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Science News | Science Current Events | Brightsurf | July 16, 2019


Get up and go bots getting closer, study says
Robotics researchers at the University of California San Diego have for the first time used a commercial 3D printer to embed complex sensors inside robotic limbs and grippers.
UCI electrical engineering team develops 'beyond 5G' wireless transceiver
An end-to-end transmitter-receiver created by engineers in UCI's Nanoscale Communication Integrated Circuits Labs, is a 4.4-millimeter-square silicon chip that is capable of processing digital signals with significantly greater speed and energy efficiency because of its unique digital-analog architecture.
Researchers wirelessly hack 'boss' gene, a step toward reprogramming the human genome
A new University at Buffalo-led study describes how researchers wirelessly controlled FGFR1 -- a gene that plays a key role in how humans grow from embryos to adults -- in lab-grown brain tissue.
Health impairment through carbofuran in red chili unlikely
A regional laboratory found residues of carbofuran when analyzing frozen 'Red chili without stalks' for plant protection products.
New species of tree discovered in Tanzania mountains
Researchers have discovered a new species of tree in the Usambara Mountains in Tanzania, part of the Eastern Arc Mountains, and a globally important region for species in need of conservation.
Risk and progression of Alzheimer's disease differ by sex
The abnormal accumulation of proteins in the brain is a biological marker for Alzheimer's disease, but the ways in which these proteins spread may help explain why the prevalence of Alzheimer's is higher in women than in men.
VR lullaby machine shown to induce tranquil pre-sleep states
Art meets technology for this immersive VR experience that can ease you into the right frame of mind for sleep.
Study identifies potential markers of lung cancer
Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) researchers identify markers that can distinguish between major subtypes of lung cancer and can accurately identify lung cancer stage.
Research shows black plastics could create renewable energy
New study looks at how plastics can be recycled and could help reduce plastic waste.
Why two out of three babies are cradled on the left
Over two thirds of all people prefer to carry a baby in their left arm.
A genomic barcode tracker for immune cells
A new research method to pinpoint the immune cells that recognise cancer could significantly change how we treat the disease.
Resistance is utile: Magnetite nanowires with sharp insulating transition
A Japanese research team led by Osaka University produced Fe3O4 nanowires on 10-nm length scales by deposition on an MgO substrate.
Supernova observation first of its kind using NASA satellite
Their research, detailed in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, represents the first published findings about a supernova observed using TESS, and add new insights to long-held theories about the elements left behind after a white dwarf star explodes into a supernova.
Does ICU flexible family visitation policy reduce delirium among patients?
A randomized clinical trial involving patients, family members and clinicians from 36 adult intensive care units in Brazil looked at whether flexible family visitation (up to 12 hours per day) plus family education on ICUs and delirium would reduce the occurrence of delirium compared to standard visitation of up to 4½ hours per day.
Timing is everything for the mutualistic relationship between ants and acacias
Ant-acacia plants attract ants by offering specialized food and hollow thorns in which the ants live, while the ant colony in turn defends its acacia against herbivores.
Robot control system for grasping and releasing objects under both dry and wet conditions
A control system for deformable robot-fingertips was developed for grasping and releasing objects.
NASA looks at Barry's rainfall rates
After Barry made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane, NASA's GPM core satellite analyzed the rate in which rain was falling throughout the storm.
Companies' political leanings influence engagement with activists
Liberal-leaning companies are more likely to work in concert with the demands of activists of all kinds than conservative-leaning companies, according to researchers at Penn State and the University of Washington.
Rutgers collaborates with WHO to more accurately describe mental health disorders
A Rutgers University researcher collaborated with the World Health Organization on the first study to seek input from people with common mental health issues on how their disorders are described in diagnostic guidelines.
Exercise offers protection against Alzheimer's
Higher levels of daily physical activity may protect against the cognitive decline and neurodegeneration (brain tissue loss) from Alzheimer's disease.
New Zealanders involved in global study showing genetic predisposition for anorexia
University of Otago, Christchurch researchers played a key role in new global research showing the causes of the eating disorder anorexia are likely metabolic as well as psychological.
New safer, inexpensive way to propel small satellites
A team at Purdue University has developed a new safer and inexpensive way to propel small satellites.
$4.6 million award creates program to train cybersecurity professionals
A five-year, $4.63 million award from the National Science Foundation will enable a multi-disciplinary team of researchers at the University of Arkansas to create a program to recruit, educate and train the next generation of cybersecurity professionals.
Gaia starts mapping the galactic bar in the Milky Way
The first direct measurement of the bar-shaped collection of stars at the centre of our Milky Way galaxy has been made by combining data from the Gaia mission (European Space Agency, ESA) with complementary observations by ground- and space-based telescopes.
Gut microbes protect against neurologic damage from viral infections
Gut microbes produce compounds that prime immune cells to destroy harmful viruses in the brain and nervous system, according to a mouse study published today in eLife.
The Lancet Public Health: First scientific review of menstrual cups suggests they are safe and may be as effective as other sanitary products
The first systematic review and meta-analysis of the international use of menstrual cups, including 43 studies and data from 3,300 women and girls -- published in The Lancet Public Health journal, suggests they are safe and result in similar, or lower, leakage than disposable pads or tampons.
Australian ants prepared for 'Insect Armageddon'
La Trobe University researchers have uncovered an exception to the global phenomenon known as 'Insect Armageddon' in the largest study of Australian insect populations conducted to date.
Backed in black: How to get people to buy more produce
Researchers may have figured out the secret to get people to buy more fresh produce: dress veggies up in black.
Prescribed opioids associated with overdose risk for family members without prescriptions
Access to family members' drugs may be a strong risk factor for overdose in individuals without their own prescriptions, according to a new study by investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital.
Save your money: Vast majority of dietary supplements don't improve heart health or put off death
In a massive new analysis of findings from 277 clinical trials using 24 different interventions, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers say they have found that almost all vitamin, mineral and other nutrient supplements or diets cannot be linked to longer life or protection from heart disease.
Tending the future of data analysis with MVApp
New app aims to improve the statistical analysis of large datasets in plant science and beyond.
Singapore scientists uncover mechanism behind development of viral infections
A team of researchers from the SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medicine Centre's Viral Research and Experimental Medicine Centre (ViREMiCS) found that immune cells undergoing stress and an altered metabolism are the reasons why some individuals become sick from viral infections while others do not, when exposed to the same virus.
First ever state sepsis regulation in US tied to lower death rates
Death rates from sepsis fell faster in New York than expected -- and faster than in peer states -- following the introduction of the nation's first state-mandated sepsis regulation, according to an analysis.
Limits on pot fishing can result in win-win for fishermen and marine wildlife
The first major study into the impact of inshore potting for crab and lobster within a Marine Protected Area has found that in areas of low potting intensity the industry is operating in a way that had little impact on seabed species or economically-important shellfish.
Rewards incentivize people to stop smoking
Financial incentives work to help people stop smoking and remain smoke free -- according to research led by the University of East Anglia (UEA).
New measurement of universe's expansion rate is 'stuck in the middle'
A team of collaborators from Carnegie and the University of Chicago used red giant stars that were observed by the Hubble Space Telescope to make an entirely new measurement of how fast the universe is expanding, throwing their hats into the ring of a hotly contested debate.
Insurance linked to hospitals' decision to transfer kids with mental health emergencies
A national study by UC Davis Health researchers finds differences in the decisions to admit or transfer children with mental health emergencies based on the patients' insurance type.
New Hubble constant measurement adds to mystery of universe's expansion rate
Astronomers have made a new measurement of how fast the universe is expanding, using an entirely different kind of star than previous endeavors.
Dementia and transitional care: Gaps in research and practice
In a new study published in the Journal of Gerontological Nursing, Prusaczyk and colleagues showed that older patients with dementia at one major teaching hospital were less often provided with transitional care steps including patient education, discharge planning, and documentation of medication history, as compared to patients without dementia.
Study finds age, race disparities in hospital patient portal use
Removing the barriers of access to technology does not close the digital divide for African American and older patients, according to new research from The Ohio State University College of Medicine.
Are fertility apps useful?
Researchers at EPFL and Stanford have carried out an analysis of the largest datasets from fertility awareness apps.
An AI technology to reveal the characteristics of animal behavior only from the trajectory
Recording the movements of people and animals has become easy because of small GPS devices and video cameras.
Electronic chip mimics the brain to make memories in a flash
Engineers have mimicked the human brain with an electronic chip that uses light to create and modify memories.
Slug, a stem cell regulator, keeps breast cells healthy by promoting repair of DNA damage
A new biomedical research study finds a transcription factor called Slug contributes to breast cell fitness by promoting efficient repair of DNA damage.
Scientists identified the metabolic features specific to the autistic brain
Skoltech scientists looked into the differences in the concentrations of multiple metabolites in healthy humans and individuals suffering from Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), gaining a deeper insight into the molecular processes that take place in the brain of autistic individuals.
Researchers build transistor-like gate for quantum information processing -- with qudits
Purdue University researchers are among the first to build what could be a quantum version of a transistor -- with qudits.
Treating stroke patients just 15 minutes earlier can save lives
Initiating stroke treatment just 15 minutes faster can save lives and prevent disability, according to a new UCLA-led study, published today in JAMA.
Intranasal sufentanil as good as IV morphine for emergency pain relief, study finds
In patients presenting to an emergency department with severe traumatic pain, intranasal sufentanil was as good as standard-of-care intravenous morphine for pain relief, according to a new study published this week in PLOS Medicine by Marc Blancher of Grenoble Alpes University Hospital, France, and colleagues.
NUS 'smart' textiles boost connectivity between wearable sensors by 1,000 times
Researchers from the National University of Singapore have incorporated metamaterials into conventional clothing to dramatically improve signal strength between wearable electronic devices.
State capacity: How it is measured and compared
'State capacity' refers to a state's ability to make and effectively implement decisions in domestic and foreign policy.
Tracking down climate change with radar eyes
Over the past 22 years, sea levels in the Arctic have risen an average of 2.2 millimeters per year.
Higher iron levels may boost heart health -- but also increase risk of stroke
Scientists have helped unravel the protective -- and potentially harmful -- effect of iron in the body.
Speeding up science on near-earth asteroids
Modeling the shape and movement of near-Earth asteroids is now up to 25 times faster thanks to new WSU research.
Long live the long-limbed African chicken
For generations, household farmers in the Horn of Africa have selectively chosen chickens with certain traits that make them more appealing.
Women's stronger immune response to flu vaccination diminishes with age
Women tend to have a greater immune response to a flu vaccination compared to men, but their advantage largely disappears as they age and their estrogen levels decline, suggests a study from researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Perinatal depression screenings may not detect women having suicidal thoughts, study finds
Perinatal depression screenings may overlook a significant proportion of women who are having suicidal thoughts, according to a new study of 736 low-income women led by University of Illinois social work professor Karen M.
Intake of phosphates: Babies, infants and children can exceed the health guidance values
Phosphates are essential substances that occur naturally in the human body and make up a considerable portion of our nutrition.
Cancer device created at rutgers to see if targeted chemotherapy is working
Rutgers researchers have created a device that can determine whether targeted chemotherapy drugs are working on individual cancer patients.
A new tool for data scientists and biologists and more
A new computational tool developed in the lab of USC Viterbi School Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering professor Paul Bodgan in collaboration with Ming Hsieh professor Edmond Jonckheere, is able to quickly identify the hidden affiliations and interrelationships among groups/items/persons with greater accuracy than existing tools.
University of Guelph researchers track how cats' weights change over time
University of Guelph researchers have become the first to access data on more than 19 million cats and have learned that most cats continue to put on weight as they age.
Flies may also spread disease among monkeys and apes
People the world over have a good sense that we do not want flies landing on our food.
The interlayers help perovskite crystallisation for high-performance light-emitting diodes
Scientists at Linkoping University working with colleagues from China have shown how to achieve efficient perovskite light-emitting diodes (LEDs).
Global commission into health inequities of mental illness gives blueprint for change
Findings released today by a commission into health inequities experienced by people with mental illness lays bare their drastic physical health challenges, and recommends changes to health policy and treatment innovations to tackle what is regarded as a 'human rights scandal'.
New cell discovered that can heal hearts
University of Calgary researchers are the first to discover a previously unidentified cell population in the pericardial fluid found inside the sac around the heart.
Salt regulation among saltmarsh sparrows evolved in 4 unique ways
A new study in Evolution Letters finds that different bird species in the same challenging environment -- the highly saline ecosystem of tidal marshes along ocean shores -- were able to evolve unique species-specific ways to address the same problem.
Australian bee sting vaccine trial holds promise against allergic reactions
Most people have probably been stung by a bee and while it can be painful, it's especially dangerous for those at risk of suffering a life threatening allergic reaction.
CNIO researchers find a method to select for mammalian cells with half the number of chromosomes
Since the emergence of molecular genetics, scientists have tried to isolate haploid mammalian cells.
Limitation exposed in promising quantum computing material
Physicists have theorized that a new type of material, called a three-dimensional (3-D) topological insulator (TI), could be a candidate to create qubits for quantum computing due to its special properties.
UMN researcher identifies differences in genes that impact response to cryptococcus infection
Cryptococcus neoformans is a fungal pathogen that infects people with weakened immune systems, particularly those with advanced HIV/AIDS.
Hurricane disasters associated with poorer outcomes for radiotherapy patients
Lung cancer patients who had a hurricane disaster declared during radiotherapy had worse overall survival than those who completed treatment in normal circumstances.
Chaos theory produces map for predicting paths of particles emitted into the atmosphere
Floating air particles following disasters and other geological events can have a lasting impact on life on Earth, and a new model drawing on chaos theory looks to help predict how these particles move, with an eye toward applications for geoengineering.
Tropical Depression Danas affecting Philippines in NASA satellite imagery
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the Northwester Pacific Ocean after the sixth tropical depression formed.
Researchers ID mechanism that may drive obesity epidemic
A molecular 'trick' that kept our ancient ancestors from starving may now be contributing to the obesity epidemic, a new study finds.
Osteoarthritis linked to higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease
Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have investigated the link between osteoarthritis and mortality in an epidemiological study.
Micro-ribonucleic acid in milk:Health risk very unlikely
Ribonucleic acid (RNA) occurs in animal and plant cells and has many biological functions.
The protein that gives identical cells individuality
New insight into a protein's role in regulating tight DNA packing could have implications for combating tumor cell resistance to anti-cancer treatments.
Novel therapy administered after TBI prevents brain damage
Could a therapy administered 30 minutes after a traumatic brain injury prevent damage that leads to seizures and other harmful effects?
By cutting ozone pollution now, china could save 330,000 lives by 2050
If China takes strong measures to reduce its ozone pollution now, it could save hundreds of thousands of lives in the long run, according to a new study led by researchers at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.
What to call someone who uses heroin?
A first-of-its-kind study by researchers from the Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) and the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS), published in the journal Addiction, has found that people entering treatment for heroin use most often called themselves 'addicts,' but preferred that others called them 'people who use drugs.'
Human pancreas on a chip opens new possibilities for studying disease
Scientists created human pancreas on a chip that allowed them to identify the possible cause of a frequent and deadly complication of cystic fibrosis (CF) called CF-Related Diabetes, or CFRD.
Study finds transgender, non-binary autism link
New research indicates that transgender and non-binary individuals are significantly more likely to have autism or display autistic traits than the wider population -- a finding that has important implications for gender confirmation treatments.
Take flight! Automating complex design of universal controller for hybrid drones
Hybrid unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, are drones that combine the advantages of multi-copters and fixed-wing planes.
Joshua trees facing extinction
They outlived mammoths and saber-toothed tigers. But without dramatic action to reduce climate change, new research shows Joshua trees won't survive much past this century.
Antioxidant precursor molecule could improve Parkinson's
The naturally occurring molecule N-acetylcysteine (NAC) shows benefit in a clinical trial for Parkinson's Disease.
Poor sleep quality and fatigue plague women with premature ovarian insufficiency
Sleep disturbances are a frequent complaint of women in the menopause transition and postmenopause.
Avian malaria behind drastic decline of London's iconic sparrow?
London's house sparrows (Passer domesticus) have plummeted by 71% since 1995, with new research suggesting avian malaria could be to blame.
Associations of physical activity, β-amyloid with cognition, neurodegeneration
Researchers in this observational study looked at whether physical activity moderates the association of β-amyloid levels, a biomarker of Alzheimer's disease, with cognitive decline and neurodegeneration over time in clinically normal older adults.
Stronger earthquakes can be induced by wastewater injected deep underground
Earthquakes are getting deeper at the same rate as the wastewater sinks.
Forces behind growing political polarization in congress revealed in new model
A model developed by researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, which analyzed millions of roll call votes taken in the US Congress, was able to accurately predict the nature of changes in polarization in 28 of the 30 US Congresses elected in the past six decades.
Heart drug could increase survival rates for children with aggressive form of brain tumor
Researchers at the University of Nottingham have discovered that repurposing a heart drug could significantly increase the survival rate for children with ependymoma - a type of brain tumour.
Private land conservation research underrepresents geographical regions and stakeholders
Biodiversity loss is one of the most prominent global issues, also affecting human well-being.
Risk of death before and after state-mandated protocols for sepsis care in New York
Hospital discharge data was used to examine the association between New York state sepsis regulations and the outcomes of patients hospitalized with sepsis.
Breakthrough material could lead to cheaper, more widespread solar panels and electronics
Two physics research groups at the University of Kansas have generated free electrons from organic semiconductors when combined with a single atomic layer of molybdenum disulfide, a recently discovered two-dimensional semiconductor.
Plant protection products: More clarity about residues in food
To what extent are residues of plant protection products contained in food?
New model illuminates why some greater sage grouse males 'strut' better than others
In 'Hidden Markov Models Reveal Tactical Adjustment of Temporally Clustered Courtship Displays in Response to the Behaviors of a Robotic Female,' published in The American Naturalist, Anna C.
Study: Rugby-style tackling may have lower force of impact than football-style tackling
The style of tackling used in rugby may be associated with a lower force of impact than the style used in football, according to a preliminary study of college athletes released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology Sports Concussion Conference in Indianapolis July 26-28, 2019.

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We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2019.
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Dolly Parton's America: Neon Moss
Today on Radiolab, we're bringing you the fourth episode of Jad's special series, Dolly Parton's America. In this episode, Jad goes back up the mountain to visit Dolly's actual Tennessee mountain home, where she tells stories about her first trips out of the holler. Back on the mountaintop, standing under the rain by the Little Pigeon River, the trip triggers memories of Jad's first visit to his father's childhood home, and opens the gateway to dizzying stories of music and migration. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.