Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (August 2018)

Science news and science current events archive August, 2018.

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Top Science News & Current Event Articles from August 2018

Superconductivity above 10 K discovered in a novel quasi-one-dimensional compound K2Mo3As3
A research team led by Dr. Zhian Ren from Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences discovered a quasi-one-dimensional superconductor K2Mo3As3, with the Tc value exceeding 10 K for the first time. This newly synthesized K2Mo3As3 crystallizes in a noncentrosymmetric hexagonal structure containing of (Mo3As3)2- linear chains, with bulk superconductivity confirmed via physical property characterizations. This discovery provides new platforms to study the underlying unconventional superconducting mechanism within the low-dimensional crystal structures.

These lithium-ion batteries can't catch fire because they harden on impact
Lithium-ion batteries used in consumer electronics are notorious for bursting into flame when damaged. These incidents occasionally have grave consequences, ranging from burns to house fires to the crash of an airplane. Inspired by the weird behavior of some liquids that solidify on impact, researchers have developed a practical and inexpensive method to prevent these fires. They will present their results today at the 256th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.

A new generation of artificial retinas based on 2D materials
Scientists report they have successfully developed and tested the world's first ultrathin artificial retina that could vastly improve on existing implantable visualization technology for the blind. The flexible 2-D material-based device could someday restore sight to the millions of people with retinal diseases. The researchers will present their results today at the 256th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.

Watching neurons in action
OIST scientists have devised a way of observing the working of single neurons in unsurpassed detail in a live animal.

A smartphone application can help in screening for atrial fibrillation
A smartphone application (app) can help in screening for atrial fibrillation, according to late breaking results from the DIGITAL-AF study presented today at ESC Congress.

Wildfire risk doesn't douse housing demand
Demand for real estate rebounds in high-risk areas within one to two years of a wildfire, UNLV study finds. Here's what the research may mean for homeowners in California and beyond.

Sensor could help doctors select effective cancer therapy
MIT chemical engineers have developed a sensor that lets them see hydrogen peroxide inside cancer cells and determine whether they are responding to drugs that affect redox signaling.

Molecular switch detects metals in the environment
A team led by researchers from the University of Geneva, Switzerland, has designed a family of molecules capable of binding to metal ions present in its environment and providing an easily detectable light signal during binding. This new type of sensor forms a 3D structure whose molecules consist of a ring and two luminescent arms that emit a particular type of light in a process called circular polarized luminescence, and detect ions, such as sodium.

App that will extend your smartphone battery life
New research out of the University of Waterloo has found a novel method to extend the battery life of smartphones for up to an hour each day.

Researchers achieve multifunctional solid-state quantum memory
Research team from CAS Key Lab of Quantum Information developed multi-degree-of-freedom multiplexed solid-state quantum memory and demonstrate photon pulse operation functions with time and frequency degree-of-freedoms.

Comprehensive pediatric CAR T guidelines developed by MD Anderson and PALISI
Almost one year after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy for children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and the Pediatric Acute Lung Injury and Sepsis Investigators Network (PALISI) today published treatment guidelines for managing the treatment in the online issue of Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology.

Rapid heart imaging technique may cut costs, boost care in developing world
A new rapid imaging protocol quickly and cheaply diagnosed heart ailments in patients in Peru.

Study shows AI can deliver specialty-level diagnosis in primary care setting
A system designed by a University of Iowa ophthalmologist that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to detect diabetic retinopathy without a person interpreting the results earned Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorization in April, following a clinical trial in primary care offices. The study was the first to prospectively assess the safety of an autonomous AI system in patient care settings. The results, published in Nature Digital Medicine, show the data that led to FDA clearance.

New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic
When engineers or designers wanted to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed car or an airplane, the procedure usually took hours or even a day. Nobuyuki Umetani and Bernd Bickel have now significantly sped up this process, making streamlines and parameters available in real-time. Their method, which is the first to use machine learning to model flow around continuously editable 3D objects, will be presented at this year's prestigious SIGGRAPH conference in Vancouver.

Effective material developed to prevent post-surgical adhesion
In a paper published in TECHNOLOGY, a group of researchers have investigated a novel Polyelectrolyte complex (PEC) that provides a barrier to prevent adhesions in post-operative complications. This has the potential to avoid the need for a second surgery to remove the adhesions.

Advanced microscope technology reveals novel side to cell signaling complex
In a study published today in Science, UT Southwestern and Rockefeller University researchers used advanced microscopes to determine at atomic resolution the structure of a molecular complex implicated in birth defects and several cancers.

Eye conditions provide new lens screening for Alzheimer's disease
A study of 3,877 randomly selected patients found a significant link between three degenerative eye diseases -- age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma -- and Alzheimer' disease.

Mere expectation of checking work email after hours harms health of workers and families
The study demonstrates that employees do not need to spend actual time on work in their off-hours to experience harmful effects. The mere expectations of availability increase strain for employees and their significant others -- even when employees do not engage in actual work during nonwork time.

New Zealand penguins make mammoth migrations, traveling thousands of kilometers to feed
Fiordland penguins, Eudyptes pachyrhynchus, known as Tawaki, migrate up to 2,500 km from their breeding site, according to a study publishing Aug. 29 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Thomas Mattern of the University of Otago and colleagues.

How not saying 'cancer' for low-risk thyroid cancer may affect treatment preferences, patient anxiety
Could removing 'cancer' from the terminology for low-risk small papillary thyroid cancers (PTCs) reduce patients' anxiety so they consider less invasive treatment than surgery and avoid possible overtreatment for what can be indolent tumors? An online survey study of 550 Australian men and women without thyroid cancer suggests the answer is 'maybe.' Total and partial surgical removal of the thyroid are the most common management approaches for patients with PTC, but those procedures come with surgical risk, lifetime medication management and anxiety.

Modern security technology in Intel processors not watertight
Technology giant Intel has been including an innovative security method in its processors for a number of years. This method works as a vault for your personal data. However, KU Leuven researchers (Belgium) have shown that the system can, in fact, be hacked using the Foreshadow attack. What's more, information processed in cloud systems also seems vulnerable to this kind of attack. Intel will be releasing patches to resolve the flaw in millions of processors.

Community health centers can help boost rates of colorectal cancer screening
An innovative program in community health centers to mail free colorectal cancer screening tests to patients' homes led to a nearly 4 percentage point increase in CRC screening, compared to clinics without the program, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published today in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Americans may have outgrown traditional advice of having a varied diet
When it comes to diet in the Western world of overconsumption where cheap convenience food rules, the age-old adage 'everything in moderation' has been put to the test, prompting the American Heart Association (AHA) to issue a science advisory led by researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).

Wearable devices and mobile health technology: one step towards better health
With increasing efforts being made to address the current global obesity epidemic, wearable devices and mobile health ('mHealth') technology have emerged as promising tools for promoting physical activity. However, current literature seems to indicate that these new technologies may serve best as part of a larger overall health plan, rather than working alone to encourage weight loss.

How does agriculture affect vulnerable insect-eating birds?
Aerial insectivores -- birds that hunt for insect prey on the wing -- are declining across North America as agricultural intensification leads to diminishing insect abundance and diversity in many areas. A new study from The Condor: Ornithological Applications looks at how tree swallows' diets are affected by agriculture and finds that while birds living in cropland can still find their preferred prey, they may be working harder to get it.

Cancer cells send out 'drones' to battle immune system from afar
Checkpoint inhibitor therapies have made metastatic melanoma and other cancers a survivable condition for 20 to 30 percent of treated patients, but clinicians have had very limited ways of knowing which patients will respond. Researchers have uncovered a novel mechanism by which tumors suppress the immune system. Their findings also usher in the possibility that a straightforward blood test could predict and monitor cancer patients' response to immunotherapy.

Lifestyle migrants bring good intentions -- but major change -- to Costa Rica
A group of Americans and Europeans has relocated to a Costa Rican community in recent decades, and despite the government cheering the economic jolt, their isolation from locals there more highlights the privilege of these migrants who drastically transform coastal villages.

Severely obese people can reduce risk of atrial fibrillation with exercise
New research suggests that exercise can have a moderating effect on the risk of developing atrial fibrillation.

Better access to quality cancer care may reduce rural and urban disparities
When enrolled in a cancer clinical trial, the differences in survival rates between rural and urban patients are significantly reduced, SWOG study results show.

Cooking with coal, wood, or charcoal associated with cardiovascular death
Long-term use of coal, wood, or charcoal for cooking is associated with an increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease, according to a study presented today at ESC Congress 2018.

Housing for health
In a novel approach to improving outcomes for children, a pediatric hospital worked with community partners to address neighborhood effect syndrome as a target for pediatric health care -- treating the neighborhood as a patient.

Pediatric telemedicine services can work well under the right conditions
Doctors who provide pediatric care over the telephone -- known as 'telemedicine' -- face a range of challenges that do not come with traditional face-to-face contact. In a qualitative study led by Motti Haimi of Clalit Health Services at the Children's Health Center in Haifa in Israel, researchers found that physicians in a pediatric telemedicine service frequently face difficulties and challenges.

NASA satellites assist states in estimating abundance of key wildlife species
Climate and land-use change are shrinking natural wildlife habitats around the world. Yet despite their importance to rural economies and natural ecosystems, remarkably little is known about the geographic distribution of most wild species -- especially those that migrate seasonally over large areas.

Medically underserved women in the Southeast rarely receive BRCA tests
Medically underserved women in the Southeast diagnosed with breast cancer or ovarian cancer missed out on genetic testing that could have helped them and their relatives make important decisions about their health, according to new research from Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.

More sensitive blood test diagnoses heart attacks faster
A new high-sensitivity blood test for heart attacks successfully diagnosed heart attacks faster and more accurately in the emergency room than the existing test.

New emerging research suggests Montmorency tart cherries may help enhance gut health
Montmorency tart cherries may play a role in improving gut health, suggests a first-of-its kind human trial of nine adults combined with a parallel laboratory study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. An international team of scientists found that Montmorency tart cherries helped to positively impact the gut microbiome -- a collection of trillions of bacteria and other microbes that live in the intestinal tract.

There can be no sustainable development without profound changes in food systems
An international group of experts, including researchers from CIRAD, is calling for profound changes in food systems in order to meet the sustainable development goals (SDGs) set by the UN in 2015, and the terms of the Paris Agreement on climate. The authors propose a four-pillar strategy.

New study views cancer treatment as a game to find strategies that improve patient outcomes
Game theory can be utilized to identify potential flaws in current cancer treatment approaches and suggest new strategies to improve outcomes in patients with metastatic cancer, according to a new article published online today by JAMA Oncology. The study from Moffitt Cancer Center and Maastricht University, challenges the decades old standard of treatment for metastatic cancers in which drugs are typically administered continuously at the maximum-tolerated dose (MTD) until the tumor progresses.

Study investigates major cause of heart attacks in women
Munich, Germany -- Aug. 25, 2018: The initial findings of a study on spontaneous coronary artery dissection, a major cause of heart attacks in women, are reported today in a late breaking science session at ESC Congress 2018.

US soldiers who attempt suicide often have no prior mental health diagnosis
The latest study based on data from the Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers (Army STARRS) reports that among 9,650 enlisted soldiers with a documented suicide attempt, more than one-third had no prior mental health diagnosis.

For children, immersion in a rainforest lifestyle can lead to more diverse gut microbes
Can immersing yourself in a South American jungle and the high-fiber, unprocessed diet of its villagers make your gut microbes more diverse? And could it have benefits for people with obesity, type 1 diabetes and other disorders? A study led by Rutgers University-New Brunswick researchers followed seven city-dwelling adults and children who lived in a remote Venezuelan jungle village without electricity, soap or other amenities for 16 days.

A new reality for beauty standards: How selfies and filters affect body image
With the spread of photo-editing technology through applications like Snapchat and Facetune, the level of physical 'perfection' previously seen only on celebrity or beauty magazines is now all over social media. As these images become the norm, people's perceptions of beauty worldwide are changing, which can take a toll on a person's self-esteem and can trigger body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), argue Boston Medical Center (BMC) researchers in a JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery Viewpoint.

Injection of novel gene therapy vector prolonged survival in mouse model of Pompe disease
A new study has shown that a single injection of a novel adeno-associated vector (AAV)-based therapy can result in improved enzyme activity and glycogen clearance as well as prolonged survival in a mouse model of Pompe disease.

Study reveals broad 'genetic architectures' of traits and diseases
Scientists at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have developed a powerful method for characterizing the broad patterns of genetic contributions to traits and diseases.

Novel imaging biomarker to help predict coronary inflammation
Researchers at Cleveland Clinic, University of Oxford and University of Erlangen have identified a novel imaging biomarker, which has been found to be able to predict all-cause and cardiac mortality by measuring inflammation of fatty tissue surrounding the coronary arteries.

Muscle 'switch' may control the benefits of exercise
Studying lab animals and humans, researchers at Joslin Diabetes Center discovered that a protein called JNK helps to drive response to exercise. If JNK is activated during exercise, the researchers say, that stimulates skeletal muscle growth. If it's not activated, muscles improve their adaptation for endurance and aerobic capacity.

The Lancet Psychiatry: Exercise linked to improved mental health, but more may not always be better
Peer-reviewed / Observational study / People A study of 1.2 million people in the USA has found that people who exercise report having 1.5 fewer days of poor mental health a month, compared to people who do not exercise. The study found that team sports, cycling, aerobics and going to the gym are associated with the biggest reductions, according to the largest observational study of its kind published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal.

Align funding with innovations in health care to improve patient outcomes
To encourage innovation in health care, governments need to move away from current siloed funding to funding that encourages collaboration among providers in managing patients who need care in a variety of settings, argue the authors of an analysis in CMAJ.

Brief interventions during routine care reduce alcohol use among men with HIV
Brown-led study finds that motivational interviewing with personalized feedback and booster sessions produced substantial reductions in alcohol use among heavy-drinking men who have sex with men who are living with HIV.

Combination approach shows promise for beating advanced melanoma
A UCLA-led study has found that a treatment that uses a bacteria-like agent in combination with an immunotherapy drug could help some people with advanced melanoma, an aggressive form of skin cancer, live longer.

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