Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 22, 2017
Smartphone apps reduce depression
New Australian-led research has confirmed that smartphone apps are an effective treatment option for depression, paving the way for safe and accessible interventions for the millions of people around the world diagnosed with this condition.

Forgoing chemo linked to worse survival in older patients with advanced colon cancer who had dementia
A pre-existing diagnosis of dementia was associated with increased risk of death for older patients with advanced colon cancer; however, some of the effects of dementia on survival could be mediated by receipt of chemotherapy.

UTA study finds public-private partnerships key to making telemedicine sustainable
RadhaKanta Mahapatra, a professor in the Department of Information Systems and Operations Management in the UTA College of Business, conducted the study, A Collaborative Approach to Creating ICT-based Sustainable Development, which was published as part of the Americas Conference on Information Systems' proceedings earlier this year.

Our weight tells how we assess food
A new study demonstrated that people of normal weight tend to associate natural foods such as apples with their sensory characteristics.

NASA tracking Hurricane Maria on Bahamas approach
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite provided a look at Maria's temperatures to find the strongest sides of the storm, while NOAA's GOES satellite revealed the extent of the storm in a visible image as it moved toward the Bahamas.

Observatory detects extragalactic cosmic rays hitting the Earth
Fifty years ago, scientists discovered that the Earth is occasionally hit by cosmic rays of enormous energies.

HSE scholars measure prestige of fashion models
Beginning models should choose independent magazines in order to be successful in the fashion industry, but they should also keep in mind that the fashion business is becoming increasingly closed off every year.

Researchers describe mechanism that underlies age-associated bone loss
A major health problem in older people is age-associated osteoporosis -- the thinning of bone and the loss of bone density that increases the risk of fractures.

NASA's Terra satellite sees a very stubborn post-Tropical Cyclone Jose
Jose continues to bring tropical storm conditions to southern New England although the storm has become post-tropical.

A sustainable future powered by sea
OIST researchers develop turbines to convert the power of ocean waves into clean, renewable energy.

Emergency contraception not as accessible as it should be, says CU Anschutz study
Efforts to remove barriers to accessing emergency contraception (EC) scored victories in 2013, when the US Food and Drug Administration removed age restrictions on over-the-counter sales of the levonogestrel drug Plan B.

NASA'S OSIRIS-REx spacecraft slingshots past Earth
NASA's asteroid sample return spacecraft successfully used Earth's gravity on Friday to slingshot itself on a path toward the asteroid Bennu, for a rendezvous next August.

Usher syndrome: Gene therapy restores hearing and balance
Scientists from the Institut Pasteur, Inserm, the CNRS, Collège de France, University Pierre et Marie Curie, and University Clermont Auvergne, have recently restored hearing and balance in a mouse model of Usher syndrome type 1G characterized by profound congenital deafness and vestibular disorders caused by severe dysmorphogenesis of the mechanoelectrical transduction apparatus of the inner ear's sensory cells.

Crowning the 'King of the Crops': Sequencing the white Guinea yam genome
An international collaboration involving the Earlham Institute, Norwich, UK, and the Iwate Biotechnology Research Centre, Japan, has for the first time provided a genome sequence for the white Guinea yam, a staple crop with huge economic and cultural significance on the African continent and a lifeline for millions of people.

The math of doughnuts: 'Moonshine' sheds light on elliptic curves
Mathematicians have opened a new chapter in the theory of moonshine, one which begins to harness the power of the pariahs -- sporadic simple groups that previously had no known application.

Russian scientists have studied the genes that allow cancer cells to resist drugs
Researchers from the People's Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University) have studied the mechanism of drug resistance for ovarian and breast cancer cells.

Ancient textiles reveal differences in Mediterranean fabrics in the 1st millennium BC
Analysis of Iron Age textiles indicates that during c. 1000-400 BC Italy shared the textile culture of Central Europe, while Greece was largely influenced by the traditions of ancient Near East.

Fires in Australia pop up in places already burned
Fires that span across the Northern Territory and Western Australia appear to have broken out in areas that have already been burned in previous fires.

Are you happy you voted -- or didn't?
An analysis of 22 election-period surveys in five countries shows that people who cast a ballot are much more glad they did than people who abstain.

Stimuli fading away en route to consciousness
Whether or not we consciously perceive the stimuli projected onto our retina is decided in our brain.

New gene delivery approach could allow long-term persistence in proliferating cells
Researchers added a scaffold/matrix attachment region (S/MAR) to a conventional adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector used for gene transfer, and the modified vectors were able to establish colonies and maintain long-term transgene expression in HeLa cells.

Rainbow colors reveal cell history
Dr. Nikolay Ninov, group leader at the DFG research center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden, Cluster of Excellence at the TU Dresden, and Paul Langerhans Institute Dresden, and his group developed a system called 'Beta-bow,' which allows the history of β-cells to be traced by genetic bar-coding and multicolor imaging.

NIST's quick test may speed antibiotic treatment and combat drug resistance
Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have demonstrated a potential new tactic for rapidly determining whether an antibiotic combats a given infection, thus hastening effective medical treatment and limiting the development of drug-resistant bacteria.

Solidarity between good and justice keeps a society together
Soka University researcher Isamu Okada and his collaborators Tatsuya Sasaki (University of Vienna) and Yutaka Nakai (Shibaura Institute of Technology) have found that the solidarity of philanthropism and reciprocity is necessary to maintain cooperative societies.

Residents: Frontline defenders against antibiotic resistance?
Residents often decide which antibiotics to start a patient on so they could become the first line of defense against antibiotic resistance, says Geovanny F.

Families of survivors of ECMO for heart conditions report favorable quality of life
One of the few large studies to report long-term outcomes in cardiac patients treated in childhood with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) has found overall favorable outcomes among survivors, as reported by families.

New technique spots warning signs of extreme events
Engineers at MIT have devised a framework for identifying key patterns that precede an extreme event.

700-year-old saint myth has been proven (almost) true
Scientists confirm that the age and content of an old sack is in accordance with a medieval myth about Saint Francis of Assisi.

Chronic migraine cases are amplified by jawbone disorder, according to research
A study conducted by researchers in Brazil shows patients with chronic migraine are three times as likely to suffer from severe temporomandibular disorder.

Low screening rates for adolescents diagnosed with PID in the nation's emergency departments
The nation's emergency departments had low rates of complying with recommended HIV and syphilis screening for at-risk adolescents, though larger hospitals were more likely to provide such evidence-based care.

Why do people in new democracies stop voting?
An exhaustive study of legislative elections in all 91 democracies that were born around the world from 1939 to 2015 finds that in half of them, there was a substantial decline in voter turnout.

Positive, negative or neutral, it all matters: NASA explains space radiation
Charged particles may be small, but they matter to astronauts.

Assembly of nanoparticles proceeds like a zipper
according to scientists from Aalto University Finland, viruses and nanoparticles can be assembled into processable superlattice wires.

Discovery of a new genetic syndrome which predisposes the body to cancer
A new syndrome caused by biallelic mutations -- those produced in both gene copies inherited from the mother and father -- in the FANCM gene predisposes the body to the appearance of tumors and causes rejection to chemotherapy treatments.

First large scale study of cocaine users leads to breakthrough in drug testing
Scientists from the University of Surrey have developed a rapid and highly sensitive fingerprint test that can take just seconds to confirm whether someone has used cocaine.

Party discipline for jumping genes
Jumping genes, transposons, are part of the genome of most organisms, aggregated into families and can damage the genome by jumping.

Study: Strategy might prevent infections in patients with spinal cord injuries
A new study at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center investigates how to reduce the number of infections in patients with spinal cord injuries without using antibiotics.

Antibiotics and biocidal cleaners may spread multidrug resistance in MRSA
Antibiotic use on people or pets, and use of biocidal cleaning products such as bleach, are associated with multidrug resistance in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in the home.

Novel assay shows promise for non-invasive detection of PD-L1 on circulating tumor cells
Researchers have presented the first report of a new microfluidics-based approach for detecting circulating cancer biomarkers in blood samples.

From galaxies far far away!
In a paper to be published in Science on 22 September, the Pierre Auger Collaboration reports observational evidence demonstrating that cosmic rays with energies a million times greater than that of the protons accelerated in the Large Hadron Collider come from much further away than from our own Galaxy.

Study finds no-tillage not sufficient alone to prevent water pollution from nitrate
A new IUPUI study funded by the US Department of Agriculture answers a long-debated agricultural question: whether no-tillage alone is sufficient to prevent water pollution from nitrate.

NYU dentistry study pinpoints role of proteins that produce pearls
While it is known that pearls are made of calcium carbonate with an organic matrix core, the role of the proteins modulating the organization of these crystals has, until recently, been unclear.

Enhancing the sensing capabilities of diamonds with quantum properties
When a nitrogen atom is next to the space vacated by a carbon atom, it forms what is called a nitrogen-vacancy center.

Winter cold extremes linked to high-altitude polar vortex weakening
When the strong winds that circle the Arctic slacken, cold polar air can escape and cause extreme winter chills in parts of the Northern hemisphere.

UCI scientists identify important aspect of the brain's navigational system
The ability to successfully navigate in the environment is essential both for animals searching for food or escaping predators, as well as for human urban dwellers.

Twitter bots for good: USC ISI study reveals how information spreads on social media
Twitter bots have earned a bad reputation -- but not all bots are bad, suggests a new study co-authored by Emilio Ferrara, a USC Information Sciences Institute computer scientist and a research assistant professor at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering's Department of Computer Science with a team from the Technical University of Denmark.

Two Group A Streptococcus genes linked to 'flesh-eating' bacterial infections
Group A Streptococcus bacteria cause illnesses ranging from mild nuisances like strep throat to life-threatening conditions such as flesh-eating disease, also known as necrotizing fasciitis.

Multi-gene test predicts Alzheimer's better than APOE E4 alone
A new test that combines the effects of more than two dozen genetic variants, most associated by themselves with only a small risk of Alzheimer's disease, does a better job of predicting which cognitively normal older adults will go on to develop Alzheimer's dementia than testing only for the well-known genetic variant APOE E4.

Leopoldina Annual Assembly focuses on genome editing issues
The German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina today opened its 2017 Annual Assembly in Halle (Saale), with this year's theme being

Highest-energy cosmic rays have extragalactic origin
A 50-year-old debate has at last been settled: the highest-energy cosmic rays do not originate in our own Galaxy but in galaxies located tens or even hundreds of millions of light years away. 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