Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 26, 2018
Tiny soft robot with multilegs paves way for drugs delivery in human body
A novel tiny, soft robot with caterpillar-like legs capable of carrying heavy loads and adaptable to adverse environment was developed from a research led by City University of Hong Kong (CityU).

Researchers identify marker in brain associated with aggression in children
A University of Iowa-led research team has identified a brain-wave marker associated with aggression in young children.

Sunflower pollen has medicinal, protective effects on bees
Bees fed a diet of sunflower pollen show dramatically lower rates of infection by two separate pathogens, suggesting medicinal and protective effects for pollinators in peril.

How to win friends online: It's not which groups you join, but how many
The chances that people will form new friendships primarily depends on the number rather than the types of organizations, groups and cliques they join, according to an analysis of six online social networks by Rice University data scientists.

Leaders may create ineffective cultures because they are stuck in the past, study shows
The culture a leader experienced in the past shapes the culture of the group they go on to lead.

Microplastics found deep in sand where turtles nest
Microplastics have been found deep in the sand on beaches where sea turtles lay their eggs.

Contactless water quality control with the use of spectroscopy
In cooperation with Dielectric Spectroscopy Lab (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), Khamzin and Nasybullin perfected the phenomenological model of relaxation, which helped explain the non-Arrhenius behavior of the temperature dependence of the ice relaxation time at temperatures below 155 K.

Study: Damaged liver cells undergo reprogramming to regenerate
New research conducted by biochemists at the University of Illinois has determined how damaged liver cells repair and restore themselves through a signal to return to an early stage of postnatal organ development.

Interpreting new findings of methane on Mars
New data from the Mars Science Laboratory demonstrating the presence of methane presents novel challenges to explain how it was formed and what it suggests about the potential for life to exist or be supported on Mars.

For CF lung infections, how well antibiotics work may be affected by pH, oxygen
In a study publishing Sept. 26 in Science Advances, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences report that tweaking factors in a cystic fibrosis lung model, such as pH balance and oxygen, helped eradicate pathogenic bacteria while minimizing risks of antibiotic resistance and overgrowth of other microorganisms.

Analysis of billions of Twitter words reveals how American English develops
New words in American English tend to develop in five regional linguistic 'hotspots' before spreading across the United States and beyond, a new study reveals.

Both halves of NASA's Webb Telescope successfully communicate
For the first time, the two halves of NASA's James Webb Space Telescope -- the spacecraft and the telescope -- were connected together using temporary ground wiring that enabled them to 'speak' to each other like they will in flight.

Alcohol use in patients with chronic liver disease
A review article published in the New England Journal of Medicine discusses the effects of alcohol use on various forms of liver disease, as well as the assessment and treatment of alcohol use in patients with chronic liver disease.

Clear the air
University of Utah engineers have studied the effects of controlling heating and air conditioning systems based on a home's indoor air quality and have discovered that programming your air conditioner and furnace to turn on and off based on the indoor air quality as well as the temperature doesn't waste a lot of additional energy but keeps the air much cleaner.

Manta rays' food-capturing mechanism may hold key to better filtration systems
Manta rays strain their tiny food from mouthfuls of seawater in a novel way that could hold the key to better filtration in a variety of commercial applications, new research by Oregon State University shows.

UMass Amherst neuroscientists see clues to brain maturation in adolescent rats
One of the outstanding questions in neurodevelopment research has been identifying how connections in the brain change to improve neural function during childhood and adolescence.

Fecal microbiota transplantation helps restore beneficial bacteria in cancer patients
NIAID-supported researchers have shown that autologous fecal microbiota transplantation (auto-FMT) is a safe, effective way to replenish beneficial gut bacteria in cancer patients requiring intense antibiotics during allogenic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

Plant genetic resources ensure ag's future
An important part of plant genetic resources is crop wild relatives.

A self-powered heart monitor taped to the skin
Scientists have developed a human-friendly, ultra-flexible organic sensor powered by sunlight, which acts as a self-powered heart monitor.

Lowlanders are no match for Nepal's Sherpa, says UBC Okanagan study
The Sherpa people of the Himalayas have long been recognized for their unique ability to excel physically in the thin air of higher altitudes.

Hyper Suprime-Cam Survey reveals detailed dark matter map of the universe
Einstein's general theory of relativity has helped an international team of researchers measure the lumpiness of dark matter in our universe today by analyzing images of 10 million distant galaxies, and further use it to understand dark energy.

Researchers map susceptibility to man-made earthquakes
Stanford researchers have mapped local susceptibility to man-made earthquakes in Oklahoma and Kansas.

Childhood poverty may have lasting effects on cognitive skills in old age
Children who grow up in poverty or who are otherwise socially and economically disadvantaged may be more likely in old age to score lower than others on tests of cognitive skills, according to a study published in the Sept.

Shaking the swarm
A team of Harvard University researchers spent months shaking and rattling swarms of thousands of honey bees to better understand how bees collectively collaborate to stabilize structures in the presence of external loads.

More persistent weather patterns in US linked to Arctic warming
Persistent weather conditions, including dry and wet spells, generally have increased in the United States, perhaps due to rapid Arctic warming, according to a Rutgers-led study.

Millions of birds die in collisions each year, but lights could change that
Millions of birds die each year in collisions with planes.

The whole day matters for cognitive development in children
In a new study, researchers at the CHEO Research Institute have found that children aged nine and 10 who meet recommendations in the Canadian 24-hour Movement Guidelines for physical activity, screen time and sleep time have superior global cognition.

Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulphonate (PFOS) put to the test
Per- and polyfluoralkyl substances (PFAS) are industrially manufactured substances which do not occur naturally.

Researchers discover signatures predicting therapeutic applications, toxicity of chemicals
Researchers have developed a new method to assess the biological activities of chemicals.

Study finds substantial variation in survival between EMS agencies treating out-of-hospital cardiac arrest
Emergency medical services (EMS) deliver essential initial care when patients in the community have cardiac arrest.

Olfactory cells may act as 'Trojan horse,' carry anticancer therapy to deadly brain tumors
Massachusetts General Hospital researchers have found that a special type of cell essential to the ability of olfactory neurons to regenerate may be genetically engineered to deliver anticancer therapy to the dangerous brain tumors called glioblastomas.

Study shows importance of personal social networks on neurological outcomes
BWH investigators find that the health habits of people in a patient's social network are tied to that person's level of reported neurological disability.

By Jove! Methane's effects on sunlight vary by region
Solar energy absorption by methane is 10 times stronger over desert regions such as the Sahara Desert and Arabian Peninsula than elsewhere on Earth, and nearly three times more powerful in the presence of clouds.

Your Facebook friends don't mean it, but they're likely hurting you daily
Social media sites often present users with social exclusion information that may actually inhibit intelligent thought, according to the co-author of a University at Buffalo study that takes a critical look not just at Facebook and other similar platforms, but at the peculiarities of the systems on which these sites operate.

Cosmological constraints from the first-year Subaru Hyper Suprime-Cam survey
The Hyper Suprime-Cam (HSC) survey collaboration team, including scientists from Princeton University, Japan and Taiwan, used tiny gravitational distortions of images of about 10 million galaxies to make a precise measurement of the lumpiness of matter in the universe.

A study using Drosophila sheds light on the metastatic behavior of human tumors
A study at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) using Drosophila melanogaster has demonstrated that chromosomal instability itself can induce invasive behavior in epithelial cells and has identified the underlying molecular mechanisms involved.

Breastfeeding changes gene activity that may make babies less reactive to stress
It has long been known that there are many physical and mental health benefits of breastfeeding for mothers and babies.

African swine fever: No risk to consumers
The African swine fever (ASF) that is currently rife in Europe does not pose a health hazard to humans.

New plants on the block: Taller species are taking over in a warming Arctic
The Arctic tundra has long been the domain of grasses and dwarf shrubs that grow only a few centimetres high.

Limiting children's recreational screen time to less than 2 hours a day linked to better cognition
Only one in 20 US children in the study met the full recommended guidelines on recreational screen time, physical activity and sleep.

Photonic chips harness sound waves to speed up local networks
Technology to support financial markets, 5G networks and Internet-of-Things

Taking out the (life-threatening) garbage: Bacteria eject trash to survive
Scientists have known that bacteria produce small spherical versions of themselves.

Regional seismic data help to locate September 2017 North Korean nuclear test
The epicenter of the Sept. 3, 2017, nuclear test explosion in North Korea occurred about 3.6 kilometers northwest of the country's first nuclear test in October 2006, according to a new high-precision analysis of the explosion and its aftermath.

Compound improves social interaction in autism mouse model
Children with autism often find social interactions awkward, leaving them isolated.

Heavy metal acts as heavy artillery against bacterial infections
A new antibiotic treatment that contains the heavy metal gallium safely combated bacterial growth in mice and showed signs of efficacy in a preliminary phase 1 clinical trial of patients with cystic fibrosis or chronic lung infections.

Beyond skin deep: understanding disparities in dermatology services
The odds of a black or Hispanic patient visiting an outpatient dermatologist are about half that of a white patient with the same skin condition, according to a new study in JAMA Dermatology.

Efficient generation of high-density plasma enabled by high magnetic field
An international joint research group led by Osaka University demonstrated that it was possible to efficiently heat plasma by focusing a relativistic electron beam (REB) accelerated by a high-intensity short-pulse laser with the application of a magnetic field of 600 tesla (T), about 600 times greater than the magnetic energy of a neodymium magnet (the strongest permanent magnet).

Manta rays could teach us a thing or two about effective filtration
Manta rays feed with a unique filtration system that allows water to pass through while tiny particles of food -- even those smaller than the organism's filter pore size -- 'ricochet' away and are eaten.

Dental research shows that smoking weakens immune systems
Researchers at the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine found that smoking weakens the ability for pulp in teeth to fight illness and disease.

The origins of the High Plains landscape
A mantle wave passing beneath western North America over the last 20 million years is responsible for the formation of the High Plains landscape at the base of the Rocky Mountains.

AI could be used to predict outcomes for people at risk of psychosis and depression
Machine learning, also known as artificial intelligence, could be a useful tool for predicting how well people at high risk of psychosis or with recent onset depression will function socially in the future, an international research study has found.

Researchers create smartphone system to test for lead in water
Researchers at the University of Houston have created an inexpensive system using a smartphone and a lens made with an inkjet printer that can detect lead in tap water at levels commonly accepted as dangerous.

Scientists investigate how DEET confuses countless critters
DEET, a chemical in bug sprays, affects the behavior of highly diverse organisms -- but how it works remains unclear.

Army scientists discover mathematics of brain waves
Army researchers have developed a technique that has the potential to provide measures that facilitate the development of procedures to mitigate stress and the onset of conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder in warfighters.

Urine liquid biopsies could help monitor bladder cancer treatment
Scientists have shown for the first time that immune cells in the urine of bladder cancer patients accurately reflect those in the tumor environment.

Elusive stem cells could help repair damaged blood vessels
A unique source of stem cells in blood helps to build blood vessels in the growing embryo according to new research published in Nature and part-funded by the British Heart Foundation.

Tracking hydrogen movement using subatomic particles
A Japanese collaboration developed a technique using a beam of subatomic particles called muons to track hydrogen movement in the solid magnesium hydride for the first time.

Debate on banning organohalogen flame retardants heats up
Hundreds of everyday household items, from laptop computers to babies' high chairs, contain flame retardants to prevent the objects from catching fire.

Researchers connect lower antibiotic resistance with higher levels of bifidobacteria in infant gut
A study published this week in mSphere suggests that infants, who are vulnerable to an array of infectious diseases, may have a microbial ally in keeping antibiotic-resistant infections at bay.

New allergy vaccine for hay fever shows promising results
Using sugar molecules researchers from the University of Copenhagen have developed a new vaccine for hay fever that may reduce treatment times and increase the effect of treatments.

Plate tectonics may have been active on Earth since the very beginning
A new study suggests that plate tectonics -- a scientific theory that divides the earth into large chunks of crust that move slowly over hot viscous mantle rock -- could have been active from the planet's very beginning.

New way to control meandering electrons and generate extreme-ultraviolet emissions
A team at IBS the Center for Relativistic Laser Science has found a completely new way to generate extreme-ultraviolet emissions, that is light having a wavelength of 10 to 120 nanometers.

Reclassification recommendations for drug in 'magic mushrooms'
In an evaluation of the safety and abuse research on the drug in hallucinogenic mushrooms, Johns Hopkins researchers suggest that if it clears phase III clinical trials, psilocybin should be re-categorized from a schedule I drug -- one with no known medical potential -- to a schedule IV drug such as prescription sleep aids, but with tighter control.

Hit 'em where they eat: Stealth drug fights resistant bacteria
Researchers have been on the hunt for new drugs to combat bacterial 'superbugs.' A new report describes success using gallium, a metal that bacteria confuse for iron, which they take up as a nutrient.

Researchers discover molecule involved in the repair of liver wounds
A new study from researchers of CEDOC-NOVA Medical School|Faculdade de Ciências Médicas and Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, led by Maria Paula Macedo and Carlos Penha-Gonçalves, respectively, published in Hepatology Communications, showed that a molecule called CD26/DPP-4 is involved in the regeneration of acute liver wounds and is a promising biomarker for hepatic disease.

UVA discovers link between cold severity, bacteria living in your nose
The bacteria in study participants' noses fell into six different patterns of nasal microbiomes.

Instrument boosts analysis of small, extremely dark materials
Researchers have developed a new instrument that can analyze light reflected from very small or extremely dark materials such as some meteorite samples and VANTABlack, the darkest manmade substance created.

Scientists unlock secret of how the brain encodes speech
People like the late Stephen Hawking are unable to speak because their muscles are paralyzed.

Science learns from its mistakes too
Scientific studies should always be published irrespective of their result.

Researchers evaluate controversial treatment for Parkinson's disease psychosis
In the wake of media and public reports about increased mortality linked to a new drug for treating Parkinson's disease psychosis, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine conducted a retrospective study of qualifying patients in the UC San Diego Health system concluding that the new drug, pimavanserin (marketed as Nuplazid), did not pose a statistically significant greater risk of death.

Suomi NPP satellite sees Rosa intensifying into tenth Eastern Pacific hurricane
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed over the Eastern Pacific Ocean as Tropical Storm Rosa was strengthening into that ocean basin's tenth hurricane.

DEET scrambles worms' sense of smell
The roundworm C. elegans is sensitive to DEET's insect-repellent effects.

Canadian clinics are marketing unproven stem cell treatments
Future Science Group today announces the publication of a new peer-reviewed study that surveys the Canadian direct-to-consumer marketplace of companies advertising putative stem cell treatments for various clinical indications.

Policy-makers cannot afford to ignore soil sustainability
Soils play a key role in climate regulation, nutritious diets, agricultural livelihoods, and biodiversity.

Rutgers researchers discover possible cause for Alzheimer's and traumatic brain injury
Rutgers researchers discover a possible cause for Alzheimer's and traumatic brain injury, and the new mechanism may have also led to the discovery of an effective treatment.

A mechanism of color pattern formation in ladybird beetles
Many ladybirds have attractive color patterns consisting of black and red.

Suomi NPP satellite observes rebirth of Tropical Storm Kirk, warnings up
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed over Tropical Storm Kirk as it was regenerating in the Atlantic Ocean.

NIAID releases strategic plan to address tuberculosis research
Tuberculosis (TB) is the leading infectious cause of death worldwide, killing roughly 1.6 million people in 2017.

Elusive origin of stellar geysers revealed by 3D simulations
Astrophysicists finally have an explanation for the violent mood swings of some of the biggest, brightest and rarest stars in the universe.

Understanding antibiotic resistance in patients with cystic fibrosis
Patients with cystic fibrosis who carried antibiotic-resistant bacteria in their lungs had significantly lower microbial diversity and more aggressive disease, according to a small study published in Heliyon.

In clinical trials, new antibody therapy controls HIV for months after treatment
A new clinical trial shows that broadly neutralizing antibodies can suppress HIV for up to four months, far longer than currently available drugs.

The notorious luminous blue variable star
Sparkling with an exceptional blue-toned brilliance and exhibiting wild variations in both brightness and spectrum, the luminous blue variable (LBV) is a relatively rare and still somewhat mysterious type of star.

VLA discovers powerful jet coming from 'wrong' kind of star
Discovery of a jet of material launched by a highly magnetic neutron star forces rethinking a longstanding theory about the origin of such jets.

Taller plants moving into Arctic because of climate change
The effects of climate change are behind an increase in plant height across the Arctic tundra over the past 30 years.

Bariatric surgery linked to safer childbirth for the mother
Obese mothers who lose weight through bariatric surgery can have safer deliveries.

Giddy up: help for plump ponies is fast on its way
Help is on the way for plump ponies at risk of the painful, often deadly, condition of founder or laminitis which is the second biggest killer of domestic horses.

Is that selfie edited? Why it may matter for women viewers
There's a surprising upside to the fact that many people edit their selfies on Instagram and other social media sites to enhance their appearance.

Tropical Depression 29W spins up in northwestern Pacific Ocean
The first warning issued by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center for Tropical Depression 29W was early on September 26 (0600 GMT).

Big increase in economic costs if cuts in greenhouse gas emissions are delayed
Stronger efforts to cut emissions of greenhouse gases should be undertaken if global warming of more than 1.5 Celsius degrees is to be avoided without relying on potentially more expensive or risky technologies to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere or reduce the amount of sunlight reaching the Earth's surface.

Baltimore liquor stores linked more to violent crime than bars and restaurants
A new study from researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY) found that alcohol outlets in Baltimore that sell alcohol for off-premise consumption (such as liquor stores and beer and wine stores) have a stronger association with incidences of violent crimes, including homicides, aggravated assaults, sexual assaults, and robbery, than alcohol outlets in Baltimore where alcohol is bought and consumed on-site, such as bars and restaurants.

Combination HIV antibody infusions safely maintain viral suppression in select individuals
A small group of people living with HIV sensitive to two potent anti-HIV broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) -- 3BNC117 and 10-1074 -- tolerated multiple infusions of the antibodies and suppressed HIV for more than 15 weeks after stopping antiretroviral therapy (ART).

Media violence, impulsivity and family conflict tied to aggressive behaviors in teenagers
Teenagers exposed to TV and film violence and high levels of household conflict are at risk of engaging in aggressive behaviors, according to a new study by researchers at three US universities.

Neutron star jets shoot down theory
Astronomers have detected radio jets belonging to a neutron star with a strong magnetic field -- something not predicted by current theory, according to a new study published in Nature today.

Researchers add surprising finds to the fossil record
A newly discovered fossil suggests that large, flowering trees grew in North America by the Turonian age, showing that these large trees were part of the forest canopies there nearly 15 million years earlier than previously thought.

Rare genetic disorders more complex than thought
Wellcome Sanger Institute scientists have found that the genetic causes of rare neurodevelopmental disorders vary more than previously thought.

How a tiny Curiosity motor identified a massive Martian dust storm
When dust filled the Martian atmosphere during the recent planet-wide dust storm, observations were plentiful -- even from unlikely instruments.

Predictable, preventable and deadly: Carbon monoxide poisonings after storms
Severe weather events, such as summer hurricanes, tornadoes, and winter snow storms often result in widespread and prolonged power outages, interrupting essential household functions, including home heating.

Wearable defibrillator lowers sudden cardiac death, but only when you wear it
An international clinical trial that studied wearable cardioverter defibrillators (WCDs) found that the devices did not significantly reduce sudden cardiac death -- the primary goal of the device -- among patients assigned to the device in the first 90 days after a heart attack, but did lower mortality among those who wore it as prescribed, according to a study led by researchers at UC San Francisco.

Newly discovered hummingbird species already critically endangered
In 2017, researchers working in the Ecuadorian Andes stumbled across a previously unknown species of hummingbird -- but as documented in a new study published in The Auk: Ornithological Advances, its small range, specialized habitat, and threats from human activity mean the newly described blue-throated hillstar is likely already critically endangered.

Is student debt keeping Americans away from marriage?
Having a student loan could influence whether America's young adults first union after college is marriage or cohabitation.

Spheres can make concrete leaner, greener
Rice University scientists make micron-sized calcium silicate spheres that could lead to stronger and greener concrete, the world's most-used synthetic material.

Being older helps skin heal with less scarring, and now researchers know why
A compound secreted in the bloodstream could be the key factor that causes wounds in older people to heal with less scarring than in younger people.

Seismic analysis identifies 2017 North Korean nuclear explosion, collapse, earthquakes
Careful analysis of data collected after the Sept. 3, 2017, North Korean declared nuclear test explosion has allowed seismologists to distinguish the separate seismic signatures of the explosion, a collapse of the explosion cavity and even several small earthquakes that occurred after the collapse.

Psychologists define the 'dark core of personality'
Egoism, Machiavellianism, narcissism, psychopathy, sadism, spitefulness are all traits that stand for the malevolent dark sides of human personality.

Milk protein shown to alleviate chemotherapy side effects
Chemotherapy can wreak havoc on the taste buds and olfactory senses, depriving recipients of the intricate interplay between taste and smell that is critical to enjoying foods.

Study demonstrates new mechanism for developing electronic devices
OIST scientists have demonstrated a new mechanism that may help develop electronic devices differently.

Uterus transplantation -- ethically just as problematic as altruistic surrogacy
In 2014, the first child to have been gestated in a donated uterus was born.

Europeans receptive to new welfare policy ideas
A new report explains European attitudes towards the welfare state, as measured in Round 8 (2016/17) of the European Social Survey.

Bees' medicine chest should include sunflower pollen, UMass Amherst study suggests
A new study by Jonathan Giacomini and his former advisor, evolutionary ecologist Lynn Adler at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, with others, found that eating sunflower pollen dramatically and consistently reduced a protozoan pathogen infection in bumble bees and reduced a microsporidian pathogen of the European honey bee, raising the possibility that sunflowers may provide a simple solution to improve the health of economically and ecologically important pollinators.

Stanford engineers study hovering bats and hummingbirds in Costa Rica
Engineers carted their extremely sensitive lab equipment to the forests of Costa Rica, where they teamed up with ecologists to meticulously record over 100 different bats and hummingbirds to learn more about hovering flight.

NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP Satellite gets an infrared view of Typhoon Trami
Typhoon Trami looked formidable in infrared imagery taken from NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite as it moves to the southern Islands of Japan.

Simulations uncover why some supernova explosions produce so much manganese and nickel
Researchers have found white dwarf stars with masses close to the maximum stable mass are likely to produce large amounts of manganese, iron, and nickel after it orbits another star and explodes.

Protecting probiotics from the stomach
The small intestine is a hotbed of microbial activity and a target of probiotic treatments for diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome, among other conditions.

Tiger mosquitoes are capable of transmitting yellow fever
Since December 2016, Brazil has been grappling with its worst yellow fever outbreak for several decades.

New protocol for measuring background levels of drugs in crime labs
When forensic chemists handle evidence that contains illegal drugs, trace amounts are inevitably released into the laboratory environment, which can cause detectable background levels of drugs in the lab.

'Paintable' chemotherapy shrinks skin tumors in mice
Skin acts as the first line of defense against pathogens and other harmful material from outside the body.

Connection between 'chalky teeth' in children and the uptake of Bisphenol A not likely
Medical associations are reporting increased occurrences of disturbed dental mineralization in children.

Did key building blocks for life come from deep space?
All living beings need cells and energy to replicate. Without these fundamental building blocks, living organisms could not exist.

Otago discovery links DNA-packaging proteins and cancer development
University of Otago scientists have unravelled the 3D structure of two proteins, potentially providing answers as to why some people may be at risk of developing specific cancers. 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