Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (2017)

Science news and science current events archive 2017.

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Top Science News & Current Event Articles from 2017

Smartphone apps reduce depression
New Australian-led research has confirmed that smartphone apps are an effective treatment option for depression, paving the way for safe and accessible interventions for the millions of people around the world diagnosed with this condition.

X-ray imaging with a significantly enhanced resolution
Physicists from Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) and Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY, Hamburg) have come up with a method that could significantly improve the quality of X-ray images in comparison to conventional methods. Incoherent diffractive imaging (IDI) could help to image individual atoms in nanocrystals or molecules faster and with a much higher resolution.

New treatment options for type 2 diabetes
Researchers believe they now have a considerable amount of evidence, much of it new, that in contrast to the current strategies for attacking type 2 diabetes, the recognition that it involves dormant microbes, chronic inflammatory processes and coagulopathies, offer new opportunities for treatment.

Biosensor could help diagnose illnesses directly in serum
In this age of fast fashion and fast food, people want things immediately. The same holds true when they get sick and want to know what's wrong. But performing rapid, accurate diagnostics on a serum sample without complex and time-consuming manipulations is a tall order. Now, a team reports in ACS Sensors that they have developed a biosensor that overcomes these issues.

NUS scientists combine antimalarial drug with light sensitive molecules for promising treatment of cancer
NUS scientists discovered that a combination of artemisinin, which is a potent anti-malarial drug, and aminolaevulinic acid, which is a photosensitizer, could kill colorectal cancer cells and suppress tumor growth more effectively than administering artemisinin alone. This novel combination therapy could also have fewer side effects.

Scientist devises a solar reactor to make water and oxygen from moon rocks
With the successful test of this solar reactor design, Denk has achieved the first step, creating H2O on the Moon using solar thermal energy. For the second step, solar electrolysis would break the H2O into hydrogen and oxygen.

Forgoing chemo linked to worse survival in older patients with advanced colon cancer who had dementia
A pre-existing diagnosis of dementia was associated with increased risk of death for older patients with advanced colon cancer; however, some of the effects of dementia on survival could be mediated by receipt of chemotherapy.

16-year study suggests air temperature is external trigger for heart attack
A 16-year study in more than 280,000 patients has suggested that air temperature is an external trigger for heart attack. The findings are presented today at ESC Congress.

Oncotarget: Researchers identify a potential molecular trigger for invasiveness in prostate cancer cells
A small protein modification can trigger the aggressive migratory and invasive properties of prostate cancer cells, according to new research published on the cover of Oncotarget. The findings give greater insight into how cancers can move from one location in the body to another, and could help develop more effective therapies in the future. Editorial by Xin Ye and Robert A. Weinberg can be found online.

Artificial neural networks could power up curation of natural history collections
Fed with new knowledge for centuries, natural history collections contain critical data for many scientific endeavors. While recent efforts in mass digitization have already provided unprecedented insight by generating large datasets from these collections, a new pilot project -- one of the first of its kind -- suggests that the key to efficiently studying these data might lie in the new-age deep learning techniques. The research article is published in the open-access Biodiversity Data Journal.

New technique to aid IVF embryo selection
Australian researchers have successfully developed an advanced new imaging technique, which can help assess the quality of early-stage embryos.

We should use central pressure deficit, not wind speed, to predict hurricane damage
New research provides a physical understanding for why central pressure deficit is a better indicator of economic damage from hurricanes than peak wind speed.

Two studies explore gender, language, and treatment setting as barriers in screening and patient care in lung cancer
More people die of lung cancer than any other type of cancer, and two new studies from CHEST 2017 reveal disparities in lung cancer screening and care that may impact detection, as well as mortality and survival rates in the disease.

Better, cheaper bio-ink may be used to create artificial organs
A new bio-ink that may support a more efficient and inexpensive fabrication of human tissues and organs has been created by researchers at UBC's Okanagan campus. The UBC team analyzed the physical and biological properties of three different GelMA hydrogels -- porcine skin, cold-water fish skin and cold-soluble gelatin.

More education linked to better cognitive functioning later in life
New research from the University of California, Berkeley, analyzed the performance of around 196,000 Lumosity subscribers to quantify the cumulative effect of attending school on cognition, finding that more education is linked to better cognitive functioning later in life.

Game time: To increase exercise, study shows gaming strategies and a buddy are key
New research shows families who used activity trackers with specially designed gaming elements increased daily step counts by nearly one mile per day and achieved daily fitness goals 27 percent more than families who did not.

Poor sleep hastens progression of kidney disease
People with chronic kidney disease may be especially vulnerable to the deleterious effects of poor sleep, according to a new paper published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Video game system technology helping physical therapists, athletic trainers
Motion-based lab technology can help physical therapists, clinicians and athletic trainers analyze how we move -- it also is very expensive. Some motion labs can cost upward of $100,000. Now, a team of University of Missouri researchers is finding that the depth camera often associated with video game systems can provide a variety of health care providers with objective information to improve patient care.

New computational method provides optimized design of wind up toys
A team of leading computer scientists has developed a novel computational system to aid the design and fabrication of wind-up toys, focusing on automating the intricate interior machinery responsible for the toys' wind-up motion.

DNA barcoding technology helping monitor health of all-important boreal forests
The Boreal forest is essential to Canada and the world, storing carbon, purifying water and air and regulating climate. But keeping tabs on the health of this vulnerable biome has proven to be a painstaking and time-consuming undertaking - until now. Cutting-edge DNA metabarcoding technology developed by the University of Guelph can help speed up and improve the monitoring process, according to a new study published today in Scientific Reports.

Can discrimination contribute to feelings of radicalization?
Muslim immigrants who feel marginalized and discriminated against in countries that expect them to integrate into their culture and society are more likely to experience psychological threats to their own significance that could be related to increased support of radicalism, according to new research presented at the American Psychological Association's 125th Annual Convention.

Revolutionary imaging technique uses CRISPR to map DNA mutations
A new nanomapping technology could transform the way disease-causing genetic mutations are diagnosed and discovered.

Millions may face protein deficiency as a result of human-caused carbon dioxide emissions
If CO2 levels keep rising as projected, the populations of 47 countries may lose more than 5 percent of their dietary protein by 2050 due to a decline in the nutritional value of rice, wheat, and other staple crops, according to Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health researchers. They estimate an additional 250 million people may be at risk of protein deficiency because of elevated CO2 levels. This is the first study to quantify this risk.

CNIC scientists develop new methods for analyzing gene function
Scientists at the CNIC have developed new methods to produce and analyze genetic mosaics. In these mosaics, tissues contain various groups of cells with different known genotypes, permitting study of the differences that these genotypes generate in cell behavior.

NASA Ppotects its super heroes from space weather
When astronauts travel in space they can't see or even feel radiation. However, NASA's Human Research Program (HRP) is studying the effects radiation plays on the human body and developing ways to monitor and protect against this silent hazard.

Researchers examine contaminants in hunted wildlife
Concerning environmental contaminants, game species are not subject to the same safety testing as commercially marketed livestock.

A 'virtual heart' to simulate arrhythmia
A group of researchers from MIPT and Ghent University have proposed a mathematical model which is able to determine the factors responsible for the formation of different fibrosis patterns, which are believed to cause arrhythmia. To reproduce the formation of cardiac tissue, the researchers took a mathematical model -- one that is widely applied to study tissue growth -- and optimized it using the previously collected experimental data.

Riding the wave: Pioneering research tames nanoquakes
Researchers from the University of Exeter have pioneered a new technique to control high frequency sound waves, commonly found within everyday devices such as mobile phones.

Telemedicine as effective as in-person care for Parkinson's disease
New findings from a nationwide program that links neurologists with patients with Parkinson's disease in their homes via video conferencing shows that telemedicine can successfully deliver quality care. The study, which appears today in the journal Neurology, points to a new way to improve care for people who suffer from the disease, but may have not have access to a neurologist.

Improving clinical trials with machine learning
Machine learning could improve our ability to determine whether a new drug works in the brain, potentially enabling researchers to detect drug effects that would be missed entirely by conventional statistical tests, finds a new UCL study published in Brain.

NASA spies wind shear still affecting Tropical Storm Nalgae
Tropical Storm Nalgae can't seem to get a break from vertical wind shear. The storm has been dealing with wind shear since it formed and NASA's Terra satellite observed that was still the case on Aug. 4.

Research sheds new light on the link between gut bacteria and anxiety
Research published in the open access journal Microbiome sheds new light on how gut bacteria may influence anxiety-like behaviors. Investigating the link between gut bacteria and biological molecules called microRNAs (miRNAs) in the brain; researchers at the APC Microbiome Institute at University College Cork, which is funded by Science Foundation Ireland, found that a significant number of miRNAs were changed in the brains of microbe-free mice.

Energy dense foods may increase cancer risk regardless of obesity status
While there is a proven link between obesity and certain types of cancer, less is known about how the ratio of energy to food weight, otherwise known as dietary energy density (DED), contributes to cancer risk. To find out, researchers looked at DED in the diets of post-menopausal women and discovered that consuming high DED foods was tied to a 10 percent increase in obesity-related cancer among normal weight women.

Many women diagnosed with cancer have sexual health concerns
A new review published in the European Journal of Cancer Care indicates that, in women diagnosed with cancer, concerns pertaining to sexual health are diverse, multiple, and pervade all types and stages of cancer.

New drug hope for rare bone cancer patients
Patients with a rare bone cancer of the skull and spine -- chordoma -- could be helped by existing drugs, suggest scientists from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, University College London Cancer Institute and the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust. In the largest genomics study of chordoma to date, published today in Nature Communications, scientists show that a group of chordoma patients have mutations in genes that are the target of existing drugs, known as PI3K inhibitors.

Communicating in a foreign language takes emotion out of decision-making
If you could save the lives of five people by pushing another bystander in front of a train to his death, would you do it? And should it make any difference if that choice is presented in a language you speak, but isn't your native tongue? Psychologists at the University of Chicago know communicating in a foreign language matters. In a new study, they take a major step toward understanding why.

Primordial black holes may have helped to forge heavy elements
Astronomers like to say we are the byproducts of stars, stellar furnaces that long ago fused hydrogen and helium into the elements needed for life through the process of stellar nucleosynthesis.

Scientist emphasizes importance of multi-level thinking
An unusual paper by Prof. Michael E. McIntyre from University of Cambridge touches on a range of deep questions, including insights into the nature of science itself, and of scientific understanding -- what it means to understand a scientific problem in depth -- and into the communication skills necessary to convey that understanding and to mediate collaboration across specialist disciplines.

Risk of a fatty heart linked to race, type of weight gain in middle-aged women
A woman's race and where on her body she packs on pounds at midlife could give her doctor valuable clues to her likelihood of having greater volumes of heart fat, a potential risk factor for heart disease, according to new research led by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.

Software lets designers exploit the extremely high resolution of 3-D printers
Software lets designers exploit the extremely high resolution of 3-D printers.

Novel software can recognize eye contact in everyday situations
Human eye contact is an important information source. Nonetheless, so far, possibilities to recognize eye contact in everyday situations have been very limited. Computer scientists of Saarland University and the Max Planck Institute for Informatics have now developed a method by the aid of which it is possible to detect eye contact, independent of the type and size of the target object, the position of the camera, or the environment.

Twilight observations reveal huge storm on Neptune
Striking images of a storm system nearly the size of Earth have astronomers doing a double-take after pinpointing its location near Neptune's equator, a region where no bright cloud has been seen before. The discovery was made at dawn on June 26 as UC Berkeley graduate student Ned Molter was testing the Keck telescope to see whether it could make useful observations during twilight, a time most astronomers consider unusable because it's not dark enough.

Wood frogs research clarifies risks posed to animals by warming climate
As conditions warm, fish and wildlife living at the southern edge of their species' ranges are most at risk, according to Penn State researchers who led a major collaborative study of how wood frogs are being affected by climate change.

Researchers use machine learning to spot counterfeit consumer products
A team of researchers has developed a new mechanism that uses machine-learning algorithms to distinguish between genuine and counterfeit versions of the same product.

Tropical Depression 11E 'born' with wind shear on satellite imagery
The eleventh tropical depression of the Eastern Pacific Ocean hurricane season came together on August 4 even though it was being affected by vertical wind shear.

Research into childhood obstructive sleep-disordered breathing examined
Through a comprehensive review of published research, investigators have identified important gaps in how and where children with obstructive sleep-disordered breathing (oSDB) are best managed. Their findings are published in the journal CHEST.

Climate change expected to increase premature deaths from air pollution
A new study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill estimates that future climate change, if left unaddressed, is expected to cause roughly 60,000 deaths globally in the year 2030 and 260,000 deaths in 2100 due to climate change's effect on global air pollution.   

Individuals in the US diagnosed with cancer are 2.7 times more likely to declare bankruptcy than individuals without cancer, study finds
As advancements in cancer therapies have been making headlines in recent years, cancer drug prices have significantly increased. The remaining question is, what are the economic impacts of the differentiations in cost of FDA approved drugs and the purchasing power of individuals around the world? This study, published in Oncotarget, titled

Vascular risk factors and Alzheimer's disease: A new therapeutic opportunity?
Currently, no possibility exists to reliably quantify the risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD) onset in the general population and in subjects with mild cognitive impairment.

Drug safety for penguins
Researchers from the University of Liverpool have determined the most effective drug dose to help penguins in managed care fight off disease.

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