Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 25, 2018
'Workhorse' lithium battery could be more powerful thanks to new design
Cornell University chemical engineering professor Lynden Archer believes there needs to be a battery technology 'revolution' -- and thinks that his lab has fired one of the first shots.

True nature of cells blamed in Alzheimer's revealed
Immune cells commonly blamed in Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases are actually precision cleaning machines protecting the central nervous system, new research from the University of Virginia School of Medicine shows.

Virtual reality technology transforming cardiovascular medicine
Rapid advancements in the field of virtual reality are leading to new developments in cardiovascular treatment and improved outcomes for patients, according to a review paper published today in JACC: Basic to Translational Science.

Photon loss won't hurt in quantum sampling, USTC researchers find
Research group of University of Science and Technology of China and Shanghai Institute of Microsystem and Information Technology carried out an experiment which brings a demonstration of quantum supremacy closer to reality.

Justice not blind to gender bias
Study participants found male attorneys delivering a fiery closing argument to be commanding and powerful, and found female attorneys delivering the same argument to be shrill and ineffective.

Corporate interests may have influenced key public health declaration
Corporate interests may have influenced a key public health declaration, intended to promote integrity and transparency at the interface of science and policy-making, warn a trio of leading academics* in an analysis published online in the journal Tobacco Control.

Lethal prostate cancer treatment may benefit from combination immunotherapy
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and the Bloomberg~Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy (BKI) released a study investigating the use of combination checkpoint immunotherapy in the treatment of a lethal form of advanced prostate cancer.

Increase in storms could have 'catastrophic impact' on fishing industry
Potential changes in the frequency and intensity of storms off the coast of the UK and around the world could have a 'catastrophic impact' on the livelihood of fishermen and sustainability of fishing industries, research led by the University of Exeter has shown.

Efficient, eco-friendly production of fine chemicals
Chemical engineers from ETH Zurich developed a new catalyst for forming a bond between two carbon atoms in a cost-effective and eco-friendly way.

Immune profile for successful cancer immunotherapy discovered
In a new study published online June 25, 2018 in Nature Medicine, UC San Francisco researchers have identified a key biological pathway in human cancer patients that appears to prime the immune system for a successful response to immunotherapy drugs known as checkpoint inhibitors.

Gut bacteria markers could be a 'smoking gun' for liver disease
Chemical compounds produced by the bacteria in our gut could be used to spot the early stages of liver disease, according to new research.

New wasps named after Crocodile Dundee and Toblerone amongst 17 new genera and 29 species
A total of 17 new genera and 29 new species of parasitoid wasps are described from across all tropical regions of the world.

Plaster which sticks inside the mouth will revolutionise treatment of oral conditions
A new biodegradable patch administers steroids directly to oral ulcers and forms a protective barrier.

'Substantial portion' of childhood cancer survivors not concerned about future health
A research team led by a St. Jude Children's Research Hospital epidemiologist has conducted the largest analysis to date of how adult survivors of childhood cancer view their health risk.

A new tactic for starving tumors
Scientists have found a metabolic particularity in tumor cells that are low on oxygen.

'Embattled' breast cancer drugs could be revived by UCSF discovery
More than 60 percent of breast cancer cases involve defects in the same biochemical chain of events within cancer cells-- known as the PI3 kinase (PI3K) pathway--but efforts to develop therapies targeting this pathway have met with little success after hundreds of mostly failed clinical trials.

Clostridium difficile infections have decreased 36 percent in Canadian hospitals
Rates of C. difficile infections have decreased 36 percent in hospitals across Canada, although the virulent NAP1 strain associated with severe illness and deaths is the most common strain, according to research published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Exposure to air pollution in pregnancy does not increase symptoms of attention-deficit
A study of 30,000 children from seven European countries found no association between prenatal exposure to air pollution and symptoms of attention-deficit and hyperactivity.

Putting oneself in another person's place is the best antidote against prejudice
Research performed by a team at the School of Education at the University of Cordoba shows an indirect relationship between empathy and the development of prejudices by means of personality and ideological attitudes.

Children with existing allergies should be screened for an emerging, severe chronic food allergy
Children with known skin, food and respiratory allergies should be screened for an emerging, chronic food allergy called eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), a painful inflammation of the esophagus, the food tube between the mouth and stomach.

Pulses raised as new study reveals secrets of the plant that keeps people calm
Chemical secrets of a plant used throughout history for its calming effects have been revealed in new research.

CRISPR editing reduces repetitive behavior in mice with a form of autism
Mice with fragile X syndrome are a common model for autism because the mice exhibit exaggerated repetitive behavior typical of the disorder.

Concern over low vitamin D intakes among UK South Asians
Public health strategies are urgently required to tackle low intakes of vitamin D in the UK South-Asian population, finds a new study in the Journal Public Health Nutrition.

New nuclear medicine technique could help tackle brain disease
A new molecular imaging method can monitor the success of gene therapy in all areas of the brain, potentially allowing physicians to more effectively tackle brain conditions such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and multiple sclerosis.

Authentication of patients in medicine via online system should be discussed ethically
A group of researchers led by Osaka University indicated that the authentication system for medical research/treatment using ICT needs consideration to ethical issues including 1) respect for autonomy, 2) privacy protection and 3) relationship of trust..

Mind over matter: Amygdala circuit counteracts pain-driven emotion
Two pathways in the brain converging at the amygdala regulate the anxiety and depression that often accompanies chronic pain, suggests research in male rats published in JNeurosci.

Are gestational age at birth and symptoms of ADHD associated?
Early premature birth at less than 34 weeks was associated with symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in preschool-age children and inattention symptoms in school-age children.

UK urban forest can store as much carbon as tropical rainforests
Pockets of urban forest can contain as much carbon as tropical rainforests, according to new research led by UCL.

You don't need to believe in free will to be a nice person, shows new research
Social psychologist Damien Crone (University of Melbourne) and Philosophy professor Neil Levy (Macquarie University and the University of Oxford) conducted a series of studies of 921 of people and found that a person's moral behavior is not tied to their beliefs in free will.

Researchers work toward systematic assessment of climate models
A research team based at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has published the results of an international survey designed to assess the relative importance climate scientists assign to variables when analyzing a climate model's ability to simulate real-world climate.

Creature feature: Twisting cracks impart superhero toughness to animals
Super-resilient materials found in the animal kingdom owe their strength and toughness to a design strategy that causes cracks to follow the twisting pattern of fibers, preventing catastrophic failure.

Maximal running shoes may increase injury risk to some runners
Lower leg pain and injuries have long been a problem for runners, but research at Oregon State University-Cascades has shown maximal running shoes may increase such risks for some runners.

The McMaster recipe for star clusters
Clusters of stars across the vast reaches of time and space of the entire universe were all created the same way, researchers at McMaster University have determined.

Microbiologists and plant scientists find secret to tackling cholera
While cholera rages across many regions of the world, a team of microbiologists and plant scientists has pinpointed a genetic weakness in the pandemic's armor, which could lead to future treatments.

UCR team among scientists developing guidebook for finding life beyond earth
Some of the leading experts in the field, including a UC Riverside team of researchers, have written a major series of review papers on the past, present, and future of the search for life on other planets.

Delivering insulin in a pill
Harvard researchers have developed an oral delivery method that could dramatically transform the way in which diabetics keep their blood sugar levels in check.

Cost, coverage and more drive hearing aid inequality
A new study reveals gaps in whether older Americans get help for hearing loss -- gaps that vary greatly with age, race, education and income.

Who shares similar experiences of climate change in a 1.5°C world and beyond?
A new framework to understand how uneven the effects of a 1.5°C world are for different countries around the world has been published today in Geophysical Research Letters, led by researchers from the Environmental Change Institute (ECI) at the Oxford University Department of Geography.

A galactic test will clarify the existence of dark matter
Researchers at the University of Bonn and the University of California at Irvine used sophisticated computer simulations to devise a test that could answer a burning question in astrophysics: is there really dark matter?

T-cell leukaemia: Cancer cells take advantage of 'survival protein'
Cancer researchers at KU Leuven have shown that some patients with T-cell leukaemia produce too much of the BCL-2 protein.

Having more allies may decrease a country's power
Researchers at Yale University developed a simple, yet sophisticated, computer game to examine relationships between countries and the resulting strategic environments, and have found that the more allies a country has, the less power it has.

Two diabetes medications don't slow progression of type 2 diabetes in youth
In youth with impaired glucose tolerance or recent-onset type 2 diabetes, neither initial treatment with long-acting insulin followed by the drug metformin, nor metformin alone preserved the body's ability to make insulin, according to results published online June 25 in Diabetes Care.

Nature creates its own plaster to protect wounds from infection
New research has identified the way nature creates its own plaster to try and prevent bacteria and other micro-organisms from penetrating open wounds.

Researchers discover a new type of lung cancer
Researchers have discovered a new kind of small-cell lung cancer (SCLC).

Journal explores database that quantifies environmental impacts in a 'global' world
In a special issue, Yale's Journal of Industrial Ecology examines a new global database that offers new clarity on the complex links between international trade, consumption, and environmental impact.

Novel nuclear medicine approach shows promise for treating wide array of cancerous tumors
A novel nuclear medicine approach is showing great promise for precision treatment of solid tumors in many types of cancer--including lung, breast, pancreas and ovarian in adults and glioma, neuroblastoma and sarcoma in children.

NASA looks at Daniel's concentrated center
The fourth tropical cyclone of the Eastern Pacific season formed on Saturday, June 23.

Discovery of a major technical error will improve epigenetics research
An error in one of the most widely used methods in epigenetics, DIP-seq, can cause misleading results.

In melanoma, radiosurgery may combine well with immunotherapy, especially PD-1 inhibitors
Of 38 melanoma patients treated with immunotherapy and radiosurgery between 2012 and 2017, median overall survival was not reached.

Citizen scientists developing expertise on galaxy images
Two researchers from the University of Gothenburg have studied large amounts of data in a citizen science project that turns to volunteers for help classifying images of galaxies.

How your brain decides between knowledge and ignorance
We have a 'thirst for knowledge' but sometimes 'ignorance is bliss', so how do we choose between these two mind states at any given time?

Inability to recognize faces linked to broader visual recognition problems
Imagine that you're supposed to meet colleagues for dinner, only you can't remember what their faces look like.

Closer monitoring of surgeons needed to stave off burn-out and heavy drinking
Surgeons need closer monitoring to stave off their risk of burn-out, heavy drinking, and other unhealthy behaviours, and it's time for the profession to fix this problem itself before the government steps in, urges a leading surgeon in an editorial published in the Journal of ISAKOS (JISAKOS).

Striking differences in brain morphology between wild and domestic rabbits
The most characteristic feature of domestic animals is their tame behaviour.

Clinical outcomes and patient experiences vastly improved with hospital a
A new study to be published online June 25 in JAMA Internal Medicine reports that hospital at home (HaH) care provides a shorter length of stay; reductions in hospital readmissions, emergency department visits, and transfers to skilled nursing facilities; and, improved patient experience versus traditional inpatient care.

Lessons about a future warmer world using data from the past
Selected intervals in the past that were as warm or warmer than today can help us understand what the Earth may be like under future global warming.

Nicotine alters neurotransmission in habit-forming brain region
A study of rat brain slices published in JNeurosci demonstrates how nicotine interacts with cells that regulate the output of a brain region involved in habit formation.

New mechanism for the plant hormone auxin discovered
Auxin is a hormone that is essential for the development of plants as it controls a wide range of processes.

Cranium of a four-million-year-old hominin shows similarities to that of modern humans
A cranium of a four-million-year-old fossil, that, in 1995 was described as the oldest evidence of human evolution in South Africa, has shown similarities to that of our own, when scanned through high resolution imaging systems.

'Electrogeochemistry' captures carbon, produces fuel, offsets ocean acidification
Limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius will require not only reducing emissions of carbon dioxide, but also active removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Giving up on your goal? Read this first
All too often, an action crisis may lead a person to reassess the cost-benefits of a goal and consider giving it up.

Looking to mosquitos for a way to develop painless microneedles
A mosquito can insert a needle-like probe into your skin and draw blood for several minutes without you even noticing.

Structure of S. agalactiae toxin identified by USTC biologists
Biologists team of University of Science and Technology of China and University of Waterloo revealed the structure of S. agalactiae CAMP factor and the mechanism behind for the first time.

Pain relief at a lower opioid dose
A team of researchers at Johns Hopkins have found that activating nerve cell receptors along two chemical pathways -- one that has previously been linked to how the brain senses 'itch' -- may improve pain relief when combined with conventional ways to blunt pain using opioid drugs, such as morphine.

Proteins found in semen increase the spread of Ebola virus infection
Protein fragments, called amyloid fibrils, in human semen significantly increase Ebola virus infection and protect the virus against harsh environmental conditions such as heat and dehydration.

Cholera spread tracked at household level
For the first time, the transmission of cholera has been tracked at the household level across Dhaka, Bangladesh, a city with a 'hyper-endemic' level of the disease.

Nanomaterials could mean more algae outbreaks for wetlands, waterways
The last 10 years have seen a surge in the use of tiny substances called nanomaterials in agrochemicals like pesticides and fungicides.

Smart probe detecting cancer cells may improve survival rates
A new Tel Aviv University study explores a novel smart probe for image-guided surgery that may dramatically improve post-surgical outcomes for cancer patients.

New target for treating alcoholism
Activation of a receptor with no known function in the brain reduces excessive alcohol use and the pain of withdrawal, according to preclinical research in male rats.

New mutation in amyloid diseases discovered
Researchers have identified a one-of-a kind mutation in the DNA of a patient who died of transthyretin (TTR) amyloidosis, a progressive condition characterized by the buildup of abnormal deposits of a misfolded protein called amyloid in the body's organs and tissues.

Clean power is not enough
Coal power versus wind and solar energy -- debates about the Paris climate targets often center around electricity supply.

US flight crew have higher cancer rates than general population
Flight crew have higher rates of specific cancers than the general population, according to a study in the open access journal Environmental Health involving 5,366 US flight attendants.

Glia and axons: A match made in evolution
The evolutionary prerequisites of myelin -- the fatty substance that insulates axons and enables rapid communication between cells of the nervous system in jawed vertebrates -- are described in new research in fish published in JNeurosci.

Long-lasting radionuclide therapy for advanced neuroendocrine tumors proves effective
A first-in-human study presented at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) demonstrates the benefits and safety of a new, long-lasting type of radionuclide therapy for patients with advanced, metastatic neuroendocrine tumors (NETs).

Scientists found means to inhibit capillary leakage in sepsis
Leakage from the blood capillaries is a key mechanism leading to septic shock and multiorgan failure, which affect millions of patients annually worldwide.

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope to target Jupiter's Great Red Spot
NASA's James Webb Space Telescope, the most ambitious and complex space observatory ever built, will use its unparalleled infrared capabilities to study Jupiter's Great Red Spot, shedding new light on the enigmatic storm and building upon data returned from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and other observatories.

Researchers find prostate cancer drug byproduct can fuel cancer cells
A genetic anomaly in certain men with prostate cancer may impact their response to common drugs used to treat the disease, according to new research at Cleveland Clinic.

New oceanographic insight pinpoints marine 'hotspots of risk'
Using a novel, high-resolution 'Lagrangian Coherent Structures' mapping technique, scientists are able to model dynamic features in ocean surface currents.

Monarchs ride west coast winds: Proof of butterfly migration gathered
After five years and nearly 15,000 tagged butterflies, scientists now have proof that Monarch butterflies migrate from the Pacific Northwest to California in late summer and fall, a journey averaging nearly 500 miles.

Control of quantum state of optical phonon in diamond induced by ultrashort light pulses
Ultrashort Light-pulse-induced vibrations of atoms in a lattice, called optical coherent phonons, have been controlled in various materials.

Scientists take a journey into the lungs of mice infected with influenza
A new tool they call FluVision allows UW-Madison researchers to witness influenza infection in a living animal in action, helping them better understand what happens when a virus infects the lungs and the body responds.

In the brain, dislike and dehumanization are not the same thing
It has long been thought that when people characterized others as less-than-human, it was an expression of extreme dislike.

New theranostic strategy developed for precise tumor diagnosis and therapy
A novel, intelligent theranostic agent for precise tumor diagnosis and therapy has been developed that remains as small molecules while circulating in the bloodstream, can then self-assemble into larger nanostructures in the tumor, and be activated by the tumor microenvironment for therapy guided by photoacoustic imaging.

Disparities in opioid abuse treatment increased among Medicaid recipients, study finds
Approval of a new drug for the treatment of opioid abuse sharply increased the number of Medicaid recipients receiving medication-assisted therapy for opioid abuse disorders.

Myth that persistent musculoskeletal pain with no obvious cause can be cured
It's a myth that most persistent musculoskeletal pain with no obvious cause can be cured, argue experts in an editorial published online in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Reducing CO2 with common elements and sunlight
An international collaborative research group including Tokyo Institute of Technology, Universite PARIS DIDEROT and CNRS has discovered that CO2 is selectively reduced to CO when a photocatalyst composed of an organic semiconductor material and an iron complex is exposed to visible light.

A multifunctional, multiscale, reconfigurable surface
An international team of researchers, led by Harvard University, have developed a dynamic surface with reconfigurable topography that can sculpt and re-sculpt microscale to macroscale features, change its friction and slipperiness, and tune other properties based on its proximity to a magnetic field.

Skeleton formation in young corals documented for first time in multidisciplinary study
Researchers have identified the biological process of mineralization that occurs in a young coral that shifts from the plankton (swimming) stage to the 'settled' stage in which it forms the skeleton from minerals that protect its colony.

Climate projections suggest Lancaster County corn yields in jeopardy by 2050
Climate projections indicate more warming will occur in the Northeast than other sections of the United States, and that has implications for corn crops and dairy farms in the region by 2050, researchers warn.

New catalyst upgrades carbon dioxide to fuels found by USTC
A research team led by professors University of Science and Technology of China and University of Toronto uncovered a catalysis strategy intermediates during CO2 electrochemical reduction reaction.

USTC contributes to LHC experiment discovery on Higgs Boson
Research team from University and Science and Technology of China contributed much to the results of the ATLAS and CMS experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

Fluorescent molecules reveal how cancer cells are inhibited
A team of researchers at Lund University in Sweden has developed a fluorescent variant of a molecule that inhibits cancer stem cells.

Researchers decode molecule that gives living tissues their flexibility
The stretchiness that allows living tissues to expand, contract, stretch, and bend throughout a lifetime is the result of a protein molecule called tropoelastin.

Otago researchers help find answers to growing typhoid problem in the Pacific
University of Otago researchers have been key partners in a study which has found poor sanitation facilities appear to be a major source of Salmonella typhi, the cause of typhoid fever, in Fiji.

Eye-in-the-sky to save olive trees
A devastating and fast-spreading infection killing olive trees and grapevines around the world can now be detected from the air, long before symptoms are visible to the human eye.

New study explains Antarctica's coldest temperatures
Tiny valleys near the top of Antarctica's ice sheet reach temperatures of nearly -100 degrees Celsius, according to a new study published this week in the AGU journal Geophysical Research Letters.

Researchers identify brain cells responsible for removing damaged neurons after injury
Researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have discovered that microglia, specialized immune cells in the brain, play a key role in clearing dead material after brain injury.

How social media's powerful 'silent majority' moves Bitcoin prices
In the past four years, the value of a single bitcoin has soared from approximately $500 in 2014 to a current value of $6,000 and has worked its way into every type of financial transaction, from buying phone credits to shopping for clothes online.

USU geologists detail likely site of San Andreas Fault's next major quake
Utah State University geologist Susanne Jänecke and colleagues identify the San Andreas Fault's 'Durmid Ladder' structure, a a nearly 15.5-mile-long, sheared zone with two, nearly parallel master faults and hundreds of smaller, rung-like cross faults that could be the site of the region's next major earthquake.

Enzyme boost could hasten production of biofuels and other bioprocessed materials
Imperial scientists have enhanced the process of using biology to make products such as fuels, plastics, medicines, and cosmetics.

Men's testosterone levels largely determined by where they grow up
Men's testosterone levels are largely determined by their environment during childhood, according to new research.

Russian and Korean scientists developed effective and cheap sound-absorbing nanofoam
The breakthrough material reduces a noise level by 100 percent more efficient comparing to standard analogs, cutting the level of noise transmission by 20-22 dB.

Staying coherent while spinning
Scientists from EPFL show that photo-excited polyatomic molecules maintain their coherence in motion while undergoing spin changes within ultrashort timescales.

Government reforms could deter foreign investment
Proposals to extend the role played by politicians in scrutinising mergers and investments in the UK could discourage foreign investment, according to new research from the University of East Anglia (UEA).

Closing the loop for robotic grasping
Roboticists at QUT have developed a faster and more accurate way for robots to grasp objects, including in cluttered and changing environments, which has the potential to improve their usefulness in both industrial and domestic settings.

A new toxin in Cholera bacteria discovered by scientists in Umeå
Scientists from Umeå University have now discovered and characterised the structure and function of a so far unknown Vibrio toxin.

Can the kids wait? Today's youngsters able to delay gratification longer than those of the 1960s
Some 50 years since the original 'marshmallow test' in which most preschoolers gobbled up one treat immediately rather than wait several minutes to get two, today's youngsters may be able to delay gratification significantly longer to get that extra reward.

Genes linking Alzheimer's and Down syndrome discovered
A new study looking into the link between Down syndrome and Alzheimer's disease reveals possible genes responsible for the co morbidity.

How music lessons can improve language skills
MIT researchers have found that piano lessons have a specific effect on kindergartners' ability to distinguish different pitches, which translates into an improvement in discriminating between words.

Methane-producing microbial communities found in fracking wells
New research has uncovered the genetic details of microbes found in fracking wells.

Wendelstein 7-X achieves world record
In the past experimentation round Wendelstein 7-X achieved higher temperatures and densities of the plasma, longer pulses and the stellarator record for the fusion product.

Why life on Earth first got big
Some of the earliest complex organisms on Earth -- possibly some of the earliest animals to exist -- got big not to compete for food, but to spread their offspring as far as possible.

Medicare patients less likely to die in a hospital
Where are Medicare patients most likely to die? A new study found that from 2000 to 2015 there was a decline in deaths in an acute-care hospital and an increase in deaths in a home or other community setting such as an assisted-living facility.

Using artificial intelligence to understand volcanic eruptions from tiny ash
Scientists led by Daigo Shoji from the Earth-Life Science Institute (Tokyo Institute of Technology) have shown that an artificial intelligence program called a Convolutional Neural Network can be trained to categorize volcanic ash particle shapes.

Youth need different approach to type 2 diabetes treatment
Medicines used to treat diabetes in adults are not as effective in slowing the progression of the disease in youth, a major, multi-institutional study now shows.

WSU researchers establish new tool to study Cryptosporidium in healthy tissues
Washington State University researchers have developed a new approach for studying Cryptosporidium, a waterborne gastrointestinal parasite now recognized as one of the leading causes of potentially life-threatening diarrheal disease in young children worldwide. 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