Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 03, 2017
High-deductible health care plans curb both cost and usage, including preventive care
A team of researchers based at IUPUI has conducted the first systematic review of studies examining the relationship between high-deductible health care plans and the use of health care services.

Reduced exposure to bullying could reduce mental illness in extreme preemies
Researchers say meaningful interventions for extremely low birth weight survivors and their parents can improve the lives of preterm survivors and potentially prevent the development of depression and anxiety in adulthood.

Rare benign tumors hold the 'genetic recipe' to combat diabetes
Mount Sinai researchers discover that insulinomas contain novel molecular pathways and reveal the map to regenerate insulin-producing cells.

Observations of red aurora over 1770 Kyoto help diagnose extreme magnetic storm
Researchers used historic accounts of a rare red aurora over Kyoto, Japan, in the 18th century to support calculations of the strength of the associated magnetic storm.

New report gives the lay of the land on grazing livestock's climate impact
An international research collaboration has shed light on the impact that grass-fed animals have on climate change.

Program for parents improves ADHD behaviors in young children
Effective early intervention is crucial for young children with ADHD, due to the unfavorable short-term and long-term outcomes associated with the disorder.

Global research team fills language gap in plant science
To keep pace with the fast-evolving study of cellular plant science, an international team of researchers has created terminology and definitions likely to become everyday language in laboratories and university classrooms worldwide.

Education faculty research suggests social action may give youth a career edge
When disadvantaged youth engage in social activism, they tend to have high-status occupations in adulthood, according to Clemson University and University of Michigan researchers. The findings also suggest there's a place for more discussion of social issues in our educational systems.

Study: Women firefighters can improve safety, but department culture must change
A new study by Drexel's Center for Firefighter Injury Research & Safety Trends discerned that gender may be a unique contributor to safety, but hypermasculine fire service culture creates barriers.

Use of non-vitamin K blood-thinners with certain medications associated with increased risk of major bleeding
Among patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation, concurrent use of certain commonly prescribed medications with non-vitamin K oral anticoagulants was associated with an increased risk of major bleeding, according to a study published by JAMA.

Red Sea gene pool follows water flow
Satellite imagery shows how currents shape the Red Sea ecosystem.

Good vibrations for the future of computing
A vibration-driven logic gate could form the basis for the next generation of efficient, low-power computers.

Up to 50 percent fewer phytosanitary products required to treat vine diseases
The FITOVID project, the results of which were presented recently, has managed to decrease by up to 50 percent the amount of phytosanitary products required in vineyards.

Study identifies factors linked to dying comfortably for the very old
Very old people are more likely to die comfortably if they die in a care home or at home, compared with dying in a hospital, suggests a new study from the University of Cambridge.

One hour of exercise a week can prevent depression
A landmark study led by the Black Dog Institute has revealed that regular exercise of any intensity can prevent future depression -- and just one hour can help.

New method for tissue regeneration, inspired by nature, described by scientists
Scientists have found a way of mimicking our body's natural healing process, using cell derived nano-sized particles called vesicles, to repair damaged tissue.

Ninety-eight scientists launch a 2,000-year global temperature database
A team of 98 scientists from 22 countries has compiled the most comprehensive database of past global temperature records to date, spanning 1 CE to the present.

Finnish researchers discover what is on the menu for dragonflies
Researchers from the Universities of Turku and Helsinki, Finland, are the first in the world to discover which species adult dragonflies and damselflies prey upon, as modern laboratory techniques enabled the study of the insects' diet.

UTA study sheds new light on evolution
Research from the University of Texas at Arlington and the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology suggests that hydrogen, oxygen, water and carbon dioxide are being generated in the earth's mantle hundreds of kilometers below the earth's surface.

Cell signals that trigger wound healing are surprisingly complex
Vanderbilt scientists have taken an important step toward understanding the way in which injured cells trigger wound healing, an insight essential for improving treatments of all types of wounds.

A radical solution comes from mixing tools
The molten surface of a sodium-based material could assist the direct conversion of methane to useful building blocks.

Monitoring microbes to keep Marsonauts healthy
To guarantee a safe environment for astronauts on long-duration space missions such as a journey to Mars, it is important to monitor how microorganisms such as bacteria adapt to the confined conditions onboard spacecraft, according to a study published in the open access journal Microbiome.

Cooling treatment reduces epilepsy in children
Cooling babies deprived of oxygen at birth (perinatal asphyxia) can reduce the number of children who develop epilepsy later in childhood, according to a new study published in the journal Epilepsia.

Online parent training helps young kids with ADHD
Researchers at Lehigh University have discovered that brief online or in-person behavioral therapy for parents is equally effective in improving children's behavior and parental knowledge -- a potential game changer for parents strapped for time and access.

Benchmarking computational methods for metagenomes
To tackle assembling metagenomes, then binning these consensus regions into genome bins, and finally conducting taxonomic profiling, analysts around the world have developed an array of different computational tools, but until now there was a lack of consensus on how to evaluate their performance.

Prehistoric squid was last meal of newborn ichthyosaur 200 million years ago
Scientists from the UK have identified the smallest and youngest specimen of Ichthyosaurus communis on record and found an additional surprise preserved in its stomach.

Computational study sheds doubt on latest theory of birds' mysterious magnetic compass
The European robin and other birds know where to migrate by sensing the direction of the Earth's magnetic field.

Keeping moving -- flat worms shed light on role of migrating stem cells in cancer
A new study carried out by the University of Oxford has used flat worms to look at the role of migrating stem cells in cancer.

Astronomers reveal evidence of dynamical dark energy
An international research team, including astronomers from the University of Portsmouth, has revealed evidence of dynamical dark energy.

Warming unlikely to have major impact on animal agriculture in Northeast
Climate change will not significantly impair animal agriculture in the Northeast region of the United States, according to a multidisciplinary team of researchers, who point out there are many variables in the future scenario they envision.

'CRISPR-Gold' fixes Duchenne muscular dystrophy mutation in mice
Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have engineered a new way to deliver CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technology inside cells and have demonstrated in mice that the technology can repair the mutation that causes Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a severe muscle-wasting disease.

New portable blood analyzer could improve anemia detection worldwide
To reduce the burden of anemia, health officials need a better picture of the disease's global impact, an understanding made viable by a portable and affordable way to analyze blood.

NREL, Johns Hopkins develop method to quantify life cycle land use of natural gas
A case study of the Barnett Shale region in Texas, where hydraulic fracturing was first implemented, for the first time provides quantifiable information on the life cycle land use of generating electricity from natural gas based on physical measurements instead of using assumptions and averages that were previously used for evaluation.

Patients' expectations influence the effectiveness of SSRI antidepressants
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are commonly prescribed for depression and anxiety but their superiority over placebo has been questioned, generating considerable debate among researchers and clinicians.

House sparrow decline linked to air pollution and poor diet
House sparrows are well-adapted to living in urban areas, so it is surprising their numbers have fallen significantly over the past decades.

'Ideal biomarker' detects Alzheimer's disease before the onset of symptoms
Absence of a prefrontal activation during sensory gating of simple tones detects the Alzheimer's disease (AD) before the occurrence of the first symptoms.

Scientists bring new insights into the heritability of HIV infection severity
Using a population of HIV-1 infected individuals (the 2014 Swiss HIV Cohort Study data), an international research team of 17 institutions, led by ETH Zurich's Roland Regoes of the Institute of Integrative Biology, has now examined all aspects of HIV virulence, with a particular focus on how it ravages the human immune system.

Two agents deliver knockout punches to Ewing sarcoma
When combined with an already FDA-approved chemotherapy, a novel agent developed by researchers at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, appears to halt the ability of Ewing sarcoma to grow and progress.

New study: Sepsis care initiatives may lead to higher C. difficile infection rates, antibiotic resis
Healthcare experts have long known the benefits of integrated sepsis care programs, yet less information has been published on potential unintended consequences of these programs.

Gut bacteria metabolism may factor into hypertension
One in three American adults suffers from high blood pressure, or hypertension.

Comparing different information levels (U. Saint-Mont)
In the present paper, the concept of 'situation' translates into one of a 'stochastic environment', and three levels of information are systematically studied (minimum, sequential, maximum).

New in the Hastings Center Report, September-October 2017
The ethics of providing cheaper, less effective treatments in resource-poor countries; physician-assisted death and severe depression; and more in the September-October 2017 issue.

Livestock grazing harming giant panda habitat
One third of the giant panda habitat in China's Wanglang National Nature Reserve has been degraded and lost to livestock grazing, a new Duke Kunshan University-led study finds.

Genetic targets to chemo-resistant breast cancer identified
Research led by Dr. Carlos Arteaga, Director of the Harold C.

Ancient petrified salamander reveals its last meal
A new study on an exceptionally preserved salamander from the Eocene of France reveals that its soft organs are conserved under its skin and bones.

Durian industry could suffer without the endangered fruit bat
Scientists have discovered that Southeast Asia's endangered fruit bats -- commonly known as flying foxes -- play an important part in the pollination of the iconic and economically important durian tree.

PSU study tracks potentially harmful species from Japanese tsunami to American shores
Nearly 300 aquatic species have landed on American shores since the 2011 Japanese tsunami by hitching rides on manmade debris, according to a team of researchers from Portland State University and other institutions.

Unlocking the secrets of the universe; LIGO team awarded 2017 Nobel Prize in physics
David H. Reitze, LIGO Executive Director and Fellow of The Optical Society, said 'With continued, long-term investment, Advanced LIGO and now Virgo in Italy, will continue to add to the early building blocks of their dedication to the field of gravitational wave science.

New machine evaluates soybean at harvest for quality
When a field of soybeans is ready to harvest, speed is of the essence.

Scientists think public opinion important before human gene editing
The public should be consulted before gene editing is used to treat human embryos, a survey of 300 cardiovascular researchers finds.

New targeted alpha therapy protocol for advanced prostate cancer
Therapy options are limited for men with advanced-stage, metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer, but a new treatment protocol offers hope.

Twitter a hotbed of anti-vaccine sentiment, study finds
Anti-vaccine sentiment is alive and growing on social media, with California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania showing the most negative tweets, according to a new 5-year study by a CU Boulder researcher.

Gabapentin co-use may increase risk of fatal opioid overdose
Co-prescription of the anticonvulsant gabapentin is associated with an increased risk of opioid-related death in people who are prescribed opioid painkillers, according to a new study published in PLOS Medicine.

NIH researchers uncover drain pipes in our brains
By scanning the brains of healthy volunteers, researchers at the National Institutes of Health saw the first, long-sought evidence that our brains may drain some waste out through lymphatic vessels, the body's sewer system.

Neuroscientists find 'gatekeeper' in itching sensations plays no role in pain transmission
A neurotransmitter study in mice found that BNP is involved in relaying itching sensations but not pain.

Incidence of measles in the United States
From 2001 to 2015, the overall annual incidence of measles in the United States remained extremely low (less than 1 case/million population) compared with incidence worldwide (40 cases/million population); relative increases in measles rates were observed over the period, and the findings suggest that failure to vaccinate may be the main driver of measles transmission, according to a study published by JAMA.

New key regulator of acquisition of immune tolerance to tumor cells in cancer patients
Researchers of the Chromatin and Disease Group from the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) in Barcelona have identified a distinctive epigenetic event in immune cells that differentiate in the tumoral microenvironment and make them tolerant to cancer cells.

IBD patients may stay healthier when doctors monitor medications before they lose efficacy
Proactive monitoring of blood levels of the therapeutic drug infliximab was associated with improved outcomes including lower risk of surgery and hospitalization.

Vitamin D protects against severe asthma attacks
Taking oral vitamin D supplements in addition to standard asthma medication could halve the risk of asthma attacks requiring hospital attendance, according to research led by Queen Mary University of London.

Breast cancer statistics, 2017
Breast cancer death rates dropped 39 percent between 1989 and 2015, averting 322,600 breast cancer deaths during those 26 years.

Fecal transplant success for diabetes might depend on the recipient's gut microbes
A small clinical trial in the Netherlands found that a fecal transplant from a lean donor can temporarily improve insulin resistance in obese men -- but only half of the recipients responded.

To breed or not to breed? Migratory female butterflies face a monsoonal dilemma
Female butterflies make smart investments, finds a new study.

Tiny poisonous Brazilian frogs are 'deaf' to their own call
Tiny Brazilian frogs still 'sing' despite not being able to hear themselves -- this is the surprising discovery of new scientific research.

Large volcanic eruptions in Tropics can trigger El Niño events
Explosive volcanic eruptions in the tropics can lead to El Niño events, those notorious warming periods in the Pacific Ocean with dramatic global impacts on the climate, according to a new study.

Surrounded by potential: New science in converting biomass
To take full advantage of biomass, lignin needs to be processed into usable components along with the plant cellulose.

Clumps as temporary storage
Researchers at ETH have discovered that the formation of protein aggregates in yeast cells is reversible.

Reducing bullying the Finnish way -- in the United States
A Finnish program transplanted to the United States accomplished its goals of significantly reducing bullying and victimization, but its success hinged on the instructional 'dose' students received, says Marissa Smith, Ph.D.

Visualizing life in silico
Programming a molecular biology experiment can be similar to playing Sudoku; both are simple if you're working with only a few molecules or a small grid, but explode in complexity as they grow.

Pesticide use during pregnancy linked to increased risk of childhood brain tumors
Previous epidemiological studies have suggested that exposure to pesticides during pregnancy may have a possible role in the development of childhood brain tumors.

Heat-tempered magnesium alloy a strong choice for implants
In a study published in the Journal of Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery, researchers at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, NYU School of Medicine, and NYU Dentistry found, through in vivo testing, that T-5 heat treatment of magnesium alloy confers titanium-like strength and resistance to degradation and resporption.

New method to measure cell stiffness could lead to improved cancer treatments
UCLA biophysicists have created a new method to rapidly determine a single cell's stiffness and size -- which could ultimately lead to improved treatments for cancer and other diseases.

Oregon study finds that microbial dispersal impacts animal guts
In a novel experiment, zebrafish with defective immune systems swam and dined with counterparts with normal immune systems.

Ammonia emissions unlikely to be causing extreme China haze
As China struggles to find ways to remedy the noxious haze that lingers over Beijing and other cities in the winter, researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology have cast serious doubt on one proposed cause: high levels of ammonia in the air.

Do mothers favor daughters and fathers favor sons?
New research shows that mothers are more likely to spend money on daughters and fathers are more likely to spend on sons -- despite the fact that parents think they are spending equally.

Studies of 'amorphous ice' reveal hidden order in glass
'Amorphous ice' forms when water is rapidly cooled to form a disordered glass-like solid rather than the common form of ice, which is crystalline.

Link between childhood in care and mums who have babies removed by the courts
A study has found a high number of women, who repeatedly appear before the family courts and lose many children into public care or adoption because of child protection concerns, have been in care themselves.

Researchers identify free-flowing aerosol particles using holograms, lasers
Holographic images of free-flowing air particles may help climate change and biological weapons watchdogs better monitor the atmosphere, according to a recent Kansas State University study published in Nature's Scientific Reports.

Designer biosensor can detect antibiotic production by microbes
Researchers from North Carolina State University have engineered designer biosensors that can detect antibiotic molecules of interest.

Does the titanium dioxide in food and nanomaterials affect the gut microbiome?
A new study has shown that the titanium dioxide (TiO2) frequently used in foods, coatings, pigments, and paints that is ingested can affect both the types of bacteria present in the human gut and the pH of the colon.

Pheasant roadkill peaks in autumn and late winter
Chickens' motives for crossing the road are often questioned -- but pheasants should probably avoid it altogether, new research suggests.

Bristol scientists pinpoint the singularity for quantum computers
Researchers from the University of Bristol have discovered that super-powerful quantum computers, which scientists and engineers across the world are racing to build, need to be even more powerful than previously thought before they can beat today's ordinary PCs.

Protein identified that drives initiation and growth of aggressive form of leukemia
A team led by Massachusetts General Hospital investigators has identified a new cancer-causing pathway behind most cases of an aggressive type of leukemia, findings that could lead to new targeted treatment approaches.

What is STEM education?
Everyone needs a good teacher -- including teachers. two new studies show how digging deeper into what STEM education means and strategically designing online classrooms can enhance teaching science, technology, engineering, and math.

Morbidity and mortality of leprosy in the Middle Ages
In the Middle Ages, did contracting leprosy necessarily increase a person's chances of dying?

Psychosocial factors, psychological disorders and violent crime
A low level of education is the variable that can most accurately predict this, according to a study carried out among inmates of Andalusian prisons.

Breaking the rules: Heavy chemical elements alter theory of quantum mechanics
Florida State University researchers found that the theory of quantum mechanics does not adequately explain how the heaviest and rarest elements found at the end of the table function.

Adverse events spike after blood pressure meds go generic in Canada
One month after generic versions of three widely-used blood pressure drugs became available in Canada, hospital visits for adverse events spiked in generic drug users.

Bones reveal social differences between the people buried in dolmens and those in caves
A study by the UPV/EHU's Department of Genetics, Physical Anthropology and Animal Physiology and the School of Archaeology of the University of Oxford has measured stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes of the bones of individuals buried in dolmens and caves; the aim is to establish their diet and thus obtain information on their social structure and type of society in the Rioja Alavesa area during the late Neolithic and early Chalcolithic.

Got a picky eater? How 'nature and nurture' may be influencing eating behavior in young children
Nutrition and family studies researchers at the University of Illinois have collaborated for the last 10 years to understand the characteristics of picky eaters and to identify possible correlations of the behavior.

How to regulate Esports gambling debated in Gaming Law Review
The new and rapidly evolving esports industry, while currently enjoying minimal regulatory oversight, would benefit in the long-term from a solid regulatory structure that embodies consumer protections.

Tiny protein offers major insight into foot-and-mouth virus
Scientists have identified that a tiny protein, which plays a major role in the replication of foot-and-mouth disease virus, demonstrates a greater level of genetic economy than previously reported.

Mold contamination in sea salts could potentially spoil food
Research from Cornell University mycologist Kathie Hodge and doctoral candidate Megan Biango-Daniels reveals varying levels of mold contamination in commercial sea salts.

Blood-thinning medications associated with increased risk of complications from having blood in urine
Use of blood-thinning medications among older adults was significantly associated with higher rates of hematuria (the presence of blood in urine)-related complications, including emergency department visits, hospitalizations and urologic procedures to manage visible hematuria, according to a study published by JAMA.

New information on a major player in chronic visceral leishmaniasis
In an article in the latest issue of PLOS Pathogens, INRS professor Simona Stäger and her team show how the parasite Leishmania donovani uses a physiological response to low oxygen levels (hypoxia) to establish a chronic infection.

A geochemist from MSU has assessed the oxidative environment inside asteroids
A postgraduate of the Faculty of Geology at Moscow State University working as a part of an international team has assessed the oxidative environment and its changes inside asteroids from the core to the surface.

New efficient catalyst for key step in artificial photosynthesis
Chemists have designed a new 'single-site' catalyst that speeds up the rate of a key step in artificial photosynthesis.

Medical scribes reduce hospital wait time, study shows
A new study from the University of Colorado Denver finds that medical scribes, or specialists who prepare patient medical charts, significantly decrease physician overtime and patient wait time in emergency room settings.

Chemists teach computer program to model forces between atoms accurately
The researchers used machine learning to model the interactions between atoms in crystalline and liquid aluminum and uranium.

New cardiac catheter combines light and ultrasound to measure plaques
Biomedical engineers at UC Davis have combined intravascular ultrasound with fluorescence lifetime imaging in a single catheter probe that can image the tiny arteries of a living heart.

Too little is known about wildfire smoke
How do fire-suppression chemicals and pesticides affect wildfire smoke and the health of those who breathe it?

Trastuzumab treatment need not delay breast reconstruction following mastectomy
Treatment with trastuzumab (Herceptin/Genentech) of breast cancers that express the HER-2 protein does not increase the risk for complications at the surgical site for women who undergo immediate breast reconstruction after mastectomy.

SUTD researchers discovered excessive social interaction reduced collective response
Researchers from the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) have uncovered the detrimental effects of excessive interaction and network connections in a wide range of living and engineered systems.

A new way to produce clean hydrogen fuel from water using sunlight
Osaka University-centered researchers combined graphitic carbon nitride and black phosphorous to make a new metal-free composite photocatalyst capable of producing hydrogen from water. 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