Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 22, 2017
NIH scientists and collaborators find prion protein in skin of CJD patients
NIAID scientists and collaborators at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have detected abnormal prion protein in the skin of several people who died from Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD).

Considerable gap exists in US between having hearing loss and receiving medical evaluation treatment
Nearly a third of about 40 million adults in the United States who report hearing difficulties have not seen a specialist for their hearing problems.

Dark matter and dark energy: Do they really exist?
Researchers have hypothesized that the universe contains a 'dark matter.' They have also posited the existence of a 'dark energy.' These two hypotheses account for the movement of stars in galaxies and for the accelerating expansion of the universe.

The brains of children with a better physical fitness possess a greater volume of gray matter
Researchers from the University of Granada lead a worldwide pioneering study that confirms that physical fitness in children may affect their brain structure, which in turn may have an influence on their academic performance.

Weight before pregnancy linked with children's neurodevelopment
A recent Obesity Reviews analysis of published studies found that, compared with children of normal weight mothers, children whose mothers were overweight or obese prior to pregnancy had 17% percent and 51 percent increased risks for compromised neurodevelopmental outcomes, respectively.

Low-salt & heart-healthy dash diet as effective as drugs for some adults with high blood pressure
A study of more than 400 adults with prehypertension, or stage 1 high blood pressure, found that combining a low-salt diet with the heart-healthy DASH diet substantially lowers systolic blood pressure -- the top number in a blood pressure test -- especially in people with higher baseline systolic readings.

Analysis reveals barriers to routine HIV testing in high-income countries
A new HIV Medicine study identified several barriers to routine HIV testing in emergency departments and acute medical units in the UK and US.

New research suggests high-intensity exercise boosts memory
The health advantages of high-intensity exercise are widely known but new research from McMaster University points to another major benefit: better memory.

Getting under the skin of prion disorders
Infectious prion proteins -- the causative agents of the fatal neurodegenerative disorder Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease -- can be detected in the skin of afflicted individuals, researchers now report.

Time between pregnancies may affect autism risk
Investigators have found a link between the amount of time between pregnancies and autism spectrum disorder in children.

Surprising roles for muscle in tissue regeneration, study finds
A team of researchers at Whitehead has illuminated an important role for different subtypes of muscle cells in orchestrating the process of tissue regeneration.

Fine felted nanotubes
Due to their unique properties, carbon nanotubes would be ideal for numerous applications, but to date they cannot be combined adequately with other materials, or they lose their beneficial properties.

Four simple tests could help GPs spot pneumonia and reduce unnecessary antibiotics
Testing for fever, high pulse rate, crackly breath sounds, and low oxygen levels could be key to helping GPs distinguish pneumonia from less serious infections, according to a large study published in the European Respiratory Journal.

By saving cost and energy, the lighting revolution may increase light pollution
Municipalities, enterprises, and households are switching to LED lights in order to save energy.

In vitro fertilization linked with increased risk of congenital heart defects
A new analysis of published studies found a 45 percent increased risk of congenital heart defects in newborns when women become pregnant via in vitro fertilization (IVF)/intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) than through spontaneous conception.

NASA views severe rain storms over western Saudi Arabia
As intense rain storms moved into Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on Nov.

The future of sutures and staples: A sealant inspired by slugs
A new Clinical Implications of Basic Research paper highlights a novel surgical adhesive on the horizon.

Tiny robots step closer to treating hard-to-reach parts of the body
Tiny robots could be developed to diagnose illness and deliver treatments in hard-to-reach parts of the human body.

Risk for aging-related diseases elevated among thyroid cancer survivors
Risk for aging-related diseases such as heart disease and diabetes was significantly higher among thyroid cancer survivors in Utah than it was among age-matched, cancer-free individuals, with those diagnosed before age 40 having the highest risk for some of the diseases.

What are the likely effects of Brexit on UK regions?
A new Papers in Regional Science article that highlights the possible implications of Brexit for the UK and its regions notes that the results for the UK economy may not be as damaging as some forecasters say.

Ribbed mussels could help improve urban water quality
Ribbed mussels can remove nitrogen and other excess nutrients from an urban estuary and could help improve water quality in other urban and coastal locations, according to a study in New York City's Bronx River.

Antibiotics resistance: Researchers succeed to block genes of resistance
Scientists at Université de Montreal's Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine design better molecules that make it harder for plasmids to move between bacteria.

Species may appear deceptively resilient to climate change
Natural habitats play a vital role in helping other plants and animals resist heat stresses ramping up with climate change -- at least until the species they depend on to form those habitats become imperiled.

Satellite shows storms on both US coasts for Thanksgiving travelers
Satellites are keeping an eye on the US and NOAA's GOES East satellite showed two storm systems for pre-Thanksgiving travelers on Wednesday, Nov.

Molting bowhead whales likely rub on rocks to facilitate sloughing off skin
Bowhead whales molt and rub on large rocks -- likely facilitating exfoliation -- in coastal waters in the eastern Canadian Arctic during late summer, according to a study published Nov.

High yield, protein with soybean gene
Soybean growers face a challenge. It has proved difficult to develop soybean varieties with both high protein levels and high yields.

Study reveals new mechanisms of cell death in neurodegenerative disorders
Researchers at King's College London have discovered new mechanisms of cell death, which may be involved in debilitating neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.

When traveling on public transport, you may want to cover your ears
The noise levels commuters are exposed to while using public transport or while biking, could induce hearing loss if experienced repeatedly and over long periods of time, according to a study published in the open-access Journal of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery.

Mass media linked to childhood obesity
A task force from the European Academy of Paediatrics and the European Childhood Obesity Group has found evidence of a strong link between obesity levels across European countries and childhood media exposure.

How common are new cancers in cancer survivors?
One quarter of adults 65 or older and 11 percent of younger patients diagnosed with cancer from 2009 to 2013 had a prior cancer history.

Numerical infinities and infinitesimals open new horizons in computations and give unexpected answers to 2 Hilbert problems
In the last issue of the prestigious journal EMS Surveys in Mathematical Sciences published by the European Mathematical Society there appeared a 102 pages long paper entitled 'Numerical infinities and infinitesimals: Methodology, applications, and repercussions on two Hilbert problems' written by Yaroslav D.

Moderate coffee drinking 'more likely to benefit health than to harm it' say experts
Drinking coffee is 'more likely to benefit health than to harm it' for a range of health outcomes, say researchers in The BMJ today.

Can sleep quality and burnout affect shift-work nurses' job performance?
In a Journal of Advanced Nursing study, female gender and personal burnout were linked with impaired sleep quality among nurses.

Encouraging oxygen's assault on iron may offer new way to kill lung cancer cells
Blocking the action of a key protein frees oxygen to damage iron-dependent proteins in lung and breast cancer cells, making them easier to kill.

Growing teeth and a backbone: Studies trace early origins of skeletal tissues
Two new studies on the evolutionary origin of teeth and of vertebra further illuminate the human connection to marine organisms that goes back millions of years.

Desert ants cannot be fooled
Cataglyphis fortis desert ants can learn visual or olfactory cues to pinpoint their nest, but only if these cues are unique to specify the nest entrance.

Any physical activity in elderly better than none at all for reducing cardiovascular risk
Any physical activity in the elderly is better than none at all for reducing cardiovascular risk, according to an 18-year study in more than 24,000 adults published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

Meningococcal vaccine could protect against 91 percent of targeted bacterial strains
Up to 91 percent of bacterial strains causing a common type of invasive serogroup B meningococcal disease in children and young adults are likely to be covered by a four-component vaccine called MenB-4C (Bexsero), according to laboratory studies conducted by investigators at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and at GlaxoSmithKline, manufacturers of the vaccine.

Temple researchers identify genetic factors linked to acquired narrowing of the airway
Endotracheal intubation and tracheotomy are widely used in the hospital setting for elective surgery and in cases of serious illness or critical injury.

Plague likely a Stone Age arrival to central Europe
A team of researchers led by scientists at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History has sequenced the first six European genomes of the plague-causing bacterium Yersinia pestis dating from the Late Neolithic to the Bronze Age (4,800 to 3,700 years ago).

Scientists find why CP El Niño is harder to predict than EP El Niño
It's found that the skill scores for EP events were significantly better than those for CP events at all lead times.

The genome of Leishmania reveals how this parasite adapts to environmental changes
Scientists demonstrate that Leishmania adaptation results from frequent and reversible chromosomal amplifications.

IceCube experiment finds Earth can block high-energy particles from nuclear reactions
For the first time, a science experiment has measured Earth's ability to absorb neutrinos -- the smaller-than-an-atom particles that zoom throughout space and through us by the trillions every second at nearly the speed of light.

Adult survivors of childhood cancer are more likely to develop high blood pressure
People who survived childhood cancer were more than twice as likely as the general population to have high blood pressure (hypertension) as adults.

Alzheimer's Tau protein forms toxic complexes with cell membranes
Alzheimer's disease is caused by tangles in the brain made up of malfunctioning aggregated Tau proteins.

MRI shows brain differences among ADHD patients
Information from brain MRIs can help identify people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and distinguish among subtypes of the condition, according to a new study.

Do education and poverty affect knee surgery success?
In an Arthritis Care & Research study of individuals who underwent total knee replacement, those who did not attend college had worse pain and function after two years if they lived in poor communities, but educational level was not linked with pain or function in wealthy communities.

ID microstructure of stock useful in financial crisis
A German team from the University of Duisburg-Essen have analysed the statistical regularities and irregularities in the recent order flow of 96 different NASDAQ stocks.

Earplugs unavoidable for musicians in the orchestra and at home
Many musicians suffer ear damage. Professional orchestras have therefore taken measures in recent years to reduce the sound levels.

Penn team constructs whole-brain map of electrical connections key to forming memories
A team of neuroscientists at the University of Pennsylvania has constructed the first whole-brain map of electrical connectivity in the brain based on data from nearly 300 neurosurgical patients with electrodes implanted directly on the brain.

The HLF-gene controls the generation of our long-term immune system
A research group at Lund University in Sweden has found that when the HLF (hepatic leukemia factor) gene -- which is expressed in immature blood cells -- does not shut down on time, we are unable to develop a functional long-term immune system.

Sclerosis medicine can fight multi-resistant bacteria
A surprising discovery shows that a widely used and 20-year-old medicine used to treat multiple sclerosis can also beat a type of multi-resistant bacteria for which there are currently only a few effective drugs.

Energy from electric cars could power our lives -- but only if we improve the system
Power stored in electric cars could be sent back to the grid -- thereby supporting the grid and acting as a potential storage for clean energy -- but it will only be economically viable if we upgrade the system first.

Intranasal ketamine has more minor side effects than intranasal fentanyl in children with acute pain
Minor adverse events (e.g., bad taste in the mouth and dizziness) occur more frequently with intranasal ketamine than with intranasal fentanyl in children with suspected extremity fractures.

Towards better understanding of railway ballast
Mathematical models are extremely limited at modeling ballast, the gravel layer located under railway tracks.

Lung cancer triggers pulmonary hypertension
Nearly half of all advanced-stage lung cancer patients develop arterial pulmonary hypertension.

UVA aims to help patients with cancer make complex care decisions
UVA is developing a tool to help patients with prostate cancer better understand the potential risks and rewards of their treatment options.

New approach to tracking how deadly 'superbugs' travel could slow their spread
Using a real-world outbreak as a test case, a team combined patient-transfer data and whole-genome sequencing to identify hotspots for transmission of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Lower levels of microRNA 29 may protect from cardiac fibrosis rather than causing it
Cardiac fibrosis involves an increase of connective tissue in the cardiac muscle, causing a loss of function.

One-size treatment for blood cancer probably doesn't fit all, USC researchers say
Though African-American men are three times more likely to be diagnosed with a blood cancer called multiple myeloma, most scientific research on the disease has been based on people of European descent.

Worldwide increase in methane bubbles due to climate change
Due to climate change, including rising temperatures, more and more methane is bubbling up from lakes, ponds, rivers and wetlands throughout the world.

Nanosponges show promise for potentially blinding eye infections
In a new study, researchers demonstrate using a mouse model that engineered nanosponges can be used to protect eyes from infections caused by Enterococcus faecalis.

A material with promising properties
The Collaborative Research Centre CRC 1214 at the University of Konstanz has developed a method for synthesizing Europium (II) oxide nanoparticles -- a ferromagnetic semiconductor that is relevant for data storage and data transport.

Cool lizards are better at learning socially
Bearded dragons which are incubated in colder environments are better at solving cognitive tasks as adults than incubated in warmer temperatures, according to new research published today.

Scientists identify new marker of arthritis in mice
Researchers have discovered a new marker of arthritis in mice that can be used noninvasively to both identify joints with established arthritis and to predict subsequent joint swelling.

Underwater acoustic localization of marine mammals and vehicles
Researchers at IMDEA Networks (Spain) in collaboration with University of Haifa (Israel) have developed an underwater acoustic system for the localization of marine mammals, underwater vehicles and other sound sources in the ocean, using no more than a single hydrophone (basically an underwater microphone) as a receiver.

Research points to diagnostic test for top cause of liver transplant in kids
Biliary atresia is the most common cause of liver transplants for children in the United States.

Study examines which adolescents benefit most from sleep interventions
In a recent study of adolescents, the benefits of cognitive-behavioral sleep interventions were greatest among individuals with higher levels of anxiety and depressive symptoms.

Glucocorticoids offer long-term benefits for patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy
Glucocorticoids, a class of steroid hormone medications often prescribed to patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, offer long-term benefits for this disease, including longer preservation of muscle strength and function and decreased risk of death.

Do birdsong and human speech share biological roots?
Do songbirds and humans have common biological hardwiring that shapes how they produce and perceive sounds?

Certain popular cigars deliver more nicotine than cigarettes
Cigars may have a reputation for being safer than cigarettes, but they may be just as harmful and addictive, according to Penn State researchers, who add that small cigars have just as much if not more nicotine than cigarettes.

Enhancing the quantum sensing capabilities of diamond
Researchers have discovered that dense ensembles of quantum spins can be created in diamond with high resolution using an electron microscopes, paving the way for enhanced sensors and resources for quantum technologies.

Metabolites altered in chronic kidney disease
A new study that included researchers from Norway, the University of Washington, the University of California San Diego and The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (now called UT Health San Antonio™) found that dozens of small molecules called metabolites are altered in this disease.

Icebound detector reveals how ghostly neutrinos are stopped cold
Famously, neutrinos, the nearly massless particles that are a fundamental component of the universe, can zip through a million miles of lead without skipping a beat.

This week from AGU: Scientists counter threat of flooding on coral reef coasts
This week from AGU: Scientists counter threat of flooding on coral reef coasts, and more.

GP online consultations: Not the panacea policy makers are hoping for
Online GP consultation systems may not be the silver bullet for reducing GP workload and patient waiting times that government policymakers are hoping for, NIHR-funded research from the University of Bristol has found.

Mysterious deep-Earth seismic signature explained
New research on oxygen and iron chemistry under the extreme conditions found deep inside the Earth could explain a longstanding seismic mystery called ultralow velocity zones.

EU trade ban brings down global trade in wild birds by 90 percent
Trade of wild birds has dropped 90 percent globally since EU banned bird imports in 2005.

Camponotini ant species have their own distinct microbiomes
Camponotini ant species have their own distinct microbiomes and the bacteria may also vary by developmental stage, according to a study published Nov.

A huge hydrogen generator at the Earth's core-mantle boundary
The Earth is made up of a giant iron core, covered by a thick layer of silicate mantle and a thin coating of crustal rocks.

Droplet explosion by shock waves, relevant to nuclear medicine
In a study published in EPJ D, Eugene Surdutovich from Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan, USA and colleagues have examined the possibility of observing the multi-fragmentation of small droplets due to shock waves initiated by ions that passed through them.

Study examines individuals' perceptions of childbirth's effects on sexuality
Media reports have depicted vaginal birth as harmful and cesarean delivery as protective of sexuality, but research does not support these depictions.

Leaving the house every day may help older adults live longer
In a Journal of the American Geriatrics Society study of community-dwelling individuals aged 70 to 90 years who were participating in the Jerusalem Longitudinal Study, leaving the house daily was linked with a lower risk of dying over an extended follow-up period, independent of social, functional, or medical factors.

Strong hosts help parasites spread farther
Large, physically strong Masu salmon disperse farther when infected with parasites, potentially escaping from further infections at the contaminated site but ironically resulting in the greater expansion of the parasite, according to Hokkaido University researchers.

Ocean acidification affects mussels at early life stages
Mussels protect themselves against environmental disturbances and enemies through a hard, calcareous shell.

Analysis provides reassurance on the safety of biosimilars
Biosimilars have been available in the European Union since 2006.

A 'half-hearted' solution to one-sided heart failure
Oftentimes, kids with congenital heart defects only have heart failure on one side of their heart.

Felling pines: Doing it sooner rather than later is better for fynbos
Here's some advice for landowners wanting to remove pine trees in the hope of seeing fynbos plants on their properties again: do so before the trees have grown there for more than 30 years.

Lightning, with a chance of antimatter
Researchers find that lightning strikes causes photonuclear reactions in the atmosphere, creating antimatter.

Quantum internet goes hybrid
ICFO researchers report the first demonstration of an elementary link of a hybrid quantum information network, using a cold atomic cloud and a doped crystal as quantum nodes as well as single telecom photons as information carriers.

Bacteria as pacemaker for the intestine
For the first time, a research team from the Cell and Developmental Biology (Bosch AG) working group at the Zoological Institute at Kiel University (CAU) has been able to prove that the bacterial colonisation of the intestine plays an important role in controlling peristaltic functions.

Children with heart disease are being let down by lack of clinical trials, study finds
Less than one per cent of UK children born with congenital heart disease are enrolled in clinical trials looking to improve treatments, research funded by the British Heart Foundation and led by the University of Birmingham and Birmingham Children's Hospital has found.

Alcohol consumption and metabolic factors act together to increase the risk of severe liver disease
A new study provides insights into the interaction between alcohol consumption and metabolic factors in predicting severe liver disease in the general population.

New method to measure neutron star size uses modeling based on thermonuclear explosions
Neutron stars are made out of cold ultra-dense matter. How this matter behaves is one of the biggest mysteries in modern nuclear physics.

Big data creates family tree of constitutions
Researchers have constructed a big data, evolutionary taxonomy of the world's constitutions resulting in a mathematically-derived genealogy of founding documents.

Increased use of ambulatory surgery centers for cataract surgery
Over the past decade there's been a dramatic increase in the proportion of cataract surgeries performed at ambulatory surgery centers.

Return of the native wild turkey -- setting sustainable harvest targets with limited data
The recovery of the wild turkey is a great restoration success story.

Researchers find infectious prions in Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease patient skin
In a Science Translational Medicine study published today, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine researchers found that CJD patients also harbor infectious prions in their skin, albeit at lower levels.

Engineers model the California reservoir network
An empirical model of 55 of California's major reservoirs reveals how they respond to shifting drought conditions and to one another.

Study examines the effects of a marijuana alternative
Synthetic cannabinoids (often sold as Spice or K2) have become popular alternatives to cannabis due to easy access and portrayed safety.

How the Earth stops high-energy neutrinos in their tracks
In an analysis of data from an experiment embedded in Antarctic ice, a research collaboration including scientists from Berkeley Lab has demonstrated that the Earth stops high-energy neutrinos -- particles that only very rarely interact with matter.

Reducing phosphorus runoff
Researchers test a variety of incentives to learn how best to motivate farmers to curb phosphorus runoff.

Managing antibiotics not enough to reverse resistance
Researchers at Duke University have discovered that reducing the use of antibiotics will not be enough to reverse the growing prevalence of antibiotic resistance because bacteria are able to share the ability to fight antibiotics by swapping genes between species.

Smart people have better connected brains
Differences in intelligence have so far mostly been attributed to differences in specific brain regions.

Schizophrenia drug development may be 'de-risked' with new research tool
Researchers have identified biomarkers that can help with development of better treatments for schizophrenia.

Bowhead whales come to Cumberland Sound in Nunavut to exfoliate
Aerial drone footage of bowhead whales in Canada's Arctic has revealed that the large mammals molt and use rocks to rub off dead skin.

Researchers show stress suppresses response to cancer treatments
New research shows that chronic stress suppresses the immune system's response to cancer, reducing the effectiveness of immunotherapy treatments.

Opening windows and doors may improve sleep
A recent Indoor Air study found that opening windows or doors before going to bed can reduce carbon dioxide levels in bedrooms and improve sleep quality.

Artificial lights increasing 'loss of night,' especially in some nations
In a long-term, high-resolution global analysis of night light emissions, researchers report that the artificially lit surface of our planet is still growing -- in both size and brightness -- in most countries.

Under Affordable Care Act, Americans have had more preventive care for heart health
By reducing out-of-pocket costs for preventive treatment, the Affordable Care Act appears to have encouraged more people to have health screenings related to their cardiovascular health.
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