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Science Current Events and Science News | Brightsurf | February 26, 2019


CRISPR reveals the secret life of antimicrobial peptides
Using CRISPR, scientists at EPFL have carried out extensive work on a little-known yet effective weapon of the innate immune system, antimicrobial peptides.
Brain response to mom's voice differs in kids with autism, Stanford study finds
For most children, the sound of their mother's voice triggers brain activity patterns distinct from those triggered by an unfamiliar voice.
Machine learning could eliminate unnecessary treatments for children with arthritis
Machine learning algorithm was able to sort children with arthritis into seven distinct types of disease according to the location of painful joints in the body in a way that was predictive of disease outcome.
How power-to-gas technology can be green and profitable
Hydrogen production based on wind power can already be commercially viable today.
THC found more important for therapeutic effects in cannabis than originally thought
Researchers at the University of New Mexico recently solved a major gap in scientific literature by using mobile software technology to measure the real-time effects of actual cannabis-based products used by millions of people every day.
Maasai farmers only kill lions when they attack livestock
Maasai farmers do not kill lions for retribution whenever they lose sheep or cattle, new research shows.
ALMA differentiates two birth cries from a single star
Astronomers have unveiled the enigmatic origins of two different gas streams from a baby star.
Review suggests a reciprocal relationship between obesity and self-control
In a review published Feb. 26 in the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences, researchers explore the age-old chicken-or-the-egg conundrum but this time looking at whether obesity reduces self-control or if reduced self-control leads to obesity.
Maternal smoking during pregnancy increases risk of ADHD among offspring up to 3-fold
The higher the cotinine levels were in the mother's blood during pregnancy, the greater was the child's risk of developing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) later in life, showed an epidemiological study conducted by the Research Centre for Child Psychiatry at the University of Turku, Finland.
Inherited mutations may play a role in pancreatic cancer development
A small, retrospective study has found that, in patients with particular pancreatic duct lesions, the presence of an inherited mutation in a pancreatic cancer susceptibility gene may increase the patients' risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
Indigenous agriculture has potential to contribute to food needs under climate change
Researchers from Kamehameha Schools, University of Hawaii at Manoa and the United States Geological Survey have published a study in the journal Nature Sustainability (March 2019) highlighting the large role indigenous agriculture can play in producing food, while supporting biodiversity and indigenous well-being in Hawaii under intense land use and climate changes.
How economic inequality shapes mobility expectations and behavior in disadvantaged youth
By integrating the methods and techniques of economics and psychology, an inventive framework reveals how rising economic inequality can weaken the motivating belief that achieving socioeconomic success is possible, which reduces the likelihood that young people from low socioeconomic status backgrounds will engage in behaviors that could improve their chances of upward mobility.
Researchers uncover mechanism behind DNA damage control
Researchers at the University of Helsinki have identified a mechanism that is critical for the survival of cells under genotoxic stress.
How do professional football players perform under immense pressure?
Professional football players need to keep a cool head during a match, but some are better at this than others.
Coda waves reveal carbon dioxide storage plume
Pumping carbon dioxide into the ground to remove it from the atmosphere is one way to lower greenhouse gases, but keeping track of where that gas is, has been a difficult chore.
Electronic 'word of mouth' useful in detecting, predicting fashion trends
According to new research from the University of Missouri, social media hashtags could be the tool fashion designers use to forecast trends in the industry to better connect with consumers.
Study reveals that night and weekend births have substantially higher risk of delivery complications
As if expecting mothers didn't have enough to worry about, a new study published in Risk Analysis: An International Journal found that the quantity of delivery complications in hospitals are substantially higher during nights, weekends and holidays, and in teaching hospitals.
'Dead zone' volume more important than area to fish, fisheries
A new study suggests that measuring the volume rather than the area of the Gulf of Mexico's dead zone is more appropriate for monitoring its effects on marine organisms.
Exposing flaws in metrics for user login systems
How good is the research on the success or failure of the system that verifies your identity when you log into a computer, smartphone or other device?
Stem cells provide greater insight into rotator cuff disease
New research explores stem cells in the rotator cuff in hopes of understanding why fatty accumulation happens at the tear site, instead of proper muscle healing.
Steroid treatment for premature babies linked to low birth weight
Steroid injections given to mothers at risk of giving birth prematurely are linked to babies being born with lower body weights.
UK prejudice against immigrants amongst lowest in Europe
A new study published in Frontiers in Sociology challenges prevailing attitudes on Brexit, the nature of prejudice, and the social impact of modernization.
Infants exposed to corticosteroids in utero are smaller at birth, study finds
Infants exposed to antenatal corticosteroid therapy (ACT) to accelerate lung maturation have a clinically significant reduction in birth size, according to a new of study of 278,508 births published this week in PLOS Medicine by Alina Rodriguez of the University of Lincoln and Imperial College London, UK, and colleagues.
Lowering lactose and carbs in milk does not help severely malnourished children
Treating hospitalized, severely malnourished children with a lactose-free, reduced-carbohydrate milk formula does not improve clinical outcomes, according to a study published Feb.
New method uses AI to screen for fetal alcohol spectrum disorder
Scientists at the University of Southern California (USC), Queen's University (Ontario) and Duke University have developed a new tool that can screen children for fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) quickly and affordably, making it accessible to more children in remote locations worldwide.
More extreme coastal weather events likely to increase bluff erosion, landslide activity
Unstable slopes on Oregon's coastline could see a 30 percent jump in landslide movements if extreme storms become frequent enough to increase seacliff erosion by 10 percent, a new study by Oregon State University shows.
'Silent-type' cells play greater role in brain behavior than previously thought
Brain cells recorded as among the least electrically active during a specific task may be the most important to doing it right.
Nematode odors offer possible advantage in the battle against insect pests
Gardeners commonly use nematodes to naturally get rid of harmful soil-dwelling insects.
Zoonoses: Antimicrobial resistance shows no signs of slowing down
Data released today by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) reveal that antimicrobials used to treat diseases that can be transmitted between animals and humans, such as campylobacteriosis and salmonellosis, are becoming less effective.
You recognize your face even when you don't 'see' it
Given the limited capacity of our attention, we only process a small amount of the sights, sounds, and sensations that reach our senses at any given moment -- what happens to the stimuli that reach our senses but don't enter awareness?
Cellular alterations increase vulnerability of obese and diabetic individuals to infection
A study published in Scientific Reports identifies changes to neutrophils that appear to explain why people suffering from obesity and type 2 diabetes are more likely to contract infectious diseases.
Cancer genes' age and function strongly influence their mutational status
Researchers have provided new insight on why some genes that formed during the evolution of the earliest animals on earth are particularly impaired (or dysregulated) by specific mechanisms during cancer development.
Right- or left-handed? Gene expression tells the story of snail evolution
Snails, like humans, can be right-handed or left-handed and the swirl etched into the shell of a snail can reveal a lot about them, down to their genetic makeup.
Artificial intelligence could predict spread of melanoma
The BGU/ UTSW group demonstrated that their representation of the functional state of individual cells can predict the likelihood that a stage III melanoma, with malignancies limited to the lymphatic system, will progress to stage IV, in which the cancer has spread from the principal area to the rest of the patient's body.
Savoring ... It's not just for dinner
Just as we can savor a decadent dessert, so, too, can we savor a meaningful conversation.
FASEB Journal: Study suggests novel biomarker for predicting AFib progression
A human study published in The FASEB Journal suggests a novel type of biomarker to predict the progression of atrial fibrillation (AF), the most common form of irregular heart rhythm.
Radiation contamination at a crematorium
Radioactive compounds known as radiopharmaceuticals are used in nuclear medicine procedures to diagnose and treat disease.
New gene variation which causes MND discovered in novel biological pathway
Scientists have discovered a new gene varitation that causes motor neurone disease (MND) in a novel biological pathway that until now hasn't been linked with neurodegeneration.
Scientists simulate forest and fire dynamics to understand area burn of future wildfires
Scientists, including Matthew Hurteau in the Department of Biology at the University of New Mexico, are examining more data via simulations of wildfires in the Sierra Nevada to improve their understanding between prior and future wildfires.
Cancer survivors see mostly positives in how they have changed
Two years after diagnosis, breast cancer survivors have four times more positive than negative thoughts about changes they experienced because of their illness, a new study found.
Online intervention shows promise in HIV prevention
A team led by José Bauermeister, Ph.D., M.P.H., Presidential Professor of Nursing and Director of the Program on Sexuality, Technology, & Action Research (PSTAR), at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing (Penn Nursing) designed the My Desires & Expectations (myDEx) tool to address cognitive and emotional factors that influence YGBMSM sexual decision-making when seeking partners online. myDEx was pilot tested in a randomized trial over 90 days with 180 YGBMSM participants.
First common risk genes discovered for autism
A study headed by researchers from the Danish project iPSYCH and the Broad Institute, USA, has found the first common genetic risk variants for autism and uncovered genetic differences in clinical subgroups of autism.
Can we address climate change without sacrificing water quality?
Strategies for limiting climate change must take into account their potential impact on water quality through nutrient overload, according to a new study from Carnegie's Eva Sinha and Anna Michalak published by Nature Communications.
Balancing the gut
Researchers from the Cluster of Excellence 'Precision Medicine in Chronic Inflammation' in Kiel and Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin have uncovered a critical mechanism that controls immune reactions against microorganisms in the intestine.
Signals from distant lightning could help secure electric substations
Side channel signals and bolts of lightning from distant storms could one day help prevent hackers from sabotaging electric power substations and other critical infrastructure, a new study suggests.
Radiation-resistant E. coli evolved in the lab give view into DNA repair
Scientists in the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Biochemistry are blasting E. coli bacteria with ionizing radiation once a week to watch evolution happen in real time as the bacteria become radiation resistant.
New genetic test improves safety of inflammatory bowel disease treatments
A genetic discovery will make treatment for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis safer, by identifying patients who are at risk of potentially deadly drug side effects.
Student-led rheumatology interest group increases interest in field
A group of student and faculty researchers from the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences published outcome of establishing Rheumatology Interest Group in the International Journal of Rheumatology.
Hospital-to-home transition care may not help patients with heart failure
Providing additional health-care services for heart failure patients to help them transition from hospital to home does not improve their outcome, according to research led by the Population Health Research Institute of McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences.
Earning a bee's wings
When a honey bee turns 21 days old, she leaves the nest to look for pollen and nectar.
An existing drug may have therapeutic potential in mitochondrial disease
New preclinical findings from extensive cell and animal studies suggest that a drug already used for a rare kidney disease could benefit patients with some mitochondrial disorders -- complex conditions with severe energy deficiency for which no proven effective treatments exist.
Climate rewind: Scientists turn carbon dioxide back into coal
Scientists have harnessed liquid metals to turn carbon dioxide back into solid coal, in research that offers an alternative pathway for safely and permanently removing the greenhouse gas from our atmosphere.
Better together: Mitochondrial fusion supports cell division
New research from Washington University in St. Louis shows that when cells divide rapidly, their mitochondria are fused together.
Stopwatch set for milestone marathon in 2032
The elusive sub-two hour marathon running mark will likely be first shattered by a male athlete in May 2032, according to a ground-breaking statistical study by Dr.
Neuroscientists at TU Dresden discover neural mechanisms of developmental dyslexia
Neuroscientist Professor Katharina von Kriegstein from TU Dresden and an international team of experts show in a recently published study that people with dyslexia have a weakly developed structure that is not located in the cerebral cortex, but at a subcortical processing stage; namely the white matter connectivity between the left auditory motion-sensitive planum temporale (mPT) and the left auditory thalamus (medial geniculate body, MGB).
Indigenous knowledge, key to a successful ecosystem restoration
Ecological restoration projects actively involving indigenous peoples and local communities are more successful.
Duke-NUS researchers discover the secret to bats' immunity
Bats' ability to host deadly viruses without getting sick could help shed light on inflammation and aging in humans.
Is kidney failure a man's disease?
A new analysis of the ERA-EDTA Registry [1] reveals a striking gender difference in the incidence and prevalence of end-stage renal disease.
The Lancet Oncology: Worldwide estimates suggest that nearly 1 in 2 children with cancer are left undiagnosed and untreated
A modelling study published in The Lancet Oncology journal estimates that there are almost 400,000 new cases of childhood cancer annually, while current records count only around 200,000.
NASA finds heavy rainfall potential in new Tropical Cyclone Pola
Tropical Cyclone Pola formed in the South Pacific Ocean on Feb.
'Immunizing' quantum bits so that they can grow up
Qubits need a better immune system before they can grow up.
Understanding the rich social lives of animals benefits international conservation efforts
An international group of researchers working on a wide range of species, from elephants and crows, to whales and chimpanzees, argues that animals' cultural knowledge needs to be taken into consideration when planning international conservation efforts.
The paper mulberry coevolved with soil microbes to humanity's benefit
The paper mulberry evolved its uniquely fibrous inner bark around 31 million years ago, long before the woody tree was first used for bookmaking during China's Tang dynasty.
Researcher finds data-driven evidence on warrior vs. guardian policing
A Florida State University-led team of researchers has created a model to measure the differences between two distinct approaches to policing -- the warrior approach and the guardian approach.
Study traces the origins of Chikungunya in Brazil
New evidence suggests that Chikungunya virus arrived in Brazil at least one year earlier than it was detected by public health surveillance systems.
New clue for cancer treatment could be hiding in microscopic molecular machine
Researchers have discovered a critical missing step in the production of proteasomes -- tiny structures in a cell that dispose of protein waste -- and found that carefully targeted manipulation of this step could prove an effective recourse for the treatment of cancer.
Safety of overlapping surgeries
Overlapping surgeries, in which more than one procedure is performed by the same surgeon working in different operating rooms, have raised concerns about potential adverse outcomes.
ACTG presents new research on HIV and TB, co-morbidities, treatment, and cure at CROI 2019
The AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG), the world's largest and longest-established HIV research network, funded by NIAID at the U.S.
Recovering forests important to conservation, study finds
Tropical forests recovering from disturbance could be much more important to the conservation of forest bird species than first thought, according to a new study.
Scientists provide new insight on how the nose adapts to smells
Our noses may be able to adapt themselves to tell the brain, as efficiently as possible, about the most typical smells in our environment, suggests new research published in eLife.
SU engineers create rubbery 'smart' material to treat open wounds, infections and cancer
Researchers in the Syracuse University College of Engineering and Computer Science have developed a material -- a new kind of shape memory polymer (SMP) -- that could have major implications for health care.
Study sheds more light on genes' 'on/off' switches
Regulation of genes by noncoding DNA might help explain the complex interplay between our environment and genetic expression.
New consolidated bio-saccharification technique for lignocellulose conversion developed
A research group from the Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, has developed a novel strategy for cost-efficient lignocellulose conversion.
When temperatures drop, Siberian Miscanthus plants surpass main bioenergy variety
Miscanthus is a popular, sustainable, perennial feedstock for bioenergy production that thrives on marginal land in temperate regions.
Electrically-heated silicate glass appears to defy Joule's first law
A group of scientists from Lehigh University and Corning Incorporated have authored a paper published today in Nature Scientific Reports that details their discovery that electrically-heated common, homogeneous silicate glasses appear to defy Joule's first law.
Inhibiting cancer-causing protein could prevent scleroderma fibrosis
Examining the autoimmune disease at the molecular level led researchers to a specific molecule that could be contributing to the disease progression in patients.
NASA-NOAA satellite finds Typhoon Wutip's eye clouded
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed over the Northwestern Pacific Ocean and captured an image of Typhoon Wutip that revealed its eye was clouding over.
New mothers reduce their alcohol intake, but this change is short-lived
Most women dramatically reduce their alcohol intake on learning they are pregnant, but by the time their child is five they are back to their pre-pregnancy drinking levels, a new international study has found.
Tobacco plants transformed into 'green bioreactors' to benefit human health
Researchers at Western University and Lawson Health Research Institute are using tobacco plants as 'green bioreactors' to produce large quantities of a human protein called Interleukin 37, or IL-37.
'Ibiza is different', genetically
'Ibiza is different.' That is what the hundreds of standard-bearers of the 'hippie' movement who visited the Pitiusan Island during the 60s thought, fascinated by its climate and its unexplored nature.
Researchers identify how the bacterial replicative helicase opens to start DNA replication process
Researchers have identified the mechanism used by the helicase ring to thread around and separate entwined DNA strands in the replication process.
Improved outlook for people of African descent with treatment-resistant schizophrenia
A study led by researchers at Cardiff University means that more people of African descent who have treatment-resistant schizophrenia could be safely given the drug best proven to manage their symptoms.
Super-enhancers: novel target for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma
Among many pathways of cancer progression that PDAC relies on, anomalous activation of the sonic hedgehog pathway has shown in a variety of human cancers, including, basal cell carcinoma, malignant gliomas, medulloblastoma, leukemias, and cancers of the breast, lung, pancreas, and prostate.
New breakthrough in understanding a severe child speech impediment
An international study led by the Murdoch Children's Research Institute has made a breakthrough in identifying a potential cause of the most severe child speech impediment -- apraxia.
Inside the brains of hungry worms, researchers find clues about how they hunt
When looking for food, the roundworm C. elegans searches the same area for up to 20 minutes before trying its luck at more distant locales.
Drug interactions in ER's common but preventable, Rutgers study finds
In a recent Rutgers study, 38 percent of patients discharged from the emergency department had at least one drug interaction resulting from a newly prescribed medicine.
Pioneering trial offers hope for restoring brain cells damaged in Parkinson's
Results from a pioneering clinical trials programme that delivered an experimental treatment directly to the brain offer hope that it may be possible to restore the cells damaged in Parkinson's.
Anemic galaxy reveals deficiencies in ultra-diffuse galaxy formation theory
A team of astronomers led by the University of California Observatories discovered a bizarre, solitary ultra-diffuse galaxy (UDG).
Packaging insecticides in tiny capsules may make them more toxic
Encasing insecticides in microscopic plastic capsules -- a common formulation for many pest sprays on the market -- could lead to unintended consequences.

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