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Science Current Events and Science News | Brightsurf | July 03, 2019


Saving Beethoven
An optimized version of the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing system prevents hearing loss with no detectable off-target effects in so-called Beethoven mice, which carry a mutation that causes profound hearing loss in humans and mice alike.
Bacteria engineered as Trojan horse for cancer immunotherapy
Researchers at Columbia Engineering and Columbia University Irving Medical Center announced today that they have engineered a strain of non-pathogenic bacteria that can colonize solid tumors in mice and safely deliver potent immunotherapies, acting as a Trojan Horse that treats tumors from within.
Quorn protein builds muscle better than milk protein
A study from the University of Exeter has found that mycoprotein, the protein-rich food source that is unique to Quorn products, stimulates post-exercise muscle building to a greater extent than milk protein.
Timing of exercise may be key to successful weight loss
In an Obesity study of 375 adults who have successfully maintained weight loss and who engage in moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity, most reported consistency in the time of day that they exercised, with early morning being the most common time.
During first year of university, poor diet and weight gain greater in male students
In students' first year of university, poor diet is linked to unhealthy weight gain with males affected more than females.
Medication linked to increased risk of inflammatory bowel disease
Medications that target tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα), a protein involved in inflammation, have revolutionized the management of certain autoimmune diseases, but paradoxically, these agents might provoke the development of other autoimmune conditions.
Researchers find targeted treatment that reduces symptoms of psychosis
Treatment for psychosis can be targeted to a specific structural mutation, according to a new study published by researchers from McLean Hospital.
Picturing access to energy for all in sub-Saharan Africa
Satellite images showing nighttime lights on different continents have long been recognized as an indicator of the availability and use of electricity around the world.
Mechanism behind low cancer occurrence in bats signals potential treatment strategies for humans
Researchers from Duke-NUS Medical School have uncovered a potential mechanism behind cancer suppression in bats that may lead to future therapies for human cancers.
With little training, machine-learning algorithms can uncover hidden scientific knowledge
Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have shown that an algorithm with no training in materials science can scan the text of millions of papers and uncover new scientific knowledge.
Can aerobic, resistance exercise reduce excess fat around the heart?
Excessive fat tissue around the heart may be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
Molecular thumb drives: Researchers store digital images in metabolite molecules
In a step toward molecular storage systems that could hold vast amounts of data in tiny spaces, Brown University researchers have shown it's possible to store image files in solutions of common biological small molecules.
The costs of cancer in 2015: 8.7 million years of life and $94 billion in lost earnings
Cancer took more than 8.7 million years of life and $94.4 billion in lost earnings among people ages 16 to 84 in the United States in 2015.
Reprogramming pancreatic cancer
A type of white blood cell that has been especially susceptible to being deceived by pancreatic cancer cells into not attacking them can be 're-programmed' via a specially designed molecule that activates a protein found on their surfaces.
How to sell labriculture: Less lab, more culture
In the near future, we will be able to mass-produce meat directly from animal cells.
Deep Aging Clocks: The emergence of AI-based biomarkers of aging and longevity
The advent of deep biomarkers of aging, longevity and mortality presents a range of non-obvious applications.
The Lancet Public Health: Incarceration and economic hardship strongly associated with drug-related deaths in the USA
Growing rates of incarceration in the USA since the mid-1970s may be linked with a rise in drug-related mortality, and may exacerbate the harmful health effects of economic hardship, according to an observational study involving 2,640 US counties between 1983 and 2014, published in The Lancet Public Health journal.
Immune cells invade aging brains, disrupt new nerve cell formation, Stanford study finds
A study by Stanford University School of Medicine investigators has revealed that immune cells infiltrate the rare newborn nerve-cell nurseries of the aging brain.
Ancient DNA sheds light on the origins of the Biblical Philistines
An international team analyzed for the first time, genome-wide data from people who lived during the Bronze and Iron Age in the ancient city of Ashkelon, one of the core Philistine cities.
WVU researchers map crystals to advance treatments for stroke, diabetes, dementia
A team of WVU researchers -- including Werner Geldenhuys, John Hollander and Aaron Robart--have mapped the crystal structure of a protein called 'mitoNEET' and pinpointed how a drug latches on it.
Respiratory symptoms predict life expectancy in older adults
New research published in Respirology suggests that some respiratory symptoms may predict an earlier death in older adults.
New high blood pressure guidelines could increase detection of gestational hypertension
Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital and colleagues conducted the first-ever study to evaluate the impact the 2017 ACA/AHA guidelines could have on detecting gestational hypertension.
Immune-boosting compound makes immunotherapy effective against pancreatic cancer
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Rush University in Chicago have found a compound that promotes a vigorous immune assault on pancreatic cancer.
Substantial increase in body weight since 1960s due to interplay between genes and environment
People with a genetic predisposition to obesity are not only at greater risk of excess weight, their genes interact with an increasingly 'obesogenic' environment, resulting in higher body mass index (BMI) in recent decades, finds a study from Norway published by The BMJ today.
CEO political activism -- Jobseekers want bosses who take a stand
Chief executives who speak out on political issues and take a principled stance are increasingly sought out by jobseekers who believe such behaviour signals fair treatment, respect for employees, and a more responsible vision beyond nurturing the bottom line, new research shows.
Discovery of pancreatic neuroendocrine subtypes could help predict likelihood of recurrence
Researchers have discovered two distinct subtypes of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors - known as pNETs - that have dramatically different risks of recurrence following surgical treatment [or surgery].
Exercise improves anxiety and mood in older adults undergoing chemotherapy
Although we know that exercise improves anxiety and mood problems in younger people with cancer, few studies have looked at the effects of exercise on older adults with cancer.
Study provides insights into depression in people with inflammatory bowel disease
Depression is common in people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), but the actual causes of depression in this group are unknown.
World first: Homing instinct applied to stem cells show cells 'home' to cardiac tissue
In a world first, scientists have found a new way to direct stem cells to heart tissue.
SMU's 'Titans in a jar' could answer key questions ahead of NASA's space exploration
Researchers from Southern Methodist University (SMU) could help determine if Saturn's icy moon -- Titan -- has ever been home to life long before NASA completes an exploratory visit to its surface by a drone helicopter.
More 'reactive' land surfaces cooled the Earth down
In a new study, researchers from ETH Zurich, Stanford University the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences show that a paradigm on a global temperature drop that started around 15 million years ago cannot be upheld.
Scientists discover autoimmune disease associated with testicular cancer
Using advanced technology, scientists at Chan Zuckerberg (CZ) Biohub, Mayo Clinic and University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), have discovered an autoimmune disease that appears to affect men with testicular cancer.
NIH scientists link genetics to risk of high blood pressure among blacks
Variants in the gene ARMC5 may be associated with high blood pressure among blacks, according to a National Institutes of Health study led by researchers at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).
Treatment targeted at a genetic mutation relieves psychosis symptoms
Treatment of psychosis can be targeted to a specific genetic mutation in patients with psychotic disorders, according to a study in Biological Psychiatry, published by Elsevier.
The highest energy gamma rays discovered by the Tibet ASgamma experiment
The Tibet ASgamma experiment, a China-Japan joint research project, has discovered the highest energy cosmic gamma rays ever observed from an astrophysical source - in this case, the 'Crab Nebula.' The experiment detected gamma rays ranging from > 100 Teraelectron volts (TeV) to an estimated 450 TeV.
Discovery linking microbes to methane emissions could make agriculture more sustainable
Common dairy cows share the same core group of genetically inherited gut microbes, which influence factors such as how much methane the animals release during digestion and how efficiently they produce milk, according to a new study.
Researchers reveal how protein mutation is involved in rare brain development disorder
Christianson Syndrome is a rare disorder whose symptoms include intellectual disability, seizures and difficulty standing or walking.
'Tsunami' on a silicon chip: a world first for light waves
A collaboration between the University of Sydney Nano Institute and Singapore University of Technology and Design has for the first time manipulated a light wave, or photonic information, on a silicon chip that retains its overall 'shape'.
Experiments show dramatic increase in solar cell output
Researchers at MIT and Princeton have found a way to increase the output of silicon solar cells by allowing a single photon to release two electrons in the silicon.
NASA peers into hurricane Barbara's heavy rainfall
The Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core satellite passed over the storm and measured the rate in which rain was falling throughout it.
Estimates of lost earnings from cancer deaths in US
Cancer has significant impact on the US economy, in part, because of lost productivity from premature deaths.
First time human-on-a-chip predicts in vivo results based on in vitro model
In a study published in Nature Scientific Reports, in collaboration with AstraZeneca, Hesperos described how they used a pumpless heart model and a heart:liver system to evaluate the temporal pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic relationship for terfenadine, an antihistamine that was banned due to toxic cardiac effects, as well as determine its mechanism of toxicity.
Scent composition data reveal new insights into perfume success
Mathematical analysis of online perfume data shows how the unique scent combinations found in different perfumes contribute to product popularity and consumer ratings.
The global prevalence of erectile dysfunction
A review of published studies found that estimates for the global prevalence of erectile dysfunction vary widely, ranging from 3% to 76.5%.
First complete wiring diagram of an animal's nervous system
In a study published online today in Nature, researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine describe the first complete wiring diagram of the nervous system of an animal, the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans, used by scientists worldwide as a model organism.
Columbia researchers controlled the behavior in a mouse's brain with single-cell precision
In their study, published in Cell, the researchers demonstrated that specific groups of neurons, known as neuronal ensembles, have a causal role in behavior.
How aerobic exercise and resistance training preserves muscle mass in obese older adults
Researchers report July 3 in the journal Cell Metabolism that combining aerobic exercise and resistance training helps elderly obese individuals preserve muscle mass and reverse frailty as they work to lose weight.
CFTR inhibition: The key to treating bile acid diarrhea?
Estimates are that roughly 1% of people in Western countries may have bile acid diarrhea, including patients with Crohn's disease, ileal resection, diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS-D), and chronic functional diarrhea.
Neurosciences unlock the secret of the first abstract engravings
Long before Lascaux paintings, humans engraved abstract motifs on stones.
After concussion, biomarkers in the blood may help predict recovery time
A study of high school and college football players suggests that biomarkers in the blood may have potential use in identifying which players are more likely to need a longer recovery time after concussion, according to a study published in the July 3, 2019, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
Perfect timing: Making the 'switch' from juvenile to adult
Very little is known about how the onset of puberty is controlled in humans, but the discovery of a new gene in the roundworm C. elegans could be the 'missing link' that determines when it's time to make this juvenile-to-adult transition.
Protein-linked sugars are crucial for the uptake of proteins linked to Parkinson's disease
New research from the University of Pennsylvania shows how glycoproteins, proteins with added sugar molecules, influence the uptake of protein aggregates that are associated with Parkinson's disease.
Ultra-small nanoprobes could be a leap forward in human-machine interfaces
Machine enhanced humans -- or cyborgs as they are known in science fiction -- could be one step closer to becoming a reality, thanks to new research from the University of Surrey and Harvard University.
Pre-eclampsia may carry long-term heart risks for women
Pre-eclampsia is a potentially dangerous condition characterized by high blood pressure that arises in some pregnant women, but a review of published studies in Australasian Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine indicates that its effects on cardiovascular health can persist well after pregnancy.
Mechanism of scorpion toxin inhibition of K+ channel elucidated using high-speed AFM
Agitoxin-2 (AgTx2) from scorpion venom is a potent blocker of K+ channels.
Androgen deprivation therapy associated with risk of alzheimer, dementia diagnoses in older men with prostate cancer
Data for 154,089 older men diagnosed with prostate cancer were used to analyze the association between androgen deprivation therapy, a hormone-suppressing therapy used to treat prostate cancer, and subsequent diagnosis of Alzheimer disease or dementia.
Social context influences decision-makers' willingness to take risks
Do differences in performance have an impact on the appetite for risk-taking in decision-makers?
Physicists develop model that describes length growth in biological systems
One of science's unsolved puzzles is that concerning the growth of biological systems.
Hospitals address opioid crisis via stewardship with strong pharmacist involvement
A survey of health-system pharmacy directors released today found that most large health systems have active stewardship programs to prevent the misuse of opioids -- with pharmacists playing a key role.
Ovarian and breast cancer research finds new ways BRCA1 gene functions
Research has found important new ways that the BRCA1 gene functions which could help develop our understanding of the development of ovarian and breast cancers.
Imprinted spheres fight breast cancer
A particularly aggressive, metastasizing form of cancer, HER2-positive breast cancer, may be treated with nanoscopic particles ''imprinted'' with specific binding sites for the receptor molecule HER2.
One in 10 UK hospital inpatients is alcohol dependent
A new review of evidence from the UK has found high levels of alcohol dependence among hospital inpatients.
Diet quality may affect risk of frailty in older adults
Poorer overall diet quality was linked with an increased risk of becoming frail in a study of US community-dwelling older adults, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
Determined DNA hunt reveals schizophrenia clue
An 18-year study using the DNA of thousands of people in India has identified a new clue in the quest for causes of schizophrenia, and for potential treatments.
Pain signaling in humans more rapid than previously known
Pain signals can travel as fast as touch signals, according to a new study from researchers at Linköping University in Sweden, Liverpool John Moores University in the UK, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the US.
A mechanism that makes infants more likely than adults to die from sepsis is discovered
Scientists at the Center for Research on Inflammatory Diseases (CRID) show why pediatric patients with sepsis suffer from more inflammation and organ injury than adults.
Scientists see how a protein preserves vision in a unique group of diabetic patients
An analysis of samples obtained from a well-studied cohort of over 1,000 patients affected by type 1 diabetes (T1D) for 50 years or longer has identified a protein that protects against an eye condition called diabetic retinopathy (DR) -- one of the most common consequences of diabetes -- which impacts most diabetic patients after 20 years of living with the disease.
New study unravels protection mechanism in bacteria
Scientists at the University of Birmingham have shed fresh light on the mechanism used by certain types of bacteria to protect themselves against attack.
Depression is common and linked with early death in patients with blood cancers
In a Psycho-Oncology study of patients newly diagnosed with lymphoma or multiple myeloma, one-third of participants reported depressive symptoms around the time of diagnosis, and depressive symptoms were linked with shorter survival.
Taking to the treadmill can ease period pain
A treadmill exercise regime can reduce period pain and improve long-term quality of life.
Are you sure it's burning mouth syndrome?
Not all burning mouths are the result of a medical condition known as 'burning mouth syndrome' (BMS) and physicians and researchers need better standards for an appropriate diagnosis, according to new research at the School of Dental Medicine at Case Western Reserve University.
Researchers elucidate mechanism between exercise and improved motor learning
Researchers in Jinan University, China has identified a critical molecular pathway that underlies exercise-improved neural plasticity and cognitive functions.
B cells off rails early in lupus
Emory scientists could discern that in people with SLE, signals driving expansion and activation are present at an earlier stage of B cell differentiation than previously appreciated.
Paediatric cancers: Towards more targeted therapy
UCLouvain researcher Anabelle Decottignies has found a possible strategy for killing cancer cells, especially in children, without affecting healthy cells, as reported in the scientific journal Molecular Cell.
Blood pressure drug linked with increased risk of bowel condition
A type of blood pressure lowering medication, called a calcium-channel blocker, may be linked with an increased risk of a type of bowel condition called diverticulosis.
Common scents don't always make the best perfumes, suggests mathematical study
Perfumes that use the most popular scents do not always obtain the highest number of ratings, according to an analysis of online perfume reviews.
11% of destroyed moist tropical forests could be restored to boost climate, environment
Researchers identified more than 100 million hectares of lost lowland tropical rain forests -- restoration hotspots -- spread out across Central and South America, Africa and Southeast Asia that present the most compelling opportunities for restoration to overcome rising global temperatures, water pollution and shortages, and the extinction of plant and animal life.
Active sexual life may benefit men with early Parkinson's disease
New research published in the European Journal of Neurology indicates that an active sexual life is linked with lower disability and better quality of life in men with early Parkinson's disease.
Up to 30% of children carry a gene variant that may increase susceptibility to methylmercury
A study with 2,147 children explored the association between prenatal exposure to methylmercury, intellectual coefficient at 8 years of age, and genotype
Smokers three times likely to die from heart disease
Smoking is killing at least 17 Australians a day from preventable heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular conditions, new research led by The Australian National University (ANU) has found.
It's not an antibody, it's a frankenbody: A new tool for live-cell imaging
Researchers from Colorado State University and the Tokyo Institute of Technology have added a new tool to the arsenal of antibody-based probes, but with a powerful distinction: Their genetically encoded probe works in living cells.
Joslin researchers uncover protective factor in diabetic eye disease
At high enough levels, Retinol Binding Protein 3 (or RBP3) prevents the development of diabetic retinopathy.
Black (nano)gold combat climate change
By using the techniques of nanotechnology, we transformed golden gold to black gold, by simply changing the size and gaps between gold nanoparticles.
Credit counseling may help reduce consumer debt
By the end of fourth quarter 2018, total household debt in the United States reached a new high of $13.54 trillion.
Winter monsoons became stronger during geomagnetic reversal
New evidence suggests that high-energy particles from space known as galactic cosmic rays affect the Earth's climate by increasing cloud cover, causing an 'umbrella effect'.
Superbug virulence regulatory mechanism revealed: Pave ways for developing new antibiotics
As antibiotic resistance is growing and posing a threat on public health, developing new antibiotics has become more urgent than ever.
Murder in the Paleolithic? Evidence of violence behind human skull remains
New analysis of the fossilized skull of an Upper Paleolithic man suggests that he died a violent death, according to a study published July 3, 2019 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by an international team from Greece, Romania and Germany led by the Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany.
New dairy cattle breeding method increases genetic selection efficiency
Inclusion of a parameter that measures an animal's capacity to transmit its genetic traits resulted in gains of up to 16% compared with a traditional method of selection.
Does marital status affect prognosis after breast cancer diagnosis?
In a Cancer Medicine study of 298,434 patients diagnosed with breast cancer between 2004 and 2012, married patients had a better prognosis than patients who were single, who in turn had a better prognosis than those who were divorced, separated, or widowed.
Activity of fuel cell catalysts doubled
An interdisciplinary research team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has built platinum nanoparticles for catalysis in fuel cells: The new size-optimized catalysts are twice as good as the best process commercially available today.
Plants don't think, they grow: The case against plant consciousness
If a tree falls, and no one's there to hear it, does it feel pain and loneliness?
Super-resolution microscopy illuminates associations between chromosomes
Thanks to super-resolution microscopy, scientists have now been able to unambiguously identify physical associations between human chromosomes.
Milk and dairy products can help prevent chronic disease
Ángel Gil, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Granada, has recently coordinated a study reviewing worldwide scientific literature on the role of dairy products in health and in the prevention of chronic diseases (cardiovascular, metabolic syndrome, colon or bladder cancer, and type 2 diabetes).
Are opioids being inappropriately prescribed to treat gout?
Although there are effective treatments for gout, the most common form of inflammatory arthritis, a new Arthritis Care & Research study found that opioids are commonly prescribed to patients with gout who seek treatment at emergency departments.
Researchers save images not with a microchip, but with metabolites
An anchor, an ibex and an Egyptian cat: all images that a research team from Brown University, led by Jacob Rosenstein, encoded and decoded from mixtures of small molecules called metabolites.
Adults with type 2 diabetes face high risk of dying from cancer
Cancer has overtaken cardiovascular disease as the most common cause of death in Scottish adults with type 2 diabetes, according to a study published in the Journal of Diabetes Investigation.
Deep-CEE: The AI deep learning tool helping astronomers explore deep space
Galaxy clusters are some of the most massive structures in the cosmos, but despite being millions of lightyears across, they can still be hard to spot.
HIV infection may increase heart failure and stroke risk
A Journal of the American Heart Association analysis of information from a large health insurance database reveals that people living with HIV have an elevated risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD), particularly heart failure and stroke.
Two new species of parasitic wasps described from an altitude of over 3,400 m in Tibet
Specimens kept in the collection of the Institute of Beneficial Insects at the Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University (China) revealed the existence of two previously unknown species of endoparasitic wasps.
Collision course: Amateur astronomers play a part in efforts to keep space safe
Heavy traffic is commonplace on Earth but now congestion is becoming an increasing problem in space.
Are self-driving cars really the answer for older drivers?
New study highlights the delay and deterioration in driving when older drivers have to 'take-back' control of their vehicle in difficult conditions.

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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Anthropomorphic
Do animals grieve? Do they have language or consciousness? For a long time, scientists resisted the urge to look for human qualities in animals. This hour, TED speakers explore how that is changing. Guests include biological anthropologist Barbara King, dolphin researcher Denise Herzing, primatologist Frans de Waal, and ecologist Carl Safina.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#534 Bacteria are Coming for Your OJ
What makes breakfast, breakfast? Well, according to every movie and TV show we've ever seen, a big glass of orange juice is basically required. But our morning grapefruit might be in danger. Why? Citrus greening, a bacteria carried by a bug, has infected 90% of the citrus groves in Florida. It's coming for your OJ. We'll talk with University of Maryland plant virologist Anne Simon about ways to stop the citrus killer, and with science writer and journalist Maryn McKenna about why throwing antibiotics at the problem is probably not the solution. Related links: A Review of the Citrus Greening...