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Science News | Science Current Events | Brightsurf | February 01, 2019


Palm oil not the only driver of forest loss in Indonesia
Large-scale agriculture, primarily for growing oil palms, remains a major cause of deforestation in Indonesia but its impact has diminished in recent years as other natural and human causes emerge, a Duke University study finds.
The future of minority health and health disparities research is here
Thirty specific research strategies were identified across the three pillars that guided the science visioning: methods and measurement, etiology, and interventions.
Lettuce show you how to restore oil-soaked soil
Rice University engineers have fine-tuned a method to restore oil-soaked soil to fertility while eliminating toxic hydrocarbons.
Faster than allowed by quantum computing?
Quantum computers are more powerful than classical computers since they work with coherent ''quantum bits'' instead of ordinary zeroes and ones.
Scientists discover potential way to treat and prevent cancer in children (neuroblastoma)
The MYCN oncogene is known to be a key cause of a number of deadly solid tumour cancers, including neuroblastoma which claims more lives of children under 5 than any other cancer.
Enzyme warps space to break the cell's speed limit
Johns Hopkins researchers have found that rhomboid enzymes, which are special proteins that cut other proteins, are able to break the 'cellular speed limit' as they move through the cell membrane.
Antarctic meltwater streams shed light on longstanding hydrological mystery
In one of the coldest, driest places on Earth, CU Boulder scientists have developed a possible answer to a longstanding mystery about the chemistry of streamflow, which may have broad implications for watersheds and water quality around the world.
The dangers of hidden fat: Exercise is your best defense against deep abdominal fat
Researchers analyzed two types of interventions -- lifestyle modification (exercise) and pharmacological (medicine) -- to learn how best to defeat fat lying deep in the belly.
No sweat? That's an issue for home-schooled children
Children schooled at home may not get enough exercise even if they participate in organized sports and physical activities, according to researchers at Rice University.
Gene therapy cassettes improved for muscular dystrophy
Experimental gene therapy cassettes for Duchenne muscular dystrophy have been modified to deliver better performance.
ATS publishes new clinical guideline on home oxygen for children
The American Thoracic Society has developed a new clinical practice guideline for home oxygen therapy for children.
A new toolkit for studying how 'PARP' activity boosts cancers
A new method developed by scientists at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health is likely to speed the study of an important biological process called ADP-ribosylation.
Site of care may affect patients' access to palliative treatment
Studies have found that racial and ethnic minorities are less likely to receive end-of-life palliative care than their counterparts.
Crunching the data: New liver cancer subtypes revealed immunologically
Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) researchers used substantial datasets on liver cancer patients to develop a new classification of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) into three distinct subgroups with different genetic, immunological, and clinical features.
New UC study may help guide treatment of pediatric anxiety
Researchers from the University of Cincinnati looked at common medications prescribed for children and adolescents with anxiety disorders, to determine the most effective and best-tolerated.
Straightforward biosynthesis of functional bulk nanocomposites
A general and scalable biosynthesis strategy has been developed which involves simultaneous growth of cellulose nanofibrils through microbial fermentation and co-deposition of various kinds of nanoscale building blocks through aerosol feeding on solid culture substrates.
Women who wear Muslim garments in court are viewed as more credible witnesses
Sexual assault victims wearing the hijab or niqab are viewed more positively when testifying in court than uncovered women reveals a study.
Invisible tags: Physicists at TU Dresden write, read and erase using light
A team of physicists headed by Professor Sebastian Reineke of TU Dresden developed a new method of storing information in fully transparent plastic foils.
Novel hypothesis goes underground to predict future of Greenland ice sheet
The Greenland ice sheet melted a little more easily in the past than it does today because of geological changes, and most of Greenland's ice can be saved from melting if warming is controlled, says a team of Penn State researchers.
Protecting those on the frontline from Ebola
Online training developed at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) increased the knowledge of health care workers about effective prevention of Ebola up to 19 percent and reduced critical errors to 2.3 percent in a small MUSC cohort.
Sodium is the new lithium: Researchers find a way to boost sodium-ion battery performance
NITech scientists have found the desirable component for sodium-ion batteries (SIB), which could contribute to boost SIB performance such as speed of charge.
'Quiet' light
Spectrally pure lasers lie at the heart of precision high-end scientific and commercial applications, thanks to their ability to produce near-perfect single-color light.
Walking for health benefits just got easier to track
In an ongoing study exploring walking for health across the adult lifespan, University of Massachusetts Amherst kinesiology researchers found that walking cadence is a reliable measure of exercise intensity and set simple steps-per-minute guidelines for moderate and vigorous intensity.
Magnetic teeth hold promise for materials and energy
For the first time, a team led by Okayama University and the University of California, Riverside has discovered a piece of the genetic puzzle that allows the chiton to produce magnetite nanomaterials.
Blood test for specific metabolites could reveal blocked arteries
A Duke Health pilot project suggests that in the near future, a blood test could show whether arteries carrying blood to the heart are narrow or blocked, a risk factor for heart disease.
Common e-cigarette chemical flavorings may impair lung function
Two chemicals widely used to flavor electronic cigarettes may be impairing the function of cilia in the human airway, according to a new study led by Harvard T.H.
Current generation via quantum proton transfer
NIMS and Hokkaido University jointly discovered that proton transfer in electrochemical reactions is governed by the quantum tunneling effect (QTE) under the specific conditions.
How much carbon emissions from farmland reclamation in China during the past 300 years?
Scientific assessment of the accounting over carbon in the terrestrial ecosystem in the process land use/land cover changes (LUCC) caused by human activities will help reduce the uncertainty in estimating carbon emissions from the terrestrial ecosystem.
Newly identified messenger molecules could help protect survival of neurones
Scientists from the University of Sheffield have identified new messenger molecules shuttled between cells which could help to protect the survival of neurones -- potentially leading to new treatments for MND.
SFU researchers find new clues to controlling HIV
An international research team led by Simon Fraser University and South Africa's University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa is harnessing the immune system to reveal new clues that may help in efforts to produce an HIV vaccine.
How plants cope with iron deficiency
Research groups from Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU) and the University of Münster (WWU) have discovered a new switch that plants use to control their responses to iron deficiency.
Virtual lens improves X-ray microscopy
Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI have developed a new method that makes X-ray images even better: The resolution is higher and allows more precise inferences about the properties of materials.
Researchers report advances in stretchable semiconductors, integrated electronics
Researchers from the University of Houston have reported significant advances in stretchable electronics, moving the field closer to commercialization.
The delicate balance of treating growing but brittle bones
Turning off a bone receptor protein could potentially treat osteoporosis in children without affecting bone growth.
Study predicts worsening of overdose crisis, limits of focusing on prescription opioids
A study from investigators at the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute for Technology Assessment projects that the opioid overdose epidemic in the US is likely to increase in coming years, and that measures based on restricting access to prescription opioids will have a minimal impact in reducing overdose deaths.
Ancient fortress reveals how prehistoric civilizations of Central Asia lived
Scientists from Russia and Uzbekistan found a unified fortification system that on the northern border of ancient Bactria.
Variations in seafloor create freak ocean waves
Florida State University researchers have found that abrupt variations in the seafloor can cause dangerous ocean waves known as rogue or freak waves -- waves so catastrophic that they were once thought to be the figments of seafarers' imaginations.
Suicide can't be predicted by asking about suicidal thoughts, major Australian study shows
A major Australian study from UNSW Sydney shows that most people who died of suicide dismissed expressing suicidal thoughts to health professionals, prompting calls to review the way treatment is managed and resourced.
How predatory plankton created modern ecosystems after 'Snowball Earth'
After global glaciation, predatory plankton apparently enabled the development of today's ecosystems.
Keeping the peace when mom and grandma disagree on feeding the kids
A new study shows that government sponsored nutrition education programs, like Early Head Start nutrition education, prioritize nuclear family dynamics and identify parents as primary caregivers.
Simulating meteorite impacts in the lab
A US-German team has simulated meteorite impacts in the lab and followed the resulting structural changes in two feldspar minerals with X-rays as they happened.
Microbes hitched to insects provide a rich source of new antibiotics
In an exhaustive search of microbes from more than 1,400 insects collected from diverse environments across North and South America, a UW-Madison research team found that insect-borne microbes often outperformed soil bacteria in stopping some of the most common and dangerous antibiotic-resistant pathogens.
Researchers determine seasonal risk threshold for patients with folate deficiency
The possible association between sun exposure and folate levels in human blood has been a major topic of discussion among experts all around the world.
Researchers create first carbon fibers with uniform porous structure
Chemistry researchers use block copolymers to create first carbon fibers with uniform porous structure.
Butterflies thrive in grasslands surrounded by forest
For pollinating butterflies, it is more important to be close to forests than to agricultural fields, according to a study of 32,000 butterflies by researchers at Linköping University and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala.
When mucus can be key to treating colon and airway diseases
New research reveals how healthy cells in our bodies produce mucins -- the main component of mucous, which protects our intestine and airway from pathogens, toxins and allergens.
Fiber composition in rice coproducts revealed in Illinois study
Rice coproducts in pig diets add fat and fiber, but too much fiber can decrease energy absorption and digestibility.
Breaching the horizons: Universal spreading laws confirmed
By extending the computational horizons from one day to the unprecedented time scales, the IBS researchers were able to confirm that a cloud of quantum particles continue to spread even when particle to particle interactions originally deemed to be the activator of the spreading, exert almost no strength.
Microbes help make the coffee
When it comes to processing coffee beans, longer fermentation times can result in better taste, contrary to conventional wisdom.
Supercomputing helps study two-dimensional materials
Computational scientists support experimentalist's quest to observe lithium atoms' behaviour when placed between two sheets of graphene.
Why are you and I and everything else here?
We're here because there's more matter than antimatter in the universe.
Scientists strategize for better conservation plans
Endangered and invasive species may be better managed in the future with new techniques outlined by a Texas A&M University scientist and others.
Everything in moderation
In efforts to curb our use of greenhouse gas-generating fossil fuels, plant-based biofuels are among the top contenders as alternative liquid energy sources for transportation.
Optimized binding cavity
The impressively high conversion rates of natural enzymes partly result from increasing the catalytic activity of a selected few amino acid side chains through precise positioning within the protein binding cavity.

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