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Science News | Science Current Events | Brightsurf | July 27, 2017


Scientists become research subjects in after-hours brain-scanning project
A quest to analyze the unique features of individual human brains evolved into the so-called Midnight Scan Club.
Self-efficacy boosts physical activity in osteoarthritis patients
Osteoarthritis patients that are more confident in their abilities in the morning go on to be more physically active throughout the day, according to a team of Penn State researchers.
Solar eclipse science along the path of totality
In a briefing today on solar eclipse science, leading US.
Study highlights health consequences of selectively breeding German Shepherd Dogs
German Shepherd Dogs (GSDs) could be predisposed to health conditions such as arthritis because of the way they have been bred in recent decades, according to a new study published in the open access journal Canine Genetics and Epidemiology.
In witnessing the brain's 'aha!' moment, scientists shed light on biology of consciousness
Columbia scientists have identified the brain's 'aha!' moment -- that flash in time when you suddenly know the answer to a difficult question.
Using tweets to decrypt the personality of Donald Trump and other powerful people
A detailed, QUT-led study examining the tweets of US President Donald Trump reveal an 'emotionally unstable innovator' using social media as a political tool.
Biochar could clear the air in more ways than one
Biochar could reduce local air pollution from agriculture by reducing emissions of nitric oxide from soil.
Errors made by 'DNA spellchecker' revealed as important cause of cancer
CRG scientists identify important processes that create mutations that cause cancer by studying the genomes of more than 1,000 tumors.
Effects of a major drug target regulated through molecular 'codes'
The findings, published today in Cell, reveal for the first time components of a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) named rhodopsin bound to a signaling molecule called arrestin, both crucial pieces of the body's intricate cellular communication network.
Use of potentially inappropriate medications may increase hospitalization risk
Potentially inappropriate medication use was linked with a 16 percent increased risk of hospitalization in a population-based study of elderly individuals.
Physicists design ultrafocused pulses
Physicists working with researcher Oriol Romero-Isart devised a new simple scheme to theoretically generate arbitrarily short and focused electromagnetic fields.
Novel perspectives on anti-amyloid treatment for the prevention of Alzheimer's disease
For decades researches have been investigating the underlying foundations of Alzheimer's disease to provide clues for the design of a successful therapy.
Cancer-death button gets jammed by gut bacterium
Researchers at Michigan Medicine and in China showed that a type of bacterium is associated with the recurrence of colorectal cancer and poor outcomes.
Salk scientists solve longstanding biological mystery of DNA organization
Researchers image 3-D genome in nucleus of living human cell for the first time.
Climate change means more rain, more nitrogen runoff, more problems
An intensifying water cycle will likely cause dramatic increases -- nearing 20% by 2100 -- in the amount of nitrogen runoff in the US, according to a new study.
Getting to the root of Iceland's molten rock origins
New data reveal an unprecedented depiction of a region of partially molten rock deep within the Earth, which appears to be feeding material in the form of a plume to the surface, where Iceland is located.
Research highlights impact of kidney injury on non-renal solid organ transplants
Research led by a University of Cincinnati scientist shows the impact of acute kidney injury requiring dialysis on patients receiving non-renal solid organ transplantation.
NASA-NOAA satellite spots Tropical Storm Nesat being sheared
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite captured an image of Tropical Storm Nesat being affected by vertical wind shear as it parallels the east coast of the Philippines.
Negative birth outcomes linked to air pollution exposure early in pregnancy, study finds
This study, conducted in mice, found that exposure to air pollution during the equivalent of the first or second trimester in humans was linked to more negative birth outcomes than exposure later in pregnancy.
Projected precipitation increases are bad news for water quality
If climate change is not curbed, increased precipitation could substantially overload US waterways with excess nitrogen, according to a new study from Carnegie's Eva Sinha and Anna Michalak and Princeton University's Venkatramani Balaji published by Science.
Child abuse and neglect linked to gender inequality
Children growing up in societies that experience high levels of gender inequality -- irrespective of whether these are developed or developing countries -- are more likely to be maltreated.
Algorithms identify the dynamics of prehistoric social networks in the Balkans
The pioneering application of modularity analyses in archaeology yields a powerful method for highly accurate mapping of social interaction in the human past.
No significant change seen in hearing loss among US teens
Although there was an increase in the percentage of US youth ages 12 to 19 reporting exposure to loud music through headphones from 1988-2010, researchers did not find significant changes in the prevalence of hearing loss among this group, according to a study published by JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.
Study finds breast cancer driver, HER2, in 3 percent of lung cancers
The Lung Cancer Mutation Consortium at the University of Colorado Cancer Center reports this week in the journal Cancer that 24 of 920 patients (3 percent) with advanced-stage lung cancer had mutations in the gene HER2.
Medalist study underlines importance of glucose control in adults with Type 1 diabetes
Findings of the latest study of the Joslin 50-Year Medalists, who have had type 1 diabetes for at least 50 years, re-emphasize the importance of good blood glucose control and exercise in reducing complications and mortality rates for these older individuals.
Hostage situation or harmony? Researchers rethink symbiosis
Relationships where two organisms depend on each other, known as symbiosis, evoke images of partnership and cooperation.
Large gaps remain in colorectal cancer screening rates, study finds
Large gaps remain in colorectal cancer screening rates between poorer immigrants and wealthier long-term residents, several years after the Ontario government began mailing screening notices to eligible residents, a new study found.
Five vascular diseases linked to one common genetic variant
Genome-wide association studies have implicated a common genetic variant in chromosome 6p24 in coronary artery disease, as well as four other vascular diseases: migraine headache, cervical artery dissection, fibromuscular dysplasia, and hypertension.
UBC research unearths Canadian sapphires fit for a queen
New research from UBC mineralogists could make it easier to find high-quality Canadian sapphires, the same sparkling blue gems that adorn Queen Elizabeth II's Sapphire Jubilee Snowflake Brooch.
WSU physicists turn a crystal into an electrical circuit
Washington State University physicists have found a way to write an electrical circuit into a crystal, opening up the possibility of transparent, three-dimensional electronics that, like an Etch A Sketch, can be erased and reconfigured.
Fundamental breakthrough in the future of designing materials
A team of researchers from Trinity College Dublin have made a breakthrough in the area of material design -- one that challenges the commonly held view on how the fundamental building blocks of matter come together.
Sticky when wet: Strong adhesive for wound healing
A team of researchers from the Wyss Institute at Harvard University has created a super-strong 'tough adhesive' that is non-toxic and binds to biological tissues with a strength comparable to the body's own resilient cartilage, even when they're wet.
Blocking the back-door that cancer cells use to escape death by radiotherapy
A natural healing mechanism of the body may be reducing the efficiency of radiotherapy in breast cancer patients, according to a new study.
Trauma-informed, mindfulness-based intervention significantly improves parenting among mothers in op
Researchers at Jefferson's Maternal Addiction Treatment Education & Research (MATER) program found significant improvement in the quality of parenting among mothers who participated in a trauma-informed, mindfulness-based parenting intervention while also in medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder.
Interactive protein posttranslational modifications regulate stress responses
Dr. Zuo Jianru's group at the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology (IGDB) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences identified PRMT5, a protein arginine methyltransferase, as an S-nitrosylated protein in a nitroproteomics study in Arabidopsis.
EU report: More evidence on link between antibiotic use and antibiotic resistance
The European Food Safety Authority, the European Medicines Agency and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control are concerned about the impact of use of antibiotics on the increase in antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
People who drink 3 to 4 times per week less likely to develop diabetes than those who never drink
Frequent alcohol consumption is associated with a reduced risk of diabetes in both men and women, according to a new study published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes), with alcohol consumption over 3-4 week days giving the lowest risks of diabetes.
Astrophysicists map out the light energy contained within the Milky Way
For the first time, a team of scientists have calculated the distribution of all light energy contained within the Milky Way, which will provide new insight into the make-up of our galaxy and how stars in spiral galaxies such as ours form.
Circles in the sand reveal boating damage to marine biodiversity
The findings of a study by Swansea and Cardiff University scientists highlights the need for boating activities along the UK's beautiful coastlines to be conducted in a more environmentally friendly manner.
New 3-D imaging reveals how human cell nucleus organizes DNA and chromatin of it's genome
A team of researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies describe development and application of new electron microscopic imaging tools and a selective stain for DNA to visualize the three-dimensional structure of chromatin -- a complex of molecules that helps pack six feet of DNA into each cell nucleus, construct chromosomes and control gene expression and DNA replication.
DNA links male, female butterfly thought to be distinct species
Researchers recently discovered what was thought to be a distinct species of butterfly is actually the female of a species known to science for more than a century.
Malaria already endemic in the Mediterranean by the Roman period
Malaria was already widespread on Sardinia by the Roman period, long before the Middle Ages, as indicated by research at the Institute of Evolutionary Medicine of the University of Zurich with the help of a Roman who died 2,000 years ago.
Ultracold molecules hold promise for quantum computing
A study by MIT researchers shows that collections of ultracold molecules can retain the information stored in them for hundreds of times longer than previously achieved in these materials.
Researchers crack the smile, describing 3 types by muscle movement
The smile may be the most common and flexible expression, used to reveal some emotions, cover others and manage social interactions that have kept communities secure and organized for millennia.
Seeing more with PET scans: New chemistry for medical imaging
Researchers have found a surprisingly versatile workaround to create chemical compounds that could prove useful for medical imaging and drug development.
Slug mucus inspires new type of surgical glue to close wounds
Inspired by a type of mucus secreted by slugs, researchers have developed a sticky but flexible substance that effectively seals wounds after surgery.
High-speed FM-AFM and simulation reveal atomistic dissolution processes of calcite in water
We have developed high-speed frequency modulation AFM (FM-AFM) and enabled atomic-resolution imaging in liquid at ~1 s/frame.
Gene transfer corrects severe muscle defects in mice with Duchenne muscular dystrophy
Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a rapidly progressive disease that causes whole-body muscle weakness and atrophy due to deficiency in a protein called dystrophin.
A new picture emerges on the origins of photosynthesis in a sun-loving bacteria
A research group led by ASU's Raimund Fromme has gained important new insights by resolving with near-atomic clarity, the very first core membrane protein structure in the simplest known photosynthetic bacterium, called Heliobacterium modesticaldum (Helios was the Greek sun god).
New method promises easier nanoscale manufacturing
Scientists at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory have discovered a new way to precisely pattern nanomaterials that could open a new path to the next generation of everyday electronic devices.
Long-sought mechanism of metastasis is discovered in pancreatic cancer
An important discovery at CSHL establishes a cause of metastasis in pancreatic cancer.
UT Southwestern finds link between backup immune defense, mutation seen in Crohn's disease
Genes that regulate a cellular recycling system called autophagy are commonly mutated in Crohn's disease patients, though the link between biological housekeeping and inflammatory bowel disease remained a mystery.
Biochemists link synthetic compound to hunger-hormone production
New research conducted at Syracuse University suggests that a man-made cousin of a small molecule found in olive oil can disrupt the hunger-signaling pathway.
Should we be worried about hepatitis E?
Hepatitis E gets little press compared to its better-known cousins A, B and C, but Stellenbosch University virologists say we should wake up to how transmission of this virus is changing.
Crops that kill pests by shutting off their genes
Plants are among many eukaryotes that can 'turn off' one or more of their genes by using a process called RNA interference to block protein translation.
Galactic David and Goliath
The gravitational dance between two galaxies in our local neighbourhood has led to intriguing visual features in both as witnessed in this new NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image.
Could insufficient sleep be adding centimeters to your waistline?
Adults in the UK who have poor sleep patterns are more likely to be overweight and obese and have poorer metabolic health, according to a new study.
Researchers report regenerative effects of low-dose growth factors for bone defect healing
Researchers compared the effects of three bone growth factors to bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP2)--the most commonly used agent for repair of large bone defects, which is not without risks at the doses required -- and showed significant bone-healing effects including the formation of new blood vessels at low doses relative to BMP2.
Neolithic farmers practiced specialized methods of cattle farming
Swiss farmers practiced various different methods of animal farming as early as 5,400 years ago, as demonstrated by a study by researchers from the University of Basel, as well as research institutions from Germany and the UK.
Social influences can override aggression in male mice, Stanford study shows
Stanford University School of Medicine investigators have identified a cluster of nerve cells in the male mouse's brain that, when activated, triggers territorial rage in a variety of situations.
Poll: Partisan politics sway Americans' support for Constitutional rights
Americans are willing to sacrifice their support for basic Constitutional rights -- including freedoms of speech, assembly and the press -- when such beliefs are tested by people with opposing political views, according to a new national poll from the UMass Lowell Center for Public Opinion.
Heavy metals in water meet their match
A high school student's project that was developed at Rice University and won national and international awards removes more than 99 percent of heavy metal toxins from water.
A tale of three stellar cities
Using new observations from ESO's VLT Survey Telescope, astronomers have discovered three different populations of baby stars within the Orion Nebula Cluster.
The 16 genetic markers that can cut a life story short
Researchers have identified 16 genetic markers associated with a decreased lifespan, including 14 new to science.
Study: Very preterm birth not associated with mood, anxiety disorders
Do very-preterm or very-low-weight babies develop anxiety and mood disorders later in life?
Even babies can tell who's the boss, UW research says
Social dominance, and the dynamic it creates, may be so naturally ingrained, University of Washington researchers say, that toddlers as young as 17 months old not only can perceive who is dominant, but also anticipate that the dominant person will receive more rewards.
Researchers release first draft of a genome-wide cancer 'dependency map'
In one of the largest efforts to build a comprehensive catalog of genetic vulnerabilities in cancer, researchers have identified more than 760 genes upon which cancer cells from multiple types are strongly dependent for their growth and survival.
Co-infection with two common gut pathogens worsens malnutrition in mice
Two gut pathogens commonly found in malnourished children combine to worsen malnutrition and impair growth in laboratory mice, according to new research published in PLOS Pathogens.
Glowing tumor technology helps surgeons remove hidden cancer cells
Surgeons were able to identify and remove a greater number of cancerous nodules from lung cancer patients when combining intraoperative molecular imaging (IMI) -- through the use of a contrast agent that makes tumor cells glow during surgery -- with preoperative positron emission tomography (PET) scans.
Research finds increased risk of dementia in patients who experience delirium after surgery
Delirium is common in elderly hospitalized patients, affecting an estimated 14-56 percent of patients.
Study finds harmful protein on acid triggers a life-threatening disease
Using an array of modern biochemical and structural biology techniques, researchers from Boston University School of Medicine have begun to unravel the mystery of how acidity influences a small protein called serum amyloid A.
What fly guts could reveal about our health
Two new studies reveal the gut bacteria composition of the common fruit fly has a significant effect on diet choice and reproductive success, and its influence can be carried down to the next generation -- with potential implications for human health.
Present-day Lebanese descend from Biblical Canaanites, genetic study suggests
In the most recent whole-genome study of ancient remains from the Near East, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute scientists and their collaborators sequenced the entire genomes of 4,000-year-old Canaanite individuals who inhabited the region during the Bronze Age, and compared these to other ancient and present-day populations.
Food banks respond to hunger needs in rural America
University of Illinois economist Craig Gundersen's recent research sheds light on hunger-relief efforts in rural America.
CRISPR sheds light on rare pediatric bone marrow failure syndrome
Using the gene-editing technology CRISPR, scientists have shed light on a rare, sometimes fatal syndrome that causes children to gradually lose the ability to manufacture vital blood cells.
Scientists block evolution's molecular nerve pruning in rodents
Researchers investigating why some people suffer from motor disabilities report they may have dialed back evolution's clock a few ticks by blocking molecular pruning of sophisticated brain-to-limb nerve connections in maturing mice.
Cell mechanism discovery could lead to 'fundamental' change in leukaemia treatment
Researchers have identified a new cell mechanism that could lead to a fundamental change in the diagnosis and treatment of leukaemia.
In mice, fine motor control is actively suppressed
The neural connections that endow humans with great dexterity are also present in mice at birth, but are suppressed shortly afterward, a new study reveals.
Community bias predicts police use of lethal force
Averaging the implicit bias of hundreds of thousands of individuals to understand how 'biased' a community is, predicts the likelihood of African-Americans being killed by police.
Research calls for enhancing long-term benefits of Farm Bill programs
Ultimately, incentive programs that assist landowners with conservation efforts benefit the population as a whole.
Simulations signal early success for fractal-based retinal implants
Computer simulations of electrical charges sent to retinal implants based on fractal geometry have University of Oregon researchers moving forward with their eyes focused on biological testing.
Lab-created mini-brains reveal how growing organ maintains neuronal balance
Scientists can now explore in a laboratory dish how the human brain develops by creating organoids -- distinct, three-dimensional regions of the brain.
Women and men report similar levels of work-family conflicts
Contrary to public perception and many media accounts, women and men report similar levels of work-family conflicts, both in the form of work interfering with family and family interfering with work, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.
Concerns that sleep apnea could impact healthspan
The number of people with obstructive sleep apnea has steadily increased over the past two decades.
Combining stroke treatments shows improved outcomes for ELVO stroke patients
Intravenous thrombolysis pretreatment may improve mechanical thrombectomy outcomes in emergent large-vessel occlusions (ELVO) patients, according to a new study presented today at the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery's 14th Annual Meeting.
Anyone for crispy jellyfish?
The world needs new foods, and we are gradually getting used to the idea of having to eat seaweed and insects.
New study by running experts: Don't change your stride
A new study by a 2016 Olympian and a USA Track & Field consultant finds the stride length people naturally choose is the best for them, whether they are experienced or inexperienced runners.
NASA's Aqua satellite catches Typhoon Noru's 10 mile-wide eye
NASA's Aqua satellite provided a look at the eye of Typhoon Noru as it continued to track west in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean.
Experimental method measures quantum coherence, the ability of being in 2 states at once
Researchers at the UAB have come up with a method that allows measuring the strength of the coherence of superposition in any given quantum state, similar to the famous Schrödinger's cat, which was simultaneously dead and alive.
E-cigarette use may encourage experimentation with tobacco, study finds
Young people who have tried an e-cigarette may be more likely to go on to smoke cigarettes compared with those who have not, a study led by University of Stirling researchers has suggested.
Drug improves brain performance in Rett syndrome mice
A brain penetrant drug -- a small-molecule mimetic of BDNF, or brain derived neurotrophic factor -- is able to improve brain performance in Rett syndrome mice -- specifically synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus and object location memory.
Reality check for 'wonder material'
Topological insulators, a class of materials which has been investigated for just over a decade, have been heralded as a new 'wonder material', as has graphene.
Satellite shows some shear in Hurricane Hilary
NOAA's GOES-West satellite revealed that vertical wind shear is affecting Hurricane Hilary.
Using latest technology, MRI provides 'one-stop-shop' to evaluate potential liver donors
Using the latest techniques, MRI can provide a 'one-stop-shop' method for evaluation of potential living liver donors, according to an article published in the July 2017 issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR).
Effects of soil and drainage on the savanna vegetation in the northern Brazilian Amazonia
Despite being an exemplar for a diverse and remarkable ecosystem, savannas are still shrouded in mystery when it comes to the environmental factors which determine their vegetation appearance, richness and composition.
Private insurance claim lines with Lyme disease diagnoses evidence notable increases 2007-16
Although Lyme disease historically has been concentrated in the Northeast and upper Midwest, our data suggest that it is spreading.
Bronze Age Iberia received fewer steppe invaders than the rest of Europe
The genomes of individuals who lived on the Iberian Peninsula in the Bronze Age had minor genetic input from Steppe invaders, suggesting that these migrations played a smaller role in the genetic makeup and culture of Iberian people, compared to other parts of Europe.
Infants know what we like best, WashU study finds
Behind the chubby cheeks and bright eyes of babies as young as 8 months lies the smoothly whirring mind of a social statistician, logging our every move and making odds on what a person is most likely to do next, suggests new research in the journal Infancy.
Antibiotic guidelines in NICU improve prescription practices for vulnerable infants
Yale University School of Medicine neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) significantly reduced the number of cases of late-onset sepsis, a leading cause of death among pre-term infants, by implementing guidelines designed to eliminate overuse of antibiotics, according to new research published in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.
Universal screening for alcohol misuse at hospital admission identifies patients at risk of developing alcoholic liver disease
In a landmark study of over 50,000 hospital admissions, investigators demonstrated the feasibility of introducing universal screening for alcohol misuse to identify patients at risk.
Manmade peptides reduce breast cancer's spread
Manmade peptides that directly disrupt the inner workings of a gene known to support cancer's spread significantly reduce metastasis in a mouse model of breast cancer, scientists say.
DREAMers at greater risk for mental health distress
Immigrants who came to the United States illegally as small children and who meet the requirements of the Development Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, more commonly known as DREAMers, are at risk for mental health distress
New imaging technique overturns longstanding textbook model of DNA folding
Researchers funded by NIH have developed an imaging method that reveals a much more diverse and flexible DNA-protein chromatin chain than previously thought.
Grown-up gannets find favorite fishing grounds
Like humans, some birds can spend years learning and exploring before developing more settled habits.
Binge drinking down among young adults in college, up among those who are not
After years of increasing rates of binge drinking, alcohol-impaired driving, and alcohol-related mortality among emerging adults ages 18 to 24, the numbers are finally starting to come down among college students in that age group, according to a study in the July issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.
NASA casts an infrared eye on Tropical Storm Irwin
Infrared imagery from NASA looked at cloud top temperatures in Tropical Storm Irwin and found the strongest storms in the system were west of its low-level center.
The Danish reference genome
After close to 5 years of work, the GenomeDenmark consortium has now finalized the efforts to establish a Danish Reference genome.
Immune system may mount an attack in Parkinson's disease
A new study suggests that T cells, which help the body's immune system recognize friend from foe, may play an important role in Parkinson's disease.
Research examines benefits of promoting competing retail websites
A new study from the Naveen Jindal School of Management examines how retailers can benefit by showing ads from competing companies on their websites.
Who were the Canaanites? Ancient human DNA evidence yields answers
Thousands of years ago, the Canaanite people lived in a part of the world we now recognize as Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan, establishing a culture that became influential in the Middle East and beyond.
MKTP surgery has long-term benefit for restoring skin pigmentation in vitiligo patients
A Henry Ford Hospital study has shown that skin transplant surgery has long-term benefit for restoring skin pigmentation caused by the skin disease vitiligo.
Three species of tiny frogs discovered in Peruvian Andes
A University of Michigan ecologist and his colleagues have discovered three more frog species in the Peruvian Andes, raising to five the total number of new frog species the group has found in a remote protected forest since 2012.
Vitamin E-deficient embryos are cognitively impaired even after diet improves
Zebrafish deficient in vitamin E produce offspring beset by behavioral impairment and metabolic problems.
New research findings to standardise first aid treatment of jellyfish stings
New research from NUI Galway and the University of Hawaii at Manoa has identified the best way to treat a sting from the lions mane jellyfish (Cyanea capillata).
Ketamine for depression encouraging, but questions remain around long-term use
A world-first systematic review into the safety of ketamine as a treatment for depression, published in the prestigious Lancet Psychiatry, shows the risks of long-term ketamine treatment remain unclear.
Unclear CEO expectations often lead chief marketing officers toward revolving door
Nearly three-quarters of chief marketing officers believe their jobs aren't designed to let them have the greatest impact on their companies, according to a new survey.
Seeing in the dark: Minus sunlight, a general theory reveals universal patterns in ecology
By omitting mechanistic drivers such as sunlight, a statistical theory accurately describes broad ecological patterns in a Panama forest, as well as other natural systems and communities.

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