Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 14, 2018
Natural solutions reduce global warming: Clark University + The Nature Conservancy
Christopher A. Williams, associate professor in Clark University's Graduate School of Geography and postdoctoral research scientist Huan Gu, Ph.D., worked with The Nature Conservancy and close to two dozen institutional partners on 'Natural Climate Solutions for the United States,' published today in Science Advances.

How exercise could help fight drug addiction
The siren call of addictive drugs can be hard to resist, and returning to the environment where drugs were previously taken can make resistance that much harder.

Epoxy compound gets a graphene bump
Rice University researchers combine epoxy with a tough graphene foam and carbon nanotube scaffold to build a resilient composite that's tougher and as conductive as other compounds but as light as pure epoxy.

London's low emission zone improved air quality but no major benefit to child lung health
Peer-reviewed / Observational study / People Low emission zones are now in place in 200 cities across Europe, but London findings suggest that interventions that deliver larger reductions in emissions may be needed

New way to study swallowing could one day lead to improved treatments for ALS
There is no cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, but new findings from the University of Missouri School of Medicine and the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine are deepening researchers' understanding of a common ALS symptom: swallowing problems.

A world without brick-and-mortar stores? Even avid online shoppers say, 'no, thanks'
The majority of consumers, even those who prefer online shopping, think the extinction of brick-and-mortar stores would be bad for society, according to a new University of Arizona-led study that explores consumers' perceptions of today's transforming retail environment.

Youth-oriented mental health campaign shows evidence of success
Most people who face mental health problems either do not seek treatment or delay seeking help, a problem that California is targeting with a wide-ranging campaign to change public attitudes.

Advanced computer technology & software turn species identification interactive
Representing a group of successful biocontrol agents for various pest fruit flies, a parasitic wasp genus remains overlooked, with its most recent identification key dating back to 1969, even though many new species have been added since then.

NIH scientists combine technologies to view the retina in unprecedented detail
By combining two imaging modalities -- adaptive optics and angiography -- investigators at the National Eye Institute (NEI) can see live neurons, epithelial cells, and blood vessels deep in the eye's light-sensing retina.

Colder, darker climates increase alcohol consumption and liver disease
People living in colder regions with less sunlight consume more alcohol and experience more alcoholic liver disease.

Investigational drug shows promising results in Phase II study of aggressive, often fatal blood disorder with no approved therapies
A Phase I/II study, led by investigators at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, reports an investigational drug called tagraxofusp has demonstrated high response rates in patients with blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm (BPDCN), a rare but highly aggressive -- and often fatal bone marrow and blood disorder -- for which there are no existing approved therapies.

New research offers detail and insight into deep-time evolution of animal life on islands
A paper appearing in PLOS ONE from an international team of investigators describes two new fossil relatives of marsupials that shed light on how a unique island ecosystem evolved some 43 million years ago during the Eocene.

Gravitational waves from a merged hyper-massive neutron star
For the first time astronomers have detected gravitational waves from a merged, hyper-massive neutron star.

Parents, kids actually agree about confidential medical care
Parents and their adolescent children actually agree with each other about preventive care and confidential medical services, except for abortion.

Stress in early life has a lasting impact on male birds' song
Male songbirds that had better early life conditions as nestlings sing more often and produce more complex songs as adults, according to a study by Lucy Magoolagan from Lancaster University, publishing Nov.

Two genomic tests identify groups of patients most likely to benefit from new drugs
New results from a long-running trial to identify which new drugs or combinations of drugs are most effective in which types of breast cancer, show that two genomic tests are bringing the era of truly personalised medicine ever nearer.

Low carb diets can help maintain weight loss by increasing number of calories burned
A low carbohydrate diet could help people maintain their weight loss by increasing the number of calories burned, finds a large US feeding trial published by The BMJ today.

Patient engagement as a new blockbuster drug, not quite yet, study finds
A team of researchers from The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice and the Berkeley School of Public Health at UC Berkeley recently conducted a study designed to better understand how patient engagement and activation (PAE) practices are being integrated into clinical practice.

Rainforest vine compound starves pancreatic cancer cells
Pancreatic cancer cells are known for their ability to thrive under extreme conditions of low nutrients and oxygen, a trait known in the cancer field as 'austerity.' The cells' remarkable resistance to starvation is one reason why pancreatic cancer is so deadly.

'Hopeful technology' could change detection, diagnosis of deadly ovarian cancer
Ovarian cancer claims the lives of more than 14,000 women in the U.S. each year, ranking fifth among cancer deaths in women.

Next-gen batteries possible with new engineering approach
Dramatically longer-lasting, faster-charging and safer lithium metal batteries may be possible, according to Penn State research, recently published in Nature Energy.

Soil's history: A solution to soluble phosphorus?
New research suggests that, over time, less phosphorus fertilizer may be necessary on agricultural fields.

UCI researchers discover molecular mechanisms of an African folk medicine
Researchers in the Department of Physiology & Biophysics at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine have discovered the molecular basis for therapeutic actions of an African folk medicine used to treat a variety of illnesses and disorders including diabetes, pain, headaches, paralysis and epilepsy.

Recommendations to reduce recidivism in transgender women
Previously incarcerated transgender women can find themselves caught in a cycle that leads to repeat jail time.

Mothers infected by dengue may have babies with higher risk of severe Zika, and vice versa
Two new studies provide evidence that previous Dengue infection in pregnant mothers may lead to increased severity of Zika in babies, and that previous Zika infection in mice mothers may increase severity of Dengue infection in their pups.

Researchers discover novel 'to divide or to differentiate' switch in plants
Scientists from VIB and Ghent University under the guidance of professor Dr.

Super-Earth discovered around the second nearest stellar system
Just six light-years away, Barnard's star moves in Earth's night sky faster than any other star.

Ringling train chugs into digital world
The train car dedicated to transporting John Ringling across the country, often alongside his infamous circus, is now more accessible to the public due to the 3D printing of several spare train parts.

Researchers find inhibiting one protein destroys toxic clumps seen in Parkinson's disease
A team of neurologists at Georgetown University Medical Center has found that inhibiting the USP13 molecule may be a therapeutic target in Parkinson's disease and other similar forms of neurodegeneration.

Research on imaging in radiation oncology featured in Red Journal special issue
A new special edition of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology* Biology* Physics (Red Journal) focuses on the roles of imaging in radiation oncology.

World's next supercollider design report released
Scientists working on the Circular Electron Positron Collider (CEPC), a planned next-generation particle collider in China, released its Conceptual Design Report (CDR) on Nov.

Nanotubes built from protein crystals: Breakthrough in biomolecular engineering
Researchers at Tokyo Tech have succeeded in constructing protein nanotubes from tiny scaffolds made by cross-linking of engineered protein crystals.

Parents shouldn't worry if their infant doesn't sleep through the night by a year old
Authors of a study found that a large percentage of healthy babies don't start sleeping through the night even at a year old.

Competition for shrinking groundwater
Groundwater, which has been used to irrigate crops, satiate livestock and quench thirst in general for thousands of years, continues to be a vital resource around the world.

Study of 2,000 children suggests London air pollution is restricting lung development
Children exposed to diesel-dominated air pollution in London are showing poor lung capacity, putting them at risk of lifelong breathing disorders, according to a study led by Queen Mary University of London, King's College London & University of Edinburgh

Human cell atlas study reveals maternal immune system modifications in early pregnancy
The first Human Cell Atlas study of early pregnancy in humans has shown how the maternal immune system is affected by cells from the developing placenta.

Tropical Cyclone Gaja approaching Southeastern India
Tropical Cyclone Gaja continued to track toward a landfall in southeastern India when NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite flew over the Bay of Bengal and provided a visible image of the storm.

Physicists discover new way of resonance tuning for nonlinear optics
A research team from ITMO University and the Australian National University has discovered that different metasurfaces exhibit the same behavior provided a symmetry breaking is introduced to their unit cells 'meta-atoms'.

Symbiosis a driver of truffle diversity
Truffles are the fruiting bodies of the ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungal symbionts residing on host plant roots.

The first rains in centuries in the Atacama Desert devastate its microbial life
The Atacama Desert, the driest and oldest desert on Earth, located in northern Chile, hides a hyper-arid core in which no rain has been recorded during the past 500 years.

Low-carb diets cause people to burn more calories
Most people regain the weight they lose from dieting within one or two years, in part because the body adapts by slowing metabolism and burning fewer calories.

Surgical menopause leads to increased sleep issues
Insomnia is one of the most common symptoms of menopause, with nearly 20 percent of postmenopausal women reporting sleep disturbances.

Combination of two immunotherapies shows activity in non-small cell lung cancer patients
A combination of two drugs, which prompt the body's immune system to identify and kill cancer cells, is a safe treatment for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer and has shown some signs of efficacy.

Breakthrough in treatment of restless legs syndrome
New research published in The Journal of Physiology presents a breakthrough in the treatment of Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS).

Study of two tribes sheds light on role of Western-influenced diet in blood pressure
A South American tribe living in near-total isolation with no Western dietary influences showed no increase in average blood pressure from age one to age 60, according to a study led by researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Salmon are shrinking and it shows in their genes
Male salmon are maturing earlier and becoming smaller, and it shows in their genes.

Large areas of the Brazilian rainforest at risk of losing protection
Up to 15 million hectares of the Brazilian Amazon is at risk of losing its legal protection, according to a new study from researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden, and the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Alcohol ads with pro-drinking comments on Facebook boost desire to drink
Alcohol advertisements on social media sites such as Facebook can increase young adults' desire to drink if the ads contain pro-drinking comments from users.

Victims of gun violence tell their stories: Everyday violence, 'feelings of hopelessness'
Invited to share their personal stories, victims of urban gun violence describe living with violence as a 'common everyday experience' and feeling abandoned by police and other societal institutions, reports a study in the November/December Journal of Trauma Nursing, official publication of the Society of Trauma Nurses.

Next step on the path towards an efficient biofuel cell
Fuel cells that work with the enzyme hydrogenase are, in principle, just as efficient as those that contain the expensive precious metal platinum as a catalyst.

Patient-oriented research: A collection featuring benefits, challenges and experiences
Does engaging patients in research projects improve health? A comprehensive collection -- from youth involvement in mental health services to suicide prevention, Indigenous health, children with complex medical needs and more -- highlights the value of patient engagement in research.

Study finds early career publications as likely source of NIH funding racial gap
In seeking to pinpoint why black or African-American scientists are less likely than their white counterparts to receive National Institutes of Health research funding, a group of researchers has identified early career publications as a likely contributor to the gap.

Zika may hijack mother-fetus immunity route
Antibodies against dengue virus make it easier for Zika to infect certain immune cells in the placenta, called Hofbauer cells.

Migraines that affect vision may increase risk of irregular heartbeat
People who experience migraine with visual aura may have an increased risk of an irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation, according to a study published in the Nov.

Is the rise in blood pressure with age a consequence of the western lifestyle?
A common belief in cardiology is that blood pressure (BP) increases with age, although studies find little evidence of that among non-Western adults in isolated communities.

Survey reveals how we use music as a possible sleep aid
Many individuals use music in the hope that it fights sleep difficulties, according to a study published Nov.

Putting food-safety detection in the hands of consumers
MIT Media Lab researchers have developed a wireless system that leverages the cheap RFID tags already on hundreds of billions of products to sense potential food contamination -- with no hardware modifications needed.

Breeding corn for water-use efficiency may have just gotten easier
With approximately 80 percent of our nation's water supply going towards agriculture, it's fair to say it takes a lot of water to grow crops.

Earth's magnetic field measured using artificial stars at 90 kilometers altitude
In 2011, researchers proposed that artificial guide stars could be used to measure the Earth's magnetic field in the mesosphere.

Mosquito genome opens new avenues for reducing bug-borne disease
Researchers have assembled a new and improved DNA catalogue for the mosquito Aedes aegypti.

Using the plant microbiome to restore native grasslands
The BioScience Talks podcast features discussions of topical issues related to the biological sciences.

Screening for hepatitis B and C: Benefit unclear due to a lack of suitable studies
There are no suitable studies for the benefit assessment of screenings of the general population.

Climate simulations project wetter, windier hurricanes
New supercomputer simulations by climate scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have shown that climate change intensified the amount of rainfall in recent hurricanes such as Katrina, Irma, and Maria by 5 to 10 percent.

Police officers 'open up' about body-worn cameras in a post-ferguson era
A study is the first to use qualitative research to gain deeper insight into law enforcement officers' personal experiences and perspectives on the use of body-worn cameras in a post-Ferguson era.

Researchers identify factors behind inflammation in immunodeficiency patients
Researchers have discovered two key factors behind the intestinal inflammation that plagues people suffering from a disorder that affects their immune system.

Cold Super-Earth found orbiting second-closest star system to our own
An international team including five Carnegie astronomers has discovered a frozen Super-Earth orbiting Barnard's star, the closest single star to our own Sun.

A new approach to detecting cancer earlier from blood tests: Study
Cancer scientists led by principal investigator Dr. Daniel De Carvalho at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre have combined 'liquid biopsy,' epigenetic alterations and machine learning to develop a blood test to detect and classify cancer at its earliest stages.

Bias-based bullying does more harm, is harder to protect against
A new study finds that bias-based bullying does more harm to students than generalized bullying, particularly for students who are targeted because of multiple identities, such as race and gender.

Massive impact crater from a kilometer-wide iron meteorite discovered in Greenland
An international team lead by researchers from the Centre for GeoGenetics at the Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen have discovered a 31-km wide meteorite impact crater buried beneath the ice-sheet in the northern Greenland.

Urocortin 3 gene therapy increases systolic and diastolic function in heart failure
Mice with heart failure that were treated with AAV8-based gene therapy to deliver the protein urocortin 3 (UCn3) had increased blood levels of UCn3 over a 5-week period and improved heart function.

Researchers identify a mechanism that fuels cancer cells' growth
The study, led by UCLA professors Claudio Scafoglio and David Shackelford, suggests that a biomarker can help scientists detect lung cancer earlier, when it is much easier to treat.

Venom shape untangles scorpion family tree
University of Wisconsin-Madison scientists have made a fresh attempt to untangle the scorpion family tree using not the shape and structure of the arachnids' bodies, but the shape of their venom.

Houston's urban sprawl increased rainfall, flooding during Hurricane Harvey
Princeton and University of Iowa researchers found that Houston's urban landscape directly contributed to the torrential rainfall and deadly flooding of Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

Seismic study reveals huge amount of water dragged into Earth's interior
Slow-motion collisions of tectonic plates under the ocean drag about three times more water down into the deep Earth than previously estimated, according to a first-of-its-kind seismic study that spans the Mariana Trench.

New US study reveals natural solutions can reduce global warming
A new study found that 21 percentof the United States' greenhouse gas pollution (1.2 Pg CO2e year) could be removed through enhanced management of forest, grassland, agricultural, and coastal areas.

Tropical trees in the Andes are moving up -- toward extinction
In the most comprehensive study of its kind, an international team of scientists led by University of Miami biologists has found that tropical and subtropical forests across South America's Andes Mountains are responding to warming temperatures by migrating to higher, cooler elevations, but probably not quickly enough to avoid the loss of their biodiversity, functional collapse, or even extinction.

Huge crater discovered in Greenland from impact that rocked Northern Hemisphere
A survey of ice in Greenland has uncovered evidence suggesting a kilometer-wide iron asteroid slammed into that island, perhaps as recently as 12,000 years ago during the end of the Pleistocene.

A 15-minute scan could help diagnose brain damage in newborns
A 15-minute scan could help diagnose brain damage in babies up to two years earlier than current methods.

Vaginal problems diminish quality of life but often go unreported
With symptoms such as dryness, burning, or itching of the vagina, vulvovaginal atrophy is estimated to affect up to 98 percent of postmenopausal women, many of whom will fail to report symptoms to their healthcare providers or seek help.

Photo recognition that keeps personal interests private
Photo-based information services that use image recognition can identify a user's location and other private information, such as personal interests and tendencies.

Improved mosquito reference genome assembly produced using long-read sequencing
A new comprehensive map of mosquito DNA has been assembled using long-read sequencing technology from California-based Pacific Biosciences.

Late Miocene ape maxilla (upper jaw) discovered in western India
An ape maxilla (upper jaw) from the Late Miocene found in the Kutch basin, in western India, significantly extends the southern range of ancient apes in the Indian Peninsula, according to a study published in Nov.

Using social media to weaken the wrath of terror attacks
Governments and police forces around the world need to beware of the harm caused by mass and social media following terror events.

Certain diabetes drugs linked to increased risk of lower limb amputation
Use of sodium glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors to treat type 2 diabetes is associated with an increased risk of lower limb amputation and diabetic ketoacidosis (a serious diabetes complication) compared with another group of drugs called glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP1) receptor agonists, finds a study in The BMJ today.

Microgel powder fights infection and helps wounds heal
While making smart glue, a team of engineers discovered a handy byproduct: hydrogen peroxide.

Older people are more likely to have an inappropriate prescription after hospitalization
A new study has found that older patients who were hospitalised were 72 percent more likely to be given a potentially inappropriate prescription after their hospital admission, independent of other patient factors.

Scouting out bacterial defences to find new ways to counter-attack antibiotic resistance
Research led by the University of Bristol has begun to unpick an important mechanism of antibiotic resistance and suggest approaches to block this resistance.

Analysis of data sources improves ability to respond to climate change in East Africa
East Africa is one of the most vulnerable regions in the world to extreme weather and climate events.

Non-coding genetic variant could improve key vascular functions
In the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team of physicians, geneticists and biologists describes a previously unknown genetic factor -- a common non-coding sequence of DNA -- that can either raise or reduce the risk of coronary artery disease or ischemic stroke.

African ancestry associated with risk factors for heart failure
African-Americans are known to have certain cardiac conditions that are linked to a greater occurrence of heart failure at a younger age than Caucasians.

Difficult-to-treat bowel cancers respond in first study of new drug combination
Early results from a phase I trial in a small group of patients with advanced cancer using two drugs (nivolumab and pixatimod) that stimulate the immune system report that patients with bowel cancer may benefit from the combination.

When electric fields make spins swirl
IBS research group in collaboration with the University of Science and Technology of China, has reported the discovery of small and ferroelectrically tunable skyrmions.

Older adults' abstract reasoning ability predicts depressive symptoms over time
Age-related declines in abstract reasoning ability predict increasing depressive symptoms in subsequent years, according to data from a longitudinal study of older adults in Scotland.

Surgery, not antibiotics, should remain first-line treatment for appendicitis
Treating appendicitis with antibiotics as an alternative to surgical removal of the inflamed organ was found to be more costly in the long term and result in higher rates of hospital readmissions, according to a study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

New virtual reconstruction of a Neanderthal thorax suggests another breathing mechanism
A research team, led by Dr Asier Gómez-Olivencia, an Ikerbasque research fellow at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), and Dr Ella Been of the Ono Academic College of Tel Aviv, has carried out the first virtual reconstruction of the full fossil ribcage of the Neanderthal individual known as Kebara 2.

Astronomers discover super-Earth around Barnard's star
Astronomers have discovered a planet in orbit around one of the closest stars to the Sun, Barnard's star.

For arid, Mars-like Peruvian desert, rain brings death
When rains fell on the arid Atacama Desert, it was reasonable to expect floral blooms to follow.

Climate control of Earth's critical zone
New research by University of Colorado Boulder geoscientists shines a light on this hidden world from ridgetops to valley floors and shows how rainfall shapes the part of our planet that is just beyond where we can see.

Maternally acquired Zika immunity can increase dengue disease severity in mouse pups
To say that the immune system is complex is an understatement: an immune response protective in one context can turn deadly over time, as evidenced by numerous epidemiological studies on dengue infection, spanning multiple decades and countries worldwide.

Middle Eastern desert dust on the Tibetan plateau could affect the Indian summer monsoon
Large quantities dust from the deserts of the Middle East can settle on the Tibetan Plateau, darkening the region's snowpack and accelerating snow melt.

First tally of US-Russia polar bears finds a healthy population
The first scientific assessment of polar bears that live in the Chukchi Sea region that spans the US and Russia finds the population is healthy and does not yet appear to be suffering from declining sea ice.

Half of older patients exposed to potentially inappropriate prescribing
Around half of older patients are exposed to potentially inappropriate prescribing, each year, and hospitalisation is independently associated with an increased risk, finds a study in Ireland published by The BMJ today.

Quantum science turns social
Researchers developed a versatile remote gaming interface that allowed experts as well as hundreds of citizen scientists all over the world through multiplayer collaboration and in real time to optimize a quantum gas experiment in a lab at Aarhus University.

Super-Earth orbiting Barnard's Star
The nearest single star to the Sun hosts an exoplanet at least 3.2 times as massive as Earth -- a so-called super-Earth.

Treatment for canine leishmaniasis exists in Brazilian vaccine
A vaccine used to prevent dogs from contracting the deadly, parasitic disease canine leishmaniasis also can be used to treat currently infected dogs, found Morris Animal Foundation-funded researchers at the University of Iowa, providing a new avenue of treatment for millions of infected dogs globally.

Protection against Malaria: A matter of balance
A balanced production of pro and anti-inflammatory cytokines at two years of age protects against clinical malaria in early childhood, according to a study led by ISGlobal, an institution supported by ''la Caixa'' Foundation.

The first impact crater found underneath the Greenland ice sheet
A 31-kilometer-wide impact crater underneath about a kilometer of the Hiawatha Glacier's ice is the first of its kind to be discovered in northwest Greenland, scientists report.

Recommending plants to benefit and attract pollinators
Pollinating Insects are integral to the health of all terrestrial ecosystems and agriculture worldwide.

Defense against intestinal infection in organism is affected by prostaglandin E2
Experimental inhibition of this prostanoid led to increased migration of defense cells and production of antimicrobial peptides, resulting in decreased bacterial numbers in the colon.

Drug combination makes cancer disappear in mice with neuroblastoma
Researchers investigating new treatments for neuroblastoma -- one of the most common childhood cancers -- have found that a combination of two drugs made tumors disappear in mice, making it more effective than any other drugs tested in these animals.

Who joined the Islamic State from France between 2014 and 2016?
Radicalized French citizens who adhere to Islamic State propaganda are less likely to disengage from their beliefs if they are married men with children, and from families with married parents.

Precision neuroengineering enables reproduction of complex brain-like functions in vitro
Researchers from the University of Barcelona and Tohoku University design neural circuits reproducing dynamic reconfiguration behaviors of the brain.

Ohio University study: Fear leads people to think donating blood will make others faint
A new study showed that people who are afraid to have their blood drawn believe more people faint or have other symptoms than what statistics show actually occurs.

Checking very preterm babies' head size can help identify long-term IQ problems
Regular early head circumference assessments add valuable information when screening for long-term neurocognitive risk - according to new research by an international research collaboration, including the University of Warwick, UK and the University of Tennessee Knoxville, US.

Helping an oral diabetes drug go the extra mile
Stephen Buckley and colleagues have reformulated a prospective therapy for type 2 diabetes (T2D) now under clinical investigation as an oral treatment.

Super-earth discovered orbiting the sun's famous stellar neighbor
An international team of astronomers has discovered the nearest single star to the sun hosts an exoplanet at least 3.2 times as massive as Earth -- a so-called super-Earth. 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