Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 24, 2018
Researchers use smart phone to make a faster infection detector
Washington State University researchers have developed a low-cost, portable laboratory on a phone that works nearly as well as clinical laboratories to detect common viral and bacterial infections.

Bariatric surgery successes lead to type 2 diabetes treatment
Bariatric surgery has long yielded almost immediate health benefits for patients with type 2 diabetes, and new findings from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine may be the key to developing drug alternatives to surgery.

By 2040, artificial intelligence could upend nuclear stability
A new RAND Corporation paper finds that artificial intelligence has the potential to upend the foundations of nuclear deterrence by the year 2040.

Mammary stem cells challenge costly bovine disease
Bovine mastitis is typically treated with antibiotics, but with the potential threat of antimicrobial resistance and the disease's long-term harm to the animal's teat, researchers at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine are laying the foundation for alternative therapies derived from stem cells.

Rhythm crucial in drummed speech
An international team of researchers, including Frank Seifart and Sven Grawunder of the former Department of Linguistics at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and Julien Meyer from the Université Grenoble Alpes carried out research into the drummed speech system of the Bora people of the Northwest Amazon.

Billions of gallons of water saved by thinning forests.
There are too many trees in Sierra Nevada forests, say scientists affiliated with the National Science Foundation (NSF) Southern Sierra Critical Zone Observatory (CZO).

Münster researchers identify factors promoting physical activity in childhood
Researchers at Münster University (Germany) show in a study published in the 'Scientific Reports' journal that the more accurately children assess their motor competences, the more positive is the effect on their physical activity.

Gender inequality is 'drowning out' the voices of women scientists
A University of Cambridge researcher is calling for the voices of women to be given a fairer platform at a leading scientific conference.

Collapse of the Atlantic Ocean heat transport might lead to hot European summers
Severe winters combined with heat waves and droughts during summer in Europe.

What if you could know that your mild cognitive impairment wouldn't progress
Researchers from the Lisbon School of Medicine, University of Lisbon found that, in some mild cognitive impairment patients, real neuropsychological stability over a decade is possible and that long-term stability could be predicted based on neuropsychological tests measuring memory and non-verbal abstract reasoning.

Feelings of ethical superiority can lead to workplace ostracism, social undermining: Study
A new Baylor study published in the Journal of Business Ethics suggests that feelings of ethical superiority can cause a chain reaction that is detrimental to you, your coworkers and your organization.

Natural barcodes enable better cell tracking
A group of researchers from the Wyss Institute at Harvard University and Harvard Medical School has developed a new genetic analysis technique that harnesses the 10 million small nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) found in the human genome as 'barcodes' to create a faster, cheaper, and simpler way to keep track of pooled cells from multiple individuals during multiplexed experiments, enabling large samples of cells from multiple people to be quickly analyzed for personalized medicine. 

Novel pathway identified in development of acute myeloid leukemia with poor prognosis
NUS researchers have discovered a new pathway by which a severe form of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) develops.

Future wearable device could tell how we power human movement
For athletes and weekend warriors alike, returning from a tendon injury too soon often ensures a trip right back to physical therapy.

Radiotherapy offers new treatment option for liver cancer
A novel technique that delivers high doses of radiation to tumors while sparing the surrounding normal tissue shows promise as a curative treatment option for patients with early-stage liver cancer, according to a new study.

Winter wave heights and extreme storms on the rise in Western Europe
Study reveals average winter wave heights along the Atlantic coast of Western Europe have been rising for almost seven decades.

Climate change not the key driver of human conflict and displacement in East Africa
Over the last 50 years climate change has not been the key driver of the human displacement or conflict in East Africa, rather it is politics and poverty, according to new research by UCL.

2.7 billion tweets confirm: Echo chambers on Twitter are very real
A recent study of more than 2.7 billion tweets between 2009 and 2016 confirms that Twitter users are exposed mainly to political opinions that agree with their own.

Potential for sun damage should be carefully balanced with need for vitamin D in children, say scientists
Scientists at King's College London are encouraging parents and carers to ensure even more rigorous protection of children against the harmful effects of the sun.

Managing chronic pain with light
Scientists from EMBL Rome have identified the population of nerve cells in the skin that are responsible for sensitivity to gentle touch, and which cause severe pain in neuropathic pain patients.

Effect of a home-based exercise program with wearable activity monitor, telephone coaching on walking endurance for peripheral artery disease
A home-based exercise program that consisted of a wearable activity monitor and telephone coaching to promote walking by patients with peripheral artery disease didn't improve walking endurance.

Millennials aren't getting the message about sun safety and the dangers of tanning
Many millennials lack knowledge about the importance of sunscreen and continue to tan outdoors in part because of low self-esteem and high rates of narcissism that fuel addictive tanning behavior, a new study from Oregon State University-Cascades has found.

The dispute about the origins of terahertz photoresponse in graphene results in a draw
Physicists at MIPT and their British and Russian colleagues revealed the mechanisms leading to photocurrent in graphene under terahertz radiation.

Use of 2 anti-clotting medications following bypass surgery improves outcomes for grafted veins
Taking aspirin plus an anti-clotting medication for one year after heart bypass surgery resulted in less narrowing of the vein used to bypass a blocked artery than taking aspirin alone.

Carbon consumers
A team of researchers, led by Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology Peter Girguis and Suni Shah Walter, then a post-doctoral fellow in Girguis' lab, has shown that underground aquifers along the mid-ocean ridge act like natural biological reactors, pulling in cold, oxygenated seawater, and allowing microbes to break down more -- perhaps much more -- refractory carbon than scientists ever believed.

A wearable device intervention to increase exercise in peripheral artery disease
A home-based exercise program, consisting of wearables and telephone coaching, did not improve walking endurance for patients with peripheral artery disease, according to a study published in JAMA.

Soaking in hot tub improves health markers in obese women
According to new research, obese women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) may be able to improve their health outlook with a particularly enjoyable form of therapy: regular sessions in a hot tub.

Stricter gun control could stop violent men killing their partners and themselves
Men who use guns to kill their partner are also likely to commit suicide.

Reconstructing what makes us tick
A major issue that limits modeling to predict cardiac arrhythmia is that it is impossible to measure and monitor all the variables that make our hearts tick, but researchers have now developed an algorithm that uses artificial intelligence to model the electrical excitations in heart muscle.

Fruit fly study identifies new gene linked to aortic aneurysms
An interdisciplinary team of researchers has identified a new gene linked to human aortic aneurysms.

How colorectal cancer cells spread to the liver
A new study by Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) researchers helps explain the connection between a tumor suppressor called protein kinase C zeta (PKC zeta) and metastatic colorectal cancer.

Electrode shape improves neurostimulation for small targets
A cross-like shape helps the electrodes of implantable neurostimulation devices to deliver more charge to specific areas of the nervous system, possibly prolonging device life span, says research published in March in Nature Scientific Reports.

Study: Silk-based devices with antisense-miRNA therapeutics may enhance bone regeneration
Researchers have incorporated therapeutic microRNAs (miRNAs) into bioresorbable, silk-based medical devices such as screws and plates to achieve local delivery of factors that can improve bone growth and mineralization at the site of bone repair.

What can a tasty milkshake teach us about the genetics of heart disease?
Analysis of high-resolution genomic data in a large study population reveals novel low-frequency polymorphisms that drive response to dietary lipids and medication.

Girls with type 2 diabetes have a high rate of irregular periods
Girls diagnosed with type 2 diabetes have a high frequency of menstrual irregularities, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Killer whale genetics raise inbreeding questions
A new genetic analysis of Southern Resident killer whales found that two male whales fathered more than half of the calves born since 1990 that scientists have samples from, a sign of inbreeding in the small killer whale population that frequents Washington's Salish Sea and Puget Sound.

Engaging in physical activity decreases people's chance of developing depression
An international team of researchers have found physical activity can protect against the emergence of depression, regardless of age and geographical region.

High immune function tied to stunted growth
Elevated immune function during childhood results in as much as 49 percent growth reduction in Ecuador's indigenous Shuar population, researchers reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Mental, not physical, fatigue affects seniors' walking ability
Low 'mental energy' may affect walking patterns in older adults more than physical fatigue.

Hospital patients are eager to play a role in tracking health data, researchers find
New research shows that patients in the hospital are eager to collaborate with clinicians to track their health data.

The 'missing link' in conducting molecules, butadiene -- solved
Trans 1,3-butadiene, the smallest polyene, has challenged researchers over the past 40 years because of its complex excited-state electronic structure and its ultrafast dynamics.

Preconception zinc deficiency could spell bad news for fertility
The availability of micronutrients in the ovarian environment and their influence on the development, viability and quality of egg cells is the focus of a growing area of research.

NASA's Aqua satellite sees wind shear affecting Tropical Cyclone Fakir
Tropical Cyclone Fakir was southeast of La Reunion Island in the Southern Indian Ocean when NASA's Aqua satellite passed overhead in space.

Early childhood interventions show mixed results on child development
Early childhood interventions may have some efficacy in boosting measures of child health and development in low income countries, but more work is needed to sort out how to implement these interventions, according to a new set of studies published this week in PLOS Medicine.

Organoids reveal how a deadly brain cancer grows
Salk scientists developed a new model for glioblastoma using gene-edited organoids.

Artificial leaf as mini-factory for medicine
Using sunlight for sustainable and cheap production of, for example, medicines.

Ride-sharing platforms may be taking the place of managers in the gig economy
Ratings, ride assignments and other aspects of Uber's ride-sharing computer platform in some ways subtly serve as the manager for the company's drivers, according to an international team of researchers.

Imagining a positive outcome biases subsequent memories
Imagining that an event will go well 'colors' how people remember that event after learning how it actually went, according to findings in published in Psychological Science.

Availability of orphan medicines varies between European countries
There are differences in the availability of orphan medicines between different European countries, a new study from the University of Eastern Finland shows.

In Huntington's disease, heart problems reflect broader effects of abnormal protein
Researchers investigating a key signaling protein in Huntington's disease describe deleterious effects on heart function, going beyond the disease's devastating neurological impact.

Blinded by the light: Climate change, the sun, and Lake Superior
Lakes tend to emit carbon dioxide (CO2) to the atmosphere, making them important players in the planet's natural regulation of its climate.

Aging: The natural stress reliever for many women
While some research suggests that midlife is a dissatisfying time for women, other studies show that women report feeling less stressed and enjoy a higher quality of life during this period.

Soccer heading -- not collisions -- cognitively impairs players
Worse cognitive function in soccer players stems mainly from frequent ball heading rather than unintentional head impacts due to collisions, researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine have found.

Escalation of competition leads to conflict in competitive networks of F1 drivers
A new study has revealed that people with similar social status in similar age groups are more likely to clash with each other.

Comments on social networks also reinforce socialization during adolescence
Without overlooking the risks of using social networks in adolescence, a study analyzes little known information about cybergossiping among high school students/

More than 1 in 20 US children and teens have anxiety or depression
About 2.6 million American children and adolescents had diagnosed anxiety and/or depression in 2011-12, reports an analysis of nationwide data in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, the official journal of the Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics.

A non-coding RNA lasso catches proteins in breast cancer cells
A Danish-German research team has shown that not only the where and when of long non-coding RNA expression is important for their function but also the how.

Research shows possible new target for immunotherapy for solid tumors
Research from the University of Cincinnati (UC) reveals a potential new target to help T cells (white blood cells) infiltrate certain solid tumors.

Brain activity linked to stress changes chemical codes
UC San Diego scientists have identified light-induced electrical activity as the brain mechanism controlling chemical code switching in relation to stress.

State-of-the-art reviews in osteoimmunology
A series of outstanding, well illustrated reviews by leading experts in osteoimmunology provide new insights and point to future directions in one of the most rapidly evolving areas of research within the bone field.

Experimental arthritis drug prevents stem cell transplant complication
An investigational drug in clinical trials for rheumatoid arthritis prevents a common, life-threatening side effect of stem cell transplants, new research from Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Changes in breast tissue increase cancer risk for older women
Researchers in Norway, Switzerland, and the United States have identified age-related differences in breast tissue that contribute to older women's increased risk of developing breast cancer.

AWI researchers measure a record concentration of microplastic in Arctic sea ice
Experts at the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) have recently found higher amounts of microplastic in arctic sea ice than ever before.

Early treatment for leg ulcers gets patients back on their feet
Treating leg ulcers within two weeks by closing faulty veins improves healing by 12 percent compared to standard treatment, according to new findings.

New studies show dark chocolate consumption reduces stress and inflammation
Findings from two Loma Linda University Health studies being presented today at the Experimental Biology 2018 annual meeting in San Diego show dark chocolate consumption reduces stress and inflammation, while improving memory, immunity and mood.

Rheumatology leaders respond to Short-Term, Limited-Duration Insurance proposed rule
In comments submitted to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the American College of Rheumatology expressed concern that the Short-Term, Limited-Duration Insurance proposed rule could weaken consumer protections that enable individuals living with rheumatic diseases to access quality, affordable care.

Cheap 3-D printer can produce self-folding materials
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have used an inexpensive 3-D printer to produce flat plastic items that, when heated, fold themselves into predetermined shapes, such as a rose, a boat or even a bunny.

Getting electrons to move in a semiconductor
In new experiments reported in Applied Physics Letters, researchers have shown that a wide-bandgap semiconductor called gallium oxide can be engineered into nanometer-scale structures that allow electrons to move much faster within the crystal structure.

Healthcare costs for adults with autism more than double those for general population
Researchers compared total annual healthcare costs for adults on the autism spectrum to costs for adults with attention-deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and adults in the general population and found them to be 20 percent and 70 percent higher, respectively.

Leading genetics study method may need reconsideration, significant distortions discovered
Many conclusions drawn from a common approach to the study of human genetics could be distorted because of a previously overlooked phenomenon, according to researchers at the Department of Genetics and Genomics Sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and collaborators from Massachusetts General Hospital and the Broad Institute.

Heart disease may only be a matter of time for those with healthy obesity
People who are 30 pounds or more overweight may want to slim down a bit even if they don't have high blood pressure or any other heart disease risk, according to scientists at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

Cognitive behavioral therapy can improve emotion regulation in children with autism
New research from York University's Faculty of Health shows cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help children with autism manage not only anxiety but other emotional challenges, such as sadness and anger. study shows CBT can lead to significant improvements in children's emotional regulation.

Biophysics -- lighting up DNA-based nanostructures
Biophysicists from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich have used a new variant of super-resolution microscopy to visualize all the strands of a DNA-based nanostructure for the first time.

Patients in major prostate cancer study older, sicker than average patient population
Researchers at Henry Ford Hospital compared the patient population of a major US prostate cancer study with patients found in three US cancer databases, ultimately finding the patients of the study to be inconsistent with the average prostate cancer patient.

Getting a better look at living cells
Nanoscale-level imaging of living cells has become a reality in the past few years using transmission electron microscopy and sealed sample holders that keep cells alive in a liquid environment.

Engineered Chinese shrub produces high levels of antimalarial compound
Artemisinin is a potent antimalarial compound produced naturally in low amounts by the Chinese shrub Artemisia annua, commonly known as sweet wormwood.

Engineers create social media infrastructure for emergency management
Purdue researchers have developed an online platform that enables first responders to monitor emergency situations using tweets and Instagram posts.

Uncovering the secret law of the evolution of galaxy clusters
Using observational data from the Hubble Space Telescope and the Subaru Telescope, the size and mass of galaxy clusters have precisely been measured.

Scientists unearth vital link between fat, immunity and heat regulation
Scientists from Trinity College Dublin have discovered a key, previously unknown role for a population of cells that live in our fat -- these cells regulate our body heat and protect us against cold shock.

Milky Way's supermassive black hole may have 'unseen' siblings
In a new study published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters, researchers from Yale, the University of Washington, Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris, and University College London predict that galaxies with a mass similar to the Milky Way should host several supermassive black holes.

When hypothalamic cells warm up, feeding goes down: Exercise-induced appetite suppression
Exercise heats up the hypothalamus to drive down food intake, according to a study publishing on April 24 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology by Jae Hoon Jeong, Young-Hwan Jo, and colleagues at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.

Malaria study reveals gene variants linked to risk of disease
Many people of African heritage are protected against malaria by inheriting a particular version of a gene, a large-scale study has shown.

New mechanism of radio emission in neutron stars revealed
Young scientists from ITMO University have explained how neutron stars generate intense directed radio emission.

Power of negative example
While peers are significant, family remains highly important for adolescents as well, according to HSE researchers.

Opioid prescribing at veterans hospitals varies widely in treating chronic pain
A recently published article in the Journal of General Internal Medicine surveyed care provided to 1.1 million veterans at 176 VHA medical centers between 2010 and 2015.

Music lessens pain and anxiety in patients undergoing surgery
Music can reduce the anxiety and pain of invasive surgery, according to an analysis of all relevant randomized controlled trials published since 1980.

User control and transparency are key to trusting personalized mobile apps
As concerns about privacy increase for people using mobile apps, users' trust and engagement may hinge on perceptions about how the app uses their data and whether it seeks user input before delivering personalized services, according to researchers.

Burning tumors away
A team of USC Viterbi School of Engineering researchers are now making it easier, faster and safer for doctors to use an emerging procedure -- one that involves burning away tumors in more patients, including those with brain tumors.

Exposure to domestic violence costs US government $55 billion each year
The federal government spends an estimated $55 billion annually on dealing with the effects of childhood exposure to domestic violence, according to new research by social scientists at Case Western Reserve University.

Fungus senses gravity using gene borrowed from bacteria
The pin mold fungus Phycomyces blakesleeanus forms a dense forest of vertically growing fruiting bodies, but how does it know which way is 'up'?

'Incompatible' donor stem cells cure adult sickle cell patients
Doctors at the University of Illinois Hospital have cured seven adult patients of sickle cell disease, an inherited blood disorder primarily affecting the black community, using stem cells from donors previously thought to be incompatible, thanks to a new transplant treatment protocol.

Commonly prescribed heartburn drug linked to pneumonia in older adults
Researchers at the University of Exeter have found a statistical link between pneumonia in older people and a group of medicines commonly used to neutralise stomach acid in people with heartburn or stomach ulcers.

Flavins keep a handy helper in their pocket
Freiburg researchers show for the first time in detail how a flavin-containing enzyme interacts with oxygen

Research explains link between exercise and appetite loss
Ever wonder why intense exercise temporarily curbs your appetite? In research described in today's issue of PLOS Biology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine researchers reveal that the answer is all in your head -- more specifically, your arcuate nucleus.

Land use and pollution shift female-to-male ratios in snapping turtles
Current research shows that increasing global temperatures as a result of climate change are expected to produce more female turtles since their offspring are influenced by the nest's temperature.

Study shows newspaper op-eds change minds
Researchers have found that op-ed pieces have large and long-lasting effects on people's views among both the general public and policy experts.

Attacks on healthcare in Syria are likely undercounted
Attacks on health facilities and health workers in Syria are likely more common than previously reported, and local data collectors can help researchers more accurately measure the extent and frequency of these attacks, according to a new study published this week in PLOS Medicine.

Five ways to help cancer patients avoid the emergency room
Unnecessary emergency department visits and hospitalizations are debilitating for patients with cancer and far too common -- and costly -- for the United States health care system.

Surgery recovery program slashes opioid use, benefits patients, cuts costs, study finds
A special recovery program for thoracic surgery patients developed at the University of Virginia Health System is getting patients home sooner while decreasing both healthcare costs and opioid use, a review of the first year of the program shows.

New model could help build communities of climate change-defying trees
Researchers in Australia have developed a model to help build plant communities that are more resilient to climate change.

Technology used to map Mars now measuring effect of treatment on tumors
A machine learning approach for assessing images of the craters and dunes of Mars, which was developed at The University of Manchester, has now been adapted to help scientists measure the effects of treatments on tumors.

Evolving cooperation
A new study shows that in repeated interactions winning strategies are either partners or rivals, but only partners allow for cooperation.

Airborne dust threatens human health in Southwest
Researchers from Harvard Unviersity and the George Washington University have found that in the coming decades, increased dust emissions from severe and prolonged droughts in the American Southwest could result in significant increases in hospital admissions and premature deaths.

Frontier of science: Planet's smallest microbes examined at nation's largest aquarium
Georgia Aquarium and Georgia Tech collaborated to advance a new scientific frontier -- study of the aquarium microbiome -- to better understand the millions of marine microorganisms living in the water and what role they play in keeping the ecosystem healthy.

Significant advances detected in knowledge about renal cancer
The prestigious journal Cell is today publishing three papers on renal cancer signed by an interdisciplinary group known as the TRACERx Renal Consortium, a member of which is Dr Jose Ignacio López, a pathologist at University Hospital Cruces and tenured lecturer in the Faculty of Medicine and Nursing of the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country.

Children of youngest and oldest mothers at increased risk of developmental vulnerabilities
Children born to the youngest mothers have the highest risk of developmental vulnerabilities at age 5, largely due to social and economic disadvantage, according to research on almost 100,000 children published this week in PLOS Medicine by Kathleen Falster of the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, and colleagues.

Controlled nuclear transition will make clocks hugely more precise than atomic ones
A Russian scientist from Skobelitsyn Research Institute of Nuclear Physics, MSU theoretically substantiated that the speed of transition of thorium-229 from ground to excited state may be managed depending on external conditions.

Stem cells from adults function just as well as those from embryos
A review of research on induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) finds that donor age does not appear to influence their functionality.

Thousands of mobile apps for children might be violating their privacy
Thousands of the most popular apps and games available, mostly free of charge, in the Google Play Store, make potentially illegal tracking of children's use habits, according to a large-scale international study co-authored by Narseo Vallina-Rodriguez, a researcher at the IMDEA Networks Institute in Madrid and ICSI, the International Computer Science Institute at the University of California, Berkeley (USA).

Study identifies overdose risk factors in youth with substance use disorders
A team of Massachusetts General Hospital investigators has identified factors that may increase the risk of drug overdose in adolescents and young adults.

Graphene origami as a mechanically tunable plasmonic structure for infrared detection
Researchers at the University of Illinois have successfully developed a tunable infrared filter made from graphene, which would allow a solider to change the frequency of a filter in infrared goggles simply by controlled mechanical deformation of the filter (i.e., graphene origami), and not by replacing the substance on the goggles used to filter a particular spectrum of colors.

Hospitals often missing dementia despite prior diagnosis
Hospitals in the UK are increasingly likely to recognize that a patient has dementia after they've been admitted for a different reason, finds a new UCL-led study, but it is still only recognized in under two-thirds of people.

How can animals sense danger?
Why animals avoid dangers by sensing some 'signs' possibly related to the danger?

Age-related decline in mid-back and low back muscle mass and quality is not associated with kyphosis
Researchers from Hebrew SeniorLife's Institute for Aging Research, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, That National Heart Lung and Blood Institute's Framingham Heart Study and Boston University have found that poor back muscle quality is not associated with worsening kyphosis (forward curvature or 'hunch' of the upper spine) in older adults.

Children are as fit as endurance athletes
Researchers discover how young children seem to run around all day without getting tired: their muscles resist fatigue and recover in the same way as elite endurance athletes.

Magma ocean may be responsible for the moon's early magnetic field
Around four billion years ago, the moon had a magnetic field that was about as strong as Earth's magnetic field is today.

The Matryoshka effect: USU researchers describe underwater phenomenon
A team of engineers and fluid dynamicists uncovered the physics behind a unique underwater phenomenon that's been likened to the Matryoshka doll -- the traditional Russian doll within a doll.

New study explains antibiotic resistance in apple, pear disease
When humans get bacterial infections, we reach for antibiotics to make us feel better faster. 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