Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (August 2016)

Science news and science current events archive August, 2016.

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Top Science News & Current Event Articles from August 2016

Seniors with more continuity of care use the ER less
Seniors with traditional Medicare coverage who have more continuity of care -- defined as consistently seeing the same physician in an outpatient setting -- have lower chances of visiting an emergency department, according to the results of a study published online earlier this month in Annals of Emergency Medicine ('Relationship Between Continuity of Ambulatory Care and Risk of Emergency Department Episodes Among Older Adults').

Underreporting of Zika is rife; researchers project epidemic's spread
A new study led by Northeastern researcher Alessandro Vespignani reveals a large disparity between the number of reported and projected Zika cases. The researchers, responding to a 'call to arms' to model the spread of the virus, say that while a major US outbreak isn't projected, a certain set of countries in the Americas have the right conditions for 'major outbreaks.'

Injected drug reduces risk of fracture among women with osteoporosis
Among postmenopausal women with osteoporosis at risk of fracture, daily injection of the drug abaloparatide for 18 months significantly reduced the risk of new vertebral and nonvertebral fractures compared with placebo, according to a study appearing in the Aug. 16 issue of JAMA.

Fish oil pills reverse the effects of a fatty diet
Scientists have found that fish oil supplements can reverse the effects of a high fat diet according to a study published in The Journal of Physiology.

People ignore software security warnings up to 90 percent of the time
Software developers listen up: if you want people to pay attention to your security warnings on their computers or mobile devices, you need to make them pop up at better times. A new study from BYU finds the status quo of warning messages appearing haphazardly -- while people are typing, watching a video, uploading files, etc. -- results in up to 90 percent of users disregarding them.

Who are you? Squatters can actually help a neighborhood
Squatters who illegally occupy vacant homes or buildings are not always contributing to apathy or social disorder, says a new University of Michigan study.

TSRI scientists pinpoint Ebola's weak spots
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute now have a high-resolution view of exactly how the experimental therapy ZMapp targets Ebola virus. The new study is also the first to show how an antibody in the ZMapp 'drug cocktail' targets a second Ebola virus protein, called sGP, whose vulnerable spots had previously been unknown.

Racial disparity in breast reconstruction? African-American women more likely to undergo autologous reconstruction
African-American women undergoing mastectomy for breast cancer are more likely than white women to undergo autologous breast reconstruction using their own tissue, rather than implant-based reconstruction, reports a study in the August issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

The brain performs feats of math to make sense of the world
Princeton University researchers have found that the brain is quite good at rapidly and subconsciously calculating the likelihood of various events, and remain flexible enough to account for new information. They traced these abilities to a region of the brain located just behind our eyes known as the orbitofrontal cortex.

New study shows esophageal cancers driven by 'marginal gain' rather than speed
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute scientists have shown that unexpectedly, esophageal cancer cells do not divide faster than their normal neighbors. But unlike normal cells, the tumor cells produce slightly more dividing daughter cells than non-dividing ones, forming a tumor. The study, published in Nature Cell Biology today, could lead to the development of new treatments for cancers that do not respond to current therapies which target fast-growing cells.

NASA sees Tropical Storm Javier form in the Eastern Pacific
Tropical Storm Javier formed on Aug. 7, 2016, in the Eastern Pacific Ocean off Mexico's western coast. Javier formed partially from the remnants of Hurricane Earl. NASA's Global Precipitation Measurement core satellite found that Javier contained heavy rain. On Aug. 8, Javier triggered hurricane and tropical storm warnings.

Beta-blockers following angioplasty show little benefit for some older patients
Following coronary angioplasty, beta-blockers did not significantly improve mortality rates or reduce the number of future cardiovascular incidents for older patients with stable angina but no history of heart attack or heart failure, according to a study published today in the JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions.

Leading cancer research organizations to host cancer immunotherapy conference
The Cancer Research Institute (CRI), the Association for Cancer Immunotherapy (CIMT), the European Academy of Tumor Immunology (EATI), and the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) will sponsor the second International Cancer Immunotherapy Conference at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel (811 7th Ave., New York, NY 10019) and the New York Hilton Midtown ( 1335 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10019), Sept. 25-28, 2016.

Chemistry 2.0: KIT participates in INERATEC spinoff
Apart from teaching and research, innovation is one of the three core tasks of KIT. Consequently, technology transfer from fundamental research to trendsetting products is supported with adequate tools. Now, KIT has decided to participate as a partner in INERATEC GmbH. KIT will invest in this innovative spinoff that may revolutionize chemical process engineering and contribute to the success of the energiewende in the area of chemical energy storage systems.

Homosexual termite regicide
Termites not only raid people's homes, but also the humble abodes of other happy termite couples. Male Japanese termites form homosexual couples when no females are around -- and when the chance arises, they take over a heterosexual couple's nest and kill the male so that one of them can mate with the now spouseless female. The study supports a theory that homosexual couplings in invertebrates have evolutionary advantages.

Radiologists detect breast cancer in 'blink of an eye'
In a paper published Aug. 29 in PNAS, visual attention researchers showed radiologists mammograms for half a second and found that they could identify abnormal mammograms at better than chance levels. They further tested this ability through a series of experiments to explore what signal may alert radiologists to the presence of a possible abnormality, in the hopes of using these insights to improve breast cancer screening and early detection.

Heritability of thoracic spine curvature
Researchers from the Harvard affiliated Hebrew SeniorLife Institute for Aging Research recently published a study in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, suggesting that hyperkyphosis may be heritable, or passed on from parents to offspring.

How do antidepressants trigger fear and anxiety?
Scientists at the UNC School of Medicine mapped out a serotonin-driven anxiety circuit that may explain 'anxiety' side effect of antidepressants.

Kumamoto University's Dr. Hirofumi Kai wins research grant from Alport Syndrome Foundation
The Alport Syndrome Foundation's Research Program has awarded one of two awards this year to Dr. Hirofumi Kai of Kumamoto University, Japan. This marks the first time the ASF Research Program grant has been awarded to a Japanese group.

Puzzle maker: Building a chemical from the ground up
Caltech chemists have significantly improved upon the synthesis of a molecule related to muscle and neuronal function.

Researchers find that Android apps can secretly track users' whereabouts
New research led by Northeastern professor Guevara Noubir reveals that some Android apps may automatically transmit sensitive information, such as the routes you travel, through the phone's built-in sensors. A malicious developer, he says, 'can infer where you live, where you've been, where you are going.'

RIT/Xamarin collaboration to provide opportunities for deaf, hard-of-hearing students
When faculty members at Rochester Institute of Technology's National Technical Institute for the Deaf were creating a new degree program in mobile application development, they looked to cross-platform developer Xamarin Inc. for guidance and expertise. The result of this collaboration is the fall launch of a new academic program, which recently received approval by the New York State Education Department and earned a grant from the National Science Foundation of more than $820,000.

HIV stigma influenced by perceptions of masculinity, study reveals
Whether an HIV-positive man has met cultural expectations of masculinity might impact how much stigma he experiences, according to a new study from Binghamton University, State University of New York.

TMS differences between brain activity of people who dream and people who do not dream
Transcranial magnetic stimulation revealed differences between brain activity of people who dream and people who do not dream. Measurements demonstrated that the brain activity of people who dream during NREM sleep, compared to people who do not dream, is closer to the brain activity of awake people.

Methane leaks: A new way to find and fix in real time
Researchers have flown aircraft over an oil and gas field and pinpointed -- with unprecedented precision -- sources of the greenhouse gas methane in real time.

Persian Gulf public amenable to energy subsidy reforms
Traditional subsidized energy prices may be unnecessary for large numbers of residents of the Persian Gulf monarchies like Saudi Arabia, according to a new article from Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy.

New study: A majority of older adults in jail have distressing health symptoms
According to the study, of the older inmates, 49 percent said they experience poor or fair health, 20 percent have chronic lung disease, and 54 percent have trouble performing daily activities such as bathing, eating, using the toilet, and walking around the house. The researchers said that these rates are similar to those reported by lower income older adults who are not incarcerated.

Nobelist Frank Wilczek to receive 2016 Prange Prize
Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has been named the 2016 recipient of the Richard E. Prange Prize and Lectureship in Condensed Matter Theory and Related Areas.

Study finds bias, disgust toward mixed-race couples
Interracial marriage has grown in the United States in recent years, and polls show that most Americans accept mixed-race relationships. But new research from the University of Washington finds that reported acceptance of interracial marriage masks deeper feelings of discomfort, even disgust, that some feel about mixed-race couples.

Children with food allergies predisposed to asthma, rhinitis
Children with a history of food allergy have a high risk of developing asthma and allergic rhinitis during childhood as well. The risk increases with the number of food allergies a child might have. Research suggests that rates of the common conditions asthma, allergic rhinitis and eczema may be changing in the US.

Caffeine and its analogues revert memory deficits by normalizing stress responses in the brain
A study published in the journal Scientific Reports from Nature publishing group describes the mechanism by which caffeine counteracts age-related cognitive deficits in animals.

20 cent school intervention stops unhealthy weight gain in children
A school intervention costing less than 20 cents per child has stopped unhealthy weight gain. The randomized study is presented at ESC Congress 2016 today by Daniela Schneid Schuh, a nutritionist at the Institute of Cardiology of Rio Grande do Sul in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

Hotpots of US coastline susceptible to contamination
Groundwater discharge into the oceans may impair water quality along one-fifth of the coastal United States, a new study reports.

Many life-saving defibrillators behind locked doors during off-hours, study finds
When a person suffers cardiac arrest, there is a one in five chance a potentially life-saving Automated External Defibrillator is nearby. But up to 30 percent of the time, the device is locked inside a closed building, according to a study led by U of T Engineering researchers, published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Study takes a step back to look at use of restraints in hospitals
The use of belts, bedrails and other devices to prevent patients from hurting themselves has increasingly come under fire. Within a hospital setting, the use of such restraints may be reduced by ensuring that the nursing staff includes a sufficient number of registered nurses, says Vincent Staggs of Children's Mercy Hospital and the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He led a study which appears in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, published by Springer.

NASA releases 'Omics: Advancing personalized medicine from space to Earth'
NASA's Human Research Program (HRP) is releasing the video 'Omics: Advancing Personalized Medicine from Space to Earth', to highlight its Twins Study, coinciding with National Twins Days. This is the last video in a series of eight which explores space through you by using omics to look more closely at the unique health of an individual.

Rice cultivation in Southeast Asia: 5 years of lessons learned by LEGATO
Five years of irrigated rice cultivation research reached its pinnacle at the Final LEGATO Conference, which took place from Aug. 6-11, 2016 in Banaue, Philippines. The international team of scientists presented the results from dedicated studies covering a wide range of rice cultivation aspects. LEGATO is a BMBF-funded project, coordinated by the Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research, Germany.

Study may lead to better breast cancer drugs
Biomedical scientists have revealed the inner workings of a group of proteins that help to switch critical genes on and off during blood-cell production, in a finding that could lead to the development of new and improved cancer drugs.

Children should eat less than 25 grams of added sugars daily
In new recommendations from the American Heart Association designed to keep kids healthy, experts recommend children consume less than six teaspoons of added sugars per day. Children and teens should limit their intake of sugar-sweetened drinks to no more than eight ounces weekly. The recommendations advise that children under the age of 2 years should not consume foods or beverages with added sugars, including sugar-sweetened drinks.

Solid batteries improve safety
Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed a lithium-ion battery made entirely of solid material: it contains neither liquids nor gels. The battery cannot ignite, even at very high temperatures, giving it a safety advantage over conventional batteries. In addition, they allow new forms of battery design.

Unhealthy diet during pregnancy could be linked to ADHD
New research led by scientists from King's College London and the University of Bristol has found that a high-fat, high-sugar diet during pregnancy may be linked to symptoms of ADHD in children who show conduct problems early in life.

NASA sees a fading Fiona in Atlantic
When NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the eastern Atlantic Ocean it looked at the weakening Tropical Depression Fiona and a developing tropical low pressure area named System 99L. Fiona became a post-tropical depression today, Aug. 23.

Teachers workshop at the International Congress of Entomology in Orlando
School teachers from Florida and other states are invited to attend a workshop on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016 during the International Congress of Entomology in Orlando.

'Coming out' in the classroom, but not by choice
In a first-of-its kind study published in the latest issue of CBE-Life Sciences Education, researchers from Arizona State University's School of Life Sciences found that active learning classrooms, which require more group work than traditional lecture courses, may create an unaccepting atmosphere for LGBTQIA students.

Preventing mass extinctions of big mammals will require immediate action
Preventing the extinctions of the world's largest mammals -- including gorillas, rhinoceroses, elephants, lions, tigers, wolves and bears -- will require prompt, bold political action and financial commitments from nations worldwide, argue 43 wildlife experts from six continents.

Scientists uncover the way a common cell enzyme alerts the body to invading bacteria
Biomedical investigators at Cedars-Sinai have identified an enzyme found in all human cells that alerts the body to invading bacteria and jump-starts the immune system. In their study, published in the peer-reviewed medical journal Cell, the investigators provide clues to unraveling some of the mysteries surrounding the human immune system, which defends the body against harmful microbes such as bacteria.

Glucose transporters blocked in bacterial meningitis
CHLA researchers report that glucose transporters, which transfer glucose from the blood to the brain, are inhibited by E. coli K1 during bacterial meningitis, leaving insufficient fuel for immune cells to fight off infection. Their findings may lead to a novel way of treating children with meningitis and reducing long-term neurological problems.

Next generation anode to improve lithium-ion batteries
Researchers at the University of California, Riverside have created a new silicon-tin nanocomposite anode that could lead to lithium-ion batteries that can be charged and discharged more times before they reach the end of their useful lives. The longer-lasting batteries could be used in everything from handheld electronic devices to electric vehicles.

Can the high cost of prescription drugs in the US Be contained?
Special Communication examines sources of high drug prices in the US and possible solutions to reduce unnecessary burdens on patients while maintaining innovation

Chimpanzees choose cooperation over competition
Tasks that require chimpanzees to work together preferred five-fold, despite opportunities for competition, aggression and freeloading. 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