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Science Current Events and Science News | Brightsurf | January 03, 2018


Are vitamin supplements used before or during pregnancy associated with risk of autism spectrum disorder?
The use of folic acid and multivitamin supplements by women before and during pregnancy was associated with a lower likelihood of autism spectrum disorder in children but this findingĀ  needs to be interpreted with caution because other factors could explain it.
Pediatricians screen more kids for mental health issues if they receive hands-on support
The study, led by Children's National, is called an important first step toward earlier identification of children who live with serious mental health concerns.
Physicists build muscle for shape-changing, cell-sized robots
A Cornell University team has made a robot exoskeleton that can rapidly change its shape upon sensing chemical or thermal changes in its environment.
Study uncovers key to preventing back pain in runners
Low back pain is a common complaint among both elite and recreational runners, but the true cause of it remains a mystery.
Morris Animal Foundation-funded study shows importance of wildlife in controlling ticks
Morris Animal Foundation-funded researchers from the University of California, Santa Barbara, have found that a decrease in wildlife populations causes an upsurge in local tick populations, potentially increasing the threat of infectious diseases globally.
Predicting the effect of climate change on crop yields
Scientists now have a new tool to predict the future effects of climate change on crop yields.
Pong paddles and perception: Our actions influence what we see
Most people think of vision as simply a function of information the eye gathers.
Research reveals evidence of new population of ancient Native Americans
Genetic analysis of ancient DNA from a 6-week-old infant found at an Interior Alaska archaeological site has revealed a previously unknown population of ancient people in North America.
Total-body PET: Maximizing sensitivity for clinical research and patient care
The new total-body PET/CT scanner could revolutionize our understanding and treatment of disease through analysis of better imaging data from the whole body.
Laser evaporation technology to create new solar materials
Researchers use lasers to blast solutions containing delicate organic compounds to grow new types of crystals for solar cells, light-emitting diodes and photodetectors.
Researchers offer new evidence on 4-year-old children's knowledge about ecology
What do young children from diverse cultural communities think about the natural world?
Novel methodology increases resolution in oligodendrocyte proteomics
Brazilian researchers combine mass spectrometry, 2D liquid chromatography and ion mobility to identify over 10,000 proteins in brain cells possibly involved in schizophrenia.
Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Jan. 2018
ORNL story tips, Jan. 2018: Study identifies microbes to diagnose endometriosis without surgery; brain-inspired device can quickly classify data; neutrons 'see' how water flows through fractured rock; new method could help with demand for electric vehicle charging stations; bio-based, shape-memory material could replace today's conductors; novel approach for studying material's magnetic behavior could boost quantum computing.
Alfalfa loss? Annual ryegrass is a win
In the U.S., alfalfa is grown mainly in western and northern states.
Tuberculosis drugs work better with vitamin C
Studies in mice and in tissue cultures suggest that giving vitamin C with tuberculosis drugs could reduce the unusually long time it takes these drugs to eradicate this pathogen.
Research finds hysterectomy alone associated with increased long-term health risks
Mayo Clinic researchers show that hysterectomy with ovarian conservation is associated with a significantly increased risk of several cardiovascular diseases and metabolic conditions.
Researchers show high-performance breathing in bones
Dinosaurs are far from extinct, but dominate as birds still most regions of the globe.
NASA's Aqua satellite sees Tropical Depression Bolaven battling wind shear
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the South China Sea and obtained a visible light image of the first depression of the Northwestern Pacific Ocean basin's 2018 tropical cyclone season.
An unusual form of antibiotic resistance in pandemic cholera
Researchers at the University of Georgia have now shown that the enzyme that makes the El Tor family of V. cholerae resistant to those antibiotics has a different mechanism of action from any comparable proteins observed in bacteria so far.
Study provides new insights on bone loss in women
A new study in Journal of Bone and Mineral Research looked at the relative contributions of the two types of bone -- cortical, or compact bone, and trabecular, or spongy bone -- to total bone loss.
Nursing homes should require flu shots for all staff and patients, most older adults say
As flu season swings into high gear, a new poll suggests nursing homes and other long-term care facilities should be doing more to get their staff and patients vaccinated before it's too late.
Virus could treat brain tumours by boosting immune system
Virus could act as an immunotherapy when injected into bloodstream.
American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM) takes steps to improve the quality of ultrasound imaging in obstetrics and gynecology
The American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM) convened a forum tasked with developing a roadmap for quality improvement in ultrasound imaging in obstetrics and gynecology and set up a task force to establish a consensus curriculum and competency assessment tools for residency training.
'Silent code' of nucleotides, not amino acids, determines functions of vital proteins
Humans possess six forms of the protein actin, which perform essential functions in the body.
New study identifies thermometer for global ocean
There's a new way to measure the average temperature of the ocean thanks to researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego.
Rare forms of 'thunder' protein may be linked to Schizophrenia
Researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine report they have identified rare genetic variations in a protein called Thorase, which is responsible for breaking down receptors at the connections between neurons in the brain.
Using rank order to identify complex genetic interactions
Applying new math, Kristina Crona, an American University assistant professor who researches in the area of mathematical biology, and her colleagues show how ranking pathogen mutants can help scientists understand how mutants evolve to resist drug treatments.
Environmentally safe red glare rocket changes fireworks, soldier technology
Researchers at the US Army Research Laboratory and the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, Germany, have developed an environmentally friendly red light flare popular in fireworks displays and among Soldiers who use them in training and battlefield operations as signaling devices.
Research reveals 'shocking' weakness of lab courses
With the new emphasis on hands-on, active learning throughout higher education, lab courses would seem to have an advantage - what could be more active than doing experiments?
New data debunks alien megastructure theory on the 'most mysterious star in the universe'
A team of more than 100 researchers, led by LSU Department of Physics & Astronomy Assistant Professor Tabetha Boyajian, is one step closer to solving the mystery behind the'most mysterious star in the universe.' KIC 8462852, or 'Tabby's Star,' nicknamed after Boyajian, is otherwise an average star.
Engineers make wearable sensors for plants, enabling measurements of water use in crops
Iowa State's Liang Dong is leading development of graphene-based, sensors-on-tape that can be attached to plants and can provide data to researchers and farmers about water use in crops.
Tailoring cancer treatments to individual patients
The Center for Computational Oncology developed computer models to predict how cancer will progress in a specific individual, based on tissue, cellular and subcellular protein signaling responses.
Caffeine level in blood may help diagnose people with Parkinson's disease
Testing the level of caffeine in the blood may provide a simple way to aid the diagnosis of Parkinson's disease, according to a study published in the Jan.
Cultural evolution has not freed hunter-gatherers from environmental forcing
Cultural evolution has made humans enormously potent ecosystem engineers and has enabled us to survive and flourish under a variety environmental conditions.
Glucagon receptor structure offers new opportunities for type 2 diabetes drug discovery
Recently, scientists at SIMM determined the crystal structure of GCGR in complex with a glucagon analogue and partial agonist NNC1702.
Little wasp bodies means little wasp brain regions, study shows
A Drexel study looking at 19 species of paper wasps found that body size may lead to variation in the complex parts of their brains.
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP Satellite sees Tropical Storm Ava near Madagascar
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP passed over newly formed Tropical Storm Ava and analyzed the storm in infrared light.
The sixth Ttaste?
UCSB biologists enhance the scientific understanding of calcium taste
Dancing backwards in high heels
Who do students turn to when they want to ask for an extended assignment deadline or an increase in their marks?
Trastuzumab: No negative impact on cardiac function
Long-term follow-up results of the NRG Oncology trial NSABP B-31 have shown that the addition of trastuzumab to adjuvant chemotherapy does not negatively affect cardiac function in women with node-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive, early-stage breast cancer who survive without cancer recurrence.
The BMJ reveals hundreds of drug company deals that commissioning groups fail to declare
Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in England have accepted hundreds of payments from drug companies that they have not disclosed to patients and the public, reveals an investigation by The BMJ today.
Sowing corals: A new approach paves the way for large-scale coral reef restoration
Scientists pioneer in developing a novel approach to simply sow coral recruits onto degraded reefs like farmers scatter seedlings on a field.
Researchers use 'global thermometer' to track temperature extremes, droughts
Large areas of the Earth's surface are experiencing rising maximum temperatures, which affect virtually every ecosystem on the planet, including ice sheets and tropical forests that play major roles in regulating the biosphere, scientists have reported.
New study demonstrates increased risk of heart disease after hysterectomy
In an effort to reduce the associated increased risk of heart disease after hysterectomy, more surgeons are opting to leave a woman's ovaries intact.
Malcolm Gladwell published in the Journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology
In his best sellers 'The Tipping Point,' 'Blink' and 'Outliers,' Malcolm Gladwell writes about the unexpected implications of scientific research, urging readers to think different.
How parasites hack victims to seize control of genes in plant-to-plant warfare
'Imagine a battle between host and parasite. In this case, dodder is trying to hack into the host's information system and the host is trying to shut it off.
Past falls can help predict an individual's risk of bone fracture independent of other factors
Results from a new study in Journal of Bone and Mineral Research indicate that an individual's history of past falls can help predict their risk of bone fractures, independent of bone mineral density and other clinical factors.
Noninvasive tinnitus treatment turns volume down on phantom noises
Scientists have devised a noninvasive approach to offer relief from tinnitus -- a persistent phantom perception of sound that afflicts as many as 15 percent of people in the United States.
NASA's Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission locates elusive electron act
New NASA research helps improve our understanding of how electrons move through the complex region around Earth -- information that will help untangle how such particle acrobatics affect the planet.
New research shows how alcohol damages DNA and increases cancer risk
Scientists have shown how alcohol damages DNA in stem cells, helping to explain why drinking increases your risk of cancer, according to research part-funded by Cancer Research UK and published in Nature today.
Four-dimensional physics in two dimensions
For the first time, physicists have built a two-dimensional experimental system that allows them to study the physical properties of materials theorized to exist only in four-dimensional space.
Alien megastructure not the cause of dimming of the 'most mysterious star in the universe'
Scientists are one step closer to solving the mystery behind the 'most mysterious star in the universe.'
Carbon nanotubes devices may have a limit to how 'nano' they can be
Carbon nanotubes bound for electronics not only need to be as clean as possible to maximize their utility in next-generation nanoscale devices, but contact effects may limit how small a nano device can be, according to researchers at the Energy Safety Research Institute (ESRI) at Swansea University in collaboration with researchers at Rice University.
Could viruses take cancer immunotherapy to the next level?
A study published in Science Translational Medicine shows a combination of oncolytic viruses and checkpoint inhibitors successfully treated breast cancer with a 60-90 percent cure rate.
New report calls for research to better understand, predict Gulf of Mexico's loop current system
A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine calls for an international, multi-institutional comprehensive campaign of research, observation, and analysis activities that would help improve understanding and prediction of the Gulf of Mexico's Loop Current System (LCS).
New behavioral science approach combines experiments, models
Researchers are outlining a new approach to behavioral research that draws on experimental studies and computer models to offer new insights into organizational and group behavior.
Arctic clouds highly sensitive to air pollution
A study from University of Utah atmospheric scientist Tim Garrett and colleagues finds that the air in the Arctic is extraordinarily sensitive to air pollution, and that particulate matter may spur Arctic cloud formation.
Outcomes and costs of coronary procedures performed at VA vs non-VA hospitals
Costs and risk of death after coronary procedures differed for veterans who underwent coronary procedures at non-VA hospitals.
Agricultural parasite takes control of host plant's genes
Dodder, a parasitic plant that causes major damage to crops in the US and worldwide every year, can silence the expression of genes in the host plants from which it obtains water and nutrients.
Specially timed signals ease tinnitus symptoms in first test aimed at condition's root cause
Millions of Americans hear ringing in their ears -- a condition called tinnitus -- but a new study shows an experimental device could help quiet the phantom sounds by targeting unruly nerve activity in the brain.
Yerkes researchers find clues to AIDS resistance in sooty mangabey genome
Peaceful co-existence, rather than war: that's how sooty mangabeys, a monkey species found in West Africa, handle infection by SIV, a relative of HIV, and avoid developing AIDS-like disease.
The making of biorelevant nanomaterials
The interactions of biological macromolecules such as nucleic acids, proteins, and polysaccharide-protein conjugates can be mimicked by artificial polyelectrolytes.
Gene fusion shifts cell activity into high gear, causing some cancer
Researchers at Columbia University discovered that a common fusion of two adjacent genes can cause cancer by kicking mitochondria into overdrive, increasing the amount of fuel available for rampant cell growth.
Study shows stem cell transplant is better than drug therapy for scleroderma
Scleroderma with internal organ involvement is a debilitating and lethal autoimmune disorder with few effective treatments.
Impact of US pay for performance programs 'limited and disappointing' say experts
The impact of pay for performance programs in US hospitals has been 'limited and disappointing' say experts in a study published by The BMJ today.
Researchers identify genetic factors that contribute to Alzheimer's disease
Researchers have identified several new genes responsible for Alzheimer's disease (AD) including those leading to functional and structural changes in the brain and elevated levels of AD proteins in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).
Diabetes increases over time in children but adults account for most new cases in China
Although China remains one of the countries with the lowest incidence of type 1 diabetes globally, a study published by The BMJ today shows that there has been a rapid increase in the number of new cases (incidence) of the condition in under-15s in the past two decades.
Stem cell transplant for severe scleroderma improves survival, quality of life
Clinical trial findings show that a regimen involving transplantation of a person's own blood-forming stem cells can improve survival for people with severe scleroderma, a life-threatening autoimmune disease.
An adaptation 150 million years in the making
Just how do snapping shrimp snap? This was the question plaguing scientists who set out to uncover the mysterious mechanisms producing big biology in tiny crustaceans.
Bird recognition
Birds play an important role in a wide variety of ecosystems as both predator and prey, in controlling insect populations, pollinating and seed dispersal for many plants, and in releasing nutrients on to land and sea in the form of guano.
WPI and Stanford researchers develop sperm-sorting device that could improve IVF success
Women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) may become pregnant with fewer treatment cycles, thanks to a new device developed by a team of researchers from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and Stanford University that uses an 'obstacle course' to sort and select faster and healthier sperm cells for use in IVF treatment.
Cellular barcoding helps scientists understand the behavior of stem cells
By tagging bone marrow cells of mice with a genetic label, or barcode, researchers were able to track and describe the family tree of individual blood cells as they form in their natural environment.
Materials from arctic shelves are changing the water's composition
Scientists say the input of shelf-derived materials to the central Arctic Ocean over the past decade appears to be increasing.
Dietary sugar linked to increasing bacterial epidemics
The increasing frequency and severity of healthcare-associated outbreaks caused by bacterium Clostridium difficile have been linked to the widely used food additive trehalose.
Scientists design bacteria to reflect 'sonar' signals for ultrasound imaging
Scientists have designed bacteria to reflect sound waves like submarines.
Which came first: Complex life or high atmospheric oxygen?
The appearance of high oxygen levels in Earth's atmosphere occurred sometime between 800 and 400 million years ago, while the rise of complex, multicellular life occurred 800-700 million years ago.
In clinical trial, cream reduces squamous cell carcinoma risk
Results of a new randomized, double-blinded, controlled clinical trial in veterans showed a 75 percent reduction in the risk of needing surgery to treat a squamous cell carcinoma for a year after applying a skin cream for up to four weeks.
Scientists find surprising evidence of rapid changes in the Arctic
Scientists have found surprising evidence of rapid climate change in the Arctic: In the middle of the Arctic Ocean near the North Pole, they discovered that the levels of radium-228 have almost doubled over the last decade.
New lithium-rich battery could last much longer
By using iron and oxygen to simultaneously drive the electrochemical reaction, a novel battery is less expensive and has a higher capacity.
Facial exercises help middle-aged women appear more youthful
A 30-minute daily or alternate-day facial exercise program sustained over 20 weeks improved the facial appearance of middle-aged women, resulting in a younger appearance with fuller and firmer upper and lower cheeks, reports a new study.
Could sugar be responsible for the obesity and diabetes epidemics?
The idea that sugar could be a fundamental cause of the global obesity and diabetes epidemics, with deleterious effects on the human body that go beyond just empty calories, should be considered seriously again, argues journalist and author Gary Taubes in The BMJ today.
Making solar energy more efficient
Two researchers in the University of Kansas School of Architecture & Design have demonstrated methods of optimizing the capture of sunlight in experiments at the Center for Design Research.
Direct genetic evidence of founding population reveals story of first Native Americans
Direct genetic evidence of the earliest Native Americans has been identified for the first time, enabling researchers to answer long-standing questions about how the Americas were first populated.
Study investigates impact of lions living alongside giraffe populations
New research from the University of Bristol is calling for an urgent review into how populations of giraffes are managed in the wild when living alongside lions.
Redefining knowledge of elderly people throughout history
An archaeologist from The Australian National University is set to redefine what we know about elderly people in cultures throughout history, and dispel the myth that most people didn't live much past 40 prior to modern medicine.

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