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Science News | Science Current Events | Brightsurf | August 26, 2019


Strike three
Researchers uncover a previously unrecognized mechanism that may accelerate polycystic kidney disease.
Monster tumbleweed: Invasive new species is here to stay
A new species of gigantic tumbleweed once predicted to go extinct is not only here to stay -- it's likely to expand its territory.
New research predicts stability of mosquito-borne disease prevention
To reduce transmission of dengue to humans, scientists have introduced Wolbachia bacteria to A. aegypti mosquitoes.
Depression, anxiety linked to opioid use and reduced survival in women with breast cancer
The findings should encourage doctors to better manage mental health in patients with breast cancer and spur care providers to consider alternative pain management such as physical therapy, massage and acupuncture, the researchers say.
How common is cannabis use among young adult cancer patients?
Cannabis can help alleviate some of the symptoms of cancer and its treatment, and a new study examines the prevalence of its use among young adult cancer patients now that medical cannabis is becoming increasingly available.
Yale-led study offers promising approach to reducing plaque in arteries
In a new Yale-led study, investigators have revealed previously unknown factors that contribute to the hardening of arteries and plaque growth, which cause heart disease.
New threat from ocean acidification emerges in the Southern Ocean
Scientists investigating the effect of ocean acidification on diatoms, a key group of microscopic marine organisms, phytoplankton, say they have identified a new threat from climate change -- ocean acidification is negatively impacting the extent to which diatoms in Southern Ocean waters incorporate silica into their cell walls.
New rider data shows how public transit reduces greenhouse gas and pollutant emissions
In a paper published in Environmental Research Communications, University of Utah researchers Daniel Mendoza, Martin Buchert and John Lin used tap-on tap-off rider data to quantify the emissions saved by buses and commuter rail lines, and also project how much additional emissions could be saved by upgrading the bus and rail fleet.
White parents' racial bias awareness associated with greater willingness to discuss race
A new Northwestern University study found that white parents' racial bias awareness was associated with greater willingness to discuss race with their children, along with increased color consciousness and decreased color blindness.
Breaching the brain's defense causes epilepsy
Epileptic seizures can happen to anyone. But how do they occur and what initiates such a rapid response?
Hi-tech bacteria gene tool could prove productive, study finds
Bacteria could be used to produce large quantities of medicines and fuels using a new gene programming technique, research suggests.
Remodeling unhealthful gut microbiomes to fight disease
You are what you eat -- right down to the microbiome living in your gut.
Quest for new cancer treatment crosses milestone
A cancer therapy invented at Rice University has crossed a milestone in clinical trials, a major development in a decadeslong quest to develop a treatment that destroys tumors without the debilitating side effects of chemotherapy, invasive surgery and radiation.
NASA's Terra Satellite finds some power in Tropical Depression 13W
Infrared imagery from NASA's Terra satellite revealed Tropical Depression 13W contained some powerful thunderstorms pushing high into the troposphere as it was moving west in the Philippine Sea toward the Philippines.
Saving sage-grouse by relocation
A team of scientists successfully moved sage-grouse, a threatened bird species in Washington state, from one area of their range to another to increase their numbers and diversify their gene pool.
Individualized approach to identify 'fertile windows' could benefit many women
Menstrual cycles are considerably varied with only 13% of women having cycles that last 28 days, according to a new study led by UCL and Natural Cycles, a contraceptive app.
New paper creates omega-3 calculator for researchers to specify EPA+DHA doses in studies
A new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition will make it possible for researchers to calculate how much omega-3 EPA and DHA they need to use in their studies in order for subjects to reach a healthy Omega-3 Index.
Northern white rhino eggs successfully fertilized
After successfully harvesting 10 eggs from the world's last two northern white rhinos, Najin and Fatu, on August 22nd in Kenya, the international consortium of scientists and conservationists announces that 7 out of the 10 eggs (4 from Fatu and 3 from Najin) were successfully matured and artificially inseminated.
Scientists closer to solving mystery of why lean people get fatty liver disease
Researchers from The Westmead Institute for Medical Research (WIMR) have discovered how fatty liver disease develops in lean people, aiding the development of potential treatments for these patients.
Producing protein batteries for safer, environmentally friendly power storage
Proteins are good for building muscle, but their building blocks also might be helpful for building sustainable organic batteries that could someday be a viable substitute for conventional lithium-ion batteries, without their safety and environmental concerns.
Genetically manipulating protein level in colon cancer cells can improve chemotherapy
Colorectal cancer outcomes may improve by genetically altering an immune-regulatory protein in cancer cells, making the cells more vulnerable to chemotherapy.
Study: Blood test detects concussion and subconcussive injuries in children and adults
In one of the largest studies of its kind, researchers at Orlando Health are making new progress in finding ways to detect a traumatic yet sinister brain injury -- and getting closer to preventing further damage.
Wild ground-nesting bees might be exposed to lethal levels of neonics in soil
In a first-ever study investigating the risk of neonicotinoid insecticides to ground-nesting bees, University of Guelph researchers have discovered hoary squash bees are being exposed to lethal levels of the chemicals in the soil.
Philippine airborne campaign targets weather, climate science
NASA's P-3B science aircraft soared into the skies over the Philippines on Aug.
New scientific model can predict moral and political development
A study from a Swedish team of researchers recently published in the social science journal Nature Human Behaviour answers several critical questions on how public opinion changes on moral issues.
Will disposable colonoscopy devices replace reusables?
As a disposable version of the instrument used in one of the most common medical procedures in the United States inches closer to widespread availability, a team of Johns Hopkins data researchers is studying the economic and safety implications associated with the devices used to perform colonoscopies.
Disappearing act: Device vanishes on command after military missions (video)
A polymer that self-destructs? Once a fictional idea, polymers now exist that are rugged enough to ferry packages or sensors into hostile territory and vaporize immediately upon a military mission's completion.
From cradle to grave: postnatal overnutrition linked to aging
Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine have found a new answer to an old question: how can overnutrition during infancy lead to long-lasting health problems such as diabetes?
Shingles vaccination of older adults cost-effective in Canada
Vaccinating older adults against shingles in Canada is likely cost-effective, according to a study in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal), and the Shingrix vaccine appears to provide better protection than the Zostavax vaccine.
New study suggests exercise is good for the aging brain
University of Iowa researchers have found that a single bout of exercise benefits some older people's brains.
Flame retardants -- from plants
Flame retardants are present in thousands of everyday items, from clothing to furniture to electronics.
Urban living leads to high cholesterol...in crows
Animals that do well in urban areas tend to be the ones that learn to make use of resources such as the food humans throw away.
High-fat diet in utero protects against Alzheimer's later, Temple team shows in mice
A high-fat diet can carry health risks, but for mothers-to-be, it may make all the difference when it comes to Alzheimer's disease prevention for their children.
Spontaneous brain fluctuations influence risk-taking
Minute-to-minute fluctuations in human brain activity, linked to changing levels of dopamine, impact whether we make risky decisions, finds a new UCL study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Oncologists echo findings that suggest a reduced risk of breast cancer recurrence
Oncologists at VCU Massey Cancer Center were invited to co-author an editorial published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology providing expert commentary on findings from a large study conducted by German investigators that a modified drug combination may lead to a decreased chance of disease recurrence for women with high risk, HER-2 negative breast cancer.
Japanese trees synchronize allergic pollen release over immense distances
Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology (TUAT) researchers used tree pollen data for 120 sites across Japan to observe pollen synchronicity at regional and national levels.
Researchers identify properties of cells that affect how tissue structures form
Knowing how cell structure and tissue can be disrupted mechanically may provide clues into defective wound healing and the development and progression of disease.
Memory loss, dementia an understudied yet widespread phenomenon among Chinese Americans
The US Chinese population is growing -- and graying -- rapidly!
The flavor of chocolate is developed during the processing of the cocoa beans
Can you manipulate the taste of noble cocoas in different directions to create exciting new flavours for the world's chocolate fans?
Novel method identifies the right individual exosomes
There is a growing demand for diagnostic markers for early disease detection and prognosis.
Dangerous wild grass will be used in batteries
Hogweed, which has grown over vast territories of Russia, can be useful as a material for batteries.
Crack in Pacific seafloor caused volcanic chain to go dormant
University of Houston geologists have discovered that 50 million years ago a chain of volcanoes between Northeast Asia and Russia were forced into a period of dormancy that lasted for 10 million years.
Optical neural network could lead to intelligent cameras
UCLA engineers have made major improvements on their design of an optical neural network -- a device inspired by how the human brain works -- that can identify objects or process information at the speed of light.
Obesity tied to weakened response to taste
Obesity is connected with a reduced response to taste, according to a new study featuring faculty at Binghamton University, State of University of New York.
A 2 nm sized nanomachine able to spin and transfer its rotational energy
A collaboration of researchers in France, Japan and the United States have developed a new nanosized propeller which can act as gears.
Stable home lives improve prospects for preemies
Researchers at at Washington University School of Medicine in St.
Speeding up the hydrogen production by the magic topological surface states
The hydrogen economy is considered to be one of the best options for providing renewable energy and, thereby, contributing to mitigating today's environmental challenges.
Childhood cancer survivors at elevated risk of heart disease
Survivors of childhood cancer have higher risk of developing various types of heart disease due to cancer therapy, compared to peers who are cancer-free.
Quantum criticality could be a boon for qubit designers
Physicists studying the strange behavior of metal alloys called heavy fermions have made a surprising discovery that could be useful in safeguarding the information stored in quantum bits, or qubits, the basic units of encoded information in quantum computers.
A new model of heat transfer in crystals was developed by Russian scientists
The understanding of atomic level processes opens a wide range of prospects in nanoelectronics and material engineering.
The secret of fireworm is out: molecular basis of its light emission
A collaborative effort by an international team of scientists led to to the discovery of new luciferin from fireworm.
Canadian children's diet quality during school hours improves over 11-year period
Surveys taken 11 years apart show a 13% improvement in the quality of foods consumed by Canadian children during school hours.
A lack of background knowledge can hinder reading comprehension
The purpose of going to school is to learn, but students may find certain topics difficult to understand if they don't have the necessary background knowledge.
Researchers' review paper reveal insights into high quality fabrication of nanocomposites
SUTD together with research collaborators provide much needed analysis and review of the emerging research on particle reinforced metal matrix nanocomposites with selective laser melting, charting out possibilities for engineering applications.
Parasitic worms infect dogs, humans
A human infective nematode found in remote northern areas of Australia has been identified in canine carriers for the first time.
How plants measure their carbon dioxide uptake
Plants face a dilemma in dry conditions: they have to seal themselves off to prevent losing too much water but this also limits their uptake of carbon dioxide.
Study finds that teens are using a highly potent form of marijuana
Nearly one in four Arizona teens have used a highly potent form of marijuana known as marijuana concentrate, according to a new study by Arizona State University researchers.
To stop mosquito-transmitted illnesses, pay attention to how humans behave: study
Targeting the mosquito population within a defined area is the primary way scientists and public health officials mitigate the spread of diseases caused by viruses like Zika, dengue fever, and West Nile.
CRISPR gene editing may halt progression of triple-negative breast cancer
A tumor-targeted CRISPR gene editing system, encapsulated in a nanogel and injected into the body, could effectively and safely halt the growth of triple-negative breast cancer, report researchers at Boston Children's Hospital.
Scientists identify potential cause of statin-related muscle pain
An international team of BHF-funded researchers may have discovered why some people experience muscle pain after taking statins and have shown that moderate exercise may be a good way for people taking statins to avoid these symptoms.
Historical gathering: International meeting of the discoverers of chemical elements
As part of the International Year of the Periodic Table 2019, the Conference on the Chemistry and Physics of Heavy Elements (TAN) taking place in Wilhelmshaven, Germany from the 25th to the 30th of August, brought together the discoverers of new chemical elements in a unique historical gathering.
Beaver reintroduction key to solving freshwater biodiversity crisis
Reintroducing beavers to their native habitat is an important step towards solving the freshwater biodiversity crisis, according to experts at the University of Stirling.
Sea snail compound reduces cancer risk
The remarkable ability of a small Australian sea snail to produce a colourful purple compound to protect its eggs is proving even more remarkable for its potential in a new anti-cancer pharmaceutical.
Filter-feeding pterosaurs were the flamingos of the Late Jurassic
Modern flamingos employ filter feeding and their feces are, as a result, rich in remains of microscopically-small aquatic prey.
Researchers use AI to plot green route to nylon
A team at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering reported that in its search to develop an innovative, environmentally friendly process to make adiponitrile (ADN) -- the main precursor to nylon 6, 6 -- it found a way to greatly improve the efficiency of organic electrosynthesis.
Effectiveness of a new bladder cancer treatment demonstrated
Demonstrated the effectiveness of a drug for treating metastatic bladder cancer in patients who did not respond to the usual treatment.
Physicians slow to use effective new antibiotics against superbugs
New, more effective antibiotics are being prescribed in only about a quarter of infections by carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), a family of the world's most intractable drug-resistant bacteria, according to an analysis by scientists at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
Utah's red rock metronome
At about the same rate that your heart beats, a Utah rock formation called Castleton Tower gently vibrates, keeping time and keeping watch over the sandstone desert.
From crystals to glasses: a new unified theory for heat transport
Theoretical physicists from SISSA and the UCDavis lay brand new foundations to heat transport in materials, which finally allow crystals, polycrystalline solids, alloys, and glasses to be treated on the same solid footing.
Concussions linked to erectile dysfunction in former NFL players
Former NFL players reporting concussion symptoms following head injury more likely to report erectile dysfunction and low testosterone levels.
Disability categories in education were redefined to exclude minorities, study shows
A study by two University of Kansas professors shows how a large school district redefined disability categories to keep minorities out of most supported special ed categories, when forced to integrate.
Coating developed by Stanford researchers brings lithium metal battery closer to reality
A Stanford-led research team invented a new coating that could finally make lightweight lithium metal batteries safe and long lasting, which could usher in the next generation of electric vehicles.
Study finds big increase in ocean carbon dioxide absorption along West Antarctic Peninsula
Climate change is altering the ability of the Southern Ocean off the West Antarctic Peninsula to absorb carbon dioxide, according to a Rutgers-led study, and that could magnify climate change in the long run.
Alberta researchers find elusive key to stopping neglected tropical diseases
Researchers at the University of Alberta have found an important protein in the cells of a deadly infectious parasite, opening the door to less harmful treatment for millions of people suffering from diseases like sleeping sickness in Africa and Chagas disease in South America.
Astrophysicists link brightening of pulsar wind nebula to pulsar spin-down rate transition
Astrophysicists have discovered that the pulsar wind nebula (PWN) surrounding the famous pulsar B0540-69 brightened gradually after the pulsar experienced a sudden spin-down rate transition (SRT).
Making polyurethane degradable gives its components a second life
Polyurethane waste is piling up, but scientists have a possible solution: They have developed a method to make polyurethane degradable.
Are physicians helping cancer survivors live healthy lives?
Study finds that some physicians do not counsel cancer survivors on adopting a healthy lifestyle.
New evidence that optimists live longer
After decades of research, a new study links optimism and prolonged life.
Two studies reveal benefits of mindfulness for middle school students
Two new studies from MIT suggest that mindfulness -- the practice of focusing one's awareness on the present moment -- can enhance academic performance and mental health in middle-schoolers.
Scientists advance search for memory's molecular roots
The mechanism of a large, multidomain protein perfectly suited to help store long-term memories in neurons is detailed for the first time by researchers at Rice University, the University of Houston and the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.
Survey reveals skyrocketing interest in marijuana and cannabinoids for pain
Millennials lead the escalating interest in marijuana and cannabinoid compounds for managing pain -- with older generations not far behind -- yet most are unaware of potential risks.
New way to bump off ticks: Dry up their saliva (video)
Saliva from a tick's bite can transmit pathogens that cause serious illnesses, such as Lyme disease, and significant agricultural losses.
Graphene shield shows promise in blocking mosquito bites
An innovative graphene-based film helps shield people from disease-carrying mosquitos, according to a new study funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of the National Institutes of Health.
Tiny RNA provides big protection after a heart attack
Heart muscle can continue to die even after restoring blood following a heart attack, and scientists have new evidence that one way to help it live is by boosting levels of a tiny RNA that helped the heart form.
Rates of colonoscopies boosted by text reminders, instructions
Having simple text conversations with patients one week before they are scheduled for a colonoscopy dramatically decreased the 'no-show' rates.
Many kidneys discarded in the United States would be transplanted in France
French organ transplant centers are far more likely to accept 'lower-rated' kidneys, like those from older organ donors, than centers in the United States, according to an analysis published today in JAMA Internal Medicine.
Hiring committees that don't believe in gender bias promote fewer women
Is gender bias in hiring really a thing? Opinions vary, but a new study by a UBC psychologist and researchers in France reveals that hiring committees who denied it's a problem were less likely to promote women.
First direct evidence for mantle plume origin of Jurassic flood basalts in southern Africa
A group of geochemists from Finland and Mozambique suggests they have found the smoking gun in the Karoo magma province.
Mosquito incognito: Could graphene-lined clothing help prevent mosquito bites?
A new study shows that graphene sheets can block the signals mosquitoes use to identify a blood meal, potentially enabling a new chemical-free approach to mosquito bite prevention.
One-third of pre-approved prescription drugs have not completed the FDA approval process
The Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Accelerated Approval Program was created in 1992 to significantly accelerate the ability to bring certain new drugs to market.
Technique combats widespread passion fruit disease
Experiments performed in Brazil show that systematic eradication of plants contaminated by cowpea aphid-borne virus (CABMV) can keep orchards producing for at least 25 months and avoid annual replanting.
Tiny tweaks for big wins in solar cells
Changes in composition are shown to affect light-harvesting layer crystallization and perovskite solar cell efficiency.
An innovative new diagnostic for Lyme disease
In new research, Joshua LaBaer, executive director of the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University and his colleagues describe an early detection method for pinpointing molecular signatures of the disease with high accuracy.
How the herring adapted to the light environment in the Baltic Sea
An international team of scientists, led by researchers from Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden, reports that a single amino acid change in the light-sensing rhodopsin protein played a critical role when herring adapted to the red-shifted light environment in the Baltic Sea.
Medicare patients with multiple sclerosis bear the burden of rising drug prices
In a decade, Medicare recipients saw a sevenfold increase in out of pocket costs for multiple sclerosis drugs.
The beginnings of trade in northwestern Europe during the Bronze Age
People in England were using balance weights and scales to measure the value of materials as early as the late second and early first millennia BC.
Cleaning pollutants from water with pollen and spores -- without the 'achoo!' (video)
In addition to their role in plant fertilization and reproduction, pollens and spores have another, hidden talent: With a simple treatment, these cheap, abundant and renewable grains can be converted into tiny sponge-like particles that can be used to grab onto pollutants and remove them from water, scientists report.
Universal algorithm set to boost microscopes
EPFL scientists have developed an algorithm that can determine whether a super-resolution microscope is operating at maximum resolution based on a single image.
Bad Blooms: Researchers review environmental conditions leading to harmful algae blooms
When there is a combination of population increase, wastewater discharge, agricultural fertilization, and climate change, the cocktail is detrimental to humans and animals.
NASA-NOAA satellite finds heavy rainmaking ability in tropical storm Dorian
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed over Tropical Storm Dorian as it triggered warnings and watches for the  islands of the Eastern Caribbean Sea.
Elderly have poor prognosis after recovery in long-term acute care hospitals
While long-term acute care hospitals (LTACHs) are designed to help patients recover and regain independence, fewer than one in five older adults who were transferred to such facilities were alive five years later, leaving them with a worse prognosis than terminal illnesses such as advanced cancer, according to research at UC San Francisco and The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
Blue light for RNA control
Messenger RNA molecules contain genetic information and thus control the synthesis of proteins in living cells.
Personal protective equipment most critical to safety of seafarers
A new article published in Risk Analysis: An International Journal investigates the causes of these injuries and accidents and finds that injury reduction campaigns focused on personal protective equipment (PPE) would be most effective at reducing risks to workers.
Stanford chemists discover water microdroplets spontaneously produce hydrogen peroxide
Despite its abundance, water retains a great many secrets. Among them, Stanford chemists have discovered, is that water microdroplets spontaneously produce hydrogen peroxide.
Multiple-birth infants have higher risk of medical mixups in NICU
Multiple-birth infants had a significantly higher risk of wrong-patient order errors compared with singletons in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs), according to a new study by researchers at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.
Metal particles abraded from tattooing needles travel inside the body
Allergic reactions are common side effects of tattoos and pigments have been blamed for this.
Head start programs alleviate supply gap of center-based childcare in NJ
The availability of Head Start and Early Head Start in New Jersey, federal programs designed to serve low-income families' childcare needs, reduces the likelihood that a community will experience a severe childcare supply gap, a Rutgers-led study found.
Diverse immune cell profiles and roles found in breast cancer resistance to immunotherapy
Researchers show that heterogeneity of both breast cancer cells themselves and immune composition of the tumor microenvironment are important considerations for therapy.
Identification of all types of germ cells tumors
Germ cell tumors were considered very heterogeneous and diverse, until recently.
Honeybee brain development may enhance waggle dance communication
Changes in a vibration-sensitive neuron may equip forager honeybees for waggle dance communication, according to research recently published in eNeuro.
Wildfires could permanently alter Alaska's forest composition
A team of researchers led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory projected that the combination of climate change and increased wildfires will cause the iconic evergreen conifer trees of Alaska to get pushed out in favor of broadleaf deciduous trees, which shed their leaves seasonally.
New technique isolates placental cells for non-invasive genetic testing
A new technique for isolating cells carrying the full fetal genome from cervical swabs could enable doctors to diagnose genetic disorders without using needles to harvest cells from the placenta.
Deep transformations needed to achieve the SDGs
The Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change call for deep transformations that require complementary actions by governments, civil society, science, and business.
New technique gives polyurethane waste a second life
Polyurethane is used in a wide range of materials, including paints, foam mattresses, seat cushions and insulation.
Augmented reality glasses may help people with low vision better navigate their environment
In a new study of patients with retinitis pigmentosa, an inherited degenerative eye disease that results in poor vision, Keck School of Medicine of USC researchers found that adapted augmented reality glasses can improve patients' mobility by 50% and grasp performance by 70%.
Even scientists have gender stereotypes ... which can hamper the career of women researchers
However convinced we may be that science is not just for men, the concept of science remains much more strongly associated with masculinity than with femininity in people's minds.
Runaway mitochondria cause telomere damage in cells
Targeted damage to mitochondria produces a 'Chernobyl effect' inside cells, pelting the nucleus with harmful reactive oxygen species and causing chromosomal damage.
A new way to make valuable chemicals
A new discovery has advanced the field of carbon capture and utilization.
Native approaches to fire management
In collaboration with tribes in Northern California, researchers examined traditional fire management practices and found that these approaches, if expanded, could strengthen cultures and reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires in Northern California.
Social, executive brain functions crucial for communication
Impairments in social and executive brain functions hinder effective communication, according to research in patients with dementia recently published in eNeuro.
College students with diabetes at risk for complications, depression, low quality of life
The study surveyed 173 people with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), who worked at or attended a university.
Physicists' study demonstrates silicon's energy-harvesting power
A University of Texas at Dallas physicist has teamed with Texas Instruments to design a better way for electronics to convert waste heat into reusable energy.
How moral obligation drives protest
New studies have recently prompted a team of scholars that includes a HSE University researcher to incorporate 2 additional factors -- ideology and moral obligation -- in the Social Identity Model of Collective Action.

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