Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 19, 2018
'Smart stent' detects narrowing of arteries
UBC researchers have developed a type of 'smart stent' that monitors even subtle changes in the flow of blood through the artery, detecting the narrowing in its earliest stages and making early diagnosis and treatment possible.

Bad habits that lead to cancer, chronic disease corrected by simple lifestyle intervention
Four of the most common bad habits -- too much screen time, too little exercise and high fat and low fruit and vegetable intake -- can lead to heart disease and cancer, but a simple intervention using mobile health tools and coaching normalized these behaviors, and improvements were sustained.

NASA's Terra satellite sees Tropical Depression Carlotta weakening over Mexico
NASA Terra satellite captured an image of Tropical Depression Carlotta as it was making landfall in southwestern Mexico where it weakened into a remnant low pressure area.

Sodium- and potassium-based batteries hold promise for cheap energy storage
Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have found new evidence suggesting that batteries based on sodium and potassium hold promise as a potential alternative to lithium-based batteries.

Machine learning may be a game-changer for climate prediction
New research from Columbia Engineering Professor Pierre Gentine demonstrates that machine-learning techniques can be used to accurately represent clouds and their atmospheric heating and moistening, and better represent clouds in coarse resolution climate models, with the potential to narrow the range of climate prediction.

Having stress-related disorder associated with increased risk of developing autoimmune disease
Stress-related disorders brought on by traumatic or stressful life events were associated with increased risk of developing an autoimmune disease.

Strange 'nude' fossil creature from half a billion years ago
A discovery of a new species of sponge-like fossil from the Cambrian Period sheds light on early animal evolution.

When photons spice up the energy levels of quantum particles
For the first time, a team of mathematical physicists from Togo and Benin, call upon supersymmetry to explain the behaviour of particles that have received a photon and are subjected to particular potential energies known as shape-invariant potentials.

Flexible content delivery, student-faculty interaction frees time without hurting grades
Medical students face an intense workload and often struggle to juggle priorities.

Light pollution a reason for insect decline
Climate change, pesticides and land use changes alone cannot fully explain the decline in insect populations in Germany.

Risks of cancer and mortality by average lifetime alcohol intake
The risk of mortality, and of developing a number of cancers, is lowest in light drinkers consuming an average of less than one drink per day across their lifetime, and the risk of some cancers increases with each additional drink per week, according to a new study, published this week in PLOS Medicine by Andrew Kunzmann of Queen's University Belfast, and colleagues.

Good primary lowers ED use for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities
One in three adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) visit the emergency department annually but effective primary care could reduce these numbers, suggests a new study led by St.

Game-changing finding pushes 3D-printing to the molecular limit
New University of Nottingham research proves that advanced materials containing molecules that switch states in response to environmental stimuli such as light can be fabricated using 3D printing.

Nuclear power shutdowns won't spike power prices
Despite economic woes that could shutter two of Pennsylvania's nuclear power plants -- which generate 6 percent of the state's power -- power prices will remain steady due to low natural gas prices, according to Seth Blumsack, associate professor of energy policy and economics, Penn State.

Can psychological stress cause vision loss?
Persistent psychological stress, which is widely recognized as a consequence of vision loss, is also a major contributor to its development and progression, according to a study now published in the EPMA Journal, the official journal of the European Association for Predictive, Preventive, and Personalized Medicine.

Chip upgrade helps miniature drones navigate
Researchers at MIT, who last year designed a tiny computer chip tailored to help honeybee-sized drones navigate, have now shrunk their chip design even further, in both size and power consumption.

Mechanism controlling multiple sclerosis risk identified
While the DNA sequence remains the same throughout a person's life, the expression of the encoded genes may change with time and contribute to disease development in genetically predisposed individuals.

Popular streaming playlists can boost a song's revenue by up to $163k
Artists lucky enough to find their song on Spotify's most popular playlists could see could see considerable increases in streams and revenue.

WSU researchers see human immune response in the fruit fly
Washington State University researchers have seen how both humans and fruit flies deploy a protein that a plays a critical role in their immune responses to invading bacteria.

Mild problem-solving task improves brain function after a concussion, new study suggests
A mild problem-solving task improves brain functioning after a concussion, according to a new study conducted at Southern Methodist University, Dallas.

Exercise makes the blood of obese people healthier
Exercise can reduce inflammation in obese people by changing the characteristics of their blood, according to new research published in The Journal of Physiology.

Success of blood test for autism affirmed
One year after researchers published their work on a physiological test for autism, a follow-up study confirms its exceptional success in assessing whether a child is on the autism spectrum.

Diagnostics of genetic cardiac diseases using stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes
A new study by Professors Martti Juhola and Katriina Aalto-Setälä of the University of Tampere in Finland demonstrates that with the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning, it is possible not only to accurately sort sick cardiac cell cultures from healthy ones, but also to differentiate between genetic cardiac diseases.

Cells can trap viruses in protein cage to stop their spread, study reveals
Researchers at The Francis Crick Institute in London have discovered that cells can trap viruses in a protein cage to stop them from spreading to neighboring cells.

Political leaning influences city water policies as strongly as climate
Researchers examined city water policies over the course of four years to create a database of water conservation policies.

Living the high life: How altitude influences bone growth
Study of modern Himalayan populations shows that living at high altitude affects the length of lower arm bones, a possible indicator of differential growth of certain limb segments under high altitude stress.

Study shows approach can help English learners improve at math word problems
University of Kansas education professors have published a study showing that a comprehension-based strategy can help English learners improve their math word-problem solving abilities.

Scientists reveal how gut microbes 'recover' after antibiotic treatment
New insight on how antibiotics affect the gut microbiome -- the community of microbes that live inside us -- has been published in the journal eLife.

Studies examine differences in demographics, urban vs. rural rates of obesity in US
Two studies used national survey data to examine differences in rates of obesity and severe obesity among children, teens and adults based on demographic factors (including sex, age, race, education) and whether people lived in urban or rural areas of the United States.

Drones could be used to detect dangerous 'butterfly' landmines in post-conflict regions
Drones could be used to detect dangerous 'butterfly' landmines in remote regions of post-conflict countries, according to new research from Binghamton University, State University at New York.

Researchers gain insight into infant handling by young bonobos
University of Oregon anthropologist Klaree Boose followed her intuition about her observations of bonobos at a US zoo.

Responses of the tropical atmospheric circulation to climate change
An international team describes the climate change-induced responses of the tropical atmospheric circulation and their impacts on the hydrological cycle.

Long-term estrogen therapy changes microbial activity in the gut, study finds
Long-term therapy with estrogen and bazedoxifene alters the microbial composition and activity in the gut, affecting how estrogen is metabolized, a new study in mice found.

Walking is more efficient than thought for threatened polar bears
Polar bears are under increasing risk and one of the threats was thought to be an inefficient walking style, which could drive them to starvation as they are forced to walk further to find food as the summer sea ice retreats.

Monash research provides insights into why older people respond poorly to cancer treatment
Researchers may have found a group of immune cells that increase in number with age but are too worn out to fight diseases.

Cell type and environment influence protein turnover in the brain
Scientists have revealed that protein molecules in the brain are broken down and replaced at different rates, depending on where in the brain they are.

The first experimental discovery in the world of the propagation of plasma turbulence
The research group of NIFS together with collaborators in the United States applied the 'heat pulse modulation method' in the magnetic island produced intentionally in the tokamak 'Doublet III-D.' Temperature gradient inherent in the magnetically confined plasma causes turbulence while there is no turbulence in the magnetic island because of the absence of the gradient.

Lion conservation research can be bolstered by input from a wide-range of professionals
The conservation of lions, while also maintaining the well-being of people that live around them, is a complex problem that should be addressed by a wide-range of professionals working together.

Are you sticking to your diet? Scientists may be able to tell from a blood sample
An analysis of small molecules called 'metabolites' in a blood sample may be used to determine whether a person is following a prescribed diet, scientists at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have shown.

Ocean's heat cycle shows that atmospheric carbon may be headed elsewhere
A Princeton University-led study in the journal Nature Geosciences examined the global carbon cycle and suggests that scientists may have misgauged how carbon is distributed around the world, particularly between the northern and southern hemispheres.

Spintronics: Controlling magnetic spin with electric fields
EPFL physicists have found a way to reverse electron spins using electric fields for the first time, paving the way for programmable spintronics technologies.

Rush hour metro crowd governed by people's eagerness to go home
Ever feared rush hours in a metro station? Carlo Bianca and Caterina Mogno from the French engineering research lab ECAM-EPMI have developed a new model to study the movement of crowds exiting a metro station.

Liberals do drink more lattes, but maybe not for the reasons you think
Do liberals really drink more lattes? According to a new study from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, liberals in America are indeed more likely than conservatives to drink lattes.

Deep Brain Stimulation showing promise for patients with mild Alzheimer's disease over 65
An age group analysis of data from the ADvance trial has shown that participants over the age of 65 continue to derive the most benefit from Deep Brain Stimulation of the fornix (DBS-f), as observed in the data from the phase 2 findings (12 - 24 months) of the Phase II trial.

Low vitamin D levels associated with scarring lung disease
Reviewing medical information gathered on more than 6,000 adults over a 10-year period, Johns Hopkins researchers have found that lower than normal blood levels of vitamin D were linked to increased risk of early signs of interstitial lung disease (ILD).

Breast cancer could be prevented by targeting epigenetic proteins, study suggests
Researchers at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto have discovered that epigenetic proteins promote the proliferation of mammary gland stem cells in response to the sex hormone progesterone.

Toothpaste and hand wash are causing antibiotic resistance
A common ingredient in toothpaste and hand wash could be contributing to antibiotic resistance, according to University of Queensland research.

FSU study finds religious involvement does little to prevent opioid abuse
In a new study published in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, a team of researchers led by FSU Associate Professor Amy Burdette examined the correlation -- or lack thereof -- between drug use and church attendance for women who are mothers.

D for danger! Speech sounds convey emotions
Individual speech sounds -- phonemes -- are statistically associated with negative or positive emotions in several languages, new research published in the journal Cognition by Bocconi Professor Zachary Estes, his Warwick colleague James Adelman and Bocconi student Martina Cossu shows.

Kids grasp that you get what you pay for
From a young age, children have a nuanced understanding of fairness.

Montana burial site answers questions about early humans
Scientists have shown that at the Anzick site in Montana - the only known Clovis burial site - the skeletal remains of a young child and the antler and stone artifacts found there were buried at the same time, raising new questions about the early inhabitants of North America, says a Texas A&M University professor involved in the research.

Genes associated with infantile forms of schizophrenia identified
Scientists at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital (The Neuro) and McGill University have identified novel genes associated with a specific form of schizophrenia.

Say cheese! Why a toothy smile makes it easier for you to be identified
A fulsome smile in a photo makes it easier for people to identify the individual, say researchers at the University of York.

Deep-sea marine sponges may hold key to antibiotic drug resistance
FAU's Harbor Branch houses more than 1,000 strains of actinobacteria, one of the most prolific microbial groups for the production of natural products.

How vaping helps even hardened smokers quit
Vaping helps people stop smoking -- even when they don't want to, according to new research from the University of East Anglia.

Researchers map cardiovascular disease risk across India
The average 10-year risk of developing cardiovascular disease varies widely among India's states, ranging from 13.2 percent to 19.5 percent, with substantial variation across socio-demographic groups according to a study published this week in PLOS Medicine by Pascal Geldsetzer and Rifat Atun of Harvard University, and colleagues.

Futuristic data storage
The development of high-density data storage devices requires the highest possible density of elements in an array made up of individual nanomagnets.

Age limit for federal food assistance program impacts reading scores, learning
Nearly 1 million children face food insecurity simply because they were born late in the year.

Binge drinking during youth may impact future offspring
A rat model found preconception binge drinking may have negative consequences on future offspring's growth, social interactions and pubertal development, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of the Endocrine Society.

Creating a new composite fuel for new-generation fast reactors
Joint research efforts of a team of scientists at Lobachevsky University of Nizhny Novgorod (UNN) comprising chemists, physicists and engineers are currently focused on solving the problems of handling plutonium and minor actinides (MA) accumulated over many years.

Mayo Clinic discovers gene mutations linked to pancreatic cancer
Six genes contain mutations that may be passed down in families, substantially increasing a person's risk for pancreatic cancer.

Study: Climate action can limit Asia's growing water shortages
Even 'modest' action to limit climate change could help prevent the most extreme water-shortage scenarios facing Asia by the year 2050, according to a new study led by MIT researchers.

The fingerprints of harmful molecules could be detected noninvasively via black silicon.
A group of physicists experimentally confirmed that molecular fingerprints of toxic, explosive, polluting and other dangerous substances could be reliably detected and identified by surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) using black silicon (b-Si) substrate.

Study: Tax havens and limited regulation increase risk for shareholders
Some large, publicly held companies are incorporated in tax haven countries, ostensibly to increase value for shareholders.

Teachers view immigrant, minority parents as less involved in their children's education
A study from the University of Pennsylvania revealed that such perspectives from educators can end up hampering the academic trajectory of the students involved.

World's first intra-operative MRI-guided robot for bilateral stereotactic neurosurgery
A HKU Mechanical Engineering team led by Dr. Kwok Ka-wai recently designed the first neurosurgical robotic system capable of performing bilateral stereotactic neurosurgery inside a magnetic resonance imaging ('MRI') scanner.

Tackling bullying could help reduce depression in autistic teens
Teenagers with difficulties in social communication, including autism, have higher rates of depressive symptoms, especially if they are being bullied.

Floppy eyelids may be sign of sleep apnea, Loyola study finds
A Loyola Medicine study is providing further evidence that floppy eyelids may be a sign of sleep apnea.

An unlikely marriage among oxides
Sebastian Siol is looking for new materials with unusual properties that were so far not accessible in experiments.

'Kiss of death' cancer
Monash researchers have developed a computer program which has revealed a previously unknown combination of drugs that may be the answer to Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC), using genetic and treatment data from TNBC cells grown in labs and from hundreds of patients world-wide.

Site of the next major earthquake on the San Andreas Fault?
Many researchers hypothesize that the southern tip of the 1300-km-long San Andreas fault zone (SAFZ) could be the nucleation site of the next major earthquake on the fault, yet geoscientists cannot evaluate this hazard until the location and geometry of the fault zone is documented.

New study shows how a single binge drinking episode affects gene that regulates sleep
New findings from the University of Missouri School of Medicine explain how a single episode of binge drinking can affect the gene that regulates sleep, leading to sleep disruption in mice.

NASA examined Tropical Cyclone Bud's rains in the US southwest
Beneficial rainfall from hurricane Bud's remnants has spread into the US Desert Southwest after making landfall in western Mexico and moving north.

Brainhealth: Financial decision-making capacity need not decline in healthy advanced aging
New research from The Center for BrainHealth® at The University of Texas at Dallas shows that advancing age alone is not the defining factor in impaired financial decision-making.

Museum collection reveals distribution of Carolina parakeet 100 years after its extinction
While 2018 marks the centenary of the death of the last captive Carolina parakeet -- North America's only native parrot, a team of researchers have shed new light on the previously known geographical range of the species.

Could this material enable autonomous vehicles to come to market sooner?
A new material developed by scientists at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and the University of Wisconsin along with researchers from Air Force Research Laboratories, University of Missouri, and J.A.

New model for gauging ice sheet movement may improve sea-level-rise predictions
University of Kansas researchers discovered friction -- or 'basal drag' -- between ice sheets and the hard bed underneath has no influence on how fast glaciers flow.

FSU researchers find religious involvement deters recreational and medical marijuana use
FSU Associate Professor Amy Burdette and her team found that individuals who regularly attend church and report that religion is very important in their daily decision making are less likely to use marijuana recreationally and medically.

Can evolution explain why the young are often more susceptible than adults to infection?
In many species, including humans, the young are often more susceptible to infection than adults, even after accounting for prior exposure to infection.

Physicists solve the mystery of vanishing particles in graphene
A team of scientists explained the paradoxical phenomenon of the mutual annihilation of particles and antiparticles in graphene.

Absence epilepsy -- When the brain is like 'an orchestra without a conductor'
New contributions to the field of epilepsy have opened a window into the cellular events that occur in the brain during absence seizures.

Miniaturized infrared cameras take colored photos of the eye
Researchers at the Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST), in partnership with scientists at the University of Tokyo, report a new miniaturized camera module that can be used to diagnose the eye.

Climate change to overtake land use as major threat to global biodiversity
Climate change will have a rapidly increasing effect on the structure of global ecological communities over the next few decades, with amphibians and reptiles being significantly more affected than birds and mammals, a new report by UCL finds.

Article examines guideline for glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes
A JAMA Clinical Guidelines Synopsis article examines the American College of Physicians' (ACP's) 2018 guidance statement on HbA1c goals in nonpregnant adults with type 2 diabetes, including the possible effect of a recommended HbA1c level between 7 percent and 8 percent for most patients with type 2 diabetes, a range that is higher than other guidelines.

Methadone and buprenorphine reduce risk of death after opioid overdose
A National Institutes of Health-funded study found that treatment of opioid use disorder with either methadone or buprenorphine following a nonfatal opioid overdose is associated with significant reductions in opioid related mortality.

Lyme disease cases among children are on the rise in western Pennsylvania
Doctors found that cases of Lyme disease in children have increased exponentially in western Pennsylvania.

Warnings to texting pedestrians may not eliminate risks, but they can help
Improving pedestrian safety even in the presence of warnings remains a challenge.

Does good attendance equal good grades?
Studies of classroom attendance patterns in undergraduate students have shown that attendance and performance go hand in hand--attending class is the key to reaping the rewards of academic achievement.

Competition for space: Oncogenic mutant cells vs normal cells
Osaka University-led researchers discovered how oncogenic mutant cells selectively expand into surrounding normal tissues and occupy them based on prediction by computer simulation and experimental verification.

Study confirms beetles exploit warm winters to expand range
A new study by Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists and colleagues confirms that increasing minimum winter temperatures allow beetles to expand their range but reveals that overcrowding can put the brakes on population growth. 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