Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 28, 2018
BU study: Diagnosing Ebola before symptoms arrive
Boston University researchers studied data from 12 monkeys exposed to Ebola virus, and discovered a common pattern of immune response among the ones that got sick.

Researchers identify chemical compound that inhibits Ebola virus replication
An organic chemical compound shows effective antiviral activity against Ebola virus and several other viruses, according to a study led by Georgia State University.

Potential biomarkers in animals could signal Ebola virus infection before symptoms appear
Scientists have identified potential biomarkers in nonhuman primates exposed to Ebola virus (EBOV) that appeared up to four days before the onset of fever, according to research published today in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

Noninvasive stimulation device can help prevent migraine attacks
A migraine is much more than just a bad headache.

Mandatory nutrition policies may impact sugar consumption
Mandatory nutrition policies could be a valuable tool in helping high school students to lower their sugar intake, a University of Waterloo study has found.

Ragweed casts shade on soy production
Ragweed, its pollen potent to allergy sufferers, might be more than a source of sneezes.

Finding the Achilles heel of cancer
A research team led by Monica Bettencourt Dias, from Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia, discovered important features of cancer cells that may help clinicians fighting cancer.

New colon cancer finding could lead to earlier diagnosis -- and better outcomes
For many years, physicians have puzzled over why people with 'clean' colonoscopies went on to develop colon cancer.

Social awareness increases prove brain changing in adults with autism
Researchers at the Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas at Dallas, in collaboration with co-leading authors at George Washington University and Yale, have demonstrated in a pilot study that a clinician-driven virtual learning platform, tailored to young adults on the autism spectrum, shows improved social competency.

Fleet of automated electric taxis could deliver environmental and energy benefits
It may be only a matter of time before urban dwellers can hail a self-driving taxi, so researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and UC Berkeley decided to analyze the cost, energy, and environmental implications of a fleet of self-driving electric vehicles operating in Manhattan.

Knitting electronics with yarn batteries
When someone thinks about knitting, they usually don't conjure up an image of sweaters and scarves made of yarn that can power watches and lights.

Decade of fossil collecting gives new perspective on Triassic period, emergence of dinosaurs
A project spanning countries, years and institutions has attempted to reconstruct what the southern end of the world looked like during the Triassic period, 252 to 199 million years ago.

Scientists elucidate the crystal structure of sodium boride
An international team of scientists predicts the ground-state structure of sodium boride.

Automated electric taxis could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and costs
Word on the street is that self-driving cars are the next big thing.

Scientists discover promising off-switch for inflammation
The switch puts the brake on overactive immune cells at the heart of many inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, IBD, and heart disease.

Wider coverage of satellite data better detects magma supply to volcanoes
Using satellite imaging, Penn State researchers for the first time identified a major magma supply into a reservoir extending almost two miles from the crater of a volcano in Nicaragua.

Research uncovers a potential new strategy to fight ovarian cancer
Researchers discovered a potential novel way to regulate ovarian cancer growth.

Fungi found in the guts of healthy adults just travel through
Fungi found in the gastrointestinal tracts of healthy adults are largely transient and stem from the mouth or foods recently consumed, according to new research published this week in mSphere, an open-access journal from the American Society for Microbiology.

Heart disease, stroke less widespread among foreign-born vs. US-born adults
Foreign-born adults living in the United States had a lower prevalence of coronary heart disease and stroke than US-born adults in nationally representative data spanning 2006-2014, according to new research in Journal of the American Heart Association, the Open Access Journal of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

Researchers reveal how brain circuits are affected by infections in mothers and newborns
McLean Hospital neuroscientists have found that immune system activation during pregnancy and right at birth can cause alterations in the brain's neural circuits during young adulthood that are consistent with behavioral symptoms common in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental conditions.

Simulations document self-assembly of proteins and DNA
What makes particles self-assemble into complex biological structures? Often, this phenomenon is due to the competition between forces of attraction and repulsion, produced by electrical charges in various sections of the particles, called patches.

Supernova may have 'burped' before exploding
Only by increasing the rate at which telescopes monitor the sky has it been possible to catch more Fast-Evolving Luminous Transients (FELTs) and begin to understand them.

New study shows drug that kills mosquitoes could be used to fight malaria
Researchers from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) have shown the large potential impact of a completely new type of antimalarial drug that kills mosquitoes, as opposed to existing drugs that target the parasite, to reduce the spread of malaria.

It's a trap!
Scientists at the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have published a new study that identifies the process by which holes get trapped in nanoparticles made of zinc oxide, a material of potential interest for solar applications because it absorbs ultraviolet light.

Study changes long-held concepts of cell decoding
Scientists at the National Institute on Drug Abuse Intramural Research Program have uncovered evidence that shows a more complex and elaborate role for the body's hard-working G protein-coupled receptors than previously thought, suggesting a conceptual advance in the fields of biochemistry and pharmacology.

Turtle shells help decode complex links between modern, fossil species
A new study by Florida Museum of Natural History researcher Natasha Vitek shows how scientists can use animals' physical features -- also known as morphology -- to make connections between a modern species and its fossilized relatives, even if they look strikingly different.

Study: Parental conflict can do lasting damage to kids
Even relatively low-level adversity like parental conflict can do lasting damage to children, a new study finds.

Majorana trilogy completed
Since the breakthrough discovery of the Majorana particle in 2012 in Delft, researchers faced great challenges.

A paperlike LCD -- thin, flexible, tough and cheap
Optoelectronic engineers have manufactured a special type of LCD that is paper-thin, flexible, light and tough.

Investing in public education earns high marks for greater upward mobility
Investing in education may help boost economic opportunities for the next generation, according to a team of economists.

Dark matter is a no show in ghostly galaxy
Astronomers using Gemini and W. M. Keck Observatory data in Hawai'i have encountered a galaxy that appears to have almost no dark matter.

Fifth International Symposium on Arctic Research
The Fifth International Symposium on Arctic Research (ISAR-5) was held in Tokyo from January 15 to 18, 2018, the largest of Asia's non-Arctic nations.

Global cancer trial sets new standard for post-surgery chemotherapy
Some stage III colon cancer patients can cut in half the number of chemotherapy treatments they receive after surgery, significantly reducing the costs, treatment time, and long-term toxic effects of chemotherapy, according to results of a unique global clinical trial collaboration published for the first time in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Scientists find link between congenital cardiac malformation and adult adrenal cancer
Why do rare tumors of the adrenal gland sometimes occur in patients who have been born with a severe heart defect that limits their oxygen?

Mitochondrial replacement moratorium should be reconsidered, researchers say
Professors from Brown's medical school and Harvard's law school urge the US to allow for the replacement of mutation-bearing mitochondria to prevent fatal illnesses in children.

Misestimating travel times may stop people from walking or biking to work
The extra amount of time needed to walk or bike to work is often cited as a reason most people drive instead.

Double danger: The peril of childbirth for women with rheumatic heart disease
Women of childbearing age who suffer from Rheumatic Heart Disease in low- to moderate-income countries like Uganda face a double danger: Increased risk of complications during pregnancy -- including death -- while also bearing a cultural burden and expectation that they'll become mothers.

Photosynthesis uses vibrations as 'traffic signals'
Researchers have discovered a new role for protein vibrations in controlling the transformation of sunshine into useful energy.

How do you make a galaxy without dark matter
A team of astronomers has discovered a unique galaxy -- the first of its kind -- that appears to contain virtually no dark matter.

Catching the right fish
ETH researchers have developed a method to examine millions of potential self-produced drug candidates in one go.

Subduction of the Pacific plate resulted in the destruction of the North China Craton
Why the North China Craton became active 1-2 million years ago after 2 billion years of quiescence?

Women with polycystic ovary syndrome have double the risk of liver disease
Increased male hormones result in women with polycystic ovaries having a two-fold increased risk of developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

How self-driving cars could shrink parking lots
New U of T Engineering research shows that adoption of self-driving cars -- also known as autonomous vehicles (AVs) -- could significantly reduce the amount of valuable urban space dedicated to parking.

Increase in heart rate as blood pressure falls could be early sign of neurological disease
A simple bedside test that matches a change in heart rate with a drop in blood pressure after a patient stands may help doctors diagnose certain degenerative brain diseases, according to a new study led by researchers at NYU School of Medicine.

By river, ocean, or wind, rocks round the same way
River rocks tend to be rounded, as do grains of dune sand and beach glass.

Rapid emissions reductions would keep CO2 removal and costs in check
Rapid greenhouse-gas emissions reductions are needed if governments want to keep in check both the costs of the transition towards climate stabilization and the amount of removing already emitted CO2 from the atmosphere.

The American Society For Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reports that modern cosmetic surgical procedures
New data from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) shows that many modern cosmetic surgical procedures are on the rise, and that surgical procedures account for 77% of all surveyed physicians' business.

Bovine genetics: The startling diversity of Buša cattle
In a study of the genetic structure and population dynamics of a unique breed of cattle that is indigenous to Southeastern Europe, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich researchers have discovered a remarkable degree of genetic variation.

A new method for quantitative estimation of the degree of similarity of coordination polyhedra
The problem of the relationship between the structure of materials and their physical properties is one of the global problems of the present day.

Berkeley Lab scientists print all-liquid 3-D structures
Scientists have developed a way to print 3-D structures composed entirely of liquids.

Revolutionary brain-mapping technique provides new blueprint for cortical connections
Researchers used MAPseq, a revolutionary brain mapping method, to make a discovery that will force neuroscientists to rethink how areas of the cortex communicate with one another.

The physics of finance helps solve a century-old mystery
By unleashing the power of big data and statistical physics, researchers in Japan have developed a model that aids understanding of how and why financial Brownian motion arises.

Is there association between weight-loss surgery, change in relationships?
Weight-loss surgery was associated with relationship changes for patients.

Most of Earth's water was likely present before the moon-forming giant impact
Based on an extensive collection of lunar and terrestrial samples, a new study probing the elusive origins of the moon -- now typically thought to have formed from a collision between a proto-Earth and a solid impactor -- supports theories of a collision with extremely high energy.

Largest-ever genetic study of stroke provides new insight into the disease
An international research group studying 520,000 people from around the world has identified 22 new genetic risk factors for stroke, tripling the number of gene regions known to affect stroke risk.

13,000-year old human footprints found off Canada's Pacific coast
Human footprints found off Canada's Pacific coast may be 13,000 years old, according to a study published March 28, 2018 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Duncan McLaren and colleagues from the Hakai Institute and University of Victoria, Canada.

Public willing to pay to improve water quality
Researchers from the University of Missouri have found in a nationwide survey that members of the public are more willing to pay for improved water quality than other ecosystem services such as flood control or protecting wildlife habitats.

Brain-wide tracing of single neurons reveals breadth of information transfer from visual cortex
An international collaboration of neuroscientists have today published a paper in Nature demonstrating the breadth of neural communication in visual cortex using a combination of methods for tracing the projections of individual neurons across the brain.

Want people to fund your Kickstarter project? Sell them on your reputation first
When trying to entice people to invest in your product on a crowdfunding website, potential funders are more concerned about your ethical characteristics than your actual ability to make and deliver the product, according to new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York.

Decades-long trends, not flawed vaccine, explain resurgent whooping cough
Researchers and public health officials have struggled to explain the resurgence of whooping cough in the US since the late 1970s, and the suspected shortcomings of the current generation of vaccines are often blamed.

ANU archaeologist discovers Cornish barrow site
Untouched Bronze-Age burial mound discovered by chance by ANU Archaeologist, Dr.

Communication via calcium wave
The hormone auxin is a key regulator of plant growth and development.

Meditate regularly for an improved attention span in old age
Regular and intensive meditation sessions over the course of a lifetime could help a person remain attentive and focused well into old age.

West Greenland Ice Sheet melting at the fastest rate in centuries
New study from the West Greenland Ice Sheet shows that weather patterns and summer warming combine to drive ice loss that is at the highest levels in at least 450 years.

Latest nanowire experiment boosts confidence in Majorana sighting
In the latest experiment of its kind, researchers have captured the most compelling evidence to date that unusual particles lurk inside a special kind of superconductor.

Taking a standard prostate cancer drug with food boosts impact, lowers cost
By taking a high-cost drug with a low-fat meal -- instead of on an empty stomach, as prescribed -- prostate cancer patients could decrease their daily dose, prevent digestive issues and cut costs by 75 percent.

UNH Research finds dramatic increase in flooding on coastal roads
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have found that in the past 20 years roads along the East Coast have experienced a 90 percent increase in flooding -- often making the roads in these communities impassable, causing delays, as well as stress, and impacting transportation of goods and services.

Stroke affects more than just the physical
A new study looks at what problems affect people most after a stroke and it provides a broader picture than what some may usually expect to see.

Towards greater MRI sensitivity by harnessing quantum hyperpolarization
Researchers at the University of Melbourne have developed a technique which could increase the sensitivity of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for patient diagnosis.

Liver cancer caused by alcohol consumption may have worse prognosis than other forms
A new study indicates that patients with alcohol-related liver cancer often do not live as long as patients with liver cancer that is not associated with alcohol consumption, mainly due to diagnoses at later stages.

Low birthweight in newborns linked to protein in placenta
UCLA scientists have discovered higher levels of a protein called humanin in the placenta tissue of women who give birth to severely underweight infants.

'Fog harp' increases collection capacity for clean water
The study demonstrates how a vertical array of parallel wires may change the forecast for fog harvesters.

Rapid pair production - Detection of a new reaction path in the atmosphere
Scientists have now observed a particularly rapid type of pair production in the laboratory: Hydrocarbons double when two peroxyl radicals react with each other.

Draining peatlands gives global rise to greenhouse laughing-gas emissions
Drained fertile peatlands around the globe are hotspots for the atmospheric emission of laughing-gas - a powerful greenhouse gas called nitrous oxide, which is partly responsible for global warming and destruction of the ozone layer, a new study shows.

Hubble finds first galaxy in the local Universe without dark matter
An international team of researchers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and several other observatories have, for the first time, uncovered a galaxy that is missing most -- if not all -- of its dark matter.

Dark matter goes missing in oddball galaxy
Galaxies and dark matter go together like peanut butter and jelly.

NASA finds Tropical Storm Jelawat strengthening
Infrared imagery from NASA's Aqua satellite revealed that Tropical Storm Jelawat was getting stronger as it moved through the Northwestern Pacific Ocean.

Dining out associated with increased exposure to harmful chemicals called Phthalates
Dining out more at restaurants, cafeterias and fast-food outlets may boost total levels of potentially health-harming chemicals called phthalates in the body, according to a study out today.

Monterey Bay Aquarium study finds sea turtles use flippers to manipulate food
Sea turtles use their flippers to handle prey despite the limbs being evolutionarily designed for locomotion, a discovery by Monterey Bay Aquarium researchers published in PeerJ.

Test for antibiotic associated kidney damage in children with cystic fibrosis identified
New research, published in Nature Scientific Reports, conducted by the University and partners highlights effective methods for identifying a common side effect in children receiving drug treatments for Cystic fibrosis.

A chink in bacteria's armor
Scientists have untangled the structure of a recently discovered bacterial wall-building protein, found in nearly all bacteria.

Plants, fungi and bacteria work together to clean polluted land
Highly complex interactions among roots, fungi and bacteria underlie the ability of some trees to clean polluted land, according to a novel study by bioinformatics and plant-biology experts from McGill University and Université de Montréal.

Overcoming a battery's fatal flaw
Electric vehicles, wind turbines or smart grids require batteries with far greater energy capacity than currently available.

Understanding the resurgence of whooping cough in the US
Scientists might have an explanation for the severe and surprising resurgence of whooping cough in the US whooping cough (also called pertussis) is caused by the bacterial pathogen Bordetella pertussis and results in roughly 195,000 infant deaths worldwide every year, mostly in the developing world.

CNIC scientists identify a promising target for the treatment of heart failure
The mitochondrial protease OMA1 is activated when the heart is stressed.

Relationship changes after bariatric surgery
Individuals who have undergone bariatric surgery have a higher probability of getting married, separating from their partner or getting divorced, according to a Swedish study published in JAMA Surgery.

A moveable feast: Antibiotics give C. diff a nutrient-rich environment, no competition
Using a mouse model, researchers from North Carolina State University have found that antibiotic use creates a

Weather phenomena such as El Niño affect up to two-thirds of the world's harvests
According to researchers at Aalto University, Finland, large-scale weather cycles, such as the one related to the El Niño phenomenon, affect two-thirds of the world's cropland.

Can the causal order between events change in quantum mechanics?
Researchers at the University of Vienna and the Austrian Academy of Sciences develop a new theoretical framework to describe how causal structures in quantum mechanics transform.

UTSW study helps explain launch switch for most common malignant pediatric brain tumor
By detailing the mechanisms underlying the development of medulloblastoma tumors, the most common malignant brain tumor affecting children, these findings could lead to new treatments, noted Dr.

Researchers capture first representative of most abundant giant viruses in the sea
Bodo saltans virus, whose genome weighs in at 1.39 million bases of DNA, is one of the largest giant viruses ever isolated, and the largest known to infect zooplankton.

Fossils highlight Canada-Russia connection 53 million years ago
A new 53 million-year-old insect fossil called a scorpionfly discovered at B.C.'s McAbee fossil bed site bears a striking resemblance to fossils of the same age from Pacific-coastal Russia, giving further evidence of an ancient Canada-Russia connection.

Oregon memory researchers link two brain regions to conceptual organization
If your idea of a perfect dog is an abstract rendering of canine qualities extracted across many encounters in your life, you are not alone in how your brain connects memories, say University of Oregon scientists. 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