Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 29, 2018
'Smart' material enables novel applications in autonomous driving and robotics
Research led by scientists from the University of Luxembourg has shown the potential of liquid crystal shells as enabling material for a vast array of future applications, ranging from autonomous driving to anti-counterfeiting technology and a new class of sensors.

Cognitive training reduces depression, rebuilds injured brain structure & connectivity after traumatic brain injury
New research from the Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas at Dallas shows that certain cognitive training exercises can help reduce depression and improve brain health in individuals years after they have suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Infant mortality rates higher in areas with more Christian fundamentalists, study finds
The odds of an infant dying before their first birthday are higher in counties with greater proportions of conservative Protestants, especially fundamentalists, than in counties with more mainline Protestants and Catholics, according to a new Portland State University study.

Novel RNA-modifying tool corrects genetic diseases
The new tool opens the possibility of creating drugs that can be taken conveniently as pills to correct genetic diseases.

NASA and NOAA satellites track Alberto in the US south
On Tuesday, May 29, 2018, the National Hurricane Center issued the last public advisory on Alberto.

CDC interventions targeting diabetes in pregnancy could improve maternal and infant health
Diabetes in pregnant women can have serious health consequences for both mother and baby, and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified four target areas in which increased surveillance, screening, and preventive care can improve maternal and infant health.

In child-crippling mucolipidosis IV, drug shows hope in lab cultures
Medicine offers no treatment for children crippled by mucolipidosis IV, which hits them in the first year of life and gradually becomes fatal.

Construction delays make new nuclear power plants costlier than ever
The cost of building new nuclear power plants is nearly 20 percent higher than expected due to delays, a new analysis has found.

Walk this way: Novel method enables infinite walking in VR
In the ever-evolving landscape of virtual reality (VR) technology, a number of key hurdles remain.

UMN study demonstrates link between social stress and shortened lifespan in mice
A new study from University of Minnesota Medical School researchers has demonstrated that psychosocial stress can shorten the lifespan in mice.

Researchers predict materials to stabilize record-high capacity lithium-ion battery
A Northwestern University research team has found ways to stabilize a new battery with a record-high charge capacity.

Novel power meter opens the door for in-situ, real-time monitoring of high-power lasers
A group of researchers from National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed a smaller, faster and more sensitive laser power meter in the form of a folding mirror they call a 'smart mirror.'

MSU neuroscientist publishes research that opens door for brain disorder therapies
James Mazer, Montana State University associate professor of neuroscience, published findings in the journal Neuron that reveal how the brain maintains attentional focus during eye movements.

UK Primary Immunodeficiency Registry will help doctors diagnose patients & offer best care
On the tenth anniversary of the United Kingdom Primary Immunodeficiency Registry, the publication of their Primary Immunodeficiency (PID) report offers the most comprehensive view to date of this small but significant group of UK patients.

Surgical outcomes equivalent whether physician anesthesiologist assisted by nurse anesthetist or AA
Patients who undergo inpatient surgery experience no difference in death rates, hospital length of stay or costs between admission or discharge whether their physician anesthesiologist is assisted by a nurse anesthetist or an anesthesiologist assistant, according to a new study published in the Online First edition of Anesthesiology, the peer-reviewed medical journal of the American Society of Anesthesiologists.

Study finds big savings in removing dams over repairs
A new study by Portland State University researchers finds billions of dollars could be saved if the nation's aging dams are removed rather than repaired, but also suggests that better data and analysis is needed on the factors driving dam-removal efforts.

Numbers about inequality don't speak for themselves
In a new research paper, Stanford scholars Rebecca Hetey and Jennifer Eberhardt propose new ways to talk about racial disparities.

Water is not the same as water
Water molecules exist in two different forms with almost identical physical properties.

Data from online physician review sites may be skewed and misleading to consumers, new study finds
Physician satisfaction scores on online third-party review sites tend to be skewed and can easily mislead patients, according to a new study by Cedars-Sinai investigators.

Want to make your factory wireless? NIST can guide you!
Knowing that it will take reliable wireless communications to make the smart factory of the not-so-distant future a reality, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has published the first-ever set of science-based guidelines to help users select the best wireless system for any specific industrial environment, custom-design the setup to make it work, successfully deploy it, and then ensure that the network performs as needed.

WIC participation better among vulnerable, US citizen children whose mothers are eligible for DACA
Results of a study of nearly 2,000 US citizen children and their mothers add to growing evidence of the multigenerational, beneficial effects of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration policy on children who are citizens, illustrating increased participation in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) among citizen children whose mothers are likely eligible for DACA.

Report identifies characteristics of microorganisms most likely to cause a global pandemic
A potential global catastrophic risk-level pandemic pathogen will most likely have a respiratory mode of transmission; be contagious during the incubation period, prior to symptom development, or when infected individuals show only mild symptoms; and need specific host population factors (e.g., immunologically naïve persons) and additional intrinsic microbial pathogenicity characteristics (e.g., a low but significant case fatality rate) that together substantially increase disease spread and infection.

Genomic medicine may one day revolutionize cardiovascular care
Genomic medicine could enable doctors to make predictions about people's health, from the likelihood of developing heart disease or stroke to the severity of disease, as well as medications for treatment.

Nokia had to weed out a culture of fear to embrace a future without smartphones
The radical strategic move demanded a sea change in Nokia's management style.

Four skills key in establishing nurse-led cross-sector collaborations
About 70 percent of all variations in health care outcomes are explained by individuals' social conditions including housing, neighborhood conditions, and income, data show.

Study shows ceramics can deform like metals if sintered under an electric field
Purdue researchers have observed a way that the brittle nature of ceramics can be overcome as they sustain heavy loads, leading to more resilient structures such as aircraft engine blade coatings and dental implants.

Smoking, lack of exercise linked to early death after divorce
A growing body of research links divorce to a wide range of poor health outcomes, including greater risk for early death.

Early-life seizures prematurely wake up brain networks tied to autism
Early-life seizures prematurely switch on key synapses in the brain that may contribute to further neurodevelopmental delay in children with autism and other intellectual disabilities, suggests a new study from researchers at Penn Medicine.

Recreational football an absolute winner for 55- to 70-year-olds with prediabetes
Twice-weekly football combined with dietary guidance improves fitness level and cardiovascular health profile in untrained 55- to 70-yr-old women and men with prediabetes.

NIH researchers identify how eye loss occurs in blind cavefish
Loss of eye tissue in blind cavefish (Astyanax mexicanus), which occurs within a few days of their development, happens through epigenetic silencing of eye-related genes, according to a study led by the National Institutes of Health.

VTCRI scientists identify novel cellular mechanism that can lead to cancer metastasis
Scientists at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute have added a new dimension to the understanding of how cells alter their communication with one another during development, wound healing, and the spread of cancer.

We could reverse aging by removing wrinkles inside our cells, study suggests
A new discovery about the effects of aging in our cells could allow doctors to cure or prevent diabetes, fatty liver disease and other metabolic diseases -- and possibly even turn back the clock on aging itself.

Climate change forced zombie ant fungi to adapt
Zombie ants clamp on to aerial vegetation and hang for months spewing the spores of their parasitic fungi, but researchers noticed that they do not always clamp on to the same part of the plant.

Oxytocin, vasopressin flatten social hierarchy and synchronize behaviors
Research out of the University of Pennsylvania found that the neuropeptides oxytocin and vasopressin flatten the social hierarchy and synchronize behaviors of rhesus macaques.

Studies examine vitamin D supplementation in pregnancy, for infants, children
Vitamin D supplementation in pregnancy and for infants and children is the focus of two studies, an editorial and a patient page.

Blame the mother's gene: Discovery for a blinding canine eye disease
A new gene for canine congenital eye disease has been identified by a collaborative research led by Professor Hannes Lohi's research group in the University of Helsinki.

Tree species vital to restoring disturbed tropical forests
A family of trees with high drought tolerance could be crucial in restoring the world's deforested and degraded tropical lands, according to new research involving the University of Stirling.

High protein diet associated with small increased heart failure risk in middle-aged men
For middle-aged men, eating higher amounts of protein was associated with a slightly elevated risk for heart failure than those who ate less protein.

First time guidance on treating red diaper syndrome in otherwise healthy breastfed infants
A case study and subsequent literature review has concluded that absent signs of clinical infection, breastfeeding should continue normally when mother and baby are diagnosed with Red Diaper Syndrome (pink-colored breast milk and pink-colored soiled diapers) caused by Serratia marcescens, an opportunistic bacteria.

UTSA researchers create framework to stop cyber attacks on internet-connected cars
A new study by Maanak Gupta, doctoral candidate at The University of Texas at San Antonio, and Ravi Sandhu, Lutcher Brown Endowed Professor of computer science and founding executive director of the UTSA Institute for Cyber Security (ICS), examines the cybersecurity risks for new generations of smart which includes both autonomous and internet connected cars.

Surrey develops hepatitis C model that could help improve treatment
The University of Surrey has created a new mathematical model that details how the hepatitis C (HCV) infection develops and behaves more accurately than previous models.

Wars and clan structure may explain a strange biological event 7,000 years ago
Genetic data suggest there was a collapse in male, but not female, genetic diversity starting 7,000 years ago.

A new analysis system is able to identify pollutants from cosmetics in seawater
A University of Cordoba study, in partnership with the University of the Balearic Islands, uses carbon-coated titanium dioxide nanotubes to analyze samples affected by parabens from lotions and shampoos.

The case of the relativistic particles solved with NASA missions
Encircling Earth are two enormous rings -- called the Van Allen radiation belts -- of highly energized ions and electrons.

Male thyroid cancer survivors face 50 percent higher risk of heart disease than women
Male thyroid cancer survivors have a nearly 50 percent higher risk of developing heart disease than women within five years of cancer diagnosis, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

It takes a village
A handmade super-microscope -- capable of seeing the actual building blocks of a bacterial cell wall -- has helped Monash researchers decipher how bacteria are able to literally build a wall against the immune system, leading to often deadly disease.

How blackcurrants could help end bad (for the planet) hair days
Natural dyes extracted from blackcurrant waste created during Ribena fruit cordial manufacture have for the first time been used in an effective new hair dyeing technology, developed at the University of Leeds.

First 3D-printed human corneas
The first human corneas have been 3D printed by scientists at Newcastle University, UK.

Young women at high genetic risk of breast cancer -- plastic surgeons play key role in treatment
With available testing for breast cancer risk genes, some women are learning at young ages that they are at high lifetime risk of breast cancer.

Wake Forest researchers create advanced brain organoid to model strokes, screen drugs
Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine scientists have developed a 3D brain organoid that could have potential applications in drug discovery and disease modeling.

Mathematical model explains why metastasis can occur even when cancer is caught early
Leaning on evolutionary and ecological theory, University of Pennsylvania researchers modeled how a tumor's various cancer cell lineages compete for dominance.

Smell receptor fuels prostate cancer progression
Researchers have found that an olfactory receptor plays a critical role in the progression of prostate cancer.

Making sense of the situation in Cape Town
Scientists at the Joint Research Centre, the European Commission's Science and Knowledge service, analyze Southern African weather patterns, helping policymakers plan actions to minimize the impact of water shortages.

Single injection alleviates chemotherapy pain for months in mice
UC San Diego School of Medicine researchers found that treating mice with a single spinal injection of a protein called AIBP -- and thus switching 'off' TLR4, a pro-inflammatory molecule -- prevented and reversed inflammation and cellular events associated with pain processing.

New research finds lung cancer risk drops substantially within five years of quitting
Just because you stopped smoking years ago doesn't mean you're out of the woods when it comes to developing lung cancer.

What happens to plasmalogens, the phospholipids nobody likes to think about
In a paper to be published in the June 2 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, researchers at Washington University in St.

New model explains what we see when a massive black hole devours a star
A star that wanders too close to the supermassive black hole in the center of its galaxy will be torn apart by the black hole's gravity in a violent cataclysm called a tidal disruption event (TDE), producing a bright flare of radiation.

High-risk, undertreated mystery heart attacks occurring more commonly in women
A mysterious type of heart attack known as MINOCA is more common and poses a higher risk than previously thought, especially for women, according to a new University of Alberta study.

Hormesis and paradoxical effects in plants upon exposure to formaldehyde are common phenomena
For the first time, hormesis and paradoxical effects have been shown to occur commonly in plants upon exposure to formaldehyde, which is a widespread pollutant.

Assessment of biomarkers of subconcussive head trauma
Researchers evaluated the usefulness of biomarker testing in determining the potential extent of brain trauma suffered from repetitive subconcussive head impacts sustained over the course of a college football season.

Impaired energy production may explain why brain is susceptible to age-related diseases
By studying neurons generated directly from skin cells, Salk researchers showed the impact of aged mitochondria on brain cells.

Sex hormone levels alter heart disease risk in older women
In an analysis of data collected from more than 2,800 women after menopause, Johns Hopkins researchers report new evidence that a higher proportion of male to female sex hormones was associated with a significant increased relative cardiovascular disease risk.

Social pursuits linked with increased life satisfaction
If you want to give a little boost to your life satisfaction a year from now, you may want to try socially-focused strategies over strategies that involve nonsocial pursuits, according to research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Having an emotional group feeling boosts multiday sports events, study says
Pulling fans into an emotionally connected group atmosphere can enhance brand recall and may secure repeat attendance.

Caseload volume in gynecologic surgery important consideration for women
Experts at the GW, led by Gaby Moawad, M.D., assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences, outlined some of the concerns and proposed solutions for choosing a surgeon in an article recently published in the Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology.

Olfactory receptor as therapeutic target in bladder cancer
Researchers from Bochum have detected an olfactory receptor in the human bladder that might prove useful for bladder cancer therapy and diagnosis.

Self-tuning brain implant could help treat patients with Parkinson's disease
Deep brain stimulation has been used to treat Parkinson's disease symptoms for 25 years, but limitations have led researchers to look for ways to improve the technique.

A photosynthetic engine for artificial cells
International team of researchers from Harvard University and Sogang University in Seoul have engineered a cell-like structure that harnesses photosynthesis to perform metabolic reactions, including energy harvesting, carbon fixation and cytoskeleton formation.

Genes found related to the reduction of proteins that contribute to Alzheimer's onset
Creation of a map of the molecular network in the aging brain reveals two new Alzheimer's disease target genes.

Columbia engineers invent a noninvasive technique to correct vision
Columbia engineers have developed a noninvasive approach to permanently correct vision that shows great promise in preclinical models.

Custom 3D-printed models help plastic surgeons plan and perform rhinoplasty
Computer-designed, 3D-printed models are emerging as a useful new tool for planning and carrying out cosmetic plastic surgery of the nose, reports a paper in the June issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

Blackcurrant dye could make hair coloring safer, more sustainable
Whether they're trying to hide some gray or embrace a new or quirky color, people adore hair dyes.

Scientists improve ability to measure electrical properties of plasma
New research indicates a way to more accurately measure the electrical properties of plasma when it meets a solid surface.

Scientists discover key mechanism behind the formation of spider silk
A group of scientists led by researchers from the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science (CSRS) have examined the soluble precursor of spider silk and found that a previously undiscovered structural element is key to how the proteins form into the beta-sheet conformation that gives the silk its exceptional strength.

Chemical compound produces beneficial inflammation, remyelination that could help treat MS
Researchers at the University of California, Riverside, report that indazole chloride, a synthetic compound that acts on one form of the body's estrogen receptors, is able to remyelinate (add new myelin to) damaged axons and alter the body's immune system -- findings that could help treat multiple sclerosis.

Scientists show how brain circuit generates anxiety
Neuroscientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) have identified a neural circuit in the amygdala, the brain's seat of emotion processing, that gives rise to anxiety.

Combination pack battles cancer
For efficient cancer therapy with few side effects, the active drug should selectively attain high concentration in the tumor.

New drugs could also be deployed against lung and pancreatic cancers
A new anti-cancer drug may be effective against a wider range of cancers than previously thought.

How to code a functional molecular machine?
An international team has developed a model that simulates protein evolution.

Invisible barrier on ocean surface can reduce carbon uptake
An invisible layer of biological compounds on the sea surface reduces the rate at which carbon dioxide gas moves between the atmosphere and the oceans, scientists have reported.

Researchers listen for failure in granular materials
In a pilot study, researchers from North Carolina State University and Haverford College have used naturally arising acoustic vibrations -- or sound waves -- to monitor the state of granular materials.

Flow in the asthenosphere drags tectonic plates along
New simulations of the asthenosphere find that convective cycling and pressure-driven flow can sometimes cause Earth's most fluid layer of mantle to move even faster than the tectonic plates that ride atop it.

Virtual brain could aid surgical planning
Researchers have simulated neural activity based on the unique structural architecture of individual brain tumor patients using a platform called The Virtual Brain.

Woulda, coulda, shoulda: The haunting regret of failing our ideal selves
Our most enduring regrets are the ones that stem from our failure to live up to our ideal selves, according to new Cornell University research.

Could we work together with our bacteria to stop infection?
The benefits of antibiotics to both human and animal health are undisputed.

Understanding the origin of Alzheimer's, looking for a cure
Researchers look at the promising role played by the BMI1 gene, which could someday help mitigate or even reverse the disease.

Engineers design color-changing compression bandage
Engineers at MIT have developed pressure-sensing photonic fibers that they have woven into a typical compression bandage.

Soy lecithin NSAID combo drug protects against cancer with fewer side effects, UTHealth reports
When scientists at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) applied a chemical found in soybeans to a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), they increased its anticancer properties and reduced its side effects.

XENON1T Experimental data establishes most stringent limit on dark matter
Experimental results from the XENON1T dark matter detector limit the effective size of dark matter particles to 4.1X10-47 square centimeters--one-trillionth of one-trillionth of a centimeter squared--the most stringent limit yet determined for dark matter as established by the world's most sensitive detector.

Growth hormone may provide new hope for stroke survivors
Less fatigue and better recovery of cognitive abilities such as learning and memory.

Brain scientists identify 'cross talk' between neurons that control touch in mice
Scientists report they have uncovered a previously overlooked connection between neurons in two distinct areas of the mammalian brain.

Better, faster, stronger: Building batteries that don't go boom
Understanding how lithium reacts to pressure developed from charging and discharging a battery could mean safer, better batteries.

Ovarian cancer statistics, 2018
A new report from the American Cancer Society provides an overview of ovarian cancer occurrence and mortality data.

Now, you can hold a copy of your brain in the palm of your hand
Medical imaging technologies like MRI and CT scans produce high-resolution images as a series of 'slices,' making them an obvious complement to 3D printers, which also print in slices.

Proxies less likely to use interventions when patients are close to death
Researchers from Hebrew SeniorLife's Institute for Aging Research (IFAR) have discovered that to begin with, proxies are a fairly accurate judge of the length of life left for their loved one with advanced dementia.

E. coli infection induces delirium in aging rats
Activation of the immune system by an infection may temporarily disrupt formation of long-term memories in healthy, aging rats by reducing levels of a protein required for brain cells to make new connections, suggests new research published in eNeuro.

'Second brain' neurons keep colon moving
Millions of neurons in the gastrointestinal tract coordinate their activity to generate the muscle contractions that propel waste through the last leg of the digestive system, according to a study of isolated mouse colons published in the Journal of Neuroscience.

New tool for female reproductive genetics
The fruit fly Drosophila is powerful for studying development and disease and there are many tools to genetically modify its cells.

Stronger alcohol policies help reduce alcohol-related crash deaths in US
Stronger alcohol policies, including those targeting both excessive drinking and driving while impaired by alcohol, reduce the likelihood of alcohol-related motor vehicle crash deaths.

Penn-led trial shows AZEDRA can be effective, safe for treatment of rare neuroendocrine tumors
A radiotherapy drug that treats the rare neuroendocrine cancers pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma can be both effective and safe for patients, according to the findings of a multi-center trial led by researchers in the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania.

Key molecule for flu infection identified
After decades of research, a research team has discovered the key receptor molecule that enhances the infection of the influenza A virus, providing a novel target for anti-flu drug development.

Prediction method for epileptic seizures developed
University of Sydney engineers led by Dr. Omid Kavehei have developed a machine-learning and AI-powered algorithm to predict the onset of epileptic seizures.

Researchers magnify the brain in motion with every heartbeat
A new imaging technique provides a promising and long-awaited diagnostic tool for spotting concussions and other brain injuries before they become life threatening.

Bees adjust to seasons with nutrients in flowers and 'dirty water'
Researchers discovered that honey bees alter their diet of nutrients according to the season.

TGen, Northwestern University study of 'SuperAgers' offers genetic clues to performance
Recent studies have shown that SuperAgers have less evidence of brain atrophy, have thicker parts of the brain related to memory, and lower prevalence of the pathological changes associated with Alzheimer's disease. 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