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Science Current Events and Science News | Brightsurf | May 16, 2017


Great expectations force risky business acquisitions
A good reputation can be bad for business, according to new research from the University of Georgia.
Clot removal therapy effective outside six-hour window for some stroke patients
The mantra 'time is brain' still holds for stroke treatment, but for some patients, clot-removal therapy may be effective outside the six-hour window.
Online abortion service can offer alternative to unsafe methods to end pregnancy
Early medical abortion using online telemedicine can offer an alternative to unsafe methods to end a pregnancy for women in countries where access to safe abortion is restricted, finds a study published by The BMJ today.
3-D printed ovaries produce healthy offspring
3-D printed bioprosthetic mouse ovaries restored fertility in infertile mice and produced healthy mouse pups.
3-D-printed, soft, four legged robot can walk on sand and stone
Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed the first soft robot that is capable of walking on rough surfaces, such as sand and pebbles.
Free range-eggs seen as tastier, more nutritious and safer, study finds
People choose to buy free-range or cage-free eggs because they believe they taste better and are better quality than eggs from caged hens, new research published today suggests.
When water levitates (video)
Have you ever seen a drop of water navigate a maze?
How hard did it rain on Mars?
Heavy rain on Mars reshaped the planet's impact craters and carved out river-like channels in its surface billions of years ago, according to a new study published in Icarus.
Just 2 weeks of inactivity could lead to changes that increase risk of developing disease
New research presented at this year's European Congress on Obesity (ECO) in Porto, Portugal (May 17-20) shows that just two weeks of inactivity in young healthy people can reduce muscle mass and produce metabolic changes that could lead to an increased risk of developing chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and potentially premature death.
New gene therapy for vision loss proven safe in humans
In a small and preliminary clinical trial, Johns Hopkins researchers and their collaborators have shown that an experimental gene therapy that uses viruses to introduce a therapeutic gene into the eye is safe and that it may be effective in preserving the vision of people with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Switching to a low-glycemic diet may stop age-related eye disease, study suggests
Led by researchers at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, a study in mice finds that development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) could be arrested by switching from a high-glycemic to a low-glycemic diet.
Stiffer soles are making life more comfortable for some diabetic patients
There isn't a one-size-fits-all approach when choosing the right footwear or inner sole to take away pressure from diabetic patients' feet.
Interaction between the atomic nucleus and the electron on trial
A team of researchers under the leadership of TU Darmstadt and with the participation of scientists from the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) has measured the transition between energy levels of heavy ions with such precision that it has become possible to reassess underlying theories.
Responders to recent West Africa Ebola epidemic show little evidence of infection
Responders to the West African Ebola epidemic of 2014-2016 who returned to the UK and Ireland included many who reported possible Ebola virus exposure or Ebola-associated symptoms, according to a new study published in PLOS Medicine.
Study solves mystery of how plants use sunlight to tell time via cell protein signaling
Researchers have solved a key mystery of how plants tell time, say scientists from Southern Methodist University, Dallas.
How to accurately assess use of new psychoactive drugs such as 'bath salts'
Researchers surveyed individuals entering NYC EDM parties about their drug usage, with almost one out of ten participants who reported no 'bath salt' use as per the gate question then reported use of one or more drugs in this class, such as methylone, providing evidence of under-reporting.
Loss of pericytes deteriorates retinal environment
This new study revealed how the loss of pericytes aggravates the retinal environment and function in a mouse experimental model.
Investing in drug safety monitoring could avoid complications -- and save medical costs
Increased investment in 'pharmacovigilance surveillance' -- systems to proactively monitor safety problems with new medications -- has the potential to avoid harmful drug effects while lowering healthcare costs, according to a study in the June issue of Medical Care.
Analysis for the seismotectonics of the 2016 MS6.4 Menyuan earthquake
The MS6.4 Menyuan earthquake occurred on the northern side of the Lenglongling fault in the mid-western of the Qilian-Haiyuan fault zone on January 21, 2016.
More than 1.2 million adolescents die every year, nearly all preventable
More than 3000 adolescents die every day, totalling 1.2 million deaths a year, from largely preventable causes, according to a new report from the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners.
Complications from thyroid cancer surgery more common than believed, study finds
As thyroid cancer rates rise, more people are having surgery to remove all or part of their thyroid.
Oddball enzyme provides easy path to synthetic biomaterials
Materials scientists have written the recipe on how to use an oddball enzyme to build new biomaterials out of DNA.
Breast cancer risk is more affected by total body fat than abdominal fat
A reduction in overall body fat, rather than abdominal fat, is associated with lower levels of breast cancer markers.
Tumor cells get stiff before becoming invasive
A study published now on Nature Communications shows that breast cancer cells undergo a stiffening state prior to acquiring malignant features and becoming invasive.
Scientists develop real-time technique for studying ionic liquids at electrode interfaces
This electron microscope-based imaging technique could help scientists optimize the performance of ionic liquids for batteries and other energy storage devices.
Ginger may help fight obesity and related disorders
A new review notes that recent epidemiological and clinical studies have built a consensus that ginger has beneficial effects against obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and related disorders -- more commonly referred to as metabolic syndrome.
Adolescent boys treated at urban ER for violent injury want mental health care
Adolescent males of color treated for violent injury and discharged from an urban pediatric emergency department overwhelmingly identified a need for mental health care, according to research from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's Violence Intervention Program, published today in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
Young women's gradual weight gain lifts pregnancy blood pressure danger
Researchers are challenging women to start thinking about pre-pregnancy health sooner, with the finding that years of gradual weight gain more than doubles the risk of hypertensive disorders in pregnancy.
Disney Research transforms movie-quality animations for interactive viewing
Cinema-quality animations and virtual reality graphics that need to be rendered in real-time are often mutually exclusive categories, but Disney Research has developed a new process that transforms high-resolution animated content into a novel video format to enable immersive viewing.
Fishing can cause slowly reversible changes in gene expression
Cohort after cohort, fishing typically removes large fish from the population and can lead to rapid evolutionary changes in exploited fish populations.
High-dose iron pills do not improve exercise capacity for heart failure
Among patients with a certain type of heart failure and iron deficiency, high-dose iron pills did not improve exercise capacity over 16 weeks, according to a study published by JAMA.
First flat lens for immersion microscope provides alternative to centuries-old technique
A team of researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) has developed the first flat lens for immersion microscopy.
Weaponizing the internet for terrorism
Writing in the International Journal of Collaborative Intelligence, researchers from Nigeria suggest that botnets and cyber attacks could interfere with infrastructure, healthcare, transportation, and power supply to as devastating an effect as the detonation of explosives of the firing of guns.
Early medical abortion using medication and online telemedicine can be effective and safe
Medical abortion using online telemedicine and self-administered medication can be highly effective and safe, and outcomes compare favorably with in-clinic protocols.
New Zika virus inhibitor identified
Compound could serve as basis for drugs to prevent neurological complications of Zika.
Findings do not support steroid injections for knee osteoarthritis
Among patients with knee osteoarthritis, an injection of a corticosteroid every three months over two years resulted in significantly greater cartilage volume loss and no significant difference in knee pain compared to patients who received a placebo injection, according to a study published by JAMA.
Medical abortions obtained through online telemedicine shown to be effective, safe
Women in Ireland and Northern Ireland acquiring medical abortion pills through online telemedicine report successful terminations with low rates of adverse effects, according to new research published in The BMJ by Princeton University, the University of Texas at Austin and Women on Web.
Immunotherapy against bee stings in some cases incomplete
The preparations that are used for allergen immunotherapy against bee sting allergies do not always contain all the relevant venom components.
Researchers find conflicting effects of climate, vector behavior on spread of plant disease
To better understand the effects of climate change on agroecosystems, researchers Daugherty, Zeilinger, and Almeida conducted one of the first transdisciplinary studies on the effects of temperature change, leafhopper vector behavior, and the spread of Pierce's disease on grapevines.
Children in Head Start who miss more preschool show fewer academic gains
A new study has found that children in Head Start who miss 10 percent or more of the school year have fewer gains in academics than their peers who attend preschool more regularly.
Study of 3.5 million people shows 'healthy' obese people are still at higher risk of cardiovascular disease events than the general population
New research presented at this year's European Congress on Obesity (ECO) in Porto, Portugal, shows that so-called 'metabolically healthy' obese people are still at higher risk of cardiovascular disease events such as heart failure or stroke than normal weight people.
Scientists show how defects in blood-brain barrier could cause neurological disorder
Scientists for the first time have assembled a 'disease in a dish' model that pinpoints how a defect in the blood-brain barrier can produce an incurable psychomotor disorder, Allan-Herndon-Dudley syndrome.
Patient's cells used to replicate dire developmental condition
A team of scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles have used the cells of AHDS patients to recreate not only the disease, but a mimic of the patient's blood-brain barrier in the laboratory dish using induced pluripotent stem cell technology.
Why did hunter-gatherers first begin farming?
The beginnings of agriculture changed human history and has fascinated scientists for centuries.
Social ties help animals live longer
Large families and strong social ties help animals live longer, new research suggests.
Researchers to predict cognitive dissonance according to brain activity
A new study by HSE researchers has uncovered a new brain mechanism that generates cognitive dissonance -- a mental discomfort experienced by a person who simultaneously holds two or more contradictory beliefs or values, or experiences difficulties in making decisions.
Scientists discover uncommon superbug strain in greater Houston area
Scientists used genome sequencing to discover that an otherwise rare strain of a superbug was found in more than one-third of the Houston patients studied.
Link found between donor, infection in heart, lung transplant recipients
Researchers at Mayo Clinic have identified a possible cause for a rare infection in heart and lung transplant recipients: the donor.
Travel distances of juvenile fish key to better conservation
Marine reserves -- sections of the ocean where fishing is prohibited -- promote coral reef sustainability by preventing overfishing and increasing fish abundance and diversity.
Study shows regular physical activity and reduced sedentary time reduces build-up of dangerous liver fat
New research presented at this year's European Congress on Obesity (ECO) in Porto, Portugal (May 17-20) shows that both regular physical activity and avoiding inactivity (sedentary behavior) help reduce build-up of dangerous liver fat, an important complication of obesity.
Pitt analysis determines odds of a hookah non-smoker taking first puff
A positive attitude toward and desire to take up hookah smoking are the most likely predictors of a young adult becoming a hookah tobacco smoker, University of Pittsburgh researchers found in the first nationally representative analysis of hookah use by young adults over an extended follow-up period.
Treatment in hospital by older doctors linked to higher death rates
Patients in US hospitals treated by older physicians have higher mortality than patients cared for by younger physicians, except those physicians treating high volumes of patients, finds a study published by The BMJ today.
Some mother cells kick DNA damage 'down the road' to offspring, CU study says
A new University of Colorado Boulder study has shown that some dividing human cells are 'kicking the can down the road,' passing on low-level DNA damage to offspring, causing daughter cells to pause in a quiescent, or dormant, state previously thought to be random in origin.
New study documents aftermath of a supereruption, and expands size of Toba magma system
The rare but spectacular eruptions of supervolcanoes can cause massive destruction and affect climate patterns on a global scale for decades -- and a new study has found that these sites also may experience ongoing, albeit smaller eruptions for tens of thousands of years after.
'Narco-deforestation' study links loss of Central American tropical forests to cocaine
Central American tropical forests are beginning to disappear at an alarming rate, threatening the livelihood of indigenous peoples there and endangering some of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in North America.
The brighter side of twisted polymers
A strategy to produce highly fluorescent nanoparticles through careful molecular design of conjugated polymers has been developed by KAUST researchers.
Antibody biosensor offers unlimited point-of-care drug monitoring
A team of EPFL scientists has developed several antibody-based biosensors that have the potential to help healthcare centers in developing countries or even patients in their own homes keep track of drug concentration in the blood.
Swirling swarms of bacteria offer insights on turbulence
When bacteria swim at just the right speed, swirling vortices emerge.
Popular weight-loss surgery puts patients at high risk for alcohol problems
One in five patients who undergo one of the most popular weight-loss surgical procedures is likely to develop problems with alcohol, with symptoms sometimes not appearing until years after their surgery, according to one of the largest, longest-running studies of adults who got weight-loss surgery.
Exeter researchers help protect Peru's river dolphins
River dolphins and Amazonian manatees in Peru will benefit from new protection thanks to a plan developed with help from the University of Exeter.
Cities need to 'green up' to reduce the impact of air pollution
The harmful impact of urban air pollution could be combated by strategically placing low hedges along roads in a built-up environment of cities instead of taller trees, a new study has found.
Atheism might be more common than assumed...but it's complicated
Using a subtle, indirect measurement technique, psychology researchers have found that there are probably a lot more atheists (people who don't believe in God) in the U.S. than show up in telephone polls.
An immunity gene evolved in Southeast Asia to protect against leprosy
A mutation in an immune system gene rapidly rose in frequency in Southeast Asia approximately 50,000 years ago because it likely conferred protection against leprosy.
TB bacteria evolve at alarming rate
Scientists carried out a research aimed at identifying the genes and mutations in them that allow mycobacteria to thrive in people with altered immune status including HIV-positive patients.
After receiving bad advice, bullying victims say they would give same bad advice to others
Targets of workplace bullying get plenty of advice from coworkers and family on how to respond to the situation and make it stop.
3-D models reveal hidden details of zebrafish behavior
In the first experiments of their kind, researchers found significant discrepancies in data generated when tracking the social behavior of zebrafish in two dimensions as opposed to 3-D.
Key to 'superbug' antibiotic resistance discovered
An international study led by Monash University's Biomedicine Discovery Institute has discovered the molecular mechanism by which the potentially deadly superbug 'Golden Staph' evades antibiotic treatment, providing the first important clues on how to counter superbug antibiotic resistance.
Study unveils T cell signaling process central to immune response
The immune system cells known as T cells play a central role in the body's ability to fight infections and cancer.
Making brain implants smaller could prolong their lifespan
Many diseases, including Parkinson's disease, can be successfully treated with electrical stimulation from an electrode implanted in the brain.
Diverse populations make rational collective decisions
Yes/no binary decisions by individual ants can lead to a rational decision as a collective when the individuals have differing preferences to the subject, according to research recently published in the journal Royal Society Open Science.
Refining the ocean's thermometer
The chemistry of shells of plankton called foraminifera are a record of past climate.
Managing stress helps transistor performance
A research team in China have developed a new CESL method that introduces tensile stress into both the channel and the drift region, improving overall performance by offering low drift resistance, high cut-off frequency and desirable breakdown characteristics.
Staying healthy during WorldPride 2017
ECDC has published a rapid risk assessment to assess the risk of outbreaks and transmission of communicable diseases during the WorldPride festival period taking place in Madrid in June 2017.
Plants call 911 to help their neighbors
A University of Delaware professor teamed with a local high school student on research that found injured plants will send out warning signals to neighboring plants.
Nicotine enhances bees' activity
Nicotine-laced nectar can speed up a bumblebee's ability to learn flower colors, according to scientists at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL).
Swansea University scientists find that 'fathers do matter' for the wandering albatross
Swansea University scientist, Professor Luca Börger has been working with partners in Switzerland, France and the USA on a study led by Ph.D. student Tina Cornioley looking at the body mass of the wandering albatross.
How scientists turned a flag into a loudspeaker
A paper-thin, flexible device created at Michigan State University not only can generate energy from human motion, it can act as a loudspeaker and microphone as well, nanotechnology researchers report in Nature Communications.
Public divides over environmental regulation and energy policy
A 54 percent majority of US adults believe that 'government regulations are necessary to encourage businesses and consumers to rely more on renewable energy sources,' while 38 percent support the notion that 'the private marketplace will ensure that businesses and consumers rely more on renewable energy sources, even without government regulations,' according to a new Pew Research Center survey.
Inflammatory signature of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
A team of investigators led by Rohit Kohli, MBBS, MS, of Children's Hospital Los Angeles, has identified key inflammatory cells involved in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
Study shows that cafes, restaurants and fast food outlets, and schools, are key sources of unhealthy, non-core foods for adolescents
Adolescents are getting many of their unhealthy, non-core foods such as soft drinks, chips, and sweets from cafes, restaurants, fast-food outlets (collectively called 'eateries'), and schools, according to a UK study presented at this year's European Congress on Obesity in Porto, Portugal.
Exercising can protect the brain from Alzheimer's disease
The evidence is clear. Physical activity is associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease, says a panel of researchers and not-for-profit leaders, led by UBC's Okanagan campus.
How doubts about getting better influence chronic pain treatment success
A leading psychology professor at The University of Texas at Arlington has focused international attention on how a chronic pain patient's irrational doubts about never getting better can influence both his reactions to pain and even treatment outcomes.
A tale of two sites
Marine scientists determine how the larvae of a common coral species respond to environmental stresses in Taiwan and Moorea.
Substantial differences between US counties for death rates from ischemic heart disease, stroke
Although the absolute difference in US county-level cardiovascular disease mortality rates have declined substantially over the past 35 years for both ischemic heart disease and cerebrovascular disease, large differences remain, according to a study published by JAMA.
Bacteria harness the lotus effect to protect themselves
Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms.
New Zealand's mainland yellow-eyed penguins face extinction unless urgent action taken
In a newly published study in the international journal PeerJ, scientists have modeled factors driving mainland yellow-eyed penguin population decline and are calling for action to reduce regional threats.
Undetected Ebola infection in international healthcare workers very unlikely
Undiagnosed Ebola virus infection was probably very rare in international workers who were deployed during the 2013-2015 outbreak of the virus in West Africa, despite mild and asymptomatic cases of Ebola being known to occur, according to new research led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
Vitamin D promotes fatty acid oxidation in zebrafish adipose tissue
1α,25(OH)2D3 is the principal active hormonal form of vitamin D3 and is responsible for most of VD's biological actions. a Chinese research team led by Professor Yin Zhan at the Institute of Hydrobiology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences discovered an inverse correlation between the plasma levels of 1,25(OH)2D3 and body lipid content during zebrafish development and aging.
Loneliness in young adults linked to poor sleep quality
Researchers from King's College London have found a link between loneliness and poor sleep quality in a study of more than 2,000 British young adults.
Spread of tau protein measured in the brains of Alzheimer's patients
In a new study presented in Molecular Psychiatry, researchers at Karolinska Institutet have measured how deposits of the pathological protein tau spread through the brain over the course of Alzheimer's disease.
Three-year-olds understand, value obligations of joint commitment
The ability to engage in joint actions is a critical step toward becoming a cooperative human being.
Humans rely more on 'inferred' visual objects than 'real' ones
Humans treat 'inferred' visual objects generated by the brain as more reliable than external images from the real world, according to new research published in eLife.
UK researchers identify macrophages as key factor for regeneration in mammals
The team's findings, published today in eLife, shed light on how immune cells might be harnessed to someday help stimulate tissue regeneration in humans.
Bathroom scales will inform about life threatening conditions
Weighing oneself has become one of the most common morning rituals.
Low risk with deferred revascularization based on measures of intracoronary physiology
Paris, France: Deferring revascularization based on measures of intracoronary physiology using either instantaneous wave-free ratio (iFR) or fractional flow reserve (FFR) is associated with a low risk of major adverse coronary events, showed results reported at EuroPCR 2017 from the largest real-world study to investigate this strategy.
CCNY-led team breaks down social networking behavior
New big-data analytics by a City College of New York-led team suggests that both an individual's economic status and how they are likely to react to issues and policies can be inferred by their position in social networks.
Using genomics to fight deadly parasitic disease
An international team of researchers, led by University of New Mexico Associate Professor Coenraad Adema, is now one step closer to eliminating a deadly parasitic disease responsible for killing hundreds of thousands of people around the world every year.
Engaging diamond for next-era transistors
Most transistors are silicon-based and silicon technology has driven the computer revolution.
Defective intercellular connections cause hydrocephalus
A defective gene leads to changes in the cellular layer between cerebrospinal fluid and brain nervous tissue, thus causing a buildup of fluid in the brain.
Regular coral larvae supply from neighboring reefs helps degraded reefs recover
For reefs facing huge challenges, more coral larvae doesn't necessarily translate to increased rates of coral recovery on degraded reefs, a new Queensland study has showed.
Study: Higher mass transit use associated with lower obesity rates
Healthy mass transit systems could contribute to healthier communities, according to a new study by University of Illinois researchers that determined higher mass transit use was correlated with lower obesity rates in counties across the United States.
Family TV viewing and SMS texting could help cut internet energy use
Scrapping automatically-playing videos in apps and reversing trends of instant messaging and on-demand services could be key to cutting the growing energy demand of the Internet.
From where will the next big earthquake hit the city of Istanbul?
Scientists reckon with an earthquake with a magnitude of 7 or greater in this region in the coming years.
Study: 'Moral enhancement' technologies are neither feasible nor wise
A recent study finds that 'moral enhancement technologies' -- which are discussed as ways of improving human behavior -- are neither feasible nor wise, based on an assessment of existing research into these technologies.
Venom becomes more potent as brown snakes age
The 'blood nuking' capabilities of adult brown snake venom only come about after an amazing transformation.
Scientists propose better battery system for smart home use
A collaborative research team has proposed a novel programming solution to optimize power consumption in batteries.
Don't count on your chickens counting
To understand numbers, you need culture, says UC San Diego cognitive scientist Rafael Nunez.
Sam Houston State researchers study DNA from explosives
Researchers at Sam Houston State University (SHSU) hope to unmask manufacturers of homemade explosives using new advancements in DNA technology.
Weekly steroids strengthen and repair muscles
In a surprising finding, weekly doses of glucocorticoid steroids, such as prednisone, help speed recovery in muscle injuries, reports a new study.
Switching to aspirin/clopidogrel following 1 month of new P2Y12 inhibitor/aspirin post-ACS
Paris, France: Switching to a fixed-dose combination of aspirin plus clopidogrel after one month of potent dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) with a new P2Y12 inhibitor plus aspirin following an acute coronary syndrome (ACS) treated with a percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is associated with reduced risk of bleeding complications with no increase in ischaemic events, showed results from a study reported at EuroPCR 2017.
Energy decay in graphene resonators
An ICFO study in Nature Nanotechnology reveals a new way of energy dissipation in graphene nano-resonators.
American chestnut rescue will succeed, but slower than expected
The nearly century-old effort to employ selective breeding to rescue the American chestnut, which has been rendered functionally extinct by an introduced disease -- Chestnut blight, eventually will succeed, but it will take longer than many people expect.
Photoreceptor cell death leads to blindness in CLN5 form of Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis
Researchers from the University of Eastern Finland have discovered a likely cause for visual impairment and eventual loss of vision in the Finnish variant of Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis (NCL).
Warm weather increases the incidence of serious surgical site infections
Surgical site infections, a common healthcare-associated infection, are seasonal -- increasing in the summer and decreasing in the winter-according to new research published online today in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.
World first self-donning system for surgical gowns
The research group at Osaka University has succeeded in developing a safe and easy self-donning and self-adjusting surgical gown called 'Selfgown,' which could also minimize environmental infection from splashes when taking off gloves.
Under cyber attack: UH researchers look at how to catch a 'phisher'
As cybersecurity experts scramble to stop another wave of ransomware and malware scams that have infected computers around the world, computer science experts at the University of Houston are 'phishing' for reasons why these types of attacks are so successful.

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