Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 16, 2017
One health researchers identify hot spots of tick-borne diseases in Mongolia
Given the critical role livestock play in Mongolia, transmission of tick-borne diseases can have very real health and economic implications for livestock and herders.

Using social media big data to combat prescription drug crisis
Researchers conducted a critical review of existing literature to determine whether social media big data can be used to understand communication and behavioral patterns related to prescription drug abuse.

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures
A discovery might help designers of miniature 'lab-on-a-chip' technologies to grow three-dimensional colonies of cancer cells inside a chip's tiny chambers, rather than the merely two-dimensional colonies that they generally can culture now.

Genomic study explores evolution of gentle 'killer bees' in Puerto Rico
A study of Puerto Rico's Africanized honey bees -- which are more docile than other so-called 'killer bees' -- shows they retain most of the genetic traits of their African honey bee ancestors, but that a few regions of their DNA have become more like those of European honey bees.

Why do employees cheat? Too much pressure
When employees feel their job depends on meeting high benchmarks, some fudge results in order to stay employed, according to a new study.

On the origins of star stuff: HAWC collaboration sheds light on origin of anti-matter
Michigan Tech team and others use a high-altitude observatory in Mexico to better understand where gamma rays come from.

Secrets of succulents' water-wise ways revealed
Plant scientists at the University of Liverpool have revealed new insights into the mechanisms that allow certain plants to conserve water and tolerate drought.

A structural clue to attacking malaria's 'Achilles heel'
New research could boost the development of a more potent vaccine against the global killer.

How the immune system identifies invading bacteria
Never-before-seen images of mouse immune system proteins and bacterial bits reveal an inspection strategy that identifies pathogens.

Micro-spectroscopy opens new routes for diagnostics
In recent years, optics and photonics, and in particular the microspectroscopic techniques, have demonstrated their effectiveness for the materials analysis.

Microbial resident enables beetles to feed on a leafy diet
Thistle tortoise beetles outsource the job of breaking down plant cell walls to a symbiotic bacterium.

Russian scientist determined the normal content of boron in the human body
Researcher from the RUDN University (Russia), together with his colleagues from Croatia, determined the range of reference values for boron in the tissues of human body.

Newly found immune defence could pave way to treat allergies
Scientists have made a fundamental discovery about how our body's immune system clears harmful infections.

Finding Majoranas
Nano-'hashtags' could be the key to generating the highly sought Majorana quasiparticle.

Study: For older women, every movement matters
Women who engaged in 30 minutes per day of light physical activity had a 12 percent lower risk of death, while women did a half-hour each day of moderate to vigorous activity had a 39 percent lower mortality risk.

Groundwater depletion could be significant source of atmospheric carbon dioxide
Groundwater depletion could be significant source of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Listening to the patient's voice: A more patient-centered approach to medication safety
Involving the patient is critical for improving medication safety according to Regenstrief Institute researcher and Indiana University School of Medicine assistant professor of medicine Joy L.

Spanking linked to increase in children's behavior problems
Children who have been spanked by their parents by age 5 show an increase in behavior problems at age 6 and age 8 relative to children who have never been spanked, according to new findings in Psychological Science.

Redefining obesity in postmenopausal women
There is no doubt the prevalence of obesity has increased significantly across all age groups, creating greater health risks.

Study says homeowners shouldn't count on property appreciation creating wealth
The American Dream of homeownership as the path to creating wealth may be due for a revision.

Reversing opioid overdose: Concentrated naloxone nasal spray as good as injection
A new study published by the scientific journal Addiction has found that a concentrated 2mg intranasal naloxone spray delivers naloxone as effectively, over the critical first 15 minutes, as the standard 0.4mg intramuscular (IM) naloxone injection.

Unlocking the secrets of Ebola
Scientists have identified a set of biomarkers that indicate which patients infected with the Ebola virus are most at risk of dying from the disease.

Report suggests association between coffee and up to 70 percent reduced risk of liver disease
A new roundtable report from the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee (ISIC) in association with the British Liver Trust, on 'Looking after the liver: coffee, caffeine and lifestyle factors' highlights the potential role of coffee consumption in reducing the risk of liver diseases such as liver cancer and cirrhosis, with some studies reporting risk reduction of up to 70%

Midwifery care at hospitals is associated with fewer medical interventions
A new, hospital-level analysis by health policy researcher Laura Attanasio at UMass Amherst and Katy Kozhimannnil at the University of Minnesota,reports that women who gave birth at hospitals with a larger percentage of midwife-attended births were less likely to have two specific medical interventions, cesarean delivery and episiotomy.

Defining the danger zone: New mapping software makes live-fire training safer
To better protect warfighters during live-fire training, the Office of Naval Research's (ONR) TechSolutions program has sponsored the development of a new Google Maps-style software tool to map out training areas in great detail.

Cross off that 'to do' list, study shows all daily activity can prolong life
That 'to do' list of chores and errands could actually provide a variety of health benefits, according to researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine.

Production timings could stem illegal wildlife laundering
Production timings for artificially propagated plants and animals could help flag items offered for sale before they should legally be available.

New method analyzes corn kernel characteristics
An ear of corn averages about 800 kernels. A traditional field method to estimate the number of kernels on the ear is to manually count the number of rows and multiply by the number of kernels in one length of the ear.

New imaging technique peers inside living cells
Called Ultrasound Bioprobe, the non-invasive approach developed at Northwestern University allows researchers to view sub-cellular structures and their mechanical behavior at nanoscale resolution.

New tool predicts risk of heart attack in older surgery patients
A tool designed to more accurately predict the risk of heart attack in older patients undergoing non-cardiac surgery works significantly better than traditional risk assessment tools.

Study shows therapy improves quality of life in people who have sleep apnea
A new study shows that positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy improves quality of life measures in people who have obstructive sleep apnea.

An update on the road to better plastics for a sustainable future
Three Perspectives and an Editorial highlight issues and advances in developing plastics that are more sustainable and easier to recycle.

New therapy lessens impact of mistreatment at a young age
Work underway in a laboratory at the University of Delaware suggest certain drugs can prevent and reduce changes to the brain caused by mistreatment at an early age.

Study raises possibility of naturally acquired immunity against Zika virus
Birth defects in babies born infected with Zika virus remain a major health concern.

Human evolution was uneven and punctuated, suggests new research
Neanderthals survived at least 3,000 years longer than we thought in Southern Iberia -- what is now Spain -- long after they had died out everywhere else, according to new research published in Heliyon.

Solar minimum surprisingly constant
Using more than half a century of observations, Japanese astronomers have discovered that the microwaves coming from the Sun at the minimums of the past five solar cycles have been the same each time, despite large differences in the maximums of the cycles.

'Ion billiards' cue novel material synthesis method
A team of Hokkaido University researchers has developed a novel material synthesis method called proton-driven ion introduction (PDII) which utilizes a phenomenon similar to 'ion billiards.' The new method could pave the way for creating numerous new materials, thus drastically advancing materials sciences.

Neuroscience research provides evidence the brain is strobing not constant
It's not just our eyes that play tricks on us, but our ears.

Using eDNA to identify the breeding habitat of endangered species
Using wide-ranging eDNA analysis combined with traditional collection survey methods, Japanese researchers have identified the breeding site of critically endangered fish species Acheilognathus typus in the mainstream of Omono River in Akita Prefecture, Japan.

Climate change impacts already locked in -- but the worst can still be avoided
Some impacts of global warming -- such as sea level rise and coastal flooding -- are already locked in and unavoidable, according to a major research project.

Species in the north are more vulnerable to climate change
For the first time, researchers have proposed the hypothesis that animals that live in climate zones at a safe distance from both the poles as well as the tropics have the most to gain from acclimating to changes in climate.

Bacteria in a beetle makes it a leaf-eater
A leaf-eating beetle has evolved a symbiotic relationship that allows the insect to break down pectin.

Gene drive technologies for ecosystem conservation: Use with care!
Scientists working in the vanguard of new genetic technologies have issued a cautionary call to ensure that possible applications in conservation will only affect local populations.

Detailed view of immune proteins could lead to new pathogen-defense strategies
Biologists at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley used cryo-EM to resolve the structure of a ring of proteins used by the immune system to summon support when under attack, providing new insight into potential strategies for protection from pathogens.

Separating side effects could hold key for safer opioids
Opioid pain relievers can be extremely effective in relieving pain, but can carry a high risk of addiction and ultimately overdose when breathing is suppressed and stops.

Can a common ingredient in laundry detergent help advance diabetes research?
Being able to build a bioartificial pancreas offers the potential to cure type 1 diabetes.

David Bowie & the art of slow innovation: A new strategy for global precision medicine
With what strategies should developing countries invest in for emerging biotechnologies and precision medicine?

Ancient enzyme could boost power of liquid biopsies to detect and profile cancers
Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin are developing a new tool for liquid biopsy that can detect RNA biomarkers from cancer cells in a patient's blood much more accurately and completely than other existing methods.

New research could predict La Niña drought years in advance
Two new studies from The University of Texas at Austin have significantly improved scientists' ability to predict the strength and duration of droughts caused by La Niña - a recurrent cooling pattern in the tropical Pacific Ocean.

UNN scientists are studying the problem of modeling the cognitive dissonance phenomenon
Lobachevsky University (UNN) scientists, Associate Professor of the History and Theory of International Relations Department Alexander Petukhov and Head of the Department of Psychophysiology Sofya Polevaya, are studying the modeling of the cognitive dissonance phenomenon.

Nearby pulsars shed light on the antimatter puzzle
There are too many high-energy positrons in the cosmic rays reaching the Earth.

Kill switches for engineered microbes gone rogue
Pam Silver's research team reports in Molecular Cell two new types of kill switches that address these challenges.

Math gets real in strong, lightweight structures
Rice University materials scientists lead a project to turn strong, light and compressible schwarzites from theory to reality with three-dimensional printers.

New model estimates odds of events that trigger sudden cardiac death
A new computational model of heart tissue allows researchers to estimate the probability of rare heartbeat irregularities that can cause sudden cardiac death.

Why are minorities underrepresented in genetic cancer studies?
Socio-cultural and clinical factors as well as healthcare processes were important drivers of a woman's willingness to provide saliva specimens for future cancer research.

Paraplegic rats walk and regain feeling after stem cell treatment
Paralyzed rats implanted with engineered tissue containing human stem cells were able to walk independently and regained sensory perception in their hind legs and tail.

Passenger pigeon genome shows effects of natural selection in a huge population
The passenger pigeon is famous for the enormity of its historical population and for its rapid extinction in the face of mass slaughter by humans.

More than a numbers game: New technique gauges microbial communities by biomass
New technique provides deeper look at microbial communities by assessing their biomass.

New motion sensors a major step toward low-cost, high-performance wearable technology
Researchers from the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering have developed a class of breakthrough motion sensors that could herald a near future of ubiquitous, fully integrated and affordable wearable technology.

A study proposes to elaborate the term 'parental abuse by children'
Sandra Jiménez Arroyo, researcher at the University of Granada (UGR), explains the necessity of analyzing this kind of violence, which is the fourth most common crime committed by children, taking a gender perspective.

Researchers find diffusion plays unusual signaling role in drosophila embryos
Researchers have found that diffusion plays an unexpected role in cell differentiation during the early stages of development in the embryos of Drosophila, or fruit flies.

To trim away a protein
Scientists present a novel method to directly and rapidly destroy any protein in any kind of cell.

Prior asymptomatic zika infection protects against reinfection in pregnant mice
Protective antibodies from prior asymptomatic Zika infection defend against reinfection during pregnancy in mice, according to new research published in PLOS Pathogens.

Identified: Power grid links vulnerable to cascading failures
In North America, a small set of vulnerable patches within large power grid networks is disproportionately responsible for costly cascading power failures, a new study finds.

Veni vidi vici: How natural killer cells conquer the superbug Klebsiella
Multidrug resistance of microbes poses a serious global threat to human health.

Chance discovery of forgotten 1960s 'preprint' experiment
Researchers in physics and mathematics have long used 'preprints' -- preliminary versions of their scientific findings published on internet servers for anyone to read.

A new window into electron behavior
For the first time, physicists at MIT and Princeton University have developed a technique to visualize the behavior of electrons beneath a material's surface.

A new test to measure the effectiveness of CF drugs
UNC School of Medicine researchers have developed a new laboratory model to measure and compare the responses of CF and normal airway cells to CF-related infectious/inflammatory factors.

Progression from infection to pulmonary tuberculosis follows distinct timeline
Researchers have uncovered a sequence of biological processes that occur in humans infected with the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis as the infection progresses to pulmonary tuberculosis, according to new research published in PLOS Pathogens.

UT Dallas study tackles the divide over NFL players' protests
According to a survey by UT Dallas researchers, 90 percent of black college students surveyed supported kneeling during the national anthem compared to 38 percent of non-black respondents.

Intervention becomes first to successfully reduce risk of dementia
A 10-year study concludes computerized brain training program reduces risk of dementia 29 percent.

Renaissance of the iron-air battery
Iron-air batteries promise a considerably higher energy density than present-day lithium-ion batteries.

Computer program finds new uses for old drugs
Researchers at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have developed a computer program to find new indications for old drugs.

Workplace sexual harassment 'a chronic problem,' says APA president
Sexual harassment in the workplace is a pervasive, chronic problem that can cause enduring psychological harm, according to the president of the American Psychological Association.

Employees want to sit down less and walk more during work days
Desk-based workers would like to spend less time sitting down and more time walking or doing physical activity as part of their working day, research published in the open-access journal BMC Research Notes suggests.

Research reveals biological mechanism of a leading cause of childhood blindness
Scientists at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute (VTCRI) have revealed the pathology of cells and structures stricken by optic nerve hypoplasia, a leading cause of childhood blindness in developed nations.

How Snapdragons keep their colour: Signposting trick reveals evolutionary mechanism
A study of the colour patterns among wild flowers in a mountain valley has yielded a clue about how nature controls fundamental evolutionary change in all species.

Old World monkeys could be key to a new, powerful rheumatoid arthritis therapy
A study from the Keck School of Medicine of USC finds that a peptide only found in Old World monkeys has the potential to stop rheumatoid arthritis progression better than established treatments.

New physical model explains the origin of Earth's water
Objects scattered to the inner region of the Solar System by Jupiter's growth brought most of the water now found on Earth.

NSF makes new awards to advance Science of Learning
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded $8.2 million through its Science of Learning program to fund 24 new projects that will advance theoretical insights and fundamental knowledge of learning principles, processes, environments and constraints.

Tooth cavities can be fought 'naturally'
A new discovery may one day lead to natural anti­cavity products, researchers report.

When vegetables are closer in price to chips, people eat healthier, Drexel study finds
A new study determined that the difference in price of healthy foods compared to unhealthy foods plays a significant role in whether people have a healthy diet.

Stress can lead to risky decisions
MIT neuroscientists have discovered making decisions that require weighing pros and cons of two choices is dramatically affected by chronic stress.

Study reveals how the songbird changes its tune
Researchers at UC San Francisco have shown how the Bengalese finch, a domesticated songbird, can learn to tweak its song in specific ways depending on context, which could shed light on how the human brain learns to apply different rules depending on the situation, and have implications for understanding human language and movement disorders.

Passenger pigeon case study: How even large, stable populations may be at risk for extinction
A new study on passenger pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius) genomics suggests that even species with large and stable populations can be at risk of extinction if there's a sudden environmental change.

A new way to store thermal energy
A new phase-change material developed at MIT provides a way to store heat in a stable chemical form, then release it later on demand using light as a trigger.

The stacked color sensor
Red-sensitive, blue-sensitive and green-sensitive colour sensors stacked on top of each other instead of being lined up in a mosaic pattern -- this principle could allow image sensors with unprecedented resolution and sensitivity to light to be created.

Study shows codeine prescribed to children despite FDA warning against it
A new study shows as many as one in 20 children were still receiving codeine to treat pain after tonsil and adenoid surgery, two years after federal regulators warned doctors that prescribing the opioid to kids after the routine surgeries could be fatal.

'The Brazilian Zika outbreak could end soon'
Scientists have elucidated the Zika burden in a Brazilian metropolis.

Women-run start-ups hampered by bias among male investors, Caltech study finds
Michael Ewens of Caltech and Richard Townsend of UC San Diego examined data for nearly 18,000 start-ups and found that companies started by women have a harder time finding funding because male investors prefer companies started by men.

Fossil that fills missing evolutionary link named after UChicago professors
Scientists recently announced the discovery of a missing evolutionary link--a fossil of the first known member of the modern bryozoans to grow up into a structure.

GPs trained in compression ultrasonography accurately diagnose deep vein thrombosis
General practitioners trained in compression ultrasonography accurately diagnose deep vein thrombosis.

Hot and bothered
Environmental economists predict climate change will bring big manufacturing losses to China by mid-21st century.

AMP Iissues consensus guideline recommendations for NGS bioinformatics pipelines
The Association for Molecular Pathology, the premier global, non-profit molecular diagnostics professional society, today published 17 consensus recommendations to help clinical laboratory professionals achieve high-quality sequencing results and deliver better patient care.

Environmental factors may trigger lupus onset and progression
While genetics play a role in the development of Lupus, a systemic autoimmune disease, so do environmental triggers, such as particulates in air pollution and ultraviolet light, says a University of Cincinnati researcher.

A new way to reduce surgery complications stemming from high blood sugar
Using a different marker to track a patient's glycemic levels could help improve outcomes after surgery for diabetic and non-diabetic patients alike.

Ceria nanoparticles: It is the surface that matters
Exhaust gas cleaning of passenger cars, power generation from sunlight, or water splitting: In the future, these and other applications may profit from new findings relating to ceria.

Down and dirty: Cleaning Okinawan pig farm wastewater with microbial fuel cells
One of the greatest threats to the environment today is wastewater left over from production activities.

In the heart of devastating outbreak, research team unlocks secrets of Ebola
In a comprehensive and complex molecular study of blood samples from Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, published today (Nov.

Yale team's advance allows gene editing with surgical precision
Yale researchers report they have created a more precise and efficient technology to edit the genomes of living organisms, an ability that is transforming medicine and biotechnology.

Gene discovery may halt worldwide wheat epidemic
University of California, Davis, researchers have identified a gene that enables resistance to a new devastating strain of stem rust, a fungal disease that is hampering wheat production throughout Africa and Asia and threatening food security worldwide.

Influx of earth-bound positrons must have exotic origin, study suggests
The excess positrons arriving at Earth must have a more exotic origin than nearby pulsars, report researchers.

Discovery of a promising medication for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
A drug used to treat schizophrenia has the potential to slow the progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a fatal neurodegenerative disease for which there is currently no effective cure.

Molecular guardian defends cells, organs against excess cholesterol
A team of researchers at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health has illuminated a critical player in cholesterol metabolism that acts as a molecular guardian in cells to help maintain cholesterol levels within a safe, narrow range.

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth
Two recent studies show how solar flares exhibit pulses or oscillations in the amount of energy being sent out.

Andalusian experts discover new procedures for DNA stability
In eukaryotic cells the proximity of the genes to the nuclear pores, which are found in the nuclear membrane, contributes to maintaining the integrity of the genome.

Could this protein protect people against coronary artery disease?
The buildup of plaque in the heart's arteries is an unfortunate part of aging.

Black box warning slows, but doesn't stop, codeine for kids after tonsil removal
Despite an FDA black box warning against prescribing children codeine following tonsil and adenoid removal, 1 in 20 children undergoing these surgeries continued to receive the opioid, a new study suggests.

School exacerbates feelings of being 'different' in pupils with Autism Spectrum Conditions
Negative school experiences can have harmful long term effects on pupils with Autism Spectrum Conditions, a new study in the journal Autism reports.

High-altitude observatory sheds light on origin of excess anti-matter
Researchers working with the High-Altitude Water Cherenkov (HAWC) Gamma-Ray Observatory have made the first detailed measurements of two pulsars suspected as the source of a mysterious positron accumulation near Earth.

New painkillers reduce overdose risk
Scientists on the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have developed new opioid pain relievers that reduce pain on par with morphine but do not slow or stop breathing -- the cause of opiate overdose.

Large decrease in age-related macular degeneration in baby boomers compared to previous generations
The risk of developing age-related macular degeneration is much less in the Baby Boom (1946-1964) and later generations than in earlier generations, for unclear reasons.

Groundwater recharge in the American west under climate change
Groundwater recharge in the Western US will change as the climate warms -- the dry southern regions will have less and the northern regions will have more, according to new research.

'Wooden shoe' rather wear sneakers?
Bio-archeologists have discovered a pattern of unusual bone chips in the feet of clog-wearing 19th-Century Dutch farmers -- injuries that offer clues to the damage we may unwittingly be causing to our own feet.

NSF-supported scientists present research
Find related stories on NSF's Critical Zone Observatories.

Naturally occurring molecule may help prevent and treat atherosclerosis and gum disease
Resolvin E1, a molecule produced naturally in the body from an omega -3 fish oil, topically applied on gum tissues not only prevents and treats gum disease as previously shown (Hasturk et al 2006 and 2007), but also decreases the likelihood for advanced arterial atherosclerotic plaques to rupture and form a dangerous thrombus or blood clot.

NUS researchers develop smart, ultra-thin microfibre sensor for real-time healthcare monitoring and
A research team from National University of Singapore has developed a soft, flexible and stretchable microfibre sensor for real-time healthcare monitoring and diagnosis.

NIST's next-generation atomic clocks may support official timekeeping
For more than a decade, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has been unveiling experimental next-generation atomic clocks.

Methodologies in orthodontic pain mangement: A review
Patients experience pain and discomfort during active orthodontic treatment with fixed appliances.

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