Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 07, 2019
Seawater turns into freshwater through solar energy: A new low-cost technology
A study conducted at Politecnico di Torino and published by the journal Nature Sustainability promotes an innovative and low-cost technology to turn seawater into drinking water, thanks to the use of solar energy alone.

New materials could 'drive wound healing' by harnessing natural healing methods
Imperial researchers have developed new bioinspired material that interacts with surrounding tissues to promote healing.

UMN researchers describe need for health systems to improve care of gender non-binary patients
A perspective piece authored by UMN Medical School researchers and published in the New England Journal of Medicine uncovers significant healthcare disparities for individuals who identify as neither male nor female or may not identify as having a gender.

One in 4 women at sexual health clinics reports coercion over their reproductive lives
As many as one in four women attending sexual and reproductive healthcare services say they are not allowed to take control of their own reproductive lives, reveals a review of the available evidence, published today in BMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health.

Anxiety-depressive disorder changes brain genes activity
Russian neuroscientists discovered that anxiety-depressive disorder in mice is associated with impaired energy metabolism in the brain.

Exposure to sugary breakfast cereal advertising directly influences children's diets
Laboratory studies have shown that kids will request and prefer brands they have seen recently advertised on TV.

Quantum scientists demonstrate world-first 3D atomic-scale quantum chip architecture
UNSW scientists have shown that their pioneering single atom technology can be adapted to building 3D silicon quantum chips -- with precise interlayer alignment and highly accurate measurement of spin states.

Salk team reveals clues into early development of autism spectrum disorder
Researchers at the Salk Institute compared stem cells created from individuals with ASD against stem cells created from those without ASD to uncover, for the first time, measurable differences in the patterns and speed of development in the ASD-derived cells.

Cardiac events, stroke lead to loss of work, reduced income in survivors of working age
People who have experienced a heart attack (myocardial infarction), stroke or cardiac arrest are significantly less likely to be working than healthy people, and if they are working, on average have lower incomes, found a study published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Fluctuating personal income may be associated with an increased heart disease risk
Young adults who had two or more significant drops in income over a 15-year period had nearly double the risk of cardiovascular disease or dying prematurely.

How game theory can bring humans and robots closer together
Researchers at the University of Sussex, Imperial College London and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore have for the first time used game theory to enable robots to assist humans in a safe and versatile manner.

Suicide risk increases significantly following a cancer diagnosis
New research indicates that the risk of suicide increases significantly in the first year following a diagnosis of cancer, and this increase varies by the type of cancer diagnosed.

Scientists call for more diversity in genomic research
Genomic studies have generated important discoveries regarding human health and behaviour, but new research from the University of Oxford suggests that scientific advancement is limited by a lack of diversity.

Americans are happier in states that spend more on libraries, parks and highways
Americans are happier in states where governments spend more on public goods, among them libraries, parks, highways, natural resources and police protection, a Baylor University study has found.

Duke-NUS researchers discover new bat-borne virus related to Ebola
A new genus of filovirus from a species of bat has been discovered by researchers studying emerging infectious diseases.

Balanced diet, exercise may not prevent gestational diabetes
A new study is the latest evidence that the 'first-line' strategy for preventing gestational diabetes mellitus isn't working.

Satellite images reveal global poverty
How far have we come in achieving the UN's sustainable development goals that we are committed to nationally and internationally?

New research looks at the promise of 'digital neuropsychology'
'Digital neuropsychology,' or the assessment of neuropsychological function using digital devices represents 'a critical and potentially game-changing set of methodologies that can get at aspects of cognitive functioning that were previously inaccessible.'

Machine learning and quantum mechanics team up to understand water at the atomic level
Why is water densest at around 4 degrees Celsius? Why does ice float?

Researchers discover multilayer band gap using its own technology
Korean researchers have proved the existence of the second band gap in a 2D structure.

Hopkins researchers ID new biomarker for colorectal cancers
Johns Hopkins researchers have identified a protein involved in cell proliferation and the development of new blood vessels that could serve as a marker for the early detection of colorectal cancers.

Recent research suggests new therapeutic role for caffeine in neuropsychiatric disorders
An important new article reviews recently discovered properties of adenosine A2A receptor-dopamine D2 receptor (A2AR-D2R) and adenosine A1 receptor-dopamine D1 receptor (A1R-D1R) heteromers -- both of which are main targets for caffeine -- and discusses the therapeutic implications of these findings.

Introducing gun safety into health care providers' checklists to prevent teen suicide
Mental health services researchers at UMass Amherst and elsewhere assessed the needs of stakeholders who would implement a new approach to promoting a program, the Firearm Safety Check.

New bat-borne virus related to Ebola discovered by Singapore team
Newly discovered Mengla virus is evolutionarily closely related to Ebola virus and Marburg virus and shares several important functional similarities with them.

Alcohol-related treatment among American Indians and Alaska natives
A new study from researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapter Hill in the Gillings School of Global Public Health and the Prevention Research Center of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation in Berkeley, California, examines the proportions of AIAN who seek treatment for lifetime alcohol use disorder and the characteristics associated with those who seek treatment.

Mayo study uses AI to create inexpensive, widely available early detector of heart disease
A Mayo Clinic study finds that applying artificial intelligence (AI) to a widely available, inexpensive test -- the electrocardiogram (EKG) -- results in a simple, affordable early indicator of asymptomatic left ventricular dysfunction, which is a precursor to heart failure.

Mayo researchers find 'unacceptable low' cervical cancer screening rates
The percentage of women who are screened for cervical cancer may be far lower than national data suggests, according to a Mayo Clinic study recently published in the Journal of Women's Health.

Green catalysts with Earth-abundant metals accelerate production of bio-based plastic
Scientists at Tokyo Tech have developed and analyzed a novel catalyst for the oxidation of 5-hydroxymethyl furfural, which is crucial for generating new raw materials that replace the classic non-renewable ones used for making many plastics.

Opioids fueled a doubling of suicides and overdoses in the US
Suicides and drug overdoses kill American adults at twice the rate today as they did just 17 years ago, and opioids are a key contributor to that rise, according to a new review and analysis.

Changes in flavored tobacco product use among youth tobacco users
Self-reportedĀ use of flavored tobacco products by middle and high school students decreased from 2014 to 2016 but climbed back up in 2017 in an analysis of national survey data.

How does solid stress from brain tumors cause neuronal loss, neurologic dysfunction?
A Massachusetts General Hospital-led research team has demonstrated, for the first time, how solid stress -- the physical forces exerted by the solid components of a tumor -- impacts the tissue surrounding brain tumors and contributes to resulting neurological dysfunction and neuronal cell death.

Scientists identify new fuel-delivery route for cells
Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified a previously unknown route for cellular fuel delivery, a finding that could shed light on the process of aging and the chronic diseases that often accompany it.

'DeepSqueak' helps researchers decode rodent chatter
Two scientists at the University of Washington School of Medicine developed a software program called DeepSqueak, which promotes broad adoption of rodent vocalization research.

Adults with autism can read complex emotions in others
New research shows for the first time that adults with autism can recognise complex emotions such as regret and relief in others as easily as those without the condition.

Senescent cell research moves into human trials
Mayo Clinic researchers, along with collaborators from Wake Forest School of Medicine and the The University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio, have published findings from a safety and feasibility clinical trial on the removal of senescent cells from a small group of patients with pulmonary fibrosis.

New approach may curb treatment-related skin fibrosis in cancer patients
A clinical-scientific team specializing in head-and-neck cancer has identified a way to manipulate metabolism to potentially curb skin fibrosis -- a common side effect of radiotherapy affecting quality of life of cancer survivors.

Stroke produces dysfunctional brain cells
Mice produce new neurons in the hippocampus following a stroke that fail to develop properly, finds new research published in JNeurosci.

Dropping individual mandate penalty could reduce coverage enrollment, increase premiums
A new study conducted by investigators at the Mongan Institute Health Policy Center at Massachusetts General Hospital reports the results of a survey asking Californians enrolled in the individual marketplace in 2017 whether they would have purchased health insurance without the penalty.

Stem cell signal drives new bone building
In experiments in rats and human cells, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers say they have added to evidence that a cellular protein signal that drives both bone and fat formation in selected stem cells can be manipulated to favor bone building.

Hubble takes gigantic image of the Triangulum Galaxy
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured the most detailed image yet of a close neighbor of the Milky Way -- the Triangulum Galaxy, a spiral galaxy located at a distance of only three million light-years.

Prefrontal cortex development and mental illness
Faulty wiring of the prefrontal cortex during development leads to abnormal brain activity and cognitive impairments related to mental illness, according to a mouse study published in JNeurosci.

Over half of UK female surgeons have experience of workplace discrimination, poll suggests
More than half of female surgeons in the UK have faced or witnessed discrimination in the workplace, suggest the results of a confidential online poll, published in the online journal BMJ Open.

Screening donated blood for Zika not cost-effective
Universal screening of individual blood donations for Zika virus, which began in 2016, was not cost-effective in the 50 states during the first year.

Female penguins are getting stranded along the South American coast
Every year, thousands of Magellanic penguins are stranded along the South American coast--from northern Argentina to southern Brazil -- 1,000 kilometers away from their breeding ground in northern Patagonia.

Scientists developed new mouse model of Hirschsprung's disease
Researchers at the University of Helsinki, Finland, have developed a new mouse model of Hirschsprung's disease and associated enterocolitis and shed light on the disease progression.

Socio-economic study looks at boosting Panama Canal reliability
The research project met its goals to advance hydrological understanding in the steep humid tropics; understand factors affecting landowner decisions relative to paid land management plans; and combine these findings into an integrated assessment of the potential of long-term payments for hydrological ecosystem services in the Panama Canal Watershed.

Brain imaging predicts response to public health campaign
Neuroimaging data obtained from a small group of smokers predicts the influence of a large anti-smoking media campaign targeting likely smokers, shows a new study published in JNeurosci.

A century and half of reconstructed ocean warming offers clues for the future
Due to a scarcity of data, most global estimates of ocean warming start only in the 1950s.

Evolution used same genetic formula to turn animals monogamous
According to a new study that looked at 10 species of vertebrates, evolution used a kind of universal formula for turning non-monogamous species into monogamous species -- turning up the activity of some genes and turning down others in the brain.

US health care spending highest among developed countries
The United States, on a per capita basis, spends much more on health care than other developed countries; the chief reason is not greater health care utilization, but higher prices, according to a study from a team led by a Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researcher.

Intermittent fasting could improve obese women's health
Research carried out at the University of Adelaide shows that obese women lost more weight and improved their health by fasting intermittently while following a strictly controlled diet.

Whites struggle to tell real from fake smiles on black faces
White people and non-black minorities have a harder time telling the difference between genuine and fake smiles on black faces than they do on white faces, a problem black people don't have, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.

'Realistic' new model points the way to more efficient and profitable fracking
The mathematical and computational model is the first to predict branching while being consistent with the amount of gas that is known to be released from the shale.

Should researchers engineer a spicy tomato?
With the latest gene-editing techniques, it could be possible, although challenging, to make a tomato produce capsaicinoids (the compounds that make peppers spicy), researchers argue in an opinion article publishing Jan.

'Flipped' metal oxide cage can sort CO2 from CO
A Japanese research team led by Kanazawa University studied host-guest interactions in vanadate clusters.

Would you vote for a Democrat who behaves like a Republican?
The Bright Line Watch team tested how committed the American public really is to its democracy.

Prescribed opioids raise risk of pneumonia in patients with and without HIV
Taking prescribed opioids raises the risk of pneumonia in individuals with and without HIV, a new Yale-led study finds.

New complex carbohydrate discovered in barley
University of Adelaide researchers have discovered a new complex carbohydrate in barley.

PAC1R mutation may be linked to severity of social deficits in autism
If the pilot findings are corroborated in larger, multi-center studies, the research published in Autism Research represents the first step toward identifying a potential novel biomarker to guide interventions and better predict outcomes for children with autism.

Researchers say auditory testing can identify children for autism screening
The authors note a strong connection between auditory dysfunction and autism, suggesting that hearing issues identified at birth can be a clue to monitor the child for autism.

Scientists reveal for first time the exact process by which chaotic systems synchronize
In a study published in Physical Review E, physicists analyzed the Rossler system, a well-known chaotic system which physicists have studied thoroughly for almost 40 years.

New reference values for cancer patients' quality of life
Researchers and practitioners across the globe frequently use the 'EORTC' questionnaire to measure self-reported quality of life of cancer patients.

First-in-human trial of senolytic drugs encouraging
UT Health San Antonio, Mayo Clinic and Wake Forest School of Medicine researchers publish the first data on the treatment of an age-related disease with drugs called senolytics.

New study of MRSA spread provides framework for community-based infection surveillance
The identification of the recent spread of community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) in a Brooklyn religious enclave is helping medical experts better understand how certain high-risk populations can drive the evolution of antimicrobial resistance and identify steps that can be taken to curtail its spread, according to a new study.

A little squid sheds light on evolution with bacteria
In a new study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, an international team of researchers, led by UConn associate professor of molecular and cell biology Spencer Nyholm, sequenced the genome of this little squid to identify unique evolutionary footprints in symbiotic organs, yielding clues about how organs that house bacteria are especially suited for this partnership.

Symptom-assessment questionnaire should improve understanding, treatment of menopause
A new questionnaire being developed through a collaboration between the Massachusetts General Hospital Midlife Women's Health Center and the North American Menopause Society is designed to improve knowledge of the extent and impact on women of genitourinary symptoms of menopause.

Climate model uncertainties ripe to be squeezed
The latest climate models and observations offer unprecedented opportunities to reduce the remaining uncertainties in future climate change, according to a paper published in Nature Climate Change by a team of 29 international authors.

How the brain decides whether to hold 'em or fold 'em
Why do people make high-risk decisions -- in casinos or in other aspects of their lives -- even when they know the odds are stacked against them?

Insect biological control shields tropical forests
An international team of scientists*, involving entomologists, conservation biologists, agro-ecologists and geographers, has just revealed how on-farm biological control can slow the pace of tropical deforestation and avert biodiversity loss on a macro-scale.

TESS discovers its third new planet, with longest orbit yet
NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, TESS, has discovered a third small planet outside our solar system, scientists announced this week at the annual American Astronomical Society winter meeting in Seattle.

New key mechanism of epileptic seizures revealed
Russian scientists investigated the changes in the temporal lobe cortex of a rat brain during prolonged epileptic seizures.

Powerful X-ray beams unlock secrets of nanoscale crystal formation
High-energy X-ray beams and a clever experimental setup allowed researchers to watch a high-pressure, high-temperature chemical reaction to determine for the first time what controls formation of two different nanoscale crystalline structures in the metal cobalt.

Close flu vaccine supply gaps to ease flu seasons, make pandemics less deadly
Gaps in the logic of how we restock flu vaccines may be costing hundreds of lives, or more.

Increased risk of comorbid neck injury in females with a concussion-related ED visit
In a study of neck injury comorbidity in concussion-related emergency department (ED) visits in Ontario, Canada, females had significantly higher odds than males of sustaining a comorbid neck injury in a multitude of circumstances and stages of their lives.

Why people reject city trees
Why did nearly one-quarter of eligible residents in Detroit turn down free street trees?

Implicit attitudes can change over the long term
Data from more than 4 million tests completed between 2004 and 2016 show that Americans' explicit and implicit attitudes toward certain social groups are becoming less biased over time, according to research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Rising drug prices linked to older products, not just newer, better medications
Drug companies cite R&D as the reason for ever-increasing drug prices, but a new study shows it's actually price hikes on older drugs that's driving the trend.

Deep low-frequency earthquakes indicate migration of magmatic fluids beneath Laacher See
Magma could rise from the upper mantle into the middle and upper crust beneath the Laacher See Volcano (Germany).

Yeast makes ethanol to prevent metabolic overload
Why do some yeast cells produce ethanol? Scientists have wondered about this apparent waste of resources for decades.

Long-term breastfeeding sheds light on whether an infant becomes right- or left-handed
Bottle feeding infants is associated with left-handedness, according to a new study from the University of Washington.

USC science races against tick-borne virus
Two groundbreaking discoveries by USC researchers could lead to medications and a vaccine to treat or prevent a hemorrhagic fever transmitted by a new tick species before it spreads across the United States.

Human brain allocates attention based on known size of objects
Researchers at the George Washington University gained important insights into how the human brain processes information and allocates attention.

Racial differences in Alzheimer's disease unveiled
A new study at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

BU finds high-risk drinking common in South Africa
Adults in South Africa consume more alcohol than adults in most other countries; previous research has shown this comes with high rates of fetal alcohol syndrome and is a driver of the country's leading causes of death: sexually transmitted infections and interpersonal violence.

Researchers make important discovery for 'smart' films and encapsulation
New study from Notre Dame has found that the properties of a material commonly used to create conductive or protective films and encapsulate drug compounds -- and the conditions in which this material will disassemble to release that medication -- may be different than initially thought.

Older people who use hearing aids still report hearing challenges
A high proportion of older people with hearing aids, especially those with lower incomes, report having trouble hearing and difficulty accessing hearing care services, according to a study from researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

The Lancet Child & Ado. Health: Caring for preterm babies in single family rooms may help prevent sepsis and improve exclusive breastfeeding
Caring for preterm babies in single family rooms appears to reduce the incidence of sepsis and improve exclusive breastfeeding rates compared with traditional open ward neonatal units, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis published in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health journal.

Can artificial intelligence tell a polar bear from a can opener?
How smart is the form of artificial intelligence known as deep learning computer networks, and how closely do these machines mimic the human brain?

Faulty immune receptor could be reason why many face HIV complications
Michigan State University scientists have discovered SLAMF7, an immune receptor, has the ability to tone down the body's immune response when activated on certain white blood cells, called 'monocytes.' The finding was made after studying both healthy and HIV-infected patients.

Stock options worth more for women, senior managers, study finds
A novel new way of determining the value of employee stock options has yielded some surprising insights: Options granted to woman and senior managers are worth more because they hold them longer. 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