective decision-making for coastal marine ecosystems
Marine restoration, rather than protection, might be the most cost-effective solution for coastal marine ecosystems suffering from human activities, a new study has found.

Herbicide rotation ineffective against resistance in waterhemp
Farmers have been battling herbicide-resistant weeds for generations. A common practice for most of that time has been to rotate between different herbicides every season.

John Deutch on realistic projections of economic growth and carbon emissions
Between 2008 and 2015, the United States was able to reduce carbon emissions while enjoying limited economic growth.

Two significant solar flares imaged by NASA's SDO
The sun emitted NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which watches the sun constantly, captured images of two significant solar flares on the morning of Sept.

Ozone limits at play as EPA, industry and environmental groups weigh in
After the Environmental Protection Agency initially announced a delay in enforcing stricter ozone limits, the agency now plans to meet the original October deadline for implementing the new standards.

Comparing cancer drug effectiveness from cells to mice to man
Dartmouth researchers who studied the cancer drug gemcitabine in cell culture, mouse models and humans have shown that the drug, at administered (tolerated) dose, arrests cell growth during cancer progression.

A bioactive molecule may protect against congestive heart failure after heart attacks
Researchers show that giving mice a form of the fatty acid-derived bioactive molecule called lipoxin improved heart function after a heart attack, as the lipoxin prompted early activation of the resolving phase of the immune response without altering the acute phase.

Study points to path for better diagnosis of eating disorders, the deadliest of mental illnesses
A 'radical' new method for diagnosing eating disorders predicts 68 percent of people's problems in psychological and social functioning due to eating-disorder features.

Not adhering to recommended exams for severe narrowing of the aortic valve associated with increased heart failure
Patients with asymptomatic severe aortic stenosis who did not follow recommended guidelines for regular exams had poorer survival and were more likely to be hospitalized for heart failure, according to a study published by JAMA Cardiology.

Molecular map shows how to disable dangerous bioweapon
Duke scientists recently mapped out the complex molecular circuitry that enables Francisella tularensis, the bacterium that causes tularemia, to become virulent.

Nivolumab in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma: Added benefit for specific patients
There is an indication of considerable added benefit in progression up to six months after platinum-based therapy.

GPM satellite probes dangerous category 5 Hurricane Irma
The GPM core observatory satellite had an exceptional view of hurricane Irma's eye and found extreme rainfall within the Category 5 storm's eyewall.

Synthetic version of popular anticoagulant poised for clinical trials
A synthetic version of low molecular weight heparin is poised for clinical trials and development as a drug for patients with clotting disorders, and those undergoing procedures such as kidney dialysis, heart bypass surgery, stent implantation, and knee and hip replacement.

Curves in all the right places
Researchers from the University of Liverpool collaborating with University College London, Banfield Pet Hospitals and the WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition have developed the first evidence-based growth standards chart for dogs.

A decade later, older Americans are still going hungry
A recent report comparing data from 2007 to 2015 finds 5.4 million people age 60 or older in the US, or 8.1 percent, are food insecure.

Biologists from MSU discovered the carotenoid transfer between 2 proteins
Specialists from the biological faculty of Moscow State University have studied the way the photoactive orange carotenoid protein (OCP) exchanges carotenoid with proteins of similar structure.

CBD may protect against psychiatric risk from high-THC cannabis strains
A study by Indiana University neuroscientists published Sept. 5 finds that a non-psychoactive compound in cannabis called cannabidiol, or CBD, appears to protect against the long-term negative psychiatric effects of THC, the primary psychoactive ingredient in cannabis.

Liver cancer patients can start with lower dose of chemotherapy and live just as long
Patients with the most common type of liver cancer who are taking the chemotherapy drug sorafenib can begin their treatment with a lower dose than is currently considered standard, and it will not affect how long they live when compared to patients who start on the full dose.

Statins reduce deaths from heart disease by 28 percent in men, says longest ever study
The study, by Imperial College London and University of Glasgow, focused on men with high levels of 'bad' cholesterol and no other risk factors or signs of heart disease.

People who use drugs require prioritization, not exclusion, in HCV elimination
An international conference bringing together hepatitis C experts from around the world is today calling for strategies to prioritise people who use drugs, saying hepatitis C elimination is impossible without them.

Study shows how retractions significantly hurt scientists
Life scientists who have published papers that are retracted by journals subsequently suffer a 10 percent drop in citations of their remaining work, compared to similar but unaffected scientists, according to a new study by MIT researchers.

New collection showcases success stories, insights on science communication
Now more than ever, communication is a critical skill for scientists, and the Annals of the Entomological Society of America has published a new collection of articles to get entomologists talking about science communication.

Study finds association between antidepressant use in pregnancy and diagnosis of psychiatric disorde
Antidepressant use during pregnancy is associated with increased risk of psychiatric disorder diagnosis in children compared to children born to mothers with no record of antidepressant use during pregnancy, finds a study published in The BMJ today.

Will mallards hybridize their cousins out of existence?
Mallards -- the familiar ducks of city parks -- are one of a group of closely related species, many of which are far less common.

Zinc transporter key to fighting pancreatic cancer and more
Patients suffering from Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease harbor significantly higher levels of zinc and iron in their brains than healthy patients.

Researchers measure the basis of color vision
Dr. Wolf M. Harmening from University Eye Hospital Bonn, together with American colleagues, studied color vision by probing individual sensory cells in the human eye.

Bacterial in-fighting provides new treatment for hospital infections
A bacteria that is a leading cause of death worldwide from hospital acquired infections following antibiotic treatment looks set to be brought down through its own sibling rivalry.

A protein that extends life of yeast cells
To understand and control aging is the aspiration of many scientists.

Water-based lithium-ion batteries without explosive risks now a reality
Researchers at the University of Maryland and the US Army Research Laboratory have developed for the first time a lithium-ion battery that uses a water-salt solution as its electrolyte and reaches the 4.0 volt mark desired for household electronics, such as laptop computers, without the fire and explosive risks associated with some commercially available non-aqueous lithium-ion batteries.

Scratch-and-sniff test could predict Parkinson's even earlier
A new study provides further evidence that a simple scratch-and-sniff test could predict Parkinson's disease even earlier than previously thought.

Certara paper shows viral kinetic modeling grows flu knowledge, advances drug development
As the number of drug-resistant influenza strains grows, and the challenge to identify the best strains to include in the next year's vaccine continues, researchers are searching for better ways to develop safer, more effective anti-viral drugs.

Malaria: Drug candidate may reduce spread of the parasite
Scientists have identified a class of compounds that can block transmission of the parasite that causes malaria and reduce resistance to currently available drugs.

Older adults who are frail more likely to have negative outcomes after trauma
More so than age, other health issues or the severity of the injury, pre-admission frailty is associated with in-hospital death and transfer to another acute-care hospital or to a long-term care facility, according to a study published today in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

Scientists discover the 'adrenaline' of the immune system
Who would have imagined that neurons are the masters of the immune system, eliciting an immediate and very powerful response from immune cells against infection?

Listening to happy music may enhance divergent creativity
Listening to happy music may help generate more, innovative solutions compared to listening to silence, according to a study published Sept.

18th century nautical charts document historic loss of coral reefs
Researchers studying 18th century British nautical charts tracked the loss of coral reef habitat in the Florida Keys over the last two centuries.

Researchers challenge status quo of battery commercialization
Northwestern University researchers and a Northwestern-affiliated startup are looking to the pharmaceutical industry to propose an updated model of US battery commercialization.

Due to climate change, one-third of animal parasites may be extinct by 2070
The Earth's changing climate could cause the extinction of up to a third of its parasite species by 2070, according to a global analysis reported Sept.

NASA watching Tropical Storm Jose get organized
Tropical Storm Jose appeared somewhat elongated in NASA satellite imagery as NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed overhead, but the storm organized and strengthened overnight.

One powerful cell makes or breaks your habits
Duke University neuroscientists have pinpointed a single type of neuron deep within the brain that serves as a 'master controller' of habits.

Unneeded medical care is common and driven by fear of malpractice, physician survey concludes
A new national survey of more than 2,000 physicians across multiple specialties finds that physicians believe overtreatment is common and mostly perpetuated by fear of malpractice, as well as patient demand and some profit motives.

Defects in next-generation solar cells can be healed with light
Researchers have shown that defects in the molecular structure of perovskites -- a material which could revolutionize the solar cell industry -- can be 'healed' by exposing it to light and just the right amount of humidity.

Predatory journals a global problem
A massive investigation shows that contrary to popular belief, a majority of papers in suspected biomedical predatory journals (57 percent) are from high or upper middle income countries, with many coming from prestigious institutions.

Light-Based Method Improves Practicality and Quality of Remote Wind Measurements
Researchers have developed a new remote sensing instrument based on light detection and ranging that could offer a simple and robust way to accurately measure wind speed, which could help scientists better understand how hurricanes form and provide information to pinpoint landfall earlier.

Americans' views towards refugee resettlement: Not-in-my backyard (NIMBYism) and media frames
A Dartmouth study finds that Americans are consistently less supportive of refugee resettlement within their own communities than nationally, illustrating the prevalence of not-in-my-backyard syndrome (NIMBYism).

Flip-flop qubits: Radical new quantum computing design invented
Engineers at Australia's University of New South Wales have invented a radical new architecture for quantum computing, based on novel 'flip-flop qubits,' that promises to make the large-scale manufacture of quantum chips dramatically cheaper -- and easier -- than thought possible.

Blindness study shows how gene causes middle-age sight loss
Chemical changes in the eye that can lead to blindness have been identified by scientists, a conference has heard.

Tick tock
Around the world, ticks are one of the most important vectors of zoonotic diseases -- animal diseases communicable to humans -- and they're everywhere.

People synchronize their walking gaits when carrying a stretcher-like object together
When two people walk one in front of the other while carrying a stretcher-like object, they typically synchronize their gaits, according to a study published Sept.

Does the organic material of comets predate our solar system?
The Rosetta space probe discovered a large amount of organic material in the nucleus of comet 'Chury.' In an article published by MNRAS on Aug.

Chronic bronchitis new insights could lead to first diagnostic test and better treatments
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers describe how the concentration of mucins -- the proteins that make mucus thick -- is abnormally high in chronic bronchitis and that high mucin concentrations are associated with disease severity in people with chronic bronchitis.

Researchers report new way to make dissolving electronics
Researchers from the University of Houston and China have reported a new type of electronic device that can be triggered to dissolve through exposure to water molecules in the atmosphere.

More stringent rape laws reduce chances a country will face civil war, study finds
Countries that have longer punitive sentences for rape crimes are less likely to have civil war and strife, according to a new study led by a University of Kansas researcher.

How monkey fights grow
New research finds evidence for a complicated structure behind primate conflict. 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