Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 27, 2018
Virtual reality motion sickness may be predicted and counteracted
Researchers at the University of Waterloo have made progress towards predicting who is likely to feel sick from virtual reality technology.

New screening tool can improve the quality of life for epilepsy patients with sleep apnea
Rutgers researchers have developed a tool to help neurologists screen for obstructive sleep apnea in people with epilepsy whose seizures can be magnified by sleep disorders.

Vitamin D supplements may promote weight loss in obese children
Vitamin D supplements may promote weight loss and reduce risk factors for future heart and metabolic disease in overweight and obese children, according to research presented today at the 57th Annual European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology Meeting.

The brain diet
Scientists at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) find that high levels of a hormone called FGF23 are linked to changes in brain structure.

Women much less likely to ask questions in academic seminars than men
A new study reveals a stark disparity between male and female participation in departmental seminars which helps to explain the 'leaky pipeline' of female representation in academic careers.

Medical-records study links dementia-related brain changes to hospital stays for critical illness
Researchers at Johns Hopkins report that a novel analysis of more than a thousand patients adds to evidence that hospitalization, critical illness and major infection may diminish brain structures that are most commonly affected by Alzheimer's disease.

Hospital privacy curtains may harbor dangerous germs: New study
Without timely intervention, privacy curtains in hospitals can become breeding grounds for resistant bacteria, posing a threat to patient safety, according to new research published in the American Journal of Infection Control (AJIC), the journal of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).

Stillbirth reduction strategy remains unproven, study finds
A care package aimed at reducing the risk of babies being stillborn may offer marginal benefit, research led by the University of Edinburgh suggests.

Ledumahadi mafube -- South Africa's new jurassic giant
A new species of a giant dinosaur has been found in South Africa's Free State Province.

Managing congenital adrenal hyperplasia requires shared decisions among patients, families, and heal
The Endocrine Society today issued a Clinical Practice Guideline that offers best practices for healthcare providers on how to promptly diagnose, treat, and manage patients with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), an inherited endocrine disorder, throughout their entire lives.

When neglected children become adolescents
Many migrant children separated from their parents at the U.S.

Software finds the best way to stick a Mars landing
Researchers at MIT have developed a software tool for computer-aided discovery that could help mission planners make these decisions.

Study identifies most effective treatment approaches for uveitic macular edema
Results may lead to better management of complex eye condition.

Following the path of chemicals through the soil
A new and quick way to predict the transport of chemicals through the soil has been developed by researchers at Aarhus University.

First-born children more likely to learn about sex from parents
Birth order may play a significant role in how children learn about sex, especially for boys, according to a new study published in the journal Sex Education.

New invasive bryozoan arrives in Alaskan waters
Alaska has a near-pristine marine ecosystem--it has fewer invasive species in its waters than almost any other state in the U.S.

Scientists show polar 'polynya' supported marine life during last Ice Age
An oasis in the hostile Arctic Ocean sustained marine life and ocean circulation during the last Ice Age, according to a new study.

New gene variants associated with chronic back pain
Chronic back pain is the number one cause of years lived with disability worldwide.

Viruses discern, destroy E. coli in drinking water
To rapidly detect the presence of E. coli in drinking water, Cornell University food scientists now can employ a bacteriophage -- a genetically engineered virus -- in a test used in hard-to-reach areas around the world.

Therapy applied directly inside the eye best for treating uveitic macular edema
Delivery of corticosteroids directly into the eye is more effective than injections adjacent to the eye, according to results from a comparative clinical trial of macular edema in patients with noninfectious uveitis.

People can die from giving up the fight
People can die simply because they've given up, life has beaten them and they feel defeat is inescapable, according to new research.

Can we teach heart cells to grow up?
Scientists have been trying to replace damaged heart tissue using lab-made heart-muscle cells, either injected or in patch form.

Unusual case of father-to-son HIV transmission reported
Diagnosis of HIV-1 infection in the 4-year old child of an HIV-negative mother led to a forensic analysis to determine the source of the infection and try to date the transmission of the virus.

Vampire bats found to carry infectious bacteria at high rates
A study published in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases by Daniel Becker at Montana State University in Bozeman, found Bartonella infections in vampire bats are highly prevalent in Peru and Belize, and that Bartonella genotypes are distributed widely, rather than clustered geographically.

Enhanced rehab for stroke doubles movement recovery
A novel therapy technique invented by researchers at The University of Texas at Dallas has been shown in a pilot study to double the rate of upper limb recovery in stroke patients, a leap forward in treating the nearly 800,000 Americans who suffer strokes each year.

Skin is a battlefield for mutations
Normal skin contains a patchwork of mutated cells, yet very few go on to eventually form cancer and scientists have now uncovered the reason why.

Child Mind Institute researchers, colleagues release non-human primate brain imaging data
An international team of researchers led by scientists at the Child Mind Institute has released the first open-source data sets of non-human primate brain imaging, which could help improve understanding of certain brain disorders.

Antimicrobial resistance of uropathogenic Escherichia coli from elderly patients
Urinary tract infection (UTI) is a common cause of morbidity and mortality in older adults.

'Cellular memory' of DNA damage in oocyte quality control
Females are born with a finite number of eggs that come from a much larger pool of millions of precursor cells.

Amazon mangrove forest stores twice as much carbon per acre as region's famous rainforest
Scientists have determined for the first time that Amazon's waterlogged coastal mangrove forests, which are being clear cut for cattle pastures and shrimp ponds, store significantly more carbon per acre than the region's famous rainforest.

UBC study: Publicizing a firm's security levels may strengthen security over time
New research from the UBC Sauder School of Business has quantified the security levels of more than 1,200 Pan-Asian companies in order to determine whether increased awareness of one's security levels leads to improved defense levels against cybercrime.

Well established theories on patterns in evolution might be wrong
How do the large-scale patterns we observe in evolution arise?

Large stretches of coral reefs can be rehabilitated
Coral reefs can be rehabilitated over large scales using a relatively inexpensive technique, according to a study led by UC Davis in partnership with Mars Symbioscience.

Educating the next generation of medical professionals with machine learning is essential
Artificial intelligence (AI) driven by machine learning (ML) algorithms is a branch in the field of computer science that is rapidly gaining popularity within the healthcare sector.

New approach offers high-resolution seismic monitoring of the shallow subsurface
High-resolution seismic monitoring of the shallow subsurface has remained challenging to achieve in practice.

Polymer coating cools down buildings
Columbia Engineers have invented a high-performance exterior PDRC polymer coating with nano-to-microscale air voids that acts as a spontaneous air cooler and can be fabricated, dyed, and applied like paint on rooftops, buildings, water tanks, vehicles, even spacecraft -- anything that can be painted.

The persistent killer of killer whales
Despite their being banned for decades, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) threaten the long-term viability of more than 50 percent of the planet's killer whale population, reports a new model-based study.

Decades in the making -- A breakthrough in the hunt for a vaccine against foal pneumonia
A vaccine against deadly foal pneumonia might finally be within reach, thanks to Morris Animal Foundation-funded research conducted at two major universities.

New study hints at potential antibiotic breakthrough
The rapid emergence and global spread of antibiotic resistance demands a new approach for developing novel ones.

WSU researchers develop sugar-powered sensor to detect, prevent disease
Researchers at Washington State University have developed an implantable, biofuel-powered sensor that runs on sugar and can monitor a body's biological signals to detect, prevent and diagnose diseases.

New study examines 'strategic retention' of teachers by effective principals
Numerous studies have linked principal effectiveness to overall reduced teacher turnover.

Exploration of microscopic structure of black holes from the viewpoint of thermodynamics
The microscopic structure of black holes remains a challenging subject.

Smart devices could soon tap their owners as a battery source
The world is edging closer to a reality where smart devices are able to use their owners as an energy resource, say experts from the University of Surrey.

Where are they?
'Are we alone in the universe?' The question has fascinated, tantalized and even disconcerted humans for as long as we can remember.

Combination antibody therapy results in long-term viral suppression in HIV infection
A new generation of broadly neutralizing antibodies provides a novel approach to treating HIV infection.

DNA vaccine targets family of tumor antigens & shows promise for cancer immunotherapy
Wistar scientists have implemented a novel structurally designed synthetic DNA vaccine to simultaneously target multiple members of a family of proteins that are specifically overexpressed in several types of cancer.

How swarms of nanomachines could improve the efficiency of any machine
The research team of Prof. Massimiliano Esposito of the University of Luxembourg studies the thermodynamics of small nanomachines only consisting of a few atoms.

How a sleeping cancer awakens and metastasizes
Scientists at CSHL have determined one of the ways in which cancers in remission can spring back into action.

PCB pollution threatens to wipe out killer whales
More than 40 years after the first initiatives were taken to ban the use of PCBs, the chemical pollutants remain a deadly threat to animals at the top of the food chain.

Researchers identify a metal that withstands ultra-high temperature and pressure
Japanese scientists have identified a metal able to stand up to constant forces in ultrahigh temperature, offering promising applications including in aircraft jet engines and gas turbines for electric power generation.

Ride-hailing increases vehicle miles traveled
Ride-hailing accounts for an 83 percent increase in the miles cars travel for ride-hailing passengers in Denver's metro area, according to a new study, 'The impact of ride-hailing on vehicle miles traveled,' in the journal Transportation.

Scientists discover genetic basis for how harmful algal blooms become toxic
A team led by scientists from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego and the J.

NASA satellite observes reviving Tropical Storm Kirk, approaching Lesser Antilles
As Tropical Storm Kirk came back to life, the Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core satellite analyzed its rainfall.

Lidar survey 'compels' revaluation of aspects of ancient Maya society
An airborne laser mapping survey of over 2,000 square kilometers of northern Guatemala - the largest such survey to date of this region -- 'compels' a revaluation of Maya demography, agriculture, and political economy, according to its authors.

The warm glow of kindness is real -- Sussex study confirms
The 'warm glow' of kindness is real -- even when there's nothing in it for you.

Keeping things cool with a paint-like polymer
Paving the way to alternatives to high-energy modes of cooling, like air conditioners, researchers now present a polymer that can cool down surfaces by reflecting sunlight and heat back into the sky.

Composite significantly reduces electromagnetic pollution
How to reduce electromagnetic pollution? In a paper published in NANO, a group of researchers from Anhui University of Science and Technology have synthesized PANI/Zn ferrite composites which have shown excellent microwave absorption performance.

Postnatal depression could be linked to fewer daylight hours during late pregnancy
Women in late pregnancy during darker months of the year may have a greater risk of developing postpartum depression once their babies are born.

HPV vaccination can play critical role in global prevention of cervical and genital cancers
In low-resource countries without well-developed screening programs, expanding access to human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccination is the best means of preventing cervical cancer and other diseases caused by HPV infection, according to an editorial in the October special issue of the Journal of Lower Genital Tract Disease, official journal of ASCCP.

NASA satellite analyzes new Southern Pacific Ocean tropical cyclone
NASA's Aqua satellite provided an infrared look at a new storm that formed in the southern Pacific Ocean called Liua and saw strongest storms off-center.

UC political scientist reveals surprising answers about religious freedom
Can political conservatives accept inclusive religious freedom rights when viewing similar issues from another perspective?

New study probes the ancient past of a body plan code
Researchers from the Stowers Institute for Medical Research have opened a window on another piece of evolutionary biology.

Hawai'i land impacted by sea level rise may be double previous estimates
By including models of dynamical physical processes such as erosion and wave run-up, a team of researchers from the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa (UH Mānoa) and the Hawai'i Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) determined that land area in Hawai'i vulnerable to future sea level rise may be double previous estimates.

Non-small cell lung cancer patients see improved survival with durvalumab
Non-small cell lung cancer patients survive longer when their treatment includes durvalumab following platinum-based chemoradiotherapy, according to research led by Moffitt Cancer Center.

Beach sand ripples can be fingerprints for ancient weather conditions
Beach sand ripples can be fingerprints for ancient weather conditions, study shows.

Method to determine oxidative age could show how aging affects nanomaterial's properties
New work looks to understand how iron oxide nanoparticles age, and how aging may change their functional or safety profiles.

Fewer children in social care in Northern Ireland than rest of UK, according to new report
Thirty-five children out of every 10,000 are in social care, with the equivalent for England, Wales and Scotland being 52, 62 and 82.

High-pressure oxygen therapy may be beneficial in treating sudden hearing loss
The addition of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (where patients receive pure oxygen in a pressurized chamber) to standard medical treatment was associated with an improved likelihood that patients who experience sudden deafness might recover all or some of their lost hearing.

Despite restaurant pledges, most kids receive unhealthy items with fast-food kids' meals
A new UConn Rudd Center study of parents' fast-food restaurant purchases for their children finds that 74 percent of kids still receive unhealthy drinks and/or side items with their kids' meals when visiting one of the four largest restaurant chains -- McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, and Subway -- despite restaurants' commitments to offer healthier options with kids' meals.

In the battle of cats vs. rats, the rats are winning
New research finds that contrary to popular opinion, cats are not good predators of rats.

Physical exercise improves the elimination of toxic proteins from muscles
A study by Brazilian researchers could contribute to the development of alternatives to treat muscle weakness and atrophy.

NIST's electro-optic laser pulses 100 times faster than usual ultrafast light
Physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have used common electronics to build a laser that pulses 100 times more often than conventional ultrafast lasers.

Aphids use sight to avoid deadly bacteria, could lead to pest control
Pea aphids -- a serious agricultural pest -- have the ability to see and avoid a common, aphid-killing bacteria on plant leaves, according to a new Cornell study published Sept.

Newly described, giant relative of Brontosaurus roamed South Africa 200 million years ago
Researchers reporting in Current Biology on Sept. 27 have described a new species of sauropodomorph dinosaur named Ledumahadi mafube, which means 'a giant thunderclap at dawn' in the African language Sesotho.

Plasma thruster: New space debris removal technology
A Japanese and Australian research group has discovered new technology to remove space debris using a single propulsion system in a helicon plasma thruster.

Scientists propose a new model for the specialization of cells
Mathematicians at the Higher School of Economics have developed a model that explains how cell specialization arises in the context of resource constraints.

True burden of stillbirths in Europe vastly underestimated
Around one in three stillbirths occur before 28 weeks of pregnancy but are not officially recognised.

Researchers find how Natural Killer cells regulate protective HIV antibodies
In the quest to develop a vaccine that triggers the immune system to prevent HIV infection, researchers have focused on identifying and eliciting a particular type of antibody that is capable of neutralizing the virus.

Illinois research accurately predicts US end-of-season corn yield
Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a new method of predicting end-of-season corn yield that outperforms the USDA's estimations, in a scientifically rigorous and reproducible way.

Stroke incidence rising in Taiwan contrary to falls in Western countries
The incidence of stroke is rising in Taiwan contrary to falls in Western countries, according to a nationwide study presented at the ASEAN Federation of Cardiology Congress 2018 (AFCC 2018).

Narrowing sexual health equity gap for Puerto Rican adolescents
Persistent and significant health disparities related to sexual health, including a higher teen birth rate and HIV prevalence, exist among Puerto Rican adolescents compared to other racial and ethnic adolescents.

Trial participation among factors influencing risk of relapse in AYA leukemia patients
Adolescent and young adult (AYA) patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) were significantly more likely to relapse than pediatric ALL patients, and factors including lower clinical trial enrollment and shorter duration of therapy were associated with relapse.

Deaths of despair: The opioid epidemic is just part of the problem
Opioid-related deaths contributed to more than 60 000 U.S. lives lost in 2016 but absolute declines in life expectancy relative to other countries and in various measures of psychosocial well-being have been observed starting as early as 1980.

A protein prevents plants from premature flowering
The induction of flowering is of major importance from an ecological and agronomic point of view.

Vatican-Based White Paper Presents Expert Consensus on Advancing Global Palliative Care
A new white paper, developed by the Vatican-based Pontifical Academy for Life (PAV), describes the broad-based, expert-led effort to develop recommendations for improving global palliative care.

What drove the unusually intense hurricane season in 2017?
The warming of the tropical Atlantic relative to the rest of the global ocean may have been a key factor driving the abnormally fierce Atlantic hurricane season during 2017, a new study suggests.

Why a 'cuckoo in the nest' can go undetected
Researchers at the Universities of Exeter and Cambridge have shed light on why some species cannot tell the difference between their own offspring and those of intruders that have been slipped into their nests.

Silver fox study reveals genetic clues to social behavior
After more than 50 generations of selective breeding, a new Cornell University-led study compares gene expression of tame and aggressive silver foxes in two areas of the brain, shedding light on genes responsible for social behavior.

Decoding multiple frames from a single, scattered exposure
Engineers at Duke University have developed a way to extract a sequence of images from light scattered through a mostly opaque material -- or even off a wall -- from one long photographic exposure.

Research teams find widespread inflammation in the brains of fibromyalgia patients
A study by Massachusetts General Hospital researchers -- collaborating with a team at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden -- has documented for the first time widespread inflammation in the brains of patients with the poorly understood condition called fibromyalgia.

Tomatoes 'mixing chemical cocktails': Early detection of disease resistance in food crops
Bacterial wilt devastates food crops world-wide. It destroys major crop plants such as tomatoes, potatoes, bananas and ginger.

Lack of science support fails Brazil
Reflecting on Brazil's National Museum fire, scientists warn against lack of museum investment.

Certain reflux and ulcer medications linked with bone fractures in dialysis patients
Among patients with kidney failure on dialysis, use of proton pump inhibitors was associated with a 19 percent higher risk of hip fracture.

A simple measurement of abdominal obesity
In obesity research, the body mass index (BMI) has been traditionally used to determine if an individual is normal weight, underweight, overweight or obese.

Genetic analyses hone risk prediction for coronary disease
Until recently, researchers thought that genetic analyses could add relatively little to predicting CAD risk for people with type 2 diabetes.

Feeding ants dopamine might make them smarter foragers
In an ant colony, few tasks are as important as gathering food.

Vaccine, anti-PD1 drug show promise against incurable HPV-related cancers
A tumor-specific vaccine combined with an immune checkpoint inhibitor shrank tumors in one third of patients with incurable cancer related to the human papilloma virus (HPV) in a phase II clinical trial led by investigators at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and reported in JAMA Oncology.

New bird flu viruses in ducks after vaccines largely prevented H7N9 in chickens
In response to bird flu pandemics starting in 2013, officials in China introduced a new vaccine for chickens in September 2017.

Device that integrates solar cell and battery could store electricity outside the grid
Scientists in the United States and Saudi Arabia have harnessed the abilities of both a solar cell and a battery in one device -- a 'solar flow battery' that soaks up sunlight and efficiently stores it as chemical energy for later on-demand use.

Shake, rattle, and roll to high efficiency photovoltaics
New insight into how a certain class of photovoltaic materials allows efficient conversion of sunlight into electricity could set up these materials to replace traditional silicon solar cells.

NASA-NOAA satellite looks into Typhoon Trami's ragged eye
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed over the eye of Typhoon Trami as it continued moving through the Northwestern Pacific Ocean.

NASA's close up of Hurricane Rosa shows hint of an eye
NASA's Terra satellite passed over the Eastern Pacific Ocean and provided forecasters with a visible image of Hurricane Rosa that gave an indication an eye has formed.

Chinese researchers discover how bird feathers resist tearing
Researchers from the Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry recently made a deep observation of the 3D fine structures and the entire unzipping process of feathers by using microscopy with a micro/nano manipulating system and 3D X-ray microscopy.

2018 Arctic summertime sea ice minimum extent tied for sixth lowest on record
Arctic sea ice likely reached its 2018 lowest extent on Sept.

Henry Ford Hospital patient is first in the US to receive angina device
Cardiologists at Henry Ford Hospital performed the first implantation in the United States of a device approved for use in Europe for hard-to-treat angina.

'Bin chicken' plays unique role in story of evolution
A University of Queensland researcher has uncovered how a French scientist and ibis researcher conducted the first test of evolution more than 50 years before Charles Darwin's Origin of the Species.

Putting noise to work
Noise is often an undesirable phenomenon, for example a recorded conversation in a noisy room, astronomical observations with large background signals or in image processing.

How Sacred Ibis mummies provided the first test of evolution
A debate over mummified birds brought to France after Napoleon's conquest of Egypt played a central role in delaying acceptance of evolutionary theory; an episode in the history of biology revealed in an Essay published September 27 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology by Caitlin Curtis of the University of Queensland in Brisbane, as well as Craig Millar, David Lambert.
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