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Science Current Events and Science News | Brightsurf | April 19, 2017


Children at greater risk for complications from brown recluse spider bites
Medical complications of brown recluse spider bites are uncommon but they can be severe, particularly in children, researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) reported today.
High-speed images capture archer fish's rocket-like launch
MIT engineers have detailed the hydrodynamics of the archer fish's rocket-like jumping behavior in a paper published in the Journal of Experimental Biology.
Earth's little garbage people? (video)
If you're enjoying some tasty food today you probably owe a little thanks to earthworms.
The brain sets a unique learning rate for everything we do, by self-adjusting to the environment
Each time we get feedback, the brain is hard at work updating its knowledge and behavior in response to changes in the environment; yet, if there's uncertainty or volatility in the environment, the entire process must be adjusted.
Seven years later: BP oil spill settlement funding new way to manage fish populations
Researchers from the University of South Florida College of Marine Science played a key role in understanding the severity of the BP oil spill.
Reduction of post-traumatic stress symptoms associated with noninvasive technology
A closed-loop acoustic stimulation brainwave technology significantly reduced symptoms in people suffering from post-traumatic stress in a small pilot study conducted at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.
Few Medicare patients take advantage of free annual wellness visits
To examine national trends and patterns of AWV use, researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital analyzed billing data of a random 20 percent sample of Medicare beneficiaries and examined visit rates across categories like race, income, and the type of health system where patients got their primary care.
Action required: Invasive fungus is killing European salamanders
A new fungal disease brought in from Asia is threatening European salamanders.
Fertility can hinge on swimming conditions in the uterus
A Washington State University researcher has found that the uterus in female mice contains enzymes that can break down semen, making it less gel-like, more watery, and therefore easier to swim in.
Increased funding for geriatrics education essential, study
Without a substantial increase in federal funding for geriatrics education and research we risk further decimating a workforce that is essential to training health professionals on the unique healthcare needs of older adults, say researchers reporting on the impact that Geriatrics Academic Career Awards (GACAs) have had on geriatrics academic careers, health professional training, and the care of older adults.
Hazardous chemicals go unregulated in routine oil and gas operations
California requires oil and gas producers to disclose chemicals used during hydraulic fracturing activities, enabling scientific and public scrutiny of potential environmental and human health hazards.
Gaming helps personalized therapy level up
Using game features in non-game contexts, computers can learn to build personalized mental- and physical-therapy programs that enhance individual motivation, according to Penn State engineers.
Twin research reveals which facial features are most controlled by genetics
Research published this week in Scientific Reports uses computer image and statistical shape analysis to shed light on which parts of the face are most likely to be inherited.
USC team develops new method to create the next fuel-efficient renewable energy
The fossil fuel fight goes on for USC scientists as they develop a new method for creating reversible hydrogen storage based on methanol, with no carbon emissions, in the last major paper co-authored by USC's first Nobel laureate, the late George Olah.
Study examines emergency department visits for patients injured by law enforcement in the US
From 2006 to 2012, there were approximately 51,000 emergency department visits per year for patients injured by law enforcement in the United States, with this number stable over this time period, according to a study published by JAMA Surgery.
First evidence for higher state of consciousness found
Scientific evidence of a 'higher' state of consciousness has been found in a study led by the University of Sussex.
Personalized workouts to prevent heart disease designed by new digital instrument
Personalized workouts to prevent heart disease can be designed by a new digital instrument, according to research published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.
The tale teeth tell about the legendary man-eating lions of Tsavo
Analysis of the microscopic wear on the teeth of the legendary man-eating lions of Tsavo reveals that shortage of normal prey did not drive them to begin killing and eating people.
Online preconception health education tool positively impacts patient care
A research team led by Priya Batra, M.D., an assistant clinical professor in residence in the School of Medicine at the University of California, Riverside, has evaluated MyFamilyPlan and found that it enabled a significant increase in the proportion of women who reported discussing their reproductive health with their doctors.
Nanoparticles remain unpredictable
The way that nanoparticles behave in the environment is extremely complex.
3-D-printable implants may ease damaged knees
A cartilage-mimicking material created by researchers at Duke University may allow surgeons to 3-D print knee menisci or other replacement parts that are custom-shaped to each patient's anatomy.
New evidence: Defective HIV proviruses hinder immune system response and cure
Researchers at Johns Hopkins and George Washington universities report new evidence that proteins created by defective forms of HIV long previously believed to be harmless actually interact with our immune systems and are actively monitored by a specific type of immune cell, called cytotoxic T cells.
Amino acids in diet could be key to starving cancer
Cutting out certain amino acids - the building blocks of proteins -- from the diet of mice slows tumor growth and prolongs survival, according to new research published in Nature.
The foundations of parenting
A team of researchers exploring the genetics underpinning parenting behaviors, found not only that different genes may influence behaviors in males and females, but that the gene for the hormone vasopressin appears to be closely tied to nest-building behavior in parenting mice.
Sociable crayfish get drunk more easily than loners
Few studies have investigated how prior social experience affects sensitivity to alcohol, but now a study from the University of Maryland shows that sociable crayfish are more sensitive than loners and suggests that similar mechanisms could make humans less sensitive to alcohol, leading them to consume more.
Fish cooperate for selfish reasons
Why do animals help raise offspring that aren't their own?
Research paves way for improved colorectal cancer test
Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine and other institutions have identified specific types of bacteria that seem to be abundant in individuals with colorectal cancer.
Science policy: Considerations for subnational governments
A new report, Science Policy: Considerations for Subnational Governments, released today by the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA), affirms the importance of explicit science policies at the subnational level.
Immature spinner dolphin calf SCUBA tanks spell disaster in tuna fisheries
Dolphins that live in the deep ocean have well developed oxygen storage, but now it turns out that spinner dolphin calves do not develop their SCUBA capacity any faster than coastal species, despite their deep diving lifestyle.
Making artificial blood for transfusions
Blood transfusions can save the lives of patients who have suffered major blood loss, but hospitals don't always have enough or the right type on hand.
Students may forget relevant information in order to protect their own psyches
A new study shows university students who identify as strong in mathematics quickly forgot much of the material from a mathematics course.
Study defines thunderstorm asthma epidemic conditions
Researchers are exploring new ways of predicting thunderstorm asthma outbreaks that may one day provide early warnings for health professionals
Speed-dependent attraction governs what goes on at the heart of midge swarms
Ever wondered what makes the collective behavior in insect swarms possible?
Telestroke guidelines from American Telemedicine Association in Telemedicine & e-Health
New guidelines to help clinicians use the latest telemedicine communication technologies to provide remote care for patients with symptoms of acute stroke are published in Telemedicine and e-Health.
The Lancet: Investing in adolescent health and education could bring 10-fold economic benefit
Improving the physical, mental and sexual health of adolescents aged 10-19 years, at the cost of US$4.6 per person per year, could bring a 10-fold economic benefit by averting 12 million adolescent deaths and preventing more than 30 million unwanted pregnancies in adolescents.
Nutrient offers hope to stop deadly march toward cirrhosis, liver cancer
A new study suggests that one type of omega 3 fatty acid offers people who are obese or have a poor diet a chance to avoid serious liver damage.
Water is streaming across Antarctica
In the first such continent-wide survey, scientists have found extensive drainages of meltwater flowing over parts of Antarctica's ice during the brief summer.
Study: Managers may compromise safety due to earnings expectations
Managers of US companies facing market pressures to meet earnings expectations may risk damaging the health and safety of workers to please investors, according to recent research from the Naveen Jindal School of Management at UT Dallas.
Evolution of cooperation through longer memory
When we make a decision about whether or not to cooperate with someone, we usually base our decision on past experiences.
Shale gas threat to forests can be eased by consolidating infrastructure
Fragmentation of ecologically important core forests within the northern Appalachians -- driven by pipeline and access road construction -- is the major threat posed by shale-gas development, according to researchers, who recommend a change in infrastructure-siting policies to head off loss of this critical habitat.
Natural experiment, dogged investigation, yield clue to devastating neurological disease
After a 29-year quest, Ian Duncan, a professor of veterinary medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has finally pinpointed the cause of a serious neurologic disease in a colony of rats.
Antibody helps detect protein implicated in Alzheimer's, other diseases
Damaging tangles of the protein tau dot the brains of people with neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and boxer's dementia.
Degradable electronic components created from corn starch
As consumers upgrade their gadgets at an increasing pace, the amount of electronic waste we generate continues to mount.
Give life-saving diagnostic tests greater priority, says new report
The development of rapid diagnostic tests to identify existing and emerging diseases, such as Ebola or SARS is being hindered by lack of international profile and financial barriers.
Under-studied boreal habitat key for North America's ducks
Knowing where migrating birds came from and where they're headed is essential for their conservation and management.
A better life in the outback
People who live in desert regions are perceived as living in hardship and isolation and surviving largely due to subsidies from the 'mainstream' economy.
Graphene 'copy machine' may produce cheap semiconductor wafers
A new technique developed by MIT engineers may vastly reduce the overall cost of wafer technology and enable devices made from more exotic, higher-performing semiconductor materials than conventional silicon.
Childhood adversity linked to increased suicide risk in adolescence
Exposure to various common childhood adversities -- such as parental psychiatric disorder, parental substance abuse or a death in the family -- is associated with a substantially increased risk of suicide in adolescence and young adulthood, finds a study published by The BMJ today.
IRCM research team discovers how immunotherapy can fight some cancers
Dr. André Veillette and his team have discovered why immunotherapy would work in some patients and not at all in others.
Closer look at brain circuits reveals important role of genetics
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) in La Jolla have revealed new clues to the wiring of the brain.
Report identifies grand challenges to better prepare for volcanic eruptions
Despite broad understanding of volcanoes, our ability to predict the timing, duration, type, size, and consequences of volcanic eruptions is limited, says a new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
Climatic effect of irrigation over the Yellow River basin
The agricultural irrigation affects the regional climate mainly through changing the surface water process.
Study on mice demonstrates the action of strawberries against breast cancer
A study by European and Latin American researchers has shown that strawberry extract can inhibit the spread of laboratory-grown breast cancer cells, even when they are inoculated in female mice to induce tumors.
Graphene and gold make a better brain probe
A team from Korea created more flexible neural electrodes that minimize tissue damage and still transmit clear brain signals.
ILC 2017: Four new EASL clinical practice guidelines on the management of liver diseases
The European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) today announced that four new Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs) will be presented at The International Liver Congress™ 2017 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and published in the Journal of Hepatology, EASL's official journal.
Review highlights why animals have evolved to favor one side of the brain
Most left-handers can rattle off a list of their eminent comrades-in-arms: Oprah Winfrey, Albert Einstein, and Barack Obama, just to name three, but they may want to add on cockatoos, 'southpaw' squirrels, and some house cats.
Making batteries from waste glass bottles
Researchers at the University of California, Riverside's Bourns College of Engineering have used waste glass bottles and a low-cost chemical process to create nanosilicon anodes for high-performance lithium-ion batteries.
Singapore scientists provide new insights on how cancers evade the immune system
A team of scientists from Singapore has discovered new ways in which cancers can escape the body's immune system.
Researchers create red-eyed mutant wasps
Researchers at UC Riverside's Akbari lab have brought a new strain of red-eyed mutant wasps into the world.
Newly discovered exoplanet may be best candidate in search for signs of life
An exoplanet orbiting a red dwarf star 40 light-years from Earth may be the new holder of the title 'best place to look for signs of life beyond the solar system.' Using ESO's HARPS instrument, and other telescopes, astronomers discovered a 'super-Earth' orbiting in the habitable zone around the star LHS 1140.
Pathologic complete response to neoadjuvant therapy in certain breast cancer patients predicts low risk for local metastases
Select breast cancer patients who achieved pathologic complete response (pCR) after chemotherapy may be able to avoid follow-up breast and lymph node, or axillary, surgery, according to new findings from researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
March participants interested in both promoting, defending science
Encouraging science-based policies and defending science from political attacks are strong motivators for March for Science participants, according to a new University of Delaware Center for Political Communication survey.
Newly discovered Egyptian carnivore named after Anubis, ancient Egyptian god of underworld
Analysis of Egyptian fossils has identified a new species of extinct carnivorous mammals called hyaenodonts, according to a study published April 19, 2017, in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Matthew Borths from Ohio University, United States of America, and Erik Seiffert from University of Southern California, United States of America.
New analysis finds Medicare program underestimates heart attack mortality rates
New analysis of Medicare's Hospital Compare portal shows the statistical methodology used to rate and compare hospitals underestimates mortality rates of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) at small hospitals.
Researchers identify best way to diagnose head injuries in children and minimize CT scans
In a trial involving more than 20,000 children, researchers compared the sensitivities of three clinical decision rules for head injuries.
Could fixing the body clock help people regain consciousness?
For people with severe brain injuries, researchers have found that the rhythm of daily fluctuations in body temperature is related to their level of consciousness, according to a preliminary study published in the April 19, 2017, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
Painkillers relieve zebrafish larvae discomfort
Uncomfortable with the increasing use of adult fish in pain research, Dr.
More than recess: How playing on the swings helps kids learn to cooperate
The measured, synchronous movement of children on the swings can encourage preschoolers to cooperate on subsequent activities, University of Washington researchers have found.
What makes a man-eater? Check the teeth
The man-eating lions of Tsavo killed dozens in 1898, and scientists are still investigating the lions' bones for clues as to why.
Protein in human umbilical cord blood rejuvenates old mice's impaired learning, memory
Human umbilical cord blood can rejuvenate learning and memory in older mice, according to a study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
Genetic control of immune cell proliferation
Scientists at IFReC, Osaka University provide new insights on why the tumor suppression gene Foxo1 can actually be the cause of some cancers.
Outpatient laparoscopic appendectomy is feasible in a public county hospital
In the first study of its kind, a research team at a large, urban public safety net hospital found that outpatient laparoscopic appendectomy (surgical removal of the appendix) is safe for patients and results in shorter hospital stays and decreased health care costs, according to study results published as an 'article in press' on the Journal of the American College of Surgeons website ahead of print publication.
Moderate-severe hot flashes significantly increase depression risk
A new study of more than 2,000 perimenopausal and menopausal women showed that moderate-severe vasomotor symptoms (hot flashes or night sweats) were an independent and significant risk factor for moderate-severe depression.
Widely disparate spending on health forecast through 2040
Spending on health care by nations is expected to increase significantly over the next two decades, but the rates of increase and sources of spending will differ widely, according to a new analysis.
Penn team characterizes the underlying cause of a form of macular degeneration
Using an animal model of Best disease in combination with biochemical and optical assays, a team of researchers at the University of Pennsylvania has pinpointed a number of abnormalities that give rise to the impairments seen in the blinding disease.
Cell biologists discover crucial 'traffic regulator' in neurons
Cell biologists from Utrecht University have discovered the protein that may be the crucial traffic regulator for the transport of vital molecules inside nerve cells.
Living with a star: NASA and partners survey space weather science
Storms from the sun can affect our power grids, railway systems and underground pipelines.
Astronomers perform largest-ever survey of high-mass binary star systems
An international group of astronomers led by researchers at the University of São Paulo's Institute of Astronomy, Geophysics & Atmospheric Sciences (IAG-USP) in Brazil, have just identified and characterized 82 new high-mass binaries located in the Tarantula Nebula, also known as 30 Doradus, in the Large Magellanic Cloud.
Broad advance from TSRI chemists dramatically simplifies olefin synthesis
Chemists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have discovered a new method that greatly simplifies, and in many cases enables for the first time, the making of a vast range of organic molecules.
U of I study ranks which production attributes are most important to consumers when buying beef, chicken
Consumers are increasingly interested in how their food is produced and look for claims such as no growth hormones, no GMOs, etc. on food products.
Ben-Gurion U. researchers develop membranes that remove viruses from drinking water
The 'zwitterionic polymer hydrogel' repels the viruses from approaching and passing through the membrane.
Universities release results on nitrogen footprints
Researchers have developed a large-scale method for calculating the nitrogen footprint of a university in the pursuit of reducing nitrogen pollution, which is linked to a cascade of negative impacts on the environment and human health, such as biodiversity loss, climate change, and smog.
Keeping tabs on tau to track neurodegenerative disorder progression
A new study reports an antibody therapy in development for the neurodegenerative disorders known as tauopathies may be eventually used as a marker to screen patients for disease progression, which could help inform much needed new therapeutic strategies for chronic traumatic encephalopathy, frontotemporal dementia, and Alzheimer's disease.
Alerting stem cells to hurry up and heal
Accelerated healing isn't just for superheroes. A new study in Cell Reports suggests a way that mere mortals can potentially speed their recovery from a wide variety of injuries.
EPA methane emission policy likely to cost less, miss 2025 targets
Stanford research shows plugging methane leaks will cost about a third less than the EPA estimates, further underscoring the cost-effectiveness of emissions mitigation -- but the agency will also likely fall short of its 2025 reduction targets.
NASA sees a well-defined center in Ex-Tropical Depression 02W's remnants
NASA's Terra satellite passed over the remnants of Tropical Depression 02W as it continued to linger west of the northern Philippines on April 19.
New blood test offers potential for faster, targeted treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer
Identification of a specific genetic mutation in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) helps clinicians select the best treatment option.
Moisture played a role in megafaunal extinctions
A new study published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution reveals that increased moisture levels may have been a primary cause of death for giant herbivores approximately 10,000 years ago.
Time-lapse cameras provide a unique peek at penguins' winter behavior
Not even the most intrepid researcher wants to spend winter in Antarctica, so how can you learn what penguins are doing during those cold, dark months?
Gelatine instead of forearm
The characteristics of human skin are heavily dependent on the hydration of the tissue -- in simple terms, the water content.
150-year-old drug may provide 'off' time relief for people with advanced Parkinson's disease
New research provides evidence that an old drug may provide relief for people with advanced Parkinson's, according to a study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 69th Annual Meeting in Boston, April 22 to 28, 2017.
Cycling or walking to and from work linked to substantial health benefits
Active commuting by bicycle is associated with a substantial decrease in the risk of death from all causes, cancer and cardiovascular disease (CVD), compared with non-active commuting by car or public transport, finds a study in The BMJ today.
Defective HIV proviruses reduce effective immune system response, interfere with HIV cure
A new study finds defective HIV proviruses, long thought to be harmless, produce viral proteins and distract the immune system from killing intact proviruses needed to reduce the HIV reservoir and cure HIV.
Adherence to high-intensity statin drops-off for many following heart attack
A substantial proportion of patients prescribed high-intensity statins following hospitalization for a heart attack did not continue taking this medication with high adherence at two years after discharge, according to a study published by JAMA Cardiology.
Noninvasive imaging test shown accurate in ruling out kidney cancers
The latest in a series of studies led by researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine shows that addition of a widely available, noninvasive imaging test called 99mTc-sestamibi SPECT/CT to CT or MRI increases the accuracy of kidney tumor classification.
Ocean current dumps plastic in remote Arctic waters
The Arctic Ocean is a dead-end for plastics floating in the North Atlantic, a new study reports.
In new paper, scientists explain climate change using before/after photographic evidence
A group of scientists offers photographic proof of climate change using images of retreating glaciers in a new paper, 'Savor the Cryosphere,' appearing in GSA Today, a peer-reviewed publication of the Geological Society of America.
Phobia of dentists leads to more decay and tooth loss, new study finds
People who have a severe fear of the dentist are more likely to have tooth decay or missing teeth, according to a new study from King's College London.
Women more sensitized than men to metal used in joint replacement
Why are women at higher risk of complications after total hip or knee replacement surgery?
New AATS consensus statement highlights safety of surgical ablation for atrial fibrillation
While there is no cure for atrial fibrillation, many successful treatments are available, including surgical ablation.
Ancient reptile tracks in the Pyrenees may include evidence of a new type of footprint
A large set of tracks made by archosauromorphs in the Pyrenees mountain range may include a new type of footprint made by reptiles that lived 247 million years ago, according to a study published April 19, 2017 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Eudald Mujal from Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain, and colleagues.
New microscopy method breaks color barrier of optical imaging
Researchers at Columbia University have made a significant step toward breaking the so-called 'color barrier' of light microscopy for biological systems, allowing for much more comprehensive, system-wide labeling and imaging of a greater number of biomolecules in living cells and tissues than is currently attainable.
Birds vs. bees: Study helps explain how flowers evolved to get pollinators to specialize
Ecologists who study flowering plants have long believed that flowers evolved with particular sets of characteristics to attract specific pollinators.
Plant protein may protect against type 2 diabetes, meat eaters at greater risk
A new study from the University of Eastern Finland adds to the growing body of evidence indicating that the source of dietary protein may play a role in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Post-traumatic stress symptoms reduced after use of HIRREM closed-loop neurotechnology
For a series of individuals with post-traumatic stress symptoms, use of HIRREM, an algorithm-guided neurotechnology, was associated with significant clinical improvements.
A better way to manage phosphorus?
A new project proposes a restructured index to build on phosphorus management efforts in farm fields in New York state and beyond.
Fewer exams and better eye health? Aye-aye, finds type 1 diabetes study
Adjusting the frequency of eye screenings for people with type 1 diabetes based on their risk of severe eye problems would result in fewer eye exams at lower cost and quicker diagnosis and treatment of advanced retinopathy, which can otherwise lead to vision loss.
Geeking out in the golden years
In the first known study of older adults learning computer programming, a UC San Diego cognitive scientist advocates coding skills for all ages.
How to protect cells from selfish mitochondrial DNA
Using yeast cells as a model, scientists from the A.N.
Identical twins; not-so-identical stem cells
A new twin study sheds light on what causes reprogrammed stem cells to have different epigenetic patterns.
New study ranks hazardous asteroid effects from least to most destructive
If an asteroid struck Earth, which of its effects -- scorching heat, flying debris, towering tsunamis -- would claim the most lives?
Volunteering might prevent substance abuse for female student-athletes
As substance abuse continues to be a health concern in colleges and universities across the US, a social scientist from the University of Missouri has found that female student-athletes who volunteer in their communities and engage in helping behaviors are less likely to partake in dangerous alcohol and marijuana use.
Clues as to why cockroaches are so prolific
Asexual reproduction increases when female cockroaches are housed as a group, not alone, enabling them to maintain a colony for at least three years without a male's contribution.
SLU researcher hones in on plaque-causing protein in ALS and dementia
Saint Louis University scientist Yuna Ayala, Ph.D., and her research team have made advances in understanding how damaging plaques build up in neurodegenerative illnesses like ALS and dementia.
New study explains extraordinary resilience of deadly bacterium
Researchers at the University of Maryland have identified how the pathogenic bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa uses tension-activated membrane channels to stop itself from swelling up and bursting when it is suddenly exposed to water.
With beetroot juice before exercise, aging brains look 'younger'
Drinking a beetroot juice supplement before working out makes the brain of older adults perform more efficiently, mirroring the operations of a younger brain, according to a new study by scientists at Wake Forest University.
Scientists studied the problem of hydrodynamic stability of Keplerian flow
Researches from Sternberg Astronomical Institute, Lomonosov Moscow State University have focused their efforts on one of the major theoretical issues of modern astrophysical fluid dynamics, which is the stability of Keplerian shear flow of liquid or gas.

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