Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 26, 2017
Scientist devises a solar reactor to make water and oxygen from moon rocks
With the successful test of this solar reactor design, Denk has achieved the first step, creating H2O on the Moon using solar thermal energy.

New technique produces tunable, nanoporous materials
A collaborative group of researchers describe a new technique for creating novel nanoporous materials with unique properties that can be used to filter molecules or light.

Study: How cities can best fight climate change
A new study co-authored by an MIT professor indicates it will be easier for cities to reduce emissions coming from residential energy use rather than from local transportation -- and this reduction will happen mostly thanks to better building practices, not greater housing density.

Is Alzheimer's disease a disorder of energy metabolism?
McLean Hospital researchers found a connection between disrupted energy production and the development of late-onset Alzheimer's disease.

Global road-building explosion could be disastrous for people and nature, say scientists
Global Road-building Explosion Could Be Disastrous for People and Nature, say Scientists The global explosion of new roads is rife with economic, social, and environmental dangers, according to a study in Science led by Professor William Laurance from James Cook University.

The oceans were colder than we thought
A team of EPFL and European researchers has discovered a flaw in the way past ocean temperatures have been estimated up to now.

Bacteria have a sense of touch
Although bacteria have no sensory organs in the classical sense, they are still masters in perceiving their environment.

Why insects can develop from unfertilized egg cells
A scientist from the Lomonosov Moscow State University, Faculty of Biology, has, together with his Russian colleague, explained frequent occurrence of parthenogenesis -- development of organisms from unfertilized egg cells -- in insects.

American College of Chest Physicians unveils new lung cancer screening guidelines at CHEST 2017
Each year, more people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast and prostate cancers combined, and low-dose CT (LDCT) screening for lung cancer has become a standard practice mostly due to the results of the National Lung Cancer Screening Trial.

Blood flow in the developing heart guides maturation of heart valves
Congenital heart valve defects are the most common type of birth defects, the majority of which have no clear genetic cause, suggesting that epigenetic factors play an important role.

The importance of addressing poor nutrition in patients with liver failure
Poor nutrition is common in patients with liver failure, or cirrhosis, and it can lead to muscle wasting, weakness, fatigue, and worse outcomes before and after patients undergo liver transplantation.

Researchers engineer CRISPR to edit single RNA letters in human cells
The scientists who first harnessed CRISPR for mammalian genome editing have engineered a new molecular system for efficiently editing RNA in human cells.

Study: Junk food almost twice as distracting as healthy food
When we haven't eaten, junk food is twice as distracting as healthy food or non-food items.

Seven Los Alamos scientists honored as APS Fellows
Seven scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory were tapped this year as new Fellows of the American Physical Society (APS), a significant honor for the Laboratory and its people.

Scientists detect comets outside our solar system
Scientists from MIT and other institutions, working closely with amateur astronomers, have spotted the dusty tails of six exocomets -- comets outside our solar system -- orbiting a faint star 800 light years from Earth.

Health care access improves with state-level medicaid expansion
A new study has shown that low-income US residents living in Medicaid expansion states are significantly more likely to have health insurance and to receive a routine check-up compared to low-income residents of non-expansion states.

Global trade entrenches poverty traps
A theorem published this week suggests that greater engagement in the international exchange can actually reinforce productivity-impeding practices that keep countries in poverty.

Northeastern researchers discover fundamental rules for how the brain controls movement
In recently published findings, researchers at Northeastern's Center for Complex Network Research have for the first time confirmed how neurons control muscle movement.

Nanoparticles with pulse laser controlled antibacterial properties
Silver nanoparticles have excellent antibacterial properties and are considered by many to be a strong contender in the critical search for an answer to antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

The most exotic fluid has an unexpectedly low viscosity
Collisions of lead nuclei in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) particle accelerator take place at such great energies that quarks that are normally confined inside nucleons are released and, together with the gluons that hold them together, form a stream of particularly exotic fluid: quark-gluon plasma.

AAAS launches SciLine, new service for journalists to enhance science coverage
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) announces the launch of SciLine, a new service that will provide journalists with high-quality scientific expertise and context -- on demand and on deadline.

New way to treat cholesterol may be on the horizon
A breakthrough discovery by scientists at Houston Methodist Research Institute could change the way we treat cholesterol.

UBC researcher prescribes specific exercise dosage for those with spinal cord injury
An international committee, led by UBC Okanagan researcher Kathleen Martin Ginis, has come up with exercise recommendations specifically tailored for people with spinal cord injuries.

Computational simulations suggest multiple sclerosis is a single disease
New research supports the idea that multiple sclerosis (MS), which has widely varying symptoms and progression in different patients, is nonetheless a single disease with common underlying mechanisms.

Details uncovered in development of immune cell implicated in cancer, autoimmune diseases
Scientists understand new details about the development of Th17, a type of immune cell that is believed to play a complex role in cancer, and is also implicated in autoimmune diseases.

Imported candy at top of contaminated food list in California
Following a state law mandating testing, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued more alerts for lead in candy than for the other top three sources of food-borne contamination combined, according to the first analysis of outcomes of the 2006 law by researchers at UC San Francisco and CDPH.

Taking a tip from mussels to make materials both strong and flexible
A network of loosely-linked polymers mimicking a mussel's adhesive qualities offers a way to make materials that are both strong and flexible, elements that have been widely sought but hard to produce.

Mistakes in how proteins of the ear are built contribute to early hearing loss
Researchers found mutations in a master-switch protein called Epithelial Splicing Regulatory Protein 1 in individuals with a type of congenital hearing loss.

How much does life weigh?
ETH researchers have developed a scale for measuring cells. It allows the weight of individual living cells, and any changes in this weight, to be determined quickly and accurately for the first time.

New deep-learning algorithm cracks website protection system, with much less training
Scientists have created a computer model that can 'solve' CAPTCHA, the widespread text-based system used by websites to check whether a user is human, with very little training data.

Pregnancy poses no greater risk to breast cancer survivors
A recent study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute indicates that pregnancy does not incur a greater risk of relapse for survivors of breast cancer.

Cleveland Clinic leads development of new guidelines for radiation in breast cancer
Cleveland Clinic researcher Chirag Shah, M.D., led the development of updated guidelines for the appropriate and safe utilization of accelerated partial-breast irradiation (APBI).

Closest look yet at killer T-cell activity could yield new approach to tackling antibiotic resistance
In a study that could provide a roadmap for combatting the rising threat of drug-resistant pathogens, researchers have discovered the specific mechanism the body's T cells use to kill bacteria.

Should keeping reptiles and amphibians as pets be restricted?
Keeping exotic pets, such as reptiles and amphibians, has become increasingly popular, but concerns over public health and safety, animal welfare and conservation have sparked debate.

3-D axon assemblies pave the way for drug discovery
Japanese and American scientists have together designed a microdevice that efficiently promotes the formation of axon fascicles from stem cell-derived neurons.

Diversity and immigration increase productivity in microbial communities
Natural selection quickly turns a melting pot of microorganisms into a highly efficient community, new research shows.

Assaults decrease by 3 percent the Monday after Daylight Saving
Assaults decrease by 3 percent the Monday after the switch to Daylight Saving Time in the spring, according to findings from researchers Rebecca Umbach, Greg Ridgeway and Adrian Raine of the University of Pennsylvania.

The sea turtle that refused to be beaten by the storm
When Eleanor the sea turtle was caught in a tropical storm off the coast of Florida, she coped surprisingly well.

'Bandit-masked' feathered dinosaur hid from predators using multiple types of camouflage
Researchers from the University of Bristol have revealed how a small feathered dinosaur used its color patterning, including a bandit mask-like stripe across its eyes, to avoid being detected by its predators and prey.

Scientists find a role for Parkinson's gene in the brain
A new study published in the journal Neuron sheds light on the normal function of LRRK2, the most common genetic cause for late-onset Parkinson's disease.

Bat Poop: A Reliable Source of Climate Change
Isotopes found in bat guano over the last 1,200 years provide scientists with information on how the climate was and is changing.

Nonoperative treatment of appendicitis is increasing, may raise death risk
About twice as many US adults with appendicitis are being treated without an operation compared with 20 years ago, and nonoperative management of an infected appendix is tied to a higher death rate in the hospital, according to new study findings.

Citizen scientist spots comet tails streaking past distant star
Citizen scientist Thomas Jacobs was the first to spot tell-tale signs that a comet was orbiting a distant star monitored by the Kepler Space Observatory.

Researchers look to patterns to envision new engineering field
The phenomenon that forms interference patterns on television displays when a camera focuses on a pattern like a person wearing stripes has inspired a new way to conceptualize electronic devices.

Biologists discover bacteria's 'sense of touch'
A study led by scientists at Indiana University, published Oct.

Deep-depletion: A new concept for MOSFETs
Diamond is largely recognized as the ideal material in wide bandgap development, but realizing its full potential in field-effect transistors has been challenging.

Iconic Sinosauropteryx dinosaur had bandit mask, lived in open terrain
While fossils have allowed researchers to reconstruct much about dinosaurs' many impressive forms, it wasn't until more recently that scientists realized they could discern from preserved skin and feathers many details of dinosaurs' color patterns, too.

Astronomers discover sunscreen snow falling on hot exoplanet
Astronomers at Penn State have used the Hubble Space Telescope to find a blistering-hot giant planet outside our solar system where the atmosphere 'snows' titanium dioxide -- the active ingredient in sunscreen.

A new player helping viruses hijack their hosts
A particular long noncoding RNA gives viruses a replication boost as they infect their hosts, helping them alter their host cell's metabolism to their advantage, scientists report.

Kidney transplantation may prolong the survival of patients on long-term dialysis
In a recent analysis of individuals on dialysis for at least 10 years, those who then received a kidney transplant lived longer than those who stayed on dialysis.

Late Tiassic terrestrial ecosystem changes
The Norian Chinle Formation in the Southwestern United States provides a snapshot into an ancient terrestrial ecosystem with its famous petrified tree trunks and various plant and vertebrate remains.

Learning from mussels
A marine bivalve inspires UCSB researchers to find a new way to make stronger, more stretchy polymers.

Scientific evaluation of rhino diets improves zoo
A recently published study in the journal Pachyderm highlights the ongoing effort of accredited zoos to address challenges and improve the sustainability of endangered species populations in their care.

IOF study reveals low dietary calcium intake in Asia and Latin America
A new study led by an International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) research committee has found that daily average calcium intake among adults varies widely around the world.

Hush little virus, don't say a word: How Princeton scientists investigate sleeping viruses
Four in five adults are infected with herpes simplex virus, say researchers, but most don't show symptoms like cold sores because the virus infection is 'latent' -- sleeping -- within the nervous system.

Scientists get first close-ups of finger-like growths that trigger battery fires
Scientists from Stanford University and the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have captured the first atomic-level images of finger-like growths called dendrites that can pierce the barrier between battery compartments and trigger short circuits or fires.

Researchers identify a test to target cancer drug
Doctors are developing a more personalised approach to the treatment of bowel cancer, thanks to research which has found a way of screening tumours for their susceptibility to drug therapy.

UC San Diego researchers solve mystery of oxygenation connections in the brain
Using an advanced form of optical microscopy, scientists have uncovered how oxygen levels -- even those in different brain hemispheres -- connect to share signals when the body rests.

Small droplets are a surprise: They disappear more slowly than they 'should'
Seemingly, we already know everything there is to know about evaporation.

The Guanches originated from North Africa, shows DNA-study
The aboriginal inhabitants of the Canary Islands, commonly known as the Guanches, originated from North Africa.

Individual with complete spinal cord injury regains voluntary motor function
A research participant at the University of Louisville with a complete spinal cord injury, who had lost motor function below the level of the injury, has regained the ability to move his legs voluntarily and stand six years after his injury.

FRAX online risk assessments reach 20 million milestone
A new study confirms that intervention strategies based on FRAX fracture probabilities are highly effective, and more reliable than the use of BMD alone both in terms of identifying high-risk individuals for treatment and in avoiding intervention in those at low risk.

Three new lung cancer genetic biomarkers are identified in Dartmouth study
SNPs (single-nucleotide polymorphisms) are variations in our DNA that determine our susceptibility to developing some diseases.

James Webb Space Telescope's laser-focused sight
About 1 million miles away from the nearest eye surgeon, NASA's James Webb Space Telescope will be able to perfect its own vision while in orbit.

NIH study identifies new targets for anti-malaria drugs
The deadliest malaria parasite needs two proteins to infect red blood cells and exit the cells after it multiplies, a finding that may provide researchers with potential new targets for drug development, according to researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health.

The Bakhshali manuscript: The world's oldest zero?
Last month, the Bodleian Library at Oxford University announced that a Sanskrit manuscript housed in the library for the last century contains the oldest known written zero, although not a 'true' zero.

Virtual coasts improve understanding of possible coastal planning outcomes
Newly developed immersive geographic visualization tool is the first of its kind to use audio and visual animations and an underwater perspective.

Outpatient antibiotics raise risk for acquiring C. difficile infection in the community
Outpatient antibiotic use is a primary risk factor for acquiring Clostridium difficile infection in the community, reinforcing the need for appropriate prescribing in this setting, a new study published in Open Forum Infectious Diseases confirms.

Does population size affect rates of violence?
A new article in Current Anthropology argues small-scale societies are likely to be victims, rather than perpetrators, of violence

Researchers greenlight gas detection at room temperature
Russian researchers proposed sensors capable of operating at room temperature.

Deeper understanding of ISIS propaganda can help in the fight against terrorism
Douglas Wilbur, a retired major in the U.S. Army and a doctoral student in the School of Journalism at the University of Missouri, is continuing the fight against ISIS by studying the Islamic militant organization's propaganda texts and communication strategies.

Hubble discovers 'wobbling galaxies'
Using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have discovered that the brightest galaxies within galaxy clusters 'wobble' relative to the cluster's centre of mass.

Researchers use a pump-induced disease to define underlying molecular mechanism
A Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center research study investigated a pump-induced disease and defined the molecular mechanism that triggers it.

For college men, low awareness of HPV risk -- Education may help increase vaccination rate
Male collegiate athletes have high rates of risk factors for infection with the cancer-causing human papillomavirus (HPV), but have low HPV vaccination rates and low awareness of their personal health risks, according to a study in the November issue of The Nurse Practitioner, published by Wolters Kluwer.

Good long-term improvement after 'reverse' shoulder replacement in patients under 60
For younger patients with severe damage to the rotator cuff muscles, a 'reverse' shoulder replacement provides lasting improvement in shoulder function, according to a study in The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

Belly fat measurement predicts adverse outcomes in emergency surgery patients
A patient's waist measurement can reliably predict their risk of complications and death after emergency general surgery procedures, according to new findings presented at the American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress 2017.

Russian scientists have found flaws in popular theories of gravity
Taking black holes (as a real object) as a test material, scientists from the Ural Federal university (UrFU, Yekaterinburg) found out that a popular theory of gravity which had seemed to work perfectly at the cosmological level (a subclass of Horndeski theory) is hardly applicable to the real world.

More early stage lung cancer patients survive the disease
With the advancement of surgical and radiation therapy strategies for stage 1 non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), more patients are being treated, resulting in higher survival rates, according to a study published online today in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery.

Discovery of a potential therapeutic target to combat trypanosomes
Using cryo-electron microscopy, French researchers at the Institut de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire (CNRS/Université de Strasbourg) have analyzed the structure of trypanosomes parasites in details and revealed one of their potential weak points, which has remained undetected until now.

How harmful are nano-copper and anti-fungal combinations in the waterways?
A recently published article in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 'Effects of Micronized and Nano-Copper Azole on Marine Benthic Communities' explores the risks to the smallest creatures in aquatic communities posed by increased use of the anti-fouling wood treatment.

Dynamic catalytic converters for clean air in the city
Reducing pollutant emission of vehicles and meeting stricter exhaust gas standards are major challenges when developing catalytic converters.

TGen-USC study finds 'precision ,edicine' may not always be so precise
Precision Medicine in oncology, where genetic testing is used to determine the best drugs to treat cancer patients, is not always so precise when applied to some of the world's more diverse populations, according to a study led by the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), an affiliate of City of Hope, and the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC).

Fly hunter has described 30 new species
Xiaolong Lin jokes that he likes non-biting midges because they don't bite.

Concise guide to pharmacology simplifies drug discovery research
The Concise Guide to PHARMACOLOGY 2017/18 is now available in the British Journal of Pharmacology.

Climate change may slowly starve bamboo lemurs
Reporting in Current Biology on Oct. 26, researchers provide evidence to suggest that as Earth's climate changes, bamboo lemurs will gradually be forced to eat culm for longer periods.

Smell sensitivity varies with circadian rhythm, study suggests
A person's ability to smell may vary throughout the day in accordance with their circadian rhythm, according to new evidence in a small study by Brown University researchers who are looking at how sleep may influence eating patterns in teens.

Politicians who use violent rhetoric are driving greater polarization
Scroll through Twitter or watch an NFL game and you'll quickly remember we live in a time of unprecedented political polarization.

Doctors need cultural training
General practioners in Norway show little competency in understanding different cultures, a new study shows.

Mending hearts in three dimensions
Researchers from Kyoto University iCeMS and Osaka University have made biodegradable aligned nanofibers as a scaffold for culturing cardiomyocytes (CMs) derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs).

NASA finds winds shear still affecting Tropical Storm Saola
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite and NASA's Aqua satellite imagery showed wind shear was still affecting Tropical Storm it moved through the Philippine Sea.

Novel technology provides powerful new means for studying neural circuits
With 'trans-Tango,' a technology developed at Brown University and described in a new study in Neuron, scientists can bridge across the connections between neurons to trace -- and in the future control -- brain circuits.

A new weapon against malaria
Malaria is a parasitic disease transmitted between humans through the bite of a mosquito.

Sharp rise in children admitted to intensive care in England and Wales since 2009
The number of children admitted to intensive care in England and Wales has risen sharply since 2009, but is not explained by either population growth or the rising birth rate, finds research published online in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Manipulating mitochondrial networks could promote healthy aging
Manipulating mitochondrial networks inside cells -- either by dietary restriction or by genetic manipulation that mimics it -- may increase lifespan and promote health, according to new research from Harvard T.H.

Hormones help tadpoles trade size for survival in a warming climate, says UC study
UC research links hormones and changing climate to altered evolution for spadefoot toad species.

Sidetracked by a donut?
Sugary, fatty foods are a distraction -- more so than low-calorie foods and everyday objects -- even if you are busy with a task that isn't remotely related to food, or are not even thinking about eating.

Case Western Reserve research advance may prevent a form of hereditary hearing loss
A research advance co-led by Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine's Kumar Alagramam, PhD, may stop the progression of hearing loss and lead to significant preservation of hearing in people with Usher syndrome type III, a form of hereditary hearing loss linked to defects in the sensory

For older adults, keeping your heart healthy may protect against disability
Recently, a team of researchers studied older Latin Americans to examine the relationship between the American Heart Association's definition of 'ideal cardiovascular health' and disability.

Peers can reduce tobacco use among younger smokers
Participating in a brief intervention delivered by their peers in community settings can help reduce smoking among youth and young adults, a new study from a team of tobacco-cessation researchers shows.

Mutation in fallopian tube lesions may help catch ovarian cancer years earlier
Screening for tumor cells in the fallopian tubes of women at high-risk for ovarian cancer may help detect the cancer years before it develops further, suggests a new study published online this week in Nature Communications.

Cowpea protected from a devastating pest, free for smallholder African farmers
Across Africa, armies of hungry caterpillars destroy the flowers and pods of cowpeas; casualties can reach 80 percent of this staple food crop if no measures are taken.

Kazan Federal University ionosonde registered an earthquake in Chile
The Cyclone ionosonde (creatied by Dr. Akchurin, Head of the Near Space Studies Lab of SAU AstroChallenge) can detect earthquakes at distances as big as 15,000 kilometers.

The nose reveals our relationship with our emotions
An alexithymic individual has difficulty, to a greater or lesser degree, in relating to emotions.

Cataract surgery in older women associated with decreased risk of death
In older women with cataracts in the Women's Health Initiative, cataract surgery was associated with a lower risk for overall and cause-specific death, although whether this association is explained by the intervention of cataract surgery is unclear, according to a study published by JAMA Ophthalmology.

Knowledge of larval fish just a drop in the ocean
A combination of morphological and molecular approaches gives researchers a first glimpse of Red Sea larval fish communities.

Tiny chip-based methane spectrometer could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions
Scientists from IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., developed the new methane spectrometer, which is smaller than today's standard spectrometers and more economical to manufacture. 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