Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 26, 2018
Top sports leagues heavily promote unhealthy food and beverages, new study finds
The majority of food and beverages marketed through multi-million-dollar television and online sports sponsorships are unhealthy -- and may be contributing to the escalating obesity epidemic among children and adolescents in the US.

Smoking in patients with heart attack reduced with varenicline
In patients who have had a heart attack, the drug varenicline significantly reduced smoking during the following year, found a randomized controlled trial published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Patients to skip the lab, get immediate results with new blood test technology
Engineers have developed a mobile version of the Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA), proving a cheap and easy way to obtain bloodwork and urinalysis without visiting a laboratory.

Program to recruit under-represented minority high schoolers into medicine shows promise
'We have a problem finding doctors who will work in medically underserved areas,' says Joel Atance, Ph.D., lead author of this study and director of the SEE program.

Values and gender shape young adults' entrepreneurial and leadership
Young adults who are driven by extrinsic rewards and money and less by a sense of security are more likely to want to become entrepreneurs and leaders, according to a recent study.

Machine learning model provides rapid prediction of C. difficile infection risk
Investigators from Massachusetts General Hospital, the University of Michigan and Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed investigational 'machine learning' models, specifically tailored to individual institutions, that can predict a patient's risk of developing C. difficile much earlier than it would be diagnosed with current methods.

Research reveals a new direction for halting the citrus greening epidemic
New clues to how the bacteria associated with citrus greening infect the only insect that carries them could lead to a way to block the microbes' spread from tree to tree, according to a study in Infection and Immunity by scientists at Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI) and the Agricultural Research Service (ARS).

Novel blueprint for faster implementation of more evidence-based healthcare solutions
Indiana University and Regenstrief Institute investigators have developed and tested Agile Implementation -- a catalytic platform for transforming the current healthcare delivery system (HC 1.0) into a patient and family centric, high reliability, learning healthcare delivery system (HC 2.0).

Elon Musk's vision to colonize Mars updated in New Space
In 'Making Life Multi-Planetary' Elon Musk, CEO and Lead Designer at SpaceX, presents the updated design for the Big Falcon Rocket, the powerful rocket intended to propel a newly modified space vehicle to the International Space Station and beyond to fulfill his vision for establishing a human presence on Mars.

Let them eat xylose: Yeast engineered to grow efficiently on novel nutrients
Researchers at Tufts University have created a genetically modified yeast that can more efficiently consume a novel nutrient, xylose, enabling the yeast to grow faster and to higher cell densities, raising the prospect of a significantly faster path toward the design of new synthetic organisms for industrial applications, according to a study published today in Nature Communications.

Study examines blood lead levels of Flint children before and after water crisis
Flint children's blood lead levels were nearly three times higher almost a decade before the year of the Flint water crisis, new research shows.

Important development could reduce numbers of fish required in toxicology research
Scientists at the University of Plymouth, working in partnership with AstraZeneca, have developed a new method which could help assess the effects of chemicals on digestive systems.

Food waste: The biggest loss could be what you choose to put in your mouth
In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), USA, researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science and their colleagues have now found a novel way to define and quantify this second type of wastage.

A simple method developed for 3-D bio-fabrication based on bacterial cellulose
Bacterial cellulose can be used in food, cosmetics and biomedical applications, such as implants and artificial organs.

Insect toxin detected in the world's longest animal
The longest animal in the world, the bootlace worm, which can be up to 55 metres long, produces neurotoxins that can kill both crabs and cockroaches.

Physicists measured the properties of ultrashort X-ray pulses
Professor of Skobeltsyn Institute of Nuclear Physics, MSU and his foreign colleagues determined the physical parameters of ultrashort X-ray laser pulses with high temporary resolution.

A new way to find better battery materials
Researchers at MIT and elsewhere have developed a new way to find materials that could be used as electrodes in lighter, safer rechargeable batteries.

Captured on film for the first time: Microglia nibbling on brain synapses
For the first time, EMBL researchers have captured microglia nibbling on brain synapses.

Light is enough to peer through a mouse skull
Having selected proper light waves, researchers have demonstrated a more than 10-fold improvement of light energy delivery to targets that are too deeply embedded to visualize with current optical imaging.

Obesity is shifting cancer to young adults
A Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine researcher has compiled evidence from more than 100 publications to show how obesity increases risk of 13 different cancers in young adults.

Mutation promts lung tumor cells to morph into gut cells
Researchers were surprised when they recently spotted a miniature gut hidden in the cells of lung tumor samples.

Canada-US Free Trade Agreement (CUSFTA) increased caloric intake in Canada
A new study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine shows that the 1989 Canada-US Free Trade Agreement (CUSFTA) was associated with an increase in caloric availability of approximately 170 kilocalories per person per day in Canada.

Scientists launch global effort to model pancreatic beta cell, solve diabetes
With 'crowd-sourced' science and perspectives from researchers worldwide, University of Southern California scientists aim to create a 3-D model of the pancreatic beta cell.

Animal migrations
Researchers estimate the vulnerability and extinction risk of migratory species from different regions and ecosystems.

Britain's emissions dropped by 6 percent in 2016 by switching from coal to natural gas
Britain's emissions dropped by 6 percent in 2016 by switching from coal to natural gas a new study from the University of Sheffield has revealed.

Who becomes a hero? It is more than just a personality trait
We tend to think of heroes in terms of a psychological profile: brave, altruistic, strong.

Rocky habitats need to be protected for endangered amphibians to survive
An international team of scientists led by the University of Plymouth has published research in the PLOS ONE journal showing that rare amphibians living on rocky plateaus in western India are in desperate need of greater protection as their habitats are being eroded.

Study: More people rely on government catastrophic drug plans
Government spending for the catastrophic drug program in Ontario rose 700 per cent between 2000 and 2016, during which there was a three-fold increase in the use of this plan, a new study has found.

New research shows fertilization drives global lake emissions of greenhouse gases
A paper published this week in the journal Limnology and Oceanography Letters is the first to show that lake size and nutrients drive how much greenhouse gases are emitted globally from lakes into the atmosphere.

Ultrathin endoscope captures neurons firing deep in the brain
Researchers have developed an endoscope as thin as a human hair that can image the activity of neurons in the brains of living mice, giving researchers access to areas that cannot be seen with microscopes or other types of endoscopes.

Genetic factors for most common disease in the first year of life are identified
The acute viral bronchiolitis is the worldwide leading cause of hospitalization during this period.

Improving human-data interaction to speed nanomaterials innovation
A new paper takes a step toward realizing the promise of nanomaterials.

Drug reduces inflammation in stroke patients
An anti-inflammatory drug given to patients in the early stages of a stroke has been shown by researchers at The University of Manchester and Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust to reduce harmful inflammation.

Study explores impact of firms' financial restatements on bank loans
Dr. Rebecca Files and Dr. Umit Gurun, of the Naveen Jindal School of Management at the University of Texas at Dallas, investigated whether restatements by economically related firms also influence the terms of a loan, such as an increased interest rate, for borrowers.

Study links climate policy, carbon emissions from permafrost
Controlling greenhouse gas emissions in the coming decades could substantially reduce the consequences of carbon releases from thawing permafrost during the next 300 years, according to a new paper published this week in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences.

Jelawat not seen as a threat to the Philippines
Tropical Depression Jelawat, a newly formed tropical cyclone over Western Micronesia is expected to strengthen into a Tropical Storm and enter the southeastern border of the Philippines by this afternoon (March 26).

Chance is a factor in the survival of species
In a major study, biologists at Lund University in Sweden have studied the role of chance in whether a species survives or dies out locally.

Why does sleep become disrupted in old age?
The brain maintains its ability to generate local neural oscillations during sleep throughout the lifespan, according to a study of young and old mice published in JNeurosci.

Cancer patients' pain eased by simple bedside chart, study shows
Patients with cancer could benefit from a simple bedside system to manage their pain, a study suggests.

Caribou drone study finds 'enormous variation' within herd
The first paper to use drones to record the movement of individual animals within a herd finds enormous variation in the social behavior of caribou.

Drug-related mortality rates are not randomly distributed across the US
Between 2006 and 2015 there were more than 515,000 deaths from drug overdoses and other drug-related causes in the US.

Landslide modeling after Kaikoura Quake provides data to first responders
Hours after the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake hit New Zealand, researchers were able to share information with first responders about where significant landsliding might have occurred to block roads and rivers, according to a new report in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America.

Atomically thin light-emitting device opens the possibility for 'invisible' displays
UC Berkeley engineers have built a bright-light emitting device that is millimeters wide and fully transparent when turned off.

Study uncovers the intricacies of the pursuit of higher self-control
Self-control is a central human capacity associated with a wide range of personal and societal advantages.

Study tracks impact of neonatal abstinence syndrome on state Medicaid programs?
In the United States, one infant is born every 15 minutes with withdrawal symptoms after being exposed to opioids before birth, according to a new study published in the journal Pediatrics.

Music lessons improve children's cognitive skills and academic performance
The first large-scale, longitudinal study adapted into the regular school curriculum finds that structured music lessons significantly enhance children's cognitive abilities -- including language-based reasoning, short-term memory, planning and inhibition -- leading to improved academic performance.

Themed issue lays foundation for emerging field of collective movement ecology
Collective movement is one of the great natural wonders on Earth and has long captured our imaginations.

What three feet of seawater could mean for the world's turtles
Ninety percent of the world's coastal freshwater turtle species are expected to be affected by sea level rise by 2100, according to a study published today from the University of California, Davis.

In laboratory, SLU scientist turns off chemo pain
Saint Louis University researchers describe their success in an animal model in turning off the excruciating pain that often accompanies a colorectal cancer drug.

Treating koalas for chlamydia alters gut microbes
Antibiotics used to treat koalas with chlamydia infections may be changing the balance of gut microbes that allows the marsupials to live on a diet of eucalyptus leaves, researchers at UC Davis and the University of the Sunshine Coast have found.

Keeping the genetic code
Wyss Institute researchers developed an in vivo mutation prevention method that enables the DNA-cleaving Cas9 enzyme to discriminate between genomic target sites differing by a single nucleotide and to exclusively cut the unwanted one.

Argonne's powerful X-rays key to confirming water source deep below Earth's surface
A study published in Science last week relies on extremely bright X-ray beams from the US Department of Energy's Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory to confirm the presence of naturally occurring water at least 410 kilometers below the Earth's surface.

Vaccination rates for children with autism spectrum disorder, their younger siblings
Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their younger siblings were less likely to be fully vaccinated compared with the general population.

Study suggests uncertainty in e-cigarettes' usefulness for quitting smoking
An analysis of data from a previous study of more than 1,350 smokers intending to quit after a hospitalization found that those who reported using electronic cigarettes during the study period were less likely to have successfully quit smoking six months after entering the study.

The structure is decisive
Blue-green algae are one of the oldest organisms in the world and have an important role to play in many ecosystems on Earth.

Study challenges previous findings that antidepressants affect breastfeeding
New research does not support the previously observed negative impacts of antidepressant use on breastfeeding.

Vampire bat immunity and infection risk respond to livestock rearing
The availability of livestock as a food source for vampire bats influences their immune response and infection by bacterial pathogens, according to a new paper in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B.

Frequent, public drug users may be good candidates for overdose-treatment training
The most frequent and public opioid users may be the best available candidates for naloxone training, according to a new study from scientists at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Children with autism and their younger siblings less likely to be fully vaccinated
Children with autism and their younger siblings are significantly less likely to be fully vaccinated than the general population, according to new Kaiser Permanente research published today in JAMA Pediatrics.

Superconductivity in an alloy with quasicrystal structure
A Japanese research team led by Nagoya University discovered the first superconductive quasicrystal.

Global carbon emissions could be cut 3 percent by following the UK's example
The UK cut its emissions from electricity production by 25 percent in 2016, using a strategy many countries could adopt to quickly lower carbon emissions.

Neural fingerprints of altruism
For at least 150 years, we know that traumatic brain injury can change several domains of behavior, impairing social behavior or memory, for instance, depending on which brain areas have been damaged.

MSU-based scientists described the collision of a shock wave and a 'star cradle'
A mathematician from MSU together with a Russian colleague modeled the formation of filaments (thread-like matter conglomerates) after the collision of a shock wave with molecular clouds in the interstellar space.

New family of promising, selective silver-based anti-cancer drugs discovered
A new family of potential silver-based anti-cancer drugs has been discovered by researchers in South Africa.

Metabolic profiling may determine aggressiveness, prognosis of prostate cancer
A new approach to analyzing prostate gland tissue may help address a major challenge in treating prostate cancer - determining which tumors are unlikely to progress and which could be life threatening and require treatment.

Underground neutrino experiment sets the stage for deep discovery about matter
In a study published in Physical Review Letters, collaborators of the MAJORANA DEMONSTRATOR, an experiment led by the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, have shown they can shield a sensitive, scalable 44-kilogram germanium detector array from background radioactivity.

Opioid analgesics reduce use of antipsychotics in persons with Alzheimer's disease
Initiating an opioid analgesic reduced the use of antipsychotics and benzodiazepines in persons with Alzheimer's disease, a recent study from the University of Eastern Finland shows.

First IVF bison calf joins NoCo herd
Eight bison -- four calves and their mothers -- were released in mid-March on public lands in northern Colorado. A 10-month-old calf known as IVF 1 was among the newcomers.

Looking deeper into brain function
As neuroscience enters the era of big data bases, a new approach could offer a deeper and more systematic understanding of brain function, HBP scientists argue in an article in the current issue of the renowned journal Trends in Cognitive Science.

Promising drug may stop cancer-causing gene in its tracks
Michigan State University scientists are testing a promising drug that may stop a gene associated with obesity from triggering breast and lung cancer, as well as prevent these cancers from growing.

New targeted therapy schedule could keep melanoma at bay
Optimizing the timing of targeted therapies for melanoma reverses tumor growth, and resistance can be mitigated.

Study offers pearls of wisdom in contested New York oyster restoration
A new study finds these stakeholder groups actually share many of the same concerns, notably risks to public health and the economy, while also acknowledging the potential ecological benefits.

Blowin' in the wind -- A source of energy?
It may in the future be possible to harvest energy with the aid of leaves fluttering in the wind.

Why are whales so big?
Examining body sizes of ancient and modern aquatic mammals and their terrestrial counterparts reveals that life in water restricts mammals to a narrow range of body sizes -- big enough to stay warm, but not so big they can't find enough food.

Lightweight metal foam blocks blastwave, debris from high-explosive rounds
New research shows that stainless steel composite metal foam (CMF) can block blast pressure and fragmentation at 5,000 feet per second from high explosive incendiary (HEI) rounds that detonate only 18 inches away.

Rapid adaptation
Biologists discover that female purple sea urchins prime their progeny to succeed in the face of stress.

Combination breast cancer therapy targets tumor cells and the blood vessels that feed them
Between 30 and 40 percent of human breast cancers express a defective (mutant) form of p53, a protein that helps cancer cells proliferate and grow.

Reconciling Paris Agreement goals for temperature, emissions
As society faces the challenge of limiting warming to no more than 2 degrees Celsius, new research finds an apparent contradiction: Achieving that goal doesn't necessarily require cutting greenhouse gas emissions to zero, as called for in the Paris Agreement.

Understanding gravity: The nanoscale search for extra dimensions
A Japan-US research collaboration involving Osaka University has used a pulsed slow neutron beamline to probe the deviation of the inverse square law of gravity below the wavelength of 0.1 nm.

Half of vision impairment in first world is preventable
Around half of vision impairment in Western Europe is preventable, according to a new study published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.

Breakthrough in battle against rice blast
Scientists have found a way to stop the spread of rice blast, a fungus that destroys up to 30% of the world's rice crop each year.

Artificial bio-inspired membranes for water filtration
Access to clean drinking water is considered to be one of the main challenges of the 21st century, and scientists have just opened a path to new filtration processes.

Canadian neuroscientists say daily ibuprofen can prevent Alzheimer's disease
A Vancouver-based research team led by Canada's most cited neuroscientist, Dr.

Understanding charge transfers in molecular electronics
An international research team, which includes University of Central Florida Professor Enrique del Barco and Christian A.

Is glass transition driven by thermodynamics?
Researchers at the University of Tokyo's Institute of Industrial Science simulated glass formation in supercooled liquids.

Sewage Sludge Leads to Biofuels Breakthrough
Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have discovered a new enzyme that will enable microbial production of a renewable alternative to petroleum-based toluene, a widely used octane booster in gasoline that has a global market of 29 million tons per year.

Team brings subatomic resolution to 'computational microscope'
Scientists have built a 'computational microscope' that can simulate the atomic and subatomic forces that drive molecular interactions.

MSU-based physicists witnessed the turning of a dielectric into a conductor
A scientist from the Faculty of Physics, MSU together with Russian and foreign colleagues studied changes in the behavior of electrons in one of the types of dielectrics with high time resolution and witnessed how the material turned into a conductor under the influence of ultra-short laser impulses.

Infection prevention and control programs are essential to antibiotic stewardship efforts
Infection prevention and control (IPC) and antibiotic stewardship (AS) programs are inextricably linked, according to a joint position paper published today by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), and the Society of Infectious Disease Pharmacists (SIDP) in APIC and SHEA's peer-review journals, the American Journal of Infection Control and Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.

How infighting turns toxic for chimpanzees
How did a once-unified community of chimpanzees in Gombe National Park, Tanzania, end up at each other's throats?

Finnish drivers use WhatsApp, PokémonGo and Tinder while driving
Researchers at the University of Jyväskylä tracked how Finnish drivers use their smartphones while driving.

New method speeds up development of medication
UZH researchers have developed a novel method that speeds up the process of determining crystal structures of organic salts and significantly reduces the effort required to do so.

Prenatal stress changes brain connectivity in-utero
The time babies spend in the womb is far from idle.

The rhythm of genes: How the circadian clock regulates 3-D chromatin structure
EPFL biologists and geneticists have uncovered how the circadian clock orchestrates the 24-hour cycle of gene expression by regulating the structure of chromatin, the tightly wound DNA-protein complex of the cell.

Analysis of the 9p21.3 sequence associated with coronary artery disease
Before a conclusive link between the SDs and the cardiovascular diseases can be made, further analysis is required on the CAD interval in more patients with coronary artery disease and in the human population, using the TAR cloning technique in combination with qPCR or Droplet digital PCR developed in this work.

Edges and corners increase efficiency of catalytic converters
Catalytic converters for cleaning exhaust emissions are more efficient when they use nanoparticles with many edges.

Hybrid chickadees found deficient at learning and memory
Scientists at Lehigh University and Franklin & Marshall College have found that hybrid chickadees have marked deficiencies in learning and memory compared to their pure species parents, a possible selective disadvantage.

New standards for ancient protein studies set forth by multi-national group of researchers
A team of researchers from institutions at the leading edge of the new field of palaeoproteomics have published guidelines to provide it with a firm foundation.

LC-MS/MS Identification and characterization of biodegradation products of Nitroproston
Nitroproston biodegradants were identified in vitro using LC-HRMS/MS. Amounts of Nitroproston and its biodegradation products in rat, rabbit and human plasma and human whole blood samples were measured by the target LC-MS/MS method.

Oxycodone use shifts in Australia after tamper-resistant versions introduced
After the introduction of tamper-resistant oxycodone in Australia, dispensing rates for higher-strength formulations decreased for people younger than 65 years, but there was no change in older adults, according to new research in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

New study finds younger aged children with symptoms of ADHD have reduced brain size
Children as young as four years old with symptoms of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) showed reduced brain volumes in regions essential for behavioral control, according to a study published today in the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society.

How did the guppy cross the ocean?: An unexpected fish appears on a volcanic archipelago
To the surprise of the scientists, populations of a South American guppy were spotted at the Fernando de Noronha archipelago, a volcanic island in the South Atlantic.

Worsening worldwide land degradation now 'critical,' undermining well-being of 3.2 billion people
The dangers of worsening land degradation, causing the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services, are detailed for policymakers, together with a catalogue of corrective options, in the three-year assessment report by more than 100 leading experts from 45 countries, launched today.

Stanford researchers learn why aquatic mammals need to be big, but not too big
Examining body sizes of ancient and modern aquatic mammals and their terrestrial counterparts reveals that life in water restricts mammals to a narrow range of body sizes -- big enough to stay warm, but not so big they can't find enough food.

Prenatal choline intake increases grey and white matter in piglets
Choline intake during pregnancy can influence infant metabolism and brain development, according to a series of studies from the University of Illinois.

Remake, refill, reuse: Recycling at the synapse revealed
OIST Researchers have shown that the speed of neurotransmitter recycling at the synapse is determined by the refilling speed of vesicles.

Alberta's boreal forest could be dramatically altered by 2100 due to climate change, study says
Half of Alberta's upland boreal forest is likely to disappear over the next century due to climate change, a new study shows.

Are antibiotic courses prescribed for sinus infection too long?
Most antibiotic courses to treat an acute sinus infection in adults were 10 days or longer, even though the Infectious Diseases Society of America recommends five to seven days for uncomplicated cases.

Low energy Iris not expected to make much of an impact
Low energy Iris which originated on March 24, 2018 is likely to hover around a low end Category 1 cyclone.

OU study reveals trends of US surface water body area over three decades
A University of Oklahoma research study, led by Professor Xiangming Xiao, reveals the divergent trends of open surface water bodies in the contiguous United States from 1984 to 2016, specifically, a decreasing trend in the water-poor states and an increasing trend in the water-rich states.

'Phubbing' can threaten our basic human needs, research shows
New research has shown that ignoring someone you're with in a social setting to concentrate on your mobile phone -- called 'phubbing' -- can can have a negative effect on relationships by threatening our basic human need to belong.

Receptivity to e-cigarette ads among young adults in the US leads to cigarette smoking
Receptivity to advertising for e-cigarettes, cigarettes and cigars were confirmed to be associated with those who would try the respective tobacco product within one year.

Portable device detects severe stroke in seconds with 92 percent accuracy
In results published online on March 6, 2018, in the Journal of Neurointerventional Surgery, clinical investigators at the Medical University of South Carolina, Mount Sinai, the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center and elsewhere describe a new visor-like device that detects emergent large-vessel occlusion with 92 percent accuracy.

Improve your information security by giving employees more options
A recent study published in the Journal of Management Information Systems suggests information security managers and supervisors could have greater success in motivating employees to act more securely by avoiding cold, authoritative commands, and instead create security messages that are relatable and provide options for how employees can better protect information and respond to threats.

New laser technique may help detect chemical warfare in atmosphere
The Department of Homeland Security could benefit from a reliable, real-time instrument that could scan the atmosphere for toxic agents in order to alert communities to a biological or chemical attack.

Treatment rates for dangerously high cholesterol remains low
Less than 40 percent of people with severe elevations in cholesterol are being prescribed appropriate drug treatment, according to a nationally representative study reported in the American Heart Association's journal Circulation.

Yeast adaptation study finds diploids evolve more slowly than haploids
A team of Lehigh University set out to answer a basic question: how do the rates of adaptation differ between haploid and diploid organisms?

Tetrahedrality is key to the uniqueness of water
A Japan-based research team studied the anomalous behavior of tetrahedral liquids, such as water.

New method speeds up 3-D printing of millimeter-sized imaging lenses
The Northwestern Engineering research team used 3-D printing to make high-quality customized lenses quickly and at low-cost, which could be used for optical imaging, vision correction, and disease diagnosis.

Cell-penetrating 'nanodrills' show promise for intracellular drug delivery
Researchers have created new nanomaterials able to cross cell membranes, establishing a novel platform for the intracellular delivery of molecular drugs and other cargo. 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