Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 22, 2018
ISS microbes should be monitored to avoid threat to astronaut health
Strains of the bacterium Enterobacter, similar to newly found opportunistic infectious organisms seen in a few hospital settings, have been identified on the International Space Station (ISS).

Gigantic mammal 'cousin' discovered
During the Triassic period (252-201 million years ago) mammal-like reptiles called therapsids co-existed with ancestors to dinosaurs, crocodiles, mammals, pterosaurs, turtles, frogs, and lizards.

Could an anti-global warming atmospheric spraying program really work?
A program to reduce Earth's heat capture by injecting aerosols into the atmosphere from high-altitude aircraft is possible, but unreasonably costly with current technology, and would be unlikely to remain secret.

For ants, unity is strength -- and health
When a pathogen enters their colony, ants change their behavior to avoid the outbreak of disease.

Treating COPD patients for anxiety using CBT reduces hospital visits and is cost-effective
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) delivered by respiratory nurses is cost-effective and reduces anxiety symptoms in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients.

The origins of asymmetry: A protein that makes you do the twist
Asymmetry plays a major role in biology at every scale: think of DNA spirals, the fact that the human heart is positioned on the left, our preference to use our left or right hand.

Revealed: 35 kidney genes linked to chronic kidney disease risk
An international study lead by University of Manchester scientists has discovered the identity of genes that predispose people to chronic kidney disease.

When working ants take a sick day, the whole colony benefits
Scientists have shown that the social insect Lasius niger (or black garden ant) changes its behavior following exposure to a fungus, a strategy that protects the most vulnerable and important members of the colony from infection.

Environmental change, not hominin hunters, drove the demise of African megaherbivores
Environmental changes, not the often-blamed ancestors of modern humans, led to the several-million-year decline of east African megaherbivores -- large-bodied mammals like elephants, rhinos and hippos -- a new study finds.

Corals and their microbiomes evolved together, new research shows
Corals and the microbes they host evolved together, new research shows, adding fresh insight to the fight to save the Earth's embattled coral reefs.

Over half of former ICU patients in the UK report symptoms of psychological disorders
Patients in the UK who have survived critical illnesses requiring care in an intensive care unit (ICU) frequently report symptoms of anxiety, PTSD and/or depression, according to a study published in open access journal Critical Care.

The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology: Hypnotherapy could help relieve irritable bowel syndrome symptoms
Peer-reviewed / Randomised Controlled Trial / People Gut-directed hypnotherapy delivered by psychologists appears as effective in group or individual sessions, potentially offering a new treatment option for irritable bowel syndrome in primary and secondary care

Establishing a universal forensic DNA database
In the wake of recent high-profile successes catching criminals using publicly-accessible genomic data, results that build momentum for this approach, James Hazel and colleagues argue for the establishment of a universal forensic DNA database for law enforcement purposes.

Poorest dying nearly 10 years younger than the rich in 'deeply worrying' trend for UK
The gap between the life expectancy of the richest and poorest sectors of society in England is increasing, according to new research from Imperial College London.

Human ancestors not to blame for ancient mammal extinctions in Africa
New research disputes a long-held view that our earliest tool-bearing ancestors contributed to the demise of large mammals in Africa over the last several million years.

Elephant-sized triassic creature sheds new light on old theories
The recent discovery of the gargantuan four-legged creature Lisowicia bojani, from the Late Triassic period of Poland, has overturned established beliefs that the only giant herbivores to roam Triassic lands were dinosaurs, report Tomasz Sulej and Grzegorz Nied?wiedzki.

Early human ancestors not to blame for extinctions of giant African mammals
Researchers analyzed a 7-million-year record of extinctions in Africa and compared it to milestones in human evolution previously implicated in these extinctions.

Crowdsourced field data shows importance of smallholder farms to global food production
A new global field size data set collected as part of a crowdsourcing citizen science project by IIASA researchers has shown that the proportion of smallholder farms may be much larger than previously thought, contributing much more to global food production.

Scientists from CMU and NTU Singapore discover how mechanical strain shapes plants
Scientists from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) and Carnegie Mellon University in the U.S have discovered how mechanical forces can influence the shapes of plant leaves and flower petals.

A large volcanic eruption shook Deception Island 3,980 years ago
A large volcanic eruption shook Deception Island, in Antarctica, 3,980 years ago, and not 8,300, as it was previously thought, according to an international study published in Scientific Reports.

Small RNA renders bacteria more resistant to antibiotics
Many soil bacteria are resistant to antibiotics by nature. A new mechanism for regulating that resistance has been identified by researchers at Ruhr-Universität Bochum.

Researchers uncover camouflage strategy of multi-resistant bacteria
Researchers at the University of Tübingen and the German Center for Infection Research have achieved a breakthrough in the decoding of multi-resistant pathogens.

Transparent fruit flies
A new kind of microscope has been developed in Vienna: it creates 2D light sheets, penetrating biological tissues and causing special molecules to fluoresce.

Breakthrough as molecules shown to 'air-kiss' when brain neurons attract each other
All brain cells 'air-kiss' before they come together to form a final synaptic relationship, new research by University of Kent scientists has revealed.

Seeing begins before we actually see anything
How does vision work, and what happens in the brain during the process?

A hydrogel that adheres firmly to cartilage and meniscus
EPFL researchers have developed a hydrogel -- made up of nearly 90 percent water -- that naturally adheres to soft tissue like cartilage and the meniscus.

Making UK schools more inclusive places could help reduce bullying and promote well-being
Restorative practice - bringing together pupils involved in bullying, conflict or misbehaviour to appreciate the harms caused and improve relationships - could help tackle bullying, improve mental health and lower rates of regular smoking and drinking alcohol in secondary school, according to new research published in The Lancet.

Leukemia epigenetics in focus
Some severe forms of leukemia develop because proteins on the epigenetic level lose their regulative function.

British Journal of Surgery article calls for men to take action on gender bias
The relatively few women who have earned leadership positions in the surgical world should not be expected to carry the burden of fighting gender bias and men must actively join the effort with intentional, innovative action, argues an article in the British Journal of Surgery, co-written by the head of general surgery at Toronto's St.

It's time for a hyper-crash, say multifractal analyses of the main stock market index
The near future of the global economy looks extremely bleak.

Charred instead of crispy -- why over-frying is risky
When raw, unprocessed foods or their ingredients are heated, their chemical composition changes.

Microglia react distinctively during inflammation
Researchers from the Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH) conducted a pioneering study to unravel the genetic programs triggered upon inflammation in microglia, specialized resident immune cells of the central nervous system.

Spotting nature's own evolution of quantum tricks could transform quantum technology
A new test to spot where the ability to exploit the power of quantum mechanics has evolved in nature has been developed by physicists at the University of Warwick.

How we can get more out of our forests
Most European forests are primarily used for timber production. However, woodlands also offer spaces for recreation and they store carbon but it is not clear how forests can be managed for these multiple benefits.

Occupational health study links air pollution and cancer
University of Stirling experts have discovered new evidence of the link between air pollution and cancer as part of a new occupational health study.

Better understanding of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) regulation can lead to new insights into disease
The team of prof. Joris Messens at the VIB-VUB Center for Structural Biology has provided new insights into the regulation of an important intracellular messenger molecule, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), whose dysregulation has been linked to the development of several diseases, including cancer.

Humpback whale songs simplified during 'cultural revolutions'
Humpback whales sing increasingly complex songs, but University of Queensland researchers have discovered they may suddenly switch to something simpler, in a 'cultural revolution.' The study examined the structure and complexity of songs sung by the eastern Australian humpback whale population over 13 consecutive years.

Sperm count 50 percent lower in sons of fathers who smoke
Studies have repeatedly linked maternal smoking during pregnancy with reduced sperm counts in male offspring.

Danger in the desert
A team of scientists headed by Stefan Pöhlmann, Hannah Kleine-Weber and Markus Hoffmann from the German Primate Center - Leibniz Institute for Primate Research in Göttingen investigated MERS-virus mutations and found that certain mutations made the virus more resistant against the human immune system.

Molecular motors: Chemical carousel rotates in the cold
Chemists at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich have developed the first molecular motor that can be powered by light alone. 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