Nav: Home

Science News | Science Current Events | Brightsurf | July 29, 2019


Dragon heart
A new study from researchers at the Gladstone Institutes, in a close collaboration with scientists at UC San Francisco (UCSF) and Zoo Atlanta, provides the first high-resolution sequence of the Komodo dragon, as well as insight into how it evolved.
TESS discovers three new planets nearby, including temperate 'sub-Neptune'
NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS, has discovered three new worlds that are among the smallest, nearest exoplanets known to date.
Most deaths related to noncardiac surgery occur after surgery and after discharge from hospital
It's not the operating room that is risky for patients undergoing noncardiac surgery; it's the recovery period.
Deep brain stimulation modifies memory
Deep brain stimulation of the cingulate cortex worsens memory recall, according to research in epilepsy patients published in JNeurosci.
Seeking new physics, scientists borrow from social networks
An MIT-developed technique that draws inspiration from social networks can automatically spot anomalous particle smashups, which may point to new types of physics beyond the Standard Model.
It pays to explore in times of uncertainty
Thousands of fishing vessel records indicate that exploration pays off in the face of uncertainty, according to a UC Davis study.
Stressed at school? Art therapy reduces teenage girls' headaches
In a pilot study led by the UW, researchers explored art-based mindfulness activities that schools could use to reduce headaches, a common side effect of stress in adolescent girls.
Midwives and nurse-midwives may underestimate the dangers of prenatal alcohol use
Alcohol use during pregnancy can have harmful consequences on the fetus including restricted growth, facial anomalies, and neurobehavioral problems.
Study: Black students receive fewer warnings from teachers about misbehavior
University of Illinois social work professor Kate Wegmann found in a new study that black middle school students receive fewer warnings from their teachers about misbehavior, giving them fewer opportunities to correct their behavior on their own before the consequences escalate to exclusionary punishments such as office referrals and expulsion.
Study finds worrisome birth-control knowledge gaps
A new study has uncovered concerning gaps in knowledge about birth control effectiveness.
Impaired brain activity in rats with family history of alcohol abuse
Neural activity that reflects the intention to drink alcohol is observed in the prefrontal cortex and is blunted in rats with a family history of excessive drinking, according to research from eNeuro.
Imaging of exotic quantum particles as building blocks for quantum computing
Researchers have imaged an exotic quantum particle -- called a Majorana fermion -- that can be used as a building block for future qubits and eventually the realization of quantum computers.
Current challenges and next steps in treating pediatric acute respiratory distress syndrome
A new review of Pediatric Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (PARDS) highlights the lack of data available for standard treatment approaches and adjunctive therapies, leading to sig-nificant variability in patient management.
Are parent-based sexual health interventions associated with improved adolescent sexual health outcomes?
This study (called a systematic review and meta-analysis) combined the results 31 randomized clinical trials with 12,464 adolescent participants to examine whether parent-based sexual health interventions were associated with three main outcomes: delayed sexual activity, improved condom use and parent-child sexual communication.
Standard vs. intensive blood pressure control to reduce the risk of stroke recurrence
This randomized clinical trial and meta-analysis focused on intensive blood pressure control compared with a standard control regimen on the risk of stroke in patients who had had a previous stroke.
Cannabidiol reduces aggressiveness, study concludes
Experiments with mice performed by Brazilian scientists show that a substance derived from cannabis plants attenuates isolation-induced aggressive behavior.
Introduced species dilute the effects of evolution on diversity
An international research team led by the University of Göttingen, German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) and the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), together with the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, has found that biodiversity is higher on older islands than on younger ones.
Researchers build artificial cells that sense and respond to their environment
Imperial College London scientists have created artificial cells that mimic biological cells by responding to a chemical change in their surroundings.
Stem cell transplantation: Chance of survival increases with number of procedures
For other important outcomes, studies are less informative, the correlation is unclear or data are missing.
Study reveals how bacteria beat immune systems
The evolution of more severe infections is not necessarily driven by bacteria multiplying faster, new research shows.
New software brings lower-resolution cryo-EM maps into focus
A new study outlines a technique to bring low-resolution Cyro-EM maps up to par for better identifying protein structures.
KIST develops technology for creating flexible sensors on topographic surfaces
The Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST, president: Byung-gwon Lee) announced that Dr.
Decoding the complex life of a simple parasite
Scientists decode the genome sequence of one of nature's most complex parasites, dicyemids.
Solar panels cast shade on agriculture in a good way
Combining solar panel (photovoltaic) infrastructure and agriculture creates a mutually beneficial relationship.
Ultra-thin layers of rust generate electricity from flowing water
Tom Miller of Caltech and Franz Geiger of Northwestern University show that iron oxide layers can convert kinetic energy of saltwater into electrical power.
Pulse waves measured at the wrist uncover often-missed artery changes in menopausal women
Measuring a menopausal woman's pulse wave at her wrist can detect circulatory system changes that aren't evident with blood pressure readings.
'Mommy bloggers' study reveals factors that drive success in social influencer marketing
New research from the University of Notre Dame provides a framework of strategies to help managers yield larger returns on engagement.
Researchers discover therapy to treat drug-resistant acute lymphoblastic leukemia
Researchers from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have developed a new combination treatment regimen that enhances the immune system's ability to kill leukemias that do not respond to standard treatments.
Hospitals key in the spread of extremely drug-resistant bacteria in Europe
New research has found that antibiotic-resistant strains of Klebsiella pneumoniae, an opportunistic pathogen that can cause respiratory and bloodstream infections in humans, are spreading through hospitals in Europe.
Numerical model pinpoints source of pre-cursor to seismic signals
Numerical simulations have pinpointed the source of acoustic signals emitted by stressed faults in laboratory earthquake machines.
Lymph nodes can predict survival in patients with esophageal cancer
It is difficult for physicians to estimate recurrence and survival in patients with esophageal cancer.
Uncovering the roots of discrimination toward immigrants
Immigrants are often encouraged to assimilate into their new culture as a way of reducing conflict with their host societies, to appear less threatening to the culture and national identity of the host population.
New, portable tech sniffs out plant disease in the field
Researchers have developed portable technology that allows farmers to identify plant diseases in the field.
Supposed disorder is not disorder after all
While the correct function of many proteins depends on their three-dimensional structure, some appear to adopt random forms.
Simpler than expected: A microbial community with small diversity cleans up algal blooms
Algae blooms regularly make for pretty, swirly satellite photos of lakes and oceans.
Light may magnetise non-magnetic metals, propose physicists
Physicists from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) and the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, Denmark, have devised a method to turn a non-magnetic metal into a magnet using laser light.
Support needed for foster carers of LGBTQ young people
Research shows that more support is needed for foster carers looking after LGBTQ young people.
DIY balloon pump takes microfluidics to the people
The ingenious device unveiled in the prestigious Lab on a Chip journal cost just $2 to make, yet works almost as well as its expensive and cumbersome lab counterparts.
Origin of life: The importance of interfaces
Tiny gas-filled bubbles in the porous rock found around hot springs are thought to have played an important role in the origin of life.
Parasitic bat flies offer window into lives of hosts
A new study on a Bahamian bat makes the case for using the species' unusual parasites to reveal details about the species' populations on the archipelago.
Tired of waiting on a waiter?
We've all been there...you're out to eat and in need of a refill or the check and the wait staff is nowhere to be found.
Discovery could lead to new treatments for Parkinson's, other brain diseases
A small protein previously associated with cellular dysfunction and death in fact serves a critical function in repairing breaks in DNA, according to new research.
Infants expect leaders to right wrongs, study finds
Infants 17 months of age expect leaders -- but not others -- to intervene when one member of their group transgresses against another, a new study reveals.
Study examines how picture books introduce kids to politics
Meagan Patterson of the University of Kansas has authored a study in which she analyzed political messages in some of the most popular picture books of the last several years to see how political topics are introduced to children.
Scientists film molecular rotation
Scientists have used precisely tuned pulses of laser light to film the ultrafast rotation of a molecule.
Diets rich in blueberries yield diverse benefits
A collection of new studies in The Journals of Gerontology, Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences further quantifies how blueberry consumption can contribute to healthy aging.
Clinical trial in China on acupuncture as added treatment for chronic stable angina
This randomized clinical trial with about 400 adults conducted in China investigated acupuncture as an added treatment to antianginal therapies in reducing the frequency of angina attacks in patients with chronic stable angina.
'Digital twins' -- An aid to tailor medication to individual patients
Advanced computer models of diseases can be used to improve diagnosis and treatment.
Increasing value of ivory poses major threat to elephant populations
The global price of ivory increased tenfold since its 1989 trade ban by the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), new research has found.
Whole-tree harvesting could boost biomass production
Making the shift to renewable energy sources requires biomass, too.
Clinical trial reveals potential for treating larger strokes with thrombectomy
Building on research results published today in JAMA Neurology showing patients with larger ischemic strokes could benefit from endovascular thrombectomy, an international, multicenter Phase III clinical trial will be starting at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).
How can you reliably spot a fake smile? Ask a computer
Real and fake smiles can be tricky to tell apart, but researchers at the University of Bradford have now developed computer software that can spot false facial expressions.
Analysis reveals economic cost of Alzheimer's disease and dementia are 'tip of the iceberg'
A new research review highlighting the hidden costs of dementia suggests that traditional measures only show the 'tip of the iceberg' of the cost impact on society.
Candida auris is a new drug-resistant fungus emerging globally and in the US early detection is key to controlling spread of deadly drug-resistant fungus
Early identification of Candida auris, a potentially deadly fungus that causes bloodstream and intra-abdominal infections, is the key to controlling its spread.
Continuing the Apollo legacy
Fifty years after the first landing on the Moon, scientists from the University of Cologne have combined new geochemical information to determine the Moon's age using samples from different Apollo missions.
Blocking dopamine weakens effects of cocaine
Blocking dopamine receptors in different regions of the amygdala reduces drug seeking and taking behavior with varying longevity, according to research in rats published in eNeuro.
Laboratory study paves way for new approach to treating hair loss in humans
Japanese scientists have developed an efficient method of successfully generating hair growth in nude mice.
Mechanical forces control cell fate during brain formation
The study shows that during the embryonic development of the brain, the cells that are between adjacent segments detect the mechanical forces generated during morphogenesis to regulate the balance between progenitor stem cells and differentiated neurons.
Babies display empathy for victims as early as 6 months -- Ben-Gurion U. researchers
'The findings indicate that even during a baby's first year, the infant is already sensitive to others' feelings and can draw complicated conclusions about the context of a particular emotional display,' says Dr.
Camera can watch moving objects around corners
By analyzing single particles of light, this camera system can reconstruct room-size scenes and moving objects that are hidden around a corner.
UMD studies green infrastructure to manage more intense stormwater with climate change
UMD researchers are connecting climate change to stormwater management, with the goal of increasing resiliency to major storm events.
Predatory journals could damage the legitimacy of scientific publishing
'Predatory journals' pose a danger that could undermine the quality, integrity, and reliability of published scientific research, a new joint statement from 3 leading organizations, professional in medical writing and publication planning, has warned.
Larger ethnic communities help new refugees find work, Stanford research shows
A new study from the Stanford Immigration Policy Lab found that new refugees were more likely to find work within their first five years if officials assigned them to an area with a larger community of people who share their nationality, ethnicity or language.
Lung cell patches its own DNA on the fly to survive influenza
Scientists at Duke University have identified one kind of lung cell that can hustle to repair its damaged DNA and survive an attack of the influenza A virus while other kinds of cells around it die in droves.
Interventions aimed at parents and kids boost safe sex practices
Many parents are reluctant to talk with their kids about sex.
Workplace safety can worsen under bullying bosses, PSU study finds
A new Portland State University study suggests that bullying bosses aren't just bad for employee morale and well-being -- they can also be bad for workplace safety.
Demonstration of alpha particle confinement capability in helical fusion plasmas
A team of fusion researchers demonstrated that ions with energy in mega electron volt range are superiorly confined in a plasma for the first time in helical systems.
Nearly three-quarters of traumatic brain injuries in under-19s caused by consumer products
A vast report, looking at the products and activities associated with non-fatal traumatic brain injuries for youngsters aged up to 19, in 66 US hospitals' emergency departments, has revealed that floors, beds and American football are posing some of the greatest risks.
The Lancet Oncology: Globally, more than 11 million years of healthy life lost due to childhood cancer in 2017
While the number of new cancer cases in children and adolescents (aged 0-19 years) is relatively low at around 416,500 globally in 2017, treatment-related ill-health and disability and fatal cancer are estimated to cause around 11.5 million years of healthy life lost globally every year, according to the first Global Burden of Disease Study (GBD) to assess childhood and adolescent cancer burden in 195 countries in 2017, published in The Lancet Oncology journal.
Cardiac device complications vary widely among hospitals
The chances of patients experiencing complications after having a cardiac device implanted vary according to where they have the procedure.
Study shows power of refocusing student stress in middle school transition
A new study by education researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison shows that proactively addressing students' anxieties with clear and cost-effective messaging early in the school year can lead to a lasting record of higher grades, better attendance, and fewer behavioral problems for sixth graders embarking on their stressful first year of middle school.
New study reveals how TB bacteria may survive in human tissues
Associate Professor Chris Greening and his team of microbiologists from the School of Biological Sciences, Monash University, have discovered that some pathogens depend on carbon monoxide to survive when other nutrients are not available.
NASA takes tropical storm Flossie's temperature
NASA's Aqua satellite took the temperature of Tropical Storm Flossie as it continued to strengthen and organize in the Eastern Pacific.
Who dominates the discourse of the past?
Male academics, who comprise less than 10% of North American archaeologists, write the vast majority of the field's high impact, peer-reviewed literature.
Simultaneous infection by 2 viruses the key to studying rare lymphoma
New research has found that a rare blood cancer can be simulated in the lab only by simultaneously infecting white blood cells with 2 viruses typically found in the tumors.
Expanding functions of conducting microbial nanowires for chemical, biological sensors
In the latest paper from the Geobacter Lab led by microbiologist Derek Lovley at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, he and colleagues report 'a major advance' in the quest to develop electrically conductive protein nanowires in the bacterium Geobacter sulfurreducens for use as chemical and biological sensors.
SLAP microscope smashes speed records
A new 2-photon microscope captures videos of the brain faster than ever, revealing voltage changes and neurotransmitter release.
New insights into how the brain works
This study provides new insights into the functional relationships between inhibitory and excitatory neurons in the brain.
OU-led study shows improved estimates of Brazilian Amazon gains and losses
A University of Oklahoma-led study generated improved annual maps of tropical forest cover in the Brazilian Amazon in 2000-2017 and provided better characterization on the spatio-temporal dynamics of forest area, loss and gain in this region.
Identity-shifting cells protect against rupture in atherosclerosis
During atherosclerosis, a select group of cells in the artery wall move and transform to protect plaque from bursting into the artery, a study led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine has found.
Engineers use heat-free tech for flexible electronics; print metal on flowers, gelatin
Researchers led by Iowa State's Martin Thuo are using liquid-metal particles to print electronic lines and traces on rose petals, leaves, paper, gelatin -- on all kinds of materials.
Energy from seawater
A new battery made from affordable and durable materials generates energy from places where salt and fresh waters mingle.
Fish reveal limb-regeneration secrets
What can fish teach scientists about limb regeneration? Quite a bit, as it turns out.
NASA's TESS mission finds 'missing link' planets
NASA's newest planet-hunting satellite has discovered a type of planet missing from our own solar system.
'Deforming' solar cells could be clue to improved efficiency
Solar cells and light sensing technologies could be made more efficient by taking advantage of an unusual property due to deformations and defects in their structures.
UVA discovers incredible HULLK that controls prostate cancer progression
Researchers believe the discovery could be used to target and stop the progression of a cancer that kills more than 30,000 American men every year.
Oddball edge wins nanotube faceoff
A two-faced interface between growing carbon nanotubes and solid catalysts turns out to be more common than once believed, according to a theory developed at Rice University.
NASA tropical storm Erick strengthening
Infrared imagery from NASA's Aqua satellite revealed a stronger Tropical Storm Erick in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.
High blood sugar levels and BMI linked to stillbirth in mothers with diabetes
High maternal blood sugar levels and BMI are risk factors for stillbirth in mothers with diabetes, according to a new study in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes), with babies at the lowest and highest weights being most at risk.
Predicting earthquake hazards from wastewater injection
ASU-led geoscientists develop a method to forecast seismic hazards caused by the disposal of wastewater after oil and gas production.
Mysterious release of radioactive material uncovered
In September 2017, a slightly radioactive cloud moved across Europe.
African smoke is fertilizing Amazon rainforest and oceans, new study finds
A new study led by researchers at the University of Miami's (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science found that smoke from fires in Africa may be the most important source of a key nutrient -- phosphorus -- that acts as a fertilizer in the Amazon rainforest, Tropical Atlantic and Southern oceans.
Smart brain stimulators: Next-gen Parkinson's disease therapy
Researchers at the University of Houston have found neuro biomarkers for Parkinson's disease that can help create the next generation of 'smart' deep brain stimulators, able to respond to specific needs of Parkinson's disease patients.
AI-powered tool predicts cell behaviors during disease and treatment
Scientists at Helmholtz Zentrum München have developed a tool that promises to reshape the way we study disease and disease treatment on a cellular level.
High levels of estrogen in the womb linked to autism
Scientist have identified a link between exposure to high levels of estrogen sex hormones in the womb and the likelihood of developing autism.
Veterans Affairs study finds genetic basis for re-experiencing symptoms in PTSD
A study based on VA's Million Veteran Program has identified multiple locations in the human genome related to the risk of re-experiencing traumatic memories, the most distinctive symptom of posttraumatic stress disorder.
The 'blowfish effect': Children learn new words like adults do, say Princeton researchers
Even 3- to 5-year-olds know what typical dogs and fish look like -- and they apply that knowledge when they hear new words.
Researchers recreate the sun's solar wind and plasma 'burps' on Earth
A new study by University of Wisconsin-Madison physicists mimicked solar winds in the lab, confirming how they develop and providing an Earth-bound model for the future study of solar physics.
Freezing cells made safer thanks to new polymer made at University of Warwick
Cell freezing (cryopreservation) -- which is essential in cell transfusions as well as basic biomedical research -- can be dramatically improved using a new polymeric cryoprotectant, discovered at the University of Warwick, which reduces the amount of 'anti-freeze' needed to protect cells.
A catalyst for sustainable methanol
Scientists at ETH Zurich and oil and gas company Total have developed a new catalyst that converts CO2 and hydrogen into methanol.
NASA's TESS mission scores 'hat trick' with 3 new worlds
NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), has found 3 new worlds in a system that promises to be among the most important targets for future studies.
Study considers sensory impacts of global climate change
Climate change affects not only the growth and survival of marine animals, but also their senses.
Recovering color images from scattered light
Engineers at Duke University have developed a method for extracting a color image from a single exposure of light scattered through a mostly opaque material.
Doctors more likely to recommend antihistamines rather than cough & cold medicine for kids
For respiratory infections in children under 12, physicians are increasingly more likely to recommend antihistamines and less likely to recommend cough and cold medicines, a Rutgers study found.
BU researchers predict global energy needs will increase 25% by 2050
BU researchers predict global energy needs will increase 25% by 2050, which could lead to more greenhouse gas emissions
Travelling towards a quantum internet at light speed
Osaka University researchers demonstrated a new method for transmitting quantum information over long distances by using circularly polarized light to flip the spin state of an electron on a quantum dot.
Key gene behind hallmark of Lou Gehrig's disease identified
Researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine and their collaborators have pinpointed a key gene behind the formation of a toxic protein in people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
TET proteins: double agents in DNA methylation prevent catastrophic cancer
In their latest study, published in this week's online issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers at La Jolla Institute for Immunology (LJI), reveal how the finely tuned balance between DNA methylation and demethylation prevents genomic instability and cancer.
Researchers identify specific genetic vulnerabilities to PTSD among US veterans
A genome-wide association study of more than 165,000 US veterans confirms a genetic vulnerability to post-traumatic stress disorder, specifically noting abnormalities in stress hormone response and/or functioning of specific brain regions.
Extraordinarily thick organic light-emitting diodes solve nagging issues
By combining thin organic layers with thick layers of hybrid perovskite, researchers at Kyushu University in Japan have developed micrometer-thick organic light-emitting diodes that could improve the affordability and viewing angles of high-performance displays and televisions in the near future.

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2019.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

In & Out Of Love
We think of love as a mysterious, unknowable force. Something that happens to us. But what if we could control it? This hour, TED speakers on whether we can decide to fall in — and out of — love. Guests include writer Mandy Len Catron, biological anthropologist Helen Fisher, musician Dessa, One Love CEO Katie Hood, and psychologist Guy Winch.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#543 Give a Nerd a Gift
Yup, you guessed it... it's Science for the People's annual holiday episode that helps you figure out what sciency books and gifts to get that special nerd on your list. Or maybe you're looking to build up your reading list for the holiday break and a geeky Christmas sweater to wear to an upcoming party. Returning are pop-science power-readers John Dupuis and Joanne Manaster to dish on the best science books they read this past year. And Rachelle Saunders and Bethany Brookshire squee in delight over some truly delightful science-themed non-book objects for those whose bookshelves are already full. Since...
Now Playing: Radiolab

An Announcement from Radiolab