Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 04, 2018
Sleep disorder linked with changes to brain structure typical of dementia
Obstructive sleep apnea is associated with changes to the structure of the brain that are also seen in the early stages of dementia, according to a study published in the European Respiratory Journal.

Mothers who follow five healthy habits may reduce risk of obesity in children
Children and adolescents whose mothers follow five healthy habits -- eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, keeping a healthy body weight, drinking alcohol in moderation, and not smoking -- are 75 percent less likely to become obese when compared with children of mothers who did not follow any such habits, according to a new study led by Harvard T.H.

Brain study paves way for therapy for common cause of dementia
Scientists at the University of Edinburgh have uncovered a potential approach to treat one of the commonest causes of dementia and stroke in older people.

New anti-clotting drugs linked to lower risk of serious bleeding
New drugs known as direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) used to treat serious blood clots are associated with reduced risks of major bleeding compared with the older anti-clotting drug, warfarin, finds a study in The BMJ today.

Theory of general relativity proven yet again in new research
In a novel test of Einstein's theory of general relativity, an international group of astronomers has demonstrated that the theory holds up, even for a massive three-star system.

New study questions when the brown bear became extinct in Britain
New research provides insights into the extinction of Britain's largest native carnivore.

Test tube artificial neural network recognizes 'molecular handwriting'
Caltech scientists have developed an artificial neural network out of DNA that can recognize highly complex and noisy molecular information.

Piping plovers want people to get off their lawn
A new study in The Condor: Ornithological Applications presents negative associations between anthropogenic disturbance (human recreational use of beaches, coastal modifications) and piping plovers on their non-breeding grounds.

Anti-Bat-Signal: Moths with larger hindwings and longer tails are best at deflecting bats
Each night, dramatic aerial battles are waged above our heads, complete with barrel rolls, razor-sharp turns, sonar jamming, cloaking devices and life-or-death consequences.

The Gaia Sausage: The major collision that changed the Milky Way galaxy
An international team of astronomers has discovered an ancient and dramatic head-on collision between the Milky Way and a smaller object, dubbed the 'Sausage' galaxy.

Crows are always the bullies when it comes to fighting with ravens
A study from The Auk: Ornithological Advances presents citizen science data which supports that American Crows and Northwestern Crows almost exclusively (97 percent of the time) instigate any aggressive interactions with Common Ravens no matter where in North America.

Frigid polar oceans, not balmy coral reefs, are species-formation hot spots
Tropical oceans teem with the dazzle and flash of colorful reef fishes and contain far more species than the cold ocean waters found at high latitudes.

Our human ancestors walked on two feet but their children still had a backup plan
More than 3 million years ago, our ancient human ancestors, including their toddler-aged children, were standing on two feet and walking upright, according to a new study published in Science Advances.

In India, swapping crops could save water and improve nutrition
India will need to feed approximately 394 million more people by 2050.

To help save northern spotted owls, we need to prevent kissing cousins
The Auk: Ornithological Advances presents a study on a Northern Spotted Owl pedigree, consisting of almost 14,200 individuals over 30 years, which determined inbreeding varies across the species' range.

A diet rich in nuts improves sperm count and motility
The inclusion of nuts in a regular diet significantly improves the quality and function of human sperm, according to results of a randomised trial which measured conventional semen parameters and molecular changes over a 14-week study period.

How 'eavesdropping' African herbivores respond to each other's alarm calls
Many animals live in a world characterised by a bewildering array of signals from other species.

What you eat while pregnant may affect your baby's gut
A mother's diet during pregnancy may have an effect on the composition of her baby's gut microbiome -- the community of bacteria living in the gut -- and the effect may vary by delivery mode, according to study published in the open-access journal Microbiome.

Engineering cooperation
Social dilemmas occur when individual desires clash with group needs.

Asian hornet nests found by radio-tracking
Electronic radio tags could be used to track invasive Asian hornets and stop them colonizing the UK and killing honeybees, new research shows.

Higher ambition needed to meet Paris climate targets
The Joint Research Centre, the European Commission's science and knowledge service, contributes to a growing body of evidence showing the need for ramped up climate action to limit global warming.

Summer fun: How plants beat the heat
Researchers at the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science in Japan have discovered a gene in plants that helps protect them from excessive heat.

Even phenomenally dense neutron stars fall like a feather
Harnessing the exquisite sensitivity of the National Science Foundation's Green Bank Telescope (GBT), astronomers have given one of Einstein's predictions on gravity its most stringent test yet.

Upper and lower plate controls on the 2011 Tohoku-oki earthquake
Researchers at Tohoku University's Department of Geophysics, have been studying the great Tohoku-oki earthquake which occurred on March 11, 2011, to the east of Japan's Honshu Island.

Swimming bacteria work together to go with the flow
Swimming bacteria can reduce the viscosity of ordinary liquids like water and make them flow more easily, sometimes down to the point where the viscosity becomes zero: the flow is then frictionless.

A breakthrough to rescue the Northern White Rhino
Northern White Rhinos (NWR) are functionally extinct, as only two females of this species are left on the planet.

Foot fossil of juvenile hominin exhibits ape-like features
A rare juvenile foot fossil of our early hominin ancestor, Australopithecus afarensis, exhibits several ape-like foot characteristics that could have aided in foot grasping for climbing trees, a new study shows.

Merging antenna and electronics boosts energy and spectrum efficiency
By integrating the design of antenna and electronics, researchers have boosted the energy and spectrum efficiency for a new class of millimeter wave transmitters, allowing improved modulation and reduced generation of waste heat.

New method discovered to view proteins inside human cells
Scientists at the University of Warwick have created a new way to view proteins that are inside human cells.

Expanding primary care buprenorphine treatment could curb opioid overdose crisis
Two physicians from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health write that expanding the availability of medication treatment for opioid use disorder in primary care settings would be a major step toward reducing overdose deaths.

100 times faster broadband is coming: 5G passes first test at University of Sussex
Initial testing on the next generation of mobile technology with the capability of delivering 100 times faster broadband has been successful, engineers at the University of Sussex and collaborators from telecom consultancy firm Plum have confirmed.

Stabilizing endothelial cells could help tackle vascular dementia
Researchers have discovered that stabilizing dysfunctional endothelial cells with approved drugs reverses cellular dysfunction in a rat model of cerebral small vessel disease (SVD), hinting towards a new therapeutic.

Porous materials shed light on environmental purification
An international collaboration between Osaka University, Japan, and the University of Castilla, Spain, developed stable single-crystalline porous hydrogen-bonded organic frameworks that are thermally and chemically durable and have large surface area and fluorescence properties.

Supercoil me! The art of knotted DNA maintenance
Locking DNA knots in place thanks to DNA propensity to be supercoiled.

Children are less likely to be obese if mothers stick to a healthy lifestyle
Children of mothers who follow a healthy lifestyle have a substantially lower risk of developing obesity than children of mothers who don't make healthy lifestyle choices, finds a study published in The BMJ.

Healthy diet may lower eye disease risk
An analysis of recent high-quality research reveals that diet may affect individuals' risks related to the development and progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

New 2D spectroscopy methods
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems.

Combining antibiotics changes their effectiveness
The effectiveness of antibiotics can be altered by combining them with each other, non-antibiotic drugs or even with food additives.

Invaluable to the medical industry, the horseshoe crab is under threat
The biomedical industry depends on blood from horseshoe crabs for drug and environmental safety testing -- but this commercial demand, together with capture for bait, climate change and habitat destruction, is threatening populations of these 'living fossils.' This in turn will detrimentally affect the surrounding ecosystem, such as migratory shorebirds who rely on horseshoe crab eggs for food.

Hi-res image of Structure of the origin recognition complex bound to DNA revealed
The Meier-Gorlin syndrome is a heritable developmental disorder in human.

SATB1 vital for maintenance of hematopoietic stem cells
Osaka University-led researchers revealed that expression of SATB1 was involved in both differences in HSC self-renewal ability and differences in the ability of HSCs to differentiate into lymphocytic lineages.

Caffeine offers clues to ultra-transient positive charges' migration
Caffeine keeps physicists up at night. Particularly those concerned with the capacity of electrons to absorb energy.

Shining new light on the pineal gland
Biologists from the University of Freiburg identify a gene controlling left-right asymmetry in the brain and sleep-wake cycles.

Pathway of Alzheimer's degeneration discovered
Scientists at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital (The Neuro) of McGill University have used a unique approach to track brain degeneration in Alzheimer's disease, uncovering a pathway through which degeneration spreads from one region to another.

New small molecules pave the way for treating autoinflammatory disease
EPFL scientists have discovered two small-molecule compound series that can effectively block a central pathway of the innate immune system, offering a promising new way for treating autoinflammatory diseases.

Higher risk of heart defects in babies of mothers with type 1 diabetes
Pregnant women with type 1 diabetes run a higher risk of having babies with heart defects, especially women with high blood glucose levels during early pregnancy, a study from Karolinska Institutet and the Sahlgrenska Academy in Sweden published in The BMJ shows.

Pneumococcal DNA predicts course of infection
Besides the patient's condition, pneumococcal DNA also appears to provide information about the course of an infection.

Volte-face: Research advises selling electric vehicles to untapped market of women
Highly educated women are an untapped but potentially lucrative market for electric vehicle sales because they have greater environmental and fuel efficiency awareness than men, says a new study by researchers at the University of Sussex and Aarhus University in Denmark.

Snooze mobiles: How vibrations in cars make drivers sleepy
About 20 percent of fatal road crashes involve driver fatigue.

New receptor involved in symbiosis between legumes and nitrogen-fixing rhizobia identified
Legumes are able to grow in nitrogen-poor soils due to their ability to engage in symbiosis with nitrogen-fixing bacteria.

A new study to improve seabird conservation in Patagonian ecosystems
Preserving a 300,000 square km area in Patagonian waters could improve the conservation of 20 percent of the population of sea birds in their natural habitat, according to a study published in the journal Conservation Biology and led by the expert Francisco Ramírez, researcher from the Faculty of Biology and the Biodiversity Research Institute of the University of Barcelona (IRBio).

Global warming may be twice what climate models predict
Future global warming may eventually be twice as warm as projected by climate models under business-as-usual scenarios and even if the world meets the 2°C target sea levels may rise six metres or more, according to an international team of researchers from 17 countries.

Tiny fine particles of global impact -- radiocarbon reveals the origin of black carbon
A technical breakthrough was achieved in the source determination of very small carbon samples at the Accelerator Laboratory and the Laboratory of Chronology of the University of Helsinki. 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