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Science News | Science Current Events | Brightsurf | August 12, 2019


CSU team uncovers potential for Rift Valley fever virus transmission in Colorado livestock
Colorado State University researchers found that mosquitoes that could transmit the virus were abundant in feedlots and at nearby sites in Northern Colorado.
Monash University study finds way to disarm dangerous bacteria
Researchers from the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI) have discovered an antibiotic that could prevent the life-threatening diarrhoea caused by Clostridioides difficile -- a serious bacterial infection often acquired in hospital.
Asian carp capable of surviving in much larger areas of Lake Michigan than previously thought
Asian carp are capable of surviving and growing in much larger portions of Lake Michigan than scientists previously believed and present a high risk of becoming established, according to a new modeling study from University of Michigan researchers and their colleagues.
Northern tropical dry trend may just be normal variation: scientists
Recently, an international team led by Prof. TAN Liangcheng from the Institute of Earth Environment (IEE) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences developed a 2700-yr rainfall record of the northern central Indo-Pacific region.
Structurally complex forests better at carbon sequestration
Forests in the eastern United States that are structurally complex -- meaning the arrangement of vegetation is highly varied -- sequester more carbon, according to a new study led by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Estrogen improves Parkinson's disease symptoms
Brain-selective estrogen treatment improves the symptoms of Parkinson's disease in male mice, according to new research published in JNeurosci.
Alzheimer's disease destroys neurons that keep us awake
Researchers have noted excessive daytime napping can develop long before memory problems of Alzheimer's disease appear.
Methane not released by wind on Mars, experts find
New study rules out wind erosion as the source of methane gas on Mars and moves a step closer to answering the question of whether life exists on other planets.
Gut-brain connection helps explain how overeating leads to obesity
A multi-institutional team led by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine reveals a previously unknown gut-brain connection that helps explain how those extra servings lead to weight gain.
New target found for disease of the heart's smallest blood vessels
When we race walk, for example, part of our healthy heart muscle may want a little more blood and oxygen, so our tiniest blood vessels send a message upstream to the larger vessels to send more.
Sharp meets flat in tunable 2D material
Rice University scientists have created unique two-dimensional flakes with two distinct personalities: molybdenum diselenide on one side of a sharp divide with rhenium diselenide on the other.
Magdeburg researchers refute theory of collective (non-)action
The theory of collective action states that there is no incentive for individuals in large groups to participate in the provision of work for public benefit.
NASA measures rain rate in tiny Tropical Storm Henriette
Tiny Tropical Storm Henriette is the newest addition to the tropical cyclone line-up in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.
New solution to elderly falls: drones, smartphones and sensors
Drones, smartphones and sensors could provide a lifeline to the world's growing elderly population at risk of falls, helping to cut global hospital costs.
Solutions for leading sleep woes
The 'double whammy' of co-occurring insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea is a complex problem best managed with non-drug targeted psych interventions, a new Australian study has found.
Artificial intelligence helps banana growers protect the world's most favorite fruit
Using artificial intelligence, scientists created an easy-to-use tool to detect banana diseases and pests.
Mapping the effects of drought on vulnerable populations
The greater frequency of droughts, combined with underlying economic, social, and environmental risks means that dry spells have an increasingly destructive impact on vulnerable populations, and particularly on children in the developing world.
Natural-gas leaks are important source of greenhouse gas emissions in Los Angeles
Liyin He, a Caltech graduate student, finds that methane in L.A.'s air correlates with the seasonal use of gas for heating homes and businesses
Motivations for sexting can be complicated, UA researcher says
Young women report a mix of empowering and disempowering reasons for sending sexual images of themselves to others electronically.
Managing ovarian cancer risk in women with BRCA1/2 genetic variants
A new review to help physicians manage the risk of ovarian cancer in women who carry the BRCA1/2 gene mutations is published in CMAJ.
Inherited pancreatic cancer risk mutation identified
The discovery of the previously unknown mutation, reported in Nature Genetics by investigators from Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center, could lead to routine testing of individuals with a strong family history of pancreatic cancer to determine if they carry the mutation, occurring in the gene known as RABL3.
Diet change needed to save vast areas of tropics, study warns
One quarter of the world's tropical land could disappear by the end of the century unless meat and dairy consumption falls, researchers have warned.
Laser and sensor research to be advanced by new inquiries into plasmonic-photonic crystals
The research was dedicated to modelling light transmission throughout photonic crystals with a continuous gold layer on their surface.
Clemson adds 'vampire elephants,' 'ecological zombies' to human-wildlife conflict debate
New research by Clemson University scientists Shari Rodriguez and Christie Sampson in the open-access journal PLOS Biology, examines the effects non-carnivorous species such as feral hogs and elephants can have on humans and livestock and the potential consequences of excluding these animals from research focused on mitigating wildlife impacts on livestock.
New test enhances ability to predict risk of developing cervical cancer in HPV-positive women
Ninety-nine percent of cervical cancers are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV).
Smoldering spots in the brain may signal severe MS
Aided by a high-powered brain scanner and a 3D printer, NIH researchers peered inside the brains of hundreds of multiple sclerosis patients and found that dark rimmed spots representing ongoing, 'smoldering' inflammation, called chronic active lesions, may be a hallmark of more aggressive and disabling forms of the disease.
Lupus antibody target identified
Researchers have identified a specific target of antibodies that are implicated in the neuropsychiatric symptoms of lupus, according to human research published in JNeurosci.
New study shows impact of largescale tree death on carbon storage
Largescale 'disturbances', including fires, harvesting, windstorms and insect outbreaks, which kill large patches of forest, are responsible for more than a tenth of tree death worldwide, according to new research at the University of Birmingham.
Aspirin may help some breast cancer survivors, but changes in DNA may mean harm for others
Previous studies have shown that while some women who use aspirin and are later diagnosed with breast cancer may live longer, a portion of aspirin users with breast cancer appeared to have a higher risk of mortality following breast cancer.
Hospital harms total $1 billion for health care system in Ontario in fiscal year 2015/16
Experiencing harm in hospital significantly increases the length of stay, length of recovery after discharge and health system costs, which amounted to more than $1 billion in Ontario in fiscal year 2015/16, according to new research in CMAJ.
Walnuts show protection against ulcerative colitis in early study
Through their complex array of natural compounds and phytochemicals, walnuts provide a multitude of health benefits.
Study examines a million corals one by one in urgent call to save reefs
University of California, Irvine biologist Joleah Lamb has contributed one of the largest amounts of data to a landmark study on how to save coral reefs in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
Over-55s shouldn't wait for retirement to make time for their health
People in middle-age need to keep up their physical activity levels if they are to enjoy a fit and healthy retirement -- according to a new report.
Modern mating market values women more: Australian study
A new study by QUT researchers debunks some theories of sexual economics when it comes to the market value of women as they age.
Launch of standardised tool to assess cognitive and language development in two year olds
A new paper published in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health co-authored by a University of Warwick researcher provides standardised scores for The Parent Report of Children's Abilities Revised (PARCA-R) questionnaire.
Researchers turn off backscattering, aim to improve optical data transmission
Engineers at the University of Illinois have found a way to redirect misfit light waves to reduce energy loss during optical data transmission.
The formula that makes bacteria float upstream
Bacteria can swim against the current -- and often this is a serious problem, for example when they spread in water pipes or in medical catheters.
Glitch in neutron star reveals its hidden secrets
Neutron stars are not only the most dense objects in the Universe, but they rotate very fast and regularly.
New study finds that race is a factor in investment judgments
According to new research released today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, race influences the investment judgments of asset allocators.
Stanford-led study gauges trees' potential to slow global warming in the future
By analyzing decades of experiments, the researchers mapped the potential of carbon dioxide to increase forest biomass by the end of the century, when atmospheric concentrations of the gas could nearly double.
Smartphone apps may connect to vulnerable backend cloud servers
Cybersecurity researchers have discovered vulnerabilities in the backend systems that feed content and advertising to smartphone applications through a network of cloud-based servers that most users probably don't even know exists.
African forest elephant helps increase biomass and carbon storage
Un international study with key contributions from Brazilian researchers shows that an endangered species, famed as a 'forest gardener,' influences African forest composition in terms of tree species and increases the aboveground biomass over the long term.
A new timeline of Earth's cataclysmic past
Recent research shows that our planet may have been pummeled with asteroids long before some scientists had previously thought.
It's not you, it's the network
The result of the 2016 US presidential election was, for many, a surprise lesson in social perception bias -- peoples' tendency to assume that others think as we do, and to underestimate the size and influence of a minority party.
Adults who mix cannabis with opioids for pain report higher anxiety, depression
Not a good mix: A researcher from the University of Houston has found that adults who combine prescription opioids for severe pain and cannabis report elevated anxiety and depression symptoms, with no increased pain reduction.
Robots need a new philosophy to get a grip
Robots need to know the reason why they are doing a job if they are to effectively and safely work alongside people in the near future.
Ancient natural history of antibiotic production and resistance revealed
The study is the first to put antibiotic biosynthesis and resistance into an evolutionary context.
Individuals are swayed by their peers, leading to more severe punishments, study finds
When acting as one part of a group charged with deciding how to punish someone -- a jury, for example -- individuals are swayed by their peers to punish more often than they would if deciding alone, a new study found.
Bacterial resistance to two critical antibiotics widespread in Southeast Asia
Resistance to two critical antibiotic types, one a 'drug of last resort' when all others fail against some 'superbugs,' are widely distributed in Southeast Asia, raising the risk of untreatable infections, say a team of investigators led by Georgetown University Medical Center.
Supercapacitors turbocharged by laxatives
An international team of scientists, including a professor of chemistry from the University of Bristol, has worked out a way to improve energy storage devices called supercapacitors, by designing a new class of detergents chemically related to laxatives.
Asian longhorned beetle larvae eat plant tissues that their parents cannot
Despite the buzz in recent years about other invasive insects that pose an even larger threat to agriculture and trees -- such as the spotted lanternfly, the stink bug and the emerald ash borer -- Penn State researchers have continued to study another damaging pest, the Asian longhorned beetle.
An alternate theory for what causes Alzheimer's disease
Alzheimer's disease, the most common cause of dementia among the elderly, is characterized by plaques and tangles in the brain, with most efforts at finding a cure focused on these abnormal structures.
Remove false teeth before general anesthetic, doctors warn
False teeth need to be taken out before a general anesthetic, doctors warn in the journal BMJ Case Reports after a 72-year-old's dentures got stuck in his throat during surgery to remove a harmless lump in his abdominal wall, and weren't discovered for eight days.
Evaluating blood flow is key to early diagnosis and treatment for people with critical limb ischemia
The strengths and limitations of non-invasive and other imaging techniques used to diagnose critical limb ischemia are reviewed in a new statement from the American Heart Association.
Half of key hospital doctors remain ill prepared to respond to major incidents in UK
Half of key hospital doctors who are likely to be involved in responding to a major incident in the UK aren't properly prepared to do so, reveal the results of a phone survey, published in Emergency Medicine Journal.
Study shows pediatricians can help parents to quit smoking
An NIH-funded study published in JAMA Pediatrics has shown pediatricians can help parents quit smoking.
Genomic research led by HKBU unravels mystery of invasive apple snails
Biologists from Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) have led a study to sequence and analyse the genomes of four apple snail species in the family Ampullariidae.
Do newly discovered mating habits of female Tasmanian devils help or hurt the species?
Wild female Tasmanian devils have mating habits that could pose a challenge for conservationists trying to maintain genetic diversity in species recovery programs, found Morris Animal Foundation-funded researchers at the University of Sydney.
Scientists identify brain region that enables young songbirds to change their tune
In a scientific first, Columbia scientists have demonstrated how the brains of young songbirds become tuned to the songs they learn while growing up.
You're not so tough, h-BN
Rice University scientists make hexagonal-boron nitride, a 2D material much stiffer than steel and an excellent conductor of heat, much simpler to modify for applications through a chemical process partially developed at Rice.
Key to targeting the spread of pancreatic cancer
Targeting the tissue around pancreatic cancer cells may be the key to stopping their spread and improving chemotherapy outcomes.
Icebergs delay Southern Hemisphere future warming
Future warming can accelerate the disintegration of the West Antarctic ice sheet.
Analysis of out-of-network billing of privately insured patients at in-network hospitals
An analysis of claims data for privately insured patients suggests out-of-network billing for inpatient admissions and emergency department (ED) visits to in-network hospitals has increased along with the patient financial liability associated with it.
Bacteria made to mimic cells, form communities
Rice University scientists have found a way to make single-celled bacteria behave like stem cells, differentiating into genetically unique individuals as they divide.
Dyes and viruses create new composite material for photooxidation reactions
A recent study, published in Advanced Materials, shows that native viruses can be employed as a scaffold to immobilise photoactive molecules to potentially oxidise organic pollutants present in wastewater, under visible light irradiation.
Biologists pioneer first method to decode gene expression
Biologists have developed the first system for determining gene expression based on machine learning.
Diabetes treatment targets have not improved in the US since 2005
Advances in diabetes care over the past two decades have not effectively improved diabetes outcomes for American adults, in particular young, female and non-white adults with diabetes.
Negative memory storage affects depression symptoms
Physical manifestations of negative memories in the hippocampus could underlie cognitive symptoms of depression, according to research in mice published in JNeurosci.
Wildlife trafficking and more hinder nations' sustainable development
Transnational environmental crime -- wildlife trafficking, illegal logging, dumping hazardous waste and more -- takes an estimated $91 to $259 billion bite out of the global economy and has strong ties to organized crime finance, says a new study from Michigan State University and published in Nature Sustainability.
Neuroscientists make major breakthrough in 200-year-old puzzle
Weber's law is the most firmly established rule of psychophysics -- the science that relates the strength of physical stimuli to the sensations of the mind.
Study finds older adults less distracted by negative information
USC researchers looked at 'emotion-induced blindness,' which refers to distractions caused by emotionally arousing stimuli.
When naproxen breaks down, toads croak
A new study in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry takes a harder look at the effects a common anti-inflammatory medication and its degradation products have on amphibians.
California fix for surprise doctor bills works, but drives physician consolidation
Efforts are growing to address the issue of surprise medical bills that many patients receive when their hospital care is provided by out-of-network physicians.
Arctic sea-ice loss has 'minimal influence' on severe cold winter weather, research shows
The dramatic loss of Arctic sea ice through climate change has only a 'minimal influence' on severe cold winter weather across Asia and North America, new research has shown.
Aspirin may interact with cells' DNA modifications to alter breast cancer outcomes
New findings suggest that women with specific DNA characteristics in certain areas of the genome may live longer if they take aspirin before they are diagnosed with breast cancer.
AI tool characterizes a song's genre & provides insights regarding perception music
An artificial intelligence tool developed by USC computer science researchers can characterize a song's genre and provides increased understanding how we perceive and process music.
A novel method to characterize genes with high-precision in single cells
At Helmholtz Zentrum München, a method of targeted RNA sequencing (transcriptome analysis) has now been developed, which precisely detects the smallest amounts of gene transcripts in single cells.
Osteoporosis drugs linked to reduced risk of premature death
A large cohort study has revealed a common osteoporosis drug significantly decreases premature mortality risk, likely related to a reduction in bone loss.
Ancient pigs endured a complete genomic turnover after they arrived in Europe
New research led by Oxford University and Queen Mary University of London has resolved a pig paradox.
NASA finds deadly Lekima's remnants over China
NASA's Terra satellite passed over the Northwestern Pacific Ocean and captured a visible picture of the remnant clouds of deadly former Typhoon Lekima over eastern China.
Pinpointing how cells regulate long-lasting memories
The brain has a knack for safekeeping our most treasured memories, from a first kiss to a child's birth.
Poor fit between job demands, reasoning abilities associated with health conditions
Older workers whose reasoning abilities no longer allow them to meet the demands of their jobs may be more likely to develop chronic health conditions and retire early, which may not be ideal for the employee or employer, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.
Researchers first to map structure of protein aggregate that leads to Alzheimer's
A research team including faculty at Binghamton University and University of Colorado Denver are the first to map the molecular structure of an aggressive protein aggregate that causes acceleration of Alzheimer's disease.
SUNY Downstate researchers identify key mechanism linked to neuropsychiatric lupus
A breakthrough study by a SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University research team has identified a specific antibody target implicated in neuropsychiatric symptoms of lupus.
Of mice and babies: New mouse model links transfusions to deadly infant digestive disease
Physicians have long suspected that red blood cell transfusions given to premature infants with anemia may put them in danger of developing a potentially lethal inflammatory disease of the intestines.
Likelihood of marijuana use among young people who used e-cigarettes
This study (called a systematic review and meta-analysis) combined the results of 21 studies with about 128,000 participants to quantify the association between electronic cigarette use and marijuana use among adolescents and young adults.
Nearly 1 in 2 swingers uses recreational drugs to intensify sex, survey suggests
Nearly one in two swingers uses recreational drugs to intensify the experience, with women more likely to do so than either straight or bisexual men, suggest the results of a Dutch survey, published online in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections.
First cells may have emerged because building blocks of proteins stabilized membranes
Scientists have discovered that the building blocks of proteins can stabilize cell membranes.
Largest-ever study of coral communities unlocks global solution to save reefs
The largest study ever conducted of its kind has identified where and how to save coral reef communities in the Indo-Pacific, according to an international group of scientists from WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) and other conservation NGOs, government agencies, and universities.
Cold winters not caused by Arctic climate change
Recent studies into the relationship between decrease in the sea ice in the Arctic and ice-cold winters in moderate latitudes, like the Polar Vortex cold waves in North America, seem to suggest that such a connection does indeed exist.
Study finds racial disparities in pregnancy rates for kidney transplant recipients
Research from the University of Cincinnati finds that among women who are kidney transplant recipients, Hispanic women have a higher likelihood of pregnancy than white women.
Fast food availability linked with more heart attacks
Areas with a higher number of fast food restaurants have more heart attacks, according to research presented at CSANZ 2019.
The Lancet Infectious Diseases: First ever phase 1 trial of genital chlamydia vaccine finds it is safe and provokes immune response
The first ever chlamydia vaccine to reach phase 1 clinical trial has been found to be safe and able to provoke an immune response, according to a study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal.
Detention basins could catch more than stormwater
Everywhere you go there are stormwater detention basins built near large construction projects intended to control the flow of rainwater and runoff.
More than just jaundice: Mouse study shows bilirubin may protect the brain
In studies in mice, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers report they have found that bilirubin, a bile pigment most commonly known for yellowing the skin of people with jaundice, may play an unexpected role in protecting brain cells from damage from oxidative stress.
Cultural factors affect Chinese Americans' health, according to Rutgers research
A compilation of 17 research papers present an unprecedented exploration of cultural factors concerning Chinese Americans' health and provide comprehensive, multigenerational insight into the lives of Chinese Americans.
Research shows human cells assembling into fractal-like clusters
In a finding that could shed light on tissue formation, wound healing and cancer spread, a new study shows that human cells follow the same rules as non-living particles to form fractal-like branching structures.
Rice, UTHealth search for clues to fight antibiotic resistance
To combat the rise of drug-resistant bacteria, researchers in Houston are examining how one superbug adapts to fight an antibiotic of last resort.
Antiseptic resistance in bacteria could lead to next-gen plastics
The molecular machinery used by bacteria to resist chemicals designed to kill them could also help produce precursors for a new generation of nylon and other polymers, according to new research by scientists from Australia and the UK.
Revolutionary way to bend metals could lead to stronger military vehicles
A US Army project discovery upends previous notions about how metals deform and could help guide the creation of stronger, more durable materials for military vehicles.
In first-of-its-kind study, UCI researchers highlight hookah health hazards
Hookah waterpipe use has grown in popularity in recent years - 1 in 5 college students in the U.S. and Europe have tried it - but the practice could be more dangerous than other forms of smoking, according to a first-of-its-kind study by researchers at the University of California, Irvine, published recently in Aerosol Science and Technology.
Scent brings all the songbirds to the yard
Lehigh University scientists found that not only can chickadees smell, but the males and females prefer the smell of their own species over the smell of the opposite species.
Diarrhea-causing bacteria adapted to spread in hospitals
Scientists have discovered that the gut-infecting bacterium Clostridium difficile is evolving into two separate species, with one group highly adapted to spread in hospitals.
Women and elderly at higher risk of dangerous drug interactions
Indiana University data scientists have found evidence that women and older adults are more likely to be prescribed multiple drugs that interact dangerously.
Machine learning for damaging mutations prediction
Scientists from Russia and India have proposed a novel machine-learning-based method for predicting damaging mutations in the protein atomic structure.
Young adults in Asia get the least sleep due to cultural habits
Are you tired? A new study of young and middle-aged adults shows it could be happening because of the way society functions in your part of the world.
Tissue model reveals role of blood-brain barrier in Alzheimer's
Study shows how the disease allows toxins to pass through the blood-brain barrier, further harming neurons.
Leishmania virulence strategy unveiled
A team from the Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS) has made a scientific breakthrough regarding the virulence strategy employed by the Leishmania parasite to infect cells of the immune system.
Jurassic world of volcanoes found in central Australia
An international team of subsurface explorers from the University of Adelaide in Australia and the University of Aberdeen in Scotland have uncovered a previously undescribed 'Jurassic World' of around 100 ancient volcanoes buried deep within the Cooper-Eromanga Basins of central Australia.
Better tests needed for urinary tract infections
Doctors urgently need a fast and accurate test for diagnosing urinary tract infections (UTIs) to reduce overprescribing of antibiotics, according to health researchers.
NASA-NOAA satellite views massive Tropical Storm Krosa
Tropical Storm Krosa is a large tropical cyclone. When NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed over the Northwestern Pacific Ocean, it captured a visible image of the massive storm.
Thinnest optical waveguide channels light within just three layers of atoms
Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed the thinnest optical device in the world -- a waveguide that is three layers of atoms thin.
A licence to parent?
It's a comment we often hear in response to stories of child neglect: that parenting should require a licence.
How do atoms vibrate in graphene nanostructures?
Researchers from the University of Vienna, the Advanced Institute of Science and Technology in Japan, the company JEOL and La Sapienza University in Rome have developed a method capable to measure all phonons existing in a nanostructured material.
Robotic neck brace dramatically improves functions of ALS patients
A Columbia Engineering-designed robotic brace that supports the neck during its natural motion is the first device shown to dramatically assist ALS patients in holding their heads and actively supporting them during range of motion.
Mosquito 'spit glands' hold key to curbing malaria, study shows
Mosquitoes can harbor thousands of malaria-causing parasites in their bodies, yet while slurping blood from a victim, they transmit just a tiny fraction of them.
National report card rates states' safety policies for high school athletes
In the two years since the Korey Stringer Institute (KSI) first assessed all 50 states and the District of Columbia on key health and safety policies for high school athletes, 31 states have adopted new policies -- 16 this year alone.

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