Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 21, 2017
Ultra-high-energy cosmic rays come from galaxies far, far away
A new study reveals that cosmic rays with the highest energies that make their way to Earth originated from outside our Milky Way galaxy.

Study shows diet and exercise improve treatment outcomes for obese pediatric cancer patients
Diet and exercise may improve treatment outcomes in pediatric cancer patients, according to a study at The University of Texas MD Anderson Children's Cancer Hospital.

'Labyrinth' chip could help monitor aggressive cancer stem cells
Inspired by the Labyrinth of Greek mythology, a new chip etched with fluid channels sends blood samples through a hydrodynamic maze to separate out rare circulating cancer cells into a relatively clean stream for analysis.

Investigators may unlock mystery of how staph cells dodge the body's immune system
For years, medical investigators have tried and failed to develop vaccines for a type of staph bacteria associated with the deadly superbug MRSA.

BU: Resurgence of whooping cough may owe to vaccine's inability to prevent infections
The startling global resurgence of pertussis, or whooping cough, in recent years can largely be attributed to the immunological failures of acellular vaccines, Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researchers argue in a new journal article.

If at first adults don't succeed, babies are more likely to try, try again
Babies who observe adults push through failure and repeatedly attempt to achieve a goal are more likely to persist when faced with their own difficult tests, scientists report.

Trusted messages key to counter community concerns during disease outbreak
Utilizing messages focused on images created by local artists and written information communicated through local dialects proved essential to counter misperceptions during the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone, according to a new study.

In US, spread of Zika linked to time outdoors
New research by a Northeastern infectious disease modeling expert has linked a person's risk of contracting Zika in the U.S. to time spent outdoors.

Ultra-light aluminum: USU chemist reports breakthrough in material design
Chemists from Utah State University and Russia's Southern Federal University report a new, metastable, ultra-light crystalline form of aluminum has been computationally designed using density functional calculations with imposing periodic boundary conditions.

Development of an artificial orchid cultivation kit
Orchids are loved by gardeners around the world but are notoriously difficult to cultivate.

Synthetic molecule 'kicks and kills' some persistent HIV in mice
Scientists have designed a synthetic molecule that can reactivate dormant human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in mice and lead to the death of some of the infected cells, according to a study published in PLOS Pathogens.

Understanding the dance to save the dance
Plant-pollinator relationships are vital to our natural and agricultural ecosystems, with an incredible amount of food crops worldwide dependent on plant-pollinator interaction success.

CSIC reconstructs how Neanderthals grew, based on an El Sidrón child
How did Neanderthals grow? Does modern man develop in the same way as Homo neanderthalensis did?

We must accelerate transitions for sustainability and climate change, experts say
We must move faster towards a low-carbon world if we are to limit global warming to 2 degrees C this century, experts have warned.

When good immune cells turn bad
Investigators at CHLA have identified the molecular pathway used to foster neuroblastoma and demonstrated use of a clinically available agent, ruxolitinib, to block the pathway.

Unravelling the mechanisms of SST warming in the Yellow Sea and East China Sea is still a challenge
Studies of low-frequency variations of oceanic environment are critical important for the regional climate.

Smoking negatively impacts long-term survival after breast cancer
A new study published in JNCI Cancer Spectrum finds that smoking negatively impacts long-term survival after breast cancer.

Alternative splicing, an important mechanism for cancer
Scientists discover several alterations in this cellular process with implications in cancer by analyzing samples from more than 4,000 patients.

New Wayne State research findings offers hope to people with fibromyalgia
A novel psychological therapy that encourages addressing emotional experiences related to trauma, conflict and relationship problems has been found helpful for people with the chronic pain condition fibromyalgia.

UMN researchers find recipe for forest restoration
A new study led by graduate student Leland Werden and associate professor Jennifer Powers of the University of Minnesota College of Biological Sciences has uncovered some valuable information on ways to maximize the success of replanting efforts, bringing new hope for restoring these threatened ecosystems.

WWF and UCF study wildlife rangers, what motivates them?
Wildlife rangers are on the front lines protecting our most iconic species -- tigers, elephants, gorillas and many others.

Dino-killing asteroid's impact on bird evolution
Human activities could change the pace of evolution, similar to what occurred 66 million years ago when a giant asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs, leaving modern birds as their only descendants.

Researchers set time limit for ultrafast perovskite solar cells
Researchers have quantified the astonishingly high speeds at which future solar cells would have to operate in order to stretch what are presently seen as natural limits on their energy conversion efficiency.

A rapid alternative to standard safety tests for lentiviral vectors
A new, publicly available test to assess the safety of cell therapy products altered by lentivirus generates results within a few hours, potentially hastening the pace at which viral immunotherapies move into clinical trial.

Flu vaccine used in elderly may benefit middle-aged adults with chronic conditions
Expanding the high-dose influenza vaccine recommendation to include middle-aged adults with chronic health conditions may make economic sense and save lives.

How the views of liberals evolved from the 19th century to the present day
Scientists from the RUDN University have analyzed historical sources and revealed the foreign policy views of Russian liberals from the 1850s to the early 1890s.

Why poison frogs don't poison themselves
Poison frogs harbor some of the most potent neurotoxins we know, yet scientists have long wondered -- how do these frogs keep from poisoning themselves?

Heat-loving Australian ants believe in diversity, hint 74 species new to science
A genus of Australian ants, many of whose members prefer to forage in blistering temperatures of up to 50°C (122°F), is revised to include 74 new species.

Strong alcohol policies help reduce alcohol-involved homicides
Stronger alcohol policies, including taxes and sales restrictions, have been shown to reduce the likelihood of alcohol involvement among homicide victims, according to a new study from Boston Medical Center (BMC) and Boston University.

Early trilobites had stomachs, new fossil study finds
Exceptionally preserved trilobite fossils from China, dating back to more than 500 million years ago, have revealed new insights into the extinct marine animal's digestive system.

Whole food diet may help prevent colon cancer, other chronic conditions
A diet that includes plenty of colorful vegetables and fruits may contain compounds that can stop colon cancer and inflammatory bowel diseases in pigs, according to an international team of researchers.

Blood metal ion levels can identify hip replacement patients at low risk of ARMD
Patients with 'metal on metal' artificial hips are at risk of complications caused by adverse reactions to metal debris (ARMD).

Exosomes are the missing link to insulin resistance in diabetes
Chronic tissue inflammation resulting from obesity is an underlying cause of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

Touching helps build the sexual brain
Hormones or sexual experience? Which of these is crucial for the onset of puberty?

Babies can learn that hard work pays off
A study from MIT reveals babies as young as 15 months can learn the value of hard work.

Neuron types in brain are defined by gene activity shaping their communication patterns
In a major step forward, scientists at CSHLtoday publish a discovery about the molecular-genetic basis of neuronal cell types.

Your neurons register familiar faces, whether you notice them or not
When people see an image of a person they recognize particular cells light up in the brain.

NASA sees large Tropical Storm Jose doing a 'sit and spin' off the Massachusetts coast
Tropical Storm Jose continued to spin south of Massachusetts when NASA's Aqua satellite flew overhead from space and captured an image of the large storm that hasn't moved much.

No magic pill to cure alcohol dependence yet
A new study published by the scientific journal Addiction has found no reliable evidence for using nalmefene, naltrexone, acamprosate, baclofen or topiramate to control drinking in patients with alcohol dependence or alcohol use disorder.

Tiny Brazilian frogs are deaf to their own calls
Pumpkin toadlets, found on the leaf litter of Brazil's Atlantic forest, are among the smallest frogs in the world.

Better rechargeable batteries coming soon?
Novel lithium electrodes coated with indium could be the basis for more powerful, longer-lasting, rechargeable batteries.

Green algae could hold clues for engineering faster-growing crops
Two new Princeton-led studies provide a detailed look at an essential part of algae's growth machinery, with the eventual goal of applying this knowledge to improving the growth of crops.

Production of key diabetes cells can be improved
In the future diabetics might benefit from getting insulin-regulating beta cells transplanted into their body because their own beta cells are destroyed or less functional.

Study links brain inflammation to suicidal thinking in depression
Patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) have increased brain levels of a marker of microglial activation, a sign of inflammation, according to a new study in Biological Psychiatry by researchers at the University of Manchester.

Locking down the big bang of immune cells
Scientists have found that ignored pieces of DNA play a critical role in the development of immune cells known as T cells.

IUPUI study links juveniles' views of police with likelihood of aggressive behavior
A new Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis study of juvenile offenders finds that when youth perceive police injustice, it affects not only how they view the justice system, but also their rates of aggression.

An extraordinary cave animal found in Eastern Turkmenistan
A remote cave in Eastern Turkmenistan was found to shelter a marvelous cave-adapted inhabitant that turned out to represent a species and genus new to science.

Pelvic Floor Society statement -- use of mesh surgeries for constipation & rectal prolapse
In light of ongoing concerns by the media and the public surrounding the use of mesh in women with pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence, the Pelvic Floor Society has issued a consensus statement addressing the use of mesh for the treatment of constipation and rectal prolapse (via a surgical procedure called ventral mesh rectopexy, or VMR).

Smart staffers: Why educated areas are good for business
The key to a thriving business may be the educational level of non-executive employees, according to new University of Georgia research.

New technique accurately digitizes transparent objects
A new imaging technique makes it possible to precisely digitize clear objects and their surroundings, an achievement that has eluded current state-of-the-art 3-D rendering methods.

NASA measures Hurricane Maria's torrential rainfall, sees eye re-open
Hurricane Maria has caused catastrophic flooding in Puerto Rico and left a wake of heavy rainfall that NASA measured using a fleet of satellites in space.

DNA discovery could help shed light on rare childhood disorder
Fresh analysis of how our cells store and manage DNA when they undergo cell division could give valuable insights into a rare developmental condition known as Cornelia de Lange syndrome.

Breathing dirty air may harm kidneys
Outdoor air pollution may increase the risk of chronic kidney disease and contribute to kidney failure, according to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Study confirms cosmic rays have extragalactic origins
International collaboration by scientists with the Pierre Auger Observatory confirms that most of the highest energy cosmic rays that reach the Earth come from outside the Milky Way galaxy.

New analysis explains role of defects in metal oxides
An MIT team has determined formulas to guide development of a promising new high-tech material, composed of insulating metal oxides known as alkaline-earth-metal binary oxides, that could lead to better computer memory chips, refrigeration systems, and other devices.

Scientists sequence asexual tiny worm -- whose lineage stretches back 18 million years
A team of scientists has sequenced, for the first time, a tiny worm that belongs to a group of exclusively asexual species that originated approximately 18 million years ago--making it one of the oldest living lineages of asexual animals known.

Researchers discover new cattle disease and prevent it from spreading
Following genetic studies of deformed calves research conducted at the University of Copenhagen is able to uncover a hitherto unknown disease found among Holstein cattle.

Hope to discover sure signs of life on Mars? New research says look for the element vanadium
A new paper in the journal Astrobiology suggests NASA and others hunting for proof of Martian biology in the form of 'microfossils' could use the element vanadium in combination with Raman spectroscopy to confirm traces of extraterrestrial life.

Ancient DNA data fills in thousands of years of human prehistory in Africa
By sequencing the ancient genomes of 15 individuals from different parts of Africa, researchers reporting in the journal Cell on Sept.

Lightning-fast trappers
New findings on the biomechanics and evolution of suction traps in carnivorous bladderworts.

Application of air-sensitive semiconductors in nanoelectronics
Scientists from Russia, Germany, and Venezuela investigated the evolution of the 2-D semiconductor GaSe exposed to air.

Study reveals high rates of opioid prescriptions and excessive dosing in dialysis patients
From 2006 to 2010, almost two thirds of US dialysis patients received at least one opioid prescription every year and >20 percent received chronic prescriptions.

Researchers demonstrate quantum teleportation of patterns of light
Nature Communications today published research by a team comprising Scottish and South African researchers, demonstrating entanglement swapping and teleportation of orbital angular momentum 'patterns' of light.

Detecting cosmic rays from a galaxy far, far away
Where do cosmic rays come from? Solving a 50-year-old mystery, a collaboration of researchers has discovered it's much farther than the Milky Way.

Scientists and farmers work together to wipe out African lovegrass
A partnership between QUT, the NSW Government and farmers could lead to the eventual eradication of the highly invasive African lovegrass threatening pastures and native grasslands Australia-wide.

Preterm children have more medical sleep problems but fall asleep more independently
A new study suggests that while healthy preterm children have more medical sleep problems than full-term children, they are more likely to fall asleep independently.

New study on reasons for low rates of blood glucose monitoring in type 2 diabetes in China
Researchers in China who assessed self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) behavior among nearly 19,000 patients with type 2 diabetes treated with oral medications reported very low SMBG rates both before and after the patients began treatment with basal insulin, although the data showed an increase in mean SMBG frequency after six months and the percentage of patients who never monitored their blood glucose decreased.

Football helmet smartfoam signals potential concussions in real time
While football-related concussions have been top of mind in recent years, people have struggled to create technology to accurately measure them in real time.

From self-folding robots to computer vision
From self-folding robots, to robotic endoscopes, to better methods for computer vision and object detection, researchers at the University of California San Diego have a wide range of papers and workshop presentations at the International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (or IROS) which takes place from Sept.

Stopping problem ice -- by cracking it
Most efforts to control ice build-up on structures like wind turbines and solar cells involve creating a surface that repels water.

Air pollution may have damaging effects on the kidneys
In a study of US veterans, researchers found a linear relationship between air pollution levels and risk of experiencing kidney function decline and of developing kidney disease or kidney failure.

Neandertal skeleton reveals the growth pattern of our extinct cousins
A new analysis of a well-preserved Neandertal child's skeleton reveals that Neandertals may have had extended period of brain growth compared to modern humans.

Unique gene therapy prevents, reverses multiple sclerosis in animal model
Multiple sclerosis can be inhibited or reversed using a novel gene therapy technique that stops the disease's immune response in mouse models, University of Florida Health researchers have found.

Quantum twisted Loong confirms the physical reality of wavefunctions
Are quantum states real? This most fundamental question in quantum mechanics has not yet been satisfactorily resolved, although its realistic interpretation seems to have been rejected by various delayed-choice experiments.

Japanese encephalitis vaccine cuts disease rate in Nepal
From 2006 through 2011, Nepal conducted a mass immunization campaign against Japanese encephalitis -- a mosquito-borne viral disease.

The surprising, ancient behavior of jellyfish
The discovery that primitive jellyfish sleep suggests that sleep is an ancient, evolutionarily conserved behavior.

Being active saves lives whether a gym workout, walking to work or washing the floor
The Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study, led by the Population Health Research Institute of McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences, shows any activity is good for people to meet the current guideline of 30 minutes of activity a day, or 150 minutes a week to raise the heart rate.

Premature births cost health plans $6 billion annually
A new study estimates employer-sponsored health plans spent at least $6 billion extra on infants born prematurely in 2013 and a substantial portion of that sum was spent on infants with major birth defects.

Ozark grasslands experience major increase in trees and shrubs
Woody vegetation, such as trees and shrubs, has increased dramatically in Ozark grasslands over the past 75 years, according to a study published this week in the journal Landscape Ecology.

Signs of sleep seen in jellyfish
The upside-down jellyfish Cassiopea demonstrates the three hallmarks of sleep and represents the first example of sleep in animals without a brain, HHMI researchers report.

Big herbivorous dinosaurs ate crustaceans as a side dish, says CU Boulder study
Some big plant-eating dinosaurs roaming present-day Utah some 75 million years ago were slurping up crustaceans on the side, a behavior that may have been tied to reproductive activities, says a new University of Colorado Boulder study.

Gene immunotherapy protects against multiple sclerosis in mice
A potent and long-lasting gene immunotherapy approach prevents and reverses symptoms of multiple sclerosis in mice, according to a study published Sept.

Dancing electrons lose the race
In a report now published in the journal Science ultrashort pulses of light were employed to start a race between electrons emitted from different initial states in a solid material.

Personality changes don't precede clinical onset of Alzheimer's, FSU study shows
Findings of a new and comprehensive study from FSU College of Medicine Associate Professor Antonio Terracciano and colleagues, published today in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, has found no evidence to support the idea that personality changes begin before the clinical onset of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia.

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology
Doctors at Penn Medicine have become the first in the world to treat a patient with a new treatment platform designed to streamline the way therapeutic radiation is delivered to cancer patients.

Many YouTube videos glorify alcohol
YouTube videos featuring alcohol are heavily viewed and nearly always promote the 'fun' side of drinking.

Mitochondria drive cell survival in times of need
McGill University researchers have discovered a mechanism through which mitochondria, the energy factory of our body's cells, play a role in preventing cells from dying when the cells are deprived of nutrients - a finding that points to a potential target for next-generation cancer drugs.

Rapid hepatitis C testing may help better screen young adults
Routine and rapid hepatitis C virus testing among young adults who use injection drugs improves life expectancy and may provide a good use of limited resources, according to new research out of Boston Medical Center, in partnership with the Boston Public Health Commission.

Excess dietary manganese promotes staph heart infection
Too much dietary manganese -- an essential trace mineral found in leafy green vegetables, fruits and nuts -- promotes infection of the heart by the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus.

The 'paradox' of poisonous frog resistance against their own toxins explained
Researchers are now equipped with additional insight into how poisonous frogs may have evolved resistance against their own toxins, thanks to the results of a new study.

Into more thin air
Many research groups have explored human adaptation to high altitude living among three major far-flung global populations: Tibetans, Ethiopians and Peruvians.

Obese dogs helped by 'effective' weight loss trials
On average overweight dogs lose an average of 11 percent of their body weight when enrolled on a weight loss trial according to researchers who have conducted the largest international multi-center weight study.

Rapid imaging of granular matter
Granular systems such as gravel or powders can be found everywhere, but studying them is not easy.

Drug combination may improve impact of immunotherapy in head and neck cancer
Checkpoint inhibitor-based immunotherapy has been shown to be very effective in recurrent and metastatic head and neck cancer but only in a minority of patients.

Ancient human DNA in sub-Saharan Africa lifts veil on prehistory
The first large-scale study of ancient human DNA from sub-Saharan Africa opens a long-awaited window into the identity of prehistoric populations in the region and how they moved around and replaced one another over the past 8,000 years.

Higher manganese levels in children correlate with lower IQ scores, UC study finds
A study led by environmental health researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine finds that children in East Liverpool, Ohio with higher levels of Manganese (Mn) had lower IQ scores.

NAM special publication on how health clinicians can counter opioid epidemic
Halting the opioid epidemic requires aggressive action across multiple dimensions, including informed, active, and determined front-line leadership from health clinicians working in every setting throughout the nation, says a new National Academy of Medicine (NAM) special publication developed at the request of the National Governors Association to assist the nation's governors as they work with clinicians to counter the opioid crisis.

Precisely defined polymer chains now a reality
The materiality exhibited by manmade polymers currently relies on simple chemical bonds and the sequence order taken by molecules in the polymer chain.

Surprising discovery -- how the African tsetse fly really drinks your blood
Researchers at the University of Bristol have been taking a close-up look at the biting mouthparts of the African tsetse fly as part of ongoing work on the animal diseases it carries.

Going diving in the tropics? Don't eat the reef fish!
Reducing tourist consumption of reef fish is critical for Palau's ocean sustainability, finds a new UBC study that suggests other small island nations might also consider adopting this strategy.

Changing of the guard -- research sheds light on how plants breathe
New research is set to change the textbook understanding of how plants breathe.

Health center services at risk if Congress fails to renew funding
Community health centers all over the country could suffer catastrophic losses, resulting in site closures, job and economic losses, and a disruption in health care access for 9 million people.

Cannabis, 'Spice' -- better think twice
Marijuana is the most commonly abused drug in the world, and the advent of synthetic cannabinoids creates additional challenges to the society because of their higher potency and ability to escape drug detection screenings.

Broad swath of US deemed environmentally suitable for mosquitoes that transmit disease
Three-quarters of counties in the contiguous United States present suitable environmental conditions for at least part of the year for either Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus mosquitoes to survive if introduced, according to researchers at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 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