Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 31, 2017
Higher thyroid hormone levels associated with artery disease and death
High and high-normal levels of a thyroid hormone called free thyroxine or FT4, were associated with artery disease and death in elderly and middle-aged people.

Half of UK adults miss a quarter of their teeth when brushing
Thorough tooth brushing is recognised as the foundation of good oral health regimes, and an effective way to avoid tooth decay and gum disease.

NASA examines the powerful US Northeast storm
The remnants of Tropical Storm Philippe had merged with another system and brought gusty winds and heavy rainfall to New England.

Flour power to boost food security
A glue-like protein that holds the wheat grain together could hold the secret for yielding more, and healthier, flour from wheat.

How berberine works to slow diabetes-related cognitive decline in Rejuvenation Research
Researchers studying the mechanism of action of the natural, plant-derived compound berberine have linked its anti-inflammatory activity and ability to regulate levels of stress-response proteins including sirtuin to berberine positive effects on memory loss and impaired learning in an aging diabetic mouse model.

Trends in kids' fitness not as bad as assumed
A 10-year study of more than 5,000 young children shows that first graders around Baden-Baden, Germany, have remained reasonably fit over the last decade.

Air pollution is associated with cancer mortality beyond lung cancer
A large scale epidemiological study associates some air pollutants with kidney, bladder and colorectal cancer death.

Cheaper drug could release more than £13.5 million a year within the next 5 years for other services
Doctors in the northeast of England face legal action from two of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies for offering patients with a serious eye condition the choice of a safe, effective but much cheaper drug, reports The BMJ today.

Orphaned elephants' social lives substantially altered by poaching
Colorado State University researchers found that orphaned elephants have less access to mature, dominant individuals than non-orphaned elephants, whose dominant social partners are their mothers and aunts.

Alzheimer's disease might be a 'whole body' problem
Canadian and Chinese scientists, using surgically-joined mice, find that amyloid-beta -- the protein that causes Alzheimer's disease -- can travel from other parts of the body to the brain, where it does its damage.

System could let thousands of researchers contribute to data analysis projects
MIT researchers have developed a new collaboration tool, dubbed FeatureHub, intended to make feature identification more efficient and effective.

MSU biologists discovered the pathwaysof groups of the lophophore
Scientists from Moscow State University have proved that lophophorates -- the invertebrates with special tentacular apparatus -- are relatives.

RUDN University researcher found out what happens to organic matter on rice fields
A soil scientist from RUDN University has found out how plant root secretions affect microorganisms and biochemical processes in paddy soils (rice fields, for instance).

The world's shortest laser pulse
ETH researchers succeeded in shortening the pulse duration of an X-ray laser to only 43 attoseconds.

Strong maternal antibodies for HIV ineffective for protecting infants from HIV
HIV+ mothers who possess a strong neutralizing antibody response may be more likely to pass the virus on to her infant through breast feeding.

Aging has distinct and opposite effects on tendon in males and females
New research from the University of Liverpool, published in the journal Scientific Reports, has identified that in tendon aging has distinct and opposite effects on the genes expressed in males and females.

Future volcanic eruptions could cause more climate disruption
Major volcanic eruptions in the future have the potential to affect global temperatures and precipitation more dramatically than in the past because of climate change, according to a new study led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).

NUS researchers unravel new insights into how brain beats distractions to retain memories
Researchers from the National University of Singapore have recently discovered a mechanism that could explain how the brain retains working memory when faced with distractions.

Football position and length of play affect brain impact
Researchers have found that damage to white matter in the brains of former college and professional football players due to recurrent head impacts can be related to playing position and career duration, according to a new study.

Religious affiliation at the end of life is changing globally
The worldwide pattern of religious affiliation at the time of death is expected to change over the next 50 years, with distinct regional trends.

Energy efficiency labeling for homes has little effect on purchase price
Energy efficiency labeling, also called Energy Performance Certification (EPC), is designed to inform homebuyers about how much energy a home will consume over the years.

US cancer drug costs increasing despite competition, new research shows
After a follow-up period of 12 years, the mean cumulative cost increase was 37 percent, including all the injectable anticancer drugs.

Only half of people in USA living with curable cancer-causing disease are aware
New data released at this year's World Hepatitis Summit in Sao Paulo, Brazil, show that out of an estimated 2.7 million people now living with hepatitis C in the US, only just over half are aware, contributing to increasing infection rates and poor treatment outcomes.

Research suggests new way to treat inflammatory gut disease and prevent rejection of bone marrow transplants
A new study explains how a widely used drug is effective against inflammatory bowel disease and rejection of bone marrow transplants, while suggesting another way to address both health issues.

'Monster' planet discovery challenges formation theory
A giant planet -- the existence of which was previously thought extremely unlikely -- has been discovered by an international collaboration of astronomers, with the University of Warwick taking a leading role.

Tracking mosquitoes with your cellphone
A simple recording of a mosquito's buzz on a cellphone could contribute to a global-scale mosquito tracking map of unprecedented detail.

'Protect your eyes while on the slopes,' scientists warn
Snow fanatics are no doubt aware of the risk of getting sunburnt on the slopes, but a new study published in PLOS ONE shows that it is more than a red face that skiers and snowboarders should be concerned about.

Less red tape and shorter working hours might help stave off retirement of UK doctors
Less red tape and shorter working hours are the two key factors that might persuade older UK doctors to carry on working rather than hanging up their stethoscopes, suggests an analysis of survey responses, published in the online journal BMJ Open.

Opening the Van der Waals' sandwich
Eighty years after the theoretical prediction of the force required to overcome the van der Waals' bonding between layers in a crystal, engineering researchers at Tohoku University have measured it directly.

Researchers at NYITCOM link Western diet to vascular damage and prediabetes
Could short-term exposure to the average American diet increase one's risk for developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease?

Spicy food may curb unhealthy cravings for salt
People who enjoy spicy foods appear to eat less salt and have lower blood pressure.

Mini-strokes can be 'ominous prelude' to catastrophic strokes
Mini-strokes known as transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), can be an 'ominous prelude' to catastrophic strokes.

Landmark discovery turns marathon of evolution into a sprint
Ground breaking research collaboration brings hopes of new drug discovery platform.

UK elimination of hepatitis C in jeopardy unless more patients found
Just one in three people with hepatitis C in the UK have been diagnosed according to the latest estimates released at this year's World Hepatitis Summit in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Revisiting abandoned treatments in fight against antimicrobial-resistant gonorrhea
A previously recommended treatment for gonorrhea, cefixime, may be an effective alternative to current treatments as clinicians battle outbreaks and emergence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), according to a study published this week by Xavier Didelot of Imperial College London, UK, and colleagues in PLOS Medicine.

Little-known fruits contain powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant agents
Research shows that five fruit species native to Brazil's Atlantic Rainforest biome have bioactive properties as outstanding as those of blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, and strawberries.

Massage could be used to aid recovery of damaged limbs
Massage could increase the regrowth of muscle after muscle loss, according to new research published in The Journal of Physiology.

Stable, affordable homes don't just help patients, they save taxpayer dollars
By investing in housing, hospitals can help build healthier communities and save money by stemming the tide of emergency room visits and costly health interventions.

NREL, University of Washington scientists elevate quantum dot solar cell world record
Researchers at the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory established a new world efficiency record for quantum dot solar cells, at 13.4 percent.

More money, education only makes discrimination worse for minorities
Upwardly mobile blacks and Hispanics are more likely to experience racial discrimination than their socioeconomically stable peers, new research has found.

How a $10 microchip turns 2-D ultrasound machines to 3-D imaging devices
Technology that keeps track of how your smartphone is oriented can now give $50,000 ultrasound machines many of the 3-D imaging abilities of their $250,000 counterparts -- for the cost of a $10 microchip.

Does cutting weekend allied health services hurt patients?
Removing weekend allied health services -- including physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, dietetics, and social work -- from the surgical wards of hospitals had little effect on patients' outcomes, according to a study published this week in PLOS Medicine by Terry Haines of Monash University, Victoria, Australia, and colleagues.

Prenatal exposure to BPA at low levels can affect gene expression in developing rat brain
Prenatal exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) at levels below those currently considered safe for humans affects gene expression related to sexual differentiation and neurodevelopment in the developing rat brain.

Mini-microscopes reveal brain circuitry behind social behavior
A microscope lens implanted deep inside a mouse's brain shows different patterns of neural activity when the mouse interacts with males, females, or other stimuli.

Aliens may be more like us than we think
In a new study published in the International Journal of Astrobiology scientists from the University of Oxford show for the first time how evolutionary theory can be used to support alien predictions and better understand their behavior.

New treatment shows promise for patients with rare dermatologic disease
A new treatment for a rare and often incurable condition called dermatomyositis (DM) reduced the severity of the disease in patients whose DM was resistant to other therapies.

Lens trick doubles odds for quantum interaction
It's not easy to bounce a single particle of light off a single atom that is less than a billionth of a meter wide.

Pseudopod protrusions propel amoeboid cells forward: A 3-D swimming model
Rhythmic patterns and precise motions are key elements of proper swimming, and comparable demonstrations of this pattern repetition and power usage can be seen in a microscopic swimmer -- the amoeboid cell.

New blood test developed to diagnose ovarian cancer
Investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute are leveraging the power of artificial intelligence to develop a new technique to detect ovarian cancer early and accurately.

Study shows voting does not reduce crime
A randomized controlled experiment of 550,000 potential voters in the United States shows that voting does not make people less likely to subsequently commit a crime.

How to detect the risk of dyslexia before learning to read
Almost 10 percent of the world population suffers dyslexia. Establishing an early diagnosis would allow the development of training programs to palliate this disorder.

Uncomfortable sight from an ancient reflex of the eye
The eyes are for seeing, but they have other important biological functions, including automatic visual reflexes that go on without awareness.

Young bats learn bat 'dialects' from their nestmates
Young bats adopt a specific 'dialect' spoken by their own colonies, even when this dialect differs from the bat 'mother tongue,' a new study publishing Oct.

Future climate change may not adversely affect seafood quality
Future ocean acidification and warming may not have a marked effect on the taste of oysters grown in the UK, according to new research by the University of Plymouth published in Frontiers in Marine Science.

Experts call for virtual European cancer institute/infrastructure
A new article that addresses the challenges of cancer proposes combining innovative prevention and treatment strategies in a state-of-the-art virtual European Cancer Institute/Infrastructure that promotes sharing of the highest standards of practices and big data among countries and centers across Europe and beyond.

Why do some head knocks cause more damage than others?
Veteran sailors know that rogue waves can rise suddenly in mid-ocean to capsize even the largest vessels.

Funding the elimination of viral hepatitis: Donors needed
International donors are needed to help in the fight against the global hepatitis epidemic, say experts speaking at this year's World Hepatitis Summit in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Dinosaur-killing asteroid impact cooled Earth's climate more than previously thought
The Chicxulub asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs likely released far more climate-altering sulfur gas into the atmosphere than originally thought, according to new research.

Newest dark matter map hints at where astrophysics must go for breakthroughs
Three astrophysicists -- Scott Dodelson, Risa Wechsler and George Efstathiou -- recently participated in a roundtable discussion, hosted by The Kavli Foundation, about new data from the Dark Energy Survey and its implications for understanding the universe's history.

'Tensor algebra' software speeds big-data analysis 100-fold
At the Association for Computing Machinery's Conference on Systems, Programming, Languages and Applications: Software for Humanity (SPLASH), researchers from MIT, the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission, and Adobe Research recently presented a new system that automatically produces code optimized for sparse data.

Monitoring Crohn's disease with inflammation biomarkersled to better patient outcomes
An efficacy and safety study of two treatment models for patients with Crohn's disease has found that monitoring both inflammation biomarkers and symptoms led to superior outcomes compared to clinical management of symptoms alone.

Long-term use of drugs to curb acid reflux linked to doubling in stomach cancer risk
The long-term use of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), a class of drugs commonly used to treat acid reflux, is linked to a more than doubling in the risk of developing stomach cancer, finds research published online in the journal Gut.

Chromosome organization emerges from 1-D patterns
Researchers at Rice University and Baylor College of Medicine have developed a method to predict how a human chromosome folds based solely on the epigenetic marks that decorate chromatin inside cells.

NREL research yields significant thermoelectric performance
Scientists at the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) reported significant advances in the thermoelectric performance of organic semiconductors based on carbon nanotube thin films that could be integrated into fabrics to convert waste heat into electricity or serve as a small power source.

Only 9 countries on track to eliminate hepatitis C
New data on hepatitis C released by the Polaris Observatory, and presented today at the World Hepatitis Summit in Sao Paulo, Brazil, shows that nine countries -- Australia, Brazil, Egypt, Georgia, Germany, Iceland, Japan, the Netherlands and Qatar -- are on course to eliminate hepatitis C by 2030.

Should patients with cardiogenic shock receive culprit lesion only PCI or multivessel PCI?
Results from the prospective, randomized, multicenter CULPRIT-SHOCK trial found that an initial strategy of culprit lesion only percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) reduces the composite of 30-day mortality and/or severe renal failure in patients with multivessel disease and cardiogenic shock complicating acute myocardial infarction.

New toolkit reveals novel cancer genes
A new statistical model has enabled researchers to pinpoint 27 novel genes thought to prevent cancer from forming, in an analysis of over 2,000 tumors across 12 human cancer types.

Understudied racial minority groups show alarmingly high rates of obesity and diabetes
Some of the smallest and historically neglected racial groups in the United States experience far more obesity, diabetes, and other health conditions than non-Hispanic white adults, a study by researchers at the University of California, Riverside has found.

University of Seville researchers reveal the role of a DNA repair mechanism
An important step forward in understanding more exactly what the mechanisms are that allow, if not correctly repaired, certain DNA breaks to be exchanged with others, so generating chromosomal translocation.

Stem cells conduct cartilage regeneration but are not directly involved
For stem cell therapy it has remained unclear whether stem cells are responsible for regeneration of cartilage damage or whether they trigger the curing.

Giving rookie dads the online info they really need
Expectant and new parents often turn to the internet for parenting prep, but it turns out that dads often don't seem to find the information they say they need about pregnancy, parenthood and routes to their own mental health and well-being.

Surveillance safe for non-cancerous breast lesion typically treated surgically
The detection of certain non-cancerous 'high risk' breast lesions can lead to surgical treatment in women, but one of the largest studies of a specific type of high-risk lesion, flat epithelial atypia, calls for close observation, rather than surgical removal of these lesions in most cases, according to study results published on the website of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons in advance of print.

Australia currently on track to eliminate hepatitis C by 2030, but challenges remain for hepatitis B
New data released at this year's World Hepatitis Summit in Sao Paulo, Brazil, shows that Australia is currently on track to eliminate hepatitis C thanks to its huge efforts to enable population-wide access to treatment.

Smoking may cause inflammatory bowel disease
A new study shows for the first time a direct effect of cigarette smoke on bowel inflammation.

Novel technique reveals the intricate beauty of a cracked glass
Typical crack speeds in glass easily surpass a kilometer per second, and broken surface features may be well smaller than a millimeter, so the processes that generate these patterns have been largely a mystery.

Humans don't use as much brainpower as we like to think
When it comes to brainpower, humans aren't as exceptional as we like to think.

Lemurs are weird because Madagascar's fruit is weird
Lemurs eat way less fruit than most other primates, and scientists have a new hypothesis as to why: the fruit on Madagascar, where the lemurs live, is unusually low in protein.

How an interest in bipolar disorder drugs led to a better understanding of leukemia
A research project that began 20 years ago with an interest in how lithium treats mood disorders has yielded insights into the progression of blood cancers such as leukemia.

How to store information in your clothes invisibly, without electronics
University of Washington computer scientists have created fabrics and fashion accessories that can store data -- from security codes to identification tags -- without needing any on-board electronics or sensors.

Successful cardiogenic shock treatment using a percutaneous left ventricular assist device
The Cardiovascular Surgery Group at Osaka University succeeded in minimally invasive treatment of a patient with acute heart failure due to medical treatment-resistant cardiogenic shock by making use of Impella, a percutaneous auxiliary artificial heart, for the first time in Japan.

A special issue to commemorate the centenary of Duzheng Ye's birth
The special issue consists of four reviews and five original articles, each focusing on an aspect of Ye's achievements and the latest developments based on or inspired by his theories, including establishing Tibetan Plateau meteorology; developing the theory of atmospheric longwave energy dispersion, and therefore providing the theoretical basis for modern weather forecasting; revealing seasonal abrupt change of atmospheric general circulation over Asia; and expanding global change research by building a framework of 'orderly human adaptation.'

Elderly chromosomes activate genes differently than in the young
Grey hair, wisdom, and wrinkles on our skin mark us as we age, but it's the more subtle changes beneath the surface that make us old.

Researchers map trends in drug development
One third of all drugs on the American market act on the same kind of important cell receptor -- the G protein-coupled receptors.

Results from the DKCRUSH-V trial reported at TCT 2017 and simultaneously published in JACC
A large-scale randomized trial examining the double kissing (DK) crush two-stent technique compared with provisional stenting (PS) in the treatment of true distal bifurcation lesions of the left main artery, found that the DK crush technique was associated with a lower rate of target lesion failure at one year.

Illuminated pajamas treat newborns
Babies who suffer from jaundice after birth are treated with shortwave light.

Stay focused, if you can
What makes some people better able to resist temptation than others?

Genome scientists use UK Salmonella cases to shed light on African epidemic
Scientists at the University of Liverpool and Public Health England have used Salmonella genome data from a UK public health surveillance study to gain new insights into the Salmonella epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa.

Results from the ABSORB IV trial reported at TCT 2017
Thirty-day results from ABSORB IV, the largest randomized everolimus-eluting bioresorbable vascular scaffold (BVS) trial to date, found BVS to be noninferior to a cobalt-chromium everolimus-eluting stent (CoCr-EES) for target lesion failure (TLF).

Traffic signal countdown timers lead to improved driver responses
Countdown timers that let motorists know when a traffic light will go from green to yellow lead to safer responses from drivers, research suggests.

Countries risk 'running out' of hepatitis C patients to treat, says World Hepatitis Alliance
The latest data on the global hepatitis C epidemic, released today at the World Hepatitis Summit in Sao Paulo, Brazil, reveal that most countries (especially high-income countries) are running out of patients to treat because of the low diagnosis rates worldwide.

NASA investigates use of medical-like tools to study samples of the solar system
A diagnostic tool, similar in theory to those used by the medical profession to noninvasively image internal organs, bones, soft tissue, and blood vessels, could be equally effective at 'triaging' extraterrestrial rocks and other samples before they are shipped to Earth for further analysis.

Research links locus coeruleus activity with hyperarousal in PTSD
A new study in Biological Psychiatry has linked signs of heightened arousal and reactivity -- a core symptom of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) -- to overactivity of the locus coeruleus (LC), a brain region that mediates arousal and reactivity.

Bilingual preschoolers show stronger inhibitory control
For students in preschool, speaking two languages may be better than one, especially for developing inhibitory control.

Dissecting effects of 1960s anti-poverty programs on present US
Stanford postdoctoral scholar Claire Dunning traces the history and effects of New Careers, a 1960s federal anti-poverty program.

Physicists: The wave properties of particles can manifest in collisions
Physicists has shown that it is possible to observe the wave properties of massive particles at room temperature, in practically any modern physics laboratory, because it is only necessary to focus the beam of particles well.

SourceData is making data discoverable
SourceData from EMBO is an award-winning open platform that allows researchers and publishers to share figures and their underlying data in a machine-readable, searchable format, making research papers discoverable based on their data content.

Strength exercise as vital as aerobic new research finds
Push ups and sit ups could add years to your life according to a new study of over 80,000 adults led by the University of Sydney.

TAVR cost-effective compared with SAVR in intermediate risk patients with aortic stenosis
Analysis of the PARTNER 2A trial and the SAPIEN-3 Intermediate Risk registry found transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) to be highly cost-effective compared with surgical aortic valve replacement (SAVR) in intermediate surgical risk patients with aortic stenosis.

Diagnostic revolution targets tuberculosis, other deadly diseases
In a series of new studies, Tony Hu, a researcher at Arizona State University's Biodesign Institute, describes the development of several new methods for TB diagnosis that improve the speed, accuracy, and cost of TB detection. 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