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Science News | Science Current Events | Brightsurf | May 16, 2019


Meet the tenrecs
Researchers reviewed the conservation priorities for the 31 species of tenrec -- a poorly understood family of small mammals superficially resembling hedgehogs, found only on the island of Madagascar.
FDA independence in an age of partisan politics
Unlike other federal agencies, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) -- the oldest federal consumer protection agency -- has been increasingly subjected to creeping politicization and a progressive loss of independence under the glare of partisan politics.
Children describe technology that gives them a sense of ambiguity as 'creepy'
University of Washington researchers have defined for the first time what children mean when they say technology is 'creepy.'
Using information technology to promote health equity -- update in Medical Care
An innovative health information technology (IT) program helps primary care providers to detect and manage depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in traumatized refugees, reports a study in a special June supplement to Medical Care.
Leveraging information technology to address health disparities
Within the supplement are 12 original research papers and five editorials and commentaries.
Boston Medical Center develops EHR-based social needs screener to improve patient outcomes
Boston Medical Center (BMC) has implemented a social determinants of health screener for primary care patients in order to better identify and address patients' unmet social needs.
A work patch for better nursing home care
A research team, including a Purdue University work-life balance expert, studied work schedules in nursing home facilities and found a patching approach could benefit patients and staff.
Mapping global impervious surface area and green space within urban environments
What the spatial pattern of global urban surface area that human depends on is the important issue, which is widely concerned at present.
Passion trumps love for sex in relationships
When women distinguish between sex and the relational and emotional aspects of a relationship, this determines how often couples in long-term relationships have sex.
Precursors of a catastrophic collapse
The flanks of many island volcanoes slide very slowly towards the sea.
Study may help prevent relapse in cocaine use disorder patients
Brazilian researchers combined cognitive dysfunction tests with an analysis of drug use patterns to identify patients at high risk of relapse after treatment.
Cancer drugs promote stem cell properties of colorectal cancer
Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) and the Mannheim University Medical Center have now discovered that a certain group of cancer drugs (MEK Inhibitors) activates the cancer-promoting Wnt signalling pathway in colorectal cancer cells.
Bio-inspired material targets oceans' uranium stores for sustainable nuclear energy
Scientists have demonstrated a new bio-inspired material for an eco-friendly and cost-effective approach to recovering uranium from seawater.
Electric car switch on for health benefits
Could the health benefits and reduced costs to healthcare systems be enough to justify subsidizing charging infrastructure to allow society to switch from the internal combustion engine to electric vehicles faster than current trends predict?
Designing biological movement on the nanometer scale
Synthetic proteins have now been created that can move in response to their environment in predictable and tunable ways.
Scientists develop technology to capture tumor cells
Instead of searching for a needle in a haystack, what if you were able to sweep the entire haystack to one side, leaving only the needle behind?
How our current thinking can sway our memories of love
As our memories fade, we rely on our current assessment of a person to remember how we felt about them in the past, and new research suggests this extends to some of the most central figures in our lives: our parents.
Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications (CVIA) new issue, Volume 4 Issue 1
Beijing, 1 May 2019: the journal Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications (CVIA) has just published a major new issue, Volume 4 Issue 1.
A tale of two skeeters
A native mosquito in Missouri has fewer parasites when it shares its waters with an interloper, according to new research from biologists at Tyson Research Center, the environmental field station for Washington University in St.
Stigma deterring elite athletes with mental health issues from seeking help
Stigma is the main reason why elite athletes with mental health issues don't seek the help they need, finds a summary of the available evidence, published in a special issue of the British Journal of Sports Medicine devoted to the topic.
Australian islands home to 414 million pieces of plastic pollution
A survey of plastic pollution on Australia's Cocos (Keeling) Islands has revealed the territory's beaches are littered with an estimated 414 million pieces of plastic debris.
Particulate matter from aircraft engines affects airways
In a unique, innovative experiment, researchers under the leadership of the University of Bern have investigated the effect of exhaust particles from aircraft turbine engines on human lung cells.
Archaeological discovery upends a piece of Barbados history
Which came first, the pigs or the pioneers? In Barbados, that has been a historical mystery ever since the first English colonists arrived in 1627 to encounter what they thought was a herd of wild European pigs.
Organic animal farms benefit birds nesting in agricultural environments
Environmental subsidies for agriculture awarded by the European Union aim to improve biodiversity in agricultural environments.
Surprising research result: All immature cells can develop into stem cells
New sensational study conducted at the University of Copenhagen disproves traditional knowledge of stem cell development.
People recycle more when they know what recyclable waste becomes
A new study shows that consumers recycle more when they think about how their waste can be transformed into new products.
Political disinformation campaigns not as threatening as you think
When foreign powers try to interfere with the politics of another country by spreading strategic disinformation, research suggests there is no real effect on policies or the balance of power in the targeted country.
Antibiotic treatment alleviates Alzheimer's disease symptoms in male mice, study reveals
Researchers at The University of Chicago have demonstrated that the type of bacteria living in the gut can influence the development of Alzheimer's disease symptoms in mice.
ALMA discovers aluminum around young star
Researchers using ALMA data discovered an aluminum-bearing molecule for the first time around a young star.
UBC researchers create washable sensor that can be woven into materials
Forget the smart watch. Bring on the smart shirt. Researchers at UBC Okanagan's School of Engineering have developed a low-cost sensor that can be interlaced into textiles and composite materials.
Breakthrough technique for studying gene expression takes root in plants
An open-source RNA analysis platform has been successfully used on plant cells for the first time -- a breakthrough that could herald a new era of fundamental research and bolster efforts to engineer more efficient food and biofuel crops.
Extreme heat -- and maybe a virus -- wiped out Cambodian bats
A mass mortality event involving two bat species, the wrinkle-lipped free-tailed bat (Chaerephon plicatus) and Theobold's bat (Taphozous theobaldi) occurred during a heat wave in April 2016 in Cambodia.
The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology: Colorectal cancer incidence on the rise among young adults in several high-income countries
The incidence of colon and rectal cancer in adults younger than 50 years has increased substantially over the latest available 10-year period in several high-income countries, going against a decline or stabilisation trend in the incidence of colorectal cancers within the overall populations of high-income countries.
CRISPR catches out critical cancer changes
In the first large-scale analysis of cancer gene fusions, researchers at the Wellcome Sanger Institute and their collaborators used CRISPR to uncover which gene fusions are critical for the growth of cancer cells.
Teens with obesity find artificial intelligence coach helpful in weight-loss program
Researchers at Nemours Children's Health System have found that an artificial intelligence (AI) behavioral coach, nicknamed Tess (X2ai, Inc), is feasible and useful for behavioral counseling of adolescent patients in a weight management program.
Research brief: Protecting rare species can benefit human life
Preserving rare species for the sake of global biodiversity has long been the primary focus for conservationists.
Study finds 24 percent of West Antarctic ice is now unstable
In only 25 years, ocean melting has caused ice thinning to spread across West Antarctica so rapidly that a quarter of its glacier ice is now affected, according to a new study.
Children who use asthma tracking app have better disease control and fewer hospital visits
An app that allows parents and doctors to monitor a child's asthma has a big impact on managing the disease.
Current vaccination policies may not be enough to prevent measles resurgence
Current vaccination policies may not be sufficient to achieve and maintain measles elimination and prevent future resurgence in Australia, Ireland, Italy, the UK and the US, according to a study published in the open access journal BMC Medicine.
Long-term decline in stroke greater in older adults
Although the occurrence of first-ever ischemic stroke (strokes due to a blood clot that blocks a blood vessel in the brain) at middle age has been decreasing over time, researchers have found that the decline is not as steep as seen in older adults.
Early exposure to banking influences life-long financial health
Growing up in a community with or without banks has a long-term effect on how you build and manage credit, according to a new Iowa State University study.
University of Virginia chemist IDs possible addiction-free pain reliever
Pain medication addiction is a major problem in the United States.
Improving health outcomes with a little help from our friends -- and artificial intelligence
The National Academy of Medicine has called for physicians to document social isolation in the electronic health record (EHR), because it can affect health outcomes.
Early weight-loss surgery may improve type 2 diabetes, blood pressure outcomes
Despite similar weight loss, teens who had gastric bypass surgery were significantly more likely to have remission of both type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, compared to adults who had the same procedure.
Mutation makes bulldogs and Norwich terriers more susceptible to breathing problems
The discovery of a new mutation associated with breathing difficulties in popular dog breeds suggests that shortened skulls causing flat faces is not the only factor that contributes to the condition, but that swelling around the airways from edema may also play a role.
Brain activity of Spanish Popular Party voters triggered by rivals
Scientists from the University of Granada (UGR), the Distance Learning University of Madrid (UDIMA) and Temple University (United States) have analyzed the brain response of supporters of Spain's Popular Party (PP) and the Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) when exposed to information about corruption or positive news from the rival party
Miro2 is a Parkin receptor for selective removal of damaged mitochondria
Defects in mitophagy are linked to a variety of human diseases including Parkinson's and cardiac disorders.
Researchers unravel mechanisms that control cell size
A multidisciplinary team has provided new insight into underlying mechanisms controlling the precise size of cells.
Bedbugs evolved more than 100 million years ago -- and walked the earth with T. rex
Bedbugs - some of the most unwanted human bed-mates -- have been parasitic companions with other species aside from humans for more than 100 million years, walking the earth at the same time as dinosaurs.
How host-cell enzymes combat the coronavirus
Host-cell enzymes called PARP12 and PARP14 are important for inhibiting mutant forms of a coronavirus, according to a study published May 16 in the open-access journal PLOS Pathogens by Stanley Perlman of the University of Iowa, Anthony Fehr of the University of Kansas, and colleagues.
Brain changes in autism traced to specific cell types
Changes in gene activity in specific brain cells are associated with the severity of autism in children and young adults with the disorder, according to a UC San Francisco study of postmortem brain tissue.
Teen pregnancy still a major challenge in India, strongly linked to child stunting
Children born to teenage mothers are more likely to be undernourished than children of adult mothers.
Novel tool used to mine clinical data and identify causative gene in childhood epilepsy
Researchers systematically compared phenotypes, or clinical data, of patients with severe childhood epilepsies through a novel analysis strategy and looked for common genetic causes in patients who had similar clinical presentations.
Drexel-developed safety climate scale helps fire departments reach safety goals
A new safety scale, that effectively measures the safety climate of a fire department, has been developed by researchers from Drexel's Dornsife School of Public Health, according to a paper published today in the journal Safety Science.
Discovering unusual structures from exception using big data and machine learning techniques
Machine learning (ML) has become a widely used technique in materials science study.
How plants are working hard for the planet
As the planet warms, plants are working to slow the effect of human-caused climate change -- and research published today in Trends in Plant Science has assessed how plants are responding to increasing carbon dioxide (CO2).
Human antibody reveals hidden vulnerability in influenza virus
The ever-changing 'head' of an influenza virus protein has an unexpected Achilles heel, report NIAID-funded scientists.
Initial results from New Horizon's exploration of distant Kuiper Belt Object 2014 MU69
On Jan. 1, 2019, the New Horizons Spacecraft conducted a flyby of (486958) 2014 MU69 -- a distant object orbiting in the outer reaches of the solar system.
'Smart' insulin could prevent hypoglycemia during diabetes treatment
UCLA bioengineers and their colleagues have developed a new type of insulin that could help prevent hypoglycemia in people who use the drug to manage diabetes.
Malnourished fruit flies preserve genital size to ensure reproductive success
Researchers report that male 'genital sparing' in fruit flies during times of inadequate nutrition is due to lower levels of a negative growth factor called FOXO in the genitals and that this phenomenon helps preserve reproductive success.
Patients with both schizophrenia and epilepsy die alarmingly early
More than one in four patients with schizophrenia and epilepsy die before reaching the age of fifty.
These four values lessen the power of transformational leadership
Transformational leadership is considered one of the most effective ways to motivate and inspire employees.
Natural compound found in broccoli reawakens the function of potent tumor suppressor
Long associated with decreased risk of cancer, broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables -- the family of plants that also includes cauliflower, cabbage, collard greens, Brussels sprouts and kale -- contain a molecule that inactivates a gene known to play a role in a variety of common human cancers.
The University of Cordoba has simplified the method to categorize olive oil
A research group has developed an analytical methodology to go along with sensory tasting and is working towards putting it into effect at businesses.
To win online debates, social networks worth a thousand words
According to Cornell researchers, social interactions are more important than language in predicting who is going to succeed at online debating.
New study reveals that some over reported stress after 2016 election to support political party
In a new study, researchers found that many Democrats may have over reported mental stress after the 2016 election.
CosmoGAN: Training a neural network to study dark matter
A Berkeley Lab-led research group is using a deep learning method known as generative adversarial networks to enhance the use of gravitational lensing in the study of dark matter.
Fearful customers sensitive to size and scope of a data breach while angry customers are not
Customers who feel afraid in the wake of a data breach care more about the size and scope of the breach than do angry customers, according to research from Binghamton University, State University of New York.
Regular crosswords and number puzzles linked to sharper brain in later life
Older adults who regularly take part in word and number puzzles have sharper brains, according to the largest online study to date.
Automatic neurological disease diagnosis using deep learning
A team of researchers from Osaka University and The University of Tokyo developed MNet, an automatic diagnosis system for neurological diseases using magnetoencephalography (MEG), demonstrating the possibility of making automatic neurological disease diagnoses using MEG.
Fecal microbiota transplant found safe and effective in children with C. difficile
Fecal microbiota transplant (FMT), or the transfer of stool from a healthy donor to a patient, has been found effective in reversing severe, recurring diarrheal infections from Clostridiodes difficile in adults by restoring a normal microbiome.
Hopkins-led team finds biomarkers to diagnose serious kidney allergic reaction
A team led by Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers says it has identified two protein biomarkers in urine that may one day be used to better diagnose acute interstitial nephritis (AIN), an underdiagnosed but treatable kidney disorder that impairs renal function in the short term and can lead to chronic kidney disease, permanent damage or renal failure if left unchecked.
New way to beat the heat in electronics
Rice University researchers combine a polymer nanofiber layer with boron nitride to make a strong, foldable dielectric separator for high-temperature batteries and other applications.
Dog DNA find could aid quest to help breeds breathe more easily
Scientists at the University of Edinburgh have discovered a DNA mutation linked to breathing problems in popular dog breeds.
Museum volunteers discover new species of extinct heron at North Florida fossil site
When the bones of an ancient heron were unearthed at a North Florida fossil site, the find wasn't made by researchers but by two Florida Museum of Natural History volunteers.
Policy makers must attend to menstrual stigma to improve wellbeing, study finds
Researchers have found that addressing attitudes to menstruation may be necessary to improve well-being in low and middle-income countries, far more than simply better access to sanitary products.
Researchers develop novel framework for tracking developments in optical sensors
SUTD researchers together with international researchers conduct develop a 3D technology map which systematically compares optical sensors, providing a much needed benchmark to define the standards and track developments in this rapidly growing industry.
Self-repairing batteries
Engineers at the University of Tokyo continually pioneer new ways to improve battery technology.
Galaxy blazes with new stars born from close encounter
The irregular galaxy NGC 4485 shows all the signs of having been involved in a hit-and-run accident with a bypassing galaxy.
Scientists find new type of cell that helps tadpoles' tails regenerate
Researchers at the University of Cambridge have uncovered a specialised population of skin cells that coordinate tail regeneration in frogs.
NIH study finds heavily processed foods cause overeating and weight gain
People eating ultra-processed foods ate more calories and gained more weight than when they ate a minimally processed diet, according to results from a National Institutes of Health study.
Bowel cancer rising among young adults in Europe
The rate of bowel cancer -- otherwise known as colorectal cancer or CRC -- is rising among adults aged 20-49 in Europe, suggests research published online in the journal Gut today.
Brain network activity can improve in epilepsy patients after surgery
Successful epilepsy surgery can improve brain connectivity similar to patterns seen in people without epilepsy, according to a new study published in the journal Neurosurgery.
The insular cortex processes pain and drives learning from pain
Neuroscientists at EPFL have discovered an area of the brain, the insular cortex, that processes painful experiences and thereby drives learning from aversive events.
A new iron-based superconductor stabilized by inter-block charger transfer
A research team from Zhejiang University report the discovery of an iron-based superconductors (IBSC) BaTh2Fe4As4(N0.7O0.3)2, an intergrowth compound between BaFe2As2 and ThFeAsN0.7O0.3, on basis of a block-layer design.
Study reports breakthrough to measure plant improvements to help farmers boost production
Today, scientists have shown a new technology can more quickly scan an entire field of plants to capture improvements in their natural capacity to harvest energy from the sun.
When science and politics collide: Support for enhancing FDA independence
A new paper by Eli Y. Adashi, Rohit Rajan, and I.
Species may disappear faster than anticipated, according to new data models
A new study in Journal of Applied Ecology equips scientists to more accurately predict whether, and when, a species will go extinct by being more realistic about how long it takes populations to establish each new generation.
Improving carbon-capturing with metal-organic frameworks
EPFL chemical engineers have designed an easy method to achieve commercially attractive carbon-capturing with metal-organic frameworks.
24% of West Antarctic ice is now unstable
In only 25 years, ocean melting has caused ice thinning to spread across West Antarctica so rapidly that a quarter of its glacier ice is now affected, according to a new study.
Common diarrhea pathogen unknown to many people
Salmonella, genetically modified foods and microplastics in food head the awareness scale of health and consumer topics in Germany.
Research suggests revision to common view on how retinal cells in mammals process light
Johns Hopkins Medicine scientists say that new experiments with mouse eye tissues strongly suggest that a longstanding 'textbook concept' about the way a mammal's retina processes light needs a rewrite.
Antibody responses vs. Ebola keep evolving in survivors, months after recovery
Antiviral antibodies produced by survivors of Ebola infection continue to evolve and improve after recovery, according to a study of immune responses in four people who received care at Emory University Hospital in 2014.
How we make complex decisions
MIT neuroscientists have identified a brain circuit that helps break complex decisions down into smaller pieces.
How a member of a family of light-sensitive proteins adjusts skin color
A team of Brown University researchers found that opsin 3 -- a protein closely related to rhodopsin, the protein that enables low-light vision -- has a role in adjusting the amount of pigment produced in human skin, a determinant of skin color.
The global invasion routes of the red swamp crayfish, described based on genetics
A study led by researchers at the Doñana Biological Station of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), in collaboration with institutions in Europe, America and Asia, has identified the main introduction routes of the red swamp crayfish, Procambarus clarkii, during its global-scale invasion.
Partial breast irradiation effective treatment option for low-risk breast cancer
Partial breast irradiation produces similar long-term survival rates and risk for recurrence compared with whole breast irradiation for many women with low-risk, early stage breast cancer, according to new clinical data from a national clinical trial involving researchers from The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - Arthur G.
JQI researchers shed new light on atomic 'wave function'
Physicists have demonstrated a new way to obtain the essential details of an isolated quantum system through direct observation.
Ocean skeletons reveal historical climate impacts
Researchers studied skeletal stress bands on corals to reconstruct the history of bleaching on eight reefs in the central equatorial Pacific and use this information to better understand the thermal thresholds of their coral communities.
Evolution in the gut
Evolution and dietary habits interact and determine the composition of bacteria in the digestive tract.
Algal blooms in Lake Erie's central basin could produce neurotoxins
Harmful algal blooms pose a unique toxic threat in Lake Erie's central basin, new research has found.
Preventive measures can reduce foot parasite in children, study says
Tungiasis is a neglected tropical disease caused by penetrated sand fleas which burrow into the skin of the feet.
A substantial benefit from replacing steak with fish
The average Dane will gain a health benefit from substituting part of the red and processed meat in their diet with fish, according to calculations from the National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark.
Why adults at risk for Huntington's choose not to learn if they inherited deadly gene
As many as 90 percent of individuals who have a parent with Huntington's disease (HD) choose not to take a gene test that reveals if they will also develop the fatal disorder -- and a new study details the reasons why.
Could better tests help reverse the rise of drug-resistant infections?
Faster, more accurate tests for drug-resistant infections are hailed as a promising tool in the fight against antibiotic resistance, so much so that the US and Britain are offering millions in prize money for their development.
Study proposes new standards for safely performing 'Brazilian butt lift'
A new anatomic study highlights critical technical issues to ensure safe performance of the increasingly popular 'Brazilian butt lift' -- a procedure using the patient's own fat to augment and improve the appearance of the buttocks.
Shedding light on the key determinants of global land use projections
Land use is at the core of various sustainable development goals.
Moving the needle on nanoscale imaging with single-molecule magnets
Amid intense research focus on magnetic single atoms and molecules -- which could serve as the smallest possible memory elements in quantum computing -- researchers report creating a sensor capable of measuring and imaging magnetic structures and interactions at the atomic scale, in unprecedented detail.
Identifying the molecular structure of one of Alzheimer's stickier culprits
Researchers have mapped the molecular structure and dynamics of an aggressive protein modification that spurs on Alzheimer's disease.
Brain cell genomics reveals molecular pathology of autism
Molecular changes in specific types of neural cells and brain circuits correlate with the clinical severity of autism spectrum disorder, a new single-cell analysis of brain cells from autism patients finds.
Flexibility of working memory from random connections
Working memory is your ability to hold things 'in mind.' It acts as a workspace in which information can be held, manipulated, and used to guide behavior.
Controlled study links processed food to increased calorie consumption
On May 16, 2019 in the journal Cell Metabolism, researchers report results from the first randomized, controlled trial that directly compared differences in calorie consumption and weight gain between an ultra-processed and an unprocessed diet.
Study examines consequences of workplace bullying
New research reveals how frequently being the target of workplace bullying not only leads to health-related problems but can also cause victims to behave badly themselves.
Danish research team identifies the first gene that increases the risk of fainting
Fainting is not solely caused by external factors. Your genes also play a part.
Study uncovers key step in cell protein production
Scientists at the University of Sheffield have discovered how genes create proteins in research which could aid the development of treatments for human diseases.
Mining 25 years of data uncovers a new predictor of age of onset for Huntington disease
Investigators at the University of British Columbia (UBC)/Centre for Molecular Medicine & Therapeutics (CMMT) and BC Children's Hospital have examined more than 25 years of data to reveal new insights into predicting the age of onset for Huntington disease.
DGIST agreed on Energy Research Cooperation with CNR-ITAE in Italy
DGIST agreed on Energy Research Cooperation with CNR-ITAE in Italy.
3D-printed 'hyperelastic bone' may help generate new bone for skull reconstruction
Defects of the skull and facial bones can pose difficult challenges for plastic and reconstructive surgeons.
What do they mean by 'stem cells'? Recommended guidelines for reporting on cell therapies
Cell therapies including so-called 'stem cells' are increasingly being marketed and used for the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders -- despite questions about these treatments and their effectiveness.

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