Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 10, 2018
Organs-on-chip technology reveals new drug candidates for Lou Gehrig's disease
The investigation of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) -- also known as Lou Gehrig's disease -- through muscle-on-a-chip technology has revealed a new drug combination that may serve as an effective treatment of the progressive neurodegenerative disease.

Cancer patients with rare deadly brain infection treated successfully with off-the-shelf adoptive T-cell therapy
An emerging treatment known as adoptive T-cell therapy has proven effective in a Phase II clinical trial for treating progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), a rare and often fatal brain infection sometimes observed in patients with cancer and other diseases in which the immune system is compromised.

NIH study finds probiotic bacillus eliminates staphylococcus bacteria
A new study from NIH scientists and their Thai colleagues shows that a 'good' bacterium commonly found in probiotic digestive supplements helps eliminate Staphylococcus aureus, a type of bacteria that can cause serious antibiotic-resistant infections.

Cells in 'little brain' have distinctive metabolic needs
'Knocking out' an enzyme that regulates the flow of fuel into mitochondria specifically blocks the development of the mouse cerebellum more than the rest of the brain.

Mayo Clinic researchers identify gene types driving racial disparities in myeloma
Researchers at Mayo Clinic have identified three specific gene types that account for a known two-to-three-fold increase in myeloma diagnoses among African-Americans.

UK Biobank genetics of brain structure and description of largest human genetic study
Two papers in Nature, one describing UK Biobank genetics and other using it.

Measurement-device-independent quantum communication without encryption
Quantum secure direct communication transmits secret information directly without encryption.

The fine print
University of Utah biomedical engineering assistant professor Robby Bowles and his team have developed a method to 3D print cells to produce human tissue such as ligaments and tendons to greatly improve a patient's recovery.

The making of soldier ants
Scientists at McGill have found the answer to a question that perplexed Charles Darwin.

Blue roses could be coming soon to a garden near you
For centuries, gardeners have attempted to breed blue roses with no success.

Disruption makes startup investors balance caution against fear of missing out
A new study by researchers from the University of California, Riverside, and the Rotterdam School of Management finds that fear of missing out motivates investors to give money early to startups with a disruptive vision.

PIEZO2, a molecular target for treating clinical pain
The researchers think topical application of PIEZO2 blockers could be beneficial for patients suffering from neuropathic pain.

UK Alabama rot risk may be linked to certain types of dog breed and habitat
The risk of contracting renal glomerular vasculopathy (CRGV), popularly known as Alabama rot, may be higher in certain types of dog breed and land habitat, indicate two linked studies published in this week's Vet Record.

RUDN mathematicians confirmed the possibility of data transfer via gravitational waves
RUDN mathematicians analyzed the properties of gravitational waves in a generalized affine- metrical space (an algebraic construction operating the notions of a vector and a point) similarly to the properties of electromagnetic waves in Minkowski space-time.

Brain circuits for successful emotional development established during infancy
Researchers in the UNC Early Brain Development Study tracking the development of the brain's emotion circuitry in infancy found that adult-like functional brain connections for emotional regulation emerge during the first year of life.

Genetics allows personalized disease predictions for chronic blood cancers
Scientists have developed a successful method to make truly personalised predictions of future disease outcomes for patients with certain types of chronic blood cancers.

Evolutionary 'arms race' -- how dolphins and whales fight disease threats
A groundbreaking study reveals how dolphins, whales and other cetaceans compete for survival in an evolutionary 'arms race' with changing pathogenic threats like mercury and brevotoxin (e.g.

Wired for life: Study links infants' brain circuitry to future health
Growth rates of brain circuits in infancy may help experts predict what a child's intelligence and emotional health could be when the child turns four, a new study has found.

How to make fish shine
Scientists from the University of Bath have helped to figure out why shoals of fish flash silver as they twist through the water by studying how the shiny silver cells are created in zebrafish.

Boxing up ag field nitrogen
Scientists develop edge-of-field practices so growers can keep the early planting offered by the tile drains while protecting nearby streams-and the Gulf of Mexico-from nitrate contamination.

Lung cancer deaths are 28 percent lower in California
Early adoption of tobacco control efforts in California lead to fewer people ever smoking, reduced the amount used by those who do smoke and helped smokers quit at a younger age -- when their risk of developing lung cancer is lowest.

Scientists get in touch with the biology underlying pain
Scientists now have a better understanding of why sensory neurons sometimes register light touches as painful (a common and debilitating condition called mechanical allodynia) following injury in mice and humans, thanks to the results of two studies.

Pneumonia-causing bacteria can be spread by nose picking and rubbing
Pneumonia-causing bacteria can be spread through picking and rubbing the nose, according to new research published in the European Respiratory Journal.

Tracking a killer
A major cause of human disability and death throughout the world, sepsis is a condition that begins with an infection, progresses rapidly and can set off a chain of effects that result in multiple organ failure and irreparable damage to the body.

New approach could jumpstart breathing after spinal cord injury
A research team at the Krembil Research Institute in Toronto has developed an innovative strategy that could help to restore breathing following traumatic spinal cord injury.

The pentagon and the bean
Researchers have revealed the structure of an essential immune protein, creating future possibilities to develop more effective medicines for a range of illnesses from cancer to neurological diseases.

Volcano researcher learns how Earth builds supereruption-feeding magma systems
After studying layers of pumice, measuring the amount of crystals in the samples and using thermodynamic models, the team determined that magma moved closer to the surface with each successive eruption.

Nutrients may reduce blood glucose levels
One amino acid, alanine, may produce a short-term lowering of glucose levels by altering energy metabolism in the cell.

Satellite sees Tropical Cyclone Luban nearing Oman
Tropical Cyclone Luban continued to move through the Arabian Sea toward the coast of Oman when the NOAA-20 satellite provided a visible image of the storm.

DGIST, identifying an initial growth process of calcium phosphate
Korean researchers identified the initial growth process of calcium phosphate, a key component of bones, using 'TOP-MEIS (Time-of-Flight Medium Energy Ion Scattering)'.

Increased survival in patients with metastatic NSCLC receiving treatment in academic centers
Patients with metastatic NSCLC receiving treatment at academic centers (ACs) have an increased 2-year survival compared to patients treated at community-based centers (CCs).

Killer cell immunotherapy offers potential cure for advanced pancreatic cancer
A new approach to treating pancreatic cancer using 'educated killer cells' has shown promise, according to early research by Queen Mary University of London.

Near-infrared spectroscopy could improve flu vaccine manufacturing
Recent research outlines how near-infrared spectroscopy could be used to make cell-culture-based flu vaccine manufacturing faster and more efficient.

Infants capable of complex babble may grow into stronger readers
Infants' early speech production may predict their later literacy, according to a study published Oct.

Novel machine learning based framework could lead to breakthroughs in material design
''This novel framework not only uses the machine learning in a unique fashion for the first time,'' Deshmukh said, ''but it also dramatically accelerates the development of accurate computational models of materials.''

Galactic archaeology
An international team of researchers, including David S. Aguado, Jonay González and Carlos Allende Prieto of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), has found a star with extremely low metallicyt, one of the oldest in the Milky Way, and for that reason an excellent messenger from the early universe.

Shrimp talent quest finds a winner
Shrimp help keep fish clean -- and scientists have identified the 'cleaner shrimp' with the most talent for reducing parasites and chemical use in farmed fish.

Simple fabrication of full-color perovskite LEDs
An international team of researchers, affiliated with South Korea's Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) introduced a simple technique to fabricate full-color perovskite LEDs.

Ability to recover after 'maximum effort' is crucial to make football's top flight
Footballers' ability to recover after high-intensity effort may not depend on their age, but on their division level, a new study has suggested.

Path to deadly sepsis varies by bacterial infection
Sepsis remains a common and deadly condition that occurs when the body reacts to an infection in the bloodstream.

Advances in deep learning for drug discovery and biomarker development published in top journal
Insilico Medicine, one of the industry leaders bridging deep learning for biology, chemistry and digital medicine, announced the publication of a special issue dedicated to 'Deep Learing for Drug Discovery and Biomarker Development' in one of the top industry journals celebrating its 15th anniversary published by the American Chemical Society, Molecular Pharmaceutics.

City of Koh Ker was occupied for centuries longer than previously thought
The classic account of the ancient city of Koh Ker is one of a briefly-occupied and abruptly-abandoned region, but in reality, the area may have been occupied for several centuries beyond what is traditionally acknowledged, according to a study published Oct.

Aussie telescope almost doubles known number of mysterious 'fast radio bursts'
Australian astronomers have nearly doubled the known number of 'fast radio bursts'-- powerful flashes of radio waves from deep space.

Understanding water's role in antibiotic resistance emergence and dissemination in Africa
Greater access to antibiotic drugs, together with their misuse and overuse, has accelerated the emergence of antibiotic resistant bacteria worldwide.

MU, MIT researchers show effectiveness of new noninvasive blood glucose test
For those living with diabetes, monitoring blood glucose accurately is necessary to prevent diabetes-related complications.

UCI researchers discover molecular mechanisms of ancient herbal remedies
Researchers in the Department of Physiology & Biophysics at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine have discovered the molecular basis for a therapeutic action of an ancient herbal medicine used across Africa to treat various illnesses, including epilepsy.

Humans may have colonized Madagascar later than previously thought
New archaeological evidence from southwest Madagascar reveals that modern humans colonized the island thousands of years later than previously thought, according to a study published Oct.

Heusler, weyl and berry
Scientists at the Max Planck Institute Chemical Physics of Solids have written a review paper about magnetic topological materials in the family of Heusler compounds.

THC amounts identical in most cannabis strains, UBC study finds
Newly published research from UBC's Okanagan campus has determined that many strains of cannabis have virtually identical levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), despite their unique street names.

New study helps explain recent scarcity of Bay nettles
A new, long-term study of how environmental conditions affect the abundance and distribution of jellyfish in the nation's largest estuary helps explain the widely reported scarcity of sea nettles within Chesapeake Bay during the past few months and raises concerns about how a long-term continuation of this trend might harm Bay fisheries as climate continues to warm.

Fluoride levels in pregnant women in Canada show drinking water is primary source of exposure
new study led by York University researchers has found that fluoride levels in urine are twice as high for pregnant women living in Canadian cities where fluoride is added to public drinking water as for those living in cities that do not add fluoride to public water supplies.

Newly described fossils could help reveal why some dinos got so big
A new, in-depth anatomical description of the best preserved specimens of a car-sized sauropod relative from North America could help paleontologists with unraveling the mystery of why some dinosaurs got so big.

Polar jet circulation changes bring Sahara dust to Arctic, increasing temperatures, melting ice
A new atmospheric mechanism by which dust travels from the Sahara Desert across the eastern side of the North Atlantic Ocean towards the Arctic has been discovered.

NASA analyzes category 4 Hurricane Michael approaching landfall
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite examined Hurricane Michael after it reached Category 4 status and neared the Florida Panhandle on Oct.

Research on light-matter interaction could improve electronic and optoelectronic devices
A paper published in Nature Communications by Sufei Shi, assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering at Rensselaer, increases our understanding of how light interacts with atomically thin semiconductors and creates unique excitonic complex particles, multiple electrons, and holes strongly bound together.

Do not give decongestants to young children for common cold symptoms, say experts
Decongestants should not be given to children under 6 -- and given with caution in children under 12 -- as there is no evidence that they alleviate symptoms such as a blocked or runny nose, and their safety is unclear, say experts in The BMJ today.

Study to explore how cognitive development shapes attitudes about physical activity
Iowa State University researchers are working to understand how the emotional connection we develop with physical activity as children influences attitudes and behaviors throughout our lifetime.

In black men, baseline screening in midlife strongly predicts aggressive prostate cancer
First study focusing on this population addresses important research gap.

Sit-stand office desks cut daily sitting time and appear to boost job performance
Sit-stand workstations that allow employees to stand, as well as sit, while working on a computer reduce daily sitting time and appear to have a positive impact on job performance and psychological health, finds a trial published by The BMJ today.

New appropriate use criteria for lumbar puncture in Alzheimer's diagnosis
In preparation for more tools that detect and measure the biology associated with Alzheimer's and other dementias earlier and with more accuracy, an Alzheimer's Association-led Workgroup has published appropriate use criteria (AUC) for lumbar puncture (spinal tap) and spinal fluid analysis in the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease.

Klebsiella pneumoniae drug resistance in infants studied in Kazan
In neonates with sepsis testing of K. pneumoniae isolates for ESBL production was positive in 60 percent of cases, in neonates with UTI -- in 40 percent of cases.

Feeding 10 billion people by 2050 within planetary limits may be achievable
The study is the first to quantify how food production and consumption affects the planetary boundaries that describe a safe operating space for humanity beyond which Earth's vital systems could become unstable.

English first: Suicide prevention
When users of Google's search engine submit suicide-related queries, they are repeatedly provided with helpline hotlines on suicide prevention services.

Role of 'natural factors' on recent climate change underestimated, research shows
Pioneering new research has given a new perspective on the crucial role that 'natural factors' play in global warming.

The culprit of superconductivity in cuprates
Researchers have uncovered an underlying mechanism related to the materials dependence in copper-based high-temperature superconductors.

Indigenous fire practice protecting the Gibson Desert's biodiversity
Traditional Indigenous burning practices are protecting plant biodiversity in Australia's Gibson Desert, according to University of Queensland research.

Altruism can be trained
Mental training can effectively cultivate care, compassion and even altruistically motivated behaviour psychologists from Würzburg and Leipzig have shown in a recent study.

Risk of blindness among premature babies with low levels of blood platelets
Premature babies with low levels of platelets (thrombocytes) in their blood run a greatly increased risk of being afflicted with a severe variation of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), an eye disease that can cause blindness, according to a study from Sweden and US published in the journal JCI Insight.

NASA finds Nadine a compact tropical storm
NASA's Aqua satellite provided a visible image of Tropical Storm Nadine in the Eastern Atlantic that revealed it was a compact storm.

Creating custom brains from the ground up
In today's Nature, scientists from Boston Children's Hospital and UC San Francisco describe a new way to create customized mouse models for studying the brain.

Comprehensive report says tobacco control must be highest priority in cancer control
The highest priority in a national cancer control plan must be expansion of tobacco control -- the intervention with the largest potential health benefits -- according to a new American Cancer Society report, the second in a series of articles that together inform priorities for a comprehensive cancer control plan.

Muscular men prefer an unequal society
For men, physical strength and political attitudes are linked. This is not the case for women.

Getting relief from sexual dysfunction and incontinence caused by menopause
Microablative fractional CO2 lasers are energy-based devices designed to help manage troublesome menopause symptoms such as painful sex, dryness, itching/burning, urinary frequency, and incontinence.

Clues to lupus's autoimmune origins in precursor cells
Recent Emory research sheds light on precursor B cells and their role in the development of systemic lupus erythematosus/SLE.

Synapse 'protection' signal found; helps to refine brain circuits
The developing brain is constantly forming new connections, or synapses, while discarding others.

E-cigarettes should be used more actively to help smokers quit, experts recommend
'Ongoing nervousness' about the use of e-cigarettes in stop-smoking services can be a 'significant' barrier to people finding support, research revealed during 'Stoptober' shows.

Larger families reduce cancer risk
Families with many children have a lower risk of cancer.

Chromosomal instability may predict patients that will benefit from colorectal cancer drug
Researchers at RCSI, along with international collaborators within the ANGIOPREDICT research consortium, have discovered that chromosomal instability (where whole human chromosomes or parts of chromosomes are duplicated or deleted) may predict which patients will receive most benefit from a key drug used to treat colorectal cancer (Avastin).

University of Guelph researcher develops 3-in-1 vaccine against traveller's diarrhea
A U of G Prof. has discovered a novel approach to developing a first-ever vaccine for three common pathogens that cause traveller's diarrhea and kill more than 100,000 children living in developing countries each year.

Study identifies gene that makes gentle touch feel painful after injury
In a study of four patients with a rare genetic disorder, NIH researchers found that the PIEZO2 gene may be responsible for tactile allodynia: the skin's reaction to injury that makes normally gentle touches feel painful.

Survey finds significant gaps in doctor-patient conversations
Nearly half (45 percent) of U.S. adults who have a primary care physician (PCP) say they wish they talked with their doctor more about why they want to be healthy, and a majority of younger people (57 percent of those aged 18-44) say they wish their doctor would talk to them about non-medication treatments, according to a new survey released today by Samueli Integrative Health Programs.

Understanding catalysts at the atomic level can provide a cleaner environment
By studying materials down to the atomic level, researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have found a way to make catalysts more efficient and environmentally friendly.

Long-term follow-up of using patients' own fat to correct deformities after breast cancer surgery
One technique to correct disfiguring deformities after breast cancer surgery is autologous fat transfer (AFT or fat grafting), which involves injecting a patient's own fat into a soft tissue deformity.

Bitcoin better than the dollar?
The name itself, cryptocurrency, does not inspire trust. Clusters of bits, considered by many as money of a doubtful nature.

Recognizing the uniqueness of different individuals with schizophrenia
Individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia differ greatly from one another. Researchers from Radboud university medical center, along with colleagues from England and Norway, have demonstrated that very few identical brain differences are shared amongst different patients.

Wild chimpanzees share food with their friends
Why share food with non-family members when there is no immediate gain?

Constitutional uncertainty and political disputes put Green Brexit at risk, research shows
A Green Brexit could be under threat without greater cooperation between devolved nations and the UK government, a study led by the University of Sheffield has found.

Markers of dairy fat consumption linked to lower risk of type two diabetes
Higher levels of biomarkers of dairy fat consumption are associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 two diabetes, according to new research published today in PLOS Medicine.

Eczema drug restores hair growth in patient with longstanding alopecia
Massachusetts General Hospital physicians describe how their 13-year-old patient with alopecia totalis -- a total lack of scalp hair -- along with eczema, experienced significant hair regrowth while being treated with dupilumab.

Investigation exposes 'scandal' that has left thousands of women irreversibly harmed
An investigation by The BMJ reveals how vaginal mesh implant manufacturers 'aggressively hustled' their products into widespread use, how regulators approved them 'on the flimsiest of evidence' and how the medical profession failed to set up registries that might have picked up problems far sooner.

Immigration restrictions for EU citizens could damage UK research and healthcare
An analysis of senior European scientists and doctors working in the UK underlines the high risk of considerable damage to the UK's science output and international research reputation caused by any post-Brexit immigration restrictions, as well as an associated reduction in healthcare quality.

Team gets a closer look at how proteins meet on the cell membrane
At last, the researchers have defined the molecular basis of the cell membrane in integrin activation.

DNA vaccine against Ebola virus shows potent & long-term efficacy in preclinical studies
A novel synthetic DNA vaccine developed based on technology pioneered by scientists at The Wistar Institute Vaccine & Immunotherapy Center offers complete protection from Zaire Ebolavirus (EBOV) infection in promising preclinical research.

Study: Online positive psychology exercises improve quality of life in hemodialysis patients
Patients with depression who used tablet computers to complete brief positive psychology exercises online several times a week scored lower on depressive symptoms and reported that they felt better able to cope with their kidney disease by the end of the five-week pilot study, led by University of Illinois social work professor Rosalba Hernandez.

GeoSEA array records sliding of Mount Etna's southeastern flank
The southeast flank of Mount Etna slowly slides towards the sea.

Hundreds of patients with undiagnosed diseases find answers, study reports
More than 100 patients afflicted by mysterious illnesses have been diagnosed through a network of detective-doctors who investigate unidentified diseases, reports a study conducted by scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine and multiple collaborating institutes.

Study challenges widely held belief that gout is primarily caused by diet
The widely held belief that gout is primarily caused by diet is not backed up by new evidence published in The BMJ today, which suggests that diet is substantially less important than genes in the development of high serum (blood) urate levels, that often precede gout.

Innovative sensing technique could improve greenhouse gas analysis
An international team of researchers has used an unconventional imaging technique known as ghost imaging to make spectroscopic measurements of a gas molecule.

Researchers solve mystery at the center of the Milky Way
Astronomers from Lund University in Sweden have now found the explanation to a recent mystery at the centre of the Milky Way galaxy: the high levels of scandium discovered last spring near the galaxy's giant black hole were in fact an optical illusion.

Versatile molecular system extends the promise of light-activated switches
A newly-developed molecule is easy to make, simple to work with and may potentially be used for the development of targeted medications and high-density memory devices with the volume of a speck of a dust.

Reconstructing the history of mankind with the help of fecal sterols. First test on the Maori
The story of mankind's presence on the planet can be told by studying the sediment and soil accumulation of these chemical compounds in human feces.

Molecular details of protein reveal glimpse into how kidney stones form
Using the 2017 Nobel Prize-winning technique of cryo-electron microscopy to capture a high-resolution image of an ion channel protein, called TRPV5, that removes calcium from urine, researchers have found fresh clues as to how kidney stones form.

Testing new drugs with 'ALS-on-a-chip'
In an advance that could help scientists develop and test new drugs for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), MIT engineers have developed the first 3-D human tissue model of the interface between motor neurons and muscle fibers, known as the neuromuscular junction.

Satellite sees Tropical Cyclone Titli nearing landfall in Northeastern India
Tropical Cyclone Titli formed late on Oct. 9, 2018 and continued to strengthen as it moved through the Northern Indian Ocean toward the Indian continent.

Setting personal goals for dementia care
In a new study, researchers used a tool called 'goal attainment scaling' (GAS) when caring for people with dementia to learn more about these individuals' personalized goals for care.

Worse outcomes for Hispanic infants with critical congenital heart disease
Hispanic infants born with critical types of heart disease had significantly worse one-year outcomes than infants born to white mothers.

Tropical Storm Sergio's rainfall examined by GPM satellite
The Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core satellite provided an analysis of the rate in which rain is falling throughout the Eastern Pacific Ocean's Tropical Storm Sergio.

Home rehabilitation helps people with heart failure achieve better quality of life
A new home-based rehabilitation program could help thousands of heart failure patients to achieve a better quality of life.

Mount Sinai builds modeling systems identifying gene-drug and environment interaction
A team of researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the University of Washington has designed a modeling system that integrates genomic and temporal information to infer causal relationships between genes, drugs, and their environment, allowing for a more accurate prediction of their interactions over time.

Babies of overweight mothers may risk developing self-regulation problems
A mother's weight during early pregnancy may affect how well her baby is able to self-regulate during its first months and years of life.

Being overweight or obese in your 20s will take years off your life, according to a new report
Young adults classified as obese can expect to lose up to 10 years in life expectancy, according to a major new study.

Color-changing contact lens could enhance monitoring of eye disease treatments
For all the good they do, eye drops and ointments have one major drawback: It's hard to tell how much of the medication is actually getting to the eye.

Nail polishes with 'n-free' labels are not necessarily free of toxic compounds
Consumers are growing more knowledgeable about the potential health effects of nail polish, and manufacturers have taken action.

Prescience: Helping doctors predict the future
UW engineers developed a new machine-learning system that can help anesthesiologists predict the likelihood that a patient will experience low blood oxygen levels during surgery.

Higher levels of urinary fluoride associated with ADHD in children
Higher levels of urinary fluoride during pregnancy are associated with more ADHD-like symptoms in school-age children.

Molecular link between body weight, early puberty identified
Becoming overweight at a young age can trigger a molecular chain reaction that leads some girls to experience puberty early, according to new research published in Nature Communications.

A break from the buzz: bees go silent during total solar eclipse
In an unprecedented study of a solar eclipse's influence on bee behavior, researchers at the University of Missouri organized citizen scientists and elementary school classrooms to set up acoustic monitoring stations to listen in on bees' buzzing -- or lack thereof -- as the August 2017 total solar eclipse passed over North America.

Antiepileptic drugs linked to higher risk of stroke in persons with Alzheimer's disease
Antiepileptic drug use is associated with an increased risk of stroke among persons with Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study from the University of Eastern Finland. 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