Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (2021)

Science news and science current events archive 2021.

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Top Science News & Current Event Articles from 2021

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

'Ocean 100': Small group of companies dominate ocean economy
Dubbed the 'Ocean 100', the group of companies generated US$1.1 trillion in revenues in 2018, according to the research published in the journal Science Advances.

The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health: 40% of countries show no progress in reducing cigarette smoking in adolescents over last 20 years
Despite an overall reduction in cigarette use over the last 20 years, nearly 1 in 5 boys (17.9%) and more than 1 in 10 girls (11.5%) around the world used tobacco at least once in the past month between 2010-2018, according to a new study published today in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health journal.

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.

'In the blink of an eye' statistics
HSE University researchers Yuri Markov and Natalia Tiurina discovered that when people visually estimate the size of objects, they are also able to consider their distance from the observer, even if there are many such objects. The observers rely not only on the objects' retinal representation, but also on the surrounding context. The paper was published in the journal Acta Psychologica.

Effect of high-dose zinc, ascorbic acid supplementation vs usual care on symptom length, reduction among ambulatory patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection
These findings suggest that treatment with zinc, ascorbic acid or both doesn't affect SARS-CoV-2 symptoms.

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.

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.

The Lancet: USA failing to reach populations most in need of HIV prevention and treatment services as epidemic grows in the South and rural areas
The USA continues to lag behind other G-7 nations when it comes to controlling its HIV epidemic and is the only high-income country among the top 10 most HIV-affected countries worldwide. The majority of HIV infections are now concentrated in the South and rural areas, where women and minorities are disproportionately affected; a disparity that has also been seen in the COVID-19 pandemic which has disproportionately affected African Americans, Latinx Americans, Native Americans, and prisoners and detainees.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Two ADAURA analyses support use of Osimertinib for patients with surgically resected, Stage IB to IIIA non-small cell lung cancer
Two presentations from the ADAURA clinical trial advanced previous research that demonstrated improved disease-fee survival (DFS) outcomes for patients with surgically resected non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) receiving osimertinib. The data were reported today at the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer's 2020 World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC) Singapore.

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

If healthy people are purposefully infected with COVID-19 for the sake of science, they should be paid
Multidisciplinary team of international experts suggests participants should receive a ''substantial'' amount, be paid ethically.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

University of Miami leads groundbreaking trial for COVID-19 treatment
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine researchers led a unique and groundbreaking randomized controlled trial showing umbilical cord derived mesenchymal stem cell infusions safely reduce risk of death and quicken time to recovery for the severest COVID-19 patients, according to results published in STEM CELLS Translational Medicine in January 2021.

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.

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.

Mobile game that uses implicit learning improved children's short-term food choices
A new study examined how Indian 10- and 11-year-olds' food choices were affected by playing a pediatric dietary mobile game that uses implicit learning--educating players without making them aware of the lessons through innovations in neurocognitive training and immersive technology. The study found that the game significantly improved children's food choices immediately after play.

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.

UC-MSC transfusion helps repair COVID-19 damage in severe cases
The Cure Alliance reports results of a groundbreaking randomized controlled trial from a team led by Dr. Camillo Ricordi, director of the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI) and Cell Transplant Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, showing UC-MSC infusions safely reduce risk of death and quicken recovery time for the most severe COVID-19 patients. At one month 100% (<85) given the treatment recovered; 42% given the placebo did not.

Cardiac MRI shows lower degrees of myocarditis in athletes recovered from COVID-19
In a letter published in the December issue of the American Heart Association's medical journal Circulation a group of researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) dispute the most recent findings of the incidence of myocarditis in athletes with a history of COVID-19.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Front-of-package product names and ingredient lists of infant and toddler food can be hard to navigate
Early exposure to nutritious foods may help children develop more healthful eating habits, but package labels can make it difficult for parents to understand what they are feeding their young children, according to a new study in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, published by Elsevier.

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.

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.

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.

The Lancet Public Health: Survey taken after France's first COVID-19 wave indicates almost one-third of working-age people could reject a vaccine
Nearly one in three working-age adults in France (29%) surveyed in July 2020 - when lockdown restrictions had been eased - were outright opposed to being vaccinated against the virus, according to new research published in The Lancet Public Health journal.

Chinese scientists use knowledge from climate system modeling to develop a global prediction system for the COVID-19 pandemic
Chinese scientists use knowledge from climate system modeling to develop a global prediction system for the COVID-19 pandemic

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.

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