Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 18, 2018
How slick water and black shale in fracking combine to produce radioactive waste
Study explains how radioactive radium transfers to wastewater in the widely-used method to extract oil and gas.

Eating foods with low nutritional quality ratings linked to cancer risk in large European cohort
The consumption of foods with higher scores on the British Food Standards Agency nutrient profiling system (FSAm-NPS), reflecting a lower nutritional quality, is associated with an increased risk of developing cancer, according to a study published this week in PLOS Medicine.

Zika vaccine shows promise for treating deadly brain cancer
An international team of researchers has successfully deployed a Zika virus vaccine to target and kill human glioblastoma brain cancer stem cells, which had been transplanted into mice.

Research shows that busy people make healthier choices
A busy mindset can be leveraged to promote better self-control.

Why some human genes are more popular with researchers than others
Historical bias is a key reason why biomedical researchers continue to study the same 10 percent of all human genes while ignoring many genes known to play roles in disease, according to a study publishing Sept.

recommendation statement on behavioral weight loss interventions to prevent obesity-related health problems, death in adults
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that clinicians offer or refer adults with a body mass index of 30 or higher to intensive behavioral interventions that focus on dietary changes and increased physical activity and that provide a variety of components to support weight loss and to maintain it.

NASA infrared imagery reveals wind shearing Tropical Depression Joyce
NASA's Aqua satellite provided an infrared look at Tropical Depression Joyce and found wind shear was pushing the bulk of clouds and showers to the east of the center.

Kessler researchers show Speed of Processing Training effective in multiple sclerosis
'These results indicate that processing speed is fundamental to higher order cognitive function in individuals with MS,' said Dr.

Machine-learning system tackles speech and object recognition, all at once
MIT computer scientists have developed a system that learns to identify objects within an image, based on a spoken description of the image.

Social animals have tipping points, too
Quantitative tools developed in math and physics to understand bifurcations in dynamical systems could help ecologists and biologists better understand -- and predict -- tipping points in animal societies.

Increased the performance and lifetime of lithium batteries in renewable energy facilities
Variations in power generation using renewable sources lead to control problems in the electricity grid.

Penn researchers: Class of neurological disorders share 3D genome folding pattern
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have found a new common thread linking nearly all of the trinucleotide repeat expansion diseases, which include ALS, Huntington's Disease and Fragile X Syndrome, involving the complicated 3D patterns that the DNA is folded into in order to fit in the nucleus of the cell.

Long-term success of ACL reconstruction is connected to way you move post-surgery
Researchers from the University of North Carolina and Brigham Young University conducted a study to observe walking biomechanics of 130 subjects who have had ACL reconstruction surgery.

Women who experienced higher levels of trauma gave birth to significantly smaller male babies
In the first study of its kind, researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have found significantly lower birth weights in male infants -- an average decrease of 38 grams, or approximately 1.3 ounces -- born to women who had been exposed to trauma at some point in their lives and who secreted higher levels of cortisol, a hormone related to stress, in late pregnancy.

Drugs that stop mosquitoes catching malaria could help eradicate the disease
Researchers have identified compounds that could prevent malaria parasites from being able to infect mosquitoes, halting the spread of disease.

Engineered E. coli using formic acid and CO2 as a C1-refinery platform strain
A research group at KAIST has developed an engineered E.

UTMB adapts Zika vaccine to fight brain cancer
Researchers at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston have successfully harnessed their Zika virus vaccine to target and kill brain cancer known as glioblastoma.

Researchers investigate correlation between blood flow and body position
For the first time ever, an international research group detected alterations in capillary blood flow around the face caused by body position change.

Digital games show potential to improve cardiovascular disease-related exercise outcomes
A scoping review of studies on game interventions for cardiovascular disease (CVD) self-management found that the use of digital games improved exercise capacity and energy expenditure significantly.

Cosmetically smoothing over visible facial scars
A novel cosmetic product, designed to fill small to moderate facial scars, has shown promise in covering such deformities in a small group of patients.

Nearly half of resident physicians report burnout
Resident physician burnout in the US is widespread, with the highest rates concentrated in certain specialties, according to research from Mayo Clinic, OHSU and collaborators.

AI improves doctors' ability to correctly interpret tests and diagnose lung disease
Artificial intelligence (AI) can be an invaluable aid to help lung doctors interpret respiratory symptoms accurately and make a correct diagnosis, according to new research presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress.

Distance helps re-fuel the heart
Separated entry and exit doors for calcium keep energy production smooth in the powerhouses of heart cells.

Introducing the 'smart mirror'
researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have been developing a laser power sensor that could be built into manufacturing devices for real-time measurements in many manufacturing processes, from welding car parts to crafting engine components with 3D printers.

CRISPR screen reveals new targets in more than half of all squamous cell carcinomas
Team of University of Colorado Cancer Center researchers sheds light on p63 activity in squamous cell carcinoma of the lung, providing an actionable path forward to drug development against this known cause of cancer.

Anxiety surrounding mass shootings briefly closes ideological divides
People who feel anxious surrounding mass shootings tend to abandon their political ideology on typically divided issues, according to a study by two University of Kansas professors.

Small molecule plays big role in weaker bones as we age
With age, expression of a small molecule that can silence others goes way up while a key signaling molecule that helps stem cells make healthy bone goes down, scientists report.

Scientists use artificial neural networks to predict new stable materials
Artificial neural networks -- algorithms inspired by connections in the brain -- have 'learned' to perform a variety of tasks, from pedestrian detection in self-driving cars, to analyzing medical images, to translating languages.

Cash, carbon, crude: How to make oil fields bury emissions
A new analysis looks at what it would take for oil companies to start pumping millions of tons of carbon dioxide into their wells to boost crude production -- and what it would mean for the climate.

Do we trust people who speak with an accent?
A recently published study shows that unless they speak in a confident tone of voice, you're less likely to believe someone who speaks with an accent.

Grad students will be future professors, but are they learning how to teach effectively?
A new Portland State University study found that graduate students are on board with wanting to adopt interactive teaching methods but often don't get the training or support they need from their institutions to do so.

Searching for clues on extreme climate change
Nearly 13,000 years ago, pines in southern France experienced a cold snap, which scientists have now reconstructed.

Study links natural climate oscillations in north Atlantic to Greenland ice sheet melt
Scientists have known for years that warming global climate is melting the Greenland Ice Sheet, the second largest ice sheet in the world.

In a tiny worm, a close-up view of where genes are working
A team at Princeton's Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics has produced new resources for research involving the roundworm C. elegans: a comprehensive view of which genes are active in each of the four major tissues of adult worms, as well as a tool for predicting gene activity across 76 more specific cell types.

Capitalizing on sleep-wake cycle can drastically increase digital ad profits from social media
New Notre Dame research shows digital content platforms can increase traffic to their websites from social media and boost digital ad profits by at least 8 percent, simply by aligning their posting schedules with target audiences' sleep-wake cycles.

Global trade in exotic pets threatens endangered parrots through the spread of a virus
Beak and feather disease virus (BFDV) in wild parrot populations has been detected in eight new countries, raising concerns for threatened species.

Study on jararaca pit vipers links 'giant' specimens proliferation to predators
In São Paulo, Brazil, it is the lesser presence of predators, not large food supply, that can explain why an isolated green area concentrates more giant pit vipers than a wide forest reserve.

Failure rate in some surgical mesh treatments unacceptably high - Biomedical review
Failure rates in some surgical mesh products used to treat prolapse injury are unacceptably high according to a new biomedical review conducted by a medical materials expert, who also believes patients should have received more information around the risk before being treated for urinary incontinence with surgical mesh products.

Green space near home during childhood linked to fewer respiratory problems in adulthood
Children who have access to green spaces close to their homes have fewer respiratory problems, such as asthma and wheezing, in adulthood, according to new research presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress.

Eucalyptus 2018: Plantation managers and researchers are working to deal with climate change
Commercial eucalyptus plantations cover some 20 million hectares in a hundred or so countries, and primarily serve to produce paper, while smallholder plantings produce firewood*.

Sugar in yogurt leaves a sour taste
A comprehensive survey of ingredients in yogurts available in UK supermarkets highlights high sugar levels in many -- particularly organic yogurts and those marketed towards children.

Making happiness last longer
The happiness derived from a purchase may last longer for those who set broader goals for the experience.

For-profit hospitals correlated with higher readmission rates
Patients who receive care in a for-profit hospital are more likely to be readmitted than those who receive care in nonprofit or public hospitals, according to a new study published by University of Illinois at Chicago researchers.

Mannose's unexpected effects on the microbiome and weight gain
Scientists continue to unravel links between body weight and the gut microbiome.

Study explains why some human genes are more popular with researchers than others
Historical bias is a key reason biomedical researchers continue to study the same 10 percent of all human genes whose sequences are known while ignoring many genes known to play roles in disease, according to a Northwestern University study.

NASA sees fading Florence's stretched-out strongest storms
NASA's Aqua satellite provided an infrared look at fading Post-Tropical Cyclone Florence's clouds, revealing where the strongest thunderstorms were located.

Sugar content of most supermarket yogurts well above recommended threshold
The sugar content of most types of yogurt is well above the recommended threshold, reveals an analysis of the nutrient content of available UK supermarket products.

Tweaking cells' gatekeepers could lead to new way to fight cancer
Salk Institute researchers have devised a way to manipulate numbers of individual nuclear pores -- a breakthrough that may one day stop cancerous cells from proliferating out of control.

Mathematicians calculate the safest way home
A mobile app that guides pedestrians along the safest instead of quickest route to their destination is being developed by researchers at Cardiff University.

Use of electrical brain stimulation to foster creativity has sweeping implications
In an article published in Creativity Research Journal, Georgetown researchers address neuro-ethical concerns associated with the increasing use of transcranial electrical stimulation (tES).

Productive interaction
'ChemLife' research initiative at the University of Konstanz makes an quintessential contribution to study of DNA polymerases.

Intestinal bacteria produce electric current from sugar
Intestinal bacteria can create an electric current, according to a new study from Lund University in Sweden.

Do rates of burnout, career-choice regret vary by specialty among resident physicians?
Burnout is common among physicians. But do rates of burnout symptoms and career-choice regret vary among physicians in training by clinical specialty?

Colon cancer is caused by bacteria and cell stress
The team of Professor Dirk Haller at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) made an unexpected discovery while investigating the triggering factors of colon cancer: Cell stress in combination with an altered microbiota in the colon drives tumour growth.

Researchers confirm glyphosate resistance in junglerice
There has been a lot of publicity in recent years about growers battling glyphosate-resistant pigweed in soybean and cotton crops.

Thermal ablation effectively treats early-stage lung cancer
Thermal ablation is a safe, effective treatment for early-stage lung cancer, according to a new study.

Surviving insects and plants are tougher than we think
Insect pollinators and plants that have survived the impacts of agricultural intensification may have a greater ability to resist future environmental changes than previously thought, a new study led by the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology has found.

Airbnb distribution may depend on who lives there, not just distance to city center
Distribution of Airbnbs may follow the same pattern across different cities, and several factors, including the number of residents who work in the creative industries, may determine their location, according to an article published in EPJ Data Science.

Father's obesity in early puberty doubles asthma-risk for future offspring
Boys who have considerable weight gain between childhood and puberty, double the risk of having asthma as an adult, and for future offspring.

Air pollution may be linked to heightened dementia risk
Air pollution may be linked to a heightened risk of developing dementia, finds a London-based observational study, published in the online journal BMJ Open.

Is email evil? Bosses are getting boxed in by their inbox
New Michigan State University research shows that bosses struggle, like the rest of us, to keep up with email demands.

Solving the gut inflammation puzzle
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), an umbrella term for a number of gut disorders -- including ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease -- remains a clinical challenge.

How cells repurpose their garbage disposal systems to promote inflammation
Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine have unraveled new insights into the way cells leverage G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and their cellular waste disposal systems to control inflammation.

Study reveals best available science for predator-livestock coexistence
A new study published in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS Biology reveals certain nonlethal methods are effective for managing predators in agricultural landscapes.

The nocturnal pollinators: Scientists reveal the secret life of moths
A new study suggests moths have an important but overlooked ecological role -- dispensing pollen over large distances under the cover of darkness.

Jumping genes work together to control programmed deletion in the genome
Scientists have discovered a new family of molecules that work together to precisely remove unwanted DNA during reproduction in single-celled, freshwater organisms called ciliates.

Searching for errors in the quantum world
The theory of quantum mechanics is well supported by experiments.

Sleep deprived people more likely to have car crashes
A new study in SLEEP indicates that people who have slept for fewer than seven of the past 24 hours have higher odds of being involved in and responsible for car crashes.

RUDN agriculturists suggested an optimal strategy for growing wheat in northern Eurasia
RUDN and the Italian Euromediterranean Center for Climate Change (CMCC) scientists studied how climate changes may affect wheat harvest in high latitudes of the Eastern hemisphere on the example of Russia.

Why the brain struggles to get off the sofa
Researchers at UNIGE have studied the neuronal activity of people faced with making the choice between physical activity and doing nothing.

New study shows Florida Keys' corals are growing but have become more porous
Researchers have long questioned what impact climate change has on the rate at which corals are growing and building reef habitats in the Florida Keys.

NUS researchers invent new test kit for quick, accurate and low-cost screening of diseases
A multidisciplinary team of researchers at the National University of Singapore (NUS) has developed a portable, easy-to-use device for quick and accurate screening of diseases.

Silver nanoparticles are toxic for aquatic organisms
Silver nanoparticles are increasingly being used in consumer products, such as clothing and personal care products, in the medical and pharmaceutical industry, and in the food industry.

First gut bacteria may have lasting effect on ability to fight chronic diseases
New research showing that the first bacteria introduced into the gut have a lasting impact, may one day allow science to adjust microbiomes -- the one-of-a-kind microbial communities that live in our gastrointestinal tracts -- to help ward off serious chronic diseases.

Looking back in time to watch for a different kind of black hole
A simulation done by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology has suggested what astronomers should look for if they search the skies for a direct collapse black hole in its early stages.

A key to climate stabilization could be buried deep in the mud, FSU researchers suggest
While scientists fear that rising temperatures could unleash a 'bomb' of carbon from Earth's soil carbon reservoirs, a new FSU study suggests these reservoirs might actually be more stable than predicted.

Monitoring serum Albumin can help patients recover from gastrectomy
Our result suggests preoperative albumin level as an independent risk factor for PPCs in elderly gastric cancer (GC) patients after elective laparoscopic gastrectomy.

Better chemo drug adsorption onto targeted delivery capsules
One of the challenges in cancer research is improving the delivery of chemo drugs to enhance their efficacy while decreasing the risk of side effects.

Study uncovers new hurdle for developing immunotherapies
The discovery made by Notre Dame researchers and their collaborators tosses a new wrench into the process of building better molecules to develop immunotherapies.

Zebrafish research highlights role of locus coeruleus in anesthesia
Recently, researchers from the Institute of Neuroscience and Zunyi Medical College, by using a larval zebrafish model, revealed that two commonly used intravenous anesthetic drugs, propofol and etomidate, suppress the excitability of locus coeruleus neurons via synergic mechanisms -- thus inhibiting presynaptic excitatory inputs and inducing membrane hyperpolarization of these cells.

International study suggest ancient globalization
Using energy consumption as a measure, a team of international scientists has found that ancient civilizations engaged in globalization more than previously believed, suggesting that an integrated global economy is nothing new and may have benefited societies for ages.

Understanding epilepsy in pediatric tumors
A KAIST research team led by Professor Jeong Ho Lee of the Graduate School of Medical Science and Engineering has recently identified a neuronal BRAF somatic mutation that causes intrinsic epileptogenicity in pediatric brain tumors.

Medical schools lag behind in veterans' tuition aid
Veterans Affairs-supported tuition aid for military veterans enrolling in medical school covers a smaller proportion of tuition compared to aid for other graduate programs -- just 45 percent of medical school tuition is covered by aid compared to 85 percent for law and 100 percent for MBA programs -- according to a new study.

Quantum anomaly -- breaking a classical symmetry with ultracold atoms
Fundamental research: FLEET study of ultracold atomic gases at Swinburne University of Technology finds quantum anomaly, strongly interacting particles breaking classical symmetry in a 2D Fermi gas.

Nuclear pasta, the hardest known substance in the universe
A team of scientists has calculated the strength of the material deep inside the crust of neutron stars and found it to be the strongest known material in the universe.

Extremely small and fast: Laser ignites hot plasma
When light pulses from an extremely powerful laser system are fired onto material samples, the electric field of the light rips the electrons off the atomic nuclei.

Researchers predict invasion risk of starry stonewort in upper Midwest
Researchers from the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center recently published a new paper predicting the risk of starry stonewort invasion in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Why do we love bees but hate wasps?
A lack of understanding of the important role of wasps in the ecosystem and economy is a fundamental reason why they are universally despised whereas bees are much loved, according to UCL-led research.

Hardwired for laziness? Tests show the human brain must work hard to avoid sloth
Society has encouraged people to be more physically active, yet we are actually becoming less active.

Review explores how birds can stay slim, even when they overeat
Noticing that songbirds never seem to get fat despite overeating at bird feeders, London environmental biologist Lewis Halsey wondered whether the amount of energy birds put into singing, fidgeting, or exercising could be adjusted in ways that regulate weight.

A new defender for your sense of smell
New research from the Monell Center increases understanding of a mysterious sensory cell located in the olfactory epithelium, the patch of nasal tissue that contains odor-detecting olfactory receptor cells.

Racial/ethnic discrimination associated with lower well-being among adolescents
Racial and ethnic discrimination takes a toll on adolescents and is linked to their depression, poor self-esteem, lower academic achievement, substance use and risky sexual behavior, according to a meta-analysis published in the American Psychological Association's flagship journal, American Psychologist.

Greater than the sum of its parts
Argonne scientists and their collaborators have developed a new model that merges basic electrochemical theory with theories used in different contexts, such as the study of photoelectrochemistry and semiconductor physics, to describe phenomena that occur in any electrode.

Geoscientists find unexpected 'deep creep' near San Andreas, San Jacinto faults
A new analysis of thousands of very small earthquakes in the San Bernardino basin suggests that the unusual deformation of some may be due to 'deep creep' 10 km below the Earth's surface, say geoscientists at UMass Amherst.

No increased risk of lung infections among infants using popular anti-reflux medicines
New University of Otago research shows infants using popular anti-reflux medicines like omeprazole are not at increased risk of pneumonia or other lower respiratory tract infections, contrary to findings from other international studies. 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