Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 26, 2018
Most PA students tobacco-free, but vaping and cigarette use still a concern
Most of Pennsylvania's high school and middle school students are tobacco-free, but among those who do use tobacco products, the most commonly used product by middle schoolers was e-cigarettes -- also known as vaping -- and the most commonly used product by high schoolers was cigarettes.

Scientists move closer to treatment for Huntington's disease
Researchers show that a new version of the CRISPR/Cas9 system -- a modern tool for editing DNA -- is safer and more specific than versions previously used to remove the disease-causing DNA sequence in the defective gene that causes Huntington's disease.

Exposure to common THM levels in drinking water not associated with breast cancer
Exposure to trihalomethanes (THMs) in residential water is not associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.

Artificial intelligence techniques reconstruct mysteries of quantum systems
The same techniques used to train self-driving cars and chess-playing computers are now helping physicists explore the complexities of the quantum world.

People rationalize policies as soon as they take effect
People express greater approval for political outcomes as soon as those outcomes transition from being anticipated to being actual, according to new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Exotic state of matter: An atom full of atoms
If the electron orbits the nucleus at a great distance, there is plenty of space in between for other atoms.

Watch fat cells help heal a wound in a fly
Fat body cells in Drosophila play a surprising role in sealing wounds and preventing infection, researchers at the University of Bristol report February 26 in the journal Developmental Cell.

Imaging plays key role in evaluating injuries at Olympics
The Olympic Games give elite athletes a chance at athletic triumph, but also carry a risk of injury.

Colorectal cancer: Combined analysis enhances risk prediction
If first-degree relatives are affected by colorectal cancer, this indicates a person's own elevated risk of developing bowel cancer.

Demographics can help identify migrants to Canada at high risk of TB
Visual abstract permanent link: Demographic characteristics can help identify groups of immigrants in Canada at high risk of tuberculosis (TB), according to new research in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal)

Immune system activation in pregnant women can shape brain development in their babies
Mom's inflammatory response shapes 'wiring' of her child's brain. Similar networking changes linked to autism and ADHD.

Characterization of Zygophyllum album L monofloral honey from El-Oued, Algeria
Honey is generally evaluated by physicochemical analysis of its constituents.

Microbiota-gut-brain axis is at epicenter of new approach to mental health
The functional gut microbiome provides an exciting new therapeutic target for treating psychiatric disorders such as anxiety and trauma-related conditions.

Could cleaning up beaches make Americans better off?
Cleaning up beaches could boost local economies in addition to preserving natural treasures and animal habitats, Ohio State study finds.

How biofuels from plant fibers could combat global warming
A study from Colorado State University finds new promise for biofuels produced from switchgrass, a non-edible native grass that grows in many parts of North America.

Global scientific review reveals effective alternatives to neonicotinoid and fipronil insecticides
Use of controversial neonicotinoid insecticides ('neonics') in agriculture is not as effective as once thought, and can be replaced by advantageous pest-management alternatives, according to a study published today in the Springer journal Environmental Science and Pollution Research.

Scientists discover key gene for producing marine molecule with huge environmental impacts
Researchers have discovered a key gene for the synthesis of one of the world's most abundant sulfur molecules -- Dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP).

Texas A&M-led collaborative study takes aim at non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
Texas A&M University System researchers in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs and Baylor Scott & White Research Institute have completed a study identifying one of the mechanisms leading to the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD, providing new possibilities for prevention and treatment of the disease.

Oxytocin strengthens mothers' neural responses to infant and adult faces
In a new study from the University of Tampere in Finland, nasally administered oxytocin spray strengthened brain responses to pictures of infant and adult faces in mothers of 1-year-old infants.

New advances in medication for muscle disease in children
Spinraza, the gene therapy medication, also provides significant improvements in cases with the next most severe form of neuromuscular disease, spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), which afflicts children from 6 to 18 months of age.

Physicians develop recommendations for managing in-flight medical emergencies
'Is there a doctor on board?' Hearing this call go out at 36,000 feet can be anxiety-provoking for any physician and may trigger a dilemma of whether to respond, or wait to see if anyone else will offer their expertise.

New directions found in understanding, fighting glaucoma
Two distinctive handfuls of short molecules that regulate gene expression have been found in the eye fluid of patients with two distinct types of vision degenerating glaucoma.

Multiple types of delirium in the ICU indicate high risk for long-term cognitive decline
Critically ill patients who experience long periods of hypoxic, septic or sedative-associated delirium, or a combination of the three, during an intensive care unit (ICU) stay are more likely to have long-term cognitive impairment one year after discharge from the hospital.

New research highlights ineffectiveness of 'wonder drug' for alcohol use disorders
A new study, published in the Addiction journal, conducted by researchers from the University of Liverpool highlights the ineffectiveness of a specific drug treatment for alcohol use disorders.

Ohio State study reveals no link between hormonal birth control and depression
The vast majority of women will use some method of contraception during their lifetime.

Stars around the milky way: Cosmic space invaders or victims of galactic eviction?
An international team of astronomers has made a surprising discovery about the birthplace of groups of stars located in the halo of our Milky Way galaxy.

Stormy weather
Flooding isn't new to the Santa Barbara coastline. However, the inundation doesn't always come from the mountains as it did last month in Montecito.

Largest molecular spin found close to a quantum phase transition
An international research team headed by Professor Dr Annie Powell, a chemist at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), and Professor Dr Jürgen Schnack, a physicist at Bielefeld University, has synthesized a new magnetic molecule.

5.5 million-year-old fossil turtle species sheds light on invasive modern relatives
A University of Pennsylvania paleontologist has described a 5.5 million-year-old fossil species of turtle from eastern Tennessee.

'Is there a doctor on board?' A guide to managing in-flight medical emergencies
A new article in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) provides practical tips for physicians on airplanes who may step in to help in a medical emergency.

Marine animals explore the ocean in similar ways
Marine animals of different body size, shape and mode of movement, move through the ocean in similar ways.

Powerful flare from star Proxima Centauri detected with ALMA
Using data from ALMA, a team of astronomers discovered that a powerful stellar flare erupted from Proxima Centauri last March.

The giant wave that marks the beginning of the end -- the neurobiology of dying
The human brain is highly sensitive to oxygen deprivation. Extensive and irreversible damage occurs within approximately 10 minutes of cardiac (and hence circulatory) arrest.

Tracking data reveal the secret lives of marine animals
Tracking devices deployed on wild animals have revealed unexpected behaviors and migratory patterns in marine animals ranging from sharks and seals to turtles and albatrosses.

For energy experts, new method is a gas
Researchers have developed a method that will help natural gas experts better understand shale samples and eventually help them decide whether to invest time and resources to extract gas from the formation the samples came from.

Flu may impact brain health
Female mice infected with two different strains of the flu exhibit changes to the structure and function of the hippocampus that persist for one month after infection, according to new research published in JNeurosci.

Not enjoying your dinner out? Try putting the phone away
Researchers looking at the effect of smartphones on face-to-face social interactions found that people who used their devices while out for dinner with friends and family enjoyed themselves less than those who did not.

Cyberslug: Virtual predator makes decisions like the real one
A sea slug's decision to approach or avoid potential prey has been simulated in a virtual environment called Cyberslug.

New research could lead to improved method of treating pancreatic cancer
A heating and freezing process known as dual thermal ablation can kill pancreatic cancer cells, according to new research from Binghamton University, State University at New York.

Optical distance measurement at record-high speed
Scientists of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) have demonstrated the fastest distance measurement so far.

Brain can navigate based solely on smells
Northwestern University researchers have developed a new 'smell virtual landscape' that enables the study of how smells engage the brain's navigation system.

Nanomaterials: What are the environmental and health risks?
After 3 years of research in laboratories and in contact with industrial partners, the scientists have processed, tested and made available an online platform that supports industries and control and regulating institutions in evaluating potential risks that may arise for the production teams, for the consumers and for the environment

Health staff 'too stressed' to deal with disasters
Increasing stress and a lack of motivation among healthcare staff could result in hospitals having to shut down in the wake of a major incident such as flooding or an earthquake, according to new research published in the journal Procedia Engineering.

Majorana runners go long range: New topological phases of matter unveiled
New topological phases of matter have been discovered by researchers from Universidad Complutense, MIT, and Harvard University.

Researchers identify how phishing strategies may lead to success or failure
To begin to understand the psychology of criminals' behaviors in cybersecurity and how it can be used to prevent phishing attacks, Carnegie Mellon University's Prashanth Rajivan and Cleotilde Gonzalez identified how adversaries may be more successful when they exploit specific phishing strategies than when they use other less successful ones.

How do your friends plan to vote?
Most election polls take the political pulse of a state or nation by reaching out to citizens about their voting plans.

Researchers discover receptor that protects against allergies, asthma
A special receptor on cells that line the sinuses, throat and lungs evolved to protect mammals from developing a range of allergies and asthma, according to a study from researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

New technique allows printing of flexible, stretchable silver nanowire circuits
Researchers have developed a new technique that allows them to print circuits on flexible, stretchable substrates using silver nanowires.

Children's Colorado doctors conclude EV-D68 likely cause of acute flaccid myelitis
A team of doctors and scientists from the US and Europe led by Kevin Messacar, MD, an infectious disease specialist from Children's Hospital Colorado (Children's Colorado), has found that Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) is a likely cause of Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM), a rare illness that affects the nervous system of children.

Life in world's driest desert seen as sign of potential life on Mars
For the first time, researchers have seen life rebounding in the world's driest desert, demonstrating that it could also be lurking in the soils of Mars.

Life under extreme drought conditions
The core region of the Atacama Desert is one of the most arid places on earth.

New understanding of the elephant genome from both ancient and modern DNA may aid conservation
A consortium of scientists used advanced sequencing technology to recover complete genomes from both living and extinct elephant species.

NIH researchers find a potential treatment for disorders involving excess red blood cells
Researchers at the National Institutes of Health have cured mice with Chuvash polycythemia, a life-threatening disorder that involves the overproduction of red blood cells.

Newest data shows childhood obesity continues to increase
Despite reports in recent years suggesting childhood obesity could be reaching a plateau in some groups, the big picture on obesity rates for children ages 2 to 19 remains unfavorable, according to a new analysis from Duke Health researchers.

Study links responsible behavior in high school to life success 50 years later
A new study links doing one's homework, being interested and behaving responsibly in high school to better academic and career success as many as 50 years later.

Researchers find low magnesium levels make vitamin D ineffective
Vitamin D can't be metabolized without sufficient magnesium levels, meaning Vitamin D remains stored and inactive for as many as 50 percent of Americans.

New technology may protect troops from blast-induced brain injury
Researchers have developed a new military vehicle shock absorbing device that may protect troops from traumatic brain injury after a land mine blast.

Reforesting US topsoils store massive amounts of carbon, with potential for much more
Forests across the United States -- and especially forest soils -- store massive amounts of carbon, offsetting about 10 percent of the country's annual greenhouse gas emissions and helping to mitigate climate change.

Behavior in high school predicts income and occupational success later in life
Being a responsible student, maintaining an interest in school and having good reading and writing skills will not only help a teenager get good grades in high school but could also be predictors of educational and occupational success decades later, regardless of IQ, parental socioeconomic status or other personality factors, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.

Hidden 'rock moisture' possible key to forest response to drought
A little-studied, underground layer of rock may provide a vital reservoir for trees, especially in times of drought, report scientists funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and affiliated with The University of Texas (UT) at Austin and the University of California, Berkeley.

Mom's immune system shapes baby's brain
The state of a woman's immune system during pregnancy may shape the connectivity of her child's brain, suggests a study of teenage mothers published in JNeurosci.

Flu forecasting system tracks geographic spread of disease
Scientists at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health developed a system to accurately predict the geographic spread of seasonal influenza in the United States, as reported in a paper published in the journal PNAS.

Preterm birth leaves its mark in the functional networks of the brain
Researchers at the University of Helsinki and the Helsinki University Hospital, Finland, have proven that premature birth has a significant and, at the same time, a very selective effect on the functional networks of a child's brain.

Daffodils to fight against cancer
A study describes the anti-cancer effects of a natural alkaloid extracted from Daffodils.

Seeing the brain's electrical activity
MIT researchers have come up with a new way to measure electrical activity in the brain.

Voice control: Why North Atlantic right whales change calls as they age
Through extensive listening and analysis of whale calls--which were recorded by a large collaboration of scientists over the past two decades-- Syracuse University researchers were able to pick up the slow gradual changes in sound production in the marine giants as they age.

Estimates of sexting frequency by young people under 18
A sizable number of young people under 18 engage in sexting, the practice of electronically sharing sexually explicit material, with an estimated 1 in 7 sending sexts and 1 in 4 receiving them.

Helium ions open whole new world of materials
QUT scientists have found an exciting new way to manipulate and design materials of the future at the atomic level and change the way they behave at a larger scale that opens the way to new applications such as early cancer biomarkers.

Program shows success in implementing patient transition care processes
Hospitals participating in the American College of Cardiology's Patient Navigator Program, showed significant improvement in implementing performance measures that help heart attack and heart failure patients transition from the hospital to home and keep them out of the hospital longer, according to research to be presented at the ACC's 67th Annual Scientific Session.

Improving the quality of high altitude medicine
Study location, exact altitude and a detailed profile of the study participants are just three of altogether 42 factors which are to be included in any future study, project description or publication related to high altitude medicine.

Variant of the p53 gene increased tumor cell metabolism
Wistar scientists have found a novel mechanism through which mutant p53 enhances metastasis by controlling tumor metabolism.

King penguins may be on the move very soon
More than 70 percent of the global King penguin population, currently forming colonies in Crozet, Kerguelen and Marion sub-Antarctic islands, may be nothing more than a memory in a matter of decades, as global warming will soon force the birds to move south, or disappear.

New study shows repurposing leukemia drugs may prevent melanoma metastasis
Data from a new study led by University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center researchers shows that repurposing drugs used to treat leukemia has promise for preventing melanoma metastasis.

New research reveals clearest infrared image yet of the center of our galaxy
A research team has published a new study lead by Pat Roche, professor of astrophysics at The University of Oxford, and Chris Packham, associate professor of physics and astronomy at The University of Texas at San Antonio.

Targeting pathway may reduce cocaine's cardiovascular harms
Cocaine in mice increased levels of reactive oxygen species, molecules known to cause cardiovascular disease.

Going with the DNA flow: Molecule of life finds new uses in microelectronics
Researchers at Arizona State University, in collaboration with NYU and Duke University, have recently designed, created and tested a DNA circuit capable of splitting and combining current, much like an adapter that can connect multiple appliances to a wall outlet.

Plants evolve away from obsolete defenses when attacked by immune herbivores, study shows
A new study shows that plants can evolve out of their obsolete defense mechanisms when facing an immune enemy, an illustration of the 'defense de-escalation' evolution theory.

Geological change confirmed as factor behind extensive diversity in tropical rainforests
The tropical rainforests of Central and South America are home to the largest diversity of plants on this planet.

Ketamine works for female rats, too
A first of its kind study in female rats finds that a single, low dose of ketamine promotes resilience to future adverse events as it does in male rats.

New research looks to reduce side effects in commonly used drugs
New research from The Australian National University (ANU) has drilled down to the molecular level to find similarities across six pharmaceutical drugs used in pain relief, dentist anaesthetic, and treatment of epilepsy, in a bid to find a way to reduce unwanted side-effects.

Stars around the Milky Way: Cosmic space invaders or victims of galactic eviction?
Astronomers investigated a small population of stars in the Milky Way Galaxy's halo, finding its chemical composition closely matches the Galactic disk.

Global fossil fuel emissions of hydrocarbons are underestimated
Global levels of ethane and propane in the atmosphere have been underestimated by more than 50 percent, new research involving scientists at the University of York has revealed.

Most breast cancer patients' experiences with radiation therapy are better than expected
A new study reveals that many patients with breast cancer have misconceptions and fears about radiation therapy, but their actual experiences with modern breast radiation therapy are better than they expected.

Quiescent cells also mutate
For almost a hundred years, geneticists have believed that the more a cell divides the more mutations it acquires.

Brazilian study discovers six new species of silky antieaters
By employing genetical analysis and geometric morphometrics, the work attested the existence of at least seven species of these recluse xenarthrans from South and Central America, which were thrown together under one single species.

Method of tracking reactions between air and carbon-based compounds established
Study could allow researchers to study pollution, smog, and haze in a comprehensive way, backed by data that accurately depicts a compound's behavior over time.

Insights into depression could aid development of new treatments
Fresh insights into changes in the brain linked to depression could pave the way for new therapies.

Perceptions of old age change as we age
Does life really begin at 40? Is 50 the new 30?

Improving quality of life for people with chronic heart failure
Patients with chronic heart failure face related problems, such as depression and fatigue, that could be relieved by an expanded model of care, according to a recently published study led by a researcher from the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

Study suggests new strategy against vascular disease in diabetes
A peptide called S597, given to mice with metabolic syndrome, reduced their high blood sugar levels and slowed the growth of lesions in their blood vessel walls.

ICU risk scores perform well as 'continuous markers' of illness severity
Commonly used ICU risk scores can be 'repurposed' as continuous markers of severity of illness in critically ill patients--providing ongoing updates on changes in the patient's condition and risk of death, according to a study in the March issue of Critical Care Medicine, official journal of the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM).

Researchers sequence complete genomes of extinct and living elephants
An international team of researchers has produced one of the most comprehensive evolutionary pictures to date by looking at one of the world's most iconic animal families - namely elephants, and their relatives mammoths and mastodons-spanning millions of years.

Scorpion venom component can reduce severity of rheumatoid arthritis
A group of researchers led by Dr. Christine Beeton at Baylor College of Medicine has found that one of the hundreds of components in scorpion venom can reduce the severity of rheumatoid arthritis in animal models, without inducing side effects associated with similar treatments.

DASH-Style diet associated with reduced risk of depression
Eating a diet that emphasizes vegetables, fruit and whole grains it may lead to a reduced risk of depression, according to a study by researchers at Rush University Medical Center.

Over years, depression changes the brain, new CAMH study shows
New brain imaging research from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) shows that the brain alters after years of persistent depression, suggesting the need to change how we think about depression as it progresses.

Cardiac arrest survival greatly increases when bystanders use an automated external defibrillator
Survival from cardiac arrest doubled when bystanders stepped in to use a publicly-available automated external defibrillator rather than wait until emergency responders arrived.

Study reveals key inner control mechanism of cell's 'smart glue'
Understanding of ALS and acute myeloid leukemia could advance with discovery of how the protein nucleophosmin undergoes 'self-interaction,' a St.

Beaming with the light of millions of suns
A Caltech-led astronomy team is homing in on the nature of extreme objects known as ULXs.

Anxiety can help your memory
Anxiety can help people to remember things, a study from the University of Waterloo has found.

Hidden 'rock moisture' could be key to understanding forest response to drought
Research conducted by The University of Texas at Austin and University of California, Berkeley has found that a little-studied, underground layer of rock can hold significant amounts of water that may serve as a vital reservoir for trees, especially in times of drought.

Accurate telomere length test influences treatment decisions for certain diseases
Research led by Johns Hopkins physicians and scientists shows that a test for measuring the length of DNA endcaps, called telomeres, which has a variability rate of 5 percent, can alter treatment decisions for patients with certain types of bone marrow failure.

Migration research reveals key to declines in rare songbirds
The research shows that golden-winged warblers that spend winter in northern South America are experiencing population declines due to deforestation.

Humans changed the ecosystems of Central Africa more than 2,600 years ago
Humans shape nature, not only since the onset of industrialization.

Reduce crime and gun violence and stabilize neighborhoods: A randomized controlled study
Residents who lived near vacant land that had been restored reported a significantly reduced perception of crime and vandalism as well as increased feelings of safety and use of outside spaces for socializing, according to a new study at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.

The secret to tripling the number of grains in sorghum and perhaps other staple crops
Scientists have figured out how to triple the number of grains that the sorghum plant produces: by lowering the level of a key hormone, generating more flowers and more seeds.

Check offenders for history of head injuries, experts say
Offenders should be routinely checked for signs of past head injuries, researchers say.

University of Guelph study uncovers cause of cell death in Parkinson's disease
University of Guelph researcher discovered one of the factors behind nerve cell death in Parkinson's disease.

New method extracts information on psychiatric symptoms from electronic health records
Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School have developed a new method to extract valuable symptom information from doctors' notes, allowing them to capture the complexity of psychiatric disorders that is missed by traditional sources of clinical data.

The onset of Alzheimer's disease: The importance of family history
A Canadian study published in JAMA Neurology shows that the closer a person gets to the age at which their parent exhibited the first signs of Alzheimer's, the more likely they are to have amyloid plaques, the cause of the cognitive decline associated with the disease, in their brain.

New understanding of ocean turbulence could improve climate models
Researchers have developed a new statistical understanding of how turbulent flows called mesoscale eddies dissipate their energy, which could be helpful in creating better ocean and climate models.

A new approach towards highly efficient and air-stable perovskite solar cells
Research into the use of perovskite materials as solar cells has boomed in the last several years, following reports of high energy conversion efficiencies, which have continued to climb.

NASA looks at Midwest rain and melting snow that contributed to flooding
Much of the US Midwest has received above normal precipitation this winter.

Researchers use human neural stem cell grafts to repair spinal cord injuries in monkeys
Led by researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, a diverse team of neuroscientists and surgeons successfully grafted human neural progenitor cells into rhesus monkeys with spinal cord injuries.

Vegetarian and Mediterranean diet may be equally effective in preventing heart disease
Low-calorie lacto-ovo-vegetarian and Mediterranean diets appeared equally effective in reducing cardiovascular disease risk factors.

Rice U. sleuths find metal in 'metal-free' catalysts
Rice University scientists find the metal in supposedly 'metal-free' graphene catalysts for oxygen reduction reactions that turn chemical energy into electrical energy.

Risk of serotonin syndrome in patients prescribed triptans for migraine, antidepressants
The risk of serotonin syndrome in patients prescribed both triptans for migraine and antidepressants appears to be low, which may suggest an advisory from the US Food and Administration on that risk should be reconsidered.

Discovery reveals way to stop inflammation in Alzheimer's, arthritis, more
The finding 'opens up a whole new research area to look at neuroinflammation in the context of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's,' the lead researcher said.

Study shows climate value of earth's intact forests
New research published today in Nature Ecology & Evolution demonstrates the extraordinary value of Earth's remaining intact forests for addressing climate change and protecting wildlife, critical watersheds, indigenous cultures, and human health.

Diagnosis is not enough: Predicting avoidable transfers from nursing homes is complex
Predicting ahead of time which nursing home residents can potentially avoid hospitalization is complex, according to a new study from the Indiana University Center for Aging Research and the Regenstrief Institute published in Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Researchers discover new source of skin defects in eczema
Researchers at National Jewish Health have discovered a cause of the dry, inflamed and itchy skin that plagues eczema patients.

Sea swimming associated with increased ailments
This is the first systematic review to examine the evidence on whether spending time in the sea makes people more likely to develop a variety of ailments than people who do not. 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