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Science News | Science Current Events | Brightsurf | August 21, 2019


Promising gene replacement therapy moves forward at Ohio State
Research led by Dr. Krystof Bankiewicz, who recently joined The Ohio State University College of Medicine, shows that gene replacement therapy for Niemann-Pick type A disease is safe for use in nonhuman primates and has therapeutic effects in mice.
Texas A&M CVM study finds new pathway for potential glioblastoma treatment
A team led by Texas A&M University's College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences' (CVM) researcher Dr.
Breaking up is hard to do
Physicists used to think that superconductivity -- electricity flowing without resistance or loss -- was an all or nothing phenomenon.
Ocean temperatures turbocharge April tornadoes over Great Plains region
Do climate shifts influence tornados over North America? New research published by IBS scientists found that Pacific and Atlantic ocean temperatures in April can influence large-scale weather patterns as well as the frequency of tornados over the Great Plains region.
Babbling babies' behavior changes parents' speech
New research shows baby babbling changes the way parents speak to their infants, suggesting that infants are shaping their own learning environments.
Physicists create world's smallest engine
The research explains how random fluctuations affect the operation of microscopic machines like this tiny motor.
Health records pin broad set of health risks on genetic premutation
Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Marshfield Clinic have found that there may be a much broader health risk to carriers of the FMR1 premutation, with potentially dozens of clinical conditions that can be ascribed directly to carrying it.
Study finds air pollution linked to risk of premature death
A new international study has found that air pollution is linked to increased cardiovascular and respiratory death rates.
Meaningful PTSD symptom decrease may lower type 2 diabetes risk
Research from Saint Louis University finds treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that leads to an improvement in symptoms was associated with a 49 percent lower risk of incident type 2 diabetes.
Obesity embargo alert for September 2019
Obesity is the peer-reviewed, scientific journal of The Obesity Society.
Stanford researchers explain earthquakes we can't feel
Researchers have explained mysterious slow-moving earthquakes known as slow slip events with the help of computer simulations.
Omega-3 fats have little or no effect on type 2 diabetes
Increasing omega-3 fats in the diet has little or no effect on risk of type 2 diabetes, finds an evidence review published by The BMJ today.
New evidence highlights growing urban water crisis
New research has found that in 15 major cities in the global south, almost half of all households lack access to piped utility water, affecting more than 50 million people.
New technique could streamline design of intricate fusion device
Stellarators, twisty machines that house fusion reactions, rely on complex magnetic coils that are challenging to design and build.
New research published in cancer discovery identifies new drug target for glioblastoma
A new international study co-led by Cleveland Clinic has identified a new drug target for treating glioblastoma.
Making it count
The study shows reaching a goal expressed in round numbers results in higher levels of customer satisfaction.
Tiny ear bones help archaeologists piece together the past
For the first time archaeologists have used the small bones found in the ear to look at the health of women and children from 160 years ago.
Insight into cells' 'self-eating' process could pave the way for new dementia treatments
Cells regularly go through a process called autophagy -- literally translated as 'self-eating' -- which helps to destroy bacteria and viruses after infection.
'Tornado Alley' twisters may be easier to predict in April than in May
Scientists may have uncovered how sea-surface temperature patterns influence the number, strength and distributions of April tornado formation in the south-central region of the United States known as 'Tornado Alley.' Their results underscore how shifting climate patterns potentially affect tornado formation within seasons, which could help reduce fatalities and
It's Fab! A hidden touch of antibody
Antibodies are key players in our immune system and have been used as biopharmaceuticals.
Visits + phones = better outcomes for teens, young women with pelvic inflammatory disease
A patient-centered, community-engaged program featuring home visits by nurses and mobile phone links to caregivers works better than traditional adult-focused and patient self-managed care systems for treating and managing pelvic inflammatory disease, or PID, among historically underserved teens and young women, a Johns Hopkins Medicine study shows.
Shift to more intense rains threatens historic Italian winery
Wine lovers may appreciate a dry white, but a lack of steady rainfall brought on by a changing climate is threatening a centuries old winemaking tradition in Italy, according to an international team of scientists.
Spaceflight consistently affects the gut
A new Northwestern University study discovered that spaceflight -- both aboard a space shuttle or the International Space Station (ISS) -- has a consistent effect on the gut microbiome.
Foodborne pathogen sheltered by harmless bacteria that support biofilm formation
Pathogenic bacteria that stubbornly lurk in some apple-packing facilities may be sheltered and protected by harmless bacteria that are known for their ability to form biofilms, according to Penn State researchers, who suggest the discovery could lead to development of alternative foodborne-pathogen-control strategies.
Bribery linked with difficulty accessing healthcare in sub-Saharan Africa
In a large survey in sub-Saharan Africa, adults who said they had paid a bribe for healthcare in the past year were more than four times as likely to report difficulty in obtaining care than those who had not paid bribes.
Yale study uses real-time fMRI to treat Tourette Syndrome
Characterized by repetitive movements or vocalizations known as tics, Tourette Syndrome is a neurodevelopmental disorder that plagues many adolescents.
More frequent wildfires in the boreal forest threaten previously protected soil carbon
University of Saskatchewan researchers have found that as major wildfires increase in Canada's North, boreal forests that have acted as carbon sinks for millennia are becoming sources of atmospheric carbon, potentially contributing to the greenhouse effect.
Physical activity at any intensity linked to lower risk of early death
Evidence shows that higher levels of physical activity -- regardless of intensity -- are associated with a lower risk of early death in middle aged and older people.
Study identifies main culprit behind lithium metal battery failure
Researchers have discovered the root cause of why lithium metal batteries fail -- bits of lithium metal deposits break off from the surface of the anode during discharging and are trapped as 'dead' lithium that the battery can no longer cycle.
Texas cities increasingly susceptible to large measles outbreaks
The growing number of children arriving at Texas schools unvaccinated makes the state increasingly vulnerable to measles outbreaks in cities large and small, according to a computer simulation created by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.
Scientists unlock secrets of maternal/fetal cellular communication during pregnancy
Researchers have unlocked mysteries surrounding how a pregnant mother's cells and her fetus' cells communicate throughout pregnancy.
It's not just a pain in the head -- facial pain can be a symptom of headaches too
A new study finds that up to 10% of people with headaches also have facial pain.
Environmental DNA proves the expansion of invasive crayfish habitats
Environmental DNA (eDNA) has successfully proven the presence of invasive crayfish in almost all the small streams around Lake Akan in Japan, suggesting that eDNA analysis is an efficient and highly sensitive method to assess the distribution of aquatic organisms.
Separate polarization and brightness channels give crabs the edge over predators
Fiddler crabs see the polarization of light and this gives them the edge when it comes to spotting potentials threats, such as a rival crab or a predator.
Study explores barriers of access and acceptability for treatment of opioid use disorder
In an effort to find ways to improve long-term outcomes for people with opioid use disorder, University of Massachusetts Amherst epidemiology researcher Elizabeth Evans set out to study the obstacles to treating this chronic condition with an effective medication, buprenorphine-naloxone.
What factors influence how antibiotics are accessed and used in less well off countries
It is often assumed that people use antibiotics inappropriately because they don't understand enough about the spread of drug resistant superbugs.
New study highlights sociodemographic disparities in oral cancer screening rates
Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital led a study to examine oral cancer screening rates among those who had been to the dentist within two years, looking at whether sociodemographic factors such as income or race predicted differences in these rates.
Germany and United Kingdom are popular destinations
Those who wish to leave their own country of origin in the European Union (EU) can currently do so without complications: with the right to freedom of movement, the EU offers its citizens unique conditions for migration.
Lower back pain? Self-administered acupressure could help
A recent study found that people with chronic lower back pain who performed self-administered acupressure experienced improvement in pain and fatigue symptoms.
'Kissing loops' in RNA molecule essential for its role in tumor suppression
A team of researchers in the Marcia group at EMBL Grenoble, France, have discovered that the tumour suppressor MEG3 adopts a complex three-dimensional structure to fulfil its function.
Speed identified as the best predictor of car crashes
Speeding is the riskiest kind of aggressive driving, according to a unique analysis of data from on-board devices in vehicles.
New efficient method for urine analysis may tell us more
Our urine reveals our well-being and how we treat our body.
Earliest evidence of artificial cranial deformation in Croatia during 5th-6th century
People in Croatia during the 5th to 6th centuries may have used cranial modifications to indicate their cultural affiliations, according to a study published Aug.
BES launches large-scale study to test whether 'blinding' reduces bias in science publishing
A two-year randomised controlled trial in the British Ecological Society journal Functional Ecology will be the largest of its kind to date to assess whether hiding author details during peer review reduces bias against underrepresented groups in the science publishing process.
Protein-transport discovery may help define new strategies for treating eye disease
Many forms of vision loss stem from a common source: impaired communication between the eye and the brain.
20-million-year-old skull suggests complex brain evolution in monkeys, apes
New research on one of the oldest and most complete fossil primate skulls from South America shows instead that the pattern of brain evolution in this group was far more checkered.
Patient charges mean young people visit doctor less
When young adults pass the age limit for paying patient co-payments, or out-of-pocket prices, their medical consultations in primary care decrease by 7 percent, a study shows.
Study shows hazardous patterns of prescription opioid misuse in the US
Among adults aged 18 years and older, 31 percent used prescription opioids only as prescribed by a physician medically and 4 percent misused them.
Plant protection: Researchers develop new modular vaccination kit
Simple, fast and flexible: it could become significantly easier to vaccinate plants against viruses in future.
Family history of diabetes linked to increased bone mineral density
The association between type 2 diabetes and increased fracture risk is well documented.
Leading experts in high-risk pregnancies issue report on reproductive health services
The Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM), hosted a two-day workshop entitled 'Reproductive Services for Women at High Risk for Maternal Mortality.' The workshop was held in conjunction with SMFM's 39th Annual Pregnancy Meeting in February 2019 and was co-sponsored by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Fellowship in Family Planning, and Society of Family Planning.
New clinical data highlight unique enzymatic activity of B. infantis EVC001 in infant gut
New data showed that term, breastfed infants fed activated Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis EVC001 (B. infantis EVC001) experience improved metabolism of protein-bound glycans from human milk, compared to matched controls.
China's two-child policy has led to 5.4 million extra births
The introduction of China's universal two-child policy, that permits all couples to have two children, has led to an extra 5.4 million births, finds a study in The BMJ today.
Scientists develop a metamaterial for applications in magnonics
Physicists from Russia and Europe have demonstrated the real possibility of using superconductor/ferromagnet systems to create magnonic crystals, which will be at the core of spin-wave devices to come in the post-silicon era of electronics.
Studying quantum phenomena in magnetic systems to understand exotic states of matter
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech), Aoyama-Gakuin University, and J-PARC Center unify condensed matter physics and quantum physics by experimentally characterizing magnetism-related quantum phenomena in Ba2CoSi2O6Cl2.
Protein aggregation: Protein assemblies relevant not only for neurodegenerative disease
Amyloid fibrils play a crucial role in neurodegenerative illnesses. Scientists from Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU) and Forschungszentrum Jülich have now been able to use cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) to decode the spatial structure of the fibrils that are formed from PI3K SH3 domains - an important model system for research.
New way to make micro-sensors may revolutionize future of electronics
Researchers at Binghamton University, State University of New York researchers have found a way to improve the performance of tiny sensors that could have wide-reaching implications for electronic devices we use every day.
A serious mental disorder in one's youth can have a lasting impact on employment prospects
Mental disorders experienced in adolescence and early adulthood that require hospital care are connected with low income, poor education and unemployment over the life span of individuals.
Fish oil supplements have no effect on type 2 diabetes
New research finds that fish oil supplements have no effect on type 2 diabetes.
Once considered rare, an itchy dermatologic skin disorder is more common than thought
Johns Hopkins researchers report that prurigo nodularis (PN), a skin disease characterized by severely itchy, firm bumps on the skin, may be associated with other inflammatory skin disorders as well as systemic and mental health disorders.
New pharmaceutical target reverses osteoporosis in mice
Biomedical engineers at Duke University have discovered that an adenosine receptor called A2B can be pharmaceutically activated to reverse bone degradation caused by osteoporosis in mouse models of the disease.
Scientists discover why brown fat is good for people's health
Rutgers and other scientists have discovered how brown fat, also known as brown adipose tissue, may help protect against obesity and diabetes.
First of its kind mapping model tracks how hate spreads and adapts online
Researchers at the George Washington University have developed a mapping model, the first of its kind, to track how hate spreads online.
Truckies more obese than most: QUT study
More than 200,000 people are employed as truck drivers in Australia and while their role in transporting goods across its wide brown land is critical, they are among the nation's most unhealthy.
Unprecedented therapy found effective for blood cancer patients with no treatment options
Mount Sinai researchers have found a new type of therapy to be effective for patients with a particular type of bone marrow cancer that is resistant to several standard therapies, according to results of a clinical trial published in The New England Journal of Medicine in August.
In cystic fibrosis, lungs feed deadly bacteria
A steady supply of its favorite food helps a deadly bacterium thrive in the lungs of people with cystic fibrosis, according to a new study by Columbia researchers.
Repeated semen exposure promotes host resistance to infection in preclinical HIV model
Contrary to the long-held view that semen can only act as a way to transmit HIV-1 from men to women, scientists at The Wistar Institute and the University of Puerto Rico found that frequent and sustained semen exposure can change the characteristics of the circulating and vaginal tissue immune cells that are targets for infection, reducing the susceptibility to a future infection.
Can pomegranate juice protect the infant brain?
In ongoing investigations, clinical researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital are exploring whether pomegranate juice intake during pregnancy can have a protective effect.
Highest-resolution human brain 'parts list' to date lays road map to better treatments
A new study from the Allen Institute for Brain Science has written the most detailed 'parts list' of the human brain to date.
Understanding the animal brain could help robots wash your dishes
CSHL neuroscientist Anthony Zador shows how evolution and animal brains can be a rich source of inspiration for machine learning, especially to help AI tackle some enormously difficult problems, like doing the dishes.
A hallmark of superconductivity, beyond superconductivity itself
Physicists have found 'electron pairing,' a hallmark feature of superconductivity, at temperatures and energies well above the critical threshold where superconductivity occurs.
UNM study confirms cannabis flower is an effective mid-level analgesic medication for pain
Using the largest database of real-time recordings of the effects of common and commercially available cannabis products in the United States, researchers at The University of New Mexico found strong evidence that cannabis can significantly alleviate pain, with the average user experiencing a three-point drop in pain suffering on a 0-10 point scale immediately following cannabis consumption.
Color-changing artificial 'chameleon skin' powered by nanomachines
Researchers have developed artificial 'chameleon skin' that changes colour when exposed to light and could be used in applications such as active camouflage and large-scale dynamic displays.
Link between brain immune cells and Alzheimer's disease development identified
Scientists from the University of California, Irvine School of Biological Sciences have discovered how to forestall Alzheimer's disease in a laboratory setting, a finding that could one day help in devising targeted drugs that prevent it.
Electronic dance music party-goers at increased risk for drug-related emergencies
People who frequent electronic dance music (EDM) parties often use multiple drugs simultaneously and experience adverse effects with some ending up in the emergency department, say researchers at New York University School of Medicine and Rutgers University.
Thanks to a world record in tomography, synchrotron radiation can be used to watch how metal foam forms
An international research team at the Swiss Light Source (SLS) has set a new tomography world record using a rotary sample table developed at the HZB.
Australian men on top when it comes to life expectancy
Australian men are now living longer than any other group of males in the world, according to new research from The Australian National University (ANU).
Artificial muscles bloom, dance, and wave
Researchers from KAIST have developed an ultrathin, artificial muscle for soft robotics.
New cyclization reactions for synthesizing macrocyclic drug leads
Scientists at EPFL have developed a new method to synthesize and screen thousands of macrocyclic compounds, a family of chemicals that are of great interest in the pharmaceutical industry.
Extreme wildfires threaten to turn boreal forests from carbon sinks to carbon sources
A research team investigated the impact of extreme fires on previously intact carbon stores by studying the soil and vegetation of the boreal forest and how they changed after a record-setting fire season in the Northwest Territories in 2014.
The Lancet Public Health: US TB rates in young people are declining but disparities persist
Between 2010-17, 6,072 new tuberculosis cases occurred among children and adolescents in the USA and its territories, and rates have declined overall.
Improved functional near infrared spectroscopy enables enhanced brain imaging
In an article published in the peer-reviewed SPIE publication Neurophotonics, 'High density functional diffuse optical tomography based on frequency domain measurements improves image quality and spatial resolution,' researchers demonstrate critical improvements to functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS)-based optical imaging in the brain.
Why initial UTIs increase susceptibility to further infection
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have discovered that an initial UTI can set the tone for subsequent infections.
Nordic Bronze Age attracted wide variety of migrants to Denmark
Migration patterns in present-day Denmark shifted at the beginning of the Nordic Bronze Age, according to a study published Aug.
Monitoring CO2 leakage sites on the ocean floor
Injecting carbon dioxide (CO2) deep below the seabed could be an important strategy for mitigating climate change, according to some experts.
Is it autism? The line is getting increasingly blurry
If the current trend in diagnostic practices holds, the definition of autism may get too blurry to be meaningful, a Canadian research team finds.
Antibiotics exposure linked to increased colon cancer risk
In an extensive 'data mining' analysis of British medical records, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center conclude that taking even a single course of antibiotics might boost -- albeit slightly -- the risk of developing colon cancer -- but not rectal cancer -- a decade later.
Scientists use honey and wild salmon to trace industrial metals in the environment
Scientists have combined analyses from honey and salmon to show how lead from natural and industrial sources gets distributed throughout the environment.
Music charts are increasingly short-lived
Cultural processes are increasingly short-lived, showing in addition a growing tendency toward self-organisation.
Boreal forest fires could release deep soil carbon
Increasingly frequent and severe forest fires could burn generations-old carbon stored in the soils of boreal forests, according to results from the Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE) funded by NASA's Earth Science Division.
Scientists discover the basics of how pressure-sensing Piezo proteins work
A team of scientists from Weill Cornell Medicine and The Rockefeller University has illuminated the basic mechanism of Piezo proteins, which function as sensors in the body for mechanical stimuli such as touch, bladder fullness, and blood pressure.
Fake news can lead to false memories
Voters may form false memories after seeing fabricated news stories, especially if those stories align with their political beliefs, according to a new study.
Women more likely to have 'typical' heart attack symptoms than men
Women who have heart attacks experience the same key symptoms as men, quashing one of the reasons given for women receiving unequal care.
Mosquitoes push northern limits with time-capsule eggs to survive winters
Invasive mosquitoes at the northern limit of their current range are surviving conditions that are colder than those in their native territory.
Self-folding 'Rollbot' paves the way for fully untethered soft robots
The majority of soft robots today rely on external power and control, keeping them tethered to off-board systems or rigged with hard components.
Hush, baby -- the dog is whimpering!
We are all familiar with the sounds of a cat or dog vying for human attention, and for pet-owners, these sounds are particularly evocative.
There are way more species of horseshoe bats than scientists thought
Horseshoe bats are bizarre-looking animals with giant ears and elaborate flaps of skin on their noses that they use like satellite dishes.
Scientists propose network of imaging centers to drive innovation in biological research
Last fall, the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) convened a National Science Foundation workshop to identify the bottlenecks that stymie innovation in microscopy and imaging, and recommend approaches for transforming how imaging technologies are developed and deployed.
Most patients willing to share medical records for research purposes
In a survey, UC San Diego researchers report most patients are willing to share medical records for research purposes, with a few caveats.
127-year-old physics problem solved
He solved a 127-year-old physics problem on paper and proved that off-centred boat wakes could exist.
Optimizing fertilizer source and rate to avoid root death
Study assembles canola root's dose-response curves for nitrogen sources.
What drives inflammation in type 2 diabetes? Not glucose, says new research
Research led by Barbara Nikolajczyk, Ph.D., disproved the conventional wisdom that glucose was the primary driver of chronic inflammation in type 2 diabetes.
Parasite needs chemical (lipid/nutrient) in cat intestines for sex
Toxoplasma gondii is a microbial parasite that infect humans and complete its full life cycle only in cats.
Researcher hones model to forecast dusty conditions months in advance
A researcher at the University of Kansas has developed an advanced technique for forecasting dusty conditions months before they occur, promising transportation managers, climatologists and people suffering health issues much more time to prepare for dusty conditions.
California's rooftop-solar boom leaves equity gap
California leads the nation in the adoption of rooftop solar systems, but information on which communities do, and do not, benefit from these installations has been limited.
Urban stormwater could release contaminants to ground, surface waters
A good rainstorm can make a city feel clean and revitalized.
Type 2 diabetes may affect heart structure and increase complications and death among heart failure patients of Asian ethnicity
The combination of heart failure and Type 2 diabetes can lead to structural changes in the heart, poorer quality of life and increased risk of death, according to a multi-country study in Asia.
Scientists probe how distinct liquid organelles in cells are created
One way biological compounds inside cells stay organized is through membrane-less organelles (MLOs) -- wall-less liquid droplets made from proteins and RNA that clump together and stay separate from the rest of the cellular stew.
Nearly 1/3 of migrants through Mexico to US experience significant violence during journey
Almost one-third of people migrating to the US via Mexico experience physical, psychological, and/or sexual violence along the way, according to a study published Aug.
Measuring the charge of electrons in a high-temp superconductor
The measurements could inform the search for new materials that perfectly conduct electricity at relatively higher temperatures.
'Key player' identified in genetic link to psychiatric conditions
Scientists have identified a specific gene they believe could be a key player in the changes in brain structure seen in several psychiatric conditions, such as schizophrenia and autism.
UC San Diego researchers convert pro-tumor macrophages into cancer killers
University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers identified a new therapeutic approach in mouse models that halts drug resistance and cancer progression by using an antibody that induces the immune system via macrophages to seek and kill cancer cells.
Scaling up a nanoimmunotherapy for atherosclerosis through preclinical testing
By integrating translational imaging techniques with improvements to production methods, Tina Binderup and colleagues have scaled up a promising nanoimmunotherapy for atherosclerosis in mice, rabbits and pigs -- surmounting a major obstacle in nanomedicine.
New brain map could improve AI algorithms for machine vision
An international team of researchers led by neuroscientists from CSHL and University of Sydney published an updated view on the primate brain's visual system organization, and they found that parts of the primate visual system may work differently than previously thought.
CNIO discovers a connection between nutrients and follicular lymphoma
CNIO researchers have identified the role played by mTOR pathway as the origin of follicular lymphoma and propose the exploration in future studies of a possible therapeutic strategy using a drug that is already being used in clinical practice to treat other tumors.
NHS trusts act on staff pensions to stave off winter workforce crisis
Research carried out by The BMJ has found evidence that some trusts are taking action to tackle the NHS pensions crisis ahead of the government's proposed national solution because of concerns about the impact on their workforce.

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