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Science Current Events and Science News | Brightsurf | February 14, 2018


Video games to improve mobility after a stroke
A joint research by the Basque research center BCBL and the London Imperial College reveals that, after a cerebral infarction, injuries in areas that control attention also cause motility problems.
Opioid addiction treatment behind bars reduced post-incarceration overdose deaths in RI
A new study in JAMA Psychiatry suggests that treating people for opioid addiction in jails and prisons is a promising strategy to address high rates of overdose and opioid use disorder.
How seafloor weathering drives the slow carbon cycle
A previously unknown connection between geological atmospheric carbon dioxide cycles and the fluctuating capacity of the ocean crust to store carbon dioxide has been uncovered by two geoscientists from the University of Sydney.
New drug improves motor function of children with genetic disorder
Children with later-onset spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) were more likely to show gains in motor function when treated with a new medication compared to children receiving a sham procedure, according to a study published today in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Back-and-forth exchanges boost children's brain response to language
MIT cognitive scientists have now found that conversation between an adult and a child appears to change the child's brain, and that this back-and-forth conversation is actually more critical to language development than the '30-million-word gap.'
A lonely beauty
Beauty, grace, mystery -- this magnificent spiral galaxy has all the qualities of a perfect galactic Valentine.
Practical work-related tasks may reduce burnout in new employees
A new Tel Aviv University study suggests that immediately charging new employees with simple, direct and meaningful tasks may be more effective in preventing newcomer burnout in the workplace than providing 'emotional' assistance.
Poor fitness linked to weaker brain fiber, higher dementia risk
Scientists have more evidence that exercise improves brain health and could be a lifesaving ingredient that prevents Alzheimer's disease.
Would-be social entrepreneurs need more than a kind heart
To want to be a social entrepreneur, empathy is not enough for millennials.
Clean plates much more common when we eat at home
When people eat at home, there's typically not much left on their plates - and that means there's likely less going to landfills, according to new research from The Ohio State University.
Flying LEGO® Bricks: Drones and LEGO® could be the future of play
New technology combines LEGO® bricks and drones created by Queen's University researcher.
'Excess emissions' make significant contribution to air pollution
A study by Indiana University researchers shows that excess emissions -- which occur with plant shut-downs, start-ups and malfunctions, and not just in connection with natural disasters -- can make serious contributions to overall air pollution.
Study: Running helps brain stave off effects of chronic stress
The study, newly published in the journal of Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, finds that running mitigates the negative impacts chronic stress has on the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for learning and memory.
Mass. public safety, public health agencies collaborate to address the opioid epidemic
A new study shows that public health and public safety agencies established local, collaborative programs in Massachusetts to connect overdose survivors and their personal networks with addiction treatment, harm reduction, and other community support services following a non-fatal overdose.
Climb stairs to lower blood pressure and strengthen leg muscles
If you don't have the time or money for aerobic and resistance training, why not try climbing the stairs?
More squid, less fish: North Pacific seabirds alter their prey preferences
Over the last 125 years, and particularly after an uptick in industrial fishing since 1950, North Pacific seabirds -- typically fish consumers -- have shifted their prey preferences, a new study reports; they are eating lower on the food chain, consuming more squid.
New research on the brain's backup motor systems could open door to novel stroke therapies
New research published in the Journal of Physiology could open the door to new therapies to improve the movement of arms and hands of stroke survivors.
UA scientist studies effects of wildfire management on bird populations
On the tail of California's most destructive and expensive year of firefighting ever, it might seem obvious that vegetation removal would reduce the risk of such a year happening again.
Safe-sleep recommendations for infants have not reduced sudden deaths in newborns
An analysis by investigators from MassGeneral Hospital for Children and Newton-Wellesley Hospital of trends in sudden unexpected infant death finds that the drop in such deaths that took place following release of the 1992 American Academy of Pediatrics 'back to sleep' recommendations, did not occur in infants in the first month of life.
Tissue paper sensors show promise for health care, entertainment, robotics
University of Washington engineers have turned tissue paper -- similar to toilet tissue -- into a new kind of wearable sensor that can detect a pulse, a blink of an eye and other human movement.
NASA totals rainfall from destructive Tropical Cyclone Gita
Tropical Cyclone Gita dropped a lot of rain as it strengthened into a major hurricane in the South Pacific Ocean.
Countries with greater gender equality have a lower percentage of female STEM graduates
Countries with greater gender equality see a smaller proportion of women taking degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), a new study has found.
Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
Engineers at Rutgers University-New Brunswick and Oregon State University are developing a new method of processing nanomaterials that could lead to faster and cheaper manufacturing of flexible thin film devices -- from touch screens to window coatings, according to a new study.
Muscle more important than fat in regulating heat loss from the hands
New study suggests that people with more muscle mass are less susceptible to heat loss and heat up faster after cold exposure than non-muscular individuals.
Hydrogen transfer: One thing after the other
Hydride transfer is an important reaction for chemistry (e.g., fuel cells), as well as biology (e.g., respiratory chain and photosynthesis).
Examination of postincarceration fatal overdoses after addiction treatment medications in correctional system
There were fewer postincarceration deaths from overdose among recently released inmates after a program was started to provide medications for addiction treatment (including methadone, buprenorphine or naltrexone) in a state correctional system.
The search for dark matter: Axions have ever fewer places to hide
If they existed, axions -- one of the candidates for particles of the mysterious dark matter -- could interact with the matter forming our world, but they would have to do this to a much, much weaker extent than it has seemed up to now.
Carefully managed fire can promote rare savanna species
In the first continent-wide study of the effects of fire on bird and mammal diversity in the African savanna environment, researchers have found that increasing 'pyrodiversity' boosts the variety of species of mammals by around 20 percent and of birds by 30 percent in savannas with high rainfall.
Target of rapamycin: Linking cytosolic and chloroplast ribosome biogenesis in plants
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) have found that eukaryotic and bacterial growth regulation systems of independent origins are connected to the control of chloroplast rRNA transcription in a primitive red alga.
Can learning stress-reducing techniques help reduce seizures?
Learning techniques to help manage stress may help people with epilepsy reduce how often they have seizures, according to a study published in the Feb.
Can't get an image out of your head? Your eyes are helping to keep it there.
Through brain imaging, Baycrest scientists have found evidence that the brain uses eye movements to help people recall vivid moments from the past, paving the way for the development of visual tests that could alert doctors earlier about those at risk for neurodegenerative illnesses.
Organ-on-chip technology enters next stage as experts test hepatitis B virus
Scientists at Imperial College London have become the first in the world to test how pathogens interact with artificial human organs.
CT scans reveal new muscles in horseshoe crab appendages
Digital dissection shows that two horseshoe crab appendages -- the pushing leg and the male pedipalp -- each have one more muscle than had been thought, according to a study published Feb.
Researchers successfully reverse Alzheimer's disease in mouse model
A team of researchers from the Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute have found that gradually depleting an enzyme called BACE1 completely reverses the formation of amyloid plaques in the brains of mice with Alzheimer's disease, thereby improving the animals' cognitive function.
Rotating dusty gaseous donut around an active supermassive black hole
High resolution observations with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) imaged a rotating dusty gas torus around an active supermassive black hole.
Cover crops in nitrogen's circle of life
A circle of life-and nitrogen-is playing out in farms across the United States.
Higher cigarette taxes may increase use of chewing tobacco and cigars in adolescents
Raising cigarette taxes to combat smoking may increase the use of cigars and smokeless tobacco, such as chewing tobacco, in adolescents according to a study published in the open access journal BMC Public Health, involving 499,381 adolescents.
Tiny membrane key to safe drinking water
Using their own specially designed form of graphene, 'Graphair', CSIRO scientists have supercharged water purification, making it simpler, more effective and quicker.
Scalable two-dimensional materials advance future-gen electronics
Since the discovery of the remarkable properties of graphene, scientists have increasingly focused research on the many other two-dimensional materials possible, both those found in nature and those concocted in the lab.
Suiker's equations prevent 3-D-printed walls from collapsing or falling over
3-D-printed materials commonly are soft and flexible during printing, leaving printed walls susceptible to collapse or falling over.
Cardiac macrophages found to contribute to a currently untreatable type of heart failure
A team of Massachusetts General Hospital investigators has discovered, for the first time, that the immune cells called macrophages contribute to a type of heart failure for which there currently is no effective treatment.
Supermassive black hole model predicts characteristic light signals at cusp of collision
A new simulation of supermassive black holes--the behemoths at the centers of galaxies--uses a realistic scenario to predict the light signals emitted in the surrounding gas before the masses collide, said Rochester Institute of Technology researchers.
Study links fox domestication to gene activity in the pituitary gland
A study of foxes offers new insights into the brain changes that occur in wild canids as they become more tame, researchers report.
Study: Rigorous hand hygiene-intervention practices can lower mortality, antibiotic prescription rates in nursing homes
Infection prevention practices centered on hand hygiene (HH) protocols can save lives across all healthcare facilities, not just hospital settings.
Scientists fill in a piece of the copper transport puzzle
Researchers have identified the protein that carries copper into mitochondria, where copper is required for the functioning of the cell's energy conversion machinery.
Rapid evolution of a calcareous microalgae
When simulating future environmental conditions researchers face a problem: laboratory experiments are easy to control and to reproduce, but are insufficient to mimic the complexity of natural ecosystems.
Study suggests possible link between highly processed foods and cancer
A study published by The BMJ today reports a possible association between intake of highly processed ('ultra-processed') food in the diet and cancer.
Thermal blankets melt snow quickly
Removing snow piled high in parking lots and along roadsides could soon be a far less tedious task.
Asthma linked to infertility but not among women taking regular asthma preventers
Women with asthma who only use short-acting asthma relievers take longer to become pregnant than other women, according to research published in the European Respiratory Journal.
Possible new principle for cancer therapy
A study published in Science Translational Medicine shows that small molecules that specifically inhibit an important selenium-containing enzyme may be useful in combating cancer.
A gene that increases the risk of pancreatic cancer controls inflammation in normal tissue
A group of researchers at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre has now discovered an unexpected link between the two processes: in the pancreas, one of the genes that increases the risk of developing pancreatic cancer also controls inflammation.
IRB Barcelona paves the way to the use of immunotherapy to treat aggressive colon tumors
The researchers developed a mouse model that mimics advanced human colon cancer.
Cutting off cervical cancer's fuel supply stymies tumors
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have shown that cervical tumors that don't respond to radiation may be vulnerable to therapies that also attack the cancer's fuel supply.
Risk of extreme weather events higher if Paris Agreement goals aren't met
The Paris Agreement has aspirational goals of limiting temperature rise that won't be met by current commitments.
Watching myelin patterns form: Evidence for sheath remodeling revealed by in vivo imaging
Nerve fibers are surrounded by a myelin sheath. Scientists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have now made the first-ever
The reasons that university students do sport
The research shows that female students do it for health reason and male students do it for social relationships that are involved in doing sport.
Atlas of brain blood vessels provides fresh clues to brain diseases
Even though diseases of the brain vasculature are some of the most common causes of death in the West, knowledge of these blood vessels is limited.
Nanotechnology could redefine oral surgery
A trip to the dentist or orthodontist usually instills a sense of dread in most patients, and that's before the exam even begins.
Model of fecal transplantation predicts which bacteria will flourish
In a paper in Cell Host & Microbe, scientists provide a statistical model predicting which bacterial strains will engraft after a fecal transplant.
NASA finds strongest storms in weakening Tropical Cyclone Sanba
Infrared data from NASA's Terra satellite found the area of strongest storms in weakening Tropical Cyclone Sanba when it was over the island of Palawan.
Neural networks everywhere
Special-purpose chip that performs some simple, analog computations in memory reduces the energy consumption of binary-weight neural networks by up to 95 percent while speeding them up as much as sevenfold.
'Green' catalysis technique aims to boost pharmaceutical manufacturing efficiency
About 70 percent of pharmaceuticals are manufactured using palladium-driven catalytic processes that are either fast or efficient -- but not both.
Majority of Anna's hummingbirds may have feather mites on their tail feathers
The majority of Californian Anna's Hummingbirds appear to have P.
Turning background room temperature heat into energy
University of Tsukuba-based researchers developed a way to recover environmental heat with a new type of thin-film thermoelectric cell, based on two different materials that show changes in their redox potential on cycling of temperature.
The 'Super-Ranger' badgers that may hold the key to limiting the spread of bovine TB
Researchers have discovered a new ranging behavior in male badgers, which will aid the implementation of a nationwide TB vaccination program, recently announced by the Department of Agriculture, Food and The Marine in Ireland.
Understanding how the body builds immunity, to build better influenza vaccines
Scientists are now equipped with a more detailed picture of the human immune system's response to influenza vaccination, thanks to the results of a new investigation.
Milky Way ties with neighbor in galactic arms race
Astronomers have discovered that our nearest big neighbor, the Andromeda galaxy, is roughly the same size as the Milky Way.
TSRI scientists find key proteins control risk of osteoarthritis during aging
A study from scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) explains why the risk of osteoarthritis increases as we age and offers a potential avenue for developing new therapies to maintain healthy joints.
Personality: Where does it come from and how does it work?
How do our personalities develop? What do we come with and what is built from our experiences?
Monitoring bacteria on whale skin
Just like with humans, the skin on marine mammals serves as an important line of defense against pathogens in their environment.
Scientists discover new link between bone cells and blood sugar level
Bone cells do not just form new bone, they also influence the blood sugar level.
What fluffy bunnies can tell us about domestication: It didn't go the way you think
It turns out that nobody knows when rabbits were domesticated.
Cells 'walk' on liquids a bit like geckos
Researchers at Queen Mary University of London have discovered that cells can 'walk' on liquids a bit like the way geckos stick to other surfaces.
Analysis of major earthquakes supports stress reduction assumptions
A comprehensive analysis of 101 major earthquakes around the Pacific ring of fire between 1990 and 2016 shows that most of the aftershock activity occurred on the margins of the areas where the faults slipped a lot during the main earthquakes.
All-terrain microbot moves by tumbling over complex topography
A new type of all-terrain microbot that moves by tumbling could help usher in tiny machines for various applications.
Company partnerships may have in-house ramifications
When companies partner with a sports team or a charity, the deal is usually about attracting consumers and strengthening their brands.
Patients with chagas disease are often infected with an intestinal parasite
In patients with Chagas Disease, the odds of being infected by the intestinal worm Strongyloides stercoralis increases by two-fold, according to a study led by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal).
Better together: Silicon qubits plus light add up to new quantum computing capability
In a significant step forward for quantum computing in silicon - the same material used in today's computers -- a team led by researchers at Princeton University successfully coupled a single electron's quantum information, or spin, to a particle of light, or photon.
A gut reaction...on a chip
researchers from the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, Instituto Superior Técnico (IST, Portugal), Boston Children's Hospital, and Harvard Medical School (HMS) have published a study using an organ-on-a-chip (Organ Chip) model of the human gut that reveals the intestinal blood vessel cells may play an important part in radiation-induced intestinal injury, and it confirms that a potential radioprotective drug, dimethyloxaloylglycine (DMOG), suppresses the intestine's responses to radiation injury.
Remote jets are clearer now
The hypothesis that was put to the test in the study states that jet power depends on the magnetic flux and the rotation rate of the black hole.
Fracking tied to reduced songbird nesting success
The central Appalachian region is experiencing the country's most rapid growth in shale gas development, or 'fracking,' but we've known almost nothing about how this is affecting the region's songbird populations -- until now.
Living human tracheas
Biomedical engineers at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Mass. are growing tracheas by coaxing cells to form three distinct tissue types after assembling them into a tube structure-without relying on scaffolding strategies currently being investigated by other groups.
New method to replicate harsh conditions for materials
Confining a plasma jet can be stress-inducing... especially on the materials especially for shielding materials.
Deforestation in the tropics
Scientists at the UFZ have adapted a method from physics to mathematically describe the fragmentation of tropical forests.
A new class of drug to treat herpes simplex virus-1 infection
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have now identified a small drug molecule that can clear the HSV-1 infection in the cells of the cornea -- the clear outer layer of the eyeball -- and works completely differently than the currently-available drugs, making it a promising potential option for patients who have developed resistance.
Everyday activities associated with more gray matter in brains of older adults
Higher levels of lifestyle physical activity are associated with more gray matter in the brains of older adults, according to a Rush University Medical Center study published in the Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences.
Dance of auroras
The shower of electrons bouncing across Earth's magnetosphere -- commonly known as the Northern Lights -- has been directly observed for the first time by an international team of scientists.
Hip hop meets health in a campaign against type 2 diabetes
The Center for Vulnerable Populations (CVP), at UC San Francisco, and Youth Speaks, a San Francisco youth development and arts education organization, are releasing four new spoken word videos by young poets from across California as part of a social media-based public health campaign to end type 2 diabetes in youth and young adults.
Blood thinners may raise stroke risk in over-65s with kidney disease
People over 65 years old may be increasing their stroke risk by taking anticoagulants for an irregular heartbeat if they also have chronic kidney disease, finds a new study led by UCL, St George's, University of London and the University of Surrey.
Most parents don't believe their child's BMI report card
Fifty-three percent of parents who receive their child's body mass index (BMI) report card do not believe that it accurately categorizes their child as underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese, according to research out today in Health Promotion Practice, a SAGE Publishing journal.
Study finds that a surprise stimulus helps people stop an action
A new study from the University of Iowa finds that an unexpected sound causes people to stop an action more often than when they heard no sound at all.
Engineers develop smart material that changes stiffness when twisted or bent
Iowa State's Martin Thuo and Michael Bartlett led development of a rubbery material that transforms itself into a hard composite when bent, twisted or squeezed.
Could sugar chains be the answer to bone growth in osteoporosis?
Scientists at the University of York have shown that altering the structure of sugar chains on the surface of stem cells could help promote bone growth in the body.

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