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Science Current Events and Science News | Brightsurf | June 20, 2019


Slime travelers
New UC Riverside-led research settles a longstanding debate about whether the most ancient animal communities were deliberately mobile.
Inflammatory mechanisms may underlie increased risk of prostate cancer among WTC responders
Inflammatory and immune-regulatory mechanisms were found to be altered in animal models and in archived prostate cancer tumor samples of responders exposed to dust from the World Trade Center terrorist attacks on Sept.
Major study finds no conclusive links to health effects from waste incinerators
Researchers have found no link between exposure to emissions from municipal waste incinerators (MWIs) and infant deaths or reduced fetal growth.
Vanilla makes milk beverages seem sweeter
Adding vanilla to sweetened milk makes consumers think the beverage is sweeter, allowing the amount of added sugar to be reduced, according to Penn State researchers, who will use the concept to develop a reduced-sugar chocolate milk for the National School Lunch Program.
Animals may have more than one means of surviving hypoxia
A tidepool crustacean's ability to survive oxygen deprivation though it lacks a key set of genes raises the possibility that animals might have more ways of dealing with hypoxic environments than had been thought.
Burnout: Sleepless firefighters at risk of exhaustion and mental health conditions
Sleep disturbances and mental health challenges are putting close to half of America's firefighters at high risk of emotional fatigue and exhaustion, new research by Monash University in Australia shows.
Low-carb diet may reduce diabetes risk independent of weight loss
A low-carb diet may have benefits for people at risk of developing type 2 diabetes even if they don't lose any weight, a new study suggests.
Global treaty is leaving some countries vulnerable to increase in tobacco consumption
Two studies published in the British Medical Journal show there is no statistical evidence that global cigarette consumption has fallen as a result of the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, and in low-and-middle-income countries it has actually increased, according to two studies led by global health researchers at York University.
Why climate change means a rethink of coffee and cocoa production systems
New research by an international group of scientists, from Inland Norway University, Bioversity International, Wageningen University and World Agroforestry, examines whether incorporating suitable trees into crop systems or replacing coffee with cocoa could help the thousands of families in Mesoamerica meet future climate conditions.
Novel model for studying intestinal parasite could advance vaccine development
The intestinal parasite Cryptosporidium causes frequent outbreaks in the US, and has been historically difficult to study.
22% of young men, 5% of young women engage in 'disordered eating' to bulk up
Adolescents who see themselves as puny and who exercise to gain weight may be at risk of so-called muscularity-oriented disordered eating behaviors, say researchers led by UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals.
Alzheimer's family history risk may show as memory deficit even for those in their 20s
Results from a study of nearly 60,000 individuals suggest those at higher risk of developing Alzheimer's disease due to family history may demonstrate changes in memory performance as early as their 20s.
NASA selects SwRI's PUNCH mission to image beyond the Sun's outer corona
NASA has selected Southwest Research Institute to lead the 'Polarimeter to Unify the Corona and Heliosphere' (PUNCH) mission, a landmark Small Explorers Program mission that will image beyond the Sun's outer corona.
Silver loading and switching: Unintended consequences of pulling health policy levers
A move by the White House in 2017 -- decried by many health policy analysts as an attempt to undercut the Affordable Care Act (ACA) -- had unanticipated consequences that improved the affordability of health insurance for Marketplace enrollees.
Artificial intelligence identifies 'kissing bugs' that spread Chagas disease
A University of Kansas researcher publishes proof-of-concept research showing artificial intelligence can recognize 12 Mexican and 39 Brazilian species of kissing bugs with high accuracy by analyzing ordinary photos -- an advantage for officials looking to cut the spread of Chagas disease.
Sugars that coat proteins are a possible drug target for pancreatitis
CA19-9 is a complex sugar structure that coats proteins. Elevated levels of CA19-9 was found to cause inflammation in the pancreas in mice and promote rapid progression to pancreatic cancer.
Research details response of sagebrush to 2017 solar eclipse
The short period of darkness caused a significant reduction in photosynthesis and transpiration in the desert shrub, but not quite to the levels of nighttime, according to some of the most detailed research on plant response to solar eclipses ever reported.
Study challenges 'no pain no gain' requirement for patients with clogged leg arteries
Patients with peripheral arterial disease should be given the option of pain-free exercise, according to a study published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).
Early-and-regular cannabis use by youth is associated with alteration in brain circuits that support cognitive control
The development of neural circuits in youth, at a particularly important time in their lives, can be heavily influenced by external factors -- specifically the frequent and regular use of cannabis.
Long work hours associated with increased risk of stroke
Working long hours for 10 years or more may be associated with stroke.
Using graphene and tiny droplets to detect stomach-cancer causing bacteria
A Japan-based research team led by Osaka University used graphene and microfluidics to identify stomach-cancer causing bacteria by detecting chemical reactions of the bacteria at the surface of the biosensor.
Laser method promising for detecting trace chemicals in air
Researchers have developed a new laser-based method that can detect electric charges and chemicals of interest with unprecedented sensitivity.
Dynamic collaboration behind new research into best way of using biologging tags
Methods used to design F1 cars and spacecraft have played a crucial role in new research into the tags used to track animal movements.
Measles vaccination linked to health & schooling benefits among children in LMICS
Researchers at CDDEP, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the University of Pennsylvania, RTI International, and Harvard T.H.
How bacteria kill host cells from the inside
A bacterial pathogen that typically multiplies outside of host cells can enter and induce the destruction of cells called macrophages, according to a study published June 20, 2019 in the open-access journal PLOS Pathogens by Anne-Béatrice Blanc-Potard of the Université de Montpellier in France, and colleagues.
New study maps how ocean currents connect the world's fisheries
It's a small world after all -- especially when it comes to marine fisheries, with a new study revealing they form a single network, with over $10 billion worth of fish each year being caught in a country other than the one in which it spawned.
Why does the moon smell like gunpowder? (video)
After walking on the Moon astronauts hopped back into their lunar lander, bringing Moon dust with them.
Spotting objects amid clutter
A new MIT-developed technique enables robots to quickly identify objects hidden in a three-dimensional cloud of data, reminiscent of how some people can make sense of a densely patterned 'Magic Eye' image if they observe it in just the right way.
Two studies show that animals' brain activity 'syncs' during social interactions
Two papers publishing June 20 in the journal Cell show that Egyptian fruit bats and mice, respectively, can 'sync' brainwaves in social situations.
Frustrated fish give up thanks to glia, not just neurons
Giving up when efforts are futile depends on glial cells called radial astrocytes, highlighting a novel computational role for the underappreciated brain cells.
Millions with neurological diseases could find new option in neurostimulation devices
Purdue University researchers are using graphene to help people with neurological diseases who use implantable devices.
Post-Soviet food system changes led to greenhouse gas reductions
Changes in agriculture, trade, food production and consumption after the collapse of the Soviet Union led to a large reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, a new study has found.
Rare recessive mutations pry open new windows on autism
Most genetic variants linked to autism are de novo mutations, which are not inherited and are relatively easy to find.
Landmark study signals shift in thinking about stem cell differentiation
Researchers found that embryonic stem cells commit to a cell fate far more rapidly than anticipated.
The gym proving too expensive or time consuming?
A new study, published in The Journal of Physiology investigated a home-based high-intensity interval training (Home-HIT) program and studied its benefits for clinically obese individuals with an elevated risk of heart disease.
EHR medication lists lack accuracy, may threaten patient safety
Almost 1 in 4 medications were mismatched between the clinician's notes and the formal medication list in a patient's electronic medical record, according to study of ophthalmic medications by Kellogg Eye Center.
Discovery of a 'holy grail' with the invention of universal computer memory
A new type of computer memory to solve the digital technology energy crisis has been invented and patented by scientists.
Long thought harmless, a glycan biomarker may cause pancreatic disease and cancer
A widely recognized biomarker for pancreatic disease, CA19-9, thought to be benign for decades, may in fact be a promoter for the development of these diseases, including pancreatic cancer.
Epilepsy and sudden death linked to bad gene
In sudden death in epilepsy, people stop breathing for no apparent reason and die.
Study: More aggressive treatments needed to improve 5-year survival rate for glioblastoma
Despite improvements in median and short-term survival rates for patients with glioblastoma, the most common brain tumor in adults, the percentage of patients achieving five-year survival remains low, according to new Mayo Clinic research.
Processed foods may hold key to rise in autism
University of Central Florida researchers are now a step closer to showing the link between the food pregnant women consume and the effects on a fetus' developing brain.
Biomedical bleeding may impact horseshoe crabs' spawning behavior and movement
Horseshoe crabs that have undergone biomedical bleeding tend to reside in deeper water and approach mating beaches less often, according to a new study published in The Biological Bulletin.
Global data resource shows genetic diversity of chickens
A total of 174 chicken breeds are described in a publicly accessible database which scientists from the University of Göttingen and the Friedrich Loeffler Institute in Neustadt-Mariensee have built up in recent years with numerous international partners.
3D technology might improve body appreciation for young women
Virginia Ramseyer Winter, assistant professor in the School of Social Work and director of the MU Center for Body Image Research and Policy, is a nationally recognized body image expert.
Treatment for common cause of diarrhea more promising
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have figured out how to grow the intestinal parasite Cryptosporidium in the lab, an achievement that will speed efforts to treat or prevent diarrhea caused by the parasite.
Advanced NMR at Ames Lab captures new details in nanoparticle structures
Advanced nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) techniques at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory have revealed surprising details about the structure of a key group of materials in nanotechology, mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs), and the placement of their active chemical sites.
Multi-mobile (M2) computing system makes android & iOS apps sharable on multiple devices
Computer scientists at Columbia Engineering have developed a new computing system that enables current, unmodified mobile apps to combine and share multiple devices, including cameras, displays, speakers, microphones, sensors, and GPS, across multiple smartphones and tablets.
More than 5 million cancer survivors experience chronic pain, twice the rate of the general population
More than 5 million cancer survivors in the United States experience chronic pain, almost twice the rate in the general population, according to a study published by Mount Sinai researchers
NYU Abu Dhabi researchers unlock the secrets of liver regeneration
In a recent study published in the journal Developmental Cell, NYU Abu Dhabi researchers have reported a new way in which the liver is primed to regenerate itself.
Eye exams common among US adults but some disparities persist
A substantial proportion of US adults reported recently having an eye exam in this online survey study that included 2,013 adults ages 50 to 80.
Perovskite solar cells tested for real-world performance -- in the lab
Researchers at EPFL bring diurnal and seasonal variations into the lab to test the performance of perovskite solar cells under realistic conditions.
Deaths from cardiovascular diseases attributable to heat and cold down 38% in Spain
Women are more vulnerable to heat, while cold-related deaths are more common among men.
Astronomers see 'warm' glow of Uranus's rings
Two telescopes have measured the faint heat from the main, or epsilon ring, of Uranus, enabling astronomers for the first time to determine its temperature: a cool 77 Kelvin.
Archaeological mystery solved with modern genetics
Researchers at the University of Tokyo conducted a census of the Japanese population around 2,500 years ago using the Y chromosomes of men living on the main islands of modern-day Japan.
How you lock your smartphone can reveal your age: UBC study
Older smartphone users tend to rely more on their phones' auto lock feature compared to younger users, a new UBC study has found.
NIST team supersizes 'quantum squeezing' to measure ultrasmall motion
Physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have harnessed the phenomenon of 'quantum squeezing' to amplify and measure trillionths-of-a-meter motions of a lone trapped magnesium ion (electrically charged atom).
Cancer control: Structure of important transport protein solved
For the first time, Bernese researchers have been able to solve the structure of a transport protein and thus to describe the functional mechanism that plays a significant role in the survival of cancer cells.
One step closer to chronic pain relief
While effective drugs against chronic pain are not just around the corner, researchers from Aarhus University, Denmark, have succeeded in identifying a protein as a future potential target for medicinal drugs.
First results from ruminant genome project will inform agriculture, conservation and biomedicine
A trio of Reports and a Perspective in this issue present the Ruminant Genome Project's (RGP) initial findings, which range from explaining how deer antlers exploit cancer-associated signaling pathways to regenerate, to informing reindeer genetic adaptations -- including as relates to circadian rhythm -- that have helped these animals thrive in the frigid Arctic.
Electron-behaving nanoparticles rock current understanding of matter
Northwestern University researchers have made a strange and startling discovery that nanoparticles engineered with DNA in colloidal crystals -- when extremely small -- behave just like electrons.
Danish researchers confirm that narwhals and belugas can interbreed
A team of University of Copenhagen researchers has compiled the first and only evidence that narwhals and beluga whales can breed successfully.
Nearly 5.4 million cancer survivors suffer chronic pain
A new report finds about one in three cancer survivors (34.6%) reported having chronic pain, representing nearly 5.4 million cancer survivors in the United States.
Timed release of turmeric stops cancer cell growth
A WSU research team has developed a drug delivery system using curcumin, the main ingredient in the spice turmeric, that successfully inhibits bone cancer cells while promoting growth of healthy bone cells.
Europe: Chronic hepatitis B infections on the rise since 2008
In 2017, the majority (58%) of the almost 27 000 newly reported hepatitis B cases in the European Union and European Economic Area were classified as chronic infections.
'Robot blood' powers machines for lengthy tasks
Researchers at Cornell University have created a system of circulating liquid -- 'robot blood' -- within robotic structures, to store energy and power robotic applications for sophisticated, long-duration tasks.
Scientists make single-cell map to reprogram scar tissue into healthy heart cells
Annually, about 790,000 Americans suffer a heart attack, which leaves damaged scar tissue on the heart and limits its ability to beat efficiently.
Scientists discover new method for developing tracers used for medical imaging
University of North Carolina researchers discovered a method for creating radioactive tracers to better track pharmaceuticals in the body as well as image diseases, such as cancer, and other medical conditions.
The richer the pickings, the more honest the people
The more money there is in a lost wallet, the more likely it is to be returned to its owner, researchers from the universities of Zurich, Michigan and Utah show in a global study.
New e-tattoo enables accurate, uninterrupted heart monitoring for days
A new wearable technology, developed by engineers at the University of Texas at Austin, that is made from stretchy, lightweight material, could make heart health monitoring easier and more accurate.
People globally return 'lost' wallets more as money increases
In a study of how people in 40 countries decided to return (or not) 'lost' wallets, researchers were surprised to find that -- in contrast to classic economic logic -- people returned the wallets holding the greater amounts of money more often.
Largest study of CTE finds it in 6% of subjects
Nearly 6% of athletes and non-athletes were found to have the neurodegenerative disorder chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in the largest, and broadest, study conducted of the disease to date.
Heat kills invasive jumping worm cocoons, could help limit spread
New research out of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum shows that temperatures of about 100 degrees Fahrenheit kill the cocoons of invasive jumping worms.
New research provides medical proof vacation is good for your heart
New Research from Syracuse University professors Bryce Hruska and Brooks Gump published Wednesday in Psychology and Health shows that using, instead of losing, your vacation time can be beneficial to your heart health.
Psoriasis patients turn to alternative medicine when traditional treatments fail
A recent survey from the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences found patients with psoriasis frequently use complementary or alternative therapies to treat their symptoms when traditional treatments fail.
God doesn't play dice -- does cancer?
Colorado study suggests that changes to the tissue ecosystem and not necessarily mutations allows growth of cancer.
Nursing home care cost significantly outpaces general inflation and medical care prices
One of the largest studies on out-of-pocket costs for nursing home care finds prices are high and rising faster than other medical care and consumer prices, reports a team of health policy researchers.
Retracing ancient routes to Australia
New insights into how people first arrived in Australia have determined the likely routes travelled by Aboriginal people tens of thousands of years ago along with the sizes of groups required for the population to survive in harsh conditions.
Coincidence or master plan?
Joint press release by Kiel University and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Plön (MPI-EB).
UBC research shows upbeat music can sweeten tough exercise
New research coming out of UBC's Okanagan campus demonstrates that upbeat music can make a rigorous workout seem less tough.
Assembly of the human oral microbiome age 1 to 12
At the 97th General Session & Exhibition of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR), held in conjunction with the 48th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental Research (AADR) and the 43rd Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association for Dental Research (CADR), Ann Griffen, Ohio State University, Columbus, USA, gave an oral presentation on ''Assembly of the Human Oral Microbiome Age 1 to 12.'
Moral lessons in children's television programs may require extra explanation
In two separate studies, researchers monitored more than 100 4-6-year-olds and found that they didn't understand messages about inclusiveness.
New research backs Australian regulatory decision on poppers
Young gay and bisexual men are frequent users of alkyl nitrites, or poppers, but few show signs of addiction, risky consumption habits or other psychosocial problems, a study shows.
Signature of an ineffective immune response to cancer revealed
Our immune system is programmed to destroy cancer cells. Sometimes it has trouble slowing disease progression because it doesn't act quickly or strongly enough.
Scientists map toxic proteins linked to Alzheimer's
A team of researchers from McMaster University has mapped at atomic resolution a toxic protein linked to Alzheimer's disease, allowing them to better understand what is happening deep within the brain during the earliest stages of the disease.
Pigs help scientists understand human brain
For the first time, researchers in the University of Georgia's Regenerative Bioscience Center have used an imaging method normally reserved for humans to analyze brain activity in live agricultural swine models, and they have discovered that pig brains are even better platforms than previously thought for the study of human neurological conditions such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
One third of Cambodians infected with threadworm, study finds
Strongyloides stercoralis is a soil-transmitted threadworm that is endemic in many tropical and subtropical areas of the world.
Crystal with a twist: Scientists grow spiraling new material
Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have created new inorganic crystals made of stacks of atomically thin sheets that unexpectedly spiral like a nanoscale card deck.
Gold for silver: A chemical barter
From effective medicines to molecular sensors to fuel cells, metal clusters are becoming fundamentally useful in the health, environment, and energy sectors.
Cereal grains scientists fight hidden hunger with new approach
Global demand for staple crops like maize, wheat, and rice is on the rise -- making these crops ideal targets for improving nutrition through biofortification.
Researchers find link between exposure to world trade center dust and prostate cancer
World Trade Center (WTC) responders with prostate cancer showed signs that exposure to dust from the World Trade Center site had activated chronic inflammation in their prostates, which may have contributed to their cancer, according to a study by Mount Sinai researchers in Molecular Cancer Research in June.
Researchers develop a new, non-optical way to visualize DNA, cells, and tissues
Researchers have come up with a new way to image cell populations and their genetic contents.
Engineers 3D print flexible mesh for ankle and knee braces
MIT engineers have designed pliable, 3D-printed mesh materials whose flexibility and toughness they can tune to emulate and support softer tissues such as muscles and tendons.
Brains of pairs of animals synchronize during social interaction
UCLA researchers have published a Cell study showing that the brains of pairs of animals synchronize during social situations.
Study: Phenols in cocoa bean shells may reverse obesity-related problems in mouse cells
A new study by researchers at the University of Illinois suggests that three of the phenolic compounds in cocoa bean shells have powerful effects on the fat and immune cells in mice, potentially reversing the chronic inflammation and insulin resistance associated with obesity.
B chromosome first -- mechanisms behind the drive of B chromosomes uncovered
B chromosomes are supernumerary chromosomes, which often are preferentially inherited and showcase an increased transmission rate.
Researchers find a mechanism to improve pancreatic islet transplantation in type 1 diabetes
Researchers from the University of Barcelona and IDIBAPS led a study that identifies a protein as the potential modulator in the revascularization of pancreatic islets.
Plants' oil-production accelerator also activates the brakes
Scientists studying plant biochemistry at the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory recently made a surprising discovery: They found that a protein that turns on oil synthesis also activates a protein that puts the brakes on the same process.
'DNA microscopy' offers entirely new way to image cells
Rather than relying on optics, the microscopy system offers a chemically encoded way to map biomolecules' relative positions.
Canadian researchers discover new genetic link to premenopausal breast cancer
University of Alberta researchers have added a new genetic marker to the breast cancer map, helping to expand the list of genetic mutations clinicians can watch for in cancer screenings.
Spiders risk everything for love
A biology study finds that blue jays can easily spot wolf spiders engaged in their courtship rituals.
Do ice cores help to unravel the clouds of climate history?
For the first time, an international research team led by the Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research (TROPOS) has investigated atmospheric ice nucleating particles (INPs) in ice cores, which can provide insights on the type of cloud cover in the Arctic over the last 500 years.
New biomarker test improves diagnosis of ovarian cancer
The majority of women who undergo surgery for suspected ovarian cancer do not have cancer.
High on iron? It stops anaemia but has a downside
A global study looking at the role that iron plays in 900 diseases has uncovered the impact of both low and high iron levels -- and the news is mixed.
National emergency alerts potentially vulnerable to attack
New research shows that hackers, working with limited resources, could send fake emergency alerts to cell phones in a confined area like a sports stadium.
New p53 gene discovery sheds light on how to make cancer therapies more effective
Scientists at VCU Massey Cancer Center have discovered that the loss of a protein called DBC1 in breast cancer cells leads to the dysregulation of normal anti-cancer functions, contributing to cancer cell growth and resistance to therapies.
Bats' brains sync when they socialize
The phrase 'we're on the same wavelength' may be more than just a friendly saying: A new study by University of California, Berkeley, researchers shows that bats' brain activity is literally in sync when bats engage in social behaviors like grooming, fighting or sniffing each other.
Not always reaching your potential is okay, but overthinking it is a problem
Having aspirations helps us navigate life in a meaningful and fulfilling way, but it can also cause psychological distress when hopes are left unfulfilled.
Gut bacteria associated with chronic pain for first time
In a paper published today in the journal Pain, a Montreal-based research team has shown, for the first time, that there are alterations in the bacteria in the gastrointestinal tracts of people with fibromyalgia.
A study from IRB Barcelona describes the reaction mechanism of DNAzymes
Modesto Orozco's lab (IRB Barcelona) has published a study on the reaction mechanism of DNAzymes in Nature Catalysis.
A chemical approach to imaging cells from the inside
A team of researchers has developed a new technique for mapping cells.
Many elderly patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma benefit from targeted therapies
Many elderly patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC) -- who are often underrepresented in clinical trials to treat the kidney cancer -- are seeing overall survival benefits from treatment with targeted therapies, according to a new study published in JAMA Network Open.
Moral concerns override desire to profit from finding a lost wallet
The setup of a research study was a bit like the popular ABC television program 'What Would You Do?' -- minus the television cameras and big reveal in the end.
Looking for freshwater in all the snowy places
Snowflakes that cover mountains or linger under tree canopies are a vital freshwater resource for over a billion people around the world.
For global fisheries, it's a small world after all
Even though many nations manage their fish stocks as if they were local resources, marine fisheries and fish populations are a single, highly interconnected and globally shared resource, a new study emphasizes.
Squeezing of blood vessels may contribute to cognitive decline in Alzheimer's
Reduced blood flow to the brain associated with early Alzheimer's may be caused by the contraction of cells wrapped around blood vessels, according to a UCL-led study that opens up a new way to potentially treat the disease.
Tailor-made prosthetic liners could help more amputees walk again
Researchers at the University of Bath have developed a new way of designing and manufacturing bespoke prosthetic liners, in less than a day.

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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Now Playing: Science for the People

#532 A Class Conversation
This week we take a look at the sociology of class. What factors create and impact class? How do we try and study it? How does class play out differently in different countries like the US and the UK? How does it impact the political system? We talk with Daniel Laurison, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Swarthmore College and coauthor of the book "The Class Ceiling: Why it Pays to be Privileged", about class and its impacts on people and our systems.