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Science News | Science Current Events | Brightsurf | August 29, 2019


Pancreas on a chip
'Islet-on-a-chip' offers continuous monitoring of insulin-producing cells, indicating whether they have therapeutic value and are suitable for transplant.
University of Alberta researchers discover new biomarker for rare autoimmune disease
University of Alberta researchers have identified a unique biological marker that can be used to identify the presence of the rare autoimmune disease myasthenia gravis, predict the course of the disease and identify new, personalized treatments.
Burgundy wine grapes tell climate story, show warming accelerated in past 30 years
A new series of dates of grape harvest covering the past 664 years is the latest line of evidence confirming how unusual the climate of the past 30 years has been.
Theory reveals the nature of crystals defects (of silicon carbide)
Imperfections of crystal structure, especially edge dislocations of an elongated nature, deeply modify basic properties of the entire material and, in consequence, drastically limit its applications.
Flathead Bio Station researcher helps uncover ocean iron level mystery
In a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a group of researchers uncovered the reason behind chemistry variations in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre ecosystem.
The Lancet: New analyses of the worldwide epidemiological evidence demonstrate link between different forms of menopausal hormone therapy and breast cancer incidence, and find that some risk persists for many years
The findings, published in The Lancet, suggest that all types of MHT, except topical vaginal estrogens, are associated with increased risks of breast cancer, and that the risks are greater for users of estrogen-progestagen hormone therapy than for estrogen-only hormone therapy.
Researchers develop process flow for high-res 3D printing of mini soft robotic actuators
SUTD, SUSTech and ZJU researchers' proposed process flow guides 3D printing of miniature soft pneumatic actuators.
NASA tracks Tropical Storm Podul's landfall approach to Vietnam
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the South China Sea and provided forecasters with a visible image of Tropical Storm Podul as it moved closer to the coast of north and central Vietnam where it is expected to make landfall on Aug.
Tiny thermometer measures how mitochondria heat up the cell by unleashing proton energy
Armed with a tiny new thermometer probe that can quickly measure temperature inside of a cell, University of Illinois researchers have illuminated a mysterious aspect of metabolism: heat generation.
Arthritis-causing virus hides in body for months after infection
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have developed a way to fluorescently tag cells infected with chikungunya virus.
'Mental rigidity' at root of intense political partisanship on both left and right -- study
Latest research shows that reduced cognitive flexibility is associated with more 'extreme' beliefs and identities at both ends of the political spectrum.
A protective factor against Alzheimer's disease?
Researchers at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and the Institute for Stroke and Dementia Research (ISD) at the University Hospital of the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) in Munich have found that a protein called TREM2 could positively influence the course of Alzheimer's disease.
Beetle scales hold secret to creating sustainable paint from recycled plastic, research shows
The structure of ultra-white beetle scales could hold the key to making bright-white sustainable paint using recycled plastic waste, scientists at the University of Sheffield have discovered.
Negative interest rate policies are backfiring -- new research
Negative interest rate policies in Europe and Japan were intended to stimulate flagging economies but research from the University of Bath they may be doing more harm than good.
Diversity of inter-species interactions affects functioning of ecological communities
Mathematical modeling suggests that the diversity of interactions between species in an ecological community plays a greater role in maintaining community functioning than previously thought.
Detailed map shows how viruses infect humans
Columbia University researchers have generated a comprehensive map of protein-protein interactions that reveal how viruses infect human cells.
Researchers develop low-power, low-cost network for 5G connectivity
Researchers at the University of Waterloo have developed a cheaper and more efficient method for Internet-of-Things devices to receive high-speed wireless connectivity.
Crouching lion, hidden giraffe
The behavior of giraffe groups with calves is influenced more strongly by the risk of predators than is the behavior of all-adult groups, which is mostly determined by the availability of food.
Psychosensory electronic skin technology for future AI and humanoid development
Professor Jae Eun Jang's team developed electronic skin technology for robots or electronic devices to feel pain through sense of touch.
Deep-sea sediments reveal solar system chaos: An advance in dating geologic archives
In a study published in the journal Science, Richard Zeebe from the University of Hawai'i at Manoa and Lucas Lourens from Utrecht University used geologic records from deep-sea drill cores to extend the astronomical time scale beyond 50 million years, by about 8 million years.
Friendships factor into start-up success (and failure)
New research co-authored by Cass Business School academics has found entrepreneurial groups with strong friendship bonds are more likely to persist with a failing venture and escalate financial commitment to it.
Ancient civilizations were already messing up the planet
As issues like climate change, global warming, and renewable energy dominate the national conversation, it's easy to assume these topics are exclusive to the modern world.
Evolution: Ancient teeth shed light on Miocene 'mouse' migration
A new species of prehistoric murine -- the group of mammals that includes mice, rats, and their relatives -- has been identified from fossils discovered in Lebanon.
Convection-permitting models better depict the heavy rainfall events in 2016 eastern China flooding
A study by Chinese and British scientists investigates a heavy rainfall event in the Yangtze River Basin at both global and regional scale by using the Met Office Unified Modelproves the added value of the convection-permitting model in simulating heavy rainfall event.
People transformed the world through land use by 3,000 years ago
Humans started making an impact on the global ecosystem through intensive farming much earlier than previously estimated, according to a new study published in the journal Science.
Researchers describe a key protein for Epstein-Barr virus infection
Two studies by IRB Barcelona and IBMB-CSIC published in Nature Communications reveal the portal structure of the Epstein-Barr virus and bacteriophage T7.
Researchers reveal ultra-fast bomb detection method that could upgrade airport security
Researchers from the University of Surrey have revealed a new ultra-fast method to detect materials that could be used to build explosives.
Plant diversity and endemism in China: Unreachable locations and diverse microclimates
The latest special issue of the scholarly, open-access and peer-reviewed journal PhytoKeys embarks on a treasure hunt into China's biodiversity hotspots, including the descriptions of 23 species previously unknown to science and new insights into the ecological diversity of ferns based on their DNA sequences.
Extreme mangrove corals found on the Great Barrier Reef
The first documented discovery of 'extreme corals' in mangrove lagoons around Australia's Great Barrier Reef is yielding important information about how corals deal with environmental stress, scientists say.
Suggested move to plant-based diets risks worsening brain health nutrient deficiency
The momentum behind a move to plant-based and vegan diets for the good of the planet is commendable, but risks worsening an already low intake of an essential nutrient involved in brain health, warns a nutritionist in the online journal BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health.
Delivering immunotherapy directly to brain tumors
A new study published this week gives insight into how cancer immunotherapies might one day be delivered directly to the brain in order to treat brain tumors.
Immortalized blood cell lines enable new studies of malaria invasion
Researchers at the University of Bristol and Imperial College London have established a new model system that uses red blood cells grown in the laboratory to study how malaria parasites invade red blood cells.
Changes in ice volume control seabed methane emissions
New research shows that episodes of methane emission from the seabed off western Svalbard correlate with changing ice volumes in the Arctic.
Gut microbiota linked to organ damage in patients with sepsis
Sepsis is a serious condition that can result in organ failure and even death.
Maleness-on-the-Y: A novel male sex determiner in major fruit fly pests
Becoming a male Mediterranean fruit fly relies on the newly identified Y-chromosome linked gene -- Maleness-on-the-Y (MoY) -- which encodes the small protein required to signal male sex determination during development, a new study shows.
NASA sees a transitioned, merging Extra-Tropical Storm Erin off US east coast
Former tropical depression Erin has made the transition into an extra-tropical system off the eastern coast of the US Infrared imagery from NASA's Aqua satellite provided temperature data on storms associated with Erin and the weather system it is merging with.
Crowdsourced archaeology shows how humans have influenced Earth for thousands of years
A new map synthesized from more than 250 archaeologists worldwide argues that the human imprint on our planet's soil goes back much earlier than the nuclear age.
Researchers gain new insight about bacteria within grapevine-killing crown gall tumors
Scientists have mapped the DNA of bacteria found within a chronic disease affecting grapevines, a feat they hope will ultimately help protect the multibillion-dollar grape industry that produces juice, jelly, wine and other important products.
MIT's fleet of autonomous boats can now shapeshift
MIT's fleet of robotic boats has been updated with new capabilities to 'shapeshift,' by autonomously disconnecting and reassembling into a variety of configurations, to form floating structures in Amsterdam's many canals.
Nanostructured material with potential for use in catalyzers
A titanium oxide nanofiber sheet was developed by a FAPESP-funded research group through electrospinning and atomic layer deposition.
Biophysics: The art of worming through tight spaces
How active matter, such as assemblages of bacterial or epithelial cells, manages to expand into narrow spaces largely depends on their growth dynamics, as Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich physicists demonstrate in a newly published study.
Hints of a volcanically active exomoon
A rocky extrasolar moon (exomoon) with bubbling lava may orbit a planet 550 light-years away from us.
Family perceptions of end-of-life care for patients with advanced kidney disease
Patients with advanced chronic kidney disease who died in Department of Veterans Affairs' facilities often received intensive patterns of end-of-life care that appeared to be primarily directed at life extension.
Getting to the root of how plants tolerate too much iron
Salk scientists have found a major genetic regulator of iron tolerance, a gene called GSNOR.
New method could help assess a worker's situational awareness while multitasking
With the ever-increasing connectivity of today's society, the demand for a real-time way to evaluate how well an employee understands their current situation -- often called situational awareness -- has become a paramount safety issue for employers, especially those in industrial and manufacturing industries.
Cell-free DNA detects pathogens and quantifies damage
A new Cornell study, 'A Cell-Free DNA Metagenomic Sequencing Assay that Integrates the Host Injury Response to Infection,' published Aug.
Warnings on individual cigarettes could reduce smoking
Health warnings printed on individual cigarettes could play a key role in reducing smoking, according to new research from the University of Stirling.
Humans were changing the environment much earlier than believed
New research, which assessed global land use from 10,000 to 170 years ago, reveals that hunter-gatherers, farmers and pastoralists had made significant alterations to the planet by 4,000 years ago, much earlier than indicated by Earth scientists' previous land-use reconstructions.
Overcome the bottleneck of solid electrolytes for Li batteries
On Aug 21st, Prof. MA Cheng from the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) and his collaborators proposed an effective strategy to address the electrode-electrolyte contact issue that is limiting the development of next-generation solid-state Li batteries.
Christian church supports international students, new research reveals
The Christian church can provide an important social support community for international college students in the United States, according to researchers at Penn State.
Treat citizens as partners, not participants, to improve air quality research
Encouraging citizens to take part in almost every step of scientific air quality research improves their understanding of how air pollution affects their health, finds a new study from the University of Surrey.
Archaeological assessment reveals Earth's early transformation through land use
The first global assessment of archaeological land use changes from 10,000 BP to 1850 CE reveals that our planet was dramatically transformed from its earlier state by hunter-gatherers, farmers and pastoralists by 3,000-4,000 years ago.
Gene therapy reduces obesity and reverses type 2 diabetes in mice
The obesity epidemic affects nearly half a billion people worldwide, many of them children.
What a Virginia wildflower can tell us about climate change
A Virginia wildflower is providing clues to what happens when a plant species adapts to a changing climate.
Mutation that causes rare muscle disease protects against HIV-1 infection
A mutation that causes a type of muscular dystrophy that affects the limbs protects against HIV-1 infection, according to a study published Aug.
People's initial immune response to dengue fever analyzed
Researchers have come one step closer to understanding how our immune system responds to acute dengue fever, a disease that has affected hundreds of thousands of people in Southeast Asia this summer alone.
Researchers demonstrate first all-metamaterial optical gas sensor
At FiO + LS conference, researchers will discuss the first fully integrated, non-dispersive infrared (NDIR) gas sensor enabled by specially engineered synthetic materials known as metamaterials.
Changing treatment practices for alcohol use disorder could save lives
Treatment practices in Canada and abroad need to change in order to help more people with alcohol use disorder, according to a CAMH-led article just published in The Lancet.
Mechanism of epilepsy causing membrane protein is discovered
The team lead by Dr. Lim Hyun-Ho of Korea Brain Research Institute published its paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
Cooper's Ferry archaeological finds reveal humans arrived more than 16,000 years ago
Archaeological discoveries from the Cooper's Ferry site in western Idaho indicate that humans migrated to and occupied the region by nearly 16,500 years ago.
No genome signature predicts same-sex sexual behavior, GWAS study finds
According to a genome-wide association study involving more than 470,000 people, a person's genetic variants do not meaningfully predict whether they will engage in same-sex sexual behavior.
A new way to measure how water moves
A new method to measure pore structure and water flow can help scientists more accurately and cheaply determine how fast water, contaminants, nutrients and other liquids move through the soil -- and where they go.
First human ancestors breastfed for longer than contemporary relatives
By analyzing the fossilized teeth of some of our most ancient ancestors, a team of scientists led by the universities of Bristol (UK) and Lyon (France) have discovered that the first humans significantly breastfed their infants for longer periods than their contemporary relatives.
Cracking the code of a brain cancer that keeps coming back
Researchers used a powerful new computer-assisted technology called single-cell transcriptomics that measures thousands of individual cells simultaneously to map cell types and molecular cascades that drive the growth of SHH-medulloblastoma.
New UN high-seas treaty must close gaps in biodiversity governance
Thousands of marine species could be at risk if a new United Nations high-seas biodiversity treaty, now being negotiated in New York, does not include measures to address the management of all fish species in waters beyond national jurisdiction, not just commercial species, warns an analysis by a Duke University-led team of American, Dutch, Swiss and French researchers.
How chikungunya virus may cause chronic joint pain
A new method for permanently marking cells infected with chikungunya virus could reveal how the virus continues to cause joint pain for months to years after the initial infection, according to a study published Aug.
JAMA paper: Doctors encouraged to consider social determinants screening, referrals
The Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research Professor and Senior Vice President Karina W.
Much fridge food 'goes there to die'
Americans throw out a lot more food than they expect they will, food waste that is likely driven in part by ambiguous date labels on packages, a new study has found.
Study of bile acids links individual's genetics and microbial gut community
In a new study published Aug. 29, 2019 in PLOS Genetics, Federico Rey of the University of Wisconsin -- Madison and colleagues identified genetic variants in mice that impact the levels of different bile acids as well as the size of a specific population of microbes in the gut.
How changes in land use could reduce the browning of lakes
Over the past 50 years, the water in lakes and watercourses has turned increasingly brown.
Machine learning algorithm can't distinguish these lab mini-brains from preemie babies
Nine-month-old brains-in-a-dish and the brains of premature newborn babies generate similar electrical patterns, as captured by electroencephalogram (EEG) -- the first time such brain activity has been achieved in a cell-based laboratory model.
Human developmental clock mimicked in a dish
Scientists at the Morgridge Institute for Research have created a new way to study developmental timing by using human stem cells to create a 'clock in a dish.' The model opens new research avenues and provides a way to replicate developmental disorders to better understand their cause.
Better chemistry through tiny antennae
A research team at The University of Tokyo has developed a new method for actively controlling the breaking of chemical bonds by shining infrared lasers on tiny antennae.
Blocking specific protein could provide new treatment for deadly form of prostate cancer
Blocking a kinase known as CDK7 sets off a chain reaction that results in the death of prostate cancer cells that have spread and are resistant to standard therapies.
New research reveals that a human stomach pathogen is attracted to bleach
University of Oregon researchers have uncovered a molecular mechanism by which the human stomach pathogen Helicobacter pylori is attracted to bleach.
Drug resistance signature discovered in Crohn's disease
By mapping out more than 100,000 immune cells in patients with Crohn's disease, Mount Sinai researchers have discovered a signature of cells that are involved in a type of the disease that does not respond to treatment, according to a study published in Cell in August.
Study discovers abnormal expression of genes in psychopathy
The expression of many genes that have previously been associated with autism is abnormal also in violent psychopathy, a new study shows.
Adults with cerebral palsy about twice as likely to develop non-communicable diseases
Adults with cerebral palsy are about twice as likely to develop cardiovascular disease and chronic respiratory disease compared to adults without cerebral palsy, according to a new study led by RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland) and Brunel University London.
Biochar: A better start to rain forest restoration
An indigenous farming technique that's been around for thousands of years provides the basis for restoring rain forests stripped clear of trees by gold mining and other threats.
Bacteria feeding on Arctic algae blooms can seed clouds
New research finds Arctic Ocean currents and storms are moving bacteria from ocean algae blooms into the atmosphere where the particles help clouds form.
A global assessment of Earth's early anthropogenic transformation
A global archaeological assessment of ancient land use reveals that prehistoric human activity had already substantially transformed the ecology of Earth by 3,000 years ago, even before intensive farming and the domestication of plants and animals.
NASA estimates heavy rainfall in Hurricane Dorian
Hurricane Dorian is packing heavy rain as it moves toward the Bahamas as predicted by NOAA's NHC or National Hurricane Center.
Researchers demonstrate all-optical neural network for deep learning
In a key step toward making large-scale optical neural networks practical, researchers have demonstrated a first-of-its-kind multilayer all-optical artificial neural network.
Kessler researchers investigate social cognition, mood and fatigue in multiple sclerosis
The researchers emphasized the preliminary nature of their findings and recommended further research in individuals with MS, as well in other populations with non-neurologic conditions, and healthy controls.
A unique conducting state under UV-irradiation
A highly conducting state has been found in a molecular crystal under UV-irradiation.
Global warming may diminish plant genetic variety in Central Europe
Only a few individuals of a plant species may be prepared for increasing droughts.
Inflammation triggers silent mutation to cause deadly lung disease, Stanford study shows
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have found that inflammation in the lungs of rats, triggered by something as simple as the flu, may wake up a silent genetic defect that causes sudden onset cases of pulmonary hypertension, a deadly form of high blood pressure in the lungs.
Scientists explore aged paint in microscopic detail to inform preservation efforts
To learn more about the chemical processes in oil paints that can damage aging artwork, a team led by researchers at the National Gallery of Art and the National Institute of Standards and Technology conducted a range of studies that included 3D X-ray imaging of a paint sample at Berkeley Lab's Advanced Light Source.
DGIST Successfully defined the identity and dynamics of adult gastric isthmus stem cells
Successfully identified the existence of two types of 'gastric isthmus stem cells' with different roles and characteristics using a multi-color identification technology.
Parenting stress may affect mother's and child's ability to tune in to each other
A study led by Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has revealed the effects of the stress of parenting in the brains of both mothers and their children.
Closing the gap -- a two-tier mechanism for epithelial barrier
Scientists from Japan's National Institute for Physiological Sciences and their collaborators report in a new study published in The Journal of Cell Biology that epithelial barrier is composed of two molecular systems with distinct barrier properties.
Synthesis of UV absorbers from cashew nut shell liquid
Researchers succeeded in using cashew nut shell liquid (CNSL) as a substitute for petroleum in organic synthesis.
Drug use, excess alcohol and no helmet common among US injured eScooter users
A significant proportion of eScooter injuries in the US seem to be occurring while 'drivers' are under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol and almost never wearing a helmet, suggests a study of admissions to three US major trauma centres, published online in Trauma Surgery & Acute Care Open.
Lower risk for heart failure with new type 2 diabetes drug
The new type of drugs for type 2 diabetes, the so-called SGLT2 inhibitors, are associated with a reduced risk of heart failure and death as well as of major cardiovascular events, a major Scandinavian registry study led from Karolinska Institutet reports in The BMJ.
Exercise in pregnancy improves health of obese mothers by restoring their tissues, mouse study finds
Exercise immediately prior to and during pregnancy restores key tissues in the body, making them better able to manage blood sugar levels and lowering the risk of long term health problems, suggests new research carried out in mice.
Blue Brain finds how neurons in the mouse neocortex form billions of synaptic connections
Researchers at EPFL's Blue Brain Project, a Swiss brain research Initiative, have combined two high profile, large-scale datasets to produce something completely new -- a first draft model of the rules guiding neuron-to-neuron connectivity of a whole mouse neocortex.
Right-wing WhatsApp users in Brazil are louder, more active, more effective
After performing the first large-scale analysis of partisan WhatsApp groups in the context of Brazil's 2018 election, the researchers found that right-wing users were more effective in using the social media tool to spread news, disinformation and opinions.
The 'inflammation' of opioid use
New research correlates inflammation in the brain and gut to negative emotional state during opioid withdrawal.
Providing a solution to the worst-ever prediction in physics
The cosmological constant introduced a century ago by Albert Einstein is a thorn in the side of physicists.
Research Brief: New type of visual filter discovered in an unlikely place
A University of Minnesota-led research team recently discovered a new way animals can modify their vision.
2019 Airline Water Study by CUNY's Hunter College NYC Food Policy Center
A 2019 Airline Water Study released today by DietDetective.com and the Hunter College NYC Food Policy Center at the City University of New York reveals that the quality of drinking water varies by airline, and many airlines have possibly provided passengers with unhealthy water.
New science blooms after star researchers die, study finds
Deaths of prominent life scientists tend to be followed by a surge in highly cited research by newcomers.
Marathoners, take your marks...and fluid and salt!
Legend states that after the Greek army defeated the invading Persian forces near the city of Marathon in 490 B.C.E., the courier Pheidippides ran to Athens to report the victory and then immediately dropped dead.
Entanglement sent over 50 km of optical fiber
For the first time, a team led by Innsbruck physicist Ben Lanyon has sent a light particle entangled with matter over 50 km of optical fiber.
Engineers demonstrate key step in robotic disassembly
Engineers at the University of Birmingham have successfully designed a robotic system that can perform a key task in disassembling component parts.
Brain waves detected in mini-brains grown in a dish
Scientists have created miniature brains from stem cells that developed functional neural networks.
'Charismatic carbon'
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), addressing carbon emissions from our food sector is absolutely essential to combatting climate change.
Most-comprehensive analysis of fentanyl crisis urges innovative action
The sudden appearance of the drug fentanyl in the US has driven up overdose deaths dramatically, even as the abuse of heroin and other opioids has shown signs of stabilizing.
This protein is how creatures sense cold, researchers discover
Researchers have identified a receptor protein that can detect when winter is coming.
White matter affects how people respond to brain stimulation therapy
Tiny changes in the microscopic structure of the human brain may affect how patients respond to an emerging therapy for neurological problems.
Lack of oxygen doesn't kill infant brain cells, as previously thought
Research, conducted at OHSU and published in the Journal of Neuroscience, raises new concerns about the vulnerability of the preterm brain to hypoxia.
Biological 'Rosetta Stone' brings scientists closer to deciphering how the body is built
Every animal contains in their genome pieces of DNA called Hox genes.
How visceral leishmaniasis spread through central-Southern Brazil
The protozoan disease visceral leishmaniasis (VL) has recently expanded to places where it had not previously been reported and has expanded its geographic distribution within countries where it was already endemic.
Lab-on-a-chip may help identify new treatments for liver disease
Investigators have developed a 'lab on a chip' technology that can simulate different levels of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease progression.
New medication may be able to improve effects of psychological treatment for PTSD
A medication that boosts the body's own cannabis-like substances, endocannabinoids, shows promise to help the brain un-learn fear memories when these are no longer meaningful.
Review: Post opioid-overdose interventions emerge in US
Opioid-related deaths continue to take the lives of thousands in the US each year, with non-fatal opioid overdoses as a significant risk factor for a subsequent fatal overdose.

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