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Science Current Events and Science News | Brightsurf | May 01, 2019


New scat study provides clues to puzzling existence of Humboldt martens in Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area
With a new scat study, researchers are chipping away at solving a biological mystery on the central Oregon coast: the existence of an isolated population of a small but fierce forest predator that makes its home in the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area.
Palm oil's potential to alleviate poverty depends on where it's grown
Palm oil's potential to alleviate poverty depends on where it's grown.
Wearable sensors could leverage biotechnology to monitor personal, environmental data
In an effort to enhance Soldier lethality, Army researchers are developing biorecognition receptors capable of consistent performance in multi-domain environments with the ability to collect real-time assessments of Soldier health and performance.
Adverse events during first years of life may have greatest effect on future mental health
A Massachusetts General Hospital study has found evidence that children under 3 years old are most the vulnerable to the effects of adversity -- experiences including poverty, family and financial instability, and abuse -- on their epigenetic profiles, chemical tags that alter gene expression and may have consequences for future mental health.
The unanticipated early origins of childhood brain cancer
Brain tumours are the leading cause of non-accidental death in children in Canada, but little is known about when these tumours form or how they develop.
Quitting smoking is associated with reduced risk of bladder cancer in postmenopausal women
A large study of postmenopausal women indicated that quitting cigarette smoking was associated with significantly reduced risk of bladder cancer.
New reading of Mesha Stele could have far-reaching consequences for biblical history
The biblical King Balak may have been a historical figure, according to a new reading of the Mesha Stele, an inscribed stone dating from the second half of the 9th century BCE.
Algorithms predicting gene interactions could make cancer treatments more effective
Researchers have developed a database which uses algorithms to predict gene interactions and can help clinicians search for more effective therapeutic solutions to cancer.
Transforming waste heat into clean energy
Through a mechanism known as the Spin Hall effect, it has been shown that a voltage can be generated by harnessing differences in spin populations on a metal contact attached to a ferromagnetic material.
Modulating a hormonal pathway improves social function in 2 clinical trials of adults and children with autism spectrum disorder
Results from two clinical trials reveal that modulating the hormone vasopressin's biological pathway safely enhanced social functioning in 223 adult men and 30 children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Suicide attempts by self-poisoning have more than doubled in teens, young adults
A new study from Nationwide Children's Hospital and the Central Ohio Poison Center found rates of suicide attempts by self-poisoning among adolescents have more than doubled in the last decade in the US, and more than tripled for girls and young women.
Diagnosing urban air pollution exposure with new precision
A new review of studies on levels of urban exposure to airborne pollutants and their effects on human health suggests that advanced instrumentation and information technology will soon allow researchers and policymakers to gauge the health risks of air pollution on an individual level.
Rheumatoid arthritis patients affected by disabilities well in advance of diagnosis
Patients diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis often are affected by functional disability a year or two before the disease is diagnosed, according to new Mayo Clinic research.
Storage beyond the cloud
As the data boom continues to boom, more and more information gets filed in less and less space.
Changes in the metabolism of normal cells promotes the metastasis of ovarian cancer cells
A systematic examination of the tumor and the tissue surrounding it -- particularly normal cells in that tissue, called fibroblasts -- has revealed a new treatment target that could potentially prevent the rapid dissemination and poor prognosis associated with high-grade serous carcinoma (HGSC), a tumor type that primarily originates in the fallopian tubes or ovaries and spreads throughout the abdominal cavity.
Army research may be used to treat cancer, heal combat wounds
Army research is the first to develop computational models using a microbiology procedure that may be used to improve novel cancer treatments and treat combat wounds.
Restoring brain function in mice with symptoms of Alzheimer's disease
A study in mice shows that selectively removing cells that are no longer dividing from the brains of mice with a form of Alzheimer's disease can reduce brain damage and inflammation, and slow the pace of cognitive decline.
US $244 billion lost annually because people don't have spectacles to correct myopia
Vision impairment caused by uncorrected myopia cost the global economy an estimated US$244 billion in lost productivity in 2015, according to a new study published in the scientific journal Ophthalmology.
NASA satellites track Tropical Cyclone Fani along Eastern India's coastline
NASA's Aqua and Terra satellites have been providing infrared, microwave and visible imagery of Tropical Cyclone Fani as it continued to move northward along the eastern coast of India.
ASU researchers find water in samples from asteroid Itokawa
Two cosmochemists at Arizona State University have made the first-ever measurements of water contained in samples from the surface of an asteroid.
Study of teens with eating disorders compares substance users and non-users
A study of teens in eating disorder outpatient treatment compares long term results and drop-out rates of casual substance (alcohol, tobacco, drugs) users and non-substance users.
A better strategy for treating diabetic macular edema in people with good vision
People with diabetic macular edema, who still have good vision, as measured by standard exam with an eye chart, can safely forego immediate treatment of their macular edema as long as they are closely monitored, and treatment begins promptly if vision worsens.
Do additives help the soil?
A UBC researcher is using her latest study to question whether soil additives are worth their salt.
First hominins on the Tibetan Plateau were Denisovans
So far Denisovans were only known from a small collection of fossil fragments from Denisova Cave in Siberia.
Shrink films get a grip (video)
Many people fondly remember playing with toys known as Shrinky Dinks® -- sheets of polystyrene plastic with shapes that kids can color, cut out and heat in an oven, where they shrink into thicker pieces of plastic.
The mystery behind cleft palate and lips: Study shines a light on genetic factors
Researchers found more than 100 new genes that could lead to the development of cleft lip and palates.
Access to medical cannabis must be improved, argue top doctor and mother of Alfie Dingley
Despite a change in the law last year, access to medical cannabis in the UK has been much slower than patients and parents had hoped, warns an expert in The BMJ today.
NIST research sparks new insights on laser welding
NIST research is helping to improve understanding of laser welding processes that could give industry greater control over this increasingly popular process.
Mental disorders more common in people who live alone
Living alone is positively associated with common mental disorders, regardless of age and sex, according to a study published May 1, 2019 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Louis Jacob from University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France, and colleagues.
Alzheimer's disease is a 'double-prion disorder,' study shows
Two proteins central to the pathology of Alzheimer's disease act as prions -- misshapen proteins that spread through tissue like an infection by forcing normal proteins to adopt the same misfolded shape -- according to new UC San Francisco research.
Walnuts may help lower blood pressure for those at risk of heart disease
When combined with a diet low in saturated fats, eating walnuts may help lower blood pressure in people at risk for cardiovascular disease, according to a new Penn State study.
Peanut genome sequenced with unprecedented accuracy
Improved pest resistance and drought tolerance are among potential benefits of an international effort in which Agricultural Research Service and collaborating scientists have produced the clearest picture yet of the complex genomic history of the cultivated peanut.
Mount Sinai researchers identify 20 novel gene associations with bipolar disorder
In the largest study of its kind, involving more than 50,000 subjects in 14 countries, researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and more than 200 collaborating institutions have identified 20 new genetic associations with one of the most prevalent and elusive mental illnesses of our time -- bipolar disorder.
Scientists identify genes tied to increased risk of ovarian cancer
A team of researchers at UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer, Cedars-Sinai Cancer and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have newly identified 34 genes that are associated with an increased risk for developing the earliest stages of ovarian cancer.
First examples of Iberian prehistoric 'imitation amber' beads at gravesites
Prehistoric Iberians created 'imitation amber' by repeatedly coating bead cores with tree resins, according to a study published May 1, 2019, in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Carlos Odriozola from Universidad de Sevilla, Spain, and colleagues.
Resolving the 'invisible' gold puzzle
In Carlin-type gold deposits, which make up 75% of the US production, gold does not occur in the form of nuggets or veins, but is hidden -- together with arsenic -- in pyrite, also known as 'fool's gold.' A team of scientists has now shown for the first time that the concentration of gold directly depends on the content of arsenic in the pyrite.
Nuclear 'magic numbers' collapse beyond the doubly magic nickel 78
Scientists have demonstrated that nickel 78, a neutron-rich 'doubly magic' isotope of nickel with 28 protons and 50 neutrons, still maintains a spherical shape that allows it to be relatively stable despite the large imbalance in the number of protons and neutrons.
Sex drug 'effective' as heart failure treatment
A drug used to treat erectile dysfunction has been found by University of Manchester scientists to slow or even reverse the progression of heart failure in sheep.
A newly identified mechanism can be targeted to boost angiogenesis
Scientists of the National Center for Cardiovascular Research (CNIC) have discovered a cellular and molecular mechanism that can be exploited to induce productive and sustained angiogenesis in tissues that have become ischemic due to reduced blood supply.
Harnessing sunlight to pull hydrogen from wastewater
Hydrogen is a critical component in the manufacture of thousands of common products from plastic to fertilizers, but producing pure hydrogen is expensive and energy intensive.
Dogs reduce distress of patients waiting for emergency hospital care
A visit from a dog can reduce the distress of patients waiting for emergency treatment in hospital, a study by the University of Saskatchewan (USask) shows.
Diving deep into water and energy trade-offs
Sometimes people don't see the impacts of sustainability decisions beyond a balance ledger.
Chemical records in teeth confirm elusive Alaska lake seals are one of a kind
Lifelong chemical records stored in the canine teeth of an elusive group of seals show that the seals remain in freshwater their entire lives and are likely a distinct population from their relatives in the ocean.
Environmental pollutants could impact cellular signs of aging
Researchers have linked some environmental pollutants with diseases, a decreased life span and signs of premature aging, such as wrinkles and age spots.
Wolves more prosocial than pack dogs in touchscreen experiment
In a touchscreen-based task that allowed individual animals to provide food to others, wolves behaved more prosocially toward their fellow pack members than did pack dogs.
New noninvasive ventilation strategy allows preterm infants to breathe freely
Preterm infants with respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) face heightened risks of death, critical illness, and prolonged hospitalization, particularly if they progress to develop acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).
'Exotic' genes may improve cotton yield and quality
Improving cotton quality can have ramifications for $12B US cotton trade industry.
For children, depression increases hospital use and mortality, Rutgers study finds
Children with depression admitted to the hospital for other illnesses like pneumonia, appendicitis or seizure disorders, stay longer, pay more and are at greater risk of death, a Rutgers New Jersey Medical School study finds.
Cranberry oligosaccharides might help prevent UTIs
Many people have heard that drinking cranberry juice can help prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs).
Removal of gene prevents development of pancreatic cancer in mice
The action of a gene called ATDC is required for the development of pancreatic cancer, a new study finds.
Searching for lost WWII-era uranium cubes from Germany
In 2013, Timothy Koeth received an extraordinary gift: a heavy metal cube and a crumpled message that read, 'Taken from Germany, from the nuclear reactor Hitler tried to build.
Risk of metastatic cancer increases in those who have diabetes
As if people living with diabetes didn't have enough health concerns, here's another: increased risk of metastatic cancer.
Mount Sinai researchers discover novel cancer pathway, opening new treatment options
Mount Sinai researchers have broken new ground in the understanding of the MDM2 gene -- which is often overexpressed in cancer -- finding that when it acts with a specific protein, it can lead to cancer cell death.
Arsenic-breathing life discovered in the tropical Pacific Ocean
In low-oxygen parts of the ocean, some microbes are surviving by getting energy from arsenic.
The sicker the better
A common woodland beetle that plays an important role in the decomposition of fallen trees may be getting a boost from a surprising source: parasites.
Experimental drug shows promise for genetic form of ALS
An early stage trial of an investigational therapy for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) suggests that people could tolerate the experimental drug and, in exploratory results, the experimental drug was linked to possible slower progression in people with a genetic form of the disease caused by mutations in a gene called superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1).
A comprehensive map of how Alzheimer's affects the brain
MIT researchers performed the first comprehensive analysis of the genes altered in individual brain cells of patients with Alzheimer's disease, allowing them to identify the distinctive cellular pathways affected in neurons and other types of brain cells.
Premature birth linked to increased risk of chronic kidney disease into later life
Preterm and early term birth are strong risk factors for the development of chronic kidney disease (CKD) from childhood into mid-adulthood, suggests a study from Sweden published by The BMJ today.
Lure of the 'loot box' looks a lot like gambling
An increasingly popular feature of modern video games is attracting gamers who share the beliefs and behaviours of problem gamblers, new UBC research has found.
Half a face enough for recognition technology
Facial recognition technology works even when only half a face is visible, researchers from the University of Bradford have found.
Researchers find new target to improve response to cancer immunotherapy
Researchers at the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center looked at a little-understood type of cell death called ferroptosis.
Out-of-pocket costs for neurologic medications rise sharply over 12 years
The amount of money people pay out-of-pocket for drugs to treat neurologic conditions like multiple sclerosis, dementia and Parkinson's disease has risen sharply over 12 years, with the most dramatic increase for multiple sclerosis (MS) medications, according to a study published in the May 1, 2019, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
Vaccine shows lasting effects against fentanyl addiction in rats
A vaccine that combines a fentanyl antigen with a tetanus toxoid has been shown to reduce fentanyl choices and increase food choices with effects lasting several months in rats.
Fire-safety sectors call for global PFAS ban, no loopholes for toxic firefighting foam
Fluorinated firefighting foam is a leading cause of PFAS water contamination and is associated with cancer and endocrine disruption.
Here's how cancer hijacks wound healing to create its own blood supply
Researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have shed light on how cancers hijack the body's natural wound-healing response to grow and spread.
Hippos, the animal silicon pumps
The excrements of hippos play an important role in the ecosystem of African lakes and rivers.
New study highlights exaggerated physical differences between male and female superheroes
Superheroes like Thor and Black Widow may have what it takes to save the world in movies like Avengers: Endgame, but neither of their comic book depictions has a healthy body mass index (BMI).
UC research supports state's effort to raise age limit on tobacco purchases
Merianos' research on the effects of secondhand and thirdhand smoke on teen health has garnered attention from around the world, and more recently her research on the means of acquiring e-cigarettes among adolescents earned her an award from the American Academy of Health Behavior.
Researchers grow cells in 'paper organs'
Long before scientists test new medicines in animals or people, they study the effects of the substances on cells growing in Petri dishes.
Columbia researchers examine how our brain generates consciousness -- and loses it
In a first of its kind study, researchers from Columbia's Rafael Yuste's Laboratory used cellular resolution in vivo two-photon calcium imaging in mice to investigate changes in the local repertoire of neuronal micro states during anesthesia.
The hunger gaps: How flowering times affect farmland bees
For the very first time, researchers from the University of Bristol have measured farmland nectar supplies throughout the whole year and revealed hungry gaps when food supply is not meeting pollinator demand.
New research: Airbnb's impact on peak-season hotel pricing
New research by Tepper School professors Hui Li and Kannan Srinivasan proposes strategies for hotels to cope with competition such as Airbnb while suggesting that government regulation is limited in its ability to control industry disruption.
Improved risk management for geothermal systems
In a new study now published in Science Advances an international team of scientists reports on a successful attempt to control induced seismicity during the deepest-ever hydraulic stimulation of a geothermal well in Helsinki, Finland.
Why do birds typically live longer than mammals?
Why do birds typically live longer than mammals? A new paper offers a hint, albeit not a conclusive answer.
How both mother and baby genes affect birth weight
The largest study of its kind has led to new insights into the complex relationships surrounding how mothers' and babies' genes influence birth weight.
Patients with diabetes are 40% more likely to be readmitted to the hospital
Patients with diabetes and low blood glucose have higher rates of death following hospital discharge, according to a study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
HER2 positive breast cancer: Treatment de-escalation needs to be personalized
De-escalation approaches in the treatment of women with HER2 positive breast cancer need to be personalized, according to Dr.
ASTRO and AUA update joint clinical guidance for radiation therapy after prostatectomy
The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) and the American Urological Association (AUA) today announced updates to their joint clinical guideline on adjuvant and salvage radiotherapy after prostatectomy in patients with and without evidence of prostate cancer recurrence to include new published research related to adjuvant radiotherapy.
Scientists track giant ocean vortex from space
Researchers have found a new way to use satellites to monitor the Great Whirl, a massive whirlpool the size of Colorado that forms each year off the coast of East Africa, they report in a new study.
Scientists see fingerprint of warming climate on droughts going back to 1900
In an unusual new study, scientists say they have detected the fingerprint of human-driven global warming on patterns of drought and moisture across the world as far back as 1900.
The GPS of neurons now better understood with a study published in Neuron
Researchers demonstrated the role that plays the Boc receptor in the the formation of the nervous system.
Genetic defect causing intellectual disability discovered by Sussex scientists
Researchers have discovered a new genetic defect which causes a form of intellectual disability; a finding which will improve global screening programs.
NASA study: Human influence on global droughts goes back 100 years
Human-generated greenhouse gases and atmospheric particles were affecting global drought risk as far back as the early 20th century, according to a study from NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York City.
CHOP researchers to present new findings at 2019 INSAR Annual Meeting
Two researchers from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) were among five international experts selected to present the results of two innovative studies shaping the field of autism research at the 2019 annual meeting of the International Society for Autism Research (INSAR), held this year in Montreal, on May 1-4.
Describing aspects of melanoma progression
Three related articles and an editorial focus on various aspects of melanoma progression.
New inspection process freezes parts in ice
The University of Cincinnati developed a novel approach that uses ultrasound to inspect additive-manufactured parts by freezing them in a cylinder of ice and exposing them to ultrasonic waves.
A new vision for neuroscience
For decades scientists have been searching for a way to watch a live broadcast of the brain.
Narwhals have endured a million years with low genetic diversity, and they're thriving
Danish researchers have sequenced the genome of a narwhal, the Arctic whale famous for the horn-like tusk protruding from its forehead.
CNIO team describes the 'energy engine' of a protein that mediates key processes in cancer cells
The assembly of protein complexes involved in cancer mechanisms, like mTOR, ATR or telomerase, involves proteins -- chaperones and co-chaperones -- that resemble construction machinery Researchers at CNIO used cryo-electron microscopy to solve how the 'energy engine' of one of these co-chaperones, a potential target to reduce tumor growth, is regulated
Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, May 2019
ORNL story tips: Using ORNL's Summit supercomputer, scientists created some of the largest virtual universes; plant-based, super-sticky material proves stickier than mussels; method to 3D print big components with metal could promise low-cost, high-quality builds with less waste; simulated small modular reactors on Summit ran more efficiently than expected.
Mouse studies show minimally invasive route can accurately administer drugs to brain
In experiments in mice, Johns Hopkins researchers say they have developed a technique that facilitates the precise placement of cancer drugs at their intended targets in the brain.
NEJM publishes bb2121 Phase 1 data in patients with multiple myeloma
Celgene Corporation and bluebird bio announce results from ongoing multicenter Phase 1 study of bb2121 anti-BCMA CAR T cell therapy in patients with multiple myeloma published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Vaccination may help protect bats from deadly disease
A new study shows that vaccination may reduce the impact of white-nose syndrome in bats, marking a milestone in the international fight against one of the most destructive wildlife diseases in modern times.
Genes hold the key to birthweight
The largest genetic study of its kind has led to new insights into how the genes of mothers and babies influence birth weight.
Genome analysis of yams reveals new cradle of crop domestication in West Africa
Yams as seen today in West Africa descended from a forest species, a new study finds.
Atherosclerosis: Induced cell death destabilizes plaques
Many chronic disorders arise from misdirected immune responses. A Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich team led by Oliver Söhnlein now shows that neutrophils exacerbate atherosclerosis by inducing smooth muscle-cell death and that a tailored peptide inhibits the process.
New clues to coastal erosion
New research has uncovered a missing nutrient source in coastal oceans, which could promote better water quality and sand management on popular beaches.

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Teaching For Better Humans
More than test scores or good grades — what do kids need to prepare them for the future? This hour, guest host Manoush Zomorodi and TED speakers explore how to help children grow into better humans, in and out of the classroom. Guests include educators Olympia Della Flora and Liz Kleinrock, psychologist Thomas Curran, and writer Jacqueline Woodson.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#535 Superior
Apologies for the delay getting this week's episode out! A technical glitch slowed us down, but all is once again well. This week, we look at the often troubling intertwining of science and race: its long history, its ability to persist even during periods of disrepute, and the current forms it takes as it resurfaces, leveraging the internet and nationalism to buoy itself. We speak with Angela Saini, independent journalist and author of the new book "Superior: The Return of Race Science", about where race science went and how it's coming back.