Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 14, 2018
Big data studies scrutinize links between fatty liver disease and how cells make energy
Three recent studies investigate changes in mitochondria, the cell's energy producers, as fatty liver disease (NAFLD) progresses to steatohepatosis (NASH).

'High-yield' farming costs the environment less than previously thought -- and could help spare habitats
New findings suggest that more intensive agriculture might be the 'least bad' option for feeding the world while saving its species -- provided use of such 'land-efficient' systems prevents further conversion of wilderness to farmland.

Can a novel high-density EEG approach disentangle the differences of visual event related potential (N170), elicited by negative facial stimuli, in people with subjective cognitive impairment?
Thessaloniki- Macedonia, Greece -- Sept. 14, 2018 -- Greek researchers investigated whether specific brain regions, which have been found to be highly activated after negative facial stimulus, are also activated in different groups of people with subjective cognitive impairment (SCI), mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer's Disease (AD) compared to healthy controls (HC).

Study examines law enforcement-inflicted injuries using California hospital data
An analysis of hospital visits in California shows trends in injuries inflicted by law enforcement officers in the line of duty and how those injuries were associated with the race and ethnicity of individuals they encountered.

Brief psychotherapy benefits women caring for children with severe health issues
Brief cognitive behavioral therapy significantly improved the mental health of women overwhelmed by caring for children with severe chronic health conditions, researchers at the University of Louisville have found.

ORNL-developed technology streamlines computational science projects
An ORNL research team led by Jay Jay Billings has continuously updated a workflow management system they first developed in 2010 to help computational scientists develop software, visualize data, and solve problems, saving time and effort expended in support of modeling and simulation experiments.

Repeat vaccination is safe for most kids with mild to moderate reactions
Children who experience some type of adverse event following initial immunization have a low rate of recurrent reactions to subsequent vaccinations, reports a study in The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, the official journal of The European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases.

Organic farming methods favors pollinators
Pollinating insects are endangered globally, with a particularly steep decline over the last 40 years.

FRESH program combines basic science with social benefits for women at risk of HIV
A program established by the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard is addressing the persistently elevated risk of HIV infection among young women in South Africa from two angles -- first, investigating biological factors that modulate infection risk and the early immunologic events following viral exposure, and second, alleviating the socioeconomic factors that limit opportunities for young women, the group at greatest risk in the region hit hardest by the HIV epidemic.

Religious upbringing linked to better health and well-being during early adulthood
Participating in spiritual practices during childhood and adolescence may be a protective factor for a range of health and well-being outcomes in early adulthood, according to a new study from Harvard T.H.

NASA-NOAA satellite finds winds tearing Tropical Depression Isaac apart
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed over tropical cyclone Isaac in the eastern Caribbean Sea and it has weakened to a depression as a result of being hammered by vertical wind shear.

Probiotic use may reduce antibiotic prescriptions, researchers say
The use of probiotics is linked to reduced need for antibiotic treatment in infants and children, according to a review of studies that probed the benefits of probiotics, co-led by a Georgetown investigator.

Research in yeast leads to serendipitous finding about a central nervous system disorder
Researchers from the Salk Institute found that an important quality control mechanism in baker's yeast is closely connected to hypomyelinating leukodystrophy, a debilitating disease found in children.

Most kids with special healthcare needs still aren't receiving 'patient-centered medical home' care
The 'patient-centered medical home' (PCMH) approach is an important tool for providing coordinated care for the millions of American children with special healthcare needs.

New photonic chip promises more robust quantum computers
Scientists have developed a topological photonic chip to process quantum information, promising a more robust option for scalable quantum computers.

New method promises fewer side effects from cancer drugs
A recent achievement in the field of protein research allows for better tailored pharmaceuticals with fewer side effects.

Research on aid tackling modern slavery, forced labor, human trafficking, child labor
A new report released today offers detailed and robust analysis about countries' development spending commitments to achieve target 8.7 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (end forced labour, modern slavery, human trafficking and child labour).

Scientists reveal drumming helps schoolchildren diagnosed with autism
Children diagnosed with autism perform better in school if they participate in two 30-minute drumming sessions a week, according to a new scientific study.

Wind shear affecting Tropical Storm Joyce in NASA-NOAA satellite image
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed over the eastern Atlantic Ocean and saw that Tropical Storm Joyce is battling wind shear.

NASA sees dangerous Super Typhoon Mangkhut, eyeing the Philippines
Super Typhoon Mangkhut is a powerful tropical cyclone headed toward the northern Philippines.

Flu shot rates in clinics drop as day progresses, but nudges help give them a boost
Primary care clinics experienced a significant decline in influenza vaccinations as the day progressed, researchers from Penn Medicine report in a new study published in JAMA Open Network.

People with asthma at higher risk of becoming obese
Obesity is known to be a risk factor for developing asthma but a new study shows that the reverse is also true: people with asthma are more likely to go on to become obese.

Sniffing out error in detection dog data
New research finds three alternative answers beyond errors in handler or dog training that can explain why dogs trained to identify scat for conservation purposes sometimes collect non-target scats.

How a tetrahedral substance can be more symmetrical than a spherical atom: A new type of symmetry
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology have theoretically demonstrated that special tetrahedron nanostructures composed of certain metals have a higher degree of symmetry than the geometrical symmetry of spherical atoms.

An innovative procedure improves the control of liquid intake during haemodyalisis
The lecturer and researcher in the Department of Health Sciences of the Public University of Navarre (NUP/UPNA) Mark Beyebach has conducted a pilot study to demonstrate the positive impact of solution-focussed communication by nurses towards their patients on haemodyalisis, so that the patients manage to reduce their liquid intake and thus contribute towards the satisfactory course of their treatment.

Novel framework to address uncertainty in water management
IIASA researchers have developed a general decision-making framework to support policy decisions on the management of water resources, which, for the first time, explicitly takes into account the associated uncertainties.

Sniffing out sharks
UCSB researchers use environmental DNA to detect the presence of white sharks in local waters.

Children who develop ALL may have dysregulated immune function at birth
Neonatal concentrations of eight detectable inflammatory markers were significantly different in children later diagnosed with B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) compared with controls.

Financial incentives for cholesterol control may be cost-effective
A program that offered financial incentives to both patients and their physicians to control low-density lipoproteins (LDL) cholesterol could be a cost-effective intervention for patients at high risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to new research led by Harvard T.H.

How cells handle a sticky, toxic, but absolutely essential molecule
A team of researchers at the Lerner Research Institute of the Cleveland Clinic has solved a long-standing puzzle by identifying the protein that 'chaperones' free heme in cells.

'Optical rocket' created with intense laser light
An experiment at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln demonstrated how the application of intense light boosts electrons to their highest attainable speeds.

Geologists reveal ancient connection between England and France
The British mainland was formed from the collision of not two, but three ancient continental land masses, according to new research published in Nature Communications.

NASA-NOAA satellite sees land-falling Hurricane Florence
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed over the eye of Hurricane Florence the morning of landfall.

World speed record for polymer simulations shattered by over a hundred-fold
By analogy to linear polymers, which reptate with a random walk embedded in a 3D network, we show that star polymers relax by a random walk in a 5D network.

We have more than enough calories, but what about other nutrients?
A new study is the first to quantitatively map the flow of energy, protein, fat, essential amino acids and micronutrients from 'field-to-fork' at a global level and identify hotspots where nutrients are lost.

TAVR associated with shorter hospital stay, compared to SAVR
Patients who underwent TAVR had a significantly shorter length of stay and were significantly less likely to be transferred to a skilling nursing facility compared to patients who underwent SAVR, a new study finds.

China's energy policies must balance air quality, carbon emissions and water scarcity goals
The use of coal-based synthetic natural gas, known by the acronym 'SNG,' would increase carbon emissions and water demand, especially in regions in China that already have high per capita carbon emissions and water scarcity, according to a study in Nature Sustainability.

NASA-funded ELFIN to study how electrons get lost
The NASA-funded, UCLA built ELFIN Cubesat will launch on Sept 15, piggy-backing with NASA's ICESat-2, to study how electrons are lost from the Van Allen Belts.

New study shows eczema in African-Americans is more difficult to treat
A new study suggests that African-Americans may face a greater struggle to find effective therapies for atopic dermatitis than European-Americans.

Inhaled steroids may increase risk of nontuberculous mycobacteria lung infections
Patients using inhaled steroids to control asthma and other breathing problems may be at greater risk for developing nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) lung infections, according to new research published online in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

CHLA team identifies developmental stage for no. 1 eye tumor in children
Investigators at Children's Hospital Los Angeles have been able to pinpoint the exact stage of development of the human retina, when cells can grow out of control and form cancer-like masses.

RUDN scientists suggested a method to increase speed and reliability of wireless channels
A team from RUDN developed a mathematical model which simulates the operation of a computer communication system consisting of one common queue of customers and two heterogeneous servers with different speed and reliability attributes.

Hate speech-detecting AIs are fools for 'love'
Hateful text and comments are an ever-increasing problem in online environments, yet addressing the rampant issue relies on being able to identify toxic content.

NASA-NOAA satellite find wind shear affecting Helene, Azores warnings up
Tropical Storm Helene may be battling wind shear but it's caused a Tropical Storm Warning for all of the Azores Islands on Sept.

When 80 microns is enough
Physicists report in Nature magazine how they have sent and controlled a spin current across longer distances than ever before -- and in a material that was previously considered unsuitable for the task.

Researchers develop method for video promo clips via facial expression tracking
Researchers have developed a method to effectively compress the plot of a feature-length film in just a few, sometimes, silent seconds.

Microbiome serves as sentinel for nerve gas exposure
Exposure to banned nerve agents remains a major public health concern globally, especially because of the recent air-release of these agents in Syria.

NASA sees wind shear bringing post-tropical Cyclone Olivia toward dissipation
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite found that as Post-tropical cyclone Olivia was being strongly affected by wind shear in the Central Pacific Ocean.

New soft coral species discovered in Panama
Another new coral found in Panama's Coiba National Park, a UNESCO National Heritage Site, the location of the Smithsonian's newest research site.

Undocumented immigrants least likely to see a doctor, but still healthier than other populations
Undocumented immigrants have the worst rates of health care utilization and access, numbers that are worse than 15 years ago and are likely to continue their downward trend.

Ontario women to get PET scans to help plan treatment in locally advanced cervix cancer
An Ontario clinical study that shows adding PET imaging to conventional CT imaging to stage locally advanced cervix cancer can change treatment means newly diagnosed women in this province may also receive PET imaging.

Viruses under the microscope
Human herpesviruses such as HHV-6 can remain dormant in cells for many years without being noticed.

RUDN chemists created a precise model of chemical bonds in diazone dyes
Chemists from RUDN carried out detailed analysis of the nature of intermolecular bonds between nitrogen and chlorine in the molecules of azo dyes and defined their photochromic properties.

Overall well-being of a population associated with less per capita medicare spending
A new study in JAMA Network Open finds that the overall well-being of a population on a county level is associated with lower healthcare spending for each Medicare fee-for-service beneficiary.

Scientific analysis shows probiotic use is associated with fewer antibiotic prescriptions
New analysis shows that infants and children who receive probiotics as a preventative measure are less likely to receive antibiotic prescriptions.

Air pollution affects thyroid development in fetuses, USC research finds
Soot and dust alters thyroid development in fetuses before they are born in smoggy cities, raising concern about health impacts later in life, new USC research shows.

Graphene helps protect photocathodes for physics experiments
Argonne researchers have used thin sheets of graphene to prevent photocathode materials from interacting with air, which increases their lifetimes. 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