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Science News | Science Current Events | Brightsurf | July 02, 2019


Holy crocodiles
Sebastian Brackhane of the University of Freiburg has researched the cultural status of the reptiles in East Timor.
Trendy on eight legs: Jumping spider named after fashion czar Karl Lagerfeld
New to science species of Australian jumping spider was named after Hamburg-born fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld (1933-2019) after the arachnid reminded its discoverers of the designer.
Top global public health scientists launch new challenge to anti-vaxxers
Search engines and social media organizations must do more to prevent the spread of inaccurate information on childhood vaccination, and governments must better support mandatory immunization programs, says an international group of leading public health scientists in a statement published in the Journal of Health Communication.
Physical and mental illnesses combined increase emergency department visits
People with both physical illnesses and mental disorders visit the emergency department more frequently than people with multiple physical illnesses or mental illness alone, according to a study in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).
Proliferation of JUUL-related content on Instagram likely to appeal to the young
There has been a proliferation of JUUL-related content on the photo and video sharing social media service, Instagram, that is likely to appeal to young people, reveals research published online in the journal Tobacco Control.
Supervised fun, exercise both provide psychosocial benefit to children with obesity
A program with clear rules, routines and activities, attentive adults and a chance to interact with peers appears to work as well at improving the quality of life, mood and self-worth of a child who is overweight or obese as a regular exercise program, researchers report.
Is wildfire management 'for the birds?'
Spotted owl populations are in decline all along the West Coast, and as climate change increases the risk of large and destructive wildfires in the region, these iconic animals face the real threat of losing even more of their forest habitat.
Foundational study explores role of diet in diabetes complications
A pressing question in diabetes research is how elevated blood levels of sugar, cholesterol, and fat may contribute to blood vessel damage in relation to the diet.
Brain imaging may help identify teens at risk of increasing alcohol use
Teenagers with large amounts of grey matter in the brain at age 14 are more likely to increase their alcohol use over the next five years, according to a whole brain imaging study reported today in eLife.
Arts and medicine: clarifying history, lessons for today from Peter Neubauer's twins study
This Arts and Medicine feature reviews 'Three Identical Strangers' and 'The Twinning Reaction,' two documentaries telling the story of identical twins and triplets adopted as infants into separate families who were unknowing participants in a two-decade nature vs. nurture study of child development beginning in 1960.
Innate immune responses to high-fat diets lead to obesity
Why is eating a high fat diet a recipe for obesity?
Researchers identify maximum weight children should carry in school backpacks
Scientists from the University of Granada and Liverpool John Moores University (UK) have established that school children who use backpacks should avoid loads of more than 10% of their body weight -- and those who use trolleys, 20% of their body weight.
Gut microbes protect against flu virus infection in mice
Commensal gut microbes stimulate antiviral signals in non-immune lung cells to protect against the flu virus during early stages of infection, researchers report July 2 in the journal Cell Reports.
Atmosphere of mid-size planet revealed by hubble and spitzer
Two NASA space telescopes have teamed up to identify, for the first time, the detailed chemical 'fingerprint' of a planet between the sizes of Earth and Neptune.
Airless worms: A new hope against drug-resistant parasites
Toronto scientists have uncovered a metabolic pathway that only exists in parasitic worms.
Long-term follow up is required to help maintain bone health in childhood cancer survivors
A new publication by the IOF Cancer and Bone Working Group provides succinct recommendations for essential long-term follow-up of bone health in childhood cancer survivors.
HIV eliminated from the genomes of living animals
In a major collaborative effort, researchers at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University and the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) have for the first time eliminated replication-competent HIV-1 DNA -- the virus responsible for AIDS -- from the genomes of living animals.
Obese people outnumber smokers two to one
New figures from Cancer Research UK show that people who are obese now outnumber people who smoke two to one in the UK, and excess weight causes more cases of certain cancers than smoking, as the charity urges government action to tackle obesity.
Pesticide exposure linked to teen depression in agricultural communities
Adolescent depression increases with exposure to pesticides, a study in the Ecuadorian Andes shows.
Bionic catalysts to produce clean energy
A biohybrid material that combines reduced graphene oxide with bacterial cells offers an eco-friendly option to help store renewable energy.
Measuring the laws of nature
One of the fundamental physical constants, the 'weak axial vector coupling constant' (gA), has now been measured with very high precision for the first time.
New chemical tools to modify and study biomolecules
EPFL chemists have developed new tools to modify sulfur-containing biomolecules, from simple amino acids to large protein complexes such as nucleosomes.
Irrigated farming in Wisconsin's central sands cools the region's climate
Irrigation dropped maximum temperatures by one to three degrees Fahrenheit on average while increasing minimum temperatures up to four degrees compared to unirrigated farms or forests, new research shows In all, irrigated farms experienced a three- to seven-degree smaller range in daily temperatures compared to other land uses.
The world needs a global agenda for sand
Sand is a key ingredient in the recipe of modern life, and yet it is being extracted faster than it can be replaced.
A new path to understanding second sound in Bose-Einstein condensates
There are two sound velocities in a Bose-Einstein condensate. In addition to the normal sound propagation there is second sound, which is a quantum phenomenon.
Vanished classmates: The effects of immigration enforcement on school enrollment
Partnerships between Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and local police departments designed to enforce immigration laws reduced the number of Hispanic students in US public schools in adopting counties by 10 percent after two years.
Tracking down dark matter
Over time, scientists have developed different theories to explain exactly what the mysterious dark matter might be made of.
Perceived threats to family increases women's willingness to sacrifice during war
Researchers at the Universities of Turku and Helsinki found that women were more likely to volunteer for all-female paramilitary organizations if they had brothers or husbands who were currently serving in the military.
Cardiac genetic mutation may not always predict heart disease
One in 10 people with this condition were born with a mutation in the TTN gene, but -- until now -- it has been unclear whether everyone with these mutations will inevitably develop dilated cardiomyopathy.
New stillbirth risk figures help women's decisions on timing delivery
The researchers from Queen Mary University of London say that women who are 41 weeks pregnant should not be alarmed, as the increased risk is low -- equivalent to one additional stillbirth for every 1,449 pregnancies, compared to delivering at 40 weeks.
New study showing drug prolongs life for patients with ovarian cancer
Women with ovarian cancer who have undergone four or more rounds of chemotherapy typically haven't had much hope that another treatment option will lengthen their lives in a meaningful way.
Greater awareness needed of stomach cancer risk in under-40s, especially in Latin America
Stomach cancer should no longer be considered a disease only of older people, and patients under 40 with chronic digestive symptoms should be more actively investigated -- especially if they are of Latin American ethnicity.
Parasitology -- On filaments and fountains
Microbiologists at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich have shown that Toxoplasma gondii, the parasite that is responsible for toxoplasmosis, utilizes at least two modes of locomotion during its infection cycle.
The neuroscience of autism: New clues for how condition begins
UNC School of Medicine scientists found that a gene mutation linked to autism normally works to organize the scaffolding of brain cells called radial progenitors necessary for the orderly formation of the brain.
Personalized medicine software vulnerability uncovered by Sandia researchers
A weakness in one common open source software for genomic analysis left DNA-based medical diagnostics vulnerable to cyberattacks.
Mentoring becomes more widely accepted as a part of teacher training methodology
As the authors posit, contemporary pedagogical ideas and approaches cannot fully satisfy the existing graduate requirements because of rapid informatization, intellectualization and technological progress.
Last chlamydia-free koala population may safeguard future of species
The last, large, isolated, healthy chlamydia-free population of koalas in Australia may have been identified on Kangaroo Island, said Morris Animal Foundation-funded researchers at the University of Adelaide.
Tiny supersonic jet injector accelerates nanoscale additive manufacturing
By energizing precursor molecules using a tiny, high-energy supersonic jet of inert gas, researchers have dramatically accelerated the fabrication of nanometer scale structures.
Misjudging the strength of other people's emotions based on egocentric bias
People of all ages tend to misjudge the strength of other people's emotions based on an egocentric bias, according to a new study by Associate Professor Hajimu Hayashi, Kobe University Graduate School of Human Development and Environment.
New study shows nanoscale pendulum coupling
In 1665, Lord Christiaan Huygens found that two pendulum clocks, hung in the same wooden structure, oscillated spontaneously and perfectly in line but in opposite directions: the clocks oscillated in anti-phase.
What do sick kids really want in hospital?
Researchers at ECU's School of Nursing developed the 'Needs of Children Questionnaire' (NCQ), the first of its kind to measure children's self-reported psychosocial, physical and emotional needs in paediatric wards.
Solitude breeds aggression in spiders (rather than vice versa)
Spiders start out social but later turn aggressive after dispersing and becoming solitary, according to a study publishing July 2 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology by Raphael Jeanson of the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) in France, and colleagues.
Unraveling the brain's reward circuits
Food, alcohol, and certain drugs all act to reduce the activity of hunger neurons and to release reward signals in the brain, but alcohol and drugs rely on a different pathway than does food, according to a new study led by University of Pennsylvania biologists.
Even today, we want our heroes to know right from wrong
In a world of sympathetic villains and flawed heroes, people still like fictional characters more when they have a strong sense of morality, a new study finds.
Researchers at IDIBELL-ICO describe a new resistance mechanism
Researchers at the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) and the ProCure Program of the Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO) published today at Cancer Research a study describing a new mechanism in cancer that turns cells into malignant cells and contradicts what had been published so far about drug resistance that prevent the formation of blood vessels (anti-angiogenics).
Generation and sampling of quantum states of light in a silicon chip
Scientists from the University of Bristol and the Technical University of Denmark have found a promising new way to build the next generation of quantum simulators combining light and silicon micro-chips.
Integrated, multi-'omic' studies of asthma could lead to precision treatment
Carefully designed, integrated multi-'omic' studies could accelerate the use of precision medicine for asthma patients, according to researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
Researchers cast neural nets to simulate molecular motion
New work from Los Alamos National Laboratory, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the University of Florida is showing that artificial neural nets can be trained to encode quantum mechanical laws to describe the motions of molecules, supercharging simulations potentially across a broad range of fields.
Creating 'movies' of thin film growth at NSLS-II
Researchers from the University of Vermont, Boston University, and Brookhaven National Laboratory have demonstrated a new experimental capability for watching thin film growth in real-time.
Combat veterans more likely to experience mental health issues in later life
Military veterans exposed to combat were more likely to exhibit signs of depression and anxiety in later life than veterans who had not seen combat, a new study from Oregon State University shows.
Cholesterol that is too low may boost risk for hemorrhagic stroke
Current guidelines recommend lowering cholesterol for heart disease risk reduction.
Details of UK-led solar science mission revealed at National Astronomy Meeting
Details of a UK-led solar science mission designed to to answer fundamental questions about the physics of solar storms will be presented at the RAS National Astronomy Meeting on Wednesday, July 3.
Investigative report on FDA enforcement under Trump from Science's news department
Despite being one of the nation's most vital watchdogs, compliance and enforcement actions by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have severely declined since the Trump administration took office, according to an investigative report from Charles Piller, a contributing correspondent in the News department at Science.
The secret of mushroom colors
The fly agaric with its red hat is perhaps the most evocative of the diverse and variously colored mushroom species.
Promising approach: Prevent diabetes with intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting is known to improve sensitivity to the blood glucose-lowering hormone insulin and to protect against fatty liver.
It's dog eat dog on the canine social ladder
Climbing the social ladder is a ruff business for dogs, new research shows.
Equations help predict the behavior of water in rivers
University of Cordoba researchers developed a mathematical model that allows for anticipating the failure of dikes that hold in overflowing river water.
Statewide action in California associated with decrease in kindergartners entering school without up-to-date vaccines
Legislative and administrative actions by the state of California were associated with a decrease in the rate of kindergartners entering school without up-to-date vaccinations.
Study: Brain injury common in domestic violence
Domestic violence survivors commonly suffer repeated blows to the head and strangulation, trauma that has lasting effects that should be widely recognized by advocates, health care providers, law enforcement and others who are in a position to help, according to the authors of a new study.
Russian engineers ready to 'light up' a lamp revolution
Researchers from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and Lebedev Physical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences have designed and tested a prototype cathodoluminescent lamp for general lighting.
Remote but remarkable: Illuminating the smallest inhabitants of the largest ocean desert
The South Pacific Gyre is an ocean desert. However, due to its vast size the microbial inhabitants of the South Pacific Gyre contribute significantly to global biogeochemical cycles.
Novel computer model supports cancer therapy
Researchers from the Life Sciences Research Unit (LSRU) of the University of Luxembourg have developed a computer model that simulates the metabolism of cancer cells.
Few US higher education campuses have gone completely smoke and/or tobacco-free
Just one in six accredited US colleges and universities have gone completely smoke and/or tobacco free, reveals the first study of its kind, published in the journal Tobacco Control.
Genetic variation linked to response to anxiety could inform personalised therapies
A new study in marmoset monkeys suggests that individual variation in genes alters our ability to regulate emotions, providing new insights that could help in the development of personalised therapies to tackle anxiety and depression.
Regenerating human retinal ganglion cells in the dish to inform glaucoma treatment
People have a limited ability to regenerate nerves after injury or illness.
Study suggests genetic testing for young people diagnosed with type 1 diabetes
A Joslin Diabetes Center study among people treated for type 1 diabetes for many years has discovered that a minority may have monogenic diabetes, a non-autoimmune inherited condition that in some cases does not require insulin treatment.
Synthesizing chemical-sensing cells from scratch
Scientists create artificial cells that can express distinct genes in response to specific chemical signals, opening the door to new ways of delivering drugs.
Mechanical vibration generated by electron spins
Micro mechanical elements are indispensable components of modern electrical devices but the actuation of them requires electrical current.
Millet farmers adopted barley agriculture and permanently settled the Tibetan Plateau
The permanent human occupation on the Tibetan Plateau was facilitated by the introduction of cold-tolerant barley around 3600 years before present, however, how barley agriculture spread onto the Tibetan Plateau remains unknown.
Getting more heat out of sunlight
An aerogel material developed at MIT can generate heat of more than 200 degrees celsius from sunlight, without the need for mirrors or vacuum tubes.
The new racial disparity in special education
Racial disparity in special education is growing, and it's more complex than previously thought.
Researchers design superhydrophobic 'nanoflower' for biomedical applications
Plant leaves have a natural superpower -- they're designed with water repelling characteristics.
Study reveals a short bout of exercise enhances brain function
Neuroscientists at Oregon Health & Science University, working with mice, have discovered that a short burst of exercise directly boosts the function of a gene that increases connections between neurons in the hippocampus, the region of the brain associated with learning and memory.
Higher risk of stillbirth in longer pregnancies, study finds
The longer a pregnancy continues past 37 weeks gestation, the higher the risk of a stillbirth, according to a new meta-analysis published this week in PLOS Medicine by Shakila Thangaratinam of Queen Mary University of London, UK, and colleagues.
Sister, neighbor, friend: Thinking about multiple roles boosts kids' performance
A typical child plays many roles, such as friend, neighbor, son or daughter.
Why some cities turn off the water pipes at night
For more than a billion people around the world, running water comes from water systems that turn on and off at certain times.
Tiny granules can help bring clean and abundant fusion power to Earth
Physicists from PPPL and General Atomics have concluded that injecting tiny beryllium pellets into ITER could help stabilize the plasma that fuels fusion reactions.
Barbara now a major hurricane on NASA satellite imagery
NASA's Terra and Aqua satellites passed over the Eastern Pacific Ocean after Tropical Storm Barbara strengthened into the first hurricane of the season.
Using a common anticonvulsant to counteract inflammation
The interaction between a chromosomal protein called HMGB1 and a cellular receptor called RAGE is known to trigger inflammation.
Astronomers help wage war on cancer
Techniques developed by astronomers could help in the fight against breast and skin cancer.
FEFU scientists teamed up with colleagues to develop ointment for skin cancer prevention
Scientists from Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU), V.I. Vernadsky Crimean Federal University, Dmitry Mendeleev University of Chemical Technology, and Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (FEB RAS), assumed the risks of primary skin cancer and its recurrences can be significantly reduced by applying the ointment with antisense oligonucleotides which are short DNA, RNA fragments used in oncology to suppress the synthesis of tumor proteins.
Why are we able to see moving objects against moving backgrounds?
If you want your friend to see you in a crowd, you wave your arms to stand out.
Study finds dramatic differences in tests assessing preschoolers' language skills
Researchers examined the impact of preterm birth on language outcomes in preschoolers born preterm and full-term, using both standardized assessment and language sample analysis.
Redefining the limits of measurement accuracy
Scientists at the QUEST Institute at Leibniz University, Hannover, and the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt, have, together with colleagues in Florence, Italy, introduced a method based on a non-classical state adapted to two measurement parameters at once.
Glow reveals dangerous bacteria
Salmonella and listeria are among the most widely distributed and deadliest causes of foodborne infections.
Scientists weigh the balance of matter in galaxy clusters
A method of weighing the quantities of matter in galaxy clusters - the largest objects in our universe - has shown a balance between the amounts of hot gas, stars and other materials.
Doctors need nutrition education, says commentary in JAMA Internal Medicine
Overweight, diabetes, heart disease, and many forms of cancer are driven by unhealthful diets, but most doctors do not have the knowledge to turn this problem around.
Carbohydrate in the heart seems to help regulate blood pressure
New research suggests that a particular type of carbohydrate plays an important role in regulating the blood pressure in the human body.
Tweeting while watching TV diminishes enjoyment
The most significant impact of two-screen experience was on viewers' ability to 'transport' into the narrative and become immersed in the televised story.
Using artificial intelligence to better predict severe weather
When forecasting weather, meteorologists use a number of models and data sources to track shapes and movements of clouds that could indicate severe storms.
Study probes how to tell elderly patients not to bother with cancer screening
Over the past decades, the idea that all adults should get regularly screened for cancer -- with mammograms, colonoscopies and prostate specific antigen blood tests -- has been conveyed to the public time after time.
High brightness mid-infrared laser expands horizon of spectroscopic analytical technique
Researchers have used an extremely bright mid-infrared laser to perform an analytical technique known as spectroscopic ellipsometry.
Bench to beside study of a targetable enzyme controlling aggressive prostate cancer
Prostate cancer represents a major health challenge and there is currently no effective treatment once it has advanced to the aggressive, metastatic stage.
Fast radio burst pinpointed to distant galaxy
In a rare feat, astronomers have pinpointed the place of origin of a fast radio burst, with a surprising outcome.
A NEAT discovery about memory
UAB researchers say over expression of NEAT1, an noncoding RNA, appears to diminish the ability of older brains to form memories.
Proteins trapped in glass could yield new medicinal advances
Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have developed a unique method for studying proteins which could open new doors for medicinal research.
New method makes realistic water wave animations more efficient
Producing high-quality and realistic water wave animations that interact with complex objects is often computationally expensive with designers frequently opting for methods that are fast to compute but of lower quality.
Physicists OK commercial graphene for T-wave detection
Russian researchers from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT) and Valiev Institute of Physics and Technology have demonstrated resonant absorption of terahertz radiation in commercially available graphene.
Concussion rates are nearly double what we thought -- and summer is prime injury time
Canada's largest-ever concussion study, led by researchers at Toronto Rehab, has uncovered rates that are nearly double what has previously been recorded, showcasing the need for increased education about concussion and access to more specialized, best-in-practice concussion care.
Tiny motor can 'walk' to carry out tasks
MIT researchers have assembled microrobots from a small set of standardized components, as a step toward self-replicating systems.
Black hole brings down curtain on jellyfish galaxy's star turn
The role of an excited black hole in the death of an exotic 'jellyfish' galaxy will be presented today (July 3) by Callum Bellhouse of the University of Birmingham at the RAS National Astronomy Meeting in Lancaster. The supermassive black hole at the center of jellyfish galaxy JO201 is stripping away gas and throwing it out into space, accelerating suppression of star formation and effectively 'killing' the galaxy. 
Can we feed 11 billion people while preventing the spread of infectious disease?
A new article published in Nature Sustainability describes how the increase in population and the need to feed everyone will give rise to human infectious disease, a situation the authors of the paper consider 'two of the most formidable ecological and public health challenges of the 21st century.'
UH researcher reports the way sickle cells form may be key to stopping them
University of Houston chemist Vassiliy Lubchenko is reporting a new finding in Nature Communications on how sickle cells are formed, which may lead not only to stopping their formation, but to new avenues for making uniformly-sized nanoparticles for industry.
Can mathematics help us understand the complexity of our microbiome?
In humans, the gut microbiome is an ecosystem of hundreds to thousands of microbial species living within the gastrointestinal tract, influencing health and even longevity.
Why do mosquitoes choose us? Lindy McBride is on the case
Most of the 3,000+ mosquito species are opportunistic, but Princeton's Lindy McBride is most interested in the mosquitoes that scientists call 'disease vectors' -- carriers of diseases that plague humans -- some of which have evolved to bite humans almost exclusively.
New epidemic forecast model could save precious resources
When governments and institutions deploy epidemic forecast models when facing an outbreak, they sometimes fail to factor in human behavior and over-allocate precious resources as a result.
Antibiotics weaken flu defenses in the lung
Antibiotics can leave the lung vulnerable to flu viruses, leading to significantly worse infections and symptoms, finds a new study in mice led by the Francis Crick Institute.
Methane vanishing on Mars: Danish researchers propose new mechanism as an explanation.
Wind-driven erosion of minerals on Mars may be the reason why methane disappears so rapidly on the red planet.
Dose-dependent effects of esmolol-epinephrine combination therapy in myocardial ischemia
Animal studies on cardiac arrest found that a combination of epinephrine with esmolol attenuates post-resuscitation myocardial dysfunction.
New study challenges claim that exogenous RNA is essential for sperm function
Scientists from the University of Bath are challenging the claims of two high profile papers from 2018 which reported that in the mouse, RNA has to be added to sperm for them to be fully fertile.
DNA from tooth in Florida man's foot solves 25-year-old shark bite mystery
In 2018, a Florida man found a piece of tooth embedded in his foot from a shark bite off Flagler Beach 24 years earlier.
Antidepressants reduce deaths by more than a third in patients with diabetes
Antidepressants reduce deaths by more than a third in patients with diabetes and depression, according to a study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
Graphenes now go monolayer and single crystalline
IBS-CMCM scientists have reported a truly single layer (i.e., adlayer-free) large area graphene film on large area copper foils.
Maize-centric diet may have contributed to ancient Maya collapse
Researchers look at the role of diet in the ability of the ancient Maya to withstand periods of severe climatic stress.
Old-growth forest may provide valuable biodiversity refuge in areas at risk of severe fire
New findings show that old-growth forests, a critical nesting habitat for threatened northern spotted owls, are less likely to experience high-severity fire than young-growth forests during wildfires.
DGIST Discovers control of cell signaling using a cobalt (iii)-nitrosyl complex
Joint research team of Professors Jaeheung Cho and Daeha Seo in the Department of Emerging Materials Science developed a technology to control the generation of nitric oxide in cells.

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