Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 18, 2017
Regulating toxic chemicals for public and environmental health: A PLOS Biology collection
Over the past several decades thousands of new chemicals have been approved for commerce, even as evidence of their ability to cause serious harm has emerged.

Mindfulness training reduces stress during exam time, Cambridge study finds
Mindfulness training can help support students at risk of mental health problems, concludes a randomized controlled trial carried out by researchers at the University of Cambridge.

Making larvae count
Genetic barcodes are used to quantify crucial populations in a coral reef ecosystem.

UCLA researchers create skeletal muscle from stem cells
UCLA scientists have developed a new strategy to efficiently isolate, mature and transplant skeletal muscle cells created from human pluripotent stem cells, which can produce all cell types of the body.

New vaccine technology shows promise as a tool to combat the opioid crisis
An experimental heroin vaccine induced antibodies that prevented the drug from crossing the blood-brain barrier in mice and rats.

How teens learn about others
Despite their intense interest in other people, adolescents are slower to learn about the preferences of their peers than adults, according to results from a new approach to studying social development published in JNeurosci.

Using viruses to fight viruses: New approach eliminates 'dormant' HIV-infected cells
Researchers at The Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa have discovered that the Maraba virus, or MG1, can target and destroy the kind of HIV-infected cells that standard antiretroviral therapies can't reach.

Viruses can transfer genes across the superkingdoms of life
A new finds that viruses can transfer genes to organisms that they aren't known to infect, suggesting they can influence and interact with a much wider range of organisms than previously thought.

What factors affect quality of life in older patients with cancer?
A new study provides insights on the factors that affect health-related quality of life in older adults with cancer.

NASA solves how a jupiter jet stream shifts into reverse
Speeding through the atmosphere high above Jupiter's equator is an east-west jet stream that reverses course on a schedule almost as predictable as a Tokyo train's.

Plain cigarette packaging may reduce incorrect impression of product's safety
An online survey of 900 consumers of three of the United States' most popular cigarette brands suggests that adopting standardized cigarette packing may reduce consumers' misconceptions that some cigarettes are less harmful than others, reports a team of researchers led by University of California San Diego School of Medicine and published in BMJ Tobacco Control.

Primitive fossil bear with a sweet tooth identified from Canada's High Arctic
Researchers from the Canadian Museum of Nature and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County have identified remains of a 3.5-million-year-old bear from a fossil-rich site in Canada's High Arctic.

Thinking about germs makes people concerned about how they look
People who worry a lot about germs appear also to be especially concerned about their physical appearance, a new study shows.

A new approach for detecting planets in the Alpha Centauri system
Yale astronomers have taken a fresh look at the nearby Alpha Centauri star system and found new ways to narrow the search for habitable planets there.

Factors affecting the health of older sexual & gender minorities
A special issue of LGBT Health includes the latest research, clinical practice innovations, and policy aimed at addressing disparities and enhancing healthcare for older LGBT populations.

Early diagnosis can save babies' lives: A guide to severe combined immunodeficiency disease (SCID)
The review, published in CMAJ, is aimed at pediatricians, family physicians and other doctors who may treat newborns, including those who appear healthy at birth but begin to get severe, repeated infections requiring emergency department visits.

How fungi helped create life as we know it
Today our world is visually dominated by animals and plants, but this world would not have been possible without fungi, say University of Leeds scientists.

In the footsteps of Jacques Cousteau
In 1970, Jacques Cousteau and his Team recovered an unusual stalactite from the depths of the Caribbean Sea.

Warmer, wetter climate could mean stronger, more intense storms
How would today's weather patterns look in a warmer, wetter atmosphere -- an expected shift portended by climate change?

Born under an inauspicious moon, baby fish delay settlement on coral reefs
Parents' choices about when to breed have lifelong consequences for offspring.

Tracking effects of a food preservative on the gut microbiome
Antimicrobial compounds added to preserve food during storage are believed to be benign and non-toxic to the consumer, but there is 'a critical scientific gap in understanding the potential interactions' they may have with the hundreds of species of microbes in our intestines, say David Sela, a nutritional microbiologist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and colleagues.

How much people earn is associated with how they experience happiness
People who earn more money tend to experience more positive emotions focused on themselves, while people who earn less take greater pleasure in their relationships and ability to connect with others, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.

Sugar-coated world
Glycans are essential to virtually every biological process in the body.

Thermally activated delayed photoluminescence from semiconductor nanocrystals
Researchers from North Carolina State University have found that the transfer of triplet excitons from nanomaterials to molecules also creates a feedback mechanism that returns some energy to the nanocrystal, causing it to photoluminesce on long time scales.

Birds learn from each other's 'disgust,' enabling insects to evolve bright colors
A new study of TV-watching great tits reveals how they learn through observation.

Breakthrough study reveals new insight into 'immortal' plant cells
A new study has revealed an undiscovered reprogramming mechanism that allows plants to maintain fitness down the generations.

New study shows how birds work to sing together
A new paper published in Behavioral Ecology finds that songbirds may coordinate both vocally and visually to enhance their singing partners' responses.

Study: Teens who help strangers have more confidence
A new study from BYU's School of Family Life found that adolescents who exhibited prosocial behavior toward strangers had higher self-esteem a year later.

Radiosurgery or whole-brain radiation in patients with multiple brain metastases?
A University of Colorado Cancer Center study publishing in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology shows that in a subset of patients, radiosurgery may be the best choice even when the number of brain lesions far exceeds the established three-lesion threshold.

Are parents doing enough to prepare 'substitute' babysitters over the holidays?
Parents may underestimate the importance of preparing new sitters for common scenarios like injuries or more serious emergencies.

New RCT shows no benefit from probiotics, xylitol chewing gum in alleviating sore throats
The use of probiotics and xylitol chewing gum to alleviate sore throat symptoms -- as an alternative to antibiotics -- appears to have no effect, according to a randomized controlled trial (RCT) published in CMAJ.

Could cognitive interventions be useful in treating depression?
A new study by experimental psychologists from the University of Bristol has examined whether cognitive bias modification (CBM) for facial interpretation, a digital health intervention that changes our perception for emotional expressions from negative to positive, might be useful in treating depression.

Is Chinese massage an effective and cost-effective treatment for chronic neck pain?
A new study evaluating a form of Chinese massage, tuina, in patients with chronic neck pain found it to be effective, safe, and cost-effective compared to no treatment.

Researchers repurpose immune-activating cytokine to fight breast cancer
The most lethal form of breast cancer could have a new treatment option, according to new research out of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Dartmouth engineers produce breakthrough sensor for photography, life sciences, security
Engineers from Dartmouth's Thayer School of Engineering have produced a new imaging technology that may revolutionize medical and life sciences research, security, photography, cinematography and other applications that rely on high-quality, low-light imaging.

Men gave more talks than women at top 50 universities in US
Male professors gave more than twice as many talks as female professors in departments at the country's 50 most prestigious universities during the 2013-2014 academic year, according to new research from Rice University.

Reducing how much nitrogen enters a lake has little impact on algal blooms
Lakes suffering from harmful algal blooms may not respond to reduced, or even discontinued, artificial nitrogen loading.

Altered brain development, cognitive abilities in premies
Premature babies undergoing hundreds of life-saving procedures exhibit abnormal development of the thalamus and cognitive and motor impairments in the first years of life, according to a study published in JNeurosci of infants born as early as 24 weeks of gestation.

Flower or flesh? Genetics explain mosquito preference
New research is helping explain why most mosquitoes in one species choose flowers over blood meals.

With a little help from my friends: Ending social isolation could lower diabetes risk
In a study involving 2,861 participants, socially isolated individuals were found to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes more often than individuals with larger social networks.

Cervical cancer diagnoses and deaths to rocket in older women
Incidence of cervical cancer in young women is set to decline 75 percent by 2040 with deaths close to eradicated, however older women will face greater risk according to research led by Queen Mary University of London.

Human societies evolve along similar paths
Societies ranging from ancient Rome and the Inca empire to modern Britain and China have evolved along similar paths, a huge new study shows.

MiNT protein a fresh target to attack disease
A potent protein that resides in a cell's mitochondria is the most recent link to be detailed in a cycle that manages iron and reactive oxygen species.

The incredible journey of the first African tortoise that arrived in Europe
About 95 million years ago, a river turtle adapted to marine environments and made an extraordinary migration from the ancient continent of Gondwana, which grouped what is now Africa and South America, to Laurasia, the Northern continental mass of which Europe, Asia and North America were part.

Fast flowing heat in layered material heterostructures
Graphene Flagship scientists, led by researchers at ICFO -- The Institute of Photonic Sciences in Barcelona, Spain, have detected graphene's out-of-plane heat transfer in van der Waals heterostructures.

Undocumented immigrants have higher risk of death with emergency-only dialysis
Undocumented immigrants with end-stage kidney disease were much more likely to die and to spend more time in the hospital when they could access dialysis only as an emergency once they became critically ill.

Researchers compute their way to the center of the Earth
A team led by Dr. Clemens Prescher and Prof. Sandro Jahn at the University of Cologne has been using Jülich Supercomputing Centre resources to study high-pressure and- temperature material interactions deep below the surface of the Earth.

Heat from below Pacific Ocean fuels Yellowstone, study finds
Recent stories in the national media are magnifying fears of a catastrophic eruption of the Yellowstone volcanic area, but scientists remain uncertain about the likelihood of such an event.

Nanotubes go with the flow to penetrate brain tissue
Carbon nanotube electrodes are flexible like wet noodles, but researchers at Rice University have developed a method to implant them in brain tissue.

Process to transition two-layer graphene into diamond-hard material on impact discovered
Scientists at the Advanced Science Research Center (ASRC) at the Graduate Center, CUNY, worked to theorize and test how two layers of graphene -- each one-atom thick -- could be made to transform into a diamond-like material upon impact at room temperature.

'Quantum material' has shark-like ability to detect small electrical signals
A 'quantum material' that mimics a shark's ability to detect the minute electric fields of small prey has been shown to perform well in ocean-like conditions, with potential applications from defense to marine biology.

BfR assesses maximum daily level for magnesium in food supplements
The maximum daily level for magnesium in food supplements should not exceed 250 milligrams (mg).

New guide aims to unmask unique challenges women face in getting healthy sleep
The unique barriers faced by women in maintaining good sleep health are often misunderstood or overlooked, according to a new resource

Russian physicists found the temperature at which carbon nanotubes become superconductors
'Our task was to change the 1D structure in order to increase the temperature of superconductive transition' comments Anatoly Zatsepin, the head of a scientific research laboratory at Institute of Physics and Technology, UrFU.

Why machines will not replace humans in the labor market
Deputy Director of the Centre for Labour Market Studies at the Higher School of Economics Rostislav Kapeliushnikov says that predictions of a 'labor market apocalypse' with mass loss of jobs caused by technological progress are unfounded; despite having been made numerous times throughout modern history, they have never come true.

Tiny bilirubin-filled capsules could improve survival of transplanted pancreatic cells
By encapsulating bilirubin within tiny nanoparticles, researchers from North Carolina State University and the Ohio State University have improved the survival rates of pancreatic islet cells in vitro in a low-oxygen environment.

'Simple, but powerful' model reveals mechanisms behind neuron development
Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have now uncovered new insights into the regulatory network behind neuron growth.

Routines, practice and mental rehearsal mitigate some risks of armed self-defense
Oregon State University researchers have identified ways that handgun owners attempt to mitigate those risks, including developing routines with their firearms, practicing target shooting and self-defense simulations and mentally rehearsing self-defense scenarios.

Oldest fossils ever found show life on Earth began before 3.5 billion years ago
Researchers at UCLA and the University of Wisconsin-Madison have confirmed that microscopic fossils discovered in a nearly 3.5 billion-year-old piece of rock in Western Australia are the oldest fossils ever found and indeed the earliest direct evidence of life on Earth.

Orbital mayhem around a red dwarf
In the collective imagination, planets of a solar system all circle around their star, in the equatorial plane of the star.

Scientists Discover unexpected side effect to cleaning up urban air
As levels of atmospheric nitric oxide decline rapidly due to air quality regulations, North American cities may soon experience higher levels of airborne organic hydroperoxides, with unknown implications for air quality and human health.

Negative portrayals of shooting victims lead to victim blaming
Negative portrayals of shooting victims can lead people to blame the victim for his own death and to sympathize with the shooter, says a new study by researchers at Duke University and Simmons College.

How do you spot a Russian bot? Answer goes beyond Kremlin watching, new research finds
A team of researchers has isolated the characteristics of bots on Twitter through an examination of bot activity related to Russian political discussions.

Development on muon beam analysis of organic matter in samples from space
Japanese researchers from Osaka University have developed a muon-based approach to non-destructive investigations for unique asteroid samples.

Researchers find racial disparities in intensity of care at the end of life
Different outcomes exist between blacks and whites receiving care from the same hospice.

Novel mechanism that protects from glioblastoma identified
A group of researchers at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) have identified a protein called RanBP6 as a new regulator of EGFR.

Behavioral intervention improves sleep for hospitalized pregnant women
A study shows that a hospital-based behavioral intervention protocol including components of sleep hygiene and cognitive behavioral therapy successfully improved sleep in women who were hospitalized for a high-risk pregnancy.

Restoring aging genes in rats
Overexpression of a protein that regulates calcium homeostasis in hippocampal neurons can safely and effectively reverse and prevent age-related memory impairments in rats while restoring altered gene expression, finds new research published in JNeurosci.

Black hole pair born inside a dying star?
Researchers investigates the properties of gravitational waves and binary black holes if they formed inside a collapsing star.

Reproducing higher-order embryonic kidney structures using pluripotent stem cells
In the embryonic kidney, three types of precursor cells interact with each other to form a three-dimensional structure.

Illuminated: The mechanism behind shear thinning in supercooled liquids
Researchers at IIS, University of Tokyo simulated supercooled liquids subjected to Couette shear flow.

Fish to benefit if large dams adopt new operating approach
Recognizing that many large dams are here to stay, a University of Washington team is investigating an emerging solution to help achieve freshwater conservation goals by re-envisioning the ways in which water is released by dams.

85 new species described by the California Academy of Sciences in 2017
In 2017, researchers at the California Academy of Sciences added 85 new plant and animal species to the family tree, enriching our understanding of Earth's complex web of life and strengthening our ability to make informed conservation decisions.

China's scholastic success could begin with storybooks, research suggests
A recent study published by UC Riverside psychologist Cecilia Cheung asserts that the lessons taught in Chinese schools could start early, with childhood storybooks.

People with Type 2 diabetes need more support, say researchers
Research shows the old adage 'teach someone to fish' instead of giving them a fish, rings true when it comes to helping people with Type 2 diabetes.

A new member of laser diode family: Electrically pumped organic semiconductor laser
Organic laser diodes under electrical pumping are long-term and challenging goal for organic semiconductors.

NASA follows a fading Kai-Tak into the South China Sea
Two NASA satellites provided a look at Tropical Cyclone Kai-Tak when it was moving through the central Philippines and fizzling just west of Palawan in the South China Sea.

Brain lesions and criminal behavior linked to moral decision-making network
When brain lesions occur within the brain network responsible for morality and value-based decision-making, they can predispose a person toward criminal behavior, according to new research by Ryan Darby, MD, assistant professor of Neurology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC).

The evolution of the gene responsible for red meat to produce cancer has been revealed
A sugar called Neu5Gc, present in red meat, some fish and dairy products, is related to the appearance of spontaneous tumors in humans.

Simple tool may expedite transplants in kids with kidney failure
An easy-to-use tool to predict the likelihood of a child with kidney disease progressing to kidney failure has a high degree of accuracy and could be used to reduce the burden of dialysis and increase transplantations, according to a study led by researchers at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco.

From the omelette to the egg: Reversing protein aggregations
A new Tel Aviv University study suggests a novel form of protein aggregation that is both reversible and has positive physiological consequences for cells.

Minorities don't receive same health benefits of college completion as white peers
A new study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill finds that black and Hispanic young adults from disadvantaged childhoods do not enjoy the same health-promoting benefits of college completion as their upwardly mobile white peers.

Study of a microquasar from our Galaxy to explain the structure of distant radio galaxies
The research, led by the University of Jaén in collaboration with the University of Barcelona, has been published by Nature Communications journal and suggests that there are fewer gravitational waves than expected.

The body's street sweepers
A new study by medical researchers at LMU extends the list of tasks performed by the smallest blood cells known as platelets: At sites of infection, actively migrating platelets sweep bacteria into aggregates for disposal by phagocytic cells.

Star mergers: A new test of gravity, dark energy theories
Observations and measurements of a neutron star merger have largely ruled out some theories relating to gravity and dark energy, and challenged a large class of theories.

New data shows junk food, energy drinks may pose unique risks for teens
The popularity of energy drinks and junk food might have unique risks for teenagers who consume too much of them during the later stages of brain development.

Can brain lesions contribute to criminal behavior?
New research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences indicates that lesions to brain areas in individuals exhibiting criminal behavior all fall within a particular brain network involved in moral decision-making.

Mapping the global impact of shrinking glaciers on river invertebrates
River invertebrates react the same way to decreasing glacier cover wherever in the world they are, say scientists who have evaluated more than one million of them in diverse regions with shrinking glaciers, to determine the impact of global environmental change.

Juggling bills may be key at-risk indicator for food insecurity
Pawning family valuables or paying one bill while letting another bill slide may be warning signs that someone is at risk for being food insecure.

Three out of four Spanish residents buy the Lotería de Navidad (Spanish Christmas Lottery)
A total of 75.9 percent of Spanish residents buy Lotería de Navidad, representing more than 24 million people.

Designer nanoparticles destroy a broad array of viruses
An international group of researchers has designed new anti-viral nanoparticles that bind to a range of viruses.

Unleashing ultraviolet brings visible improvement
High-speed communication systems based on ultraviolet radiation are now in sight.

New 'checkpoint' model that could identify potential drugs to treat genetic disorders
A new 'checkpoint' model which can be used to identify potential treatments for genetic disorders such as cystic fibrosis and Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) has been proposed by a team of Bradford scientists.

Particle size matters for porous building blocks
Porous particles of calcium and silicate show potential as building blocks for a host of applications.

Alien object 'Oumuama was a natural body visiting from another solar system
Scientists at Queen's University Belfast have led worldwide investigations into a mysterious object that passed close to Earth after arriving from deep interstellar space.

Abuse and adversity in childhood linked to more cardiovascular risk in adulthood
Children and teens who experience abuse, bullying, neglect or witness violence and other forms of adversity are more likely to develop heart and blood vessel diseases as adults.

Nanoscale super-resonator extends light lifetime
Scientists designed the first subwavelength dielectric resonators for light trapping at the nanoscale that appears to be the simple silicon cylinder hundred times thinner than a human hair.

Theorists propose conditions needed to search for new form of matter
A pair of physicists provides a theoretical roadmap that could point to the discovery of an exotic magnetically ordered state of matter dubbed a 'chiral spin liquid.'

Dengue 'Achilles heel' insight offers hope for better vaccines
Researchers have new insights into how protective antibodies attack dengue viruses, which could lead to more effective dengue fever vaccines and drug therapies.

How electroconvulsive therapy relieves depression per animal experiments
In a study using genetically engineered mice, Johns Hopkins researchers have uncovered some new molecular details that appear to explain how electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) rapidly relieves severe depression in mammals, presumably including people.

Spectral broadening in clouds is affected by turbulence
A paper reviews recent progress on turbulent broadening of cloud droplet size distributions and warm rain initiation.

For stroke patients, rating scales predict discharge destination
Stroke survivors with higher scores on widely used outcome measures are more likely to be discharged home from the hospital, while those with lower scores are more likely to go to a rehabilitation or nursing care facility, reports a paper in the January issue of The Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy (JNPT).

We overstate our negative feelings in surveys, new research shows
We tend to overstate our negative feelings and symptoms in surveys, shows a new study by a team of psychology researchers.

Using gold nanoparticles to destroy viruses
EPFL researchers have created nanoparticles that attract viruses and, using the pressure resulting from the binding process, destroy them.

A radical approach to methane oxidation into methanol
A pair of researchers at Osaka University converted methane into valuable chemicals.

Novel technique expands industrial use of advanced high-strength steel alloys
Brazilian researcher develops innovative method of laser welding at high temperatures that enhances properties of AHS steel for applications in automotive and aerospace industries

Direct amygdala stimulation can enhance human memory
The findings are the first example of electrical brain stimulation in humans giving an event-specific boost to memory lasting until the next day, the scientists say.

Achieving sustainable resource use attainable through science of cooperation
Societies can achieve environmental sustainability by nurturing cooperation, according to research at the University of Maine.

Mutational signatures may ID pts with Br Ca most likely to benefit from platinum-based chemo
The presence in advanced breast cancer of mutational signatures characteristic of homologous recombination deficiency (HRD) was associated with improved clinical outcomes to treatment with platinum-based chemotherapy.

The shrinking moose of Isle Royale
Climate change and predator-prey dynamics with wolves make for smaller moose.

Shedding light on a shadowy organizational hub in cells
Researchers have shed light on the role that a large, enigmatic protein plays in assembling microtubules, paving the way for better cancer treatments.

Posttraumatic stress symptoms & posttraumatic growth in children & adolescents following earthquake
Posttraumatic stress symptoms -- including symptoms such as intrusion, avoidance, negative thoughts and feelings, and hyperarousal -- can arise among individuals exposed to natural disasters, yet positive psychological changes, such as posttraumatic growth, can also develop.

China's one-child generation not so selfish after all
Every generation tends to despair at the next one's perceived shortcomings, and Chinese society is no different.

Online sponsored ad ban has limited impact on consumer access to foreign pharmacies
As American consumers turn to online search engines for cheaper prescription drugs from foreign pharmacies, safety and quality concerns arise.

Researcher uses Westminster Abbey windows to shine light on glass myth
Gazing through the stained-glass windows of London's Westminster Abbey can evoke memories as diverse and vivid as the windows themselves, but to John Mauro, Penn State glass researcher, the windows sparked a quest to better understand the science behind the iconic portals to history.

Scientists discover gut bacteria in bees spread antibiotic-resistant genes to each other
Researchers from Arizona State University and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences have discovered that antibiotic-resistant genes are spread in honey bee gut bacteria so that all strains of bacteria survive, rather than just one gut bacterium acquiring resistance and outcompeting others.

Study sheds light on rarity of disease-causing IGF mutations
Peter Rotwein, M.D., was recently spotlighted by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) for a study he conducted on insulin-like growth factors (IGFs), a family of proteins that are crucial in early human growth and development.

Understanding enzyme cascades key to understanding metabolism
A spoonful of sugar may make the medicine go down, but understanding what happens to that sugar in the cell is far more complicated than simple digestion, according to researchers.

Ancient fossil microorganisms indicate that life in the universe is common
A new analysis of the oldest known fossil microorganisms provides strong evidence to support an increasingly widespread understanding that life in the universe is common.

Researchers begin isolating blood-feeding and non-biting genes in mosquitoes
Researchers have taken the first step on a path that eventually could result in female mosquitoes that no longer bite and spread diseases.

Researchers steer the flow of electrical current with spinning light
Light can generate an electrical current in semiconductor materials. This is how solar cells generate electricity from sunlight and how smart phone cameras can take photographs.

Discovery of ruins of ancient Turkic monument surrounded by 14 pillars with inscriptions
A joint excavation team from Osaka University and the Institute of History and Archaeology of the Mongolian Academy of Sciences discovered the ruins of a unique monument surrounded by 14 large stone pillars with Turkic Runic inscriptions arranged in a square on the steppe called Dongoin shiree in eastern Mongolia during their three-year (2015 ~ 2017) joint excavation. 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