Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 02, 2017
Artificial neural networks could power up curation of natural history collections
Fed with new knowledge for centuries, natural history collections contain critical data for many scientific endeavors.

Scientists of SibFU have found a way to determine the toxicity of nanomaterials
Official website of the Russian Science Foundation reports that a group of scientists from Siberian Federal University and Krasnoyarsk Scientific Center of the SB RAS has developed a bioluminescent enzymatic test system for assessing the toxicity of carbon nanomaterials.

Ions in the spotlight
The results of a research group from the Institute of Physics at the University of Freiburg has been given a special place in the Nature Photonics journal: an accompanying 'News & Views' article in the print version of the science journal highlights the work of the team led by Alexander Lambrecht, Julian Schmidt, Dr.

Unveiling gut microbes' influence on cancer patient response to immunotherapy
Two new studies in cancer patients demonstrate how the composition of gut bacteria can influence response to immunotherapy.

Computer program helps doctors detect acute kidney injury earlier to save lives
Embedding a decision support tool in the hospital electronic health record increases detection of acute kidney injury, reducing its severity and improving survival.

Atmospheric beacons guide NASA scientists in search for life
New NASA research proposes a novel approach to sniffing out exoplanet atmospheres.

UC-led genomic study reveals clues to wild past of grapes
About 22,000 years ago, as the ice sheets that consumed much of North America and Europe began retreating, humans started to consume a fruit that today brings joy to millions of wine drinkers around the world: grapes.

Chip-based sensors with incredible sensitivity
In London's St. Paul's Cathedral, a whisper can be heard far across the circular whispering gallery as the sound curves around the walls.

How toxic air clouds mental health
University of Washington researchers have found a link between air pollution and psychological distress.

Unemployment triggers increase in child neglect, according to new research
The number of reported cases of child neglect in the United States of America increased as a result of the spike in unemployment following the financial crisis of 2007-08, according to new Oxford University research.

Carbonate shells change with time
The carbonate shells of tiny marine plankton, foraminifers, are important archives of geochemical records of past climates.

New treatment approach for autoimmune disorder
Researchers from Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin have been able to improve their understanding of the key mechanism involved in the pathogenesis of a serious autoimmune disease.

Learning a mother tongue: A universal process?
Specialists in language development in children have studied a traditional population in the Bolivian Amazon, the Tsimane.

Biocompatible photonic crystals expand their use from optics to medicine
Researchers at ITMO University developed a new approach for obtaining non-toxic magnetic photonic crystals, expanding their applications from mainly photonics to biomedicine.

This drug could block harmful impact of teen binge drinking
Alcohol-fueled parties might be seen as a rite of passage for many high school students, but they have an unexpected impact: binge-drinking behavior as teenagers can lead to problems with alcohol and other drug dependence later on in life.

Nanoscale 'abacus' uses pulses of light instead of wooden beads to perform calculations
The quest to develop ever-faster and more powerful computers has led to one of the most rudimentary methods of counting being given a 21st century make-over.

Researchers achieve 4-D printing of programmable shape-changing structures
A new study describes 3-D printing of Shape Memory Polymers to produce active meta-materials that can be programmed to form versatile shapes and are then able to recover their original state when heated to above their activation temperatures.

SUTD researchers solve mystery behind red blood cell maturation
A team of SUTD researchers profiled the human red blood cell proteome and discovered which proteins were changed during the maturation accounting for the transition in shape and deformability of reticulocytes.

Family favoritism: Younger siblings impacted more
A new study shows if a younger sibling feels like they're the favorite and their parents agree, their relationship is strengthened.

CSIC tightens the noose around superbugs
A team led by researchers from the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) has made an important breakthrough in the battle against superbugs and their resistance to multiple drugs.

Sleeping through the snoring: Researchers id neurons that rouse the brain to breathe
A common and potentially serious sleep disorder, obstructive sleep apnea affects at least one quarter of U.S. adults and is linked to increased risk of diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease.

Key to better asparagus identified in evolution of sex chromosomes
Working with an international team of breeders and genome scientists, plant biologists at the University of Georgia have sequenced the genome of garden asparagus as a model for sex chromosome evolution.

What mitigates the consequences of recession for companies?
Experts of the Higher School of Economics (HSE) demonstrated that companies with foreign ownership have an easier time overcoming the consequences of economic recessions.

Youth uniquely vulnerable to sleep disruption from screens
Developing brains, sleep patterns, and even eyes make children uniquely vulnerable to the body-clock disrupting impact of electronics, a new paper in Pediatrics reports.

Warm air helped make 2017 ozone hole smallest since 1988
Measurements from satellites this year showed the hole in Earth's ozone layer that forms over Antarctica each September was the smallest observed since 1988, scientists from NASA and NOAA announced today.

Penn researchers working to mimic giant clams to enhance the production of biofuel
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania are working together to create an artificial system that mimics the process by which giant clams convert sunlight into energy.

Scientists link pancreatic cancer survival to four genes
Alterations in four main genes are responsible for how long patients survive with pancreatic cancer, according to a new study in Jama Oncology.

Shedding light on the mystery of matter accretion in young stars
An international team of researchers from multiple institutions, including INRS, is shedding light on the mystery of matter accretion in young stars.

Onalespib could be an effective treatment for glioblastoma, preclinical studies show
This study showed that the targeted drug onalespib reduced the expression of cell-survival proteins such as AKT and endothelial growth factor receptor in glioma cell lines and glioma stem cells from patient tumors.

Noninvasive procedure is superior to steroid injection for painful knee osteoarthritis
For patients with osteoarthritis of the knee, a minimally invasive procedure called cooled radiofrequency ablation (CRFA) provides better pain reduction and functional improvement compared to steroid injection of the knee, concludes a study in Regional Anesthesia & Pain Medicine, published by Wolters Kluwer.

Shifting bacterial communities in the stomach may influence cancer risk
Different changes to the microbial community of the stomach may explain why related conditions are associated with different risk levels and types of gastric tumor, according to a new study in PLOS Pathogens.

4-in-1 flu shot may mean lifelong protection against the flu
Scientists with the Nebraska Center for Virology find a vaccine combining centralized ancestral genes from four major influenza strains could be a path toward a universal flu shot.

Patients report worse care experience in GP practices owned by limited companies
New research published today by the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine concludes that patients registered to general practices owned by limited companies, including large organisations, reported worse experiences of their care than other patients.

The secret lives of ancient land plants
Revealing of the liverwort genome brings insight into the evolution of land plants.

Sugar-sweetened drinks raise risk of diabetes, metabolic syndrome
Regularly drinking sugar-sweetened beverages such as soda and juice contributes to the development of diabetes, high blood pressure and other endemic health problems, according to a review of epidemiological studies published in the Journal of the Endocrine Society.

Lack of oxygen, not blood flow, delays brain maturation in preterm infants
Previously, it was believed that lack of blood flow was causing preterm brain cells to die.

Long-term study of Nicaraguan children reveals key window in which...
Adding proof to a longstanding but previously unconfirmed theory about severe dengue in humans, a new study in children from Nicaragua pinpoints a narrow but critical range of antibody level that enhances reaction to the disease the second time around.

Results from the DAPT STEMI trial reported at TCT 2017
The first trial to evaluate the safety of dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) for less than 12 months in ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) found six months of DAPT was non-inferior to 12 months of DAPT among patients treated with second-generation drug-eluting stents (DES).

Precise chiral cluster assembly by design
Scientists have developed a way to precisely assemble micron-sized colloidal clusters of a particular chirality, or orientation in space, by using strands of origami DNA.

Synaptic disorder
A Würzburg research team describes a hitherto unknown pathogenic mechanism of motor neuron disorders.

Australian tourism policies fail to address climate change
Despite evidence that tourism contributes to climate change, Australia's Federal and State governments are failing to produce effective long-term tourism policy to address climate change, according to the findings of new QUT-led research.

New insights into the release of molecules involved in inflammatory diseases
In a recent study published in Cell Reports, a research team led by Colin Adrain, from the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC, Portugal), discovered the mechanism that controls the release of important molecules that trigger the inflammatory response during the clearance of infections.

Resisting alien invasions
Invasive species are can be hugely detrimental to marine ecosystems.

Study: Brain activity is inherited, may inform treatment for ADHD, autism
A new study conducted at OHSU in Portland, Oregon, concludes that while individually unique, each connectotype demonstrates both familial and heritable relationships.

Cancer cells destroyed with dinosaur extinction metal
Cancer cells can be targeted and destroyed with the metal from the asteroid that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs, according to new research by an international collaboration between the University of Warwick and Sun Yat-Sen University in China.

Order in disorder: A key feature of dendritic organization in the brain
Fitzpatrick and colleagues find that synaptic inputs in the visual cortex are locally -- but not globally -- organized.

UTSA researcher collaborates with Canadian geneticist to explore 30-year old medical case
Aimin Liu, Lutcher Brown Distinguished Chair in Biochemistry at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), has published research demystifying a decades-old medical case.

Two important signalling pathways in cancer and ageing are connected for the first time
Two years ago, a group led by Maria A. Blasco at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) hit upon several compounds that caused injury to the telomeres and now, in a study published in Nature Communications, they show that these drugs achieve this effect by acting on PI3K, a key protein in cancer and ageing.

Animals' mitochondria defenses discovered in plants
Scientists at EPFL have discovered that the mechanism that mitochondria use to defend mammalian cells against protein-damaging stress also exists in plants.

Penny-wise, pound-foolish decisions explained by neurons' firing
People sometimes spend as much time deciding whether to spend a few cents more on groceries as they do deciding whether to spend a few thousand dollars extra when buying a car.

Several reasons why whole grains are healthy
When overweight adults exchange refined grain products -- such as white bread and pasta -- with whole grain varieties, they eat less, they lose weight and the amount of inflammation in their bodies decreases.

Removing digital devices from the bedroom can improve sleep for children, teens
Removing electronic media from the bedroom and encouraging a calming bedtime routine are among recommendations Penn State researchers outline in a recent manuscript on digital media and sleep in childhood and adolescence.

Dioxane-chomping microbe has helpful gene
Rice University researchers have discovered a bacteria-borne gene that triggers the degradation of dioxane, a groundwater contaminant and suspected carcinogen.

New, simplified technique makes light metallic nanofoam
A simple method for manufacturing extremely low-density palladium nanofoams could help advance hydrogen storage technologies, reports a new study from UC Davis.

Risk of oversharing in conversation increases with age, study says
The risk of oversharing in conversation -- or providing a listener with too much irrelevant detail -- increases as we age, research suggests.

Newly discovered volcanic rock minerals may offer new insights into earth's evolution
Scientists have found evidence showing that komatiites, or three-billion-year old volcanic rock found within the Earth's mantle, had a different composition than modern ones.

Retired professional footballers at higher risk of knee osteoarthritis
Retired professional footballers are far more prone to develop knee pain and osteoarthritis and face problems with their knees earlier in life than the average person, a study has revealed.

Colon cancer breakthrough could lead to prevention -- and the foods that can help
Colon cancer, Crohn's, and other diseases of the gut could be better treated -- or even prevented -- thanks to a new link between inflammation and a common cellular process, established by the University of Warwick.

NASA spots Tropical Storm Damrey headed west in South China Sea
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite flew over the South China Sea and captured a visible image of newly formed Tropical Storm Damrey as it moved on a westerly track toward Vietnam.

Male mammoths more often fell into 'natural traps' and died, DNA evidence suggests
Researchers who have sexed 98 woolly mammoth specimens collected from various parts of Siberia have discovered that the fossilized remains more often came from males of the species than females.

Genetic history: Searching for the African roots of Noir Marron communities
Scientists from the Anthropologie Moléculaire et Imagerie de Synthèse (CNRS/Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier/Paris Descartes University) and Ecological Anthropology and Ethnobiology (CNRS/MNHN) research units have shown that members of Maroon communities in South America -- formed over four centuries ago by Africans who escaped slavery -- have remarkably preserved their African genetic heritage (98 percent).

Bacteria in the gut modulates response to immunotherapy in melanoma
Bacteria that live in the human digestive tract can influence how cancer responds to immunotherapy, opening a new avenue for research to improve treatment, a team led by researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center reports in the journal Science.

Synergy stent with shorter DAPT is superior to a bare-metal stent in elderly patients
Elderly patients undergoing PCI often receive bare-metal stents (BMS) instead of drug-eluting stents (DES) to shorten the duration of dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) and reduce bleeding risk.

Navigating the genome to cure deafness
A new Tel Aviv University study solves a critical piece of the puzzle of human deafness by identifying the first group of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in the auditory system.

Preventing a genetic uprising in early life
Around half of the human genome is made up of genetic parasites called transposons that can damage our genes, leading to a wide range of genetic illnesses.

New link found between gut bacteria and age-related conditions
New research shows for the first time that an imbalance in the good and bad bacteria in the gut of old mice causes inflammatory responses in young mice -- responses that are linked to age-related conditions such as stroke, dementia and cardiovascular disease.

Newly discovered orangutan species is 'among the most threatened great apes in the world'
Scientists have long recognized six living species of great ape aside from humans: Sumatran and Bornean orangutans, eastern and western gorillas, chimpanzees, and bonobos.

Mindfulness may help mothers cope with stress when their babies have a heart condition
Mindfulness may offer an active coping mechanism for mothers faced with the stress of having a newborn diagnosed with congenital heart disease (CHD).

Blood-clotting protein prevents repair in the brain
Katerina Akassoglou, PhD, and her research team at the Gladstone Institutes uncovered a promising new therapeutic strategy to repair myelin in the brain.

Electrostatic force takes charge in bioinspired polymers
Researchers at the University of Illinois and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst have taken the first steps toward gaining control over the self-assembly of synthetic materials in the same way that biology forms natural polymers.

New pathway identified as a target for precision medicine against a common brain tumor
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital findings raise hopes for developing combination targeted therapy to treat medulloblastoma and other tumors linked to over-activation of an important signaling pathway.

What effect has substance abuse on outcome of schizophrenia treated with antipsychotics?
Review in the journal Current Drug Abuse Reviews: Long-term administration of antipsychotics and the influence of drug abuse on the disease outcome

Fifty-years of data from a 'living' oxygen minimum lab could help predict the oceans' future
Canadian and US Department of Energy researchers have released 50 years' worth of data chronicling the deoxygenating cycles of a fjord off Canada's west coast, and detailing the response of the microbial communities inhabiting the fjord.

Combined therapies increase side effects for patients with advanced breast cancer
Patients with advanced breast cancer who are treated with a combination of drugs that target specific molecules important for cancer development and also the hormones that are driving it are at increased risk of suffering adverse side effects.

Scientists decipher mechanisms underlying the biology of aging
Scientists have helped decipher the dynamics that control how our cells age, and with it implications for extending human longevity.

Tanning beds and risky behavior linked -- in men
Even though men use tanning beds at lower rates than women, men who tan tend to do it in riskier ways, according to a study by researchers at the University of Connecticut.

Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene
Heat transport through pillared graphene could be made faster by manipulating the junctions between sheets of graphene and the nanotubes that connect them, according to Rice University researchers.

Study: Most US adults say today's children have worse health prospects
Less than one-third of adults believe that kids are physically healthier today compared to kids in their own childhoods and fewer than 25 percent think children's mental health status is better now.

WSU researchers document transformation of graphite into hexagonal diamond
A team of WSU researchers has for the first time observed and recorded the creation of hexagonal diamond under shock compression, revealing crucial details about how it is formed.

Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, November 2017
Story tips from ORNL, November 2017: Fast-learning computing technique supports hurricane damage assessments; neutrons unlock liquid flow mystery; 'puckering' 2D material creates tunable energy gap; window air conditioning prototype allows safe use of propane refrigerant; graphene nanoribbons become semiconductors through precise electrical contacts.

Is gun violence contagious?
Gun violence is mostly not contagious but rather an endemic issue for particular neighborhoods, according to researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Oxford.

A strange new world of light
Structured beams of light, which exhibit strange behavior such as bending in a spiral, corkscrewing and dividing like a fork, not only can tell scientists a lot about the physics of light but also have a wide range of applications from super-resolution imaging to molecular manipulation and communications.

Study identifies additional hurdle to widespread planting of bioenergy crops
A study examining how certain decisions impact what farmers plant and harvest identified one crucial factor that researchers believe needs to be added to the list of decision variables when considering bioenergy crops: the option value.

Childhood spankings can lead to adult mental health problems
Getting spanked as a child can lead to a host of mental health problems in adulthood, say University of Michigan researchers.

New system for treating colorectal cancer can lead to complete cure
Researchers at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City and Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston have developed a new, three-step system that uses nuclear medicine to target and eliminate colorectal cancer.

Worldwide 52 million children living with viral hepatitis
New data presented at this year's World Hepatitis Summit in Sao Paulo, Brazil, show that 52 million children are living with viral hepatitis worldwide, compared to 2.1 million children living with HIV/AIDS.

UGA, Sanofi Pasteur develop new broadly protective vaccines for H3N2 influenza
Researchers have developed a vaccine candidate that protects against multiple co-circulating strains of H3N2 influenza isolated over five seasons following testing in mouse and ferret models.

An Arctic example: How scientific collaboration can foster international stability
In this Policy Forum, Paul Arthur Berkman et al. underscore how international scientific collaboration in the Arctic can help align common interests among countries experiencing geopolitical conflict.

Mexican doctors safely reuse donated pacemakers after sterilisation
Mexican doctors have safely reused donated pacemakers after sterilisation, shows a study presented at the 30th Mexican Congress of Cardiology.

More time on social media is not linked to poor mental health
There has so far been no evidence supporting the view that the amount of time spent on social media affects mental health in young people, says Chloe Berryman of the University of Central Florida in the US.

Exercise can counteract side-effects and improve fitness in advanced breast cancer patients
Taking part in regular exercise can reduce fatigue and pain, and improve cardiovascular health and quality of life in women being treated for advanced breast cancer, according to new research presented at the Advanced Breast Cancer Fourth International Consensus Conference.

Physicists show how lifeless particles can become 'life-like' by switching behaviors
Physicists at Emory University have shown how a system of lifeless particles can become 'life-like' by collectively switching back and forth between crystalline and fluid states -- even when the environment remains stable.

Treating menopausal symptoms can protect against stress' negative effects
Menopausal hormone therapy may shield women from stress' negative effects on some types of memory, according to a small-scale study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Scientists identify hotspots of coastal risks in Latin America and the Caribbean
The catastrophic 2017 hurricane season provided ample demonstrations of the vulnerability of populations and infrastructure in coastal areas to natural disasters.

SCAI examines strengths and weaknesses of sham PCI trial
This year, SCAI celebrated the forty-year anniversary of a groundbreaking procedure, now known as percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), that has saved millions of lives and enhanced the lives of millions more.

Innovative statistical methods shed light on extent of modern slavery in US, world
Policymakers, law enforcement and advocates can now better identify and target modern slavery thanks to the work of human rights experts and researchers whose application of unique statistical methods yields more precise figures on its existence and extent.

Left or right? Like humans, bees have a preference
A discovery that bees have individual flying direction preferences could lead to strategies for steering drone aircraft fleets.

Psoriasis (PsO) patients at higher risk for serious liver disease
Compared to controls, patients with psoriasis (PsO) are at higher risk for serious liver disease than patients with rheumatoid arthritis -- two autoimmune diseases often treated with similar drugs that can cause liver damage, reports a study this week in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology from researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

In autism, too many brain connections may be at root of condition
Mutations in a gene linked to autism in people causes neurons to form too many connections in rodents, according to a new study from Washington University School of Medicine in St.

A bit of a 'quantum magic trick'
Is there a faster way to determine a frequency? It turns out there is, in a new discovery published this week in Physical Review Letters by a collaboration between a Washington University in St.

Are cities affecting evolution?
In the first study to take a comprehensive look at the way urbanization is affecting evolution, Professors Marc Johnson and Jason Munshi-Smith say they've found a 'wake-up call for the public, governments and other scientists.'

UZH anthropologists describe third orangutan species
Previously only two species of orangutans were recognized -- the Bornean and the Sumatran orangutan.

How caries-causing bacteria can survive in dental plaque
Extracellular polysaccharides play a central role in the survival capabilities of caries-causing bacteria in dental plaque, report researchers from the University of Basel's Preventative Dentistry and Oral Microbiology Clinic and Department of Biomedical Engineering in the journal Plos One.

10-year fall in blood cholesterol of Malaysia heart attack patients suggests statin impact
A ten-year decline in the blood cholesterol of heart attack patients in Malaysia suggests that statins are having a positive impact, according to an observational study in nearly 49,000 patients presented at the ASEAN Federation of Cardiology Congress 2017 (AFCC2017).

How do adult brain circuits regulate new neuron production?
UNC school of Medicine researchers identified a brain circuit that controls neuron development in the adult brain.

How chromosomes 'cheat' for the chance to get into an egg
Chromosomes can 'cheat,' biasing the chance that they will make it into a sex cell.

Study of heart stents for stable angina highlights potential of placebo effect
Researchers at Imperial College London have explored the placebo effects of a coronary angioplasty procedure with stents for the first time.

Hormone replacement therapy may be beneficial for women's memory
A new USC study indicates a potential benefit of the menopausal therapy for a certain type of memory.

University of Guelph study first to identify the cells driving gecko's ability to re-grow its tail
A U of G researcher has discovered the spinal cord of the gecko's tail houses a special type of stem cell known as the radial glia.

Fantastic journey: How newborn neurons to find their proper place in the adult brain
This week in the Journal of Cell Biology, Professor Linda Van Aelst and colleagues at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) describe for the first time (in mice) how baby neurons -- precursors called neuroblasts, generated from a permanent pocket of stem cells in a brain area called the V-SVZ -- make an incredible journey from their place of birth through a special tunnel called the RMS to their target destination in the olfactory bulb.

Elucidation of bone regeneration mechanism
Fish have the extraordinary ability to regenerate lost fins and other appendages containing cartilage and bone.

Novel technology pioneered by Stanford ties brain circuits to alertness
Stanford University investigators have for the first time tied several brain circuits to alertness. 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