Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 07, 2018
Brain training for old dogs: Could touchscreen games be the Sudoku of man's best friend?
Spoiling old dogs in their twilight years by retiring them to the sofa and forgiving them their stubbornness or disobedience, doesn't do our four-legged friends any good.

New analysis proves protein supplements provide significant benefits for weight lifters
The debate is over. Dietary protein supplements significantly improve muscle strength and size when taken by healthy adults who lift weights, a determination reached by McMaster scientists who analyzed dozens of research studies.

New study by Ben-Gurion Univerisity researchers shows female physician bias in ICU admissions
According to the findings, female physicians admitted approximately 20 percent fewer of their female patients to the ICU than did male physicians, and 12 percent fewer female patients than male patients to the intensive cardiac care unit.

What happens when women stop MS treatment during pregnancy?
Two new studies look at the effects of stopping the newer, stronger drug natalizumab for multiple sclerosis (MS) during pregnancy.

Intense laser experiments provide first evidence that light can stop electrons
By hitting electrons with an ultra-intense laser, researchers have revealed dynamics that go beyond 'classical' physics and hint at quantum effects.

Multiple chronic diseases leave patients with adversely high costs
Current strategies for treating patients with several chronic diseases are putting an unnecessary financial burden on countries' health systems and individuals, a global study has found.

The robots will see you now
Researchers tapped advances in real-time tracking software and robotics to design and test the first closed-loop control system featuring a bioinspired robotic replica interacting in three dimensions with live zebrafish.

Drugs, alcohol and suicides contributing to alarming drop in US life expectancy
Drugs, alcohol and suicides are contributing to an alarming drop in US life expectancy, particularly among middle-aged white Americans and those living in rural communities, warn experts in The BMJ today.

Challenging core belief: Have we misunderstood how Earth's solid center formed?
Researchers at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, are posing an important question about the formation of planet Earth's inner core, arguing that it's time to consider the nucleation paradox at the heart of the issue.

The big burn
Some 13,000 years ago, a cataclysmic event occurred on Earth that was likely responsible for the collapse of the Clovis people and the extinction of megafauna such as mammoths and mastodons.

Anti-obesity programs in schools unlikely to halt child obesity epidemic
School based programs aimed at preventing obesity in children are unlikely to have much impact on the childhood obesity epidemic, suggests a randomized controlled trial published by The BMJ today.

Yoga benefits patients with metabolic syndrome
In a recent Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports study, one year of yoga training decreased pro-inflammatory adipokines and increased an anti-inflammatory adipokine in adults with metabolic syndrome and high-normal blood pressure.

Recovering population of Zimbabwean African lions show low genetic diversity
The lion population of Zimbabwe's Savé Valley Conservancy shows low genetic diversity despite improved numbers, according to a study published Feb.

Global dental lights market expected to reach US$ 960 million by 2026
Dental lights are used to deliver high quality illumination to dentists and provide a true image with a reduced shadow white light that helps them match shades, identify various details and also helps them in diagnosing tissues.

CU researchers identify potential treatment for diastolic dysfunction in heart failure
Researchers at the University of Colorado School of Medicine have identified a potential treatment target for patients with a common type of heart failure.

First-ever questionnaire assesses impact of brachial plexus injury and surgical outcomes
After extensive research, investigators at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) have developed the first-ever patient questionnaire to measure the physical and emotional impact of brachial plexus injury.

Scientists crack structure of enzyme complex linked to cancer
A research team led by a biochemist at the University of California, Riverside has solved the crystal structure for an enzyme that plays a key role in DNA methylation, the process by which methyl groups are added to the DNA molecule.

Re-introducing an 'old' antibiotic may help fight multi-drug resistant bacteria
A new study indicates that the drug fosfomycin may be effective for treating multidrug-resistant bacterial infections.

Queen's research suggests the Sicilian mafia arose to power from lemon sales in the 1800s
Researchers from Queen's University Belfast, in collaboration the University of Manchester and the University of Gothenburg (Sweden), have uncovered new evidence to suggest that the Sicilian mafia arose to notoriety in the 1800s in response to the public demand for citrus fruits.

Towards a better prediction of solar eruptions
Just one phenomenon may underlie all solar eruptions. French researchers have identified the presence of a confining 'cage' in which a magnetic rope forms, causing solar eruptions.

A pair of RNA scissors with many functions
Arming CRISPR/Cas systems with an enzyme that also controls the translation of genetic information into protein.

Back pain is common in highly active older adults
In a Journal of the American Geriatrics Society study, many well-functioning and highly active older adults experienced back pain, which was linked with poorer perceived and observed walking endurance.

Mathematics pushes innovation in 4-D printing
New mathematical results will provide a potential breakthrough in the design and the fabrication of the next generation of morphable materials.

Redefined Alzheimer's biology has implications for drug design
A new study argues that Alzheimer's disease is likely triggered by the failure of a system that clears wastes from the brain -- and actually begins decades before memories fade.

Study punctures 'you are what you eat' paradigm for carnivore skull shape
From dogs to seals to cats, members of the mammalian order Carnivora can vary greatly from one species to another.

Study shows how body prevents potentially useful bacteria from causing disease
A new study reveals a mechanism by which the immune system may decide whether a bacterial species is a partner in bodily processes or an invader worthy of attack.

Crowd workers, AI make conversational agents smarter
Conversational agents such as Siri, Alexa and Cortana are great at giving you the weather, but are flummoxed when asked for unusual information, or follow-up questions.

Wage increases do not have a persistent effect on job satisfaction
After a wage increase, people tend to be more satisfied with their jobs -- and even more so when what they have gained exceeds the wage increases of their colleagues.

Specific protein may reduce inflammation, improve survival during the flu
GM-CSF, a protein that modifies the immune response to the flu, helped reduce lung inflammation and improve survival during influenza in mice in a lab, according to Penn State researchers.

Acne linked with increased risk of depression
In an analysis of one of the largest electronic medical records databases in the world, researchers found that patients with acne had a significantly increased risk of developing major depression, but only in the first five years after being diagnosed with acne.

A genetic trigger adds branches to plants, could boost crop yields
When it comes to agriculture from branched plants, such as apple trees, the more branches that bear fruit, the better.

How should biosimilars be used to treat rheumatic diseases?
Products that are 'biosimilar' or interchangeable with a licensed biological product hold considerable promise for the treatment of a variety of medical conditions such as rheumatic diseases, and possibly at a reduced cost.

WSU researchers build alien ocean to test NASA outer space submarine
Building a submarine gets tricky when the temperature drops to -300 Fahrenheit and the ocean is made of methane and ethane.

Removing fossil fuel subsidies will not reduce CO2 emissions as much as hoped
Removing fossil fuel subsidies would have only a small effect on CO2 emissions and renewable energy use, new research has shown.

New move to act for research assessment reform
Professor Stephen Curry is calling for research assessment reform. As chair of a new steering committee behind the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), Curry's call to action is bolstered by investments from nine organizations in the US and Europe combined with signatures on the Declaration for each of the UK's seven Research Councils.

Recreating liver tumors as organoids for faster, more accurate drug screening
A major challenge in developing liver cancer drugs is that preclinical testing occurs in tumor models that do not accurately reflect human tumor features, causing drug candidates to later fail in clinical testing.

Nostalgia safeguards against negative feelings
Psychologists discover strong correlations between Americans' glorification of their country, nostalgia for the past, and the rejection of collective guilt regarding past crimes.

First national studies of quality of VA ministroke care and how best to measure that care
1st national study of the quality of care offered by the VA to patients following a transient ischemic attack (TIA) finds US' largest healthcare system is doing a good job but also identifies targets for improvement especially for patients discharged from the ED.

Eye could provide 'window to the brain' after stroke
Research into curious bright spots in the eyes on stroke patients' brain images could one day alter the way these individuals are assessed and treated.

Many epilepsy patients take drug combinations that interact
In an Epilepsia analysis of 2008-2010 Medicare claims data, one in four older Americans with new-onset epilepsy and more than one-third with prevalent epilepsy received a combination of antiepileptic drugs and non-epilepsy drugs that could interact to alter the effectiveness of the non-epilepsy drugs.

A step toward sensitive and fast gluten detection
For people with celiac disease and gluten-sensitivities, the number of food options in the stores is growing.

Self-sealing miniature 'wound' created by engineers
Biomedical engineers have developed a miniature self-sealing model system for studying bleeding and the clotting of wounds.

Star-like cells may help the brain tune breathing rhythms
NIH scientists caused rats to breathe at a lower rate and tire out on a treadmill earlier than normal by silencing star-shaped brain cells, called astrocytes.

Scientists halt breast cancer spread
Scientists have discovered that an amino acid called asparagine is essential for breast cancer spread, and by restricting it, cancer cells stopped invading other parts of the body in mice, according to research part-funded by Cancer Research UK and published in the journal Nature today.

The American College of Rheumatology recommends biosimilar use in new white paper
The ACR has published a new white paper that provides a comprehensive overview of the scientific, clinical, economic and prescribing issues pertaining to biosimilar use.

Versatile sensor against tumor initiating cells
The IBS researchers developed the first fluorescent sensor to visualize TICs.

New approach reduces immune response to tissue engineered vascular grafts
Using RNA interference (RNAi) technology to silence an immune-stimulating complex in endothelial cells (EC), the main cellular component of blood vessels, researchers have made it possible to use the plentiful supply of donor ECs instead of a patient's own cells to generate tissue engineered vascular grafts for transplantation.

The social evolution of termites
Similar genes involved in the evolution of insect societies as in bees and ants.

Child development experts discover potential upside to prenatal stress
New research with prairie voles by child development experts at UC Davis suggests that prenatal stress promotes developmental plasticity in babies, making them especially likely to benefit from good parenting as well as suffer from negligent care.

Got a coastal bridge to retrofit? There's an optimal approach for that
Life-cycle engineering pioneer Prof. Dan Frangopol and former PhD student Alysson Mondoro's research incorporates -- for the first time -- the three most common failure modes for bridges vulnerable to floods, hurricanes and tsunamis into a risk assessment framework to optimize retrofitting strategies.

Here is the perfect spot for a birds' inner compass
Migratory birds use a magnetic compass in their eye for navigation.

Large-group living boosts magpie intelligence
Growing up in a large social group makes Australian magpies more intelligent, new research shows.

Acute coronary syndromes -- Did prasugrel & ticagrelor offer same benefits as clopidogrel?
In patients presenting with acute coronary syndromes (ACS) either with or without ST-segment elevation MI (STEMI and NSTEMI), dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) is recommended for at least 1 year independently of whether revascularization is performed.

HKBU breakthrough in macromolecular machines for controlled drug deliv
HKBU scholars demonstrated the design and synthesis of a smart globular macromolecular machine vehicle for actively controlled cancer drug delivery, which would enhance the drug's efficacy.

Suicides spiked after death of Robin Williams
In the months after Robin Williams committed suicide in 2014, researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health documented a marked 10 percent increase in of suicides.

Scientists unlock the molecular secret behind long-lived bat species
Scientists have identified part of the molecular mechanism that gives long-lived bat species their extraordinary lifespans compared to other animals.

Fast-spinning spheres show nanoscale systems' secrets
A Rice University lab studies the effects of a spinning magnetic field on magnetically responsive particles.

Positive attitudes about aging reduce risk of dementia in older adults
Research has shown that older persons who have acquired positive beliefs about old age from their surrounding culture are less likely to develop dementia.

Alzheimer's disease: Dual mechanism of actions of overactive and cytosolic BRCA1 in neuronal death
A new study suggests an association between overactive and cytosolic BRCA1, the major guardian of genomic stability, and neurons death in Alzheimer's disease (AD).

Devoted frog fathers guard their eggs from predators
A study led by PhD candidate Mr K. S. Seshadri from the Department of Biological Sciences at the National University of Singapore's Faculty of Science has revealed that male white-spotted bush frogs (Raochestes chalazodes) dedicatedly guard their fertilised eggs from other cannibalistic male frogs and predators.

Seafloor data point to global volcanism after Chicxulub meteor strike
A record of volcanism preserved along ancient mid-ocean ridges provides evidence for heightened worldwide magmatic activity 66 million years ago just after the Chicxulub meteor struck Earth, according to University of Oregon scientists.

Insight into chromatin therapies for breast cancer could aid personalized medicine
Most traditional chemotherapy for cancer has dangerous side effects, but new research is finding ways to develop 'targeted agents' that reduce the side effects and are better tailored to individual patient needs.

Exposure to chemicals used during fracking may cause pre-cancerous lesions in mice
Today, researchers at the University of Missouri and the University of Massachusetts released a study that found that female mice exposed to mixtures of chemicals used in fracking operations during prenatal development had abnormal mammary glands in adulthood.

Highly efficient ammonia synthesis catalyst developed
Researchers at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) have discovered that a catalyst of calcium amide[1] with a small amount of added barium (Ba-Ca(NH2)2) with ruthenium nanoparticles immobilized onto it can synthesize ammonia at an efficiency 100 times greater than that of conventional ruthenium catalysts at low temperatures below 300ºC.

Discovery paves way for treatment to prevent blood vessel damage
The discovery of a previously unknown interaction between proteins could provide a breakthrough in the prevention of damage to healthy blood vessels.

Surprise: Non-dietary factors played important role in shaping skulls of carnivores
Factors other than feeding habits -- including age at sexual maturity and average rainfall in their home habitat -- have greatly influenced skull shape in carnivores, according to a new study.

Can interrupting a cell's power source after injury protect against post-traumatic osteoarthritis?
Can interrupting a cell's power source after injury protect against post-traumatic osteoarthritis?

Autism genetics study calls attention to motor skills, general cognitive impairment
A new study of the genetic factors involved in the causation of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) draws fresh attention to the impact these illnesses have on motor skills, and more broadly on cognitive function.

Tracking oxygen saturation, plus vital signs, to identify vulnerable preemies
While near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) long has been used to monitor oxygenation in conditions in which blood flow is altered, such as bleeding in the brain, how NIRS values relate to other vital sign measures in NICU babies was unknown.

Which fetal size standard should be used for diagnosing a small- or large-for-gestational-age fetus
In this special supplement to the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology (AJOG) leading experts describe six fetal growth size standards in current use and discuss their strengths and limitations.

Printable, colorful camouflage with polymers
In nature, colors can serve as a form of communication, but they can also hide animals and plants, camouflaging them from sight.

First-in-the-US study brings home hospital model to patients
Data from pilot study demonstrates reduced cost, decreased utilization, and improved physical activity for acutely ill patients cared for in their homes.

Small molecule could make a big difference for arthritis patients
Scientists at the Keck School of Medicine of USC have discovered a molecule that enhances cartilage regeneration and decreases inflammation.

Scientists successfully test new, safer titanium plate for bone tissue repair
For the first time, patented titanium fiber plates developed by Japanese engineers for medical use were put to the test in an animal model.

GPM satellite finds rainfall pushed away from Tropical Cyclone Cebile's center
Vertical wind shear continued to hammer Tropical Cyclone Cebile in the Southern Pacific Ocean and NASA's GPM core satellite saw rainfall was pushed away from the center.

UPMC researchers solving treatment resistance in most common breast cancer
For the first time researchers have identified recurrent ESR1 fusion proteins in human breast cancer, to understand how they function and help lead to improved treatments for the disease.

Youth consider mobile health units a safe place for sexual health services
Mobile health units bring important medical services to communities across the country.

Hairy tongues help bats drink up
A new model devised by MIT engineers describes how hairy tongues help bats drink up.

Recent study in Oregon reveals public considers alcohol more harmful than marijuana
A new study, led by researchers at RTI International, surveyed more than 1,900 adults in Oregon prior to the legalization of marijuana in the state and found that more than half (52.5 percent) consider alcohol to be more harmful than marijuana while few (7.5 percent) believe marijuana is more harmful to a person's health.

Researchers develop the first model to capture crosstalk in social dilemmas
New model shows crosstalk in repeated social dilemmas impedes cooperation and requires higher levels of forgiveness.

Sweet route to greater yields
Three years ago, biotechnologists demonstrated in field trials that they could increase the productivity of maize by introducing a rice gene into the plant that regulated the accumulation of sucrose in kernels and led to more kernels per maize plant.

Biotechnologists look to bacteria in extremely cold environments for 'green' detergents
Despite subzero temperatures, increased UV radiation, little liquid water, and few available nutrients, bacteria living at Earth's poles thrive.

New results point out the need to modify the current strategy for yaws eradication
An international collaboration led by ISGlobal provides new evidence that will help improve the current WHO strategy to eradicate yaws.

Helping authorities respond more quickly to airborne radiological threats
A new technique uses existing technologies to detect potential airborne radiological materials in hours instead of days.

Fruit bat's echolocation may work like sophisticated surveillance sonar
High-speed recordings of Egyptian fruit bats in flight show that instead of using a primitive form of echolocation, these animals actually use a technique recently developed by humans for surveillance and navigation.

Super wood could replace steel
Engineers at the University of Maryland, College Park have found a way to make wood more than 10 times stronger and tougher than before, creating a natural substance that is stronger than many titanium alloys.

Who's your daddy? Good news for threatened sea turtles
A groundbreaking study of sea turtle nests and hatchlings using paternity tests to uncover

Inflammation in testes could explain link between obesity and reduced fertility
A new study suggests that chronic inflammation caused by obesity may harm the male genital tract, leading to lower fertility in obese men.

Army-led effort demos new atomic effect for potential isotopic battery
Army-led research team successfully demonstrates atomic effect first proposed more than 40 years ago.

Better knowledge of evolution leads to greater acceptance of the concept
Prevailing theories about evolution state that belief in the concept is tied only to a person's politics or religion.

New drug therapy could lead to more effective treatment for millions with asthma
After a four-year study examining more than 6,000 compounds researchers identified a drug (TSG12) that relaxes the muscles and opens the airways in asthma.

Older adults with positive views on aging may have a reduced risk for dementia
Older adults who have acquired positive beliefs about old age from their surrounding culture are less likely to develop dementia, according to a study published Feb.

Increased UV from ozone depletion sterilizes trees
UC Berkeley paleobotanists put dwarf, bonsai pine trees in growth chambers and subjected them to up to 13 times the UV-B radiation Earth experiences today, simulating conditions that likely existed 252 million years ago during the planet's worst mass extinction.

Biosensors will be inexpensive, do more, go everywhere
When it comes to biometric sensors, human skin isn't an ally but an obstacle.

Influence of increasing carbon dioxide levels on the seabed
Subseabed CO2 storage is a potential future climate change mitigation technology.

Deep brain stimulation -- A new treatment approach in patients with multiple sclerosis
A pilot study conducted by researchers from Charité's NeuroCure Cluster of Excellence has shown that treatment with deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (dTMS) significantly reduces symptoms of fatigue in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS).

Changes in mouse breast tissue after exposure to fracking chemicals
In a new study the authors believe is the first of its kind, environmental scientists led by Laura Vandenberg at the University of Massachusetts Amherst report that they observed changes in mammary gland development of female mice exposed during early development to the chemicals used in unconventional oil and gas (UOG) extraction -- including fracking -- at levels environmentally relevant to humans.

Geography matters: Prescribing patterns for opioids in dermatology
Study suggests opioid prescribing isn't widespread among dermatologists, but opportunities exist in concentrated areas to reduce use.

An experiment in mice palliates kidney disease caused by diabetes
Research group succeeds in removing a protein from kidney cells involved in blood filtration

Polluted air may pollute our morality
Exposure to air pollution, even imagining exposure to air pollution, may lead to unethical behavior, according to findings published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

More work is needed to determine appropriate drug doses for children
Children should not be considered 'small adults' when it comes to prescribing medications, but it can be difficult to determine the right dosage of a particular drug for young patients.

Brazilian scientists identify pheromone from insect that transmits citrus greening (HLB)
The discovery makes it possible to synthesize the substance and use it in traps to attract and kill Asian citrus psyllid, helping control worst pest faced by citrus industry - in Florida alone, orange production has decreased in the order of 90 million boxes in the last 15 years.

Cities of the future may be built with locally available volcanic ash
Cities of the future may be built with volcanic ash.

How old antibiotic compounds could become tomorrow's life-saving drugs
As the fight against drug-resistant infections continues, University of Leeds scientists are looking back at previously discarded chemical compounds, to see if any could be developed for new antibiotics.

Case for assisted dying 'stronger than ever' says The BMJ
A series of articles published by The BMJ today, explore the debate around assisted dying, in which, subject to safeguards, terminally ill people who are near to death, suffering, and of sound mind, could ask for drugs that they would take to end their lives.

Diet may influence the spread of a deadly type of breast cancer, study finds
A single protein building block commonly found in food may hold a key to preventing the spread of an often-deadly type of breast cancer, according to a new multicenter study published today in the medical journal Nature.

Research suggests vapers are vulnerable to pneumonia
The vapor from e-cigarettes seems to help pneumonia-causing bacteria stick to the cells that line the airways, according to research published in the European Respiratory Journal.

Breast cancer patients often mispredict well-being after mastectomy
Women with breast cancer who underwent a mastectomy without breast reconstruction generally underestimated their future quality of life, while those who had immediate reconstruction generally overestimated it.

Male susceptibility to autism linked to male hormones in early-stage brain development
Exposure to androgens (male hormones) during brain development alters genes related to autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to a new study published in Biological Psychiatry.

Published study reports use of nutritional ketosis with mobile app intervention could reverse Type 2
A newly published study has shown that an individualized approach to nutritional ketosis (utilizing fat rather than glucose to fuel the body), combined with remote monitoring via a mobile application, could sustainably and safely reverse Type 2 diabetes.

New research reveals plant wonderland inside China's caves
SW China previously unexplored caves contain 418 vascular plants. 31 of the species documented are known only from caves.

Study identifies how to improve WHO eradication strategy for skin disease
An international research collaboration published in The Lancet has found crucial evidence that could help to improve the current World Health Organization (WHO) strategy to eradicate yaws -- a chronic disfiguring and debilitating infectious disease affecting the skin, bones and joints.

Giant viruses may play an intriguing role in evolution of life on Earth
A virus may have influenced the evolution of multicellular life.

Cognitive enhancement therapy improves outcomes for adults with autism
Few research efforts have focused on interventions for adults, but a new six-year collaborative trial tested two treatments for adults with autism -- and found strong, but different, results.

Freedom, not coercion
A feeling of freedom and a sense of responsibility are directly related to one another.

Great spotted woodpeckers may recognize each other individually by drumming rhythms
The drum rolls of great spotted woodpeckers may be used to identify individuals, according to a study published Feb.

Chemists develop a simple, easy-to-use method to break down pollutants in water
Chemists from Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) have found out how stubborn pollutants in water can be disintegrated easily and cost-effectively.

Acute treatment suppresses posttraumatic arthritis in ankle injury
A University of Iowa study has identified a method for inhibiting the occurrence of an aggressive form of arthritis that frequently develops following a severe traumatic injury.

Mind-controlling molecules from wasp venom could someday help Parkinson's patients
After being stung by a parasitic wasp, the American cockroach loses control of its behavior, becoming host to the wasp's egg. 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