Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 24, 2018
Data does the heavy lifting: Encouraging new public health approaches to promote the health benefits of muscle-strengthening exercise (MSE)
According to a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, almost 75 percent of US adults do not comply with public health guidelines recommending two or more muscle-strengthening exercise (MSE) sessions a week, with nearly 60 percent of the population doing no MSE at all.

Volcanic ash impact on air travel could be reduced says new research
Manchester-based Volcanologists have developed a method and camera that could help reduce the dangers, health risks and travel impacts of ash plumes during a volcanic eruption.

Chemotherapy drug paclitaxel also acts as an immune response modulator
By finding that the cancer drug also activates a key cellular receptor in the innate immune system, a study at the Center for Research in Inflammatory Diseases (CRID), in Brazil, may lead to new treatment strategies.

First trial of dapivirine ring with both ARV and contraceptive finds no safety concerns
In the first clinical study of a vaginal ring that releases the antiretroviral drug dapivirine as well as a contraceptive hormone, there were no safety concerns and the ring was well-tolerated.

Complex and rapidly changing payment models challenge physician practices, study finds
New payment models are changing how physicians are paid, striving to create stronger incentives for efficient, high-quality medicine.

More rules for the intelligent household
While a mobile phone or PC is traditionally controlled by only one user, many different players come together in a networked household, some of whom even want to control devices simultaneously.

Researchers make mice lose weight by imitating effects from cold and nicotine
Inspired by some of the effects from winter swimming and smoking, researchers from the University of Copenhagen, among others, have found a way to improve the metabolism of mice and make them lose weight.

Normal function of ALS and dementia linked gene determined for the first time
The normal function of a gene associated with the neurodegenerative diseases amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) has been determined for the first time by University of Bath scientists.

Chemists disproved the universal nature of the mercury test
The mercury test of catalysts that has been used and considered universal for 100 years, turned out to be ambiguous.

Crater that killed the dinosaurs reveals how broken rocks can flow like liquid
The same process that allows rock to flow like liquid during impact events allows 'peak rings' to form in large craters.

Investigating glaciers in depth
Global sea level is rising constantly. One factor contributing to this rise is the melting of the glaciers.

Individual stress susceptibility and glucose metabolism are linked to brain function
Researchers at the Department for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the Mainz University Medical Center and the German Resilience Center (DRZ) in Mainz have now discovered that stress-induced mental disturbances in mice are directly linked to abnormal glucose metabolism.

Studying cellular fats reveals how to protect cells from the common cold
As temperatures drop and the sniffles start, take hope; research suggests a new approach to protect ourselves from the common cold.

Golf course managers challenged by fungicide-resistant turf grass disease
Dollar spot -- the most common, troublesome and damaging turfgrass disease plaguing golf courses -- is becoming increasingly resistant to fungicides applied to manage it, according to Penn State researchers.

Importance of infant diet in establishing a healthy gut
A child has until the age of two-and-a-half to establish healthy gut bacteria -- with little change after this point, new research has revealed.

Largest census of cancer genes to help understand drug targets
Researchers at the Wellcome Sanger Institute have created the first comprehensive summary of all genes known to be involved in human cancer.

Scientists unravel the mysteries of polymer strands in fuel cells
Fuel cell efficiency of hydrogen fuel cells decreases as the Nafion membrane, used to separate the anode and cathode within a fuel cell, swells as it interacts with water.

Researchers develop an operative complex scheme for short-range weather forecasts
Staff members from the Higher School of Economics and the Hydrometeorological Centre of Russia have proposed a new operative scheme for the short-range complex forecasting of wind and possible gusts, surface air temperature, and humidity.

Nuclear fusion: wrestling with burning questions on the control of 'burning plasmas'
Lehigh University professor Eugenio Schuster has recently been named ITER Scientist Fellow in the area of Plasma Control.

Study finds glyphosate in cat and dog food
A new Cornell study published this month in Environmental Pollution finds that glyphosate, the active herbicidal ingredient in widely used weed killers like Roundup, was present at low levels in a variety of dog and cat foods the researchers purchased at stores.

Autonomous vehicles and moral decisions: What do online communities think?
In 2016, researchers at CNRS, MIT, Harvard University and the University of British Columbia launched the 'Moral Machine' online platform to ask users about moral dilemmas facing us in the development of autonomous vehicles.

Researchers design 'smart' surfaces to repel everything but targeted beneficial exceptions
Researchers at McMaster University have solved a vexing problem by engineering surface coatings that can repel everything, such as bacteria, viruses and living cells, but can be modified to permit beneficial exceptions.

Cluster of factors could help predict C. diff
A cluster of factors may help predict which patients are likely to develop Clostridioides difficile, a potentially life-threatening disease commonly known as C. difficile or C. diff, a new study has found.

How people power can track alien species -- Study
New research published in the Nature journal Scientific Data shows how the public can play a vital role in helping to track invasive species.

Wood sponge soaks up oil from water (video)
Oil spills and industrial discharge can contaminate water with greasy substances.

Researchers discover directional and long-lived nanolight in a 2D material
An international team led by researchers from Monash University (Melbourne, Australia), University of Oviedo (Asturias, Spain), CIC nanoGUNE (San Sebastián, Spain), and Soochow University (Suzhou, China) discover squeezed light ('nanolight') in the nanoscale that propagates only in specific directions along thin slabs of molybdenum trioxide -- a natural anisotropic 2D material.

Skeletal stem cells regress when tasked with extensive regeneration
Adult mouse skeletal stem cells in the jaw revert to a more developmentally flexible state when called upon to regenerate large portions of bone and tissue, according to a study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Mucus, cough and chronic lung disease: New discoveries
As a cold ends, a severe mucus cough starts. Sound familiar?

Loss of first baby tooth a positive experience for children
Scared, ashamed, happy or proud -- how do children feel when they lose their first baby tooth?

VIMS issues annual dead-zone report card for the Chesapeake Bay
An annual model-based report on low-oxygen conditions in Chesapeake Bay during 2018 indicates a total volume of 'hypoxic' waters very similar to the previous year, but with a dramatic drop in hypoxia during late July due to mixing by strong winds.

Elephant trunks form joints to pick up small objects; research could translate to robotics
Understanding how elephants use their trunks to pick up small objects could lead to robots designed with flexible hands or grippers, according to a new study that includes Rochester Institute of Technology research.

Male humpback whales change their songs when human noise is present
Male humpback whales reduce or cease their songs in reaction to human-generated shipping noise, according to a study published Oct.

More goals in quantum soccer
Physicists from the University of Bonn have presented a method that may be suitable for the production of so-called quantum repeaters.

Study reveals how the brain overcomes its own limitations
MIT neuroscientists have discovered how the brain tries to compensate for its poor performance in tasks that require complicated mental transformations.

Bioengineered human cardiac models spur disruptive innovation in disease research
A new review published in the journal Biomaterials addresses how innovative advances in bioengineered cardiac models are able to transform research.

Helping blood cells regenerate after radiation therapy
MIT researchers have devised a way to help blood cells regenerate faster, by stimulating a particular type of stem cell to secrete growth factors that help blood cell precursor cells differentiate into mature blood cells.

New technology to allow 100-times-faster internet
This world-first nanophotonic device, unveiled in Nature Communications, encodes more data and processes it much faster than conventional fiber optics by using a special form of 'twisted' light.

Air pollution leads to millions of ER visits for asthma attacks worldwide
Nine to 33 million visits to the emergency room (ER) for asthma worldwide may be triggered by breathing in air polluted by ozone or fine particulate matter -- pollutants that can enter the lung's deep airways, according to a study published today.

New test measures men's fertility
At a time when more than half of male infertility cannot be explained by current methods, a new test developed by Androvia LifeSciences is able to measure male fertility.

Hispanics face significant racial discrimination in New York City's rental housing market
Hispanics experience significant levels of racial discrimination in the rental housing market, according to a new study.

Spanish-speakers experience barriers when receiving dense breast notifications
Spanish-speaking women encounter unique challenges when receiving notifications regarding their mammogram results and breast density.

Suppression of DKK3 protein thwarts pancreatic tumor progression and prolongs survival
Researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have shed new light on why pancreatic tumors are so resistant to therapy.

New clinical protocol after general surgery cuts opioid prescribing in half
Recognizing the role that opioid prescribing plays in the opioid crisis, a team of researchers at Lawson Health Research Institute and Western University have developed a new clinical protocol called STOP Narcotics.

Giant flying squirrel fossil from a Barcelona landfill clarifies the squirrel family tree
A study just published in eLife shows a fossil found in a Barcelona landfill to be about 11.6 million years old -- making the Miopetaurista neogrivensis specimen the oldest-known giant flying squirrel discovered.

New genetic pathways linked to severe lung disease in preemies
Scientists from Stanley Manne Children's Research Institute at Ann & Robert H.

Some planetary systems just aren't into heavy metal
Small planetary systems with multiple planets are not fans of heavy metal -- think iron, not Iron Maiden -- according to a new Yale University study.

Landmark study reveals no benefit to costly and risky brain cooling after brain injury
A landmark study, led by Monash University researchers, has definitively found that the practice of cooling the body and brain in patients who have recently received a severe traumatic brain injury, has no impact on the patient's long-term outcome.

Satellite imagery shows Willa dissipated over Mexico
Satellite data showed a shapeless area of clouds over northeastern Mexico on Oct.

Small flying robots haul heavy loads
Small flying robots can perch and move objects 40 times their weight with the help of powerful winches and two previous inventions -- gecko adhesives and microspines.

Polymers offer a better view
A window opens for analyzing the distribution of small molecules in biological and medical tissue samples

Neurology: Space travel alters the brain
LMU physicians have shown that widespread changes in the relative tissue volumes of the brains of cosmonauts who have spent long periods of time in the weightlessness of outer space can still be detected more than six months after their return to Earth.

New guidance recommends minimal oxygen use for most people in hospital
Routine oxygen therapy is not recommended for hospital patients because the benefit is uncertain and there are clear harms, say a panel of international experts in The BMJ today.

Experts call for health system change to tackle the challenge of multimorbidity in the NHS
The number of people with multiple long-term conditions, known as multimorbidity, is rising internationally, putting increased pressure on health care systems, including the NHS.

A healthy lifestyle cuts stroke risk, irrespective of genetic profile
People at high genetic risk of stroke can still reduce their chance of having a stroke by sticking to a healthy lifestyle, in particular stopping smoking and not being overweight, finds a study in The BMJ today.

Army scientists develop computational model to predict human behavior
Army researchers have developed for the first time an analytic model to show how groups of people influence individual behavior.

Researchers develop new devices to test retinal cells
Researchers at Utah State University have developed new devices to better understand the triggers of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) by mechanically stressing cells.

FSU researchers find low resilience puts men at risk for depression
Men who lack resilience are exponentially more vulnerable to becoming severely depressed after their spouse dies, according to a new study from Florida State University researchers.

A new model for how working memory gets you through the day
MIT neuroscientists present a new model of working memory that explains how the brain holds information in mind (the 'memory' part) and also executes volitional control over it (the 'working' part).

Imaging platform captures hard-to-track bacterial lung infections in real time
Ahsan Akram and colleagues have created a fluorescent imaging probe that can quickly and accurately detect hard-to-trace Gram-negative bacteria (one of the major bacterial groups) in human lungs within minutes.

New Caledonian crows can create compound tools
An international team of scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology and the University of Oxford have revealed that New Caledonian crows are able to create tools by combining two or more otherwise non-functional elements, an ability so far observed only in humans and great apes.

New air-filled fiber bundle could make endoscopes smaller
Researchers have fabricated a new kind of air-filled optical fiber bundle that could greatly improve endoscopes used for medical procedures like minimally invasive surgeries or bronchoscopies.

Homebody tendencies put Hawaiian gallinules at risk
The Hawaiian Islands are home to a range of unique, endangered bird species.

New study shows advertizing for alcohol is prevalent in UK television
A new study in the Journal of Public Health indicates that advertising for alcohol is common in British television, and may be a potential driver of alcohol use in young people.

Political competition is hurting our charitable giving
As the midterm election heats up and the fallout of the Supreme Court nomination rings across the political divide, a new study presents a unique angle of American politics: how party affiliation affects charitable donations.

Growing noise in the ocean can cause dolphins to change their calls
Noise levels in the world's oceans are on the rise, but little is known about its impact on marine mammals like dolphins that rely on sound for communication.

Fighting mutant influenza
Another flu season is here, which means another chance for viruses to mutate.

Asian catfish genome decoded
For the first time, scientists decipher the entire genome of the striped catfish, paving the way for better breeding of the critical commercial species.

New CRISPR tool opens up more of the genome for editing
Researchers at the MIT Media Lab, led by Joseph Jacobson, a professor of media arts and sciences and head of the Molecular Machines research group, have discovered a Cas9 enzyme that can target almost half of the locations on the genome, significantly widening its potential use.

New projectile point style could suggest two separate migrations into North America
Through excavation of a site in Texas, researchers have identified a particular style of projectile point -- or triangular blade often attached to a weapon that would be thrown -- dated between 13,500 and 15,500 years ago, they say.

Bacterial imaging probe is safe for patient use, study finds
Imaging technology that detects deadly pneumonia infections in under 60 seconds is safe and practical for clinical use, a study led by the University of Edinburgh has found.

MRI tool watches how electrical stimulation could cure digestive disorders
Purdue University researchers used an MRI to show a play-by-play of how sending an electric impulse to the vagus nerve successfully corrects stomach complications.

Drug improves survival in metastatic breast cancer
The drug palbociclib, used in combination with standard treatment, improved survival for women with hormone receptor-positive metastatic breast cancer, according to a large phase III clinical trial.

New nurses with bachelor's degrees feel better prepared than nurses with associate degrees
Nurses with bachelor's degrees report being very prepared in more quality and safety measures than do their peers with associate degrees, finds a new study by researchers at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing.

Mathematicians propose new hunting model to save rhinos and whales from extinction
Mathematicians have created a new model -- of a variety commonly found in the world of finance -- to show how to harvest a species at an optimal rate, while making sure that the animals do not get wiped out by chance.

Anti-Trump women's group used Facebook & email to secretly organize in rural Texas
Disagreeing with the political views of the majority in your community can feel isolating, and even frightening.

How should autonomous vehicles be programmed?
A massive new survey developed by MIT researchers reveals some distinct global preferences concerning the ethics of autonomous vehicles, as well as some regional variations in those preferences.

Marine algae bloom-derived biotoxins alter development of zooplankton and ocean food web
UB warns on climate change-related microalgal blooms affecting marine ecosystems

Lead accumulation in shin bone may be associated with resistant high blood pressure
Resistant high blood pressure in men may be related to long-term exposure to lead that might not be detected using standard blood tests.

A first 'snapshot' of the complete spectrum of neutrinos emitted by the sun
About 99 percent of the sun's energy emitted as neutrinos is produced through nuclear reaction sequences initiated by proton-proton (pp) fusion in which hydrogen is converted into helium, say scientists including physicist Andrea Pocar at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

'Cellular dust' provides new hope for regenerative medicine
While stem cells have the most therapeutic potential, the benefits of regenerative medicine may best be mobilised using extracellular vesicles (EVs), also known in the past as 'cellular dust'.

Could wearable technology help patients monitor blood pressure?
A lab simulation model of an artificial artery in the Slepian Lab at the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center demonstrates 'pulse wave velocity' is a feasible measurement for monitoring blood pressure.

Persistence of glass sponge in face of climatic variability
The glass sponge has persisted on the Scotian Shelf for decades, despite strong historical variability in water conditions and extremely limited protection by conservation efforts, according to a study published Oct.

Certain blood pressure drugs linked to increased risk of lung cancer
Use of angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor drugs (ACEIs) to lower blood pressure is associated with an increased risk of lung cancer compared with use of another group of blood pressure drugs called angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), finds a study in The BMJ today.

A type of moss could prove to be more medically effective than hemp
In collaboration with colleagues from the ETH Zurich, researchers at the University of Bern, Switzerland, have for the first time investigated a substance found in liverwort, which resembles THC.

UMass Amherst research shows spider eyes work together to track stimuli
Using a specially designed eye-tracker for use with spiders, biologists Elizabeth Jakob, Skye Long and Adam Porter at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, along with colleagues in New York and New Zealand, report in a new paper that their tests in jumping spiders show a secondary set of eyes is crucial to the principal eyes' ability to track moving stimuli.

Researchers identify three distinct stages in infant microbiome development
In the largest clinical microbiome study in infants reported to date, a team led by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine explored the sequence of microbial colonization in the infant gut through age 4 and found distinct stages of development in the microbiome that were associated with early life exposures.

Climate change: US desert areas to become even drier
Geologists from the University of Innsbruck study rainfall patterns in the distant past to better understand how deserts in the southwest United States will be impacted by future climate change.

Serotonin neurons contribute to fail-safe mechanism that ensures recovery from interrupted breathing
Research in mice adds to evidence that dips in the activity of serotonin neurons may increase SIDS risk.

Digital device overload linked to how first impressions are formed
Beware, media multitaskers: New research from Rice University researchers has found a link between spending too much time on digital devices and how first impression are formed.

Stress can impair memory, reduce brain size in middle age, study finds
Stress may be causing impaired memory and brain shrinkage in middle-age adults, even before symptoms of Alzheimer's or other dementia begin, according to a new study that included a researcher from UT Health San Antonio.

Insulin discovery a game-changer for improving diabetes treatments
An international collaboration co-led by researchers at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute has made a discovery that could make therapeutic insulins more effective by better mimicking the way insulin works in the body.

Sensitive tests suggest low risk of drug resistance with dapivirine ring
If approved, a monthly vaginal ring containing an antiretroviral (ARV) called dapivirine would be the first biomedical HIV prevention method specifically for women.

New regulators of nitrogen use in plants identified
Researchers have identified a set of gene regulators in plants that could help plants utilize nitrogen better, which would prevent ecological damage from excess nitrogen in the soil.

Mexico's 2017 Tehuantepec quake suggests a new worry
Last September's magnitude 8.2 Tehuantepec earthquake happened deep, rupturing both mantle and crust, on the landward side of major subduction zone in the Pacific Ocean off Mexico's far south coast.

Gene network lets plant roots handle nitrogen
With robotics, computers and advanced genetics, researchers at UC Davis and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory are unraveling how plant roots take up and metabolize nitrogen, the key to plant growth and crop yield.

Complementary approaches such as meditation help patients manage chronic pain
Complementary practices such as meditation and mindful breathing helped patients manage chronic pain and in some cases reduced the need for medication such as opioids, according to a study at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.

Study reveals how gene activity shapes immunity across species
By sequencing genes from over a quarter of a million cells across six mammalian species, researchers at the Wellcome Sanger Institute and collaborators, have shown how genes in the immune response have varied activity between cells and species.

Breeding beans that resist weevils
A small beetle can cause big losses to bean crops.

The HPV vaccine: Why parents really choose to refuse
The findings, published in the November issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health, could help public health officials and professional societies develop new interventions to increase rates of HPV vaccination.

Study: Racism, sexual assault contribute to college mental health challenges
A text mining analysis of academic and news articles related to mental health issues in higher education finds that racism, violence and sexual assault are key contributors to mental health challenges for students.

New study uncovers the interaction of calcium channels
Korean researchers have identified the interactions of the combinants among calcium channel proteins that exist in nerve and heart cells.

Brain-eating amoebae halted by silver nanoparticles
Halloween is just around the corner, and some people will celebrate by watching scary movies about brain-eating zombies.

Peptide engineered by NTU Singapore successfully exploits Achilles' heel of Zika virus
Scientists at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) have engineered an antiviral peptide that exploits the Zika virus at its Achilles' heel -- the viral membrane -- hence stopping the virus from causing severe infections.

Heat, weekends, aggression and Chicago summer shootings
It happens all too often each summer: yet another litany of weekend shootings in Chicago appears in the news.

Cannabis pain relief without the 'high'
In the wake of cannabis legalization, a team of scientists at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) and McGill University have delivered encouraging news for chronic pain sufferers by pinpointing the effective dose of marijuana plant extract cannabidiol (CBD) for safe pain relief without the typical 'high' or euphoria produced by the THC.

HPTN 075 study demonstrates high rate of HIV infection among African MSM and TGW
HPTN 075 study demonstrates high rate of HIV infection among African men who have sex with men and transgender women.

Air pollution and noise increase risk for heart attacks
Air pollution and transportation noise are both associated with an increased risk of heart attacks.

Flipped cells cause blood vessels to leak in diabetes and other diseases
An enzyme activated in diabetics has been found to cause previously aligned cells in a blood vessel to reverse their orientation, creating misalignments that allow veins and arteries to leak three times more blood proteins than normally constructed blood vessels.

Anti-aging molecule NAD+ gets a boost from blocking an enzyme
Scientists at EPFL have found a new way to boost the famous anti-aging molecule NAD+ in the kidney and liver by blocking an enzyme that limits its production.

The pirate of the southern skies
FORS2, an instrument mounted on ESO's Very Large Telescope, has observed the active star-forming region NGC 2467 -- sometimes referred to as the Skull and Crossbones Nebula.

Augmented reality may assist cardiologists plan and perform complex procedures
Jihye Jang, a PhD Candidate at the Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and colleagues assessed Augmented reality's potential to help cardiologists visualize myocardial scarring in the heart as they perform ventricular tachycardia ablation or other electrophysiological interventions.

At least 57 negative impacts from cyber-attacks
Cyber-security researchers have identified a total of at least 57 different ways in which cyber-attacks can have a negative impact on individuals, businesses and even nations, ranging from threats to life, causing depression, regulatory fines or disrupting daily activities

Antibiotic explorers
In clinical trials, tetracycline antibiotics have proven effective in treating some pathological inflammation and cancer.

Choice architecture for architecture choices
New research, led by the University of Portsmouth, could help decision makers make more effective choices when designing social housing initiatives.

Satellite sees Supertyphoon Yutu's eye pass over Tinian
On Oct. 24, the National Weather Service or NWS in Tiyan, Guam issued the warning that 'Catastrophic winds for Tinian and Saipan are imminent' as the eye of Super typhoon Yutu neared both islands.

Deaths due to tainted herbal medicine under-recorded
A University of Adelaide forensic pathologist is warning that potentially harmful substances found in herbal medicines may be playing a bigger role in deaths of 'health tourists' than previously thought.

Free online casino games linked with higher risks of gambling problems for young people
A new CAMH study shows that free gambling-themed games may be a gateway to paid gambling for young people, and gameplay is linked with a higher risk of gambling problems among some adolescents.

New tool streamlines the creation of moving pictures
It's often easy to imagine balloons soaring or butterflies fluttering across a still image, but realizing this vision through computer animation is easier said than done.

SwRI team makes breakthroughs studying Pluto orbiter mission
A Southwest Research Institute team using internal research funds has made several discoveries that expand the range and value of a future Pluto orbiter mission.

The Lancet: Rates of premature mortality are two times higher in the most deprived areas of England, compared to most affluent
Half of all premature deaths in the UK are linked to risk factors including tobacco, diet, alcohol and drug use, obesity and high blood pressure.

Plump songbirds more likely to survive migration over Gulf of Mexico
A kilometer above Fort Morgan, Alabama, small migratory birds face a critical decision.

Ice-age climate clues unearthed
A Rice University scientist leads an effort to improve climate models using paleoclimate proxies, indicators like chemical compounds in plants and microorganisms preserved in ancient lake sediments that hold rich data about past climate conditions on Earth.

Hospitals differ widely in providing safe vaginal delivery after cesarean
Despite the conventional belief that for women giving birth 'once a cesarean always a cesarean,' vaginal delivery after cesarean -- also known as ''trial of labor after cesarean delivery'' (TOLAC) -- offers a safe option for many second-time mothers with no contraindications.

Flu virus could evolve resistance to pandemic drug
The influenza virus can evolve resistance to an anti-flu drug currently in development for use in pandemics but only if there are multiple genetic mutations, a study has found. 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