Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 21, 2017
Study confirms beauty is in the eye of the beer holder
University of Nebraska-Lincoln psychology researchers used eye-tracking technology to determine how alcohol influences when college-age will men drop their eyes from a woman's face to other parts of her anatomy.

Researchers recommend specific diets for preventing colorectal cancer in high-risk groups
Researchers at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) have discovered that the amount of protein in our diet may be an important factor in the prevention of colorectal cancer in different risk groups.

Resolving to have a happier, healthier 2018? Reshape your body attitudes
Psychology Professor Pamela Keel describes research that offers an entirely different perspective on New Year's resolutions.

Fewer laboratory animals thanks to secondary nanobodies
Max Planck researchers develop sustainable alternative to the most widely used antibodies and their controversial production in animals.

Gut reaction: Repeated food poisoning triggers chronic disease
Small bacterial infections that may go unnoticed and which the body easily clears without treatment, such as occurs during mild food poisoning, nevertheless can start a chain of events that leads to chronic inflammation and potentially life-threatening colitis.

Technology not taking over children's lives despite screen-time increase
With children spending increasing amounts of time on screen-based devices, there is a common perception that technology is taking over their lives, to the detriment and exclusion of other activities.

Researchers map molecular interaction that prevents aggressive breast cancer
Researchers in Italy have discovered how specific versions of a protein called Numb protect the key tumor suppressor p53 from destruction.

A detailed map of North and South America's plant diversity
A team of researchers has complied a comprehensive list of all known plants that take root throughout North and South America, shedding light on plant diversity and patterns across the two continents.

Breakthrough pulls science ahead in race against devastating wheat disease
For the first time ever, scientists are gaining ground in the race against wheat stem rust, a pathogen that threatens global food security because of its ability to kill wheat.

Anti-virus protein in humans may resist transmission of HIV-1 precursor from chimps
In humans, an anti-virus protein known as APOBEC3H may defend against cross-species transmission from chimpanzees of the virus that gave rise to HIV-1.

Mathematical model reveals solution to sloshing coffee
Americans drink an average of 3.1 cups of coffee per day; for many people, the popular beverage is a morning necessity.

Diet rich in apples and tomatoes may help repair lungs of ex-smokers, study suggests
A study from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found the natural decline in lung function over a 10-year period was slower among former smokers with a diet high in tomatoes and fruits, especially apples, suggesting certain components in these foods might help restore lung damage caused by smoking.

IU astronomer helps discover that a star in the constellation Pisces is 'eating' planets
An Indiana University astronomer and colleagues have discovered that a distant star called RZ Picseum in the constellation Pisces is crushing one or more planets into its orbit into a vast cloud of gas and dust.

Prehistoric bling? Aesthetics crucial factor in development of earliest copper alloys
New study suggests golden hue crucial to development of world's earliest tin bronze artefacts.

Insect communication
Communication is the theme of the 2017 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, broadcast next week on the BBC.

Shutdown of coal-fired power plant results in significant fetal health improvement in downwind areas
First study to show fetal health improvement as a result of a coal-fired power plant shutdown due to direct federal level regulation on single pollution source finds 15 percent reduction in likelihood of having a low birth weight baby and 28 percent reduction in likelihood of a preterm birth in areas downwind of the power plant.

NASA spots a weaker, elongated Tropical Depression Kai-Tak
When NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Kai-Tak it measured cloud top temperatures and provided a look at the structure of the elongated storm.

New test shows when body is fighting a virus
A new test that measures RNA or protein molecules in human cells can accurately identify viral infection as a cause of respiratory symptoms, according to a Yale study.

Promoting self-esteem among African-American girls through racial, cultural connections
African-American girls who participated in an after-school cultural enrichment program showed greater school engagement, and reported higher confidence, at its conclusion.

Seasonal images reveal the science behind stem cells
At first glance, a pair of award-winning images created by University of Southampton postgraduate researcher Catarina Moura seem to have a seasonal theme.

Selective suppression of inflammation could deplete HIV and control HIV activation
A class of anti-inflammatory drugs already FDA-approved for rheumatoid arthritis could 'purge' the reservoir of infected immune cells in people infected by HIV, according to new research.

Fish use deafness gene to sense water motion
Fish sense water motion the same way humans sense sound, according to new research out of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

Why digital strategies matter in bond markets
Information technology investments are often valued favorably by the stock market because of their strategic nature and important role in influencing revenue and profit growth of firms. New research from the University of Maryland's Robert H.

The heat is on: Asylum-seeking into the EU will increase with climate change
Weather shocks in countries around the world have increased applications by asylum seekers hoping to enter the European Union -- a trend that could dramatically increase in the future because of climate change, a new study suggests.

Hunting for immune cells' cancer targets
A method developed by HHMI investigators sifts through hundreds of millions of potential targets to find a precise cancer beacon.

Computational study of world music outliers reveals countries with distinct recordings
Botswana is the country with the most distinct musical recordings around the world while China has the most distinct recordings in relation to its neighbours, according to research by Queen Mary University of London.

Nanofractionation platform with parallel mass spec to ID cytochrome CYP1A2 inhibitors
This new (and freely available) original research article presents a fast, robust and accurate methodology for correlating compound identity to CYP1A2 potency of inhibitors in metabolic mixtures.

New lensless camera creates detailed 3-D images without scanning
Researchers have developed an easy-to-build camera that produces 3-D images from a single 2-D image without any lenses.

Project at CCNY helps assemble complex molecules
Nucleosides are fundamental building blocks of genetic material which makes them attractive for a number of biologically relevant applications and as potential pharmaceuticals.

Teens exposed to drug use, mental distress, violence at risk for HIV in adulthood
The psychological and social risks that adolescents experience can have a lasting impact on adulthood.

Discovery of a 4,000-year-old military network in northern Syria
The discovery of more than a thousand sites in Syria has revised our understanding of the settlement of the steppes during all periods in the history of the Near East.

Motion in action: Scientists develop method to track human movements more accurately
Scientists have developed a data-driven method to better detect and track human movements for use in technologies such as at-home personal training videos or monitoring at-risk elderly patients.

Cutting-edge statistics yield new insight into attributing, projecting climate change
Projecting the future of extreme weather events across the globe remains a complex task in climate research--and one in which statisticians are increasingly playing key roles.

Small Ontario municipalities least prepared to support aging adults
Small municipalities in Ontario are less likely than larger centres to be able to accommodate the needs of their aging populations, according to a report from the University of Waterloo.

Another test to help clinicians diagnose asthma more accurately
In order to assess the accuracy and reliability of a test that can be added to the clinician's toolbox to diagnose asthma -- fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) concentration -- researchers gathered and analyzed data from previous peer-reviewed studies.

Weekly fish consumption linked to better sleep, higher IQ, Penn study finds
Regular fish consumption has been shown to improve cognition. It's also been known to help with sleep.

A PSA from your gut microbes: Enjoy the holidays but don't forget your fiber
Anyone watching their waistline this holiday season may want to pay attention to what their gut bacteria are eating.

An integrated assessment of vascular plants species of the Americas
Missouri Botanical Garden researcher Dr. Carmen Ulloa is the lead author of 'An Integrated Assessment of Vascular Plant Species of the Americas,' published today in Science.

Making waves
New approach enables measurements of changes in thousands of proteins in the minutes after frog eggs are fertilized, revealing previously opaque mechanisms such as how the destruction of a small number of proteins releases the 'brakes' on an egg's cell cycle.

Climate change: Soil animals cannot explain self-reinforcing effect
Leipzig. When the soil warms up, it releases more carbon dioxide (CO2) -- an effect that further fuels climate change.

Protected tropical forests are threatened by the bounty of adjacent oil palm plantations
A new study led by Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has warned of the threat that oil palm production poses to tropical forests.

MGH team engineers anti-inflammatory antibodies that may treat autoimmune disease
A team of Massachusetts General Hospital investigators has found a way to engineer antibodies within an organism, converting autoantibodies that attack 'self' tissues into anti-inflammatory antibodies in animal models of two autoimmune diseases.

Mars' surface water: We finally know what happened--SFU study
An international study co-led by SFU researcher Brendan Dyck has revealed that the sun may not have evaporated away all of Mars' surface water after all.

Molecular mapping made easy
Every day, every inch of skin on your body comes into contact with thousands of molecules -- from food, cosmetics, sweat, the microbes that call your skin home.

Hotter temperatures will accelerate migration of asylum-seekers to Europe, says study
In a new study in Science, researchers at Columbia University predict a rising number of asylum-seekers to the EU as global temperatures increase.

Assay to ID anticancer reagents targeting fructose-1,6-bisphosphate aldolase
An original research report by Eun Jeong Cho et al.

Short-term exercise equals big-time brain boost
Even a short burst of exercise can temporarily boost our brain power, says a new study by researchers at Western University in London, Canada.

Feathering the plasma nest: Tiny structures help prevent short circuits in plasma devices
Article describes method for preventing short circuits in plasma devices.

How to spot fake metals with acids (video)
Acids are reactive, with even weak acids like vinegar interacting with other materials to wow students.

Tumor growth parameters predict response to anti-angiogenic therapy in mice
Using a mathematical modeling approach, scientists have found that certain parameters of tumor growth in mice can predict the effectiveness of drugs that block formation of tumor-nourishing blood vessels.

NASA spots Tropical Storm Tembin form
NASA's Terra satellite passed over the Northwestern Pacific Ocean and found newly formed Tropical Storm Tembin in the Philippine Sea as it was nearing the southeastern Philippines.

Duke-led team develops more accurate tool to track new HIV infections
Researchers at the Duke Human Vaccine Institute have led an effort to develop a more accurate way to gauge the incidence of HIV infections in large populations, which will improve research and prevention strategies worldwide.

How did the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident impact thyroid cancer risk?
New lessons are being learned about risk assessment and predicting the extent of thyroid cancer occurrence following radiation exposure due to a nuclear power plant accident such as the one in March 2011 in Fukushima Prefecture of Japan.

Protein analysis allows for treatment of eye-disease symptoms with existing drugs
Demonstrating the potential of precision health, a team led by a researcher at the Stanford University School of Medicine has matched existing drugs to errant proteins expressed by patients with a rare eye disease.

Getting straight to the heart of the matter in stem cells
Salk scientists discover how to generate functioning cardiac cells from stem cells in single step.

New marker could detect fatal breast cancer up to one year earlier than current methods
A new marker that could be used to diagnose fatal breast cancer up to one year ahead of current methods has been described in a study published in the open access journal Genome Medicine this week.

Brain waves may predict and potentially prevent epilepsy -- Ben-Gurion U. researchers
Published in The Journal of Neuroscience, the findings demonstrate how using EEGs to identify changes in brain wave patterns over time can predict which post-injury patients will develop epilepsy.

Science's 2017 Breakthrough of the Year: The observation of two neutron stars merging
Science has chosen as its 2017 Breakthrough of the Year the first observations of a neutron-star merger, a violent celestial event that transfixed physicists and astronomers.

Memristors power quick-learning neural network
A new type of neural network made with memristors can dramatically improve the efficiency of teaching machines to think like humans.

Acid reflux associated with head and neck cancers in older adults
Acid reflux was associated with cancer of the respiratory and upper digestive tracts in older adults.

Rust stemmed for wheat
A multinational team has won a major battle in the war against a genetically versatile fungal pathogen with a long record of devastation of wheat production globally.

How a tumor grows can predict response to cancer therapy
Individual tumors respond differently to cancer drugs, if at all.

Tracking a solvation process step by step
Chemists of Ruhr-Universität Bochum tracked with unprecedented spatial resolution how individual water molecules attach to an organic molecule.

Ural scientists synthesized a new phosphor
Chemists and physicists from Ural Federal University and Institute of Chemistry of Solids of the Ural Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences synthesized a new compound and studied its properties.

Physicists negate century-old assumption regarding neurons and brain activity
Neurons are the basic computational building blocks that compose our brain.

Study finds online interest in sex rises at Christmas, with more births nine months later
A global analysis of human birth-rate cycles co-led by Indiana University reveals that online interest in sex rises at Christmas and certain other holidays, with more babies born nine months later.

Multifunctional protein contributes to blood cell development
Salk researchers uncover mechanism for how blood cells mature and specialize--and why errors can sometimes lead to leukemia.

The origin of water's unusual properties found
Using x-ray lasers, researchers at Stockholm University have been able to map out how water fluctuates between two different states when it is cooled.

SUTD researchers discover a Valleytronics route towards reversible computer
Researchers from SUTD have discovered a new route towards novel reversible computer by fusing the concepts of valleytronics with digital information processing.

G-quadruplex regulates breast cancer-associated gene
For breast cancer, carrying protein CD44s, instead of CD44v, has a survival advantage.

Wheat disease breakthrough to help feed the world
Famine may be largely a thing of the past but in recent years the re-emergence of a disease that can kill wheat -- which provides a fifth of humanity's food -- has threatened food security; now a wheat stem rust breakthrough is being announced just before Christmas, in two companion papers being published in the prestigious journal Science.

Medicaid expansion leads to increase in early-stage cancer diagnoses
The Affordable Care Act led to an increase in the number of cancer diagnoses -- particularly those at early stages -- in states where Medicaid was expanded, according to research from Indiana University.

A particle like slow light
Weyl particles are not particles which can move on their own (like electrons or protons), they only exist as 'quasiparticles' within a solid material.

Scientists learned to predict public corruption with neural networks
Scientists from the Higher School of Economics (HSE) and University of Valladolid have developed a neural network prediction model of corruption based on economic and political factors.

New study finds 'winking' star may be devouring wrecked planets
A team of US astronomers studying the star RZ Piscium has found evidence suggesting its strange, unpredictable dimming may be caused by vast orbiting clouds of gas and dust, the remains of one or more destroyed planets.

Using footprints to identify and monitor giant pandas in the wild
Footprints left by giant pandas in the wild can be used to identify the individual panda that made them and determine its sex, a study by a Duke-led international team of scientists shows.

Deep brain stimulation linked to longer survival for Parkinson's patients
A treatment called deep brain stimulation could slightly extend the life of people with Parkinson's disease.

LSUHealthNo contributes to 1s- of-its-kind study of upper aerodigestive cancers
Using data interpreted by LSU Health New Orleans' Louisiana Tumor Registry, a case-control study found for the first time that older people who have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) are at higher risk for cancers of the upper respiratory and digestive tract.

Towards better fates for wheat crops: Gene-level insights into a deadly pathogen
After decades, researchers finally have some gene-level insights into an age-old evolutionary arms race between wheat and the devastating fungal pathogen stem rust disease.

New depth sensors could make self-driving cars practical
In a new paper appearing in IEEE Access, members of the Camera Culture group at MIT's Media Lab present a new approach to time-of-flight imaging that increases its depth resolution 1,000-fold.

In the mood for love
Scientists at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC, Portugal) and Indiana University (IU, USA) showed that there is a specific mood associated with religious celebrations, and that this

Machine learning will change jobs
Machine learning computer systems, which get better with experience, are poised to transform the economy much as steam engines and electricity have in the past.

Understanding the impact of defects on the properties of moS2
Highly desired in the petrochemical industry, but generally unwanted in electronics manufacture, defects in MoS2 influence the properties and utility of this material.

Boat traffic threatens the survival of Panama's Bocas Del Toro dolphins
Bottlenose dolphins in Panama's Bocas Del Toro Archipelago should be designated as endangered say the authors of a new study.

Shining molecules distinguish between proteins in the brain
Small shining molecules developed by scientists at Linköping University in Sweden can be designed to distinguish between plaque of different proteins in the brain.

Leukaemia treatment can be made more effective by using a drug for iron overload
Chemotherapy for one type of leukaemia could be improved by giving patients a drug currently used to treat an unrelated condition, new research shows.

Patients have an important voice in shaping kidney disease research and treatment
In an effort to provide patients the opportunity to share practical health consumer perspectives, the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN) is including Patient Voice editorials that will accompany certain journal articles.

Now entering, lithium niobate valley
Lithium niobate is already one of the most widely used optical materials, well-known for its electro-optic properties but it is notoriously difficult to fabricate high-quality devices on a small scale using lithium niobate, an obstacle that has so far ruled out practical integrated, on-chip applications.

Meet the tiny machines in cells that massacre viruses
When viruses infect the body's cells, those cells face a difficult problem.

West African dolphin now listed as one of Africa's rarest mammals
A group of scientists now considers a little-known dolphin that only lives along the Atlantic coasts of Western Africa to be among the continent's most endangered mammals, a list that includes widely recognized species such as gorillas, African wild dogs, and black rhinos, according to WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) and the IUCN's (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Cetacean Specialist Group.

Mental stress-induced constricted blood vessels more likely in women
In women with heart disease, constriction of peripheral vessels during mental stress affects the heart circulation more than men's, potentially raising women's risk of heart-related events and death.

Don't step on my heels: Scientists teach robots how to respect personal space
Robots have a lot to learn about humans, including how to respect their personal space.

Taking stock of a thorny issue
A new book exploring the best scientific research on preventing coral-eating Crown-Of-Thorns Starfish (COTS) outbreaks, is expected to become a critical resource for informing management of these outbreaks across the Indo-Pacific.

Ames Laboratory-led team maps magnetic fields of bacterial cells, nano-objects for the f
A research team led by a scientist from the US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory has demonstrated for the first time that the magnetic fields of bacterial cells and magnetic nano-objects in liquid can be studied at high resolution using electron microscopy.

Vampire bat rabies kills hundreds of cattle a year in Peru
The vampire bat is known to be the principle reservoir of rabies throughout Latin America, yet the burden of vampire bat-transmitted rabies on human lives and livestock has been largely anecdotal.

Standardized breastfeeding monitoring for Germany?
On Nov. 20, 2017, the National Breastfeeding Committee at the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) organized an interdisciplinary conference with participants from various areas of the health system, as well as from research and politics, with the purpose of exchanging information of the collection of breastfeeding data in Germany.

Research opening gates for better targeting drugs
Researchers at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) Department of Cell Physiology and Molecular Biophysics and the Center for Membrane Protein Research have determined the kinetic cycle of a potassium channel at atomic resolution.

New technique could reveal immunotherapy targets, Stanford-led study finds
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and their colleagues have developed a way to pinpoint potential targets for cancer therapies that rely on the body's immune system.

Robots and humans: How to improve physical interaction
Popular entertainment often portrays robots as the perfect best friend, from Bender in the cartoon Futurama to the mighty Transformers.

UofL researcher proposes new term for the role of microbiota in neurodegeneration
Recent studies have shown that gut microbes may cause or worsen Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative conditions.

How singing your heart out could make you happier
Singing in groups could make you happier - according to new research from the University of East Anglia (UEA).

A kiss of death for prostate cancer
Hokkaido University researchers have uncovered a cellular protein that stabilizes a tumor promoting signaling pathway, suggesting a new target to treat prostate cancer.

A catalytic balancing act
Scientists have recently used a new and counterintuitive approach to create a better catalyst that supports one of the reactions involved in splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen.

Revised 'mcdonald criteria' expected to speed the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis
The McDonald Criteria for the Diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis have just been revised in hopes of speeding diagnosis and reducing the chance of misdiagnosis.

'Winking' star 550 light-years away may be devouring wrecked planets
A team of US astronomers studying the star RZ Piscium -- located about 550 light-years away in the constellation Pisces -- has found evidence suggesting its strange, unpredictable dimming episodes may be caused by vast orbiting clouds of gas and dust -- the remains of one or more destroyed planets. 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