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Science Current Events and Science News | Brightsurf | June 27, 2017


A bioplastic derived from soya protein which can absorb up to forty times its own weight
This new product, which is organic and biodegradable, is environmentally friendly.
Study shows biomarkers can predict which ER-positive breast cancer patients respond best to first-line therapy
Two challenges in treating patients with estrogen-positive breast cancer (ER+) have been an inability to predict who will respond to standard therapies and adverse events leading to therapy discontinuation.
Groundbreaking discovery confirms existence of orbiting supermassive black holes
For the first time ever, astronomers at The University of New Mexico say they've been able to observe and measure the orbital motion between two supermassive black holes hundreds of millions of light years from Earth -- a discovery more than a decade in the making.
Study identifies key player in heart enlargement
The heart is a dynamic muscle that grows and shrinks in response to stressors such as exercise and disease.
Seizures follow similar path regardless of speed, says study
In a new study in Cell Reports, researchers at Columbia University show that the neurons of mice undergoing seizures fire off in a sequential pattern no matter how quickly the seizure propagates -- a finding that confirms seizures are not the result of neurons randomly going haywire.
Researchers develop microneedle patch for flu vaccination
A National Institutes of Health-funded study led by a team at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University has shown that an influenza vaccine can produce robust immune responses and be administered safely with an experimental patch of dissolving microneedles.
Pre-synaptic cadherin/catenin complexes stablize post-synaptic spines in vivo
A recent study conducted by Dr. YU Xiang's lab at the Institute of Neuroscience of Chinese Academy of Sciences uncovered an asymmetric role for the symmetric cadherin/catenin cell adhesion complexes in functional synapse formation in the neocortex.
New photoacoustic technique detects gases at parts-per-quadrillion level
The technique enables the detection of gases, such as atmospheric pollutants, present in extremely small quantities that are otherwise difficult or impossible to detect.
Extremely fine measurements of motion in orbiting supermassive black holes
After 12 years observing black holes at the center of an amalgam of ancient galaxies, a multi-institution team, including Stanford's Roger Romani, may have recorded the smallest-ever movement of an object across the sky.
Genetic tests help identify relative risk of 25 cancer-associated mutations
Researchers assigned levels of risk to 25 mutations associated with breast and ovarian cancer in a large, Stanford-led study.
Jellyfish fluorescence shines new light on DNA copying
Scientists at the University of York have used florescent proteins from jellyfish to help shed new light on how DNA replicates.
Expanded Medicaid helped people do better at their jobs or seek work, and improved health
Most low-income Michigan residents who signed up for the state's expanded Medicaid program say their new health insurance helped them do a better job at work, or made it easier for them to seek a new or better job, in the first year after they enrolled, according to a new study.
A mouse's view of the world, seen through its whiskers
Neuroscientists have thoroughly mapped the touch, visual and auditory regions of the brain's cortex, but how does this sensory information get processed into our perception of the world?
Microneedle patches for flu vaccination prove successful in first human clinical trial
A phase I clinical trial conducted by Emory University in collaboration with researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology has found that influenza vaccination using Band-Aid-like patches with dissolvable microneedles was safe and well-tolerated by study participants, was just as effective in generating immunity against influenza, and was strongly preferred by study participants over vaccination with a hypodermic needle and syringe.
Protein associated with Parkinson's disease linked to human upper GI tract infections
Acute and chronic infections in a person's upper gastrointestinal tract appear to be linked to Parkinson's disease, say scientists at Georgetown University Medical Center and their collaborators at the National Institutes of Health and other institutions.
Insights into closed enzymes
Scientists at the University of Konstanz and Umea University in Sweden have arrived at a structural model of the enzyme adenylate kinase in its closed state
Proteins linked to HIV transmission could actually be beneficial for reproduction
Protein fragments found in semen, and previously only known for their ability to enhance HIV infection, also appear to play an important role in reproductive biology.
Estimating Alzheimer's disease causative genes by an evolutionary medicine approach
A new approach to finding Alzheimer's disease (AD) causative genes was estimated by paying attention to special duplicated genes called 'ohnologs' included in the genomic region specific to AD patients.Human ohnologs, which are vulnerable to change in number, were generated by whole genome duplications 500 million years ago.
Cotton candy capillaries lead to circuit boards that dissolve when cooled
The silver nanowires are held together in the polymer so that they touch, and as long as the polymer doesn't dissolve, the nanowires will form a path to conduct electricity similar to the traces on a circuit board.
Discrimination, lack of diversity, & societal risks of data mining highlighted in big data
A special issue of Big Data presents a series of insightful articles that focus on Big Data and Social and Technical Trade-Offs.
Remote sensing technologies key to the future of the oil palm industry
Remote sensing technologies, using satellite and aerial data, could revolutionize the management of the oil palm industry, bringing both business and environmental benefits, say environmental experts writing in the journal Geo-spatial Information Science.
Slow motion makes football referees more likely to give a red card
Video assistant refereeing in football has to be used with caution.
Lake harvests are likely more fruitful than we knew
Harvests from freshwater fisheries such as the Great Lakes could total more than 12 million tons a year globally and contribute more to global food supplies and economies than previous estimates indicate, according to a study published today by Michigan State University and the US Geological Survey.
Amber warning for the UK's access to new medicines post Brexit
In an editorial to be published on Tuesday June 27, 2017 in the journal ecancermedicalscience, Anthony Hatswell of BresMed and University College London, explores the consequences of a British exit from the European Medicines Agency as a result of Brexit, and what this will mean for pharmaceutical regulation and future access to medicines for UK citizens.
3-D-printed jars in ball-milling experiments
Mechanochemistry is a widespread synthesis technique in all areas of chemistry.
How many protozoa are in the water we drink?
Researchers from the University of Zaragoza (Spain) have analyzed drinking water and detected oocysts of Cryptosporidium and cysts of Giardia, two protozoa that cause outbreaks of diarrhea in humans.
As climate stirs Arctic sea ice faster, pollution tags along
A warming climate is not just melting the Arctic's sea ice; it is stirring the remaining ice faster, increasing the odds that ice-rafted pollution will foul a neighboring country's waters, says a new study.
Community-wide effort to fight childhood obesity shows promise
A large-scale effort to reduce childhood obesity in two low-income Massachusetts communities resulted in some modest improvements among schoolchildren over a relatively short period of time, suggesting that such a comprehensive approach holds promise for the future, according to a new study from Harvard T.H.
New gene editing technique could drive out mosquito-borne disease
Scientists at UC Berkeley and UC Riverside have demonstrated a way to edit the genome of disease-carrying mosquitoes that brings us closer to suppressing them on a continental scale.
Giving birth multiple times has impact on stroke recovery, study shows
New research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that while perimenopausal female mice that gave birth multiple times (multiparous) were at higher risk of stroke, they recovered better than mice that had not ever reproduced.
Morgridge scientists illuminate structures vital to virus replication
Scientists at the Morgridge Institute for Research have, for the first time, imaged molecular structures vital to how a major class of viruses replicates within infected cells.
Ozone recovery may be delayed by unregulated chemicals
Recent increases in an unregulated ozone-depleting substance, could delay recovery of Antarctic ozone levels by 5-30 years, depending on emissions scenarios.
Researchers ID network of neurons crucial for vocal learning
Researchers have identified a network of neurons that plays a vital role in learning vocalizations by aiding communication between motor and auditory regions of the brain.
UC biologist looks at butterflies to help solve human infertility
UC biologist helps decode the structural complexities of male butterfly ejaculate and co-evolving female reproductive tract.
Seeing the forest through the trees with a new LiDAR system
Researchers from the Naval Research Laboratory use gated digital holography methods to develop foliage penetrating LiDAR that can survey obscured ground.
The Blue-winged Amazon: A new parrot species from the Yucatán Peninsula
In 2014, during a visit to a remote part of the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico, ornithologist Dr.
Ingredient found in soap can alter 'wettability' of your skin
Ingredient found in soap can alter 'wettability' of your skin.
The dust storm microbiome
The airborne dust carried in sand storms affects the health of people and ecosystems alike.
Sunscreen creams break down into dangerous chemical compounds under the sunlight
Scientists from the Faculty of Chemistry of the Lomonosov Moscow State University have demonstrated in their research the nature of hazardous chemical compounds formed as a result of the breakdown of avobenzone, a component of many sunscreen products, when it interacts with chlorinated water and ultraviolet radiation.
Obesity risk factors dropped in preschoolers in prevention program
A community-wide intervention for families who receive WIC benefits reduced obesity risk factors in preschoolers.
Leaping lizards!
Many geckos inhabit trees, often living high in the canopy.
Mice provide insight into genetics of autism spectrum disorders
The CHD8 gene is associated with some cases of human autism.
Comprehensive program improves measures of childhood obesity at community health center
A comprehensive program to reduce or prevent childhood obesity in low-income communities led to significant improvements in obesity-related measures among children cared for at a Massachusetts community health center.
Older obese adults can benefit from moderate exercise
Moderate-intensity exercise can help even extremely obese older adults improve their ability to perform common daily activities and remain independent, according to researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.
Concussion assessment recommendations not followed during last World Cup, research finds
International recommendations for assessing whether athletes had suffered a concussion were not followed during the 2014 World Cup, according to research published today.
Directed gene-copy variation: The key to conquering new environments
A study of yeast reveals new mechanism that allows cells to adapt to environmental changes more rapidly by accelerating genetic changes around genes that boost fitness, publishing June 27 in the open access journal PLOS Biology, by Dr.
Hey Siri, an ancient algorithm may help you grasp metaphors
Ask Siri to find a math tutor to help you 'grasp' calculus and she's likely to respond that your request is beyond her abilities.
X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy under real ambient pressure conditions
Researchers in the Institute for Molecular Science (Japan) and their collaborators have improved an ambient-pressure photoelectron spectroscopy instrument using hard X-rays and succeeded in photoelectron spectrometry under real atmospheric pressure for the first time in the world.
Study sheds light on how ovarian cancer spreads
A team of researchers from the University of California, Riverside and the University of Notre Dame are studying the molecular mechanisms by which ovarian cancer spreads -- or metastasizes -- to uncover new therapeutic opportunities.
Technology should be used to boost empathy-based medicine
Existing digital technologies must be exploited to enable a paradigm shift in current healthcare delivery which focuses on tests, treatments and targets rather than the therapeutic benefits of empathy.
How grassland management without the loss of species works
The intensive management of grasslands is bad for biodiversity. However, a study by the Terrestrial Ecology Research Group at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has brought a ray of hope: If different forms of management are optimally distributed within a region, this can lead to higher yields without the loss of insect species.
Older adults who take 5+ medications walk slower than those who take fewer medications
The ability to walk well is a sign of independence and good health for older adults, for example, and it may be affected by the use of multiple medications.
Transcranial stimulation and/or physical therapy improves walking speed in Parkinson's disease
Noninvasive brain stimulation and physical therapy -- alone or in combination -- improve some measures of walking ability in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD), concludes a clinical trial in the American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, the official journal of the Association of Academic Physiatrists.
Distant earthquakes can cause underwater landslides
New research finds large earthquakes can trigger underwater landslides thousands of miles away, weeks or months after the quake occurs.
New wound healing properties of ficin researched at Kazan University
Biofilms, the communities of surface-attached bacteria embedded into extracellular matrix, are ubiquitous microbial consortia securing the effective resistance of constituent cells to environmental impacts and host immune responses.
What we can learn about global flu evolution from one person's infection
A new study has found that flu evolution within some individuals can hint at the virus's eventual evolutionary course worldwide.
Cystic fibrosis alters the structure of mucus in airways
Cystic fibrosis (CF) alters the structure of mucus produced in airway passages.
Results from new global health task shifting trial surprise researchers
One of the largest stroke rehabilitation trials ever undertaken has revealed family-led rehabilitation is ineffective.
Shock report tells of system that turns people with learning disabilities into commodities
'A trade in people' with learning disabilities and/or autism has been uncovered by a partnership of activists, families and Lancaster University academics.
Concussion protocols often not followed during FIFA World Cup
In the 2014 soccer World Cup, concussion assessment protocols were not followed in more than 60 percent of plays in which players involved in head collisions were not assessed by sideline health care personnel, according to a study published by JAMA.
High prevalence of diabetes, prediabetes in China
A large, nationally representative survey in 2013 of adults in China finds that the estimated overall prevalence of diabetes was about 11 percent and that of prediabetes was nearly 36 percent, according to a study published by JAMA.
New report: FMCSA's safety measurement system is sound, implementation improvements needed
While the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) Safety Measurement System (SMS) used to identify commercial motor vehicle carriers at high risk for future crashes is conceptually sound, several features of its implementation need improvement, says a new congressionally mandated report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
A human enzyme can reduce neurotoxic amyloids in a mouse model of dementia
A naturally occurring human enzyme -called cyclophilin 40 or CyP40- can unravel protein aggregates that contribute to both Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease, according to a study publishing June 27 in the open access journal PLOS Biology by Jeremy Baker, Laura Blair, and Chad Dickey of the University of South Florida in Tampa, and colleagues.
Tech company video ads still dominated by white males
Consumer tech companies that are serious about attracting more women and people from minority groups into their workforce might want to revisit the video advertisements featured on their websites.
Genetic engineering tool generates antioxidant-rich purple rice
Researchers in China have developed a genetic engineering approach capable of delivering many genes at once and used it to make rice endosperm -- seed tissue that provides nutrients to the developing plant embryo -- produce high levels of antioxidant-boosting pigments called anthocyanins.
Researchers examine brain region that affects drug use habits
University of Iowa researchers have identified a brain region involved in cocaine addiction.
With health care cuts looming, low-cost magnesium a welcome option for treating depression
The cost of depression is great -- 350 million people worldwide suffer from this disorder and costs for traditional SSRI treatments are high.
Hospitalizations for heart failure on the decline; disparities remain for blacks and men
Heart failure hospitalizations in the United States have declined overall but remain significantly higher among blacks.
Digital dating abuse especially bad for girls
Teens expect to experience some digital forms of abuse in dating, but girls may be suffering more severe emotional consequences than boys, according to a new study.
Training changes the way the brain pays attention
Behavioral training changes the way attention facilitates information processing in the human brain, a study publishing on June 27 in the open access journal PLOS Biology led by Sirawaj Itthipuripat, at University of California San Diego, has found.
Study: Intracranial pathology not necessary for gadolinium deposition in brain tissues
New research suggests gadolinium retention may be more widespread and may be present in many more, or possibly all, patients exposed to gadolinium-based contrast agents, according to new research.
Yoga more risky for causing musculoskeletal pain than you might think
Yoga causes musculoskeletal pain in 10 percent of people and exacerbates 21 percent of existing injuries, University of Sydney research shows.
Physicists make quantum leap in understanding life's nanoscale machinery
A diagnostic technique that can detect tiny molecules signalling the presence of cancer could be on the horizon.
Conducting shell for bacteria
Under anaerobic conditions, certain bacteria can produce electricity. This behavior can be exploited in microbial fuel cells, with a special focus on wastewater treatment schemes.
Dartmouth study finds legal cannabis laws impact teen use
A new study by researchers at Dartmouth has found that adolescents living in medical marijuana states with a plethora of dispensaries are more likely to have tried new methods of cannabis use, such as edibles and vaping, at a younger age than those living in states with fewer dispensaries.
Mixed results on effectiveness of acupuncture to treat stress urinary incontinence, infertility
Electroacupuncture improved stress urinary incontinence -- that's when a woman can experience an involuntary loss of urine such as when sneezing or coughing -- but acupuncture did not increase the likelihood of childbirth among women with infertility, according to two studies published by JAMA.
Reptile skin grown in lab for first time, helps study endangered turtle disease
Scientists recently reconstructed the skin of endangered green turtles, marking the first time that skin of a non-mammal was successfully engineered in a laboratory, according to a recently published US Geological Survey study.
Nagoya University chemists turn metal catalysis on its head for a sustainable future
Nagoya University team used high-valent transition metal catalysts for an unconventional hydrogenation of carboxylic acid groups, common to biomass feedstocks.
Study calls for urgent need for improved human-wildlife conflict management across India
There is an urgent need to strengthen human-wildlife conflict management across India, as up to 32 wildlife species are damaging life and property in this nation of 1 billion people, according to a recent study published in the July 2017 edition of Human Dimensions of Wildlife.
Brain's connectivity network may provide key insights into neurological disorders
A deeper understanding of the brain's connectivity network of neurons and its relationship to the organ's deep tissue could allow researchers to predict brain spatial patterns and recognize what processes relate to neurological disorders, according to a new study from Weill Cornell Medicine and the University of California at San Francisco.
The trouble with being a handsome bird
Male birds often use brightly coloured plumage to be attractive to females.
Brain signals deliver first targeted treatment for world's most common movement disorder
In a first, UW researchers have delivered targeted treatment for essential tremor -- the world's most common neurological movement disorder -- by decoding brain signals to sense when patients limbs are shaking.
Adults with autism make more consistent choices
People with autism spectrum conditions (ASC) often show a reduced sensitivity to contextual information in perceptual tasks, but new research suggests that this reduced sensitivity may actually lead to more consistent choices in high-level decision-making tasks.
New knowledge about the dynamics of proteins can shape the future in drug development
New research provides mechanistic insight into how protein dynamics control the activity of a group of enzymes called serine proteases.
Astronomers detect orbital motion in pair of supermassive black holes
Images made with the continent-wide Very Long Baseline Array detect the orbital motion of two supermassive black holes as they circle each other at the center of a distant galaxy.
Ancient retrovirus embedded in the human genome helps fight HIV-1 infection
Researchers from Kumamoto University in Japan have found that a human endogenous retrovirus family, HERV-K, interferes with the replication and infectivity of HIV-1.
Harnessing cancer's methylation footprint for more precise diagnosis and prognosis
In a new study, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, with colleagues in Xijing Hospital and Sun Yat-sen Cancer Center in China, report that DNA methylation can provide effective markers for at least four major cancers, not only correctly differentiating malignant tissues from normal, but also providing information on prognosis and survival.
The Bee-Zed asteroid orbits in the opposite direction to planets
In our solar system, an asteroid orbits the Sun in the opposite direction to the planets.
What makes stem cells into perfect allrounders
Researchers from the University of Zurich and the University Hospital Zurich have discovered the protein that enables natural embryonic stem cells to form all body cells.
Researchers discover novel colistin resistance gene mcr-3 in Escherichia coli
Researchers have now discovered a new mobile colistin resistance gene, mcr-3, in E. coli of pig origin.
Image analysis and artificial intelligence (AI) will change dairy farming
A group of researchers led by Osaka University developed an early detection method for cow lameness (hoof disease), a major disease of dairy cattle, from images of cow gait with an accuracy of 99 percent or higher by applying human gait analysis.
UW-Madison scientists illuminate structures vital to virus replication
Scientists at the Morgridge Institute for Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have, for the first time, imaged molecular structures vital to how a major class of viruses replicates within infected cells.
NASA captures Hurricane Dora at peak strength, before weakening began
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite captured an image of Dora at peak strength late on June 26 before it started moving over cooler waters that began sapping its power.
Study examines disciplinary segregation across state prisons
Nearly one-third of offenders who violated institutional rules and regulations across state prisons received a sanction of disciplinary segregation, which prison officials based on legal and extralegal factors, according to a recent study.
Woodrats can't stomach favorite foods at high temps
But the woodrats' unique adaptation that allows them to break down creosote toxins may be in jeopardy if temperatures continue to rise, according to University of Utah researchers.
More than half of all opioid prescriptions go to people with mental illness
Fifty-one percent of all opioid medications distributed in the US each year are prescribed to adults with mood disorders such as depression and anxiety, according to new research from the University of Michigan and the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth.
Scientists create better tools to study the processes of life
Scientists have developed a new biological tool for examining molecules - the building blocks of life - which they say could provide new insights and other benefits such as reducing the numbers of animals used in experiments.
Friend or foe? Manganese concentration in drinking water needs attention, researchers say
Kansas State University researchers published a study in Frontiers in Environmental Science that showed Manganese relates differently than its cancer-causing cousin, arsenic, to dissolved organic matter in groundwater.
Deaths among patients with opioid disorders may be cut by one-third by better care
Opioid-related deaths have surged in the United States during the past two decades as the nation battles an opioid epidemic.
Ahead of the curve
3-D printers have been around since the 1980s, but we are still far from maximizing their potential.
Acupuncture may not be effective in treating infertility
Acupuncture, alone or with the medication clomiphene, does not appear to be effective in treating infertility in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), according to an international team of researchers.

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