Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 15, 2018
Teens who were severely bullied as children at higher risk of suicidal thoughts, mental health issue
Teens who were severely bullied as children by peers are at higher risk of mental health issues, including suicidal thoughts and behaviours, according to new research in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Genes that aid spinal cord healing in lamprey also present in humans, MBL team discovers
Many of the genes involved in natural repair of the injured spinal cord of the lamprey are also active in the repair of the peripheral nervous system in mammals, according to a study by a collaborative group of scientists at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) and other institutions.

Flawed research methods exaggerate the prevalence of depression
The common practice of using patient self-report screening questionnaires rather than diagnostic interviews conducted by researchers has resulted in overestimates of the prevalence of depression, according to an analysis in CMAJ.

Energy drinks can negatively impact health of youth
Over half of Canadian youth and young adults who have consumed energy drinks have experienced negative health effects as a result, according to a study from the University of Waterloo.

Unexpected environmental source of methane discovered
Roughly 10 percent of nitrogen-fixing microorganisms contain the genetic code for manufacturing a back-up enzyme, called iron iron-only nitrogenase, to do their job.

Diabetes gene found that causes low and high blood sugar levels in the same family
A Queen Mary University of London study of families with rare blood sugar conditions has revealed a new gene thought to be critical in the regulation of insulin, the key hormone in diabetes.

How preterm birth may impact language development
Altered development of a part of the auditory cortex in preterm infants is associated with poorer language skills in early childhood, finds a brain imaging study of very early-born babies in a neonatal intensive care unit.

Teens likely to crave junk food after watching TV ads
Teenagers who watch more than three hours of commercial TV a day are more likely to eat hundreds of extra junk food snacks, according to a report by Cancer Research UK.

Lifting barriers to citizenship for low-income immigrants
Gaining citizenship brings life-changing opportunities, but high application fees make it unaffordable for many immigrants who are ineligible for a federal waiver.

Nature has more than one way to make methane, say Utah State University biochemists
Utah State University biochemists, with collaborators from the University of Washington and Montana State University, report a bacterial, iron-only nitrogenase pathway for methane formation.

Brain imaging predicts language learning in deaf children
MRI brain scans can predict language improvement after a cochlear implant, laying the foundation for creation of brain specific therapy.

Don't hold your nose and close your mouth when you sneeze, doctors warn
Pinching your nose while clamping your mouth shut to contain a forceful sneeze isn't a good idea, warn doctors in the journal BMJ Case Reports.

Robots aid better understanding of phytoplankton blooms
Phytoplankton blooms are one of the most important factors contributing to the efficiency of the carbon pump in the North Atlantic Ocean.

Dietary fat, changes in fat metabolism may promote prostate cancer metastasis
Researchers at the Cancer Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) shed new light on the genetic mechanisms that promote metastasis in the mouse model and also implicated the typical Western high-fat diet as a key environmental factor driving metastasis.

Fast-tracking T cell therapies with immune-mimicking biomaterials
A team led by David Mooney at Harvard's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and John A.

An efficient approach of conjugated tetraenes from butadiene and alkynes
TUAT researchers have achieved the new synthetic route of conjugated tetraenes from inexpensive and easily available 1,3-butadiene and substituted acetylenes by a one-pot approach under mild conditions.

Feinstein Institute discovers genes that repair spinal cord in fish are also in humans
Northwell Health's Feinstein Institute for Medical Research Associate Professor Ona E.

New Carnegie Mellon dynamic statistical model follows gene expressions over time
Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the model now gives researchers a tool that extends past observing static networks at a single snapshot in time, which is hugely beneficial since network data are usually dynamic.

Novel 3-D printing technique yields high-performance composites
A team of researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) has demonstrated a novel 3-D printing method that yields unprecedented control of the arrangement of short fibers embedded in polymer matrices.

Starting periods before age of 12 linked to heightened risk of heart disease and stroke
Starting periods early -- before the age of 12 -- is linked to a heightened risk of heart disease and stroke in later life, suggests an analysis of data from the UK Biobank study, published online in the journal Heart.

The presence of sexual violence in neighborhoods erodes feelings of safety
Feelings about the frequency of rape or other forms of sexual assault in a neighborhood are significantly tied to women's -- but not men's -- perceptions of its safety, according to new research.

Improvements in mortality rates are slowed by rise in obesity in the United States
With medical advances and efforts to curb smoking, one might expect that US life expectancy would improve.

Researchers develop a remote-controlled cancer immunotherapy system
A team of researchers has developed an ultrasound-based system that can non-invasively and remotely control genetic processes in live immune T cells so that they recognize and kill cancer cells.

New application for acoustics helps estimate marine life populations
Researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego were part of an international team that for the first time used hydroacoustics as a method for comparing the abundance of fishes within and outside marine protected areas (MPAs).

Preterm babies may suffer setbacks in auditory brain development, speech
Preterm babies born early in the third trimester of pregnancy are likely to experience delays in the development of the auditory cortex, a brain region essential to hearing and understanding sound, a new study reveals.

Experts seek to standardize treatments for childhood rheumatic diseases
Pediatric rheumatic diseases are a varied group of rare diseases including juvenile forms of arthritis, lupus, fibromyalgia, and other conditions.

An emergency response to Canada's opioid overdose crisis
To help address the opioid overdose epidemic, Canada should develop a regulated program to distribute opioids and prevent deaths, argues a commentary in CMAJ.

How incurable mitochondrial diseases strike previously unaffected families
Researchers have shown for the first time how children can inherit a severe -- potentially fatal -- mitochondrial disease from a healthy mother.

Potential brain-machine interface for hand paralysis
A brain-machine interface that combines brain stimulation with a robotic device controlling hand movement increases the output of pathways connecting the brain and spinal cord, according to a study of healthy adults published in JNeurosci.

New blood test for diagnosing heart attacks: A 'big deal,' with caveats
A longtime blood test that measures the likelihood of a cardiac event has become more sensitive and more precise.

Exploring the neuroscience of behavioral therapy in rats
Psychotherapy may improve symptoms of psychiatric disorders by increasing activity in the medial prefrontal cortex, suggests a study of rats exposed to chronic stress.

Confined movements: How cells form tubes in confined spaces
A team of scientists from Singapore and France, led by Professor Lim Chwee Teck, Principal Investigator at the Mechanobiology Institute, Singapore and the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the National University of Singapore, has described a novel 'microtube'-based platform to study how tubular organs, such as the heart and the kidneys, form under the various topographical restrictions commonly experienced inside the body.

Long-term health conditions drive A&E visits, not lack of GP services
Rising accident and emergency attendance rates are driven by patients' long term health conditions, and are not related to lack of GP provision, according to a study by Queen Mary University of London of more than 800,000 patients in east London.

Study: Pulsating dissolution found in crystals
When German researchers zoomed in to the nanometer scale on time-lapse images of dissolving crystals, they found a surprise: Dissolution happened in pulses, marked by waves that spread just like ripples on a pond.

Analysis shows lack of evidence that wearable biosensors improve patient outcomes
Wearable biosensors have grown increasingly popular as many people use them in wristbands or watches to count steps or track sleep.

Cellular seismology: Putting vibrations on the map
Using a unique technology called 'cell quake elastography,' scientists can now map to the millisecond the elasticity of components vibrating inside a cell.

Mysteries of a promising spintronic material revealed
 Researchers at UC Riverside used an unconventional approach to determine the strength of the electron spin interactions with the optical phonons in antiferromagnetic nickel oxide (NiO) crystals.

New study on the impact of relatedness on grandmothers' desire to care for grandchildren
Historically, grandmothers have been important to their grandchildren, and the help provided by grandmothers has increased grandchild survival during the times of high child mortality.

The Fields Medal fallacy: Why this math prize should return to its roots
The Fields Medal, whose origins date back to the 1930s, will be issued again this year in August to up to four of the world's most accomplished mathematicians under the age of 40.

Power stations in cells may protect brain against Parkinson's
Impairment in mitochondria may actually protect the brain in Parkinson's disease.

Possible cause of early colonial-era Mexican epidemic identified
Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Harvard University and the Mexican National Institute of Anthropology and History have used new methods in ancient DNA research to identify Salmonella enterica Paratyphi C, a pathogen that causes enteric fever, in the skeletons of victims of the 1545-1550 cocoliztli epidemic in Mexico, identifying a possible cause of this devastating colonial epidemic, as published in Nature Ecology and Evolution.

Normal tissue BRCA1 methylation associated with risk for high-grade ovarian cancer
Normal tissue BRCA1 methylation is associated with risk for high-grade ovarian cancer and may occur as a prenatal event.

Scientists home in on a potential Anthropocene 'Golden Spike'
Anthropocene Working Group led by University of Leicester scientists and invited specialists review the potential settings where a global reference section for the Anthropocene might be searched.

Survival strategies for women in a youth-centric world
The idea of aging well assumes that a mature individual remains active, healthy, and attractive.

Stop the clots, spare the coagulation
In the fight to cure thromboinflammatory diseases, one of the target molecules is thrombin, a protein that promotes inflammation and can cause blood clots.

Flawed US-led world order to blame for American political crises at home and abroad
America's attempts to navigate challenges to its global leadership are hampered by a foreign policy mindset that is 'Eurocentric, elitist and resistant to change,' according to a new paper from a City, University of London academic.

Researchers propose new gas-solid reaction for high-speed perovskite photodetector
The gas-solid reaction method provides a full coverage of the perovskite film and avoids the damage from the organic solvent, which is beneficial for the light capture and electrons transportation, resulting in a faster response time and stability for the perovskite photodetector.

HKBU scholars develop new technology to decode gene transcription
A research team from the School of Chinese Medicine (SCM) of Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) has developed the world's first model framework and 'LogicTRN' algorithm to accurately establish a gene regulatory route to analyse the genetic function and understand the biological processes.

Research uncovers new link between head trauma, CTE and Lou Gehrig's disease
Researchers at Western University have uncovered a unique neurobiological pathway triggered by head trauma which underlies both chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and Lou Gehrig's disease.

Biomaterials with 'logic gates' release therapeutics in response to environmental triggers
Scientists at the University of Washington announced that they have built and tested a new biomaterial-based delivery system -- known as a hydrogel -- that will encase a desired cargo and dissolve to release its freight only when specific physiological conditions are met.

Perovskite solar cells: Perfection not required
Metal-organic perovskite layers for solar cells are frequently fabricated using the spin coating technique on industry-relevant compact substrates.

Zoology: Luminescent lizards
Chameleons are known to communicate with conspecifics by altering their surface coloration.

War in Ukraine has escalated HIV spread in the country
Conflict in Ukraine has increased the risk of HIV outbreaks throughout the country as displaced HIV-infected people move from war-affected regions to areas with higher risk of transmission, according to analysis by scientists.

Gyroscopes lead scientists to unusual state of matter in a disorganized structure
You don't have to be perfectly organized to pull off a wave, according to University of Chicago scientists.

Immunosuppressive cells in newborns play important role in controlling inflammation in early life
New research led by The Wistar Institute, in collaboration with Sun Yat-sen University in China, has characterized the transitory presence of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) in mouse and human newborns, revealing a critical role of these cells in regulation of inflammation in the early stages of life.

Danish researchers reveal how the MRSA bacterium handles stress
An international team of researchers has revealed a fundamental mechanism responsible for handling stress in staphylococci when they are exposed to antibiotics.

European cities could avoid up to 10,000 premature deaths by expanding cycling networks
A study led by researchers from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) has found that expanding designated cycling networks in cities could provide considerable health and economic benefits.

Rising obesity rates in south leading to rapid increase in diabetes cases
Rising obesity rates in several Southern states are leading to a rapid increase in new cases of diabetes among both black and white adults.

New record at ultracold neutron source in Mainz
Researchers at Mainz University installed an update to their ultracold neutron source.

The more competitive, the more passionate in romantic relationships
Americans are more passionate toward their romantic partners than Japanese people are because Americans live in social environments in which people have greater freedom to choose and replace their partners, a team of Japanese researchers suggest.

Named after Stanley Kubrick, a new species of frog is a 'clockwork orange' of nature
Two new frog species were discovered in the Amazon Basin. 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