Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 10, 2018
Women seeking crowdfunding financing for start-ups are perceived as more trustworthy
While men have benefited from a gender bias against women when seeking financing for business start-ups, the opposite may be true for female entrepreneurs seeking initial investment through crowdfunding efforts, according to research from Indiana University's Kelley School of Business.

At long last, a 3D picture of an interstellar cloud, a clue to star formation
A duo of astronomers has accomplished a difficult feat: determining the 3D structure of an interstellar cloud, the birth site of stars.

High efficiency synthesis of insulin by self-assembly based organic chemistry
Researchers have succeeded in efficiently synthesizing insulin by using only chemical processes based on organic synthesis.

Study finds prenatal marijuana use can affect infant size, behavior
Smoking during pregnancy has well-documented negative effects on birth weight in infants and is linked to several childhood health problems.

Family doctors could better detect child neglect with increased dental health training
New research now suggests that GPs lack the awareness and training to identify dental neglect in children, and therefore could miss the opportunity to share potential cases of wider abuse or neglect to other health and welfare professionals.

Food-carrying ants use collective problem solving to get through or around obstacles
Ants working together to carry a large piece of food get around obstacles by switching between two types of motion: one that favors squeezing the morsel through a hole and another to seek a path around the barrier.

Radar reveals details of mountain collapse after North Korea's most recent nuclear test
North Korea's Sept. 3, 2017, underground nuclear test -- it's latest and biggest -- created a 5.2 magnitude earthquake and 4.5 magnitude aftershock.

What gives bees their sweet tooth?
Scientists have discovered bees linger on a flower, emptying it of nectar, because they have sugar-sensing taste neurons which work together to prolong the pleasure of the sweetness.

Discovery of novel biomarker with remarkable specificity to rheumatoid arthritis
University of Tsukuba-centered researchers identified the protein citrullinated ITIH4 as a new biomarker with high specificity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Identification of bovine IVF embryos without chromosome abnormalities by live-cell imaging
Research groups of Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Kindai University, FUSO Pharmaceutical Industries, Ltd. and NARO succeeded in selecting viable bovine IVF embryos by long-term live cell imaging.

Most oncologists have discussed medical marijuana with patients
Data from a new survey show that as many as 80 percent of oncologists have discussed medical marijuana use with their patients.

New film highlights human pressures of diamond industry in Sierra Leone
A new feature film from the University of Bath, 'Voices from the Mine,' highlights what happens when a diamond journeys from mine to market and who really benefits.

Study paves the way for better treatment of prostate cancer
A new study published today has found a way to identify men with locally advanced prostate cancer who are less likely to respond well to radiotherapy.

A European origin for leprosy?
New research by an international team has revealed that there was much more diversity in the leprosy strains circulating in Medieval Europe than previously thought.

Using proteomics to understand pathogens
Recent studies in the journal Molecular & Cellular Proteomics have shed light on pathogenic mechanisms of the sexually-transmitted parasite Trichomonas vaginalis and the HIV-associated opportunistic lung fungus Aspergillus.

Rising religious 'none' rates linked to conservative Christian politics
A study published in April in the journal Political Research Quarterly examined states that enacted policies against same-sex marriage, and found a correlation between these activities and a rising number of people who do not affiliate with a specific religion.

Study shows prolonged NAS treatment for infants discharged early
Infants who are diagnosed with drug withdrawal after birth who are treated with medication as outpatients at home are treated three times longer than infants treated solely as inpatients, according to a new Vanderbilt study.

OSA in older adults: Often present, seldom investigated
Research finds more than half of Medicare beneficiaries have a high risk of obstructive sleep apnea, but few have been assessed for the sleep disorder.

Cost savings from integrative medicine via pain reduction in hospitalized patients
Researchers at Allina Health conducted a large NIH-funded observational study to examine pain treatment outcomes of integrative medicine in hospitalized patients.

'Bisexual' beetles are simply inept, new study finds
New research shows that same-sex mating among male insects is more likely to be due to incompetence rather than sexual preference.

A deadly fungus afflicting amphibians arose in Korea, spread via human trade
The origins of a deadly fungus, which for decades has contributed to a global decline of numerous amphibian populations, has been traced to the Korean peninsula, a new study reports.

Divide and conquer: Israeli researchers find key to creating better medicines with fewer side effects
A new study published in Science by professors Yossi Paltiel of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Ron Naaman from the Weizmann Institute of Science describes a breakthrough technology with the power to create drugs with fewer unwanted side effects.

New technique using computer algorithm, 3D printing shows promise for creating prosthetic nose
A computer algorithm and 3D printer created prosthetic noses rated similar to those pictured in photographs, and the technology could be a low-cost option for temporary prostheses or models for reconstructive surgeons.

A new genetic 'map' of ancient human migration across Asia
The analysis of dozens of ancient genomes extracted from across the vast expanse between Europe and East Asia is shedding light on historical human migration patterns, as well as the spread of Indo-European languages and horse domestication.

Annual well woman visit to the OB/GYN can keep your heart healthy
Yearly well woman exams by OB/GYNs should include a heart disease risk assessment.

Shooting the Achilles heel of drug-resistant cancer
Cancer cells that develop resistance to drugs, also develop a new vulnerability.

How do public 'report cards' affect physicians' treatment decisions?
Researchers from the Smith Center for Outcomes Research in Cardiology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) provide a closer look at physicians' knowledge, attitudes and beliefs about public reporting on percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).

Pterocarpanquinones and carbapterocarpans with anti-tumor activity against MDR leukemias
The pterocarpanquinone LQB-118 and the carbapterocarpan LQB-223 were evaluated on models of human hematological neoplasias and solid tumors.

Receptor related to neurotransmitter serotonin to boost memory formation
In a breakthrough that could one day help individuals with cognitive impairment, researchers at Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC) identified a specific receptor related to the neurotransmitter serotonin that could be targeted with drugs to boost memory.

Big mamma fish give proportionally bigger reproductive outputs
Even accounting for their proportionate size, bigger female fish produce many more offspring than smaller fish, a new study reveals.

Changing students' attitudes to mathematics improves test scores
A new study finds a free 'massive, open, online course' (MOOC) led to students feeling more positive about math, more engaged during math class, and scoring significantly higher in mathematics assessments.

Genetic clues reveal origins of killer fungus behind the 'amphibian plague'
A deadly fungus responsible for the devastation of amphibian populations around the world may have originated in East Asia, new research has found.

Working overtime linked to less collaboration between nurses and doctors
Working overtime may negatively influence nurses' collaboration with fellow nurses and physicians, finds a new study by researchers at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing.

Eurovision Song Contest associated with increase in life satisfaction
Participating in the Eurovision Song Contest may be linked to an increase in a nation's life satisfaction, according to new research.

Would Super Mario Bros. be better if you could play as yourself? Well, not exactly
A new study by USC Institute for Creative Technologies and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign shows no gender difference or negative effect on player's performance or subjective involvement based on whether a photorealistic avatar looked like them or like their friend.

Racial or ethnic discrimination impacts Latinas' satisfaction with contraception services
Young Latina women who have experienced racial or ethnic discrimination are less satisfied overall with their contraceptive care, which could affect their access to more effective contraceptives, a new study from Oregon State University has found.

New study finds ginger proven to treat vomiting in children with acute gastroenteritis
Researchers presenting at the 51st ESPGHAN Annual Meeting have today revealed the results of a new study which proves the efficacy and effectiveness of using ginger to treat vomiting in children with acute gastroenteritis -- one of the most common conditions resulting in admission to pediatric emergency departments.

New method of measuring internal stresses for aerospace and aircraft engineering
Composite materials have become an integral part of our lives: they are used in aviation and space technologies, as well as the automobile and mining industries.

Global trade spreads deadly frog disease from Asia
New research has revealed a deadly disease that threatens the survival of the world's frogs originated from East Asia, and global trade was almost certainly responsible for the disease's spread.

Body's 'natural opioids' affect brain cells much differently than morphine
A new study led by UC San Francisco scientists shows that brain cells, or neurons, react differently to opioid substances created inside the body -- the endorphins responsible for the 'natural high' that can be produced by exercise, for example -- than they do to morphine and heroin, or to purely synthetic opioid drugs, such as fentanyl.

Stone Age hepatitis B virus decoded
An international team of scientists led by researchers at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History and the University of Kiel has successfully reconstructed genomes from Stone Age and Medieval European strains of the hepatitis B virus.

Neuroscientists find first evidence animals can mentally replay past events
Indiana University researchers have reported the first evidence that non-human animals can mentally replay past events from memory.

Ancient skull shows early 'baleen whale' had teeth
Today's baleen whales (Mysticetes) support their massive bodies by filtering huge volumes of small prey from seawater using comb-like baleen in their mouths.

Angry birds: Size of jackdaw mobs depends on who calls warning
Jackdaws recognize each other's voices and respond in greater numbers to warnings from familiar birds than strangers, new research shows.

Treatment for MRSA no longer more costly than for susceptible Staph aureus infections
A new study found that infections caused by one of the most common drug resistant bacteria in the US -- methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, known as MRSA -- are no more expensive to treat than MSSA, the methicillin-susceptible version of the same bacteria.

Levitation yields better neutron-lifetime measurement
Being repulsive can have its advantages. In the case of an experiment at Los Alamos National Laboratory's linear accelerator, a repulsive magnetic field and a clever detector system are allowing ultracold neutrons to be levitated so their actual lifetimes can be more accurately measured.

Scientists uncover brain circuits behind putting up a fight or freezing in place
In a study of mice, National Institutes of Health-funded researchers describe a new circuit involved in fine-tuning the brain's decision either to hide or confront threats.

The use of online banking by people over 60
The researchers state that the majority of over-60s access online banking when they understand its usefulness, although they assume certain risks because of a lack of competence, and that they also value very positively the influence that they exercise over younger family members, who are more used to using electronic services.

Brain-computer interface based on mutual learning helps tetraplegics in avatar race
Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) are seen as a potential means by which severely physically impaired individuals can regain control of their environment, but establishing such an interface is not trivial.

Big fish produce disproportionately more and bigger eggs
Contrary to prevailing dogma, plus-sized female fish invest disproportionately more in making eggs than smaller females.

New tool analyzes disease and drug effects with unprecedented accuracy and consistency
A new protein analysis tool developed at the University at Buffalo could increase the quality and accuracy of medical diagnosis and quicken the pace of pharmaceutical development.

New link between gut microbiome and artery hardening discovered
The level of diversity of the 'good bacteria' in our digestive systems has been found to be linked to a feature of cardiovascular disease -- hardening of the arteries -- in new research by experts at the University of Nottingham and King's College London.

Purple districts elect the most extreme legislators, driving polarization
So-called purple voting districts that change hands between Republicans and Democrats -- rather than reliably conservative and liberal districts -- are an underappreciated source of rising political polarization in state legislatures, according to a study led by a Princeton University researcher.

Researchers hide information in plain text
Columbia Engineering computer scientists invent FontCode, a way to embed hidden information in ordinary text by imperceptibly changing the shapes of fonts in text.

Aggression at work can lead to 'vicious circle' of misconduct
New research led by the University of East Anglia reveals that frequently being the target of workplace aggression not only affects the victim's health but can also cause them to behave badly towards others.

A vital pause: Neurons in the brain's striatum may help regulate response to unexpected stimuli
Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University, JapanUsing light to control the activity of a specific group of nerve cells, OIST researchers have revealed a possible brain mechanism for responding to surprising or important cues.

Profiling extreme beams: Scientists devise new diagnostic for particle accelerators
The world's cutting-edge particle accelerators are pushing the extremes in high-brightness beams and ultrashort pulses to explore matter in new ways.

How parents cause children's friendships to end
A new study reveals why childhood friendships fall apart and is the first to demonstrate that parents are an important source of these breakups.

Do the elderly want technology to help them take their medication?
Over 65s say they would find technology to help them take their medications helpful, but need the technology to be familiar, accessible and easy to use, according to research by Queen Mary University of London and University of Cambridge.

Hostile teachers can lose students 5 percent on test scores
Teachers who antagonize their students by belittling them, showing favoritism, or criticizing their contributions can damage their learning potential, a new study warns.

How the power of mathematics can help assess lung function
Researchers at the University of Southampton have developed a new computational way of analyzing X-ray images of lungs, which could herald a breakthrough in the diagnosis and assessment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other lung diseases.

Marriage name game: What kind of guy would take his wife's last name?
The study looked at whether a man's level of education -- both his own and relative to his wife's -- influences the likelihood that he chooses a nontraditional surname in marriage.

Fossil find solves questions around baleen whale evolution
A University of Otago palaeontologist's discovery of an ancient fossil whale that swam the Antarctica seas 34 million years ago has paved the way for new knowledge about the evolution of baleen whales.

Study reveals that many oncologists recommend medical marijuana clinically despite not feeling sufficiently knowledgeable to do so
While a wide majority of oncologists do not feel informed enough about medical marijuana's utility to make clinical recommendations, most do in fact conduct discussions on medical marijuana in the clinic and nearly half recommend it to their patients, say researchers who surveyed a population-based sample of medical oncologists.

Cloaking devices -- it's not just 'star trek' anymore
Scientists are now working to take cloaking devices from the dramatic realm of science fiction and make them real.

Patients who have had an irregular heart beat can't ever be considered 'cured'
Patients with an abnormal heart rhythm that can leave them at a higher risk of suffering from stroke still need treatment even after their heart rhythm seems to have returned to normal, say researchers at the University of Birmingham.

Research suggests a 15-minute 'daily mile' could enhance health of the world's children
Policymakers should consider introducing The Daily Mile to improve the health and fitness of schoolchildren around the world, according to new research led by the Universities of Stirling and Edinburgh.

How the germ behind flesh-eating disease hijacks neurons to avoid immune destruction
A study conducted in mice reveals that neurons play key role in the development of flesh-eating disease.

Discovery of how HIV hedges its bets opens the door to new therapies
HIV covers its bases in a volatile environment by generating both active and dormant infections.

Record-breaking ocean heat fueled Hurricane Harvey
Record-hot Gulf of Mexico waters supercharged Hurricane Harvey, fueling it with vast stores of water and setting the stage for devastating flooding after it stalled near Houston.

Untangling brain neuron dysfunction in Parkinson's disease and dementia with Lewy bodies
In Parkinson's disease and dementia with Lewy bodies, pathological aggregates of misfolded alpha-synuclein protein develop in brain neurons.

Developing a method for synthesizing a novel polyester with alternating arrangement
Toyohashi University of Technology researchers have developed a method for synthesizing a 'pure' alternating copolymer of L-- and D-lactic acids in which L-- and D-lactic acids are alternately arranged, i.e., a 'syndiotactic' poly(lactic acid).

Tau-tolly microtubular!
Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California, Berkeley have combined cutting-edge cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) with computational molecular modeling to produce a near atomic-resolution model of the interaction between microtubules--crucial components of eukaryotic cell ultrastructure--and microtubule-associated proteins called tau.

Published study reports molecule could improve memory, reduce Alzheimer's degradation
SERCA activator may improve memory and cognition for Alzheimer's patients by preserving calcium ion balance in neurons and offering a new therapeutic strategy for neurodegeneration drug development.

Oral antibiotics may raise risk of kidney stones
Pediatric researchers have found that children and adults treated with some oral antibiotics have a significantly higher risk of developing kidney stones.

Half of all young children with a rare inherited liver disease need a liver transplant
An international research team has today reported the first results of a study investigating the natural history of progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis (PFIC) -- a rare genetic liver disease that predominantly affects children.

Racial-ethnic disparities in the quality of end-of-life care among lung cancer patients
Significant disparities in the quality of end-of-life lung cancer care were found among racial-ethnic minorities, with higher odds of experiencing potentially preventable medical encounters during end-of-life as compared with non-Hispanic whites.

Multigene testing replacing BRCA tests for breast cancer risk, Stanford researcher says
The use of genetic tests aimed at detecting the presence of mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes in women with breast cancer is rapidly declining in favor of tests that can detect multiple cancer-associated mutations, according to researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and five other US medical centers.

Strain improves performance of atomically thin semiconductor material
UConn materials scientists show conclusively for the first time that the properties of atomically thin materials can be mechanically manipulated to enhance their performance.

Oral antibiotics linked to increased kidney stone risk
The potential to promote antibiotic resistance in bacteria isn't the only reason to avoid using antibiotics when possible.

Food recognition in hundred-year-olds: this explains how our semantic memory works
A study by SISSA shows that, differently from younger individuals, centenarians recognise natural foods more accurately than processed foods, because they have eaten them with greater frequency during their lifetime.

Simple walking test helps predict risk for cognitive issues after heart surgery
The distance a patient can walk in 6-minutes before a heart operation may be a clue to whether that patient will develop problems with memory, concentration, and attention after the procedure, according to a study published online today in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery.

Depleted metabolic enzymes promote tumor growth in kidney cancer
By integrating data on the function of essential metabolic enzymes with genetic, protein, and metabolic abnormalities associated with

How turning down the heat makes a baby turtle male
Scientists have started to crack the 50-year-old puzzle of how temperature turns baby turtles male or female.

Cassava breeding hasn't improved photosynthesis or yield potential
University of Illinois researchers analyzed four African cultivars to find out how breeding has impacted photosynthesis -- the process that transforms light energy and carbon dioxide into yield.

Boosting the effects of vitamin D to tackle diabetes
A Salk Institute study suggests new approach for treating type 2 diabetes and other diseases, including cancer.

YouTube videos help researchers study dog bites
Researchers at the University of Liverpool have turned to the popular video-sharing site YouTube to study the complex issue of dog bites.

Artificial intelligence needs to be socially responsible, says new policy report
The development of new artificial intelligence (AI) technology is often bias, and the resulting systems can be discriminatory, meaning more should be done by policymakers to ensure its development is democratic and socially responsible.

UMass Amherst chemists develop molecular switch for on-demand cargo release
In an unexpected finding, chemist Sankaran 'Thai' Thayumanavan and colleagues at the University of Massachusetts Amherst show for the first time how movement of a single chemical bond can compromise a membrane made up of more than 500 chemical bonds.

The evolution of conflict resolution
Recently published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, Assistant Professor Christoph Riedl's latest research examines a model that might explain how humans resolve conflict, and what these actions say about biological and social behavior, both now and into the future.

The Yogi masters were right -- meditation and breathing exercises can sharpen your mind
It has long been claimed by Yogis and Buddhists that meditation and ancient breath-focused practices, such as pranayama, strengthen our ability to focus on tasks.

A holistic approach for mycetoma management
Mycetoma, a neglected tropical disease, can cause severe disfigurement and disability if not treated early.

Gadolinium deposition in the brain not dose dependent
Investigators at Children's Hospital Los Angeles have determined that in children receiving gadolinium as a contrast agent to enhance MRI examinations, signal changes attributed solely to deposition of this material in the brain are not dependent on the amount of gadolinium administered but rather these changes are seen in association with other factors such as the presence of brain tumors and treatment using brain irradiation.

Cocoa CRISPR: Gene editing shows promise for improving the 'chocolate tree'
Use of the powerful gene-editing tool CRISPR-Cas9 could help to breed cacao trees that exhibit desirable traits such as enhanced resistance to diseases, according to Penn State plant scientists.

Neglected atom has top properties for atomic clocks
Like watchmakers choosing superior materials to build a fine timepiece, physicists at the Centre for Quantum Technologies (CQT) at the National University of Singapore have singled out an atom that could allow us to build better atomic clocks.

Elucidation of vibration energy of a single molecule in an external force field
The vibration of a molecule on a surface contains critical information on the molecule-surface interaction, crucial for understanding surface phenomena and for important processes like catalysis.

Obesity may worsen symptoms for patients with lupus
In a recent Arthritis Care & Research study of 148 women with lupus, obesity was linked with worse disease activity, depressive symptoms, and symptoms of pain and fatigue.

Making next-generation preconception screening a reality for parents
For those planning to become parents, advances in sequencing technologies could make preconception carrier screening more useful by looking at a much broader set of genes.

Combining GANs and reinforcement learning for drug discovery
Insilico Medicine publishes a new research paper in Molecular Pharmaceutics journal titled 'Adversarial Threshold Neural Computer for Molecular De Novo Design.' The described Adversarial Threshold Neural Computer (ATNC) model based on the combination of Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) with Reinforcement Learning (RL) is intended for the design of novel small organic molecules with the desired set of pharmacological properties.

Heat and sound wave interactions in solids could run engines, refrigerators
A solid can serve as a medium for heat and sound wave interactions just like a fluid does for thermoacoustic engines and refrigerators -- resulting in leak-free machines that can stay operating longer.

Microbes from marine volcanic vents reveal how humans adjusted to a changing atmosphere
The findings, published today in Cell by scientists at Van Andel Research Institute (VARI), University of Georgia (UGA) and Washington State University, detail the structure of MBH, a molecular complex involved in microbial respiration.

Scientists identify cause of resistance to breakthrough breast and ovarian cancer drug
Findings could allow doctors to predict resistance and lead to changes in treatment.

Study examines the effects of physical activity during pregnancy
In a recent Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica study, a combined lifestyle intervention including dietary counseling and twice-weekly exercise classes during pregnancy resulted in a slightly longer first stage of labor, without any other effects during labor or delivery.

New research puts distinct memories of similar events in their place
Neuroscientists have found new evidence on how distinct memories of similar events are represented in the brain.

Video of moving discs reconstructed from rat retinal neuron signals
Using machine-learning techniques, a research team has reconstructed a short movie of small, randomly moving discs from signals produced by rat retinal neurons.

Nanodiamonds are forever
Argonne researchers have created a self-generating, very-low-friction dry lubricant that lasts so long it could almost be confused with forever.

How departure times impact airline competition and the role aviation authorities play
New UBC Sauder research has uncovered how low-cost carriers compete with big players in the fiercely competitive airline travel market.

New cancer immunotherapy drugs rapidly reach patients after approval
The majority of patients eligible for cancer immunotherapy drugs known as checkpoint inhibitors received treatment within a few months of FDA approval, according to a new Yale-led study.

What is a species? British bird expert develops a math formula to solve the problem
Whether co-habiting populations belong to the same species is only as tough as figuring out if they interbreed or produce fertile offspring.

Free eyeglasses improve student math scores
Providing free eyeglasses through a hospital-based vision center to students in rural China with poor vision helped to improve student math scores.

Eyes in the back of the head
A team from RIEC has tested the human spatial ability to percieve our surroundings without actually seeing it.

Bubbly graphene: how cool or hot are you?
IBS scientists have measured and controlled the temperature of individual graphene bubbles with a single laser beam for the first time.

The BIG Bell Test
On Nov. 30, 2016, more than 100,000 people around the world contributed to a suite of first-of-a-kind quantum physics experiments known as the BIG Bell Test.

Diabetes-associated pain linked to disrupted insulin signalling
Chronic pain hypersensitivity is commonly experienced by individuals with diabetes, and is difficult to treat.

A new puzzle piece to control the aging and age-related diseases
A basic discovery of how the cellular functions are connected to control aging is presented in the journal Cell Metabolism.

Flexible work arrangements reduce wage gap for mothers
Access to flexible work arrangements reduces the wage gap for mothers compared to women who don't have children, new UBC research suggests.

Punching holes in graphene to boost hydrogen production
A research team led by the University of Tsukuba created an electrode for hydrogen evolution.

Does melatonin do anything? (video)
Melatonin is a widely used supplement. Many people turn to the hormone hoping it will improve their sleep, but do claims of its efficacy have any merit? 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