Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 20, 2018
DNA barcodes that reliably work: A game-changer for biomedical research
Researchers have developed a new method for correcting the errors that creep into DNA barcodes -- labels used in a wide range of biological experiments -- yielding far more accurate results and paving the way for more ambitious medical research in the future.

People who feel threatened by vegetarianism more likely to care less about animals
New research suggests that if people perceive the rise of vegetarianism as a threat to their way of life they are more likely to care less for some animals.

New tissue-imaging technology could enable real-time diagnostics, map cancer progression
A new microscope system can image living tissue in real time and in molecular detail, without any chemicals or dyes, report researchers at the University of Illinois.

New research shows why nutrition should be back on the table for surgical patients
Implementing a nutrition care program for malnourished surgical patients showed a nearly 50 percent reduction in readmission rates, according to new data from Advocate Health Care and Abbott.

Intervention shows promise for treating depression in preschool-aged children
Children as young as 3-years-old can be diagnosed with clinical depression.

The role of vitamin D in a healthy pregnancy
For a pregnancy to proceed to term, early modulation of the immunologic response is required to induce tolerance to the fetus.

Microbial proteins could supplement animal feed, reduce land use and pollution
As the world's population swells, humans will have to figure out how to keep feeding livestock without using even larger tracts of land to grow food for them or causing more harm to the environment.

Parent-child therapy helps young children with depression
New research from Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Why isn't anyone talking about vaginal dryness (or doing anything about it)?
It's a common problem that only gets worse during the menopause transition; yet, no one wants to talk about it, and even fewer women are doing anything to correct it.

Multiracial congregations have nearly doubled in the United States
The percentage of multiracial congregations in the United States has nearly doubled, with about one in five American congregants attending a place of worship that is racially mixed, according to a Baylor University study.

Gene-edited pigs are resistant to billion dollar virus, study finds
Scientists at the University of Edinburgh have produced pigs that can resist one of the world's most costly animal diseases, by changing their genetic code.

Modern laser science brightened by 2,300-year-old technology
Scientists at Tel Aviv University have harnessed a 2,300-year-old water displacement technology to develop a novel laser beam that traps and moves particles in specific directions.

Possible link found between diabetes and common white pigment
In a pilot study by a team of researchers at The University of Texas at Austin, crystalline particles of titanium dioxide -- the most common white pigment in everyday products ranging from paint to candies -- were found in pancreas specimens with Type 2 diabetes, suggesting that exposure to the white pigment is associated with the disease.

Innovative autonomous system for identifying schools of fish
The University of Haifa (Israel) and two teams from the IMDEA Networks Institute have developed an innovative autonomous system, SYMBIOSIS, to monitor real-time schools of fish.

Scientists calculate impact of China's ban on plastic waste imports
Scientists from the University of Georgia have calculated the potential global impact of China's ban on plastic waste imports and how this policy might affect efforts to reduce the amount of plastic waste entering the world's landfills and natural environment.

Chemical 'caryatids' improve the stability of metal-organic frameworks
Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are porous materials that can change the way we capture carbon, filter water, and an array of other applications.

New theory deepens understanding of Turing patterns in biology
A team of researchers at EMBL have expanded Alan Turing's seminal theory on how patterns are created in biological systems.

New study sheds light on the growing phenomenon of radicalized European youths
A study published in European Psychiatry reports on factors underlying the current rise in radical conversions among European youth.

The seed that could bring clean water to millions
Carnegie Mellon University's Biomedical Engineering and Chemical Engineering Professors Bob Tilton and Todd Przybycien recently co-authored a paper with Ph.D. students Brittany Nordmark and Toni Bechtel, and alumnus John Riley, further refining a process that could soon help provide clean water to many in water-scarce regions.

Coconut oil prolongs life in peroxisomal disorders
'Lorenzo's Oil' was to help a seriously ill boy suffering from a peroxisomal disorder (adrenoleukodystrophy/ALD).

Interaction of paired and lined-up electrons can be manipulated in semiconductors
The way that electrons paired as composite particles or arranged in lines interact with each other within a semiconductor provides new design opportunities for electronics, according to recent findings in Nature Communications.

New screening tool could help diagnose early cognitive decline in dementia from home
An international team of scientists have developed a new way to screen for age-related cognitive decline at home using a test which asks people to detect sounds and flashes on their laptop or phone.

Better model of water under extreme conditions could aid understanding of Earth's mantle
A team of University of Chicago scientists ran quantum simulations to develop a new model of the behavior of water at extremely high temperatures and pressures.

Opioid overdose survivors face continued health challenges, higher death rate
Survivors of opioid overdose are at great risk of dying in the year after overdose, but the deaths are not always caused by drug use, a new study reveals.

New tool using Facebook data shows worldwide gender gap
An international group of researchers, involving scientists from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) and the Complexity Science Hub Vienna, developed a tool to track and analyze gender inequality through Facebook usage data.

Controlling robots with brainwaves and hand gestures
System enables people to correct robot mistakes on multi-choice problems.

Substance in hair may be a marker for alcohol consumption
A new Drug Testing & Analysis study reveals that measuring levels of ethyl sulfate (EtS), a metabolite of ethanol, in the hair can be used to assess alcohol consumption.

Neonics are being ingested by free-ranging animals, U of G study finds
University of Guelph researchers found residues of the insecticides in the livers of wild turkeys, providing evidence that this common agrochemical is being ingested by free-ranging animals.

Can older adults safely donate kidneys?
With increasing organ demand, living kidney donation from older donors has become more common.

Spacefood for cows
Today, producing feed for pigs, cattle and chicken causes immense impacts for the climate and the environment.

Do circulating bone turnover markers indicate hip fracture risk?
The evidence that circulating levels of markers of bone turnover correlate with hip fracture risk among postmenopausal women is limited.

Study of 800 million tweets finds distinct daily cycles in our thinking patterns
Our mode of thinking changes at different times of the day and follows a 24-hour pattern, according to new findings published in PLOS ONE.

Encrypted messages in biological processes
RNA modifications can encrypt the RNA code and are responsible for a very sophisticated control of RNA function.

How physics explains the evolution of social organization
A scientist at Duke University says the natural evolution of social organizations into larger and more complex communities exhibiting distinct hierarchies can be predicted from the same law of physics that gives rise to tree branches and river deltas -- a concept called the constructal law.

Weight loss reverses heart condition in obesity sufferers
Australian research shows for the first time that obese people who are suffering from atrial fibrillation can reduce or reverse the effects of the condition by losing weight.

Self-care and social ties can help men recover from the suicide of a loved one
New UBC research suggests that male values like self-care and protecting family and friends can help men deal with the emotional trauma of losing a friend or family member to suicide.

Annual southeast Asia haze linked to increased respiratory problems
For more than a decade, Southeast Asia has faced annual haze due to a combination of human activity, natural fires, and climatic factors.

Research reveals zero proof probiotics can ease your anxiety
A study from the University of Kansas appearing Wednesday in PLOS ONE found evidence that probiotics can reduce anxiety in rodents, but not in humans.

Patient outcomes, complication rates of postmastectomy breast reconstruction
Two studies, a commentary and podcast focus on patient outcomes after breast reconstruction surgery following mastectomy.

A mix of in-person and online learning may boost student performance, reduce anxiety
Before online learning existed, the traditional lecture was the only option for college courses.

Robot bloodhound tracks odors on the ground
Bloodhounds are famous for their ability to track scents over great distances.

Joint venture: Breakthrough treatment for crippling jaw disease created by UCI, others
A first-ever tissue implant to safely treat a common jaw defect, known as temporomandibular joint dysfunction, has been successfully tested by UCI-led researchers in a large animal model, according to new findings.

GPM satellite probes soaking storms in Southern Texas and the Gulf
Southern Texas and the western Gulf of Mexico is getting a soaking because of a low pressure system.

Heated dilemmas
Short-term management responses to climate change-mediated disasters can be maladaptive in the long-term.

Established medications combat lung cancer tumor growth
Two research groups have discovered that the growth of an intractable type of lung cancer in mouse models can be restrained with a class of drug known as kinase inhibitors.

Potential to replace race as a risk factor for kidney-transplant failure
Marva Moxey-Mims, M.D., FASN, says APOLLO study researchers hope that clarifying the role of the APOL1 gene in kidney-transplant failure could lead to fewer discarded kidneys, which could boost the number of available kidneys for patients awaiting transplants.

Researchers find important new piece in the Huntington's disease puzzle
In a new study, researchers from the University of Copenhagen have discovered a hitherto unknown error in the transport of glutamine between astrocytes and neurons in the brain of mice with Huntington's disease.

Focusing on next 10 years could lead to better use of recommendations for cancer screening
In a recent study, asking participants to decide on a screening schedule for the next 10 years, instead of just making a single decision for an upcoming appointment, nearly doubled the number of participants who followed evidence-based recommendations for cervical cancer screening.

What a pain: The iPad neck plagues women more
Gender and posture -- not screen time -- are biggest factors behind developing 'iPad neck' and shoulder pain, UNLV study finds.

Reading risk behavior in the brain
Anxious people take fewer risks -- in itself this is not a surprising observation.

Rare in-vivo study shows weak brain nodes have strong influence on memory network
The majority of existing simulation studies show that the parts of the brain with high connectivity, the so-called 'hubs', are most important when it comes to several different cognitive tasks.

Researchers identify method to diagnose cancer in patients with early onset diabetes
Patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer can develop elevated blood sugar levels up to three years before their cancer diagnosis, according to the results of a study by Mayo Clinic researchers published the journal Gastroenterology.

Rhesus macaque model offers route to study Zika brain pathology
Rhesus macaque monkeys infected in utero with Zika virus develop similar brain pathology to human infants, according to a report by researchers at the California National Primate Research Center and School of Veterinary Medicine at UC Davis.

Quantum step forward in protecting communications from hackers
Researchers at the University of York have shown that a new quantum-based procedure for distributing secure information along communication lines could be successful in preventing serious security breaches.

When you're a sitting duck, you learn to adapt
When sitting on a nest to incubate eggs, a bird is physically stuck and most vulnerable to attacks of any kind, so coping without stress and other significant costs is important.

Mega-cruises are becoming copies of the great Las Vegas resorts
The productive improvements and innovations in the shipyards, which have made the mega ships possible, have made the cruise ship operators look for a leisure model that fills the abundant space that these new floating cities offer.

Finnish scientists analyzed the proteome of T helper 17 cells
T helper 17 (Th17) cells belong to a group of T cells with essential functions in autoimmune diseases and inflammation.

Swedes have been brewing beer since the Iron Age, new evidence confirms
Archaeologists at Lund University in Sweden have found carbonised germinated grains showing that malt was produced for beer brewing as early as the Iron Age in the Nordic region.

Cooler computing through statistical physics?
Recent breakthroughs in nonequilibrium statistical physics have revealed opportunities to advance the 'thermodynamics of computation,' a field that could have far-reaching consequences for how we understand, and engineer, our computers.

Putting the brakes on metastatic cancer
A groundbreaking discovery by University of Alberta researchers has identified previously-unknown therapeutic targets that could be key to preventing the spread of cancer.

No evidence that vitamin D protects against high blood pressure in pregnancy
There is no strong evidence that vitamin D protects against pregnancy-induced high blood pressure (hypertension) or pre-eclampsia, conclude researchers in The BMJ today.

Evaluation method for the impact of wind power fluctuation on power system quality
Abrupt changes of wind power generation output are a source of severe damage to power systems.

Scientists find evidence of 27 new viruses in bees
An international team of researchers has discovered evidence of 27 previously unknown viruses in bees.

Boring barnacles prefer the shallow life on coral reefs
Scientists at Rice University, the University of the Virgin Islands and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration combine efforts to quantify how barnacles infest stony coral over a variety of conditions and reduce calcium carbonate on reefs.

Guidelines address self-management of hospitalized diabetes patients
It is important that patients with diabetes be involved in decisions concerning the management of their condition while they are hospitalized.

Planned movements and spontaneous reactions are processed differently in the brain
Scientists from the German Primate Center - Leibniz Institute for Primate Research (DPZ) have been able to show in their recently published study of two rhesus monkeys that planned and spontaneous gripping movements have the same brain activity during the movement but that the preceded brain activity differs.

Martian dust storm grows global: Curiosity captures photos of thickening haze
A storm of tiny dust particles has engulfed much of Mars over the last two weeks and prompted NASA's Opportunity rover to suspend science operations.

Cell-free DNA profiling informative way to monitor urinary tract infections
Using shotgun DNA sequencing, Cornell University researchers have demonstrated a new method for monitoring urinary tract infections (UTIs) that surpasses traditional methods in providing valuable information about the dynamics of the infection as well as the patient's biological response.

Biologists discover how pancreatic tumors lead to weight loss
A study from MIT and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute offers insight into the weight loss seen in pancreatic cancer patients, and suggests that weight loss may not necessarily affect patients' survival.

T. Rex couldn't stick out its tongue, new research shows
Dinosaurs are often depicted as fierce creatures, baring their teeth, with tongues wildly stretching from their mouths like giant, deranged lizards.

Having a meal activates the functioning of human brown fat
The importance of the human brown adipose tissue (BAT) has become clearer during the past ten years.

Whether wheat weathers heat waves
Unlike humans, crops in a field can't move to air conditioning to endure a heat wave.

Is it their own fault?! How people judge the exclusion of others
The way people view the social exclusion of others varies -- depending on how much they think the excluded person is to blame.

Lonely and prolonged struggle for people with severe obesity
The majority of people with severe obesity have a lonely and prolonged struggle with their weight.

Causes of subsequent death for patients after nonfatal opioid overdose
Adults who survive an opioid overdose are at high risk of dying during the year after the incident of substance use-associated diseases, suicide and other medical conditions.

Simple sugar delays neurodegeneration caused by enzyme deficiency
The sugar trehalose increases cellular waste disposal and improves the neurological symptoms in a mouse model of mucopolysaccharidoses IIIB .

No, asylum seekers are not a 'burden' for European economies
Does the arrival of asylum seekers lead to a deterioration in the economic performance and public finances of the European countries that host them?

Non-dairy drinks can be dangerous for infants
A brief report published in Acta Paediatrica points to the dangers of replacing breast milk or infant formula with a non-dairy drink before one year of age.

Crumple up this keyboard and stick it in your pocket
Bendable portable keyboards for use with computers and other electronic devices are already on the market, but they have limited flexibility, and they're fairly sizable when rolled up for transport.

Scientists unravel DNA code behind rare neurologic disease
Scientists conducting one of the largest full DNA analyses of a rare disease have identified a gene mutation associated with a perplexing brain condition that blinds and paralyzes patients.

A dual-therapy approach to boost motor recovery after a stroke
EPFL scientists have shown that combining a brain-computer interface (BCI) with functional electrical stimulation (FES) can help stroke victims recover greater use of their paralyzed arm -- even years after the stroke.

A case of 'kiss and tell': Chromosomal kissing gets less elusive
Chromosomes occupy different territories in the nucleus; their arrangement and communication with each other is still poorly understood.

Medicaid work requirements and health savings accounts may impact people's coverage
Current experimental approaches in Medicaid programs -- including requirements to pay premiums, contribute to health savings accounts, or to work -- may lead to unintended consequences for patient coverage and access, such as confusing beneficiaries or dissuading some people from enrolling, according to a new study from Harvard T.H.

Computational method puts finer point on multispecies genomic comparisons
A new computational tool will potentially help geneticists to better understand what makes a human a human, or how to differentiate species in general, by providing more detailed comparative information about genome function.

New therapeutic opportunity for the treatment of resistant malignant melanoma
Researchers have revealed that malignant melanoma can reprogram their protein synthesis machinery and become addicted to a new family of enzymes that modify transfer RNAs during acquired resistance.

Forgetting may help improve memory and learning
Forgetting names, skills or information learned in class is often thought of as purely negative.

Fossils show ancient primates had grooming claws as well as nails
Humans and other primates are outliers among mammals for having nails instead of claws.

Why 9 to 5 isn't the only shift that can work for busy families
A new study from the University of Washington finds that the impacts of parent work schedules on children vary by age and gender, and often reflect which shift a parent works.

Research team reverse way potassium channels work from bacteria to human
Research develops a better understanding of and exerts an unparalleled control of protein molecules.

Around the world, people have surprisingly modest notions of the 'ideal' life
It seems reasonable that people would want to maximize various aspects of life if they were given the opportunity to do so, whether it's the pleasure they feel, how intelligent they are, or how much personal freedom they have.

Powerful new approach helps understand molecular alterations in neurological disease
Scientists have developed a high-throughput, multi-pronged approach that integrates laboratory experiments, data from published literature and network analysis of large datasets to identify genes that drive disease.

Key molecule of aging discovered
Every cell and every organism ages sooner or later. But why is this so?

Collaboration yields discovery of 12-sided silica cages
In a paper published in Nature, a team led by Uli Wiesner, the Spencer T.

Alcohol and marijuana use may increase risk of condomless sex in young adults
Young persons who use alcohol and/or marijuana experience heightened likelihood of condomless sex, according to a new study published in The American Journal on Addictions.

Do bats adapt to gates at abandoned mines?
Abandoned mines can serve as roost sites for bats, but because the mines pose serious risks to humans, officials often install gates at their entrances.

Researchers find last of universe's missing ordinary matter
Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder have helped to find the last reservoir of ordinary matter hiding in the universe.

Learning about the Himalayas using Mars technology
he Himalayan Range includes some of the youngest and most spectacular mountains on Earth, but the rugged landscape that lends it the striking beauty for which it is known can also keep scientists from fully understanding how these mountains formed.

When cozying up with would-be predators, cleaner shrimp follow a dependable script
It's a mystery how cleaner shrimp partner with would-be fish predators -- sometimes even climbing in their mouths -- without getting eaten.

In mice, stem cells seem to work in fighting obesity! What about stem cells in humans?
This release aims to summarize the available literature in regard to the effect of Mesenchymal Stem Cells transplantation on obesity and related comorbidities from the animal model.

Surgery in space
With renewed public interest in manned space exploration comes the potential need to diagnose and treat medical issues encountered by future space travelers.

American swamp sparrows have sung the same songs for more than 1,000 years
American swamp sparrows may have sung the same songs for more than 1,000 years and passed them on through generations by learning, according to researchers at Queen Mary University of London, Imperial College London and Duke University.

The world's tiniest first responders
Amid the rise of CRISPR and genome editing, scientists are still learning more about DNA repair and its significance in aging and diseases such as cancer.

Birds have time-honored traditions, too
By faithfully copying the most popular songs, swamp sparrows create time-honored song traditions that can be just as long-lasting as human traditions, finds a new study.

Study explores satisfaction, quality of life after breast reconstruction
In a new study, researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital evaluated patient-reported satisfaction and well-being outcomes prior to, and two years after their initial surgery for more than 2,000 women across the United States.

University of Michigan researchers use gene silencing to alleviate common ataxia
In what researchers are calling a game changer for future ataxia treatments, a new study showed the ability to turn down the disease progression of the most common dominantly inherited ataxia, Spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 (SCA3), also known as Machado-Joseph disease.

Double jeopardy: The high costs of living in Nairobi's slums
Tenants in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya, receive drastically inferior household services and pay more rent compared to those in its formal settlements, according to new research from the University at Buffalo School of Management.

Fetal T cells are first responders to infection in adults
Cornell University researchers have discovered there is a division of labor among immune cells that fight invading pathogens in the body.

The cells that control the formation of fat
A study led by researchers in Switzerland has revealed a new cell type that resides in the body's fat depots where it can actively suppress fat cell formation.

Should pharmacists be allowed to write prescriptions?
Prescribing of medications has traditionally been restricted to physicians, but there is growing support to allow pharmacists to do so as well.

Towards personalised medicine: One type of data is not enough
To understand the biology of diseased organs researchers can use different types of molecular data.

IASLC issues statement paper on liquid biopsy for lung cancer
The lungs can be a difficult organ to biopsy with a needle, so identifying lung cancer through a blood-based biopsy has lung cancer experts and patients optimistic.

New medicare model produces expert nurses to address shortage of primary care
In an article published today in the New England Journal of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania researchers call for modernizing the way Medicare pays for training nurses, and highlight a successful new model of cost-effectively training more advanced practice nurses to practice community-based primary care.

Quantum non-locality in ultra-cold atomic gases
Non-locality, Einstein's 'spooky action at a distance', has already been observed between quantum objects separated by more than one kilometer.

Using bloodstains at crime scenes to determine age of a suspect or victim
From the spatter analysis made famous in the TV show Dexter to the frequent DNA profiling of CSI and the real cases covered in the FBI Files, blood tests are ubiquitous in forensic science.

The sounds of climate change
In a new study in Science Advances, researchers describe a way to quickly sift through thousands of hours of field recordings to estimate when songbirds arrive at their Arctic breeding grounds.

Emergency department patients want to be invited to share in medical decision-making
Most emergency department patients want to be involved in some aspects of medical decision-making, but they need to be invited.

Electron sandwich doubles thermoelectric performance
Researchers more than doubled the ability of a material to convert heat into electricity, which could help reduce the amount of wasted heat, and thus wasted fossil fuel, in daily activities and industries.

The deformation and mechanics of one-atom thin layer materials
High strength and ultra-low bending rigidity brings in uniqueness of graphene in contrast to other carbon allotropes.

Hearing tests on wild whales
Scientists published the first hearing tests on a wild population of healthy marine mammals.

Super-resolution imaging reveals mechanism of GLUT1 clustering
Prof. WANG Hongda of the Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry and Prof.

A lightweight carbon nanofiber-based collector
Lithium metal is considered to be the most promising anode material for the next-generation rechargeable batteries.

Dry landscapes can increase disease transmission
In water-limited landscapes sick animals can have increased contact with healthy individuals, which can facilitate disease transmission.

Dogs understand what's written all over your face
Dogs are capable of understanding the emotions behind an expression on a human face.

Atomic-scale ping-pong
New experiments by researchers at the National Graphene Institute at the University of Manchester have shed more light on the gas flow through tiny, angstrom-sized channels with atomically flat walls.

Workplace health clinics can lower health care spending
The largest study about the benefits of workplace health clinics finds that such an effort can substantially lower worker health care spending.

Asylum seekers positively affect host countries' economy, though on slower timescale
Asylum seekers fleeing to Western European countries to escape war-ridden areas positively affect a host countries' economy, according to a new report that analyzes 30 years' worth of economic and migration data.

Chameleon-inspired nanolaser changes colors
Chameleons change color by controlling the spacing among nanocrystals on their skin.

Daily cannabis use is on the rise in American adults
Cannabis use may be decreasing among teens, but a new study showed that American adults have increasingly used cannabis daily since 2007.

New 'e-dermis' brings sense of touch, pain to prosthetic hands
Engineers have created an electronic 'skin' in an effort to restore a real sense of touch for amputees using prosthetics.

Review of the synthetic techniques and applications of QDs/GR composites
Recent research published in a paper in NANO by a group of researchers from Yunnan University investigates the recent research progress on QDs/GR composites with focus on their industrial preparation and commercial applications.

Life-saving stroke educational program goes global
In an effort to improve stroke recognition and reduce life-threatening pre-hospital delays worldwide, researchers at Penn Medicine created a universal stroke awareness program, Stroke 112.

Compound made inside human body stops viruses from replicating
A team of researchers has identified the mode of action of viperin, a naturally occurring enzyme in humans and other mammals that is known to have antiviral effects on viruses such as West Nile, hepatitis C, rabies, and HIV.

Buildings as power stations -- data shows they work: They generate more energy than they consume
The UK's first energy-positive classroom, designed with research expertise from Swansea University, generated more than one and a half times the energy it consumed, according to data from its first year of operation, the team has revealed.

Tumor suppressor protein plays key role in suppressing infections
Researchers have found that a previously uncharacterized tumor-suppressor protein plays an important role in the functioning of the immune system. 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