Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 10, 2017
Likely new treatment target identified for diabetic retinopathy
In oxygen-compromising conditions like diabetes, the body grows new blood vessels to help, but the result is often leaky, dysfunctional vessels that make bad matters worse.

Menopause triggers metabolic changes in brain that may promote Alzheimer's
Menopause causes metabolic changes in the brain that may increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease, a team from Weill Cornell Medicine and the University of Arizona Health Sciences has shown in new research.

New ichthyosaur species, long gone, found in a storeroom
A new species of ichthyosaur has been identified from a fossil that has been in the University of Nottingham's engineering collection for over half a century.

Leaders in obstetric care gather to identify quality measures for high-risk pregnancies
The Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine convened a workshop with other national leaders in obstetric care entitled, 'The Quality Measures in High-Risk Pregnancies Workshop.' A summary of the event has been published in the October issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

NASA finds Tropical Depression 23W's strongest storms in two countries
Tropical Depression 23W formed on Monday, Oct. 9 and by Tuesday, Oct.

Best way to recognize emotions in others: Listen
If you want to know how someone is feeling, it might be better to close your eyes and use your ears: People tend to read others' emotions more accurately when they listen and don't look, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.

Perinatal BPA exposure induces chronic inflammation by modulating gut bacteria
Emerging evidence from a research study in rabbits suggests that environmental toxicants may influence inflammation-promoted chronic disease susceptibility during early life.

DNA study in the Pacific reveals 2000 percent increase in our knowledge of mollusc biodiversity
Scientists working in the Pacific have revealed a remarkable 2000% increase in our knowledge of the biodiversity of seafloor molluscs in a region being explored for deep-sea mining.

Army researchers point to early warning signs in military vehicle structural 'wellness'
Researchers from the US Army Research Laboratory have shown that early fatigue damage behavior in structures may be predicted through the study of the microscale mechanical behavior of the material.

New study is a step toward creating planes that travel at hypersonic speed
A recent study by researchers at NASA and Binghamton University, State University of New York, could lead to a drastic decrease in flight times.

This soft robotic gripper can screw in your light bulbs for you
How many robots does it take to screw in a light bulb?

What can cystatin C test contribute to chronic kidney disease management?
The use of cystatin C along with creatinine to estimate the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) when diagnosing chronic kidney disease (CKD) in primary care patients would result in increased health care costs and no improvement in risk prediction, according to a new study published in PLOS Medicine by Adam Shardlow of the University of Nottingham, UK and colleagues.

New smell test could aid early detection of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's
Problems with olfaction have been linked to a variety of health conditions.

Survey provides new directions for employment of people with disabilities
Survey findings indicate that the majority of employers have processes and practices in place for the inclusion of employees with and without disabilities, and that the commitment to the success of employees with disabilities is shared by supervisors and upper management.

New Zika serotypes may emerge, researcher warns
The virus is mutating very fast in Brazilian patients. Appearance of new serotypes could hinder development of vaccines and efficacy of diagnostic tests, according to a member of one of the leading group of scientists on Zika-related investigations

Machine learning translates 'hidden' information to reveal chemistry in action
Scientists have developed a new way to capture the details of chemistry choreography as it happens.

Do male fish prefer them big and colourful?
Male black-finned goodeid or mexcalpique fish know what they want when they pick a female to mate with; they prefer them big-bellied and as orange as possible.

Researchers identify gene that influences nicotine dependence
A DNA variant--located in the DNMT3B gene and commonly found in people of European and African descent--increases the likelihood of developing nicotine dependence, smoking heavily, and developing lung cancer, according to a new study led by RTI International.

Growing human brain cells in the lab
Gladstone scientists develop a cost-effective technology to produce large quantities of human brain cells in two simple steps.

Common acid reflux medications promote chronic liver disease
Approximately 10 percent of Americans take a proton pump inhibitor drug to relieve symptoms of frequent heartburn and acid reflux.

Little growth observed in India's methane emissions
Methane is the second most powerful greenhouse gas and concentrations are rising in the atmosphere.

Exposure to environmental chemicals is an important risk factor for breast cancer
Exposure to environmental chemicals, especially early in life, is an important contributing factor in the development of breast cancer, according to the most comprehensive review of human studies to date.

Call to action on food justice and overcoming disparities in infant nutrition
The 'first food system' in the US, which calls for exclusive feeding of breast milk for an infant's first 6 months followed by the addition of nutritious foods, is fraught with injustices and social and environmental inequities that prevent many infants and caregivers from achieving these goals.

Effect of stopping behavioral interventions on inappropriate antibiotic prescribing
In the 12 months after removing behavioral interventions, inappropriate antibiotic prescribing for acute respiratory infections increased relative to control practices, according to a study published by JAMA.

The Fitbits of food ingestion?
A multi-disciplinary team co-led by researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital and MIT has developed flexible sensors with the capacity to sense movement and ingestion in the stomach.

Mum's immune response could trigger social deficits for kids with autism
Children with autism are more likely to show severe social symptoms if their mother had chronic asthma or allergies while pregnant, the University of Sydney's Brain and Mind Centre reveals today in Molecular Psychiatry.

The right women for the job
Economists are continually examining the effect of the economy on women, but this male-dominated field seems to be failing to ask what impact women in turn have on the economy?

Ancient asteroid impact exposes the moon's interior
A large basin on the moon has revealed that its interior is made of a different mineral than Earth's interior, contradicting the theory that the interior of the planets look mostly the same.

Breeding salt-tolerant plants
The quinoa plant might serve as a model for making other crops salt-tolerant.

Study finds small differences in patient outcomes between male and female surgeons
Patients treated by female surgeons have slightly lower death rates in the first few weeks after their operation than patients treated by male surgeons, finds a study from Canada published by The BMJ today.

Changes in perspective may affect how useful drones really are
A recent study finds that users have trouble utilizing images from unmanned aerial systems (UASs), or drones, to find the position of objects on the ground.

Mass extinctions led to low species diversity, dinosaur rule
Two of the earth's five mass extinction events -- times when more than half of the world's species died -- resulted in the survival of a low number of so-called 'weedy' species that spread their sameness across the world as the Earth recovered from these dramatic upheavals.

Evolution: The beneficiaries of mass extinction
Mass extinctions were followed by periods of low diversity in which certain new species dominated wide regions of the supercontinent Pangaea, reports a new study.

International experts describe a new way of cells behaving when submitted to chemotherapy
The experts indicate a new way via which cells can respond to chemotherapy.

Study shows antibody-biogel partnership can be stronger defense than previously thought
Strong molecular bonds between antibodies and biological gels like mucus aren't necessary to catch pathogens as was previously thought, according to new research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Forest grazing counteracts the effectiveness of trees to reduce flood risk
Planting trees can reduce flood risk, but a high intensity forest land use, such as grazing, can counteract the positive effect of the trees, a recently published study suggests.

MPFI scientists discover regional differences among chandelier cells
The brain is composed of distinct regions that differ in their functional roles and cellular architecture.

Hibernating ribosomes help bacteria survive
In the second of two high-profile articles published in recent weeks, SLU scientist Mee-Ngan F.

Antibiotics before low-risk operations do not seem to breed postop antibiotic resistance
Surgical patients who receive antibiotics before certain types of low-risk operations are not at an increased risk for antibiotic-resistant infections immediately after their procedures, according to results from a large-scale study conducted by researchers from Columbia University Medical Center, New York City.

A molecular garbage disposal complex has a role in packing the genome
New research from the Korea Institute of Science and Technology, to be published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry on Oct.

Religious beliefs alone don't motivate people to political action, study finds
A new study led by a University of Kansas researcher has found that religiosity by itself often serves as a deterrent rather than a mobilizing force for nonviolent political engagement.

A new genetic marker accounts for up to 1.4 percent of cases of hereditary colon cancer
IDIBELL-ICO scientists identify a new genetic marker accounts for up to 1.4 percent of cases of hereditary colon cancer.

Advantages of breast feeding -- Elucidation of a molecular mechanism
Oxytocin is indispensable for developing the social brain. Suckling babies absorb oxytocin from mother's milk, but gut closure occurs soon after birth to prevent uptake of undesired and desired macromolecules, not excepting oxytocin.

A lesson for Canada: Quebec pharmacare system creates winners and losers
Quebec spends $200 more per person than the rest of Canada to provide prescription drug coverage to everyone in the province, finds new research that could inform plans for a nationwide universal drug plan.

Targeting 'lipid chaperones' may preserve lifelong metabolic health
Researchers have found that, in a mouse model, it may be possible to achieve lifelong metabolic health.

When the brain's wiring breaks
Among all the bad things that can happen to the brain when it is severely jolted - in a car accident, for example - one of the most common and worrisome is axon damage.

Homicide is the largest contributor to years of lost life among black Americans
Homicide is the largest contributor to potential years of life lost among black Americans, according to a new study published in PLOS ONE and conducted by researchers at the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington.

Meeting an unmet need: A surgical implant that grows with a child
The Boston Children's Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital research team says the tubular, expanding implant design used in their proof-of-concept -- reported today in Nature Biomedical Engineering -- could also be adapted for a variety of other growth-accommodating implants throughout the body.

Electrons surfing on a laser beam
The largest particle accelerator in the world - the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Switzerland -- has a circumference of around 26 kilometres.

How fever in early pregnancy causes heart, facial birth defects
Researchers have known for decades that fevers in the first trimester of pregnancy increase risk for some heart defects and facial deformities such as cleft lip or palate.

Moffitt researchers discover new targets for approved cancer drug
Developing new drugs to treat cancer can be a painstaking process taking over a decade from start to Food and Drug Administration approval.

Seeing the next dimension of computer chips
Japanese researchers used a scanning tunneling microscope to image the side-surfaces of 3-D silicon crystals for the first time.

Ibuprofen better choice over oral morphine for pain relief in children after minor surgery
Widely available ibuprofen is a better choice for pain relief in children who have undergone minor orthopedic outpatient surgery, as it has fewer adverse effects compared with oral morphine, according to results from a clinical trial published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

A step towards a new drug to treat fungal infections that kill 1.6 million people annually
A team from Sydney's Westmead Institute for Medical Research is a step closer to developing a drug to treat life-threatening fungal infections that cause more than 1.6 million deaths annually.

Protein restricts sap uptake by aphids
Researchers at UmeƄ University and Wageningen University have discovered how plants can defend themselves against aphids.

Mass. General team creates functional, stem-cell-derived small bowel segments
Using human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), a Massachusetts General Hospital research team has bioengineered functional small intestine segments that, when implanted into rats, were capable of deliver nutrients into the bloodstream.

Sharing of science is most likely among male scientists
Even though science is becoming increasingly competitive, scientists are still very willing to share their work with colleagues.

Bright light therapy at midday helped patients with bipolar depression
Daily exposure to bright white light at midday significantly decreased symptoms of depression and increased functioning in people with bipolar disorder, a recent Northwestern Medicine study found.

Unexpected regulation of transcription factors critical to development
A team of developmental biologists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst led by Dominique Alfandari, with others at MIT, report in a new paper that they have for the first time described how two transcription factors that are 'absolutely essential for human development' are regulated by a cell surface metalloprotease known as ADAM13.

Research clarifies nuclear hormone receptor function in plants
A new study led by LI Chuanyou from the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences has revealed that Mediator, an evolutionarily conserved multi-subunit coactivator complex whose activity is essential for Pol II-dependent gene transcription, directly links COI1 to Pol II and chromatin during jasmonate signaling.

Concussion: How the NFL came to shape the issue that plagued it
Players kneeling during the national anthem is the most recent NFL controversy, but certainly not the first nor the biggest.

Tenfold increase in childhood and adolescent obesity in 4 decades: New study by Imperial College
The number of obese children and adolescents (aged 5 to 19 years) worldwide has risen tenfold in the past four decades, according to a new study led by Imperial College London and the World Health Organization (WHO).

A new potential alternative to mosquito control discovered
Natural essential oils extracted from the peel of a citrus fruit could be an effective new eco-friendly alternative in mosquitoes control programs, reports a new study published today in Natural Product Research.

Size doesn't matter -- at least for hammerheads and swimming performance
Different head shapes and different body sizes of hammerhead sharks should result in differences in their swimming performance right?

Forget about it
Inspired by human forgetfulness -- how our brains discard unnecessary data to make room for new information -- scientists at the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory, in collaboration with Brookhaven National Laboratory and three universities, conducted a recent study that combined supercomputer simulation and X-ray characterization of a material that gradually 'forgets.' This could one day be used for advanced bio-inspired computing.

Being unaware of memory loss predicts Alzheimer's disease, new CAMH study shows
While memory loss is an early symptom of Alzheimer's disease, its presence doesn't mean a person will develop dementia.

Without a nudge, old prescribing habits die hard for clinicians
An update to a behavioral economics study on clinicians' prescriptions of antibiotics showed that the clinicians may, without long-term interventions, return to bad prescription habits.

When anemones bleach, clownfish suffer
The bleaching of corals is a well-known consequence of climate change.

BU: Stepped care beneficial after hurricanes
Stepped care is more effective than usual care in reducing the prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder in the aftermath of hurricanes, according to a new study led by a Boston University School of Public Health researcher.

Missing atoms in a forgotten crystal bring luminescence
A perovskite crystal's powerful light-emitting capabilities could be due to missing atoms in its structure.

Meeting an unmet need: Surgical implant that grows with a child
A novel growth-accommodating implant could revolutionize cardiac repair.

Genetic advance for male birth control
When it comes to birth control, many males turn to two options: condoms or vasectomies.

Ovarian reserve tests fail to predict fertility, NIH-funded study suggests
Tests that estimate ovarian reserve, or the number of a woman's remaining eggs, before menopause, do not appear to predict short-term chances of conception, according to a National Institutes of Health-funded study of women with no history of infertility.

A self-propelled catheter with earthworm-like peristaltic motion
A research team of Toho University and Tokyo Institute of Technology has developed a mechanism of a self-propelled catheter capable of generating peristaltic motion just like an earthworm by applying pneumatic pressure inside only one tube.

Lung cancer research gets a breath of fresh air
As reported in Cell Reports, a team at the Wyss Institute has leveraged its human Organs-on-Chips technology to develop human orthotopic lung cancer models using human lung small airway and alveoli chips.

Pest resistance to biotech crops surging
Pest resistance to genetically engineered crops Bt crops is evolving faster now than before, UA researchers show in the most comprehensive study to date.

Conservationists' eco-footprints suggest education alone won't change behavior
A new study shows that even those presumably best informed on the environment find it hard to consistently 'walk the walk,' prompting scientists to question whether relying solely on information campaigns will ever be enough.

'Fake fin' discovery reveals new ichthyosaur species
An ichthyosaur first discovered in the 1970s but then dismissed and consigned to museum storerooms across the country has been re-examined and found to be a new species.

New breast cancer drug defeats the Ras genes notorious for causing many types of cancer
A new study led by VCU Massey Cancer Center researcher Paul Dent, Ph.D., has shown the recently approved breast cancer drug neratinib can block the function of Ras as well as several other oncogenes through an unexpected process.

Filling gaps in dementia research could help patients, family
Behavioral and psychological symptoms are difficult for dementia patients and their caregivers, but despite research efforts, there are still gaps in knowledge about what causes or precipitates these symptoms, according to researchers.

The costs of transporting petroleum products by pipelines and rail
While the policy debate surrounding crude oil transportation costs has emphasized accidents and spills, a new study by Carnegie Mellon University and University of Pittsburgh researchers indicates the debate is overlooking a far more serious external cost -- air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

NASA eyes the Development of Tropical Storm Ophelia
Tropical Storm Ophelia developed on Oct. 9 around 5 a.m.

Care homes could overtake hospitals as most common place to die, new research finds
Researchers from King's College London have found that deaths occurring in care homes in England and Wales could more than double in the next 25 years if recent trends continue.

Researchers map the illegal use of natural resources in the protected Brazilian Amazon
New research published in the open access peer-reviewed journal PeerJ uses law enforcement data collected from 2010 to 2015 to understand the geographical distribution of the illegal use of natural resources across the region's protected area network.

Major breakthrough identifies new mechanism for the development of schizophrenia
The new research shows that dysfunctional brain blood vessels may be associated with the development of schizophrenia.

Raging Bull: First study to find link between testosterone and stock market instability
In the U.S. today, the majority of professional stock market traders are young males and new evidence suggests biology strongly influences their trading behavior.

Quorn protein on par with animal sources
Protein found in Quorn meat-free foods may be just as good for muscles as animal proteins, new research suggests.

Army finds promise in tough manmade rubbers for future Soldier protection systems
Army and MIT researchers advanced a unique experimental device to better test the durability of high performance and robust polymeric materials that appear to strengthen themselves under attack by rapid impact.

Home-Brewed Poppy Seed Tea Can Be Lethal, Study Finds
A home-brewing technique used to extract morphine from unwashed poppy seeds can produce lethal doses of the drug, according to research at Sam Houston State University.

Parasite study paves way for therapies to tackle deadly infections
New understanding of a parasite that causes a million cases of disease each year could point towards effective drug treatments.

Probing exotic ices
When frozen under extreme pressures and temperatures, ice takes on a range of complex crystalline structures.

Marine snowfall at the equator
Animal excrements and parts of dead organisms constantly sink from the surface of the oceans towards the deep sea.

Disturbing trends in men's reproductive health demand urgent action
Urgent action is needed to investigate disturbing trends in men's reproductive health, argues an expert in The BMJ today.

Morphologies of porous MoS2 show good performance in hydrogenation of phenol
Two morphologies of porous MoS2 obtained by using thiourea and L-cysteine as sulfur sources and modified SiO2 nanoparticles as hard templates,The method offers the advantages of simple steps, convenient operation, controllable pore size, and a specific surface area.

How the cone snail's deadly venom can help us build better medicines
By researching deadly cone snail venom, NIST researchers hope to find solutions to tough medical problems and diseases.

More than half of police killings not officially documented on US death certificates
Official death certificates in the US failed to count more than half of the people killed by police in 2015 -- and the problem of undercounting is especially pronounced in lower-income counties and for deaths that are due to Tasers, according to a new study from Harvard T.H.

What is a safe following distance?
Confusion over what is a 'safe following distance' has QUT road safety researchers calling for a standardised definition to prevent tailgating.

Debate over Mars exploration strategy heats up in astrobiology journal
Current robotic missions to Mars that have not been appropriately cleaned and sterilized must steer clear of designated Special Regions to avoid introducing Earth-borne biological and organic contaminants.

Study identifies whale blow microbiome
A new study by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and colleagues identified for the first time an extensive conserved group of bacteria within healthy humpback whales' blow -- the moist breath that whales spray out of their blowholes when they exhale.

A hard lesson -- the way poor sleep impacts on schooling
More than a third of primary school children are failing to get sufficient sleep, according to research to be presented at the British Sleep Society conference Oct.

How to 'cook' an egg without heat -- and other weird egg science (video)
You can learn a lot from eggs. The versatile, delicious, humble chicken egg.

Detecting mental health conditions in women veterans assists in identifying risk for CAD
Women Veterans exhibit a high degree of mental health issues that are associated with an increased risk for coronary artery disease (CAD).

Achievement of meaningful impacts on childhood obesity requires more than single interventions
Childhood obesity is one of the greatest health challenges of the 21st century.

Smartphone apps launched for atrial fibrillation patients and their healthcare providers
Novel smartphone and tablet applications (apps) for atrial fibrillation patients and healthcare professionals have been launched by heart experts.

Law enforcement-related deaths in the US undercounted in official government data
The number of people who die as a result of injuries inflicted by law enforcement officers in the United States is undercounted in official government data derived from state death certificates.

Web-based treatments helping people with severe mental illness return to work
Patients living with severe mental illness are being helped to return to work courtesy of new research from Sydney's Westmead Institute for Medical Research.

Older adults with insomnia may fall even more when on prescription sleep meds
Taking physician-recommended sleep medications to treat insomnia may actually increase the risk of falling for older adults, according to a team of sleep researchers.

Insulin pumps associated with lower risk of serious complications among young patients with type 1 diabetes
Compared with insulin injections, insulin pump therapy among young patients with type 1 diabetes was associated with a lower risk of diabetic ketoacidosis and severe hypoglycemia, according to a study published by JAMA.

Flexible sensors can detect movement in GI tract
MIT researchers have devised a flexible ingestible sensor that could help doctors to diagnose problems caused by a slowdown of food flowing through the digestive tract.

Kent State professor works with NASA Glenn & others to improve Lake Erie's water quality
The conditions in Lake Erie continue to pose several health risks to Ohioans in coastal communities, making it difficult to maintain good water quality for citizens, state and local policymakers.

Better mini brains could help scientists identify treatments for Zika-related brain damage
UCLA researchers have developed an improved technique for creating simplified human brain tissue from stem cells.

Giant bacteria make algae easy to stomach
Symbiotic giant bacteria enable Red Sea surgeonfish to specialize their diets.

Breath instead of a blood test
Blow into the tube, please. In the future, the procedure will not just be used by police checking for alcohol intoxication, but also for testing the condition of athletes and for people who want to lose that extra bit of weight.

New mutations in iPS cells are mainly concentrated in non-transcriptional regions
By performing genomic analysis on both mouse and human iPS cells, scientists have found that unlike disease-causing single nucleotide polymorphisms, the mutations found in iPS cells tend to be concentrated into non-transcribed areas of the genome between genes.

Home-brewed poppy seed tea can be lethal, study finds
A home-brewing technique used to extract morphine from unwashed poppy seeds can produce lethal doses of the drug, according to research at Sam Houston State University.

New report offers framework for research on organ transplantation
The number of patients in the US awaiting organ transplantation outpaces the amount of transplants performed in the US, and many donated organs are not transplanted each year due to several factors, such as poor organ function, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Spin-current generation gets mid-IR boost with plasmonic metamaterial
Researchers have begun to use metamaterials, engineered composites that have unique properties not found in nature, to enhance the absorption rates of plasmonic absorbers, and a team in Japan used a trilayered metamaterial to develop a wavelength-selective plasmonic metamaterial absorber on top of a spintronic device to enhance the generation of spin currents from the heat produced in the mid-infrared regime.

Scientists reveal how inflammation affects the life of brain cells
New King's College London research reveals how blood inflammation affects the birth and death of brain cells, which could offer new treatment targets for antidepressants.

Biomarkers indicating diminished reserve of eggs not associated with reduced fertility
Among women of older reproductive age attempting to conceive naturally, biomarkers indicating diminished ovarian reserve compared with normal ovarian reserve were not associated with reduced fertility, according to a study published by JAMA.

Solar flux: From bug to feature
Sandia scientists find the best way to mop up solar spills on CSP towers.

State laws requiring autism coverage by private insurers led to increases in autism care
A new study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has found that the enactment of state laws mandating coverage of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) was followed by sizable increases in insurer-covered ASD care and associated spending.

Lying in bed for the sake of science
Twelve volunteers will arrive this week at the German Space Agency's (DLR) Institute of Aerospace Medicine's :envihab facility to lie in bed for a month in the name of science.

Research reveals how rabies can induce frenzied behavior
Scientists may finally understand how the rabies virus can drastically change its host's behavior to help spread the disease, which kills about 59,000 people annually.

Drivers are less cautious at railway crossings
Drivers aren't as cautious approaching a railway level crossing compared to a road intersection despite the greater risk of fatality if a collision occurs, a new Queensland University of Technology study has found. 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