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Science Current Events and Science News | Brightsurf | August 30, 2018


NUS researchers use AI to successfully treat metastatic cancer patient
A translational research team led by the National University of Singapore (NUS) has harnessed CURATE.AI, a powerful artificial intelligence (AI) platform, to successfully treat a patient with advanced cancer, completely halting disease progression.
Pushing big data to rapidly advance patient care
The breakneck pace of biomedical discovery is outstripping clinicians' ability to incorporate this new knowledge into practice.
Global warming: More insects, eating more crops
Rising global temperatures are expected to significantly increase crop losses from insects, especially in temperate regions, a new study finds.
Researchers discover a novel role of protein in important pathways that lead to cancer malignancy
Japanese researchers have revealed for the first time that a specific protein, the fatty acid-binding protein 5 (FABP5), plays a critical role in the development and metastasis of highly aggressive prostate and breast cancer cells.
Novel therapeutic strategy for blood vessel related disorders, such as cancer and retinopathy
Blood vessels sustain health and proper functioning of our body.
Model can more naturally detect depression in conversations
In a paper being presented at the Interspeech conference, MIT researchers detail a neural-network model that can be unleashed on raw text and audio data from interviews to discover speech patterns indicative of depression.
Friction loss at first contact: The material does not forgive
Wear has major impacts on economic efficiency or health. All movable parts are affected, examples being the bearing of a wind power plant or an artificial hip joint.
Information technology jobs outpace most other jobs in productivity and growth since 2004
Jobs in information technology -- like computer software, big data, and cybersecurity -- are providing American workers with long-lasting financial stability, suggests a new study from the University of British Columbia and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Biomechanics of chewing depend more on animal size, not diet
Researchers report that the jaw joint bone, the center around which chewing activity revolves (literally), appears to have evolved based more on an animal's size than what it eats.
An international team led by the CNIO reveals that human genome could contain up to 20 percent fewer genes
A new study led by the CNIO reveals that up to 20 percent of genes classified as coding (those that produce the proteins that are the building blocks of all living things) may not be coding after all because they have characteristics that are typical of non-coding or pseudogenes (obsolete coding genes).
Time-restricted feeding improves health in mice with defective circadian clocks
It turns out timing really is everything, at least when it comes to the diets of lab mice whose circadian clocks are disrupted.
You are never too old for the Mediterranean diet
The Mediterranean diet as a secret of long life for elderly.
In test with rats, cannabidiol showed sustained effects against depression for seven days
First results appeared 24h after one single dose of the marijuana component; scientists concluded that CBD activate mechanisms which repair neuronal circuitry in patients' prefrontal cortex and hippocampus.
Crop losses due to insects could nearly double in Europe's bread basket due to climate
Wheat, maize and rice yields (particularly in northern climates) are projected to fall as insects in temperate regions thrive in a warmer climate, new research shows.
Novel intervention halves rate of death among people living with HIV who inject drugs
An intervention designed to facilitate treatment for HIV and substance use was associated with a 50 percent reduction in mortality for people living with HIV who inject illicit drugs, a study has found.
Fruit flies and electrons: Researchers use physics to predict crowd behavior
Electrons whizzing around each other and humans crammed together at a political rally don't seem to have much in common, but researchers at Cornell University are connecting the dots.
Psycholinguists build eye-tracking database on reading in Russian
Researchers from the Higher School of Economics, St. Petersburg State University, and the University of Potsdam have created the first ever database comprised of eye-tracking data collected during reading in Russian.
Model based on liquid biopsies may predict time to progression in colorectal cancer
An evolutionary model utilizing serial blood samples from patients with advanced colorectal cancer treated with anti-EGFR therapies in a phase II trial could predict personalized waiting time for progression.
Mayo Clinic researchers identify a potential new approach to treat HER2 positive breast cancer
Researchers at Mayo Clinic have identified an important new pathway by which HER2 positive breast cancers grow and have discovered that a dietary supplement called cyclocreatine may block the growth of HER2 positive breast cancer.
Using the past to predict the future of global terrestrial ecosystem change
An analysis of nearly 600 previously published paleoecological records suggests that Earth's terrestrial ecosystems are under risk of major transformation under all but the most aggressive climate mitigation scenarios.
Climate change projected to boost insect activity and crop loss, researchers say
In a paper published Aug. 31, 2018 in the journal Science, a team led by scientists at the University of Washington reports that insect activity in today's temperate, crop-growing regions will rise along with temperatures.
When neurons turn against themselves
Rasmussen's encephalitis is a rare autoimmune disease that primarily affects children and can lead to seizures.
Heteractis magnifica sea anemones can help fight the Alzheimer's disease
Heteractis magnifica sea anemones contain neuroprotective peptides that slow down the inflammation process and the deterioration of neurons causing the development of Alzheimer's.
Research could lead to security scanners capable of detecting explosives
Using a single pixel camera and Terahertz electromagnetic waves, a team of Physicists at the University of Sussex have devised a blueprint which could lead to the development of airport scanners capable of detecting explosives.
A master switch controls aggressive breast cancer
A team at the Salk Institute has identified a master switch that appears to control the dynamic behavior of tumor cells that makes some aggressive cancers so difficult to treat.
New personality test is faster -- and tougher to trick
Psychology researchers have developed a new personality test that is both faster to take and much harder to manipulate by those attempting to control the outcome.
UK MP Twitter abuse increased between 2015 and 2017 general elections
Abuse of politicians online increased substantially in the snap 2017 general election compared to the 2015 general election, according to new research by the University of Sheffield.
CRISPR halts Duchenne muscular dystrophy progression in dogs
Scientists for the first time have used CRISPR gene editing to halt the progression of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) in a large mammal, according to a study by UT Southwestern that provides a strong indication that a lifesaving treatment may be in the pipeline.
Obstructive sleep apnea linked with higher risk of gout
New research reveals that people with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) have a higher risk of developing gout, even beyond the first years after being diagnosed with the sleep disorder.
Adapt, move or die: how biodiversity reacted to past climate change
A new paper reviews current knowledge on climate change and biodiversity.
Scientists predict superelastic properties in a group of iron-based superconductors
A collaboration between scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory and the Institute for Theoretical Physics at Goethe University Frankfurt am Main has computationally predicted a number of unique properties in a group of iron-based superconductors, including room-temperature super-elasticity.
Rutgers scientists identify protein that may have existed when life began
How did life arise on Earth? Rutgers researchers have found among the first and perhaps only hard evidence that simple protein catalysts -- essential for cells, the building blocks of life, to function -- may have existed when life began.
Bird behavior: Biologist finds new, more accurate way of monitoring bird populations
A new method of monitoring bird populations uses the power of statistics to produce more accurate estimates of bird abundance, according to new research by University of Alberta biologists.
Aspen is making a comeback in and around Yellowstone National Park, because of predators
The reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone National Park is tied to the recovery of aspen in areas around the park.
New program boosts use of HIV medications in injection-drug users
A relatively simple effort to provide counseling and connect injection-drug users with resources could prove powerful against the spread of HIV in a notoriously hard-to-reach population, new research suggests.
Guiding flight: The fruit fly's celestial compass
Fruit flies use the sun to avoid flying in circles, according to new research.
Drug-resistance of gonorrhoea in the EU: persistent but stable
Neisseria gonorrhoea continues to show high levels of resistance to azithromycin across the European Union and European Economic Area, according to the 2016 results of the European Gonococcal Antimicrobial Surveillance Programme (Euro-GASP).
Study by blood doctors a breakthrough for hemophiliacs
The HAVEN 3 study found that a new type of protein, emicizumab (trade name: Hemlibra), can be administered subcutaneously, rather than intravenously, and that it does not cause an immune response which prevents blood from clotting.
Water discovered in the Great Red Spot indicates Jupiter might have plenty more
A collaborative team found evidence of three cloud layers in the Great Red Spot, with the deepest cloud layer at 5-7 bars.
Stigmatizing views and myths about psoriasis are pervasive in the United States
The stigma associated with the autoimmune disease psoriasis may lead people to avoid patients who show signs of the condition, including not wanting to date, shake hands, or have people in their homes if they suffer from the disease.
Heritability explains fast-learning chicks
Both genetic and environmental factors explain cognitive traits, shows a new study carried out on red junglefowl.
Study shows how our brain and personality provide protection against emotional distress
Researchers at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois recently examined a sample of 85 healthy college students to see how a number of personality traits can protect an individual's brain against symptoms of emotional distress, namely depression and anxiety.
Children's bone cancers could remain hidden for years before diagnosis
Scientists have discovered that some childhood bone cancers start growing years before they are diagnosed.
The potential harbingers of new physics just don't want to disappear
For some time now, in the data from the LHCb experiment at the Large Hadron Collider, several anomalies have been seen in the decays of beauty mesons.
Breeder meerkats age faster, but their subordinates still die younger
Despite rapidly aging, dominant animals live longer because their underlings are driven out of the group -- becoming easy targets for predators.
Engineered sand zaps storm water pollutants
University of California, Berkeley, engineers have created a new way to remove contaminants from storm water, potentially addressing the needs of water-stressed communities that are searching for ways to tap the abundant and yet underused source of fresh drinking water.
Inch by inch, towards a treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy
Researchers using CRISPR genome editing in a large animal model have boosted expression of the dystrophin gene to levels that could be therapeutic in humans, they say.
Deadline for climate action
If governments don't act decisively by 2035 to fight climate change, humanity could cross a point of no return after which limiting global warming below 2°C in 2100 will be unlikely, according to a new study by scientists in the UK and the Netherlands.
NASA sees Typhoon Jebi moving through Northwestern Pacific
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Typhoon Jebi in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean and saw a well-organized typhoon with a small eye.
Simple test detects disease-carrying mosquitoes, presence of biopesticide
A new tool uses a smartphone camera, a small 3D-printed box and a simple chemical test to show whether a dead mosquito belongs to the Aedes aegypti species, which carries Zika and other devastating viruses that afflict an estimated 100 million people worldwide each year.
Regulatory and effector B cells control scleroderma
A Japan-based research team led by Kanazawa University have found reciprocal regulation of B cells on bleomycin-induced scleroderma model.
New genetic marker could help diagnose aggressive prostate cancer
Scientists have discovered a link between certain genetic mutations, the aggressiveness of prostate cancer, risk of developing the disease and poorer survival rates of patients.
Genetically encoded sensor tracks changes in oxygen levels with very high sensitivity
Based on a protein from E. coli, scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology have developed a fluorescent protein sensor able to provide real-time information on dynamic changes in oxygen levels with very high sensitivity.
NASA finds very cold storm tops circling Hurricane Norman's center
When NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Hurricane Norman on Aug.
Scientists decode opium poppy genome
Scientists have determined the DNA code of the opium poppy genome, uncovering key steps in how the plant evolved to produce the pharmaceutical compounds used to make vital medicines.
UVA developing 'two-headed arrow' to kill ovarian cancer
A University of Virginia School of Medicine researcher is developing a two-fisted, antibody-based approach to destroy deadly ovarian cancer -- an approach he believes could also be modified to kill breast, prostate and other solid tumors.
How does helping people affect your brain? Study shows neurobiological effects of giving social support
Providing 'targeted' social support to other people in need activates regions of the brain involved in parental care -- which may help researchers understand the positive health effects of social ties, reports a study in Psychosomatic Medicine: Journal of Biobehavioral Medicine, the official journal of the American Psychosomatic Society.
The use of psychoactive substances and illegal drugs in the Albanian society
The aim of the research is to create a representative picture of the prevalence and the total number of drug users in Albania from 2012 to 2016, and compare those numbers to previous years with other available data.
Mapping trees can help count endangered lemurs
Putting a figure on the number of endangered lemurs left in the wild isn't easy, but Duke University researchers say one clue might help: the plants they rely on for food.
New method for hydroboration of alkynes: Radicals induce unusual selectivity
A combination of organoboron and radical chemistry generates unusual trans-selectivity in hydroboration of alkynes.
Climate change increasing the prevalence of harmful parasite, warn scientists
A rise in a parasite called liver fluke, which can significantly impact livestock production in farms in the UK and across the world, could now be helped by a new predictive model of the disease aimed at farmers.
Introducing high-performance non-fullerene organic solar cells
An team of researchers, affiliated with South Korea's Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) has introduced a novel method that can solve issues associated with the thickness of the photoactive layers in OSCs.
Faster than we thought: sulfurization of organic material
Processes that were thought to take tens of thousands of years can happen in hours, according to new research.
Presence of new or worsened bedsores tied to poorer outcomes in inpatient rehab facilities
The study is the first to examine whether this metric is, in fact, is associated with outcome of care in inpatient rehabilitation settings.
Solar eruptions may not have slinky-like shapes after all
As the saying goes, everything old is new again. While the common phrase often refers to fashion, design, or technology, scientists at the University of New Hampshire have found there is some truth to this mantra even when it comes to research.
UA Cancer Biology graduate student travels ROCKy™ road toward a cure
The Limesand Lab at the University of Arizona is devoted to improving quality of life for head-and-neck cancer survivors, who often suffer from irreversible dry mouth.
Injection wells can induce earthquakes miles away from the well
A study of earthquakes induced by injecting fluids deep underground has revealed surprising patterns, suggesting that current recommendations for hydraulic fracturing, wastewater disposal, and geothermal wells may need to be revised.
Insulin gives an extra boost to the immune system
The role of insulin as a boost to the immune system to improve its ability to fight infection has been detailed for the first time by Toronto General Hospital Research Institute scientists.
Catalyst advance could lead to economical fuel cells
Researchers at Washington State University have developed a new way to make low-cost, single-atom catalysts for fuel cells -- an advance that could make important clean energy technology more economically viable.
Russia: Increases in life expectancy, decreases in child deaths, use of alcohol, tobacco
Life expectancy in Russia between 1994 and 2016 increased by more than seven years, while rates of death among children under age 5 decreased nearly 60 percent, according to the most extensive health study on the nation ever conducted.
African armed conflict kills more children indirectly than in actual fighting, study finds
More children die from the indirect impact of armed conflicts in Africa than by weapons used in those conflicts, according to a new study led by Stanford University researchers.
Prehistoric changes in vegetation help predict future of Earth's ecosystems
As the last ice age ended and the planet warmed, Earth's vegetation changed dramatically, according to a new report in Science.
Amazonian fruit prevents obesity in overfed mice
An extract of camu camu -- a fruit native to the Amazon -- prevents obesity in mice fed a diet rich in sugar and fat, say researchers at Université Laval and the Quebec Heart and Lung Institute Research Centre.
Using telemedicine to increase life expectancy
Telemedical interventional management reduces hospitalisations and prolongs the life of patients with heart failure.
Study provides an early recipe for rewiring spinal cords
For many years, researchers have thought that the scar that forms after a spinal cord injury actively prevents damaged neurons from regrowing.
Newly developed cellphone-read assay Identifies mosquitoes and Wolbachia
Wolbachia bacteria are widely studied for possible properties to block transmission of viruses like chikungunya, dengue and zika.
NASA finds some strong storms in Atlantic's potential tropical cyclone 6 
The Northern Atlantic Ocean has only seen five storms so far this hurricane season and satellite data indicates a potential sixth tropical cyclone is forming in the far eastern Atlantic Ocean.
Device harvests energy from low-frequency vibrations
A wearable energy-harvesting device could generate energy from the swing of an arm while walking or jogging, according to a team of researchers from Penn State's Materials Research Institute and the University of Utah.
Friending God increases purpose in life in the socially disconnected
Religious people who lack friends and purpose in life turn to God to fill those voids, according to new University of Michigan research.
Eating in 10-hour window can override disease-causing genetic defects, nurture health
Scientists at the Salk Institute found that mice lacking the biological clocks thought to be necessary for a healthy metabolism could still be protected against obesity and metabolic diseases by having their daily access to food restricted to a 10-hour window.
Inhibiting NF-κB improves heart function in a mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy
In an August 24, 2018 article in Nature Communications, investigators at the Medical University of South Carolina and Ohio State University report that nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) down-regulates calcium genes, contributing to cardiomyopathy in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).
Mechanism of Marburg virus sexual transmission identified in nonhuman primates
Research by Army scientists elucidates the mechanism of sexual transmission of filoviruses, which have been shown to persist in the testes and other immune privileged sites.
Presynapses come in a packet
Synapses are the interfaces for information exchange between neurons. Teams of scientists working with Professor Dr.
Discovery of long-lived macrophages in the intestine
Macrophages are specialised immune cells that destroy bacteria and other harmful organisms.
Guidance for preventing C. difficile in neonatal intensive care
Newborns require special diagnosis and treatment considerations for an infectious diarrhea known as Clostridioides difficile (C. difficile) infection, according to a new evidence-based white paper published today in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.
Most land-based ecosystems worldwide risk 'major transformation' due to climate change
Without dramatic reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions, most of the planet's land-based ecosystems -- from its forests and grasslands to the deserts and tundra -- are at high risk of 'major transformation' due to climate change, according to a new study from an international research team.
Predicting how splicing errors impact disease risk
Researchers are teasing out the rules that guide how cells process RNA messages from our genes that provide a template for protein synthesis.
DNA accessibility, gene expression jointly profiled in thousands of cells
A new assay can concurrently trace, in thousands of different cells, the marks that shape what each cell's genome will do -- the epigenome -- and the copies of the instructions themselves -- the transcriptome.
Great minds may think alike, but all minds look alike
Though humans differ widely in their congenital abilities, a newly-discovered brain learning mechanism has led researchers to reveal an origin of the identical spectrum of strong and weak links that compose all brains.
Researchers are turning to deadly venoms in their quests for life-saving therapies
Mandë Holford, an associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry at The Graduate Center of The City University of New York (GC/CUNY) and Hunter College, details how technology and a growing understanding of the evolution of venoms are pointing the way toward entirely new classes of drugs capable of treating diabetes, autoimmune diseases, chronic pain, and other conditions.
Dual-layer solar cell developed at UCLA sets record for efficiently generating power
Materials scientists from the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering have developed a highly efficient thin-film solar cell that generates more energy than typical solar panels, thanks to its double-layer design.
WSU scientists clone virus to help stop overwhelming grape disease
A new discovery by Washington State University scientists could help grape growers roll back a devastating virus that withers vines and shrivels harvests.
A novel bacterial species named after a Finnish Nobelist A.I. Virtanen
Artturi Ilmari Virtanen narrowly missed out on species naming for his original work in the 1920s.
New research: Financial disclosure lacking in publication of clinical trials
A substantial proportion of pharmaceutical industry payments to authors of oncology clinical trials published in major scientific journals are not disclosed, new research shows.
HPTN 074 demonstrates significant benefits among people living with HIV who inject drugs
Investigators from the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) today announced The Lancet has published key results from HPTN 074.
New survey reveals 57 percent of americans have been surprised by a medical bill
Fifty-seven percent of American adults have been surprised by a medical bill that they thought would have been covered by insurance, according to a new AmeriSpeak® survey from NORC at the University of Chicago.
The Lancet Public Health: Number of very elderly needing round-the-clock care set to double by 2035 in England
The number of adults aged 85 years and older needing round-the-clock care will almost double to 446,000 in England over the next 20 years, whilst the overall numbers of over-65s requiring 24-hour care will rise by more than third to over 1 million in 2035, according a new modelling study published in The Lancet Public Health.
How damaging immune cells develop during tuberculosis
Insights into how harmful white blood cells form during tuberculosis infection point to novel targets for pharmacological interventions, according to a study published in the open-access journal PLOS Pathogens by Valentina Guerrini and Maria Laura Gennaro of Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, and colleagues.
NASA sees Hurricane Miriam tracking over the open Central Pacific
When NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Hurricane Miriam, it was moving to the northwest and was no threat to land areas in the Central Pacific Ocean.
The Lancet: Armed conflicts may have contributed to 5 million under-5 deaths in Africa over 20 years, study suggests
New estimates published in The Lancet suggest that armed conflicts across the continent of Africa may have resulted in the deaths of as many as 5 million children aged under 5 years between 1995 and 2015, and claimed the lives of over 3 million infants aged one year or younger -- a burden several times higher than previous estimates.
How the poppy evolved its pain-relieving properties
The unveiling of the poppy genome reveals how a collection of genes fused to endow the plant with its pain-relieving compounds; the plant underwent a notable genome duplication event about 7.8 million years ago, the study's authors say.
Stanford researchers rank countries by oil production emissions
Emissions associated with oil and gas production are a significant source of greenhouse gases.
'Blink' and you won't miss amyloids
Tiny protein structures called amyloids are key to understanding certain devastating age-related diseases, but they are so minuscule they can't be seen using conventional microscopic methods.
Selling access to human specimens: Survey reveals public attitudes
Universities that aim to raise money for research by selling access to their biobanks to private companies should tell patients, a new survey shows.
Study illustrates challenges of lowering tetanus mortality
The overall mortality in patients suffering non-neonatal tetanus is high.
Missing men, missing infertility: New research flags up problem
Men are missing from fertility debates and crucial support services because they are often not included in studies and, when they are, it is usually only married, heterosexual men who are asked for data.
Research finds gender-diverse boards are greener
Companies with a more balanced mix of men and women on their boards are better at protecting the environment and less likely to be sued for environmental law violations, according to new research from the University of Adelaide.
Hungry insects threaten food security in a warming climate
As the climate continues to warm, farmers worldwide may experience substantially increased crop losses due to swelling populations of voracious insect pests, particularly in temperate regions where most of the world's grain is grown, researchers suggest.
Now we can see brain cells 'talk' -- and that will shed light on neurological diseases
Scientists have developed a way to see brain cells talk -- to actually see neurons communicate in bright, vivid color.
Otago-led research set to make smartphones even smarter
The accuracy of global positioning sytem (GPS) in smartphones has been significantly improved thanks to research conducted at the University of Otago, New Zealand, in collaboration with Curtin University, Australia.

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This week we start with this year's physics Nobel Prize awarded to Jim Peebles, Michel Mayor, and Didier Queloz and finish with a discussion of the Nobel Prizes as a way to award and highlight important science. Are they still relevant? When science breakthroughs are built on the backs of hundreds -- and sometimes thousands -- of people's hard work, how do you pick just three to highlight? Join host Rachelle Saunders and astrophysicist, author, and science communicator Ethan Siegel for their chat about astrophysics and Nobel Prizes.