Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 14, 2017
Music streaming sites benefit indie singers at the expense of top 100 artists
While free or low cost music streaming sources like Spotify decrease the use of paid music platforms, such as iTunes, a new study in the INFORMS journal Marketing Science, shows they significantly increase exposure for and access to lesser known or indie artists that fall outside the top 100 or even top 500 listings.

All politics -- and cannabis marketing -- are local
California's legal cannabis market, opening for business on Jan. 1, is expected to quickly grow to be the largest in the nation and worth more than $5 billion a year.

High success rate reported for diabetic Charcot foot surgery
Nearly four out of five diabetic patients with severe cases of a disabling condition called Charcot foot were able to walk normally again following surgery, a Loyola Medicine study has found.

Sumatran rhinos never recovered from losses during the Pleistocene, genome evidence shows
An international team of researchers has sequenced and analyzed the first Sumatran rhino genome from a sample belonging to a male made famous at the Cincinnati Zoo.

Eating together as a family helps children feel better, physically and mentally
Children who routinely eat their meals together with their family are more likely to experience long-term physical and mental health benefits, a new Canadian study shows.

One in 5 patients report discrimination in health care
The analysis by researchers at UC San Francisco, Stanford University, and UC Berkeley found that discrimination reported by black patients declined significantly over the six-year study period, reducing the difference between blacks and whites from 8.2 percent to 2.5 percent.

Autism traits increase thoughts of suicide in people with psychosis
People with autism traits who have psychosis are at a greater risk of depression and thoughts of suicide, new research has found.

Baylor study: Bosses who 'phone snub' their employees risk losing trust, engagement
Supervisors who cannot tear themselves away from their smartphones while meeting with employees risk losing their employees' trust and, ultimately, their engagement, according to new research from Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business.

Revealing the best-kept secrets of proteins
Salk scientists develop new approach to identify important undiscovered functions of proteins.

Software enables robots to be controlled in virtual reality
Brown University researchers have developed software that lets users control robots over the internet with off-the-shelf virtual reality hardware.

Coalition seeks to increase transparency on life science career prospects
Nine US research universities and a major cancer institute today announced plans to give would-be life scientists clear, standardized data on graduate school admissions, education and training opportunities, and career prospects.

Study: Forest resilience declines in face of wildfires, climate change
The research team said that with a warming climate, forests are losing their resilience to wildfires.

NASA looks at rainfall in developing Tropical Storm Kai-tak
Tropical Storm Kai-tak developed near the east central Philippines as the Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core satellite passed overhead and analyzed its rainfall.

Finding a less poopy solution for fecal transplant regulation
As fecal matter transplants (FMTs) continue to be more widely adopted, it is critical to have an appropriate regulatory framework in place, authors of this Policy Forum emphasize.

Groundbreaking gene therapy trial set to cure hemophilia
A 'cure' for hemophilia is one step closer, following results of a groundbreaking gene therapy trial led by Queen Mary University of London and the NHS in London.

Mild traumatic brain injury causes long-term damage in mice
A new Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology study in mice found that mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) can precipitate not only acute damage but also a lifelong degenerative process.

Womb natural killer cell discovery could lead to screening for miscarriage risk
For the first time the functions of natural killer cells in the womb have been identified.

One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests
Can companies rely on the results of one or two scientific studies to design a new industrial process or launch a new product?

Robotics researchers track autonomous underground mining vehicles
QUT robotics researchers have developed new technology to equip underground mining vehicles to navigate autonomously through dust, camera blur and bad lighting.

Brittle Stars inspire new generation robots able to adapt to physical damage
The invention of a robot made to adapt to unexpected physical damage is a significant breakthrough for machines made to function in tough environments.

Single-stranded DNA and RNA origami go live
A novel approach published in Science by a collaborative team of researchers from the Wyss Institute, Arizona State University, and Autodesk for the first time enables the design of complex single-stranded DNA and RNA origami that can autonomously fold into diverse, stable, user-defined structures.

Exercise does not seem to increase bone marrow edema in healthy people
A recent study published in Rheumatology finds that osteitis/bone marrow edema as measured by magnetic resonance imaging was present in healthy people.

Liquid biopsy results differed substantially between 2 providers
Two Johns Hopkins prostate cancer researchers found significant disparities when they submitted identical patient samples to two different commercial liquid biopsy providers.

ASU scientists develop new, rapid pipeline for antimicrobials
The research arm of the U.S. Department of Defense, the Defense Advanced Research Program Agency, or DARPA, is known for taking on out-sized challenges.

A genetic mutation in the evolution helps to explain the origin of some human organs
A genetic mutation that occurred over 700 million years ago may have contributed to the development of certain organs in human beings and other vertebrates.

Researchers track muscle stem cell dynamics in response to injury and aging
A new study led by SBP describes the biology behind why muscle stem cells respond differently to aging or injury.

New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists
LSU describes a distinctive new species of antbird from humid montane forest of the Cordillera Azul, Martin Region, Peru.

Study finds graspable objects grab attention more than images of objects do
Jacqueline Snow, with the University of Nevada, Reno's College of Liberal Arts, and her graduate students, Michael Gomez and Rafal Skiba, recently published findings of their research,

To trade or not to trade? Breaking the ivory deadlock
The debate over whether legal trading of ivory should be allowed to fund elephant conservation, or banned altogether to stop poaching has raged for decades without an end in sight.

Falling faster: The surprising leap of Felix Baumgartner
Five years ago the Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner broke the sound barrier during his free fall from an altitude of almost 39 kilometers.

Do bullies have more sex?
Adolescents who are willing to exploit others for personal gain are more likely to bully and have sex than those who score higher on a measure of honesty and humility.

Research highlights need for new approach to crippling horse disease
A new review 'Paradigm shifts in understanding equine laminitis' published in the Veterinary Journal, demonstrates how University of Liverpool led research has changed the way we think about a crippling disease of horses.

Computational strategies overcome obstacles in peptide therapeutics development
Recently developed computational strategies could help realize the promise of peptide-based drugs.

Supercoiling pushes molecular handcuffs along chromatin fibers
As it squeezes down the chromatin fiber, the cohesin protein complex extrudes a growing loop of DNA -- a bit like the quick-lacing system of trail-running shoes.

Climate change made Harvey rainfall 15 percent more intense
Scientists from World Weather Attribution and Rice University have found that human-caused climate change made the record rainfall that fell over Houston during Hurricane Harvey roughly three times more likely and 15 percent more intense.

NSF-funded researchers find that ice sheet is dynamic and has repeatedly grown and shrunk
The East Antarctic Ice Sheet locks away enough water to raise sea level an estimated 53 meters (174 feet), more than any other ice sheet on the planet.

How defeating THOR could bring a hammer down on cancer
Researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center uncovered a novel gene they named THOR.

Horrific mating strategy appears to benefit both male and female redback spiders
A mating strategy among redback spiders where males seek out immature females appears to benefit both sexes, a new U of T Scarborough study has found.

New insight into battery charging supports development of improved electric vehicles
A new technique developed by researchers at Technische Universität München, Forschungszentrum Jülich, and RWTH Aachen University, published in Elsevier's Materials Today, provides a unique insight into how the charging rate of lithium ion batteries can be a factor limiting their lifetime and safety.

Computer systems predict objects' responses to physical forces
Presenting their work at this year's Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, Prof.

Scientists pinpoint gene to blame for poorer survival rate in early-onset breast cancer patients
A new study led by scientists at the University of Southampton has found that inherited variation in a particular gene may be to blame for the lower survival rate of patients diagnosed with early-onset breast cancer.

Vaping popular among teens; opioid misuse at historic lows
Nearly one in three 12th-graders report past year use of some kind of vaping device, raising concerns about the impact on their health.

Drug discovery could accelerate hugely with machine learning
Drug discovery could be significantly accelerated thanks to a new high precision machine-learning model, developed by an international collaboration of researchers, including the University of Warwick.

Coloring books make you feel better, but real art therapy much more potent
Many adult coloring books claim to be art therapy and can reduce negative feelings, but art therapists are significantly more impactful, a Drexel study shows.

Skye high impact: Geologists in Scotland discover a 60-million-year-old meteorite strike
Geologists exploring volcanic rocks on Scotland's Isle of Skye found something out-of-this-world instead: ejecta from a previously unknown, 60 million-year-old meteorite impact.

Bioluminescent worm found to have iron superpowers
Researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego have made a discovery with potential human health impacts in a parchment tubeworm, found to have ferritin with the fastest catalytic performance ever described.

Hydrogen production: Protein environment makes catalyst efficient
The interaction of protein shell and active centre in hydrogen-producing enzymes is crucial for the efficiency of biocatalysts.

Children's screen-time guidelines too restrictive, according to new research
Digital screen use is a staple of contemporary life for adults and children, whether they are browsing on laptops and smartphones, or watching TV.

Study suggests social workers lack tools to identify potential chronic child neglect
Neglect accounts for the majority of all child protection cases in the United States, yet child welfare workers lack effective assessment tools for identifying the associated risk and protective factors of chronic neglect.

Scientists discover blood sample detection method for multiple sclerosis
Researchers identified two natural biomarker compounds present in the blood.

Finding a lethal parasite's vulnerabilities
Researchers from Penn's School of Veterinary Medicine have landed on encouraging findings to take on Strongyloides stercoralis, a parasitic nematode that's infected millions of people around the world.

HKBU scholars develop new generation of tumor-specific aptamer-drug conjugate
The toxic nature of chemotherapy poses a great challenge to clinical treatment of cancer.

Johns Hopkins scientists chart how brain signals connect to neurons
Scientists at Johns Hopkins have used supercomputers to create an atomic scale map that tracks how the signaling chemical glutamate binds to a neuron in the brain.

New catalyst meets challenge of cleaning exhaust from modern engines
Researchers have created a catalyst capable of reducing pollutants at the lower temperatures expected in advanced engines.

Scrap the stethoscope -- engineers create new way to measure vital signs with radio waves
Cornell University engineers have demonstrated a method for gathering blood pressure, heart rate and breath rate using a cheap and covert system of radio-frequency signals and microchip 'tags,' similar to the anti-theft tags department stores place on clothing and electronics.

UA experts: Valley fever cases see major spike in November
An uptick in reported cases of Valley fever indicates a likely sharp increase in infections next year.

Researchers identify way to weaken malaria parasites against popular drug treatment
Indiana University researchers have identified a way to block the ability of parasites that cause malaria to shield themselves against drug treatments in infected mice--a finding that could lead to the development of new approaches to combat this deadly disease in humans.

Kent State researcher exposes MRSA risk at northeast Ohio beaches
Tara C. Smith, Ph.D., a professor of epidemiology in Kent State's College of Public Health, published the findings of a study her lab conducted in 2015 that shows a higher-than-expected prevalence of Staphylococcus aureus and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) at beaches around Lake Erie.

Active surveillance of low-risk PMC of the thyroid proposed as first-line management
A 10-year study of more than 1,200 patients with low-risk papillary microcarcinoma (PMC) of the thyroid led researchers to conclude that close and continuous monitoring is an acceptable first-line approach to patient management instead of immediate surgery to remove the tumor.

Simulation model finds Cure Violence program and targeted policing curb urban violence
When communities and police work together to deter urban violence, they can achieve better outcomes with fewer resources than when each works in isolation, a simulation model created by researchers at the UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program, Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and the University at Albany has found.

Student drug use in Ontario, Canada, at historic lows but new concerns over fentanyl emerge
By almost every measure, students in grades 7 through 12 in Ontario, Canada are drinking, smoking, and using drugs at the lowest rates since the Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey (OSDUHS) began in 1977.

Drinking hot tea every day linked to lower glaucoma risk
Drinking a cup of hot tea at least once a day may be linked to a significantly lower risk of developing the serious eye condition, glaucoma, finds a small study published online in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.

First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control
UT researchers successfully constructed a first-of-its-kind chemical oscillator that uses DNA components.

Suicidal thoughts rapidly reduced with ketamine, finds study
Ketamine was significantly more effective than a commonly used sedative in reducing suicidal thoughts in depressed patients, according to researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC).

Behaviour of millions still shaped by Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution of 200 years ago, powered by coal and steam engines, laid the foundations of modern society.

Action video games to fight dyslexia
A study conducted by BCBL, the Basque research center, reveals that action video games improve visual attention and reading ability, two of the deficits suffered by people with dyslexia.

Synthetic protein packages its own genetic material and evolves
Scientists have created computationally designed protein assemblies, that display some functions normally associated with living things, in the search for ways to transport therapeutic cargo into specific types of cells without using viruses as vehicles.

An ultradilute quantum liquid made from ultra-cold atoms
ICFO researchers create a novel type of liquid one hundred million times more dilute than water and one million times thinner than air.

ANU archaeologist finds world's oldest funereal fish hooks
An archaeologist from The Australian National University has uncovered the world's oldest known fish-hooks placed in a burial ritual, found on Indonesia's Alor Island, northwest of East Timor.

Clearing the air
A greater understanding of the dynamics of chemical reactions is leading to better models of atmospheric chemistry.

Researchers develop mouse model to study Pteroptine ortheovirus
In the past decade, the first cases of respiratory tract infection caused by bat-borne Pteropine ortheovirus (PRV) have been reporting in humans.

Food-induced anaphylaxis common among children despite adult supervision
At least a third of reactions in children with food-induced anaphylaxis to a known allergen occur under adult supervision, according to a new study led by AllerGen researchers in Quebec, Ontario and Alberta.

Six-decade-old space mystery solved with shoebox-sized satellite called a CubeSat
A 60-year-old mystery about the source of energetic, potentially damaging particles in Earth's radiation belts has been solved using data from a shoebox-sized satellite built and operated by students.

'Knot' your average nanostructure: Single-stranded molecules that fold into big shapes
Helping to make creation of nano-sized structures more user-friendly, scientists have designed single-stranded DNA and RNA (ssDNA and ssRNA) that can fold into desired shapes on command, and at an unprecedented scale.

UMass Amherst, Peking University scientists advance knowledge of plant reproduction
Two groups of plant molecular biologists, at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Peking University, have long studied how pollen tubes and pistils, the male and female parts of flowers, communicate to achieve fertilization in plants.

Two groups that want to save elephants need to find common ground
In this Perspective, Duan Biggs et al. discuss ways in which two groups of people who want to help protect elephants from poaching -- but disagree on the means -- can achieve their common goal.

Bioengineers imagine the future of vaccines and immunotherapy
In the not-too-distant future, nanoparticles delivered to a cancer patient's immune cells might teach the cells to destroy tumors.

UNH researchers find effects of climate change could accelerate by mid-century
Environmental models are showing that the effects of climate change could be much stronger by the middle of the 21st century, and a number of ecosystem and weather conditions could consistently decline even more in the future.

Toxic chemicals in salons, lack of education lead to adverse health effects
Clients who frequent hair and nail salons exhibit more skin and fungal diseases than those who visit less often and nail salon technicians are receiving inadequate training in the use of chemicals, suggest two Rutgers School of Public Health studies.

To sleep or not: Researchers explore complex genetic network behind sleep duration
Scientists have identified differences in a group of genes they say might help explain why some people need a lot more sleep -- and others less -- than most.

'Bet hedging' explains the efficacy of many combination cancer therapies
Survival benefits of many cancer drug combinations are not due to drug synergy, but to a form of

Tracking planned experiments online could spot ways to improve animal testing
An online database of study summaries could be systematically evaluated to uncover new information about animal testing, including potential targets for efforts to minimize harm to lab animals.

NASA researchers share perspective on key elements of ozone layer recovery
Each year, ozone-depleting compounds in the upper atmosphere destroy the protective ozone layer, and in particular above Antarctica.

Dawn of a galactic collision
A riot of color and light dances through this peculiarly shaped galaxy, NGC 5256.

Artificial intelligence helps accelerate progress toward efficient fusion reactions
Article describes development of a deep learning neural network to predict disruptions on fusion plasmas.

Loose skin and 'slack volume' protect Hagfish from shark bites
Chapman University has published new research showing how hagfishes survive an initial attack from predators before they release large volumes of slime to defend themselves.

Frequent sun exposure may cue gene fusion found in skin cancer
Researchers from Kumamoto University, Japan have determined that a particular fusion gene has a tendency to be found in cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) lesions on skin exposed frequently to the sun.

Visitor patterns and emerging activities in national parks revealed by social media posts
Social media data provide a reliable information to support decision-making in national parks.

WPI team taking optical device from the lab to the clinic to detect cancer much earlier
In a paper in Nature Scientific Reports, researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) show how optical tweezers, which use beams of light to grip and manipulate tiny objects, including cells, can be miniaturized, opening the door to creating devices small enough to be inserted into the bloodstream to trap individual cancer cells and diagnose cancer in its earliest stages.

Nanoparticle staircase: Atomic blasting creates new devices to measure nanoparticles
A NIST team used a standard machining technique to fabricate a 'nanofluidic staircase' that allows precise measurement of the size of nanoparticles in a liquid.

Journaling inspires altruism through an attitude of gratitude
Gratitude does more than help maintain good health. New research at the University of Oregon finds that regularly noting feelings of gratitude in a journal leads to increased altruism.

Conserving the forests
UCSB economist Robert Heilmayr and colleagues evaluate certification programs as options for sustaining tropical forests.

Mechanism identified of impaired dendritic cell function that weakens response to cancer
Wistar scientists revealed the mechanism implicated in the defective function of tumor-associated dendritic cells (DCs), a specialized type of immune cells that expose the antigens on their surface to activate the T cells.

New cellular approach found to control progression of chronic kidney disease
Researchers have demonstrated for the first time that extracellular vesicles -- tiny protein-filled structures -- isolated from amniotic fluid stem cells (AFSCs) can be used to effectively slow the progression of kidney damage in mice with a type of chronic kidney disease.

Little understood cell helps mice see color
Researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus have discovered that color vision in mice is far more complex than originally thought, opening the door to experiments that could potentially lead to new treatments for humans.

Climate scientists study the odds of a US megadrought
To help untangle fact from speculation, Cornell University climate scientists and their colleagues have developed a 'robust null hypothesis' to assess the odds of a megadrought -- one that lasts more than 30 years -- occurring in the western and southwestern United States.

Regular takeaways linked to kids' heart disease and diabetes risk factors
Kids who regularly eat takeaway meals may be boosting their risk factors for heart disease and diabetes, suggests research published online in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Northeast farmers weigh warming climate, drenched fields
Farmers in the Northeast are adapting to longer growing seasons and warming climate conditions -- but they may face spring-planting whiplash as they confront fields increasingly saturated with rain, according to a research paper published in the journal Climatic Change.

New research linking cancer-inhibiting proteins to cell antennae
Danish researchers have just presented a previously unknown mechanism that inhibits the ability of cells to develop into cancer cells.

Genetics may play role in chronic pain after surgery
Genetics may play a role in determining whether patients experience chronic pain after surgery, suggests a study published today in the Online First edition of Anesthesiology, the peer-reviewed medical journal of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA).

MIT scientists prove tailgating doesn't get you there faster
A team from MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) shows that we'd have fewer traffic jams if we stopped tailgating.

Testing the accuracy of FDA-approved and lab-developed cancer genetics tests
Amid the debate about how much these tests should be regulated by the FDA, one question has gone unanswered: how well do LDTs and FDA-CDs perform?

National MagLab's latest magnet snags world record, marks new era of scientific discovery
The Florida State University-headquartered National High Magnetic Field Laboratory has shattered another world record with the testing of a 32-tesla magnet -- 33 percent stronger than what had previously been the world's strongest superconducting magnet used for research and more than 3,000 times stronger than a small refrigerator magnet.

A better way to weigh millions of solitary stars
Astronomers have come up with a new and improved method for measuring the masses of millions of solitary stars, especially those with planetary systems.

Tracing a plant's steps: Following seed dispersal using chloroplast DNA
Researchers have developed a new tool to sequence chloroplast DNA from hundreds of plants at once, to learn more about how plant populations move.

Canada's aging population signals need for more inclusive, accessible transportation system
Older Canadians on the Move is a new expert panel report by the Council of Canadian Academies.

Insight into how infants learn to walk
Ten-week-old babies can learn from practicing walking months before they begin walking themselves.

Forty years after first Ebola outbreak, survivors show signs they can stave off new infection
Survivors of the first known Ebola outbreak, which occurred in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1976, may be key to development of vaccines and therapeutic drugs to treat future outbreaks.

GAMBIT narrows the hiding places for 'new physics'
The elementary particles of 'new physics' must be so massive that their detection in the LHC, the largest modern accelerator, will not be possible.

Intervention offered in school readiness program boosts children's self-regulation skills
Adding a daily 20 to 30 minute self-regulation intervention to a kindergarten readiness program significantly boosted children's self-regulation and early academic skills, an Oregon State University researcher has found.

Hope for one of the world's rarest primates: First census of Zanzibar Red Colobus monkey
A team of WCS scientists recently completed the first-ever range-wide population census of the Zanzibar red colobus monkey (Piliocolobus kirkii) an endangered primate found only on the Zanzibar archipelago off the coast of East Africa.

A model of Mars-like protoplanets shed light on early solar activity
A scientist from Siberian Federal University (SFU) and his colleagues from Austria and Germany constructed a physical and mathematical model of Mars- and Venus-sized planet formation.

Despite removal of many obstacles, UK child organ donation rates remain low
Despite the removal of many logistical/professional obstacles, and clear guidance from national bodies, UK child organ donation rates remain lower than in other comparable countries, say experts in a leading article published online in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Cancer immunotherapy may work better in patients with specific genes
Investigators have been trying to understand why and have recently found how an individual's own genes can play a role in the response to the immunotherapy drugs.

Spaghetti-like, DNA 'noodle origami' the new shape of things to come for nanotechnology
A team of Arizona State and Harvard scientists has invented a major new advance in DNA nanotechnology.

How Canada can help protect Canadians from obesity and chronic disease
University of Toronto nutritional scientists are leading a study with national experts calling on the Canadian government to outlaw junk food marketing to children, impose stricter limits on unhealthy nutrients added to foods, and impose a 'sugary drink tax.'

ESMO publishes new position paper on supportive and palliative care
ESMO, the leading professional organization for medical oncology, published a position paper on supportive and palliative care in its leading scientific journal, Annals of Oncology today.

Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects
While engineers have had success building tiny, insect-like robots, programming them to behave autonomously like real insects continues to present technical challenges.

Critical toxic species behind Parkinson's Disease is glimpsed at work for the first time
The key agents involved in spreading Parkinson's Disease in the brain were thought to be too unstable to study in depth, but in new research scientists have both characterized these toxic structures, and established how they 'drill' into the walls of healthy brain cells.

A complex genetic network controls whether fruit flies need to sleep in
Some humans just need more sleep than others, and it turns out that the same is true in fruit flies.

Allergens widespread in largest study of US homes
Allergens are widespread, but highly variable in U.S. homes, according to the nation's largest indoor allergen study to date.

Researchers discover how cells remember infections decades later
How do immune cells remember an infection or a vaccination so that they can spring into action decades later?

Offbeat brainwaves during sleep make older adults forget
Like swinging a tennis racket during a ball toss to serve an ace, slow and speedy brainwaves during deep sleep must sync up at exactly the right moment to hit the save button on new memories, according to new UC Berkeley research. 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