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Science News | Science Current Events | Brightsurf | August 14, 2019


Researchers use blockchain to drive electric-vehicle infrastructure
Researchers at the University of Waterloo have integrated the use of blockchain into energy systems, a development that could result in expanded charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.
Brain molecule identified as key in anxiety model
Boosting a single molecule in the brain can change 'dispositional anxiety,' the tendency to perceive many situations as threatening, in nonhuman primates, researchers from UC Davis and UW-Madison have found.
Research bias may leave some primates at risk
Recent primate research has had a heavy focus on a few charismatic species and nationally protected parks and forests, leaving some lesser known primates and their habitats at risk, according researchers at The University of Texas at Austin and Santa Clara University.
Optimal vitamin D levels may vary for different ethnic and racial groups
When recommending vitamin D supplements, doctors should look at each individual patient as having different requirements and not rely on 'one-size-fits-all' guidelines, according to a study by researchers at Rutgers and the University of California, San Francisco.
New mapping reveals lost west coast estuary habitat
An unprecedented survey has revealed the loss of about 85 percent of historical tidal wetlands in California, Oregon, and Washington.
Europe has the untapped onshore capacity to meet global energy demand
Europe has the capacity to produce more than 100 times the amount of energy it currently produces through onshore windfarms, new analysis from the University of Sussex and Aarhus University has revealed.
Surgeons report success in reducing opioid prescribing without increasing patients' pain
A new study shows how one state's surgeons reduced the number of opioids they prescribed to thousands of patients -- without causing patients to feel more pain or less satisfied with their surgical experience.
Solving the big problem of measuring tiny nanoparticles
Tiny nanoparticles play a gargantuan role in modern life, but experts have struggled to reach a consensus on the best way to assess and measure them.
NASA follows tropical storm Krosa's approach to landfall in southern Japan
Infrared imagery from NASA's Aqua satellite shows that Tropical Storm Krosa contains powerful thunderstorms with heavy rain capabilities as it moves toward landfall in southern Japan.
Do financial incentives change length-of-stay performance in ED? Study results are mixed
The results of a retrospective study on a pay-for-performance (P4P) program implemented in Vancouver, British Columbia suggest mixed consequences -- it can reduce access block for admitted patients but may also lead to discharges associated with return visits and admissions.
Rapid evolution: New findings on its molecular mechanisms
Evolutionary biologists from Konstanz analyze the role of microRNAs in the evolution of new species.
Cool roofs can help shield California's cities against heat waves
A new study by researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory shows that if every building in California sported 'cool' roofs by 2050, these roofs would help contribute to protecting urbanites from the consequences of dangerous heatwaves.
Sticky proteins help plants know when -- and where -- to grow
When it comes to plant growth and development, one hormone is responsible for it all: auxin.
Too much inequality impedes support for public goods
Too much inequality in society can result in a damaging lack of support for public goods and services, which could disadvantage the rich as well as the poor, according to new research from the University of Exeter Business School, the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) and Harvard University.
Study finds that female leadership affects wage-gap and firm performance
A new paper in The Economic Journal, published by Oxford University Press, finds that female executives decrease the wage-gap for women at the top of a firm while widening it at the bottom.
Dementia care program improves mental health of patients, caregivers
A comprehensive dementia care program staffed by nurse practitioners working within a health system improves the mental and emotional health of patients and their caregivers.
Genes linked to Alzheimer's risk, resilience ID'd
An international team of researchers led by scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St.
In the shadow of the dinosaurs
Research published this Wednesday in Scientific Reports describes Clevosaurus hadroprodon, a new reptile species from Rio Grande do Sul state in southern Brazil.
Greener, faster and cheaper way to make patterned metals for solar cells and electronics
An innovative way to pattern metals has been discovered by scientists in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Warwick, which could make the next generation of solar panels more sustainable and cheaper.
Two-pronged gene therapy for glioblastoma proves safe in phase 1 trial
A phase 1 clinical trial has demonstrated that a two-step gene therapy treatment was safe and effective in 31 patients with recurrent glioblastoma -- a stubborn form of brain cancer -- potentially overcoming a major hurdle that has hindered the use of systemically administered interleukin 12 (IL-12)-based regimens.
Exercise associated with benefit to patients with advanced colorectal cancer
Patients with metastatic colorectal cancer who engaged in moderate exercise while undergoing chemotherapy tended to have delayed progression of their disease and fewer severe side effects from treatment, according to the results of a new study.
Revolutionizing the CRISPR method
Researchers at ETH Zurich have refined the famous CRISPR-Cas method.
Neanderthals commonly suffered from 'swimmer's ear'
Abnormal bony growths in the ear canal were surprisingly common in Neanderthals, according to a study published Aug.
Charcoal-based drug delivery system improves efficacy of common herpes drug
A study led by researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago has found that combining acyclovir -- a commonly prescribed topical herpes medication -- with particles of activated carbon improves efficacy of the drug.
How many Earth-like planets are around sun-like stars?
A new study provides the most accurate estimate of the frequency that planets that are similar to Earth in size and in distance from their host star occur around stars similar to our Sun.
New drug targets early instigator of Alzheimer's disease
Travis Dunckley, a researcher at the ASU-Banner Neurodegenerative Disease Research Center, and Christopher Hulme, D.
New proteomics technique gives insights into ubiquitin signalling
Australian researchers are among the first in the world to have access to a new approach to understand intricate changes that control how proteins function in our cells in health and disease.
Cambridge scientists reverse aging process in rat brain stem cells
Scientists say the results have far reaching implications for how we understand the aging process, and how we might develop much-needed treatments for age-related brain diseases.
Nanocapsule reaches cancer that has spread to central nervous system in mice
Researchers developed a drug delivery system that can break through the blood-brain barrier in mice.
Early exposure to manganese could affect teens' cognitive ability and motor control
Early-life exposure to the mineral manganese disrupts the way different areas of the brain involved in cognitive ability and motor control connect in teenagers, Mount Sinai researchers report in a study published in PLOS ONE in August.
New insight into glaciers regulating global silicon cycling
A new review of silicon cycling in glacial environments, led by scientists from the University of Bristol, highlights the potential importance of glaciers in exporting silicon to downstream ecosystems.
Researchers develop improved method for studying tsunami risk to bridges, buildings, roads
Researchers are paving the way toward greater safety for coastal residents and infrastructure by developing a better means of modeling the destructive force of tsunami waves.
New insights into the mechanism of vaccine-induced T cell immunity
A team led by the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research has gained new insights into the mechanism of vaccine-induced T cell immunity, including regulation, gene expression and metabolic pathways.
Advanced data analysis enhances precision medicine application in clinics
Scientists have published a novel computational framework for highly accurate and targeted Non-Invasive Prenatal genetic Testing (NIPT) assay, which enables the application of cost-effective TAC-seq laboratory method in clinical practice.
#MeToo media coverage sympathetic to but not necessarily empowering for women
The #MeToo movement has encouraged women to share their personal stories of sexual harassment.
Up to half of patients withhold life-threatening issues from doctors
Facing the threat of domestic violence, being a survivor of sexual assault, struggling with depression or thoughts of suicide are four topics that are difficult to broach with anyone.
New 3D interconnection technology for future wearable bioelectronics
IBS scientists developed stretchable metal composites and 3D printed them on soft substrates at room temperature.
Breakthrough in understanding of magnetic monopoles could signal new technologies
A breakthrough in understanding how the quasi-particles known as magnetic monopoles behave could lead to the development of new technologies to replace electric charges.
Birth defects associated with Zika virus infection may depend on mother's immune response
New research led by scientists at The Rockefeller University in New York may help explain why Zika virus infection causes birth defects in some children but not others.
Abnormal blood pressure in middle and late life influences dementia risk
In a study that spanned two and a half decades and looked at data from more than 4,700 participants, Johns Hopkins researchers have added to evidence that abnormal blood pressure in midlife persisting into late life increases the likelihood of developing dementia.
Rare antelopes and black cats
Numerous large mammals have been documented with video traps on Mount Kilimanjaro by a research group of Würzburg University.
Develop your personal skills: New research offers lessons for young people heading for university
New research on the importance of non-cognitive skills -- such as conscientiousness, self-esteem and feeling in control of one's life -- for graduates' earnings potential offers important lessons for young people receiving their A-level results.
Early-career female physicians experience obstacles to professional and academic success
Individual and systemic challenges specific to female family physicians in their first five years of practice create obstacles that can result in disproportionate rates of burnout and negative impacts on career trajectories, according to a new paper co-authored by Dr.
Findings shed new light on why Zika causes birth defects in some pregnancies
A new study shows that the risk of giving birth to a child with microcephaly might be related to how the immune system reacts against the Zika virus -- specifically what kind of antibodies it produces.
Virtual reality experiences may help treat severe pain
Therapeutic virtual reality can be used to reduce severe pain in hospitalized patients, according to a study published August 14, 2019 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Brennan Spiegel of Cedars-Sinai Health System, USA, and colleagues.
Fishing leads to investigation of environmental changes in waterways
A fisherman's curiosity led to identification of the correlation between microbial communities in recreational freshwater locales and seasonal environmental changes, according to a team of researchers from Penn State.
UNH technology helps map the way to solve mystery of pilot Amelia Earhart
Researchers from the University of New Hampshire's Marine School are part of the crew, led by National Geographic Explorer-at-Large Robert Ballard, that is setting out to find answers to disappearance of famed pilot Amelia Earhart.
Study identifies characteristics of Lyme disease hospital patients in England and Wales
Patients with Lyme disease in England and Wales hospitals appear to be predominantly white, female and living in areas of low deprivation, according to a study published in the open access journal BMC Public Health.
ASU researchers use new tools of data science to capture single molecules in action
Capturing the motion of single molecules is achieved by a method known as fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS).
What a group of bizarre-looking bats can tell us about the evolution of mammals
Bats with skulls and teeth adapted to a wide range of diets are helping scientists understand how major groups of mammals first evolved.
Study reveals school savings accounts can dry up in 'financial deserts'
College of Business Professor studies the impact geography has on San Francisco's Children's Savings Accounts program.
Monster penguin find in Waipara, New Zealand
A new species of giant penguin -- about 1.6 metres tall -- has been identified from fossils found in Waipara, North Canterbury in New Zealand.
Accurate detection of low-level somatic mutation in intractable epilepsy
KAIST medical scientists have developed an advanced method for perfectly detecting low-level somatic mutation in patients with intractable epilepsy.
Aerobic exercise programs may improve endurance, walking after stroke
Stroke survivors who completed a group-based aerobic exercise program, like cardiac rehabilitation, significantly improved their endurance and walking capacity regardless of time since stroke.
Association between coeliac disease risk and gluten intake confirmed
An extensive study has confirmed that the risk of developing coeliac disease is connected to the amount of gluten children consume.
Chemical screening suggests a two-pronged treatment for pediatric Ewing sarcoma
For children with Ewing sarcoma, an aggressive bone cancer, a combination of two different classes of drugs may work synergistically to turn off the drivers fueling this disease, finds a new study.
Simple protocol for assessing maturation of HPCs from induced pluripotent stem cells
Researchers have developed a guide to help labs standardize the production of mature hepatic-like cells (HPCs) from stem cells and easily compare gene expression of HPCs to actual human liver tissue.
Amateur investors fail to diversify and are better off choosing stocks at random
A new study from the UBC Sauder School of Business has found that less experienced investors are failing to diversify -- and could be putting themselves at serious financial risk.
Scientists find powerful potential weapon to overcome antibiotic resistance
Staphylococcus aureus bacteria are a major cause of serious infections that often persist despite antibiotic treatment, but scientists at the UNC School of Medicine have now discovered a way to make these bacteria much more susceptible to some common antibiotics.
Improved sewage treatment has increased biodiversity over past 30 years
A higher standard of wastewater treatment in the UK has been linked to substantial improvements in a river's biodiversity over the past 30 years.
Age distribution of new obesity-associated cancer cases
This observational study examines changes in the age distribution of new obesity-associated cancer cases and nonobesity-associated cancer cases from 2000 to 2016 by sex and race/ethnicity.
AAV9 gene therapy vector dramatically increases life span in krabbe disease mouse model
An optimized and newly engineered form of the adeno-associated vector 9 (AAV9) vec-tor used to deliver the galactosylceramidase gene to a mouse model of the inherited neu-rogenerative and rapidly fatal form of Krabbe disease improved clinical symptoms and prolonged median survival by 275%.
In difficult times, having multiple husbands can be an advantage
Researchers infer that women can buffer themselves against economic and social crises, and more effectively keep their children alive.
Males of a feather flock together
'Birds of a feather flock together' or rather 'opposites attract'?
Testosterone has a complicated relationship with moral reasoning, study finds
Although some studies have linked high levels of testosterone to immoral behavior, a new study published in Nature Human Behaviour finds testosterone supplements actually made people more sensitive to moral norms, suggesting that testosterone's influence on behavior is more complicated than previously thought.
Genetic census of the human microbiome
Scientists have analyzed the genetic repertoire of bacteria in the human mouth and gut.
Microplastic drifting down with the snow
Over the past several years, microplastic particles have repeatedly been detected in sea-water, drinking water, and even in animals.
Moles on the body largely influenced by genetics, finds new study
A study published this week in the journal Pigment Cell & Melanoma Research has found that genes have a greater influence than previously thought not only on the number of moles you have but also where they are on your body.
Microplastics in Arctic snow suggest widespread air pollution
Wind plays a role in carrying microplastics (shreds of plastic less than five millimeters long) to both the snowy streets of European cities and remote areas of the Arctic Ocean -- where ecosystems are already stressed by the effects of climate change.
Helping bacteria be better friends
Bacteria, like people, have complicated relationships. A group of researchers was able to engineer the genomes of 4 species of gut bacteria to make them rely on each other for essential nutrients rather than competing for them, and the whole community was stronger and more balanced as a result.
Impulsive behaviour linked to sleep and screen time, CHEO study finds
A paper published today in Pediatrics suggests that children and youth who do not sleep enough and use screens more than recommended are more likely to act impulsively and make poorer decisions.
Is blood pressure measured outside of clinic associated with cardiovascular disease in African-Americans?
This observational study examined whether daytime and nighttime blood pressure (BP) levels measured outside a clinical setting are associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) and risk of death.
Physical and mental exercise lower chances for developing delirium after surgery
A team of researchers from Albert Einstein College of Medicine designed a study to see whether older adults who are physically active before having surgery had less delirium after surgery.
Rewriting the periodic table at high pressure
The periodic table has been a vital foundational tool for material research since it was first created 150 years ago.
The risk of death from yellow fever can be detected sooner
A FAPESP-funded study with results published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases has identified markers capable of predicting mortality in patients with symptoms of yellow fever, potentially helping to prevent the development of severe conditions.
AI used to test evolution's oldest mathematical model
Researchers have used artificial intelligence to make new discoveries, and confirm old ones, about one of nature's best-known mimics, opening up whole new directions of research in evolutionary biology.
A miniature stretchable pump for the next generation of soft robots
Scientists at EPFL have developed a tiny pump that could play a big role in the development of autonomous soft robots, lightweight exoskeletons and smart clothing.
Hard-working termites crucial to forest, wetland ecosystems
Soil bedding increases microbial and termite decomposition activity
Compost key to sequestering carbon in the soil
For their 19-year study, UC Davis scientists dug roughly 6 feet down to compare soil carbon changes in different cropping systems.
Hospital ratings systems get low grades from experts
Experts have turned the tables on hospital rating systems and graded the rating systems on their strengths and weaknesses.
'Catcher of the rye' method detects rye gluten proteins in foods
Gluten-free diets have been trendy for several years now, with adherents claiming that avoiding grains that contain the substance helps with weight loss or improves general health.
App allows inspectors to find gas pump skimmers faster
A team of computer scientists at UC San Diego and the University of Illinois has developed an app that allows state and federal inspectors to detect devices that steal consumer credit and debit card data at gas pumps.
Attackers could be listening to what you type
You likely know to avoid suspicious emails to keep hackers from gleaning personal information from your computer.
Nanoparticle therapy targets lymph node metastases
Metastasis, in which cancer cells break free from the primary tumor and form tumors at other sites, worsens the prognosis for many cancer patients.
First clinical trial of drug-inducible gene therapy yields encouraging preliminary results
A new clinical trial by investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute set out to test the safety and effectiveness of controlling a powerful immunotherapy, known as human interleukin-12 (hIL-12), by using an oral activator -- a drug that can give finer control over when a gene gets turned on -- in patients with recurrent glioblastoma.
Migraine diagnoses positively associated with all-cause dementia
Several studies have recently focused on the association between migraine headaches and other headaches and dementia and found a positive migraine-dementia relationship.
'The Nemo effect' is untrue: Animal movies promote awareness, not harm, say researchers
Contrary to what was widely communicated in media by high-profile figures, the movie 'Finding Dory' had no impact on increasing demand for blue tang fish, the species of the main protagonist.
New technology could aid stem cell transplantation research
Nanotechnology developed at Rutgers University-New Brunswick could boost research on stem cell transplantation, which may help people with Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, other neurodegenerative diseases and central nervous system injuries.
Flashlight fish use bioluminescence to school at night
Flashlight fish use their bioluminescent organs to school at night - and only a few need actively flash to maintain the group, according to a study published Aug.
Helping threatened coho salmon could generate hundreds of millions in non-market economic benefits
A new study provides evidence that increasing the abundance of a threatened or endangered species can deliver large benefits to the citizens of the Pacific Northwest.
Revealed: How our brain remembers the order of events
For centuries understanding how the order of events is stored in memory has been a mystery.
New study reveals unique dietary strategy of a tropical marine sponge
Research conducted at the University of Hawai'i (UH) at Mānoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) on a marine sponge in Kāneʻohe Bay, Oahu revealed a unique feeding strategy, wherein the sponge animal acquires important components of its diet from symbiotic bacteria living within the sponge.
Is diabetes keeping you up at night?
Hormone changes are known to alter insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism, as well as interfere with women's sleep patterns.
Scientists make first observation of fish schooling using bioluminescent flashes
A new study is the first to demonstrate that schooling in fishes can be facilitated by bioluminescent flashes in the absence of ambient light.
Lavender oil may contribute to abnormal breast growth in young girls
Abnormal breast growth in young girls is linked to lavender oil exposure, according to a recent study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
Are refugees at increased risk of developing mental disorders?
Whether the experience of being a refugee increases the probability of developing a mental disorder such as schizophrenia was the focus of this study, a systematic review and meta-analysis that combined the results of nine studies involving 540,000 refugees in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Canada.
New study: Fracking prompts global spike in atmospheric methane
As methane concentrations increase in the Earth's atmosphere, chemical fingerprints point to a probable source: shale oil and gas, according to new Cornell University research published today in Biogeosciences, a journal of the European Geosciences Union.
NIH's All of Us Research Program recaps progress and next steps
The All of Us Research Program at the National Institutes of Health has made strong progress in its efforts to advance precision medicine, according to a paper in the New England Journal of Medicine.
AAN issues guidelines for treatment of migraine in children and teens
For children and teens with migraine, the pain and symptoms that accompany migraine attacks can be debilitating, resulting in missed school days, absence from social or sporting events, and affected home activities.
A society's cultural practices shape the structure of its social networks
Biologists Erol Akçay and Marco Smolla of the University of Pennsylvania used mathematical models to show that societies that favor generalists, who have a wide range of skills, are less well-connected than those societies that favor specialists, who are highly skilled at a smaller number of traits.
New information on tropical parasitoid insects revealed
The diversity and ecology of African parasitoid wasps was studied for over a year during a project run by the Biodiversity Unit of the University of Turku in Finland.
New drug shows encouraging survival in pancreatic cancer
A phase 1 clinical trial testing a new drug in pancreatic cancer had promising initial results, report researchers from the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center.
Study predicts modest impact from additional dose of rotavirus vaccine
Giving children an additional dose of rotavirus vaccine when they are nine months old would provide only a modest improvement in the vaccine's effectiveness in low-income countries, according to a new study led by the Yale School of Public Health and the Institute of Infection and Global Health at the University of Liverpool.
Sunscreens release metals and nutrients into seawater
Beachgoers are becoming increasingly aware of the potentially harmful effects UV filters from sunscreens can have on coral and other marine organisms when the protective lotions wash off their bodies into the ocean.
Sequential, concurrent multitasking is equally hard for men, women
Women and men perform equally when required to switch attention between tasks or perform two tasks simultaneously, according to a new study in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Patricia Hirsch of Aachen University in Germany and colleagues.
Joint lubricating fluid plays key role in osteoarthritic pain, study finds
A team at the University of Cambridge has shown how, in osteoarthritis patients, the viscous lubricant that ordinarily allows our joints to move smoothly triggers a pain response from nerve cells similar that caused by chilli peppers.
ASU study shows positive lab environment critical for undergraduate success in research
An Arizona State University study, conducted by 14 undergraduate students and their research mentors, found that more than 50% of life sciences students who participated in the study considered leaving their undergraduate research experience.

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