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Science News Archive | Brightsurf | (2020)

Science news and current events archive from 2020

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Top Science Current Events and Science News from 2020


Mushrooms are older than we thought
According to a new study led by Steeve Bonneville from the Université libre de Bruxelles, the first mushrooms were already present on Earth between 715 and 810 million years ago, 300 million years earlier than the scientific community had believed until now. (2020-01-22)
Compact broadband acoustic absorber with coherently coupled weak resonances
Recently, the research teams from Tongji University and The Hong Kong Polytechnic University demonstrate that a compact broadband acoustic absorber can be achieved with coherently coupled 'weak resonances' (resonant sound absorbing systems with low absorption peaks). (2020-01-16)
B-cell enrichment predictive of immunotherapy response in melanoma, sarcoma and kidney cancer
Multiple studies out in Nature indicate that a patient's response to immune checkpoint blockade may depend on B cells located in special structures within the tumor. (2020-01-15)
UMass Amherst researchers identify new mechanism involved in promoting breast cancer
A new approach to studying the effects of two common chemicals used in cosmetics and sunscreens found they can cause DNA damage in breast cells at surprisingly low concentrations, while the same dose did not harm cells without estrogen receptors. (2020-01-15)
Flame retardants and pesticides overtake heavy metals as biggest contributors to IQ loss
Adverse outcomes from childhood exposures to lead and mercury are on the decline in the United States, likely due to decades of restrictions on the use of heavy metals, a new study finds. (2020-01-14)
Yale-led team finds parents can curb teen drinking and driving
Binge drinking by teenagers in their senior year of high school is a strong predictor of dangerous behaviors later in life, including driving while impaired (DWI) and riding with an impaired driver (RWI), according to a new Yale-led study. (2020-01-13)
Vitamin B6, leukemia's deadly addiction
Researchers from CSHL and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center have discovered how Acute Myeloid Leukemia is addicted to vitamin B6. (2020-01-13)
New compounds block master regulator of cancer growth, metastasis
Scientists have developed new drug compounds that thwart the pro-cancer activity of FOXM1, a transcription factor that regulates the activity of dozens of genes. (2020-01-07)
Don't wait to get concussion care; early treatment may mean faster recovery
Early clinical treatment may significantly reduce recovery time following a concussion, according to new research led by the University of Pittsburgh Sports Medicine Concussion Program. (2020-01-06)
Study finds dopamine, biological clock link to snacking, overeating and obesity
A new study finds that the pleasure center of the brain and the brain's biological clock are linked, and that high-calorie foods -- which bring pleasure -- disrupt normal feeding schedules, resulting in overconsumption. (2020-01-02)
Veterans report health as their No. 1 worry
Health concerns are the most important readjustment challenge facing veterans in the first year after they leave military service. (2020-01-02)
Half the amount of chemo prevents testicular cancer from coming back, new trial shows
Testicular cancer can be prevented from coming back using half the amount of chemotherapy that is currently used, a new clinical trial has shown. (2020-01-02)
Increasing opportunities for sustainable behavior
To mitigate climate change and safeguard ecosystems, we need to make drastic changes in our consumption and transport behaviors. (2020-01-24)
Stanford researchers conduct census of cell surface proteins
A new technique for systematically surveying proteins on the outer surface of cells, which act like molecular social cues to guide cell-cell interactions and assembly into tissues and organs. (2020-01-24)
Immune system cells contribute to the invading capacity of brain tumours
An article published in Brain Communications, coordinated by Carlos Barcia, researcher at Institut de Neurociències de la UAB, describes how the immune system facilitates the expansion of tumour cells in the brain. (2020-01-23)
Old molecule, new tricks
Fifty years ago, scientists hit upon what they thought could be the next rocket fuel. (2020-01-22)
Physicists trap light in nanoresonators for record time
An international team of Russian, Australian and Korean researchers have experimentally trapped an electromagnetic wave in a gallium arsenide nanoresonator for a record-breaking time, over 200 periods of one wave oscillation. (2020-01-22)
'Reading' with aphasia is easier than 'running'
Neurolinguists from HSE University have confirmed experimentally that for people with aphasia, it is easier to retrieve verbs describing situations with several participants (such as 'someone is doing something'), although such verbs give rise to more grammar difficulties. (2020-01-20)
Reward improves visual perceptual learning -- but only after people sleep
A new study from Brown researchers finds that rewards improve performance on a visual perceptual task only if participants sleep after training. (2020-01-17)
Math that feels good
Mathematics and science Braille textbooks are expensive and require an enormous effort to produce -- until now. (2020-01-16)
With these neurons, extinguishing fear is its own reward
The same neurons responsible for encoding reward also form new memories to suppress fearful ones, according to new research by scientists at The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at MIT. (2020-01-15)
Study answers when moderate to late preterm babies go home
'When is my baby going home?' is one of the first questions asked by families of infants admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). (2020-01-15)
Diabolical points in coupled active cavities with quantum emitters
Diabolical points (DPs) introduce ways to study topological phase and peculiar energy dispersion. (2020-01-15)
Burnout linked with irregular heartbeat
Feeling excessively tired, devoid of energy, demoralized, and irritable? You may have burnout, a syndrome associated with a potentially deadly heart rhythm disturbance. (2020-01-13)
Team builds the first living robots
Scientists repurposed living frog cells -- and assembled them into entirely new life-forms. (2020-01-13)
APS tip sheet: High energy gamma rays
Nine Galactic sources are the highest-energy gamma -ray sources ever detected, which could suggest the presence of Galactic accelerators. (2020-01-13)
Common foods can help 'landscape' the jungle of our gut microbiome
Foods such as honey, licorice, oregano, and hot sauce have an antimicrobial effect and some of them trigger phage production in our gut. (2020-01-13)
SuperTIGER on its second prowl -- 130,000 feet above Antarctica
A balloon-borne scientific instrument designed to study the origin of cosmic rays is taking its second turn high above the continent of Antarctica three and a half weeks after its launch. (2020-01-10)
Medicaid expansion associated with fewer opioid overdose deaths across the US
The expansion of Medicaid coverage for low-income adults permitted by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was associated with a 6% reduction in total opioid overdose deaths nationally, according to new research from NYU Grossman School of Medicine and University of California, Davis. (2020-01-10)
Study: Early intervention of hyperkalemia cuts mortality in half
In a new study published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine, Adam Singer, MD, et al reported that quickly correcting high potassium levels, a condition known as hyperkalemia, in emergency department patients cut mortality in that population by half. (2020-01-08)
SDSU astronomers pinpoint two new 'Tatooine' planetary systems
The discoveries include the first circumbinary planet revealed by observations from NASA's TESS mission, which will search nearly the entire sky. (2020-01-07)
Ghost worms mostly unchanged since the age of dinosaurs
How can two species look almost exactly the same despite evolving separately for 140 million years? (2020-01-06)
Few people consider religious affiliation of hospital they choose
A small minority of Americans surveyed consider the religious affiliation of the hospitals that treat them, but a majority said they didn't want religious doctrine dictating their healthcare choices, according to a study by researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. (2020-01-02)
MIPT physicists find ways to overcome signal loss in magnonic circuits
Researchers from the MIPT and their Russian colleagues have demonstrated that the coupling elements in magnonic logic circuits are so crucial that a poorly selected waveguide can lead to signal loss. (2020-01-02)
Women with colorectal cancer fare better if they have social support
New research from Kaiser Permanente finds that post-menopausal women with colorectal cancer were more likely to die from their disease or from any cause if they had low social support before diagnosis. (2020-01-23)
Multimorbidity leads to general practitioners suffering burnout
The risk of general practitioners (GPs) suffering burnout increases with the number of patients with complex medical histories. (2020-01-23)
Researchers brew a formula for consistent espresso and industry savings
Espresso delivers a desired jolt of caffeine but getting a consistent good-taste is difficult. (2020-01-22)
Novel composite antimicrobial film could take a bite out of foodborne illnesses
A novel composite film -- created by the bonding of an antimicrobial layer to conventional, clear polyethylene plastic typically used to vacuum-package foods such as meat and fish -- could help to decrease foodborne illness outbreaks, according to researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences. (2020-01-21)
An improved method for protein crystal structure visualization
During crystallization atoms are arranged in a 3D lattice structured in a specific way. (2020-01-20)
Physics shows that imperfections make perfect
For the first time, physicists have experimentally demonstrated that certain systems with interacting entities can synchronize only if the entities within the system are different from one another. (2020-01-20)
ISSCR statement on ethical standards for stem cell-based embryo models
The ISSCR is updating its Guidelines to respond to recent scientific advances that include the use of pluripotent stem cell (PSC) to create models of early human embryo development (see Stem Cell Reports 14:1-6). (2020-01-16)
Less active infants had greater fat accumulation, study finds
Less physical activity for infants below one year of age may lead to more fat accumulation which in turn may predispose them to obesity later in life, suggests a study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. (2020-01-16)
Why can't Bertrand Might cry? Scientists offer an answer: missing water channels
Scientists at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute have shown that cells from children with NGLY1 deficiency--a rare disorder first described in 2012--lack sufficient water channel proteins called aquaporins. (2020-01-16)
Beauty sleep could be real, say Body Clock biologists
Biologists from The University of Manchester have explained for the first time why having a good night's sleep really could prepare us for the rigours of the day ahead. (2020-01-15)
Study: Humanity's footprint is squashing world's wildlife
Using the most comprehensive dataset on the 'human footprint,' which maps the accumulated impact of human activities on the land's surface, researchers from WCS, University of Queensland, and other groups found intense human pressures across the range of a staggering 20,529 terrestrial vertebrate species. (2020-01-13)
Can solar geoengineering mitigate both climate change and income inequality?
New research from the University of California San Diego finds that solar geoengineering -- the intentional reflection of sunlight away from the Earth's surface -- may reduce income inequality between countries. (2020-01-13)
Scientists observe ultrafast birth of radicals
An international team of researchers have, for the first time, glimpsed the ultrafast process of proton transfer following ionization of liquid water, shedding light on how radical cations separate from their electron partners, neutralize and subsequently drift about creating damage. (2020-01-09)
BU researchers: Pornography is not a 'public health crisis'
Researchers from the Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) have written an editorial in the American Journal of Public Health special February issue arguing against the claim that pornography is a public health crisis, and explaining why such a claim actually endangers the health of the public. (2020-01-09)
VR is not suited to visual memory?!
Toyohashi university of technology researcher and a research team at Tokyo Denki University have found that virtual reality (VR) may interfere with visual memory. (2020-01-08)
Penn shows giving entire course of radiation treatment in less than a second is feasible
Cancer patients may one day be able to get their entire course of radiation therapy in less than a second rather than coming in for treatment over the course of several weeks, and researchers in the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania have taken the first steps toward making it a reality. (2020-01-09)

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Guy's Favorites: What Is Original?
As we transition to our new host Manoush Zomorodi, Guy Raz looks back on some of his favorite episodes from his seven years hosting the TED Radio Hour. This episode originally aired on June 27, 2014. When is copying flattery, when is it thievery, and when is it sheer genius? In this hour, TED speakers explore how sampling, borrowing, and riffing make all of us innovators.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#548 Land and Ocean Conservation 101
This week we're talking about land and ocean conservation: what it means to protect our land and oceans, the complexities of competing interests and international boundries, and how well Canada is doing at conserving its most important wild areas. Helping us wrap our heads around it are National Parks Program Director Alison Ronson and National Oceans Program Director Candace Newman from the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS). This episode is hosted by Rachelle Saunders. Related links and resources: 2019 Parks and Protected Areas Report 2019 Oceans Report 2019 Climate Change Report 2019 Successes Blog Aichi Biodiversity Targets IPBES Global...
Now Playing: Radiolab

Body Count
Right now, at this very moment, all across the planet, there are 7.6 billion human beings eating, breathing, sleeping, brushing their teeth, walking their dogs, drinking coffee, walking down the street or running onto the subway or hopping in their car, maybe reading a summary of a podcast they're about to hit play on ... and the number is only going up. Everyday 386,000 babies are born (16,000 an hour). We're adding a billion new people every 12 years. So here's a question you've probably never thought about: Are there more people alive right now than have ever lived on the planet in history? Do the living outnumber the dead? Robert got obsessed with this odd question, and in this episode we bring you the answer. Or, well, answers. This episode was reported by Robert Krulwich and produced by Annie McEwen and Pat Walters, with help from Neel Danesha. Fact-checking by Michelle Harris. Music and mixing by Jeremy Bloom. Special thanks to Jeffrey Dobereiner. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.