Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 02, 2018
In wine, there's health: Low levels of alcohol good for the brain
While a couple of glasses of wine can help clear the mind after a busy day, new research shows that it may actually help clean the mind as well.

An unbiased approach for sifting through big data
A new method could help researchers develop unbiased indicators for assessing complex systems such as population health.

Patients who achieve short-term weight loss before bariatric surgery have better outcomes
Patients who lose some excess weight prior to weight loss surgery achieve greater weight loss after surgery, and also experience shorter hospital stays and shorter procedures, according to Journal of American College of Surgeons study findings.

New research on why GPs quit patient care
The research aimed to identify factors influencing GPs' decisions about whether or not to remain in direct patient care, and what might help to retain them in the role.

Hatchet enzyme, enabler of sickness and of health, exposed by neutron beams
A pioneering glimpse at an enzyme inside elusive cell membranes illuminates a player in cell health but also in hepatitis C and in Alzheimer's.

Low muscle strength identified as early risk factor for ALS
Low muscle strength during the later teen years has been identified as a risk factor for much later onset of the neurological disease known as ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Kitchen hygiene in the spotlight: Do TV cooking shows influence our hygiene behavior?
TV shows dealing with all aspects of cooking are popular.

Language matters in end-of-life conversations
In general, the term 'medical futility' applies when, based on data and professional experience, no further treatments, procedures or tests will provide benefit and may, in fact, be more burdensome and create undue suffering for the patient and the patient's family.

It sounds like music to my ... brain!
It may sound like sci-fi, but mind reading equipment are much closer to become a reality than most people can imagine.

New technology: Edible QR code can be the medicine of the future
Researchers at the University of Copenhagen have developed a new method for the production of medicine.

Cheetahs' inner ear is one-of-a-kind, vital to high-speed hunting
The world's fastest land animal, the cheetah, is a successful hunter not only because it is quick, but also because it can hold an incredibly still gaze while pursuing prey.

Researchers find grape-derived compounds may promote resilience against depression
New study used DNA epigenetic mapping to analyze novel inflammatory mechanisms influencing brain circuitry associated with depression

Army researchers develop new algorithms to train robots
Researchers at the US Army Research Laboratory and the University of Texas at Austin have developed new techniques for robots or computer programs to learn how to perform tasks by interacting with a human instructor.

Cellular 'powerhouses' may explain health effects of stress - Psychosomatic Medicine Journal Outlines Role of Mitochondria
How does psychological stress translate into physical health effects? A key piece of the puzzle may be found in specialized cellular structures known as mitochondria, according to a pair of articles in the January issue of Psychosomatic Medicine: Journal of Biobehavioral Medicine, the official journal of the American Psychosomatic Society.

MSU-based scientists discovered a molecular timer based on stalling ribosomes
A molecular biologist from Lomonosov Moscow State University together with foreign colleagues discovered a special mechanism of protein synthesis regulation that they called a 'molecular timer'.

Can your brain testify against you?
A review of applications of neuroscience in law, or 'neurolaw,' brings into question the ethical implications that come with the possibility of a person unwillingly revealing their own guilt.

For the first time in humans, Zika syndrome susceptibility linked to genetic background
About 6 percent to 12 percent of the babies born from mothers infected with the Zika virus during pregnancy will have the CZS.

Radiocarbon dating reveals mass grave did date to the Viking age
A team of archaeologists, led by Cat Jarman from the University of Bristol's Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, has discovered that a mass grave uncovered in the 1980s dates to the Viking Age and may have been a burial site of the Viking Great Army war dead.

Cause of severe genetic disease identified
Mutations in the p63 protein lead to a number of disorders, but none is as severe as the AEC syndrome.

High exposure to radiofrequency radiation linked to tumor activity in male rats
High exposure to radiofrequency radiation (RFR) in rodents resulted in tumors in tissues surrounding nerves in the hearts of male rats, but not female rats or any mice, according to draft studies from the National Toxicology Program (NTP).

Mini-primaquine does help stop people infecting mosquitoes with malaria
A single dose of primaquine is thought to stop people with P. falciparum malaria infecting mosquitoes, which could help bring down malaria transmission.

Longevity industry systematized for first time
Volume 1 of a new report published by the Biogerontology Research Foundation in coordination with several other longevity-focused entities outlines the emerging industry of human longevity in its entirety.

Scientists call for global and local control and management of mercury
Mercury is a complex, multifaceted contaminant which can take many different forms.

Holding on to patriarchy-reinforcing beliefs comes at a price
Some men categorize women into two groups: either they are chaste, nurturing and good, or they are promiscuous, manipulative, and out to seduce them.

Cichlids: Paler in the face of the enemy
Male cichlids that are constantly threatened by predators grow faster and postpone the full expression of conspicuous breeding coloration for longer.

Monitoring positive charges in solar materials
EPFL, PSI and APS scientists have implemented a novel way of detecting positive charges (holes) and their trapping in solar materials.

OU astrophysicists discover planets in extragalactic galaxies using microlensing
A University of Oklahoma astrophysics team has discovered for the first time a population of planets beyond the Milky Way galaxy.

Analyzing street drugs points to potential early warning system in opioid crisis
In just two years, the powerful opioid fentanyl went from nonexistent to detected in more than 1 in 7 stamp bags analyzed by the Allegheny County Office of the Medical Examiner.

New controls scale quantum chips
A fundamental barrier to scaling quantum computing machines is 'qubit interference.' In new research published in Science Advances magazine, engineers and physicists from Rigetti Computing describe a breakthrough that can expand the size of practical quantum processors by reducing interference.

Bacteria play critical role in driving colon cancers
Patients with an inherited form of colon cancer harbor two bacterial species that collaborate to encourage development of the disease, and the same species have been found in people who develop a sporadic form of colon cancer, a study led by a Johns Hopkins Bloomberg~Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy research team finds.

Genetic factors that make babies susceptible to complications from Zika are identified
Study of twins exposed to Zika virus during pregnancy was conducted at the University of São Paulo's Human Genome & Stem Cell Research Centre in Brazil.

Extending dosing intervals reduces deadly side effect risk from multiple sclerosis drug
A commonly-prescribed multiple sclerosis (MS) infusion medication, natalizumab, linked to a rare but serious side effect is safer to use when dosing intervals are extended, according to a new study led by MS specialists at NYU Langone Health.

Quantum algorithm could help AI think faster
One of the ways that computers 'think' is by analysing relationships within large sets of data.

Solving the puzzle of multicellularity
Wits PhD student, Jonathan Featherston, of the Evolution of Complexity Laboratory at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, has answered at least part of this question, by decoding the genomic sequence of one of the simplest of all multicellular organisms -- the four-celled alga Tetrabaena socialis.

NASA measured rainfall from Fehi's remnants in New Zealand
The remnants of Tropical Cyclone Fehi brought rain to New Zealand before it fizzled out.

NASA's newly rediscovered IMAGE mission provided key aurora research
A long-lost NASA satellite, IMAGE, has recently been rediscovered. The mission's nearly six years in operation provided robust research about the space around Earth that continue to guide science to this day.

Multiple ant-like transport of neuronal cargo by motor proteins
Microtubules (roads made of proteins) extend throughout a cell for motor proteins (carriers) to deliver neuronal cargo packed with many kinds of materials required for life activity.

Natural telescope sets new magnification record
An international team of astronomers, led by Harald Ebeling of the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, has discovered one of the most extreme instances of magnification by gravitational lensing.

We view ourselves and those we care about through 'rose-tinted glasses', study says
New research from City, University of London, University of Oxford and Yale University has shown that we see our own lives, and also those we care about, through 'rose-tinted glasses'.

Popular, common allergy medication may prevent neuromyelitis optica relapses
The addition of cetirizine (the popular allergy medication sold under the brand name Zyrtec) to standard therapy is safe, well-tolerated, and may reduce relapses in patients with neuromyelitis optica (NMO), a rare and severe disease that causes inflammation and demyelination (damage to the myelin - the protective coating of nerve cells), primarily in the optic nerve (optic neuritis), spinal cord (myelitis), and brainstem.

Woodpeckers show signs of possible brain damage, but that might not be a bad thing
With each peck, woodpeckers absorb more than ten times the force it would take to give a human a concussion.

Revealing the hidden path of perovskite formation
EPFL scientists systematically study the path of the sequential deposition reaction used to build perovskite solar panels.

Scientists present new long-term ecological research
Mars developed in as little as two to four million years after the birth of the solar system, far more quickly than Earth, according to results of a new study published in this week's issue of the journal Nature.

Scientists discover 'chiral phonons' -- atomic rotations in a 2-D semiconductor crystal
A research team has found the first evidence that a shaking motion in the structure of an atomically thin material possesses a naturally occurring circular rotation that could become the building block for a new form of information technology and molecular-scale machines.

Illinois researchers develop new surface design inspired by snake skin
Seok Kim, assistant professor of mechanical science and engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and graduate students Zining Yang and Jun Kyu Park have developed a design construct inspired in part by the surface of butterflies and snakes, where flexible skins are fully covered by rigid, discrete scales.

Fruit fly hunger games: Taste neurons in control
Right at the tip of the fruit fly's tongue sit two sets of taste neurons that have now been found to be crucial for the insect to develop a craving for protein.

Ecuador: Deforestation destroys more dry forest than climate change
Tropical forests worldwide are at risk. Two of the main threats are the deforestation for arable land and climate change.

NASA tracks major Tropical Cyclone Cebile in Southern Indian Ocean
Tropical Cyclone Cebile held onto its status as a major hurricane in the Southern Indian Ocean when NASA's Aqua satellite passed overhead.

Penn Vet study uncovers therapeutic targets for aggressive triple-negative breast cancers
New findings from a study led by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have made inroads into a strategy to identify triple-negative breast cancers at risk for metastasis, and eventually target these cancers with drugs.

Scientists found and studied complex types of defects in the droplets of liquid crystals
A team of scientists from Kirensky Institute of Physics of the Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Science and Siberian Federal University (SFU) together with Russian and foreign colleagues studied the droplets of a cholesteric liquid crystal that contained a twisted defect loop.

Algorithm identifies vulnerable people during natural disasters
A new algorithm developed at the University of Waterloo will help first responders and home care providers better help the elderly during natural disasters.

Research highlights need for better support for thousands of informal dementia carers
Directly involving the thousands of family members and friends who serve as 'informal carers' for people with dementia in the evaluation of patients' symptoms and behaviour could offer improved insights for healthcare professionals and help alleviate feelings of stress, guilt and isolation felt by many who fulfil these duties, a new study has found.

Lobachevsky University scientists synthesize a new compound with anti-tumor properties
A research team of the UNN Faculty of Chemistry led by Professor Alexei Fedorov has developed and synthesized a new multifunctional compound that possesses anti-tumor properties that are due to several independent effects.

Measuring the temperature of two-dimensional materials at the atomic level
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago describe a new technique for precisely measuring the temperature and behavior of new two-dimensional materials that will allow engineers to design smaller and faster microprocessors.

Non-suicidal self-injury in adolescents: The prevalence in Germany is high
In the current issue of Deutsches Ärzteblatt International, Paul L.

Researchers identify gene largely accounting for 15q13.3 microdeletion syndrome
Researchers have identified in a mouse model OTUD7A as the gene within the deleted region that accounts for many characteristics of 15q13.3 microdeletion syndrome.

Building miniature optical antennas using DNA as a guide
Research groups from University of Jyväskylä and Aalto University together with researchers from California Institute of Technology and Aarhus University have reported a new highly parallel technique to fabricate precise metallic nanostructures with designed plasmonic properties by means of different self-assembled DNA origami shapes.

Genome wide association study of epigenetic aging rates in blood reveals a critical role for TERT
Researchers from several institutions, including, UCLA, Boston University, Stanford University and the Institute for Aging Research at Hebrew SeniorLife, analyzed blood samples from nearly 10,000 people to find that genetic markers in the gene responsible for keeping telomeres (tips of chromosomes) youthfully longer, did not translate into a younger biologic age as measured by changes in proteins coating the DNA.

Nano-switches in the cell
A team with researchers from Freiburg discovered a new mechanism for the regulation of protein synthesis.

Cutting off tumor supplies
Preventing tumour vascularization is therefore an interesting anti-tumour therapy that has been explored over the last ten years.

Compounds derived from hops show promise for metabolic syndrome patients
A group of compounds derived from hops can likely improve cognitive and other functions in people with metabolic syndrome. 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