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Science Current Events and Science News | Brightsurf | May 14, 2019


Being wise is good for your health -- review looks at emerging science of wisdom
Can science measure what it means to be wise? A growing body of evidence suggests that wisdom is a complex concept that contributes to mental health and happiness, according to a review in the May/June issue of Harvard Review of Psychiatry.
Philadelphia's sweetened drink sales drop 38% after beverage tax
One year after Philadelphia passed its beverage tax, sales of sugary and artificially sweetened beverages dropped by 38% in chain food retailers, according to Penn Medicine researchers who conducted one of the largest studies examining the impacts of a beverage tax.
Solvent additive-free ternary polymer solar cells with 16.27% efficiency
Recently, ternary PSCs with 16.27% efficiency were reported by Fujun Zhang's group, which has been published on the Science Bulletin in the form of Short Communication.
Philadelphia beverage tax associated with higher prices, reduced sales
A few US cities have instituted beverage taxes on sweetened drinks to generate revenue and to reduce consumption of these drinks because of their association with obesity and poor health.
Does health care help us live longer?
A widely cited statistic suggests that health care services account for only a small percentage of the variation in American life expectancy.
How Nigerian music can help you choose a ripe watermelon
The quickest way to decide if a watermelon is ripe or not is by tapping on it.
May/June 2019 Annals of Family Medicine tip sheet
Annals of Family Medicine is a peer-reviewed, indexed research journal that provides a cross-disciplinary forum for new, evidence-based information affecting the primary care disciplines.
It's not just fish, plastic pollution harms the bacteria that help us breathe
Ten percent of the oxygen we breathe comes from just one kind of bacteria in the ocean.
Breakthrough in new material to harness solar power could transform energy
The UToledo physicist pushing the performance of solar cells to levels never before reached made a significant breakthrough in the chemical formula and process to make the new material.
Transplanted cells reveal early signs of type 1 diabetes
By the time type 1 diabetes is diagnosed, most of the insulin-producing beta cells have already been destroyed.
US journalism has become more subjective
US-based journalism has gradually shifted away from objective news and offers more opinion-based content that appeals to emotion and relies heavily on argumentation and advocacy, according to a new RAND Corporation report.
New doctors' DNA ages six times faster than normal in first year
Every summer, tens of thousands of newly minted doctors start the most intense year of their training: the first year of residency, also called the intern year.
Online complaint system used by Google and Twitter is like the 'Wild West'
The online complaint system used by web giants like Google and Twitter is a 'Wild West' with evidence of abuse by complainants, according to a new study from Queen Mary University of London.
You are what you eat: How the pursuit of carbs changed mammals' genes and saliva
A study of dozens of mammal species explores the evolutionary history of amylase, a compound that breaks down carbs.
Brain-controlled, non-invasive muscle stimulation allows chronic paraplegics to walk
In another major clinical breakthrough of the Walk Again Project, a non-profit international consortium aimed at developing new neuro-rehabilitation protocols, technologies and therapies for spinal cord injury, two patients with paraplegia regained the ability to walk with minimal assistance, through the employment of a fully non-invasive brain-machine interface that does not require the use of any invasive spinal cord surgical procedure.
Preclinical study: Probiotic-derived molecule may suppress fatal brain inflammation
The existence of certain microorganisms in your gut may bolster the immune system's ability to fend off a herpes viral attack that can cause fatal brain inflammation.
Colonial policies can result in economic growth
A new study in the Review of Economic Studies suggests that areas where Dutch colonizers built sugar factories in the 19th century are more developed today.
Electrode's 'hot edges' convert CO2 gas into fuels and chemicals
A team of scientists has created a bowl-shaped electrode with 'hot edges' which can efficiently convert CO2 from gas into carbon based fuels and chemicals, helping combat the climate change threat posed by atmospheric carbon dioxide.
What happens when your picky eater becomes a teenager?
Toddlers who are picky about their food are not deficient in essential nutrients compared to their peers when they are teenagers.
Coffee addicts really do wake up and smell the coffee
Regular coffee drinkers can sniff out even tiny amounts of coffee and are faster at recognising the aroma, which could open the door to new ways of using aversion therapy for addiction
A combination of two bacteria genera improves plants' health
For the first time researchers of BacBio Laboratory of the University of Malaga have evidenced that the combination of 'Bacillus subtilis' and 'Pseudomonas' bacteria can improve plants' health.
How the snail's shell got its coil
Researchers from the Tokyo University of Science, Japan, have used CRISPR gene editing technology to make snails with shells that coil the 'wrong' way, providing insights into the fundamental basis of left-right asymmetry in animals.
Protect protruding teeth from damage and long-term consequences
Children with their first or early adult set of teeth that stick out have an increased chance of damaging them, but the risk can be easily reduced without being prohibitively costly.
When does clean eating become an unhealthy obsession? New findings on who is at risk
Researchers at York University's Faculty of Health say those who have a history of an eating disorder, obsessive-compulsive traits, dieting, poor body image, and a drive for thinness are more likely to develop a pathological obsession with healthy eating or consuming only healthy food, known as orthorexia nervosa (ON).
Study: Treats might mask animal intelligence
Rewards are necessary for learning, but may actually mask true knowledge, finds a new Johns Hopkins University study with rodents and ferrets.
Early in vitro testing for adverse effects on embryos
ETH researchers have combined embryonic cells and liver cells in a new cell culture test.
How much language are unborn children exposed to in the womb?
The different soundscapes of NICUs has recently attracted interest in how changes in what we hear in our earliest days might affect language development in the brain.
How proteins help influenza A bind and slice its way to cells
Researchers have provided new insight on how two proteins help influenza A virus particles fight their way to human cells.
For people with strong life purpose, making healthier choices may take less effort
Why do some people easily meet their fitness goals and love eating healthy foods while others struggle to do either?
Accelerating quantum technologies with materials processing at the atomic scale
An emerging suite of information technologies based on fundamental quantum physics has been given a boost by researchers at the University of Oxford, who have invented a method to engineer single atomic defects in diamond using laser processing.
Following on from Meltdown and Spectre: Austrian researchers discover new security flaws
ZombieLoad and Store-to-Leak Forwarding impact on the security of Intel computer processors.
Implementing a care pathway for spatial neglect to improve stroke outcomes
Spatial neglect, a common cause of functional disability after stroke, affects more than half of survivors, and 30 percent of individuals with traumatic brain injury.
Complete removal of tumor reduces risk of recurrence of cancer in dogs
The relative risk of a recurrence of cancer is reduced by 60% in dogs whose tumors are completely removed, a new analysis by Oregon State University researchers has found.
Smoking risk in children has fallen since tobacco display ban
The risk of 11- to 16-year-olds taking up smoking has reduced following the introduction of a ban on the open display of tobacco products in the UK, according to a new University of Stirling study.
SUTD researchers demystify centralization in cryptocurrency mining
SUTD researchers have developed a novel approach to untangle the centralization phenomena in blockchain mining by employing the rich economic theory of Oceanic Games.
Species facing climate change could find help in odd place: Urban environments
Research shows that animals move faster through 'low quality' habitats (fulfilling a minimum of resources for survival) -- evidence that could change the way conservationists think about managing urban landscapes to help species move in response to climate change.
Scientists develop ultrasensitive organic phototransistors based on novel hybrid-layered architecture
Professor Li Jia and Gao Yuanhong from the Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology (SIAT) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and their collaborators developed a novel hybrid-layered architecture to improve the overall photodetection performance of organic phototransistors by simultaneously taking advantages of the charge-trapping effect and efficient carrier transport.
Study shows increased risk of breast cancer in transgender women
Transgender women (male sex assigned at birth, female gender identity) using hormone treatment show an increased risk of breast cancer compared with the general male population, finds a large Dutch study published by The BMJ today.
In guppy courtship, the unusual male wins
In a new study, Florida State University researchers found that female guppies often choose a mate that physically stands out from the rest of the pack because of a common type of learning called habituation.
Illinois research team introduces wearable audio dataset
Researchers studying wearable listening technology now have a new data set to use, thanks to a team from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Unexplored neural circuit modulates memory strength
The fruit fly mushroom body contains three groups of neurons that produce dopamine.
New theory of dissemination and implementation shifts direction of practice change
Primary care dissemination and implementation science has focused on evaluating strategies to help practices implement evidence-based care to achieve quality metrics and meet policy requirements.
How stressed-out bacteria may trigger autoimmune response
Stressful life events most likely contribute to autoimmune diseases, but scientists don't have a deep understanding of the underlying chain of events.
'Reporter islets' in the eye may predict autoimmunity in type 1 diabetes
Islets transplanted within the anterior chamber of the eye may be reliable reporters of the early onset of autoimmunity in type 1 diabetes and help guide timely intervention to halt or delay its development, according to scientists from the Diabetes Research Institute at the University of Miami.
Postpartum depression: For impoverished mothers of color, it takes a community
Treating postpartum depression (PPD) in low-income mothers of color requires an understanding of each person's lived experience, and practitioners should consider interventions that develop broadly from a community level in order to improve outcomes for their clients, according to a University at Buffalo social work researcher.
Is a broadly effective dengue vaccine even possible?
Dengue is on the rise, with about 20,000 patients dying each year from this mosquito-borne disease, yet despite ongoing efforts a broadly effective dengue vaccine is not available.
Historically 'safer' tramadol more likely than other opioids to result in prolonged use
Surgical patients receiving the opioid tramadol have a somewhat higher risk of prolonged use than those receiving other common opioids, new Mayo Clinic research finds.
Novel study discovers 'metabolic fingerprint' to help treat, diagnosis and prevent cervical cancer
UA Researchers identified 'metabolic signatures' to distinguish HPV, pre-cancerous cervical conditions and cancer.
New method enables 'photographing' of enzymes
Scientists at the University of Bonn have developed a method with which an enzyme at work can be 'photographed'.
Pitt study finds direct oxidative stress damage shortens telomeres
First causal evidence that oxidative stress works directly on telomeres to speed cellular aging.
Producing food whilst preserving biodiversity
In nature conservation and agriculture, there are two opposing views of how to combine high biodiversity and sustainable food production: nature conservation should either be integrated into agricultural land, or segregated into protected areas in order to enable maximum yields in the food production areas.
It's in the weeds: Herbicide linked to human liver disease
Exposure to glyphosate, the primary ingredient in the popular weed killer Roundup, correlates to more severe cases of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
Hunting responsible for mammal declines in half of intact tropical forests
Defaunation -- the loss of species or decline of animal populations -- is reaching even the most remote and pristine tropical forests.
Impact of CO2 leakage through North Sea wells
Realistic estimates show that global warming can only be kept below 1.5 or 2 degrees Celsius if carbon dioxide is actively removed from the atmosphere.
From counseling to the commissary, how the private sector shapes 'offender-funded justice'
An article by University of Washington sociology professor Alexes Harris focuses on the role of the private sector in collecting court-imposed fines and fees.
New material could unlock potential for hydrogen powered vehicle revolution
An international team of researchers has discovered a new material made from manganese hydride that would be used to make molecular sieves within fuel tanks - which store the hydrogen and work alongside fuel cells in a hydrogen powered 'system'.
Relay station in the brain controls our movements
The relay station of the brain, the substantia nigra consists of different types of nerve cells and is responsible for controlling the execution of diverse movements.
In rural areas, buprenorphine is provided by primary care clinicians
As the United States undertakes intense efforts to increase the number of prescribers of buprenorphine for opioid use disorder, it is critical to understand who currently provides such treatment and how.
How potatoes could become sun worshippers
If the temperature is too high, potato plants form significantly lower numbers of tubers.
Novel scale correlates children's snacking behaviors with external food cues
Preliminary evidence from a new national Dartmouth study suggests that external food cue responsiveness is measurable by parental report in preschool-age children.
Progress against child mortality lags in many Indian states
India in 2015 had more deaths among children under five than any other country and had large disparities in the under-five mortality rate between richer and poorer states, according to a study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Healthy habits could avoid 27% of cancer cases in Brazil
A study by Brazilian researchers in partnership with Harvard estimates the impact of five risk factors on the incidence of cancer- physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, overweight, smoking and alcohol consumption.
Escaped pet parrots are now naturalized in 23 US states, study finds
Research data on bird sightings finds that 56 different parrot species have been spotted in 43 states, and 25 of those species are now breeding in the wild in 23 different states.
A nerve cell serves as a 'single' for studies
Nerve cells derived from human stem cells often serve as the basis for research into brain diseases.
New Argonne coating could have big implications for lithium batteries
In a new discovery, scientists at the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have developed a new cathode coating by using an oxidative chemical vapor deposition technique.
Injections of a novel protein reduced artery blockage by enhancing lymphatic vascular function in mice
Mice that received injections of a protein called VEGF-C experienced about a 30% reduction in artery blockage compared to untreated mice.
Generating high-quality single photons for quantum computing
MIT researchers have designed a way to generate, at room temperature, more single photons for carrying quantum information.
Preschoolers who watch TV sleep less
Preschoolers who watch TV sleep significantly less than those who don't, according to new research by University of Massachusetts Amherst neuroscientist Rebecca Spencer and developmental science graduate student Abigail Helm.
Cofilin may be early culprit in tauopathy process leading to brain cell death
Abnormal accumulations of amyloid plaques and tau neurofibrillary tangles are both needed to drive the death of brain cells, or neurons.
New research identifies patterns of tree distribution in African savannas
According to a new study published today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, airborne surveys show that, on a large scale, the spatial arrangement of savanna trees follows distinct patterns that can be described mathematically regardless of variation in environmental factors.
Learning more about opioid prescribing in primary care
Chronic opioid prescribing in primary care varies significantly by patient and clinician characteristics, according to a new study.
Cell membrane as coating materials to better surface engineering of nanocarriers
Coating natural cell membranes on synthetic nanocarriers represents an innovative strategy of surface engineering.
Native forest plants rebound when invasive shrubs are removed
Removing invasive shrubs to restore native forest habitat brings a surprising result, according to Penn State researchers, who say desired native understory plants display an unexpected ability and vigor to recolonize open spots.
More than a half-million parents with opioid use disorder live with children
An estimated 623,000 parents with opioid use disorder in the United States are living with children under the age of 18, and fewer than one-third of the parents have received substance use treatment.
Glucosamine supplements may be linked to lower risk of cardiovascular disease
Regular use of glucosamine supplements may be related to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) events, suggests an analysis of data from the UK Biobank study, published in The BMJ today.
IL-1 inhibitors may reduce radiation-induced vascular damage
Radiation therapy against cancer can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease much later in life, as the radiation causes chronic inflammation of the exposed blood vessels.
Arts education can provide creative counter narratives against hate speech
Hate, as an emotion, is not an efficient response to ideological hate speech.
New study shows toddlers are great at getting the conversation started
Conversation is an important part of what makes us human.
Experts advise against hormone treatment in adults with mild thyroid problems
Thyroid hormones should not be routinely offered to adults with a mildly underactive thyroid gland (known as subclinical hypothyroidism) say a panel of international experts in The BMJ today.
Is piracy helping or hurting online word of mouth buzz around motion picture releases?
Researchers from the University of Houston and Western University in London, Ontario, published new research in the INFORMS journal Management Science that has found that the power of word of mouth (WOM) is effective at boosting demand for counterfeited copies of motion pictures, but it depends on when the copies are made available.
Conquering cancer's infamous KRAS mutation
Scientists from Sanford Burnham Prebys and PHusis Therapeutics have shown that a compound called PHT-7.3 shrinks KRAS-driven tumors in mice.
Dead zones in circadian clocks
Circadian clocks of organisms respond to light signals during night but do not respond in daytime.
Plaque in arteries may not all be the same; targeting specific immune cells in plaque may reduce heart attack and stroke risk
A specific type of immune cell is more commonly found in arterial plaque from patients suffering from a recent stroke or mini-stroke, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association's Vascular Discovery Scientific Sessions 2019.
How the Sun pumps out water from Mars into space
The study of a new water-cycle in the Martian summertime offers clues as to why Mars is a dusty barren land.
New tool measures primary care as a whole
There are a number of measures to assess aspects of primary care, but a new measure breaks new ground by combining experiences of patients, clinicians, and payers and allowing the most informed reporter -- the patient -- to assess vital primary care functions that are often missed.
Children in Quebec are not diagnosed early enough with type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood.
Rice blast fungus study sheds new light on virulence mechanisms of plant pathogenic fungi
A group of scientists at Nanjing Agricultural University and Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center examined the fungal cell biology of rice blast fungus pathogenesis and recently published the first systematic and comprehensive report on the molecular mechanism of the actin-binding protein (MoAbp1) that plays a crucial role in the pathogenicity of the fungus.
Small, hardy planets most likely to survive death of their stars
Small, hardy planets packed with dense elements have the best chance of avoiding being crushed and swallowed up when their host star dies, new research from the University of Warwick has found.
Inappropriate prescribing can lead to adverse outcomes
In older adults, inappropriate prescribing in primary care is associated with a wide range of adverse outcomes, but not mortality.
A new sensor for light, heat and touch
Inspired by the behaviour of natural skin, researchers at the Laboratory of Organic Electronics, Linkoping University, have developed a sensor that will be suitable for use with electronic skin.
Symbionts as lifesavers
When people fall ill from bacterial infection, the first priority is to treat the disease.
Tooth fossils fill 6-million-year-old gap in primate evolution
UNLV geoscientist, student among international research team behind discovery of ancient monkey species that lived in Africa 22 million years ago.
Rates of long-term opiate use rises in Medicare cancer survivors each year after diagnosis
Using Medicare data, new findings from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston show for the first time that the rates of long term opiate therapy for older cancer survivors remain high for at least five years in cancer survivors.
Dolphin ancestor's hearing was more like hoofed mammals than today's sea creatures
The CT scan revealed cochlear coiling with more turns than in animals with echolocation, indicating hearing more similar to the cloven-hoofed, terrestrial mammals dolphins came from than the sleek sea creatures they are today.
Traces of crawling in Italian cave give clues to ancient humans' social behavior
Evidence of crawling in an Italian cave system sheds new light on how late Stone Age humans behaved as a group, especially when exploring new grounds, says a study published today in eLife.
Pelvic exercises may beat bedroom blues
Physiotherapists from James Cook University in Australia say simple pelvic floor exercises may be a cure for some common problems men experience in the bedroom.
Risk of cardiovascular complications post-surgery doubles for patients with sleep apnea
According to a new study published today in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), patients who have severe obstructive sleep apnea have a significantly higher risk of complications related to their heart in the first 30 days after major surgery.
Women's leadership potential for top jobs overlooked in favor of men
The potential of women for leadership roles is being overlooked, while men benefit from the perception that they will grow into the role, new research from the University of Kent shows.
Reading the dark heart of chromosomes
A new study publishing May 14, 2019 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology by the Mellone lab at the University of Connecticut and the Larracuente lab at the University of Rochester combine cutting-edge sequencing technology with molecular and high-resolution microscopy methods to discover the sequences of all centromeres in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, a powerful model organism widely used in biomedical research.
Like a lot of things, women's gut microbiomes appear to mature earlier than men's
A recent study by researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, San Diego State University and the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology found that the age and sex of an individual strongly influences the bacterial diversity of the gut microbiome.
Digital quantum simulators can be astonishingly robust
Digital quantum simulators may be used to solve quantum-physical problems in many-body systems, but until now they are drastically limited to small systems and short times.
Newly identified bacteria-killing protein needs vitamin A to work
UT Southwestern researchers identified a previously unknown bacteria-killing protein on the epidermis that requires vitamin A to work.
Compositional design of multi-component alloys by high-throughput screening
Multi-component materials have become one of the most promising materials in the engineering and biomedical applications.
New study boosts understanding of how ocean melts Antarctic Ice Sheet
An innovative use of instruments that measure the ocean near Antarctica has helped Australian scientists to get a clearer picture of how the ocean is melting the Antarctic ice sheet.
Five rules to tackle antibiotic resistance
Current efforts to tackle antibiotic resistance are 'not nearly radical enough,' a leading scientist says.
First birds: Archaeopteryx gets company
Researchers at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich describe a hitherto unknown bird from the late Jurassic period.
Serious adverse outcomes from respiratory tract infection are rare but predictable
In routine primary care practice, serious adverse outcomes occur in only 1% of adult patients with lower respiratory tract infection, but such outcomes may be predicted with moderate accuracy.
Scientists estimate: Half of tropical forests under hunting pressure
Over half of the tropical forests is under hunting pressure.
NASA finds tropical cyclone Ann over the great barrier reef
Australia's world-famous Great Barrier Reef is located in the Coral Sea, east of Queensland and on May 14, 2019 Tropical Cyclone Ann was moving over it.
For-profit dialysis provider charges private insurers 4 times more than government payers
Private insurers covering people receiving treatment for dialysis paid four times more than government insurance programs such as Medicare paid for the same service.
Early term infants less likely to breastfeed
A new, prospective study provides evidence that 'early term' infants (those born at 37-38 weeks) are less likely than full-term infants to be breastfeed within the first hour and at one month after birth.
A step towards probabilistic computing
Working group led by physicist Professor Ulrich Nowak at the University of Konstanz, in collaboration with a team of physicists from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, demonstrates how skyrmions can be used for the computer concepts of the future
Brain changes linked with Alzheimer's years before symptoms appear
In a records review of 290 people at risk for Alzheimer's disease, scientists at Johns Hopkins say they have identified an average level of biological and anatomical brain changes linked to Alzheimer's disease that occur three to 10 years -- some even more than 30 years -- before the disease's first recognizable symptoms appear.
Immune system discovery could aid quest for stem cell therapies
Scientists have discovered how stem cells can develop resistance against viruses, a finding that could aid the development of stem cell therapies.
Online intervention reduces mothers' intentions to visit doctor for respiratory tract infection
Visits to the doctor for a respiratory tract infection can lead to unnecessary antibiotic prescribing, but an online intervention with real-time information on locally circulating viruses may reduce mothers' intentions to visit their primary care doctor.
A new way to wind the development clock of cardiac muscle cells
A study published in the journal Stem Cells describes a new and unexpected way to accelerate the maturation of induced pluripotent stem cells into cardiac muscle cells.
Researchers identify faster, more effective drug combinations to treat tuberculosis
Study describes a way to reduce the duration of tuberculosis treatment by using an approach called 'artificial intelligence-parabolic response surface' that allows researchers to quickly identify three or four drug combinations among billions of possible combinations to treat TB up to five times faster than current therapies.

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.
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Rethinking Anger
Anger is universal and complex: it can be quiet, festering, justified, vengeful, and destructive. This hour, TED speakers explore the many sides of anger, why we need it, and who's allowed to feel it. Guests include psychologists Ryan Martin and Russell Kolts, writer Soraya Chemaly, former talk radio host Lisa Fritsch, and business professor Dan Moshavi.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#537 Science Journalism, Hold the Hype
Everyone's seen a piece of science getting over-exaggerated in the media. Most people would be quick to blame journalists and big media for getting in wrong. In many cases, you'd be right. But there's other sources of hype in science journalism. and one of them can be found in the humble, and little-known press release. We're talking with Chris Chambers about doing science about science journalism, and where the hype creeps in. Related links: The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study Claims of causality in health news: a randomised trial This...