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Science Current Events and Science News | Brightsurf | October 17, 2018


Electrical enhancement: Engineers speed up electrons in semiconductors
Researchers from Graduate School of Bio-Applications and Systems Engineering at Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology (TUAT) have sped up the movement of electrons in organic semiconductor films by two to three orders of magnitude.
The impact of microplastics on the environment unclear, study suggests
A review of more than 300 global studies has revealed a large 'mismatch' in the types of microplastics measured in the environment to those tested for effects in the laboratory.
Local adaption of tuberculosis, not human migration, spread TB resistance mutations
Migration from Europe during the colonial period drove the spread of the dominant strain of tuberculosis seen today, lineage four, a new study reports.
Participating in sports during childhood may have long-term benefits for bone health
Participation in organized sport during childhood and adolescence is associated with bone mass at 20 years of age, according to a Journal of Bone and Mineral Research study.
Emergency department blood test may help rule out heart attack within 15 minutes
A new, quick and accurate, bedside blood test done in an emergency department could help reduce the time it takes to rule out heart attacks.
Largest galaxy proto-supercluster found
An international team of astronomers using the VIMOS instrument of ESO's Very Large Telescope have uncovered a colossal structure in the early universe.
Virtual reality may encourage empathic behavior
Virtual reality could be a useful tool to encourage empathy, helpful behavior, and positive attitudes towards marginalized groups, according to a study published Oct.
Researchers propose conceptual framework to study role of exercise in multiple sclerosis
'Exercise is a low-cost, non-invasive modality,' noted Dr. John DeLuca, 'so we are very interested in learning more about how activity results in these improvements.
Researchers identify immune culprits linked to inflammation and bone loss in gum disease
An unhealthy population of microbes in the mouth triggers specialized immune cells that inflame and destroy tissues, leading to the type of bone loss associated with a severe form of gum disease, according to a new study in mice and humans.
Arctic ice sets speed limit for major ocean current
Scientists at MIT have now identified a key mechanism, which they call the 'ice-ocean governor,' that controls how fast the Beaufort Gyre spins and how much fresh water it stores.
First GWAS analysis of 'type 1.5 diabetes' reveals links between immune and metabolic disease
Scientists who performed the largest-ever genetic study of a puzzling type of adult-onset diabetes have uncovered new connections to the two major types of diabetes, offering intriguing insights into more accurate diagnosis and better treatment.
Probiotics and antibiotics create a killer combination
MIT researchers have shown that by delivering a combination of antibiotics and alginate-encapsulated probiotics, they can eradicate two strains of drug-resistant bacteria that often infect wounds.
Life on the floor of the Arctic Ocean, with rigor and in detail
In an extensive and rigorous study of animal life on the Central Arctic Ocean floor, researchers have shown that water depth and food availability influence the species composition, density, and biomass of benthic communities, according to a study published Oct.
Substantial changes in air pollution across China during 2015 to 2017
The first detailed analysis of air pollution trends in China reveals a 20 per cent drop in concentrations of particulate pollution over the last three years (2015-2017).
UNH researchers say winter ticks killing moose at alarming rate
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have found that the swell of infestations of winter ticks -- which attach themselves to moose during the fall and feed throughout the winter -- is the primary cause of an unprecedented 70 percent death rate of calves over a three-year period.
Many infertile men have undiagnosed prediabetes
In a study of 744 infertile men, prediabetes was found in 114 (15.4 percent) of participants.
Astronomers find a cosmic Titan in the early universe
An international team of astronomers has discovered a titanic structure in the early universe, just two billion years after the Big Bang.
Societies can remain distinct despite migration
Countries around the world can retain distinct cultures despite migration, new research shows.
Mindfulness-based program may help reduce stress in infertile women
An eight-week mindfulness-based program was effective for reducing stress and depressive symptoms while increasing general well-being in a study of infertile women.
Regulating microglial activity may reduce inflammation in neurodegenerative diseases
A group of Massachusetts General Hospital investigators is proposing that targeting immune checkpoints -- molecules that regulate the activity of the immune system -- in immune cells called microglia could reduce the inflammatory aspects of important neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and ALS.
Going to bed with your ex might not be as bad you think
Conventional wisdom holds that people set themselves up for even greater heartache when they jump into bed with their ex-partner after a breakup.
A role for circadian enhancers to prevent myocardial injury in the perioperative setting
The current study demonstrates a deleterious effect of midazolam administration prior to myocardial ischemia and reveals reduced circadian protein Period 2 (PER2) levels as the underlying mechanism.
Does weight loss before surgery provide benefits?
For obese and overweight patients, it is common for various surgical procedures to be deferred until they have lost weight through diet and exercise.
Psoriasis linked with need for cardiovascular interventions in patients with hypertension
Psoriasis is linked with increased risks of hypertension and cardiovascular disease, but its effect on the course of cardiovascular disease remains unknown.
Many seemingly healthy children show signs of metabolic problems
More than a quarter of otherwise healthy 6-year-old children may have metabolic risk factors that put them at increased risk for cardiovascular disease, according to results from an Acta Paediatrica study.
Study examines aspects of conscientious objection among nurses
One-on-one interviews with eight nurses in Ontario revealed that nurses making conscientious objections to ethically relevant policies lack concrete supports and need protection in healthcare practice settings.
Combining genetic and sun exposure data improves skin cancer risk estimates
By combining data on individuals' lifetime sun exposure and their genetics, researchers can generate improved predictions of their risk of skin cancer, according to findings presented at the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) 2018 Annual Meeting in San Diego, Calif.
Extremely close look at electron advances frontiers in particle physics
An unprecedented, close examination of the electron has opened a window into the mind-bending nature of particles, energy and forces at infinitesimal scales.
Pre-eclampsia linked to an increased risk of dementia later in life
Pre-eclampsia is associated with an increased risk of later dementia, particularly vascular dementia, caused by reduced blood supply to the brain due to diseased blood vessels, finds a large study published by The BMJ today.
OHSU-led effort results in largest cancer dataset of its kind
After more than five years and 672 patient samples, an OHSU research team has published the largest cancer dataset of its kind for a form of leukemia.
Wind farms and reducing hurricane precipitation
New research reveals an unexpected benefit of large-scale offshore wind farms: the ability to lessen precipitation from hurricanes.
Dry conditions in East Africa half a million years ago possibly shaped human evolution, study finds
Samples of ancient sediments from a lake basin in East Africa have revealed that arid conditions developed in the area around half a million years ago, an environmental change that could have played a major role in human evolution and influenced advances in stone technology, according to an international research team that includes geologists from Georgia State University.
Study challenges concerns around imported farmed shrimp
Scientists at the University of Stirling have challenged concerns around the consumption of imported farmed shrimp -- with new research indicating that it is as safe as any other seafood product.
Simple test may help predict long-term outcome after stroke
A simple test taken within a week of a stroke may help predict how well people will have recovered up to three years later, according to a study published in the Oct.
The Lancet HIV: PrEP implementation is associated with a rapid decline in new HIV infections
Study from Australia is the first to evaluate a population-level roll-out of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in men who have sex with men.
Virtual reality can help make people more compassionate compared to other media
Stanford researchers found that people who underwent a virtual reality experience, called 'Becoming Homeless,' were more empathetic toward the homeless and more likely to sign a petition in support of affordable housing than other study participants.
Drivers of inflammation provide valuable targets for new gum disease therapies
A subset of T cells contributes to the inflammation and bone loss that characterizes periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease.
A 150-year-old drug might improve radiation therapy for cancer
A drug first identified 150 years ago and used as a smooth-muscle relaxant might make tumors more sensitive to radiation therapy.
Hormone alters male brain networks to enhance sexual and emotional function
Scientists have gained new insights into how the 'master regulator' of reproduction affects men's brains.
Picture perfect: Researchers gain clearest ever image of Ebola virus protein
Near-atomic resolution model of viral protein complex brings clearer understanding of the viral mechanics.
Massive organism is crashing on our watch
Utah State University researchers Paul Rogers and Darren McAvoy have conducted the first complete assessment of the Pando aspen clone and the results show continuing deterioration of this 'forest of one tree.' While a portion of the famed grove is recovery nicely as a result of previous restoration, the majority of Pando (Latin for 'I Spread') is diminishing by attrition.
High-dose radiation therapy improves survival in patients once thought incurable
In the first randomized, phase II clinical trial of its kind, researchers have shown that an aggressive form of high-precision radiation therapy can greatly increase how long oligometastatic patients live and doubles how long they live without cancer.
Just the right dose: antiepileptic drug clearance changes during pregnancy
Study finds significant changes in how seizure medications are metabolized during the different trimesters of pregnancy.
Social media buffers depression among older adults with pain
With a few finger strokes or swipes on a computer or cell phone, seniors with pain reduce the risk of depression when visiting social media sites.
Dandelion seeds reveal newly discovered form of natural flight
A study of dandelion seeds in motion has revealed a form of flight not seen before, and explains why the plant is among nature's best fliers.
How does brain structure influence performance on language tasks?
The architecture of each person's brain is unique, and differences may influence how quickly people can complete various cognitive tasks.
Study: US tornado frequency shifting eastward from Great Plains
A new study finds that over the past four decades, tornado frequency has increased over a large swath of the Midwest and Southeast and decreased in portions of the central and southern Great Plains, a region traditionally associated with Tornado Alley.
Researchers identify new approach for controlling dengue fever and Zika virus
To be able to reproduce and become effective disease carriers, mosquitoes must first attain optimal body size and nutritional status.
Eliminating emissions in India and China could add years to people's lives
In a recent study, researchers from Harvard University wanted to know how replacing coal-fired powerplants in China and India with clean, renewable energy could benefit human health and save lives in the future.
BabySeq, MedSeq projects reveal how many people carry rare disease genetic risk variants
Two projects in which healthy individuals have had their genomes sequenced have revealed that searching for unanticipated genetic results in newborns and adults can unearth far more variants associated with diseases than previously thought, and, importantly, reveal previously unrecognized but related clinical features of genetic conditions.
New imaging tool captures how sound moves through the chinchilla ear
Researchers have developed a new device that can be used to visualize how sound-induced vibrations travel through the ear.
Vast leukemia dataset could help researchers match therapies to patients
Data on the molecular makeup and drug sensitivity of hundreds of patient samples could accelerate progress against the aggressive blood cancer acute myeloid leukemia.
Outbreak of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis undetected by standard tests
Amid a plan announced by the United Nations to eradicate tuberculosis by 2030, a new study has revealed the emergence of multidrug-resistant strains of the disease which go undetected by WHO-endorsed tests.
Nutrition has a greater impact on bone strength than exercise
One question that scientists and fitness experts alike would love to answer is whether exercise or nutrition has a bigger positive impact on bone strength.
Unprecedented look at electron brings us closer to understanding the universe
In a new study, researchers at Northwestern, Harvard and Yale universities examined the shape of an electron's charge with unprecedented precision to confirm that it is perfectly spherical.
Experts raise safety concerns about cardboard baby boxes
Cardboard baby boxes are being promoted for infant sleep as a safe alternative to more traditional cots, bassinets, or Moses baskets, without any evidence in place, warn experts in The BMJ today.
UC researchers recommend universal screening to tackle rise in Hepatitis C
Physicians are encountering a growing number of younger patients who are testing positive for hepatitis C virus (HCV) fueled largely by the opioid crisis impacting communities around the country.
Exposure to malaria before birth may boost childhood immunity
Pamela Odorizzi and colleagues have discovered that human fetal immune cells can proliferate in response to malaria infection in pregnant women, a finding that helps to demystify fetal immunity and potentially has implications for malaria control programs.
Adolescent THC exposure alters neurons/gene networks associated with psychosis risk
Adolescent THC exposure reduces the branching of prefrontal cortical neurons and the number of spines, which are critical for cellular communication.
Loss of protein p53 helps cancer cells multiply in 'unfavourable' conditions
Researchers have discovered a novel consequence of loss of the tumour protein p53 that promotes cancer development.
Novel antidepressant may improve sleep in patients with depression
In a study of 15 patients affected by major depressive disorder and complaining of insomnia, initiating treatment with vortioxetine for their depressive symptoms led to significant improvements in subjective sleep quality and daytime sleepiness.
Arctic greening thaws permafrost, boosts runoff
A new collaborative study has investigated Arctic shrub-snow interactions to obtain a better understanding of the far north's tundra and vast permafrost system.
WHO-endorsed tests fail to detect outbreak of MDR tuberculosis in South Africa
Due to inadequate lab tests, an outbreak of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis in South Africa has remained undetected for no less than five years.
Novel method for precise, controllable cell deposition onto tissue engineering constructs
A new study presents a novel method of using a microfluidic flow cell array to achieve precise and reproducible control of cell deposition onto engineered tissue constructs to produce tunable cell patterns and generate essential integration zones.
Novel switching valve to receive more semen in a sex-role reversed cave insect
The female of a sex-role reversed cave insect species Neotrogla has evolved a switching valve to receive more semen during mating, when a penis-like structure in the female anchors in the male 'vagina.'
More caffeine from coffee associated with decreased rosacea risk
Consuming caffeine from coffee but not from other foods (tea, soda and chocolate) was associated with less risk of rosacea, a common chronic inflammatory skin disease where the skin appears red and flushed.
Case Western Reserve researchers cure drug-resistant infections without antibiotics
Biochemists, microbiologists, drug discovery experts and infectious disease doctors have teamed up in a new study that shows antibiotics are not always necessary to cure sepsis in mice.
New file type improves genomic data sharing while maintaining participant privacy
Based on an analysis of data leakages and opportunities to prevent the potential misuse of genetic information, researchers have developed a new file format for functional genomics data that enables data sharing while protecting the personal information of research participants.
Genomic analysis offers insight into 2018 Nigeria Lassa fever outbreak
A surge in Lassa fever cases in Nigeria in 2018 doesn't appear to be linked to a single virus strain or increased human-to-human transmission, according to genomic analysis published in NEJM.
New method uses just a drop of blood to monitor lung cancer treatment
Osaka University researchers have devised a simple method to measure the amount of cancer medication nivolumab that is bound to immune T-cells.
Researcher: Independence tests should ask more of seniors
A UCR psychology researcher says the bar is too low for 'functional independence' in older adults, and should be aligned with skills younger adults must conquer.
FEFU astrophysicist contributed into international-team efforts on study Comet 29P
Evgenij Zubko of Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) in collaboration with other team members has developed a comprehensive model to explain the results of a photometric study of the Comet Schwassmann-Wachmann 1 (29P) which was successfully accomplished recently.
Attending the 'best' high school may yield benefits and risks for students
Parents often go to great lengths to ensure that their children attend top schools, surrounded by high-achieving peers who often come from advantaged backgrounds.
Omega 3 fatty acids found in seafood linked to healthy aging
Higher blood levels of omega 3 fatty acids found in seafood are associated with a higher likelihood of healthy ageing among older adults, finds a US study published by The BMJ today.
Sleeping beauty helps identify genes involved in a fatty liver-associated liver cancer
Hepatocellular carcinoma, a deadly form of liver cancer, is increasingly being linked to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease; however, the underlying genetic mechanism of disease progression had remained unknown.
Double dust ring test could spot migrating planets
New research by a team led by an astrophysicist at the University of Warwick has a way of finally telling whether newly forming planets are migrating within the disc of dust and gas that typically surrounds stars or whether they are simply staying put in the same orbit around the star.
NASA catches the scattered remains of former Tropical Storm Tara
NASA's Aqua satellite captured an infrared image of the remnants of former Tropical Storm Tara after it dissipated near the coast of western Mexico's Jalisco state.
Prescription opioid and benzodiazepine misuse linked with suicidal thoughts
Misuse of prescription opioids or benzodiazepines (such as Xanax) was associated with suicidal ideation in a study of US older adults.
Inducing labor at 39 weeks may benefit pregnant women and their babies
As the prevalence of maternal and fetal complications increases with advancing pregnancy beyond 39 weeks, induction of labor at 39 weeks has been proposed as a means to ensure optimal maternal and newborn health.
Global experts gather in Montreal for opening of 11th World Stroke Congress
The 11th World Stroke Congress brings together leading international stroke experts and an unparalleled scientific program covering epidemiology, prevention, acute care, rehabilitation and recovery in hundreds of sessions and oral posters.
3D-printed lithium-ion batteries
Electric vehicles and most electronic devices, such as cell phones and laptop computers, are powered by lithium-ion batteries.
Bursting the clouds for better communication
We live in an age of long-range information. Research is turning towards the use of lasers which have several advantages.
Taking steps toward a wearable artificial kidney
There just aren't enough kidney transplants available for the millions of people with renal failure.
Study examines factors linked with opioid misuse among university students
In a survey-based study of 9,449 university students at a large, public Midwestern university, misusers of prescription opioid medications were more likely to live off campus, have a lower grade point average, and exhibit increased impulsivity.
World Heritage Sites threatened by rising sea levels
In the Mediterranean region, there are numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites in low-lying coastal areas.
How drug resistant TB evolved and spread globally
The most common form of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB) originated in Europe and spread to Asia, Africa and the Americas with European explorers and colonialists, reveals a new study led by UCL and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.
African-American men's health disparities: Research, practice, and policy implications
The burden of risk factors for chronic disease is substantially higher in black men compared with their white counterparts, including a higher prevalence of obesity and hypertension.
A curious branch of plankton evolution
Planktonic foraminifera -- tiny, shelled organisms that float in the sea -- left behind one of the most complete fossil records of evolutionary history in deep sea deposits.
Getting to the root of long-term tree swallow declines
Aerial insectivores -- birds that hunt for insect prey on the wing -- are declining across North America.
Moss rapidly detects, tracks air pollutants in real time
Moss, one of the world's oldest plants, is surprisingly in tune with the atmosphere around it.
Illinois scientists find stem cell proliferation is controlled directly by nervous system
Somatic stem cells are microscopic workhorses, constantly regenerating cells throughout the body: skin and the lining of the intestine, for example.
Letting the sunshine in may kill dust-dwelling bacteria
Allowing sunlight in through windows can kill bacteria that live in dust, according to a study published in the open-access journal Microbiome.
Supermassive black holes and supercomputers
The universe's deep past is beyond the reach of even the mighty Hubble Space Telescope.
New study sets a size limit for undiscovered subatomic particles
A new study suggests that many theorized heavy particles, if they exist at all, do not have the properties needed to explain the predominance of matter over antimatter in the universe.
Are microplastics in the environment truly harmful?
Investigators who analyzed the published literature have found significant gaps in our understanding of the effects of microplastics -- plastic particles less than 5mm in size -- in the environment.
Penetrating the soil's surface with radar
Ground penetrating radar measures the amount of moisture in soil quickly and easily.
Study documents paternal transmission of epigenetic memory via sperm
Studies of human populations and animal models suggest that a father's experiences such as diet or environmental stress can influence the health and development of his descendants.
Zinc oxide nanoparticles: Therapeutic benefits and toxicological hazards
Despite the widespread application of zinc oxide nanoparticles in biomedicine, their use is still a controversial issue.
Selfish people have fewer children and earn less money
What happens to those who behave unselfishly and make sacrifices for the sake of others?
New study supports survival of microbes and organic compounds in space
Environmental data collected from an exposure panel exposed to the space environment for one year suggests that microbes and organic compounds present in the exposure panel would be able to survive, supporting the possibility of interplanetary migration of microbes and organic compounds.
Childhood abuse linked to increased arthritis risk in adulthood
In a survey-based study of 21,889 adults in Canada, severe and/or frequent physical abuse during childhood and frequent childhood exposure to intimate partner violence were linked with higher risks or arthritis during adulthood arthritis, even after controlling for a range of factors.
Blue crab baby sizes and shapes influence their survival
Like people, blue crabs aren't all the same sizes and shapes.
Pupil's brain recognizes the perfect teacher
Human and avian youngsters learn behaviors by imitating adults. But learners are selective in who they copy, and scientists don't understand how they choose the right teacher.
Engineered enzyme eliminates nicotine addiction in preclinical tests
Scientists at Scripps Research have successfully tested a potential new smoking-cessation treatment in rodents.
St. Jude investigators present novel pediatric cancer genome sequencing data at ASHG
Investigators from St. Jude Children's Research Hospital will present new findings at the American Society of Human Genetics annual meeting this week, including study results focused on the benefit of utilizing whole genome, exome and transcriptome sequencing for pediatric cancer patients.
Climate stress will make cities more vulnerable
The fall of Angkor has long puzzled historians, archaeologists and scientists, but now a University of Sydney research team is one step closer to discovering what led to the city's demise -- and it comes with a warning for modern urban communities.
Study uncovers new link between neonicotinoid pesticide exposure and bumblebee decline
Adding to evidence that pesticide use may be abetting the decline of bumblebee, a new study reveals that daily consumption of even small doses of neonicotinoids reduces the survival of queen and male bees, which are critical to the viability of wild populations.
School students identify sounds caused by solar storm
School students have successfully identified sounds caused by a solar storm in the Earth's magnetic shield, as part of a Queen Mary University of London research project.
Breastfeeding protects infants from antibiotic-resistant bacteria
A new study shows that infants that are breastfed for at least six months have less antibiotic-resistant bacteria in their gut compared with babies breastfed for a shorter time.
Bone cell response to mechanical force is balance of injury and repair
Scientists have revealed the intricate process that bone cells use to repair themselves after mechanical injury.
SVIN announces Mission Thrombectomy 2020 Pilot results at the World Stroke Congress
SVIN announces Mission Thrombectomy 2020 Pilot results at the World Stroke Congress.
Taking their vitamins
New research finds that more bacterioplankton utilize vitamin B1 or B1 precursors from their environment than synthesize their own.
Plant hormone makes space farming a possibility
With scarce nutrients and weak gravity, growing potatoes on the Moon or on other planets seems unimaginable.
Medical management of opioid-induced constipation differs from other forms of condition
Traditional laxatives are recommended as first-line agents to treat patients with a confirmed diagnosis of opioid-induced constipation, according to a new guideline from the American Gastroenterological Association.
Did eating starchy foods give humans an evolutionary advantage?
Gene AMY1, which kickstarts digestion of starch in the mouth, is associated with blood glucose levels and digestion of carbohydrates, with implications for understanding human evolutionary biology and the gut microbiome.
Scientists find unusual behavior in topological material
Argonne scientists have identified a new class of topological materials made by inserting transition metal atoms into the atomic lattice of a well-known two-dimensional material.

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