Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 09, 2018
For city kids with asthma, telemedicine and in-school care cut ER visits in half
Urban children with asthma who received a combination of telemedicine support and school-based medication therapy were less than half as likely to need an emergency room or hospital visit for their asthma.

NASA sees Tropical Cyclone Ava fizzling south of Madagascar
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed over the Southern Indian Ocean and captured a visible image of Tropical Cyclone Ava as it continued to move away from southeastern Madagascar and weaken.

New treatments, screening methods dramatically reduce breast cancer deaths, study finds
Six groups of researchers, including one from Stanford, collaborated to study the effect of advances in breast cancer screening and treatment on mortality rates.

Soil freeze-thaw stimulates nitrous oxide emissions from alpine meadows
Soil freeze-thaw is a common natural phenomenon in Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, which can not only change the water and heat conditions, and the physical and chemical properties of soil, but also influence greatly the biosphere-atmosphere exchanges of greenhouse gases.

Strengths and challenges in interactions with newly diagnosed diabetes patients
When patients are diagnosed with diabetes, primary care clinicians display high levels of technical knowledge and communication skill, but initial consultations are often driven by biomedical explanations out of context from patient experience.

Leading organizations in prenatal screening and diagnosis issue new consensus statement on genome se
Three national organizations come together to provide guidance on genetics and pregnancy.

How good bacteria control your genes
Scientists from Cambridge, Brazil and Italy have together discovered a way that bacteria in the gut can control genes in our cells.

Pioneering new technique could boost understanding of causes of heart disease
The complex and mysterious mechanisms that drive communication and reactions within human cells could be on the verge of being unravelled, due to a pioneering new technique.

Lyndra announces publication of feasibility study of oral once-weekly drug delivery system for HIV antiretroviral therapy in Nature Communications
Lyndra Inc., an emerging biopharmaceutical company developing oral dosage forms designed to release drug for up to a week or longer, today announced the publication of a feasibility study of an oral, once-weekly drug delivery platform for HIV antiretroviral therapy in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Communications.

Identical twins can share more than identical genes
Independent of their identical genes, identical twins share an additional level of molecular similarity that influences their biological characteristics.

NUST MISIS scientists manage to observe the inner structure of photonic crystals
Photonic crystals are perfect materials for controlling light beams. The crystals almost managed to become the basis for the production of optical processors several years ago, if not for one highly ranked official saying 'no'.

HKBU and CUHK discovered that human-perceived temperature is rising faster than actual air temperature
Professor David Chen and Dr Li Jianfeng found the apparent temperature (AP)increased faster than air temperature (AT) over land in the past few decades, especially in the low latitude areas, and the rise is expected to continue in the future.

Promise of new antibiotics lies with shackling tiny toxic tetherballs to bacteria
Biologists at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a method for rapidly screening hundreds of thousands of potential drugs for fighting infections, an innovation that holds promise for combating the growing scourge of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

The road to recovery
It's simple math, says scientist Clayton Lamb. The closer grizzly bears are to humans, the more ways there are for the bears to die.

Some leukaemia patients may be missing out on new treatments
Patients with an aggressive form of leukaemia, currently ineligible for any type of targeted therapy, may in fact benefit from some of these new drugs, according to new research by Queen Mary University of London.

Slow-release pill developed to deliver HIV therapeutics
In the fight against the HIV epidemic, medication non-adherence remains a major challenge.

Genomic data suggest two main migrations into Scandinavia after the last ice age
In a new study published in PLOS Biology, an international research team suggests Scandinavia was populated by two main migrations after the last glacial maximum: an initial migration of groups from the south (modern day Denmark and Germany) and an additional migration from the north-east, following the ice-free Atlantic coast.

Younger patients constitute half of hospital-acquired pneumonia cases, most of which originate outside of the ICU, study finds
Hospital-acquired pneumonia has long been associated with the elderly and intensive care units (ICU).

Engineers grow functioning human muscle from skin cells
Duke engineers have grown the first functioning human muscle from non-muscle cells -- skin cells reverted to their primordial stem cell state.

Moms of obese children use different words to restrict eating
Mothers of children with obesity may be more likely to use direct statements to restrict a child's eating.

State administrative data can help identify children's adverse experiences
State administrative data can help identify children's adverse experiences.

Lake Michigan waterfowl botulism deaths linked to warm waters, algae
In a USGS program, volunteers tracked bird deaths along Lake Michigan from 2010 to 2013 to discover what conditions lead to large die-offs.

Public health-primary care testing has high uptake, doesn't identify hidden Hepatitis C
Public health-primary care testing has high uptake, doesn't identify hidden Hepatitis C.

Scientists identify breast cancer patients who may develop incurable secondary cancers
Scientists from King's College London, funded by Breast Cancer Now, believe they have found a way to identify lymph-node positive breast cancer patients who are most likely to develop incurable secondary tumors (metastases) and those who are less at risk.

Genetic alteration can cause obesity among Greenlanders
Four per cent of the Greenlandic population are, due to a specific genetic alteration, in the risk of developing obesity and diabetes, a new study from the University of Copenhagen, the University of Southern Denmark, the University of Greenland and the Steno Diabetes Center Copenhagen concludes.

Extra-terrestrial Hypatia stone rattles solar system status quo
Analyses on a small pebble found in south-west Egypt cast significant questions on a widely-held view about the primitive pre-solar dust cloud which our Sun, Earth and other planets were formed from.

Dual migration created genetic 'melting pot' of the first Scandinavians
New genomic data suggest that the first human settlers on the Scandinavian peninsula followed two distinct migration routes.

Mass extinctions remove species but not ecological variety
Though mass extinctions wiped out staggeringly high numbers of species, they barely touched the overall 'functional' diversity--how each species makes a living, be it filtering phytoplankton or eating small crustaceans, burrowing or clamping onto rocks.

Women survive crises better than men
Women tend to live longer than men almost everywhere worldwide.

Tropical Cyclone Irving appears elongated in NASA imagery
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Tropical Cyclone Irving and found wind shear was stretching the storm out.

Physicians use complex process in addressing non-patient requests
When confronted with a medical request from family or friends (non-patients), physicians follow a complex process in deciding how to respond.

Grocery store program improves farmers' adoption of environmental practices
In one of the first analyses of a company-led sustainability program in the food and agriculture space, Stanford researchers found a major grocery chain fostered increased adoption of environmental practices at the farm level.

General anesthetics do more than put you to sleep
A new understanding of the complex ways in which general anesthetics act on the brain could eventually lead to improved drugs for surgery.

Targeting breast cancer through precision medicine
University of Alberta researchers have discovered a mechanism that may make cancer cells more susceptible to treatment.

Deep sea creatures provide a guiding light in the quest to develop cancer therapies
Scientists at the Keck School of Medicine of USC use enzymes responsible for marine animal bioluminescence to help researchers test whether cancer immunotherapies work.

Life on land and tropical overheating 250 million years ago
One of the key effects of the end-Permian mass extinction, 252 million years ago, was rapid heating of tropical waters and atmospheres.

Study finds source of toxic green algal blooms and the results stink
Florida's St. Lucie Estuary received national attention in 2016 as toxic green algal blooms wreaked havoc on this vital ecosystem.

3-D imaging of fat reveals potential targets for new obesity treatments
With new imaging methods, scientists hope to make significant progress in the fight against obesity.

New drug capsule may allow weekly HIV treatment
Researchers at MIT and Brigham and Women's Hospital have developed a capsule that can deliver a week's worth of HIV drugs in a single dose.

Climate change drives collapse in marine food webs
A new study has found that levels of commercial fish stocks could be harmed as rising sea temperatures affect their source of food.

Neighborhood factors may predict heart failure
Neighborhood-level socioeconomic factors may significantly predict heart failure risk beyond individual cardiovascular risk factors, individual income and education level.

PolyU develops rapid authentication method of Chinese medicines
The Food Safety and Technology Research Centre under the Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has developed a new method for rapid authentication of Chinese herbal medicines, including Ganoderma (known as Lingzhi in Chinese), and Gastrodiae Rhizoma (known as Tianma in Chinese).

Illnesses caused by recreation on the water costs $2.9 billion annually in the US
Swimming, paddling, boating and fishing account for more than 90 million cases of gastrointestinal, respiratory, ear, eye and skin-related illnesses per year in the US with an estimated annual cost of $2.9 billion, according to a new report by University of Illinois at Chicago researchers.

The bright side of an infectious protein
Prions are self-propagating protein aggregates that can be transmitted between cells.

Cancer targeted with reusable 'stinging nettle' treatment
Cancer cells can be destroyed more effectively and selectively with a unique new reusable treatment, activated with a substance found in stinging nettles and ants -- thanks to new research by the University of Warwick.

Solid-state physics offers insights into dielectric properties of biomaterials
In this paper, researchers characterize the behavior of proteins, considered as classical amorphous semiconductors, with the help of the formalism of condensed matter physics.

Black hole research could aid understanding of how small galaxies evolve
Scientists have solved a cosmic mystery by finding evidence that supermassive black holes prevent stars forming in some smaller galaxies.

Pew Research Center: Women and men in stem often at odds over workplace equity
Half of women working in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) jobs report having experienced gender discrimination at work, according to a new Pew Research Center survey examining people's experiences in the workplace and perceptions of fair treatment for women -- as well as racial and ethnic minorities -- in STEM occupations.

Medication did not decrease cognitive loss in patients with Alzheimer's disease
The use of the drug idalopirdine for six months did not improve or reduce the loss of cognition for patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer disease.

Patients who receive prescription Opioids are more satisfied with care than other patients
Patients who receive prescription Opioids are more satisfied with care than other patients.

Linking success in some fields to intellectual talent undermines women's interest in them
Due to the cultural stereotypes that portray 'brilliance' as a male trait, messages that tie success in a particular field, job opportunity, or college major to this trait undermine women's interest in it.

AK-launched rockets to study X-rays, create polar mesospheric cloud
Between Jan. 15-31, 2018, scientists will launch four rockets to measure X-ray emissions from space and determine how large quantities of water could affect the upper atmosphere and form Polar Mesospheric clouds, or PMCs.

Winter road salt, fertilizers turning North American waterways increasingly saltier
Find related stories on NSF's Environmental Research and Education (ERE) programs at this link.

Headlines to cover at the AAAS Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas
Regenerating organs for patient transplants, research and policy questions for 'smart' vehicles, advances in the fight against cancer, and voter participation in elections will be discussed at the 2018 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting, the world's largest general scientific conference.

New discovery could improve brain-like memory and computing
From various magnetic tapes, floppy disks and computer hard disk drives, magnetic materials have been storing our electronic information along with our valuable knowledge and memories for well over half of a century.

How quickly can children learn routes?
New research from the University of Liverpool suggests that children as young as eight can learn a route after only a single experience of it.

Spotty coverage: Climate models underestimate cooling effect of daily cloud cycle
Princeton University researchers have found that the climate models scientists use to project future conditions on our planet underestimate the cooling effect that clouds have on a daily basis, which results in warmer, drier conditions than might actually occur.

UC researchers find protein that mediates formation of HER2-driven breast cancer
Researchers at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine have identified for the first time that the estrogen receptor-binding protein MED1 is a critical mediator of HER2-driven breast cancer, identifying it as a potential therapeutic target.

Oversimplifying beliefs about causes of mental illness may hinder social acceptance
Belief that mental illness is biological has increased among both health experts and the public in recent years.

Study finds diversity boosts innovation in US companies
A recent study finds that taking steps to foster diversity makes a company more innovative, in terms of product innovations, patents created and citations on patents -- meaning the relevant innovations are also used to develop new technologies.

More than five percent of family physicians did not attempt recertification
More than five percent of family physicians did not attempt recertification.

Heart health at risk for Latinas over worries about deportation
A recent study conducted by researchers at UC San Francisco and UC Berkeley's Center for Environmental Research and Children's Health (CERCH) found that worry about deportations was associated with multiple cardiovascular health risk factors in Latinas from California's Salinas Valley, an area with a large immigrant community.

The MSU scientists created a magnetic trap for neutrons
A team from Skobeltsyn Institute of Nuclear Physics (MSU) together with their colleagues developed a magnetic waveguide able to sort neutrons with different spins and storethem different layers.

Between the lines: Tree rings hold clues about a river's past
By analyzing centuries-old tree rings, researchers at Utah State University are extracting data about monthly streamflow trends from periods long before the early 1900s when recorded observations began.

Malnutrition frequently underdiagnosed and undertreated among hospital patients
Malnutrition among hospitalized patients remains a serious issue that has been underdiagnosed and undertreated for decades.

Metabolic pathway involved in immune response to Zika also participates in neurogenesis
Markers of infection found in blood of patients enabled Brazilian researchers to elucidate cellular signaling pathway involved in both defenses against this virus and formation of new neurons.

How patients and healthcare providers communicate outside the office is changing
How do patients and physicians feel about email, cell phone and text interactions?

Scouting the eagles: Proof that protecting nests aids reproduction
Reproduction among bald eagles in a remote national park in Minnesota was aided when their nests were protected from human disturbance, according to a study published today (Jan.

Dirt-like skin condition is described
Dirt-like skin condition is described.

Fiber OLEDs, thinner than a hair
Professor Kyung Cheol Choi from the School of Electrical Engineering and his team succeeded in fabricating highly efficient organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) on an ultra-thin fiber.

New stem cell method sheds light on a tell-tale sign of heart disease
While refining ways to grow arterial endothelial cells in the lab, a regenerative biology team at the Morgridge Institute for Research unexpectedly unearthed a powerful new model for studying a hallmark of vascular disease.

Most patients with unknown spinal cord disease later given specific diagnosis, study shows
A study by Mayo Clinic researchers found that most patients with suspected spinal cord inflammation of unknown cause have an alternative, specific diagnosis.

Place of residence linked to heart failure risk
According to new research in the American Heart Association journal, Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, almost 5 percent of heart failure risk was connected to neighborhood factors.

At least 3 out of 5 people who try a cigarette become daily smokers
At least 61 percent of people who try their first cigarette become, at least temporarily, daily smokers, suggests an analysis of survey data by Queen Mary University of London.

Multi-model effort highlights progress, future needs in renewable energy modeling
Models of the US electricity sector are relied upon by sector stakeholders and decision makers, but the recent surge in variable renewable energy (VRE), such as wind and solar, led a team of modeling experts to examine how these models would represent scenarios with high penetrations of VRE.

Want to make money with stocks? Never ever listen to analysts
Research by Nicola Gennaioli and colleagues shows that the best way to gain excess-returns on stock markets could be to invest in the shares least favored by analysts.

Discovering the creation era of ancient paintings at Mogao Grottoes, China
Mural paintings at Mogao Grottoes are a precious cultural heritage of mankind.

Advances in Atmospheric Science launches special issue on cloud studies
A special issue of the journal Advances in Atmospheric Science provides new research on aerosol and cloud properties and their effects on radiation and precipitation.

Jeans made with child labor? People choose willful ignorance
Many consumers have found a way to cope with the knowledge that products they like have been made unethically: They simply forget they ever knew it.

Bio-based compound offers a greener carbon fiber alternative
From cars and bicycles to airplanes and space shuttles, manufacturers around the world are trying to make these vehicles lighter, which helps lower fuel use and lessen the environmental footprint.

Emperor penguins may shorten record fast by snacking
Male emperor penguins are famed for their feats of endurance, fasting for 115 days during the mating season and while incubating eggs.

Scientists find heightened attention to surprise in veterans with PTSD
Scientists at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute (VTCRI) have found that people with PTSD have an increased learning response to surprising events.

Four practice characteristics facilitate integration of community health workers
Four practice characteristics facilitate integration of community health workers.

Students who view medicine as a calling are more likely to pursue primary care
Students who view medicine as a calling are more likely to pursue primary care.

Software-Defined Networking: The key to a scalable, manageable, and adaptable Internet
Software-Defined Networking can make the Internet scalable, manageable, and adaptable at an industry-grade level, according to a recent research study led by scientists from the Madrid research institute IMDEA Networks.

New method stabilizes siRNAs without affecting gene silencing activity
Researchers have reported the ability to modify the structure of small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) to improve their stability and therapeutic potential without negatively affecting their potency and ability to silence targeted genes.

Planets around other stars are like peas in a pod
A study of 909 planets and 355 stars carried out at the W.M.

Bad air quality along utah's wasatch front causes more than 200 pneumonia cases each year
Air pollution erodes the health of adults over age 65, a population particularly vulnerable to the effects of pneumonia.

Sun, wind, and power trading
The use of renewables like the sun and wind can cause fluctuations in power grids.

New skin barrier product reduces costs for ostomy care
Ostomy patients using a new type of skin barrier product -- infused with ceramides that play an essential role in the normal barrier function of the skin--experience lower costs of care, according to a randomized trial published in the Journal of Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing, the official journal of the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses (WOCN®) Society.

Uneasiness in observers of unnatural android movements explained
When the human-likeness of androids exceeds a certain threshold, the human's affinity for them decreases and an uncanny feeling about them increases.

Family physicians in South Africa strengthen district hospital care
Family physicians in South Africa strengthen district hospital care, not community health center care.

The biennial rainfall relationship in the tropical western hemisphere has weakened in recent decades
Biennial rainfall relationship could be observed in both the tropical eastern hemisphere associated with the tropospheric biennial oscillation and the tropical western hemisphere.

Artificial muscles power up with new gel-based robotics
Scientists are one step closer to artificial muscles. Orthotics have come a long way, yet innovation lapsed when it came to compensating for muscle power -- until now.

Controlling superconductivity using spin currents
A KAIST research team has discovered a method to flip between superconducting and non-superconducting states within an iron-based superconductor using a type of electron microscopy.

The silver lining: Scientists examine how aerosol types influence cloud formation
Not all aerosols are made equally. Sea salt and some types of wild fire smoke can take flight to create clouds and, eventually, rain, while other aerosols, such as mineral dust, do not work as well.

In urban streams, pharmaceutical pollution is driving microbial resistance
In urban streams, persistent pharmaceutical pollution can cause aquatic microbial communities to become resistant to drugs.

Not enough evidence on benefits, harms of routine scoliosis screening for children and adolescents
The US Preventive Services Task Force cannot assess the effectiveness of routine screening of children and adolescents for scoliosis because the evidence available in the medical literature on the benefits and harms of scoliosis screening is unclear.

Sleeping for longer leads to a healthier diet
Sleeping for longer each night is a simple lifestyle intervention that could help reduce intake of sugary foods and lead to a generally healthier diet, according to a King's College London study.

New tipping point prediction model offers insights to diminishing bee colonies
A new method to predict tipping points -- the moment at which sudden change occurs in complex networked systems -- may offer insights that prevent colony collapse disorder (CCD), a phenomenon in which the majority of worker bees in a colony disappear, threatening the agricultural economy at a global level.

Cluster of resistant tuberculosis pathogen discovered
Between February and Nov. 2016, the Institute of Medical Microbiology at the University of Zurich discovered a multidrug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis in eight refugees arriving in Europe from the Horn of Africa.

Can CranioSacral therapy improve symptoms of concussion & mild TBI among football players?
This invited commentary references a preliminary study in which the integrative medicine technique known as CranioSacral Therapy (CST) was tested on a group of ex-National Football League (NFL) players who showed significant improvement in range of motion, pain, sleep, and cognitive function.

Exposure to trees, the sky and birdsong in cities beneficial for mental wellbeing
Researchers at King's College London, landscape architects J & L Gibbons and art foundation Nomad Projects have used smartphone-based technology to assess the relationship between nature in cities and momentary mental wellbeing in real time.

Potentially life-saving health monitor technology designed by Sussex University physicists
Wearable monitor to detect heart and breathing abnormalities in babies.

Deadly disinfection in ant colonies
Ants kill colony mates infected with deadly diseases when they are unable to prevent them from falling sick in the first place.

Smoke from wildfires can tip air quality to unhealthy levels
Smoke plumes emanating from wildfires are swept high up into the air and spread over thousands of kilometers even days after a fire has been put out.

Innovations in primary care: Behavioral approach to treating Opioid use disorder
Innovations in primary care: Behavioral approach to treating Opioid use disorder.

MERS antibodies produced in cattle safe, treatment well tolerated in phase 1 trial
An experimental treatment developed from cattle plasma for Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus infection shows broad potential, according to a small clinical trial led by National Institutes of Health scientists and their colleagues.

Dead trees are alive with fungi
So far, little research has been conducted on fungi that live on dead trees, although they are vital to the forest ecology by breaking down dead wood and completing the element cycle between plants and soil.

Hereditary facial features could be strongly influenced by a single gene variant
Do you have your grandmother's eyes? Or your father's nose?

'Gyroscope' molecules form crystal that's both solid and full of motion
To make a solid crystal, molecules are generally so tightly packed together there's no room for any movement.

Portland State study illustrates the combined effects of climate change and forest fires
A new study co-authored by Portland State University geographer Andrés Holz, tracked the ebb and flow of ecosystem changes over the last 10,000 years, showing patterns that could shed light on current climate change and its role in shaping the world's forests.

Language access plans are key as US demographics change
Language access plans are key as US demographics change. 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