Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 02, 2017
Game time: To increase exercise, study shows gaming strategies and a buddy are key
New research shows families who used activity trackers with specially designed gaming elements increased daily step counts by nearly one mile per day and achieved daily fitness goals 27 percent more than families who did not.

Feeling sated can become a cue to eat more
When hunger pangs strike, we usually interpret them as a cue to reach for a snack; when we start to feel full, we take it as a sign that we should stop eating.

Millions of suburban residents in US lack health insurance
Nearly 40 percent of the uninsured population in America lives in the suburbs and nearly one in seven suburban residents lacks health insurance.

Family Medicine and Community Health Journal volume 5, issue number 2 publishes
Family Medicine and Community Health Journal Volume 5, Issue Number 2 publishes as a special issue entitled 'Primary care and cancer', guest editor: Professor Li Li, UH Cleveland Medical Center, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.

GM soybean oil causes less obesity and insulin resistance but is harmful to liver function
Researchers at the University of California, Riverside have tested a genetically-modified soybean oil used in restaurants and found that while it induces less obesity and insulin resistance than conventional soybean oil, its effects on diabetes and fatty liver are similar to those of conventional soybean oil, the major vegetable cooking oil used in the United States, with popularity on the increase worldwide.

Many hospitals still not using digital patient health information
US hospitals are making slow progress in ensuring that their providers have access to patients' complete electronic health records when those patients have also received care from outside providers, according to a new study in Health Affairs.

A sea of spinning electrons
Picture two schools of fish swimming in clockwise and counterclockwise circles.

As retirement age creeps up, the health of those close to retirement is getting worse
Ten years from now, Americans born in 1960 will be able to start collecting their full Social Security retirement check, at the age of 67.

Study estimates years of life that could be saved in US if smokers switched to e-cigarettes
Up to 6.6 million premature deaths could be prevented over a ten year period in the US if smokers switched to e-cigarettes, suggests a study published in Tobacco Control, and those smokers who switched to vaping would live for a collective total of up to 86.7 million years.

Study finds new program reduces absenteeism in primary schools
A pilot program reduced absenteeism in elementary schools by an average of 10 percent, according to a new study by Duke researchers.

Text messaging program may help pregnant women kick the smoking habit
An intensive text messaging program provides some pregnant women help in fighting the urge to light up a smoke

Skipping breakfast associated with hardening of the arteries
Skipping breakfast is associated with an increased risk of atherosclerosis, or the hardening and narrowing of arteries due to a build-up of plaque, according to research published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Irish scientists can now produce electricity from tears
A team of Irish scientists has discovered that applying pressure to a protein found in egg whites and tears can generate electricity.

Scientists find new source of radioactivity from Fukushima disaster
Scientists have found a previously unsuspected place where radioactive material from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant disaster has accumulated -- in sands and brackish groundwater beneath beaches up to 60 miles away.

Basis of development of vertebrate limb muscles has been established in cartilaginous fishes
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) have discovered that both bony and cartilaginous fish develop their appendages via a shared mechanism -- the mechanism is also observed in land-dwelling vertebrates such as mice.

New insights into how sleep helps the brain to reorganize itself
A new study has given new insights into how sleep contributes to brain plasticity -- the ability for our brain to change and reorganise itself -- and could pave the way for new ways to help people with learning and memory disorders.

Liquid biopsies may help predict response to immune checkpoint inhibitors
The number of alterations detected in the DNA collected from blood samples (liquid biopsies) of cancer patients treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors was associated with response to the treatment.

Shared genetics in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder
A genetic variant associated with multiple psychiatric disorders drives changes in a brain network that may increase an individual's risk of developing bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, finds a study published in JNeurosci.

New evidence that Siberian volcanic eruptions caused extinction 250 million yrs ago
A team of scientists has found new evidence that the Great Permian Extinction, which occurred approximately 250 million years ago, was caused by massive volcanic eruptions that led to significant environmental changes.

New study highlights 'hidden figure' of sun-watchers
Few people have heard of Hisako Koyama, but the dedicated female solar observer, born in Tokyo in 1916, created one of the most important sunspot records of the past 400 years, according to new research.

Superconductivity found in thin films of titanium oxide
Researchers from Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) have discovered superconductivity in thin films of titanium oxide (Ti4O7) and gamma-phase trititanium pentoxide (γ-Ti3O5).

Tracking live brain activity with the new NeuBtracker open-source microscope
A team of scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum München and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has successfully developed a new type of microscope.

Adulteration of proprietary Chinese medicines & health products poses severe health risks
Traditional Chinese medicine is widely used as a form of complementary medicine all over the world for various indications and for improving general health.

Evolutionary crop research: Ego-plants give lower yield
Evolutionary biologists are calling for a shift in the usual plant breeding paradigm, which is based on selecting the fittest plants to create new varieties.

New insights into leading cause of miscarriage, birth defects discovered
Ten to 25 percent of human embryos contain the wrong number of chromosomes, resulting in miscarriage or birth defects such as Down syndrome.

Genetic study investigates ways to increase productivity and tenderness of meat
Improve the quality of beef produced in Brazil, which could increase industry revenue without expanding breeding area, is the goal of a research group.

University of Iowa researchers use CRISPR engineering to prevent certain glaucoma in mice
A University of Iowa-led team of researchers has used the gene editing method called CRISPR-Cas9 to disrupt a mutant gene that is responsible for some forms of glaucoma, one of the most common causes of irreversible blindness.

DNA mutations shed in blood predicts response to immunotherapy in patients with cancer
In a first-of-its-kind study, University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers report that a blood sample, or liquid biopsy, can reveal which patients will respond to checkpoint inhibitor-based immunotherapies.

Doctors define 'safe and effective' margins for 'one and done' skin removal around suspicious moles
By carefully tracing a line of at least 2 millimeters outside of and around the edges of a mole that is suspected of being a cancer, doctors can remove all of its cells and avert the need for a second surgery.

Kinesins ignore weak forces as they carry heavy loads
Simulations detail the mechanisms of kinesins that carry cargo inside cells.

If your child is bilingual, learning additional languages later might be easier
It is often claimed that people who are bilingual are better than monolinguals at learning languages.

Study finds sports-related concussion symptoms linger twice as long for adolescent girls
Adolescent female athletes suffer concussion symptoms twice as long as their male counterparts, according to a new study in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.

Low consumption of vitamin K by adolescents associated with unhealthy enlargement of the heart's major pumping chamber
A study of 766 otherwise healthy adolescents showed that those who consumed the least vitamin K1-- found in spinach, cabbage, iceberg lettuce and olive oil -- were at 3.3 times greater risk for an unhealthy enlargement of the major pumping chamber of their heart, according to the study published in The Journal of Nutrition.

Physician licensing laws keep doctors from seeking care
Mayo Clinic research shows that licensing requirements in many states include questions about past mental health treatments or diagnoses, with the implication that they may limit a doctor's right to practice medicine.

Stress diminishes our capacity to sense new dangers, psychology research finds
Being under stress diminishes our abilities to predict new dangers that we face, a team of psychology researchers finds.

Sticker shock
Preventing a preterm birth could cost as little as $200 or as much as $20,000, depending on which one of two medications a doctor orders, according to a new analysis from Harvard Medical School.

Strips of prairie plants slow loss of soil, nutrients and water from ag fields, double biodiversity
A decade of research by the USDA Forest Service and partners is demonstrating that prairie strips integrated in rowcrops reduce soil and nutrient loss from steep ground, provide habitat for wildlife, and improve water infiltration.

Study highlights conservation needs of fish species recently discovered in Southwest Virginia
Currently, the Clinch dace is in the highest tier of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries' Tiers of Imperilment for all wildlife species found in the state.

Virginia Tech study finds that healthy bacteria in yogurt may reduce lupus symptoms in mice
Researchers at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech have released findings that explain how a type of healthy bacteria in yogurt and other dairy products might reduce disease symptoms in certain patients with lupus.

Our muscles measure the time of day
Biological clocks are ticking everywhere throughout our body, and a 'master clock' in the brain synchronizes all the subsidiary ones in various organs.

Novel platform for investigating quiescence in dormancy-capable cancer cells
A team of researchers from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities has reported a novel encapsulation approach to identify dormant cancer cells and maintain them in a quiescent state.

After medical error, apology goes a long way
New research shows that discussing hospital errors with patients leads to better patient safety without spurring a barrage of malpractice claims.

Transcranial direct current stimulation reduces fatigue associated with multiple sclerosis
People with multiple sclerosis (MS) who underwent a non-invasive form of electrical brain stimulation, called transcranial direct current stimulation, or tDCS, experienced significant reductions in fatigue, a common and often debilitating symptom of the disease, according to new research from the Multiple Sclerosis Comprehensive Care Center at NYU Langone Health.

New survey finds 21 percent of Americans report personal experience with medical errors
The vast majority of Americans are having positive experiences with the health care system, but 21 percent of adults report having personally experienced a medical error, according to a new national survey released today by the IHI/NPSF Lucian Leape Institute and NORC at the University of Chicago.

Plastic surgeons get tips on managing Opioid addiction risk
Opioid medications prescribed for pain management after plastic surgery may contribute to the ongoing opioid epidemic, according to a special topic paper in the October issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

Scale of human impact on planet has changed course of Earth's history, scientists suggest
Anthropocene Working Group scientists publish recommendations for formalising new geological epoch.

Researchers get first look at electrons escaping atoms
In the journal Nature Physics, researchers write that they've taken a first step toward controlling electrons' behavior inside matter -- and thus the first step down a long and complicated road that could eventually lead to the ability to create new states of matter at will.

Genetic test successfully detects some asymptomatic pancreatic cancers
PancreaSeq® analyzed mutations known to be associated with precursors to pancreatic cancers.

Man develops severe liver damage after taking epsom salts
A 38-year-old man developed serious liver damage after taking epsom salts to treat gallstones, reveal doctors in the journal BMJ Case Reports.

A new model of treatment for youth with anxiety
A stepped care model of treatment for youth with anxiety can be effectively delivered using at least 14% less therapist time than traditional treatment service, reports a study published in the October 2017 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (JAACAP).

Asphalt helps lithium batteries charge faster
A touch of asphalt may be the secret to high-capacity lithium batteries that charge up to 20 times faster than commercial lithium-ion batteries, according to Rice University scientists.

Study finds differences in end-of-life care for recent immigrants in Canada
Among deceased in Ontario, Canada, recent immigrants were significantly more likely to receive aggressive care and to die in an intensive care unit compared with other residents, according to a study published by JAMA.

An algorithm that explains how ants create and repair trail networks
Observing ants in the trees of a tropical forest, Professor Deborah Gordon recorded how, without a plan, the ants make and maintain their networks -- and how they repair the network when it is ruptured.

Study published in Nature reveals molecular pathway of weight-controlling hormone
Scientists at NGM Bio have revealed deep insights into the role that a little-understood human hormone plays in regulating body weight.

New drug protects heart from cardiac rupture after myocardial infarction
There are currently many kinds of drugs for heart failure.

Balance forgiveness programs more effective at reducing credit card debt than lowering monthly minim
New research from Princeton University suggests that relief targeting longer-term debt, such as the partial forgiveness of account balances, has a greater effect on a borrower's overall financial health than strategies concentrating on short-term liquidity issues.

How much is that call worth?
Call centres can be expensive as well as the source of lots of consumer angst.

Healthy lifestyle linked to lower pain in MS sufferers
People with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) can experience chronic and debilitating pain, which greatly affects their quality of life.

Breakthrough cancer treatment brings hope and challenges
The first gene therapy for cancer will transform approaches to cancer treatments, but it poses ethical challenges for policy-makers, as described by three Hastings Center scholars in the October issue of Health Affairs.

World's first super-microsurgery operation with 'robot hands'
Plastic surgeons at Maastricht University Medical Center have used a robotic device to surgically treat lymphedema in a patient.

Unexpected findings uncover new understanding of gene expression
Northwestern Medicine scientists have discovered surprising findings about an enzyme central to gene expression and mutated in many cancers.

BU: Few South Africans receiving adequate diabetes care
The large number of South Africans with unmet diabetes care highlights the challenges the country faces with rising levels of chronic non-communicable diseases, says a new study led by a Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researcher.

Fast-moving magnetic particles could enable new form of data storage
Researchers from MIT and Germany have shown that virtual particles known as skyrmions, discovered just a few years ago, hold promise as a new way of storing data -- one that could overcome fundamental limits that might otherwise be signaling the end of 'Moore's Law.'

ALMA and Rosetta detect Freon-40 in space
Observations made with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) and ESA's Rosetta mission, have revealed the presence of the organohalogen Freon-40 in gas around both an infant star and a comet.

Non-invasive imaging predicts cancer malignancy
A new study by Osaka University scientists shows that non-labeling multiphoton microscopy (NL-MPM) can be used for quantitative imaging of cancer that is safe and requires no resection, fixation or staining of tissues.

Statin use appears to reduce risk of serious bacterial bloodstream infection
Users of statins, widely prescribed for prevention of cardiac disease, have a 27% lower risk of contracting a Staphylococcus aureus (S aureus) bloodstream infection outside of a hospital, according to a new study in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

New study from Harvard examines gender differences in obtaining first NIH research award
A study of more than 5,400 instructors and assistant professors at Harvard Medical School compared differences between males and females for receipt of their first National Institutes of Health research award.

Gene therapy shows promise for reversing blindness
Most causes of untreatable blindness occur due to loss of the millions of light sensitive photoreceptor cells that line the retina, similar to the pixels in a digital camera.

Firearm-related injuries account for $2.8 billion on emergency room and inpatient charges each year
A new Johns Hopkins study of more than 704,000 people who arrived alive at a United States emergency room for treatment of a firearm-related injury between 2006 and 2014 finds decreasing incidence of such injury in some age groups, increasing trends in others, and affirmation of the persistently high cost of gunshot wounds in dollars and human suffering.

When HIV drugs don't cooperate
Researchers at Thomas Jefferson University studying combinations of drugs against HIV have discovered why some drugs sometimes act synergistically but sometimes do not.

Delayed hospital discharges could be linked to rise in population deaths
Growing numbers of adults experiencing delays from being discharged from hospital may have played a part in the sharp rise in deaths noted in England in 2015, suggests research published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

RUDN University scientists described the distribution of soil microorganisms
Scientists from RUDN University have classified the distribution of soil microorganisms at different latitudes from tropical to temperate forests.

Warnings on Anesthesia before age 3 -- plastic surgeons get update on evidence
The evidence behind the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recent drug safety warning regarding prolonged anesthesia in infants and young children is discussed in the October issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

Evidence suggests life on Earth started after meteorites splashed into warm little ponds
Life on Earth began somewhere between 3.7 and 4.5 billion years ago, after meteorites splashed down and leached essential elements into warm little ponds, say scientists at McMaster University and the Max Planck Institute in Germany.

Monstrous crocodile fossil points to early rise of ancient reptiles
A newly identified prehistoric marine predator has shed light on the origins of the distant relatives of modern crocodiles.

Hubble is paving scientific paths for NASA's James Webb Space Telescope
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope is helping identify potential celestial targets for the James Webb Space Telescope through a series of preparatory science observations to be completed before Webb is ready to make observations of its own.

Large, crystalline lipid scaffolds bring new possibilities to protein, drug research
Proteins and drugs are often attached to lipids to promote crystallization or ensure delivery to targeted tissues within the body, but only the smallest proteins and molecules fit within these fat structures.

New method could help disrupt opioid crisis
In a collaborative effort, researchers at the FIU International Forensic Research Institute (IFRI) and the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science have zeroed in on a unique component of heroin that could help zero in on the locations of origin for individual batches.

Random movements help color-detecting cells form the proper pattern
In fish and other animals, the color detecting cone cells in the retina are arranged in specific patterns, and this is believed to be important for allowing animals to properly sense their surroundings.

Depression symptoms linked to problems with daily activities for older Japanese adults
Recently, researchers investigated whether depressive symptoms might make it harder for older adults to perform their regular daily activities.

Lower education and income linked to higher suicide risks for gay and bisexual men
Gay and bisexual men making less than $30,000 a year and without a university degree have more than five times the odds of attempting suicide compared with their more advantaged peers, according to new research from the University of British Columbia.

International competition benchmarks metagenomics software
Communities of bacteria live everywhere: inside our bodies, on our bodies and all around us.

Did game design elements increase physical activity among adults?
Physical activity increased among families in a randomized clinical trial as part of a game-based intervention where they could earn points and progress through levels based on step goal achievements, according to a new article published by JAMA Internal Medicine.

New Central Park fly species gets CCNY professor's moniker
Introducing Themira lohmanus, a fly like no other, and the most recently discovered species in the popular Manhattan urban oasis of Central Park!

Tobacco smokers could gain 86 million years of life if they switch to vaping, study finds
Up to 6.6 million cigarette smokers will live substantially longer if cigarette smoking is replaced by vaping over a ten-year period, calculates a research team led by investigators from Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Childhood asthma: Not associated with BCG vaccination
Childhood asthma is a serious public health challenge in Québec and throughout the world.

The 'myth' of language history: Languages do not share a single history
An international team, led by scientists at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, has discovered that a language's grammatical structures change more quickly than vocabulary, overturning a long-held assumption in the field.

New system finds and targets vulnerabilities in lung cancer cells
Genetic changes that help lung cancer thrive also make it vulnerable to a promising experimental drug.

Tropical diversity takes root in relationships between fungi and seeds
A team led by Smithsonian scientists in Panama exposed a key to understanding tropical tree diversity by studying how fungi interact with seeds that linger in the ground.

Program reduces high ED use, increases primary care visits for most vulnerable patients
Researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus have found that a community-based program aimed at high users of hospital emergency departments (EDs), reduced ED visits and hospital admissions, while increasing use of primary care providers.

A deeper understanding of a surface phenomenon
Phenomena involving surface tension are extremely complex and have applications in our everyday lives, and OIST researchers are tackling the complicated mathematics behind the physics.

Tiny aquariums put nanoparticle self-assembly on display
Seeing is believing when it comes to nanoparticle self-assembly. A team of University of Illinois engineers is observing the interactions of colloidal gold nanoparticles inside tiny aquariumlike sample containers to gain more control over the self-assembly process of engineered materials.

Glowing news for organic materials
Researchers at Kyushu University's Center for Organic Photonics and Electronics Research (OPERA) have developed the world's first glow-in-the-dark materials based on organic molecules.

Checkpoint blockade may be key for immunity to malaria
A molecule that prevents the immune system from attacking cancer may play a similar role with malaria.

Children without allergies can still be afflicted with asthma-like coughing and wheezing
Doctors have long wondered why children without allergies can still be afflicted with asthma-like coughing and wheezing.

Animals that play with objects learn how to use them as tools
Researchers have discovered that New Caledonian crows and kea parrots can learn about the usefulness of objects by playing with them -- similar to human baby behavior.

Astronomers discover traces of methyl chloride around infant stars and nearby comet
Astronomers using ALMA have detected the faint molecular fingerprint of methyl chloride around an infant star system.

By decoding how HPV causes cancer, researchers find a new potential treatment strategy
A study that teases apart the biological mechanisms by which human papillomaviruses (HPV) cause cancer has found what researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center say is a new strategy that might provide targeted treatment for these cancers.

Llama-derived nanobodies as a new tool in solving crystal structure
Aarhus University scientists have developed miniature antibodies (nanobodies) that can be labelled on certain amino acids.

Spanish research confirms the importance of breakfast in the prevention of cardiovascular disease
The PESA study shows that people who regularly eat a 'low energy' breakfast (supplying less than 5 percent of recommended daily calorie intake) double their risk of developing atherosclerosis independently of classical cardiovascular risk factors.

What a rare blood disease can teach us about blood clotting
New research in the Journal of Biological Chemistry yields insight into how antithrombin works, which could lead to treatments not only for patients with antithrombin deficiency, but also to better-designed drugs for other blood disorders.

Preventing autoimmune disease after a viral infection
Researchers used mice to study regulatory mechanisms in the immune system that prevent autoimmune disease.

Public health factors may have affected 2016 US presidential election results
A study led by a Massachusetts General Hospital investigator -- in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Department of Political Science -- has identified community health as a possible contributor to the surprising results of the 2016 US presidential election.

DNA: The next hot material in photonics?
Using DNA from salmon, researchers in South Korea hope to make better biomedical and other photonic devices based on organic thin films.

Most Americans want the government to combat climate change, some willing to pay a high amount
Sixty-one percent of Americans think climate change is a problem that the government needs to address, including 43 percent of Republicans and 80 percent of Democrats, according to a new survey from the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC) and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Financial incentives for physicians did not increase follow-up of patients after discharge
A financial incentive for physicians to see patients sooner after discharge from hospital did not appear to influence physician behavior, found a study published in CMAJ.

Mini-kidneys grown in lab reveal renal disease secrets
By creating and manipulating mini-kidney organoids that contain a realistic micro-anatomy, UW Medicine researchers can now track the early stages of polycystic kidney disease.

Genre may impact cognitive training using video games
Video games are quickly becoming a hot topic in cognitive training.

Researchers review risks, recommendations for weight gain management in midlife women
A review of the weight gain risks and challenges faced by women in midlife has led Mayo Clinic researchers to a series of recommendations for this patient population.

Pressure between layers of stacked graphene oxide nanosheets increases with heat
Graphene is a sheet of carbon one atom thick, and it has drawn worldwide attention as a new material.

New 'building material' points toward quantum computers
Quantum computer: A Danish-American research team has shown that it is possible to produce 'Majorana particles' in a new 'building material'.

A new method for removing cells infected with the AIDS virus
With the successful suppression of the AIDS virus (HIV) through medication, the focus turns toward its eradication.

Earth's tectonic plates are weaker than once thought
Research by University of Pennsylvania geophysicists and colleagues has resolved a long-standing question regarding the strength of olivine, the primary component of Earth's mantle. 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