Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 30, 2018
Industry leaders align on the future of precision medicine
As a panel of judges at the Precision Medicine World Conference (PMWC) 2018 reach agreement, panel judge and Biogerontology Research Foundation Managing Trustee Dmitry Kaminskiy's favoured contenders for the title of Most Promising Company 2018 emerged as semi-finalists.

Running away from carbon dioxide: The terminal connection
Like us, fish need oxygen, and swimming through a patch of carbon dioxide turns out not to be a pleasant experience.

Mindfulness may help reduce cravings for food and drugs, says review
Mindfulness strategies may help prevent or interrupt cravings for food and drugs, such as cigarettes and alcohol, by occupying short term memory, according to a new review from City, University of London.

UK chalk-stream salmon genetically unique
Salmon from the chalk streams of southern England are genetically unique, researchers have discovered.

Stellar magnetism: What's behind the most brilliant lights in the sky?
Space physicists at University of Wisconsin-Madison have just released unprecedented detail on a bizarre phenomenon that powers the northern lights, solar flares and coronal mass ejections (the biggest explosions in our solar system).

It's not how you play the game, but how the dice were made
Over time, dice used in playing games have changed in shape and size and evolved with considerations about fairness, chance and probability.

Moffitt researchers discover new approach to stimulate an immune response against tumor cells
A team of Moffitt Cancer Center researchers is trying to find new ways to further enhance the activity of the immune system against cancer.

CNIO researchers cure lung fibrosis in mice with a gene therapy that lengthens telomeres
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a potentially lethal disease associated with the presence of critically short telomeres, currently lacking effective treatment.

E-cigarette flavors are toxic to white blood cells, warn scientists
A new study adds to growing evidence on the harmful health effects of e-cigarettes.

Women beat expectations when playing chess against men, according to new research
Data from 160,000 ranked chess players and more than five million chess matches suggests that women playing against men perform better than expected based on their official chess ratings, according to a new study by the University of Sheffield.

Ethics quandary? Women in PR more apt to seek allies before giving execs advice
Women in public relations are more likely than men to seek allies and form coalitions before they give ethics counsel to senior leaders, while men are more likely to rely on presenting research, according to a Baylor University study.

Augmented Reality helps surgeons to 'see through' tissue and reconnect blood vessels
Using augmented reality in the operating theatre could help surgeons to improve the outcome of reconstructive surgery for patients.

UK regional weather forecasts could be improved using jet stream data
Weather forecasters could be able to better predict regional rainfall and temperatures by using North Atlantic jet stream data, according to new research.

Epidemics: The end of containment measures?
Limiting population movements during an epidemic outbreak may not always be the best approach.

Breastfeeding reduces hypertension risk
A study published in the American Journal of Hypertension indicates that women who breastfeed more children, and for longer periods of time, are less likely to suffer from hypertension after they reach menopause.

Blood vessel-on-a-chips show anti-cancer drug effects in human cells
Researchers at the Institute of Industrial Science, the University of Tokyo, and LIMMS/CNRS-IIS a joint French - Japanese research laboratory between the CNRS and the University of Tokyo, report new organ-on-a-chip technology to observe sprouting angiogenesis from a single blood vessel.

This is your brain. This is your brain outdoors
The brain acts much differently when we're outdoors compared to when we're inside the lab, a new study has found.

A crystal method
UCSB researchers unlock another piece of the puzzle that is crystal growth.

Microcapsules gain a new power -- scavenging reactive oxygen species
Stable, biocompatible microcapsules have gained a new power -- the ability to scavenge reactive oxygen species.

Scientists discover how gene mutation triggers immune disease
Scientists discovered how a gene mutation affects T cell function to promote immune disorders and then tested a treatment based on the discovery--successfully fixing donated immune cells from a 16-year-old boy with an abnormally low level of white blood cells called lymphopenia.

Better-educated men = healthier women and mothers in the developing world
In much of Africa and Asia, the more schooling a man has, the more likely his partner will take birth control or seek medical help in pregnancy, according to Canadian researchers.

Study shows inappropriate antibiotic prescribing differs by patient age, insurance, race
A patient's age and race are associated with risk of receiving an unneeded antibiotic prescription for upper respiratory conditions caused by viruses, according to a study published today in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.

Expert panel issues new guidelines for lung cancer molecular testing
Guidelines add ROS1 to list of tests matching lung cancer with targeted treatments, among other updated recommendations.

Bringing water to the fountain of youth
A new study of the European common frog, Rana temporaria, published in the advanced online edition of the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution, offers some fresh clues that challenge the conventional scientific wisdom on sex-chromosome evolution.

Northern European population history revealed by ancient human genomes
An international team of scientists, led by researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, analyzed ancient human genomes from 38 northern Europeans dating from approximately 7,500 to 500 BCE.

Newborns or survivors? The unexpected matter found in hostile black hole winds
A new theory from researchers at Northwestern University predicts the molecules are born in the winds with unique properties that enable them to adapt to and thrive in the hostile environment.

Reflective surfaces alleviate heatwaves
Unploughed fields and brighter cities could help to noticeably lower extreme temperatures during periods of hot weather, particularly in important agricultural regions and densely populated areas of Europe and North America.

Unusual properties within the grass genus Diplachne
The grass genus Diplachne includes only two species, but it the does not fall short when it comes to some remarkable features.

NASA sees powerful storms around Cebile's Eye
When NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Tropical Cyclone Cebile it measured cloud top temperatures and saw its eye circled by an impressive ring of powerful thunderstorms just before it went through eyewall replacement.

Study finds bacteria in milk linked to rheumatoid arthritis
A strain of bacteria commonly found in milk and beef may be a trigger for developing rheumatoid arthritis in people who are genetically at risk, according to a new study from the University of Central Florida.

GPM satellite analyzes Tropical Cyclone Fehi's rainfall
The Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core satellite passed over Tropical Cyclone Fehi in the Southern Pacific Ocean season and identified heavy rainfall in the system.

Gallium and the history of the periodic table (video)
Some chemists might see the periodic table of elements as a holy testament to the power of science.

TBI is associated with increased dementia risk for decades after injury
Traumatic brain injuries increase the risk of a dementia diagnosis for more than 30 years after a trauma, though the risk of dementia decreases over time, according to a new study published this week in PLOS Medicine by Anna Nordström and Peter Nordström of Umeå University in Sweden.

Epigenetic alteration of a vitamin B12 gene shines new light on our understanding of rare diseases
French and Canadian scientists discovered a new cause of a rare condition known as cblC, that they named 'epi-cblC', resulting from a mutation on a single copy of the gene and the silencing of the second copy by a gene modification referred to as epimutation.

Interactive tool improves patient knowledge of breast cancer treatment options
Breast cancer patients who used an interactive website were more informed about options and felt better prepared to make a treatment choice.

Complications of reconstruction surgery differ for transgender patients
The risks of penile reconstruction surgery (phalloplasty) appear higher in female-to-male transgender (transmale) patients undergoing gender confirmation surgery, compared to native male (cismale) patients undergoing phalloplasty for other reasons, reports a study in the February issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

Safeguarding children when sentencing mothers
Oxford University have collaborated with the Prison Reform Trust to create new resources, including films and briefings, to help criminal justice professionals improve their understanding of the impacts of maternal imprisonment.

Warming climate shrinks British Columbia beetles
Some of B.C.'s beetles are shrinking as their habitats get warmer, according to new UBC research.

Unique research approach finds FDA-approved drug shuts down Ewing sarcoma cells in lab
Based on a novel approach to drug discovery, researchers at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center say an agent approved to treat a type of leukemia might also help young people with a much rarer and aggressive form of cancer, Ewing sarcoma.

Applying machine learning to the universe's mysteries
Berkeley Lab physicists and their collaborators have demonstrated that computers are ready to tackle the universe's greatest mysteries -- they used neural networks to perform a deep dive into data simulating the subatomic particle soup that may have existed just microseconds after the big bang.

Ohio University study shows Vitamin D3 could help heal or prevent cardiovascular damage
Ohio University study shows that Vitamin D3 could help restore damage to the cardiovascular system caused by diseases like hypertension and diabetes.

For children with respiratory infections, antibiotics with narrower targets are better
When doctors prescribe antibiotics for children with common respiratory infections, a more selective approach is better.

Planting a park on the Cross-Bronx expressway would save money and lives
Researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health explored the cost-effectiveness of placing a deck park on top of the Cross-Bronx Expressway, finding the plan would save money and lives.

Chemists follow molecules down 'nanowells,' track catalytic reactions in nanoconfinement
Chemists affiliated with Iowa State University, the US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory and Georgia State University have measured the effects of nanoconfinement on catalytic reactions by developing experimental techniques capable of tracking single molecules.

New computational method reveals chemoresistance drug targets
The methylation of deoxycytosine to form 5-methylcytosine (5mC) is an important feature of cancer.

Coral reefs are in trouble -- how can people adapt?
An international team of scientists has developed a strategy to boost people's ability to adapt to climate change.

Urban foxes and coyotes learn to set aside their differences and coexist
Diverging from centuries of established behavioral norms, red fox and coyote have gone against their wild instincts and learned to coexist in the urban environment of Madison and the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, according to a recently published study in the journal PLOS One.

New study shows severe toxicity with high-dose AAV9-based gene therapy in animal models
Researchers have described severe, life-threatening toxicity in monkeys and piglets given high doses of gene therapy delivered using an adeno-associated virus (AAV9) vector capable of accessing spinal cord neurons.

New tool for tracking 'kiss-and-run' communication between cells
Virtually all aspects of life and disease depend of brief exchanges between cells.

Reasoning behind campus sexual assault policies challenged by psychologists
A comprehensive analysis of policies related to sexual assaults -- known as mandatory reporting or compelled disclosure -- at 150 universities has raised questions about their effectiveness and their impacts on victims.

Molecular secrets revealed: Antipsychotic docked in its receptor
Scientists have deciphered the molecular structure of a widely prescribed antipsychotic docked in its key receptor.

NTU scientists create customizable, fabric-like power source for wearable electronics
Scientists at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) have created a customizable, fabric-like power source that can be cut, folded or stretched without losing its function.

Researchers advance the understanding of preterm birth
On February 1, at The Pregnancy Meeting™, researchers will unveil findings that demonstrate that the byproducts of certain bacteria induce cervical changes which may lead to preterm birth.

Your brain reveals who your friends are
You may perceive the world the way your friends do, according to a Dartmouth study finding that friends have similar neural responses to real-world stimuli and these similarities can be used to predict who your friends are.

How does living in a big city increase life expectancy?
Inhabitants of Moscow and St Petersburg live significantly longer than people living in other regions of Russia, according to a recent study carried out by researchers at the Higher School of Economics.

MSU biliogists: Bryozoans, brachiopods, and phoronida originate from the common ancestor
An associate of the Faculty of Biology of Lomonosov Moscow State University studied the nervous system of adult phoronida using modern methods and presented new facts in the long-lasting discussion about the taxonomy of invertebrates proving that phoronids, barchiopods, and bryozoans are relatives despite earlier arguments.

Research paves the way for the development of vaccines for emerging viruses
In studying the West Nile virus, which caused outbreaks in North America this century, scientists from Brazil and Senegal identified the gene responsible for the diminished virulence of the lineage known for causing mild effects.

No definitive causal link between sunbed use and malignant melanoma
A careful review of the currently available medical data shows that there is no proven causal relationship between moderate solarium use and increased melanoma risk.

What factors make 'age-friendly environments' effective?
A new study, published in the journal Systematic Reviews, conducted by researchers at the University of Liverpool and Newcastle University has identified the most effective initiatives for promoting respect and social inclusion for older people living in the community.

An outdoor cat can damage your sustainability cred
If you install solar panels on your roof and avoid dousing your lawn with chemicals and pesticides, your online peers may consider you to be environmentally friendly.

Direct-to-implant breast reconstruction provides good results in older women
For older women undergoing mastectomy for breast cancer, direct-to-implant (DTI) breast reconstruction provides good outcomes in a single-step procedure, while avoiding some of the inconvenience and risks of staged approaches to breast reconstruction, reports a study in the February issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

Researchers find pathway to give advanced notice for hailstorms
A new study identifies a method for predicting the likelihood of damaging hailstorms in the United States--up to three weeks in advance.

Research finds early childhood program linked to degree completion at age 35
Participating in an intensive early childhood education program from preschool to third grade is linked to higher educational attainment in mid-life, according to a new study by University of Minnesota researchers.

Scientists identify brain region in mice that keeps the body from losing its balance
New research reveals how a small part of the brain singlehandedly steadies the body if it is thrown off balance.

Potential new target for reducing osteoporosis risk in men
Researchers have identified a new regulator of vitamin D metabolism that could be targeted to reduce the risk of osteoporosis in men undergoing prostate cancer therapy, according to a study published in the Journal of Molecular Endocrinology.

The first step in generating an artificial adrenal gland
In a new study, published in Cell Reports, researchers from the William Harvey Research Institute at Queen Mary University of London used cells derived from urine to take the first step in generating an artificial adrenal gland.

Viruses prefer cultivated areas to natural areas
Cultivated areas are more affected by viral epidemics than non-cultivated areas.

UM researchers: Bacterial diversity's shelf life longer than previously expected
University of Montana scientists have published a study showing that bacterial diversity may stick around millions of years longer than previously thought.

Benefits of smoking cessation medications diminish over time
A new Tel Aviv University study published in Addiction finds that only eight out of 100 smokers who take smoking cessation medications will have benefited from taking smoking medications after one year's time.

The fight against tooth decay gets help with a new smart material from U of T researchers
When patients go to the dentist to fill a cavity, they're trying to solve a problem -- not create a new one.

Arts and humanities in medical school promote empathy and inoculate against burnout
Medical students who spend more time engaging in the arts may also be bolstering the qualities that improve their bedside manner with patients, according to new research from Tulane and Thomas Jefferson universities.

Upper limit for intake of folate is invalid -- government urged to fortify flour with folic acid
There is no need for an upper limit of folate intake, according to a study by Queen Mary University of London and the School of Advanced Study, University of London.

Stellar embryos in nearby dwarf galaxy contain surprisingly complex organic molecules
New observations ALMA have uncovered the surprisingly clear chemical 'fingerprints' of the complex organic molecules methanol, dimethyl ether, and methyl formate.

Ohio State study of brain pacemaker shows promise in slowing decline of Alzheimer's
Researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center studied how using an implant -- likened to a pacemaker for the brain -- could help Alzheimer's patients to retain cognitive, behavioral and functional abilities longer while also improving quality of life.

Long-term opioid use has dropped among US military veterans
A new study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, published by Springer, shows that opioid prescribing has dropped after a peak in 2012.

Pancreatic cancer: Gene duplication explains tumor aggressiveness
Pancreatic cancer is a form of cancer associated with the highest mortality rates in the world.

Patient exposure to X-rays depends on how dentists are paid
A major study looking into how financial arrangements with dentists affect what goes on in the dentist's chair has found a marked increase in the number of X-rays when dentists receive payment for them.

Simultaneous determination of Substance P and CGRP in rat brainstem tissue
Substance P and CGRP are neuropeptides that belong to the thachykinin and calcitonin family, respectively.

Women beat expectations when playing chess against men
Data from 160,000 ranked chess players and more than 5 million chess matches suggest that women playing against men perform better than expected based on their official chess ratings, according to new findings published in Psychological Science.

Structural insight into the molecular mechanism of PET degradation
A KAIST metabolic engineering research team has newly suggested a molecular mechanism showing superior degradability of poly ethylene terephthalate (PET). 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