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Science Current Events and Science News | Brightsurf | June 22, 2017


Secondhand smoke exposure among nonsmoking adult cancer survivors has declined
From 1999/2000 to 2011/2012, exposure to secondhand smoke among nonsmoking adult cancer survivors declined from 39.6 percent to 15.7 percent, but rates of exposure were higher among those with a history of a smoking-related cancer and those living below the federal poverty level compared with those with other types of cancer and those with the highest incomes, respectively.
Mouse study suggests how hearing a warning sound turns into fearing it over time
An adult mouse model reveals that changes in lattice-like structures in the brain known as perineuronal nets are necessary to 'capture' an auditory fear association and 'haul' it in as a longer-term memory.
Sea sponges stay put with anchors that bend but don't break
The anchors that hold Venus' flower basket sea sponges to the ocean floor have an internal architecture that increases their ability to bend, according to a new study.
Tiny nanoparticles offer significant potential in detecting/treating disease new review of work on exosomes
Exosomes - tiny biological nanoparticles which transfer information between cells - offer significant potential in detecting and treating disease, the most comprehensive overview so far of research in the field has concluded.
NASA's Webb telescope gets freezing summertime lodging in Houston
NASA's James Webb Space Telescope was placed in Johnson Space Center's historic Chamber A on June 20, 2017, to prepare for its final three months of testing in a cryogenic vacuum that mimics temperatures in space.
Using science to combat addiction
In this Policy Forum, Keith Humphreys and colleagues highlight the need for science, and particularly neuroscience, to inform policies that address addiction.
How protons move through a fuel cell
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells.
How pheromones trigger female sexual behavior
A study by a group of Japanese scientists showed how a male pheromone in mice enhances sexual behaviors in females -- and how it may enhance a different behavior, aggression, in males -- by identifying distinct neural circuits and neurons that generate a particular behavioral response to specific chemical signals.
Scientists uncover origins of the Sun's swirling spicules
For the first time, a computer simulation -- so detailed it took a full year to run -- shows how spicules form, helping scientists understand how spicules can break free of the sun's surface and surge upward so quickly.
How serious is binge drinking among college students with disabilities?
A new study finds that college students with disabilities binge drink more often than their non-disabled student peers.
High fat diet reduces gut bacteria, Crohn's disease symptoms
Researchers at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have shown a high fat diet may lead to specific changes in gut bacteria that could fight harmful inflammation -- a major discovery for patients suffering from Crohn's disease.
Finally, understanding how the sun's spicules are made
For the first time, researchers have built a model that accurately explains the formation of abundant jets of plasma in the Sun's atmosphere, called spicules.
Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?
In an arranged marriage of optics and mechanics, physicists have created microscopic structural beams that have a variety of powerful uses when light strikes them.
Adulthood wellbeing lower for single-parent kids -- new research
People who grew up in single-parent families have lower levels of wellbeing and life satisfaction in adulthood, according to new research by the University of Warwick.
New biomarker assay detects neuroblastoma with greater sensitivity
Investigators at The Saban Research Institute of Children's Hospital Los Angeles have developed and tested a new biomarker assay for quantifying disease and detecting the presence of neuroblastoma even when standard evaluations yield negative results for the disease.
More guns now being purchased for self-defense than recreation
In a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers determined that there has been a shift towards more lethal weapons that appear to be designed primarily for self-defense, rather than recreational use, such as hunting, target shooting, or other forms of recreation.
Localized signaling islands in cells: New targets for precision drug design
New research overturns long-held views on a basic messaging system within living cells.
Authenticity key to landing a new job
At job interviews, relax and be yourself -- if you're good, being yourself may be the best way to secure a job offer, according to a new study involving UCL researchers.
Switchable DNA mini-machines store information
Biomedical engineers have built simple machines out of DNA, consisting of arrays whose units switch reversibly between two different shapes.
News from the pathogen that causes sleeping sickness
A team of researchers from the University of Würzburg has discovered an interesting enzyme in the pathogens responsible for African sleeping sickness: It could be a promising target for drugs.
How eggs got their shapes
The evolution of the amniotic egg -- complete with membrane and shell -- was key to vertebrates leaving the oceans and colonizing the land and air but how bird eggs evolved into so many different shapes and sizes has long been a mystery.
Unexpected rotation in a stone-dead galaxy
joint European-US study led by experts from Niels Bohr Institute (NBI) at University of Copenhagen, Denmark, reveals a rotating stellar disk à la the Milky Way in a stone-dead galaxy 10 billion light-years from Earth.
Researchers find way to better use current drugs to target cancer
The drugs helped to understand the biology. The researchers worked backwards, employing a series of drugs used in the clinic to understand a new way that cancer stem cells can be killed.
Lessons from whale population collapse could help future species at risk
A study of historic whaling records has revealed there were warning signs that populations of commercially harvested whales were heading for global collapse up to 40 years before the event.
Ancient Egyptians to modern humans: Coronary artery disease genes benefit reproduction
Researchers have found that genes for coronary heart disease (CAD) also influence reproduction, so in order to reproduce successfully, the genes for heart disease will also be inherited.
White people show race bias when judging deception
When making judgments about who is lying and who is telling the truth, new research shows that White people are more likely to label a Black person as a truth-teller compared with a White person, even though their spontaneous behavior indicates the reverse bias.
Researchers show first evidence of using cortical targets to improve motor function
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine's Dr. Monica A.
Does MRI plus mammography improve detection of new breast cancer after breast conservation therapy?
A new article published by JAMA Oncology compares outcomes for combined mammography and MRI or ultrasonography screenings for new breast cancers in women who have previously undergone breast conservation surgery and radiotherapy for breast cancer initially diagnosed at 50 or younger.
Turtle go-slow zone extensions needed
James Cook University marine scientists are calling for an extension of go-slow zones in turtle habitats to reduce boat strikes on the threatened creatures.
Study examines gun policy preferences across racial groups
Support for all forms of gun control is stronger among Latinos and blacks than whites, according to researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
The two faces of rot fungi
Yogurt, beer, bread and specialties such as tasty blue cheeses or good wine -- special microorganisms and refining processes first produce the pleasant flavors and enticing aromas of many foodstuffs.
Elevated rate of autism symptoms found in children with Tourette syndrome
Around one in five children with Tourette syndrome, a neurological disorder characterized by involuntary movements and vocalizations, met criteria for autism in a study headed by UC San Francisco.
Study debunks claim of greatly improved survival rate for gunshot victims
The survival rate of US gunshot victims has not shown a marked improvement, as other recent studies have suggested, according to new research from Duke University and the University of California, Davis.
Holey pattern boosts coherence of nanomechanical membrane vibrations
Researchers at the Niels Bohr Institute have introduced a new type of nanomechanical resonator, in which a pattern of holes localizes vibrations to a small region in a 30 nm thick membrane.
Piling on pressure solves enduring mystery about metal's makeup
Extreme pressure experiments and powerful supercomputing have enabled scientists to solve a decades-old puzzle about the fundamental properties of the widely used metal lithium.
An integrated perspective on diabetic, alcoholic, and drug-induced neuropathy
Neuropathic pain (NeuP) is a persistent, debilitating form of chronic pain that results from damaged nerves.
Paracetamol during pregnancy can inhibit masculinity
Paracetamol during pregnancy can inhibit masculinity Paracetamol during pregnancy can inhibit the development of 'male behavior' in mice.
Human genes for coronary artery disease make them more prolific parents
Coronary artery disease may have persisted in human populations because the genes that cause this late-striking disease also contribute to greater numbers of children, reports Dr Sean Byars of The University of Melbourne and Associate Professor Michael Inouye of the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, Australia, in a study published June 22, 2017 in PLOS Genetics.
Cracking the mystery of avian egg shape
According to new research, egg shape in birds is related to adaptations for efficient flight -- and a mechanistic model reveals how different egg shapes may be formed.
Nearly half of US women don't know heart disease is their No. 1 killer
Women and their physicians are largely uneducated when it comes to females and heart disease, putting women's health and lives at greater risk, a new study out today shows.
New efficient, low-temperature catalyst for hydrogen production
Scientists have developed a new low-temperature catalyst for producing high-purity hydrogen gas while simultaneously using up carbon monoxide (CO).
Personalized exoskeletons are taking support one step farther
Researchers have developed an exoskeleton system that provides personalized support for its user.
Study uncovers link between male hormones and metabolic disease in polycystic ovary syndrome
Scientists from the University of Birmingham have discovered the link between increased male hormones and metabolic complications such as diabetes and fatty liver disease in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
Seafood poisoning bug thwarts a key host defense by attacking the cell's cytoskeleton
The leading cause of acute gastroenteritis linked to eating raw seafood disarms a key host defense system in a novel way: It paralyzes a cell's skeleton, or cytoskeleton.
New report examines evidence on interventions to prevent cognitive decline, dementia
Cognitive training, blood pressure management for people with hypertension, and increased physical activity all show modest but inconclusive evidence that they can help prevent cognitive decline and dementia, but there is insufficient evidence to support a public health campaign encouraging their adoption, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
Cells in fish's spinal discs repair themselves
Duke researchers have discovered a unique repair mechanism in the developing backbone of zebrafish that could give insight into why spinal discs of longer-lived organisms like humans degenerate with age.
New design improves performance of flexible wearable electronics
In a proof-of-concept study, North Carolina State University engineers have designed a flexible thermoelectric energy harvester that has the potential to rival the effectiveness of existing power wearable electronic devices using body heat as the only source of energy.
Snake fungal disease identified in wild British snakes for first time
Europe's wild snakes could face a growing threat from a fungal skin disease that has contributed to wild snake deaths in North America, according to an international collaborative study, led by conservation charity ZSL (Zoological Society of London) alongside partners including the US Geological Survey.
Clinics cut pregnancy risks for obese women
Specialist antenatal clinics for severely obese mums-to-be can help cut rates of pregnancy complications, research has found.
Video games can change your brain
Scientists have collected and summarized studies looking at how video games can shape our brains and behavior.
Discovery of a new mechanism involved in the migration of cancer cells
A team of young French researchers has discovered a new mechanism which facilitates cell migration.
Studies of US Lassa fever patient offer clues about immune response, viral persistence
Researchers were able to closely study a Lassa fever patient's immune response over time after he was evacuated to the US for treatment.
Research suggests sexual appeals in ads don't sell brands, products
Ads with sexual appeals are more likely to be remembered but don't sell the brand or product, according to a meta-analysis of nearly 80 advertising studies, published online this week by the International Journal of Advertising.
Changes to diet, physical activity & behavior may reduce obesity in children, adolescents
Latest health evidence shows that making changes to diet, physical activity and behavior may reduce obesity in children and adolescents.
Cancer cells may streamline their genomes in order to proliferate more easily
Research from the Stowers Institute provides evidence suggesting that cancer cells might streamline their genomes in order to proliferate more easily.
Don't lose sleep over sharing your bed with your pet or kids
About half of all pet owners share their beds or bedrooms with their pets.
For the first time in a patient, Stanford researchers use long-read genome sequencing
Researchers at Stanford have used a next-generation technology called long-read sequencing to diagnose a patient's rare genetic condition that current technology failed to diagnose.
Scientists recreate Californian Indian water bottles to study ancient exposure to chemicals
Water bottles replicated in the traditional method used by Native Californian Indians reveal that the manufacturing process may have been detrimental to the health of these people.
Mathematical confirmation: Rewiring financial networks reduces systemic risk
A proposed tax on systemically risky financial transactions could reduce the risk of financial system crashes by spurring financial networks to reshape in more resilient ways.
Stereotypes still affect females' career aspirations in STEM topics
Study investigates the impact of stereotypes and the role of family, school and society on the self-concept of females already studying these scientific subjects and found that these stereotypes do impact the self-concept of females already studying these scientific subjects.
A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL
EPFL researchers have found a way around what was considered a fundamental limitation of physics for over 100 years.
New insight into a central biological dogma on ion transport
New research results from Aarhus University and New York University show how active transport of potassium can be achieved by a membrane protein complex that has roots in both ion pump and ion channel super-families.
NASA's infrared and radar eyes in space cast on Tropical Storm Cindy
NASA's Aqua satellite analyzed Tropical Storm Cindy in infrared light to identify areas of strongest storms and the Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM satellite found locations of heaviest rainfall as Cindy was making landfall along the US Gulf Coast states.
The biology of uterine fluid: How it informs the fetus of mom's world
A developing fetus bathes in a mixture of cellular secretions and proteins unique to its mother's uterus.
Select memories can be erased, leaving others intact
Different types of memories stored in the same neuron of the marine snail Aplysia can be selectively erased, according to a new study by researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) and McGill University and published today in Current Biology.
Uncomfortable summer heat makes people moody and unhelpful, new research finds
Associate professor Liuba Belkin of Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and Maryam Kouchaki, assistant professor at Northwestern in Evanston, Illinois, conclude in a new study, that when when it's uncomfortably hot, we're less likely to be helpful or 'prosocial.'
HPV testing leads to earlier detection and treatment of cervical pre-cancer
Women who receive human papillomavirus (HPV) testing, in addition to a pap smear, receive a faster, more complete diagnosis of possible cervical precancer, according to a study of over 450,000 women by Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) and the University of New Mexico (UNM) Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Child safety or parental duty: New study maps out core concepts in the vaccination debate
'A single phrase can conjure up completely different images in our minds, depending on how that concept is organized in our mental models,' said Samarth Swarup, a research assistant professor at Virginia Tech.
New screen coating makes reading in sunlight a lot easier -- the secret? Moth eyes
Screens on even the newest phones and tablets can be hard to read outside in bright sunlight.
UK Chemistry researchers develop catalyst that mimics the z-scheme of photosynthesis
Published in Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, the study demonstrates a process with great potential for developing technologies for reducing CO2 levels.
Biofilms -- the eradication has begun
Biofilms are slimy, glue-like membranes that are produced by microbes in order to colonize surfaces.
Australian origin likely for iconic New Zealand tree
Ancestors of the iconic New Zealand Christmas Tree, P?hutukawa, may have originated in Australia, new fossil research from the University of Adelaide suggests.
Negative tweets can trash TV programs for other viewers
Negative social media comments about a television show tend to lower enjoyment for other viewers, while positive comments may not significantly boost their enjoyment, according to researchers.
Accentuate the positive to reduce risk of chronic disease
People who experience not just positive emotions but a diversity of positive emotions appear to have lower levels of systemic inflammation, which may reduce their risk for chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.
Popular prostate drug linked to serious side effects
Treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) with the commonly prescribed Avodart (Dutsteride) may put men at an increased risk for diabetes, elevated cholesterol levels, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and worsening erectile dysfunction.
Tourette Syndrome risk increases in people with genetic copy variations
An international team that just conducted the largest study of Tourette Syndrome has identified genetic abnormalities that are the first definitive risk genes for the disorder.
Intensive blood pressure lowering benefits patients with chronic kidney disease
In individuals with chronic kidney disease, targeting a systolic blood pressure to <120 mm Hg resulted in lower risks of cardiovascular events and premature death, compared with standard targeting to <140 mm Hg.
Smooth propagation of spin waves using gold
Assistant Professor Taichi Goto at Toyohashi University of Technology elucidated the noise generation mechanism of the spin wave (SW), the wave of a magnetic moment transmitted through magnetic oxide, and established a way to suppress it.
Bug spray accumulation in the home
A newly published article in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry reports that pyrethroids, a common household pesticide known to cause skin irritation, headache, dizziness and nausea, persists in the home for up over one year.
How do genes get new jobs? Wasp venom offers new insights
In a study published in Current Biology on June 22, the lab of Professor John Werren at the University of Rochester describes how four closely related species of parasitic wasps change their venoms rapidly in order to adapt to new hosts, and proposes that co-option of single copy genes may be a common but relatively understudied mechanism of evolution for new gene functions, particularly under conditions of rapid evolutionary change.
Proton pump inhibitors do not contribute to dementia or Alzheimer's disease
Noting that the prescription of proton pump inhibitors is on the rise among middle-aged and older adults, a team of researchers designed a new study to examine PPIs and the risk of dementia, mild cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer's disease.
Diabetes patients still produce insulin
Some insulin is still produced in almost half of the patients that have had type 1 diabetes for more than ten years.
Public health guidelines aim to lower health risks of cannabis use
Canada's Lower-Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines, released today with the endorsement of key medical and public health organizations, provide 10 science-based recommendations to enable cannabis users to reduce their health risks.
Rare cells are 'window into the gut' for the nervous system
Specialized cells in the gut sense potentially noxious chemicals and trigger electrical impulses in nearby nerve fibers, according to a new study led by UC San Francisco scientists.
Custom built molecule shows promise as anti-cancer therapy
Scientists at the University of Bath funded by Cancer Research UK have custom-built a molecule which stops breast cancer cells from multiplying in laboratory trials, and hope it will eventually lead to a treatment for the disease.
Lab grown human colons change study of GI disease
Scientists used human pluripotent stem cells to generate human embryonic colons in a laboratory that function much like natural human tissues when transplanted into mice, according to research published June 22 in Cell Stem Cell.
Study sheds light on how bacterial organelles assemble
Scientists at Berkeley Lab and Michigan State University are providing the clearest view yet of an intact bacterial microcompartment, revealing at atomic-level resolution the structure and assembly of the organelle's protein shell.
Crowdsourced data may inaccurately represent some population groups
While crowdsourcing, a practice that enables study participants to submit data electronically, has grown in use for health and medical research, a study led by UC San Francisco comparing the online approach to a standard telephone survey has found that certain crowdsourced groups are either over- or underrepresented by age, race/ethnicity, education and physical activity.
Simulated honeybees can use simple brain circuits for complex learning
Honeybees may not need key brain structures known as mushroom bodies in order to learn complex associations between odors and rewards, according to new research published in PLOS Computational Biology.
How pythons regenerate their organs and other secrets of the snake genome
Snakes exhibit incredible evolutionary adaptations, including the ability to rapidly regenerate their organs and produce venom.
Multifunctional catalyst for poison-resistant hydrogen fuel cells
A Kyushu University-led collaboration developed a catalyst that can oxidize both hydrogen and carbon monoxide in fuel cells.
Ecology insights improve plant biomass degradation by microorganisms
Microbes are widely used to break down plant biomass into sugars, which can be used as sustainable building blocks for novel biocompounds.
First Chikungunya-infected Aedes aegypti mosquitos found in Brazil
While more than 13,000 cases of Chikungunya viral disease were reported in Brazil in 2015, scientists had never before detected the virus in a captured mosquito in this country.
The 'Star dust' wasp is a new extinct species named after David Bowie's alter ego
During her study on fossil insects at China's Capitol Normal University, student Longfeng Li visited the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, USA, carrying two unidentified wasp specimens that were exceptionally well-preserved and 100 million years old.
Bacterial organizational complexities revealed
For the first time, scientists have visualized the fine details of bacterial microcompartment shells -- the organisms' submicroscopic nanoreactors, which are comprised completely of protein.
Magnetic memories of a metal world
Research deciphering the hidden magnetic messages encoded in a rare group of meteorites has helped secure nearly half a billion dollars of NASA funding for a journey to their parent asteroid -- the only known place in the solar system where scientists can examine directly what is probably a metallic core.
Eating your feelings? The link between job stress, junk food and sleep
Stress during the workday can lead to overeating and unhealthy food choices at dinnertime, but there could be a buffer to this harmful pattern.
Combined molecular biology test is the first to distinguish benign pancreatic lesions
When performed in tandem, two molecular biology laboratory tests distinguish, with near certainty, pancreatic lesions that mimic early signs of cancer but are completely benign.
Researchers design sounds that can be recorded by microphones but inaudible to humans
Researchers at the University of Illinois have designed a sound that is completely inaudible to humans (40 kHz or above) yet is audible to any microphone.
Cleveland Clinic discovers similarities between next-generation prostate cancer drugs
Cleveland Clinic researchers have shown for the first time how a class of advanced prostate cancer drugs are processed in the body and how their anti-tumor activity might change depending on how they are metabolized.
Correct connections are crucial
Working with colleagues from Harvard Medical School and Würzburg, researchers from Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin have been examining the use of deep brain stimulation in the treatment of Parkison's disease in an attempt to optimize treatment effectiveness.
Greater emphasis on preventing, treating heart disease in women needed
Women and physicians do not put enough emphasis on cardiovascular disease in women, and a social stigma regarding body weight may be a primary barrier to these important discussions, according to research publishing today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Patient-inspired research uncovers new link to rare disorder
Peroxisomal biogenesis disorder, which has been linked only to lipid metabolism, is also associated with sugar metabolism.
ACP expresses 'strongest opposition' to Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017
The American College of Physicians (ACP) expresses our strongest possible opposition to the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) of 2017, legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
On polygamous females and single-parent males
On polygamous females and single-parent males Behavioral researchers at Bielefeld University are studying plovers Male plovers survive more successfully in the wild than females.
Satellite data to map endangered monkey populations on Earth
Universities of Leicester and East Anglia lead research to identify biodiversity through satellite data.
UM research points to previously unknown pine marten diversity
The elusive American pine marten, a little-studied member of the weasel family, might be more diverse than originally thought, according to new research published by a University of Montana professor.
A rising star
It's a tiny marine invertebrate, no more than 3 millimeters in size.
New brain network model could explain differences in brain injuries
Considering the brain's network of activity, rather than just individual regions, could help us understand why some brain injuries are much worse than others, according to a study published PLOS Computational Biology by Maxwell B.
Alzheimer's disease study links brain health and physical activity
People at risk for Alzheimer's disease who do more moderate-intensity physical activity, but not light-intensity physical activity, are more likely to have healthy patterns of glucose metabolism in their brain, according to a new UW-Madison study.
Critical gaps in our knowledge of where infectious diseases occur
Today Scientists have called for action. The scientific journal Nature Ecology & Evolution have published a joint statement from scientists at Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate, University of Copenhagen and North Carolina State University.
Scientists uncover potential mechanism for HPV-induced skin cancer
Scientists have identified a molecular pathway by which some types of human papilloma virus (HPV) might increase the risk of skin cancer, particularly in people with the rare genetic disorder epidermodysplasia verruciformis (EV).
Flight ability of birds affects the shape of their eggs
Many different theories exist as to why the shape of bird eggs varies so much across species, and now, new research yields evidence that variable egg shape is driven by unique flight adaptations.

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