Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 15, 2020
When less is more: Designer slits make glasslike materials much stronger
By removing material via specially designed cuts in a glasslike material, researchers from Aarhus University, Denmark, and the University of Pennsylvania in the US have changed the mechanical properties of the material.

In court, far-reaching psychology tests are unquestioned
Psychological tests are important instruments used in courts to aid legal decisions that profoundly affect people's lives.

Climate change is not the only threat for our plants
To maintain plant and animal species on earth, we need not only to consider the direct effects of climate change, but we must also take other equally important environmental issues into consideration - such as changes in agricultural and forestry practices and indirect effects of climate such as increased frequencies of fires.

Journalism is an 'attack surface' for those who spread misinformation
For all the benefits in the expansion of the media landscape, we're still struggling with the spread of misinformation -- and the damage is especially worrisome when it comes to information about science and health.

New high-throughput method to study gene splicing at an unprecedented scale
Genes are like instructions, but with options for building more than one thing.

What induces sleep? For fruit flies it's stress at the cellular level
Sleep-deprived fruit flies helped reveal what induces sleep. University of Oxford researchers Anissa Kempf, Gero Miesenböck, and colleagues reveal that fruit fly sleep is driven by oxidative stress, the imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants in the body.

Cancer immunotherapy target helps fight solid tumors
Yvonne Chen engineers immune cells to target their most evasive enemy: cancer.

Using satellites and machine learning to protect food security in Eastern Africa
Dr. Catherine Nakalembe, Africa Program Lead for NASA Harvest, is helping countries there build systems to monitor crops based on NASA's and European Space Agency's free satellite data, allowing them to make life-saving decisions related to food security sooner and with a deeper evidence-base.

New technique tracks individual protein movement on live cells
The piece of gold that Richard Taylor was thrilled to track down weighed less than a single bacterium.

The verdict is in: Courtrooms seldom overrule bad science
A new, multiyear study published in Psychological Science in the Public Interest (PSPI), a journal of the Association for Psychological Science (APS), finds that only 40% of the psychological assessment tools used in courts have been favorably rated by experts.

Technique can label many specific DNAs, RNAs, or proteins in a single tissue sample
A new technique can label diverse molecules and amplify the signal to help researchers spot those that are especially rare.

Feedback culture: When colleagues become competitors
Competitive behavior among employees may be triggered by the type of feedback they have received.

Scientists develop molecular 'fishing' to find individual molecules in blood
Like finding a needle in a haystack, Liviu Movileanu can find a single molecule in blood.

Factories reimagined
Factories in the future will definitely look different than today.

Parkinson's disease protein structure solved inside cells using novel technique
The top contributor to familial Parkinson's disease is mutations in leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2), whose large and difficult structure has finally been solved, paving the way for targeted therapies.

Energized by enzymes -- nature's catalysts
Scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are using a custom virtual reality app to design an artificial enzyme that converts carbon dioxide to formate, a kind of fuel.

Researchers show how Ebola virus hijacks host lipids
Robert Stahelin studies some of the world's deadliest viruses. Filoviruses, including Ebola virus and Marburg virus, cause viral hemorrhagic fever with high fatality rates.

Insects' ability to smell is phenomenally diverse, a new protein structure hints at how
Even though they don't have conventional noses, insects have adapted to smell odors in nearly every imaginable niche.

A new way to monitor cancer radiation therapy doses
More than half of all cancer patients undergo radiation therapy and the dose is critical.

The paradox of dormancy: Why sleep when you can eat?
Why do predators sometimes lay dormant eggs -- eggs which are hardy, but take a long time to hatch, and are expensive to produce?
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