Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 15, 2017
Improving clinical trials with machine learning
Machine learning could improve our ability to determine whether a new drug works in the brain, potentially enabling researchers to detect drug effects that would be missed entirely by conventional statistical tests, finds a new UCL study published in Brain.

After cooking, biofortified corn and eggs retain nutrient needed to prevent blindness
Fortified and biofortified foods are at the forefront of efforts to combat vitamin A deficiency worldwide.

Microbial ecosystem at Laguna La Brava may contain novel microorganisms
An investigation of the microbial environment at Laguna La Brava in Chile may suggest that novel microorganisms might be at work in the absence of cyanobacteria, according to a study published Nov.

African-American women with type 2 diabetes may have higher risk for ER-neg breast cancer
Among African-American women, those with type 2 diabetes may have a higher risk of developing estrogen receptor (ER)-negative breast cancer.

Scripps scientists use photomosaic technology to find order in the chaos of coral reefs
In a study published recently in Coral Reefs, scientists from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego created and analyzed detailed photomosaics of the coral reef at Palmyra Atoll using advanced imaging and digitization technology.

Study finds asthma and food allergies predictable at age 1
Using data from more than 2,300 children from across Canada participating in the CHILD Study, the researchers evaluated the presence of AD and allergic sensitization at age one.

Type 2 diabetes associated with risk of aggressive breast cancer in black women
African American women with type 2 diabetes (often referred to as adult-onset diabetes) are at a greater risk for developing breast cancer.

Brexit and policy restrictions on immigration could worsen GP workforce crisis
Difficulties in replacing a fifth of the general practice workforce in England after Brexit will primarily threaten healthcare in more deprived areas, according to a study published in the open-access journal BMC Medicine.

Aging tests yield varying results
A lot of people seem willing to spend hundreds to find out whether they're aging faster or slower than their chronological age would suggest.

Pulling iron out of waste printer toner
Someday, left-over toner in discarded printer cartridges could have a second life as bridge or building components instead of as trash, wasting away in landfills and potentially harming the environment.

Pluto's hydrocarbon haze keeps dwarf planet colder than expected
The gas composition of a planet's atmosphere generally determines how much heat gets trapped in the atmosphere.

New study examines value of routine laboratory screenings for children entering foster care
Routine laboratory screening recommended for children entering foster care carries high costs and questionable medical benefits.

Chimp study reveals how brain's structure shaped our evolution
Chimpanzee brains may be more different from those of humans than was previously thought, according to new research that sheds light on our evolution.

Floating droplets
How to levitate your coffee creamer: An MIT study explains how droplets can 'float' on liquid surfaces.

UTEP team advances in developing vaccine for cutaneous leishmaniasis
A research team at The University of Texas at El Paso is one step closer to developing an effective human vaccine for cutaneous leishmaniasis.

Applying traffic rule exemptions helps emergency vehicles reach patients faster
Rapid response (emergency) vehicles can halve the average time it takes to reach a critically injured patient if they apply traffic rule exemptions, which allow them to exceed speed limits, bypass road signs, and pass through red lights, reveals research published online in Emergency Medicine Journal.

Single men 'less likely' to participate in bowel screening
Single men are significantly less likely to participate in bowel screening tests compared to those who live with a partner, according to a new University of Stirling study.

Gut microbes can protect against high blood pressure
Microbes living in your gut can help protect against the effects of a high-salt diet, according to a new study from MIT's Center for Microbiome Informatics and Therapeutics.

Staff satisfaction affects company performance
Companies with high levels of staff satisfaction perform better financially, according to new research from the University of East Anglia (UEA).

Pine and poplar wood improve sunlight-driven water purification
Engineers at the University of Maryland have found that porous types of wood from trees like poplar and pine can greatly increase the efficiency of water-to-steam conversion under sunlight.

Direct evidence of the GC-NSF(a) hypothesis on creation of an entirely new gene/protein
The hypothesis assumes that an entirely new gene is produced from the non-stop frame on the antisense strand of a GC-rich gene after gene duplication, followed by the accumulation of base substitutions to produce a mature novel GC-rich gene.

RUDN University chemists suggest a new way to synthesize steroid analogs
Scientists from RUDN University and the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv have found a way to produce aromatic rings in organic compounds in three stages.

Combined resistance to multiple antibiotics: A growing problem in the EU
On the occasion of the 10th European Antibiotic Awareness Day, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) is releasing its latest EU-wide data on antibiotic resistance, as well as its guidance on prevention and control of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE).

As LMU physicists demonstrate in a new study, the optical and photocatalytic properties of so-called carbon dots can be precisely tuned by controlling the positions of nitrogen atoms introduced into their structure.

RUDN University scientists found a new cascade reaction
Chemists from RUDN University have developed a new chemical reaction to synthesize a whole class of yet unexplored substances - diazabicyclo[3.2.1]octanes.

Head injury does not worsen drinking behavior in heavy drinkers
Head injury, which often damages brain regions overlapping with those involved in addictive behaviors, does not worsen drinking behavior in people with heavy alcohol use, according to a new study published in Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging.

Three-dimensional nanomagnets for the computer of tomorrow
Since the late 60's electronic devices have stored and transmitted information (bits) in two-dimensional circuits.

Generous people give in a heartbeat -- new study
Altruistic people are said to be 'kind hearted' -- and new research published in the journal Scientific Reports shows that generous people really are more in touch with their own hearts.

UT study IDs potential cell receptors to reduce antibiotic resistance
The bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa is the leading cause of hospital-acquired infections.

What is the computational power of the universe?
Can a close look at the universe give us solutions to problems too difficult for a computer -- even if we built a computer larger than a planet?

Cures and scientific breakthroughs happen through collaboration, new study confirms
Basic research can lead to cures, drugs and other scientific breakthroughs through collaboration, confirms a new study in Heliyon.

Study finds higher rates of sexual violence among bisexual women
In a new study, Lehigh University Assistant Professor Nicole Johnson proposes multiple factors that contribute to why bi women experience higher rates of sexual violence when compared to lesbian and straight women, as well as why bi women may have worse mental health outcomes following sexual violence.

Parent-supplied photos allow pediatric dermatology diagnoses with no office visit in most cases
Using smartphone cameras, parents can reliably take high-quality photographs of their child's skin condition to send to a dermatologist for diagnosis.

Multiplayer video games: Researchers discover link between skill and intelligence
Researchers at the University of York have discovered a link between young people's ability to perform well at two popular video games and high levels of intelligence.

Shape of Lake Ontario generates white-out blizzards, study shows
A 6-foot-wide snow blower mounted on a tractor makes a lot of sense when you live on the Tug Hill Plateau.

Counterfeits and product piracy can be prevented by security features, such as printed 3-D microstructures
Security features are to protect bank notes, documents, and branded products against counterfeiting.

Pacific Island countries could lose 50 -- 80% of fish in local waters under climate change
Many Pacific Island nations will lose 50 to 80 percent of marine species in their waters by the end of the 21st century if climate change continues unchecked, finds a new Nippon Foundation-Nereus Program study published in Marine Policy.

First transcatheter implant for diastolic heart failure successful
Researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center have come up with a new device, proven safe and effective, to treat diastolic heart failure.

Screening programs unlikely to prevent sudden cardiac arrest in competitive athletes
Screening programs for cardiac conditions are not an effective way to prevent sudden cardiac arrest in competitive sport, and may prevent healthy athletes from participating, a new study suggests.

Closest temperate world orbiting quiet star discovered
A temperate Earth-sized planet has been discovered only 11 light-years from the solar system by a team using ESO's unique planet-hunting HARPS instrument.

Study finds consuming nuts strengthens brainwave function
A new study by researchers at Loma Linda University Health has found that eating nuts on a regular basis strengthens brainwave frequencies associated with cognition, healing, learning, memory and other key brain functions.

Shifting presence of North Atlantic right whales tracked with passive acoustics
A new study confirms what marine mammal researchers have suspected for a while: right whales use nearly the entire eastern seaboard during the winter, and they move around a lot more than was previously thought.

Two-thirds of children with concussions not receiving medical follow-ups
In a study that looked at data over a 10-year period, York University researchers, in collaboration with Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES), found that more than two-thirds of youth and children with an acute concussion do not seek medical follow-up or clearance as recommended by current international concussion guidelines.

Contribution statements and author order on research studies still leave readers guessing
Although many scientific journals try to provide more details about author contributions by requiring explicit statements, such contribution statements get much less attention than authorship order, according to new findings from a Georgia Tech-University of Passau team.

Diagnostic test helps primary care docs rule out pathologic heart murmur in kids
Although heart murmur in children is usually harmless (referred to as innocent murmur), in a small number of cases it is symptomatic of cardiac disease (referred to as pathologic murmur).

Disparities in exposure to toxins may drive higher diabetes rates in minorities
Unequal exposure to environmental pollutants acting as endocrine-disrupting chemicals is an under-recognized risk factor that may play a key role in driving the higher rates of diabetes among minority and low-income populations, according to a new article in the journal Diabetes Care.

Targeting cancer without destroying healthy T-cells
A unique approach to targeting the abnormal T-cells that cause T-cell lymphomas could offer hope to patients with the aggressive and difficult-to-treat family of cancers, finds a study involving researchers from Cardiff University.

Ionic 'solar cell' could provide on-demand water desalination
Modern solar cells, which use energy from light to generate electrons and holes that are then transported out of semiconducting materials, have existed for over 60 years.

Hunt for dark matter is narrowed by new University of Sussex research
Results disprove existence of a type of light axion.

Volatility surprises arise in removing excess hydrogen
Sometimes during catalytic hydrogenation, the partially hydrogenated products become volatile, melting and evaporating away before they can bind to more hydrogen atoms.

Editorial: Use big tobacco's Nov 26 corrective statements to reduce smoking
The court-ordered publication of 'corrective statements' by major US tobacco companies later this month should serve as a reminder that tobacco addiction remains a major health problem in the country and that Big Tobacco has a long history of marketing practices aimed at hooking a new generation on a lethal product, according to an editorial published online in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

Tapeworm drug fights prostate cancer
A medicine against parasites contains a substance that kills prostate and colon cancer.

Genome of wheat ancestor sequenced
Sequencing the bread wheat genome has long been considered an almost insurmountable task, due to its enormous size and complexity.

Study asks neurosurgeons: How old is too old to perform brain surgery?
People sometimes joke that easy tasks are'not brain surgery.' But what happens when it actually is brain surgery?

Off track: How storms will veer in a warmer world
The dry, semi-arid regions are expanding into higher latitudes, and temperate, rainy regions are migrating poleward.

Engineering the gut microbiome with 'good' bacteria may help treat Crohn's disease
Penn Medicine researchers have singled out a bacterial enzyme behind an imbalance in the gut microbiome linked to Crohn's disease.

NASA measures Haikui's remnant rainfall over southern Vietnam
The Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core satellite provided data on rainfall over Vietnam from the remnants of former Tropical Storm Haikui.

Gut bacteria are sensitive to salt
Common salt reduces the number of certain lactic acid bacteria in the gut of mice and humans according to a study published in Nature by Berlin's Max Delbrück Center and Charité.

Filling intercropping info gap
In some parts of Africa, farmers intercrop sorghum -- a grain -- and peanuts.

FIREBIRD II and NASA mission locate whistling space electrons' origins
New research using data from NASA's Van Allen Probes mission and FIREBIRD II CubeSat has shown that plasma waves in space are likely responsible for accelerating high-energy particles into Earth's atmosphere.

Protein synthesis machinery from bacterial consortia in one shot
A new technique developed at UC Davis may have broken the barrier to rapid assembly of pure protein synthesis machinery outside of living cells.

Lower cost, higher quality primary care practices are distinguished by six attributes
Exploring attributes of high-value primary care.

Researchers chart rising inequality across millennia
Researchers at Washington State University and 13 other institutions have found that the arc of prehistory bends towards economic inequality.

New guidelines issued for diagnosis and care of LAM, a rare lung disease
The American Thoracic Society (ATS) and the Japanese Respiratory Society (JRS) have published additional clinical practice guidelines regarding four specific questions related to the diagnosis of lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) and management of pneumothoraces in patients with LAM.

November/December 2017 Annals of Family Medicine tip sheet
November/December 2017 Annals of Family Medicine Tip Sheet

Quality of care for older Texas patients with colon cancer on the rise, still room for improvement
Research from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center finds adherence to surgical treatment guidelines has improved significantly among older Texas patients with colon cancer since 2001, while adherence to chemotherapy guidelines has remained largely unchanged.

How to keep cows happy
New research now shows that removing splashes of colors, shadows or water puddles from corrals, keeping noise levels down and not using dogs and electric prods can dramatically reduce the stress cattle experience.

Developing a new vaccination strategy against AIDS
Infection researchers from the German Primate Center (DPZ) -- Leibniz Institute for Primate Research have in cooperation with international colleagues tested a new vaccination strategy against the HIV-related simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) in rhesus monkeys.

Kevlar-based artificial cartilage mimics the magic of the real thing
The unparalleled liquid strength of cartilage, which is about 80 percent water, withstands some of the toughest forces on our bodies.

NUS researchers identify potential mediator for social memory formation
The ability to form long-term social memories is essential for remembering faces and developing social bonds.

Wine 'legs' and minibot motors (video)
As any wine enthusiast knows, the 'legs' that run down a glass after a gentle swirl of vino can yield clues about alcohol content.

Manganese-based MRI contrast agent may be safer alternative to gadolinium-based agents
A team of Massachusetts General Hospital researchers has developed a manganese-based magnetic resonance imaging contrast agent, a potential alternative to gadolinium-based agents, which carry significant health risks for some patients

Intentional teaching makes the biggest impact on early childhood outcomes
High quality preschool is one of the most effective means of preparing all children to succeed in school.

A delicate crossing: Controller developed to open the blood-brain barrier with precision
Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital are investigating a way to temporarily loosen the blood-brain barrier to deliver drugs with the assistance of microbubbles.

Salt pond in Antarctica, among the saltiest waters on Earth, is fed from beneath
One of the saltiest bodies on Earth, an analog for what water might look like on Mars, is just one piece of a larger aquifer.

The rhetorical signature of Donald J. Trump
Here we argue not simply that Trump's norm-shattering rhetoric deviates from that of his predecessors but also that his discursive patterns constitute a double-edged rhetorical identity or signature.

Scientists team up on study to save endangered African Penguins
A first-of-its-kind study on prognostic health indicators in the endangered African Penguin provides invaluable information to preserve and rehabilitate this seabird.

Visual perception of summary statistics not following mathematical rules
Cognitive psychologists of the Higher School of Economics have experimentally demonstrated that people are capable of estimating the mean size of visible objects and their approximate number simultaneously, showing for the first time that these two cognitive processes are independent of each other and do not follow the rules of mathematical statistics.

Cell therapy improves heart function, upper limb strength in duchenne muscular dystrophy
After boys and young men with Duchenne muscular dystrophy received cardiac progenitor cell infusions, medical tests indicated that the patients' hearts appeared improved, results from a new study show.

Serious health risks associated with energy drinks
A review of the advertised benefits, nutritional content and public health effects of energy drinks finds their advertised short-term benefits can be outweighed by serious health risks.

What counts as 'nature'? It all depends
University of Washington psychology professor Peter Kahn describes 'environmental generational amnesia' as the idea that each generation perceives the environment into which it's born, no matter how developed, urbanized or polluted, as the norm.

One in ten historic coastal landfill sites in England are at risk of erosion
There are at least 1,215 historic coastal landfill sites in England, mostly clustered around estuaries with major cities, including Liverpool, London, and Newcastle on Tyne.

Oncotarget: Researchers identify potential therapeutic target in aggressive breast cancer cells
An especially aggressive breast cancer cell can respond to hormone therapy if they express a specific protein known as estrogen receptor beta, according to research published in Oncotarget.

Text message reminders increase rates of influenza vaccination
Text message reminders increase rates of influenza vaccination.

Study of Amish suggests mutation linked to longer life span
A particular mutation identified among Old Order Amish in Indiana is associated with a longer life span, improved metabolism and a lower occurrence of diabetes, according to a new study.

A polymer 'love hormone' sensor for the early detection of autism
Is it going to be possible to detect features of autism at birth?

Public -- and researchers -- skeptical to climate engineering
What does the general public know about climate engineering, and what do they think about what they know?

Pharmacoscopy improves therapy for relapsed blood cancer in a first clinical trial
88.2 percent of patients receiving pharmacoscopy-guided treatment achieved partial or complete remission, compared to 23.5 percent to their own previous treatment.

Stem cells fail to alleviate peripheral artery disease
A stem cell therapy did not improve walking ability in people with peripheral artery disease, although exercise did lead to significant improvements, according to a new study.

Study urges global-change researchers to embrace variability
A new review article presents evidence that argues for a more nuanced approach to the design of global-change experiments -- one that acknowledges and purposefully incorporates the variability inherent in nature.

Virtual reality training may be as effective as regular therapy after stroke
Using virtual reality therapy to improve arm and hand movement after a stroke is equally as effective as regular therapy, according to a study published in the Nov.15, 2017, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Colorado River's connection with the ocean was a punctuated affair
The Colorado River's initial trip to the ocean didn't come easy, but its story has emerged from layers of sediment preserved within tectonically active stretches of the waterway's lower reaches.

Desert solar to fuel centuries of air travel
Researchers at the Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering at ETH Zurich, Switzerland, have concentrated 3,000 'suns' of solar thermal energy into a solar reactor at 1,500°C for thermochemical splitting of H2O and CO2 into hydrogen and carbon monoxide (syngas), the precursor to kerosene and other liquid fuels.

'Left-handed' fish and asymmetrical brains
Konstanz biologists discovered a relationship between 'handedness', brain structure and genes in extremely specialised cichlid fish.

Model sheds new light on pathogen cooperation
New approaches are needed to control the spread of epidemic diseases, according to the developers of a new model of the way pathogens can 'cooperate'.

Numenta publishes a new theory of how the brain transforms sensations into mental objects
In 'A Theory of How Columns in the Neocortex Enable Learning the Structure of the World,' published in Frontiers in Neural Circuits, Numenta researchers propose a new theory for how the brain learns models of objects through movement.

Molecular pathway offers treatment targets for pulmonary fibrosis, related conditions
A study led by investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital and University Health Network in Toronto has identified a molecular pathway that appears to be critical to the development of fibrosis -- scarring and excessive tissue deposition that result from abnormal healing responses and can compromise the function of vital organs.

Tipping the balance: How one strain of bacteria affects its neighbors in Crohn's disease
A new study suggests a single strain of bacteria can reconfigure entire communities of microbes that make up the gut microbiota.

Visiting the doctor for low back pain? Expect something different now...
If you visit your family doctor with low back pain (LBP), you may be surprised at the treatment options they suggest now.

Linking heart attack damage to the spleen and kidney, an integrated study of heart failure
Ganesh Halade, who uses a mouse heart attack model to research ways to prevent heart failure, has published a functional and structural compendium of the simultaneous changes taking place in the heart, spleen and kidneys in mice during the period of acute heart failure immediately following a heart attack and during the longer period of chronic heart failure that comes next.

New study underpins the future of Person Centred Care
As health delivery moves away from disease-based models to person centred delivery, a study led by Dr Helen Lloyd at the University of Plymouth addresses the development of a new practical tool to support organisations and practitioners in delivering this new approach

Cell-based therapy for type 1 diabetes?
Researchers at Boston Children's Hospital have successfully reversed type 1 diabetes in a mouse model by infusing blood stem cells pre-treated to produce more of a protein called PD-L1, which is deficient in mice (and people) with type 1 diabetes.

Teenage depression linked to father's depression
Adolescents whose fathers have depressive symptoms are more likely to experience symptoms of depression themselves, finds a new Lancet Psychiatry study led by UCL researchers.

Health and social care spending cuts linked to 120,000 excess deaths in England
The squeeze on public finances since 2010 is linked to nearly 120,000 excess deaths in England, with the over-60s and care home residents bearing the brunt, reveals the first study of its kind, published in the online journal BMJ Open.

Water baths as good as bleach baths for treating eczema
For patients suffering from eczema (atopic dermatitis), dermatologists will sometimes recommend bleach baths to decrease bacterial infection and reduce symptoms.

Count your blessings: Quantitative microbiome profiling
Until now, sequencing-based gut microbiota research has been describing such dysbiotic states in terms of proportional shifts in microbiome composition.

An Alzheimer's treatment would tax the US health care system
Advanced clinical trials are underway for at least 10 investigational therapies that have shown promise in slowing or blocking development of Alzheimer's disease, creating hope that a preventive strategy may be in reach.

Discontinuity of care puts older patients at higher risk of emergency hospitalization
Discontinuity of care puts older patients at higher risk of emergency hospitalization.

Study reveals structure and origins of glacial polish on Yosemite's rocks
The glaciers that carved Yosemite Valley left highly polished surfaces on many of the region's rock formations.

Children's exposure to secondhand smoke may be vastly underestimated by parents
A new Tel Aviv University study suggests that parents who smoke mistakenly rely on their own physical senses to gauge the presence of tobacco smoke in the air.

Has the Mental Health Act had its day?
Patients with a 'mental disorder' in England and Wales can be detained and treated against their will under the Mental Health Act (MHA).

X-rays reveal the biting truth about parrotfish teeth
A new study has revealed a chain mail-like woven microstructure that gives parrotfish teeth their remarkable ability to chomp on coral all day long - the structure could serve as a blueprint for designing ultra-durable synthetic materials.

An Internal fountain of youth: Why these Amish live longer and healthier
The first genetic mutation that appears to protect against multiple aspects of biological aging in humans has been discovered in an extended family of Amish living in Indiana, reports a new study.

Intensive glucose control in type 2 diabetes can have adverse effects
The common approach of intensive glucose control to achieve low blood sugar targets in type 2 diabetes can increase the risk of mortality, finds a study by Cardiff University.

Heavy drinking and smoking linked to visible signs of aging
Heavy drinking and smoking are linked to visible signs of physical ageing, and looking older than one's years, suggests research published online in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

Take a fantastic 3-D voyage through the brain with new immersive virtual reality system
A new immersive virtual reality (VR) experience now offers a unique way to visualize and interact with large volumes of 3-D anatomical brain data.

Amazon's recovery from forest losses limited by climate change
Deforested areas of the Amazon Basin have a limited ability to grow new trees because of changes in climate, according to a study.

Stopping the dengue threat
Improved disease surveillance at Australian ports and borders could prevent the growing threat of dengue infection spreading across the country.

Spinning cylinders to recreate nature's patterns
New method to create dynamic tubular structures, inspired by leaves around a stem, scales on pine cone, and viruses' tails. 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