Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 14, 2017
Poor sleep hastens progression of kidney disease
People with chronic kidney disease may be especially vulnerable to the deleterious effects of poor sleep, according to a new paper published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Delaying child's tonsillectomy does not lower risk of developmental disorder
Children under age 5 who underwent minor surgery requiring anesthesia had a 26 percent increased risk of later diagnosis with a mental disorder.

People of color exposed to more pollution from cars, trucks, power plants over 10 years
A new nationwide study finds that the US made little progress from 2000 to 2010 in reducing relative disparities between people of color and whites in exposure to harmful air pollution emitted by cars, trucks and other combustion sources.

Chronic pain common in people living with HIV
All people living with HIV should be screened for chronic pain, which affects 39 to 85 percent of people with the condition, recommend new HIVMA guidelines.

For worriers, expressive writing cools brain on stressful tasks
Chronic worriers, take note: Simply writing about your feelings may help you perform an upcoming stressful task more efficiently, finds a Michigan State University study that measured participants' brain activity.

NASA's one-year mission investigates how space affects astronauts' functional performance
Adapting to the microgravity environment of space changes the way your brain interprets sensory signals, decreases muscle strength and alters cardiovascular function.

NASA-NOAA Satellite spots 2 tails of Hurricane Max
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite captured an image of the latest tropical cyclone in the Eastern Pacific on Sept.

NASA sees Typhoon Doksuri in the South China Sea
Typhoon Doksuri appeared well-rounded and organized on satellite imagery as it moved through the north central South China Sea toward Vietnam.

New genetic cause discovered for photosensitive blood disorder
Researchers from BWH have uncovered a new genetic cause for erythropoietic protoporphyria (EPP), a photosensitive blood disorder.

Hubble observes pitch black planet
Astronomers have discovered that the well-studied exoplanet WASP-12b reflects almost no light, making it appear essentially pitch black.

Low awareness of breast cancer overdiagnosis and overtreatment among US women
Did you know that routine mammograms can lead to overdiagnosis and overtreatment of breast cancer?

New climate risk classification created to account for potential 'existential' threats
A new study evaluating models of future climate scenarios has led to the creation of the new risk categories 'catastrophic' and 'unknown' to characterize the range of threats posed by rapid global warming.

Chimera viruses can help the fight against lymphomas
Researchers from Instituto de Medicina Molecular (iMM) Lisboa have created a chimera virus that allows the study of molecules to treat cancers caused by human herpes virus infection in mice models of disease.

Young binge drinkers show altered brain activity
Researchers have studied the brain activity of young binge-drinking college students in Spain, and found distinctive changes in brain activity, which may indicate delayed brain development and be an early sign of brain damage.

A subtler sexism now frames TV coverage of women in sports
An ongoing longitudinal study tracking national coverage of women's sports finds that coverage is still lacking and the sexism of women's sports is less overt but remains a problem.

New route to polyamide 6 catalytic oxidation of cyclohexane with ferrocene in ionic liquid
The combination of a commercial iron-complex catalyst (ferrocene) and well-adjusted unconventional reaction conditions led to a highly selective, fast and reusable catalytic system for the mild oxidation of cyclohexane.

New knowledge on how HIV beats the body's early immune response
In an important step towards eradicating HIV-associated viral reservoirs, researchers at Sydney's Westmead Institute for Medical Research have identified how the HIV virus hijacks the innate immune system to facilitate its replication and spread, thus gaining a foothold infection in the body.

Premature infants may get metabolic boost from mom's breast milk
The breast milk of mothers with premature babies has different amounts of microRNA than that of mothers with babies born at term, which may help premature babies catch up in growth and development, according to researchers.

Insulin therapy initially declined and delayed by an average of 2 years
Thirty percent of type 2 diabetic patients don't begin insulin when it's initially recommended, with the average start time being two years later.

Engineered therapy for blood clotting disorder shows early promise
An investigational treatment that mimics a key clotting enzyme is effective, safe, and may one day eliminate the need for blood products for people with the rare, life-threatening blood disease hereditary thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP), according to a study published online today in Blood, the Journal of the American Society of Hematology (ASH).

Biologist reaches into electric eel tank, comes out with equation to measure shocks
Vanderbilt University researcher Ken Catania stuck his arm into a tank with small eel 10 times -- the only way to get accurate measurements of the circuit created by animal, arm and water.

You're not alone in feeling alone
Feel like everyone else has more friends than you do?

The internet may be secular, but religious americans aren't worried, baylor survey shows
Despite the pervasive use of the Internet in everyday life, most Americans report they never use it to find religious or spiritual content, and most never use it to share religious views, according to the Baylor Religion Survey.

Study adds to evidence that racial and economic factors affect surgical pain management
A 'look back' analysis of more than 600 major colorectal surgeries using a 'checklist' tool has added further evidence that racial and socioeconomic disparities may occur during many specific stages of surgical care, particularly in pain management.

Ending DACA could have dire public health consequences
The pending termination of DACA may reverse these mental health benefits for the 800,000 DACA beneficiaries, and trigger a public health crisis, according to an essay in the New England Journal of Medicine, co-authored by Atheendar.

Islamophobia represents a form of racism mixed with cultural intolerance
Islamophobia represents a form of racism mixed with cultural intolerance as a whole, rather than simply intolerance of Muslims and Islam, according to a new paper from a Rice University sociologist.

NASA sees Eastern Pacific stir Up Tropical Storm Norma
Tropical Storm Norma is the newest addition to the tropical cyclones in the Eastern Pacific and NASA's Terra satellite caught it after it developed.

SLAC-led project will use AI to prevent or minimize electric grid failures
A project led by the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory will combine artificial intelligence with massive amounts of data and industry experience from a dozen U.S. partners to identify places where the electric grid is vulnerable to disruption, reinforce those spots in advance and recover faster when failures do occur.

Synaptic receptor mobility: Discovery of a new mechanism for controlling memory
Researchers in Bordeaux recently discovered a new mechanism for storing information in synapses and a means of controlling the storage process.

Self-healing gold particles
Self-healing materials are able to repair autonomously defects, such as scratches, cracks or dents, and resume their original shape.

Is the Alzheimer's gene the ring leader or the sidekick?
Scientific literature in recent years has focused extensively on one genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease, the ApoE4 gene variant.

Too many older diabetes patients are being overtreated
Up to 11 percent of older Americans insured through Medicare are receiving too much medication to control their diabetes, and around 7 percent are being undertreated.

Antibiotic identified that reduces infection risk in young leukemia patients
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital investigators report preventive antibiotic therapy, particularly with levofloxacin, reduced the odds of infections in at-risk pediatric leukemia patients early in cancer treatment.

Light at the end of the tunnel: Restored forest now shelters dozens of endangered species
A twenty-year effort to protect and manage tiny remnants of a dilapidated forest in Benin, along with its agricultural and fallow vegetation surroundings, resulted in 14 ha of rich secondary forest, which corresponds to the size of nearly 20 sacred groves.

NASA's Hubble captures blistering pitch-black planet
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has observed a planet outside our solar system that looks as black as fresh asphalt.

Sorting molecules with DNA robots
Scientists at Caltech have programmed a 'robot' made of DNA to pick up and sort molecules into predetermined locations.

The neurons that will quench your thirst
Scientists have identified a subgroup of neurons in mice that drive a critical instinct -- thirst.

Study: Most people newly recommended to take statins are from disadvantaged backgrounds, less likely to have health insurance and take medications as prescribed
The majority of people who are recommended to take cholesterol-lowering medication under new American guidelines are from disadvantaged populations, but people from these populations are less likely to have health insurance and receive recommended medications, a new study has found.

Electronic health record alert improves HCV screening and treatment among baby boomers
In a recent study, screening rates for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection among baby boomers increased fivefold in the year following implementation of an electronic health record (EHR)-based prompt for primary care physicians.

Cost of not adapting to climate change would be at least five times higher
A study on damage to coastal considered only real estate loss.

'Naturally' glowing cotton yields dazzling new threads
Cotton that's grown with molecules that endow appealing properties -- like fluorescence or magnetism -- may one day eliminate the need for applying chemical treatments to fabrics to achieve such qualities, a new study suggests.

New insights into nanocrystal growth in liquid
PNNL researchers have measured the forces that cause certain crystals to assemble, revealing competing factors that researchers might be able to control.

Corrosion in real time
What affects almost everything made of metal, from cars to boats to underground pipes and even the fillings in your teeth?

Shifting attitudes on pre-planned death raises new questions for clinicians
Amid changing attitudes toward death and dying, some people with serious physical and/or mental illnesses are claiming a right to choose the time, place, and manner of their death.

Obese inducing brain mechanism
The research group of Professor Masaharu Noda, Associate Professor Takafumi Shintani, and a graduate student Satoru Higashi of the National Institute for Basic Biology (NIBB) demonstrated that protein tyrosine phosphatase receptor type J (PTPRJ) inhibits leptin signaling and that induction of PTPRJ in the hypothalamus is a cause of leptin resistance.

'Mysterious' ancient creature was definitely an animal, research confirms
It lived well over 550 million years ago, is known only through fossils and has variously been described as looking a bit like a jellyfish, a worm, a fungus and lichen.

Fitness trackers could benefit from better security, study finds
The security of wearable fitness trackers could be improved to better protect users' personal data, a study suggests.

Natural molecule appears to shut off cancer cells' energy source
Researchers at Duke Cancer Institute have not only untangled an unusual wiring system that cancer cells use for carbohydrate metabolism, but also identified a natural compound that appears to selectively shut down this system in laboratory studies.

Scientists find potential mechanism for deadly, sepsis-induced secondary infection
In mice, an infection-induced condition known as sepsis may increase the risk of life-threatening secondary infection by preventing recruitment of infection-fighting cells to the skin, according to new research published in PLOS Pathogens.

Spread of Zika linked to how much time people spend outside
Whether a community is made up of people who spend their days entirely outside or those who rarely see sunshine, the amount of time residents spend outdoors can affect how Zika virus spreads throughout the population.

Quantum machine learning
An international team of scientists presents a thorough review on quantum machine learning, its current status and future prospects.

Could interstellar ice provide the answer to birth of DNA?
Researchers at the University of York have shown that molecules brought to earth in meteorite strikes could potentially be converted into the building blocks of DNA.

GPM satellite finds sheared Hurricane Jose has very tall storms
The Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core satellite analyzed Hurricane Jose and found some very tall, powerful thunderstorms within, despite still being battered by wind shear as it moves between Bermuda and the Bahamas.

Plant geneticists develop a new application of CRISPR to break yield barriers in crops
Scientists at CSHL have harnessed the untapped power of genome editing to improve agricultural crops.

Link between breast cancer and obesity influenced by type of obesity, says Chinese study
Obese women with large bellies may be at risk of developing a different subtype of breast cancer than those with widespread fat accumulation, according to a new study published in The Oncologist.

Threatened Alabama snail renamed after a case of mistaken identity
Confusion surrounding the identity of the Painted Rocksnail, a species listed as federally threatened, has been cleared up after over 100 years of mistaken identity.

Study offers scientific explanation for why spurned males abandon courtship attempts
Unsuccessful courtship attempts by males create aversive memories that can reduce their level of enthusiasm for subsequent courtship attempts.

That's one small step for a DNA robot, one giant leap for mankind
The future is here -- and it involves miniature robots made of DNA that can pick up particles and deliver them to a different area.

Partnership for a healthy brain
Salk scientists find interaction between two key proteins regulates development of neurons.

Study shows new biomarker could predict which pregnant women with type 1 diabetes could develop pre-eclampsia
New research at this year's European Association for the Study of Diabetes Annual Meeting in Lisbon, Portugal, shows that a biomarker -- Leucine-Rich alpha-2-Glycoprotein-1 (LRG1) -- can be used to predict the occurrence of pre-eclampsia in prospective mothers with type 1 diabetes.

Old fish few and far between under fishing pressure
A new study by University of Washington scientists has found that, for dozens of fish populations around the globe, old fish are greatly depleted -- mainly because of fishing pressure.

How does a cell maintain its identity during replication?
Prior to cell division, chromosomes are seemingly a jumbled mess.

Sodium (salt) intake is associated with a risk of developing type 2 diabetes
Sodium intake may be linked to an increased risk of developing both type 2 diabetes and latent autoimmune diabetes in adults says new research being presented at this year's annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Lisbon, Portugal.

Study suggests neighborhood design may help prevent the risk of poor blood sugar control among immigrant populations
Neighborhood designs that promote walking may reduce the risk of prediabetes in immigrant populations, according to new research being presented at this year's European Association for the Study of Diabetes Annual Meeting in Lisbon, Portugal.

Once-abundant ash tree and antelope species face extinction -- IUCN Red List
North America's most widespread and valuable ash tree species are on the brink of extinction due to an invasive beetle decimating their populations, while the loss of wilderness areas and poaching are contributing to the declining numbers of five African antelope species, according to the latest update of the IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM.

Do titanium dioxide particles from orthopedic implants disrupt bone repair?
Researchers from the Mayo Clinic have proposed that negative cellular responses to titanium-based nanoparticles released from metal implants interfere in bone formation and resorption at the site of repair, resulting in implant loosening and joint pain.

New study on graphene-wrapped nanocrystals makes inroads toward next-gen fuel cells
A new Berkeley Lab-led study provides insight into how an ultrathin coating can enhance the performance of graphene-wrapped nanocrystals for hydrogen storage applications.

New inhibitor brings new hope
Researchers found a possible new treatment for aggressive triple receptor-negative breast cancer.

The return of the comet-like exoplanet
Astronomers from UNIGE), also members of the PlanetS, focused the Hubble Space Telescope on an exoplanet that had already been seen losing its atmosphere, which forms an enormous cloud of hydrogen, giving the planet the appearance of a giant comet.

NASa sees remnants of irma ready to exit Eastern US
NASA's Terra satellite and NOAA's GOES East satellite have been just two of the fleet of satellites monitoring the life and death of former Hurricane Irma.

Antidepressants associated with significantly elevated risk of death, researchers find
Antidepressant medications, most commonly prescribed to reduce depression and anxiety, increase the risk of death, according to new findings by a McMaster-led team of researchers.

Physicists offer explanation for diverse galaxy rotations
A University of California, Riverside-led team of physicists has found a simple and viable explanation for the diversity observed in galactic rotations.

Viral hepatitis kills more people than HIV, malaria or tuberculosis
The study illustrates that in 2016, the total deaths caused by viral hepatitis, including liver cancer, acute cases, cirrhosis, hepatitis A, E, B, C and D account for 1.34 million deaths globally, exceeding tuberculosis (1.2 million), HIV/AIDS (1 million) and malaria (719,000).

Tiny fighters in sediments determine success of invasive marine plants
Armies of microbes that are invisible to the naked eye battle it out to determine whether exotic marine plants successfully invade new territory and replace native species, UNSW Sydney-led research shows.

Hospice offers comfort for older adults at end of life. Should we consider it sooner?
A team of researchers from Yale University has studied how soon older adults who were experiencing distressing symptoms and disability were admitted to hospice near the end of their lives.

Treatment of overweight: Is metabolically healthy obesity a worthwhile initial goal?
More and more people suffer from diseases associated with morbid overweight.

Discovery could reduce nuclear waste with improved method to chemically engineer molecules
A new chemical principle discovered by scientists at Indiana University has the potential to revolutionize the creation of specially engineered molecules whose uses include the reduction of nuclear waste and the extraction of chemical pollutants from water and soil.

SIDS research confirms changes in babies' brain chemistry
University of Adelaide researchers have confirmed that abnormalities in a common brain chemical are linked to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Women with pregnancy complication may have impaired heart function after delivery
Women who develop preeclampsia in earlier pregnancy are more likely than women without the condition to have thickening of the left heart muscle one month after delivery.

Interventions for treating tuberculous pericarditis
Researchers from South Africa and Canada have carried out a Cochrane review update to assess the safety and effectiveness of corticosteroids for treating tuberculous pericarditis.

One vaccine injection could carry many doses
MIT engineers have developed a new 3-D fabrication method that can create a new type of drug-carrying particle that could allow several doses of a drug or vaccine to be delivered over an extended time period with just one injection.

NASA's Terra satellite spies Typhoon Talim's large eye
NASA's Terra satellite passed over Typhoon Talim and found a powerful storm with a large, open eye.

Huge genetic diversity among Papuan New Guinean peoples revealed
The first large-scale genetic study of people in Papua New Guinea has shown that different groups within the country are genetically highly different from each other.

Forest fires are not limited to hot or temperate climates
Evidence of wildfires dating back 20,000 years was recently discovered in the Massif du Queyras, in the heart of the French Alps, 2,240 metres above sea level.

Chad Carr's tumor offers genetic clues for DIPG research
A year and half after losing his battle against brain cancer, Chad Carr's legacy lives through research that will help other children facing the same cruel disease.

Repealing ACA would leave more veterans uninsured, increase pressure on VA
Talk continues among some policymakers about whether to repeal or replace the federal Affordable Care Act.

'Handedness' in scale-eating fish: Nature and nurture
Lateralized behaviors are thought to be strengthened during development; however, little is known about how they are acquired during development.

Hydrogen power moves a step closer
Physicists are developing methods of creating renewable fuel from water using quantum technology.

Drug for type 2 diabetes provides significant benefits to type 1 diabetic patients
A majority of patients with type 1 diabetes who were treated with dapagliflozin, a type 2 diabetes medicine, had a significant decline in their blood sugar levels, according to a new study published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology.

Rare genetic cause of peritoneal mesothelioma points to targeted therapy
BWH investigators have uncovered a new genetic cause of mesothelioma: a genetic rearrangement in the ALK gene, observed in three patients with peritoneal mesothelioma.

Temple researchers uncover mechanism behind calorie restriction and lengthened lifespan
Almost a century ago, scientists discovered that cutting calorie intake could dramatically extend lifespan in certain animal species.

Parkinson's disease and prion diseases: Discovery of a molecular link
Parkinson's disease and prion diseases are very different from each other as regards both origins and course.

New study shows that genomic profiling can help improve treatment of brain tumors in children
The largest genomic profiling study ever conducted into a type of brain tumor known as glioma in children has identified genetic alterations in 96% of cases.

The bilingual brain calculates differently depending on the language used
How do multilingual people solve arithmetical tasks presented to them in different languages?

Electric eels leap to deliver painful, Taser-like jolt
The electric eel has always been noted for its impressive ability to shock and subdue its prey.

Thirdhand smoke exposure effects on liver and brain found to worsen over time
Thirdhand-smoke (THS) results when exhaled smoke and smoke emanating from the tip of burning cigarettes gets on surfaces such as clothing, hair, homes, and cars.

Filtering molecules from the water or air with nanomembranes
Free-standing carbon membranes that are a millionth of a millimetre thin: these are a special research field of Professor Dr.

People in New Guinea exhibit great genetic diversity
A genetic analysis of people from Papua New Guinea reveals a sharp genetic divide between those residing in the highlands and lowlands, beginning 10,000 to 20,000 years ago.

Google Glass app helps autistic children with social interactions
A new study demonstrates the potential of wearable technology as a social-skills aid for children with autism spectrum disorder.

MRI effective in detecting postpartum breast cancers
Pregnancy-associated breast cancer, which is rare but often aggressive, was detected with MRI in 98% of cases reviewed in a recent article published in the September 2017 edition of the American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR).

No strings attached for underwater video system
An underwater wireless optical communications system for streaming high quality, live video.

Mesenchymal stem cells offer novel treatment approach for Crohn's disease fistula
A growing body of clinical evidence shows that transplantation of a patient's own mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to achieve a cure and prevent recurrent of Crohn's disease-related fistula can be a safe and effective addition to surgery.

Kids praised for being smart are more likely to cheat
An international team of researchers reports that when children are praised for being smart not only are they quicker to give up in the face of obstacles they are also more likely to be dishonest and cheat.

Sportspeople can face retirement identity crisis
New research shows how top-level sportspeople can struggle to adjust to life after retirement, with their identities continuing to be defined by their former careers.

Scientists reveal the beautiful simplicity underlying branching patterns in tissue
In the centenary year of the publication of a seminal treatise on the physical and mathematical principles underpinning nature -- 'On Growth and Form' by D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson -- a Cambridge physicist has led a study describing an elegantly simple solution to a puzzle that has taxed biologists for centuries: how complex branching patterns of tissues arise.

Mixing artificial sweeteners inhibits bitter taste receptors
Blends of artificial sweeteners such as saccharin and cyclamate produce less of a bitter off-taste than each of the individual components, but the explanation for this puzzling phenomenon has been elusive ever since its discovery more than 60 years ago.

GOES-West Satellite shows shear in Tropical Depression 15E
NOAA's GOES-West satellite revealed that vertical wind shear is affecting Tropical Depression 15E in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

Researchers identify the most effective operating room infection control practices
A new study of Texas hospitals has determined two areas that work best for operating room infection control procedures.

Impaired sleep may have serious health consequences for kidney disease patients
In individuals with chronic kidney disease, high sleep fragmentation was associated with an elevated risk of developing kidney failure.

Maintaining healthy weight helps keep blood pressure low through life
Maintaining a healthy weight is a key health behavior to prevent blood pressure increases from young adulthood into middle age.

New global study finds countries saving more lives, despite a 'triad of troubles'
Countries have saved more lives over the past decade, especially among children under age 5, but persistent health problems, such as obesity, conflict, and mental illness, comprise a 'triad of troubles,' and prevent people from living long, healthy lives, according to a new scientific study.

Pregnancy outcomes remain poor in mothers with childhood-onset T1D, despite significant advances in obstetric and diabetic care
New research presented at this year's European Association for the Study of Diabetes Annual Meeting in Lisbon, Portugal, shows that pregnancy outcomes remain poor in women with type 1 diabetes (T1D), despite significant advances in obstetric and diabetes care.

Microbial mass movements
Wastewater, tourism, and trade are moving microbes around the globe at an unprecedented scale. 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