Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 09, 2018
Resistance training enhances recycling capacity in muscles
A new study at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland reports that autophagosome content is increased by resistance training in previously untrained young men, but this response may be blunted by aging.

An oil-eating bacterium that can help clean up pollution and spills
Oil spills occur on a regular basis, leading to messy decontamination challenges.

When heart disease runs in the family, exercise may be best defense
As fitness increases, heart risk decreases regardless of genetic risk.

Spoken language reveals how people develop and mature
Examining 44,000 brief text samples collected over 25 years, a study of ego level and language sheds light on ego development, its relationship with other models of personality and individual differences, and its utility in characterizing people, texts and cultural contexts.

Overlapping mechanisms in HIV cognitive disorders and Alzheimer's disease
A protein involved in Alzheimer's disease (AD) may be a promising target for treating neurological disorders in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) patients, suggests a study published in JNeurosci of rat neurons and brain tissue from deceased humans.

Childhood obesity declines project identifies community-based obesity strategies that work
To improve success rates and combat continuing disparities in the fight against childhood obesity, the Childhood Obesity Declines Project (COBD) is taking a systematic approach to studying community-based strategies that have led to declining obesity rates.

Kids with regular health care less likely to have life-threatening diabetic ketoacidosis
A key factor in reducing the risk of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a potentially life-threatening complication of type 1 diabetes, in children at diagnosis of type 1 diabetes, is having a regular health care provider, according to a study in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Lingering negative responses to stress linked with health a decade later
People whose negative emotional responses to stress carry over to the following day are more likely to report health problems and physical limitations later in life compared with peers who are able to 'let it go,' according to findings published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Leadership and adaptive reserve are not associated with blood pressure control
Primary care leadership and practice resilience can strengthen organizational culture.

UK giant ichthyosaur is one of the largest animals ever
The 205-million-year-old jaw bone of a prehistoric reptile belongs to 'one of the largest animals ever' say a group of international paleontologists.

High efficiency solar power conversion allowed by a novel composite material
A composite thin film made of two different inorganic oxide materials significantly improves the performance of solar cells.

Study sheds new light on how bilinguals process language
A study led by psychologist and cognitive neuroscientist Megan Zirnstein at the University of California, Riverside shows that bilinguals who are highly proficient in their second language, such as international students who have come to the United States to pursue higher education, can not only overcome the difficulty that being immersed in their non-native language imposes, but also engage in reading strategies in their second language just like their monolingual peers.

Biomarker helps identify 'window of opportunity' for cancer chemotherapy timing
Angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels, is essential for tumor growth.

Those living near oil and gas facilities may be at higher risk of disease
People living near oil and gas facilities along Colorado's Northern Front Range may be exposed to hazardous air pollutants, including carcinogens like benzene, that could pose health risks above levels deemed acceptable by the US Environmental Protection Agency, according to researchers at the Colorado School of Public Health, Boulder County Public Health, CU Boulder, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the University of California Irvine.

Scientists tweak CRISPR to speed up genomic editing
UCLA researchers have tweaked CRISPR technology, enabling them to monitor the outcome of tens of thousands of gene edits in the time it currently takes to analyze a few.

Tiny nanomachine successfully completes test drive
Together with colleagues from the USA, scientists from the University of Bonn and the research institute Caesar in Bonn have used nanostructures to construct a tiny machine that constitutes a rotatory motor and can move in a specific direction.

Food packaging could be negatively affecting nutrient absorption in your body
Food packaging could be negatively affecting the way in which your digestive tract operates, according to new research by faculty and students at Binghamton University, State University at New York.

How tumors caused by STD quickly regress in dogs
The canine transmissible venereal tumor is a contagious cancer that has spread by mating among dogs worldwide.

Fatty liver under stress
A poor diet and other risk factors can result in liver disease.

There's no such thing as oversharing in conservation
Social gadflies in an organization are the new superheroes of conservation, according to a study in this month's Nature Sustainability.

Controlling blood pressure even when older can prevent dementia in African Americans
Controlling blood pressure with any of the commonly prescribed antihypertensive medications (beta blockers, ACE inhibitors, calcium channel blocks, and diuretics) can prevent dementia in older African-Americans with hypertension according to a new study from Regenstrief Institute researchers.

Solid research leads physicists to propose new state of matter
The term 'superfluid quasicrystal' sounds like something a comic-book villain might use to carry out his dastardly plans.

The absence of a single mitochondrial protein causes severe inflammation
Scientists at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) headed by Antonio Zorzano, demonstrate that the removal of a single mitochondrial protein in mouse muscle leads to severe inflammation throughout the body, causing the premature death of the animal.

Human drugs could help treat transmissible cancers in Tasmanian devils
Transmissible cancers are incredibly rare in nature, yet have arisen in Tasmanian devils on at least two separate occasions.

Wheat research discovery yields genetic secrets that could shape future crops
A new study has isolated a gene controlling shape and size of spikelets in wheat in a breakthrough which could help breeders deliver yield increases in one of the world's most important crops.

Physical activity helps fight genetic risk of heart disease, Stanford-led study finds
Keeping fit, even if you're born with a high genetic risk for heart disease, still works to keep your heart healthy, according to a study led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Binge-eating mice reveal obesity clues
Mice fed on a high-fat or chocolate-based diet show abnormal feeding behaviors such as snacking, bingeing and disrupted eating patterns, according to new research from scientists at the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) and the Pompeu Fabra University (UPF) in Barcelona, Spain.

Novel hormone replacement therapy trial demonstrates improved memory function in adrenal patients
Timing cortisol replacement therapies to replicate secretion patterns in people with normal levels of the hormone has shown significant improvements in patients' cognitive function in a new trial led by University of Bristol scientists.

Public awareness of cancer drug shortages is low
The US population is largely unaware that there are shortages in the availability of cancer drugs, according to a study published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.

An advance for precision medicine
Scientists have developed a method to quickly and efficiently recognize the subtypes of cells within the body for the first time.

NASA sees Tropical Cyclone Keni develop in the South Pacific
A low pressure area that has been lingering near Vanuatu in the Southern Pacific Ocean has consolidated into a tropical cyclone.

Breast cancer therapy: All clear for the heart
Many breast cancer therapies cause damage to the heart. However, in the largest study of its kind so far, scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg have now shown that the risk of death from heart disease in breast cancer patients following radiotherapy or chemotherapy is no higher than it is among the average population.

Study confirms that inflammation during pregnancy is linked to baby's brain
A study conducted by researchers at OHSU in Portland, Oregon, has established a link between inflammation in pregnant women and the way the newborn brain is organized into networks.

Man develops severe 'thunderclap' headaches after eating world's hottest chili pepper
Taking part in a hot chili pepper eating contest might have some unexpected consequences, highlight doctors in the journal BMJ Case Reports.

Use of quality improvement strategies among US primary care practices
Small- to medium-sized practices with quality improvement systems (e.g., registries) are most likely to use quality improvement strategies.

NIH scientists develop macaque model to study Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever
Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) is a viral disease spread by ticks in the Middle East, Asia, Africa and parts of Europe.

Solo medical practices outperform groups in treatment of cardiac disease
Solo primary care practices in New York City are more likely than group practices to meet practice guidelines for reducing cardiovascular risk.

Pharmacogenetics of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors for Alzheimer's disease
The researchers aimed to investigate whether ACE gene polymorphisms rs1800764 and rs4291 are associated with cognitive and functional change in patients with Alzheimer's disease.

Interventions to decrease cardiovascular disease are not one-size-fits-all
In a study spanning four culturally different communities, tailored recruitment materials were developed to facilitate community engagement.

First human migration out of Africa more geographically widespread than previously thought
A project led by the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History has discovered a fossilized finger bone of an early modern human in the Nefud Desert of Saudi Arabia, dating to approximately 90,000 years ago.

Recruiting practices is costly
Recruiting practices for large scale quality improvement initiatives is difficult and costly ($5,529 per enrolled practice on average), and even more expensive for practices with no prior relationship with the study team.

Shaking up megathrust earthquakes with slow slip and fluid drainage
Megathrust earthquakes are the most powerful type of earthquake, occurring at subduction zones -- where one tectonic plate is pushed beneath another.

Four in one: Chemical analysis technique gets major upgrade from Russian scientists
Researchers have developed a device for upgrading mass spectrometers, which are used to analyze the chemical makeup of unknown substances.

Intergenerational trauma evident in offspring caring for Holocaust survivor parents
More than 70 years since the end of World War II, there are still signs of intergenerational transmission of Holocaust trauma that are manifested in the way adult offspring of Holocaust survivors care for their elderly parents, according to a new study by researchers at Bar-Ilan University.

Practice leaders' and facilitators' perspectives on quality improvement may differ
Practice facilitators and practice leaders agreed on the value of a facilitated quality improvement program, but reached different judgments on practices' intensity and pace of change.

Study: Almost 100 million adults have COPD in China
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is widespread in China with 8.6 percent of the country's adult population -- almost 100 million people -- suffering from the chronic lung disease, according to a new Tulane University study published in The Lancet.

20-year-old mystery of malaria vaccine target solved
The human piece of a malaria infection puzzle has been revealed for the first time, solving a long-standing mystery.

Geoengineering risks losers as well as winners for climate and wildfire risks
Artificially altering the climate system to limit global warming to 1.5C could increase the risks of wildfires in some areas, new research suggests.

Major disruptions are frequent in primary care
Among 208 primary care practices, two-thirds experienced one or more major disruptive events, such as personnel changes or relocation, adversely affecting quality improvement efforts.

Gender gap in academic medicine has negative impact, but there are simple solutions
Existing gender gaps in academic medicine may have a negative impact on workplace culture and organizational effectiveness, but there are simple, systems-based solutions, suggests a new study.

Ultra-powerful batteries made safer, more efficient
An international team of researchers is laying the foundation for more widespread use of lithium metal batteries.

Toxins produced by e-cigarettes vary by flavor
Different flavors of e-cigarettes produce different levels of free radicals, toxins often associated with cancer and other diseases, according to Penn State researchers.

Rare brain disease in children: Major breakthroughs in Rasmussen's encephalitis
Researchers at Université de Montréal and the research centres of the CHUM and CHU Sainte-Justine are banding together to conquer this rare orphan pediatric disease.

Increased risk of unnatural death to people with epilepsy found
A new study has shown that people diagnosed with epilepsy in England and Wales are at increased risk of dying from suicide and accidents.

New source of global nitrogen discovered: Earth's bedrock
For centuries, the thinking has been that all the nitrogen available for plant growth worldwide comes from the atmosphere.

Stop prioritizing the car to tackle childhood obesity, governments/planners urged
The UK governments need to ditch a 42-year-old trend and stop prioritizing the car if they are serious about tackling childhood obesity, insist clinicians and transport experts in a call to action, published online in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Prominent academics, including Salk's Thomas Albright, call for more science in forensic science
Six scientists who recently served on the National Commission on Forensic Science are calling on the scientific community at large to advocate for increased research and financial support of forensic science as well as the introduction of empirical testing requirements to ensure the validity of outcomes.

Urban growth leads to shorter, more intense wet seasons in Florida peninsula
New research from Florida State University scientists has found that urban areas throughout the Florida peninsula are experiencing shorter, increasingly intense wet seasons relative to underdeveloped or rural areas.

Advancing the science of smell -- with a hint of musk
Researchers have identified key molecular mechanisms at work when people smell musks, a highly valued group of fixatives used in many perfumes and colognes.

Repairing a leaky blood-brain barrier in epilepsy
Blocking the activity of an enzyme that has a key role in the generation of recurring seizures may provide a new way to treat epilepsy that is resistant to anti-seizure drugs, according to a study of rats and mice published in JNeurosci.

Scientists fix genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease in human brain cells
In a new study published in Nature Medicine, Gladstone researchers revealed how apoE4 confers its risk for Alzheimer's disease in human brain cells.

Gene editing regulations threaten sustainability of global food animal supply
The US Food and Drug Administration's 2017 draft guidance that proposed drug-like regulatory scrutiny of food animals produced using gene editing technology such as CRISPR has global implications for the future cost and feasibility of food animal production.

Payments to doctors linked to prescription practices for two cancer types
Compared to physicians who didn't receive any payments, those who received general payments for meals and lodging from a drug manufacturer had higher odds of prescribing that company's particular drug for metastatic renal cell carcinoma and for chronic myeloid leukemia.

Why some beetles like alcohol
Alcohol used as a 'weed killer' optimizes the harvest of ambrosia beetles.

Why expressive brows might have mattered in human evolution
Highly mobile eyebrows that can be used to express a wide range of subtle emotions may have played a crucial role in human survival, new research from the University of York suggests.

Doing the nano-shimmy
NIST researchers have for the first time created a plasmomechanical oscillator, a nanometer-scale device thati is no bigger than a red blood cell but has myriad technological applications.

First dynamic spine brace -- robotic spine exoskeleton -- characterizes spine deformities
Columbia Engineering researchers have invented a new Robotic Spine Exoskeleton, a dynamic spine brace that enabled them to conduct the first study that looks at in vivo measurements of torso stiffness and characterizes the three-dimensional stiffness of the human torso.

Hundreds of thousands of Kentucky residents could lose Medicaid under the work demonstration project
Medicaid work requirements would harm low-income Kentucky families and strain the safety net system, says Friend of the Court Brief filed in support of plaintiffs in Stewart v.

Studies show hookah also plays critical role in tobacco product landscape
The findings of two recently published studies on the emergence of hookah use indicate that public health officials may need to consider broadening their tobacco prevention efforts beyond traditional cigarettes.

The 'immuno revolution': Turning up the heat on resistant tumors
A promising class of drugs known as CD40 monoclonal antibodies could be the spark needed to light the fire in the immune system of patients who don't respond to the newer cancer immunotherapies.

Hospital ownership of practice may reduce physician burnout
Among staff in small- to medium-sized primary care practices, hospital ownership is associated with positive perceptions of work environment and lower burnout.

Common genetic variant linked to AFib risk in Latinos
With the development of a large, diverse registry of patients with AFib, the most prevalent heart rhythm disorder worldwide, UIC researchers have confirmed for the first time the association of a chromosomal genetic variant with increased risk of AFib in Latinos.

Substance that guides ant trail is produced by symbiotic bacteria
A research with ant from genus Atta reveals that a bacteria in their microbiota plays a key role in communication among individuals and also on the colony's defense against pathogens.

Vaccination apathy fueled by decades of misinformation
A legacy of social and political factors rather than bad parenting may be influencing people's decisions not to vaccinate their children, according to a study from the University of Waterloo.

Study examines associations of prenatal SSRI exposure, fetal brain development
Brain imaging findings suggest selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) use by pregnant women may be associated with fetal brain development, particularly in regions of the brain related to emotional processing.

ALS, rare dementia share genetic link
Studying data from more than 125,000 individuals, an international team of researchers led by scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

The largest catalog ever published of very high energy gamma ray sources in the galaxy
The HESS international collaboration, to which CNRS and CEA contribute, has published the results of 15 years of gamma ray observations of the Milky Way.

Media alert: New articles in The CRISPR Journal
This press release is issued on behalf of The CRISPR Journal, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert Inc. dedicated to publishing outstanding research and commentary in all aspects of CRISPR and gene editing research.

Phononic SEIRA -- enhancing light-molecule interactions via crystal lattice vibrations
Researchers from CIC-nanoGUNE (San Sebastián, Spain), in collaboration with the Donostia International Physics Center (San Sebastián, Spain), Materials Physics Center (CFM, CSIC-UPV/EHU, San Sebastián, Spain) and University of Oviedo demonstrate a new way to strongly couple infrared light and molecular vibrations, by utilizing phonon polariton nanoresonators made of hexagonal boron nitride, a Van der Waals material.

Research ties persistence of 'white flight' to race, not socioeconomic factors
Examining population trends in racially mixed suburbs, Indiana University sociologist Samuel Kye finds that white flight occurs when nonwhite residents move in, regardless of socioeconomic factors.

Brewing up Earth's earliest life
MIT planetary scientists led by Sukrit Ranjan find large concentrations of sulfites and bisulfites in shallow lakes may have set the stage for synthesizing Earth's first life forms.

Survival strategy: How one enzyme helps bacteria recover from exposure to antibiotics
Researchers at the University of Notre Dame focused on an enzyme in gram-negative bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a pathogen that causes pneumonia and sepsis.

A UC3M study analyzes the keys to fragmentation of metallic materials
Researchers from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Texas A&M, and the Israeli Institute of Technology have developed new theories for the fragmentation of metallic porous materials that can be applied to structural design in the aerospace, civil security and transportation sectors.

Removing the brakes on plant oil production
Scientists studying plant biochemistry at Brookhaven Lab have discovered new details about biomolecules that put the brakes on oil production.

Associating frailty to cardiovascular disease and mortality
Frailty is common in elderly people with cardiovascular disease and goes along with elevated mortality.

Where the brain detects changes in natural sounds
Electrical activity in a region of the parietal cortex underlies the detection of a transition between two complex sounds, finds a study of human participants published in eNeuro.

New cardiac imaging technique shortens testing time, improves patient comfort
Cedars-Sinai investigators have developed a new technique for conducting cardiac magnetic resonance imaging tests that improves patient comfort, shortens testing time and has the potential to increase diagnostic accuracy and reliability.

Seeking hidden responders
Matching unique genetic information from cancer patients' tumors with treatment options -- an emerging area of precision medicine efforts -- often fails to identify all patients who may respond to certain therapies.

Study finds how fat tissue shunts energy to tumors
Sanford Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) researchers recently discovered that that inactivation of a protein called p62 in fat cells fuels aggressive, metastatic prostate cancer in mice.

Study: Medicaid expansion has no negative effect on cardiovascular procedural outcomes
More people are receiving coronary revascularization under Michigan's Medicaid expansion (the Healthy Michigan Plan).

KAIST Discloses the formation of burning ice in oceanic clay rich sediment
A KAIST research team has identified the formation of natural gas hydrates, so-called flammable ice, formed in oceans.

Move over fake news: Hostile neighbors pose big threats to governance
Propaganda by way of 'fake news' is one way a nation can wage war without firing a single shot.

Corn hybrids with high yields come with more variability
The agriculture industry is in a tough spot; it's simultaneously tasked with feeding a growing population and minimizing its environmental footprint.

Study: Topical antibiotic triggers unexpected antiviral response
A Yale-led research team made a startling discovery while investigating the effect of bacteria on viral infections.

NASA finds Tropical Cyclone Iris' remnants lingering
Tropical Cyclone Iris has already re-generated once after weakening to a low pressure area, and forecasters are keeping an eye on the remnants for any hint of a second regeneration.

UCSF researcher identifies risk genes for ALS
The largest analysis to date of genetic data in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) -- the muscle-crippling neurodegenerative disease that afflicted the late astrophysicist Stephen Hawking and cut short the career of iconic Yankee baseball slugger Lou Gehrig -- has identified two previously unrecognized genetic risks that are significantly associated with the disease.

Highlights new issue of Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications Journal
The Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications journal (CVIA) has just published an Special Issue on Valvular Heart Disease with Guest Editor Blase A.

Research links anti-immigrant prejudice to mortality risk
Living in a community that demonstrates significant anti-immigrant prejudice doesn't seem to affect the mortality rates of immigrants to the United States as a whole.

Rats sniff out TB in children
Rats are able to detect whether a child has tuberculosis (TB), and are much more successful at doing this than a commonly used basic microscopy test.

Researchers locate circadian clock that controls daily rhythms of aggression
Synchronized by light and darkness, the circadian clock exerts control over wake/sleep cycles, body temperature, digestion, hormonal cycles and some behavior patterns.

Why the Tasmanian devil might be more susceptible to transmissible cancers
Cancers that can jump from one animal to another of the same species are rare, but the endangered Tasmanian devil is doubly unlucky: in recent years, two transmissible cancers affecting them have been identified.

Scientists decry lack of science in 'forensic science'
Many of the 'forensic science' methods commonly used in criminal cases and portrayed in popular police TV dramas have never been scientifically validated and may lead to unjust verdicts, according to an editorial in this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Antiepileptic drugs increase risk of Alzheimer's and dementia
The use of antiepileptic drugs is associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease and dementia, according to a new study from the University of Eastern Finland and the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, DZNE.

Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, unless you are an app developer
One out of two mobile apps released is a clone of an existing app.

Developmental scars
The MDC researcher Jan Philipp Junker and his team have used CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing to pioneer a technique capable of determining both the type and origin of all the cells in an organism.

Blood flow is a major influence on tumor cell metastasis
Scientists have long theorized that blood flow plays an integral role in cancer metastasis.

Like babies, eggs send signals when 'hungry'
A team from Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre in Montreal is decoding the secrets of how ova grow and stay fertile.

To shore up beaches, just add sand?
Sand nourishment projects aim to preserve California's iconic sandy beaches-but little is known about the long-term effectiveness-and unintended impacts-of these sometimes multimillion dollar interventions.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality releases early findings from EvidenceNOW
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality today released early findings from EvidenceNOW, a multi-million dollar initiative to help primary care practices across the country more rapidly improve the heart health of Americans.

The dark secrets of social media dark patterns
MSU researchers used the GamerGate controversy to uncover how one angry social media user inspired thousands to join its movement, amplify its messages, cyberbully innocent users and ultimately get thousands more to participate ... without the users even knowing it.

Bloodless revolution in diabetes monitoring
Scientists have created a non-invasive, adhesive patch, which promises the measurement of glucose levels through the skin without a finger-prick blood test, potentially removing the need for millions of diabetics to frequently carry out the painful and unpopular tests.

Researchers develop more comprehensive acoustic scene analysis method
Researchers have demonstrated an improved method for audio-analysis machines to process our noisy world.

New clues to help restore fertility in women with disabling ovary disorder
Ground-breaking research out of the University of Otago, New Zealand, is showing potential to restore fertility in women suffering Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. 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