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Science Current Events and Science News | Brightsurf | April 13, 2017


Nuclease-resistant hybrid nanoflowers
An eco-friendly method to synthesize DNA-copper nanoflowers with high load efficiencies, low cytotoxicity, and strong resistance against nucleases has been developed by Professor Hyun Gyu Park in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and his collaborators.
Defects in epithelial tissue organization -- A question of life or death
Researchers from the Mechanobiology Institute, Singapore at the National University of Singapore have discovered the primary mechanism driving the extrusion of dying cells from epithelial monolayers.
People sensitive to sexual disgust more likely to be Kantian
Every person has both utilitarian (consequentialist) and Kantian (duty- or rule-based) moral intuitions, which are activated in different situations in different ways.
First large-scale survey of Chagas disease in the United States confirms that the 'silent killer' is a major public health challenge for the country
A study of almost 5,000 Latin American-born residents of Los Angeles County found that 1.24 percent tested positive for Chagas disease, a parasitic infection that can cause life-threatening heart damage if not treated early.
New material could save time and money in medical imaging and environmental remediation
Chemists at the University of Texas at Austin have developed a material that holds the key to cheap, fast and portable new sensors for a wide range of chemicals that right now cost government and industries large sums to detect.
Hunting accounts for 83 and 58 percent declines in tropical mammal and bird populations
Hunting is a major threat to wildlife particularly in tropical regions, but a systematic large-scale estimate of hunting-induced declines of animal numbers was lacking so far.
Gonorrhea manipulates an anti-infection mechanism in the female reproductive tract
The bacterium that causes gonorrhea infects the female reproductive tract by breaking connections between cells in the tract's protective lining, according to new research published in PLOS Pathogens.
Nearly two billion people depend on imported food
For the first time, researchers at Aalto University have been able to show a broad connection between resource scarcity, population pressure, and food imports, in a study published in Earth's Future.
Fewer repeat hospital admissions after 'vertical integration' of healthcare
'Vertical integration' of healthcare--closer coordination of care between primary care and hospitals--leads to a lower rate of hospital readmissions, suggests an experience from Portugal reported in the May issue of Medical Care.
25 is 'golden age' for the ability to make random choices
People's ability to make random choices or mimic a random process, such as coming up with hypothetical results for a series of coin flips, peaks around age 25, according to a study published in PLOS Computational Biology.
Cancer occurrence among African-born blacks differs substantially from US-born blacks
The cancer profile of African-born blacks differs from that of United States-born blacks and varies by region of birth, according to a new study.
Regulator of chromosome structure crucial to healthy brain function and nerve development
Research led by Osaka University showed that a regulatory protein of chromosome structure (cohesin) is essential for proper maintenance of gene expression in the developing brain.
Study of US opioid users shows Venebio's overdose risk index to have 90% accuracy
A recent study published in Pain Medicine validates the strong performance of Venebio Group's risk index tool -- Venebio Opioid Advisor (VOA) -- at predicting the likelihood of a life-threatening overdose in patients taking a prescription opioid.
Harnessing CRISPR for rapid detection of viral and bacterial infection
Researchers have created a version of CRISPR-Cas that can be used to diagnose infections, such as Zika and dengue, with a high level of sensitivity.
When it comes to your profile picture, let a stranger do the choosing
When trying to pick the most flattering pictures for online profiles, it may be best to let a stranger do the choosing, a study published in the open-access journal Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications suggests.
The Black Panther Party -- its struggles and achievements
The Golden Jubilee of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, which took place in October 2016, is the topic of a new special issue in the Journal of African American Studies, published by Springer.
Forecasting large earthquakes along the Wasatch Front, Utah
There is a 43 percent probability that the Wasatch Front region in Utah will experience at least one magnitude 6.75 or greater earthquake, and a 57 percent probability of at least one magnitude 6.0 earthquake, in the next 50 years, say researchers speaking at the 2017 Seismological Society of America's (SSA) Annual Meeting.
US companies performed 18 percent of R&D outside the United States in 2013
U.S. companies spent $73 billion on research and development (R&D) performed outside the United States in 2013, according to a new report by the National Science Foundation's National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics.
Bacterial supermachine reveals streamlined protein assembly line
In a paper published in Science, biochemists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Biophysical Chemistry in Germany have revealed the defined architecture of what is called the 'expressome.'
The new method of analysis in record high speed DNA assay device
In medical diagnostics, the importance of genetic code assays is growing day by day and modern molecular biology could not do without it.
Citizen scientists help identify shorebird extinction threat
An international team of citizen scientists and researchers has identified a major contributor to the dramatic decline of migratory shorebird populations in Australia.
99-million-year-old termite-loving thieves caught in Burmese amber
A research team led by NIGPAS reported the oldest, morphologically specialized, and obligate termitophiles from mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber, which represent the oldest known termitophiles, and reveal that ancient termite societies were quickly invaded by beetles about 99 million years ago.
A battery prototype powered by atmospheric nitrogen
As the most abundant gas in Earth's atmosphere, nitrogen has been an attractive option as a source of renewable energy.
Study identifies a genetic link to susceptibility and resistance to inflammatory bowel disease
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), characterized by chronic relapsing inflammation of the gut, is a common problem in the industrialized world.
MicroRNA may reduce stroke risk
The molecule microRNA-210 stabilises deposits in the carotid artery and can prevent them from tearing.
New study emphasizes the relative scarcity of lake water
What is the volume of water in lakes on Earth?
Kent State University at Stark research unravels mysteries of mouthparts of butterflies
Matthew S. Lehnert, assistant professor of biological sciences at Kent State University at Stark, has been studying how the mouthparts of butterflies and moths work since 2010.
Study discovers fundamental unit of cell size in bacteria
By applying mathematical models to a large number of experiments in which bacterial growth is inhibited, a team of physicists, biologists and bioengineers from UC San Diego developed a 'general growth law' that explains the relationship between the average cell size of bacteria and how fast they grow.
Shedding light on the absorption of light by titanium dioxide
EPFL scientists have uncovered the hidden properties of titanium dioxide, one of the most promising materials for light-conversion technology.
Scientists tag humpback whales in southeast Pacific
Whales from both poles migrate long distances to breed in tropical waters.
Advantage: Water
When water comes in for a landing on the common catalyst titanium oxide, it splits into hydroxyls just under half the time.
Visualizing future doesn't increase delayed gratification, Penn study shows
Joseph Kable and Trishala Parthasarathi of the University of Pennsylvania found that visualizing the future doesn't cause people to delay gratification but rather increases impulsivity.
When it comes to reading, kindergarten is the new first grade
A new nationwide study has found that children entering first grade in 2013 had significantly better reading skills than similar students had just 12 years earlier.
New infrared-emitting device could allow energy harvesting from waste heat
A new reconfigurable device that emits patterns of thermal infrared light in a fully controllable manner could one day make it possible to collect waste heat at infrared wavelengths and turn it into usable energy.
Trust in local community leads to better long-term decisions among the poor
Research led by Princeton University finds that low-income individuals who trust their communities make better long-term financial decisions.
Are tumor cells glutamine addicts?
Many tumors are thought to depend on glutamine, suggesting glutamine deprivation as therapeutic approach, but a new study shows that this effect might have been overestimated.
Unveiling how nucleosome repositioning occurs to shed light on genetic diseases
A research group led by a Waseda University professor became the first in the world to unveil the three-dimensional structure of an overlapping dinucleosome, a newly discovered chromatin structural unit.
Methane seeps in the Canadian high Arctic
Cretaceous climate warming led to a significant methane release from the seafloor, indicating potential for similar destabilization of gas hydrates under modern global warming.
How nature engineered the original rotary motor
To function properly and propel the bacterium, the flagellum requires all of its components to fit together to exacting measurements.
Cassini detects hydrothermal processes on one of Saturn's moons
In 2015, during the Cassini spacecraft's deepest-ever dive into the plume of spray that emanates from cracks in the south polar region of the ice-covered Saturnian moon Enceladus, instruments detected the presence of molecular hydrogen in the plume vapor.
Scientists discover master switch to turn on silent biosynthetic gene clusters
Scientists at Princeton University have discovered a global regulator in the model bacterium Burkholderia thailandensis that 'switches on' many silent clusters at once, unleashing their full ability to make possible drug candidate natural products.
SwRI scientists discover evidence for a habitable region within Saturn's moon Enceladus
Scientists from Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) have discovered hydrogen gas in the plume of material spraying from Saturn's moon Enceladus.
It's still a bad idea to text while driving even with a head-up display
Advances in wearable technology offer new possibilities for in-vehicle interaction but also present new challenges for managing driver attention and regulating device use in vehicles.
Can unemployment increase stroke risk?
In middle-age Japanese men and women, losing their job increased their risk of having a stroke and dying of stroke; while a new job increased stroke risk even more, especially in men.
New study reveals highest risk profiles for opioid overdose
Individuals suffering from a substance use disorder (SUD) or depression are among those at highest risk for a serious prescription opioid overdose, according to a study published in Pain Medicine.
High-flying experiments demonstrate potential of balloon-borne infrasound detection
Experiments conducted high in the skies over New Mexico suggest that balloon-borne sensors could be useful in detecting the infrasound signals generated by small, extraterrestrial debris entering Earth's atmosphere, according to a report at the 2017 Seismological Society of America's (SSA) Annual Meeting.
Specialized blood vessels enhance tumor-fighting immunotherapy
Scientists from VIB and KU Leuven, together with colleagues from the University of California and the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research have demonstrated that, anti-angiogenic therapy can improve immune boosting treatments.
AI systems exhibit gender and racial biases when learning language
As artificial intelligence systems 'learn' language from existing texts, they exhibit the same biases that humans do, a new study reveals.
Deciphering plant immunity against parasites
Nematodes are a huge threat to agriculture since they parasitize important crops such as wheat, soybean, and banana; but plants can defend themselves.
Married LGBT older adults are healthier, happier than singles, study finds
Same-sex marriage has been the law of the land for nearly two years -- and in some states for even longer -- but researchers can already detect positive health outcomes among couples who have tied the knot, a University of Washington study finds.
The world's most spoken language is...'Terpene'
If you're small, smells are a good way to stand out.
Computer game helps scientists understand animal camouflage
Online computer games played by more than 30,000 people have helped scientists understand animal camouflage and color vision.
Scientists unveil CRISPR-based diagnostic platform
A team of scientists from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT, the Institute for Medical Engineering & Science at MIT, and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University has adapted a CRISPR protein that targets RNA (rather than DNA) as a rapid, inexpensive, highly sensitive diagnostic tool with the potential for a transformative effect on research and global public health.
With magnetic map, young eels catch a 'free ride' to Europe
Each year, young European eels make their way from breeding grounds in the Sargasso Sea to coastal and freshwater habitats from North Africa to Scandinavia, where they live for several years before returning to the Sargasso Sea to spawn and then die, beginning the cycle again.
Device pulls water from dry air, powered only by the sun
While it's easy to condense water from humid air, machines that harvest water from drier air require energy.
Study examines cognitive and psychosocial function of retired professional hockey players
Researchers at Baycrest Health Sciences' Rotman Research Institute have reported the most comprehensive neuropsychological study of retired professional ice hockey players to date.
Common drugs, uncommon risks? Higher rate of serious problems after short-term steroid use
People taking corticosteroids for short-term relief were more likely to break a bone, have a potentially dangerous blood clot or develop sepsis in the months after treatment, compared with similar adults who didn't use the drugs, a new study finds.
Study examines impact of common risk factors on outcomes for home and birth center births
Women with some characteristics commonly thought to increase pregnancy risks -- being over age 35; being overweight; and in some cases, having a vaginal birth after a cesarean section -- tend to have good outcomes when they give birth at home or in a birth center, a new assessment has found.
Policymakers 'flying blind' into the future of work
Will a robot take away my job? Many people ask that question, yet policymakers don't have the kind of information they need to answer it intelligently, say the authors of a new study from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM).
UVA finds way to view genes inside living cells
3-D maps of gene locations could have a huge impact in our understanding of human health and in the battle against disease.
Crooked bite may indicate early life stress
Research has shown that the first 1,000 days after conception strongly influence a person's life expectancy and disease susceptibility.
Could New York neighborhood noise be good for poor residents?
Loud workplace noise has been found by many studies to cause harm, but a recent analysis links the sounds of all-night car horn blasts and shouting by bar revelers in New York City's noisiest neighborhoods to unexplained improvements in body weight and blood pressure for the urban poor living there.
Technique improves breast reduction outcomes
Research led by Frank Lau, M.D., Assistant Professor of Clinical Surgery at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine, has found that long-term breast reduction outcomes can be improved by using techniques that minimally disrupt the lower breast suspensory ligaments.
Biased bots: Human prejudices sneak into artificial intelligence systems
In debates over the future of artificial intelligence, many experts think of the new systems as coldly logical and objectively rational.
Think you can handle your alcohol? Study may urge some drinkers to think again
Heavy drinkers develop behavioral tolerance to alcohol over time on some fine motor tasks, but not on more complex tasks, suggests a study led by a Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System researcher.
Next 10 years critical for achieving climate change goals
In order to have a good chance of meeting the limits set by the Paris Agreement, it will be necessary to both reduce greenhouse gas emissions while preserving carbon sinks, with net emissions peaking in the next 10 years, according to a new study.
Method improves semiconductor fiber optics, paves way for developing devices
A new method to improve semiconductor fiber optics may lead to a material structure that might one day revolutionize the global transmission of data, according to an interdisciplinary team of researchers.
Immune system can spot tell-tale change in identity of cancer antigens -- study
A new study has identified novel mechanisms whereby T cells may be able to distinguish an emerging class of targets specifically increased on cancer cells.
How training patients for surgery shortens hospital stays and saves money
Basic fitness and wellness coaching, administered in advance, could reduce a surgical patient's average hospital stay two days, from seven down to five, according to a study by University of Michigan surgeons.
Nanotubes that build themselves
Researchers from Lund University in Sweden have succeeded in producing nanotubes from a single building block using so-called molecular self-recognition.
Mindfulness just as effective as CBT for a broad range of psychiatric symptoms
Mindfulness group therapy has an equally positive effect as individual CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) for the treatment of a wide range of psychiatric symptoms in patients with depression, anxiety and stress-related disorders.
Hunting by humans significantly reduces bird and mammal populations
In tropical forests, bird and mammal populations are significantly lower -- 53 percent and 82 percent respectively -- in areas where hunting occurs, a new study finds.
Green IT: New switching process in non-volatile spintronics devices
Physicists achieved a robust and reliable magnetization switching process by domain wall displacement without any applied fields.
Drinking iced tea may boost cholera risk in endemic countries
After more than a decade of declining cholera incidence, Vietnam faced an increase in cases of the diarrheal disease during 2007-2010.
The relationship between drug injection risk behaviors and immune activation
Investigators examined the relationship between injection drug use and immune activation in a sample of HIV infected and uninfected PWID.
The dangers of being a saber-toothed cat in Los Angeles 12,000 years ago
Large saber-toothed cats that roamed Los Angeles 12,000 years ago had many injuries to their shoulders and backbones that likely occurred when they were fighting with other large animals, UCLA biologists report.
Kidney disease is a major cause of cardiovascular deaths
In 2013, reduced kidney function was associated with 4 percent of deaths worldwide, or 2.2 million deaths.
Unraveling the mechanism of skin barrier formation
Scientists have identified the gene responsible for generating acylceramide, the key lipid in forming the skin barrier that protects us from pathogens, allergens and other harmful substances.
'Bad' air may impact 'good' cholesterol increasing heart disease risk
Traffic-related air pollution may increase risk of developing cardiovascular diseases through its effects on high-density lipoprotein (HDL), also known as 'good' cholesterol.
Worldwide survey finds 16 percent rate of acute neurological conditions in critically ill children
Sixteen percent of children in pediatric intensive care units (ICUs) have acute neurological conditions with brain damage due to cardiac arrest, traumatic brain injury, or other causes, reports an international survey study in Pediatric Critical Care Medicine.
Study links brain structure, anxiety and negative bias in healthy adults
Healthy college students who have a relatively small inferior frontal cortex - a brain region behind the temples that helps regulate thoughts and emotions - are more likely than others to suffer from anxiety, a new study finds.
Brain tissue from a petri dish
The most complex organ in humans is the brain. Due to its complexity, it is extremely difficult to do scientific experiments on it -- ones that could help us to understand neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's, for example.

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