Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 12, 2017
UNIST researchers develop silicon chip-based quantum photonic devices
An international team of researchers, affiliated with South Korea's Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) has presented a core technology for quantum photonic devices used in quantum information processing.

Telescopes team up to study giant galaxy
Astronomers have used two Australian radio telescopes and several optical telescopes to study complex mechanisms that are fuelling jets of material blasting away from a black hole 55 million times more massive than the Sun.

Strong relationship between self-efficacy and exercise among women veterans discovered
For female Veterans with fibromyalgia (FM) symptoms, the impact of believing in their ability to begin and sustain a long-term exercise program appears to positively influence their results.

Scientists discover path to improving game-changing battery electrode
Researchers from Stanford University, two Department of Energy national labs and the battery manufacturer Samsung created a comprehensive picture of how the same chemical processes that give cathodes their high capacity are also linked to changes in atomic structure that sap performance.

Centralized population health coordinators improve care for patients with chronic disease
A centralized chronic disease management program produced significant improvements in the care of patients with diabetes, hypertension or cardiovascular disease treated at practices in the Massachusetts General Hospital primary care network.

CCNY-led team develops cancer imaging aid from horse chestnuts
Research at The City College of New York shows that cancer imaging can be simplified by a photonic process utilizing molecules derived from horse chestnuts.

Smoking leads to less increase in life expectancy for less educated women
Life expectancy in Sweden has risen steadily during the last few decades for most groups.

Dementia and cognitive impairment more prevalent in rural than urban seniors
Researchers present the first nationally representative study to find that dementia and cognitive impairment have consistently been more prevalent among rural dwelling seniors than urban dwelling seniors.

Cancer gene plays key role in cystic fibrosis lung infections
PTEN, a tumor suppressor, helps clear lung infections when attached to a protein in lung tissue.

UTHealth researchers link epigenetic aging to bipolar disorder
Bipolar disorder may involve accelerated epigenetic aging, which could explain why persons with the disorder are more likely to have -- and die from -- age-related diseases, according to researchers from McGovern Medical School at UTHealth in Houston.

Artificial intelligence detects diabetic retinopathy and related eye diseases among patients
A computing system with artificial intelligence that can learn to do tasks that normally require human intelligence could detect retinal images that did and did not show diabetic retinopathy and related eye diseases in multiethnic populations.

Atoh1, a potential Achilles' heel of Sonic Hedgehog medulloblastoma
Tyrosine 78 in Atoh1 is phosphorylated exclusively in 'tumor-initiating cells' in sonic hedgehog medulloblastoma and reducing the levels of Atoh1 promotes tumor regression in mice and provides a potential future strategy for treating this type of tumor.

Recordings reveal deep credibility gap when doctors and parents discuss outcomes for critically ill
An analysis of 16 audiotaped conversations between parents of infants in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and clinicians found that medical staff routinely downplay quality of life issues and leave families more optimistic about their babies' prognoses than the clinicians intended.

NRL researchers advance fleet weather predictions through innovation, collaboration
Accurately predicting weather for the US Navy is an essential part of keeping the fleet safe and effective as they execute maritime missions around the world.

Beta of Neurodata Without Borders software now available
Neuroscientists can now explore a beta version of the new Neurodata Without Borders: Neurophysiology (NWB:N 2.0) software and offer input to developers before it is fully released next year.

African genetic diversity to unlock disease susceptibility
Wits scientists and partners have sequenced the genetic makeup of 24 South African individuals of different ethnolinguistic origins.

Researchers find common psychological traits in group of Italians aged 90 to 101
In remote Italian villages nestled between the Mediterranean Sea and mountains lives a group of several hundred citizens over the age of 90.

Native fish species at risk following water removal from the Colorado River
Agriculture and domestic activities consume much of the Colorado River water that once flowed to the Colorado Delta and Northern Gulf of California.

Cystic fibrosis: Discovery of a key molecule for improving treatments
Canadian researchers identify a promising avenue for improving treatments for people with cystic fibrosis.

Russian scientists suggested a new technology for creating magnet micro-structures
A team of scientists from Krasnoyarsk Scientific Center (Siberian Department of Russian Academy of Sciences) and Siberian Federal University synthesized thin crystal ferromagnetic films and developed a technology for their shaping.

Research could pave the way for pre-hospital treatment for seriously injured patients
Scientists hope to have paved the way for the development of potentially new life-saving treatments to be administered to seriously injured patients in the critical first hour of injury.

Life's building blocks observed in spacelike environment
Where do the molecules required for life originate? It may be that small organic molecules first appeared on earth and were later combined into larger molecules, such as proteins and carbohydrates.

Teaching antibiotics to be more effective killers
Research from the University of Illinois at Chicago suggests bond duration, not bond tightness, may be the most important differentiator between antibiotics that kill bacteria and antibiotics that only stop bacterial growth.

NREL develops novel method to produce renewable acrylonitrile
A new study from the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) establishes a novel catalytic method to produce renewable acrylonitrile using 3-hydroxypropionic acid (3-HP), which can be biologically produced from sugars.

Sandia researchers make solid ground toward better lithium-ion battery interfaces
Research at Sandia National Laboratories has identified a major obstacle to advancing solid-state lithium-ion battery performance in small electronics: the flow of lithium ions across battery interfaces.

MRI scans predict patients' ability to fight the spread of cancer
A simple, non-invasive procedure that can indicate how long patients with cancer that has spread to the brain might survive and whether they are likely to respond to immunotherapy has been developed by researchers in Liverpool.

Fold formation of the cerebral cortex requires FGF signaling in the mammalian brain
Although the folded surface (the gyrus) of the cerebral cortex is believed to be important for higher brain functions, research on the gyrus has been much retarded since the mouse, a widely used model animal, has a brain without gyri.

Forest resilience declines in face of wildfires, climate change
The forests you see today are not what you will see in the future.

A new technology for producing nano-hydroxyapatite developed by Lobachevsky University chemists
Today, deterioration of human health is one of the most pressing problems that modern medicine is facing.

Using computers to detect breast cancer
Jeffrey Golden, MD, comments on new research exploring the use of computer algorithms in detecting the spread of breast cancer to lymph nodes.

The immune cells that help tumors instead of destroying them
EPFL scientists have discovered that neutrophils, a type of immune cell, can actually help lung tumors grow.

Potassium is critical to circadian rhythms in human red blood cells
An innovative new study from the University of Surrey and Cambridge's MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, published in the prestigious journal Nature Communications, has uncovered the secrets of the circadian rhythms in red blood cells and identified potassium as the key to unravelling the mystery.

Few California retailers offer pharmacist-prescribed birth control, despite law
A new law took effect in California last year allowing pharmacists to prescribe birth control, but few of the state's pharmacies are actually offering this service, according to new UC Berkeley research.

New discovery may enhance chemotherapy's efficiency against leukaemia
Portuguese researchers have found a mechanism through which certain types of leukaemia resist chemotherapy, revealing novel molecular targets to improve this therapy's efficiency.

Time of day affects severity of autoimmune disease
Immune responses and the regulation of autoimmunity are affected by the time of day when the response is activated.

NASA analyzes short-lived Bay of Bengal cyclone
NASA analyzed the rainfall generated by short-lived Tropical Cyclone 04B that formed and faded over a day in the Bay of Bengal.

NOAA/NASA's Suomi NPP satellite provides copious information on California's fires
The Thomas fire, the fifth largest in California's history, continues to creep towards Montecito and Santa Barbara, and is currently 234,200 acres in size.

NREL research finds a sweet spot for engineering better cellulose-degrading enzymes
Researchers from the US Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have gained new insights into how glycosylation--the natural attachment of sugars to proteins--affects a key cellulase enzyme.

Cancer-causing mutation suppresses immune system around tumours
A new study shows that mutations in 'Ras' genes, which drive 25 percent of human cancers by causing tumour cells to grow, multiply and spread, can also protect cancer cells from the immune system.

African immigrants: How race and gender shape the American dream
Africans represent one of the fastest-growing immigrant groups in the United States, but women far outpace men for securing high-skilled jobs and earnings growth, indicates a new study led by a Michigan State University sociologist.

Depression's causal mechanisms identified with new method
People with major depressive disorder have alterations in the activity and connectivity of brain systems underlying reward and memory, according to a new study by the University of Warwick.

Columbia engineers create artificial graphene in a nanofabricated semiconductor structure
Researchers at Columbia Engineering, experts at manipulating matter at the nanoscale, have made an important breakthrough in physics and materials science, recently reported in Nature Nanotechnology.

Night-flyers or day-trippers? Study sheds light on when moths, butterflies are active
Butterflies fly during the day while moths travel at night - or so you might think.

Skin cancer treatment selfie goes viral, has public health lessons
In a new study, researchers analyzed the impact of one viral social media post in generating awareness about skin cancer.

Study examines medicinal compound in plant roots
Xanthones are specialized metabolites with antimicrobial properties that are found in the roots of medicinal plants called Hypericum perforatum, also known as St.

Searching for the CRISPR swiss-army knife
Scientists at the University of Copenhagen, led by the Spanish Professor Guillermo Montoya, are investigating the molecular features of different molecular scissors of the CRISPR-Cas system to shed light on the so-called 'Swiss-army knives' of genome editing.

Dinosaur parasites trapped in 100-million-year-old amber tell blood-sucking story
Fossilized ticks discovered trapped and preserved in amber show that these parasites sucked the blood of feathered dinosaurs almost 100 million years ago, according to a new article published in Nature Communications today.

Privacy policies affect quantity of genetic testing
Different types of privacy laws in US states produce markedly different effects on the willingness of patients to have genetic testing done, according to a new study co-authored by an MIT professor.

Immune diseases inflict identical twins differently
A new study by researchers at the Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine reports which epigenetic factors in certain chromosomes that make one twin more at risk for autoimmune thyroid diseases.

Hubble's celestial snow globe
It's beginning to look a lot like the holiday season in this NASA Hubble Space Telescope image of a blizzard of stars, which resembles a swirling snowstorm in a snow globe.

Research reveals how diabetes in pregnancy affects baby's heart
Researchers at the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA have discovered how high glucose levels -- whether caused by diabetes or other factors -- keep heart cells from maturing normally.

Will people eat relish made from 'waste' ingredients? Drexel study finds they may even prefer it
A new Drexel University study found strong potential for consumer acceptance of a new category of foods created from discarded ingredients.

HIV-1 regulation via protective human leukocyte antigen (HLA) haplotypes
HIV-1 regulation by the HLA-B*52:01 allele has been established for some time.

Southern Africa's cheetah population much smaller than believed
Populations of cheetahs in southern Africa have declined as farming and other human activities push deeper into the big cats' range, a study led by researchers at Duke University and the Claws Conservancy finds.

Salmonella cases no longer falling in the EU
The declining trend of salmonellosis cases in the EU has levelled off according to the annual report on zoonotic diseases published today.

Spinal cord injury affects the heart
Spinal cord injury affects the heart, that's what research published in Experimental Physiology and carried out by researchers from University of British Columbia, Canada has found.

Space weather, EarthScope, and protecting the national electrical grid
Geomagnetic disturbances from solar storms or electromagnetic pulse weapons pose a high risk to the electrical power grid.

Don't mix business with pleasure
In working life it's now almost expected that employees answer work-related emails after hours, or take their laptops with them on holiday.

Borrowing a leaf from biology to preserve threatened languages
One of the world's 7,000 languages vanishes every other week, and half might not survive the 21st century, experts say.

Battling white-nose syndrome in bats
Millions of bats in North America have been wiped out by the disease white-nose syndrome caused by the fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans, and scientists worry that a catastrophic reduction in the bat population will have pervasive ecological repercussions.

Study: Suburban ponds are a septic buffet
A new study shows that human waste accounts for a high percentage of nutrients consumed by some animals and plants in suburban ponds.

Role of transcriptional co-factor hints at possible inflammatory bowel disease treatment
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) causes inflammation and ulceration of the gut that are associated with an abnormal immune system.

Findings show potential use of artificial intelligence in detecting spread of breast cancer
Computer algorithms detected the spread of cancer to lymph nodes in women with breast cancer as well as or better than pathologists.

New research improves understanding of ancient landscapes
Geologists use zircon mineral grains to reconstruct what the Earth and its landscapes looked like in ancient times.

Put the cookie down! Researchers create app to predict and intervene in users' over
Researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and the University of Connecticut (UConn) are collaborating on a smartphone app aimed at helping users manage their overeating challenges.

Medical marijuana for children with cancer? What providers think
Most providers willing to consider medical marijuana use in children with cancer, but those with legal eligibility to certify are less likely to approve.

A whole-body approach to understanding chemosensory cells
Researchers at Tokyo Institute of Technology and the Monell Chemical Senses Center in the US have found a key protein (Skn-1a) acts as a master regulator for the generation of chemosensory cells in mice.

New mechanism to explain how El Niño influences East Asian and WN Pacific climate
Western North Pacific anomalous anticyclone (WNPAC, or referred to as Philippine Sea anomalous anticyclone) is the most important anomalous circulation pattern connecting El Niño and East Asian-western North Pacific monsoon.

A drug to treat retinal diseases with drops instead of injections
The Spanish firm Sylentis has developed a compound to treat diseases of the retina, such as age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, which will be administered by ophthalmic drops instead of intraocular injections.

Discovery deepens understanding of brain's sensory circuitry
An exploration of the deepest and most mysterious layer of the cortex in mice has revealed new circuits that may be central to how two key regions of the brain communicate about sensation.

What role can schools play in preventing and responding to teen dating violence?
A nationwide study of school principals has shown that while the majority had assisted a victim of teen dating violence (TDV) recently, most of them had never received formal training in this area and their school did not have a specific protocol for dealing with TDV.

As science becomes more international, scientific editorial boards lag behind
A study publishing Dec. 12 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology by Johanna Espin, Emilio Bruna, and colleagues at the University of Florida finds that while scientists from an increasing number of countries are represented in the scientific journals in which scientists report their results, the editors of these journals are a far less diverse group.

Hormone therapy not recommended for prevention of chronic conditions in postmenopausal women
The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends against the use of combined estrogen and progestin in postmenopausal women, or estrogen alone in postmenopausal women who have had a hysterectomy, to prevent chronic conditions such as heart disease, dementia and stroke.

Oligonucleotide drug producers coauthor report on drug impurities
A new addition to a series of articles that focus on important topics related to the development of oligonucleotide therapeutics presents an in-depth look at the identification, characterization, and reporting of product-related impurities.

What do high school athletes, their parents and coaches know about concussion?
Most high school athletes, their parents and coaches can identify the possible effects of concussion, but only about one-third know that it is a brain injury.

Facility infrastructure does not indicate healthcare quality in low/middle-income countries
While a strong infrastructure is important for healthcare, measures of health facility infrastructure are poorly correlated with health system quality, according to a new study published this week in PLOS Medicine by Hannah Leslie from the Harvard T.H.

Researchers develop new model to predict which universities student athletes will attend
With revenue from college football at an unprecedented $3.4 billion annually, universities across the country invest millions each year in recruitment efforts for high school football players.

Computer scientists develop a simple tool to tell if websites suffered a data breach
Computer scientists have built and successfully tested a tool designed to detect when websites are hacked by monitoring the activity of email accounts associated with them.

Marijuana may help HIV patients keep mental stamina longer
A chemical found in marijuana, known as tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, has been found to potentially slow the process in which mental decline can occur in up to 50 percent of HIV patients, says a new Michigan State University study.

Late-breaking hematology abstracts signal new, near-term therapeutic options for patients
In four clinical trials being presented today during the 59th American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting and Exposition in Atlanta, researchers report promising results suggesting patients with blood disorders and several types of cancer will soon have significantly expanded options for treatment.

Mosquito sex protein could provide key to controlling disease
A protein transferred from male to female mosquitoes during sex influences female mating behavior -- a phenomenon that could be exploited to limit the spread of mosquito-borne illnesses like Zika and dengue.

Genetics preserves traces of ancient resistance to Inca rule
The Chachapoyas region was conquered by the Inca Empire in the late 15th century.

Thyroid medication did not improve pregnancy outcomes for women in China undergoing IVF
Treatment with the thyroid medication levothyroxine did not improve pregnancy outcomes for women in China undergoing in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer for infertility.

Faster, more accurate cancer detection using nanoparticles, Rutgers-led study finds
Using light-emitting nanoparticles, Rutgers University-New Brunswick scientists have invented a highly effective method to detect tiny tumors and track their spread, potentially leading to earlier cancer detection and more precise treatment.

Closing in on advanced prostate cancer
A team headed by Xavier Salvatella, ICREA researcher at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona), has discovered a new avenue through which to attack prostrate cancer cells that have developed drug-resistance.

Visualizing single molecules in whole cells with a new spin
In their new study, a Wyss Institute/Max Planck Institute team adapted DNA-PAINT technology to microscopes that are widespread among cell biology laboratories, called confocal microscopes, and that are used by researchers to image whole cells and thicker tissues at lower resolution.

OSU plant pathologists discover unusual evolutionary transition in common bacteria
There are mostly benign species in the soil-borne, plant-associated genus of bacteria known as Rhodococcus, but a few species can be pathogenic.

Perking up and crimping the 'bristles' of polyelectrolyte brushes
A molecular-sized brush that looks like a shoe brush has properties with great potential for the materials industry and medicine, but polyelectrolyte brushes can be sensitive, and getting them to work right tricky.

Winter months most likely to lead to tragedy for men who disappear on a night out
Men are more likely to go missing on a night out and be found dead in December than at any other time of the year, according to a sobering new report from the University of Portsmouth.

Stuttering: Stop signals in the brain disturb speech flow
'G-g-g-g-g-ood morning' is a daily obstacle for people who stutter.

Humans, unlike monkeys, turn competitive situation into cooperative one
Rhesus macaques and capuchin monkeys can find a stable solution when playing a competitive game in which one opponent always does better than the other, but only humans can find a solution that benefits both competitors equally, turning a competitive situation into a cooperative one, according to a Georgia State University study.

Mathematicians crack 44-year-old problem
A group of mathematicians has proved László Fejes Tóth's zone conjecture.

Researchers develop test that can diagnose two cancer types
A blood test using infrared spectroscopy can be used to diagnose two types of cancer, lymphoma and melanoma, according to a study led by Georgia State University.

A gold-standard cancer treatment is in decline, and money may be why
Offering brachytherapy for locally advanced cervical cancer ends up costing hospitals money, potentially explaining its declining use even though it's considered the most effective treatment.

New maps show shrinking wilderness being ignored at our peril
Maps of the world's most important wilderness areas are now freely available online following a University of Queensland and Wildlife Conservation Society-led study published today.

Pokémon Go could help people who struggle socially
Video games may have a reputation for attracting introverts, but when it comes to augmented reality games like Pokémon Go, extroverts tend to be better players.

Nanotexturing creates bacteria-killing spikes on stainless steel surfaces
By using an electrochemical etching process on a common stainless steel alloy, researchers have created a nanotextured surface that kills bacteria while not harming mammalian cells.

New species of fish displays striking color difference between males and females
Adult males of are a deep reddish-orange, while females and juveniles are pale yellow, according to the authors of an article in Journal of Fish Biology describing tetra Hyphessobrycon myrmex.

Drug blocks Zika, other mosquito-borne viruses in cell cultures
Dengue, Zika, West Nile and yellow fever virus -- to name the more notorious public health gangsters of this clan -- are all mosquito-borne flaviviruses, and they're notoriously hard to take out.

Fish and ships: Vessel traffic reduces communication ranges for Atlantic cod, haddock
NOAA scientists studying sounds made by Atlantic cod and haddock at spawning sites in the Gulf of Maine have found that vessel traffic noise is reducing the distance over which these animals can communicate with each other.

Important new aspects are revealed about the control of cell division
University of Seville researchers from the Andalusian Centre for Molecular Biology and Regenerative Medicine (Centro Andaluz de Biología Molecular y Medicina Regenerativa - Cabimer) have published a study on the fundamental role that the nucleus plays in the coordination of these processes

How honey bee gut bacteria help to digest their pollen-rich diet
The honey bee gut is colonized by specialized bacteria that help digest components of the floral pollen diet and produce molecules that likely promote bee health.

3-D printed microfibers could provide structure for artificially grown body parts
Much as a frame provides structural support for a house and the chassis provides strength and shape for a car, a team of Penn State engineers believe they have a way to create the structural framework for growing living tissue using an off-the-shelf 3-D printer.

Fossil orphans reunited with their parents after half a billion years
Everyone wants to be with their family for Christmas, but spare a thought for a group of orphan fossils that have been separated from their parents since the dawn of animal evolution, over half a billion years ago.

New scientific yardstick to help early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease
The European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) released a new scientific yardstick, in the form of a certified reference material, to help early detection of Alzheimer's disease.

Tapeworm drug could lead the fight against Parkinson's disease
Researchers at Cardiff University, in collaboration with the University of Dundee, have identified a drug molecule within a medicine used to treat tapeworm infections which could lead to new treatments for patients with Parkinson's disease.

Why do some people hate cilantro? (video)
Cilantro is a popular seasoning, adding flavor to tacos and noodle dishes across the globe.

Water without windows: Capturing water vapor inside an electron microscope
Scientists were able to demonstrate another way of viewing biological samples at high resolution.

Estrogen discovery could shed new light on fertility problems
Estrogen produced in the brain is necessary for ovulation in monkeys, according to researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who have upended the traditional understanding of the hormonal cascade that leads to release of an egg from the ovaries.

Trust in e-cigarette safety varies by worldview, source of messaging
Public health messaging about the safety of e-cigarettes needs to account for the worldviews of the target audience, with different groups displaying varying levels of trust depending on the source of the message, according to a recent study by the School of Public Health at Georgia State University.

Gecko adhesion technology moves closer to industrial uses
While human-made devices inspired by gecko feet have emerged in recent years, enabling their wearers to slowly scale a glass wall, the possible applications of gecko-adhesion technology go far beyond Spiderman-esque antics.

Action games expand the brain's cognitive abilities
The human brain learns and adapts. Numerous research studies have focused on the impact of action video games on the brain by measuring cognitive abilities, such as perception and reaction time.

Scientists designed an instrument to identify unexploded artillery shells
Society faces threats through the malicious use of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and/or explosive (CBRNE) materials.

AGU Fall Meeting: Accumulating sediment in Mississippi River threatens course change
Accumulating sediment within the lower Mississippi River could, when coupled with a major flood, cause the river to abandon its current course, potentially ruining the drinking water source for roughly 1.5 million people, according to new research presented here today.

Hot vibrating gases under the electron spotlight
A Japanese research team led by the University of Tokyo studied the vibration of four gases using electron microscopy and spectroscopy by collaborating with Hitachi High-Technologies Corp.

The public fear sharks less when they understand their behaviour: Study
University of Sydney researchers surveyed more than 500 visitors to an aquarium 'shark tunnel' to understand how attitudes to sharks and government shark policies can change.

USC Viterbi professor designs thermal 'skin' to maintain temperature of satellites
If a satellite's temperature is not maintained within its optimal range, its performance can suffer which could mean it could be harder to track wildfires or other natural disasters, your Google maps might not work and your Netflix binge might be interrupted.

Younger newly-diagnosed patients with type 2 diabetes are hit hard by the disease
Risk factors for developing cardiovascular disease or eye and renal damage following type 2 diabetes are much more common among patients who are diagnosed before the age of 45 than in elderly newly-diagnosed patients.

Technology detecting RNase activity
A KAIST research team of Professor Hyun Gyu Park at Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering developed a new technology to detect the activity of RNase H, a RNA degrading enzyme. 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