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Science Current Events and Science News | Brightsurf | March 28, 2019


Researchers discover a critical receptor involved in response to antidepressants like ketamine
Effective treatment of clinical depression remains a major mental health issue, with roughly 30 percent of patients who do not respond to any of the available treatments.
Researchers at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's optimize gene editing for SCD and beta thalassemia
Gene editing of patients' blood stem cells can potentially cure many blood disorders.
For some people, attractive wives and high status husbands enhance marital quality
Researchers from Florida State University found that maximizing men -- those who seek to make the 'best' choice -- who had attractive wives were more satisfied at the start of their marriages than maximizing men who had less attractive wives, and maximizing women who had high status husbands experienced less steep declines in satisfaction over time than maximizing women who had low status husbands.
New way of designing systems against correlated disruptions uses negative probability
Until now, systems engineers have struggled with the problem of planning for disaster impacts that are linked by correlation -- like those of earthquakes and tsunamis -- because of the cumbersome calculations necessary to precisely quantify the probabilities of all possible combinations of disruption occurrences.
Harnessing T-cell 'stemness' could enhance cancer immunotherapy
A new study led by scientists in the Center for Cancer Research (CCR) at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) sheds light on one way tumors may continue to grow despite the presence of cancer-killing immune cells.
Galápagos islands have nearly 10 times more alien marine species than once thought
Over 50 non-native species have found their way to the Galápagos Islands, almost 10 times more than scientists previously thought, reports a new study from Williams College and the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center published Thursday, March 28.
Okinawan sea grapes reveal secrets of plant evolution
Scientists decoded the genome of the popular Okinawan seaweed 'umi-budo' or 'sea grapes,' which could help ease the crop's cultivation and address environmental issues caused by the invasive spread of related species.
Scientists reveal largest Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton
Paleontologists have discovered and characterized the largest Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton ever found, making it the biggest terrestrial carnivore currently known to science.
University of Hawaii team records self-destructing asteroid
University of Hawaii at Manoa Institute for Astronomy researchers discovered that asteroid Gault has begun to slowly disintegrate.
NASA finds Tropical Cyclone Joaninha maintaining an eye
Tropical Cyclone Joaninha is not yet ready to close its eye and weaken.
Turbocharging the switch to efficient engines
Predicting capricious pre-ignition combustion events could enable automakers to build powerful yet more efficient engines.
New mathematical model could be key to designing effective therapies for brain disorders
A collaboration between researchers from the UAB Institute of Neurosciences (INc) and the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline, published in March in Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, describes a mathematical model to quantify the activity of biased G-protein-coupled receptors.
Poor oral health may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer among African American women
African American women with poor oral health may be more likely to get pancreatic cancer (PC).
Sea anemones are ingesting plastic microfibers
Tiny fragments of plastic in the ocean are consumed by sea anemones along with their food, and bleached anemones retain these microfibers longer than healthy ones, according to new research from Carnegie ecologists.
WHO guidelines fail to detect half of chronic hepatitis B patients in Ethiopia needing treatment
Current World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for chronic hepatitis B (CHB) fail to detect half of the patients in need of treatment in Ethiopia, report scientists in the Journal of Hepatology, published by Elsevier.
3D printed tissues may keep athletes in action
Bioscientists at Rice and the University of Maryland with the Center for Engineering Complex Tissues learn to 3D-print scaffolds that may help heal osteochondral injuries of the sort suffered by many athletes.
What Americans know about science
There are substantial differences among Americans when it comes to knowledge and understanding of science and scientific processes.
Same microbe, different effect
Asking a different question about the bacteria in our microbiomes might help target disease more precisely.
Decision makers need contextual interactive guidance
As decision makers balance economic, environmental and social aspects of living, planners and others need decision-making tools that support the process, but do not dictate the outcomes, so that trade-off choices can reflect a wide array of needs, according to a team of researchers who looked at an interactive program using trade-off diagrams.
Death rates from cesarean section far higher in developing countries
Cesarean sections are disproportionately threatening the lives of women and babies in low and middle-income countries (LMIC), according to a study led by Queen Mary University of London.
Arbitrary categories improve visual learning transfer, study finds
This type of learning transfer opens the door for applying basic cognitive science research to help patients with vision loss.
Novel methodological tool helps detect synergistic phenomena in phytoplankton growth
Researchers have developed a new model allowing them to observe the key drivers of phytoplankton growth (blooms) patterns in the seas surrounding the United Kingdom, according to a study in PLOS Computational Biology, by Lawrence W.
Illuminating water filtration
For the first time, a team of researchers from Stony Brook University and the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory have revealed the molecular structure of membranes used in reverse osmosis.
Scientists discover potential sustainable energy technology for the household refrigerator
While many advancements have been in improving its efficiency, the refrigerator still consumes considerable energy each year.
Liquid meal replacements contributed to greater weight loss than low-calorie diets: review
Liquid meal replacements helped overweight diabetes patients lose an average of about five pounds more than others who tried a conventional low-calorie diet, according to a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.
Anions and cations in dual-ion batteries act like cowherd and weaver girl
A research team led by Prof. TANG Yongbing and Dr.
Winds of change...Solar variability weakens the Walker cell
An international team of researchers has found robust evidence for signatures of the 11-year sunspot cycle in the tropical Pacific.
Novel insights into soil biodiversity, Earth's global engine
The findings indicate changes in soil biodiversity are driven by changes in plant cover and soil acidification during ecosystem development.
CNIO researchers identify a new gene involved in the development of a rare endocrine tumour
Paragangliomas and phaeochromocytomas are very rare neuroendocrine tumours and also the most hereditary form of all types of cancer.
How to free the trapped radicals from the carboxyl?
The removal of carboxyl groups and the release of alkyl radical fragments from the tight binding of carboxyl groups are one of the most interesting and promising directions in organic synthesis, especially in the field of new drug synthesis.
What's in this plant? The best automated system for finding potential drugs
Researchers at the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science (CSRS) in Japan have developed a new computational mass-spectrometry system for identifying metabolomes -- entire sets of metabolites for different living organisms.
Virtual reality could be used to treat autism
Playing games in virtual reality (VR) could be a key tool in treating people with neurological disorders such as autism, schizophrenia and Parkinson's disease.
Surgical implications of rising heroin abuse
With heroin abuse on the rise in the United States, related surgical complications are also increasing, including severe infections and complications related to heroin injection.
Promising new drugs for old pathogen Mtb
UConn researchers are targeting a metabolic pathway, the dihydrofolate reductase pathway, crucial for amino acid synthesis to treat TB infections.
Scientists find brain mechanism that naturally combats overeating
Studying a brain region involved in memory, researchers discovered a set of neurons that help mice control their appetite.
Home-based tools can help assess dementia risk and progression
Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, with colleagues elsewhere, report on a novel four-year, randomized clinical trial evaluating different home-based methods to assess cognitive function and decline in participants over the age of 75.
Sexual satisfaction among older people about more than just health
Sexual satisfaction among older people about more than just health.
Novel study links fetal exposure to nicotine and sudden infant death syndrome
Fetal exposure to tobacco smoke in utero is associated with sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and cardiac arrhythmias in newborns.
'Free lunch' warps inner spatial map in rat brains and, by implication, human brains
Our brains' neural circuitry creates spatial maps as we navigate through new environments, allowing us to recall locations and directions.
A bad bout of flu triggers 'taste bud cells' to grow in the lungs
When researchers from the University of Pennsylvania examined mice that had recovered from severe influenza, they came upon a surprising discovery: Taste bud cells had grown in the animals' lungs.
The bigger the evolutionary jump, the more lethal cross-species diseases could be
Some diseases which are fatal in one species can cause only mild discomfort in another--but it's hard for scientists to predict how lethal a disease will be if it leaps across species.
New evidence of deep groundwater on Mars
Researchers at the USC Arid Climate and Water Research Center (AWARE) have published a study that suggests deep groundwater could still be active on Mars and could originate surface streams in some near-equatorial areas on Mars.
Cancer prevention drug also disables H. pylori bacterium
A medicine currently being tested as a chemoprevention agent for multiple types of cancer has more than one trick in its bag when it comes to preventing stomach cancer, Vanderbilt researchers have discovered.
Breast cancer: The promises of old recipes
Of the three major subtypes of breast cancer, the «triple negative» is the most lethal and unlike other breast cancers, it is resistant to most existing therapies.
Copycat fungus deceives immune system and deactivates body's response to infection
Fungus can imitate signals from our immune system and prevent our body from responding to infection, new research from the University of Sheffield has found.
A ventilation system proves effective at reducing hospital infections
The mechanism produces airflow that removes pathogens present in the air of a hospital room.
What 'Big Data' reveals about the diversity of species
'Big data' and large-scale analyses are critical for biodiversity research to find out how animal and plant species are distributed worldwide and how ecosystems function.
The Serengeti squeeze: Human activities at edges of protected areas undermine these ecosystems
Human activity and landscape degradation in the borderlands surrounding Protected Areas (PAs) may have far-reaching consequences and undermine the ecosystems they aim to protect.
Record efficiency for perovskite-based light-emitting diodes
Efficient near-infrared (NIR) light-emitting diodes of perovskite have been produced in a laboratory at Linköping University.
Biologists find a way to boost intestinal stem cell populations
MIT and University of Tokyo biologists have found that aging takes a toll on intestinal stem cells and may contribute to increased susceptibility to disorders of the gastrointestinal tract.
Harnessing plant hormones for food security in Africa
Striga is a parasitic plant that threatens the food supply of 300 million people in sub-Saharan Africa.
Shrimp claw inspires new method of underwater plasma generation
Texas A&M University researchers are looking to nature for inspiration in developing a new method of underwater plasma generation using shrimp as a model - a discovery that could provide significant improvements for actions ranging from water sterilization to drilling.
Tiny optical elements could one day replace traditional refractive lenses
A Northwestern University research team has developed tiny optical elements from metal nanoparticles and a polymer that one day could replace traditional refractive lenses to realize portable imaging systems and optoelectronic devices.
Maternal diet during pregnancy may modulate the risk of ADHD symptoms in children
A study published in The Journal of Pediatrics suggest that the risk of a child developing symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may be modulated by the mother's diet during pregnancy.
New tool uses RNA sequencing to chart rich maps of cellular and tissue function
A new technique developed by scientists at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard gives an unprecedented view of the cellular organization of tissues.
Hubble captures rare active asteroid
Thanks to an impressive collaboration bringing together data from ground-based telescopes, all-sky surveys and space-based facilities -- including the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope -- a rare self-destructing asteroid called 6478 Gault has been observed.
Studying reintroduction of bull trout with simulations
Their project is one of the first to use an advanced computer model to simulate the genetic and demographic outcomes of the reintroduction by projecting 200 years into the future.
Pediatric cell atlas will map single-cell changes for a deeper view of child health and disease
Biomedical researchers plan to create the Pediatric Cell Atlas, a powerful new resource for fine-grained scientific understanding of human growth and development.
New study confirms EpCAM as promising target for cancer immunotherapy
Researchers have shown that cancer immunotherapy targeting the tumor biomarker epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM) is safe and nontoxic in mice and can significantly delay tumor formation and growth.
1 billion people will be newly exposed to diseases like dengue fever as world temperatures rise
As many as a billion people could be newly exposed to disease-carrying mosquitoes by the end of the century because of global warming, says a new study that examines temperature changes on a monthly basis across the world.
Bacteria partners with virus to cause chronic wounds, Stanford study finds
A common bacterial pathogen called Pseudomonas aeruginosa produces a virus that substantially increases the pathogen's ability to infect us, according to a study by investigators at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
Mass amphibian extinctions globally caused by fungal disease
An international study led by The Australian National University (ANU) has found a fungal disease has caused dramatic population declines in more than 500 amphibian species, including 90 extinctions, over the past 50 years.
A compass pointing west
Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI and ETH Zurich have discovered a special phenomenon of magnetism in the nano range.
KIT expert comments on current topic: Trade war imperils Amazon rainforest
Last year, the United States of America imposed tariffs of up to 25 percent on goods imported from China.
Running upright: The minuscule movements that keep us from falling
Maybe running comes easy, each stride pleasant and light. Maybe it comes hard, each step a slog to the finish.
Wood ash recycling program could help save Muskoka's forests and lakes
Implementing a new residential wood ash recycling program to restore calcium levels in Muskoka's forest soils and lakes could help replenish the area's dwindling supply of crayfish and maple sap, according to new research co-led by York University.
Stabilizing ends of chromosomes could treat age-related disease
A study has uncovered a new strategy that can potentially treat age-related disease and decline.
Researchers target metastasis in fight against cancer
An experimental combination drug therapy attacking the DNA integrity of cancer cells is showing promise for a possible new cancer therapy in the future.
First ever living donor HIV-to-HIV kidney transplant
For the first time, a person living with HIV has donated a kidney to a transplant recipient also living with HIV.
Consumers view nutrition and health claims differently than regulators
Consumers may not consciously differentiate nutrition and health claims on foods in the way that regulatory experts do, new research published in the journal Nutrients reports.
Cultured stem cells reconstruct sensory nerve and tissue structure in the nose
Researchers have developed a method to grow and maintain olfactory stem cells.
Hubble watches spun-up asteroid coming apart
A small asteroid has been caught in the process of spinning so fast it's throwing off material, according to new data from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and other observatories.
'Moving target' breast cancer cells revealed by new imaging technique
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute researchers have developed a new imaging technique to visualise key steps in the evolution of cancer cells within tumours, potentially revealing how breast cancers evade treatment.
NJIT mathematical sciences professor releases major league baseball predictions
NJIT Mathematical Sciences Professor and Associate Dean Bruce Bukiet has published his model's projections of how the standings should look at the end of Major League Baseball's regular season in 2019.
New Yorkers brace for self-cloning Asian longhorned tick
A Columbia University study maps out the increase and spread of the Asian longhorned tick, a new species identified last summer in Westchester and Staten island.
Dissecting dengue: Innovative model sheds light on confounding immune response
A challenge of dengue infection -- for which 40 percent of the global population is at risk -- is that it can be caused by one of four versions of the virus, and infection by one type only protects for that version and can cause more severe disease following infection with another type.
Five new frog species from Madagascar
Scientists at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet in Munich and the Bavarian State Collection of Zoology have named five new species of frogs found across the island of Madagascar.
Biomedical engineers grow cardiac patches to help people recover from heart attacks
A little goes a long way. Tiny blood vessels are essential for regenerative engineering and a team led by engineers from Michigan Tech has detailed innovative methods to ensure highly aligned, dense and mature microvasculature in engineered tissue that can be used for cardiac patches.
Scientists tie walnuts to gene expressions related to breast cancer
New research from Marshall University links walnut consumption as a contributing factor that could suppress growth and survival of breast cancers.
Penn researchers discover the source of new neurons in brain hippocampus
Researchers have shown, in mice, that one type of stem cell that makes adult neurons is the source of this lifetime stock of new cells in the hippocampus.
Shape shifting mirror opens a vista for the future
A team of researchers from JTEC Corporation and Osaka University developed a bimorph deformable mirror that allows for precise shape modification and usage under vacuum, a world first.
Knowledge gap closed in our understanding of degradation of ethane
With a share of up to ten percent, ethane is the second most common component of natural gas and is present in deep-seated land and marine gas deposits all around the world.
Designer organelles bring new functionalities into cells
For the first time, scientists have engineered the complex biological process of translation into a designer organelle in a living mammalian cell.
Changes in onset of spring linked to more allergies across the US
Human-induced climate change is disrupting nature's calendar, including when plants bloom and the spring season starts, and new research from the University of School of Public Health suggests we're increasingly paying the price for it in the form of seasonal allergies.
Fungal disease threatens hundreds of amphibian species worldwide
A new international study is the first to determine the comprehensive global impact of the deadly fungal disease chytridiomycosis -- and the news is not good.
Speedier stomata in optogenetically enhanced plants improve growth and conserve water
By introducing an extra ion channel into the stomata of mustard plants, researchers have developed a new a way to speed up the stomatal response in their leaves.
Fungus has decimated the populations of 501 amphibian species worldwide
Survey by researchers in 16 countries is published in Science.
Invasive crayfish sabotages its own success, study says
Understanding when and why invasive species populations crash could help managers decide when and where to apply control efforts.
Reducing water consumption in mining
Plenty of water is needed for beneficiation of mineral ores.
In ancient oceans that resembled our own, oxygen loss triggered mass extinction
Researchers provide first conclusive evidence linking widespread ocean oxygen loss and rising sea levels to a 430-million-year-old mass extinction event.
UAlberta leads urgent call for sample rocks from Mars
In order to answer our most pressing questions about Mars, scientists need samples collected from the planet's surface and returned to Earth for examination.
Dark matter experiment finds no evidence of axions
In a paper published today in Physical Review Letters, an MIT-led team reports that in the first month of observations the experiment detected no sign of axions within the mass range of 0.31 to 8.3 nanoelectronvolts.
Seismic safety upgrades may cost CA hospitals billions
California hospitals would need to make substantial investments -- between $34 billion and $143 billion statewide -- to meet 2030 state seismic safety standards, according to a new RAND Corporation report.
Screening for colorectal cancer at 45 would avert deaths, but testing older adults would do more
Starting routine colorectal cancer screening at age 45 rather than 50 would decrease U.S. cancer deaths, but screening a greater number of older and high-risk adults would avert nearly three times as many diagnoses and deaths at a lower cost.
A new class of branched single chain surfactant for enhanced oil recovery reported
A new green surfactant for efficient enhanced oil recovery (EOR) has been developed by scientists at the Energy Safety Research Institute at Swansea University.
First global tally of an amphibian killer
Chytridiomycosis, a highly virulent fungal amphibian disease, has been linked to the worldwide decline of more than 500 species - including 90 presumed extinctions - over the last 50 years, researchers report.
How to make self-driving cars safer on roads
At USC, researchers have published a new study that tackles a long-standing problem for autonomous vehicle developers: testing the system's perception algorithms, which allow the car to 'understand' what it 'sees.'
ORNL investigates complex uranium oxides with help from CADES resources
To accelerate the process of identifying novel uranium oxide phases, an ORNL team studied 4,600 different potential crystal structures of uranium oxide compositions on Metis, a CADES high-performance computing cluster.
Cornell model helps dairy farms reduce nitrogen, save money
The Chesapeake Bay -- about 235 miles down the Susquehanna River from New York's Southern Tier -- and other waterways might grow cleaner, thanks to new updates and improvements in a Cornell dairy nutrition model.
Digital health must be reimbursed to cope with chronic disease
Sophia Antipolis, 28 March 2019: Health systems must reimburse digital health and integrate it into routine care to cope with chronic disease.
Crime scene schizophrenia -- 30 genes under suspicion
The research group led by Prof. Alex Schier, Director of the University of Basel's Biozentrum, has identified 30 genes associated with schizophrenia.
Ferromagnetic nanoparticle systems show promise for ultrahigh-speed spintronics
In the future, ultrahigh-speed spintronics will require ultrafast coherent magnetization reversal within a picosecond.
How mosquitoes smell human sweat (and new ways to stop them)
Female mosquitoes are known to rely on an array of sensory information to find people to bite, picking up on carbon dioxide, body odor, heat, moisture, and visual cues.
Grid cells create 'treasure map' in rat brain
Grid cells and place cells are specialized neurons that allow the brain to create a map of the outside world in which one navigates (Nobel Prize 2014).
In mice, single population of stem cells contributes to lifelong hippocampal neurogenesis
In the latest update in the field of adult neurogenesis, a team of researchers has shown in mice that a single lineage of neural progenitors contributes to embryonic, early postnatal, and adult neurogenesis in the hippocampus, and that these cells are continuously generated throughout a lifetime.
Research leads to new molecular diagnostic tool
A new sophisticated computational model, developed by scientists at Lawson Health Research Institute, is bringing an innovative method of diagnosing rare hereditary conditions.
Feather mites may help clean birds' plumage, study shows
Feather mites help to remove bacteria and fungi from the feathers of birds, according to a new study by University of Alberta biologists.
Nanovaccine boosts immunity in sufferers of metabolic syndrome
A new class of biomaterial developed by Cornell researchers for an infectious disease nanovaccine effectively boosted immunity in mice with metabolic disorders linked to gut bacteria - a population that shows resistance to traditional flu and polio vaccines.
Introducing a kinder, gentler way to blow holes in cells
Getting big molecules into cells isn't easy, and it isn't easy on the cells, either.
Most precise measurements of sickle cell disease building blocks could lead to new treatments
In a breakthrough study of sickle cell disease, biomedical engineers in the University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering have revealed that the building blocks of the disease are much less efficient at organizing than previously thought.
Illinois study identifies a key to soybean cyst nematode growth
The soybean cyst nematode, one of the crop's most destructive pests, isn't like most of its wormy relatives.
Caffeine on the mind? Just seeing reminders of coffee can stimulate our brain
A new University of Toronto study finds that just seeing reminders of coffee can arouse us, causing our minds to be more alert and attentive.
Close Cassini flybys of Saturn's ring moons
The properties of five small moons located close to Saturn's rings have been illuminated, thanks to data from the Cassini spacecraft's final orbits.
Improving equity in global physician training
Large numbers of U.S. physicians and medical trainees engage in hands-on clinical experiences abroad where they gain skills working across cultures with limited resources.
Allergic reactions play role in sexual behavior development in unborn males/females
Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and colleagues at Ohio State University have discovered that allergic reactions trigger changes in brain behavior development in unborn males and females.
New model predicts substantial reduction of malaria transmitting mosquitoes
In much of sub-Saharan Africa, malaria is a huge public health burden.
BU finds universal background checks lower homicide rates
A new study led by Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researchers finds states with universal background check laws had homicide rates 15 percent lower than states without them.
New technique reduces time-lag between component manufacture and checking precision on CMM
The technique, developed by Dr. Naeem Mian, calculates how long it takes for a component's temperature to be stabilized so that it can safely be measured by a Coordinate Measuring Machine.
New approach could boost energy capacity of lithium batteries
Researchers at MIT and in China have found a new way to make cathodes for lithium batteries, offering improvements in the amount of power for both a given weight and a given volume.
Modelled climate change impact on mosquito-borne virus transmission
Mosquito-borne viruses, such as dengue, chikungunya, and Zika, already threaten over a billion people globally.
The Serengeti-Mara squeeze -- One of the world's most iconic ecosystems under pressure
Increased human activity around one of Africa's most iconic ecosystems is damaging habitation and disrupting the migration routes of wildebeest, zebra, and gazelle, an international study has concluded.
Videos to tell the youngest generations about science
How can we transmit our passion for science in a way that is attractive for new generations?

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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#532 A Class Conversation
This week we take a look at the sociology of class. What factors create and impact class? How do we try and study it? How does class play out differently in different countries like the US and the UK? How does it impact the political system? We talk with Daniel Laurison, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Swarthmore College and coauthor of the book "The Class Ceiling: Why it Pays to be Privileged", about class and its impacts on people and our systems.