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Science News and Current Events for May 31, 2016


To strengthen an opinion, simply say it is based on morality
Simply telling people that their opinions are based on morality will make them stronger and more resistant to counterarguments, a new study suggests.
MyCopy service from Springer Nature now available in Turkey
Starting immediately, Springer Nature's MyCopy service is also available to library users in Turkey.
Why are blacks at higher risk for cognitive impairment?
Social and economic disadvantages play a significant role in why blacks face a much higher risk than whites of developing cognitive impairment later in life, indicates a national study led by a Michigan State University sociologist.
UM study: Kodiak bears track salmon runs in Alaska
Research from the University of Montana found bears greatly extend their use of salmon resources by migrating from one run to another.
Honeybees pick up 'astonishing' number of pesticides via non-crop plants
A Purdue University study shows that honeybees collect the vast majority of their pollen from plants other than crops, even in areas dominated by corn and soybeans, and that pollen is consistently contaminated with a host of agricultural and urban pesticides throughout the growing season.
The brain needs to 'clean itself up' so that it can 'sort itself out'
A piece of research led by the Achucarro Basque Center for Neuroscience, the University of the Basque Country, and the Ikerbasque Foundation has revealed how the brain's cleaning up mechanisms function in neurodegenerative diseases.
New blood test for the detection of bovine TB
A new blood test to detect Mycobacteria in blood has been developed by a team at The University of Nottingham.
Novel type 2 diabetes risk model more accurately assesses disease trajectory
An innovative model for determining a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes (T2D) overcomes many of the challenges associated with estimating the onset of a chronic condition based on the usual sequence of comorbid conditions that lead up to a diagnosis of T2D.
US may be greatly undercounting pediatric concussions
New research highlights a substantial gap in how the United States currently estimates the nation's burden of pediatric concussions.
Bisexual college students most vulnerable to sexual assault
A new study of sexual assault on college campuses found that nearly two of every five bisexual female college students experienced sexual assault after four years in college.
A jolt from the blue: Rays provide power for an electric generator
Scientists from the RIKEN Quantitative Biology Center in Japan removed the electric organ from a torpedo and chemically stimulated the organ by injecting a solution of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine though a syringe.
International IT security competition: Saarland University provides best European team
At the IT security competition 'ruCTF' in Yekaterinburg, Russia, students from Saarland University have given an impressive demonstration of their skills by attacking and defending a so-called smart home environment.
World Wide Web Consortium selects Web Science Institute to host UK and Ireland Office
The Web Science Institute at the University of Southampton has become the UK and Ireland Office of The World Wide Web Consortium.
Financial relationships between biomedical companies and organizations
Sixty-three percent of organizations that published clinical practice guidelines on the National Guideline Clearinghouse website in 2012 reported receiving funds from biomedical companies, but these relationships were seldom disclosed in the guidelines, according to a new study published by Henry Stelfox and colleagues from the University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada, in PLOS Medicine.
High blood pressure linked to short-, long-term exposure to some air pollutants
High blood pressure was associated with short-term and long-term exposure to some air pollutants commonly associated with the burning / combustion of fossil fuels, dust and dirt.
Leaving the electrical grid in the Upper Peninsula
While Michigan's Upper Peninsula is not the sunniest place in the world, solar energy is viable in the region.
A urine sample could be used to diagnose a complex and serious pregnancy disorder
Scientists from MIPT in collaboration with researchers from a number of other institutes have developed a non-invasive method to diagnose preeclampsia -- a complex condition which occurs during pregnancy.
Researchers find new signs of stress damage in the brain, plus hope for prevention
New research shows that when mice experience chronic stress, neurons within part of their brain's fear and anxiety center, the amygdala, retract.
Children's digestive health across Europe in crisis
'Paediatric Digestive Health Across Europe,' commissioned by United European Gastroenterology, highlights how the current health burden and economic pressure of pediatric digestive health issues, in particular the increasing levels of childhood obesity, have become a pandemic issue throughout the continent.
'Weak' materials offer strong possibilities for electronics
New fundamental research by UT Dallas physicists may accelerate the drive toward more advanced electronics and more powerful computers.
Looking to beat the heat and save money?
A new study published by researchers from Concordia University in Montreal confirms that, contrary to the belief that cool roofs won't work in colder climates, they actually provide net energy -- and monetary -- savings.
Community interventions needed to close epilepsy treatment gap can be cost-effective
Most of epilepsy cases are treatable, yet in many parts of the world, including sub-Saharan Africa where the burden is amongst the world's highest, access to adequate treatment remains low.
A new 'Einstein ring' is discovered
The Ph.D. student Margherita Bettinelli of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias and the University of La Laguna, has recently discovered an Einstein ring.
Risk of international spread of yellow fever re-assessed in light of the ongoing outbreaks
ECDC has updated its rapid risk assessment on the outbreak of yellow fever with the latest developments, more comprehensive information on the current situation in Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Uganda and an extended threat assessment for the EU.
The mysterious sexual life of the most primitive dragonfly
The dragonfly considered the most primitive in the world lives in Australia and Tasmania, and was believed to be extinct four decades ago.
Silicon Valley Energy Summit
Stanford University's annual Silicon Valley Energy Summit delivers insights on the latest sustainable energy technologies, corporate practices, market trends and emerging government policies.
Attosecond physics: Attosecond camera for nanostructures
Physicists based at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet in Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics have observed a nanoscale light-matter phenomenon which lasts for only attoseconds.
Researchers create first 3-D mathematical model of uterine contractions
By studying the electric activity that causes uterine contractions in pregnant women, researchers at Washington University in St.
Flatworms left in sunlight spur investigations into rare metabolic disorders
A type of flatworm could be a new weapon in the hunt for better ways to treat a group of diseases that can cause extreme sensitivity to light, facial hair growth, and hallucinations, according to a study published in the journal eLife.
Localized sea turtle bycatch regulation leads to higher overall sea turtle bycatch
Hing Ling Chan and Minling Pan show that US bycatch regulation increases total sea turtle bycatch in the surrounding North and Central Pacific Ocean, due to production displacement and higher foreign sea turtle bycatch.
Leaky blood-brain barrier linked to Alzheimer's disease
Researchers using contrast-enhanced MRI have identified leakages in the blood-brain barrier of people with early Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study.
ADHD medication linked to slightly increased risk of heart rhythm problems
Use of methylphenidate in children and young people with ADHD is associated with a slightly increased risk of abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia) shortly after the start of treatment, suggests research published by The BMJ today.
Scientists find brain area responsible for learning from immediate experience
Monkeys who could not use their MD were less able to respond to changes that required them to adapt their behavior to continue making the right choices to maximize rewards.
Vicious circle of platelets: Alzheimer's disease patients may benefit from anti-platelet therapy
Inhibition of platelets in Alzheimer's disease patients may become important in therapy in future.
Theft behind Planet 9 in our solar system
Through a computer-simulated study, astronomers at Lund University in Sweden show that it is highly likely that the so-called Planet 9 is an exoplanet.
SwRI's Bottke named Fellow of Meteoritical Society
Dr. William Bottke, a planetary scientist from Southwest Research Institute, was recently named a Fellow of the Meteoritical Society, recognizing his contributions to meteoritics and related endeavors.
In a new method for searching image databases, a hand-drawn sketch is all it takes
Computer scientists at the University of Basel have developed a new method for conducting image and video database searches based on hand-drawn sketches.
Tiny probe could produce big improvements in batteries and fuel cells
The key to needed improvements in the quest for better batteries and fuels cells likely lies in the nanoscale, a realm so tiny that the movement of a few atoms or molecules can shift the landscape.
How long have I got? The response influences quality of end-of-life care
The way in which bad news is communicated to patients at the end of their lives influences their quality of care.
Female smokers more likely to kick the habit by 'timing' their quit date with their menstrual cycle
Women who want to quit smoking may have better success by carefully timing their quit date with optimal days within their menstrual cycle, according to a new study from researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
UM researcher embarks on field campaign to study effects of smoke on Earth's climate
A scientist at the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science is leading an upcoming international research campaign to study a significant contributor to regional climate warming -- smoke.
Sharing biodiversity data: Best tools and practices via the EU-funded project EU BON
Due to the exponential growth of biodiversity information in recent years, the questions of how to mobilize such vast amounts of data has become more tangible than ever.
How doctors die in the United States
In a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, researchers examined the kind of medical interventions doctors used toward the end of their lives.
New class of protein could treat cancer and other diseases, Georgia State researchers find
A protein designed by researchers at Georgia State University can effectively target a cell surface receptor linked to a number of diseases, showing potential as a therapeutic treatment for an array of illnesses, including cancer, according to the research team.
Calcium signals balance the body's response to infection against potential for self-attack
A key cellular signal provides a vital balance between the body's ability to destroy invading microbes and its need to prevent autoimmune disease.
Grandmother, what bad eyes you have!
Senior citizens living in retirement homes often lack adequate ophthalmological care, according to a study by Luisa Thederan and co-authors published in the current issue of Deutsches Ärzteblatt International.
2016 Gutenberg Teaching Award conferred on Nobel Prize winner Carl Wieman
The 2016 Gutenberg Teaching Award has been given to Carl Wieman, a Nobel Prize laureate in Physics.
One in 5 women with ovarian cancer does not undergo surgery, Penn study reveals
Nearly 20 percent of women with ovarian cancer do not undergo surgery, despite it being a standard part of treatment recommendations.
'Super Mario Brothers' is harder than NP-hard
Completing a game of 'Super Mario Brothers' can be hard -- very, very hard.
Stick insects produce bacterial enzymes themselves
Many plant-feeding insects need microbial enzymes, such as pectinases, that degrade plant cell walls; yet some insects have overcome this dependency in a surprising way.
Better combustion for power generation
As US utility companies replace coal-fired power plants with natural gas, a collaboration between GE and Oak Ridge National Laboratory is contributing to efficiency gains in GE's H-class gas turbines.
Readmissions after complex cancer operations vary with institution type and patient cohort
Readmission rates after complex cancer operations tend to be higher in hospitals that are considered to be vulnerable because they serve as safety nets in their communities or have a high number of Medicaid patients.
Study show female heart patients less likely to get blood thinning therapy
Female atrial fibrillation patients are less likely than their male counterparts to receive blood thinning therapies to prevent stroke, say University of Cincinnati College of Medicine researchers.
UAEU licenses BioLegend (USA) to use 4 of its patents in order to diagnose Parkinson's disease
The United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) has signed a licensing agreement with USA-based global pharmaceutical company BioLegend, Inc. to use four different UAEU patents in biotechnology.
PROSPECT experiment will search for sterile neutrinos, thanks to DOE grant
Buoyed by a $3 million federal grant, a Yale University-led experiment will explore key questions about the tiny particles called neutrinos -- and potentially improve the way we monitor and safeguard nuclear reactors in the process.
Is endurance training bad for you?
In 2012, Belgium scientists published a study that concluded that repeated bouts of intensive endurance exercise at the elite level may result in the pathological enlargement of the right ventricle, which, according to the article, is associated with potential health hazards including sudden cardiac death.
Calculating the mechanics of a rough sphere
A transatlantic team of researchers explain the creation of a simulation model that can help scientists mathematically correct for any errors related to a sphere's roughness this week in Applied Physics Letters, from AIP Publishing.
Ancient anti-inflammatory drug salicylic acid has cancer-fighting properties
Scientists from the Gladstone Institutes have identified a new pathway by which salicylic acid -- a key compound in the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs aspirin and diflunisal -- stops inflammation and tumor growth in cancer.
New class of protein could treat cancer and other diseases, study finds
A protein designed by researchers at Georgia State University can effectively target a cell surface receptor linked to a number of diseases, showing potential as a therapeutic treatment for an array of illnesses, including cancer, according to the research team.
UTSA professor's new study emphasizes the impact of leaders' language
A new study by Jonathan R. Clark, assistant professor of management at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), states that the language of leaders has a profound effect on the performance of their employees.
Maternal inflammation boosts serotonin and impairs fetal brain development in mice
Fighting the flu during pregnancy sickens a pregnant woman, but it may also put the fetus at a slightly increased risk for neurodevelopmental disorders like autism later in life.
University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center earns NCI's highest designation
The University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center has been awarded the National Cancer Institute's highest designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Can the environment help control disease in Asian aquaculture?
The University of Southampton is leading an international project to understand how the environment can help to control the risk of disease in fish and crustacean aquaculture in India and Bangladesh.
Primary care is point of entry for many kids with concussions
Many children with concussion initially sought care through primary care and not the emergency department, although younger children and those insured by Medicaid were more likely to go to the ED, according to an article published online by JAMA Pediatrics.
Antipsychotic prescribing trends in youths with autism and intellectual disability
About one in 10 youths treated with an antipsychotic are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder or intellectual disability.
RNA simulations boost understanding of retroviral diseases
New molecular dynamics research into how RNA folds into hairpin-shaped structures called tetraloops could provide important insights into new treatments for retroviral diseases.
New evidence shows Affordable Care Act is working in Texas
The percentage of Texans without health insurance has dropped by 30 percent since the Affordable Care Act went into effect, cutting the state's uninsured rate below 1999 levels.
'On-the-fly' 3-D print system prints what you design, as you design it
Cornell researchers have come up with an interactive prototyping system that prints what you are designing as you design it; the designer can pause anywhere in the process to test, measure and, if necessary, make changes that will be added to the physical model still in the printer.
Cancer studies should include overweight, elderly mice
Saint Louis University's article in Trends in Immunology explains why using a more accurate animal model could improve cancer research.
Like to get more bang for your sustainability-boosting buck? Here's how
Researchers at the University of Minnesota and University of Michigan have developed a method for assessing and comparing the various costs and benefits of green products -- making it possible for purchasers to get the most environmental bang for their sustainability-investment buck.
Study paves way for new therapies in fight against calcium disorders
A study led by researchers at Georgia State University provides new insights into the molecular basis of human diseases resulting from mutations in the calcium-sensing receptor, a protein found in cell membranes.
UA engineers zero in on early detection of ovarian cancer
University of Arizona researcher Jennifer Barton is leading a two-year, $1 million project funded by the National Cancer Institute to identify imaging biomarkers of ovarian cancer, the most deadly gynecological cancer in the United States.
STORMLAMP project to shine light on the impact of waves on lighthouses
Engineers have launched a new research project to examine the structural impact that waves have upon six of the most exposed rock-based lighthouses in the UK and Ireland.
Researchers show nature conserves its most vital DNA by multitasking
The authors describe and define 'ultraconserved' as 50 base pairs long DNA elements found in all 12 Drosophila species they studied -- a comparison that is greater than the evolutionary distance between humans and reptiles.
Spanish university research activity
The Spanish University has lost resources and researchers in recent years, but has improved its international productivity and competitiveness, according to data from the new annual IUNE report on university R+D+i.
Measuring the Milky Way: 1 massive problem, 1 new solution
It is a galactic challenge, to be sure, but Gwendolyn Eadie is getting closer to an accurate answer to a question that has defined her early career in astrophysics: what is the mass of the Milky Way?
Implanted neuroprosthesis improves walking ability in stroke patient
A surgically implanted neuroprosthesis--programmed to stimulate coordinated activity of hip, knee, and ankle muscles -- has led to substantial improvement in walking speed and distance in a patient with limited mobility after a stroke, according to a single-patient study in the American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, the official journal of the Association of Academic Physiatrists.
Women with migraines have higher risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality
Women diagnosed with migraines have a slightly increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attacks and strokes, and are somewhat more likely to die from these conditions than women who do not have migraine, according to findings of a large study published in The BMJ today.
Clay country poet suffered from congenital syphilis
Cornish 'Poet of the Clay' Jack Clemo became blind and deaf because of congenital syphilis inherited from his father, a new University of Exeter study has found.
New findings linking abnormalities in circadian rhythms to neurochemical to changes in specific neurotransmitters
Results of the first study of its kind to link abnormalities in circadian rhythms to changes in specific neurotransmitters in people with bipolar disorder will be published this week in the journal Biological Psychiatry.
Algorithm could help detect and reduce power grid faults
The power grid is aging, overburdened and seeing more faults than ever, according to many.
Hydrothermal vents, methane seeps play enormous role in marine life, global climate
The hydrothermal vents and methane seeps on the ocean floor that were once thought to be geologic and biological oddities are now emerging as a major force in ocean ecosystems, marine life and global climate.
Studying life on the rocks
Researchers have developed an apparatus to meet the growing need for measuring ice as it changes in response to external forces, a process ice scientists call 'deformational behaviors.'' These forces occur on Earth in glacial ice as it flows due to gravity, and in space as icy satellite bodies respond to tidal forces from their parent bodies.
Amid terror threats, new hope for radiation antidote
Researchers have identified promising drugs that could lead to the first antidote for radiation exposure that might result from a dirty bomb terror attack or a nuclear accident such as Chernobyl.
Brain structure that tracks negative events backfires in depression
A region of the brain that responds to bad experiences has the opposite reaction to expectations of aversive events in people with depression compared to healthy adults, finds a new UCL study funded by the Medical Research Council.
Improving cell transplantation after spinal cord injury: When, where and how?
Spinal cord injuries are mostly caused by trauma, often incurred in road traffic or sporting incidents, often with devastating and irreversible consequences.
Mapping neural networks to strengthen circadian rhythms
While the evidence behind this age-related weakening of the circadian rhythm has been established in medical literature, the mechanisms behind it, and the connectivity structure of the neurons, have remained elusive.
Ecologists advise an increase in prescribed grassland burning to maintain ecosystem
At least 50 percent of the tallgrass prairie in the Flint Hills is burned every three to four years or less frequently and is susceptible to becoming shrubland if fire frequencies are not increased.
Sparrows with unfaithful 'wives' care less for their young
A new study shows that male sparrows can judge if a spouse is prone to infidelity, providing less food for their brood if their partner is unfaithful.
Multimillion-dollar funding for commercial waste-to-biofuel plants
It's been a busy few days for Australian start-up Licella, whose innovative technology, developed in partnership with the University of Sydney, is the subject of new contracts with global investors in Canada and the UK that allow the re-imagining of the huge pulp and paper industry as biorefineries and the upgrading of end-of-life, difficult-to-recycle plastics -- turning waste into renewable or recycled fuel blend-stocks.
US Army camera captures explosives in fine detail
While it's possible to study explosives, sans explosives, new techniques involving high-speed, high-fidelity imaging with optical filtering and signal processing techniques have recently made setting off explosives and capturing the data in real-time a reasonable alternative to developing a new simulation.
Fiddler crabs' 'Morse code' attracts Mrs. Right
The vibrations and pulses that male fiddler crabs produce when they are trying to lure females into their burrows to mate are surprisingly informative.
Statistics predict France and Germany as UEFA EURO favorites
When Europe's best national football teams kick off the UEFA EURO 2016 on June 10, host France and World Cup Champion Germany will, mathematically speaking, also be the odds-on favorites as statisticians headed by Achim Zeileis from the University of Innsbruck show.
Autism care improved, diagnosis time shortened by new MU program
Wait lists for a specialist to confirm an autism diagnosis can be agonizing and last months.
It pays to increase energy consumption
Researchers at Aarhus University have carried out extensive theoretical mappings of the way private consumers can save money for heating in a modern supply system based on electricity.
PPPL physicist conducts experiments indicating efficiency of fusion start-up technique
Physicist Fatima Ebrahimi at the US Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory and Princeton University has for the first time performed computer simulations indicating the efficiency of a start-up technique for doughnut-shaped fusion machines known as tokamaks.
Newly discovered gene regulates hyperglycemia-induced beta cell death in type 2 diabetes
Elevated levels of blood glucose (hyperglycemia) can induce the death of the pancreatic beta cells over time.
Does obesity lead to more nursing home admission and a lower quality of care?
In a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, researchers examined the care that obese older adults receive when they are admitted to nursing homes.
'Baby talk' can help songbirds learn their tunes
Adult songbirds modify their vocalizations when singing to juveniles in the same way that humans alter their speech when talking to babies.
Researchers suggest whole-person perspective is needed to assess obesity
Authors from the Cleveland Clinic's Bariatric and Metabolic Institute recommend physicians use obesity staging models to recognize and manage weight-related health issues that may not be captured by traditional diagnosis criteria.
Many patients continue using opioids months after joint replacement
Many patients undergoing hip or knee replacement are still taking prescription opioid pain medications up to six months after surgery, reports a study in PAIN®, the official publication of the International Association for the Study of Pain® (IASP).
Researchers find what could be brain's trigger for binge behavior
Rats that responded to cues for sugar with the speed and excitement of binge-eaters were less motivated for the treat when certain neurons were suppressed, researchers discovered.
Mantis shrimp inspires next generation of ultra-strong materials
Researchers at the University of California, Riverside and Purdue University are one step closer to developing super strong composite materials, thanks to the mantis shrimp, a small, multicolored marine crustacean that crushes the shells of its prey using a fist-like appendage called a dactyl club.
Europe sees constant increase in gonorrhoea infections
Since 2008, the overall rate of reported gonorrhea infections has more than doubled across Europe, going up from 8 per 100,000 population to 20 cases per 100,000 persons in 2014.
The unintended consequences of a hospital's attempt to improve
As hospitals try to maintain effective and efficient operations, physician call systems can be a critical element in maintaining quality medical care and financial stability.
Tobacco smoke makes germs more resilient
University of Louisville School of Dentistry researcher David A. Scott, Ph.D., explores how cigarettes lead to colonization of bacteria in the body.
Hunting for the brain's opioid addiction switch
New research by Steven Laviolette's research team at Western University is contributing to a better understanding of the ways opiate-class drugs modify brain circuits to drive the addiction cycle.
Large global range of prices for hepatitis C medicines raises concerns about affordability
The prices and affordability of recently developed and highly effective direct-acting antivirals for treating hepatitis C vary greatly among countries worldwide, according to a study published this week in PLOS Medicine.
Wyss Institute to lead project to uncover underlying causes of tolerance to infection
The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University will lead a $9.9 million multi-institutional, DARPA-funded effort including Harvard Medical School, the Mayo Clinic, Temple University, Tufts University, and Boston Children's Hospital in order to investigate why some host organisms are tolerant to pathogenic infection, and to uncover which biological mechanisms are responsible for their resilience.

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