Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 20, 2018
Researchers use MRI to predict Alzheimer's disease
MRI brain scans perform better than common clinical tests at predicting which people will go on to develop Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study.

Researchers stop 'sneaky' cancer cells in their tracks
A new study by University of Minnesota biomedical engineers shows how they stopped cancer cells from moving and spreading, even when the cells changed their movements.

How to melt gold at room temperature
When the tension rises, unexpected things can happen -- not least when it comes to gold atoms.

New model predicts which animal viruses may spread among humans
Researchers have developed a model that predicts which of the viruses that can jump from animals to people can also be transmitted from person to person--and are therefore possible sources of human diseases.

Sugar-sweetened beverages are harmful to health and may be addictive, researchers suggest
Research subjects reported increased headaches, decreased motivation to do work, lack of contentment and ability to concentrate, cravings for sugary drinks, and lower ratings of overall wellbeing.

The shape of things to come: Flexible, foldable supercapacitors for energy storage
A team of researchers from the Plasma Physics Research Centre, Science and Research Branch of Islamic Azad University in Tehran, Iran, have discovered a way of making paper supercapacitors for electricity storage.

Depressed people have an increased risk of atrial fibrillation
Depressed people have an increased risk of atrial fibrillation, according to a study published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, a European Society of Cardiology (ESC) journal.1 Medication was not responsible for the high frequency of atrial fibrillation in depressed people.

NTU Singapore scientists develop 'contact lens' patch to treat eye diseases
NTU Singapore scientists have developed a 'contact lens' patch with microneedles that could be a painless and efficient alternative to current methods of treating eye diseases such as glaucoma.

Researchers reveal how a deadly fungal infection shape-shifts into an invasive monster
Monash researchers have shed new light on just how the fungal infection Candida albicans shape-shifts into a deadly version with hyphae or filaments that help it break through human tissues and into the bloodstream.

Many patients diagnosed with adenomas may not receive colonoscopies in recommended time frame
Patients who are diagnosed with adenomas, a possible precursor of colorectal cancer, often do not receive subsequent colonoscopies within the recommended time frame.

Get dressed!
Computer scientists from the Georgia Institute of Technology and Google Brain, Google's artificial intelligence research arm, have devised a novel computational method, driven by machine learning techniques, to successfully and realistically simulate the multi-step process of putting on clothes.

NASA sees Tropical Depression 33W affecting Philippines
Visible imagery from NASA's Terra satellite revealed the extent of Tropical Depression 33W showed the tropical low pressure system moving into the central part of the Philippines on Nov.

MRI scans shows promise in predicting dementia
Doctors may one day be able to gauge a patient's risk of dementia with an MRI scan, according to a new study from Washington University School of Medicine in St.

First-of-its-kind study finds loss of local media worsens political polarization
Changes to the media environment have increased polarized voting in America through both addition and subtraction.

Volcanoes and glaciers combine as powerful methane producers
Large amounts of the potent greenhouse gas methane are being released from an Icelandic glacier, scientists have discovered.

Chemists develop new method for selective binding of proteins
A new method of selectively binding proteins to nanoparticles has been described by a team of German and Chinese researchers headed by Prof.

Study: Twitter bots had 'disproportionate' role spreading misinformation in 2016 election
Indiana University computer scientists conducted an analysis of information shared on Twitter during the 2016 U.S. presidential election and found that automated accounts play a disproportionate role in spreading misinformation online.

Revisiting the hub of protein synthesis
A study led by Dr. Ravi Muddashetty at InStem, Bangalore identified distinct markers to distinguish ribosomes that are specialized for producing specific sets of proteins and hinted that this specialization could be important for the development of the nervous system.

Effects of early education intervention on behavior persist for 4 decades
Adults who had received early life, intensive childhood educational intervention display high levels of fairness in social interactions more than 40 years later, even when being fair comes at a high personal cost, according to a new study by Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute scientists.

A study suggests that epigenetic treatments could trigger the development of aggressive tumours
A team headed by ICREA researchers Salvador Aznar Benitah and Fran Supek concludes that care should be taken with drugs that inhibit epigenetic factors.

Study: Self-management program for patients with COPD boosts quality of life, cuts rehospitalization
Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers report that a program designed to enhance self-care and lead to more seamless management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in adults successfully reduced rates of emergency room visits and hospitalization, and the burdensome symptoms and limitations caused by the condition.

Strong but uneven spending in medical and health R&D across sectors over five-year period
Total US investment in medical and health research and development (R&D) in the US grew by 27 percent over the five-year period from 2013 to 2017, led by industry and the federal government, according to US Investments in Medical and Health Research and Development, a new report from Research!America.

How to convert climate-changing carbon dioxide into plastics and other products
Rutgers scientists have developed catalysts that can convert carbon dioxide -- the main cause of global warming -- into plastics, fabrics, resins and other products.

Vanderbilt discovery could neutralize West Nile virus
Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and colleagues have isolated a human monoclonal antibody that can 'neutralize' the West Nile virus and potentially prevent a leading cause of viral encephalitis (brain inflammation) in the United States.

Improving dementia care and treatment saves thousands of pounds in care homes
Improving staff training in care homes and reducing reliance on harmful medications saves thousands of pounds per year, as well as improving quality of life and reducing agitation in dementia, new research has demonstrated.

Aquatic animals that jump out of water inspire leaping robots
Ever watch aquatic animals jump out of the water and wonder how they manage to do it in such a streamlined and graceful way?

Tattoos are popular -- half of all Germans regard tattoo inks as safe
Tattoos are popular. Roughly one in eight Germans already has one.

NASA tracks Tropical Depression Toraji in the Gulf of Thailand
Visible from NASA's Terra satellite revealed the extent of Tropical Depression Toraji as it continued moving through the Gulf of Thailand and affecting southern Thailand and Malaysia.

NASA sees Tropical Depression Man-yi, warnings triggered
ropical depression Man-yi for med in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean and NASA captured an image of the storm.

Responses of waterbirds to climate change is linked to their preferred wintering habitats
A new scientific article shows that 25 European waterbird species can change their wintering areas depending on winter weather.

Parental 'feeding styles' reflect children's genes
New research from King's College London and UCL challenges the idea that a child's weight largely reflects the way their parents feed them.

NASA sees Tropical Cyclone Bouchra being blown apart
Tropical Cyclone Bouchra may have been re-born over the weekend of Nov.

Vaping no boost to quit rates in smokers, study suggests
People who vape and smoke cigarettes are no more likely to drop the nicotine habit than those who just smoke, a new study suggests.

Could yesterday's Earth contain clues for making tomorrow's medicines?
In a paper published recently in the journal Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres, UW-Madison researchers described initial steps toward achieving chemistries that encode information in a variety of conditions that might mimic the environment of prehistoric Earth.

Scientists develop potential new treatment for common soft-tissue childhood cancer
CRISPR 'genetic screens' and new approaches to drug design have provided a potential new therapy, which blocks the progression of synovial sarcoma tumors in pre-clinical trials.

Low-protein high-carb diet shows promise for healthy brain aging
Low-protein high-carbohydrate diets may be the key to longevity, and healthy brain ageing in particular, according to a new mice study from the University of Sydney.

New information on the pathological mechanisms of Alzheimer's disease
Researchers at the University of Helsinki have discovered a mechanism by which harmful tau protein aggregates are transmitted between neurons.

How a crystal is solvated in water
How a molecule from a solid crystal structure is solvated in a liquid solvent has been observed at a molecular level for the first time by chemists at Ruhr-Universit├Ąt Bochum.

Machine learning masters the fingerprint to fool biometric systems
Fingerprint authentication systems are a widely trusted, ubiquitous form of biometric authentication, deployed on billions of smartphones and other devices worldwide.

Inkjet printers can produce cheap micro-waveguides for optical computers
Scientists from ITMO University have proposed a new technology for creating optical micro-waveguides using inkjet printing.

Bots actually target and pursue individual influencers
New research co-authored by assistant research professor and associate director of Informatics at the University of Southern California Department of Computer Science, Emilio Ferrara, looks at 'social hacking' over social networks that can increase violent commentary and can affect voting behavior.

Reducing the impact forces of water entry
As professional divers complete what's known as a rip dive, their hands remove water in front of the body, creating a cavity that reduces the initial impact force.

Smart car technologies save drivers $6.2 billion on fuel costs each year
In the first study to assess the energy impact of smart technology in cars, researchers at Stevens Institute of Technology have put a number on the potential fuel-cost savings alone: $6.2 billion.

Researchers developed sustainable 'nano-raspberry' to neutralize poisonous carbon monoxide
Sustainable method to neutralize poisonous carbon monoxide named 'nano-raspberry' was developed by the NITech scientists, which is a raspberry-shaped nanoparticle capable of losing the most potent toxicity of carbon monoxide.

As vaping increased in popularity, use of cigarettes declined
Cigarette smoking dramatically decreased between 2013 and 2017 just as e-cigarette use became more popular, according to a comprehensive analysis examining the relationship between vaping and smoking among youth and young adults led by a Georgetown University investigator.

Gene testing doesn't add much information for antidepressant or antipsychotic prescribing
Pharmacogenetic tests are marketed as an aid to psychiatrists in selecting the antidepressant or antipsychotic medication that will work best in individual patients, based on their genetic makeup.

Frogs breed young to beat virus
Frogs from groups exposed to a deadly virus are breeding at younger ages, new research suggests.

DNA vaccine reduces both toxic proteins linked to Alzheimer's
A DNA vaccine tested in mice reduces accumulation of both types of toxic proteins associated with Alzheimer's disease, according to research that scientists say may pave the way to a clinical trial.

Traffic noise stresses out frogs, but some have adapted
A new study reveals the negative effects of traffic noise on frogs and how some frogs have adapted.

Fish can detox too -- but not so well, when it comes to mercury
By examining the tissues at a subcellular level, the researchers discovered yelloweye rockfish were able to immobilize several potentially toxic elements within their liver tissues (cadmium, lead, and arsenic) thus preventing them from interacting with sensitive parts of the cell.

Calls for businesses to better use employee benefits to support low earners
New research by the Work Foundation finds that while businesses increasingly recognize employee benefits as vital in the global race for talent, many are failing to maximize their value for low earners amongst their workforce.

Gut protein mutations shield against spikes in glucose
Why is it that, despite consuming the same number of calories, sodium and sugar, some people face little risk of diabetes or obesity while others are at higher risk?

Hungry ticks work harder to find you
Biologists at the University of Cincinnati say the hungrier ticks are, the harder they try to find you or other hosts.

Neuroimaging study reveals 'hot spot' for cue-reactivity in substance-dependent population
Medical University of South Carolina neuroscientists have identified a region of brain that may be a new clinical target to treat addiction.

Meta-surface corrects for chromatic aberrations across all kinds of lenses
SEAS researchers have developed a so-called metacorrector, a single-layer surface of nanostructures that can correct chromatic aberrations across the visible spectrum and can be incorporated into commercial optical systems, from simple lenses to high-end microscopes.

Pace of US smoking rate decline mirrors rapid rise in popularity of vaping
The pace of the fall in smoking prevalence among teens and young adults in the US has mirrored the rapid rise in popularity of e-cigarettes, suggesting that the two may be linked, finds research published online in the journal Tobacco Control.

FEFU physicists have developed concept of new fast non-volatile memory
Using the method of micromagnetic simulation, scientists have found the magnetic parameters and operating modes for the experimental implementation of the fast racetrack memory module running on the spin current.

The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology: Global study predicts more than 20 percent rise in insulin use by 2030
The amount of insulin needed to effectively treat type 2 diabetes will rise by more than 20 percent worldwide over the next 12 years, but without major improvements in access, insulin will be beyond the reach of around half of the 79 million adults with type 2 diabetes who will need it in 2030, according to a new modelling study published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal.

Fish genes hold key to repairing damaged hearts
The Mexican tetra fish can repair its heart after damage -- something researchers have been striving to achieve in humans for years.

Clemson researchers reveal secrets of parasite that causes African sleeping sickness
A team of Clemson University researchers wants to protect humans and other mammals from the debilitating and even deadly effects of African sleeping sickness.

Teen personality traits linked to risk of death from any cause 50 years later
Personality traits evident as early as the teenage years may be linked to a heightened or lessened risk of death around 50 years later, suggests observational research of 'baby boomers,' published online in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

When storing memories, brain prioritizes those experiences that are most rewarding
A Columbia University study finds that overnight the brain automatically preserves memories for important events and filters out the rest, revealing new insights into the processes that guide decision making and behavior.

Hyena population recovered slowly from a disease epidemic
Infectious diseases can substantially reduce the size of wildlife populations, thereby affecting both the dynamics of ecosystems and biodiversity.

The eyes have it
By the time symptoms of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD) are typically discovered, death is looming and inevitable.

Among birds-of-paradise, good looks are not enough to win a mate
Male birds-of-paradise are notorious for their wildly extravagant feather ornaments, complex calls, and shape-shifting dance moves -- all evolved to attract a mate.

Being fair: The benefits of early child education
Getting a jump on a low-income child's education can have a positive effect on social behavior even 40 years later, researchers find.

Personality and mood affect brain response to personal choice
Personality traits and mental health affect how people value personal control in decision making, according to a new study in Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging.

Machine learning can be used to predict which patients require emergency admission
Machine learning can be used to analyse electronic health records and predict the risk of emergency hospital admissions, a new study from The George Institute for Global Health at the University of Oxford has found.

Study estimates how much time adults sit, how many are physically inactive
Sitting too long and being physically inactive can be bad for your health, and it's important to understand how common these behaviors are among US adults.

UNH researchers create a more effective hydrogel for healing wounds
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have created an easy-to-make, low-cost injectable hydrogel that could help wounds heal faster, especially for patients with compromised health issues.

Transparency and reproducibility of biomedical research is improving
New research publishing Nov. 20 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology from Joshua Wallach, Kevin Boyack, and John Ioannidis suggests that progress has been made in key areas of research transparency and reproducibility.

Moms matter, dads don't... when it comes to children's weight
When mothers lose weight, their children slim down too. When mothers are less active, children get fatter.

Tropical fish adapt to cold temperatures in coordination with their microbiome
Scientists have discovered that tropical fish can control their gut microbes to better survive extremes of temperature, a study in eLife reveals.

Cutting the legs off cancer
Melanoma skin cancer tumors grow larger and are more likely to metastasize due to interactions between a pair of molecules, according to experiments in mice and human cells.

Aftermath of EU referendum linked to rise in antidepressant prescribing in England
Antidepressant prescribing in England rose relative to other types of drug in the immediate aftermath of the results of the European Union referendum in June 2016, when Britons voted in favor of Brexit, reveals research published online in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

Risking the unknown in hope of a cure: The ethics of patient access to experimental treatments
The Nuffield Council on Bioethics has today published a new briefing note highlighting the ethical issues that can arise when patients and doctors wish to use experimental treatments.

New mechanism controlling the master cancer regulator uncovered
Who regulates the key regulator? The Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences reports online in the journal Science about a newly discovered mechanism by which RAS proteins, central to cancer signaling, are regulated in their activity and localization.

Is Antarctica becoming more like Greenland?
Antarctica is high and dry and mostly bitterly cold, and it's easy to think of its ice and snow as locked away in a freezer, protected from melt except around its low-lying coasts and floating ice shelves.

Fading stripes in Southeast Asia: First insight into the ecology of a threatened rabbit
The Annamite mountains of Vietnam and Lao PDR (Laos) harbour exceptional species richness and endemism, but its wildlife is under threat from widespread and intensive poaching.

How your moving brain sees the world
What we see is not only determined by what is really there, but also depends on whether we are paying attention, whether we are moving, excited or interested.

RUDN medics suggested modifications to coronary artery stenting
When coronary arteries are damaged, atherosclerotic plaques can reduce the blood supply of the heard.

Babies born with broken hearts
Researchers are exploring how irregular filling mechanics may contribute to defects in developing fetal hearts because inefficient filling leads to energy losses that alter the heart's structure and performance, and studying how filling mechanics and flow structure change over the course of gestation.

A smartphone and new software could help save infants born preterm
A new algorithm combined with a handheld, smartphone-based device could aid health care workers in remote locations to estimate degrees of prematurity for affected infants.

Live probiotics can re-balance the gut microbiome and modify immune system response
New research published in the International Journal of Pharmaceutics demonstrates that 'good' bacteria in the live probiotic SymproveTM can successfully reach and colonise the gut, where they go on to change the existing gut flora.

Regulating the immune system's 'regulator'
A research team at the Academy of Immunology and Microbiology, within the Institute for Basic Science (IBS) has discovered a possible therapeutic target that pulls the reins of immunity.

A growing list of factors that impact CKD severity for kids
Myriad biological and societal factors can impact the occurrence and accelerate progression of chronic kidney disease for children of African descent - including preterm birth, exposure to toxins during gestation and lower socioeconomic status -- and can complicate these children's access to effective treatments.

A toxic bullet involved in bacterial competition found by researchers
A bacterial toxin that allows an infectious strain of bacteria to defeat its competitors has been discovered by Imperial College London scientists.

Impaired cellular force transmission a cause for valvular heart disease
About three per cent of the world's population is affected by valvular heart diseases.

Explaining the plummeting cost of solar power
The dramatic drop in the cost of solar photovoltaic (PV) modules, which has fallen by 99 percent over the last four decades, is often touted as a major success story for renewable energy technology.

Women benefit from mammography screening beyond age 75
Women age 75 years and older should continue to get screening mammograms because of the comparatively high incidence of breast cancer found in this age group, according to a new study.

The taming of the dog, cow, horse, pig and rabbit
Research at the Earlham Institute into one of the 'genetic orchestra conductors', microRNAs, sheds light on our selectively guided evolution of domestic pets and farmyard animals such as dogs and cows.

Eyes of CJD patients show evidence of prions
NIH scientists and colleagues have found evidence of the infectious agent of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in the eyes of deceased CJD patients.

Why macrophages rest in healthy tissue
ETH scientists have shown that the immune system's macrophages are regulated not only biochemically, but mechanically as well.

When AI and optoelectronics meet: Researchers take control of light properties
Researchers from INRS and the University of Sussex customize the properties of broadband light sources using an AI algorithm and a photonic chip.

Scientists identify new genetic causes linked to abnormal pregnancies and miscarriages
A team of scientists at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) and McGill University have identified three genes responsible for recurrent molar pregnancies, a rare complication that occurs when a non-viable pregnancy with no embryo implants in the uterus.

In heart failure, a stronger heart could spell worse symptoms
Patients with stronger-pumping hearts have as many physical and cognitive impairments as those with weaker hearts, suggesting the need for better treatment.

Studying water flow for more efficient aquaponic systems
In aquaponics, the hydroponic crops use the nutrients from fish waste as fertilizer while the fish benefit from the plants' nutrient uptake capability to improve water quality.

A Trojan horse delivery method for miRNA-enriched extracellular vesicles
A method for large-scale production of extracellular vesicles enriched with specific microRNAs (miRNAs) has been developed in the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM) labs, offering a manufacturing standardization process which may have therapeutic applications and clinical impact.

To predict the future, the brain uses two clocks
One type of anticipatory timing relies on memories from past experiences.

Misconceptions about opioids affect pain control among cancer patients: a Malaysian survey
Misconceptions about the use of strong opioids showed to undermine optimal pain control among Asian cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy according to a cross-sectional survey conducted at the Sarawak General Hospital in Malaysia.

The influence of romantic crushes on buying behavior
Findings from a new study suggest that people who are experiencing a romantic crush may be more drawn to seeking variety in their purchases as a way to restore a sense of control.

The final stage before a big bang?
The Phlegraean Fields in the west of Naples have entered the first stage of a new caldera cycle.

The Trojan horse of Staphylococcus aureus
A weapons of Staphylococcus aureus is ╬▒-toxin, which destroys host cells by forming pores in their membranes.

Scientists unveil completely human platform for testing age-specific vaccine responses
A team of scientists at Boston Children's Hospital has developed the first modeling system for testing age-specific human immune responses to vaccines -- outside the body.

Sticky and heavily armed, a tomato-relative is the new 'star' of the Brazilian inselbergs
Heavily armed, new species of tomato genus Solanum is not the villain but the 'star' in its ecosystem in Brazil.

Quantum artificial life created on the cloud
The Quantum Technologies for Information Science (QUTIS) research group, led by the Ikerbasque Professor Enrique Solano of the UPV/EHU's Department of Physical Chemistry, has developed a quantum biomimetic protocol that reproduces the characteristic process of Darwinian evolution adapted to the language of quantum algorithms and quantum computing.

HSPC 'Seeds' reveal VCAM-1+ macrophage role in homing process
To study the detailed architecture of the microenvironment and the regulation mechanism of homing, researchers at the Shanghai Institute of Nutrition and Health of Chinese Academy of Sciences used a zebrafish model to analyze the entire dynamic process of Hematopoietic Stem and Progenitor Cells homing in vivo.

Can genetic therapy help kids with Angelman syndrome overcome seizures?
Angelman syndrome is a genetic disease with no cure. Children grow up with severe intellectual disabilities and a range of other problems, arguably the worst of which are epileptic seizures.

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease spreads prions throughout the eyes, researchers find
Researchers recently studied the eyes of 11 people with sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD), the most common and well-known prion disorder.

Antioxidants may prevent cognitive impairment in diabetes
Cognitive difficulties in patients with diabetes, caused by repeated episodes of low blood sugar, could be reduced with antioxidants, according to a new study presented at the Society for Endocrinology annual conference in Glasgow.

Retailers can manipulate consumer regret to beat competitors
Markdown retailers can survive the entry of an everyday low price retailer into a highly competitive market by manipulating price, product availability, and the regret consumers feel when they pay too much or wait till a product is unavailable to buy it, according to a new study.

Mapping dietary data to better understand the relationship between diet and disease
Researchers at Trinity College Dublin have developed a new data mapping method which improves the quality of dietary data collected by short frequency questionnaires (SFQs), thereby improving the capacity to identify diet-disease relationships.

Australian mammals at greatest risk from cats and foxes, new study
New research led by the Threatened Species Recovery Hub has revealed which Australian mammals are most vulnerable to cats and foxes, and many much-loved potoroos, bandicoots and bettongs, as well as native rodents, are at the top of the list.

Does Netflix's '13 Reasons Why' influence teen suicide? Survey asks at-risk youths
A significant proportion of suicidal teens treated in one psychiatric emergency department said that watching the Netflix series '13 Reasons Why' had increased their suicide risk, a University of Michigan study finds.

How reliable are search terms for SEO and SEM results?
With billions of dollars spent each year on search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM), the power of search terms holds more value than ever.

Mars moon got its grooves from rolling stones, study suggests
Computer models developed by Brown University researchers shine a light on the origin of the Mars moon Phobos' distinctive grooves.

A Mexican cavefish with a scarred heart
Scientists are studying a guppy-sized, blind, translucent fish that lives in the cave systems of northern Mexico to figure out why some animals can regenerate their hearts, while others just scar.

Exoplanet stepping stones
New observations of a young gas giant demonstrate the power of a ground-based method for searching for signatures of life.

A protein that makes skin cancer cells more invasive
Loss of a protein called TRIM29 promotes cancer cell invasion in a common type of skin cancer, suggesting a novel diagnostic marker and a possible therapeutic target.

NTU Singapore and Tan Tock Seng Hospital team up to enhance doctor-patient communication
A joint study by researchers from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) and clinicians at Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) has yielded insights into how doctors can better communicate the value of clinical investigations to patients.

Plant root hairs form outward due to shank hardening
Plant root hairs increase the roots surface area enabling it to absorb more water and nutrients. 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