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Science News | Science Current Events | Brightsurf | August 06, 2019


Striped glow sticks
It may be possible to reach new levels of miniaturization, speed, and data processing with optical quantum computers, which use light to carry information.
'Mega-fires' may be too extreme even for a bird that loves fire
Fire is a natural part of western forests, but the changing nature of fire in many parts of North America may pose challenges for birds.
Knowing berry pests' varied diets may help control them
A Cornell University study, published in Ecological Entomology, investigates for the first time what spotted-wing drosophila adults and larvae eat, and where they lay their eggs, when these short-lived fruits are not in season.
Newly developed approach shows promise in silencing HIV infection
Researchers from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston have discovered a new potential medication that works with an HIV-infected person's own body to further suppress the ever present but silent virus that available HIV treatments are unable to combat.
Antineutrino detection could help remotely monitor nuclear reactors
Technology to measure the flow of subatomic particles known as antineutrinos from nuclear reactors could allow continuous remote monitoring designed to detect fueling changes that might indicate the diversion of nuclear materials.
NZ big bird a whopping 'squawkzilla'
Australasian palaeontologists have discovered the world's largest parrot, standing up to 1m tall with a massive beak able to crack most food sources.
Amyloid is a less accurate marker for measuring severity, progression of Alzheimer's
Researchers find fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) PET is a better indicator of cognitive performance when compared to PET scans that detect amyloid protein.
Robotic cane shown to improve stability in walking
By adding electronics and computation technology to a simple cane that has been around since ancient times, Columbia Engineering researchers have transformed it into a 21st century robotic device that can provide light-touch assistance in walking to the aged and others with impaired mobility.
Strange coral spawning improving Great Barrier Reef's resilience
A phenomenon that makes coral spawn more than once a year is improving the resilience of the Great Barrier Reef.
Manipulating brain cells by smartphone
Researchers have developed a soft neural implant that can be wirelessly controlled using a smartphone.
Cooperation with high status individuals may increase one's own status
While other animals tend to gain status through aggression, humans are typically averse to allowing such dominant individuals to achieve high status.
Natural gas storage research could combat global warming
To help combat global warming, a team led by Dr.
USPSTF still recommends against screening for pancreatic cancer in asymptomatic adults
The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) still recommends against screening for pancreatic cancer in adults without symptoms.
Blood pressure recording over 24 hours is the best predictor of heart and vascular disease
High blood pressure is the most important treatable risk factor for diseases of the heart and the arterial system.
APOE variants' effect on mortality studied in 38,000
Researchers of the E2-CHARGE consortium, led by Sudha Seshadri, M.D., of UT Health San Antonio, discover that a little-studied variant of the APOE gene may have protective effects.
Climate change could shrink oyster habitat in California
Changes to dissolved oxygen levels, water temperature, and salinity could have an even greater impact than ocean acidification on oyster growth in estuaries and bays.
Pitt first to grow genetically engineered mini livers to study disease and therapeutics
In a proof-of-concept paper, Pitt researchers chronicle how they transformed genetically engineered human cells into functional, 3D liver tissue that mimics non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) - a condition involving fat buildup in the liver, which can lead to cirrhosis or even liver failure.
How can robots land like birds?
Birds can perch on a wide variety of surfaces, thick or thin, rough or slick.
Many post on social media under the influence of drugs -- and regret it
Posting on social media, texting, and appearing in photos while high is prevalent among people who use drugs--and many regret these behaviors, according to a study by the Center for Drug Use and HIV/HCV Research (CDUHR) at NYU College of Global Public Health.
Blood clotting proteins in urine discovered as biomarkers of lupus nephritis
University of Houston biomedical engineer Chandra Mohan has discovered blood clotting proteins in the urine of patients with Lupus Nephritis which is the leading cause of death in lupus patients.
'Weaponized interdependence' wields economic networks as political weapons
Recent incidents make clear that we are in a new era in which one nation's economic interdependence on another can be wielded as a political weapon -- a phenomenon described as 'weaponized interdependence' by Henry Farrell (George Washington University) and Abraham L.
Dietary choline associates with reduced risk of dementia
A new study by researchers at the University of Eastern Finland is the first to observe that dietary intake of phosphatidylcholine is associated with a reduced risk of dementia.
Scientists shed new light on how we perceive vibrations through touch
Researchers have demonstrated a universal decoding system in humans that determines how we perceive vibrations of different frequencies through touch.
How the Pacific Ocean influences long-term drought in the Southwestern US
Analyzing the full life cycle of long-term droughts and how they relate to El Niño and La Niña conditions in the Pacific Ocean could eventually lead to better prediction of damaging, multiyear droughts in the Southwestern US.
A hog in wolf's clothing
Most research on human-wildlife conflict has focused on the ways tigers, wolves, and other predators impact livestock even though noncarnivores also threaten livestock.
OU microbiologists provide framework for assessing ecological diversity
A University of Oklahoma team of microbiologists have developed a mathematical framework for quantitatively assessing ecological diversity in an ecological community whether deterministic or stochastic.
What can you do with two omes that you can't do with one?
In an issue on multiomics, researchers report new approaches to study the microbiome, cancer and other diseases by combining proteomics, genomics, transcriptomics and other high-throughput ways to collect data.
1 in 300 thrives on very-early-to-bed, very-early-to-rise routine
A quirk of the body clock that lures some people to sleep at 8 p.m., enabling them to greet the new day as early as 4 a.m., may be significantly more common than previously believed.
Most seniors with dementia live at home, despite pain, anxiety, poor health
Contrary to popular belief, most older Americans with advancing dementia remain in their own homes -- many until they die.
Staring at seagulls could save your chips
Staring at seagulls makes them less likely to steal your food, new research shows.
How do you forecast eruptions at volcanoes that sit 'on the cusp' for decades?
Some volcanoes take their time--experiencing protracted, years-long periods of unrest before eventually erupting.
Industrial fishing behind plummeting shark numbers
A team of researchers, led by international conservation charity ZSL (Zoological Society of London), has discovered that sharks are much rarer in habitats nearer large human populations and fish markets.
Dead planets can 'broadcast' for up to a billion years
Astronomers are planning to hunt for cores of exoplanets around white dwarf stars by 'tuning in' to the radio waves that they emit.
Asbestosis toxicity study identifies potential of novel mineral treatment
Scientists investigating the ability of a micronized mineral compound to counteract the carcinogenic effects of mesothelioma and asbestosis, say results from both cell culture and animal model studies are very promising, warranting further investigation, including the commencement of clinical trials.
NASA finds heavy rain in new tropical storm Krosa
Tropical Storm Krosa had recently developed into a tropical storm when the GPM satellite passed overhead and found heavy rainfall.
Calcium levels in freshwater lakes declining in Europe and North America
A new global study of how calcium concentrations are changing in freshwater lakes around the world has revealed that in widespread areas in Europe and eastern North America, calcium levels are declining towards levels that can be critically low for the reproduction and survival of many aquatic organisms.
New study could reset how scientists view sex determination in painted turtle populations
A study that looks at how temperature influences the development of painted turtles may lead biologists to rethink the theoretical frameworks they use when analyzing the topic.
New hormone injection aids weight loss in obese patients
An injection has helped reduce body weight and glucose levels in patients with diabetes and obesity in four weeks.
What do you mean the hamburger isn't all that American?
Say you're a scientist who studies the origins and history of food, and you want to communicate to the world your findings that the all-American hamburger -- including the side of fries -- doesn't contain a single ingredient that originally came from the United States.
One therapy bests others at motivating kids with autism to speak, Stanford study finds
Pivotal response treatment involving parents works better than other existing therapies at motivating children with autism and significant speech delays to talk, according to the results of a large study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
Tariffs lead to creative supply chains
Where there's a will to peddle soybeans in the global marketplace, there's a way.
Seeing how computers 'think' helps humans stump machines and reveals AI weaknesses
Researchers from the University of Maryland have figured out how to reliably create questions that challenge computers and reflect the complexity of human language through a human-computer collaboration, developing a dataset of more than 1,200 questions that, while easy for people to answer, stump the best computer answering systems today.
NASA finds tropical storm Francisco in the Korea strait
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the Korea Strait and found the center of Tropical Storm Francisco in the middle of it.
New plant galls research includes most comprehensive study of role of hormones
This study, published in Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions, is the most complete study to date about the role of hormones in galls, measuring 15 plant hormones belonging to 5 different classes.
Kids might be naturally immunized after C. difficile colonization in infancy
Exposure to C. difficile in infancy produces an immune response that might protect against this gastrointestinal infection later in childhood, according to a study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases journal.
Thyme essential oil in corn starch particles combats Aedes aegypti larvae
A system created in Brazil using cheap, biodegradable materials permits controlled release of larvicide and can be used in small amounts of water.
Streamlining fee waiver requests helped low-income immigrants become citizens
Researchers from the Immigration Policy Lab at Stanford University studied the impact of a USCIS reform that streamlined the process to request a fee waiver for citizenship applications.
Bullet shape, velocity determine blood spatter patterns
Blood spatters are hydrodynamic signatures of violent crimes, often revealing when an event occurred and where the perpetrator and victim were located, and researchers have worked toward better understanding the fluid dynamics at play during gunshot spatters.
UCLA study links progenitor cells to age-related prostate growth
The prostates of older mice contain more luminal progenitor cells -- cells capable of generating new prostate tissue -- than the prostates of younger mice, UCLA researchers have discovered.
Novel school improvement program can raise teaching quality while reducing inequality
A multi-national European study, looking at over 5,500 students, has found that a novel school intervention program can not only improve the mathematics scores of primary school children from disadvantaged areas, but can also lessen the achievement gap caused by socioeconomic status.
Study on attosecond timescale casts new light on electron dynamics in transition metals
A team of scientists from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg and the Department of Physics at ETH Zurich in Switzerland, together with the Center for Computational Sciences of University of Tsukuba, has unraveled the light-induced electron-localization dynamics in transition metals at the attosecond timescale.
Animal collectives like ants should move through their environment like 'savvy gamblers'
Many animals have to move around in their environment to find resources to live and reproduce.
'Bone in a dish' opens new window on cancer initiation, metastasis, bone healing
Researchers in Oregon have engineered a material that replicates human bone tissue with an unprecedented level of precision, from its microscopic crystal structure to its biological activity.
Maternal and child health and nutrition: Week 1 of the PLOS Medicine Special Issue
This week, we see the publication of the first papers in PLOS Medicine's special issue on nutrition in maternal and child health, advised by Guest Editors Dr.
Most independent charity drug assistance programs exclude the uninsured
A new study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health examined independent charity prescription drug assistance programs in the U.S. and found that nearly all--97 percent--did not provide coverage for uninsured patients.
Research advances to better target debilitating effects of cachexia syndrome
A study published in Cell Reports Aug. 6, 2019 describes the generation of a new mouse model developed at Hollings Cancer Center that could lead to a better understanding of the cachexia syndrome.
Ionic thermal up-diffusion boosts energy harvesting
Recently nanofluidic salinity gradient energy harvesting via ion channels or membranes has drawn increasing concerns due to the advances in materials science and nanotechnology, which exhibits much higher power density than the macro reverse electrodialysis systems, indicating its potential to harvest the huge amount blue energy released by mixing seawater and river water and enhance power extracted for osmotic heat engines.
Reconstructing histological slices into 3D images
Despite advances in 3D imaging such as MRI and CT, scientists still rely on slicing a specimen into 2D sections to acquire the most detailed information.
Sleep interrupted: What's keeping us up at night?
One of the largest longitudinal studies to date examined evening consumption of alcohol, caffeine and nicotine among an African-American cohort and objectively measured sleep outcomes in their natural environments instead of laboratory or observatory settings.
Study explores blood-brain barrier leakage in CNS infections
A new study published in the journal mBio shines light on the breakdown of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) that occurs during many infections of the central nervous system.
Questions during shared book reading with preschoolers need to be more challenging
When it comes to challenging young minds to grow language, asking how and why during shared book reading to preschoolers can be more beneficial, according to new research at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).
Blood pressure monitoring may one day be easy as taking a video selfie
Future blood pressure monitoring could become as easy as taking a video selfie.
The growing trend of emotional support animals
Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) are showing up in places previously understood to be animal-free.
The limits of rainforest growth
How much carbon dioxide can tropical rainforests absorb? Investigations by an international team of researchers with significant involvement from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) indicate that the absorption capacity is severely limited by the phosphorus content of the soil.
Wits University PhD student discovers new species of early dinosaur
The team of scientists, led by PhD Student Kimberley Chapelle, recognised that the dinosaur was not only a new species of sauropodomorph, but an entirely new genus.
Houseplants ability to survive drought can provide useful knowledge for the climate change era
PLANTS It has long been known that some plants tolerate drought better than others.
Canada's new dementia strategy needs commitment to be successful
Canada's new national dementia strategy can be successful with sustained political will, adequate funding, measurable targets and a commitment from all Canadians to achieve its goals, argues an editorial in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) http://www.cmaj.ca/lookup/doi/10.1503/cmaj.190929.
Non-invasive imaging method spots cancer at the molecular level
Researchers for the first time have combined a powerful microscopy technique with automated image analysis algorithms to distinguish between healthy and metastatic cancerous tissue without relying on invasive biopsies or the use of a contrast dye.
Surprising discovery could change the way industry uses nickel
Nickel is one of the most abundant elements on earth.
Scientists create the world's thinnest gold
Scientists at the University of Leeds have created a new form of gold which is just two atoms thick -- the thinnest unsupported gold ever created.
Virtual treasure hunt shows brain maps time sequence of memories
We have little difficulty in remembering the chronology of events.
Raising the standard for psychology research
Researchers from Stanford University, Arizona State University, and Dartmouth College used Texas Advanced Computing Center supercomputers to apply more rigorous statistical methods to psychological studies of self-regulation.
Kappa opioid receptor influences naltrexone's effects on drinking alcohol
Researchers at Yale University have identified how naltrexone, a medication used to treat alcohol use disorder, reduces craving and consumption in heavy drinkers.
Deregulated mTOR is responsible for autophagy defects exacerbating kidney stone formation
Kidney stone disease is a lifestyle-related disease prevalent; however, effective medical treatment for the disease is not yet well established.
Hotter, wetter, dryer: WVU research forecasts an uptick in extreme weather, temperatures
Nicolas Zegre, director of the Mountain Hydrology Laboratory at WVU, analyzed seasonal changes in water and energy balances over the Appalachian region.
NASA satellite finds strong storms circling Lekima's center
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the Northwestern Pacific Ocean and captured a visible image of strengthening Tropical Storm Lekima.
Development of flexible sensors mimicking human finger skin by DGIST
Senior Researcher Changsoon Choi's team at DGIST and Dr. Sungwoo Chun at SKKU developed a new tactile sensor mimicking human skin.
NASA sees Flossie now a remnant low pressure area
Former Hurricane Flossie was nothing more than a remnant low pressure area early on Tuesday, August 6, 2019.
Simulations demonstrate ion heating by plasma oscillations for fusion energy
A research team of fusion scientists succeeded in proving that ions can be heated by plasma oscillations driven by high-energy particles.
How brain cells pick which connections to keep
A new study shows that the protein CPG15 acts as a molecular proxy of experience to mark synapses for stabilization, a key step in ensuring brain circuits can be refined by experience for optimal functional efficiency.
Heart-on-a-chip mimics drug response seen in humans
Researchers show that TARA's heart-on-a-chip system replicates drug responses found in adult humans, validating it as an accurate model for cardiac safety during drug development.
Thyroid screening may not be needed in all youth with psychiatric disorders
A new study from researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) and Cincinnati Children's looks at the prevalence of abnormal thyroid function in youth with severe mood and anxiety disorder.

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