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


Endocrine Society urges policymakers to follow science on transgender health
A custody case in Texas has sparked heated debate and embroiled state policymakers in public discussions about the diagnosis and appropriate medical treatment of transgender children.
Increased depression, suicidal thoughts and stress are reported in patients with chronically itchy skin
Itch is a very common symptom in patients suffering from skin diseases.
Ashes to concrete
Drexel University researchers have developed a process for turning the solid waste products of coal power plants into a useful ingredient that could improve properties of concrete.
Whether a fashion model or not, some body image concerns are universal
When researchers from UCLA and the Laureate Institute for Brain Research in Tulsa, Oklahoma, wanted to test an app they created to measure body image perception, they went to the body image experts -- fashion models.
Should preschool writing be more communication and less ABCs?
Writing instruction in early education should be about more than letter formation and penmanship, argue Michigan State University researchers who found preschool teachers don't often encourage writing for communication purposes.
How 'knowing less' can boost language development in children
Children may learn new words better when they learn them in the context of other words they are just learning -- according to new research from the University of East Anglia.
Can aspirin decrease the rate of intracranial aneurysm growth?
Researchers investigated whether aspirin can aid in the prevention of intracranial aneurysm rupture by hindering aneurysm growth.
Where to install renewable energy in US to achieve greatest benefits
A new Harvard study shows that to achieve the biggest improvements in public health and the greatest benefits from renewable energy, wind turbines should be installed in the Upper Midwest and solar power should be installed in the Great Lakes and Mid-Atlantic regions.
Teens with autism can master daily living skills when parents teach, reach for iPads
Daily tasks are difficult for some people with autism because they often involve sequential steps.
Facebook and Instagram gave away the presence of the 'Japan pig' seahorse in Taiwan
Having turned to local underwater photographers and scuba divers via social media, a research team from Taiwan not only reported a total of five pygmy seahorses, including the elusive, yet mesmerising 15-millimetre 'Japan pig', which was so far only known from the 'Land of the Rising Sun', but also confirmed Taiwan as one of the world's hotspots when it comes to these curious tiny marine inhabitants.
Cognitive screen paired with odor identification predicts lack of transition to dementia
A new study has found that performing well on two brief tests measuring cognitive ability and ability to identify odors indicates very low risk for Alzheimer's.
Chameleon's tongue strike inspires fast-acting robots
Purdue University researchers were inspired by a chameleon's tongue to create soft robots able to quickly catch a live flying beetle.
Survey reveals the hidden costs of care cascades
Just about any medical test can turn up an incidental finding that leads to a cascade of follow-up tests.
Race and poverty not risk factors for total knee replacement revision or failure
In a new study published in Arthritis Care & Research, HSS investigators found race and poverty are not risk factors for total knee replacement revision or failure at a high-volume orthopedic hospital.
'Wolves in sheep's clothing' -- the superbugs outsmarting laboratory tests
Hospital screening tests are failing to identify the true extent of microbial resistance, according to new research.
Hormonal contraceptives affect the efficacy of exposure therapy
Psychologists at Ruhr-Universität Bochum have studied in what way hormonal contraceptives affect the efficacy of anxiety therapy.
Scientists discover the implication of a new protein involved in liver cancer
Scientists discover the implication of a new protein involved in liver cancer.
Exerting self-control does not mean sacrificing pleasure
New research challenges the view that self-control equals sacrificing pleasure.
New AI deep learning model allows earlier, more accurate ozone warnings
Researchers from the University of Houston have developed an artificial intelligence-based ozone forecasting system, which would allow local areas to predict ozone levels 24 hours in advance.
Cycling is safer with more cyclists on the road, but injuries are on the rise, Rutgers study finds
Cycling is safer with more cyclists on the road, but injuries among older riders are on the rise.
Distinct brain region alterations in youth with psychosis spectrum disorders
Psychotic spectrum (PS) disorders are characterized by abnormalities in beliefs, perceptions and behavior, but how these disorders manifest themselves in earlier development stages is largely unknown.
Report outlines social determinants' role in cancer and public health
A new report outlines the critical role social determinants play in shaping population health, highlighting that health disparities are systemic, and cut across multiple population characteristics, including race/ethnicity, age, disability status, sexual orientation or gender identity, or other characteristics historically linked to discrimination or exclusion.
Red algae thrive despite ancestor's massive loss of genes
You'd think that losing 25 percent of your genes would be a big problem for survival.
An electronic signal expands the material by a factor of 100
Researchers at the Laboratory of Organic Electronics, Linkoping University, have discovered a material that can both increase and reduce its volume when exposed to a weak electrical pulse.
Testing HIV testers
An innovative study from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing (Penn Nursing) used a youth-driven mystery shopper methodology to assess YMSM's testing experiences in three metropolitan cities highly impacted by the HIV epidemic.
Migratory birds are worse off in West Africa
Migratory sandpipers breeding in Greenland who choose to spend the winter in West Africa instead of elsewhere along the East Atlantic coast have a lower chance of survival, are more likely to skip their first breeding season and arrive later at their breeding grounds.
Stanford increasing access to 3D modeling through touch-based display
Stanford researchers designed a tactile display that aims to make 3D printing and computer-aided design accessible to people who are blind and visually impaired.
Think you're allergic to penicillin? You are probably wrong
More than 30 million people in the United States wrongly believe they are allergic to penicillin.
Pyschologists analyze language to categorize human goals
The researchers say human goals can be broadly categorized in terms of four goals: 'prominence,' 'inclusiveness,' 'negativity prevention' and 'tradition.'
How far schoolkids live from junk food sources tied to obesity
As measured in city blocks, proximity to fast and convenience food sellers can impact a student's chances of becoming obese, according to a new study by researchers at NYU School of Medicine.
Scientists learn how to make oxygen 'perform' for them
Chemists have figured out how to keep one particular isotope of oxygen -- among the most abundant elements on the planet and a crucial building block for materials like glass and ceramics -- spinning during nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy long enough to learn some things about its structure and function.
Syringe exchange programs prevented thousands of new HIV cases in Philadelphia, Baltimore
Syringe exchange programs established in Philadelphia and Baltimore prevented a total of 12,483 new cases of HIV over a 10-year period, according to a study published today.
Study finds coffee is associated with improved sports performance in men and women
A new study, published in Nutrients, of 38 participants (19 men, 19 women) has found that drinking caffeinated coffee improves speed of cycling.
Turning a dangerous toxin into a biosensor
Some bacteria release a toxin that forms pores on other cells.
Using renewable electricity for industrial hydrogenation reactions
The University of Pittsburgh's James McKone's research on using renewable electricity for industrial hydrogenation reactions is featured in the Journal of Materials Chemistry A's Emerging Investigators special issue.
Do open relationships really work?
Open relationships typically describe couples in which the partners have agreed on sexual activity with someone other than their primary romantic partner, while maintaining the couple bond.
Living in a noisy area increases the risk of suffering a more serious stroke
The high levels of environmental noise we are subjected to in large cities can increase both the severity and consequences of an ischaemic stroke.
New insight on how bacteria evolve drug resistance could lead to improved antibiotic therapies
Researchers have provided new insight into a mechanism behind the evolution of antibiotic resistance in a type of bacterium that causes severe infections in humans.
Putting the Water Framework Directive to the test
The European Water Framework Directive (WFD) is one of the most progressive regulatory frameworks for water management worldwide.
UBC Sauder research proposes a virtual speed bump for lightning-fast markets
UBC Sauder's Markus Baldauf says a tiny tweak to how certain trades happen could make for more efficient stock markets, and it's already being adopted by major players.
Intraoral endoscopic thyroidectomy leaves no scar
A new study compares two surgical approaches to endoscopic thyroid removal, neither of which produces a scar in the neck area, providing a comprehensive comparison of the therapeutic effects and cosmetic results of each approach.
When money is scarce, biased behavior happens faster
Discrimination may happen faster than the blink of an eye, especially during periods of economic scarcity, according to a new study from Cornell University.
Global warming's impact on undernourishment
Global warming may increase undernutrition through the effects of heat exposure on people, according to a new study published this week in PLOS Medicine by Yuming Guo of Monash University, Australia, and colleagues.
Re-cracking the genetic code
Research suggests that we may have only begun to scratch the surface on the number of variations present in the genetic codes of all living organisms.
Progressing toward successful gene-based approaches to inherited neurometabolic diseases
Researchers are making great strides toward developing gene-based strategies to treat a variety of inherited neurometabolic diseases characterized by severe neurological involvement.
Faith, truth and forgiveness: How your brain processes abstract thoughts
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have leveraged machine learning to interpret human brain scans, allowing the team to uncover the regions of the brain behind how abstract concepts, like justice, ethics and consciousness, form.
WSU study identifies potential new target for treatment of gout
Researchers at Washington State University Health Sciences Spokane and elsewhere have identified a new therapeutic target for the treatment of gout, a common type of arthritis that causes episodes of painful and stiff joints.
Study shows ability to detect light from UV to the IR optical regimes using spin currents
The spin Seebeck effect (SSE) can be used to detect light across a broad optical range -- ultraviolet through visible to near-infrared.
3-D models of cascadia megathrust events match coastal changes from 1700 earthquake
By combining models of magnitude 9 to 9.2 earthquakes on the Cascadia Subduction Zone with geological evidence of past coastal changes, researchers have a better idea of what kind of megathrust seismic activity was behind the 1700 Cascadia earthquake.
Structured light promises path to faster, more secure communications
Quantum mechanics has come a long way during the past 100 years but still has a long way to go.
Scientists find possible treatment for muscle contractures in childhood paralysis
In mice, the drug bortezomib preserved muscle growth and prevented loss of elbow and shoulder motion in conditions resembling cerebral palsy and newborn brachial plexus injury, the most common causes of childhood paralysis.
Text-based nudges to high school seniors boost financial aid filing, college enrollment
High school seniors who receive texted reminders -- or 'nudges' -- from their school counselors are 17% more likely to complete the college financial aid application process and 8% more likely to enroll in college directly after graduating.
Largest mapping of breathing ocean floor key to understanding global carbon cycle
The largest open-access database of the sediment community oxygen consumption and CO2 respiration is now available.
Using computational chemistry to produce cheaper infrared plastic lenses
A University of Arizona team created the next generation of long-wave infrared plastic lenses.
Scientists warn of new health threat caused by global warming
We know global warming will affect food production, but Australian researchers believe it is also likely to increase illnesses caused by undernutrition, due to the effects of heat exposure.
Implantable cancer traps could provide earlier diagnosis, help monitor treatment
Invasive procedures to biopsy tissue from cancer-tainted organs could be replaced by simply taking samples from a tiny 'decoy' implanted just beneath the skin, University of Michigan researchers have demonstrated in mice.
Significantly fewer pregnant women take antidepressants
A pregnancy is not always a happy event and as many as 10-15% of pregnant women in Denmark have depressive symptoms.
Study finds companies may be wise to share cybersecurity efforts
Research finds that when one company experiences a cybersecurity breach, other companies in the same field also become less attractive to investors.
Breast cancer: AI predicts which pre-malignant breast lesions will progress to advanced cancer
New research at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, could help better determine which patients diagnosed with the pre-malignant breast cancer commonly as stage 0 are likely to progress to invasive breast cancer and therefore might benefit from additional therapy over and above surgery alone.
Columbia professor develops a detector that stops lateral phishing attacks
To alleviate this growing problem of email scams, Data Science Institute member Asaf Cidon helped develop a prototype of a machine-learning based detector that automatically detects and stops lateral phishing attacks.
Ground-breaking work improves understanding of brain function
Dr. Corrado Calì, a Research Scientist specializing in brain imaging at KAUST, and Swiss scientists from the Blue Brain Project (BBP), have shown how lactate is necessary for memory formation and learning, which could lead to improved learning and memory function.
Immune cells in skin kill MRSA bacteria before they enter the body
A type of immune cell called neutrophils could be responsible for controlling bacterial numbers of an antibiotic-resistant strain of Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) on human skin before the bacteria get a chance to invade, according to a new study from Karolinska Institutet published in Cell Reports.
Pediatric cancers: Why some forms of leukemia only affect children
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) mainly affects children, with the prognosis often being poor despite several decades of research into more effective treatments.
Do feminine hygiene products expose women to dangerous volatile organic compounds?
New research suggests that women's feminine hygiene practices -- in particular vaginal douching and use of feminine powder -- may be associated with higher levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in their blood.
Drug overdose deaths in CT doubled in 6 years
Opioid overdose deaths in Connecticut doubled in the past 6 years, largely driven by use of multiple drugs together, according to a team of researchers from the University of Connecticut and Yale University.
Narcissism can lower stress levels and reduce chances of depression
People who have grandiose narcissistic traits are more likely to be 'mentally tough,' feel less stressed and are less vulnerable to depression, research led by Queen's University Belfast has found.
US-born residents more than 5 times likely to use prescription opioids than new immigrants
The longer immigrants live in the United States, the more likely they are to use prescription opioids -- a fact that contradicts popular views linking wealth and health, and suggests that American culture is uniquely favorable toward prescribing opioids.
Intuitive in the virtual reality
Through the crafty use of magnetic fields, scientists from HZDR and Johannes Kepler University in Linz have developed the first electronic sensor that can simultaneously process both touchless and tactile stimuli.
Seeking better treatment for ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease
In neurodegenerative disease ALS, proteins called TDP-43 aggregate in patient tissues.
Telehealth effectively diagnoses/manages fetal congenital heart disease in rural patients
A recent study of 368 pregnant mothers, led by Bettina Cuneo, MD, director of perinatal cardiology and fetal cardiac telemedicine at Children's Hospital Colorado, found that fetal congenital heart disease (CHD) was correctly identified and successfully managed according to evidence-based risk stratification.
ASMBS endorses new policy statement from American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
The American Society for Metabolic Surgery (ASMBS), the largest organization for bariatric surgeons in the nation, has endorsed the new policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommending greater access to metabolic and bariatric surgery for children and adolescents with severe obesity.
Wearable activity trackers a reliable tool for predicting death risk in older adults
A federally funded study by Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers shows that wearable accelerometers -- mechanical sensors worn like a watch, belt or bracelet to track movement -- are a more reliable measure of physical activity and better than patient surveys and other methods used by physicians at assessing five-year risk of death in older adults.
Therapy for neuroendocrine tumors may be improved by patient-specific dosimetry
In neuroendocrine tumor treatment, different methods of predicting patient response may be required for different patients.
NASA identifies a strong Arabian Sea Tropical Cyclone Kyarr
NASA's Aqua satellite captured an image of Tropical Cyclone Kyarr in the Arabian Sea is it headed west toward Oman.
Facial recognition software has a gender problem
A new study of popular facial analysis services found they misidentified trans men as much as 38% of the time, mischaracterized non-binary individuals 100% of the time and appeared to be based on outdated gender stereotypes.
Examination of conscience on the role of engineering in sustainable development
In a study conducted by 3 engineers, Josep Maria Basart (UAB), Mireia Farrús (UPF) and Montse Serra (UOC) presented in an article published in September in the journal IEEE Technology and Society Magazine.
Tough as nails: Older people reluctant to ask for mental health support
New Edith Cowan University (ECU) research has found that more than 40 per cent of older Australians with chronic disease would be unlikely to seek help for mental health conditions even if they needed it.
Adults 85 years and older generally fare well after colon cancer operations
Results from a preliminary research study reveal the vast majority of surgical patients over 85 were still alive in the short-term after undergoing an operation (called colectomy) to remove a portion of the colon for stage II and III colon cancer.
Why are big storms bringing so much more rain? Warming, yes, but also winds
For three hurricane seasons in a row, storms with record-breaking rainfall have caused catastrophic flooding in the southern United States.
Cracking the colon code -- new light shed on gut function
New insights into how the colon functions and actually expels its contents have been revealed for the first time following decades of study by Flinders University researchers.
Hope offered to patients with a rare autoimmune condition
A new study has shed light on a debilitating autoimmune condition by identifying a number of subtypes of the disease which could lead to personalised treatment for patients.
Severe drought shuts down reproduction in copperhead snakes, study finds
A long-term study of copperhead snakes in a forest near Meriden, Conn., revealed that five consecutive years of drought effectively ended the snakes' reproductive output.
Following in Darwin's footsteps: understanding the plant evolution of florist's gloxinia
In a study published in Plants People Planet, a team led by Virginia Tech researchers discovered that in its 200 years of being cultivated and domesticated, florist's gloxinia, Sinningia speciosa, has reached tremendous levels of phenotypic, or physical, variation and originates from a single founder population.
Racial inequities uncovered in hospital admissions for heart failure
Black and Latino patients with heart failure are less likely to be treated in cardiac units when admitted to the hospital.
First structure of human cotransporter protein family member solved
In work that could someday improve treatments for epilepsy, UT Southwestern scientists have published the first three-dimensional structure of a member of a large family of human proteins that carry charged particles -- ions -- across the cell membrane.
A new type of acoustic insulation enables sound to be concentrated in corners
A group of researchers from the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M), in collaboration with Chinese scientists from the University of Nanjing (NJU), have designed a new type of acoustic insulation that enables sound waves to be concentrated in corners.
ACS NSQIP surgical risk calculator predicts outcomes for geriatric surgical patients
The NSQIP Surgical Risk Calculator can now accurately predict four specific quality-of-life outcomes that transcend traditional measures of successful surgery, such as complication and mortality rates, and now reflects the expected effects of surgery on the ability of older patients to function independently.
Milken Institute projects doubling of Americans living with dementia
The number of Americans living with Alzheimer's disease or other dementias will double to nearly 13 million over the next 20 years, according to the new Milken Institute report 'Reducing the Cost and Risk of Dementia: Recommendations to Improve Brain Health and Decrease Disparities.' Milken Institute research estimates that by 2020, 4.7 million women in the US will have dementia, accounting for nearly two-thirds of all people living with the condition.
NUS researchers use light from nanoparticles to intricately control biological processes
Researchers from the National University of Singapore have developed a method to give more control to optogenetics, by using specially designed nanoparticles and nanoclusters (dubbed 'superballs').
Study finds inequities in access to heart failure care
As part of an initiative by the Department of Medicine Health Equity Committee at Brigham and Women's Hospital, investigators conducted a retrospective cohort study of patients admitted to the Brigham with a diagnosis of heart failure.
PPPL findings: Discoveries from fusion to astrophysics at global gathering
Feature wraps-up wide-ranging PPPL talks on fusion and plasma science at the 61st conference of the American Physical Society-Department of Plasma Physics.
Research shows that early retirement can accelerate cognitive decline
Early retirement can accelerate cognitive decline among the elderly, according to research conducted by faculty at Binghamton University, State University of New York.
Third-party genetic genealogy site is vulnerable to compromised data, impersonations
University of Washington researchers have found that the third-party genealogy site GEDmatch is vulnerable to multiple kinds of security risks.
Opioid prescribing and use drop significantly after state imposes regulations
A state-mandated policy restricting opioid prescriptions along with increased public awareness and education about the opioid epidemic preceded drastic reductions in opioid prescribing and use for surgical patients at the University of Vermont Medical Center (UVMMC) without impacting patient satisfaction with their postoperative pain management.
Scientists invent animal-free testing of lethal neurotoxins
Animal testing will no longer be required to assess a group of deadly neurotoxins, thanks to University of Queensland-led research.
Research on large storm waves could help lessen their impact on coasts
An international team of researchers has analyzed months of data of large nearshore waves to provide new insights that could help improve the designs of a variety of coastal structures from seaports to seawalls to better withstand destructive waves.
Alzheimer's subtypes could affect future treatments, Mayo Clinic researchers find
Despite decades of scientific scrutiny, Alzheimer's disease researchers have yet to work out its cause or treatment.
New study reveals girls more likely to be admitted to hospital after self-harming
Girls in Wales are much more likely to end up in hospital after self-harming than boys according to new research led by Swansea University.
Living through Katrina associated with higher death rate among breast cancer patients
Breast cancer patients who endured Hurricane Katrina in 2005 have a 15% higher mortality rate than those patients not exposed to the storm, according to a University of Michigan researcher.
Human activities boosted global soil erosion already 4,000 years ago
Soil erosion reduces the productivity of ecosystems, it changes nutrient cycles and it thus directly impacts climate and society.
Could mathematics help to better treat cancer?
Impaired information processing may prevent cells from perceiving their environment correctly; they then start acting in an uncontrolled way and this can lead to the development of cancer.
Climate change could drive British crop farming north and west
Unchecked climate change could drive Britain's crop growing north and west, leaving the east and south east unable to support crop growing, new research suggests.
Bird bacteria is key to communication and mating
Birds use odor to identify other birds, and researchers at Michigan State University have shown that if the bacteria that produce the odor is altered, it could negatively impact a bird's ability to communicate with other birds or find a mate.
Eye damage linked to popular over-the-counter vitamin that lowers cholesterol can be reversed
Study is the first to identify specific cellular toxicity and show improvement after stopping supplement use.
Leipzig primate researchers initiate global collaboration
In order to investigate evolutionary questions, scientists require the largest and most versatile samples possible.
Can't stop putting your hand in the candy dish? Scientists may have found why
In the course of their study, the scientists tried to control impulsivity.
MIB2 enhances inflammation by degradation of CYLD
A team of researchers at Ehime University revealed that E3 ubiquitin ligase MIB2 enhances inflammation by degrading the deubiquitinating enzyme CYLD.
New method identifies aggressive breast cancer
Aggressive forms of breast cancer often manipulate the immune response in their favor.
The use of sugarcane straw for bioenergy is an opportunity, but there are pros and cons
Brazilian researchers calculated the amount of nutrients in sugarcane leaves, which are normally left on the ground after harvest, and the equivalent in fertilizer required to maintain crop yield if the straw is removed.
Deep neural network generates realistic character-scene interactions
Computer scientists from the University of Edinburgh and Adobe Research, the company's team of research scientists and engineers shaping early-stage ideas into innovative technologies, have developed a novel, data-driven technique that uses deep neural networks to precisely guide animated characters by inferring a variety of motions.
Exposing blind spots in the carbon budget space
The impact of 1°C of global heating is already having devastating impacts on communities and ecosystems across the globe.
Researchers led by Georgia State develop noninvasive method to detect early-stage liver disease
A safer and more sensitive contrast dye for MRI tests developed by a team led by Georgia State University researchers may provide the first effective, noninvasive method for detecting and diagnosing early-stage liver diseases, including liver fibrosis.
Numerous polar storms on Saturn analyzed by the UPV/EHU's Planetary Sciences Group
Nature Astronomy has published the results of the research conducted by the Planetary Sciences Group at the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country; the group is led by Professor Agustín Sánchez-Lavega and their research deals with the monitoring they carried out on a series of huge, long-lived storms that took place on the planet Saturn.
Study finds 'cluster of disadvantage' behind BAME psychosis rates
Excess psychosis diagnoses amongst black and South Asian men in deprived urban areas could reflect a cluster of disadvantage in specific places, rather than individual experiences of deprivation alone, a study led by Queen Mary University of London researchers concludes.
People consider indoor air health risks greater than what is suggested by research data
According to the National indoor air survey by Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, people believe that the health risks related to indoor air are greater and more serious than they are according to the research data.
Study identifies role of specific gene in hardening of blood vessel walls
New study published in Nature Genetics implicates a specific gene -- HDAC9 -- in the calcification of the human aorta, the largest blood vessel in the body.
Evidence backs women's choice on where to have their babies
Healthy women have more than twice the chance of a normal labour and birth in a planned birth centre birth compared to a planned hospital birth, a major Australian study has found.

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