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Science News | Science Current Events | Brightsurf | June 25, 2019


Star tours
Astronomers have a new tool in their search for extraterrestrial life -- a sophisticated bot that helps identify stars hosting planets similar to Jupiter and Saturn.
Massachusetts General study identifies pathway linking socioeconomic status to cardiovascular risk
A biological pathway previously found to contribute to the impact of stress on the risk of cardiovascular disease also may underlie the increased incidence of such disease experienced by individuals with lower socioeconomic status.
Artificial intelligence could be 'game changer' in detecting, managing Alzheimer's disease
Could artificial intelligence be the solution for detecting and managing a complex condition like Alzheimer's disease?
Kessler researchers explore social cognitive deficits in progressive multiple sclerosis
'This study is an important first step toward a better understanding of cognitive dysfunction in individuals with progressive MS,' said Dr.
Tokyo Tech-led study shows how icy outer solar system satellites may have formed
Beyond the orbit of the planet Neptune, there are a multitude of icy and rocky small bodies, smaller than planets but larger than comets.
New target for drug intervention in Alzheimer's disease identified
Scientists at UAB have identified an enzyme in the brain, LIMK1, that may be an intriguing target for interventions against Alzheimer's disease and other dementias.
Remote-controlled drug delivery implant size of grape may help chronic disease management
People with chronic diseases like arthritis, diabetes and heart disease may one day forego the daily regimen of pills and, instead, receive a scheduled dosage of medication through a grape-sized implant that is remotely controlled.
Elevated air pollution could diminish health benefits of living in walkable communities
The benefits of living in a walkable neighborhood could be diminished by increased exposure to traffic-related air pollution, suggests a study led by St.
HKBU discovers mechanisms underlying early life stress and irritable bowel syndrome
Researchers from Hong Kong Baptist University have found that the abnormal rise of a soluble protein called Nerve Growth Factor is a key factor linking early life stress to the development of irritable bowel syndrome.
Lifelong ill-health after exposure to chemical weapons
People exposed to chemical warfare agents (CWAs) often incur chronic damage to their lungs, skin and eyes, for example.
Women exposed to common antibacterial chemical more likely to break a bone
Women exposed to triclosan are more likely to develop osteoporosis, according to a study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
Scientists track brain tumor turncoats with advanced imaging
To better understand the cells that brain tumors recruit, scientists developed advanced imaging techniques to visualize macrophages.
These neurons affect how much you do, or don't, want to eat
University of Arizona researchers have identified a network of neurons that coordinate with other brain regions to influence eating behaviors.
Dung beetles get wind
Researchers have shown for the first time that these insects use different directional sensors to achieve the highest possible navigational precision in different conditions.
Air pollution found to affect marker of female fertility in real-life study
Ovarian reserve, a term widely adopted to reflect the number of resting follicles in the ovary and thus a marker of potential female fertility, has been found in a large-scale study to be adversely affected by high levels of air pollution.
Goat milk kefir is proven to be good for your health
A University of Cordoba research team, for the first time, applied a protein identification technique to this product on a massive scale and found activity of healthy compounds
Pine woodland restoration creates haven for birds in Midwest, MU study finds
Researchers from the University of Missouri have shown in a new study that restoration of pine woodlands, through the combined use of intentional, managed fires and strategic thinning of tree density, has a strikingly beneficial effect on a diverse array of birds, some of which are facing sharp declines from human-driven impacts like climate change and habitat loss.
Microscopic glass blowing used to make tiny optical lenses
Inserting air into hot glass to form a bubble has been used to make glass objects since Roman times.
Cholesterol medication could invite diabetes, study suggests
A study of thousands of patients' health records found that those who were prescribed cholesterol-lowering statins had at least double the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Distinct clinical profiles of Huntington's disease can be associated with two specific neural signature
Researchers from the Cognition and Brain plasticity group of Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) and the Institute of Neurosciences of the University of Barcelona (UBNeuro), with the collaboration of Radboud University in the Netherlands, have identified two specific patterns of cerebral disorders underlying two clinical profiles of Huntington's disease.
SwRI-led team studies binaries to make heads or tails of planet formation
A Southwest Research Institute-led team studied the orientation of distant solar system bodies to bolster the 'streaming instability' theory of planet formation.
More monitoring needed to reduce post-hospitalization urinary tract infections
Broader monitoring of patients is needed to reduce the number of people who develop a urinary tract infection after being discharged from the hospital, new research suggests.
Workers who are unpaid caregivers of older relatives struggle with unmet workplace needs
People who care for elderly parents outside of their full-time jobs -- and are unpaid for it -- experience considerable disruption of their workplace routines.
New combination therapy established as safe and effective for prostate cancer
A novel therapy using two targeted treatments for prostate cancer has been shown to maximize efficacy while reducing side effects according to research presented at the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) 2019 Annual Meeting.
Viewing pornography increase unethical behavior at work
New research discovers employees who view pornography aren't just costing companies millions of dollars in wasted time, they're causing harm to the company.
No cell is an island
In a new study, published on June 25, 2019, in the journal eLife, the researchers report that higher levels of doublets -- long dismissed as technical artifacts -- can be found in people with severe cases of tuberculosis or dengue fever.
Babies can learn link between language and ethnicity, study suggests
Eleven-month-old infants can learn to associate the language they hear with ethnicity, recent research from the University of British Columbia suggests.
Sometimes, a non-invasive procedure will suffice
When a patient complains about chest pain, diagnosis will usually involve catheter angiography to evaluate the adequacy of blood supply to the heart.
Virtual reality faces: animating precise, lifelike avatars for VR in real-time
Researchers from Facebook Reality Labs (FRL) have developed a revolutionary system called Codec Avatars that gives VR users the ability to interact with others while representing themselves with lifelike avatars precisely animated in real-time.
Ultrasmall nanoclusters and carbon quantum dots show promise for acute kidney injury
Acute kidney injury (AKI) often complicates the treatment outcomes of hospitalized patients, resulting in dangerous levels of toxic chemicals accumulating in the blood and causing numerous deaths annually.
Bringing neuromodulation therapies to drug-resistant epilepsy patients
To fill a service gap and improve seizure control for drug-resistant epilepsy, the University of Alabama at Birmingham created an epilepsy neuromodulation clinic.
An ion channel with a doorkeeper: The pH of calcium ions controls ion channel opening
Ion channels are pores in the membrane of cells or cell organelles that allow ions to be transported across the membrane.
Private prisons have a political role in corrections issues in the US, researcher finds
Private prisons play a political role in immigration and incarceration issues in the United States and the industry may face obstacles as well as opportunities in the current political landscape, a new paper from an Oregon State University researcher suggests.
Global surgical guidelines drive cut in post-surgery deaths -- study
The English National Health Service (NHS) reduced post-operative deaths by 37.2% following the introduction of globally recognised surgical guidelines -- paving the way for life-saving action in low -- and middle-income countries (LMICs), a new study reveals.
Levänluhta jewellery links Finland to a European exchange network
A recently completed study indicates that the material of the jewellery found together with human remains at the Levänluhta water burial site originates in southern Europe, contrary to what researchers had previously thought.
Scientists find potential way to defuse 'time bomb' of cardiology
In a new study published in EBioMedicine, researchers at Western University and Lawson Health Research Institute use principles from cancer biology to demonstrate what might be causing aortic aneurysms and potentially how to treat them.
Shot could remove side effects from late-stage head and neck cancer therapy
A new chemoradiotherapy formulation could kill head and neck cancer cells more effectively -- without the side effects.
Video games offer clues to help curb animal disease outbreaks
As Asia and Europe battle African swine fever outbreaks, UVM research shows how farmers' risk attitudes affect the spread of infectious animal diseases and offers a first-of-its kind model for testing disease control and prevention strategies.
Radioactive tadpoles reveal contamination clues
Tadpoles can be used to measure the amount of radiocesium, a radioactive material, in aquatic environments, according to new research from University of Georgia scientists.
Common antidepressants interact with opioid med to lessen pain relief
Common antidepressants interact with the opioid pain medication tramadol to make it less effective for pain relief, according to a study published in the journal Pharmacotherapy.
Study in nutrients shows important role choline and DHA play in infant brain and eye health
Pharmavite LLC, the makers of Nature Made vitamins, minerals and supplements, announced the publication of a review paper in the May issue of the journal Nutrients, highlighting current research into the roles of choline and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in maternal and infant nutrition.
Conceptual model can explain how thunderstorm clouds bunch together
Understanding how the weather and climate change is one of the most important challenges in science today.
Analyzing the tweets of Republicans and Democrats
New research examined how Republicans and Democrats express themselves online in an attempt to understand how polarization of beliefs occurs on social media.
Artificial intelligence improves heart attack risk assessment
When used with a common heart scan, machine learning (ML), a type of artificial intelligence, does better than conventional risk models at predicting heart attacks and other cardiac events, according to a new study.
Study finds link between hypertension and air pollution
A new study soon to appear in the Faculty of Public Health's Journal of Public Health, published by Oxford University Press, suggests that air pollution and living in apartment buildings may be associated with an increased risk for dangerous conditions like heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
Shorter rotations in intensive care units mitigate burnout among physicians
Shortening the length of rotations in a medical intensive care unit (MICU) from the traditional 14-consecutive day schedule to only seven days helps mitigate burnout among critical care physicians, according to a new Penn Medicine pilot study.
Predictors of cognitive recovery following mild to severe traumatic brain injury
Researchers have shown that higher intelligence and younger age are predictors of greater cognitive recovery 2-5 years post-mild to severe traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Intelligent testing could save lives by defusing ticking time bomb of liver disease
An innovation in liver function testing could detect liver disease decades before it becomes fatal.
Algorithm designed to map universe, solve mysteries
Cornell University researchers have developed an algorithm designed to visualize models of the universe in order to solve some of physics' greatest mysteries.
Review emphasizes the power of simple physical models for complex protein machines
The function of protein machines in biological cells is so complex that even supercomputers cannot predict their cycles at atomic detail.
Biochip advances enable next-generation sequencing technologies
Biochips are driving next-generation DNA sequencing technologies, and this powerful combination is capable of solving unique and important biological problems, such as single-cell, rare-cell or rare-molecule analysis, which next-generation sequencing can't do on its own.
New research hopes to identify individuals at risk of clinically significant COPD
New research from UAB provides evidence, for the first time, to continue using the criteria set by major respiratory societies for the diagnosis of airflow obstruction and COPD.
Changes in blood flow tell heart cells to regenerate
Altered blood flow resulting from heart injury switches on a communication cascade that reprograms heart cells and leads to heart regeneration in zebrafish.
Study reveals elevated cancer risk in children with birth defects
A collaborative team of scientists led by Baylor College of Medicine has assembled the largest study to date to evaluate cancer risk in children with birth defects.
Hearts and stripes: A tiny fish offers clues to regenerating damaged cardiac tissue
Zebrafish, a pet shop staple, may hold the clue for how hearts can heal from damage.
Exercise an effective protection against life-threatening cerebral haemorrhage
A Finnish study demonstrates that as little as half an hour of light exercise per week effectively protects against subarachnoid haemorrhage, the most lethal disorder of the cerebral circulation.
How gastric stem cells fight bacteria
Stem cells are not only key players in tissue regeneration, they are also capable of taking direct action against bacteria.
Study funded by NIH supports optimal threshold for diagnosing COPD
A new study provides evidence to support a simple measurement for diagnosing clinically significant airflow obstruction, the key characteristic of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the fourth leading cause of death in the United States.
Zero-calorie sweeteners on trial again
For the first time, scientists exposed pregnant and lactating mice to sucralose and acesulfame-K -- a common combination in soda, sports supplements and other sweetened products -- and found their pups developed harmful metabolic and gut bacteria changes.
Molecular imaging suggests smokers may have impaired neuroimmune function
Research presented at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNM MI) shows preliminary evidence that tobacco smokers may have reduced neuroimmune function compared with nonsmokers.
Santorini volcano, a new terrestrial analogue of Mars
One of the great attractions of the island of Santorini, in Greece, lies in its spectacular volcanic landscape, which also contains places similar to those of Mars.
Discovery may help kick-start ageing immune system
The thymus, a vital organ producing the immune system's T cells, is one of the first to diminish in function as we age, resulting in a gradual loss of T cell production and eventually increased susceptibility to infections and cancer.
Researchers create first portable tech for detecting cyanotoxins in water
North Carolina State University researchers have developed the first portable technology that can test for cyanotoxins in water.
European pregnancy rates from IVF and ICSI 'appear to have reached a peak'
The latest annual data collected by ESHRE from European national registries (for 2016) show another rise in the cumulative use of IVF in the treatment of infertility, although success rates after IVF or ICSI appear to have reached a peak, with pregnancy rates per started treatment calculated at 27.1% after IVF and 24.3% after ICSI.
Multiresistant intestinal bacteria spread widely in Vietnamese hospitals
Around half of patients admitted to hospital in Vietnam are carriers of multiresistant intestinal bacteria, which are resistant to carbapenems, a group of broad-spectrum antibiotics.
Using 3D-printing to stop hair loss
Columbia researchers have created a way to grow human hair in a dish, which could open up hair restoration surgery to more people, including women, and improve the way pharmaceutical companies search for new hair growth drugs.
Exposure to air pollution in India is associated with more hypertension in women
The CHAI project assessed the link between fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and black carbon and blood pressure in over 5,500 people living in a peri-urban area near Hyderabad city
A new 'golden' age for electronics?
Scientists at Nagoya University, Japan, have created materials that shrink uniformly in all directions when heated under normal everyday conditions, using a cheap and industrially scalable process.
Muscling in on the role of vitamin D
A recent study conducted at the Westmead Institute for Medical Research has shed light on the role of vitamin D in muscle cells.
A further step towards reliable quantum computation
A team of physicists from the University of Vienna and the Austrian Academy of Sciences introduces a novel technique to detect entanglement even in large-scale quantum systems with unprecedented efficiency.
'Flying salt shakers of death:' Fungal-infected zombie cicadas, explained by WVU research
Cicadas can carry a fungus containing chemicals similar to those found in hallucinogenic mushrooms, making them zombie-like fliers.
New osteoporosis therapy's dual effects on bone tissue
Sclerostin is a protein produced by osteocytes in the bone that inhibits bone formation.
Which climates are best for passive cooling technologies?
UCSD researchers recently set out to gain a better understanding of the thermal balance of power plants and surfaces, but quickly realized that they would need to determine what roles cloud cover and relative humidity play in the transparency of the atmosphere to radiatio.
Puppy love: Choosing the perfect pooch poses challenges similar to dating
Indiana University psychologists who study relationship choice have found that when it comes to picking a canine companion, what people say they want in a dog isn't always in line with what they choose.
De-escalating breast cancer therapy; can some patients be spared chemotherapy?
Researchers develop molecular testing to distinguish patients who may need less from those who may need more therapy for HER2 positive breast cancer.
Study snapshot: Missed exams and lost opportunities: Who could gain from expanded college admission
Universal college admission testing in the state of Virginia could increase the number of high school graduates with test scores competitive for admission at universities in the state by as much as 40 percent -- and at the most selective institutions, nearly 20 percent -- with larger increases for low-income students.
Machine learning reveals how strongly interacting electrons behave at atomic level
A team of scientists from the Universities of Oxford, Cornell and San Jose State, collaborating across theoretical and experimental physics and computer science, have developed and trained a new Machine Learning (ML) technique, to finally understand how electrons behave in important quantum materials.
Milk: Best drink to reduce burn from chili peppers
People who order their Buffalo wings especially spicy and sometimes find them to be too 'hot,' should choose milk to reduce the burn, according to Penn State researchers, who also suggest it does not matter if it is whole or skim.
Mice with a human immune system help research into cancer and infections
Researchers from Aarhus University and Aarhus University Hospital have succeeded in using mice with a transplanted human immune system to study functions in the immune system which are otherwise particularly difficult to study.
Cyanide compounds discovered in meteorites may hold clues to the origin of life
Compounds containing iron, cyanide, and carbon monoxide discovered in carbon-rich meteorites by a team of scientists at Boise State University and NASA may have helped power life on early Earth.
Improving cancer treatment is 'major priority' for public
Enhancing cancer treatment is a 'major priority' for the UK public, which also thinks that the NHS needs more resources to provide 'excellent cancer care,' finds a new national survey led by UCL.
The making of 'warm ice'
The Center for Convergence Property Measurement, Frontier in Extreme Physics Team at Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science (KRISS) succeeded in creating room-temperature ice and controlling its growth behaviors by dynamically compressing water up to pressures above 10,000 atmospheres.
(Not only) the wind shows the way
When the South African dung beetle rolls its dung ball through the savannah, it must know the way as precisely as possible.
Symbiotic upcycling: Turning 'low value' compounds into biomass
Kentron, a bacterial symbiont of ciliates, turns cellular waste products into biomass.
Finding missing network links could help develop new drugs, stop disease, ease traffic
A new mathematical model of the structure of networks could help find new cancer drugs, speed up traffic flow and combat sexually transmitted disease.
New blood test for detecting Alzheimer's disease
Researchers from Lund University, together with the Roche pharmaceutical company, have used a method to develop a new blood marker capable of detecting whether or not a person has Alzheimer's disease.
Dung beetles use wind compass when the sun is high
Researchers have shown for the first time that an animal uses different directional sensors to achieve the highest possible navigational precision in different conditions.
SwRI scientist develops novel algorithm to aid search for exoplanets
Inspired by movie streaming services such as Netflix or Hulu, a Southwest Research Institute scientist developed a technique to look for stars likely to host giant, Jupiter-sized planets outside of our solar system.
LGBTI adolescents and young adults with cancer: Can we do better?
A new systemic review of the literature has shown a clear gap in the understanding of cancer in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or intersex (LGBTI) adolescents and young adults (AYA).
How people want to feel determines whether others can influence their emotions
New Stanford research on emotions shows that people's motivations are a driving factor behind how much they allow others to influence their feelings, such as anger.
Seizures in Alzheimer's mouse model disrupt adult neurogenesis
Working with animal models of Alzheimer's disease, a team led by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine discovered that seizures that are associated with the disease both in animal models and humans alter the normal dynamics of neurogenesis in adult brains.
Laser light detects tumors
A team of researchers from Jena presents a groundbreaking new method for the rapid, gentle and reliable detection of tumors with laser light.
Solving a condensation mystery
Dropwise condensation on liquid infused surfaces presented a mystery: what's causing the movement of water droplets?
First in vivo proof-of-concept in Steinert's myotonic dystrophy
Ana Buj Bello's team, a researcher in an Inserm unit at Genethon, the AFM-Telethon laboratory, has made the proof-of-concept of a CRISPR-Cas9 approach in a mouse model of Steinert's myotonic dystrophy, the most common neuromuscular disease in adults.
Adding clinical variables improves accuracy of lung allocation score
Implemented in 2005, the lung allocation score is used to prioritize patients awaiting lung transplants in the US.
Scientists closer to unraveling mechanisms of speech processing in the brain
A new study that sheds light on how the brain processes language could lead to a better understanding of autism spectrum disorder, schizophrenia and other neurodevelopmental conditions.
Researchers study healthy ALS neurons as way to understand resistance to the disease
Scientists have developed a stem-cell-based modeling system that identifies how some neurons are resistant to ALS -- a breakthrough that offers potential for battling neurodegeneration.
Thunderbolt of lightning, gamma rays exciting
University of Tokyo graduate student Yuuki Wada with colleagues from Japan discover a connection between lightning strikes and two kinds of gamma-ray phenomena in thunderclouds.
New membrane efficiently separates mirrored molecules
Prof. LIU Bo and colleagues at the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) have developed a chiral separation membrane capable of capturing left-handed chiral molecules and releasing right-handed counterpart using two-dimensional layered materials.
Repeat ER users changed how they used ERs after gaining medicaid coverage
A new study sought to determine how the nature of visits to emergency departments (EDs) changed for previously uninsured patients who gained Medicaid insurance expansion under the ACA and who went to the ED at least once before and once after expansion.
Helping physics teachers who don't know physics
A shortage of high school physics teachers has led to teachers with little-to-no training taking over physics classrooms, reports show.
Research reveals exotic quantum states in double-layer graphene
Researchers from Brown and Columbia Universities have demonstrated previously unknown states of matter that arise in double-layer stacks of graphene, a two-dimensional nanomaterial.
How the dragon got its frill
The frilled dragon exhibits a distinctive large erectile ruff. Researchers (UNIGE and SIB) report that an ancestral embryonic gill of the dragon embryo turns into a neck pocket that expands and folds, forming the frill.
Preconceptional and prenatal exposure to paternal smoking affects semen quality of adult sons
The adverse effect of maternal smoking during pregnancy is well established and associated with several negative neonatal outcomes (such as low birth weight and preterm birth).
Blood test predicts stroke risk in patients with diabetes
A blood test in patients with diabetes reveals how levels of a protein associated with brain cell death could predict the risk of a future stroke.
Researchers model how octopus arms make decisions (+ video)
Researchers studying the behavior and neuroscience of octopuses have long suspected that the animals' arms may have minds of their own.
New research shows how melting ice is affecting supplies of nutrients to the sea
The findings of a research expedition to coastal Greenland which examined, for the first time, how melting ice is affecting supplies of nutrients to the oceans has been published in the journal Progress in Oceanography.
More years of childhood education may reduce adult heart disease risk
State policies requiring children to attend additional years of school may result in a reduced risk for heart disease and improvements in several cardiovascular risk factors in adulthood, according to a study by researchers at UC San Francisco and Stanford University.
How human genetic data is helping dogs fight cancer
Colorado study sequences 33 canine cancer cell lines to identify 'human' genetic changes could be driving these canine cancers, possibly helping veterinary oncologists use more human medicines to cure cancer in dogs.
Conservation efforts for giant south american river turtles have protected 147,000 females
By analyzing records in countries of the Amazon and Orinoco basins--which include Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador -- a paper published today in Oryx -- The International Journal of Conservation, categorized 85 past and present initiatives or projects that work to preserve the South American River Turtle, or charapa (Podocnemis expansa), a critically endangered species.
Blue color tones in fossilized prehistoric feathers
Examining fossilized pigments, scientists from the University of Bristol have uncovered new insights into blue color tones in prehistoric birds.
Hubble finds tiny 'electric soccer balls' in space, helps solve interstellar mystery
Scientists using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have confirmed the presence of electrically-charged molecules in space shaped like soccer balls, shedding light on the mysterious contents of the interstellar medium (ISM) -- the gas and dust that fills interstellar space.
How the brain helps us make good decisions -- and bad ones
A prevailing theory in neuroscience holds that people make decisions based on integrated global calculations that occur within the frontal cortex of the brain.
National trash: Reducing waste produced in US national parks
When you think of national parks, you might picture the vast plateaus of the Grand Canyon, the intricate wetlands of the Everglades, or the inspiring viewscapes of the Grand Tetons.
Trump's tweets reveal hidden unity between Democrats, Republicans
Democrats and Republicans may stand on opposite ends of the political spectrum, but both parties share a hidden agreement surrounding President Donald Trump's online behavior, found a new University at Buffalo study.
Radionuclide therapy effective in high-grade neuroendocrine neoplasms
Peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT) has been shown to be safe and effective for patients with grade 3 (G3) neuroendocrine neoplasms (NENs), according to research presented at the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging's (SNMMI) 66th Annual Meeting.
Methylmercury precipitates heart failure by increasing Drp1-mediated mitochondrial fission
Researchers from National Institute for Physiological Sciences revealed the molecular mechanism underlying increase the risk of heart failure during hemodynamic load by methylmercury exposure.
Study looks at opioid use after knee surgery
A small study looked at whether reducing the number of opioid tablets prescribed after knee surgery would reduce postoperative use and if preoperative opioid-use education would reduce it even more.

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