Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 25, 2018
Study finds that a lifestyle intervention may mitigate PFAS-related weight gain
A new study finds that perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are associated with increases in weight, but exercise and diet may reduce the obesogenic effects of these environmental contaminants.

California Academy of Sciences discovers new species of dazzling, neon-colored fish
Named for Aphrodite, Greek goddess of love and beauty, a new species of dazzling, neon-colored fish from the twilight zone enchants Academy scientists.

Robots may need lizard-like tails for 'off-road' travel
Robots may one day tackle obstacles and traverse uneven terrains thanks to collaborative research analyzing the motion of lizards.

Health data breaches on the rise
The ongoing transition to electronic health records may increase data breaches involving patient records.

Insomnia symptoms, overall health improve with online insomnia program
Treating insomnia with digital programs can improve insomnia symptoms, daytime functioning and overall health, a new study from the University of Oxford and Northwestern Medicine has found.

Study shows link between breastfeeding and infant health is not straight-forward
Results from new study suggest that the benefits of breastfeeding reported in the vast majority of prior research could be influenced by the mother's characteristics, such as what they know about health and nutrition.

Researchers help to bridge the gap between psychology and gamification
A multi-disciplinary research team is bridging the gap between psychology and gamification that could significantly impact learning efforts in user experience design, healthcare, and government.

Deciphering the link between skin allergies and the gut microbiota
Over the last few years, scientists have discovered connections between gut microbiota imbalances and various diseases.

Study: Exercise may delay cognitive decline in people with rare Alzheimer's disease
For individuals carrying a genetic mutation that causes Alzheimer's disease, engaging in at least 2.5 hours of physical activity per week may have beneficial effects on markers of Alzheimer's disease brain changes and may delay cognitive decline, according to a new study.

Lung inflammation from childhood asthma linked with later anxiety
Persistent lung inflammation may be one possible explanation for why having asthma during childhood increases your risk for developing anxiety later in life, according to Penn State researchers.

Schoolyard tree cover predicts math performance in high-poverty urban schools
What if improving academic performance in some of the nation's most disadvantaged and lowest-achieving schools was as easy as planting trees in the schoolyard?

Promising novel treatment against Alzheimer disease
New research conducted at the Lady Davis Institute (LDI) at the Jewish General Hospital reveals that a novel drug reverses memory deficits and stops Alzheimer disease pathology (AD) in an animal model.

Skin wounds in older mice are less likely to scar
Researchers have discovered a rare example in which the mammalian body functions better in old age.

Minimally invasive autopsy improves postmortem diagnoses
Minimally invasive autopsy with CT and MRI performs as well as conventional autopsy in detecting cause of death and has the advantage of yielding more diagnoses, according to a new study.

The crazy dance of falling knots
Can the topology of microobjects influence the way they move in a fluid?

Weathering rates for mined lands exponentially higher than unmined sites
A new study found a dramatic increase in the chemical weathering rates of mined landscapes, which are melting away bedrock up to 45 times faster than unmined areas.

Combo therapy of prostatectomy plus radiotherapy may improve survival in prostate cancer
A comparison of two of the most common combination therapies for locally advanced prostate cancer show the more aggressive option is linked with a higher rate of survival.

NASA gets a final look at Leslie as a subtropical storm
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the Central North Atlantic Ocean and analyzed Subtropical Storm Leslie in infrared light to determine what was happening within.

NASA sees Eastern Pacific's newest tropical storm organizing
NASA provided an infrared look at newly developed Tropical Storm Rosa in the Eastern Pacific and found the storm was getting better organized.

Brigatinib becomes potential new first-line option for ALK-positive non-small lung cancer
'In 2017, alectinib, another next generation ALK-inhibitor, showed that it was superior to crizotinib in the first-line setting through the ALEX trial and now, in 2018, brigatinib is set to join alectinib as a 1st line option for ALK positive lung cancer,' said D.

Hybrid operating room streamlines diagnosis, treatment of lung cancer
Representing a paradigm shift in thoracic surgery, the hybrid operating room combines three techniques into a single appointment eliminating multiple clinical visits for improved patient experience and outcomes.

UIC chemical engineers first to functionalize boron nitride with other nanosystems
Scientists report that treatment with a superacid causes boron nitride layers to separate into atomically thick sheets, while creating binding sites on the surface of these sheets that provide opportunities to interface with nanoparticles, molecules and other 2D nanomaterials, like graphene.

Illegal ivory dealers starting to use similar code words to hide online sales
Ivory sellers in Europe using eBay are using the same code words across different languages to covertly advertise items for sale, potentially making it easier for law enforcement agencies to uncover such activities by reducing the number of phrases they have to track.

Mass. General study analyzes numbers, trends in health care data breaches nationwide
Health plans -- entities that cover the costs of medical care -- accounted for the greatest number of patient records breached over the past seven years, according to an analysis of US health care data conducted by two Massachusetts General Hospital physicians.

Lung cancer drug could be repurposed to target 'zombie' proteins linked to leukemia
A new study by scientists at the University of Liverpool highlights how a clinically approved lung cancer drug could potentially be 'repurposed' to design new treatments for future cancer therapies.

Sensitive babies become altruistic toddlers
Our responsiveness to seeing others in distress accounts for variability in helping behavior from early in development, according to a study published Sept.

Genome duplication drives evolution of species
Polyploid plants have a duplicate set of chromosomes. As a result, large-scale genetic changes are therefore possible in the new species, making it more adaptable in comparison with the parental species, as has now been proven by UZH researchers with rockcress.

New drug blocks pancreatic cancer growth in mice, study finds
A newly developed drug can prevent the most common type of pancreatic cancer from growing and spreading in laboratory mice, according to a study led by Cedars-Sinai.

Tumor cell expansion challenges current physics
The journal Nature Physics published an article in which the researchers rebuild these laws and develop a new framework to contribute and predict conditions in which tumors start metastasis.

New developments in EEG brain scans could help spot mental disorders early
Patients suffering from mental and neurological disorders, including autism, ADHD and dementia, could benefit from new developments in brain scanning technology, according to a new study published in The Neurodiagnostic Journal.

Cocoa: a tasty source of vitamin D?
Many people do not get enough vitamin D. Brittle bones and an increased risk of respiratory diseases can be the result of a vitamin D deficiency.

Artificial intelligence to improve drug combination design & personalized medicine
A new auto-commentary looks at how an emerging area of artificial intelligence, specifically the analysis of small systems-of-interest specific datasets, can be used to improve drug development and personalized medicine.

UMass Amherst food scientists profile microbes at a fermented vegetable facility
University of Massachusetts Amherst food scientists have mapped and characterized microbial populations in a vegetable fermentation facility and report that its microbiome was distinct between production and fermentation areas and that the raw vegetables themselves -- cabbages destined for sauerkraut -- were the main source of fermentation-related microbes in production areas rather than handling or other environmental sources.

Seasonal reservoir filling in India deforms rock, may trigger earthquakes
The seasonal filling and emptying of reservoirs in India can cause measurable deformation of the surrounding rock, reducing the strength of nearby faults and potentially triggering earthquakes, according to two new papers published in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America.

No longer whistling in the dark: Scientists uncover source of perplexing waves
Using data from a NASA four-satellite mission that is studying reconnection, scientists have developed a method for identifying the source of waves that help satellites determine their location in space.

Sun exposure gets personal with wearable UV sensors
RMIT researchers have developed a UV active ink that changes color when exposed to different types of UV rays, providing personalized exposure readings based on skin type.

New study reveals potential therapeutic approach to enhance KC migration in wound healing
Researchers have identified a new mechanism involving ginsenoside Rb1, which has the ability to stimulate keratinocyte migration and promote cutaneous wound healing.

UTA study shows location makes or breaks many forms of public housing
University of Texas at Arlington researchers determined in a new study that subsidized housing is not affordable in the Dallas-Fort Worth region because its location does not make it transportation friendly.

UC Riverside researchers find potent chemical agents that can thwart cancer metastasis
Scientists at the University of California, Riverside, have devised potent chemical agents 135H11 and 135H12 that can thwart cancer metastasis, bringing research closer to drug development.

Study: Microbial dark matter dominates Earth's environments
Uncultured microbes--those whose characteristics have never been described because they have not yet been grown in a lab culture--could be dominating nearly all the environments on Earth except for the human body, according to a new study published in mSystems.

Two studies describe improved approach to bone marrow transplant
Two recent studies in the journal Leukemia present a new approach for bone marrow donation and transplant that preclinical laboratory tests suggest could make the life-saving procedure safer and more effective for patients.

Immune cell pruning of dopamine receptors may modulate behavioral changes in adolescence
A study by MassGeneral Hospital for Children researchers finds that the immune cells of the brain called microglia play a crucial role in brain development during adolescence, but that role is different in males and females.

Study reveals patterns in STEM grades of girls versus boys
A new study, led by UNSW Sydney PhD student Rose O'Dea, has explored patterns in academic grades of 1.6 million students, showing that girls and boys perform very similarly in STEM - including at the top of the class.

Multimodal imaging shows strain can drive chemistry in a photovoltaic material
A unique combination of imaging tools and atomic-level simulations has allowed a team led by the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory to solve a longstanding debate about the properties of a promising material that can harvest energy from light.

Funded by new tax credits, US carbon-capture network could double global CO2 headed underground
Princeton University researchers have proposed a US pipeline network that would capture, transport and store underground up to 30 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year -- an amount equal to removing 6.5 million cars from the road.

Indoor HEPA filters significantly reduce pollution indoors when outside air unhealthy, study finds
Outdoor air pollution is a major contributor to indoor air pollution -- but high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters used in the home significantly reduce fine-particulate matter in the air compared with non-HEPA air filters, according to a new study.

Assessing the current and future impact of biologics on pediatric asthma
Researchers have performed a comprehensive review of the current state and future potential of using biologic medications to treat asthma in children.

Built-in sound amplifier helps male mosquitoes find females
The ears of male mosquitoes amplify the sound of an approaching female using a self-generated phantom tone that mimics the female's wingbeats, which increases the ear's acoustic input by a factor of up to 45,000, finds a new UCL-led study published in Nature Communications.

The soothing effects of strangers
Pain-relieving interventions trigger a learning effect in the brain which reduces pain.

ZSL names world's largest ever bird -- Vorombe titan
After decades of conflicting evidence and numerous publications, scientists at international conservation charity ZSL's Institute of Zoology, have finally put the 'world's largest bird' debate to rest.

Who believes in conspiracies? New research offers a theory
Conspiracy theories have been cooked up throughout history, but they are increasingly visible lately.

UN prioritizes tuberculosis prevention in high-risk occupations
This release is timed to coincide with the UN's first ever High-Level meeting on TB in the General Assembly where national leaders are embracing strategies to prevent TB with silica dust controls to protect the 230 million workers exposed to silica.

The grim, final days of a mother octopus
A new study uses modern genetic sequencing tools to describe several distinct molecular signals produced by the optic gland after a female octopus reproduces.

New Tourette disorder genes come to light
In the largest DNA sequencing study of Tourette Disorder (TD) to date, UC San Francisco researchers and their collaborators have unearthed new data suggesting a potential role for disruptions in cell polarity in the development of this condition.

UCI researchers identify new cause of brain bleeds
A team of researchers including UCI project scientist Rachita Sumbria, Ph.D., and UCI neurologist Mark J.

Experimental bone engineered by Lithuanian researchers can help osteoarthritis patients
Researchers from the Faculty of Chemical Technology, Kaunas University of Technology (KTU), Lithuania, are developing an artificial bone, which can be used for treating one of the most common joint diseases -- osteoarthritis.

CT technique expands possibilities of imaging ancient remains
Researchers in Sweden using computed tomography (CT) have successfully imaged the soft tissue of an ancient Egyptian mummy's hand down to a microscopic level, according to a new study.

Identical driver gene mutations found in metastatic cancers
Driver genes in different metastases from the same patient are remarkably similar, providing optimism for the success of future targeted therapies, according to a published study by Science.

Infectious bacteria hibernate to evade antibiotics
University of Copenhagen researchers have discovered a surprising tactic of pathogenic bacteria when being attacked by antibiotics: hibernation.

Researchers reveal link between hunger and mood, new study
The study used rats to examine the impact on emotional behavior of a sudden drop in blood sugar.

Racial and ethnic bias leads to lower well-being among adolescents
Racial and ethnic discrimination is problematic for all aspects of development -- from mental and physical health to risky behaviors and academic success -- particularly for Latinos, researchers at The University of Texas at Austin determined after analyzing findings from hundreds of previous studies on adolescents.

What is long-term risk of appendicitis reoccurring in patients treated with antibiotics?
About 60 percent of patients with uncomplicated acute appendicitis who were initially treated with antibiotics did not undergo appendectomy in five years in a follow-up to a randomized clinical trial.

Super Typhoon Trami's rainfall examined by NASA/JAXA's GPM satellite
The Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core observatory satellite probed super typhoon Trami when it traveled above the northwestern Pacific Ocean and provided an analysis of heavy rainfall and cloud top heights.

Portrayals of female STEM characters in TV and film haven't improved in 10 years
The Lyda Hill Foundation, in partnership with Geena Davis's Institute on Gender in Media at Mount Saint Mary's University, released an extensive research report on the portrayals of female characters in science, technology, engineering and math in television and film.

Diversity in the brain -- how millions of neurons become unique
How is it possible that so many different and highly specific neurons arise in the brain?

Study finds that enzymes 'partner up' to accelerate cancer, aging diseases
Indiana University researchers have identified cellular processes that appear to supercharge both the growth and shrinkage of the chemical 'caps' on chromosomes associated with aging, called telomeres.

Researchers seek vaccine for 'traveler's diarrhea'
A joint effort between the University of Georgia and the University of Texas at Austin has discovered how ETEC works to cause disease.

Motor learning for precise motor execution
Scientists at Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science, RIKEN, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, Nozomi Hospital and Tokyo Medical and Dental University have identified acquisition of two types of internal models for motor control, which are likely to be stored in the cerebellum.

Unannounced assessments reveal variation, deficits, in quality of tuberculosis care in urban India
Private sector health care providers, the first point of contact for 50-70 percent of patients with tuberculosis (TB) symptoms in India, are delivering a wide range of largely inadequate care to these patients according to a study published this week in PLOS Medicine.

Evidence that increased BMI causes lower mental wellbeing
There is an increasing need to prevent obesity because of the consequences for mental as well as physical health, new research by academics at the University of Bristol has found.

Comparable risk of recurrent venous thromboembolism between patients with unprovoked venous thromboembolism and patients with cancer
Patients with venous thromboembolism (VTE) carry a high risk of recurrence.

Bacteria's password for sporulation hasn't changed in 2.7 billion years
When it comes to changing their passwords, bacteria are just as bad as you and me -- maybe even worse.

Once majestic Atlantic Forest 'empty' after 500 years of over-exploitation
New research finds that 500 years of over-exploitation has halved mammal populations in South America's once majestic Atlantic Forest.

How reliable are turtles for measuring ocean trash and marine health?
A meta-analysis of fifty years worth of sea turtle research reveals some important information about ocean trash, but important data is largely missing.

Molecule capable of halting and reverting Parkinson's neurodegeneration identified
The small SynuClean-D molecule interrupts the formation of the alpha-synuclein amyloid fibres responsible for the onset of Parkinson's disease, and reverts the neurodegeneration caused by the disease.

Mesoblast heart failure cell therapy for children featured at symposium for congenital HD
Mesoblast's proprietary allogeneic mesenchymal precursor cell (MPC) heart failure product candidate MPC-150-IM for use in children with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) was featured at the First Cardiac Regenerative Symposium for Congenital Heart Disease in Baltimore.

Oxygen vs. nanochip
For the first time ever, an international team of scientists from NUST MISIS, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, the University of Namur (Belgium), and Korea Research Institute for Standards & Science has managed to trace in details the structural changes of two-dimensional molybdenum disulfide under long-term environmental impact.

Why industry influence on research agendas must be addressed
Call for better strategies to ensure independence of research, policy-making and public health solutions, as new research confirms corporate interests can impact the evidence available and public health solutions considered.

Innovative study assessing SSI incidence represents the first of its kind
A recent study assessing the relationship between nursing specialty certification rates and surgical site infections (SSI) provides an innovative option for future research exploring relationships between nursing and hospital procedures and medical and/or surgical adverse events.

Study: Antibiotics destroy immune cells and worsen oral infection
A team of Case Western Reserve University researchers found that antibiotics actually kill the 'good' bacteria keeping infection and inflammation at bay.

Protestantism still matters when it comes to education, study shows
A new academic study, the first of its kind, reveals a significant and positive historical legacy of Protestant religion in education around the world.

The gods of small things
On the outside, the cluster made of 55 copper and aluminum atoms looks like a crystal, but chemically it has the properties of an atom.

Extracellular RNA in urine may provide useful biomarkers for muscular dystrophy
Massachusetts General Hospital researchers have found that extracellular RNA in urine may be a source of biomarkers for the two most common forms of muscular dystrophy, noninvasively providing information about whether therapeutic drugs are having the desired effects on a molecular level.

New way of determining treatment for staph infections cuts antibiotic use
Using a clinical checklist to identify eligible patients, doctors were able to shorten the antibiotic duration for patients with uncomplicated staphylococcal bloodstream infections by nearly two days, Duke Health researchers report.

Genetic testing: Not a one-and-done deal
A study that reviewed genetic testing results from 1.45 million individuals found that nearly 25 percent of 'variants of uncertain significance' were subsequently reclassified -- sometimes as less likely to be associated with cancer, sometimes as more likely.

Impact of WWII bombing raids felt at edge of space
Bombing raids by Allied forces during the WWII not only caused devastation on the ground but also sent shockwaves through Earth's atmosphere which were detected at the edge of space.

Transforming carbon dioxide
A new technique to increase the efficiency of carbon dioxide (CO2) electrolysis that may lead to the production of new chemicals and fuels.

OHSU discovers molecular channel that regulates blood pressure
New research for the first time reveals the three-dimensional structure of a membrane channel that's critical in controlling blood pressure.

Climate change not main driver of amphibian decline
While a warming climate in recent decades may be a factor in the waning of some local populations of frogs, toads, newts and salamanders, it cannot explain the overall steep decline of amphibians, according to researchers.

Hyper Suprime-Cam survey maps dark matter in the universe
Today, an international group of researchers, including Carnegie Mellon University's Rachel Mandelbaum, released the deepest wide field map of the three-dimensional distribution of matter in the universe ever made and increased the precision of constraints for dark energy with the Hyper Suprime-Cam survey (HSC).

Common heart condition linked to sudden death
A University of Adelaide-led team of researchers has found a link between sudden cardiac death (when the heart suddenly stops beating) and a common heart condition known as mitral valve prolapse that affects around 12 in every 1000 people worldwide.

Adoption of green stormwater infrastructure rises after floods
Residents and property owners are more likely to adopt some green stormwater infrastructure practices if they have experienced flooding or erosion on their property or in their neighborhoods, according to new research from the University of Vermont.

How leaves talk to roots
New findings show that a micro RNA from the shoot keeps legume roots susceptible to symbiotic infection by downregulating a gene that would otherwise hinder root responses to symbiotic bacteria.

UCalgary scientists discover a way to diagnose types of fear of falling in Parkinson's patients
Parkinson's disease causes one of the highest risks of falling among all neurological conditions.

Study shows value of breast cancer patients seeking second opinions
In a recent MUSC Hollings Cancer Center study on the value of a second opinion for breast cancer patients, researchers concluded that a review by a tumor board at an NCI-Designated Cancer Center changed the diagnosis for 43 percent of the patients.

Screening using body mass index alone may miss every second preschooler with excess stomach fat
When assessing whether preschoolers are overweight, health professionals should use other measures such as waist-to-height ratio in addition to the body mass index (BMI).

Novel method produces highest-ever signals for human embryonic stem cell detection
Researchers from Singapore have developed a way to achieve an ultra-high bioelectric signal from human embryonic stem cells.

Retracing Antarctica's glacial past
More than 26,000 years ago, sea level was much lower than it is today partly because the ice sheets that jut out from the continent of Antarctica were enormous and covered by grounded ice -- ice that was fully attached to the seafloor.

The quality of protein supplements for sportspeople
The results indicate that half the supplements analyzed contain more than 6 percent of blocked lysine, but only 9 percent had a content of more than 20 percent of blocked lysine.

Invasive snakes 'hitchhiking' on planes
A team of international scientists has discovered why brown tree snakes have become one of the most successful invasive species.

To be or not to be a white blood cell, that is the question
Japanese scientists have revealed a biological 'switch' that influences whether an immature blood cell would develop into a red blood cell or a subtype of white blood cell called myeloid cells in response to infection or inflammation within the body.

New Zealand children's medicine prescriptions examined for first time
A study into the pharmaceutical use of 1.4 million New Zealand children has revealed some significant increases in the use of certain prescription medicines, as well as the positive impact of practitioner education.

UM researchers find precipitation thresholds regulate carbon exchange
One of the major sources of uncertainty about the future climate is whether ecosystems will continue to take up carbon dioxide or release it to the atmosphere. 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