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Science Current Events and Science News | Brightsurf | February 17, 2017


Tumor suppressor promotes some acute myeloid leukemias, study reveals
Researchers in Germany have discovered that a tumor suppressor protein thought to prevent acute myeloid leukemia (AML) can actually promote a particularly deadly form of the disease.
Efficient power converter for internet of things
At the International Solid-State Circuits Conference, researchers from MIT's Microsystems Technologies Laboratories (MTL) presented a new power converter that maintains its efficiency at currents ranging from 500 picoamps to 1 milliamp, a span that encompasses a 200,000-fold increase in current levels.
Looking for the next leap in rechargeable batteries
USC researchers may have just found a solution for one of the biggest stumbling blocks to the next wave of rechargeable batteries -- small enough for cellphones and powerful enough for cars.
Gene drives: Science, ethics, and public engagement
Hastings Center research scholar assesses benefits and harms of genetically modifying mosquitos and other organisms in session at AAAS annual meeting on Friday, Feb.
NASA examines Ex-Tropical Cyclone Dineo's rainfall
NASA examined the heavy rainfall generated by Tropical Cyclone Dineo as it made landfall in Mozambique and NASA's Terra satellite spotted the storm's remnants over four countries.
Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms
The precise control of electron transport in microelectronics makes complex logic circuits possible that are in daily use in smartphones and laptops.
Wearing your brain on your sleeve
Through the use of wearable digital devices, BU's Rhoda Au is collecting an enormous amount of data on people over time with the hope of finding the minute physical changes that correspond with the slow mental decline of Alzheimer's.
A new corpus of 'slips of the ear' in English
Listening to speech in noisy environments often leads to a situation where a listener perceives a different word or phrase from that actually spoken, producing what is known as a 'slip of the ear.' Dr María Luisa García Lecumberri leads a team in the UPV/EHU that has published the first large-scale corpus of robust speech confusions in English, consisting of more than 3,000 words, and available online.
Better explaining the world around us
A new University of Queensland-led study could help scientists more accurately predict and explain patterns of diversity in nature.
Researchers replicate nature's ability to reflect light to develop innovative ma
Researchers from the University of Surrey have developed an innovative new technique to mimic one of nature's greatest achievements -- natural structural color.
UTMB scientists uncover how Zika virus causes microcephaly
A multidisciplinary team from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston has uncovered the mechanisms that the Zika virus uses to alter brain development.
Digital fabrication in architecture
Society faces enormous challenges in constructing high-quality, future-oriented built environments.
Is the human brain hardwired to appreciate poetry?
In 1932 T.S. Eliot famously argued, 'Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.' But can we really appreciate the musical sound of poetry independent of its literary meaning?
New life for 19th-century plants
Plant specimens stored in herbaria are being used to explore important ecological questions.
Antibiotics could be alternative to surgery as treatment for appendicitis
A study by researchers at the University of Southampton shows that antibiotics may be an effective treatment for acute non-complicated appendicitis in children, instead of surgery.
Liquid metal nano printing set to revolutionize electronics
New technique uses liquid metals to create large wafers around 1.5 nanometres in depth to produce integrated circuits.
It's more than just climate change
Accurately modeling climate change and interactive human factors -- including inequality, consumption, and population -- is essential for the effective science-based policies and measures needed to benefit and sustain current and future generations.
'Future Trends for Top Materials' by Mario J.F. Calvete
In the last four decades materials science has evolved and developed into a very diverse range of highly specialized family of compounds -- from what were once essentially esoteric, often topical, basic research specialties -- into what one would clearly class today as one of the most significant and important industrial fields and specializations of our modern era.
Atomic force imaging used to study nematodes
In a new study, researchers report for the first time the effective imaging of the nanoscale structure of C. elegans nematodes' cuticle using atomic force microscopy operating in PeakForce Tapping mode.
Researchers use big-brother tech to spy on bumblebees
RFID chips like the ones used to protect merchandise from shoplifting reveal surprising clues about life in a bumblebee colony.
New research helps organizations deliver stronger diversity training
While diversity training programs are a good way to build awareness of cultural differences, they usually are not as effective at changing attitudes and behaviors toward diverse groups in the workplace, according to new research from the University at Buffalo School of Management.
System automatically detects cracks in nuclear power plants
A new automated system detects cracks in the steel components of nuclear power plants and has been shown to be more accurate than other automated systems.
ICU care for COPD, heart failure and heart attack may not be better
Does a stay in the intensive care unit give patients a better chance of surviving a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or heart failure flare-up or even a heart attack, compared with care in another type of hospital unit?
How dads bond with toddlers: Brain scans link oxytocin to paternal nurturing
Fathers given boosts of the hormone oxytocin show increased activity in brain regions associated with reward and empathy when viewing photos of their toddlers, an Emory University study finds.
New Penn research examines gun use, injury and fear in domestic violence
About 2 percent of domestic-violence incidents involve guns, according to new research from Susan B.
Russian scientists slowed down aging
A group of Russian and Swedish scientists just published a breakthrough paper, reporting results of a joint study by Lomonosov Moscow State University and Stockholm university.
Biocompatible 3-D tracking system has potential to improve robot-assisted surgery
The cutting-edge biocompatible near-infrared 3-D tracking system used to guide the suturing in the first smart tissue autonomous robot (STAR) surgery has the potential to improve manual and robot-assisted surgery and interventions through unobstructed 3-D visibility and enhanced accuracy, according to a study published in the March 2017 issue of IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering.
More evidence that Zika mRNA vaccines can stop viral replication in mice
Vaccine developers have successfully protected mice against Zika by injecting synthetic messenger RNA that encodes for virus proteins into the animals.
Designing new materials from 'small' data
A Northwestern and Los Alamos team developed a novel workflow combining machine learning and density functional theory calculations to create design guidelines for new materials that exhibit useful electronic properties, such as ferroelectricity and piezoelectricity.
Role of rogue protein PAK4 confirmed in pancreatic cancer cells
A new study that confirms the role of a protein called PAK4 in the movement and growth of pancreatic cancer cells could help researchers find new ways to tackle the disease.
Egg-free surrogate chickens produced in bid to save rare breeds
Hens that do not produce their own chicks have been developed for use as surrogates to lay eggs from rare breeds.
Six-legged robots faster than nature-inspired gait
Researchers at EPFL and UNIL have discovered a faster and more efficient gait, never observed in nature, for six-legged robots walking on flat ground.
Disappointing Merck drug news underscores critical next steps in Alzheimer's fight
UsAgainstAlzheimer's, which works collaboratively with industry partners to see near- and long-term progress against this destructive disease, applauds the vast investment of Merck, the diligence of the many principal investigators involved in the study and the courage of the clinical trial participants, as well as their caregivers, for their deep commitment to the fight.
DNA computer brings 'intelligent drugs' a step closer
Researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology present a new method that should enable controlled drug delivery into the bloodstream using DNA computers.
UConn to speed human limb growth
The University of Connecticut has joined the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute as a partner for the purpose of sharing its revolutionary human tissue and limb regeneration technologies.
Minor planet named Bernard
A minor planet in the Solar System will officially be known as Bernardbowen from today after Australian citizen science project theSkyNet won a competition to name the celestial body.
What the ability to 'get the gist' says about your brain
Many who have a chronic traumatic brain injury (TBI) report struggling to solve problems, understand complex information and maintain friendships, despite scoring normally on cognitive tests.
'Lossless' metamaterial could boost efficiency of lasers and other light-based devices
Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed a material that could reduce signal losses in photonic devices.
New research examines patients' satisfaction with their radiologists
New research reports that most US radiologists receive favorable satisfaction scores from their patients.
European Congress on Obesity, Porto, Portugal, May 17-20
The year's European Congress on Obesity (ECO2017) in the beautiful city of Porto, Portugal, will feature the latest research, clinical approaches and perspectives on obesity from a wide range of fields.
Molecular phenomenon discovered by advanced NMR facility
Cutting edge technology has shown a molecule self-assembling into different forms when passing between solution state to solid state, and back again -- a curious phenomenon in science -- says research by the University of Warwick.
Gene editing can complement traditional food-animal improvements
UC Davis animal scientist Alison Van Eenennaam says that gene editing -- following in the footsteps of traditional breeding -- has tremendous potential to boost the sustainability of livestock production, while also enhancing food-animal health and welfare.
Adaptable model recommends response strategies for Zika, other pandemics
A new biological-behavioral-operational computer model could help policy makers choose the best intervention strategies to rapidly contain an infectious disease outbreak.
Low level vitamin D during remission contributes to relapse in ulcerative colitis patients
A new study led by researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) has found that lower levels of vitamin D in the blood increase the risk of clinical relapse in patients with Ulcerative Colitis (UC), an inflammatory bowel disease that causes long-lasting inflammation and ulcers in the colon.
Congo river fish evolution shaped by intense rapids
New research provides compelling evidence that a group of strange-looking fish living near the mouth of the Congo River are evolving due to the intense hydraulics of the river's rapids and deep canyons.
ACP applauds overturning Florida ban on physicians counseling patients on gun safety
The American College of Physicians (ACP) applauds Thursday's federal appeals court decision that overturned a Florida state law that barred doctors from counseling patients about reducing injuries and deaths from firearms.
In-mouse catalysis
Address and deliver: A gold catalyst can be delivered to a target organ in a higher organism where it performs a chemical transformation visualized by bioimaging.
New grant boosts UC San Diego-led malaria research program
An international research team, led by principal investigator Elizabeth A.
MU professor first in nation to develop medical curriculum tailored to Native Americans
Melissa Lewis, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the MU School of Medicine, led the first project in the nation to develop a mandatory medical school curriculum about indigenous health.
Climate-driven permafrost thaw
In bitter cold regions like northwestern Canada, permafrost has preserved relict ground-ice and vast glacial sedimentary stores in a quasi-stable state.
UH Eye Expo connects visually impaired with resources to maintain independence
A vision expo Saturday, March 4 at the UH College of Optometry will offer exhibits, programming and workshops for Houston's visually impaired community on maintaining independence.
When ultrafast laser pulse meets magnetic materials
The ultrafast laser-excited magnetization dynamics of ferromagnetic La0.67Sr0.33MnO3 (LSMO) thin films with BiFeO3 (BFO) coating layers grown by laser molecular beam epitaxy are investigated using the optical pump-probe technique.
Satellite views storm system affecting Southern California
Satellite imagery captured the beginning of a chain of Eastern Pacific Ocean storms forecast to affect the US West Coast.
International science collaboration growing at astonishing rate
Even those who follow science may be surprised by how quickly international collaboration in scientific studies is growing, according to new research.
Measuring pain: SLU scientist tests possible biomarkers
A Saint Louis University researcher will leverage her discovery of a pain pathway to determine if either of two key molecules can be used as biomarkers for pain associated with four debilitating health conditions: chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN), endometriosis, interstitial cystitis and vulvodynia.
From mice, clues to microbiome's influence on metabolic disease
The community of microorganisms that resides in the gut, known as the microbiome, has been shown to work in tandem with the genes of a host organism to regulate insulin secretion, a key variable in the onset of the metabolic disease diabetes.
Contact tracing, with indoor spraying, can curb dengue outbreak
This novel approach for the surveillance and control of dengue fever -- spread by the same mosquito species that infects people with the Zika virus -- was between 86 and 96 percent effective during one outbreak.
One-of-a-kind? Or not. USU geneticist studies formation of new species
Using stick insects of the Timema genus, a multi-institution research team combined field experiments with genomics, including sequencing of more than 1,000 genomes, to study speciation.
Quality of life with those with advanced cancer improved through walking
Walking for just 30 minutes three times per week could improve the quality of life for those with advanced cancer, a new study published in the BMJ Open journal has found.
The reasons for our left or right-handedness
It is not the brain that determines if people are right or left-handed, but the spinal cord.
Developing a catalytic conveyor belt
Capitalizing on previous studies in self-powered chemo-mechanical movement, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh's Swanson School of Engineering and Penn State University's Department of Chemistry have developed a novel method of transporting particles that utilizes chemical reactions to drive fluid flow within microfluidic devices.
How humans bond: The brain chemistry revealed
In a new study, researchers found for the first time that the neurotransmitter dopamine is involved in human bonding, bringing the brain's reward system into our understanding of how we form human attachments.
AVN-322 is a safe orally bio-available potent and highly selective antagonist
5-hydroxytryptamine subtype 6 receptor (5-HT6R) has been extensively considered as a promising therapeutic target for the treatment of neuropathological disorders.
Local weather impacts melting of one of Antarctica's fastest-retreating glaciers
Local weather plays an important part in the retreat of the ice shelves in West Antarctica, according to new research published in the journal Nature Communications.
Peer milk-sharing participants generally keep it clean
Mothers who want the benefits of breast milk for their babies but can't produce the substance often turn to milk-sharing networks.
Discovery of genetic 'switch' could help to prevent symptoms of Parkinson's disease
MRC researchers at the University of Leicester have shed light on critical gene network involved in neurological disease.
Particles from outer space are wreaking low-grade havoc on personal electronics
Alien subatomic particles raining down from outer space are wreaking low-grade havoc on your smartphones, computers and other personal electronic devices.
Yeast found in babies' guts increases risk of asthma
University of British Columbia microbiologists have found a yeast in the gut of new babies in Ecuador that appears to be a strong predictor that they will develop asthma in childhood.
NIST quest for climate-friendly refrigerants finds complicated choices
Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have just completed a multiyear study to identify the 'best' candidates for future use as air conditioning refrigerants that will have the lowest impact on the climate.
'Complexity' of exports is a good predictor of income inequality
A new paper by Professor César Hidalgo and his colleagues, appearing in the journal World Development, argues that everything else being equal, the complexity of a country's exports also correlates with its degree of economic equality: The more complex a country's products, the greater equality it enjoys relative to similar-sized countries with similar-sized economies.
How do we regulate advanced technologies along social or ethical lines?
Society faces several new and powerful technologies that could alter the human trajectory into the future and, the public wants clear guidelines as to how these technologies like gene editing are managed to ensure they are used safely.
Penn team tracks rare T cells in blood to better understand annual flu vaccine
A team has found a way to identify the small population of circulating helper T cells present in the blood after an annual flu vaccine to monitor their contribution to antibody strength.
Researchers are first to see DNA 'blink'
Northwestern University biomedical engineers have developed imaging technology that is the first to see DNA 'blink,' or fluoresce.
PPPL-led fusion code selected for all 3 pre-exascale supercomputers
US Department of Energy high-performance computer sites have selected a dynamic fusion code, led by physicist C.S.
Panel to discuss deep-sea mining at AAAS Meeting
A panel of scholars including Stace Beaulieu, a deep-sea biologist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), will discuss the pros and cons of deep-sea mining during the symposium,
Hubble spotlights a celestial sidekick
Technically, this picture is merely a sidekick of the actual object of interest -- but space is bursting with activity, and this field of bright celestial bodies offers plenty of interest on its own.
Second cause of hidden hearing loss identified
Some people can pass a hearing test but have trouble understanding speech in a noisy environment.
Stem cells collected from fat may have use in anti-aging treatments
Adult stem cells collected directly from human fat are more stable than other cells -- such as fibroblasts from the skin -- and have the potential for use in anti-aging treatments, according to researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
Who benefits from praise?
Verbal recognition of performance works, but perhaps in a somewhat unexpected way: Recognition motivates individuals who were not praised rather than those in the limelight.

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