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Science News | Science Current Events | Brightsurf | September 25, 2019


Investigational drug with immunotherapy may provide new therapeutic opportunity for patients previously treated for kidney and lung cancer
Investigational drug with immunotherapy may provide new therapeutic opportunity for patients previously treated for kidney and lung cancer.
Plastic teabags release microscopic particles into tea
Many people are trying to reduce their plastic use, but some tea manufacturers are moving in the opposite direction: replacing traditional paper teabags with plastic ones.
Cancer: The origin of genetic mutations
In the presence of some disruptive elements, cancer cells are unable to replicate its DNA optimally.
Faster than ever -- neutron tomography detects water uptake by roots
The high-speed neutron tomography developed at HZB generates a complete 3D image every 1.5 seconds and is thus seven times faster than before.
Pesticide exposure may increase heart disease and stroke risk
Occupational exposure to high levels of pesticides may raise the risk of heart disease and stroke, even in generally healthy men.
Monkeys like alcohol at low concentrations, but probably not due to the calories
Fruit-eating monkeys show a preference for concentrations of alcohol found in fermenting fruit, but do not seem to use alcohol as a source of supplementary calories, according to a study by researchers from Linköping University, Sweden, and the Universidad Veracruzana, Mexico.
Kids in poor, urban schools learn just as much as others
Schools serving disadvantaged and minority children teach as much to their students as those serving more advantaged kids, according to a new nationwide study.
Studies link air pollution to mental health issues in children
Three new studies by scientists at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, in collaboration with researchers at the University of Cincinnati, highlight the relationship between air pollution and mental health in children.
Machine learning finds new metamaterial designs for energy harvesting
Electrical engineers at Duke University have harnessed the power of machine learning to design dielectric (non-metal) metamaterials that absorb and emit specific frequencies of terahertz radiation.
Fish Micronutrients 'slipping through the hands' of malnourished people
Millions of people are suffering from malnutrition despite some of the most nutritious fish species in the world being caught near their homes, according to new research published in Nature.
Many patients not receiving first-line treatment for sinus, throat, ear infections
Investigators have now shown that only half of patients presenting with sinus, throat, or ear infections at different treatment centers received the recommended first-line antibiotics, well below the industry standard of 80 percent.
Potentially large economic impacts of climate change can be avoided by human actions
A study estimates global-scale, multi-sectoral economic impacts of climate change, and suggests that a plausible range of decisions and actions by humans can determine the scale of the economic impacts, even if the uncertainty in the climate response to increased greenhouse gas concentration is considered.
Aerosols from coniferous forests no longer cool the climate as much
Emissions of greenhouse gases have a warming effect on the climate, whereas small airborne particles in the atmosphere, aerosols, act as a cooling mechanism.
First evidence for early baby bottles used to feed animal milk to prehistoric babies
A team of scientists, led by the University of Bristol, has found the first evidence that prehistoric babies were fed animal milk using the equivalent of modern-day baby bottles.
University of Alberta researchers developing new 'DNA stitch' to treat muscular dystrophy
A new therapeutic being tested by University of Alberta researchers is showing early promise as a more effective treatment that could help nearly half of patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).
Evidence of anomalously large superconducting gap on topological surface state of β-Bi2Pd film
Hong Ding's group from the Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Science reported the superconducting gap of topological surface state is larger than that of bulk states in β-Bi2Pd thin films using in-situ angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy and molecular beam epitaxy.
Experts focus on food insecurity and its far-reaching consequences, particularly in vulnerable populations
Food insecurity is a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life, according to the US Department of Agriculture.
Minimum pricing policy appears to have cut spending on alcohol in Scotland
The introduction of minimum unit pricing (MUP) in Scotland appears to have been successful in reducing the amount of alcohol purchased and, by inference, consumption by households, finds a study published by The BMJ today.
Adult fly intestine could help understand intestinal regeneration
Intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) are exposed to diverse types of environmental stresses such as bacteria and toxins, but the mechanisms by which epithelial cells sense stress are not well understood.
Nanocatalyst makes heavy work of formic acid
Osaka University researchers have reported a nanocatalyst that is able to produce hydrogen isotope compounds D2 and HD via the heterogeneous dehydrogenation of formic acid in the presence of heavy water.
Association of genetic risk to psychotic experiences with neuropsychiatric disorders
Data from the UK Biobank were used to examine whether genetic risk to psychotic experiences is shared with neuropsychiatric disorders.
Promising steps towards a treatment for pulmonary fibrosis
Research published in the journal Science Translational Medicine on 25 September by members of the Cardiovascular Disease Mechanisms group at the MRC LMS in collaboration with Duke-NUS Medical School, National Heart Centre Singapore & National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, showed that blocking a protein called interleukin-11 (IL-11) using therapeutic antibodies can reverse the fibrosis in the lung.
Brain anatomy changes with maturation to adolescence
In a first-of-its-kind study, Children's Hospital Los Angeles researchers piece together a road map of typical brain development in children during a critical window of maturation.
Turning up the heat for weed control
Research determines optimal heat conditions for weed seed control in Louisiana sugarcane fields
Ocean's key role in achieving climate goals
Earth's oceans are not simply a passive victim of climate change but instead provide a previously unappreciated opportunity to provide solutions towards reducing global greenhouse gas emissions, argue Ove Hoegh-Guildberg and colleagues in a Policy Forum.
Secret-shopper-style study shows online birth control prescription overall safe, efficient
Secret-shopper-style study of nine Web-based and digital-app vendors of contraception scripts shows their services are overall safe and efficient.
ER visits escalate when kids with asthma also have depression, anxiety
Children with asthma have a higher likelihood of also suffering from anxiety and depression, and when all three conditions are present, patients are almost twice as likely as those with asthma alone to seek care in the Emergency Room.
A mouse or an elephant: what species fights infection more effectively?
Hamilton College Assistant Professor of Biology Cynthia Downs led a study with co-authors from North Dakota State University, University of California, Davis, Eckerd College, and University of South Florida that investigated whether body mass was related to concentrations of two important immune cell types in the blood among hundreds of species of mammals ranging from tiny Jamaican fruit bats (~40 g) to giant killer whales (~5,600 kg).
Researchers uncover privacy flaw in e-passports
Researchers at the University of Luxembourg have discovered a flaw in the security standard used in biometric passports (e-passports) worldwide since 2004.
Laser-based system detects fires even in dusty, harsh environments
Researchers have developed a new laser-based system that offers an efficient and low-cost way to detect fires in challenging environments such as industrial facilities or large construction sites.
How cities can leverage citizen data while protecting privacy
In a new study, MIT researchers find that there is, in fact, a way for Indian cities to preserve citizen privacy while using their data to improve efficiency.
New fungus-derived antibiotic: relief in sight for immunocompromised people
Infections that are treatable in healthy people can often be fatal in immunocompromised individuals (people with a weak immune system), and hence, they require specialized treatment.
Sexual trauma common in postmenopausal women veterans
Thanks to increased media attention, sexual assaults occurring in the military are finally getting the attention they deserve.
AI helps scientists predict depression outcomes
Two studies led by UT Southwestern provide evidence for the impact of biology by using artificial intelligence to identify patterns of brain activity that make people less responsive to certain antidepressants.
Obesity epidemic results in NAFLD becoming most common cause of liver disease in Europe
Obesity epidemic results in Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) becoming the most common cause of liver disease in Europe.
Study assesses asthma treatment options in African American children and adults
A new study of African Americans with poorly controlled asthma, found differences in patients' responses to commonly used treatments.
Temple scientists solve mystery underlying heart toxicity caused by diabetes drugs
For new diabetes medications, in which one drug aims to address the excess of lipids and glucose in the blood, the therapeutic benefits, while great, frequently are accompanied by dangerous toxic effects to the heart.
ECOG-ACRIN announces late-breaking TAILORx data at ESMO Congress 2019
The European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2019 Congress will present, and JAMA Oncology will concurrently publish, the clinical outcomes of a subset of women with early breast cancer who participated in TAILORx, the landmark breast cancer treatment trial.
Research suggests there's a better way to teach physics to university students
Physicists and educators at the University of Kansas has developed a curriculum for college-level students that shows promise in helping students in introductory physics classes further practice and develop their calculus skills.
Researchers report a new way to produce curvy electronics
Contact lenses that can monitor your health as well as correct your eyesight aren't science fiction, but an efficient manufacturing method has remained elusive.
Ditch the delicate wash cycle to save our seas
The volume of water used during a wash cycle, rather than the spinning action of the washing machine, is the key factor in the release of plastic microfibres from clothes.
Scientists tackle potential drug resistance by using new single-cell genetic method
Using a new technique that can identify genetic profiles of individual cells, Notre Dame researchers modeled a breast cancer tumor's potential resistance to a drug, and then identified a drug combination that reversed that resistance.
Private boats in the Mediterranean have extremely high potential to spread alien species
A Mediterranean wide study has found that 71% of sampled recreational boats hosted alien marine species.
Bottom-up synthesis of crystalline 2D polymers
Scientists at TU Dresden and Ulm University have succeeded in synthesizing sheet-like 2D polymers by a bottom-up process for the first time.
NASA finds Tropical Storm Karen bringing heavy rain to Puerto Rico
Tropical Storm Karen has crossed over Puerto Rico and into the western Atlantic Ocean.
Pitt scientists identify benefits, challenges to using film in public health research
The research community is increasingly recognizing video as more than just a medium to disseminate scientific findings after a study's conclusion.
Personalized wellness: Can science keep up with tech innovations and consumer demands?
As consumers increasingly seek products and services tailored to the individual level, personalized wellness can include everything from genetics-driven diet plans to digital disease management.
Smoothing wrinkles in mice -- without needles
In the quest for a more youthful appearance, many people slather ointments on their skin or undergo injections of dermal fillers.
First fully rechargeable carbon dioxide battery with carbon neutrality
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago are the first to show that lithium-carbon dioxide batteries can be designed to operate in a fully rechargeable manner, and they have successfully tested a lithium-carbon dioxide battery prototype running up to 500 consecutive cycles of charge/recharge processes.
New research analyzes video game player engagement
In the video game industry, the ability for gaming companies to track and respond to gamers' post-purchase play opens up new opportunities to enhance gamer engagement and retention and increase video game revenue.
Blood-brain barrier damage occurs even with mild head trauma -- Ben-Gurion U study
'While the diagnosis of moderate and severe TBI is visible through magnetic resonance imaging [MRI] and computer-aided tomography scanning [CT], it is far more challenging to diagnose and treat mild traumatic brain injury, especially a concussion which doesn't show up on a normal CT,' explains Professor Alon Friedman, M.D., Ph.D.
Nanotechnology improves chemotherapy delivery
Michigan State University scientists have invented a new way to monitor chemotherapy concentrations, which is more effective in keeping patients' treatments within the crucial therapeutic window.
New insights into the healing capacity of the heart
Researchers report that the Hippo pathway is important for maintaining adult murine cardiac fibroblasts in their resting state.
Teens sleep 43 more minutes per night after combo of two treatments, Stanford study finds
Teenagers got 43 more minutes of sleep a night after a four-week intervention that reset their body clocks and helped them go to bed earlier, a study from the Stanford University School of Medicine has shown.
Study: Climate change could cause drought in wheat-growing areas
Wheat supplies about 20 percent of all calories consumed by humans.
New research brings scientists one step closer to a fully functioning quantum computer
Quantum computing has the potential to revolutionize technology, medicine, and science by providing faster and more efficient processors, sensors, and communication devices.
Discovery could improve MDS cancer treatment
Traditional methods for treating the lethal blood cancer myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) are often ineffective.
Combining cheap and safe black and white materials creates colorful pigments
Researchers from Nagoya University have created pigments of various colors by combining fine silica particles (white powder) and an iron tannate (black material), both of which are harmless and inexpensive materials used for foods and cosmetics.
High carbon dioxide can create 'shrinking stems' in marshes
For most plants, carbon dioxide acts like a steroid: The more they can take in, the bigger they get.
New species of crocodile discovered in museum collections
By looking at 90-year-old crocodile skulls in museum collections and double-checking with live specimens at a zoological park in Florida, researchers have just discovered a new species of ten-foot-long croc.
How and why does Parkinson's disease effect women and men differently?
There is growing evidence that Parkinson's disease (PD) affects women and men differently.
Test for life-threatening nutrient deficit is made from bacteria entrails
A pocket-sized zinc deficiency test could be taken to remote regions where masses are malnourished - no complex transport or preservation necessary.
Tractor overturn prediction using a bouncing ball model could save the lives of farmers
Overturning tractors are the leading cause of death for farmers around the world.
Potential factors associated with severity of diabetes complications in patients with mental health
Among 123,000 patients in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs health system with newly diagnosed diabetes, 23% had mental health or substance use disorder diagnoses and that prior engagement with the health care system may be associated with a lower severity of complications for a few years after the onset of diabetes.
New satellite may make flood prediction easier
A satellite on schedule to launch in 2021 could offer a more comprehensive look at flooding in vulnerable, under-studied parts of the world, including much of Africa, South America and Indonesia, a new study has found.
Developed countries may become more religious in 20 years
Researchers from HSE University and RANEPA found that in high-income countries, age, rather than the cohort effect, has more impact on religiosity.
Choose your own adventure
University of Waterloo researchers have developed a novel tool that will enable user-experience designers to create more effective, personalized games and marketing campaigns.
New research reveals soil microbes play a key role in plant disease resistance
Scientists have discovered that soil microbes can make plants more resistant to an aggressive disease -- opening new possibilities for sustainable food production.
First CAR T cell therapy targeting B cell-activating factor receptor eradicates blood cancers
The first CAR T cell therapy targeting the B cell-activating factor receptor on cancerous cells eradicated CD19-targeted therapy-resistant human leukemia and lymphoma cells in animal models, according to City of Hope research published today in Science Translational Medicine.
Bacteria make pearl chains
For the first time, scientists in Bremen were able to observe bacteria forming pearl chains that protrude from the cell surface.
OSU ecologist: Ocean-based actions can close gaps in climate change mitigation
Ocean-based actions have greater potential to fill in gaps in climate change mitigation than previously appreciated, scientists explain in a paper published today in Science.
T. rex used a stiff skull to eat its prey
A Tyrannosaurus rex could bite hard enough to shatter the bones of its prey.
Prediction system significantly increases palliative care consults
A trigger system powered by predictive analytics increased palliative care consultations by 75 percent after its implementation
Trump's Twitter communication style shifted over time based on varying communication goals
The linguistic and discursive style of Donald Trump's tweets varied systematically before, during, and after the 2016 presidential campaign, depending on the communicative goals of Trump and his team, according to a study published Sept.
True lies: How letter patterns color perceptions of truth
Cause-and-effect statements may seem more true if the initial letters in the words are in alphabetical order because the human brain prefers patterns that follow familiar sequences.
NASA-NOAA satellite finds Jerry now a post-tropical storm
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite passed over Jerry and provided forecasters with a view of its structure that helped confirm it is now post-tropical.
Resistance to immune checkpoint blocker drug linked to metabolic imbalance
A metabolic imbalance in some cancer patients following treatment with a checkpoint inhibitor drug, nivolumab, is associated with resistance to the immunotherapy agent and shorter survival, report scientists from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
NASA-NOAA satellite sees Hurricane Lorenzo strengthening
Dropping cloud top temperatures from NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite indicated Hurricane Lorenzo was getting stronger in the North Atlantic Ocean.
Unravelling the mystery of how one gene contributes to Parkinson's, Crohn's and leprosy
Researchers have struggled for years to understand how mutations in one gene, called LRRK2, can increase the risk of three very different diseases: Parkinson's (a brain disease), Crohn's (a gut disease) and leprosy (a peripheral nervous system disease).
New CAR T cells could help avoid patient relapse in blood cancers
A research team has created CAR T cells that target an alternative B cell-specific surface marker, allowing them to effectively kill blood cancer cells that lack the prototypical target for CAR T therapy, CD19.
A protein essential for chikungunya virus replication identified
Chikungunya is an infectious disease caused by a mosquito-borne virus transmitted to humans.
Humankind did not live with a high-carbon dioxide atmosphere until 1965
Humans have never before lived with the high carbon dioxide atmospheric conditions that have become the norm on Earth in the last 60 years, according to a new study that includes a Texas A&M University researcher.
Micronutrients 'slipping through the hands' of malnourished people
Populations suffering from malnutrition have the nutrition they need right at their doorstep--in the form of fish.
Stressed out: Americans making themselves sick over politics
Nearly 40% of Americans surveyed for a new study said politics is stressing them out, and 4% -- the equivalent of 10 million US adults -- reported suicidal thoughts related to politics.
Genes 'lost' in whales and dolphins helped their ancestors transition to life underwater
When cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) transitioned from life on land to life in the sea about 50 million years ago, 85 genes became inactivated in these species, according to a new study.
Light work for superconductors
For the first time researchers successfully used laser pulses to excite an iron-based compound into a superconducting state.
Use of mental health services after weight-loss surgery
With data from nearly 25,000 patients who underwent weight-loss surgery in Western Australia over 10 years, this study examined the association between bariatric surgery and the use of outpatient, emergency department and inpatient mental health services.
For hospitalized patients with fungal infections, specialists save lives
Fungal bloodstream infections are responsible for the deaths of more than 10,000 people every year.
Tripolye 'mega-structures' were ancient community centers
So-called 'mega-structures' in ancient Europe were public buildings that likely served a variety of economic and political purposes, according to a study released Sept.
Secure printing with water-based invisible ink
Researchers in China have developed a rewriteable paper coating that can encrypt secret information with relatively low-tech invisible ink -- water.
Scientists find ways to improve cassava, a 'crop of inequality' featured at Goalkeepers
Today, as world leaders gather for the UN General Assembly, hundreds of emerging leaders focused on fighting global inequality came together at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's third annual Goalkeepers event in New York City.
Unravelling an alternative mechanism of airway mucosal immunity
Researchers from Kanazawa University have identified two key proteins, ASC and NLRP3, in the maintenance of the innate immune homeostasis in the airway.
Web tool prioritizes health risks for postmenopausal women
A new web-based calculator helps middle-aged women predict their risks of experiencing heart attack, stroke, hip fracture, or breast, lung or colorectal cancer within 5, 10 or 15 years.
School spending cuts triggered by great recession linked to sizable learning losses for learning losses for students in hardest hit areas
Substantial school spending cuts triggered by the Great Recession were associated with sizable losses in academic achievement for students living in counties most affected by the economic downturn, according to a new study published today in AERA Open, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Educational Research Association.
NASA finds light rain in former hurricane Kiko's remnants
Former Hurricane Kiko is now just a remnant low pressure area that has slid into the Central Pacific Ocean.
World's first three-organoid system opens doors for medical research and diagnosis
This major step forward in organoid development could sharply accelerate the concept of precision medicine and someday lead to transplantable tissues grown in labs.
Powerful new synthetic vaccines to combat epidemics
A new type of vaccine that can be stored at warmer temperatures, removing the need for refrigeration, has been developed for mosquito-borne virus Chikungunya in a major advance in vaccine technology.
Fathering children by assisted reproduction linked to increased risk of prostate cancer
Men who became fathers through assisted reproduction techniques seem to be at higher risk for prostate cancer and early onset prostate cancer compared with men achieving fatherhood naturally, concludes a study published by The BMJ today.
Engineered protein crystals make cells magnetic
If scientists could give living cells magnetic properties, they could perhaps manipulate cellular activities with external magnetic fields.
Epilepsy: Seizures not forecastable as expected
Epileptic seizures can probably not be predicted by changes in brain wave patterns that were previously assumed to be characteristic precursors.
Researchers apply fat cells to deliver drug to suppress tumor growth
UCLA researchers have identified a new drug delivery pathway that may help stop tumor growth and keep cancer from coming back in mice.
NASA visualization shows a black hole's warped world
A new visualization of a black hole illustrates how its gravity distorts our view, warping its surroundings as if viewed in a funhouse mirror.
Most Europeans want governments to help the homeless
The majority of European citizens hold positive attitudes toward people who are homeless and wish that European states would do more to reduce it, according to a study published Sept.
Researchers home in on extremely rare nuclear process
A hypothetical nuclear process known as neutrinoless double beta decay ought to be among the least likely events in the universe.
Benefits for mind, body and work ability seen in Medicaid Expansion study
Expanding Medicaid to more low-income adults helped many of them feel healthier, and do a better job at work or a job search, in just one year after they got their new health coverage, a new study finds.
Does migraine leave your head spinning? Noninvasive treatment shows early promise
There may be some good news for people with vestibular migraine, a type of migraine that causes vertigo and dizziness with or without headache pain.
Mosquito eye inspires artificial compound lens (video)
Anyone who's tried to swat a pesky mosquito knows how quickly the insects can evade a hand or fly swatter.
The almond & peach trees genomes shed light on the differences between these close species
An international team led by researchers from CRAG has sequenced the genome of the almond tree and compared it to that of its closest relative, the peach tree.
FSU research: Fear not a factor in gun ownership
Are gun owners more or less afraid than people who do not own guns?
Portable electronics: a stretchable and flexible biofuel cell that runs on sweat
A unique new flexible and stretchable device, worn against the skin and capable of producing electrical energy by transforming the compounds present in sweat, was recently developed and patented by French and Americans researchers.

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