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Science News | Science Current Events | Brightsurf | March 17, 2017


Untreated sleep apnea in children can harm brain cells tied to cognition and mood
A study comparing children 7 to 11 years old with moderate or severe obstructive sleep apnea to children the same age who slept normally found significant reductions of gray matter -- brain cells crucial to most cognitive tasks -- in several regions of the brains of children with sleep apnea.
Study IDs link between sugar signaling and regulation of oil production in plants
Scientists from Brookhaven Lab have identified a previously unknown link between a protein that maintains plant sugar balance and one that turns on oil production.
Hubble discovery of runaway star yields clues to breakup of multiple-star system
A gravitational tussle, ended with a multi-star system breaking apart and at least three stars being ejected in different directions.
What does that sentence say?
Imagine coming across a sentence in English that reads like this: 'Mary apple eats her delicious.' For most native-English speakers, the sentence would likely strike you as odd because it doesn't seem to be structured in an order that immediately gets the message across.
Moderate exercise may be beneficial for HCM patients
Patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy are urged to take it easy.
New role for immune cells in preventing diabetes and hypertension
Immune cells which are reduced in number by obesity could be a new target to treat diseases such as type 2 diabetes and hypertension that affect overweight people, according to a collaborative study between the University of Manchester, Lund University and the University of Salford.
Transparent ceramics make super-hard windows
Scientists have synthesised the first transparent sample of a popular industrial ceramic at DESY.
Wi-fi on rays of light: 100 times faster, and never overloaded
Slow wi-fi is a source of irritation that nearly everyone experiences.
PCSK9 inhibitor evolocumab reduces adverse cardiovascular events
Patients treated with evolocumab had a 15 percent reduction in the risk of major cardiovascular events, defined as the composite of cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, stroke, hospitalization for unstable angina, or coronary revascularization Evolocumab reduced the more serious key secondary endpoint, which was a composite of heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular death, by 20 percent.
Boost for groundbreaking research into self-healing construction materials
Science Minister, Jo Johnson, will meet with researcher Professor Bob Lark at Cardiff University today to learn about groundbreaking research into the development of self-healing concrete that could lead to huge savings in maintenance costs and greater protection for the UK's infrastructure.
PCSK9 inhibitior bococizumab produces varying results
Researchers report that bococizumab had short-term benefits on lowering cholesterol levels and significantly reduced the risk of cardiovascular events by 21 percent compared to placebo among those who had baseline LDL cholesterol levels of greater than 100 mg/dL.
First steps in human DNA replication dance captured at atomic resolution
A team has published pictures at very high atomic resolution of the multi-part protein complex that performs the very first step in the incredibly complex genome-replication dance that occurs when one cell becomes two.
Study: More than half of college football athletes have inadequate levels of vitamin D
More than half of college football athletes participating in the NFL Combine had inadequate levels of vitamin D, and this left them more susceptible to muscle strains and 'sports hernia,' according to researchers at Hospital for Special Surgery.
New 'gene silencer' drug reduce cholesterol by over 50 percent
The first in a new class of gene-silencing drugs, known as inclisiran, has been shown to halve cholesterol levels in patients at risk of cardiovascular disease.
Nanotube film may resolve longevity problem of challenger solar cells
Nanotube film may resolve longevity problem of challenger solar cells Researchers lengthened the lifetime of perovskite solar cells by using nanotube film to replace the gold used as the back contact and the organic material in the hole conductor.
Atrial fibrillation patients may safely discontinue blood thinners after successful ablation
In new study presented today at the American College of Cardiology 66th Annual Scientific Session, researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have found that patients with persistent AF, who are successfully treated with ablation many, in fact, no longer need blood thinners.
Sexual assault victimization disproportionately affects certain minority college students
Students who perceive that their college campus is more inclusive and welcoming of sexual- and gender-minority people have lower odds of being victims of sexual assault, according to a study led by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.
Minneapolis Heart Institute physician receives American College of Cardiology top honor
Cardiologist will receive the Douglas P. Zipes Distinguished Young Scientist Award for his commitment to improving patient care.
TGen study of ASU football team produces largest known dataset for concussion diagnostics
Following a three-year study of the Arizona State University football program, researchers at the Translational Genomics Research Institute have created the largest dataset to date of extracellular small RNAs, which are potential biomarkers for diagnosing medical conditions, including concussions.
Self-expanding TAVR as good as surgery in intermediate-risk patients
Two-year data reveal no difference in the combined rate of stroke and death from any cause when comparing the use of self-expanding transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) with standard open-heart surgery in intermediate risk patients with severe aortic stenosis, according to research presented at the American College of Cardiology's 66th Annual Scientific Session.
For a modest personality trait, 'intellectual humility' packs a punch
'Intellectual humility' has been something of a wallflower among personality traits, receiving far less attention than such brash qualities as egotism or hostility.
Mount Sinai researchers review progress of treating glutamate signalling in depression
Major depressive disorder (MDD) impacts 15 million Americans and is the leading cause of disability, yet current treatments possess limited efficacy.
New study finds antithrombotic therapy has no benefit for low-risk atrial fibrillation patients
Findings from a large, community-based study show that antithrombotic therapy doesn't decrease low-risk atrial fibrillation patients' risk of suffering a stroke within five years.
New Hubble mosaic of the Orion Nebula
In the search for rogue planets and failed stars astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have created a new mosaic image of the Orion Nebula.
Skilled workers more prone to mistakes when interrupted
Expertise is clearly beneficial in the workplace, yet highly trained workers in some occupations could actually be at risk for making errors when interrupted, indicates a new study by two Michigan State University psychology researchers.
Evolocumab significantly reduces risk of cardiovascular events
Evolocumab, one of the new targeted PCSK9 inhibitor drugs that has been shown to dramatically lower levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or 'bad' cholesterol, also significantly lowers the risk of cardiovascular events in patients with existing heart or vascular disease already on statin therapy, according to research presented at the American College of Cardiology's 66th Annual Scientific Session.
Advanced form of proton therapy shows promise for treating lung cancer recurrence
An advanced form of image-guided radiation therapy, known as intensity modulated proton therapy (IMPT), has shown early promise for the treatment of recurrent lung cancer, according to new research from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Pharmacist medicines reconciliation reduces likelihood of patient harm
A pilot study, published today in British Medical Journal Open, demonstrates that medicines reconciliation provided by pharmacists can significantly reduce medicine discrepancies and may be associated with reductions in length of hospital stay and readmission.
Women, particularly minorities, do not meet nutrition guidelines shortly before pregnancy
Black, Hispanic and less-educated women consume a less nutritious diet than their well-educated, white counterparts in the weeks leading up to their first pregnancy, according to the only large-scale analysis of preconception adherence to national dietary guidelines.
Degree of spinal deformity affects hip replacement surgery success
A new study led by orthopedic surgeons at NYU Langone Medical Center provides a greater understanding of how spinal deformity interacts with the pelvis, potentially increasing risk for hip replacement dislocation despite surgeons implanting the artificial hip in what is traditionally considered a 'safe zone.'
Osteoporosis drug found safe in long-term trial
A new study provides reassuring information about the short-term and long-term safety of denosumab, a monoclonal antibody that is used to treat postmenopausal osteoporosis.
Palliative care consults for advanced cancer patients reduces hospitalization and improves care
Cancer patients admitted to the hospital with advanced stages of disease who were referred early to palliative care had decreased health care utilization and increased use of support services following discharge, according to a new study led by researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
Penn researchers find patients' annual financial burden under Medicare Part D is 'too much too soon'
A study released today by researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania documents the patient out-of-pocket cost burden under Medicare prescription drug plans (known as Medicare Part D) and finds that despite having insurance, Medicare patients using specialty drugs paid thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket costs in a calendar year.
JNeurosci: Highlights from the March 15 issue
Check out these newsworthy studies from the March 15, 2017, issue of JNeurosci.
Support people with asthma to manage their illness, researchers say
Every person with asthma should have access to a personal action plan to help them control their condition, researchers say.
Human brain networks developing in adolescence related to evolutionary expansion
A Penn study reveals new patterns of coordinated development in the outer layer of the cerebrum of the human brain and describes how these structural patterns relate to functional networks.
Children who play outside more likely to protect nature as adults
Protecting the environment can be as easy as telling your kids to go outdoors and play, according to a new UBC study.
Nation's largest private health care database acquires all Medicare claims data
FAIR Health, which operates the largest repository holding private health care and dental claims, totaling some 23 billion records, now is adding four recent years of Medicare claims data to its holdings.
Drosophila effectively models human genes responsible for genetic kidney diseases
The majority of genes associated with nephrotic syndrome (NS) in humans also play pivotal roles in Drosophila renal function, a conservation of function across species that validates transgenic flies as ideal pre-clinical models to improve understanding of human disease, a Children's National Health System research team reports in a recent issue of Human Molecular Genetics.
Highly contagious infection threatens endangered San Joaquin kit fox population
Endangered San Joaquin kit foxes face many threats to their survival, including loss of habitat and competition with non-native species such as the red fox.
Extensive ice cap once covered sub-antarctic island of South Georgia
A new study reveals the sub-antarctic island of South Georgia -- famous for its wildlife -- was covered by a massive ice cap during the last ice age.
MDA and CMTA fund grant to study gene therapy in charcot-marie-tooth disease
The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) and the Charcot-Marie-Tooth Association (CMTA) March 17 announced a research grant totaling $119,999 to Kleopas Kleopa, M.D., for a study on the effectiveness of a gene therapy approach in CMT1X.
Nano-polycrystalline film leads to stronger magnetism compared to single-crystal films
Toyohashi University of Technology researchers have found that nanoscale pillar-shaped distribution of iron in strontium titanate changes its magnetic and magnetooptical response drastically in cooperation with researchers at Myongji University, Harbin Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María, University of California, San Diego, and Trinity College Dublin.
The Lancet: Indigenous South American group has healthiest arteries of all populations yet studied, providing clues to healthy lifestyle
The Tsimane people -- a forager-horticulturalist population of the Bolivian Amazon -- have the lowest reported levels of vascular ageing for any population, with coronary atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) being five times less common than in the US, according to a study published in The Lancet and being presented at the American College of Cardiology conference.
Flexibility is key in mechanism of biological self-assembly
A new study has modeled a crucial first step in the self-assembly of cellular structures such as drug receptors and other protein complexes, and found that the flexibility of the structures has a dramatic impact on how fast two such structures join together.
One in 4 elderly Australian women have dementia
At least a quarter of Australian women over 70 will develop dementia according to University of Queensland researchers.
PCSK9 inhibition with bococizumab yields mixed results
In a clinical program that was terminated early, the experimental PCSK9 inhibitor bococizumab, when given on top of effective statin therapy, had widely varying effects on LDL cholesterol levels and had no benefit on cardiovascular events among those with LDL lower than 100 mg/dL.
The 2017 HFSP start-up laboratories
The International Human Frontier Science Program Organization (HFSPO) has selected 10 of its fellowship holders to receive the highly sought after Career Development Award (CDA).
Abnormal development of the brain in an intractable disease, thanatophoric dysplasia
Thanatophoric dysplasia (TD) is an intractable disease with abnormalities of bones and the brain.
Journal of Dairy Science® honors most prolific authors
As part of the centennial celebration for the Journal of Dairy Science, individuals who have authored or coauthored 100 or more papers in the journal will be inaugurated into JDS Club 100 at the 2017 American Dairy Science Association® Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh, Pa.
Scientists reveal open-ringed structure of Cdt1-Mcm2-7 complex
Scientists from the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology(HKUST) and Tsinghua University have revealed the open-ringed structure of the Cdt1-Mcm2-7 complex as a precursor of the MCM double hexamer (DH).
Scientists make the case to restore Pluto's planet status
Kirby Runyon wants to make one thing clear: regardless of what one prestigious scientific organization says to the contrary, Pluto is a planet.
Transcatheter aortic valve replacement as effective as surgery in intermediate patients
Medtronic plc (NYSE: MDT) today unveiled first-ever clinical data from the Surgical Replacement and Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (SURTAVI) Trial, which was presented at the American College of Cardiology (ACC) 66th Annual Scientific Session and published simultaneously in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).
The discovery of Majorana fermion
Majorana fermion can serve as the building block of fault tolerant topological quantum computing.
Silk sensor could speed development of new infrastructure, aerospace & consumer materials
NIST researchers have found a way to use molecules of dye to see inside some of the new composite materials being tested for bridges, cars and sporting goods.
Study suggests new drug alongside statins can significantly cut cholesterol
A new class of cholesterol-lowering drug has been found to help patients cut their risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke and heart attack.
Happy spouse, happy house
Achieving marital quality could seem daunting, even impossible to any couple, let alone a couple in which one of the partners is dealing with a serious illness.
Soil bacteria, meerkats and ocean particles top the 2017 HFSP Postdoctoral Fellowships
The International Human Frontier Science Program Organization supports 85 of the world's most outstanding young scientists with the sought after HFSP international postdoctoral fellowships for 2017 following a rigorous selection process in a global competition.
Can quantum theory explain why jokes are funny?
In a recent paper published in Frontiers in Physics, researchers are taking the first steps towards of a quantum theory model of humor, to explain what really happens on the cognitive level in the moment when we 'get the joke.'
Tighten the grip on metastasis
Metastasis is the major cause of cancer-related death and its appearance remains a phenomenon that is difficult to predict and manage.
New partnership to accelerate development of treatments for neurological diseases
Working together to accelerate research into neurological diseases, three leading players in Canada's health sciences sector are joining forces in a unique multi-million dollar partnership to create a novel drug development platform that will help advance new therapeutics for some of the most debilitating conditions such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, and Parkinson's disease.
First global guidance for HPV vaccination for cervical cancer prevention
The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) today issued a clinical practice guideline on human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination for the prevention of cervical cancer.
Identification of molecular origins underlying the interfacial slip
A new study, affiliated with South Korea's Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, has discovered the fundamental principles of handling polymers.
Current jellyfish sting recommendations can worsen stings
Researchers at the University of Hawai'i - Mānoa (UHM) investigated whether commonly recommended first aid actions such as rinsing with seawater or scraping away tentacles lessen the severity of stings from two dangerous box jellyfish species.
Organs can talk
Drs. Marie-Josée Hébert and Mélanie Dieudé have discovered a new cell structure responsible for previously unexplained rejections following an organ transplant.
For female mosquitoes, two sets of odor sensors are better than one
A team of Vanderbilt biologists has found that the malaria mosquito has a second complete set of odor receptors that are specially tuned to human scents.
Why water splashes: New theory reveals secrets
New research from the University of Warwick generates fresh insight into how a raindrop or spilt coffee splashes.
Research proposes new theories about nature of Earth's iron
New research challenges the prevailing theory that the unique nature of Earth's iron was the result of how its core was formed billions of years ago.
Enabling discoveries at the frontier: The new 2017 HFSP research grants
The International Human Frontier Science Program Organization is awarding some $30 million to support the top 3 percent of the Research Grant applications.
CD4+ T-cell count useful to assess antiretroviral therapy response in HTLV-1/HIV patients?
While HIV is known to deplete CD4+ T-cells, the present study showed that patients co-infected with HTLV-1 continued to have elevated CD4+ T-cell counts despite responding unsuccessfully to their HIV medications.
Human skull evolved along with two-legged walking, study confirms
The evolution of bipedalism in fossil humans can be detected using a key feature of the skull -- a claim that was previously contested but now has been further validated by researchers at Stony Brook University and the University of Texas at Austin.
Russian scientists and Chinese business collaboration development
On March 16, 2017, Peter the Great Saint-Petersburg Polytechnic University signed an agreement with Chinese companies Inner Mongolia Carbon Valley Technology Co. with participation of Suzhou Dade Carbon Nanotechnology Co.
Routine blood tests can help measure a patient's future risk for chronic disease, new study finds
A new study by researchers at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Salt Lake City finds that combining information from routine blood tests and age of primary care patients can create a score that measures future risk of chronic disease.
New study finds people who have high levels of two markers at high risk of adverse heart events
New research suggests that GlycA, a newly identified blood marker, and C-reactive protein both independently predict major adverse cardiac events, including heart failure and death.

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