Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 29, 2018
Reach out and feed someone: Automated system finds rapid honey bee communication networks
By developing a system that allows automated, in-depth monitoring of the social interactions of honey bees, researchers have now uncovered an unexpected property of the bee social network that may someday help us design more effective human and machine communication systems.

Access to water and diverse terrain encourage elderly in physical activity
A recently published study, conducted at the Gerontology Research Center of the University of Jyväskylä, found associations between features of natural environment in the home neighborhood and physical activity of older people.

Austerity policies lie at heart of soaring homelessness and related health harms, argue experts
Austerity policies lie at the heart of soaring homelessness across England, with serious health implications for those affected, argue experts in The BMJ today.

Coal phase-out: Announcing CO2-pricing triggers divestment
Putting the Paris climate agreement into practice will trigger opposed reactions by investors on the one hand and fossil fuel owners on the other hand.

Tickling the brain with electrical stimulation improves memory, study shows
Tickling the brain with low-intensity electrical stimulation in a specific area can improve verbal short-term memory.

To improve self-control, call weight loss what it is: Difficult
An intervention that focused on changing the external food environment, rather than internal willpower, actually boosted participants' cognitive restraint and led to greater long-term weight loss.

Minimizing exposure to harmful flame retardant chemicals in waste foams and plastics
Continued research and new policies and practices to ensure proper use and disposal of foam and plastic products that contain potentially harmful flame retardant chemicals are needed to minimize health risks from environmental exposure to humans and animals.

Scientists pinpoint how ocean acidification weakens coral skeletons
The rising acidity of the oceans threatens coral reefs by making it harder for corals to build their skeletons.

Calculating the CO2 emissions of biofuels is not enough
A new EU regulation aims to shrink the environmental footprint of biofuels starting in 2021.

Evolving sets of gene regulators explain some of our differences from other primates
Today, biologists add an important discovery to a growing body of data explaining why we're different from chimps and other primate relatives, despite the remarkable similarity of our genes.

Bevacizumab dramatically improves severe hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) associated bleeding
Patients with hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) with severe bleeding, who were treated with intravenous bevacizumab, reported a marked reduction in nose bleeds and gastrointestinal bleeding and were able to stop or considerably reduce blood transfusions, resulting in significantly improved quality of life.

Mediterranean diet may help women receiving IVF to achieve successful pregnancies
New research has found that women who follow a 'Mediterranean' diet in the six months before assisted reproductive treatment have a significantly better chance of becoming pregnant and giving birth to a live baby than women who did not.

Increasing public awareness is vital in the fight against infectious diseases
Public awareness campaigns on spotting the signs and symptoms of infectious diseases and how to prevent them, play a key role in helping to stop the spread of such infections, a new study in the journal Epidemiology and Infection reports.

CRAG and UB researchers find basic mechanisms for root growth and cell replenishment
Interdisciplinary collaboration between physics and molecular biology enabled researchers to solve fundamental doubts on plant root growth.

Visualizing danger from songbird warning calls
Kyoto University researcher finds that a small songbird, the Japanese tit (Parus minor), can retrieve a visual image of a predator from specific alarm calls.

The evolution of industry-sponsored patient registries
This important commentary provides insights into the past and future of registries and the critical and unique role that the life-sciences industry can play in supporting the proliferation of these objective research programs, particularly within the context of the importance of accommodating patient perspectives through advanced technology.

New Egyptian dinosaur reveals ancient link between Africa and Europe
When it comes to the final days of the dinosaurs, Africa is something of a blank page.

Study shows effectiveness of the school fruit scheme in North Rhine-Westphalia
How can you convince elementary school students to consume more fruit and vegetables?

Moving pictures, feeble words: Emotional images sway people more than emotional words
New research suggests that your behavior can be influenced by subtle, barely visible images: people consume more of a beverage when exposed to positive images, such as smiling faces or cute dogs, and less when exposed to negative images, such as scowling faces or guns.

US energy colonialism a key cause of Puerto Rico's Hurricane María crisis
A new study investigating US and territorial government energy policies and industrial contracts in Puerto Rico argues that energy colonialism has played a central role in the country's current humanitarian crisis.

Uncovering the early origins of Huntington's disease
The symptoms of Huntington's disease typically appear in middle age, but new research shows that neural abnormalities are evident much earlier, in the first steps of embryonic development.

What happens to language as populations grow? It simplifies, say researchers
Languages have an intriguing paradox. Languages with lots of speakers, such as English and Mandarin, have large vocabularies with relatively simple grammar.

Astrochemists reveal the magnetic secrets of methanol
A team of scientists, led by Boy Lankhaar at Chalmers University of Technology, has solved an important puzzle in astrochemistry: how to measure magnetic fields in space using methanol, the simplest form of alcohol.

Schools key to successful integration of child refugees, says study
Schools can provide the ideal environment to improve integration and reduce the difficulties faced by refugee children in Western asylum countries, according to a new study from psychologists at City, University of London.

New UTSA study examines the causes and consequences of the 2015 Wimberley floods
A new study by Chad Furl, postdoctoral research associate, and Hatim Sharif, professor of civil and environmental engineering at The University of Texas at San Antonio, delves into the 2015 Wimberley, Texas floods that destroyed 350 homes and claimed 13 lives.

Blood clot in lungs rare in patients at emergency department after fainting
A blood clot in the lungs was rarely identified in patients who went to the emergency department after fainting.

Novel technologies reveal key information about depleted east pacific green sea turtles
Using new technologies developed to extract life history information from bones, researchers at UC San Diego are learning more than ever about populations of green sea turtles living in the eastern region of the Pacific Ocean.

Body clock disruptions occur years before memory loss in Alzheimer's
People with Alzheimer's disease have disturbances in their internal body clocks that affect the sleep/wake cycle and may increase risk of developing the disorder.

USTC realizes strong indirect coupling in distant nanomechanical resonators
USTC Guo's team realized strong coupling between distant phonon modes, by introducing a third resonator as a phonon cavity mode.

Getting to zero deforestation
Stanford-led synthesis paper reveals strengths and weaknesses of corporate environmental pledges; prescribes solutions to boost effectiveness.

Relativity matters: Two opposing views of the magnetic force reconciled
Our understanding of how a point-particle carrying a charge moves in presence of an inhomogenous magnetic field relied until now on two theories that were believed to differ.

Boosting Sirt4 gene activity extends healthy lifespan in fruit flies
Results from study led by Brown University researchers illustrate that Sirt4, also found in humans, may be an important factor in age-related metabolic decline and healthy lifespan.

Management of diaphragmatic hernia in children: Canadian guideline to standardize care
For babies diagnosed with congenital diaphragmatic hernia, a comprehensive new guideline in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) aims to provide guidance to physicians in diagnosing and managing the condition from the time a diagnosis is made during pregnancy through the teen years.

Medications to treat cardiovascular risk factors do not impact erectile function
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a major public health problem. Men being treated for cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol are at increased risk of developing ED and often consider this condition a side effect of their medications.

Untangling the complex taxonomic history of a Neotropical liana genus
How do you separate one species from another? Having remained a major challenge in biology as a whole, species delimitation becomes an especially daunting task when it comes to tropical plant groups, where information in biology, morphology and distribution is often scarce.

Mammals and birds could have best shot at surviving climate change 
New research that analyzed more than 270 million years of data on animals shows that mammals and birds -- both warm-blooded animals -- may have a better chance of evolving and adapting to the Earth's rapidly changing climate than their cold-blooded peers, reptiles and amphibians.

Language is learned in brain circuits that predate humans
It has often been claimed that humans learn language using brain components that are specifically dedicated to this purpose.

Changing the color of 3-D printed objects
3-D printing has come a long way since the first 'rapid prototyping' patent was rejected in 1980.

Low cost, easy to administer drug may be the key to preventing maternal deaths
In a multicenter, randomized controlled trial, researchers demonstrated that tranexamic acid can prevent postpartum hemorrhage in certain vaginal deliveries.

Teens whose mothers had an abortion are more likely to undergo abortion
Teens whose mothers had abortions were more likely to also have abortions, according to new research in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Drug improves PTSD traits in rat model of explosive blasts
Male rats exposed to air blasts designed to mimic those from explosives used in recent military conflicts have symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that are improved by a drug currently being evaluated in humans for treatment-resistant depression and suicidal tendencies.

What makes kids with autism less social than their typically developing peers?
Katherine Stavropoulos of the University of California, Riverside, looks closely at electrical activity in the brains of children with autism spectrum disorder, or ASD, and typical development, or TD, to discern differences in the respective groups' reward systems.

Flexing for the next silicon wave
Ultrathin, rigid silicon segments that are wired through interdigitated metal contacts produce ultraflexible high-performance solar cells.

Interstellar fullerenes may help find solutions for earthly matters
The nearest interstellar clouds with confirmed fullerene presence are about 1,000 light years away from Earth.

Americans are spending more time at home, and it's saving a lot of energy
Researchers have identified a positive trade-off for the rise in online shopping, our consumption of streaming video, and employees working from home.

Brown recluse: Pest management tips for the spider that's not as common as you think
The brown recluse is one of the few spiders that can bite a human and should be regarded with great caution.

Why do we trust, or not trust, strangers? The answer is Pavlovian
Our trust in strangers is dependent on their resemblance to others we've previously known, finds a new study by a team of psychology researchers.

Rotavirus vaccine could reduce UK health inequalities, new study suggests
New research led by the University of Liverpool has found that childhood vaccination against rotavirus has greatest benefit in the most deprived communities and could contribute to reducing health inequalities in the UK.

Heritage turkey production research profitable but more difficult
To meet increasing consumer demand for heritage-breed turkeys to be the centerpiece of holiday and other meals, researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences are studying methods producers can use to raise the historical birds.

Interim publications of randomized trials make news but may not be ready for prime time
Early results from randomized trials are sometimes published before the trial is completed.

Americans say president Trump should prioritize science to strengthen US infrastructure
A strong majority of Americans (81 percent) say it is important for President Trump to assign a high priority to putting science, technology and engineering to work to strengthen our nation's infrastructure.

How to reduce heat extremes by 2-3 degrees C
New research published in Nature Geoscience shows how simple, proven geo-engineering measures can reduce the hottest days by 2-3 degrees C.

Predicting influencers has just been made simpler
Social networks, such as Twitter, thrive on key influencers spreading information or rumours.

Morris Animal Foundation-funded study points way to improved stem cell therapies
In a study using equine mesenchymal stem cells, Morris Animal Foundation-funded researchers from Cornell University and North Carolina State University found that stem cell function can be enhanced through manipulation of their culture environment, and that 'priming' prior to patient administration could optimize their therapeutic potential.

Copper hydroxychloride in diets fed to weanling pigs improves performance and health
Results of recent research at the University of Illinois indicate that including copper hydroxychloride in diets fed to weanling pigs improves growth performance and reduces diarrhea.

Diamonds show promise for spintronic devices
Recently, researchers have been exploring the potential for a new technology, called spintronics, that relies on detecting and controlling a particle's spin.

These carbon dioxide-sensing neurons wake up mice
Stimulating a population of neurons in the midbrain with carbon dioxide (CO2) awakens adult male mice without enhancing breathing, finds a study published in JNeurosci.

Motivational music increases risk-taking but does not improve sports performance
Listening to motivational music increases risk-taking behavior during sport activities and exercise -- particularly in men and when participants made their own playlist -- but does not improve performance, new research shows.

Study shows wetlands provide landscape-scale reduction in nitrogen pollution
In agricultural regions such as the US Midwest, excess nitrate from crop fertilizer makes its way into rivers and streams through subsurface drainage channels and agricultural ditches.

More than 100,000 switches
Freiburg researchers map out the atlas of gene regulators in human cardiac cells for the first time.

Life expectancy gains are slowing in both rich and poor countries
Increases in human life expectancy have slowed dramatically across the world since 1950, according to a study from researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Microbubbles make breast cancer more susceptible to radiation therapy
Bursting oxygen-filled microbubbles in breast cancer makes tumors three times more sensitive to radiation therapy in preliminary tests with animal models of the disease

Latest issue of Structural Heart: The Journal of the Heart Team is now available
The Cardiovascular Research Foundation (CRF) is pleased to announce that the latest issue of Structural Heart: The Journal of the Heart Team is now available online.

Weak hydrogen bonds key to strong, tough infrastructure
Rice University engineers study what it takes to make strong and tough infrastructures by probing the interfacial interactions of polymer and cement, which are key to composite properties.

Oestrogen causes neuroblastoma cells to mature into neurons
The female sex hormone oestrogen can perform an important role in neuroblastoma, a form of cancer mainly affecting young children.

Walk in groups to keep exercise goals on track
People may be more likely to stick to taking exercise if they walk in groups, according to a paper published in the International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care.

Men hold secret to protect women from multiple sclerosis
Men are much less likely to get multiple sclerosis (MS) than women, and one reason is that they are protected by high levels of testosterone.

Model predicts scenarios for power generation using nuclear fusion
Study by Brazilian researcher helps scientists understand and control physical processes that are essential to the success of ITER, a fusion reactor designed to reproduce on a small scale the process that generates energy in the Sun.

Sixty-four percent of women suffer from insomnia in late pregnancy
Study led by the University of Granada warns that health systems need to address this problem systematically, since as well as affecting the quality of life of pregnant women, insomnia is a risk factor for high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes mellitus, depression, preterm birth and unplanned caesarean sections.

Study suggests PD-1 inhibitors against aggressive pediatric brain cancer subtype
A University of Colorado Cancer Center study published in the journal Pediatric Blood Cancers lays the scientific groundwork for the use of PD-1 inhibitors with an aggressive form of brain cancer, namely supratentorial pediatric ependymoma.

OHSU research provides new insight about antidepressants
New molecular research shows how chemically diverse drugs used to treat depression and anxiety disorders interact with the protein that transports serotonin in the brain.

Viruses that infect bacteria abound in bladder
Phages -- viruses that infect bacteria -- are abundant in the bacteria that inhabit the female bladder.

Guideline adherence, not patient volume, may be better hospital heart failure metric
In evaluating the quality of inpatient heart failure care, patients and policy makers should consider how well a hospital meets clinical care guidelines.

Method of petroleum extraction based on injections of nanosized metal oxide colloids
The extraction of high-viscosity oils is complicated by the fact that they occur in hardly permeable reservoirs such as shales, strong sands, or limestones.

Better health and economic activity key to easing UK pension crisis
Raising the UK state pension age is not enough to address the challenges caused by an ageing population, a new report from Cass Business School for the Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation (CSFI) argues.

Researchers identify a novel periodic autoinflammatory syndrome: It's all about the eyes
A research team from the University of Helsinki, Helsinki University Hospital and Folkhälsan Institute of Genetics in Helsinki, Finland, have identified a new genetic mutation that alters the function of cryopyrin and leads to a life-long periodic inflammation of the cornea, the transparent window of the human eye.

Antiferromagnets prove their potential for spin-based information technology
As published in the online science journal Nature Communications, scientists at the Institute of Phyics at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) were now able to demonstrate current-induced switching of the Néel vector also for metallic thin films of a compound consisting of manganese and gold, Mn2Au, which orders antiferromagnetically at high temperatures.

Hidden genetic effects behind immune diseases may be missed, study suggests
The role of genetics in the risk of having an immune disease could be missed in research, scientists suggest.

Researchers gain new insight into how the intestine repairs itself
Researchers propose that, contrary to the current thinking, how the intestine repairs itself seems to depend on the type of damage, and they found that triggers that were previously thought to be unimportant are actually essential for repairing rotavirus-caused injury.

Outpatient clinic reduces no-shows by 34 percent amid 13 percent patient visit increase
Dr. Guiney notes that many external factors in the patients' lives contributed to no-show rates; however, ETHC found improvements they could make within their organization.

Psychiatric medications are not overprescribed for kids, finds study
A new study at Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC) challenges the popular notion that psychiatric medications are overprescribed in children and adolescents in the US.

Leading experts in obstetric care and addiction medicine gather to discuss substance use disorders
Three national organizations are coming together next week, along with representatives from the federal government, to address opioid misuse in pregnancy.

Leading experts in high-risk pregnancy to gather in Dallas next week
Experts in high-risk pregnancy will gather in Dallas next week.

Coral lifestyles reflected in their genes
A comparison of the genomes of two species of coral demonstrates unexpected genetic diversity.

'Chemical net' could be key to capturing pure hydrogen
Researchers from Drexel University have uncovered exceptionally efficient gas separation properties in a nanomaterial called MXene that could be incorporated into the membranes used to purify hydrogen.

Bone experts offer how-to video for forensic professionals
Advances in recent years allow forensic practitioners to use bone mineral density to extract more information from human remains -- but many forensic experts are unfamiliar with the techniques and technology.

Analysis looks at long-term risks of living kidney donation
Living kidney donors are not at increased risk for some health outcomes previously of concern, but do seem at risk for worse blood pressure and kidney function than nondonors.

Nutritionally-speaking, soy milk is best plant-based milk
A new study from McGill University looks at the four most-commonly consumed types of milk beverages from plant sources around the world -- almond milk, soy milk, rice milk and coconut milk -- and compares their nutritional values with those of cow's milk.

Researchers reverse symptoms in neurologic disease model
Rett syndrome is a devastating genetic, neurologic disorder that typically affects girls, resulting in severe disability and often accompanied by autistic behavior.

'Friends and family test' should no longer be compulsory, argue experts
The friends and family test should no longer be mandatory, argue experts in The BMJ today.

Silencing is golden: Scientists image molecules vital for gene regulation
Lab scientists use cryo-electron microscopy to gain a deeper understanding of the structure of a regulatory complex.

Through the looking glass: New mirror-image molecules could lead to better medicines
Toronto scientists have developed a new technology for designing mirror-image versions of molecules, paving the way for longer lasting medicines.

Why do investors seek out stock swindles?
The chance to get rich quick by investing in a penny stock, even if it is widely suspected that the stock price is being manipulated, is too tempting for some investors to resist.

High rates of diabetes, hypertension found in India
Rates of diabetes and hypertension are high among middle-aged and elderly people across all geographic measures and sociodemographic groups in India, according to the first nationally representative study of those conditions in the country.

Graduates of early childhood program show greater educational gains as adults
Students who participated in an intensive childhood education program from preschool to third grade were more likely to achieve an academic degree beyond high school, compared to a similar group that received other intervention services as children, according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Mind your speed: A magnetic brake on proton acceleration
An international research team led by Osaka University studied high-energy protons emitted from laser-bombarded solids.

NUS researchers develop wireless light switch for targeted cancer therapy
A team of scientists from the National University of Singapore has developed a way to wirelessly deliver light into deep regions of the body to activate light-sensitive drugs for photodynamic therapy (PDT). 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