Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (May 2018)

Science news and science current events archive May, 2018.

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Top Science News & Current Event Articles from May 2018

Alligators on the beach? Killer whales in rivers? Get used to it
Sightings of alligators and other large predators in places where conventional wisdom says they 'shouldn't be' have increased in recent years, in large part because local populations, once hunted to near-extinction, are rebounding. A new Duke-led paper finds that far from being outliers, these sightings signify the return of highly adaptable predators to prime hunting grounds they occupied long ago -- a trend that opens new opportunities for future conservation.

Overweight boys who have excessive weight gain during puberty at greater risk of colon cancer as adults
New research being presented at this year's European Congress on Obesity (ECO) in Vienna, Austria (May 23-26) suggests that being overweight in childhood coupled with excessive weight gain during puberty may contribute to the development of adult colon cancer in men.

For patients with esophageal cancer, status of lymph nodes after preoperative therapy determines survival
The status of lymph nodes rather than the status of the primary tumor following preoperative neoadjuvant chemotherapy or chemoradiation therapy is the most important factor that determines whether patients with locally advanced esophageal cancer will survive. The study presented at the AATS 98th Annual Meeting indicates that while preoperative chemotherapy and radiation therapy improve survival of patients with esophageal cancer, patients with malignant lymph nodes following therapy were less likely to survive than patients with no cancer in the lymph nodes.

Avoiding obesity and maintaining stable weight both important in preventing several obesity-related cancers in women
Avoiding obesity as well as maintaining a stable weight in middle adulthood could help prevent certain cancers in women, according to new research presented at this year's European Conference on Obesity (ECO) in Vienna, Austria (May 23-26).

Aerial robot that can morph in flight
French researchers have drawn inspiration from birds to design an aerial robot capable of altering its profile during flight. To reduce its wingspan and navigate through tight spaces, it can reorient its arms, which are equipped with propellers that let it fly like a helicopter. It paves the way for a new generation of large robots that can move through narrow passages, making them ideal for exploration as well as search and rescue missions.

OSU researchers question conservation community's acceptance of trophy hunting
Researchers at Oregon State University are challenging the premise that trophy hunting is an acceptable and effective tool for wildlife conservation and community development.

Virtual avatar-to-avatar interviews may improve eyewitness testimony
Virtual avatar-to-avatar eyewitness interviews may increase the quantity and quality of recalled information compared to face-to-face interviews. A first-of-its-kind study shows that eyewitnesses of a mock car theft provided as much as 60 percent more information when interviewed in an avatar-to-avatar context compared to face-to-face interviews. Study participants also found it easier to talk to the avatar and were more likely to admit when they didn't know the answer to a question.

Risk of preterm birth reliably predicted by new test
Scientists at UC San Francisco have developed a test to predict a woman's risk of preterm birth when she is between 15 and 20 weeks pregnant, which may enable doctors to treat them early and thereby prevent severe complications later in the pregnancy.

Alignment of mother and offspring body clock could prevent diseases such as heart disease and obesity
The care provided by a mother can impact the body clock and health of offspring after birth, according to new research published in The Journal of Physiology. By reducing abnormalities in the body clock of offspring, it may be possible to develop therapies for serious lifestyle-related diseases, such as heart disease and obesity.

Novel cancer vaccine strategy blocks death of tumor-specific cytotoxic T cells
A novel cancer vaccine strategy blocks death of tumor-specific cytotoxic T cells.

Siamab Therapeutics announces publication of new data on its ST1 lead program in the journal Oncotarget
Siamab Therapeutics Inc., a biopharmaceutical company developing novel glycan-targeted cancer therapeutics, today announced the publication of new preclinical data.

Cheeseburger or salad? How music volume impacts your decision
Ambient music played in restaurants plays a major role in whether you order a healthy or unhealthy meal.

HKU discovers important interaction between land use and climate change in driving species distribution shifts
Climate change is altering where species live all over the planet. With global warming, species are moving towards the poles and up elevation where temperature is lower. However, along with global climate change, the world is also experiencing massive changes in land use which may also impact where species live. Could both of these forces be influencing current changes in species distributions?

American 'prepping' culture influenced by media and government fears
The act of 'prepping' is not driven by delusional fears of society's imminent collapse, but more a response to fears raised by the media and government over short-term, but possible, shocks to society.

Study uses eye tracking to assess receptive language in children
The objective of this study was to assess feasibility of using eye tracking as a tool for evaluating receptive language in children with profound expressive language delays, in term infants post perinatal hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy and ex premature infants, as compared to typically developing children.

Study shows early family and community support are essential to children's academic success
Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are associated with poor outcomes in adults. The impact of ACEs on school performance and factors that may be protective are not well studied. The objective of this study was to determine if there was an association of ACEs and protective familial and community factors with school performance and attitudes in children ages 6-17.

Want to help your child succeed in school? Add language to the math, reading mix
A University of Washington study finds that a child's language skills in kindergarten can predict his or her future proficiency in other subjects.

Study: Wearable fitness monitors useful in cancer treatment
Wearable fitness trackers, such as Fitbits, that measure steps taken per day may be a useful tool to evaluate and help treat cancer patients, researchers at UT Southwestern's Simmons Cancer Center have shown.

New research shows how Indo-European languages spread across Asia
A new study has discovered that horses were first domesticated by descendants of hunter-gatherer groups in Kazakhstan who left little direct trace in the ancestry of modern populations. The research sheds new light on the long-standing

Women seeking crowdfunding financing for start-ups are perceived as more trustworthy
While men have benefited from a gender bias against women when seeking financing for business start-ups, the opposite may be true for female entrepreneurs seeking initial investment through crowdfunding efforts, according to research from Indiana University's Kelley School of Business.

Vigorous exercise reduces tiredness in testicular cancer survivors
High-intensity interval training reduces tiredness and improves self-esteem for testicular cancer survivors, according to a study published in the British Journal of Cancer.

Poll finds 4 in 5 Americans favor increase in mental health support for children
A new poll finds that 87 percent of Americans agree that there needs to be more mental health support available to kids which is why Nationwide Children's Hospital is now working to increase access to mental health services.

Cognitive scientists define critical period for learning language
An MIT study suggests children remain skilled at learning language much longer than expected -- up to the age of 17 or 18. However, scientists also found it nearly impossible for people to achieve proficiency similar to that of a native speaker unless they start learning a language by the age of 10.

Researchers defy biology: Mice remain slim on burger diet
Our bodies are extremely efficient at storing fat from food into our fat tissue. In a new study, researchers from the University of Copenhagen have managed to completely block the development of obesity. The researchers deleted an enzyme and made it impossible for mice to increase their amount of fat tissue, despite the mice eating an extremely fatty diet. They are hoping the findings will open new avenues for better treatment of obesity.

Anti-alcoholism drug shows promise in animal models
Scientists at The University of Texas at Austin have successfully tested in animals a drug that, they say, may one day help block the withdrawal symptoms and cravings that incessantly coax people with alcoholism to drink.

Mothers of children born with NAS are more likely to experience mental health problems
Women with a history of substance use disorders (SUD) have a high incidence of coexisting psychiatric and mood disorders as well as difficulty managing adversity. These characteristics may affect the ability of a pregnant woman with a history of SUD to cope with an infant with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), particularly one with a protracted neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) course, exacerbating symptoms of mental health disorders.

Faster genome evolution methods to transform yeast for industrial biotechnology
A research team led by Prof. DAI Junbiao at the Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology (SIAT) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, in collaboration with Prof. Patrick Cai from the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology, developed a 'rapid, efficient and universal' way of transforming yeast at the molecular level using a method called SCRaMbLE (Synthetic Chromosome Rearrangement and Modification by LoxP-mediated Evolution).

Study finds that weight loss after obesity surgery can rapidly restore testosterone production and sex drive in morbidly obese men
New research presented at this year's European Congress on Obesity (ECO) in Vienna, Austria (May 23-26) shows that weight reduction following a sleeve gastrectomy (obesity surgery), which reduces the size of the stomach, can rapidly reverse obesity-related hypogonadism in morbidly obese men, restoring normal levels of testosterone and sex drive.

'Smart' material enables novel applications in autonomous driving and robotics
Research led by scientists from the University of Luxembourg has shown the potential of liquid crystal shells as enabling material for a vast array of future applications, ranging from autonomous driving to anti-counterfeiting technology and a new class of sensors.

Walnuts impact gut microbiome and improve health
Diets rich in nuts, such as walnuts, have been shown to play a role in heart health and in reducing colorectal cancer. According to a new study from the University of Illinois, the way walnuts impact the gut microbiome -- the collection of trillions of microbes or bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract -- may be behind some of those health benefits.

New tool predicts eye, hair and skin color from a DNA sample of an unidentified individual
An international team has developed a novel tool to accurately predict eye, hair and skin color from human biological material -- even a small DNA sample -- left, for example, at a crime scene or obtained from archeological remains. This all-in-one pigmentation profile tool provides a physical description of the person in a way that has not previously been possible by generating all three pigment traits together using a freely available webtool.

For high school baseball pitchers, extra throws on game day add up but go uncounted
For high school baseball pitchers, limiting throws during a game helps to prevent fatigue and injuries. But nearly half the number of pitches -- ones thrown during warm-ups and in the bullpen -- are typically not counted, adding significantly to a pitcher's risk of injury, new findings by University of Florida Health researchers show.

This is not a game: NIST virtual reality aims to win for public safety
Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) now aim to make virtual reality simulations more of a reality for first responders, enabling firefighters, law enforcement officers and others to learn and practice how to best operate and communicate in emergencies.

Novel theranostic approach for treating pancreatic cancer patients shows promise
German researchers have developed a novel diagnostic and therapeutic (theranostic) procedure for patients with ductal pancreatic adenocarcinoma, a deadly cancer with an extremely poor prognosis (five-year survival rate of less than 5 percent) and limited treatment options. The study is featured in the May issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

Reduction in federal funding could reduce quality of specialized pediatric care
Although Medicaid/CHIP are directed at providing health services for low-income children, the potential impact of reduced Medicaid/CHIP spending on regionalized systems of hospital care for seriously ill children remains unexplored.

mHealth as effective as clinic-based intervention for people with serious mental illness
A mobile health (mHealth) intervention was found to be as effective as a clinic-based group intervention for people with serious mental illness in a new study published online today in Psychiatric Services. In a randomized controlled trial, researchers compared an mHealth approach (FOCUS), using mobile phones to deliver intervention, to a more traditional clinic-based group intervention, the Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP).

Bladder cancer model could pave the way for better drug efficacy studies
In the journal Cancer Research, UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers report they have developed a model of luminal bladder cancer, one of the two subtypes of advanced bladder cancer. The researchers said this model may help them to determine which patients may respond to checkpoint inhibitors.

At long last, a 3D picture of an interstellar cloud, a clue to star formation
A duo of astronomers has accomplished a difficult feat: determining the 3D structure of an interstellar cloud, the birth site of stars.

Unsubstantiated health claims widespread within weight loss industry
New research investigating the legality of on-pack nutrition and health claims routinely found on commercially available meal replacement shakes for sale in the UK, reveals that more than three-quarters are unauthorized and do not comply with the EU Nutrition and Health Claims regulation.

NIH summit delivers recommendations to speed therapy development for Alzheimer's disease
The National Institute on Aging today released recommendations providing a roadmap for an integrated, multidisciplinary research agenda to inform priorities for Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. The recommendations are designed to guide continued efforts to build a collaborative, multi-stakeholder research environment capable of delivering urgently needed cures for people at all stages of the disease.

Vitamin D improves weight gain and brain development in malnourished children
High dose vitamin D supplements improve weight gain and the development of language and motor skills in malnourished children, according to a study led by University of the Punjab, Pakistan, and Queen Mary University of London.

World first use of cognitive training reduces gait freezing in Parkinson's patients
In a world first, clinicians have reduced 'freezing of gait' in Parkinson's Disease patients by teaching brain training exercises in a randomized control trial led by Brain and Mind Centre scholars at the University of Sydney and published today in npj Parkinson's Disease.

New gene therapy sparks healthy heart beats
Michael Kotlikoff, provost of Cornell University and a professor of molecular physiology, is part of an international collaboration that is aiming to prevent heart arrhythmias with a simple gene-therapy approach.

Mercury rising: Are the fish we eat toxic?
Canadian researchers say industrial sea fishing may be exposing people in coastal and island nations to excessively high levels of mercury.

Dental checklist of bad practice has patient care at its heart
Dental experts have drawn up a definitive list of never events -- scenarios that patients should never face -- in a bid to ensure excellent patient care worldwide.

Researchers offer new technology for liquid-crystal displays
An international research team from Russia, France, and Germany has proposed a new method for orienting liquid crystals. It could be used to increase the viewing angle of liquid-crystal displays. The researchers have found that by merely adding one methylene group to the side chain of the polymer, they could switch the LC orientation, which is crucial for most applications of liquid crystals, including LCDs. The researchers expect this technology to be considerably simpler and cheaper than other multidomain approaches that are currently used.

Women who eat fast food take longer to become pregnant
Women who eat less fruit and more fast food take longer to get pregnant and are less likely to conceive within a year, according to a study by researchers at the University of Adelaide's Robinson Research Institute.

NASA satellites reveal major shifts in global freshwater
NASA Satellites Reveal Major Shifts in Global Freshwater (NASA Headquarters). In a first-of-its-kind study, scientists have combined an array of NASA satellite observations of Earth with data on human activities to map locations where freshwater is changing around the globe and to determine why.

Getting health data sharing off the ground
To make progress in personalised medicine, researchers and doctors need access to health data. However, as a study by ETH researchers shows, comprehensive guidelines for the exchange of such data are lacking, being one of the primary factors why health data are still shared so infrequently.

Multidisciplinary lung health clinic helps low-income patients
A new study demonstrates that a comprehensive and multidisciplinary clinic for low-income and homeless individuals with respiratory disease can decrease no-show rates and provide quality care that is highly satisfying to the individuals treated. The study was presented at the 2018 American Thoracic Society International Conference.

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