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Science News | Science Current Events | Brightsurf | October 28, 2019


Genetics reveal pacific subspecies of fin whale
New genetic research has identified fin whales in the northern Pacific Ocean as a separate subspecies, reflecting a revolution in marine mammal taxonomy as scientists unravel the genetics of enormous animals otherwise too large to fit into laboratories.
USC study implicates flavored e-cigs in the teen vaping epidemic
Teens who vape candy- or fruit-flavored e-cigarettes are more likely to stick with the habit and vape more heavily.
How Alzheimer's disease spreads through the brain
Tau can quickly spread between neurons but is not immediately harmful, according to research in mouse neurons published in JNeurosci.
Lend me a flipper
Researchers at Kyoto University's Primate Research Institute, Kindai University, and Kagoshima City Aquarium investigated the cooperative abilities of dolphins.
Advanced cancer drug shrinks and intercalates DNA
A new study published in EPJ E has found that the drug first forces itself between the strands of the DNA molecule's double helix, prising them apart.
American Academy of Pediatrics looks at use of nonnutritive sweeteners by children
Nonnutritive or artificial sweeteners are a growing part of US diets, now consumed by at least one in four children.
High rates of dementia, Alzheimer's observed among older people with Down syndrome
A study of Wisconsin Medicaid enrollees with Down syndrome has found that more than half of those ages 55 and older have filed at least three claims for dementia and nearly a third have filed at least three claims for Alzheimer's disease.
33% of people on anticoagulants take OTC supplements with potentially serious interactions
Nearly 98% percent of people prescribed direct-acting oral anticoagulants such as apixaban used over-the-counter products.
Attacking metastatic breast cancer with sound
Drugs can be safely delivered to cancerous lymph nodes via the lymphatic system and then released inside the nodes using sound waves.
ESO telescope reveals what could be the smallest dwarf planet yet in the solar system
Astronomers using ESO's SPHERE instrument at the Very Large Telescope (VLT) have revealed that the asteroid Hygiea could be classified as a dwarf planet.
An overlooked piece of the solar dynamo puzzle
A previously unobserved mechanism is at work in the Sun's rotating plasma: a magnetic instability, which scientists had thought was physically impossible under these conditions.
Climate engineering: International meeting reveals tensions
At this point, the greatest danger of climate engineering may be how little is known about where countries stand on these potentially planet-altering technologies.
Make fungi think they're starving to stop them having sex, say scientists
Tricking fungi into thinking they're starving could be the key to slowing down our evolutionary arms race with fungal pathogens, as hungry fungi don't want to have sex.
Maternal and newborn health improves in rural Nigeria, Ethiopia and India but inequities still exist
Community-based health programs in parts of rural Nigeria, Ethiopia and India were successful in improving health care for mothers and newborns, but inequities still exist, according to a new study in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).
Biomarker for schizophrenia can be detected in human hair
Working with model mice, post-mortem human brains, and people with schizophrenia, researchers at the RIKEN Center for Brain Science in Japan have discovered that a subtype of schizophrenia is related to abnormally high levels hydrogen sulfide in the brain.
Lenalidomide may delay onset of myeloma-related bone, organ damage
The largest randomized trial in asymptomatic patients with smoldering multiple myeloma suggests that lenalidomide, a cancer drug, may delay the onset of bone and other myeloma-related organ damage.
Hubble captures cosmic face
In celebration of Halloween, this new image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope captures two galaxies of equal size in a collision that appears to resemble a ghostly face.
Unearthing history
Samples of rocks found on a Greek island reveal the source of oxidizing fluids feeding ancient volcanos as scientists seek to pinpoint geochemical forces at work millions of years ago, a team of researchers from Boston College, the Sorbonne, the University of South Carolina, and Durham University (UK), report in Nature Geoscience.
Study tracks evolutionary history of metabolic networks
By analyzing how metabolic enzymes are built and organized, researchers have reconstructed the evolutionary history of metabolism.
Risk assessment tools lead to fewer incarcerations without jeopardizing public safety
A sweeping study looking at an extensive collection of data -- involving more than a million offenders at 30 different Canadian and US research sites -- found that while fewer people were being locked up, crime rates showed some declines.
Soft double gyroids are unique, but imperfect, crystals
Rice University engineers analyze soft double gyroids and find their crystalline forms are not perfect.
Overcoming weak governance will take decades with implications for climate adaptation
Governance in climate vulnerable countries will take decades to improve, substantially impeding the ability of nations to adapt to climate change and affecting billions of people globally, according to new research involving the University of East Anglia (UEA).
Consumer markets, companies linked to habitat loss for rare species in Brazil's savannah
Global consumer markets could be responsible for more than half of the impact of expanding soy production on rare species in one of the world's most biodiverse regions, the Cerrado savannah, according to a new article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
Teaching cars to drive with foresight
Good drivers anticipate dangerous situations and adjust their driving before things get dicey.
Compact depth sensor inspired by spiders
Inspired by jumping spiders, researchers at the Harvard John A.
Clear goals but murky path to ecosystem sustainability: Key knowledge gaps identified
International sustainability policies set out clear goals for protecting ecosystems and biodiversity, but how to actually achieve these goals remains elusive in practice, as biodiversity loss continues at an alarming rate.
NASA tracking Eastern Atlantic's late season Tropical Storm Pablo
Pablo is a tropical cyclone that formed late on Oct.
New insights could help block the path of cancer 'super-highways'
A key mechanism controlling tissue structure, which could help identify drugs that make it harder for cancer cells to spread, has been identified by researchers at the Francis Crick Institute.
Study finds inflammatory protein can protect against spread of herpes virus
UA College of Medicine - Phoenix researchers discover protein function that can improve current therapeutics.
Women surgical residents suffer more mistreatment, burnout, suicidal thoughts
Women surgical residents suffer more mistreatment than men, which leads to a higher burnout rate and more suicidal thoughts among female residents, reports a new study that surveyed trainees in all accredited 260 US general surgical residency programs.
Which came first: Brain size or drinking propensity?
Contrary to the belief that drinking can literally shrink one's brain, a new study that includes researchers from Arts & Sciences suggests that a small brain might be a risk factor for heavier alcohol consumption.
Gabapentinoids appear increasingly to be prescribed, off-label, for cancer pain
Between 2005 and 2015, as the opioid crisis in America came into focus, prescriptions for gabapentinoid medications -- gabapentin and pregabalin -- to adults with cancer saw a two-fold increase, a University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center study has found.
Tungsten suboxide improves the efficiency of platinum in hydrogen production
Researchers presented a new strategy for enhancing catalytic activity using tungsten suboxide as a single-atom catalyst (SAC).
In the wake of mass shootings, a reluctance to talk about gun safety
At a time when discussions about access to firearms and gun safety are paramount, trusted professionals find it difficult to have those conversations.
Paid leave may widen the mommy gap but increase time with children
Many policymakers and scholars believe offering paid leave to families would be a game changer for US moms and families, leading to increased equity in labor markets and helping eliminate the 'mommy gap' in pay.
Chicks born with ability to distinguish and avoid different dangers
Chicks are born with the knowledge to flee from predators rather than learning it from experience, according to a study by University of Trento and Queen Mary University of London.
New findings could improve diagnosis, treatment of depression
UC Berkeley researchers investigating three symptoms of depression in chronically stressed mice have found a specific brain region associated with one of these symptoms - lack of motivation - and with no other symptoms.
Research brief: Nutritious foods have lower environmental impact than unhealthy foods
Widespread adaptation of healthier diets would markedly reduce the environmental impact of agriculture and food production.
Middle-aged adults with borderline personality disorder potentially at higher risk for heart attacks
Middle-aged adults who show symptoms of borderline personality disorder may be at greater risk for a heart attack, as they show physical signs of worsening cardiovascular health more than other adults, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.
One avocado a day helps lower 'bad' cholesterol for heart healthy benefits
New research from Penn State suggests that eating one avocado a day may help keep 'bad cholesterol' at bay.
An amazingly simple recipe for nanometer-sized corundum
Almost everyone uses nanometer-sized alumina these days -- this mineral, among others, constitutes the skeleton of modern catalytic converters in cars.
Viable alternatives to trophy hunting exist, say scientists
A recent letter in Science cited a lack of alternatives to trophy hunting.
New study points to another possible correlation between sleep and overall good health
As if you didn't already have enough to worry about to keep you up at night, a new study indicates that poor sleep can negatively affect your gut microbiome, which can, in turn, lead to additional health issues.
Theory explains biological reasons that force fish to move poleward
The Gill-Oxygen Limitation Theory explains the biological reasons that force fish, particularly larger or older ones, to move poleward when the waters in their habitats heat-up due to climate change.
Extinction of cold-water corals on the Namibian shelf due to low oxygen contents
Researchers have only been aware of the existence of fossil cold-water corals off the coast of Namibia since 2016.
Let there be...a new light
Light is the fastest way to distinguish right- and left-handed chiral molecules, which has important applications in chemistry and biology.
HHU-led research consortium wants to eliminate dangerous plant diseases in rice
The 'Healthy Crops' research consortium, headed by Humboldt Professor Wolf B.
Newly created magnets are cheaper, more effective and 'smarter'
Ferromagnets, or more precisely, magnets -- are extremely demanded materials in modern electronics.
Study underscores changes in brain structure, function in long-duration space missions
New study demonstrates for the first time that changes in cognitive performance correlate with changes in brain structure in NASA astronauts following spaceflight.
Argonaute proteins help fine-tune gene expression
A protein, with a name reminiscent of legendary Greek sailors, has an unexpected role inside the human nucleus.
Workplace sales ban on sugared drinks shows positive health effects
A workplace ban on the sale of sugar-sweetened beverages led to a 48.5% average reduction in their consumption and significantly less belly fat among 202 participants in a study by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).
Salt helps proteins move on down the road
Rice chemists match models and experiments to see how salt modifies surface interactions in chromatography used to separate valuable drug proteins.
Mathematics reveals new insights into Marangoni flows
In a new study published in EPJ E, Thomas Bickel at the University of Bordeaux has discovered new mathematical laws governing the properties of Marangoni flows.
Signaling waves determine embryonic fates
Embryonic stem cells begin to self-organize when they sense interacting waves of molecular signals that help them start -- and stop -- differentiating into patterns.
Smartphone data can help surgeons understand a patient's recovery
Surgeons report that they can describe the impact of certain postoperative events in their patients by capturing passively collected accelerometer data from a patient's smartphone.
Enabling autonomous vehicles to see around corners
To improve the safety of autonomous systems, MIT engineers have developed a system that can sense tiny changes in shadows on the ground to determine if there's a moving object coming around the corner.
Evidence of humans, not 'bots,' key to uncovering disinformation campaigns
Political disinformation campaigns are often hard to detect, but a new study pulls back the curtain on one type called 'astroturfing.' The study suggests the key to uncovering such campaigns lies not in finding automated 'bots' but in specific traces of human coordination and behavior.
The Lancet Psychiatry: Insufficient evidence that medicinal cannabinoids improve mental health
The most comprehensive analysis of medicinal cannabinoids and their impact on six mental health disorders -- combining 83 studies including 3,000 people -- suggests that the use of cannabinoids for mental health conditions cannot be justified based on the current evidence.
Genetic variants for autism linked to higher rates of self-harm and childhood maltreatment
People with a higher genetic likelihood of autism are more likely to report higher childhood maltreatment, self-harm and suicidal thoughts according to a new study by researchers at the University of Cambridge.
Training for Title IX investigators lacks tested, effective techniques
Interviews are the central component of any Title IX investigation, but new research finds the techniques investigators are using may not be the most effective.
How much do obesity and addictions overlap?
A large analysis of personality studies has found that people with obesity behave somewhat like people with addictions to alcohol or drugs.
Study: In the long run, drugs and talk therapy hold same value for people with depression
Spending an hour in talk therapy with a trained counselor costs much more, and takes more time, than swallowing an inexpensive antidepressant pill.
How to move against the current? One answer is 'tilt'-illating
Going upstream, and against a current, involves a front-first downward tilt and then moving along a surface, shows new research by a team of scientists, which created 'nano-motors' to uncover this effective means of locomotion under such conditions.
To rid electric grid of carbon, shore up green energy support
Cornell and Northwestern University engineers, along with a federal economist, have created an energy model that helps to remove carbon-generated power from the US electric grid -- replacing it with a greener, financially feasible wind, solar and hydro energy system.
Yersinia -- a novel genomic tool for identifying strains
The Yersinia genus covers a vast range of bacteria that are distinguished by criteria such as whether or not they are able to cause disease (their pathogenicity).
Financial incentives plus information decrease patient preference for diagnostic testing
Providing financial incentives to forego testing significantly decreases patient preference for testing, even when accounting for test benefit and risk.
Looking at the way we walk can help predict cognitive decline
The way people walk is an indicator of how much their brains, as well as their bodies, are aging.
KRICT comes in as a new leading player in the monopolized bio-polycarbonate market
The Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology(KRICT) developed a bio-polycarbonate which has been monopolized by Japan, and opened up the possibility of bio-polycarbonate commercialization. the Research Center for Bio-based Chemistry of KRICT utilized the plant-based components of isosorbide and nanocellulose to develop the bio-polycarbonate.
Researchers find 'protein-scaffolding' for repairing DNA damage
At the University of Copenhagen, researchers have discovered how some types of proteins stabilize damaged DNA and thereby preserve DNA function and integrity.
NASA sees Tropical Cyclone Olga merge with a cold front
Tropical Depression 17 strengthened briefly into a tropical storm on the same day it formed, Oct.
UK vets need special training to report suspected animal abuse
UK vets need special training to report cases of suspected animal abuse and neglect, finds research published online in Vet Record.
New venture team success requires collective ownership -- with boundaries, study says
A sense of collective ownership is crucial to a startup team's success.
Lack of free time is not a barrier to Americans getting more exercise
There is a general perception among the public and even public health professionals that a lack of leisure time is a major reason that Americans do not get enough physical activity.
NASA finds Arabian sea tropical cyclone Kyarr's heavy rainfall
Tropical Cyclone Kyarr is moving through the central Arabian Sea and NASA provided forecasters with an analysis of rainfall rates occurring in the powerful tropical cyclone.
Scientists are developing a way to counter ulcerative colitis
Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a long-term condition that results in inflammation and ulcers of the colon and rectum.
Psychiatric diagnoses 'neither necessary nor sufficient' for access to NHS care in UK
A new study, published in the Journal of Mental Health, finds psychiatric diagnoses are seldom used as entry criteria for NHS mental health services in the UK.
New clues as to why mutations in the MYH9 gene cause broad spectrum of disorders in humans
Researchers have used the Drosophila embryo to model human disease mutations that affect myosin motor activity.
DNA is like everything else: it's not what you have, but how you use it
A new paradigm for reading out genetic information in DNA is described by Dr.
Science shows hype about your opponent actually messes with your game
A study of more than 117,000 pro tennis matches and more than 5 million observations in online amateur chess indicates that even when competitors are evenly matched, players perform worse against an opponent they know has been climbing in rank.
Using whole-genome sequencing for early identification and containment of AMR pathogens
A study published today examines the evolutionary and epidemiologic history of an epidemic strain of extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) -- called LAM4/KZN.
The homeland of modern humans
A landmark study pinpoints the birthplace of modern humans in southern Africa and suggests how past climate shifts drove their first migration.
Medical alarms may be inaudible to hospital staff
Thousands of alarms are generated each day in any given hospital.
Study: Underground fungal relationships key to thriving plants
For a plant to thrive, it needs the help of a friendly fungus -- preferably one that will dig its way deep into the cells of the plant's roots.
Mutated ferns shed light on ancient mass extinction
At the end of the Triassic around 201 million years ago, three out of four species on Earth disappeared.
Giant neutrino telescope to open window to ultra-high-energy universe
Ultra-high-energy neutrinos, long sought, are crucial to understanding the high-energy Universe.
Can watching movies detect autism?
In the current study, the researchers presented ASD and control children with three short movies, each shown twice.
Public blame accidents on drivers more than their automated cars when both make mistakes
The public are more likely to blame accidents involving semi-autonomous cars on driver -- rather than machine -- error, a new study has found.
The frostier the flower, the more potent the cannabis
Cannabis flowers with the most mushroom-shaped hairs pack the biggest cannabinoid and fragrance punch, according to new research from the University of British Columbia.
Transforming DNA repair errors into assets
A new bioinformatics tool, MHcut reveals that a natural repair system for DNA damage, microhomology-mediated end joining, is probably far more common in humans than originally assumed.
New diagnostic method to determine liver cancer consistency
Researchers from Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin have developed a new diagnostic technique which enables the grading of tumor consistency using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Satellite, drone photos could help predict infections of a widespread tropical disease
An international team has discovered a cheap and efficient way to identify transmission hotspots for schistosomiasis.
Scientists identify key knowledge gaps in sustainability research
The loss of biodiversity continues at an alarming rate despite decades of research and international policies setting out clear goals in the area.
New synthesis method yields degradable polymers
MIT chemists have come up with a way to make certain drug-delivery polymers more readily degradable by adding a novel type of building block to the polymer backbone.
New research finding gives valleytronics a boost
An international research team led by physicists at the University of California, Riverside, has revealed a new quantum process in valleytronics that can speed up the development of this fairly new technology.
Teen marijuana use may have next-generation effects
A new study by the University of Washington's Social Development Research Group shows how a parent's use of marijuana, past or present, can influence their child's substance use and well-being.
In Wisconsin, 3 in 5 people with Down syndrome diagnosed with dementia by age 55
A new study of 3,000 people in Wisconsin aged 21 and older with Down syndrome, published today [Monday, Oct.
Treating the TOTAL patient: clinical trial reduces relapse
A St. Jude Children's Research Hospital study lowered the rate of relapse for patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Improving governance is key for adaptive capacity
Governance in climate vulnerable countries will take decades to improve, substantially impeding the ability of nations to adapt to climate change and affecting billions of people globally, according to new research published in Nature Sustainability.
Digital evidence falls short, can hurt victims of intimate partner violence
New research from LSU's Manship School of Mass Communication published in the International Journal of Communication shows digital evidence -- from tablets, smartphones, computers and other electronic communication methods -- can fall short of providing reliable legal evidence in cases of domestic and sexual assault, known as intimate partner violence.
Extent of human encroachment into world's protected areas revealed
Largest study yet to compare protected with 'matched' unprotected land finds 'significantly higher' increases in human pressure -- primarily through agriculture -- in protected areas across the tropics.
Crimped or straight? Lung fiber shape influences elasticity
Stiff collagen and stretchy elastin fibers packed together in rows allow the respiratory system to stretch and snap back into shape.
Medicare fraud and abuse linked to patient deaths and hospitalizations
Patients treated by health care professionals later excluded from the Medicare program for committing fraud and abuse were between 14 to 17 percent more likely to die than similar patients treated by non-excluded physicians, nurses, and other professionals, according to a new study from researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Crystallization clarified, researchers report
Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Northwestern University have made it possible to observe and simulate the self-assembly of crystalline materials at a much higher resolution than before.
Topological nanoelectronics
Physicists at the University of Würzburg have made a ground-breaking discovery: They have realized a fundamental nanoelectronic device based on the topological insulator HgTe previously discovered in Würzburg.
Who will get depressed under major stress? Study shows promise of genetic risk prediction
Depression doesn't come from one gene, one life event, or one personality trait.
Anti-inflammatory agents can effectively and safely curb major depressive symptoms
Anti-inflammatory agents, such as aspirin/paracetamol, statins, and antibiotics, can safely and effectively curb the symptoms of major depression, finds a pooled analysis of the available evidence, published online in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.
Follow the dotted line
In a development offering great promise for additive manufacturing, Princeton University researchers have created a method to precisely create droplets using a jet of liquid.

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