Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (2021)

Science news and science current events archive 2021.

Show All Years  •  2021

Top Science News & Current Event Articles from 2021

Consenting for treatment in advance to reduce leaving the hospital against medical advice among patients with addiction - Experts debate pros and cons
Patients with substance use disorders (SUDs) being treated for serious medical conditions are more likely to leave the hospital against medical advice (AMA) than those without addiction. A special type of contract with healthcare providers might enable patients to consent in advance to life-saving medical care - even if they later refuse treatment, according to a commentary in the Journal of Addiction Medicine, the official journal of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM). The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer.

Using artificial intelligence to find new uses for existing medications
Scientists have developed a machine-learning method that crunches massive amounts of data to help determine which existing medications could improve outcomes in diseases for which they are not prescribed.

Novel film that that evaporates sweat six times faster and holds 15 times more moisture
Researchers from NUS Faculty of Engineering created a novel film that is very effective in evaporating sweat from our skin. Promising applications include shoe insoles and linings, as well as underarm pads for sweat absorption.

Consent forms design influences patient willingness to share personal health information
Patients are sometimes asked to share their personal health information for research purposes. Informed consent and trust are critical components in a patient's decision to participate in research. Researchers at the University of Florida conducted a three-arm randomized controlled trial to compare the effects on patient experiences of three electronic consent (e-consent) designs that asked them to share PHI for research purposes.

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy affects self-criticism and self-assurance in individuals with depression
Findings from a recent study of individuals with depression suggest that Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) can improve how patients feel about themselves in difficult situations in ways that may help protect against relapse of depressive symptoms. The findings are published in Counselling and Psychotherapy Research.

Results of comprehensive SARS-CoV-2 animal model study published in Nature Microbiology
Findings by Texas Biomed and SNPRC scientists support the rhesus macaque as an excellent animal model for vaccine development; suggest baboon as an animal model for drug development. Results provide insight on the complex lung immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Defining animal models has been a critical step in advancing COVID-19 vaccines & therapeutics

A new tool to facilitate quicker, error-free software design
The tool permits the early detection of errors at any point during the modelling process, not just on completion, as is the case now

Black people with type 1 diabetes, COVID-19 are four times more likely to be hospitalized for diabetic ketoacidosis
Black and Hispanic people with COVID-19 and diabetes are more likely than Caucasians to die or have serious complications, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Alpha-ray missile therapy: tumor cells attacked from intracellular region
Researchers from Osaka University have innovated a technique of irradiating cancer from within. They tagged α-methyl-L-tyrosine with 211Astatine, an α-emitter, to prepare 211At-AAMT; this radiopharmaceutical was effectively conveyed into cancer cells by the amino acid transporter LAT1. Alpha radiation combines high linear energy transfer with minimal tissue penetration, damaging cancer cells lethally while sparing surrounding normal tissue. This strategy may prove a breakthrough in the management of intractable or advanced cancers.

Predictive value of blood pressure, heart rate, and blood pressure/heart rate ratio in a Chinese subpopulation with vasovagal syncope
In a new publication from Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications; DOI https://doi.org/10.15212/CVIA.2019.1266, Zhuzhi Wen, Jingying Hou, Zun Mai, Huifen Huang, Yangxin Chen, Dengfeng Geng and Jingfeng Wang from Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China and Guandong Province Key Laboratory of Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology, Guangzhou, China consider predictive value of blood pressure, heart rate, and blood pressure/heart rate ratio in a Chinese subpopulation with vasovagal syncope.

Exercising muscle combats chronic inflammation on its own
Biomedical engineers at Duke University have demonstrated that human muscle has an innate ability to ward off damaging effects of chronic inflammation when exercised. The discovery was made possible through the use of lab-grown, engineered human muscle, demonstrating the potential power of the first-of-its-kind platform in such research endeavors.

What does marketing have to do with ill-advised consumer behavior?
A biological account of human behavior can benefit human welfare and marketing can play a critical role in facilitating public understanding and acceptance of biological causation.

Light-based processors boost machine-learning processing
An international team of scientists have developed a photonic processor that uses rays of light inside silicon chips to process information much faster than conventional electronic chips. Published in Nature, the breakthrough study was carried out by scientists from EPFL, the Universities of Oxford, Münster, Exeter, Pittsburgh, and IBM Research - Zurich.

The Lancet: Most patients hospitalised with COVID-19 have at least one symptom six months after falling ill, Wuhan follow-up study suggests
More than three quarters of COVID-19 patients have at least one ongoing symptom six months after initially becoming unwell, according to research published in The Lancet.

A robotic revolution for urban nature
Drones, robots and autonomous systems can transform the natural world in and around cities for people and wildlife.

AI algorithms detect diabetic eye disease inconsistently
In a paper published Jan. 5 in Diabetes Care, researchers compared seven algorithms to detect diabetic retinopathy against the diagnostic expertise of retina specialists.

ADDF presents vision of a consortium to accelerate research into speech and language biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease
In a commentary in Exploration in Medicine, Alzheimer's experts lay out a vision for a worldwide research consortium that can give clinicians -- and patients -- the answers to which speech and language changes may signal Alzheimer's in the form of digital biomarkers.

New management approach can help avoid species vulnerability or extinction
Research focuses on transient nature of species' and ecosystem stability; illustrates how prepare for possible flips.

Sweetened beverage sales bounced back quickly after Cook County tax repealed
Following the repeal of the short-lived Cook County, Illinois Sweetened Beverage Tax, sales of sweetened beverages went right back to where they were before the tax went into place, according to a new study.

Intelligence deficit: Conclusion from the mouse to the human being
Impaired intelligence, movement disorders and developmental delays are typical for a group of rare diseases that belong to GPI anchor deficiencies. Researchers now used genetic engineering methods to create a mouse that mimics these patients very well. Studies in this animal model suggest that in GPI anchor deficiencies, a gene mutation impairs the transmission of stimuli at the synapses in the brain. The results are published in the journal PNAS.

Clinical criteria for diagnosing autism inadequate for people with genetic conditions
People with certain genetic conditions are likely to have significant symptoms of autism, even if they do not meet all diagnostic criteria, a study concludes.

Artificial Intelligence beats us in chess, but not in memory
A new piece of research shows that the brain strategy for storing memories may lead to imperfect memories, but in turn, allows it to store more memories, and with less hassle than AI. The new study, carried out by SISSA scientists in collaboration with Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience & Centre for Neural Computation, Trondheim, Norway, has just been published in Physical Review Letters.

New research reveals how one antibody blocks dangerous effects of dengue virus infection, offering a potential path to prevention
A team of researchers has discovered an antibody that blocks the ability of the dengue virus to cause disease in mice. The findings open the potential for developing effective treatments and designing a vaccine for dengue and similar diseases.

Mount Sinai researchers build models using machine learning technique to enhance predictions of COVID-19 outcomes
Mount Sinai researchers have published one of the first studies using federated learning to examine electronic health records to better predict how COVID-19 patients will progress.

Experts call for more pragmatic approach to higher education teaching
Millions of students around the world could benefit if their educators adopted a more flexible and practical approach, say Swansea University experts. After analysing the techniques current being used in higher education, the researchers have released a new paper calling for a pragmatic and evidence-based approach instead.

When salespeople advocate for sellers and customers
The most favorable outcomes result when the salesperson engages in high levels of both customer advocacy and seller advocacy.

Smoking associated with increased risk of COVID-19 symptoms
Smoking is associated with an increased risk of COVID-19 symptoms and smokers are more likely to attend hospital than non-smokers, a study has found.

A brain mechanism underlying 'vision' in the blind is revealed
Researchers observed slow spontaneous fluctuations in the brain's visual centers that preceded visual hallucinations in blind people.

Continuous monitoring of proteins a game-changer for patients with deteriorating health
A world-first discovery by Australian researchers could become a game-changer for patients at risk of rapid health deterioration, such as heart complications, stroke, sepsis and cancer. Researchers developed an antibody as a biosensor, to continuously monitor rapid changes in the concentration of EGFR, a protein present on cancer cells and in body fluids.

Machine learning improves particle accelerator diagnostics
Operators of Jefferson Lab's primary particle accelerator are getting a new tool to help them quickly address issues that can prevent it from running smoothly. The machine learning system has passed its first two-week test, correctly identifying glitchy accelerator components and the type of glitches they're experiencing in near-real-time. An analysis of the results of the first field test of the custom-built machine learning system was recently published in the journal Physical Review Accelerators and Beams.

How to mitigate the impact of a lockdown on mental health
The Covid-19 pandemic is impacting people's mental health. But what helps and hinders people in getting through a lockdown? A new study led by researchers at the University of Basel addressed this question using data from 78 countries across the world. The results hint at the pivots and hinges on which the individual's psyche rests in the pandemic.

New clues why gold standard treatment for bipolar disorder doesn't work for majority of patients
Lithium is considered the gold standard for treating bipolar disorder (BD), but nearly 70 percent of people with BD don't respond to it. This leaves them at risk for debilitating, potentially life-threatening mood swings. Researchers at the Salk Institute have found that the culprit may lie in gene activity--or lack of it.

More than half of people using cannabis for pain experience multiple withdrawal symptoms
More than half of people who use medical marijuana products to ease pain also experience clusters of multiple withdrawal symptoms when they're between uses, a new study finds. And about 10% of the patients taking part in the study experienced worsening changes to their sleep, mood, mental state, energy and appetite over the next two years as they continued to use cannabis.

Psychological well-being declined during second wave of the pandemic - especially for men
Our psychological well-being follows the rise and fall of the infection rate, but whereas psychological well-being fell most for women during the spring lockdown, it is men who are hardest hit during the second wave. This is shown by a new study from Aarhus University, Denmark.

Is your skin thirsty? Optoacoustic sensor measures water content in living tissue
Researchers from Skoltech and the University of Texas Medical Branch (US) have shown how optoacoustics can be used for monitoring skin water content, a technique which is promising for medical applications such as tissue trauma management and in cosmetology.

New hard disk write head analytical technology can increase hard disk capacities
Using synchrotron radiation at SPring-8 - a large-scale synchrotron radiation facility - Tohoku University, Toshiba Corporation, and the Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute (JASRI) have successfully imaged the magnetization dynamics of a hard disk drive (HDD) write head for the first time, with a precision of one ten-billionth of a second. The method makes possible precise analysis of write head operations, accelerating the development of the next-generation write heads and further increasing HDD capacity.

Harbor porpoises on the decline in the German North Sea
The harbor porpoise population is declining in the German North Sea, according to a recent study which surveyed the species over a 20-year time period. Harbor porpoises are known as a ''sentinel species'' - animals which indicate the health of an ecosystem and point to potential risks (think of the canary in the coal mine) - and their decreasing numbers indicate the extent to which human activities have affected marine wildlife.

COVID-19 unmasked: math model suggests optimal treatment strategies
For older patients with COVID-19 infections, the clot-preventing drug heparin and immunity-enhancing drugs may improve outcomes. Patients with conditions such as obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure may benefit from anti-inflammatory drugs and drugs used to control blood pressure and vascular resistance.

Sweat, bleach and gym air quality
One sweaty, huffing, exercising person emits as many chemicals from their body as up to five sedentary people, according to a new University of Colorado Boulder study. And notably, those human emissions, including amino acids from sweat or acetone from breath, chemically combine with bleach cleaners to form new airborne chemicals with unknown impacts to indoor air quality.

Preserving workers' hearing health by improving earplug efficiency
How could we improve the comfort and effectiveness of these earplugs? What aspects of the ear canal must be taken into account? To answer these questions, researchers from the École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS University) and the Institut de recherche en santé et sécurité du travail (IRSST) analyzed the varying structure of ear canals to find a correlation between their shapes and the effectiveness of three commonly-used models of earplugs.

Risk of substance use disorder among patients with autism
Researchers used health insurance data from Taiwan to investigate the risk of substance use disorder among patients with autism spectrum disorder and its associations with risk of death.

Dairy product purchasing differs in households with and without children
American dairy consumers are often influenced by a variety of factors that can affect their buying habits. These factors include taste, preference, government information, cultural background, social media, and the news. In an article appearing in JDS Communications, researchers found that households that frequently bought food for children are interested in dairy as part of their diet and purchased larger quantities of fluid milk and more fluid milk with a higher fat content.

Birmingham research paves the way for new anti-fibrotic therapy for glaucoma
Researchers showed that novel low molecular weight dextran-sulphate, ILB®, can normalise matrix deposition inside the eye and lower IOP in a pre-clinical model of human glaucoma, paving the way for new anti-fibrotic therapies to be developed for the disease.

Seasonal respiratory virus activity before, after statewide COVID-19 shelter-in-place order in Northern California
The association of a shelter-in-place order with lower rates of seasonal respiratory viral activity was examined in this study.

Taking sieving lessons from nature
Nanostructure-templated electrochemical polymerization enhances speed and selectivity in organic membrane-based processes.

Putty-like composites of gallium metal with potential for real-world application
Researchers at the Institute for Basic Science (IBS) created a novel functional composite of gallium with putty or paste-like physical properties. The composite possesses excellent electromagnetic shielding properties as well as thermal conductivity.

Squid-inspired robot swims with nature's most efficient marine animals
Scientists at the University of Southampton and University of Edinburgh have developed a flexible underwater robot that can propel itself through water in the same style as nature's most efficient swimmer - the Aurelia aurita jellyfish.

New drug form may help treat osteoporosis, calcium-related disorders
Purdue University innovators developed a stabilized form of human calcitonin, which is a peptide drug already used for people with osteoporosis. Researchers at Purdue created a prodrug form of the peptide hormone to increase its effectiveness as an osteoporosis treatment.

New evidence: Effects of Huntington's disease mutation may begin in childhood
Growing evidence supports the hypothesis that there is a neurodevelopmental component to late-onset neurodegeneration occurring in the brain of huntingtin gene (HTT) mutation carriers, and this increased susceptibility to brain cell death begins during childhood. Experts discuss evidence that the HTT gene mutation affects brain and body growth based on a unique study of children at risk for HD, the Kids-HD study, in a review paper and research article published in the Journal of Huntington's Disease.

Tech giant technology is 'open source' for the pandemic, so why does it feel so closed?
COVID-19 has seen hardware developers pledge to make their technology 'open source' to support frontline services, but their designs are still far from open.

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.