Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 08, 2018
The 'architecture of life' described by computer modeling
While most of biology and medicine focus on the key roles genes and chemicals play in living systems, the spatial arrangement of the components that make up those systems and the physical forces they experience are being increasingly recognized as equally important.

Teen gamers have as many friends as non-gamers
Young digital gamers do not have fewer friends at school than their non-gamer peers, two new research articles from Uppsala University indicate.

Researchers rescue embryos from brain defects by re-engineering cellular voltage patterns
Tufts University biologists have demonstrated for the first time that electrical patterns in the developing embryo can be predicted, mapped, and manipulated to prevent defects caused by harmful substances such as nicotine.

A lifetime of regular exercise slows down aging, study finds
A group of older people who have exercised all of their lives, were compared to a group of similarly aged adults and younger adults who do not exercise regularly.

Study predicts wildlife of Africa's Albertine Rift will be threatened by climate change
A new study by scientists from WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) and other groups predicts that the effects of climate change will severely impact the Albertine Rift, one of Africa's most biodiverse regions and a place not normally associated with global warming.

Algorithm shows differences between nurse, doctor care
A multidisciplinary team of researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago has published the first quantitative study on the divergent scopes of practice for nurses and doctors.

LSU Health New Orleans research discovers new Rx for allergic contact dermatitis
Research led by Nicolas Bazan, MD, PhD, Boyd Professor and Director of the Neuroscience Center of Excellence at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine, has found a promising new treatment for allergic contact dermatitis that offers an alternative to corticosteroids and their possible side effects.

How the brain might compensate stress during learning
When people have to assess a situation within seconds, it helps them to draw on learned categories.

Poor rural population had best diet and health in mid-Victorian years
Poor, rural societies retaining a more traditional lifestyle where high-quality foods were obtained locally enjoyed the best diet and health in mid-Victorian Britain.

Marine charities net more than iconic fishery: Massachusetts
Massachusetts boasts one of the most iconic fisheries in the US, but new research suggests that protecting marine coastlines has surpassed commercial fishing as an economic driver.

How common is food insecurity among older adults?
Food insecurity occurs when people lack access to food or go hungry due to poverty or other challenges.

A research study analyzes the mental health care community model
Results from the citizen science project 'Juegos x la salud mental', that analyzes interactions in the community formed by people with mental health problems, their family members, and caregivers, were presented and appeared in the journal Scientific Reports.

Study finds biomarker that predicts who responds best to common diabetic complication
Researchers at St. Michael's Hospital have found a biomarker from fluid in the eye that predicts which patients will respond best to current treatments for diabetic macular edema, one of the most common complications of diabetes.

TSRI scientists zero in on treatment for Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have now shown a path to developing treatments for disease subtype CMT2D.

Early-killed rye shows promise in edamame
With the rise of herbicide-resistant weeds in most grain and vegetable crops, farmers are looking for alternatives to herbicides to control weeds.

Scientists accurately model the action of aerosols on clouds
Global climate is a tremendously complex phenomenon, and researchers are making painstaking progress, year by year, to try to develop ever more accurate models.

Scientists discover a key function of als-linked protein
The protein FUS, whose mutation or disruption causes many cases of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD), works as a central component of one of the most important regulatory systems in cells, according to a new study in Molecular Cell from scientists at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

The shapes of water
In a new piece of research just published in Science (March 9), C.

Biological sex tweaks nervous system networks, plays role in shaping behavior
New research published today in the journal Current Biology demonstrates how biological sex can modify communication between nerve cells and generate different responses in males and females to the same stimulus.

No progress seen in reducing antibiotics among outpatients
Despite public health campaigns aimed at reducing unnecessary prescriptions for antibiotics, the drugs continue to be prescribed at startlingly high rates in outpatient settings, according to a new study at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Vitamin D may help prevent heart failure after heart attack
New research has shown how vitamin D may help protect heart tissue and prevent heart failure after a heart attack, potentially offering a low-cost addition to existing treatments for heart failure.

Got the message? Your brainwaves will tell
The new technique was developed by Professor Tom Francart and his colleagues at KU Leuven, Belgium, in collaboration with the University of Maryland.

Inherited mutation leads to overproduction of EPO
A newly-discovered hereditary mutation is responsible for an increased production of erythropoietin (EPO) in the blood.

New way to fight sepsis: Rev up patients' immune systems
Sepsis causes about 250,000 deaths annually in the United States.

Supply bottleneck impairs nerve function
Impaired transport processes in neurons contribute to diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (AML).

Haphazard cholesterol checks put Australians at risk of heart disease
Nearly half of the Australians on stable lipid-lowering treatment may be having fewer than the recommended number of high-density lipoprotein (HDL-C) tests, while nearly one fifth are having more tests than is recommended, new research reveals.

Studies examine trends in pain medication use
A new study reveals that acetaminophen use and over-dosing rise in cold/flu season in the United States, primarily due to increased use of over-the-counter combination medications treating upper respiratory symptoms.

Self-driving robots collect water samples to create snapshots of ocean microbes
For the first time, scientists from the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa (UH Mānoa) and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) will deploy a small fleet of long-range autonomous underwater vehicles (LRAUVs) that have the ability to collect and archive seawater samples automatically.

High-fiber diets, with aid from gut microbes, can help treat type 2 diabetes
Scientists have identified a 'guild' of gut bacteria that helped alleviate symptoms of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in patients eating a high-fiber diet.

Serious asthma attacks reduced by temporary quadrupling of steroid inhaler, study finds
Serious asthma attacks in adults can be reduced by a temporary but significant increase in the dose of inhaled steroids during severe episodes of asthma, according to a new UK-wide study led by asthma experts at the University of Nottingham.

Air pollution linked to brain alterations and cognitive impairment in children
A new study performed in the Netherlands has linked exposure to residential air pollution during fetal life with brain abnormalities that may contribute to impaired cognitive function in school-age children.

Having children can make women's telomeres seem 11 years older
A study by George Mason University Researchers found that women who have given birth have shorter telomeres than those who haven't.

Across the metal-molecule interface: Observing fluctuations on the single-molecule scale
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) have developed a technique for analyzing structural and electronic fluctuations on the single-molecule scale across the metal-molecule interface in an organic electronic device.

Regional levels of fear associated with Trump and Brexit votes, psychology study shows
Unlike previous elections, fear and worry played a heavy hand in both the 2016 Donald Trump and Brexit elections, changing the script on how personality shapes political behavior, according to an international psychological study on voting behavior.

CRISPR/Cas9 technique suppresses malaria infection in mosquitoes
Using a gene editing technique known as CRISPR/Cas9, scientists have shown that inactivating the gene FREP1 reduces mosquitoes' susceptibility to infection with Plasmodium, a genus of parasites that causes malaria in humans.

Manure could heat your home
Farm manure could be a viable source of renewable energy to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming.

Exposure to childhood violence linked to psychiatric disorders
Investing in diminishing socioeconomic status inequalities and in preventing violent events during childhood may improve the mental health of youths from low socioeconomic status backgrounds.

Unique inflammation patterns emerging in patients with type 1 diabetes
Analysis of the inflammation-promoting proteins in the blood of patients with type 1 diabetes and related kidney disease indicates that the promoters of inflammation are diverse even in the same medical condition and that patients likely would benefit from an anti-inflammatory treatment that directly targets theirs, scientists report.

Study says Mekong River dams could disrupt lives, environment
The Mekong River traverses six Southeast Asian countries and supports the livelihoods of millions of people.

UBC researchers invent new method to create self-tinting windows
UBC chemistry researchers have developed a simple, cost-effective technique for making smart windows that could lead the way for wide-scale adoption of this energy-saving technology.

New options for targeting gene mutation in FA described in nucleic acid therapeutics
Researchers have shown that a wide variety of synthetic antisense oligonucleotides with different chemical modifications can activate the frataxin gene, which contains a mutation that decreases its expression in the inherited neurologic disorder Friedreich's ataxia (FA).

How does the brain's spatial map change when we change the shape of the room?
A new study, published today in Science, explores the consequences of distorting the shape of the enclosing box on cognitive maps of space.

UCLA researchers develop a new class of two-dimensional materials
A UCLA research team has developed a new kind of artificial

Watching others makes people overconfident in their own abilities
Watching YouTube videos, Instagram demos, and Facebook tutorials may make us feel as though we're acquiring all sorts of new skills but it probably won't make us experts, according to research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Fishery yields will be dramatically reduced by 2300, study sugges
By 2300, climate change may cause fishery yields to decline by as much as 20 percent around the globe, and by as much as 60% in the North Atlantic, a new modeling study suggests.

Gene knockout using new CRISPR tool makes mosquitoes highly resistant to malaria parasite
Deleting a single gene from mosquitoes can make them highly resistant to the malaria parasite and thus much less likely to transmit the parasite to humans, according to a new paper from scientists at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Malaria Research Institute.

MicroRNA predicts and protects against severe lung disease in extremely premature infants
Researchers report discovery of a strong predictive biomarker for bronchopulmonary dysplasia, and they show a role for the biomarker in the pathogenesis of this neonatal lung disease.

Global fisheries to be, on average, 20 percent less productive in 2300, UCI study finds
Scientists expect the world's fisheries to be, on average, 20 percent less productive in the year 2300, with those in the North Atlantic down nearly 60 percent and those in much of the western Pacific experiencing declines of more than 50 percent.

Saliva plays a role in the body's defense against traveler's diarrhea
Researchers have identified a protein in saliva (histatin-5) that protects the body from traveler's diarrhea.

Many adolescent and young adult cancer survivors have more social connections than peers
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists have developed a new method to measure social networks of survivors of adolescent and young adult cancer in order to cultivate the health benefits of social connections

Study shows bowel care is top concern for those with spinal cord injury
A study by SFU research Victoria Claydon reveals that bowel care, followed by sexual function, bladder function and pain were of key concern.

Best practices lacking for managing traumatic brain injury in geriatric patients
When older adults suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI), they may benefit from aggressive treatment and rehabilitation, but the lack of evidence-based, geriatric-specific TBI guidelines presents barriers to optimal care.

City mouse-country mouse experiment shows link between environment, worm infections
Worm infections were worse in mice living outdoors versus the lab, providing evidence that environment influences how the immune system responds to pathogens.

Report: Big tobacco is targeting the world's most vulnerable to increase profits
New report says the tobacco industry is increasingly targeting vulnerable populations in emerging markets, such as Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

False news spreads widely and easily
Three MIT researchers, Soroush Vosoughi and Deb Roy of the Media Lab and Sinan Aral of the Sloan School of Management, investigated all the true and false news stories verified by six independent fact checking organizations that were distributed on Twitter from 2006 to 2017.

Commercial pesticides: Not as safe as they seem
This is the first comprehensive review of gaps in risk assessments for adjuvants in pesticide formulations which are not currently subject to safety assessments.

NIAID scientists assess transmission risk of familial human prion diseases to mice
Familial human prion diseases are passed within families and are associated with 34 known prion protein mutations.

Simulation and experiment help TU Dresden researchers study next-generation semiconductors
Researchers at TU Dresden are refining methods for studying next-generation organic semiconductors by using a combination of experiments and supercomputing resources at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre.

Cueing newly learned information in sleep improves memory, and here's how
Scientists have long known that sleep is important to the formation and retention of new memories.

Physician education and guidelines lead to drop in opioids prescribed after hand surgery
An educational session on opioid abuse and new prescription guidelines led to a 45 percent decrease in opioids prescribed after hand surgery, according to a study at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS).

New ultrafast measurement technique shows how lasers start from chaos
Lasers that emit ultrashort pulses of light are critical components of technologies, such as communications and industrial processing, and have been central to fundamental Nobel Prize-winning research in physics.

Engineered cartilage template to heal broken bones
A team of UConn Health researchers has designed a novel, hybrid hydrogel system to help address some of the challenges in repairing bone in the event of injury.

Hawaiian stick spiders re-evolve the same three guises every time they island hop
We don't usually expect evolution to be predictable. But Hawaiian stick spiders of the Ariamnes genus have repeatedly evolved the same distinctive forms, known as ecomorphs, on different islands, researchers report on March 8 in the journal Current Biology.

Cancer 'signature' first step toward blood test for patients
A discovery by Melbourne researchers could help to identify patients with a particularly aggressive type of lung cancer that are likely to respond to immunotherapies currently used in the clinic to treat other cancers.

Syracuse U. researchers close to understanding 'disease mechanisms' of ALS
Syracuse University researchers are making strides in understanding the disease mechanism of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

Gastrointestinal hormone measurably improved symptoms of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
Through a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase II clinical trial, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine report that small doses of NGM282, a non-tumorigenic variant of an endocrine gastrointestinal hormone, can significantly and rapidly decrease liver fat content in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).

Multiple optical measurements reveal the single cell activation without contrast agent
Osaka University researchers developed a label-free multimodal microscopy platform that allows the non-invasive study of cellular preparations without the need of any additional chemicals or contrast agent.

Neuroticism could be 'sleeper effect' in Trump and Brexit campaigns
Regions where voters have more neurotic personality traits were more likely to vote for Donald Trump in the United States or for the Brexit campaign in the United Kingdom, revealing a new trend that could help explain the rise of fearmongering populist political campaigns across the world, according to new research published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.

CRISPR-based system identifies important new drug targets in a deadly leukemia
Scientists have harnessed CRISPR, the gene-editing tool, to find highly specific dependencies in a deadly subtype of leukemia.

Memories can be decoded from brain waves during sleep, say researchers
Research at the University of York has shown that the content of newly formed memories can be decoded from brain activity whilst people are asleep.

Medical researchers find protein that marks difference between cancer and non-cancer cells
A discovery sheds light on how cancerous cells differ from healthy ones, and could lead to the development of new strategies for therapeutic intervention for difficult-to-treat cancers in the future.

New insights into why patients have a higher risk of heart attack in the morning
Heart disease patients have lower levels of an important family of protective molecules in their blood in the morning, which could be increasing risk of blood clots and heart attacks at those times, says early research by Queen Mary University of London

How cellular structure orchestrates immunologic memory
With every infection or vaccination, memory cells form that the body uses to remember the pathogen.

Decoy molecules target E. coli to treat UTI in mice
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have designed sugar molecules that block E. coli bacteria from binding to urinary tissues, allowing the bacteria to be washed out of the urinary tract.

A peculiar galactic clash
Galaxies are not static islands of stars -- they are dynamic and ever-changing, constantly on the move through the darkness of the Universe.

Once degraded, Brazilian savanna does not regenerate naturally
According to study, after being converted to pastures, areas of the so-called 'Cerrado' become closed forest with poor biodiversity if not appropriately managed.

Unveiling the depths of Jupiter's winds
Are the colorful bands just a pretty surface phenomenon, or are they a significant stratum of the planet?

The enemy within: Gut bacteria drive autoimmune disease
Bacteria found in the small intestines of mice and humans can travel to other organs and trigger an autoimmune response, according to a new Yale study.

How brightly colored spiders evolved on Hawaii again and again...and again
Stick spiders with similar traits -- yellow and red coloring, for example -- live on different Hawaiian islands but aren't each other's closest relatives; they are a rare instance where a physical form has evolved separately on each island, according to a new study by scientists at the University of California, Berkeley.

NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP Satellite sees Tropical Cyclone Hola over Vanuatu
When NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed over the South Pacific Ocean it captured a visible image of Tropical Cyclone Hola over Vanuatu.

Menopausal hormone therapy linked to having a healthier heart
Women who use menopausal hormone therapy appear to have a heart structure and function that is linked to a lower risk of heart failure, according to a study led by Queen Mary University of London.

Enzyme ensures thick insulation
ETH researchers have revealed that Schwann cells in the peripheral nervous system largely produce their own fatty acids in order to create electrical insulation for nerve fibres.

On Twitter, false news travels faster than true stories
A new study by three MIT scholars has found that false news spreads more rapidly on the social network Twitter than real news does -- and by a substantial margin.

A weakened gut barrier may contribute to autoimmune disease
When the gut microbe Enterococcus gallinarum leaks out of the intestines and sets up camp in other organs such as the liver, it appears to trigger an autoimmune response similar to what's seen in lupus, a new study in mice reveals.

Researchers call for large-scale scientific investigation into fake news
An Indiana University faculty member who studies the spread of misinformation online is joining prominent legal scholars, social scientists and researchers in a global 'call to action' in the fight against fake news.

Women regret sex less when they take the initiative
Women regret casual sex more than men do - but less so if they take the initiative and the sex was good.

Social stress leads to changes in gut bacteria, study finds
Exposure to psychological stress in the form of social conflict alters gut bacteria in Syrian hamsters, according to a new study by Georgia State University.

A new kind of star
A new kind of star comes up from a study by SISSA's postdoctoral researcher Raúl Carballo-Rubio.

Improving birth outcomes one amino acid at a time
A simple dietary supplement (L-arginine) was found to improve birth outcomes, paving the way for future clinical trials to test this inexpensive and safe intervention.

Scientists develop new tool for imprinting biochips
The new technology could allow researchers to fit more biochemical probes onto a single biochip and reduce the cost of screening and analyzing changes associated with disease development, detecting bioterrorism agents, and other areas of research.

For nanomedicine, cell sex matmonoclonal antibodies crucial to fighting emerging infectious diseases say NIAID officials
Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) -- preparations of a type of antibody designed to bind to a single target -- have shown promise in the fight against cancer and autoimmune diseases.

Amazing universe captured with the Subaru Telescope! 'HSC Viewer' released to the public
The first dataset from the Hyper Suprime-Cam Subaru Strategic Plan (HSC-SSP) can be seen easily with the 'HSC Viewer' on your PC or tablet.

Nanostructures made of previously impossible material
One could think that mixing different materials is easy -- why not just melt them and pour them together?

So much depends on the velocity of tiny droplets cast upward
New research describes the velocity of aerosols cast upward as bubbles on a liquid's surface burst.

Survivors of childhood cancer are at great risk of heart problems in adulthood
A study of nearly 1,000 survivors of childhood cancer has found that they are at increased risk of suffering prematurely from cardiovascular disease in adulthood.

Fiber-fermenting bacteria improve health of type 2 diabetes patients
The fight against type 2 diabetes may soon improve thanks to a pioneering high-fiber diet study led by a Rutgers University-New Brunswick professor.

Thirdhand smoke found to increase lung cancer risk in mice
Researchers at Berkeley Lab identified thirdhand smoke, the toxic residues that linger on indoor surfaces and in dust long after a cigarette has been extinguished, as a health hazard nearly 10 years ago.

Bullying based on stigma has especially damaging effects
In a new study, two professors are looking at bullying based on stigma -- where one is treated unfairly or unjustly due to one's race, sexual orientation, gender, or other characteristic -- and examining the methods used to prevent this type of bullying and address it when it happens.

New record set for carbon-carbon single bond length
A stable organic compound has been synthesized with a record length for the bond between its carbon atoms, exceeding the assumed limit.

Researchers sew atomic lattices seamlessly together
In a study published March 8 in Science, Cornell University and University of Chicago scientists revealed a technique to 'sew' two patches of crystals seamlessly together to create atomically thin fabrics.

Prosthetic limbs represented like hands in brain
The human brain can take advantage of brain resources originally devoted to the hand to represent a prosthetic limb, a new UCL-led study concludes.

ZooKeys special: Proceedings of the 17th International Congress of Myriapodology, Thailand
For the third consecutive time, a special issue in the open access zoological journal ZooKeys is hosting a collection of the research findings presented at the International Congress of Myriapodology.

JHU performs first laboratory simulation of exoplanet atmospheric chemistry
Scientists have conducted the first lab experiments on haze formation in simulated exoplanet atmospheres, an important step for understanding upcoming observations of planets outside the solar system with the James Webb Space Telescope.

Illinois researchers develop heat switch for electronics
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a new technology for switching heat flows 'on' or 'off'.

Study sheds light on the genetic origins of the two sexes
This new study punches a hole in the idea that increased genetic complexity of sex chromosomes accompanied the origin of sexes.

Is your stress changing my brain?
In a new study in Nature Neuroscience, Jaideep Bains, PhD, and his team at the Cumming School of Medicine's Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI), at the University of Calgary have discovered that stress transmitted from others can change the brain in the same way as a real stress does.

New 3-D measurements improve understanding of geomagnetic storm hazards
Measurements of the three-dimensional structure of the earth, as opposed to the one-dimensional models typically used, can help scientists more accurately determine which areas of the United States are most vulnerable to blackouts during hazardous geomagnetic storms.

Serotonin promotes perseverance
It was thought that the neurotransmitter serotonin most likely acted by inhibiting behavior.

On Twitter, false information travels farther and faster than the truth
An analysis of how true and false news stories spread on Twitter reveals that false news spreads substantially faster, and to far more people.

Study finds mandatory flu vaccines for healthcare workers reduce absenteeism
A multi-institutional study, as reported in the journal Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, shows that mandatory flu vaccines for healthcare workers improve vaccination rates by as much as 30 percent and reduce absenteeism during critical periods by about six percent.

Scientists show how the brain may be wired for drinking fluids
Scientists uncovered a high-resolution map of the wiring inside the mouse brain's thirst center.

Surprise finding could lead to new MS treatments
A discovery led by scientists at the University of Alberta and McGill University is providing hope of a new therapeutic target in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients that could one day be used to prevent the symptoms and progression of the disease.

Big steps toward control of production of tiny building blocks
Article describes in situ observation of plasma arc nanosynthesis that could lead to improved production of nanoparticles.

What do iPhones, Halloween candy, and sushi have in common?
How people seek to express their uniqueness is played out in many ways -- one of the more subtle ways is how they choose products when presented with product-related information in various colors, versus in black and white or a uniform color.

Non-invasive brain stimulation improves gait impairment of Parkinson's disease patients
A new Tel Aviv University study suggests a novel way of treating the areas of the brain that apparently cause freezing of gait in patients with Parkinson's disease.

Troubling trend in antibiotic prescriptions in the outpatient setting
Antibiotics continue to be prescribed at alarming rates in outpatient settings, despite increased national attention to curtail inappropriate use of these drugs, according to a study published in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.

Research reveals a mechanism that drives ataxia type 1
Researchers have learned that polyQ-ATAXIN1 and capicua form a complex that is sufficient to trigger spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 in mice.

Exposure to air pollution during pregnancy linked to brain alterations
A new study published in Biological Psychiatry has linked exposure to residential air pollution during fetal life with brain abnormalities that may contribute to impaired cognitive function in school-age children.

Fast, high capacity fiber transmission gets real for data centers
A research team from Nokia will report the real-time, bi-directional transmission of 78 interleaved, 400 gigabit per second (Gb/s) channels with a 31.2 terabit per second (Tb/s) fiber capacity

New study finds less research being published by female radiologists
A new study has found that although radiology research by women has increased significantly over the past five decades, the rate of this increase has leveled off since 2000. 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