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Science Current Events and Science News | Brightsurf | April 12, 2017


US streams carry surprisingly extensive mixture of pollutants
Many US waterways carry a variety of pollutants, but not much is known about the composition or health effects of these chemical combinations.
Suppressing single protein greatly extends life span of mice with form of ALS, study shows
A study led by researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine has revealed a possible new therapeutic approach for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a progressive neurodegenerative disease.
Algal residue -- an alternative carbon resource for pharmaceuticals and polyesters
Researchers at Tokyo Institute of Technology found that algal residue, the leftover material after extracting oil from algae for biofuel, can be used to produce key industrial chemicals.
Predicting a patient's future firearm violence risk in the emergency department
A new study, from researchers at Michigan Medicine, sought to provide emergency department physicians with a new clinical risk index tool to gauge firearm violence risk among urban youth.
Gut microbes contribute to age-associated inflammation: Mouse study
Inflammation increases with age and is a strong risk factor for death in the elderly, but the underlying cause has not been clear.
Why treating animals may be important in fighting resurgent tropical disease
As the World Health Organization steps up its efforts to eradicate a once-rampant tropical disease, a University of Washington study suggests that monitoring, and potentially treating, the monkeys that co-exist with humans in affected parts of the world may be part of the global strategy.
Researchers seek new ways to improve earthquake risk communications
The public wants to know more about earthquake risk and how best to manage it, surveys show, but scientists and engineers must adapt their communication skills to meet these public needs, researchers will report at the 2017 Seismological Society of America's (SSA) Annual Meeting.
Proof that magnesium could prevent fractures
Magnesium could hold the key to preventing one of the most preventable causes of disability in middle-aged to elderly people, according to new research led by academics at the universities of Bristol and Eastern Finland.
Virginia Tech scientists discover early dinosaur cousin had a surprising croc-like look
Teleocrater and other recently discovered dinosaur cousins show that these animals were widespread during the Triassic Period and lived in modern day Russia, India, and Brazil.
More than a 'gut feeling' on cause of age-associated inflammation
Bowdish and her colleagues raised mice in germ-free conditions and compared them to their conventionally raised counterparts.
Mosquito egg hunt: Many Culex species prefer alternatives to standing water
The conventional wisdom about where many mosquitoes lay their eggs -- in standing water -- is not always wise.
Timely augmentation to triple oral antihyperglycemic therapy
A multicentre, randomized, controlled clinical trial called 'STRATEGY study' which enrolled 5535 type 2 diabetic patients from 237 centers across China, shows that the addition of a third oral antihyperglycemic drug led to a further 0.59% HbA1c reduction and resulted in a 62.3% HbA1c target achievement rate for the entire study.
UM-Palmitoylethanolamide can slow down Parkinson's disease
Parkinson's disease, the most common movement disorder, reportedly afflicts 53 million people and results in about 103,000 deaths globally.
Physicians' misunderstanding of genetic test results may hamper mastectomy decisions
A recent survey of over 2,000 women newly diagnosed with breast cancer found that half of those who undergo bilateral mastectomy after genetic testing don't actually have mutations known to confer increased risk of additional cancers, according to a study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and four other US medical centers.
How to color a lizard: From biology to mathematics
Skin color patterns in animals arise from microscopic interactions among colored cells that obey equations discovered by Alan Turing.
NIH scientists advance understanding of herpesvirus infection
Herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections last a lifetime. Once a person has been infected, the virus can remain dormant (latent) for years before periodically reactivating to cause recurrent disease.
Are wolves becoming domesticated again?
On landscapes around the world, environmental change is bringing people and large carnivores together -- but the union is not without its problems.
Researchers release first chemical map of dyes from historic dye library
Researchers from North Carolina State University have released the first chemical 'map' of dyes from the Max A.
Study identifies effects of EU expansion on labor, research
The EU expansion of 2004 opened doors for more highly skilled workers -- including scientists -- to circulate their knowledge, more often from west to east than the traditional east-to-west exchange.
New report on how to improve speed, effectiveness of clinical trials during an epidemic
Mobilization of a rapid and robust clinical research program that explores whether investigational therapeutics and vaccines are safe and effective to combat the next infectious disease epidemic will depend on strengthening capacity in low-income countries for response and research, engaging people living in affected communities, and conducting safety trials before an epidemic hits, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
New 3-D printing method creates shape-shifting objects
A team of researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology and two other institutions has developed a new 3-D printing method to create objects that can permanently transform into a range of different shapes in response to heat.
Surprisingly long lifetime of high adhesion property of plasma-treated PTFE
Osaka University researchers report heat-assisted plasma treatment can expand PTFE's applications to the medical and food fields.
New lettuce genome assembly offers clues to success of huge plant family
UC Davis researchers have unlocked a treasure-trove of genetic information about lettuce and related plants, completing the first reported comprehensive genome assembly for lettuce and the massive Compositae plant family.
From opioid-free to long-term user, in one operation: Study shows key role of surgery
Having surgery always comes with risks. But a new study suggests a new one to add to the usual list: the risk of becoming a long-term opioid user.
Surprising brain change appears to drive alcohol dependence
A new study led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) could help researchers develop personalized treatments for alcoholism and alcohol use disorder.
Ants rescue their injured
Ants operate a unique rescue system: when an insect is injured during a fight, it calls for help.
Researchers reveal developmental mechanisms behind rare bone marrow disorder
Myelodysplastic syndrome is an umbrella term used to describe disorders characterized by the bone marrow's inability to produce normal blood cells.
Developing a microinsurance plan for California earthquakes
Nine out of 10 Californians are uninsured against earthquake risk, which could slow economic recovery in neighborhoods and cities around the state after a damaging quake.
New imaging technique shows effectiveness of cystic fibrosis drug
Cystic fibrosis currently has no cure, though a drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration treats the underlying cause of the disease.
Anticipating hazards from fracking-induced earthquakes in Canada and US
As hydraulic fracturing operations expand in Canada and in some parts of the United States, researchers at the 2017 Seismological Society of America's (SSA) Annual Meeting are taking a closer look at ways to minimize hazards from the earthquakes triggered by those operations.
Minneapolis study finds most major heart attacks occur in people with normal cholesterol
Researchers wanted to find out if new statin guidelines were affecting the number of heart attacks.
4-D printing gets simpler and faster
A group of researchers from the Singapore University of Technology and Design, Georgia Institute of Technology, Xi'an Jiaotong University and Zhejiang University has introduced an approach that significantly simplifies and increases the potential of 4-D printing by incorporating the mechanical programming post-processing step directly into the 3-D printing process.
Ethics study: Inconsistent state laws may complicate medical decision-making
A patchwork of state laws creates a labyrinth that can make it confusing to navigate incapacitated patients' medical wishes.
Gene silencing shows promise for treating 2 fatal neurological disorders
In two studies of mice, researchers showed that a drug, engineered to combat the gene that causes spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 (SCA2), might also be used to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Study of sleep apps finds room for improvement
An analysis of 35 popular phone-based sleep apps finds that while most help users set sleep-related goals and track and manage their sleep, few make use of other methods known to help the chronically sleep-deprived.
Discovery of early, 'croc-like' reptile sheds new light on evolution of dinosaurs
A new species of ancient reptile has been described by scientists at the University of Birmingham, filling a critical gap in the fossil record of dinosaur cousins and suggesting that some features thought to characterise dinosaurs evolved much earlier than previously thought.
Silk clothing offers no benefit for children with eczema, study finds
Wearing silk clothing offers no additional benefit for children who suffer from moderate to severe eczema, a study led by researchers at The University of Nottingham has found.
Ban on trans fats in diet may reduce heart attacks and stroke
People living in areas that restrict trans fats in foods had fewer hospitalizations for heart attack and stroke compared to residents in areas without restrictions, according to a study led by a Yale researcher.
Nuclear transfer of mitochondrial DNA in colon and rectal cancer
Patients with colon and rectal cancer have somatic insertions of mitochondrial DNA into the nuclear genomes of the cancer cells, UAB researchers report in the journal Genome Medicine.
Potential new applications stem from controlling particles' spin configurations
Fermions are ubiquitous elementary particles. They span from electrons in metals, to protons and neutrons in nuclei and to quarks at the sub-nuclear level.
Adolescents with frequent PE more informed about physical activity's role in health
Frequent, long-term instruction in physical education not only helps adolescents be more fit but also equips them with knowledge about how regular physical activity relates to good health.
Researchers track fish migration by testing DNA in seawater
For the first time, researchers have successfully recorded fish migration by conducting DNA tests on seawater samples.
Tick tock, stay ahead of the aging clock!
Ageing in humans (and animals) can be seen as either an inevitable process of wear and tear or as an inherent biological programme by which the lifespan of each species is more or less predetermined.
New research finds substantial increase in CVI procedures in medicare population
A new study by the Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute found that utilization of procedures to treat chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) in the Medicare population increased markedly from 2005 through 2014.
Vitamin B diminishes effects of air pollution-induced cardiovascular disease
B vitamins can mitigate the impact of fine particle pollution on cardiovascular disease.
Exercise associated with improved heart attack survival
Exercise is associated with improved survival after a heart attack, according to research published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.
Smartphone addiction leads to personal, social, workplace problems
Excessive smartphone use leads to problems, and females are especially susceptible to addiction, according to new research from Binghamton University- State University of New York.
Genetics of first-cousin marriage families show how some are protected from heart disease
More than 1,800 individuals carrying loss-of-function mutations in both copies of their genes, so-called 'human knockouts,' are described in the first major study to be published by an international collaboration.
Mapping food color regulations in the EU and the US
New study suggests that EU and the US companies and consumers have much to gain from closer cooperation on food coloring.
Prescribed fires consume Kansas landscape
Most if not all the fires in this image taken by Suomi NPP satellite's VIIRS (Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite) instrument on April 11, 2017 are controlled fires set by farmers to manage land.
New, persistent opioid use common after surgery
Among about 36,000 patients, approximately 6 percent continued to use opioids more than three months after their surgery, with rates not differing between major and minor surgical procedures, according to a study published by JAMA Surgery.
Researchers discover Moabosaurus in Utah's 'gold mine'
Move over, honeybee and seagull: it's time to meet Moabosaurus utahensis, Utah's newly discovered dinosaur, whose past reveals even more about the state's long-term history.
New method for 3-D printing extraterrestrial materials
3-D printing with lunar and Martian dust-based inks presents a new, sustainable method for extraterrestrial manufacturing of soft and hard structures and objects.
NSU researchers studying how to disrupt bacteria to better treat infections
Bacteria are everywhere. And despite widespread belief, not all bacteria are 'bad.' However, to combat those that can cause health issues for humans, there has been an over-reliance on the use of antibiotics -- so much so, that many of them are now proving ineffective due to bacteria developing increased resistance to them.
Collisions generate gas in debris disks
By examining the atomic carbon line from two young star systems -- 49 Ceti and Beta Pictoris -- researchers had found atomic carbon in the disk, the first time this observation has been made at sub-millimeter wavelength, hinting that the gas in debris disks is not primordial, but rather is generated from some process of collisions taking place in the debris disk.
A whiff of warning at the pool
The German toy sector is constantly growing. Simultaneously, hundreds of toys are withdrawn from the market every year.
Waterloo researchers capture first image of a dark matter web that connects galaxies
Researchers at the University of Waterloo have been able to capture the first composite image of a dark matter bridge that connects galaxies together.
Both too much, too little weight tied to migraine
Both obesity and being underweight are associated with an increased risk for migraine, according to a meta-analysis published in the April 12, 2017, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
A big-picture look at the world's worst Ebola epidemic
An international effort to analyze the entire database of Ebola virus genomes from the 2013-2016 West African epidemic reveals insights into factors that sped or slowed the rampage and calls for using real-time sequencing and data-sharing to contain future viral disease outbreaks.
Mayo, ASU program helps mothers in medical professions lower stress and beat burnout
Mothers who work as health care professionals, such as physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners, can reduce their stress levels and burnout significantly by participating in close supportive groups at work, according to a new study by researchers at Arizona State University and Mayo Clinic.
Lab on a chip designed to minimize preterm births
With help from a palm-sized plastic rectangle, researchers are hoping to minimize the problem of premature deliveries.
Art of paper-cutting inspires self-charging paper device
Despite the many advances in portable electronic devices, one thing remains constant: the need to plug them into a wall socket to recharge.
JNeurosci: Highlights from the April 12 issue
Check out these newsworthy studies from the April 12, 2017, issue of JNeurosci.
New night lights maps open up possible real-time applications
New global maps of Earth at night provide the clearest-ever composite view of the patterns of human settlement across our planet.
UBC researchers connect common fats to a lazy lifestyle and diabetes
A UBC researcher is suggesting the types of cooking oils people consume may be sabotaging their efforts to stay healthy and avoid illnesses such as diabetes.
Hot flashes could signal increased risk of heart disease
Hot flashes, one of the most common symptoms of menopause, have already been shown to interfere with a woman's overall quality of life.
Human cognitive map scales according to surroundings
A new study published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences refines our understanding of a human skill -- the ability to instantaneously assess a new environment and get oriented thanks to visual cues.
Study finds Pokemon Go players are happier, friendlier
Pokemon Go people are happy people. That's the finding of media researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison who leapt to study the wildly popular mobile game shortly after its release in July 2016.
Common factor links neurodegenerative disease in young and old
Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), identified a common mechanism in two forms of neurodegeneration that affect young adults or the elderly.
Struggling with different work identities? Your work may suffer
Few people are just one person at work. You may be both a manager and an employee.
Is there something up with stinky inflatable pool toys?
Inflatable toys and swimming aids, like bathing rings and arm bands, often have a distinctive smell which could indicate that they contain a range of potentially hazardous substances.
More than $16 billion spent on cosmetic plastic surgery
A new report from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reveals that Americans spent more than ever before -- $16 billion -- on cosmetic plastic surgery and minimally invasive procedures in 2016.
Elephants' 'body awareness' adds to increasing evidence of their intelligence
Asian elephants are able to recognize their bodies as obstacles to success in problem-solving, further strengthening evidence of their intelligence and self-awareness, according to a new study from the University of Cambridge.
People suffering heart attacks near major marathons face grimmer survival odds
People who suffer heart attacks and cardiac arrests in the vicinity of major marathons are more likely to die within a month.
Geography and culture may shape Latin American and Caribbean maize
Variations in Latin American and Caribbean maize populations may be linked to anthropological events such as migration and agriculture, according to a study published April 12, 2017 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Claudia Bedoya from the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and colleagues.
Polar glaciers may be home to previously undiscovered carbon cycle
Microbes in streams flowing on the surface of glaciers in the Arctic and Antarctic may represent a previously underestimated source of organic material and be part of an as yet undiscovered 'dynamic local carbon cycle,' according to a new paper published by researchers supported by the National Science Foundation.
Early dinosaur 'cousin' discovered -- and it's not like scientists thought it'd be
Dinosaurs, pterosaurs, birds, and crocodiles are all part of a group called archosaurs.
Nanopores could map small changes in DNA that signal big shifts in cancer
Detecting cancer early, just as changes are beginning in DNA, could enhance diagnosis and treatment as well as further our understanding of the disease.
Melatonin may protect the small intestine from oral radiation treatment in rats
Oral melatonin can protect the small intestine in rats subjected to radiotherapy of the tongue, according to a study published April 12, 2017 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Germaine Escames from Universidad de Granada, Spain, and colleagues.
Restrictions on trans-fatty acid consumption associated with decrease in hospitalization for heart attack
There has been a greater decline in hospitalizations for cardiovascular events (heart attack and stroke combined) in New York counties that enacted restrictions on trans-fatty acids in eateries compared with counties without restrictions, according to a study published by JAMA Cardiology.
Classifying English proficiency varies by district, with mixed outcomes for students
The threshold for transitioning students from English learners to fluent English proficient status -- a process termed reclassification -- varies widely across and within states, finds a study by NYU's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, Oregon State University, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Seismologists offer detailed look at New Zealand's Kaikoura earthquake
The magnitude 7.8 Kaikoura earthquake that struck the South Island of New Zealand last November was the largest on-land recorded earthquake in the country's history.
Gene-editing alternative corrects Duchenne muscular dystrophy
Using the new gene-editing enzyme CRISPR-Cpf1, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have successfully corrected Duchenne muscular dystrophy in human cells and mice in the lab.
Naren Vyavahare receives $1.47 million from NIH for nanoparticle research
One of the top ten killers for men older than 55 is the target of Clemson University research that could lead to a new life-saving therapy and a better way of telling whether surgery is necessary.
Research suggests potential therapy to prevent 'chemobrain' in cancer patients
Experiments showed that a compound called 'KU-32' prevents cognitive decline in rats caused by chemotherapy treatment.
Early school starts pit teens in a conflict between society, biology
At an April conference in Washington, D.C., Brown University Professor Mary Carskadon will describe decades of research that explain why adolescent biology makes the 7:30 a.m. school bell so problematic.
Report reveals prevalence of sexual assault in nursing homes
A new paper in The Gerontologist examined sexual assault in nursing homes.
How polar bears find their prey
Researchers at the University of Alberta have demystified the way that polar bears search for their typical prey of ringed seals.
On-the-range detection technology could corral bovine TB
A research breakthrough allowing the first direct, empirical, blood-based, cow-side test for diagnosing bovine tuberculosis (TB) could spare ranchers and the agriculture industry from costly quarantines and the mass slaughter of animals infected with this easily spread disease.
The most accurate measurement of rare meson decay confirms modern physics
Many scientists working on the LHCb experiment at CERN had hoped that the just achieved, exceptional accuracy in the measurement of the rare decay of the Bs0 meson would at last delineate the limits of the Standard Model, the current theory of the structure of matter, and reveal the first phenomena unknown to modern physics.
SLU heart failure expert pens editorial for New England Journal of Medicine
In patients experiencing a worsening of heart failure, the primary objective of treatment should be the patient-centric goal of symptom relief, says the author of an editorial in the current issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Researchers find mushrooms may hold clues to effect of carbon dioxide on lawns
Since the Industrial Revolution, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has rapidly increased.
The Lancet Infectious Diseases: Post-SARS, infection rates in China have steadied, but fast-growing and common infections now need attention
Following the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2003, China stepped up its prevention and control methods for all infectious diseases, and rates of infection have levelled off since 2009.
Retraining the brain to see after stroke
A new study out today in Neurology, provides the first evidence that rigorous visual training restores rudimentary sight in patients who went partially blind after suffering a stroke, while patients who did not train continued to get progressively worse.
Aspirin therapy may not help patients with peripheral vascular disease, researchers find
Aspirin use may not provide cardiovascular benefits for patients who have peripheral vascular disease, an analysis by University of Florida Health researchers has found.
Look to lactate to help predict ill cats' prognoses, Penn Vet study says
Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine performed a retrospective study of cats treated in the intensive care unit of Penn's Ryan Hospital.
How some battery materials expand without cracking
New findings from MIT and elsewhere show some phosphate-based battery materials can change from crystalline to glassy while in use, possibly opening new avenues for design of batteries.
Targeting blood vessels to improve cancer immunotherapy
EPFL scientists have improved the efficacy of cancer immunotherapy by blocking two proteins that regulate the growth of tumor blood vessels.
Naked DNA in water tells if fish have arrived
For the first time, scientists have recorded a spring fish migration simply by conducting DNA tests on water samples.
US scientific research enterprise should take action to protect integrity in research
All stakeholders in the scientific research enterprise -- researchers, institutions, publishers, funders, scientific societies, and federal agencies -- should improve their practices and policies to respond to threats to the integrity of research, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
Tool for checking complex computer architectures reveals flaws in emerging design
With backing from some of the largest technology companies, a major project called RISC-V seeks to facilitate open-source design for computer chips, offering the possibility of opening chip designs beyond the few firms that currently dominate the space.
ALMA investigates 'DeeDee,' a distant, dim member of our solar system
Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), astronomers have revealed extraordinary details about a recently discovered far-flung member of our solar system, the planetary body 2014 UZ224, more informally known as DeeDee.
Scientists discover fossil of dinosaur ancestor with surprising croc-like appearance
Scientists have long wondered what the earliest dinosaur relatives looked like.
A simple sniff
A team of engineers from Washington University in St. Louis has combined nanoparticles, aerosol science and locusts in new proof-of-concept research that could someday vastly improve drug delivery to the brain, making it as simple as a sniff.
Treatment reverses signs of 2 degenerative brain diseases, ALS and ataxia, in mice
Scientists report a significant step toward combatting two degenerative brain diseases that chip away at an individual's ability to move, and think.
Tackling Ebola, from supportive care to vaccines in clinical development
A new study reports the first detailed description of the day-by-day immune responses observed during the course of a patient's progression through, and recovery from, Ebola virus disease (EVD).
Oklahoma is laboratory for research on human-induced earthquakes
Earthquakes such as the February 2016 magnitude 5.1 Fairview quake, November 2016's 5.0 Cushing quake, and the September 2016 5.8 Pawnee quake -- the state's largest in historic times -- have made Oklahoma a laboratory for studying human-induced seismicity, according to researchers gathering at the 2017 Seismological Society of America's (SSA) Annual meeting.
Annotated photos highlight long-term international collaboration in atmospheric sciences
International cooperation is an essential prerequisite for long-term success in atmospheric sciences, an enterprise of global scale by its very nature.
NIH study of Ebola patient traces disease progression and recovery
Analysis of daily gene activation in a patient with severe Ebola virus disease cared for at NIH in 2015 found changes in antiviral and immune response genes that pinpointed key transition points in the response to infection.
Catch me if you can
In a study published today in the journal Scientific Reports, researchers at the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown in Lisbon, use advanced genetic and behavioral tools to establish that walking speed is in fact a key indicator of female's receptivity and discover neurons that control mating in the brain of fruit flies.

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