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Science News | Science Current Events | Brightsurf | November 26, 2019


Research: Despite what you might think, sexting isn't just about sex
Sexting is extremely common among adults -- but maybe not for the reasons you think.
Bulwer's petrel can fly more than 1,800 kilometres over ocean waters to find food
The Bulwer's petrel reaches more than 1,800 kilometers from the Canary archipelago up to the Azores on its route in search of food, according to data from a new scientific monograph based on the studies carried out from 2010 to 2018 by the Research Group of Ecology of Marine Birds of the Faculty of Biology and the Biodiversity Research Institute of the University of Barcelona (IRBio), under the supervision of Professor Jacob González-Solís.
New study analyzes viability of sustainable fuels developed through ORNL process
A technology developed at the US Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory and scaled up by Vertimass LLC to convert ethanol into fuels suitable for aviation, shipping and other heavy-duty applications can be price-competitive with conventional fuels while retaining the sustainability benefits of bio-based ethanol, according to a new analysis.
Additives result in higher toxins for vape users, Portland State study finds
Portland State University Chemistry Professor Rob Strongin led a research team to study what happens when additives are put into vaping products.
Nuclear reactors with a newly proposed barrier could've withstood Chernobyl and Fukushima
To regain public confidence in nuclear power -- a sustainable source of renewable energy, as well as bridging the gap between what we know today and what is going on in practice, scientists propose a new safety barrier to be implemented in large reactors around the world.
Turning key metabolic process back on could make sarcoma more susceptible to treatment
Soft tissue sarcoma cells stop a key metabolic process which allows them to multiply and spread, and so restarting that process could leave these cancers vulnerable to a variety of treatments
Once hidden cellular structures emerge in fight against viruses
A University of Arizona researcher describes how a cellular structure that was once lost to science combats attacks waged in the 'world's oldest war.'
Joint statement from six journals highlights concerns about EPA proposed rule
In a joint journal statement in this issue, the editors-in-chief of six scientific journals (Science, Nature, Cell, PNAS, PLOS and The Lancet) highlight their concerns regarding the 2018 'Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science' rule proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which has recently returned to the spotlight following a hearing on evidence in policy-making.
Japanese anime and zoos boost public interest in conservation of real-life animal characters
Animated shows with animal characters -- specifically the Japanese anime Kemono Friends -- can increase public interest in real wildlife, including boosting donations to conservation programs at zoos.
Newborn immune system detects harmful skin bacteria
In a study of young mice, UC San Francisco scientists found that an early-life window of immune tolerance available to a normally harmless bacterial species is firmly closed to another, often pathogenic species -- one that is a leading cause of drug-resistant skin infections in the US and occasional source of 'flesh-eating' necrosis.
NASA finds heavy rain potential in Tropical Storm Rita
NASA analyzed the cloud top temperatures in Tropical Storm Rita using infrared light to determine the strength of the storm.
Big trucks, little emissions
Researchers reveal a new integrated, cost-efficient way of converting ethanol for fuel blends that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
UK and China research team take first steps towards a vaccine for pancreatic cancer
Researchers from Queen Mary University of London and Zhengzhou University have developed a personalised vaccine system that could ultimately delay the onset of pancreatic cancer.
Children of abused mothers 50% more likely to have low IQ
Children of women who reported domestic violence in pregnancy or during the first six years of the child's life are almost 50% more likely to have a low IQ at age 8, research finds.
One shot of ketamine could reduce problem drinking
A one-off dose of ketamine could help heavy drinkers reduce their alcohol intake, finds a new UCL experimental study published in Nature Communications.
Biotech breakthrough turns waste biomass into high value chemicals
A move towards a more sustainable bio-based economy has been given a new boost by researchers who have been able to simplify a process to transform waste materials into high value chemicals.
New technology makes internet memes accessible for people with visual impairments
People with visual impairments use social media like everyone else, often with the help of screen reader software.
The human brain is prepared to follow the rhythm of a song or of a dance
So reveals a study that explores the relationship between the rhythmic structure of music and the spatial dimension of sound, published in Brain and Cognition by Alexandre Celma-Miralles and Juan Manuel Toro (ICREA), researchers at the Center for Brain and Cognition.
CeMM PR -- Immunity -- Master regulator of liver metabolism identified during infection
Researchers at the CeMM Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences identified a key mechanism for how antiviral immune responses reprogram liver metabolism.
Smart reactions through online design of catalytic pockets
Mapping the three-dimensional structure of catalytic centers helps to design new and improved catalysts.
Skiers had lower incidence of depression and vascular dementia -- but not Alzheimer's
Half as many diagnosed with depression, a delayed manifestation of Parkinson's, a reduced risk of developing vascular dementia -- but not Alzheimer's.
Satellite tracking Guam's Tropical Storm Kammuri
The National Weather Service in Guam has posted warnings as Tropical Storm Kammuri lingers nearby.
High levels of screen use associated with symptoms of anxiety in adolescence
High levels of social media use, television viewing and computer use are associated with symptoms of anxiety in adolescence.
Satellite broken? Smart satellites to the rescue
The University of Cincinnati is developing robotic networks that can work independently but collaboratively on a common task.
LSE study calls for improved mental health support
A government scheme to support the mental health of people affected by terrorist attacks needs to provide a better system of immediate psychological help, according to research led by the Care Policy and Evaluation Centre at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).
December's SLAS technology feature article now available
Next month's SLAS Technology features the cover article, 'Automated System for Small-Population Single-Particle Processing Enabled by Exclusive Liquid Repellency,' outlining research led by Chao Li, Ph.D., (University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA)
Fire ants' raft building skills react as fluid forces change
Fire ants build living rafts to survive floods and rainy seasons.
Cerebral organoid model provides clues about how to prevent virus-induced brain cell death
Scientists have determined that La Crosse virus (LACV), which can cause inflammation of the brain in children, affects brain cells differently depending on their developmental stage.
Key to rubustness of plants discovered
The Austrian Centre of Industrial Biotechnology (acib) and Technical University of Graz decoded the mechanism of Adipose-Biosynthesis - the basis for the production of sugar molecules for neu fine chemicals or biopharmaceuticals.
Scientists dissect and redesign protein-based pattern formation
Probing the functional segments, or 'motifs', of proteins has helped scientists identify the minimal ingredients needed for them to form biological patterns.
Hibernating mammals arouse hope for genetic solutions to obesity, metabolic diseases
Hibernation is one of nature's strangest quirks, inducing bears and other mammals to pack on massive weight -- amounts that would be unhealthy for humans -- so they can survive months of slumber.
Uncontrolled asthma attacks during pregnancy increase health risks for mothers and babies
Women with asthma who suffer severe symptoms while they are pregnant face higher risks of health problems both for themselves and their babies compared to women with well-controlled asthma, according to research published in the European Respiratory Journal.
Simulating amino acid starvation may improve dengue vaccines
In a new paper in Science Signaling, researchers at the University of Hyderabad in India and the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine show that a plant-based compound called halofuginone improves the immune response to a potential vaccine against dengue virus.
Study: Increase in calls to US poison control for natural psychoactive substances
A new study conducted by the Center for Injury Research and Policy and the Central Ohio Poison Center at Nationwide Children's Hospital found there were more than 67,300 calls to US Poison Control Centers regarding exposures to natural psychoactive substances.
Oligomerix and Feinstein institutes publish in vivo Alzheimer's disease treatment data
Oligomerix, Inc., a privately held company pioneering the development of tau oligomer inhibitors for Alzheimer's disease (AD) and related neurodegenerative disorders, and the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research announced today the publication of preclinical data demonstrating that an oral small molecule drug inhibits the formation of neurotoxic tau oligomers in an animal model of tau aggregation most relevant to AD.
Minimally invasive procedure relieves tremors in Parkinson's patients
A procedure that applies pulses of focused ultrasound to the brain is safe and effective for reducing tremors and improving quality of life in people with essential tremor or Parkinson's disease tremor, according to a new study.
Space travel can make the gut leaky
Bacteria, fungi, and viruses can enter our gut through the food we eat.
Research: Alcohol and tobacco policies can reduce cancer deaths
Policies aimed at cutting alcohol and tobacco consumption, including the introduction of random breath testing programs and bans on cigarette advertising, have resulted in a significant reduction in Australian cancer death rates, new research shows.
Playing board games may help protect thinking skills in old age
People who play games -- such as cards and board games -- are more likely to stay mentally sharp in later life, a study suggests.
Aerobic exercise and heart-healthy diet may slow development of memory problems
Recently, researchers examined two potential ways to slow the development of mild cognitive impairment based on what we know about preventing heart disease.
'Climate change is a disability rights issue'
In a high-profile Letter in Science, University of Konstanz climate scientist and ecologist Dr Aleksandra Kosanic, an Associate Fellow of the University of Konstanz's Zukunftskolleg, draws attention to the fact that disabled populations have, until now, been absent from international conversations about climate change and its impact.
Novel theranostic reagent could enhance detection and therapy of prostate cancer
A novel nuclear medicine radiotracer could help identify the extent of metastatic prostate cancer and select patients for therapy.
Human migration out of Africa may have followed monsoons in the Middle East
A new study published this week [Nov. 25, 2019] in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by American and Israeli geoscientists and climatologists provides evidence that summer monsoons from Asia and Africa may have reached into the Middle East for periods of time going back at least 125,000 years, providing suitable corridors for human migration.
Investigators narrow in on a microRNA for treating multiple sclerosis
Investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital have discovered a microRNA -- a small RNA molecule -- that increases during peak disease in a mouse model of MS and in untreated MS patients.
Industrial bread dough kneaders could use physics-based redesign
When making bread, it's important not to overknead the dough, because this leads to a dense and tight dough due to a reduced water absorption capacity that impairs its ability to rise.
Earthquakes, chickens, and bugs, oh my!
Computer scientists at the University of California, Riverside have developed two algorithms that will improve earthquake monitoring and help farmers protect their crops from dangerous insects, or monitor the health of chickens and other animals.
Psychological well-being at 52 years could impact on cognitive functioning at 69 years
Miharu Nakanishi, Chief Researcher of Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science, and her colleagues finds that psychological well-being at 52 years were prospectively associated with cognitive function at 69 years.
A novel pathway to target colorectal cancer
Survival rates for patients with late-stage colorectal cancer are dismal, and new therapeutic strategies are needed to improve outcomes.
Scientists clarify light harvesting in green algae
A new study by Chinese and Japanese researchers has now characterized the light-harvesting system of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, a common unicellular green alga.
CHIRPY DRAGON intervention prevents obesity in urban Chinese children
A school- and family-based intervention, called the CHIRPY DRAGON program, may be an effective intervention for preventing obesity in children in urban China, according to a study published Nov.
How to measure inequality as 'experienced difference'
Researchers propose a novel twist on the widely used Gini coefficient--a workhorse statistical measure for gauging the gap between haves and have-nots.
Saving bats from wind turbine death
Wind energy holds great promise as a source of renewable energy, but some have wondered addressing climate change has taken precedence over conservation of biodiversity.
Image release: Giant magnetic ropes in a galaxy's halo
Composite image reveals previously-unseen magnetic structures extending into the extended halo of a galaxy.
Building a better flu shot
Getting the flu shot can reduce the chances of infection.
Leftover grain from breweries could be converted into fuel for homes
A Queen's University Belfast researcher has developed a low cost technique to convert left over barley from alcohol breweries into carbon, which could be used as a renewable fuel for homes in winter, charcoal for summer barbecues or water filters in developing countries.
Autism and ADHD share genes
Researchers from the national psychiatric project iPSYCH have found that autism and ADHD share changes in the same genes.
Analysis of US life expectancy
Examining life expectancy in the United States over nearly 60 years and identifying factors that contributed to recent increases in mortality were the focus of this expansive report.
More medical students are telling their schools about disabilities, and getting a response
The percentage of medical students who told their schools that they have a disability rose sharply in recent years, a new study shows.
What keeps cells in shape? New research points to 2 types of motion
The health of cells is maintained, in part, by 2 types of movement of their nucleoli.
Unique sledge dogs helped the Inuit thrive in the North American Arctic
A unique group of dogs helped the Inuit conquer the tough terrain of the North American Arctic, major new analysis of the remains of hundreds of animals shows.
Successful alcohol, drug recovery hampered by discrimination
Even after resolving a problem with alcohol and other drugs, adults in recovery report experiencing both minor or 'micro' forms of discrimination such as personal slights, and major or 'macro' discrimination such as violation of their personal rights.
New migraine medications could endanger patients with high blood pressure
New migraine medications block αCGRP, a neuropeptide which causes vasodilation, for example in the meninges.
Swiss army knife for genome research
Multifunctional tool CRUP makes enhancer prediction quick and easy.
Linking wound healing and cancer risk
When our skin is damaged, a whole set of biological processes springs into action to heal the wound.
New study shows unique magnetic transitions in quasicrystal-like structures
Quasicrystals are one of the most peculiar structures in nature.
Chemical herders could impact oil spill cleanup
Oil spills in the ocean can cause devastation to wildlife, so effective cleanup is a top priority.
Using fungi to search for medical drugs
An enormous library of products derived from more than 10,000 fungi could help us find new drugs.
Smooth operator: When earnings management is a good thing
New research from the Kelley School of Business makes the case that 'smoothing the numbers' can be beneficial -- if you have the right team in place to handle the job.
Recovery from years of inactivity requires focusing on doing resistance exercises rapidly
Several years of hospitalisation, one example of muscle inactivity, causes a disproportionate decline in the muscle strength known to affect balance, increase the risk of joint injuries, and hinder movements involved in sports.
Therapeutic inhibition of Mcl-1 blocks cell survival in estrogen receptor-positive breast cancers
While estrogen receptor - + breast cancers express high levels of three anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 family members, pharmacological inhibition of Bcl-2 and/or Bcl-xL fails to induce cell death in ER + breast cancer cell lines, due to rapid and robust Mcl-1 upregulation.
We demand it! Make it happen. Help!
Over 40% of online petitions started by residents of central Russia get results.
Finding Nemo's family: a good home is more important than good genes
The reproductive success of the clownfish depends on the quality of its home, not its genes.
A protein tag to study the immune system
Researchers from VIB-UGent Center for Medical Biotechnology, University of Iowa (USA) and other collaborators, developed a novel approach to better understand a basic defense mechanism of our immune system.
People who qualify for Medicare due to disability account for most opioid-related deaths
New findings from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston found that Medicare beneficiaries who qualify because of a disability are a growing group of patients hospitalized for opioid or heroin overdose and account for 25 percent of deaths from prescription opioid overdose each year.
Imaging study provides new biological insights on functional neurological disorder
New research has uncovered pathways in the brain's white matter that may be altered in patients with functional neurological disorder.
From firearms to fish -- following patterns to discover causality
Mathematicians have successfully applied a new, pictorial approach to answer complex questions that puzzle analysts, such as, do media stories on firearm legislation influence gun sales?
Politically extreme counties may act as magnets, migration patterns suggest
In a study of county-to-county migration patterns in the US, researchers found that when people migrate, they tend to move to other counties that reflect their political preferences.
Mommy drinking is on the upswing -- but women without children still drink more
Men and women are continuing to increase binge drinking, regardless of parenting status, according to a new study at Columbia.
Harvesting fog can provide fresh water in desert regions
Fog harvesting is a potential practical source of fresh water in foggy coastal deserts, and current solutions rely on meter scale nets/meshes.
Scientists inch closer than ever to signal from cosmic dawn
Researchers using the Murchison Widefield Array radio telescope have taken a new and significant step toward detecting a signal from the period in cosmic history when the first stars lit up the universe.
Did human hunting activities alone drive great auks' extinction?
New insight on the extinction history of a flightless seabird that vanished from the shores of the North Atlantic during the 19th century has been published today in eLife.
Study pinpoints possible cause of noise-related blood vessel damage, heart disease
Researchers have identified a potential mechanism through which long-term exposure to noise leads to inflammation, blood vessel damage, and heart disease
Scientists outline 10 simple rules for the computational modelling of behavioural data
New guidelines for scientists who use computational modelling to analyse behavioural data have been published today in the open-access journal eLife.
Building a better battery with machine learning
In two new papers, researchers at the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have turned to the power of machine learning and artificial intelligence to dramatically accelerate battery discovery.
Splicing factor to blame in triple negative breast cancer
If your DNA is a cookbook, a single gene is a recipe.
Caring for family is what motivates people worldwide
A study of more than 7,000 people from 27 countries, led by scientists in the Arizona State University Department of Psychology, has found that what motivates people the most is caring for their family.
Research suggests coffee consumption is associated with reduced risk of metabolic syndrome
A report from the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee (ISIC) highlights the potential role of coffee consumption in reducing the risk of developing MetS, a condition which is estimated to affect more than one billion people across the globe.
Recrutement of a lateral root developmental pathway into root nodule formation of legumes
Peas and other legumes develop spherical or cylindrical structures -- called nodules -- in their roots to establish a mutually beneficial relationship with bacteria that convert atmospheric nitrogen into a useable nutrient for the legume plant.
Autism-related genetic mutations occur in aging brains of Alzheimer's patients
A new Tel Aviv University study finds that autism-related genetic mutations occur in the aging brains of Alzheimer's patients.
New method enables easier and faster detection of celiac disease antibodies
Researchers from the University of Helsinki, Finland, developed a novel diagnostic method for the rapid on-site measurement of antibodies from patient samples.
A record-setting transistor
A transistor that could be the key to higher bandwidth wireless communications...while requiring less battery life.
Object-related choking deaths decrease among kids
Deaths from choking on objects among children and teens decreased from 1968 to 2017 in this analysis that spans 50 years when efforts to prevent these deaths included a federal law, other regulations, choking hazard warning labels and public awareness campaigns.
Life, liberty -- and access to microbes?
Poverty increases the risk for numerous diseases by limiting people's access to healthy food, environments and stress-free conditions.
HIV: Overwhelming the enemy from the start
Virologist Eric Cohen and his team have identified a way to thwart HIV infection at its very early stages.
New modeling will shed light on policy decisions' effect on migration from sea level rise
A new modeling approach can help researchers, policymakers and the public better understand how policy decisions will influence human migration as sea levels rise around the globe.
Regulator of plant immunity tagged
Discovery of signaling intermediary could lead to more pest-resistant crops.
Biennial mammography screening yields more advanced-stage cancers
Cancers found in patients undergoing annual mammography screening are smaller and less advanced than those found in patients undergoing screenings every two years, according to a new study.
Schools, parents and grandparents hold key to unlocking China's obesity problem
Educating parents and grandparents -- as well as improving physical activity and the food provided at school -- could hold the key to solving China's obesity pandemic, according to one of the largest trials of childhood obesity prevention in the world.
MS linked to variant of common herpes virus through new method
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have developed a new method to separate between two different types of a common herpes virus (HHV-6) that has been linked to multiple sclerosis.
McMaster researcher warns plastic pollution in Great Lakes growing concern to ecosystem
Research from a leading international expert on the health of the Great Lakes suggests that the growing intensity and scale of pollution from plastics poses serious risks to human health and will continue to have profound consequences on the ecosystem.
Theorem explains why quantities such as heat and power can fluctuate in microscopic system
Brazilian researchers participate in theoretical study that could have practical applications in nanoscale machine optimization.
Woody plants with undesirable tendencies
A weed is normally defined as a plant, native or non-native, that is not valued where it is growing.
Ternary acceptor and donor materials increase photon harvesting in organic solar cells
Organic solar cells are steadily improving as new materials are developed for the active layer, and a paper published this week in Applied Physics Reviews presents a practical guide for selecting materials for ternary organic solar cells.
Conservation of biodiversity is like an insurance policy for the future of mankind
Fens and bogs are valuable research environments for paleoecologists due to ancient fossils that have survived in the peatland for thousands of years.
Hourglass-shaped silicon nanowire photodiodes with increased absorption of light developed
The research team led by Professor Chang-Ki Baek proposed vertical silicone nanowires with high sensitivity by using silicone and semiconductor process.
Producing better guides for medical-image analysis
MIT researchers have devised a method that accelerates the process for creating and customizing templates used in medical-image analysis, to guide disease diagnosis.
Choking deaths in US children drop by 75% in past 50 years
Children's deaths from choking on small objects dropped by 75% from 1968 to 2017, according to a report published in JAMA.
Working-age Americans dying at higher rates, especially in economically hard-hit states
Mortality rates among working-age Americans continue to climb, causing a decrease in US life expectancy that is severely impacting certain regions of the United States, according to a Virginia Commonwealth University study set to publish Tuesday in JAMA.
NUS researchers use machine learning tools to reveal how memories are coded in the brain
These findings indicate that stable short-term memory information exists within a population of neurons with dynamic activity.
KBRI team reduces neurodegeneration associated with dementia in animal models
Korean research team made up of Dr. Hyung-Jun Kim and Shinrye Lee of KBRI, and professor Kiyoung Kim of Soonchunhyang University, found a new molecular mechanism of suppressing neuronal toxicity associateded dementia and Lou Gehrig's disease.
Coastal fog linked to high levels of mercury found in mountain lions, study finds
Researchers at UC Santa Cruz have discovered elevated levels of mercury in mountain lions, the latest indication that the neurotoxin is being carried in fog, deposited on the land, and making its way up the food chain.
Crossing borders and growing resistance: a superbug from south Asia
Using whole genome sequencing, researchers have been able to trace the origins and global spread of a multi-drug resistant, community Staphylococcus aureus lineage from the Indian subcontinent, known as the Bengal Bay clone.
Insights into a versatile molecular death switch
The enzyme caspase-8 regulates different modes of cell death, a publication by Hamid Kashkar in 'Nature' shows.
Changes in pupils after asymptomatic high-acceleration head impacts indicate changes in brain function
Researchers used quantitative pupillometry to detect pupillary changes in high-school athletes after they sustained a high-acceleration head impact.
Doctors should avoid co-prescribing benzodiazepines to opioid dependent patients
Doctors should avoid co-prescribing benzodiazepines to opioid dependent patients who are being treated with methadone or buprenorphine, also known as opioid agonist treatment (OAT), due to a three-fold increase in risk of overdose death, according to a study led by researchers at the University of Bristol.
Cancer research that's out-of-this-world
University of Technology (UTS) researcher Dr. Joshua Chou is looking to replicate the promising results of experiments he has carried out on cancer cells in the zero gravity chamber built by his team in the UTS School of Biomedical Engineering.
We love coffee, tea, chocolate and soft drinks so much, caffeine is literally in our blood
Scientists may have proven how much people love coffee, tea, chocolate, soda and energy drinks as they validated their new method for studying how different drugs interact in the body.
December's SLAS Discovery special issue now available
The December issue of SLAS Discovery features part two of the two-part special issue, ''Membrane Proteins: New Approaches to Probes, Technologies and Drug Design.''

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