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Science News | Science Current Events | Brightsurf | November 21, 2019


Financial therapy can aid well-being, stability
Financial therapy could help couples navigate disagreements, money concerns and financial conflicts before these issues tear relationships apart.
CUHK Faculty of Engineering develops novel imaging approach
By combining a compressive sensing algorithm with a digital holographic microscope, Prof.
How to design and control robots with stretchy, flexible bodies
MIT researchers have invented a way to efficiently optimize the control and design of soft robots for target tasks, which has traditionally been a monumental undertaking in computation.
Grid reliability under climate change may require more power generation capacity
Researchers applied a new modeling approach for long-term planning of the U.S. power grid under future climate and water resource conditions.
Study shows lower mortality from induction of labor at 41 weeks
Inducing labor after 41 instead of 42 full weeks' pregnancy appears to be safer in terms of perinatal survival, new Swedish research shows.
Survey: Most teenagers in legalized states see marijuana marketing on social media
Despite restrictions on paid advertising cannabis on social media, most teenagers reported seeing marijuana marketing on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, according to a public health study authored by University of Massachusetts Amherst injury prevention researcher Jennifer Whitehill.
American University researchers sequence genome of the 'devil worm'
American University researchers, reporting in Nature Communications, have sequenced the genome of a unique microscopic worm found one mile underground and called the 'Devil Worm' for its ability to survive in harsh, subsurface conditions.
Human songs share universal patterns across world's cultures
From love songs to lullabies, songs from cultures spanning the globe -- despite their diversity -- exhibit universal patterns, according to a new study.
Music is universal
Exactly what about music is universal, and what varies? Harvard researchers have demonstrated that across cultures, people share psychological mechanisms that make certain songs sound 'right' in specific social and emotional contexts.
New machine learning algorithms offer safety and fairness guarantees
Writing in Science, Thomas and his colleagues Yuriy Brun, Andrew Barto and graduate student Stephen Giguere at UMass Amherst, Bruno Castro da Silva at the Federal University of Rio Grande del Sol, Brazil, and Emma Brunskill at Stanford University this week introduce a new framework for designing machine learning algorithms that make it easier for users of the algorithm to specify safety and fairness constraints.
Excellent mental health for 2/3 of Indigenous people off reserve
Two-thirds of Indigenous people living off reserve in Canada have excellent mental health, according to a nationally representative study conducted by the University of Toronto and Algoma University.
Algorithm for preventing 'undesirable behavior' works in gender fairness and health tests
A new framework for designing machine learning algorithms helps to prevent intelligent machines from exhibiting undesirable behavior, researchers report.
Scientists first to develop rapid cell division in marine sponges
Despite efforts over multiple decades, there are still no cell lines for marine invertebrates.
New research finds signal of decreased early post transplant survival in new heart transplant system
In an analysis of the new heart organ allocation system for transplant patients in the US, researchers have identified a signal of a decrease in heart transplant survival rates.
Building better bacteriophage to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria
Researchers are pursuing engineered bacteriophage as alternatives to antibiotics to infect and kill multi-drug resistant bacteria.
Rise of the bots: Stevens team completes first census of Wikipedia bots
Researchers at Stevens Institute of Technology, in Hoboken, N.J., have completed the first analysis of all 1,601 of Wikipedia's bots, using computer algorithms to classify them by function and shed light on the ways that machine intelligences and human users work together to improve and expand the world's largest digital encyclopedia.
Structures near airports increase risk of airplane-goose collisions
From mid-November 2015 through February 2016, scientists used GPS transmitters to track the movements of Canada geese near Midway International Airport in Chicago.
BU finds some child development milestones may be set too early
A new Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) study published in the journal Pediatrics provides more specific data on what ages young children reach different developmental milestones.
New chemical treatment for bed nets could prevent more infections by overcoming mosquito resistance
With insecticide resistance eroding the life-saving power of bed nets -- a major malaria-fighting tool -- researchers reported today that in a clinical trial that involved distributing millions of treated nets to households across Uganda, far fewer children showed evidence of malaria parasites after sleeping under nets newly formulated to disarm a mosquito's key resistance mechanisms.
Detecting mental and physical stress via smartphone
The team led by Professor Enrico Caiani of the Department of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering at Politecnico di Milano, Italy, has shown that it is possible to use our smartphones without any other peripherals or wearables to accurately extract vital parameters, such as heart beat rate and stress level.
UT mathematician develops model to control spread of aquatic invasive species
Adjusting the water flow rate in a river can prevent invasive species from moving upstream and expanding their range.
Protection for pacemakers
A protective membrane for cardiac pacemakers developed at ETH Zurich has proved successful in animal trials in reducing the undesirable build-up of fibrotic tissue around the implant.
New type of e-cigarette vaping injury described in CMAJ
A research case report describing lung injury related to e-cigarette use in a 17-year-old Canadian may be the first documented case of a new form of damage from vaping products.
Bone breakthrough may lead to more durable airplane wings
Cornell researchers have made a new discovery about how seemingly minor aspects of the internal structure of bone can be strengthened to withstand repeated wear and tear, a finding that could help treat patients suffering from osteoporosis.
Women raised in poor neighborhoods face an increased risk of intimate partner violence
Women who spend longer periods of their early lives in less affluent neighbourhoods are at greater risk of experiencing violence during their early adulthoods at the hands of their intimate partners, finds a new study published in Epidemiology.
Science underestimated dangerous effects of sleep deprivation
One of the largest sleep studies dubunks theory that suggests attention is the only cognitive function affected by sleep deprivation.
A new antibiotic to combat drug-resistant bacteria is in sight
An international team of researchers, with the participation of Giessen University and the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF), discovered a new active substance effective against gram negative bacteria that targets a previously unknown site of action: 'Darobactin'.
Multifunctional small brains
Researchers from the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience in Amsterdam, discovered that not only the cerebral cortex is responsible for higher perceptual abilities but that the cerebellum also plays a role.
Eastern equine encephalitis virus poses emergent threat, say NIAID officials
2019 has been a particularly deadly year in the U.S.
How to fight illegal cocoa farms in Ivory Coast
The world's love for chocolate has helped decimate protected forests in western Africa as some residents have turned protected areas into illegal cocoa farms and hunting grounds.
A review of single molecule-based electronic devices
In a paper to be published in the forthcoming issue in NANO, a group of researchers from the Shenyang Jianzhu University in China provide an overview of single molecule electronic devices, including molecular electronic devices and electrode types.
Unraveling gene expression
EPFL chemists have uncovered the first steps in the process of gene expression by showing how the protein Rap1 pries open the tightly wound, compacted structure of DNA in the cell to gain access to specific genes.
Researchers substantially boost sensitivity of terahertz gas analysis
A new advance promises to increase the sensitivity of high-resolution spectrometers that perform chemical analysis using terahertz wavelengths.
NASA imagery indicates a dissipating Kalmaegi  
NASA's Aqua satellite captured an image of Tropical Depression Kalmaegi in the South China Sea as it was dissipating.
Dung beetle discovery revises biologists' understanding of how nature innovates
The discovery that thoracic horns in dung beetles emerge from the same gene network as wings could revise how biologists understand 'innovation' in nature.
Nature's secret recipe for making leaves
The secret recipe nature uses to make the diverse leaf shapes we see everywhere around us has been revealed in research.
Diet pills, laxatives used for weight control linked with later eating disorder diagnosis
Among young women without an eating disorder diagnosis, those who use diet pills and laxatives for weight control had higher odds of receiving a subsequent first eating disorder diagnosis within one to three years than those who did not report using these products.
Big plans to save the planet depend on nanoscopic materials improving energy storage
In the latest edition of Science, an international team of researchers, led by Drexel University professors Yury Gogotsi, PhD, and Ekaterina Pomerantseva, PhD, present a comprehensive analysis of two decades of energy storage research involving nanomaterials.
Wound healing in mucous tissues could ward off AIDS
Wound healing in mucous tissues during early infection by Simian Immunodeficiency Virus guards some primate species against developing AIDS, Both HIV and SIV provoke an immune response that injures tissues surrounding the intestine, African green monkeys with SIV quickly repair their mucous tissues.
NASA found Atlantic's Sebastien was fighting wind shear
NASA's Terra satellite captured a visible image of Tropical Storm Sebastien that showed wind shear had pushed the bulk of its clouds and showers to the southeast of the center.
New study confirms American children and teens are consuming significantly less sugary drinks
According to a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, published by Elsevier, the share of children and adolescents consuming sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) and the calories they consume from SSBs declined significantly between 2003 and 2014.
Fighting opioids with an unlikely supplemental painkiller: Anti-itch medicine
West Virginia University researcher Shane Kaski is investigating whether an anti-itch medication that targets a specific part of our nerve cells can make morphine -- which targets a different part--more effective.
Pancreatic cancer tumor classification could optimize treatment choices
Researchers from the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center analyzed data from pancreatic cancer clinical trials to understand how treatment responses and drug resistance linked to tumor subtypes.
New algorithms train AI to avoid specific bad behaviors
Robots, self-driving cars and other intelligent machines could become better-behaved if machine-learning designers adopt a new framework for building AI with safeguards against specific undesirable outcomes.
Postpartum women are getting prescribed more opioids than needed
New University of Minnesota Medical School research finds postpartum women are generally getting prescribed more narcotics than they need.
Scientists identify underlying molecular mechanisms of Alexander disease
UNC School of Medicine researchers are learning about the differences in the underlying biology of patients with severe and milder forms of Alexander disease, a rare neurodegenerative condition that is often fatal to young children.
Non-coding DNA located outside chromosomes may help drive glioblastoma
According to a new Cell study, extra DNA scooped up and copied alongside cancer-causing genes helps keep tumors going -- elements that could represent new drug targets for brain tumors and other cancers notoriously difficult to treat.
Sensory processing difficulties adversely affect functional behavior in multiple sclerosis
'This study underscores the influence of sensory processing in MS, and the importance of screening patients for these disorders,' said Dr.
New Alzheimer risk gene discovered
A new paper in the Journal of Neuropathology & Experimental Neurology finds a gene that may help explain a large part of the genetic risk for developing Alzheimer disease.
Wolfe Creek Crater younger than previously thought
Wolfe Creek Crater, one of the world's largest meteorite craters, is much younger than previously thought.
New antitumoral drug release strategy created for breast cancer treatment
Researchers from the CIBER-BBN and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona use bioengineering to design non-toxic drug-release granules to be administered locally and with prolonged therapeutic effects.
Fish in California estuaries are evolving as climate change alters their habitat
The threespine stickleback, a small fish found throughout the coastal areas of the Northern Hemisphere, is famously variable in appearance from one location to another, making it an ideal subject for studying how species adapt to different environments.
A large part of the school buildings in Andalusia does not have adequate air quality
A high percentage of schools buildings in Andalusia does not have the necessary mechanical ventilation equipment or filtration systems in place, so air has to be renewed by means of infiltrations or opening the windows.
Life under extreme conditions at hot springs in the ocean
Marine researchers at Kiel University decipher adaptation mechanisms of biological communities to an active volcano in Taiwan.
Study probes relationship between strange metals and high-temperature superconductors
SLAC theorists have observed strange metallicity in a well-known model for simulating the behavior of materials with strongly correlated electrons, which join forces to produce unexpected phenomena rather than acting independently.
Two million-year-old ice cores provide first direct observations of an ancient climate
Princeton University-led researchers have extracted 2 million-year-old ice cores from Antarctica -- the oldest yet recovered -- that provide the first direct observations of prehistoric atmospheric conditions and temperatures.
Cybershoppers make better buying decisions on PCs than phones -- Ben-Gurion U. researchers
This is the first study that differentiates between screen size and information reduction, which are often mixed up.
Researchers carry out simulation of a hospital outbreak
Researchers carried out a simulation of a hospital outbreak investigation using advanced genomic analysis technologies.
Chemists create new route to PHAs: naturally degradable bioplastics
Eugene Chen, professor in the Colorado State University Department of Chemistry, has led a new study demonstrating a chemical catalysis path for making an existing class of biomaterials called PHAs -- already gaining momentum in industrial settings -- even more commercially viable and structurally diverse.
Pollinator friendliness can extend beyond early spring
A study out of the University of Arkansas investigated whether bulbs can flower and persist in warm-season lawns while providing nutrition for pollinating insects.
Climate change reassessment prompts call for a 'more sober' discourse
An international research team has called for a more sober discourse around climate change prospects, following an extensive reassessment of climate change's progress and its mitigation.
Mental health program helps teens recognise and support peers at risk
A novel mental health program improves teenagers' ability to recognise and support friends who might be at risk of suicide, according to new research.
Exposing office distractions and effects on worker productivity
Ioannis Pavlidis, director of the Computational Physiology Laboratory at the University of Houston, along with Ricardo Gutierrez-Osuna from Texas A&M University and Gloria Mark from the University of California Irvine, conducted an experiment using thermal imaging and wearable sensors to better understand the stress and performance patterns of so-called knowledge workers.
Army project may improve military communications by boosting 5G technology
An Army-funded project may boost 5G and mm-Wave technologies, improving military communications and sensing equipment.
The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health: Majority of adolescents worldwide are not sufficiently physically active, putting their current and future health at risk
The first ever global trends for adolescent insufficient physical activity show that urgent action is needed to increase physical activity levels in girls and boys aged 11 to 17 years.
Simulations suggest embryo selection based on traits like height or IQ is still far off
The recent live births resulting from human embryonic CRISPR editing have heightened global concerns regarding 'designer babies.' Currently, the most practical approach to genetic 'enhancement' is preimplantation genetic screening of IVF embryos.
Transplanting human nerve cells into a mouse brain reveals how they wire into brain circuits
A team of researchers led by Pierre Vanderhaeghen and Vincent Bonin (VIB-KU Leuven, Université libre de Bruxelles and NERF) showed how human nerve cells can develop at their own pace, and form highly precise connections with the surrounding mouse brain cells.
Sugar delivered to Earth from space
A new study has discovered meteorites containing RNA sugar, ribose, and other bio-important sugars; the first direct evidence of bio-essential sugars' delivery from space to the Earth.
Scientists help soldiers figure out what robots know
An Army-led research team developed new algorithms and filled in knowledge gaps about how robots contribute to teams and what robots know about their environment and teammates.
Magnetic wave flows under better control from now on
Even faster processors with even smaller dimensions? Wherever neither electronics nor spintronics can cope with performance or miniaturization, magnonics comes to the rescue.
New twist in quest to develop understanding of time crystalline behavior
The quest to develop the understanding for time crystalline behaviour in quantum systems has taken a new, exciting twist.
Using controlled environment food production to solve food shortages
Before land and labor shortages prompted by the Industrial Revolution forced food production to move away from cities, agriculture was central to urban environments and their planning.
Princeton scientists discover surprising quantum effect in an exotic superconductor
Superconductors are already in use in various capacities, but newer iron-based superconductors have potential for future use.
Animal study finds link between MAP2 mutation and hereditary hair diseases
The genetic mechanism of hereditary human hair diseases, such as alopecia and thinning hair, has drawn much attention in human genetics research, yet many questions around this mechanism persist.
Trials promise good news for countries with dengue and Zika virus
Scientists from the University of Melbourne and Glasgow and the Institute for Medical Research in Malaysia have found an effective and environmentally sustainable way to block the transmission of mosquito-borne dengue virus, in trials carried out in Malaysia.
Brain biomarker predicts compulsive drinking
Although alcohol use is ubiquitous in modern society, only a portion of individuals develop alcohol use disorders or addiction.
New antenna tech to equip ceramic coatings with heat radiation control
Researchers have developed a way for ceramic coatings to control heat radiation, a feature that could increase the performance of aircraft engines operating at high temperatures.
Illinois researcher's theory of pore-scale transport to enable improved flow batteries
Redox flow batteries are an emerging technology for electrochemical energy storage that could help enhance the use of power produced by renewable energy resources.
Who is left behind in Mass Drug Administration?
Ensuring equity in the prevention of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) is critical to reach NTD elimination goals as well as to inform Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
'Combo' nanoplatforms for chemotherapy
In a paper to be published in the forthcoming issue in NANO, researchers from Harbin Institute of Technology, China have systematically discussed the recent progresses, current challenges and future perspectives of smart graphene-based nanoplatforms for synergistic tumor therapy and bio-imaging.
Breaking (and restoring) graphene's symmetry in a twistable electronics device
A recent Columbia Engineering study demonstrates a new way to tune the properties of 2D materials simply by adjusting the twist angle between them.
Niobium used as catalyst in fuel cell
Glycerol fuel cell can replace batteries in cell phones and laptops, and could be used in future to run electric cars and supply power to homes.
Neighborhood matters for fentanyl-involved overdose deaths
Fentanyl overdoses cluster geographically more than non-fentanyl overdoses, according to a Columbia study, and are concentrated in resource deprived neighborhoods over and above what data show for opioid and polydrug overdoses.
Extremely energetic particles coupled with the violent death of a star for the first time
Researchers at the Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen and DTU Space have determined the emission of extremely energetic light particles during the death of a very heavy star for the first time, using the telescope MAGIC.
NASA tracks a weaker tropical storm Fung-Wong  
NASA's Terra satellite captured an image of Tropical Storm Fung-Wong as it continued weakening in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean.
How an AI solution can design new tuberculosis drug regimens
With a shortage of new tuberculosis drugs in the pipeline, a software tool from the University of Michigan can predict how current drugs--including unlikely candidates -- can be combined in new ways to create more effective treatments.
Turning to old remedies for new health challenges
The last thing anyone wants during a stay in the hospital is a hospital-acquired infection.
Researchers discover how lungs cells respond to bacteria
Researchers have discovered that TRM cells tell surrounding lung cells to send out a signal to recruit bacteria killers called neutrophils.
Escher's angels and demons woodcut predicts how matter deforms
Dutch artist M.C. Escher's most famous drawing, 'Circle Limit IV (Heaven and Hell)', shows angels and demons in a tessellation that fills a circle without empty spaces.
Brain biomarker predicts compulsive drinking in mice
A neural circuit in the brains of mice controls the development of compulsive drinking disorders, according to a new study.
Belgian-American research team uncovers a new mechanism of neurodegeneration
Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) is an inherited neurodegenerative condition that affects 1 in 2500 individuals.
Growing length of manifestos casts new light on electioneering history
From a modest 150 words to the length of a children's book -- the number of words used by politicians in their election manifestos has grown substantially in the past century, new research shows.
Traditional Chinese medical herb may offer new anti-obesity strategy
Overweight and obesity have become a severe public health problem around the world.
New disease hits corals
The emergence of a new coral disease in Micronesian reefs, termed grey-patch disease, is reported in the open-access journal Microbiome.
Genetic studies reveal how rat lungworm evolves
Rat lungworm is a parasitic disease, spread through contaminated food, which affects the brain and spinal cord.
What leads to compulsive alcohol use? New experiments into binge drinking provide answers
New study from neuroscientists at Vanderbilt provides initial answers to long-standing scientific questions on what causes the transition from moderate to compulsive alcohol consumption - and what makes some drinkers particularly vulnerable to developing alcohol use disorders.
Cancer linked with a more than doubled risk of dying from stroke
People living with or beyond cancer are more likely to die from stroke than the general public, according to new Penn State research, and certain types of cancer may boost the risk even more.
Investigational drug for people with treatment-resistant epilepsy
Imagine not being able to drive, shower alone or even work because you are never quite sure when the next seizure will leave you incapacitated.
Online reviews reveal need for specialized drug treatment facility assessments
With no national standard to measure drug treatment facilities, new research reveals opportunities to learn from patients to help create metrics.
In the war on emerging crop diseases, scientists develop new 'War Room' simulations
This research evaluated the important sellers and villages in the Gulu region of Uganda, analyzing their potential role for spreading disease and distributing improved varieties of seed.
Study: Wildfires in Oregon's blue mountains to become more frequent, severe due to climate change
Under a warming climate, wildfires in Oregon's southern Blue Mountains will become more frequent, more extensive and more severe, according to a new Portland State University-led study.
Self-restrained genes enable evolutionary novelty
Evolution can promote novelty by keeping gene expression in check.
Magnesium deprivation stops pathogen growth
When pathogens invade the cells, our body combats them using various methods.
Simple model explains why different four-legged animals adopt similar gaits
Most mammals walk at slow speeds and run or trot at intermediate speeds because these movement strategies are energetically optimal, according to a study published in PLOS Computational Biology by Delyle Polet and John Bertram of the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada.
Dengue infections dive where Wolbachia established in mosquitoes in parts of Asia, Australia, and Brazil
Amid a global surge of infections with dengue and fears climate change will make it worse, an international alliance of researchers presented new evidence today showing reports that the disease fell dramatically in communities in Indonesia, Vietnam, Brazil and Australia.
Almost a third of tropical Africa's flora faces extinction
31.7% of tropical Africa's vascular plant species could be threatened with extinction, reveals an international study coordinated by an IRD researcher, published in the journal Science Advances on 20 November 2019.
Scientists discover the origin of a microbial infection with lethal effects
When the bacterium Aeromonas hydrophila penetrates the organism through a tissue it gives rise to necrotizing fasciitis, a serious infection that attacks the tissues and in a few hours can even lead to the death of the patient.
Researchers uncover critical metabolic switch for inflammatory diseases
A research team in Trinity College Dublin has uncovered a critical role for a protein called 'PKM2' in the regulation of immune cell types at the heart of multiple inflammatory diseases.
Germ-free lungs of newborn mice are partially protected against hyperoxia
Researchers have used a novel and first-of-its-kind newborn mouse model to study the effect of high oxygen concentrations, or hyperoxia, on lung development of newborn mice that are germ-free -- meaning no microbes colonizing their lungs.
The simultaneous merging of giant galaxies
An international research team led by scientists from Göttingen and Potsdam proved for the first time that the galaxy NGC 6240 contains three supermassive black holes.
Competing signals shrink or grow liver tumor at the margins
Activating the Hippo molecular signaling pathway in liver tumor cells drives tumor growth -- but activating the same pathway in healthy cells surrounding the tumor suppresses tumor growth.
Decoding the fundamental mechanisms of human salivary lubrication
A team of scientists led by the University of Leeds have uncovered the fundamental mechanism by which human saliva lubricates our mouth.
Unable to reject increased suicide risk associated with use of anti-epileptic drugs
Three of the most common forms of anti-epileptic drugs in Denmark is associated with increase in patients' risk of suicide.
Omega-3 fatty acids' health benefit linked to stem cell control, researchers find
For years, researchers have known that defects in an ancient cellular antenna called the primary cilium are linked with obesity and insulin resistance.
Regenstrief, IU study finds assigning hospitalists by unit has both pros and cons
Hospital medicine is the fastest growing medical specialty. Researchers from Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University School of Medicine have conducted the first time-motion study in over a decade to assess the impact of geographic cohorting of hospitalists.
Study finds increase in US adults who perceive E-cigarettes more harmful than cigarettes
The number of U.S. adults who perceive e-cigarettes to be at as harmful as, or more harmful than, cigarettes has increased between 2017 and 2018, even prior to the national outbreak of vaping-related lung disease and deaths
Does frailty affect outcomes after traumatic spinal cord injury?
A new study has shown that frailty is an important predictor of worse outcome after traumatic spinal cord injury in patients less than 75 years of age.
Estimating how self-reported hearing trouble varied among older adults
Researchers used nationally representative survey data from adults 60 or older to estimate how self-reported hearing trouble varied across sociodemographic characteristics and by actual hearing loss.
Deep learning to analyze neurological problems
Getting to the doctor's office for a check-up can be challenging for someone with a neurological disorder that impairs their movement, such as a stroke.
Predicting metastasis from primary tumor size
A new mathematical model uses the size of a cancer patient's initial, primary tumor to predict whether undetectable secondary tumors are already present.

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