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Science Current Events and Science News | Brightsurf | September 10, 2019


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Patients with Stage IV squamous non-small cell lung cancer enrolled in clinical trial to test the immunotherapy atezolizumab and chemotherapy against chemotherapy alone experienced a longer survival rate, among a subgroup of patients with high PD-LI.
Model of health
Until now, there's never been a tool that could determine how long it will take a patient to heal from a tibial fracture.
Buzzkill?
They say love is blind, but if you're a queen honeybee it could mean true loss of sight.
Sex for cooperation
To understand the origins of human sociality studying the social dynamics of our closest relatives, chimpanzees and bonobos, is important.
EPA announces plan to end required animal tests for chemical safety testing
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced today that animal testing to assess the safety of products under EPA's authority will be substantially reduced in 6 years and phased out by 2035.
Nurse led follow-up service aids patients with respected early stage lung cancer, improves clinic efficiency
The presence of the specialist nurse within thoracic surgical centers in the United Kingdom increased clinic capacity and efficiency, reduced waiting time for appointments, promoted junior medical training and ensured continuity of care for the patients, according to an analysis reported today by Jenny Mitchell from Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, in Oxford, United Kingdom.
GPM finds rainfall waning in extra-tropical storm Gabrielle
The Atlantic Ocean's Gabrielle has made a second transition and the Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core satellite provided information about the rate in which rain was falling within the now extra-tropical storm.
Researchers propose the 'Alzheimer's Disease Exposome' to address environmental risks
USC and Duke researchers propose the 'Alzheimer's Disease Exposome' to address major gaps in understanding environmental risk factors.
Genetic mutation linked to flu-related heart complications
For the first time, research in mice has shown a link between a genetic mutation, flu and heart irregularities that researchers say might one day improve the care of flu patients.
Scientists listed ways of applying genetic engineering to treat Parkinson's disease
Researchers of Sechenov University and University of Pittsburgh described the most promising strategies in applying genetic engineering for studying and treating Parkinson's disease.
The toes of artists who paint with their feet can be mapped in their brains
A study of artists who paint with their feet shows that these individuals have finely tuned 'toe maps' in their brains, where each toe can be linked with an area of brain activity visualized via fMRI.
Gene coding error found in rare, inherited gene cof lung-scarring disorder linked to short telomeres
By combing through the entire genetic sequences of a person with a lung scarring disease and 13 of the person's relatives, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers say they have found a coding error in a single gene that is likely responsible for a rare form of the disease and the abnormally short protective DNA caps on chromosomes long associated with it.
How pipeline programs can increase diversity in dentistry
In 2012, 2 students at NYU College of Dentistry -- who are now both full-time faculty members -- set out to create a pipeline program for underrepresented and low-income high school students to boost their interest in health professions, including dentistry.
Tides don't always flush water out to sea, study shows
In Willapa Bay in Washington state, scientists discovered that water washing over tidal flats during high tides is largely the same water that washed over them during the previous high tide.
The danger of heat and cold across Australia
Cold temperatures are not nearly as deadly as heat, with around 2% of all deaths in Australia related to heat, according to new research from the University of Technology Sydney.
URI scientists establish link between prenatal HIV exposure and decreased infant immunity
In the August 16, 2019 edition of Nature Scientific Reports, scientists at the University of Rhode Island provide concrete evidence linking the specific immune responses in HIV-negative babies to the HIV-positive status of their mothers.
Existing drug could treat aggressive brain cancer
A research team from the University of Georgia's Regenerative Bioscience Center has found that a compound molecule used for drug delivery of insulin could be used to treat glioblastoma, an aggressive, usually fatal form of brain cancer.
The Lancet Infectious Diseases: New strain of strep a is causing scarlet fever and invasive infections in England and Wales
Scientists studying scarlet fever have identified a new strain of disease-causing bacteria, which may explain a rise in more serious Strep A infections in England and Wales, according to results from cases in London and across England and Wales from 2014-16 published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal.
Numerical simulations probe mechanisms behind sand dune formation
After noticing how the construction of dams significantly alter the hydrodynamics of natural rivers and the resulting downstream riverbed evolution, researchers decided to apply numerical simulations to help determine what's at play in the relationship of sediment motion and flow conditions.
Yale Cancer Center researchers find key to help treat different cancers
Yale Cancer Center (YCC) scientists have uncovered the workings of a metabolic pathway or 'gauge' that lets cancer cells detect when they have enough nutrients around them to grow.
Study: Children are interested in politics but need better education from parents and schools
The 2020 election is approaching -- how should we talk with children about this election and about politics more broadly?
Study explores role of mediator protein complex in transcription and gene expression
A new study led by Ryerson University called 'The Med31 Conserved Component of the Divergent Mediator Complex in Tetrahymena thermophila Participates in Developmental Regulation' advances existing knowledge about transcription and gene expression.
Do animals control earth's oxygen level?
For the first time, researchers have measured how the production of algae and the Earth's oxygen level affect each other -- what you might call 'Earth's heartbeat'.
Tougher arsenic standard shows desired effect: Public's drinking water is safer
Toughening the federal standard for arsenic in 2001 has led to fewer violations by the public systems that supply more than 80 percent of the United States' drinking water, research led by Oregon State University shows.
Researchers focus on older adults' cannabis use to fill emerging policy need
Older adults are using cannabis at an unprecedented rate, yet research that informs policymakers on the topic is scarce, according to the latest issue of the journal Public Policy & Aging Report (PP&AR) from The Gerontological Society of America.
Diabetes nearly double for Japanese-Americans
A new study found that Japanese-American adults who are not obese have a much higher prevalence of diabetes than non-obese non-Hispanic white Americans.
NUS invention makes biopsies less invasive and more informative
A team of researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) has developed a novel technology that could sensitively and accurately detect and classify cancer cells, as well as determine the disease aggressiveness from the least invasive biopsies.
A new species of electric eel produces the highest voltage discharge of any known animal
An article shows that three species of electric eel exist, not just one as previously described, and that one of them produces an electric shock up to 860 volts.
Near misses at Large Hadron Collider shed light on the onset of gluon-dominated protons
New findings from University of Kansas researchers center on work at the Large Hadron Collider to better understand the behavior of gluons.
Peripheral artery disease risk hinges on health factors and demographics, including race
The lifetime risk of lower-extremity peripheral artery disease (PAD), in which leg arteries narrow abnormally, is about 30 percent for black men and 28% for black women, with lower but still-substantial risks for Hispanics and whites, according to a study led by scientists at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Medicinal products receiving expedited approval in Europe may not provide intended clinical benefit
The majority of marketing authorizations granted through two expedited assessment pathways in Europe are based on non-validated surrogate endpoints rather than clinical outcomes, according to a study published September 10 in the open-access journal PLOS Medicine by Patricia McGettigan of Queen Mary University of London, and colleagues.
NASA finds Faxai now extra-tropical in Pacific Ocean
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the Northwestern Pacific Ocean from its orbit in space and took an image that showed vertical wind shear was weakening Faxai and the storm had become extra-tropical.
A little kindness goes a long way for worker performance and health
Small gestures of kindness by employers can have big impacts on employees' health and work performance, according to an international team of researchers.
Promising mobile technologies find methane leaks quickly, Stanford/EDF study finds
Finding natural gas leaks more quickly and at lower cost could reduce methane emissions.
Europeans face significant challenges to participate in lung cancer clinical trials
A survey of patients with lung cancer in several European countries revealed that half did not know what a cancer clinical trial is, and 22% had never heard of a cancer clinical trial.
Two commonly used uveitis drugs perform similarly in NIH-funded clinical trial
Methotrexate and the more expensive mycophenolate mofetil performed similarly in a head-to-head clinical trial that compared the two drugs for treating noninfectious uveitis, an eye disease that accounts for up to 15% of blindness in the US.
What the noggin of modern humans' ancestor would have looked like
Despite having lived about 300,000 years ago, the oldest ancestor of all members of our species had a surprisingly modern skull -- as suggested by a model created by CNRS researcher Aurélien Mounier and Cambridge University professor Marta Mirazón Lahr.
New biomarker for dementia improves risk prediction
In a new study led by investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital, researchers have measured circulating levels of insulin-like growth factor binding protein 2 (IGFBP-2), a potential biomarker for dementia.
Microorganisms reduce methane release from the ocean
Bacteria in the Pacific Ocean remove large amounts of the greenhouse gas methane.
Commonly used antibiotics may lead to heart problems
Scientists have shown for the first time a link between two types of heart problems and one of the most commonly prescribed classes of antibiotics.
Studying vision in pitch-darkness shines light on how a mammal's brain drives behavior
By studying behavior of mice navigating a maze in near-complete darkness using infra-red cameras and deep-learning trained models, neuroscientists are able to interpret what neural signals mean to the brain with unprecedented resolution.
Third baby born after uterus transplant at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas
A third family has welcomed a baby after the mother participated in a landmark uterus transplant clinical trial conducted through Baylor Scott & White Research Institute.
Caregiver stress: The crucial, often unrecognized byproduct of chronic disease
There is growing evidence that caregivers of patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD) are vulnerable to developing their own poor cardiovascular health.
Do as i say: Translating language into movement
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have developed a computer model that can translate text describing physical movements directly into simple computer-generated animations, a first step toward someday generating movies directly from scripts.
Nitrogen explosions created craters on Saturn moon Titan
Lakes of liquid methane on the surface of Titan, Saturn's largest moon, were likely formed by explosive, pressurized nitrogen just under the moon's surface, according to new research.
New bacterial strain linked to scarlet fever, sore throat and sepsis
A team of scientists led by Imperial College London have discovered a new strain of group A streptococcus bacteria.
Study shows how salamanders harness limb regeneration to buffer selves from climate change
Clemson University College of Science researchers have shown for the first time that salamanders inhabiting the Southern Appalachian Mountains use temperature rather than humidity as the best cue to anticipate changes in their environment.
Study: Adults' actions, successes, failures, and words affect young children's persistence
Children's persistence in the face of challenges is key to learning and academic success.
Every time the small cabbage white butterfly flaps its wings it has us to thank
Through close examination of genetic variation and similarities between existing populations, and comparisons of historical data regarding infestations of Pieris rapae in Brassicaceae crops, a consortium of researchers document how humans helped the small cabbage white butterfly spread from Europe across the world.
'Asexual' Chagas parasite found to sexually reproduce
The parasite that causes Chagas disease, which had largely been thought to be asexual, has been shown to reproduce sexually after scientists uncovered clues hidden in its genomic code.
Is ownership of dialysis facilities associated with access to kidney transplants?
An analysis that included data for nearly 1.5 million patients with end-stage kidney disease looked at whether ownership of dialysis facilities was associated with patients' access to kidney transplants.
Survey shows many primary care doctors are unprepared to help patients avoid diabetes
In a report on their findings in the Journal of General Internal Medicine (JGIM), the researchers say their survey of 1,000 randomly selected PCPs revealed significant gaps in the group's overall knowledge of risk factors, diagnostic criteria and recommended management/prevention practices for prediabetes.
Reconfigurable electronics show promise for wearable, implantable devices
Medical implants of the future may feature reconfigurable electronic platforms that can morph in shape and size dynamically as bodies change or transform to relocate from one area to monitor another within our bodies.
Telemedicine engages newly postpartum women in cardiovascular monitoring
America has the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world.
Patients taking nivolumab experience five-fold increase in overall survival compared to chemotherapy
Pooled data on two clinical trials demonstrate patients taking nivolumab realized a greater than five-fold increase in five-year overall survival rate compared with the chemotherapy docetaxel.
The vagina monocultures
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have taken the first step towards trials of vaginal microbiota transplantation (VMT).
Future of portable electronics -- Novel organic semiconductor with exciting properties
Organic semiconductors have advantages over inorganic semiconductors in several areas.
Researchers unveil new volcanic eruption forecasting technique
Volcanic eruptions and their ash clouds pose a significant hazard to population centers and air travel, especially those that show few to no signs of unrest beforehand.
Chronic enteroviral infection modifies broadly pancreatic cellular functions
Enteroviral infections are common viral infections with usually rather few symptoms and also believed to be linked to the onset of type 1 diabetes.
How babies absorb calcium could be key to treating osteoporosis in seniors
New research reveals the mechanism that allows breastfeeding babies to absorb large amounts of calcium and build healthy bones -- a discovery that could lead to treatment for osteoporosis and other bone diseases later in life.
Colorful microreactors utilize sunlight
The sun is the most sustainable energy source available on our planet and could be used to power photochemical reactions.
Rheumatology leaders and patients go to Capitol Hill to advocate
Physicians and health professionals from the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) along with rheumatology patients gathered on Capitol Hill this week for the annual Advocates for Arthritis event to urge lawmakers to take action on a range of policy issues affecting patient access to rheumatology care.
Evidence of herd protection against oral HPV infections among unvaccinated US adults
HPV vaccination has been recommended for US females since 2006 and since 2011 for males to prevent anogenital HPV infections and associated cancers.
Software companies follow the skills and move where the staff are
Software companies are more likely to base their operations in locations where skilled potential recruits already work -- rather than staff moving to new areas for fresh opportunities.
Bones of Roman Britons provide new clues to dietary deprivation
Researchers at the University of Bradford have shown a link between the diet of Roman Britons and their mortality rates for the first time, overturning a previously-held belief about the quality of the Roman diet.
Optical vacuum cleaner can manipulate nanoparticles
Scientists of Tomsk Polytechnic University jointly with Russian and international colleagues developed the concept for constructing an optical vacuum cleaner.
Adolescents with high levels of physical activity perform better in school over two years
Adolescents with higher levels of physical activity performed better in school during transition from primary school to lower secondary school than their physically inactive peers.
Scientists identify rare evolutionary intermediates to understand the origin of eukaryotes
A new study provides a key insight into a milestone event in the early evolution of life on Earth -- the origin of the cell nucleus and complex cells.
New blood test for prostate cancer is highly-accurate and avoids invasive biopsies
A new and simple blood test has been found to efficiently and accurately detect the presence of aggressive prostate cancer, according to research by Queen Mary University of London.
USC scientist identifies new species of giant flying reptile
USC scientist and colleagues found a new species of giant flying reptile that once soared over North America.
How the eyes might be windows to the risk of Alzheimer's disease
UC San Diego researchers say that measuring how quickly a person's pupil dilates while they are taking cognitive tests may be a low-cost, low-invasive method to aid in screening individuals at increased genetic risk for AD before cognitive decline begins.
KEYNOTE-024 three-year survival update
First line pembrolizumab monotherapy provides durable long-term overall survival benefit compared to chemotherapy, according to data presented today by Dr.
How emotion affects action
During high stress situations such as making a goal in soccer, some athletes experience a rapid decline in performance under pressure, known as 'choking.' Now, Salk Institute researchers have uncovered what might be behind the phenomenon: one-way signals from the brain's emotion circuit to the movement circuit.
Food insecurity in toddler years linked to poor health, but not obesity
Young children, who grow up in homes with limited access to nutritious foods (known as food insecurity), are more likely to experience poor overall health, hospitalizations, and developmental problems, but they are not at higher risk of developing obesity, a new University of Maryland School of Medicine study finds.
Multicomponent home-based treatments improve mobility in older adults after hip fracture
Each year more than 260,000 older Americans are hospitalized for hip fractures, a debilitating injury that can severely and permanently impact mobility.
Scientists discover hidden differences among cells that may help them evade drug therapy
University of Maryland researchers have discovered that seemingly identical cells can use different protein molecules to carry out the same function in an important cellular process.
Mathematical model could help correct bias in measuring bacterial communities
A mathematical model shows how bias distorts results when measuring bacterial communities through metagenomic sequencing.
Brain circuit controls individual responses to temptation in rats
Differences in a key brain circuit may suggest why some individuals are less able than others to resist tempting cues, according to a study in rats published today in eLife.
Research shows 80% drop in ICU bloodstream infections
Bloodstream infections acquired in UK Intensive Care Units (ICUs) reduced by 80% between 2007 and 2012, according to research funded by the NIHR Guy's and St Thomas' Biomedical Research Centre.
An overactive cerebellum causes issues across the brain
Kyoto University researchers found that acute cerebellar inflammation puts the structure in an 'overexcited state, resulting in temporary decrease in motivation and sociability indicative of 'depression-like behavior.
Researchers pinpoint animal model proteins important in study of human disease
Little is known about the proteins and cellular pathways that lead to the formation of the human heart or the roles various proteins and pathways might play in cardiac disease.
Slowing brain rhythms can serve as a marker for delirium and its clinical outcomes
An EEG can provide a valuable biomarker for detecting delirium, a serious mental disturbance that is often underrecognized, as well as predicting poor clinical outcomes.
Do we tend to centre our Instagram selfies on our left eye?
New research suggests that we tend to compose 'selfies' that horizontally centre on one of our eyes, particularly the left.
HKU archaeological team excavates at one of the major fortress-settlements in the Armenian Highlands
A team of researchers and students from HKU unearthed huge storage jars, animal bones and fortress walls from 3,000 years ago in Armenia as they initiated the Ararat Plain Southeast Archaeological Project (APSAP) during the summer of 2019.
Foot painters' toes mapped like fingers in the brain
Using your feet like hands can cause organized 'hand-like' maps of the toes in the brain, never before documented in people, finds a new UCL-led study of two professional foot painters, published in Cell Reports.
Deepwater horizon oil buried in gulf coast beaches could take decades to biodegrade
Golf ball-size clods of weathered crude oil originating from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon catastrophe could remain buried in sandy Gulf Coast beaches for decades, according to a new study by ecologists at Florida State University.
Government housing voucher program effectively reduces homeless veteran population
Research led by Notre Dame's William Evans confirms that for every HUD-VASH voucher distributed, one fewer veteran is living on the streets.
Scientists find biology's optimal 'molecular alphabet' may be preordained
Life uses 20 coded amino acids (CAAs) to construct proteins.
New method of analyzing networks reveals hidden patterns in data
A new way of measuring how relationships in a network change over time can reveal important details about the network, according to researchers at Penn State and the Korean Rural Economic Institute.
A liquid biopsy test can identify patients who may respond to immune checkpoint blockade
A new liquid biopsy test could detect microsatellite instability (MSI) and tumor mutational burden (TMB), indicating that it could help determine which patients are likely to respond to immune checkpoint inhibitors.
Satellite data record shows climate change's impact on fires
While every fire needs a spark to ignite and fuel to burn, it's the hot and dry conditions in the atmosphere that determine the likelihood of a fire starting, its intensity and the speed at which it spreads.
Breast cancer cells 'stick together' to spread through the body during metastasis
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center discovered that a cell adhesion protein, E-cadherin, allows breast cancer cells to survive as they travel through the body and form new tumors, a process termed metastasis.
Nobel Laureate, Tom Cech, Ph.D., suggests new way to target third most common oncogene, TERT
Study in PNAS shows that trapping TERT mRNA in the cell nucleus may keep TERT oncogene from being manufactured, silencing the action of TERT in driving cancer.
Raising a glass to grapes' surprising genetic diversity
Here's a discovery well worth toasting: A research team led by Professor Brandon Gaut with the University of California, Irvine and Professor Dario Cantu with the University of California, Davis has deciphered the genome of the Chardonnay grape.
Researchers find earliest evidence of milk consumption
A research team, led by archaeologists at the University of York, have identified a milk protein called beta lactoglobulin (BLG) entombed in the mineralised dental plaque of seven individuals who lived in the Neolithic period around 6,000 years-ago.
Smithsonian scientists triple number of known electric eel species
South American rivers are home to at least three different species of electric eels, including a newly identified species capable of generating a greater electrical discharge than any other known animal, according to a new analysis of 107 fish collected in Brazil, French Guiana, Guyana and Suriname in recent years.
The secret strength of gnashing teeth
There's a method to finite element modeling for materials microarchitecture to make super strong glass.
The Mathematikado: A math-inspired parody of a parody
In 1886, female students at Vassar College put on a parody of the opera 'The Mikado' by Gilbert and Sullivan.
Swapping pollinators reduces species diversity, study finds
In a new paper published in Evolution Letters, Carolyn Wessinger and Lena Hileman demonstrate that abandoning one pollinator for another to realize immediate benefits could compromise a flower's long-term survival.

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#537 Science Journalism, Hold the Hype
Everyone's seen a piece of science getting over-exaggerated in the media. Most people would be quick to blame journalists and big media for getting in wrong. In many cases, you'd be right. But there's other sources of hype in science journalism. and one of them can be found in the humble, and little-known press release. We're talking with Chris Chambers about doing science about science journalism, and where the hype creeps in. Related links: The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study Claims of causality in health news: a randomised trial This...