Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 19, 2017
Ludwig scientists discover complex axis of immune suppression exploited by cancers
A Ludwig Cancer Research study has uncovered a new mechanism by which cancer cells evade destruction by the immune system.

Black Sea water temperatures may buck global trend
Using a model developed at the JRC, scientists have successfully simulated the Black Sea's long term currents, salt water content and temperature for the first time.

PET imaging tracks Zika virus infection, disease progression in mouse model
For the first time, scientists have used Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging to study brain inflammation following Zika virus infection in mice, according to a study recently published online in Molecular Imaging and Biology.

The wrong first step to revive athletes in cardiac arrest
New research presented in HeartRhythm, suggests that the main obstacle to an appropriate bystander response during athletes' cardiac arrest could be an apparently widespread myth: that 'tongue swallowing' is a common complication of sudden loss of consciousness that must be avoided or relieved at all costs to prevent death from asphyxia.

One-way track for microwaves based on mechanical interference
EPFL researchers use interference in the motion of a micrometre-size drum to route microwave signals in a single direction.

Supercontinuum lasers can lead to better bread and beer
Researchers from the Department of Food Science (FOOD) at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark are the first in the world to have analysed whole grains with long near-infrared wavelengths using a new type of light source, the supercontinuum laser.

Scientists discover genetic markers for severe form of multiple sclerosis
New research suggests that a simple genetic test could be used to identify multiple sclerosis patients at risk of developing progressive forms of the disease.

New model may help science overcome the brain's fortress-like barrier
Scientists have helped provide a way to better understand how to enable drugs to enter the brain and how cancer cells make it past the blood brain barrier.

Graphene and other carbon nanomaterials can replace scarce metals
Scarce metals are found in a wide range of everyday objects around us.

An interconnection between the nervous and immune system
Working with colleagues from the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE ), Harvard Medical School and Ohio State University, researchers from Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin have shown that the increased incidence of infections seen in spinal cord injury patients is directly linked to a disruption of the normal central nervous system.

CityU sets out to reveal impact of Arctic amplification on East Asian winter climate
An ongoing research project aims to identify and explain teleconnections and future changes in the East Asian Winter Monsoon under Arctic Amplification.

Study suggests link between youth football & later-life emotional, behavioral impairment
A new study has found an association between participation in youth tackle football before age 12 and impaired mood and behavior later in life.

Pulling, not pushing, silk could revolutionize how greener materials are manufactured
New insights into how animals spin silk could lead to new, greener ways of producing synthetic fibres, according to academics at the University of Sheffield.

Brain powered: Increased physical activity among breast cancer survivors boosts cognition
It is estimated that up to 75 percent of breast cancer survivors experience problems with cognitive difficulties following treatments, perhaps lasting years.

Researchers document changes in teenage parenthood
The US birth rate hasn't changed for two generations of teenage girls, but other aspects of young parenthood are shifting, especially regarding young fathers, according to new Indiana University research.

Rogue wave analysis supports investigation of the El Faro sinking
A new analysis done to support the investigation into the 2015 sinking of the El Faro cargo ship has calculated the likelihood of a massive rogue wave during Hurricane Joaquin in October of that year -- and demonstrated a new technique for evaluating the probability of rogue waves over space and time.

Solar wind impacts on giant 'space hurricanes' may affect satellite safety
Could the flapping of a butterfly's wings in Costa Rica set off a hurricane in California?

New treatment for osteoporosis provides better protection against fractures
A new treatment for osteoporosis provides major improvements in bone density and more effective protection against fractures than the current standard treatment.

Contribution of opioid-related deaths to the change in life expectancy in the US
Between 2000 and 2015 in the US, life expectancy increased overall but drug-poisoning deaths, mostly related to opioids, contributed to reducing life expectancy, according to a study published by JAMA.

UK oil and gas reserves may last only a decade, study suggests
The UK has low oil and gas resources and limited prospects for fracking, according to a new analysis by scientists at the University of Edinburgh, who recommend a shift towards greater use of renewable, clean energy.

Discovery of the closest binary supermassive black hole system in the galaxy NGC 7674
Scientists from NCRA-TIFR, Pune, and RIT, USA, have discovered the closest ever binary supermassive black hole system in a spiral galaxy NGC 7674, located about 400 million light years from Earth.

Monk parakeets invade Mexico
In a new paper published in PLOS ONE, researchers describe a recent, rapid, and ongoing invasion of monk parakeets in Mexico, and the regulatory changes that affected the species' spread.

India has avoided 1 million child deaths since 2005, new study concludes
India has avoided about 1 million deaths of children under age five since 2005, driven by significant reductions in mortality from pneumonia, diarrhea, tetanus and measles, according to new research published today.

5 African countries approach control of their HIV epidemics
Data released today from the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) show that the HIV epidemic is coming under control in Lesotho.

Red cosmetic powder used in Hindu ceremonies contains unsafe lead levels
Sindoor -- a cosmetic powder sold in the United States and used during Hindu religious and cultural ceremonies -- has unsafe levels of lead, according to a Rutgers University study.

Community intervention among low-income patients results in improved blood pressure control
Low-income patients in Argentina with uncontrolled high blood pressure who participated in a community health worker-led multicomponent intervention experienced a greater decrease in systolic and diastolic blood pressure over 18 months than did patients who received usual care, according to a study published by JAMA.

Sushi's sublime secrets (video)
Sushi is sublime. Just fresh fish and seasoned rice in its simplest form served one on top of the other, or rolled up with some veggies in a seaweed wrapper.

Groundbreaking investigative effort identifies gonorrhea vaccine candidates
Researchers at have identified a pair of proteins that show promise as the basis for a gonorrhea vaccine.

Sleep deprivation is an effective anti-depressant for nearly half of depressed patients
Sleep deprivation - typically administered in controlled, inpatient settings - rapidly reduces symptoms of depression in roughly half of depression patients, according the first meta-analysis on the subject in nearly 30 years, from researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Clear tactics, but few easy solutions, for hospitals combating ransomware
Hospitals facing the prospect of ransomware attacks like the one that afflicted British hospitals in May can take many concrete steps to better protect themselves, but some of the most important measures -- such as a national policy not to pay ransoms -- may be tougher to formulate.

NASA tracking Jose meandering off US East Coast
Jose has been a named storm for nearly two weeks now as it continues to slowly move northward off the US East Coast east of the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Cell-based therapy success could be boosted by new antioxidant
Cell therapies being developed to treat a range of conditions could be improved by a chemical compound that aids their survival, research from the University of Edinburgh suggests.

NASA looks within category 5 Hurricane Maria before and after first landfall
Satellite data is enabling forecasters to look inside and outside of powerful Hurricane Maria.

A study switches from genetic to metabolic analysis to reconstitute evolutionary process
A new method for analyzing a living being chemical compositions is tested in Andean plants and attest the genesis of species by means of geographic isolation.

Why aren't house sparrows as big as geese?
A group of researchers spent twelve seasons making some house sparrows bigger and others smaller.

Future of legalized cannabis focus of expert panel discussion in cannabis journal
In the roundtable entitled

Science denial not limited to political right
A new study from social psychologists at the University of Illinois at Chicago suggests people of all political backgrounds can be motivated to participate in science denial.

End-of-summer Arctic sea ice extent is eighth lowest on record
Arctic sea ice appeared to have reached its yearly lowest extent on Sept.

Prime candidate to explain cosmic ray sea runs short of energy
The very high-energy part of the spectrum of Cassiopeia A results from the cosmic rays within the remnant.

Students' self-concepts of ability in math, reading predict later math, reading attainment
A new longitudinal study looked at how youths' self-concepts are linked to their actual academic achievement in math and reading from middle childhood to adolescence.

Antibiotics following C-section among obese women reduces risk of surgical infection
Among obese women undergoing cesarean delivery, a postoperative 48-hour course of antibiotics significantly decreased the rate of surgical site infection within 30 days after delivery, according to a study published by JAMA.

Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers
Whispering gallery mode resonators rely on a phenomenon similar to an effect observed in circular galleries, and the same phenomenon applies to light.

BU: HPV vaccine associated with improved fertility in some women
More than 40 percent of American teens are now getting vaccinated against human papillomavirus (HPV).

Complex life evolved out of the chance coupling of small molecules
Very simple ribonucleic acid (RNA) molecules (compounds similar to Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)) can join other RNA molecules to themselves though a chemical reaction called ligation.

Managing negative emotions can help pregnant smokers quit
A new study by scientists in the University at Buffalo's Research Institute on Addictions has shown that pregnant smokers are more likely to quit if they can learn to manage negative emotions that lead to smoking.

Scientists identify key regulator of male fertility
When it comes to male reproductive fertility, timing is everything.

NASA data shows Otis devoid of precipitation, now a remnant
Former Hurricane Otis was not showing any thunderstorm development or precipitation on satellite imagery on Sept.

Emerging disease further jeopardizes North American frogs
A deadly amphibian disease called severe Perkinsea infections, or SPI, is the cause of many large-scale frog die-offs in the United States, according to a new study by the US Geological Survey.

New research suggests Mercury's poles are icier than scientists thought
A Brown University study identifies three large surface ice deposits near Mercury's north pole, and suggests there could be many additional small-scale deposits that would dramatically increase the planet's surface ice inventory.

What web browsers and proteins have in common
The discovery of a previously overlooked site on protein molecules may solve a mystery about how proteins are able to carry out specialized functions in living cells.

NASA sees Tropical Depression Norma's small area of strength
Infrared imagery from NASA's Aqua satellite has revealed that the area of strongest storms within now Tropical Depression Norma has diminished.

Political polarization? Don't blame the web, Brown study says
Despite the popular narrative that the web is to blame for rising political polarization, a study by a Brown University economist has found that recent growth in polarization is greatest for demographic groups in which individuals are least likely to use the internet and social media.

Landmark study suggests risks vary widely in drone-human impacts
New Virginia Tech research suggests there's wide variation in the risk that unmanned aircraft pose to people on the ground.

Mathematician and chronicler of political murders
Emil J. Gumbel's formulas are fundamental for extreme value theory.

Declining queen conch populations are fragmented and that's changing the conservation game
To provide a vital scientific foundation for conservation efforts, an international team has conducted a genetic analysis comparing queen conch at 19 sites throughout the Caribbean.

Screening for cervical abnormalities in women offered HPV vaccination
Human papillomavirus (HPV) testing detects a higher number of precancerous cervical lesions than cytology-based Pap smears in a female population including a proportion offered HPV vaccination, according to a new study published in PLOS Medicine by Karen Canfell of Cancer Council New South Wales, Australia, researchers at the Victorian Cytology Service, Melbourne, Australia, and colleagues.

Gulf spill oil dispersants associated with health symptoms in cleanup workers
Workers who were likely exposed to dispersants while cleaning up the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill experienced a range of health symptoms including cough and wheeze, and skin and eye irritation, according to scientists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Cost effective quantum moves a step closer
Canadian and US researchers have taken an important step towards enabling quantum networks to be cost-effective and truly secure from attack.

A dream of foam
ETH researchers have discovered a new method to design stable foams.

Scientists from MSU have invented a new way to 'weigh' intergalactic black holes
Astrophysicists from Moscow State University have found a new way to estimate the mass of supermassive black holes outside our galaxy, even if these holes are barely detectable.

Cell model of the brain provides new knowledge on developmental disease
By reprogramming skin cells into nerve cells, researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden are creating cell models of the human brain.

The brain at work: Spotting half-hidden objects
The human and non-human primate brain is remarkable in recognizing partially hidden objects.

How the shape and size of your face relates to your sexuality
Men and women with shorter, wider faces tend to be more sexually motivated and to have a stronger sex drive than those with faces of other dimensions.

Molecular motors: Slowing the clockwork
Progress on the way to smart nanomachines: Chemists of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich have modified the synthesis of a molecular motor so as to reduce the speed of its light-driven rotation, thus permitting the researchers to analyze the mechanism of motion in complete detail.

Teens are growing up more slowly today than they did in past decades
A new study explored this issue by examining how often teens in recent years (compared to teens in previous decades) engaged in adult activities such as drinking alcohol, working, driving, or having sex.

Research sparks new way to predict movie-goers' facial expressions
Researchers in Simon Fraser University's School of Computing Science have been working with Disney Research to develop a new way to assess and predict the facial expressions of movie goers.

Nonlinear physics bridges thoughts to sounds in birdsong
Physicist Gabriel Mindlin has been looking at the phenomena from what is one of the most unifying and potentially enlightening perspectives of the issue: the dynamical physics of birds' vocal organs.

Halogen bonding-mediated metal-free controlled cationic polymerization
Chemists at the Nagoya Institute of Technology report a metal-free method to control cationic polymerization that provides a new framework for higher quality industrial polymers.

One step closer to lifelike robots
Researchers at Columbia Engineering have developed a 3-D-printable synthetic soft muscle that can lift 1,000 times its own weight.

Method to estimate abundance, trends in North Atlantic right whales confirms decline
NOAA Fisheries researchers and colleagues at the New England Aquarium have developed a new model to improve estimates of abundance and population trends of endangered North Atlantic right whales, which have declined in numbers and productivity in recent years.

Home blood pressure monitoring for hypertension best combined with intensive support
People who monitor their own blood pressure at home are most likely to see a benefit if they combine it with individually tailored intensive support, according to a new systematic literature review and meta-analysis published this week in PLOS Medicine by in PLOS Medicine by Richard McManus of the University of Oxford, UK, and colleagues.

Victimization of transgender youths linked to suicidal thoughts, substance abuse
In two peer-reviewed papers, researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have found that transgender adolescents are twice as likely to have suicidal thoughts as the general population, and they are up to four times as likely to engage in substance use.

Researchers take on atmospheric effects of Arctic snowmelt
Researchers at the University of Alaska Fairbanks' Geophysical Institute are exploring the changing chemistry of the Arctic's atmosphere to help answer the question of what happens as snow and ice begin to melt.

UTHealth discovers how to train damaging inflammatory cells to promote repair after stroke
Researchers at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth have discovered a way to turn neutrophils from toxic to helpful after a hemorrhagic stroke.

Research redefines proteins' role in the development of spinal sensory cells
A recent study led by Samantha Butler at the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA has overturned a common belief about how a certain class of proteins in the spinal cord regulate the formation of nervous system cells -- called neurons -- during embryonic development.

What's the latest on gut microbiota?
How many undergraduate classes in microbiology -- or any scientific field, for that matter -- can say they're published in a peer-reviewed journal?

Fluorescence microscopy on a chip -- no lenses required
Fluorescence microscopy gives researchers power to illuminate the tiniest structures and capture the real-time activities of cells by tagging biological molecules with a rainbow of fluorescent dyes.

Tumor-infiltrating B lymphocytes promote melanoma progression & resistance to therapy
In a multi-institutional collaborative study, scientists at The Wistar Institute and the Medical University of Vienna, Austria, have identified the role of tumor-infiltrating or tumor-associated B-cells ('TABs') in melanoma progression and resistance to targeted therapy.

Scientists find way to convert bad body fat into good fat
Working in mice, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Lack of trust less of a barrier to clinical trial participation, say minority populations
Significantly fewer African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians and non-Hispanic whites say 'lack of trust' is a reason why individuals do not participate in clinical trials, indicating a more favorable perception of this research.

Researchers compose guidelines for handling CAR T cell side effects
Immune-cell based therapies opening a new frontier for cancer treatment carry unique, potentially lethal side effects that provide a new challenge for oncologists, one addressed by a team led by clinicians at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center with proposed guidelines for systematically dealing with the toxicities of these drugs.

Health care, education key to keeping women offenders out of prison
Women in provincial prisons require health care to address trauma, addiction and chronic diseases in order to lower reincarceration rates, according to a new study that of women leaving a B.C. correctional centre.

Winner takes all: Success enhances taste for luxury goods, study suggests
Footballers in flashy cars, City workers in Armani suits, reality TV celebrities sipping expensive champagne while sitting in hot tubs: what drives people to purchase luxury goods?

Management studies: Dishonesty shift
Lying comes more easily to people in teams: Behavioral scientists at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich have shown in an experimental study why groups are more likely to behave unethically than individuals.

Weighing nonsurgical treatment options for knee osteoarthritis pain
Osteoarthritis of the knee may not be totally preventable but according to Elizabeth Matzkin, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine with Brigham and Women's Hospital, there are some key factors that we can control to minimize the chances of developing bone and joint pain.

Playing American football before age 12 could have long-term health effects
Playing American football before the age of 12 may have long-term consequences for players' mood and behavior, according to a study involving 214 professional and amateur football players, published in the open access journal Translational Psychiatry.

Is there a link between breast milk nutrients, circadian rhythms, and infant health?
The fat content and levels of several key nutrients and hormones in breast milk vary with the mother's circadian rhythm, which may have implications for the timing of breastfeeding and feeding of expressed milk, especially for high-risk infants.

Nanocapsules enable cell-inspired metabolic reactions
Researchers at the University of Basel succeeded in developing capsules capable of producing the bio-molecule glucose-6-phosphate that plays an important role in metabolic processes.

Novel strategy for chirality controlled synthesis of single-walled carbon nanotubes
Researchers at Tohoku University have developed a novel strategy for controlling chirality of single-walled carbon nanotubes.

Harvard forest report: Forests, funding, and conservation in decline across New England
New England has been losing forestland to development at a rate of 65 acres per day, according to a new report released today by the Harvard Forest, a research institute of Harvard University, and a team of authors from across the region.

Exposure to pet and pest allergens during infancy linked to reduced asthma risk
Children exposed to high indoor levels of pet or pest allergens during infancy have a lower risk of developing asthma by 7 years of age, new research supported by the National Institutes of Health reveals.

Running roaches, flapping moths create a new physics of organisms
Sand-swimming lizards, slithering robotic snakes, dusk-flying moths and running roaches all have one thing in common: They're increasingly being studied by physicists interested in understanding the shared strategies these creatures have developed to overcome the challenges of moving though their environments.

A piece of the puzzle: 8 autism-related mutations in 1 gene
Researchers discover a large number of clustered mutations in a single gene, TRIO, that disrupt the development of the brain's connections and likely contribute to the development of autism-spectrum disorders.

How first 'vouchers' in UCLA kidney donation program led to 25 lifesaving transplants
A new UCLA-led study published in the September issue of the peer-reviewed journal Transplantation traces how the first three 'kidney voucher' cases led to 25 lifesaving kidney transplants across the United States.

Study showing 70 years of progress for LGBTQ students raises concerns about Trump agenda
The author of a new study showing slow but consistent progress in the experiences of LGBTQ students on college campuses over the past 70 years is concerned that for the first time since 1944, that trend may be reversing.

Changes in non-extreme precipitation may have not-so-subtle consequences
Extreme floods and droughts receive a lot of attention. But what happens when precipitation -- or lack thereof -- occurs in a more measured way?

Differential brain network changes in Alzheimer's patients with and without CeVD
A new study by researchers at Duke-NUS Medical School and the National University of Singapore Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, on a local cohort of 235 Singapore residents with prodromal and clinical Alzheimer's disease showed differential functional connectivity and structural network changes in the brains of patients with and without CeVD.

Researchers use Wikipedia to give AI context clues
A team of BYU computer scientists is teaching artificial intelligence agents how to interact with the world in a way that makes sense.

Security cameras are vulnerable to attacks using infrared light -- Ben Gurion U. study
The cyber team led by Dr. Mordechai Guri, head of research and development for BGU's Cyber Security Research Center (CSRC), shows how IR can be used to create a covert communication channel between malware installed on an internal computer network and an attacker located hundreds of yards outside or even miles away with direct line of sight.

Researchers developing advanced lithium-ion and metal-air batteries
A research lab run by University of Central Florida Professor Yang Yang is developing energy storage technologies that are cheaper, safer and more efficient.

Comprehensive meta-analysis affirms cranberries' role in promoting a healthy urinary tract
A thorough review of dozens of studies led scientists to conclude that healthcare professionals should be telling their patients to have cranberry products as a first step in reducing recurrent UTIs.

Foot pain? New study says look at hip and knee for complete diagnosis
A study by researchers at Hospital for Special Surgery and Harvard Medical School suggests new guidelines may be in order for evaluating and treating lower extremity pain. 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