Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 12, 2018
Putting animals in their best light -- USC researchers find some shades of LED lamps threaten wildlife
A USC research team identifies harmful effects to wildlife as LED lights proliferate.

Study links content of service members' art to their trauma levels
A new study conducted at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence found that military service members recovering from PTSD who still identified as a member of a unit have lower levels of psychological injuries.

Living with the stigma of diabetes
A team at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) report that teen and young adult (aged 14-24 years) type 1 diabetes sufferers often experience stigma, which leads them to neglect treatment and tread dangerously close to suffering medical emergencies.

Better physical fitness and lower aortic stiffness key to slower brain aging
The rate of decline in certain aspects of memory may be explained by a combination of overall physical fitness and the stiffness of the central arteries, researchers from Swinburne's Centre for Human Psychopharmacology have found.

Smoking and diabetes linked to brain calcifications
People who smoke or have diabetes may be at increased risk of calcifications in a region of the brain crucial to memory, according to a new study.

Potential new treatment for drug addiction relapse revealed
Research published in Addiction Biology by scientists at the University of Bath reveals a new potential mechanism for combatting drug addiction relapse.

Patients unable to resume work after heart attack face depression and financial hardship
About 90 percent of people who suffer a major heart attack return to work.

Carrying stand-by-antibiotics encourages travelers to careless antibiotic use
Travelers carrying standby antibiotics take them more often than those traveling without such drugs, shows a recent study conducted at the University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital.

Structural biology: Until the last cut
Ribosomes are the cell's protein factories. Researchers from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich have now structurally characterized late stages in the assembly of the human small ribosomal subunit, yielding detailed insights into their maturation principles.

Fruit and vegetable prescriptions encourage children to eat healthy
A new study shows that a fruit and vegetable prescription program implemented in Flint, Mich.,, can improve access to healthy foods for underserved children.

David vs Goliath: How a small molecule can defeat asthma attacks
Small molecule PM-43I prevented and reversed preexisting allergic airway disease in mice and cleared through the kidneys with no long-term toxicity.

Video conferencing helps PCPs improve liver disease care, survival rates
Providing physicians with virtual access to specialists can be lifesaving to liver disease patients.

National Academies report on sexual harassment in academia
A systemwide change to the culture and climate in higher education is needed to prevent and effectively respond to sexual harassment, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Core electron topologies in chemical bonding
YNU researchers resolve the age-old mystery of why silicon cannot replace carbon in organic compounds.

Making quantum puddles
A team of physicists at the University of Vermont have discovered a fundamentally new way surfaces can get wet.

More of the Chinese population will be exposed to heat waves
One of the major concerns in climate change studies is how the thermal conditions for the living environment of human beings will change in the future.

Temple scientists eradicate cancer cells through dual targeting of DNA repair mechanisms
BRCA proteins serve a critical role in cellular DNA repair, but when mutated they allow genetic error replication, facilitating cancer development.

Physiological benefits may be experienced by veterans with PTSD who use service dogs
A new study shows how veterans with PTSD may benefit physiologically from using service dogs.

Small children and pregnant women may be underdosed in current malaria regimen
Current recommended dosing regimens for the most widely used treatment for uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria may be sub-optimal for the most vulnerable populations of patients, according to a study published this week in PLOS Medicine, led by Professor Joel Tarning of the WorldWide Antimalarial Resistance Network and the Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Network.

Basketball teams playing for survival in critical NBA playoffs are more likely to lose
A new study finds that basketball teams playing for survival in critical NBA playoff games are more likely to lose.

Sleeping too much or not enough may have bad effects on health
Fewer than six and more than ten hours of sleep per day are associated with metabolic syndrome and its individual components, according to a study published in the open access journal BMC Public Health that involved 133,608 Korean men and women aged 40-69 years.

How can patients be protected from post-surgery opioid addiction?
Greater coordination is needed between surgeons and physicians about the prescription of pain-relieving opioid drugs following surgery to help identify patients who are at risk of becoming opioid addicts.

Graphene carpets: So neurons communicate better
A work led by SISSA and published on Nature Nanotechnology reports for the first time experimentally the phenomenon of ion 'trapping' by graphene carpets and its effect on the communication between neurons.

Study identifies protein's role in mediating brain's response to stress
A study led by Massachusetts General Hospital investigators has identified a critical role for a protein called Kruppel-like factor 9 in the brain's response to stress, which has implications for protecting against the effects of stress in conditions like major depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

New technology has bright prospects for understanding plant biodiversity
Biologists get a new look at plant biodiversity and function with new imaging technology developed at the University of Alberta.

Beyond the 'Reading Wars': How the science of reading can improve literacy
A new scientific report from an international team of psychological researchers aims to resolve the so-called 'reading wars,' emphasizing the importance of teaching phonics in establishing fundamental reading skills in early childhood.

Novel system mimics focus activity of the human eye
At SIGGRAPH 2018, attendees will have the chance to test a new computational system that effectively mimics the natural way the human eye corrects focus, specifically while viewing objects that are closer rather than farther away.

Sex matters: Addressing the Alzheimer's disease research gap
To prevent and treat Alzheimer's disease, scientists need to better understand how the disease differs between women and men, according to a paper published June 12 in Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association.

NASA catches Aletta's degeneration into a remnant low-pressure area
When NASA's Terra satellite passed over the Eastern Pacific Ocean it captured an image of a fading tropical cyclone.

Environmental threats put bumblebee queens under pressure
In a study published today in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, researchers at the University of California, Riverside found that environmental threats are piling onto the stress faced by nest-building bumblebee queens.

NIH initiative aims to tackle opioid misuse, addiction, enhance pain management
In the JAMA Viewpoint, 'Helping to End Addiction Over the Long-Term: The Research Plan for the NIH HEAL Initiative,' National Institutes of Health Director Francis S.

AI senses people's pose through walls
MIT CSAIL's wireless smart-home system could help detect and monitor disease and enable the elderly to 'age in place.'

Nickel ferrite promotes capacity and cycle stability of lithium-sulfur battery
Recently, Xue-Ping Gao and co-workers from Nankai University reported that nickel ferrite nanofibers via electrospinning technology are developed as novel polar host of sulfur, thus leading to high volumetric capacity and good cycle stability of the sulfur-based composite with the high tap density, due to the strong adsorption ability towards soluble polysulfides by heavy nickel ferrite.

Finally, hope for a syphilis vaccine
Despite efforts to eradicate it, syphilis is on the rise.

Farmers increasingly relying on agricultural contractors, new research shows
More farmers are relying on external companies to carry out major work, new research shows.

Dialogue toward a human-relevant paradigm for biomedical research echoed in South America
South American scientists call for strategy and funding for human-specific approaches in biomedical research and toxicology, emphasizing mechanistic understanding and non-animal technology infrastructures such as iPSC and microphysiological systems.

NASA finds heavy rainmaking thunderstorms in Hurricane Bud
Powerful Hurricane Bud sat near the coast of southwestern Mexico when NASA's Aqua satellite observed some very high, towering thunderstorms within.

High-tech treatment of open leg wounds no better than using regular dressings
A new study of open leg fractures suggests there is no difference to patient recovery whether high-tech negative pressure wound therapy devices are used, compared to standard dressings.

On-site pathology testing in remote Australia benefits patients and cuts costs
Remote Australian Indigenous communities are benefiting from the use of portable, point of care testing devices to quickly diagnosis acutely ill patients.

UTSA researchers create method that can quickly and accurately detect infections
Two chemistry researchers at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) have developed a method that can show quickly and accurately whether a person has been infected with harmful bacteria or other pathogens.

Bacterial enzymes: The biological role of europium
Rare earth elements (REEs) are an indispensable component of the digital technologies that are now an integral part of our everyday life.

Inequality: My unfair disadvantage, not your unearned privilege
Efforts to address social inequalities in income, education and employment opportunity can be boosted simply by the manner in which that inequity is presented.

Newly-approved therapy provides improved quality of life for midgut neuroendocrine tumor patients
The Journal of Clinical Oncology published new data from the NETTER-1 clinical trial highlighting the impact of Lutathera on patients' quality of life.

Young drivers with autism spectrum disorder may need more time to learn basic driving skills
When first learning to drive, young adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have more difficulty with basic driving skills compared to those with typical development (TD), reports a study in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, the official journal of the Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics.

103rd ESA Annual Meeting: Preview and highlights
Extreme events are made worse by human activities. The ability of ecosystems to respond depends on how resilient they are, a characteristic also undermined by land-use practices that increase effects of extreme conditions.

Protective mechanism against atherosclerosis discovered
Immune cells promoting inflammation play a crucial role in the development of atherosclerosis.

Study: Today's dads are engaging more with their kids
Whether it's physically being there for a baseball game or piano recital, or emotionally being there to provide warmth or support in a tough time, there appears to be a shift in how fathers are viewing their roles.

Conformity trumps riskiness in social fish
Researchers at the University of Bristol have discovered that more sociable fish suppress their own personality when they are with a partner.

Multiple lasers could be replaced by a single microcomb
Every time we send an e-mail, a tweet, or stream a video, we rely on laser light to transfer digital information over a complex network of optical fibers.

Boring down on boron
High-temperature desalination technologies can efficiently reduce the concentrations of a chemical element in seawater to make it an effective substitute for fresh water.

Modern blood cancer treatments require new approach for monitoring, reporting side effects
Treatment changes including the advent of targeted and immune therapies have dramatically improved survival for blood cancers, but new report calls for improved evaluation of poorly understood side effects that may develop over time.

Getting to the heart of congenital cardiac defects
Heart defects are the most common type of birth defect, and can be caused by mutations in the gene CHD4.

Composition of complex sugars in breast milk may prevent future food allergies
The unique composition of a mother's breastmilk may help to reduce food sensitization in her infant, report researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine with colleagues in Canada.

Robots learn by checking in on team members
Innovative drone designs and software enables a team of drones to work together in a coordinated approach.

Frequent use of the ER fell after the Affordable Care Act
The odds of being a frequent user of California's emergency departments dropped in the two years following the implementation of major provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in January 2014, according to a new study led by UC San Francisco.

Sea urchins see with their feet
Sea urchins lack eyes, but can see with their tentacle-like tube feet instead, previous research has indicated.

Mother's attitude to baby during pregnancy may have implications for child's development
Mothers who 'connect' with their baby during pregnancy are more likely to interact in a more positive way with their infant after it is born, according to a study carried out at the University of Cambridge.

Breakthrough in lignin research: Spherical particles multiply enzyme efficiency
Lignin, a pulp industry by-product, could replace fossil materials.

One-third of US adults may unknowingly use medications that can cause depression
A new study from University of Illinois at Chicago researchers suggests that more than one-third of U.S. adults may be using prescription medications that have the potential to cause depression or increase the risk of suicide.

Deadly fungus found for first time in critically endangered amphibian species
A fungal pathogen which has led to the extinction of entire species in South America has been recorded for the first time in critically endangered amphibians in India.

International collaboration studies the predictability of earthquakes
At four centers in California, New Zealand, Europe and Japan -- and in countless labs across the globe -- CSEP's experiments and its rigorous testing procedures have shed light on the predictability of earthquakes, according to a special focus section published June 13 in Seismological Research Letters.

Clever bees can identify different flowers by patterns of scent
New research led by scientists from the University of Bristol and Queen Mary University of London has revealed that bumblebees can tell flowers apart by patterns of scent.

Is use of prescription medications with depression as possible side effect common?
More than one-third of US adults may use prescription medications that have depression as a possible side effect.

Discovery shines light on the mystery of cell death in MS
Researchers at the University of Alberta have discovered a unique process of brain cell death that affects the cells that are most vulnerable in multiple sclerosis (MS).

New optical sensor can determine if molecules are left or right 'handed'
A University of Central Florida team has designed a nanostructured optical sensor that for the first time can efficiently detect molecular chirality -- a property of molecular spatial twist that defines its biochemical properties.

USPSTF recommendation statement on screening for cardiovascular disease risk with ECG
The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends against adding screening with electrocardiography (ECG) to standard risk assessment to prevent cardiovascular disease (CVD) events in adults without symptoms at low risk.

Children with kidney disease show blood flow changes in brain
Blood flow changes in the brains of children, adolescents and young adults with chronic kidney disease may explain why many face a higher risk of cognitive impairment, according to a new study.

Research provides insights on World War II naval battle site
A new International Journal of Nautical Archaeology study provides precise geographic information for the preservation, long-term research, and future use of a historically important World War II battle site on the seafloor off the coast of Okinawa, Japan.

Binging, purging and fasting more common in overweight, obese young adults
Young adults who are overweight or obese are twice as likely as their leaner peers to binge and purge, use laxatives or diuretics, or force themselves to vomit as a means of controlling their weight, according to a new study led by UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals.

Scientists unravel molecular mechanisms of Parkinson's disease
Detailed brain cell analysis has helped researchers uncover new mechanisms thought to underlie Parkinson's disease.

Childhood vaccination exemptions rise in parts of the US
Non-medical exemptions from childhood vaccinations are rising in some areas of the United States, creating a risk of vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks, argue Peter Hotez, Melissa Nolan, Jackie Nolan, and Ashish Damania in a Policy Forum article in PLOS Medicine.

Multilingual students have improved in academic achievement since 2003
Multilingual students, who speak a language or more than one language other than English at home, have improved in reading and math achievement substantially since 2003, finds a new study published in Educational Researcher by Michael J.

Researchers investigate the correlation between wind and wave height in the Arctic Ocean
An international research team has found an increase in high waves and winds in the ice-free waters of the Arctic Ocean, a potentially dangerous navigational tipping point for the 'new and unusual' state of the waters.

Platform uses artificial intelligence to diagnose Zika and other pathogens
Method created in Brazil combines mass spectrometry analysis of blood serum with an algorithm that recognizes patterns associated with diseases from various origins.

Breathing better may be an added benefit of biodiversity
A Forest Service study of nearly 50,000 children in New Zealand has found that those who live in greener neighborhoods are less likely to develop asthma.

Threatened whales and dolphins recognize predatory killer whales from their alarming calls
Some killer whales prey on aquatic mammals while others, which prey on fish alone, pose on threat; so how do aquatic mammals know when they are at risk from killer whales?

Recipe for perfect balance of breaks and repairs in our genome could help fight cancer
Scientists at the University of Sheffield have discovered what keeps the perfect balance of breaks and repairs in our DNA -- something which could help improve the success of chemotherapy and combat neurodegeneration associated with ageing.

Troves from a search for new biomarkers: blood-borne RNA
Scientists have found a new way to trawl blood samples for snippets of RNA released by tumors or diseased organs.

Claiming credit for cyberattacks
The decision to acknowledge sponsorship of an attack is often linked to whether the attacker hopes to draw attention to a cause or to actually influence events, says political scientist Evan Perkoski.

Researchers map the genome of testicular cancer
In a collaborative, multi-institution effort to map the genetic and genomic changes in cancer, researchers led by UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center's Katherine Hoadley, Ph.D., analyzed 137 testicular germ cell tumors for potential mutations and other molecular changes.

The loss of a parent is the most common cause of brood failure in blue tits
Complete brood failure in blue tits is almost always associated with the sudden and permanent disappearance of one of the parents.

NIH leadership outlines interdisciplinary FY2018 research plan for HEAL Initiative
In a perspective published today in The Journal of the American Medical Association, National Institutes of Health leadership detail components of a newly released research plan for the Helping to End Addiction Long-term (HEAL) Initiative.

Genetic discovery will help clinicians identify aggressive versus benign bone tumors
The first genetic marker for the bone tumor, osteoblastoma, has been discovered by scientists at the Wellcome Sanger Institute and their collaborators.

Urban violence can hurt test scores even for kids who don't experience it
Children who attend school with many kids from violent neighborhoods can earn significantly lower test scores than peers with classmates from safer areas.

A call to neuroscientists to help reveal root causes of chemobrain
Though well documented, cancer-related cognitive impairment (CRCI), known colloquially as chemobrain or chemofog, remains a mystery regarding its underlying neurological causes.

People more likely to trust, cooperate if they can tolerate ambiguity, study finds
New research published in Nature Communications indicates that individuals who are tolerant of ambiguity -- a kind of uncertainty in which the odds of an outcome are unknown -- are more likely to cooperate with and trust other people.

A new kind of vaccine based on spider silk
In order to strengthen the efficacy of vaccines on the immune system -- and in particular on T lymphocytes, specialized in the detection of cancer cells -- researchers from the universities of Geneva, Freiburg, Munich, and Bayreuth, in collaboration with the German company AMSilk, have developed spider silk microcapsules capable of delivering the vaccine directly to the heart of immune cells.

Block play could improve your child's math skills, executive functioning
Semi-structured block play among preschool-age children has the potential to improve two skills - mathematics and executive functioning - critical to kindergarten readiness, according a new study by Purdue University researchers.

People who deeply grasp pain or happiness of others, process music differently in brain
People who deeply grasp the pain or happiness of others also process music differently, say researchers at Southern Methodist University, Dallas and UCLA.

Cancer: More targeted use of immunotherapy
SNSF-supported researchers have discovered a method for predicting the likelihood of success when treating cancer with immunotherapy.

Dr. Robert Myerburg contributes editorial to JAMA on ECG screening and cardiac risks
Robert J. Myerburg, M.D., professor of medicine and physiology, and the American Heart Association Chair in Cardiovascular Research at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, contributed an editorial to the Journal of the American Medical Association placing in perspective some of the conclusions in new recommendations from the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) regarding the use of electrocardiogram screening for cardiovascular disease risk.

The true power of the solar wind
The planets and moons of our solar system are continuously being bombarded by particles from the sun.

Immune response associated with inflammation and joint damage in rheumatoid arthritis
To diagnose rheumatoid arthritis, antibodies to the amino acid citrulline are commonly measured.

Psychedelic drugs, ketamine change structure of neurons
In a paper published on June 12 in the journal Cell Reports, UC Davis researchers show that a wide range of psychedelic drugs, including LSD and MDMA, impact the structure and function of neurons, potentially leading to new treatments for depression, anxiety, and related disorders.

Psychedelic drugs promote neural plasticity in rats and flies
Psychedelic drugs may have mind-altering powers in the physical sense, too.

3-D view of Amazon forests captures effects of El Niño drought
Three-dimensional measurements of the central Brazilian Amazon rainforest have given NASA researchers a detailed window into the high number of branch falls and tree mortality that occur in response to drought conditions.

Researchers map brain of blind patient who can see motion
Since the visual processing centres of her brain went dark after a stroke, a Scottish woman has been unable to see objects.

Honey may reduce injury in children who have swallowed button batteries
Ingestion of button batteries, which are frequently found in the household setting, can rapidly lead to caustic esophageal injury in infants and children.

Bradford Co. water quality improves; impacts rare near shale gas wells
A new study of groundwater in a rural Pennsylvania county shows only rare instances of possible gas contamination amid an overall trend of improving water quality despite heavy Marcellus Shale development.

New GAIA data reveals mergers in Milky Way
University of Groningen astronomers have discovered relics of merger events in the Milky Way halo.

Dementia risk increased in 50-year-olds with blood pressure below hypertension threshold
New findings from the long-running Whitehall II study of over 10,000 civil servants has found 50-year-olds who had blood pressure that was higher than normal but still below the threshold commonly used when deciding to treat the condition, were at increased risk of developing dementia in later life.

Alzheimer's disease: How amyloid aggregates alter neuronal function
While the harmful effects of amyloid peptide aggregates observed in Alzheimer's disease are well established, the mechanism through which they act on brain cells remains ill-defined.

Rheumatology leaders urge HHS to adopt drug policy principles that protect patient access
In response to the Trump Administration's American Patients First drug pricing blueprint, the American College of Rheumatology -- which represents more than 7,700 rheumatologists and rheumatology health professionals in the US 0- today issued a set of policy principles that rheumatology leaders urge federal officials to adopt as they consider drug policy changes affecting the health care of chronically ill Americans. 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