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Science News | Science Current Events | Brightsurf | October 31, 2019


DNA exchange among species is major contributor to diversity in Heliconius butterflies
Exchange of genetic material among species played a major role in the wide diversity of Heliconius butterflies, according to a new study, results of which inform a centuries-long debate about the value of hybridization to species evolution.
Complex cellular machine visualized to yield new insights in cancer
Cellular machines that control chromosome structure, such as the RSC complex, are mutated in about one-fifth of all human cancers.
Adaptive human immunity depends on the factor responsible for the formation of white blood cells
Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF)has a significant regulatory effect not only on innate, but also on adaptive immunity.
Training in mental ill-health a determinant of managers' preventive actions
Managers who have received training in mental health issues, and whose workplaces run general information campaigns on mental health, are significantly more likely to work preventively in this area vis-à-vis their subordinates, a study shows.
High levels of two hormones in the blood raise prostate cancer risk
Men with higher levels of 'free' testosterone and a growth hormone in their blood are more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer, according to research presented at the 2019 NCRI Cancer Conference.
Simple injection of air proves successful in releasing child's tongue trapped in bottle, inspired by opening a wine bottle
A relatively simple injection of air has proved successful in releasing a 7-year-old boy's tongue that became entrapped in a juice bottle, says new research published in the latest edition of the European Journal of Anaesthesiology (the official journal of the European Society of Anaesthesiology).
Novel research aims to identify new medications for the treatment of opioid use disorder
A new study from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing (Penn Nursing) shows the first evidence supporting a role for glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists in opioid reinforcement and analgesic responses.
Researchers find high-intensity exercise improves memory in seniors
Researchers at McMaster University who examine the impact of exercise on the brain have found that high-intensity workouts improve memory in older adults.
Differences in human and non-human primate saliva may be caused by diet
Humans are known to be genetically similar to our primate relatives.
Discovery may help derail Parkinson's 'runaway train'
Researchers at the University of Dundee have discovered a new enzyme that inhibits the LRRK2 pathway.
Heavy smoking causes faces to look older
'Smoker's Face,' a condition where smokers look older than they are, is just one of many negative effects caused by heavy tobacco usage.
NASA sees development of Tropical Storm Maha at southwestern India Coast
Tropical Storm Maha has developed near the coastline of southwestern India and NASA's Terra satellite provided forecasters with a visible image of the storm.
NASA finds small area of heavy rain left in Tropical Cyclone Kyarr
Tropical Cyclone Kyarr appears to be winding down as it moves through the Arabian Sea and NASA provided forecasters with an analysis of rainfall rates occurring in the weakening storm.
Emotional trauma and fear most likely cause of 'Havana Syndrome'
The cause of the mystery illness among US and Canadian diplomats in Havana is most likely to be emotional trauma and fear according to a leading sociologist and an expert in neurodegenerative diseases, writing in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.
Why music makes us feel, according to AI
In a new study, a team of USC researchers, with the help of artificial intelligence, investigated how music affects listeners' brains, bodies and emotions.
In unvaccinated children, 'immune amnesia' occurs in the wake of measles infection
Two separate investigations into the immune systems of 77 unvaccinated children before and after measles infection have revealed the infection can cripple immunity against viruses and bacteria for the long-term, creating a kind of 'immune amnesia' that leaves individuals more vulnerable to future infections by other pathogens.
Zoo animal research skewed towards 'popular' species
Research on zoo animals focuses more on 'familiar' species like gorillas and chimpanzees than less well known ones like the waxy monkey frog, scientists say.
Study finds racial disparities in culturally competent cancer care
Many non-white minority cancer survivors place importance on seeing doctors who share or understand their culture, but are less likely than non-Hispanic whites to be able to see such physicians, according to a new study from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Key mechanism in insulin release by cholesterol metabolite found
Insulin which is released by pancreatic beta-cells is the main regulator of blood sugar.
How measles wipes out the body's immune memory
Study shows measles wipes out 20 to 50% of antibodies against an array of viruses and bacteria, depleting a child's previous immunity.
Bound by blood
After studying vampire bat relationships in captivity, researchers at the Smithsonian in Panama released the bats into the wild colony where they originally came from.
Oil and gas wastewater used for irrigation may suppress plant immune systems
A new Colorado State University study gives pause to the idea of using oil and gas wastewater for irrigation.
Immune system targets vitamin B12 pathway to neutralize bacteria
How a recently identified defensive compound called itaconate tricks the bacteria behind tuberculosis.
Palestinian farmers benefit from Birmingham water technology project
University of Birmingham scientists have worked with international students to produce prototype desalination equipment that could help Palestinian farmers avoid water shortages and grow crops efficiently.
Ancient rhinos roamed the Yukon
Paleontologists have used modern tools to identify the origins of a few fragments of teeth found more than four decades ago by a schoolteacher in the Yukon.
Three-drug combo improves lung function in most common genetic form of cystic fibrosis
A phase three clinical trial that UT Southwestern participated in determined that a 3-drug combination improved lung function and reduced symptoms in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients who have a single copy of the most common genetic mutation for the disease.
Disease-causing protein in cystic fibrosis has ancient roots in sea lamprey
The oldest known ortholog of the ion channel that is defective in patients with cystic fibrosis arose approximately 450 million years ago in the sea lamprey, researchers report in Developmental Cell.
Discovery of 'cellular bike couriers' clue to disease spreading
A previously unknown component of our cells that delivers proteins like a bike courier in heavy traffic could shed light on the mechanisms that allow cells to spread in diseases such as cancer.
Slow-wave sleep critical to brain's automatic 'self-rinse' cycle
Slow oscillating neural activity during non-REM sleep triggers waves of cerebrospinal fluid that flow in and out of the sleeping brain, washing it of harmful metabolic waste products, researchers find.
Experts propose new healthcare framework to help ageing populations stay healthier longer
An international team of researchers have put forward a position statement, published in Science, which lays out a new healthcare framework to help aging populations stay healthier for longer.
Milk from teeth: Dental stem cells can generate milk-producing cells
Stem cells of the teeth can contribute to the regeneration of non-dental organs, namely mammary glands.
After release into wild, vampire bats keep 'friends' made in captivity
Vampire bats that share food and groom each other in captivity are more likely to stick together when they're released back into the wild, find researchers in a study reported on Oct.
Rare mutations drive cystic fibrosis in Caribbean
Cystic Fibrosis (CF) in the Caribbean is dominated by unusual gene mutations not often observed in previously studied CF populations, according to comprehensive genome sequencing led by physician-scientists at UC San Francisco and Centro de Neumología Pediátrica in San Juan.
Research reveals how malaria parasite plans ahead, preparing blueprint to strike in humans
Within seconds after an infected mosquito bites, the malaria parasite navigates the host skin and blood vessels to invade the liver, where it will stay embedded until thousands of infected cells launch malaria's deadly blood-stage infection.
Sponge-like 2D material with interesting electrical conductivity and magnetic properties
Researchers synthesize a new 2D Metal Organic Framework with an ever-growing list of possible applications.
U. Iowa team is developing new delivery tools for gene editing
Scientists led by University of Iowa researcher Paul McCray, Jr., MD, are using simple peptides to deliver gene-editing tools into notoriously hard-to-access lung and airway cells with the goal of creating new treatments for people with diseases like cystic fibrosis, COPD, and asthma.
Researchers find new signaling systems in human cells
One third of all approved drugs target the same family of receptors: the G-Protein-Coupled Receptors (GPCRs).
Status of proteins housing DNA controls how cells maintain identity
The inheritance, not only of DNA, but of changes to proteins that package it, maintains the identity of cells as they multiply, a new study finds.
Common early sign of cardiovascular disease also may indicate cancer risk, study finds
A Mayo Clinic-led study involving 488 cardiac patients whose cases were followed for up to 12 years finds that microvascular endothelial dysfunction, a common early sign of cardiovascular disease, is associated with a greater than twofold risk of cancer.
Eye doctors prescribe fewer opioids without compromising pain control
After eye surgery, patients get more opioids than necessary, according to findings by University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center published in JAMA Ophthalmology.
Bats in Northeast India carry filoviruses that can infect humans
Researchers have proposed that bats are the natural reservoir of filoviruses, including highly fatal Ebola and Marbug viruses.
NASA gets infrared view of Atlantic Halloween subtropical storm
The latest addition to the Atlantic Ocean hurricane season developed quickly.
Vicinal reaction: A radical strategy for linking three organic groups together
A Japanese research team at Kanazawa University developed a reaction for creating functionalized ketones.
Measles infection wipes our immune system's memory leaving us vulnerable to other diseases
Scientists have shown how measles causes long-term damage to the immune system, leaving people vulnerable to other infections.
Study analyzed tax treaties to assess effect of offshoring on domestic employment
A new study identified a way to determine how US multinational firms' decisions about offshoring affect domestic employment.
Deaths from liver cancer have tripled in past 20 years in England
More people are being diagnosed with and dying from liver cancer in England than ever before, according to new research to be presented at the 2019 NCRI Cancer Conference.
Important gene variants found in certain African populations
In the nearly 20 years since the Human Genome Project was completed, experts in genetic variants increasingly have raised concerns about the overemphasis on studying people of European descent when performing large population studies.
Fishery in Lake Shinji, Japan, collapsed 1 year after neonicotinoid use
Neonicotinoid pesticide use may have caused the abrupt collapse of two commercial fisheries on Lake Shinji, Japan, in 1993, according to a new study.
A kinase identified as possible target to treat heart failure
An unexplored kinase in heart muscle cells may be a good target to treat heart failure, a disease that is only incrementally delayed by existing therapies.
This AI birdwatcher lets you 'see' through the eyes of a machine
It can take years of birdwatching experience to tell one species from the next.
UCF researchers discover mechanisms for the cause of the Big Bang
The origin of the universe started with the Big Bang, but how the supernova explosion ignited has long been a mystery -- until now.
New technique lets researchers map strain in next-gen solar cells
Researchers have developed a way to map strain in lead halide perovskite solar cells without harming them.
Insurance coverage among patients with head/neck cancer after ACA
Researchers investigated the association between the Affordable Care Act and changes in the percentage of patients with insurance among 130,000 people with head and neck cancer across varying socioeconomic and demographic backgrounds.
Are we 'brainwashed' during sleep?
A new study from Boston University, published in Science, is the first to illustrate that the brain's cerebrospinal fluid pulses during sleep, and that these motions are closely tied with brain wave activity and blood flow.
Study aims at boosting antitumoral activity of compound extracted from an Amazon plant
Scientists plan to develop a modified strain of U. guianensis and use its own metabolism to scale up the production of therapeutic compounds.
Unlocking the black box of embryonic development
Little is known about the molecular and cellular events that occur during early embryonic development in primate species.
A new hazelnut has cracked its competitive marketplace
'PollyO' is a new hazelnut variety from the Oregon State University Breeding Program that combines a high level of resistance to eastern filbert fungal blight along with high nut yield.
Scientists may have discovered whole new class of black holes
New research shows that astronomers' search for black holes might have been missing an entire class of black holes that they didn't know existed.
Study examines kidney injury in patients taking immunotherapy cancer medications
In patients taking immune checkpoint inhibitors as a treatment for cancer, 17% experienced acute kidney injury (AKI), 8% experienced sustained AKI, and 3% had potential immune checkpoint inhibitor-related AKI.
1,100 plants examined in massive, 9-year genomic diversity study
A new study published in Nature traces the genetic histories of the last billion years of plant life on Earth.
Scientists tame Josephson vortices
MIPT physicists have learned how to locally control Josephson vortices.
Movement and flow: Simulating complexity of fluids and strands in the virtual world
Simulating the physics behind the movement of liquids and how fluids -- thick or thin -- interact with other objects is a key problem in visual effects.
Adults in lower walkability neighborhoods found to have a higher predicted cardiovascular risk
A new study publishing in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that people living in neighborhoods considered to be the least walkable were up to 33% more likely to have a high predicted 10-year cardiovascular risk compared to individuals living in the most walkable neighborhoods.
Potential genetic markers of multiple sclerosis severity
In a bid to determine factors linked to the most debilitating forms of multiple sclerosis (MS), Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers say they have identified three so-called 'complement system' genes that appear to play a role in MS-caused vision loss.
Liver cancer deaths climb by around 50% in the last decade
Liver cancer deaths have increased by around 50% in the last decade and have tripled since records began, according to the latest calculations by Cancer Research UK.
Evading Heisenberg isn't easy
EPFL researchers, with colleagues at the University of Cambridge and IBM Research-Zurich, unravel novel dynamics in the interaction between light and mechanical motion with significant implications for quantum measurements designed to evade the influence of the detector in the notorious 'back action limit' problem.
Promising discovery could lead to a better, cheaper solar cell
McGill University researchers have gained tantalizing new insights into the properties of perovskites, one of the world's most promising materials in the quest to produce a more efficient, robust and cheaper solar cell.
Electrifying science: New study describes conduction through proteins
In new research, Stuart Lindsay and his colleagues investigate a recently discovered feat carried out by enzymes, and most likely, all proteins.
Dynamic transition of the blood-brain barrier in the development of non-small cell lung cancer brain
Effective drug delivery through the BTB is one of the greatest therapeutic obstacles in treating brain metastases.
Evidence of cross-species filovirus transmission from bats to humans
Virus spillover may be occurring between bats and humans in Nagaland, India, according to a new collaborative study by the National Centre of Biological Sciences (NCBS) in India, Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore, and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) in the USA.
Measles virus infection destroys immune system memory
In humans and macaques, measles infection wipes out antibodies to previous pathogens and could make individuals more susceptible to disease.
Study addresses one of the most challenging problems in educational policy and practice
Language proficiency has an important influence on learners' ability to answer scientific questions a new joint study by Lancaster and Sheffield Universities has found.
Ground penetrating radar reveals why ancient Cambodian capital was moved to Angkor
The largest water management feature in Khmer history was built in the 10th century as part of a short-lived ancient capital in northern Cambodia to store water but the system failed in its first year of operation, possibly leading to the return of the capital to Angkor.
Even 'Goldilocks' exoplanets need a well-behaved star
Rice University scientists model how the 'weather' on a star impacts exoplanets to see if even those thought to be in habitable zones could suffer from solar storms.
Innovative tool analyzes all 22,000 tweets from 2016 Republican presidential candidates
Donald Trump's Twitter activity during the 2016 presidential primaries was largely comprised of tweets about performance, personal attacks and his standing in the polls.
Fish simulations provide new insights into energy costs of swimming
A new computational analysis suggests that maximizing swimming speeds while minimizing energy costs depends on an optimal balance between a fish's muscle dynamics and the way its size, shape, and swimming motion affect its movement through water.
Malaria parasite lives on the edge
The parasite that causes malaria expresses genes that code for the proteins it will need in later life stages, but uses two separate schemes to prevent these proteins from actually being made until they are needed.
Mutated form of DNA repair protein may shed light on its role in preventing cancer
Clemson University researcher Jennifer Mason created a mutated version of RAD51, a DNA repair protein, to better understand its critical functions at key steps in the cell replication process during times of stress.
Chromosomal abnormalities uncovered in many couples struggling with recurrent miscarriage
A new study by investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital, Shandong University and the Chinese University of Hong Kong uses a special genetic sequencing technique known as low-pass genome sequencing (GS) to look for chromosomal abnormalities in couples with RM.
Delayed neural communication may underlie anticipatory behaviors
Computational modeling suggests that delayed communication between neurons may be an essential factor underlying anticipatory behaviors in people.
Non-GM produce earns 'halo effect' under new labeling laws
Consumers were more willing to buy unlabeled produce after being shown food tagged as ''genetically modified'' in a new Cornell University study that comes two months before a new federal law, requiring genetically modified organism disclosure labels on food products, goes into effect.
Survey suggests mentorship in medical school is vital to future of hematology
A survey of US hematology-oncology fellows suggests medical school plays an important role in shaping their interest in pursuing careers in hematology, particularly when students are exposed to hematology and oncology as part of core clerkships in internal medicine and pediatrics.
A new ranavirus threatens US amphibian diversity
In a study published in the Oct. 15 issue of Ecological Modelling, a team of University of Tennessee researchers along with a colleague from the University of Florida model how a chimeric Frog virus 3 (FV3)-like ranavirus, also known as RCV-Z2, can spread rapidly throughout a population of North American wood frog (Lithobates sylvaticus) tadpoles.
Mimicking body's circulatory AC could keep airplanes, cars and computers cooler
In a study published in the International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, Ahmad Najafi, Ph.D., a professor in Drexel's College of Engineering, and his faculty collaborator, Jason Patrick, Ph.D., from North Carolina State University, report on how a computational technique they developed can quickly produce designs for 3D printing carbon-fiber composite materials with an internal vasculature optimized for active-cooling.
Molecular gatekeepers that regulate calcium ions key to muscle function
Controlled entry of calcium ions into the mitochondria, the cell's energy powerhouses, makes the difference between whether muscles grow strong or easily tire and perish from injury, according to research published in Cell Reports.
Agriculture of the future: Neural networks have learned to predict plant growth
Scientists from Skoltech have trained neural networks to evaluate and predict the plant growth pattern taking into account the main influencing factors and propose the optimal ratio between the nutrient requirements and other growth-driving parameters.
Skull dimensions of Dominicans and Haitians differ despite close physical proximity
Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have conducted a craniometric study (measuring the main part of the skull) on understudied and marginalized groups and found that skull dimensions of Dominicans and Haitians, who occupy a relatively small island of Hispaniola, are different from each other.
Disruptions of salesperson-customer relationships. Is that always bad?
Implications from sales relationship disruptions are intricate and can be revitalizing.
'Fungal feature tracker' could accelerate mycology research
A new software tool called Fungal Feature Tracker could accelerate understanding of fungal morphology and growth.
Shedding new light on the charging of lithium-ion batteries
Researchers at Argonne National Laboratory have discovered a photo-excitation process that speeds up the charging of lithium-ion batteries.
Study results may provide a better understanding of Alzheimer's disease
Research suggests that the complex meshwork of proteins and potentially other biomolecules that provides structural and biochemical support to surrounding cells in the brain may play an important role in Alzheimer's disease.
Radiology: Cardiothoracic Imaging publishes special report on vaping
Radiology: Cardiothoracic Imaging has published a special report on lung injury resulting from the use of electronic cigarettes, or 'vaping.' Researchers aim to raise awareness among radiologists and other medical professionals on how to identify e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury.
Cocktail proves toxic to leukemia cells
Rice bioscientists find a way to predict the sensitivity of acute myeloid leukemia to mitochondria-damaging molecules and develop cocktails to fight the cancer.
Climate engineering should not be considered a public good, new research shows
According to researchers, including faculty at Binghamton University, State University of New York, calling climate engineering a public good misrepresents the technical definition of a public good and doesn't account for the potentially negative impacts of climate engineering.
Screening tool administered in pediatric ER accurately gauges suicide risk
A suicide risk screening tool that Johns Hopkins Medicine implemented in its pediatric emergency department six years ago appears to provide an accurate gauge of which youth are most vulnerable and has identified more than 2,000 patients who might benefit from mental health treatment and resources, according to a study led by researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Johns Hopkins Medicine.
A protein that pulls the brake on nerve growth
During embryonic development, nerve cells form thin, long extensions, which they use to wire up a complex network, the brain.
People with autism have a more symmetrical brain
Do people with autism have differently organized brains? A large-scale MRI study, published in Nature Communications, reports fewer differences between the right and left hemispheres in people with autism spectrum disorder.
Assessing effect of prescribing fewer opioids after corneal surgery
What the association is between decreasing the number of opioid tablets prescribed to patients after corneal surgery and their opiod use and pain control was the focus of this observational study.
Vampire bats give a little help to their 'friends'
Vampire bats could be said to be sort of like people -- not because of their blood-sucking ways, but because they help their neighbors in need even if it's of no obvious benefit to them.
For patients with sepsis, an infectious disease expert may reduce the risk of death
When people with severe sepsis, an extreme overreaction by the body to a serious infection, come to the emergency room (ER), they require timely, expert care to prevent organ failure and even death.
Kidney cancer study uncovers new subtypes and clues to better diagnosis and treatment
In what is believed to be the most comprehensive molecular characterization to date of the most common -- and often treatment-resistant -- form of kidney cancer, researchers at Johns Hopkins' departments of pathology and oncology, Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine report evidence for at least three distinct subtypes of clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC), along with new revelations about the proteins that define them.
HVTN study confirms correlates of risk associated with decrease in HIV transmission
A pilot study led by senior authors Georgia Tomaras and Peter Gilbert and first authors Scott Neidich, Youyi Fong and Shuying Li of the NIAID-funded HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) demonstrated that an increase in three antibody-mediated immune responses (antibody-mediated Fc? receptor [Fc?R] recruitment, antibody-dependent cellular phagocytosis [ADCP], and anti-Env IgG3) correlated with a decrease in HIV transmission.

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