Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 31, 2019
NASA finds Tropical Storm Calvinia moving away from Mauritius
Visible imagery from NASA's Aqua satellite on Dec. 31, 2019 revealed that Tropical Cyclone Calvinia had moved south of the island of Mauritius in the Southern Indian Ocean.

eDNA expands species surveys to capture a more complete picture
Tiny bits of DNA collected from waters off the West Coast allowed scientists to identify more species of marine vertebrates than traditional surveys with trawl nets.

How the brain balances pleasure and pain
The region of the brain called the ventral pallidum balances signals that either excite or inhibit neurons to influence the motivation of an animal to seek pleasure or avoid pain.

Betrayed by bile: bile acids help norovirus sneak into cells
Human noroviruses, the leading viral cause of foodborne illness and acute diarrhea around the world, infect cells of the small intestine by piggybacking on a normal cellular process called endocytosis that cells use to acquire materials from their environment.

Objective subtle cognitive difficulties predict amyloid accumulation and neurodegeneration
Researchers report that accumulating amyloid protein occurred faster among persons deemed to have 'objectively-defined subtle cognitive difficulties' (Obj-SCD) than among persons considered to be 'cognitively normal,' offering a potential new early biomarker for Alzheimer's disease.

Trial suggests babies in intensive care can be better protected from parental bacteria
Now, a Johns Hopkins Medicine research team reports it has developed and tested a relatively simple strategy for reducing the chance of parents exposing their babies in the NICU to one of the most commonly diagnosed and potentially deadly microbial scourges in a hospital: Staphylococcus aureus.

Mayo clinic researchers test novel injection of gene therapy vectors into the kidney
Before gene therapy can be used to treat renal diseases, delivery of therapeutic genes to the kidney must become much more efficient.

From crab studies, a broader approach to identifying brain cells
In a new study, a team born in part at the Neural Systems & Behavior course in Woods Hole tests the notion that a cell's identity can be described solely by the genes it expresses.

Making blood on demand: How far have we come?
The authors conclude the review with a summary of future perspectives, in which they discuss how newly developed techniques, like the deactivated-Cas9 (dCas9) gene-expression control system, can be utilized during the course of hematopoietic differentiation of pluripotent stem cells for precise temporal control of the aforementioned master regulators to achieve functional HSCs.

A new breakthrough in developing effective antimalarial drugs
Parasites in the genus Plasmodium, which cause malaria, are transmitted to humans through bites from infected mosquitoes.

Possible dementia vaccine closer after mice studies
A vaccine to ward off dementia may proceed to clinical trials after successful animal testing.

NASA finds a weaker Sarai now a depression
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite provided forecasters with an image of Tropical Cyclone Sarai and it showed a much weaker storm near Tonga in the South Pacific Ocean.

Topological semimetals can generate sizable transverse thermoelectric figure of merit
Thermoelectric materials can convert temperature difference in a conducting solid into electrical energy, or vice versa.
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