Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 27, 2018
UTMN scientists confirm the high speed of Siberia development
Following the trail of Siberian pioneers, archaeologists from the University of Tyumen have investigated the camp on Karachinsky Island, the Lower Tobol River, where, according to chronicles, Yermak and his Cossacks spent a winter.

Nature: Tricky feat with stand-up molecule
Scientists from Forschungszentrum Jülich have achieved a new level of precision working with single molecules.

New 'promiscuous' enzyme helps turn plant waste into sustainable products
A new family of enzymes has been discovered which paves the way to convert plant waste into sustainable and high-value products such as nylon, plastics, chemicals, and fuels.

First malaria-human contact mapped with Nobel Prize-winning technology
Melbourne scientists have taken a significant step toward developing a new vaccine for malaria, revealing for the first time an 'atomic-scale' blueprint of how the parasite invades human cells.

Structure of major brain receptor that is treatment target for epilepsy, anxiety solved
UT Southwestern researchers today published the first atomic structure of a brain receptor bound to a drug used to reverse anesthesia and to treat sedative overdoses.

UAlberta biologists show that female seals have consistent personalities
Female seals don't change their spots, according to a new study by University of Alberta biologists.

Recreating the chameleon: material mimics color changes of living organisms
Researchers at Nagoya University created a material containing photochromic dyes, crystals providing structural coloration, and a colored background that mimics the color changes that animals such as frogs, chameleons, and octopuses can display.

Don't let depression keep you from exercising
Exercise may be just as crucial to a depression patient's good health as finding an effective antidepressant.

New study shows lower prevalence of type 2 diabetes among those who consume walnuts
A new epidemiological study representing more than 34,000 American adults suggests that those who consume walnuts may have about half the risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to adults who do not eat nuts.

OU research team identify genetic structure of Painted Bunting
A University of Oklahoma researcher, Andrea Contina, and his team have identified the genetic structure of the Painted Bunting, a neotropical migratory songbird, using microsatellite DNA and single nucleotide polymorphisms to develop high-resolution markers to differentiate between individual birds breeding in different Oklahoma populations and across the United States.

War, lack of democracy and urbanisation contribute to double burden of malnutrition in adolescents in developing countries
A new study from the University of Warwick blames macro-level factors for the double burden of malnutrition among adolescents in developing countries.

Study provides insight into the physics of the Higgs particle
Physicists at the University of Bonn have succeeded in putting a superconducting gas into an exotic state.

New nerve gas detector built with legos and a smartphone
Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have designed a way to sense dangerous chemicals using, in part, a simple rig consisting of a smartphone and a box made from Lego bricks, which could help first responders and scientists in the field identify deadly and difficult-to-detect nerve agents such as VX and sarin.

Lipid species offer insights into metabolic health
Two new Morgridge Institute for Research studies suggest the current tests, which measure the abundance of lipid classes, are insufficient.

Solar activities can affect the East Asian winter monsoon at the multidecadal time scale
Scientists used a four-member ensemble of 600-year simulations and observational data to examine the influence of low-frequency solar forcing on the East Asian winter monsoon (EAWM).

New mechanism involved in memory loss associated with aging discovered
A study led by Luísa Lopes, Group Leader at Instituto de Medicina Molecular João Lobo Antunes (iMM; Portugal) and published today in the prestigious journal Molecular Psychiatry, describes a new mechanism involved in memory loss associated with aging.

In surveys, people say they'll pay twice what they're actually willing to spend
When researchers compared what study participants reported they were willing to spend on goods with what they actually shelled out in experiments designed to mimic a real-world shopping experience, there was a big gap.

Researchers identify key protein involved in triggering inflammation
Researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago have identified a protein that is crucial for activating inflammation -- both the good kind of inflammation that leads to healing wounds and fighting infection, as well as excessive inflammation where the immune system can damage tissues and organs.

Study: Men with migraine may have higher estrogen levels
While it has been known that estrogen plays a role in migraine for women, new research shows that the female sex hormone may also play a role in migraine for men, according to a small study published in the June 27, 2018, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Granite crystallizes at temperature 200 degrees lower than previously thought
Evidence from rocks in Yosemite National Park suggests that granite stored in the Earth's crust is partially molten at 500 degrees Celsius, nearly 200 degrees lower than had previously been believed.

Patients believed allergic to penicillin have increased risks of MRSA and C. difficile
Analysis of outpatient records of large number of British patients reveals that those believed to be allergic to penicillin have significantly increased risks of contracting the dangerous infections MRSA and C. difficile.

Break it down: Understanding the formation of chemical byproducts during water treatment
To improve water treatment, researchers use modeling to understand how chemical byproducts form during the advanced oxidation process.

Research Brief: Small classes reduce performance gaps in science
From high-stakes multiple choice exams to the social climate of the classroom, research has shown those factors can contribute to the negative impact of large, introductory and undergraduate science courses on students.

Can older, frail patients benefit from 'prehabilitation' before heart surgery?
High risk, frail heart patients might derive benefits from 'prehabilitation,' a strategy designed to enhance the recovery process after heart surgery by maintaining or improving the patient's overall physical and mental status before surgery, according to a group of eminent cardiac specialists writing in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology.

Cancer-causing virus HTLV-1 changes DNA loops to 'affect tens of thousands of genes'
A human virus that causes a rare form of leukaemia increases the risk of disease by changing the way DNA loops inside our cells.

Study signals dramatic change in way ancient diets are calculated
Knowing what extinct animals ate has long been determined by analyzing carbon isotopes locked inside fossil teeth.

Map of Javan leopard distribution provides guidance for conservation efforts
The first robust estimate of the distribution of the Javan leopard offers reliable information on where conservation efforts must be prioritized to safeguard the Indonesian island's last remaining large carnivore.

Providing care based on need not ability to pay is the NHS's greatest achievement
'Providing care based on need and free at the point of delivery' has been voted the NHS's greatest achievement in its 70 years by readers of The BMJ.

Sandbox craters reveal secrets of planetary splash marks and lost meteorites
OIST researchers inspired by school science to crack the conundrum of planetary craters.

70K opioid-related deaths likely went unreported due to incomplete death certificates
Several states are likely dramatically underestimating the effect of opioid-related deaths because of incomplete death certificate reporting, with Pennsylvania leading the pack, according to a new analysis by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.

Australian shrub contains new class of organic compound
A Japanese research team led by Kanazawa University analyzed the structure of six natural products from an Australian shrub, Cryptocarya laevigata.

New study about world's earliest Neolithic villages
The advent of food production took place in the Near East over 10,000 years and sparked profound changes in the ways human societies were organized.

Vacation time recharges US workers, but positive effects vanish within days, new survey finds
Taking time off helps the majority of US workers recover from stress and experience positive effects that improve their well-being and job performance, but for nearly two-thirds of working adults, the benefits of time away dissipate within a few days, according to a survey released by the American Psychological Association.

Student-run mental health education efforts may improve college mental health climate
Studies estimate that 20 percent to 36 percent of college students cope with some form of serious psychological distress, yet only about a third receive any services despite the fact they often have access to on-campus help.

Rethinking existing method opens new doors for cancer diagnostics
Osaka University researchers overcame limitations of current DNA sequencers by using current-tunneling measurements to measure the base sequence and quantities of DNA and microRNA simultaneously.

Breastfeeding mothers stop nursing sooner when living with smokers
Nursing mothers who live with two or more smokers are more likely to stop breastfeeding sooner than those who live in nonsmoking households.

Summer dead zones in Chesapeake Bay breaking up earlier
A new study shows that dead zones in the lower Chesapeake Bay are beginning to break up earlier in the fall, which may be an indication that efforts to reduce nutrient pollution to the Bay are beginning to make an impact.

Personalized 'deep learning' equips robots for autism therapy
Researchers at the MIT Media Lab have now developed a type of personalized machine learning that helps robots estimate the engagement and interest of each child during these interactions, using data that are unique to that child.

Men with aggressive prostate cancer may get new powerful drug option
A double-blind, randomized phase III trial shows a drug currently used to treat men with metastatic, advanced prostate cancer significantly lowered the risk of metastasis or death when used in men with non-metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer and a rising PSA level.

New results of Deepwater Horizon research to protect marine life against future oil spills
Researchers from the US, Mexico and Cuba complete comprehensive study, creating baseline data for the Gulf of Mexico's entire marine ecosystem.

Rethinking the orangutan
The evolution of the orangutan has been more heavily influenced by humans than was previously thought, new research reveals.

Beer. Soup. Barley's next great use? A medical imaging drink
Roasted barley, when struck by a common laser beam, can illuminate the throat and the gastrointestinal track.

It's go time for Hawaiian bird conservation, and luckily there's a playbook
A new study in The Condor: Ornithological Applications presents some of the best guidance to date on the priorities and actions that can be taken to help Hawaii's endemic birds.

Our solar system's first known interstellar object gets unexpected speed boost
Using observations from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and ground-based observatories, an international team of scientists have confirmed ?Oumuamua (oh-MOO-ah-MOO-ah), the first known interstellar object to travel through our solar system, got an unexpected boost in speed and shift in trajectory as it passed through the inner solar system last year.

Breast cancer studies ignore race, socioeconomic factors
Studies of breast cancer risk and treatment outcomes are not taking sufficient account of race/ethnicity, economic status, education level, health insurance status and other social factors, according to scientists at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

NIH study associates obesity with lower breast cancer risk in young women
Young women with high body fat have a decreased chance of developing breast cancer before menopause, according to scientists at the National Institutes of Health and their collaborators.

Teens with concussion may benefit from earlier physical therapy
For adolescents with symptoms following a concussion, starting physical therapy (PT) earlier -- within less than three weeks after the injury -- provides outcomes similar to those of later PT, suggests a study in the July issue of The Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy (JNPT).

A wakefulness molecule is abundant in the brains of heroin addicts
Researchers have discovered that the brains of heroin addicts harbor a greater number of neurons that produce hypocretin, a molecule involved in arousal and wakefulness, and one lacking in abundance in people with narcolepsy.

Rough terrain? No problem for beaver-inspired autonomous robot
University at Buffalo researchers are using stigmergy, a biological phenomenon that has been used to explain everything from the behavior of termites and beavers to the popularity of Wikipedia, to build new problem-solving autonomous robots.

Labeling genetically engineered food in Vermont led to less opposition of these foods
Mandatory labeling of genetically engineered (GE) foods reduced people's opposition to GE products in Vermont, a new study reports.

Scientists identify geographic sectors controlling the Hadley circulation
A Chinese-French team pinpointed the zonal diversity of regional meridional circulations (RMC) in the tropics and distinctive roles in the interannual variability of Hadley circulation strength and its edges in boreal winter.

Boston College team reports technology to enable precision antibiotics
By inserting a chemical 'warhead' into a library of bacterial viruses, Boston College researchers have developed a novel approach to identifying specific strains of deadly bacteria and targeting them with antibiotics, the team reports in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

City-level action is the right way to tackle emissions, study shows
Countries seeking to meet Paris Agreement targets on CO2 emissions must get a grip on the amount of pollution produced at city level, according to researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA).

Oxide sintering by air pressure control
Professor Hiromi Nakano of the Toyohashi University of Technology has collaborated with a company to develop a small and light-weight air-pressure control atmosphere furnace that can rapidly and uniformly synthesize periodical structures of Li2O-Nb2O5-TiO2 (LNT) solid solution materials at 3x the ordinary pressure.

Change in brain cells linked to opiate addiction, narcolepsy
Two discoveries -- one in the brains of people with heroin addiction and the other in the brains of sleepy mice -- shed light on chemical messengers in the brain that regulate sleep and addiction.

Sounds of moving objects change perceptions of body size
Sound and object motion can be used to change perceptions about body size, according to a new study by an international team involving UCL researchers.

Financial incentives help to drive down unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions from GPs
Offering financial incentives to NHS commissioners reduces the amount of antibiotics in the community, and could help to curb drug-resistant infections.

Yosemite granite 'tells a different story' story about Earth's geologic history
A team of scientists including Carnegie's Michael Ackerson and Bjorn Mysen revealed that granites from Yosemite National Park contain minerals that crystalized at much lower temperatures than previously thought possible.

ESO's VLT sees `Oumuamua getting a boost
`Oumuamua, the first interstellar object discovered in the Solar System, is moving away from the Sun faster than expected.

New regulator of neuron formation identified
The protein NEK7 regulates neuron formation, as it is required for dendrite growth and branching, as well as the formation and shaping of dendritic spines.

What does fitness in midlife mean for depression, cardiovascular disease later in life?
A high level of fitness in midlife was associated with a lower risk of depression after age 65 and a lower risk of cardiovascular death, including after a diagnosis of depression.

This curious animal grew larger over time -- but its brain didn't quite keep up
Study finds that the ancestor of the modern day mountain beaver had a larger relative brain size, offering a rare example of brain size decrease over time.

Mandatory labels reduce GMO food fears
As national regulators work to develop labeling standards for foods containing genetically modified ingredients, UVM's Jane Kolodinsky finds that consumer opposition to GMOs dropped significantly after Vermont adopted mandatory labels.

Recorded penicillin allergy linked to increased risk of 'superbug' infections
Patients who have a penicillin allergy recorded in their medical records are at an increased risk of developing the drug resistant 'superbug' infection MRSA and healthcare-associated infection C difficile, finds a study published by The BMJ today.

Freedom from fear: dopamine's role in unlearning fearful associations
Researchers at the RIKEN Center for Brain Science have discovered a circuit in the brain that is necessary for unlearning fear.

New combined treatment shows promise in hepatocellular carcinoma
New combined treatment shows promise in Hepatocellular Carcinoma. A combination of mTOR inhibitors and Phenformin leads to an increase in overall survival.

Reproducibility matters
A plant's health is affected not only by conditions such as water and temperature, but by the microorganisms that live around its roots.

New findings on bacteria in female bladders
A new study published in Nature Communications has found that the female bladder not only contains bacteria, but the microbes are similar to those found in the vagina.

Building a chemical weapons detector with Legos®
Nerve agents are scary stuff. They are among the most deadly substances on earth, yet can be odorless, tasteless and difficult to detect.

THz spectroscopy could help Explain water's anomalies
Liquid water sustains life on earth, but its physical properties remain mysterious among scientific researchers.

Newly discovered Xenomorph wasp has alien-like lifecycle
A University of Adelaide PhD student has discovered a new species of wasp, named Xenomorph because of its gruesome parasitic lifecycle that echoes the predatory behaviour of the Alien movie franchise monster.

Is the interstellar asteroid really a comet?
The interstellar object Oumuamua was discovered back on Oct. 19, 2017, but the puzzle of its true nature has taken months to unravel, and may never be fully solved.

US, South American paleontologists ID two new Miocene mammals in Bolivia
Researchers at Case Western Reserve University and two other universities have discovered the 13-million-year-old fossils of a pair of new species of extinct hoofed mammals known as 'litopterns' from a site in Bolivia.

Why bacteria survive in space -- UH biologists discover clues
Earth germs could be contaminating other planets. Despite extreme decontamination efforts, bacteria from Earth still manages to find its way into outer space aboard spacecraft.

'Ring around bathtub' at giant volcano field shows movement of subterranean magma
A UW-Madison study is tracing the geologic changes in the Maule volcanoes, located in a region in Chile that has seen enormous eruptions during the last million years.

Seismologist Jessica Irving uses massive earthquakes to unlock secrets of the outer core
By applying new data and Princeton's supercomputers to the classic question of what lies beneath our feet, Princeton seismologist Jessica Irving and an international team of colleagues have developed a new model for the Earth's outer core, a liquid iron region deep in the Earth.

New photodetector could improve night vision, thermal sensing and medical imaging
Using graphene, one of science's most versatile materials, engineers from the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering have invented a new type of photodetector that can work with more types of light than its current state-of-the-art counterparts.

Obstetric trauma rates for forceps deliveries have increased in Canada
Trauma to both mother and baby during vaginal deliveries, especially forceps deliveries, has increased in Canada in recent years, according to a large study published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Co-op University of Guelph study finds new measure for stress in overtrained athletes
Overload training -- or, training to exhaustion followed by a period or rest and recovery before a race -- is a method used by many endurance athletes in search of a personal best.

Study yields a new scale of earthquake understanding
Nanoscale knowledge of the relationships between water, friction and mineral chemistry could lead to a better understanding of earthquake dynamics, researchers said in a new study.

Platforms for investigating lncRNA functions
To aid in the discovery and understanding of lncRNA biology, newly published work features the technological platforms and methodology presently used to identify the roles of lncRNA in biology.

UCalgary researchers discover antidepressant could be a promising treatment for PBC
A team of scientists at the University of Calgary's Cumming School of Medicine (CSM) discovered what could be a new option for these hard to treat patients.

SwRI scientists find evidence of complex organic molecules from Enceladus
Using mass spectrometry data from NASA's Cassini spacecraft, scientists found that large, carbon-rich organic molecules are ejected from cracks in the icy surface of Saturn's moon Enceladus.

Hubble sees `Oumuamua getting a boost
`Oumuamua, the first interstellar object discovered in the Solar System, is moving away from the Sun faster than expected.

Electrospun sodium titanate speeds up the purification of nuclear waste water
Electrospun sodium titanate speeds up the purification of water based on selective ion exchange -- effectively extracts radio-active strontium.

Your brain with a migraine
When migraine sufferers see the tell-tale squiggly lines, light flashes and blind spots of a migraine aura, they prepare for a migraine.

CU Anschutz researchers find little association between suicide and hypoxia
Following an extensive analysis of published studies, researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus have found that while suicide rates are higher at higher altitudes, they are unlikely caused by hypoxia, (low oxygen) at these elevations.

Inbred animals face greater threat from changes to environment
Animals that are inbred make mistakes in response to changes in their surroundings, at a cost to themselves and their young.

Young binge drinkers may have higher heart risks
Young adults who said they frequently binge drink were more likely to have certain risk factors for cardiovascular disease than non-binge drinkers.

Bioanalysis publishes special focus issue on 'Biomarker Assay Validation'
The Future Science Group (FSG) published journal, Bioanalysis, which is a leading MEDLINE indexed journal for bioanalysts, today announced the release of its Special Focus Issue on 'Biomarker Assay Validation (BAV) '.

Key protein providing defense against 'jumping genes' identified
International researchers revealed the crucial function of the protein HP1a for piRNA biogenesis, which is important for transposon silencing.

Dangerous reptiles
Attacks by crocodiles have been rising in South East Asia since they became protected animals, a study finds.

RUDN chemists have completely changed the direction of Diels-Alder reaction
RUDN-based researchers together with Russian colleagues studied the Diels-Alder reaction in the derivatives of furan (a heterocyclic organic substance) and managed to reach 100 percent control over the composition of its products.

When it comes to gonorrhea, gender matters
In a new pilot study, a team led by researchers from Tufts University School of Medicine conducted the first full comparison of gonococcal gene expression and regulation in both men and women, identifying gender-specific signatures in infection and in antibiotic resistance genes.

Genetically humanized mice could boost fight against aggressive hepatitis
In research that could lead to treatments for an aggressive type of liver disease, scientists describe a genetically humanized mouse that can be persistently infected with hepatitis delta virus.

Finding the right balance for catalysts in the hydrogen evolution reaction
A collaboration led by the University of Tsukuba optimized the balance between the catalytic activity in hydrogen generation and stability of metal nanoparticles coated with different numbers of graphene layers.

The ultimate 'smell test': Device sends rotten food warning to smartphones
When it comes to the 'smell test,' the nose isn't always the best judge of food quality.

BNAs improve performance of Li-ion batteries
Recent research published in a paper in NANO by a group of researchers from Northeastern University investigated the effect of hierarchical Bi2MoO6 nanosheet arrays on the performance of Li-ion batteries (LIBs) and found that it improves the cycle stability and capacity and is expected to be used in portable electronic devices in the future.

Probing nobelium with laser light
Sizes and shapes of nuclei with more than 100 protons were so far experimentally inaccessible.

To tell the sex of a Galápagos penguin, measure its beak, researchers say
Scientists at the University of Washington have announced that, for a Galápagos penguin, beak size is nearly a perfect indicator of whether a bird is male or female.

Immunotherapy drug for skin disease could boost hormone treatment for prostate cancer
A new form of immunotherapy reactivates the response to hormone treatment in advanced prostate cancer, a study in mice and human tissue has found.

'The eyes have it' -- Photoreceptors in marine plankton form a depth gauge to aid survival
The eyes of some marine-dwelling creatures have evolved to act like a 'depth gauge', allowing these creatures to swim in the open ocean at a certain depth.

Thermal camouflage disguises hot and cold
Hunters don camouflage clothing to blend in with their surroundings.

A milestone on the path towards efficient solar cells
Generating more electricity from solar cells and conducting further research into so-called singlet fission.

Adhering to Paris Agreement climate goal could significantly decrease heat-related summer deaths
As much of the UK and Europe swelters under heatwave conditions, new research led by scientists from the University of Bristol has produced compelling evidence that loss of life through increased heat stress during heatwaves can be limited if we stabilise climate at the lower of the Paris Agreement climate goals.

Marine protected areas often expensive and misplaced
Many marine protected areas are often unnecessarily expensive and located in the wrong places, an international study has shown.

Appealing finding suggests why refrigeration dampens banana aromas 
Bananas are one of the world's most popular fruits. But how they're stored prior to reaching grocery shelves can adversely affect their flavor and smell.

What makes dogs man's best friend?
Working with ancient dog DNA and DNA from village dogs, University of Michigan researchers find new genetic sites linked to common domestication traits--genes that are also responsible for rare genetic syndromes in humans.

Grease in space
The galaxy is rich in grease-like molecules, according to an Australian-Turkish team.

Researchers present new strategy for extending ductility in a single-phase alloy
Research group led by Prof. WU Xiaolei at Institute of Mechanics, in collaboration with Prof. 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