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Science News | Science Current Events | Brightsurf | July 31, 2019


Chameleon-inspired structural color soft robot can interact with environment
A novel structural color soft robot with both color-changing and locomotion capabilities has been developed by a research team led by Dr.
Plants use more water in soils leached by acid rain, West Virginia forest study shows
In one of the first long-term studies to explore how changing soils have impacted plant water uptake, researchers report that plants in soil leached by polluted rain drink more water.
Is vitamin A intake associated with reduced risk of common skin cancer?
Data from two long-term study groups including nearly 125,000 health professionals in the US were used to evaluate the association between intake of vitamin A, through diet and supplementation, and risk of cutaneous squamous cell cancer during a follow-up period of more than 26 years.
Faint foreshocks foretell California quakes
New research mining data from a catalog of more than 1.8 million southern California earthquakes found that nearly three-fourths of the time, foreshocks signalled a quake's readiness to strike from days to weeks before the the mainshock hit, a revelation that could advance earthquake forecasting.
Finding weakness in bacterial protein to fight anti-biotic resistance
Researchers reveal previously undiscovered hot spots on the surface of bacteria's critical enzyme, which could guide novel approaches to antibiotic design.
Magnetic 'springs' break down marine microplastic pollution
Plastic waste that finds its way into oceans and rivers poses a global environmental threat with damaging health consequences for animals, humans, and ecosystems.
Mastering metabolism for shark and ray survival
Understanding the internal energy flow -- including the metabolism -- of large ocean creatures like sharks and rays could be key to their survival in a changing climate, according to a new study.
What the brains of people with excellent general knowledge look like
The brains of people with excellent general knowledge are particularly efficiently wired.
Citizen scientists offer ray of hope
Volunteer snorkelers and scuba divers have been helping capture images of reef manta rays to better protect the threatened species.
What compulsive dating-app users have in common
Loneliness and social anxiety is a bad combination for single people who use dating apps on their phones, a new study suggests.
'Promising' antibody therapy extends survival in mice with pancreatic cancer
Scientists have found a way to target and knock out a single protein that they have discovered is widely involved in pancreatic cancer cell growth, survival and invasion.
Expectant mothers can mitigate the impact of marijuana on baby's brain development
A team of researchers led by members of the University of Colorado School of Medicine at the Anschutz Medical Campus found that choline, an essential micronutrient, can prevent fetal brain developmental problems that can occur when mothers use marijuana while pregnant.
First pictures of enzyme that drives new class of antibiotics
Researchers have solved the X-ray crystal structure of the enzyme that makes obafluorin -- a broad spectrum antibiotic agent made by a fluorescent strain of soil bacteria.
Overturning the truth on conservation tillage
Conservation tillage does not lower yield in modern cropping systems.
Experiments explore the mysteries of 'magic' angle superconductors
A team led by Princeton physicist Ali Yazdani conducted experiments to explore superconductivity in a groundbreaking new material known as magic-angle twisted graphene.
WPI liquid biopsy chip snares circulating tumor cells in blood drops from cancer patients
Researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute have developed a chip made of carbon nanotubes that can capture circulating tumor cells (CTCs) of all sizes and types, and can do so with far greater sensitivity than existing technologies.
Previously unknown mechanism causes increased forest water use, new study says
Researchers have discovered a previously unknown mechanism that causes increased forest water use, advances understanding of soil biogeochemical control of forest water cycles and highlights threats to plants from water stress under acid deposition, according to a new study.
Goal-oriented rehab improves recovery in older adults
Goal-oriented, motivational physical and occupational therapy helps older patients recover more fully from broken hips, strokes and other ailments that land them in skilled nursing facilities for rehabilitation, according to new research at Washington University School of Medicine in St.
Mapping Oregon coast harbor seal movements using wearable devices
Wearable devices fitted to harbor seals reveal their movements around the Oregon coast, for a population that has been increasing following the implementation of marine reserves and protection acts.
Early onset of menstruation associated with higher risk of type 2 diabetes
Diabetes is a global health concern expected to affect 693 million people worldwide by 2045.
Centimeter-long snail robot is powered with light
Researchers at the Faculty of Physics at the University of Warsaw, Poland used liquid crystal elastomer technology to demonstrate a bio-inspired microrobot capable of mimicking the adhesive locomotion of snails and slugs in natural scale.
Snake fang-like patch quickly delivers liquid medicines in rodents
Scientists have created a microneedle patch based on the fangs of a snake that can deliver therapeutic liquids and a vaccine through the skin of rodents in under 15 seconds.
Glowing cholesterol helps scientists fight heart disease
A newly developed technique that shows artery clogging fat-and-protein complexes in live fish gave investigators from Carnegie, Johns Hopkins University, and the Mayo Clinic a glimpse of how to study heart disease in action.
Hearing loss, dementia risk in population of Taiwan
A population-based study using data from the National Health Insurance Research Database of Taiwan suggests hearing loss is associated with risk of dementia.
Baby spiders really are watching you
Baby jumping spiders can hunt prey just like their parents do because they have vision nearly as good.
I see the pattern under your skin
By combining multiphoton imaging and biaxial tissue extension a research team from Japan found that collagen in the skin is organized in a mesh-like structure, and that elastic fibers -- the connective tissue found in skin -- follows the same orientation.
Ground breaking Trinity research shows how MND affects multiple brain networks
Researchers in the Academic Unit of Neurology at Trinity College Dublin have identified characteristic changes in the patterns of electrical brain wave activity in motor neurone disease (MND).
Tiny bubbles hold clue to better performing industrial technologies
Insights into how minute, yet powerful, bubbles form and collapse on underwater surfaces could help make industrial structures such as ship propellers more hardwearing, research suggests.
Novel discovery of links between liver dysfunction and Alzheimer's disease
New research from the Alzheimer's Disease Metabolomics Consortium (ADMC) and Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) has uncovered novel connections between liver dysfunction and Alzheimer's disease (AD), paving a new path toward a systems level view of Alzheimer's relevant for early detection and ultimately for prevention.
Poor methodology reporting makes radiation oncology studies impossible to replicate
Nearly 80 percent of radiation oncology studies funded by the National Institutes of Health involve investigating the effects that radiation has on tumor cells and healthy tissue in pre-clinical settings, such as experiments done in cell cultures or mice.
New 'don't eat me' signal may provide basis for cancer therapies, Stanford researchers say
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have discovered a new signal that cancers seem to use to evade detection and destruction by the immune system.
TESS satellite uncovers its 'first nearby super-Earth'
NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), a mission designed to comb the heavens for exoplanets, has discovered its first potentially habitable world outside of our own solar system -- and an international team of astronomers has characterized the super-Earth, about 31 light-years away.
Biosynthesized fibers inspired strong and tough artificial nanocomposite fibers
Nanocellulose-based macrofibers are promising materials for future applications. Various strategies have been pursued to improve their strength.
Study finds lower stress, depression levels in mothers of children with autism
Mothers of young children with autism who focus on improving the quality of their own relationship skills -- as opposed to teaching developmental skills to their children -- experience dramatic improvements in their level of parenting stress and depression.
NASA finds tropical storm Wipha whipped up
Tropical Storm Wipha formed quickly in the South China Sea.
Precision editing of gut bacteria reduces cancer in mice
UT Southwestern researchers have shown that precision editing of the bacterial populations in the gut reduces inflammation-associated colorectal cancer in mice.
Uncovering secrets of bone marrow cells and how they differentiate
Researchers mapped distinct bone marrow niche populations and their differentiation paths for the bone marrow factory that starts from mesenchymal stromal cells and ends with three types of cells -- fat cells, bone-making cells and cartilage-making cells.
Krypton reveals ancient water beneath the Israeli desert
Getting reliable precipitation data from the past has proven difficult, as is predicting regional changes for climate models in the present.
Drug combo heralds major shift in chronic lymphocytic leukemia treatment
A combination of two drugs keeps patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia disease-free and alive longer than the current standard of care, according to a phase-3 clinical trial of more than 500 participants conducted at Stanford Medicine and multiple other institutions.
Vaccinations not a risk factor for multiple sclerosis
Data from over 12,000 multiple sclerosis (MS) patients formed the basis of a study by the Technical University of Munich (TUM) which investigated the population's vaccination behavior in relation to MS.
Another trick up the immune system's sleeve: Regrowing blood vessels
Peripheral artery disease, which affects 8.5 million people in the US, can cut off blood flow to the arms and legs, sometimes forcing doctors to amputate limbs.
Finnish people's unique genetic makeup offers clues to disease
A new study harnessed the unique genetic history of the people of Finland to identify variations in DNA that might predispose certain individuals to disease, whether or not they are Finnish themselves.
Excellence payments to hospitals improve hip fracture care
A scheme that pays hospitals to deliver high quality care has been shown to improve the outcomes for patients with broken hips in England.
New protein-sensing mechanism discovered
In a stunning discovery, molecular biologists from the University of Konstanz and ETH Zurich have been able to demonstrate that the nascent polypeptide-associated complex (NAC) senses newly synthesized proteins upon birth inside the ribosomal tunnel.
Many North American indigenous youth experience symptoms of depression during adolescence
A new study that analyzed data on the development of depressive symptoms among Indigenous youth in the United States and Canada found that many of the youth had experienced these symptoms during adolescence.
New twist on old surgical technique helps repair patient's skull base
A Rutgers-led team of surgeons developed a groundbreaking procedure based on a paramedian forehead flap, a century-old plastic surgery technique, to save the life of a patient who suffered complications following the removal of a cancerous tumor inside his skull.
Older adults should be regularly screened for heart disease, diabetes risk
Measuring waistline, blood pressure, cholesterol, blood fats, and blood sugar during doctor visits can detect heart disease and diabetes earlier, according to a Clinical Practice Guideline issued today by the Endocrine Society.
Blood pressure control less likely among those treated in low-income areas
People were half as likely to have their blood pressure controlled in a six-year clinical trial if they received care in low-income areas.
Study: Children born to older parents tend to have fewer behavior problems
A new Dutch study considered the behavior problems of children born to older parents.
Closing the door: breaking new ground related to a potential anticancer drug target
In order to sustain fast growth, cancer cells need to take up nutrients at a faster rate than healthy cells.
Neuroimaging essential for Zika cases
Infants in a recent study 'represented a group of ZIKV-exposed infants who would be expected to have a high burden of neuroimaging abnormalities, which is a difference from other reported cohorts,' Sarah B.
Encapsulated Indian medicinal herb shows anti-diabetic properties in mice
Extracts of the herb Withania coagulans, or Paneer dodi, are used in traditional Indian medicine.
Psoriasis therapy linked to reduced coronary inflammation in patients with skin condition
Researchers have found that anti-inflammatory biologic therapies used to treat moderate to severe psoriasis can significantly reduce coronary inflammation in patients with the chronic skin condition.
Multi-state switchable stationary phase opens new doors in chiral separation
A team including researchers from Kanazawa University demonstrated HPLC separation of enantiomers using an optically active poly(phenylacetylene) derivative as a chiral stationary phase.
Study debunks 'July Effect' for heart surgery
The notion that more medical errors occur in July compared to other months due to an influx of new medical school graduates starting their in-hospital training does not apply to heart surgery, according to research in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery, published by Elsevier.
Optimizing structures within complex arrangements of bubbles
New research published in EPJ E explores how different numbers of 2D bubbles of two different areas can be arranged within circular discs, in ways which minimize their perimeters.
Call it Mighty Mouse: Breakthrough leaps Alzheimer's research hurdle
University of California, Irvine researchers have made it possible to learn how key human brain cells respond to Alzheimer's, vaulting a major obstacle in the quest to understand and one day vanquish it.
New staffing model for an integrated specialist team approach to palliative care
The Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians has developed a new staffing model for specialist palliative care teams that can deliver an optimal, integrated palliative care program.
Higher vitamin A intake linked to lower skin cancer risk
Researchers found that people who ate high levels of vitamin A were 17 percent less likely to get the second-most-common type of skin cancer years later.
Biodiversity highest on Indigenous-managed lands
More than one million plant and animal species worldwide are facing extinction, according to a recent United Nations report.
Scientists cook up new recipes for taking salt out of seawater
As populations boom and chronic droughts persist, coastal cities like Carlsbad in Southern California have increasingly turned to ocean desalination to supplement a dwindling fresh water supply.
How to recognize where a volcano will erupt
Eleonora Rivalta and her team from the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences in Potsdam, together with colleagues from the University Roma Tre and the Vesuvius Observatory of the Italian Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia in Naples have devised a new method to forecast volcanic vent locations.
A new choice for young women with pre-cancerous cervical disease
A single test for women has been shown to aid in predicting which cases of precancerous cervical disease will become more serious, helping with decisions on whether or not surgery is needed, according to a study led by Queen Mary University of London.
Psychotherapy should be first-line treatment for depression in young people, trial finds
Young people seeking support for depression should be offered psychotherapy as the first line of treatment, a clinical trial by researchers at Orygen, the National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, has found.
Low muscle mass in arms and legs can heighten the mortality risk in older men and women
A study of individuals over 65 years old showed that all-cause mortality risk increased nearly 63-fold in women with low appendicular muscle mass.
SibFU scientists discovered material that can make solar cells more efficient
Researchers at Siberian Federal University, together with colleagues from the Royal Institute of Technology (Stockholm, Sweden), discovered new properties of material based on palladium, which can increase the performance of solar cells.
Researchers produce electricity by flowing water over extremely thin layers of metal
Scientists from Northwestern University and Caltech have produced electricity by simply flowing water over extremely thin layers of inexpensive metals, including iron, that have oxidized.
Actively swimming gold nanoparticles
Bacteria can actively move towards a nutrient source -- a phenomenon known as chemotaxis -- and they can move collectively in a process known as swarming.
A chemical clue to how life started on Earth
Many scientists find it strange that every living thing on our planet forms its proteins from the exact same set of 20 amino acids.
Physician leaders call for action to create a new generation of physician-scientists
In a perspective article appearing in the Aug. 1 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, a group of prominent physician-scientist leaders propose a plan for increasing the number of physicians who conduct research looking for tomorrow's breakthroughs and cures.
Neurocognitive basis for free will set out for the first time
Do human beings genuinely have free will? Philosophers and theologians have wrestled with this question for centuries and have set out the 'design features' of free will -- but how do our brains actually fulfil them?
'Sniff-cam' to detect disease
Having bad breath can mean someone ate a smelly lunch, but it could indicate that the person is sick.
Human torso simulator offers promise for new back brace innovations
Engineers have for the first time created a simulator mimicking the mechanical behavior of the human torso --which could lead to innovations in the design of medical back supports.
Stop! OX40-positive follicular helper T cells control rheumatoid arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is a progressive autoimmune disease most frequently characterized by pain, swelling, and stiffness in joints.
NASA finds heavy rain in hurricane Erick
NASA provided forecasters with a look at Hurricane Erick's rainfall rates and cloud temperatures with data from the GPM and Aqua satellites, as the storm headed to Hawaii.
Racism influences medical students' decision on practicing in minority or underserved communities
A longitudinal study of 3,756 US medical students provides evidence that racism in medical schools influenced their decisions on whether to practice in minority or underserved communities.
Scientists take step toward more efficient fuel refinement processes
Researchers at the Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocesses Technology (QIBEBT) in China have made headway toward more sustainable and economic fuel production by developing a biochemical approach to allow more control over the conversion of natural gas into potable liquid fuel.
For children born with HIV, adhering to medication gets harder with age
Children born with HIV in the U.S. were less likely to adhere to their medications as they aged from preadolescence to adolescence and into young adulthood.
Fragrance-releasing fabric could help neutralize sweaty gym clothes
Hot summer weather, stressful situations and intense workouts can produce unpleasant sweaty odors.
Both low and high levels of hemoglobin linked to increased risk of dementia
Having either low or high levels of hemoglobin in your blood may be linked to an increased risk of developing dementia years later, according to a study published in the July 31, 2019, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
Quantum computers to clarify the connection between the quantum and classical worlds
Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists have developed a new quantum computing algorithm that offers a clearer understanding of the quantum-to-classical transition, which could help model systems on the cusp of quantum and classical worlds, such as biological proteins, and also resolve questions about how quantum mechanics applies to large-scale objects.
Parents' mental illness increases suicide risk in adults with tinnitus, hyperacusis
A study is the first to examine the relationship between parental mental illness like anxiety and depression in childhood and the risk of suicide and self-harm in adults who suffer from tinnitus, noise or ringing in the ears, and hyperacusis, extreme sensitivity to noise.
Study identifies human performance deficiencies associated with adverse surgical events
In the surgical setting, the concept ''to err is human'' could potentially be a matter of life and death.
Researchers show how side hit to the head could damage brain, lead to concussion
Play contact sports for any length of time and at one point or another you're probably going to have your 'bell rung' by a powerful blow to the head from a hard hit or fall.
Postpartum transfusions on the rise, carry greater risk of adverse events
Women who receive a blood transfusion after giving birth are twice as likely to have an adverse reaction related to the procedure, such as fever, respiratory distress, or hemolysis (destruction of red blood cells), compared with non-pregnant women receiving the same care, according to a new study published today in Blood Advances.
You can't squash this roach-inspired robot
A new insect-sized robot created by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, can scurry across the floor at nearly the speed of a darting cockroach -- and it's nearly as hardy as a cockroach, too: Try to squash this robot under your foot, and more than likely, it will just keep going.
The urbanization of the beach
Some of Southern California's most iconic and popular beaches have lost most of their biodiversity, according to marine scientists.
Ketamine isn't an opioid and treats depression in a unique way
Ketamine has gotten a bad rap as an opioid when there's plenty of evidence suggesting it isn't one, Johns Hopkins experts say.
Tracking baby fish for better reef management
Scientists have created the world's first computer model to predict the movements of baby coral trout across the Great Barrier Reef.
Clearing up the 'dark side' of artificial leaves
While artificial leaves hold promise as a way to take carbon dioxide -- a potent greenhouse gas -- out of the atmosphere, there is a 'dark side to artificial leaves that has gone overlooked for more than a decade,' according to Meenesh Singh, assistant professor of chemical engineering in the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Engineering.
Gibbons' large, long-term territories put them under threat from habitat loss
Wild gibbons living in the peat swamps of southern Borneo require between 20 and 50 hectares of forest territory for each group, making their populations particularly vulnerable to habitat loss, according to a study publishing July 31 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Dr.
Traded forest tree seeds pose a great risk of introducing harmful pests
CABI has led an international team of scientists who strongly suggest that the global trade of forest tree seeds is not as safe as previously believed, with insect pests and fungal pathogens posing a great risk to trees and forest ecosystems worldwide.
Protective protein guards against DNA damage & could help target fast growing cancer cells
The discovery that an essential protein plays a protective role during cell division, could open the door to better targeted treatment of fast-growing cancer cells.
One in 10 older adults currently binge drinks
More than a tenth of adults age 65 and older currently binge drink, putting them at risk for a range of health problems, according to a study by researchers at NYU School of Medicine and the Center for Drug Use and HIV/HCV Research (CDUHR) at NYU College of Global Public Health.
Warmer winters could lead to longer blue crab season in Chesapeake Bay
Scientists from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science are predicting that warmer winters in the Chesapeake Bay will likely lead to longer and more productive seasons for Maryland's favorite summer crustacean, the blue crab.
Climate change alters tree demography in northern forests
The rise in temperature and precipitation levels in summer in northern Japan has negatively affected the growth of conifers and resulted in their gradual decline, according to a 38-year-long study in which mixed forests of conifers and broad-leaved trees were monitored by a team of researchers from Hokkaido University.
Hidden chemistry in flowers shown to kill cancer cells
Researchers at the University of Birmingham have shown that it's possible to produce a compound with anti-cancer properties directly from feverfew -- a common flowering garden plant.
Walkability is key: A look at greenspace use
New University of Arizona research suggests the key to getting more people to use public greenspaces may be making access to them easier and safer.
Poisonous grasses: new study provides reassurance
Stories of mass poisoning incidents of livestock due to toxic grasses made headlines especially overseas.
BU researcher asks, 'is it time for another contraception revolution?'
In an effort to protect the planet and preserve its natural treasures for future generations, another contraception revolution that provides options for populations not currently being served by modern contraception may be the answer according to a Perspective in this week's New England Journal of Medicine.
UNH research finds shale natural gas development impacting recreationists
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire took a closer look at shale natural gas energy development (SGD) and how it is affecting the experiences of outdoor recreationists, like hikers and campers.
Confirmation of toasty TESS planet leads to surprising find of promising world
A piping hot planet discovered by NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has pointed the way to additional worlds orbiting the same star, one of which is located in the star's habitable zone.
Aspirin improves liver function after embolization of hepatocellular carcinoma
Aspirin therapy is associated with both improved liver function test results and survival after transarterial embolization for hepatocellular carcinoma, according to an ahead-of-print article by F.
Animal friendships 'change with the weather' in the Masai Mara
When it comes to choosing which other species to hang out with, wild animals quite literally change their minds with the weather, a new University of Liverpool study reveals.
Laser solitons: Theory, topology and potential applications
Solitons have found applications in data transmission but even these gradually dissipate unless the medium they travel through has ultra-low absorbance.
SUTD researchers developed a unique method of fabricating 3D porous structures
SUTD researchers have developed a novel method of 3D printing to fabricate 3D porous structures in one step.
Major class of viruses reveals complex origins
A new study examines the evolutionary dynamics of circular Rep-encoding single-stranded (CRESS) DNA viruses.
Targeting a blood stem cell subset shows lasting, therapeutically relevant gene editing
In a paper published in the July 31 issue of Science Translational Medicine, researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center used CRISPR-Cas9 to edit long-lived blood stem cells to reverse the clinical symptoms observed with several blood disorders, including sickle cell disease and beta-thalassemia.
AI improves efficiency and accuracy of digital breast tomosynthesis
Artificial intelligence (AI) helps improve the efficiency and accuracy of an advanced imaging technology used to screen for breast cancer, according to a new study.
NASA casts a double eye on hurricane Flossie
NASA's Aqua and Terra satellites provided infrared views of Flossie before and after it became a hurricane while moving through the Eastern Pacific Ocean.
Colorectal cancer rates in Canada
The incidence of colorectal cancer among younger adults increased in recent years in this analysis of data from Canadian national cancer registries that included about 688,000 new colorectal cancers diagnosed over more than 40 years.
Going green? Not so easy for mainstream brands
Recent research shows that when mainstream brands advertise using visual cues suggesting the product is environmentally friendly or 'green' consumers may actually evaluate the product as being less effective and switch to a more niche green brand.
Families of children with rare diseases open to advanced care plans with caregiver support
A novel palliative care intervention developed at Children's National Health System for caregivers of children and adolescents with rare diseases has shown preliminary success at helping families talk about potentially challenging medical decisions before a crisis occurs.
New insights into the early stages of creep deformation
Research published in EPJ B reveals that creep deformation not only modifies material properties; it can also vary their statistical behaviour.
Advance in understanding of all-solid-state batteries
In a new paper published by Nature Materials entitled 'Critical Stripping Current Leads to Dendrite Formation on Plating in Lithium Anode Solid Electrolyte Cells,' Faraday Institution researchers at the University of Oxford have taken a step forward in understanding the mechanisms by which solid-state batteries fail -- a necessary prerequisite to avoiding such failures.
Successful first trial for dizziness monitoring device
A ground-breaking device to help patients with dizziness problems has moved a step forward following a successful research study.

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