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Science News | Science Current Events | Brightsurf | October 30, 2018


The 10-foot-tall microscopes helping combat world's worst diseases
The century-old mission to understand how the proteins responsible for amyloid-based diseases such as Alzheimer's, Huntingdon's and Parkinson's work has taken major steps forward in the last 12 months, thanks to a revolution in a powerful microscopy technique used by scientists.
Vitamin D levels in the blood linked to cardiorespiratory fitness
Vitamin D levels in the blood are linked to cardiorespiratory fitness, according to a study published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, a publication of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).
Droplet Digital PCR enables precise detection and quantification of a promoter mutation prevalent in many cancer types
Research from NYU Langone Medical Center and its Perlmutter Cancer Center along with Bio-Rad's Digital Biology Group demonstrates how two new ddPCR-based assays can specifically detect and quantify mutations linked to many cancer types.
Spay and neuter for dogs: Avoiding the health consequences
In the United States, spaying or neutering a dog has become standard practice to reduce pet overpopulation.
Plant-based or vegan diet may be best for keeping type 2 diabetes in check
A predominantly plant-based or vegan diet may be best for keeping type 2 diabetes in check, not least because of its potential impact on mood, suggests a systematic review of the available evidence, published in the journal BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care.
New technologies in the ocean energy sector
Analysis of ten future emerging technologies to generate energy from the ocean tides and waves.
Dopamine drives early addiction to heroin
Scientists have made a major advance in untangling the brain circuits that lead to the powerful addictive effects of heroin, a study in the open-access journal eLife reports.
Study uncovers high levels of previously unsuspected pollutant in homes, environment
Scientists at Indiana University found high levels of a previously unsuspected pollutant in homes, in an electronic waste recycling facility and in the natural environment.
How will Texas law HB 810 impact stem cell-based intervention clinics?
A new study takes a close look at the content and potential implications of the new Texas law HB 810, which aims to expand assess of experimental stem cell interventions outside the realm of clinical trials under FDA oversight.
Giant killers
Giant kelp forests -- those ethereal, swaying columns of seaweed found in the intermediate to deep water zones of cooler coasts along the Pacific Ocean and Southern Hemisphere -- provide habitat for a variety of species that spend their lives in kelp's canopies or at the rocky bottoms.
Report outlines priorities to improve the lives of cancer survivors and caregivers
A new report from the American Cancer Society creates a set of critical priorities for care delivery, research, education, and policy to equitably improve survivor outcomes and support caregivers.
Antibiotic resistance increases relapse in urinary tract infections
Patients with a certain drug-resistant urinary tract infection were more likely to have a relapse of their infection within a week than those with non-resistant infections and were more likely to be prescribed an incorrect antibiotic according to a study published today in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.
Tests show integrated quantum chip operations possible
Quantum computers that are capable of solving complex problems, like drug design or machine learning, will require millions of quantum bits -- or qubits -- connected in an integrated way and designed to correct errors that inevitably occur in fragile quantum systems.
Study: Increasing frequency of ocean storms could alter kelp forest ecosystems
A future with stormier seas may bring strong changes to the biodiversity of coastal sea life.
Scientific breakthrough: Promising new target for immunotherapy
Following the 2018 Nobel Prize for Medicine, global attention is now more than ever turned toward the promise of immunotherapy in oncology.
Advertising in kids' apps more prevalent than parents may realize
Child consumer advocacy groups plan to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission about the study's findings.
Economic impact of excess weight now exceeds $1.7 trillion
The impact of obesity and overweight on the U.S. economy has eclipsed $1.7 trillion, an amount equivalent to 9.3 percent of the nation's gross domestic product, according to a new Milken Institute report on the role excess weight plays in the prevalence and cost of chronic diseases.
Commercial shellfish landings decline likely linked to environmental factors
Researchers studying the sharp decline between 1980 and 2010 in documented landings of the four most commercially-important bivalve mollusks -- eastern oysters, northern quahogs, softshell clams and northern bay scallops -- have identified the causes.
NASA's Aqua Satellite captures Typhoon Yutu exiting the Northern Philippines
Visible satellite imagery from NASA's Aqua satellite showed that Typhoon Yutu maintained its structure as it exited Luzon, the northern Philippines.
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine -- managing common ankle fractures
'Management of Isolated Lateral Malleous Fractures' written by Aimethab A.
University of Barcelona researchers describe a new anatomic structure in the ankle
Researchers describe a new ligament in the lateral side of the ankle.
Reducing methane emissions can play a key role in reducing ozone worldwide
A new JRC report points to inexpensive and profitable solutions to reduce methane emissions in the energy, waste, wastewater and agriculture sectors.
APA Stress in America: generation z stressed about issues in the news but least likely to vote
Headline issues, from immigration to sexual assault, are causing significant stress among members of Generation Z -- those between ages 15 and 21- - with mass shootings topping the list of stressful current events, according to the American Psychological Association's report Stress in America™: Generation Z released today.
Bigger brains associated with greater cancer risk
For the first time -- in Norway and internationally -- researchers have looked at the direct correlation between brain size and cancer risk in adults.
Russian scientists obtain new results in the study of inorganic pigments with apatite structure
Compounds with the apatite structure differ from most classes by the variety of their chemical compositions: to create such substances, most chemical elements of the Periodic System can be used, while the characteristics of the crystalline structure of apatite will be preserved.
One month of abstinence from cannabis improves memory in adolescents, young adults
A Massachusetts General Hospital study finds that one month of abstaining from cannabis use resulted in measurable improvement in memory functions important for learning among adolescents and young adults who were regular cannabis users.
How the world's fastest muscle created four unique bird species
When the male bearded manakin snaps its wings at lightning speed, it's more than part of an elaborate, acrobatic mating ritual.
Owls help JHU scientists unlock secret of how the brain pays attention
Studying barn owls, scientists believe they've taken an important step toward solving the longstanding mystery of how the brain chooses what most deserves attention.
Researchers teach 'machines' to detect Medicare fraud
Like a 'needle in a haystack,' human auditors have the painstaking task of manually checking thousands of Medicare claims for specific patterns that could indicate foul play or fraudulent behaviors.
Discovery of Zika virus in monkeys suggests disease may also have wild cycle
Sylvatic cycle would give virus a natural reservoir from which it could more frequently reinfect humans.
Fermented dairy products may protect against heart attack
Men who eat plenty of fermented dairy products have a smaller risk of incident coronary heart disease than men who eat less of these products, according to a new study from the University of Eastern Finland.
UC researchers developing test for early breast lesions
Researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) are investigating a molecular diagnostic test to determine whether, after biopsy, someone is at high or low risk for actually developing malignant breast cancer.
Not just for children: Study shows high prevalence of atopic dermatitis among US adults
As many as 16.5 million adults in America suffer from a skin disease known as atopic dermatitis, an inflammatory disease that results in red, itchy skin.
UMN Medical School researchers contribute to important neurological discovery
A team of researchers from the University of Minnesota Medical School, the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience, and the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies, have used the brain's spontaneously generated patterns of activity to glean novel insights into network structure and development.
Suicide more prevalent than homicide in US, but most Americans don't know it
A new study by the University of Washington, Northeastern University and Harvard University delves into public perceptions of gun violence and the leading causes of death in the US.
How plants cope with stress
With climate change comes drought, and with drought comes higher salt concentrations in the soil.
AAFP releases new how to feed a cat consensus statement to the veterinary community
The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) today released the AAFP Consensus Statement, 'Feline Feeding Programs: Addressing Behavioral Needs to Improve Feline Health and Wellbeing' and accompanying client brochure to the veterinary community.
How some heart cells cope with high blood pressure
Individual cells within the same heart cope differently with high blood pressure, according to a study in human cells and mice by a team of cardiologists and computational biologists at the University of Tokyo.
Tiny beetle trapped in amber might show how landmasses shifted
Scientists have discovered a tiny fossil beetle trapped in amber.
New species of Swallowtail butterfly discovered in Fiji
A spectacular new butterfly species has been discovered on the Pacific Island of Vanua Levu in Fiji.
Preventing sudden cardiac death with genome editing
Gene editing successfully prevented sudden cardiac death in a mouse model of inherited cardiac arrhythmia disorder.
Childhood antibiotics and antacids may be linked to heightened obesity risk
Young children prescribed antibiotics and, to a lesser extent, drugs to curb excess stomach acid, may be at heightened risk of obesity, suggests research published online in the journal Gut.
Genes behind rapid deer antler growth, hardening identified in Stanford-led study
Each spring, male deer sprout a new pair of antlers, which are essentially temporary external bones, at a speed unparalleled by the bone growth of other mammals.
Next generation of watch springs
What happens when something keeps getting smaller and smaller? This is the type of question Empa researcher Johann Michler and his team are investigating.
Simple, mass production of giant vesicles using a porous silicone material
A technique to generate large amounts of giant vesicle (liposome) dispersion has been developed.
These new techniques expose your browsing history to attackers
Security researchers at UC San Diego and Stanford have discovered four new ways to expose Internet users' browsing histories.
Pedestrian fatalities increase on Halloween, particularly among children
Children are more likely to be fatally struck by a vehicle on Halloween than on other nights of the year, according to new research led by the University of British Columbia.
Mount Sinai researchers find wheat oral immunotherapy to be therapeutic for allergic patients
In a major step towards understanding the safety and efficacy of wheat oral immunotherapy, Mount Sinai researchers report promising results from the first multicenter, rigorous clinical trial in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
AI systems shed light on root cause of religious conflict
Artificial intelligence can help us to better understand the causes of religious violence and to potentially control it, according to a new Oxford University collaboration.
Scientists call for unified standards in 3D genome and epigenetic data
Studying the three-dimensional structure of DNA and its dynamics is revealing a lot of information about gene expression, expanding our knowledge of how cells, tissues and organs actually work in health and disease.
Lifespan and sexual maturity depends on your brain more than your body
New Vanderbilt research finds how long humans and other warm-blooded animals live -- and when they reach sexual maturity -- may have more to do with their brain than their body.
When silence acts as a mirror
Findings from a new study suggest that people assume that those who are silent in a conversation would agree with their own opinion, even if the majority of the speakers in the group have a different opinion.
Mutation associated with als causes sugar-starved cells to overproduce lipids, study shows
A genetic defect tied to a variety of neurodegenerative diseases and mental illnesses changes how cells starved of sugar metabolize fatty compounds known as lipids, a new study led by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health shows.
Halloween associated with increased risk of pedestrian fatalities
Children in the United States celebrate Halloween by going door-to-door collecting candy.
Researchers find correlation between showerhead bacteria and lung infections
Researchers from the University of Colorado, Boulder have now shown that the regions in the United States where pathogenic mycobacteria are most prevalent in showerheads are the same regions where nontuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) lung infections are most common.
Army, university study suggests brain structure could influence behavior
New research focusing on how brain structure may impact brain activity and ultimately human behavior could one day lead to technology that can be catered to an individual Soldier in a training environment or operational setting.
Rose geranium oil may ease common painful nasal symptoms linked to cancer treatment
Rose geranium oil may help to ease the symptoms of a common and painful nasal condition that is linked to cancer drug treatment, indicate the results of a small observational study, published online in the journal BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care.
Hurricane Oscar on satellite imagery: A one-eyed little monster with a tail
Of course, tropical cyclones have one eye and with Halloween on the horizon, false-colored infrared imagery from NASA's Aqua satellite brought out that eye in this small tropical monster with a tail of thunderstorms.
Texas A&M professor identifies new brain region that suppresses fear
A study conducted at Texas A&M University has identified a new area in the brain involved in inhibiting fear, a discovery that holds potential for clinical interventions in patients with psychiatric diseases such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
An end to arachnophobia 'just a heartbeat away'
Researchers have discovered that exposing people with phobias to their fear -- for examples, spiders for those who have arachnophobia -- at the exact time their heart beats, led to the phobia reducing in severity.
The Indians of the Ecuadorian Amazon were using cocoa 5300 years ago
An international team* associating archaeologists, anthropologists, biochemists and geneticists recently found for the first time archaeological traces of cocoa use in South America in pre-Columbian times.
Your blood pressure and heart rate change to meet physical and social demands
Blood pressure and heart rate are not fixed, but rather they adapt to meet physical and social demands placed on the body, according to new research from Binghamton University, State University at New York.
Universities begin redesigning principal preparation programs
One year into a four-year $49 million initiative to improve training for aspiring school principals, a new RAND Corporation report found that seven universities are beginning to change their principal preparation programs to better reflect the real-world demands of the job.
Facial Asymmetry Increases with Age
Asymmetry between the two sides of the face increases steadily with aging -- a finding with important implications for facial rejuvenation and reconstructive procedures, reports a study in the November issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). 
Laser technique may open door to more efficient clean fuels
Electrocatalysts have shown promise as a way to efficiently convert waste CO2 into clean fuels, but the mechanisms by which they operate are often unknown making it hard for researchers to design new ones in a rational manner.
Novel technique can potentially improve success of ovarian cancer treatment, study reveals
This study is the first to investigate the impact of establishing a healthy blood supply to the tumour prior to treatment in mice models with an advanced stage of ovarian cancer.
Single protein controls thousands of genes essential for sperm development
A single protein regulates a battery of key genes inside developing sperm, according to a new study out of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.
Solving a 100-year mystery in blood pressure research
New insight into how cells sense blood pressure could present better targets for treating hypertension.
A study identifies new markers associated with protection by the RTS,S malaria vaccine
Protection conferred by the RTS,S malaria vaccine depends greatly on the amount and subclass of antibodies generated upon vaccination, and on previous exposure levels to the parasite, according to a study led by ISGlobal, an institution supported by 'la Caixa' Foundation.
When the Syrians bathed like the Romans
Classical scholars from Münster explore rare Roman bathing facility and magnificent early Christian basilica in southeastern Turkey -- Researchers from the Cluster of Excellence make new archaeological findings in the ancient town of Doliche -- northern Syrian town flourished across epochs and religions -- Roman and Christian influences can be proven
New and better marker for assessing patients after cardiac arrest
Last year, researchers Tobias Cronberg and Niklas Mattsson at Lund University in Sweden published a study showing serum tau levels to be a new and promising marker for identifying patients with severe brain damage after cardiac arrest.
Gender inequality could be driving the deaths of girls under 5
Levels of gender inequality across the world are associated with disproportionate death rates among girls under 5 years old, according to a study led by Queen Mary University of London.
Pseudarthrosis following single-level ACDF is five times more likely when a PEEK interbody device is used
Researchers found pseudarthrosis (lack of new bone regrowth) to be five times more likely after a polyetheretherketone (PEEK) interbody spacer device had been used to bridge the gap between vertebrae during cervical spine surgery than after a structural (bone) allograft had been used.
Tianhe-2 supercomputer works out the criterion for quantum supremacy
A world's first criterion for quantum supremacy was issued, in a research jointly led by Prof.
Research uncovers key differences in brains of women and men with schizophrenia
Researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have found clear disparities in the way males and females--both those with schizophrenia and those who are healthy--discern the mental states of others.
High stability of the hepatitis B virus
At room temperature, hepatitis B viruses (HBV) remain contagious for several weeks and they are even able to withstand temperatures of four degrees centigrade over the span of nine months.
Balloon measurements reveal dust particle properties in free troposphere over desert
The Taklamakan Desert is one of the major sources of Asian dust.
Do psychiatric symptoms remain stable over time? New reviews
In patients with psychiatric disorders, stability of symptoms has important implications for diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment.
Researchers have assembled Eurasian perch genome
Eurasian perch (Latin name Perca fluviatilis) genome, which is three times smaller than the human genome, yet contains about a billion nucleotides and more than 23,000 genes, discovered Estonian and Finnish scientists.
CRISPR gene editing will find applications in plastic and reconstructive surgery
The CRISPR genome editing technique promises to be a 'transformative leap' in genetic engineering and therapy, affecting almost every area of medicine.
Study reconstructs Neandertal ribcage, offers new clues to ancient human anatomy
An international team, which included researchers from universities in Spain, Israel, and the United States, including the University of Washington, has completed the first 3D virtual reconstruction of the ribcage of the most complete Neandertal skeleton unearthed to date.
Life-changing intersection between big data and therapeutic pipeline in neuromuscular disease
A new report funded by the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) and released by the IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science indicates that genetic testing and breakthrough therapies will transform the diagnosis and care of neuromuscular disease within the next decade.
Morris Animal Foundation-funded researchers protect Ridgeway's hawks from botflies
To save the endangered Ridgway's hawk from extinction, Morris Animal Foundation-funded researchers have found a way to combat infestations of Philornis botflies.
How people perceive cities and suburbs is not merely a matter of boundary lines
What separates cities and suburbs isn't always a geographic boundary.
Giant flightless birds were nocturnal and possibly blind
If you encountered an elephant bird today, it would be hard to miss.
Young men more likely to die in summer, older people in winter despite local climate
Young men living in the US are overall more likely to die in the summer months, according to a new study in eLife.
Making a transparent flexible material of silk and nanotubes
The research from the University of Pittsburgh's Swanson School of Engineering finds that silk combined with carbon nanotubes may lead to a new generation of biomedical devices and so-called transient, biodegradable electronics.
The science of studying the effects of extraordinary beliefs on consumer behavior
The study of superstition and other extraordinary beliefs in the marketplace brings challenges and opportunities for the enhancement of consumer well-being.
Research sheds light on conspiracy theory elements
'Our study also suggests that alternative media spreading conspiracy theories appear to better align with anti- and pro-globalism than with left- and right-leaning political ideologies.'
Brain-inspired methods to improve wireless communications
Researchers Lingjia Liu and Yang (Cindy) Yi are using brain-inspired machine learning techniques to increase the energy efficiency of wireless receivers.
Becoming more sensitive to pain increases the risk of knee pain not going away
A new study by researchers in Montreal and Boston looks at the role that pain plays in osteoarthritis, a disease that affects over 300 million adults worldwide.
Study uncovers key parts of mechanism for activating T cells to fight cancer and other diseases
In a study published online today by the journal Immunity, scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Vanderbilt University and colleagues at other institutions show how machinery within immune system T cells responds to outside signals and activates the cells to attack cancerous, infected, or otherwise diseased cells.
Researchers identify three shades of blue
OIST scientists have used brain imaging to identify three sub-types of depression -- including one that is unresponsive to commonly prescribed serotonin boosting drugs.
Flexible, stable and potent against cancer
Linking therapeutically active molecules to specific antibodies can help to pilot them to their designated targets and minimize side effects--especially when treating tumors.
Tiny light detectors work like gecko ears
By structuring nanowires in a way that mimics geckos' ears, researchers have found a way to record the incoming angle of light.
Are we immune to the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing scissors?
By studying immune responses to CRISPR-Cas9 in humans, researchers from Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin have found widespread immunity to the Cas9 protein.
Flood of genome data hinders efforts to ID bacteria
A study led by a Rice University computer scientist demonstrates that recent growth in genomic databases has a negative effect on attempts to identify microbes from metagenomic samples.
Body mass index associated with deaths from most causes
Body mass index (BMI), a measure of body fat, is linked to risk of death from every major cause except transport accidents, according to new research published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology.
Effective treatments for urticarial vasculitis
What treatments are available for patients with the rare inflammatory disease known as urticarial vasculitis?
How LSD changes perception
LSD changes the communication patterns between regions of the brain, a new study by researchers of the University of Zurich and Yale University shows.
Advertising in mobile apps for young children -- Study raises concerns about frequency and content
Nearly all smartphone and tablet apps targeted at toddlers and preschoolers have commercial content, often using 'manipulative and disruptive' advertising methods, reports a study in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, the official journal of the Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics.
Why polarized politicians can represent citizens best
Do ideologically extreme politicians deemed 'polarized' misrepresent a more moderate populace?
Supplemental issue honors the life and scholarship of Nobel Laureate Gary S. Becker
A special supplement to the most recent issue of the Journal of Political Economy (JPE) (October 2018) commemorates the life and work of the late Nobel laureate Gary S.
Why don't birds fall over when they jump?
Scientists have been analyzing the way birds jump when they take-off to help us understand why they simply don't just fall over when attempting to fly.
China develops world's first instrument system for raman-activated cell sorting and sequencing
The world's first instrument system for Raman-activated Cell Sorting and Sequencing (RACS-SEQ) was recently developed in East China's Qingdao City, allowing functional identification, sorting and sequencing of individual cells, in a label-free manner.
Cutting societal alcohol use may prevent alcohol disorders developing -- Otago research reveals
Society must take collective responsibility to reduce the harm caused by alcohol use disorders, a University of Otago academic says.
A 31-year global diurnal sea surface temperature dataset
A dataset of hourly sea surface temperature (SST) from the period Jan.
The Mincle receptor provides protective immunity against Group A Streptococcus
Group A Streptococcus (GAS) causes invasive infections that result in high mortality.

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Dolly Parton's America: Neon Moss
Today on Radiolab, we're bringing you the fourth episode of Jad's special series, Dolly Parton's America. In this episode, Jad goes back up the mountain to visit Dolly's actual Tennessee mountain home, where she tells stories about her first trips out of the holler. Back on the mountaintop, standing under the rain by the Little Pigeon River, the trip triggers memories of Jad's first visit to his father's childhood home, and opens the gateway to dizzying stories of music and migration. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.