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Science Current Events and Science News | Brightsurf | April 25, 2017


TGen-HonorHealth study: High rate of tumor shrinkage among pancreatic cancer patients
Adding cisplatin to standard gemcitabine/nab-paclitaxel drug treatment provided a very high rate of tumor shrinkage for patients with advanced pancreatic cancer, according to the results of a pilot clinical trial conducted by the HonorHealth Research Institute and the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen).
Extinction risk for many species vastly underestimated, study suggests
A new study indicates that the number of plant and animal species at risk of extinction may be considerably higher than previously thought.
Chemotherapy drug may increase vulnerability to depression
A chemotherapy drug used to treat brain cancer may increase vulnerability to depression by stopping new brain cells from growing, according to a new King's College London study out today in Translational Psychiatry.
What do electrolytes actually do? (video)
Sports drink commercials love talking about them, but what are electrolytes and what happens if we don't have enough?
Revolutionary method reveals impact of short circuits on battery safety
How lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries behave under short-circuit conditions can now be examined using a new approach developed by a UCL-led team to help improve reliability and safety.
Children conceived after fertility treatments are at increased risk for pediatric cancers
'The research concludes that the association between IVF and total pediatric neoplasms and malignancies is significant,' Prof.
New study suggests overfishing in one of world's most productive fishing regions
Scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego used images from satellites and flyovers to count the number of small boats, or pangas, to find that fishing in Gulf of California, which separates Baja California and mainland Mexico, is over capacity.
Emergency care, prescribing, end-of-life care among highlights at #AGS17
Potentially inappropriate medications, the future of Advance Care Planning (ACP), and improved emergency care for older adults are among headline presentations anchoring the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) 2017 Annual Scientific Meeting (#AGS17), to be held May 18-20 in San Antonio, Texas.
Prostate cancer patients would pay $2,000 for more accurate biopsies, Loyola study finds
Prostate cancer patients are willing to pay up to $2,000 of their own money for a new high-tech biopsy technique that significantly improves accuracy, according to a study published in the journal Urology Practice.
'Diet' products can make you fat, study shows
High-fat foods are often the primary target when fighting obesity, but sugar-laden 'diet' foods could be contributing to unwanted weight gain as well.
Managing disease spread through accessible modeling
A new computer modeling study from Los Alamos National Laboratory is aimed at making epidemiological models more accessible and useful for public-health collaborators and improving disease-related decision making.
For many women, body image and sex life may suffer after episiotomy
Women who have episiotomies after childbirth reported having poorer body image and less satisfying sex lives than women who tear and heal naturally.
MIT engineers manipulate water using only light
A new system developed by engineers at MIT could make it possible to control the way water moves over a surface, using only light.
Gut bacteria tell the brain what animals should eat
Neuroscientists have, for the first time, shown that gut bacteria 'speak' to the brain to control food choices in animals.
Published data reveals new mechanism to inhibit oligomers, key driver of Alzheimer's
Peer-reviewed results published in the journal CNS Drugs elucidate a new molecular mechanism of action for tramiprosate, the active agent in Alzheon's Phase 3-ready drug candidate, ALZ-801.
College students, worms help scientists find new genetic clues to sleep
Through a combination of experiments with college students and laboratory worms, researchers have identified the first specific genes to show molecular alterations associated with short sleep duration.
In a neuro-techno future, human rights laws will need to be revisited
New human rights laws to prepare for advances in neurotechnology that put the 'freedom of the mind' at risk have been proposed today in the open access journal Life Sciences, Society and Policy.
Genetics and environment combine to give everyone a unique sense of smell
Researchers from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and their collaborators have shown that receptors in the noses of mice exposed to certain smells during life are different to genetically similar mice that lived without those smells.
Link between alcohol consumption and cardiac arrhythmias
Researchers who studied beer drinkers at the Munich Octoberfest have found that the more alcohol consumed the higher was the likelihood of developing abnormal heart rhythms called cardiac arrhythmias.
Patients with positive fecal screening test, sooner is better for colonoscopy
The risk of colorectal cancer increased significantly when colonoscopy was delayed by more than nine months following a positive fecal screening test, according to a large Kaiser Permanente study published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
SwRI-led team discovers lull in Mars' giant impact history
From the earliest days of our solar system's history, collisions between astronomical objects have shaped the planets and changed the course of their evolution.
What the age of your brain says about you
Researchers used neuroimages of the brain to identify biomarkers that show how the structures of a person's brain age.
3-D printing and Hollywood special FX bring heightened reality to surgical training
Using 3-D printing and Hollywood-style special effects, researchers constructed a neurosurgical training simulation model whose physical and functional qualities closely mimic those of the head and brain structures of an adolescent human patient.
Religious people more likely to oppose reproductive technologies
As new and more effective human reproductive genetic technologies develop, people of faith are more likely to disapprove of these tools than nonreligious people, a new Rice University study found.
Fighting infections with a silver sword
Silver has been used to fight infections since ancient times.
New method to ensure reproducibility in computational experiments
Scientists at the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) in Barcelona, Spain, have developed a workflow management system that prevents irreproducibility when analyzing large genomics datasets with computers.
New method to grow womb lining and mimic menstrual cycle in the laboratory dish
Scientists have succeeded in growing three-dimensional cultures of the endometrium, the uterus' inner lining, in a dish.
Unique womb-like device could reduce mortality and disability for extremely premature babies
A unique womb-like environment designed by pediatric researchers could transform care for extremely premature babies, by mimicking the prenatal fluid-filled environment to give the tiniest newborns a precious few weeks to develop their lungs and other organs.
Toronto's subways expose passengers to more air pollution than Montreal, Vancouver systems
A new study co-authored by U of T Engineering professor Greg Evans shows that subways increase our personal exposure to certain pollutants, even as they decrease overall emissions -- and that Toronto has the highest levels in Canada.
Childhood obesity quadruples risk of developing type 2 diabetes
Children with obesity face four times the risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to children with a body mass index (BMI) in the normal range, according to a study published in the Journal of the Endocrine Society.
Potential new treatment for kidney failure in cancer patients
Kidney dysfunction is a frequent complication affecting more than 50 percent of all cancer patients, and is directly linked to poor survival.
Low levels of 'memory protein' linked to cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease
This discovery, described online in the April 25 edition of eLife, will lead to important research and may one day help experts develop new and better therapies for Alzheimer's and other forms of cognitive decline.
Screening for preeclampsia in pregnant women recommended
The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends screening for preeclampsia in pregnant women with blood pressure measurements throughout pregnancy.
Scientist invents way to trigger artificial photosynthesis to clean air
A chemistry professor in Florida has just found a way to trigger the process of photosynthesis in a synthetic material, turning greenhouse gases into clean air and producing energy all at the same time.
A survival guide for retail startups
Research on retail startups found that spending on employee training along with managing rapid inventory turnover are keys to survival.
When artificial intelligence evaluates chess champions
Since the 1970s, the system designed by the Hungarian, Arpad Elo, has been ranking chess players according to the result of their games.
Ammonium nitrogen input increases the synthesis of anticarcinogenic compounds in broccoli
In the quest for less contaminating fertilizing strategies, a study by the UPV/EHU has explored the use of ammonium-based fertilizers, less widely used than the nitrate for fertilizing owing to the reduced growth displayed by the plants.
New atlas provides highest-resolution imagery of the Polar Regions seafloor
The most comprehensive and high-resolution atlas of the seafloor of both Polar Regions is presented this week (Tuesday April 25) at the European Geosciences Union General Assembly in Vienna.
Scientists unravel how protein impacts intellectual disability
Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have shown that a protein helps balance nerve cell communication.
Environmental enrichment triggers mouse wound repair response
Living in a stimulating environment has a wide range of health benefits in humans and has even been shown to fight cancer in mice, but the underlying mechanisms have been unclear.
One step closer to an 'exercise pill'
Studies show obese people produce elevated levels of a protein called myostatin.
Researchers make tool for understanding cellular processes more useful
Brown University researchers have developed methods to use data from FRAP, an experiment used to study how molecules move inside cells, in ways it's never been used before.
Bad feelings can motivate cancer patients
Feeling down is a common side effect of being diagnosed with cancer.
A novel form of iron for fortification of foods
Whey protein nanofibrils loaded with iron nanoparticles: ETH researchers are developing a new and highly effective way of fortifying iron into food and drinks.
New chlamydia drug targets discovered using CRISPR and stem cells
Scientists at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and their collaborators at the University of British Columbia have created an innovative technique for studying how chlamydia interacts with the human immune system.
New study shows youth violence on decline
Contrary to popular perception, a new study by Boston University professor Christopher Salas- Wright finds that youth violence is declining -- and at noteworthy rates.
Low-sodium diet might not lower blood pressure
A new study that followed more than 2,600 men and women for 16 years found that consuming less sodium wasn't associated with lower blood pressure.
Elevated biomarker following surgery linked to increased risk of death
Among patients undergoing noncardiac surgery, peak postoperative high-sensitivity troponin T measurements (proteins that are released when the heart muscle has been damaged) during the first three days after surgery were associated with an increased risk of death at 30 days, according to a study published by JAMA.
New insights on triggering muscle formation
A team of scientists led by Lorenzo Puri, M.D., Ph.D., has identified a previously unrecognized step in stem cell-mediated muscle regeneration.
Inaccurate IUCN range maps leave birds endemic to India's western Ghats vulnerable
Range maps used by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) fall short of protecting birds endemic to the Western Ghats, a mountainous biodiversity hotspot in southern India.
Racial, ethnic disparities in pediatric readmission rates for chronic disease vary by condition
Disparities in pediatric readmission rates for chronic conditions such as asthma, depression, diabetes, migraines, and seizures vary, with the lowest one-year readmissions recorded for depression and the highest one-year readmission rates seen for seizure, according to retrospective analyses of hospitalizations at 48 children's hospitals published April 21, 2017 in The Journal of Pediatrics.
UVA finds way to speed search for cancer cures dramatically
A new technique will let a single cancer research lab do the work of dozens, dramatically accelerating the search for new treatments and cures.
Insecticide-induced leg loss does not eliminate biting in mosquitoes
Researchers at LSTM have found that mosquitoes that lose multiple legs after contact with insecticide may still be able to spread malaria and lay eggs.
Political left, right similarly motivated to avoid rival views
A new report from social psychologists at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Winnipeg suggests people on both sides of the political aisle are similarly motivated to dismiss monetary enticements in order to distance themselves from hearing or reading opposing ideals and information.
India's coal plant plans conflict with climate commitments
India will not be able to meet its Paris climate agreement commitments in the coming years if it carries through with plans to build nearly 370 coal-fired power plants, a new study finds.
Estimating wealth from outer space
Cities and villages illuminated at night are common in wealthy regions such as Europe.
College students exposed to toxic flame retardants in dust from dormitory furnishings
A new study shows that students living in college dormitories are exposed to high levels of toxic flame retardants in dust.
Understanding the correct architectures of IMM proteins
A new study, affiliated with South Korea's Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), developed a new technique to understand the correct architectures of IMM proteins, using special chemical tools.
Post-fracture care: Do we need to educate patients rather than doctors?
This multicenter, randomized controlled trial involved 436 women, aged 50-85 years, who had attended hospital for treatment of a fragility fracture of the wrist or upper arm.
Few researchers consider hearing loss in healthcare communication: Study
Of the 67 papers reviewed, only 16 (23.9 percent) included any mention of hearing loss.
UTHealth School of Public Health researchers find cold weather linked to mortality risks in Texas
Cold weather increases the risk of mortality in Texas residents, according to researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health.
Predicting the movement and impacts of microplastic pollution
Microplastics, which are particles measuring less than 5 mm, are of increasing concern.
Decrease in cardiovascular diseases benefits persons with diabetes
The incidence of cardiovascular diseases in Sweden has decreased sharply since the late 1990s.
Thought Antarctica's biodiversity was doing well? Think again
Antarctica and the Southern Ocean are not in better environmental shape than the rest of the world.
Ancient stress response provides clues to cancer resistance
Cancer cells deploy an ancient mechanism used by single-celled organisms to elevate their mutation rate in response to stress.
A more than 100 percent quantum step toward producing hydrogen fuel
Efforts to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels are advancing on various significant fronts.
Popular belief that saturated fats clog up arteries 'plain wrong' say experts
The widely held belief among doctors and the public that saturated fats clog up the arteries, and so cause coronary heart disease, is just 'plain wrong,' contend experts in an editorial published online in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
Annual flu jab may pose greater risk for lung cancer patients under immunotherapy
Lung cancer patients treated with PD-1/PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitors may be at increased risk of adverse events after receiving the seasonal influenza vaccination, according to the first study measuring this effect.
Children with reading and spelling difficulties lag behind their peers despite special education
The reading skills of children with reading and spelling difficulties (RSD) lag far behind the age level in the first two school years, despite special education received from special education teachers.
New guidance for management of aromatase-inhibitor related bone loss in breast cancer
Women treated with aromatase-inhibitors (AI) for breast cancer experience a two to four-fold increase in bone loss compared to the normal rate of bone loss with menopause -- and as a result they are at heightened risk of fracture.
Cognitive skills differ across cultures and generations
An innovative study of children and parents in both Hong Kong and the United Kingdom reveals cultural differences in important cognitive skills among adolescents but not their parents.
Facebook can function as safety net for the bereaved, study finds
Neuroscientists have long noted that if certain brain cells are destroyed by, say, a stroke, new circuits may be laid in another location to compensate, essentially rewiring the brain.
Astrophysicists studied the 'rejuvenating' pulsar in a neighboring galaxy
The Lomonosov Moscow State University scientists published the results of a study of the unique ultra-slow pulsar XB091D.
Study of transgender preschoolers assesses preferences and identity
Gender may be the earliest identity and social category to emerge in development, research suggests, and acquiring knowledge about one's gender is considered a critical part of early childhood development.
Risk of obesity influenced by changes in our genes
A child's risk of obesity as they grow up can be influenced by modifications to their DNA prior to birth, a new University of Southampton study has shown.
Vitamin A + high-fat diet = increased risk for obesity, diabetes
Vitamin A is an essential nutrient that the human body needs to function properly.
Study finds new genetic variants associated with extreme old age
The search for the genetic determinants of extreme longevity has been challenging, with the prevalence of centenarians (people older than 100) just one per 5,000 population in developed nations.
Obesity amplifies genetic risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
An international study based at UT Southwestern Medical Center revealed a striking genetic-environmental interaction: Obesity significantly amplifies the effects of three gene variants that increase risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) by different metabolic pathways.
Artificial intelligence may help diagnose tuberculosis in remote areas
Researchers are training artificial intelligence models to identify tuberculosis (TB) on chest X-rays, which may help screening and evaluation efforts in TB-prevalent areas with limited access to radiologists, according to a new study.
'Whispering' keeps humpbacks safe from killer whales, study finds
Newborn humpback whales 'whisper' to their mothers to avoid being overheard by killer whales, researchers have discovered.
Experts outline pathway for generating up to 10 terawatts of power from sunlight by 2030
The annual potential of solar energy far exceeds the world's energy consumption, but the goal of using the sun to provide a significant fraction of global electricity demand is far from being realized.
GW study finds 33 percent of seafood sold in six DC eateries mislabeled
Scientists at the George Washington University used a powerful genetic technique to test seafood dinners sold in six District restaurants and found 33 percent had been mislabeled.
Childhood obesity linked to quadrupled risk of developing type 2 diabetes
Children with obesity face four times the risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to children with a body mass index (BMI) in the normal range, according to a study published today in the Journal of the Endocrine Society.
Delay in colonoscopy following positive screening test associated with increased risk of colorectal
Among patients with a positive fecal immunochemical test result, compared with follow-up colonoscopy at eight to 30 days, follow-up after 10 months was associated with a higher risk of colorectal cancer and more advanced-stage disease at the time of diagnosis, according to a study published by JAMA.
'Cyclops' algorithm spots daily rhythms in cells
Humans, like virtually all other complex organisms on Earth, have adapted to their planet's 24-hour cycle of sunlight and darkness.
Parents' use of emotional feeding increases emotional eating in school-age children
Emotional eating is not uncommon in children and adolescents, but why youth eat emotionally has been unclear.
What's coming next? Scientists identify how the brain predicts speech
A new study, publishing on April 25 in the open access journal PLOS Biology, has shed light on how the brain helps us to predict what is coming next in speech.
When Hollywood met neurosurgery
A team of computer engineers and neurosurgeons, with an assist from Hollywood special effects experts, reports successful early tests of a novel, lifelike 3-D simulator designed to teach surgeons to perform a delicate, minimally invasive brain operation.
Studying a catalyst for blood cancers
Researchers at Sylvester today published a paper in the prestigious journal Nature Communications, which describes how TET2 loss can open the door for mutations that drive myeloid, lymphoid, and other cancers.
Researchers map the evolution of dog breeds
When people migrate, Canis familiaris travels with them. Piecing together the details of those migrations has proved difficult because the clues are scattered across the genomes of hundreds of dog breeds.
New interface allows more efficient, faster technique to remotely operate robots
A new interface designed by Georgia Institute of Technology researchers allows users to simply point and click on an item, then choose a grasp, to control a robot remotely.
The fast and the crashed: Study shows collisions 5 times more likely for street racers
Ontarians who have street-raced at least once in the past year are five times more likely than other drivers to have crashed their vehicle at some point during those 12 months.
Women with aortic aneurysms fare much worse than men, new study finds
Mortality rates for women undergoing surgery for abdominal aortic aneurysms are nearly twice those for men, a new study has found.
Intense training without proper recovery may compromise bone health in elite rowers
Bone mineral density, an indicator of bone strength, typically increases with regular exercise, acting as a protective mechanism against bone fractures and osteoporosis.
Novel phage therapy saves patient with multidrug-resistant bacterial infection
Scientists and physicians at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, working with colleagues at the US Navy Medical Research Center -- Biological Defense Research Directorate (NMRC-BDRD), Texas A&M University, a San Diego-based biotech and elsewhere, have successfully used an experimental therapy involving bacteriophages -- viruses that target and consume specific strains of bacteria -- to treat a patient near death from a multidrug-resistant bacterium.
Who you are influences what you eat more than food shopping environment, study finds
Much attention and effort has focused on providing healthy food outlets in areas considered 'food deserts' in order to improve a neighborhood's diet.
Model for multivalley polaritons
IBS scientists model the formation of multivalleys in semiconductor microcavities, bringing new ideas to the emerging valleytronics field.
Study: Early organic carbon got deep burial in mantle
Rice University petrologists who recreated hot, high-pressure conditions from 60 miles below Earth's surface have found a new clue about a crucial event in the planet's deep past.
Movie research results: Multitasking overloads the brain
Previous research shows that multitasking, which means performing several tasks at the same time, reduces productivity by as much as 40%.
Study finds first molecular genetic evidence of PTSD heritability
A large new study from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium provides the first molecular genetic evidence that genetic influences play a role in the risk of getting Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after trauma.
'Unicorn' shipworm could reveal clues about human medicine and bacterial infections
Northeastern professor Daniel Distel and his colleagues have discovered a dark slithering creature four feet long that dwells in the foul mud of a remote lagoon in the Philippines.
NASA examines newly formed Tropical Depression 3W in 3-D
Tropical Depression 03W formed in the Pacific Ocean west of Guam on April 24, 2017, and data from the Global Precipitation Measurement Mission or GPM core satellite was used to look at the storm in 3-D.
Afghanistan and Iraq veterans' opioid use similar to that of civilians
A new study by RTI International and Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System, published in Pain, suggests that opioid use among Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation New Dawn veterans is roughly comparable to that of the general US population.
New survey hints at exotic origin for the Cold Spot
A supervoid is unlikely to explain a 'Cold Spot' in the cosmic microwave background, according to the results of a new survey, leaving room for exotic explanations like a collision between universes.
Higher costs for complex cancer surgery indicator for worse care
Higher costs for complex cancer surgery may be an indicator for worse -- rather than better -- quality of care, according to new research by experts at Rice University and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
75 years of geriatrics expertise on display at 2017 AGS Annual Scientific Meeting
More than 2,500 physicians, nurses, pharmacists, physician assistants, social workers, long-term and managed care providers, healthcare administrators, students, and other geriatrics stakeholders will come together for a program built from more than 800 abstract submissions and inclusive of more than 100 events.
Enzyme treatment reduces alcohol-induced liver damage in mouse models
Massachusetts General Hospital investigators report that an intestinal enzyme previously shown to keep bacterial toxins from passing from the gastrointestinal system into the bloodstream may be able to prevent or reduce the liver damage caused by excess alcohol consumption.
Estrogen alters memory circuit function in women with gene variant
Fluctuations in estrogen triggered atypical functioning in a key brain memory circuit in women with a common version of a gene.
Warm winds: New insight into what weakens Antarctic ice shelves
New research describes for the first time the role that warm, dry winds play in influencing the behaviour of Antarctic ice shelves.
New method for early screening of colorectal cancer
A highly sensitive method that can detect even the earlier stages of colorectal cancer has been developed by researchers in Japan.
Modeling reveals how policy affects adoption of solar energy photovoltaics in California
Researchers at the University of California, Riverside, inspired by efforts to promote green energy, are exploring the factors driving commercial customers in Southern California, both large and small, to purchase and install solar photovoltaic (PV) systems.
Predicting people's 'brain age' could help to spot who is at risk of early death
A method for predicting someone's 'brain age' based on MRI scans could help to spot who might be at increased risk of poor health and even dying at a younger age.
Novel mode of antidepressant action may help patients unresponsive to SSRIs
Research at Osaka University identified a novel mode of action for a potential antidepressant that also leads to nerve cell growth in the mouse hippocampus.
Genes associated with resilience against brain pathology identified
Researchers have discovered two genes, known as UNC5C and ENC1, that are associated with aging individuals having better memory and brain function than would be expected, given the amount of pathologies that accumulated in their brains.
80-year-old 'viable' anthrax strain debunked using advanced genomic sequencing
A team of international researchers has found that a strain of anthrax-causing bacterium thought to have been viable 80 years after a thwarted World War I espionage attack, was, in reality, a much younger standard laboratory strain.
India's outsized coal plans would wipe out Paris climate goals
India will not be able to meet its Paris climate agreement commitments in the coming years if it carries through with plans to construct nearly 370 coal-fired power plants, according to University of California, Irvine and CoalSwarm researchers.
Parkinson's disease will be curable with cortisol
DGIST's research team has identified the mechanism of dopaminergic neuronal death inhibition using stress hormone cortisol.
More patients can avoid hospital admissions after emergency room visits for diverticulitis
Emergency room (ER) visits for diverticulitis, an inflammation of an outgrowth or pouching in the colon that can cause severe abdominal pain, have increased 21 percent in recent years.

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