Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 13, 2018
Novel microplate 3D bioprinting platform for muscle & tendon tissue engineering
New research describes the development of a novel screening platform with automated production of 3D muscle- and tendon-like tissues using 3D bioprinting.

Test can identify patients in intensive care at risk of life-threatening infections
Patients in intensive care units are at significant risk of potentially life-threatening secondary infections, including from antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as MRSA and C. difficile.

High-protein corn also resistant to parasitic weed
In sub-Saharan Africa, 20 to 80% of corn yields may be lost because of a semi-parasitic plant, Striga.

UGA and UConn Health researchers discover roles and teamwork of CRISPR-Cas proteins
Recently published research from the University of Georgia and UConn Health provides new insight about the basic biological mechanisms of the RNA-based viral immune system known as CRISPR-Cas.

Patients prefer to have cancer screenings despite risks and warnings
A large proportion of the American public opts to receive cancer screenings with the hope that testing will reduce their chance of cancer death.

Big data identifies lipids as signatures of health and disease
Scientists from EPFL and the University of Wisconsin-Madison have carried out one of the most extensive lipidomics studies to date, connecting almost 150 different lipid species to their respective genetic regulators, revealing signatures of metabolic health and disease.

Getting heart disease patients to exercise: Study says wearables could help but only if money is on the line
Combining financial incentives and personalized goal-setting with wearable devices may be an effective way of encouraging patients with heart disease to increase their physical activity.

Researchers found novel structure in the 'antennae' of light-sensing neurons
Antennae-like structures on photoreceptors have a unique feature not observed in the 'antennae' or cilia of other types of cells, that helps explain non-syndromic blindness.

Primary care providers say Michigan's Medicaid expansion helped patients' health and work
Extending medical insurance to low-income Michigan residents meant they had better access to health care, earlier detection of serious illnesses, better care for existing health problems and improved ability to work, attend school and live independently, according to a newly published survey of primary care providers.

Does having a blood transfusion before, during or after surgery increase the risk for a blood clot?
A transfusion of red blood cells before, during or after surgery was associated with an increased risk of blood clots for patients.

Research finds fair classroom practices disarm threat of evaluation retaliation
While tuition inflation presents a challenge for many college-bound students, an area of growing concern for many universities is 'grade inflation' -- in part caused when instructors grade more leniently to discourage students from retaliating by giving low teaching evaluations.

First significant study on autism and homelessness
The first peer-reviewed study into autism and homelessness has been published, in the journal Autism.

Possible marker found to predict long-term learning
For the first time, researchers have discovered a possible biomarker for long term learning.

Scientists discover how vitamin A drives the human lung immune system to control TB
A team of scientists at Trinity College Dublin and St James's Hospital, Dublin, have shown for the first time how vitamin A effectively supports lung immunity against TB.

Research shows short gamma-ray bursts do follow binary neutron star mergers
Researchers have confirmed that last fall's union of two neutron stars did in fact cause a short gamma-ray burst.

Large-scale whaling in north Scandinavia may date back to 6th century
The intensive whaling that has pushed many species to the brink of extinction today may be several centuries older than previously assumed.

The missing link in antimicrobial stewardship strategy
Empowering nurses to participate in antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs) is the missing link in strengthening hospital-wide antimicrobial stewardship and improving patient care, according to a new study presented at the 45th Annual Conference of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).

Older melanoma patients have better response to immune checkpoint blockade therapy
Patient age correlates with response to immunotherapy in melanoma and depleting regulatory T cells in young patients may have a therapeutic potential to enhance response in younger patients, according to research from The Wistar Institute.

Antarctic fungi found to be effective against citrus canker
Brazilian researchers have identified activity against Xanthomonas citri in 29 fungi isolated from samples collected in Antarctica.

Dementia can be caused by hypertension
A new study in Cardiovascular Research indicates that patients with high blood pressure are at a higher risk of developing dementia.

Mindfulness meditation and relaxation response have different effects on brain function
A team led by Massachusetts General Hospital investigators has identified specific effects that relaxation response training and mindfulness meditation have within the brain.

Periodontal cell sheet technique promotes bone and ligament formation on dental implant
Researchers used periodontal ligament (PDL)-derived stem cells to create a cell sheet, attached it to a titanium implant, and transplanted it into the mandibular bone of a dog, demonstrating the formation of a periodontal-like structure containing both cementum- and PDL-like tissue.

Team uses severe deformation method on bulk magnetic alloys for high performance
In a collaborative study involving Equal Channel Angular Extrusion (ECAE), a unique severe plastic deformation (SPD) process, researchers Dr.

Medscape report finds physicians are sexually harassed on the job
A new report from Medscape finds that more than one in 10 female physicians and 16 percent of female residents have experienced sexual harassment within the past three years.

Scientists can make skillful seasonal forecasts of summer temperature in western China
Surface air temperature (SAT) is a very important hydrological and climatic variable in western China and the ability to predict SAT skillfully is an important target for science.A tea, pf Chinese and British scientists reveal useful predictions of SAT in western China, using the GloSea5 operational forecast system from the UK Met Office.

Cash and goal-setting help motivate heart patients to take healthy steps
Wearable devices combined with financial incentives and personalized goal-setting significantly increased physical activity among ischemic heart patients.

How to save Antarctica (and the rest of Earth too)
Decisions made in the next decade will determine whether Antarctica suffers dramatic changes that cause more than one metre of global sea level rise.

People recall information better through virtual reality, says new UMD study
University of Maryland researchers conducted one of the first in-depth analyses on whether people learn better through virtual, immersive environments, as opposed to more traditional platforms like a two-dimensional desktop computer or hand-held tablet.

To forecast winter rainfall in the Southwest, look to New Zealand in the summer
Scientists have discovered an atmospheric teleconnection that allows them to accurately predict winter precipitation in the southwestern United States by measuring summer sea surface temperatures near New Zealand.

CVIA special issue on adult congenital heart disease
The new journal Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications (CVIA) has just published the first issue of Volume 3.

Bilinguals use inter-language transfer to deal with dyslexia
Dyslexic children learning both a language that is pronounced as written --like Spanish -- and a second language in which the same letter can have several sounds -- such as English -- are less affected by this alteration when reading or writing in the latter language.

E- textiles control home appliances with the swipe of a finger (video)
Electronic textiles could allow a person to control household appliances or computers from a distance simply by touching a wristband or other item of clothing -- something that could be particularly helpful for those with limited mobility.

Fat cell filling, ketogenic diet, and the history of biochemistry:
Recent articles in the Journal of Lipid Research investigate how brown fat converts to white, how cells in the liver fill fat droplets, and how eating a ketogenic or calorie-restricted diet may change a mouse's metabolism.

Youths prescribed antipsychotics gain body fat, have increased diabetes risk
Doctors sometimes prescribe antipsychotic drugs to treat behavior disorders in youths who don't respond to traditional medications.

Cannabis does not increase suicidal behavior in psychiatric patients: McMaster
McMaster University researchers have found there is no significant association between cannabis use and suicidal behavior in people with psychiatric disorders.

Men turn to plastic surgeons for a better body image and more confidence at every age
Body confidence is an issue most often talked about among women, but a new report shows an increase in men exploring their options to gain a better body image.

Leading Antarctic experts offer two possible views of continent's future
The next 10 years will be critical for the future of Antarctica, and choices made will have long-lasting consequences, says an international group of award-winning Antarctic research scientists in a paper released today.

Shrinking ice sheet made a surprising comeback
The ice sheets near earth's poles have been constantly shrinking for the past 20,000 years.

Satellites track vanishing Antarctic ice
Monitoring Antarctica from space has revealed how its ice is being lost to the oceans, providing crucial insight into the continent's response to a warming climate.

Mesomerican turquoise may have different origin than previously thought
Though scholars have long assumed that Aztec and Mixtec turquoise artifacts uncovered in Mesoamerica were imported from the American Southwest, a new isotopic analysis suggests these artifacts likely derived from Mesoamerican sources.

UI researchers explain ammonia distribution in Earth's upper atmosphere
A new study co-led by University of Iowa researchers helps clarify how ammonia is present in Earth's upper atmosphere.

ALMA discovers trio of infant planets around newborn star
Two independent teams of astronomers have used ALMA to uncover convincing evidence that three young planets are in orbit around the infant star HD 163296.

Decades of satellite monitoring reveal Antarctic ice loss
Scientists from the University of Maryland, the University of Leeds and the University of California, San Diego, have reviewed decades of satellite measurements to reveal how and why Antarctica's glaciers, ice shelves and sea ice are changing.

Much of East Antarctica remained frozen during past 8 million years
A sizeable contributor to sea-level rise, the East Antarctic Ice Sheet's past response to a warming climate has remained controversial.

Delft scientists make first 'on demand' entanglement link
Researchers at QuTech in Delft have succeeded in generating quantum entanglement between two quantum chips faster than the entanglement is lost.

For 100 million years, amber freezes a tableau of tick's worst day ever
This is the first time this kind of interaction between ticks and spiders has been documented in the fossil record.

Seawater yields first grams of yellowcake
For the first time, researchers have created five grams of yellowcake -- a powdered form of uranium used to produce fuel for nuclear power production -- using acrylic fibers to extract it from seawater.

US painkiller restriction linked to 'significant' increase in illicit online drug trading
The US Drug Enforcement Administration's decision to restrict prescription drugs containing hydrocodone (a popular opioid painkiller) was associated with a 'significant' increase in illicit trading of opioids through online markets, finds a study published by The BMJ today.

Study reveals simple chemical process that may have led to the origin of life on Earth
Research led by Kuhan Chandru and Jim Cleaves from the Earth-Life Science Institute at Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan, has shown that reactions of alpha-hydroxy acids, similar to the alpha-amino acids that make up modern proteins, form large polymers easily under conditions presumed prevalent on early Earth.

Study looks at differences between African-Americans, whites in statin therapy
African-American patients were less likely to receive guideline-appropriate statin therapy than white patients and the difference can be explained by a combination of demographic and clinical characteristics, socioeconomic status, patient beliefs and clinician factors.

Organics on Ceres may be more abundant that originally thought
A new analysis of data from NASA's Dawn mission suggests that organic matter may exist in surprisingly high concentrations on the dwarf planet's surface.

What saved the West Antarctic Ice Sheet 10,000 years ago will not save it today
The retreat of the West Antarctic ice masses after the last Ice Age was reversed surprisingly about 10,000 years ago, scientists found.

MD Anderson, Houston Methodist scientists detect new ovarian cancer target
Researchers at Houston Methodist Research Institute and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have found a prescription drug, Calcitriol, approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of calcium deficiency and kidney diseases, may increase the likelihood of surviving ovarian cancer.

Seeking new relationships with invasive species
With summer nearly here in North America, we often hear about invasive plants popping up in undesirable locations, 'colonizing' different areas.

Study finds music therapy brings effective pain relief for sickle cell patients
In a randomized controlled trial, patients with sickle cell disease were assigned to one of three 20-minute conditions: a session with a music therapist, an iPod to listen to pre-selected music themselves, or no music at all.

ISB develops stress test to predict how diatoms will react to ocean acidification
Researchers at the Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) have shown that diatoms can withstand population collapse in an acidified environment by conserving valuable energy normally used for carbon dioxide consumption.

Magnetic 3D-printed structures crawl, roll, and jump
MIT engineers have created soft, 3D-printed structures whose movements can be controlled with a wave of a magnet, much like marionettes without the strings.

Turning the tables on the cholera pathogen
Researchers at Harvard's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, the Massachusetts Institutes of Technology (MIT) and Boston University, led by James J.

Original habitat is best, but restoration still makes a big difference
A new study in The Condor: Ornithological Applications presents some of the best evidence to date that restoration efforts in Missouri's Ozark Highlands make a difference for nesting songbirds that breed there.

Tracking energy flow in large molecules
Scientists from EPFL and Canada have developed a novel and unambiguous way to track energy flow in polyatomic molecules at ultrashort timescales.

Lentils significantly reduce blood glucose levels, U of G study reveals
Replacing potatoes or rice with pulses can lower your blood glucose levels by more than 20 per cent, according to a first-ever University of Guelph study.

Cryo-EM reveals interaction between major drug targets
For the first time, scientists have visualized the interaction between two critical components of the body's vast cellular communication network, a discovery that could lead to more effective medications with fewer side effects for conditions ranging from migraine to cancer.

New study identifies gaps in infection prevention and control at critical access hospitals
Critical access hospitals (CAHs) face significant challenges in their infection prevention and control (IPC) practices, according to new research presented at the 45th Annual Conference of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).

Magnetic treatment could help remove 'off-flavor' from wines
From vine to wine, grapes undergo a remarkable transformation. But sometimes this makeover results in vino that doesn't taste quite right.

Network biology reveals pathogen targets in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana
Using systems biology, researchers successfully identified previously unknown protein targets of plant pathogens in the flowering plant Arabidopsis thaliana, employing some of the same methods used to analyze social networks or biological networks.

UTSA researcher studies the impact religion has on sleep quality
Christopher Ellison, in The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Department of Sociology, Terrence D.

New research in Kenya finds sweet spot for harvesting reef fish
An age-old challenge of determining the right amount of fish to harvest from the sea has finally been overcome with the creation of a new biomass-yield model that captures all the necessary factors for accuracy, according to a new WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) study.

New mechanism by which Alzheimer's disease spreads through the brain discovered
The waste-disposal system in a cell can spread harmful protein aggregates between neurons in the brain in Alzheimer's disease, according to researchers at Linköping University, Sweden.

Older melanoma patients may respond to anti-PD1 immunotherapy better than younger patients
With each decade of life, the likelihood of progression of melanoma after treatment with anti-PD1 immunotherapy decreased by 13 percent.

NASA finds weakening rainfall in Bud
NASA examined the rainfall rates occurring in former Hurricane Bud as it continued moving north in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, paralleling the western coast of Mexico.

Geologic history of Ayeyawady River delta mapped for the first time
The Ayeyawady River delta in Myanmar is home to millions of people, and is a hub of agricultural activity.

More harm than good: Assessing the nuclear arsenal tipping point
First study of its kind shows how detrimental nuclear attack would be for the aggressor nation.

New study suggests surprising wrinkle in history of West Antarctic Ice Sheet
A new study reveals a surprising twist to West Antarctic Ice Sheet history.

Ocean waves following sea ice loss trigger Antarctic ice shelf collapse
Storm-driven ocean swells have triggered the catastrophic disintegration of Antarctic ice shelves in recent decades, according to new research published in Nature today.

Tiny termite house: How termites destroy from the inside out
The National Pest Management Association has revealed a high-definition, behind-the-walls look at the destructive nature of termites through the Tiny Termite House, a first-of-its-kind, groundbreaking research study and video production.

Study first to show metabolic effects of antipsychotic medications in youths
A study is the first to use gold-standard methods to test the hypothesis that antipsychotic treatment in youths adversely increases body fat and decreases insulin sensitivity.

Reversible changes to neural proteins may explain sleep need
Sleep need accumulates over long periods awake, and sleep refreshes the brain.

Stem cell-derived organoids for testing gene delivery to retinal & photoreceptor cells
A new study that compared six of the most promising adeno-associated viral (AAV) gene therapy vectors in human retinal organoid models showed clear distinctions in the efficiency of gene transfer to both retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) and photoreceptor cells.

New studies demonstrate infection control strategies for measles and mumps outbreaks
The decline in vaccination rates across communities has led to the resurgence of diseases like measles and mumps, and recent outbreaks have demonstrated the importance of an integrated infection prevention response, according to new research presented at the 45th Annual Conference of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).

Adolescents who consume diet high in saturated fats may develop poor stress skills
Study: Adolescents who consume a diet high in saturated fats may develop poor stress coping skills, signs of post-traumatic stress disorder as adults.

Computer program looks five minutes into the future
Scientists from the University of Bonn have developed software that can look minutes into the future: The program learns the typical sequence of actions, such as cooking, from video sequences.

Lung study points to therapies for chronic coughing disease
Fresh insights into a potentially life-threatening lung disease that causes persistent coughing could pave the way for new therapies.

Bristol scientists discover a new way to find mass extinctions
During the history of the Earth, there were many mass extinctions, when huge numbers of species died out.

New opportunities for studying the activity of neural networks in real time
Scientists at the National Research Lobachevsky State University of Nizhny Novgorod have for the first time in Russia successfully used and optimized a method to determine the level of mRNA expression in living, actively functioning cells.

Grave consequences
Female genital mutilation (FGM) increases the risk of developing mental illness and changes the body's reactions to stress.

Floridians took Zika threat more seriously than rest of US -- but still most did nothing
Threatened by the mosquito-borne Zika virus in 2016, Florida residents felt more susceptible than others in the United States to getting the virus, were more knowledgeable about it, and were more likely to support taking community action against it.

British mammals' fight for survival
Almost one in five of British mammal species face a high risk of extinction, according to the first comprehensive review of their populations for more than 20 years launched today.

Study unmasks scale of patient doctor divide
A study has estimated that around three million Britons -- or 7.6 percent of the country -- believe they have experienced a harmful or potentially harmful but preventable problem in primary healthcare.

Fish 'umbrella' protects stem cells from sun
Stem cells that make blood cells in fish flourish in the shade provided by a newly discovered cellular 'umbrella' that keeps them safe from UV damage.

Largest ice sheet on Earth was stable throughout last warm period
The largest ice sheet on Earth was stable throughout the last warm period in geologic time, indicating it should hold up as temperatures continue to rise.

Rutgers researchers develop automated robotic device for faster blood testing
Rutgers researchers have created an automated blood drawing and testing device that provides rapid results, potentially improving the workflow in hospitals and other health-related institutions to allow health care practitioners to spend more time treating patients.

How 'gatekeepers' to a cell's nucleus let genetic instructions pass through
Researchers have revealed how the human nuclear pore complex is involved in the flow of genetic information.

Neuronal activity sheds light on the origin of consciousness
A new Tel Aviv University study identifies and measures the neural activity associated with a new conscious experience.

UK urgently needs a joined up approach to recruitment of international doctors
The UK urgently needs a joined up and strategic approach to the recruitment of international health professionals, argue experts in The BMJ today.

Ice loss in Antarctica is increasingly contributing to global sea level rise
Loss of ice in Antarctica has caused global sea levels to rise by 7.6 millimeters since 1992, with 40 percent of the increase happening in just the past five years, according to a team of 84 scientists, including discipline-leading experts from the University of California, Irvine.

No link found between oral antifungal drug and stillbirth
New research from a Swedish and Norwegian team of researchers led from Karolinska Institutet does not support a suggested link between treatment with the oral antifungal drug fluconazole during pregnancy and an increased risk of stillbirth.

Women's basic rights under threat from Trump gag rule, warn experts
The Trump administration is mounting a ferocious attack on abortion rights with plans for a domestic gag rule on abortion counselling and provision, warn experts in The BMJ today.

'Gut instinct' may have been the GPS of human ancestors
A University of Southern California study reveals that the nerve connecting the gut to the brain is key for remembering where food is

Large fenced reserves an effective way to bring wolves back to Scotland
Research, led by the University of Sussex and the University of Kent, indicates that for wolves to be effective at directly reducing red deer numbers and allowing nature to recover in the Scottish Highlands they may need to be reintroduced to very large fenced reserve.

Climate change accelerating rise in sea levels
A new study from the University of Waterloo discovered that rising sea levels could be accelerated by vulnerable ice shelves in the Antarctic.

Fast-acting cholera vaccine could curb outbreaks
A weakened version of the bacteria that causes cholera provides quick protection to rabbits.

Painted lady's roundtrip migratory flight is the longest recorded in butterflies
Researchers found that painted lady butterflies return from the Afrotropical region to recolonise the Mediterranean in early spring, travelling an annual distance of 12,000 km across the Sahara Desert.

Flipping the switch on itch
Researchers have pinpointed a particular neuropeptide associated with transmitting itch signals in mice with atopic dermatitis.

Genetic soil prospecting yields wealth of potential antibiotics
Though soil bacteria have provided some of our best antibiotics, the drugs come from a small group of all the microbes in soil.

Mediterranean-style eating with lean, unprocessed red meat improves heart disease risk
Adopting a Mediterranean-style eating pattern improves heart health, with or without reducing red meat intake, if the red meat consumed is lean and unprocessed, according to a Purdue University nutrition study.

Why we make blood cells in our bones
In humans and other mammals, the stem cells that give rise to all blood cells are located in the bone.

Enigma of fatty acid metabolism solved: Enzyme shape controls its activity
Fats are essential for our body. The core components of all fats are fatty acids.

Digital devices during family time could exacerbate bad behavior
Parents who spend a lot of time on their phones or watching television during family activities such as meals, playtime, and bedtime could influence their long-term relationships with their children.

New and improved way to find baby planets
New work from an international team of astronomers including Carnegie's Jaehan Bae used archival radio telescope data to develop a new method for finding very young extrasolar planets.

Observing the cell's protein factories during self-assembly
Berlin-based researchers have produced snapshots of the 'protein factories' of the cell.

Diabetes added to high risks for people with severe mental illness
People with severe mental illness are more than twice as likely to have Type 2 diabetes, with even higher risks among patients who are African American or Hispanic, according to a new study led by UCSF.

Old Man River's unique chemical signature
Human activity greatly impacts the natural chemistry of the largest river in North America -- the Mississippi River.

No clear evidence that nicotine 'preloading' helps smokers to quit
There is insufficient evidence to show that using nicotine patches for four weeks before a quit attempt (known as 'preloading') improves long-term smoking abstinence, finds a trial published by The BMJ this week.

Coral reefs losing ability to keep pace with sea-level rise
Many coral reefs will be unable to keep growing fast enough to keep up with rising sea levels, leaving tropical coastlines and low-lying islands exposed to increased erosion and flooding risk, new research suggests.

Mayo Clinic discovery is first step toward new bacteria-based constipation treatment
Genetically engineered bacteria are showing promise as a new treatment for constipation, researchers at the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine have discovered in a mouse study.

Metabolic effects of antipsychotic medications in youths
Increases in body fat and decreases in insulin sensitivity were observed in youths with disruptive behavior disorders who were treated for the first time with antipsychotic medications during a 12-week randomized clinical trial.

Assimilation of FY-3 data at the Met Office
The close collaboration between the Met Office and the China Meteorological Administration-National Satellite Meteorological Center helped support China in generating high quality satellite data for weather and climate services.

Trio of infant planets discovered around newborn star
Two independent teams of astronomers have uncovered convincing evidence that three young planets are in orbit around an infant star known as HD 163296.

A new vaccine and probiotic combat cholera in animal models
In a pair of studies, scientists have devised new vaccine-based and probiotic interventions that help prevent severe cholera infections in animal models.

Antarctica ramps up sea level rise
Ice losses from Antarctica have increased global sea levels by 7.6 mm since 1992, with two fifths of this rise (3.0 mm) coming in the last five years alone.

Antarctic ice shelves compromised by combined impacts of ocean and atmosphere warming
An international team of scientists has discovered that the world's ice shelves may be being destabilized by forces from above and below.

Transparent pricing boosts business at outpatient surgical centers, study suggests
In a small study of ambulatory surgical centers across the country, Johns Hopkins quality care researchers found that publicly listing the prices of common operations, such as uncomplicated labor and delivery and tonsillectomies, generally increased business, revenue and patient satisfaction.

MIT engineers recruit microbes to help fight cholera
MIT engineers have developed a probiotic mix of natural and engineered bacteria to diagnose and treat cholera, an intestinal infection that causes severe dehydration.

Attacking bacteria with shark skin-inspired surfaces
Sharks are often the subject of TV specials or news stories focusing on their attacks on humans.

Can watching pro sports on tv prevent crime?
The entertainment provided by televised sporting events has a significant effect on crime in Chicago, reducing the number of violent, property and drug crime reports by as much as 25 percent during the hours of a given game, according to a study by the UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program. 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