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Science News | Science Current Events | Brightsurf | August 10, 2016


Researchers find that Android apps can secretly track users' whereabouts
New research led by Northeastern professor Guevara Noubir reveals that some Android apps may automatically transmit sensitive information, such as the routes you travel, through the phone's built-in sensors.
Children can benefit when adoptive and biological parents share adoption stories
'Open' adoptions, or adoptions in which adoptive families have ongoing interactions with the birth family are becoming more popular.
Study reveals association between physical function and neurological disease
A new study, based on data from the Framingham Heart Study (FHS) suggests a simple test of physical functioning may be able to help physicians identify individuals who are at a higher risk for developing Alzheimer's disease and stroke.
Thymectomy benefits myasthenia gravis patients without chest tumor
Surgical removal of the thymus gland from patients with myasthenia gravis, a rare autoimmune disease that affects neuromuscular function, provides significant benefit in patients who do not have a chest tumor, a new study finds.
Nivolumab in renal cell cancer: Indication of added benefit
Patients with advanced renal cell cancer have weaker symptoms and side effects and patients with an unfavorable prognosis survive longer than those receiving the comparator therapy.
Reducing the harms of alcohol through weaker beer
Could a small drop in the alcohol content of beer or other drinks reduce the harmful effects of alcohol in society at large?
'For distinguished service to the profession'
UCSB professor Linda Petzold receives recognition from the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.
Frozen embryos more effective than fresh in women with polycystic ovary syndrome
Women with polycystic ovary syndrome who receive frozen embryos during in vitro fertilization have safer and more successful pregnancies than those who get fresh embryos, according to the results of a recent collaboration between Penn State College of Medicine and Chinese researchers.
Is depression in parents, grandparents linked to grandchildren's depression?
Having both parents and grandparents with major depressive disorder was associated with higher risk of MDD for grandchildren, which could help identify those who may benefit from early intervention, according to a study published online by JAMA Psychiatry.
TSRI and NIH scientists show molecule in brain may drive cocaine addiction
A new study from scientists at The Scripps Research Institute, funded by the National Institutes of Health's National Institute on Drug Abuse and National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, suggests that increased levels of a molecule in the brain, called hypocretin, may contribute to cocaine addiction.
Discovery of key component of HIV virus yields new drug target
Scientists from the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge and University College London have discovered an essential feature of the HIV virus that it uses to infect cells whilst avoiding detection by the immune system.
Morphological analysis of a light-controlling organ suggests two new deep-sea fish species
Two new species can be added to the bioluminescent deep-sea fish family Opisthoproctidae, or 'barreleyes' -- named for the fishes' tubular eyes -- according to a study published Aug.
Cancer drug for mums-to-be may curb baby girls' future fertility
Chemotherapy treatment during pregnancy may affect the future fertility of unborn baby girls, a study from the University of Edinburgh suggests.
Over 50 leading American nonpartisan organizations call on presidential candidates to address major issues in science, engineering, technology, health and the environment
A blue-ribbon coalition of 56 leading US nonpartisan organizations, representing more than 10 million scientists and engineers, are calling on US Presidential candidates to address a set of 20 major issues in science, engineering, technology, health and the environment, and encouraging journalists and voters to press the candidates on them during the 2016 US Presidential election season.
Adding milk, meat to diet dramatically improves nutrition for poor in Zambia
Adding livestock to poor households in developing countries such as Zambia is shown to improve their financial status, but how the addition of milk and meat to their diet effects their nutrition has not been studied.
Effects of chemotherapy on developing ovaries in female fetuses
The chemotherapy drug etoposide may have adverse effects on the developing ovaries of female fetuses, according to a study in mouse cells published in the open-access journal BMC Cancer.
Fusobacteria use a special sugar-binding protein to bind to colon tumors
Some bacteria, called fusobacteria, commonly found in the mouth, use a sugar-binding protein to stick to developing colorectal polyps and cancers, according to a new study by researchers from Harvard T.H.
Satellite sees remnants of Tropical Depression Javier
Tropical Depression Javier weakened to a remnant low-pressure area on Aug.
How immune response differs for natural AAV infection compared to AAV vector for gene transfer?
A new, long-term study examined the antibody response to natural infection with adeno-associated virus in chimpanzees for the purpose of characterizing the broad-based immune responses that could reduce the effectiveness of AAV vector-based gene delivery strategies.
UBC research aims to help Canadian flax farmers
A UBC professor's flax research could one day help Canadian farmers grow a car fender.
New map details threat of Zika across Europe, US
A team of University of Kansas researchers has mapped Zika risk around the world with unprecedented resolution while considering more factors than previous models.
Rare genetic variations may solve mystery of porphyria severity in some patients
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and international collaborators have identified variations in a transport protein that help explain symptom severity in porphyria patients and suggest possible treatment strategies.
NIH releases improved guidelines for diagnosing fetal alcohol spectrum disorder
A group of experts on fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, organized by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholis, has produced proposed clinical guidelines for diagnosing FASD, which can result when a mother drinks during pregnancy.
Managing climate change refugia to protect wildlife
Natural and cultural areas that will remain similar to what they are today -- despite climate change -- need to be identified, managed and conserved as 'refugia' for at-risk species, according to a study published today in PLOS ONE.
Stellar lab in Sagittarius
The small smattering of bright blue stars in the upper left of this 615 megapixel ESO image is the perfect cosmic laboratory in which to study the life and death of stars.
Human selection pressure on novel peptide aided domestication of Asian rice
An international research team led by Nagoya University identified a novel signal peptide that matures in rice flowers to promote bristle (awn) elongation.
New gene linked to inherited lung disease via disrupted telomerase
Johns Hopkins researchers say they have identified a new disease gene that, when mutated, appears to increase the risk in a small number of people of developing emphysema and a lung-scarring condition known as pulmonary fibrosis.
Tailored probes for atomic force microscopes
Atomic force microscopes make the nanostructure of surfaces visible. Their probes scan the investigation material with finest measurement needles.
First report on efficient reprogramming of diabetic foot ulcer cells to create therapeutic stem cell
The potential to use a patient's own cells to treat non-healing chronic wounds -- a serious complication of diabetes -- took an important step forward as researchers successfully reprogrammed skin cells taken from diabetic foot ulcers to form induced pluripotent stem cells.
Immune analysis of on-treatment longitudinal biopsies predicts response to melanoma immunotherapy
Immune response measured in tumor biopsies during the course of early treatment predicts which melanoma patients will benefit from specific immune checkpoint blockade drugs, researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center report in the journal Cancer Discovery.
UTA signs agreement with KIER to promote joint development of clean energy technologies
The University of Texas at Arlington and The Korea Institute of Energy Research have joined forces to develop clean energy technologies that improve the lives of citizens worldwide.
Tracing the evolution of bird reproduction
What really came first -- the chicken or the egg?
With droughts and downpours, climate change feeds Chesapeake Bay algal blooms
A study led by Princeton University researchers shows that weather patterns tied to climate change may increase the severity of algal blooms in Chesapeake Bay as extreme rainfall cycles flush larger amounts of nitrogen from fertilizer and other sources into the Susquehanna River.
Stanford researchers devise method for bone marrow transplants without using chemotherapy
Scientists have devised a way to destroy blood stem cells in mice without using chemotherapy or radiotherapy, both of which have toxic side effects.
Marine citizen science: Room for growth
The BioScience Talks podcast features discussions of topical issues related to the biological sciences.
Dr. Anthony T. Barker wins first International Brain Stimulation Award
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, today announced that Dr.
Frankfurter fraud: Finding out what's in your hot dog
Hot dogs are the perfect summer fare. But knowing for sure what you're getting inside a bun can be difficult.
Pancreatic cancer cells find unique fuel sources to keep from starving
Pancreatic cancer cells avert starvation in dense tumors by ordering nearby support cells to supply them with an alternative source of nutrition.
Diagnoses: When are several opinions better than 1?
Researchers investigate the effects of collective intelligence and the conditions for its emergence.
The healthiest eaters are the most culturally 'fit'
How to be a healthy eater depends on culture. A recent study shows that in the US and Japan, people who fit better with their culture have healthier eating habits.
First validated canine behavioral genetics findings of nine fear and aggression traits in dogs
nxiety disorders are the most common type of mental illness in the United States.
Does publicizing incentive programs increase political donations?
Field studies designed to assess the impact of promoting political contribution incentives, such as public matching funds and tax credits, showed that nonpartisan publicity did not affect the likelihood that individuals would make a contribution or the amount they would donate.
Methane-filled canyons line Titan's surface, study finds
Liquid methane-filled canyons hundreds of meters deep with walls as steep as ski slopes etch the surface of Titan, researchers report in a new study.
Climate change already accelerating sea level rise, study finds
Greenhouse gases are already having an accelerating effect on sea level rise, but the impact has so far been masked by the cataclysmic 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines, according to a new study led by NCAR.
Neurodevelopmental model of Williams syndrome offers insight into human social brain
In a study spanning molecular genetics, stem cells and the sciences of both brain and behavior, researchers at University of California San Diego, with colleagues at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and elsewhere, have created a neurodevelopmental model of a rare genetic disorder that may provide new insights into the underlying neurobiology of the human social brain.
Increased risk suicide death associated with hospitalization for infection
Being hospitalized with infection was associated with an increased risk of suicide death and the highest risk of suicide was among those individuals with hepatitis and HIV or AIDS, according to a study published online by JAMA Psychiatry.
Twenty-six new species of minute litter bugs described in new book
A new book, 'Pegs, Pouches, and Spines: Systematics and Comparative Morphology of the New World Litter Bug Genus Chinannus Wygodzinsky, 1948,' revises the genus Chinannus, and the authors describe 26 new species, expanding the known range to most countries between Nicaragua and Bolivia.
Treating at the earliest sign of MS may offer long-term benefit
Starting medication for multiple sclerosis (MS) in people who show the beginning signs of the disease is associated with prolonging the time before the disease is definitively diagnosed, according to a long-term study published in the Aug.
Probing RNA function with 10,000 mutants
Creating and examining 10,296 mutants of a ribozyme leads to a better understanding of these widespread but understudied RNA molecules.
RIT undergraduates build star-tracking instrument for NASA research rockets
A team of Rochester Institute of Technology undergraduates are building a star tracker that will fly on a NASA technology demonstration mission in December.
Total number of neurons -- not enlarged prefrontal region -- hallmark of human brain
New study has determined that the total number of neurons, not an enlarged prefrontal region, differentiates the human brain from those of other primates.
A surprising way laundry adds flame retardants to surface waters
In recent years, evidence has been building suggesting that flame retardants, which are used in furniture and electronics, are potentially linked to health problems.
Researchers find sex worker outreach linked with better health outcomes
Sex workers were more likely to regularly visit health clinics for testing and treatment of HIV, AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections after being approached by a peer outreach worker, according to research from the University of Houston.
Hospitalization risks for patients with diabetes and solid-organ malignancy
New research suggests diabetes increases the risk of hospitalization for patients suffering solid-organ malignancy and highlights a need for further understanding of the mechanisms and economic implications.
Managing climate change refugia to protect wildlife
Results of a new study led by Toni Lyn Morelli, a research ecologist with the US Geological Survey and the Northeast Climate Science Center based at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, offer a framework for conserving areas she and co-authors dub 'climate change refugia,' that is, areas naturally buffered from climate change that protect natural and cultural resources.
This week from AGU: Denver's ozone problem, earlier snowmelt, and 3 research spotlights
This week from AGU: Denver's ozone problem, earlier snowmelt, and 3 research spotlights.
New guidelines published for physicians treating patients with kidney stones
A UAB urologist has led the development of extensive guidelines of surgical management of kidney stones.
US maternal mortality rates higher than reported, BU study finds
Despite the United Nations Millennium Development Goal of a 75 percent reduction in maternal deaths by 2015, the estimated maternal mortality rate for 48 US states and the District of Columbia actually increased by 26.6 percent from 2000 to 2014, according to a new study co-authored by Boston University School of Public Health researchers.
Simplified approach to drug development with Upsalite
For the first time, researchers have revealed the nanostructure of the mesoporous magnesium carbonate Upsalite® and pore size control was achieved without organic templates or swelling agents.
Low risk of developing persistent opioid use after major surgery
In a study published online by JAMA Surgery, Hance A.
Are violent video games associated with more civic behaviors among youth?
Whether violent video games influence the behavior of youth has been a debate that has split the academic community for years.
Neuron unites 2 theoretical models on motion detection
Computation of motion by T4 cells in the fly brain more complex than previously believed.
Detecting a new doping trend among Olympic athletes
Olympics officials already contending with the illegal use of steroids among athletes are now being proactive about a potential new trend in performance enhancement: gene doping.
Gene signature in healthy brains pinpoints the origins of Alzheimer's disease
A specific gene expression pattern maps out which parts of the brain are most vulnerable to Alzheimer's disease, decades before symptoms appear, and helps define the molecular origins of the disease.
Going the distance: Babies reach farther with adults around
Eight-month-old infants are much more likely to reach towards distant toys when an adult is present than when they are by themselves, according to research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
Oral immunotherapy is safe, effective for peanut-allergic preschoolers, study suggests
Nearly 80 percent of peanut-allergic preschool children successfully incorporated peanut-containing foods into their diets after receiving peanut oral immunotherapy (OIT), a clinical trial has found.
New hope for shock patients in intensive care
Care for critically-ill patients with shock could be improved, it is hoped, after the first successful testing by University of Oxford scientists of a new machine to record oxygen consumption in real time.
NIST's rolling wireless net helps improve first-responder communications
To demonstrate improvements to emergency communications and foster research on systems that can be quickly placed in strategic locations, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has worked with industry partners to integrate commercial technologies into a mobile wireless communications system.
Stress bites! USF researchers study mosquito/bird interactions
When researchers from USF and colleagues investigated how the stress hormone, corticosterone, affects how birds cope with West Nile virus, they found that birds with higher levels of stress hormone were twice as likely to be bitten by mosquitoes that transmit the virus.
Plenty of light during daytime reduces the effect of blue light screens on night sleep
The use of smartphones and tablet computers during evening hours has previously been associated with sleep disturbances in humans.
Crude oil causes heart and skull deformities in haddock
Even brief exposures of the eggs of Atlantic haddock to low concentrations of dispersed crude oil can cause severe and usually deadly deformities in developing fish, an international research team has found.
Study: Recording selfies while brushing teeth can improve oral health care skills
Recording smart phone video 'selfies' of tooth-brushing can help people learn to improve their oral health care techniques, according to a new study.
Dear future US president: A wish list from a physician-scientist
In this Editorial, Scott Friedman lays out his wish list for the 2016 US presidential candidates.
How climate change will hurt humanity's closest cousins
The consequences of climate change are an increasing concern for humans around the world.
Engineering a better biofuel
The often-maligned E. coli bacteria has powerhouse potential: in the lab, it has the ability to crank out fuels, pharmaceuticals and other useful products at a rapid rate.
New analysis shows threats to 8,000 Red List species
Less than a month away from the kick-off the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Hawaii, a team of scientists report in the journal Nature that three quarters of the world's threatened species are imperiled because people are converting their habitat into agricultural lands and over-harvesting their populations.
'Aggressive drunk' gene may protect carriers from obesity and associated risks
A genetic mutation which makes its bearers more likely to behave impulsively while intoxicated may shield them from obesity and change the way testosterone impacts insulin resistance, indicates a study conducted at the University of Helsinki, Finland.
NASA sees wind shear relax in Tropical Storm Conson
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed over Tropical Storm Conson early on Aug.
Many endangered species face long waits for protection
The Endangered Species Act was enacted by Congress in 1973 to protect species threatened with extinction.
How mouth microbes may worsen colorectal cancer
Bacteria commonly found in the mouth have been recently shown to worsen colorectal cancer in animals, but it has not been clear how these microbes make their way to the gut in the first place.
Loyola neurologist is co-author and editor of four new neurology textbooks
Loyola Medicine neurologist José Biller, M.D., is a co-author, editor and co-editor of new editions of four major neurology textbooks that are helping physicians keep abreast with the ever expanding knowledge of neurological diseases and disorders.
User-friendly language for programming efficient simulations
A team of researchers from MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Adobe, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Toronto, Texas A&M, and the University of Texas have developed a new programming language that handles that switching automatically.
Ospemifene in vulvovaginal atrophy: Added benefit not proven
The study data allow no conclusion on added benefit: the study populations are unsuitable, two of the three studies are too short, and requirements for the comparator therapy were not met.
Trajectory of functional recovery after postoperative delirium
Researchers from the Harvard Medical School-affiliated Hebrew SeniorLife Institute for Aging Research, in collaboration with scientists from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Brown University, and Northeastern University, have discovered that postoperative delirium negatively impacts recovery in older adults.
Galápagos Islands face first-ever bird extinction
Scientists have discovered a new species of colorful songbird in the Galápagos Islands, with one catch: it's extinct.
29th ECNP Congress for Applied and Translational Neuroscience
Europe's largest meeting in applied and translational neuroscience, the 29th ECNP Congress of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) will take place at the Austria Center Vienna from Sept.
Prevalence of traumatic dental injuries in patients attending University of Alberta Emergency Clinic
Planning strategies on the prevention or treatment of debilitating diseases are based on studying the Prevalence and consequences of such disease(s).
How incivility spreads in the workplace
Condescending comments, put-downs and sarcasm have become commonplace in the politically charged workplace, and a new study shows how this incivility may be spreading.
Textbook story of how humans populated America is 'biologically unviable,' study finds
Using ancient DNA, researchers have created a unique picture of how a prehistoric migration route evolved over thousands of years -- revealing that it could not have been used by the first people to enter the Americas, as traditionally thought.
Two become one: How to turn green light blue
The upconversion of photons allows for a more efficient use of light: two photons are converted into a single photon having higher energy.
Unraveling the jaw-dropping goblin shark
Scientists have revealed goblin sharks' 'slingshot feeding' mechanism, which involves high-speed protrusion of their jaws.
Isotopic analysis of teeth may identify starvation in victims of the Great Irish Famine
Isotopic analysis of teeth may identify signs of starvation in human tissues from 19th century Irish workhouse residents, according to a study published Aug.
Sensational grave find in Cypriote Bronze Age city
An archaeological expedition from the University of Gothenburg has discovered one of the richest graves from the Late Bronze Age ever found on the island of Cyprus.
Tighter air pollution standards may save thousands of lives, greatly improve public health
Reducing outdoor concentrations of two air pollutants, ozone (O3) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5), to levels below those set by the US Environmental Protection Agency would likely save thousands of lives each year, result in far fewer serious illnesses and dramatically reduce missed days of school and work, according to a new analysis conducted by the American Thoracic Society and the Marron Institute of Urban Management at New York University.
Toward clothes that fix their own rips (video)
Ripped pants or a torn shirt usually means a trip to the tailor or a garbage can is in one's future.
New algorithm for optimized stability of planar-rod objects
Algorithm corrects connection points of objects fabricated by wire bending machine to optimize stability.
Study: Seawalls, coastal forests in Japan help reduce tsunami damage
Researchers who analyzed a history of tsunamis along the Pacific coast of Japan's Tohoku region have learned that seawalls higher than 5 meters reduce damage and death, while coastal forests also play an important role in protecting the public.
New study evaluates link between young women's beliefs on alcohol use and sex
A new study at the University of Cincinnati looks at how young women's beliefs about alcohol and sex affect condom usage during sexual encounters involving alcohol.
Three Johns Hopkins Public Health researchers win Zika challenge grants
Three teams from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health will be awarded grants from US Agency for International Development's Combating Zika and Future Threats Grand Challenge, the agency announced today.
Discovery of a time-resolved supernova signal in Earth's microfossils
Physicists from the Technical University of Munich have succeeded in detecting a time-resolved supernova signal in the Earth's microfossil record.
NIH-funded study supports surgery as treatment for myasthenia gravis
In a global study of myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune disease that causes muscle weakness and fatigue, researchers found that surgical removal of an organ called the thymus reduced patients' weakness, and their need for immunosuppressive drugs.
Partisan media can influence viewers to reject facts
A new nationwide study suggests why heavy users of partisan media outlets are more likely than others to hold political misperceptions.
New PET scan tracer allows first imaging of the epigenetics of the human brain
A novel PET radiotracer developed at the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital is able for the first time to reveal epigenetic activity -- the process that determines whether or not genes are expressed -- within the human brain.
Case workers need more holistic approach to identifying chronic child neglect
A new study by researchers at the University at Buffalo suggests that Child Protective Services caseworkers may need to use a more all-encompassing approach to improve how they respond to cases of chronic neglect.
New meta-analysis shows engineered hard shorelines are a threat to ecosystems
Artificial shoreline hardening is often used to protect human structures from coastal hazards, but the practice may negatively affect coastal ecosystems.
Loophole for cancer cells
Cancer cells kill blood vessel cells so that they can slip through the vascular wall and form metastases.
Breastfeeding twice as likely after home births than hospital births
A new study by academics in Trinity College Dublin has found that there is a strong positive relationship between planned birth at home and breast feeding: breastfeeding was twice as likely after planned home births compared to hospital births.
Specialized life forms abound at Arctic methane seeps
Methane seeps have strong effects on the community structure at the bottom of the Arctic Ocean.
A spoonful of fat makes the medicine go down
One of the key goals of drug development has long been to produce a therapy that can be taken orally (therefore cheap and easy to deliver) and is absorbed as directly and quickly into the blood stream as possible -- by bypassing the liver.
'Cultural learners' in the cradle
Well before starting to speak, children from a very young age pay higher attention to the information received from native speakers of their language compared to the information received from 'foreigners.' A new study shows that this behavior, replicated already at the age of five months, might be the foundation of acquiring culture specific knowledge.
New method helps stabilize materials with elusive magnetism
Magnetic materials displaying what is referred to as itinerant ferromagnetism are in an elusive physical state that is not yet fully understood.
Books by Hutch Neilson and Amitava Bhattacharjee
This article describes new books by Hutch Neilson and Amitava Bhattacharjee.
Improved knowledge of shelf life of food
We should avoid food waste but, on the other hand, not risk food poisoning from eating food that is way past its sell-by date.
Elsevier selected to publish open-access journal: Engineering
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, today announced that it has been selected to publish Engineering, an open-access journal published in collaboration with the Chinese Academy of Engineering.
Quantum dots with impermeable shell: A powerful tool for nanoengineering
Depending on their applications, quantum dots need to be tailored in terms of their structure and properties.
NYU's LeDoux wins William James Award from the American Psychological Association
New York University Professor Joseph LeDoux has won the William James Award, an annual book prize given by Division One of the American Psychological Association, for his work 'Anxious: Using the Brain to Understand and Treat Fear and Anxiety.'

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