Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 11, 2018
Youth report improved wellbeing as result of tailored mental health services
In a new study, researchers in London, Ontario, partnered with youth receiving care at the First Episode Mood and Anxiety Program at London Health Sciences Centre to better understand personal perspectives on care and treatment outcomes.

Database analysis more reliable than animal testing for toxic chemicals
Advanced algorithms working from large chemical databases can predict a new chemical's toxicity better than standard animal tests, suggests a study led by scientists at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Footwear habits influence child and adolescent motor skill development
Researchers show that children and adolescents who spend most of their time barefoot develop motor skills differently from those who habitually wear shoes.

Step-by-step account of systemic lupus erythematosus development revealed
Osaka University researchers elucidated the pathophysiology of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), an autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation and tissue damage.

Healthy diet reduces asthma symptoms
People who eat a healthy diet experience fewer asthma symptoms and better control of their condition, according to a new study published in the European Respiratory Journal.

Drones survey African wildlife
In collaboration with a nature reserve in Namibia, researchers funded by the SNSF are developing a new approach to counting animals: combining drone flights and automated image analysis.

Blood sample breakthrough good news for pregnant women
A wide range of fetal genetic abnormalities could soon be detected in early pregnancy thanks to a world-first study led by University of South Australia researchers using lab-on-a-chip, noninvasive technology.

Legalizing same-sex marriage increased health care access for gay men: Vanderbilt study
One of the first studies to examine the health impacts of marriage for LGBT individuals shows that legalizing same-sex marriage improved health care access for gay men.

NEJM publishes final results from phase two study showing vaccines can reduce rate of sustained TB infections
Aeras, a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing vaccines against tuberculosis (TB), today announced the publication of the full results from a Phase 2, randomized, controlled clinical trial of two TB vaccines-- the currently available BCG vaccine and an investigational vaccine, H4:IC31--in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).

Success of conservation efforts for important Caribbean Reef fish hinges on climate change
Marine scientists predict climate change might severely hinder efforts to protect populations of the endangered and iconic Nassau grouper by the end of this century.

Researchers identify new compounds to treat RSV, Zika virus
A new and promising class of chemical compounds has major potential for treating Zika virus and respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, according to a new study by University of Alberta scientists.

High prevalence of restrictive lung disease in people with type 2 diabetes
Breathlessness and conditions of restrictive lung disease (RLD), such as pulmonary fibrosis, may be a late complication of type 2 diabetes.

Leading sustainability experts call for more efficient approach to deliver UN goals
Dozens of global sustainability experts and stakeholders have called for urgent action to exploit the connections between goals designed to end poverty, hunger and environmental destruction.

Taming a fatal blood cancer
Scientists at Cincinnati Children's report finding a potential therapeutic target for AML in preclinical laboratory tests on donated human cells and mice.

Study analyzes opioid overdose risk during and after pregnancy among Massachusetts women
A study from a research team consisting of investigators from the Mass.

Measuring the effects of drugs on cancer cells
A new approach established at the University of Zurich sheds light on the effects of anti-cancer drugs and the defense mechanisms of cancer cells.

Discovery of ancient tools in China suggests humans left Africa earlier than previously thought
Ancient tools and bones discovered in China by archaeologists suggest early humans left Africa and arrived in Asia earlier than previously thought.

15-minutes of exercise creates optimal brain state for mastering new motor skills
A recent study in NeuroImage demonstrates that exercise performed immediately after practicing a new motor skill improves its long-term retention.

Do we really buy 'Top-Rated' deals online? New research may surprise you
Anyone who shops online is familiar with those 'top-rated' products or services that rise to the top of their search on e-commerce intermediary sites like Amazon or Expedia.

Uncovering the evolutionary history of IBD-associated colorectal cancer
A team of researchers from Queen Mary University of London have reported the genetic events involved in the early development of bowel cancer in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Most US lawmakers don't look to universities for behavioral health research
A study designed to demystify the way research gets into legislators' hands found that the majority don't look to universities to inform their behavioral health policies.

High intensity exercise in teenagers could ward off heart disease
Research published in Experimental Physiology has indicated potential differences in heart health benefits of exercise intensity in teenagers.

Postmenopausal smokers now have one less excuse not to quit
Smokers give lots of reasons for not quitting smoking, with fear of weight gain ranking as one of the most favored, but a new study that followed smokers from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) confirms that even modest increases in physical activity can minimize weight gain in postmenopausal women after they have quit smoking.

Research shows pesticides influence bee learning and memory
A large-scale study published by researchers from Royal Holloway University of London has drawn together the findings of a decade of agrochemical research to confirm that pesticides used in crop protection have a significant negative impact on the learning and memory abilities of bees.

Eating bone marrow played a key role in the evolution of the human hand
The strength required to access the high calorie content of bone marrow may have played a key role in the evolution of the human hand and explain why primates hands are not like ours, research at the University of Kent has found.

Study raises concern about flame-retardant metabolites in bald eagles
A study finds that chemicals used in flame retardants, plasticizers and other commercial products are broken down through the process of metabolism into other compounds.

People trust scientific experts more than the government even when the evidence is outlandish
Members of the public in the UK and US have far greater trust in scientific experts than the government, according to a new study by Queen Mary University of London.

Recognizing others but not yourself: New insights into the evolution of plant mating
Recognition systems have evolved to ensure that a plant mates only with a genetically different plant and not with itself, hence preventing inbreeding.

T cell engineering breakthrough sidesteps need for viruses in gene-editing
In an achievement that has significant implications for research, medicine, and industry, UC San Francisco scientists have genetically reprogrammed the human immune cells known as T cells without using viruses to insert DNA.

The Lancet Psychiatry: Automated virtual reality-based psychological therapy may help reduce fear of heights
Peer-reviewed / Randomised Controlled Trial / People Psychological therapy delivered by a virtual reality coach can help people with a clinically diagnosed fear of heights overcome their fear, according to a randomised controlled trial of 100 people published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal.

Autism spectrum disorder linked to shape of brain's cerebellum
Structural differences in the cerebellum may be linked to some aspects of autism spectrum disorder, according to a neuroimaging study from Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC).

Men who sexually harass subordinates fear being judged as incompetent
The numerous high-profile men who have recently been accused of sexual harassment may not have been simply exercising their power.

Distinctive projectile point technology sheds light on peopling of the Americas
In the lowest layer of the Area 15 archaeological grounds at the Gault Site in Central Texas, researchers have unearthed a projectile point technology never previously seen in North America, which they date to be at least 16,000 years old, or a time before Clovis.

Giant, recently extinct seabird also inhabited Japan
Fossils discovered in Japan show that an extinct seabird called the spectacled cormorant, that was originally thought to be restricted to Bering Island, also resided in Japan nearly 120,000 years ago; indicating that the bird was a relict.

Breakthrough in construction of computers for mimicking human brain
A computer built to mimic the brain's neural networks produces similar results to that of the best brain-simulation supercomputer software currently used for neural-signaling research.

New study: LDL quality is a novel, modifiable cardiovascular risk marker
The presence of sticky, aggregation-prone LDL in circulation is an independent predictor of cardiovascular death.

New research may lead to a different strategy of cycling teams in escape attempts
A new study, published in the Journal of Wind Engineering & Industrial Aerodynamics, based on wind tunnel research on a peloton of 121 cyclists may explain why so few 'breakaways' in professional cycling races, like this year's Tour de France, are successful.

Most black adults have high blood pressure before age 55
Approximately 75 percent of black men and women develop high blood pressure by age 55 compared to 55 percent of white men and 40 percent of white women of the same age.

Rhino sperm from the cold
A new mixture of cryoprotectives allows for an unprecedented high motility of frozen rhinoceros sperm after thawing, report scientists from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (Leibniz-IZW) in Berlin, Germany.

How a Mediterranean diet could reduce osteoporosis
Eating a Mediterranean-type diet could reduce bone loss in people with osteoporosis -- according to new research from the University of East Anglia.

Developmental disabilities reported in HIV-positive children in South Africa
HIV-positive children in South Africa are more likely to have developmental disabilities compared to children who are HIV negative.

NIAID dcientists create 3D structure of 1918 influenza virus-like particles
Virus-like particles (VLPs) are protein-based structures that mimic viruses and bind to antibodies.

Engineered cancer cells can fight primary and metastatic cancer
A new study leverages the power of gene editing, capitalizing on cancer cells' self-homing ability to take a critical step toward using cancer cells to kill cancer.

Study finds no increased risk of womb or breast cancer after fertility treatment
Researchers report no increased risk of womb cancer or invasive breast cancer after assisted reproduction in a study of over 250,000 British women published by The BMJ today.

University of Montana ecology professor helps map climate corridors
The corridors of land vital for many wildlife species in the face of climate change often are unprotected.

The first endemic Baltic Sea fish species received its name
Researchers at the University of Helsinki discovered and named a new endemic fish species in the Baltic Sea, the 'Baltic flounder,' Platichthys solemdali.

Reining in soil's nitrogen chemistry
The compound urea is currently the most popular nitrogen soil fertilizer.

Deep in the fly brain, a clue to how evolution changes minds
A new study sheds light on the mystery of how evolution tweaks the brain to shape behavior.

Hurricane Chris's eye stares at NASA's Aqua satellite
When NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the US Eastern seaboard, it captured an infrared image of Hurricane Chris that showed an eye staring back at the satellite.

Researchers identify cost-cutting option in treating nail fungus with nanotechnology
Adam Friedman, M.D., professor of dermatology at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences, and his team investigated the use of nanotechnology to improve efinaconazole treatment and make it more cost effective.

New research could banish guilty feeling for consuming whole dairy products
Enjoying full-fat milk, yogurt, cheese and butter is unlikely to send people to an early grave, according to new research by The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).

Simpler interferometer can fine tune even the quickest pulses of light
A super compact interferometer developed by the lab of Chunlei Guo, professor of optics at the University of Rochester, will give scientists an unprecedented ability to fine tune even the quickest pulses of light for a host of applications, and could render traditional instruments for measuring light beams obsolete.

Cleaning out pollen shells (video)
As allergy season intensifies, many people are cursing pollen -- the powdery substance released by plants for reproduction.

ACA credited with earlier diagnosis of gynecologic cancers in young women
The gains in insurance coverage with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) have already translated into improved health for young women with gynecologic cancers, who are getting diagnosed at earlier stages of their disease because of ACA benefits.

Why randomized trials for proton therapy are difficult to complete (and what we can do about it)
Commercial insurance medical policies that do not cover treatment with proton therapy can make it difficult for patients to participate in randomized clinical trials funded by the NCI, part of the National Institutes of Health, that are evaluating the therapy.

New informatics tool makes the most of genomic data
The rise of genomics, the shift from considering genes singly to collectively, is adding a new dimension to medical care; biomedical researchers hope to use the information contained in human genomes to make better predictions about individual health, including responses to therapeutic drugs.

Preoperative opioid use by patients having surgery
Nearly 1 in 4 patients undergoing surgery at an academic medical center reported preoperative opioid use in a study of about 34,000 patients who underwent surgery from 2010-2016.

A fish that subtracts its own electric signals to better 'see' through its murky habitat
The elephant-nose fish Gnathonemus petersii relies on electricity to find food and navigate through the obstacles riddling its native murky African rivers.

Study examines emergency department suicide prevention intervention
Patients who are suicidal often seek care at a hospital emergency department (ED).

Study charts the landscape of mosaic chromosomal alterations in blood cells
A study by investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard and the Broad Institute developed a new technique for detecting a type of clonal hematopoiesis known as mosaic chromosomal alterations, which involve mutations that affect large chunks of chromosomes.

Using light for next-generation data storage
Tiny, nano-sized crystals of salt encoded with data using light from a laser could be the next data storage technology of choice, following research by Australian scientists.

Salamanders show more resistance to global warming than previously believed
The southern Appalachian Mountains are home to 10 percent of global salamander diversity.

DNA marks in adults tracked back to changes in earliest days of life
Scientists have gained a glimpse of how marks on our genes that could be linked to adverse health outcomes in later life behave differently in the first few days after conception, according to new research published in Science Advances.

Gastrointestinal flora -- the culprit for severe lung damage after blood transfusion
Knowledge that the gastrointestinal flora affects both healthy physiological processes and various disease mechanisms has increased in recent years.

New study in electric fish reveals brain mechanisms for distinguishing self from other
The brain's remarkable ability to perceive the outside world relies almost entirely on its capacity to tune out noise generated by the body's own actions, according to a first-of-its-kind study in electric fish led by scientists at Columbia University.

Soccer headers may be linked to balance problems
Soccer players who head the ball more often may be more likely to have balance problems than players who do not head the ball as often, according to a preliminary study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's Sports Concussion Conference in Indianapolis July 20-22, 2018.

Snorts indicate positive emotions in horses
New evidence that horses reliably produce more snorts in favorable situations could improve animal welfare practices, according to a study published July 11 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Mathilde Stomp of the Université de Rennes, France, and colleagues.

Healthier hearts equal healthier guts
Heart health and gut health may be linked. A new study by San Francisco State University researchers finds that people with better cardiovascular fitness have more of a certain type of bacteria in their gut.

NASA sees Typhoon Maria make landfall in China
The Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core satellite analyzed Typhoon Maria in 3D as it made landfall in southeastern China.

Researchers design delivery system to treat premature infants with NEC
Researchers at Nationwide Children's Hospital have developed Lactobacillus reuteri biofilm formulations that protect against experimental necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC).

Kidney podocytes, all grown up
Unlike other human stem cells, Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) can be produced directly from adult cells.

Combination treatment fortifies the aging immune system
Scientists have found that a combination treatment safely enhances the ability of the immune system to fight infections in the elderly.

Higher blood pressure may be linked to brain disease, Alzheimer's
Older people who have higher blood pressure may have more signs of brain disease, specifically brain lesions, according to a study published in the July 11, 2018, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Bubbles and whispers -- glass bubbles boost nanoparticle detection
OIST-fabricated sensor detects tiny particles with field of bouncing light.

New gears in your sleep clock
Researchers find that a key circadian clock controlling kinase, CK1D -- controlling the stability of PER2 -- has two forms, one that stabilizes PER2 and one that destabilizes it.

Rise of the clones
Researchers discover new clues about a recently identified blood cell condition known as clonal hematopoiesis, implicated in hematologic cancers, cardiovascular illness.

Hepatitis C vaccine could dramatically reduce transmission in people who inject drugs
Among the most serious consequences of the opioid epidemic is the spread of hepatitis C among injecting drug users.

Tiny fern holds big environmental promise
A tiny fern -- with each leaf the size of a gnat -- may provide global impact for sinking atmospheric carbon dioxide, fixing nitrogen in agriculture and shooing pesky insects from crops.

Researchers clarify role of mutations in glioblastoma
Researchers from the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center investigated whether the location of the mutation within the sequence of the PIK3CA gene affected the mutation's ability to help drive growth of glioblastoma tumors.

Scoping magnetic fields out for prevention
Concerns about the effects of magnetic fields on human health require us to limit our exposure to them.

Robotic surgery as effective as open surgery for bladder cancer
Robotic surgery is as effective as traditional open surgery in treating bladder cancer, according to a landmark study published in the journal Lancet.

High-fidelity quantum secret sharing prevents eavesdropping
Eavesdropping is of concern for secrets shared using quantum scale messengers.

Here's why it's important to support your breastfeeding co-workers
Support from female co-workers may be even more important to new moms who are breastfeeding than getting encouragement from their significant others, close friends and relatives, says a new study.

Living in greener neighborhoods is associated with slower cognitive decline in elderly
Contact with greenspace is known to have beneficial effects for mental health.

The highly complex sugarcane genome has finally been sequenced
Sugarcane was the last major cultivated plant to have its genome sequenced.

A study points to new therapeutic targets for tumors associated with chronic inflammation
Scientists headed by ICREA researcher Angel R. Nebreda at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) report a new mechanism that contributes to the development of inflammation-associated colon cancer and points to new therapeutic targets.

Undergraduate research makes for better science
The BioScience Talks podcast ( features discussions of topical issues related to the biological sciences.

Rainy weather predicts bird distribution -- but climate change could disrupt it
Understanding what environmental cues birds use to time their annual migrations and decide where to settle is crucial for predicting how they'll be affected by a shifting climate.

Colorful celestial landscape
New observations with ESO's Very Large Telescope show the star cluster RCW 38 in all its glory.

NASA surveys hurricane damage to Puerto Rico's forests
On Sept. 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria barreled across Puerto Rico with winds of up to 155 miles per hour and battering rain that flooded towns, knocked out communications networks and destroyed the power grid.

The perfect terahertz beam -- thanks to the 3D printer
Terahertz radiation can be used for a wide variety of applications and is used today for airport security checks just as much as it is for material analysis in the lab.

7,000 strokes prevented as GPs improve diagnosis and treatment of atrial fibrillation
Around 7,000 strokes each year are being prevented thanks to GPs more than doubling the number of patients at high risk being prescribed with blood thinning drugs, University of Birmingham researchers have found.

New guidelines label millions more people as having high blood pressure
Adopting new guidelines for high blood pressure (hypertension) would dramatically increase the number of people labeled as having the condition and being recommended for drug treatment, finds a study published by The BMJ today.

Enzyme discovery could help in fight against TB
Research by a team led by Dr. Elizabeth Fullam has revealed new findings about an enzyme found in Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), the bacterium that causes TB.

Intimate partner violence doesn't end with the relationship
Violence that occurs between intimate partners does not end with the relationship's conclusion, yet few resources exist to help survivors move beyond the betrayal of abusive relationships in order to begin new, healthy relationships.

Airbnb benefits white neighborhoods; not so for black and Hispanic areas
Tourism activity in areas with a rise in Airbnb rentals could spill over into complementary industries, such as the restaurant business, unless those neighborhoods are predominantly black or Hispanic, a new study suggests.

Worker bees select royal (sub)family members, not their own supersisters, to be new queens
When honey bees need a new emergency queen, they forego the chance to promote members of their own worker subfamilies, opting instead to nurture larvae of 'royal' subfamilies, according to a study published July 11 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology by James Withrow and David Tarpy of North Carolina State University in Raleigh.

Centenary of cosmological constant lambda
Physicists are now celebrating the 100th anniversary of the cosmological constant.

Reaching for tissues at the symphony? It's probably solo time
A new study helps illuminate the ways in which a composer might intentionally impart sadness into the lines of an orchestral piece.

Dodder genome sequencing sheds light on evolution of plant parasitism
To gain insight into the evolution of dodders, and provide important resources for studying the physiology and ecology of parasitic plants, the laboratory of Dr.

The secret life of lobster (trade): Could we be in hot water?
In today's hyper-connected world, a growing number of nations are acting as 'middlemen' in the seafood supply chain.

If you build it, the birds will come -- if it meets their criteria
A study published in The Condor: Ornithological Applications presents a case study on how bird surveys can better inform conservation and vegetation restoration efforts.

Allergic reactions to foods are milder in infants
Majority of infants with food-induced anaphylaxis present with hives and vomiting, suggesting there is less concern for life-threatening response to early food introduction.

Fuzzy yellow bats reveal evolutionary relationships in Kenya
DNA analysis of fuzzy yellow bats in Kenya revealed at least two new species unknown to science.

NASA's GPM finds Beryl's remnants raining on the Bahamas
The remnant thunderstorms from former Tropical Storm Beryl were bringing some areas of heavy rain to the Bahamas when the GPM satellite passed overhead.

Scientists discover Earth's youngest banded iron formation in western China
The discovery of Earth's youngest-ever banded iron formation is changing how scientists understand the evolution of complex life, according to a study by University of Alberta geologists.

Organ regeneration is no longer a distant dream
Researchers at Osaka University used live imaging of the Drosophila embryonic hindgut and computer simulations to clarify that a novel cellular behavior called 'cell sliding' was important for the LR asymmetric morphogenesis of the organ.

Eradicate rats to bolster coral reefs
New research has confirmed that invasive rats decimate seabird populations, with previously unrecognized consequences for the extensive coral reefs that encircle and protect these islands.

New research provides insight into why US residents seek abortion medication online
Seeking abortion medications online can be a response to clinic access barriers both in states with and without restrictive abortion laws and can occur when self-managed abortion is preferred over clinical care.

Stress affects people with schizophrenia differently, CAMH study shows
Stressful situations affect the brain and body differently in people with schizophrenia compared to people without the mental illness or individuals at high risk for developing psychosis, a new CAMH study shows.

Why are neuron axons long and spindly? Study shows they're optimizing signaling efficiency
A team of bioengineers at UC San Diego has answered a question that has long puzzled neuroscientists, and may hold a key to better understanding the complexities of neurological disorders: Why are neuron axons designed the way they are?

Researchers couple artificial atom to acoustic resonator
Researchers from Russia and Britain have demonstrated an artificial quantum system, in which a quantum bit interacts with an acoustic resonator in the quantum regime.

Humans evolved in partially isolated populations scattered across Africa
The textbook narrative of human evolution casts Homo sapiens as evolving from a single ancestral population in one region of Africa around 300,000 years ago.

Ebola survivors suffer from severe neurological problems
Researchers have shed new light on the psychiatric and neurological problems that Ebola survivors can suffer from, and call for more specialist support for the most severely affected patients.

What is the association between asthma and atrial fibrillation risk?
Researchers report moderately increased risks for atrial fibrillation (AF), an irregular and often rapid heart rate, in adults with asthma and a lack of asthma control in a study that included about 54,000 individuals in Norway, although underlying causes for the association still need to be understood.

A step closer to single-atom data storage
Physicists at EPFL used Scanning Tunneling Microscopy to successfully test the stability of a magnet made up of a single atom.

ACP Says genetic testing to reunite separated families should meet ethical principles
In a new policy issued today, the American College of Physicians (ACP) stated that immigrant families who have been separated at the border should be reunited as expeditiously as possible.

Optimizing pulsed electric fields to target cancer with calcium ions
When applied to cells, pulsed electric fields increase membrane permeability.

Our fractured African roots
A scientific consortium led by Dr. Eleanor Scerri, British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Oxford and researcher at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, has found that human ancestors were scattered across Africa, and largely kept apart by a combination of diverse habitats and shifting environmental boundaries, such as forests and deserts.

Practice imperfect: repeated cognitive testing can obscure early signs of dementia
Alzheimer's disease is a progressive, neurodegenerative condition that often begins with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), making early and repeated assessments of cognitive change crucial to diagnosis and treatment.

MSU researchers lead team that discovers heaviest known calcium atom
Researchers from Michigan State University and the RIKEN Nishina Center in Japan discovered eight new rare isotopes of the elements phosphorus, sulfur, chlorine, argon, potassium, scandium and, most importantly, calcium. 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