Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 10, 2019
Report discusses potential role of coffee in reducing risk of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's
A new report from the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee (ISIC) highlights the potential role of coffee consumption in reducing the risk of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.

Modifier gene may explain why some with cystic fibrosis are less prone to infection
People with cystic fibrosis who carry genetic variants that lower RNF5 gene expression have more mutant CFTR protein on cell surfaces.

Blood transfusions: Fresh red blood cells no better than older ones
Findings from the ABC-PICU study on critically ill children may alter policies at hospitals where fresh red cells are preferentially used.

Could dark carbon be hiding the true scale of ocean 'dead zones'?
The impact of climate change on the world's oceans is becoming increasingly known but new research suggests current computer models could be omitting a crucial piece of evidence when it comes to assessing the scale of ocean dead zones.

Huntington's Disease patients need better understanding of risks
Amsterdam, NL, December 10, 2019 - For patients with Huntington's disease (HD), clinical trials can offer hope when there are no treatments available despite unknowns about whether the therapy will work or is safe.

Could we cool the Earth with an ice-free Arctic?
The Arctic region is heating up faster than any other place on Earth, and as more and more sea ice is lost every year, we are already feeling the impacts.

TV watching is the lifestyle habit most strongly associated with obesity in children
ISGlobal team studies the role of five different lifestyle habits in the development of childhood overweight and obesity

Specialized immune cells could help repair inflammatory bowel disease damage in children
A new study suggests that specialized immune cells that dampen inflammation and help repair the gut could be used as a potential therapy for children dealing with the painful symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Children much more likely to die after surgery in poor countries
Children in low resourced countries are 100-200 times more likely to die after surgery than children in wealthy countries, according to a first-of-its-kind study published in Anesthesiology.

Clemson geneticists identify small molecules that are potential indicators for disease
Clemson researchers identified hundreds of metabolites that might serve as intermediates to translate variation in the genome to variation in complex traits.

One-third of Americans use news sources they consider less reliable
One-third of Americans rely on news platforms they acknowledge are less reliable, mainly social media and peers.

UW scientist to lead upcoming NASA field study of East Coast snowstorms
To better understand large, disruptive snowstorms, a University of Washington atmospheric scientist will lead a NASA field campaign studying major East Coast snowstorms beginning Jan.

Stardust from red giants
Some of the Earth's building material was stardust from red giants, researchers from ETH Zurich have established.

A study demonstrates the efficiency of a screening strategy to detect liver diseases
Miquel Serra-Burriel, a researcher at the Centre for Research in Health Economics (CRES-UPF), co-author of the article together with researchers from the Hepatology Unit of Hospital ClĂ­nic de Barcelona and a team of international experts, have published the study in Journal of Hepatology in the framework of the LiverScreen project.

Probiotic yeast may offer an effective treatment for drug-resistant fungal infections
Researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) & the Central Food Technological Research Institute in India are studying the effect of probiotic yeast in preventing fungal infections.

Research revises classification of acute myeloid leukemia & myelodysplastic syndrome
Findings presented as a late-breaking abstract at the American Society of Hematology annual meeting by St.

What blocks bird flu in human cells?
Normally, bird flu viruses do not spread easily from person to person.

Planning for future care may be linked to longer survival in terminally ill patients
Sharing preferences for end of life care, known as advance care planning, may be linked to longer survival in terminally ill patients, suggests the first study of its kind, published online in the journal BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care.

Key to helping southern sea otter is in repopulating estuaries such as San Francisco Bay
California could triple the population of endangered southern sea otters by repopulating San Francisco Bay.

Reducing wildfire risks for better management and resource allocation
Managing future wildfire risk requires an interface between human decision processes and knowledge about climate trends related to fire, as well as humans' abilities to anticipate wildfire potential and mitigation approaches are critical.

Online tool helps patients demystify the 'Pandora's box' of genomic sequencing
A decision aid developed to support patients undergoing genomic sequencing can reduce the amount of time patients spend speaking with overburdened genetic counselors while helping them feel more knowledgeable, suggests a study from St.

Immunotherapy drug improves outcomes for some children with relapsed leukemia
New findings from a clinical trial show that treatment with the immunotherapy drug blinatumomab is superior to standard chemotherapy for children and young adults with high- or intermediate-risk B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) that has relapsed.

Criteria for clinical trials might be too strict, needlessly excluding patients
Federal regulations may keep lung cancer patients out of clinical trials simply because these patients are on medications that might affect the electrical system of the heart.

Deep learning helps tease out gene interactions
Carnegie Mellon University computer scientists have taken a deep learning method that has revolutionized face recognition and other image-based applications in recent years and redirected its power to explore the relationship between genes.

School citizen science project dramatically improves children's knowledge of UK mammals
Children who participated in a citizen science project called MammalWeb, where they used camera traps to detect wildlife visiting their schools, were able to identify twice the number of UK mammals by the end of the project.

Potentially toxic chemicals from LCDs in nearly half of household dust samples tested
Chemicals commonly used in smartphone, television, and computer displays were found to be potentially toxic and present in nearly half of dozens of samples of household dust collected by a team of toxicologists led by the University of Saskatchewan (USask).

Me, me, me! How narcissism changes throughout life
New research from Michigan State University conducted the longest study on narcissism to date, revealing how it changes over time.

Lower BMI means lower diabetes risk, even among non-overweight people
Lower body mass index (BMI) is consistently associated with reduced type II diabetes risk, among people with varied family history, genetic risk factors and weight, according to a new study published this week in PLOS Medicine by Manuel Rivas of Stanford University, and colleagues.

Researchers show how opportunistic bacterium defeats competitors
The researchers discovered that Stenotrophomonas maltophilia uses a secretion system that produces a cocktail of toxins and injects them into other microorganisms with which it competes for space and food.

Have you found meaning in life? Answer determines health and well-being
A recent study by researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine found that the presence of and search for meaning in life are important for health and well-being, though the relationships differ in adults younger and older than age 60.

Advertising continues to assume mothers only use knowledge for domestic caring
Magazine adverts continue to tell mothers to put caring for their families front and centre - and encourage them to devote all their knowledge to protecting and caring for them rather than for their own benefit or professional advancement.

New insights into the effect of aging on cardiovascular disease
Aging adults are more likely to have - and die from - cardiovascular disease than their younger counterparts.

Multi-species grassland mixtures increase yield stability, even under drought conditions
In a two-year experiment in Ireland and Switzerland, researchers found a positive relationship between plant diversity and yield stability in intensely managed grassland, even under experimental drought conditions.

Federal disability payments encourage more family caregiving, study finds
While it's well understood what sources of income and insurance support people who experience a disability, less is known about the mechanisms of how family support changes over the evolution of a disability.

NASA's temp check on Tropical Storm Belna finds heavy rainfall potential
Cold cloud top temperatures can tell forecasters if a tropical cyclone has the potential to generate heavy rainfall, and that is exactly what NASA's Aqua satellite found when it observed the temperatures in Tropical Cyclone Belna over northwestern Madagascar.

Genetic breakthrough identifies heart failure risk in African and Latino Americans
Findings may inform genetic screening test for patients at risk and medically under-served.

Genetic brain disorder fixed in mice using precision epigenome editing
Using a targeted gene epigenome editing approach in the developing mouse brain, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers reversed one gene mutation that leads to the genetic disorder WAGR syndrome, which causes intellectual disability and obesity in people.

Tiny magnetic particles enable new material to bend, twist, and grab
A team of researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology and The Ohio State University has developed a soft polymer material, called magnetic shape memory polymer, that uses magnetic fields to transform into a variety of shapes.

Self-driving microrobots
Most synthetic materials, including those in battery electrodes, polymer membranes, and catalysts, degrade over time because they don't have internal repair mechanisms.

Greenland ice losses rising faster than expected
Greenland is losing ice seven times faster than in the 1990s and is tracking the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's high-end climate warming scenario, which would see 40 million more people exposed to coastal flooding by 2100.

Gut feeling: A network approach towards understanding IBD
Scientists at the Earlham Institute (EI), Quadram Institute Bioscience (QIB) and the University of East Anglia (UEA), UK, have pioneered how to get very detailed transcriptomics data from gut organoids, and regulatory networks to analyse them -- establishing a pipeline that can be used to explore the causes of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).

High above the storm clouds, lightning powers gamma-ray flashes and ultraviolet 'elves'
Using instruments onboard the International Space Station, researchers have observed millisecond pulses of gamma-rays produced by thunderstorms, clarifying the process by which these flashes are made, and discovering that they can produce an ultraviolet emission known as an 'Elve.'

Study: EMC2 tools improved safe dosing of opioids but had no influence on actual use
A study to evaluate the effect of an Electronic Medication Complete Communication (EMC2) Opioid Strategy on patients' safe use of and knowledge about opioids found that the EMC2 tools improved demonstrated safe dosing, but these benefits did not translate into actual use based on medication dairies.

Too many Canadians live with multiple chronic conditions, say UBC researchers
A lack of physical activity, a poor diet and too much stress are taking their toll on the health of Canadians, says a new UBC study.

University of Cincinnati research looks at side effects for pediatric medications
Dr. Jeffrey Strawn, associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, and Jeffrey Mills, associate professor in the Department of Economics at the UC Lindner College of Business, published a study in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry looking specifically at side effects that impact children and adolescents being treated for anxiety disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

'Invisible,' restricted horse racing therapy may leave a trail
Shockwave therapy is used in both horses and humans to speed healing, but it can also mask pain.

LSU Health discovers role of 2 proteins in sight and preventing blinding eye diseases
Research led by Nicolas Bazan, MD, Ph.D., Boyd Professor and Director of the Neuroscience Center of Excellence at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine, has discovered unique patterns of genetic activity that may lead to the development of blinding retinal diseases.

Stretchy and squeezy soft sensors one step closer thanks to new bonding method
Imperial College London bioengineers have found a way to create stretchy and squeezy soft sensing devices by bonding rubber to electrical components.

All Bitcoin mining should be environmentally friendly
The energy used to mine for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin is on par with the energy consumed by Ireland.

ASTRO issues new guideline on radiation therapy for basal, squamous cell skin cancers
A new clinical guideline from the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) provides recommendations on the use of radiation therapy to treat patients diagnosed with the most common types of skin cancers.

Labelling foods with physical activity needed to burn calories linked to healthier choices
Labelling food and drink with the amount and type of exercise needed to burn off the calories in it might be a more effective way of encouraging people to make 'healthier' dietary choices, indicates research published online in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

Quantum expander for gravitational-wave observatories
Gravitational-wave detectors use ultra-stable laser light stored in optical cavities to achieve the high sensitivity for detecting gravitational-wave signals from merging binary black holes and neutron stars.

Genetic variant largely found in patients of African descent associated with heart failure
A genetic variant in the gene transthyretin (TTR) -- which is found in about 3% of individuals of African ancestry -- is a more significant cause of heart failure than previously believed, according to a multi-institution study led by researchers at Penn Medicine.

Lily and Yuh-Nung Jan named 20th Perl-UNC neuroscience prize recipients
The UNC School of Medicine has awarded the 20th Perl-UNC Neuroscience Prize to Lily Jan, Ph.D., and Yuh-Nung Jan, Ph.D., both at UC San Francisco, for the 'discovery and functional characterization of potassium channels.'

Loneliness may be due to increasing aging population
Despite some claims that Americans are in the midst of a 'loneliness epidemic,' older people today may not be any lonelier than their counterparts from previous generations -- there just might be more of them, according to a pair of studies published by the American Psychological Association.

Video discharge instructions in ED associated with less AOM symptomatology
Video discharge instructions in the emergency department are associated with less perceived acute otitis media (AOM) symptomatology compared to a paper handout.

Weizmann physicists image electrons flowing like water
Weizmann physicists image electrons flowing like water.

Accessing medical records improve patients care -- but only 10% of patients do so
Despite the numerous benefits associated with patients accessing their medical records, a new Portland State University study found only 10% of patients utilize the resource.

Was Earth's oxygenation a gradual, not step-wise, process -- driven by internal feedbacks?
The oxygenation of Earth's surface -- which transformed the planet into a habitable haven for all life as we know it -- may have been the consequence of global biogeochemical feedbacks, rather than the product of discrete planetary-scale biological and tectonic revolutions as proposed, according to a new study.

Scientists discover a novel method to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria
AMPs target and kill bacteria in such variable ways that few bacteria ever become resistant to these molecules; this makes AMPs uniquely suited to treating antibiotic-resistant bacteria, also called, 'superbugs'.

Drug combination shows promise in preclinical models of triple negative breast cancer
Tumor volume in a preclinical model of triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) was reduced four times more when an experimental polo-like kinase 1 (PLK1) inhibitor was combined with a standard-of-care chemotherapeutic agent than when the agent was used alone.

Lyme disease claim lines increased 117% from 2007 to 2018
From 2007 to 2018, claim lines with diagnoses of Lyme disease increased nationally 117%.

Muscle weakness after sepsis linked to mitochondrial dysfunction
Damage to energy-producing mitochondria may underlie prolonged muscle weakness following a sepsis-like condition in mice, according to a new study published today in eLife.

Silver improves the efficiency of monograin layer solar cells
As a result of their two-year joint project, the materials researchers of Tallinn University of Technology have improved the efficiency of next generation solar cells by partial substitution of copper with silver in absorber material.

No 'clouded' judgments: Geostationary satellite an alternative to monitor land surfaces
Environmental scientists are always in search of new tools that can better characterize the Earth's surface.

Study: Water births are as safe as land births for mom, baby
A new study found that water births are no more risky than land births, and that women in the water group sustain fewer first and second-degree tears.

New findings on satiety signaling from intestine
A previously unknown mechanism that suppresses satiety signals from the small intestine is the main finding of a new study.

Improvements needed for hepatitis C testing in youth
A new study led by Boston Medical Center uncovered a need to improve testing rates for Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) in young people, specifically those with documented substance use history.

Smoking cessation treatment targets adolescents
The primary focus of smoking cessation research has been adults in the past, but a new study in JAMA Pediatrics zeroed in on adolescents.

Matthias Schott receives ERC Consolidator Grant for new approach to search for axions
Matthias Schott and his team are proposing a detailed research program using the LHC's ATLAS Experiment where they can undertake a targeted search for relatively heavy ALPs, which, once found, could solve the problem associated with the anomalous magnetic moment of the muon.

Communications device offers huge bandwidth potential
Several countries are building futuristic communication systems using higher frequency electromagnetic waves to transfer more data at faster rates, but they have lacked network components to handle these higher bandwidths.

Fresh red blood cell transfusions do not help critically ill children more than older cells
Researchers have found that transfusions using fresh red blood cells -- cells that have spent seven days or less in storage -- are no more beneficial than older red blood cells in reducing the risk of organ failure or death in critically ill children.

Penn Medicine uses social media-style memes and gifs to encourage staff recognition
A study found that the Penn 'High Five' system is used by the vast majority of the team where it was first launched.

Insects' drag-based flight mechanism could improve tiny flying robots
Thrips don't rely on lift in order to fly. Instead, the tiny insects rely on a drag-based flight mechanism, staying afloat in airflow velocities with a large ratio of force to wing size.

Oxygen shaped the evolution of the eye
The light-absorbing retina in the eye has an exceptionally high metabolic rate which must be met by adequate oxygen supply.

Close friends help macaques survive
Close friendships improve the survival chances of rhesus macaques, new research shows.

Hastings Center Report, November-December 2019
GoFundMe urged to halt campaigns for unproven medical treatments; the case for new laws to stem the doctor burnout crisis; why sugar taxes don't undermine liberty, and more.

Researchers say 30% of patients taking opioids experience adverse drug interactions
A new article outlines common drug-drug interactions that alter how the body metabolizes certain opioids, causing decreased efficacy that ultimately can lead to misuse and overdose.

Dementia study reveals how proteins interact to stop brain signals
Fresh insights into damaging proteins that build up in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease could aid the quest for treatments.

Research explores how grape pests sniff out berries
A new study, published Nov. 21 in the Journal of Chemical Ecology, investigates how these pests find their target amid a sea of other plants in the landscape.

Migraine prevention in children and adolescents
Two medicines already used to prevent migraine in adults also showed efficacy in adolescents with migraine.

Research sheds important light on the metastasis of neuroblastoma
Research sheds important light on the metastasis of neuroblastoma.

Technologies and scientific advances needed to track methane levels in atmosphere
Understanding what influences the amount of methane in the atmosphere has been identified by the American Geophysical Union to be one of the foremost challenges in the earth sciences in the coming decades because of methane's hugely important role in meeting climate warming targets.

Alzheimer's drug candidates reverse broader aging, study shows
In mouse models of Alzheimer's disease, the investigational drug candidates known as CMS121 and J147 improve memory and slow the degeneration of brain cells.

Breathing new life into the rise of oxygen debate
New research strongly suggests that the distinct 'oxygenation events' that created Earth's breathable atmosphere happened spontaneously, rather than being a consequence of biological or tectonic revolutions.

Invest in pollinator monitoring for long-term gain
A research team from the University of Reading and the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology is studying how to improve pollinator monitoring in the UK in a cost-effective manner.

Why doesn't deep-brain stimulation work for everyone?
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have mapped nine functional networks in the deep-brain structures of 10 healthy people, an accomplishment that could lead to improvements in deep-brain stimulation therapy for severe cases of Parkinson's disease and other neurological conditions.

Can eating ice cream make you scream?
A German study finds that around 50 % of the population experience headache attributed to ingestion or inhalation of a cold stimulus (HICS), regardless of having the diagnosis of migraine or other primary headaches.

New laser technique images quantum world in a trillionth of a second
For the first time, researchers have been able to record, frame-by-frame, how an electron interacts with certain atomic vibrations in a solid.

Justified and unjustified movie violence evokes different brain responses, study finds
In a study, researchers find that scenes of justified and unjustified violence in movies activate different parts of the adolescent brain.

AGA releases guideline on management of gastric intestinal metaplasia
This guideline will aid health care provider decision-making for patients who are undergoing upper endoscopy in North America

Floral foam adds to microplastic pollution problem: Study
First study to examine the environmental effects of floral foam finds the plastic material, which breaks into tiny pieces, can be eaten by a range of freshwater and marine animals and affect their health.

How to induce magnetism in graphene
Graphene, a two-dimensional structure made of carbon, is a material with excellent mechani-cal, electronic and optical properties.

New aluminium hydroxide stable at extremely high pressure
A new hydrous phase, ?-AlOOH, was observed to be stable at pressures above ?200 GPa.

Sorghum study illuminates relationship between humans, crops and the environment in domestication
A new study illustrates the concept of a domestication triangle, in which human genetics interact with sorghum genetics and the environment to influence the traits farmers select in their crops.

Trashed farmland could be a conservation treasure
Low-productivity agricultural land could be transformed into millions of hectares of conservation reserve across the world, according to University of Queensland-led research.

Researchers create accurate model of organ scarring using stem cells in a lab
A team led by Dr. Brigitte Gomperts at UCLA has developed a 'scar in a dish' model that uses multiple types of cells derived from human stem cells to closely mimic the progressive scarring that occurs in human organs.

Improving the accuracy of climate model projections with emergent constraints
Emergent constraints are useful for narrowing the spread of climate projections and for guiding the development of more realistic climate models.

Natural ecosystems protect against climate change
The identification of natural carbon sinks and understanding how they work is critical if humans are to mitigate global climate change.

Brain patterns can predict speech of words and syllables
Neurons in the brain's motor cortex previously thought of as active mainly during hand and arm movements also light up during speech in a way that is similar to patterns of brain activity linked to these movements, suggest new findings published today in eLife.

June rainfall in the lower Yangtze River Basin can be predicted four months ahead
A new study shows that the Met Office's operational seasonal forecasting system can predict June rainfall in the middle/lower Yangtze River basin up to four months in advance.

Inane things with a taste of freedom
Both the USSR and the USA countries used cinematography as a weapon in their fight, trying to do as much harm to the opponent as possible.

How are Utah's dry lakes impacting air quality and human health?
A new study from BYU reveals that 90 percent of Utah urban dust comes from dry lakebeds, which not only impacts air quality but also impacting soil and what can grow in it.

Middle-income countries are hardest hit by cardiovascular disease in Europe
Middle-income countries shoulder the bulk of morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular disease (CVD) in Europe, according to a major report published today in European Heart Journal, the flagship journal of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

Chiton mollusk provides model for new armor design
The way the scale armor works is that when in contact with a force, the scales converge inward upon one another to form a solid barrier.

Project adapts basic tech to give voice to patients in Africa
A new system developed by Cornell Tech researchers will allow thousands of patients of community health care workers in rural Africa to use a basic tool on their mobile phones -- one that doesn't even require an internet connection -- to provide feedback on their care anonymously, easily and inexpensively.

Multiplication and division of the orbital angular momentum of light
For the first time, novel optical elements have been designed and fabricated to perform the multiplication and division of the orbital angular momentum of light in a compact and efficient way.
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