Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (August 2019)

Science news and science current events archive August, 2019.

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Top Science News & Current Event Articles from August 2019

Microbes may play a role in heart attack onset
Microorganisms in the body may contribute to destabilisation of coronary plaques and subsequent heart attack, according to late breaking research presented today at ESC Congress 2019 together with the World Congress of Cardiology.(1)

Eating nuts linked with lower risk of fatal heart attack and stroke
Eating nuts at least twice a week is associated with a 17% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, according to research presented today at ESC Congress 2019 together with the World Congress of Cardiology.

Sedentary lifestyle for 20 years linked to doubled mortality risk compared to being active
Two decades of a sedentary lifestyle is associated with a two times risk of premature death compared to being physically active, according to results from the HUNT study presented today at ESC Congress 2019 together with the World Congress of Cardiology.

Guidelines on diabetes and cardiovascular diseases published today
The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Guidelines on diabetes, pre-diabetes and cardiovascular diseases are published online today in European Heart Journal, and on the ESC website. They were developed in collaboration with the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD).

Guidelines on management of fast heartbeat published today
The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Guidelines on supraventricular tachycardia are published online today in European Heart Journal, and on the ESC website. The document highlights how catheter ablation is revolutionizing care for this group of common arrhythmias.

Epigenome-wide association study of leukocyte telomere length
In this study, the research team conducted a large-scale epigenome-wide association study of LTL using seven large cohorts the Framingham Heart Study, the Jackson Heart Study, the Womens Health Initiative, the Bogalusa Heart Study, the Lothian Birth Cohorts of 1921 and 1936, and the Longitudinal Study of Aging Danish Twins. Previous studies have explored the association between DNAm and LTL, but these studies were somewhat limited due to moderate sample sizes or the focus on specific regions in the genome.

Amazon deforestation has a significant impact on the local climate in Brazil
The loss of forest cover in the Amazon has a significant impact on the local climate in Brazil, according to a new study.

New insights into how diet & medication impact the influence of gut bacteria on our health
Research published in Cell on 29th August by the groups of Filipe Cabreiro from the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences and Imperial College and Christoph Kaleta from Kiel University in Germany has demonstrated that diet can alter the effectiveness of a type-2 diabetes drug via its action on gut bacteria.

European guidelines on lipid control advocate 'lower is better' for cholesterol levels
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels should be lowered as much as possible to prevent cardiovascular disease, especially in high and very high risk patients. That's one of the main messages of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and European Atherosclerosis Society (EAS) Guidelines on dyslipidaemias published online today in European Heart Journal, and on the ESC website.

FEFU scientists developed brand-new rapid strength eco-concrete
Engineers of Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) with colleagues from Kazan State University of Architecture and Engineering (KSUAE) have developed a brand-new rapid strength concrete, applying which there is possible to accelerate the tempo of engineering structures manufacturing by three to four times. New concrete is crack-safe, water-resistant, frost-resistance and suitable for construction in the environmental terms of the Far East and the Far North. A related article is published in Construction and Building Materials.

Arrival of refugees in Eastern German communities has no effect on voting behavior, attitudes on immigration
The arrival of refugees in eastern German communities has had no effect on local residents' voting behavior or on their attitudes toward immigration, finds a new study of citizens in more than 200 regional municipalities.

Persistent plume
Thunderstorms generated by a group of giant wildfires in 2017 injected a small volcano's worth of aerosol into the stratosphere, creating a smoke plume that lasted for almost nine months. In a new paper in Science, authors led by Pengfei Yu (CIRES, NOAA, Jinan University), explore implications for climate modeling, including models of nuclear winter and geoengineering.

Diabetes medication shows potential to reduce heart disease
A new study from St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, Canada shed lights on how a class of medications that help regulate blood sugar for patients with Type 2 diabetes can also protect against heart disease.

Theory reveals the nature of crystals defects (of silicon carbide)
Imperfections of crystal structure, especially edge dislocations of an elongated nature, deeply modify basic properties of the entire material and, in consequence, drastically limit its applications. Using silicon carbide as an example, physicists from Cracow and Warsaw have shown that even such computationally demanding defects can be successfully examined with atomic accuracy by means of a cleverly constructed, small in size, model.

Burgundy wine grapes tell climate story, show warming accelerated in past 30 years
A new series of dates of grape harvest covering the past 664 years is the latest line of evidence confirming how unusual the climate of the past 30 years has been. The record shows wine grapes in Burgundy, France, have been picked 13 days earlier on average since 1988 than they were in the previous six centuries, pointing to the region's hotter and drier climate in recent years. The results are published in Climate of the Past.

Flathead Bio Station researcher helps uncover ocean iron level mystery
In a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a group of researchers uncovered the reason behind chemistry variations in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre ecosystem.

Quantum momentum
Occasionally we come across a problem in classical mechanics that poses particular difficulties for translation into the quantum world. A new mathematical model published in EPJ D has provided some insights into one of them: momentum. The model uses another classical concept, that of time-of-flight.

Doubling down
Over the recent decade, total human impacts to the world's oceans have, on average, nearly doubled and could double again in the next decade without adequate action. That's according to a new study by researchers from the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) at UC Santa Barbara.

What if we paid countries to protect biodiversity?
Researchers from Sweden, Germany, Brazil and the USA have developed a financial mechanism to support the protection of the world's natural heritage. In a recent study, they developed three different design options for an intergovernmental biodiversity financing mechanism. Asking what would happen if money was given to countries for providing protected areas, they simulated where the money would flow, what type of incentives this would create - and how these incentives would align with international conservation goals.

Does appointment time influence primary care opioid prescribing?
Physicians at primary care appointments were more likely to prescribe opioids for pain later in the day and as appointments ran more behind schedule, although the absolute difference in the prescribing rate across the day was modest in this analysis of electronic health records. The observational study included 678,319 primary care appointments for patients with a new painful condition who hadn't received an opioid prescription within the past year.

Motivational text messages help patients with diabetes
A low-cost text-messaging program improves blood sugar control in patients with diabetes and coronary heart disease. That's the finding of the CHAT-DM randomized trial reported today at ESC Congress 2019 together with the World Congress of Cardiology and published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

Symphony of genes
One of the most exciting discoveries in genome research was that the last common ancestor of all multicellular animals already possessed an extremely complex genome. It has long been unclear whether the arrangement of these genes in the genome also had a certain function. In a recent study, biologists show that not only individual genes but also these gene arrangements in the genome have played a key role in the course of animal evolution.

Number of years in NFL, certain positions portend greater risk for cognitive, mental health problems
Study shows link between longer NFL career and higher risk of cognitive, mental health problems. Risk persisted over time, even 20 years following injury. Certain positions also carried elevated risk for cognitive problems, depression and anxiety. Running backs, linebackers, defensive linemen had the greatest risk for cognitive problems.

Arthritis-causing virus hides in body for months after infection
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have developed a way to fluorescently tag cells infected with chikungunya virus. The technique opens up new avenues to study how the virus persists in the body and potentially could lead to a treatment.

The Lancet: New analyses of the worldwide epidemiological evidence demonstrate link between different forms of menopausal hormone therapy and breast cancer incidence, and find that some risk persists for many years
The findings, published in The Lancet, suggest that all types of MHT, except topical vaginal estrogens, are associated with increased risks of breast cancer, and that the risks are greater for users of estrogen-progestagen hormone therapy than for estrogen-only hormone therapy. For estrogen-progestagen therapy, the risks were greater if the progestagen was included daily rather than intermittently (e.g., for 10-14 days per month).

Scientists discover evidence for past high-level sea rise
An international team of scientists, studying evidence preserved in speleothems in a coastal cave, illustrate that more than three million years ago -- a time in which the Earth was two to three degrees Celsius warmer than the pre-industrial era -- sea level was as much as 16 meters higher than the present day.

Outcomes after donor kidneys declined by transplant centers on patients' behalf
This observational study used United Network for Organ Sharing data to examine how wait-listed kidney transplant candidates fared after deceased donor kidneys were offered but declined by transplant centers on patients' behalf. The study included 280,041 wait-listed patients who received at least one donor kidney offer between 2008 and 2015.

Understanding probiotic yeast
Researchers led by Prof. Johan Thevelein (VIB-KU Leuven Center for Microbiology) have discovered that Saccharomyces boulardii, a yeast with probiotic properties, produces uniquely excessive amounts of acetic acid, the main component of vinegar. They were also able to find the genetic basis for this trait, which allowed them to modify the acetic acid production of the yeast.

It's never too late to start exercising, new study shows
Older people who have never taken part in sustained exercise programs have the same ability to build muscle mass as highly trained master athletes of a similar age, according to new research at the University of Birmingham.

NASA satellites on-hand as Dorian becomes a category 3 hurricane
As Hurricane Dorian was upgraded to a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, NASA's fleet of satellites were gathering data during the day to assist weather forecasters and scientists. At 2:00 pm EDT the National Hurricane Center (NHC) posted a supplemental advisory. NHC reports that 'extremely dangerous Hurricane Dorian poses a significant threat to Florida and the northwestern Bahamas. The Hurricane Hunter plane finds Dorian is now a major hurricane.'

Hurricane Dorian marching slowly across Atlantic
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami reports that an Air Force plane is finding Dorian a 'little stronger' as of the 8:00 a.m. EDT advisory put out today, Aug. 30, 2019.  Data from an Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 110 mph (175 km/h) with higher gusts. That is in keeping with what weather forecasters are predicting for the storm.

Danish-American research presents new ways of developing treatment of chronic inflammation
Researchers from Aarhus University Hospital and Aarhus University in Denmark in collaboration with researchers from Colorado in the United States have found a new way to treat the inflammation involved in chronic diseases such as psoriasis, asthma and HIV. A group of transmitter substances (cytokines) in the immune system, the so-called IL-1 family, has been shown to play an important role in many of these diseases by regulating the body's immune responses.

Creation of new brain cells plays an underappreciated role in Alzheimer's disease
In a new study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, Sangram Sisodia and his colleagues show how in genetic forms of Alzheimer's, a process called neurogenesis, or the creation of new brain cells, can be disrupted by the brain's own immune cells.

Skin cancer risk in athletes: The dangers of ultraviolet radiation
The dangers of ultraviolet radiation exposure, which most often comes from the sun, are well-known. Speaking at The Physiological Society's Extreme Environmental Physiology conference next week, W. Larry Kenney, Penn State University, will discuss how broad its effects can be, from premature aging to cancer, and how this can be influenced by different skin tones and the use of sunscreen.

A protective factor against Alzheimer's disease?
Researchers at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and the Institute for Stroke and Dementia Research (ISD) at the University Hospital of the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) in Munich have found that a protein called TREM2 could positively influence the course of Alzheimer's disease.

'Mental rigidity' at root of intense political partisanship on both left and right -- study
Latest research shows that reduced cognitive flexibility is associated with more 'extreme' beliefs and identities at both ends of the political spectrum. Researchers say that 'heightening our cognitive flexibility might help build more tolerant societies.'

Humans were changing the planet earlier than we knew
Humans had caused significant landcover change on Earth up to 4000 years earlier than previously thought, University of Queensland researchers have found. The School of Social Sciences' Dr Andrea Kay said some scientists defined the Anthropocene as starting in the 20th century, but the new research showed human-induced landcover change was globally extensive by 2000BC.

Laser-produced uranium plasma evolves into more complex species
When energy is added to uranium under pressure, it creates a shock wave, and even a tiny sample will be vaporized like a small explosion. By using smaller, controlled explosions, physicists can test on a microscale what could previously be tested only in larger, more dangerous experiments. In a recent experiment, scientists used a laser to ablate atomic uranium while recording chemical reactions as the plasma cooled, oxidized and formed species of more complex uranium.

Defective sheath
Schwann cells form a protective sheath around nerve fibres and ensure that nerve impulses are transmitted rapidly. If these cells are missing or damaged, severe neurological diseases may occur as a result. Researchers at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have succeeded in demonstrating a complex interaction within Schwann cells which plays an important role for correct cell maturation.

Promising gene replacement therapy moves forward at Ohio State
Research led by Dr. Krystof Bankiewicz, who recently joined The Ohio State University College of Medicine, shows that gene replacement therapy for Niemann-Pick type A disease is safe for use in nonhuman primates and has therapeutic effects in mice. These findings will publish online in the journal Science Translational Medicine. Prior to joining Ohio State as a professor of neurosurgery, Bankiewicz conducted this translational gene therapy research at the University of California at San Francisco.

Breaking up is hard to do
Physicists used to think that superconductivity -- electricity flowing without resistance or loss -- was an all or nothing phenomenon. But new evidence suggests that, at least in copper oxide superconductors, it's not so clear cut. Researchers at UConn observed electrons in these materials traveling in coherent pairs, a hallmark of superconductivity, at much higher temperatures than those at which the material superconducts. The observation constrains condensed matter theory, and may give clues to practical high-temperature conductors.

Researchers use blockchain to drive electric-vehicle infrastructure
Researchers at the University of Waterloo have integrated the use of blockchain into energy systems, a development that could result in expanded charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.

Diversity of inter-species interactions affects functioning of ecological communities
Mathematical modeling suggests that the diversity of interactions between species in an ecological community plays a greater role in maintaining community functioning than previously thought. Vincent Miele of the CNRS in Lyon, France, and colleagues present these findings in PLOS Computational Biology.

Researchers develop process flow for high-res 3D printing of mini soft robotic actuators
SUTD, SUSTech and ZJU researchers' proposed process flow guides 3D printing of miniature soft pneumatic actuators. Integrating the prints into a robotic system offers potential applications in jet-engine maintenance and minimally invasive surgery.

Nuclear winter would threaten nearly everyone on Earth
If the United States and Russia waged an all-out nuclear war, much of the land in the Northern Hemisphere would be below freezing in the summertime, with the growing season slashed by nearly 90 percent in some areas, according to a Rutgers-led study. Indeed, death by famine would threaten nearly all of the Earth's 7.7 billion people, said co-author Alan Robock, a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences at Rutgers University-New Brunswick.

Would a carbon tax help to innovate more-efficient energy use?
Taxing carbon emissions would drive innovation and lead to improved energy efficiency, according to a new paper published in Joule from Carnegie's Rong Wang (now at Fudan University), Harry Saunders, and Ken Caldeira, along with Juan Moreno-Cruz of the University of Waterloo.

Monster tumbleweed: Invasive new species is here to stay
A new species of gigantic tumbleweed once predicted to go extinct is not only here to stay -- it's likely to expand its territory. A new study from UC Riverside supports the theory that the new tumbleweed grows more vigorously than its progenitors because it is a hybrid with doubled pairs of its parents' chromosomes.

Physicists use light flashes to discover, control new quantum states of matter
Jigang Wang and the members of his research group are developing new tools and techniques to access new states of matter hidden within superconducting and other complex materials. Harnessing these exotic states and their unique properties could lead to better computing, communicating and data storing technologies. Wang's research is supported by the US Army Research Office.

Crouching lion, hidden giraffe
The behavior of giraffe groups with calves is influenced more strongly by the risk of predators than is the behavior of all-adult groups, which is mostly determined by the availability of food.

Ancient civilizations were already messing up the planet
As issues like climate change, global warming, and renewable energy dominate the national conversation, it's easy to assume these topics are exclusive to the modern world. But a huge collaborative study in Science reveals that early humans across the entire globe were changing and impacting their environments as far back as 10,000 years ago.

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