Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 30, 2019
The growing Tibetan Plateau shaped the modern biodiversity
The growing Tibetan Plateau since the Cenozoic has shifted the life's history by changing the regional geography and global climate; however, little is known about the details of the process.

How do conifers survive droughts? Study points to existing roots, not new growth
As the world warms, a new study is helping scientists understand how coniferous forests may respond to drought.

Scientists link La Niña climate cycle to increased diarrhea
A study in Botswana by Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health scientists finds that spikes in cases of life-threatening diarrhea in young children are associated with La Niña climate conditions.

A fragile balance
The sea encircling Antarctica mixes water from all the ocean basins.

Fewer than half of California pharmacies provide correct drug disposal info
Fewer than half of California pharmacies provided correct prescription drug disposal details, a percentage that dropped if 'secret shoppers' made their call on a weekend, according to a brief research report published online Dec.

Pharmacies leave customers hanging when it comes to disposing of antibiotics and opioids
A telephone survey conducted by researchers at UC San Francisco found that fewer than half of California pharmacies provided disposal instructions meeting US Food and Drug Administration guidelines, and just 10% followed the FDA's preferred recommendation to take back unused medications from their customers.

Harnessing hot carriers for high efficiency solar cells
Materials that can slow the cooling of highly energetic hot carriers could capture extra energy from the Sun.

First study to compare citrus varieties with combination of metabolomics and microbiome
Citrus greening disease, or Huanglongbing (HLB), is deadly, incurable, and the most significant threat to the citrus industry.

North Atlantic Current may cease temporarily in the next century
The North Atlantic Current transports warm water from the Gulf of Mexico towards Europe, providing much of north-western Europe with a relatively mild climate.

How cells learn to 'count'
One of the wonders of cell biology is its symmetry.

What comes first, beta-amyloid plaques or thinking and memory problems?
The scientific community has long believed that beta-amyloid, a protein that can clump together and form sticky plaques in the brain, is the first sign of Alzheimer's disease.

NASA tracks Tropical Storm Sarai moving away from Fiji
NASA's Terra satellite passed over the Southern Pacific Ocean on Dec.

Findings strengthen link between vitamin A acetate and vaping-associated lung injuries
New research reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center strengthens prior findings on the link between vitamin E acetate and EVALI (E-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury).

Replacing one gas with another helps efficiently extract methane from permafrost
Scientists from Skoltech and Heriot-Watt University proposed extracting methane by injecting flue gas into permafrost hydrate reservoirs.

Learning from the bears
Grizzly bears spend many months in hibernation, but their muscles do not suffer from the lack of movement.

Samara Polytech scientists has developed a new concept of mathematical modeling
Scientists at the Samara Polytech are developing a new area of mathematical modeling of locally nonequilibrium transfer processes and methods for their study.

Life could have emerged from lakes with high phosphorus
Life as we know it requires phosphorus, and lots of it.

Study: Children who drank whole milk had lower risk of being overweight or obese
Research led by St. Michael's Hospital of Unity Health Toronto and published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition analyzed 28 studies from seven countries that explored the relationship between children drinking cow's milk and the risk of being overweight or obese.

The mysterious case of the ornamented coot chicks has a surprising explanation
The American coot is a somewhat drab water bird with gray and black feathers and a white beak, common in wetlands throughout North America.

Combining neurologic and blood pressure drugs reduces breast tumor development in mice
Adding a medication used to treat epilepsy, bipolar disorder and migraines to a blood pressure medicine reversed some aspects of breast cancer in the offspring of mice at high risk of the disease because of the high fat diet fed to their mothers during pregnancy.

Long-dormant disease becomes most dominant foliar disease in New York onion crops
Until recently, Stemphylium leaf blight has been considered a minor foliar disease as it has not done much damage in New York since the early 1990s.

How fish fins evolved just before the transition to land
Research on fossilized fish details the evolution of fins as they began to transition into limbs fit for walking on land.

Novel combination of antibodies leads to significant improvement in cancer immunotherapy
The simultaneous use of antibodies based on two differing mechanisms of action leads to a more effective destruction of tumors.

Unhappy revolutionaries
Researchers from HSE University have shown that the 2010 happiness level of citizens from Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, and other Arab countries could provide a much more accurate forecast of the Arab Spring events than purely economic indices, such as GDP per capita and unemployment rate.

Better anchor roots help crops grow in poor soils
A newly discovered plant metabolite that promotes anchor root growth may prove valuable in helping crops grow in nutrient-deficient soils.

Short or long sleep associated with Pulmonary Fibrosis
Scientists have discovered that people who regularly sleep for more than 11 hours or less than 4 hours are 2-3 times more likely to have the incurable disease, pulmonary fibrosis, compared to those that sleep for 7 hours in a day.

NASA sees Mauritius covered by Tropical Storm Calvinia
Tropical Cyclone Calvinia formed on Dec. 29 and by the next day, its clouds from a band of thunderstorms on its western side had blanketed the island of Mauritius in the Southern Indian Ocean.

How bacteria control their cell cycle
Researchers at the Biozentrum of the University have demonstrated how bacteria coordinate cell division with the replication of their genetic material.

More Chinese scientists in America are going back home
A growing number of Chinese scientists working in the United States and other parts of the world are returning to their homeland, enhancing China's research productivity.

Persistent organic pollutants in mother's blood linked to smaller fetal size
Pregnant women exposed to persistent organic pollutants, or POPs, had slightly smaller fetuses than women who haven't been exposed to these chemicals, according to an analysis of ultrasound scans by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and other institutions.

When automotive assembly plants close, deaths from opioid overdoses rise
Closing of local automotive assembly plants may lead to increases in deaths from opioid overdose, according to a study led by researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and the Massachusetts General Hospital.

Strategies to generate larger pores in metal-organic frameworks
Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are porous crystalline materials assembled from organic ligands and metal nodes.

MIV-711 not associated with pain reduction, but may reduce disease progression in osteoarthritis
MIV-711, a novel selective cathepsin K inhibitor, was not more effective than placebo for reducing pain related to knee osteoarthritis.

Individualized physical therapy reduces incontinence, pain in men after prostate surgery
For decades, therapy to strengthen pelvic muscles has been the standard treatment for men dealing with urinary incontinence after prostate surgery.

Direct-to-consumer fertility tests confuse and mislead consumers, Penn study shows
Direct-to-consumer hormone-based 'fertility testing' for women is viewed by consumers as both an alternative, empowering tool for family planning, and a confusing and misleading one, according to the results of a new study from Penn Medicine.

Bioelectric stimulation to clear skin lesions
The delivery of ultrashort pulses of electrical energy represents a promising nonthermal, nonscarring method of inducing regulated cell death in common skin lesions.
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