Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 07, 2018
Alligators on the beach? Killer whales in rivers? Get used to it
Sightings of alligators and other large predators in places where conventional wisdom says they 'shouldn't be' have increased in recent years, in large part because local populations, once hunted to near-extinction, are rebounding.

Vigorous exercise reduces tiredness in testicular cancer survivors
High-intensity interval training reduces tiredness and improves self-esteem for testicular cancer survivors, according to a study published in the British Journal of Cancer.

Brain activity helps explain diabetics' negative feelings, risk for depression
For millions of Americans who are obese and living with diabetes or prediabetes, feelings of sadness, anger and anxiety are often part of daily life.

In ancient rocks, scientists see a climate cycle working across deep time
Scientists drilling deep into ancient rocks in the Arizona desert say they have documented a gradual shift in Earth's orbit that repeats regularly every 405,000 years, playing a role in natural climate swings.

Children hospitalized for injuries have increased mental health needs
The study looked at children ages 0-18 years who were hospitalized for unintentional injuries at Nationwide Children's from June 2005 through May 2015.

Proper burial of dead cells limits inflammation
Scientists demonstrate the importance of oxidants in the digestion of apoptotic, or dead cells.

New CRISPR technology 'knocks out' yeast genes with single-point precision
Researchers have used CRISPR-Cas9 to develop a technology that can target any gene in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and turn it off by deleting single letters from its DNA sequence.

Genetics help make a weed a weed
New University of British Columbia research finds that the success of weedy and invasive plants like the Jerusalem artichoke lies in their genes.

How recent economy kept black, white young adults from leaving nest
Economic tumult in the early 2000s persuaded many young people to keep living with their parents, but the reasons why differ starkly by race, a study concludes.

Are health regulations enough? Lung disease on the rise in mine workers
While on-the-job fatalities due to injuries and accidents have steadily decreased in nearly every industry in the US, the burden of debilitating lung disease in the coal mining industry has sharply increased within the last decade.

HKU AIDS Institute invents universal antibody drug for HIV-1 prevention and immunotherapy
A research team led by scientists at AIDS Institute and Department of Microbiology, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine of The University of Hong Kong (HKU) invents a universal antibody drug against HIV/AIDS.

The effect of night shifts: Gene expression fails to adapt to new sleep patterns
Night shifts have an impact on genes regulating important biological processes and their expression can't adapt to new sleeping and eating patterns and that most of them stay tuned to their daytime biological clock rhythms.

Could reading our circadian clocks according to DNA repair optimize chemotherapy?
For the first time, the lab of Nobel laureate Aziz Sancar measured DNA repair after cisplatin treatment throughout the entire genome of a mammal over the 24-hour circadian cycle.

Simple treatment may minimize hearing loss triggered by loud noises
New research from the Keck School of Medicine of USC reveals how traumatic noise damages hearing and identifies a potential way to preserve it.

Brain cholesterol associated with increased risk of Alzheimer's disease
Researchers have shown how cholesterol -- a molecule normally linked with cardiovascular diseases -- may also play an important role in the onset and progression of Alzheimer's disease.

How companies can help safeguard intellectual property when expanding into risky countri
Notre Dame researchers found that firms operating regionally through downstream commercialization activities can offer complementary assets to the upstream R&D activities that help protect the firms' intellectual property.

Breast cancer: Discovery of a protein linked to metastasis
Montreal researchers experimentally block the spread of a type of breast cancer.

Chemical sensing chip sniffs out cocaine within minutes
What if you could test for cocaine, opioids and marijuana as quickly as a breathalyzer identifies alcohol?

25 years of fossil collecting yields clearest picture of extinct 12-foot aquatic predator
More than two decades of exploration at a Pennsylvania fossil site have given Academy of Natural Sciences paleontologists their best idea of how a giant, prehistoric predator would have looked and behaved.

Novel scientific method to derive water quality criteria of metals
Increasing contamination of marine ecosystems by metals such as mercury, cadmium, chromium and nickel has been a global environmental concern, because elevated concentrations of metals can pose hazards to marine organisms, and humans who may consume contaminated seafood.

Nuclear pore functions are essential for T cell survival
A new study by Sanford Burnham Prebys researchers describes how a specific nuclear pore component is critical for the survival of circulating T cells.

Understanding how DNA is selectively tagged with 'do not use' marks
Salk scientists identify proteins that target specific DNA regions to keep genetic material under control.

The apparent inner calm of quantum materials
Transitions between phases of matter could result from topological excitations that force the particles to act in unison.

For mothers with advanced cancer, parenting concerns affect emotional well-being
A new study from the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center shows that parenting concerns have a significant impact on the mental and emotional health of women with advanced cancer.

Thank brain for gratitude
A brain network that gives rise to feelings of gratitude has been uncovered in new research published in JNeurosci.

Study shows family psychiatric history increases risk of postpartum psychiatric episodes
A new mother's risk of postpartum psychiatric conditions increases when she has an immediate family member with a psychiatric disorder, especially bipolar disorder, according to research published today in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

Nursing home residents with advanced dementia have lower mortality rate with hip surgery
Researchers from Hebrew SeniorLife's Institute for Aging Research and Brown University have conducted the first study to examine outcomes in nursing home residents with advanced dementia and hip fracture.

Impacts of windfarm construction on harbor porpoises
Scientists from Germany, Denmark and the UK have built a model tool to predict what happens to marine animals when exposed to noise from the construction and operation of wind farms at sea.

Ophthalmologists link immunotherapy with a serious eye condition
Eye inflammation and uveal effusion develop among patients taking anti-cancer immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy.

Kidney cells from amniotic fluid obtained from cesarean section at delivery
Amniotic fluid is a valuable source of fetal stem cells with regenerative potential and useful for therapeutic applications.

Study: Alcohol-related cirrhosis patients are sicker, costlier and often female
A new review by Michigan Medicine finds that women drinkers are disproportionately affected in alcohol-related cirrhosis cases.

New approach in the fight against antibiotic resistance
According to the WHO, around 700,000 people die every year as a result of antibiotic resistance.

Global tourism carbon footprint quantified in world first
The world's tourism footprint has been quantified across the supply chain, with the carbon-intensive industry revealed as a significant and growing contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Is dementia risk increased among veterans after mild TBI without loss of consciousness?
Traumatic brain injury (TBI), even mild TBI without a loss of consciousness, was associated with increased risk for dementia in a study of more than 350,000 US veterans.

Hypertensive patients may benefit from folic acid supplements
Hypertensive adults with low platelet count who took a combined daily pill of both enalapril and folic acid saw a 73 percent reduction in their risk of first stroke compared to patients who took only enalapril daily, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Earth's orbital changes have influenced climate, life forms for at least 215 million years
Every 405,000 years, gravitational tugs from Jupiter and Venus slightly elongate Earth's orbit, an amazingly consistent pattern that has influenced our planet's climate for at least 215 million years and allows scientists to more precisely date geological events like the spread of dinosaurs, according to a Rutgers-led study.

Geoscientists suggest 'snowball Earth' resulted from plate tectonics
About 700 million years ago, the Earth experienced unusual episodes of global cooling that geologists refer to as 'Snowball Earth.' In a new study published in the April issue of the journal Terra Nova, two geologists at The University of Texas at Dallas and UT Austin suggest that those major climate changes can be linked to one thing: the advent of plate tectonics.

Researchers say issues of dementia and gun ownership need more discussion
As the number of adults with Alzheimer's disease and dementia steadily increases, questions around their access to firearms remain largely unaddressed, according to a study by researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.

Planetary waves similar to those that control weather on Earth discovered on Sun
An international team of scientists, led by Laurent Gizon, co-principal investigator of the Center for Space Science at NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), have discovered planetary waves of vorticity on and inside the Sun similar to those that significantly influence weather on Earth.

Vulnerable communities may be adversely affected by the transition to cleaner energy
Indiana University researchers have developed a method for identifying communities that may be negatively affected by clean energy policies that hasten the move from fossil fuels to more environmentally friendly solutions.

Reflecting on possessions can curb people's impulse buying
Consumers who reflected on their recently used personal belongings experienced less desire for an unexpectedly encountered product, were less likely to buy impulsively and expressed a lower willingness to pay for new products, according to a new paper by marketing and consumer behavior experts at Rice University.

Importing food damages domestic environment
Trees falling as fragile forests become cropland is a visual shorthand for the environmental costs exporting countries pay to meet lucrative global demands for food.

Continuous consumption of pangasius exposes to dangerous mercury levels
The pangasius, originally from Vietnam, is one of the most consumed fish in the world for its low cost, mild flavor and fillet presentation without skin or thorns.

Taking CRISPR from clipping scissors to word processor
Researchers from NIST have developed a new platform that makes CRISPR less like a cutting tool and more like a word processor with a search-and-replace function.

Women's preference for masculine faces not linked with hormones
Data from almost 600 participants show that women's perceptions of male attractiveness do not vary according to their hormone levels, in contrast with some previous research.

Chemical octopus catches sneaky cancer clues, trace glycoproteins
Certain minuscule cancer signals easily evade detection, but perhaps no longer.

A new molecular target identified in depression
The discovery of a new mechanism involved in depression -- and a way to target it with a drug as effective as classical antidepressants -- provides new understanding of this illness and could pave the way for treatments with fewer side effects.

New movement monitoring system helping prevent falls in the elderly
RTLS sensor network and fractal mathematics are used to pinpoint Assisted Living Facility residents experiencing increased cognitive decline, helping prevent an impending fall.

Measuring snow persistence can help predict streamflow
A team of researchers found that snow persistence can be used to map patterns of annual streamflow in dry parts of the western United States.

Breakthrough bioelectronic medicine discovery made by decoding immune system's neural signals
Northwell Health's Feinstein Institute for Medical Research Assistant Professor Theodoros P.

Russian cuckoo invasion spells trouble for Alaskan birds, study finds
Common cuckoos and oriental cuckoos in eastern Russia appear to be expanding their breeding range into western Alaska, where songbirds are naive to the cuckoos' wily ways, researchers report.

Study: Use of some antipsychotics during pregnancy may raise risk of gestational diabetes
Women who take certain antipsychotic medications and continue the use of these medications through pregnancy may be at increased risk for gestational diabetes, according to new research published online today by the American Journal of Psychiatry.

Are psychological interventions associated with chronic pain outcomes?
Psychological interventions to treat chronic pain in older adults were associated with some small benefits.

Protecting confidentiality in genomic studies
MIT and Stanford researchers have developed a system for protecting the privacy of people who contribute genomic data to biomedical studies.

Cells change tension to make tissue barriers easier to get through
Fly cells squeeze through tissue barriers in the body better when these barriers are made less stiff.

Leukemia protective role of Y chromosome gene discovered
Scientists have discovered the first leukemia protective gene that is specific to the male-only Y chromosome.

Scientists make strong, super-tough carbon sheets at low temperature
An international research team led by scientists at Beihang University in China and The University of Texas at Dallas has developed high-strength, super-tough sheets of carbon that can be inexpensively fabricated at low temperatures.

New breakthrough paving the way for universal Ebola therapeutic
A new collaborative study has identified and studied Ebola antibodies that could be used to design universal therapeutics that are effective against many different Ebola species.

Molecule that supports blood-cell production under dietary stress is identified
Researchers at Kanazawa University report in Cell Stem Cell how the Spred1 molecule is involved in hematopoietic stem cell self-renewal.

New study finds climate change threatens Marine Protected Areas
New research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and collaborators found that most marine life in Marine Protected Areas will not be able to tolerate warming ocean temperatures caused by greenhouse gas emissions.

Generic options provide limited savings for expensive drugs
Generic drug options did not reduce prices paid for the cancer therapy imatinib (Gleevec), according to a Health Affairs study released today in its May issue.

Better together: Merged microscope offers unprecedented look at biological processes
Scientists at the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) have combined two different microscope technologies to create sharper images of rapidly moving processes inside a cell.

Will automated vehicles take the stress out of driving? Research says 'don't count on it'
Automated system designers take note: Attention erodes the longer the driver is not actively engaged in manual driving.

Study finds better measures than a person's occupation to predict long-term earnings
In a new study, researchers found that a person's cross-sectional annual earnings taken at one point in time have greater predictive power of his or her 20-year long-term earnings, ahead of occupation-based classifications.

Wrap an electrode material for Li-ion battery into the inner spacing of carbon nanotube
Researchers at the Toyohashi University of Technology have designed a unique lithium ion battery (LIB) electrode, where red phosphorus is stuffed into carbon nanotubes (CNTs).

Scientists discover roadblocks that stop brain white matter healing
A new study identifies a molecule that may be critical to the repair of white matter, the fatty tissue wrapped around parts of brain cells that helps speed up communication.

New biotech technique accelerates protein therapy research
A Northwestern-led synthetic biology research team has combined technologies to develop a new biotech technique that promises to accelerate research into protein therapies.

Uncovering a hidden protein 'tail' that puts the brakes on cell signaling
Using an informatics tool that identifies

Many US Airbnb venues may be falling short on fire safety, finds snapshot survey
Many US Airbnb venues may be falling short on fire safety, indicate the results of a snapshot survey of more than 120,500 rentals in 16 cities, published in the journal Injury Prevention.

Marine animals can hear us swim, kayak and scuba dive
While it is obvious that things like boats can be heard by marine life under the water, what about human activities like swimming, canoeing and scuba diving?

Review of nearly 500 patient cases shows surgery benefits for congenital hyperinsulinism
A review of nearly 500 cases of infants with severe congenital hyperinsulinism who underwent partial or near-total removal of their pancreas for persistent hypoglycemia at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) showed that surgeons can cure virtually all patients with the focal, or localized, form of the rare genetic disease.

Social context matters in spread of disease
'Patient zero' isn't entirely to blame when an infection takes root in a population.

Prescription drug monitoring programs may have negative unintended consequences
Prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) are a key component of the President's Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Plan and considered a critical tool for reducing prescription opioid-related illness and death.

Scientists reveal drivers of prolonged spring-summer drought over North China
A recent study reveals the large-scale dynamic drivers of the prolonged spring-summer drought over North China, where prolonged drought tends to begin in spring and persists to summer with severe societal impacts.

Preclinical M.D. Anderson study suggests ARID1a may be useful biomarker for immunotherapy
Functional loss of ARID1a, a frequently mutated tumor suppressor gene, causes deficiencies in normal DNA repair and may sensitize tumors to immune checkpoint blockade therapies, according to researchers from The University of Texas M.D.

Flexible, wearable oral sodium sensor could help improve hypertension control
For people who have hypertension and certain other conditions, eating too much salt raises blood pressure and increases the likelihood of heart complications.

Stomata -- the plant pores that give us life -- arise thanks to a gene called MUTE
New research in plants shows that a gene called MUTE is required for the formation of stomata -- the tiny pores that a critical for gas exchange, including releasing the oxygen gas that we breathe.

FSU research: New model could help rebuild eroding lands in coastal Louisiana
A Florida State University researcher has developed a model to help stakeholders figure out what factors they need to consider to rebuild land in coastal Louisiana.

A new connection between glucose and lipid regulation in cancer metabolism
Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine in China have identified an enzyme that helps cancer cells make the building materials they need to quickly proliferate.

Eggs not linked to cardiovascular risk, despite conflicting advice
Eating up to 12 eggs a week does not increase cardiovascular risk factors in people with pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes, new research finds -- despite conflicting dietary advice continuing around the world.

Study finds possibility of new ways to treat, manage epilepsy seizures
New findings from the University of Kentucky published in the Journal of Neuroscience demonstrate that there may be ways to address blood-brain barrier dysfunction in epilepsy.

Very-low-carb diet shows promise in type 1 diabetes
Very-low-carbohydrate diets can improve blood sugar control in type 1 diabetes, with low rates of hypoglycemia and other complications, according to an online patient survey.

New insights into blood vessel growth
How new blood vessels form in mammals, for example during development or after injury, was so far not known exactly.

Oilseed crop's waste product yields compounds that protect skin from the sun
Meadowfoam, a native Pacific Northwest plant cultivated as an oilseed crop, has emerged as a potential new source of protection against the sun's harmful effects on the skin.

Could seismology equipment help to protect elephants from poachers?
Using tools developed to monitor earthquakes, an interdisciplinary team of researchers reporting in Current Biology on May 7 have found that it's possible to eavesdrop on elephants by listening in to vibrations through the ground as they move about and vocalize.

Study discovers new molecular mechanism likely involved in cancer metastasis
Scientists knew the PDK1 signaling pathway was active in metastasizing cancer cells, but no one knew why.

If you believe it, it's truer
According to Dr. Gilead, 'In order to make informed decisions, people need to be able to consider the merits and weaknesses of different opinions and adapt to new information.

Higher risks associated with vaginal birth after cesarean, although absolute risk small
Attempted vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) is associated with higher rates of adverse effects or death for mothers and infants, although absolute rates were low in mothers who attempted this type of birth, according to research in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Parenting concerns create challenges for mothers with advanced cancer and dependent children
A new study indicates that parenting concerns are associated with poor health-related quality of life among women with metastatic cancer who are parents of dependent children.

Invisible structures exposed!
Scientists at Osaka University succeeded in reconstruction of plant branch structures, including the branch structures under leaves, by using image analysis and artificial intelligence technology, a world first.

Neuro filter sharpens visual processing
Blurry and clear versions of an image are represented similarly in the brain, according to a neuroimaging study published in eNeuro.

AI detects patterns of gut microbes for cholera risk
Researchers at Duke University and Massachusetts General Hospital used artificial intelligence to spot patterns within the communities of bacteria living in the human gut.

Police violence takes 'substantial' toll on youth and people of color
Police violence in the US is taking a 'substantial' toll on youth and people of colour, indicates research published online in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

Self-driving cars for country roads
Uber's recent self-driving car fatality underscores the fact that the technology is still not ready for widespread adoption.

Dementia risk doubles following concussion, UCSF study shows
Dementia should join the expanding list of possible complications following concussion, even if the patient did not lose consciousness, say researchers from UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences and the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Health Care System.

Can 'local acoustic treatment' reduce speech distraction within open-plan offices?
To make open offices less noisy, researchers are creating small 'acoustic islands' using high-back chairs and retroreflective ceilings to direct sound to help you hear your own conversations -- not others' -- better.

Building better beta peptides
Beta peptides have become a key tool in building more robust biomaterials.

Precision medicine approvals and rare disease treatment incentives evaluated
The senior author of two separate articles published in Health Affairs on May 7, Kesselheim, members of the PORTAL research group and co-authors, examine the fast approvals of precision medicines in one paper while evaluating the impact of the Orphan Drug Act's seven-year market exclusivity in the other.

Fish talk-os: Studying electrocommunication in the wild
A field study published in JNeurosci of tropical fish in Central America reveals how the animals use electric fields to communicate in their natural habitat to accomplish coordinated behaviors including mating and reproduction.

Built for speed: DNA nanomachines take a (rapid) step forward
In a new study, researchers from ASU, University of Michigan, the Wyss Institute, the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and the Department of Biological Chemistry at Harvard describe an innovative DNA walker, capable of rapidly traversing a prepared track.

Carnivores in captivity give birth at the same time of year as those in the wild
Reproductive seasonality is a fixed characteristic of a species -- University of Zurich re-searchers have now found that carnivores in captivity give birth at the same time of year as their counterparts in the wild.

Transistor fabrication onto curved surface means turn toward better diabetes therapy
Transparent transistors fabricated onto the sharp curves of a tiny glass tube are paving the way toward a therapeutic advance for the nearly 10 percent of the US population who have diabetes.

Hematene joins parade of new 2D materials
An international team led by scientists from Rice University has created two-dimensional hematene, an atomically thin form of the common iron oxide known as hematite.

New software, HyperTools, transforms complex data into visualizable shapes
Every dataset in the observable universe has a fundamental geometry or shape to it, but that structure can be highly complicated.

UCalgary scientists discover a new way to battle multiple sclerosis
University of Calgary scientists Andrew Caprariello, Ph.D., and Dr. Peter Stys, professor at the Cumming School of Medicine, are challenging conventional thinking about the root cause of multiple sclerosis.

Study adds new evidence that infants track others' mental states
A brain-imaging study offers new support for the idea that infants can accurately track other people's beliefs.

Antipsychotic medications may result in increased risk of gestational diabetes
Researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Public Health and Massachusetts General Hospital addressed the link between antipsychotic treatment during pregnancy and gestational diabetes in a new research paper published online today by the American Journal of Psychiatry.

Astronomers find exoplanet atmosphere free of clouds
Scientists have detected an exoplanet atmosphere that is free of clouds, marking a pivotal breakthrough in the quest for greater understanding of the planets beyond our solar system.

Providing clinicians feedback on their Opioid prescribing data alters future prescribing
Asking emergency department (ED) providers to self-identify their opioid prescribing practices and then providing them with timely, clinically relevant, individualized, and actionable feedback on their actual opioid prescribing data, significantly decreases future opioid prescribing among providers who underestimate their baseline prescribing.

PolyU endeavors in disaster management and disaster risk reduction
In the past decade after the devastated 5.12 Wenchuan Earthquake in Sichuan, academics and students from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) have been working on a series of inter-disciplinary projects to help enhance the resilience of the affected communities.

If El Niños happen twice as often in the future, what happens to seabirds?
Doubling the frequency of El Niños unexpectedly resulted in higher population numbers and a lower chance of extinction for Brandt's cormorants, a recent UC Davis study found.

Women see through flashy cars and bling
When a man throws money around on flashy cars, people intuitively interpret this behavior as a sign that he is more interested in short-term sexual relationships than in romantic commitment.

New research suggests that dawn of plate tectonics could have turned earth into snowball
A research duo from The University of Texas at Austin and UT Dallas have put forward a hypothesis that links the dawn of plate tectonics with 'snowball Earth' -- a period of climate change that sent the planet into a deep freeze that lasted millions of years.

Deadly duet
Pore-forming toxins are common bacterial poisons. They attack organisms by introducing holes in cell membranes.

A new way to watch brain activity in action
A new imaging tool makes it possible to track the firing of millions of brain cells in mice while the animals move about as normal.

Researchers find genetic 'dial' can control body size in pigs
Researchers from North Carolina State University have demonstrated a connection between the expression of the HMGA2 gene and body size in pigs.

New study links strong pupillary light reflex in infancy to later autism diagnosis
A new study published in Nature Communications shows that infants who are later diagnosed with autism react more strongly to sudden changes in light.

Why people become more prone to distraction with age
The locus coeruleus is a nucleus that controls attention, memory and alertness, but a USC-led study shows that it seems to weaken in later years. 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