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Science Current Events and Science News | Brightsurf | April 17, 2019


Microbiome science may help doctors deliver more effective, personalized treatment to children with irritable bowel syndrome
To improve the treatment of children with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), investigators have developed a sophisticated way to analyze the microbial and metabolic contents of the gut.
Neuron and synapse-mimetic spintronics devices developed
A research group from Tohoku University has developed spintronics devices which are promising for future energy-efficient and adoptive computing systems, as they behave like neurons and synapses in the human brain.
Why lightning often strikes twice
An international research team led by the University of Groningen has used the LOFAR radio telescope to study the development of lightning flashes in unprecedented detail.
Heart patch could limit muscle damage in heart attack aftermath
Guided by computer simulations, an international team of researchers has developed an adhesive patch that can provide support for damaged heart tissue, potentially reducing the stretching of heart muscle that's common after a heart attack.
Artificial intelligence speeds efforts to develop clean, virtually limitless fusion energy
Feature describes Nature paper on opening a new chapter in fusion research with artificial intelligence.
Folding revolution
A Harvard Medical School scientist has used a form of artificial intelligence known as deep learning to predict the 3D structure of effectively any protein based on its amino acid sequence.
A closer look at Mercury's spin and gravity reveals the planet's inner solid core
How do you explore the interior of a planet without ever touching down on it?
Preventing triple negative breast cancer from spreading
A protein called p53 suppresses and kills cancer in people.
Achieving sugar reduction targets could cut child obesity and healthcare costs
Reducing the sugar content of certain foods by 2020, in line with UK government policy targets, could cut child obesity and related illness, and save the NHS in England £286 million over 10 years, suggests a study published by The BMJ today.
Partner status influences sexual problems and self-efficacy in survivors of breast cancer
Vaginal dryness and painful intercourse are some of the more common adverse events of post-breast cancer treatment therapies and often lead to sexual dissatisfaction and an overall lower quality of life (QOL).
The Leukemia Atlas: researchers unveil proteins that signal disease
Only about one in four people diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) survive five years after the initial diagnosis.
Cervical cancer subtype rising in some sub-populations
A new study reports that a type of cervical cancer that is less amenable to Pap testing is increasing in several subpopulations of women, pointing to the growing importance of human papillomavirus (HPV) testing and vaccination
Measuring brain activity in milliseconds possible through new research
Researchers from King's College London, Harvard and INSERM-Paris have discovered a new way to measure brain function in milliseconds using magnetic resonance elastography (MRE).
Major study finds one in five children have mental health problems
The 2014 OCHS study included 10,802 children and youth aged four to 17 in 6,537 families.
Brain stimulation shows promise for understanding memory decline in older adults
In a small, pilot study, a non-invasive device that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain was associated with temporary improvements in age-related memory loss in older people, according to a study published in the April 17, 2019, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
Boosting muscle stem cells to treat muscular dystrophy and aging muscles
Scientists from Sanford Burnham Prebys have uncovered a molecular signaling pathway involving Stat3 and Fam3a proteins that regulates how muscle stem cells decide whether to self-renew or differentiate -- an insight that could lead to muscle-boosting therapeutics for muscular dystrophies or age-related muscle decline.
New software tool could provide answers to some of life's most intriguing questions
A University of Waterloo researcher has spearheaded the development of a software tool that can provide conclusive answers to some of the world's most fascinating questions.
Cervical cancer is more aggressive when human papillomavirus is not detected
Cervical cancer negative for the human papillomavirus (HPV) is rare but more aggressive: it is more frequently diagnosed at advanced stages, with more metastasis and reduced survival.
Ribociclib in advanced breast cancer: Survival advantages, but also severe side effects
Study indicates longer overall survival of postmenopausal women. However, there is a higher frequency of severe diseases of blood and lymphatic system.
Is one toe really better than three? How horse' legs evolved for travel rather than speed
Palaeobiologists from the University of Bristol and Howard University (USA) have uncovered new evidence that suggests that horses' legs have adapted over time to be optimised for endurance travel, rather than speed.
Social support key to remission from suicidal thoughts for disabling chronic pain sufferers
A new nationally representative study from the University of Toronto found that almost two-thirds of formerly suicidal Canadians (63%) with chronic pain were free from suicidal thoughts in the past year.
Why researchers are mapping the world's manure
Farmers rely on phosphorus fertilizers to enrich the soil and ensure bountiful harvests, but the world's recoverable reserves of phosphate rocks, from which such fertilizers are produced, are finite and unevenly distributed.
Finding the key to flightlessness
Based on the analysis of the genomes of more than a dozen flightless birds, including an extinct moa, a team led by Harvard researchers found that while different species show wide variety in the protein-coding portions of their genome, they appear to turn to the same regulatory pathways when evolving flight loss.
Heavy drinkers consuming more than half of all alcohol
La Trobe University researchers have found the heaviest drinking 10% of Australians drink over half the alcohol consumed in Australia, downing an average of six standard drinks per day.
Modern Midas turns bacterial components into catalysts
A team from University of Science and Technology of China found a way to transform bacterial cellulose into solid acid catalysts, just like the power of Midas to turn a stone into gold.
Switch from hunting to herding recorded in ancient pee
A new study begins to resolve the scale and pace of change during the first phases of animal domestication beyond the Fertile Crescent.
School bullying increases chances of mental health issues and unemployment in later life
Victims of bullying in secondary school have dramatically increased chances of mental health problems and unemployment in later life.
Study reveals factors behind embryonic stem cell state
An international collaboration has found for the first time that two new epigenetic regulators, TAF5L and TAF6L, maintain self-renewal of embryonic stem cells.
New software aims to reduce variability in ELISA biomarker tests
A new computational approach has been developed to reduce variability in common research biomarker tests, a promising step in improving the ability of biomedical researchers and basic scientists to reproduce data and facilitate more consistent results across laboratories and long-term projects.
Funerary customs, diet, and social behavior in a pre-Roman Italian Celtic community
Analysis of human remains from a Pre-Roman Celtic cemetery in Italy shows variations in funerary treatment between individuals that could be related to social status, but these variations were not reflected by differences in their living conditions.
Alerting patients to their risk of gum disease improves inflammation and dental hygiene
In a new study published today in the Journal of Periodontology researchers found that using psychological techniques to communicate the risk of developing periodontal disease to patients improved dental hygiene over a three month period.
Technology automatically senses how Parkinson's patients respond to medication
Adjusting the frequency and dosage of Parkinson's patients' medication is complex.
National effort urged to overhaul 'broken' health data system
Our system for protecting health data in the United States is fundamentally broken and we need a national effort to rethink how we safeguard this information, say three experts in data privacy.
Vitamin D study sheds light on immune system effects
Scientists at the University of Edinburgh have uncovered fresh insights into how vitamin D affects the immune system and might influence susceptibility to diseases such as multiple sclerosis.
Lessons learnt from the drift analysis of MH370 debris
The Boeing 777 of Malaysia Airlines (MH370) has been missing for over five years.
Critical errors in inhaler technique common in children with asthma
In the first study to evaluate inhaler technique in children hospitalized for asthma -- the group at highest risk for complications and death from asthma -- researchers found that nearly half of participants demonstrated improper inhaler use, which means they routinely were not taking in the full dose of medication.
Neotropical cloud forests to lose what most defines them: clouds
In as few as 25 years, climate change could shrink and dry 60-80% of Western Hemisphere cloud forests, finds a study published today.
The Cerrado once connected the Andes with the Atlantic Rainforest
A genetic and computational analysis of birds suggests that the Andean and Atlantic tropical forests, which are now almost a thousand kilometers apart, were connected via the Cerrado in the distant past.
Scientists find evidence Mercury has a solid inner core
Scientists have long known that Earth and Mercury have metallic cores.
Fish that outlived dinosaurs reveals secrets of ancient skull evolution
A new study into one of the world's oldest types of fish, coelacanth, provides fresh insights into the development of the skull and brain of vertebrates and the evolution of lobe-finned fishes and land animals, as published in Nature.
CRISPR base editors can induce wide-ranging off-target RNA edits
A Massachusetts General Hospital research team reports that several of the recently developed CRISPR base editors, which create targeted changes in a single DNA base, can induce widespread off-target effects in RNA, extending beyond the targeted DNA.
A light-activated remote control for cells
What if doctors had a remote control that they could use to steer a patient's own cells to a wound to speed up the healing process?
New eDNA technology used to quickly assess coral reefs
Scientists at the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa Department of Biology have developed a technique for measuring the amount of living coral on a reef by analyzing DNA in small samples of seawater.
These beetles have successfully freeloaded for 100 million years
An ancient and rare beetle fossil is the oldest example of a social relationship between two animal species.
Entrepreneurs emerge as a force in Europe's refugee emergency
Economic stagnation and a resurgence of racist nationalism are shaping conversations about what it means to be Italian in the 21st century.
Scientists improve sensitivity and stretchability of room-temperature liquid metal-based sensor
Scientists have developed a room-temperature liquid metal-based super-stretchable sensor, with the advantages of facile fabrication, low cost, great stretchability, high repeatability and a GF (gauge factor) as great as 4.95.
Amazonian soils mapped using indicator species
Understanding the ecology and distributions of species in Amazonia is hampered by lack of information about environmental conditions, such as soils.
Espresso yourself: Coffee thoughts leave a latte on the mind
For millions of Australians, each day begins with a hot cup of coffee in order to activate our brains for the working day.
Key protein a possible new target in the treatment of pancreatic cancer
Pancreatic Cancer Collective-funded research (Lustgarten Foundation and Stand Up To Cancer) from Dr.
Fundamentally new MRI method developed to measure brain function in milliseconds
Investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital, in collaboration with colleagues at King's College London and INSERM-Paris, have discovered a fundamentally new way to measure brain function using a technology known as magnetic resonance elastography (MRE), an approach that creates maps of tissue stiffness using an MRI scanner.
Russian scientists investigate thermodynamic properties of an energy metabolism stimulator
A group of researchers led by Professor Alexander Knyazev at the Faculty of Chemistry of Lobachevsky State University of Nizhny Novgorod has been studying the thermodynamic properties of L-carnitine for several years.
New study targets Achilles' heel of pancreatic cancer, with promising results
Advanced pancreatic cancer is often symptomless, leading to late diagnosis only after metastases have spread throughout the body.
Plants and microbes shape global biomes through local underground alliances
Princeton University researchers report that the distribution of forest types worldwide is based on the relationships plant species forged with soil microbes to enhance their uptake of nutrients.
Forecasting contagious ideas: 'Infectivity' models accurately predict tweet lifespan
Estimating tweet infectivity from the first 50 retweets is the key to predicting whether a tweet will go viral, according to a new study published in PLOS ONE on April 17, 2019, by Li Weihua from Beihang University, China and colleagues.
New automated biological-sample analysis systems to accelerate disease detection
Professor Thomas Gervais of Polytechnique Montréal and his students Pierre-Alexandre Goyette and Étienne Boulais, in partnership with the team led by Professor David Juncker of McGill University, have developed a new microfluidic process aimed at automating protein detection by antibodies.
6.6 billion light years away: Neutron stars merger radiance observed
An international team led by Professor XUE Yongquan from University of Science and Technology announced their observation of a unique X-ray signal from 6.6 billion light years away, which provides new insights into the physics of neutron stars.
Life-threatening foot disease found in endangered huemul deer in Chile
Scientists report the first cases of foot disease for endangered huemul deer in Chilean Patagonia in a study led by the Wildlife Conservation Society and the University of California, Davis.
Investigators explore temperature-triggered devices for gastrointestinal therapies
Investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital and MIT are designing devices that can be triggered by the ingestion of a warm liquid to break down into smaller segments that can be excreted.
Biosensor 'bandage' collects and analyzes sweat
Like other biofluids, sweat contains a wealth of information about what's going on inside the body.
Study identifies how Enterococcus faecalis bacteria causes antibiotic resistant infection
A new study led by a research team from Massachusetts Eye and Ear and Harvard Medical School describes how bacteria adapted to the modern hospital environment and repeatedly cause antibiotic-resistant bloodstream infections.
3D modelling identifies nutrient exchange in the human placenta
New findings published today in Science Advances, detail three-dimensional imaging research by a group of scientists at The University of Manchester and St Mary's Hospital.
Pediatric endocrinologist gives iconic 'Mona Lisa' a second medical opinion
Michael Yafi, MD, refutes the most recent hypothesis that 'Lisa' had hypothyroidism and psychomotor retardation.
Solar panel demand causing spike in worldwide silver prices
Rising demand for solar panels is having a major effect on the worldwide price of silver, which could lead to solar panel production costs becoming far higher in the future, new research from the University of Kent has demonstrated.
IDIBELL -- ICO researchers set new bases to develop therapies against colorectal cancer
IDIBELL -- ICO researchers in Barcelona have found that inactivation of two proteins make tumoral cells more sensitive to chemotherapy.
Improving quantum computers
For decades, experts have predicted that quantum computers will someday perform difficult tasks, such as simulating complex chemical systems, that can't be done by conventional computers.
World-record quantum computing result for Sydney teams
The quantum theory group at the University of Sydney is behind two papers published this month in Nature publications that are pushing the boundaries of quantum computing.
Army researchers identify new way to improve cybersecurity
Researchers at the US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command's Army Research Laboratory, the Army's corporate research laboratory also known as ARL, and Towson University may have identified a new way to improve network security.
Urine salts provide evidence of Early Neolithic animal management
A close examination of midden soil layers at the early Neolithic site of A??kl?
How bacteria build an enzyme that destroys climate-changing laughing gas
New research reveals how soil bacteria build the only known enzyme for the destruction of the potent global warming and ozone-depleting gas nitrous oxide.
Features that make lizards sexy are resilient to stress
Physical traits and behaviors that make a lizard sexy -- features used to attract potential mates and fend off competitors -- may be important enough that they do not change in the face of stress, according to Penn State researchers.
New PFASs discovered in Cape Fear River, though levels are declining
In 2015, a fluorosurfactant known by the trade name 'GenX' made headlines when researchers discovered it and related compounds in the Cape Fear River of North Carolina, a source of drinking water for many residents of the area.
Study compares colonoscopy polyp detection rates and endoscopist characteristics
Previous research has suggested that specific factors about the doctor performing colonoscopy -- for example, a gastroenterologist versus a surgeon, female versus male -- were associated with different rates of detection of precancerous polyps.
Researchers pinpoint tumor-related protein, slow progression of cancers
A new study in Nature has identified a potential strategy for treating multiple forms of cancerous tumors: targeting a protein that maliciously rewires immune cells and impedes cancer therapies.
Gender identity leaves imprint on human brains, Georgia State researchers find
Society's expectations about gender roles alter the human brain at the cellular level, according to a paper published by a group of neuroscience researchers at Georgia State University.
Genome analysis showed common origin of Pskov, Novgorod and Yakutia populations
Scientists for the first time compared complete genome data of different ethnic groups in Russia.
NRG Oncology awarded NCI funding for next 6 years, receives 'exceptional' score
NRG Oncology, a National Cancer Institute (NCI) National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN) group conducting practice-changing clinical and translational research, has been awarded funding of over $95 million by the NCI for the next six years to continue its work as a lead protocol organization (LPO) program.
Brain stimulation reverses age-related memory loss
Stimulating a precise location of the brain's memory center with electromagnetic pulses improves the memory of older adults with age-related memory loss to the level of young adults, reports a new study.
Researchers improve method to recycle and renew used cathodes from lithium-ion batteries
UC San Diego researchers have improved their recycling process that regenerates degraded cathodes from spent lithium-ion batteries.
Parboiling method reduces inorganic arsenic in rice
Contamination of rice with arsenic is a major problem in some regions of the world with high rice consumption.
Balancing the ocean carbon budget
How exactly does the ocean -- the Earth's largest carbon sink -- capture and store carbon?
Some viruses help protect harmful bacteria in CF patients, Stanford-led study finds
Chronic bacterial infections in the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients are worsened by a previously unappreciated biological agent: a group of viruses that infect the bacteria.
Diet high in leucine may fuel breast cancer's drug resistance
A team led by Senthil Muthuswamy, PhD, at the Cancer Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, has discovered an unexpected relationship between levels of the amino acid leucine (found in beef, chicken, pork and fish and other foods) and the development of tamoxifen resistance in ER+ breast cancer.
Morphing origami takes a new shape, expanding use possibilities
Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have created a new type of origami that can morph from one pattern into a different one, or even a hybrid of two patterns, instantly altering many of its structural characteristics.
Fragments of cellular machinery reveal unexpected variability among cancers
New research shows the mitochondrial genome may play a significant role in these fragment interactions with cancer.
Scientists restore some functions in a pig's brain hours after death
Circulation and cellular activity were restored in a pig's brain four hours after its death, a finding that challenges long-held assumptions about the timing and irreversible nature of the cessation of some brain functions after death, Yale scientists report April 18 in the journal Nature.
A new Concordia study helps decode the movement patterns of tsunami-like solitary waves
A study of solitary tsunami-style wave clusters shows how they move in harmony with and through each other.
Triple negative breast cancers can adopt reversible state that is resistant to chemotherapy
Researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have discovered that triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) cells can develop resistance to frontline, or neoadjuvant, chemotherapy not by acquiring permanent adaptations, but rather transiently turning on molecular pathways that protect the cells.
Taking care of people with TBI: New tool could speed caregiver research
A traumatic brain injury happens in an instant: a battlefield blast, a car crash, a bad fall.
Cannabidiol could help deliver medications to the brain
Cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive compound in cannabis, is being touted as beneficial for many health conditions, ranging from anxiety to epilepsy.
Making a fast ion transporter
An international team of researchers at Institute for Molecular Science in Japan and Max Planck Institute of Biophysics in Germany reveals an ion transport mechanism of sodium/proton antiporter by simulating its motion.
How superstitions spread
Superstitious beliefs may seem irrational, but they can nevertheless catch on in a society.
New research offers solution to riddle of ocean carbon storage
Research by a team of the world's leading oceanographers has proposed a new explanation for how the ocean absorbs and stores carbon, solving a riddle that has long puzzled scientists.
Synergy of anthropogenic emissions and atmospheric processes may cause severe haze in northern China
A study led by AN Zhisheng from the Institute of Earth Environment (IEE), Chinese Academy of Sciences, reviews and synthesizes recent advances in the causes and formation mechanisms of severe haze pollution in northern China.
Researchers use gene editing with CRISPR to treat lethal lung diseases before birth
Using CRISPR gene editing, a team has thwarted a lethal lung disease, in an animal model, in which a harmful mutation causes death within hours after birth.
Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our Sun
A stellar flare 10 times more powerful than anything seen on our Sun has burst from an ultracool star almost the same size as Jupiter.
Screen time associated with behavioral problems in preschoolers
A new Canadian study of more than 2,400 families suggests that among preschoolers, spending two hours or more of screen time per day is linked to clinically significant behavioural problems.
New study shows people used natural dyes to color their clothing thousands of years ago
Even thousands of years ago people wore clothing with colourful patterns made from plant and animal-based dyes.
BRAIN Initiative tool may transform how scientists study brain structure and function
Researchers have developed a high-tech support system that can keep a large mammalian brain from rapidly decomposing in the hours after death, enabling study of certain molecular and cellular functions.
Increased screen time in preschool is linked to inattention
Screen time above a two-hour threshold at five years of age is associated with an increased risk of clinically relevant externalizing problems such as inattention, according to a study published April 17 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Piush Mandhane of the University of Alberta, and colleagues.
Risk factors identified for patients undergoing knee replacements
In the largest study of its kind, researchers from the Musculoskeletal Research Unit at the University of Bristol have identified the most important risk factors for developing severe infection after knee replacement.
Media exposure to mass violence can fuel cycle of distress 3-year longitudinal study shows
Repeated exposure to media coverage of a large scale community disaster, such as a mass shooting or a natural disaster, can perpetuate a cycle of emotional distress, with ongoing worry about the future and even greater media consumption and anxiety when future disasters occur, according to a 3-year longitudinal study conducted by researchers at the University of California, Irvine.
A 'virtual' view with a little bit of math
Giovanna Guidoboni, Marjorie Skubic and a team at the University of Missouri are currently working to develop a standardized model to interpret the results of a ballistocardiogram that could provide an additional approach for early detection of various cardiovascular diseases.
Giving robots a better feel for object manipulation
A new learning system developed by MIT researchers improves robots' abilities to mold materials into target shapes and make predictions about interacting with solid objects and liquids.
U-M study: 'Induced' driving miles could overwhelm potential energy-saving benefits of self-driving
The benefits of self-driving cars will likely induce vehicle owners to drive more, and those extra miles could partially or completely offset the potential energy-saving benefits that automation may provide, according to a new University of Michigan study.
Need more energy storage? Just hit 'print'
Drexel University researchers have developed a conductive ink made from a special type of material they discovered, called MXene, that was used by the Trinity College researchers to print components for electronic devices.
Logical reasoning: An antidote or a poison for political disagreement?
New research exploring American liberals and conservatives shows that regardless of political affiliation, tribal instincts kick in and people's ability to think logically suffers when it comes to arguments related to their political belief systems.
A comprehensive look at cow's milk
Milk is a staple of the human diet, full of key nutrients such as protein, carbohydrates, fats, and vitamins.
Early intervention programs for mood and anxiety disorders improve patient outcomes
In a series of studies from Lawson Health Research Institute, Western University and ICES, researchers examined the impact of Canada's only early intervention program for youth with mood and anxiety disorders.
Hospital deaths after surgery fall after launch of surgical safety checklists in Scotland
The World Health Organization (WHO) created the Surgical Safety Checklist over a decade ago, in an effort to reduce mortality after surgery.
Five planets revealed after 20 years of observation
To confirm the presence of a planet, it is necessary to wait until it has made one or more revolutions around its star.
Bacterial therapy in a dish
Biomedical engineers have developed a system that can study 10s to 100s of programmed bacteria within mini-tissues in a dish, condensing study time from months to days.
Coelacanth reveals new insights into skull evolution
An international team of researchers presents the first observations of the development of the skull and brain in the living coelacanth Latimeria chalumnae.
Tracking global trends in the effectiveness of antibiotic therapy using the Drug Resistance Index
Using resistance data from CDDEP's ResistanceMap and antibiotic use data obtained from IQVIA's MIDAS database, researchers calculated the DRI rates for 41 countries.
Meet Gobihadros, a new species of Mongolian hadrosaur
The complete skeletal remains of a new species of Mongolian dinosaur fill in a gap in the evolution of hadrosaurs, according to a study released April 17, 2019 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Khishigjav Tsogtbataaar of the Mongolian Academy of Science, David Evans of the Royal Ontario Museum, and colleagues.
Bacteria-infecting viruses exacerbate chronic infections in cystic fibrosis
A study of samples from 92 patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) has revealed that certain bacteriophages -- viruses that infect bacteria -- worsen the severity of bacterial infections associated with the disorder.
University of Barcelona researchers develop new variant of Maxwell's demon at nanoscale
Maxwell's demon is a machine proposed by James Clerk Maxwell in 1897.
Omega-3 expert supports new research that shows omega-6 is good for you
There has been a fierce debate over the last decade or so about the health benefits of omega-6 fatty acids.
Breakthrough for children with serious epileptic seizures
Emergency medicine doctors now have a better way to treat severe epileptic seizures in children, thanks to a New Zealand-Australian study.
UCF develops new method to explore what happens inside fires and explosions
The inside of a fire might be the last place one would explore, but a new University of Central Florida method to do just that could lead to advances in fighting fires, creating cleaner engines and even space travel.
More severe salmonella outbreaks ahead: University of Sydney research
University of Sydney researchers have developed a model that can predict salmonella outbreaks several months in advance, and its results come as a warning ahead of the Easter long weekend.

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