Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 08, 2018
Study uncovers healthcare disparities among octogenarians and nonagenarians with advanced lung cancer
A new study reveals that, among patients of advanced age with stage III lung cancer, African Americans and individuals who live in lower income areas are more likely to not receive any treatment.

Female night shift workers may have increased risk of common cancers
Night shift work was associated with women having an increased risk of breast, skin, and gastrointestinal cancer, according to a meta-analysis.

An exercise program provides mobility benefits to all seniors
Physicians should prescribe physical activity to all older patients, regardless of frailty status.

North American waterways are becoming saltier and more alkaline
A University of Maryland-led study is the first to assess long-term changes in freshwater salinity and pH at the continental scale.

Beta blockers may boost immunotherapy, help melanoma patients live longer
Melanoma patients who took a specific type of beta blocker while receiving immunotherapy lived longer than patients who received immunotherapy alone, according to researchers.

Activity monitors only effective when users set goals
The activity monitors that many received as holiday gifts won't automatically make their recipients active or healthy, new research indicates.

Throwing molecular wrench into gene control machine leads to 'melting away' of leukemia
Researchers have figured out a way to prevent MYB, one of the most potent cancer-aiding proteins, from activating genes in AML, an aggressive form of leukemia.

Conception during IUD use increases risks to mother and infant -- Ben-Gurion University study
;We believe this is the first report tracking children born to mothers using an IUD over a long timeframe,; says Dr.

VA bests Medicare in end-of-life care for cancer patients, Stanford/VA-led study reports
Cancer patients treated by the Department of Veterans Affairs are less likely to receive excessive end-of-life interventions than those treated through Medicare, according to a study led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System.

Can good blood sugar control during labor benefit offspring of diabetic mothers?
Hypoglycaemia, or low blood sugar, is a common and potentially serious outcome in newborns whose mothers were diabetic during pregnancy.

The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine issues guidance on informal milk sharing
In response to the increasing informal sharing of human milk, the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM) has published guidelines to minimize the risk of this practice while enhancing the health benefits.

Middle-aged couch potatoes may reverse heart effects of a sedentary life with exercise training
Two years of exercise training during middle age may reduce or reverse the cardiac consequences of a sedentary lifestyle.

Powerful tropical cyclone irving examined with GPM
On Jan. 8, Tropical Cyclone Irving was hurricane-force in the Southern Indian Ocean.

Camelina oil improves blood lipid profile
The use of camelina oil reduces overall and LDL cholesterol levels in persons with impaired glucose metabolism, according to a new study from the University of Eastern Finland.

Methane hydrate dissociation off Spitsbergen not caused by climate change
For years, methane emissions from the seabed have been observed in the Arctic Ocean off Spitsbergen.

Teens show decreased risk for heart disease later in life after bariatric surgery
Adolescents with severe obesity who had bariatric surgery showed significant improvements in cardiovascular disease risk factors, according to this study.

Scientists discover molecule that could revert celular ageing
Researchers at Instituto de Medicina Molecular (iMM) João Lobo Antunes have found that manipulating a single RNA molecule is enough to revert celular ageing.

US childhood mortality rates have lagged behind other wealthy nations for the past 50 years
In a new study of childhood mortality rates between 1961 and 2010 in the United States and 19 economically similar countries, researchers report that while there's been overall improvement among all the countries, the U.S. has been slowest to improve.

Uncovering the power of glial cells
Implanted devices send targeted electrical stimulation to the nervous system to interfere with abnormal brain activity, and it is commonly assumed that neurons are the only important brain cells that need to be stimulated by these devices.

Multi-gene test predicts early heart disease risk
A risk score based on multiple genetic differences, or polygenic test, predicted significantly more cases of early heart disease than standard tests for single genetic defects.

How bacteria turbocharged their motors
Using detailed 3-D images, researchers have shown how bacteria have evolved molecular motors of different powers to optimize their swimming.

A biological solution to carbon capture and recycling?
Scientists at the University of Dundee have discovered that E.

Proper exercise can reverse damage from heart aging
Exercise can reverse damage to sedentary, aging hearts and help prevent risk of future heart failure -- if it's enough exercise, and if it's begun in time, according to a new study by cardiologists at UT Southwestern and Texas Health Resources.

Noise pollution causes chronic stress in birds, with health consequences for young
Birds exposed to the persistent noise of natural gas compressors show symptoms remarkably similar to those in humans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, new research shows.

New study finds large increase in non-powder gun-related eye injuries
A study investigated sports- and recreation-related eye injuries during a 23-year period and found a slight decrease in eye injuries overall; however, the rate of eye injury associated with non-powder guns (including BB, pellet and paintball guns) increased by almost 170 percent.

Vision, sensory and motor testing could predict best batters in baseball
Duke Health researchers found players with higher scores on computer-based vision and motor tasks had better on-base percentages, more walks and fewer strikeouts -- collectively referred to as plate discipline -- compared to their peers.

Self-defense for plants
Salk scientists characterize unusual plant immune response to bacterial infection.

What species is most fit for life? All have an equal chance, scientists say
There are more than 8 million species of living things on Earth, but none of them -- from 100-foot blue whales to microscopic bacteria -- has an advantage over the others in the universal struggle for existence.

New study reveals strong El Niño events cause large changes in Antarctic ice shelves
A new study reveals that strong El Nino events can cause significant ice loss in some Antarctic ice shelves while the opposite may occur during strong La Nina events.

Repeated influenza vaccination helps prevent severe flu in older adults
Repeated vaccination for influenza in older adults reduced the severity of the virus and reduced hospital admissions, found new research published in CMAJ.

Improved blood stabilization should expand use of circulating tumor cell profiling
A new blood stabilization method, developed at the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Engineering in Medicine, significantly prolongs the lifespan of blood samples for microfluidic sorting and transcriptome profiling of rare circulating tumor cells, living cancer cells carried in the bloodstream.

Researchers discover that a 'muscle' cancer is not really a muscle cancer
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital oncologists have discovered the cell type that gives rise to rhabdomyosarcoma, the most prevalent soft tissue cancer in children.

Noise from oil and gas operations stresses birds, hinders reproduction
Birds exposed to constant noise from oil and gas operations show physiological signs of chronic stress, have chicks whose growth is stunted, and -- in some cases -- lay fewer eggs that hatch, according to a new study.

ACA Medicaid expansion resulted in fewer hospital closures, especially in rural areas
The findings indicate the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act was positively associated with improved hospital performance and a substantially lower likelihood of hospital closure especially in rural markets and counties where residents were largely uninsured adults prior to Medicaid expansion.

New long-acting, less-toxic HIV drug suppresses virus in humanized mice
A team of Yale researchers tested a new chemical compound that suppresses HIV, protects immune cells, and remains effective for weeks with a single dose.

How prevalent is severe obesity among young children enrolled in WIC?
Recent modest declines in the pervasiveness of severe obesity among young children enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) suggest some progress in tackling this public health concern among low-income children.

New research reveals how gardeners can dig for health, not injury
New research from Coventry University and the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) reveals that a bad digging technique can as much as double the load on the joints in the body, leaving people susceptible to chronic injuries.

Rice University lab modifies nanoscale virus to deliver peptide drugs to cells, tissues
Rice University bioengineers develop programmable adeno-associated viruses that may be used to deliver peptide drugs.

Efforts to track food intake on smartphone app impacted by day of week but not season of year
Dietary self-monitoring is a key component of successful behavioral weight loss interventions and is essential for facilitating other behavior change techniques (eg, setting goals, providing behavioral feedback).

Monthly brain cycles predict seizures in patients with epilepsy
UC San Francisco neurologists have discovered monthly cycles of brain activity linked to seizures in patients with epilepsy.

Researchers call for true picture of domestic violent crime
Plans for Home Office Counting Rules to count coercive and controlling behaviour as 'non-injurious violent crime' capped at one crime per victim -- even though statistics show one in 20 victims can experience more than 10 domestic violence crimes a year -- will mask the true extent of the problem.

Tropical Cyclone Ava moving away from Madagascar
NASA's Terra satellite passed over Tropical Cyclone Ava as it continued moving away from the island nation of Madagascar.

Brain-cell 'antenna' may be key to understanding obesity
UC San Francisco researchers have discovered that the brain's ability to regulate body weight depends on a novel form of signaling in the brain's 'hunger circuit' via antenna-like structures on neurons called primary cilia.

US rivers and streams are compromised by increasing salt loads
Human activities are exposing US rivers and streams to a cocktail of salts, with consequences for infrastructure and drinking water supplies.

A botanical mystery solved by phylogenetic testing
Missouri Botanical Garden researchers used DNA testing to rediscover Dracaena umbraculifera, which was thought to be extinct.

Severe obesity linked to newly identified gene mutations
Researchers have discovered mutations in a gene related to obesity, offering new treatment possibilities in the fight against the global epidemic.

Pan-European sampling campaign sheds light on the massive diversity of freshwater plankton
In a major pan-European study, a research team from Germany have successfully extracted environmental DNA from as many as 218 lakes to refute a long-year belief that vital microorganisms do not differ significantly between freshwater bodies and geographic regions the way plants and animals do.

Chemists discover plausible recipe for early life on Earth
Chemists find key chemical reactions that support life today could have been carried out with ingredients likely present on the planet four billion years ago.

A systematic framework to understand central bank digital currency
A paper published in SCIENCE CHINA Information Sciences analyzes the essence and connotation of digital fiat currency (DFC) from four dimensions.

Swallowable sensors reveal mysteries of human gut health
Findings from the first human trials of a breakthrough gas-sensing swallowable capsule could revolutionise the way that gut disorders and diseases are prevented and diagnosed.

Trawl of Red Sea surface waters finds little plastic
The Red Sea has relatively low amounts of floating plastic debris in its surface waters due to fewer sources or faster removal.

Cellular traffic jam seen in ALS/FTD -- Supports drug strategy
A cellular traffic jam appears to affect neurons in most forms of ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), Emory/Mayo researchers have shown.

Many Midwestern retailers sell mislabeled invasive vines
Gardeners hoping to celebrate the beauty of American bittersweet -- a native vine that produces orange berries in the fall and is used for wreaths -- may be unwittingly buying an invasive bittersweet instead.

'Hide or get eaten,' urine chemicals tell mud crabs
Pinpointing urine compounds for the first time that make mud crabs hide for their lives, if blue crabs pee nearby, opens new doors to understanding how chemicals invisibly regulate marine wildlife.

New catalyst for making fuels from shale gas
Methane in shale gas can be turned into hydrocarbon fuels using an innovative platinum and copper alloy catalyst, according to new research led by UCL (University College London) and Tufts University.

Amazon biodiversity hotspot to suffer even more losses after contentious law passed
In August 2017, the Bolivian government passed a contentious law that paved the way for construction of a new 190-mile road cutting through one of the country's most iconic and biodiverse protected rainforests.

Nutrition Today publishes expert commentary on high-quality carbohydrates and physical performance
A report about high-quality carbohydrates and physical performance was recently released in the peer-reviewed journal Nutrition Today.

Novel PET tracer clearly identifies and tracks bacterial infection in lungs
Researchers at the University of Louisville, Kentucky, have demonstrated that a new radiotracer, 2-18F-fluorodeoxysorbitol (18F-FDS), can identify and track bacterial infection in lungs better than current imaging methods and is able to differentiate bacterial infection from inflammation.

Recreational marijuana legalization: Do more youth use or do youth use more?
Recent results from an Oregon Research Institute (ORI) study indicate that the effects of recreational marijuana legalization on Oregon teens' use depends on whether the teens were already using marijuana when legal sales began.

In the January Health Affairs: US child mortality rates worse than in other OECD nations
The January issue of Health Affairs includes a study by Ashish Thakrar of the Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System and coauthors.

Growing opioid epidemic forcing more children into foster care
The opioid crisis is causing serious consequences across the country.

Survival strategy of messenger RNAs during cellular sugar shortage
If a cell runs low on sugar, it stores certain messenger RNAs in order to prolong its life.

Surprising result shocks scientists studying spin
Scientists analyzing results of spinning protons striking different sized atomic nuclei at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) found an odd directional preference in the production of neutrons that switches sides as the size of the nuclei increases.

DNA evidence is putting rhino poachers behind bars, study shows
In murder investigations, DNA evidence often helps to link a perpetrator to a crime scene and put him or her behind bars.

Twitter, Trump and sexual assault: A call to men for action
The social media backlash against sexual assault not only gives victims a collective outlet for disclosure, but also serves as a powerful tool to urge boys and men to condemn violence against women, finds a first-of-its-kind study by Michigan State University scholars.

NSU researcher part of team using DNA to protect the rhinoceros from extinction
A new study shows that genetic database now being used in the fight against poaching the rhinoceros.

New biomarkers predict outcome of cancer immunotherapy
Researchers at the University of Zurich have identified biomarkers in the blood that make it possible to predict whether cancer patients will respond positively to immunotherapy.

Agricultural fungicide attracts honey bees, study finds
When given the choice, honey bee foragers prefer to collect sugar syrup laced with the fungicide chlorothalonil over sugar syrup alone, researchers report in the journal Scientific Reports.

Higher stress among minority and low-income populations can lead to health disparities, says report
People with low incomes and racial/ethnic minority populations experience greater levels of stress than their more affluent, white counterparts, which can lead to significant disparities in both mental and physical health that ultimately affect life expectancy, according to a report from the American Psychological Association.

Amphetamine abuse disrupts development of mouse prefrontal cortex
Recreational drug use during adolescence may disrupt development of an understudied part of the prefrontal cortex, according to a study of male mice published in eNeuro.

Interactions between simple molecular mechanisms give rise to complex infection dynamics
Bacteria can themselves be infected -- by viruses. Not all viruses are harmful to bacteria and some can even benefit them.

Gene test to predict breast cancer recurrence less cost effective in real world practice
The most commonly used gene expression profile test, Oncotype DX®, used to help predict breast cancer recurrence may not be as cost-effective as once thought, say a team of researchers.

Success in community college aided by comprehensive case management, study finds
New research from the University of Notre Dame shows that students who participated in the full comprehensive case management program were significantly more likely to stay enrolled and to graduate within six semesters.

New approach can save up to 95 percent of energy used for pipelines
Until now it had been assumed that, once a flow of a fluid has become turbulent, turbulence would persist.

Counselors are often unprepared to identify and treat race-based trauma
In a Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development study that included106 counseling professionals, 71% of participants reported working with clients who had symptoms associated with race-based trauma, but 67% indicated they had not received training to identify race-based trauma among individuals of color, and 81% indicated they had not received training to treat race-based trauma.

Feel anxious? Have trouble sleeping? You may be traveling for business too often
People who travel for business two weeks or more a month report more symptoms of anxiety and depression and are more likely to smoke, be sedentary and report trouble sleeping than those who travel one to six nights a month.  Among those who consume alcohol, extensive business travel is associated with symptoms of alcohol dependence.  Poor behavioral and mental health outcomes significantly increased as the number of nights away from home for business travel rose. 

Researchers use AI technology to chart immune cell receptor
Johns Hopkins scientists have used a form of artificial intelligence to create a map that compares types of cellular receptors, the chemical

How do we taste sugar, bacon and coffee? Science finds a surprising answer
Until now, many scientists believed that a single protein -- TRPM5 -- acted as a gatekeeper for tasting sweet, bitter and savory foods.

One-step production of aromatic polyesters by E. coli strains
KAIST systems metabolic engineers defined a novel strategy for microbial aromatic polyesters production fused with synthetic biology from renewable biomass.

January/February 2018 Annals of Family Medicine tip sheet
January/February 2018 Annals of Family Medicine tip sheet.

Alzheimer's drug turns back clock in powerhouse of cell
Salk researchers identify the molecular target of J147, which is nearing clinical trials to treat Alzheimer's disease. 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