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Science News | Science Current Events | Brightsurf | January 26, 2016


Forest corridors prove critical to biodiversity and pollination success in the tropics
As tropical forests become increasingly broken up by roads, farm fields, pastures and other developments, corridors of trees provide vital pathways for pollinators and contribute to a rich diversity of plant species, scientists have confirmed.
Comparison of smoking cessation therapies finds similar quit rates
Among adults motivated to quit smoking, 12 weeks of treatment with a nicotine patch, the drug varenicline, or combination nicotine replacement therapy produced no significant differences in confirmed rates of smoking abstinence at 26 or 52 weeks, raising questions about the current relative effectiveness of intense smoking cessation pharmacotherapies, according to a study in the Jan.
Research: Many Latino kids struggle to reach a healthy weight by kindergarten
More Latino kids are obese by ages 2-5 than white kids, due to maternal obesity, less exclusive breastfeeding, and workplace and childcare issues that affect nutrition and physical activity levels, according to a new package of research from Salud America!, a national network for Latino childhood obesity prevention funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and based at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
Delivering the Internet of the future -- at the speed of light and open sourced
New research has found, for the first time, a scientific solution that enables future Internet infrastructure to become completely open and programmable while carrying Internet traffic at the speed of light.
On Twitter, e-cigarette ads spread like secondhand smoke
Are 500 retweets the modern equivalent of 'everyone's doing it' when it comes to e-cigarette marketing?
New fluorescent nanomaterials whose inspiration was taken from plant antenna systems
One of the biggest temptations facing a scientist is to try and reproduce natural phenomena which are so fascinating given their effectiveness and perfection.
Social media use in young adults linked to sleep disturbance
Young adults who spend a lot of time on social media during the day or check it frequently throughout the week are more likely to suffer sleep disturbance than their peers who use social media less, according to new research out of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
Designing a pop-up future
What if you could make any object out of a flat sheet of paper?
Updated clinical practice guideline issued on chiropractic care for low back pain
The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (JMPT), the official scientific journal of the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), published an update to a previously issued evidence-based clinical practice guideline on chiropractic management of low-back pain (LBP).
A look into the evolution of the eye
A team of researchers, among them a zoologist from the University of Cologne, has succeeded in reconstructing a 160 million year old compound eye of a fossil crustacean found in southeastern France visible.
Scientists identify potential 'guardian' against neurodegeneration
Stopping disruptions in cellular 'trash removal' brought on by errors in molecular marks on DNA may guard against neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's.
Breaking the brain's garbage disposal: Study shows even a small problem causes big effects
You wouldn't think that two Turkish children, some yeast and a bunch of Hungarian fruit flies could teach scientists much.
Exposure to high levels of air pollution associated with higher risk of preterm birth
Exposure to high levels of small particle air pollution is associated with an increased risk of preterm birth -- before 37 weeks of pregnancy, according to a new study published online in the journal Environmental Health.
A master switch that plays a key role in energy metabolism and human brain evolution
In a new study appearing in the advanced online edition of Molecular Biology and Evolution, corresponding authors Katja Nowick and Robert Querfurth et al. have explored the global gene regulator GABPa to better understand its influence as a master switch.
1 in 10 suicide attempt risk among friends and relatives of people who die by suicide
People bereaved by the sudden death of a friend or family member are 65 percent more likely to attempt suicide if the deceased died by suicide than if they died by natural causes.
What do lentils have to do with geology?
When clayey materials are compressed and sheared, they commonly develop a 'scaly fabric' wherein the clay is divided by braided shear surfaces into lentil-shaped chips.
Study details source of mental problems associated with MS
A study out today sheds new light on multiple sclerosis, specifically damage in the brain caused by the disease that may explain the slow and continuous cognitive decline that many patients experience.
Treating depressive symptoms from their roots
A wide range of compounds is on the market to ameliorate depressive symptoms, however their efficiency is achieved only after long periods of treatment and not in 100 percent of patients.
Regular caffeine consumption does not result in extra heartbeats, study shows
Contrary to current clinical belief, regular caffeine consumption does not lead to extra heartbeats, which, while common, can lead in rare cases to heart- or stroke-related morbidity and mortality, according to UC San Francisco researchers.
Sleep apnea treatment associated with reduced readmissions for patients with heart failure
Early diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea may reduce six-month readmissions for patients hospitalized with heart failure, according to research recently published online by the American Journal of Cardiology.
HKUST-Harvard Scientists discovered ways to clock the beginning of the Universe
This paper points out and studies a generic type of signals existing in the primordial universe models, which can be used to model-independently distinguish the inflation scenario from alternatives.
Screening for depression recommended for adults, including pregnant and postpartum women
The US Preventive Services Task Force is recommending screening for depression in the general adult population, including pregnant and postpartum women, and that screening should be implemented with adequate systems in place to ensure accurate diagnosis, effective treatment, and appropriate follow-up.
For breast cancer patients, never too late to quit smoking
Documenting that it's never too late to quit smoking, a large study of breast cancer survivors has found that those who quit smoking after their diagnosis had a 33 percent lower risk of death as a result of breast cancer than those who continued to smoke.
Why you should never use the term 'the mentally ill'
Even subtle differences in how you refer to people with mental illness can affect levels of tolerance, a new study has found.
Better access to contraception means more sex for married couples
Married couples in low- and middle-income countries around the world that use contraception are having more frequent sexual intercourse than those that do not, new research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests.
Recognizing health concerns in wind energy development a key recommendation in new study
As wind energy development blossoms in Canada and around the world, opposition at the community level is challenging the viability of the industry.
A new magnetoresistance effect occurring in materials with strong spin-orbit coupling
Researchers of the Nanodevices group, in collaboration with groups from the CFM and DIPC, both institutions also located in Donostia-San Sebastián, have discovered a new magnetoresistance effect occurring in materials with strong spin-orbit coupling.
Reality check in the factory
A new book examines global realities of labor-law enforcement.
Grant to Regenstrief and IU supports study of dental treatment outcomes across US
Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University School of Dentistry researchers will conduct an analysis of electronic dental records of patients treated by community dentists across the US to explore feasibility of using electronic dental records data for clinical research, with goal of improving oral health care nationwide.
Incidence of psychiatric disorders has increased in a shrinking population of smokers
Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) and New York State Psychiatric Institute have found that while cigarette smoking rates have declined among younger people in the United States, those who do smoke are more likely to have a psychiatric or substance use disorder compared with those who began smoking in earlier decades.
A key mechanism has been discovered which prevents memory loss in Alzheimer's disease
Using a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease, the investigators developed a molecular tool to shield synapses from the recruitment of PTEN.
Alzheimer-type brain pathology after transplantation of dura mater
Up to now Alzheimer's disease has not been recognized as transmissible.
UCR research advances oil production in yeast
A team led by a researcher at the University of California, Riverside has adapted the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing system for use in a yeast strain that can produce useful lipids and polymers.
Messages from the food police
We have all seen messages from the 'food police' telling us that sugary snacks are bad.
New grant to investigate how bacteria induce settling and transformation of marine larvae
A grant, totaling more than $870,000, from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to the University of Hawai'i will support research to understand the mechanisms by which marine biofilm bacteria -- bacteria that live in slime films on the surfaces of all objects submerged in the sea -- induce the settling of larvae of marine invertebrate animals.
Japanese science prize for German chemist Stefan Kaskel
The JSPS Research Society honors an energy storage material researcher at the Technical University of Dresden.
Ecotourism, natural resource conservation proposed as allies to protect natural landscapes
If environmentalists want to protect fragile ecosytems from landing in the hands of developers -- in the US and around the globe -- they should team up with ecotourists, according to a University of Georgia study published in the Journal of Ecotourism.
BU study finds link between state gun ownership rates and murders of women
Women in states with higher rates of gun ownership are at greater risk of being killed by people they know than those in states where a smaller percentage of people own guns.
GPM flies over dissipating Tropical cyclone Corentin
Tropical cyclone Corentin was the first named tropical cyclone of 2016 in the South Indian Ocean.
The magnetic compass of birds is affected by polarized light -- PNAS study
The magnetic compass that birds use for orientation is affected by polarized light.
Mass media coverage helps slow down disease spread in an epidemic
Mass media coverage about an epidemic can help slow the spread of the disease, according to a new study published in the Journal of Theoretical Biology.
Texting at night affects teens' sleep, academic performance
The study, published in the Journal of Child Neurology, is the first of its kind to link nighttime instant messaging habits of American teenagers to sleep health and school performance.
Embracing negative comments can help corporations increase consumer trust
Public trust is incredibly hard won once a corporation has been mired in negative publicity.
Inaugural UofL Optimal Aging Conference set for June 12-14
The Institute for Sustainable Health & Optimal Aging at the University of Louisville will host its inaugural Optimal Aging Conference June 12-14 in Louisville.
Being married might hurt your chances of weight loss after surgery
Spouses ideally could play a key role in helping patients lose pounds and keep them off after weight-loss surgery, but being married might actually work against patients, researchers from The Ohio State University have found.
Feds back new heart patch for infants
Bioengineers at Rice University and Texas Children's Hospital have won a National Institutes of Health grant to develop a new generation of patches to repair the damaged hearts of infants.
E-cigarette vapor boosts superbugs and dampens immune system
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System report data suggesting that e-cigarettes are toxic to human airway cells, suppress immune defenses and alter inflammation, while at the same time boosting bacterial virulence.
Use of psychosocial treatments in conjunction with medication for opioid addiction -- recommended, but supporting research is sparse
Psychosocial interventions, used together with effective medications, are a key part of recommended treatment for opioid addiction.
Murali Rao, M.D., receives Innovation in Patient Care Award
Loyola University Medical Center psychiatrist Murali Rao, M.D., has won the 2016 Innovation in Patient Care Award from the Illinois Psychiatric Society for his efforts to provide better care, smarter spending and healthier people.
Rutgers Bitcoin study reveals false beliefs on ease of use and privacy
People who have used Bitcoin, and those who don't have any experience with it, have something in common: Both groups share misconceptions about how the controversial digital currency actually works, a Rutgers study finds.
Pharmaceutical industry self-regulation of off-label drug promotion in the UK
The UK's self-regulatory approach to preventing pharmaceutical companies from promoting off-label use of their drugs detects mainly high-visibility promotional activity such as print advertising, according to a document analysis of off-label promotion rulings published this week in PLOS Medicine.
Toxic exposures caused illness in Gulf War veterans, new report says
Twenty-five years after 700,000 US troops fought and won the first Gulf War with remarkably low casualties, research 'clearly and consistently' shows that exposure to pesticides and other toxins caused Gulf War Illness, a complex and debilitating disorder that affects as many as 250,000 of those deployed, according to a new report led by a Boston University School of Public Health researcher.
Important falls in death rates from leukemia in Europe predicted for 2016
Death rates from leukemia among people of all ages in Europe are falling, according to the latest predictions for European cancer deaths in 2016, published in the leading cancer journal Annals of Oncology.
Health and thinking skills linked to same genes, study shows
Genes that influence people's health also shape how effectively they think, a study shows.
Solving hard quantum problems: Everything is connected
Quantum objects cannot just be understood as the sum of their parts.
The smart(phone) solution for urban mobility
New research from Concordia University in Montreal uses mobile technology to map routes, calculate travel times and help alleviate some of the most pesky transport issues.
Model explains huge recurring rainstorms in tropical Indian and Pacific oceans
A new model explains three fundamental features of the Madden-Julian Oscillation: Its huge size, its timescale of about 45 days, and why the tropical storm clouds always move toward the east.
CIP signs a memorandum of understanding with Georgia
In partnership with the Government of Georgia and its Ministry of Agriculture, the International Potato Center (CIP) has embarked upon an ambitious project to support expansion and diversification of the country's potato crop, as well as that of the Central Asia and Caucuses region.
Cardiac and metabolic risk factors significantly more likely in severely obese teens
Compared to normal weight adolescents, severely obese teens had at least a two-fold greater risk of having high total cholesterol, triglycerides, and fasting glucose levels, and a greater than five-times increased risk of elevated blood pressure.
A European alliance dedicated to accelerating new concepts in HIV vaccine research
The European Commission has granted over 22 million Euros to the European HIV Vaccine Alliance (EHVA) to develop a multidisciplinary platform to evaluate novel preventive and therapeutic vaccines.
Study: Anti-asthma drugs taken during pregnancy associated with autism risk
Taking B2AR agonist asthma drugs during pregnancy appears to be associated with an increased risk that the child will develop autism, according to a recently published study at Drexel University.
Pension benchmarks give consumers false impression of fund performance
Benchmarks that measure the performance of pension funds, and fees charged to consumers by investment fund managers, require greater scrutiny, suggests new research from the University of Bath.
Cancer in China
A new report estimates there were 4.3 million new cancer cases and more than 2.8 million cancer deaths in China in 2015, with lung cancer the most common cancer and the leading cause of cancer death in China.
An invitation to ESTRO 35
The ESTRO 35 congress will feature new research results in clinical radiation oncology, radiobiology, physics, technology, patient care, radiation therapy and brachytherapy, presented by top doctors, scientists and radiation therapists from all over the world, working together for the benefit of cancer patients.
An ancestor of the rabbit connects Europe and Asia
The species Amphilagus tomidai was recently discovered -- an ancestor of the rabbit which lived in present-day Siberia during the Miocene, about 14 million years ago.
Early puberty associated with gestational diabetes
Women who began having menstrual cycles at age 11 had a 39 percent higher risk of developing gestational diabetes.
New theory linking brain activity to brain shape could throw light on human consciousness
UNSW Australia scientists have shown that complex human brain activity is governed by the same simple universal rule of nature that can explain other phenomena such as the beautiful sound of a finely crafted violin or the spots on a leopard.
National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for Penn nursing professor
Cynthia A. Connolly, Ph.D., RN, PNP, FAAN, Associate Professor of Nursing in the Department of Family & Community Health at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing (Penn Nursing), has been awarded a fellowship from The National Endowment for the Humanities.
Don't blame grey squirrels: Their British invasion had much more to do with us
DNA profiling reveals grey squirrels are not as good invaders as we think, and that humans played a much larger role in spreading them through the UK.
Improved chances of discovering hereditary transthyretin amyloidosis
New insights in hereditary transthyretin amyloidosis (ATTR) improve the chances of diagnosing the genetic disease using ECG and ultrasound.
Ideal temperature for office spaces using a VTT solution
Why does a robust man sweat, while a slender woman shivers from the cold even indoors?
Antibiotic use in early life disrupt normal gut microbiota development
The use of antibiotics in early childhood interferes with normal development of the intestinal microbiota, shows research conducted at the University of Helsinki.
Brain structure governing emotion is passed down from mother to daughter, says UCSF study
A study of 35 families led by a UC San Francisco psychiatric researcher showed for the first time that the structure of the brain circuitry known as the corticolimbic system is more likely to be passed down from mothers to daughters than from mothers to sons or from fathers to children of either gender.
The developmental origins of osteoporosis
Osteoporosis may have its origins in early life, but the consequences are not apparent until late adult life.
Wyss Institute will lead IARPA-funded brain mapping consortium
The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University today announced a cross-institutional consortium to map the brain's neural circuits with unprecedented fidelity, made possible by a $21 million contract from the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity.
HIV protein manipulates 100s of genes to advance progression into AIDS, UTSW study shows
UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have deciphered how a small protein made by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS manipulates human genes to further its deadly agenda.
Study links fatty liver and heart failure in obese people
Fatty liver is independently associated with subclinical heart failure in obese people, according to a new study.
Monoclonal antibody holds promise of reducing learning, memory problems in schizophrenia
Chronic learning and memory problems that plague patients with schizophrenia may have a worthy foe in a monoclonal antibody that also holds promise in the fight against cancer and is already used to treat a rare disorder similar to lymphoma, researchers say.
€1,000,000 multi-national project will reduce the impact of major natural disasters
A €1 million, multi-national project aimed at reducing the impact of disasters and boosting the ability of communities to recover from them is to be headed by the Global Disaster Resilience Centre based at the University of Huddersfield.
Titan targets tumors
Researchers at the German research laboratory Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden Rossendorf are using Titan to understand and control new methods for particle acceleration that could have big impacts on laser-driven tumor removal.
Spanish missions triggered Native American population collapse, indirect impact on climate
Long-term daily contact with Spanish missions triggered the severe and rapid collapse of Native American populations in what is now New Mexico, according to a new study.
Anti-hydrogen origin revealed by collision simulation
Antihydrogen is a particular kind of atom, made up of the antiparticle of an electron -- a positron -- and the antiparticle of a proton -- an antiproton.
UW-Madison researchers find Zika virus in Colombia, look for ways to stop it
In October 2015, a team of researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Universidad de Sucre in Colombia ran the first tests confirming the presence of Zika virus transmission in the South American country.
Molecular method promises to speed development of food crops
A new study published in Plant, Cell and Environment addresses a central challenge of transgenic plant development: how to reliably evaluate whether genetic material has been successfully introduced.
Scientists prove key aspect of evolutionary theory
Evolutionary theory predicts that pairs of chromosomes within asexual organisms will evolve independently of each other and become increasingly different over time in a phenomenon called the 'Meselson effect.' Researchers from the University of Glasgow have demonstrated the Meselson effect for the first time in any organism at a genome-wide level, studying a parasite called Trypanosoma brucei gambiense.
Serious adverse drug reactions rare from certain treatment for vascular tumor in infants
Sorilla Prey, M.D., of the Université de Bordeaux, France and colleagues examined the safety of propranolol therapy in treating infantile hemangioma, a vascular tumor characterized by rapid growth during the first weeks of life.
Energy harvesting via smart materials
A group of smart materials known as 'electrostrictive polymers' have been explored for years by researchers at the INSA de Lyon for their potential mechanical energy harvesting abilities.
Cancer riddle, solved
Using real-time recording of cellular movement, biologists at the University of Iowa have discovered how tumors form.
Ancient medicinal clay shows promise against today's worst bacterial infections
Naturally occurring clay from British Columbia, Canada -- long used by the region's Heiltsuk First Nation for its healing potential -- exhibits potent antibacterial activity against multidrug-resistant pathogens, according to new research from the University of British Columbia.
Community-level violence linked to teens' risky sexual behavior
Teens' experiences with violence -- either through fear of violence, observing violent events, or being victims of violence themselves -- are associated with how likely they are to have sex and use condoms, new research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests.
PPPL team wins 80 million processor hours on nation's fastest supercomputer
The US Department of Energy has awarded a total of 80 million processor hours on the fastest supercomputer in the nation to an astrophysical project based at the DOE's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory.
Progress towards data sharing
Data sharing in medical research could soon become the norm, according to a series of articles published this month in PLOS Medicine.
Pitt professor Dr. Paul Leu receives prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER award
Paul W. Leu, Ph.D., assistant professor of industrial engineering, received the National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award for his work on flexible metals.
Disclosure of incidental genetic findings can have positive impact for patients
A new study led by researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital has found that providing unanticipated information about risk of coronary artery disease during a genetic risk assessment for Alzheimer's disease helped some participants cope with their results, and also motivated participants to make changes to their health behaviors.
The connection between excess iron and Parkinson's disease
It's long been known that excess iron is found in the brains of patients with Parkinson's disease, but the mechanism by which the iron wreaks damage on neurons has not been clear.
Bed bugs that feed are more likely to survive pesticide exposure
Bed bugs that take blood meals after being exposed to pesticides are more likely to survive, according to research published in the Journal of Medical Entomology.
Heavy smokers who quit more than 15 years ago still at high risk for lung cancer and should be screened
Expanding lung cancer screening to include people who quit smoking more than 15 years ago could detect more cases and further reduce associated mortality, according to a study by Mayo Clinic researchers published in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology.
DNA imprinting defects associated with childhood osteosarcoma development and progression
Children diagnosed with osteosarcoma may be impacted by a DNA imprinting defect also found in parents, according to new research from the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota.
Too many minions spoil the plot
Physicist Dr. David Robert Grimes decided to test whether some science-related conspiracies alleged to exist were in fact tenable.
Pharmacists key to detecting chronic kidney disease in at-risk patients
Pharmacists who screened at-risk patients for chronic kidney disease found previously unrecognized disease in 1 of every 6.4 patients tested, according to a study to be published in the January/February 2016 issue of the Canadian Pharmacists Journal.
New report finds near-term update to social cost of carbon unwarranted
There would not be sufficient benefit to updating estimates of the social cost of carbon within a year based only on the revision of a specific climate parameter in the existing framework used by the government's interagency group to measure the SCC, says a new interim report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
A full pavilion dedicated to graphene at the 2016 GSMA Mobile World Congress
ICFO Professor Frank Koppens' relationship with the GSMA and his leadership role in the Graphene Flagship have shaped the Graphene Pavilion at Mobile World Congress, an extraordinary meeting of science, industry and the next generation of mobile technology.
Brain's wiring connected to sensory processing disorder
Researchers at UC San Francisco have found that boys and girls with sensory processing disorder (SPD) have altered pathways for brain connectivity when compared to typically developing children, and the difference predicts challenges with auditory and tactile processing.
Open-source laser fabrication lowers costs for cancer research
In a move that slashes 90 percent of the cost of mass-producing metastatic microtumors and therapeutic microtissues for screening and research, Rice University bioengineers have adapted techniques from the open-source 'maker' movement to reprogram a commercial laser cutter to etch up to 50,000 tiny 'microwells' per hour into sheets of silicone.
Vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy, risk of asthma, wheezing in offspring
Two randomized trials in the Jan. 26 issue of JAMA examine if vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy would reduce the risk of asthma or persistent wheezing in offspring.
Sequence of rare Hawaiian crow's genome will assist conservation efforts
In collaboration with PacBio, scientists at San Diego Zoo Global and the University of Hawaii, Hilo have fully sequenced the genome of the ˜AlalÄ, or Hawaiian crow.
How maths solves problems for industry
The use of maths research in the UK to solve problems for business and industry is highlighted in a new book co-edited by academics at the University of Strathclyde.

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