Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 05, 2017
Is your partner's hearing loss driving you mad?
New research by academics at the University of Nottingham has suggested that the impact of a person's hearing loss on their nearest and dearest should be considered when personalizing rehabilitation plans for patients with deafness.

New technology uses mouth gestures to interact in virtual reality
Researchers at Binghamton University, State University of New York have developed a new technology that allows users to interact in a virtual reality environment using only mouth gestures.

New 'movie' technique reveals bacterial signalling in sharper resolution
John Innes Centre researchers used a study of the plant-growth promoting bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens to develop an advanced analysis method which, they hope, will increase our capacity to understand plant and human diseases.

Bariatric surgery lowers cancer risk for severely obese patients
Bariatric surgery lowers the risk of cancer for severely obese patients.

Pushy or laid back? Economic factors influence parenting style
A new study co-authored by Yale economist Fabrizio Zilibotti argues that parenting styles are shaped by economic factors that incentivize one strategy over others.

Road pricing most effective in reducing vehicle emissions
For decades municipal and regional governments have used various traffic management strategies to reduce vehicle emissions, alongside advancements like cleaner fuel and greener cars.

The 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry: Cryo-electron microscopy explained (video)
Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson have claimed this year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

A candidate genetic factor for the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure has been found
Researchers at the University of Helsinki have found a genetic variation, which associates with the damage caused by maternal alcohol consumption.

Old Faithful's geological heart revealed
University of Utah scientists have mapped the near-surface geology around Old Faithful, revealing the reservoir of heated water that feeds the geyser's surface vent and how the ground shaking behaves in between eruptions.

Sensory loss can be a warning sign of poor health outcomes, including death
A long-term study spanning five years and including more than 3,000 nationally-representative older US adults has found that a natural decline of the five classical senses (vision, hearing, taste, smell and touch) can predict a number of poor health outcomes, including greater risk of death.

Improvement of the genetic decoding of neurodevelopmental disorders
A team from ULB, HUDERF and (IB)² improves the genetic decoding of neurodevelopmental disorders.

NASA sees Ramon degenerate to a trough
A trough is an elongated area of low pressure and that's exactly what former Tropical Storm Ramon has become in the eastern Pacific Ocean, along the southwestern coast of Mexico.

Obama and Trump administrations get opposite environmental assessment results
Using vast discrepancies between environmental assessments by the Obama and Trump administrations related to the Clean Water Act (CWA) as a key example, authors of this Policy Forum highlight the need for a systematic protocol for government cost-benefits analyses of proposed regulations.

A novel textile material that keeps itself germ-free
Scientists have developed a novel weapon in the battle against deadly hospital-acquired infections -- a textile that disinfects itself.

Honey samples worldwide test positive for neonicotinoids
A global sampling of honey finds 75 percent to be contaminated with neonicotinoid pesticides.

New research on sperm stem cells has implications for male infertility and cancer
New research from scientists at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah and collaborators at University of Utah Health (U of U Health) sheds light on the complex process that occurs in the development of human sperm stem cells.

A new CRISPR-engineered cancer model to test therapeutics
Using multiplex CRISPR-Cas9 editing of human hematopoietic, or blood-forming, stem cells followed by transplantation in mice, researchers designed customized mouse models for the progression of leukemia.

Completing the drug design jigsaw
A powerful new way of analysing how drugs interact with molecules in the body could aid the design of better treatments with fewer side-effects.

Discovery of a new fusion gene class may affect the development of cancer
Cancer researchers at Lund University in Sweden have discovered a new class of fusion genes with properties that affect and may drive the development of cancer.

Women who get frequent UTIs may reduce risk by drinking plenty of water
Women who suffer from recurrent urinary tract infections may reduce their risk by drinking more water, according to an IDWeek 2017 study.

Team led by UCLA astrophysicist observes primitive comet 1.5 billion miles from the sun
Astronomers report a 'special comet' currently beyond Saturn's orbit -- the farthest active inbound comet ever seen, at an extraordinary 1.5 billion miles from the sun.

UQ study shines a light to understand the body's balance system
Finding out what's happening in the brains of people with balance disorders, such as vertigo, might be one step closer following new research on the vestibular system, which controls balance and movement.

Scientists develop 'body-on- a-chip' system to accelerate testing of new drugs
Being able to test new drugs in a 3-D model of the body has the potential to speed up drug discovery, reduce the use of animal testing and advance personalized medicine.

Fingerprints lack scientific basis for legal certainty
A new American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) working group report on the quality of latent fingerprint analysis says that courtroom testimony and reports stating or even implying that fingerprints collected from a crime scene belong to a single person are indefensible and lack scientific foundation.

NASA finds heavy rainfall in developing Tropical Storm Nate
After tropical depression 16 formed in the southwestern Caribbean Sea it continued organizing and strengthening.

Predicting when a sound will occur relies on the brain's motor system
Whether it is dancing or just tapping one foot to the beat, we all experience how auditory signals like music can induce movement.

Multiple research approaches are key to pandemic preparedness, NIAID officials say
Preparedness in the face of major disease outbreaks can save thousands of lives.

How yellow and blue make green in parrots
Many brightly colored birds get their pigments from the foods that they eat, but that's not true of parrots.

Key plant species may be important for supporting wildflower pollinators
Increased agricultural production has likely led to loss, fragmentation, and degradation of flower-rich habitats for pollinators.

New vehicle infotainment systems create increased distractions behind the wheel
New vehicle infotainment systems take drivers' eyes and attention off the road and hands off the wheel for dangerous periods of time, according to new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

Paper-based supercapacitor uses metal nanoparticles to boost energy density
Using a simple layer-by-layer coating technique, researchers from the US and Korea have developed a paper-based flexible supercapacitor that could be used to help power wearable devices.

New test opens path for better 2-D catalysts
Scientists at Rice University and Los Alamos National Laboratory have developed technology for rapid screening of two-dimensional materials for electrocatalysis of hydrogen.

Found in translation
New brain research by USC scientists shows that reading stories generates activity in the same regions of the brain for speakers of three different languages

Researchers analyze cost-effectiveness of guinea worm disease eradication
Eradication of guinea worm disease (dracunculiaisis), targeted by the World Health Organization (WHO) for the year 2015, is finally within reach, with only 25 reported human transmissions in 2016.

Registry data examines oral anticoagulant use in women, adverse events after PCI discharge
Data from the American College of Cardiology's National Cardiovascular Data Registry was the source of several published studies in recent months, including a study on predicting 30-day readmission rates for patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention and a study that found women were less likely to use oral anticoagulants to treat atrial fibrillation.

'Transformative' research unrealistic to predict, scientists tell granting agencies
Research-funding agencies that require scientists to declare at the proposal stage how their projects will be 'transformative' may actually be hindering discovery.

Macho pursuits dominate assessments of risky behavior, reinforcing gender stereotypes
Women can be just as risky as men -- or even riskier -- when the conventional macho measures of daring -- such as betting vast sums on a football game -- are replaced by less stereotypical criteria, according to new research led by the University of Exeter.

Germs in the kitchen: Salmonella better known than Campylobacter
What health risks are consumers aware of? What are they concerned about?

Air pollution exposure on home-to-school routes reduces the growth of working memory
A study published in Environment International has demonstrated that exposure to air pollution on the way to school can have damaging effects on children's cognitive development.

Simulating a brain-cooling treatment that could one day ease epilepsy
Using computer simulation techniques, scientists have gained new insights into the mechanism by which lowering the temperature of specific brain regions could potentially treat epileptic seizures.

Nerve study shows how cells adapt to help repair damage
Genetic processes that allow cells to transform so they can mend damaged nerves have been identified by scientists.

Scientists from MSU proposed a way of increasing the efficiency of solar batteries
Researchers from Department of Material Sciences, Lomonosov MSU, explained how changing the ratio of components forming light-absorbing layer of a perovskite solar cell influences the structure of created films and battery efficiency.

Once declared extinct, Lord Howe Island stick insects really do live
Lord Howe Island stick insects were once numerous on the tiny crescent-shaped island off the coast of Australia for which they are named.

Middle managers may turn to unethical behavior to face unrealistic expectations
While unethical behavior in organizations is often portrayed as flowing down from top management, or creeping up from low-level positions, a team of researchers suggest that middle management also can play a key role in promoting wide-spread unethical behavior among their subordinates.

JILA's 3-D quantum gas atomic clock offers new dimensions in measurement
JILA physicists have created an entirely new design for an atomic clock, in which strontium atoms are packed into a tiny three-dimensional cube at 1,000 times the density of previous one-dimensional clocks.

Study highlights 10 most unnecessary and overused medical tests and treatments
Unnecessary medication. Tests that don't reveal the problem, or uncover a 'problem' that isn't really there.

New findings on mechanisms for body temperature regulation by fat tissue
New discoveries about the mechanism responsible for heat generation in the body related to fat tissue oppose classical views in the field and could lead to new ways to fight metabolic disorders associated with obesity, according to a study led by Georgia State University.

How much can watching hockey stress your heart?
A new study suggests that both the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat can have a substantial effect on the cardiovascular system.

Brain wiring affects how people perform specific tasks
The way a person's brain is 'wired' directly impacts how well they perform simple and complex tasks, according to a new study from researchers at Rice University.

Carbon feedback from forest soils will accelerate global warming, 26-year study projects
After 26 years, the world's longest-running experiment to discover how warming temperatures affect forest soils has revealed a surprising, cyclical response: Soil warming stimulates periods of abundant carbon release from the soil to the atmosphere alternating with periods of no detectable loss in soil carbon stores.

'Increased risk' donor organs a tough sell to transplant patients
The opioid epidemic has created a tragic surge in donor organs.

12,000 years ago, Florida hurricanes heated up despite chilly seas
Category 5 hurricanes may have slammed Florida repeatedly during the chilly Younger Dryas, 12,000 years ago.

DSI professor conducts research to combat pancreatic cancer
Tal Danino, a professor at the Data Science Institute, is conducting research that could help scientists combat the most lethal of cancers: pancreatic cancer.

Decision to rescind Waters of the United States rule (WOTUS) based on flawed analysis
New evidence suggests that the Trump Administration's proposal to rescind the 2015 Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule that would limit the scope of the Clean Water Act inappropriately overlooks wetlands-related values.

What Earth's climate system and topological insulators have in common
New research shows that equatorial waves -- pulses of warm ocean water that play a role in regulating Earth's climate -- are driven by the same dynamics as the exotic materials known as topological insulators.

Folding of the cerebral cortex -- identification of important neurons
Folds in the cerebral cortex in mammals are believed to be indispensable for higher brain functions but the mechanisms underlying cortical folding remain unknown.

CRI study challenges long-standing concept in cancer metabolism
Scientists at the Children's Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern (CRI) have discovered that lactate provides a fuel for growing tumors, challenging a nearly century-old observation known as the Warburg effect.

Soil microbes' contribution to the carbon cycle in a warming world
Microbiologist Kristen DeAngelis at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, with colleagues elsewhere in New England, report results in the Oct.

Why can't mTOR inhibitors kill cancer? Study explains
Anti-cancer drugs called mTOR inhibitors slow the growth of cancer cells but show limited ability to cause cancer cell death.

Identifying ways to minimize the harm of energy drinks
Because many countries allow the sale of energy drinks to young people, identifying ways to minimize potential harm from energy drinks is critical.

Screen children with reading difficulties for hearing problems, says report
The study found 25 percent of its young participants who had reading difficulties showed mild or moderate hearing impairment, of which their parents and teachers were unaware.

Antimicrobial use in Danish animals continues downward trend
The total antimicrobial consumption in Danish animals has continued to decrease for the third consecutive year.

Do earthquakes have a 'tell'?
Northwestern University data scientists and seismologists could potentially forecast strong earthquakes through algorithms designed to detect and monitor 'deep tremor.'

Low serum calcium may increase risk of sudden cardiac arrest
In a study in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, researchers found that individuals with lower levels of calcium in the blood, which is easily monitored, are more likely to experience SCA than those with higher calcium levels.

Researchers identify genetic drivers of most common form of lymphoma
An international research effort led by Duke Cancer Institute scientists has been working to better understand the genetic underpinnings of the most prevalent form of this cancer -- diffuse large B cell lymphoma -- and how those genes might play a role in patients' responses to therapies.

Research identifies potential targets for treatment of leishmaniasis
Brazilian scientists show that parasite's penetration of host cells increases expression of certain microRNAs capable of inhibiting action of immune system.

Did Teddy Evans fatally undermine Scott of the Antarctic?
University of New South Wales' Professor Chris Turney has uncovered documents and diary entries that suggest a team member stole food Scott needed, failed to pass on orders that would have sent out a dog team to meet the men and then changed his story over time to cover up his role in their deaths.

Stealing from the body: How cancer recharges its batteries
New research published today uncovers how the blood cancer 'steals' parts of surrounding healthy bone marrow cells to thrive, in work that could help form new approaches to cancer treatment in the future.

Perpetrators of genocide say they're 'good people'
The men who were tried for their role in the 1994 Rwandan genocide that killed up to 1 million people want you to know that they're actually very good people.

Social acceptance more important than economic factors in fertility treatment availability
A new Oxford University study has shed light on some of the reasons why Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) usage varies across Europe -- pinpointing moral and social acceptance of the treatment and religion as key.

New insights on the addictions of tumors
Stromal tissue may provide novel targets to disrupt tumor supply lines.

A need for bananas? Dietary potassium regulates calcification of arteries
Researchers have shown, for the first time, that reduced dietary potassium promotes elevated aortic stiffness in a mouse model.

Mini form of replacement gene can delay degeneration in leber congenital amaurosis
A new study demonstrates success in using a shortened form of the CEP290 gene for gene therapy in a mouse model of Leber congenital amaurosis type 10 (LCA10), a retinal degenerative disorder that causes childhood blindness.

NY State Medicaid expansion widened racial gap in access to high-quality cancer surgery
The 2001 New York State Medicaid expansion -- what is considered a precursor to the Affordable Care (ACA) -- widened the racial disparity gap when it came to access to high-quality hospitals for cancer surgery, according to a new study from Georgetown University.

Study says financial awards can actually discourage whistleblowers from reporting fraud
Financial awards can unintentionally discourage a whistleblower from reporting fraud in a timely manner by hijacking their moral motivation to do the right thing, according to a new study by researchers at Florida Atlantic University, Wilfrid Laurier University and Providence College.

Caution ahead: The growing challenge for drivers' attention
Many of the infotainment features in most 2017 vehicles are so distracting they should not be enabled while a vehicle is in motion, according to a new study by University of Utah researchers.

BU: Beer brands popular among youth violate code with youth-appealing ads
Alcohol brands popular among underage drinkers are more likely to air television advertisements that violate the industry's voluntary code by including youth-appealing content, according to a new study by researchers from Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH).

Global burden of disease study focuses on liver cancer
A new article published by JAMA Oncology reports the results of the Global Burden of Disease 2015 study on primary liver cancer incidence, death and years of healthy life lost in 195 countries or territories from 1990 to 2015.

Appetizing imagery puts visual perception on fast forward
People rated images containing positive content as fading more smoothly compared with neutral and negative images, even when they faded at the same rate, according to findings published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Brain study reveals how insects make beeline for home
Scientists have discovered how the wiring of bees' brains helps them plot the most direct route back to their hive.

The high price of the nocebo effect
People receiving an inert treatment believed they experienced more severe adverse side effects when the dummy drug was labeled as expensive, scientists report.

New Neandertal and archaic human genomes advance our understanding of human evolution
Two new studies on ancient genomes provide valuable insights into the lives of our ancestors and their cousins, the Neandertals.

RUDN chemists identified the structure of the agent causing mutations in lionfish embryos
Researchers from the People's Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University) have refined our understanding of the structure of synthetic toxins which impede the development of red lionfish embryos, but in their modified form can be used for studying embryos of vertebrata.

Key component of respiratory center identified
Star-shaped cells called astrocytes are much more than simple support cells in the brain.

Novel PET tracer identifies most bacterial infections
Stanford University medical scientists have developed a novel imaging agent that could be used to identify most bacterial infections.

Good-guy bacteria may help cancer immunotherapies do their job
Individuals with certain types of bacteria in their gut may be more likely to respond well to cancer immunotherapy, researchers at the Harold C.

Coming a step closer to understanding how gastric bypass works
A study by a team of researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Engineering in Medicine (MGH-CEM) and Shriners Hospital for Children has made a technological advancement toward accelerating the discovery of drug targets for obesity, type II diabetes and other metabolic diseases.

Violent helium reaction on white dwarf surface triggers supernova explosion
An international research team are the first to find solid evidence about what triggered a star to explode, which will contribute to a further understanding of supernova history and behavior.

Simplifying information aids fight against childhood obesity, study finds
Providing simplified health information designed for parents with low health literacy helps all families in childhood obesity treatment programs regardless of their ability to understand health information, according to a new study.

Largest twin study pins nearly 80% of schizophrenia risk on heritability
In the largest study of twins in schizophrenia research to date, researchers at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, estimate that as much as 79% of schizophrenia risk may be explained by genetic factors.

IUPUI microbiologists uncover clues to clustering of lethal bacteria in CF patients' lungs
In a new study IUPUI microbiologists are adding to body of knowledge of biofilm formation with the ultimate goal of finding better ways to disrupt that formation, leading to improved treatments for the chronic pneumonia in CF patients.

Smart bandage could promote better, faster healing
Wireless microcontrollers release precise amounts of antibiotics, painkillers, growth factors or other medications.

Dundee scientists solve 3-D structure of key defense protein against Parkinson's disease
Scientists at the University of Dundee have identified the structure of a key enzyme that protects the brain against Parkinson's disease.

The Lord Howe Island stick insect lives: A story of survival
Researchers use genetic sequencing of museum specimens to confirm that the Lord Howe Island stick insect, once thought to be extinct, survived by hiding out on a nearby island.

Delivering bad news? Don't beat around the bush
New research shows that when it comes to receiving bad news, most people prefer directness, candor and very little -- if any -- buffer.

Interpreting hurricane forecast displays can be difficult for general public
The 2017 hurricane season has highlighted the critical need to communicate a storm's impact path and intensity accurately, but new research from the University of Utah shows significant misunderstandings of the two most commonly used storm forecast visualization methods.

Monoclonal Antibodies Against Zika Show Promise in Monkey Study
Using blood samples from an individual previously infected with Zika virus, NIAID-supported scientists, have developed an antibody-based Zika virus therapeutic that protected monkeys from infection.

Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, October 2017
A method developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory could protect connected and autonomous vehicles from possible network intrusion.

More traits associated with your Neandertal DNA
After humans and Neandertals met many thousands of years ago, the two species began interbreeding.

Researchers get straight to the heart of piezoelectric tissues
While some studies have supported the idea that the walls of the aorta are piezoelectric or ferroelectric, the most recent research finds no evidence of these properties.

Anti-RAS antibodies show poor reliability in recognizing RAS proteins
Researchers from the Greehey Children's Cancer Research Institute at UT Health San Antonio co-authored a paper published Sept.

Faster Salmonella test boosts food safety for humans and animals
A new test allows accurate, rapid testing for Salmonella, a bacteria that is one of the leading causes of food-borne illness across all regions of the world.

Climate solution in soil?
The land under our feet and the plant matter it contains could offset a significant amount of carbon emissions if managed properly.

Planning for the future
Over the past decade, increasing temperatures across much of Africa and decreasing rainfall across East Africa have come to represent an alarming climate trend.

Nanopatch polio vaccine delivers
Efforts to rid the world of polio have taken another significant step, thanks to research led by University of Queensland bioscience experts and funding from the World Health Organisation (WHO).

New 'molecular trap' cleans more radioactive waste from nuclear fuel rods
A new method for capturing radioactive waste from nuclear power plants is cheaper and more effective than current methods, a potential boon for the energy industry, according to new research published in the journal Nature Communications.

Prehistoric humans are likely to have formed mating networks to avoid inbreeding
The study, reported in the journal Science, examined genetic information from the remains of anatomically modern humans who lived during the Upper Palaeolithic, a period when modern humans from Africa first colonised western Eurasia.

First cell-type census of mouse brains: Surprises about structure, male-female differences
Neuroscientists at CSHL have mobilized advanced imaging and computational methods to comprehensively map -- 'count' -- the total populations of specific types of cells throughout the mouse brain.

New tool for oil and gas exploration beats all competition
The new device has an unparalleled bandwidth, enabling it to reveal the structure of underground reservoirs at the depth of up to several tens of kilometers.

Scientists enlist supercomputers, machine learning to automatically identify brain tumors
Researchers from The University of Texas at Austin developed a brain tumor identification method that combines biophysical models of tumor growth with machine learning algorithms.

Study: Why lab researchers should talk with industry counterparts
An MIT team has found both obstacles and lessons from the process of getting a novel membrane for chemical processing out of the lab into the commercial world.

Second grade handwashing experiment leads to big decrease in bacteria, illness
An experiment with Petri dishes and black lights helped second graders observe the value of hand hygiene, according to an IDWeek 2017 study.

Magma chambers have a sponge-like structure
ETH researchers show that magma chambers under supervolcanoes are more like soggy sponges than reservoirs of molten rock.

International team reconstructs nanoscale virus features from correlations of scattered X-rays
Berkeley Lab researchers contributed key algorithms which helped scientists achieve a goal first proposed more than 40 years ago -- using angular correlations of X-ray snapshots from non-crystalline molecules to determine the 3-D structure of important biological objects.

Multivitamin use during pregnancy linked to lower risk of autism with intellectual disability
Taking a multivitamin during pregnancy was linked to a 30 percent decrease in risk of a child developing autism with an intellectual disorder, according to a new Drexel University study.

Liverwort genes and land plant evolution
The common liverwort is a living link to the transition from marine algae to land plants.

Columbia researchers observe exotic quantum particle in bilayer graphene
A Columbia team has definitively observed an intensely studied anomaly in condensed matter physics--the even-denominator fractional quantum Hall state--via transport measurement in bilayer graphene.

Segregation-induced ordered superstructures at general grain boundaries in a Ni-Bi alloy
A team of researchers found that randomly selected, high-angle, general grain boundaries in a nickel-bismuth (Ni-Bi) polycrystalline alloy can undergo interfacial reconstruction to form ordered superstructures, a discovery that enriches the theories and fundamental understandings of both grain boundary segregation and liquid metal embrittlement in physical metallurgy. 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