Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 15, 2018
New methods find undiagnosed genetic diseases in electronic health records
Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center have found a way to search genetic data in electronic health records to identify undiagnosed genetic diseases in large populations so treatments can be tailored to the actual cause of the illness.

Researchers discover evidence of the technology & behaviors linked to the emergence of human species
An anthropology professor from the George Washington University and a team of international collaborators, including scientists from the Smithsonian's National Museum of National History, have discovered that early humans in East Africa used coloring materials and obtained a range of raw materials from distant sources-- activities which imply the existence of social networks--about 320,000 years ago, much earlier than previously thought.

Sussex research reveals brain mechanism involved in language learning
Psychologists found that when we learn the names of unfamiliar objects, brain regions involved in learning actively predict the objects the names correspond to.

A new algorithm designed to make cardiopulmonary resuscitation more effective
Researchers in the UPV/EHU's Signal and Communications Group in collaboration with researchers in the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) have developed an algorithm to guide an effective cardiopulmonary resuscitation manoeuvre.

Virtual coaches, fitness trackers help patients stay fit after cardiac rehab
A 12-week mobile health, or mHealth, program not only kept cardiac rehab patients from losing ground, it appeared to help them maintain and even gain fitness.

People are willing to pay to curate their online social image
Social media provides a new environment that makes it possible to carefully edit the image you want to project of yourself.

Spectrum Health Study finds delay in initial dementia diagnosis
A Spectrum Health study has found that dementia patients are not undergoing evaluation at the onset of the dementia process, a delay that prevents early, beneficial treatment.

Women choose more effective contraception when cost not an issue
When cost isn't an issue, women will choose more effective, long-term methods of contraception, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers.

Early puberty linked with increased risk of obesity for women
Girls who start puberty earlier are more likely to be overweight as adults, finds new research from Imperial College London.

Attacks on 4G LTE networks could send fake emergency alerts
Ten new attacks and nine prior attacks on 4G LTE networks were outlined in a paper.

One quarter of penis cancer sufferers don't get recommended treatment -- halving the survival rate
A major international survey has found that around a quarter of patients are not receiving the recommended treatment for cancer of the penis.

Modern humans interbred with Denisovans twice in history
Modern humans co-existed and interbred not only with Neanderthals, but also with another species of archaic humans, the mysterious Denisovans.

Rutgers student on front lines of orangutan conservation, research
Didik Prasetyo's passion is learning more about the endangered apes and trying to conserve their habitats and populations, which face enormous pressure from deforestation from logging, palm oil and paper pulp production and hunting.

The coffee cannabis connection
Coffee affects your metabolism in dozens of other ways besides waking you up, including your metabolism of neurotransmitters typically linked to cannabis, a study reports.

False beliefs about MMR vaccine found to influence acceptance of Zika vaccine
People's willingness to use a Zika vaccine, once it's available, will be influenced by how they weigh the risks associated with the disease and the vaccine, but also by their misconceptions about other vaccines.

Study of nearly 300,000 people challenges the 'obesity paradox'
The idea that it might be possible to be overweight or obese but not at increased risk of heart disease, otherwise known as the 'obesity paradox', has been challenged by a study of nearly 300,000 people published in in the European Heart Journal.

Graphene oxide nanosheets could help bring lithium-metal batteries to market
A nanosheet helps prevent formation of lithium dendrites in lithium-metal batteries.

Compact fiber optic sensor offers sensitive analysis in narrow spaces
Researchers have developed a new flexible sensor with high sensitivity that is designed to perform variety of chemical and biological analyses in very small spaces.

Medicinal cannabis is safe and effective -- it's time to reboot research
Medicinal cannabis is safe and effective in pain relief, and researchers are calling for the treatment to be properly established in our modern medical arsenal.

Little creek, big impact
A small sliver of wildness is having a big impact on the birds, fish and wildlife near UC Davis.

Potential new way to limit antibiotic resistance spreading
One of the biggest current threats to global health is the rise of multi-drug resistant bacteria, caused by the spreading of antibiotic resistance amongst them.

Ludwig study extends potential for personalized immunotherapy to large variety of cancers
A Ludwig Cancer Research study shows that ovarian cancer, which has proved resistant to currently available immunotherapies, could be susceptible to personalized immunotherapy.

Students who are old for their grade more likely to enroll in college
Teens who are old for their grade appear to feel more confident about their academic abilities and are more likely to enroll in college than their younger peers, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.

Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'
The journal Science published the research by biologists at Emory University, showing that a process known as hemimethylation plays a role in looping DNA in a specific way.

New automatic methods for generating and classifying music
Izaro Goienetxea, a UPV/EHU researcher, has developed a method for automatically generating new tunes on the basis of a collection or corpus comprising tunes used in bertso [extempore, sung, Basque verse-making].

UNH Researchers find space radiation is increasingly more hazardous
UNH Researchers Find Space Radiation is Increasingly More Hazardous.

Major study shows x5 greater suicide rate in patients with urological cancers
Patients with urological cancer such as prostate, bladder or kidney cancer are five times more likely to commit suicide than people without cancer.

Large racial and ethnic disparity in world's most common STI
In a new Johns Hopkins study, researchers have added to evidence that Trichomonas vaginalis (TV), the world's most common curable sexually transmitted infection (STI), disproportionately affects the black community.

Cryptococcal meningitis: Validation of new therapeutic regimens
The Advancing Cryptococcal Meningitis Treatment for Africa (ACTA) trial funded by the Medical Research Council (UK) and ANRS (France) has highlighted the benefits of new therapeutic regimens in the treatment of cryptococcal meningitis, a frequent and severe opportunistic disease in patients living with HIV.

Land under water: Estimating hydropower's land use impacts
One of the key ways to combat global climate change is to boost the world's use of renewable energy.

How cells protect themselves against mechanical stress
The Piezo1 and Piezo2 ion channels are known to open up response to the slightest mechanical stimulus.

How maximizing fish stocks in the long-term will reduce bycatch
Efforts to sustainably manage fisheries will also reduce bycatch, a new study suggests.

Democratizing single-cell analysis
Scientists at the Allen Institute and the University of Washington have developed a new low-cost technique for profiling gene expression in hundreds of thousands of cells.

Evidence of major environmental and technological changes in East Africa, as Homo sapiens evolved
Three new studies highlight major environmental, ecological and technological changes that occurred in East Africa preceding the Middle Stone Age roughly 300,000 years ago, around the time that anatomically modern humans were evolving.

Blacks have more exposure to air pollutants raising heart disease risk, death
Blacks often have higher exposures to air pollutants than whites, elevating their risk for developing heart disease and death.

Bacterial and host cell proteins interact to regulate Chlamydia's 'exit strategy'
Interactions between Chlamydia trachomatis proteins and host cell proteins help determine whether the bacterium leaves an infected cell via breakdown of the cellular membrane (lysis) or in a membrane-bound package, according to new research published in PLOS Pathogens by Phu Hai Nguyen of the National Institutes of Health, US, and colleagues.

Core elements identified for successful transitions in care for older adults with dementia
While there has been an increased focus on person-centered models of care transition for cognitively intact older adults from hospital to home, little is known about the core elements of successful transitions in care specifically for persons with dementia.

Improved capture of cancer cells could aid in disease tracking
In the journal Clinical Cancer Research, researchers reported that by forcing cancer cells to slow down and developing stronger molecular traps for them, they could identify large numbers of the cells in cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy.

Study shows omega-3 levels better predictors of death risk than serum cholesterol
A recent study in 2500 participants in the Offspring cohort of the Framingham Heart Study looked at the value of measuring blood levels of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids to assess an individual's risk for developing certain diseases and determined that the risk for death from any cause was reduced by about 33% in participants with the highest omega-3 blood levels.

Cell-sized mold makes gelatin gels (jelly) 10 times stiffer
Micro-sized gels are indispensable for biomedical, cosmetic, and food materials, warranting importance of controlling mechanical properties of a single microgel for application usages.

Researchers create a protein 'mat' that can soak up pollution
In a breakthrough that could lead to a new class of materials with functions found only in living systems, scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have figured out a way to keep certain proteins active outside of the cell.

Scientists discover evidence of early human innovation, pushing back evolutionary timeline
An international collaboration has discovered that early humans in eastern Africa had--by about 320,000 years ago--begun trading with distant groups, using color pigments and manufacturing more sophisticated tools than those of the Early Stone Age.

The truth behind St. Patrick's Day: Celebrations did NOT originate in Boston
Gun expenditure log from 1600 and 1601 prove St. Patrick's Day celebrations began in St.

How fungi grow: A movie from inside the cell
Fungi may be harmful pathogens. On the other hand, they are used for the production of food or medicine and in bioengineering.

Metal-organic frameworks cut energy consumption of petrochemicals
Chemical Engineers at EPFL have developed a new method for making meta-organic framework membranes that can be used to considerably improve energy-expensive processes such as propylene-propane separation, which accounts for 40% of energy used in the global petrochemical industry.

Higher doses of radiation don't improve survival in prostate cancer
A new study shows that higher doses of radiation do not improve survival for many patients with prostate cancer, compared with the standard radiation treatment.

New heart attack test better informs of underlying condition
A new blood test developed by a University of Alberta physician promises to eliminate the guesswork clinicians face with an apparent heart attack.

Graphene finds new application as non-toxic, anti-static hair dye
Graphene's geometry allows it to adhere well to hairs without use of harsh chemicals and could be used to make hair conductive for use in bio-integrated electronics.

How royal jelly helps honeybee larvae defy gravity and become queens
Honeybee larvae develop into queen bees if they are fed large quantities of a food called royal jelly.

New model links yellow fever in Africa to climate, environment
The burden of yellow fever in any given area is known to be heavily dependent on climate, particularly rainfall and temperature which can impact both mosquito life cycle and viral replication.

Reducing collateral damage
A study finds that ending overfishing would stop the population declines of endangered bycatch species about half the time

Five major new biodiversity assessments to be launched as 750 world experts and policymakers meet
Leading scientists and other experts from around the world will convene for eight days with policymakers from more than 115 countries to finalize landmark reports on biodiversity, nature's contributions to people and issues of land degradation and restoration.

Neuroscientists identify brain circuit that integrates head motion with visual signals
Neuroscientists at the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre have identified a circuit in the primary visual cortex (V1) of the brain that integrates head- and visual-motion signals.

Ultrashort laser pulses make greenhouse gas reactive
It is a long-cherished dream: Removing the inert greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and using it as a basic material for the chemical industry.

When natural disaster strikes, can insects and other invertebrates recover?
After a 100-year flood struck south central Oklahoma in 2015, a study of the insects, arthropods, and other invertebrates in the area revealed striking declines of most invertebrates in the local ecosystem, a result that researchers say illustrates the hidden impacts of natural disasters.

Joint supplement speeds melanoma cell growth
Chondroitin sulfate, a dietary supplement taken to strengthen joints, can speed the growth of a type of melanoma, according to experiments conducted in cell culture and mouse models.

New understanding of parasite biology might help stop malaria transmission
Researchers at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute made an important step toward deeper understanding of how malaria blood stage parasites turn the switch to become transmissible to other humans.

Teenagers more likely to plead guilty to crimes they didn't commit
Teenagers are more likely to plead guilty to crimes they did not commit because they are less able to make mature decisions, new research shows.

Diabetes: Are high blood glucose levels an effect rather than the cause of the disease?
Insulin resistance and elevated blood glucose levels are considered to be the cause of type 2 diabetes.

A certain type of neurons is more energy efficient than previously assumed
A contradiction, about how a type of neurons generates signals, was now resolved by researchers at the Institute of Science and Technology (IST) Austria.

New research on the strength of children's bones could help in the design of safer car seats
Researchers at the University of Sheffield have successfully used computer simulated models and medical imaging to test the strength of young children's bones, producing results which could help car seat manufacturers design safer car seats for young children.

Improved capture of cancer cells in blood could help track disease
New research by University of Wisconsin-Madison Professor of Pharmacy Seungpyo Hong and his collaborators builds on several years of work in isolating circulating tumor cells, or CTCs, by demonstrating improved methods for their capture on clinical samples for the first time.

The brain puts the memories warehouse in order while we sleep
During the hours of sleep the memory performs a cleaning shift.

Childhood aggression linked to deficits in executive function
Researchers find that primary school children with reduced cognitive skills for planning and self-restraint are more likely to show increased aggression in middle childhood.

Artificial sweetener Splenda could intensify symptoms in those with Crohn's disease
In a study that has implications for humans with inflammatory diseases, researchers have found that, given over a six-week period, the artificial sweetener sucralose, known by the brand name Splenda, worsens gut inflammation in mice with Crohn's disease, but had no substantive effect on those without the condition.

Scientific misconduct harms prior collaborators
Luxembourg, 14 March 2018 - Scientists should choose their associates carefully, researchers at the University of Luxembourg and the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), Mannheim, recommend, as future misconduct by colleagues could seriously impact the reputation of their former collaborators.

Getting lost: Why older people might lose their way
Researchers at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Disease (DZNE) have found a possible explanation for the difficulty in spatial orientation experienced sometimes by elderly people.

A small protein with many applications
Researchers from the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics and from the Department of Biomedicine at Aarhus University have collaboratively developed and described a llama-antibody that might have significant impact for future diagnostics and treatment of, e.g., kidney diseases.

Scientists discover genomic ancestry of Stone Age North Africans from Morocco
An international team of researchers have sequenced DNA from individuals from Morocco dating to approximately 15,000 years ago.

Study suggests that cancer survivors are more easily fatigued
Adults who have undergone successful cancer treatment years or decades previously become fatigued more quickly than their peers who don't have cancer histories, according to a new study in the journalĀ CancerĀ from scientists at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

New doctors' intense and changing schedules take a toll on sleep, activity and mood
This week, thousands of graduating medical students around the country will find out where they'll head next, to start their residency training.

The complex journey of red bloods cells through microvascular networks
While the behavior of blood cells flowing within single, straight vessels is a well-known problem, less is known about the individual cellular-scale events giving rise to blood behavior in microvascular networks.

Reconsidering damage production and radiation mixing in materials
An international team of researchers present new mathematical equations that with minimal increase in computational complexity allow for accurate and experimentally testable predictions.

Measuring electrical conductance across a single molecule
When noble metals are treated with an aliphatic thiol, a uniform monolayer self-assembles on the surface; this phenomenon is interesting because the conducting molecules produce unique quantum properties that could be useful in electronics.

NASA's GPM observes Tropical Cyclone Eliakim forming near Madagascar
NASA got an inside look at the heavy rainfall within developing Tropical cyclone Eliakim.

Viral hideout
The ability of the 'cold sore' herpes simplex virus to establish quiet infections and reawaken periodically has long mystified scientists.

Altering songbird brain provides insight into human behavior
A study from UT Southwestern's Peter O'Donnell Jr. Brain Institute demonstrates that a bird's song can be altered -- to the syllable -- by activating and deactivating a neuronal pathway responsible for helping the brain determine whether a vocalization is performed correctly.

Cell therapy could improve brain function for Alzheimer's disease
Inhibitory interneurons are particularly important for managing brain rhythms. They're also the research focus of a laboratory led by Jorge Palop, PhD, assistant investigator at the Gladstone Institutes.

Topsy-turvy currents key to removing nitrate from streams, UCI-led study finds
More than 500 years ago, Leonardo da Vinci sketched what he called 'la turbolenza,' comparing chaotic swirls atop flowing water to curly human hair.

Scientists map the portal to the cell's nucleus
The gateway to cellular headquarters has 552 components. A new map that shows how all these pieces fit together could help scientists study numerous diseases.

CRISPR genetic editing takes another big step forward, targeting RNA
Salk scientists create new molecular scissors to correct protein imbalance in cellular model of dementia.

New quantum spin liquid predicted by Nobel Laureate prepared for the first time
This achievement is an important step towards building so-called topological quantum computers.

Studying DNA of ancient humans from Morocco reveals ancestral surprises
After sequencing DNA in bone matter of several 15,000-year-old humans from North Africa, a region critical for understanding human history but one in which it has been challenging to connect genetic dots, researchers report a notable lack of relatedness to ancient Europeans, in their specimens - a finding that rules out hypotheses of gene flow from southern Europe into northern Africa at a particular time.

Diamonds from the deep: Study suggests water may exist in Earth's lower mantle
A new study, which included experiments at Berkeley Lab, suggests that water may be more common than expected at extreme depths approaching 400 miles and possibly beyond -- within Earth's lower mantle.

Infants can't talk, but they know how to reason
A new study reveals that preverbal infants are able to make rational deductions, showing surprise when an outcome does not occur as expected.

Epigenetic analysis: Giving the right name to a tumor
Scientists from the 'Hopp Children's Cancer Center at the NCT Heidelberg' (KiTZ) and the Neuropathology Department at Heidelberg University Hospital have substantially enhanced the classification of tumors of the central nervous system (CNS) / Physicians will now be able to categorize CNS tumors more precisely into specific risk groups and make therapy decisions on this basis / The method was developed in close collaboration with the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK) / Publication in Nature.

Well-child visits are effective time to help moms, study shows
In an effort to improve birth outcomes, well-child visits provide an opportune time to deliver basic screenings and health care interventions for new mothers between pregnancies, according to a new study led by UPMC.

Faulty cellular membrane 'mix' linked to Parkinson's disease
Working with lab-grown human brain cells, Johns Hopkins researchers report they have uncovered a much sought-after connection between one of the most common genetic mutations in Parkinson's disease and the formation of fatty plaques in the brain thought to contribute to the destruction of motor neurons that characterize the disease.

UH scientists investigating mysterious dark matter
University of Houston scientists are helping to develop a technology that could hold the key to unraveling one of the great mysteries of science: what constitutes dark matter?

Potential RNA Markers of abnormal heart rhythms identified in circulating blood
The irregular heart rhythm atrial fibrillation (AF) increases the risk of stroke and heart failure, but is often undiagnosed because of a lack of symptoms.

New survey finds huge and unnecessary variation of salt levels in bread
Bread features heavily in many diets worldwide, and is one of the biggest sources of salt in diets.

Large-scale climatic warming could increase persistent haze in Beijing
A recent study demonstrated a significant positive trend of persistent haze events in Beijing for the winters from 1980 to 2016 and its close relationship to an increasing frequency of extreme anomalous southerly episodes in North China, as a result of a weakened East Asian winter monsoon system.

A new use for graphene: Making better hair dyes
Graphene, a naturally black material, could provide a new strategy for dyeing dark hair that will make it less prone to staticky flyaways.

The view from inside supersonic combustion
In supersonic engines, achieving the right flow speed, producing the right ratio of evaporated fuel and causing ignition at the right time is complex.

Study addresses barriers to kidney disease screening among black Americans
In a study of Black Americans who participated in focus group sessions, certain participant factors -- such as knowledge of kidney disease and spiritual and cultural influences -- and logistical factors -- such as convenience and awareness of scheduling -- were identified as barriers that may prevent black Americans from being screened for kidney disease.

Supercomputer simulation opens prospects for obtaining ultra-dense electron-positron plasmas
To achieve breakthrough research results in various fields of modern science, it is vital to develop successful interdisciplinary collaborations.

Study shows shorter hepatitis C regimen effective in black patients
A study by the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute found that contrary to current hepatitis C treatment guidelines, an eight-week treatment regimen may be just as effective as 12 weeks in black patients.

Scientists illuminate mechanism at play in learning
New research illuminates complex molecular network involved in learning.

Thermally driven spin current in DNA
Spin caloritronics explores how heat currents transport electron spin, and researchers are particularly interested in how waste heat could be used to power next-generation spintronic devices.

New research sheds light on underlying cause of brain injury in stroke
New research led by Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry shows how the drug QNZ-46 can help to lessen the effects of excess release of glutamate in the brain -- the main cause of brain injury in stroke.

Blunt products more popular in states where marijuana is legal
A new study finds that cigars commonly used to roll blunts -- hollowed out cigars that are filled with marijuana and smoked -- dominate the cigar marketplace in states where recreational marijuana is legal compared to nationally.

Clearing clumps of protein in aging neural stem cells boosts their activity
Young, resting neural stem cells in the brains of mice store large clumps of proteins in specialized cellular trash compartments known as lysosomes, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have found.

Half a degree more global warming could flood out 5 million more people
A new study finds that by 2150, the seemingly small difference between a global temperature increase of 1.5 and 2.0 degrees Celsius would mean the permanent inundation of lands currently home to about 5 million people, including 60,000 who live on small island nations.

'Frequency combs' ID chemicals within the mid-infrared spectral region
Chemical compounds carry distinctive absorption

Special Focus Issue of Therapeutic Delivery on the current status and opportunities for nanotechnolo
The Future Science Group (FSG) published journal, Therapeutic Delivery, today announced the release of its Special Focus Issue, which offers readers of the journal an insight into some of the recent developments, unanswered questions and future potential of nanotechnology in drug delivery.

Democratizing science: Making neuroscience experiments easier to share, reproduce
In a paper published online March 5 in Nature Communications, University of Washington researchers unveiled an open-access browser to display, analyze and share neurological data collected through a type of magnetic resonance imaging study known as diffusion-weighted MRI. 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