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Science Current Events and Science News | Brightsurf | February 27, 2019


New treatment offers potentially promising results for the possibility of slowing, stopping, or even reversing Parkinson's disease
A pioneering clinical trials program that delivered an experimental treatment directly to the brain offers hope that it may be possible to restore the cells damaged in Parkinson's disease.
University of Guelph researchers uncover why environmental cues make drug addiction extra hard to beat
Besides triggering the brain's emotional and stimulus-response systems, environmental cues activate areas where memories are processed, according to this University of Guelph study.
Health insurance is not assurance of healthcare
Because of high out-of-pocket expenses, Ohioans who purchase subsidized health-exchange insurance often can't afford the care they need when they need it.
In the game of love, local salmon have a home-ground advantage
Genetic analysis of thousands of salmon shows that in salmon mating, home-ground advantage applies.
CVIA special issue on women's heart health to coincide with 'The Heart Truth'
The first Friday of February is an annual celebration by millions of Americans who wear red to raise awareness about The Heart Truth, a national campaign sponsored by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
Getting to the core of underwater soil
Soils all over the Earth's surface are rigorously tested and managed.
Muscle gene mutations implicated in human nasal/sinus cancer
By sequencing the entire genomes of tumor cells from six people with a rare cancer of the nose and sinus cavity, Johns Hopkins researchers report they unexpectedly found the same genetic change -- one in a gene involved in muscle formation -- in five of the tumors.
Resistance training even as little as once per week benefits older individuals
Resistance training improves the health of over 65-year-olds, and the benefits occur even when some people train as little as once per week.
Not all sleep is equal when it comes to cleaning the brain
New research shows how the depth of sleep can impact our brain's ability to efficiently wash away waste and toxic proteins.
Oldest frog relative found in North America
A team of paleontologists led by Virginia Tech's Michelle Stocker and Sterling Nesbitt of the Department of Geosciences have identified fossil fragments of what are thought to be the oldest known frogs in North America.
Lab study: Parkinson's researchers test a new approach against motor disorders
Scientists of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and the University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) have been able to alleviate motor disorders in mice that resemble those seen in Parkinson's patients.
Thirty years of fast food: Greater variety, but more salt, larger portions, and added calories
Despite the addition of some healthful menu items, fast food is even more unhealthy for you than it was 30 years ago.
Crop residue burning is a major contributor to air pollution in South Asia
Urban emissions of black carbon from fossil fuel combustion are not always the main contributor to severe air pollution in south Asian megacities like New Delhi, shows a new study by researchers from Stockholm University and the Indian Institute for Tropical Meteorology, published in the journal Nature Sustainability.
Researchers discover cell mechanism that delays and repairs DNA damage that can lead to cancer
Researchers from the University of Copenhagen have identified a specific mechanism that protects our cells from natural DNA errors -- an 'enemy within' -- which could permanently damage our genetic code and lead to diseases such as cancer.
High-tech laser scans uncover hidden military traverse at Alcatraz Island
High-tech radar and laser scans have uncovered a hidden military traverse underneath the infamous Alcatraz penitentiary, according to research led by faculty at Binghamton University, State University of New York.
Early use of antibiotics in elderly patients with UTIs associated with reduced risk of sepsis
Prescribing antibiotics immediately for elderly patients with urinary tract infections is linked with a reduced risk of sepsis and death, compared with patients who receive antibiotics in the days following diagnosis, or none at all.
Colon cancer growth reduced by exercise
Exercise may play a role in reducing the growth of colon cancer cells according to new research published in The Journal of Physiology.
New buzz around insect DNA analysis and biodiversity estimates
Researchers on the remote forested island of Hauturu, New Zealand have compiled a staggering inventory of invertebrate biodiversity using DNA sequencing, adding a significant number of invertebrates to GenBank - an open access database of all publicly available DNA sequences.
Montana State team discovers 'incredibly' diverse microbial community high in Yellowstone
Montana State University researchers Dan Colman and Eric Boyd published their findings from a Smoke Jumper Geyser Basin hot spring in the journal Nature Communications earlier this month.
Liquid biopsy as effective as tissue biopsy for non-small cell lung cancer according to MD Anderson study
A multi-center study led by researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center revealed that a liquid biopsy test called Guardant360®, is comparable to standard tissue biopsies in detection of guideline recommended biomarkers in advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), has a faster turn-around time, and has the potential to support identification of more patients who can be treated with targeted therapy.
Dark matter may be hitting the right note in small galaxies
Dark matter may scatter against each other only when they hit the right energy, says international team of researchers in new study.
Custom-made proteins may help create antibodies to fight HIV
Using computational modeling, a team of researchers led by Penn State designed and created proteins that mimicked different surface features of HIV.
Kaiser Permanente improves emergency care for patients with chest pain
Emergency physicians at Kaiser Permanente hospitals in Southern California reduced hospital admissions and cardiac stress testing by using new criteria to assess the level of risk patients with chest pain have for subsequent cardiac events.
NASA tracks a weaker Typhoon Wutip through northwestern Pacific
Visible imagery from NASA's Terra satellite showed that Typhoon Wutip has become more elongated as a result of wind shear.
A gentle method for unlocking the mysteries of the deep brain
Serious diseases are directly linked to the subcortical areas of the brain.
Researchers 'bait' pathological proteins underlying many neurodegenerative disorders
The vast majority of patients with neurodegenerative disorders do not have specific gene mutations, but a single misbehaving protein -- called TDP-43 -- seems to be at the heart of these diseases.
Now you see heat, now you don't
Hiding an object from heat-sensing cameras could be useful for military and technology applications as well as for research.
Batmobile with cruise control
A new study led by scientists at the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (Leibniz-IZW) investigated the energy requirements and travel speeds of migrating Nathusius' bats (Pipistrellus nathusii).
Is prenatal vitamin use by moms associated with risk for autism spectrum disorder recurrence in young siblings?
This study examined whether prenatal vitamin use by mothers was associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) recurrence in high-risk families.
Risk remains low despite rise in global shark attacks
A new study led by Department of Oceanography & Coastal Sciences Assistant Professor Stephen Midway at Louisiana State University shows that although the number of shark attacks has increased over time, the rate of attack is low and the risk of being attacked by a shark is highly variable across the globe.
Research suggests that medications for kidney transplants increase risk of skin cancer
A study led by researchers at RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland) has analysed the pattern of skin cancer rates in kidney transplant patients, which suggests the increased risk is related to the anti-rejection medications.
New mechanism of bone growth discovered
In a paper published in Nature, researchers at Karolinska Institutet report that bone growth in mice takes place in accordance with the same principles as when new cells are constantly produced in blood, skin and other tissue.
Environmental variables may influence B cell development and allergies in children
An analysis of a birth cohort containing 51 newborns followed from infancy through the first three years of life has linked mutations in antibodies to a heightened risk of allergic diseases such as eczema.
Many antibiotic courses for common infections not in line with guidelines
Many antibiotic courses prescribed for common infections treated in English primary care (general practices and community services) exceed the recommended guidelines, reveals a study in The BMJ today.
Yeast produce low-cost, high-quality cannabinoids
UC Berkeley synthetic biologists have created an enzymatic network in yeast that turns sugar into cannabinoids, including tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol, but also novel cannabinoids not found in the marijuana plant itself.
Fast, flexible ionic transistors for bioelectronic devices
Columbia researchers have developed the first biocompatible internal-ion-gated organic electrochemical transistor (IGT) that is fast enough to enable real-time signal sensing and stimulation of brain signals.
Detecting cyanide exposure
Cyanide exposure can happen occupationally or in low levels from inhaling cigarette smoke -- or from being poisoned by someone out to get you.
Researchers develop model to predict suicide risk in at-risk young adults
New research from Pitt's School of Medicine shows that fluctuation and severity of depressive symptoms are much better at predicting risk of suicidal behavior in at-risk young adults.
Federal same-sex marriage ruling improved life satisfaction for individuals, study shows
Human Development and Family Studies researchers at the University of Illinois intially wanted to understand how variation in state-level legislation and local community climate regarding same-sex marriage impacts the well-being and life satisfaction of same-sex couples across the US.
How young adults experience pain affects self-injury, Rutgers study finds
Teen-agers and young adults who intentionally hurt themselves engage in such behavior based, in part, on how they experience pain and their emotional distress, according to a Rutgers study.
Family businesses should prepare for the unexpected if next generation to succeed
Family businesses looking to the next generation to take over need to prepare themselves for unexpected events -- such as Brexit -- according to researchers at the University of East Anglia.
'Upcycling' plastic bottles could give them a more useful second life
Scientists at the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory have developed a recycling process that transforms single-use beverage bottles, clothing, and carpet made from the common polyester material polyethylene terephthalate (PET) into more valuable products with a longer lifespan.
Chelated calcium benefits poinsettias
Cutting quality has an impact on postharvest durability during shipping and propagation of poinsettias.
Aiming for gold: improving reproducibility in hydrology studies
Low levels of reproducibility are not uncommon in hydrology studies.
How listening to music 'significantly impairs' creativity
The popular view that music enhances creativity has been challenged by researchers who say it has the opposite effect.
Mother's behavioral corrections tune infant's brain to angry tone
The same brain network that adults use when they hear angry vocalizations is at work in infants as young as six months old, an effect that is strongest in infants whose mothers spend the most time controlling their behavior, according to a new study in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Chen Zhao of the University of Manchester, UK, and colleagues.
Directed evolution builds nanoparticles
Directed evolution is a powerful technique for engineering proteins. EPFL scientists now show that it can also be used to engineer synthetic nanoparticles as optical biosensors, which are used widely in biology, drug development, and even medical diagnostics such as real-time monitoring of glucose.
Human settlements and rainfall affect giraffe home ranges
Giraffes that live close to densely populated towns have larger home ranges than giraffes that live far from towns, suggesting that the giraffes in human-impacted areas need to travel longer distances -- and expend more energy -- to obtain critical resources.
Comparing antioxidants levels in tomatoes of different color
Greater levels of specific antioxidants were associated with particular colorations of tomato fruit.
Scientists discover predictors that determine toxic fats in the liver
In a study published in the prestigious scientific journal, Nature, a team of researchers from the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, University of California, and University of Sydney, have discovered biomarkers in the blood that can predict the accumulation of toxic fats in the liver, which are a sign of early fatty liver disease.
3,500 years of shellfish farming by indigenous peoples on the Northwest coast
The indigenous peoples of British Columbia have been harvesting shellfish from specially-constructed clam gardens for at least 3,500 years, according to a study released Feb.
Don't panic: Lessons learned from Hawaii false alarm
People did not panic after receiving a false alarm text message about an impending ballistic missile.
Using histones as bait: How do cells decide how to repair their DNA?
When DNA in the cell nucleus gets damaged, our cells can resort to a variety of repair mechanisms.
New research gives insight into warding off insect pests by way of nematode odors
A recent study revealed insect-killing nematodes also produce distinctive chemical cues that enhance plant defenses and deter Colorado potato beetles.
Reprogramming the wonder drug rapamycin allows creation of new small-molecule drugs
In the new study, the authors aimed to reprogram rapamycin by keeping the parts of rapamycin and tacrolimus that bind FKBP12 and changing the remaining half of the molecule in order to target completely new disease-associated proteins beyond mTOR and calcineurin.
NASA catches Tropical Cyclone Pola near Fiji
Tropical Cyclone Pola was passing near the Southern Pacific country of Fiji when NASA's Aqua satellite analyzed the storm in infrared light and found it strengthening.
Newly identified drug targets could open door for esophageal cancer therapeutics
Blocking two molecular pathways that send signals inside cancer cells could stave off esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC), the most common esophageal malignancy in the United States, according to new research out of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.
Lowering blood pressure and cholesterol may not improve thinking and memory
While drugs that lower blood pressure and cholesterol have been shown to be beneficial for heart health, a new study has found that two such drugs may not provide a similar benefit to the brain.
New continuity of care tracking method for GPs
New research has outlined a simple way to measure continuity of care for GPs, to benefit patients.
Achieving Paris climate target could net additional billions in fisheries revenue
Achieving the Paris Agreement global warming target could protect millions of tonnes in annual worldwide fisheries catch, as well as billions of dollars of annual revenues for fishers, workers' income and household seafood expenditures, according to new research from the University of British Columbia.
Light wakes up freshwater bacteria
Some of the bacteria that live in ponds grow faster during the day, even if they don't take in sunlight as an energy source, suggesting the existence of special genes that absorb light.
Scientists identify alterations of neuronal connectivity in the cortex in OCD patients
Scientists identify alterations of neuronal connectivity distributed throughout different regions of the cerebral cortex in obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Smoking and alcohol: Double trouble for the brain?
Along with many other harmful health consequences, smoking tobacco causes chemical changes, oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain.
Transcendental Meditation reduces compassion fatigue and improves resilience for nurses
Nurses can better cope with the burnout that's endemic to the profession by practicing the Transcendental Meditation® technique, according to a new study published today in the Journal for Nurses in Professional Development.
The trials of turfgrass breeders
In the United States, turfgrasses occupy 1.9 percent of the continental surface and cover an area three times larger than any irrigated crop.
Scientists devise strategies to counteract T cell exhaustion in CAR T cancer therapies
CAR T-cell therapies have saved lives in patients with blood cancers, but there has been a downside: T cells that enter solid tumors can stop working due to a phenomenon called T cell exhaustion.
Good news for future tech: Exotic 'topological' materials are surprisingly common
Once thought rare, strangely behaving substances called 'topological materials' are in fact quite common, a finding that bodes well for their potential use in future electronics.
Toxic byproducts of Agent Orange continue to pollute Vietnam environment, study says
During the Vietnam War, United States aircraft sprayed more than 20 million gallons of herbicides, including dioxin-contaminated Agent Orange, on the country's rain forests, wetlands, and croplands.
First semi-identical twins identified in pregnancy
Boy and girl twins in Brisbane, Australia, have been identified as only the second set of semi-identical, or sesquizygotic, twins in the world -- and the first to be identified by doctors during pregnancy.
Ice-free Arctic summers could happen on earlier side of predictions
The Arctic Ocean could become ice-free in the summer in the next 20 years due to a natural, long-term warming phase in the tropical Pacific that adds to human-caused warming, according to a new study.
Infant sleep duration associated with mother's level of education and prenatal depression
A new study analyzing data from Canadian parents has found that babies sleep less at three months of age if their mothers do not have a university degree, experienced depression during pregnancy or had an emergency cesarean-section delivery.
Latest anti-retroviral drug regimens provide 'Lazarus Effect' for HIV patients
Frailty related to HIV infection 'is rapidly becoming a specter of the past' and today it 'is possible to control HIV infection in all patients,' according to a perspective article authored by a clinical team at the University of Arizona College of Medicine -- Tucson.
Do soccer players have an increased risk of ALS?
Playing professional soccer may be linked to an increased risk of developing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), according to a preliminary study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 71st Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, May 4 to 10, 2019.
Put eggs all in one basket, or spread them around? Birds know best
A species of Central American cuckoo, the greater ani, forms groups of two or three females that nest communally to protect their eggs from predators, but sometimes a female will go outside the communal group and lay an egg in an outsider's nest.
Predictive modeling could help fight neighborhood crime
New technology developed by a Washington State University scientist could help police officers predict where burglaries are likely to occur.
How fungi influence global plant colonisation
The symbiosis of plants and fungi has a great influence on the worldwide spread of plant species.
Flipping the view: New microscope offers options for drug discovery, safety
A microscope developed at Purdue University could be used for drug testing and biological imaging.
Family opioid use and risk of opioid use among teens, young adults following surgical, dental procedures
This study looked at whether long-term opioid use by one or more family members was associated with long-term opioid use by adolescents and young adults prescribed opioids for the first time after common surgical or dental procedures.
Complex medication regimens create challenges for home health care
Medically high-risk patients and communication breakdowns between providers contribute to the difficulty of medication management for older adults receiving home health care, finds a study led by researchers at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing.
Study reveals the structure of the 2nd human cannabinoid receptor
There are two cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) in the human body that can be targeted to alleviate certain pathological conditions, including chronic pain.
Medicating mosquitoes to fight malaria
Mosquitoes that landed on surfaces coated with the anti-malarial compound atovaquone were completely blocked from developing Plasmodium falciparum, the parasite that causes malaria, according to new research led by Harvard T.H.
The tooth of the first fossilized giant ground sloth from Belize exposes its world
By analyzing a tooth from the first remains of an extinct giant ground sloth found in Belize, researchers have uncovered insights into the animal's dietary adaptations, as informed by local climate.
Return of the wolves: How deer escape tactics help save their lives
As gray wolves return to Washington state, a new study finds that one species of deer is changing its behavior to spend more time away from roads, at higher elevations and in rockier landscapes.
Infectious diseases could be diagnosed with smartphones in sub-Saharan Africa
A new Imperial-led review has outlined how health workers could use existing phones to predict and curb the spread of infectious diseases.
Yale researchers create a 'universal entangler' for new quantum tech
One of the key concepts in quantum physics is entanglement, in which two or more quantum systems become so inextricably linked that their collective state can't be determined by observing each element individually.
A new method for precision drug delivery: Painting
Researchers from the McKelvey School of Engineering and Washington University School of Medicine in St.
Researchers safeguard hardware from cyberattack
Researchers at the University of Wyoming and the University of Cincinnati developed an algorithm that safeguards hardware from attacks designed to steal data.
Code used to reduce quantum error in logic gates for first time
Scientists at the University of Sydney have for the first time demonstrated improvement in quantum computers by using codes designed to detect and discard errors in the logic gates of such machines.
Capturing carbon from the air
Climate scientists predict disastrous consequences if greenhouse gases continue to accumulate at ever-increasing rates.
Biologists find the long and short of it when it comes to chromosomes
A team of biologists has uncovered a mechanism that determines faithful inheritance of short chromosomes during the reproductive process.
What controls the tips of our chromosomes?
The tips of our chromosomes have structures called telomeres that prevent our genetic material from unfolding.
Sandia spiking tool improves artificially intelligent devices
The aptly named software package Whetstone enables neural computer networks to process information up to 100 times more efficiently than current standards, making possible an increased use of artificial intelligence in mobile phones, self-driving cars, and image interpretation.
A water-splitting catalyst unlike any other
EPFL chemists have developed a new iron-nickel oxide catalyst for water splitting, the reaction that produces hydrogen fuel.
Raindrop size distributions vary across seasons and rain types
Precipitation and raindrop size distribution (DSD) characteristics in East China vary across seasons and rain types.
Facial recognition software to identify Civil War soldiers
Photo Sleuth may help uncover the mysteries of nearly 4 million photographs of Civil War-era images.
Plant-based meals improve insulin and incretin secretion in those with type 2 diabetes
A plant-based diet improves the secretion of insulin and incretin hormones in those with type 2 diabetes, according to new research published in Nutrients.
Immunizing quantum computers against errors
Researchers at ETH Zurich have used trapped calcium ions to demonstrate a new method for making quantum computers immune to errors.
Opioid use in the family may influence adolescents' opioid risk after surgery
Having a family member with persistent opioid use may be a risk factor for young adults continuing prescriptions long after their own surgeries, a new Michigan Medicine study suggests.
Northwest Coast clam gardens nearly 2,000 years older than previously thought -- study
A study led by SFU archaeology professor Dana Lepofsky and Hakai Institute researcher Nicole Smith reveals that clam gardens, ancient Indigenous food security systems located along B.C.'s coast, date back at least 3,500 years -- almost 2,000 years older than previously thought.
A real turn on: Evolutionary rotation of fly genitalia tied to mating success
Osaka University researchers sought evidence that developmental genital rotation of flies in the order Diptera evolved in correlation with a shift to accommodate mating positions; i.e., 'evolutionary cooperation' of morphology and behavior.
Study identifies predictors of psychiatric events during drug-assisted smoking cessation
Researchers at UC San Diego School of Medicine have identified a clear group of characteristics that predict heightened risk for experiencing increased anxiety or worsening of mood that interferes with daily activities when using a smoking cessation drug.
Delaying or withholding antibiotics for over-65s with urinary infection linked to sepsis
Delaying or witholding antibiotics for over 65s with symptoms of urinary tract infection (UTI) appears to be associated with higher risk of bloodstream infection (sepsis) and death, finds a study published by The BMJ today.
Over 40 percent of GPs intend to quit within five years: New survey
A new survey of GPs has revealed that over 40 percent intend to leave general practice within the next five years, an increase of nearly a third since 2014.
More support for Planet Nine
Mike Brown and Konstantin Batygin offer further clues about Planet Nine.
Typhoid vaccine may protect against other infections
New research by the University of Liverpool and Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine shows that vaccination with weakened strains of Salmonella may also protect against other infections.
Researchers determine how nerve fibers enter spinal cord during early development
New research from Notre Dame could lead to regenerative therapies for people with injuries to their brachial plexus, a group of nerves that starts at the spinal cord and goes into the arm.
A rare assemblage of sharks and rays from nearshore environments of Eocene Madagascar
Eocene-aged sediments of Madagascar contain a previously unknown fauna of sharks and rays, according to a study released Feb.
Iridescent color from clear droplets
Under the right conditions, ordinary clear water droplets on a transparent surface can produce brilliant colors, without the addition of inks or dyes.
Engineers make clear droplets produce iridescent colors
Engineers at MIT and Penn State University have found that under the right conditions, ordinary clear water droplets on a transparent surface can produce brilliant colors, without the addition of inks or dyes.
Ancient extinct sloth tooth in Belize tells story of creature's last year
Some 27,000 years ago in central Belize, a giant sloth was thirsty.
Jumping spider mimics two kinds of ants as it grows
Spiders that pretend to be ants to fool predators have an unusual problem when it comes to sex.
Improving ecosystems with aquatic plants
Wetland restoration is critical for improving ecosystem services, but many aquatic plant nurseries do not have facilities similar to those typically used for large-scale plant production.
Adipocyte glucocorticoid receptors play a role in developing steroid diabetes
Researchers at Osaka University focused on glucocorticoid receptors (GRs), the receptors for the body's endogenous steroids, clarifying part of the mechanism behind metabolic disturbances caused by steroids.
New study indicates early-term infants can succeed at breastfeeding
Researchers have determined that healthy premature babies can have as much success breastfeeding as full-term babies.
Study: Pesticide exposure contributes to faster ALS progression
A new study helps determine the role of pesticides and pollutants during the course of the progressive neurodegenerative disease that has no cure.

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
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#521 The Curious Life of Krill
Krill may be one of the most abundant forms of life on our planet... but it turns out we don't know that much about them. For a create that underpins a massive ocean ecosystem and lives in our oceans in massive numbers, they're surprisingly difficult to study. We sit down and shine some light on these underappreciated crustaceans with Stephen Nicol, Adjunct Professor at the University of Tasmania, Scientific Advisor to the Association of Responsible Krill Harvesting Companies, and author of the book "The Curious Life of Krill: A Conservation Story from the Bottom of the World".