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Science News | Science Current Events | Brightsurf | November 06, 2017


Stem cells pave the way for new treatment of diabetes
A new stem cell study conducted at the University of Copenhagen shows how we may increase the vital production of insulin in patients suffering from diabetes.
Breaking cell symmetry
A team of researchers from the Mechanobiology Institute, Singapore at the National University of Singapore, along with colleagues from Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory and A*STAR's Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology in Singapore, has uncovered a novel mechanism for establishing cell polarity that relies on tension force induced clustering of proteins.
High risk sex behaviors impact women's health: McMaster
The research team compared samples of vaginal microbiota of both women who were involved in sex work and those who were not sex workers in Nairobi, Kenya.
First-ever US experiments at new X-ray facility may lead to better explosive modeling
For the first time in the US, time-resolved small-angle x-ray scattering (TRSAXS) is used to observe ultra-fast carbon clustering and graphite and nanodiamond production in the insensitive explosive Plastic Bonded Explosive (PBX) 9502, potentially leading to better computer models of explosive performance.
Cool idea: Magma held in 'cold storage' before giant volcano eruption
Long Valley, California, has long defined the 'super-eruption.' About 765,000 years ago, a pool of molten rock exploded into the sky.
New drug shows potential as a different kind of antidepressant in mouse trials
A potential new antidepressant and antianxiety treatment with a unique mechanism of action has been developed by scientists at the University of Bath.
Important new insights into RECIST criteria measuring cancer's response to treatment
University of Colorado Cancer Center study examines current RECIST guidelines in an effort to bring them up to speed with new complexities presented by the latest targeted therapies.
Deadly lung cancers are driven by multiple genetic changes
A new UC San Francisco-led study challenges the dogma in oncology that most cancers are caused by one dominant 'driver' mutation that can be treated in isolation with a single targeted drug.
Tiny bees play big part in secret sex lives of trees
When it comes to sex between plants, tiny bees the size of ladybugs play a critical role in promoting long-distance pairings.
Is anticoagulant warfarin associated with lower risk of cancer incidence?
Bottom Line: Use of the blood thinner warfarin was associated with a lower risk of new cancers in people over 50.
Indigenous young people who use drugs in BC 13 times more likely to die
Indigenous young people in British Columbia who use drugs are 13 times more likely to die than other young people of the same age, and young women and people who use drugs are even more likely to die, according to research published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).
G7 on do violent communities foster violent kids?Health, science suggests global action to reduce the impact of climate on health
Italian Minister of Health Beatrice Lorenzin presented the results of the research in Milan during the meeting on Health attended by the G7 ministers.
Study reveals large disparities in survival for patients with HPV-associated cancers
A new study found large disparities by sex, race, and age in survival for patients diagnosed with different cancers caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV).
Fish provide insight into the evolution of the immune system
New research reveals how immune systems can evolve resistance to parasites.
Researchers develop data bus for quantum computer
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise.
Study shows electric bandages can fight biofilm infection, antimicrobial resistance
Researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center have shown -- for the first time -- that special bandages using weak electric fields to disrupt bacterial biofilm infection can prevent infections, combat antibiotic resistance and enable healing in infected burn wounds.
Could this be malaria's Achilles heel?
Portuguese researchers at Instituto de Medicina Molecular (iMM) Lisboa have identified a defence mechanism by which the malaria parasite can survive inside its host's liver cells.
Hearing the dawn chorus: Okinawa's new acoustic monitoring network
Using remote acoustic monitoring to track bird activity on Okinawa for the first time, scientists examined the distribution of birds on Okinawa.
New techniques give blood biopsies greater promise
Researchers develop an efficient method for capturing and quantifying tumor DNA from blood prior to sequencing, thereby making blood biopsies cost-effective and scalable.
Together for more food safety in Europe and its neighboring countries
Strawberries from Spain, tomatoes from the Netherlands, spices from Morocco and citrus fruits from Georgia -- the globalization of food production and food trading is posing new challenges for consumer health protection.
Advancing the science and management of European intermittent rivers and ephemeral streams
Intermittent rivers and ephemeral streams are prevalent waterways that cease to flow and sometimes dry.
Saving neurons may offer new approach for treating Alzheimer's disease
Treatment with a neuroprotective compound that saves brain cells from dying also prevents the development of depression-like behavior and the later onset of memory and learning problems in a rat model of Alzheimer's disease, according to new research from the Iowa Neuroscience Institute at the University of Iowa.
The impact of the 'war on drugs' for female 'mules'
University of Kent research on women working as drug 'mules' has found they aren't victims of their sex but of the trade, and its illegal status.
Love actually: Americans agree on what makes people 'feel the love'
Americans may disagree on many things, but love might not be one of them.
Early bloomers: Statistical tool reveals climate change impacts on plants
Scientists from Utah State University, Harvard University, the University of Maryland, Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, Boston University and McGill University announce statistical tool to extract information from current and historical plant data.
Biological clock found in fungal parasite sheds more light on 'zombie ants' phenomenon
A working biological clock has been found in a fungal parasite that infects ants to control their behavior and lead them away from their nests in an effort to spread their fungal spores more effectively.
Higher estrogen levels linked to increased alcohol sensitivity in brain's 'reward center'
The reward center of the brain is much more attuned to the pleasurable effects of alcohol when estrogen levels are elevated, an effect that may underlie the development of addiction in women, according to a study on mice at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
More physical activity and higher intensity physical activity may significantly reduce risk of death in older women in the short term
Using wearable devices to measure activity showed that the amount of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity was associated with an up to 70 percent lower risk of death among older women in a four-year study.
Protecting 'high carbon' rainforest areas also protects threatened wildlife
Protecting 'high carbon' rainforest areas also protects threatened wildlife.
Breaking the chain: Catalyzing a green future for chemistry
Osaka University researchers create catalyst for refining chemicals in plant waste, allowing a green way to produce valuable raw materials.
Researchers probe brain disease-causing proteins at the atomic level
Researchers studying a protein that causes a hereditary degenerative brain disease in humans have discovered that the human, mouse and hamster forms of the protein, which have nearly identical amino acid sequences, exhibit distinct three-dimensional structures at the atomic level.
Where did those electrons go? X-ray measurements solve decades-old mystery
There's been an unsolved mystery associated with mixed valence compounds: When the valence state of an element in these compounds changes with increased temperature, the number of electrons associated with that element decreases, as well.
Climate change likely to be more deadly in poor African settlements
Conditions in crowded urban settlements in Africa make the effects of climate change worse, pushing temperatures to levels dangerous for children and the elderly in those areas.
Controlling nerve injury repair revealed in Monash University study
Monash University scientists are one step closer to solving the riddle of how nerves can self-heal.
Multi-racial facial recognition system provides more accurate results, says Surrey study
A multi-racial facial recognition system delivers more accurate results than those typically used today, a new study published in Pattern Recognition journal has revealed.
Flavonoid derivatives targeting NF-kappaB
The aim of the study was to develop new synthetic anti-inflammatory and cytotoxic agents targeting NF-kappaB.
Study shows lupus support line has positive impact
A free telephone support and education program for people with lupus is a valuable resource to help them cope with the disease, according to a study at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in New York City.
H3N2 mutation in last year's flu vaccine responsible for lowered efficacy
The below average efficacy of last year's influenza vaccine (which was only 20 to 30 percent effective) can be attributed to a mutation in the H3N2 strain, a new study reports.
Fat hormone linked to progression of fatty liver disease may hold key to new treatments
The rising obesity epidemic has brought with it an army of maladies.
Nuclear energy programs do not increase likelihood of proliferation, Dartmouth study finds
Contrary to popular thought, nuclear proliferation is not more likely to occur among countries with nuclear energy programs, according to research published in International Security.
Archaeologists unearth 'masterpiece' sealstone in Greek tomb
Archaeologists with the University of Cincinnati are documenting artifacts contained within their amazing 2015 find, the tomb of the Griffin Warrior in Greece.
High protein diets point to new anti-obesity treatments
A component of dietary protein, phenylalanine, can suppress appetite by affecting the release of appetite-regulating hormones in the gut, according to new research presented today at the Society for Endocrinology annual conference in Harrogate.
Simple green synthesis is a breath of fresh air
A method for creating nanoparticles without using solvents could lead to environment-friendly electronics.
Scientists make significant breakthrough on superbug-killing antibiotic teixobactin
Scientists working to develop a 'game-changing' new antibiotic have made a significant advance towards creating commercially viable drug treatments by producing two simplified synthetic versions of the substance which are just as potent at killing superbugs like MRSA as its natural form.
Stem cells from muscle could address diabetes-related circulation problems
Stem cells taken from muscle tissue could promote better blood flow in patients with diabetes who develop peripheral artery disease, a painful complication that can require surgery or lead to amputation.
Swapping where crops are grown could feed an extra 825 million people
Redrawing the global map of crop distribution on existing farmland could help meet growing demand for food and biofuels in coming decades, while significantly reducing water stress in agricultural areas.
Scientists find potential 'missing link' in chemistry that led to life on earth
Chemists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have found a compound that may have been a crucial factor in the origins of life on Earth.
Depressed with a chronic disease? Consider alternative therapies
Scientists are finding more evidence that commonly prescribed antidepressants aren't effective in people battling both depression and a chronic medical disease, raising a critical question of whether doctors should enact widespread changes in how they treat millions of depressed Americans.
Diffused light shows clear structures
Scientists gain an insight into the fascinating world of atoms and molecules using x-ray microscopes.
Blame tired brain cells for mental lapses after poor sleep
A new study is the first to reveal how sleep deprivation disrupts brain cells' ability to communicate with each other, leading to mental lapses that affect memory and visual perception.
Brighter flexible electroluminescent film by adopting eye structure of nocturnal animals
A research team from Korea has improved the luminance of electroluminescent devices by 422% compared to the conventional ones by applying retro-reflection electrodes The result is expected to be applied in next generation display and signage lighting technology.
Chicken embryo illuminates role of thyroid hormone in brain development
A thyroid hormone transporter is essential for the earliest stages of brain development, according to a JNeurosci study of a region of the developing chicken brain with a layered structure similar to the human cerebral cortex.
Lightning-fast communications
Researchers from the University of Utah have discovered that a special kind of perovskite, a combination of an organic and inorganic compound that has the same structure as the original mineral, can be layered on a silicon wafer to create a vital component for the communications system of the future.
Age-old malaria treatment found to improve nanoparticle delivery to tumors
A new study shows that a 70-year-old malaria drug can block immune cells in the liver so nanoparticles can arrive at their intended tumor site, overcoming a significant hurdle of targeted drug delivery.
Researchers report first-ever protein hydrogels made in living cells
Johns Hopkins cell biologists report what they believe is the first-ever creation of tiny protein-based gelatin-like clumps called hydrogels inside living cells.
Scientists discover potential treatment to stop glaucoma in its tracks
Vision scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Toronto have discovered that naturally occurring molecules known as lipid mediators have the potential to halt the progression of glaucoma, the world's second-leading cause of blindness.
Calorie counts on menus make a difference
One the most comprehensive pieces of research into the impact of displaying calories on menus reveals it not only influences consumers to make lower calorie choices but also encourages retailers to provide lower calorie options.
Mothers exposed to common toxin have lower levels of hormone crucial for brain development
Pregnant women exposed to higher levels of a common environmental pollutant, perchlorate, had lower levels of a thyroid hormone crucial for normal foetal brain development, according to a study presented at the Society for Endocrinology annual conference in Harrogate.
Study finds racial disparities in hip replacement outcomes in impoverished communities
A combination of race and socioeconomic factors play a role in hip replacement outcomes, according to a study at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS).
Subset of carbon nanotubes poses cancer risk similar to asbestos in mice
Researchers have shown for the first time in mice that long and thin nanomaterials called carbon nanotubes may have the same carcinogenic effect as asbestos: they can induce the formation of mesothelioma.
Computer system finds 'recipes' for producing materials
System could pore through millions of research papers to extract 'recipes' for producing materials.
Forest of molecular signals in star forming galaxy
Astronomers found a rich molecular reservoir in the heart of an active star-forming galaxy with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA).
UHN vision scientists discover potential neuroprotective treatment for glaucoma
A research team led by scientists at the Krembil Research Institute in Toronto has identified a new neuroprotective factor that has the potential to help people suffering from the common blinding disease glaucoma.
Do violent communities foster violent kids?
Children and adolescents regularly confronted with violence in their community have a greater tendency to show antisocial behavior.
Brisk walking/physical activity of similar intensity may lower risk of death among older women
Moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity (e.g. brisk walking) was associated with 60-70 percent lower risk of death at the end of the four-year study among the most active women, compared to the least active.
NASA's GPM radar spots tornado spawning thunderstorms in Ohio Valley
Severe weather that rolled through the Ohio Valley on Nov.
Signs may help may help history buffs get more buff
Visitors to the country's national parks and historic sites may be just a sign -- and a few steps -- away from improving their health and fitness while enjoying their park trips, according to a team of researchers.
Immune cells mistake heart attacks for viral infections
A study led by Kevin King, a bioengineer and physician at the University of California San Diego, has found that the immune system plays a surprising role in the aftermath of heart attacks.
Study: Air pollution battle is crucial to China's public health
China's measures to improve air quality are working, but more stringent policies should be put in place to safeguard public health, a new study has shown.
Mammals switched to daytime activity after dinosaur extinction
Mammals only started being active in the daytime after non-avian dinosaurs were wiped out about 66 million years ago (mya), finds a new study led by UCL and Tel Aviv University's Steinhardt Museum of Natural History.
Poor social skills may be harmful to health
While social skills deficits have long been linked to mental health problems like depression, a new study links poor social skills to poor physical health as well.
Same gene, different mating techniques in flies
A study of two related species of fruit fly published in JNeurosci reveals that a gene known to regulate behavior for attracting a mate in one species gives rise to unique wooing techniques observed in the other species.
Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects.
Hearing an opinion spoken aloud humanizes the person behind it
People attribute more humanlike qualities to those expressing opinions they disagree with when the opinions are spoken as opposed to written, according to new research in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
Revealed new target for development of antibiotics aimed at highly-resistant bacteria
Research for new treatment against resistant pathogens is one of the most important branches of the pharmaceutical industry -- in USA medical literature, there is a record of one bacillus-type bacteria resistant to 26 different antibiotics.
How marketing decoys influence decision-making
The neural underpinnings of the decoy effect -- a marketing strategy in which one of three presented options is unlikely to be chosen but may influence how an individual decides between the other two options -- are investigated in new neuroeconomic research published in JNeurosci using neuroimaging and brain stimulation.
Crime-scene technique used to track turtles
Scientists have used satellite tracking and a crime-scene technique to discover an important feeding ground for green turtles in the Mediterranean.
Researchers discover new pathway for handling stress
Researchers at the University of California San Diego studying how animals respond to infections have found a new pathway that may help in tolerating stressors that damage proteins.
Excavation in Northern Iraq: Sasanian loom discovered
A team of Frankfurt-based archaeologists has returned from the Iraqi-Kurdish province of Sulaymaniyah with new findings.
Using powerful new telescope astronomers observe one of the oldest objects in the universe
Astronomers using the Large Millimeter Telescope (LMT), which is operated jointly by UMass Amherst and Mexico's Instituto Nacional de Astrofísica, Óptica y Electrónica, report today in Nature Astronomy that they have detected the second most distant dusty, star-forming galaxy ever found in the universe -- born in the first one billion years after the Big Bang.
A new method accelerates the mapping of genes in the 'Dark Matter' of our DNA
Scientists at the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) in Barcelona, have developed a new method, which improved the most important catalogue of genes -GENCODE-, including characterization of new genes in the DNA
Immune cell policing offers insights into cancer, autoimmune disease
Salk researchers discover that cutting off energy production in regulatory T cells impairs their function.
Gelatin accelerates healing of the blood brain barrier in acute brain injury
Researchers already know that gelatin-covered electrode implants cause less damage to brain tissue than electrodes with no gelatin coating.
HCI study identifies enhanced impact of treatment for hereditary cancer patients
People with an inherited syndrome called familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) have a 100 percent lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer if they do not seek appropriate medical care.
Highly flexible organic flash memory for foldable and disposable electronics
A KAIST team reported ultra-flexible organic flash memory that is bendable down to a radius of 300μm.
Dental filling failure linked to smoking, drinking and genetics
Researchers find that people who drink alcohol or men who smoke are more likely to suffer a failed dental filling.
For these baleen whales, hunting requires little more than treading water
Rorqual whales are known for their lunge-feeding behavior. As the name suggests, this method involves lunging forward with mouth opened wide to engulf large quantities of water, which is then strained through baleen plates to leave tiny prey behind.
US-born workers receive disability benefits more often than workers from abroad
People born elsewhere who work in the United States are much less likely to receive Social Security Disability Insurance benefits than those born in the US or its territories.
Liquid biopsy spots aggressive pediatric brainstem cancer earlier without surgery
A particularly aggressive form of pediatric cancer can be spotted reliably by the genetic fragments it leaves behind in children's biofluids, opening the door to non-surgical biopsies and providing a way to gauge whether such tumors respond to treatment, according to Children's National Health System researchers.
Can cannabinoids be used to treat cancer?
When cannabinoids activate signaling pathways in cancer cells they can stimulate a cell death mechanism called apoptosis, unleashing a potent anti-tumor effect.
New research targets cancer's 'Achilles' Heel'
Northwestern Engineering's Vadim Backman has developed an effective new strategy for treating cancer that prevents cancer from evolving to withstand treatment, making the disease an easier target for existing drugs.
Future IT: Antiferromagnetic dysprosium reveals magnetic switching with less energy
The physicists compared how different forms of magnetic ordering in the rare-earth metal named dysprosium react to a short laser pulse.
Briny pool bacteria can clean up and power up
Promising electrochemical technologies for cleaning wastewater are boosted by discovery of extremophilic microbes in the Red Sea.
NASA satellite tracks ozone pollution by monitoring its key ingredients
Ozone pollution near Earth's surface is one of the main ingredients of summertime smog.
Depressed fathers risk not getting help
Postnatal depression among new mothers is a well-known phenomenon. Knowledge about depression in new fathers, however, is more limited.
Has adolescent preventive care increased since the Affordable Care Act?
Preventive care visits for adolescents increased moderately after implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) but most US adolescents still do not attend doctor 'well visits' or receive preventive care.
ACP says patient safety must be improved in office-based practice setting
More needs to be done to improve patient safety in the outpatient setting, said the American College of Physicians (ACP) in a new policy paper released today.
Ludwig scientists share research at The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer annual meeting
Ludwig Cancer Research has released the scope of its participation at the 2017 Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) Annual Meeting in National Harbor, Maryland, Nov.
Higher brain glucose levels may mean more severe Alzheimer's
NIA scientists have found a connection between abnormalities in how the brain breaks down glucose and the severity of the signature amyloid plaques and tangles in the brain, as well as the onset of eventual outward symptoms, of Alzheimer's disease.
Beyond good vibrations: New insights into metamaterial magic
Metamaterials have amazing potential--think invisibility cloaks and perfect lenses--but they are more likely to be found in a Harry Potter novel than a lab.
Afterschool program environments linked to academic confidence and skills
Afterschool programs with positive, responsive, and organized environments can have academic benefits for students, finds a new study by NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.
FDG PET shows tumor DNA levels in blood are linked to NSCLC aggressiveness
Italian researches have demonstrated a better way of determining the aggressiveness of tumors in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Autonomously growing synthetic DNA strands
A Wyss Institute team has developed a method that allows pre-designed sequences of DNA to autonomously grow and concatenate along specific assembly routes, hence providing the basis for a new generation of programmable molecular devices.
Relocating bus stops would cut riders' pollution exposure, UCLA study finds
Moving bus stops away from intersections would substantially reduce the amount of pollution bus riders breathe, UCLA scientists report in the journal Environmental Pollution.
Researchers discover eight new epilepsy genes
A new study examining 200 children with epileptic encephalopathy -- epilepsy combined with intellectual or overall developmental disability -- identified eight new genes involved in this type of epilepsy thanks to their use of whole-genome sequencing, which had never been done before in an epileptic study of this scope.
Quantum computing on the move
The work by Kaufmann and coworkers appeared in the high rank international journal Physical Review Letters 119, 150503 and marks a decisive milestone for bringing this idea for scaling up quantum computers into the realm of feasibility.
Academy of Rheumatology Medical educators at HSS fosters innovation to improve care
The Academy of Rheumatology Medical Educators at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) has created a stimulating academic environment for educators, promoted teaching excellence and supported innovative research in rheumatology education.
Study: Lupus patients endorse PROMIS assessment tool as relevant, valuable and potentially useful in improving clinical care
A study at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) evaluating the Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) finds that patients with lupus endorse the assessment tool as relevant, valuable and potentially useful in improving clinical care.
Acoustic monitoring provides holistic picture of biodiversity
Ecologists are using a network of 'outdoor recording studios' to better monitor the subtropical Japanese island of Okinawa.
Mapping brain connectivity with MRI may predict outcomes for cardiac arrest survivors, study finds
A new study led by Johns Hopkins researchers found that measures of connectivity within specific cerebral networks were strongly linked to long-term functional outcomes in patients who had suffered severe brain injury following a cardiac arrest.
Satellite imagery reveals decline in ISIS oil production
Oil production by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) steadily declined between 2014 and 2016, indicating that the group was financing itself in other ways, like taxation or extortion, according to a report issued by Princeton University and the World Bank.
A quasiparticle quest
UCSB physicists develop a device that could provide conclusive evidence for the existence (or not) of non-Abelian anyons.
NASA sees late season Atlantic Tropical Depression form
NASA's Terra satellite passed over Tropical Depression Nineteen shortly after it formed in the Central Atlantic Ocean on Nov.
UCI review points to long-term negative impact of high protein diets
High protein diets may lead to long-term kidney damage among those suffering from chronic chronic kidney disease, according to research led by nephrologist Kamyar Kalantar-Zadeh, MD, MPH, PhD, of the University of California, Irvine.
Group B Streptococcus infection causes estimated 150,000 stillbirth & infant death
21.7 million pregnant women carry this bacteria according to the first global study of Group B Strep -- most of them are currently unidentified and untreated.
Asymptomatic infection helps norovirus to spread in Indonesia
Norovirus, also referred to as the 'winter vomiting bug', is the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis in humans.
New study finds widespread consequences after traumatic spinal cord injury
Researchers have shown that some of the critical pathophysiological responses to traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI), evidence of insufficient oxygen levels and metabolic stress that can permanently damage tissue, persist for at least a week post-injury at and extending away from the injury site in a large animal model.
Microfinance institutions are found effective in giving health products to underserved communities
Microfinance institutions are found effective in delivering essential health products to underserved communities on a national scale while reducing costs.
Measuring atoms for better navigation and mineral detection
Better navigation systems and tracking of minerals and water may be the result of a new discovery by physicists studying atom measurement devices.
Family Medicine and Community Health Journal volume 5, issue number 3 publishes
Beijing, October 30, 2017: The Autumn 2017 issue, a special issue entitled

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