Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 02, 2020
On the hunt for megafauna in North America
Research from Curtin University has found that pre-historic climate change does not explain the extinction of megafauna in North America at the end of the last Ice Age.

Smart molecules could be key to computers with 100-times bigger memories
Researchers have discovered a single molecule 'switch' that can act like a transistor and offers the potential to store binary information -- such as the 1s and 0s used in classical computing.

New research deepens understanding of Earth's interaction with the solar wind
A team of scientists at PPPL and Princeton University has reproduced a process that occurs in space to deepen understanding of what happens when the Earth encounters the solar wind.

A satisfying romantic relationship may improve breast cancer survivors' health
Breast cancer survivors in romantic relationships who feel happy and satisfied with their partners may be at lower risk for a host of health problems, new research suggests.

UCI scientists engineer human cells with squid-like transparency
In a paper published today in Nature Communications, scientists at the University of California, Irvine described how they drew inspiration from cephalopod skin to endow mammalian cells with tunable transparency and light-scattering characteristics.

Carnegie Mellon tool automatically turns math into pictures
Some people look at an equation and see a bunch of numbers and symbols; others see beauty.

Get it over with, or procrastinate? New research explores our decision-making process
New research from the UBC Sauder School of Business may have figured out why.

New pill could prevent anaphylaxis in people with food, drug allergies
For someone with a food or drug allergy, the risk of life-threatening anaphylactic shock lurks around every corner.

When determining sex, exceptions are the rule
Thanks to new genomic data, long-held theories on sex chromosome evolution are now being tested against empirical evidence from nature -- often with surprising results.

More efficient biosolar cells modelled on nature
Potential sources of renewable energy include protein complexes that are responsible for photosynthesis.

New CRISPR advance may solve key quandary
A mutation unique to certain cancer tumors is a potential homing beacon for safely deploying CRISPR gene editing enzymes to disarm DNA that makes cancer cells resistant to treatment, while ignoring the gene in normal cells where it's critical to healthy function, according to to a new study from ChristianaCare's Gene Editing Institute in the journal Molecular Cancer Research.

Dead Sea Scrolls 'puzzle' pieced together with DNA
Ancient DNA extracted from Dead Sea Scrolls by Tel Aviv University researchers permits a rare, unanticipated glimpse into world of Second Temple Judaism.

Gene found that causes eyes to wither in cavefish
In a new study led by University of Maryland researchers, scientists discovered a gene that prevents blood flow to blind cavefish eyes during development.

A better model for neutrophil-related diseases
Neutrophils are critical immune cells for antimicrobial defense, but they can exacerbate a number of diseases, perhaps including COVID-19.

Tiger snakes tell more about local wetlands' pollution levels
Tiger snakes living in Perth's urban wetlands are accumulating toxic heavy metals in their livers, suggesting that their habitats -- critical, local ecosystems -- are contaminated and the species may be suffering as a result.

In anti-piracy work, blocking websites more effective when multiple sites are targeted
A new study that examined the effectiveness of anti-piracy efforts in the United Kingdom found that blocking websites can be effective but only when multiple channels are blocked.

Global warming will lift agriculture weed threat
Invasive weeds pose a significant threat to global agriculture productivity -- and their threat will become more pronounced if the Earth's climate is affected by increased greenhouse gas concentration, according a Flinders University climate researcher.

Antibiotic-destroying genes widespread in bacteria in soil and on people
Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have found that genes that confer the power to destroy tetracycline antibiotics are widespread in bacteria.

Small study demonstrates sample inactivation may lead to SARS-CoV-2 false negatives
A team of investigators led by Chaofeng Ma of Xi'an Center for Disease Control and Prevention hypothesized that viral inactivation may contribute to false negatives.

Families and communities are central to the recovery of Sierra Leone's former child soldiers
A study in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (JAACAP), published by Elsevier, reports that many of the former child soldiers of Sierra Leone have been accepted by their families and communities as they try to overcome their childhood trauma, according to a team led by Boston College School of Social Work Salem Professor in Global Practice, Theresa S.

Pulmonary embolism and COVID-19
Researchers at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit say early diagnosis of a life-threatening blood clot in the lungs led to swifter treatment intervention in COVID-19 patients.

Rainy season tends to begin earlier in Northern Central Asia
The researchers found robust increase of annual mean precipitation at the end of the 21st century under all modelling scenarios over northern central Asia.

Discovery of proteins that regulate interorganelle communication
This groundbreaking discovery of the key factor in the formation of MAM is expected to contribute to research on Neurodegenerative Diseases.

Study: Reflecting sunlight to cool the planet will cause other global changes
Study finds reflecting sunlight to cool the planet will weaken extratropical storm tracks, causing other global changes.

New experiment design improves reproducibility
Extensive standardisation processes are supposed to increase the efficiency of experiments, thus reducing the number of animals needed.

Expression of certain genes may affect vulnerability to post-traumatic stress disorder
A new study suggest that whether certain genes are expressed may play a role in susceptibility to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

An important new tool for developing COVID-19 treatments, vaccines
Scientists have a new resource to help them better understand COVID-19 as they develop treatments and vaccines.

Discovery of long sought tiny explosions on the Sun
The mechanism responsible for heating the corona to two million degrees, especially for the quiet Sun, has remained an enduring mystery.

Two lefties make a right -- if you are a one-in-a-million garden snail
A global campaign to help find a mate for a left-coiling snail called 'Jeremy' has enabled scientists to understand how mirror-image garden snails are formed.

Recycling plastics together, simple and fast
Scientists successfully blended different types of plastics to be recycled together, providing a solution to the environmental problem of plastic waste and adding economic value to plastic materials.

App promises to improve pain management in dementia patients
University of Alberta computing scientists are developing an app to aid health-care staff to assess and manage pain in patients suffering from dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Extraordinary modulation of light polarization with dark plasmons in magnetoplasmonic nanocavities
Enhancing magneto-optical effects is crucial for the size reduction of key photonic devices based on non-reciprocal propagation of light and to enable active nanophotonics.

Charting metabolic maps in the pursuit of new vaccines and antimicrobials
Researchers have made maps of the metabolic pathways of M.

New technique takes 3D imaging an octave higher
A collaboration between Colorado State University and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign resulted in a new, 3D imaging technique to visualize tissues and other biological samples on a microscopic scale, with potential to assist with cancer or other disease diagnoses.

Lesbian, gay, and bisexual older adults at higher risk for substance use
Middle-aged and older adults who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual have higher rates of using certain substances in the past year than those who identify as heterosexual, according to a new study led by researchers at NYU Grossman School of Medicine and the Center for Drug Use and HIV/HCV Research (CDUHR) at NYU School of Global Public Health.

Leaders call for 'Moonshot' on nutrition research
Leading nutrition and food policy experts outline a bold case for strengthening federal nutrition research in a live interactive session as part of NUTRITION 2020 LIVE ONLINE, a virtual conference hosted by the American Society for Nutrition (ASN).

Australian researchers set record for carbon dioxide capture
Researchers from Australia's Monash University and the CSIRO have set a record for carbon dioxide capture using Metal Organic Frameworks (MOFs).

NIH funded research related to every new cancer drug approved from 2010-2016, totals $64B
A new report from Bentley University's Center for Integration of Science and Industry, published in The Lancet Oncology, reveals that federally funded research contributed to the science underlying each of the 59 new cancer drugs approved by the FDA from 2010-2016.

Understanding the role of cardiorespiratory fitness and body composition in brain health
Researchers at the Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have demonstrated that brain chemistry is sensitive to fitness and body composition.

Oil platforms' fishy future
Marine biologists forecast the effects of oil platform decommissioning on fish communities.

Bees grooming each other can boost colony immunity
Honeybees that specialise in grooming their nestmates (allogroomers) to ward off pests play a central role in the colony, finds a new UCL and University of Florence study published in Scientific Reports.

Swing voters, swing stocks, swing users
A new technique could help identify prime candidates for changing election outcomes, or lead to a better understanding of how institutional and environmental factors shape the emergence of social structure.

Promising new method for producing tiny liquid capsules
Microcapsules for the storage and delivery of substances are tiny versions of the type of capsule used for fish oil or other liquid supplements.

Benzodiazepine use before conception is linked to increased risk of ectopic pregnancy
Women who use a class of tranquilizers called benzodiazepines before becoming pregnant are at greater risk of ectopic pregnancies, according to a study of nearly 1.7 million women.

Extracellular vesicles play an important role in the pathology of malaria vivax
Extracellular vesicles (EVs) play a role in the pathogenesis of malaria vivax, according to a study led by researchers from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) and the Germans Trias i Pujol Health Science Research Institute (IGTP).

Study reveals continuous pathway to building blocks of life
A new study conducted by scientists at the Institute for Advanced Study, the Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI), and the University of New South Wales, among other participating institutions, marks an important step forward in the effort to understand the chemical origins of life.

Researchers find pronghorn exhibit little genetic variation despite landscape obstacles
While previous research shows landscape features such as major highways restrict the daily and seasonal movements of pronghorn and increase mortality risk, this study found little, if any, evidence that these barriers affect genetic connectivity among Wyoming pronghorn.

Solar cells, phone displays and lighting could be transformed by nanocrystal assembly method
Smart phones, tablets and laptop displays, camera lenses, biosensing devices, integrated chips and solar photovoltaic cells are among the applications that could stand to benefit from an innovative method of nanocrystal assembly pioneered by Australian scientists from the ARC Centre of Excellence in Exciton Science.

NASA analyzes Gulf of Mexico's reborn tropical depression soaking potential
Infrared imagery from NASA's Aqua satellite showed that strong storms from a redeveloped tropical cyclone were soaking parts of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.

New model shows how diamond-carrying rocks formed in Northern Alberta
A new study by University of Alberta geologists is proposing a new model for explaining the eruption of diamond-bearing kimberlites in Northern Alberta.

Human waste could help combat global food insecurity
Researchers from Cornell University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the Canadian Light Source (CLS) at the University of Saskatchewan have proven it is possible to create nitrogen-rich fertilizer by combining the solid and liquid components of human waste.

Philippine volcanic eruption could prompt El Niño warming next winter
Climatological models suggest that gases from an erupting Philippine volcano could have significant impact on the global climate if more explosive eruptions occur.

Doubts about the Nerja cave art having been done by neanderthals
Prehistory research staff at the University of Cordoba is investigating the reliability of Uranium-thorium dating for a chronological study of Paleolithic art and is contesting that Neanderthals made the Paeolithic art in Spanish caves.

Novel bioaccumulative compounds found in marine bivalves
The present study screened known and unknown organohalogen compounds present in mussel and sediment samples from Hiroshima Bay.

Citizen scientists spot closest young brown dwarf disk yet
Citizen scientists spot a brown dwarf disk that is the closest young system yet discovered.

Study finds COVID-19 convalescent plasma therapy safe, with 76% patients improving
The first convalescent plasma transfusion trial results from Houston Methodist have been released.

Molecular circuitry: International team breaks one-diode-one resistor electronics
An international team with ties to UCF has cracked a challenge that could herald a new era of ultra-high-density computing.

How a fat cell's immune response makes obesity worse
Cincinnati Children's obesity science expert Senad Divanovic, PhD, reports in Nature Communications that adipocytes themselves can unlock a dormant inflammatory potential during obesity that further disrupts a person's metabolism.

Stomach issues, history of substance abuse found in teen vaping study
A study of teens diagnosed with the vaping-linked respiratory disease EVALI revealed that most also had gastrointestinal symptoms and a history of psychosocial factors, including substance abuse.

Scientists detect crab nebula using innovative gamma-ray telescope
The prototype Schwarzschild-Couder Telescope (SCT)--developed by scientists at the Columbia University in collaboration with researchers from other institutions--is part of an international effort, known as the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA), which aims to construct the world's largest and most powerful gamma-ray observatory, with more than 100 similar telescopes in the northern and southern hemispheres.

Researchers improve method that links genome to function for environmental single-cells
Cells are a little easier to understand, thanks to improved technology developed by a team of researchers based in China.

An optimal decision-making strategy emerges from non-stop learning
Unexpected results bring into question which decision-making strategies should be considered as optimal.

Integrating behavioral health services into medical practices faces barriers
Many people do not receive treatment for their mental health problems because of a shortage of providers and lack of access to mental health services, but one solution is to integrate mental health treatment into medical care.

Climate change could dramatically reduce future US snowstorms
A new study led by Northern Illinois University scientists suggests American winters late this century could experience significant decreases in the frequency, intensity and size of snowstorms.

New evidence on bed bug burden in urban neighborhoods
In the first study to use systematically collected data from multifamily housing inspections to track bed bug infestation, investigators including Christopher Sutherland at UMass Amherst 'confirm what has long been suspected for bed bugs, but also for public health issues in general' -- infestations are strongly associated with socioeconomic factors, including neighborhood income, eviction rates and crowding.

Smart devices should space out vibrations to maximize user alert benefits
A research team led by Yale-NUS College Assistant Professor of Social Sciences (Psychology) Christopher Asplund and Singapore University of Technology and Design's Assistant Professor Simon Perrault found that haptic feedback (such as vibration feedback) causes distraction, but this loss of focus lasts only for about one second.

Fujita Health University releases a preliminary report of Favipiravir Observational Study
Favipiravir (brand name Avigan) Observational Study Group (principal investigator: Dr.

Researchers study genetic outcomes of great gray owl population in four states
When compared to some other bird species, researchers found that great gray owls seem to have lower genetic diversity.

Large simulation finds new origin of supermassive black holes
Computer simulations conducted by astrophysicists at Tohoku University in Japan, have revealed a new theory for the origin of supermassive black holes.

From dark to light in a flash: Smart film lets windows switch autonomously
Researchers have developed a new easy-to-use smart optical film technology that allows smart window devices to autonomously switch between transparent and opaque states in response to the surrounding light conditions.

Genetic risk scores may improve clinical identification of patients with heart attack risk
Researchers at Mass General and the Broad Institute have found that applying polygenic risk scores can identify patients at risk of a heart attack who may be missed in standard clinical evaluations.

Western Canadian scientists discover what an armoured dinosaur ate for its last meal
More than 110 million years ago, a lumbering 1,300-kilogram, armour-plated dinosaur ate its last meal, died, and was washed out to sea in what is now northern Alberta.

Stretchable variable color sheet that changes color with expansion and contraction
Toyohashi University of Technology research team have succeeded in developing a variable color sheet with a film thickness of 400 nanometers that changes color when stretched and shrunk.

Discovery in human acute myeloid leukemia could provide novel pathway to new treatments
Researchers at Mount Sinai have discovered that human acute myeloid leukemia (AML) stem cells are dependent on a transcription factor known as RUNX1, potentially providing a new therapeutic target to achieve lasting remissions or even cures for a disease in which medical advances have been limited.

Tuning the interfacial properties of 2D heterophases though tilt-angles
For devices based on atomically thin two-dimensional (2D) materials, the properties of the interface play important roles in determining their performances.

Piecing together the Dead Sea Scrolls with DNA evidence
Piecing together the collection of more than 25,000 fragments of ancient manuscripts known as the Dead Sea Scrolls in order to understand their meaning has remained an incredibly difficult puzzle.

Finding balance between green energy storage, harvesting
Generating power through wind or solar energy is dependent on the abundance of the right weather conditions, making finding the optimal strategy for storage crucial to the future of sustainable energy usage.

Exotic nanotubes move in less-mysterious ways
Rice University researchers capture the first video of boron nitride nanotubes in motion to prove their potential for materials and medical applications.

Good night? Satellite data uncovers dolphins on the move at nighttime
More than 1,000 bottlenose dolphins live in Florida's Indian River Lagoon year-round.

Artificial tissue used to research uterine contractions
Throughout an individual's lifetime, the uterus undergoes spontaneous contractions of the uterine wall, which can induce uterine peristalsis, a specific wavelike contraction pattern.

Genetic study reveals similarities and differences of COVID-19 and SARS viruses
Researchers have identified specific portions of the genetic codes of the COVID-19 and SARS viruses that may promote the viruses' lifecycles.

Better patient identification could help fight the coronavirus
In a peer-reviewed commentary published in npj Digital Medicine, experts from Regenstrief Institute, Mayo Clinic and The Pew Charitable Trusts write that matching patient records from disparate sources is not only achievable, but fundamental to stem the tide of the current pandemic and allow for fast action for future highly contagious viruses.

'A litmus paper for CO2:' Scientists develop paper-based sensors for carbon dioxide
A new sensor for detecting carbon dioxide can be manufactured on a simple piece of paper, according to a new study by University of Alberta physicists.

Behaviors and traits that influence social status, according to evolutionary psychologists
Beyond fame and fortune, certain traits and behaviors may have pervasive influence in climbing the social ladder, according to a study by evolutionary psychologists at The University of Texas at Austin.

COVID-19, fake science, and conspiracy theories
What past scientific fraud is at the heart of some current anti-vaccine and anti-COVID-19 conspiracy theories?

Story tips: Shuffling atoms, thinning forests, fusion assembly and nuclear medicine
ORNL Story Tips: Shuffling atoms, thinning forests, fusion assembly and nuclear medicine.

Development of a novel approach 'Tracing Retrogradely the Activated Cell Ensemble'
The neural circuitry teams at DANDRITE and PROMEMO introduce a novel approach in their latest publication, which selectively labels sensory inputs that are activated by a defined stimulus and directed to a region of interest in the brain.

Aluminum oxide crystal tested as a UV radiation sensor
Doped with carbon and magnesium, the material becomes thermoluminescent in response to UV radiation.

Spine surgeons face COVID-19 challenges worldwide
Spine surgeons across the world are experiencing effects of COVID-19, including canceled procedures, changes in clinical roles, anxiety and risk of exposure to the disease themselves due to insufficient protective equipment.

Terahertz radiation can disrupt proteins in living cells
Researchers from the RIKEN Center for Advanced Photonics and collaborators have discovered that terahertz radiation, contradicting conventional belief, can disrupt proteins in living cells without killing the cells.

Blood markers predict Humboldt penguin nest type, reproductive success
In a new study, researchers looked at metabolic markers in the blood of 30 Humboldt penguins nesting in the Punta San Juan Marine Protected Area in Peru.

Economic Development Quarterly announces a special issue on business incentives
Local and state policymakers push economic development incentives to spur job creation and economic wealth.

Environmental justice defenders victims of violence and murder
Grassroots movements halt environmental degradation in up to 27% of environmental conflicts worldwide, according to a study by the ICTA-UAB.

Lab-grown miniature human livers successfully transplanted in rats
Using skin cells from human volunteers, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have created fully functional mini livers, which they then transplanted into rats.

Study in twins finds our sensitivity is partly in our genes
Some people are more sensitive than others -- and around half of these differences can be attributed to our genes, new research has found.

How a molecular alarm system in plants protects them from danger
Some plants are known to possess an innate physiological defense machinery that helps them develop resistance against insects trying to feed on them.

Pre-COVID-19 poll of older adults hints at potential impact of pandemic on eating habits
Most people in their 50s and older were capable home cooks just before COVID-19 struck America, but only 5% had ordered groceries online, according to a new national poll.

Immune cells multiply and diversify in mouse lungs at birth
An explosion in the number and types of immune cells in the lungs of newborn mice likely helps them adapt to breathing and protects them from infection, says a new study published today in eLife.

Tulane scientists find a switch to flip and turn off breast cancer growth and metastasis
Researchers at Tulane University School of Medicine identified a gene that causes an aggressive form of breast cancer to rapidly grow.

Scientific breakthrough toward treatment of Fragile X syndrome
Scientists at the University of Calgary have made a discovery that could lead to treatment of Fragile X syndrome (FXS), the leading genetic cause of autism.

Genome evolution goes digital
Dr. Alan Herbert from InsideOutBio describes ground-breaking research in a paper published online by Royal Society Open Science.

Bacteria fed by algae biochemicals can harm coral health
A new study led by researchers at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa and San Diego State University found that the outcome of the competition between coral and turf algae is determined by the assemblage of microbes at the interface where the contenders meet.

Boosting energy efficiency of 2D material electronics using topological semimetal
SUTD researchers discover a new way to boost the energy efficiency of 2D semiconductor electronics by synergizing 2D materials and topological semimetals.

Process behind the organ-specific elimination of chromosomes in plants unveiled
Commonly, each somatic cell in an organism holds the same amount of DNA.

Gene discovery in fruit flies 'opens new doors' for hearing loss cure in elderly
Scientists at UCL have discovered sets of regulatory genes, which are responsible for maintaining healthy hearing.

Some people are easily addicted to drugs, but others do not
Research team led by Prof. Joung-Hun Kim and Dr. Joo Han Lee of POSTECH and Dr.

Scientist captures new images of Martian moon Phobos to help determine its origins
Christopher Edwards, assistant professor in Northern Arizona University's Department of Astronomy and Planetary Science, just processed new images of the Martian moon Phobos that give scientists insight into the physical properties of the moon and its composition.

Astronomers capture a pulsar 'powering up'
A Monash-University-led collaboration has, for the first time, observed the full, 12-day process of material spiralling into a distant neutron star, triggering an X-ray outburst thousands of times brighter than our Sun.

Insurers should be willing to negotiate coronavirus claims to avoid courts being overwhelmed, study
Insurers should be open to negotiating coronavirus claims to avoid courts becoming overwhelmed with disputes, a new study warns.

New guidelines for assessment of bone density and microarchitecture in vivo with HR-pQCT
There is an urgent need for guidance and consensus on the methods for, and reporting of, high-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography (HR-pQCT) imaging so that different studies can be compared to each other.

Impact of COVID-19 infection in blood cancer patients
One of the first studies to investigate the outcome of COVID-19 infection in patients with blood cancer has been conducted by clinical researchers from Queen Mary University of London and Barts Health NHS Trust.

Possible physical trace of short-term memory found
How do we remember a phone number we were just about to call?

New discovery could highlight areas where earthquakes are less likely to occur
Scientists from Cardiff University have discovered specific conditions that occur along the ocean floor where two tectonic plates are more likely to slowly creep past one another as opposed to drastically slipping and creating catastrophic earthquakes.

Stanford team develops an inexpensive technique to show how decisions light up the brain
A technique called COSMOS will help researchers understand how our brains work and aid in the development of new drugs.

Study casts doubt on usefulness of Ofsted ratings
A study, led by the University of York, suggests that Ofsted ratings of secondary school quality account for less than one percent of the differences in students' educational achievement at age 16.

COVID-19 drug development could benefit from approach used against flu
A new study from researchers at The University of Texas at Austin has found that some antivirals are useful for more than helping sick people get better -- they also can prevent thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of virus cases if used in the early stages of infection.

SUTD-led research powers longer lasting rechargeable batteries
The development of the new material directly addresses the shortage of lithium resources and high energy power supplies.

Mindfulness improves decision-making, attention in children with autism
School-based mindfulness programs can improve decision-making skills and teach children with autism to focus attention and react less impulsively through breathing exercises that will allow them to reduce anxiety, according to Rutgers researchers.
Brightsurf.com 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 Amazon.com.