Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 08, 2018
Improving drone performance in headwinds
Stability of unmanned aerial vehicles in heavy winds can be improved through rotor placement and angle, according to a team from Tohoku University and Kanazawa Institute of Technology.

Enzyme plays a key role in calories burned both during obesity and dieting
Ever wonder why obese bodies burn less calories or why dieting often leads to a plateau in weight loss?

NASA leverages proven technologies to build agency's first planetary wind lidar
NASA scientists have found a way to adapt a handful of recently developed technologies to build a new instrument that could give them what they have yet to obtain: never-before-revealed details about the winds on Mars and ultimately Titan, Saturn's largest moon.

Talking to doctors about your bucket list could help advance care planning
For physicians, asking patients about their bucket lists, or whether they have one, can encourage discussion about making their medical care fit their life plans, according to a study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Nature, meet nurture
Is it nature or nurture that ultimately shapes an organism?

Hearing loss linked to poor nutrition in early childhood, study suggests
Young adults who were undernourished as preschool children were approximately twice as likely to suffer from hearing loss as their better- nourished peers, a new study suggests.

Socioecological network finds space for cattle, fish, and people in the big mountain west
The social and ecological systems of mountains and their river basins are best approached holistically when dealing with complex problems in natural resources management, say ecologists working with the Mountain Social Ecological Observatory Network (MntSEON).

Veterans health administration outlines recommendations to combat 'crisis' of MDROs
The Veterans Health Administration is leading efforts to prevent the spread of dangerous multi-drug resistant organisms (MDROs), as detailed in a series of articles published in the February issue of Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.

Ball games and circuit strength training boost bone health in schoolchildren
The type of exercise that children get in school does make a difference.

Obesity drives US health care costs up by 29 percent, varies by state
Recent research by John Cawley, professor of policy analysis and management at Cornell University, provides new insights on how individual states are affected by the health care costs of obesity.

The beneficial aspects of mindfulness for students of computer engineering
Subjected to the same practice exercise, the group of students that participated in mindfulness sessions obtained better results than those that did not take part in this activity.

Cosmic x-rays may provide clues to the nature of dark matter
Researchers at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz in Germany have presented a novel theory of dark matter, which implies that dark matter particles may be very different from what is normally assumed.

New tool helps physicians estimate survival for patients with cancers that have spread to bone
A simple three-factor tool can help doctors estimate survival time in patients with long bone metastases (LBMs) -- advanced cancer that has spread to the bones of the limbs, reports a study in the February 7, 2018, issue of The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

Citizen scientists rewarded by having new slug species named after them
An intrepid group of Norwegian divers has sponsored slug safaris to discover new sea slug species in northern waters.

Molecular 'magnets' could improve cancer immunotherapy
Chemicals that attract specialised immune cells toward tumours could be used to develop better immunotherapies for cancer patients, according to new research published in Cell.

'Zipping-up' rings to make nanographenes
Nanographenes are attracting wide interest from many researchers as a powerful candidate for the next generation of carbon materials due to their unique electric properties.

Neanderthals' lack of drawing ability may relate to hunting techniques
Visual imagery used in drawing regulates arm movements in manner similar to how hunters visualize the arc of a spear.

From black hat to white hat: Findings tip assumptions about TAK1 in muscle growth
Convention was that the signaling protein, transforming growth factor-ß-activated kinase 1 (TAK1) is detrimental to muscle health since it activates pathways associated with muscle wasting.

Study finds only one-third of patients diagnosed with depression start treatment
Despite the wide availability of effective treatments for depression and a growing effort nationwide to detect and begin treating depression during primary care visits, only about one-third of individuals newly diagnosed with depression start treatment, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published today in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

NASA seeks the gold in Winter Olympics snow
NASA engineer Manuel Vega can see one of the Olympic ski jump towers from the rooftop of the South Korean weather office where he is stationed.

iPS cell-derived inner ear cells may improve congenital hearing loss
A Japanese research group has successfully grafted human iPS cell-derived inner ear cells that express human-derived proteins into the inner ears of embryonic mice.

Quantum dots display promise for polymers
Rice University scientists employ the power of the sun to build functional synthetic polymers using photosensitive, semiconducting quantum dots as a catalyst.

Why you feel hungrier after you lose weight
Blame it on hormones: one hunger hormone continues to be elevated after you lose weight, making you feel hungry even though your new, slanker body has had enough to eat.

New '4-D goggles' allow wearers to be 'touched' by approaching objects
A team of researchers at UC San Diego and San Diego State University has developed a pair of '4-D goggles' that allows wearers to be physically 'touched' by a movie when they see a looming object on the screen, such as an approaching spacecraft.

Genetic gene mutations: Opening new therapeutic avenues in metastatic prostate cancer
International study shows the prognostic and predictive value of DNA-repair gene mutations in more precisely selecting standard therapies for the treatment of metastatic prostate cancer.

Nursery stock, homeowner preferences drive tree diversity in Salt Lake Valley
What factors shape the formation of a new urban forest?

Include patient's bucket list in end-of-life care conversations
Talking to patients with chronic and serious illnesses about their life goals and bucket-lists can help clinicians present treatment options and participate in informed decision-making with a clearer understanding of the potential impact of medical treatments.

Researchers develop breakthrough technique to combat cancer drug resistance
The ability for cancer cells to develop resistance to chemotherapy drugs -- known as multi-drug resistance -- remains a leading cause for tumor recurrence and cancer metastasis, but recent findings offer hope that oncologists could one day direct cancer cells to 'turn off' their resistance capabilities.

Bitcoin crash could derail other cryptocurrencies
A sharp fall in the value of Bitcoin may cause other cryptocurrencies to crash, but is unlikely to have a significant impact on traditional assets, according to new research published in the journal Economics Letters.

FSU researchers: Savanna fires pump Central African forests full of nitrogen
Florida State University researchers are part of a global team of scientists revealing the unexpected role that large-scale fires and high nitrogen deposition play in the ecology and biogeochemistry of these lush Central African forests.

Harnessing the power of genomic sequencing augments diagnosis and treatment of lymphoid cancer
A new study published in The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics has established that hybrid-capture sequencing is the method of choice for sequencing 'actionable' gene mutations across the most common forms of lymphoid cancer.

Black patients more likely to be excluded from prostate cancer trials
Study finds nearly half of all prostate cancer randomized clinical trials use lab results that are more likely to exclude black patients due to racial variations in laboratory values.

Thousands of lives would be saved if counties met ATS clean air standards
Thousands of lives would be saved each year, and many more serious illnesses avoided, if U.S. counties met standards set by the American Thoracic Society for the two most important air pollutants, according to a new report by the ATS and the Marron Institute of Urban Management at New York University.

NASA finds a weak and wispy Tropical Cyclone Cebile
Vertical wind shear had already taken its toll on Tropical Cyclone Cebile when NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the Southern Pacific Ocean on Feb.

Global hematology diagnostics market estimated to expand at a robust CAGR over 2021
Hematology includes various IVD technologies such as blood analysis, flow cytometry, immunodiagnostics, molecular diagnostics, hemostasis, histology, and cytology.

Chimpanzee self-control is related to intelligence, Georgia State study finds
As is true in humans, chimpanzees' general intelligence is correlated to their ability to exert self-control and delay gratification, according to new research at Georgia State University.

Repetition key to self-healing, flexible medical devices
Medical devices powered by synthetic proteins created from repeated sequences of proteins may be possible, according to materials science and biotechnology experts, who looked at material inspired by the proteins in squid ring teeth.

Deep-brain exploration with nanomaterial
Studying deep brain tissues noninvasively is difficult. Now RIKEN scientists in Japan have developed a way to send light deep into the brain without invasive optical fibers.

New marker could help to identify heart attack patients most at risk
A new study from the University of Sheffield has shown a new blood test could provide a clue as to why some patients are at higher risk of cardiovascular disease risk after suffering a heart attack.

Researchers uncover how cancer stem cells drive triple-negative breast cancer
Cleveland Clinic researchers have published findings in Nature Communications on a new stem cell pathway that allows a highly aggressive form of breast cancer -- triple-negative breast cancer -- to thrive.

Blood test cuts time to diagnosis for common, deadly yeast infection, national trial shows
A new blood test seems to perform as well as, if not better than, traditional blood cultures at detecting candidemia, a type of fungal yeast infection that commonly strikes hospital patients.

Tea Party movement has paved the way for racialized language in US politics
Overtly racially motivated rhetoric is becoming increasingly acceptable in Republican politics in the US.

Human antibodies undermine parasite sex
Some people develop an immune response following a malaria infection that stops them from infecting other mosquitos.

Study reveals genetic basis of quantitative traits and diseases in Japanese
Osaka University-centered researchers presented one of the largest non-European genome-wide association study (GWAS) of quantitative biological traits to date, identifying 1,407 trait-associated loci for 58 traits in 162,255 Japanese individuals.

First report in decades of a forgotten crop pathogen calls for critical close monitoring
Scientists, breeders, farmers and conservation groups must continue to work in close collaboration to prepare for the potential re-emergence of a forgotten crop pathogen, a new study advises today.

New map profiles induced earthquake risk for West Texas
A map created by Stanford geophysicists can help predict which parts of West Texas and New Mexico may be at risk of fracking-induced earthquakes.

Apalutamide delays progression of nonmetastatic, castration-resistant prostate cancer
A multi-institutional phase 3 trial led by investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital and University of California, San Francisco found that treatment with an investigational androgen receptor inhibitor significantly delayed the development of metastasis in patients with prostate cancer that had become resistant to standard androgen-deprivation therapy.

UCLA study sheds light on genetic overlap between major psychiatric disorders
Most medical conditions are largely defined by their physical symptoms.

Self-defeating humor promotes psychological well-being, study reveals
Researchers from the University of Granada provide new data on the consequences of using different styles of humor, emphasizing the importance of analyzing cultural differences in future psychological research.

Double trouble: Invasive insect species overlooked as a result of a shared name
An invasive leaf-mining moth, feeding on cornelian cherry, has been gradually expanding into northern Europe under the cover of a taxonomic confusion for a period likely longer than 60 years.

First 3-D imaging of excited quantum dots
Quantum dots are rapidly taking center stage in emerging applications and research developments, but researchers are still studying how to precisely control the growth of these nanoscale particles and their underlying quantum behavior.

Dairy calves are natural optimists or pessimists, just like us
Some calves are inherently optimistic or pessimistic, just as humans are, a new University of British Columbia study has found.

Global stair lifts market expected to reach US$ 1,000 million by the end of 2025
Stair lifts are used for individual or personal purposes and are mostly installed in residential and commercial spaces/public spaces.

Researchers run first tests of unique system for welding highly irradiated metal alloys
Scientists of the Department of Energy's Light Water Reactor Sustainability Program (LWRS) and partners from the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) have conducted the first weld tests to repair highly irradiated materials at DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

A noninvasive way to manipulate neural activity with optogenetics
A new optogenetic technique allows for deep brain neural stimulation or inhibition by applying light externally to the skull, rather than via invasive optical fibers.

New technology could reduce spread of antibiotic resistance genes through compost
Scientists at the University of York have found a way to remove antibiotic resistant genes from industrial compost, which could prevent them entering the food chain.

Undergraduate student uncovers genes associated with aggressive form of brain cancer
Using publicly available data and novel computer software called KINC, an undergraduate researcher in genetics and biochemistry at Clemson University was able to uncover a group of 22 genes that are implicated together as having involvement in glioblastoma, the most aggressive type of brain cancer.

Scientists observe nanowires as they grow
At DESY's X-ray source PETRA III, scientists have followed the growth of tiny wires of gallium arsenide live.

Study reveals molecular mechanisms of memory formation
MIT neuroscientists have uncovered a cellular pathway that allows specific synapses to become stronger during memory formation.

Therapeutic riding programs help veterans cope with PTSD
In the United States, military veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) often are prescribed therapeutic horseback riding (THR) as a complementary therapy, but little is known about how these programs affect PTSD in military veterans.

AI computer vision breakthrough IDs poachers in less than half a second
Researchers at the USC Center for Artificial Intelligence in Society have long been applying AI to protect wildlife.

Stroke risk factors unique to women identified
Investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital and their colleagues are exploring the effects of potential risk factors that are unique to women, including hormone levels, hormone therapy, hormonal birth control, pregnancy and time of menarche and menopause.

How good a match is it? Putting statistics into forensic firearm identification
When comparing bullets or cartridge cases, a forensic firearms examiner can offer an expert opinion as to whether or not they match.

The secrets behind hummingbirds' flight agility revealed
Which traits best allow hummingbirds to turn on a dime, in midair, at fast speeds?

Snacking snakes act as 'ecosystem engineers' in seed dispersal
Despite the bad rap snakes often get, they are more central to ecology than most people realize.

Smart Thermometer improves flu forecasting
A new approach tested by researchers at the University of Iowa shows that de-identified data from a 'smart thermometer' connected to a mobile phone app can track flu activity in real time at both population and individual levels and the data can be used to significantly improve flu forecasting.

Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time
Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain.

Scientists develop a 'third eye' to examine stem cells
The researchers employed the triple labeling technique to analyze stem cells in the brain, the intestine, and testis, using additional tricks to effectively expand the technique to quadruple labeling of dividing stem cells.

When it comes to genes, lichens embrace sharing economy
University of Colorado Boulder researchers have discovered the first known molecular evidence of obligate symbiosis in lichens, a distinctive co-evolutionary relationship that could shed new light on how and why some multicellular organisms consolidate their genomes in order to co-exist.

Research explores workers' response to abusive supervision
A recent Naveen Jindal School of Management study examined the damaging impact abusive supervision has in the workplace including the ways employees respond with retaliatory behavior, which lowers productivity.

Gut bacteria: It can be good, and bad, for health
A new study found that impairing a rare group of cells (called Paneth cells) in the small intestine allows gut bacteria to invade the organ and cause major inflammation.

A view from above and below: Hatchery chinook salmon are self-sorting in tanks
Hatchery-raised chinook salmon sort themselves into surface- and bottom-oriented groups in their rearing tanks, and this behavior might be due in part to the fish's genes.

New study explains how your brain helps you learn new skills
Researchers from the Gladstone Institutes uncovered how a special type of neuron improves the efficiency of procedural learning.

Scientists realize breakthrough in controlling the transmission of light
In the cover-story paper published in today's Nature Electronics, researchers at the Advanced Science Research Center (ASRC) at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY) and at the University of Texas at Austin detail the development of a new light wave-isolation method.

Ebola virus infects reproductive organs in monkeys
Ebola virus can infect reproductive organs of male and female macaques, according to a new study, suggesting humans could be similarly infected.

Termites' unique gut 'factory' key to global domination
Termites have achieved ecological dominance and now some ingredients for their success have been determined to lie in their unique gut microbiome 'factories' -- which enable the creatures to eat wood and other material relatively free of competition.

Biologists decipher a key piece of the odor-detection puzzle in flies, mosquitoes
Biologists at the University of California, Riverside have discovered surprisingly that the complex odor-detecting machinery of the fruit fly Drosophila is heavily influenced by one specific odor receptor.

Vape shops could be 'valuable allies' to NHS
New research shows that the NHS should consider working with reputable vape shops to help smokers quit.

Metasurfaces enable improved optical lens performance
Producing the perfect color images we need and love often requires multiple, heavy lenses so that each color focuses in exactly the same plane.

Sticking sugar to protein
ETH researchers have succeeded in determining the 3D structure of the enzyme that attaches sugar chains to proteins -- a breakthrough that they recently published in the journal Science.

Timing is everything, to our genes
Salk scientists discover critical gene activity follows a biological clock, affecting diseases of the brain and body.

Alien honeybees could cause plant extinction
New research indicates that introduced 'alien' honeybees are competing for resources with native bees and threatening the survival of plants that rely on interactions with specific pollinators.

A lightning-based nowcast-warning approach to predict short-duration rainfall
Scientists have noticed and taken advantage of lightning to predict approaching rainstorms, but there are few potent prediction or warning methods available for the rainfall caused by short duration rainfalls(SDR) events.

Search for genetically stable bioengineered gut and liver tissue takes step forward
Before medical science can bioengineer human organs in a lab for therapeutic use, two remaining hurdles are ensuring genetic stability -- so the organs are free from the risk of tumor growth -- and producing organ tissues of sufficient volume and size for viable transplant into people.

CNIC scientists describe the mechanism of heart regeneration in the zebrafish
A new study published in Nature Communications describes a high level of plasticity among different cell populations in the regenerating zebrafish heart

Biochar could replace unsustainable peat moss in greenhouse industry
Plant lovers are familiar with peat moss as the major component of potting mix, but harvest of the material is becoming unsustainable.

Simple rules can help fishery managers cope with ecological complexity
A team of ecologists and economists are the first to test whether real-life ecological interactions produce economic benefits for the fishing industry.

Brainpower wins over brawn when male hummingbirds display for mates
When male animals compete over mates, it's often a showy affair: think of elk tangling antlers or tom turkeys strutting and gobbling.

Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices
Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices.

Antibacterial applications of graphene oxides
Graphene oxide (GO) is one of the most widely studied engineered nanomaterials.

Avoiding blackouts with 100% renewable energy
Researchers propose three separate ways to avoid blackouts if the world transitions all its energy to electricity or direct heat and provides the energy with 100 percent wind, water and sunlight.

More efficient method devised to drug test athletes
It will now be easier, faster and cheaper to catch athletes who take performance-enhancing drugs.

A less hazardous means to create phosphorus compounds
Scientists have identified a precursor that helps convert phosphorus into a range of useful compounds, all the while bypassing the need for hazardous intermediate substances that have been conventionally required for such reactions.

Researchers help robots think and plan in the abstract
New research shows how robots can autonomously construct abstract representations of their surroundings and use them to plan for multi-step tasks.

Are you rocky or are you gassy?
A star about 100 light years away in the Pisces constellation, GJ 9827, hosts what may be one of the most massive and dense super-Earth planets detected to date according to new research led by Carnegie's Johanna Teske.

Texas flood: Researchers compare pollution levels before and after Hurricane Harvey
Recent years have seen rising interest in improving post-disaster research, with calls for more and better studies coming from the academic community and agencies such as the National Institutes of Health.

'Spectacular' finding: New 3-D vision discovered in praying mantis
Miniature glasses have revealed a new form of 3-D vision in praying mantises that could lead to simpler visual processing for robots.

First hybrid nanotech device mimicking blood-brain barrier
Researchers at IIT-Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia fabricated an artificial device reproducing a 1:1 scale model of the blood-brain barrier (BBB), the anatomical and functional structure that protects the central nervous system from external substances, such as contaminants, but also drugs when they are injected intravenously into the body.

Walking fish suggests locomotion control evolved much earlier than thought
Cartoons that illustrate evolution depict early vertebrates generating primordial limbs as they move onto land for the first time.

Peptide improves glucose and insulin sensitivity, lowers weight in mice
Treating obese mice with catestatin (CST), a peptide naturally occurring in the body, showed significant improvement in glucose and insulin tolerance and reduced body weight, report University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers.

Lab-grown eggs could pave way towards new fertility treatments
Human eggs have been developed in the lab from their earliest stage to full maturity, in a study that could lead to improved fertility treatments.

New glucagon delivery system reduces episodes of post-bariatric surgery hypoglycemia
The number of bariatric surgeries is increasing, as is the incidence of post-bariatric hypoglycemia (PBH).

What makes the bacteria behind lyme disease tick?
The precise mechanisms of how humans become infected with Lyme disease are still unclear.

Surprise finding points to DNA's role in shaping cells
Working at the intersection of biology and physics, scientists at UC San Diego have made a surprising discovery at the root of cell formation.

Sniffing out a mate with precision
Male cockroaches can 'see' the spatial distribution of female pheromones to locate a sexual mate, according to researchers from Hokkaido University and the University of Konstanz.

Evolution -- and skill -- help hefty hummingbirds stay spry
Evolved differences in muscle power and wing size -- along with a touch of skill -- govern hummingbirds' inflight agility, according to new research in the journal Science.

Thirdhand smoke lingers in casino months after smoking ban
Decades of smoking in casinos causes the massive buildup of toxic residue on walls, furniture, and in carpets, according to a new study led by scientists at San Diego State University.

Competing for blood: How ecologists are solving infectious disease mysteries
By looking at malaria infections and hookworms as competitors battling over a key resource -- red blood cells -- Princeton ecologists Andrea Graham and Sarah Budischak were able to explain why co-infected patients often got sicker after being dewormed: without the hookworms to keep it in check, the malaria infection ran rampant.

Compounds isolated from rattlesnake venom show activity against hepatitis C virus
Studies conducted by Brazilian researchers and published in PLOS ONE and Scientific Reports also found compounds derived from Brazilian plants to be promising against hepatitis C.

Rutgers professor studies trans fat consumption in the wake of policy shifts
Trans fat policies have led to a decline in its availability in the global food supply, according to Rutgers School of Public Health professor Shauna Downs.

Drug shown to reverse brain deficits caused by alcohol
Queensland University of Technology (QUT) researchers have identified a drug that could potentially help our brains reboot and reverse the damaging impacts of heavy alcohol consumption on regeneration of brain cells.

Teleconsulting to bring specialised expertise in rare cancers across Europe
How collaborative networks are giving patients with rare cancers a chance at better outcomes.

Light and copper catalysis improves amine synthesis
EPFL chemists have developed a novel and efficient method to make amines, which are among the most important structural compounds in pharmaceuticals and organic materials.

TSRI scientists take big step toward stopping cancer metastasis
TSRI scientists identify molecule that fuels cancer metastasis.

Distinctive brain pattern helps habits form
MIT neuroscientists have found that certain neurons in the brain are responsible for grouping behaviors together into a single habitual routine, in a process known as 'chunking.' These neurons, located in a brain region highly involved in habit formation, fire at the beginning and the end of a habitual behavior, but not in the middle.

Stem cell research provides hope for tasmanian devils with a deadly, transmissible cancer
Using stem cell therapy, Morris Animal Foundation-funded researcher Dr. Deanne Whitworth and her colleagues at the University of Queensland, have taken the first step toward developing an effective treatment for devil facial tumor disease (DFTD), which is decimating Tasmanian devils in the wild.

UTHealth leads ACSM paper on safety recommendations for energy drinks
Helpful guidance and warnings regarding the potential dangers that energy drinks present to at-risk populations, primarily children, were published in a paper led by a cardiologist at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) for the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).

Circulating lipids play roles in many diseases
Lipids are fatty molecules that play important signaling and storage roles in the body, but having an excess of some lipids, like cholesterol, is a risk factor for many metabolic diseases.

Stroke journal features women's studies on how gender influences stroke risk, treatment and outcomes
Many aspects of strokes affect women and men differently, and four articles in the American Heart Association's journal Stroke highlight recent research and identify future research needs.

Ways to make data sharing between the global north and south more fair
Many researchers in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are hesitant to embrace open data policies.

HDAC6 inhibitors protect against neuronal damage and have therapeutic potential
Inhibiting HDAC6 improves the structural stability of cells and protects against neuronal damage.

Climate change, urbanization driving opossum's northward march
The headline reads like something from the satirical newspaper The Onion: 'Grand Forks opossum slain; body to go to University of Michigan for research.'

Micro to macro mapping -- Observing past landscapes via remote-sensing
New multi-scale relief modelling algorithm helps archaeologists rediscover topographical features of the past.

Rapid land changes forecast for East African savannahs
A study, presenting a 5000-year environmental history of the popular tourist destination, Amboseli National Park in Kenya, has shown that the impact of climate change on land is more rapid than previously thought. 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