Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 15, 2018
The big ethical questions for artificial intelligence in healthcare
AI in healthcare is developing rapidly, with many applications currently in use or in development in the UK and worldwide.

A new method for studying semiconductor nanoparticles has been tested
A team from Siberian Federal University and Kirensky Institute of Physics (Siberian Department of the Russian Academy of Sciences) applied a new method to study nanoparticles made of cadmium telluride (CdTe).

New hope for patients with depression and anxiety
There is a strong link between depression and anxiety disorders and autoimmune thyroiditis (AIT), a chronic thyroid condition affecting approximately 10 percent of the population.

IgG antibodies activate blood platelets and contribute to the severity of anaphylaxis
While it was already known that IgE antibodies can trigger allergic reactions, scientists recently demonstrated that IgG antibodies play an active role in the severity of anaphylactic shock by unexpectedly activating blood platelets.

Canadian researchers find key players for building and repairing the brain
During brain development, neural stem cells generate the neurons and glial cells that form the complex network of connections required for proper brain functioning and cognition.

Treating muscle wasting improved cancer survival
Researchers from the University of Jyväskylä in Finland have found that continued treatment of muscle wasting with a soluble growth factor receptor protein, produced at the University of Helsinki, improved survival in a preclinical cancer model without affecting the tumor size.

Study shines light on gut microbiome in colon cancer
Researchers have identified a correlation between gut microbial composition and microRNA expression in human colorectal cancer, according to a recent study published in the journal mSystems.

Six years of exercise -- or lack of it -- may be enough to change heart failure risk
By analyzing reported physical activity levels over time in more than 11,000 American adults, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers conclude that increasing physical activity to recommended levels over as few as six years in middle age is associated with a significantly decreased risk of heart failure, a condition that affects an estimated 5 million to 6 million Americans.

Team achieves two-electron chemical reactions using light energy, gold
Scientists are one step closer to building a carbon-recycling system that can harvest solar energy to efficiently convert CO2 and water into liquid fuels.

Cultivating corrupt ties in post-Mao China
This paper examines the unintended consequences of governance and economic reform efforts in post-Mao China through ethnographic examination of state audits, market reforms, and the recent anti-corruption campaign.

Entangled atoms shine in unison
A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission.

New agility tests can discriminate between soccer players at different performance levels
A new study reports that two new agility tests can distinguish between youth soccer players in under-17 and under-19 divisions, with older players showing increased agility.

Prenatal testing of the fetal rhesus factor: Test is reliable, but benefit is unclear
The new noninvasive test, using a blood sample of the pregnant woman, is as reliable as the conventional test using a blood sample of the newborn.

The first wireless flying robotic insect takes off
Engineers at the University of Washington have created RoboFly, the first wireless flying robotic insect.

Wildfires may cause long-term health problems for endangered orangutans
Orangutans, already critically endangered due to habitat loss from logging and farming, may face another threat in the form of smoke from natural and human-caused fires, a Rutgers University-New Brunswick study finds.

Does acupuncture increase the likelihood of a birth in women undergoing in vitro fertilization?
Acupuncture among women undergoing in vitro fertilization didn't affect live birth rates.

Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found
Experiments in a system of 53 trapped atoms, presented in 2017 researchers from Harvard and MIT, revealed completely unexpected periodic oscillations in the dynamics of the interacting atoms.

Researchers use LiDAR to locate invasive fish and preserve a national treasure
According to new research, an aircraft-mounted instrument could offer a faster way to locate and capture the non-native fish at Yellowstone National Park during the brief weeks each year when they come into shallow water to spawn.

Nature publishes the results of the global experiment The Big Bell test
For the first time, the thousands of decisions which each experiment requires were taken directly by humans, and not by machines.

Randomized trial finds ibuprofen not a safe alternative to antibiotics for UTIs
Ibuprofen, given instead of antibiotics to women with uncomplicated urinary tract infection (cystitis), leads to longer duration of symptoms and more serious adverse events related to the spread of the primary infection, according to a new study in PLOS Medicine by Ingvild Vik and colleagues from the University of Oslo, Norway.

Study: Superbug MRSA infections less costly, but still deadly
Drug-resistant staph infections continue to be deadlier than those that are not resistant and treatable with traditional antibiotics, but treatment costs surprisingly are the same or slightly less, a new national analysis shows.

Joint resolution: A link between Huntington's disease and rheumatoid arthritis
Using new analytic tools, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have decoded the epigenetic landscape for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a common autoimmune disease that affects more than 1.3 million Americans.

VA health care successfully reduces 'rush to treatment' rates for low-risk prostate cancer
Increasing numbers of male veterans are opting out of immediate surgery or radiation to treat low-risk prostate cancer, postponing treatment unless the cancer worsen.

Zebrafish heart development reveals key insight into inherited heart defects
Scientists have shown for the first time that the blueprint for the four chambers of the human heart exists in the humble zebrafish.

Enzyme's movement may be key to new cancer drugs
Motion is crucial for proper functioning of a kinase enzyme, a University of Arizona-led research team found.

Traditional knowledge sheds light on changing East Greenland climate and polar bear hunt
Inuit polar bear hunters in East Greenland report changes to their subsistence hunting patterns as well as polar bear distribution and behavior due to decreasing sea ice and the introduction of hunting quotas in 2006.

Understanding vitamin D trends in children with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
New research charts vitamin D levels and variations in genes that determine vitamin D status in UK children diagnosed with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Protective protein activated by vitamin K found, inactive, abundant in blacks on dialysis
High levels of a protein activated by vitamin K and associated with cardiovascular disease when it isn't, has been found in the blood of African-Americans on dialysis, investigators report.

Move it and use it: Exergaming may help those at risk of Alzheimer's or related dementias
Older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), often a precursor to Alzheimer's, showed significant improvement with certain complex thinking and memory skills after exergaming, according to a new study.

3D images of cancer cells in the body
Making tumor cells glow: medical physicists at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg have developed a new method that can generate detailed three-dimensional images of the body's interior.

Forest loss in one part of US can harm trees on the opposite coast
If a whole forest disappears, new research shows, this has ricocheting effects in the atmosphere that affect vegetation on the other side of the country.

National trial: EEG brain tests help patients overcome depression
A UT Southwestern study -- to be published in the June edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry -- found that measuring electrical activity in the brain can help predict a patient's response to an antidepressant.

Think chimpanzee beds are dirtier than human ones? Think again
Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) appear to keep tidier sleeping arrangements than humans do.

Eyewitness accounts fill in details of 1946 Dominican Republic tsunami
Almost 70 years later, the man remembers the August day in Playa Rincon, when he clung to the top of an almond tree to survive a tsunami where the waters rushed about 700 meters inland after a magnitude 8.1 earthquake.

Biologists find mechanisms that control where transcription factors bind
A team of biologists has determined how transcription factors, which guide gene regulation, function differently in embryonic development.

High civilian mortality rates during the liberation of Mosul from ISIS
Mortality rates were higher during the nine months of military liberation of Mosul, Iraq, than during the 29 months of exclusive Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) control, according to a study published this week in PLOS Medicine.

No motor, no battery, no problem
Engineers have created a soft robot that does not rely on a motor to propel itself through the water.

Researchers uncover genomic info linking extinct giant ground sloth to modern species
Researchers have uncovered important genomic data from the remains of an ancient giant ground sloth, or Mylodon darwinii, the emblematic creature named after Charles Darwin, whose discovery of fossilized remains in South America is considered to be one of his significant scientific achievements.

Taming random gene changes as our bodies start to form
Scientists exploring how to tame random gene fluctuations as the embryos that become our bodies start to form have identified a control switch in the vertebrate segmentation clock of developing zebrafish.

Peatland contributions to UK water security
Scientists from the University of Leeds have developed a new global index that identifies water supplied from peatlands as a significant source of drinking water for the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

Savanna chimpanzees suffer from heat stress
An international team of scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, has studied the physiological parameters of savanna and rainforest chimpanzees and compared their water and energy budgets as well as their stress levels.

Big data from world's largest citizen science microbiome project serves food for thought
Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and collaborators have published the first major results from the American Gut Project a crowdsourced, global citizen science effort.

Flowing cells in a wavy microchannel for effective size-based cell sorting
Researchers from SUTD developed a precise microscale manipulation method by rapidly flowing cell suspensions through a specially designed microchannel.

Some calories more harmful than others
While calories from any food have the potential to increase the risk of obesity and other cardiometabolic diseases, 22 nutrition researchers agree that sugar-sweetened beverages play a unique role in chronic health problems.

Study provides further insight into how Ebola affects the eye
A new study, conducted by the researchers from the University of Liverpool, published in JAMA Ophthalmology identifies the specific characteristics of Ebola retinal lesions, which provide further clues as to how the virus travels to the retina and causes damage.

Prized data, free and open to all
The first official account of the electronic Rothamsted Archive and what it offers, published today, highlights how this unique historical repository of agricultural and meteorological data, which date back to 1843, is the result of some remarkable forward thinking.

Researcher warns China's program 'riskiest environmental project in history'
A global expert on infrastructure says that China's plan to crisscross half of the Earth with massive transportation and energy projects is environmentally the riskiest venture ever undertaken.

How far to go for satellite cloud image forecasting into operation
Simulated satellite cloud images not only have the visualization of cloud imagery, but also can reflect more information about the model.

Drug companies selling more 'lifestyle,' less 'symptom'
More prescription drug commercials are promoting how certain medications can improve a user's lifestyle rather than curing symptoms and the negative emotions connected to their health condition.

A high-fiber diet protects mice against the flu virus
Dietary fiber increases survival in influenza-infected mice by setting the immune system at a healthy level of responsiveness, according to a preclinical study published May 15 in the journal Immunity.

Researchers identify method to overcome false positives in CT imaging for lung cancer
A team of researchers including investigators from Mayo Clinic has identified a technology to address the problem of false positives in CT-based lung cancer screening.

New findings explain how melatonin promotes sleep
Researchers from the University of Missouri School of Medicine have discovered how melatonin suppresses neurons in the brain that keeps you awake and alert.

Astonishing effect enables better palladium catalysts
The taste of the chocolate cake's icing should not depend on whether it is served on a porcelain or a silver plate.

Not quite a 'double bind' for minority women in science
Many studies have shown that both minority and women scientists face disadvantages in reaching the highest levels of their careers.

Omega-3, omega-6 in diet alters gene expression in obesity
A new study reveals that essential fats in the diet may play a role in regulating protein secretion in the muscles by changing the way genes associated with secretion act.

Attentive adults increase children's ability to empathise
For human beings to function socially, they need to be able to perceive, understand, and talk about others' mental states, such as beliefs, desires and intentions.

Keeping kids with asthma out of the hospital
Only multimodal interventions that combined multiple categories were effective at reducing the risk of readmission for pediatric asthma between 30 days and one year after initial discharge, Children's research finds.

Researchers propose how REM and non-REM sleep may work together to help us solve problems
Sleep is known to be important for creative thinking, but exactly how it helps and what role each sleep stage -- REM and non-REM -- plays remains unclear.

Expert consensus finds that higher protein intake benefits adult bone health
A new expert consensus endorsed by the European Society for Clinical and Economical Aspects of Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis, and Musculoskeletal Diseases (ESCEO) and the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) has reviewed the benefits and safety of dietary protein for bone health, based on analyses of major research studies.

Study shows targeted biopsy for prostate cancer more effective than traditional method
Researchers at the University of Cincinnati have found that MRI fusion biopsy -- coupling MRI and ultrasound to visualize suspicious lesions in the prostate gland and targeting the biopsy to that particular area -- outperformed standard prostate biopsy in patients with a prior negative prostate biopsy.

Genetic fixer-uppers may help predict bladder cancer prognosis
Mutations in genes that help repair damage to DNA may aid in predicting the prognosis of patients with bladder and other related cancers, according to researchers, who found that bladder cancer patients who had mutations in their ATM or RB1 genes -- proteins that help repair DNA damage when they're functioning normally -- tended not to live as long as patients without the mutations.

Malaria detectable in olfactory cocktail
ETH researchers have discovered odor profiles typical of people infected with acute or asymptomatic malaria.

A green approach to making ammonia could help feed the world
A UCF research team with collaborators at Virginia Tech have developed a new 'green' approach to making ammonia that may help make feeding the rising world population more sustainable.

Your body is transparentized in a virtual environment
Researchers at Toyohashi University of Technology, University of Tokyo and Keio University have found that visual-motor synchronicity of only the hands and feet can induce a sense of illusory ownership over an invisible body interpolated between virtual hands and feet.

Mathematical methods for diagnosing breast cancer
The team of researchers at Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuania are developing mathematical methods which could help diagnose breast cancer.

Key enzyme for production of second-generation ethanol discovered in Brazilian Amazon
Protein encoded by gene found in microorganisms living in Amazon lake could boost efficiency on the sugarcane bagasse saccharification process, which makes for up to 50% of the global costs of cellulosic ethanol production.

Monitoring lava lake levels in Congo volcano
Nyiragongo in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is among the world's most active volcanoes, with a persistent lava lake as one of its defining features.

Magnetic stimulation dampens brain response to drug cues in addiction
In a study investigating the use of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) for drug addiction, researchers at Medical University of South Carolina are the first to demonstrate that the noninvasive brain stimulation technique can dampen brain activity in response to drug cues in chronic alcohol users and chronic cocaine users.

Making carbon nanotubes as usable as common plastics
By using an inexpensive, already mass produced, simple solvent called cresol, Northwestern University's Jiaxing Huang has discovered a way to make disperse carbon nanotubes at unprecedentedly high concentrations without the need for additives or harsh chemical reactions to modify the nanotubes.

How can we help children with brain injuries transition back to school?
Children with brain injuries face significant challenges when transitioning from hospital or home to school where they face issues such as lack of educator understanding and catching up with missed work.

Neutrons measured with unprecedented precision using a 'magneto-gravitational trap'
Researchers at the IU Center for the Exploration of Energy and Matter have developed a highly accurate way to measure neutron decay rates.

Researchers call for transgender-inclusive healthcare providers
More should be done to take care of the mental health of transgender people in the US, a new survey carried out in Colorado indicates.

New study sheds light on how we perceive color
When we view natural images the colours we perceive are due to colour information at every local patch of an image, rather than how colours interact when they transition from one point to another, according to a new study from researchers at City, University of London.

LGBTQ teens experiencing high levels of stress, says national survey
This survey comes five years after HRC's groundbreaking 2012 study of LGBTQ youth -- one of the first initiatives launched by the organization under Griffin's leadership.

New approach to global-warming projections could make regional estimates more precise
A new method for projecting how the temperature will respond to human impacts supports the outlook for substantial global warming throughout this century - but also indicates that, in many regions, warming patterns are likely to vary significantly from those estimated by widely used computer models.

Researchers find new way to stimulate cellular recycling process
In research that could lead to future therapies for age-related diseases, Brown University researchers have found a new way to stimulate the process by which cells recycle their spare parts.

Fertility study finds acupuncture ineffective for IVF birth rates
A study of over 800 Australian and New Zealand women undergoing acupuncture treatment during their IVF (in vitro fertilization) cycle has confirmed no significant difference in live birth rates.

Understanding Andean concepts of death and renewal
Research in the Andes has yielded evidence for a complex association between settlement sites and mortuary monuments, tied to concepts of death, ancestor veneration and water.

Monitoring the tremble -- and potential fall -- of natural rock arches
Scientists monitoring the vibrations of natural rock arches have found that the resonant frequencies of arches undergo dynamic changes from day to day, according to research presented at the 2018 SSA Annual Meeting.

Love hurts: Spats with spouse may worsen chronic pain, other symptoms
For patients with chronic conditions like arthritis or diabetes, arguments with a spouse may have physical repercussions, according to researchers.

In era of #MeToo, majority of employees say their employers fail to take new steps addressing sexual harassment
The spotlight on workplace sexual harassment since fall 2017 has led to high-profile resignations, terminations and lawsuits.

How the waterwheel plant snaps
Biologists and civil engineers have analyzed the rapid movement of the snap-trap with which the carnivorous plant catches its prey.

New research shows that wasps drum to alert one another of food nearby
New research shows wasps have their own way of communicating to each other about mealtimes -- drumming on their gaster (or abdomen) to let each other know that there's food nearby.

Impact of weather and well-timed cultural management techniques on organic weed control
Weed management can be a tough challenge in organic cropping systems since growers don't have herbicides in their weed control arsenal.

Gonorrhea surveillance study maps antibiotic resistance across Europe
The first European-wide genomic survey of gonorrhea has mapped antibiotic resistance in this sexually transmitted disease throughout the continent.

Scientists use Dorset, UK, as model to help find traces of life on Mars
By studying a stream on the UK coast, experts have calculated how much organic matter we might find on Mars, and where to look.

Analysis of causality principle for the conductivity of graphene
Graphene's unusual qualities led to speculation that the causality principle may not be observed for it.

Antarctic seals can help predict ice sheet melt
Two species of seal found in Antarctic seas are helping scientists collect data about the temperature and salinity of waters around vulnerable ice sheets in West Antarctica.

New 'Silk Road' brings challenges and opportunities for biodiversity conservation
In an article published in Nature Sustainability, scientists argues that environmental protection should be a priority for the 'Belt and Road' initiative.

Scientists develop method to tweak tiny 'antenna' on cells
Scientists at Johns Hopkins Medicine and the National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan say they have found a fast way to manipulate a cell's cilia, the tiny, fingerlike protrusions that 'feel' and sense their microscopic environment.

C'mon get happy: Upbeat songs by female singers dominate the charts, UCI study finds
Roll over, Beethoven. Elvis Presley too. Female singers with upbeat dance songs are far more likely to make the bestseller music charts, according to new findings by University of California, Irvine researchers.

First clues to the causes of multiple sclerosis
There is still no cure for multiple sclerosis, with current treatments largely based on managing symptoms, especially accelerating recovery phases following a relapse and reducing the number and severity of relapses.

Waterloo study says insurance industry dangerously unprepared for extreme weather
As historic flooding caused by climate change devastates communities in New Brunswick and British Columbia, new research from the University of Waterloo reveals the insurance industry hasn't considered a changing climate in their practices, putting homeowners at financial risk.

The Lancet Psychiatry: Disruption of the body's internal clock linked with mood disorders and adverse wellbeing
Disruption to normal daily circadian rhythms is associated with a greater susceptibility to mood disorders such as severe depression and bipolar disorder over the life course, according to the largest observational study of its kind involving over 91,000 people, published in The Lancet Psychiatry.

Penn study finds that different diseases elicit distinct sets of exhausted T cells
The battle between the human immune system and long-term, persisting infections and other chronic diseases such as cancer results in a prolonged stalemate.

CrossFit improves how people with type 2 diabetes can control blood sugar levels
New research published in Experimental Physiology has suggested a six-week CrossFit™ exercise program can lead to improved control of blood sugar levels and decreased risk of heart disease in people with Type 2 diabetes.

What are the trends in prescription medication use among US children and teens?
Estimates of prescription medication use by US children and adolescents declined overall from 1999 to 2014 and patterns of use varied by medication class.

Scientists crack how primordial life on Earth might have replicated itself
Scientists have created a new type of genetic replication system which demonstrates how the first life on Earth -- in the form of RNA -- could have replicated itself.

Gun safety programs do not prevent children from handling firearms, Rutgers study finds
Researchers at Rutgers School of Nursing have found that children who participate in gun safety programs do not retain the skills they learned and that most still will approach a firearm in an unsupervised setting.

Research pinpoints optimal age of puppy cuteness
Canine researcher Clive Wynne's research reveals more about the depth and origin of the human-dog relationship.

Per-capita end-of-life spending is decreasing rapidly, according to new study
Contrary to other recent studies, researchers from The Dartmouth Institute and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center find that end-of-life spending has been decreasing and contributing to the overall moderation of Medicare spending growth

Tiny satellite's first global map of ice clouds
Looking at Earth from the International Space Station, astronauts see big, white clouds spreading across the planet.

Whites distrust biracial people when their racial presentation varies, rutgers study finds
Whites consider biracial people to be less trustworthy if they change their racial presentation depending on circumstances, Rutgers University-New Brunswick researchers find.

437 million tons of fish, $560 billion wasted due to destructive fishing operations
Industrial fisheries that rely on bottom trawling wasted 437 million tonnes of fish and missed out on $560 billion in revenue over the past 65 years, new UBC research has found.

Changes in e-cigarette use among US adults
National survey data suggests an increase in US adults who have ever used electronic cigarettes, even trying them just once, from 2014 to 2016, while reported current use among adults declined during that same period.

Lifting the economy on hawks' wings
What can help boost Michigan's economy? American kestrels.

An energy dense diet changes the brain and increases urge to eat
Giving unrestricted access to a high-fat, high-sugar 'cafeteria-diet' to rats leads to obesity and to changes in a brain region called the orbitofrontal cortex, which integrates information about food and determines eating behavior.

Alcohol use before lung transplant increases time in hospital and on ventilator
Lung transplant patients who showed evidence of alcohol use before their transplants spent more time in the hospital and on the ventilator, according to a Loyola University Chicago study. 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