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Science Current Events and Science News | Brightsurf | April 24, 2019


The mobile game that can detect Alzheimer's risk
A specially designed mobile phone game can detect people at risk of Alzheimer's -- according to new research from the University of East Anglia.
Study of tagraxofusp reports 90% response rate for deadly blood cancer with no prior available therapies
An open-label, multi-cohort Phase II trial, led by investigators at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, reports that treatment with the drug tagraxofusp resulted in high response rates in patients with blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm (BPDCN), a rare but highly aggressive -- and often fatal bone marrow and blood disorder -- for which there are no existing approved therapies.
Researchers observe slowest atom decay ever measured
The XENON1T detector is mainly used to detect dark matter particles deep underground.
Reindeer adapt to climate change by eating seaweed
The arctic archipelago of Svalbard is already experiencing dramatic effects from climate change.
A video game aids in research on Alzheimer's disease
Sea Hero Quest is a spatial navigation video game that can be played on cell phones, tablets and virtual reality applications, developed by scientists at the CNRS, at University College London, and the University of East Anglia.
Policies valuing cultural diversity improve minority students' sense of belonging
Psychology researchers exploring the belonging and achievement of middle school students found valuing cultural diversity reduces achievement gaps over the course of a year, while policies that favor colorblindness and assimilation led to wider achievement gaps.
Risk and unnaturalness cannot justify EU's strict policy on GMO
The EU's policy on GMO is extremely strict and prevents new GMO crops from being authorized.
New nanomedicine slips through the cracks
In a recent study in mice, researchers found a way to deliver specific drugs to parts of the body that are exceptionally difficult to access.
Getting fertilizer in the right place at the right rate
In-soil placement of phosphorus can decrease phosphorus loss in snowmelt runoff
Elemental old-timer makes the universe look like a toddler
Rice University physicists contributed to the discovery of the longest half-life ever measured in xenon 124.
A speedier pipeline to diagnosing genetic diseases in seriously ill infants
Building on previous research, scientists have made improvements to an artificial intelligence pipeline used to diagnose genetic diseases via blood samples obtained from gravely ill infants in a San Diego-based children's hospital.
Coal could yield treatment for traumatic injuries
Coal-derived graphene quantum dots, when modified with a polymer, are effective antioxidants.
Eclogitic diamonds formed from oceanic crust, study shows
Eclogitic diamonds formed in Earth's mantle originate from oceanic crust, rather than marine sediments as commonly thought, according to a new study from University of Alberta geologists.
Global warming hits sea creatures hardest
Global warming has caused twice as many ocean-dwelling species as land-dwelling species to disappear from their habitats, a unique Rutgers-led study found.
Reinforced concrete wall damage may be larger than expected in major Seattle quake
Using ground motions generated for a range of simulated magnitude 9 earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest, researchers are testing how well reinforced concrete walls might stand up under such seismic events.
Human settlements in Amazonia much older than previously thought
Humans settled in southwestern Amazonia and even experimented with agriculture much earlier than previously thought, according to an international team of researchers.
Genetic testing in women diagnosed with breast cancer decreases cost of care nationwide
A new study suggests that Oncotype DX-guided treatment could reduce the cost for the first year of breast cancer care in the US by about $50 million (about 2 percent of the overall costs in the first year).
Reggaeton can also contribute to feminist claims
A study led by Mònica Figueras, a researcher with the Department of Communication at UPF, together with Núria Araüna and Iolanda Tortajada, researchers from the Department of Communication at Rovira i Virgili University, published on March 25 in the journal Young.
New synthesis strategy speeds identification of simpler versions of a natural product
A new chemical synthesis strategy to harvest the rich information found in natural products -- organic compounds isolated from natural sources -- has led to the identification of novel, simpler derivatives with potential to selectively protect neurons, important for neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's disease, or to prevent the immune system from rejecting organ transplants, a Baylor-led study finds
Targeting how fungi 'taste' wheat could be key to developing control
Exploring how a hazardous fungal pathogen 'tastes' its surroundings within a wheat plant to coordinate virulence could be the key to developing new control strategies, scientists believe.
Astronomers find quasars are not nailed to the sky
Until recently, quasars were thought to have essentially fixed positions in the sky.
Proteins stand up to nerve cell regression
Fruit fly studies reveal proteins that promote healthy nervous system development by preventing the reversal of nerve cell differentiation.
Polymer reversibly glows white when stretched
Polymers that change their appearance in response to mechanical forces can warn of damage developing in a material before the stress causes structural failure.
Treating addiction: Cryo-EM technology enables the 'impossible'
Scientists used a compound found in a shrub native to Africa to reveal the three major shapes of the serotonin transporter, a protein in the brain linked to anxiety and depression.
Liquid crystals in nanopores produce a surprisingly large negative pressure
Negative pressure governs not only the Universe or the quantum vacuum.
Fossil crab reveals a new branch in the tree of life
Taking on characteristics from another, younger stage in its life-cycle, a newly named fossil crab species was able to adapt to new conditions.
Seminal approach to recycle platelet concentrates for stem cell culture
In a paper to be published in a forthcoming issue of TECHNOLOGY, a consortium of researchers from Portugal have successfully conducted a proof-of-concept experiment to produce a new blood-derived product by application of pulsed electric fields (PEF) to platelet concentrates (PC) with no therapeutic value for transfusion medicine.
Smelling with your tongue
Scientists from the Monell Center report that functional olfactory receptors, the sensors that detect odors in the nose, are also present in human taste cells found on the tongue.
Chemotherapy or not?
Case Western Reserve University researchers and partners, including a collaborator at Cleveland Clinic, are pushing the boundaries of how 'smart' diagnostic-imaging machines identify cancers -- and uncovering clues outside the tumor to tell whether a patient will respond well to chemotherapy.
Researchers create the first maps of two melatonin receptors essential for sleep
An international team of researchers used an X-ray laser at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory to create the first detailed maps of two melatonin receptors that tell our bodies when to go to sleep or wake up and guide other biological processes.
Despite increase in insurance coverage for depression, growth in spending remains modest
A new investigation finds that while insurance coverage for depression has increased, treatment rates are lower than expected, indicating that non-financial barriers to patient care still remain.
With flower preferences, bees have a big gap between the sexes
For scores of wild bee species, females and males visit very different flowers for food -- a discovery that could be important for conservation efforts, according to Rutgers-led research.
Blood thinner found to significantly reduce subsequent heart failure risks
Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine found using blood thinners in patients with worsening heart failure, coronary artery disease and irregular heart rhythms was associated with a reduced risk of thromboembolic events, such as stroke and heart attack.
Scientists are world's firsts to reproduce complete copy of 'anti-tumour antibiotic'
After 20 years of dedicated research, scientists have cracked the chemical code of an incredibly complex 'anti-tumour antibiotic' known to be highly effective against cancer cells as well as drug-resistant bacteria, and have reproduced it synthetically in the lab for the first time.
York University chemists invent new Lewis acidity test using fluorescence
York University chemists have invented a new fluorescence-based method for accurately determining the strength of a range of Lewis acids, which could one day be used to help purify pharmaceutical drugs, improve industrial processes and explore next-generation technologies, according to a new chemistry study.
New nanomaterial to replace mercury
Ultraviolet light is used to kill bacteria and viruses, but UV lamps contain toxic mercury.
Scholars: Estimates of food insecurity among college students problematic
A good estimate of how many college students struggle with food insecurity is a difficult number to pin down, says new research from a team of University of Illinois experts who study food choice issues.
Preparing for a changing population -- what it means to age successfully
A paper by Columbia Mailman School's John Rowe, M.D., Julius Richmond Professor of Health Policy and Aging, in the journal Health Affairs outlines the challenges we face as the US becomes an 'aging society.' This transformation has major implications for our core institutions which were not designed to support this changing population distribution.
Uncovering Polynya: Research by NYU Abu Dhabi unravels 43-year-old mystery in Antarctica
A study led by NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) Research Scientist Diana Francis has unraveled the four decade long mystery surrounding the occurrence of a mid-sea Polynya -- a body of unfrozen ocean that appeared within a thick body of ice during Antarctica's winter almost two years ago.
Study merges big data and zebrafish biology to reveal mechanisms of human disease
In a series of studies that volleyed between large databases and research in zebrafish, Vanderbilt investigators have discovered a link between vascular biology and eye disease.
Geography study finds hot days lead to wildfires
University of Cincinnati geography researchers found that temperature was a better predictor of wildfire than humidity, rainfall, moisture content of the vegetation and soil and other weather factors.
The neurobiology of noshing: Why is it so easy to overeat calorie-rich tasty foods?
When you eat something super tasty, ever wonder why you really don't want to stop even though you know you've eaten enough?
Growing up in poverty increases diagnoses of psychosis-spectrum mental illnesses
Growing up in impoverished urban neighborhoods more than doubles your chances over the average person of developing a psychosis-spectrum disorder by the time you reach middle adulthood, according to a new UC Davis and Concordia University study of nearly 4,000 families who were monitored over 30 years.
Characterisation of the structure of a member of the L-Amino acid Transporter (LAT) family
Mutations in L-amino acid transporters (LATs) can lead to a wide range of conditions, such as autism, hearing loss and aminoacidurias.
Corruption contagion: How legal and finance firms are at greater risk of corruption
Companies with fewer levels of management such as legal, accountancy and investment banking firms could be up to five times more susceptible to corruption than similar sized organizations with a taller structure such as those in manufacturing, a new study by the University of Sussex and Imperial College has revealed.
Hypersociability in Williams syndrome result of Myelination deficits
A new Tel Aviv University study finds that gene deletion or deficiency in neurons is responsible for the abnormal hypersocial behavior associated with Williams syndrome (WS), a rare disorder affecting 1 in 10,000 people around the world.
Major deep carbon sink linked to microbes found near volcano chains
Up to about 19% more carbon dioxide than previously believed is removed naturally and stored underground between coastal trenches and inland chains of volcanoes, keeping the greenhouse gas from entering the atmosphere, according to a study in the journal Nature.
Study confirms value of exposure therapy for vets with PTSD, alcohol problems
A Veterans Affairs study has confirmed the value of prolonged exposure therapy for veterans coping with both PTSD and alcohol problems.
Minerals in mountain rivers tell the story of landslide activity upstream
Scientists have come up with a new way of analyzing sand in mountain rivers to determine the activity of landslides upstream, which has important implications for understanding natural hazards in mountainous regions.
Rapid destruction of Earth-like atmospheres by young stars
The discoveries of thousands of planets orbiting stars outside our solar system has made questions about the potential for life to form on these planets.
Doctors turning to antibiotic alternatives to treat acne, Rutgers researchers find
Physicians are scaling back on prescribing antibiotics for long-term acne treatment in favor of a combinations of therapies, according to Rutgers researchers.
High-efficiency thermoelectric materials: New insights into tin selenide
Tin selenide might considerably exceed the efficiency of current record holding thermoelectric materials made of bismuth telluride.
Dark matter detector observes rarest event ever recorded
In a paper to be published tomorrow in the journal Nature, researchers announce that they have observed the radioactive decay of xenon-124, which has a half-life of 1.8 X 1022 years.
Freshwater fish species richness has increased in Ohio River Basin since '60s
The taxonomic and trophic composition of freshwater fishes in the Ohio River Basin has changed significantly in recent decades, possibly due to environmental modifications related to land use and hydrology, according to a study published April 24 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Mark Pyron of Ball State University, and colleagues.
A first in medical robotics: Autonomous navigation inside the body
Bioengineers at Boston Children's Hospital report the first demonstration of a robot able to navigate autonomously inside the body.
Microbial contaminants found in popular e-cigarettes
Popular electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) products sold in the US were contaminated with bacterial and fungal toxins, according to new research from Harvard T.H.
Early melting of winter snowfall advances the Arctic springtime
Early melting of winter snow is driving the early arrival of spring in parts of the Arctic.
Research sheds light on genomic features that make plants good candidates for domestication
New research details how the process of domestication affected the genomes of corn and soybeans.
Tomato, tomat-oh! -- understanding evolution to reduce pesticide use
Although pesticides are a standard part of crop production, Michigan State University researchers believe pesticide use could be reduced by taking cues from wild plants.
Hopkins researchers ID neurotransmitter that helps cancers progress
Using human cancer cells, tumor and blood samples from cancer patients, researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine have uncovered the role of a neurotransmitter in the spread of aggressive cancers.
Imaging system helps surgeons remove tiny ovarian tumors
Researchers at MIT and Massachusetts General Hospital have developed a way to improve the accuracy of surgery to remove ovarian tumors.
A close look at lithium batteries
Batteries with metallic lithium anodes offer enhanced efficiency compared to conventional lithium-ion batteries because of their higher capacity.
Internal waves induced by sequential typhoons transmitted with different frequency
The interaction of near-inertial internal waves (NIWs) excited by sequential typhoons are rare phenomena, but in a new study pointed out that internal waves induced by sequential typhoons transmitted with different frequency.
Researchers learn how 'bad cholesterol' enters artery walls
UT Southwestern researchers have determined how circulating ''bad cholesterol'' enters artery walls to cause the plaque that narrows the blood vessels and leads to heart attacks and strokes.
An army of micro-robots can wipe out dental plaque
A swarm of micro-robots, directed by magnets, can break apart and remove dental biofilm, or plaque, from a tooth.
Reducing care needs of teens with substance-abuse disorders
Screenings, interventions, and referrals can help adolescent teens overcome substance abuse in the short-term.
A good night's sleep may be in sight
Having a map of the two cell receptors for melatonin could lead to better drugs to address insomnia or other conditions affected by those receptors.
Microbes may act as gatekeepers of Earth's Deep Carbon
Two years ago a team of scientists visited Costa Rica's subduction zone, where the ocean floor sinks beneath the continent and volcanoes tower above the surface.
New discovery in how mammals sense the cold could lead to new pain relief drugs
Researchers at UCL have shown for the first time that mammals detect different intensities of cold using distinct sensory neuron systems, a finding which could lead to the development of new drugs to treat cold pain.
Classroom crowdscience: UC students challenged to detect schizophrenia genes
Teaching big data to future scientists means having them think creatively about ways to harness the terabytes of information available to them.
Meet Callichimaera perplexa, the platypus of crabs
The crab family just got a bunch of new cousins -- including a 95-million-year-old chimera species that will force scientists to rethink the definition of a crab.
A new way to 'freeze' cells promises to transform the common cell-freezing practice
A team of Japanese researchers has demonstrated preserving frozen animal cells without a cryoprotectant agent (CPA).
Particulate matter takes away 125,000 years of healthy life from Europe's child population
A study analyzes the burden of disease of seven environmental hazards to children in the 28 countries of the European Union.
Who really hit the basketball out of bounds?
When a basketball is knocked out of bounds, it matters who touched it last.
Researchers use machine-learning system to diagnose genetic diseases
San Diego-Researchers at Rady Children's Institute for Genomic Medicine (RCIGM) have utilized a machine-learning process and clinical natural language processing (CNLP) to diagnose rare genetic diseases in record time.
Brain scans on movie watchers reveal how we judge people
Researchers used brain scans to reveal the biases people feel towards people who are like them, even if they can't see that they are like them.
Exposing cancer's metabolic addictions
University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers and collaborators describe a new set of 'rules' that predict how the tissue of origin influences critical aspects of the genetic makeup of tumors, with potentially important therapeutic implications.
Trigger region found for absence epileptic seizures
Scientists have discovered a neurological origin for absence seizures--a type of seizure characterized by very short periods of lost consciousness in which people appear to stare blankly at nothing.
Singapore scientists develop swallowable self-inflating capsule to help tackle obesity
A team of scientists from NTU Singapore and NUHS has developed a self-inflating weight management capsule that could help battle obesity, and be an alternative to intragastric balloons.
New perennial brome-grass from Iberian Peninsula named after Picos de Europa National Park
Picos de Europa National Park has given its name to a new species of perennial brome-grass from Spain.
Few at-risk adults getting the diabetes prevention help they need
Using data from the 2016 National Health Interview Survey, Johns Hopkins researchers report that few American adults eligible for diabetes prevention programs are being referred to, or participating in, these programs.
Can we solve the riddle of the coral reef halos?
Patches of coral reef are often surrounded by very large 'halos' of bare sand that are hundreds to thousands of square meters.
Parents reassured febrile seizures following vaccination not dangerous
New University of Sydney research finds that febrile seizures after vaccination are rare, not serious and are no different to febrile seizures due to other causes such as from a virus.
Salish seafloor mapping identifies earthquake and tsunami risks
The central Salish Sea of the Pacific Northwest is bounded by two active fault zones that could trigger rockfalls and slumps of sediment that might lead to tsunamis, according to a presentation at the 2019 SSA Annual Meeting.
New robust device may scale up quantum tech, researchers say
A new device may bring scalable quantum bits because it's planar, just like silicon wafers already in use, and robust thanks to protective properties enabled by combining aluminum and indium arsenide.
'Catastrophic' breeding failure at one of world's largest emperor penguin colonies
Researchers at British Antarctic Survey studying hi-res satellite imagery have discovered that emperor penguins at the Halley Bay colony in the Weddell Sea have failed to raise chicks for the last three years.
Moffitt Researchers find BRAF protein modification could slow tumor growth
Researchers in Moffitt Cancer Center's Donald A. Adam Melanoma and Skin Cancer Center of Excellence have discovered a signaling pathway between cytokines and BRAF that promotes tumor growth.
Studying cell lineage in tumors reveals targetable vulnerabilities
To explain a person's actions in the present, it sometimes helps to understand their past, including where they come from and how they were raised.
Frustrated materials under high pressure
People are not the only ones to be occasionally frustrated.
Study reveals vast diversity of ocean microbes
Advanced molecular techniques have revealed the diversity of a little-understood group of ocean microbes called protists, according to a new publication in Scientific Reports.
NASA's Aqua Satellite catches Tropical Cyclone Lorna organizing
Visible satellite imagery from NASA's Aqua satellite revealed the recently formed Tropical Storm Lorna was getting organized in the Southeastern Indian Ocean.
No assembly required: University of Toronto Engineering researchers automate microrobotic designs
University of Toronto Engineering researchers have developed an automated approach that significantly cuts down on, and expands, the types of microrobots they can manufacture.
Schadenfreude: Your pain is my gain
If someone in the workplace is mistreated, their colleagues may respond with empathy -- or with schadenfreude.
Photoacoustic endoscopy could improve Crohn's disease treatment
A newly developed endoscope could give doctors a better view of intestinal changes caused by Crohn's disease.
Perfume makers seek natural, sustainable scents
In 1921, perfumer Ernest Beaux discovered that adding synthetic aldehydes to natural rose and jasmine scents produced just the right fragrance combination for the iconic CHANEL® No.
Veritable powerhouses -- even without DNA
The cells of most life forms contain mitochondria for energy production.
What the vibrant pigments of bird feathers can teach us about how evolution works
A UA team shows that evolution is driven by dependency on other species within ecological communities - testing a long-held idea of the UA's late, great George Gaylord Simpson.
Targeted therapy proves effective against aggressive rare blood cancer
Clinical study treating BPDCN with tagraxofusp led to first FDA approval for the disease.
Polymers to give early warning signs
Researchers at the University of Fribourg's Adolphe Merkle Institute (AMI) and Hokkaido University in Japan have developed a method to tailor the properties of stress-indicating molecules that can be integrated into polymers and signal damages or excessive mechanical loads with an optical signal.
Stroke patients receive different amounts of physical therapy
Medicare-covered stroke patients receive vastly different amounts of physical and occupational therapy during hospital stays despite evidence that such care is strongly associated with positive health outcomes, a new study by Brown University researchers found.
Energy-saving new LED phosphor
The human eye is particularly sensitive to green, but less sensitive to blue and red.
Newly discovered Ebolavirus may not cause severe disease in humans
Researchers from the University of Kent's School of Biosciences have provided evidence that a newly discovered Ebolavirus may not be as deadly as other species to humans.
A breakthrough in the study of laser/plasma interactions
Researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and CEA Saclay have developed a particle-in-cell simulation tool that is enabling cutting-edge simulations of laser/plasma coupling mechanisms.
Study: Microbes could influence earth's geological processes as much as volcanoes
By acting as gatekeepers, microbes can affect geological processes that move carbon from the earth's surface into its deep interior, according to a study published in Nature and coauthored by microbiologists at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Chinese-UK project reveals ancient secrets of medicinal mint
The precious chemistry of a plant used for 2000 years in traditional Chinese medicine has been unlocked in a project that raises the prospect of rapid access to a wide array of therapeutic drugs.
Could a popular food ingredient raise the risk for diabetes and obesity?
Consumption of propionate, a food ingredient that's widely used in baked goods, animal feeds, and artificial flavorings, appears to increase levels of several hormones that are associated with risk of obesity and diabetes, according to new research led by Harvard T.H.
Antibiotic use linked to greater risk of heart attack and stroke in women
Women who take antibiotics over a long period of time are at increased risk of heart attack or stroke, according to research carried out in nearly 36,500 women, published in the European Heart Journal.
Controls could lead to increased pollution outside China's capital region
China's ambitious pollution control policies centered on its capital-area cities of Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei could increase air pollution, carbon dioxide emissions, and water consumption outside this target region, according to new modeling by Delin Fang and colleagues.
Nanosized container with photoswitches: release of cargo upon irradiation in water
Researchers at Tokyo Tech have developed a nanosized container bearing photoswitches that takes up hydrophobic compounds of various size and shape in water and subsequently releases them quantitatively by non-invasive light stimulus.
Scientists translate brain signals into speech sounds
Scientists used brain signals recorded from epilepsy patients to program a computer to mimic natural speech -- an advancement that could one day have a profound effect on the ability of certain patients to communicate.
Antarctica: the final frontier for marine biological invasions?
A new study looking at the implications of increased shipping activity and the impact on Antarctic marine biodiversity is published this week in the journal Global Change Biology.
New application of principal component analysis in seismology
Principal component analysis is an ancient multivariate statistical method. A recent study has successfully applied it into seismology to image the deep structure.
Study shows the potential of carbon nanotubes to cool electronic circuits
Mechanically stretched carbon nanotubes extract heat efficiently and could be used to cool flexible electronic devices, for example.
Cleaner, cheaper ammonia
Ammonia -- a colorless gas essential for things like fertilizer -- can be made by a new process which is far cleaner, easier and cheaper than the current leading method.
Synthetic speech generated from brain recordings
A state-of-the-art brain-machine interface created by UC San Francisco neuroscientists can generate natural-sounding synthetic speech by using brain activity to control a virtual vocal tract -- an anatomically detailed computer simulation including the lips, jaw, tongue, and larynx.
Study finds differences in storefront tobacco advertising by product type
In response to US restrictions on where tobacco companies are allowed to advertise their products, the industry now dedicates nearly all of its $9 billion advertising budget to activities occurring in retail settings.
New key stages discovered in how plants prepare to make sex cells for reproduction
Scientists at Stanford have built a detailed timeline of the gene activity leading up to meiosis in corn, a finding with potential implications for plant breeding as well as sexually reproductive organisms more broadly.
NASA examines Tropical Cyclone Kenneth in infrared light
The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder or AIRS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Tropical Cyclone Kenneth and analyzed the storm in infrared light.
Disorders of sexual development may be more common in newborns than previously thought
Ambiguous genitalia in newborns may be more common than previously thought, according to a study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of the Endocrine Society.
Scientists unearth 'utterly bizarre' chimera crab fossil
University of Alberta paleontologists discover a new-- and bizarre -- species of 90- to 95-million-year-old crab fossil with features of many different marine arthropods, calling to mind the chimera of Greek mythology.
Treatment, spending on outpatient care for depression in US
Researchers analyzed national survey data on the use of health services and spending to examine trends in the outpatient treatment of depression in the US population from 1998 to 2015, a time when many policy changes have expanded insurance coverage for mental health conditions.
Changes in rainfall and temperatures have already impacted water quality
Changes in temperature and precipitation have already impacted the amount of nitrogen introduced into US waterways.

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