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Science Current Events and Science News | Brightsurf | January 08, 2019


The first case of a Portuguese beetle living exclusively in groundwater
A diving beetle demonstrating various adaptations to the life underground, including depigmentation and evolutionary loss of eyes, was discovered in the cave Soprador do Carvalho, Portugal.
Cancer mortality milestone: 25 years of continuous decline
A steady, 25-year decline has resulted in a 27 percent drop in the overall cancer death rate in the United States, translating to approximately 2.6 million fewer cancer deaths between 1991 and 2016.
Childhood stress of mice affects their offspring behavior
Russian neuroscientists discovered that the stress experienced by mice during their first weeks of life, affects not only them but also their offspring.
Maternal programming during pregnancy induces long-term postpartum obesity
In a new study using a mouse model, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine suggest that long-term postpartum weight gain may be due not so much to retained fat as to reprogramming of maternal energy metabolism.
Stanford researchers create a wireless, battery-free, biodegradable blood flow sensor
Transforming super-sensitive touch sensors, Stanford engineers and medical researchers build a way to wirelessly monitor blood flow after surgery.
Mosquito-specific protein may lead to safer insecticides
A protein required for development of mosquito eggs may provide a mosquito-selective target for insecticide development, according to a new study publishing on Jan.
Some Facebook users perceive worsening physical health
Facebook use linked to perceptions of worsening physical health, new research from the University of Surrey, reports.
Hospital SIESTA project reduces inpatient sleep interruptions
Hospitals often prioritize patient testing and treatment over the restorative virtues of patient sleep.
Medical marketing has skyrocketed in the past two decades, while oversight remains limited
In an article recently published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA), researchers from The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice reviewed medical marketing (the marketing of prescription drugs, disease awareness, laboratory tests and health services to consumers and professionals) over a 20-year period from 1997 through 2016 and found that while it had increased dramatically from about $17.7 billion to $29.9 billion, regulation has not.
Holographic color printing for optical security
Researchers from the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) have invented a new type of anti-counterfeiting device that can be useful for counterfeit deterrence of important documents such as identity cards, passports and banknotes.
How herpesviruses shape the immune system
DZIF scientists at the Helmholtz Zentrum München have developed an analytic method that can very precisely detect viral infections using immune responses.
Power cut: UTokyo engineers create a wireless charger you can easily cut to shape
Researchers from the University of Tokyo developed a new system to charge electronic devices such as smartphones and smartwatches wirelessly.
Myth of Mona Lisa's magical gaze debunked
In science, the ''Mona Lisa Effect'' refers to the impression that the eyes of the person portrayed in an image seem to follow the viewer as they move in front of the picture.
UIC study details how today's high school cliques compare to yesterday's
Changing demographics, cultural influences and the increasing number of college-bound youth have led to the emergence of new peer groups and perceptions among adolescents.
'Missing' galactic mergers come to light with new technique
Researchers have developed a new technique for finding galaxy mergers -- events in which two galaxies join together in sometimes-dramatic bursts of light.
Roaming cats prey on their owners' minds
Many cat owners worry about their pets wandering the streets, but perceive cats hunting mice and birds to be unavoidable instinct, researchers at the University of Exeter have found.
Study shows algae thrive under Greenland sea ice
Microscopic marine plants flourish beneath the ice that covers the Greenland Sea, according to a new study in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans.
How common pain relievers may promote Clostridium difficile infections
Clostridium difficile causes the most common and most dangerous hospital-born infections in the United States and around the world.
Scientists confirm that chromosomes are formed by stacked layers
A new study based on electron microscopy techniques at low temperatures demonstrates that, during mitosis, chromosome DNA is packed in stacked layers of chromatin.
Scientists provide new insight on how gene expression is controlled
Researchers have provided new insight on the mechanism underlying the control of gene expression in all living organisms, according to a study published today in eLife.
Environmental sustainability should be inherent to dietary guidance
It is the position of the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior (SNEB) that environmental sustainability should be inherent to dietary guidance, whether working with individuals or groups about their dietary choices or in setting national dietary guidance.
Post-traumatic stress disorder: alleviating flashbacks by playing Tetris
A behavioural intervention procedure including the computer game Tetris could help people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to alleviate involuntarily recurring visual memories of traumatic experiences.
Drinking water guidelines in the US vary widely from state to state
In response to the growing problem of drinking water contaminated with per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a new analysis shows that many states are establishing their own guideline levels for two types of PFAS--PFOA and PFOS--that differ from federal guidelines.
Researchers overcome hurdle in CRISPR gene editing for muscular dystrophy
The gene editing technique known as CRISPR is a revolutionary approach to treating inherited diseases.
New CRISPR-based technology developed to control pests with precision-guided genetics
Using the CRISPR gene editing tool, researchers have developed a new way to control and suppress populations of insects, potentially including those that ravage agricultural crops and transmit deadly diseases.
Dental flossing and other behaviors linked with higher levels of PFAS in the body
A new study suggests certain types of consumer behaviors, including flossing with Oral-B Glide dental floss, contribute to elevated levels in the body of toxic PFAS chemicals.
Cambrian integrative stratigraphy and timescale of China
The review paper briefly summarizes the historical narrative of the present international chronostratigraphic framework of the Cambrian System and recent advances and problems of the undefined Cambrian stage GSSPs, in particular the authors challenge the global correlation of the GSSP for the Cambrian base, in addition to Cambrian chemostratigraphy and geochronology.
Researchers uncover new mechanism of gene regulation involved in tumor progression
Researchers at the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) in Barcelona, Spain, have discovered a new mechanism controlling the expression of a set of genes important for cell proliferation and tumor progression.
Physics can show us the inside of tumors
A team of physicists from the CNRS and Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 has demonstrated the potential, for oncology, of an imaging technique based only on the physical properties of tumors.
RCSI researchers develop new tuberculosis treatment
Led by researchers at RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland), a team of researchers has developed a new treatment for tuberculosis (TB).
Discovered: Different brain areas linked to smoking and drinking
Academics at the University of Warwick have found that low functional connectivity of the lateral orbitofrontal cortex that is associated with the tendency to smoke is associated with increased impulsiveness -- which may contribute to the tendency to smoke.
Space microbes aren't so alien after all
A new Northwestern University study has found that -- despite its seemingly harsh conditions -- the ISS is not causing bacteria to mutate into dangerous, antibiotic-resistant superbugs.
Technique boosts omega 3 fatty acid levels in brain 100 fold
Researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago report that adding a lysophospholipid form of EPA (LPC-EPA) to the diet can increase levels of EPA in the brain 100-fold in mice.
Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, January 2019
ORNL story tips: Automated pellet press speeds production of Pu-238 to fuel NASA's deep space exploration; new memory cell circuit design may boost storage with less energy in exascale, quantum computing; free app eases installation, repair of HVAC systems that use low GWP refrigerants; ORNL microscopy analyzes magnesium as lower-cost catalyst alternative in fuel cells for vehicles; neutrons investigate bizarre magnetic behavior as possible quantum spin liquid rarely found in 3D material.
High-fat diets appear bad for blood pressure in younger males and females
There's more evidence that a high-fat diet is bad for both younger males and females, but exactly how it's harmful may differ between the sexes, scientists report.
Antibiotic resistance in the environment linked to fecal pollution
A study shows that 'crAssphage', a virus specific to bacteria in human feces, is highly correlated to the abundance of antibiotic resistance genes in environmental samples.
NREL details great potential for floating PV systems
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) researchers estimate that installing floating solar photovoltaics on the more than 24,000 man-made US reservoirs could generate about 10 percent of the nation's annual electricity production.
Defective immune cells in the brain cause Alzheimer's disease
Mutations of the TREM2 gene can significantly increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease.
Finding an elusive mutation that turns altruism into selfish behavior among honeybees
For the first time, a group led by Denise Aumer and Eckart Stolle, at the Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg's Institute of Biology, have finally found the root cause responsible for thelytoky syndrome--which dramatically turns bees from altruistic helpers to selfish mercenaries.
Do you recognize this image?
Allergy sufferers may use antihistamines to reduce symptoms, but new research reveals that better long-term memory might be possible with pro-histamine treatment.
High society wants its fine foods to also be ethical
Truffles and caviar have traditionally been delicacies of the upper class, but a new study by UBC sociology professor Emily Huddart Kennedy and colleagues from the University of Toronto finds that free-range and fair-trade foods are becoming increasingly important among the elite.
UMass Amherst Researchers offer new physics rule to find mechanical strain
Addressing a physics problem that dates back to Galileo, three University of Massachusetts Amherst researchers this week propose a new approach to the theory of how thin sheets can be forced to conform to 'geometrically incompatible' shapes -- think gift-wrapping a basketball -- that relies on weaving together two fundamental ideas of geometry and mechanics that were long thought to be irreconcilable.
Melanoma: dabrafenib and trametinib have added benefit
This combination showed advantages in survival and recurrence. An added benefit was not proven for another combination used in advanced disease.
BRCA Exchange aggregates data on thousands of BRCA variants to understand cancer risk
A global resource that includes data on thousands of inherited variants in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes is available to the public.
Safer mining practices reduce hazardous exposures in small-scale mining in Nigeria
Doctors Without Borders and Occupational Knowledge International are reporting on a successful pilot project demonstrating significant gains in reducing severe lead poisoning in mining communities in Nigeria.
Obesity surgery leads to emergence of new microbial strains in the human fecal community
Using a unique bioinformatics technique developed at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, UAB researchers have detected the emergence of new strains of microbes in the human fecal microbiota after obesity surgery.
Experts warn against mega-dams in lowland tropical forests
Mega-dams should not be built in lowland tropical forest regions due to the threat they pose to biodiversity and ecosystems, according to experts at the University of Stirling.
Found in fruit, rutin helps combat the effects of jararaca viper venom
A study conducted in Brazil showed protective effects of flavonoid rutin against bleeding and inflammation due to snakebite.
New anti-Wolbachia drug with potential to treat onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis
Researchers from LSTM and the University of Liverpool have successfully optimised a hit from a whole cell screening of a 10000-compound library to deliver the first novel fully synthetic and rationally designed anti-Wolbachia drug, AWZ1066S, which could potentially be used to treat onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis (LF).
Variable venom -- why are some snakes deadlier than others?
By comparing records of venom potency and quantity for over 100 venomous snake species, researchers have discoverd that the potency of a snake's venom depends on what it eats.
Programming light on a chip
Researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have developed a new integrated photonics platform that can store light and electrically control its frequency (or color) in an integrated circuit.
Essential nutrient may help fight Alzheimer's across generations
In a new study, researchers at the Biodesign Institute explore a safe and simple treatment for one of the most devastating and perplexing afflictions: Alzheimer's disease (AD).
Pitt, NETL engineers identify improved membranes to capture CO2 at coal-fired power plants
A computational modeling method developed at the University of Pittsburgh and NETL may help to fast-track the identification and design of new carbon capture and storage materials for use by the nation's coal-fired power plants that would provide a more economical solution than current methods, with a predicted cost of less than $50 per ton of carbon dioxide (CO2) removed.
Assessments could reduce end-of-life hospital stays for seniors
Better use of standard assessment tools could help long-term care homes identify which new residents are at risk of hospitalization or death in the first 90 days of admission.
Trees change inside as drought persists
James Cook University scientists in Australia have found that trees change their anatomy in response to prolonged drought.
Nature's magnifying glass reveals unexpected intermediate mass exoplanets
Astronomers have found a new exoplanet that could alter the standing theory of planet formation.
Fighting human disease with birth control ... for mosquitoes
A newly discovered protein that is crucial for egg production in mosquitoes opens a possibility for 'mosquito birth control.' The approach might offer a way to reduce mosquito populations in areas of human disease transmission without harming beneficial insects such as honey bees.
Future of planet-cooling tech: Study creates roadmap for geoengineering research
A new study, ''Mission-Driven Research for Stratospheric Aerosol Geoengineering,'' published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, sets out to establish a roadmap for responsible exploration of geoengineering.
Study: Immigrant kids deliberately build STEM skills
US immigrant children study more math and science in high school and college, which leads to their greater presence in STEM careers, according to new findings from scholars at Duke University and Stanford University.
Flu vaccine is safe for hospitalized patients
Hospitalized patients who received the flu vaccine had no increased risk of outpatient visits or hospital readmission within seven days of discharge, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published today in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
How locusts switch colours in different settings
Scientists have discovered how locusts change their body colour to adapt to different environments, according to new research published in eLife.
New simulation technology to discover causes of congestion at airports in a few minutes
Waseda University and Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. developed a new technology that automatically analyzes the factors leading to congestion based on the results of human behavior simulations.
Flies release neuronal brakes to fly longer
How does the insect brain coordinate the timing for such long flight bouts?
Saving sight: Using AI to diagnose diabetic eye disease
Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of vision loss in adults, with 191 million people set to be affected by 2030.
Giant singers from neighboring oceans share song parts over time
Singing humpback whales from different ocean basins seem to be picking up musical ideas from afar, and incorporating these new phrases and themes into the latest song, according to a newly published study in Royal Society Open Science that's helping scientists better understand how whales learn and change their musical compositions.
Pitt bioengineers look deeper into how electrical stimulation activates neurons
Electrical stimulation of the brain is common practice in neuroscience research and is an increasingly common and effective clinical therapy for a variety of neurological disorders.
New study looks at costs and benefits of paying for ecosystem services
People who live within a particular ecosystem can have great influence on its ecology, particularly if they are motivated by economic forces.
Fighting another virus? Blame your parents
Genetics may play a bigger role in the body's disease-fighting ability than scientists previously thought, according to the results from a new study of twins in Queensland, Australia.
In VR boys learn best when the teacher is a drone -- girls lean better from virtual Marie
The teacher is just as important in a virtual learning environment as in a normal classroom, but a new study shows that boys and girls differ greatly in terms of how they learn best: Boys learn best when their virtual teacher comes in the form of a drone, while girls get more knowledge from VR-teaching when they are taught by a young, female researcher-type named Marie.
Pyronaridine-artesunate for treating uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria
Researchers from LSTM have looked at the efficacy of using a novel artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT), pyronaridine-artesunate, to treat malaria in areas where resistance to other ACTs is becoming a problem.
Nanophysicists developed a high-performance organic phototransistor
Converting light into electrical signals is essential for a number of future applications including imaging, optical communication and biomedical sensing.
Study sheds light on why checkpoint blockade therapy succeeds or fails
A new study led by investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital in collaboration with colleagues at the Broad Institute examines the effects of checkpoint blockade therapies on different populations of T cells, a key class of immune cells in tumors.
Ketogenic supplements delay seizures without dietary restrictions
Researchers have discovered supplementing a normal, carbohydrate-rich diet with specific ketogenic agents may significantly delay tonic-clonic seizures caused by exposure to high levels of oxygen.
Researchers study bacterial immunity to understand infectious disease
Patients with cystic fibrosis are often infected by pseudomonas aeruginosa, a bacterium that infects the lungs and prevents breathing, often causing death.
Hormone therapy may be best defense against knee osteoarthritis
There is an ongoing debate regarding the relationship between knee osteoarthritis and hormone therapy (HT), with small-scale studies providing mixed results.
Medical scanner helps to unlock the mysteries of a giant prehistoric marine reptile
A nearly meter-long skull of a giant fossil marine ichthyosaur found in a farmer's field more than 60 years ago has been studied for the first time.
Brain plasticity restored in adult mice through targeting specific nerve cell connections
Research in mice finds a new molecular mechanism that is essential for maturation of brain function and may be used to restore plasticity in aged brains.
States take the lead in creating more health protective drinking water guidelines
A new analysis shows variation in the way state and federal regulators manage PFAS contaminants in drinking water, with some states adopting guideline levels that are more health protective than the non-enforceable levels set by the U.S.
Exposure to cannabis and stress in adolescence can lead to anxiety disorders in adulthood
A new study conducted on laboratory animals shows that exposure to cannabis and stress during adolescence may lead to long-term anxiety disorders characterized by the presence of pathological fear.
Having more than one chronic disease amplifies costs of diseases, study finds
Having two or more non-communicable diseases (multimorbidity) costs the country more than the sum of those individual diseases would cost, according to a new study published this week in PLOS Medicine by Tony Blakely from the University of Otago, New Zealand, and colleagues.
New catalysts for better fuel cells
Researchers in Korea have fabricated nano-sized catalysts that could improve the performance and production of clean energy fuel cells.
Genetics may influence the effects of vitamin E on cancer risk
A new study led by researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital investigated whether taking vitamin E supplements could affect risk of cancer and found that genetic variations in the gene COMT influenced whether vitamin E decreased or increased risk of developing cancer during and after the study periods.
Ancient gene duplication gave grasses multiple ways to wait out winter
New research shows how grasses count the short days of winter to prepare for flowering.
New insights into a rare type of cancer open novel avenues of study
Undifferentiated uterine sarcoma is a very rare but extremely aggressive cancer type.
Scientists discover a process that stabilizes fusion plasmas
Feature describes newly discovered stabilizing effect of underappreciated 1983 finding that variations in plasma temperature can influence the growth of magnetic islands that lead to disruption of fusion plasmas.
The new green alternative for drug production
For the production of drugs, pesticides and smartphone displays, most of the processes are cost-intensive and generate a large amount of waste.
Insomnia has many faces
Researchers at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience revealed that there are five types of insomnia.
Family Medicine and Community Health Journal volume six, issue number four publishes
Family Medicine and Community Health Journal volume six, issue number four publishes.
Bee mite arrival in Hawaii causes pathogen changes in honeybee predators
A team led by entomologists at the University of California, Riverside, performed a study on the Big Island and found viruses associated with the varroa mite, a parasite of honeybees, have spilled over into the western yellowjacket, a honeybee predator and honey raider.
UM researchers: Leafcutter ants emit as much N2O as wastewater treatment tanks
Tropical forests are one of the largest natural sources of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide (N2O), and a tiny insect may play a big role in how those emissions are spread out across the landscape.
Medical marketing increased over past 2 decades
The amount of money spent on medical marketing has increased substantially in the United States over the last two decades.

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