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Science Current Events and Science News | Brightsurf | October 25, 2018


Aequatus -- a free, open-source visualization tool enabling in-depth comparison of homologous genes
Aequatus -- a new bioinformatics tool developed at Earlham Institute -- is helping to give an in-depth view of syntenic information between different species, providing a system to better identify important, positively selected, and evolutionarily conserved regions of DNA.
Wearable tech becomes top fitness trend for 2019, says survey of health and fitness professionals
Fitness trackers, smart watches, and other wearable technology are the number one fitness trend for 2019, according to an annual survey of health and fitness professionals published in the November issue of ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal®, an official journal of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).
Novel material could make plastic manufacturing more energy-efficient
An innovative filtering material may soon reduce the environmental cost of manufacturing plastic.
New epigenetic drug strategy to treat cancer
A team led by researchers at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University has discovered that inhibiting CDK9, a DNA transcription regulator, reactivates genes that have been epigenetically silenced by cancer.
Belgian researchers discover a novel method to block immunosuppression in cancer
Belgian research groups from the UCLouvain and WELBIO, VIB and Ghent University, and the biotechnology company argenx elucidated the three-dimensional structure of an assembly of proteins operating on cells that dampen immune responses.
Clues to the link between obesity and liver cancer-and identification of a new risk group
New research has found a previously overlooked group of obese people may be at risk of developing deadly liver cancer.
New role for protein could lead to novel treatments for cancer and vascular disease
Researchers at York University have found a new role for a well-known protein in the body that may explain, in part, what goes wrong in certain cancers, as well as vascular and neurological disorders.
Novel combination therapy promotes wound healing
By incorporating a gene-suppressing drug into an over-the-counter gel, researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and their colleagues cut healing time by half and significantly improved healing outcomes compared to control treatments.
Head and neck cancer survivors at increased risk of suicide
Despite improved survival rates among cancer patients, the risk of death by suicide remains high, especially among those treated for head and neck cancers.
Mouse and human skin cells produce melanin on a 48-hour cycle
Researchers have discovered that mouse skin and skin cells from humans produce pigmentation in response to sunlight on a 48-hour cycle.
Three proteins may play key roles in female fertility and cancer biology
Three proteins regulate each other with surprising twists and turns in female mouse eggs, a finding that may play an important role in female fertility and cancer biology, according to Rutgers-led research.
Weight loss surgery for obese women prevents womb cancer
A study of women who had gastric sleeve or bypass surgery for obesity has found that precancerous tissue in their womb reverted to normal tissue when they lost weight.
Parent-child bond predicts depression, anxiety in teens attending high-achieving schools
Researchers in the Arizona State University Department of Psychology have found the quality of the parent-child relationship steadily declined starting in grade 6, and levels of alienation, trust and communication in middle school predicted depressive symptoms and anxiety in grade 12.
Students in health enrichment programs benefit from early team-based exposure
A study conducted by LSU Health New Orleans researchers provides new evidence that early exposure to multiple health disciplines in pipeline programs targeting underserved/underrepresented students interested in health professions reduces the development of traditional role and leadership stereotypes about professional health care teams and practice.
Scientists uncover key brain mechanism in salience processing
A study carried out by professor ZHU Yingjie from the Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology, in collaboration with Prof.
Facial exercise speeds Botox's wrinkle-reducing effects
For people who can't wait the three or four days for the wrinkle smoothing effects of botulinum toxin (Botox) injections to kick in, a new study shows facial exercise after the injections speeds the change in appearance by one day.
Biomarkers facilitate early detection of glaucoma
Researchers at Ruhr-Universität Bochum have identified new potential biomarkers that may facilitate early detection of glaucoma in patients.
Study questions certain treatments for diabetic patients at high risk for heart disease
In patients with type 2 diabetes at high risk for cardiovascular disease, targeting blood sugar to normal levels reduced the risk for macroalbuminuria, but it had no impact on more significant kidney outcomes such as serum creatinine doubling or the need for dialysis or transplantation.
Study: 4.6 percent of Massachusetts residents have opioid use disorder
A recent study estimates that more than 275,000 people -- or 4.6 percent of people over the age of 11 in Massachusetts -- have opioid use disorder, a figure nearly four times higher than previous estimates based on national data.
Experimental drug more effective in treating rare kidney disease
New study finds that experimental drug sparsentan is an effective treatment for the rare kidney disease focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, which currently has no FDA-approved therapies.
Researchers observe novel bat behavior in Panama
According to a new report from researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) who studied Peters' tent-making bats (Uroderma bilobatum), mothers prod their young with their forearms, perhaps encouraging them to fledge and wean.
Tracing the evolutionary origins of fish to shallow ocean waters
Coral reefs are envisioned as the seats of great biodiversity, but they may not be where all that diversity got its start.
Systematic review of clinical studies suggests newer shingles vaccine far more effective
A systematic review of clinical studies involving more than two million patients aged 50 years and older suggests the newer shingles vaccine Shingrix was far more successful in preventing the painful condition compared to the older vaccine Zostavax.
OU meteorologist expects severe drought and heavy rain events to worsen globally
A University of Oklahoma meteorologist, Elinor R. Martin, expects severe drought and long-lasting rainfall events to worsen in the future.
Repeated interferon stimulation creates innate immune memory
The innate immune system may be able to be trained to react to viral infections more efficiently by repeated exposure to anti-viral signaling molecules.
CCNY finds K-core as a predictor of structural collapse in mutualistic ecosystems
A network metric called the K-core could predict structural collapse in mutualistic ecosystems, according to research by physicists at The City College of New York.
Ecolabelling no help in sustainable seafood sales
When researchers tested how ecolabels for sustainably harvested seafood would affect shopping choices in Germany and Norway, they found that customers bought significantly more seafood overall -- including options that were not sustainably harvested.
Study identifies factors that predict opposition to the Black Lives Matter Movement
A new study looked at a nationally representative sample of Americans to identify factors related to individuals (e.g., political affiliation, gender) and states (e.g., voting patterns) that predict opposition to Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.
Midlife women transitioning to menopause have a higher risk of metabolic syndrome, which predisposes to heart disease and type 2 diabetes
Midlife women transitioning to menopause may be able to lower their risk of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes, if they exercise more or eat a lower calorie diet, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
A team of scholars tested a new way of skin cancer early diagnostics
A team of scholars of Samara National Research University and Samara State Medical University as well as clinic specialists of Samara Regional Oncology Centre (SROC) tested a new way of skin cancer early diagnostics with the help of original complex of three devices.
Mapping the chromatin landscape of human cancer
By mapping the largely uncharted chromatin landscape of primary human cancers, researchers have revealed new insights into the regulation of different cancer-related genes.
Good news for immersive journalism: Look at your audience
A joint study by the BBC, UCL and the University of Barcelona shows that in virtual reality news experiences, basic interactivity can increase buy-in without compromising faithful reporting.
Survey: Few women told by doctor that breastfeeding can reduce cancer risk
With many infant formulas on the market promising the same benefits as breast milk, more women may forgo breastfeeding.
Just a few drinks can change how memories are formed
Researchers at Brown found that alcohol hijacks a conserved memory pathway in the brain and changes which versions of genes are made, forming the cravings that fuel addiction.
Research reveals secret shared by comets and sand crabs
Researchers at Nagoya University find a mechanical connection between sand crab burrow widths and widths of cometary pits using a simple granular experiment.
Mind's quality control center found in long-ignored brain area
The cerebellum, once thought to be limited to controlling movement, is involved in every aspect of higher brain function, according to a new study by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.
Why relationships -- not money -- are the key to improving schools
Strong relationships between teachers, parents and students at schools has more impact on improving student learning than does financial support, new research shows.
Discovery of new superconducting materials using materials informatics
A NIMS-Ehime University joint research team succeeded in discovering new materials that exhibit superconductivity under high pressures using materials informatics (MI) approaches (data science-based material search techniques).
A single genetic switch changes butterfly wing color
New research by scientists from the University of Chicago shows how just one gene controls whether a certain species of butterfly has white or yellow spots on its wings.
Rice U. scientists uncover relationship between tremors, water at the Cascadia margin
Rice University researchers find evidence of water escaping during subduction and infiltrating sedimentary material related to small tremors that occur beneath the Pacific Northwest of the United States.
The body's defence mechanisms: Teamwork is key for cancer-fighting proteins
A new study published in Nature Communications shows that a molecular symbiosis between BAP1 and ASXL2 proteins can suppress cancerous tumors.
Tooth loss can indicate malnutrition, Rutgers study says
Older adults are at risk for both impaired oral health and malnutrition, according to a study by Rutgers University researchers.
Stanford researchers learn how the brain decides what to learn
Neuroscientists know a lot about how our brains learn new things, but not much about how they choose what to focus on while they learn.
Binary bias distorts how we integrate information
When we evaluate and compare a range of data points -- whether that data is related to health outcomes, head counts, or menu prices -- we tend to neglect the relative strength of the evidence and treat it as simply binary, according to research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
At last, a simple way to solve the complex mysteries of the microbiome
Understanding how the microbes in the microbiome interact -- and how they influence human health -- is a gargantuan task, akin to counting the grains of sand on a beach.
Researchers find gene that makes some susceptible to middle ear infections
Researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus have found multiple genetic variants within the FUT2 gene that makes some people especially susceptible to middle ear infections.
Science/Science Careers' survey ranks top biotech, biopharma, and pharma employers
The Science and Science Careers' 2018 annual Top Employers Survey polled employees in the biotechnology, biopharmaceutical, pharmaceutical, and related industries to determine the 20 best employers in these industries as well as their driving characteristics.
One size doesn't fit all, when using hormone therapy to treat endometriosis
Endometriosis -- a condition caused by uterine tissue growing outside of the organ -- affects 10 percent of reproductive-aged women, whom it causes chronic pain that is significant and debilitating.
New species of the 'first bird' Archaeopteryx uncovered
A new species of the famous 'first bird,' Archaeopteryx, supporting its status as the transitional fossil between birds and dinosaurs, has been published by in the journal Historical Biology.
Older adults with strong grip, good memory may avoid or delay disability
To learn more about how and whether being strong can ward off disability, a team of researchers examined information from a study called SHARE, and published their findings in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
New metal-organic framework separates gases with ease
Researchers have developed a type of microporous metal-organic framework (MOF) that displays 'exceptional' separation properties in the production of polymer-grade ethylene, a highly important -- yet costly to produce -- industrial chemical.
Keeping phosphorus under control to improve the quality of patients with renal failure
A University of Cordoba research team, Cordoba's Maimonides Institute of Biomedical Research and Queen Sofia University Hospital link phosphorus normalization in blood to a decrease in a hormone that damages the heart.
Borexino experiment: analysis of ten years of neutrino signals
Researchers from the Borexino collaboration have published the hitherto most comprehensive analysis of neutrinos from the Sun's core processes.
Nanotubes may give the world better batteries
Rice University scientists use thin films of multiwalled carbon nanotubes to keep lithium metal from sprouting dendrites, tentacle-like growths that can cause batteries to fail.
Tetris: It could be the salve for a worried mind
The venerable video game Tetris was used in a recent experiment to create a state of 'flow' -- the term psychologists use to describe a state of mind so engaged it makes the rest of the world fall away, and time pass more quickly.
People overestimate benefits, and underestimate risks, of medical interventions
From major heart surgery to a course of minor drugs, people overestimate the benefits and underestimate the risks of a variety of medical procedures, according to new research. led by the University of Plymouth, UK.
Evolution does repeat itself after all: How evolution lets stripes come and go
A team of evolutionary biologists from the University of Konstanz, headed by Professor Dr.
DNA 'dances' in first explanation of how genetic material flows through a nucleus
DNA flows inside a cell's nucleus in a choreographed line dance, new simulations reveal.
Study of 500,000 people clarifies the risks of obesity
Elevated body mass index (BMI) -- a measure of weight accounting for a person's height -- has been shown to be a likely causal contributor to population patterns in mortality, according to a new study led by the University of Bristol using measurements and mortality data from 500,000 people.
The world's largest campodeid dipluran named after the mythological giant Daidarabotchi
Two new to science dipluran species were discovered in touristic caves in the southern Japanese islands.
Spinning the light: The world's smallest optical gyroscope
A new tiny optical gyroscope fits on the tip of your finger and could find its way into drones and spacecraft in the future.
Research shows pretend porpoise sounds are helping conservation efforts
An examination into the detection of harbour porpoises is helping to give new understanding of effective monitoring of species under threat from anthropogenic activities such as fisheries bycatch and coastal pollution.
Unique patterns of neural communications found in brains of children with autism
A research team studying MRI scans of school-age children's brains found unique patterns of neural communication involving the amygdala, the area of the brain responsible for processing social information.
Certain physical disabilities may affect outcomes in kidney transplant recipients
Compared with kidney transplant recipients who did not report a disability, recipients with a visual disability were at higher risk of organ failure and recipients with a walking disability were at higher risk of early death.
The formation of large meteorite craters is unraveled
About 66 million years ago, a meteorite hit the Earth of the Yucatan Peninsula in what is now Mexico.
How sleeping mammary stem cells are awakened in puberty
Australian researchers have discovered how the growth of milk-producing mammary glands is triggered during puberty.
Fragile seashores were 'cradle of evolution' for early fish
Evolution of the major groups of fish that we recognize today took place in shallow waters, close to the seashore, according to new research at the University of Birmingham.
Local hormone production is root of issue for plant development
Plant roots rely on local production of a key hormone that controls many aspects of development and response to environmental changes, according to new research from North Carolina State University.
Bacteria: Protein researchers decipher resistance mechanism
Worldwide, resistance to antibiotics is on the rise. In order to understand why bacteria are becoming immune to previously well-functioning drugs, scientists are penetrating ever deeper into the molecular structure of cells.
Scientists uncover why knee joint injury leads to osteoarthritis
The mechanisms leading to osteoarthritis are not known. Currently, it is not possible for a physician examining a patient to predict future joint condition and possible development of osteoarthritis.
Could thyroid screening make your baby smarter?
Thyroid hormones are essential for normal brain development, but many pregnant women do not produce enough.
What makes a good working dog? Canine 'aptitude test' might offer clues
A canine cognition test could help organizations that train working dogs identify the dogs that are most likely to succeed, according to new research led by the University of Arizona.
Tracing the lineages of the mammalian gut community
The unique compositions of bacteria residing in the guts of mice are inherited from parents and remain more or less the same over many generations, according to a new study.
Genome-wide study confirms 6 tiger subspecies
Fewer than 4,000 free-ranging tigers remain in the wild. Efforts to protect these remaining tigers have also been stymied by uncertainty about whether they represent six, five or only two subspecies.
Efficient electrochemical cells for CO2 conversion
Scientists at Stanford University have developed electrochemical cells that convert carbon monoxide (CO) derived from CO2 into commercially viable compounds more effectively and efficiently than existing technologies.
Targeted Facebook ads shown to be highly effective in the 2016 US Presidential election
Intensive, micro-targeted Facebook adverts increased Republican turnout by up to 10 per cent among key voter groups, according to a new study published by the University of Warwick.
Method for determining donor kidneys' suitability for transplantation may be flawed
Results from biopsies taken when kidneys were procured from donors were not reliable for determining whether the organs were suitable for transplantation.
Invention by NUS chemists opens the door to safer and less expensive X-ray imaging
Professor Liu Xiaogang from the National University of Singapore led a team to develop novel lead halide perovskite nanocrystals that are highly sensitive to X-ray irradiation.
Offering employees a helping hand can backfire
When a coworker or employee is struggling, is it better to offer help on the job or just a shoulder to cry on?
Do neonicotinoids inhibit the development of anti-predatory behaviors in wood frogs?
Wood frogs are a bit more sluggish when exposed to neonicotinoids.
Biologists gain new insights into surface, acoustic behaviors of endangered right whales
In response to the dwindling number of North Atlantic right whales, researchers in the College of Arts and Sciences at Syracuse University have conducted a major study of the surface and acoustic behaviors of right whale mother-calf pairs.
CCNY study breaks Förster resonant energy transfer (FRET) distance limit
Using engineered nanocomposite structures called metamaterials, a City College of New York-led research team reports the ability to measure a significant increase in the energy transfer between molecules.
Probiotics are not always 'good bacteria'
Researchers from the Cockrell School of Engineering were able to shed light on a part of the human body - the digestive system -- where many questions remain unanswered.
New tools for creating mirrored forms of molecules
Chemists have developed an easier way to make libraries of candidate drugs with a specific 'handedness.'
Does obesity have an impact on kidney transplant outcomes?
In a study of kidney transplant recipients, those with ideal BMI (18-25) had the best organ survival.
The body weight bias in sales
Findings from a new study suggest that sales employees are more likely to recommend round products for customers that are overweight or obese, but there is no evidence that these customers prefer round products.
Surprising network activity in the immature brain
Developing brain networks act locally to build globally.
Artificial intelligence controls quantum computers
Neural networks enable learning of error correction strategies for computers based on quantum physics
Can tiny doses of magic mushrooms unlock creativity?
The use of minute doses of magic mushrooms and truffles containing psychedelic substances could induce a state of unconstrained thought that may produce more new, creative ideas.
California and New Jersey family leave policies improve breastfeeding rates for some women
Partially paid family leave policies in California and New Jersey helped increase breastfeeding in those states, a new analysis from UC San Francisco has found, but rates increased most among higher-income women who could afford to take more time off from work.
Fighting mosquitoes in your backyard with scientists' help
Thanks to an innovative mosquito control approach developed at Rutgers University-New Brunswick, residents in several Maryland neighborhoods reduced populations of invasive Asian tiger mosquitoes by an impressive 76 percent, on average.
Late night snacker? Make it cottage cheese
Researchers found that consuming 30 grams of protein about 30 minutes before bed appears to have a positive effect on muscle quality, metabolism and overall health.
Scientists discover biological ultraviolet protection 'timer'
Tel Aviv University Prof. Carmit Levy and her team have discovered a critical 48-hour cycle responsible for synchronizing the biological mechanisms that protect our skin from sun damage.
The shallow-water cradle of vertebrate evolution
The first vertebrates on Earth originated and diversified in the shallow-water lagoons lining the mid-Paleozoic coastline, a new study finds.
Trust in others predicts mortality in the United States
Do you trust other people? It may prolong your life.
Study reveals racial and ethnic disparities in pediatric kidney transplantation outcomes
From 1995 to 2014, patient survival after kidney transplantation improved overall for pediatric recipients in the United States; however, racial/ethnic disparities in long-term survival worsened over time.
Smoke alarms using mother's voice wake children better than high-pitch tone alarms
In a study published online today in the Journal of Pediatrics, researchers in the Center for Injury Research and Policy and the Sleep Disorders Center at Nationwide Children's Hospital examined characteristics of four different smoke alarms to determine which ones worked best to wake children.
Researchers build an artificial fly brain that can tell who's who
CIFAR researchers have built a neural network that mimics the fruit fly's visual system and can distinguish and re-identify flies.
Stanford-led study identifies link between DNA-protein binding, cancer onset
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and their collaborators at other institutions have identified a link between how proteins bind to our DNA and how cancer develops.
Acute kidney injury linked to higher risk of dementia
Patients with acute kidney injury had more than a 3-fold higher risk of developing dementia compared with those without acute kidney injury during a median follow-up time of 5.8 years.
IUPUI biologists use 'mini retinas' to better understand connection between eye and brain
IUPUI biologists are growing 'mini retinas' in the lab from stem cells to mimic the growth of the human retina.
Prevalence of HTLV-1 infection among teens and adults in Gabon remains high
A study published in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, by Mirdad Kazanji, of the Centre International de Recherches Medicales de Franceville in Gabon, and the Institut Pasteur de la Guyane in French Guiana, suggests that 30 years after the first epidemiological survey of the seroprevalence of Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) infections in Gabon, the country remains highly endemic, with a seroprevalence of 7.3 percent.
Machine learning identifies antibiotic resistance genes in tuberculosis-causing bacteria
Researchers have trained a machine learning algorithm to identify and predict which genes make infectious bacteria resistant to antibiotics.
Can we limit global warming to 1.5 °C?
Efforts to combat climate change tend to focus on supply-side changes, such as shifting to renewable or cleaner energy.
Do astronauts need sunscreen? (video)
Space is full of potentially dangerous radiation. Here on Earth, our atmosphere and magnetic field protect us from the worst of it.
Not enough fruits, vegetables grown to feed the planet, U of G study reveals
Study results show that the global agriculture system currently overproduces grains, fats and sugars, while production of fruits and vegetables and, to a smaller degree, protein is not sufficient to meet the nutritional needs of the current population.
Study opens new therapeutic avenue for mitochondria malfunction
Jefferson scientists identify key interaction controlling calcium's access to the cell's powerhouse.
GPM Satellite shows powerful super Typhoon Yutu hitting Northern Marianas
NASA's GPM Core observatory satellite captured an image of Super Typhoon Yutu when it flew over the powerful storm just as the center was striking the central Northern Mariana Islands north of Guam.
A new therapeutic avenue for treating insomnia
Insomnia is one of the major sleep problems all over the world.
The ghost of Cassiopeia
About 550 light-years away in the constellation of Cassiopeia lies IC 63, a stunning and slightly eerie nebula.
Medicaid expansion linked to reduced mortality among dialysis patients
A new Brown University study finds that fewer patients with end-stage kidney disease died within a year of starting dialysis in states that expanded Medicaid coverage in the wake of the Affordable Care Act.
Whiskers, surface growth and dendrites in lithium batteries
Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis take a closer look at lithium metal plating and make some surprising findings that might lead to the next generation of batteries.
The Lancet Infectious Diseases: New investigational antibiotic effective against drug-resistant bacteria in phase 2 trial
Peer-reviewed / Randomised Controlled Trial / People Drug's novel approach is designed to address three main mechanisms of antibiotic resistance used by Gram-negative bacteria
Non-invasive stent monitoring techniques tested
Barcelona researchers develop a probe to detect and monitor metallic stents.
Hallucinations associated with brain hyperactivity in people with macular degeneration
New research from The University of Queensland has shown for the first time that visual hallucinations in people with macular degeneration are associated with abnormally heightened activity in the visual cortex of the brain.
The incidence of gastrointestinal disease increases with heat and cold
In Spain, hospital admissions related to these infections increase by 21 percent at high temperatures and 7 percent at cold temperatures.
Scientists discover a new lead for mechanism of action of diabetes drug metformin
Canadian and British researchers are able to see how frontline diabetes drug metformin alters cell glucose uptake using new technology that probes how drugs act on all cellular functions.
Plant polymers do not always act together to make beautiful shapes
Researchers at the Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST) show in mutant plant cells that three polymers, cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin, are deposited at the secondary cell wall independent of each other.

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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.