Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 23, 2018
Civic engagement can help teens thrive later in life
Want to help your teenagers become successful adults? Get them involved in civic activities - voting, volunteering and activism.

Civic engagement in adolescence and young adulthood beneficial for adult development
A new study sought to determine whether civic engagement during adolescence and young adulthood promotes better health, education, and income over the course of adulthood.

The big picture of Great Lakes mercury pollution
A transdisciplinary team examined regulatory impacts on Great Lakes mercury, focusing on an Upper Peninsula tribal community with high fish consumption.

Air quality is leading environmental threat to public health, EPI report shows
The 2018 Environmental Performance Index (EPI) finds that air quality is the leading environmental threat to public health.

Study shows how fetal infections may cause adult heart disease
Infants born prematurely are known to have a higher risk of developing heart disease later in life.

Quantum control
An international team consisting of Russian and German scientists has made a breakthrough in the creation of seemingly impossible materials.

A new therapeutic avenue for Parkinson's disease
Systemic clearing of senescent astrocytes prevents Parkinson's neuropathology and associated symptoms in a mouse model of sporadic disease, the type implicated in 95% of human cases.

Reduced attention to audiovisual synchrony in infancy predicts autism diagnosis
An ability to integrate information from different sensory modalities is important for infants' development and for their perception of the environment.

Enzyme with surprising dual function
Scientists at the University of Bonn have clarified a surprising dual function of ceramide synthase.

Lifesaving microbubbles
Severe oxygen deficiency eventually leads to cardiac arrest. If the blood's oxygen content cannot be rapidly re-established, the patient may die within minutes.

Warning follows report into online child sexual abuse risk
If the public are serious about wanting to protect children from online sexual abuse more investment in skilled professionals is needed now.

Forensic researchers find more accurate way to estimate age of deceased
Forensic researchers have found a more accurate way to assess an individual's age at death, based on the bone mineral density of the femur.

Large study finds higher rates of early substance use among children with ADHD
Children with ADHD engaged in substance use at a younger age and had a significantly higher prevalence of regular marijuana and cigarette use as adults.

Number of older people with four or more diseases will double by 2035, say researchers
A study published today in Age and Ageing, the scientific journal of the British Geriatrics Society, reports that the number of older people diagnosed with four or more diseases will double between 2015 and 2035.

Accurate estimation of biodiversity is now possible on a global scale
Policymakers are often concerned with the preservation of biodiversity at national, continental or global scales, but most biodiversity monitoring is conducted at very fine scales.

Viral probe gives ringside view of cell-to-cell combat
A fascinating blow-by-blow account of the arms struggle between plants and viral pathogens, is revealed in new research.

Plotting the downward trend in traditional hysterectomy
Fewer women are getting hysterectomies in every state across the country.

Queen's University scientist unlocks gamma ray burst secrets
A Queen's University Belfast scientist has recreated the first ever mini version of a gamma ray burst in a laboratory, opening up a whole new way to investigate their properties and potentially unlocking some of the mysteries around alien civilisation.

Short-course treatment for combat-related PTSD offers expedited path to recovery
Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be debilitating and standard treatment can take months, often leaving those affected unable to work or care for their families.

Scientists block the siren call of two aggressive cancers
Aggressive cancers like glioblastoma and metastatic breast cancer have in common a siren call that beckons the bone marrow to send along whatever the tumors need to survive and thrive.

Racial and ethnic disparities in live donor kidney transplants
Despite efforts over the past two decades to increase the number of black and Hispanic patients receiving kidney transplants from related or unrelated living donors, these racial/ethnic minority patients are still much less likely to undergo such transplants than white patients, Johns Hopkins researchers report.

Discovery of the 'pioneer' that opens the genome
Researchers explain a cell differentiation mechanism in Nature Genetics.

Deaf children learn words faster than hearing children
Each year many deaf children get a cochlear implant to connect to the world of sounds.

Siberian scientists suggested a new method for synthesizing a promising magnetic material
Scientists from Siberian Federal University (SFU) together with their colleagues from the Institute of Chemistry and Chemical Technology of Siberian Department of Russian Academy of Sciences and Kirensky Institute of Physics of Siberian Department of Russian Academy of Sciences used a new method for synthesizing iron-dysprosium garnet.

Incentive to move
A researcher from the University of Freiburg demonstrates how single-cell archaea determine what direction to swim.

New, forward-looking report outlines research path to sustainable cities
Find related stories on NSF's Environmental Research and Education (ERE) programs.

Women taking probiotics during pregnancy might have lower pre-eclampsia and premature birth risk
Probiotics taken during pregnancy might help lower the risks of pre-eclampsia and premature birth, suggests observational research in the online journal BMJ Open.

Rethinking environmental legislation to include the conservation ideas of tomorrow
Rewilding has potential to help address the current global biodiversity crisis, but its impact will be limited unless agreed definitions can be reached, backed by further scientific research and helped by a policy backdrop that enables greater integration with current environmental legislation.

PCOS may reduce gut bacteria diversity
Women who have a common hormone condition that contributes to infertility and metabolic problems tend to have less diverse gut bacteria than women who do not have the condition, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Rare 450-million-year-old 'cone-shaped' fossil discovery
An international team including University of Leicester researchers discover unique fossil of mysterious creature from the Ordovician period.

Children view people's behavior, psychological characteristics as shaped by environments
A new study has found that 5- to 6-year-olds view people's environments, not their skin color, as the most important determinant of their behavior and psychological characteristics.

New filters could enable manufacturers to perform highly-selective chemical separation
A team of chemical and biological engineers from Tufts University has developed highly selective membrane filters that could enable manufacturers to separate and purify chemicals in ways that are currently impossible, allowing them to potentially use less energy and cut carbon emissions, according to findings published in print today in the journal ACS Nano.

Reaching the breaking point
To better understand why many elderly people are prone to break a bone in a fall (known as bone fragility fractures), perhaps doctors and researchers should look at the human skeleton in much the same way civil engineers analyze buildings and bridges, according to a new study from a University of Utah mechanical engineering professor.

Cases of certain type of eyelid cancer have risen steadily over past 15 years in England
New cases of a particular type of eyelid cancer (squamous cell carcinoma) have risen steadily over the past 15 years in England, reveals research published online in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.

Prosecuting background check and straw purchase violations depends on state laws
Study examined prosecutions following tougher sentencing for 'straw arm' purchases in Pennsylvania and a Maryland court decision that redefined private firearm transfers.

Gut instinct makes animals appear clever
Animals, including humans, can make surprisingly good decisions just based on the food in their stomach, new research suggests.

A discovery about the behavior of heat in electronic devices can improve their performance
Researchers at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), in collaboration with Purdue University (USA), have shown that heat flow behaves similarly to a viscous fluid when studied at nanoscale.

Food scientists are developing a low-cost tool for detecting bacteria in food, water
Food scientist Lili He and colleagues at the University of Massachusetts Amherst report that they have developed a new, rapid and low-cost method for detecting bacteria in water or a food sample.

New report one of the most comprehensive studies on health effects of e-cigarettes
A new congressionally mandated report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine takes a comprehensive look at evidence on the human health effects of e-cigarettes.

Retrospective test for quantum computers can build trust
Researchers in Singapore and Japan describe in Physical Review Letters two approaches that offer 'post-hoc verification' of quantum computations.

Flourishing under an abusive boss? You may be a psychopath, study shows
According to research from Notre Dame, certain types of 'psychopaths' actually benefit and flourish under abusive bosses.

Energy storehouses in the brain may be source of Alzheimer's, targets of new therapy
In a new study, researchers at the ASU-Banner Neurodegenerative Disease Research Center examine the effects of the disease on the functioning of mitochondria -- structures performing a variety of essential tasks, including supplying cells with energy.

Human skin pigmentation recreated -- with a 3-D bioprinter
A new method for controlling pigmentation in fabricated human skin has been developed by researchers from A*STAR's Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech) and the Singapore Centre for 3-D Printing (SC3DP) at Nanyang Technological University.

Insects took off when they evolved wings
Now buzzing and whizzing around every continent, insects were mysteriously scarce in the fossil record until 325 million years ago -- when they first took flight and, according to a new study, evolutionarily took off.

Scientists developed a new model of frequency combs in optical microresonators
A team from the Faculty of Physics of the Lomonosov Moscow State University together with the scientists from the Russian Quantum Center developed a new mathematical model that describes the process of soliton occurrence in optical microresonators.

Brief exposure to charismatic career women inspires female students to pursue same field
A simple, low-cost experiment to encourage women to enter the male-dominated field of economics was surprisingly effective, says economist Danila Serra, Southern Methodist University, Dallas.

Flexibility and arrangement -- the interaction of ribonucleic acid and water
Ribonucleic acid (RNA) plays a key role in biochemical processes which occur at the cellular level in a water environment.

Premature births linked to changes in mother's bacteria
Changes to the communities of microbes living in the reproductive tract of pregnant women could help to spot those at risk of giving birth prematurely.

Flu infection study increases understanding of natural immunity
People with higher levels of antibodies against the stem portion of the influenza virus hemagglutinin (HA) protein have less viral shedding when they get the flu, but don't have fewer or less severe signs of illness, according to a new study.

Live tissue vs synthetic tissue training for critical procedures: No difference in performance
Training on the synthetic training model (STM) or live tissue (LT) model does not result in a difference in subsequent performance for five of the seven critical procedures examined: junctional hemorrhage wound packing, tourniquet, chest seal, nasopharyngeal airway, and needle thoracostomy.

A new architecture for miniaturization of atomic clocks
NICT developed a simple miniaturized atomic clock system, which does not require a complicated frequency multiplication, as an outcome of a collaboration with Tohoku University and Tokyo Institute of Technology.

Updated guideline for molecular testing and targeted therapies in lung cancer
A panel of leading experts in molecular pathology has issued new recommendations and updates to guidelines for molecular diagnostic testing of patients with lung cancer.

Princesses and action heroes are for boys and girls
Given the chance, young boys will try out dolls, and girls will play with cars and building blocks.

Modern math sheds new light on long-standing debate about Viking-age Ireland conflict
Modern mathematical techniques -- similar to those used to analyze social-networking websites -- have allowed academics to shed new light on a centuries old debate surrounding the Viking age in Ireland and the famous battle of Clontarf in 1014.

Function of protein 'smallish' unraveled
To make a fully grown organism in the right shape, the forms of many cells need to be changed in a coordinated way.

Adding graphene girders to silicon electrodes could double the life of lithium batteries
New research led by WMG, at the University of Warwick has found an effective approach to replacing graphite in the anodes of lithium-ion batteries using silicon, by reinforcing the anode's structure with graphene girders.

Interacting Antarctic glaciers may cause faster melt and sea level contributions
Two of the most rapidly changing glaciers in Antarctica, which are leading contributors to sea-level rise, may behave as an interacting system rather than separate entities, according to a new analysis of radar data.

Biomechanical mapping method aids development of therapies for damaged heart tissue
Researchers have developed a new way to capture the detailed biomechanical properties of heart tissue.

Do low-carb diets really do anything? (video)
Some fads never die. Low-carb diets were a thing in the late 90s and they're still a thing now.

Study: Cells of 3 advanced cancers die with drug-like compounds that reverse chemo failure
Researchers at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, report in the Nature journal Scientific Reports that they have discovered three drug-like compounds that successfully reverse chemotherapy failure in three of the most commonly aggressive cancers -- ovarian, prostate and breast.

A superficial relationship: Soap on water
New research shows with unprecedented accuracy what happens to soap as it spreads on water.

Only 1 in 10 patients with anxiety disorders receives the right treatment
The results of an international study commissioned by the World Mental Health with a sample of more than 51,500 individuals from 21 different countries, reveals that 10% of people suffer anxiety.

New DNA database at Rutgers-Camden to strengthen forensic science
A new database at Rutgers University-Camden is now available to help to bring more reliability to the interpretation of complex DNA evidence.

Drought defence
Just as the microorganisms in our gut are increasingly recognized as important players in human health and behavior, new research from the University of Toronto Mississauga demonstrates that microorganisms are equally critical to the growth and health of plants.

Starving tumors: New target discovered
Actively growing tumors have a high demand for oxygen and nutrients.

Microbial signal recognition stems from existing building blocks
Freiburg biochemists show how evolution combines a nutrient sensor from existing elements.

Scientists suggest way to predict the behavior of invasive weeds
Is it possible to predict which nonnative plant species will become invasive weeds and when?

New approach attacks 'undruggable' cancers from the outside in
Cancer researchers have made great strides in developing targeted therapies that treat the specific genetic mutations underlying a patient's cancer.

Women with polycystic ovary syndrome have less bacterial diversity in gut
Women who have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a common hormone condition that contributes to infertility and metabolic problems, such as diabetes and heart disease, tend to have less diverse gut bacteria than women who do not have the condition, according to researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, in collaboration with colleagues at Poznan University of Medical Sciences in Poland and San Diego State University.

Tiny crystals could help predict volcanic eruptions
They can be as small as a grain of salt, but tiny crystals that form deep in volcanoes may be the key for advance warnings before volcanic eruptions.

C-sections linked to long-term risks and benefits
Compared to vaginal deliveries, caesarean deliveries are associated with a decreased risk of urinary incontinence and pelvic prolapse, but an increased risk of miscarriage or placenta previa in future pregnancies.

A weak heart due to metabolic change
The heart derives its energy primarily from fatty acids. However, if a metabolic shift to other energy sources takes place, this can result in congestive heart failure, scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and Heidelberg University Hospital have now discovered.

Using epigenetic signatures and machine learning to improve diagnosis
Greenwood Genetic Center (GGC) researchers in collaboration with scientists from Canada have identified unique epigenetic signatures for nine neurodevelopmental disorders lending to a better method of diagnosis for disorders with much clinical overlap.

A new theory on reducing cardiovascular disease risk in binge drinkers
A new study shows that binge drinkers have increased levels of a biomarker molecule -- microRNA-21 -- that may contribute to poor vascular function.

Bitcoin wallet devices vulnerable to security hacks, study shows
Devices used to manage accounts using Bitcoin could be improved to provide better protection against hackers, according to research by University of Edinburgh scientists.

Scientists emulate the human blood-retinal barrier on a microfluidic chip
A team of scientists in Barcelona has developed a microfluidic device that mimics the human blood-retinal barrier.

NREL research determines integration of plug-in electric vehicles...
An influx of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) charging without coordination could prove challenging to the nation's electric grid, according to research conducted by the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

Frozen in time: Glacial archaeology on the roof of Norway
Artefacts revealed by melting ice patches in the high mountains of Oppland shed new light on ancient high-altitude hunting.

All the buzz -- bigger honeybee colonies have quieter combs
When honeybee colonies get larger, common sense suggests it would be noisier with more bees buzzing around.

Study shows invading toads adjusting rapidly to different environmental conditions
A new paper published in Conservation Physiology examines the thermal tolerance of Cane Toads in Hawaii and Australia and finds that some of them are adapting very quickly to lower temperatures.

Leading medical organizations update lung cancer guideline
Rapid advancements in the molecular diagnostic testing of lung cancer have led to new treatments and greater hope for patients battling lung cancer, the most common cause of cancer death worldwide.

Scientists find oxidized iron deep within the Earth's interior
Scientists digging deep into the Earth's mantle recently made an unexpected discovery.

A video database for cellular tracking created, useful in the fight against cancer
Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M), the University Hospital Gregorio Marañón (HGUGM) and Universidad de Navarra have, together with other international institutions, developed a video database for cellular tracking that can be used to determine alterations involved in illnesses such as cancer.

Parent misconceptions may hinder child organ donation
Parents' major concerns about child organ donation often included misunderstandings about medical care, potential suffering and cost.

So much depends on a tree guard
In a big city, trees, like people, like their space.

A new family of aerodynamic configurations of hypersonic airplanes
How to design an advanced aerodynamic configuration of the next generation hypersonic airliners?

When the eyes move, the eardrums move, too
Simply moving the eyes triggers the eardrums to move too, even in the absence of sound, says a new study by Duke University neuroscientists.

How plants see light
The proteins PCH1 and PCHL help plants adapt to their surroundings.

Genetic lung disease's molecular roots identified
People with the rare genetic disease primary ciliary dyskinesia suffer repeated lung infections because they lack functional cilia, hairlike structures that sweep mucus through the airways.  Most people have errors in the molecular motor that powers the cilia.

Protecting piping plovers
Visitors to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore are often treated to tiny scurrying beachcombers -- piping plovers.

The seemingly unremarkable crystals that could help predict volcanic eruptions
Small crystals that form inside magma change in composition as they are transported from depth to the surface.

Study compares risks between methods of sterilization
Hysteroscopic sterilization, a non-surgical procedure that involves placing small implants in the fallopian tubes to render a woman infertile, was associated with an increased risk of gynecological complications (most notably sterilization failure with subsequent pregnancy) compared to surgical sterilization, but there were no differences between the two approaches in medical outcomes.

Sugar tax on soft drinks might drive up alcohol consumption
A sugar tax levied on soft drinks might have the unintended consequence of driving up alcohol consumption, but the picture is mixed, finds research published online in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

Married veterans more at risk of suicide than single soldiers
Among recently returned veterans, a new study says those who are married or living with a partner are at higher suicide risk than soldiers who are single, and older married female veterans are at the greatest risk.

Curcumin improves memory and mood, new UCLA study says
Daily consumption of a certain form of curcumin -- the substance that gives Indian curry its bright color -- improved memory and mood in people with mild, age-related memory loss,

UW researcher leads study of first quantifiable observation of cloud seeding
For the first time, direct observation of cloud seeding -- from the growth of the ice crystals through the processes that occur in the clouds to the eventual fallout of the ice crystals that become snow -- has been documented.

Scientists elucidate molecular basis of myostatin activation, key process in muscle health
For the first time, this new study defines at the molecular level the structural changes that take place in the protein during the activation process of myostatin.

Drones learn to navigate autonomously by imitating cars and bicycles
Developed by UZH researchers, the algorithm DroNet allows drones to fly completely by themselves through the streets of a city and in indoor environments.

Opening the cavity floodgates
Freiburg biochemists investigate the transport of large proteins through bacterial cell membranes.

Lifting the veil on 'valence,' brain study reveals roots of desire, dislike
Focusing on a particular section called the basolateral amygdala, researchers at MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory show how valence-processing circuitry -- which determines whether we assign good or bad feelings about stimuli -- is organized and how key neurons in those circuits interact with others.

Cognitive training helps regain a younger-working brain
Researchers at the Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas at Dallas say their research could provide new hope for extending our brain function as we age.

Personality changes during transition to developing mild cognitive impairment
Personality changes and behavior problems that come with Alzheimer's disease are as troubling as memory loss and other mental difficulties for caregivers and those living with the condition.

Researchers aim to save key branches of shark and ray tree of life
New study identifies conservation priorities based on evolutionary history and biogeography.

Energy drink use in teens has adverse effects
A Chapman University faculty member has published new research showing why many teenagers consume energy drinks, how often, the age they started and what influences their choice of brands.

Engineers develop flexible, water-repellent graphene circuits for washable electronics
Jonathan Claussen and the nanoengineers in his research group continue to find new ways to use graphene printing technology. 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