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Science Current Events and Science News | Brightsurf | February 18, 2019


CNIC researchers identify a very early marker of cardiac damage triggered by cancer treatment
Researchers at the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares (CNIC) have identified a very early marker of cardiac damage in patients undergoing therapy with anthracyclines, a family of drugs commonly used to treat cancer.
Physicists pinpoint a simple mechanism that makes bacteria resistant to antibiotics
Physicists at McMaster University have for the first time identified a simple mechanism used by potentially deadly bacteria to fend off antibiotics, a discovery which is providing new insights into how germs adapt and behave at a level of detail never seen before.
Depression reversed in male mice by activating gene that helps excite neurons
Directly activating a gene important to exciting our excitatory neurons and associated with major depression may help turn around classic symptoms like social isolation and loss of interest, at least for males, scientists report.
CRISPR gene editing makes stem cells 'invisible' to immune system
UC San Francisco scientists have used the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing system to create the first pluripotent stem cells that are functionally 'invisible' to the immune system, a feat of biological engineering that, in laboratory studies, prevented rejection of stem cell transplants.
Neuromelanin-sensitive MRI identified as a potential biomarker for psychosis
Researchers have shown that a type of magnetic resonance imaging -- called neuromelanin-sensitive MRI (NM-MRI) -- is a potential biomarker for psychosis.
Mapping brain circuits in newborns may aid early detection of autism
A new map of newborn babies' brains offers details of structure that will provide a new reference for researchers studying both typical brain development and neurological disorders.
Hormone therapy may increase cardiovascular risk during gender transition
People receiving hormone therapy during gender transition had an elevated risk for cardiovascular events, such as strokes, blood clots and heart attacks.
Has screen time increased for young children and on what screen?
Children younger than 6 spend most of their screen time watching TV.
Small cell lung cancer may respond to combination of immunotherapy and DNA damage repair inhibitors
MD Anderson researchers discovered that a combination of immunotherapy and targeted therapies that block normal DNA damage repair, such as PARP inhibitors, achieved dramatic tumor reduction in mouse models of small cell lung cancer.
Heavy smoking can damage vision, Rutgers researcher finds
Smoking more than 20 cigarettes a day can damage your vision, a study co-authored by a Rutgers researcher finds.
More primary care physicians leads to longer life spans, Stanford researcher says
New research shows us just how important primary care physicians are in prolonging our lives.
Brain represents optical illusion as delayed reality
A study of humans and monkeys published in JNeurosci has found the same subset of neurons encode actual and illusory complex flow motion.
Hot great white sharks could motor but prefer to swim slow
Great white sharks have warmer muscles than other cold-blooded fish so they could swimmer faster, but now it turns out that they actually choose to swim relatively slowly when browsing their feeding grounds, probably to increase their chance of catching a fat seal snack.
Specialized lung cells appear very early in development
Specialized lung cells appear in the developing fetus much earlier than scientists previously thought.
Terahertz wireless makes big strides in paving the way to technological singularity
Hiroshima University, National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, and Panasonic Corporation announced the successful development of a terahertz (THz) transceiver that can transmit or receive digital data at 80 gigabits per second (Gbit/s).
How our plants have turned into thieves to survive
Scientists have discovered that grasses are able to short cut evolution by taking genes from their neighbors.
Tuberculosis: Commandeering a bacterial 'suicide' mechanism
The bacteria responsible for tuberculosis can be killed by a toxin they produce unless it is neutralized by an antidote protein.
Parents: Keep medical marijuana dispensaries away from children
Seven in 10 parents think they should have a say in whether dispensaries are located near their child's school or daycare and most say they should be banned within a certain distance of those facilities.
Researchers find trigger that turns strep infections into flesh-eating disease
Houston Methodist scientists discovered a previously unknown trigger that turns run-of-the-mill strep infections into the flesh-eating disease childbed fever, which strikes postpartum moms and newborns, often leaving victims without limbs.
Researchers find febrile infants may not need painful tests, antibiotics, hospitalizations
A national research team led by UC Davis Health clinicians and researchers from the University of Michigan, Nationwide Children's Hospital and Columbia University, has derived and validated a new protocol for emergency departments that can determine which infant patients with fevers, age 60 days or younger, are at low risk of significant bacterial infections.
Illinois researchers first to show hinge morphology of click beetle's latch mechanism
Aimy Wissa, assistant professor of mechanical science and engineering (MechSE) at Illinois, leads an interdisciplinary research team to study click beetles to inspire more agile robots.
Fetal signaling pathways may offer future targets for treating lung injury
Investigating the fetal signaling pathways active in developing mice may offer future opportunities to treat lung damage caused by prematurity and other lung injuries.
Exotic spiraling electrons discovered by physicists
Rutgers and other physicists have discovered an exotic form of electrons that spin like planets and could lead to advances in lighting, solar cells, lasers and electronic displays.
Despite rising prevalence of heart disease in China, primary preventive treatment rates remain low
About one in 10 middle-aged adults in China are at high risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD), yet use of risk reduction therapies is strikingly low.
Diversity on land is not higher today than in the past, study shows
The rich levels of biodiversity on land seen across the globe today are not a recent phenomenon: diversity on land has been similar for at least the last 60 million years, since soon after the extinction of the dinosaurs.
So close, rats can almost taste it
A subset of neurons in the hippocampus respond to both place and taste, according to research in male rats published in JNeurosci.
Light-based production of drug-discovery molecules
EPFL chemists have developed a light-based chemical method for cheap and simple production of chemical molecules used in drug discovery, such as muscle relaxants and antimicrobials.
Nano-droplets are the key to controlling membrane formation
The creation of membranes is of enormous importance in biology, but also in many chemical applications developed by humans.
AASM publishes clinical practice guideline on use of PAP therapy for sleep apnea
A new clinical practice guideline from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) provides guidance to clinicians on the use of positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy to treat obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in adults.
New protocol could ease diagnosis of bacterial infections in infants
A new protocol could help emergency room physicians to rule out life-threatening bacterial infections among infants up to 2 months of age who have fevers, potentially eliminating the need for spinal taps, unnecessary antibiotic treatments or expensive hospital stays.
A shared past for East Africa's hunter-gatherers
Research led by University of Pennsylvania scientists offers a new look at African genetic diversity, with data from 50 populations.
Primary care physician supply and life expectancy
This study used U.S. population data to identify changes in the supply of primary care physicians across counties from 2005 to 2015 and the association with life expectancy and other outcomes.
Breakthrough nanoscience discovery made on flight from New York to Jerusalem
Magic-size nanoclusters are the missing link that bridges the divide between how matter rearranges itself in small-scale molecular isomerization and in large, solid bulk matter phase transitions.
Progress in the treatment of aggressive brain tumors
Cancer researchers at the University of Bonn have reported significant progress in the treatment of glioblastoma.
Scientists reveal how 3D arrangement of DNA helps perpetuate the species
From fathers to children, the delivery of hereditary information requires the careful packing of DNA in sperm.
Researchers discover DNA variants significantly influence body fat distribution
A new breakthrough from the Genetic Investigation of Anthropometric Traits consortium, which includes many public health researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, identifies multiple genetic variants associated with how the body regulates and distributes body-fat tissue.
Great white shark genome decoded
In a major scientific step to understand the biology of this iconic apex predator and sharks in general, the entire genome of the white shark has now been decoded in detail.
World's biggest terrestrial carbon sinks are found in young forests
More than half of the carbon sink in the world's forests is in areas where the trees are relatively young -- under 140 years old -- rather than in tropical rainforests, research at the University of Birmingham shows.
Natural resources valued differently by men and woman, study shows
Men and women value, access and use resources from the natural environment in distinct and different ways, a new study has shown.
Study finds low statin use among some high-risk kidney disease patients
Cholesterol-lowering statin drugs reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in kidney disease patients who are not on dialysis.
Gearing up for 5G: A miniature, low-cost transceiver for fast, reliable communications
Researchers at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) have designed a 28 GHz transceiver that integrates beamforming with dual-polarized multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO) technology.
Mouse study reveals how chronic stress promotes cancer, identifies vitamin C as therapy
A new study, published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation, establishes that the stress hormone epinephrine sets off a cascade of biochemical reactions that favor breast cancer growth and spread in chronically stressed patients.
Patients taking diuretics may see more benefit by upping potassium intake
Patients taking diuretics are often at risk for low potassium levels, which can put patients at an increased risk of death from cardiac arrhythmia or other causes.
Controlling entry and platform fees best way to control market power
Technological services can be strategic substitutes or complements in platform competition, new research from Cass Business School has found.
Neandertals' main food source was definitely meat
Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany describe two late Neandertals with exceptionally high nitrogen isotope ratios, which would traditionally be interpreted as the signature of freshwater fish consumption.
The secret life of batteries
A world with faster-charging batteries begins with an understanding of how positively charged lithium ions move through the electrode to deliver energy.
More needs to be done to raise awareness of lung cancer risk in people with COPD
People with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) need more support when understanding and acting on new chest symptoms, a study in the journal Psycho-Oncology reports.
Single CRISPR treatment provides long-term benefits in mice
Researchers at Duke University have shown that a single systemic treatment using CRISPR genome editing technology can safely and stably correct a genetic disease -- Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) -- for more than a year in mice, despite observed immune responses and alternative gene editing outcomes.
Parenthood contributes to gender imbalance in STEM employment, but it's not just an issue for mother
Nearly half of new moms and a quarter of new dads leave their full-time STEM jobs after they have their first child, according to a new study.
Grasses can acquire genes from neighboring plants
Published in the Feb. 18, 2019, edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a study led by an international team including Guillaume Besnard, CNRS researcher at the 'Evolution et diversité biologique' laboratory (CNRS/IRD/Université Toulouse III -- Paul Sabatier), reveals that the genome of Alloteropsis semialata, a grass found in Australia, contains nearly 60 genes acquired from at least nine donor grasses species.
Prevention, treatment efforts reduce HIV infection among transgender women
Programs to prevent HIV in transgender women are helping to lower the rate of new infection but better care and treatment of this vulnerable population is still needed, especially among those of lower income or people of color, according to a new Rutgers study.
The global impact of coal power
With data and modelling from almost 8,000 coal power plants, researchers from ETH Zurich present the most comprehensive global picture to date of climate and human health impacts from coal power generation.
Advancing therapy by measuring the 'games' cancer cells play
Despite rapid advances in targeted therapies for cancer, tumors commonly develop resistance to treatment.
Helping patients breathe during dangerous procedure prevents complications
A Vanderbilt University Medical Center study in the New England Journal of Medicine is showing that using bag-mask ventilation, squeezing air from a bag into the mouth for 60 seconds to help patients' breathing, improves outcomes and could potentially save lives.
As citizen scientists, farmers can make important contributions to climate adaptation
To help smallholder farmers adapt to climate change, scientists need to provide recommendations of crop varieties suitable to farmers' marginal and heterogeneous environments.
Antibiotic resistances spread faster than so far thought
By studying fish raised in aquaculture, researchers from the Helmholtz Zentrum München, the University of Copenhagen and the University of Campinas in Brazil have shed new light on the mechanisms by which antibiotic resistance genes are transferred between bacteria.
Climate change makes summer weather stormier yet more stagnant
Climate change is shifting the energy in the atmosphere that fuels summertime weather, which may lead to stronger thunderstorms and more stagnant conditions for midlatitude regions of the Northern Hemisphere, including North America, Europe, and Asia, a new MIT study finds.
Suicide system in tuberculosis bacteria might hold key to treatment
Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the top ten causes of death worldwide.
International research collaboration computes climate past, present, and future
Researchers from the Ludwig-Maximillains University Munich and Canadian research organization Ouranos have been investigating extreme flooding events by modelling European and Canadian climate from 1950 to 2100.
A sociable personality attenuates neuropathic pain and anxiety intensifies it
Certain personality traits such as sociability, anxiety or depression influence manifestations of neuropathic pain in mice, according to a new study by the Neuropharmacology Laboratory-NeuroPhar at Pompeu Fabra University.
Research finds ethnoracial differences in Alzheimer's disease
A team of Mayo Clinic researchers found Hispanic-American patients with Alzheimer's tend to survive significantly longer with the disease than other ethnoracial groups, according to a study in Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association.
Insight into tumor-suppressive and tumor-promoting effects of cellular senescence
Wistar researchers have described a novel role of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) metabolism in the ability of senescent cells to release tumor-promoting molecules.
Study says attacks on infrastructure in Gaza and West Bank exact human cost
Israel's systematic targeting of agricultural, water and energy infrastructures in the West Bank and Gaza has had dire impacts on human welfare and livelihoods there, a report from Duke University and the University of New Hampshire shows.
Confirming a source of the process behind auroras and the formation of stars
Feature describes the first fully kinetic model of plasma particles showing that fast reconnection can indeed occur in partially ionized plasma.
Microalgae as natural detector of environmental safety
An international group of toxicologists, which includes experts from the Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU), pointed out that unicellular microalgae, the most common microorganisms on Earth and an important part of the food chain for more developed organisms, serve as an effective biomarker of environmental pollution.
Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, February 18, 2019
ORNL story tips: Oak Ridge National Laboratory neutrons investigate novel crystals' ability to capture carbon dioxide from air; gleaning valuable data from Twitter used to quickly map power outages, emergencies; ORNL's lightweight, heat-shielding graphite foam tested at Germany's Wendlestein 7-X stellarator yields positive results in fusion reactors; open source software scales up analysis of motor designs to run on supercomputers.
Machine learning unlocks plants' secrets
Plants are master chemists, and Michigan State University researchers have unlocked their secret of producing specialized metabolites.
Engineers develop placenta-on-a-chip to study caffeine transport from mother to fetus
Iowa State's Nicole Hashemi has used her expertise in microfluidics to lead development of a device that models a human placenta.
Catch me if you can: Study reveals disguises are surprisingly effective
In a new study, led by researchers at the universities of York and Huddersfield, disguises reduced the ability of participants to match faces by around 30 percent, even when they were warned that some of the people had changed the way they look.
Why North Carolinian boats are fishing off New Jersey's coast -- and how a CSF might help
By studying the logbooks of fishing boats, Princeton postdoctoral research scholar Talia Young and colleagues found that some fishing boats travel more than 250 miles to catch the fish that used to be in local waters.
'Arapuca', a device developed in Brazil for international neutrino experiment, is enhanced
One of the makers of the light detector to be used in the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE) presented a new version, X-Arapuca, that will make the capture of photons even more efficient, at FAPESP Week London.
Newly discovered marsupial lived among Arctic dinosaurs
A research team has discovered a previously unknown species of marsupial that lived in Alaska's Arctic during the era of dinosaurs, adding a vivid new detail to a complex ancient landscape.
Inflammation: Study explains loss of protective abilities of T cells
Regulatory T cells (Tregs) make sure that immune responses are not too strong and that inflammation is inhibited.
From sea to lab
With its vast numbers of different lifeforms, the sea is a largely unexplored source of natural products that could be starting points for new pharmaceuticals, such as the antitumor drugs trabectedin and lurbinectedin.

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