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Science Current Events and Science News | Brightsurf | February 13, 2019


Exceptional new titanosaur from middle Cretaceous Tanzania: Mnyamawamtuka
An exceptional sauropod dinosaur specimen from the middle Cretaceous of Tanzania represents a unique species and provides new insights into sauropod evolution, according to a study published Feb.
Climate change increases potential for conflict and violence
Images of extensive flooding or fire-ravaged communities help us see how climate change is accelerating the severity of natural disasters.
Future of US citrus may hinge on consumer acceptance of genetically modified food
A tiny insect, no bigger than the head of a pin, is threatening to topple the multibillion-dollar citrus industry in the US by infecting millions of acres of orchards with an incurable bacterium called citrus greening disease.
Exercise gives older men a better brain boost
New research suggests that the relationship between physical and brain fitness varies in older adults by virtue of their sex.
Tropical Cyclone Oma threatens Vanuatu, seen by NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite
Tropical Cyclone Oma continued to move southeast in the Southern Pacific Ocean, and continue affecting Vanuatu.
Study unfolds a new class of mechanical devices
In a paper published today in Science Robotics, engineers at Brigham Young University detail new technology that allows them to build complex mechanisms into the exterior of a structure without taking up any actual space below the surface.
BFU physicists developed a new method to identify antibiotics-resistant bacteria
A team of physicists from Immanuel Kant Baltic State University suggested a method to quickly identify single antibiotic-resistant bacteria cells that are the agents of tuberculosis.
Safe consumption sites: Study identifies policy change strategies and challenges
A new qualitative study from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health identifies several key lessons from early efforts to establish sanctioned safe consumption sites in five US communities.
New assay selects patients with lung cancer for treatment with immune checkpoint inhibitors
A report in The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics describes a novel and rapid approach for quantifying PD-L1 expression levels in tumors that requires only small amounts of tissue that can be collected using minimally invasive bronchoscopy techniques.
Platelet 'decoys' outsmart both clots and cancer
What do heart disease, stroke, sepsis, and cancer have in common, aside from being deadly diseases?
New study finds ecosystem changes following loss of great white sharks
A new study has documented unexpected consequences following the decline of great white sharks from an area off South Africa.
PTSD alone didn't increase heart disease risk in veterans with PTSD
Coexisting medical conditions, psychiatric disorders, heavy smoking and illicit drug use may explain the increased risk for heart disease among veterans with PTSD.
Livers from older donors decrease despite improved outcomes for recipients
More than 10 percent of patients waiting for a liver transplant die each year.
Even as hospitals cut risky antibiotic use in-house, patients often go home with them
Even as hospitals try to cut back on prescribing powerful but risky antibiotics called fluoroquinolones, a new study shows that many patients still head home with prescriptions for the drugs -- increasing their risk of everything from 'superbug' infections to torn tendons.
Movement impairments in autism could be reversible
Researchers from Cardiff University have established a link between a genetic mutation and developmental movement impairments in autism.
A glimpse into the future
Ten years into the future. That's about how far UC Santa Barbara electrical and computer engineering professor John Bowers and his research team are reaching with the recent development of their mode-locked quantum dot lasers on silicon.
Platelet doppelgängers tackle thrombosis and cancer metastasis
Anne-Laure Papa and colleagues have created decoys of platelets -- the body's clot-forming blood cells -- that prevented the formation of dangerous blood clots in vessels (or thrombosis) and combated cancer metastasis in preclinical models.
Randomized clinical trial for suicide prevention intervention in military personnel
A randomized clinical trial of about 650 US Army soldiers and Marines showed inconsistent results for a suicide prevention intervention that supplemented standard care with caring text messages to reduce suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
Ancient fossilized tracks suggest multicellular life far older than previously thought
Newly discovered fossilized tracks suggest multicellular life could be 1.5 billion years older than previously thought, according to a new study by an international team of researchers including scientists at the University of Alberta.
Surface lakes cause Antarctic ice shelves to 'flex'
The filling and draining of meltwater lakes has been found to cause a floating Antarctic ice shelf to flex, potentially threatening its stability.
Newly discovered turtle species is facing extinction
A new species in the family of Softshell Turtles is described from Northern Vietnam and China by a Hungarian-Vietnamese-German team of researchers.
MRI and computer modeling reveals how wrist bones move
We use our wrists constantly, but how do they work?
Sensitive sensor detects Down syndrome DNA
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Down syndrome is the most common birth defect, occurring once in every 700 births.
Gender and cultural bias exists against teachers at university level
Students are more likely to rate male university teachers higher than their female counterparts in some areas of STEM and Business, according to Australia's largest review of student experience surveys.
Children who eat lunch score 18 percent higher in reading tests new ESMT Berlin study shows
The powerful connection between nutrition and education has been revealed by new research from ESMT Berlin.
Link between alcohol consumption and breast cancer ignored by women most at risk
Middle aged women in Australia aren't getting the message about the proven link between alcohol consumption and breast cancer, at a time when more are drinking while cancer rates in their age bracket are increasing, according to a new study.
Study yields new clues to predict tipping points for marsh survival
Sea-level rise, sediment starvation and other environmental woes pose increasing threats to coastal wetlands worldwide.
Broad regional accents are a barrier to social mobility, research finds
New research via Bath's Department of Education looked at the perception of regional accents for teachers across the UK.
Cannabis use in teens raises risk of depression in young adults
Cannabis is the most commonly used recreational drug by teenagers worldwide.
Verbal autopsies capture more accurate burden of disease in Uganda
Training community health workers to perform verbal autopsy interviews captured more accurate data about the number and causes of deaths in rural Uganda than current health facility surveillance methods, researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill and in-country partners found.
Turning desalination waste into a useful resource
Process developed at MIT could turn concentrated brine into useful chemicals, making desalination more efficient.
When good cells go bad: Regulating the ms-causing properties of Th17 cells
Multiple sclerosis (MS) and other inflammatory autoimmune diseases are characterized by localized inflammation in various tissues, including the brain.
Bigger teams aren't always better in science and tech
A new analysis of more than 65 million papers, patents and software projects found that smaller teams produce much more disruptive and innovative research than large teams, which more often develop and consolidate existing knowledge.
UMN study provides new insight into use of cell replacement therapies to treat muscular dystrophies
The University of Minnesota Medical School continues its legacy of advancing cell replacement therapies with a scientific breakthrough that highlights the promise of cell therapies for muscular dystrophy.
New therapy for aggressive blood cancer discovered
Researchers at Vetmeduni Vienna and Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Cancer Research have identified a new therapeutic strategy for Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
FEFU scientists found persistent organic pollutants in animal fur
Scientists of the Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU), working as part of an international toxicologists' team, studied fur samples of the wild terrestrial mammals in Primorye, Russian Far East.
Noninvasive liquid biopsies rapidly, accurately determine response to cancer treatment
Results of two clinical studies have added to evidence that blood-based liquid biopsies can accurately track lung cancer treatment responses by measuring circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) during immunotherapy and related treatments.
Newly isolated human gut bacterium reveals possible connection to depression
Researchers have established a correlation between depression and a group of neurotransmitter-producing bacteria found in the human gut.
Collaboration sparks sustainable electronics manufacturing breakthrough
Simon Fraser University and Swiss researchers are developing an eco-friendly, 3D printable solution for producing wireless Internet-of-Things (IoT) sensors that can be used and disposed of without contaminating the environment.
Customized mix of materials for three-dimensional micro- and nanostructures
Three-dimensional structures on the micrometer and nanometer scales have a great potential for many applications.
Undersea gases could superheat the planet
Geologic carbon and hydrate reservoirs in the ocean pose a climate threat beyond manmade greenhouse gases.
Scientists developed a method that allows removal of antibiotic residue from waste water
In February the article 'Metal-doped organic aerogels for photocatalytic degradation of trimethoprim' written by the researchers of two research groups (nanoporous materials and environmental technology research groups) of Tallinn University of Technology was published in the high-impact peer-reviewed professional journal Chemical Engineering Journal.
NASA finds Tropical Cyclone Gelena in the middle of the Southern Indian Ocean
Visible imagery from NASA's Terra satellite showed a weaker Tropical Storm Gelena far from land areas, and in the middle of the Southern Indian Ocean.
Is using marijuana in adolescence associated with increased risk of depression, anxiety or suicidal behavior later in life?
Marijuana is commonly used by teenagers but not much is known about how that use might impact mood and risk of suicide later in life.
Running an LED in reverse could cool future computers
In a finding that runs counter to a common assumption in physics, researchers at the University of Michigan ran a light emitting diode (LED) with electrodes reversed in order to cool another device mere nanometers away.
Cryofixation and electron tomography reveals novel compartment in arbuscular mycorrhiza
The importance of the mycorrhizal symbiosis to plant growth has led to a large body of research into their formation and function, yet there are critical unanswered questions.
Customized drug interaction alerts address alert fatigue, protect patients
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital researchers used a comprehensive method to reduce drug interaction alerts, improving electronic health record systems to lower alert fatigue and increase patient safety.
Many LGBTQ youth don't identify with traditional sexual identity labels
New data show that many LGBTQ teens prefer emerging identity labels that are driven by the teens themselves, says Ryan Watson, co-author of a study published today.
Study shows endocrine-disrupting chemicals linked to equine metabolic syndrome
Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in a horse's environment may play a role in the development of equine metabolic syndrome (EMS).
University of Konstanz gains new insights into development of the human immune system
Scientists at the University of Konstanz identify fierce competition between the human immune system and bacterial pathogens.
Women more likely to have poorer outcomes following aortic surgery
New research says women fare worse than men following aortic heart surgery.
Carbon gas storage cavern is the best way to obtain clean energy from a fossil fuel
The Research Center for Gas Innovation is developing technology to separate CO2 and methane in oil and gas exploration and store it in offshore salt caverns.
VUMC researchers, supercomputing effort reveal antibody secrets
Using sophisticated gene sequencing and computing techniques, researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) and the San Diego Supercomputer Center have achieved a first-of-its-kind glimpse into how the body's immune system gears up to fight off infection.
Decoding the human immune system
For the first time ever, researchers are comprehensively sequencing the human immune system, which is billions of times larger than the human genome.
Half-Earth preservation with Natura 2000
In recent years, calls to preserve greater swaths of the Earth's land- and seascapes have grown.
Human cells can also change jobs
Biology textbooks teach us that adult cell types remain fixed in the identity they have acquired upon differentiation.
Drug-resistant TB cured with new approaches in post-war DRC
A high proportion of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) cases can be cured in conflict-affected communities with molecular diagnostics, shorter treatment periods and socioeconomic incentives, according to the results of a large, long-term study in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In the squirrel world, prime real estate is determined by previous owner, study reveals
Researchers found that if a squirrel inherits territory from a male rather than a female, it will have about 1,300 more cones in its midden.
Physician-hospital integration does not improve quality of care
In an age of increased integration between physicians and hospitals, regulators should continue to scrutinize proposed hospital mergers and take steps to maintain competition, according to a new paper by experts at Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy.
Common virus in early childhood linked to celiac disease in susceptible children
A common intestinal virus, enterovirus, in early childhood may be a trigger for later celiac disease in children at increased genetic risk of the condition, finds a small study published in The BMJ today.
No stink bugs allowed: Study shows size of gaps needed for invasion
If a structure has a gap or entrance large enough for brown marmorated stink bugs to fit through, they will find it.
More data, more land reclamation success
A new study shows teams can increase the chance of successful land reclamation by first collecting soil data at short intervals.
Machine learning detects importance of land stewardship in conservation policy
At the southern tip of the Himalayas, farmers in the Kangra region of India's Himachal Pradesh graze cattle among rolling hills and forests.
Upcycling plastic bags into battery parts (video)
Plastic bag pollution has become a huge environmental problem, prompting some cities and countries to heavily tax or ban the sacks.
Scientists look to past to help identify fish threatened with local extinction
Marine scientists from the University of Queensland, WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) and other groups have developed a methodology to assess fish stocks that combines new data with archeological and historical records - some dating back to the 8th Century AD.
Tick tock: Commitment readiness predicts relationship success, say scientists
New research shows how a person's readiness to commit predicts the success or failure of relationships.
Dangerous school commutes lead to student absenteeism
The more crime that occurs along a student's way to school, the higher the likelihood that student will be absent, Johns Hopkins University researchers found.
Fate of meerkats tied to seasonal climate effects
Does a drier and hotter climate present a threat to the meerkats in the Kalahari Desert?
Researchers develop reversible antiplatelet therapy to fight clotting, cancer metastasis
A new reversible, drug-free antiplatelet therapy could reduce the risk of blood clots and potentially prevent cancer metastasis, according to a study published today in Science Translational Medicine.
Only 'modest' improvement in heart failure survival rates since 2000
Survival after a diagnosis of heart failure in the United Kingdom has shown only modest improvement in the 21st century and lags behind other serious conditions, such as cancer, finds a large study published by The BMJ today.
Stereotypes of romantic love may justify gender-based violence
The media have become key agents of socialization in the construction of teenagers' and young people's identities.
Recurring infections could lead to delayed bladder or kidney cancer diagnosis
Women with bladder or kidney cancer may lose out on a prompt diagnosis if they are already being regularly treated for recurring urinary tract infections (UTIs), according to new research presented at Cancer Research UK's Early Diagnosis Conference in Birmingham today (Wednesday).
Asthma pill targets airway muscles to decrease attacks
Results from a phase II clinical trial, experimental work on cells and computational modelling have together shown why the first pill for asthma in 20 years can help reduce asthma attacks.
First-of-their-kind 3D experiments shed new light on shape memory alloys
Researchers from Colorado School of Mines are working to better understand the complex internal microstructures of shape memory alloys and the results of their first-of-their-kind experiments were recently published by three major materials science and mechanics journals.
Increased depression and suicidal behavior risk for young cannabis users
Adolescent cannabis use has been linked to an increased risk of depression and suicidal behavior in young adulthood, according to the first meta-analysis by a team of scientists at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre and McGill University, in collaboration with the University of Oxford and Rutgers University-Camden, which is published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry today.
New method uses fluorescence to identify disease-causing forms of proteins
A new method uses fluorescence to detect potentially disease-causing forms of proteins as they unravel due to stress or mutations.
Mass. General study finds how getting enough sleep reduces cardiovascular disease risk
Getting enough sleep is key to good health, and studies have shown that insufficient sleep increases the risk of serious problems, including cardiovascular disease.
UW study: Exposure to chemical in Roundup increases risk for cancer
Exposure to glyphosate -- the world's most widely used, broad-spectrum herbicide and the primary ingredient in the weedkiller Roundup -- increases the risk of some cancers by more than 40 percent, according to new research from the University of Washington.
First Neanderthal footprints found in Gibraltar
This work started 10 years ago, when the first dates using the OSL method were obtained.
Can prenatal exposures to BPA impact ovarian function?
While previous studies have shown the adverse health effects of prenatal exposure to the industrial chemical bisphenol A (BPA), there is little evidence surrounding effects specifically on ovarian function.
Ice shelves buckle under weight of meltwater lakes
Researchers have recorded first the field measurements of Antarctic ice shelf flexure, which can lead to ice shelf break up.
Researchers compare the effect of breastfeeding versus pumping on human milk microbiome
A large-scale analysis in humans published February 13, 2019 in the journal Cell Host & Microbe suggests that the milk microbiota is affected by bacteria both from the infant's mouth and from environmental sources such as breast pumps, although future research will be needed to assess the effects that these changes may have on the infant gut microbiome and infant health.
No association between antiepileptic drug use and dementia
Epilepsy is a common neurological condition with a prevalence of around 2 percent.
White-tailed deer shape acoustic properties of their forest habitat
White-tailed deer feeding habits shape the acoustic properties of their forest habitat, potentially affecting the vocal communication of understory-dwelling songbirds and other species, according to a study published Feb.
The first walking robot that moves without GPS
Desert ants are extraordinary solitary navigators. Researchers at CNRS and Aix-Marseille University, in the Institut des Sciences du Mouvement -- Étienne Jules Marey (ISM), were inspired by these ants as they designed AntBot, the first walking robot that can explore its environment randomly and go home automatically, without GPS or mapping.
Bioluminescent deep-sea creatures illuminate the effectiveness of new cancer therapies
A new tool developed by scientists at the Keck School of Medicine of USC can improve development and effectiveness of leading-edge cancer therapies derived from patients' immune systems.
Mathematical monotsukuri: Summing a constant may help to detect synchronized brain activity
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology found a simple, yet effective, way to improve how synchronization is measured in chaotic systems.
New dinosaur with heart-shaped tail provides evolutionary clues for African continent
A new dinosaur that wears its 'heart' on its tail provides new clues to how ecosystems evolved on the African continent during the Cretaceous period according to researchers at Ohio University.
Polymers pave way for wider use of recycled tires in asphalt
Each year, about 27 million tires end up in landfills, dumps and stockpiles, where they pose health and environmental hazards.
New painkiller lasts longer, is less addictive than morphine
As an alternative to morphine, researchers present a new nano-painkiller they've tested in rodents.
Human antiviral 'GS-441524' shows great promise against this infectious disease of cats
The emergence of exotic diseases such as Ebola and SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) in people has prompted intensive research into new drug treatments, and this is indirectly bringing benefit to cats.
DDT exposure tied to breast cancer risk for all women through age 54
All women exposed to high levels of DDT are at increased risk for breast cancer through age 54, but the timing of cancer risk depends on when they were first exposed.
Should we screen people for irregular heartbeat?
Should we screen people for irregular heartbeat (known as atrial fibrillation, or AF for short) in an effort to prevent strokes?
Giant 'megalodon' shark extinct earlier than previously thought
'Megalodon' -- a giant predatory shark that has inspired numerous documentaries, books and blockbuster movies -- likely went extinct at least one million years earlier than previously thought, according to new research published Feb.
Chronic inflammation in middle age may lead to thinking and memory problems later
People who have chronic inflammation in middle-age may develop problems with thinking and memory in the decades leading up to old age, according to a new study published in the Feb.
IU School of Medicine makes breakthrough toward developing blood test for pain
Indiana University School of Medicine researchers have developed a test that objectively measures pain biomarkers in blood.
Getting a grip on human-robot cooperation
The study, published in Science Robotics, is a collaboration between The BioRobotics Institute (Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Pisa, Italy) and the Australian Centre for Robotic Vision (Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia).
New clue in curious case of cassowary casque
A team of Australian scientists has completed research that could help solve a 200-year-old mystery surrounding an iconic Australian bird.
Study helps solve mystery of how sleep protects against heart disease
Researchers say they are closer to solving the mystery of how a good night's sleep protects against heart disease.
Shedding light on the pathway to put the traumatic past behind
By shedding light on the underlying brain circuits of ABS pairing's powerful effects to reduce fear, this study can come as a powerful reassurance of its fear-reducing effects to PTSD patients.
Oral complications are rare in older women treated for osteoporosis
Oral complications are rare in women taking medications for postmenopausal osteoporosis, according to a study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
New approach improving stability and optical properties of perovskite films
Metal halide perovskites are regarded as next generation materials for light emitting devices.
Scientists discover how neuroactive steroids dampen inflammatory signaling in cells
For the first time, scientists discovered how neuroactive steroids naturally found in the brain and bloodstream inhibit the activity of a specific kind of protein called Toll-like receptors (TLR4), which have been known to play a role in inflammation in many organs, including the brain.
New research findings could be key to improving outcomes for some brain cancers
Researchers from the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center have found that a genetic mutation seen in about half of all brain tumors produces a response that prevents radiation treatment from working.
Light and sound gauge the temperature of deep tissues
Biomedical engineers at Duke University have demonstrated how photoacoustic imaging can take the temperature of deep tissue more quickly and accurately than current techniques.
Parents don't pick favorites, at least if you're a Magellanic penguin
Researchers at the University of Washington wanted to know how Magellanic penguin parents in South America balance the dietary demands of multiple chicks.
More scrutiny needed for less-deadly foodborne bacteria
Employing advanced genetic-tracing techniques and sharing the data produced in real time could limit the spread of bacteria -- Bacillus cereus -- which cause foodborne illness, according to researchers who implemented whole-genome sequencing of a pathogen-outbreak investigation.
In disasters, Twitter influencers get out-tweeted
A first-of-its-kind study on Twitter use during 5 of the costliest US natural disasters offers potentially life-saving insights.
UK sales of Xanax and other prescription psychiatric drugs increasing via the darknet
Sales of prescription psychiatric drugs such as Xanax and diazepam via darknet online drug markets have increased in the UK at an alarming rate, according to new research by the University of Kent and King's College London.
Stimulating the vagus nerve in the neck might help ease pain associated with PTSD
In a randomized, controlled pilot trial published Feb. 13, 2019, in PLOS ONE, UC San Diego School of Medicine researchers found that participants pre-treated with noninvasive vagus nerve stimulation experienced less pain after heat stimulus than mock-treated participants.
UCI biomedical engineers develop wearable respiration monitor with children's toy
Using Shrinky Dinks, a popular children's toy, engineers at the University of California, Irvine have created wearable, disposable respiration sensors that track the rate and volume of a wearer's breath.
Study uses satellite data to pinpoint widespread oil industry 'flaring'
A new study by SF State University Assistant Professor of Health Education Lara Cushing and colleagues at the University of Southern California used satellite data to track flaring, an often underreported and potentially harmful oil and gas industry practice.

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