Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 22, 2017
Zika remains a research and public health challenge, say NIAID scientists
The Zika virus has become established in more than 80 countries, infected millions of people, and left many babies with birth defects.

Study: Rate and risk of head injury in mixed martial arts remain unknown
The rate and potential risk of traumatic brain injury in mixed martial arts remain unknown due to lack of regulation and protocols surrounding these injuries, according to a new study.

New species of marine spider emerges at low tide to remind scientists of Bob Marley
It was 02:00h on 11 January 2009 when the sea along the coastline of Australia's 'Sunshine State' of Queensland receded to such an extent that it exposed a population of water-adapted spiders.

Researchers shed light on why exercise slows progression of Parkinson's disease
While vigorous exercise on a treadmill has been shown to slow the progression of Parkinson's disease in patients, the molecular reasons behind it have remained a mystery.

Analysis of new studies including 250,000 people confirms sugar-sweetened drinks are linked to overweight and obesity in children and adults
A new review of the latest evidence on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs)- which includes 30 new studies published between 2013 and 2015 (and none of them industry sponsored) -- concludes that SSB consumption is associated with overweight and obesity, and that countries that have not already done so should take action to reduce the consumption of the so-called 'empty calories' that these drinks contain.

Quantum noise reduction method for enhanced precision in atomic clocks
Finding ways to reduce quantum noise can enhance the precision of measurement in atomic fountain clocks or in methods used for quantum information processing.

Re-assessing Alaska's energy frontier
The new USGS assessment estimates 8.7 billion barrels of oil and 25 trillion cubic feet of natural gas resources.

Helpful intestinal bacteria counteracts tendency to depression
Animal studies from Aarhus University indicate that certain lactic acid bacteria can prevent the type of depression which is linked to an unhealthy lifestyle.

Tiny polyps save corals from predators and disease
Corals may have unexpected allies in improving their health and resilience.

Shape separates substance
Researchers at University of Tokyo Institute of Industrial Science (IIS) report a new physical model that shows how the topology of a porous material influences the phase separation of binary mixtures.

T cell-inducing dengue vaccines may better protect children of vaccinated mothers
Although maternal antibodies help to protect babies against dengue virus infection, they can also be detrimental.

Study identifies new loci associated with asthma enriched in epigenetic marks
An international study led by scientists from Inserm and Paris Diderot University (France), the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus (USA), the University of Chicago (USA) and the National Heart and Lung Institute (UK) together with researchers of the Trans-National Asthma Genetics Consortium (TAGC) has discovered five new regions of the genome that increase the risk of asthma.

Scientists describe how solar system could have formed in bubble around giant star
Scientists with the University of Chicago have laid out a comprehensive theory for how our solar system could have formed in the wind-blown bubbles around a giant, long-dead star.

Folic acid late in pregnancy may increase childhood allergy risk
Research from the University of Adelaide suggests that taking folic acid in late pregnancy may increase the risk of allergies in children affected by growth restriction during pregnancy.

A visual database of human plasma compounds
Researchers in Japan have created a database of metabolites from blood samples collected from over 5,000 Japanese volunteers, making it freely available online as a valuable resource for researchers around the world.

New study visualizes motion of water molecules, promises new wave of electronic devices
A novel approach to studying the viscosity of water has revealed new insights about the behavior of water molecules and may open pathways for liquid-based electronics.

Alexa and Siri in our head: Where voice recognition occurs in the brain
Amazon recently announced that its language assistant Alexa is now able to recognise voices.

Moth females use scent proximity to attract mates
Female moths with an ineffective pheromone blend can use proximity to better-smelling females to attract mates.

How small does your rice pudding need to get when stirring jam into it?
Have you ever tried turning the spoon back after stirring jam into a rice pudding?

NASA captures Tropical Depression Kai-Tak's final bow
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the Malay Peninsula and infrared imagery showed Tropical Depression Kai-Tak dissipating in the Gulf of Thailand under strong vertical wind shear.

Breaking up (protein complexes) is hard to do, but new UW study shows how
A new study by University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers identified the structural basis for how tightly bound protein complexes are broken apart to become inactivated.

UCI scientists identify hidden genetic variation that helps drive evolution
Identifying complex mutations in the structure of an organism's genome has been difficult.

Lobachevsky University scientists study the problem of electrical response of plants as a mechanism
Plants exist in variable and often unfavorable environmental conditions, which requires the functioning of a variety of adaptive mechanisms for their survival under the action of stressors.

Preterm infants have narrowed upper airways, which may explain higher obstructive sleep apnea risk
A multidisciplinary team used MRI to determine that the risk factors that lead to obstructive sleep apena are confined to the uppermost airway and do not appear to be explained by enlarged adenoids and tonsils.

Electronically-smooth '3-D graphene': A bright future for trisodium bismuthide
Researchers have found that the topological material trisodium bismuthide (Na3Bi) can be manufactured to be as 'electronically smooth' as the highest-quality graphene-based alternative, while maintaining graphene's high electron mobility.

Humidity may prove breaking point for some areas as temperatures rise, says study
Climate scientists say that killer heat waves will become increasingly prevalent in many regions as climate warms.

Accelerated analysis of the stability of complex alloys
Material scientists at Ruhr-Universität Bochum are able to determine if a new material remains stable under temperature load within the space of a few days.

NASA sees second Tropical soaking in Southern Philippines
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the Philippines and infrared imagery showed that Tropical Storm Tembin contained strong thunderstorms with heavy rainmaking potential as it moved across Mindanao in the southern part of the country.

Hormone therapy combination may benefit health without increasing cancer risk
A team led by University of Illinois food science and human nutrition professor Zeynep Madak-Erdogan found that treating ovariectomized mice with a combination of conjugated estrogens and the drug bazedoxifene improved metabolism and prevented the weight gain often associated with low estrogen levels without posing increased risk to their reproductive tissues.

Salamander genome gives clues about unique regenerative ability
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have managed to sequence the giant genome of a salamander, the Iberian ribbed newt, which is a full six times greater than the human genome.

How odors are turned into long-term memories
Neuroscientists from the Ruhr-Universität Bochum have investigated which brain area is responsible for storing odours as long-term memories.

Deep brain stimulation: Improving outcomes in the treatment of movement disorders
For the first time, researchers from Charité have shown that, in patients with a type of movement disorder known as dystonia, a particular pattern of brain activity is linked to both the severity of symptoms and the clinical outcomes achieved through deep brain stimulation.
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