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Science News | Science Current Events | Brightsurf | November 04, 2019


Stuck in a Polish nuclear weapon bunker cannibal wood ants found the way home
Coming back to their 2016 study of a wood ant colony of workers trapped in a post-Soviet nuclear weapon bunker in Poland, a research team, led by Prof.
Studies find nurse-led program improves care of older adults
An analysis of research on the Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders (NICHE) program finds that it improves older adult care, including preventing falls, improving patient safety and quality of care, reducing potentially inappropriate medications, and helping healthcare providers to care for patients with dementia.
Study of African animals illuminates links between environment, diet and gut microbiome
New research analyzing the diets and microbiomes of 33 large-herbivore species in Kenya yields surprising findings about the interplay between animal evolution, behavior and the gut microbiome
Science: Sensing magnetism in atomic resolution with just a scanning tunneling microscope
Scientists from the University of Strasbourg, France, in close collaboration with colleagues from the research centers in San Sebastián, Spain, and Jülich, Germany, have achieved a breakthrough in detecting the magnetic moments of nanoscale structures.
Teens who visit the emergency department for self-harm at increased risk of suicide, repeated self harm
Teens who visit the emergency department for self-harm injuries are at significant risk of repeat self-harm and suicide, and of incurring increased health costs over the following five years, according to a new study in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).
Some CBD products may yield cannabis-positive urine drug tests
Small study concludes that caution is warranted for users of 'high CBD, low THC' cannabis products.
Chemists observe 'spooky' quantum tunneling
Chemists at MIT and in South Korea have demonstrated characteristics of a phenomenon called quantum tunneling by using a very large electric field to alter the ability of ammonia molecules to switch between the normal and inverted states.
Lost trees hugely overrated as environmental threat, study finds
Cutting down trees inevitably leads to more carbon in the environment, but deforestation's contributions to climate change are vastly overestimated, according to a new study.
Vegan school lunches have 3 times more fiber than meat-based entrées
Vegan school lunches contain triple the amount of heart-healthy fiber found in standard entrées, according to a new case study published in The Journal of Child Nutrition & Management.
Poll reveals older adults' risky use of antibiotics, opportunities to improve prescribing
Half of older Americans got help from the infection-fighting power of antibiotics in the past 2 years, a new poll finds, but a sizable minority didn't follow the instructions on their pill bottle.
Care plans reduce risk of ending up in hospital for patients with severe mental illness
The chances of a patient with a serious mental illness ending up in hospital because of their condition are reduced by almost 40 per cent if they have a care plan, according to research from the University of York.
Cynical social media voices can erode trust in news media
Amid rising concerns about low public trust in mainstream media institutions, a Rutgers study found that real-life and online social interactions can strongly influence a person's trust in newspaper, TV and online journalism -- but when it comes to online interactions, cynical views are the most influential.
New tornado casualty analysis will improve future predictions
Tyler Fricker, visiting assistant professor in the Department of Geography at Texas A&M University, recently published research in the Annals of the Association of American Geographers that gives insights into tornado casualty rates across the United States and casualty prediction models.
Researchers say elite-level video gaming requires new protocols in sports medicine
Study authors note multiple health issues including blurred vision from excessive screen time, neck and back pain from poor posture, carpal tunnel syndrome from repetitive motion, metabolic dysregulation from prolonged sitting and high consumption of caffeine and sugar, and depression and anxiety resulting from internet gaming disorder.
Study finds teen vaping probably doesn't lead to smoking
A new study in Nicotine & Tobacco Research suggests that adolescent e-cigarette users are more similar to conventional cigarette smokers than they are to non-tobacco users in terms of demographics and behavioral characteristics.
Study reveals how brain injury can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder in U.S. military members frequently follows a concussion-like brain injury.
Ancient bone protein reveals which turtles were on the menu in Florida, Caribbean
Thousands of years ago, the inhabitants of modern-day Florida and the Caribbean feasted on sea turtles, leaving behind bones that tell tales of ancient diets and the ocean's past.
Biosimilar drugs can reduce costs but still face challenges in the US
Biologics used to treat patients can be incredibly expensive, so there was significant hope that biosimilar drugs -- which are highly similar to an existing biologic drug on the market -- could serve as a less-costly substitute.
NIH researchers estimate 17% of food-allergic children have sesame allergy
Investigators at the National Institutes of Health have found that sesame allergy is common among children with other food allergies, occurring in an estimated 17% of this population.
Increased risk of suicide for teens who visit emergency for self-harm
Teens who visit the emergency department for self-harm injuries are at significant risk of repeat self-harm and suicide, and of incurring increased health costs over the following five years, according to a new study in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).
Post-lithium technology
Next-generation batteries will probably see the replacement of lithium ions by more abundant and environmentally benign alkali metal or multivalent ions.
The truth about misinformation
A new study shows why it is sometimes difficult for consumers to internalize retracted information from companies or news organizations.
Preventing smoking -- evidence from urban emergency department patients
A new study from the Prevention Research Center of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation offers a more in-depth understanding of smoking among patients in an urban emergency department.
Light-based 'tractor beam' assembles materials at the nanoscale
Researchers have adapted a light-based technology employed widely in biology -- known as optical traps or optical tweezers -- to operate in a water-free liquid environment of carbon-rich organic solvents.
First study of how family religious and spiritual beliefs influence end of life care
In the first study to investigate the association of the religious and spiritual beliefs of surrogate decision makers with the end of life decisions they make for incapacitated older adult family members, Regenstrief Institute Research Scientist Alexia Torke, M.D., and theological and scientific colleagues have found that the surrogate's belief in miracles was the main dimension linked to preferences for care of their loved one.
Admissions to ER's for adolescent sexual abuse have more than doubled
Researchers found that emergency department admissions for children between 12 -- 17 doubled over a 6 year time period.
Synthetic phages with programmable specificity
ETH researchers are using synthetic biology to reprogram bacterial viruses -- commonly known as bacteriophages -- to expand their natural host range.
Deep neural networks uncover what the brain likes to see
Researchers built deep artificial neural networks that can accurately predict the neural responses produced by a biological brain to arbitrary visual stimuli.
Cell signalling breakthrough opens up new avenues for research
Researchers at the University of Liverpool have shown that the phenomenon of protein modification (phosphorylation) in cell signalling is far more diverse and complex than previously thought.
Some skin cancers may start in hair follicles
Some of the most deadly skin cancers may start in stem cells that lend color to hair, and originate in hair follicles rather than in skin layers.
Regeneration mechanism discovered in mice could provide target for drugs to combat chronic liver disease
Researchers at the University of Cambridge have uncovered a novel molecular mechanism that allows damaged adult liver cells to regenerate, paving the way for design of drugs to boost regeneration in conditions such as cirrhosis or other chronic liver diseases where regeneration is impaired.
Anger, anxiety, insomnia: Tweets from Twitter users could predict loneliness
A team of researchers determined what topics and themes could be used to detect loneliness on social media by analyzing accounts that explicitly tweeted about it.
Scientists spy unstable semiconductors
Scientists from Cardiff University have, for the first time, spotted previously unseen 'instabilities' on the surface of a common compound semiconductor material.
Combination gene therapy treats multiple age-related diseases
Could there one day be a vaccine against the ravages of aging?
Complex society discovered in birds
The first existence of a multilevel society in a non-mammalian animal shows that large brains are not a requirement for complex societies
Scientists identify protein that promotes brain metastasis
A protein that breast, lung and other cancers use to promote their spread -- or metastasis -- to the brain, has been identified by a team led by Weill Cornell Medicine and New York-Presbyterian investigators.
Nanoparticle drug delivery provides pain relief and more effective opioid alternative in animal study
An international team of researchers has used nanoparticles to deliver a drug -- one that previously failed in clinical trials for pain -- into specific compartments of nerve cells, dramatically increasing its ability to treat pain in mice and rats.
Sea levels to continue rising after Paris agreement emission pledges expire in 2030
Sea levels will continue to rise around the world long after current carbon emissions pledges made through the Paris climate agreement are met and global temperatures stabilize, a new study indicates.
Scientists develop strategy to stabilize single atoms with ionic liquid as electronic stabilizer
Scientists at the National University of Singapore, Kyoto University, Hokkaido University and the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (DICP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have developed a strategy to stabilize isolated metal atoms on various oxide supports by using ionic liquids (ILs) as an electronic stabilizer.
Historical data confirms recent increase in West Texas earthquakes
A new analysis of historical seismic data led by The University of Texas at Austin has found that earthquake activity in West Texas near the city of Pecos has increased dramatically since 2009.
Better autonomous 'reasoning' at tricky intersections
MIT and Toyota researchers have designed a new model to help autonomous vehicles determine when it's safe to merge into traffic at intersections with obstructed views.
Diabetes drug relieves nicotine withdrawal
A drug commonly used to treat Type II diabetes abolishes the characteristic signs of nicotine withdrawal in rats and mice, according to new research published in JNeurosci.
Whether direct or indirect, parental alienation harms families
In one particular form of family violence, a parent tries to damage a child's relationship with the other parent.
Global policy-makers must take a more ambitious approach to reversing biodiversity loss
Leading conservationists urge governments to adopt a new approach to address the impact of economic development on the natural world.
Invasive species short-circuiting benefits from mercury reduction in the Great Lakes
According to a new study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 40 years of reduced mercury use, emissions, and loading in the Great Lakes region have largely not produced equivalent declines in the amount of mercury accumulating in large game fish.
Retrospective study suggests ED physicians improving both outcomes and efficiency of care
In a new study published today in JAMA Internal Medicine, a team of researchers led by Laura Burke, MD, MPH, an emergency medicine physician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), found that among Medicare beneficiaries receiving ED care in the United States, mortality within 30 days of an ED visit has declined in recent years, particularly for the highest-severity patients.
Tethered chem combos could revolutionize artificial photosynthesis
Scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory have doubled the efficiency of a chemical combo that captures light and splits water molecules so the building blocks can be used to produce hydrogen fuel.
Suspended layers make a special superconductor
In superconducting materials, an electric current will flow without any resistance.
RoboBee powered by soft muscles
Harvard researchers have developed a resilient RoboBee powered by soft artificial muscles that can crash into walls, fall onto the floor, and collide with other RoboBees without being damaged.
NASA provides an infrared analysis of typhoon Halong
Typhoon Halong continued to strengthen in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean as NASA's Terra satellite passed overhead.
Gene-OFF switches tool up synthetic biology
Wyss researchers and their colloaborators have developed two types of programmable repressor elements that can switch off the production of an output protein in synthetic biology circuits by up to 300-fold in response to almost any triggering nucleotide sequence.
City apartments or jungle huts: What chemicals and microbes lurk inside?
Researchers at Rutgers and other universities found city homes to be rife with industrial chemicals, cleaning agents and fungi that love warm, dark surfaces, while jungle huts had fresher air, more sunlight and natural materials with which humans evolved.
Adding weight loss counseling to group visits improves diabetes outcomes
For people with difficult-to-control diabetes, adding intensive weight management counseling to group medical visits provided extra health benefits beyond improved blood-sugar control, according to a study led by researchers at the Duke Diet & Fitness Center and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Researchers find best classroom shapes for fish swimming in schools
A team of researchers has identified the best arrangements for fish swimming in schools -- formations that are superior in terms of saving energy while also optimizing speed.
Scientists discover how potent bacterial toxin kills MRSA bacteria
Scientists from the University of Sheffield have discovered how a potent bacterial toxin is able to target and kill MRSA, paving the way for potential new treatments for superbugs.
2D antimony holds promise for post-silicon electronics
Researchers in the Cockrell School of Engineering are searching for alternative materials to silicon with semiconducting properties that could form the basis for an alternative chip.
Too good to be true?
New analysis casts doubt on effectiveness of Medicare payment incentive program as a way to curb hospital readmissions.
New technology poised to lower cost and expand applications for transparent LED screens
Connecting LEDs with transparent conductive circuits has made it possible to turn glass windows, walls and building exteriors into see-through displays that inform or entertain viewers with videos and images.
Gene variant may help protect against Alzheimer's disease
A new study provides insights on why some people may be more resistant to Alzheimer's disease than others.
30-day death rates after emergency department visits
Researchers used Medicare data from 2009 to 2016 to see how 30-day death rates associated with emergency department visits have changed.
USC stem cell scientists reveal key differences in how kidneys form in men and women
USC researchers have completed a detailed deconstruction of the kidney, revealing for the first time an intimate portrait of gender differences and more in the organ.
Blood test can help GPs spot ovarian cancer in women with suspicious symptoms
Testing for levels of CA125 in the blood is a useful tool for gauging the likelihood of ovarian cancer and could help detect other types of cancer among patients in primary care, according to research presented at the 2019 NCRI Cancer Conference.
Association of canadian provincial bans on electronic cigarette sales to minors, use
This study investigated how Canadian provincial bans on electronic cigarette sales to minors were associated with changes in their e-cigarette use.
Following hospitalization for heart failure, home care lessens re-admission risk
A team of researchers studied the association between hospital readmission risk and receiving home health care after leaving skilled nursing facilities.
Transient wave of hematopoietic stem cell production in late fetuses and young adults
A major challenge in regenerative medicine is producing tailor-made hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) for transplantation.
How many NCAA team doctors, trainers are women, men?
Researchers used the NCAA member directory to gather data to determine the distribution of women and men among head physicians and athletic trainers for teams in Divisions I, II and III in the 2018-2019 academic year.
Learning from mistakes and transferable skills -- the attributes for a worker robot
Practice makes perfect -- it is an adage that has helped humans become highly dexterous and now it is an approach that is being applied to robots.
Adhesive which debonds in magnetic field could reduce landfill waste
Researchers at the University of Sussex have developed a glue which can unstick when placed in a magnetic field, meaning products otherwise destined for landfill, could now be dismantled and recycled at the end of their life.
Fighting the HIV epidemic
Stigma is an important contributor to the continued HIV epidemic in the United States.
Fractionation processes can improve profitability of ethanol production
The US is the world's largest producer of bioethanol as renewable liquid fuel, with more than 200 commercial plants processing over 16 billion gallons per year.
Research highlights importance of crop competition as a weed control strategy
A new study featured in the journal Weed Science points to the formidable weed control challenges faced by growers today.
New approach uses light to stabilize proteins for study
Researchers report they have developed a new technique that uses light to control the lifetime of a protein inside the cell.
Extinction of lowland tapir and white-lipped peccary would impair forest diversity
Study suggests these two species of large herbivores have complementary ecological functions, favoring seed dispersal and growth of adult trees.
Is physical activity always good for the heart?
Physical activity is thought to be our greatest ally in the fight against cardiovascular disease.
Shark skin microbiome resists infection
No evidence of infection found in the bacterial community around shark wounds.
Peering into a more 'human' petri dish
The recent development of physiologic media, like other efforts designed to address the modeling capacity of cell culture, holds immense potential to improve understanding of human biology.
Deep sea vents had ideal conditions for origin of life
By creating protocells in hot, alkaline seawater, a UCL-led research team has added to evidence that the origin of life could have been in deep-sea hydrothermal vents rather than shallow pools, in a new study published in Nature Ecology & Evolution.
Elusive cancer-related protein captured in flight
Scientists have for the first time seen how the MYC protein, which plays a central role in cancer, binds to a key protein and controls important functions in the cell.
CNIO researchers describe a molecular strategy that helps prevent tumour formation in mice
The CNIO team found that the enzyme FASN, overexpressed in many types of cancer, is crucial for one of the essential processes to occur by which a normal cell becomes cancerous.
End of life carers should have six months paid leave, say experts
People who look after loved ones nearing the end of their lives should be entitled to up to six months paid time off work and safeguards for their job so they can return to work, according to academics from the University of Sheffield's School of Nursing and Midwifery.
Published a clinical guide for the genomic diagnosis of Myelodysplastic Syndromes and Chronic Myelomonocytic leukaemia
A collective work between researchers from 8 research centres and hospitals in Spain, coordinated by Francesc Solé of the Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Institute (IJC), and Esperanza Such, of the University and Polytechnic Hospital de la Fe describes the recommendations of use of the Next Generation genome Sequencing (NGS) in the diagnosis of Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS) and Chronic Myelomonocytic Leukemia (CMML).
Commemorating 30 years of optical vortices: A comprehensive review
Commemorating the 30th anniversary of the prediction of OVs, researchers in China, Xing Fu at Tsinghua University, Xiaocong Yuan at Shenzhen University and co-authors, reviewed the 30-year development of understanding and applications of these intriguing phenomena.
Technique helps robots find the front door
MIT engineers have developed a navigation method that doesn't require mapping an area in advance.
Just 15 years of post-Paris emissions to lock in 20 cm of sea level rise in 2300: study
Unless governments significantly scale up their emission reduction efforts, the 15 years' worth of emissions released under their current Paris Agreement pledges alone would cause 20 cm of sea-level rise over the longer term, according to new research published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by researchers at Climate Analytics and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).
What factors predict success?
Characteristics beyond intelligence can factor into someone's ability to succeed, according to research from Angela Duckworth of the University of Pennsylvania.
Stressed to the max? Deep sleep can rewire the anxious brain
William Shakespeare's Macbeth had it right when he referred to sleep as the 'balm of hurt minds.' While a full night of slumber stabilizes emotions, a sleepless night can trigger up to a 30% rise in anxiety levels, according to new research from the University of California, Berkeley.
Eye on research: A new way to detect and study retinoblastoma
Dr. Jesse Berry of Children's Hospital Los Angeles advances the field of retinoblastoma research through her discovery and use of aqueous humor biopsy.
NASA provides an infrared analysis of Tropical Cyclone Maha   
NASA infrared imagery revealed Tropical Cyclone Maha was still a powerful storm as it continued moving through the Arabian Sea in the Northern Indian Ocean.
Cervical pre-cancer can be detected in self-collected urine or vaginal samples
Researchers have developed a noninvasive test to detect cervical pre-cancer by analyzing urine and vaginal samples collected by the women themselves.
What drives circadian rhythms at the poles?
Circadian clocks coordinate the organism to the alternating cycles of day and night.
Scientists create 'artificial leaf' that turns carbon into fuel
Scientists have created an 'artificial leaf' to fight climate change by inexpensively converting harmful carbon dioxide (CO2) into a useful alternative fuel.
Survey: Seriously ill Medicare beneficiaries can face considerable financial hardship
In a nationwide survey, 53% of seriously ill Medicare beneficiaries reported having problems paying a medical bill.
Daylight Saving Time has long-term effects on health
The annual transition to and from daylight saving time (DST) has clinical implications that last longer than the days where clocks 'fall back' or 'spring forward.'
Ramping up to divide: An unstable protein is the master switch for cell division
An extremely unstable protein, Cln3, appears to be the master switch that activates cell division in budding yeast.
Thousands of new globular clusters have formed over the last billion years
A discovery made by prestigious researchers including Thomas Broadhurst, the professor at the UPV/EHU's Department of Theoretical Physics and History of Science, has been recently published by the journal Nature Astronomy.
EMBL spins the Sleeping Beauty transposase
EMBL scientists have developed a new variant of the Sleeping Beauty transposase.
Screen-based media associated with structural differences in brains of young children
A new study documents structural differences in the brains of preschool-age children related to screen-based media use.
Zebrafish study reveals developmental mechanisms of eye movement
Zebrafish research is a promising way to understand the neural and genetic causes of eye movement problems in people, according to multi-university research led by Albert Pan of the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC.
Dynamics of silk proteins are key to outstanding stability of spider silk as biomaterial
Scientists from the universities of Mainz and Würzburg in Germany discovered that methionine is highly abundant in some spider silk proteins.
Single discrimination events alter college students' daily behavior
UW researchers aimed to understand both the prevalence of discrimination events and how these events affect college students in their daily lives.
The fetal brain possesses adult-like networks
The fundamental organization of brain networks is established in utero during the second and third trimesters of fetal development, according to research published in JNeurosci.
Flotillin is a novel diagnostic blood marker of Alzheimer's disease
Flotillin levels significantly decreased in the CSF and serum of AD patients compared with those of non-AD controls, respectively.
Emergency department admissions of children for sexual abuse
This study analyzed emergency department admissions of children for sexual abuse between 2010 and 2016 using a nationwide database of emergency visits and US Census Bureau data.
In classical and quantum secure communication practical randomness is incomplete
Random bit sequences are key ingredients of various tasks in modern life and especially in secure communication.
Gut microbiome of premature babies is associated with stunted growth
Researchers studied the gut microbiomes of dozens of NICU babies and followed them until they turned age four.
How much do we lie when we have sex on the brain?
If you've long suspected that people fudge the truth when it comes to presenting themselves to a potential partner, here's the research to back you up.
Study highlights fluid sexual orientation in many teens
At least one in five teenagers reports some change in sexual orientation during adolescence, according to new research from North Carolina State University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Pittsburgh.
Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, November 2019
ORNL and NREL took demonstrated a miniaturized gyroscope. ORNL created and tested new wireless charging designs.
Scientists probe the limits of ice
The smallest nanodroplet of water in which ice can form is only as big as 90 water molecules -- a tenth the size of the smallest virus.
How oxygen destroys the core of important enzymes
Certain enzymes, such as hydrogen-producing hydrogenases, are unstable in the presence of oxygen.
Better teleoperations with a less complicated system
Bilateral teleoperation systems are complicated robotic systems that allow people to perform tasks remotely or in hard to access environments.
Unique case of disease resistance reveals possible Alzheimer's treatment
Defying the odds, an individual at high risk for early-onset Alzheimer's disease remained dementia-free for many years beyond what was anticipated.
Eelgrass acid and resveratrol produced by cell factories for the first time
Scientists are now able to produce a wide range of sulfated aromatic compounds such as antifouling eelgrass acid, resveratrol and vanillic acid derivatives using microbial production hosts.
NYU Abu Dhabi researchers develop Micro-Electro-Fluidic Probe (MeFP) to isolate and pattern cells
A team of researchers from NYU Abu Dhabi have developed a dielectrophoresis (DEP) enabled MicroelectroFluidic Probe (MeFP) that has the ability to sequentially separate and pattern mammalian cells in an open microfluidic system.
Fish oil supplements have no effect on anxiety and depression
Omega-3 fats have little or no effect on anxiety and depression according to new research.
'Hot' electrons in metallic nanostructures -- non-thermal carriers or heating?
These two pictures, heating vs 'hot electrons', are typically presented as orthogonal, and theories either treat one or the other.
Voyager 2 reaches interstellar space
University of Iowa researchers report the spacecraft Voyager 2 has reached interstellar space, following Voyager 1's historic passage six years ago.
The world is getting wetter, yet water may become less available for North America and Eurasia
With climate change, plants of the future will consume more water than in the present day, leading to less water available for people living in North America and Eurasia, according to a Dartmouth-led study in Nature Geoscience The research suggests a drier future despite anticipated precipitation increases for places like the United States and Europe, populous regions already facing water stresses.
Study decodes gene function that protects against type 2 diabetes
An international research collaboration led by researchers from the Universities of Helsinki and Oxford has identified the biological mechanism through which a genetic variant protects against type 2 diabetes.
From cone snail venom to pain relief
Conotoxins are bioactive peptides found in the venom that marine cone snails produce for prey capture and defense.
Evaluating mind-body therapies for opioid-treated pain
Mind-body therapies include things like meditation, hypnosis, relaxation and cognitive behavioral therapy.
Investigating childhood stress association with blood indicator of chronic inflammation
Researchers looked at whether exposure to adverse experiences, stress, and violence among 1,400 children in the United Kingdom was associated at age 18 with elevated levels in the blood of an indicator of chronic inflammation.

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