Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 21, 2018
Writing away the body image blues
Body dissatisfaction among women is widespread and can lead to a number of worrisome outcomes, including eating disorders, depression and anxiety.

Police killings of unarmed black Americans affect mental health of black community
Black Americans are nearly three times more likely to be killed by police than their white counterparts, with even larger disparities among those who are unarmed.

Ketamine acts fast to treat depression and its effects last -- but how?
Researchers led by Mark Rasenick in the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, describe the molecular mechanisms behind ketamine's ability to squash depression and keep it at bay.

The Lancet: Police killings of unarmed black Americans impact mental health of wider black American population
Police killings of unarmed black Americans have adverse effects on the mental health of black American adults in the general population, according to a new population-based study.

Psychiatric disorders share an underlying genetic basis
In a new international collaboration, researchers explored the genetic connections between brain disorders at a scale far eclipsing previous work on the subject.

Scientists, students to make first live, interactive broadcasts from Arctic Ocean's Northwest Passage
A team of scientists and students, conducting research aboard the R/V Akademik Ioffe, will offer select museums, as well as classrooms and citizen scientists worldwide, an opportunity to explore with them in real time a dramatically changing Arctic Ocean, and to discuss their research in the first-ever live, interactive broadcasts from the fabled Northwest Passage.

New technology helps to improve treatment for NHS patients with depression
New technology that has been found to reduce the probability of patients with depression and anxiety deteriorating during NHS psychological treatment by 74 percent.

Hundreds of thousands of genomes shed light on psychiatric disorders
A massive undertaking by the Brainstorm Consortium to analyze the genomes of nearly 900,000 people has revealed important insights into the genetic overlap among some psychiatric diseases, as well as among personality traits.

A mechanism behind choosing alcohol over healthy rewards is found
Changes in a brain signalling system contribute to the development of alcohol addiction-like behaviours in rats, according to a new study led by researchers at Linköping University, Sweden.

Common psychiatric disorders share an overlapping genetic risk
Investigators found that many common psychiatric disorders are deeply connected on a genetic level, sharing specific genetic risk factors, underscoring the need to recognize shared dimensions of brain dysfunction, and develop new treatment strategies.

Study suggests bias for sons remains among second-generation women of South Asian descent
A preference for male children persists among second-generation mothers of South Asian descent, according to new study that found a skewed ratio of male-to-female babies born to these women in Ontario.

'Exam Roulette' could quell essay-induced anxiety
For many students, essay tests are a source of dread and anxiety.

Medicaid expansion helps low-income patients get on transplant waitlist before dialysis
In states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act to cover more low-income individuals, there was an increase in the number of Medicaid beneficiaries who were preemptively waitlisted to receive a kidney transplant.

'Antifreeze' molecules may stop and reverse damage from brain injuries
The key to better treatments for brain injuries and disease may lie in the molecules charged with preventing the clumping of specific proteins associated with cognitive decline and other neurological problems, researchers from Penn report in a new study published in Neurobiology of Disease.

Study abroad for commuters: a case study at the University of New Hampshire at Manchester
Studying abroad can impart valuable, lifelong skills, including foreign language skills, appreciation for other cultures and access to unique learning opportunities.

Fish's use of electricity might shed light on human illnesses
African weakly electric fish, commonly called baby whales, use incredibly brief electrical pulses to sense the world around them and communicate with other members of their species.

UM research identifies how snowshoe hares evolved to stay seasonally camouflaged
Researchers at the University of Montana recently discovered that hybridization played an important role in snowshoe hares' ability to match their environment.

Accurate measurements of sodium intake confirm relationship with mortality
Eating foods high in salt is known to contribute to high blood pressure, but does that linear relationship extend to increased risk of cardiovascular disease and death?

New study debunks Dale Carnegie advice to 'put yourself in their shoes'
The researchers debunk the theories canonized in Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People that assuming you understand someone else's thoughts, feelings, attitude, or mental state is a correct approach to interpersonal insight.

The lady's ape: Extinct gibbon discovered in royal ancient Chinese tomb
A new genus and species of gibbon has been identified in the most unexpected of places -- interred in the tomb of an ancient Chinese noble-woman.

Human immune 'trigger' map paves way for better treatments
A discovery about how human cells are 'triggered' to undergo an inflammatory type of cell death could have implications for treating cancer, stroke and tissue injury, and immune disorders.

First major study comparing robotic to open surgery published in The Lancet
The first comprehensive study comparing the outcomes of robotic surgery to those of traditional open surgery in any organ has found that the surgeries are equally effective in treating bladder cancer.

Six new species of goblin spiders named after famous goblins and brownies
A remarkably high diversity of goblin spiders is reported from the Sri Lankan forests by two researchers from the National Institute of Fundamental Studies, Kandy, Sri Lanka.

Novel therapy makes oxidative stress deadly to cancer
Oxidative stress can help tumors thrive, but one way novel cancer treatments work is by pushing levels to the point where it instead helps them die, scientists report.

Nearly 80 exoplanet candidates identified in record time
Scientists at MIT and elsewhere have analyzed data from K2, the follow-up mission to NASA's Kepler Space Telescope, and have discovered a trove of possible exoplanets amid some 50,000 stars.

Fast rising bedrock below West Antarctica reveals an extremely fluid Earth mantle
An international team of researchers, with a new study published in Science with DTU Space as lead author, finds that the bedrock below the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is rising much more rapidly than expected, revealing a very different Earth structure than previously believed.

DNA enzyme shuffles cell membranes a thousand times faster than its natural counterpart
A new synthetic enzyme, crafted from DNA rather than protein, flips lipid molecules within the cell membrane, triggering a signal pathway that could be harnessed to induce cell death in cancer cells.

Garden seed diet for threatened turtle doves has negative impact
New research into Britain's fastest declining bird species has found that young turtle doves raised on a diet of seeds foraged from non-cultivated arable plants rather than food provided in people's gardens are more likely to survive after fledging.

One year of school comes with an IQ bump, meta-analysis shows
A year of schooling leaves students with new knowledge, and it also equates with a small but noticeable increase to students' IQ, according to a systematic meta-analysis published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

The psychobiology of online gaming
When researchers looked at expression of a particular gene complex that is activated by chronic stress, they found differences depending on whether someone was positively engaging in video games or were problematic gamers.

Is increased BMI associated with reduced risk of premenopausal breast cancer?
Higher body mass index (BMI), especially in early adulthood, may be associated with reduced risk for premenopausal breast cancer.

Northwestern researchers achieve unprecedented control of polymer grids
The first examples of covalent organic frameworks (COFs) were discovered in 2005, but quality has been poor and preparation methods uncontrolled.

Prop. 47 lessened racial disparities in drug arrests
In 2014, California voters approved Proposition 47, which reclassified drug possession offenses from felonies to misdemeanors, and in the process reduced the state's prison and jail populations.

Using fragment-based approaches to discover new antibiotics
A new SLAS Discovery review article summarizes new methods of fragment-based lead discovery (FBLD) to identify new compounds as potential antibiotics.

California Aedes mosquitoes capable of spreading Zika
Over the last five years, Zika virus has emerged as a significant global human health threat following outbreaks in South and Central America.

Device may detect heart dysfunction in childhood cancer survivors treated with chemo
A wireless device designed for detection of heart dysfunction in childhood cancer survivors treated with anthracycline chemotherapy was accurate and displayed a low false-negative rate as compared to cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging.

How do horses read human emotional cues?
Scientists demonstrated for the first time that horses integrate human facial expressions and voice tones to perceive human emotion, regardless of whether the person is familiar or not.

Probiotics can protect the skeletons of older women
For the first time in the world, researchers at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have demonstrated that probiotics, dietary supplements with health-promoting bacteria, can be used to affect the human skeleton.

Improved CPR training could save more lives, research finds
This Scientific Statement addresses gaps in resuscitation training that lead to flat survival rates for cardiac arrest victims.

VLT makes most precise test of Einstein's general relativity outside Milky Way
Astronomers using the ESO Very Large Telescope, and the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, have made the most precise test yet of Einstein's general theory of relativity outside the Milky Way.

Envisioning a future where all the trees in Europe disappear
Global climate change is already affecting the planet, as demonstrated by the shrinking polar ice cap, melting glaciers and cities in the grips of longer, more intense heat waves.

Brain tingles: First study of its kind reveals physiological benefits of ASMR
Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) - the relaxing 'brain tingles' experienced by some people in response to specific triggers, such as whispering, tapping and slow hand movements -- may have benefits for both mental and physical health, according to new research.

Fat cells control fat cell growth
Researchers from ETH Zurich and EPFL have discovered a new type of fat cell that suppresses the growth of new fat cells.

Exposure to fracking chemicals and wastewater spurs fat cell development
Exposure to fracking chemicals and wastewater promotes fat cell development, or adipogenesis, in laboratory cell models, a Duke-led study finds.

Water can be very dead, electrically speaking
Water is one of the most fascinating substances on Earth and at the heart of its many unusual properties is high polarizability, a strong response to an applied electric field.

Many wildlife-vehicle collisions preventable
A new study from the University of Waterloo has found that Ontario could save millions by implementing simple measures to help prevent vehicle accidents involving wildlife.

Antidiabetic action of natural fatty acid derivatives not confirmed
A team of researchers at Sanofi and Mainz University finds no positive action of isomers of the fatty acid derivatives 5- and 9-PAHSA in diabetes models.

Cells stop dividing when this gene kicks into high gear, study finds
Scientists seeking to unlock secrets of cellular aging have identified a gene that triggers senescence, a phenomenon in which cells stop dividing.

Your brain anatomy may play a role in determining your food choices
Our ability to exercise self-control is linked to our neurobiology.

Researchers uncover new target to stop cancer growth
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have discovered that a protein called Munc13-4 helps cancer cells secrete large numbers of exosomes -- tiny, membrane-bound packages containing proteins and RNAs that stimulate tumor progression.

Einstein proved right in another galaxy
An international team of astronomers have made the most precise test of gravity outside our own solar system.

New cellular pathway helps explain how inflammation leads to artery disease
Investigators have identified a new cellular pathway that may help explain how arterial inflammation develops into atherosclerosis -- deposits of cholesterol, fats and other substances that create plaque, clog arteries and promote heart attacks and stroke.

New study suggests viral connection to Alzheimer's disease
A first-of-its kind study, next generation sequencing is brought to bear to investigate a culprit in the path to Alzheimer's disease: the presence of viruses in the brain.

New guide for using mechanical stimulation to improve tissue-engineered cartilage
Tissue-engineered articular cartilage (AC) for repairing cartilage damaged by trauma or disease can be made to more closely mimic natural AC if mechanical stimulation of particular magnitude and duration is applied during the development process.

Higher body fat linked to lower breast cancer risk in younger women
An analysis co-led led by a UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center researcher linked higher body mass index, or BMI, to lower breast cancer risk for younger women, even for women within a normal weight range.

Online professional development boosts teachers' confidence, knowledge
Multiple factors make an effective professional development (PD) program for K-12 teachers.

'Flamingo:' High-powered microscopy coming to a scientist near you
The Morgridge Institute for Research has developed a portable, shareable light sheet microscope.

How competition and cooperation between bacteria shape antibiotic resistance
New computational simulations suggest that the effects of antibiotics on a bacterial community depend on whether neighboring species have competitive or cooperative relationships, as well as their spatial arrangement.

Starving fungi could save millions of lives each year
Researchers have identified a potentially new approach to treating lethal fungal infections that claim more than 1.6 million lives each year: starving the fungi of key nutrients, preventing their growth and spread.

Two new species and important taxonomic insights featured in PhytoKeys issue 100
Eight years, more than 500 articles and no less than 13 000 pages since its launch, Pensoft's flagship botanical title Phytokeys, celebrates its 100th issue.

Crisis can force re-evaluation and derail efforts to reach goals
Setbacks are to be expected when pursuing a goal, whether you are trying to lose weight or save money.

Old star clusters could have been the birthplace of supermassive stars
A team of international astrophysicists may have found a solution to a problem that has perplexed scientists for more than 50 years: why are the stars in globular clusters made of material different to other stars found in the Milky Way?

Coining less expensive currency: bringing down the cost of making nickels
Cashing in on materials science, NIST makes a new nickel for use in the U.S.

Bisexual men have higher risk for heart disease
Bisexual men have a higher risk for heart disease compared with heterosexual men across several modifiable risk factors, finds a new study published online in the journal LGBT Health.

Researchers solve major challenge in mass production of low-cost solar cells
A team led by led by André D. Taylor of NYU Tandon School of Engineering and Yifan Zheng of Peking University solved a major fabrication challenge for perovskite cells -- the intriguing potential challengers to silicon-based solar cells.

Template to create superatoms, created by VCU researchers, could make for better batteries
Virginia Commonwealth University researchers have discovered a novel strategy for creating superatoms -- combinations of atoms that can mimic the properties of more than one group of elements of the periodic table.

Mindful movement may help lower stress, anxiety
Taking a walk may be a good opportunity to mentally review your to-do list, but using the time to instead be more mindful of your breathing and surroundings may help boost your wellbeing, according to researchers who found that while students reported being less stressed while they were on their feet and moving, they received an even greater benefit when they reported also being more mindful.

Medicaid Expansion increased low-income patient access to kidney transplants
States that fully implemented Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act saw significant increases for preemptive kidney transplant listings among black and Hispanic patients.

An emerging drug discovery approach to combat cancer
This review paper will cover recent advances in the development of chemotherapeutic agents against several metabolic targets for cancer therapy, including glucose transporters, hexokinase, pyruvate kinase M2, glutaminase, and isocitrate dehydrogenase.

New research provides expanded insights into the brain's response to opioids
Opioids are powerful painkillers that act on the brain, but they have a range of harmful side effects including addiction.

Ratchet up the pressure: Molecular machine exploits motion in a single direction
A Japanese research team led by Osaka University developed a 'ratchet-like molecular machine,' which promotes uni-directional molecular motion during reactions.

Scientists solve the case of the missing subplate, with wide implications for brain science
A new study shows that a group of neurons, previously thought to die in the course of development, in fact become incorporated into the brain's cortex.

Deep data dive helps predict cerebral palsy
A pioneering technique developed to analyze genetic activity of Antarctic worms is helping to predict cerebral palsy.

Princeton chemists teach an enzyme a new trick, with potential for building new molecules
Princeton chemists led by Prof. Todd Hyster have found a way to make a naturally occurring enzyme take on a new, artificial role, which has significant implications for modern chemistry, including pharmaceutical production.

Bogong moths first insect known to use magnetic sense in long-distance nocturnal migration
Researchers reporting in Current Biology on June 21 have found that nocturnal Bogong moths, like migratory birds, depend on the Earth's magnetic field to guide them on their way.

Ancient Treponema pallidum from human remains sheds light on its evolutionary history
The evolutionary history and origin of syphilis, and other treponemal diseases, is a hotly debated topic by scholars.

A quick rebound of Antarctic crust promotes ice-sheet stability
The unexpectedly rapid rebound of the Amundsen Sea Embayment (ASE) may help stabilize the West Antarctic Ice Sheet against catastrophic collapse, says a new study offering a rare silver-lining in glacier research.

Sticklebacks infected with parasites influence behavior of healthy fish
Certain types of tapeworm make sticklebacks behave carelessly and thus become easier prey for birds.

Opening up a drug delivery route -- Discovery of a new vehicle peptide
The bottleneck of cationic antimicrobial peptides as anticancer therapeutics is their limited ability to penetrate cell membranes.

New evidence brief shows long-term effects of child-family separation
Parent-child separation has long-term effects on child well-being, even if there is subsequent reunification.

Graphene assembled film shows higher thermal conductivity than graphite film
Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have developed a graphene assembled film that has over 60 percent higher thermal conductivity than graphite film -- despite the fact that graphite simply consists of many layers of graphene.

Scripps Research study provides new clues to improving chemotherapies
The work has important implications for understanding how human cancer cells develop resistance to natural product-based chemotherapies.

NIH-funded study finds new evidence that viruses may play a role in Alzheimer's disease
Analysis of large data sets from post-mortem brain samples of people with and without Alzheimer's disease has revealed new evidence linking viruses to Alzheimer's clinical traits and genetic factors.

Mice not only experience regret, but also learn to avoid it in the future
New research from the University of Minnesota publishing 21 June in the open access journal PLOS Biology from authors Brian M.

Our intestinal microbiome influences metabolism -- through the immune system
The innate immune system, our first line of defense against bacterial infection, has a side job that's equally important: fine-tuning our metabolism.

First ancient syphilis genomes decoded
An international research team has recovered the first historic genomes from the bacterium Treponema pallidum, which causes syphilis.

Antarctic ice sheet is melting, but rising bedrock below could slow it down
An international team of researchers has found that the bedrock below the remote West Antarctic Ice Sheet is rising much more rapidly than previously thought, in response to ongoing ice melt.

Not junk: 'Jumping gene' is critical for early embryo
A so-called 'jumping gene' that researchers long considered either genetic junk or a pernicious parasite is actually a critical regulator of the first stages of embryonic development, according to a new study in mice led by UC San Francisco scientists and published June 21, 2018 in Cell.

BCG vaccine leads to long-term blood sugar improvement in type 1 diabetes patients
Long-term follow-up of participants in Massachusetts General Hospital clinical trials of a generic vaccine to reverse advanced type 1 diabetes finds significant clinical benefits, including restoration of near-normal blood sugar levels.

Unusually high levels of herpesviruses found in the Alzheimer's disease brain
Two strains of human herpesvirus -- human herpesvirus 6A (HHV-6A) and human herpesvirus 7 (HHV-7) -- are found in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease at levels up to twice as high as in those without Alzheimer's, researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai report.

Fright and flight: Deciding when to escape
How does your brain decide what to do in a threatening situation?

When fluid flows almost as fast as light -- with quantum rotation
Quark-gluon plasma is formed as a result of high energy collisions of heavy ions.

Genetic variation in progesterone receptor tied to prematurity risk, study finds
Humans have unexpectedly high genetic variation in the receptor for a key pregnancy-maintaining hormone, according to research led by scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Anxious individuals are less risky, moderated by higher control when making decisions
New research shows that highly anxious individuals exert more cognitive control when they make a risky decision compared with less anxious individuals.

Scientists print sensors on gummi candy
Microelectrodes can be used for direct measurement of electrical signals in the brain or heart.

New World Atlas of Desertification shows unprecedented pressure on planet's resources
The World Desertification Atlas by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre provides the first comprehensive, evidence-based assessment of land degradation at a global level and highlights the urgency to adopt corrective measures.

MIT scientists discover fundamental rule of brain plasticity
A series of complex experiments in the visual cortex of mice has yielded a simple rule about plasticity: When a synapse strengthens, others immediately nearby weaken.

Scientists discover how brain signals travel to drive language performance
Using transcranial magnetic stimulation and network control theory, researchers have taken a novel approach to understanding how signals travel across the brain's highways and how stimulation can lead to better cognitive function.

Reduction in protein in the urine is a treatment goal in children with kidney disease
The blood pressure-lowering medication ramipril reduced protein excretion -- or proteinuria -- in children with chronic kidney disease.

More evidence for controversial theory that herpesviruses play role in Alzheimer's disease
In a large-scale analysis published in the journal Neuron, researchers use data from three different brain banks to suggest that human herpesviruses are more abundant in the brains of Alzheimer's patients and may play a role in regulatory genetic networks that are believed to lead to the disease.

Zebrafish's near 360 degree UV-vision knocks stripes off Google Street View
A zebrafish view of the world has been forensically analysed by researchers at the University of Sussex to reveal that how they see their surroundings changes hugely depending on what direction they are looking.

Army study quantifies changes in stress after meditation
or a thousand years, people have reported feeling better by meditating but there has never been a systematic study that quantified stress and how much stress changes as a direct result of meditation until now.

UBC researchers create matchmaking service
UBC researchers have matched small proteins, called peptides, with antibiotics so they can work together to combat hard-to-treat infections that don't respond well to drugs on their own.

Enhanced detection of nuclear events, thanks to deep learning
A deep neural network running on an ordinary desktop computer is interpreting highly technical data related to national security as well as -- and sometimes better than -- today's best automated methods or even human experts.

Scientists discover new gene expression mechanism with possible role in human disease
When cells grow and divide to ensure a biological function, DNA must be unwound from its typical tightly packed form and copied into RNA to create proteins.

US methane emissions greater than thought, in recent years?
Methane leakage from the US oil and natural gas supply chain is greater than previously estimated, researchers report.

New study finds US oil & gas methane emissions 60 percent higher than estimated
The US oil and gas industry emits 13 million metric tons of the potent greenhouse gas methane from its operations each year, 60 percent more than estimated by the US Environmental Protection Agency, according to a new study published today in the journal Science.

Watch: Insects also migrate using the Earth's magnetic field
A major international study led by researchers from Lund University in Sweden has proven for the first time that certain nocturnally migrating insects can explore and navigate using the Earth's magnetic field.

Synthetic peptides enhance antibiotic attack of skin infections in mice
Short, synthetic peptides that disrupt bacteria's response to antibiotics boost antibiotic activity against high-density skin infections in mice, according to new research presented by Daniel Pletzer and colleagues at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.

Waking up is hard to do: Prefrontal cortex implicated in consciousness
Michigan Medicine researchers discover that stimulating the prefrontal cortex can induce wake-like behavior in anesthetized rats.

Dying cancer cells make remaining glioblastoma cells more aggressive and therapy-resistant
A surprising form of cell-to-cell communication in glioblastoma promotes global changes in recipient cells, including aggressiveness, motility, and resistance to radiation or chemotherapy.

Cross-species prion adaptation depends on prion replication environment
A hamster prion that replicated under conditions of low RNA levels in mouse brain material resulted in altered disease features when readapted and transmitted back to hamsters, according to new research presented in PLOS Pathogens by Elizaveta Katorcha of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, and colleagues.

Majority of US adults prescribed epinephrine report not using it in an emergency
A new study shows in an emergency, 52 percent of adults with potentially life-threatening allergies didn't use the epinephrine auto-injectors (EAI) they were prescribed.

Alzheimer's breakthrough: Brain metals that may drive disease progression revealed
Alzheimer's disease could be better treated, thanks to a breakthrough discovery of the properties of the metals in the brain involved in the progression of the neurodegenerative condition, by an international research collaboration including the University of Warwick.

Crowding inside cells may influence many functions and major diseases
A new study finds that mTORC1 controls how 'crowded' human cells become as a person ages.

Researchers engineer bacteria to exhibit stochastic Turing patterns
A new study by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Applied Physics Laboratory, Johns Hopkins University has brought science one step closer to a molecular-level understanding of how patterns form in living tissue.

Caffeine from four cups of coffee protects the heart with the help of mitochondria
A new study shows that a caffeine concentration equivalent to four cups of coffee promotes the movement of a regulatory protein into mitochondria, enhancing their function and protecting cardiovascular cells from damage.

Bedrock in West Antarctica rising at surprisingly rapid rate
The earth is rising in one part of Antarctica at one of the fastest rates ever recorded, as ice rapidly disappears and weight is lifted off the bedrock, a new international study has found.

Hitchhiking to kill
How can elimination of therapeutics from the bloodstream or their early enzymatic degradation be avoided in systemic delivery? 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