Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 18, 2018
AI 'scientist' finds that toothpaste ingredient may help fight drug-resistant malaria
An ingredient commonly found in toothpaste could be employed as an anti-malarial drug against strains of malaria parasite that have grown resistant to one of the currently used drugs.

Genetic sequencing points to endemic origin of monkeypox virus outbreak in Nigeria
Scientists working to control a human outbreak of monkeypox virus (MXPV) in Nigeria performed genetic sequencing of patient samples, revealing that the outbreak likely originated from a source within the country.

HIV-1 genetic diversity is higher in vaginal tract than in blood during early infection
A first-of-its-kind study has found that the genetic diversity of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) is higher in the vaginal tract than in the blood stream during early infection.

Health care financing system deepens poverty and income inequality
Households' payments for medical premiums, copayments and deductibles pushed more than 7 million Americans into poverty in 2014, according to a study in the American Journal of Public Health.

Bovine tuberculosis shows genetic diversity throughout Africa
Bovine tuberculosis (BTB) is an infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium bovis that affects cattle as well as other animals and humans.

From healthcare to warfare: How to regulate brain technology
Ethicists from the University of Basel have outlined a new biosecurity framework specific to neurotechnology.

An algorithm for refugee resettlement could boost employment and integration
Researchers designed an algorithm to match refugees with the resettlement location where they have the best chance of finding a job and putting down roots.

Moms, sisters, wives rank among more 'difficult' kin
Most of us put up with whiners, naggers, control freaks and other annoying people in our lives for good reason - we're related to them.

Certain flu virus mutations may compensate for fitness costs of other mutations
Seasonal flu viruses continually undergo mutations that help them evade the human immune system, but some of these mutations can reduce a virus's potency.

Babies' babbling betters brains, language
Babies are adept at getting what they need -- including an education.

More genes are active in high-performance maize
When two maize inbred lines are crossed with each other, an interesting effect occurs: The hybrid offspring have a significantly higher yield than either of the two parent plants.

Challenges and research for an evolving aviation system
A comprehensive aviation safety system as envisioned by NASA would require integration of a wide range of systems and practices, including building an in-time aviation safety management system (IASMS) that could detect and mitigate high-priority safety issues as they emerge and before they become hazards, says a new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

0.6% soy isoflavone in the diet decrease muscle atrophy
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) have discovered a means of reducing muscle atrophy by the addition of the soy-derived isoflavone aglycone (AglyMax) to the diet of mice.

Why some of your old work commitments never seem to go away
You can quit work commitments if you want - but some of them never really leave you, new research suggests.

Low-income immigrants face barriers to US citizenship
New research shows that lowering application fees for naturalization could help more U.S. immigrants gain the benefits of citizenship.

Study finds shift in patterns of glutamate and GABA in visuospatial working memory network
A new study in Biological Psychiatry has characterized the patterns of brain neurotransmitters glutamate and GABA in a network of regions that temporarily maintain and process visual information about the location of objects in space, a cognitive ability referred to as visuospatial working memory.

NASA sees Tropical Cyclone Berguitta soaking Mauritius and Reunion Island
NASA found heavy rainfall in Tropical Cyclone Berguitta as it closed in on Mauritius and Reunion Islands.

Distorted view amongst smokers of when deadly damage caused by smoking will
Smokers have a distorted perception on when the onset of smoking-related conditions will occur, a new study in the Journal of Cognitive Psychology reports.

Researchers find first evidence of sub-Saharan Africa glassmaking
Scholars from Rice University, University College London and the Field Museum have found the first direct evidence that glass was produced in sub-Saharan Africa centuries before the arrival of Europeans, a finding that the researchers said represents a 'new chapter in the history of glass technology.'

Key to willpower lies in believing you have it in abundance
Americans believe they have less stamina for strenuous mental activity than their European counterparts -- an indication that people in the US perceive their willpower or self-control as being in limited supply, suggests a study by University of Illinois educational psychologist Christopher Napolitano.

Root discovery may lead to crops that need less fertilizer
Bean plants that suppress secondary root growth in favor of boosting primary root growth forage greater soil volume to acquire phosphorus, according to Penn State researchers, who say their recent findings have implications for plant breeders and improving crop productivity in nutrient-poor soils.

Launch of 'DeWorm3' collection
PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases is happy to announce the publication of a new collection, 'DeWorm3' on Jan.

New instrument lets doctors view the entire eye with unprecedented level of detail
Researchers have developed the first instrument that can provide a detailed image of the entire eye that can produce higher quality images than currently available.

Research reveals atomic-level changes in ALS-linked protein
A new study details the minute changes -- down to the level of individual atoms -- that cause a particular protein to form cell-damaging clumps associated with ALS and other diseases.

Don't sweat it: Bikram yoga is no more effective than yoga practiced at room temperature
Bikram yoga, a hot yoga style, is no more effective at improving health than the same yoga postures at room temperature -- that's what research published in Experimental Physiology and carried out by Texas State University and the University of Texas at Austin, USA, has found.

Counting chromosomes: Plant scientists solve a century-old mystery about reproduction
Geneticists have solved a century-old mystery by discovering a remarkable mechanism that enables plants to count their chromosomes.

Efficacy of antibody targeting Devic's disease proven in new animal model
Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is an autoimmune disease associated with NMO immunoglobulin G (NMO-IgG).

College branding makes beer more salient to underage students
Major beer companies have rolled out marketing campaigns and products -- such as 'fan cans,' store displays, and billboard ads -- that pair beer with university colors, mascots, and logos.

DNA study casts light on century-old mystery of how cells divide
Scientists have solved a longstanding puzzle of how cells are able to tightly package lengthy strands of DNA when they divide -- an essential process for growth, repair and maintenance in living organisms.

Warming Arctic climate constrains life in cold-adapted mammals
A new study led by Joel Berger has uncovered previously unknown effects of rain-on-snow events, winter precipitation and ice tidal surges on the muskoxen.

Cellular mechanism for severe viral hepatitis identified
KAIST medical scientists identified a cellular mechanism causing inflammatory changes in regulatory T cells that can lead to severe viral hepatitis.

Fragile X finding shows normal neurons that interact poorly
Neurons in mice afflicted with the genetic defect that causes Fragile X syndrome (FXS) appear similar to those in healthy mice, but these neurons fail to interact normally, resulting in the long-known cognitive impairments, shows a new study by a team of neuroscientists.

First look at pupil size in sleeping mice yields surprises
When people are awake, their pupils regularly change in size.

Protein designed entirely from scratch functions in cells as a genuine enzyme
Artificial biology is working toward creating a genuinely new organism.

Using crumpled graphene balls to make better batteries
The paper ball-like graphene particles stack into a porous scaffold to suppress filament growth of lithium metal that degrades the battery.

North, east, south, west: The many faces of Abell 1758
Resembling a swarm of flickering fireflies, this beautiful galaxy cluster glows intensely in the dark cosmos, accompanied by the myriad bright lights of foreground stars and swirling spiral galaxies.

New research finds drinking 100% fruit juice does not affect blood sugar levels
New research demonstrates that 100% fruit juice has no impact on blood sugar levels.

Researchers create first stem cells using CRISPR genome activation
In a scientific first, researchers at the Gladstone Institutes turned skin cells from mice into stem cells by activating a specific gene in the cells using CRISPR technology.

2017 was the warmest year on record for the global ocean
2017 was the warmest year on record for the global ocean according to an updated ocean analysis from Institute of Atmospheric Physics/Chinese Academy of Science.

Genomics reveals key macrophages' involvement in systemic sclerosis
A new international study has made an important discovery about the key role of macrophages, a type of immune cell, in systemic sclerosis (SSc), a chronic autoimmune disease which currently has no cure.

Bacteria under your feet
In cooperation with Universidad Rey Juan Carlos - URJC An international team of researchers, including ERC grantee Fernando T.

APA releases new journal article reporting standards
As part of its promotion of greater transparency and the assessment of rigor in psychological science, the American Psychological Association has released new Journal Article Reporting Standards for researchers seeking to publish in in scholarly journals.

Researchers create first global atlas of the bacteria living in your dirt
What lives in your dirt? University of Colorado Boulder researchers are one step closer to finding out after compiling the first global atlas of soil bacterial communities and identifying a group of around 500 key species that are both common and abundant worldwide.

Flu may be spread just by breathing, new UMD-led study shows
It is easier to spread the influenza virus (flu) than previously thought, according to a new study released today.

NIH scientists find microbes on the skin of mice promote tissue healing, immunity
Beneficial bacteria on the skin of lab mice work with the animals' immune systems to defend against disease-causing microbes and accelerate wound healing, according to new research from scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health.

Crystal clear
Atomic-resolution transmission electron microscopy of electron beam-sensitive crystalline materials.

New robot can help treat rare birth defect
Researchers at the University of Sheffield and Boston's Children Hospital, Harvard Medical School have created a robot that can be implanted into the body to aid the treatment of oesophageal atresia, a rare birth defect that affects a baby's oesophagus.

Single blood test screens for eight cancer types
Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center researchers developed a single blood test that screens for eight common cancer types and helps identify the location of the cancer.

UNH researchers find human impact on forest still evident after 500 years
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire used high-tech tools to more precisely view where these cleared sites were and how much lasting impact they had on the rainforest in the Amazon Basin in South America.

Packing a genome, step-by-step
For the first time, scientists can see in minute-time resolution how cells package chromosomes into highly condensed structures prior to cell division.

Women run faster after taking newly developed supplement, study finds
A new study found that women who took a specially prepared blend of minerals and nutrients for a month saw their 3-mile run times drop by almost a minute.

A Russian scientist improved nanofluids for solar power plants
An associate of Siberian Federal University (SFU) teamed up with his foreign colleagues to increase the efficiency of the heat transfer medium used in solar power plants.

Army researchers make explosive discovery
Scientists from the US Army Research Laboratory and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory found a solution to a significant challenge in making high-energy explosives.

Controlling nanoscale DNA robots from the macroscale
By powering a DNA nanorobotic arm with electric fields, scientists have achieved precise nano-scale movement that is at least five orders of magnitude faster than previously reported for DNA-driven robotic systems.

Hunter-gatherers have a special way with smells
When it comes to naming colors, most people do so with ease.

Can mice really mirror humans when it comes to cancer?
A new Michigan State University study is helping to answer a pressing question among scientists of just how close mice are to people when it comes to researching cancer.

Neutron-star merger yields new puzzle for astrophysicists
The afterglow from the distant neutron-star merger detected last August has continued to brighten - much to the surprise of astrophysicists studying the aftermath of the massive collision that took place about 138 million light years away and sent gravitational waves rippling through the universe.

New method to stop cells dividing could help fight cancer
Researchers at Uppsala University, Karolinska Institutet, and the University of Oxford, have used a new strategy to shut down specific enzymes to stop cells from dividing.

Blasting dental plaque with microbubbles
Researchers have found a way to remove plaque from dental implants to improve oral hygiene.

Increased scientific rigor will improve wildlife research and management
Wildlife management relies on rigorous science that produces reliable knowledge because it increases accurate understanding of the natural world and informs management decisions.

CancerSEEK: Generalized screening for multiple cancer types
Researchers have developed a noninvasive blood test based on combined analysis of DNA and proteins that may allow earlier detection of eight common cancer types.

Crop failure in the Andes
As co-author of a study published in Global Change Biology, Kenneth Feeley, along with fellow biologist, Richard Tito, a native Quechua Indian from the region and the study's first author, discovered that tough times lie ahead for rural farmers growing the Andes' staple crops -- corn and potatoes.

Reminding people about vaccinations can increase rates of immunization
Rates of immunization against infectious diseases in children and adults are improving, but under-vaccination remains a problem that results in vaccine-preventable deaths and illnesses.

Researchers identify a new chromatin regulatory mechanism linked to SirT6
Researchers IDIBELL, led by Dr. Àlex Vaquero, have proposed a new double mechanism of inhibition of the NF-κB pathway linked to the action of SirT6 on chromatin.

Coupling experiments to theory to build a better battery
A Berkeley Lab-led team of researchers has reported that a new lithium-sulfur battery component allows a doubling in capacity compared to a conventional lithium-sulfur battery, even after more than 100 charge cycles.

Method uses DNA, nanoparticles and lithography to make optically active structures
Northwestern University researchers have developed a first-of-its-kind technique for creating entirely new classes of optical materials and devices that could lead to light bending and cloaking devices -- news to make the ears of Star Trek's Spock perk up.

Mothers and young struggle as Arctic warms
A new study from WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) and partners reveals for the first time the ways in which wild weather swings and extreme icing events are negatively impacting the largest land mammal of the Earth's polar realms -- the muskoxen.

Fox Creek earthquakes linked to completion volume and location of hydraulic fracturing
The volume of hydraulic fracturing fluid and the location of well pads control the frequency and occurrence of measurable earthquakes, new Alberta Geological Survey and UAlberta research has found.

Zika virus damages placenta, which may explain malformed babies
New researcher shows how Zika virus infection in five pregnant rhesus monkeys caused placental tissues to become thickened and inflamed, resulting in less oxygen being transported across the placenta and to the baby.

Reviled animals could be our powerful allies
Animal carnivores living in and around human habitation are declining at an unprecedented rate -- but they may provide crucial benefits to human societies.

NASA team studies middle-aged sun by tracking motion of Mercury
Like the waistband of a couch potato in midlife, the orbits of planets in our solar system are expanding.

Algorithm improves integration of refugees
A new machine learning algorithm developed by Stanford researchers could help governments and resettlement agencies find the best places for refugees to relocate, depending on their particular skills and backgrounds.

Viruses are everywhere, maybe even in space
Viruses are the most abundant and one of the least understood biological entities on Earth.

Recent advances in understanding coral resilience are essential to safeguard coral reefs
The most urgent course of action to safeguard coral reefs is to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, but concurrently there is also a need to consider novel management techniques and previously over-looked reef areas for protective actions under predicted climate change impacts.

Not just commodities: World needs broader appreciation of nature's contributions to people
In Science, 30 experts with the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) advocate consideration of a fuller, more comprehensive range of 'nature's contributions to people' in policy- and decision-making.

Mobility patterns influence the spread and containment of an epidemic
Contrary to expectations, recurring mobility between different cities or districts of a large city (for example, from home to work and back again) can minimise the spread of an epidemic.

Patients who live alone can safely be sent home after joint replacement
Most patients who live alone can be safely discharged home from the hospital to recover after hip or knee replacement surgery, suggests a study in the Jan.

Using electricity to switch magnetism
TU Wien has managed to use electrical fields to control the magnetic oscillations of certain ferrous materials.

How did a deadly tropical fungus get to the temperate environs of the Pacific Northwest?
In what is being described as 'The Teddy Roosevelt effect,' a deadly fungus in the Pacific Northwest may have arrived from Brazil via the Panama Canal, according to a new study led by the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen).

A centuries-old math equation used to solve a modern-day genetics challenge
Researchers developed a new mathematical tool to validate and improve methods used by medical professionals to interpret results from clinical genetic tests.

A handful of bacteria dominate the Earth's soil globally
An assessment of soils across six continents reveals that very few bacterial taxa are consistently found in soils globally.

The flu vaccine could get a much-needed boost
More than 700,000 Americans were hospitalized due to illnesses associated with the seasonal flu during the 2014-15 flu season, according to federal estimates.

Temporary 'bathtub drains' in the ocean concentrate flotsam
An experiment using hundreds of plastic drifters in the Gulf of Mexico shows that rather than simply spread out, as current calculations would predict, many of them clumped together in a tight cluster.

20 percent more trees in megacities would mean cleaner air and water, lower carbon and energy use
Planting 20 percent more trees in our megacities would double the benefits of urban forests, like pollution reduction, carbon sequestration and energy reduction, according to a study in Ecological Modelling.

Fanged friends: World's most vilified and dangerous animals may be humankind's best ally
An international review led by the University of Queensland and WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) says that many native carnivores that live in and around human habitation are declining at an unprecedented rate - spelling bad news for humans who indirectly rely on them for a variety of beneficial services.

Network model of the musculoskeletal system predicts compensatory injuries
A new study led by Danielle Bassett at The University of Pennsylvania's School of Engineering and Applied Science is the first to convert the entire human body's network of bones and muscles into a comprehensive mathematical model.

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism
Cancer metastasis, the migration of cells from a primary tumor to form distant tumors in the body, can be triggered by a chronic leakage of DNA within tumor cells, according to a team led by Weill Cornell Medicine and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center researchers.

Cancer gene screening more cost effective in the general population than high-risk groups
A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute indicates that screening the general population for mutations in specific genes is a more cost effective way to detect people at risk and prevents more breast and ovarian cancers compared to only screening patients with a personal or family history of these diseases.

New technique for finding life on Mars
Miniaturized scientific instruments and new microbiology techniques successfully identified and characterized microorganisms living in Arctic permafrost -- one of the closest analogs to Mars on Earth.

Researchers discover new enzymes central to cell function
Doctors have long treated heart attacks, improved asthma symptoms, and cured impotence by increasing levels of a single molecule in the body: nitric oxide.

Americans are getting more ZZZZs
Although more than one in three Americans still don't get enough sleep, a new analysis shows first signs of success in the fight for more shut eye.

Using data mining to make sense of climate change
Georgia Techhas developed a new way of mining data from climate data sets that is more self-contained than traditional tools.

Study finds convergent evolution of gene regulation in humans and mice
Organisms that aren't closely related may evolve similar traits as they adapt to similar challenges.

Where are individual refugees most likely to succeed professionally?
A machine learning-based algorithm can substantially improve employment prospects for refugees over current approaches, easing their transition as they become accustomed to a new home.

Portland State study shows pitfalls of using the term middle class
Middle class describes an economic tier between rich and poor.

Two new breast cancer genes emerge from lynch syndrome gene study
Columbia University researchers have identified two new breast cancer genes that also cause Lynch syndrome.

Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation
Dust is everywhere -- not just in your attic or under your bed, but also in outer space.

USC stem cell scientists chew on the mysteries of jaw development
Scientists in the USC Stem Cell laboratory of Gage Crump have revealed how key genes guide the development of the jaw in zebrafish.

Using Hawkeye from the Avengers to communicate on the eye
Superheroes can be used to communicate learning objectives to students in an interesting, fun, and accessible manner.

The Pentagon built with mineralized microbes predating dinosaurs
A new study led by The Australian National University (ANU) has found that some of the building blocks of the Pentagon and Empire State Building were made by microbes that lived up to 340 million years ago, predating the dinosaurs.

Let's make a deal: Could AI compromise better than humans?
BYU researchers developed an algorithm that teaches machines not just to win games, but to cooperate and compromise -- and sometimes do a little trash-talking too. 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