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Science Current Events and Science News | Brightsurf | April 10, 2019


The Lancet Planetary Health: Traffic-related air pollution associated with 4 million new cases of childhood asthma every year
The first global estimates of their kind suggest that more than one in ten childhood asthma cases could be linked to traffic-related air pollution every year, according to a health impact assessment of children in 194 countries and 125 major cities worldwide, published in The Lancet Planetary Health journal.
How much nature is lost due to higher yields?
The exploitation of farmland is being intensified with a focus to raising yields.
Diet rich in animal protein is associated with a greater risk of death
A diet rich in animal protein and meat in particular is not good for the health, a new study from the University of Eastern Finland finds, providing further backing for earlier research evidence.
How severe drought influences ozone pollution
From 2011 to 2015, California experienced its worst drought on record, with a parching combination of high temperatures and low precipitation.
Active lifestyles may help nerves to heal after spinal injuries
Leading an active lifestyle may increase the likelihood of damaged nerves regenerating after a spinal cord injury.
Stress-related disorders linked to heightened risk of cardiovascular disease
Stress-related disorders -- conditions triggered by a significant life event or trauma -- may be linked to a heightened risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), finds a large Swedish study published in The BMJ today.
Tiny traces of neonicotinoid pesticides impair insects' ability to spot predators
Traces of neonicotinoid pesticides can impair a flying insect's ability to spot predators and avoid collisions with objects in their path.
CSI meets conservation
The challenges of collecting DNA samples directly from endangered species makes understanding and protecting them harder.
HIV-infected individuals at high risk of NAFLD and progressive liver disease
The increasing burden and risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) associated with HIV infection have today been highlighted in two studies presented at The International Liver Congress™ 2019 in Vienna, Austria.
Scientists synthesize new nanowires to improve high-speed communication
Scientists from the Institute of Process Engineering, City University of Hong Kong and their collaborators synthesized highly crystalline ternary In0.28Ga0.72Sb nanowires to demonstrate high carrier mobility and fast IR response.
Is maternal vaccination safe during breastfeeding?
In light of the continuing anti-vaccination movement, a provocative new article provides a comprehensive overview of the potential risks of vaccinating breastfeeding women.
Human iPSC-derived MSCs from aged individuals acquire a rejuvenation signature
The use of primary mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) is fraught with ageing-related shortfalls such as limited expansion and early senescence.
Manipulating the crystallization and assembly of materials in solution by Marangoni flow
Scientists developed a general strategy to control the crystal growth and material assembly by manipulating the fluid flow in solution.
Simultaneous heatwaves caused by anthropogenic climate change
Without the climate change caused by human activity, simultaneous heatwaves would not have hit such a large area as they did last summer.
High rates of liver disease progression and mortality observed in patients with NAFLD/NASH
Two independent national studies have reported high rates of liver disease progression and mortality among patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease/non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NAFLD/NASH).
Reducing greenhouse gases while balancing demand for meat
Humans' love for meat could be hurting the planet. Many of the steps involved in the meat supply chain result in greenhouse gas emissions.
Where will flooded fields best replenish groundwater?
Overpumping in California's Central Valley has depleted groundwater storage capacity and caused the land to sink.
Ready, set, go: Scientists evaluate novel technique for firing up fusion-reaction fuel
Article describes analytical confirmation that transient CHI, a novel device for starting up fusion plasmas, can achieve startup in future compact fusion facilities.
Protein pileup affects social behaviors through altered brain signaling
Scientists at the RIKEN Center for Brain Science (CBS) have discovered that when a normal cellular cleanup process is disrupted, mice start behaving in ways that resemble human symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and schizophrenia.
Wonder material: Individual 2D phosphorene nanoribbons made for the first time
Tiny, individual, flexible ribbons of crystalline phosphorus have been made by UCL researchers in a world first, and they could revolutionise electronics and fast-charging battery technology.
MOFs can sense and sort troublesome gases
Fluorinated metal-organic frameworks make excellent materials for selective sensing and removal of toxic gases.
Mandatory preseason guidelines reduce heat illness among high school football players
Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and partners have found strong evidence that rates of heat-related illnesses, such as heat cramps and heat strokes, were reduced by half in states that had mandated guidelines to reduce exertional heat illness among high school football players.
Millions of children worldwide develop asthma annually due to traffic-related pollution
About 4 million children worldwide develop asthma each year because of inhaling nitrogen dioxide air pollution, according to a study published today by researchers at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health (Milken Institute SPH).
CBT can provide better long-term relief for IBS symptoms
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common gastrointestinal disorder affecting 10 - 20 per cent of people.
New non-antibiotic strategy for the treatment of bacterial meningitis
With the increasing threat of antibiotic resistance, there is a growing need for new treatment strategies against life threatening bacterial infections.
Researchers interpret Cherokee inscriptions in Alabama cave
For the first time, a team of scholars and archaeologists has recorded and interpreted Cherokee inscriptions in Manitou Cave, Alabama.
Scientists find self-healing catalyst for potential large-scale use in hydrogen production
Researchers working within NCCR MARVEL have discovered a self-healing catalyst that can be used to release hydrogen through the hydrolytic dehydrogenation of ammonia borane.
Falling levels of air pollution drove decline in California's tule fog
The Central Valley's heavy wintertime tule fog -- known for snarling traffic and closing schools -- has been on the decline over the past 30 years, and falling levels of air pollution are the cause, says a new study by scientists at the University of California, Berkeley.
Novel strategy hits 'reset button' for disease-causing genetic duplications
Scientists at UMass Medical School have developed a strategy for editing and repairing a particular type of genetic mutation associated with microduplications using CRISPR/Cas9 and a seldom-used DNA repair pathway.
Pesticide cocktail can harm honey bees
A series of tests conducted over several years by scientists at UC San Diego have shown for the first time that Sivanto, developed by Bayer CropScience AG and first registered for commercial use in 2014, could pose a range of threats to honey bees depending on seasonality, bee age and use in combination with common chemicals such as fungicides.
Research reveals how the most common ALS mutation dooms cells
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists have cracked the mystery surrounding the most common genetic cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig's disease.
Stability improvement under high efficiency -- next stage development of perovskite solar cells
This review summarizes the state-of-the-art progress on the improvement of device stability and discusses the directions for future research, providing an overview of the current status of the research on the stability of PSCs and guidelines for future research.
International astronomers reveal first image of event horizon of super-massive black hole
Today, in coordinated press conferences across the globe including one at National Science Foundation in Washington, D.C., an international team of astronomers including a team from the University of Massachusetts Amherst reveal that they have succeeded in unveiling the first direct visual evidence of a supermassive black hole and its shadow.
Experimental drug delivers one-two punch to vision loss
In studies with lab-grown human cells and in mice, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers have found that an experimental drug may be twice as good at fighting vision loss as previously thought.
Archaeologists identify first prehistoric figurative cave art in Balkans
An international team, led by an archaeologist from the University of Southampton and the University of Bordeaux, has revealed the first example of Paleolithic figurative cave art found in the Balkan Peninsula.
Living transplant donors need long-term monitoring, too
While organ transplant recipients receive continual care as the end-stage treatment to their condition, attention also should be given to living donors, who can suffer from hypertension, diabetes and other disorders after donation, according to a study by researchers at UC San Francisco.
Physical activity prepares neurons to regenerate in case of spinal cord injury
The influence of an active lifestyle on the regenerative capacity of the peripheral nervous system, that is, the set of cranial and spinal nerves that control motor and sensory functions, is described here for the first time, explains Ángel Barco, who has led the participation of the Institute of Neurosciences UMH-CSIC, in Alicante, in this international study.
Biochemical switches identified that could be triggered to treat muscle, brain disorders
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists have found that the enzymes ULK1 and ULK2 play a key role in breaking down cell structures called stress granules, whose persistence leads to toxic buildup of proteins that kill muscle and brain cells.
Adenosine kinase deficiency makes liver more susceptible to carcinogen
A new study has shown that reduced adenosine kinase expression in the liver can make it more susceptible to carcinogenic damage and the development of liver cancer.
Low cholesterol linked to higher risk of bleeding stroke in women
Lowering low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol reduces the risk of heart attacks and stroke, with an ideal value below 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL).
Nurses use FDNY geospatial mapping of opioid overdoses to inform clinical practice in real time
Nurse practitioners and nursing students can use local, real-time maps of opioid overdoses to inform their clinical work with adolescents in community health settings, finds new research from NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing.
Identification of lymph node cells that may play important roles in immune tolerance
Aire-expression in the thymus is crucial in immune tolerance by eliminating auto-reactive T cells; insufficient elimination causes autoimmune disorders.
New study finds higher C-section infection risk for mothers on Medicaid
The risk of surgical site infection following cesarean delivery is higher among Medicaid-insured women when compared to women who were privately insured, according to a study published today in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, the journal for the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.
New research reveals climate change secrets hidden in the Yukon permafrost
A study from U of T Mississauga uses new research techniques to reveal alarming information about climate change in Canada's north.
UNH researchers find unusual phenomenon in clouds triggers lightning flash
In a first-of-its-kind observation, researchers from the University of New Hampshire Space Science Center have documented a unique event that occurs in clouds before a lightning flash happens.
'Deep learning' casts wide net for novel 2D materials
Rice University engineers use 'deep learning' techniques to speed up simulations of novel two-dimensional materials to understand their characteristics and how they're affected by high temperature and radiation.
Releasing an immune system brake could help patients with rare but fatal brain infection
The anti-cancer drug pembrolizumab has shown promise in slowing or stopping the progression of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), a typically fatal infection of the brain caused by the JC virus (JCV).
How a once friendly bacteria evolved into a hospital-infecting strain in Wisconsin
A genetic study of an outbreak of Enterococcus faecalis -- a leading cause of drug-resistant bacterial infections -- in a hospital has revealed how the organism became resistant to new antibiotics and adapted to infect the human bloodstream.
Hurricane Harvey provides lessons learned for flood resiliency plans
ASU scientists used satellite data to map the Houston-Galveston area impacted by Hurricane Harvey to understand why the flooding was so severe and widespread.
More than a strip of paint needed to keep cyclists safe
On-road marked bicycle lanes are not the optimal solution to keeping cyclists safe, new research by Monash University has found.
New species of early human found in the Philippines
An international team of researchers have uncovered the remains of a new species of human in the Philippines, proving the region played a key role in hominin evolutionary history.
Scientists identify a key gene in the transmission of deadly African sleeping sickness
An international team of life scientists has identified a key gene in the transmission of African sleeping sickness -- a severe disease transmitted by the bite of an infected, blood-sucking tsetse fly, which is common in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Dartmouth researchers offer new insights into how maternal immunity impacts neonatal HSV
Findings from a Dartmouth-led study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, are offering new insights into neonatal herpes, its impact on developing nervous systems, and how newborns can be protected from the disease.
Water that never freezes
Can water reach minus 263 degrees Celsius without turning into ice?
Aging gracefully: Study identifies factors for healthy memory at any age
University of Alberta neuroscientists have identified different factors for maintaining healthy memory and for avoiding memory decline in those over age 55, according to a new study.
New electron microscopy technique limits membrane destruction
Researchers at Purdue University have created an electron microscopy technique termed 'cryoAPEX' that accurately tracks membrane proteins in a well-preserved cell.
NASA-NOAA satellite sees Tropical Cyclone Wallace dissipating
Tropical Cyclone Wallace was dissipating in the Southern Indian Ocean when NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed overhead.
A new role for genetics in cancer therapy-induced cardiomyopathy
A team of investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School finds that genetics may be at play and elucidates rare genetic variants which may influence risk for developing cancer therapy-induced cardiomyopathy.
Research shows evidence of impulsive behavior in nonsuicidal self-injury
Are young adults who harm themselves more at risk for suicide?
Breast milk analyses show new opportunities for reducing risk of childhood obesity
The composition of breast milk in normal weight mothers differs from that of overweight mothers, and variations in small molecule metabolites found in breast milk are possible risk factors for childhood obesity.
Astronomers capture first image of a black hole
The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) -- a planet-scale array of eight ground-based radio telescopes forged through international collaboration -- was designed to capture images of a black hole.
Autoimmune diseases of the liver may be triggered by exposure to an environmental factor
Investigators from a large population-based study conducted in northern England have suggested that exposure to a persistent, low-level environmental trigger may have played a role in the development of autoimmune diseases of the liver within that population.
A new molecule to fight type 2 diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
A new molecule -EPB-53-, could help fight type 2 diabetes and the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
New algorithm optimizes quantum computing problem-solving
Tohoku University researchers have developed an algorithm that enhances the ability of a Canadian-designed quantum computer to more efficiently find the best solution for complicated problems, according to a study published in the journal Scientific Reports.
Cancer: Central role of cell 'skeleton' discovered
All cells possess a cytoskeleton which allows them to move and maintain their shape.
When do male and female differences appear in the development of beetle horns
The male Japanese rhinoceros beetle, Trypoxylus dichotomus, living on Japan's main island has big horns, which are used as weapons when it fights other males for females.
First ever image of a black hole: A CNRS researcher had simulated it as early as 1979
The first real image of a black hole, obtained by the international network of EHT telescopes and published on April 10, 2019 in Astrophysical Journal Letters, shows the extraordinary accuracy of the world's very first simulation of a black hole 40 years earlier by Jean-Pierre Luminet, then a young researcher at the CNRS.
New imaging reveals previously unseen vulnerabilities of HIV
Imagine that HIV is a sealed tin can: if you opened it, what would you find inside?
Giant Antarctic sea spiders weather warming by getting holey
Scientists have wondered for decades why marine animals that live in the polar oceans and the deep sea can reach giant sizes there, but nowhere else.
Discovery of a host mRNA that inhibits immune functions of antiviral protein RIG-I
This study shows that, upon HCV infection, mRNA of selenoprotein P (SeP), a secretory protein produced primarily in the liver, binds to and inhibits the action of RIG-I, an antiviral protein, thus regulating innate immunity.
Higher lead in topsoil boosts probability of cognitive difficulties in 5-year-old boys
Researchers sought to estimate the effects of exposure to lead in topsoil on the cognitive ability of 5-year-olds in the United States.
New cancer drug targets accelerate path to precision medicine
In one of the largest studies of its kind, researchers used CRISPR technology to disrupt every gene in 300 cancer models from 30 cancer types and discover thousands of key genes essential for cancer's survival.
Obeticholic acid improves liver fibrosis and other histological features of NASH
A prespecified interim analysis of the ongoing Phase 3 REGENERATE study has confirmed that obeticholic acid (OCA) is effective in the treatment of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) with liver fibrosis.
Research underscores value of cognitive training for adults with mild cognitive impairment
Researchers at the Center for BrainHealth®, part of The University of Texas at Dallas, combined two non-pharmacological interventions for adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI): eight sessions of Strategic Memory Advanced Reasoning Training (SMART), a cognitive training program shown to improve reasoning and ability to extract bottom-line messages from complex information; and Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) over the left frontal region, associated with cognitive control and memory recovery success in people with Alzheimer's.
Loss of a DNA repair system creates a unique vulnerability in many cancer types
Cancer cells adapt to potentially fatal mutations and other molecular malfunctions by adjusting one or more other genes' activity, in the process becoming dependent on those genes for their survival and growth.
Philadelphia hospitals responded to equivalent of 54 mass shooting-type events in 11 years
A research team led by Temple's Dr. Jessica H. Beard, set out to calculate the number and analyze trends in the rates of firearm-injured patients (FIP) transported at clustered time intervals to Philadelphia-area hospitals over an 11-year period.
Kidney disease triggers cognitive impairment, even in early stages
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is increasingly recognized as a systemic condition.
Birds' surprising sound source
Birds, although they have larynges, use a different organ to sing.
Experimental PET scan detects abnormal tau protein in brains of living former NFL players
Using an experimental positron emission tomography (PET) scan, researchers have found elevated amounts of abnormal tau protein in brain regions affected by chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in a small group of living former National Football League (NFL) players with cognitive, mood and behavior symptoms.
The protein p38gamma identified as a new therapeutic target in liver cancer
Activation of the protein p38gamma is essential for the development of the main type of liver cancer, which affects more than 1 million people worldwide every year.
Caregiving not as bad for your health as once thought, study says
For decades, articles in research journals and the popular press alike have reported that being a family caregiver takes a toll on a person's health, boosting levels of inflammation and weakening the function of the immune system.
Genome analysis shows the combined effect of many genes on cognitive traits
Individual differences in cognitive abilities in children and adolescents are partly reflected in variations in their DNA sequence, according to a study published in Molecular Psychiatry.
A dust-up: Microbes interact with harmful chemicals in dust
A new study indicates that the microbes we track into buildings--the microscopic bacteria and other microorganisms that thrive on our skin and outdoors--can help break down harmful chemicals in household dust.
Scientists from NUST MISIS create a super-fast robot microscope to search for dark matter
Researchers from the National University of science and technology MISIS (NUST MISIS, Moscow, Russia) and the National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN, Naples, Italy) have developed a simple and cost-effective technology that allows increasing the speed of the automated microscopes (AM) by 10-100 times.
Ultrasound aligns living cells in bioprinted tissues
Researchers have developed a technique to improve the characteristics of engineered tissues by using ultrasound to align living cells during the biofabrication process.
Sexual behavior may influence gut microbiome
A person's sexual behavior could affect their microbiome and immune system, potentially elevating their risk of HIV infection, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.
VA's process for determining TBI in veterans seeking disability compensation examined in new report
The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) should expand the requirement in its disability compensation process regarding who can diagnose traumatic brain injury (TBI) to include any health care professional with pertinent and ongoing brain injury training and experience, says a new congressionally mandated report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
New quantum material could warn of neurological disease
A new material automatically 'listens' to the brain, leading to more sensitive electronics that could detect neurological disease sooner.
Long-lived bats could hold secrets to mammal longevity
University of Maryland researchers analyzed an evolutionary tree reconstructed from the DNA of a majority of known bat species and found four bat lineages that exhibit extreme longevity.
Association between household workload, career dissatisfaction for physician moms
This study used data from an online survey of about 1,700 physician mothers to examine how responsibilities at home are associated with career dissatisfaction and whether that differs by specialty.
Active ingredient of aconite root against peripheral neuropathic pain is identified as neoline
Aconite root is used in East Asian traditional medicines to treat pain.
Human activities shift dominant tree-fungi pairing in North America
The dominant type of tree-fungi pairing found in North American forests has shifted during the past three decades, in response in human activities such as increased nitrogen deposition and fire suppression, as well as climate change.
Despite more violent crimes, it's safer to be a cop today than 50 years ago
Dangers of policing have dramatically declined since 1970 with a 75 percent drop in police officer line-of-duty deaths.
Study finds noncompete clauses affect how employees behave, to benefit of employers
Gjergji Cici of the KU School of Business co-authored a study that is among the first to see how noncompete clauses influence those work under them, instead of the debate about their role in economic development or profits.
Evolution from water to land led to better parenting
The evolution of aquatic creatures to start living on land made them into more attentive parents, says new research on frogs led by the Milner Centre for Evolution at the University of Bath.
UBC researchers say eggs for breakfast benefits those with diabetes
While some cereals may be the breakfast of champions, a UBC professor suggests people with Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) should be reaching for something else.

Best Science Podcasts 2019

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#538 Nobels and Astrophysics
This week we start with this year's physics Nobel Prize awarded to Jim Peebles, Michel Mayor, and Didier Queloz and finish with a discussion of the Nobel Prizes as a way to award and highlight important science. Are they still relevant? When science breakthroughs are built on the backs of hundreds -- and sometimes thousands -- of people's hard work, how do you pick just three to highlight? Join host Rachelle Saunders and astrophysicist, author, and science communicator Ethan Siegel for their chat about astrophysics and Nobel Prizes.