Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 07, 2017
MRIs of West Nile virus victims -- even symptom-free -- show evidence of long-term neurological damage
Brain images of people who developed neurological complications from West Nile virus found that many of them -- including those who had experienced mild symptoms or none all -- showed evidence of brain damage years after the original infection, according to a new study presented today at the 66th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH).

New study finds extra bite of blood transforms invasive Asian tiger mosquito from poor to potent spreader of Zika virus
The invasive Asian tiger mosquito now rapidly spreading in parts of the United States and Europe may have been significantly underestimated as a potential source of Zika and dengue virus infections -- and for one simple reason: they were underfed, according to a new study presented today at the 66th American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) Annual Meeting.

RAND study: Introducing autonomous vehicles sooner could save hundreds of thousands of lives
Autonomous vehicles should only have to be moderately better than human drivers before being widely used in the United States, an approach that could save thousands of lives annually even before the technology is perfected, according to a new RAND Corporation report.

SLU researcher draws bulls eye around muscular dystrophy drug targets
Scientist Francis M. Sverdrup, Ph.D., studies an inherited type of muscular dystrophy that typically begins with weakness in the face and shoulders before spreading to all skeletal muscles.

The 'DNA corrector' is more efficient in the most important regions of the genome
Error surveillance and repair mechanisms during DNA replication do not show the same competence in all regions of the human genome.

Man's earliest ancestors discovered in southern England
Fossils of the oldest mammals related to mankind have been discovered on the Jurassic Coast of Dorset in the UK.

Artificial sweeteners in groundwater indicate contamination from septic systems
The presence of artificial sweeteners in rural groundwater shows evidence for contamination by local septic system wastewater, researchers from the University of Waterloo have found.

Promising new drug for Hep B tested at Texas Biomedical Research Institute
Research at the Southwest National Primate Research Center (SNPRC) on the campus of Texas Biomedical Research Institute helped advance a new treatment now in human trials for chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection.

Selective PDE4D inhibitor shows potential to treat Fragile X autism spectrum disorder
New research suggests the potential utility of BPN14770, a selective PDE4D inhibitor, in the treatment of Fragile X syndrome (FXS) and possibly other autism spectrum disorders.

More cardiac arrest victims could survive with dispatcher CPR instruction, rescue breaths for children
More people will survive cardiac arrest if emergency medical dispatchers give chest compression-only CPR instructions over the phone and if infants and children receive chest compressions with rescue breaths, according to updated CPR guidelines published today by the American Heart Association (Association), the world's leading voluntary health organization devoted to fighting cardiovascular disease.

Researchers identify the yeast genes behind rose and honeyed flavors in beer and wine
A flavor compound called phenylethyl acetate imparts a hint of rose or honey to wherever it's found -- a dab of perfume, a sip of wine, a slug of beer.

Why plants form sprouts in the dark
A signal from the cell wall decides that, in the dark, seeds grow into long yellow sprouts, instead of turning green and forming leaves.

Can virtual reality be used to manage pain at a pediatric hospital?
In a study conducted to determine if virtual reality (VR) can be effectively used for pain management during medical procedures such as blood draw, findings showed that VR significantly reduced patients' and parents' perception of acute pain, anxiety and general distress during the procedure.

NASA tracking Atlantic's Tropical storm Rina
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite has been providing forecasters with imagery of Tropical Storm Rina as it moves north through the Central Atlantic Ocean.

Tech increases microfluidic research data output 100-fold
Researchers have developed a technique that allows users to collect 100 times more spectrographic information per day from microfluidic devices, as compared to the previous industry standard.

How Helicobacter pylori causes gastric cancer
Gastric cancer is one of the five most fatal types of cancer.

Shocking results of galaxy-cluster collisions
Combining new images from the Very Large Array with X-Ray and visible-light images reveals the spectacular, energetic outcome when clusters of hundreds of galaxies each collide with each other.

Cities can cut greenhouse gas emissions far beyond their urban borders
Greenhouse gas emissions caused by urban households' purchases of goods and services from beyond city limits are much bigger than previously thought.

Improving sensor accuracy to prevent electrical grid overload
Electrical physicists from Czech Technical University have provided additional evidence that new current sensors introduce errors when assessing current through iron conductors.

Reformulation of Markowitz theorem
By combining concepts from landscape ecology and Markowitz's portfolio theory, researchers from South Africa and the United States developed a unified 'landscape portfolio platform' to quantify and predict the behaviour of multiple stochastic populations across spatial scales.

UMD neuroscientists identify source of early brain activity
A new study led by University of Maryland neuroscientists is the first to identify a mechanism that could explain an early link between sound input and cognitive function, often called the 'Mozart effect.' Working with an animal model, the researchers found that a type of cell present in the brain's primary processing area during early development, long thought to form structural scaffolding with no role in transmitting sensory information, may conduct such signals after all.

Factors associated with increases in US health care spending
Health care spending increased by more than $900 billion from 1996 to 2013.

Alma's image of red giant star gives a surprising glimpse of the Sun's future
A Chalmers-led team of astronomers has for the first time observed details on the surface of an aging star with the same mass as the Sun.

Public's poor knowledge of anatomy may hamper healthcare
Healthcare is being hampered because of the public's poor basic knowledge of anatomy.

Two meds not always better than one for seasonal allergic rhinitis
In a newly updated clinical practice guideline, published in Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, allergists offer practical advice on the best types and amounts of medications to treat seasonal allergic rhinitis.

Call for Europe-wide screening of babies for heart defects
All babies across Europe should be routinely screened for critical congenital heart defects (CCHD) within 24 hours of their birth, say a group of experts led by a University of Birmingham Professor and Honorary Consultant Neonatologist at Birmingham Women's Hospital.

No significant difference in pain relief for opioids vs. non-opioid analgesics for treating arm or leg pain
For adults coming to the emergency department for arm or leg pain due to sprain, strain, or fracture, there was no difference in pain reduction after two hours with ibuprofen-acetaminophen vs three comparison opioid-acetaminophen (paracetamol) combinations.

Height and weight evolved at different speeds in the bodies of our ancestors
The largest study to date of body sizes over millions of years finds a 'pulse and stasis' pattern to hominin evolution, with surges of growth in stature and bulk occurring at different times.

Quantum tunnelling in water opens the way to improved biosensing
Hydrogen-based solar energy storage and biosensing techniques could be dramatically improved after University of Sydney researchers show the validity of theory first proposed in 1931.

Healthiest college students keep weight down, spirits up
Research shows that optimists and happy people are healthier overall, enjoying lower blood pressure and less depression and anxiety, among other measures.

Mechanochemistry paves the way to higher quality perovskite photovoltaics
For several years, tension has been rising in line with the approaching commercialization of perovskite photovoltaic cells.

Take charge, wine lovers, and trust your palate
The traditional pairing of wine and food too often misses the mark - leaving people confused and intimated - and should be scrapped in favor of a more consumer-focused approach, a new study indicates.

Study outlines 'perfect storm' that led to Colombia's antibiotic resistance epidemic
The nearly simultaneous emergence of a gene responsible for producing carbapenemases -- enzymes that kill the most powerful antibiotics used against life-threatening, multidrug-resistant bacterial infections -- coupled with the introduction of a bacterial clone that spread between patients created the 'perfect storm' that led to today's antibiotic resistance epidemic in Colombia.

Old human cells rejuvenated in breakthrough discovery on ageing
A new way to rejuvenate old cells in the laboratory, making them not only look younger, but start to behave more like young cells, has been discovered by researchers at the Universities of Exeter and Brighton.

First large-scale doxing study reveals motivations and targets for cyber bullying
The first large-scale study of a low-tech, high-harm form of online harassment known as doxing, which involves collecting and publishing sensitive personal information to exact revenge, seek justice, or intimidate victims, revealed the primary motivations are revenge and justice.

Keeping harsh punishment in check helps kids with ADHD, study finds
Cutting back on yelling, criticism and other harsh parenting approaches, including physical punishment, has the power to calm children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, according to a new study.

Position statement opposing sex/porn addiction model
Following AASECT's position statement on sex addiction, CPS, NCSF, and TASHRA publish their collective position opposing the sex/porn addiction model.

Increasing rates of chronic conditions putting more moms, babies at risk
Pregnant women today are more likely to have chronic conditions that could cause life-threatening complications than at any other time in the past decade -- particularly poor women and those living in rural communities.

Severely bleeding patients must receive lifesaving drug within minutes, not hours
Major bleeds must be treated with tranexamic acid (TXA) as fast as possible since deaths occur quickly and the drug's life-saving benefits diminish with each passing minute, according to a new study published in The Lancet.

Study finds a new way to shut down cancer cells' ability to consume glucose
Many cancers depend on glucose consumption for energy, but good pharmacological targets to stop cancers' ability to uptake and metabolize glucose are missing.

Climate change, sparse policies endanger right whale population
North Atlantic right whales -- a highly endangered species making modest population gains in the past decade - may be imperiled by warming waters and insufficient international protection, according to a new Cornell University analysis published in Global Change Biology.

SMART: Facial recognition for molecular structures
A team of researchers at the University of California San Diego developed a method to identify the molecular structures of natural products that is significantly faster and more accurate than existing methods.

Theoretical physicists are modeling complex quantum processes with cold atoms and ions
Researchers develop computational methods for creating a theory describing the behavior of cold atoms and ions in optical and electromagnetic traps.

Advances in HIV Prevention, Treatment and Cure: a special issue of PLOS Medicine
This week, publication of a special issue on Advances in HIV Prevention, Treatment and Cure begins in PLOS Medicine, advised by guest editors Linda-Gail Bekker of the Desmond Tutu HIV Centre, University of Cape Town, South Africa; Steven Deeks of the University of California San Francisco, USA; and Sharon Lewin of the Peter Doherty Institute of Infection and Immunity, University of Melbourne and Royal Melbourne Hospital, Australia.

Not so different after all: Human cells, hardy microbes share common ancestor
Researchers have found striking parallels between how archaeal cells and more complex cells, including humans' and animals', package and store their genetic material.

Bacteria may help babies' digestive tracts more than suspected, scientists find
Some of the first living things to greet a newborn baby do a lot more than coo or cuddle.

University of Chicago scientists see fireworks from atoms at ultra-low temperatures
Scientists aren't normally treated to fireworks when they discover something about the universe.

It takes a microclimate to raise a pinyon tree
New research shows that the microclimate is an important factor in regional pinyon pine tree recovery after drought.

Biological consequences of climate change on epidemics may be scale-dependent
A recent study led by Prof. ZHANG Zhibin from the Chinese Academy of Science and Prof.

Are women and minorities adequately represented in new drug testing?
A new study to assess the effects of US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations and guidance, intended to encourage greater inclusion of women and minorities in clinical drug trials, has shown appropriate levels of female participation based on the estimated sex ratio of people affected by a particular disease.

How a 'flipped' gene helped butterflies evolve mimicry
Scientists from the University of Chicago analyzed genetic data from a group of swallowtail species to find out when and how mimicry first evolved, and what has been driving those changes since then.

Inner ear stem cells may someday restore hearing
Want to restore hearing by injecting stem cells into the inner ear?

Researchers model coulomb crystals to understand star evolution
Matter in the cores of old white dwarfs and the crusts of neutron stars is compressed to unimaginable densities by intense gravitational forces.

Osaka University chemists unlock the potential of fluoroalkenes
Osaka University-led researchers master chemical transformation of fluoroalkenes, paving the way for new pharmaceuticals and advanced materials

Circadian clock discovery could help boost water efficiency in food plants
A discovery by Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientists in Dallas provides new insights about the biological or circadian clock, how it regulates high water-use efficiency in some plants, and how others, including food plants, might be improved for the same efficiency.

IUDs may have a surprising benefit: Protection against cervical cancer
A new study from the Keck School of Medicine of USC has found that IUD use is associated with a dramatic decrease in the incidence of cervical cancer.

Study: Serving water with school lunches could prevent child, adult obesity
University of Illinois kinesiology and community health professor Ruopeng An's analysis suggests that nationwide expansion of a program in New York City schools that encouraged children to consume water with their lunches could reduce child and adult obesity rates in the US significantly, saving billions in medical costs and other expenses over children's lifetimes.

A little stress is good for cellular health and longevity
Northwestern University molecular bioscientists have discovered that a little stress can be good for cellular health.

Sheep are able to recognize human faces from photographs
Sheep can be trained to recognise human faces from photographic portraits -- and can even identify the picture of their handler without prior training -- according to new research from scientists at the University of Cambridge.

Targeting a microRNA shows potential to enhance effectiveness of diabetes drugs
Researchers have found a vital role for miR-204 in beta cells -- regulating the cell surface receptor that is the target of many of the newer type 2 diabetes drugs, such as Byetta, Victoza, Trulicity, Januvia, Onglyza and Tradjenta.

Science meets archaeology with discovery that dental X-rays reveal Vitamin D deficiency
Human teeth hold vital information about Vitamin D deficiency, a serious but often hidden condition that can now be identified by a simple dental X-ray, McMaster anthropologists Lori D'Ortenzio and Megan Brickley have found.

'Zombie ant' brains left intact by fungal parasite
A fungal parasite that infects ants and manipulates their behavior to benefit the fungus' reproduction accomplishes this feat without infecting the ants' brains, according to a study led by Penn State researchers.

Circulating tumor cells associated with relapse in late-stage melanoma patients
A study revealing a connection between circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and relapse in stage IV melanoma patients points to liquid biopsy as a potential predictor of patients at high risk for disease progression.

How far did you fall from the tree?
Mutations generate genetic variation, and are a major driving force of evolution.

Scientists find promise in intervention to normalize biological functions in Fragile X mice
A team of neuroscientists have developed an intervention that normalizes multiple biological functions in mice afflicted with Fragile X syndrome.

Novel intermolecular surface force reveals actomyosin driving mechanism
The actin and myosin complex (actomyosin) generates contraction force of a muscle utilizing the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) hydrolysis reaction.

How climate change may reshape subalpine wildflower communities
An unseasonably warm, dry summer in 2015 on Washington state's Mount Rainier caused subalpine wildflowers to change their bloom times and form 'reassembled' communities, with unknown consequences for species interactions among wildflowers, pollinators and other animals.

Immigrants living in US near California-Mexico border have history of trauma
More than 80 percent of immigrants residing in the U.S.

First coast-to-coast land motion map of Scotland derived from satellite radar images
Using hundreds of satellite radar images the team, working with Geomatic Ventures Limited (GVL), an innovative University spin-out company, created a complete map of mainland Scotland.

HIV patients at greater risk of both heart and kidney disease
HIV patients and their doctors are urged to be more aware of the additional health risks associated with treated HIV infection.

U of I-led team reports connections that will fuel future brain trauma research
A team led by University of Idaho scientists has found a way to stimulate formation of new neural connections in the adult brain in a study that could eventually help humans fend off memory loss, brain trauma and other ailments in the central nervous system.

After repeated C. diff infections, people change their behaviors
After suffering repeated bouts of debilitating Clostridium difficile infections, many patients significantly change their behaviors, but some precautions may do little to prevent future infections, according to a first-of-its-kind study.

Dozens of new wildlife corridors identified for African mammals
Researchers at the University of California, Davis, have identified 52 potential wildlife corridors linking protected areas across Tanzania.

Muscles out of the spray can
An artificial heart would be an absolute lifesaver for people with cardiac failure.

New model reveals possibility of pumping antibiotics into bacteria
Researchers in the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Biochemistry have discovered that a cellular pump known to move drugs like antibiotics out of E. coli bacteria has the potential to bring them in as well, opening new lines of research into combating the bacteria.

Penn study shows nearly 70 percent of cannabidiol extracts sold online are mislabeled
Business experts estimate that the market for cannabidiol products will grow to more than $2 billion in consumer sales within the next three years.

New study explains why US health care spending increased $1 trillion
A new study finds that the cost of health care in the United States increased nearly $1 trillion from 1996 to 2013 and measures the causes behind this immense growth.

Use of glow sticks in traps greatly increases amphibian captures in study
With amphibian populations declining around the world and funds to find the causes scarce, a team of Penn State researchers has shown that an unorthodox tactic will make it easier and therefore less expensive to capture adult salamanders and frogs.

New quantum materials offer novel route to 3-D electronic devices
Researchers have shown how the principles of general relativity open the door to novel electronic applications such as a three-dimensional electron lens and electronic invisibility devices

Tiny worms may offer new clues about why it's so hard to quit smoking
Researchers at the University of Michigan Life Sciences Institute found that a previously dismissed genetic mechanism may contribute to nicotine dependence, and to the withdrawal effects that can make quitting smoking so difficult.

Exercise may be best intervention to prevent falls among elderly, according to new study published during Falls Prevention Month
Exercise alone or in combination with other assessments and interventions appears to be the most effective strategy for preventing falls causing injury among older people, a new study has found.

Cosmos code helps probe space oddities
Cosmos code testbed helps develop new techniques for computational astrophysics.

NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP finds disorganized storms in Tropical Depression 29W
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite measured cloud top temperatures as it passed over Tropical Depression 29W and found some disorganized storms.

New possibility to prevent and treat Parkinson's disease with licorice extract
Researchers in Korea newly found the mechanism of inhibition of dopamine neuronal cell death using licorice extract 'liquiritigenin'.

New approach uses light instead of robots to assemble electronic components
An international team of researchers has developed a new light-based manipulation method that could one day be used to mass produce electronic components for smartphones, computers and other devices.

Employee volunteerism? Only if you think your boss is ethical
A new study shows that people who perceive their employer as committed to environmental and community-based causes will, in turn, engage in green behavior and local volunteerism, with one caveat: their boss must display similarly ethical behavior.

Report of highest incidence of GBS in Africa prompts vaccine study from Wits University
Scientists at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (Wits) have contributed to the first comprehensive study of Group B Streptococcus (GBS), a bacterium that infects pregnant women and causes stillbirths and severe invasive disease and death in infants.

Color me purple, or red, or green, or ...
A team led by scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has, for the first time, developed nanoscale devices that divide incident white light into its component colors based on the direction of illumination, or directs these colors to a predetermined set of output angles.

Eating at night could increase risk of heart disease and diabetes
Eating during the night is associated with higher risk of heart disease and diabetes, and the body's 24-hour cycle is to blame, according to research published today in Experimental Physiology.

For cancer patients with HIV, immunotherapy appears safe
A new category of immunotherapies called checkpoint inhibitors that has been highly effective against many different cancers appears safe to use in patients with both advanced malignancies and HIV, a population excluded from earlier trials of such therapies, according to an early-phase trial.

Need entangled atoms? Get 'Em FAST! with NIST's new patent-pending method
Physicists at NIST have come up with a way to link a group of atoms' quantum mechanical properties among themselves far more quickly than is currently possible, potentially providing a tool for highly precise sensing and quantum computer applications.

How SORLA protects against Alzheimer's disease
Researchers have identified a new protective function for a brain protein genetically linked to Alzheimer's.

Mice prefer rules over fights
Mice resolve conflicts by observing 'social rules' to enhance long-term mutual benefits.

Lending late neurons a helping hand
Researchers at UNIGE have discovered that even a slight delay of the neuronal migration may lead to behavioural disorders that are similar to autistic characteristics in human.

Two-dimensional materials unlock the path to ultra-low-power transistors
An international team of scientists has discovered a new route to ultra-low-power transistors using a graphene-based composite material.

Optimizing workplace design for Health: UA Institute on Place and Wellbeing at Greenbuild
On Nov. 9 at the world's largest conference and expo for design-related industry professionals, UAIPW Director Esther Sternberg, MD, and the US General Services Administration will discuss findings of their Wellbuilt for Wellbeing study, which have the potential to positively impact the health of millions of office workers and the cost of lost time due to workplace-related illnesses.

Modeling social interactions to improve collective decision-making
How are we affected by other peoples' opinions? Scientists quantified this impact on our decisions.

Current cattle injections increase the risk of injury, research finds
Research by experts at The University of Nottingham suggests that current injection techniques in UK dairy cattle need to change to avoid the risk of nerve injury.

RUDN University scientists have approved the role of zinc in type 2 diabetes mellitus
Researchers from RUDN University and P. G. Demidov Yaroslavl State University have demonstrated the association between changes in the concentration of trace elements in blood (especially zinc) with prediabetes -- a condition preceding the disease.

Rival sperm and choosy eggs
The delicately mannered dance between discerning eggs and vying sperm is more complicated than scientists once believed, and it may hold secrets about the evolution of new species.

Bonobos help strangers without being asked
The impulse to be kind to strangers was long thought to be unique to humans, but research on bonobos suggests our species is not as exceptional in this regard as we like to think.

Marijuana extract products sold online often do not contain content as indicated
Products sold online containing cannabidiol, a chemical compound found in marijuana and thought to have medicinal benefits, often do not contain the amount of cannabidiol indicated on the label.

Apixaban -- Metabolism, pharmacologic properties and drug interactions
New oral anticoagulants (NOACs) represent direct-acting drugs functioning selectively for one specific clotting factor. 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