Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 01, 2018
Converting CO2 into usable energy
Scientists show that single nickel atoms are an efficient, cost-effective catalyst for converting carbon dioxide into useful chemicals.

Prognostic role of elevated mir-24-3p in breast cancer
Using nanostring and RNA-sequencing technologies researchers from the NYU School of Medicine, the Perlmutter Cancer Center, UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, and the University of Massachusetts Medical School identified mi R-24-3p as a potential novel marker of breast cancer metastases in breast cancer.

Blood test could quickly predict if the drug palbociclib will help breast cancer patients
A new study has found a blood test for cancer DNA could predict if a woman is responding to the breast cancer drug palbociclib, months earlier than current tests.

New statistics reveal the shape of plastic surgery
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons released new data which shows continued growth in cosmetic procedures over the last year.

Hubble observes exoplanet atmosphere in more detail than ever before
An international team of scientists has used the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope to study the atmosphere of the hot exoplanet WASP-39b.

Caught on camera: Amazonian crop raiders
Caught on camera in the jungle, a striking set of photos from the University of East Anglia (UK) reveal the secret lives of Amazonian crop-raiding animals.

Successful synthesis of gamma-lactam rings from hydrocarbons
IBS scientists have designed a novel strategy to synthesize ring-shaped cyclic molecules, highly sought-after by pharmaceutical and chemical industries, and known as gamma-lactams.

Latino parents report high levels of psychological distress due to US immigration policies
A new study says frequent worries/changes in behavior associated with a 300 percent increase in the odds of severe psychological distress including symptoms of clinical anxiety and depression.

Stem-cell study points to new approach to Alzheimer's disease
Improving the trafficking of brain-cell proteins to reduce toxic buildup holds possibilities for new therapies against Alzheimer's disease.

Native wildflowers bank on seeds underground to endure drought
Native wildflowers were surprisingly resilient during California's most recent drought, even more so than exotic grasses.

TGen-led study finds potent anti-cancer drug effect in rare ovarian cancer
An anti-cancer drug used to fight leukemia shows promise against a rare and aggressive type of ovarian cancer -- small cell carcinoma of the ovary hypercalcemic type (SCCOHT) -- which strikes young women and girls, according to a study led by the TGen.

Paradigm shift in the diagnosis of diabetes
A completely new classification of diabetes which also predicts the risk of serious complications and provides treatment suggestions.

Most health providers in New York not ready to care for veterans, study finds
The Department of Veterans Affairs has been expanding a program to allow veterans to use their health benefits in the community rather than relying upon the VA health system.

Hail technology: Deep learning may help predict when people need rides
Computers may better predict taxi and ride sharing service demand, paving the way toward smarter, safer and more sustainable cities, according to an international team of researchers.

Patients with head injuries do better when treated by trauma centers, even if it means bypassing other hospitals
Patients who sustain severe head injuries tend to have better outcomes if they are taken to a designated trauma center, but 44 percent of them are first taken to hospitals without these specialized care capabilities, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Image conscious people are more likely to give to crowdfunding campaigns
People who are more image conscious tend to support more crowdfunding campaigns according to a new study.

In pursuit of pleasure, brain learns to hit the repeat button
In a scientific first, researchers have observed in mice how the brain learns to repeat patterns of neural activity that elicit the all-important feel-good sensation.

Social media does not decrease face-to-face interactions, MU study finds
Now, researchers at the University of Missouri and the University of Kansas have found that social media use has no significant negative effect on social interactions or social well-being.

Inflammatory bowel disease increases likelihood of a heart attack
An analysis of medical-record data from more than 17.5 million patients found that people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are at elevated risk for a heart attack, regardless of whether or not they have traditional risk factors for heart disease such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and smoking.

Retraining the brain's vision center to take action
Can any part of the brain control a brain-machine interface?

Scientists design new skin cell culture technique to study human papillomavirus
A new cell culture strategy promises to illuminate the mysterious early stages of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, according to research published in PLOS Pathogens by Malgorzata Bienkowska-Haba and colleagues at Louisiana State University.

Researchers use recycled carbon fiber to improve permeable pavement
A Washington State University research team is solving a high-tech waste problem while addressing the environmental challenge of stormwater run-off.

DNA scissors can cut RNA, too
The bacterial immune system 'CRISPR-Cas9' is known to eliminate invading DNA.

New speed record for trapped-ion 'building blocks' of quantum computers
Researchers at Oxford University have set a new speed record for the 'logic gates' that form the building blocks of quantum computing -- a technology that could transform the way we process information.

Creating diverse schools and workplaces requires inclusion, not just numbers
New research shows when it comes to successfully engaging and including minorities in the workforce and schools, organizations need to focus on inclusion.

A positive outlook may improve outcomes for people with chest pain
When it comes to coping with chronic angina -- chest pain or pressure that comes on when the heart isn't getting enough oxygen, usually during physical activity -- a positive outlook may help improve outcomes over time, according to a study being presented at the American College of Cardiology's 67th Annual Scientific Session.

In-depth mineral review provides foundational resource for dairy scientists
Life is dependent on minerals. Accordingly, the diets of animals must contain certain minerals in both large amounts, via marcrominerals, and small amounts, via microminerals.

Durable wood carbon sponge could be the future of wearable sensors, pollutant treatment
Engineers have for the first time demonstrated that wood can be directly converted into a carbon sponge capable of enduring repeated compression and other extreme mechanical conditions.

Scientists create complex transmembrane proteins from scratch
Molecular engineers have now show that it is possible to build complex, custom-designed transmembrane proteins from scratch.

Prediabetes patients at heightened risk for cardiovascular and chronic kidney diseases
Researchers at the Emory Rollins School of Public Health and US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found that high proportions of patients with prediabetes are at substantial risk for cardiovascular disease and chronic kidney disease.

Study shows smartphones and data centres harm the environment
Data centres and smartphones will be the most damaging information and communications technologies to the environment by 2040, according to new research from W Booth School's Lotfi Belkhir.

Common bricks can be used to detect past presence of uranium, plutonium
Researchers have demonstrated a technique that can determine whether bricks -- the common building material -- have ever been near a radiological source, and identify the specific type of source, such as high enriched uranium or plutonium.

Hormones may affect girls' interests, but not their gender identity or playmates
Prenatal exposure to androgens is not associated with girls spending more or less time with other girls, but was associated with an increased interest in activities that have traditionally been thought of as masculine, according to Penn State researchers, who say it supports the idea that gender development is complex and does not solely rely on either biological or social factors.

Regular walking may protect against heart failure post menopause
Walking for at least 40 minutes several times per week at an average to fast pace is associated with a near 25 percent drop in the risk of heart failure among post-menopausal women, according to new research being presented at the American College of Cardiology's 67th Annual Scientific Session.

Distortive effects of short distance photographs on nasal appearance: The selfie effect
Nasal distortions in selfies taken at close range are prompting people to seek out surgeons to make their noses smaller.

Ethnic differences in need for heart pacemakers may have genetic link
Evidence suggests South Asian people are less likely to require a pacemaker for abnormally low heart rate than white people of European origin.

Challenges of food allergies connected to personality traits for first time
The first study published connecting challenges of food allergies with personality traits finds that higher openness to experience is the biggest predictor of more allergy issues, while neuroticism does not lead to more frequent allergy issues.

Fixing damaged ecosystems: How much does restoration help?
Billions of dollars are spent annually on repairing ecosystems damaged by people.

Yellow fever virus is detected in urine and semen almost a month after infection
The confirmation involved one single patient; Brazilian investigators say it suggests the virus may be contagious for a period which stretches longer than previously thought.

MSU researchers reveal findings about virus that lives in Yellowstone hot springs
Rebecca Hochstein, who earned her doctorate in MSU's Department of Microbiology and Immunology in 2015, is lead author of a study that explains how a lemon-shaped virus assembles itself and how the virus ejects the DNA it carries into host cells.

Music boosts exercise time during cardiac stress testing
If you exercise while listening to music, you may have noticed it can help boost your energy and make your workout seem quicker.

Trial of omega fatty acid supplementation in toddlers born preterm shows promising results
Thirty-one toddlers who were born prematurely participated. For three months, half took a daily dietary supplement that contained a special combination of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and half took a placebo.

Moms-to-be can exercise in warm weather and use saunas without getting too hot
Pregnant women can safely exercise in warm weather and take short hot baths or saunas without risking critical elevations in body temperature that could harm their unborn child, finds a review of the available evidence published online in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Virtual predator is self-aware, behaves like living counterpart
Scientists report in the journal eNeuro that they've built an artificially intelligent ocean predator that behaves a lot like the original flesh-and-blood organism on which it was modeled.

How are hadrons born at the huge energies available in the LHC?
Our world consists mainly of particles built up of three quarks bound by gluons.

New in the Hastings Center Report
Rationing health care through inconvenience, tackling obesity by regulating sugar, the vulnerability of the ACA's nondiscrimination protections, a special report on governance of emerging technologies, and more in the (latest issue

2008 Great Recession led to increase in obesity, diabetes and mental health issues
The 2008 Great Recession resulted in changes to individuals' health behavior, with a significant increase in the likelihood of obesity, diabetes and mental health problems, according to a new study from City, University of London and King's College London.

Practical spin wave transistor one step closer
University of Groningen physicists have managed to alter the flow of spin waves through a magnet, using only an electrical current.

More diversity needed in medical school textbooks: Study
Depictions of race and skin tone in anatomy textbooks widely used in North American medical schools could be contributing to racial bias in medical treatment, new research suggests.

Researchers discover mitochondria-to-nucleus messenger protein
Researchers have identified a protein, G-Protein Pathway Suppressor 2 (GPS2), that moves from a cell's mitochondria to its nucleus in response to stress and during the differentiation of fat cells.

No link between current or previous marijuana use and kidney disease, say researchers
Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States, with an increasing trend of use among middle-aged and older individuals.

New study reveals the secret of magmas that produce global treasures
South Africa's history and economy has been built on its rich natural treasures of a number of precious metals, stones and minerals.

Diet, bugs and beating high blood pressure
It is known that changing diet can be effective in reducing high blood pressure but now new research, led by a scientist at the University of Kent, has revealed that people's natural gut bacteria can alter the effectiveness of dietary change.

Violence against girls in conflict-affected populations reinforces gender norms
In some areas affected by conflict, adolescent girls and young women are perceived as responsible for their own safety and considered as burdens and threats to family honor should they become victims of violence or pregnant prior to marriage, according to a new study.

Calcium supplements may boost risk of abnormal bowel growths (polyps)
Calcium supplements, taken with or without vitamin D, may increase the risk of small growths in the large bowel (colon) called polyps, suggest results from a large US trial published online in the journal Gut.

Here's how viruses inactivate the immune system, causing cancer
'The same mechanisms that viruses use to cause cancer may be key in combating tumors with immune-based therapies or in keeping cancer from developing in the first place,' says Sharon Kuss-Duerkop, PhD.

A near-universal way to measure enzyme inhibition
Researchers at McGill University have invented a new technique for measuring how quickly drugs interact with their molecular targets.

New insights into how a virus-blocking bacterium operates in mosquitos
New research reveals details of the mechanism by which the bacterium Wolbachia blocks viruses in mosquito cells, suggesting that it reduces viral replication inside cells and that rapid degradation of viral RNA is involved.

Nature can reduce pesticide use, environment impact
Farmers around the world are turning to nature to help them reduce pesticide use, environmental impact and, subsequently, and in some cases, increasing yields.

New study confirms Cambodia's last leopards on brink of extinction
A new study has confirmed that the world's last breeding population of leopards in Cambodia is at immediate risk of extinction, having declined an astonishing 72% during a five-year period.

KAIST finds the principle of electric wind in plasma
A KAIST team identified the basic principle of electric wind in plasma.

Reducing a building's carbon output can also lower costs
Researchers from Concordia University's Department of Building, Civil and Environmental Engineering have found a way to significantly reduce carbon emissions produced by residential and non-residential buildings, while also cutting costs.

Researchers from MIPT study a nanoscaffold for heart cells
In this paper, researchers observed some important aspects of the cell-fiber interaction using three independent methods.

Just conservation is where environmental issues and social justice commingle
Social justice and environmental conservation are considered great values in our society.

Unlocking a cell's potential to regenerate the heart
Inspired by fish or salamanders that have a remarkable ability to repair their own injured organs, scientists have been trying for years to find a way to get human adult cells to divide and regenerate tissue in a similar way.

Crowdlending: Anatomy of a successful strategy
The ingredients for entrepreneurial success are risk taking, cooperation and competition.

Voice problems: Updates to treatment and care of patients with hoarseness
The American Academy of Otolaryngology--Head and Neck Surgery Foundation published the Clinical Practice Guideline: Hoarseness (Dysphonia) (Update) today in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.

How reliable is diagnostic testing for Zika?
Molecular diagnostic tests for the Zika virus in Brazil are not always reliable.

Durable wood 'sponges' act as green sensors of mechanical strain
Striking just the right balance between softness and sturdiness, balsa wood is a choice material for crafting anything from model airplanes to full-size wind turbine blades.

Can strongly lensed type 1a supernovae resolve cosmology's biggest controversy?
Astrophysicists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and University of Portsmouth discovered how to control the 'micolensing' effects of strongly lensed Type 1a Supernovae with supercomputers at NERSC.

A new discovery that makes possible prediction immediately before plasma loss
At the National Institutes of Natural Sciences National Institute for Fusion Science we have clarified for the first time a trigger event for sudden phenomena in which part of a magnetically confined plasma has been suddenly lost in the Large Helical Device (LHD).

Using crowdsourced data, scientists build massive family tree that tells tales of humanity
Taking advantage of an online database of public data shared by genealogy enthusiasts, researchers have created a massive, crowd-sourced 'family tree.'

Nerve damage in type 2 diabetes can be detected in the eye
By examining the cornea of the eye with a special microscope it may be possible within ten minutes to diagnose if a person with type 2 diabetes has nerve damage.

For pregnant soldiers, recent deployment linked to higher risk of premature delivery
Female soldiers who give birth within six months of returning from military deployment face twice the risk of having a preterm baby as other active-duty servicewomen, a new study from the Stanford University School of Medicine has found.

New research points to better way to treat depression
Scientists on the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have discovered a new target for treating major depressive disorder, a disease that affects more than 16 million American adults.

In nature, an imperfect immune system drives the evolution of deadly pathogens
New research shows that, in the case of a common backyard bird, imperfect immunity to a dangerous pathogen that causes 'bird pink eye' actually makes the pathogen stronger and more dangerous for its next victim.

Heart attacks often follow dramatic changes in outdoor temperature
Large day-to-day swings in temperature were associated with significantly more heart attacks in a study being presented at the American College of Cardiology's 67th Annual Scientific Session.

Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, March 2018
ORNL's new model could better predict tiny pockets of methylmercury lurking in creek algae; engines work smarter with new fuel innovation; making high-purity metallic structures narrower than a cold virus could advance tiny electronics, drug delivery and more; insights on certain enzymes that try to break down antibiotics may inform better drug designs for fighting resistant bacteria; ORNL is preparing current software simulations for small modular reactors to run on next-generation supercomputers.

Certain smiles aren't all they're cracked up to be
Researchers measured cortisol levels in the saliva of male undergraduate students as an indicator of HPA axis activity.

A spinning top of light
Short, rotating pulses of light reveal a great deal about the inner structure of materials.

Permian carbo-loading: How starchy treats helped build an ancient world
Everyone loves a nice plate of pasta. After all, starch is the ultimate energy food.

Johns Hopkins researchers invent new technology for cancer immunotherapy
Johns Hopkins researchers have invented a new class of cancer immunotherapy drugs that are more effective at harnessing the power of the immune system to fight cancer.

New report examines social security's process for determining disability in adults
A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine examines to what extent and in which ways health care utilization -- such as in-patient hospitalizations, emergency department use, and hospital readmission -- reflects disease severity, disability, and ability to perform gainful activity.

Researchers use cigarette smoking behavior to identify genes that regulate blood pressure
Using a technique that is opening the door to more complex analyses of the human genome, researchers have identified dozens of new genetic variations that affect blood pressure.

NASA's GPM observes Arkansas and Tennessee flooding downpours
The Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core satellite provided forecasters with a look at the rainfall rates in storms drenching Arkansas and Tennessee.

No laughing matter, yet humor inspires climate change activism
Melting icecaps, mass flooding, megadroughts and erratic weather are no laughing matter.

Innovative 'invisible ink' detects TB
Scientists have pioneered a process to detect TB bacteria by adding a molecule to the bacteria's own armour that lights up under fluorescent light.

Focusing on cholera hotspots could cut Africa's cholera burden in half
Better targeting at the district and neighborhood level could make anti-cholera efforts much more effective and dramatically reduce the burden of this disease, according to two new studies led by scientists at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Leishmaniasis strain in Iraq outbreak identified
In the hot, dry border region between northern and central Iraq, Leishmania parasite infections are so common that they've been dubbed 'Baghdad sores.' Now, for the first time, researchers have studied the prevalence of different Leishmania species and strains in the region.

Rooting sedimentary rock with terrestrial plants
Geological records reveal that mudrocks emerged around roughly the same time as plants did, 500 million years ago, a new study reports.

Robotic spiders and bees: The rise of bioinspired microrobots
Jumping robot spiders and swarms of robotic bees sounds like the stuff of science fiction, but researchers at The University of Manchester are already working on such projects and aiming to lead the world in micro robotics.

Memory overload? That's when the eyes step in eyes
When you want to remember a phone number, you likely repeat the digits to yourself again and again.

Promising therapeutic approach for spinal cord injuries
The healing ability of the central nervous system is very limited and injuries to the brain or spinal cord often result in permanent functional deficits.

Do you know where your xenon is?
The paradox of the missing xenon might sound like the title of the latest airport thriller, but it's actually a problem that's stumped geophysicists for decades.

Food abundance driving conflict in Africa, not food scarcity
In Africa, food abundance may be driving violent conflict rather than food scarcity, according to a study published in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, a publication of the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association.

NASA finds a large amount of water in an exoplanet's atmosphere
Much like detectives study fingerprints to identify the culprit, scientists used NASA's Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes to find the 'fingerprints' of water in the atmosphere of a hot, bloated, Saturn-mass exoplanet some 700 light-years away.

Multimodal approach to pain management reduces opioids, prescriptions after joint replacement
A multimodal approach to pain management (using two or more different methods or medications to manage pain) rather than using opioids alone was associated with a decrease in opioid use, opioid prescriptions and common opioid-related complications in patients undergoing total hip or knee replacements, according to a study published today in the Online First edition of Anesthesiology, the peer-reviewed medical journal of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA).

Plants fix DNA differently from animals
p53 is a famous tumor suppressor in mammalian cells. The equivalent in plants is SUPPRESSOR OF GAMMA RESPONSE 1 (SOG1).

Great mystery unravelled: Most viruses and bacteria fall from the sky
The mechanisms responsible for the dispersal of these microorganisms at the global scale are still practically unknown.

Crowdsourced family tree yields new insights about humanity
In a new study in Science, researchers amass a family tree of 13 million people to trace the last 500 years of Western marriage and migration patterns.

Catch 22: Immune systems protect hosts, but drive bacterial evolution
Immune systems that develop only partial immunity to a bacterial pathogen drive the evolution of more potent strains of the bacteria, a new study in house finches reveals.

Insights from putting science under the microscope
Theories, data and knowledge continue to accumulate and become refined across many scientific fields -- but what do we know about science itself?

Incivility at work: Is 'queen bee syndrome' getting worse?
Women report more incivility at work than men, and according to new research, it's other women who are responsible for it.

Teachers and other school-based professionals can treat children's mental health problem
School-based services delivered by teachers and other school-based professionals can help reduce mental health problems in elementary-aged children, reports a study published in the March 2018 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Researchers develop new approach that uses single PET scan to personalize cancer treatment
Researchers have developed a same-day, noninvasive PET-based imaging approach to assess PD-L1 positive tumors, which could help guide cancer treatment decisions and assess treatment response.

Mothers need better safe infant feeding support post-disaster, UGA study finds
A new study from the University of Georgia highlights the need for humanitarian aid groups to be trained in safe infant and young child feeding protocols, following the 2015 earthquake in Nepal, which killed nearly 9,000 people and damaged almost half a million homes.

A neuron can cause a domino effect
If the sense of smell disappears, this can indicate a disease such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease.

Cancer survivors need better support to get jobs and access loans, say researchers
Support for people who survive cancer and the research that underpins their care is insufficient, particularly when it comes to non-medical issues.

Networks of brain activity predict vulnerability to depression
Tapping into the electrical chatter between different regions of the brain may provide a new way to prevent and treat depression.

A model determines the quantity of bisphenol A that reaches the fetus through the mother
This research may be extremely useful for predicting the risk of developing metabolic, immunological or reproductive disorders and neurological diseases caused by this chemical.

They grin, you bear it. Research reveals physical impact of a smile.
Research led by Jared Martin, a psychology graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, shows that smiles meant to convey dominance are associated with a physical reaction -- a spike in stress hormones -- in their targets.

Diversity of cortical neurons captured in comprehensive computer models
The Allen Institute for Brain Science has produced the first comprehensive, publicly available database of predictive neuron models, along with their corresponding data.

Nuptial gifts beat pheromones
Unlike many other species, male hunting spiders do not use chemical signals such as sex pheromones to attract a mate.

Repeated anesthesia in infancy increases anxiety-linked behavior in nonhuman primates
Animals exposed to anesthesia 3x in infancy later displayed increased anxiety-linked behaviors such as scratching, self-touching and self-grooming when under mild stress.

Songs in the key of life:
A new study of how tone languages are sung has implications for the way humans manipulate and adapt the sounds of their language to artistic expression.

Discovery shows wine grapes gasping for breath
University of Adelaide researchers have discovered how grapes 'breathe', and that shortage of oxygen leads to cell death in the grape.

A bird in the bush equals money in the hand
A new study by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and Foundations of Success (FOS) finds that an ecotourism strategy based on 'direct payments,' where local people are compensated for the amount of wildlife seen by tourists, has resulted in a reduction in illegal hunting and an increase in wildlife sightings.

Déjà vu and feelings of prediction: They're just feelings
Colorado State University psychologist Anne Cleary has a new paper in Psychological Science.

Nervous system puts the brakes on inflammation
Cells in the nervous system can 'put the brakes' on the immune response to infections in the gut and lungs to prevent excessive inflammation, according to research by Weill Cornell Medicine scientists.

Mass media exposure increases demand for vaccinations
According to a new study in the journal Vaccine, researchers monitored daily immunization rate reports during the detected outbreak and discovered a significant increase in both bivalent oral poliovirus vaccines (bOPV) and other vaccinations during the period there was constant media exposure.

Research highlights the need to support family carers when discharging dying patients
New research funded by Marie Curie has highlighted the importance of identifying the support needs of family carers before dying patients are discharged from hospital so that carers are better prepared for end of life caregiving at home.

Rethinking childbirth education could save AU $97 million p.a.
Research led by The University of Notre Dame Australia, NICM and Western Sydney University, shows antenatal education not only reduces the rates of medical interventions during childbirth, but can save the healthcare system up to AU$97 million per year.

Planning for smallpox outbreak must consider immunosuppression
New research from UNSW Sydney reveals that the number of people living with weakened immune systems must be examined when planning for the real risk of smallpox re-emerging in the world. 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