Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 27, 2018
Wildfire risk doesn't douse housing demand
Demand for real estate rebounds in high-risk areas within one to two years of a wildfire, UNLV study finds.

Active shooter simulations increase emergency department staff readiness and confidence
A new practice improvement initiative and study indicates active shooter training and simulations are vital to ensuring staff is equipped to respond effectively should their emergency department ever become a target for such an act of violence.

Reversing influences of intergenerational stress offers hope for addressing public health
Researchers at Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, have shown for the first time in an animal model it is possible to reverse influences of parental stress by exposing parents to behavioral interventions following their own exposure to stress.

HIV RNA expression inhibitors may restore immune function in HIV-infected individuals
Immune activation and inflammation persist in the majority of treated HIV-infected individuals and is associated with excess risk of mortality and morbidity.

As CO2 levels climb, millions at risk of nutritional deficiencies
Rising levels of carbon dioxide from human activity are making staple crops such as rice and wheat less nutritious and could result in 175 million people becoming zinc deficient and 122 million people becoming protein deficient by 2050, according to new research led by Harvard T.H.

Providing care for transgender patients
A review article discusses some best practices to help clinicians learn how to better engage with and care for transgender patients, and the article suggests ways health care facilities can move toward more inclusive systems of care.

Researchers reveal cause of aggressive skin cancer in patients with butterfly syndrome
The insights could open the door to a more effective treatment approach for patients with rare disorder.

Research methods that find serial criminals could help save tigers
A geographic profiling tool used to catch serial criminals could help reduce the casualties of human-tiger conflict, according to scientists who collaborated on an innovative conservation research study.

Researchers unearth secret tunnels between the skull and the brain
Bone marrow, the spongy tissue inside most of our bones, produces red blood cells as well as immune cells that help fight off infections and heal injuries.

Scientists advance technique for developing novel light beams from synchrotron radiation
Structured light, created using the process of generating and applying light to a surface, is important in many of today's devices, such as 3D scanners, dual photography and microscopic technology.

Listening to yoga music at bedtime is good for the heart
Listening to yoga music at bedtime is good for the heart, according to research presented today at ESC Congress 2018.

NASA finds wind shear slamming Tropical Cyclone Lane
Infrared satellite imagery shows scientists where the coldest cloud tops are located in a tropical cyclone and can give a clear picture of wind shear's effects.

Environmentally friendly farming practices used by nearly 1/3 of world's farms
Nearly one-third of the world's farms have adopted more environmentally friendly practices while continuing to be productive, according to a global assessment by 17 scientists in five countries.

Jupiter had growth disorders
Researchers of the Universities of Bern and Zürich and of ETH Zürich show how Jupiter was formed.

Massive effort yields image-based cell sorting technology
Invented over 50 years ago, flow cytometry-based cell sorting has become a widely used tool in biology labs for physically isolating cells based on their global surface marker expression profiles.

Stress gene influences chronic pain after car crash
A study of more than 1,000 motor vehicle accident survivors published in JNeurosci reveals a common variant in a gene involved in the stress response that increases vulnerability to developing chronic pain.

Samara Polytech geologists discovered the fullest skull of Wetlugasaurus
Traditionally, Petroleum Engineering Faculty staff and students of the Flagship University took part in the annual complex scientific expedition on monitoring the flora of Triassic and Jurassic deposits in the southeast of the Samara region.

Percutaneously reducing secondary mitral regurgitation in heart failure appears futile
Munich, Germany -- Aug. 27, 2018: Percutaneously reducing secondary mitral regurgitation appears futile when tested in all heart failure patients, according to late breaking research presented today in a Hot Line Session at ESC Congress 2018 and published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

This bright blue dye is found in fabric. Could it also power batteries?
Methylene blue is a common ingredient in wastewater from textile mills.

3D liver tissue implants made from human stem cells support liver function in mice
Stem cells transformed into 3D human liver tissue show promising support of liver function when implanted into mice with a liver disease.

Investigating what keeps metastatic breast cancer in check
New evidence suggests that inflammation may help prevent growth of tumor cells that have spread, with important implications for clinical trials.

Commentary: More malaria nets likely needed between campaigns
A new study published in the Lancet journal EClinicalMedicine suggests that more mosquito nets are likely needed between mass campaigns to keep malaria cases in check.

Deaths from drug overdose and suicide outstrip those from diabetes in US
Combined deaths from drug overdose and suicide ('self-injury') now outstrip those from diabetes in the US, reveals a brief report published online in the journal Injury Prevention.

Upper Cretaceous trench deposits of the Neo-Tethyan subduction zone
Exposed along the southern side of the Yarlung Zangbo suture, the Jiachala Formation is a key unit to decipher the history of convergence and subsequent collision between the India and the Asia plates.

Towards untangling the 'antennal grabbing' phenomenon in mating cuckoo bees
One can seldom spot a cuckoo bee -- whose peculiar habits include laying eggs in the nests of other bees, let alone a couple mating.

Call for a unified approach to preventing suicides and other self-injury deaths
Self-injury mortality (SIM) has surpassed diabetes as the seventh leading cause of death in the United States, prompting researchers to call for a new unified approach to SIM prevention.

The sugar wars: Rhetoric or reason?
Over the past 50 years researchers, clinicians, professional organizations, and health charities have waged war on sugar, calling for dietary recommendations to be changed and for a sugar tax on soft drinks and sweet treats in an effort to reduce obesity and cardiovascular diseases.

International team makes rare discovery of new fatty acids
Decades after scientists discovered hundreds of different fatty acids in vegetable oils, two that had managed to elude detection have finally revealed themselves to a team led by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Huazhong Agricultural University in China.

In the race of life, the tortoise beats the hare every time
Researchers have discovered that, over the long-run, the race will indeed go to the slower, steadier animal.

Stabilizing dysferlin-deficient muscle cell membrane improves muscle function
In a head-to-head trial between the conventional glucocorticoid, prednisolone, and a modified glucocorticoid, vamorolone, in experimental models of LGMD2B, vamorolone improved dysferlin-deficient muscle cell membrane stability and repair.

Drug could aid recovery after a heart attack
Drugs currently undergoing development to treat anaemia could be repurposed to help prevent people with Type 2 diabetes from developing heart failure, according to new research funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and Diabetes UK.

Scientists find corals in deeper waters under stress too
A new study led by scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego and the Coral Reef Research Foundation (CRRF) in Palau describes a novel approach for predicting warm temperature-induced stress on corals from the sea surface through a deeper expanse ranging from 30-150 meters (100-500 feet) known as the mesophotic zone.

How we judge personality from faces depends on our beliefs about how personality works
We make snap judgments of others based not only on their facial appearance, but also on our pre-existing beliefs about how others' personalities work.

Analysis: Commonly used drugs are rarely studied in primary care patients
Drugs most commonly prescribed to patients seen by primary care physicians are not often tested in the patients who go to these clinics, where most people receive their care.

Microvascular dysfunction: A common cause of heart failure with preserved pumping capacity
Microvascular dysfunction, or small vessel disease, can be an important cause of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (preserved pumping capacity), an international team including researchers from Karolinska Institutet and AstraZeneca report in a study published in The European Heart Journal.

In sync: How cells make connections could impact circadian rhythm
Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis and collaborating institutions developed a unified, data-driven computational approach to infer and reveal connections among cells in biological and chemical oscillatory networks.

New target could prevent progression of liver damage to cancer
Problems like obesity and alcoholism appear to chronically trigger in the liver a receptor known to amplify inflammation in response to invaders like bacteria, scientists report.

Australian, UK scientists solve 30-year wheat rust genetics puzzle
Researchers have isolated the first major resistance genes against the stripe rust disease that is devastating wheat crops worldwide.

Clock drawing cognitive test should be done routinely in patients with high blood pressure
A clock drawing test for detecting cognitive dysfunction should be conducted routinely in patients with high blood pressure, according to research presented today at ESC Congress 2018.

Ebola species found in bats ahead of any potential outbreak
For the first time, scientists discovered a new ebola virus species in a host prior to detection in an infected human or sick animal.

EXP2 protein helps deadliest malaria parasite obtain nutrients during infection
Researchers from the National Institutes of Health and other institutions have deciphered the role of a key protein that the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum uses to obtain nutrients while infecting red blood cells.

Marijuana found in breast milk up to six days after use
To better understand how much marijuana or constituent compounds actually get into breast milk and how long it remains, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine conducted a study, publishing online Aug.

For carbon storage, biodiversity can help -- or hurt
Biodiversity plays a significant role in forest carbon storage, but surprisingly less than previously thought, new research in Ecology Letters suggests.

New study examines wartime experiences and PTSD among female Air Force personnel
A study of deployed and non-deployed active duty, female Air Force personnel found that both rates of exposure to wartime experiences and reports of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) increased between 2008 and 2013.

Enzyme ducts in the pancreas are formed like rivers
With methods used to analyse road systems and rivers researchers from the University of Copenhagen have studied the formation of the pancreas' network of ducts transporting digestive enzymes in mice.

Diseased heart muscle cells have abnormally shortened telomeres, Stanford researchers find
People with a form of heart disease called cardiomyopathy have abnormally short telomeres in heart muscle cells responsible for contraction, according to a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Mass. General team discovers channels connecting skull bone marrow to brain surface
A new study from a Massachusetts General Hospital research team has made two surprising discoveries -- that immune system cells responding to a stroke or other brain injury in an animal model are more likely to come from bone marrow in the skull and that tiny, previously unknown channels through the skull's inner layer carry inflammatory cells from the marrow directly to the outer layers of the the membranes covering the brain

Study finds 1 in 12 children taking multiple medications at risk
About one in five children regularly use prescription medications, and nearly one in 12 of those children are at risk for experiencing a harmful drug-drug interaction.

New medications for diabetes management have additional heart benefits, study finds
A drug used to manage diabetes may reduce heart disease and death in people with diabetes regardless of their cholesterol levels and whether they are on a statin therapy, suggests a new analysis of the LEADER trial.

Testing the reproducibility of social science research
A team co-led by Gideon Nave of Penn's Wharton School replicated 21 high-profile social science studies and found discrepancies with the original research, including eight studies that failed to find significant evidence for the original finding.

Nano-imaging of intersubband transitions in few-layer 2-D materials
A study in Nature Nanotechnology reports on the first observation of intersubband transitions in 2-D materials via scattering scanning near-field optical microscopy.

Many arctic pollutants decrease after market removal and regulation
Levels of some persistent organic pollutants (POPs) regulated by the Stockholm Convention are decreasing in the Arctic, according to an international team of researchers who have been actively monitoring the northern regions of the globe.

NASA looks at water vapor concentration in Tropical Depression 25W
When NASA's Terra satellite passed over the Northwestern Pacific Ocean on Aug.

How do fruit flies grow legs? Solving a molecular mystery
What do cancer and the growing legs of a fruit fly have in common?

Food insecurity leads to higher mortality risk, a new study finds
A wide array of negative health outcomes have been associated with food insecurity including diabetes, depression, and cardiovascular disease.

Algae a threat to walleye vision, study finds
Walleye and the fish they eat struggle to see in water clouded by algae, and that could potentially jeopardize the species' future if harmful algal blooms persist, according to a new study.

Fishing activity skyrocketed ahead of ban in South Pacific area
Ahead of a full ban, fishing increased 130 percent in the Phoenix Islands Protected Area in the South Pacific, setting back projected efforts to let nature rebuild fish stocks by 18 months, researchers say.

How the cholera bacterium survives water predators
EPFL scientists have deciphered mechanisms that help the cholera bacterium to survive grazing predators in aquatic environments.

From farm to fridge: Milk carton 'sell-by' dates may become more precise
The 'sell-by' and 'best-by' dates on milk cartons may soon become more meaningful and accurate.

Study finds sucralose produces previously unidentified metabolites
Sucralose, a widely used artificial sweetener sold under the trade name Splenda®, is metabolized in the gut, producing at least two fat-soluble compounds, according to a recent study using rats.

People who don't read the news better at predicting which articles will go viral
Using fMRI data, researchers found that the brain activity of people who don't frequently read the news better predicted the popularity of New York Times Health articles.

Sensitivity to how others evaluate you emerges by 24 months
Even before toddlers can form a complete sentence, they are attuned to how others may be judging them, finds a new study by psychologists at Emory University.

Water vapor annealing technique on diamond surfaces for next-generation power devices
The existing surface termination technique using hydrogen to stabilize the diamond's structure for application in electronic power devices results in two-dimensional hole gas layers (2DHG).

Predicting the response to immunotherapy using artificial intelligence
A study published in The Lancet Oncology establishes for the first time that artificial intelligence can process medical images to extract biological and clinical information.

New urine dipstick test detects cause of disease that blinds millions
Scientists at Scripps Research have developed a urine diagnostic to detect the parasitic worms that cause river blindness, also called onchocerciasis, a tropical disease that afflicts 18 to 120 million people worldwide.

Connectivity explains ecosystem responses to rainfall, drought
In a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers reveal techniques -- inspired by the study of information theory -- to track how changes in precipitation alter interactions between the atmosphere, vegetation and soil at two National Science Foundation Critical Zone Observatory sites in the western United States.

How scientists predicted Corona's appearance during Aug. 21, 2017, total solar eclipse
A week before the Aug. 21, 2017, total solar eclipse that was visible across the U.S., the country buzzed with anticipation.

Even toddlers care what others think
By the time toddlers are forming two-word sentences, they are already aware that they may be judged by others, behavior that previously wasn't believed to emerge until years later, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.

Care coordination improves health of older patients with multiple chronic diseases
For older adults with multiple chronic diseases, such as diabetes, depression, heart disease and others, care coordination appears to have the biggest impact on better health, according to a study published in CMAJ.

Left atrial fibrosis may explain increased risk of arrhythmias in endurance athletes
Left atrial fibrosis may explain the increased risk of arrhythmias seen in highly trained endurance athletes, according to research presented today at ESC Congress 2018.

Heart-brain connection could be predictive biomarker for epilepsy
Heartbeat irregularities connected to brain activity abnormalities may lead to the ability to predict eventual epileptic seizures in subjects who suffered physical or infectious brain insults, according to Penn State researchers who studied mouse models of cerebral malaria, which often causes epilepsy in those who survive.

Breast cancer breakthrough: Some tumors can stop their own spread
Certain types of breast tumors can send signals that freeze the growth of their own secondary cancers, according to a major new study co-led by Australia's Garvan Institute of Medical Research.

Keeping cost from getting in the way of stroke prevention
Stroke survivors under age 65 are having less trouble paying for the crucial medications that can stave off a bigger health catastrophe, thanks to expanded Medicaid and other Affordable Care Act provisions.

Serendipitous discovery by IUPUI researchers may lead to eco-friendly lubricant
Seed oil components of an ornamental flower could provide a direct pathway for designing a new class of environmentally friendly lubricants.

A blue paradox
Promising to solve an environmental problem may initially worsen it, according to new research at the Bren School.

Antithrombin drug not effective in heart failure with sinus rhythm and coronary disease
Munich, Germany -- Aug. 27, 2018: The antithrombin drug rivaroxaban does not reduce the risk of a composite endpoint of survival, myocardial infarction and stroke after an episode of worsening heart failure in patients with heart failure, sinus rhythm, and coronary artery disease, according to late breaking results from the COMMANDER HF trial presented today in a Hot Line Session at ESC Congress 2018 and with simultaneous publication in NEJM.

Additional inhibitor can help anti-VEGF therapy overcome resistance in deadly brain cancer
Adding another inhibitor to therapies that cut off a tumor's access to blood vessels could be the key to helping those therapies overcome resistance in glioblastoma, a deadly form of brain cancer.

Researchers discover first treatment to improve survival in rare heart condition
Munich, Germany -- Aug. 27, 2018: Tafamidis is the first treatment to improve survival and reduce hospitalisations in a rare heart condition called transthyretin amyloid cardiomyopathy, according to late breaking research presented today in a Hot Line Session at ESC Congress 2018 and published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

World's largest transfusion study in cardiac surgery changes transfusion practices
Lower thresholds for blood transfusions for cardiac surgery patients compared to traditional thresholds provide positive patient outcomes and safety at six months after surgery, according to the world's largest research study on this topic.

Child lead exposure study finds substantial reductions possible
Intervention by researchers reduced household lead below levels previously deemed achievable and reduced blood lead concentrations in more highly exposed children, though the decrease did not result in significant neurobehavioral improvements in children.

Researchers reveal how gene variant is linked to chronic pain after traumatic injury
In 2013, UNC School of Medicine researchers were first to show an association between genetic variants in FKBP5 and posttraumatic chronic pain.

ACA associated with decrease in cost-related medication nonadherence among survivors of stroke
Implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was associated with a decrease in cost-related nonadherence to medication by adult survivors of stroke (ages 45 to 64), as Medicaid coverage increased and uninsurance decreased in this group.

High-sugar feeding only at active times of day reduces adverse effects in rats
Nagoya University researchers showed that limiting the consumption of a high-sucrose diet to the nighttime, when rats are most active, alleviated some of its most harmful effects associated with high levels of fat in the blood and liver.

Study reveals when and why people die after noncardiac surgery
Munich, Germany -- Aug. 27, 2018: The main reasons why people die after noncardiac surgery are revealed today in a study of more than 40,000 patients from six continents presented in a late breaking science session at ESC Congress 2018.

Geologists uncover new clues about largest mass extinction ever
A new study could help explain the driving force behind the largest mass extinction in the history of earth, known as the End-Permian Extinction.

Brain-heart activity predicts post-malaria epilepsy in mice
Animals that develop epilepsy after an infection can be identified as early as three months prior to their first seizure by measuring interactions between the brain and the heart, according to new research using a mouse model of post-cerebral malaria epilepsy.

Measuring the tension of a cell with a molecule
Researchers at UNIGE, working under the umbrella of the National Centre for Competence in Research Chemical Biology, have created a new fluorescent molecule with which they were able to measure the tension of a cellular membrane, and, in the process, discover how cells adjust their surface area relative to their volume.

NASA observes Tropical Storm Miriam's formation
Tropical cyclones continue to regularly develop in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

Epigenetic analysis of aggressive brain tumors
Glioblastoma is a brain cancer with devastating prognosis. It is caused by numerous genetic defects, which make it difficult to treat.

Scientists 'fix' bacterial tree of life
Bacterial classification has been given a complete makeover by a team of University of Queensland researchers, using an evolutionary tree based on genome sequences.

Ant-y social: Successful ant colonies hint at how societies evolve
How did civilization begin? Where did the division of labor come from?

Study defines mechanisms behind focused-ultrasound-assisted treatment of brain tumors
A study led by a team of Massachusetts General Hospital investigators has analyzed, for the first time, the mechanisms underlying the use of focused ultrasound to improve the delivery of anti-cancer drugs across the blood brain barrier into brain tumors.

Drug reduces deaths and hospitalizations from underdiagnosed form of heart failure
A study led by Columbia University cardiologist Mathew Maurer showed that tafamidis reduced deaths from a type of heart failure called transthyretin amyloid cardiomyopathy.

Long-term antiplatelet monotherapy after stenting is safe but does not improve outcomes
Munich, Germany -- Aug. 27, 2018: Long-term antiplatelet monotherapy after stenting is safe but does not reduce the risk of death or heart attack compared to standard dual antiplatelet therapy, according to late breaking results from the GLOBAL LEADERS trial presented today in a Hot Line Session at ESC Congress 2018 and published in The Lancet.

Can 'microswimmers' swim through jelly?
Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University have studied how microswimmers, like bacteria or sperm, swim through fluids with both solid and liquid-like properties e.g. gels.

Ross procedure may provide longer survival and better quality of life, study suggests
The Ross procedure, a valve replacement surgery that is largely unused in practice, may provide long-term benefits including longer survival, less clotting and bleeding complications and better quality of life than other valve replacement surgery, finds a study led by researchers at St.

Physicians deserve answers as public service loan forgiveness program hangs in the balance
With medical school loan debt averaging $200,000, many physicians pursue the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program that eliminates federal student loans after 10 years of service in the public sector.

Efficient removal of radionuclides U(VI) by rod-like metal organic framework (MOF-5) nanomaterials
As the radionuclide 235U(VI) is inevitably released into the natural environment, the potential toxicity and irreversibility impact on the natural environment has become one of the most forefront pollution problems in nuclear energy utilization.

Particles collected by Hayabusa give absolute age of asteroid Itokawa
Japanese scientists, including those from Osaka University, closely examined particles collected from the asteroid Itokawa by the spacecraft Hayabusa, finding that the parent body of Itokawa was formed about 4.6 billion years ago when the solar system was born and that it was destroyed by a collision with another asteroid about 1.5 billion years ago.

Happy older people live longer, say researchers
Happy older people live longer, according to Duke-NUS Medical School researchers.

Scientists identify a new kind of human brain cell
A team of scientists from the US and Hungary have uncovered a new type of human brain cell that has never been seen in mice and other well-studied laboratory animals.

Connectome organization in childhood ALL and risk of delayed neurodevelopment
A new study provides novel insights into the cognitive effects of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and of chemotherapeutic treatment in long-term survivors of ALL.

One in 3 US veteran firearm owners keeps a gun loaded and unlocked
One third of United States armed forces veterans store at least one firearm loaded with ammunition and unlocked, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine that reports on the first survey of a nationally representative sample of this group regarding storage practices.

UBC study raises the standard for measuring nerve cell death
Researchers at UBC's Okanagan campus have developed a new and improved method to judge the effectiveness of experimental therapies for neurodegeneration--the progressive loss of neurons.

Diet has bigger impact on emotional well-being in women than in men
Women may need a more nutrient-rich diet to support a positive emotional well-being, according to new research from Binghamton University, State University at New York.

Cedars-Sinai investigators develop more accurate measure of body fat
Cedars-Sinai investigators have developed a simpler and more accurate method of estimating body fat than the widely used body mass index, or BMI, with the goal of better understanding obesity.

Beluga whales and narwhals go through menopause
Scientists have discovered that beluga whales and narwhals go through the menopause -- taking the total number of species known to experience this to five.

Metabolic engineering of E. coli for the secretory production of free haem
Researchers of KAIST have defined a novel strategy for the secretory production of free haem using engineered Escherichia coli (E. coli) strains.

Unearthing the secrets of cellular energy
In a new study published in PLOS Biology, a team of scientists at the Gladstone Institutes and UC San Francisco (UCSF) led by Ken Nakamura, MD, PhD, used innovative technologies to generate the first large-scale list of genes that control the production of cellular energy.

Researchers reveal the growth of graphene near polycrystalline substrate grain boundaries
In a paper published in NANO, a team of researchers from the Laboratory of Graphene Mechanics (LogM), Zhejiang University has shown how the morphological structure of a catalytic substrate influences the growth of graphene on it.

Scientists alter membrane proteins to make them easier to study
By making hydrophobic sections water-soluble, MIT researchers hope to learn more about protein structures. 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