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Science Current Events and Science News | Brightsurf | April 03, 2019


Tipping the scales
Human cells have a sophisticated regulatory system at their disposal: labeling proteins with the small molecule ubiquitin.
Difficulty hearing may keep older patients from participating in their health care
In a Journal of the American Geriatrics Society study of 13,940 adults age 65 years and older, nearly half reported difficulty hearing, and those reporting difficulty said that they had lower levels of active participation in their health care.
Living near protected areas can have positive impacts on human well-being
Living near a protected area can improve aspects of human well-being across the developing world, new research published today in Science Advances suggests.
Immunotherapy kicks and kills HIV by exploiting a common virus
In a first on the quest to cure HIV, University of Pittsburgh scientists report that they've developed an all-in-one immunotherapy approach that not only kicks HIV out of hiding in the immune system, but also kills it.
Transparent wood can store and release heat (video)
Wood may seem more at home in log cabins than modern architecture, but a specially treated type of timber could be tomorrow's trendy building material.
Experimental Biology highlights -- Environment and public health
Embargoed press materials are now available for the Experimental Biology (EB) 2019 meeting, to be held in Orlando April 6-9.
Poll: Pets help older adults cope with health issues, get active and connect with others
Pets help older adults cope with mental and physical health issues, according to a new national poll.
High-tech material in a salt crust
MAX phases unite the positive properties of ceramics and metals.
Secure relationship with new parents reduces anxiety in adopted children
In children who have experienced early institutional care, a strong relationship with their adoptive parents plays a positive role in brain development and the child's long-term mental health, according to a new study, published in Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging, published by Elsevier
How understanding animal behavior can support wildlife conservation
Researchers from EPFL and the University of Zurich have developed a model that uses data from sensors worn by meerkats to gain a more detailed picture of how animals behave in the wild.
Johns Hopkins faculty staff members address travails of navigating metastatic cancer survivorship
Due to advances in treatment, an ever-increasing number of patients are living longer as metastatic cancer survivors.
Amplifier for terahertz lattice vibrations in a semiconductor crystal
In analogy to the amplification of light in a laser, vibrations of a semiconductor crystal, so called phonons, were enhanced by interaction with an electron current.
Discovery shows how mucus build-up, not infections, triggers cystic fibrosis lung damage
The build-up of abnormally thick mucus and the associated inflammation appear to be the initiating cause of damage to the lungs of children with cystic fibrosis (CF), rather than bacterial infections, according to a UNC School of Medicine study published in Science Translational Medicine.
Widely used public health surveys may underestimate global burden of childhood diarrhea
Public health surveys used in as many as 90 countries may be missing the number of recent diarrhea episodes among children by asking parents and caregivers to recall events two weeks versus one week out, suggests a study from researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Fungal mating: Next weapon against corn aflatoxin?
Native fungi combinations show promise against aflatoxin.
Elucidation of functional mechanism of 'love hormone,' oxytocin, at molecular level
Oxytocin is essential in activities of the social brain such as trust and love and in maternal bonding behaviors.
Doing more with less in the study of plant chemical defense
Current techniques to assess plant chemical defense require large amounts of both time and plant tissue.
Discrimination may affect adolescents' sleep quality
In a Child Development study of daily diary descriptions of discrimination by minority adolescents, experiencing discrimination during the day was associated with compromised sleep quality that night, as well as feelings of greater daytime dysfunction and sleepiness the following day.
Blocking protein's activity restores cognition in old mice, Stanford study shows
By blocking a protein's activity with antibodies, Stanford University School of Medicine investigators were able to improve cognitive behavior in aging mice.
study looks to iron from microbes for climate help
Distributing iron particles produced by bacteria could 'fertilize' microscopic ocean plants and ultimately lower atmospheric carbon levels, according to a new paper in Frontiers.
Opioid epidemic is increasing rates of some infectious diseases
The US faces a public health crisis as the opioid epidemic fuels growing rates of certain infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, heart infections, and skin and soft tissue infections.
WVU researchers identify how light at night may harm outcomes in cardiac patients
In a study funded by the National Institutes of Health, West Virginia University neuroscientists linked white light at night--the kind that typically illuminates hospital rooms--to inflammation, brain-cell death and higher mortality risk in cardiac patients.
It's a one-way street for sound waves in this new technology
Imagine being able to hear people whispering in the next room, while the raucous party in your own room is inaudible to the whisperers.
Shorter stays in a skilled nursing facility tied to higher risk for readmission
High hospital readmission rates indicate that many elderly heart failure patients may be sent home too soon from skilled nursing facilities, a new study suggests.
Strong link between air pollution in Southwestern Ontario and adverse birth outcomes
A study by researchers at Lawson Health Research Institute, Western University and Brescia University College has found evidence of a strong association between exposure to sulfur dioxide during pregnancy and adverse birth outcomes.
Advance boosts efficiency of flash storage in data centers
New architecture promises to cut in half the energy and physical space required to store and manage user data.
Counselors may find that focusing on the human-nature connection may help clients
The concept of 'ecowellness' encompasses a sense of appreciation, respect, and awe of nature that can contribute to holistic wellness.
Researchers discover why men are more likely to develop liver cancer
Researchers in Spain have discovered that a hormone secreted by fat cells that is present at higher levels in women can stop liver cells from becoming cancerous.
Scientists outline the promises and pitfalls of machine learning in medicine
Harvard Med, Google scientists sketch out blueprint for integrating machine learning into the practice of medicine.
Somatic symptom disorder linked to changes in brain functional connectivity
Alterations in functional connectivity of the brain may help in understanding the neurobiological changes leading to somatic symptom disorder (SSD), reports a study in Psychosomatic Medicine: Journal of Biobehavioral Medicine, the official journal of the American Psychosomatic Society.
Stress in childhood and adulthood have combined impact on hormones and health
Adults who report high levels of stress and who also had stressful childhoods are most likely to show hormone patterns associated with negative health outcomes, according to findings published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
Insect-deterring sorghum compounds may be eco-friendly pesticide
Compounds produced by sorghum plants to defend against insect feeding could be isolated, synthesized and used as a targeted, nontoxic insect deterrent, according to researchers who studied plant-insect interactions that included field, greenhouse and laboratory components.
Do minerals play a role in development of multiple sclerosis?
Some studies have suggested that minerals such as zinc and iron may play a role in how multiple sclerosis (MS) progresses, once people have been diagnosed with it.
PSU study finds that money, revenge, morals motivate whistleblowers to expose tax fraud
A study by Portland State University School of Business accounting professor Cass Hausserman finds that people who expose others of tax fraud often do so as revenge that's disguised as their moral obligation.
A new hope of quantum computers for factorizations of RSA with a thousand-fold excess
Universal quantum computers are still in its infancy that cannot achieve practical applications (code-cracking) in near term.
More CO2 than ever before in 3 million years, shows unprecedented computer simulation
CO2 levels in the atmosphere are likely higher today than ever before in the past 3 million years.
Global warming disrupts recovery of coral reefs
The damage caused to the Great Barrier Reef by global warming has compromised the capacity of its corals to recover, according to new research published today in Nature.
Patent-pending probiotic could disrupt Crohn's disease biofilms
Probiotics typically aim to rebalance bacteria populations in the gut, but new research suggests they may also help break apart stubborn biofilms.
California's current earthquake hiatus is an unlikely pause
There have been no major ground rupturing earthquakes along California's three highest slip rate faults in the past 100 years.
Psychostimulants play a major role in fatal strokes among young adults
An estimated 76 million people use psychostimulants, which include illicit drugs such as methamphetamine, cocaine, and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, as well as prescription stimulants.
Order hidden in disorder
Partitioning space into cells with optimum geometrical properties is a central challenge in many fields of science and technology.
Leukocytes use their nucleus as a ruler to choose path of least resistance
How do mobile cell types like leukocytes or metastatic cancer cells reach their place of action during immune surveillance or cancer dissemination, respectively?
Study finds lower death rates for TAVR centers that do more procedures
Hospitals that perform the highest volume of transcatheter-aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedures have significantly lower mortality rates than centers that do fewer of the minimally invasive surgeries.
Human history through tree rings: Trees in Amazonia reveal pre-colonial human disturbance
The Brazil nut tree (Bertholletia excelsa) is well known around the world today and has been an important part of human subsistence strategies in the Amazon forest from at least the Early Holocene.
The Lancet: Globally, 1 in 5 deaths are associated with poor diet
People in almost every region of the world could benefit from rebalancing their diets to eat optimal amounts of various foods and nutrients, according to the Global Burden of Disease study tracking trends in consumption of 15 dietary factors from 1990 to 2017 in 195 countries, published in The Lancet.
Making lead pipes safe (video)
Lead leaching from pipes into the water supply is a serious public health concern.
Children benefit from living near conservation zones
Children who live near protected areas designated by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) live in wealthier and healthier households than those who live far away from the conservation zones, say Robin Naidoo and colleagues.
Integrating infant mental health into the neonatal intensive care unit
Psychotherapists attend to mental health needs of NICU families, specifically focusing on the developing relationship between babies and parents.
Scientists pioneer new low-temperature chemical conversion process
In a recent study from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, chemists have identified a way to convert cyclohexane to cyclohexene or cyclohexadiene, important chemicals in a wide range of industrial processes.
Hepatitis C-infected hearts and lungs safely transplanted
In a paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the team describes a four-week antiviral treatment regimen started within hours of organ transplantation surgery, preventing establishment of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in all patients, and, in so doing, expanding the pool of eligible heart and lung donor organs.
A 5,000-year-old barley grain discovered in Finland changes understanding of livelihoods
A 5,000-year-old barley grain discovered in Aland, southern Finland, turns researchers' understanding of ancient Northern livelihoods upside down.
New Metascape platform enables biologists to unlock big-data insights
Scientists from Sanford Burnham Prebys and the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation have revealed an open-access, web-based portal that integrates more than 40 advanced bioinformatics data sources to allow non-technical users to generate insights in one click.
New formula better predicts speed of tumor growth in 12 cancers
University at Buffalo researchers have developed a new method to more accurately predict tumor growth rates, a crucial statistic used to schedule screenings and set dosing regimens in cancer treatment.
Adiponectin, the hormone that protects women against liver cancer
The study, published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, shows that adiponectin protects the liver against the development of the main form of liver cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma.
HPV infection high in minority men who have sex with men despite available vaccine
The rate of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is high among young minority gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men despite the availability of a vaccine that can prevent the infection, a Rutgers School of Public Health study found.
Dermatology students improve Wikipedia entries on skin disease
A group of medical students recruited to improve Wikipedia articles on skin-related diseases, saw millions more views of those stories following their editing, highlighting the value of expert input on the popular web encyclopedia.
Structure of the molecular machine that links carbohydrate and lipid metabolism
A research team led by dr. Kenneth Verstraete in the Unit for Structural Biology at the VIB-UGent Center for Inflammation Research has unraveled the three-dimensional structure and molecular mechanism of ATP citrate lyase (ACLY).
Unique patterns of brain activity predict treatment responses in patients with PTSD
A neuroimaging study of 184 patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has identified unique patterns of brain activity that predict poorer responses to talk therapy (or psychotherapy), the current gold standard and only effective treatment for addressing PTSD.
Scientists discover first organism with chlorophyll genes that doesn't photosynthesize
For the first time scientists have found an organism that can produce chlorophyll but does not engage in photosynthesis.
Think the tick threat grows with the grass? Not necessarily!
In a study published today in the journal PLOS ONE, USDA Forest Service scientists report on their quest to get to the bottom of a common assumption about the urban landscape: ticks like long grass.
A soft spot for stem cells helps cornea healing
New research led by scientists at Newcastle University reveals a potential revolutionary way to treat eye injuries and prevent blindness -- by softening the tissue hosting the stem cells which then helps repair wounds, inside the body.
Sunscreen application has better face coverage than SPF moisturizers
Application of sun protection factor (SPF) moisturizers tends to miss more of the face, especially around the eyelid regions, compared with sunscreen application, according to a study published April 3 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Kevin Hamill of the University of Liverpool, and colleagues.
Older women have the highest risk of dying from cervical cancer
New research from Aarhus University and Aarhus University Hospital shows that women aged 65 and older have a higher risk of dying from cervical cancer than previously thought -- although this age group is not covered by the Danish screening program.
Government and NHS leaders could do more to encourage collaborative relationships between healthcare
The Nuffield Council on Bioethics has published a briefing note outlining the factors that can contribute to disagreements between parents and healthcare staff about the care and treatment of critically ill babies and young children.
Study illuminates the brain's inner workings
'We're using computational modeling to investigate the inner workings of the brain,' says Sarah Muldoon, Ph.D., University at Buffalo assistant professor of mathematics.
The Lancet Public Health: Ageism linked to poorer health in older people in England
Ageism may be linked with poorer health in older people in England, according to an observational study of over 7,500 people aged over 50 published in The Lancet Public Health journal.
The future of agriculture is computerized
Researchers at the MIT Media Lab Open Agriculture Initiative have used computer algorithms to determine the optimal growing conditions to improve basil plants' taste by maximizing the concentration of flavorful molecules known as volatile compounds.
UCI scientists are first to observe, image all-important molecular vibrations
By focusing light down to the size of an atom, scientists at the University of California, Irvine have produced the first images of a molecule's normal modes of vibration -- the internal motions that drive the chemistry of all things, including the function of living cells.
Experimental Biology highlights -- Cancer, neurodegenerative diseases and medical news
Embargoed press materials are now available for the Experimental Biology (EB) 2019 meeting, to be held in Orlando April 6-9.
Researchers' breakthrough in tackling challenge of antifungal resistance
Ground-breaking work by university experts in Tennessee, Texas and Swansea is helping develop a better understanding of the growing threat posed by antifungal drug resistance.
Bid to beat rabies could benefit from oral dog vaccine, study finds
Vaccines hidden in dog food could help curb the spread of rabies in countries with large populations of stray dogs, research suggests.
People with autism have an altered sense of self
New research has indicated that people with autism have an altered sense of self, which may explain some of the differences shown in social functioning.
Gene levels could help predict prognosis for colorectal cancer
Levels of a gene that helps the immune system differentiate the good cells from the bad could be a good indicator of prognosis in people with colorectal cancers, Medical College of Georgia researchers report.
New study finds poor diet kills more people globally than tobacco and high blood pressure
Poor diet is responsible for more deaths globally than tobacco, high blood pressure, or any other health risk, according to a new scientific study.
New insights on liver injury in men taking body building supplements
In a study reported in Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 44 men with liver injury, attributed to over-the-counter bodybuilding supplements, experienced a uniform and distinctive pattern of signs and symptoms that were often prolonged, difficult to treat, and accompanied by disability and weight loss.
Spider monkeys lower their 'whinnies' when making long-distance calls
Isolated spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi) likely lower the pitch of their calls to improve the chances of re-establishing contact with their group, according to a study published April 3, 2019 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by José D.
Crowdsourcing speeds up earthquake monitoring
Data produced by Internet users can help to speed up the detection of earthquakes.
Study identifies gender differences in reported adverse drug reactions
In a British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology study, investigators uncovered numerous gender differences in reports of adverse drug reactions sent to the National Pharmacovigilance Centre in the Netherlands.
Metal-free catalyst to convert aldehyde into ketone, a basic structure of pharmaceuticals
We succeeded in synthesizing a ketone, a basic structure of many pharmaceuticals, from an aldehyde and a carboxylic acid using N-heterocyclic carbene catalyst under mild conditions.
Racial bias associated with disparities in disciplinary action across US schools
Across US counties, black students experience higher rates of suspension, expulsion, in-school arrests and law enforcement referrals than whites, according to a new study led by Princeton University researchers.
Ushering in ultrafast cluster electronics
A new computational method can help fast track the development of tiny, ultrafast electronic devices made from small clusters of molecules.
Newly discovered mechanism of plant hormone auxin acts the opposite way
Increased levels of the hormone auxin usually promote cell growth in various plant tissues.
Anti-inflammatory plant-based diet helps reduce gingivitis
A plant-based whole food diet reduced gingivitis in a recent randomized trial published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology.
More policy work needed to reduce use of smokeless tobacco, say researchers
Researchers at the University of York have shown that regulations on smokeless tobacco are still lacking, despite 181 countries agreeing to a common approach to controlling the demand and supply.
Lung disease bronchiectasis associated with high frequency of allergy
An international research team led by Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has found that patients with the lung disease bronchiectasis also often display sensitivity to airborne allergens, and has highlighted the particular role that fungi appear to play.
The whisper room: Moderates on Twitter are losing their voice
MU researcher finds that partisan users form highly partisan social networks on Twitter, moderate users -- or those less politically engaged -- continue to avoid politics, potentially creating an important void on social media.
Gorillas gather around and groom their dead
It is now known that many animals exhibit unique behaviors around same-species corpses, ranging from removal of the bodies and burial among social insects to quiet attendance and caregiving among elephants and primates.
Thirteen new ant species discovered in Hong Kong
Dr. Benoit Guénard and his team from the School of Biological Sciences, the University of Hong Kong have recently expanded the knowledge on Hong Kong ants by adding 13 new species, of which three are newly described in the world, but five are unwelcome new non-native species.
Scientists decipher 3D structure of a promising molecular target for cancer treatment
Columbia researchers have revealed the full structure of human ACLY, a building block of metabolism over-expressed in several types of cancers.
China's acceptance of non-animal testing methods for the regulation of cosmetics
The Institute for In Vitro Sciences (IIVS) applauds China's National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) for their acceptance of certain non-animal (alternative) test methods for the regulation of cosmetics.
Optical tweezers achieve new feats of capturing atoms
In a new study, physicists showed that they could organize groups of individual atoms into large grids with an efficiency unmatched by existing methods.
New protein for gene editing may improve disease treatment, sustainable manufacturing
Purdue University researchers have developed a method that uses the protein Argonaute from Natronobacterium gregoryi (NgAgo) and supplied DNA for gene editing.
Otherworldly mirror pools and mesmerizing landscapes discovered on ocean floor
Scientists aboard Schmidt Ocean Institute's research vessel Falkor recently discovered and explored a hydrothermal field at 2,000 meters depth in the Gulf of California where towering mineral structures serve as biological hotspots for life.
New family of glass good for lenses
A new composition of germanosilicate glass created by adding zinc oxide has properties good for lens applications, according to Penn State researchers.
Predicting the uphill battle
For wildland firefighters retreating from the fire to a safety zone, predicting how long it takes to move across terrain can be a matter of life and death.
Study examines association of individual factors, likelihood of bullying
Exposure to bullying is common. This study included about 5,000 children in the United Kingdom and it used genetic data, information on observable traits and exposure to bullying to identify individual risk factors associated with the likelihood of being bullied.
Researchers pinpoint origin of photons in mysterious gamma-ray bursts
Scientists from the RIKEN Cluster for Pioneering Research and collaborators have used simulations to show that the photons emitted by long gamma-ray bursts -- one of the most energetic events to take place in the universe -- originate in the photosphere -- the visible portion of the 'relativistic jet' that is emitted by exploding stars.
Unpaired 1 -- A new candidate gene to contribute to lifespan regulation
Moskalev Lab published a new study on the influence of Unpaired 1 Gene overexpression on age-associated changes in flies.
Polysulfide donors strongly suppress inflammatory responses
Researchers from Japan have developed a new polysulfide donor that can artificially increase reactive sulfur species (chemically reactive molecules containing sulfur) in cells and tissues.
Abnormalities in a protein affecting how nerve cells change shape
Amsterdam, NL, April 3, 2019 - Since 1993, when the gene that causes Huntington's disease (HD) was identified, there has been intense focus on understanding how this genetic mutation causes the disease's severe progressive neural deterioration.
Through machine learning, new model holds water
A new study from the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory has achieved a pivotal breakthrough in the effort to mathematically represent how water behaves.
Sleeping pill use linked to greater need for blood pressure medications
In a Geriatrics & Gerontology International study of 752 older adults with hypertension followed from 2008-2010 through 2012-2013, using sleeping pills on a regular basis was linked with use of an increasing number of blood pressure medications over time.
Coral study traces excess nitrogen to Maui wastewater treatment facility
A new method for reconstructing changes in nitrogen sources over time has enabled scientists to connect excess nutrients in the coastal waters of West Maui, Hawaii, to a sewage treatment facility that injects treated wastewater into the ground.
The screen interval for high cardiovascular disease risk should be individual
According to a study published today by a Finnish-English research group, a switch from 5-yearly screen intervals to individualized intervals could annually prevent 8 percent of myocardial infarcts and strokes without increasing health care costs.
Alcohol-induced brain damage continues after alcohol is stopped
Now, a joint work of the Institute of Neuroscience CSIC-UMH, in Alicante, and the Central Institute of Mental Health of Mannheim, in Germany, has detected, by means of magnetic resonance, how the damage in the brain continues during the first weeks of abstinence, although the consumption of alcohol ceases.
Researchers test new imaging method for first time on human patients
A new study by researchers at the University of Arkansas could significantly improve methods for detecting and diagnosing congenital heart disease in infants and small children.
Global centers of unsustainable harvesting of species identified
Unsustainable harvesting, including hunting, trapping, fishing and logging, is one of the biggest threats to biodiversity.
Racial disparities, access to kidney transplants after new organ allocation system
Among the priorities of a new Kidney Allocation System implemented in 2014 was to improve access to transplants to underserved populations.
Racial disparities persist in access to kidney transplants
In a new study of patients awaiting kidney transplants, Yale researchers found significant racial disparities.
Inflammatory arthritis may negatively affect intimate relationships and sexual function
A systematic review and analysis of published studies found consistent links between inflammatory arthritis and impacts on intimacy and sexual function for both men and women.
Government subsidies could be key to containing hospital-born infections
Princeton University researchers propose fighting hospital infections with matching government subsidies for every dollar a hospital spends on infection control.
A step toward recovering reproduction in girls who survive childhood cancer
Leukemia treatments often leave girls infertile, but a procedure developed by researchers at the University of Michigan working with mice is a step toward restoring their ability to be biological mothers.
People with obesity often 'dehumanized,' study finds
New research, published in Obesity, has found that people with obesity are not only stigmatized, but are blatantly dehumanized.
Creating blood vessels on demand
Researchers discover new cell population that can help in regenerative processes.
Nanomaterials give plants 'super' abilities (video)
Science-fiction writers have long envisioned human-machine hybrids that wield extraordinary powers.
The brain's auto-complete function
When looking at a picture of a sunny day at the beach, we can almost smell the scent of sun screen.
Biology may make certain PTSD patients unresponsive to behavioral therapy
How well-connected a particular brain network is, and how successfully memories are formed, may determine which patients with post-traumatic stress disorder benefit from behavioral therapy, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have found.
Computational model of a human kinase may provide insights for cancer treatment
Researchers have developed a computational model for human MEK1, a protein with potential as a drug target for a variety of human cancers.
Is adenosine the missing link in restless leg syndrome?
Researchers have identified a common mechanism implicating adenosine in the cause of restless leg syndrome (RLS) symptoms -- the periodic limb movements characteristic of RLS and the state of enhanced arousal that both disrupt sleep.
Researchers demonstrate latest neurotechnologies at international conference
Scientists and engineers met to collaborate on their latest research and demonstrate new technologies at the 9th International IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society conference on neural engineering, in San Francisco, Calif., March 19-23.
New study questions effects of reintroducing top predators
There's little evidence that reintroducing top predators to ecosystems will return them to the conditions that existed before they were wiped out, according to new research.
Preventing toxic work environments through ethical leadership
Recently published research from SDSU management professor, Dr. Gabi Eissa and University of Wisconsin -- Eau Claire management professor, Dr.

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