Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 20, 2018
A new generation of artificial retinas based on 2D materials
Scientists report they have successfully developed and tested the world's first ultrathin artificial retina that could vastly improve on existing implantable visualization technology for the blind.

Nanoparticles in our environment may have more harmful effects than we think
Researchers warn that a combination of nanoparticles and contaminants may form a cocktail that is harmful to our cells.

NASA's GPM satellite finds heavy rainfall in powerful Hurricane Lane
Hurricane Lane had moved westward into the central Pacific Ocean far southeast of the Hawaiian Islands when NASA's GPM core observatory satellite passed above and looked it the heavy rainfall it was generating.

'Liquid biopsy' predicts lymphoma therapy success within days, Stanford-led study finds
A blood test can predict which patients with a type of cancer called diffuse large B cell lymphoma are likely to respond positively to initial therapy and which are likely to need more aggressive treatment, according to a multicenter study led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

NCI-led research team develops predictor for immunotherapy response in melanoma
In a new study, researchers developed a gene expression predictor that can indicate whether melanoma in a specific patient is likely to respond to treatment with immune checkpoint inhibitors, a novel type of immunotherapy.

Massive monumental cemetery built by Eastern Africa's earliest herders discovered in Kenya
An international team has found the earliest and largest monumental cemetery in eastern Africa.

Supercomputing simulations and machine learning help improve power plants
Researchers at the University of Stuttgart are exploring how supercritical carbon dioxide could serve as a cleaner, safer, and more flexible working fluid in power plants than supercritical water by using supercomputing resources and machine learning.

Bioengineered tooth replacement opens doors to new therapies
Tooth loss is a significant health issue currently affecting millions of people worldwide.

Gene therapy vectors carrying the telomerase gene do not increase the risk of cancer
Researchers from the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) have shown in a new study that the gene therapy with telomerase that they have developed, and which has proven to be effective in mice against diseases caused by excessive telomere shortening and ageing, does not cause cancer or increase the risk of developing it, even in a cancer-prone setting.

Near two million acres on fire in the United States
The West Coast of the United States is shrouded in smoke from the 110 large fires (this does not include smaller fires within each complex of fires) that have erupted across the region during this fire season.

Saliva could influence taste preferences
Saliva is crucial for tasting and digesting food. But scientists have now found that saliva could also be part of a feedback loop that influences how food tastes to people -- and by extension, what foods they're willing to eat.

Typhoon Soulik's large eye wide open on NASA satellite imagery
When NASA's Terra satellite passed over Typhoon Soulik in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean on Aug.

Biological engineers discover new antibiotic candidates
Researchers from MIT and the University of Naples Federico II found that fragments of the protein pepsinogen, an enzyme used to digest food in the stomach, can kill bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli.

Men place less value on care-oriented careers like nursing: UBC study
Men assign less importance to care-oriented careers than women do, possibly because men internalize different values than women, suggests new research from the University of British Columbia.

Frequency of prenatal marijuana use for nausea, vomiting in pregnancy
Is prenatal marijuana use higher among women diagnosed with nausea and vomiting in pregnancy?

Researchers find potential new gene therapy for blinding disease
Scientists funded by the National Eye Institute (NEI) report a novel gene therapy that halts vision loss in a canine model of a blinding condition called autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa (adRP).

No partitions between desks may be 'healthier' for office workers
An open plan design, with no partitions between desks ('open bench' configuration), may be healthier than other types of workstation arrangement for office workers, suggests research published online in Occupational & Environmental Medicine.

Teens today spend more time on digital media, less time reading
If you can't remember the last time you saw a teenager reading a book, newspaper or magazine, you're not alone.

Autonomous gene expression control nanodevice will contribute to medical care
Osaka University-led researchers constructed integrated gene logic-chips called 'gene nanochips.' These self-contained nanochips can switch genes on or off according to the environment, where photo-reprogramming of the logic operation by UV irradiation is possible.

A GPS for inside your body
An MIT team has developed a system that can pinpoint the location of ingestible implants inside the body using low-power wireless signals.

Could vitamin B3 treat acute kidney injury?
A multidisciplinary research team led by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center nephrologist and principal investigator Samir M.

Understanding urban issues through credit cards
Digital traces from credit card and mobile phone usage can be used to map urban lifestyles and understand human mobility, according to a report led by UCL, MIT and UC Berkeley.

Illicit drug use could be higher than previously thought; soars during special events
America's drug problem may be even worse than officials realize.

Poor sleep + type 2 diabetes = Slower wound healing
People with Type 2 diabetes who don't sleep well could need more time to heal their wounds, according to a new study published by researchers from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Ape parasite genomes reveal origin, evolution of leading cause of malaria outside Africa
The genome sequences of ape parasites related to Plasmodium vivax, the main source of mosquito-borne malaria outside Africa, provide insights on the origin and early evolution of the human parasite.

Research reveals link between warming and lobster disease
New findings reveal that earlier springs and hotter summers in the northeastern U.S. are making resident lobsters increasingly susceptible to epizootic shell disease, a condition that has depleted the southern New England population and severely impacted the local lobster fishery.

What's behind the retreating kelps and expanding corals?
Climate change and other external forces are causing rapid marine community shifts in Japan's coastal ecosystems.

Global surgeons provide value through innovation, professionalism, and education
A new position paper from the Association of Academic Surgeons (AAS) Global Affairs Committee, the Society of University Surgeons Committee on Global Academic Surgery, and the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Operation Giving Back (OGB) program contends that surgeons from AHCs have much to gain, including professional education, research experience, and an opportunity to enhance their institution's reputation when AHCs support academic global surgeons from their institutions.

Colorado study shows how to make (and destroy) a metastatic cancer cell
By turning off an important step of cellular recycling, metastatic cancer cells become unable to survive the stresses of traveling through the body.

Antidepressant restores youthful flexibility to aging inhibitory neurons in mice
Inhibitory neurons in the aging brain show reduced growth and plasticity, likely contributing to declines in brain function.

Rogue proteins may underlie some ALS and frontotemporal dementia cases, says study
Some forms of ALS and frontotemporal dementia share a common loss of functioning of RNA-binding proteins that regulate gene expression, says a new study by Columbia University and New York Genome Center researchers.

Newer HIV therapies have led to gains in viral suppression rates over past 2 decades
Viral suppression rates have nearly tripled in the US over the past 2 decades, but disparities still exist for younger persons and blacks living with HIV.

Teen tattoos: 1/2 of parents concerned about negative health effects, impact on employment
78 percent of parents said they would 'absolutely not consider it' if their teen asked about a tattoo.

The bright ways forests affect their environment
New study finds volatile gases emitted by forests increase the amount of diffuse light reaching the forests.

Getting policy right: why fisheries management is plagued by the panacea mindset
Fisheries management has often been characterized by regulatory policies that result in panaceas -- broad based policy solutions that are expected to address several problems, which result in unintended consequences.

Two molecules offer great potential to combat cancer and chronic infections
In a new study published in the scientific journal PNAS, Shomyseh Sanjabi, PHD, and her team at the Gladstone Institutes identified two molecules, Sprouty 1 and Sprouty 2, that modify the survival of effector T cells and the development of memory CD8 T cells.

New study identifies strategies in US climate litigation
Researchers at the George Washington University have published a study in Nature Climate Change that for the first time analyzes all US climate change lawsuits over a 26-year period.

Stone tools reveal modern human-like gripping capabilities 500,000 years ago
Research carried out at the University of Kent demonstrates that a technique used to produce stone tools that were first found half a million years ago is likely to have needed a modern human-like hand.

Multi-purpose silicon chip created for quantum information processing
An international team of researchers led by the University of Bristol have demonstrated that light can be used to implement a multi-functional quantum processor.

Scientists discover intricacies of serotonin receptor crucial for better therapeutics
For the first time, scientists have figured out why drugs that aim to treat Parkinson's disease, migraines, pituitary tumors, and obesity activate the serotonin receptor 5-HT2B to cause life-threatening heart problems.

Militarization of police fails to enhance safety, may harm police reputation
Militarized policing does not lead to less violent crime or less violence against police officers, according to a new study led by Princeton University.

Nice sunny days can grow into heat waves -- and wildfires: summer weather is stalling
Stalling summer weather as we are experiencing right now in the Northern hemisphere can turn into 'extreme extremes' from heat to drought, from rain to flood.

Once a performance barrier, material quirk could improve telecommunications
Researchers who study and manipulate the behavior of materials at the atomic level have discovered a way to make a thin material that enhances the flow of microwave energy.

Progress toward plugging an antibiotic pump
Using computer modeling, researchers from Sandia National Laboratories and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are helping to develop the means to prevent deaths from infections caused by antibiotic resistant bacteria.

#MeToo and the medical profession
The medical profession is not immune to bullying, harassment and discrimination, and in this #MeToo era, it is time that physicians, medical schools and institutions aim to abolish these behaviours, argue the authors of an editorial in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Next-gen insect repellents to combat mosquito-borne diseases (video)
Nearly 700 million people suffer from mosquito-borne diseases -- such as malaria, West Nile, Zika and dengue fever -- each year, resulting in more than 1 million deaths.

Study finds women with pregnancy-related nausea, vomiting use marijuana more
A Kaiser Permanente study, published today in JAMA Internal Medicine, found that women with mild and severe nausea and vomiting in pregnancy were significantly more likely to have used marijuana during pregnancy than women without these symptoms.

Carbon reserves in Central American soils still affected by ancient Mayan deforestation
Deforestation is suspected to have contributed to the mysterious collapse of Mayan civilization more than 1,000 years ago.

Natural disasters widen racial wealth gap
Damage caused by natural disasters and recovery efforts launched in their aftermaths have increased wealth inequality between races in the United States, according to new research from Rice University and the University of Pittsburgh.

Socioeconomic status may explain racial & ethnic disparities in childhood cancer survival
A new study provides insights into the degree to which socioeconomic status explains racial and ethnic disparities in childhood cancer survival.

To float or not to float? Mystery solved as to why algae balls float and sink
Scientists from the University of Bristol have uncovered the age-old mystery of why marimo algae balls sink at night and float during the day.

Core thinking error underlies belief in creationism, conspiracy theories
It's not uncommon to hear someone say that 'everything happens for a reason' or that something that happened was 'meant to be.' Now, researchers reporting in Current Biology on Aug.

Your office may be affecting your health
New UA-led research found that open office seating arrangements offer health benefits not seen in workers in cubicles or private offices.

Young, healthy people still vulnerable to CVD if their LDL cholesterol is high
A study of more than 36,000 people followed for over two decades revealed that healthy individuals considered 'low-risk' still died from cardiovascular disease if they had high low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.

Parental cancer linked to poorer school grades, educational attainment, and adult earning power
Childhood experience of parental cancer is linked to poorer school grades, educational attainment, and subsequent earning power as a young adult, suggests a data linkage study of more than 1 million Danes, published online in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

Quantum leap for Einstein's scientific principle
How Einstein's equivalence principle extends to the quantum world has been puzzling physicists for decades, but a team including a University of Queensland researcher has found the key to this question.

Chagas disease, caused by a parasite, has spread outside of...
Chagas disease is caused by a parasite, transmitted by a blood-sucking insect -- Trypanosoma cruzi -- and less frequently, from mother to fetus or by contaminated food or drink.

Taking the brain apart to put it all together again
A new Organ Chip system from the Wyss Institute has fluidically linked a Brain Chip with two blood-brain barrier (BBB) Chips to recapitulate the interactions between the brain and its blood vessels.

Areas with more alcohol vendors have higher hospital admission rates
Places with the most pubs, bars and nightclubs had a 13 per cent higher hospital admission rate for acute conditions caused by alcohol.

In teen friendships, misery does love company
A longitudinal study examined anxiety, depression, social withdrawal, and submissiveness to predict the end of teen friendships.

New study explains why genetic mutations cause disease in some people but not in others
Researchers at the New York Genome Center (NYGC) and Columbia University have uncovered a molecular mechanism behind one of biology's long-standing mysteries: why individuals carrying identical gene mutations for a disease end up having varying severity or symptoms of the disease.

Strawberries could help reduce harmful inflammation in the colon
Inflammatory bowel disease is a set of painful conditions that can cause severe diarrhea and fatigue.

Juelich researchers are developing fast-charging solid-state batteries
There are currently great hopes for solid-state batteries. They contain no liquid parts that could leak or catch fire.

Prevention and cessation best options to reduce tobacco-related heart disease
Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the world and encompasses a variety of products, including cigarettes, e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco.

Making light work of quantum computing
Light may be the missing ingredient in making usable quantum silicon computer chips, according to an international study featuring a University of Queensland researcher.

Parasitic love vine tangles with gall wasps, sucking the life out of their young
Two parasites, the love vine and the gall wasp, are both hosted by one species of oak tree, but on Aug.

Adolescents' concern over societal discrimination associated with worse behavioral health
Many southern California high school students report being concerned that discrimination is increasing in society and that concern appears to be associated with behavioral health problems a year later, including more frequent substance use and higher odds of depression and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms.

Researchers discover link between magnetic field strength and temperature
Researchers recently discovered that the strength of the magnetic field required to elicit a particular quantum mechanical process corresponds to the temperature of the material.

DNA analysis of 6,500-year-old human remains in Israel points to origin of ancient culture
An international team of researchers from Tel Aviv University, the Israel Antiquities Authority and Harvard University has discovered that waves of migration from Anatolia and the Zagros mountains to the Levant helped develop the Chalcolithic culture that existed in Israel's Upper Galilee region some 6,500 years ago.

NASA sees a 'Picasso-like' face in Tropical Storm Cimaron's powerful storms
An infrared look by NASA's Terra satellite found powerful storms in the center of Tropical Storm Cimaron that resembled a ''Picasso-like'' face as they zig-zagged around the center of circulation.

New medical specialty needed to manage growing number of Americans with diabetes
Fourteen years after one-year fellowship programs were created to give primary care physicians the clinical skills to better manage diabetes and its complications, new research in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association finds resistance among payers and other physicians may slow growth of the fledgling specialty.

Impact of osteoporosis on the risk of dementia in almost 60,000 patients
Osteoporosis is estimated to affect 200 million women across the world.

Maple leaf extract could nip skin wrinkles in the bud
Maple trees are best known for their maple syrup and lovely fall foliage.

More than half of stores sampled in Colorado study still selling cigarettes to minors
Less than half of the 201 randomly chosen stores always refused the underage tobacco purchase attempts, and more than one-fourth sold tobacco to the minors two or more times.

Healthy diet linked to healthy cellular aging in women
Eating a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains and low in added sugar, sodium and processed meats could help promote healthy cellular aging in women, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Consuming milk at breakfast lowers blood glucose throughout the day
A change in breakfast routine may provide benefits for the management of type 2 diabetes, according to a new study published in the Journal of Dairy Science.

Metamolds: Molding a mold
The method of fabricating objects via silicone molding has a long tradition.

Biosensor allows real-time oxygen monitoring for 'organs-on-a-chip'
A new biosensor allows researchers to track oxygen levels in real time in ''organ-on-a-chip'' systems, making it possible to ensure that such systems more closely mimic the function of real organs.

Quantum bugs, meet your new swatter
A Rice University computer scientist and his colleagues have proposed a scalable algorithm for quantum state tomography to significantly accelerate the imposing task of validating the accuracy of quantum computers.

Future filters
UCSB chemical engineers uncover ways to pattern solid surfaces to enhance how water interacts with them

New drug could prevent debilitating side effect of cancer treatment
About 50,000 people in the US are diagnosed annually with head, neck, nasal and oral cancers.

Beauty is simpler, and less special, than we realize
Beauty, long studied by philosophers, and more recently by scientists, is simpler than we might think, New York University psychology researchers have concluded in a new analysis.

Simple score to diagnose heart attacks is safer, faster than current methods
An international team of researchers has developed a simple laboratory score that is safer and faster at diagnosing patients who visit the emergency department with heart attack symptoms.

Sex in plants requires thrust
In a TECHNOLOGY paper to be published in the September 2018 issue of TECHNOLOGY, the thrust produced by the microscopic organ delivering sperm cells in plants has now been measured using microfluidic technology.

Helping surgical patients taper off opioids safely and successfully
A unique pain program is helping complex surgical patients wean off opioids safely and effectively, while offering alternative ways to cope with their pain and improve how they function.

Brain cancer potentially resists immunotherapies by trapping T cells in bone marrow
Researchers in collaboration with Osaka University found that brain tumors in mice and humans cause immune T-cells to become trapped in bone marrow.

Study finds racial disparities in prescribing opioids for chronic pain
Yale researchers have identified racial disparities in the treatment of patients who are prescribed opioids for chronic pain.

Synthetic DNA-based enzymes
Enzymes perform very specific functions and require only little energy -- which is why the biocatalysts are also of interest to the chemical industry.

Children with brain tumors who undergo radiation less likely to recall recent events
Children with certain types of brain tumors who undergo radiation treatment are less likely to recall the specifics of events they experienced after radiation than to remember pre-treatment happenings, according to a Baylor University study comparing them to children with healthy brains.

Knockdown and replace: A gene therapy twofer to treat blindness
More than 150 different mutations in the light-sensing molecule rhodopsin can cause retinitis pigmentosa, characterized by a progressive loss of night and peripheral vision.

New research reveals how the body clock controls inflammation
Researchers at RCSI and Trinity College Dublin have revealed insights into how the body clock controls the inflammatory response, which may open up new therapeutic options to treat excess inflammation in conditions such as asthma, arthritis and cardiovascular disease.

New assay to detect genetic abnormalities in sarcomas outperforms conventional techniques
A report in The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics describes a new assay, anchored multiplex PCR (AMP)-based targeted next-generation-sequencing (NGS), with superior diagnostic utility compared to conventional techniques.

California plain shows surprising winners and losers from prolonged drought
A long-term study led by the University of Washington and the University of California, Berkeley tracked how hundreds of species in the Carrizo Plain National Monument fared during the historic drought that struck California from 2012 to 2015.

Proposal seeks to improve assessment of drug risks
A drug policy researcher is proposing a suite of changes to overhaul the Multi-Criteria Drug Harm Scale, which informs drug policies across Europe.

New ESMO tumor DNA scale helps match patients with cancer to optimal targeted medicines
A new scale for tumour DNA mutations which will simplify and standardise choices for targeted cancer treatment has been agreed by leading cancer specialists in Europe and North America.

Can we have a fire in a highly vacuumed environment?
Toyohashi University of Technology researchers have discovered that non-flaming combustion (smoldering) of a porous specimen can sustain, even under nearly 1 percent of atmospheric pressure.

A timescale for the origin and evolution of all of life on Earth
A new study led by scientists from the University of Bristol has used a combination of genomic and fossil data to explain the history of life on Earth, from its origin to the present day.

Study details effect of radiation exposure on hormone deficiencies
In a new study, University of Cincinnati (UC) researchers, in collaboration with Massachusetts General Hospital, have detailed the effect of radiation exposure on the development of hormone deficiency in pediatric and young adult patients treated for brain tumors.

More women running for political office may hurt chances for down-ballot candidates
Gender stereotypes and biases still influence voters, especially in elections with more than one woman on the ballot.

Talking to an android
Researchers have significantly upgraded the interaction system for the conversational android ERICA, by implementing 'backchanneling' and 'attentive listening' ability.

Kids stress over public acts of discrimination, USC study finds
USC scientists show an association between concerns over public displays of discrimination and behavioral health problems among teens from communities of color or disadvantaged homes.

Childhood brain tumor treatment impairs new memory formation
Young people who received radiation therapy for the most common pediatric brain tumor struggle to create new memories about specific events, according to a study of children and adolescents published in JNeurosci.

Bigger proteins, stronger threads: Synthetic spider silk
Scientists in the School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University in St.

Blood management program safely reduces transfusions in orthopedic patients
A patient blood management program designed to limit the amount of transfused blood orthopedic patients undergoing common surgeries such as hip and knee replacement receive was associated with fewer transfusions, reduced blood use and improved outcomes, reports a study published in the Online First edition of Anesthesiology, the peer-reviewed journal of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA).

New kind of aurora is not an aurora at all
Thin ribbons of purple and white light that sometimes appear in the night sky were dubbed a new type of aurora when brought to scientists' attention in 2016.

Light from ancient quasars helps confirm quantum entanglement
In a paper published today in Physical Review Letters, researchers have vastly extended the case for quantum entanglement and further restricted the options for the freedom-of-choice loophole.

E-cigarettes can damage DNA
The popularity of electronic cigarettes continues to grow worldwide, as many people view them as a safer alternative to smoking.

Adults play a key role in children's participation in school recess, researchers suggest
When adults are participants in school recess -- leading games, monitoring play and ensuring conflicts are mediated quickly -- children are more likely to be engaged in recess activities, a new study has found.

Techniques for reducing sugar content in dairy products show promise
Dairy foods are popular among consumers, and sales gross more than $125 billion per year (IDFA, 2017).

Love vine sucks life from wasps, leaving only mummies
Rice University evolutionary biologists have discovered a new trophic interaction -- the first example of a parasitic plant attacking a parasitic insect on a shared host plant.

Discovery can help farmers combat stink bugs, save money on pest control
For stink bugs to attract a mate or to communicate that they have found food, they use their own chemical language: pheromones.

New results support continued development of AAV-based human factor VIII gene therapy
Gene therapy using an optimized adeno-associated virus (AAV) to deliver the human fac-tor VIII gene to cynomolgus macaques showed a substantial increase in hFVIII expres-sion and no detectable antibody response for 30 weeks in some animals.

Michigan meteor could help researchers understand near-Earth object threats
The meteor explosion was also captured by infrasonic microphones and seismometers, offering a rare chance to compare these data with satellite and ground camera images.

Researchers succeed in imaging quantum events
An international group led by Professor Beena Kalisky and Professor Aviad Frydman, from the Department of Physics and the Institute for Nanotechnology at Bar-Ilan University in Israel, has succeeded in imaging quantum fluctuations for the first time.

Enzyme-powered protocells rise to the top
Researchers at the University of Bristol have successfully assembled enzyme-powered artificial cells that can float or sink depending on their internal chemical activity.

Listeria surveillance: New EU-wide study reveals that most outbreaks remain undetected
More than half of the severe listeriosis cases in the European Union belong to clusters, many of which are not being picked up fast enough by the current surveillance system, suggests a new article published in Eurosurveillance.

Researchers turn tracking codes into 'clouds' to authenticate genuine 3-D printed parts
A team at NYU Tandon School of Engineering has found a way to prove the provenance of 3-D printed parts by embedding QR (Quick Response) codes in an innovative way for unique device identification.

Laughing gas may have helped warm early Earth and given breath to life
Laughing gas and the mystery of Carl Sagan's Faint Young Sun Paradox: When the sun shone dimmer an eon ago, Earth remained warm in spite of it likely thanks to a mix of greenhouse gases.

Super-resolution microscopy: Getting even closer to the limit
In a pioneering study, an LMU team led by Ralf Jungmann has demonstrated that the use of chemically-modified DNA aptamers as protein markers allows one to enhance the power of super-resolution fluorescence microscopy as an imaging tool.

Nearly 2 in 5 teen drivers text while driving
The study examined individual- and state-level factors associated with texting while driving among teens from 35 states.

NIH officials: Closing treatment gaps critical to ending the US HIV epidemic
Daily antiretroviral therapy (ART) that suppresses HIV to levels undetectable by standard blood tests is lifesaving for individuals living with HIV and prevents sexual transmission of the virus to others. 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