Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 03, 2018
Census data can level the playing field for small businesses
Local governments and small businesses could save thousands of dollars a year in consulting and research fees if they just used information that's already publicly available, according to research from the University of Waterloo.

Ohio University study shows high number of concussion-related symptoms in performing arts
A recent study released by the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine shows a stunning number of participants not only experienced concussion-related symptoms and head impacts but also continued performing either without reporting the incident or without receiving the recommended care.

Medical marijuana gets wary welcome from older adults, poll shows
Few older adults use medical marijuana, a new national poll finds, but the majority support its use if a doctor recommends it, and might talk to their own doctor about it if they developed a serious health condition.

Cation-mixing induced highly efficient sodium storage for layered cathodes
Aiming at solving the structural arrangement for layered sodium storage cathodes, Haoshen Zhou and Shaohua Guo's group from Nanjing University subtly introduced the cation-mixing into sodium layers to give rise to 'pinning effect,' thereby greatly stabilizing the layered framework for highly efficient sodium storage.

Smokers have worse diets than non-smokers
Smokers have worse quality diets than former smokers or non-smokers, according to a study published in the open-access journal BMC Public Health.

Use of solid fuels for heating, cooking in China associated with increased risk of death
Use of coal, wood or charcoal for cooking and heating in rural China was associated with a greater risk of death, with that risk decreased by having switched to gas, electricity or central heating, or using ventilation.

Mifepristone may halt growth of intracranial tumor that causes hearing loss
Massachusetts Eye and Ear researchers have shown that mifepristone, a drug currently FDA-approved for chemical abortion, prevents the growth of vestibular schwannoma (also known as acoustic neuroma) cells.

Astro-ecology: Saving endangered animals with software for the stars
A collaboration between astrophysicists and ecologists at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) is helping to monitor rare and endangered species and stop poaching.

New receptor genes turn T-cells into powerful liver cancer foes
Mouse genes that make human T cells powerful at fighting liver cancer could one day help patients do the same, scientists report.

Human daily rhythms: Clocks vs. light/dark cycle
From time use surveys in 17 European countries and two American countries (located from 35º to 61º latitude) this study characterizes laborer's primary activities and get them positioned along the daily and yearly cycle of light and dark.

Spa therapy helps Japan's snow monkeys cope with the cold
Japanese macaques, also known as snow monkeys, have been enjoying regular baths in the hot spring at Jigokudani in Japan for decades -- and have even become a popular tourist attraction.

Gravitational waves created by black holes in the center of most galaxies
Gravitational waves may be forged in the heart of the galaxy, says a new study led by Ph.D. student Joseph Fernandez at Liverpool John Moores University.

Ancient sea worm eats, poops and leaves behind evidence of Cambrian biodiversity
University of Kansas researcher Julien Kimmig has uncovered details of the Cambrian food web on an ocean floor that once played home to a scattering of bivalved arthropods, hyoliths and trilobites.

New study reveals cost of 2017 salmon fisheries closure
Last year's closure of the commercial ocean salmon troll fishery off the West Coast is estimated to have cost $5.8 million to $8.9 million in lost income for fishermen, with the loss of 200 to 330 jobs, according to a new model that determines the cost of fisheries closures based on the choices fishermen make.

Non-toxic filamentous virus helps quickly dissipate heat generated by electronic devices
The researcher team of Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) discovered that the film constructed by assembling a nontoxic filamentous virus functions as a heat dissipation material, and that can be simply prepared by drying the virus aqueous solution at room temperature.

For women with kidney cancer, belly fat matters
Belly fat affects the odds of women surviving kidney cancer but not men, according to a new study by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Ancient paper art, kirigami, poised to improve smart clothing
In a study published April 2 in the journal Advanced Materials, a University at Buffalo-led research team describes how kirigami has inspired its efforts to build malleable electronic circuits.

Fewer recalls associated with higher rates of interval breast cancers
Lower screening mammography recall rates -- the rates at which women are called back for additional testing based on suspicious findings -- are associated with higher rates of breast cancers detected between screenings, or interval cancers, according to a major new study.

Gender roles highlight gender bias in judicial decisions
Judges may be just as biased or even more biased than the general public in deciding court cases where traditional gender roles are challenged, according to a new study published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.

Study explores safety of rear-facing car seats in rear impact car crashes
Experts know that rear-facing car seats protect infants and toddlers in front and side impact crashes, but they are rarely discussed when it comes to rear-impact collisions.

Study suggests pasta can be part of a healthy diet without packing on the pounds
Carbohydrates get a lot of bad press and blame for the obesity epidemic, but a new study suggests that this negative attention may not be deserved for pasta.

When we sign, we build phrases with similar neural mechanisms as when we speak
Differences between signed and spoken languages are significant, yet the underlying neural processes we use to create complex expressions are quite similar for both, a team of researchers has found.

Global South experts urge developing countries to lead on solar geoengineering research
Writing in Nature today, a group of 12 scholars from across the developing world made an unprecedented call for developing countries to lead on the research and evaluation of solar radiation management (SRM) geoengineering.

Professor makes legal case for schools to challenge cyberbullies
Student bullying on the internet could be headed for a showdown with a 50-year-old U.S.

In reducing deaths from heart disease and stroke, Kaiser Permanente outpaces nation
Death rates from heart disease and stroke in adults under age 65 are lower and dropping faster for Kaiser Permanente patients in Northern California than in the rest of the United States, according to new research published today in the American Journal of Medicine.

Parkinson and binge eating: A new study investigates the reason why
The results of a new study show that 'binge eating,' which affects some Parkinson patients, would be associated to an impairment of a cognitive function called 'working memory.' This deficit would cause the patients to gorge themselves on, since it would prevent them keeping in memory the long-term goal of a healthy eating behavior.

Study shows how muscles regulate their oxygen consumption
A new study by researchers from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden shows that an enzyme called FIH determines how muscles consume oxygen.

Apps to keep children safe online may be counterproductive
Mobile apps designed to help parents keep their children safe from online predators may actually be counterproductive, harming the trust between a parent and child and reducing the child's ability to respond to online threats, conclude two new studies from the University of Central Florida.

NREL research overcomes major technical obstacles in magnesium-metal batteries
Scientists at the Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have discovered a new approach for developing a rechargeable non-aqueous magnesium-metal battery.

Study: Double-drug strategy blocks escape route for most lung cancers
A one-two combo punch using two currently available drugs could be an effective treatment for the majority of lung cancers, a study by scientists with UT Southwestern's Simmons Cancer Center shows.

How to cool a smartphone
NUST MISIS scientists have developed composites which conduct heat many times better than their counterparts and are even subject to simple and cheap processing.

Your wood stove affects the climate more than you might think
Heating with wood has a significant warming effect on the climate, which is cause for concern.

It's an ecological trap
LSU researchers have discovered a new relationship between climate change, monarch butterflies and milkweed plants.

Timing of stress-hormone pulses controls weight gain, Stanford study finds
New research provides the first molecular understanding of why people gain weight due to chronic stress, disrupted circadian rhythms and treatment with glucocorticoid drugs: it's all in the timing of the dips and rises of a class of hormones called glucocorticoids -- predominantly the 'stress hormone' cortisol, according to a new study by Stanford University School of Medicine researchers.

Hawaiian-language newspapers illuminate an 1871 hurricane
A major hurricane struck the islands of Hawai'i and Maui on Aug.

Three-month-old infants can learn abstract relations before language comprehension
Three-month-old babies cannot understand words and are just learning to roll over, yet they are already capable of learning abstract relations.

How to fight side effects of hormone therapy for prostate cancer
Men on hormone therapy for prostate cancer may benefit significantly from hitting the gym with fellow patients and choosing more veggies and fewer cheeseburgers, a new study suggests.

Cells are pretty much smarter than previously supposed
Cells' G protein-coupled receptor signaling system is capable to pass more than 2 bits of information per one interaction with external stimuli.

This is the environmental footprint of the egg industry
In recent years, egg production has been in the spotlight for animal welfare issues.

A letter we've seen millions of times, yet can't write
Despite seeing it millions of times in pretty much every picture book, every novel, every newspaper and every email message, people are essentially unaware of the more common version of the lowercase print letter 'g,' Johns Hopkins researchers have found.

Attacking flu viruses from two sides
UZH researchers have discovered a new way in which certain antibodies interact with the flu virus.

Smartphone app performs better than traditional exam in cardiac assessment
A smartphone application using the phone's camera function performed better than traditional physical examination to assess blood flow in a wrist artery for patients undergoing coronary angiography, according to a randomized trial published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Flare-responsive hydrogel developed to treat arthritis
BWH bioengineers and physicians team up to develop a better delivery system for getting anti-inflammatory therapies to the sites where they are needed most.

Study says meat protein is unhealthy, but protein from nuts and seeds is heart smart
A study conducted by researchers in California and France has found that meat protein is associated with a sharp increased risk of heart disease while protein from nuts and seeds is beneficial for the human heart.

Considering an employee for an overseas assignment?
A new study from Florida Atlantic University shows that expatriates' personality characteristics have a lot to do with how well they adjust and whether they succeed and provide a return on a company's considerable investment in an individual.

Great magma erup­tions had 2 sources
Research at Finnish Museum of Natural History may explain controversies related to great magma eruptions: the magmas had in fact two contrasting sources.

Tropical Cyclone Josie's deadly flooding rainfall examined with IMERG
Tropical cyclone Josie didn't make landfall in Fiji but its heavy rainfall resulted in deadly flooding.

Artificial intelligence helps to predict likelihood of life on other worlds
Developments in artificial intelligence may help us to predict the probability of life on other planets, according to new work by a team based at Plymouth University.

Researchers analyze genome of deadly, drug-resistant pathogen
Infections by microbes like bacteria and fungi that don't respond to available antimicrobial treatments pose an increasingly dangerous public health threat around the world.

A telescope larger than the Earth makes a sharp image of the formation of black hole jets
An international team of researchers has imaged newly forming jets of plasma from a massive black hole with unprecedented accuracy.

Genetic material once considered junk actually could hold key to cancer drug response
Material left out of common processes for sequencing genetic material in cancer tumors may actually carry important information about why only some people respond to immunotherapy, possibly offering better insight than the type of material that is being sequenced, according to a study by Mount Sinai researchers published on April 3 in Cell Reports.

Researchers develop nanoparticle films for high-density data storage
New nanoparticle-based films that are more than 80 times thinner than a human hair may provide materials that can holographically archive more than 1,000 times more data than a DVD in a 10-by-10-centimeter piece of film.

Debt matters: Women use credit to bridge income gaps, while men are less cautious
A new study on attitudes about debt shows that men have greater tolerance for using debt to buy luxury items, while women are more accepting of debt used in appropriate ways, including to bridge income gaps.

High-speed and on-silicon-chip graphene blackbody emitters
High-speed light emitters integrated on silicon chips can enable novel architectures for silicon-based optoelectronics.

Monitor detects dangerously low white blood cell levels
MIT researchers have now developed a portable device that could be used to monitor patients' white blood cell levels at home, without taking blood samples.

Magnetic hot spots on neutron stars survive for millions of years
A study of the evolution of magnetic fields inside neutron stars shows that instabilities can create intense magnetic hot spots that survive for millions of years, even after the star's overall magnetic field has decayed significantly.

X-rays could sterilize alien planets in (otherwise) habitable zones
Intense radiation could strip away the ozone layer of Earth-like planets around other stars and render them uninhabitable, according to a new study led by Dr.

Study reveals a way to make prostate cancer cells run out of energy and die
Scientists at CSHL have discovered that cells lacking the tumor-suppressor protein PTEN -- a feature of many cancers, especially prostate cancer -- are particularly vulnerable to drugs that impair their energy-producing mitochondria.

UCLA scientists merge statistics, biology to produce important new gene computational tool
UCLA researchers have come up with a computational tool that increases the reliability of measuring how strongly genes are expressed in an individual cell.

Memory training needs to target specific difficulties to be effective, suggests study
A recently published Baycrest study suggests that training programs can help, but only if they are tailored towards an individual's specific memory difficulty, such as trouble remembering faces, voices or recent events.

Inner ear provides clues to human dispersal
Slight differences can be found in the inner ear of different populations of modern humans.

Peer influence, better HIV counseling could encourage boys in Africa to be circumcised
With research showing that male circumcision reduces the odds of getting HIV through heterosexual sex by 60 percent, more boys and young men -- primarily those between the ages of 10 and 19 -- are having the procedure done, largely in eastern and southern African nations where circumcision is rarely performed at birth.

Real-time monitoring could reduce First Nations water advisories by one third, study finds
University of Guelph researchers have found that drinking water advisories in First Nations communities caused by equipment malfunction, inadequate disinfection and high microbial counts could be reduced by introducing real-time monitoring systems.

Cell discovery could help with research on genetic diseases
Cell discovery could help with research on genetic diseases Research carried out by the University of Kent has discovered the first data on an organelle that is really important in human cells in an ancient organism distantly related to humans.

Reversal of fortunes
Scientists have discovered that the seafloor from the Mississippi River Delta to the Gulf of Mexico is eroding like the land loss that is occurring on the Louisiana coast.

Ionizing radiation found to soften tumor cell microenvironment
Researchers from Vanderbilt aim to unlock how irradiation -- part of radiation therapy in cancer treatment -- might alter the mechanical properties of the microenvironment.

Here, there and everywhere: Across the universe with the Beatles
In 'Here, There and Everywhere,' inspired by the book 'La scienza dei Beatles' ('The science of the Beatles'), Viviana Ambrosi shows how the Fab Four can bring the study of celestial objects and the exploration of the universe closer to a large public audience.

Artificial molecules that mimic DNA
French researchers have developed an artificial sequence mimicking the surface features of DNA for the first time.

NASA sees Tropical Cyclone Iris at Queensland coast
When NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Tropical Cyclone Iris near the coast of Queensland, Australia, it measured cloud top temperatures and found strong storms with the potential for creating heavy rainfall.

Petrichor, the smell of rain (video)
The smell that accompanies a spring shower is so evocative that it has its own word: petrichor.

A New Metasurface Model Shows Potential to Control Acoustic Wave Reflection
Typically, when a soundwave strikes a surface, it reflects back at the same fundamental frequency with a different amplitude.

Scientists create 'Swiss army knife' for electron beams
DESY scientists have created a miniature particle accelerator for electrons that can perform four different functions at the push of a button.

Scripps Research discovery paves way for better flu prevention, treatment
Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute have discovered a new aspect of the flu virus and how it interacts with antibodies in the lungs.

Protein derived from parasite has potential to alleviate debilitating disease
A Children's-led research team has turned the tables on Schistosoma haematobium, a parasitic worm that freeloads in humans, by using a protein derived from the parasite as a therapeutic molecule to reduce bleeding and pain associated with chemotherapy-induced hemorrhagic cystitis.

Paper: Surprise can be an agent of social change
Surprising someone -- whether it's by a joke or via a gasp-inducing plot twist -- can be a memorable experience, but a less heralded effect is that it can provide an avenue to influence people, said Jeffrey Loewenstein, a professor of business administration at the Gies College of Business at Illinois.

Anticipating the dangers of space
Astronauts and future space tourists face risks from radiation, which can cause illness and injure organs.

NAS review: More research needed to develop optimal assessment, treatment standards
A recent JAMA review article stresses that more clinical studies on neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) are needed in order to develop and implement optimal assessment, diagnosis and treatment guidelines.

Genetic test may improve post-stent treatment, outcome
A test for specific genetic mutations successfully informed blood-thinner treatment selection following stent placement to open clogged blood vessels, leading to significantly fewer complications.

Bowhead whales, the 'jazz musicians' of the Arctic, sing many different songs
Four winters of audio recordings of bowhead whales singing under the ice off Greenland show a surprise variety in this animal's repertoire.

Study explains resurgence of pertussis
A team of researchers including scientists from the University of Georgia has found that the resurgence of pertussis, more commonly known as whooping cough, in the US is a predictable consequence of incomplete coverage with a highly effective vaccine.

Astrophysicists map the infant universe in 3-D and discover 4,000 early galaxies
Astronomers today announce one of the largest 3-D maps of the infant universe, in a presentation at the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science in Liverpool.

Mathematical modeling offers new way to understand variable responses to targeted therapy
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers are using a unique approach by combining typical cell culture studies with mathematical modeling to determine how heterogeneity within a tumor and the surrounding tumor environment affect responses to targeted drug therapies.

Answers to 100-year-old mystery point to potential breast cancer therapies
A team of researchers at has identified a long sought after connection between how cancer cells use the sugar glucose to generate energy -- the Warburg pathway -- and cancer growth.

New satellite method enables undersea estimates from space
Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences researchers have developed a statistical method to quantify six important ocean particles from satellite data.

Australian vine can boost soybean yield, study says
Growing in its native Australia, the unobtrusive perennial vine Glycine tomentella could easily be overlooked.

Portland State study links outdoor recreation with water quality concerns
People who camp, hike, fish or participate in other forms of outdoor recreation generally have a higher level of concern about water quality than those who don't, according to a recent study co-authored by Portland State University professor Melissa Haeffner.

Long-term caffeine worsens symptoms associated with Alzheimer's disease
A study coordinated by the Institute of Neuroscience of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and in collaboration with the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden provides evidence that a long-term consumption of caffeine has negative effects for Alzheimer's disease, worsening the neuropsychiatric symptoms appearing in the majority of those affected by the disorder.

Mantle minerals offer clues to deep Earth's composition
Scientists now have a clearer picture of the Earth's mantle, thanks to Michigan State University research published in the current issue of Nature Communications.

Connection of sea level and groundwater missing link in climate response
About 250 million years ago, when the Earth had no ice caps and the water around the equator was too hot for reptiles, sea level still rose and fell over time.

Resonances to 'taste' loins and hams without opening them
Researchers from the University of Extremadura (Spain) have developed a methodology that allows us to know the properties of hams and whole loins using magnetic resonance imaging, the same non-invasive technique used in medicine.

Partner's finances impact well-being, even in young love
How a young adult's boyfriend or girlfriend manages money may have an impact on the young adult's overall well-being and life outcomes, according to a new study led by the University of Arizona.

Dispatch from the field II: Students describe an elusive spider while stationed in Borneo
Students taking part in a recent ecology field course in Borneo described the first male of an elusive species of orb-weaving spider known for its striking red and blue colors.

Genes can help predict children's risk of type 1 diabetes
A type 1 diabetes genetic score can identify infants at risk for pre-symptomatic type 1 diabetes and could be used to enroll children into type 1 diabetes prevention trials, according to a study published this week in PLOS Medicine by Anette Ziegler of the Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen, Germany, and colleagues.

Physicists at FAU demonstrate demixing behavior of rotating particles
Physicists from Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) and Heinrich-Heine Universität Düsseldorf have demonstrated that demixing occurs in systems made up of macroscopic particles rotating in opposite directions and that particles turning in either a clockwise or counter-clockwise direction form homogeneous groups.

Scholarly snowball: Deep learning paper generates big online collaboration
More than 40 online collaborators contributed to a study about biomedical applications for deep learning, a hot new artificial intelligence field striving to mimic the neural networks of the human brain.

Researchers propose key elements of antimicrobial stewardship for hospitals worldwide
In a study to be published in the journal Clinical Microbiology and Infection, researchers identify essential elements of antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs) that could be applicable to hospitals in both high-income and low-income countries.

High levels of hazardous chemicals found in plastics collected from Lake Geneva
The first analysis of plastic litter from Lake Geneva finds toxic chemicals like cadmium, mercury and lead - - whose levels sometimes exceed the maximum permitted under EU law.

Preprints accelerated between Ebola and Zika epidemics
Preprints -- scientific manuscripts that are posted at a recognized online repository before peer review -- have the potential to speed up the reporting of scientific research in infectious disease outbreaks, argue Michael Johansson and colleagues in an Essay in PLOS Medicine.

Sulfur amino acid restriction could amount to new dietary approach to health
The longevity and health improvements seen in animals on sulfur amino acid-restricted diets could translate to people, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers who recently conducted a review of published studies.

Microbiome study suggests marine nematodes are not picky eaters
UC Riverside researchers report in Molecular Ecology that the likelihood that nematode worms have similar microbial profiles does not correlate with how closely they are related.

Sudden loss of wealth associated with increased risk of death
Loss of wealth over two years among middle-aged and older adults in the US was associated with an increased risk of death.

Losing your nest egg can kill you
A sudden loss of net worth in middle or older age is associated with a significantly higher risk of death, reports a new study.

Consumers who engage with trends may be less open to advertising than others
One common assumption in digital marketing is that individuals who are mindful of what's trending on social media, will be responsive to social media advertising.

The plant hormone auxin coordinates wood formation
An international research team investigated the genetic regulation of stem cell division in plant stems.

More communication needed regarding disposal of pet pharmaceuticals
New research found that more than 60 percent of veterinary care professionals do not counsel their clients when it comes to the environmental stewardship aspect of medicine disposal .

Island emus' size related to size of island homes
Emus that lived isolated on Australia's offshore islands until the 19th century, including Kangaroo Island, King Island and Tasmania, were smaller versions of their larger mainland relatives -- and their overall body size correlated to the size of the islands they inhabited. 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