Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 02, 2018
New brain mapping technique highlights relationship between connectivity and IQ
A new and relatively simple technique for mapping the wiring of the brain has shown a correlation between how well connected an individual's brain regions are and their intelligence, say researchers at the University of Cambridge.

Frequency of autism spectrum disorder in US stable in recent years
The frequency of autism spectrum disorder among US children and adolescents was stable from 2014-2016 based on data from a nationally representative annual survey.

Migraine surgery produces 'dramatic improvements' in functioning, study finds
In addition to reducing headache frequency and severity, surgical treatment for migraine leads to significant improvements in everyday functioning and coping ability, according to a study in the January issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

Exploring electrolysis for energy storage
A research team at Kyushu University's International Institute for Carbon-Neutral Energy Research (I2CNER) developed a flow-type polymer electrolyte cell for power storage.

Call for action to tackle threat to a global biodiversity hotspot
An invasive Australian tree is now posing a serious threat to a global diversity 'hotspot' in the natural forests of Jamaica's Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park.

High doses of vitamin D rapidly reduce arterial stiffness
In just four months, high-doses of vitamin D reduce arterial stiffness in young, overweight/obese, vitamin-deficient, but otherwise still healthy African-Americans, researchers say.

Novel diabetes drugs sensitize cancer cells to chemotherapy agents
Scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have shown that experimental diabetes drugs can make cancer cells more vulnerable to traditional chemotherapy agents, and they say such combinations should be explored to potentially improve outcomes for cancer patients.

Hairy skin grown from mouse stem cells
Indiana University School of Medicine researchers have cultured the first lab-grown skin tissue complete with hair follicles.

Genetic changes caused by environmental factors linked to suicide risk
Researchers have linked genetic changes in the so-called CRH gene, which affects the regulation of the body's stress system, to suicide risk and psychiatric illness.

A safer route to ultrasonic therapy
A new system designed to study how cavitation bubbles created by ultrasound therapy affect nearby cells shows that attaching microbeads to the cellular membrane could make techniques like sonogenetics or ultrasonic modulation safer and more effective.

Nature's smallest rainbows, created by peacock spiders, may inspire new optical technology
The mechanism behind these tiny rainbows may inspire new color technology, but wouldn't have been discovered without research combining basic natural history with physics and engineering.

Stress gene regulates brain cell power and connections in rodents
A gene activated by stress adjusts energy output and synapse number of prefrontal cortex neurons, finds a study of male mice and rats published in JNeurosci.

Danger changes how rat brain stores information
The male rat brain changes how it stores information depending on whether the environment in which it learns is safe or dangerous, according to new research published in eNeuro.

New cholesterol calculation may avoid need to fast before testing, study suggests
In a direct comparison study, Johns Hopkins researchers have added to evidence that a newer method of calculating so-called 'bad cholesterol' levels in the blood is more accurate than the older method in people who did not fast before blood was drawn.

A fossil fuel technology that doesn't pollute
Engineers at The Ohio State University are developing technologies that have the potential to economically convert fossil fuels and biomass into useful products including electricity without emitting carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

Educational video may increase public willingness to become face transplant donors
After watching a brief educational video, members of the public are more likely to say they would be willing to donate a facial transplant to a severely disfigured patient, reports a study in the January issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

NASA sees Tropical Depression 01W come together
Tropical Depression 1W formed just west of the Philippines in the Sulu Sea as NASA's Terra satellite passed overhead early on Jan.

Lethal fungus that causes white-nose syndrome may have an Achilles' heel, study reveals
In the course of genomic analyses of the fungus behind white-nose-syndrome, a devastating disease that has killed millions of bats in North America, US Forest Service scientists discovered something very surprising: brief exposure to UV-light kills Pseudogymnoascus destructans.

NIH discovery brings stem cell therapy for eye disease closer to the clinic
Scientists at the National Eye Institute report that tiny tube-like protrusions called primary cilia on cells of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) -- a layer of cells in the back of the eye -- are essential for the survival of the retina's light-sensing photoreceptors.

Revealing snapshots: Advanced imaging uncovers how the brain responds to vascular injury
In a January 2, 2018 article in Cell Reports, researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina report that pericytes, a little-understood cell type on the brain's blood vessels, grow into the empty territory left behind when their neighboring pericytes die.

Racial, ethnic disparities persist for patients in receiving kidney transplants from live donors
Black and Hispanic patients are less likely than white patients to receive a live donor kidney after two years on a waiting list, with an increase in disparity over the last two decades.

State-of-the-art MRI technology bypasses need for biopsy
The most common type of tumor found in the kidney is generally quite small (less than 1.5 in).

Novel nanomedicine inhibits progression of pancreatic cancer in mice
A new Tel Aviv University study pinpoints the inverse correlation between a known oncogene -- a gene that promotes the development of cancer -- and the expression of an oncosuppressor microRNA as the reason for extended pancreatic cancer survival.

Perfectionism among young people significantly increased since 1980s, study finds
The drive to be perfect in body, mind and career among today's college students has significantly increased compared with prior generations, which may be taking a toll on young people's mental health, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.

Immune cells play key role in early breast cancer metastasis even before a tumor develops
Mount Sinai researchers have discovered that normal immune cells called macrophages, which reside in healthy breast tissue surrounding milk ducts, play a major role in helping early breast cancer cells leave the breast for other parts of the body, potentially creating metastasis before a tumor has even developed, according to a study published in Nature Communications.

Standardizing perovskite aging measurements
EPFL scientists have produced a data-driven proposal for standardizing the measurements of perovskite solar cell stability and degradation.

Bifidobacterium or fiber protect against deterioration of the inner colonic mucus layer
If you are concerned about your health, you should also think about what your gut bacteria consume.

A virus-bacteria coevolutionary 'arms race' solves diversity by 'killing the winner'
Researchers at the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have shed new light on a fundamental question in ecology, by improving a popular proposed scenario for diversity known as 'Kill the Winner.' Chi Xue and Nigel Goldenfeld, supported by the NASA Astrobiology Institute for Universal Biology, which Goldenfeld directs, approached the diversity paradox from the perspective of non-equilibrium statistical mechanics.

A changing climate, changing wine
A new Harvard study suggests that, though vineyards might be able to counteract some of the effects of climate change by planting lesser-known grape varieties, scientists and vintners need to better understand the wide diversity of grapes and their adaptions to different climates.

Tweaking quantum dots powers-up double-pane solar windows
Researchers at Los Alamos National Laboraotry are creating double-pane solar windows that generate electricity with greater efficiency and also create shading and insulation.

Modifying baby formula doesn't prevent type 1 diabetes in children
The long-awaited results from the first large international trial to try to prevent type 1 diabetes shows that modified baby formula in which cow's milk proteins have been split does not prevent type 1 diabetes in children with genetic risk factors for the condition.

Do young users of noncigarette tobacco products progress to conventional cigarettes?
The use of electronic cigarettes, hookahs, noncigarette combustible tobacco or smokeless tobacco by adolescents were each associated with starting to smoke conventional cigarettes within a year.

ADHD medications may reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infection
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) increases the risk of subsequent sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among adolescent and young adult populations by about three times, reports a study published in the January 2018 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (JAACAP).

Social susceptibility
UCSB evolutionary ecologist Jonathan Pruitt and colleagues study the leader-follower dynamics of influential individuals in a social group.

Locating the precise reaction path: Methane dissociation on platinum
So far, the search for catalysts even better than transition metals has been largely based on trial and error, and on the assumption that catalyzed reactions take place on step edges and other atomic defect sites of the metal crystals.

Researchers discover higher environmental impact from cookstove emissions
Millions of Asian families use cookstoves and often fuel them with cheap biofuels to prepare food.

Cellular division strategy shared across all domains of life
The three domains of life -- archaea, bacteria, and eukarya -- may have more in common than previously thought.

An organ-on-a-chip device that models heart disease
Recently, researchers have been studying diseases with a new approach: small, organ-on-a-chip devices that mimic the functions of human organs, serving as potentially cheaper and more effective tools.

Call for improvement in post-sepsis outcomes
Despite improvement in the rates of people dying of sepsis in the hospital, the condition is still a leading cause of hospital readmissions and costs, as well as long-term disabilities and impairments, prompting University of Pittsburgh and University of Michigan medical scientists to develop thorough recommendations for post-hospital recovery care and future clinical trials.

Genetic changes help mosquitoes survive pesticide attacks
The fascinating array of genetic changes that confer pesticide resistance in Anopheles mosquitoes is reviewed in an article published today in Trends in Parasitology.

Americans' attitudes about science in 2017: High confidence, low visibility
Scientists and the nation's scientific enterprise remain largely invisible to the public, according to national public opinion surveys commissioned by Research!America in 2017.

Zooming in on protein to prevent kidney stones
Researchers have applied Nobel prize-winning microscope technology to uncover an ion channel structure that could lead to new treatments for kidney stones.

Study reveals how the midshipman fish sustains its hour-long mating call
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have discovered how the Pacific midshipman fish can hum continuously for up to an hour in order to attract potential mates.

Blacks' high diabetes risk driven by obesity, not mystery
In a surprising finding, blacks and whites have the same risk of developing diabetes when all biological factors for the disease are considered over time, reports a study.

Historical development of teacher education studied in a cross-country collaboration
Professor Valeeva commented, 'We chose England of the four countries of the United Kingdom because it has a peculiar system of teacher education.

Is it possible to prevent type 1 diabetes by avoiding cow's milk?
The long-awaited result of the TRIGR Study shows that baby formula in which the cow's milk proteins have been split does not prevent type 1 diabetes in children with genetic risk for type 1 diabetes.

Silver nanoparticles take spectroscopy to new dimension
As medicine and pharmacology investigate nanoscale processes, it has become increasingly important to identify and characterize different molecules.

Restasis: Why US consumers paid billions for drug deemed ineffective in other countries
Restasis, a blockbuster drug sold by Allergan to treat chronic dry eye, has done $8.8 billion in U.S. sales between 2009 and 2015, including over $2.9 billion in public monies through Medicare Part D.

Zebrafish brain repair following concussion
A simple and inexpensive zebrafish model of concussion, reported in eNeuro, reveals the genetic pathways underlying the animal's remarkable ability to regenerate injured brain tissue.

'Quantum radio' may aid communications and mapping indoors, underground and underwater
NIST researchers have demonstrated that quantum physics might enable communications and mapping in locations where GPS and ordinary cellphones and radios don't work reliably or even at all, such as indoors, in urban canyons, underwater and underground.

Math for midges that pull 10g
Midges move with ferocious randomness, frequently subjecting themselves to accelerations of more than 10g, well beyond the limit of fighter pilots.

BU researchers identify possible biomarker for Huntington's disease
A new discovery of a potential biomarker for Huntington's disease (HD) could mean a more effective way of evaluating the effectiveness of treatments for this neurological disease.

Researchers find differences in infant morbidity-mortality rates in NYC hospitals
Blacks and Hispanic very preterm infants are more likely to be born at hospitals with higher risk-adjusted neonatal morbidity-mortality rates, and these differences contribute to excess morbidity and mortality among black and Hispanic infants.

Scheduled feeding improves neurodegenerative symptoms in mice
Restricting meals to the same time each day improves motor activity and sleep quality in a mouse model of Huntington's disease, according to new research published in eNeuro.

Spider's web inspires removable implant that may control type 1 diabetes
For the more than 1 million Americans who live with type 1 diabetes, daily insulin injections are literally a matter of life and death.

Randomness a key in spread of disease, other 'evil'
Working with a simple mathematical model in which chance plays a key role, Cornell University researchers calculated how long it would take a bacterial infection or cancer cell to take over a network of healthy cells.

New diagnostic criteria and treatment guidelines proposed for thyroid storm
With a mortality rate estimated at 10%, the life-threatening condition known as thyroid storm (TS) demands rapid diagnosis and treatment and can benefit from new evidence-based guidelines for TS developed by researchers in Japan.

Link between alcohol consumption and cardiovascular death depends on socioeconomics
Very frequent consumption of alcohol is associated with an increased risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, but only among people in the lowest socioeconomic position, according to a new research study published in PLOS Medicine by Eirik Degerud from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health in Oslo, and colleagues.

Scientists explore mysteries behind diversity of DNA composition among species
DNA rules specify that G always pairs with C, and A with T. 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