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Science Current Events and Science News | Brightsurf | April 18, 2019


Growing a cerebral tract in a microscale brain model
An international research team led by The University of Tokyo modeled the growth of cerebral tracts.
Green material for refrigeration identified
Researchers from the UK and Spain have identified an eco-friendly solid that could replace the inefficient and polluting gases used in most refrigerators and air conditioners.
Research provides important insight on the brain-body connection
A study conducted by University of Arkansas researchers reveals that neurons in the motor cortex exhibit an unexpected division of labor, a finding that could help scientists understand how the brain controls the body and provide insight on certain neurological disorders.
General anesthesia hijacks sleep circuitry to knock you out
In a study published online April 18 in Neuron, researchers found that general anesthesia induces unconsciousness by hijacking the neural circuitry that makes us fall sleep.
Late dinner and no breakfast is a killer combination
People who skip breakfast and eat dinner near bedtime have worse outcomes after a heart attack.
New UCI-led study defines best time to exercise to get the most rejuvenating results
A new study led by researchers from the University of California, Irvine finds exercising in the morning, rather than at night, may yield better results.
Lasers make magnets behave like fluids
Researchers have discovered how magnets recover after being blasted by a laser.
The secret to a stable society? A steady supply of beer doesn't hurt
Scientists analyzed bits of beer vessels from an ancient Peruvian brewery to learn what the beer was made of and where the materials to make the vessels came from.
RNA sequencing used to discover novel genes and pathways in celiac disease
Researchers at the Mucosal Immunology and Biology Research Center at MassGeneral Hospital for Children have discovered novel genes and pathways related to early stages in the development of celiac disease and the ongoing inflammation and comorbidities associated with the condition.
Behavioral disorders in kids with autism linked to reduced brain connectivity
More than a quarter of children with autism spectrum disorder are also diagnosed with disruptive behavior disorders.
Can science writing be automated?
A neural network developed at MIT and elsewhere can ''read'' scientific research papers and generate plain-English summaries of their contents.
Glowing millipede genitalia help scientists tell species apart
Researchers studying near-identical species of millipedes found a new way to tell them apart: shining a blacklight on them.
Study shows female managers don't mean higher pay for women
A new paper in the European Sociological Review indicates that women's and men's earnings are not affected by the share of female managers in an organization, nor by the sex of workers' individual managers.
Bioengineers program cells as digital signal processors
Synthetic biologists have added high-precision analog-to-digital signal processing to the genetic circuitry of living cells.
Ocean circulation likely to blame for severity of 2018 red tide
2018 was the worst year for red tide in more than a decade.
Microbiomes of diabetic foot ulcers are associated with clinical outcomes
New research suggests that the microbial communities associated with chronic wounds common in diabetic patients affect whether those wounds heal or lead to amputations.
Can exercise, swimming goggles help protect astronauts against spaceflight-associated changes to eye, vision?
Astronauts on long missions at the International Space Station can experience changes to their eyes and vision that can last for years.
Newly proposed system of measurement could help determine community sustainability
A newly proposed system of measurement known as the community sustainability assessment system, or CSAS, could be used to define what it means to be a sustainable community as well as evaluate the impact of individual communities on global sustainability, according to new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York.
Decline in measles vaccination is causing a preventable global resurgence of the disease
In 2000, measles was declared to be eliminated in the United States.
The overall annual cost of bacterial resistance in French hospitals estimated up to 290 M€
A team of researchers from Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines University (UVSQ), Inserm and Pasteur Institute (Unité Mixte de Recherche 1181 Biostatistique, biomathématique, pharmacoépidémiologie et maladies infectieuses - B2PHI) has been able to provide for the first time an accurate estimate of both the incidence (annual number of new cases) and added direct cost of infections due to antibiotic-resistant bacteria in patients hospitalised in French hospitals during 2015 and 2016.
Adding human touch to unchatty chatbots may lead to bigger letdown
Sorry, Siri, but just giving a chatbot a human name or adding humanlike features to its avatar might not be enough to win over a user if the device fails to maintain a conversational back-and-forth with that person, according to researchers.
How to hack your deadline: Admit it's uncertain
Deadlines tend to radiate a sense of existential finality, but project managers know that they're rarely set in stone.
MicroRNA-like RNAs contribute to the lifestyle transition of Arthrobotrys oligospora
Lifestyle transition is a fundamental mechanism that fungi have evolved to survive and proliferate in different environments.
Female medical students report higher rates of feeling intimidated in surgical attachments
A greater number of female medical students have experienced intimidation in their training than their male counterparts, according to a new research study published by researchers at RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland).
Firms are better off revealing their environmental practices, new research shows
Firms that value and practice environmental transparency in their reporting to stakeholders are in general better economic performers than those whose practices are more opaque.
Rare genetic change provides clues to pancreas development
Researchers have discovered a key clue into the development of the pancreas and brain by studying rare patients born without a pancreas.
Two studies explore whether time of day can affect the body's response to exercise
Two papers appearing April 18, 2019 in the journal Cell Metabolism confirm that the circadian clock is an important factor in how the body responds to physical exertion.
Taming the genome's 'jumping' sequences
EPFL scientists have discovered how a family of proteins that regulates the activity of transposable elements in the genome allows them to make inheritable changes to the growing fetus.
New CRISPR tool executes multiple edits simultaneously, leading to unique partnership to deliver more precise cancer treatments
Scientists at Christiana Care Health System's Gene Editing Institute and NovellusDx, an Israeli biotechnology company, have deployed a breakthrough CRISPR gene-editing tool to successfully engineer multiple edits simultaneously to fragments of DNA extracted from a human cell, according to a new study published today in The CRISPR Journal.
Low use of hearing aids among older Hispanic/Latino adults in US
This study examined how common hearing aids were and the factors associated with their use among a group of nearly 1,900 adults (average age 60) of Hispanic/Latino backgrounds with hearing loss.
Engineering researcher uses network science to understand how materials work
Using network science -- part of a larger mathematical field called graph theory -- FAMU-FSU Professor of Mechanical Engineering William Oates, former graduate student Peter Woerner and Associate Professor Kunihiko 'Sam' Taira mapped long range atomic forces onto an incredibly complex graph to simulate macroscopic material behavior.
Scientists identify almost 2 million previously 'hidden' earthquakes
Using powerful computers and a technique called template matching, scientists identify millions of previously unidentified tiny earthquakes.
Turning an old enemy into a helpful friend
A protein complex that had originally evolved to repress the invasion of foreign DNA sequences in our genome took up a completely new function in directing the formation of fat cells, EPFL scientists have found.
How the hepatitis B virus establishes persistent infection
New research sheds light on how a hepatitis B viral protein stimulates the expansion of immune cells that impair antiviral responses, according to a study published April 18 in the open-access journal PLOS Pathogens by Haitao Guo of the Indiana University School of Medicine, Bin Wang and Jiming Zhang of Fudan University, and colleagues.
Experimental antiplatelet compound for acute stroke shows promise
An experimental compound inhibited clot formation without increased bleeding, a common side effect of current anticlotting therapies, in a phase I study.
Antimicrobial paints have a blind spot
In a new study, Northwestern University researchers tested bacteria commonly found inside homes on samples of drywall coated with antimicrobial, synthetic latex paints.
Could computer games help farmers adapt to climate change?
Researchers from Sweden and Finland have developed the interactive web-based Maladaptation Game, which can be used to better understand how Nordic farmers make decisions regarding environmental changes and how they negotiate the negative impacts of potentially damaging decisions.
Oregon researchers map sound, response and reward anticipation in mouse brain
University of Oregon neuroscientists report that two areas of the mouse brain combine representations of what is heard and anticipated, guiding behavior that leads mice to the best reward.
Bioengineers add cooperative molecules to their toolkit for programming signal processing
Synthetic biologists have added a new toolset powered by self-assembling molecules and predictive modeling will allow researchers to construct the complex computation and signal processing found in eukaryotic organisms, including human cells.
Fish under threat release chemicals to warn others of danger
Fish warn each other about danger by releasing chemicals into the water as a signal, research by the University of Saskatchewan (USask) has found.
Intentions attributed to other people change how we see their actions
Academics in the School of Psychology at the University of Plymouth have suggested our apparent ability to see the intent in other's behaviour leads us to cling to our false judgements.
Triplet superconductivity demonstrated under high pressure
Researchers in France and Japan have demonstrated a theoretical type of unconventional superconductivity in a uranium-based material, according to a study published in the journal Physical Review Letters.
In rare cases, immune system fails despite HIV suppression
Antiretroviral therapy (ART) is usually effective at suppressing HIV, allowing the immune system to recover by preventing the virus from destroying CD4+ T cells.
Harmonization of resting-state functional MRI data across multiple imaging sites
Harmonization method developed to reduce site-related differences between neuroimaging data from individual imaging sites and publicly released big data of multiple psychiatric disorders from many imaging sites.
IPOs help communities prosper, new research shows
Companies that go public on the stock market provide an economic boost to the local communities where they're based, according to new research from Rice University's Jones Graduate School of Business.
Blood pressure drug shows promise for treating Parkinson's and dementia in animal study
A prescribed drug to treat high blood pressure has shown promise against conditions such as Parkinson's, Huntington's and forms of dementia in studies carried out in mice and zebrafish at the University of Cambridge.
A mother lode of protection
Now research conducted in mice offers new hope that neonatal herpes infections might eventually be avoidable by stimulating an immune response in mothers.
Media alert: new articles in The CRISPR Journal
The CRISPR Journal announces the publication of its April 2019 issue.
Preliminary study suggests mercury not a risk in dog foods
Researchers at the University of California, Davis, recently investigated levels of methylmercury in a small sampling of commercial dog foods and found good news for dog owners.
Brain wiring differences identified in children with conduct disorder
Behavioural problems in young people with severe antisocial behaviour -- known as conduct disorder -- could be caused by differences in the brain's wiring that link the brain's emotional centres together, according to new research led by the University of Birmingham.
CEBAF turns on the charm
The world's most advanced particle accelerator for investigating the quark structure of the atom's nucleus has just charmed physicists with a new capability.
The FASEB Journal: DNA repair gene linked to male infertility
A key DNA repair gene known as X-ray repair cross-complementing group 1, or XRCC1, plays a vital role in maintaining genomic stability and is highly expressed in the early stages of sperm cell development (also known as spermatogenesis).
Samarium-doped crystals with 'giant' piezoelectricity
By introducing trace amounts of the element samarium (Sm), researchers greatly enhanced the performance of piezoelectric crystals used in advanced piezoelectric devices like sensors, a new study reports.
Fossils found in museum drawer in Kenya belong to gigantic carnivore
Paleontologists at Ohio University have discovered a new species of meat-eating mammal larger than any big cat stalking the world today.
Infection biology: Gut microbe helps thwart Salmonella
LMU researchers have identified a bacterial species in the gut microbiome of the mouse which protects against infection by human-pathogenic Salmonella.
Studies identify mechanism key to removal of protein aggregates from cells
Massachusetts General Hospital investigators have discovered the mechanism by which cells sense dysfunction of the proteasome -- a cellular component that degrades unneeded or defective proteins -- and respond in a previously undescribed manner, by editing the amino acid sequence of a key sensing protein.
Light and peptides: New method diversifies natural building blocks of life
EPFL chemists have developed a new, light-based method for modifying peptides at the C-terminal position.
Ginkgo seed extracts show antibacterial activity on skin pathogens
Extracts from the seeds of the Ginkgo biloba tree show antibacterial activity on pathogens that can cause skin infections such as acne, psoriasis, dermatitis and eczema.
Weak honey bee colonies may fail from cold exposure during shipping
Weak honey bee colonies may fail after being exposed to cold temperature changes that happen during truck shipping.
Researchers use genetic profiles to predict obesity risk at birth
Researchers have come up with a scoring system based on genetic markers that predicts an individual's inborn risk for obesity.
Pig experiment raises ethical questions around brain damage
The brain is more resilient than previously thought. In a groundbreaking experiment published in this week's issue of Nature, neuroscientists created an artificial circulation system that successfully restored some functions and structures in pig brains.
Cataloging Southern California's tiny hidden earthquakes
Nearly 1.8 million tiny tremblors have been added to the catalog of total seismic events in Southern California over the past decade, reports a new study, which details the most comprehensive earthquake catalog to date.
A hole in one for holographic display
Researchers in Korea have designed an ultra-thin display that can project dynamic, multi-colored, 3D holographic images, according to a study published in Nature Communications.
New fiber-shaped supercapacitor for wearable electronics
A novel family of amphiphilic core-sheath structured CNT composited fiber, i.e., CNT-gold@hydrophilic CNT-polyaniline (CNT-Au@OCNT-PANI) with excellent electrochemical properties for wearable electronics was explored by Huisheng Peng et al. in Science China Materials.
New immune pathway involved in resistance to parasite worms found in undercooked pork
Scientists from Lancaster University have discovered that immune responses originally found to prevent fungal infections are also important in eliminating Trichinella spiralis, a round worm and the causative agent of Trichinosis.
Why language technology can't handle Game of Thrones (yet)
Researchers from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and the Dutch Royal Academy's Humanities Cluster have performed a thorough evaluation of four different name recognition tools on popular 40 novels, including A Game of Thrones.
Study: Infamous 'death roll' almost universal among crocodile species
The iconic 'death roll' of alligators and crocodiles may be more common among species than previously believed, according to a new study published in Ethology, Ecology & Evolution and coauthored by a researcher at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Cutting-edge discovery points to potential treatment for NEC in preemies
Cutting-edge discovery in the lab of Catherine Hunter, MD, from Stanley Manne Children's Research Institute at Ann & Robert H.
Making digital tissue imaging better
A low-tech problem troubles the high-tech world of digital pathology imaging: There are no reliable standards for the quality of digitized tissue slides comprising the source material for computers reading and analyzing vast numbers of images.
A history of the Crusades, as told by crusaders' DNA
History can tell us a lot about the Crusades, the series of religious wars fought between 1095 and 1291, in which Christian invaders tried to claim the Near East.
Mount Sinai researchers discover that diabetes drug may reverse heart failure
Study finds drug could have new applications in non-diabetics.
Nature: When lightning strikes -- the LOFAR radio telescope is watching closely
It is still unclear what exactly happens when lightning develops.
Kidney transplant patients need even better aftercare!
Kidney transplantation is the best renal replacement therapy available. Although survival and quality of life are significantly better compared to dialysis patients, transplant recipients nevertheless have a significantly higher cardiovascular morbidity and mortality than healthy people.
Is it really 'dry clean only'? (video)
Knowing the do's and don'ts of washing your clothes can be difficult, but chemistry has got your back.
Searching for the surface of water through a single molecule
By observing the spectroscopic behavior of single water molecules embedded in a super-cold, cage-like molecular structure, researchers have revealed key features that underlie the diffuse vibrational spectra of hydrogen-oxygen bonds that make studying the two-dimensional surface structure of water a challenge.
Folding faults and seismic risk in the Kunlun range, Northwest Tibet
The tectonic deformation and growth pattern of the western Kunlun, which is the northwestern margin of the Tibetan Plateau, are not currently well understood.
Disappearing bumblebee species under threat of extinction
The American Bumblebee - a species once more commonly seen buzzing around Southern Ontario - is critically endangered, according to a new study led by York University.
Genetic variants that protect against obesity could aid new weight loss medicines
Around four million people in the UK carry genetic variants that protect them from obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease, suggests new research from the University of Cambridge.
Certain strains of bacteria associated with diabetic wounds that do not heal
Whether a wound -- such as a diabetic foot ulcer -- heals or progresses to a worse outcome, including infection or even amputation, may depend on the microbiome within that wound.
Preschoolers with chronic constipation tend to be picky eaters
In the first study of its kind in the US, researchers found that normally developing preschool children with chronic constipation have underlying sensory issues that contribute to their difficulties with toileting behaviors.
In vivo super-resolution photoacoustic computed tomography by localization of single dyed droplets
Recently, researchers at the Caltech Optical Imaging Laboratory, directed by Lihong Wang, developed a technique for in vivo super-resolution PACT.
Research finds pregnant women feel pushed out of their jobs
Florida State University researcher Samantha Paustian-Underdahl found pregnant women experienced decreased encouragement in the workplace to return to their jobs after pregnancy.
Timing of steroid shots before rotator cuff surgery affects infection risk
For patients undergoing arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff, previous steroid injections into the shoulder don't increase the risk of surgical-site infection - unless the injection is administered within one month before surgery, reports a study in the April 17, 2019, issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.
Flies smell through a Gore-Tex system
A research group led by a scientist of the RIKEN Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research (BDR) has gained important insights into how the nanopores that allow the fruit fly to detect chemicals in the air, and has identified the gene responsible for their development.
When the physics say 'don't follow your nose'
Engineers at Duke University are developing a smart robotic system for sniffing out pollution hotspots and sources of toxic leaks.
Management and outcomes of aortic dissection in pregnancy with Marfan Syndrome
In Marfan Syndrome (MFS), aortic dilatation is one of the main cardiovascular manifestations which deteriorate due to the physiological changes during pregnancy.
New variety of zebra chip disease threatens potato production in southwestern Oregon
Named after the dark stripes that form inside potatoes after they are cut and fried, zebra chip disease is a potentially devastating affliction that can result in yield losses up to 100% for farmers.
Young children judge others based on facial features as much as adults do
Just like adults, children by the age of 5 make rapid and consistent character judgements of others based on facial features, such as the tilt of the mouth or the distance between the eyes.
New concept for novel fire extinguisher in space
A research team at Toyohashi University of Technology has developed a new concept of fire extinguishing, named Vacuum Extinguish Method.
Data mining digs up hidden clues to major California earthquake triggers
A powerful computational study of southern California seismic records has revealed detailed information about a plethora of previously undetected small earthquakes, giving a more precise picture about stress in the earth's crust.
The brain's imperfect execution of mathematically optimal perception
Human perception is based on mathematically optimal principles, but the brain implements those principles imperfectly, suggests new research by Elina Stengård and Ronald van den Berg of the University of Uppsala, Sweden.
From nata de coco to computer screens: Cellulose gets a chance to shine
Scientists at Osaka University determined the intrinsic birefringence of cellulose molecules, which have great potential to improve smartphone and computer screens.
Living room conservation: Gaming & virtual reality for insect and ecosystem conservation
Gaming and virtual reality could bridge the gap between urban societies and nature, thereby paving the way to insect conservation by the means of education and participation.
Cell-killing proteins suppress listeria without killing cells
New North Carolina State University research shows that key proteins known for their ability to prevent viral infections by inducing cell death can also block certain bacterial infections without triggering the death of the host cells.
Better performance for mixed tin-lead perovskite solar cells
Using a new solution chemistry, researchers have made mixed tin-lead perovskite solar cells more efficient.
Ocean currents bring good news for reef fish
A new study suggests reefs suffering coral bleaching can still be productive, as fish dependent on reefs get a bulk of their food delivered via the currents flowing past.
Researchers use 3D printer to print glass
For the first time, researchers have successfully 3D printed chalcogenide glass, a unique material used to make optical components that operate at mid-infrared wavelengths.
Estimating the efficacy and cost of curative gene therapy for beta-thalassemia
Gene therapy offers the promise of a cure for beta-thalassemia and a new study has shown that it is associated with fewer complications and hospital admissions over 2 years than treatment by allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT).
Giant tortoises migrate unpredictably in the face of climate change
Researchers use GPS to track the timing and patterns of giant tortoise migration over multiple years.
Crusaders made love and war, genetic study finds
The first genetic study of ancient human remains believed to be Crusaders confirms that warriors travelled from western Europe to the near East, where they mixed and had families with local people, and died together in battle.
Scientists advance creation of 'artificial lymph node' to fight cancer, other diseases
In a proof-of-principle study in mice, scientists at Johns Hopkins Medicine report the creation of a specialized gel that acts like a lymph node to successfully activate and multiply cancer-fighting immune system T-cells.
Study shows promise in repairing damaged myelin
A new study shows that a synthetic molecule developed by Oregon Health & Science University scientists stimulates repair of the protective sheath that covers nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.
Coincidence helps with quantum measurements
Through randomly selected measurements, Austrian physicists can determine the quantum entanglement of many-particle systems.
Multistep self-assembly opens door to new reconfigurable materials
Self-assembling synthetic materials come together when tiny, uniform building blocks interact and form a structure.
Electric skyrmions charge ahead for next-generation data storage
A team of researchers led by Berkeley Lab has observed chirality for the first time in polar skyrmions, in a material with reversible electrical properties -- a combination that could lead to more powerful data storage devices that continue to hold information, even after they've been turned off.
Hubble celebrates its 29th birthday with unrivaled view of the Southern Crab Nebula
This incredible image of the hourglass-shaped Southern Crab Nebula was taken to mark the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope's 29th anniversary in space.
Investigators incorporate randomized trial within dialysis care delivery
The Time to Reduce Mortality in ESRD (TiME) trial was a large pragmatic trial demonstration project designed to determine the benefits of hemodialysis sessions that are longer than many patients currently receive.
BRB-seq: The quick and cheaper future of RNA sequencing
EPFL bioengineers have developed a new method for Bulk RNA Sequencing that combines the multiplexing-driven cost-effectiveness of a single-cell RNA-seq workflow with the performance of a bulk RNA-seq procedure.
Asian nations in early tobacco epidemic: study
Asian countries are in the early stages of a tobacco smoking epidemic with habits mirroring those of the United States from past decades, setting the stage for a spike in future deaths from smoking-related diseases.
Project Sidewalk helps users map accessibility around Seattle and other cities
UW researchers have led the development of Project Sidewalk, an online crowdsourcing game that lets anyone with an internet connection use Google Street View to virtually explore neighborhoods and label curb ramps, missing or rough sidewalks, obstacles and more.
How do we make moral decisions?
When it comes to making moral decisions, we often think of the golden rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
New method to detect off-target effects of CRISPR
Since the CRISPR genome editing technology was invented in 2012, it has shown great promise to treat a number of intractable diseases.
Mesopotamian King Sargon II envisioned ancient city Karkemish as western Assyrian capital
In 'A New Historical Inscription of Sargon II from Karkemish,' published in the Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Gianni Marchesi translates a recently discovered inscription of the Assyrian King Sargon II found at the ruins of the ancient city of Karkemish.
Barrow researcher discovers critical RNA processing aberrations
Research by a Barrow Neurological Center scientist on mechanisms of dysfunctional RNA processing in ALS and frontaltemporal dementia (FTD) was published in the April issue of Acta Neuropathologica.
Discovery may help explain why women get autoimmune diseases far more often than men
New evidence points to a key role for a molecular switch called VGLL3 in autoimmune diseases, and the major gap in incidence between women and men.
The role of digital technologies in mobilizing the alt-right
In 'Misogynistic Men Online: How the Red Pill Helped Elect Trump,' published in Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, Pierce Alexander Dignam and Deana A.

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#SB2 2019 Science Birthday Minisode: Mary Golda Ross
Our second annual Science Birthday is here, and this year we celebrate the wonderful Mary Golda Ross, born 9 August 1908. She died in 2008 at age 99, but left a lasting mark on the science of rocketry and space exploration as an early woman in engineering, and one of the first Native Americans in engineering. Join Rachelle and Bethany for this very special birthday minisode celebrating Mary and her achievements. Thanks to our Patreons who make this show possible! Read more about Mary G. Ross: Interview with Mary Ross on Lash Publications International, by Laurel Sheppard Meet Mary Golda...