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Science News | Science Current Events | Brightsurf | July 11, 2019


UC San Diego cancer scientists identify new drug target for multiple tumor types
A dysfunctional enzyme involved in building cancer cell membranes helps fuel tumor growth; when it's disabled or depleted in mouse models, tumors shrank significantly.
Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers identify health conditions likely to be misdiagnosed
For a patient, a diagnostic error can mean the difference between life and death.
Training trials
First national study shows cutting residents' training hours has not resulted in lower performance for new doctors.
Coping strategy therapy for family dementia carers works long-term
A programme of therapy and coping strategies for people who care for family members with dementia successfully improves the carers' mental health for at least a six-year follow-up, finds a UCL study.
Study: Global farming trends threaten food security
Citrus fruits, coffee and avocados: the food on our tables has become more diverse in recent decades.
Fossil fuels increasingly offer a poor return on energy investment
University of Leeds researchers have calculated the EROI for fossil fuels over a 16 year period and found that at the finished fuel stage, the ratios are much closer to those of renewable energy sources -- roughly 6:1, and potentially as low as 3:1 in the case of electricity.
Survivors' near-miss experiences on 9/11 linked to post-traumatic stress
People who narrowly avoid disaster do not necessarily escape tragedy unharmed, and their knowledge of the victims' fate shapes how survivors respond to traumatic events, according to the results of a new paper by a UB psychologist that explores the effects of near-miss experiences associated with the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Experimental mini-accelerator achieves record energy
Scientists at DESY have achieved a new world record for an experimental type of miniature particle accelerator: For the first time, a terahertz powered accelerator more than doubled the energy of the injected electrons.
Clemson researchers tie metabolic enzyme to obesity and fatty liver disease
Researchers from Clemson University's Environmental Toxicology Program have published research connecting an enzyme associated with detoxification to obesity and fatty liver disease, especially in males.
Carnegie Mellon and Facebook AI beats professionals in six-player poker
An artificial intelligence program developed by Carnegie Mellon University in collaboration with Facebook AI has defeated leading professionals in six-player no-limit Texas hold'em poker, the world's most popular form of poker.
Artificial 'muscles' achieve powerful pulling force
As a cucumber plant grows, it sprouts tightly coiled tendrils that seek out supports in order to pull the plant upward.
Cincinnati researchers say early puberty in girls may be 'big bang theory' for migraine
Adolescent girls who reach puberty at an earlier age may also have a greater chance of developing migraine headaches, according to new research from investigators at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine.
Scientists gain new insights into the mechanisms of cell division
Mitosis is the process by which the genetic information encoded on chromosomes is equally distributed to two daughter cells, a fundamental feature of all life on earth.
The best of both worlds: how to solve real problems on modern quantum computers
Researchers at the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory and Los Alamos National Laboratory, along with researchers at Clemson University and Fujitsu Laboratories of America, have developed hybrid algorithms to run on size-limited quantum machines and have demonstrated them for practical applications.
Researchers survey immune molecules found inside mycetoma lesions
Mycetoma is a common neglected disease caused by either fungi or bacteria which organize themselves into grains--areas of inflammation surrounded by a collagen capsule.
New vaccine strategy boosts T-cell therapy
Super-charging a treatment for leukemia also makes it effective on solid tumors.
New alternate cell growth pathway could lead to better treatments for metastatic cancers
A UCLA Dentistry led research study has found that the gene, mEAK-7, which they discovered last year, may play a key role in cancer metastasis.
How plague pathogens trick the immune system
Yersinia have spread fear and terror, especially in the past, but today they have still not been completely eradicated.
NASA takes potential tropical cyclone 2's temperature
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the Gulf of Mexico and took the temperature of Potential Tropical Cyclone 2 as it moved westward through the Gulf of Mexico.
Moon-forming disk discovered around distant planet
Using Earth's most powerful array of radio telescopes, astronomers have made the first observations of a circumplanetary disk of gas and dust like the one that is believed to have birthed the moons of Jupiter.
New sensor could shake up earthquake response efforts
An optical sensor developed at Berkeley Lab could speed up the time it takes to evaluate whether buildings are safe to occupy after a major earthquake.
Ancient epigenetic changes silence cancer-linked genes
A study in zebrafish indicates that some genes linked to cancers in humans have been strictly regulated throughout evolution.
Are the 'viral' agents of MS, ALS and schizophrenia buried in our genome?
What if the missing 'environmental' factor in some of our deadliest neurological diseases were really written in our genome?
New species of lizard found in stomach of microraptor
A team of paleontologists led by Professor Jingmai O'Connor from the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, together with researchers from the Shandong Tianyu Museum of Nature, have discovered a new specimen of the volant dromaeosaurid Microraptor zhaoianus with the remains of a nearly complete lizard preserved in its stomach.
First step to induce self-repair in the central nervous system
Injured axons instruct Schwann cells to build specialized actin spheres to break down and remove axon fragments, thereby starting the regeneration process.
Mathematical model explores daily rhythms in pain sensitivity
A new computational model successfully predicts how daily pain sensitivity rhythms affect pain processing, both in healthy adults and in people with neuropathic pain.
Mystery behind striped barley solved
Albostrians barley is a model plant displaying variegation in form of green-white striping.
For non-Hispanic whites in the US, life expectancy outlook worsens
For nearly a century, life expectancy in the United States has been increasing.
Immune system effectiveness appears key to antibiotic success against persistent bacteria
Mathematical modeling suggests that the rate at which a patient's immune system clears slow-growing variants of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria is a key determinant of whether antibiotics can cure the infection.
Scientists opening the door to a new era of medicinal chemistry
A new molecular descriptor estimates molecular complexity and defines the evolution of small molecules in medicinal chemistry.
Alternating currents cause Jupiter's aurora
An international research team has measured the system of currents that generates Jupiter's aurora.
Nanotechnology delivers hepatitis B vaccine
X-ray imaging shows that nanostructured silica acts as a protective vehicle to deliver intact antigen to the intestine so that it can trigger an immune response.
Prescribing opioids for a sprained ankle?
A new research report shows an increase in patients being prescribed opioids after experiencing an ankle sprain.
Drug companies' sexually explicit ads reaching too many youngsters
A new study finds that though drug companies marketing erectile dysfunction drugs claim to be self-policing their advertising so that 90 percent of the audience viewing sexually explicit advertisements must be 18 or older, compliance is not being taken seriously.
Study suggests arthroscopy more effective than MRI for chondral defects of the knee
Using arthroscopy to stage a lesion in the chondral area of the knee is more accurate than magnetic resonance imaging, according to researchers from the Rothman Institute, La Jolla, Calif.
Dresden physicists use nanostructures to free photons for highly efficient white OLEDs
Thanks to intensive research in the past three decades, organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) have been steadily conquering the electronics market -- from OLED mobile phone displays to roll-out television screens, the list of applications is long.
Early benefit assessment reveals weaknesses in the development of new drugs
In the British Medical Journal, IQWiG researchers analyse the first 216 AMNOG assessments of new drugs and derive proposals for more targeted drug development.
GPM satellite provides a 3D look at Tropical Storm Barry
The Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core satellite provided a couple of views of Tropical Storm Barry that showed its cloud heights and rainfall rates.
Lack of crop diversity and increasing dependence on pollinators may threaten food security
A multinational team of researchers has identified countries where agriculture's increasing dependence on pollination, coupled with a lack of crop diversity, may threaten food security and economic stability.
Study finds nearly half of shared e-scooters being ridden illegally
A QUT observational study of electric scooter riding in central Brisbane has found nearly half of shared e-scooters were being ridden illegally.
New study discovers genetic changes linked to leukaemia in children with down's syndrome
Researchers at the University of Oxford, in collaboration with colleagues from Hannover Medical School and Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, have discovered the specific gene mutations that are required for the development of leukaemia in children with Down's syndrome.
Opioid use is reduced in patients treated with NSAIDS
Patients receiving a post-surgery prescription of ibuprofen with a rescue prescription of Percocet used less opioids than a group of similar patients who were prescribed just Percocet.
Engineers revolutionize molecular microscopy
Engineers of the University of Magdeburg have developed a method for measuring the electrical potentials of molecules and molecular surfaces with previously unattainable precision and speed.
Scientists discover a novel perception mechanism regulating important plant processes
Writing in 'Nature', scientists from Cologne (Germany) and Zurich (Switzerland) report on a discovery will lead to a better understanding of multiple processes in cells.
Chronic kidney disease patients face continual, significant gaps in care
Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) have a high prevalence of uncontrolled hypertension and diabetes, as well as statin use below the recommended guidelines for cholesterol control, according to a study by researchers at UC San Francisco.
What happens when you explode a chemical bond?
Light-induced breakage of chemical bonds can lead to damage in the body and environment, but techniques for studying this photochemical reaction have been limited to before and after snapshots.
Hubble uncovers black hole that shouldn't exist
As if black holes weren't mysterious enough, astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have found an unexpected thin disk of material furiously whirling around a supermassive black hole at the heart of the magnificent spiral galaxy NGC 3147, located 130 million light-years away.
At last, an AI that outperforms humans in six-player poker
Achieving a milestone in artificial intelligence (AI) by moving beyond settings involving only two players, researchers present an AI that can outperform top human professionals in six-player no-limit Texas hold'em poker, the most popular form of poker played today.
Designing a diet to repair the gut after childhood malnutrition
Jeanette Gehrig and colleagues have designed a diet that can help digestive tracts damaged by acute childhood malnutrition develop a mature gut microbial community, necessary for proper growth and functioning.
Even in svelte adults, cutting about 300 calories daily protects the heart
In adults already at a healthy weight or carrying just a few extra pounds, cutting around 300 calories a day significantly improved already good levels of cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar and other markers.
Wakanda forever! Scientists describe new species of 'twilight zone' fish from Africa
Deep-diving scientists from the California Academy of Sciences spotted dazzling fairy wrasses -- previously unknown to science -- in the dimly lit mesophotic coral reefs of eastern Zanzibar.
NIH scientists identify spasm in women with endometriosis-associated chronic pelvic pain
Pelvic pain associated with endometriosis often becomes chronic and can persist (or recur) following surgical and hormonal interventions.
Enzyme responsible for dangerous properties of brain tumor stem cells
The relapse of brain tumors after therapy is driven by cancer stem cells that were not affected by the treatment.
Finding of STEMIN (STEM CELL INDUCING FACTOR) for feasible reprogramming in plants
Researchers in Japan found that induction of the transcription factor STEM CELL INDUCING FACTOR 1 (STEMIN1) in leaves directly changes leaf cells into stem cells in the moss Physcomitrella patens.
Coral skeleton crystals record ocean acidification
The acidification of the oceans is recorded in the crystals of the coral skeleton.
Oldest completely preserved lily discovered
This is the conclusion of an international team of researchers led by Clement Coiffard, Museum für Naturkunde Berlin.
Mosquito surveillance uncovers new information about malaria transmission in madagascar
Riley Tedrow, Ph.D., a medical entomologist at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, has uncovered new findings about malaria transmission in Madagascar.
Whispering southern right whale mums and calves seek refuge in surf
How do southern right whale mothers protect their precious calves from killer whale attacks when the predators can listen out for their conversations?
Scientific statement on predicting survival for cardiac arrest survivors
If a loved one has a heart attack that stops the heart, ends up in a coma, and the treating physician approaches you about taking the person off life support, would you trust that the physician knows when to make the call or how to judge that the person won't recover?
Yield-boosting stay-green gene identified from 118-year-old experiment in corn
A corn gene identified from a 118-year-old experiment at the University of Illinois could boost yields of today's elite hybrids with no added inputs.
Caught in the act: Images capture molecular motions in real time
Researchers have shot a 'movie' of subtle molecular motions in unprecedented detail, shedding light on previously unseen chemical dynamics.
New CRISPR platform expands RNA editing capabilities
The new system, dubbed RESCUE, allows RNA edits to be made that were not previously possible.
No new males: Climate change threat to Cape Verde turtles
Rising temperatures could mean no male loggerhead turtles hatch at a key breeding ground by the end of this century, new research suggests.
Ammonia from agriculture influences cloud formation over Asia
The Asian tropopause aerosol layer (ATAL) is located at twelve to 18 kilometers height above the Middle East and Asia.
Ancient genomics pinpoint origin and rapid turnover of cattle in the Fertile Crescent
Ancient DNA has revealed how the prehistory of the Near East's largest domestic animal, the cow, chimes with the emergence of the first complex economies, cities and the rise and fall of the world earliest human empires.
Fiber-based artificial muscles get new and powerful twists
Three papers in this issue demonstrate new fiber-based designs within the world of artificial muscles, showing how these twisted and coiled designs can be controlled via heat, electricity and chemistry.
An 'EpiPen' for spinal cord injuries
An injection of nanoparticles can prevent the body's immune system from overreacting to trauma, potentially preventing some spinal cord injuries from resulting in paralysis.
Study suggests surgery better than observation for older patients with meniscus tear
Patients over age 50 who underwent an all inside arthroscopic repair technique had lower rates of subsequent total knee surgery than a similar group that was only observed, according to research presented at the American Orthopedic Society of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting today.Dr.
'Moon-forming' circumplanetary disk discovered in distant star system
Astronomers using ALMA have made the first-ever observations of a circumplanetary disk, the planet-girding belt of dust and gas that astronomers strongly theorize controls the formation of planets and gives rise to an entire system of moons, like those found around Jupiter.
Finger-prick blood test could safely reduce antibiotic use in patients with COPD
A simple finger-prick blood test could help prevent unnecessary prescribing of antibiotics for people with the lung condition chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to a new study by researchers from Cardiff University, University of Oxford and King's College London.
Elicio Therapeutics' Darrell Irvine co-authors research published in Science
Elicio Therapeutics, a next generation immuno-oncology company, today announced that studies of its Amphiphile platform in combination with CAR-T therapy (AMP-CAR-T) have shown that activation of CAR-T cells in the lymphatic system gives massive CAR-T cell expansion, and significant functional improvements including enhanced CAR-T cell infiltration of solid tumors, increased anti-tumor cytolytic potential, and improved cytokine response.
EPFL scientists map high-risk areas for hepatitis E
A team of scientists from EPFL has compiled environmental and epidemiological data from around the world to develop a map that shows the riskiest areas for hepatitis E outbreaks.
Gene identified that will help develop plants to fight climate change
Hidden underground networks of plant roots snake through the earth foraging for nutrients and water, similar to a worm searching for food.
Pairing targeted drugs for breast and lung cancer could overcome treatment resistance
Targeted drugs for breast and lung cancer could be used together to overcome resistance to treatment in several different tumour types, a new study shows.
Team approach to cardiac care increases chance of surviving heart attack complications
When multidisciplinary health care teams were engaged in caring for patients suffering from refractory cardiogenic shock, a severe condition that can occur after a heart attack, the likelihood of survival increased significantly, by approximately 50 percent.
Facial plastic surgery in men enhances perception of attractiveness, trustworthiness
In the first of a kind study, plastic surgeons at Georgetown University found that when a man chose to have facial plastic surgery, it significantly increased perceptions of attractiveness, likeability, social skills, or trustworthiness.
New virus found in one-third of all countries may have coevolved with human lineage
Published in Nature Microbiology, a new study has investigated the origin and evolution of a virus called crAssphage, which may have coevolved with human lineage.
Strange warping geometry helps to push scientific boundaries
Princeton researchers have built an electronic array on a microchip that simulates particle interactions in a hyperbolic plane, a geometric surface in which space curves away from itself at every point.
The discovery of a more effective method to estimate polluting emissions from nitrogen fertilizers
The discovery of a more effective method to estimate polluting emissions from nitrogen fertilizers.
Genomic analysis reveals ancient origins of domestic cattle
A new genome-wide analysis by Marta Pereira Verdugo and colleagues uncovers the complex origins of domestic cattle (Bos taurus), demonstrating why it has been difficult to untangle these origins from studies of modern breeds.
Salt intake in China among highest in the world for the past 4 decades
Salt intake in China is confirmed to be among the highest in the world, with adults over the past four decades consistently consuming on average above 10g of salt a day, which is more than twice the recommended limit, according to new research led by Queen Mary University of London.
'Crosstalk' between genes promotes brain inflammation in Alzheimer's
A new study by scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) offers clues about how to prevent inflammation of brain tissue, which promotes Alzheimer's disease (AD).
Severely disturbed habitats impacting health of Madagascar's lemurs
A new study finds that degraded rainforest habitats are impacting the health of at least one species of Madagascar's treasured lemurs.
Mad cow disease: A computational model reveals the mechanism of replication of prions
An article published in the journal PLOS Pathogens reports a realistic computational model for the structure and mechanism of replication of prions, infectious agents responsible for mad cow disease and other neurodegenerative disorders of human and animals.
NIST's compact atomic gyroscope displays new twists
Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have upgraded their compact atomic gyroscope to enable multitasking measurement capabilities and measure its performance, important steps toward practical applications.
Sheaths drive powerful new artificial muscles
Over the last 15 years, researchers at The University of Texas at Dallas and their international colleagues have invented several types of strong, powerful artificial muscles using materials ranging from high-tech carbon nanotubes (CNTs) to ordinary fishing line.
Ancient defense strategy continues to protect plants from pathogens
Plant scientists at the University of Cambridge have discovered a suite of microbe-responsive gene families that date back to early land plant evolution.
AGS commends bipartisan leaders on bringing training legislation closer to law
As members of the House Committee on Energy & Commerce move to debate, amend, and revise a host of important health proposals, the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) again pledged enthusiastic support for one of the Committee's most important bills under consideration: The Educating Medical Professionals and Optimizing Workforce Efficiency and Readiness (EMPOWER) for Health Act of 2019 (H.R.
Successful T cell engineering with gene scissors
The idea of genetically modifying a patient's own immune cells and deploying them against infections and tumors has been around since the 1980s.
House mouse shapes Toxoplasma gondii distribution
The humble house mouse has dramatically shaped parasitic Toxoplasma gondii populations in West Africa and around the world, according to research in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases.
Area of brain linked to spatial awareness and planning also plays role in decision making
New research by neuroscientists at the University of Chicago shows that the posterior parietal cortex (PPC), an area of the brain often associated with planning movements and spatial awareness, also plays a crucial role in making decisions about images in the field of view.
Does platelet-rich plasma therapy lower risk of meniscus repair
The use of platelet-rich plasma therapy can reduce the risk of a second meniscus failure after operation but does not seem to protect patients who have had surgery to repair an anterior cruciate ligament, according to research presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Orthopedic Society of Sports Medicine.
Internet communities can teach amateurs to build personalized governments
Self-governing internet communities, in the form of games, social networks or informational websites, create their own rule systems that help groups of anonymous users work together.
Patterns in DNA reveal hundreds of unknown protein pairings
Researchers have now found a new way to extract useful information out of sequenced DNA.
For malnourished children, new therapeutic food boosts gut microbes, healthy development
A new type of therapeutic food, specifically designed to repair the gut microbiomes of malnourished children, is superior to standard therapy in an initial clinical trial conducted in Bangladesh.
High-risk pregnancy: The interferon effect
Teams from the Institut Pasteur, the CNRS, Inserm, Necker-Enfants Malades Hospital (AP-HP) and Université de Paris have identified a new cellular mechanism that alters placental development, potentially causing serious complications during pregnancy.
How procrastinators and doers differ genetically
Some people tend to postpone actions. In women, this trait is associated with a genetic predisposition towards a higher level of dopamine in the brain.
DNA analysis reveals cryptic underwater ecosystem engineers
They look like smears of pink bubblegum on the rocks off British Columbia's coast, indistinguishable from one another.
Study questions if tongue-tie surgery for breastfeeding is always needed
New research raises questions as to whether too many infants are getting tongue-tie and lip tether surgery (also called frenulectomy) to help improve breastfeeding, despite limited medical evidence supporting the procedure.
Hubble discovers mysterious black hole disc
Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have observed an unexpected thin disc of material encircling a supermassive black hole at the heart of the spiral galaxy NGC 3147, located 130 million light-years away.
Raising eyebrows on neuroinflammation: Study finds novel role for 'skin plumping' molecule
Scientists have discovered a novel mechanism and role in the brain for hyaluronic acid -- a clear, gooey substance popularized by cosmetic and skin care products.
Study finds no correlation between brain function & head impacts after 2 seasons of tackle football
To date, most studies that have attempted to understand connections between neurocognitive function and sub-concussive head impacts have been retrospective -- and inconclusive.
Between 16 and 18% of preadolescents have ideas of suicide
Thinking of taking one's own life (ideation), planning it, threatening to do it or even attempting to do it is regarded as suicidal behaviour.
Greater prevalence of anal cancer precursors for women living with HIV than prior reports
The prevalence of anal high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL), which precede anal cancer, is much higher in women living with HIV than previously reported, a multi-site, national study involving hundreds of patients has found.
REM sleep silences the siren of the brain
Something frightening or unpleasant does not go unnoticed. In our brain, the so-called limbic circuit of cells and connections immediately becomes active.
New data on ctDNA as a biomarker for detecting cancer progression presented at ASCO
Scientists at the 2019 ASCO Annual Meeting presented research that relied on Droplet Digital PCR to explore the strengths and limitations of using circulating tumor DNA as a biomarker for predicting outcomes and guiding treatment for patients with cancer.
Mustering a milder mustard
Cruciferous vegetables -- the mustards, broccolis and cabbages of the world -- share a distinct taste.
New superomniphobic glass soars high on butterfly wings using machine learning
Glass for technologies like displays, tablets, laptops, smartphones, and solar cells need to pass light through, but could benefit from a surface that repels water, dirt, oil, and other liquids.
How DNA outside cells can be targeted to prevent the spread of cancer
Cell-free DNA (cfDNA) is DNA found in trace amounts in blood, which has escaped degradation by enzymes.
The Digital Revolution: Opportunities and challenges for sustainable development
The Digital Revolution has brought about rapid technological change, transforming the way societies function and how humanity impacts the Earth.
Is facial cosmetic surgery associated with perception changes for attractiveness, masculinity, personality traits in men?
Photographs of 24 men before and after facial cosmetic surgery were part of this survey study to examine whether surgery was associated with perceived changes in attractiveness, masculinity and a variety of personality traits.
New developments with Chinese satellites over the past decade
To date, 17 Chinese self-developed FengYun (FY) meteorological satellites have been launched, which are widely applied in weather analysis, numerical weather forecasting and climate prediction, as well as environment and disaster monitoring.
Bird with unusually long toes found fossilized in amber
Meet the ancient bird that had toes longer than its lower legs.
Endometriosis: Immune cell discovery could provide relief for women with 'hidden' pain disorder
A key cause for the pelvic pain experienced by women with endometriosis has been uncovered, potentially opening new opportunities for pain relief for the condition.
More support needed for young carers of parents with mental illness
New research from the University of East Anglia (UEA) says there is a 'clear need' for more support for young carers of parents with a mental illness as they move into adulthood.
30 shades of steel: Scientists develop 'cheat sheet' for the creation of new steels
Researchers from the National University of Science and Technology 'MISIS' developed a database that will help create new grades of steels.
Adding immunotherapy after initial treatment can benefit metastatic lung cancer patients
Treating metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with the immunotherapy drug pembrolizumab after they've completed locally ablative therapy almost tripled the median progression-free survival (PFS) compared to the historical average.
Molecular 'clutch' puts infection-fighting cells into gear
Two proteins that act as a 'clutch' in cells to put them in gear and drive our immune response have been identified for the first time.
A crystal clear step closer to commerical solar cells
Record-breaking, high-efficiency single crystals bring perovskite solar cells closer to market.

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