Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 30, 2018
Experimental drug reverses hair loss and skin damage linked to fatty diet, shows new study in mice
In a series of experiments with mice, Johns Hopkins investigators have used an experimental compound to successfully reverse hair loss, hair whitening and skin inflammation linked by previous studies to human diets heavy in fat and cholesterol.

Parental depression linked to kids' increased use of health services
Parental ill health, especially depression, is linked to heightened use of health services, including emergency care, among their children, finds research published today in the online journal BMJ Paediatrics Open.

'Smart' machine components alert users to damage and wear
Scientists at the United Technologies Research Center and UConn used advanced additive manufacturing technology to create 'smart' machine components that alert users when they are damaged or worn.

Harnessing hair loss gene could improve cancer immunotherapy
Researchers at Columbia found that a gene associated with an autoimmune form of hair loss may be activated to boost cancer immunotherapy.

Cannabinoid improves survival rates of mice with pancreatic cancer
Mice with pancreatic cancer that were treated with a naturally occurring constituent of medicinal cannabis alongside chemotherapy, survived almost three times longer than those treated with chemotherapy alone, a new study reports.

Sequencing a malaria mosquito's motherline
A team led by scientists from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has sequenced and annotated the first complete mitochondrial genome of Anopheles funestus, one of the main vectors of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa.

Being overweight may change young adults' heart structure, function
Being overweight may cause higher blood pressure and changes to the heart's structure, even in young adults.

Scientists discover a dynamic cellular defense against breast cancer invasion
Johns Hopkins researchers report they have demonstrated in mouse tissue grown in the lab that the cell layer surrounding breast milk ducts reaches out to grab stray cancer cells to keep them from spreading through the body.

Lasers write better anodes
Laser-scribed disordered graphene significantly improves sodium-ion battery capacity.

Scientists took another step towards creating an HIV vaccine
Scientific group of Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University headed by Professor Andrei Kozlov published the results of a study devoted to the search of solutions for creating the HIV vaccine.

UH researchers report new understanding of deep earthquakes
Researchers from the University of Houston have for the first time reported a way to analyze seismic wave radiation patterns in deep earthquakes to suggest global deep earthquakes are in anisotropic rocks.

Study suggests journalists must take care in reporting on suicide
Note to media: We have not included specific methods of suicide in the press release and ask that journalists avoid listing them to prevent the kind of contagion found in the study.

DNA repair after CRISPR cutting not at all what people thought
UC Berkeley scientists discovered that a well-known DNA repair pathway, the Fanconi anemia pathway, surprisingly plays a key role in repairing double-strand DNA breaks created by CRISPR-Cas9.

Many young people don't know when female and male fertility declines, study finds
Most students underestimate the impact of female and male age on fertility, new research published in Human Fertility finds.

Memory-processing unit could bring memristors to the masses
A new way of arranging advanced computer components called memristors on a chip could enable them to be used for general computing, which could cut energy consumption by a factor of 100.

Supercomputing the 'how' of chemical reactions
Chemists from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley used supercomputers at the Texas Advanced Computing Center to explore the molecular structure of a class of organometallic compounds.

The heritability of anxiety
Individual differences in the connectivity between regions of the brain involved in fear and anxiety are heritable, according to a large study of hundreds of related monkeys published in JNeurosci.

Homelessness in infancy linked to poor health outcomes for children and mothers
A new study led by researchers from Children's HealthWatch, a research and policy network headquartered at Boston Medical Center (BMC), shows infants under 12 months old who experience homelessness are at-risk of poor health and development compared to their peers in housed families.

Plate tectonics not needed to sustain life
There may be more habitable planets in the universe than we previously thought, according to Penn State geoscientists, who suggest that plate tectonics -- long assumed to be a requirement for suitable conditions for life -- are in fact not necessary.

Platinum is key in ancient volcanic related climate change, says UC Nature publication
UC interdisciplinary research team looks at platinum for clues to stay ahead of future high magnitude volcanic related climate change.

Individual silver nanoparticles observed in real time
Chemists at Ruhr-Universit├Ąt Bochum have developed a new method of observing the chemical reactions of individual silver nanoparticles, which only measure a thousandth of the thickness of a human hair, in real time.

In a Weyl thermopile
A new way to generate electricity in special materials called Weyl magnets has been discovered by physicists at the University of Tokyo.

Pair of colliding stars spill radioactive molecules into space
Astronomers have made the first definitive detection of a radioactive molecule in interstellar space: a form, or isotopologue of aluminum monofluoride (26AlF).

Great tit birds have as much impulse control as chimpanzees
Biologists at Lund University in Sweden have in a recent study shown that the great tit, a common European songbird, has a tremendous capacity for self-control.

A new climate model can predict dengue outbreaks in the Caribbean region
The risk of outbreaks is highest after a period of drought followed by intense rainfall several months later

Do bacteria ever go extinct? New research says yes, bigtime
Bacteria go extinct at substantial rates, although appear to avoid the mass extinctions that have hit larger forms of life on Earth, according to new research from the University of British Columbia (UBC), Caltech, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Researchers reveal hidden rules of genetics for how life on Earth began
All living things use the genetic code to 'translate' DNA-based genetic information into proteins, which are the main working molecules in cells.

Looking inside the lithium battery's black box
Columbia University researchers report the use of SRS microscopy, a technique widely used in biomedical studies, to explore the mechanism behind dendrite growth in lithium batteries, the first team of material scientists to directly observe ion transport in electrolytes.

Diversity and education influence India's population growth
Differences within India's population influence population projections for years to come, according to research conducted by IIASA and the Asian Demographic Research Institute.

Diet matters less than evolutionary relationships in shaping gut microbiome
In the largest published comparative dataset of non-human primate gut microbiomes to date, a new Northwestern University study set out to find whether leaf-eating primates have similar gut microbes that help them break down their leafy diet, which is full of fiber and toxins.

Trapping light that doesn't bounce off track for faster electronics
A new protective metamaterial 'cladding' prevents light from leaking out of the very curvy pathways it would travel in a computer chip.

NASA finds development of Tropical Depression 16W
Tropical Depression 16W formed in the northwestern Pacific Ocean despite vertical wind shear.

Natural habitat can help farmers control pests, but not always a win-win
Natural habitat surrounding farm fields is not always an effective pest-control tool for farmers worldwide, according to analysis of the largest pest-control database of its kind.

Lack of a single molecule may indicate severe and treatment-resistant depression
Researchers find that a deficiency of acetyl-L-carnitine is associated with a particular subtype of depression.

Poll: Older adults support opioid Rx limits, need better counseling on use & disposal
Nearly a third of older adults have received a prescription for an opioid pain medicine in the past two years, but many didn't get enough counseling about the risks that come with the potent painkillers, how to reduce their use, when to switch to a non-opioid option, or what to do with leftover pills, a new poll finds.

Inflammation inhibitor delivered directly to kidneys reverses course of destructive nephritis
Using a manmade version of a human antibody to directly deliver a drug that inhibits a powerful driver of inflammation, can reverse a disease course that often leads to kidney failure and dialysis, investigators report.

Brexit will be very bad for the NHS, survey of UK doctors reveals
UK doctors think Britain's exit from the European Union (EU), dubbed Brexit, will be very bad for the NHS, reveal the results of an anonymised survey of their political beliefs and voting patterns, published online in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

Depression linked to low blood levels of acetyl-L-carnitine
People with depression have low blood levels of a substance called acetyl-L-carnitine, according to a Stanford University School of Medicine scientist and her collaborators in a multicenter study

Injectable trace minerals improve oxidative stress after aflatoxin challenge in dairy cows
When dairy cattle consume aflatoxin-contaminated feed, they are lethargic, their appetite wanes, they produce less milk, and their immune system goes awry.

GRAVITY confirms predictions of general relativity
Observations made with the Very Large Telescope (VLT) of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) have, for the first time, detected the effects of general relativity predicted by Einstein, in the movement of a star passing into the intense gravitational field of Sagittarius A*, a massive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way.

Smaller plates don't help you eat less when you're hungry -- Ben-Gurion U. research
The new study, published in Appetite, debunks the popular diet trick based on the Delbouef illusion that predicts people will identify sizes differently when they are placed within a larger or smaller object.

Targeting gene mutations to treat ovarian cancers
New research has shown that ovarian cancer patients with a tumour mutation in the BRAF gene respond exceptionally well to treatment with targeted drugs, known as BRAF inhibitors.

Merge attack: Scientists find mechanism of virus penetration into living cell
Viruses often present the main threat to the human body, with diseases like HIV, Herpes, Hepatitis, Ebola and forms of influenza, causing serious damage.

UB psychologist proposes whales use song as sonar
A University at Buffalo psychologist has proposed in a newly published paper that humpback whales may use song for long-range sonar.

Extreme conditions in semiconductors
Physicists from the Universities of Konstanz, Paderborn and ETH Zurich have succeeded in experimentally demonstrating Wannier-Stark localization

Research identifies key weakness in modern computer vision systems
In a finding that could point the way toward better computer vision systems, Brown University researchers show why computers are so bad at seeing when one thing is not like another.

Microfluidic system incorporates neuroinflammation into 'Alzheimer's in a dish' model
Building on their development of the first culture system to replicate fully the pathology behind Alzheimer's disease, a Massachusetts General Hospital research team has now produced a system that includes neuroinflammation, the key biological response that leads to the death of brain cells.

Marshall University researchers identify inflammatory biomarkers in T cells
The Marshall University School of Pharmacy, in collaboration with the Marshall University Joan C.

NASA sees Tropical Depression Jongdari stretched out
Wind shear is stretching out Tropical Storm Jongdari and NASA's Aqua satellite captured and image that showed the oval-shaped storm.

Beetle named after actress & biologist Isabella Rossellini for her series about animals
A new species of beetle with remarkable genitalia that hint at a curious evolutionary 'sexual arms race' has been described from Malaysian Borneo.

Fear of litigation is a key factor in decision to perform C-sections
Fear of litigation and perceived safety concerns and are among the key factors influencing the decision to perform a caesarean section, according to a major international literature review conducted by researchers at the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin.

Illuminating electronics: Researchers construct all-optical pocket calculator
New findings from Aalto University have the potential to change how electronics process logic functions, the elementary building blocks of computing.

Research solves a 160-year-old mystery about the origin of skeletons
Scientists at the University of Manchester and the University of Bristol have used powerful X-rays to peer inside the skeletons of some of our oldest vertebrate relatives, solving a 160-year-old mystery about the origin of our skeletons.

Blue crystals in meteorites show that our sun went through the 'terrible twos'
By examining tiny blue crystals trapped inside meteorites, scientists were able to figure out what the sun was like before the Earth formed -- and apparently, it had a pretty rowdy start.

How time affects learning
Associations between neutral stimuli and monetary rewards are strengthened over the course of weeks, according to a human study published in JNeurosci that investigated learning over an extended period of time.

Why BACE inhibitors may be failing Alzheimer's trials
Completely blocking the activity of an enzyme that produces amyloid plaques observed in Alzheimer's disease (AD) interferes with the regulation of new neurons generated in the adult hippocampus, according to a study of mice published in eNeuro.

Cannabidiol prevents nausea in rats
A non-psychoactive compound derived from marijuana could potentially be developed into new anti-nausea treatments for cancer patients receiving chemotherapy, suggests research in rats published in eNeuro.

3D printing the next generation of batteries
3D printing can be used to manufacture porous electrodes for lithium-ion batteries--but because of the nature of the manufacturing process, the design of these 3D printed electrodes is limited to just a few possible architectures.

Advancing the search for antibodies to treat Alzheimer's disease
Two new studies published by investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital illustrate that not all forms of amyloid-beta (A╬▓) protein -- the protein thought to initiate Alzheimer's disease -- play an equally menacing role in the progress of the disease.

Poor mental health days may cost the economy billions of dollars
Poor mental health may cost businesses nearly as much as physical health problems, according to researchers.

New approach to terpene syntheses
Terpenes are natural products that are often very difficult to synthesize in the laboratory.

New process in root development discovered
As the plant root grows, a root cap protects its fragile tip.

Brain game doesn't offer brain gain
A new study led by a team of Western University neuroscientists has debunked claims that getting better at a brain training game can translate to improved performance in other, untrained cognitive tasks.

ASU research finds silicon-based, tandem photovoltaic modules can compete in solar market
The dominant existing solar technology -- silicon -- is more than 90 percent of the way to its theoretical efficiency limit.

Montane pine forests reached the northeastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula 50,000 years ago
A study conducted by the CEPAP-UAB at Cova de Santa Linya confirms a continuous presence of montane coniferous forests from the Pyrenees to the Mediterranean coast from 50,000 to 15,000 years ago, demonstrating their resilience to the extreme and ever changing climate conditions of the period.

Video recordings spotlight poor communication between nurses and doctors
Communication breakdown among nurses and doctors is one of the primary reasons for patient care mistakes in the hospital.

Study: Student loans hamper wealth accumulation among black, Hispanic adults
Graduating college with student loan debt hampers wealth accumulation and asset building among black, Hispanic adults much longer than previously thought -- at least until age 30, University of Illinois social work professor Min Zhan found in a new study co-written with Illinois alumna Xiaoling Xiang, now a professor of social work at the University of Michigan.

New model reveals rips in Earth's mantle layer below southern Tibet
Seismic waves are helping researchers uncover the mysterious subsurface history of the Tibetan Plateau, possibly lending insight to future earthquake activity in the region.

Solar flares disrupted radio communications during September 2017 Atlantic hurricanes
An unlucky coincidence of space and Earth weather in early September 2017 caused radio blackouts for hours during critical hurricane emergency response efforts, according to a new study in Space Weather, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

Australia facing increased intense rain storms
Large increase in sudden downpours in the last 50 years, with the amount of water falling in hourly rain storms (for example thunderstorms) increasing at a rate 2 to 3 times higher than expected.

Discuss religion, spirituality when treating young adults with severe mental illness
A majority of young adults with severe mental illness -- bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or major depression -- consider religion and spirituality relevant to their mental health, according to a new study from Baylor University's Diana R.

Magnetic nanoparticles deliver chemotherapy to difficult-to-reach spinal tumors
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have demonstrated that magnetic nanoparticles can be used to ferry chemotherapy drugs into the spinal cord to treat hard-to-reach spinal tumors in an animal model.

Nano-sized traps show promise in diagnosing pathogenic bacterial infections
A new type of 'lab on a chip' developed by McGill University scientists has the potential to become a clinical tool capable of detecting very small quantities of disease-causing bacteria in just minutes.

Research on mutation 'hotspots' in DNA could lead to new insights on cancer risks
New research from Indiana University has identified 'hotspots' in DNA where the risk for genetic mutations from transcription errors is significantly elevated.

Largest king penguin colony has shrunk nearly 90%
The world's biggest colony of king penguins is found in the National Nature Reserve of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands (TAAF).

Peste des petits ruminants: a model for use in eradicating the disease
After rinderpest, it is peste des petits ruminants that the OIE, FAO and European Union want to eradicate by 2030.

Mars terraforming not possible using present-day technology
Science fiction writers have long featured terraforming, the process of creating an Earth-like or habitable environment on another planet, in their stories.

Better way found to determine the integrity of metals
Researchers at the University of Waterloo have found a better way to identify atomic structures, an essential step in improving materials selection in the aviation, construction and automotive industries.

Study provides next clue to preventing dangerous episodes of low blood sugar with diabetes
A new LSU Pennington Biomedical Research Center study reveals that a novel biomarker might give us new answers necessary to creating a diagnostic tool for hypoglycemia-associated autonomic failure, or HAAF.

Pungent tasting substance in ginger reduces bad breath
The pungent compound 6-gingerol in ginger stimulates an enzyme contained in saliva which breaks down foul-smelling substances.

A reliable, easy-to-use mouse model for investigating bone metastasis
Researchers at Tokyo Tech propose an improved mouse model that could revolutionize bone metastasis research.

Mortality rates among homeless adults in Boston who avoid shelters, known as 'rough sleepers'
A group of unsheltered homeless adults in Boston known as 'rough sleepers' because they avoid shelters and instead sleep on park benches, in alleyways, train stations and abandoned cars had much higher mortality rates than homeless adults who slept in emergency shelters and the Massachusetts adult population in general.

Madagascar's lemurs use millipedes for their tummy troubles
Madagascar's red-fronted lemurs may have a secret weapon from nature's medicine cabinet: millipedes.

What keeps the brain awake
A study of fruit flies has identified a pathway in the brain that keeps the animals from falling asleep during the day.

Nanoparticle vaccine made with peptides effective against influenza virus, study finds
A new, double-layered nanoparticle vaccine made with peptides has been found to effectively protect mice against influenza A virus, according to a study led by Georgia State University.

Parker Solar Probe and the birth of the solar wind
This summer, humanity embarks on its first mission to touch the Sun: A spacecraft will be launched into the Sun's outer atmosphere.

A brain injury diagnosed with a single drop of blood
Every year in Europe, three million people are admitted into hospitals for suspected mild traumatic brain injury cases.

Carbon 'leak' may have warmed the planet for 11,000 years, encouraging human civilization
The oceans lock away atmospheric carbon dioxide, but a 'leak' in the Southern Ocean brings the greenhouse gas back into the atmosphere.

Gene therapy restores sense of smell in mice
Re-expressing a protein critical for the detection and perception of odors restores function of the olfactory system in a genetic mouse model of lost hair-like cellular structures known as cilia, according to research published in JNeurosci.

Vanderbilt team finds potent antibodies against three Ebola viruses
Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and their colleagues are a step closer to developing a broadly effective antibody treatment against the three major Ebola viruses that cause lethal disease in humans.

Study reveals the Great Pyramid of Giza can focus electromagnetic energy
Scientists applied methods of theoretical physics to investigate the electromagnetic response of the Great Pyramid to radio waves.

Allergy clinic finds large percentage of anaphylaxis cases from tick bite meat allergy
An increase in the Lone Star tick population since 2006, and the ability to recognize the ticks as the source of 'alpha gal' allergy to red meat has meant significantly more cases of anaphylaxis being properly identified.

Why bariatric surgery wait times have nearly doubled in 10 years
Eligible patients are increasingly facing longer waits for operations proven to help them safely lose weight that endangers their health, according to a multi-center study by surgeons at the University of Michigan.

Nano-optic endoscope sees deep into tissue at high resolution
Experts in endoscopic imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and pioneers of flat metalens technology at the Harvard John A.

Alzheimer's risk gene impairs development of new neurons in mice
Scientists have taken a step closer to understanding how the strongest known genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD) contributes to memory impairment.

An increase in Southern Ocean upwelling may explain the Holocene CO2 rise
During the 10 000 years preceding the industrial revolution, there was a small but significant increase in atmospheric CO2 concentrations which may have played a crucial role in stabilizing the climate of the Holocene epoch.

Climate taxes on agriculture could lead to more food insecurity than climate change itself
New IIASA-led research has found that a single climate mitigation scheme applied to all sectors, such as a global carbon tax, could have a serious impact on agriculture and result in far more widespread hunger and food insecurity than the direct impacts of climate change.

Study shows how Oropouche virus replicates in human cells
Results described in PLOS Pathogens point to potential targets worth exploring in effort to halt infection by the emerging virus, which is transmitted by the C. paraensis midge.

Homo sapiens developed a new ecological niche that separated it from other hominins
A review of archaeological and palaeoenvironmental datasets relating to Middle and Late Pleistocene hominin dispersals within and beyond Africa demonstrates unique environmental settings and adaptations for Homo sapiens relative to other hominins.

Ever-increasing CO2 levels could take us back to the tropical climate of Paleogene period
A new study led by scientists at the University of Bristol has warned that unless we mitigate current levels of carbon dioxide emissions, Western Europe and New Zealand could revert to the hot tropical climate of the early Paleogene period -- 56-48 million years ago.

$2.99 or $3.00? Will the difference of a penny get you to the checkout counter?
The Baylor University study reveals that marketers might experience more success in price-setting if they focus their efforts on identifying -- and even modifying -- the thinking styles of their target consumers.

How do young people feel about guns, gun regulation in US?
National polls track adult opinions about guns and gun regulation but how do young feel about that?

'Unreasonable behaviour' most common ground for divorce (new research suggests)
A new Oxford University study charts the changes in the main 'facts' that husbands and wives give for petitioning for divorce, since the Divorce Reform Act 1969 was implemented in 1971.

MSU-based physicists studied complex magnetism in a rare earth compound
A team of scientists from Skobelitsyn Institute of Nuclear Physics, MSU together with their colleagues from the Russian Academy of Sciences synthesized dysprosium germanide in a metastable state.

New ways to assess drug benefits can help cut health care costs
Newly approved drugs are compared to either a placebo or to one standard of care, with little information about their effectiveness to the other available treatment options.

New electrocatalyst developed for ORR
Recent research published in a paper in NANO by a team of researchers from Beihang University have fabricated a new type of VNQD-NG as nonprecious metal-based electrocatalyst for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR).

What were consequences of 2013 measles outbreak in New York?
A new report describes the public health impact of a 2013 measles outbreak in New York when an unvaccinated adolescent returned to the city infectious with measles after visiting London, United Kingdom. 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