Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 20, 2018
US Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement on behavioral counseling to prevent skin cancer
The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends behavioral counseling to help reduce the risk of skin cancer from ultraviolet (UV) radiation in persons ages 6 months to 24 years with fair skin types.

Medicare claims show long-term prostate cancer prevention benefits of finasteride
Men who take the medication finasteride get a prostate cancer prevention benefit that can last 16 years -- twice as long as previously recorded, according to SWOG clinical trial analysis that made innovative use of Medicare data.

NASA finds Tropical Cyclone Eliakim's clouds warming
NASA's Aqua satellite analyzed Tropical Cyclone Eliakim in infrared light and found warmer cloud top temperatures as wind shear continued to pummel the storm.

USTC reports diamond ring architecture of a protein complex
Professor CAI Gang from USTC and Professor Jacques Côté's team reports the 4.7 Å structure of the yeast NuA4/TIP60 complex, which elucidates the detailed architecture and molecular interactions between NuA4 subunits.

Tamoxifen and raloxifene slow down the progression of muscular dystrophy
Steroids are currently the only available treatment to reduce the repetitive cycles of inflammation and disease progression associated with functional deterioration in patients with muscular dystrophy (MD).

Mass. Eye and Ear performs first FDA-approved gene therapy procedure for inherited disease
Massachusetts Eye and Ear made medical history on Tuesday by performing the first post-FDA approval gene therapy for patients with a form of inherited blindness.

Researchers create microlaser that flies along hollow optical fiber
For the first time, researchers have optically trapped and propelled a particle-based laser for centimeters inside an optical fiber.

Metformin lowers risk of late miscarriage, preterm birth in pregnant women with PCOS
The oral diabetes medication metformin seems to reduce the chance of a late miscarriage and premature birth among women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) but does not affect their rate of developing gestational diabetes, a multicenter study finds.

Pipe-crawling robot will help decommission DOE nuclear facility
A pair of autonomous robots developed by Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute will soon be driving through miles of pipes at the US Department of Energy's former uranium enrichment plant in Piketon, Ohio, to identify uranium deposits on pipe walls.

Continuously killing bacteria on coated stainless steel -- add bleach to recharge
Stainless steel is the gold standard for kitchen appliances and cookware, but bacteria can grow on these surfaces, contaminating food.

Potential cognitive effects of targeted drugs in children may be reversible with therapy
Young mice that received molecularly targeted therapies used to treat brain cancer in human patients sustained cognitive and behavioral deficits, but the deficits were largely reversible through environmental stimulation and physical exercise.

Malaria's most wanted: Identifying the deadliest strains to design a childhood vaccine
Researchers have identified a 'genetic fingerprint' associated with the most deadly strains of malaria parasites, making these unique DNA regions potential targets for vaccine development.

In drawing tests, US children draw female scientists more today than in previous decades
The participation of women in science has risen significantly in the United States since the 1960s.

Pro-environmental programs should take the factors that motivate each gender into consideration
A piece of research carried out by lecturers at the UPV/EHU's Faculty of Economics and Business has explored, from the gender perspective, the pro-environmental behavior of university students on the UPV/EHU's Bizkaia campus.

3-D-printed models improve medical student training
A relatively inexpensive 3-D-printed model of a patient's blood vessels is as effective as current commercially available models for training medical students in interventional radiology vascular access, according to a study presented at the Society of Interventional Radiology's 2018 Annual Scientific Meeting.

Amygdala neurons increase as children become adults -- except in autism
Researchers at the UC Davis MIND Institute found that typically-developing children gain more neurons in a region of the brain that governs social and emotional behavior, the amygdala, as they become adults.

Natural enemies reduce pesticide use
Crop variety in agriculture has a positive impact on the natural enemies of aphids.

Dogs with noise sensitivity should be routinely assessed for pain by vets
Dogs which show fear or anxiety when faced with loud or sudden noises should be routinely assessed for pain by veterinarians, according to new research from the UK and Brazil.

Brewing hoppy beer without the hops
Synthetic biology has created microbes that produce drugs, flavors, aromas and fuels.

Brain SPECT imaging predicts outcomes in depressed patients
New research from the Amen Clinics shows that brain SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography) imaging, a study that measures blood flow and activity patterns, identifies who is likely to get better from depression and who is not.

Why it doesn't pay to be just nice -- you also need to be intelligent
New research has revealed how people's intelligence, rather than their personality traits, leads to success.

Why do some people 'hear' silent flashes?
Up to one in five people may show signs of a synesthesia-like phenomenon in which they 'hear' silent flashes or movement, according to a new study from City, University of London.

Study identifies effective parenting strategies to reduce disruptive behavior in children
Most parenting programs aim to teach parents how to reduce their children's disruptive behavior.

Tiny gels sop up intestinal toxins
Bacterial infections that target the intestine can cause conditions that range from uncomfortable to deadly.

High consumption of red and processed meat linked to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and insulin resistance
World meat consumption has increased during the last decades, and evidence is mounting that high consumption of red and mainly processed meat is unhealthy to humans and is related to chronic diseases such as cancer, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

Smithsonian researchers name new ocean zone: The rariphotic
Diving down below the range of scuba in the Curasub, Smithsonian deep reef explorers discovered a new world where roughly half of the fish had no names.

TRAPPIST-1 planets provide clues to the nature of habitable worlds
To determine the composition of the TRAPPIST-1 planets, the team used a unique software package, developed by Unterborn and Lorenzo, that uses state-of-the-art mineral physics calculators.

Ideal heart health less likely among lesbian, gay and bisexual adults
Lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) adults were less likely than heterosexuals to have ideal cardiovascular health, according to preliminary research.

State-by-state causes of infant mortality in the US
Sudden unexpected death of infants (SUDI) was the most common cause of infant mortality among children born full term in the US according to estimates from a state-by-state study published this week in PLOS Medicine.

NASA infrared imagery shows a powerful Tropical Cyclone Marcus
Tropical Cyclone Marcus continues to strengthen as it moves further away from Western Australia.

New study brings us one step closer to understanding how tidal clocks tick
A comprehensive study on the rhythmicity of limpets -- mobile intertidal molluscs -- employing field and laboratory observations, as well assembling a clock oriented transcriptome -- shows that in the same way that these animals behave with a tidal rhythm, so too are a majority of their genes expressed in a tidal (and not circadian) rhythm, including some genes which were thought to play an important role in circadian clocks/timing.

Natural sniper kills hospital bacterium
Bacteria produce proteins to take out specific competitors. One of these proteins can kill the hospital bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

'Missing mutation' found in severe infant epilepsy
Researchers have discovered a 'missing mutation' in severe infant epilepsy -- long-suspected genetic changes that might trigger overactive, brain-damaging electrical signaling leading to seizures.

Massey scientists identify genes that could inform novel therapies for EBV-related cancers
VCU Massey Cancer Center researchers have identified two genes that are responsible for governing the replication of the Epstein-Barr virus, an infection that drives the growth of several types of cancer.

Discovered mode of drinking in mosquitoes carries biomedical implications
'Mosquitoes are not just a nuisance, but also a health threat,' said Virginia Tech's Mark Stremler, a study co-author.

Closing the 69 million teacher gap needs to be top priority for world's education leaders
Addressing the global teacher gap of 69 million should be the number one priority for education policymakers the world over, a new international study has warned.

Danger ahead?
A major shift in western Arctic wind patterns occurred throughout the winter of 2017 and the resulting changes in sea ice movement are possible indicators of a changing climate, says Kent Moore, a professor of physics at the University of Toronto Mississauga.

Flight delays: Study finds out why some African birds stay home longer
Parents of millennials still living at home aren't the only ones with children that refuse to leave.

Illusory motion reproduced by deep neural networks trained for prediction
a research team led by associate professor Eiji Watanabe of the National Institute for Basic Biology successfully reproduced illusory motion by deep neural networks trained for prediction.

Physicists made crystal lattice from polaritons
An international research team produced an analog of a solid-body crystal lattice from hybrid photon-electron quasiparticles -- polaritons.

Children born to mothers with low vitamin D levels may develop autism-like behaviors
Low levels of vitamin D during pregnancy and breast feeding may be related to an unusual pattern of brain development that can lead to differences in social behaviour of children in later life, according to a study published in the Journal of Endocrinology.

Pressing a button is more challenging than appears
Pressing a button appears easy, but the brain needs a probabilistic internal model to control a press.

It's givin' me excitations: U-M study uncovers first steps of photosynthesis
Photosynthesis has driven life on this planet for more than 3 billion years -- first in bacteria, then in plants -- but we don't know exactly how it works.

Rain or snow? Humidity, location can make all the difference, new map shows
University of Colorado Boulder researchers have created a map of the Northern Hemisphere showing how location and humidity can affect precipitation, illustrating wide variability in how and why different areas receive snow or rain.

A method for predicting the impact of global warming on disease
Scientists have devised a new method that can be used to better understand the likely impact of global warming on diseases mediated by parasites, such as malaria.

Wildfire intensity impacts water quality and its treatment in forested watersheds
The recent Thomas Fire was the largest wildfire in in California's modern history.

Study IDs important role for specific gene in 16p11.2 deletion autism
New findings in mice suggest that the lack of a copy of the gene MVP may contribute to the symptoms of 16p11.2 deletion syndrome because it is needed for brain circuits to incorporate changes driven by experience.

US children now draw female scientists more than ever
When drawing scientists, US children now depict female scientists more often than ever, according to new Northwestern University research, which analyzed five decades of 'Draw-A-Scientist' studies conducted since the 1960s.

Study of climate change could lead to understanding future of infectious disease
Over the past 34 years, rainfall in Uganda has decreased by about 12 percent even though many of the global climate models predict an increase in rainfall for the area, according to an international team of researchers.

Pain management in low-resource settings -- anesthesiologists advocate for increased access
Increasing the availability of effective pain management in low- to middle-income countries will be an essential part of ongoing efforts to expand global access to safe surgery and anesthesia, according to a special article in the April issue of Anesthesia & Analgesia.

Blackbirds in the city: Bad health, longer life
Blackbirds live longer in cities than in forests. But their telomeres, the repetitive stretches of DNA at the ends of the chromosomes, show that these city birds have a much poorer health status than their rural cousins.

Filling lithium-ion cells faster
Developers from Bosch and scientists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) are using neutrons to analyze the filling of lithium ion batteries for hybrid cars with electrolytes.

TGen-ASU study identifies molecular response of muscle to different types of exercise
Exercise in the future could be customized for individuals based on genomics, according to a study by Arizona State University (ASU) and the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), an affiliate of City of Hope.

First population-scale sequencing project explores platypus history
The platypus is the ultimate evolutionary mashup of birds, reptiles and mammals.

Providing free supplies to low-income families improves type 1 diabetes
Providing free supplies of insulin and blood glucose test trips to families with type 1 diabetes in low- and lower-middle income families can result in improved blood-sugar control and diabetes-related knowledge, a new study of families in India suggests.

We start caring about our reputations as early as kindergarten
Kindergarteners don't use social media, but they do care about their public image.

Sustained bacterial outbreak in mosquitoes limits spread of life-threatening diseases
Certain strains of the Wolbachia bacterium inhibit the transmission of disease-inducing pathogens to humans.

Trial shows safety of drugs for irregular heartbeat patients undergoing treatment
A trial has found that two types of blood thinning drugs are safe to use in patients with an irregular heartbeat when they are undergoing surgery aimed at stopping the condition.

Even flies like a familiar song
The process that allows sounds experienced during infancy to shape language is poorly understood.

Study: Men more likely to be readmitted to hospital after sustaining a firearm injury
Men have a substantially greater hospital readmission risk during the first three months following a firearm injury hospitalization compared to women.

Sound new technique tunes into the shifting shapes of biology
Scientists at the John Innes Centre have come up with a novel way of quantifying cell shapes -- with a lot of mathematics and a little musical inspiration.

20 percent of Americans responsible for almost half of US food-related greenhouse gas emissions
On any given day, 20 percent of Americans account for nearly half of US diet-related greenhouse gas emissions, and high levels of beef consumption are largely responsible, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Michigan and Tulane University.

Months-long real-time generation of a time scale based on an optical clock
The National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) generated a real-time signal of an accurate time scale by combining an optical lattice clock and a hydrogen maser.

What plants can teach us about oil spill clean-up, microfluidics
For years, scientists have been inspired by nature to innovate solutions to tricky problems, even oil spills -- manmade disasters with devastating environmental and economic consequences.

Weight loss after stomach-narrowing surgery eases chronic knee pain
A new report finds that extremely obese people who have a band surgically strapped around their stomachs to restrict food intake not only lose weight but also suffer less from arthritic knee pain.

Parenting and personality work together to affect baby's weight gain
The more mothers use food to soothe their babies, the more weight certain babies gained, according to researchers.

Limiting shifts for medical trainees affects satisfaction, but not educational outcomes
Limiting first-year medical residents to 16-hour work shifts, compared to 'flexing' them to allow for some longer shifts, generally makes residents more satisfied with their training and work-life balance, but their training directors more dissatisfied with curtailed educational opportunities.

Music therapy aids healing of military personnel
A new paper published in Music Therapy Perspectives examines the importance of music therapy in military healthcare.

Extreme winter weather, such as 'Beast from the East', can be linked to solar cycle
Periods of extreme cold winter weather and perilous snowfall, similar to those that gripped the UK in a deep freeze with the arrival of the 'Beast from the East', could be linked to the solar cycle, pioneering new research has shown.

'Candy cane' polymer weave could power future functional fabrics and devices
If scientists are going to deliver on the promise of implantable artificial organs or clothing that dries itself, they'll first need to solve the problem of inflexible batteries that run out of juice too quickly.

Can acupuncture help alleviate menopausal symptoms?
An umbrella review from Duke Clinical Research Institute that was a comprehensive assessment of previous systematic reviews and randomized controlled trials has found that women who received acupuncture had less frequent and less severe vasomotor symptoms associated with menopause than women who did not have acupuncture.

Double mastectomy to prevent cancer reduces risk of dying in BRCA1 mutation carriers
Healthy women who carry a breast cancer-causing mutation in the BRCA1 gene, not only reduce their risk of developing the disease but also their chances of dying from it if they have both breasts removed, according to new research presented at the 11th European Breast Cancer Conference.

Limiting medical trainees' hours affects satisfaction, but not educational outcomes
Limiting first-year medical residents to 16-hour work shifts, compared to 'flexing' them to allow for some longer shifts, generally makes residents more satisfied with their training and work-life balance, but their training directors more dissatisfied with curtailed educational opportunities.

BU: Children of centenarians feel stronger purpose in life
A sense of meaning and direction in life is associated with living longer and experiencing less disease, disability, and cognitive impairment.

Risk of maternal death doubled in pregnant women with anemia
Pregnant women with anemia are twice as likely to die during or shortly after pregnancy compared to those without the condition, according to a major international study led by Queen Mary University of London of over 300,000 women across 29 countries.

Research study encourages hospitals to reduce number of paper documents created
After collecting nearly 600 kilograms of papers from recycling bins at five Toronto hospitals, researchers at St.

How obesity dulls the sense of taste
Previous studies have indicated that weight gain can reduce one's sensitivity to the taste of food.

Cardiovascular health disparities between whites and minorities narrow, study shows
The nation's overall cardiovascular health worsened from 1988 to 2014, with disparities among racial and ethnic groups dropping slightly.

A star disturbed the comets of the solar system in prehistory
About 70,000 years ago, when the human species was already on Earth, a small reddish star approached our solar system and gravitationally disturbed comets and asteroids.

Study: Living abroad leads to a clearer sense of self
Living abroad can clarify your sense of self, according to new research by a team of social scientists at Rice University, Columbia University and the University of North Carolina.

UTSA researcher maps San Antonio's music scene
The University of Texas at San Antonio's music marketing coordinator and his undergraduate students are using geographic information system (GIS) technology to map the scale and scope of the live music scene in San Antonio.

Some patients on levothyroxine have continued symptoms
People who take replacement thyroid hormone may have more comorbidities and lower quality of life than those who don't take the hormone, a large population-based study from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands reports.

Low-tech, affordable solutions to improve water quality
Clever, fundamental engineering could go a long way toward preventing waterborne illness and exposure to carcinogenic substances in water.

Vegetable compound could have a key role in 'beeting' Alzheimer's disease
A compound in beets that gives the vegetable its distinctive red color could help slow the accumulation of misfolded proteins in the brain, a process associated with Alzheimer's disease.

Are hospitals improperly disposing of personal health information?
A substantial amount of personal information, most of it personal health information, was found in the recycling at five hospitals in Toronto, Canada, despite policies in place for protection of personal information.

Making fragrances last longer
From floral perfume to fruity body wash and shampoos, scents heavily influence consumer purchases.

Chronic fatigue syndrome possibly explained by lower levels of key thyroid hormones
A new study reveals that chronic fatigue syndrome, a debilitating condition with unknown causes, can be explained by lower thyroid levels -- but may be distinct from thyroidal disease.

Taming chaos: Calculating probability in complex systems
Weather patterns, brain activity and heartbeats each generate lines of complex data.

Two genes cooperate to trigger leukemia development
An international group of researchers led by Prof. Jan Cools of the VIB-KU Leuven Center for Cancer Biology have made a breakthrough in understanding the development of acute lymphoblastic leukemia, an aggressive cancer of the blood.

Beyond the WIMP: Unique crystals could expand the search for dark matter
A new particle detector design proposed at the US Department of Energy's Berkeley Lab could greatly broaden the search for dark matter -- which makes up 85 percent of the total mass of the universe yet we don't know what it's made of - into an unexplored realm.

Dermatology scale validates quality of life
Can having a skin condition impact the quality of your life?

New linguistic analysis finds Dravidian language family is approximately 4,500 years old
The origin of the Dravidian language family, consisting of about 80 varieties spoken by 220 million people across South Asia, can be dated to about 4,500 years ago, based on new linguistic analyses.

Good motor skills may enhance reading skills in obese children
Excess body weight has been linked to poor academic performance in children in several previous studies.

Vitamin D might be key to syndrome affecting half of women aged 50 or plus
Research with postmenopausal women, found a 57.8 percent rate of metabolic syndrome (MetS) among women presenting vitamin D insufficiency or deficiency.

The search for dark matter widens
In this week's issue of Journal of Applied Physics, investigators report the discovery of a new material that may be able to directly detect dark matter.

How GDP affects success in eSports
Per capita GDP can make a difference in a country's performance in competitive computer gaming, according to a study conducted by researchers at the Higher School of Economics (HSE University, Perm).

Women with DCIS at lowest risk of recurrence if they are post-menopausal or ER+
Patients with an early form of breast cancer are less likely to suffer a recurrence if they are post-menopausal or if their tumour is oestrogen receptor positive, according to research presented at the 11th European Breast Cancer Conference.

Scientists discern new antibiotics resistance mechanism to peptide antibiotics
In a recent study, a group of scientists from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology reveals both the widespread distribution and broad-spectrum resistance potential of D-stereospecific peptidases, providing a potential early indicator of antibiotic resistance to non-ribosomal peptide antibiotics.

Medicine that slows balding may turn stiff vessels supple, helping vital organs
A medicine that slows balding and stimulates hair growth also may make stiff vessels more stretchy and improve blood flow to vital organs like the brain, according to an experimental model study.

Could drugs used after an organ transplant protect against Alzheimer's?
A UT Southwestern study in mice provides new clues about how a class of anti-rejection drugs used after organ transplants may also slow the progression of early-stage Alzheimer's disease.

In some elderly patients, levothyroxine may be linked with increased mortality
Treating some elderly people with levothyroxine may put them at increased risk of death, new research from Israel reports.

Decision-making is shaped by individual differences in the functional brain connectome
Each day brings with it a host of decisions to be made, and each person approaches those decisions differently.

Specific gene region in hypertension revealed
The renin-angiotensin system plays an essential role in blood pressure homeostasis.

Risk of a second breast cancer can be better quantified in women carrying a BRCA mutation
The risk of a second breast cancer in patients with high-risk BRCA gene mutations can be more precisely predicted by testing for several other genetic variants, each of which are known to have a small impact on breast cancer risk.

Researchers create new low-cost, sustainable material for reducing air and water pollution
A new class of hybrid materials shows promise as an affordable and sustainable product for reducing particulate matter in air and organic pollutants in wastewater.

Switch discovered to convert blood vessels to blood stem cells in embryonic development
A switch has been discovered that instructs blood vessel cells to become blood stem cells during embryonic development in mice.

Achieving healthy, climate-friendly, affordable diets in India
New research led by IIASA researcher Narasimha Rao has shown how it might be possible to reduce micronutrient deficiencies in India in an affordable way whilst also reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Marine researchers say recent sea star wasting disease epidemic defies prediction
Beginning in 2013, a mysterious disease crippled sea star populations up and down the U.S. west coast.

Antibiotics could be key to relieving chronic bladder pain
Antibiotics can successfully help rid a patient of chronic urinary tract infection symptoms.

Hydrogel may help heal diabetic ulcers
A hydrogel invented at Rice University that is adept at helping the body heal may also be particularly good at treating wounds related to diabetes.

RIT researchers improve fabrication process of nano-structures for electronic devices
Researchers at RIT have found a more efficient fabricating process to produce semiconductors used in today's electronic devices.

Smoked foods are tastier, less harmful with a tip from the auto industry
Infusing foods with smoke can impart delicious nuanced flavors, but could also come with an unwelcome side of carcinogens.

Dinosaur frills and horns did not evolve for species recognition
The elaborate frills and horns of a group of dinosaurs including Triceratops and Styracosaurus did not evolve to help species recognise each other, according to researchers at Queen Mary University of London.

Surgeon performance benefits from 'warm-up'
Surgeons progressively 'warm-up' as they repeat a procedure on their operating list, akin to the way athletes' performance improves across a competition -- according to new research.

Theory of non-orthogonalization and spatial localization for convection-allowing ensemble forecast
The method to generate initial perturbations is the core problem focalized by ensemble forecast system (EPS).

Praise may motivate young adults with autism to exercise more
Simple statements of praise may have a big effect on the amount of exercise young adults with autism complete, according to preliminary research from the UNC Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute (FPG).

Western diet depletes artery-protecting immune cells
New research from scientists at the La Jolla Institute shows how a diet high in fat and cholesterol depletes the ranks of artery-protecting immune cells, turning them into promoters of inflammation, which exacerbate atherosclerotic plaque buildup that occurs in cardiovascular disease. 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