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Science Current Events and Science News | Brightsurf | February 15, 2018


Epilepsy study links mossy brain cells to seizures and memory loss
A small group of cells in the brain can have a big effect on seizures and memory in a mouse model of epilepsy.
Hunting is changing forests, but not as expected
In many tropical forests, over-hunting is diminishing the populations of animals who are vital for dispersing the seeds of woody plants.
Chemists harness artificial intelligence to predict the future (of chemical reactions)
A team of researchers from Princeton University and Merck have developed state-of-the-art software to predict reaction yields while varying up to four components.
Can our genes help predict how women respond to ovarian cancer treatment?
New research, led by Professor Anna deFazio from the Westmead Institute and Westmead Hospital, has shown that the genes we inherit can have a significant impact on how the body processes chemotherapy drugs, which may lead to different clinical outcomes for ovarian cancer patients.
Hurricanes Irma and Maria temporarily altered choruses of land and sea animals
Audio recordings of Hurricanes Irma and Maria's passage over Puerto Rico document how the calls of coastal critters changed in response to the deadly storms.
Fingerprints of quantum entanglement
Quantum entanglement is a key feature of a quantum computer.
Children's Colorado experts study loss of control eating & bariatric surgery success
Recent research led by Thomas H. Inge, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Bariatric Surgery Center at Children's Hospital Colorado (Children's Colorado), examined the impact of eating behaviors on success rates related to bariatric surgery in adolescents.
Hearing loss is common after infant heart surgery
Children who have heart surgery as infants are at risk for hearing loss, coupled with associated risks for language, attention and cognitive problems, by age four.
New report: Labs differ widely in BRCA testing protocols
A new article published in npj Genomic Medicine showcases the wide differences in BRCA testing protocols at labs around the world.
Rapid pollution increases may be as harmful to the heart as absolute levels
Rapid increases in pollution may be as harmful to the heart as sustained high levels, according to research published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology,1 a European Society of Cardiology journal.
Self-sampling identifies twice as many women at risk of cervical cancer
Using self-sampling followed by HPV testing, more than twice as many women at risk of developing cervical cancer could be identified and offered preventive treatment.
Research compares mouse and human kidney development
Three new research articles compare human and mouse kidney development to identify shared and novel features.
Birds and primates share brain cell types linked to intelligence
In a new study scientists from UChicago show that some neurons in bird brains form the same kind of circuitry and have the same molecular signature as cells that enable connectivity between different areas of the mammalian neocortex.
Countries with greater gender equality have lower percentage of female STEM graduates
Although women currently are well represented in life sciences, they continue to be underrepresented in inorganic sciences, such as computer science and physics.
Consumer and industrial products now a dominant urban air pollution source
Chemical products that contain compounds refined from petroleum, like household cleaners, pesticides, paints and perfumes, now rival motor vehicle emissions as the top source of urban air pollution, according to a surprising NOAA-led study.
The CRISPR Journal debuts with articles by Rodolphe Barrangou, Fyodor Urnov, et al.
The CRISPR Journal, a new peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers announces the publication of its groundbreaking inaugural issue.
'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers
A group of NUST MISIS's young scientists, for the very first time in Russia, has presented a new therapeutic material based on nanofibers made of polycaprolactone modified with a thin-film antibacterial composition and plasma components of human blood.
Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect
Researchers from IOCB Prague and IP CAS demonstrated for the first time a single molecule piezoelectric effect.
New guideline warns pain benefits of medical cannabis overstated
A new medical guideline suggests Canada's family physicians should take a sober second thought before prescribing medical cannabis to most patients.
System draws power from daily temperature swings
A new device from MIT can draw power out of the daily cycle of temperature swings to power remote sensors or communications systems.
Geophysicists and atmospheric scientists partner to track typhoons' seismic footprints
A remarkable collaboration between atmospheric science and geophysics could change the way we think about storms and seismicity, and could lead to an answer to the often-asked 'Are hurricanes getting stronger?' Princeton University's Lucia Gualtieri and Salvatore Pascale led an international team that has identified the seismic footprint of typhoons and hurricanes, which allows climate scientists to add decades to their dataset of powerful storms.
Biochemical networks mapped in midgut of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes
Scientists have mapped for the first time the midgut metabolites of the Aedes aegypti, the mosquito that can transmit viruses that cause dengue, Zika, chikungunya and yellow fever to humans.
Dramatic decline of Bornean orangutans
Nearly 50 years of conservation efforts have been unable to prevent orangutan numbers on Borneo from plummeting.
Probe speeds detection of deep lung infections in patients
A medical imaging technology under development has enabled doctors to see bacteria deep inside patients' lungs for the first time.
How does it compare?: Hospice care at home, at assisted living facility, at nursing home
A new study from Indiana University Center for Aging Research and the Regenstrief Institute compares quality of hospice services provided for patients living at home, in assisted living facility and in nursing homes as perceived by family members.
New hole-punched crystal clears a path for quantum light
Optical highways for light are at the heart of modern communications.
New stem-cell based stroke treatment repairs damaged brain tissue
A team of researchers at the University of Georgia's Regenerative Bioscience Center and ArunA Biomedical, a UGA startup company, have developed a new treatment for stroke that reduces brain damage and accelerates the brain's natural healing tendencies in animal models.
Scientists unearth secrets of Sir Alexander Fleming's medical breakthroughs
A century after Sir Alexander Fleming made two of the most important medical breakthroughs, scientists have unlocked the secret of how his discoveries may contribute to recurrent patient infections.
New CRISPR-Cas9 tool edits both RNA and DNA precisely, U-M team reports
A tool that has already revolutionized disease research may soon get even better, thanks to an accidental discovery in the bacteria that cause many of the worst cases of meningitis.
Physicists create new form of light
MIT and Harvard physicists have created a new form of light that could enable quantum computing with photons.
Student research team accelerates snow melt with 'Melt Mat'
'The idea for a thermal absorptive blanket is novel, but also very practical,' said Jonathan Boreyko, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering and mechanics and the team's faculty advisor.
Don't blame hurricanes for most big storm surges in northeast
Hurricanes spawn most of the largest storm surges in the northeastern US, right?
Alzheimer's drug repairs brain damage after alcohol binges in rodents
A drug used to slow cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease could offer clues on how drugs might one day be able to reverse brain changes that affect learning and memory in teens and young adults who binge drink.
Eye exams linked to kids' reading levels
Elementary school children who read below grade level may have challenges with their eyesight even if standard tests show they see 20/20, according to a new study from the University of Waterloo.
The more kinds of bees, the better for humans, Rutgers-led study finds
The bigger the area to pollinate, the more species of wild bees you need to pollinate it.
Short kids may have higher future stroke risk
Being a short kid is associated with increased risk of having a stroke in adulthood, according to Danish research published in Stroke, an American Heart Association journal.
Romantic relationships buffer gay and lesbian youth from emotional distress
Lesbian and gay youth showed significantly less psychological distress and were buffered against the negative effects of bullying and victimization when they were in a relationship than when they were not, reports a new study.The finding is particularly important because prior research has not found a protective effect like this for support from parents and friends.
Mining for gold in a mountain of data
A team from the Industrial and Systems Engineering department at Lehigh University gathered with their colleagues at the KAUST Research Workshop on Optimization and Big Data in February to discuss the latest developments in big data optimization algorithms, theory, applications and systems.
NASA's Aqua satellite finds a wispy Tropical Depression Sanba
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the Sulu Sea as Tropical Depression Sanba continued to weaken.
Maximizing the environmental benefits of autonomous vehicles
The added weight, electricity demand and aerodynamic drag of the sensors and computers used in autonomous vehicles are significant contributors to their lifetime energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new study.
The neuroscience of cuttlefish camouflage
Unlike squid, bottom-dwelling cuttlefish may be able to put one key aspect of their camouflage on autopilot.
Eating yogurt may reduce cardiovascular disease risk
A new study in the American Journal of Hypertension, published by Oxford University Press, suggests that higher yogurt intake is associated with lower cardiovascular disease risk among hypertensive men and women.
What predicts the quality of children's friendships? Study shows cognition, emotion together play
Child development researchers at U of I wanted to look at what predicts the quality of children's friendships.
New mutation linked to ovarian cancer can be passed down through dad
A newly identified mutation, passed down through the X-chromosome, is linked to earlier onset of ovarian cancer in women and prostate cancer in father and sons.
Study finds opportunity to increase opioid dependence treatment in Ontario jails
The study included completion of an online survey by 27 physicians, who reported working in 15 of 26 provincial correctional facilities for adults in Ontario.
Soft tissue fossil clues could help search for ancient life on Earth and other planets
Fossils that preserve entire organisms (including both hard and soft body parts) are critical to our understanding of evolution and ancient life on Earth.
Researchers find existing drug effective at preventing onset of type 1 diabetes
A drug commonly used to control high blood pressure may also help prevent the onset of type 1 diabetes in up to 60 percent of those at risk for the disease, according to researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and the University of Florida in Gainesville.
Researchers advance CRISPR-based diagnostic tool, develop miniature paper test
The team that first unveiled the rapid, inexpensive, highly sensitive CRISPR-based diagnostic tool called SHERLOCK has greatly enhanced the tool's power to work with a miniature paper test, similar to a pregnancy test, allowing rapid and simple detection in any setting.
Hubble sees Neptune's mysterious shrinking storm
Three billion miles away on the farthest known major planet in our solar system, an ominous, dark storm - once big enough to stretch across the Atlantic Ocean from Boston to Portugal - is shrinking out of existence as seen in pictures of Neptune taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.
Metabolomics, a promising tool for advancing in treatment personalization of oncological patients
This review provides specific examples of metabolomics applications in the field of clinical pharmacology and precision medicine with a focus on the therapeutic management of cancer and in the translation of these results to the clinics.
Reducing peanut allergy risks in children -- The Nurse Practitioner presents update
New prevention and treatment approaches can reduce serious health risks due to peanut allergy in children, according to an article in the March issue of The Nurse Practitioner, published by Wolters Kluwer.
Building better tiny kidneys to test drugs and help people avoid dialysis
A free online kidney atlas built by USC researchers empowers stem cell scientists everywhere to generate more human-like tiny kidneys for testing new drugs and creating renal replacement therapies.
Top oil spill expert available to discuss new oil spill dispersant research
Internationally recognized oil spill expert, Nancy Kinner, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of New Hampshire is available to discuss new post-Deepwater Horizon (DWH) dispersant research and its use in future oil spill responses.
UK fracking industry would need strict controls to minimise spill risk
Strict controls would be 'a necessity' to minimise the risk of spills and leaks from any future UK shale gas industry, according to new research.
Immune system simulation shows need for multi-target treatments for sepsis
Using a computational model of the human immune system, scientists have shown that efforts to combat sepsis might be more effective if they targeted multiple steps in the molecular processes that drive the illness.
New research highlights how cancer cells repair themselves following proton beam therapy
Collaborative research conducted in Liverpool and Oxford, published in The Red Journal, identifies the specific cellular process that helps cancer cells damaged as a result of proton beam therapy, repair themselves.
First comparison of common breast cancer tests finds varied accuracy of predictions
Commercially available prognostic breast cancer tests show significant variation in their abilities to predict disease recurrence, according to a study led by Queen Mary University of London of nearly 800 postmenopausal women.
Research identifies 'evolutionary rescue' areas for animals threatened by climate change
As winters arrive later and snow melts earlier, the worldwide decrease in snow cover already may have dramatic impacts on animals that change coat colors with the seasons.
At last, butterflies get a bigger, better evolutionary tree
Butterflies offer key insights into community ecology, how species originate and evolve, climate change and interactions between plants and insects.
Efforts are needed to help pregnant women with diabetes
Researchers who analyzed data from the UK's National Pregnancy in Diabetes Audit found concerning shortcomings in pregnancy preparation and prenatal care for women with diabetes.
Infection outbreaks at hospitals could be reduced by copper-coated uniforms
Doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals could soon be wearing uniforms brushed with tiny copper nanoparticles to reduce the spread of bacterial infections and viruses, such as Escherichia coli (E. coli), at hospitals.
Study dispels notion social media displaces human contact
Echoing concerns that grew with the World Wide Web itself a decade earlier, the rise of social media has stoked fears of 'social displacement' -- the alienation of people from friends and family in favor of Facebook and Twitter.
Working in harmony: New insights into how packages of DNA orchestrate development
New research from Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah illuminates aspects of how an early embryo, the product of fertilization of a female egg cell by a male sperm cell, can give rise to all the many cell types of the adult animal.
Induced pluripotent stem cells could serve as cancer vaccine, Stanford researchers say
Induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells, are a keystone of regenerative medicine.
Female hormones may be linked to asthma, study suggests
Fluctuations in female sex hormones could play a role in the development of allergies and asthma, a major review of evidence suggests.
Stem cell vaccine immunizes lab mice against multiple cancers
Stanford University researchers report that injecting mice with inactivated induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) launched a strong immune response against breast, lung, and skin cancers.
In 16 years, Borneo lost more than 100,000 orangutans
Over a 16-year period, about half of the orangutans living on the island of Borneo were lost as a result of changes in land cover.
Study of smoking and genetics illuminates complexities of blood pressure
Analyzing the genetics and smoking habits of more than half a million people has shed new light on the complexities of controlling blood pressure, according to a study led by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.
University of Pennsylvania researchers conduct comprehensive evaluation of patients with concussion-like symptoms following reports of audible phenomena in Cuba
A comprehensive evaluation by clinical researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania identified a neurological syndrome that left US government personnel serving in Havana, Cuba with persistent memory and thinking dysfunction, as well as vision and balance problems after hearing unusual noises in their homes or hotel rooms.
Not being aware of memory problems predicts onset of Alzheimer's disease
Doctors who work with individuals at risk of developing dementia have long suspected that patients who do not realize they experience memory problems are at greater risk of seeing their condition worsen in a short time frame, a suspicion that now has been confirmed by a team of McGill University clinician scientists.
New UMass Amherst, Stanford Research identifies plant cell wall sensing mechanism
How cells sense their physical state and compensate for cell wall damage is poorly understood, say authors led by Alice Cheung at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and collaborator José Dinneny from the Carnegie Institute for Science and Stanford University.
World's most venomous spiders are actually cousins
Two lineages of dangerous arachnids found in Australia--long classified as distantly related in the official taxonomy--are, in fact, relatively close evolutionary cousins.
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite tracking Tropical Cyclone Gita
Tropical Cyclone Gita remained a powerful hurricane in the Southern Pacific Ocean when NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed overhead and captured a visible image of the storm.
Fast-acting, readily available gas may mitigate blast-induced brain injury
The inert gas has been used for the first time to try and reduce the impact of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) caused by blasts such as those in conflict zones and terror attacks.
Antioxidant treatment prevents sexual transmission of Zika in mice
The antioxidant drug ebselen can prevent sexual transmission of Zika virus from male to female mice, according to new research published in PLOS Pathogens by Yogy Simanjuntak and colleagues at Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan.
Comes naturally? Using stick insects, scientists explore natural selection, predictability
Predicting evolution remains difficult. Scientists from Utah State University, University of Sheffield, University of Connecticut, University of Notre Dame and Simon Frasier University studied evolution of cryptic body coloration and pattern in stick insects for insights.
How the cuttlefish spikes out its skin: Neurological study reveals surprising control
Wouldn't it be useful to suddenly erect 3-D spikes out of your skin, hold them for an hour, then even faster retract them and swim away?
Australian fire beetle avoids the heat
The Australian jewel beetle Merimna atrata has several heat sensors.
Researchers find adult endothelial stem cells that can make fully functional blood vessels
Stem cells are increasingly used to treat disorders caused by defective tissues.
The CRISPR Journal inaugural issue published, with content from Rodolphe Barrangou, et al
The CRISPR Journal, a groundbreaking new peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers, announces the publication of its inaugural issue.
Catching up to brain cancer
University of Delaware researchers have produced a new and freely available computer program that predicts cancer cell motion and spread with high accuracy.
Genetics makes Asians, Europeans susceptible to dengue shock syndrome
As globalization and climate change spread tropical diseases around the globe, not all populations are equally susceptible to infection.
Key to predicting climate change could be blowing in the wind, researchers find
Dust that blew into the North Pacific Ocean could help explain why the Earth's climate cooled 2.7 million years ago, according to a new study published in the journal Science Advances.
Scientists discover the secrets behind the cuttlefish's 3-D 'invisibility cloak'
An international team of scientists has identified the neural circuits that enable cuttlefish to change their appearance in just the blink to eye -- and discovered that this is similar to the neural circuit that controls iridescence in squids.
Amyloid protein transmission through neurosurgery
Amyloid beta pathology -- protein deposits in the brain - might have been transmitted by contaminated neurosurgical instruments, suggests a new UCL-led study.
New printing technique uses cells and molecules to recreate biological structures
Researchers from Queen Mary University of London have developed a printing technique using cells and molecules normally found in natural tissues to create constructs that resemble biological structures.
Kepler scientists discover almost 100 new exoplanets
Based on data from NASA's K2 mission an international team of scientists have just confirmed nearly 100 new exoplanets, planets located outside our solar system.
Gene taxi with turbo drive
Scientists at the German Primate Center improve DNA transfer in gene therapy.
CRISPR-based technology can detect viral DNA
Technology that's been used to edit genomes can also spot snippets of DNA.
UMass Amherst physicists speed up droplet-wrapping process
Experimental physicists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst today report that they have developed a fast, dynamic new process for wrapping liquid droplets in ultrathin polymer sheets, so what once was a painstaking process taking tens of minutes can now be done in a fraction of a second.
CRISPR scissors, Cas12a, enables cutting-edge diagnostics
Utilizing an unsuspected activity of the CRISPR-Cas12a protein, UC Berkeley researchers created a simple diagnostic system called DETECTR to analyze cells, blood, saliva, urine and stool to detect genetic mutations, cancer and antibiotic resistance and also diagnose bacterial and viral infections.
For tropical forest birds, old neighborhoods matter
Old, complex tropical forests support a wider diversity of birds than second-growth forests and have irreplaceable value for conservation, according to an Oregon State University-led exhaustive analysis of bird diversity in the mountains of southern Costa Rica.
Asthma medication linked to infertility in women
Women with asthma who only use short-acting asthma relievers take longer to become pregnant than other women, according to international research led by the University of Adelaide.
Researchers have found a link between earthquakes and currency jumps
Mathematicians at the Higher School of Economics have successfully demonstrated the use of a Japanese model which detects seismic activity in predicting currency risks.
Specific set of nerve cells controls seizures' spread through brain, Stanford study finds
Experimental activation of a small set of nerve cells in the brain prevents convulsive seizures in a mouse model of temporal lobe epilepsy, the most common form of epilepsy among human adults, according to a study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
MSU scientists discovered a new way for sensing the levels of an important amino acid
A team from the Faculty of Chemistry of MSU together with its colleagues suggested a new method for determining the levels of cysteine -- a substance used in many chemical drugs -- with the help of gold nanoparticles.
Affordable Care Act lowered uninsured rate for cancer survivors
The percentage of cancer survivors without health insurance decreased substantially after implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), reports a study in the March issue of Medical Care, published by Wolters Kluwer.
Researchers challenge claims that sugar industry shifted blame to fat
In recent years, high-profile claims in the academic literature and popular press have alleged that the sugar industry paid scientists in the 1960s to play down the link between sugar and heart disease and emphasize instead the dangers of dietary fat.

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