Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 08, 2018
How wasp and bee stinger designs help deliver the pain
Next time you're stung by a wasp or a honeybee, consider the elegantly designed stinger that caused you so much pain.

Global sea level could rise 50 feet by 2300, study says
Global average sea-level could rise by nearly 8 feet by 2100 and 50 feet by 2300 if greenhouse gas emissions remain high and humanity proves unlucky, according to a review of sea-level change and projections by Rutgers and other scientists.

Weight loss linked to lower breast cancer risk for postmenopausal women
In a study of postmenopausal women, participants who lost weight had a lower risk of developing invasive breast cancer than those who maintained or gained weight.

Novel technology enables detection of early-stage lung cancer when surgical cure still is possible
To improve outcomes for patients with non-small-cell lung carcinoma researchers are developing a blood test to detect lung cancer earlier in the disease.

Expanding fungal diversity, one cell at a time
Reported Oct. 8, 2018, in Nature Microbiology, a team led by researchers at the US Department of Energy (DOE) Joint Genome Institute (JGI), a DOE Office of Science User Facility, has developed a pipeline to generate genomes from single cells of uncultivated fungi.

Out like a light: Researchers id brain's 'sleep switch'
Clifford B. Saper, M.D., Ph.D., Chairman of the Department of Neurology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), and colleagues demonstrate in mice that that specific brain cells -- located in a region of the hypothalamus called the ventrolateral preoptic nucleus (VLPO) -- are in fact essential to normal sleep.

Scientists present new clues to cut through the mystery of Titan's atmospheric haze
Experiments at Berkeley Lab have helped scientists to zero in on a low-temperature chemical mechanism that may help to explain the complex molecular compounds that make up the nitrogen-rich haze layer surrounding Titan, Saturn's largest moon.

Genetic disease healed using genome editing
A team of researchers from ETH Zurich and the University Children's Hospital Zurich applied a newly developed editing tool to target and correct genetic mutations.

Guided by CRISPR, prenatal gene editing shows proof-of-concept in treating disease before birth
For the first time, scientists have performed prenatal gene editing to prevent a lethal metabolic disorder in laboratory animals, offering the potential to treat human congenital diseases before birth.

Copper ions flow like liquid through crystalline structures
Materials scientists have sussed out the physical phenomenon underlying the promising electrical properties of a class of materials called superionic crystals through the investigation of CuCrSe2.

Gout drug may protect against chronic kidney disease
The drug allopurinol used to manage gout may offer protection against the development of kidney disease, according to a new study.

Life is like a box of hippocampal scenes
A neuroimaging study of human participants watching the 1994 film Forrest Gump and Alfred Hitchcock's 1961 television drama Bang!

European researchers set out priorities for dealing with problem internet use
European Union funded researchers have launched the first international network to identify and understand problems associated with Internet use, such as gambling, pornography, bullying, excessive social media use.

There's a better way to decipher DNA's epigenetic code to identify disease
A new method for sequencing the chemical groups attached to the surface of DNA is paving the way for better detection of cancer and other diseases in the blood.

Half the brain encodes both arm movements
Individual arm movements are represented by neural activity in both the left and right hemispheres of the brain, according to a study of epilepsy patients published in JNeurosci.

Evidence does not support statin use for conditions other than heart disease
Despite studies suggesting benefits for conditions beyond cardiovascular disease (CVD), the evidence does not support revising current statin prescribing guidelines.

Study examines changes made at home after unintentional injuries to children
A research letter looked at how parents made changes at home after unintentional injuries sent children to emergency departments.

Scientists pinpoint pathway that impacts features of autism
A study has uncovered a brain-signaling pathway that can be pharmacologically manipulated in mice to reverse an autism-related pathway.

Social media data used to predict retail failure
Researchers have used a combination of social media and transport data to predict the likelihood that a given retail business will succeed or fail.

Previously unknown genetic aberrations found to be associated with Alzheimer's progression
Researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Columbia University conducted a large-scale analysis of RNA from postmortem brain tissue, identifying specific RNA splicing events associated with the progression of Alzheimer's disease that will serve as a new resource for Alzheimer's research.

Austerity cuts 'twice as deep' in England than rest of Britain, study finds
Latest research finds significant inequalities in cuts to council services across the country, with deprived areas in the north of England and London seeing the biggest drops in local authority spending since 2010.

Metastatic breast cancer patients report high level of financial impact
A study led by University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers investigated the extent and severity of negative financial effects of cancer among women with breast cancer that has spread in the body.

UToledo study details link between social media and sex trafficking
Social media is increasingly being exploited to contact, recruit and sell children for sex, according to a study by The University of Toledo Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute.

When is a nova not a nova? When a white dwarf and a brown dwarf collide
An international team of astronomers has found for the first time that a white dwarf and a brown dwarf collided in a 'blaze of glory' that was witnessed on Earth in 1670.

Neoadjuvant combination checkpoint blockade trial yields high response rates for patients with high-risk stage three melanoma
Combination checkpoint blockade before surgery (neoadjuvant therapy) produced a high response rate among patients with high-risk stage three melanoma, with nearly half having no sign of disease at surgery, but a high incidence of side effects caused the trial to be closed early.

Groundbreaking study finds community efforts to combat childhood obesity can be effective
Groundbreaking research appearing in the current issue of Pediatric Obesity represents the most wide-ranging investigation to date of how broadly and successfully communities across the US implement programs and policies to prevent obesity in kids.

AFib patients with cancer history less likely to see cardiologist, fill prescriptions
Atrial fibrillation (AFib) patients with a history of cancer are less likely to see a cardiologist or fill anticoagulant prescriptions compared with AFib patients who never had cancer, according to a study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Getting a grip on the slow but unique evolution of sharks
Scientists at the RIKEN Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research (BDR) in Japan, in collaboration with other Japanese institutes and aquariums, have decoded the whole genomes of two shark species for the first time and improved the whale shark genome sequences released previously.

Too much vitamin A may increase risk of bone fractures
Consuming too much vitamin A may decrease bone thickness, leading to weak and fracture prone bones, according to a study published in the Journal of Endocrinology.

Lessons from the 1918 flu pandemic, 100 years on
With flu season nearly upon us, a new study looks at the factors behind the extremely high mortality of the 1918 flu pandemic and how to prepare for future outbreaks.

Genetic tool to predict adult heart attack risk in childhood
People at high risk of a heart attack in adulthood could be spotted much earlier in life with a one-off DNA test.

MIT, SMART and NTU scientists have discovered a potential treatment for severe malaria
Scientists from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) have discovered a potential treatment that could be effective against severe malaria and even drug-resistant malaria.

Icy warning for space missions to Jupiter's moon
A location often earmarked as a potential habitat for extra-terrestrial life could prove to be a tricky place for spacecraft to land, new research has revealed.

Infective endocarditis increases tenfold in North Carolina
A side effect of opioid use is an infection of the heart valves called drug-associated infective endocarditis.

Study opens route to flexible electronics made from exotic materials
MIT engineers have developed a technique to fabricate ultrathin semiconducting films made from a host of exotic materials other than silicon.

Implantable, biodegradable devices speed nerve regeneration in rats
Peripheral nerve injuries leave people with tingling, numbness and weakness in their arms, hands and legs.

The threat of Centaurs for the Earth
Astrophysicists from the University of Vienna, in collaboration with Elizabeth A.

Small-brained female guppies aren't drawn to attractive males
Female guppies with smaller brains can distinguish attractive males, but they don't recognize them as being more appealing or choose to mate with them, according to a new study by UCL and Stockholm University researchers.

Mechanism of resistance to novel targeted therapy for ovarian cancer identified
Wistar scientists have unraveled a mechanism of resistance to EZH2 inhibitors in ovarian cancers with mutations in the ARID1A gene.

Breast cancer drug could be used to treat life-threatening leukaemia
A recently-approved breast cancer drug could be used to target and treat a life-threatening leukaemia, new research has revealed.

Hispanic individuals benefit from skills-based stroke prevention intervention
A culturally tailored program used when discharging stroke patients from the hospital helped to lower blood pressure among Hispanic individuals one year later, finds a new study led by researchers at NYU College of Global Public Health.

Study shows DNA of people with childhood abuse or depression ages faster
DNA from people who suffer from major depression is biologically older than that of healthy people by on average 8 months, suggesting that they are biologically older than their corresponding calendar age.

String theory: Is dark energy even allowed?
In string theory, a paradigm shift could be imminent. In June, a team of string theorists from Harvard and Caltech published a conjecture which sounded revolutionary: String theory is said to be fundamentally incompatible with our current understanding of 'dark energy'.

Scientists suggested an eco-friendly way of obtaining highly active catalysts
A team from Sechenov University together with Russian colleagues developed a method for obtaining substances that accelerate the binding of hydrogen molecules with hydrocarbons via double bonds.

First genetic risk factor for erectile dysfunction identified
For the first time, a team of researchers has found a specific place in the human genome that raises a person's risk of erectile dysfunction.

Controlling chemical reactions near absolute zero
EPFL chemists have demonstrated complete experimental control over a chemical reaction just above absolute zero.

Study shows land-locked Atlantic salmon also use magnetic field to navigate
A new study shows that Atlantic salmon use the Earth's magnetic field as a navigational tool -- much like their cousins, Pacific salmon -- and don't lose that ability through several generations of fish even after they have been transplanted into a land-locked lake.

Artificial intelligence helps reveal how people process abstract thought
As artificial intelligence becomes more sophisticated, much of the public attention has focused on how successfully these technologies can compete against humans at chess and other strategy games.

New study shows promise for targeting breast cancer metastasis
A new study by University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center researchers suggests that targeting a protein known as collagen XIII could be key for suppressing breast cancer metastasis.

High-res data offer most detailed look yet at trawl fishing footprint around the world
A new analysis that uses high-resolution data for 24 ocean regions in Africa, Europe, North and South America and Australasia shows that 14 percent of the overall seafloor shallower than 1,000 meters (3,280 feet) is trawled.

Biosecurity Research Institute studies African swine fever to prevent US outbreak
Kansas State University researchers and the Biosecurity Research Institute have several projects focused on stopping the spread of African swine fever and preventing it from reaching the US.

Root extract of Chinese medicinal plant makes worms to live longer
A root extract of the Fallopia multiflora, or Chinese knotweed, has special properties: it enables the nematode C. elegans to live longer and protects it from oxidative stress.

Newly discovered bacterium rids problematic pair of toxic groundwater contaminants
NJIT researchers have detailed the discovery of the first bacterium known capable of simultaneously degrading the pair of chemical contaminants -- 1,4-Dioxane and 1,1-DCE.

Why single embryo transfer during IVF sometimes results in twins or triplets
Results from the largest study (nearly a million cycles) to investigate the prevalence and causes of multiple pregnancies after single embryo transfer (SET) finds that using frozen thawed embryos for SET, maturing the fertilized egg (blastocyst) in the laboratory for five or six days before SET, and assisted hatching could increase the risk.

Statins vs. nutraceutical (Longevinex¬ģ) for vision threatening cholesterol deposits
Drusen deposits approached the visual center (fovea) of the patient's only functional eye.

New discovery restores insulin cell function in type 2 diabetes
By blocking a protein, VDAC1, in the insulin-producing beta cells, it is possible to restore their normal function in case of type 2 diabetes.

Work environment challenges nurses trying to adopt healthy behaviors
Research among nurses reports fewer than 10 percent meet physical activity guidelines and eat a healthy diet.

Potential assay artefacts in anti-malarial screening documented
A research group led by Assistant Professor Rajesh Chandramohanadas from the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) documented the permissible limits of a number of chemicals that are often part of anti-malarial efficacy tests.

US researchers explore variations in employment outcomes for people with disabilities
'Employment outcomes were most strongly related to the economic conditions and physical environment; the policy environment was less of an influence,' noted John O'Neill, Ph.D., director of disability and employment research at Kessler Foundation.

Researchers demonstrate first example of a bioelectronic medicine
Northwestern University and Washington University School of Medicine researchers have developed the first example of a bioelectronic medicine: an implantable, biodegradable wireless device that speeds nerve regeneration and improves healing of a damaged nerve.

Mayo clinic researchers question benefits of long term oxygen therapy in COPD
Long-term oxygen therapy does not decrease the risk for hospitalizations or increase life expectancy for many patients with mild to moderate COPD, but may lower their quality of life, according to Mayo Clinic researchers published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.

UTEP study finds link between childhood adversity, burnout and depression
The results of the study at the University Texas at El Paso titled, 'The Relationship of Childhood Adversity on Burnout and Depression Among BSN Students', were published in the Sept.

Guided by CRISPR, prenatal gene editing used in treating congenital disease before birth
For the first time, scientists have performed prenatal gene editing to prevent a lethal metabolic disorder in laboratory animals, offering the potential to treat human congenital diseases before birth.

Dryer, less predictable environment may have spurred human evolution
Evidence of a variable but progressively drying climate coincides with a major shift in stone-tool-making abilities and the appearance of modern Homo sapiens.

Time-traveling illusion tricks the brain
Caltech researchers show how sound can retroactively induce an optical illusion.

A new method to pinpoint genetic differences between species could benefit human health
There are mouse species with stark differences in longevity, immunity and susceptibility to cancer.

New knowledge about retrovirus-host coevolution
Retroviruses have colonized vertebrate hosts for millions of years by inserting their genes into host genomes, enabling their inheritance through generations as endogenous retroviruses (ERVs).

Genes responsible for difference in flower color of snapdragons identified
Snapdragons are tall plants, and flower in a range of colors.

Code of ethics doesn't influence decisions of software developers
The world's largest computing society, ACM, updated its code of ethics in July 2018 -- but new research shows that the code of ethics does not appear to affect the decisions made by software developers.

Long-acting injectable implant shows promise for HIV treatment and prevention
A long-acting antiretroviral drug formulation, developed by UNC School of Medicine researchers, shows promise for HIV treatment and prevention in a study published in Nature Communications.

Supercharged natural killer cells may hold promise for cancer
A type of 'supercharged' immune cell could be mass-produced to help fight cancer.

Immunotherapy effective against hereditary melanoma
Individuals with an inherited form of skin cancer often have a poor prognosis.

Genetic risk factor for erectile dysfunction identified
In a new study that ultimately analyzed the genomes of nearly a quarter of a million men, a research team including UC San Francisco scientists has discovered that variants at a single site on Chromosome 6 are associated with a significantly higher risk of developing erectile dysfunction (ED).

You can improve your spatial skills with training
Do you marvel at your friend's ability to assemble complex IKEA furniture and navigate a new city, or do you all-around groan at your own lack of spatial skills?

Lessons from Dutch geological history might be useful for other present-day deltas
Even long before medieval inhabitants reclaimed land and raised dykes at a large scale, humans have had a strong impact on river behavior in the Dutch delta plain.

Shaking up how nursing homes and their clinicians are paid to care for sick residents
Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University Center for Aging Research investigators are testing whether providing nursing homes and the doctors and nurse practitioners who care for their residents with increased Medicare payments can further reduce avoidable hospitalizations beyond 33 percent improvement the investigators achieved without financial incentives.

Columbia engineers build smallest integrated Kerr frequency comb generator
Optical frequency combs can enable ultrafast processes in physics, biology, and chemistry, as well as improve communication and navigation, medical testing, and security.

Statins show little promise for conditions other than heart disease
Medicines commonly prescribed to reduce people's risk of heart attack may have limited use for treating other diseases, research suggests.

Increase in plastics waste reaching remote South Atlantic islands
The amount of plastic washing up onto the shores of remote South Atlantic islands is 10 times greater than it was a decade ago, according to new research published today (8 October) in the journal Current Biology.

More exercise may not help all cancer patients to the same extent
A new article in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute finds that some cancer patients appear to benefit more from exercise than others.

When yesterday's agriculture feeds today's water pollution
Water quality is threatened by a long history of fertilizer use on land, Canadian scientists find.

Salt: Mover and shaker in ancient Maya society
Salt is essential for life. As ancient civilizations evolved from hunters and gatherers to agrarian societies, it has not been clear how people acquired this mineral that is a biological necessity.

The cosmological lithium problem
This problem is one of the still unresolved questions of the current standard description of the Big Bang.

Hyperspectral imaging helps conservation of outdoor bronze statue by Auguste Rodin
Outdoor bronze statues suffer from corrosion by the urban atmosphere.

Easter Island inhabitants collected freshwater from the ocean's edge in order to survive
Ancient inhabitants of Rapa Nui (Easter Island) maintained a society of thousands by utilizing coastal groundwater discharge as their main source of 'freshwater,' according to new research from a team of archaeologists including faculty at Binghamton University, State University at New York.

A rack for ammonia
Handling, storing, and shipping of ammonia requires costly equipment and special precautions because of its inherent corrosiveness and toxicity.

Approach paves way for new antimicrobial materials
Researchers have successfully incorporated 'photosensitizers' into a range of polymers, giving those materials the ability to render bacteria and viruses inactive using only ambient oxygen and visible-wavelength light.

Risk of attempted suicide among sexual minority adolescents
Adolescents who don't identify as heterosexual appear to have a greater risk of attempted suicide.

Rutgers discovers new delivery system that could help prevent bacterial infections
Rutgers researchers have discovered a new system to deliver antimicrobial agents -- drugs, antiseptics or pesticides -- that could more effectively treat or prevent bacterial infections.

Big discoveries about tiny particles
Understanding the mechanical properties of nanoparticles are essential to realizing their promise in being used to create exciting new products.

Vaccinating humans to protect mosquitoes from malaria
For decades, scientists have been trying to develop a vaccine that prevents mosquitoes from spreading malaria among humans.

Fingerprint drug screen test works on the living and deceased
A revolutionary drug test can detect amphetamines, cannabis, cocaine and opiates from the sweat of single fingerprint sample in just 10 minutes.

Supercomputer predicts optical properties of complex hybrid materials
Materials scientists at Duke University computationally predicted the electrical and optical properties of semiconductors made from extended organic molecules sandwiched by inorganic structures.

USC scientists create new map of brain region linked to Alzheimer's disease
USC scientists complete exceptionally detailed map of the brain's memory bank, the hippocampus.

Research shows club drug GHB associated with brain and cognitive changes
Scientists have discovered that regular use of the party drug GHB, and especially unconsciousness following GHB use, is associated with brain changes including negative effects on long-term memory, working memory, IQ, and higher levels of stress and anxiety.

Largest ever genetic study of blood pressure
The largest ever genetic analysis of over one million people has identified 535 new genes associated with high blood pressure.

Success is sweet: Researchers unlock the mysteries of the sugarcane genome
For centuries, sugarcane has supplied human societies with alcohol, biofuel, building and weaving materials, and the world's most relied-upon source of sugar.

Study: Sexes differ when it comes to comfort during and after exercise
Study is the first to highlight sex differences in thermal behavior and could one day inform the development of new athletic apparel.

Even when presented with facts, supported by evidence, many choose not to believe them
In an era of fact-checking and 'alternative facts,' many people simply choose not to believe research findings and other established facts, according to a new paper co-authored by a professor at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business.

Newly discovered long noncoding RNA plays critical role in brain growth and signaling
The results suggest that healthy growth and development of brain cells and brain circuits depends not just upon specific proteins but also upon specific long noncoding RNAs.

The chromosome responsible for asparagus gender is characterized
A University of Cordoba research project draws a genetic map of garden asparagus and marks the chromosome determining gender.

For wineries, competition boosts profits from sustainability
An international study of small- to medium-sized wineries and vineyards finds that the more sustainability practices a winery has in place, the better its financial performance -- and the effect is enhanced when a winery perceives significant pressure from competitors.

A step towards biological warfare with insects?
A project by a research agency of the US Department of Defense could easily be misused for developing biological weapons.

Improving paleotemperature reconstruction: Swiss lakes as a model system
For years, scientists have been trying to determine the climate of the past in order to make better predictions about future climate conditions.

DFG presents position paper on synthetic biology
Clear distinction between synthetic biology and underlying methods required / No new potential risks associated with current research work

Scorpion census: Researchers update global record of medically significant scorpions
In a new report, FSU researchers document 104 scorpions spanning dozens of countries, providing a vital update to the global record of medically significant scorpions, or scorpions whose venom could be alternately gravely harmful or medically beneficial to human beings.

Recovering from a heart attack? Hold the antibiotics
An international team of researchers has shown in mice that a healthy gut microbiome is important for recovery after a heart attack.

Racial discrimination linked to higher risk of chronic illness in African-American women
Less-educated African-American women who report experiencing high levels of racial discrimination may face greater risk of developing chronic diseases, says a new study by University of California, Berkeley, researchers.

A tumor cell population responsible for resistance to therapy and tumor relapse
Researchers at the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) uncover a tumor cell population responsible for resistance to therapy and tumor relapse in the most frequent human cancer.

Monitoring the air pollution in China from geostationary satellites is explored
Air pollution is one of the most important environment problem affecting the health and life of human, especially in China. 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