Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 06, 2018
Computer model more accurate at identifying sources of foodborne illnesses than traditional
A new computer model that uses machine learning and de-identified and aggregated search and location data from logged-in Google users was significantly more accurate in identifying potentially unsafe restaurants when compared with existing methods of consumer complaints and routine inspections, according to new research led by Google and Harvard T.H.

Artificial intelligence may fall short when analyzing data across multiple health systems
Study shows deep learning models must be carefully tested across multiple environments before being put into clinical practice.

Risk factors of type 2 diabetes and CVD accumulate in children with poor aerobic fitness
Risk factors of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease accumulate in children who have poor aerobic fitness, a new study from the University of Eastern Finland shows.

Eat your vegetables (and fish): Another reason why they may promote heart health
Elevated levels of trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) -- a compound linked with the consumption of fish, seafood and a primarily vegetarian diet -- may reduce hypertension-related heart disease symptoms.

Researchers discover new gene for hair loss
Hypotrichosis simplex leads to progressive hair loss already in childhood.

Mandibular movement monitoring may help improve oral sleep apnea devices
While continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) continues to be the gold standard for treatment of sleep apnea, the cumbersome machines are often not well tolerated by patients.

NAD can restore mitochondrial function and energy production in MTDPS liver-like cells
Mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome (MTDPS) is a group of genetic disorders that cause a significant reduction in mitochondrial DNA and ATP production.

Oregon researchers discover novel anti-inflammatory bacterial protein
Researchers at the University of Oregon have identified a novel protein secreted by a common gut bacterium in zebrafish that reduces inflammation in the gut and delays death by septic shock.

Nobody wins in a landslide
The University of Cincinnati is working with the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology to add specific details on landslides to the state's map of known hazards.

Novel tracer developed for precision targeting of non-small cell lung cancer
Researchers have developed a new nuclear medicine tracer that could improve diagnosis and treatment of non-small cell lung cancer.

High blood pressure poses heart/stroke event risk for people under age 40
People younger than age 40 who have high blood pressure are at increased risk of heart failure, strokes and blood vessel blockages as they age, according to a study in JAMA led by Duke Health.

Research calls for new approach to tropical marine conservation
A new article by a Swansea University researcher has called for a rethink on tropical marine conservation efforts, as people who previously relied on coral reefs for food and income are increasingly looking to alternative habitats which is putting pressure on the animals that inhabit seagrass meadows.

Back pain shows significant association with mortality among older women
Researchers at Boston Medical Center found that frequent, persistent back pain is associated with earlier death in a study of more than 8,000 older women who were followed for an average of 14 years.

Why a stream of plasma makes chemical reactions more efficient
A whiff of plasma, when combined with a nanosized catalyst, can cause chemical reactions to proceed faster, more selectively, at lower temperatures, or at lower voltages than without plasma.

Scientists pinpoint how the 'speed gene' works in thoroughbred racehorses
Scientists have discovered the inner workings of a known 'speed gene', which directly affects skeletal muscle growth and, in turn, race distance aptitude in thoroughbred racehorses.

Orcasound: A citizen science tool for whale research
Computer algorithms are playing a growing role in analyzing hydrophone audio data when monitoring marine life, but human listeners can complement and enhance these algorithms.

Rat models of opioid use and addiction explore risk of abuse
New research revealed today highlights the power of animal studies to explore mechanisms of opioid addiction, withdrawal, and relapse to inform new prevention strategies and treatments for people.

Commercial airliners reveal three-dimensional distribution of atmospheric CO2 over Asia Pacific
Ten years of commercial airliner-based measurements uniquely revealed three-dimensional distribution of atmospheric CO2 and its seasonality over Asia Pacific.

Do sexual minority women receive appropriate sexual and reproductive health counseling?
According to a new study that used data from the National Survey of Family Growth 2006-2015, lesbian women were less likely to report receiving a birth control prescription or birth control counseling compared with heterosexual women.

Family tree of 400 million people shows genetics has limited influence on longevity
Although long life tends to run in families, genetics has far less influence on life span than previously thought, according to a new analysis of more than 400 million people.

New measure for the wellbeing of populations could replace Human Development Index
IIASA researchers have introduced a new, simple measure for human wellbeing across countries, called the Human Life Indicator (HLI), that takes inequality into account and could replace the commonly used but error-prone Human Development Index (HDI).

33,000 people die every year due to infections with antibiotic-resistant bacteria
An ECDC study estimates the burden of five types of infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria of public health concern in the European Union and in the European Economic Area (EU/EEA).

Researchers find novel mutation affecting YARS causes multisystem disease
Researchers have identified a novel missense mutation in tyrosyl-tRNA synthetase (YARS c.499C>A, p.Pro167Thr) that causes a severe recessive disorder in affected individuals.

Tiny thorn snail discovered in Panama's backyard
Five years after one particular tiny thorn snail from Panama was identified as new to science, it is described in a scientific article in the open-access journal ZooKeys.

For adults, the terrible twos are a confusing earful
Here's another reason you might be exhausted after that preschool birthday party: Your brain had to work to figure out who actually asked for more ice cream.

Sarcopenic obesity: The ignored phenotype that need more studies for a better understanding
A new condition, that occurs in the presence of both sarcopenia and obesity and termed as '[sarcopenic obesity', and that describes under the same phenotype the increase in body fat mass deposition, and the reduction in lean mass and muscle strength.

Supermarket produce harbors antibiotic-resistance genes
Researchers from the Julius Kühn Institut, Germany have found that produce is a reservoir for transferable antibiotic resistance genes that often escape traditional molecular detection methods.

Low calorie sweeteners can help in sugar reduction recommendations, according to experts
Highlights from the ISA Conference 2018 1. Low calorie sweeteners can help meet public health recommendations about sugar intake reduction and are linked to a higher-quality diet, according to new population studies.

Weakening Tropical Storm Xavier observed By NASA
As Tropical Storm Xavier continued to rain on western Mexico, the Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core satellite analyzed the rate in which rain was falling.

Study uncovers possible link between immune system and postpartum depression
The immune system might play an important role in the development of postpartum depression after a stressful pregnancy, new research suggests.

Neural nets to interpret chest X-rays; a random forest model to predict severe nearsightedness
This week, PLOS Medicine launches our Special Issue on Machine Learning in Health and Biomedicine, Guest Edited by Atul Butte of the Institute for Computational Health Sciences at UCSF, Suchi Saria of the Department of Computer Science, Statistics, and Health Policy at Johns Hopkins University and the Malone Center for Engineering in Healthcare, and Aziz Sheikh of the Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and Informatics, The University of Edinburgh.

Radiotherapy is 'undervalued' and 'needs greater investment' say experts
Radiotherapy is 'undervalued' and 'needs greater investment' according to a new report published today commissioned by the Marie Curie Legacy Campaign -- an initiative of the European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology (ESTRO) and the ESTRO Cancer Foundation (ECF).

Bioreactor device helps frogs regenerate their legs
A team of scientists designed a device that can induce partial hindlimb regeneration in adult aquatic African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis) by 'kick-starting' tissue repair at the amputation site.

Brain-computer interface advances improve prosthetics, therapies
Advances in connecting neural stimulation to physical control of the body are transforming the development of prosthetics and therapeutic training for people with disabilities, according to new research.

Tropical mountain species in the crosshairs of climate change
Lack of varied seasons and temperatures in tropical mountains have led to species that are highly adapted to their narrow niches, creating the right conditions for new species to arise in these areas, according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

How melanoma evades targeted therapies
New research shows how metastatic melanoma becomes resistant to a common class of targeted therapy.

Study findings show promise in preventing heart disease in cancer survivors
A new study by Washington State University researchers suggests that a protein called CDK2 plays a critical role in heart damage caused by doxorubicin, a commonly used chemotherapy drug.

Ohio researchers, partners find meth, similar drug overdoses growing rapidly
The number of overdose deaths involving methamphetamines and amphetamines in the state of Ohio increased more than 5,000 percent over the course of eight years, according to data collected by the Ohio Alliance for Innovation in Population Health.

Cosmic fountain offers clues to how galaxies evolve
Galaxy evolution can be chaotic and messy, but it seems that streams of cold gas spraying out from the region around supermassive black holes may act to calm the storm.

Tracking down microRNA candidates that can contribute to disease
A novel computational tool called ADmiRE extensively annotates human microRNA variants to determine which ones are likely to contribute to or cause diseases.

Galaxy-scale fountain seen in full glory
ALMA observations of Abell 2597 show the first clear and compelling evidence for the simultaneous infalling and outflow of gas driven by a supermassive black hole.

Women who give birth to boys much more likely to have postnatal depression
A University of Kent study into postnatal depression (PND) found the odds of developing this condition increased by 79 percent when mothers had baby boys compared to baby girls.

Emotional vulnerabilities shape complex behavioral arrangement of toddlers with ASD
At the time when autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can be first reliably diagnosed, toddlers affected by ASD are already displaying emotional vulnerabilities potentially foreshadowing the emergence of co-morbid affective and behavioral conditions highly prevalent in older children, reports a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (JAACAP).

Making cheese & co. taste better
Researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), the Leibniz-Institute for Food Systems Biology, and the University of Hohenheim have developed a new methodical approach.

Face the music: Explicit anti-piracy warnings are best deterrent
STOP! This is illegal. You may be monitored and fined.

How ideas go viral in academia
How ideas move through academia may depend on where those ideas come from as much as their quality, a new study suggests.

Scientists to track the reaction of crystals to the electric field
The international scientific team developed a new method for measuring the response of crystals on the electric field.

Open source machine learning tool could help choose cancer drugs
Using machine learning techniques, a new open source decision support tool could help clinicians choose cancer therapy drugs by analyzing RNA expression tied to information about patient outcomes with specific drugs.

White line of algae deaths marks uplift in 2016 Chilean earthquake
A bleached fringe of dead marine algae, strung along the coastlines of two islands off the coast of Chile, offers a unique glimpse at how the land rose during the 2016 magnitude 7.6 Chiloé earthquake, according to a new study in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America.

Huge fall in prevalence of FGM/genital cutting among girls across Africa
The prevalence of female genital mutilation/cutting among girls up to the age of 14 has fallen sharply in most regions of Africa over the past three decades, reveals the first analysis of its kind, published in the online journal BMJ Global Health.

First-in-class YEATS inhibitors that show promise for leukemia treatment
A research team led by Dr. Xiang David Li from the Department of Chemistry at The University of Hong Kong, in collaboration with scientists from China and the United States, developed the first chemical inhibitors against a novel therapeutic target for treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a fast-growing cancer of bone marrow and blood cells.

Most patients with cystic fibrosis may receive insufficient antibiotics to fight lung infections
The majority of patients with cystic fibrosis may not achieve blood concentrations of antibiotics sufficiently high enough to effectively fight bacteria responsible for pulmonary exacerbations, leading to worsening pulmonary function, indicates a study led by researchers at Children's National Health System.

Satellite finds Tropical Cyclone 03S developing in Southern Indian Ocean
Tropical Cyclone 03S formed in the Southern Indian Ocean and the NOAA-20 satellite passed overhead and captured a visible image of the storm.

Moths survive bat predation through acoustic camouflage fur
Moths are a mainstay food source for bats, which use echolocation to hunt their prey.

Punctuated earthquakes for New Madrid area: New research uncovers cluster of past events
In 1811 and 1812, the region around New Madrid, Missouri, experienced a number of major earthquakes.

Societies publish new guidance for the treatment of slow, irregular heartbeats
The American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association and the Heart Rhythm Society today released a guideline for the evaluation and treatment of patients with bradycardia, or a slow heartbeat, and cardiac conduction disorders.

Ultra-hot gas around remnants of sun-like stars
Solving a decades-old mystery, an international team of astronomers have discovered an extremely hot magnetosphere around a white dwarf, a remnant of a star like our sun.

Study indicates opioid overdose reversal products chemically stable past expiration date
A widely used naloxone nasal spray (NNS) and naloxone injection (NIJ), otherwise known as Narcan® and Evzio®, which are administered to prevent opioid overdose deaths, were found to be chemically stable up for at least ten months and beyond one year of the expiration date, respectively.

Experimental plasma generator offers path forward for better use of landfill gas as energy
Landfill gases contain numerous contaminants, but one group has demonstrated a promising new application of plasma technology capable of removing such compounds.

New insights into the neural risks and benefits of marijuana use
Research released today underscores both the dangers and the therapeutic promise of marijuana, revealing different effects across the lifespan.

RNA microchips
Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is, along with DNA and protein, one of the three primary biological macromolecules and was probably the first to arise in early life forms.

Drug pollution concentrates in stream bugs, passes to predators in water and on land
Sixty-nine pharmaceutical compounds have been detected in stream insects, some at concentrations that may threaten animals that feed on them, such as trout and platypus.

Bats vs. dolphins -- the ultimate battle of sonar systems
To find ways to improve man-made active sensing, scientists worldwide study the sonar systems of bats and dolphins.

Impact of opioid epidemic on children varies by state
Each state takes a different approach on how it tries to stem the impact of opioid abuse, resulting in significant variation between opioid prescription rates and the number of children placed into foster care.

Study advocates psychological screening for the carers of child burn victims
A new study published in the Journal of Pediatric Psychology highlights the need for psychological screening for families/primary caregivers after a child sustains a burn injury.

Pathway to resolve allergic asthma is discovered
Researchers identify the function of a protein that controls allergic diseases.

Mount Sinai develops nanotechnology-based immunotherapy promoting transplant acceptance
Study could transform care for organ transplant recipients.

New study shows that mothers prefer daughters and fathers prefer sons
Finnish-American research group has studied whether parents' gender preferences and investment in offspring are affected by their status, wealth, education or childhood environment.

Trying to understand cells' interior design
IBS Scientists have explained how liquid-like droplets made of proteins and DNA form in vitro.

First study of Humpback whale survivors of orca attacks in the Southeastern Pacific
Scars left by orca attacks indicate that most victims are young whales on the first trip from breeding to feeding grounds.

Regeneration in the digestive tract
The human gut is teeming with billions of beneficial bacteria.

A new piece to the puzzle sheds light on how UHRF1 regulates gene activity
Scientists at Helmholtz Zentrum München have discovered new details about the UHRF1 protein.

Why some Wikipedia disputes go unresolved
Study identifies reasons for unsettled editing disagreements and offers predictive tools that could improve deliberation.

Study shows potential to develop brain tumour liquid biopsies
Scientists are making strides in developing liquid biopsies for brain tumours by detecting tumour DNA in the fluid from around the brain and spine.

External structure can affect the function of enzymes
As biocatalysts, enzymes are involved in many metabolic processes. They bind to a particular substance, i.e. the substrate, and convert it.

Sign language reveals the hidden logical structure, and limitations, of spoken language
Sign languages can help reveal hidden aspects of the logical structure of spoken language, but they also highlight its limitations because speech lacks the rich iconic resources that sign language uses on top of its sophisticated grammar.

Plasma-based system provides radical new path for water purification
Many of today's methods of purifying water rely on filters and chemicals that need regular replenishing or maintenance.

Brain-derived compounds show surprising -- and beneficial -- results for cancer in lab studies
In a Veterans Affairs study, a manmade compound based on a brain hormone spurred the growth of cancer in Petri dishes but enigmatically had the opposite effect in mice.

Preschool children show awake responses to naptime nonsense words
Hearing has long been suspected as being 'on' all the time -- even in our sleep.

Warming oceans lead to more fur seal deaths from hookworm infection
Rising ocean temperatures are putting fur seal pups at greater risk of death from hookworm infections, according to new findings published in eLife.

Elevated blood pressure in people under 40 poses hazard of developing CVD prematurely
High blood pressure or hypertension is a major health problem that affects more than 100 million people in the US (using the current 130 systolic or 80 diastolic) and over one billion worldwide.

New deep knowledge AI system could resolve bottlenecks in drug research
Researchers at the University of Waterloo have developed a new system that could significantly speed up the discovery of new drugs and reduce the need for costly and time-consuming laboratory tests.

CO2 emissions in Russia go up in line with economic growth up until a certain point
Environmental pollution in Russia increases along with economic growth, but only until it reaches a certain threshold, from where it starts to decrease, demonstrates a recent study published in the open-access Russian Journal of Economics by Prof.

Children may be most at risk of stab injuries on way home from school
Children may be most at risk of being stabbed on their way home from school, suggests research published in the online journal BMJ Open.

Undeterred, gulf fish spawn despite hurricane
Even a Category 4 hurricane doesn't kill the mood for coastal fish -- and that's good news for all species, as well as for a multibillion-dollar recreational fishing industry.

ALMA and MUSE detect galactic fountain
Observations by ALMA and data from the MUSE spectrograph on ESO's VLT have revealed a colossal fountain of molecular gas powered by a black hole in the brightest galaxy of the Abell 2597 cluster -- the full galactic cycle of inflow and outflow powering this vast cosmic fountain has never before been observed in one system.

Adolescent cannabis use alters development of planning, self-control brain areas
Adolescent marijuana use may alter how neurons function in brain areas engaged in decision-making, planning and self-control, according to researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

New immunotherapy technique can specifically target tumor cells, UCI study reports
A new immunotherapy screening prototype developed by University of California, Irvine researchers can quickly create individualized cancer treatments that will allow physicians to effectively target tumors without the side effects of standard cancer drugs.

Summer birth and computer games linked to heightened short-sight risk in childhood
Summer birth and hours spent playing computer games are linked to a heightened risk of developing short or near sightedness (myopia) in childhood, indicates a twin study, published online in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.

Simulating hypersonic flow transitions from smooth to turbulent
To break out of Earth's lower orbit, hypersonic vehicles must reach speeds greater than Mach 5.

Machine-learning system could aid critical decisions in sepsis care
Researchers from MIT and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have developed a predictive model that could guide clinicians in deciding when to give potentially life-saving drugs to patients being treated for sepsis in the emergency room.

Study illuminates the largely unrecognized role of youth caregivers
Julia Belkowitz, M.D., M.P.H., a University of Miami Miller School of Medicine physician-researcher and pediatrician, and colleagues studied 28 middle school and high school students 12 to 19 years old who are youth caregivers for sick family members.

Subtle visual cues nudge users to reveal more in online forum
Pictures may be worth a thousand words, but icons may be even more powerful in nudging people to disclose more information online, according to an interdisciplinary team of Penn State researchers.

Making steps toward improved data storage
Researchers created the world's most powerful electromagnetic pulses to control a data-storage material's physical form, leading to a potential way to scale down memory devices and revolutionize how computers handle information.

Brown researchers develop new test to objectively measure pain, test medications
The electroencephalography-based test could improve patient pain assessments and reduce the over-prescription of opioids, the researchers say.

Oceanographers produce first-ever images of entire cod shoals
A team of oceanographers at MIT has journeyed to Norway -- one of the last remaining regions of the world where cod still thrive -- and used a synoptic acoustic system to, for the first time, illuminate entire shoals of cod almost instantaneously, during the height of the spawning season.

Woodland hawks flock to urban buffet
A team of Wisconsin researchers documents that woodland hawks -- once in precipitous decline due to pollution, persecution and habitat loss -- have become firmly established in even the starkest urban environments, thriving primarily on a diet of backyard birds attracted to feeders.

Artificial intelligence predicts Alzheimer's years before diagnosis
Artificial intelligence (AI) technology improves the ability of brain imaging to predict Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study.

Long noncoding RNA identified as a key regulator of inflammation
Scientists have identified an RNA molecule with broad powers to regulate the body's inflammatory response to infection and injury.

Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'
A team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call 'nanocardboard,' an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard.

Regeneration science takes a leap forward
Researchers led by Tufts University biologists and engineers have found that delivering progesterone to an amputation injury site can induce the regeneration of limbs in otherwise non-regenerative adult frogs -- a discovery that furthers understanding of regeneration and could help advance treatment of amputation injuries.

New analysis about synchronization transitions improves knowledge of physical, biological systems
In physical, biological and technological systems, the time that a system's components take to influence each other can affect the transition to synchronization, an important finding that improves understanding of how these systems function, according to a study led by Georgia State University.

How invasive earthworm feces is altering US soils
Asian jumping earthworms are carving out territory all over the US Midwest and East Coast, leaving in their wake changed soils that are just beginning to be studied.

ASU researcher helps develop prosthetic hand system, allowing user to 'feel' again
Arizona State University researcher James Abbas is part of a multi-institutional research team that has developed a new prosthetic hand system with a fully implanted, wirelessly controlled neurostimulator that has restored 'feeling' to a person with a hand amputation.

Flow units: Dynamic defects in metallic glasses
Metallic glass is promising and advanced metallic material with many unique properties. 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