Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 29, 2018
Reproducing paintings that make an impression
MIT CSAIL's new system can faithfully remake your favorite paintings via 3D printing and deep learning.

Brain stimulation relieves depression symptoms
Patients with moderate to severe depression reported significant improvements in mood when researchers precisely stimulated a brain region called the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), according to a UC San Francisco research study published Nov.

Majority of Canadians view physical inactivity as a serious public health issue
Physical inactivity is nearly on par with unhealthy diets and tobacco use as a public health concern among Canadians, a new UBC study has found.

Climate change and air pollution damaging health and causing millions of premature deaths
IIASA researchers have contributed to a major new report in The Lancet medical journal looking at the effects of climate change on human health, and the implications for society.

Study unlocks full potential of 'supermaterial' graphene
New research reveals why the 'supermaterial' graphene has not transformed electronics as promised, and shows how to double its performance and finally harness its extraordinary potential.

First UK estimates of children who could have conditions caused by drinking in pregnancy
Up to 17 percent of children could have symptoms consistent with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) according to new research published today in Preventative Medicine.

USC scientists find a way to enhance the performance of quantum computers
USC scientists have demonstrated a theoretical method to enhance the performance of quantum computers works, an important step to scale the transformative technology.

The Wizard of Oz most 'influential' film of all time according to network science
The Wizard of Oz, followed by Star Wars and Psycho, is identified as the most influential film of all time in a study published in the open access journal Applied Network Science.

What seabirds can tell us about the tide
Razorbill tag data revealed that, at night, these seabirds spent a lot of their time idle on the sea surface.

Facility-level variations in diabetic kidney disease care within the VA health system
Concerning adherence to certain recommended measures of kidney disease care for veterans with diabetes within the Veterans Affairs Health Care System, there is modest facility-level variation for some measures and larger facility-level variation for others.

Curry spice boosts exercise performance in mice with heart failure
New research suggests that curcumin, a main ingredient in curry, may improve exercise intolerance related to heart failure.

How a rat and bat helped heal a 90-year cultural rift
Mammalogists from the Field Museum in Chicago, James Cook University, and the Australian Museum went to the Solomon Islands in search of a giant rat and monkey-faced bat -- and ended up playing a role in fostering peace between the Kwaio people of Malaita and the Western world.

Moviemaking mimics nature for creative control and a more realistic look
The physics of atmospheric science and neutron scattering combine to help animators create more lifelike movies.

Study finds sexual trauma survivors have clear preferences in obstetric care
Researchers at Boston Medical Center (BMC) surveyed women with a history of sexual trauma and found that they have clear preferences regarding how they communicate their history with providers as well as certain aspects of their treatment plan.

Insight into swimming fish could lead to robotics advances
The constant movement of fish that seems random is actually precisely deployed to provide them at any moment with the best sensory feedback they need to navigate the world.

A new approach to automation of chemical synthesis
Researchers have used a robotic platform to produce -- with no physical intervention -- three pharmaceutical compounds with yields and purities comparable to those achieved by manual efforts, they say.

New research could fine-tune the gene scissors CRISPR
When researchers and doctors use the tool CRISPR to correct genetic errors, it may have side effects on the human genome.

Age alone doesn't increase complications of free-flap breast reconstruction in older women
Breast reconstruction using a 'free flap' from the patient's abdomen is a safe procedure with a high success rate in older women opting for reconstruction after mastectomy, reports a study in the December issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

Pregnancy losses linked with increased risk of cardiovascular disease
Women who experience pregnancy loss and do not go on to have children are at greater risk of cardiovascular disease, such as heart disease and stroke, compared with women who have only one or two children, according to new research from the University of Cambridge and the University of North Carolina.

It's not a shock: Better bandage promotes powerful healing
A new, low-cost wound dressing developed by University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers could dramatically speed up healing in a surprising way.

How HIV DNA is blocked from entering the cell nucleus
Multiple components of the nuclear pore complex and nuclear import machinery enable a protein called human myxovirus resistance 2 (MX2) to inhibit HIV-1 infection, according to a study published Nov.

Tetrahydrocannabinol levels are too high in many hemp-containing foods
Various foods containing hemp are available in the marketplace. These include products similar to tea consisting entirely or partially of hemp leaves.

Meeting the challenge of engaging men in HIV prevention and treatment
A new commentary from National Institutes of Health scientists asserts that engaging men in HIV prevention and care is essential to the goal of ending the HIV pandemic.

Whales lost their teeth before evolving hair-like baleen in their mouths
Rivaling the evolution of feathers in dinosaurs, one of the most extraordinary transformations in the history of life was the evolution of baleen -- rows of flexible hair-like plates that blue whales, humpbacks and other marine mammals use to filter relatively tiny prey from gulps of ocean water.

Hospital-wide scores underestimate readmission risk in neurocritical care patients
Scoring models used to predict 30-day readmission risk in the general hospital population may not accurately predict readmissions for patients in the neurocritical care unit, reports a study in the Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, official journal of the American Association of Neuroscience Nurses.

Gas clouds whirling around black hole form heart of distant astronomical object
The GRAVITY international team of astronomers, including Prof. Hagai Netzer of Tel Aviv University's School of Physics and Astronomy, have concluded that gas clouds rapidly moving around a central black hole form the very heart of the 3C 327 quasar, confirming measurements conducted at TAU's Florence and George Wise Observatory in 2000.

Wetland experts explain role of vital carbon sinks carbon cycle in new report
Wetlands and soils experts Rod Chimner and Evan Kane of Michigan Tech contributed to the Second State of the Carbon Cycle Report (SOCCR2).

Illuminating the mysterious cultures of fruit flies
The lady fruit flies that inhabit your banana bowl may find green-colored mates with curly wings simply irresistible -- conforming to the 'local dating culture' of generations of female flies before them, a new study finds.

Forest fragmentation disrupts parasite infection in Australian lizards
In a study with implications for biodiversity and the spread of infectious diseases, CU Boulder ecologists have demonstrated that deforestation and habitat fragmentation can decrease transmission of a parasitic nematode in a particular species of Australian lizard, the pale-flecked garden sunskink.

Weight cycling is associated with a higher risk of death
Weight cycling is associated with a higher risk of death, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

How to detect signs of neurodegeneration earlier and more accurately
Signs of neurodegenerative diseases, visible years before the emergence of clinical manifestations, can be detected during the examination of medical samples by means of fluorescence microscopy.

Climate change risks 'extinction domino effect'
New research reveals the extinction of plant or animal species from extreme environmental change increases the risk of an 'extinction domino effect' that could annihilate all life on Earth.

Oldest-known ancestor of modern primates may have come from North America, not Asia
A new fossil analysis suggests the earliest-known ancestor of modern primates may have come from North America, not Asia, as previously thought.

State lawmakers want to loosen childhood vaccine requirements, but legal barriers persist
An analysis of proposed vaccine legislation between 2011 and 2017 shows that although the majority of proposed bills would have allowed more parents to exempt their children from school immunization requirements, those that favored vaccines were more likely to become law.

A new way to create Saturn's radiation belts
A team of international scientists from BAS, University of Iowa and GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences has discovered a new method to explain how radiation belts are formed around the planet Saturn.

NASA's Fermi traces the history of starlight across cosmos
Scientists using data from NASA's Fermi satellite have measured all the starlight produced over 90 percent of the universe's history.

Insight into the catalytic activity of MXenes for hydrogen evolution reaction
MXenes have exhibited great potential as cost-effective electrocatalysts for hydrogen evolution reaction (HER).

Inconspicuous protein key to deadly blood cancer
Mixed lineage leukemia (MLL) is a very aggressive blood cancer, capable of causing the growth of cancerous cells in numerous ways.

Decoding sleeping sickness signals could aid quest for treatments
Scientists have discovered how the parasite that causes sleeping sickness initiates a physical change in order to spread the disease.

Study could lead to safer and cheaper 3D medical imaging
A new study led by The Australian National University (ANU) has discovered a promising way to significantly lower doses of X-rays that has the potential to revolutionise 3D medical imaging and make screening for early signs of disease much cheaper and safer.

An important step towards completely secure quantum communication networks
Quantum network: The quest for a secure information network is on.

Study: Rise in meth and opioid use during pregnancy
Amphetamine and opioid use in pregnancy increased substantially over the last decade in the United States, a new Michigan Medicine-led study finds.

A prosthetic arm that decodes phantom limb movements
About 75 percent of amputees exhibit mobility of their phantom limb.

Results of mass screening of children, teens for thyroid cancer following Fukushima nuclear accident
The accident at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station in 2011 raised grave concerns about radioactive material released into the environment, including concerns over radiation-induced thyroid cancer. Ultrasound screenings for thyroid cancer were subsequently conducted in the Fukushima Health Management Survey.

How skin cancer cells sidestep the immune system
Researchers at the Mainz University Medical Center discovered a new signal pathway employed by skin cancer cells to avoid attack by the immune system.

Getting older adults to be more active
What needs to happen to entice more seniors up and out of their easy chairs?

Thriving reef fisheries continue to provide food despite coral bleaching
The unexpected results of a 20-year study into reef fisheries published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution this week showed fisheries being maintained despite extreme coral bleaching.

Association of area deprivation and regional disparities in the treatment of T1 diabetes
How the autoimmune disease type 1 diabetes is treated also depends on where the patients live in Germany.

High-contrast imaging for cancer therapy with protons
Medical physicist Dr. Aswin Hoffmann and his team from the Institute of Radiooncology -- OncoRay at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) are the first researchers worldwide to combine magnetic resonance imaging with a proton beam, thus demonstrating that in principle, this commonly used imaging method can indeed work with particle beam cancer treatments.

How viruses hijack part of your immune system and use it against you
An enzyme intended to prevent autoimmune disease can be hijacked and used by some viruses to avoid immune detection.

Revealing hidden information in sound waves
By essentially turning down the pitch of sound waves, University of Michigan engineering researchers have devised a way to unlock greater amounts of data from acoustic fields than ever before.

Hubble uncovers thousands of globular star clusters scattered among galaxies
Astronomers using Hubble found a whopping 22,426 globular star clusters in a nearby neighborhood of galaxies.

UA team uncovers promising lead in genetic approach to treating glioblastoma
University of Arizona scientists hope they have made progress toward a next-generation drug that may slow tumor growth and boost radiation's effectiveness in patients with the deadly brain cancer.

Artificial magnetic field produces exotic behavior in graphene sheets
Theoretical physics discovery paves the way for future technological applications.

Fruit flies can transmit their sexual preferences culturally
Researchers from the CNRS and université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier (UT3) show that fruit flies possess all of the cognitive capacities needed to culturally transmit their sexual preferences across generations.

Until leaving the nest, jumping spiders suckle spider milk from their moms
Much like baby mammals nursing at the teats of their mothers, some baby jumping spiderlings are entirely dependent on nutritious spider milk secreted and fed to them by their mothers.

Switching identities: Revolutionary insulator-like material also conducts electricity
University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers have made a material that can transition from an electricity-transmitting metal to a nonconducting insulating material without changing its atomic structure.

Stone tools linked to ancient human ancestors in Arabia have surprisingly recent date
Beginning more than 1.5 million years ago, early humans made stone handaxes in a style known as the Acheulean - the longest lasting tool-making tradition in prehistory.

Stop -- hey, what's that sound?
In a new study, researchers were able to see where in the brain, and how quickly -- in milliseconds -- the brain's neurons transition from processing the sound of speech to processing the language-based words of the speech.

Snoring poses greater cardiac risk to women
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and snoring may lead to earlier impairment of cardiac function in women than in men, according to a new study.

33-million-year-old whale from Oregon had neither teeth nor baleen
A study reported in Current Biology on Nov. 29 describes a 33-million-year-old fossil whale named Maiabalaena, which means 'mother whale.' The ancient whale from Oregon is especially remarkable in that it had neither teeth nor baleen.

Austrian-Danish research team discover as many as 22 new moth species from across Europe
Following a long-year study of the family of twirler moths, scientists from the Tyrolean State Museum, Austria and the Zoological Museum of the University of Copenhagen have discovered a startling total of 44 new species, including as many as 22 species inhabiting various regions throughout Europe.

Expert warns over 'little room for complacency' over fall in twin stillbirth rates
Expert warns over 'little room for complacency' over fall in twin stillbirth rates.

How the devil ray got its horns
If you ever find yourself staring down a manta ray, you'll probably notice two things right away: its massive fins and the two fleshy growths curling out of its head that give it the nickname 'devil ray.' A new study shows that these two very different features have the same origin -- a discovery that reflects an important lesson for understanding the diversity of life.

Ending the HIV epidemic: Where does Europe stand?
From diagnosis of HIV to successful viral suppression: in a rapid communication published in Eurosurveillance today, ECDC and co-authors from Public Health England and The National AIDS Trust summarise the progress towards HIV elimination in 52 countries in Europe and Central Asia.

Latest Cochrane review looks at pyrethroid-PBO nets for preventing malaria in Africa
Researchers from LSTM have confirmed that using pyrethroid-PBO treated nets to prevent malaria is more effective at killing mosquitoes in areas where there is a high level of resistance to pyrethroids.

New catalyst produces cheap hydrogen
QUT chemistry researchers have discovered cheaper and more efficient materials for producing hydrogen for the storage of renewable energy that could replace current water-splitting catalysts.

Researchers produce six antibodies to combat Zika virus
Researchers have generated six Zika virus antibodies that could be used to test for and possibly treat a mosquito-borne disease that has infected more than 1.5 million people worldwide, according to a study published in the journal PLOS ONE.

Some blood cells have a surprising source: Your gut
The human intestine may provide up to 10 percent of blood cells in circulation from its own reservoir of blood-forming stem cells, a surprising new study from researchers at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons has found.

An opioid epidemic may be looming in Mexico -- and the US may be partly responsible
Though opioid use in Mexico has been low, national and international factors are converging and a threat of increased drug and addiction rates exists.

Making it easier to transform freeform 2D sketching into 3D Models
A new computational approach, built on data-driven techniques, is making it possible to turn simple 2D sketch into a realistic 3D shape, with little or no user input necessary.

When good macrophages go bad
Researchers at Children's Hospital Los Angeles discover how some cancer cells communicate with macrophages to protect tumors.

The polar regions communicate via 'postcards' and 'text messages'
The University of Bern was involved in a new study that has found two types of climatic connection between the North Atlantic and Antarctica.

Adoption of mobile payment shifts consumer spending patterns, habits
Paying for goods with a smartphone not only increases the overall transaction amount and frequency of purchases by consumers, it also effectively replaces the actual, physical credit cards in their wallets, said Yuqian Xu, a professor of business administration at the Gies College of Business at Illinois.

New tools illuminate mechanisms behind overlooked cellular components' critical roles
Creating new tools that harness light to probe the mysteries of cellular behavior, Princeton researchers have made discoveries about the formation of cellular components called membraneless organelles and the key role these organelles play in cells.

Neighborhoods influence Chicagoans' transportation decisions
A new study from Northwestern University compared Evanston and Humboldt Park residents' attitudes toward various modes of transportation.

New archaeological site revises human habitation timeline on Tibetan plateau
Human ancestors first set foot on the interior of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau around 30,000-40,000 years ago, according to new research by scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

New methods could improve, expand 3D imaging using X-rays
Researchers report two new approaches to producing three-dimensional (3D) images using X-rays that could improve disease-screening, study of very fast processes and enable analysis of the properties of materials and structural information of opaque objects with unprecedented detail.

Clemson scientists measure all of the starlight ever produced by the observable universe
From their laboratories on a rocky planet dwarfed by the vastness of space, Clemson University scientists have collaborated to measure all of the starlight ever produced throughout the history of the observable universe.

Discovering a new compound
Researchers have discovered a new compound that helps us better understand how microbes keep the sulfur cycle turning, making it possible for us to enjoy ocean views and survive near the water.

Balneo-phototherapy: Studies now show greater benefit also in atopic eczema
For psoriasis, it has been known since 2007 that UV light therapy should be combined with brine baths.

First study of terahertz radiation in liquids
A research team from ITMO University and the University of Rochester (the USA) conducted a study on the formation of terahertz radiation in liquids.

Big results from small solutions: new method for analyzing metalloproteins
A new method only needs a tiny liquid sample to analyze metalloproteins.

Ancient populations from different Caucasus regions had strong social connections
Research group from Russia and the United States analyzed samples of obsidian volcanic glass in Kabardino-Balkaria.

Quirky glacial behavior explained
In August 2012, the Jakobshavn Glacier was flowing and breaking off into the sea at record speeds, three times faster than in previous years.

NASA's IMERG analyzed Tropical Storm Usagi's rainfall
When Tropical Cyclone 33W, also known as Usagi strengthened to hurricane intensity as it approached Vietnam from the South China Sea it dropped a lot of rain.

Stuck in a loop of wrongness: Brain study shows roots of OCD
No one knows what drives people with obsessive-compulsive disorder to do what they do, even when they're aware that they shouldn't do it, and when it interferes with normal life.

When it comes to using birth control, both intention and attitude matter
A new VA study adds to the evidence that women's intentions around becoming pregnant don't fully explain whether and how they use contraception.

Effective new target for mood-boosting brain stimulation found
Researchers have found an effective target in the brain for electrical stimulation to improve mood in people suffering from depression.

Sweet lysine degradation
The researchers from the Departments of Chemistry and Biology at the University of Konstanz have gained fundamental new insights into the degradation of the amino acid lysine -- carcinogenic oncometabolites as intermediate products

New study reveals common table salt may have been crucial for the origins of life
It remains unknown how life began on Earth. It is believed that simple molecules in the early environment became complexified by the input of ambient energy.

Functional nasal surgery relieves chronic headache for some patients
Nasal surgery to relieve obstructed breathing can reduce or eliminate chronic headaches in selected patients, reports a paper in the December issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

Media portrayals of black men contribute to police violence, Rutgers study says
Negative portrayals in the news media affect how police treat black men in the United States, according to a Rutgers School of Public Health study.

How prions invade the brain
The spread of prions to the brain does not occur by direct transmission across the blood-brain barrier, according to a study published Nov.

Chipped stones and cut bones show early hominin presence in North Africa
Ancient stone tools and cut-marked animal bones discovered in Algeria suggest that modern humans' ancestors called northern Africa home much earlier than archaeologists once thought, a new study reports.

Youth football changes nerve fibers in brain
MRI scans show that repetitive blows to the head result in brain changes among youth football players, according to a new study.

Shape-shifting protein protects bacteria from invaders
Researchers have discovered how bacteria manage to destroy enemy DNA, while keeping their own genetic material safe.

Soil compound fights chronic wasting disease
A major compound in soil organic matter degrades chronic wasting disease prions and decreases infectivity in mice, according to a study published Nov.

With these nanoparticles, a simple urine test could diagnose bacterial pneumonia
MIT researchers have now developed a nanoparticle-based technology that could be used distinguish between bacterial and viral forms of pneumonia.

Triple combination cancer immunotherapy improves outcomes in preclinical melanoma model
In adoptive cell transfer immunotherapy, T cells able to recognize a tumor are harvested, expanded in the laboratory, and then reintroduced to attack the tumor.

Mammal-like milk provisioning and parental care discovered in jumping spider
Recently, researchers at the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden of the Chinese Academy of Sciences report milk provisioning in Toxeus magnus (Araneae: Salticidae), a jumping spider that mimics ants.

Interfacial electronic state improving hydrogen storage capacity in Pd-MOF materials
NIMS, Kyushu University and Kyoto University jointly identified a mechanism by which a hybrid material composed of palladium (Pd) and metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) is capable of storing approximately twice as much hydrogen as a material composed solely of Pd.

Venetoclax combination approved for elderly AML
Older patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) often aren't healthy enough to receive intensive chemotherapy, and gentler treatments aren't very effective in treating this aggressive blood cancer.

What's the difference between relative humidity and dew point? (video)
Meteorologists often report the amount of moisture in the air as relative humidity or dew point.

Lizards adapt to invasive fire ants, reversing geographical patterns of lizard traits
Some lizards in the eastern U.S. have adapted to invasive fire ants--which can bite, sting, and kill lizards--reversing geographical trends in behavioral and physical traits used to avoid predators.

What happens when materials take tiny hits
A team of researchers at MIT has just accomplished the first detailed high-speed imaging and analysis of the microparticle impact process, and used that data to predict when the particles will bounce away, stick, or knock material off the surface and weaken it.

Mischievous responders taint LGBQ health estimates in national survey
Many research studies have reported on the elevated health risk and deviance of youth who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or questioning (LGBQ) but a new study using national data suggests that many of those estimates may be overstated and that LGBQ youth risk and deviance is not as different from heterosexual youth as many studies claim.

The German Bundesliga: Are the players worth the money?
Does the talent of footballers dictate their market value? Economists from Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) investigated this question in a new study.

Central mechanisms of salt-induced hypertension
The research group of Professor Masaharu Noda of the National Institute for Basic Biology (NIBB) has now revealed that sympathetic activation leading to blood pressure increases was not induced by mandatory high salt intakes or the intraperitoneal/intracerebroventricular infusions of hypertonic NaCl solutions in Nax-knockout mice, in contrast to wild-type mice.

HIV in liver cells found to be inactive, narrowing potential treatment targets
In a proof-of-principle study, researchers at Johns Hopkins revealed that certain immune system cells found in the human liver, called liver macrophages, contain only inert HIV and aren't likely to reproduce infection on their own in HIV-infected people on long-term antiretroviral therapy (ART).

Even if doing a good job, women CEOs more likely to be fired
Women CEOs are much more likely than male CEOs to be dismissed, even when the women are performing well, according to research from The University of Alabama.

Newly discovered supernova complicates origin story theories
A supernova discovered by an international group of astronomers including Carnegie's Tom Holoien andMaria Drout, and led by University of Hawaii's Ben Shappee, provides an unprecedented look at the first moments of a violent stellar explosion. 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