Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 26, 2018
NIST chip lights up optical neural network demo
Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have made a silicon chip that distributes optical signals precisely across a miniature brain-like grid, showcasing a potential new design for neural networks.

New system can identify drugs to target 'undruggable' enzymes critical in many diseases
A new drug discovery system allows scientists to specifically target members of an important family of enzymes, called phosphatases, which were previously considered mostly 'undruggable'.

The ultimate combination: A 3D-printed optical deep learning network
A newly developed, 3D-printed optical deep learning network allows computational problems to be executed at the speed of light, a new study reports.

The big picture: Mouse memory cells are about experience, not place
When it comes to memory, it's more than just 'location, location, location.' New research suggests that the brain doesn't store all memories in 'place cells,' the main type of neuron in the hippocampus, a structure crucial for navigation and memory.

Zebrafish interactions offer help in studying social behavior disorders
University of Oregon scientists have identified brain cells vital to how zebrafish socialize.

Galaxy outskirts likely hunting grounds for dying massive stars and black holes
Findings from a Rochester Institute of Technology study provide further evidence that the outskirts of spiral galaxies host massive black holes.

Aging overweight scuba divers at risk of underwater heart attack
Older, overweight scuba divers are being urged to shed pounds to avoid an underwater heart attack.

Molecules from breast milk and seaweed suggest strategies for controlling norovirus
New research from several universities in Germany, to be published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, suggests that it may be easier than anticipated to find a compound that could be used as a food supplement to stop the spread of norovirus in children's hospitals.

Extinct vegetarian cave bear diet mystery unravelled
Until now, very little is known about the dietary evolution of the cave bear and how it became a vegetarian, as the fossils of the direct ancestor, the Deninger's bear (Ursus deningeri), are extremely scarce.

Engineers track neural activity, muscle movement in ageless aquatic creatures
Rice University scientists developed microfluidics platforms to study the nervous system of the hydra, a squid-like creature with remarkable regenerative abilities.

Bile acids from the gut could help to treat cocaine abuse
Bile acids that aid fat digestion are also found to reduce the rewarding properties of cocaine use, according to a study publishing on July 26 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology by India Reddy, Nicholas Smith, and Robb Flynn of Vanderbilt University, Aurelio Galli of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and colleagues.

Enduring 'radio rebound' powered by jets from gamma-ray burst
Astronomers using ALMA studied a cataclysmic stellar explosion known as a gamma-ray burst, or GRB, and found its enduring 'afterglow.' The rebound, or reverse shock, triggered by the GRB's powerful jets slamming into surrounding debris, lasted thousands of times longer than expected.

Glaciers in East Antarctica also 'imperiled' by climate change, UCI researchers find
A team of scientists from the University of California, Irvine has found evidence of significant mass loss in East Antarctica's Totten and Moscow University glaciers, which, if they fully collapsed, could add 5 meters (16.4 feet) to the global sea level.

Researchers identify new arthritis severity gene
The finding could lead to targeted therapies for chronic conditions.

Researchers develop model on how brain reward response may impact anorexia nervosa
Researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus have found that the brain's response to taste stimuli is linked to high anxiety and a drive for thinness that could play a role in driving anorexia nervosa.

ASU study finds animals can use muscle as an internal water source
A new Arizona State University study shows for the first time that animals may be able to use their own muscles to get water when it's not available.

New screening approach reveals importance of microRNAs in papillomavirus life cycle
The discovery of microRNAs encoded by papillomaviruses supports the important role of these small molecules in persistent infection, according to a study published July 26 in the open-access journal PLOS Pathogens.

Flood detection a surprising capability of microsatellites mission
Hurricanes bring heavy rainfall and strong winds to coastal communities, a potent combination that can lead to devastating damage.

Naturalistic driving study investigates self-regulation behavior in early Alzheimer's disease
Driving is a complex task that involves perceptual, motor and cognitive abilities.

Unusual rare earth compound opens doorway to new class of functional materials
Scientists at the US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory have discovered an earlier unknown discontinuous magnetoelastic transition in a rare-earth intermetallic.

Theorists find mechanism behind nearly pure nanotubes from the unusual catalyst
Rice University scientists decode the unusual growth characteristic of carbon nanotubes that start out as one chirality but switch to another, resulting in nearly homogenous batches of single-walled nanotubes.

New technique offers faster, safer way to optimize industrial chemical reactions
Researchers have developed a flow-based high-throughput screening technology that offers a faster, safer and less expensive means of identifying optimum conditions for performing high-pressure/high-temperature catalytic chemical reactions.

Surrey develops ground-breaking flexible X-ray detector
New X-ray detector technology developed at the University of Surrey could lead to mammogram machines tailor-made to individual patients as well as more accurate security screenings at airports.

Adherence to healthy diets associated with lower cancer risk
A diet that encourages both healthy eating and physical activity and discourages alcohol consumption was associated with a reduced overall cancer risk, as well as lower breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer risks.

Breakthrough in industrial CO2 usage
Professor Arne Skerra of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has succeeded for the first time in using gaseous CO2 as a basic material for the production of a chemical mass product in a biotechnical reaction.

Mosquito screening useful in monitoring lymphatic filariasis re-emergence
To ensure elimination of the Wuchereria bancrofti, a parasitic roundworm that causes lymphatic filariasis, public health workers must follow up mass drug administration with careful monitoring for recurrence.

New ceria nanoparticles attack Parkinson's disease from three fronts
The IBS research team has developed a set of nanoparticles for Parkinson's disease treatment.

Mysteries of Okinawan habu venom decoded
Scientists from OIST have helped sequence the entire genome of the Okinawan habu.

IIASA researchers help EU states assess forestry's role in achieving climate commitments
IIASA researchers have led the development of new guidance for EU member states estimating greenhouse gas emissions and removals from their forests and developing plans to show how they will account for these emissions and removals in the future.

Software recreates complex movements for medical, rehabilitation, and basic research
An open-source movement simulator that has already helped solve problems in medicine, paleontology, and animal locomotion has been expanded and improved, according to a new publication in the open-access journal PLOS Computational Biology.

Tropical Storm Jongdari gearing up to become a Typhoon
NOAA/NASA's Suomi NPP satellite provided a visible look at Tropical Storm Jongdari in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean on July 26.

Neurobiology: Finding one's way home
The otic placode gives rise to the inner ear in vertebrates.

Previously overlooked 'coral ticks' weaken degraded reefs
A previously overlooked predator-- a thumbnail-sized snail --could be increasing the pressure on coral reefs already weakened by the effects of overfishing, rising ocean temperatures, pollution and other threats.

Non-invasive, ultrasound-based approach for pocket depth measurements
At the 96th General Session of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR), held in conjunction with the IADR Pan European Regional (PER) Congress, Jesse Jokerst, University of California, San Diego, USA gave an oral presentation titled 'Non-Invasive, Ultrasound-based Approach for Pocket Depth Measurements.'

Previously undiagnosed neurological disorder linked to gene IRF2BPL
Researchers discovered mutations of gene IRF2BPL that are associated with a previously undiagnosed neurological disorder.

Google unveils new virtual reality experience at ACM SIGGRAPH 2018
Google Inc. has unveiled a new virtual reality (VR) immersive experience based on a novel system that captures and renders high-quality, realistic images from the real world using light fields.

To keep more carbon on the ground, halting farmland expansion is key
The conversion of forests to farmland is recognized as a major contributor to rising levels of greenhouse gases.

Exploring the microbial dark matter of the human mouth
At the 96th General Session of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR), held in conjunction with the IADR Pan European Regional (PER) Congress, Alexandra Clark, Queen Mary University of London, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, England gave a poster presentation titled 'Exploring the Microbial Dark Matter of the Human Mouth.'

Lynchings of the past affect health today
Counties with higher rates of lynching between 1877 and 1950 showed higher mortality rates between 2010 and 2014.

Traumatic brain injury: Discovery of two molecules could lead to new drug treatments
After 10 years of research, a Rutgers-led team of scientists has identified two molecules that protect nerve cells after a traumatic brain injury and could lead to new drug treatments.

Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde: Study reveals healing mesenchymal cells morph and destroy muscles in models of spinal cord injury, ALS and spinal muscular atrophy
Scientists at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP), in collaboration with the Fondazione Santa Lucia IRCCS in Rome, have discovered a new disease-specific role in FAP cells in the development of muscle tissue wasting, indicating a potential new avenue for treating motor neuron diseases including spinal cord injury, ALS and spinal muscular atrophy.

Tropical treetops are warming, putting sensitive species at risk
New research from FSU scientists show that tropical forest canopies are warming significantly faster than air temperatures.

New family photos of Mars and Saturn from Hubble
In summer 2018 the planets Mars and Saturn are, one after the other, in opposition to Earth.

Rewriting our understanding of gastric tumors
The immune system can be an important ally in the fight against cancer.

New study finds that aging can make it more difficult to swallow
As adults age, they all experience a natural loss of muscle mass and function.

A calmer horse is just a sniff away
Research from the University of Arizona shows the calming benefits of lavender aromatherapy for horses.

New possibilities for using ozonized erythrocyte mass explored by UNN scientists
Lobachevsky University (UNN) researchers focused their attention on ozone therapy as a medical technology that can be successfully applied in the field of physiotherapy of pathological conditions accompanied by tissue hypoxia.

Electricity sparks neuronal diversity during brain development
To understand how neuronal circuits emerge during development, researchers from UNIGE investigated what enables neuronal stem cells to generate successive subtypes of neurons as the embryo grows.

Plant defense mechanisms
Plants have to defend themselves against drought, enemies and disease.

US sexual minorities less likely to be in work or insured than straight peers
Sexual minorities in the US are less likely to be in work or to have health insurance than their straight peers, reveal the results of a large survey, published in the online journal BMJ Open.

Researchers develop a new method to detect nucleation
Scientists studying nucleation often use microscopic droplets as miniature experiments that can run quickly, in parallel, and in a small space.

Engineers use Tiki torches in study of soot, diesel filters
Chemical engineers are using the summer staple in testing methods to improve efficiency of diesel engines.

Size is key in predicting how calcifying organisms will respond to ocean acidification
New research suggests size is the main factor that predicts how calcifying organisms will respond to ocean acidification.

The last wild ocean
The world's marine wilderness is dwindling, according to research from UCSB and the University of Queensland.

Reducing the uncertainty of climate projections
Errors in climate models due to inadequate calculations of radiative forcing undermine researchers' ability to address important climate-related questions, including how much the atmosphere will warm as more and more carbon dioxide (CO2) is released.

Fat production and burning are synchronized in livers of mice with obesity
Mice fed a fattening diet develop new liver circadian rhythms that impact the way fat is accumulated and simultaneously burned.

Just 10 minutes of social interaction a day improves wellbeing in dementia care
The Improving Staff Attitudes and Care for People with Dementia e-Learning (tEACH) study involved 280 residents and care staff in 24 care homes over nine months.

Role of oral microbiota in the severity of chemotherapy-induced oral mucositis
At the 96th General Session of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR), held in conjunction with the IADR Pan European Regional (PER) Congress, Kai Soo Tan, National University of Singapore, gave a oral presentation titled 'Role of Oral Microbiota in the Severity of Chemotherapy-Induced Oral Mucositis.'

Public views of gene editing for babies depend on how it would be used
A new Pew Research Center survey finds a majority of Americans support the idea of using gene editing with the goal of delivering direct health benefits for babies.

Removing malaria-carrying mosquitoes unlikely to affect ecosystems, says report
By combining studies on one species of malaria-carrying mosquito, researchers found that no other animals rely solely on them for food.

5 percent sodium fluoride varnish trial: 18-month results
At the 96th General Session of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR), held in conjunction with the IADR Pan European Regional (PER) Congress, Shiqian Gao, University of Hong Kong, SAR China, gave an oral presentation titled 'Silver Nitrate With Sodium Fluoride for Caries Arrest: 18-month Results.'

Reducing opioid prescriptions for one operation can also spill over to other procedures
Study results show revised recommendations resulted in about 17 fewer pills being dispensed per patient for four major operations.

For spinal fusion surgery patients, taking opioids before surgery is major risk factor for long-term opioid use
Patients taking opioids for at least three months before spinal fusion surgery in the lower spine are much more likely to continue taking opioids one year after surgery, reports a study in Spine.

High-precision on-site analysis of precious metals in metallurgical waste spills
Researchers from Kanazawa University report in Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical the application of a portable and efficient method for the on-site analysis of wastewaters for the quantitative analysis of their gold, platinum and palladium content.

World's marine wilderness is dwindling
An international study led by University of Queensland scientists has found that only 13 per cent of the ocean can still be classified as wilderness.

A spin trio for strong coupling
To make qubits for quantum computers less susceptible to noise, the spin of an electron or some other particle is preferentially used.

IGC scientists discover a tap that controls the flow of pro-inflammatory molecules
One of the major therapeutic targets for inflammatory diseases is TNF.

First mapping of global marine wilderness shows just how little remains
Researchers reporting in Current Biology on July 26 have completed the first systematic analysis of marine wilderness around the world.

Black holes really just ever-growing balls of string, researchers say
Black holes aren't surrounded by a burning ring of fire after all, suggests new research.

New two-dimensional material could revolutionize solar fuel generation
International group of researchers including Brazilian scientists obtain from hematite a new material with application as a photocatalyst, christened 'hematene'.

Specialized approach to open heart surgery saves lives
Patients who undergo coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) -- the most common heart surgery performed -- may live longer and experience fewer complications when under the care of a highly focused surgical team that uses simplified and standardized approaches, according to research published today in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery.

Night-time lighting changes how species interact
Night-time lighting from streetlights and other sources has complex and unexpected effects on communities of plants and animals, new research shows.

Osteoporosis, fracture risk predicted with Stanford-developed genetic screen
A new genetic screen may predict a person's future risk of osteoporosis and bone fracture, according to a study by a researcher at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Mind-body therapies can help teens with anxiety -- The Nurse Practitioner presents review and update
Mind-body therapies -- biofeedback, mindfulness, yoga, and hypnosis -- provide a promising approach to the very common problem of anxiety in adolescents, according to a review in the March issue of The Nurse Practitioner.

Stent retriever thrombectomy effective for longer window after stroke
A new study shows promising real-world outcomes for patients receiving a stent retriever thrombectomy six hours after they experience an acute ischemic stroke (AIS).

Redefining 'small-scale' fishing may help support English fisheries
Researchers at the University of York are calling for a re-evaluation of the definition of 'small-scale' fishing vessels, following a study that shows the impact of these vessels are underestimated.

Can scientists leverage mysterious mossy cells for brain disease treatments?
The scientists, who published their work in Neuron, showed that 'mossy cells' in the hippocampus regulate local stem cells to control their production of new neurons, which is important for normal learning and memory, stress response, and mood regulation.

Tweets prove to be reliable indicator of air quality conditions during wildfires
Whether it is caused by wildfire or prescribed fire, smoke can have serious health ramifications.

First ever study of serious case reviews of sudden unexpected infant deaths conducted
For the first time in England a study has been conducted of official investigations of unexpected infant deaths.

Lectins help social amoeba establish their own microbiome
The social amoeba, a soil-dwelling organism, also carries its own microbiome, and researchers at Baylor College of Medicine have discovered that sugar-binding proteins called lectins are essential for amoebas and bacteria living together.

Europe may thrive on renewable energy despite unpredictable weather
Researchers have shown how long-term weather patterns affect wind and solar renewable energy technologies across Europe.

DEEP study: Modelling persistent orofacial pain management's costs and benefits
At the 96th General Session of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR), held in conjunction with the IADR Pan European Regional (PER) Congress, Justin Durham, Newcastle University, England, gave a poster presentation titled 'DEEP Study: Modelling Persistent Orofacial Pain Management's Costs and Benefits.'

Riding an e-bike promotes fitness and health -- already after four weeks
The role of the e-bike in promoting health and fitness is comparable to that of a conventional bicycle.

Making thread in Bronze Age Britain
Splicing technique identified on 3,800-year-old Cambridgeshire textiles made from plant fibres.

How does air conditioning work? (video)
Air conditioners pull off the seemingly magical feat of making the air inside a home, car or shopping mall deliciously chilly.

Researchers discover system that could reduce neurodegeneration in Huntington's disease
The neuroscientist Dr David Vilchez and his team at CECAD, the University of Cologne's Cluster of Excellence for Aging Research, have made an important step towards understanding the mechanisms that cause the neurodegenerative disorder Huntington's disease.

Solution to medical mystery may help some children avoid bone marrow transplantation
Researchers have helped solve a decades-old mystery about which mutations are responsible for an inherited bone marrow disorder.

Changes to small RNA in sperm may help fertilization
UMass Medical School Professor Oliver J. Rando, M.D., Ph.D., sheds new light on the processes of fertilization and epigenetic inheritance in mammals.

Ant study sheds light on the evolution of workers and queens
A new study in ants identifies a peptide that plays an important role in regulating reproduction.

Researchers report unraveling the immune recognition of nucleic acid nanoparticles
An extensive experiment testing the immune effects of lab-designed nucleic acid nanoparticles found varying and specific responses from various immune cells, depending on each particle's shape and formulation, a finding that may encourage further study of the particles' therapeutic use.

Soundwave-surfing droplets leave no traces
Engineers at Duke University have developed a way to manipulate, split and mix droplets of biological fluids by having them surf on acoustic waves in oil.

How do jumping genes cause disease, drive evolution?
Carnegie researchers developed new techniques to track the mobilization of jumping genes.

Researchers discover thin gap on stellar family portrait
A thin gap has been discovered on the Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram (HRD), the most fundamental of all maps in stellar astronomy, a finding that provides new information about the interior structures of low mass stars in the Milky Way Galaxy, according to a study led by astronomers at Georgia State University.

Gut bacteria byproduct protects against Salmonella, Stanford study finds
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have identified a molecule that serves as natural protection against one of the most common intestinal pathogens, Salmonella.

Evolution of efflux pumps could yield important insights in fighting antibiotic resistance
Different types of efflux pump proteins might have evolved independently, instead of divergently as previously thought.

Risk of later death after donor blood, marrow transplant in childhood
Patients who had donor blood or marrow transplants during childhood continue to be at increased risk of premature death even years after the procedure compared with the general population, although the rate of later death among these transplant patients has decreased over the last three decades.

One gene to rule them all: Regulating eusociality in ants
A single gene associated with insulin signaling likely drove the evolutionary rise of an ant queen's reproductive royalty, researchers suggest.

New hope for rare disorder
Hereditary angioedema is a chronic disorder that can sometimes be life-threatening.

Mathematical analysis explains transpiration-driven sap flow in coniferous trees
The exact science of tree sap transport has puzzled plant physiologists for many years.

MicroRNA panel can identify malignancy in indeterminate thyroid nodules
A panel of 19 microRNAs identified using next-generation sequencing could categorize indeterminate thyroid nodule samples into malignant and benign.

Researchers design a nano-carrier to release drugs into damaged cells
A team headed by Manuel Serrano at IRB Barcelona has designed a drug encapsulation system that selectively targets senescent cells.

Fertilizer destroys plant microbiome's ability to protect against disease
Despite enthusiasm for spraying probiotics on crops to ensure healthy microbiomes, little is known about what a healthy above-ground biome, or phyllosphere, looks like.

Genetic variation may increase risk of liver damage in patients with chronic hepatitis B
A new study has shown that genetic variation may increase the risk of severe liver damage in Caucasians with chronic hepatitis B infection.

Researchers discover chemical reaction that uses a surprising molecule
UCLA researchers report in the journal Science they have discovered a chemical reaction that might someday be used to process petroleum into useful compounds.

End-of-life conversations with nonclinical worker bring patient satisfaction, lower costs
Patients with advanced cancer who spoke with a trained nonclinical worker about personal goals for care were more likely to talk with doctors about their preferences, report higher satisfaction with their care and incur lower health costs in their final month of life, Stanford University School of Medicine researchers report.

Changes to sperm's small RNA in the epididymis may help ensure mouse embryos implant
This week, Louise Brown, the first person born after conception by in vitro fertilization (IVF), celebrates her 40th birthday.

Ability to identify genuine laughter transcends culture, UCLA-led study finds
People across cultures are largely able to tell the difference between a fake laugh and a real one, according to a new study led by UCLA's Greg Bryant.

Einstein's general relativity confirmed near black hole
Observations made with ESO's Very Large Telescope have for the first time clearly revealed the effects of Einstein's general relativity on the motion of a star passing through the extreme gravitational field very close to the supermassive black hole in the center of the Milky Way. 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