Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 03, 2018
Sound waves could provide 'liquid biopsies'
Using sound waves, researchers have developed a gentle, contact-free method for separating circulating tumor cells from blood samples that is fast and efficient enough for clinical use.

Sylvester researcher uses HPV vaccine to treat patient with skin cancer
In 2017, a case report by Dr. Anna Nichols showed the HPV vaccine Gardasil reduced the number of new basal and squamous cell skin cancers in two patients.

Don't sweat it: Scientists identify key step in production of BO
Researchers have unravelled a key part of the molecular process by which armpit bacteria produce the most pungent component of the noxious smell we recognise as BO.

High performance nitride semiconductor for environmentally friendly photovoltaics
A Tokyo Institute of Technology research team has shown copper nitride acts as an n-type semiconductor, with p-type conduction provided by fluorine doping, utilizing a unique nitriding technique applicable for mass production and a computational search for appropriate doping elements, as well as atomically resolved microscopy and electronic structure analysis using synchrotron radiation.

In a warming world, could air conditioning make things worse?
As climate change continues to push summer temperatures ever higher, the increased use of air conditioning in buildings could add to the problems of a warming world by further degrading air quality and compounding the toll of air pollution on human health, according to a new study.

Surgeons have substantial impact on genetic testing in breast cancer patients who need it
A new study finds surgeon attitudes about genetic testing have a big impact on whether women receive testing after a breast cancer diagnosis.

Deadly amphibian fungus has its origins in East Asia
The fungus kills frogs, toads and salamanders, and now we know where it emerged.

Scientists pump up chances for quantum computing
University of Adelaide-led research has moved the world one step closer to reliable, high-performance quantum computing.

UTA urban researcher shows impact of urban sprawl on life expectancy, innovation hubs
A recently published study by a University of Texas at Arlington urban researcher shows a correlation between urban sprawl and a decreased life expectancy in the United States.

When there is no one around
According to the researchers of the Higher School of Economics, personality development is associated with positive acceptance of solitude.

Climate change and health: A special issue in PLOS Medicine
This week, we see the first papers in PLOS Medicine's Special Issue on Climate Change and Health being published, advised by Guest Editors Jonathan Patz of the Global Health Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the John P.

Only 7 percent of social egg freezers have returned for fertility treatment at a large European center
Despite dramatic uptake in the numbers of women electing to freeze their eggs as insurance against an anticipated age-related fertility decline, there is still little that clinics can predict about outcome based on real-life experience.

Large population study fails to find causal link between assisted reproduction and ovarian cancer
Following concerns over many years that hormonal stimulation of the ovaries necessary for IVF may increase the risk of ovarian cancer, a nationwide cohort study from Denmark has now concluded that any perceived increase in risk is actually a statistical bias resulting from vigilant diagnosis at the time of treatment.

Change in use of ICDs after Department of Justice announces investigation into potential overuse
A US Department of Justice investigation into the placement of implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) in Medicare patients who didn't qualify for them based upon Medicare coverage criteria was associated with significant decreases in the use of the devices that shock the heart to restore normal rhythm and in the proportion of devices not meeting these established criteria.

Exposure to paint, varnish, other solvents linked to increased risk of MS
People who have been exposed to paint, varnish and other solvents and who also carry genes that make them more susceptible to developing multiple sclerosis (MS) may be at much greater risk of developing the disease than people who have only the exposure to solvents or the MS genes, according to a study published in the July 3, 2018, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Scientists identify mechanism that may explain why males are more at risk than females for neurodevelopmental disorders
Researchers have recently begun to realize that biological sex plays a key role in disease risk.

New insight into the maturation of miRNAs
An international research team led by Helmholtz Zentrum München, Technical University of Munich and the University of Edinburgh has used an integrated structural biological approach to elucidate the maturation of a cancer-causing microRNA in gene regulation.

A commonly offered add-on treatment for IVF fails to provide any benefit in a large randomized trial
An add-on treatment commonly offered to female IVF patients to improve their chance of success has been shown in a large randomized trial to be of no value.

Drugs that block structural changes to collagen could prevent lung fibrosis
Scientists have found that it is the structure of collagen, rather than the amount, that leads to the devastating condition of lung fibrosis.

Gulf stream eddies as a source of iron
ETH researchers have fortuitously discovered that Gulf Stream eddies are rich in iron, and these eddies transport this essential micronutrient to the iron-poor North Atlantic Gyre.

More than 8 million babies born from IVF since the world's first in 1978
Forty years after the birth of Louise Brown, the world's first test-tube baby, an international committee monitoring progress in assisted reproduction reports today that the global total of babies born as a result of IVF and other advanced fertility treatments is 'more than 8 million.'

Creating room to breathe on the microscale
A new microfluidics innovation shows hope to improve artificial placentas so preterm newborns can properly develop lungs following birth.

Neuroscientists uncover secret to intelligence in parrots
University of Alberta neuroscientists have identified the neural circuit that may underlay intelligence in birds, according to a new study.

Caring for seniors with dementia and their caregivers: A guide for physicians
Community-based health care providers, such as physicians, nurse practitioners and others, should be aware of services and resources to help people living at home with dementia as well as their caregivers.

Expecting a stressful day may lower cognitive abilities throughout the day
There may be some truth to the saying 'getting up on the wrong side of the bed,' according to Penn State researchers who say starting your morning by focusing on how stressful your day will be may be harmful to your mindset throughout the day.

A novel switch to control genome editing
A biological switch that reliably turns protein expression on at will has been invented by University of Bath and Cardiff University scientists.

A promising new tool to measure antibodies against malaria
Antibodies against multiple Plasmodium falciparum proteins (or antigens) can be measured using a simple, accurate and reproducible assay that requires very small amounts of blood.

When oil and water mix
Hydraulic fracturing of organic-rich shales has become a major industry.

Boosting testosterone makes men prefer higher-status products
Status symbols, like a luxury car or brand-name denim, may not function any better than their lower-status counterparts, but they do convey a message about the owner's position on the social ladder.

Anticonvulsant drugs ineffective for low back pain and can cause harm, despite increased prescribing
Anticonvulsant drugs are increasingly being used to treat low back pain, but a new study in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) finds they are ineffective and can have adverse effects.

TV coverage of cycling races can help document the effects of climate change
Analysing nearly four decades of archive footage from the Tour of Flanders, researchers from Ghent University have been able to detect climate change impacts on trees.

Researchers discover new enzyme paradigm for critical reaction researchers discover new enzyme paradigm for critical reaction in converting lignin to useful produce useful products
An international research team, including scientists from the US Department of Energy's (DOE's) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), has discovered and characterized a new family of cytochrome P450 enzymes that is critical to improving the conversion of lignin--one of the main components of plants--into valuable products such as nylon, plastics, and chemicals.

NASA finds Typhoon Prapiroon affecting Korean Peninsula, southern Japan
Typhoon Prapiroon is moving into the Sea of Japan and was lashing the Korean Peninsula and southern Japan when NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed overhead.

Self-healing seed pods
An international team of researchers including members of the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces has discovered a self-sealing mechanism in the seed pods of Banksia plants: special waxes in the junction zone between the two pod valves melt at elevated environmental temperatures and thereby seal small fissures.

Survey shows Australian GPs cautiously supportive of medicinal cannabis access
A majority of Australian GPs support medicinal cannabis being available on prescription, with their preferred 'access model' involving trained general practitioners prescribing independently of specialists, a national survey published in the British Medical Journal Open today reveals.

Can citizen science reverse the extinction of experience?
Opportunities for people to interact with nature have declined over the past century, as many now live in urban areas and spend much of their time indoors.

Study: Fungi and bacteria grow on body implants
A body implant provides a new habitat for bacteria and fungi, a new study conducted at the University of Copenhagen reveals.

New clues to sepsis may speed diagnosis
Researchers at Columbia University Irving Medical Center have found a clue in understanding how an infection can spiral into sepsis by blunting the body's immune response.

How good bacteria can help keep a gut healthy
New research reveals a cellular mechanism by which good bacteria can help the gut stay healthy.

Commonly used preventive therapy for recurrent miscarriage proved ineffective in large trial
An immune response to pregnancy (in which the uterus rejects the embryo or foetus) is said to explain a large number of otherwise 'unexplained' miscarriages.

Fetal folic acid exposure through population-wide fortification of grains and brain development
Two decades ago, the US government mandated grain products be enriched with folic acid to increase fetal exposure to reduce birth defects.

New tools used to identify childhood cancer genes
Using a new computational strategy, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have identified 29 genetic changes that can contribute to rhabdomyosarcoma, an aggressive childhood cancer.

Spraying efficiently: Breaking up is hard to do
Using oscillating liquid streams, breakup and drop formation can be improved compared to common straight jets, but dynamic interactions make it difficult for scientists to understand the mechanisms behind this breakup.

What's in an egg? Oocyte factors that can reprogram adult cells
The promise of generating truly pluripotent stem cells from terminally differentiated adult cell types continues to captivate scientists who envision great potential for therapeutic interventions.

Study finds new genomic regions associated to weight gain in Nelore cattle
Brazilian research aims at enhancing quality of beef and raising Nelore's food efficiency.

Analyzing effects of multi-wall carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) & polyethylene glycol (PEG)
Nowadays, the maintenance of wellbore stability is a very important activity in the drilling industry.

Sub-fertility in men treated with ICSI associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer
Subfertile men who have received fertility treatment with the microinjection technique of ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) have been found at a significantly greater risk of prostrate cancer, according to an analysis of three comprehensive nationwide registries in Sweden.

Infrared NASA image reveals Hurricane Fabio's power
When NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Hurricane Fabio in the Eastern Pacific Ocean it had strengthened into a hurricane hours earlier.

Guiding sound waves through a maze
Researchers at TU Wien are developing methods for manipulating waves in a targeted manner, so that they can move forward with almost no restriction.

Material could help windows both power your home and control its temperature
Environmentally friendly building trends have boosted the popularity of window coatings that keep heating and cooling costs down by blocking out unneeded parts of sunlight.

Southeast Asian forest loss greater than expected, with negative climate implications
Researchers using satellite imaging have found much greater than expected deforestation since 2000 in the highlands of Southeast Asia, a critically important world ecosystem.

NASA sees tenth tropical depression form in northwestern Pacific, Guam posts warnings
The Northwestern Pacific Ocean has been churning out tropical cyclones over the past couple of weeks and the tenth tropical depression formed as NASA's Aqua satellite passed overhead in space.

Chemical Science features stunning artwork from John Keith's lab
The back cover of Royal Society of Chemistry journal Chemical Science featured an artistic depiction of research from the laboratory of John Keith, assistant professor of chemical engineering and R.K.

Personality pressure
In a recent study, Harvard scientists have demonstrated a link between individual variation in risk-taking behavior and survival of animals in changing environments.

Economic burden of fatty liver disease in US is $32 billion annually, new study finds
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD, which affects roughly 100 million Americans, costs the United States healthcare system $32 billion annually, according to a first-of-its-kind study by Intermountain Healthcare researchers on the economic impact of the disease.

The impact of the sugar tax in Chile: A bittersweet success?
A new sugar tax introduced on soft drinks in Chile has been effective in reducing consumption of sugary drinks, new research carried out in the country has revealed.

New experimental results from the largest and most sophisticated stellerator
An international team is running tests on the largest and most sophisticated stellerator, the Wendelstein 7-X fusion experiment.

ICD placements not meeting medicare coverage decline after investigation
Following the announcement of a US Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation into potential overuse of primary prevention implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) that did not meet the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) National Coverage Determination criteria, the number of ICDs placed not meeting the criteria declined, according to a study of hospitals participating in the NCDR ICD Registry.

How targeting metabolism can defeat cancer stem cells
Researchers have found that cancer stem cells exist in more than one state and can change form, sliding back and forth between a dormant state and a rapidly growing state.

Illinois child care providers need resources to serve children with disabilities
Illinois child care providers often lack the resources to serve children with disabilities, study finds.

New form of wound healing revealed by parasitic gut worms
Experiments using parasitic worms in the mouse gut have revealed a surprising new form of wound repair, a finding that could help scientists develop ways to enhance the body's natural healing abilities.

Testosterone increases men's preference for status goods
Testosterone, the male sex hormone, increased men's preference for status goods compared to goods of similar perceived quality but seen as lower in status.

Study: Small talk not as bad as previously thought
People who engage in more substantive conversations tend to be happier, a new study from the University of Arizona confirms.

Efficient synthesis of multi-substituted anilines by domino rearrangement
A new class of aniline derivatives has been produced by researchers at Tohoku University in Japan.

Energizing eggs with a patient's own mitochondria offers no benefit in assisted reproduction
A controversial technique of energizing eggs to improve their quality in assisted reproduction has been shown in an experimental randomized trial to offer no benefit in terms of pregnancy or live birth rate.

Cardiac hybrid imaging an effective tool for predicting heart attacks
Cardiac hybrid imaging with CT and nuclear stress testing is an excellent long-term predictor of adverse cardiac events like heart attacks in patients being evaluated for coronary artery disease, according to a new study.

3D printing achieves more accurate and precise physical models from patient imaging data
Prior to performing a medical procedure, physicians are increasingly relying on access to 3D printed models created using patient-specific medical data.

Milky Way type dust particles discovered in a galaxy 11 billion light years from Earth
An international research team, with participation from the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen, has found the same type of interstellar dust that we know from the Milky Way in a distant galaxy 11 billion light years from Earth.

Ultimate precision for sensor technology using qubits and machine learning
Extracting information quickly from quantum states is necessary for future quantum processors and super-sensitive detectors in existing technologies.

Consciousness is partly preserved during general anaesthesia
Finnish researchers have gained new information on brain activity during general anaesthesia by recording changes in the electrical activity of the brain.

Prenatal exposure to folic acid fortification of foods may reduce mental illness risk
A Massachusetts General Hospital study finds that fortifying grain-based foods with folic acid -- instituted to prevent neural tube defects in infants -- may also reduce the incidence of severe mental illnesses like schizophrenia that initially appear in young adulthood.

Can parents of juvenile offenders still dream?
A new study from Michigan State University published in the Journal of Research on Adolescence reveals that mothers don't lose hope for their sons' futures and potential -- even if they are arrested as a minor.

Increased brain injury markers in response to asymptomatic high-accelerated head impacts
Researchers from the University of Michigan found that serum levels of two biomarkers of traumatic brain injury, tau and ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase L1, are elevated following high-acceleration head impacts, even when there is no clinical diagnosis of concussion.

A perioral soft tissue evaluation after orthognathic surgery
Aesthetic surgeries are performed to correct the facial appearance, which can mean that these processes can sometimes create enormous changes to the face.

Spearfishing makes fishes more timid
Fisheries scientists from the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB) and international colleagues have studied the response of fish in the Mediterranean Sea to spearfishing.

NASA's NuSTAR mission proves superstar Eta Carinae shoots cosmic rays
NASA's NuSTAR space telescope shows that Eta Carinae, the most luminous and massive stellar system within 10,000 light-years, is accelerating cosmic rays.

Rising sea levels could cost the world $14 trillion a year by 2100
Failure to meet the United Nations' 2ºC warming limits will lead to sea level rise and dire global economic consequences, new research has warned.

Highly refined mineral oils in cosmetics
The BfR's risk assessment relates to those mineral oil qualities which comply with the purity requirements for pharmaceuticals and for mineral oil authorized as food additives.

Chronic heart disease poses high financial burden to low-income families
The financial burdens of long-term care for a family member with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) disproportionately affect low-income American families, even those who have insurance, found researchers at Yale University's Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation (CORE) and the University of Texas.

A first look at interstitial fluid flow in the brain
Past research has shown a link between interstitial fluid flow and an increased invasion rate of glioblastoma cells, and biomedical researchers and electrical engineers recently developed a new method to measure and reconstruct interstitial fluid flow velocities in the brain.

Researchers discover new vulnerability in deadly form of lung cancer
Researchers at the Children's Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern (CRI) have discovered a new metabolic vulnerability in small cell lung cancer (SCLC) that can be targeted by existing drug therapies.

Pelvic exams do not help diagnose STDs in adolescent girls, study says
New research shows that pelvic exams do not help diagnose certain STDs in adolescent females.

Study shows where brain transforms seeing into acting
The posterior parietal cortex plays a crucial role in allowing the mammalian brain to turn visual information (such as a green traffic light), into motion (such as stepping on the gas), researchers at MIT's Picower Institute found in a new study.

Feeling young could mean your brain is aging more slowly
While some people are young at heart, others feel older than their age -- and a recent study finds that this 'subjective age' may reflect brain aging.

Molecular oxygen in comet's atmosphere not created on its surface
Scientists have found that molecular oxygen around comet 67P is not produced on its surface, as some suggested, but may be from its body.

'Find your passion' may not be the best advice after all
As the world becomes increasingly interdisciplinary, having diverse interests can help people make important connections across fields, such as between the Arts and Sciences.

Ancestral people of Chaco Canyon likely grew their own food
A multidisciplinary team of experts from the University of Cincinnati determined that the sandy soils of Chaco Canyon were not too salty to grow crops such as maize, beans and squash for the more than 1,200 people who occupied this beautiful but harsh landscape during its most prolific years.

Breakthrough synthesis strategy could mean wave of new medicinal compounds
Florida State scientists have devised a new strategy for synthesizing notoriously difficult carbocyclic 5-8-5 fused ring systems, a molecular structure with broad therapeutic potential.

Testosterone causes men to desire luxury goods
Researchers examine testosterone's effect on men's desire for goods that are considered to have social cachet.

Scientists use CRISPR to tweak butterfly wing color, change wing scale surface structure
Pigments and the fine structure of butterfly wing scales work together to generate a mosaic of colors and patterns that help the insect camouflage or attract mates.

Finding suggest HPV testing detects cervical pre-cancer earlier, more accurately than Pap smear
Nearly all cervical cancers are associated with persistent cervical infection from cancer-related human papillomavirus (HPV) strains.

A bright and vibrant future for seismology
Fiber-optic cables can be used to detect earthquakes and other ground movements.

Building trees: The protein controlling neuron branch growth
A protein called 'MetastasisMetastasis-suppressor 1' (MTSS1) activates one pathway and inhibits another competing pathway, thus playing a dual role that determines how neuron branches in the brain form. 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