Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 15, 2018
App that will extend your smartphone battery life
New research out of the University of Waterloo has found a novel method to extend the battery life of smartphones for up to an hour each day.

Molecular switch detects metals in the environment
A team led by researchers from the University of Geneva, Switzerland, has designed a family of molecules capable of binding to metal ions present in its environment and providing an easily detectable light signal during binding.

Tongue microbiome research underscores importance of dental health
Elderly individuals with fewer teeth, poor dental hygiene, and more cavities constantly ingest more dysbiotic microbiota, which could be harmful to their respiratory health, according to new research published in the journal mSphere.

Magnetic antiparticles offer new horizons for information technologies
Computer simulations reveal new behavior of antiskyrmions in gradually increased electric currents.

When viruses infect phytoplankton, it can change the clouds
Microscopic plant-like organisms called phytoplankton support the diversity of life in the ocean.

NASA satellite sees Tropical Depression Rumbia form
Tropical Depression Rumbia, the twenty-first tropical cyclone of the Northwestern Pacific Ocean season formed on Aug.

A trained eye
UCSB researchers show that category learning can be influenced by where an object is in our field of vision.

Funny bone: ASU survey finds 99 percent of science students appreciate instructor humor
In a first-of-its-kind study published today in the journal PLOS ONE, researchers from Arizona State University found that students appreciate when instructors tell jokes in science class, but that female and male students differ in what topics they find funny or offensive.

Optimizing airport flight patterns take a toll on human health
Health costs associated with noise from changing flight patterns over populated urban landscapes far outweigh the benefits of reduced flight times, according to a new study.

Eating breakfast burns more carbs during exercise and accelerates metabolism for next meal
New research published in the American Journal of Physiology suggests that eating breakfast could 'prime' the body to burn carbohydrates during exercise and more rapidly metabolise foods after working out.

Emergency hospital visits more common among most deprived bowel cancer patients
Bowel cancer patients living in the most deprived areas have up to 13 percent higher proportions of emergency hospital admissions before a diagnosis than patients living in the least deprived areas, according to a study funded by Cancer Research UK.

Chips, light and coding moves the front line in beating bacteria
A multidisciplinary study finds a way to examine biofilms with high efficiency.

Password managers vulnerable to insider hacking
A new study shows that communication channels between different parts and pieces of computer software are prone to security breaches.

How ugly marital spats might open the door to disease
Married people who fight nastily are more likely to suffer from leaky guts -- a problem that unleashes bacteria into the blood and can drive up disease-causing inflammation, new research suggests.

Patient motivations behind cosmetic procedures
What motivates patients to seek minimally invasive cosmetic procedures? Most patients want the procedures to please themselves, not others, and, apart from aesthetic appearance to look younger and fresher, patient motivations ranged from physical health and psychological well-being to looking good at work and increasing self-confidence.

Male tobacco smokers have brain-wide reduction of CB1 receptors
Chronic, frequent tobacco smokers have a decreased number of cannabinoid CB1 receptors, the 'pot receptor', when compared with non-smokers, reports a study in Biological Psychiatry.

Structure of ion channel reveals how insects smell their way around the world
Researchers describe, for the first time, the structure of a smell-receptor protein common among insects.

Common Wifi can detect weapons, bombs and chemicals in bags
Ordinary WiFi can easily detect weapons, bombs and explosive chemicals in bags at museums, stadiums, theme parks, schools and other public venues, according to a Rutgers University-New Brunswick-led study.

Restoring blood flow may be best option to save your life and limb
Amputation for severe blockages in the lower limbs has a lower survival rate than other treatment options that restore blood flow.

NASA sees Tropical Storm Bebinca still near Hainan Island
Tropical Storm Bebinca continues to rain on Hainan Island, China and has been doing so for days.

Logging permit fraud threatens timber species in Brazilian Amazon
Timber harvested illegally under fraudulent permits is undercutting conservation efforts in the Brazilian Amazon, new research by an international collaboration shows.

This matrix delivers healing stem cells to injured elderly muscles
Muscles of the elderly and of patients with Duchene muscular dystrophy have trouble regenerating.

Model way to protect trees
New research unravels the dynamics of tree production, economics and variability in demand to show how to reduce the risks of importing such damaging forest pests and diseases as oak processionary moth and ash dieback.

How forests improve kids' diets
A first-of-its-kind global study shows that children in 27 developing countries have better nutrition -- when they live near forests.

New HIV therapy reduces virus, boosts immunity in drug-resistant patients
In a study, a new HIV drug reduced viral replication and increased immune cells in individuals with advanced, drug-resistant HIV infection.

A molecular switch may serve as new target point for cancer and diabetes therapies
If certain signaling cascades are misregulated, diseases like cancer, obesity and diabetes may occur.

Frequent fires make droughts harder for young trees, even in wet eastern forests
Forests in the eastern United States may have had it easy compared to their western counterparts, with the intense, prolonged droughts and wildfires that have become typical out west in recent years.

NASA catches formation of fifth Atlantic depression
The fifth tropical cyclone of the North Atlantic Ocean season formed on Aug.

Evening preference, lack of sleep associated with higher BMI in people with prediabetes
People with prediabetes who go to bed later, eat meals later and are more active and alert later in the day -- those who have an 'evening preference' -- have higher body mass indices compared with people with prediabetes who do things earlier in the day, or exhibit morning preference.

New research reveals corals could be trained to survive environmental stress
Scientists have discovered the first molecular evidence that when exposed to environmental stress corals and anemones can optimize their gene expression enabling them to acclimatize to extreme conditions such as those experienced during climate change.

UMN Medical School research shows it's possible to reverse damage caused by aging cells
What's the secret to aging well? University of Minnesota Medical School researchers have answered it -- on a cellular level.

Forget the bling: High status-signaling deters new friendships
When it comes to making new friends, status symbols actually repel people from making friends with us, according to new research published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.

Stern of World War II US destroyer discovered off remote Alaskan island
In the midst of World War II on August 18, 1943, the USS Abner Read struck what was presumed to be a Japanese mine in the Bering Sea.

A review of prevalent methods for automatic skin lesion diagnosis
The three prevalent skin cancers, according to the literature are melanoma, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.

NASA sees 14th Eastern Pacific Tropical Depression form
Tropical Depression 14E formed far from land and poses no threat to land areas.

Mechanism that affects multiplication of dengue virus lineage is discovered
A study aiming at the development of a dengue vaccine shows that the prevalence of a virus lineage upon the other does not rely on the highest replication rate: it is rather based on the virus' ability in triggering weaker activation of the patient's immune response.

Robots have power to significantly influence children's opinions
Young children are significantly more likely than adults to have their opinions and decisions influenced by robots, according to new research.

Scientists discover chemical which can kill glioblastoma cells
Aggressive brain tumour cells taken from patients self-destructed after being exposed to a chemical in laboratory tests, researchers have shown.

Mizzou program significantly reduces delay in autism diagnosis
A new study on the effectiveness of ECHO Autism shows that the program significantly reduces diagnostic wait times for young children at highest risk for autism and saved families an average of 172.7 miles in travel for diagnosis.

New research predicts landslide boundaries two weeks before they happen
University of Melbourne researchers have developed a software tool that uses applied mathematics and big data analytics to predict the boundary of where a landslide will occur, two weeks in advance.

Scientists found that wheat growing season lengths change significant due to crop management measure
An examination of changes in crop phenology is critical for guiding regional agricultural activities in attempts to adapt to climate change.

Neonatal pig hearts can heal from heart attack
Researchers have discovered that the hearts of newborn piglets have one remarkable ability.

Water use for fracking has risen by up to 770 percent since 2011
The amount of water used per well for fracking surged by up to 770 percent between 2011 and 2016 in all major US shale gas- and oil-producing regions, a Duke University study finds.

Climate change sea level rises could increase risk for more devastating tsunamis worldwide
The threat of rising sea levels to coastal cities and communities throughout the world is well known, but new findings show the likely increase of flooding farther inland from tsunamis following earthquakes.

How many American cities protect the rights of employed breastfeeding mothers?
Research from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia found that, among the 151 largest cities in the United States, only Philadelphia and New York City have local legislation that protects a nursing mother who returns to work outside the home and who wants to continue breastfeeding.

PARP inhibitor improves progression-free survival in patients with advanced breast cancers
In a randomized, Phase III trial led by researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, the PARP inhibitor talazoparib extended progression-free survival (PFS) and improved quality-of-life measures over available chemotherapies for patients with metastatic HER2-negative breast cancer and mutations in the BRCA1/2 genes.

First-of-its-kind Parkinson's biomarker guidelines invigorates drive for treatments
A slate of guidelines to shape the future of Parkinson's biomarker research have been published in Science Translational Medicine.

Parental life span predicts daughters living to 90 without chronic disease or disability
Researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine report that women whose mothers lived to at least age 90 were more likely to also live to 90, free of serious diseases and disabilities.

Better statistical methods to understand gene interactions leading to cancer development
Research led by Hui-Yi Lin, PhD, Associate Professor of Biostatistics at LSU Health New Orleans School of Public Health, has developed another novel statistical method for evaluating gene-to-gene interactions associated with cancer and other complex diseases.

The secret behind cell revival revealed
OIST scientists identify essential genes for quiescent cells to switch back to dividing mode using fission yeast that may lead to new cancer therapies.

Weight gain after smoking cessation linked to increased short-term diabetes risk
People who gain weight after they quit smoking may face a temporary increase in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, with the risk directly proportional to the weight gain.

Particles pull last drops of oil from well water
Rice University engineers develop magnetic nanoparticles that separate the last droplets of oil from produced water at wells.

Widespread declines in life expectancy across high income countries coincide with rising young adult and midlife mortality in the United States
The ongoing opioid epidemic in the United States is a key contributor to the most recent declines in life expectancy, suggests a study published by The BMJ today.

Prehistoric mummy reveals ancient Egyptian embalming 'recipe' was around for millennia
The ancient Egyptians developed sophisticated embalming treatments far earlier and across a wider geographical area than had been previously known, forensic tests on a well-known prehistoric mummy have revealed.

World's oldest cheese found in Egyptian tomb
Aging usually improves the flavor of cheese, but that's not why some very old cheese discovered in an Egyptian tomb is drawing attention.

Protein droplets keep neurons at the ready and immune system in balance
Discoveries by two HHMI investigators show how proteins that organize into liquid droplets inside cells make certain biological functions possible.

A steady increase in the water footprint at US fracking sites
Water use for hydraulic fracturing (commonly referred to as 'fracking') in the US has been increasing at individual facilities in recent years, even as unconventional oil and gas production has more broadly declined, a new study reports.

Bird communities dwindle on New Mexico's Pajarito Plateau
Researchers have found declines in the number and diversity of bird populations at nine sites surveyed in northern New Mexico, where eight species vanished over time while others had considerably dropped.

NASA satellite image Tropical Depression Hector elongating, weakening
Tropical Depression Hector is being torn apart in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean.

Mapping the future direction for quantum research
The way research in quantum technology will be taken forward has been laid out in a revised roadmap for the field.

NUS study: RUNX proteins act as regulators in DNA repair
A study by researchers from the Cancer Science Institute of Singapore (CSI Singapore) at the National University of Singapore has revealed that RUNX proteins are regulators in efficient DNA repair via the Fanconi Anemia (FA) pathway.

Should all babies have their genomes sequenced?
New Hastings Center special report outlines ethics and policy recommendations on genome-wide sequencing of newborns.

Arctic seabird populations respond to climate change
Seabirds such as gulls can be key indicators of environmental change as their populations respond to shifts in their ocean habitat over time.

Old species learn new tricks...very slowly
No species lasts forever, and, just as the saying goes, it seems like old species may get stuck in their ways and can't adapt to environmental change as fast as younger species do.

New clues into how 'trash bag of the cell' traps and seals off waste
The mechanics behind how an important process within the cell traps material before recycling it has puzzled scientists for years.

How gene hunting changed the culture of science
A University of Houston researcher reports that 15 years after the end of the Human Genome Project, which mapped the human genetic blueprint, the project is still making news because it forever changed the way scientists work.

Play-doh helps plant research
You know that smell of fresh cut grass? It's a cry for help plants use when under attack.

Light-emitting nanoparticles could provide a safer way to image living cells
A research team has demonstrated how light-emitting nanoparticles, developed at Berkeley Lab, can be used to see deep in living tissue.

Mount Sinai researchers discover how to restore vision using retinal stem cells
Researchers at Mount Sinai have successfully restored vision in mice through activating retinal stem cells, something that has never been done before.

Compound discovered that targets cancer cells lacking the protective p53 'guardian gene'
Developed and tested at the University of Huddersfield, the compound, containing ruthenium, is attracted to the vulnerable cancer cells, whilst leaving healthy cells untouched.

Long-term efficacy of AAV5-based gene therapy to treat day blind sheep with achromatopsia
A study of a large animal model of achromatopsia caused by a mutation in the CNGA3 gene that was treated with a single injection of CNGA3 gene therapy delivered using an AAV5 vector revealed findings reported long-term follow-up findings that show promise for the efficacy and safety of this therapeutic approach.

Study of material surrounding distant stars shows Earth's ingredients 'pretty normal'
The Earth's building blocks seem to be built from 'pretty normal' ingredients, according to researchers working with the world's most powerful telescopes.

Study: immune cell dysfunction linked to photosensitivity
Researchers at Hospital for Special Surgery have discovered that a type of immune cell known as Langerhans appears to play an important role in photosensitivity, an immune system reaction to sunlight that can trigger severe skin rashes.

Anticancer drug offers potential alternative to transplant for patients with liver failure
Patients suffering sudden liver failure could in the future benefit from a new treatment that could reduce the need for transplants, research published today shows.

Trigger, target, trigger: USU scientists explore controlled carbon monoxide release
Utah State University scientists have developed flavonoid-based, organic carbon monoxide-releasing molecules that exhibit CO release only when triggered by visible light.

Logging site slash removal may be boon for wild bees in managed forests
New research suggests the removal of timber harvest residue during harvesting may be a boon for wild bees, an important step toward better understanding the planet's top group of pollinators.

Iron and titanium in the atmosphere of an exoplanet
Exoplanets can orbit close to their host star. When the host star is much hotter than our sun, then the exoplanet becomes as hot as a star.

Fluorescent probe sheds light on tuberculosis bacteria
Scientists have created a fluorescent probe that can tag and illuminate single specimens of the bacteria that cause tuberculosis (TB), one of the world's most problematic infectious diseases.

Study of greater Yellowstone pronghorn finds highway crossing structures a conservation success
A recently published study by scientists from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and Oregon State University has confirmed that efforts to protect migrating pronghorn by installing wildlife crossing structures over highways have succeeded, in terms of the increased success rate of pronghorn crossings over time.

Robots will never replace teachers but can boost children's education
Robots can play an important role in the education of young people but will never fully replace teachers, a new study suggests.

Key factor may be missing from models that predict disease outbreaks from climate change
A study led by Indiana University suggests that computer models used to predict the spread of epidemics from climate change -- such as crop blights or disease outbreaks -- may not take into account an important factor in predicting their severity.

The origin of off-taste in onions
Chopping onions is usually associated with watery and stinging eyes.

Our perceived birth status can affect our adult relationships
Birth status and knowledge about it play a role not only in parents' but also children's lives -- affecting their attachment and mental representation into adulthood.

It's okay when you're not okay: A re-evaluation of resilience in adults
Researchers in the Arizona State University Department of Psychology closely examined a series of research studies on resilience in adults that report most people are unaffected by adversity.

Diving robots find Antarctic seas exhale surprising amounts of carbon dioxide in winter
The open water nearest the sea ice surrounding Antarctica releases significantly more carbon dioxide in winter than previously believed, a new study has found.

NIH-funded researchers reverse congenital blindness in mice
Researchers funded by the National Eye Institute have reversed congenital blindness in mice by changing supportive cells in the retina called Müller glia into rod photoreceptors.

Dating the ancient Minoan eruption of Thera using tree rings
New analyses that use tree rings could settle the long-standing debate about when the volcano Thera erupted by resolving discrepancies between archeological and radiocarbon methods of dating the eruption, according to new University of Arizona-led research.

Students' social skills flourish best in groups with similar skill levels
Researchers at the University of Missouri have found that children who need assistance improving their social skills might benefit more when grouped with peers who have similar social skill levels, rather than with peers who have a similar disability or disorder.

Efficient glycopeptide separation achieved by interfacially polymerized polymer particles
Researchers from the Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry (TIPC) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences recently developed an emulsion interfacial polymerization approach to synthesize polymer particles with hydrophilic-hydrophobic heterostructured surfaces and two-dimensional Janus film actuators.

My counterpart determines my behavior
Whether individuals grow up in a working-class environment or in an academic household, they take on behaviors that are typical for their class -- so goes the hypothesis.

3-D inks that can be erased selectively
3-D printing by direct laser writing enables production of micro-meter-sized structures for many applications, from biomedicine to microelectronics to optical metamaterials.

NASA catches Tropical Depression Leepi nearing landfall
Tropical Depression Leepi was nearing landfall in southern South Korea on Aug.

Battery breakthrough: Doubling performance with lithium metal that doesn't catch fire
A rechargeable battery technology developed at the University of Michigan could double the output of today's lithium ion cells -- drastically extending electric vehicle ranges and time between cell phone charges -- without taking up any added space.

Prenatal exposure to violence leads to increased toddler aggression toward mothers
Babies whose mothers experience interpersonal violence during pregnancy are more likely to exhibit aggression and defiance toward their mothers in toddlerhood, according to new research by Laura Miller-Graff and Jennifer Burke Lefever. 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