Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 03, 2017
Obesity increases incidence, severity, costs of knee dislocations
A new national study finds that the obesity epidemic is resulting in a higher risk of knee dislocations as well as serious vascular injuries and higher treatment costs.

ALMA discovers cold dust around nearest star
The ALMA Observatory has detected dust around Proxima Centauri. These observations reveal the glow coming from cold dust in a region between one to four times as far from Proxima Centauri as the Earth is from the sun.

Science confirms you should stop and smell the roses
A UBC researcher says there's truth to the idea that spending time outdoors is a direct line to happiness.

Synthetic material acts like an insect cloaking device
Synthetic microspheres with nanoscale holes can absorb light from all directions across a wide range of frequencies, making them a candidate for antireflective coatings, according to a team of Penn State engineers.

Horses can read our body language even when they don't know us
Horses can tell the difference between dominant and submissive body postures in humans, even when the humans are not familiar to them, according to a new University of Sussex-led study.

Return of the comet: 96P spotted by ESA, NASA satellites
Sun-gazing missions SOHO and STEREO watched the return of comet 96P/Machholz when it entered their fields of view between Oct.

NASA sees Damrey strengthen into a typhoon
NASA's Aqua satellite and the NASA-NOAA Suomi NPP satellite provided imagery of Damrey as it strengthened into a typhoon in the South China Sea.

CALET makes first direct measurements of high energy electrons in space
The CALET Cosmic Ray experiment, led by Professor Shoji Torii from Waseda University in Japan, along with collaborators from LSU and other researchers in the US and abroad, have successfully carried out the high-precision measurement of cosmic-ray electron spectrum up to 3 tera electron volts (TeV) by using the CALorimetric Electron Telescope (CALET) on the Japanese Experimental Module, the Exposed Facility on the International Space Station.

Zooming-in on protein teamwork
The surface of every cell contains receptors that react to external signals similar to a 'gate'.

What do piranhas and goldfish have in common?
In a paper published in print in Systematic Biology, researchers including some of the biggest names in ichthyology from LSU and universities and museums across the US and Mexico used highly conserved regions of animal genomes, called ultraconserved elements (UCEs), to compile one of the most data-rich phylogenies of fishes to date.

Nighttime blood pressure may predict risk of kidney failure in children
Among children with impaired kidney function, those with high blood pressure at night experienced a faster time to kidney failure than children with normal blood pressure.

Chemists develop method to quickly screen, accurately identify fentanyl
Researchers at McMaster University have developed a new drug screening technique that could lead to the rapid and accurate identification of fentanyl, as well as a vast number of other drugs of abuse, which up until now have been difficult to detect by traditional urine tests.

RUDN chemists have discovered a new formation mechanism of anti-cancer substances
RUDN University chemists revised the formation mechanism of organophosphorus complexes with metal.

Science can align common interests among the world's leading superpowers
International scientific collaboration in the Arctic can help align common interests among countries experiencing geopolitical conflict, including the United States and Russia, according to a team of scientists and educators led by a professor at The Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy at Tufts University.

University of Louisville lab helps discover new disease that causes kidney failure
Researchers at the University of Louisville were part of a group that discovered an insidious new autoimmune disease that causes kidney failure.

Social repercussions on places declared World Heritage Sites
A study of the factors that influence the perception of tourism of the residents of places that have been declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites, in both rural and urban areas.

Solar greenhouses generate electricity and grow healthy crops
Crops grown in electricity-generating solar greenhouses were as healthy as those raised in conventional ones, signaling the promise of this 'smart' technology.

Digger wasps and their chemistry
Astonishing evolution: Because digger wasps switched prey, the chemical protective layer of their skin changed, too.

UC researchers examine racial and gender disparities in dialysis patients
UC researchers are examining racial and gender disparities in dialysis patients as well as the impact of poor functional status and pre-dialysis hospitalizations on elderly dialysis patients.

Scientists identify mechanism that helps us inhibit unwanted thoughts
Scientists have identified a key chemical within the 'memory' region of the brain that allows us to suppress unwanted thoughts, helping explain why people who suffer from disorders such as anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and schizophrenia often experience persistent intrusive thoughts when these circuits go awry.

Dendritic fibrous nanosilica: all-in-one nanomaterial for energy, environment and health
Dendritic fibrous nanosilica (DFNS), also known as KCC-1, has a unique fibrous morphology and a high surface area with improved accessibility to the internal surface, tunable pore size and volume, controllable particle size, which made it useful in the fields of energy, environment, and health.

Nano-sized gold particles have been shaped to behave as clones in biomedicine
A special laser system is able to induce billions of gold nanoparticles to behave as one.

Biomarkers may provide early warning of lung problems in 9/11 firefighters
Blood biomarkers appear to be an early-warning signal for the accelerated loss of lung function and airway obstruction in firefighters who responded to the World Trade Center disaster, according to new research published online in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

Electron microscopy uncovers unexpected connections in fruit fly brain
Janelia scientists have used a powerful microscopy technique to discover new connections in the memory and learning center of the Drosophila brain.

Livestock-associated MRSAfound among MRSA from humans
The survey results show more frequent detections and geographical dispersion of LA-MRSA in humans in the EU/EEA since 2007, and highlight the public health and veterinary importance of LA-MRSA as a 'One Health' issue.

Inexplicable spasms can now be explained with hormones
Too low a level of a hormone in the blood which protects against stress may be the cause of epilepsy-like seizures which doctors had otherwise believed had solely psychological causes.

Wild grape yeast could be more effective than pesticides in preventing grape molds
Researchers have identified a wild yeast that is more effective at preventing common grape molds than a pesticide, suggesting that it could be an eco-friendly alternative to chemical pesticides.

Study shows need for adaptive powered knee prosthesis to assist amputees
New North Carolina State University research into wearable robotics shows how amputees wearing these devices adapted when presented with a real-world challenge: carrying a weighted backpack.

Sandia develops optical diagnostic to help improve fuel economy while reducing emissions
A new optical device at Sandia National Laboratories that helps researchers image pollutants in combusting fuel sprays might lead to clearer skies in the future.

Brain's alertness circuitry conserved through evolution
Using a molecular method likely to become widely adopted by the field, researchers have discovered brain circuitry essential for alertness, or vigilance -- and for brain states more generally.

Protecting the wild: Baylor professor helps to minimize recreation disturbance to wildlife
In a cover story published this week in the Ecological Society of America's premier journal, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, Kevin J.

In pursuit of a universal flu vaccine
Developing a universal flu vaccine that would protect against all seasonal and pandemic strains of the virus is no easy task, and new research suggests that one of the most promising strategies -- creating a vaccine that targets the 'stalk' of a protein that covers the flu virus -- is a strong one, but isn't completely bulletproof.

Pitt study provides clues to body's defense against common oral ailment
Study shows how the body recognizes when a harmless fungus in the mouth becomes a disease-causing infection.

Study refutes using anti-malaria drug to treat diabetes
A drug used to treat malaria does not, after all, create new insulin-producing cells, according to a new paper from researchers at UC Davis.

Probability calculations -- even babies can master it
One important feature of the brain is its ability to make generalisations based on sparse data.

RefEx, a web tool for a comfortable search of reference data for gene expression analysis
A large variety of data of life science (such as gene expression) is accumulated in the public database, but it is difficult to use.

Agricultural productivity drove Euro-American settlement of Utah
Utah anthropologists adapted a well-known ecological model, and tested its predictions by combining satellite-derived measures of agricultural suitability with historical census data.

Scratching the surface of mature monocytes...and coming up with CXCR7
New research published online in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology showed for the first time that mature monocytes (a specific type of white blood cell) express the CXCR7 receptor on their surface.

Chemists have created compounds that can treat glaucoma
Glaucoma is a serious disease associated with increased intraocular pressure which often leads to blindness.

Getting the world to listen
Scientists and researchers often find it challenging to get people interested in their work.

'Morning larks' have weaker sleep spindles during night than 'night owls'
A new study from the University of Helsinki shows that individual circadian preference is associated with brain activity patterns during the night.

How convincing is a Y-chromosome profile match between suspect and crime scene?
David Balding of the University of Melbourne, Australia and Mikkel Andersen of Aalborg University in Denmark have developed new, open-source software that can help understand how many people in a population will match a single Y-chromosome profile detected at a crime scene, which they describe in a new study in PLOS Genetics.

Caffeine consumption may help kidney disease patients live longer
In patients with chronic kidney disease, there was a dose-dependent inverse association between caffeine consumption and early death.

RNs can play key role in identifying medication issues to improve nursing home care
Amy Vogelsmeier, associate professor of nursing, found that registered nurses are better equipped to identify medication discrepancies that could cause nursing home residents harm.

Crystals in a pink X-ray beam
A newly developed experimental set-up allows the structure determination of biomolecules such as proteins with far smaller samples and shorter exposure times than before at synchrotron X-ray sources.

Non-medical factors affect racial disparities in kidney transplant wait-listing
In a recent analysis, African-American patients were less likely to be wait-listed than white patients.  This difference was influenced by factors including age, comorbidities, socio-economic status, being on dialysis, having a living donor, transplant knowledge, and social support.

Rise of populism affects wildlife management in US
A cultural backlash stemming from the rise of populism may limit opportunities for state fish and wildlife agencies to adapt to changing social values in the United States.

Vitamin D may be key for pregnant women with polycystic ovary syndrome
Vitamin D may play a key role in helping some women seeking treatment for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)-related infertility get pregnant.

A new method to evaluate overall performance of a climate model
Concisely summarizing and evaluating model performance becomes increasingly important for climate model intercomparison and application, especially when more and more climate models participate in international model intercomparison projects.

Insomnia linked with early death and kidney dysfunction
Insomnia was linked with increased risks of early death, rapid kidney function decline, and kidney failure in a group of US veterans.

Can environmental toxins disrupt the biological 'clock'?
Can environmental toxins disrupt circadian rhythms -- the biological 'clock' whose disturbance is linked to chronic inflammation and a host of human disorders?

In hypertensive patients, greater blood pressure drops may harm the kidneys
In patients treated for hypertension, greater reductions in mean blood pressure were linked with reduced kidney function.

Potential new treatment for Fragile X targets one gene to affect many
Scientists found that inhibiting a regulatory protein alters the intricate signaling chemistry that is responsible for many of the disease's symptoms. 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