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Science News | Science Current Events | Brightsurf | October 02, 2019


Spying on topology
Topological insulators are quantum materials, which, due to their exotic electronic structure, on surfaces and edges conduct electric current like metal, while acting as an insulator in bulk.
Managing stormwater and stream restoration projects together
A unified approach may benefit water quality, environment more than piecemeal.
Gut bacteria is key factor in childhood obesity
New information published by scientists at Wake Forest Baptist Health suggests that gut bacteria and its interactions with immune cells and metabolic organs, including fat tissue, play a key role in childhood obesity.
Children told lies by parents subsequently lie more as adults, face adjustment difficulty
'If you don't behave, I'll call the police,' is a lie that parents might use to get their young children to behave.
FODMAPs diet relieves symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease
New research from King's College London has found that a diet low in fermented carbohydrates has improved certain gut symptoms and improved health-related quality of life for sufferers of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Sex-based differences in the development of brain hubs involved in memory and emotion
Researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the National Institutes of Health, have uncovered sex-based differences in the development of the hippocampus and amygdala.
45,000 years ago in Sri Lanka: The oldest microlith technology in a rainforest setting
Microliths -- small, retouched stone tools -- found in a Sri Lankan cave are the earliest evidence of such advanced technology in South Asia, according to a study released October 2, 2019 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Oshan Wedage of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Germany and colleagues.
Nuclear war between India and Pakistan could kill millions worldwide
More than 100 million people could die immediately if India and Pakistan wage a nuclear war, followed by global mass starvation, according to a Rutgers co-authored study.
Environmental toxins impair immune system over multiple generations
New research shows that maternal exposure to a common and ubiquitous form of industrial pollution can harm the immune system of offspring and that this injury is passed along to subsequent generations, weakening the body's defenses against infections such as the influenza virus.
Substantial variation in uptake of new prescribing guidance by GPs
Substantial variation exists between general practices in uptake of new prescribing guidance, with important implications for patient care and health expenditure, finds the largest analysis of its kind published by The BMJ today.
New report: Men without work face a worrying well-being crisis
A new IZA World of Labor report publishing tomorrow (Oct.
Physical activity and good fitness improve cardiac regulation in children
A recent Finnish study showed that more physically active and fit children have better cardiac regulation than less active and fit children.
Leg amputees feel and use the prosthesis as a real limb
The bionic prosthesis is perceived, by the brain of three leg amputees, as a real limb, allowing them to avoid falls while walking over obstacles without seeing them, climb stairs much faster and to finely place the feet in the space.
Novel material with strong action against fungi and tumors was developed
Researchers have created a composite with antifungal properties that are 32 times greater than those of silver by irradiating a metallic tungstate with electrons and femtosecond laser.
'Personalized dj' music playlist algorithm matches songs to listeners' changing moods
Imagine having a disc jockey inside your computer who matches the music played to your current frame of mind.
Discovery of new source of cancer antigens may expand cancer vaccine capabilities
For more than a decade, scientist Stephen Albert Johnston's team have pooled their energies to develop a vaccine to prevent cancer.
Touting flavor before nutrition encourages healthy eating
Most people want to eat healthier, but efforts to encourage healthy eating by providing nutrition information have not drastically changed habits.
Ancient genomes provide insight into the genetic history of the second plague pandemic
An international team of researchers has analyzed remains from ten archaeological sites in England, France, Germany, Russia, and Switzerland to gain insight into the different stages of the second plague pandemic and the genetic diversity of Yersinia pestis during and after the Black Death.
Asthma changes obesity rate in black female teens living in disadvantaged neighborhoods
A first-of-its-kind study led by researchers at LSU Health New Orleans Schools of Public Health and Medicine found that asthma may protect against obesity among African American female adolescents living in disadvantaged neighborhoods.
Besides hot water, coral bleaching also about location, location, location
The WCS-led study revealed a more complex view than current standard predictions of coral bleaching events caused primarily by heat stress; rather, the scientists found that bleaching is driven by a variety of stressors, and each region responds differently.
CRISPR technology reveals secret in monarchs' survival
New research from Cornell University sheds light on the secret to the survival of monarch butterflies by revealing how the species developed immunity to fatal milkweed toxins.
Moffitt researchers identify mechanism controlling DNA repair
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers recently identified a new mechanism that controls DNA repair.
Preaching the benefits of vaccination in an increasingly skeptical world
The jam-packed schedule for IDWeek2019 includes presentations about vaccines and other therapies that are effective against infectious diseases, new research insights about emerging infections and updates about global outbreaks past and present, such as measles and Zika.
How were oral contraceptives, concurrent depressive symptoms associated among adolescents, young women?
This observational study examined associations between depressive symptoms and oral contraceptive use in adolescents and young women and how those associations might differ by age.
Inadequate control of thyroid hormones sensitizes to hepatocarcinogenesis and unhealthy aging
For Aging's Volume 11, Issue 18, the Journal devoted the Cover to a research paper by Dr.
Pioneering red light-activated anti-tumor prodrug reduces side effects
Phorbiplatin, a new anti-cancer prodrug that can be controllably activated by red light was developed by a research team from City University of Hong Kong.
Earnings disparities between female, male surgeons in Canada
Female surgeons in Ontario, Canada, earned less per hour than their male counterparts within a fee-for-service system, and women were less likely to perform the most lucrative procedures.
Patient cancer cells reliably grow on new 3D scaffold, showing promise for precision medicine
A new 3D structure for growing cell cultures could enable doctors to test medications on model tumors grown from a patient's own cells, according to results from a team of engineers and cancer researchers at the University of Michigan.
Aspirin may prevent air pollution harms
A new study is the first to report evidence that nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin may lessen the adverse effects of air pollution exposure on lung function.
Using past extinctions to drive future conservation
A growing suite of tools is providing fine-grain detail into the historic ranges and population dynamics of large animals.
Manchester produces indie music fans just by being Manchester
Researchers from Lancaster University, the University of Manchester and the University of Liverpool found indie music fans' taste is shaped by where they live as they engage in experiences specific to the city of Manchester.
Chair yoga more effective than music therapy in older adults with advanced dementia
Researchers assessed the ability of older adults with advanced dementia to participate in non-pharmacological interventions and compared chair yoga with chair-based exercise and music therapy.
Canadians told to stop taking aspirin to prevent first heart attack, stroke
If you've never had a heart attack or stroke, you likely should not be taking aspirin to prevent them, according to new research.
Researcher develops method to change fundamental architecture of polymers
A Florida State University research team has developed methods to manipulate polymers in a way that changes their fundamental structure, paving the way for potential applications in cargo delivery and release, recyclable materials, shape-shifting soft robots, antimicrobials and more.
NASA finds Mitag's areas of heavy rainfall over Korean Peninsula
Tropical Storm Mitag was dropping heavy rainfall along coastal areas of South Korea and lighter rainfall over the entire country.  The Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM satellite provided a look at the rainfall occurring from the system.
Engineered T cells may be harnessed to kill solid tumor cells
A new Tel Aviv University study finds that a form of immunotherapy used to treat the blood cancer leukemia may be effective in treating other kinds of cancer as well.
Can we peek at Schrodinger's cat without disturbing it?
Quantum physics is difficult and explaining it even more so.
Helping pregnant women at work can hurt their chances of returning after maternity leave
When colleagues at work try to lighten a pregnant woman's load, it can hurt her chances of returning to work after giving birth, according to new research from Rice University, the University of Memphis, Boston College and the University of Massachusetts Lowell.
Antidepressant medications appear to be generally safe
Antidepressants are generally safe, according to a new study by an international team of researchers.
Researchers repurpose failed cancer drug into printable semiconductor
Many potential pharmaceuticals end up failing during clinical trials, but thanks to new research from the University of Illinois, biological molecules once considered for cancer treatment are now being repurposed as organic semiconductors for use in chemical sensors and transistors.
Catch-22 -- stricter border enforcement may increase agent corruption
Analysis of corruption cases among customs officers and Border Patrol agents reveals alarming trends depending on their years of service.
Swimming toward an 'internet of health'?
In recent years, the seemingly inevitable 'internet of things' has attracted considerable attention: the idea that in the future, everything in the physical world -- machines, objects, people -- will be connected to the internet.
Researchers study the mechanisms behind learning and long-term memory in the brain
With this new information, researchers will be able to learn more about long-term memory storage and the implications this may have for understanding Alzheimer's disease and other disorders that result in memory loss.
Gemini Observatory with NSF's National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory
Astronomers have uncovered two historic events in which the Andromeda Galaxy underwent major changes to its structure.
Limited seed availability, dry climate hamper post-wildfire forest recovery
A lack of tree seedling establishment following recent wildfires represents a crucial bottleneck limiting coniferous forest recovery in the western US, new University of Colorado Boulder-led research finds.
Study: Biomarker in urine may offer noninvasive detection of prostate cancer
A research study published in the journal Neoplasia and led by principal investigator Nallasivam Palanisamy, Ph.D., associate scientist in the Vattikuti Urology Institute at Henry Ford Health System, has identified a novel prostate cancer gene fusion involving the KLK4 protein coding gene and KLKP1 pseudogene.
Sleeping less than 6 hours and heart disease, stroke -- deadly combo
Middle-aged adults with high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease or stroke could be at increased risk for cancer and early death when sleeping less than 6 hours per day.
Researchers identify molecular process that could accelerate recovery from nerve injuries
Researchers at the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA have discovered a molecular process that controls the rate at which nerves grow both during embryonic development and recovery from injury throughout life.
Maternal lead exposure, intergenerational risk of childhood overweight/obesity and folate
An observational study of 1,442 mother-child pairs examined associations between lead blood levels in mothers and intergenerational risk of their children being overweight or obese and whether adequate folate levels in mothers mitigated that risk.
Why some greens turn brown in historical paintings 
Enticed by the brilliant green hues of copper acetate and copper resinate, some painters in the Renaissance period incorporated these pigments into their masterpieces.
Nerve-stimulating leg prosthesis improves movement and functionality in amputees
A research team has created a leg prosthesis for lower leg amputees that incorporates advanced neural stimulation, allowing it to recreate sensations of touch in the knee and foot that are missing in conventional prosthetic designs.
Drops in income may not only hurt the wallet, they may harm the brain
Young adults who experience annual income drops of 25% or more may be more at risk of having thinking problems and reduced brain health in middle age, according to a study published in the Oct.
New imaging platform examines mechanisms behind coral bleaching
The non-invasive approach developed by Professors Vadim Backman and Luisa Marcelino could help marine biologists monitor coral health in the face of climate change.
Scientists improve pancreatic cancer diagnosis with multifunctional platinum nanoreactor
Scientists from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, University of Surrey and the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (DICP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) have developed a multifunctional platinum (Pt) nanoreactor geared towards POC metabolic analysis that performs visual detection and mass spectrometry (MS) fingerprinting simultaneously.
Vaping-associated lung injury may be caused by toxic chemical fumes, study finds
Research into the pathology of vaping-associated lung injury is in its early stages, but a Mayo Clinic study published in The New England Journal of Medicine finds that lung injuries from vaping most likely are caused by direct toxicity or tissue damage from noxious chemical fumes.
Seagrass meadows harbor wildlife for centuries, highlighting need for conservation
Seagrass meadows put down deep roots, persisting in the same spot for hundreds and possibly thousands of years, a new study shows.
Experts advise against routine bowel cancer testing for all over-50s
Routine testing for bowel cancer should not be recommended for everyone aged 50-79 years because, for those at very low risk, the benefit is small and uncertain and there are potential harms, say a panel of international experts in The BMJ today.
Fossil fish gives new insights into the evolution
An international research team led by Giuseppe Marramà from the Institute of Paleontology of the University of Vienna discovered a new and well-preserved fossil stingray with an exceptional anatomy, which greatly differs from living species.
Study: Carbon emissions soar as tourism reaches new heights
A researcher at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) is examining how the flight routes people take to get to tourist destinations impact the amount of pollution in the air in a newly published study he coauthored in the Annals of Tourism Research.
Tunable optical chip paves way for new quantum devices
Researchers have created a silicon carbide (SiC) photonic integrated chip that can be thermally tuned by applying an electric signal.
CRISPRed fruit flies mimic monarch butterfly -- and could make you puke
Monarch butterflies and a few other insects evolved essentially the same genetic mutations allowing them to eat toxic milkweed without getting sick.
NIH researchers create new viral vector for improved gene therapy in sickle cell disease
Researchers at NIH have developed a new and improved viral vector -- a virus-based vehicle that delivers therapeutic genes -- for use in gene therapy for sickle cell disease.
Fragmented physical activity linked to greater mortality risk
Although reduced physical activity during the day is widely seen as a harbinger of mortality in older people, fragmentation of physical activity--spreading daily activity across more episodes of brief activity--may be an earlier indicator of mortality risk than total amount of daily activity, according to a new study from scientists at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Stanford-made exhibit plunges people in the world of microbes
Scientists at Stanford and the Exploratorium developed an immersive exhibit where visitors can dance with living cells.
Increasing precipitation extremes driving tree growth reductions across southwest
As the Earth's temperature warms, its hydrological cycle kicks into overdrive - wet years get wetter, and dry years get drier.
Decades-long drop in breast cancer death rate continues
A decades-long decline in the breast cancer death rate continues, but has begun to slow in recent years.
Fungal invasion of pancreas creates cancer risk
Certain fungi move from the gut to the pancreas, expand their population more than a thousand-fold, and encourage pancreatic cancer growth, a new study finds.
Species could buffer reproduction against climate change through sperm and egg plasticity
New research shows that beetles have evolved sophisticated mechanisms to reproduce despite warmer temperatures.
Planes and vehicles main culprits masking iconic natural sounds in peaceful national parks
A team of scientists from Colorado State University and the US National Park Service characterized the predominant human noise sources in 66 national parks in the US, in an effort to help parks better manage the noise problem.
Laser therapy gains credibility as effective option for treating vaginal problems
Nearly 50% of menopausal women complain of vaginal dryness, itching, and burning, among other commonly reported menopause symptoms.
Lifetime indoor tanning associated with squamous cell carcinoma cancer
This observational study used data from nearly 160,000 women in Norway to examine lifetime indoor tanning and risk of squamous cell carcinoma, one of the most common types of cancer worldwide.
African evidence support Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis
A team of scientists from South Africa has discovered evidence partially supporting a hypothesis that Earth was struck by a meteorite or asteroid 12,800 years ago, leading to global consequences including climate change, and contributing to the extinction of many species of large animals at the time of an episode called the Younger Dryas.
Tyumen historians spoke about the evolution of Russian universities
The 1st Conference of the International Academy of the History of Science took place in Athens, Greece on Sept.
Oldest miniaturized stone toolkits in Eurasia
Microliths are often interpreted as being part of composite tools, including projectile weapons, essential to efficient Homo sapiens hunting strategies.
Metabolic discovery may help in fight against heart disease, diabetes
Researchers at Cornell University have uncovered a key step in how the human body metabolizes sugar, which could lead to better treatment and prevention of heart disease, obesity and Type 2 diabetes.
Codeine misuse in Australia reduced by prescription-only changes
The move to prescription-only codeine in Australia has seen a 50 percent reduction in the monthly rate of codeine-related poisoning calls and halved codeine sales, finds new research led by the University of Sydney.
Cancer data provide insights into occurrence, overdiagnosis, and treatment advances
Investigators analyzed 40 years of cancer burden data and examined patterns of incidence and mortality for various cancers, finding examples for which incidence and mortality moved in concert and examples where discordance in incidence and mortality indicate that overdiagnosis may be at play.
Teens taking oral contraceptives may be at increased risk for depressive symptoms
In a study published in JAMA Psychiatry, investigators report that there was no association between oral contraceptive use and depressive symptom severity in the entire population they studied (ages 16 through 25).
Machine learning predicts behavior of biological circuits
Biomedical engineers at Duke University have devised a machine learning approach to modeling the interactions between complex variables in engineered bacteria that would otherwise be too cumbersome to predict.
Poor mental and physical health in pregnancy linked to infant sleep problems
Severe and persistent infant sleep problems in the first year are linked to poor maternal mental and physical health during pregnancy, a new study by the Murdoch Children's Research Institute has found.
Quantum vacuum: Less than zero energy
According to quantum physics, energy can be 'borrowed' -- at least for some time.
Nuclear war between India and Pakistan would launch a global climate catastrophe
With ongoing tensions between India and Pakistan raising concerns about the possibility of nuclear conflict, even as neither country is likely to initiate without significant provocation, researchers have evaluated both the direct fatalities and global climate anomalies that would result if nuclear war did break out.
Microscopic evidence sheds light on the disappearance of the world's largest mammals
Understanding the causes and consequences of Late Quaternary megafaunal extinctions is increasingly important in a world of growing human populations and climate change.
Father's obesity in puberty doubles the risk of asthma in his future offspring
A Norwegian study shows that boys who are obese in pre-puberty have an over two times higher risk of having children with asthma than those who are not.
Amputees merge with their bionic leg
In an international collaboration led by scientists in Switzerland, three amputees merge with their bionic prosthetic legs as they climb over various obstacles without having to look.
Hypoglycaemia prevention could cut hospital stays
New research shows that preventing in-patients with diabetes from developing hypoglycaemia could dramatically reduce the length of time they spend in hospital, and reduce mortality rates.
Tracking the HI virus
A European research team led by Prof. Christian Eggeling from the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, the Leibniz Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT), and the University of Oxford has now succeeded in using high-resolution imaging to make visible to the millisecond how the HI virus spreads between living cells and which molecules it requires for this purpose.
Cleaning with bleach could create indoor air pollutants
For generations, people have used chlorine bleach to clean and disinfect their homes.
Grading evidence in studies about antidepressant use/exposure and adverse health outcomes
This study graded the evidence of 45 meta-analyses of observational studies on the association between antidepressant use or exposure and adverse health outcomes.
Plant diversity a casualty of high-severity wildfires
Wildfire is transforming some forestlands into shrublands, a UC Davis study finds.
Researchers use drones to weigh whales
Researchers from Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies (AIAS) in Denmark and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in the US devised a way to accurately estimate the weight of free-living whales using only aerial images taken by drones.
A study of educational sabotage
A study published in the journal Violence Against Women by a domestic violence expert at The University of Texas at Arlington focuses on an overlooked form of psychological abuse -- educational sabotage.
How to make online recommendations work better
User-based framing is generally better than item-based framing at generating click-throughs, but there are specific situations in which user-based framing is no longer advantageous or even becomes disadvantageous.
Understanding the genomic signature of coevolution
An international team of researchers including limnologists from the University of Konstanz shows that rapid genomic changes during antagonistic species interactions are shaped by the reciprocal effects of ecology and evolution.
The propensity to hear 'voices' in Schizophrenia may be established by infancy
Findings reveal how auditory hallucinations may arise in patients with schizophrenia and provide potential new targets for early detection and treatment.
Smartphone typing speeds catching up with keyboards
The largest experiment to date on mobile typing sheds new light on average performance of touchscreen typing and factors impacting the text input speed.
New approach to pain treatment in diseases of the pancreas
One of the worst symptoms associated with inflammation or cancer of the pancreas is severe chronic pain.
Finding the 'magic angle' to create a new superconductor
Researchers have made a discovery that could provide new insights into how superconductors might move energy more efficiently to power homes, industries and vehicles.
Hard as ceramic, tough as steel: Newly discovered connection could help design of nextgen alloys
A new way to calculate the interaction between a metal and its alloying material could speed the hunt for a new material that combines the hardness of ceramic with the resilience of metal.
Inventing the world's strongest silver
A team of scientists has made the strongest silver ever--42 percent stronger than the previous world record.
An India-Pakistan nuclear war could kill millions, threaten global starvation
A nuclear war between India and Pakistan could, over the span of less than a week, kill 50-125 million people -- more than the death toll during all six years of World War II, according to new research.
TTUHSC researchers use NHANES to search for hypothyroid-sleep apnea link
To more clearly determine if a link exists between thyroid disorders like hypothyroidism and sleep apnea, a team from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center embarked upon new research using data mined from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a biennial survey conducted by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention to generally evaluate the health of children and adults in the US.
How opt-out organ donation could affect US waiting lists
Every year in the United States, about 7,500 people die while waiting for an organ transplant, and that number is expected to increase in coming years as demographics shift.
Warming impedes a coral defense, but hungry fish enhance it
Corals exude chemical defenses against bacteria, but when heated in the lab, those defenses lost much potency against a pathogen common in coral bleaching.
Grouping 'smart cities' into types may help aspiring city planners find a path
A comparative analysis of 'smart cities' worldwide reveals four distinct types, according to an international team of researchers.
Environmental cost of formula milk should be a matter of global concern
'The production of unnecessary infant and toddler formulas exacerbates environmental damage and should be a matter of increasing global concern,' argue experts in The BMJ today.
New criteria for bank loans and stock exchange listings could protect ocean resources
Review of publicly available information from 2008-2017 found no bank loan to seafood companies that included sustainability criteria.
Preventing future forest diebacks
Removing dead trees from the forests and reforesting on a large scale: this is the German Federal Government's strategy against 'Forest Dieback 2.0'.
Exoplanets to medical tests: Tiny frequency devices open up new applications
Accurately measuring frequencies of light is required for timekeeping and many science experiments and technologies.
NASA examines extra-tropical large Lorenzo's rainfall
Lorenzo is still at hurricane force in the eastern North Atlantic has now transitioned to an extra-tropical cyclone and has grown in size.
Object identification and interaction with a smartphone knock
A KAIST team has featured a new technology, 'Knocker', which identifies objects and executes actions just by knocking on it with the smartphone.
North American seismic networks can contribute to nuclear security
In a paper published as part of an upcoming focus section on regional seismic networks in Seismological Research Letters, University of Utah seismologist Keith Koper explains how the work of regional seismic networks in North America is contributing to nuclear test monitoring, particularly in the case of low-yield explosions.
The violent history of the big galaxy next door
Astronomers have pieced together the cannibalistic past of our neighboring large galaxy Andromeda, which has now set its sights on the Milky Way as its next main course.
Recommendations to prevent secondary fractures in adults 65+ with osteoporosis
A multistakeholder coalition assembled by the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) has issued clinical recommendations for the optimal prevention of secondary fracture among people aged 65 years and older with a hip or vertebral fracture -- the most serious complication associated with osteoporosis.
Going to sleep on your back in late pregnancy
This study looked at whether going to sleep on your back in the third trimester of pregnancy was associated with average lower birth weights.
ADHD and risk of giving birth as teenagers
Data were used from about 384,000 girls and women in Sweden (including 6,410 with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) who gave birth for the first time between 2007-2014 to examine whether those with ADHD have an increased likelihood of giving birth as teenagers.
Female surgeons earned 24% less per hour while operating compared to male surgeons: study
Female surgeons earned 24 per cent less per hour while operating compared to male surgeons, finds a new study led by St.
A new route to blocking children's bone cancer
A study in mice showed that reducing a particular hormone signal keeps the cancer from growing and spreading.
Sexual minority women more likely to smoke while drinking alcohol than heterosexual women
Sexual minority women are more likely to smoke cigarettes when drinking alcohol than heterosexual women, according to new University at Buffalo research.
Mutant cells team up to make an even deadlier blood cancer
Two very different mutations have been identified as unexpected partners in crime for causing the blood cancer acute myeloid leukemia (AML).
A new strategy to alleviate sadness: Bring the emotion to life
Anthropomorphizing the emotion of sadness (thinking of sadness as a person) can decrease levels of sadness, which can help people consequently avoid making impulsive buying decisions.
Addictive de-vices: How we can unplug from this 21st century epidemic
We spend our days looking at them, talking to them, and touching them.

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