Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 23, 2018
For a lower climate footprint, vegetarian diet beats local
A new study provides a more comprehensive accounting of the greenhouse gas emissions from EU diets.

Changes in snow coverage threatens biodiversity of Arctic nature
Many of the plants inhabiting northern mountains depend on the snow cover lingering until late spring or summer.

New radiation treatment for brain cancer offers better preservation of cognitive function
When it comes to radiation therapy to treat brain cancer, hippocampal-avoidance whole-brain radiotherapy in conjunction with the drug memantine better preserved patients' cognitive function and demonstrated similar cancer control outcomes, compared to traditional whole-brain radiotherapy with memantine.

How to reverse memory loss in old mice
A Columbia study in mice has revealed new details of how a naturally occurring bone hormone reverses memory loss in the aging brain.

Earlier puberty linked to mother's smoking during pregnancy
If the mother smokes during pregnancy, there is a risk of her children going into puberty earlier.

Painkillers during pregnancy can bring forward puberty in girls
The more weeks a women takes pain-reliving medication during pregnancy, the earlier their daughters enter puberty.

Politics interferes with the ability to assess expertise
Learning about someone's political beliefs interferes with a person's ability to assess expertise, as people judge like-minded peers as being more expert in fields completely unrelated to politics, finds a new UCL-led study.

Brain training app helps reduce OCD symptoms, study finds
A 'brain training' app developed at the University of Cambridge could help people who suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) manage their symptoms, which may typically include excessive handwashing and contamination fears.

No assembly required: Self-assembling silicone-based polymers
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology, RIKEN and Tohoku University have developed a silicone polymer chain that can self-assemble into a 3D periodic structure.

Gut microbiota of infants predicts obesity in children
Evaluating the gut microbiota of infants may help identify children who are at risk for becoming overweight or obese, according to results from a recent study published in mBio.

Motion sickness vs. cybersickness: Two different problems or the same condition?
Contrary to previous research, severe motion sickness and cybersickness -- a type of motion sickness that stems from exposure to virtual reality -- may be considered the same clinical condition, according to researchers.

SPIE journal publishes first known English translation of 1918 Schottky paper
SPIE Journal of Micro/Nanolithography, MEMS, and MOEMS (JM3) today publishes an open-access English translation of Walter H.

Bad boss? You may be making things better -- or worse!
Bosses who are disagreeable, dishonest and careless can mean bad outcomes for companies and teams.

Family acceptance of LGBT identity linked to reduced stress
Ohio University Associate Professor of Psychology Dr. Peggy Zoccola has determined that those who identify as LGBT and have come out to their family carry less stress hormones than those who have not come out, which may ultimately benefit their health.

Football players' concussions linked to dyslexia gene
A gene associated with dyslexia, a learning disorder, may make some athletes less susceptible to concussions, reports a new study.

Wildlife on the highway to hell: Roadkill in the largest wetland, Pantanal region, Brazil
Having systematically monitored wild animals killed on the Brazilian federal highway BR-262, which passes through the Pantanal region - the world's largest wetland, a research team from the Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil, published their data concerning birds and reptiles in the open access journal Check List.

ASU team unravels key mysteries of spider silk
Scientists at ASU are celebrating their recent success on the path to understanding what makes the fiber that spiders spin -- weight for weight -- at least five times as strong as steel.

New laser advances
Lasers are poised to take another step forward: Researchers at Case Western Reserve University, in collaboration with partners around the world, have been able to control the direction of a laser's output beam by applying external voltage.

Schadenfreude sheds light on darker side of humanity
Psychologists propose a novel framework to systematically explain schadenfreude, a common, yet poorly understood, emotion.

Flavored capsule cigarettes pose a threat to smokefree goals
New research from ASPIRE2025, a University of Otago research theme, challenges tobacco companies' claims they are working towards a smokefree world and suggests young people are vulnerable to tobacco companies' product innovations.

Covert tactics used by bacteria to trick human immune system
Comparing two strains of Salmonella -- one that causes disease in humans and the other in reptiles -- researchers discovered a covert way that the human-affecting bacteria essentially tricks the immune system into not attacking.

Ultra-close stars discovered inside a planetary nebula
An international team of astronomers have discovered two stars in a binary pair that complete an orbit around each other in a little over three hours, residing in the planetary nebula M3-1.

Optimizing winglets for minimum drag, more efficient flight
Although, winglets have been around since the mid-1970s, there is still a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and angles.

Chimpanzees sniff out strangers and family members
Primates, including humans, are usually thought of as visual animals with reduced reliance on the sense of smell.

Bringing Americans together on the issue of affordable housing
A lack of affordable housing is linked with many health problems, including asthma, stress and alcoholism.

Genomic analysis helps in discovery of unusual new bird species from Indonesia
A joint research team from the National University of Singapore and Indonesian Institute of Science has described an unusual new songbird species.

Study sheds light on differences between male and female fat tissue, and health
New research from York University on fat tissue is providing an important clue as to how females stay healthier than males, even as their body fat increases.

Collaboration yields possible treatment for rare neurodegenerative disorder
Read how a discovery in bacteria in the 1980s led to a promising new class of compounds for treatment of PKAN, a progressive neurodegenerative disease.

Reading between the lines: Are we as savvy as we'd like to think when it comes to reviews?
New research suggests we are willing to blindly trust hotel reviews when they conform to our preconceived ideas.

Philosophy of mind: In touch with reality?
When faced with ambiguous information we apparently trust our fingertips more than our eyes.

Motley crews of bacteria cleanse water at huge oceanic Georgia Aquarium exhibit
Good bacteria cleaning water in Georgia Aquarium's huge oceanic exhibit delivered a nice surprise to researchers.

New technology encodes and processes video orders of magnitude faster than current methods
Computer scientists at the University of California San Diego have developed a new technology that can encode, transform and edit video faster--several orders of magnitude faster--than the current state of the art.

The good book: Bible helps researchers perfect translation algorithms
Thirty-four versions of the Bible and two machine learning tools are used to develop a system that can automatically convert written works into different styles for different audiences.

Memory-steel -- A new material for the strengthening of buildings
A new building material developed at Empa is about to be launched on the market: 'memory-steel' can not only be used to reinforce new, but also existing concrete structures.

Professional, not personal, familiarity works for virtual teams
Researchers surveyed 363 people, from 68 teams, asking them about their colleagues' professional and personal lives.

CU researchers: Home care for knee replacement patients aids in recovery
A team of physical therapy researchers from the University of Colorado School of Medicine have conducted one of the first full-scale studies to assess the effectiveness of in-home physical therapy care for patients who have had knee replacement surgery.

Study analyzes complex causes of premature and low-birthweight babies in India
Women in India who spend more time fetching water, use a shared latrine, and endure harassment from others are more apt to give birth to a pre-term or low-birthweight baby, according to a new study from the University of Iowa.

Avoiding the hippocampus during whole-brain radiotherapy prevents cognitive side effects
Whole-brain radiotherapy can be delivered more safely to patients with brain metastases by avoiding the hippocampus according to a randomized phase III NRG Oncology trial presented at the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Annual Meeting

Rewilding landscapes can help to solve more than one problem
Urbanisation, biodiversity loss, climate change: just some of the worldwide problems 'rewilding' -- i.e. restoring food chains by returning 'missing' species to the landscape -- can help tackle.

Tortoise evolution: How did they become so big?
The evolution of giant tortoise might not be linked to islands, as had been previously thought.

Study provides new insight into why galaxies stop forming stars
Galaxy clusters are rare regions of the universe consisting of hundreds of galaxies containing trillions of stars.

Noble metal-free catalyst system as active as platinum
The industry has been traditionally deploying platinum alloys as catalysts for oxygen reduction, which is for example essential in fuel cells or metal-air batteries.

New study scrutinizes time and effort it takes to vote in each state
In a new study, a Cost of Voting Index was developed and used to rank each state according to the time and effort it took to vote in each presidential election year from 1996 through 2016.

Actin cytoskeleton remodeling protects tumor cells against immune attack
Cancer cells have evolved multiple escape strategies to circumvent the body's immune defenses such as the attack by Natural Killer (NK) cells which normally swiftly kill abnormal cells by releasing cytotoxic products.

New kind of compound shows early promise against prostate cancer
A new type of molecule blocks the action of genes that drive the growth of therapy-resistant prostate cancer.

Neurons reliably respond to straight lines
Single neurons in the brain's primary visual cortex can reliably detect straight lines, even though the cellular makeup of the neurons is constantly changing, according to a new study by Carnegie Mellon University neuroscientists, led by Associate Professor of Biological Sciences Sandra Kuhlman.

Satellite shows post-Tropical Depression Vicente inland
Tropical Storm Vicente made landfall and weakened quickly to a tropical depression on Oct.

Invasive species in an ecosystem harm native organisms but aid other invasive species
The presence of an invasive species in an ecosystem makes native organisms more susceptible to pollutants and may encourage the spread of additional invasive species, according to new research from Binghamton University, State University at New York.

Inexpensive chip-based device may transform spectrometry
An advance by MIT researchers could make it possible to produce tiny spectrometers that are just as accurate and powerful as their benchtop counterparts but could be mass produced using standard chip-making processes.

HPV blood test shows promise for tracking head and neck cancer after treatment
Researchers will present preliminary findings at the 60th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology in San Antonio on Tuesday, Oct.

Researchers connect the current mix of soil bacteria to climate conditions from 50 years ago
Scientists expect climate change influences the geographical distribution of microbes in the soil, but few studies have dug deeply into that relationship.

'Himalayan gold' on the brink
Stanford researchers show how warmer winters and booming demand for one of the world's most expensive medicinal species may hurt ecosystems and communities in the Himalayas.

Research brief: Predicting how native plants return to abandoned farm fields
Tracking how seeds move--or disperse--can be difficult because of a seed's small size.

Scientists capture images of antibodies working together against malaria
Scientists investigating how the human immune system defends against malaria have uncovered a rare phenomenon: antibodies working together to bind to a vulnerable spot on the parasite.

USPSTF recommendation statement on screening for intimate partner violence, elder abuse, and abuse of vulnerable adults
The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends clinicians screen women of reproductive age for intimate partner violence and then connect women who screen positive to ongoing support services.

New study finds harmful pesticides lurking in NYS homes
Despite the existence of chemical-free methods to eradicate pests, Americans use more than a billion pounds of pesticides per year.

Measuring immigrant integration
Researchers at the Immigration Policy Lab at Stanford University and ETH Zurich developed a new pragmatic survey tool to measure immigrant integration.

Wine's origin might affect acceptable price more than taste study shows
Taste might have less to do with what consumers are willing to pay for wine than you think.

Climate change and African trypanosomiasis vector populations in Zimbabwe's Zambezi Valley
LSTM's Dr Jennifer Lord is first author on a paper looking at the impact of climate change on the vectors of sleeping sickness in Africa.

The role of the Atg2 protein in tethering pre-autophagosomal membranes to the endoplasmic reticulum
Postdoctoral Researcher Tetsuya Kotani, Associate Professor Hitoshi Nakatogawa, Honorary Professor Yoshinori Ohsumi and colleagues at Tokyo Tech have analyzed the Atg protein Atg2, whose function had been completely unknown, and have discovered that Atg2 tethers the pre-autophagosomal membrane to the endoplasmic reticulum during autophagosome formation.

To see what's right in front of you, your brain may need some rewiring
As you encounter new experiences and form new memories, your brain changes.

The composition of gut bacteria almost recovers after antibiotics
The use of antibiotics has long been linked to deprivation of gut bacteria.

What are the determinants associated with fasting hyperglucagonemia in type 2 diabetes?
A new study examined the relationship between fasting hyperglucagonemia -- which can negatively affect glucose metabolism in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) -- and several biochemical and glycemic factors in subjects with T2D or in a nondiabetic control group.

Marker found for condition that causes numerous tumors
UT Southwestern researchers have made a major advance in uncovering the biology of how thousands of disfiguring skin tumors occur in patients troubled by a genetic disorder called neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1).

Black men have higher rates of recidivism despite lower risk factors
A new study that estimated the effects of risk factors for black and white men and women found that black men were reincarcerated more often and more quickly than all others, despite having lower risk scores on nearly all of the variables on a standardized tool that assesses risk.

SBRT considered safe treatment option for patients with multiple (2-4) metastases
The NRG Oncology clinical trial BR001 tested the hypothesis that stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) could be used safely in oligometastatic patients with multiple metastases.

Closing the gender gap in competitiveness with a psychological trick
The degree of willingness among men and women to assert themselves in competition can be balanced out.

Deformation of nanotubes to control conductivity
Scientists from the NUST MISIS Laboratory of Inorganic Nanomaterials together with their international colleagues have proved it possible to change the structural and conductive properties of nanotubes by stretching them.

Mussel-inspired defect engineering enhances the mechanical strength of graphene fibers
Researchers demonstrated the mussel-inspired reinforcement of graphene fibers for the improvement of different material properties.

Institutional investors boost a company's social performance, a new study finds
Since institutional investors own the bulk of the world's equity capital, it is important to understand how they affect the behavior of the companies they invest in.

Racial differences in colorectal cancer incidence not due to biology
A systematic review and meta-analysis from the Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University School of Medicine has found that, in spite of the higher incidence and death rate of colorectal cancer in blacks, no difference exists in the overall prevalence of advanced, precancerous polyps between average-risk blacks and whites who underwent a screening colonoscopy.

Do mussels reveal the fate of the oceans?
Prior research has suggested that mussels are a robust indicator of plastic debris and particles in marine environments.

Medical crowdfunding for treatments unsupported by evidence or potentially unsafe
Medical crowdfunding is using social media to appeal for help in paying for medical care.

Nerve-on-a-chip platform makes neuroprosthetics more effective
EPFL scientists have developed a miniaturized electronic platform for the stimulation and recording of peripheral nerve fibers on a chip.

First study of its kind identifies differences in pediatric mortality after MVCs
The first study to map the incidence of motor vehicle collisions resulting in deaths of children at the local level may shed light on the need for, and current state of access to, trauma centers for injured children.

How to mass produce cell-sized robots
MIT researchers have discovered a way to mass produce tiny, cell-sized robots that could be used for industrial or biomedical monitoring.

Breakthrough test screens for all known bacterial infections
Scientists at the Center for Infection and Immunity (CII) in the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health have developed the first diagnostic platform that can simultaneously screen for all known human pathogenic bacteria as well as markers for virulence and antibiotic resistance.

Biomarker blood test confirms remission in patients with HPV+ oral cancer
A highly sensitive blood test that detects minute traces of cancer-specific DNA has been shown to accurately determine whether patients with HPV-related oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC) are free from cancer following radiation therapy.

Honey, I shrunk the cell culture
A new 'shrink ray' can change the size and shape of a block of gel-like material while human or bacterial cells grow on it.

New combination treatment flips the switch on melanoma cells
Navitoclax plus A-1210477 not only killed melanoma cells, but also killed the melanoma initiating cells (aka cancer stem cells) that often resist therapy.

Study examines long-term rate of mesh sling removal, reoperation
Treatment for women with stress urinary incontinence (SUI) can include inserting a mesh sling to support the urethra.

Climate change, rising sea levels a threat to farmers in Bangladesh
Rising sea levels driven by climate change make for salty soil, and that is likely to force about 200,000 coastal farmers in Bangladesh inland as glaciers melt into the world's oceans, according to estimates from a new study.

Biodiversity for the birds
Can't a bird get some biodiversity around here? The landscaping choices homeowners make can lead to reduced bird populations, thanks to the elimination of native plants and the accidental creation of food deserts.

How to help protect yourself from vaccine administration injury
A study by researchers at the University of Waterloo reiterates the need for health care professionals, including pharmacists, to take certain precautions to minimize the risk of their patients suffering shoulder injury related to vaccine administration (SIRVA).

Ferroelectricity -- an 80-year-old mystery solved
Only now in 2018 have researchers successfully demonstrated that hypothetical 'particles' that were proposed by Franz Preisach in 1935 actually exist.

Bonobo: great ape with a tiny voice
Although bonobos and chimpanzees are similar in size, bonobo calls sound an octave higher than chimpanzee calls.

Kidneys aren't harmed when significantly lowering blood pressure
Using a novel biomarker panel to track and measure kidney function, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and University of California San Francisco School of Medicine report that lowering systolic blood pressure to less than 120 mm Hg does not damage the kidney organ itself.

Study explores infant body position and learning
A developmental psychologist at UC Riverside, has completed a study that is the first to measure how often infants spend time in different body positions over the first year of life.

Vaccine shows promise against widespread chicken disease
A new vaccine strategy could offer protection to millions of chickens threatened by a serious respiratory disease, research shows.

NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite catches Typhoon Yutu strengthening, Guam on alert
Tropical Storm Yutu continued strengthening as NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed overhead.

Computers use social media data to predict crime
Researchers used location and activity data from users of the Foursquare app in New York City and Brisbane, coupled it with recommendation algorithms, and predicted specific crimes more accurately than ever before.

OU sociologist examines attitudes toward LGT individuals in new study
A University of Oklahoma sociologist, Meredith G. F. Worthen, examines how measures of social contact and social distancing relate to attitudes toward lesbian, gay and transgender individuals in a new study.

Where deep learning meets metamaterials
A new Tel Aviv University study uses 'deep-learning' computer networks inspired by the layered and hierarchical architecture of the human brain to design basic nanophotonic, metamaterial elements for energy harvesting and medical diagnostics.

Biomarkers can predict whether women with endometriosis will respond to the first-line treatment
Biomarkers can predict whether women will respond to the first-line treatment for endometriosis, an extremely painful condition in which the tissue usually found inside the uterus grows in places it shouldn't, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Cacao analysis dates the dawn of domesticated chocolate trees to 3,600 years ago
Researchers analyzing the genomes of cultivated cacao trees have traced their origin to a 'single domestication event' some 3,600 years ago.

Heated tobacco product claims by tobacco industry scrutinized by UCSF researchers
Claims by the tobacco industry that heated tobacco products (HTPs) are safer than conventional cigarettes are not supported by the industry's own data and are likely to be misunderstood by consumers, according to research published in a special issue of Tobacco Control.

Mutation in common protein triggers tangles, chaos inside brain cells
A pioneer in the study of neural cells revealed today how a single mutation affecting the most common protein in a supporting brain cell produces devastating, fibrous globs.

Does putting the brakes on outrage bottle up social change?
While outrage is often generally considered a hurdle in the path to civil discourse, a team of psychologists suggest outrage -- specifically, moral outrage -- may have beneficial outcomes, such as inspiring people to take part in long-term collective action.

Houston Methodist scientists create device to deliver immunotherapy without side effects
Houston Methodist scientists have developed a nanodevice to deliver immunotherapy without side effects to treat triple-negative breast cancer.

Yes, your pet can tell time
A new study from Northwestern University has found some of the clearest evidence yet that animals can judge time.

Birds startled by moving sticks
Do animals -- like humans -- divide the world into things that move and things that don't?

Genetic flaw causes problems for many with hypothyroidism
Nearly 120 million prescriptions for a thyroid medicine called levothyroxine are filled each year, but many patients with hypothyroidism never get the benefit.

The smell of lavender is relaxing, science confirms
A new review reveals how lavender mellows us out -- and why some day psychiatrists and surgeons might be prescribing patients a whiff of the purple stuff.

Study confirms association between breastfeeding and lower risk of maternal hypertension
A new systematic review of the literature not only confirmed that breastfeeding for as short as 1-4 months can have a protective affect against high blood pressure in women, but that lactation also can protect women across an extended follow-up of years to decades.

'Mushrooms' and 'brushes' help cancer-fighting nanoparticles survive in the body
For a number of innovative and life-saving medical treatments, from organ replacements and skin grafts to cancer therapy and surgery, success often depends on slipping past or fending off the body's immune system.

Strong Indian monsoons steer Atlantic hurricanes towards land, study finds
Strong monsoons in the Indian Ocean can induce easterly winds that push Atlantic Ocean hurricanes westward, increasing the likelihood they'll make landfall in the Americas, according to new research.

A molecular sensor for in-situ analysis of complex biological fluids
A KAIST research group presented a molecular sensor with a microbead format for the rapid in-situ detection of harmful molecules in biological fluids or foods.

Managing high blood pressure in diabetics may prevent life-threatening organ damage
For diabetics, managing high blood pressure may help to prevent life-threatening organ damage according to a Rutgers study.

Astronomers spot signs of supermassive black hole mergers
New research, published today in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, has found evidence for a large number of double supermassive black holes, likely precursors of gigantic black hole merging events.

Sockeye carcasses tossed on shore over two decades spur tree growth
In a 20-year study, researchers have found that nearly 600,000 pounds of sockeye salmon carcasses tossed to the left side of a small, remote stream in southwest Alaska, helped trees on that side of the stream grow faster than their counterparts on the other side.

NASA eyes powerful Hurricane Willa affecting western Mexico
NASA's Aqua satellite provided an infrared view of Hurricane Willa as it continued moving toward landfall in western Mexico on Oct.

Nitrogen study casts doubt on ability of plants to continue absorbing same amounts of CO2
A new study casts doubt as to whether plants will continue to absorb as much carbon dioxide in the future as they have in the past due to declining availability of nitrogen in certain parts of the world.

Research supports the ump, distance to a close play is critical in making the right call
New research from Arizona State University is showing that when it comes to the bang-bang plays in baseball viewing distance from the play is critical for judging what actually happened.

Irish Famine victims' heavy smoking led to dental decay, new research reveals
Irish Famine victims were heavy smokers which caused badly rotten teeth, researchers from the University of Otago and Queen's University Belfast, in Ireland, have discovered. 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