Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 07, 2018
Racial differences in age at breast cancer diagnosis challenges use of single age-based screening guidelines
Among women in the US diagnosed with breast cancer, a higher proportion of nonwhite patients were diagnosed at younger than 50 years of age compared to white patients, suggesting that age-based screening guidelines that do not account for race may result in underscreening of nonwhite women.

Why people experience seasonal skin changes
A new British Journal of Dermatology study provides information that may help explain why many people experience eczema and dry skin in the winter.

Technology-based process boosts cardiac rehab referral rates
Simply changing cardiac referral processes to opt-out rather than opt-in significantly increased referral rates, according to a study presented at the American College of Cardiology's NCDR Annual Conference (NCDR.18) in Orlando.

Northeastern researchers identify 36 new genes implicated in cardiac disease
A Northeastern University professor has developed a new personalized method to discover genes implicated in complex diseases.

High-resolution brain imaging provides clues about memory loss in older adults
As we get older, it's not uncommon to experience 'senior moments.' But currently, it's difficult to determine which memory lapses are normal parts of aging and which may signal the early stages of a severe disorder like Alzheimer's disease.

Study suggests why food assistance for homeless young adults is inadequate
Though young homeless adults make use of available food programs, these support structures still often fail to provide reliable and consistent access to nutritious food, according to the results of a new study by a University at Buffalo social work researcher.

One-month worth of memory training results in 30 minutes
A significant part of working memory training effects is a result of a fast development of task-specific strategies during training, rather than an increase in working memory capacity.

Research reveals risk factors for urgency urinary incontinence
In a large representative British population of individuals in their late 60s, the prevalence of urinary incontinence was 15 percent in men and 54 percent in women.

Weight loss surgery linked to an increased risk of inflammatory bowel disease
A new Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics analysis has found a link between the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and a past history of weight loss surgery.

Warm showers and ball exercises may help women during childbirth
A new International Journal of Nursing Practice study demonstrates that during childbirth, women may benefit from warm showers, perineal exercises with a ball, or the combination of both strategies.

Researchers identify new drugs that could help prevent hearing loss
Researchers from St. Jude Children's Research Hospital have discovered that inhibiting an enzyme called cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (CDK2) protects mice and rats from noise- or drug-induced hearing loss.

Mental health treatment for victims of human trafficking -- Journal of Psychiatric Practice presents initial recommendations
Cognitive therapies should be considered when addressing the harmful psychological consequences of trauma in victims of human trafficking, according to a review and recommendations in the Journal of Psychiatric Practice.

Study points to potential misuse/abuse of ADHD drugs
A new British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology study indicates that methylphenidate, a central nervous system stimulant approved to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy, may be subject to misuse and/or abuse.

NASA finds heavy rain in new Tropical Cyclone Hola near Vanuatu
NASA obtained rainfall data on newly formed Tropical Cyclone Hola as it triggered warnings in Vanuatu in the South Pacific Ocean.

Wildlife conservation in North America may not be science-based after all
A study led by recent SFU Ph.D. alumnus Kyle Artelle has unveiled new findings that challenge the widespread assumption that wildlife management in North America is science-based.

On the immortality of stem cells
Stem cells are considered to be immortal in culture and, therefore, of great interest for aging research.

First look at Jupiter's poles show strange geometric arrays of storms
With NASA's Juno spacecraft, scientists have gotten a good look at the top and bottom of the planet for the first time.

Depression, anxiety high in graduate students, survey shows
Graduate students are more than six times as likely to experience depression and anxiety as compared to the general population, according to a comprehensive survey of 2,279 individuals conducted via social media and direct email.

Icelandic program seeks to eliminate HCV
A new Journal of Internal Medicine study describes an innovative program to eliminate hepatitis C virus (HCV) as a public health threat in Iceland.

Some teachers don't talk to anyone about violent incidents
One in five teachers who were the victims of physical or verbal violence at their schools didn't report the incidents to school administrators, according to a nationwide study.

Feeling anxious? Blame the size of your waistline!
Anxiety is one of the most common mental health disorders, and it's more likely to affect women, especially middle-aged women.

Marker involved in lymphatic system connected to heart failure
Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have found a new marker in the blood that is associated with an increased risk of heart failure.

Tropical birds live longer than temperate counterparts
An international research team has found strong evidence that passerine birds near the equator live longer than their higher latitude counterparts.

New insights could pave the way for self-powered low energy devices
Researchers have discovered more details about the way certain materials hold a static charge even after two surfaces separate, information that could help improve devices that leverage such energy as a power source.

The brain's internal clock continually takes its temperature
Circuits in the brain act as an internal clock to tell us it is time to sleep and to control how long we then stay asleep.

Super sniffer: Dog's nose inspires new gas sensor materials
It is well known that dogs have a better sense of smell than humans.

Sexual harassment, gender stereotypes prevalent among youth
Young women enrolled in high schools and colleges told Washington State University researchers that people routinely make sexual comments, both in-person and online, about them and their bodies.

Caregivers face strain when patients receive heart pumps
When heart failure patients receive a heart pumping device known as a left ventricular assist device (LVAD), their caregivers seem to suffer, too -- at least initially, according to research in Journal of the American Heart Association (JAHA), the Open Access Journal of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

Combating childhood obesity by preventing 'fatty liver' in fetus
New research published in The Journal of Physiology indicates that an obese pregnant mother and exposure to a high fat, high sugar diet during pregnancy produces a 'fatty liver' in the fetus, potentially predisposing children to obesity, metabolic and cardiovascular disorders later in life.

Scientists' warning to humanity 'most talked about paper'
Twenty-five years after the first World Scientists' Warning to Humanity, a new report is continuing to gain momentum and is already one of the most talked about papers globally since Altmetric records began.

Diamond discovery under pressure
For the first time, scientists have found Earth's fourth most abundant mineral -- calcium silicate perovskite -- at Earth's surface.

Two new species of stone centipedes found hiding in larch forests in China
Scientists described two species of previously unknown stone centipedes from China.

Severe electrical storms in the brain -- biologists link protein, seizure suppression
Seizure suppression is the focus of an original research article by researchers at the Department of Biology at Syracuse University -- and they have the pictures to prove it.

Taming biofuel-loving microbes
Most people are cautious around gasoline and diesel for good reason, but some microbes love the stuff -- especially biofuels that contain fatty acid derivatives.

Desertification and monsoon climate change linked to shifts in ice volume and sea level
The East Asian summer monsoon and desertification in Eurasia is driven by fluctuating Northern Hemisphere ice volume and global sea level during the Ice Age, as shown in a study published in Nature Communications.

US cancer treatment guidelines 'often based on weak evidence'
Cancer treatment guidelines produced by the US National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) are often based on low quality evidence or no evidence at all, finds a study published by The BMJ today.

Imaging agent helps predict success of lung cancer therapy
Doctors contemplating the best therapy for lung cancer patients may soon be able to predict the efficacy of a widely used lung cancer drug based on an imaging agent and a simple scan, according to the findings of a new clinical trial co-led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

UC Davis researchers find new way to defeat HIV latency
Researchers at UC Davis Health, together with colleagues at UC San Francisco and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, have found a mechanism for making HIV come out of hiding and become susceptible to anti-HIV drugs.

When it comes to fuel efficiency, size matters for hummingbirds
New research finds that larger hummingbirds show better mechanochemical efficiency -- the first time this has been observed in birds

We're not addicted to smartphones, we're addicted to social interaction
Mobile-device habits may not be anti-social, but rather hyper-social -- stemming from a healthy human need to socialize.

Diverse tropical forests grow fast despite widespread phosphorus limitation
Ecological theory says that poor soils limit the productivity of tropical forests, but adding nutrients as fertilizer rarely increases tree growth, suggesting that productivity is not limited by nutrients after all.

Treating hypothyroidism to stop a stubborn surgical complication
For the first time, researchers have linked radiation-damaged thyroid glands to poor surgical outcomes.

Researcher: New forensic analysis indicates bones were Amelia Earhart's
Bone measurement analysis indicates that the remains found on a remote island in the South Pacific were likely those of legendary American pilot Amelia Earhart, according to a UT researcher.

Greehey Institute team finds link between BRCA1 and Ewing sarcoma
Scientists with the Greehey Children's Cancer Research Institute at UT Health San Antonio have discovered a surprising connection between a breast cancer protein, BRCA1, and a pediatric cancer called Ewing sarcoma.

Breast cancer screening guidelines may lead to delayed diagnosis in nonwhite women
The current guidelines for mammographic breast cancer screening, which are based on data from primarily white populations, may lead to delayed diagnosis in nonwhite women, according to a report from Massachusetts General Hospital investigators.

More realistic and accurate organs-on-chips
In a step toward better diagnosis and treatment of digestive conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease, scientists report in ACS Biomaterials & Engineering that they have developed a first-of-its-kind collagen-based membrane for use in microchips.

Renowned cardiologist says new blood pressure guidelines not good for all
One of the nation's leading cardiologists is challenging the new hypertension guidelines, perhaps sparing up to 10 million people from unnecessarily aggressive blood pressure treatments.

Study suggests molecular imaging strategy for determining molecular classifications of NSCLC
Recent findings suggest a novel positron emission tomography (PET) imaging approach determining epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation status for improved lung cancer patient management.

How cats and dogs are consuming and processing parabens
Many households can claim at least one four-legged friend as part of the family.

Wildfires set to increase: Could we be sitting on a tinderbox in Europe?
Scientists at the Joint Research Centre, the European Commission's science and knowledge service, modelled fire danger for several weather and climate scenarios in Europe up to the year 2100.

Insights into how brain cancer evades the immune system
A new study by investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital finds that some types of glioblastoma tumors may be able to shed extracellular vesicles (EVs) -- small packages of biomaterial -- that can help to suppress the body's ability to mount an immune response against the tumor.

Weather satellites aid search and rescue capabilities
The same satellites that identify severe weather can help save you from it.

New prostate cancer risk model could better guide treatment
A new model developed by Michigan Medicine researchers could change treatment guidelines for nearly two-thirds of men with localized prostate cancer.

MIPT physicists tune a spin diode
Physics modeled a spin diode, placing the device between two kinds of antiferromagnetic materials.

Mechanical harvesting of papayas might be a reality with computational technique
By employing algorithms and digital imaging, Brazilian researchers design a non-invasive system which performs the tricky task of identifying different stages of fruit ripening with an accuracy rate of 95%.

Creating complex molecules in just a few steps
Researchers have found a way to convert single bonds between carbon and hydrogen atoms in a chemical molecule into carbon-carbon bonds.

Instability of wildlife trade does not encourage trappers to conserve natural habitats
The collection of wildlife for trade is unreliable and financially risky, thus limiting opportunities to incentivise biodiversity conservation at a local level, according to research by the University of Kent.

New approach to measuring stickiness could aid micro-device design
At the scale of microdevices, adhesion is one of the most important forces that engineers need to contend with.

Estimates overstated for Mongolian rangelands damaged by livestock
An estimated 70 percent of the rangelands in Mongolia are damaged by livestock and unregulated land use.

The brain's immune system may be key to new Alzheimer's treatments
In two new published studies, researchers have revealed how TREM2, a receptor found on immune cells in the brain, interacts with toxic amyloid beta proteins to restore neurological function.

NASA's Aqua Satellite finds Dumazile sheared
Vertical wind shear is an adversary of tropical cyclones because it can blow them apart, and NASA's Aqua satellite found wind shear pushing Tropical Cyclone Dumazile's clouds south of its center.

Bundled payments for hip/knee surgeries appears to work better for higher-volume hospitals
Medicare's experimental mandatory bundled payment model for knee and hip replacements is more likely to yield cost savings when the surgeries are performed in larger hospitals that do more of these procedures, according to a new study.

Animals shield their families from a harsh world
Animals living in volatile habitats can gain major evolutionary benefits by shielding their families from the changing environment, new research suggests.

Non-smokers with oral precancerous lesions at increased risk of cancer
Although tobacco use is still one of the strongest risk factors associated with mouth cancers, precancerous lesions in the mouths of non-smokers are more likely to progress to cancer than those in smokers, new research from the University of British Columbia has found.

Mapping a genetic risk
Clinicians and health researchers often look at gene mutation to predict whether a fetus is at risk for a birth defect, or a person is at risk of developing a disease, but these predictions are not always accurate.

North Pacific climate patterns influence El Nino occurrences
Previous studies have investigated the relationship between ENSO and PDO but none have examined if the warm (positive) and cool (negative) phases of PDO in the North Pacific influence the frequency of ENSO events in the tropical Pacific.

Adult chimpanzees play more than adult lowland gorillas in captivity
Play is more frequent in captive adult chimpanzees than in captive adult lowland gorillas, according to a study published March 7, 2018 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Giada Cordoni and Elisabetta Palagi from Univerity of Pisa in collaboration with Ivan Norscia from University of Turin.

Do US and Canadian governments base their hunt management plans on science?
The majority of hunt management policies in the US and Canada do not include science-based approaches in their composition, a new study finds.

Living in a sunnier climate as a child and young adult may reduce risk of MS
People who live in areas where they are exposed to more of the sun's rays, specifically UV-B rays, may be less likely to develop multiple sclerosis (MS) later in life, according to a study published in the March 7, 2018, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Young Southern white rhinos may produce four distinct, context-dependent calls
Young Southern white rhinos may produce four distinct calls in differing behavioral contexts, according to a study published March 7, 2018 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Sabrina Linn and Marina Scheumann from the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover and Serengeti-Park Hodenhagen, Germany, and colleagues.

Direct observation of topology hidden inside materials
Topology hidden inside materials in the matter group called cerium monopnictides has been determined for the first time in the world.

With a TENG, solar cells could work come rain or shine
Despite the numerous advances in solar cells, one thing remains constant: cloudy, rainy conditions put a damper on the amount of electricity created.

New butterfly species named for Field Museum's Emily Graslie
In recognition of the Field Museum's Chief Curiosity Correspondent Emily Graslie's outreach efforts, scientists have named a new species of butterfly in her honor: Wahydra graslieae.

A global conflict: Agricultural production vs. biodiversity
Smart land-use planning could ease the conflict between agricultural production and nature conservation.

Signaling pathway involving the Golgi apparatus identified in cells with Huntington's disease
Working with cells grown in the lab, Johns Hopkins researchers have identified a biochemical pathway that allows a structure within cells, called the Golgi apparatus, to combat stress caused by free radicals and oxidants.

CHOP urologist and colleagues address unmet global burden of surgical disease in India
Aseem R. Shukla, M.D., a pediatric urologist at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, along with several of his colleagues from around the world, have created an innovative program to help address urological needs in India.

Sinking ground in San Francisco Bay will worsen flooding from rising sea levels
ASU-led research using radar imaging to measure elevations uncovers an important gap in planning for sea level rise in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Experts issue recommendations to manage unwanted hair growth in women
All women who have unwanted dark, course hair growing on the face, chest or back should undergo testing for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and other underlying health problems, Endocrine Society experts concluded in an updated Clinical Practice Guideline released today.

Seeing is believing -- precision atom qubits achieve major quantum computing milestone
The unique Australian approach of creating quantum bits from precisely positioned individual atoms in silicon is reaping major rewards, with UNSW Sydney-led scientists showing for the first time that they can make two of these atom qubits 'talk' to each other.

What influences older adults' preferences for care?
Until now, we haven't had a good understanding of how older adults form care preferences.

Slow-release hydrogel aids immunotherapy for cancer
An immunotherapy drug embedded in a slow-release hydrogel invented at Rice University in collaboration with the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston appears to be highly effective at killing cancer cells.

Study reveals that italian adolescents are heavy consumers of caffeine
More than three-quarters (76 percent) of Italian adolescents who completed anonymous questionnaires consumed caffeine on a daily basis and nearly half (46 percent) exceeded the upper limits recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Recovery from spinal cord injuries can be predicted
Injuries to the spinal cord result in tissue loss in the spinal cord and brain.

Supplement for pregnant women with malaria could improve birth outcomes
Pregnant women infected with malaria have lower levels of an essential amino acid called L-arginine, which may help to explain why these women are more likely to experience complications such as stillbirths and low birth weight infants.

Birth of new neurons in the human hippocampus ends in childhood
One of the liveliest debates in neuroscience over the past half century surrounds whether the human brain renews itself by producing new neurons throughout life, and whether it may be possible to rejuvenate the brain by boosting its innate regenerative capacity.

Higher Vitamin D levels may be linked to lower risk of cancer
High levels of vitamin D may be linked to a lower risk of developing cancer, including liver cancer, concludes a large study of Japanese adults published by The BMJ today.

Study draws links between physical characteristics, like age and body mass index, and brain health
Mount Sinai researchers have shown, for the first time, the complex web of links between physical and behavioral characteristics, like age, body mass index (BMI), and substance use, and specific patterns of brain structure and function in patients with psychosis.

Causes of death in rheumatoid arthritis patients
Mortality rates were increased for patients with rheumatoid arthritis relative to the general population across all causes of death in a recent Arthritis Care & Research analysis.

All power to the proton: RMIT researchers make battery breakthrough
Australian researchers have demonstrated for the first time a working rechargeable 'proton battery' that could re-wire how we power our homes, vehicles and devices.

New study takes the guesswork out of selecting and seeding teams for 'March Madness'
New research has developed an automated approach for narrowing down and ranking the field of Division 1 college basketball teams from 351 to the 68 that would play in the annual 'March Madness' basketball tournaments, watched by more than 80 million people each year.

Mapping battery materials with atomic precision
An international team led by researchers at Berkeley Lab used advanced techniques in electron microscopy to show how the ratio of materials that make up a lithium-ion battery electrode affects its structure at the atomic level, and how the surface is very different from the rest of the material.

Should doctors recommend acupuncture for pain?
Some see acupuncture as a safe alternative to drugs, while others argue there's no convincing evidence of clinical benefit and potential for harm.

When fee-pressured audit offices focus on non-audit services, financial statements suffer, study sho
According to new research from the University of Notre Dame, as companies pressure auditors to lower their fees as a way to reduce costs, auditors place greater emphasis on more-profitable non-audit services, which can negatively impact audit quality.

ALMA reveals inner web of stellar nursery
New data from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) and other telescopes have been used to create this stunning image showing a web of filaments in the Orion Nebula.

Researchers develop optical tools to detect metabolic changes linked to disease
A team led by engineers at Tufts University School of Engineering has opened a window into the cell by developing an optical tool that can read metabolism at subcellular resolution, without having to perturb cells with contrast agents, or destroy them to conduct assays.

Houston Methodist researcher makes bold move by releasing nanotech 'recipe'
In a rare move, a Houston Methodist researcher is sharing his recipe for a new, more affordable way to make nanoparticles.

Older adult falls lead to substantial medical costs
In 2015, the estimated medical costs attributable to both fatal and nonfatal falls in older US adults was approximately $50 billion.

Russian scientists prove the possibility of creating liposomal form of porphyrazine photosensitizer
A team of Nizhny Novgorod researchers led by Dr. V.A.

Smart glass made better, and cheaper
New 'smart glass' technology developed at the University of Delaware could make curtains and blinds obsolete and provide an instant toggle between light and dark for windshields and roof panes.

Software aims to reduce food waste by helping those in need
An Iowa State University research team is testing a new online tool to provide food to those in need by reducing food waste.

Many clinical trial status discrepancies identified between and EUCTR
Approximately one-sixth of clinical trials registered on both and the EU Clinical Trials Register (EUCTR) have discrepancies in their completion status, according to a study published March 7, 2018 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Jessica Fleminger and Ben Goldacre from the University of Oxford, UK.

When sepsis patients face brain impairment, is gut bacteria to blame?
Halting the voyage of gut bacteria to the brain could help prevent harmful brain inflammation after a sepsis infection, a new study shows.

New research discovers genetic defect linked to African Americans with heart failure
Heart failure is more common, develops earlier and results in higher rates of illness and death in African Americans than in whites.

Nervous system discovery could inform stroke, pain therapies
Scientists at OHSU used advanced imaging techniques to ascertain the resting state of an acid-sensing ion channel.

New molecular target could help ease asthma
Researchers at UC Davis Health and Albany Medical College have shown that the protein vascular endothelial growth factor A -- or VEGFA -- plays a major role in the inflammation and airway obstruction associated with asthma.

Sinking land will exacerbate flooding from sea level rise in Bay Area
Hazard maps use estimated sea level rise due to climate change to determine flooding risk for today's shoreline, but don't take into account that some land is sinking.

Examining preferences for centralizing cancer surgery services
Centralization of cancer surgery services aims to reduce variations in quality of care and improve health outcomes for patients, but it can also increase travel demands on patients and families.

Discovery fills gap in search for better treatments for Ebola, other viruses
University of Alberta researchers have found the Ebola polymerase (enzyme), which may lead to more effective research and better treatments for the often fatal infection, and other related viral diseases.

Half of Scots 'not confident' in giving CPR, study finds
Half of the Scottish adult population do not feel confident administering CPR -- and more than a fifth do not know when it is required, according to a new study led by the University of Stirling.

Guidelines needed for use of therapy animals in mental health treatment
Therapy animals are used in the treatment of both mental and physical health issues, however this important form of therapy is not regulated, which leaves it open to misuse and misunderstanding by those who deliver it and the wider community.

Exercise may decrease heart drug's effectiveness
Health care experts are quick to remind us that a healthy lifestyle includes regular exercise. 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