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Science Current Events and Science News | Brightsurf | January 28, 2019


Speed of light: Toward a future quantum internet
University of Toronto Engineering researchers have demonstrated proof-of-principle for a device that could serve as the backbone of a future quantum Internet.
How to create health care centaurs, half doctors and half managers
If hospital doctors around the world often struggle to become those health centaurs, half professionals and half managers, that modern healthcare organizations need, the main responsibility is not their resistance to change, but the lack of effective support from the organization, according to a study by Marco Sartirana (CERGAS, Bocconi University), Graeme Currie (Warwick Business School), and Mirko Noordegraaf (Utrecht School of Governance)
Not all saturated fats are equal when it comes to heart health
The type of saturated fats we eat can affect our risk of a heart attack, according to a study published in the International Journal of Cardiology.
Patients with primary care have better quality health and experience
A new study by investigators at Brigham and Women's Hospital examines the impact of having first-contact, comprehensive, coordinated and continuous care.
Mimicking nature for programmable and adaptive synthetic materials
In a recently published work in Nature Communications on Jan 25, 2019, scientists from the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Science and Research (JNCASR) and the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine (inStem) have successfully created a minimalistic synthetic mimic of aforementioned cytoskeletal networks with structural and temporal programming.
Space technology predicts droughts several months in advance
Scientists from The Australian National University (ANU) have used new space technology to predict droughts and increased bushfire risk up to five months in advance.
The hidden treasure of digital piracy? Can boost bottom line for manufacturers, retailers
Research analysis finds that a moderate level of piracy can have a positive impact on the bottom line for both the manufacturer and the retailer -- and not at the expense of consumers.
Rutgers researchers highlight need for more smoking cessation programs in state prisons
Inmates want to quit smoking but don't have access to smoking cessation programs in state prisons, increasing the risk - especially among black male inmates -- of cancer, heart disease, stroke and other smoking-related diseases, according to Rutgers researchers.
Multichannel bioreactor for lung regeneration analysis
New strides are being made toward the ex vivo growth of human lungs.
Train the brain to form good habits through repetition
You can hack your brain to form good habits -- like going to the gym and eating healthily -- simply by repeating actions until they stick, according to new psychological research involving the University of Warwick.
Stress and dream sleep are linked to pathways of brain cell death and survival
The first and most distinct consequence of daily mild stress is an increase in rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep, a new study in the journal PNAS reports.
Common test for mental health understanding is biased
The National Institute for Mental Health recommends a test, called the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Task (RMET), for assessing a person's mental health understanding--that is a patient's ability to understanding what other people are thinking and feeling.
Columbia study finds alcohol, space, and time influence young people's sexual encounters
An under-addressed issue in global health is the interaction between alcohol use and sexual encounters among adolescents especially in sub-Saharan Africa.
In test of wisdom, new research favors Yoda over Spock
A person's ability to reason wisely about a challenging situation may improve when they also experience diverse yet balanced emotions, say researchers from the University of Waterloo.
The Lancet: Major progress against hepatitis C by 2030 is possible, but will need vast improvements in screening, prevention and treatment
A comprehensive package of prevention, screening, and treatment interventions could avert 15.1 million new hepatitis C infections and 1.5 million cirrhosis and liver cancer deaths globally by 2030 -- equal to an 80 percent reduction in incidence and a 60 percent reduction in deaths compared with 2015, according to the first study to model hepatitis C interventions globally published in The Lancet.
Quantifying how much quantum information can be eavesdropped
Summary The most basic type of quantum information processing is quantum entanglement.
New family of fungi threatens a UNESCO-listed 8-century-old cathedral in Portugal
A peculiar fungus was retrieved from an artwork in the Old Cathedral of Coimbra, Portugal during a multi-disciplinary scientific survey.
Quality, experience of outpatient care in US for adults with or without primary care
Adults who have primary care receive similar amounts of care as adults who don't, but they receive more high-value care, similar low-value care, and report better access and patient experiences.
Decision-making tool fails to ease anxiety for families of life-support patients
Using a computer-based decision guide to plan treatment for a loved one on life support can help families feel less conflicted, but did not ease symptoms of depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress, according to new research led by Duke Health.
The energy implications of organic radical polymers
Texas A&M University professor Dr. Jodie L. Lutkenhaus is one step closer to realizing her goal of creating a battery made entirely of polymers, which has the potential to charge and discharge much faster than traditional batteries.
Study examines long-term opioid use in patients with severe osteoarthritis
New research published in Arthritis & Rheumatology, an official journal of the American College of Rheumatology, reveals that prescription opioids are commonly used long-term to treat pain in older patients with severe osteoarthritis.
Does intensive blood pressure control reduce the risk of dementia?
Alzheimer's disease and related dementias are projected to affect 115 million people worldwide by 2050.
Facebook memes during 2016 presidential election differ from gender stereotypes
Facebook political memes of Donald Trump in the 2016 election were more likely to focus on his hairstyle and facial expressions, while those of Hillary Clinton were more likely to center on the email scandal and her relationships -- a contrast to historical gender stereotypes in politics, a Baylor University study has found.
Aerosol-assisted biosynthesis strategy enables functional bulk nanocomposites
researchers led by Professor YU Shu-Hong from the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) developed a general and scalable biosynthesis strategy, which involves simultaneous growth of cellulose nanofibrils through microbial fermentation and co-deposition of various kinds of nanoscale building blocks (NBBs) through aerosol feeding (intermittent spray of liquid nutrients and NBBs suspension) on solid culture substrates.
Cycling and treadmill workstations may be 'healthier' than standing options
Cycling and treadmill workstations may be 'healthier' than standing versions, because their use seems to be associated with greater positive physiological changes in the body, finds a systematic review of the available evidence, published online in Occupational & Environmental Medicine.
Personalized decision aid did not help surrogates and clinicians agree on treatment goals for critically ill patients
A personalized web-based decision aid did not help surrogate decision makers and clinicians agree on treatment goals for patients on life support for longer than average.
Opioid injecting linked to substantial rise in bacterial heart infections
A study of people who inject drugs found a significant increase in the risk of infective endocarditis, a serious infection of the lining of the heart, possibly linked to increasing use of the opioid hydromorphone.
Addressing dietary inequities in Canada
To address the root causes of poor diets, improve nutrition and reduce dietary inequities in Canada requires a broad approach, combining nutrition and social policies, argues an analysis in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).
Making 'sense' of the 'cart before the horse' in mammalian cells.
Researchers show that antisense RNA can mediated the formation of fusion genes.
Want to squelch fake news? Let the readers take charge
A new study co-authored by an MIT professor shows that crowdsourced judgments about the quality of news sources may effectively marginalize false news stories and other kinds of online misinformation.
Whopping big viruses prey on human gut bacteria
Sequencing gut microbiomes typically turns up new microbes and other denizens of the intestinal tract, including viruses or phages that prey on these microbes.
Study finds freestanding EDs charge more than urgent care centers
Freestanding emergency departments (FSEDs) may charge more than urgent care centers (UCCs) to provide care for fewer patients who have similar characteristics and conditions, according to a study released in the Journal of Emergency Medicine.
Cassava high in iron and zinc could improve diets and health in west Africa
A new study led by Danforth Center principal investigator Nigel Taylor and research scientist Narayanan Narayanan, shows that field-grown cassava plants overexpressing a combination of plant genes can accumulate significantly higher concentrations of iron and zinc.
How do fish & birds hang together? Researchers find the answer is a wake with purp
Fish and birds are able to move in groups, without separating or colliding, due to a newly discovered dynamic: the followers interact with the wake left behind by the leaders.
Defending against cyberattacks by giving attackers 'false hope'
'The quarantine is a decoy that behaves very similar to the real compromised target to keep the attacker assuming that the attack is still succeeding.
NTU and SUTD researchers discover asymmetric chemical reaction with intriguing reaction pathways
Singaporean research teams from NTU and SUTD have developed an asymmetric catalytic reaction, which provides access to synthetically challenging molecular structures and features an unusual reaction pathway.
Study shows flight limitations of earliest feathered dinosaurs
Anchiornis, one of the earliest feathered dinosaurs ever discovered, was found to have the ability to fly.
Johns Hopkins faculty data highlight how gender disparities in salary add up over a lifetime
Around the country, women physician researchers make 7 to 8 percent less per year than men.
Plasmonic pioneers fire away in fight over light
Rice University researchers make their case for photoluminescence as the source of light emitted by plasmonic metal nanoparticles.
What you eat could impact your brain and memory
High levels of a satiety hormone could decrease a person's likelihood of developing Alzheimer's disease.
Drug compound could be next-generation treatment for aggressive form of leukemia
Purdue University researchers are developing a series of drug compounds that have shown promise in treating acute myeloid leukemia, an aggressive blood cancer that is one of the most lethal cancers.
Better safeguards for sensitive information
Despite being the most advanced quantum technology, secure encryption of information units based on a method called quantum key distribution (QKD) is currently limited by the channel's capacity to send or share secret bits.
Updated treatment guidelines for atrial fibrillation recommend a new class of blood thinners to help prevent stroke
Newer anticoagulants, known as non-vitamin K oral anticoagulants (NOACs), are recommended over the traditional warfarin to prevent stroke in people with atrial fibrillation (AFib).
Sleep loss heightens pain sensitivity, dulls brain's painkilling response
For the first time, scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have identified neural glitches in the sleep-deprived brain that can intensify and prolong the agony of sickness and injury.
Molecular analysis of anchiornis feather gives clues to origin of flight
An international team of researchers has performed molecular analysis on fossil feathers from a small, feathered dinosaur from the Jurassic.
Football instant replays can affect fans' brand attitude
The result of football instant replay video reviews can alter a consumer's perception of a brand, according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.
Peptide papers point to new ways of tackling bacteria
A team of researchers have solved a 20-year riddle of how a crucial step in the biosynthesis of 'last-resort' antibiotics occurs.
New precision medicine procedure fights cancer, advances treatment for pets and humans
In a first-of-its-kind study, scientists at the University of Missouri have helped advance a patient-specific, precision medicine treatment for bone cancer in dogs.
3D virtual slicing of an antique violin reveals ancient varnishing methods
Italian violin-making masters of the distant past developed varnishing techniques that lent their instruments both an excellent musical tone and impressive appearance.
Abandoned fields turn into forests five times faster than thought
Russian scientists studied abandoned arable land in the European part of Russia where temperate forests grow.
Study: Climate change reshaping how heat moves around globe
The Earth's atmosphere and oceans play important roles in moving heat from one part of the world to another, and new research is illuminating how those patterns are changing in the face of climate change.
Brexit could lead to thousands more heart attacks and strokes
Brexit could contribute to thousands more deaths from heart attacks and strokes by 2030, new research has found.
Trial using donated eye tissue offers stem cell surgery hope
People with sight problems could benefit from insights from a surgical trial advance that has been shown to help restore the surface of the eye.
Women twice as likely to suffer from severe depression after a stroke
New research today published in the European Journal of Neurology has found that women are twice as likely to suffer from severe depression following a stroke than men.
Diabetes tops common conditions for frequent geriatric emergency patients
Older adults go to the emergency department more often than other age groups, stay longer, and typically require more resources and medical interventions.
Mechanism explains breast cancer cell plasticity
Researchers have discovered that breast cancer stem cells can shift between cell surface molecules CD44s and CD44v via alternative splicing and consequently alter their ability to survive.
Tiny eye movements affect how we see contrast
Researchers previously believed contrast sensitivity function--the minimum level of black and white that a person needs to detect a pattern--was mainly dictated by the optics of the eye and processing in the brain.
Injection of opioids linked to significant increase in bacterial heart infections
In a new study from ICES, Lawson Health Research Institute and Western University, researchers discovered a significant rise in the risk of infective endocarditis, a serious heart infection, among Ontarians who inject drugs.
Hand hygiene compliance among paramedics 'remarkably low'
Paramedics' compliance with hand hygiene standards seems to be 'remarkably low,' finds an observational study of ambulance staff practice in four countries and published online in Emergency Medicine Journal.
New stage in the development of corrective mechanisms for ischemia and neurodegenerative diseases
In the last decade, there has been a growing body of experimental data confirming that neural networks are the minimal functional unit of the nervous system.
Extreme weather and geopolitics major drivers of increasing 'food shocks'
Global food production is suffering from an increasing number of 'food shocks,' with most caused by extreme weather and geopolitical crises.
Is increased screen time associated with delayed child development?
Many children spend more time on screens than is recommended.
To catch a wave, rocket launches from top of world
On Jan. 4, 2019, at 4:37 a.m. EST the CAPER-2 mission launched from Norway.
Bad cholesterol: 'Slim down' fat-carrying particles to reduce its spread
The enzyme that 'loads up' fat-carrying particles in the liver before they are transported around the body has been identified for the first time by scientists at the University of Warwick.
Manipulating cell networks with light -- New frontiers in optical microscopy
A new optical microscope system called SIFOM (Stimulation and Imaging-based Functional Optical Microscopy) can stimulate multiple cells simultaneously by a holographic method and monitor cell activity after the stimulation using 3D (three-dimensional) measurements based on fluorescence holography.
Birds-of-paradise genomes target sexual selection
Researchers provide genome sequences for 5 birds-of-paradise species: 3 without previous genome data and 2 with improved data.
How ion adsorption affects biological membranes' functions
In a new study published in EPJ E, Izabela Dobrzy?ska from the University of Bia?ystok, Poland, develops a mathematical model describing the electrical properties of biological membranes when ions such as calcium, barium and strontium adsorb onto them at different pH levels.
Groundbreaking new reusable adhesive works underwater
Illinois researchers have introduced a new cutting-edge reusable adhesive that activates in seconds, works underwater, and is strong enough to deadlift 11 pounds: shape memory polymers (SMPs).
A 'compelling call' for pediatricians to discuss firearm safety
The Children's commentators point to the 'extremely dangerous' combination of 'the small curious hands of a young child' and 'the easily accessible and operable, loaded handgun' and suggest that pediatricians who counsel families about safely storing weapons tailor messaging to the weapon type and the family's reason for owning a firearm.
The growing role of precision and personalized medicine for cancer treatment
In a paper published in the September/December 2018 issue of TECHNOLOGY, a group of researchers from Rutgers University Department of Biomedicine Engineering have published a review paper on the transformative potential of precision and personalized medicine (PPM) for cancer treatment.
Bad brakes
A study in human and mouse heart cells identifies a faulty molecular brake in the most common form of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a leading cause of sudden cardiac death in young people and athletes and the most common genetic disease of the heart The faulty brake, found about a quarter of all genetic mutations in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, interferes with the heart muscle's ability to contract and relax,.
High rates of opioid prescriptions may be linked to poor labor force participation
Prescription opioids may be negatively affecting labor force participation and unemployment nationwide, according to findings in a new study co-authored by economists at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and published in The Journal of Human Resources.
Why it's so important to have a primary care doctor
Americans with primary care received significantly more high-value care -- such as recommended cancer screenings and flu shots -- and reported better patient experience and healthcare access, compared to those without primary care, according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.
Extratropical volcanoes influence climate more than assumed
The eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991 had a significant impact on climate, decreasing global mean temperature by about 0.5°C.
Converting Wi-Fi signals to electricity with new 2D materials
Imagine a world where smartphones, laptops, wearables, and other electronics are powered without batteries.
For endangered lemurs, internet fame has a dark side
A ring-tailed lemur named Sefo became an internet sensation in 2016 when a video of him demanding back scratches from two boys was viewed 20 million times in a week.
Lowering blood pressure reduces risk of cognitive impairment
Intensive control of blood pressure in older people significantly reduced the risk of developing mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a precursor of early dementia, in a clinical trial led by scientists at Wake Forest School of Medicine, part of Wake Forest Baptist Health.
Do chemicals make you fat?
January 2019 saw the launch of the EU research project EDCMET, in which scientists from the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) are also involved.
Seven core principles can help substance use treatment systems focus on high-level goals
Building on reviews of existing studies, researchers in Canada have identified the principles that may help improve substance use treatment systems.
Penn engineer's 'metallic wood' has the strength of titanium and the density of water
In a new study published in Nature Scientific Reports, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Engineering and Applied Science, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the University of Cambridge have built a sheet of nickel with nanoscale pores that make it as strong as titanium but four to five times lighter.
Finding second hits to knock out leukemia
Targeted drugs are a cornerstone of personalized medicine, yet come with important drawbacks.
Alzheimer's Association funds two-year extension of the sprint mind study
The Alzheimer's Association has awarded more than $800,000 to support the SPRINT MIND 2.0 Study, which will further investigate the impact of intensive blood pressure treatment on reducing risk of dementia.
Myocarditis: Overshooting the mark
Researchers from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich have shown that a protein called midkine, a member of the class of signaling molecules known as cytokines, is a key driver of inflammation in the heart muscle that can lead to heart failure in patients with myocarditis.
JILA researchers uncover quantum structure of buckyballs
JILA researchers have measured hundreds of individual quantum energy levels in the buckyball, a spherical cage of 60 carbon atoms.
Study uncovers why heart attack triggers arrhythmia in some, explores potential treatment
A team of researchers led by the University of California San Diego has identified a genetic pathway that causes some individuals to develop an abnormal heart rhythm, or arrhythmia, after experiencing a heart attack.
Study: Predicting gentrification in order to prevent it
This first-of-its-kind study offers a new model to identify the U.S. neighborhoods most vulnerable to gentrification.
Humans colonized diverse environments in Southeast Asia and Oceania during the Pleistocene
Investigations into what it means to be human have often focused on attempts to uncover the earliest material traces of 'art', 'language', or technological 'complexity'.
Measuring forces of living cells and microorganisms
Novel technique to measure forces produced by microorganisms as they move without harming them hopes to shine light on how bacteria move.
Blocking pro-fibrosis pathway may improve immunotherapy of metastatic breast cancer
A Massachusetts General Hospital research team has found that the overgrowth of connective called fibrosis may block the effectiveness of immunotherapies against metastatic breast cancer and that treatment with plerixafor can reduce fibrosis and improve response to immunotherapy in mouse models.
Big data provides clues for characterizing immunity in Japanese
Osaka University researchers used various sets of large-scale data to characterize the variation and phenotypic associations of an immunity-related gene region in the Japanese.
Penn physicists find the limits of multitasking in biological networks
Penn physicists have successfully characterized a model that details the limits of multitasking in biological networks.
Cancer: A mutation that breaks gene interplay in 3D
EPFL scientists have discovered how a mutated gene can affect the three-dimensional interactions of genes in the cell, leading to various forms of cancer.
Future changes in human well-being to depend more on social factors than economic factors
The changes in the perception of personal well-being that could take place in the next three decades, on a global level, depend much more on social factors than on economic ones.
Does intensive blood pressure control reduce dementia?
Intensive lowering of blood pressure did not significantly reduce dementia but did have a measurable impact on mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
New university ranking system includes the cultural perspective
A new study proposes a new way of ranking universities, using a more balanced cultural view and based on 24 international editions of Wikipedia.
Targeted antisense oligonucleotide drug tested in humans
A first-in-human study with a new class of antisense oligonucleotide therapeutics showed the ability to target the RNA-silencing drug to the liver, resulting in improved potency and safety at therapeutic doses.
Proton transport 'highway' may pave way to better high-power batteries
Researchers have found that a chemical mechanism first described more than two centuries ago holds the potential to revolutionize energy storage for high-power applications like vehicles or electrical grids.
Artificial skin could give superhuman perception
A new type of sensor could lead to artificial skin that someday helps burn victims 'feel' and safeguards the rest of us.
Persistent sore throat could be larynx cancer warning
GPs should consider larynx cancer when patients report a persistent sore throat, particularly when combined with other seemingly low-level symptoms.
Poor sleep at night, more pain the next day
After one night of inadequate sleep, brain activity ramps up in pain-sensing regions while activity is scaled back in areas responsible for modulating how we perceive painful stimuli.
iMT: Creating a blueprint for cortical connectivity
Taking the first step towards actualizing a blueprint of the brain, researchers from Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience have developed a novel technique capable of tracing intricate neural connections with unprecedented sensitivity.
Brain biomarkers could help identify those at risk of severe PTSD
A study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, part of the NIH, has shed light on the neurocomputational contributions to the development of post-traumatic stress disorder in combat veterans.
Kick-starting the genome in early development
We can think of the egg and sperm as information capsules with stored instructions for starting a new life, but post fertilisation, what kick starts the interpretation of these instructions?
Missing link in planet evolution found
For the first time ever, astronomers have detected a 1.3 km radius body at the edge of the solar system.
Tongue microbiome could help identify patients with early-stage pancreatic cancer
Differences in the abundance of certain bacteria living on the tongue can distinguish patients with early pancreatic cancers from healthy individuals, according to results from a new study published in the Journal of Oral Microbiology.
Waist-stature ratio can indicate the risk of cardiovascular disease even in healthy men
Physically active men who are not overweight but who have a relatively high waist-stature ratio are more likely to develop heart disorders, according to a study by Brazilian researchers.
A solid scaffolding for our cells
To perform properly the task for which they have been synthesized, proteins must first assemble to form effective cellular 'machines'.
Brexit could lead to thousands of extra heart disease and stroke deaths
Thousands of extra deaths from heart disease and stroke might become a reality in England over the next decade if Britain presses ahead with Brexit on March 29, reveals research published in the online journal BMJ Open.
UBC Researcher adopts play-by-play method to understand how counsellors can promote health
Using a page from a coach's playbook, a UBC researcher has come up with a method to analyze behaviour change counselling sessions and determine what makes them work.
Advanced Photonics, a new SPIE-CLP open-access journal, publishes its first issue
Today SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, and Chinese Laser Press (CLP), published the inaugural issue of Advanced Photonics, a collaborative, open-access journal, featuring the most impactful fundamental and applied research across optics and photonics technologies.
New therapeutic targets for kidney fibrosis emerge
A new study, published in Science Translational Medicine, identifies key factors involved in this cell cycle arrest and illuminating their consequences.
Researchers use AI to detect early signs of Alzheimer's
In a new study, USC researchers used machine learning to identify potential blood-based markers of Alzheimer's disease that could help with earlier diagnosis and lead to non-invasive ways of tracking the progress of the disease in patients.
Do bigger brains equal smarter dogs? New study offers answers
Larger dogs have better short-term memory and self-control than smaller breeds, according to research led by the Arizona Canine Cognition Center at the University of Arizona.
Fluid-inspired material self-heals before your eyes
A Northwestern University team has developed a new coating strategy for metal that self-heals within seconds when scratched, scraped or cracked.
Scientists use microorganism to fabricate functional bacterial cellulose in situ
A research team led by Prof. XIAN Mo and ZHANG Haibo from the Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology (QIBEBT) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences developed a new method to use microorganism to fabricate functional bacterial cellulose in situ.
Fiber sensors may leave the jacket on
Commercially-available fibers can also be protected by a jacket made of polyimide.

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#537 Science Journalism, Hold the Hype
Everyone's seen a piece of science getting over-exaggerated in the media. Most people would be quick to blame journalists and big media for getting in wrong. In many cases, you'd be right. But there's other sources of hype in science journalism. and one of them can be found in the humble, and little-known press release. We're talking with Chris Chambers about doing science about science journalism, and where the hype creeps in. Related links: The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study Claims of causality in health news: a randomised trial This...