Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 08, 2018
Eye conditions provide new lens screening for Alzheimer's disease
A study of 3,877 randomly selected patients found a significant link between three degenerative eye diseases -- age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma -- and Alzheimer' disease.

Cancer cells send out 'drones' to battle immune system from afar
Checkpoint inhibitor therapies have made metastatic melanoma and other cancers a survivable condition for 20 to 30 percent of treated patients, but clinicians have had very limited ways of knowing which patients will respond.

The Lancet Psychiatry: Exercise linked to improved mental health, but more may not always be better
Peer-reviewed / Observational study / People A study of 1.2 million people in the USA has found that people who exercise report having 1.5 fewer days of poor mental health a month, compared to people who do not exercise.

Researchers link residential characteristics with productivity one year after brain injury
Model system researchers have examined the factors that influence productive activity one year after traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Older adults who get physical can lower their heart disease risk
Adults in their early 60s, who spend less time sitting and more time engaged in physical activity have healthier levels of heart and vessel disease indicators.

New discovery sheds light on proteins critical in mood and behavior disorders
Researchers at Columbia University Irving Medical Center have found new evidence of how certain transport proteins are working at the molecular level, paving the way for new, improved drugs to treat psychiatric disorders.

Immigrants use little health care, subsidize care of non-immigrants: Harvard/Tufts study
A study in the International Journal of Health Services finds that immigrants use far less health care than non-immigrants, and may actually subsidize the care of US citizens.

Bad policing, bad law, not 'bad apples,' behind disproportionate killing of black men
Killings of unarmed black men by white police officers across the nation have garnered massive media attention in recent years, raising the question: do white law enforcement officers target minority suspects?

New NYUAD research finds 3D printers offer alternate method to create microfluidic probes
Biomedical engineers at NYU Abu Dhabi are using 3D printers to create new technologies that may help biologists make important discoveries pertaining to cancer research.

New antibody analysis accelerates rational vaccine design
''We can now watch antibody responses evolve almost in real time,'' says Lars Hangartner, Ph.D., a Scripps Research associate professor.

Exercise can help beat cocaine addiction, study finds
Exercise can help prevent relapses into cocaine addiction, according to new research led by the University at Buffalo.

Ketogenic diets may lead to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes
New research published in the Journal of Physiology indicates that ketogenic diets, which are low carbohydrate high fat eating plans that are known to lead to weight loss, may cause an increased risk of type 2 diabetes in the early stage of the diet.

Anticancer drugs delivered by a new drug delivery system reduce tumor size
A joint group of researchers from Osaka University and Tokyo Institute of Technology created a drug delivery system (DDS) using a poly (ethylene glycol)-poly(lysine) block copolymer-ubenimex conjugate (PEG-b-PLys(Ube)).

Balloon-borne telescope looks for cosmic gamma rays
Cosmic gamma rays can provide us with important insights into the high-energy phenomena in our universe.

World record: Fastest 3-D tomographic images at BESSY II
An HZB team has developed an ingenious precision rotary table at the EDDI beamline at BESSY II and combined it with particularly fast optics.

Disaster relief: How can AI improve humanitarian assistance?
The unique topic of artificial intelligence (AI) for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/DR) was in the spotlight last week, as leading minds from academia, industry and the federal government met to discuss how modern technology can help victims of disasters around the globe.

Oral delivery of nanoparticles
Nanoparticles show great promise as diagnostic tools and drug delivery agents.

Novel approach to coherent control of a three-level quantum system
For the first time, researchers were able to study quantum interference in a three-level quantum system and thereby control the behavior of individual electron spins.

Holding law enforcement accountable for electronic surveillance
AUDIT is a cryptographic system aimed at improving government accountability for surveillance while still maintaining enough confidentiality for police to do their jobs.

UNH Researchers find seed coats could lead to strong, tough, yet flexible materials
Inspired by elements found in nature, researchers at the University of New Hampshire say the puzzle-like wavy structure of the delicate seed coat, found in plants like succulents and some grasses, could hold the secret to creating new smart materials strong enough to be used in items like body armor, screens, and airplane panels.

Blocking sunlight to cool Earth won't reduce crop damage from global warming
Proposals to inject sulfate aerosols into the upper atmosphere to block and scatter sunlight and reduce global temperatures could, some say, also increase crop yields because of reduced heat stress on plants.

Can community exercise prevent bone loss from weight loss in older adults?
In a Journal of Bone and Mineral Research study of older adults with obesity who were cutting calories, an intervention that incorporated resistance training, aerobic training, or neither did not prevent bone loss associated with active weight loss.

Was brief dermatologist intervention associated with patient behavior, satisfaction?
A short intervention by dermatologists to assess patients' risk of sun exposure, discuss their motivations and barriers regarding sun protection, and offer advice on sun protection options was associated with better sun protection behavior reported by patients and more satisfaction communicating with their dermatologist.

Expedition probes ocean's smallest organisms for climate answers
In August a team of scientists is sailing 200 miles to the northeastern Pacific Ocean with advanced robotics and other instruments on a month-long quest to investigate plankton and their impact on the carbon cycle.

Matchmaking for sweet potato? It's complicated
Field history matters when trying to apply the optimal amount of nitrogen for sweet potato crops.

Good news for fishermen: Browning impacts fish less than expected
Water color is getting darker in lakes across the planet.

For the first time, scientists are putting extinct mammals on the map
Researchers from Aarhus University and University of Gothenburg have produced the most comprehensive family tree and atlas of mammals to date, connecting all living and recently extinct mammal species (nearly 6,000 in total) and overturning many previous ideas about global patterns of biodiversity.

Parents' smoking and depression linked to increased ADHD risk in children
A new study has identified adults' smoking and depression as family environmental factors associated with the development of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children.

Elliptical elegance
A glittering host of galaxies populate this rich image taken with ESO's VLT Survey Telescope, a state-of-the-art 2.6-m telescope designed for surveying the sky in visible light.

Inducing labor can help prevent cesarean births
A new national study has found that inducing labor in first-time mothers at 39 weeks can help prevent cesarean births and high blood pressure.

'Citizen science' yields updated predicted distributions for rare species
Online 'citizen science' data initiatives may be able to help map the distribution of rare species in the wild, according to a study published Aug.

Inducing labor at 39 weeks decreases need for cesarean section
Inducing labor in healthy women at 39 weeks into their pregnancy reduces the need for cesarean section and is at least as safe for mother and baby as waiting for spontaneous labor.

New research pinpoints pathways Ebola virus uses to enter cells
A new study at Texas Biomedical Research Institute is shedding light on the role of specific proteins that trigger a mechanism allowing Ebola virus to enter cells to establish replication.

Screening women veterans with fibromyalgia for childhood abuse may improve treatment
A new study has shown that women Veterans being treated for fibromyalgia exhibit high rates of childhood abuse.

Do mothers' parenting attitudes & behaviors change with their first- and second-born?
New research reveals that mothers hold similar views and attitudes when parenting their first and second children, but their parenting behaviors with their two children differ.

Earth now and 2.5 billion years ago: New study of air helps understanding both
An international collaboration of USTC and UCSD revealed surprising information about both the origins of life on Earth and modern sources of air pollution in China from sulfur isotope.

Half a degree less warming can avoid precipitation extremes
The scientists found that by reducing the global warming limit by 0.5°C, a significant number of extreme precipitation events and their impacts could be avoided.

Military sexual assault linked to PTSD and depression in LGB veterans
In a Journal of Traumatic Stress study of military veterans, lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) veterans were twice as likely to have experienced sexual assault while in the military compared with non-LGB veterans.

To understand working memory, scientists must resolve this debate
'Dual Perspectives' debate tackles key questions about working memory such as, how we hold and juggle multiple pieces of information in mind.

Out of your league? Study shows most online daters seek more desirable mates
Big-data analysis of popular online dating website shows users seek 25 percent more desirable mates, even though the chances of getting a response are lower.

Can medical marijuana help treat intractable epilepsy?
A new British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology review examines the potential of medicinal cannabis -- or medical marijuana -- for helping patients with intractable epilepsy, in which seizures fail to come under control with standard anticonvulsant treatment.

Scientists squeeze nanocrystals in a liquid droplet into a solid-like state and back again
A team led by scientists at Berkeley Lab found a way to make a liquid-like state behave more like a solid, and then to reverse the process.

Carbon dioxide levels on flight deck affect airline pilot performance
Commercial airline pilots were significantly better at performing advanced maneuvers in a flight simulator when carbon dioxide levels on the flight deck were 700 ppm and 1500 ppm than when they were 2,500 ppm, according to new research led by Harvard T.H.

My host is my castle
Bat flies have been studied in a variety of contexts, including host associations and specificity, how bat ecology and roosting biology affects parasitism, and how fly morphology functions to allow coexistence of species on bat individuals and populations.

NASA sees major Hurricane Hector moving south of Hawaii
Hurricane Hector maintained its major hurricane status on Aug. 8 as NASA's Aqua satellite passed overhead.

Machine learning could predict medication response in patients with complex mood disorders
In a collaborative study by Lawson Health Research Institute, The Mind Research Network and Brainnetome Center, researchers have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm that analyzes brain scans to better classify illness in patients with a complex mood disorder and help predict their response to medication.

Computational platform optimizes multiple myeloma treatments
Masturah Bte Mohd Abdul Rashid and colleagues have developed a new platform that optimizes drug combinations for the treatment of multiple myeloma (MM), an incurable blood cancer.

Boxers or briefs? Loose-fitting underwear may benefit sperm production
Men who most frequently wore boxers had significantly higher sperm concentrations and total sperm counts when compared with men who did not usually wear boxers, according to new research led by Harvard T.H.

Designer polymers on demand
When jewelers create a necklace, they control the order and number of each bead or jewel they use to form a desired pattern.

Research tip: Caregivers lack medications, knowledge to manage Baltimore children's asthma
In a new study, Johns Hopkins researchers found that fewer than half of interviewed caregivers for Baltimore preschool children with asthma were prepared to administer medication for routine management or emergency response to a child's chronic condition.

NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite find Typhoon Shanshan near Japan's coast
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite caught up with Typhoon Shanahan and provided forecasters with a visible picture of the storm on Aug.

Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center researchers using big data to predict immunotherapy responses
In the age of Big Data, cancer researchers are discovering new ways to monitor the effectiveness of immunotherapy treatments.

NASA's GPM passes over weakening Hurricane John
The Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core observatory satellite provided very good coverage of hurricane John when it passed above the eye of the tropical cyclone on Aug.

Models may help reduce bycatch from longline fishing
Hundreds of thousands of sharks, sea birds and other marine species are accidentally killed each year after becoming snagged or entangled in longline fishing gear.

Study illuminates genes behind beautiful 'glow' of Bermuda fireworms
A new study led by researchers at the American Museum of Natural History looks at the genes behind an incredible, luminous seasonal mating display produced by swarms of bioluminescent marine Bermuda fireworms.

New species of rare ancient 'worm' discovered in fossil hotspot
Scientists have discovered a new species of lobopodian, an ancient relative of modern-day velvet worms, in 430 million-years-old Silurian rocks in Herefordshire, UK.

Scientists create biodegradable, paper-based biobatteries
The batteries of the future may be made out of paper.

Genetic mutations of appendix cancer identified, may impact treatment
To understand why some patients with appendix cancer respond to standard treatment while others do not, University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Moores Cancer Center researchers, in collaboration with Foundation Medicine, performed genetic profiling on 703 appendiceal tumors -- the largest such study of this disease to date -- to compare mutations present in both cancer types.

Hidden signs in cancer tissue
When scientists at ETH Zurich analysed huge amounts of genetic cancer data, they found previously unresearched molecular changes.

The Umov Effect: Space dust clouds and the mysteries of the universe
FEFU scientists are developing a methodology to calculate the ratio of dust and gas in comas and tails of comets.

Proof-of-concept technique makes nanoparticles attractive for new medications
Researchers at University of Utah Health developed a proof-of-concept technology using nanoparticles that could offer a new approach for oral medications.

This small molecule could hold the key to promising HIV treatments
New research provides details of how the structure of the HIV-1 virus is assembled, findings that offer potential new targets for treatment.

Stanford scientists tie specific brain circuit to sociability in mice
Social behavior in mouse models of autism spectrum disorder normalized when investigators triggered the release of a specific signaling substance, serotonin, in a single part of the animals' brains, according to a study from the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Is parental belief in importance of religion associated with lower risk of suicidal behavior in kids?
Parents' belief in the importance of religion was associated with a lower risk for suicidal behavior by their children regardless of a child's own belief about the importance of religion and other known risk factors such as parental depression, suicidal behavior and divorce.

Tying down electrons with nanoribbons
Nanoribbons are promising topological materials displaying novel electronic properties. UC Berkeley chemists and physicists have found a way to join two different types of nanoribbon to create a topological insulator that confines single electrons to the junction between them.

UToledo chemists discover how blue light speeds blindness
Blue light from digital devices and the sun transforms vital molecules in the eye's retina into cell killers, according to optical chemistry research at The University of Toledo.

Compounds in 'monster' radish could help tame cardiovascular disease
Step aside carrots, onions and broccoli. The newest heart-healthy vegetable could be a gigantic, record-setting radish.

As Medicaid work requirements gain traction, experts propose ways to reduce potential harm
Before Medicaid work requirements get into full gear, a team of Medicaid researchers is offering specific recommendations to help states ensure that they don't harm the health of people enrolled in Medicaid.

Research reveals effective method to control algae growth on Hawaiian coral reefs
Researchers with the State of Hawai'i Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) and the Hawai'i Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB) at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa found a management approach that combining manual removal and outplanting native urchin was effective at reducing invasive, reef smothering macroalgae by 85 percent on a coral reef off O'ahu, Hawai'i.

Top 43 reasons why men remain single -- according to Reddit
In the past, forced or arranged marriages meant that socially inept, unattractive men did not have to acquire social skills in order to find a long-term love interest.

New RNA & DNA-sequencing platform matches thousands of drugs to late-stage cancer patients
A comprehensive RNA and DNA sequencing platform benefits late-stage and drug-resistant multiple myeloma patients by determining which drugs would work best for them, according to results from a clinical trial published in JCO Precision Oncology in August.

Drug identified that could reverse pulmonary arterial hypertension
Scientists identify a safe drug that for the first time could treat -- and possibly reverse -- the thickening of lung artery walls in pulmonary arterial hypertension; clinical trial is expected in 2019.

Environmental regulations drove steep declines in US factory pollution
A new study by UC Berkeley economists shows that between 1990 and 2008, air pollution levels plummeted.

Corncob ethanol may help cut China's greenhouse gas emissions
A new Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining study has found that using ethanol from corncobs for energy production may help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in China, if used instead of starch-based ethanol.

Crowdsourcing algorithms to predict epileptic seizures
A study by University of Melbourne researchers reveals clinically relevant epileptic seizure prediction is possible in a wider range of patients than previously thought, thanks to the crowdsourcing of more than 10 000 algorithms worldwide.

Study examines for risk factors associated with initiation of substance use
Not all individuals who initiate use of a substance such as nicotine, alcohol, cannabis, and cocaine eventually develop a substance use disorder, indicating that the risk factors for substance use and for substance use disorder (SUD) differ to some extent.

Human microbiome influences rotavirus vaccine response
In a proof-of-concept study in healthy adult men, scientists in the Netherlands found that microbiome manipulation with antibiotics influenced response to oral rotavirus vaccine.

Introducing the latest in textiles: Soft hardware
MIT researchers have incorporated electronic devices into soft fabrics, potentially making it possible to produce clothing that communicates optically with other devices.

Induced labor at 39 weeks reduces cesarean births
For many years, obstetricians counseled women that inducing labor increased the likelihood of a cesarean birth, although there was no solid evidence in clinical trials to support that.

NIST shows laser ranging can 'see' 3D objects melting in fires
Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have used a laser detection and ranging (LADAR) system to image three-dimensional (3D) objects melting in flames.

Mom still matters, UCLA psychologists report
If you're a parent who feels your college-age children would choose their friends over you, a new UCLA psychology study has a reassuring message: You're probably underestimating their loyalty to you.

Scientists develop a way to monitor cellular decision making
Scientists have designed a way to monitor cellular decision making by measuring the rate of RNA change over time.

New guideline released for managing vegetative and minimally conscious states
For people in a vegetative or minimally conscious state caused by brain injury, an accurate diagnosis and ongoing medical and rehabilitative care based on the latest scientific evidence could mean a better chance for recovery, according to a new guideline by the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine and the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research.

Support increases when opioid 'safe consumption sites' called 'overdose prevention sites'
'Safe consumption sites,' where people can use pre-obtained drugs with medically trained personnel on hand to treat overdoses, garner higher public support when they are called 'overdose prevention sites,' according to a study led by researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Harmful bacteria thrived in post-Hurricane Harvey floodwaters
Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas on August 25, 2017, bringing more than 50 inches of rain and extreme flooding to the city of Houston.

Lining up surprising behaviors of superconductor with one of the world's strongest magnets
Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of this material changes in an unusual way under very high magnetic fields -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperature.

NASA sees wind shear affecting Tropical Storm Yagi
Tropical Storm Yagi was experiencing wind shear when NASA's Terra satellite passed over the Northwestern Pacific Ocean and analyzed the storm.

London calling! Travelers seek 'trust' in holiday destinations
Tourists considering overseas travel 'trust' a destination like London would provide a positive experience, says new research from QUT researchers.

Two new UTA School of Social Work professors win international award
Two professors joining The University of Texas at Arlington this fall were announced as the winners of the Best Human Services App Idea Award at the Education and Social Development Conference in Dublin, Ireland, in July.

There and back again: Mantle xenon has a story to tell
Volatiles -- such as water, carbon dioxide and the noble gases -- come out of the earth's interior through volcanism and may be injected into the mantle from the atmosphere, a pair of processes called mantle degassing and regassing.

Is your lung cancer really ROS1-negative?
CU Cancer Center study shows that three common laboratory tests used to determine ROS1 status may return false-negative results, meaning that some patients who could benefit from ROS1-directed therapy may be slipping through the cracks.

Best of both worlds: Combining two skeleton-building chemical reactions
The method could speed the discovery of new drugs and other products by offering the ability to simply and efficiently build a wide variety of molecular architectures.

Women and men experience different benefits from low-calorie diets
A low-calorie diet causes different metabolic effects in women than in men, a new Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism study suggests.

Dental care may benefit patients scheduled for cancer surgery
Preoperative oral care by a dentist may help reduce postoperative complications in patients who undergo cancer surgery, according to a new BJS (British Journal of Surgery) study.

'Believing you're a winner' gives men a testosterone boost and promiscuous disposition
New findings suggest that the male body tries to 'optimize' self-perceived improvements in social status through hormonal shifts that promote 'short-term mating.'

Inducing labor at 39 weeks reduces likelihood of C-sections
Inducing labor in healthy first-time mothers in the 39th week of pregnancy results in lower rates of cesarean sections compared with waiting for labor to begin naturally at full term, according to a multicenter study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Largest study yet shows type of underwear is linked to men's semen quality
Men who wear boxer shorts have higher sperm concentrations than men who wear tighter fitting underwear, according to new research published in Human Reproduction.

NTU and Harvard scientists discover fat-blocking effect of nanofibers
Tiny balls of nano-sized cellulose fibers added to food reduced fat absorption by up to half in laboratory and animal experiments, report scientists from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) and Harvard University, United States.

A new earless pygmy toad discovered on one of Angola's most underexplored mountains
Due to many years of conflict, the biodiversity of Angola remains one of the least known in Africa.

Learning to ask older adults better questions about their memory
Healthcare providers and researchers rely on screening questions to detect patients who may be at risk for developing Alzheimer's disease and other aging-related problems, but how these questions are worded may be confusing or trigger emotional responses.

Scientists reduced the weight of optics for satellite observation by 100 times
IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing (IEEE) published the article of the group of scientists of Samara National Research University.

Taming defects in nanoporous materials to put them to a good use
Modification of defective nanoporous materials has unique effects on their properties.

Pennsylvania's youth more accepting of marijuana, but not using it more, report shows
A report by the Pennsylvania State Epidemiological Outcomes Workgroup, which is chaired by a Drexel University professor, found that attitudes toward marijuana became more of its use in recent years as the state legalized it for medical usage.

Tiny tunnels inside garnets appear to be the result of boring microorganisms
Complex systems of microscopic tunnels found inside garnet crystals from Thailand are most likely the result of microorganisms making their homes inside these minerals, according to a study published Aug.

Tracking the trends of online dating in major US Cities
People tend to pursue mates that are 'out of their league,' according to a new study that analyzed social interactions between users of a large online dating website in four major US cities.

Hotter temperatures extend growing season for peatland plants
A study published today in Nature revealed that turning up the heat accelerates spring greening in mature trees, shrubs and mosses and delays fall color change.

Drug makes rats less likely to imbibe alcohol
Alcohol use disorders can have devastating effects on a person's health, relationships and finances.

Researchers say high seas fisheries play limited role in feeding the world
Fishing fleets operating outside of national waters contribute less than 3 percent to the world's seafood supply.

NASA sees Debby transitioned into a tropical storm
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the Central Atlantic Ocean and looked at cloud top temperatures in Debby, revealing the storm had transitioned from subtropical to tropical.

Can manipulating gut microbes improve cardiac function in patients with heart failure?
A clinical study called the GutHeart Trial is poised to examine the potential relationship between the bacterial composition of the gut and inflammatory and metabolic pathways in the cardiovascular system

Hijacking hormones for plant growth
Hormones designed in the lab through a technique combining chemistry, biology, and engineering might be used to manipulate plant growth in numerous ways, according to a New Phytologist study.

Where do crows go in winter?
'Partial migration' -- where some individuals within a population migrate and some don't -- is common among birds, but scientists know very little about how it actually works.

Surviving large carnivores have far-reaching impact
Anywhere large-bodied mammalian carnivore species are present, other, smaller carnivores are less likely to occur, according to an international team of researchers that conducted the first global assessment of carnivore interactions using camera trap data.

Hybridization boosts evolution
International collaboration between researchers from the University of Konstanz, the University of Graz, Graz University of Technology and Florida State University sheds new light on animal speciation.

NIH researchers discover highly infectious vehicle for virus transmission among humans
Researchers have found that a group of viruses that cause severe stomach illness -- including the one famous for widespread outbreaks on cruise ships -- get transmitted to humans through membrane-cloaked 'virus clusters' that exacerbate the spread and severity of disease.

Skills and learning improved by closed-loop electrical brain stimulation during sleep
HRL Laboratories publish the first study using closed-loop slow-wave transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) of the brain during sleep to increase human subjects' ability to generalize experience in a target detection task, improving overnight performance change for novel situations by about 48%. 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