Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 20, 2018
A lung-inspired design turns water into fuel
Scientists at Stanford University have designed an electrocatalytic mechanism that works like a mammalian lung to convert water into fuel.

Yale-led team examines impact of diet intervention on autoimmunity in mice
Could a change in diet be beneficial to people with autoimmune diseases such as lupus?

One of the world's fastest cameras films motion of electrons
A team from the Institute of Experimental and Applied Physics at Kiel University has now succeeded in investigating the energy exchange of the electrons with their environment in real time, and thereby distinguishing individual phases.

Better understanding of dog body language could make interactions safer
A better understanding of the way dogs communicate distress could be the first step in reducing the risk of dog bites for both children and adults, a new study has found.

NUS study: In response to heat, the more affluent use air-conditioners; low-income households use water
An NUS study has revealed that Singapore households from different socioeconomic groups vary significantly in their use of water and electricity for the relief of heat.

Nebraska virologists discover safer potential Zika vaccine
In mouse trials, a vaccine based on recombinant Adenovirus protected against Zika without evidence of antibodies.

Hold the fries! How calorie content makes you rethink food choices
Seeing pictures of food with calorie information not only makes food less appetizing but it also appears to change the way your brain responds to the food, according to a Dartmouth-led study published in PLOS ONE.

How is big data impacting sports analytics?
Sports in all its forms, from Major League Baseball to Fantasy Football is driven by and produces huge amounts of data, and advanced data mining and machine learning techniques are now having a major impact on sports data analytics.

Researchers make world's smallest tic-tac-toe game board with DNA
Researchers in the lab of Lulu Qian, assistant professor of bioengineering, have developed new dynamic DNA origami technology.

Mount Sinai researchers discover new drug cocktail that increases human beta cell proliferation at rapid rates
Researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have discovered a novel combination of two classes of drugs that induces the highest rate of proliferation ever observed in adult human beta cells -- the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin.

A new way to cut the power of tumors
Instead of tackling tumors head-on, a team of researchers from the University of Geneva and the Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc chose to regulate their vascularization by intervening with cellular receptor overexpressed specifically in cancer blood vessels.

Research reveals 'fundamental finding' about Earth's outer core
Researchers used high-powered supercomputing techniques to make a critical discovery about the chemical composition of the Earth's outer core.

Development of MEMS sensor chip equipped with ultra-high quality diamond cantilevers
A NIMS-led research group succeeded in developing a high-quality diamond cantilever with among the highest quality (Q) factor values at room temperature ever achieved.

Genome offers clues to esophageal cancer disparity
A change in the genome of Caucasians could explain much-higher rates of the most common type of esophageal cancer in this population, a new study finds.

Neural network taught to detect age and gender by video almost 20 percent more accurately
Researchers from the Higher School of Economics have created a technology to help neural networks identify certain people on video, detecting their age and gender more quickly and accurately.

Responsible innovation key to smart farming
Responsible innovation that considers the wider impacts on society is key to smart farming, according to academics at the University of East Anglia (UEA).

Health checkups for alpine lakes
The best tool for assessing the health of mountain lakes comes in a very small package.

Threat of 'nightmare bacteria' exhibiting resistance to last-resort antibiotic colistin
Researchers examined the dissemination of colistin-resistant bacteria among residents of rural communities in Vietnam to find that the prevalence of colistin-resistant Escherichia coli in the intestines was extremely high, at about 70 percent.

Bidi smoking costs India annual INR 805.5 billion in ill health and early death
Bidi smoking cost India 805.5 billion rupees in ill health and early deaths in 2017 alone, finds research published in the journal Tobacco Control.

Mighty morphing materials take complex shapes
Rice University scientists have created a liquid crystal elastomer that can be molded into shapes that shift from one to another when heated.

Chemotherapeutic drugs and plasma proteins: Exploring new dimensions
This review provides a bird's eye view of interaction of a number of clinically important drugs currently in use that show covalent or non-covalent interaction with serum proteins.

The joy of giving lasts longer than the joy of getting
The happiness we feel after a particular event or activity diminishes each time we experience that event, a phenomenon known as hedonic adaptation.

Researchers develop method to non-destructively measure the salt content of concrete structures
Researchers have used a method, using the RANS compact neutron source, to non-destructively measure the salt content of structures such as bridges, tunnels, and elevated roadways, which can suffer from degradation due to exposure to salt from seawater and other sources.

Yale Cancer Center scientists advise caution in immunotherapy research
In a new study, Yale Cancer Center (YCC) scientists suggest that as the number of clinical trials in cancer immunotherapy grows exponentially, some caution should be exercised as we continue to better understand the biology of these new therapeutic targets.

The production of Ac-225
This manuscript attempts to present an overview of availability sources of 225Ac and production methods by which additional supplies might be made available to the community of clinical researchers seeking their application in the treatment of human disease.

Studies examine pediatric services in US emergency departments
Three papers from research teams led by a Massachusetts General Hospital physician examine the current readiness of US emergency departments (EDs) to care for children and describe an initiative that led to the appointment of a Pediatric Emergency Care Coordinator -- a step considered the single best intervention to improve pediatric emergency care -- in all Massachusetts EDs.

Enzyme's unfrozen adventure: In crystallo protein thermodynamics
Osaka University researchers and collaborators have reported the first in crystallo thermodynamic analysis of copper amine oxidase catalysis using a non-cryocooled technique.

Cancer's metabolism subject of trailblazing study
Understanding that altered metabolism in cancer has received renewed research interest, according to Abe Stroock, the William C.

Higher radiation dose needed to X-ray obese patients increases cancer risk
Extremely obese people are needing a far higher dose of radiation during x-ray examinations than people of normal weight, increasing their risk of cancer, new research has shown.

Annual, biological rhythms govern milk production in dairy cows
The amount and composition of milk produced by dairy cows appears to be more regulated by internal, annual biological rhythms than by environmental factors such as heat and humidity, according to Penn State researchers who studied more than a decade of production records from herds across the country.

Spectacular flying reptiles soared over Britain's tropical Jurassic past
Spectacular flying reptiles armed with long teeth and claws which once dominated the skies have been rediscovered, thanks a paleontology student's Ph.D. research.

Central role of transforming growth factor type beta 1 in skeletal muscle dysfunctions
In this review we present the critical and recent antecedents regarding the mechanisms and cellular targets involved in the effects of TGF-β1 in the muscle, in pathological processes such as the inhibition of regeneration, fibrosis and atrophy.

Wildlife struggle to cope with extreme weather
The mass death of flying foxes in extreme heat in North Queensland last month underscores the importance of University of Queensland wildlife research released today.

Certain moral values may lead to more prejudice, discrimination
People who value following purity rules over caring for others are more likely to view gay and transgender people as less human, which leads to more prejudice and support for discriminatory public policies, according to a new study published by the American Psychological Association.

Beyond the black hole singularity
Our first glimpses into the physics that exist near the center of a black hole are being made possible using 'loop quantum gravity'--a theory that uses quantum mechanics to extend gravitational physics beyond Einstein's theory of general relativity.

Parkinson's disease protein buys time for cell repair
Loss of the protein Parkin causes certain forms of Parkinson's disease, a neurodegenerative condition involving death of neurons.

Leuven scientists tackle one immune disease after the other
In two recent studies, the same team of scientists has uncovered the mechanisms underlying two distinct immunological disorders affecting both children and adults.

Pay-it-forward model increases STD testing among gay men in China
Chinese gay men who were offered a free STD test and then asked to donate to the testing of another man were 48 percent more likely to get tested than men offered the standard of care, UNC researchers found.

Small family-run livestock farms stand out in Cordoba's dehesa
A University of Cordoba study maps out the characteristics of dehesa farms associated with feeding cooperatives in Los Pedroches and Upper Guadiato.

Novel imaging technique brings diagnostic potential into operating room
team of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign researchers led by Professor Stephen Boppart has successfully visualized the tumor microenvironment of human breast tissue shortly after it was surgically removed from a patient in the operating room.

NHS trusts struggling to produce Brexit plans amid continuing uncertainty
NHS trusts are struggling to produce contingency plans for Brexit because of the continuing uncertainty about the UK's future relationship with the European Union, reveals an investigation published by The BMJ today.

Land motion drives varying rates of sea level along the US East Coast
As sea levels rise around the world, they don't rise at the same universal rate.

Gut-brain connection signals worms to alter behavior while eating
MIT neuroscientists have discovered how neurons in the digestive tract of the worm C. elegans signal the brain to slow down when it encounters an area of plentiful food.

How sperm stem cells maintain their number
Researchers including Asstistant Professor Yu Kitadate and Professor Shosei Yoshida (developmental biologists at the National Institute for Basic Biology in Japan) and Professor Benjamin Simons (a theoretical physicist at the University of Cambridge in the UK) have revealed a novel mechanism for stem cell number control.

Major gaps remain in how traditional knowledge is used in salmon governance in Norway and Finland
A new article published today in the journal Arctic points to major challenges in the ways traditional knowledge is included in the management of Atlantic salmon in Norway and Finland.

Australian study into how seals react to boats prompts new ecotourism regulations
Unable to differentiate between a predator and a tourist boat, seals react as soon as they sense a potential threat.

Blood editors announce top 10 manuscripts of 2018
The editors of Blood, the most-cited journal in hematology, have selected the top manuscripts of 2018.

Chemical synthesis breakthrough holds promise for future antibiotics
University of Colorado Boulder chemistry researchers have developed a novel way to synthesize and optimize a naturally-occurring antibiotic compound that could one day be used to fight lethal drug-resistant infections such as Staphylococcus aureus, commonly known as MRSA.

New research shows how a fatty diet can lead to life-threatening liver disease
A new study by USC scientists provides new insight on how dietary fat and cholesterol drive the development of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), a serious form of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

Chemists discover new signatures to identify cystic fibrosis in infants sooner
Scientists at McMaster University have discovered several new biomarkers from a single drop of blood that could allow earlier and more definitive detection of cystic fibrosis (CF), a genetic disease which strikes both children and adults, causing chronic problems with the digestive system and the lungs.

Paper sensors remove the sting of diabetic testing
An inkjet-printed device helps monitor a patient's blood sugar levels without painful needles.

Parkinson's disease experts devise a roadmap
A recently discovered protein, alpha-synuclein, has become one of the most attractive targets for developing new drugs with the potential to slow down or arrest the progression of Parkinson's disease.

New threat to ozone recovery
A new MIT study, published in Nature Geoscience, identifies another threat to the ozone layer's recovery: chloroform -- a colorless, sweet-smelling compound that is primarily used in the manufacturing of products such as Teflon and various refrigerants.

Bacteria-based drug delivery system that outperforms conventional methods
''Its (salmonella's) job as a pathogen is to penetrate through the tissue,'' Behkam said.

New pathways for implementing universal suicide risk screening in healthcare settings
In 2016 alone, more than 6,000 youth in the United States under the age of 25 died by suicide.

Urine drug testing may be important in early phases of addiction treatment
A new study performed by Boston Medical Center shows that urine drug testing can be a useful tool to treat patients with opioid use disorder in a primary care setting.

The idiosyncratic mammalian diversification after extinction of the dinosaurs
Researchers state that many mammals lineages coexisted with the dinosaurs before the end-Cretaceous mass extinction.

Stem cell-derived neurons stop seizures and improve cognitive function
About 3.4 million Americans, or 1.2 percent of the population, have active epilepsy.

A major step closer to a viable recording material for future hard disk drives
Magnetic recording is the primary technology underpinning today's large-scale data storage, and companies are racing to develop new hard disk devices capable of recording densities greater than 1 terabit per square inch.

Translating the 'language of behavior' with artificially intelligent motion capture
Princeton researchers created LEAP, a flexible motion-capture tool that can be trained in a matter of minutes to track body parts over millions of frames of existing video with high accuracy, without any physical markers or labels.

Predicting the properties of a new class of glasses
ZIF glasses, a new family of glass, could combine the transparency of silicate glass with the nonbrittle quality of metallic glass, according to researchers at Penn State and Cambridge University in the UK.

Faint starlight in Hubble images reveals distribution of dark matter
Astronomers using data from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have employed a revolutionary method to detect dark matter in galaxy clusters.

A mountain of evidence on air pollution's harms to children
A new study led by researchers at the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health (CCCEH) organizes the available scientific evidence on the effects of air pollution on children's health.

NASA-NOAA Satellite catches the eye of rapidly intensifying Tropical Cyclone Cilida
Tropical Cyclone Cilida appeared much more organized on satellite imagery as it moved across the southwestern Indian Ocean and continued to rapidly intensify.

New AI computer vision system mimics how humans visualize and identify objects
Researchers from UCLA Samueli School of Engineering and Stanford have demonstrated a computer system that can discover and identify the real-world objects it 'sees' based on the same method of visual learning that humans use.

AIDS -- an approach for targeting HIV reservoirs
Current HIV treatments need to be taken for life by those infected as antiretroviral therapy is unable to eliminate viral reservoirs lurking in immune cells.

Not all marine protected areas are created equal
Europe's impressive network of marine protected areas (MPAs), which now cover 29 percent of territorial waters, is not as effective as has been thought at preserving the marine biodiversity it was created to protect.

NASA telescopes take a close look at the brightest comet of 2018
As the brilliant comet 46P/Wirtanen streaked across the sky, NASA telescopes caught it on camera from multiple angles.

Giving birth associated with 14 percent higher risk of heart disease and stroke
Giving birth is associated with a 14 percent higher risk of heart disease and stroke compared to having no children, reports a study published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

Micropores let oxygen and nutrients inside biofabricated tissues
Micropores in fabricated tissues such as bone and cartilage allow nutrient and oxygen diffusion into the core, and this novel approach may eventually allow lab-grown tissue to contain blood vessels, according to a team of Penn State researchers.

Magnetoresistance ratio enhancement opens door to highly sensitive magnetic field sensors
Magnetic field sensors can enhance applications that require efficient electric energy management.

New study first to predict which oil and gas wells are leaking methane
A new study in Environmental Geosciences is the first to predict -- with up to 87 percent accuracy -- which oil and natural wells are most likely to be leaking methane.

Police interactions linked to increased risk of client violence for female sex workers
The more abusive interactions street-based female sex workers (FSWs) have with police, the higher their risk of violence at the hands of clients, a new study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests.

Bacteria rely on classic business model
The pneumonia causing pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa has developed a twin-track strategy to colonize its host.

Molecule discovery holds promise for gene therapies for psoriasis
Scientists at the University of Birmingham have discovered a protein that could hold the key to novel gene therapies for skin problems including psoriasis - a common, chronic skin disease that affects over 100 million people worldwide.

Heroes and villains influence what you buy
The findings from a new study show that consumers are influenced to buy certain products based on the heroes or villains shown on the labels.

Suboptimal, inconsistent treatment for anaphylaxis due to unknown cause
A new Canadian study, led by a team at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC), is shedding light on anaphylaxis due to an unknown trigger (AUT)--an unpredictable and potentially fatal allergic reaction, about which surprisingly little is known.

Electrically charged higgs versus physicists: 1-0 until break
The last missing particle of the Standard Model, the Higgs boson, was discovered in 2012 in the experiments at the Large Hadron Collider.

Faint glow within galaxy clusters illuminates dark matter
A new look at Hubble images of galaxies could be a step toward illuminating the elusive nature of dark matter, the unobservable material that makes up the majority of the universe, according to a study published online today in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Changing communities may affect the success of Iceland's evacuation guidelines
Icelanders generally responded well to evacuation guidelines when the volcano Eyjafjallajökull erupted in 2010 and caused widespread disruption to international travel.

Study examines head impacts, changes in eye function in high school football players
Head impacts in youth sports, even when they don't cause symptoms of concussion, are a public health concern because these so-called subconcussive head impacts may result in long-term neurological issues if they are sustained repeatedly.

Researchers from the CNIO and the Hospital 12 de Octubre make sense out of the chaos of melanoma
The study has discovered that numerous processes involved in the metastasis of melanoma, which were thought to be independent from each other, have a global coordinator: the p62 protein.

Scientists discover new brain changes in early Alzheimer's disease
Researchers at the University of Eastern Finland have discovered new changes occurring in the human brain in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease.

For gait transitions, stability often trumps energy savings
Working with nine animal models, researchers find a preference for stability over energy conservation during speed-related gait transitions.

Current concepts and perspectives on connexin43: A mini review
This review discusses current knowledge on the functional and structural abnormalities in Cx43 associated with heart disease and cancer, aiming to highlight the importance of this connexin as an emerging therapeutic target.

Scientists find nanoparticles with peculiar chemical composition
An international team from Russia and China discovered a host of new and unexpected nanoparticles and found a way to control their composition and properties the findings that break fresh ground in the use of nanoparticles.

Time to biochemical failure could be used as surrogate endpoint in treatment: LA prostate cancer
An analysis of the NRG Oncology clinical trial NRG-RTOG 9202 showed that the interval of time to biochemical failure (IBF), or the time it takes for previously treated cancer to return as indicated by prostate specific antigen (PSA) rise, could be used as a surrogate endpoint for locally advanced prostate cancer.

Age is more than just a number: Machine learning may predict if you're in for a healthy old age
A collaborative team at the Salk Institute analyzed skin cells from the very young to the very old and looked for molecular signatures that can be predictive of age.

Genetic study reveals how citrus became the Med's favorite squeeze
Genetic detective work has illuminated the important role of Jewish culture in the widespread adoption of citrus fruit by early Mediterranean societies.

Antennal sensors allow hawkmoths to make quick moves
All insects use vision to control their position in the air when they fly, but they also integrate information from other senses.

Why does nuclear fission produce pear-shaped nuclei?
Researchers at University of Tsukuba and Australian National University resolved a longstanding puzzle of nuclear fission why nuclear fission of heavy (actinide) nuclei results predominantly in asymmetric mass-splits.

Improved stem cell approach could aid fight against Parkinson's
Scientists have taken a key step towards improving an emerging class of treatments for Parkinson's disease.

Researchers identify genes associated with polycystic ovary syndrome
The researchers identified three new sites in the genome that appear to be associated with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Madrid is the autonomous community that spends the most on the Spanish Christmas Lottery
The people of Madrid spend close to 470 million euros on the Spanish Christmas Lottery, approximately 20 percent of the total.

Study finds elevated risk of rare blood cancers after chemotherapy for most solid tumors
Findings from a new study by researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) show that patients treated with chemotherapy for most solid tumors during 2000-2014 experienced an increased risk of therapy-related myelodysplastic syndrome/acute myeloid leukemia (tMDS/AML).

Hidden cradle of early plant evolution discovered in the Middle East
Several new plant fossils from present-day Jordan push back the ages of important seed plant lineages, suggesting these lineages survived the mass extinction event at the end of the Permian.

Discovery could lead to munitions that go further, much faster
Researchers from the U.S. Army and top universities discovered a new way to get more energy out of energetic materials containing aluminum, common in battlefield systems, by igniting aluminum micron powders coated with graphene oxide.

Newborn insects trapped in amber show first evidence of how to crack an egg
Fossilised newborns, egg shells, and egg bursters preserved together in amber provide the first direct evidence of how insects hatched in deep time, according to a new article published today in the journal Palaeontology.

Genome published of the small hive beetle, a major honey bee parasite
Beekeepers and researchers will welcome the unveiling of the small hive beetle's genome by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and their colleagues.

Lipid raft components offer potential cholesterol-lowering drug target
Excessive dietary cholesterol (and its uptake) can cause hypercholesterolemia. In a new paper, researchers show that intestinal cholesterol absorption requires the complex lipid GM3.

Scientists uncover how protein clumps damage cells in Parkinson's
Research into the root cause of Parkinson's aims to advance work on a disease-modifying treatment.

Quantum Maxwell's demon 'teleports' entropy out of a qubit
An international team of researchers has described an extended quantum Maxwell's demon, a device locally violating the second law of thermodynamics in a system located 1-5 meters away from the demon.

Network orchestration: SLU researcher uses music to manage networks
A Saint Louis University researcher uses sound as a simpler alternative to manage complicated network tasks.

Seeing double: Tropical Cyclone Kenanga same strength as other storm
The Southern Indian Ocean is seeing double. Tropical Cyclone Kenanga was one of two storms at Category 2 hurricane strength in the Southern Indian Ocean on Dec.

Himalayan marmot genome offers clues to life at extremely high altitudes
Himalayan marmots can survive at altitudes up to 5,000 meters in the Himalayan regions of India, Nepal, and Pakistan and on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau of China, where many of them face extreme cold, little oxygen, and few other resources.

First detection of rain over the ocean by navigation satellites
In order to analyse climate change or provide information about natural hazards, it is important to gather knowledge about the rain.

Chemists create new quasicrystal material from nanoparticle building blocks
Brown University researchers have discovered a new type of quasicrystal, a class of materials whose existence was thought to be impossible until the 1980s.

Memory and cognition problems affect recovery in rehabilitation facilities
Recently, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) added new ways to measure patients' abilities to perform their daily routines in nursing facilities and other after-care settings.

NIH-developed test detects protein associated with Alzheimer's and CTE
An ultrasensitive test has been developed that detects a corrupted protein associated with Alzheimer's disease and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a condition found in athletes, military veterans, and others with a history of repetitive brain trauma.

Study from Indiana University aims to better understand repetitive head impacts in sports
A new study by Indiana University researchers has found that eyeball and eyelid movement, or oculomotor function, which is used to detect symptomless brain injury, can be impaired by mild, repetitive head impacts in football players.

Beyond Einstein
Theoretical physicists have been questioning if black hole singularities exist through complex mathematical equations over the past several decades with little success until now.

New optical memory cell achieves record data-storage density
Researchers have demonstrated a new technique that can store more optical data in a smaller space than was previously possible on-chip.

Convincing evidence that type 2 diabetes is a cause of erectile dysfunction
Evidence that type 2 diabetes is a cause of erectile dysfunction has been found in a large-scale genomic analysis.

Researchers detect age-related differences in DNA from blood
The DNA markers from the blood of healthy centenarians are more similar to those of people in their 20s than people in their 70s.

Science's 2018 Breakthrough of the Year: Tracking development cell by cell
Science has chosen single-cell analyses of gene activity through time as its 2018 Breakthrough of the Year, honoring a trifecta of methods that together are enabling researchers to determine, at the individual cell level, which genes are turned on and off as an early embryo develops.

When a brand is like a secret lover
Consumers who hide the fact that they use certain brands can increase in individual's connection to the brand.

Elegant trick improves single-cell RNA sequencing
Researchers at Cornell -- led by Iwijn De Vlaminck, assistant professor in the Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering -- have come up with an elegant, low-cost method that solves that problem.

How kimchi gets its kick (video)
Kimchi, the fermented cabbage dish beloved in Korea and around the world, has a signature pungent, sour tang.

Is the US a tinderbox ready to ignite?
What is the tipping point at which tolerance for hardship and injustice turns into civic discontent in the form of street demonstrations, and how it might be closer than it seems.

A subtle strategy to spend more responsibly
Couples who spend from joint accounts are more likely to spend their money on utilitarian purchases rather than pleasurable items.

Female penises evolved twice in bark lice
In a group of bark lice, a penis has evolved twice -- in the females. 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