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Science Current Events and Science News | Brightsurf | December 19, 2018


Exposure to cannabis alters the genetic profile of sperm
New research from Duke Health suggests men in their child-bearing years should consider how THC could impact their sperm and possibly the children they conceive during periods when they've been using the drug.
Researchers make liquid crystals do the twist
Researchers from the University of Maryland have for the first time measured an effect that was predicted more than 40 years ago, called the Casimir torque.
Are the late Stephen Hawking's religious beliefs typical of U.K. scientists?
The late Stephen Hawking famously didn't believe in God. Neither does the renowned Richard Dawkins.
Lower oxygen levels to impact the oceanic food chain
The North Pacific Ocean is losing oxygen, pushing species significant to the marine ecosystem to shallower water where there's more sunlight, higher temperatures and greater risk of predators.
Disordered crystals are promising for future battery technology
Tiny, disordered particles of magnesium chromium oxide may hold the key to new magnesium battery energy storage technology, which could possess increased capacity compared to conventional lithium-ion batteries, find UCL and University of Illinois at Chicago researchers.
High cost of re-operation after breast-conserving surgery
A small number of women require re-operation after breast-conserving surgery (BCS) for breast cancer, if the surgical margins are not free from cancer.
Researchers zero in on potential therapeutic target for diabetes, associated diseases
A recent study led by researchers in Texas A&M University's department of nutrition and food science shows how a novel regulatory mechanism serves as an important biomarker for the development of diabetes, as well as a potential therapeutic target for its prevention.
What are you looking at? How attention affects decision-making
Scientists using eye-tracking technology have found that what we look at helps guide our decisions when faced with two visible choices, such as snack food options.
From eye drops to potential leukaemia treatment
An active ingredient in eye drops that were being developed for the treatment of a form of eye disease has shown promise for treating an aggressive form of blood cancer.
Cover crops may increase winter temperatures in North America
Cover crops grown in fields during winter may be warming temperatures in the northern United States and southern Canada, according to a new study by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
Austerity results in 'social murder' according to new research
The consequence of austerity in the social security system -- severe cuts to benefits and the 'ratcheting up' of conditions attached to benefits -- is 'social murder', according to new research by Lancaster University.
Why is sea level rising faster in some places along the US East Coast than others?
Sea levels are rising globally from ocean warming and melting of land ice, but the seas aren't rising at the same rate everywhere.
Satellite study proves global quantum communication will be possible
Researchers in Italy have demonstrated the feasibility of quantum communications between high-orbiting global navigation satellites and a ground station, with an exchange at the single photon level over a distance of 20,000km.
World's first success in analyzing 3D neutron polarization under high pressure
A joint research team consisting of NIMS, JAEA and the Institut Laue Langevin developed a high-pressure cell composed of completely nonmagnetic materials.
Dancing may help older women maintain the ability to perform daily tasks
A new study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports examined the potential effects of 16 different exercise types for reducing disability for activities of daily living (ADL) in older women.
How the brain reacts to loss of vision
If mice lose their vision immediately after birth due to a genetic defect, this has a considerable impact, both on the organisation of the cerebral cortex and on memory ability.
MRI technique shows unique signatures of concussion in rugby players
The research team studied the brains of young female athletes and used a technique that combined multiple brain imaging measures to be able to look at structural and functional information at the same time.
Alterations detected in brain connectivity in patients with type 1 diabetes
Patients with Type 1 Diabetes have a brain connectivity network different from the healthy people, according to a new study led by researchers of the University of Barcelona.
New insights on animal movement in fire-prone landscapes
A new Biological Reviews article considers how fire histories affect animals' movement and shape the distribution of species.
Study links nutrients in blood to better brain connectivity, cognition in older adults
A new study links higher levels of several key nutrients in the blood with more efficient brain connectivity and performance on cognitive tests in older adults.
URI researchers: Small changes in oxygen levels have big implications for ocean life
Oceanographers at the University of Rhode Island have found that even slight levels of ocean oxygen loss, or deoxygenation, have big consequences for tiny marine organisms called zooplankton.
Stick insects: Egg-laying techniques reveal new evolutionary map
Scientists have created the best map of stick-insect evolution to date by combining DNA analysis and knowledge of their varied egg-laying techniques.
Study suggests universal meningitis vaccination is not cost-effective for college students
A computer-generated model developed by Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers adds to evidence that providing universal vaccination against meningitis B infection to students entering college may be too costly to justify the absolute number of cases it would prevent.
Potential therapeutic target for lung fibrosis identified
No current treatments reverse or stop lung fibrosis -- scarring of the lung that makes it difficult to breathe.
Flu is serious for pregnant women and others at high risk
Those at high-risk for flu complications such as hospitalization and death -- including pregnant women -- should be tested and treated as soon as possible, suggest new influenza guidelines released by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA).
Game over for Zika? KU Leuven researchers develop promising vaccine
Scientists at the KU Leuven Rega Institute in Belgium have developed a new vaccine against the Zika virus.
Nightlights for stream dwellers? No, thanks
When the critters that live in and around streams and wetlands are settling into their nighttime routines, streetlights and other sources of illumination filter down through the trees and into their habitat, monkeying with the normal state of affairs, according to new research from The Ohio State University.
Mortality rates rising for Gens X and Y too
Declining life expectancies in the US include Gen X and Y Americans, in addition to the older Baby Boomers.
Study finds dinosaurs battled overheating with nasal air-conditioning
Researchers have long wondered how gigantic, heavily armored dinosaurs, such as the club-tailed ankylosaurs that lived in sweltering climates, avoided overheating.
Precision experiment first to isolate, measure weak force between protons, neutrons
A team of scientists has for the first time measured the elusive weak interaction between protons and neutrons in the nucleus of an atom.
Lung transplant patients face elevated lung cancer risk
In an American Journal of Transplantation study, lung cancer risk was increased after lung transplantation, especially in the native (non-transplanted) lung of single lung transplant recipients.
Helping make brain surgery safer
A biopsy needle that can help surgeons identify and avoid blood vessels in the brain during surgery has undergone initial tests in humans.
NASA analyzes newly formed Tropical Cyclone Cilidaa
An infrared look by NASA's Aqua satellite revealed where the strongest storms were located within recently formed Tropical Cyclone Cilida.
The coming of age of plasma physics
The story of the generation of physicists involved in the development of a sustainable energy source, controlled fusion, using a method called magnetic confinement.
Kidney failure on the rise in Australians under 50 with type 2 diabetes
A study of more than 1.3 million Australians with diabetes has found that kidney failure is increasing in people with type 2 diabetes aged under 50 years, leading to reduced quality of life and placing growing demand on the country's kidney dialysis and transplantation services.
When 'alien' insects attack Antartica
Of the known alien (non-native) species found in Antarctica, a non-biting species of midge currently presents one of the highest risks to terrestrial ecosystems, researchers have found.
Whale research helps answer long-sought scientific question
Scientists previously determined that fetal humpback whales develop the very beginnings of teeth, but they never erupt from the gums the way they do in human babies.
Delivery method associated with pelvic floor disorders after childbirth
Research completed at Johns Hopkins and the Greater Baltimore Medical Center has demonstrated that vaginal childbirth substantially increases the probability a woman will develop a pelvic floor disorder later in life.
Better security achieved with randomly generating biological encryption keys
Data breaches, hacked systems and hostage malware are frequently topics of evening news casts -- including stories of department store, hospital, government and bank data leaking into unsavory hands -- but now a team of engineers has an encryption key approach that is unclonable and not reverse-engineerable, protecting information even as computers become faster and nimbler.
Study offers new view of how cartels work
Less data-sharing among firms can actually lead to more collusion, economists find.
New research reveals why people really use food banks
Study suggests people's use of them is often more complex and more positive than is presented.
Process makes stem-cell-derived heart cells light up
A faster, more cost-efficient, and more accurate method of examining the effectiveness of human pluripotent stem-cell-derived cardiac muscle cells has been discovered, according to researchers from Penn State.
Map of neuronal pathways of the mammalian cerebral cortex and their evolution
Using our in utero electroporation technique for ferrets, we investigated the axonal fibers in the developing cerebral cortex, where ferrets have two fiber layers; the inner axonal fiber layer projects contralaterally and subcortically, whereas the outer fiber layer sends axons to neighboring cortical areas.
Social animals have more parasite infections but lower infection-related costs
Animals living in large groups tend to have more parasites than less social animals do, but according to a new study in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, they may also be better protected from the negative effects of those parasites.
Research sheds new light on what drove last, long-term global climate shift
The quest to discover what drove the last, long-term global climate shift on Earth, which took place around a million years ago, has taken a new, revealing twist.
How to spot every solar panel in the United States
It is still challenging to put an accurate number on the US's total solar power installation and to describe what factors make solar power thrive in certain areas and not others.
Brain confetti -- why our sense of smell declines in old age
As mammals age, their sense of smell deteriorates. In a study published in the journal 'Cell Reports', an interdisciplinary research team at Helmholtz Zentrum München and the University Medical Centre Mainz investigated why this is the case.
Snowed in: Wolves stay put when it's snowing, study shows
Wolves travel shorter distances and move slower during snowfall events, according to new research by University of Alberta biologists.
The secret life of cloud droplets
Do water droplets cluster inside clouds? Researchers confirm two decades of theory with an airborne imaging instrument.
New memory study first to use intracranial recordings
Research led by Wayne State University is first memory study to use intracranial recordings to better understand how maturation of the prefrontal cortex drives memory development.
Getting yeast to make artificial sweets
The holiday season can be a time of excess, but low- or no-calorie sweeteners could help merry-makers stay trim.
Sac with spiral surface patterns facilitate substance delivery
In a new study published in EPJE, Francesco Serafin, affiliated with both Syracuse University, New York, and the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at UCSB, USA, and his supervisors determine the conditions under which it becomes easier for sac to pass through biological membranes and potentially deliver molecules attached to these them at specific locations.
Stress related responses regulate immune function
The immune system is composed of a wide range of different immune cells each with dedicated functions.
Preventing concrete bridges from falling apart
A new study published in EPJ B examines the adverse effects of the adsorption of natural gas constituents found in our environment -- and mixtures of several such gases -- into one of the materials that make up concrete: cement hydrate.
Chemical catalyst turns 'trash' into 'treasure,' making inert C-H bonds reactive
The Nature paper is the latest in a series from Emory University demonstrating the ability to use a dirhodium catalyst to selectively functionalize C-H bonds in a streamlined manner, while also maintaining virtually full control of the three-dimensional shape of the molecules produced.
Using sound to independently levitate a range of objects is achieved for the first time
Asier Marzo-Pérez, researcher at the Public University of Navarre (NUP/UPNA), and Bruce Drinkwater, lecturer at the University of Bristol (United Kingdom), have for the first time achieved the acoustic levitation of a whole range of objects independently.
Proton scattering reveals the secrets of strongly-correlated proton-neutron pairs in atomic nuclei
An international research collaboration including Osaka University has reported the first experimental evidence that the strongly correlated proton-neutron pairs found in an atomic depend on nuclear structure.
Computer hardware designed for 3D games could hold the key to replicating human brain
Researchers at the University of Sussex have created the fastest and most energy efficient simulation of part of a rat brain using off-the-shelf computer hardware.
Alcoholic beverages are frequently considered migraine triggers
In a European Journal of Neurology study of 2,197 patients who experience migraines, alcoholic beverages were reported as a trigger by 35.6 percent of participants.
Researchers develop a new houseplant that can clean your home's air
Researchers at the University of Washington have genetically modified a common houseplant to remove chloroform and benzene from the air around it.
Aggressive behavior brings emotional pain to the sadist
Sadists derive pleasure or enjoyment from another person's pain, yet new research shows that sadistic behavior ultimately deprives the sadists of happiness.
High sodium intake may contribute to increased heart-disease deaths in China
Nearly a fifth of cardiovascular disease deaths among adults in a northern province of China in 2011 may be attributed to the blood pressure-raising effect of high-sodium diets.
New study reveals 'startling' risk of stroke
Globally, one in four people over age 25 is at risk for stroke during their lifetime, according to a new scientific study.
Twofold overweight risk for five-year-olds given milk cereal drinks in infancy
In five-year-old children, the risk for overweight is almost twice as high if they at 12 months had consumed milk cereal drinks every day, a study in the journal Acta Paediatrica shows.
The oldest large-sized predatory dinosaur comes from the Italian Alps
Early Jurassic predatory dinosaurs are very rare, and mostly small in size.
E-bandage generates electricity, speeds wound healing in rats
Skin has a remarkable ability to heal itself. But in some cases, wounds heal very slowly or not at all, putting a person at risk for chronic pain, infection and scarring.
Loss of forest intactness increases extinction risk in birds
Fragmentation within intact forests has a higher impact on vertebrate biodiversity than equivalent losses in already degraded landscapes, but the relationship between forest 'intactness' and extinction risk has not been quantified.
Food insecurity linked with binge-eating disorder and obesity
Food insecurity -- difficulty affording enough food to support regular, balanced meals -- was associated with increased likelihoods of binge-eating disorder and obesity in a recent International Journal of Eating Disorders study.
Scientists discover over 450 fossilized millipedes in 100-million-year-old amber
Over 450 millipedes, fossilized in 100-million-year-old Burmese amber, were recently discovered by a research team from the Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig - Leibniz Institute for Animal Biodiversity.
New composite advances lignin as a renewable 3D printing material
Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have created a recipe for a renewable 3D printing feedstock that could spur a profitable new use for an intractable biorefinery byproduct: lignin.
Singapore researchers develop gold-complexed ferrocenyl phosphines as potent antimalarials
A team of researchers from the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) have developed novel ferrocene-based molecules that impair the malaria parasite's metabolic function leading to parasite death.
NASA finds extreme rainfall in Tropical Cyclone Kenanga
NASA found very cold cloud top temperatures within the Southern Indian Ocean's Tropical Cyclone Kenanga that indicate powerful thunderstorms reaching high into the troposphere.
Scientists synthesize molecule capable of eliminating hepatitis C virus
The compound called GA-Hecate also acts on bacteria, fungi and cancer cells and will be tested against Zika and yellow fever viruses.
Stanford team locates nearly all US solar panels in a billion images with machine learning
Stanford researchers have identified the GPS locations and sizes of almost all US solar power installations from a billion images.
From a plant sugar to toxic hydrogen sulfide
In a doctoral research project conducted at the Department of Biology, the degradation of the dietary sugar sulfoquinovose by anaerobic bacteria to toxic hydrogen sulfide was described for the first time -- increased production of hydrogen sulfide in the human intestinal system has been associated with inflammatory bowel disease and colon cancer.
Groups of pilot whales have their own dialects
A new study from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has found that short-finned pilot whales living off the coast of Hawai'i have their own sorts of vocal dialects, a discovery that may help researchers understand the whales' complex social structure.
Prisoners who are sanctioned more are more likely to re-offend
A new longitudinal study that sought to determine the effect of these sanctions on recidivism found that prisoners who had greater exposure to formal sanctions were more likely to re-offend 1, 2, and 3 years after release; formal sanctions involve punishment for misconduct after a rules infraction board finds an inmate guilty.
Powder could help cut CO2 emissions
Scientists at the University of Waterloo have created a powder that can capture CO2 from factories and power plants.
Emerging trends in advanced nano-materials based electrochemical geno-sensors
Advanced nanomaterials indubitably represent one of the most propitious classes of new materials due to their intriguing optical, electronic and redox properties.
Scientists to give artificial intelligence human hearing
Russian scientists have come closer to creating a digital system to process speech in real-life sound environment, for example, when several people talk simultaneously during a conversation.
Birthweight and early pregnancy body mass index may risk pregnancy complications
Women who were born with a low birthweight are at increased risk of pregnancy complications, according to a new Obesity study.
Sleeping in contact lenses puts you at risk of dangerous infection
A warning from emergency physicians supported by CDC case studies that show sleeping in contact lenses can lead to serious health problems.
UNH researchers find lasting impact of concussions on young adults
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have found that young adults who experienced repetitive mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), or concussions, can experience persistent cognitive changes as well as altered brain activity.
Loss of intertidal ecosystem exposes coastal communities
Artificial intelligence and extensive satellite imagery have allowed researchers to map the world's intertidal zones for the first time, revealing a significant loss of the crucial ecosystem.
Study finds gaba cells help fight alcoholism
Scientists of the Higher School of Economics, Indiana University, and École normale supérieure clarified how alcohol influences the dopamine and inhibitory cells in the midbrain that are involved in the reward system and the formation of dependency on addictive drugs.
New research suggests forests, like humans, require a balanced diet
The world's forests are on a fast food diet of carbon dioxide, which is currently causing them to grow faster.
Can Facebook advertising prevent cancer?
Results from Colorado Cancer Screening Program study shows that text and social media can help to reach hard-to-reach populations with information about colorectal cancer screening
Study highlights the effects of social class microaggressions on individuals
Although overt expressions of hostility are considered to be ill-mannered and undesirable behaviors, covert discrimination and degradation continue to be directed at individuals, communicating that recipients are less than dominant culture individuals, that they do not belong, and that their realities are invalid.
DNA 'webs' aid ovarian cancer metastasis, study reveals
Researchers from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have discovered that ovarian cancer cells spread, or metastasize, to new tissue after being caught in DNA 'webs' extruded by immune cells.
Machine learning methods in precision medicine targeting epigenetics diseases
The huge amounts of epigenetic data coming from biological experiments and clinic, machine learning can help in detecting epigenetic features in genome, finding correlations between phenotypes and modifications in histone or genes, accelerating the screen of lead compounds targeting epigenetics diseases and many other aspects around the study on epigenetics, which consequently realizes the hope of precision medicine.
RNA proofreading mistakes drive group of autoimmune diseases
Study shows how mistakes in an RNA proofreading system can generate out-of-control interferon signaling, setting off development of autoimmune disease.
Intellectual curiosity and confidence help children take on math and reading
Children's personalities may influence how they perform in math and reading, according to a study by psychology researchers at The University of Texas at Austin.
Bacterial protein could help find materials for your next smartphone
A newly discovered protein could help detect, target, and collect lanthanides, rare-earth metals used in smartphones, from the environment.
UNH research finds recreationists support offshore wind energy development
From boat enthusiasts to anglers, researchers at the University of New Hampshire have found surprisingly widespread support for offshore wind energy development (OWD) among outdoor recreationists.
Restoring canals shown as cost-efficient way to reverse wetland loss
LSU Boyd Professor of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences R. Eugene Turner has determined a cost-effective way to prevent coastal erosion and protect Louisiana's wetlands.
Anticancer vaccines gain new lease of life with personalisation techniques
Anticancer vaccines have gained a new lease of life with techniques to personalise them to individual patients.
The role of calcium handling mechanisms in reperfusion injury
Cardiovascular diseases, such as stroke and myocardial infarction (MI) remain the major cause of death and disability worldwide.The overall goal of this review is to describe the different pathways that lead to I/R injury via Ca2+ overload, focus on recent discoveries and highlight prospects for therapeutic strategies for clinical benefit.
Edging closer to personalized medicine for patients with irregular heartbeat
Biomedical engineer Jon Silva led an international team that determined which patients would benefit the most from a commonly used drug treatment.
New study demonstrates effectiveness and safety of vaginal estrogen
Despite its proven effectiveness in treating the genital symptoms of menopause, low-dose vaginal estrogen therapy remains underused largely because of misperceptions regarding its safety.
Changing climate, longer growing seasons complicate outlook for coniferous forests
For decades, ecologists have differed over a longstanding mystery: Will a longer, climate-induced growing season ultimately help coniferous forests to grow or hurt them?
Climate change affects breeding birds
The breeding seasons of wild house finches are shifting due to climate change, a Washington State University researcher has found.
Scientists program proteins to pair exactly
Proteins designed in the lab can now zip together in much the same way that DNA molecules zip up to form a double helix.
X chromosome: how genetics becomes egalitarian
In cell biology, men and women are unequal: men have an X chromosome, while women have two.
Holey graphene as Holy Grail alternative to silicon chips
Novel spintronics applications could stem from introducing holes into graphene to form triangular antidot lattices, granting the material new magnetic properties.
Mind-body exercises may improve cognitive function as adults age
Mind-body exercises -- especially tai chi and dance mind-body exercise -- are beneficial for improving global cognition, cognitive flexibility, working memory, verbal fluency, and learning in older adults.
Do personality traits of compulsive users of social media overlap with problem drinking?
A study published in the Australian Journal of Psychology found certain similarities and differences in personality traits when comparing compulsive use of social media with problematic or risky alcohol use.
How does your garden grow in space?
Understanding how plants respond to microgravity is critical to providing fresh food during space exploration initiatives.
Tau protein suppresses neural activity in mouse models of Alzheimer's disease
A study from Massachusetts General Hospital investigators sheds new light on how the hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease -- amyloid-beta plaques and neurofibrillary tangles containing the protein tau -- produce their damaging effects in the brain.
Planetary astronomers identify cycle of spectacular disturbances at Jupiter's equator
New research finds pattern of unique events at Jupiter's equator.
Some prehistoric horses were homebodies
A strontium analysis of fossilized horse teeth from Florida found that the animals did not travel far from where they were born.
Climate change is putting wildlife at risk in the world's oldest lake
Climate change and human disturbance are putting wildlife in the world's oldest and deepest lake at risk, according to a new study by the University of Nottingham and University College London.
Rabbit gene helps houseplant detoxify indoor air
Our homes are supposed to be safe havens from the outside world.
Plastic waste disintegrates into nanoparticles, study finds
There is a considerable risk that plastic waste in the environment releases nano-sized particles known as nanoplastics, according to a new study from Lund University.
Peanuts that do more with less water
Researchers are studying peanut varieties to find a 'water conservation' trait.
Diabetes drug could be used to treat common heart failure syndrome, study suggests
Researchers at the University of Arizona have discovered that metformin, a drug commonly used to treat type 2 diabetes, might also be used to treat a common heart failure syndrome that is predicted to affect over 8 percent of people ages 65 or older by the year 2020.
Drugs of abuse: Identifying the addiction circuit
What happens in the brain of a compulsive drug user?
Marmoset monkeys expect the melody's closing tone
In speech and music, words and notes depend on each other.
Sapphires and rubies in the sky
Researchers at the Universities of Zurich and Cambridge have discovered a new, exotic class of planets outside our solar system.
Hepatitis: Liver failure attributable to compromised blood supply
In severe cases, a viral hepatitis infection can result in liver failure.
Scientists use magnetic defects to achieve electromagnetic wave breakthrough
In a new study, Argonne scientists have created small regions of magnetic defects.
The potential of nanomaterials to activate the body's antitumor immune response investigated
Immunity plays an immense role in the body's fight against cancer.
Study on low noise, high-performance transistors may bring innovations in electronics
A research study on low noise and high-performance transistors led by Suprem Das, Kansas State University assistant professor of industrial and manufacturing systems engineering, has been published by Physical Review Applied.
Hardware-software co-design approach could make neural networks less power hungry
Engineers have developed a neuroinspired hardware-software co-design approach that could make neural network training more energy-efficient and faster.
Prospect. & struct. insight, binding plant-deriv. molecule of leea indica; inhibitor bace-1
Unveiled the lupeol as a potent BACE1 inhibitor from a manually curated dataset of Leea indica molecules, which may provide a new dimension of designing novel BACE1 inhibitors for AD therapy.
Performance enhancer: Sports compression stockings a winning advantage
A scientist from James Cook University in Australia has found sports compression stockings are so effective they might be considered performance enhancers for soccer players.
Newly discovered adolescent star seen undergoing 'growth spurt'
Astronomers have discovered a young star undergoing a rare growth spurt -- giving a fascinating glimpse into the development of these distant stellar objects.

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#532 A Class Conversation
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