Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 22, 2018
These lithium-ion batteries can't catch fire because they harden on impact
Lithium-ion batteries used in consumer electronics are notorious for bursting into flame when damaged.

Connecting the (nano) dots: Big-picture thinking can advance nanoparticle manufacturing
As described in a new paper, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the nonprofit World Technology Evaluation Center (WTEC) advocate that researchers, manufacturers and administrators wanting to advance the nanoparticle manufacturing industry 'connect the dots' by considering shared quality control challenges broadly and tackling them collectively rather than individually.

Air pollution reduces global life expectancy by more than one year, study finds
Air pollution shortens human lives by more than a year, according to researchers from UT Austin.

Novel technology may enable more efficient atrial fibrillation monitoring and detection
A study published in HeartRhythm found that a mobile heart monitor, paired with a smart device and an app, and supported by an automated algorithm can effectively and accurately detect AF, especially when supported by physician overread.

Air pollution leads to cardiovascular diseases
Scientists reviewed the mechanisms responsible for vascular damage from air pollution.

Breastfeeding may help protect mothers against stroke
Breastfeeding was associated with a lower risk of stroke in post-menopausal women who reported breastfeeding at least one child.

Bees need it colorful
Stopping bee extinction is a goal of scientists. Researches under the leadership of the University of Würzburg have discovered that a diversified plant environment helps bees in maintaining stable populations.

Steady as she goes: Scientists tame damaging plasma instabilities in fusion facilities
In a set of recent experiments, scientists have tamed a damaging plasma instability in a way that could lead to the efficient and steady-state operation of ITER, the international tokamak experiment under construction in France to demonstrate the practicality of fusion power.

Healing after harm: Addressing the emotional toll of harmful medical events
A multidisciplinary group of leaders from the Healing After Harm Conference Group, led by Sigall Bell, MD, Researcher at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center has established consensus-driven research agenda designed to create a path forward to inform approaches that better support harmed patients and families.

In soil carbon measurements, tools tell the tale
Soil organic carbon stocks are the amount of organic carbon found in soil.

Fast visible-UV light nanobelt photodetector
Here, we report a fast-response CdSCdSxTe1-x-CdTe core-shell nanobelt photodetector with a rise time of 11 μs, which is the fastest among CdS based photodetectors reported previously.

Strategic indulgence key to maximizing the college experience
Students who are focused on long term goals maximize their college experience by engaging in 'strategic indulgence,' according to new research being published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.

One of the most popular ADHD drugs may cause hallucinations and other psychotic symptoms
One of the most popular ADHD drugs may cause hallucinations and other psychotic symptoms.

Water monitor
A recent study that used seismic noise to measure the size and the water levels in underground aquifers in California.

When confronted, a single neuron helps a fruit fly change course
In the fruit fly, a single pair of brain neurons command backward locomotion in both larvae and adults, researchers report.

Why are young adults wasting so much food? Study looks at perceptions and food behaviors
Researchers at the University of Illinois wanted to get a better idea why 18- to 24-year-olds, especially college students, have a higher tendency to waste food, and how their residence type--on or off campus--plays a role.

Found: A destructive mechanism that blocks the brain from knowing when to stop eating
Researchers have uncovered a destructive mechanism at the molecular level that causes a well-known phenomenon associated with obesity: leptin resistance.

Research finds naps plus sleep may enhance emotional memory in early childhood
For children in this study, the authors write that 'individually, the nap and overnight sleep bouts were not sufficient to induce changes in memory.

Candidate for universal flu vaccine protects against multiple strains
A universal flu vaccine that protects people against most influenza strains is one step closer to reality, with a study from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Study examines relationship between social disparities and benign prostatic hyperplasia
In an Andrologia study of 100,000 men in Korea, social disparities -- such as low education level and low household income, current or previous use of medical aid health insurance, blue-collar employment or unemployment, divorce, and low social capital of communities -- were all linked with a higher prevalence of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a condition that is characterized by an enlarged prostate due to aging, lower urinary tract blockage, and other factors.

Sleep disorder linked with abnormal lipid levels
New research reveals a potential link between obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) and high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides.

Evolution and the concrete jungle
New research conducted by evolutionary biologists worldwide paints cities as evolutionary 'change agents', says a trio of biologists from the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) who selected and edited the studies.

Maternal depression may alter stress and immune markers in children
New research suggests that depression in women may affect their children's stress and physical well-being throughout life.

Study reveals how enzyme detects ultraviolet light damage
In a paper published this week in the journal PNAS, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, with colleagues in Spain and Finland, describe for the first time how one type of RNA polymerase gets stalled by DNA lesions caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light.

Glycans at the 'I' of the storm in humoral immunity and melanoma progression
Two new studies have unveiled how a peculiar molecule impacts how antibody-producing cells develop and function as well as how normal melanocytes progress to melanoma malignancy.

Cool indoor temperatures linked to high blood pressure
Turning up the thermostat may help manage hypertension, finds a new UCL study into the link between indoor temperatures and high blood pressure.

The glass ceiling: Three reasons why it still exists and is hurting the economy
New research from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business finds the glass ceiling -- that invisible barrier to advancement that women face at the top levels of the workplace -- remains as intractable as ever and is a drag on the economy.

D-Wave demonstrates first large-scale quantum simulation of topological state of matter
Fully-programmable annealing quantum computer simulates phenomenon behind 2016 Nobel Prize.

Murky lakes now surpass clear, blue lakes in US
New research reveals that many lakes in the continental United States are becoming murkier, with potentially negative consequences for water quality and aquatic life.

Stimulation excites the brain to form better memories
While previous research from Northwestern University has shown it is possible to improve memory with stimulation, a new study is novel because it successfully identified how the brain changed -- its level of excitability increased -- in order to improve memory.

Study investigates shortcoming of ITQ systems for fisheries
Individual transferable quota systems for fisheries around the world may be ideal for some fisheries, but they can exclude rural, indigenous, low-income and next-generation fishermen from the industry, according to a new paper co-authored by a University of Alaska Fairbanks professor.

Brown researcher first to describe rapid-onset gender dysphoria
Rapid-onset gender dysphoria might spread through groups of friends and may be a harmful coping mechanism, a new study suggests, but more research is needed.

Policy pivot: A new emphasis on restoration to protect Puget Sound
University of Washington researchers have found policies are shifting toward restoration projects that include input from more groups and offer a range of benefits to Puget Sound, including flood control, salmon recovery, recreation and habitat protection.

Climate change denial strongly linked to right-wing nationalism
With Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, as a hub, the world's first global research network into climate change denial has now been established.

Macaws may communicate visually with blushing, ruffled feathers
Parrots -- highly intelligent and highly verbal -- may also ruffle their head feathers and blush to communicate visually, according to a new study published Aug.

A milestone for forecasting earthquake hazards
In a new study in Science Advances, researchers report that their physics-based model of California earthquake hazards replicated estimates from the state's leading statistical model.

Trace metals in the air make big splash on life under the sea
A new Cornell University-led study shows that trace metals, deposited by aerosols like dust and other particles in the atmosphere, have a hefty impact on marine life, affecting biological productivity and changing the ocean ecosystem.

Getting to the root of plant evolution
Despite plants and vegetation being key to the Earth's ecosystem, little is known about the origin of their roots.

Receptor protein in the brain controls the body's fat 'rheostat'
Scientists at the University of Michigan and Vanderbilt University have identified the function of a protein that has been confounding metabolism researchers for more than two decades.

Experimental drug takes aim at cancers associated with Epstein-Barr virus
Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) doesn't directly cause cancer, but infection with this common herpes virus brings an increased risk of some cancers, including fast-growing lymphomas.

Biomaterial could keep tooth alive after root canal (video)
A root canal ranks high on most people's list of dreaded dental procedures, and it results in a dead tooth susceptible to further decay.

Physical therapy after a fall may help reduce emergency department revisits
In a new study, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, researchers explored whether older adults who received physical therapy (PT) services while in the ED for a fall experienced fewer fall-related repeat visits to the ED.

Laser breakthrough has physicists close to cooling down antimatter
For the first time, physicists at CERN have observed a benchmark atomic energy transition in anithydrogen, a major step toward cooling and manipulating the basic form of antimatter.

Fragments of a support structure drive airway abnormalities in asthma
Dhiren Patel and colleagues have found that leftover fragments of the body's support structure for cells can promote inflammation and harmful changes in the airways in a mouse model of asthma.

Mixed report card for low-cost indoor air quality home monitors
Indoor air researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) recently tested seven consumer-grade air quality monitors to see if they could detect fine particles emitted by common household activities, including cooking, burning candles, and smoking.

GPM sees Hurricane Lane threatening Hawaiian islands with heavy rainfall
The GPM core observatory satellite flew over the Central Pacific Ocean and Hurricane Lane on Aug.

Epigenetic patterns determine if honeybee larvae become queens or workers
Scientists at Queen Mary University of London and Australian National University have unravelled how changes in nutrition in the early development of honeybees can result in vastly different adult characteristics.

Study reports successful kidney transplants from donors with a history of hepatitis C
Researchers at Loma Linda University Health found that kidney transplantation can be safely performed using organs testing positive for the hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibody but negative for active viral infection.

For exotic pets, the most popular are also most likely to be released in the wild
Among pet snakes and lizards, the biggest-selling species are also the most likely to be released by their owners -- and to potentially become invasive species, according to a Rutgers study published today in the Journal of Applied Ecology.

Breaking down band structures
Despite a deep understanding of the properties of individual atoms -- the 'ingredients' that make up a crystal -- scientists found that, when they are combined they often display new, unanticipated properties, making efforts to design new materials little more than guesswork.

Policy intended to curb opioid prescribing associated with increase in filled opioid prescriptions after surgery
The US Drug Enforcement Administration in 2014 moved to limit prescribing of pain medications containing the opioid hydrocodone from schedule III (a class of controlled substances) to the more restrictive schedule II.

The spotlight of attention is more like a strobe
Despite the 'illusion' of continuity, human perception pulses in and out four times per second, say researchers, a rate that is identical in human and monkey brains.

Medical device managers rely on physicians to screen out defects rather than issue recalls
Results of a new behavioral study into what influences the decision to recall a defective product found that medical device firm managers may rely on their physician-customers to screen out detectable defects, in lieu of issuing a recall.

Amber unveils evolution of ancient antlions
An international team led by Professor WANG Bo from the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology and two Italian researchers found fossil Myrmeleontiformia fauna from mid-Cretaceous (approximately 100 million years ago) Burmese amber.

Crystalline silica in meteorite brings scientists closer to understanding solar evolution
Scientists discovered silica mineral quartz in a primitive meteorite, becoming the first in the world to present direct evidence of silica condensation within the solar protoplanetary disk.

Unexplained illness in Tanzania puts pathogen discovery to the test
When patients presented with unexplained fever at Mwananyamala Hospital in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, scientists compared two genetic sequencing methods used to identify the potential viruses behind the illnesses: VirCapSeq-VERT, a method developed at the Center for Infection and Immunity (CII) at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, and unbiased high-throughput sequencing.

What is the maximum possible number of Atlantic tropical cyclones? See the year 2005
Climate simulations and analyses of Atlantic hurricane activity indicate that the record number of tropical cyclones that occurred in 2005 (28 storms) is close to the maximum number that might occur in this region, given existing climate conditions.

Nighttime satellite data reveals global flood response patterns
By harnessing repositories of satellite data, scientists have discovered that human settlements with low flood protection levels tend to resettle further away from rivers after catastrophic flood events compared to settlements with more protective infrastructure.

Kids connect with robot reading partners
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have built a robot, named Minnie, to serve as a reading buddy to middle school kids, and Minnie's new friends grew more excited about books and more attached to the robot over two weeks of reading together.

The long-term financial toll of breast cancer
The financial fallout from breast cancer can last years after diagnosis, particularly for those with lymphedema, a common side effect from treatment, causing cumulative and cascading economic consequences for survivors, their families, and society, a study led by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers suggests.

Helping the microchip industry go (very low) with the flow
A new NIST study has uncovered a source of error in an industry-standard calibration method that could lead microchip manufacturers to lose a million dollars or more in a single fabrication run.

Combination immunotherapy shrinks melanoma brain metastases
Combination immunotherapy shrank melanoma that has spread to the brain in more than half of the patients in a clinical trial reported in the New England Journal of Medicine led by an investigator at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

New method grows brain cells from stem cells quickly and efficiently
Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have developed a faster method to generate functional brain cells, called astrocytes, from embryonic stem cells.

Ending a 40-year quest, scientists reveal the identity of 'hearing' protein
Scientists have identified the sensor protein responsible for hearing and balance.

Researchers find a neural 'auto-correct' feature we use to process ambiguous sounds
Our brains have an 'auto-correct' feature that we deploy when re-interpreting ambiguous sounds, a team of scientists has discovered.

Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo caused in part by Indonesian volcanic eruption
Electrically charged volcanic ash short-circuited Earth's atmosphere in 1815, causing global poor weather and Napoleon's defeat, says new research.

Noninvasive brain stimulation may help treat symptoms of rare movement disorders
Electrical stimulation of the brain and spinal cord may help treat the symptoms of rare movement disorders called neurodegenerative ataxias, according to a study published in the Aug.

Actuation gives new dimensions to an old material
One of the oldest, most versatile and inexpensive of materials -- paper -- seemingly springs to life, bending, folding or flattening itself, by means of a low-cost actuation technology developed at Carnegie Mellon University's Human-Computer Interaction Institute.

Newly identified structure in lymph nodes was 'hiding in plain sight'
For the first time in decades, researchers have identified a new 'micro-organ' within the immune system -- and they say it's an important step towards understanding how to make better vaccines.

Engineers develop A.I. System to detect often-missed cancer tumors
Engineers at the University of Central Florida Center for Research in Computer Vision have taught a computer how to detect tiny specks of lung cancer in CT scans, which radiologists often have a difficult time identifying.

Fossil turtle didn't have a shell yet, but had the first toothless turtle beak
There are a couple of key features that make a turtle a turtle: its shell, for one, but also its toothless beak.

How brains of doers differ from those of procrastinators
Researchers at Ruhr-Universität Bochum have analysed why certain people tend to put tasks off rather than tackling them directly.

People pick gifts that will 'wow' rather than satisfy recipients
Gift givers tend to focus on the 'big reveal,' leading them to choose whichever gift is more likely to surprise and delight the recipient in the moment -- even when other options are more likely to bring recipients the greatest satisfaction, according to findings published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Study: Cellular changes lead to chronic allergic inflammation in the sinus
Study uncovers cellular changes that lead to chronic allergic inflammation in the sinus.

Reimagining MRI contrast: Iron outperforms gadolinium
Rice University nanoscientists have demonstrated a method for loading nanoparticles with iron ions to create MRI contrast agents that outperform gadolinium chelates, the mainstay contrast agent that is facing increased scrutiny due to potential safety concerns.

Improving health insurance literacy aids Missourians' ACA enrollment
Community outreach and educational support for navigating health insurance options available in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace are crucial for helping people choose the best plan based on their individual needs.

Study results may benefit patients with knee osteoarthritis and meniscal tears
In an Arthritis & Rheumatology study of 221 patients with knee osteoarthritis and meniscal tears, increases in inflammation of the synovial membrane (synovitis) -- whether persistently extensive or intermittent -- were linked with cartilage damage over time.

Neuroscientists restore significant bladder control to 5 men with spinal cord injuries
Magnetic stimulation of the lower spinal cord through the skin enabled five men with spinal-cord injuries to recover significant urination control for up to two weeks.

Big data and technology in disasters: Better integration needed for effective response
Disasters are becoming more commonplace and complex, and the challenges for rescue and humanitarian organizations increase.

New paper addresses human/wildlife conflict through use of social and ecological theory
In a new paper in the journal Biological Conservation, the researchers apply a new approach to understand human-black bear conflicts in Durango, Colorado.

Mixed trends in teenage 'new smoker' rates in Europe
In most of Europe, the rates of smoking initiation among older teens have declined since the 1970s, while 'new smoker' rates among younger teens have risen in recent years, according to a study published Aug.

Ant-y social: Study of ants reveals the evolutionary benefits of group living
A new study in ants demonstrates that living in groups leads to improved fitness.

Rapid development in Central Africa increases the risk of infectious disease outbreaks
The Central Africa region is experiencing rapid urbanization, economic growth and infrastructure development.

Getting high on worms
Like mammals, parasitic worms have an endocannabinoid system that may help the worm and the hosts it infects survive by reducing pain and inflammation in the host, according to a discovery by an interdisciplinary research team at the University of California, Riverside.

Risk of heart attacks is double for daily e-cigarette users
Use of e-cigarettes every day can nearly double the odds of a heart attack, according to a new analysis of a survey of nearly 70,000 people, led by researchers at UC San Francisco.

Study of bird migration tricky due to hybridization
Hybridization, the inter-breeding of bird species, is a widespread phenomenon, which is best illustrated in Estonia by the lesser spotted eagle and the greater spotted eagle.

Parrots' economics
An economic decision-making involves weighing up differently beneficial alternatives to maximise profits.

Neandertal mother, Denisovan father!
Up until 40,000 years ago, at least two groups of hominins inhabited Eurasia -- Neandertals in the west and Denisovans in the east.

A deep look at nasal polyps offers insights into allergic diseases
Investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital, along with collaborators from the Broad Institute and MIT, have used some of the most advanced sequencing technology to peer into nasal polyps, gleaning new insights not only into this condition but also the severe form of inflammation that may lead to other disorders, such as asthma, allergic rhinitis and allergic eczema.

Excited atoms throw light on anti-hydrogen research
Swansea University scientists working at CERN have published a study detailing a breakthrough in antihydrogen research.

Archaeological evidence for glass industry in ninth-century city of Samarra
The palace-city of Samarra, capital of the former Abbasid Caliphate, was home to an advanced industry of glass production and trade, according to a study published Aug.

Can work stress contribute to Parkinson's disease risk?
Results from a Movement Disorders study suggest that occupational stress is associated with Parkinson's Disease risk, such that having a high-demand occupation is a risk factor and low control is protective.

Montana State research determines reasons for massive fires in south-central Chile
David McWethy, an assistant professor in MSU's Department of Earth Sciences, and his collaborators found that non-native pine and eucalypt forests planted to supply pulp and timber mills in central Chile are contributing to the massive fires.

Shrimp heal injured fish
James Cook University scientists in Australia have discovered that shrimp help heal injured fish.

Brazilian d'or Institute and L'oréal R&I develop functional human sensory neurons
Scientists were able to generate, in the laboratory, human neurons responsive to sensorial stimuli.

LSA health study documents limited access to orthopaedic care for La. Medicaid patients
A study led by Christopher Marrero, M.D., Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine, reports that despite Medicaid expansion, access to outpatient orthopaedic care in Louisiana remains significantly limited for patients with Medicaid insurance.

Pointy eggs more likely to stay put in birds' cliffside nests, study finds
Natural selection -- that merciless weeder-outer of biological designs that are out of step with the times -- also is a wily shaper of traits.

Militant groups influence local policies during conflict
Through intimidation and political influence, illegal militant groups influenced local taxes and property rights during the Colombian Conflict, according to a study led by Princeton University.

New galaxy found?
Case Western Reserve University undergraduate student Chris Carr spotted what looked like a 'smudge' last summer on deep sky images taken from the university's telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory in southwest Arizona.

Improved understanding of industrial electrode processes
In the industrial production of chlorine, recently special electrodes have been introduced, which consume much less current than conventional systems.

Study suggests need to include overweight subjects in metabolic research
Children's Hospital Los Angeles investigators have demonstrated the need to include a growing constituency of obese and overweight children and adults in clinical research, with their study of a key marker for metabolism and body temperature control.

NASA looks at water vapor in Typhoon Soulik
NASA's Aqua satellite provided a look at water vapor in Typhoon Soulik as it passed just south of Japan.

New study shows encouraging correlations between a high Omega-3 Index and depression
New research published in the August edition of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology's Heart Failure issue found significant correlations between blood levels of EPA plus DHA omega-3s in 'cognitive' (as opposed to 'somatic') depression among heart failure subjects.

Two-thirds of alcohol sales are to heavy drinkers
68 percent of alcohol industry revenue in England comes from consumers drinking at risky levels.

Smartphone apps hold promise for electronic medical record matching, study finds
Electronic medical records have been adopted widely in recent years, creating the promise that all health care providers can easily access a patient's full medical history.

Pain, insomnia, and depression often drive osteoarthritis patients to seek medical care
Pain was the main driver of seeking medical care in an Arthritis Care & Research study of patients with osteoarthritis.

New material could improve efficiency of computer processing and memory
A team of researchers led by the University of Minnesota has developed a new material that could potentially improve the efficiency of computer processing and memory.

Head and neck positioning affects concussion risk
The way our head and neck are positioned during a head-on impact may significantly affect the risk of concussion -- but tensed up neck muscles seem to offer far less protection.

Catastrophic floods can trigger human resettlement away from rivers
A new study by researchers at Uppsala University, published in the journal Science Advances, uses satellite nighttime light data to reveal how flood protection shapes the average distance of settlements from rivers.

Woodpeckers and development coexist in Seattle
The two largest woodpeckers in North America, the imperial woodpecker and ivory-billed woodpecker, are believed to have gone extinct during the twentieth century.

Research identifies all the different ways the sea supports human wellbeing
A study led by the University of Liverpool that catalogued all of the links between marine biodiversity and the different ways we rely on the sea found more than 30 ways it supports well-being including providing a source of nutrition, supplying raw materials and supporting recreational activities.

Low birth weight linked to obesity, diabetes, and hypertension later in life
In a recent study, low birth weight was associated with subsequent obesity and the prevalence and risk of type 2 diabetes and hypertension in adulthood.

Does it matter where students sit in lecture halls?
Lectures are a staple of higher education, and understanding how students interact and learn within the lecture theater environment is central to successful learning.

Epic genetic: the hidden story of wheat
Published in Genome Research, based on a novel method developed by Earlham Institute, UK, an international research team have uncovered the hidden genetic secrets that give wheat its remarkable ability for local adaptation -- revealing a previously untapped resource for breeding better, more resilient wheat.

Want to know what ancient koalas ate? Check modern koalas' teeth
Larisa DeSantis' latest research confirms the shape of tooth wear best indicates the kind of food modern koalas and kangaroos ate, not whether it was covered in dust and dirt.

Researchers explore retention of minorities in TBI Model System Study of race/ethnicity
'These findings illustrate the pitfalls associated with grouping different minorities when looking at retention rates in TBI research,' noted co-author Anthony H.

Study examines how nurses understand and deal with racism in healthcare
Few studies have explored health professionals' understanding of racism in healthcare, and how they manage it in practice.

Mechanisms of hair follicle -- specific fibroblast formation unraveled
Hair growth is regulated by a small cluster of hair-specific fibroblasts, the dermal papilla.

New genetic variants predict outcome in dilated cardiomyopathy patients of African descent
Genetic testing is increasingly being used for the diagnosis of dilated cardiomyopathy.

Plant virus alters competition between aphid species
In the world of plant-feeding insects, who shows up first to the party determines the overall success of the gathering; yet viruses can disrupt these intricate relationships, according to researchers at Penn State. 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