Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 29, 2018
Rapid heart imaging technique may cut costs, boost care in developing world
A new rapid imaging protocol quickly and cheaply diagnosed heart ailments in patients in Peru.

New Zealand penguins make mammoth migrations, traveling thousands of kilometers to feed
Fiordland penguins, Eudyptes pachyrhynchus, known as Tawaki, migrate up to 2,500 km from their breeding site, according to a study publishing Aug.

How does agriculture affect vulnerable insect-eating birds?
Aerial insectivores -- birds that hunt for insect prey on the wing -- are declining across North America as agricultural intensification leads to diminishing insect abundance and diversity in many areas.

US soldiers who attempt suicide often have no prior mental health diagnosis
The latest study based on data from the Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers (Army STARRS) reports that among 9,650 enlisted soldiers with a documented suicide attempt, more than one-third had no prior mental health diagnosis.

For children, immersion in a rainforest lifestyle can lead to more diverse gut microbes
Can immersing yourself in a South American jungle and the high-fiber, unprocessed diet of its villagers make your gut microbes more diverse?

Drought, groundwater loss sinks California land at alarming rate
The San Joaquin Valley in central California, like many other regions in the western United States, faces drought and ongoing groundwater extraction, happening faster than it can be replenished.

Switching to hunter-gatherer lifestyle may increase diversity in children's gut microbes
An international team of researchers has shown that immersing city dwellers in the traditional lifestyle and diet of a rainforest village for two weeks increases the diversity of the visiting children's -- but not the adults' -- gut microbiota.

Stem cells show promise as drug delivery tool for childhood brain cancer
UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers showed they could shrink tumors in laboratory models of medulloblastoma, and extend life.

Father's diet could affect the long-term health of his offspring
New research has shown that a lack of protein in a father's diet affects sperm quality which can have a direct impact on the long-term health of their offspring.

Discovery could lead to higher immunotherapy response rates for bladder cancer patients
Mount Sinai researchers have discovered that a particular type of cell present in bladder cancer may be the reason why so many patients do not respond to the groundbreaking class of drugs known as PD-1 and PD-L1 immune checkpoint inhibitors, which enable the immune system to attack tumors.

Environmentally friendly photoluminescent nanoparticles for more vivid display colors
A Japan-based research team led by Osaka University synthesized non-toxic, cadmium-free light-emitting nanoparticles.

Undescended testes in boyhood linked to testicular cancer and infertility in adulthood
Medical researchers are urging greater compliance with guidelines recommending surgery for undescended testes (UDT) before 18 months of age following new evidence that UDT more than doubles the risk of testicular cancer and increases infertility in adult males.

Attacking aftershocks
Sparked by a suggestion from researchers at Google, Harvard scientists are using artificial intelligence technology to analyzed a database of earthquakes from around the world in an effort to predict where aftershocks might occur.

Access to 3-D printing is changing the work in research labs
A group of McMaster researchers has designed and built specialized hardware for their research using an in-house 3-D printer.

Speeding progress in migraine requires unraveling sex differences
To decrease the substantial health and economic burden of migraine on individuals and society, researchers need to examine and address how the disease differs between women and men, according to a report from the Society for Women's Health Research published in the August issue of the Journal of Women's Health.

New research: Ketamine activates opioid system to treat depression
A new study appearing online today from the American Journal of Psychiatry finds that ketamine's acute antidepressant effect requires opioid system activation, the first time that a receptor site has been shown in humans to be necessary for any antidepressant's mechanism of action.

New way to break cancer's vicious cycle
This study reveals how some tumors fuel their own growth and how stopping this vicious cycle could lead to new treatments.

Study highlights urgent need to tackle fisheries management and climate change together
A new study by EDF and leading scientists shows that tackling sustainable fisheries management and climate change together can result in significant increases of food, fish and economic activity, but nations need to act quickly to realize these gains.

Not so fast: From shrews to elephants, animal reflexes surprisingly slow
While speediness is a priority for any animal trying to escape a predator or avoid a fall, a new study by Simon Fraser University researchers suggests that even the fastest reflexes among all animals are remarkably slow.

The fate of plastic in the oceans
The concentrations of microplastics in the surface layer of the oceans are lower than expected.

A tool to improve the design of growing urban areas
Scientists interested in minimizing numbers of slums globally have reported a way to diagnose city spaces as slums and solve access problems inherent to these complex urban spaces.

Chemotherapy may lead to early menopause in young women with lung cancer
A new study suggests chemotherapy may cause acute amenorrhea leading to early menopause in women with lung cancer.

Soy natural: Genetic resistance against aphids
Each year, soybean aphids cause billions of dollars in crop losses.

Celebrity culture likely contributed to destigmatizing out-of-wedlock childbirth
In 1992, former Vice President Dan Quayle criticized the sitcom character Murphy Brown's decision to have a child out of wedlock.

Exposure to arsenic, lead, copper and cadmium linked to increased risk of heart disease
Exposure to arsenic, lead, copper and cadmium is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease, finds a comprehensive analysis of the evidence published by The BMJ today.

Hospital rating tools should allow patients to customize rankings
Would every patient assign the same importance to hospital quality measures such as quietness, risk of readmission and timeliness of care?

SMU physicist explains the latest Higgs boson announcement in layman's terms
The discovery of the Higgs boson transforming as it decays into bottom quarks is a big step forward in the quest to understand how the Higgs particle enables fundamental particles to acquire mass.

Children suffering from tics can be helped by both group and individual therapy
Nonvoluntary stressful movements or sounds are everyday reality for children and adolescents with Tourette syndrome, but the symptoms can be significantly reduced -- both when help comes individually and in a group.

How unsecured medical record systems and medical devices put patient lives at risk
A team of physicians and computer scientists at the University of California has shown it is easy to modify medical test results remotely by attacking the connection between hospital laboratory devices and medical record systems.

Researchers recommend new herbicide registration for weed control in watermelon crops
Research featured in the latest edition of the journal Weed Technology recommends that the herbicide bicyclopyrone, now used in corn, be registered for weed management in watermelon crops as well.

Single-step nasal spray naloxone easiest to deliver according to new research
Single-step nasal spray naloxone is the easiest to deliver, according to new research led by faculty at Binghamton University, State University at New York.

Spinal muscular atrophy drug may be effective if started later than previously shown
A drug shown to be effective in the treatment of babies with the rare muscle-wasting disease spinal muscular atrophy may be effective for muscle control even when treatment is started in children seven months and older, according to a study published in the Aug.

Cannabis extract helps reset brain function in psychosis
Research from King's College London has found that a single dose of the cannabis extract cannabidiol can help reduce brain function abnormalities seen in people with psychosis.

What's that smell? Scientists find a new way to understand odors
Scientists from the Salk Institute and Arizona State University have discovered a new way to organize odor molecules based on how often they occur together in nature, and to map this data to discover regions of odor combinations humans find most pleasurable.

CHF 14 million of funding for all-terrain radiology
EPFL spin-off Pristem SA, born within the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne's EssentialTech program, has raised CHF 14 million of new capital in a first round.

Stars vs. dust in the Carina Nebula
The Carina Nebula, one of the largest and brightest nebulae in the night sky, has been beautifully imaged by ESO's VISTA telescope at the Paranal Observatory in Chile.

Research study sheds new light on relationship between genes and bone fracture risk
A paper titled 'Assessment of the genetic and clinical determinants of fracture risk: genome wide association and mendelian randomization study' appeared today in the British Medical Journal.

Study finds multiple sclerosis drug slows brain shrinkage
Results from a clinical trial of more than 250 participants with progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) revealed that ibudilast was better than a placebo in slowing down brain shrinkage.

Tight-knit teammates may conform to each other's behavior
In a study with NCAA athletes, researchers found that the more closely a player identified as being part of their team, the more likely they were to conform to their teammates' behavior.

Ancient livestock dung heaps are now African wildlife hotspots
Often viewed as wild, naturally pristine and endangered by human encroachment, some of the African savanna's most fertile and biologically diverse wildlife hotspots owe their vitality to heaps of dung deposited there over thousands of years by the livestock of wandering herders, suggests new research in the journal Nature.

Clearing a xenotransplantation hurdle: detecting infectious agents in pigs
In a paper published in Xenotransplantation, Mark Prichard, Ph.D., and colleagues at the University of Alabama at Birmingham have described the development and testing of 30 quantitative assays for pig infectious agents.

CNIO researchers find first indicators of prognosis for the most aggressive breast cancer
Researchers from the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) publish in Nature Communications a successful classification of triple breast cancer patients, which for the first time discriminates those who can be cured from those who might suffer a relapse.

Astronomers reveal new details about 'monster' star-forming galaxies
An international team of astronomers from Japan, Mexico and the University of Massachusetts Amherst studying a 'monster galaxy' 12.4 billion light years away today report that their instruments have achieved a 10 times higher angular resolution than ever before, revealing galaxy structural details previously completely unknown.

Control groups
High school students' membership in certain social media groups can be used to predict their academic performance, as demonstrated by Ivan Smirnov, junior research fellow at HSE's Institute of Education.

How a NASA scientist looks in the depths of the great red spot to find water on Jupiter
One critical question has bedeviled astronomers for generations: Is there water deep in Jupiter's atmosphere, and if so, how much?

Ultralaser treatment for fibromyalgia yields 75 percent pain reduction when applied to the hands
Medical device with simultaneous laser and ultrasound application was developed in Brazil.

Experts warn of cardiovascular risk from heavy metal pollution
Even low doses of toxic chemicals in the environment pose a significant risk to cardiovascular health, according to a report in today's edition of The BMJ, led by researchers at the University of Cambridge.

HKBU scholars in world-first breakthrough for difficult-to-treat breast cancer
Chemists at HKBU have discovered the use of a metal compound that inhibits the enzyme closely associated with triple-negative breast cancer.

Changes in breakfast and dinner timings can reduce body fat
Modest changes to breakfast and dinner times can reduce body fat, a new pilot study in the Journal of Nutritional Sciences reports.

A climate 'wake-up call'
Research from UCSB and EDF shows a more prosperous global future is possible if both climate change and sustainable fisheries management are addressed now.

Cleveland Clinic-led trial shows unprecedented slowing in progressive multiple sclerosis
A promising drug slowed brain shrinkage in progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) by nearly half, according to new research led by Cleveland Clinic.

Color vision makes birds of prey successful hunters
In many cases it is the color of the prey that helps predatory birds to detect, pursue and capture them.

Genetic susceptibility to lower vitamin D levels and calcium intake not linked to fracture
Having a genetic predisposition to lower vitamin D levels and calcium intake is not associated with an increased risk of osteoporotic fracture, conclude researchers in The BMJ today.

NASA's GPM finds heavy rain in a band wrapping into Tropical Storm Miriam
NASA found heavy rainfall occurring in Tropical Storm Miriam as it continued moving through the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

Breakthrough could see bacteria used as cell factories to produce biofuels
A new technique for manipulating small cell structures for use in a range of biotechnical applications including the production of biofuels and vaccines has been developed by a team of scientists led by the University of Kent.

Mangrove expansion and climatic warming may help ecosystems keep pace with sea level rise
A team of Villanova University biologists have documented that coastal wetlands in the southeastern United States are responding positively to rising temperatures both in their growth and in their ability to build soil to keep pace with sea level rise.

Depressed children 6 times more likely to have skill deficits, MU study finds
Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have found that children who show mild to severe symptoms of depression in second and third grades are six times more likely to have skill deficits, such as difficulties with social skills or academics, than children without symptoms.

Failing immune system 'brakes' help explain type 1 diabetes in mice
Immune reactions are usually a good thing -- the body's way of eliminating harmful bacteria and other pathogens.

Improving soil quality can slow global warming
A UC Berkeley study finds that well-established, low-tech land management practices like planting cover crops, optimizing grazing and sowing legumes on rangelands, if instituted globally, could capture enough carbon from the atmosphere and store it in the soil to make a significant contribution to international global warming targets.

Researchers highlight neglected evidence on the cardiovascular risks of toxic metals
Exposure to arsenic, lead, copper, and cadmium is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease, finds a comprehensive analysis of the evidence published today in The BMJ.

Teen dating violence is down, but boys still report more violence than girls
When it comes to teen dating violence, boys are more likely to report being the victim of violence -- being hit, slapped, or pushed--than girls.

NASA's GPM Satellite sees Jebi as another tropical threat To Japan
Japan has been afflicted by several tropical cyclones and other extreme weather this summer.

Researchers identify new potential biotherapy for Alzheimer's disease
Researchers at the University of Florida have discovered that a modified version of an important immune cell protein could be used to treat Alzheimer's disease.

Better assessments for early AMD
The European MACUSTAR consortium is conducting a multi-country clinical study on age-related macular degeneration (AMD) coordinated by the University of Bonn.

'Archived' heat has reached deep into the Arctic interior, researchers say
Arctic sea ice isn't just threatened by the melting of ice around its edges, a new study has found: Warmer water that originated hundreds of miles away has penetrated deep into the interior of the Arctic.

Electronic device implanted in the brain could stop seizures
Researchers have successfully demonstrated how an electronic device implanted directly into the brain can detect, stop and even prevent epileptic seizures.

How the forest copes with the summer heat
Between April and August this year, Switzerland and central Europe have experienced the driest summer season since 1864.

Mathematics can assist cities in addressing unstructured neighborhoods
New mathematical models developed by the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory with collaborators at Sam Houston State University and the University of Chicago can help guide changes to the layout of poor urban neighborhoods to improve access to resources with minimum disruption and cost.

Bifunctional compound tackles pain relief and opioid dependency
Huiping Ding and colleagues have developed a painkilling compound that both relieves pain and suppresses opioid dependency in primates.

New test uncovers metabolic vulnerabilities in kidney cancer
A team of investigators used intraoperative infusions of labeled glucose in patients about to have surgery to remove the kidney cancer to assess how the tumors use glucose.

Researcher links diplomats' mystery illness to radiofrequency/microwave radiation
Writing in advance of the Sept, 15 issue of Neural Computation, Beatrice Golomb, MD, PhD, professor of medicine at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, says publicly reported symptoms and experiences of a 'mystery illness' afflicting American and Canadian diplomats in Cuba and China strongly match known effects of pulsed radiofrequency/microwave electromagnetic (RF/MW) radiation.

Beavers have an impact on the climate
A rising water level affects the interaction between beaver ponds, water and air, as well as the carbon balance of the zone of ground closest to water.

More than just a DNA repair deficiency syndrome
By studying the skin phenotype of the hereditary disease Cockayne syndrome researchers at the IUF and HHU Duesseldorf have found a mechanism which can prevent the loss of subcutaneous fat, i.e. one of the cardinal symptoms of Cockayne syndrome.

Male and female tennis players decline at same rate
The physical abilities of male and female tennis stars decline at the same rate as they age, new research shows.

Study of rare cancer yields therapeutic clues to combat drug resistance
The team set out to explore cancer drivers that allow NUT midline carcinoma -- a rare, aggressive cancer that can arise in multiple organs -- to become impervious to drugs.

New genetics findings unravel key components of fracture risk in osteoporosis
The largest study ever to investigate the genetics of osteoporosis and fracture risk determined that only two examined factors -- bone mineral density (BMD) and muscle strength -- play a potentially causal role in the risk of suffering osteoporotic fracture, a major health problem affecting more than 9 million people worldwide very year.

Amber circulated in extensive Mediterranean exchange networks in Late Prehistory
New archaeological evidence from the Iberian Peninsula reveals extensive Mediterranean exchange networks of amber resources in Late Prehistory, according to a study published Aug.

Manmade mangroves could get to the 'root' of the problem for threats to coastal areas
With threats of sea level rise, storm surge and other natural disasters, researchers are turning to nature to protect humans from nature.

Sicilian amber in western Europe pre-dates arrival of Baltic amber by at least 2,000 years
Amber from Sicily arrived in Iberia as early as the 4th Millennium BC, some 2,000 years before the appearance of Baltic amber to the peninsula.

Drought increases CO2 concentration in the air
ETH researchers have shown that during drier years the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere rises faster because stressed ecosystems absorb less carbon.

Food activates brown fat
Brown fat consumes energy, which is the reason why it could be important for preventing obesity and diabetes.

Global fisheries could still become more profitable despite global warming
Global commercial fish stocks could provide more food and profits in the future, despite warming seas, if adaptive management practices are implemented.

Breast cancer surgery in frail elderly women linked to poor results
An analysis of more than a decade of U.S. nursing home data has shown that breast cancer surgery is associated with high rates of mortality and hospital readmission, along with loss of functional independence, for frail nursing home residents.

Protect key habitats, not just wilderness, to preserve species
Some scientists have suggested we need to protect half of Earth's surface to preserve most of its species.

Dectin-1-mediated pain is critical for the resolution of fungal inflammation
Candidiasis is a painful infection that affects a large number of individuals, occasionally causing severe pain that is solely controlled by resolution of infection.

Cold climates contributed to the extinction of the Neanderthals
Climate change may have played a more important role in the extinction of Neanderthals than previously believed, according to a new study published in PNAS.

On the horizon: An acne vaccine
A new study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology reports important steps that have been taken towards the development of an acne vaccine.

Overconfident CEOs are more likely to get sued
Researchers from Stevens Institute of Technology and colleagues show that overconfident CEOs are 33 percent more likely to get sued by shareholders than CEOs with normal confidence.

Robotic herding of a flock of birds using drones
Researchers made a new algorithm for enabling a single robotic unmanned aerial vehicle to herd a flock of birds away from a designated airspace.

A better way to count boreal birds
Knowing approximately how many individuals of a certain species are out there is important for bird conservation efforts, but raw data from bird surveys tends to underestimate bird abundance.

Quality of life after spinal cord injury -- What functional abilities have the greatest impact?
Independence in mobility is the single most important factor affecting quality of life in patients with traumatic spinal cord injury (TSCI), reports a study in the American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, the official journal of the Association of Academic Physiatrists.

NYC's tobacco-free pharmacy law substantially reduces retailer density, yet impact unequal
New York City's tobacco-free free pharmacy law substantially reduces tobacco retailer density overall, but the policy's impact is not evenly distributed across neighborhoods.

Artificial intelligence guides rapid data-driven exploration of underwater habitats
Researchers aboard Schmidt Ocean Institute's research vessel Falkor used autonomous underwater robots, along with the Institute's remotely operated vehicle (ROV) SuBastian, to acquire 1.3 million high resolution images of the seafloor at Hydrate Ridge, composing them into the largest known high resolution color 3D model of the seafloor.

The hidden life of rock gnome lichen
A new study from researchers at The Graduate Center of The City University of New York is helping to shed light on the genetic diversity and reproductive process of rock gnome lichen, one of only two varieties of lichens on the US endangered species

Unlocking the secrets of cell division in cancer
Scientists at Hollings Cancer Center at the Medical University of South Carolina have found that some cells can divide without a molecule that was previously thought necessary.

NASA sees post-Tropical Cyclone Lane come to an end
The once hurricane that dropped record-setting rainfall on the Hawaiian Islands has come to an end in the Central Pacific Ocean and NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite captured a visible image of its final hours.

NASA examines intensifying Tropical Storm Norman
NASA's Aqua satellite provided valuable temperature data on Tropical Storm Norman in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

Air pollution can put a dent in solar power
Air pollution, especially in urban areas, can significantly reduce the power output from solar panels, and needs to be considered when design solar installations in or near cities.

Mammal forerunner that reproduced like a reptile sheds light on brain evolution
Compared with the rest of the animal kingdom, mammals have the biggest brains and produce some of the smallest litters of offspring.

Unstoppable monster in the early universe
Astronomers obtained the most detailed anatomy chart of a monster galaxy located 12.4 billion light-years away.

How your brain experiences time
Researchers at the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience in Trondheim, Norway have discovered a network of brain cells that expresses our sense of time in experiences and memories.

CVIA special issue on special issue on current issues in cath labs
The journal Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications (CVIA) has just published a new issue, Volume 3 Issue 2.

China is hot spot of ground-level ozone pollution
In China, people breathe air thick with the lung-damaging pollutant ozone two to six times more often than people in the United States, Europe, Japan, or South Korea, according to a new assessment.

Biodegradable plastic blends offer new options for disposal
Imagine throwing your empty plastic water bottle into a household composting bin that breaks down the plastic and produces biogas to help power your home.

Ancient African herders had lasting ecological impact on grazed lands
Ancient animal herders added to the ecological richness and diversity of the African savanna thousands of years ago -- an effect that persists to the present day, a new study finds.

Terahertz wave activates filamentation of actin
A team of researchers have discovered that terahertz (THz) wave irradiation activates the filamentation of actin protein.

A recipe for regenerating nerve fibers across complete spinal cord injury
Scientists have designed a three-stepped recipe for regenerating electro-physiologically active nerve fibers across complete spinal cord lesions in rodents.

Boron nitride separation process could facilitate higher efficiency solar cells
A team of semiconductor researchers based in France has used a boron nitride separation layer to grow indium gallium nitride (InGaN) solar cells that were then lifted off their original sapphire substrate and placed onto a glass substrate.

Nerve fibers regrow thru scar tissue after spinal cord injury in rodents
Scientists have developed a treatment that triggers axons to regrow after spinal cord injury in rodents.

Scientists take big step toward finding non-addictive painkiller
With the support of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, scientists at Wake Forest School of Medicine have been working to find a safe, non-addictive pain killer to help fight the current opioid crisis in this country.

Watching two-dimensional materials grow
The production of ultra-thin 2D crystals is difficult. In the past, different techniques have yielded quite diverse results, but the reasons for this could not be accurately explained.

European researchers develop a new technique to forecast geomagnetic storms
Flashes of brightness known as solar flares can be followed by coronal mass ejections that send plasma from the sun into space.

Genomic study of 412 anthrax strains provides new virulence clues
By analyzing genomic sequences from more than 400 strains of the bacterium that causes anthrax, researchers have provided the first evidence that the severity -- technically known as virulence -- of specific strains may be related to the number of copies of certain plasmids they carry.

Restless legs syndrome brain stimulation study supports motor cortex 'excitability' as a cause
Researchers report new insights into brain centers involved in restless legs syndrome and disturbed sleep.

Gum disease treatment may improve symptoms in cirrhosis patients
Routine oral care to treat gum disease (periodontitis) may play a role in reducing inflammation and toxins in the blood (endotoxemia) and improving cognitive function in people with liver cirrhosis.

Trump supporters on campuses more likely to show prejudice toward international students
A new study by a University at Buffalo psychologist suggests that stereotypes alone do not lead to that prejudice against international students.

Study Demonstrates a New Recurrence-Based Method that Mimics Kolmogorov-Smirnov Test
The recurrence plot is a vital tool for analyzing nonlinear dynamic systems, especially systems involving empirically observed time series data.

Mongrel Mob open up to Otago researchers for the good of their health
Studying the liver health of a high-risk, hard-to-reach gang population certainly came with challenges and a few surprises, a University of Otago academic says.

LT breathing tubes after cardiac arrest could save 10,000 more lives
Heart attack patients given a different type of breathing tube by paramedics had better survival rates than those treated by traditional intubation breathing tube methods - findings that could potentially save more than 10,000 lives annually, researchers report.

Travelling thousands of kilometres to feed -- Otago studies penguins' 'crazy' journeys
Imagine making a 7,000km journey just for dinner. That, University of Otago scientists have found, is the life of the elusive Fiordland penguin

The God of small things
New research suggests people who are religious gain happiness from believing there is a deeper meaning to everyday events. 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