Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 01, 2018
Drug combination for treatment resistant depression no more effective than single
A large clinical trial published in the British Medical Journal today, looked at the effectiveness of adding mirtazapine to an SSRI or SNRI in patients who remain depressed after at least six weeks of conventional (SSRI or SNRI) antidepressant treatment.

Novel antibacterial drugs developed at University of Eastern Finland
Researchers at the University of Eastern Finland have developed novel antibacterial compounds, focusing on the role of LsrK kinase.

Stanford, Apple describe heart study with over 400,000 participants
A clinical trial to determine whether a smartwatch app that analyzes pulse-rate data can screen for a heart-rhythm disorder has enrolled more than 400,000 participants.

High exposure to radio frequency radiation associated with cancer in male rats
The National Toxicology Program (NTP) concluded there is clear evidence that male rats exposed to high levels of radio frequency radiation (RFR) like that used in 2G and 3G cell phones developed cancerous heart tumors, according to final reports released today.

Editing nature: A call for careful oversight of environmental gene editing
Writing in Science, an interdisciplinary team led by Yale researchers makes the case for a new global governance to assure a neutral and informed evaluation of the potential benefits and risks of gene editing.

Supply chain transparency needed to combat soaring insulin costs
Spiraling insulin costs have created a dangerous barrier for many people with diabetes who need to access lifesaving treatments.

Bee diversity and richness decline as anthropogenic activity increases, confirm scientists
Changes in land-use affect negatively bee species richness and diversity and cause major changes in species composition, reports a recent study of native wild bees from the Sierra de Quila Flora and Fauna Protection Area and its influence zone, Mexico.

SQZ cell engineering technology shows key advantages for developing cell therapies
SQZ Biotech characterized the biological impact of electroporation, a commonly used cell engineering method, with the SQZ cell therapy platform which utilizes a microfluidic cell squeezing technique to engineer cells.

Barn swallows may indeed have evolved alongside humans
The evolution of barn swallows, a bird ubiquitous to bridges and sheds around the world, might be even more closely tied to humans than previously thought, according to new study from the University of Colorado Boulder.

New study finds evidence of brain injuries in football players at surprisingly young age
A new study by Orlando Health reveals that lasting evidence of brain injuries is present at an alarmingly young age.

Where water goes after fracking is tied to earthquake risk
In addition to producing oil and gas, the energy industry produces a lot of water, about 10 barrels of water per barrel of oil on average.

Quit rates are low and not increasing among cigarette smokers with mental health problems
Even as more and more American quit smoking cigarettes, individuals with serious psychological distress (SPD) are much less likely to extinguish their habbit.

Lymph nodes are niches for prolonged tuberculosis infection
Lymph nodes can contain large numbers of tuberculosis-causing bacteria and serve as long-term reservoirs of bacterial persistence, according to a study published Nov.

Experts call for a targeted approach to cancer prevention
Policymakers around the world should consider introducing more targeted early interventions in a bid to tackle cancer, according to experts at the University of Stirling.

To ward off fatty liver, breast is best for mom
Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Kaiser Permanente have discovered that mothers who breastfed a child or children for six months or more are at lower risk for developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) years later during mid-life.

New study offers hope for patients suffering from a rare form of blindness
A new form of therapy may halt or even reverse a form of progressive vision loss that, until now, has inevitably led to blindness.

Cancer drug insight tactic could spell double trouble for tumours
Researchers have developed a new way of identifying potential cancer drugs, which could streamline the development of therapies

Zika circulates among wild animals in the Americas, making eradication nearly impossible
A collaborative group of researchers from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and the Faculty of Medicine of Sao Jose do Rio in Brazil is the first to report that wild monkeys in the Americas are transmitting the Zika virus to humans via mosquitoes, making complete eradication of the virus in the Americas very unlikely.

New tech delivers high-tech film that blocks electromagnetic interference
Andre Taylor, associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering and collaborators fashioned low-cost EMI-blocking composite films, employing spin-spray layer-by-layer processing (SSLbL), a method pioneered by Taylor, letting them produce high-quality films in less time than traditional methods, such as dip coating.

Quantum on the edge: Light shines on new pathway for quantum technology
Scientists in Australia have for the first time demonstrated the protection of correlated states between paired photons using the intriguing physical concept of topology.

Atomic path from insulator to metal messier than thought
Vanadium dioxide has the unusual ability to switch from electrical insulator to conductor at the low temperature of 152 degrees Fahrenheit.

Micro-earthquakes preceding a 4.2 earthquake near Istanbul as early warning signs?
In a new study, led by Peter Malin and Marco Bohnhoff of the GFZ German Research Center for Geosciences, the authors report on the observation of foreshocks that, if analyzed accordingly and in real-time, may possibly increase the early-warning time before a large earthquake from just a few seconds up to several hours.

Farmers market vendors need training to improve food-safety practices
Many vendors at farmers markets take inadequate precautions to prevent the spread of foodborne illness, and they should be trained to reduce food-safety risks, according to Penn State researchers who completed the final phase of an innovative five-year study.

Anti-convulsant drug significantly reduced major depression symptoms
Researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai found that patients with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) exhibited a significant reduction of depressive symptoms after being treated with ezogabine, an FDA approved drug used to treat seizures.

'Robust' corals primed to resist coral bleaching
A world-first study reveals that 'robust' reef-building corals are the only known organisms in the animal kingdom to make one of the 'essential' amino acids, which may make them less susceptible than other corals to global warming.

How invading jumping genes are thwarted
Almost half of our DNA is made up of jumping genes, moving around the genome in developing sperm and egg cells.

People with Internet addiction react the worst when WiFi fails
Our fear of missing out predicts extreme reactions when digital technology fails.

In-hospital infections increase odds of readmission for stroke patients
Ischemic stroke patients who have an infection, even one as common as a urinary tract infection, identified while hospitalized are more likely than others to be readmitted within the first 30 days after being discharged.

Updated European guidance for the diagnosis and management of osteoporosis in women
IOF and ESCEO have published an updated guidance to aid healthcare professionals in diagnosing and managing osteoporosis in postmenopausal women.

Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, November 2018
ORNL story tips: ORNL's simulation shows 40 percent fuel savings when cars drive themselves; colliding tin isotopes helps scientists better understand unstable nuclei in exploding stars; new method to control HVACs in buildings provides grid stability, occupant comfort; AK Steel uses neutrons to see how new steel for vehicle components performs during various manufacturing processes.

Observation of blood vessel cell changes could help early detection of blocked arteries
A study in mice has shown that it may be possible to detect the early signs of atherosclerosis, which leads to blocked arteries, by looking at how cells in our blood vessels change their function.

Bioluminescent substance discovered in Brazilian cave worm larva
Identification of the first luciferin-producing insect belonging to the order Diptera in the Neotropics paves the way for researchers to investigate other biochemical functions of the molecule in these organisms.

Reducing US coal emissions through biomass and carbon capture would boost employment
While the need for solutions for the impending consequences of rising global temperatures has become increasingly urgent, many have expressed concerns about the loss of jobs as current technologies like coal-fired power plants are phased out.

Llama-derived antibodies provide universal flu protection
Researchers have generated a new anti-flu antibody that demonstrates long-lasting and universal protection from a wide variety of influenza A and B viruses, including avian-borne strains like H1N1.

Prenatal exposure to malaria may determine disease susceptibility early in life
Prenatal exposure to malaria considerably alters the newborn's innate immune response (i.e. its first line of defence), particularly when the placenta has been infected, according to a study led by ISGlobal, the Clinical Research Unit of Nanoro (CRUN) and the Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp (ITM).

Fishing for new leads in a rare melanoma
Many cancers arise from a double hit: activation of a tumor-promoting gene plus loss of a tumor suppressor gene.

Searching in soil, scientists find a new way to combat tuberculosis
Analyzing soil samples from across the country, researchers have identified an antibiotic capable of treating strains of tuberculosis that do not respond to existing therapies.

Road to cell death more clearly identified for Parkinson's disease
In experiments performed in mice, Johns Hopkins researchers report they have identified the cascade of cell death events leading to the physical and intellectual degeneration associated with Parkinson's disease.

Study finds tennis elbow treatments provide little to no benefit
In the largest analysis to date, researchers and clinicians at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) have compared the efficacy and safety of non-surgical treatment options for tennis elbow -- also called enthesopathy of the extensor carpi radialis brevis (eECRB).

'Posture cells' encode 3D body position in the brain
Newly found neurons in the brain encode body posture and spatial awareness in mice, a study finds.

Composite Materials special issue
In this special issue of Science, 'Composite Materials,' three Review articles overview the current applications, constraints and future opportunities for composite materials, those made from two or more materials with significantly different physical or chemical properties.

New images show serotonin activating its receptor for first time
A team of researchers from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have used high-powered microscopes to view serotonin activating its receptor for the first time.

Fear of disloyalty drives bias against bicultural immigrants
Members of a majority group tend to hold negative views of minority-group individuals who claim more than one identity, according to new Yale-led research.

To fight email scammers, take a different view. Literally.
A team of researchers is helping law enforcement crack down on email scammers, thanks to a new visual analytics tool that dramatically speeds up forensic email investigations and highlights critical links within email data.

Breakthrough in childhood brain cancer
Scientists led by Newcastle University have been able to identify the group of children needing more intensive, aggressive chemotherapy treatment for the most common form of brain cancer.

A shortcut in the global sulfur cycle
Chemists at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena (Germany) and their US colleagues have now discovered a completely unexpected shortcut in the global sulfur cycle.

Cocaine-fentanyl overdoses underscore need for more 'test strips' and rapid response
Penn Medicine emergency department physicians are calling for more readily available testing strips to identify the presence of fentanyl in patients experiencing a drug overdose, and a rapid, coordinated response among health care providers and city agencies to help curb overdoses and identify high potency high risk drugs.

Yangtze dams put endangered sturgeon's future in doubt
Before the damming of the Yangtze River in 1981, Chinese sturgeon swam freely each summer one after another into the river's mouth, continuing upriver while fasting all along the way.

Watching whales from space
Scientists have used detailed high-resolution satellite images provided by Maxar Technologies' DigitalGlobe, to detect, count and describe four different species of whales.

NIH BRAIN Initiative debuts cell census of mouse motor cortex -- for starters
Researchers have reached a milestone in their quest to catalog the brain's 'parts list.' The NIH BRAIN Initiative Cell Census Network (BICCN) has issued its first data release.

New report shows viability of reversing cost of diabetes, driving significant savings impact
As Americans head to the polls this coming Tuesday, a top issue for all voters is the rising cost of healthcare.

Your showerhead slime is alive
A CIRES-led citizen-science study reveals lung-disease causing strains of bacteria are especially common in certain environments.

Army scientist seeks enhanced soldier systems through quantum research
Researchers at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory and the Joint Quantum Institute have created a pristine quantum light source that has the potential to lead to more secure communications and enhanced sensing capabilities for Soldiers.

People link body shapes with personality traits
When we meet new people, our first impressions of their personality may depend, at least in part, on their body shape, according to research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Children who experience violence early in life develop faster
A study in Biological Psychiatry has shown that exposure to violence early in life -- such as physical, emotional, or sexual abuse -- is associated with faster biological aging, including pubertal development and a cellular metric of biological aging called epigenetic age.

Children account for almost half of sport injury-related A&E attendances
Study finds almost half of sport injury-related emergency department attendances and almost a quarter of sport injury-related hospital admissions were in children and adolescents aged 0-19 years.

New research suggests the imaginary worlds of children reflect positive creativity
Children who create imaginary parallel worlds known as paracosms, alone or with friends, are more found more commonly than previously believed, according to a study led by a University of Oregon psychologist.

eDNA emerges as powerful tool for tracking threatened river herring in Chesapeake Bay
Using environmental DNA (eDNA) to track the presence of fish in waterways is emerging as a powerful tool to detect and understand the abundance of species in aquatic environments.

'Cryptic' interactions drive biodiversity decline near the edge of forest fragments
The fragmentation of tropical forests weakens the effects of the 'natural enemies' of some tree species, reducing their ability to maintain biodiversity, a new Yale-led study found.

Twenty years on, measuring the impact of human stem cells
A paper published today (Nov. 1, 2018) in the journal Cell Stem Cell describing the global scope and economic impact of stem cell science, including the clinical, industrial and research use of the cells.

NASA's GPM examines weaker Tropical Storm Yutu's rainfall
Typhoon Yutu produced heavy rainfall as it passed over the island of Luzon in the northern Philippines.

New study finds unique immunity genes in one widespread coral species
A new study led by researchers at the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science found that a common coral species might have evolved unique immune strategies to cope with environmental change.

Strengthening self-regulation in childhood may improve resiliency later in life
Millions of families live in poverty in the United States.

The FASEB Journal: Young plasma restores aged livers
A recent study published in The FASEB Journal examined the effect of young plasma on aged livers, and livers' sensitivity to ischemia reperfusion injury (IRI) in experimental animals.

Immigration to the United States changes a person's microbiome
Researchers at the University of Minnesota and the Somali, Latino, and Hmong Partnership for Health and Wellness have new evidence that the gut microbiota of immigrants and refugees rapidly Westernize after a person's arrival in the United States.

Glutamine metabolism affects T cell signaling and function
The cellular nutrient glutamine launches a metabolic signaling pathway that promotes the function of some immune system T cells and suppresses others, Vanderbilt researchers have discovered.

New quantum criticality discovered in superconductivity
Using solid state nuclear magnetic resonance (ssNMR) techniques, scientists at the U.S.

NASA sees Hurricane Oscar transitioning to extratropical low
Hurricane Oscar has transitioned into an extra-tropical low pressure area in the northeastern Atlantic Ocean.

New study takes first step toward treating endometriosis
Researchers at Northwestern Medicine have taken the first step in bioengineering the human uterus to treat endometriosis, uterine-factor infertility and endometrial cancer.

Making a map of the brain
Harvard scientists have created a first-of-its-kind cellular atlas of an important region in the brains of mice.

Plants rely on their resident bacteria to protect them from harmful microbes
New study shows that plant-associated bacteria protect their hosts by competing with harmful filamentous microbes for access to plant roots.

End-of-life care preferences of chinese adults vary based on whether they have children
Chinese adults who have children prefer to receive end-of-life care from family members at home, while those who lost their only child prefer to be cared for in hospice or palliative care institutions, finds a new study led by an international team of researchers and published in the November issue of The Journal of Palliative Medicine.

Take a lot of sick days? Who you know and where you live might be partly to blame
New research led by Lijun Song, associate professor of sociology at Vanderbilt University, and graduate student Phillip Pettis suggests that knowing people in high places may not always be good for your health.

Poll: Half of women over 50 experience incontinence, but most haven't talked to a doctor
Nearly half of women over 50 say they sometimes leak urine according to a new national poll.

'Predicting' the origins of mysterious outbreaks using viral RNA
Researchers have used machine learning to develop a model capable of predicting hosts and vectors of otherwise mysterious viral infections.

The protein Matrin-3 determines the fate of neural stem cells in brain development
A Japanese research group has discovered a new neurogenic mechanism responsible for brain development.

We all want 'healthy aging,' but what is it, really? New report looks for answers
Led by Paul Mulhausen, MD, MHS, FACP, AGSF, colleagues from the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) set looking critically at what 'healthy aging' really means.

Concurrent chemo-radiotherapy should be a treatment option for elderly patients with LS-S
Elderly patients with limited-stage small cell lung cancer (LS-SCLC) showed similar survival and toxicity compared to their younger counterparts when treated with concurrent chemo-radiotherapy.

Research: heat-resistant enzymes could produce more cost-effective drugs
A new study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences could change the way scientists look at one of the most essential enzymes in medicine in hopes of designing better and more cost-effective drugs in the future.

Study: Impact of mercury-controlling policies shrinks with every five-year delay
A new MIT study finds that the longer countries wait to reduce mercury emissions, the more legacy emissions will accumulate in the environment, and the less effective any emissions-reducing policies will be when they are eventually implemented.

Long-term prognosis of Chagas patients improved with anti-parasite drug
Researchers have found that the anti-parasite drug benznidazole may improve the long-term prognoses of patients with chronic Chagas disease, according to a study published in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, by Clareci Silva Cardoso at the Federal University of São João del-Rei, Divinópolis, Brazil, and colleagues from the SaMi-Trop study, a project funded by NIAID/NIH.

Specific CD8 T cell states may indicate response to immune checkpoint therapy for melanoma
A multi-institutional research team, led by investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, has identified specific states of cytotoxic CD8 T cells associated with patient response to checkpoint immunotherapy for melanoma.

Insurance-related disparities in timely access to gold standard dialysis procedure
In a study that compared uninsured patients starting hemodialysis with similar patients already covered by Medicare or Medicaid, patients with Medicare or Medicaid were more likely to receive dialysis through an arteriovenous fistula or graft by their fourth dialysis month.

Workers without paid sick leave endure significant financial worries
A study shows that Americans without paid sick leave worry significantly about both short-term and long-term financial issues.

How cancer-causing papillomaviruses evolved
Cancer-causing human papillomaviruses (HPVs) diverged from their most recent common ancestors approximately half a million years ago, roughly coinciding with the timing of the split between archaic Neanderthals and modern Homo sapiens, according to a study published Nov.

Making collective sense of brainwaves
A new statistical tool for collectively analyzing large sets of brainwaves promises to accelerate neurofunctional research.

Researchers solve the mystery of the bird from Atlantis
The world's smallest flightless bird can be found on Inaccessible Island in the middle of the South Atlantic.

Zebrafish larvae help in search for appetite suppressants
Researchers at the University of Zurich and Harvard University have developed a new strategy in the search for psychoactive drugs.

The Lancet Oncology: For new HPV DNA test, study finds there may be little benefit in screening women aged 55 with a negative test
Regular cytology screening (pap or smear test) is still the most commonly used HPV screening method, and can prevent cancers up to age 75 years, although benefits decline with age.

Diabetes medications may reduce Alzheimer's disease severity
People with Alzheimer's disease who were treated with diabetes drugs showed considerably fewer markers of the disease -- including abnormal microvasculature and disregulated gene expressions -- in their brains compared to Alzheimer's patients without treatment for diabetes, Mount Sinai researchers report.

Seeing cell membranes in a new light
Scientists have long believed that membranes act like a viscous liquid, akin to honey, and that tension could be transmitted almost instantly from one side of a cell to the other, but Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology and of Physics Adam Cohen and Zheng Shi, a post-doctoral fellow working in Cohen's lab showed they're actually closer to a semi-solid like Jell-O.

Pessimism around youth suicide prevention approaches is unfounded, study shows
A comprehensive Australian study examining the global impact of suicide prevention approaches in young people has found that youth-specific interventions conducted in clinical, educational and community settings can be effective in reducing suicide-related behaviour in young people at risk.

Fatal measles case highlights importance of herd immunity in protecting the vulnerable
Last year, a 26-year-old man receiving treatment for leukemia went to a Swiss hospital's emergency room with a fever, a sore throat, and a cough, and was admitted. 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