Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 07, 2018
Mobile health technology can potentially transform how patients manage heart disease risk
Mobile health technology has the potential to transform the way we prevent and manage heart disease, but there are unanswered questions about how to optimize this technology and maintain engagement with patients, according to a review of randomized clinical trials published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology.

Football training in school greatly improves girls' fitness and health
Schoolgirls can achieve lower blood pressure, stronger muscles, better balance and improved jumping performance if their school puts football training on the timetable -- including girls who have never played football before.

Novel transmitter protects wireless devices from hackers
MIT researchers have developed a novel transmitter that frequency hops each individual 1 or 0 bit of a data packet, every microsecond, which is fast enough to thwart even the quickest hackers.

FASEB Journal: Caloric intake and muscle mass at high altitude
New research in The FASEB Journal explored why a group of young, healthy adults residing at high altitude lost muscle mass while severely underfed and consuming the same high-protein diet that preserved muscle during weight loss at sea level.

How much is wildlife tourism affecting the animals it targets?
A new study in Conservation Physiology, published by Oxford University Press, reveals that white shark activity increases dramatically when the animals are interacting with cage-diving operators.

Mars exhumes methane on a seasonal cycle, Curiosity reveals; rover also detects ancient organic matter
Data from the Curiosity rover, part of two separate studies, furthers scientists' understanding of methane on Mars -- suggesting some of it may be trapped in water-based crystals -- and identifies additional carbon-bearing molecules, central to understanding processes and conditions on the planet.

Jurassic diet: Why our knowledge of what ancient pterosaurs ate might be wrong
Research reveals knowledge of prehistoric diets is often based on outdated ideas and could be inaccurate.

Study: Larger sample sizes needed to increase reproducibility in neuroscience studies
Small sample sizes in studies using functional MRI to investigate brain connectivity and function are common in neuroscience, despite years of warnings that such studies likely lack sufficient statistical power.

Synthetic cannabis ('spice', 'k2') use may boost stroke risk in young users
Synthetic cannabis, also popularly known as 'spice' or 'k2,' may boost the risk of a stroke in young users, warn US doctors writing in the journal BMJ Case Reports.

Essential oils to fight bacterial infections
James Cook University scientists in Australia have discovered a technique to apply natural plant extracts such as Tea Tree Oil as a coating for medical devices, a process which could prevent millions of infections every year.

UMSOM researchers find that silent carriers of malaria are unlikely to develop the disease
In regions where malaria illness is widespread, it is common to find many individuals who are infected with malaria parasites (Plasmodium falciparum), but without symptoms.

Negative vs. positive social media experiences and depressive symptoms
Negative experiences on social media carry more weight than positive interactions when it comes to the likelihood of young adults reporting depressive symptoms, according to a new University of Pittsburgh analysis.

High vitamin D levels linked to lower cholesterol in children
There is a link between higher serum vitamin D levels and lower plasma cholesterol levels in primary school children, new research from the University of Eastern Finland shows.

Children from older mothers more likely to have heart risks
New research published in The Journal of Physiology demonstrates that adult offspring born to older mothers are more susceptible to heart risks in later life.

Flu virus is protected by mucus when airborne, regardless of humidity
Mucus and other airway secretions that are expelled when a person with the flu coughs or exhales appear to protect the virus when it becomes airborne, regardless of humidity levels, a creative experiment conducted by the University of Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech discovered.

Systemic racism needs more examination related to health, says UofL researcher
Although the discipline of public health has recently recognized racism as a social determinant of health, little research examines the issue related to systems and structures.

Insurance denials for new hepatitis C drugs remain high nationwide, study suggests
Highly effective drugs that can cure chronic hepatitis C infection in approximately 95 percent of patients first became available in the US in 2014.

Widespread uranium contamination found in India's groundwater
A Duke-led study has found widespread uranium contamination in groundwater aquifers -- a chief source for drinking water and irrigation -- in 16 Indian states.

Men may contribute to infertility through newly discovered part of sperm
The research identifies a new structure in human sperm that functions in the zygote and may provide new avenues for addressing male infertility and insights into early embryo developmental defects.

Study shows PR best practices are only second best
Charles Marsh has studied economic experiments, evolutionary biology and philosophy to examine how indirect reciprocity, or cooperation without expectation of payment, is actually a better approach to public relations than the dominant competition-based approach.

The Hubble Space Telescope discovers the most distant star ever observed
An international team, including researchers from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) and the University of La Laguna (ULL), participated in the discovery of a star at a distance of nine billion lightyears from Earth.

Children can learn ways to significantly reduce salt usage
Consuming excessive salt during childhood is associated with cardiovascular health risk factors, yet the effectiveness of education- and behavior-based strategies to lower salt usage among children has not been fully researched.

NASA sees Ewiniar slide back into South China Sea and strengthen
Tropical Cyclone Ewiniar made landfall on mainland China and as the center of circulation has moved back into the South China Sea and reorganized, NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP provided a look at the storm.

Gulf of Mexico 'dead zone' forecasted to exceed the size of Connecticut
Scientists have predicted the dead zone, or area with little to no oxygen in the northern Gulf of Mexico, will become larger than the state of Connecticut by the end of July, according to a new report.

Breaking through a tumor's defenses
In research published today, Babraham Institute researchers have shown that some tumors use not one but two levels of protection against the immune system.

Genomic study reveals surprising twist
A new study puts a surprising twist into our understanding of how coral reefs react to ocean warming and acidification and may offer an early warning system for warmth-induced coral bleaching events.

Thyroid dysfunction may lead to diabetes during pregnancy
Women with thyroid dysfunction in the first half of pregnancy face an increased risk for gestational diabetes, a form of diabetes that is typically diagnosed during the second trimester, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Machine learning helps detect lymphedema among breast cancer survivors
Machine learning using real-time symptom reports can accurately detect lymphedema, a distressing side effect of breast cancer treatment that is more easily treated when identified early, finds a new study led by NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing and published in the journal mHealth.

Cattle may spread leptospirosis in Africa, study suggests
The bacterial infection leptospirosis is increasingly recognized as an important cause of fever in Africa.

A nanotech sensor that turns molecular fingerprints into bar codes
A new system developed at EPFL can detect and analyze molecules without the need for an infrared spectrometer.

How to suck carbon dioxide from the sky for fuels and more
Someday, the gasoline you buy might come from carbon dioxide pulled out of the sky rather than from oil pumped out of the ground.

Half of hepatitis C patients with private insurance denied life-saving drugs
The number of insurance denials for life-saving hepatitis C drugs among patients with both private and public insurers remains high across the United States.

Who should be on the $10 and $20 bills? How race, gender, & politics shape public opinion
Race, gender, political affiliation, and the prejudices and biases associated with them (racism, sexism, and political ideology) seem to be at the forefront of citizen's minds when it comes to preferences for US currency -- specifically, who should be on the $10 and $20 bills.

Blood test for pregnant women can predict premature birth, Stanford-led study reports
A new blood test for pregnant women detects with 75-80 percent accuracy whether their pregnancies will end in premature birth.

Shifting the thinking on tetrapod evolution: Ancient four-limbed animals lived near the poles
It has long been presumed that the ancestors of all vertebrates -- the amphibious, aquatic tetrapods that first colonized the land -- evolved in warm tropical environments.

Researchers at the IAC participate in the discovery of clusters of galaxies in the early universe
Until now astronomers thought that these phenomena occurred 3,000 million years after the Big Bang, but this new result shows that they were already happening when the Universe was 1,500 million years old.

NASA peers into the rainfall of Eastern Pacific' Tropical Storm Aletta
Tropical Storm Aletta is spinning more than 440 miles off the southwestern coast of Mexico and using satellite data, NASA peered into the storm to uncover where the heaviest rain was falling.

Teen pregnancy and birth rates at an all time low in Minn., UMN Medical School report shows
Pregnancy and birth rates continue to decline for 15-19-year-olds in Minnesota, with rates decreasing the most among youth from communities of color.

New model sheds light on key physics of magnetic islands that halt fusion reactions
Article describes new model of magnetic islands developed at PPPL.

Structural protein found essential to X chromosome inactivation
A Massachusetts General Hospital research team has identified the essential role of a structural protein in the silencing of the inactive X chromosome, a process that prevents both copies of the same gene from being expressed in female mammals, which carry two copies of the X chromosome.

In building the brain, cell pedigree matters
Research in mice shows that a protein made by the stem cells that give rise to neurons, but not by neurons themselves, is key to brain cells' ability to migrate during development and assume their proper positions This primordial protein acts by clinging onto thousands of sites in the genome, affecting the activity of multiple genes that regulate brain development.

Sustained use of opioids before spine surgery increases risk of continued use after surgery
Patients who take prescription opioids for a longer period before spinal surgery are more likely to continue using opioids several months after surgery, reports a study in the June 6, 2018, issue of The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

Minerology on Mars points to a cold and icy ancient climate
The climate throughout Mars' early history has long been debated -- was the Red Planet warm and wet, or cold and icy?

New computational tool predicts progression of metabolic syndrome in mice
Scientists have developed a new computational model that accurately predicts the gradual, long-term progression of metabolic syndrome in mice.

Maps made of nerve cells
Mice move through the virtual world of a video game and provide insight into the mechanisms of memory formation.

Sleep problems in Parkinson's disease: Can we fix them?
A team of researchers at VIB and KU Leuven has uncovered why people with a hereditary form of Parkinson's disease suffer from sleep disturbances.

Scientists ID source of damaging inflammation after heart attack
Scientists have zeroed in on a culprit that spurs damaging inflammation in the heart following a heart attack.

Mom's voice may help babies sleep better in the NICU
When they were played recordings of their mothers reading children's books, babies in the NICU slept better and woke up less often, according to a new abstract presented at this week's annual meeting for Sleep Medicine hosted by the Associated Professional Sleep Societies.

Consumer food choices can help reduce greenhouse emissions contributing to climate change
Changes in diet have been proposed as a way to reduce carbon emissions from the food system.

Sharing spaces: Your brain considers other people's personal space as your own
Peripersonal space (PPS) is the area immediately around your body used when interacting with people and objects.

Study develops a model enhancing particle beam efficiency
Inspired by tokamaks, Brazilians researchers create via computer simulation an alternative for better control, in accelerators, of the particles' chaotic trajectories.

Waves move across the human brain to support memory
Columbia Engineers have discovered a new fundamental feature of brain oscillations: they actually move rhythmically across the brain, reflecting patterns of neuronal activity that propagate across the cortex.

International agreement that human-relevant research is needed to enhance drug discovery
Proceedings of a multistakeholder workshop co-organized by The Humane Society of the United States, Humane Society International and the National Institutes of Health under the auspices of the global BioMed21 Collaboration is published in Drug Discovery Today, presenting a comprehensive overview of existing efforts to prioritize human-based biology for health research and proposing key recommendations required to revitalize the drug discovery process.

How solar prominences vibrate
An international team led by researchers from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) and the Universidad de La Laguna (ULL) has cataloged around 200 oscillations of the solar prominences during the first half of 2014.

Honeybees zero in on nothing
The number zero is the complex, abstract backbone of modern mathematics and technological advancements and now it's clear that bees are officially in the

Study of sleeping fur seals provides insight into the function of REM sleep
All land mammals and birds have two types of sleep: rapid eye movement (REM) and non-REM (also called slow-wave sleep).

Hurricanes are slowing down, and that's bad news
Some hurricanes are moving more slowly, spending increased time over land and leading to catastrophic local rainfall and flooding, according to a new study published Wednesday (June 6) in the journal Nature.

Australian lizard scares away predators with ultra-violet tongue
Researchers investigate how the blue-tongued skink uses a full-tongue display to deter attacking predators.

Immunoscore: A test to improve the care and treatment of colon cancer
With Immunoscore, a test devised by a team of researchers from Inserm and Université Paris Descartes and doctors from the Paris AP-HP hospitals, disease progression in patients with colon cancer can now be defined more accurately.

Active HIV in large white blood cells may drive cognitive impairment in infected mice
An experimental model of HIV infection in mice, developed by Mount Sinai researchers, has shown that HIV causes learning and memory dysfunction, a cognitive disease that is now observed in about half of HIV infected people that worsens with age, and is currently incurable.

USC scientists discover schizophrenia gene roles in brain development
A USC research team identifies a universe of molecules responsible for cell activity and brain development that contribute to mental disorders, including schizophrenia. bipolar condition and depression.

Scientists use 4D scanning to predict behavior of volcanoes
Scientists are using the latest in 4D technology to predict the behavior of lava flows and its implications for volcanic eruptions.

Researchers discover a system with three Earth-sized planets
The Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) and the University of Oviedo present today the discovery of two new planetary systems, one of them hosting three planets with the same size of the Earth.

Unnecessarily difficult: Physical activity resources for adults are loaded with jargon
Web page articles and other written materials designed to encourage physical activity are often too difficult to be easily read and understood by most US adults, limiting their effectiveness.

Dolphins deliberately killed for use as bait in global fisheries
Ahead of World Oceans Day, new research exposes the practice of killing of aquatic mammals, including some listed as endangered, for the express purpose of securing bait for global fisheries.

FEFU scientists have created a new type of optical ceramic material
The new material is needful to develop instruments for the high-precise measuring of distances, terrestrial and space optical communications, pollution monitoring, implementation of new modes of laser processing, information recording and storage.

In kidney disease patients, illicit drug use linked with disease progression and death
Among individuals with chronic kidney disease, hard illicit drug use was associated with higher risks of kidney disease progression and early death.

Mars rover finds ancient organic compounds that match meteoritic samples
NASA's Curiosity Rover discovered 'tough' organic molecules on Mars, increasing the chances that a record of potential life could have been preserved despite harsh conditions that can easily break down organics.

Physicists developed self-propelled droplets that can act as programmable micro-carriers
In the life sciences, researchers are working to inject drugs or other molecules into a human body using tiny 'transport vehicles.' Researchers at the Saarland University and the University of Barcelona have shown in a model system that small emulsion droplets can be used as smart carriers.

Tiny paragliding beetle that lived with dinosaurs discovered in amber, named 'Jason'
Scientists discovered a new species of beetle preserved in amber.

Using mathematical approaches to optimally manage public debt
Large government debt negatively impacts long-term economic growth and the debt-to-gross domestic product (GDP) ratio is an important indicator of a country's financial leverage.

First tetrapods of Africa lived within the Devonian Antarctic Circle
The first African fossils of Devonian tetrapods (four-legged vertebrates) show these pioneers of land living within the Antarctic circle, 360 million years ago.

Researchers from the UPC and the IAC discover one of the most massive neutron stars
Using a pioneering method, researchers from the Astronomy and Astrophysics Group of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) and the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) have found a neutron star of about 2.3 Solar masses--one of the most massive ever detected.

Nutritional quality of fish and squid reduced by warm water events
The nutritional quality of fish and squid deteriorates under warm water events, research reveals -- with implications for the marine environment, marine predators and fisheries capturing food for human consumption.

Monkeys eat fats and carbs to keep warm
Crave comfort foods in cooler months? You're in good company.

In a hole in a tunicate there lived a hobbit: New shrimp species named after Bilbo Baggins
A new species of shrimp was named after Tolkien's Bilbo Baggins thanks to its small size and hairy feet.

Stanford-led study identifies cellular 'death code'
Cellular 'death code' discovered Brief story summary: Stanford scientists and their collaborators have discovered a molecule that initiates the final, crucial step in a type of cell death.

Deadly behavior-modifying weapon identified in insect-world chemical arms race
New research from the University of East Anglia joins the dots between zombie ants, an insect-world arms race and the search for new antibiotics.

Providers preferences may be helpful in reducing inappropriate antibiotic prescriptions
Physicians are open to receiving information on their antibiotic prescribing patterns, but have specific preference for receiving that information, according to results from a study published today in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.

Honey bees can zero in on the advanced concept of zero
The honey bee has joined the ranks of dolphins, parrots, primates and preschool children, in demonstrating the ability to distinguish zero on the numerical spectrum.

Tonsil and adenoid removal associated with respiratory, allergic and infectious disease
Removing tonsils and adenoids in childhood increases the long-term risk of respiratory, allergic and infectious diseases, according to researchers who have examined -- for the first time -- the long-term effects of the operations.

Ex-smokers might be better off with high rather than low nicotine e-cigs
Vapers using low rather than high nicotine e-cigarettes may be using their devices more intensely, potentially increasing the risk of exposure to toxins in the vapour, according to new research funded by Cancer Research UK and published in Addiction today.

Secrets of fish population changes revealed
Populations of fish in the ocean are notoriously variable, waxing and waning in often unpredictable ways.

Bad news becomes hysteria in crowds, new research shows
News stories about terrorism, disease outbreaks, natural disasters, and other potential threats become increasingly negative, inaccurate and hysterical when passed from person to person, according to new research by the University of Warwick.

Letters of recommendation for women more likely to raise doubts
Letters of recommendation written for women are more likely to contain words or phrases that raise doubts about job or education qualifications than letters written for men, according to new research from Rice University.

Research finds tipping point for large-scale social change
A study in Science finds that when 25 percent of people in a group adopt a new social norm, it creates a tipping point where the entire group follows suit.

Cockpit protection (halo) to boost racing driver safety may affect steering accuracy
The cockpit protection system fitted to racing cars, known as halo, may affect the driver's head position and motion, possibly compromising steering accuracy, suggest the results of a simulation test, using a similar structure, and published in the journal BMJ Case Reports.

The disc of the Milky Way is bigger than we thought
A team of researchers at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) and at the National Astronomical Observatories of Beijing (NAOC) have published a paper which suggests that if we could travel at the speed of light it would take us 200,000 years to cross the disc of our Galaxy.

Bikeshare could increase light rail transit ridership
Coupling bikeshare with public transit could be an important component when trying to increase light rail transit (LRT) ridership, according to a new study out of the University of Waterloo.

Researchers change clinical practice for infants with diabetes
Infants with diabetes can drop insulin syringes. This will be new clinical practice after a recent study, now published in Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

Dark inflation opens up a gravitational window onto the first moments after the Big Bang
Dark matter and dark energy may have driven inflation, the exponential expansion of the Universe moments after the Big Bang.

Blood test may identify pregnant women at risk of premature birth
Researchers have found biomarkers in maternal blood that accurately identified pregnant women who would go on to deliver babies up to two months prematurely, an important finding as there is currently no test on the market to reliably assess which pregnancies will end with a premature birth.

Astronomers find a galaxy unchanged since the early universe
Researchers at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) confirm the first detection of a relic galaxy with the Hubble Space Telescope.

New laser makes silicon 'sing'
Yale scientists have created a new type of silicon laser that uses sounds waves to amplify light.

Malaria: Cooperating antibodies enhance immune response
Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg, Germany, and from The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto, Canada, have studied how the human immune system combats malaria infections.

Researchers discover multiple alkali metals in unique exoplanet
Scientists from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) and the University of Cambridge have observed with the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) a rare gaseous planet, with partly clear skies, and strong signatures of alkali metals in its atmosphere.

Cost and scale of field trials for bovine TB vaccine may make them unfeasible
Field trials for a vaccination to protect cattle against bovine tuberculosis (bovine TB) would need to involve 500 herds -- potentially as many as 75,000-100,000 cattle -- to demonstrate cost effectiveness for farmers, concludes a study published today in the journal eLife.

The Clarke exobelt, a method to search for possible extraterrestrial civilizations
A new study published in the Astrophysical Journal by Hector Socas-Navarro, a researcher at the IAC, examines the possibility of detecting hypothetical artificial satellites orbiting around other worlds.

Improved ape genome assemblies provide new insights into human evolution
Higher-quality assemblies of great ape genomes have now been generated without guidance of the human reference genome.

20 years keeping an eye on R Aquarii
An international team of researchers, including scientists from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, has published a detailed study of the evolution of the nebula surrounding the symbiotic star R Aquarii.

Is there an end to the periodic table? MSU professor explores its limits
As the 150th anniversary of the formulation of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements looms, a Michigan State University professor probes the table's limits in a recent Nature Physics Perspective.

Lead-free, efficient perovskite for photovoltaic cells
A KAIST research team has proposed a perovskite material, Cs2Au2I6 that serves as a potential active material for highly efficient lead-free thin-film photovoltaic devices.

Does cancer increase risk of diabetes?
Developing cancer was associated with increased risk for later diabetes in a nationally representative sample of the Korean general population.

Cattle, sheep and goats may transmit leptospirosis to humans in Tanzania
Leptospirosis, which affects more than one million people worldwide each year, is known to be transmitted to humans from a wide range of animals.

Are you really into me?
Those who feel greater certainty that a prospective romantic partner reciprocates their interest will put more effort into seeing that person again, while rating the possible date as more sexually attractive than they would if they were less certain about the prospective date's romantic intentions.

Honeybees prioritize well-fed larvae for emergency queen-rearing
New research shows that honeybees prioritize the nutritional status of larvae when selecting for a new emergency queen.

Rescuing historic climate data in the East Asian region
An international team from the UK, China, Japan and the US tackles the challenges of recovering, collating, digitizing and working with long-term instrumental weather observations in in the East Asian Region.

At what size does a minority group become influential?
When a viewpoint is held by a minority, what size does that minority need to reach to hit a tipping point, where their view becomes widely accepted in the rest of the population?

Decrease in eye injuries to children
Eye injuries that sent children to emergency departments in the United States decreased from 2006 to 2014, and most eye injuries posed low risk for vision loss.

Understanding how drug reduces confusion in older patients after surgery may lead to better care
A drug that reduces delirium in postoperative patients may work by preventing the overactivity of certain receptors in brain cells, according to a new study published in the Online First edition of Anesthesiology, the peer-reviewed medical journal of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA).

In male dolphin alliances, 'everybody knows your name'
It's not uncommon in dolphin society for males to form long-lasting alliances with other males, sometimes for decades.

Normal eye dominance is not necessary for restoring visual acuity in amblyopia
Research published today, led by Aaron W. McGee, Ph.D., assistant professor in the UofL Department of Anatomical Sciences and Neurobiology, may lead to changes in how amblyopia is treated, particularly in adults.

Individual 'names' reveal complex relationships in male bottlenose dolphins
Male bottlenose dolphins retain their individual 'names' well into adulthood.

Does nanoconfinement affect the interaction between two materials placed in contact?
Does nanoconfinement affect the interaction between two materials placed in contact?

Threat of malaria left its mark on the immune system in people with African ancestry
In a new study published June 7, 2018, in PLOS Genetics, Christine Ambrosone of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center and colleagues identified a genetic difference between people with African and European ancestry that affects how the immune system triggers inflammation.

Are there long-term health risks after having tonsils or adenoids removed in childhood?
Removing tonsils and adenoids in children in Denmark was associated with increased long-term risk of respiratory, infectious and allergic diseases.

Why seashells are tougher than chalk (video)
Seashells are made mostly of calcium carbonate, also known as chalk, a mineral soft and crumbly enough to use for sidewalk doodles. 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