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Science News | Science Current Events | Brightsurf | May 09, 2017


Grape seed extract could extend life of resin fillings
A natural compound found in grape seed extract could be used to strengthen dentin -- the tissue beneath a tooth's enamel -- and increase the life of resin fillings, according to new research at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry.
Aging gracefully in the rainforest
In an article that appears in the current issue of Evolutionary Anthropology, researchers synthesize over 15 years of theoretical and empirical findings from long-term study of the Tsimane forager-farmers.
Researchers develop transistors that can switch between 2 stable energy states
Engineers are unveiling an upgrade to the transistor laser that could be used to boost computer processor speeds -- the formation of two stable energy states and the ability to switch between them quickly.
Family Medicine and Community Health journal volume 5, issue number 1 publishes
The Spring 2017 issue a special issue entitled 'The Global Burden of Preventable Cancer Mortality,' Guest Editor: Roger J.
JCU team says hominid lived alongside modern humans
James Cook University scientists have discovered that primitive hominids lived in Africa at the same time as humans -- the first time this has been established.
Achieving near-perfect optical isolation using opto-mechanical transparency
Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have demonstrated a new level of optical isolation necessary to advance on-chip optical signal processing.
Can seeing the Facebook logo make you crave social media?
A new study examined how social media cues such as the Facebook logo may affect frequent and less frequent social media users differently, sparking spontaneous hedonic reactions that make it difficult to resist social media cravings.
What's the best way for patients with inflammatory bowel disease to address abdominal pain
When researchers analyzed published studies on how to treat recurrent abdominal pain among patients with inflammatory bowel disease, which includes Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, stress management appeared to be a promising strategy.
Men and women show equal ability at recognizing faces
Despite conventional wisdom that suggests women are better than men at facial recognition, Penn State psychologists found no difference between men and women in their ability to recognize faces and categorize facial expressions.
Diet rich in fruit, vegetables and whole grains may lower risk of gout
A diet rich in fruit and vegetables, nuts and whole grains and low in salt, sugary drinks, and red and processed meats, is associated with a lower risk of gout, whereas a typical 'Western' diet is associated with a higher risk of gout, finds a study published by The BMJ today.
A portable measuring device to detect optimum ripeness in tomatoes
Tomatoes ripen in various phases in which the colour of the fruit undergoes changes.
Research yields new details about trap-jaw ants
Trap-jaw ants, with their spring-loaded jaws and powerful stings, are among the fiercest insect predators, but they begin their lives as spiny, hairy, fleshy blobs hanging from the ceiling and walls of an underground nest.
Surprise! When a brown dwarf is actually a planetary mass object
Sometimes a brown dwarf is actually a planet -- or planet-like anyway.
Precision medicine improves treatment outcomes for some pancreatic cancer patients
Researchers use genomic profiling to identify targeted therapies that benefit patients.
Abusing power hurts leaders, too
We know that power can corrupt, making people act in ways that harm others.
Study finds Alzheimer's disease likely not caused by low body mass index
A new large-scale genetic study found that low body mass index (BMI) is likely not a causal risk factor for Alzheimer's disease, as earlier research had suggested, according to a study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
Nutrition researchers aim to make science more accessible to young minds and the public
U of I nutrition researchers have studied the piglet as a translational model to understand which aspects of early brain development are affected by nutrition interventions.
IBS patients (can't get no) satisfaction, UB study finds
A new University at Buffalo study of 483 patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) revealed that many factors that contribute to patient satisfaction are beyond the doctor's control.
Closing the gate to mitochondria
A team of researchers develops a new method that enables the identification of proteins imported into mitochondria.
Study finds Amazon River carbon dioxide emissions nearly balance terrestrial uptake
New research in Brazil has found that rivers in the Amazon emit far more carbon dioxide (CO2) than previously estimated, suggesting that the Amazon Basin is closer to net carbon neutral.
New nanotechnology application for difficult-to-treat cancers
A new treatment combining shock waves with nanoparticles can successfully treat tumors that are difficult to target using conventional chemotherapy.
Energy efficiency is important to wireless and broadcast networks
New research has found that by deploying a spatially adaptive broadcast system, broadcast powers can be reduced by up to 35 per cent, reducing carbon emissions and saving money.
Jumping to your death? Motivations of extreme sports
Researchers have debunked the myth that extreme sportsmen and women are adrenalin junkies with a death wish, according to a new study.
Dingo fence study shows dingo extermination leads to poorer soil
A comparison of conditions in the outback on either side of Australia's dingo fence has revealed that extermination of these apex predators not only affects the abundance of other animals and plants, but also reduces the quality of the soil.
Could there be a 'social vaccine' for malaria?
Malaria is a global killer and a world health concern.
Heightened risk of heart attacks found with common painkillers in routine use
People who use commonly prescribed non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to treat pain and inflammation could be raising their risk of having a heart attack, as early as in the first week of use and especially within the first month of taking high doses of such medication, suggests a study in The BMJ this week.
BGRF scientists to present on AI & drug discovery for aging at Korea Future Forum
Biogerontology Research Foundation Chief Science Officer Dr. Alex Zhavoronkov will be giving a talk titled 'Drug Discovery Revolution Spiked by Pharma AI' at the Korea Future Forum on Wednesday, May 17, 2017.
A new tool to decipher evolutionary biology
A new bioinformatics tool to compare genome data has been developed by teams from the Max F.
Newborn baby brain scans will help scientists track brain development
Scientists have today published ground-breaking scans of newborn babies' brains which researchers from all over the world can download and use to study how the human brain develops.
Personality factors are best defense against losing your job to a robot
New research has found that IQ, along with an early interest in the arts and sciences, predicts who is likely to fall victim to automation in the workplace.
Right R&D investments are 'good bets' for both climate and economies, say researchers
As the threats of climate change and economic instability loom large, public energy investment can seem like roll of the dice.
Pupils' mental health improved through school-based program, study shows
School-aged children can be taught to better their mental health through intervention programmes delivered at school, suggests a new study carried out in east London and led by an academic at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL).
Exploring the conversion of heat to electricity in single molecules
Researchers at Osaka University investigated the influence of the geometry of single-molecule devices on their ability to produce electricity from heat.
US fishing generated more than $200 billion in sales in 2015; two stocks rebuilt in 2016
US commercial and recreational fishing generated $208 billion in sales, contributed $97 billion to the gross domestic product, and supported 1.6 million full- and part-time jobs in 2015 -- above the five year average, according to NOAA.
Homo naledi's surprisingly young age opens up more questions on where we come from
Scientists today announced that the Rising Star Cave system has revealed yet more important discoveries, only a year and a half after it was announced that the richest fossil hominin site in Africa had been discovered, and that it contained a new hominin species named Homo naledi by the scientists who described it.
Primary care hepatitis C treatment program shows promise for success, broader implementation
By employing a patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model of care, Boston Medical Center's (BMC) Adult Primary Care Practice successfully treated 66 patients with the hepatitis C virus (HCV), or one-fifth of those referred into the program.
Killings and persecution of the Yazidi population of Sinjar, Iraq
In a new study published in PLOS Medicine, Valeria Cetorelli and colleagues report findings from their retrospective household survey of displaced survivors in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, providing documented insight into the extent of the persecution by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) against the Yazidi population of Sinjar, Iraq, and in particular the disproportionate burden of killings and kidnappings of children.
Stroke patients take the lead in their rehabilitation
EPFL spin-off Intento has developed a patient-controlled electrical-stimulation device that helps stroke victims regain mobility in paralyzed arms.
Tell me what languages you know and I'll tell you how you read
The languages we speak influence several factors that we rely on for our ability to read, such as visual attention and phonological processes.
Study finds low rate of cancer screening among transplant patients
People who have received organ transplants are at higher risk of developing and dying of cancer than the general population.
The first microbial supertree from figure-mining thousands of papers
Recent reports reveal there are more than 114,000,000 published academic papers.
NHGRI researchers home in on mutation profiles of clear cell endometrial cancer
NHGRI researchers and their collaborators identify mutations in the TAF1 gene in clear cell endometrial cancer (CCEC) tumors; shed light on the underlying genomic changes that are likely to be important in driving development of this a rare but clinically aggressive form of endometrial cancer.
Anti-hypertension DASH diet may reduce the risk of gout
The results of a study led by Massachusetts General Hospital investigators suggest that following a diet known to reduce the risk of hypertension and cardiovascular disease may also reduce the risk of gout.
Laser pulses reveal the superconductors of the future
A new study has revealed that the dream of more efficient energy usage can turn into reality.
Noise pollution from gas compressors changes abundance of insects, spiders
The relentless roar of natural gas compressors influences the numbers of insects and spiders nearby, triggering decreases in many types of arthropods sensitive to sounds and vibrations, a collaborative Florida Museum of Natural History study shows.
HKU and Kyoto U reveal a new strategy to enhance the efficiency of cereal straw for biofuel production
A collaborative research effort by the University of Hong Kong and Kyoto University has revealed a new strategy to allow cellulose in rice straw to release its fermentable sugar more efficiently.
NASA sees Tropical Cyclone Ella form near Fiji
The nineteenth tropical cyclone of the Southern Pacific Ocean season formed and is now threatening Fiji.
New safety concerns identified for 1 in 3 FDA-approved drugs
Nearly 1 out of every 3 drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have a new safety issue detected in the years after approval, says a Yale-led study.
Two James Webb instruments are best suited for exoplanet atmospheres
The best way to study the atmospheres of distant worlds with the James Webb Space Telescope, scheduled to launch in late 2018, will combine two of its infrared instruments, according to a team of astronomers.
Study investigates collapse of natural or social systems
A tipping point is a critical threshold at which a dynamical system undergoes an irreversible transformation, typically owing to a small change in inputs or parameters.
Researchers use Twitter to track the flu in real time
An international team led by Northeastern University professor Alessandro Vespignani has developed a unique computational model to project the spread of the seasonal flu in real time.
Elusive atomic motion captured by electron microscopy
The movement of atoms through a material can cause problems under certain circumstances.
Federally subsidized shrubs, grasses crucial to sage grouse survival in Washington
The federal program that pays farmers to plant agricultural land with environmentally beneficial vegetation is probably the reason that sage grouse still live in portions of Washington's Columbia Basin.
Colorectal tumors initiate VEGF-A/CXCL1 cascade, creating distant niches for metastases
Primary colorectal tumors secrete VEGF-A, inducing CXCL1 and CXCR2-positive myeloid-derived suppressor cell (MDSC) recruitment at distant sites and establishing niches for future metastases, report Medical University of South Carolina investigators in an article published online April 28, 2017 by Cancer Research.
Seniors who live with their abusers often suffer recurrent abuse
Older adults who have been hospitalized for injuries from an assault are more likely to experience subsequent physical abuse if they are female, widowed, diagnosed with dementia, or return home to live with the perpetrator, according to a new study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
Looking at light to explore superconductivity in boron-diamond films
More than a decade ago, researchers discovered that when they added boron to the carbon structure of diamond, the combination was superconductive.
A suspicious mind leads to a suspicious face
In a series of studies, social psychology researchers show that Black participants who hold suspicious views of Whites visualize White faces, even smiling ones, as less trustworthy, less authentic and sometimes more hostile.
With stem cells to new intervertebral discs
Slipped discs are the most common reason to go to the doctor in Switzerland.
Age no barrier for back surgery benefits
People 65 and older benefit just as much from an operation for a slipped disc in the lower back as younger patients.
Research reveals globe-trotting history of sika deer
A University of Delaware researcher co-wrote a paper that details the history of sika deer populations in the Delmarva over the past 100 years.
Vitamin D levels not linked to asthma or dermatitis
Vitamin D supplementation is unlikely to reduce the risk of asthma in children or adults, atopic dermatitis, or allergies according to a new study published in PLOS Medicine by Brent Richards, of McGill University, Canada, and the Lady Davis Institute at the Jewish General Hospital, Canada, and colleagues.
Metabolic markers accurately diagnose typhoid fever
Researchers have identified a metabolite 'signature' that can accurately distinguish typhoid from other fever-inducing tropical diseases using patient blood samples.
Smile and the world thinks you're older: Study
Turn that frown upside-down? Not if you're keen on looking younger, you shouldn't.
Study reveals low adoption of advice to reduce nuclear cardiology radiation exposure
A study in 65 countries has revealed low adoption of International Atomic Energy Agency recommendations to reduce nuclear cardiology radiation exposure.
Natural disasters pose grave threat to planet's last Javan rhinos
The world's only population of Javan rhinoceros, already under severe threat from poaching, could go extinct in the future due to natural disasters, including volcanic eruptions and tsunamis.
Combination treatment for advanced lung cancer does not improve survival
Among patients previously treated for a type of advanced lung cancer, use of a combination treatment did not improve progression-free or overall survival, according to a study published by JAMA.
When malaria infects the placenta during pregnancy, baby's future immunity can be affected
Mothers infected with malaria during pregnancy can pass more of their own cells to their baby and change the infant's risk of later infection, a new study shows.
Oldest evidence of life on land found in 3.48-billion-year-old Australian rocks
Fossil evidence of early life has been discovered by UNSW Sydney scientists in 3.48 billion year old hot spring deposits in the Pilbara of Western Australia -- pushing back by 3 billion years the earliest known existence of inhabited terrestrial hot springs on Earth.
Research elucidates hormone ghrelin's role in blood glucose regulation
UT Southwestern research investigating the blood glucose-regulatory actions of the hormone ghrelin may have implications for development of new treatments for diabetes.
Nearly 1 in 3 drugs found to have safety concerns after FDA approval
Researchers have found that for drugs approved between 2001 and 2010, nearly 1 in 3 had a postmarket safety event.
First baby of a gigantic Oviraptor-like dinosaur belongs to a new species
First baby of a gigantic Oviraptor-like dinosaur belongs to a new species.
UNH researchers find significant increase of invasive seaweed changing sea habitat
Walking along the beaches of New England, it's easy to spot large amounts of fine red seaweed clogging the coastline, the result of sweeping changes beneath the water.
New ambulatory monitoring device offers window into stomach's bioelectrical activity
A first-of-its-kind portable wireless device developed by an NYIT-led research team can monitor stomach motility to enable physicians to measure and ultimately better understand gastric slow wave activity.
Safety events common for pharmaceuticals and biologics after FDA approval
Among more than 200 new pharmaceuticals and biologics approved by the US Food and Drug Administration from 2001 through 2010, nearly a third were affected by a postmarket safety event such as issuance of a boxed warning or safety communication, according to a study published by JAMA.
Four-billion-year-old 'fossil' protein resurrected in bacteria protects them from viruses
In a proof-of-concept experiment, a 4-billion-year-old protein engineered into modern E. coli protected the bacteria from being hijacked by a bacteria-infecting virus.
Lessening radiation risk for children with congenital and acquired heart disease
Newly released recommendations for pediatric radiation safety will be discussed during the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) 2017 Scientific Sessions in New Orleans.
Severe foot pain linked to recurrent falls
Researchers from Hebrew Senior Life's Institute for Aging Research have discovered that foot pain - particularly severe foot pain -- correlates to a higher incidence of recurrent falls.
Screening for thyroid cancer not recommended
The US Preventive Services Task Force recommends against screening for thyroid cancer in adults without any signs or symptoms.
Researchers uncover key role for microRNA in inflammatory bowel disease
An international team of researchers has discovered that a microRNA produced by certain white blood cells can prevent excessive inflammation in the intestine.
Materials bend as they 'breathe' under high temperatures
Researchers develop high-temperature systems based on metal oxides that 'breathe' oxygen in and out, that could be used to control devices inside nuclear reactors or jet engines.
Mosquito-borne viruses like Zika may be spread at lower temperatures, potentially expanding impact
Transmission of mosquito-borne diseases, such as Zika, occur at lower temperatures than previously thought, a recently released study co-authored by two researchers at the University of South Florida (USF) in Tampa, Fla., shows.
Protecting life's tangled ecological webs
Keeping habitats connected, so that species can move in response to environmental change, is crucial to ecosystem resilience, according to researchers from McGill University and University of British Columbia.
Oversized landforms discovered beneath the Antarctic ice sheet
A team of scientists led by the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB, Belgium) and the Bavarian Academy of Sciences (Germany) have now discovered an active hydrological system of water conduits and sediment ridges below the Antarctic ice sheet.
Right-or left-handedness affects sign language comprehension
The speed at which sign language users understand what others are 'saying' to them depends on whether the conversation partners are left- or right-handed, a new study has found.
How Pokémon GO can help students build stronger communication skills
Technology continues to change the way students learn and engage with their peers, parents and community.
Zinc oxide: It's not just for sunscreen and diaper cream!
For many, zinc oxide conjures images of bright stripes down lifeguards' noses.
Doctors should be paid by salary, not fee-for-service, argue behavioral economists
In a Journal of the American Medical Association Viewpoint article, Carnegie Mellon University's George Loewenstein and the University of California, Los Angeles' Ian Larkin outline the problems associated with the fee-for-service arrangements that most doctors currently operate under.
Childhood bullying linked to health risks in adulthood
Childhood bullying may lead to long-lasting health consequences, impacting psychosocial risk factors for cardiovascular health well into adulthood, according to a study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
Deciphering an embryo-protecting protein
The structure of a protein that protects embryos from being attacked by their mothers' immune system is now uncovered.
Avastin as effective as Eylea for treating central retinal vein occlusion
Monthly eye injections of Avastin (bevacizumab) are as effective as the more expensive drug Eylea (aflibercept) for the treatment of central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO), according to a clinical trial funded by the National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the National Institutes of Health.
Most home kitchens in Philadelphia study would earn severe code violations
A pair of studies found that most of the home kitchens in Philadelphia that they examined would get critical code violations if they were judged by the same standards that we hold to the restaurants where we eat.
New method of microbial energy production discovered
For all living things to succeed, they must reproduce and have the energy to do so.
Computer-generated doctor explains test results to patients
A computer-generated physician, now under development at the University of Illinois, explains diabetes and cholesterol test results to would-be patients in videos designed for viewing on electronic medical record portals.
South African cave yields yet more fossils of a newfound relative
Probing deeper into the South African cave system known as Rising Star, which last year yielded the largest cache of hominin fossils known to science, an international team of researchers has discovered another chamber with more remains of a newfound human relative, Homo naledi.
No evidence that enrichment activities encourage pupils to study STEM A-levels
There is no evidence to suggest enrichment activities run to interest pupils in science, technology, engineering and maths results in significantly higher numbers of teenagers studying these subjects at A-level.
A molecular rivet for long-range force transmission
Researchers from the Mechanobiology Institute, Singapore at the National University of Singapore have described, for the first time, how plastin, an actin-bundling protein, acts as a molecular rivet, providing global connectivity to the cortex underlying the plasma membrane of embryonic cells to facilitate polarization and cell division.
Half of all seniors who went to doctor for common cold prescribed unnecessary antibiotics
Nearly one in two seniors in Ontario who visited a family doctor for a non-bacterial infection received an unnecessary antibiotic prescription, according to a new study from the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) Western site in London, Ontario and Lawson Health Research Institute.
Long-term use of quinine for muscle cramps associated with increased risk of death
Long-term off-label use of quinine, still prescribed to individuals with muscle cramps despite Food and Drug Administration warnings of adverse events, is associated with an increased risk of death, according to a study published by JAMA.
Stereotactic partial breast radiation lowers number of treatments to 5
UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers found in a recent phase one clinical trial that stereotactic partial breast radiation was as safe as traditional radiation but decreased treatment time from six weeks to just days.
Astronauts experience decrease in blood vessel function during spaceflight, study finds
A Kansas State University kinesiology study has found that astronauts aboard the International Space Station have decreased physical fitness because of a decrease in the way oxygen moves through the body.
Researchers provide update on popular fish model of development
Annual killifish are an excellent animal model for research on interactions between genes and the environment during development.
21st century cures emerge as 20th century science matures
Most of the new drugs approved by the FDA since 2010 arose from basic scientific research that was initiated in the 1970s or 1980s, a new study from Bentley University has found.
Mixed valence states in lead perovskites
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology, the Kanagawa Academy of Science and Technology have reported an unusual charge distribution of Pb2+Pb4+3Co2+2Co3+2O12 for a perovskite PbCoO3 synthesized at 12 GPa, with charge orderings in the A and B sites of an ABO3 perovskite.
'Inverse designing' spontaneously self-assembling materials
Researchers are exploring how molecular simulations with the latest optimization strategies can create a more systematic way of discovering new materials that exhibit specific, desired properties.
Larger swaths of tropical forest being lost to commercial agriculture
Larger patches of tropical forest are being cleared in recent years to make way for industrial-scale agriculture, a Duke study shows.
How Varroa mites take advantage of managed beekeeping practices
As the managed honey bee industry continues to grapple with significant annual colony losses, the Varroa destructor mite is emerging as the leading culprit.
The veins in your brain don't all act the same
Certain blood vessels in the brainstem constrict when blood vessels elsewhere in the body would dilate.
Assessment concludes urban forests in Chicago region face a warmer, wetter future
A first-ever assessment of urban forest vulnerability to climate change in the Chicago region suggests that native tree species in a 7-million-acre area may decline while invasive species may thrive with shifts in habitat suitability.
Fentanyl can sicken first responders. Here's a possible solution.
Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, is 50 times more potent than heroin.
Ames Laboratory and Iowa State University scientists develop more efficient catalytic material
Scientists at Ames Laboratory and Iowa State University have discovered a method for making smaller, more efficient intermetallic nanoparticles for fuel cell applications, and which also use less of the expensive precious metal platinum.
Dad's involvement with baby early on associated with boost in mental development
Fathers who interact more with their children in their first few months of life could have a positive impact on their baby's cognitive development.
Experiments show that a few self-driving cars can dramatically improve traffic flow
The presence of just a few autonomous vehicles can eliminate the stop-and-go driving of the human drivers in traffic, along with the accident risk and fuel inefficiency it causes, according to new research.
Elevated cardiac troponin may occur without heart attack
Elevated cardiac troponin, a diagnostic marker of damage to the heart, may occur even if a patient has not had a heart attack, according to a study published in JACC: Basic to Translational Science.

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