Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 13, 2018
Wearable devices and mobile health technology: one step towards better health
With increasing efforts being made to address the current global obesity epidemic, wearable devices and mobile health ('mHealth') technology have emerged as promising tools for promoting physical activity.

Injection of novel gene therapy vector prolonged survival in mouse model of Pompe disease
A new study has shown that a single injection of a novel adeno-associated vector (AAV)-based therapy can result in improved enzyme activity and glycogen clearance as well as prolonged survival in a mouse model of Pompe disease.

Study reveals broad 'genetic architectures' of traits and diseases
Scientists at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have developed a powerful method for characterizing the broad patterns of genetic contributions to traits and diseases.

Align funding with innovations in health care to improve patient outcomes
To encourage innovation in health care, governments need to move away from current siloed funding to funding that encourages collaboration among providers in managing patients who need care in a variety of settings, argue the authors of an analysis in CMAJ.

Brief interventions during routine care reduce alcohol use among men with HIV
Brown-led study finds that motivational interviewing with personalized feedback and booster sessions produced substantial reductions in alcohol use among heavy-drinking men who have sex with men who are living with HIV.

Study finds Tdap vaccination for pregnant women does not increase risk of autism
A Kaiser Permanente study of more than 80,000 children born over a 4-year period showed that the prenatal Tdap vaccination (tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis) was not associated with increased risk of autism spectrum disorder in children.

Women with intellectual and developmental disabilities have almost double the rate of repeat pregnancy
Women with intellectual and developmental disabilities have nearly double the rate of having another baby within a year of delivering compared to women without such disabilities, according to a new study published in CMAJ.

Researchers create specialized delivery methods to help treat cancer, other disorders
More than 100 years ago, German Nobel laureate Paul Ehrlich popularized the 'magic bullet' concept -- a method that clinicians might one day use to target invading microbes without harming other parts of the body.

Grip strength of children gives clues about their future health
Adolescents with a strong hand grip -- an indicator of overall muscle strength -- have better odds of being healthy over time, according to a two-year study of 368 elementary school children.

Adult-child conversations strengthen language regions of developing brain
Young children who are regularly engaged in conversation by adults may have stronger connections between two developing brain regions critical for language, according to a study of healthy young children that confirms a hypothesis registered with the Open Science Framework.

Another step forward on universal quantum computer
Researchers have demonstrated holonomic quantum gates under zero-magnetic field at room temperature, which will enable the realization of fast and fault-tolerant universal quantum computers.

Scientists trace atmospheric rise in CO2 during deglaciation to deep Pacific Ocean
How carbon made it out of the ocean and into the atmosphere has remained one of the most important mysteries of science.

Online forum may provide specialized suicide prevention support for males
An analysis of posts made by males to a subreddit for individuals experiencing suicidal thoughts suggests that the online forum may function, for some males, as a safe space to anonymously share vulnerabilities and receive gender-specific support.

New technology can detect hundreds of proteins in a single sample
New technology developed by a team of McGill University scientists shows potential to streamline the analysis of proteins, offering a quick, high volume and cost-effective tool to hospitals and research labs alike.

Cycling is the urban transport mode associated with the greatest health benefits
A study carried out in seven European cities highlights the role of active transport in good mental health and self-perceived health.

Novel optics for ultrafast cameras create new possibilities for imaging
Researchers from the Camera Culture Group at the MIT Media Lab have reinvented photography optics to capture images based on the timing of reflecting light inside the optics, which opens doors to new capabilities for ultrafast time- or depth-sensitive cameras.

Cannabis link to relieving intestinal inflammation explained
Reports from cannabis users that the drug reduces the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) may finally be explained by new research from the University of Massachusetts Medical School and the University of Bath showing that endocannabinoids help control and prevent intestinal inflammation in mice.

Genetic tools uncover cause of childhood seizure disorder missed by other methods
Researchers at University of Utah Health have developed high-tech tools to uncover the genetic cause of the most difficult to diagnose cases.

Potential biomarker for autism
A study of young children with autism spectrum disorder published in JNeurosci reveals altered brain waves compared to typically developing children during a motor control task.

MSU Astronomers discovered supermassive black hole in an ultracompact dwarf galaxy
A team of scientists from the Faculty of Physics and Sternberg State Astronomical Institute, MSU leading an international collaboration with members from Europe, Chile, United States, and Australia discovered a supermassive black hole in the center of the Fornax galaxy.

The danger of coronary artery compression in children is more common than we think
The incidence of coronary artery compression in children fitted with epicardial pacemakers may be slightly more common than previously believed, say noted cardiologists.

Racial and ethnic minority patients have lower rates of Medicare preventive care visits -- income and education partially explain the difference
Medicare patients nationwide have low rates of preventive care visits -- with the lowest rates found in older adults of minority race/ethnicity, reports a study in the September issue of Medical Care.

In neutron stars, protons may do the heavy lifting
In neutron stars, protons may do the heavy lifting, according to MIT researchers.

Policy changes can help ease roadblocks to a healthy diet
Diet modification can be a vital step to prevent cardiovascular disease.

E-cigarette vapor disables key immune cells in the lung and boosts inflammation
E-cigarette vapor boosts the production of inflammatory chemicals and disables key protective cells in the lung that keep the air spaces clear of potentially harmful particles, reveals a small experimental study, published online in the journal Thorax.

Amputees feel as though their prosthetic limb belongs to their own body
In a breakthrough approach that combines virtual reality and artificial tactile sensations, two amputees feel as though their prosthetic hand belongs to their own body.

Indigenous Latino immigrants learn Spanish to help integrate, seek upward mobility
With a growing diversity in the population of Latino immigrants to the United States, learning Spanish instead of just English is becoming an important factor for some in assimilation and upward social mobility.

Artificial intelligence platform screens for acute neurological illnesses at Mount Sinai
An artificial intelligence platform designed to identify a broad range of acute neurological illnesses, such as stroke, hemorrhage, and hydrocephalus, was shown to identify disease in CT scans in 1.2 seconds, faster than human diagnosis.

Link between common 'harmless' virus and cardiovascular damage
Researchers from Brighton and Sussex Medical School have found an unexpectedly close link between a herpes virus and the occurrence of immune cells damaging cardiovascular tissue.

How cannabis and cannabis-based drugs harm the brain
A new study led by Ana Sebastião, group leader at Instituto de Medicina Molecular João Lobo Antunes and Professor of Faculdade de Medicina of Universidade de Lisboa (iMM, FMUL; Portugal) and her team in collaboration with researchers from the University of Lancaster (UK), shows that the long-term use of either cannabis or cannabis-based drugs impairs memory.

Community-based conservation management has positive effect on wildlife
Putting land management in the hands of local communities helps the wildlife within, according to new research by a Penn State scientist.

Collaborate, but only intermittently, says new study
Technologies and organizations should be redesigned to intermittently isolate people from each other's work for best collective performance in solving complex problems.

Melt-rate of West Antarctic Ice Sheet highly sensitive to changes in ocean temperatures
Melting of ice shelves in West Antarctica speeds up and slows down in response to changes in deep ocean temperature, and is far more variable than previously thought, according to new research published this week in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Easter Island's society might not have collapsed
A new study of the tools used to create Easter Island's giant statues hints at a society in which people collaborated and shared information.

The medicine of the future against infection and inflammation?
Researchers at Lund University in Sweden, have in collaboration with colleagues in Copenhagen and Singapore, mapped how the body's own peptides act to reduce infection and inflammation by deactivating the toxic substances formed in the process.

Terahertz technology creates new insight into how semiconductor lasers work
Pioneering engineers working with terahertz frequency technology have been researching how individual frequencies are selected when a laser is turned on, and how quickly the selection is made.

Wide variation across the nation in treatment for opioid abuse and dependence
Whether treatment for opioid abuse and dependence most commonly emphasized methadone administration, naltrexone injection, group psychotherapy or another procedure in 2017 depended on the state or region where the patient received care, according to a new white paper and state-by-state infographics from FAIR Health.

NASA sees Tropical Storm Yagi after China landfall
After Tropical Storm Yagi made landfall in China, NASA's Aqua satellite saw the storm was moving inland and dropping heavy rainfall.

NASA's IMERG estimates heavy rainfall over the eastern US
Most of the Eastern half of the United States had rainfall during the past week.

Intervention for young transgender women to reduce risk of HIV
Young transgender women who took part in an intervention to reduce HIV transmission and acquisition had a greater reduction in condomless sex acts than young transgender women who received standard preventive care with testing for HIV/sexually transmitted infections and counseling in a randomized clinical trial.

Rare cancer could be caught early using simple blood tests
A pioneering study into myeloma, a rare cancer, could lead to GPs using simple blood tests to improve early diagnosis.

Tobacco content still common on UK prime time TV, despite regulations
Tobacco content remains common on UK prime time TV, cropping up in a third of all programmes, despite advertising and broadcasting regulations designed to protect children from this kind of exposure, reveals research published online in the journal Tobacco Control.

How the brain biases beliefs
People's motivation to cling to desirable notions about future outlooks results from interactions between prefrontal cortex regions, according to a human neuroimaging study published in JNeurosci.

When it comes to regrowing tails, neural stem cells are the key
It's a longstanding mystery why salamanders can perfectly regenerate their tails whereas lizard tails grow back all wrong.

Researchers predict risk for common deadly diseases from millions of genetic variants
A research team reports a new kind of genome analysis that could identify large fractions of the population who have a much higher risk of developing serious common diseases, including coronary artery disease, breast cancer, or type 2 diabetes.

Unexpected results with light-gated chloride channel GtACR2 lead to improved technique
Characterization of light-gated chloride channel GtACR2 in mouse cortical neurons revealed that GtACR2 activation inhibited the soma, but unexpectedly depolarized the presynaptic terminals resulting in neurotransmitter release.

High oxidative stress hampers males' production of powerful blood vessel dilator
Higher levels of oxidative stress in males results in lower levels of a cofactor needed to make the powerful blood vessel dilator nitric oxide, researchers report.

New soft bioelectronic mesh tested on human wrist and pulsating pig's heart
IBS scientists have succeeded in developing a wearable and implantable device, that measures electrophysiological signals and applies electrical and thermal stimulations.

Algorithm provides early warning system for tracking groundwater contamination
Scientists at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Savannah River National Laboratory have developed a low-cost method for real-time monitoring of pollutants using commonly available sensors.

VOX pops cereal challenge
A plant virus with a simple genome promises to help crop scientists understand traits and diseases in wheat and maize more quickly and easily than existing techniques and, as its full potential is tapped, to work across a range of different plant species.

First study on physical properties of giant cancer cells may inform new treatments
Giant cancer cells are much larger and stiffer than other cancer cells and move further, study shows.

Cellular escape artists help explain why some women present with advanced ovarian cancer
In a new study published recently in The Journal of Pathology, BWH investigators conducted an exhaustive analysis of 'normal' fallopian tubes from patients with HGSC.

Thermal switch discovered in engineered squid-based biomaterials
Tuning materials for optimal optical and electrical properties is becoming commonplace.

Long-sought carbon structure joins graphene, fullerene family
Scientists have been playing with pure carbon compounds for centuries, starting with diamond and graphite and now with fullerenes, nanotubes and graphene.

EU households waste over 17 billion kg of fresh fruit and vegetables a year
A recently published article from the Joint Research Centre, the European Commission's science and knowledge service, finds that EU households generate about 35.3 kg of fresh fruit and vegetable waste per person per year, 14.2 kg of which is avoidable.

During HIV infection, antibody can block B cells from fighting pathogens
For the first time, scientists have shown that in certain people living with HIV, a type of antibody called immunoglobulin G3 (IgG3) stops the immune system's B cells from doing their normal job of fighting pathogens.

Study examines how people adapt to post stroke visual impairments
A new University of Liverpool study, published in Brain and Behaviour, examines the factors that influence how a person adapts to visual field loss following stroke.

Thirty percent increase in risk of fracture after gastric bypass
A study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research shows that the risk of fractures increases by about 30 percent after a gastric bypass operation.

Blood test could detect kidney cancer up to 5 years earlier
Scientists have discovered that a marker in the blood could help predict the risk that a person will develop kidney cancer, according to research published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research.

'Building up' stretchable electronics to be as multipurpose as your smartphone
By stacking and connecting layers of stretchable circuits on top of one another, engineers have developed an approach to build soft, pliable '3D stretchable electronics' that can pack a lot of functions while staying thin and small in size.

The road to November: New poll monitors public attitudes on race, immigration leading up to midterms
A new study developed by Cornell University researchers will use three waves of surveys to show how voters' views on issues that include race, immigration and gender will influence the 2018 midterm elections in November and whether those attitudes shift leading up to the elections.

MIT mathematicians solve age-old spaghetti mystery
It's nearly impossible to break a dry spaghetti noodle into only two pieces.

Amish nemaline myopathy natural history study finds promise for gene therapy treatment
A new comprehensive natural history study about Amish nemaline myopathy (ANM) in the Old Order Amish population focuses on the promise of gene therapy for this lethal disorder.

Links between tax havens, deforestation and illegal fishing exposed
On average 68 percent of all investigated foreign capital to sectors associated with deforestation of the Amazon rainforest was transferred through tax havens.

The Lancet: Remifentanil during labour could halve the number of women needing an epidural
Half as many women in labor who were given a drug called remifentanil to help manage their pain needed a subsequent epidural, compared to the women given pethidine -- the current standard of care, according to an open-label randomised controlled trial of 400 women from 14 maternity units in the UK published in The Lancet.

One antiplatelet drug after heart valve replacement
Treatment guidelines say patients who undergo minimally invasive aortic heart valve replacements should receive two antiplatelet drugs to reduce the risk of dangerous blood clots.

Earth mini-moons: Potential for exciting scientific and commercial opportunities
The detection of 'mini-moons' -- small asteroids temporarily captured in orbit around Earth -- will vastly improve our scientific understanding of asteroids and the Earth-moon system.

'Undruggable' cancers slowed by targeting growth signals
As many as 50 percent of human cancer cases -- across a wide variety of tissues -- involve defects in a common cellular growth signaling pathway.

Doctor-patient discussions neglect potential harms of lung cancer screening, study finds
Although national guidelines advise doctors to discuss the benefits and harms of lung cancer screening with high-risk patients because of a high rate of false positives and other factors, those conversations aren't happening the way they should be, according to a study by researchers from the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

NASA tracks a fragmented, weaker Tropical Storm Hector into Northwestern Pacific
Tropical Storm Hector moved out of the Central Pacific Ocean and into the Northwestern Pacific Ocean in a much weaker state.

Black male youth more fearful when visiting whiter neighborhoods
Young black males feel less safe when they go to neighborhoods with a larger white population than occurs in areas they normally visit, a new study suggests.

When these flies want to sniff out food and mates, they wing it
Fruit flies don't appear to use their tiny, translucent wings for optimal flight, as one might expect.

Lighter sedation won't drop risk of postop delirium
Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers say a study designed to see if reducing the amount of anesthesia reduces the risk of postoperative delirium in older patients surprisingly found that lighter sedation failed to do so in severely ill people undergoing hip fracture repair.

Historic space weather could clarify what's next
Historic space weather may help us understand what's coming next, according to new research by the University of Warwick.

NASA finds powerful storms over south China from Tropical Storm Bebinca
Tropical Storm Bebinca formed quickly in the northern part of the South China Sea.

Platelet-rich plasma does not promote stem cell-mediated cartilage repair
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is believed to provide pain relief and help improve joint function in degenerative joint disease, but a new study has shown that it does not act by promoting stem cell proliferation or enhance the cartilage formation capabilities of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs).

Duke team finds missing immune cells that could fight lethal brain tumors
Researchers at Duke Cancer Institute have tracked the missing T-cells in glioblastoma patients.

Lobachevsky University scientists develop an effective approach to optimizing medicinal molecules
The search for new medicinal molecules with predetermined properties is a rather complex, expensive and time-consuming process, especially in oncology.

A computational method for designing a new type of 2D carbons
Scientists from EPFL and Berkeley have developed a computational method for designing a new type of two-dimensional carbon materials called Schwarzites.

Illinois' imperiled eastern massasauga rattlesnakes retain genetic diversity
A long-term study of eastern massasauga rattlesnakes in Illinois reveals that -- despite their alarming decline in numbers -- the few remaining populations have retained a surprising amount of genetic diversity.

Scarlet macaw DNA points to ancient breeding operation in Southwest
Somewhere in the American Southwest or northern Mexico, there are probably the ruins of a scarlet macaw breeding operation dating to between 900 and 1200 C.E., according to a team of archaeologists who sequenced the mitochondrial DNA of bird remains found in the Chaco Canyon and Mimbres areas of New Mexico.

How birds learn
Songbirds can acquire new abilities both through observation and through trial and error.

Disrupted nitrogen metabolism might spell cancer
Researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science, in collaboration with colleagues from the National Cancer Institute and elsewhere, have now shown that in many cancers, the patient's nitrogen metabolism is altered, producing detectable changes in the body fluids and contributing to the emergence of new mutations in cancerous tissue.

New study reveals evidence of how Neolithic people adapted to climate change
Research led by the University of Bristol has uncovered evidence that early farmers were adapting to climate change 8,200 years ago.

Multimodel ensemble prediction of summer droughts over the Yellow River Basin
The ensemble prediction will provide invaluable information for drought adaptation over the Yellow River basin.

Experts highlight new concepts and approaches to the rehabilitation of stroke
Stroke remains a leading cause of adult disability, and the global burden of stroke continues to grow with devastating consequences for patients, families, and caregivers.

Europe needs coastal adaptation measures to avoid catastrophic flooding by the end of the century
Coastal floods could impact up to 3.65 million people every year in Europe by 2100, according to a study from the Joint Research Centre, the European Commission's science and knowledge service.

Higher omega-3 index associated with better brain function in children
New research published in the July edition of the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, has established a strong correlation between blood levels of omega-3s, especially docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and better brain function in children two to six years old.

Meteorite bombardment likely to have created the Earth's oldest rocks
Scientists have found that 4.02 billion year old silica-rich felsic rocks from the Acasta River, Canada -- the oldest rock formation known on Earth -- probably formed at high temperatures and at a surprisingly shallow depth of the planet's nascent crust.

Researchers uncover a major new vulnerability of childhood leukemia
A team of researchers from IOCB Prague, KU Leuven, and Baylor College of Medicine has recently uncovered a major new vulnerability of mixed lineage leukemia.

Why zebrafish (almost) always have stripes
A mathematical model helps explain the key role that one pigment cells plays in making sure that each stripe on a zebrafish ends up exactly where it belongs.

The behavior of water: scientists find new properties of H2O
A team of scientists has uncovered new molecular properties of water -- a discovery of a phenomenon that had previously gone unnoticed.

WPSI says screen all women annually for urinary incontinence
All women should be screened annually for urinary incontinence, according to new guidelines from the Women's Preventive Services Initiative (WPSI).

Benzodiazepines are associated with increased risk of Alzheimer's disease
The use of benzodiazepines and related drugs (Z drugs) is associated with a modestly increased risk of Alzheimer's disease, according to a recent study from the University of Eastern Finland.

A new artificial quantum material essential in developing high-efficiency computers
Scientists at Tsinghua University and Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing have demonstrated the ability to control the states of matter, thus controlling internal resistance, within multilayered magnetically doped semiconductors using the Quantum Anomalous Hall Effect.

Video-based ethics program increases moral awareness, study finds
Ethics Unwrapped, a video-based behavioral ethics curriculum created at The University of Texas at Austin and adopted by educational institutions around the world, effectively increases student understanding of ethics and human behavior, according to a study published today in the Journal of Business Law and Ethics Pedagogy.

Peripheral nerve block provides some with long-lasting pain relief for severe facial pain
A new study has shown that use of peripheral nerve blocks in the treatment of Trigeminal Neuralgia (TGN) may produce long-term pain relief.

NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite finds a weaker Tropical Storm Leepi
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite caught up with Typhoon Leepi in the open waters of the Northwestern Pacific Ocean and captured a visible image that showed the bulk of clouds were northeast of the center.

Converting carbon dioxide into methane or ethane selectively
Korean researchers developed high-efficiency photocatalysts that convert carbon dioxide into methane or ethane with graphene-covered reduced titanium dioxide.

Protons get zippier in neutron-rich nuclei
A new study carried out at the Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility has confirmed that increasing the number of neutrons as compared to protons in the atom's nucleus also increases the average momentum of its protons.

Study identifies distinct origin of ADHD in children with history of brain injury
According to a study in Biological Psychiatry, physical brain injury in children contributes to the development of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), distinct from genetic risk for the disorder.

Preliminary analysis of the influence of reinforced mortar coating
This work presents an extensive characterisation of materials and components used in non-structural masonry constructions in the region of Pernambuco, Brazil.

Rethinking the stroke rule 'time is brain'
In 1993, neurologist Camilo Gomez, M.D., coined a phrase that for a quarter century has been a fundamental rule of stroke care: 'Time is brain!' The longer therapy is delayed, the less chance it will be successful. 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