Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 06, 2018
Is the key to sparking climate action a game?
New research led by UMass Lowell and published by PLoS ONE found that 81 percent of participants in the World Climate Simulation, a role-playing game of the UN climate talks, showed increased motivation to combat climate change, even among Americans who are free market proponents, a belief strongly linked to denial of human-caused climate change in the United States.

Public health researchers warn of dietary supplements containing higenamine
A new peer-reviewed study of weight-loss and sports/energy supplements containing higenamine finds unpredictable and inaccurately labeled dosages of the potentially harmful cardiovascular stimulant.

Obese/overweight pregnant women can safely control weight gain through diet and exercise
Many overweight/obese women gain too much weight during pregnancy, further ratcheting up their already-increased risk of serious complications for themselves and their babies.

Scientists test new cancer vaccine against melanoma
The findings suggest these vaccines could increase chances of recovery in cases where a drug therapy alone is not working.

UCLA-led team develops novel system to track brain chemicals
Researchers at UCLA and Columbia University have developed a novel method for tracking the activity of small molecules in the brain, including the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine.

Longer daily fasting times improve health and longevity in mice
Increasing time between meals made male mice healthier overall and live longer compared to mice who ate more frequently, according to a new study published in the Sept.

Novel epigenetic control found for critical brain proteins in memory strengthening
Researchers have found a mechanism that links epigenetic changes to translational control during fear memory reconsolidation.

Greener neighborhoods may be good for children's brains
Children living in urban greener neighborhoods may have better spatial working memory, according to a British Journal of Educational Psychology study.

Understanding family involvement in Chinese immigrant women's health and healthcare
Chinese immigrant women from Chicago's Chinatown report that their adult children support their health and healthcare utilization by helping them overcome barriers related to language and transportation, making and affirming decisions, and providing advice regarding nutrition.

Ovarian cancer: Quick steps to widespread disease
Ovarian cancer cells that interact with cancer-associated fibroblasts can mobilize glycogen as an energy source, leading to proliferation, invasion and metastasis.

New diagnostic tool for complex cancer cases
A new diagnostic tool is expected to result in better treatment of cancer that is difficult to diagnose.

How olive oil and sleep could stave off heart attacks and strokes: New study examines plasma protein's role
Foods high in unsaturated fats may protect against cardiovascular disease, and new research published today in Nature Communications has uncovered why.

Study uncovers link between better sleep quality and a healthy diet
Sleep quality, but not sleep duration, was positively associated with adherence to the Mediterranean diet in a Geriatrics and Gerontology International study of 1,639 adults 65 years old.

Telehealth helps promote safe antibiotic prescribing practices in remote healthcare
A pilot project at two rural VA medical centers demonstrated that telehealth videoconferencing promoted antibiotic stewardship efforts by linking remote facilities to infectious diseases-trained professionals, according to a study published today in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.

Researchers study how a hormone helps plants build leaves' ventilation system
The Bergmann lab at Stanford has shown how one hormone pathway in plants regulates the way leaves build their epidermal layer with the right number of breathing pores, giving plants a strategy to optimize their productivity while taking into account changes in the environment.

Artificial synaptic device simulating the function of human brain
Korean researchers has developed a high-reliability artificial electronic synaptic device that simulates neurons and synapses.

Driver gene heterogeneity is minimal among untreated metastases
The growth of different metastatic lesions within an individual cancer patient is driven by the same genetic mutations, a new study reports.

More daytime sleepiness, more Alzheimer's disease?
Analysis of data captured during a long-term study of aging adults shows that those who report being very sleepy during the day were nearly three times more likely than those who didn't to have brain deposits of beta amyloid, a protein that's a hallmark for Alzheimer's disease, years later.

Human gut study questions probiotic health benefits
New research suggests that probiotics might not be as effective as we think.

Wind and solar farms offer an unexpected benefit to the Sahara Desert: More water
Wind and solar farms appear to enhance local rainfall and also vegetation cover in the Sahara Desert, a new study reveals.

Common anti-smoking treatment makes no difference in shisha tobacco addiction
Researchers at the University of York has shown that a drug commonly used to help smokers overcome addiction to cigarettes does not have the same effect in shisha smokers.

A new tool developed at the UPNA assesses how interference impacts on wireless networks
At the NUP/UPNA a telecommunications engineer has developed a methodology to assess the impact of interference on wireless communications and find out the best location for devices that communicate with each other wirelessly.

The dynamics and energetics of locomotion depend on the number of propulsive legs
A zoologist from the University of Cologne has modelled the locomotion of animals and robots with different numbers of leg pairs.

Do you know why and how you forget passwords?
Do you frequently forget passwords to a baffling array of accounts and websites?

Patient-friendly and accurate
Systemic inflammatory diseases, such as lupus, often cause cardiac damage that goes undetected.

Smoking linked to higher dementia risk
In an Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology analysis of nationwide health claims from Korea, men who smoked had an elevated risk of dementia.

Study examines pros and cons of hydropower
Hydropower can generate electricity without emitting greenhouse gases but can cause environmental and social harms, such as damaged wildlife habitat, impaired water quality, impeded fish migration, reduced sediment transport, and diminished cultural and recreation benefits of rivers.

Drought predictive of decrease in snakebites, Stanford researcher says
Rattlesnake bites, contrary to public opinion, increase after periods of high rainfall, not drought, according to a Stanford-led study that examined 20 years of snakebite history in California.

Birds retreating from climate change, deforestation in Honduras cloud forests
Cloud forests are not immune to very down-to-earth problems of climate change and deforestation.

Jet-air dryers should not be used in hospital toilets
Jet-air hand dryers in hospital toilets spread more germs than disposable paper towels and should not be used, say researchers.

No 'changing room moment' for men as they age
Men, unlike women, do not suffer from the 'changing room moment' when they suddenly realise they are too old for certain types of clothes, according to new research from the University of Kent.

Large wind and solar farms in the Sahara would increase heat, rain, vegetation
Wind and solar farms are known to have local effects on heat, humidity and other factors that may be beneficial -- or detrimental -- to the regions in which they are situated.

Adaptable lizards illustrate key evolutionary process proposed a century ago
Side-blotched lizards in most of the Mojave Desert have tan and brown markings that blend in well with their desert surroundings.

NASA's GPM finds heavy rain rings category 3 Hurricane Olivia's Eye
The Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM satellite passed over Hurricane Olivia and found heaviest rain in a tight ring around the eye.

NASA's GPM peers under the clouds of Hurricane Florence
Hurricane Florence became more powerful over the past few days while moving through the central Atlantic Ocean and wind speeds increased from tropical storm force to a Category 3 hurricane.

California's large minority population drives state's relatively low death rate
High poverty rates, low education and lack of insurance are all social determinants that are expected to lead to high mortality rates and negative health outcomes.

Marijuana use continues to grow among baby boomers
Marijuana use is becoming more prevalent among middle-aged and older adults, with 9 percent of adults aged 50-64 and nearly 3 percent of adults 65 and older reporting marijuana use in the past year, according to a study by researchers at NYU School of Medicine and the Center for Drug Use and HIV/HCV Research at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing.

New personal health management tool predicts risk for abdominal aortic aneurysm from DNA
Detecting inherited risk factors for diseases tied to more than a single gene has proved challenging.

Satellites tracking the rainfall from Tropical Depression Gordon
Gordon is still considered a tropical depression as it makes its way into the south central US NOAA's GOES-East satellite provided an infrared look at clouds associated with Gordon and found its center over Mississippi.

Protection for the ozone layer: sugar molecules bind harmful CFCs
Researchers at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and Aschaffenburg University of Applied Sciences have managed to make a breakthrough when it comes to dealing with the extremely ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbon Freon 11.

Building a Better Brain-in-a-Dish, Faster and Cheaper
Writing in the current online issue of the journal Stem Cells and Development, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine describe development of a rapid, cost-effective method to create human cortical organoids directly from primary cells.

Pushing 'print' on large-scale piezoelectric materials
A new, inexpensive method to 'print' large-scale sheets of two dimensional (2D) piezoelectric material offers tremendous opportunity for new piezo-sensors and energy harvesting.

Brainwaves synchronize to the speed of talking, influencing the way we hear words
The speed at which someone speaks influences the way we hear upcoming words.

Unravelling the reasons why mass extinctions occur
University of Leicester research could help to predict approaching ecological catastrophes.

Antibacterial polymers
Artificial polymers, like antibiotic peptides, need both hydrophobic and hydrophilic domains in their molecular structure to exert antibacterial activity.

Bio-inspired materials decrease drag for liquids
Tiny nature-inspired cavities that trap air can stop liquids from sticking to surfaces without the need for coatings.

What Anglo Saxon teeth can tell us about modern health
Evidence from the teeth of Anglo Saxon children could help identify modern children most at risk from conditions such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

Biomarker tests in breast cancer: New study data indicate advantage for certain patients
TAILORx is the first available study with long-term follow-up suitable for the assessment.

Unnecessary medicine use in patients with lung cancer at the end of life
Individuals with advanced lung cancer often have other comorbid conditions, and many may be on complex, costly, and even inappropriate medication regimens.

Gender identities disrupted -- and reinforced
New Northwestern University research analyzing the ways children's gender narratives reinforce or disrupt gender inequality found that older children -- and girls -- are more likely to tell alternative narratives that disrupted the gender status quo.

Mysterious 'lunar swirls' point to moon's volcanic, magnetic past
The mystery behind lunar swirls, one of the solar system's most beautiful optical anomalies, may finally be solved thanks to a joint Rutgers University and University of California Berkeley study.

'Robat' uses sound to navigate and map unique environments
Tel Aviv University researchers have invented a 'Robat,' a fully autonomous terrestrial robot with bat-like qualities that uses echolocation to move through novel environments while mapping them based only on sound.

Invasive pines fueled 2017 fires in Knysna, South Africa
The replacement of natural fynbos vegetation with pine plantations in the southern Cape in South Africa, and the subsequent invasion of surrounding land by invasive pine trees, significantly increased the severity of the 2017 Knysna wildfires.

New biomarker panel could accelerate autism diagnoses
Investigators at the UC Davis MIND Institute and NeuroPointDX, a division of Stemina Biomarker Discovery, have identified a group of blood metabolites that could help detect some children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Scanning thousands of molecules against an elusive cancer target
Researchers at the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), part of the National Institutes of Health, have developed a system to accelerate the discovery of chemical compounds that inhibit an enzyme implicated in a number of cancers.

How our immune system detects broken DNA
Our immune system can detect when our own cells are damaged.

Renewable energy sources: All-in-one light-driven water splitting
Solar-powered water splitting is a promising means of generating clean and storable energy.

Study reveals impact of habitat fragmentation on migrant birds
Experts at the University of Stirling have shed new light on the impact of habitat fragmentation on migrant birds.

Could AI robots develop prejudice on their own?
Showing prejudice towards others does not require a high level of cognitive ability and could easily be exhibited by artificially intelligent machines, new research has suggested.

A cyborg cockroach could someday save your life
A tiny neuro-controller created by researchers at the University of Connecticut could provide more precise control of futuristic biobots such as cyborg cockroaches that are already being tested for use in search and rescue missions inside collapsed buildings.

Rapid weight gain during infancy possible risk factor for later obesity in kids with autism
Childhood obesity is a serious public health concern that can have a profound impact on children's health and well-being.

International neurointerventional societies outline new criteria for facilities that treat stroke
The Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery (SNIS) today joined 12 other neurointerventional societies to release new guidelines outlining the criteria for Level 1, 2 and 3 stroke centers that provide acute ischemic stroke interventions (AISIs) to stroke patients.

New study shows ways to maximize temperature-lowering benefits of Chicago's green roofs
Notre Dame researchers have created an integrated framework to identify which neighborhoods would benefit most from green roofs -- and provide city officials with a strategic approach to ensure the best return on their investment to beat the heat.

How ungulates learn to surf the 'green waves' of forage
By tracking the 'surfing' ability of migratory ungulates, researchers have found that the great migrations of Earth's nomadic mammals develop and persist through the cultural exchange of local knowledge.

Good governance, clean water, & sanitation necessary to curb global antibiotic resistance
An international team of researchers has published a new study showing that the proliferation of disease-causing antibiotic resistant organisms is correlated with many social and environmental factors such as poor sanitation, unsafe water, and higher incomes.

New insights into what drives organ transplant rejection
Investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital set out to understand why skin grafts have such a high rate of rejection, hoping to capitalize on new biological insights to not only explain why skin transplants provoke the immune system but also what treatments can be given to an organ prior to transplantation to decrease the likelihood of rejection.

Experiment obtains entanglement of six light waves with a single laser
Record set by Brazilian researchers can help make quantum computing feasible.

Ancient farmers spared us from glaciers but profoundly changed Earth's climate
A study published in the journal Scientific Reports provides new evidence that ancient farming practices led to a rise in the atmospheric emission of the heat-trapping gases carbon dioxide and methane -- a rise that has continued since, unlike the trend at any other time in Earth's geologic history.

Stress wracks worm nerves, leaving lasting memories
Scientists stunted the puberty of male worms by starving them before they underwent sexual maturation.

37 percent of smokers fully switch to vaping blu after 90 days -- real-world study
Study of adult smokers in Glasgow given blu PRO vaping device and liquids sees more than a third completely switch to vaping with significant reductions in average smoking frequency for the other participants.

Common pesticide inhibits brain development in frogs
New research published in Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry reveals that low doses of a commonly used pesticide potentially harm the Northern Leopard frog by inhibiting their brain development.

Would global warming increase childhood viral infection rates?
Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) is a common childhood viral infection that is most common in warmer summer months.

Why leaf-eating Asian monkeys do not have a sweet tooth
Asian colobine monkeys are unable to taste natural sugars, and in fact have a generally poor sense of taste.

Spreading the word: Noninvasive brain stimulation may soon reach more aphasia patients
In an article published online on Aug. 20, 2018 by the Journal of the American Medical Association Neurology, researchers tested the use of transcranial direct current stimulation in stroke patients with aphasia.

We need to talk about sexuality after stroke
Stroke survivors and their partners are not adequately supported to deal with changes to their relationships, self-identity, gender roles and intimacy following stroke, according to new research from the University of Sydney.

An inside look at probiotics
In two back-to-back reports published in Cell, researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science show -- in both mice and in humans -- that a probiotic preparation of 11 strains of the most widely used probiotic families may sometimes be less-than-beneficial for user and their microbiome.

Galactic 'wind' stifling star formation is most distant yet seen
For the first time, a powerful 'wind' of molecules has been detected in a galaxy located 12 billion light-years away.

How 'double-acting' baking powder acts twice (video)
Baking powder is used to raise baked goods like cakes and cookies.

Not too wet, not too dry: plasma-treated fuel cell gets it just right
Fuel cells hold promise as a clean, renewable source of energy.

Stanford researchers can forecast risk of deadly vascular condition from genome sequence
A new approach that distills deluges of genetic data and patient health records has identified a set of telltale patterns that can predict a person's risk for a common, and often fatal, cardiovascular disease, according to a new study from the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Fierce winds quench wildfire-like starbirth in far-flung galaxy
Astronomers using ALMA, with the aid of a gravitational lens, have detected the most-distant galactic 'wind' of molecules ever observed, seen when the universe was only one billion years old.

A first step toward cracking the genetics of strabismus
While some rare forms of strabismus have been linked to specific genes, common forms have been hard to pin down genetically.

Elucidating the Chara genome: Implications for emergence of land plants in Paleozoic era
Charophyceae are relatives of land plants, whose genomes have been envisioned to contain important information to understand how land plants evolved from their ancestors in the Paleozoic era.

UCI-led research identifies properties of stem cells that determine cell fate
Researchers from the University of California, Irvine have identified intrinsic cell properties that influence the fate of neural stem cells, affecting what type of brain cell they will form: neurons, astrocytes, or oligodendrocytes.

US housing subsidy may improve adolescent girls' binge drinking but worsen boys'
A housing subsidy treatment that enables low-income families in US cities to move from public to private housing appears to reduce adolescent girls' binge drinking but increase adolescent boys' binge drinking.

Origin of symmetry breaking in the seed-mediated growth of bimetal nano-heterostructures
During the seed-mediated growth, the structure of formed Pd-Au nano-heterostructure can be either centrosymmetric Pd@Au core-shell trisoctahedra or asymmetric Pd-Au hetero-dimers.

NASA adds up heavy rains from Typhoon Jebi
Typhoon Jebi brought flooding to Japan and NASA's IMERG estimated rainfall over the country and the surrounding region for a one-week period.

Global warming: Worrying lessons from the past
56 million years ago, the Earth experienced an exceptional episode of global warming.

Patient beware: Indiana University researchers diagnose crowdsourced hospital ratings
Researchers from Indiana University's School of Public and Environmental Affairs compared social media ratings offered by patients with the extensive data available through the federal government's 'Hospital Compare' website.

How attention orchestrates groups of nerve cells to enrich the brain's symphony
Study on rhesus monkeys shows how our brain processes complex signals.

Bird bacteria study reveals evolutionary arms race
A study of a songbird and a bacterium that infects it has revealed how species in conflict evolve in response to each other.

Complete makeover in fight of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis
Several new medicines have been found to be more effective than traditional ones used to treat multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), according to a new international collaborative study led by the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) in Montreal, with these findings precipitating a complete overhaul of worldwide TB treatment guidelines.

Study finds high rates of stress events, suicidality among college students
One in five students surveyed reported thoughts of suicide in the last year.

Measurements reveal a two-step energy flow process in Earth's magnetosphere
Scientists have obtained in situ measurements of Earth's magnetosphere, demonstrating a phenomenon that's long been thought to happen but not yet directly been shown: energy is transferred from hydrogen ions to plasma waves, and then from the waves to helium ions.

Bee venom may help treat eczema
Bee venom and its major component, melittin, may be effective treatments for atopic dermatitis (or eczema), according to a British Journal of Pharmacology study.

Towards animal-friendly machines
Semi-autonomous and autonomous machines and robots can become moral machines using annotated decision trees containing ethical assumptions or justifications for interactions with animals.

Single-dose drug can shorten flu symptoms by about a day, studies suggest
A single dose of a new influenza drug can significantly shorten the duration of the illness in teens and adults, according to a study published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine.

Synthetic DNA vaccine effective against influenza A virus subtype
Currently available vaccines for the prevention of seasonal influenza virus infection have limited ability to induce immunity against diverse H3N2 viruses, an influenza A subtype that has led to high morbidity and mortality in recent years.

New study on obesity: We inherit the dangerous fat from Dad -- and the good fat from Mom
Brown fat cells burn off a lot of calories, whereas an excess of white fat cells make us overweight and ill.

Researchers correlate spinal muscular atrophy disease expression with haplotypes
A natural history study has provided the first comprehensive clinical description of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) within the Amish and Mennonite communities and correlates ancestral chromosome 5 haplotypes and SMN2 copy number with disease severity.

Conditional release programs often work for criminally insane
After being found not guilty by reason of insanity, it's not typically a crime -- rather declining mental health or breaking rules of conditional release like not drinking alcohol -- that puts people back in a psychiatric hospital or even jail, researchers say.

What are the effects of alcohol access on risky behaviors in young adults?
Results from a recent analysis reveal that the availability of alcohol associated with turning 21 years old may have relatively large effects on risky behaviors, especially in men.

Racial/ethnic disparities in use of low-vision devices among Medicare recipients
Devices to assist individuals with low vision (uncorrectable vision impairment) are not covered by Medicare and many private insurers, although there is evidence that these devices, such as telescopic lenses, magnifiers, large print or talking materials, can improve functioning and quality of life.

Study: Adding power choices reduces cost and risk of carbon-free electricity
MIT researchers find that including a variety of zero-carbon power sources is a more cost effective way of lowering greenhouse gas emissions than relying solely on solar, wind, and batteries.

Facial plastic surgeons call for reduction of opioid prescriptions after rhinoplasty
A team of surgeons at Massachusetts Eye and Ear found that, of 173 patients undergoing rhinoplasty, a common procedure performed in the facial plastic and reconstructive surgery field, only two refilled their opioid prescriptions after the procedure -- with some patients not filling their initial opioid prescription at all.

Predict the onset and course of Huntington's disease
An MDC research team reports in the journal Molecular Cell that short protein fibers precede the formation of larger deposits that accumulate in the brains of those affected by the incurable Huntington's disease, sometimes called Huntington's chorea.

A new theory for phantom limb pain points the way to more effective treatment
Dr Max Ortiz Catalan of Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, has developed a new theory for the origin of the mysterious condition, 'phantom limb pain'.

Researchers model tree species distributions in Amazonia
Researchers from the Amazon Research Team of the University of Turku have succeeded in producing distribution maps for a selection of important tropical tree species in Peruvian lowland Amazonia.

Interpretation of material spectra can be data-driven using machine learning
Modern spectroscopy techniques can produce tens of thousands of spectra from a single experiment, which has placed a considerable burden on traditional human-driven methods for interpretation of these spectra.

Opioid prescribing after rhinoplasty
A review of 173 patients who had rhinoplasty reports that nearly all were prescribed opioids (an average of 28 pills per patient) in addition to acetaminophen and refills were exceedingly rare, with some patients (11.3 percent) not even filling their initial narcotic prescription.

Past memory cues help people juggle numerous pieces of information
A study using EEG suggests that the brain has several different mechanisms to help boost memory performance following a sudden change in the priority or relevance of a given piece of information.

UCI-led study reveals communication among organs, tissues regulating body's energy
An international research team led by the University of California, Irvine has identified a system of communication networks that exists among organs and tissues that regulate metabolism.

Category three Hurricane Norman expands its area of strength
The area of stronger storms in Hurricane Norman have expanded over the last several day in infrared NASA imagery as the storm intensified.

Quest Diagnostics health trends study finds drug misuse rates remain constant at high levels and...
More than half of Americans tested misused their prescription drugs in 2017.

Volcano under ice sheet suggests thickening of West Antarctic ice is short-term
Evidence left by a volcano under the ice sheet suggests that the observed bulging of ice in West Antarctica is a short-term feature that may not affect the glacier's motion over the long term.

What's all the 'excitement' about flight?
A recent study from Prof. Gaiti Hasan's lab has uncovered molecules required in the fruit flies brain that enables flight for long periods of time and helps them locate the fruit bowl in your pantry.

Risk gene for alzheimer may aggravate neurological effects of air pollution in children
There is growing evidence that exposure to air pollution adversely affects cognitive and behavioural development in children.

Researchers use silicon nanoparticles for enhancing solar cells efficiency
An international research group improved perovskite solar cells efficiency by using materials with better light absorption properties.

Sleep apnea found to be prevalent, undiagnosed in African-American community
About 80 to 90 percent of individuals with sleep apnea are undiagnosed and a large number of them are African-Americans.

Stray proteins cause genetic disorders
A tiny change in the very flexible segments of some proteins is enough to trigger rare disorders such as Glut1 deficiency syndrome.

Simple but effective: spontaneous synthesis of homogenous polymer networks
Nagoya researchers developed a spontaneous polymer network synthesis that allowed for the preparation of gels containing narrow molecular weight distribution polymers.

Brain function impacts how experiences contribute to depression
A study in adolescent girls reports that recent life events impact depressive symptoms differently, depending on how the brain responds to winning and losing.

How to 'jumpstart' rhythmic breathing at birth
Researchers reveal neuronal pathways that 'jumpstart' breathing at birth and may explain breathing abnormalities seen in premature babies.

Researchers identify marker for novel asthma treatments
Researchers at RCSI, Stanford University and Oregon Health Sciences University have discovered a marker which can help determine which asthma patients are likely to benefit from a new treatment which targets inflammatory cells called Eosinophils.

Short chromosome tips linked to lower physical function in the elderly
Elderly people with short telomeres -- the 'caps' at the ends of each chromosome -- are more likely to have difficulty performing daily activities such as carrying groceries, climbing stairs and walking. 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