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Science News | Science Current Events | Brightsurf | January 14, 2020


Flame retardants and pesticides overtake heavy metals as biggest contributors to IQ loss
Adverse outcomes from childhood exposures to lead and mercury are on the decline in the United States, likely due to decades of restrictions on the use of heavy metals, a new study finds.
Healthier school meals are evidence of the success of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act
In this editorial, concerns used to support the rollbacks of nutrition standards set forth in the 2010 Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act are analyzed, with researchers finding not only that these concerns are not supported by evidence, but also that the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act had notable positive effects on the dietary quality of meals served to school-aged children.
Many older people's glasses of wrong power
Overall, Swedish 70-year-olds' eyesight is good, but many could see even better.
Study weighs deep-sea mining's impact on microbes
The essential roles that microbes play in deep-sea ecosystems are at risk from the potential environmental impacts of mining, a new paper in Limnology and Oceanography reports.
Having less sex linked to earlier menopause
Women who engage in sexual activity weekly or monthly have a lower risk of entering menopause early relative to those who report having some form of sex less than monthly, according to a new UCL study.
Infectious disease defenses among ancient hominid contributions to adaptation of modern humans
In a new study published in the advanced online edition of Molecular Biology and Evolution, scientists Alexandre Gouy and Laurent Excoffier have developed new computational tools to better analyze human genome datasets, and found more evidence of a legacy of ancient hominid adaptation, particularly to help fight off infectious diseases like malaria.
Hot OLEDs can 'switch back'
Organic LEDs have found their way into commercially relevant applications such as smartphone displays and TV screens.
Racial disparities in heart failure explained
Researchers at UT Southwestern have uncovered evidence that the higher prevalence of 'malignant' enlargement of the heart among blacks contributes to the higher incidence of heart failure in this population.
Exosomes promote remarkable recovery in stroke
Scientists present brain-imaging data for a new stroke treatment that supported full recovery in swine, modeled with the same pattern of neurodegeneration as seen in humans with severe stroke.
Colloidal quantum dot laser diodes are just around the corner
Los Alamos scientists have incorporated meticulously engineered colloidal quantum dots into a new type of light emitting diodes (LEDs) containing an integrated optical resonator, which allows them to function as lasers.
Newly discovered genetic element adjusts coat color in dogs
Why are Irish Setters so red while other breeds can come in different hues?
Voltage induced 'Super-fluid like' penetration effects in Liquid metals at room temperature
Researchers from the University of Wollongong, Australia, have made the startling discovery that a room-temperature liquid metals show a ''superfluid-like'' effect of passing through porous materials.
Plant genomes reveal the basis for adaptation to contrasting climates
In the face of rapid climate change, it is important that plants can adapt quickly to new conditions to ensure their survival.
New parasitoid wasp species discovered in the Amazon -- can manipulate host's behavior
A research group from the Biodiversity Unit of the University of Turku studies the diversity of parasitoid insects around the world.
Ben-Gurion University researchers develop new realtime soil nitrate sensor
The new optical nitrate sensor is based on absorption spectroscopy.
New discovery on the activity and function of MAIT cells during acute HIV infection
In a new study published in Nature Communications, researchers at Karolinska Institutet show that MAIT cells (mucosa-associated invariant T cells), part of the human immune system, respond with dynamic activity and reprogramming of gene expression during the initial phase of HIV infection.
Getting to the heart of epinephrine use in pediatric cardiac arrest patients
The effectiveness of epinephrine treatment during resuscitation of adult patients with cardiac arrest is generally promising, but little is known about its effects in pediatric patients.
A solid vaccine for liquid tumors
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a deadly blood cancer that kills most of its victims within five years.
Miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy may trigger long-term post-traumatic stress
One in six women experience long-term post-traumatic stress following miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy.
Did increasing vegetable consumption reduce the risk of prostate cancer progression?
This randomized clinical trial among more than 400 men with early-stage prostate cancer looked at whether a telephone-based program encouraging increased vegetable consumption would decrease cancer progression over two years.
More federal funding needed to increase Americans' active transportation habits
'In general, women will only cycle if they think the entire ride will be safe,' said Buehler.
Surprising beauty found in bacterial cultures
Researchers at University of California San Diego have discovered that when certain microbes pair up, stunning floral patterns emerge.
Generation and manipulation of spin currents for advanced electronic devices
ICN2 researchers, in the framework of the Graphene Flagship, at the UAB campus, demonstrate that spin currents can be generated and manipulated in graphene-based heterostructures at room temperature.
School indoor air quality cannot be reliably assessed based on pupils' symptoms
The association between indoor air quality of the school building and the pupils' symptoms was so weak that it is not possible to reliably assess the quality of the indoor air based on the amount of reported symptoms.
X-rays and gravitational waves will combine to illuminate massive black hole collisions
A new study by a group of researchers at the University of Birmingham has found that collisions of supermassive black holes may be simultaneously observable in both gravitational waves and X-rays at the beginning of the next decade.
Researchers discover new strategy in the fight against antibiotic resistance
Bioscience engineers from KU Leuven in Belgium have developed a new antibacterial strategy that weakens bacteria by preventing them from cooperating.
Street network patterns reveal worrying worldwide trend towards urban sprawl
New research from McGill University and the University of California, Santa Cruz has found that the local streets of the world's cities are becoming less connected, a global trend that is driving urban sprawl and discouraging the use of public transportation.
Antibiotics often sold without prescription in retail pharmacies in China
It is easy to obtain antibiotics without prescription in retail pharmacies in China, even though selling antibiotics without a prescription conflicts with regulations, a study published in the open-access journal Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control suggests.
Resale ticket markets benefit sports teams and fans
New research co-authored by Yanwen Wang, an assistant professor in the UBC Sauder School of Business, reveals that the resale ticket market also appeals to sports fans who normally buy season tickets.
New small molecule to treat Alzheimer's disease and Dravet syndrome
Gladstone researchers, in collaboration with Genentech, a member of the Roche group, have shown therapeutic efficacy of a new experimental drug in mouse models of Alzheimer's disease and a rare genetic form of epilepsy known as Dravet syndrome.
Reduced inhaler use is safe for infants with bronchiolitis
Bronchiolitis, a lung infection that is one of the most common reasons for hospitalizations in young children, is most prevalent during the winter months and is usually treated with albuterol delivered via inhalers, despite evidence showing no benefit in most patients.
OHSU research informs NIH panel on achieving equity in preventive health services
In a review of 120 previously published articles, researchers at the Pacific Northwest Evidence-based Practice Center at Oregon Health & Science University assessed the effects of barriers that create health disparities in 10 select preventive services, such as cancer screening, smoking cessation or obesity management, and the effectiveness of interventions to reduce barriers.
Room-temperature multiferroicity in 2D ultrathin-layers and diversified magnetoelectric couplings
The coexistence of vertical ferroelectricity and ferromagnetism with both Curie temperatures above room-temperature is predicted in ultrathin-layer CuCrS2 and CuCrSe2.A considerable net magnetization can be reversed upon a ferroelectric switching, where the change in spin-resolved band structure also renders efficient ''magnetic reading + electrical writing''.
Cannabinoids improve symptoms in mice with endometriosis
Initial results from treating endometriosis in mice with cannabinoids suggest they can alleviate some symptoms of the disease, according to a new study in the open-access journal eLife.
Who's liable? The AV or the human driver?
Researchers at Columbia Engineering and Columbia Law School have developed a joint fault-based liability rule that can be used to regulate both self-driving car manufacturers and human drivers.
Study examines attitudes toward transgender athletes
As several states draft legislation that would force student-athletes to play as their gender identified on their birth certificate instead of on a team that matches their gender identity, a team of political scientists investigated underlying factors that drive public opinion on transgender athletes.
Large study of genetic differences reveals several new targets for variety of diseases
A large, multicenter study led by researchers at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) compared the genomic data of more than 100,000 people of European ancestry and discovered how relatively rare, albeit recurrent, genetic variations can influence a variety of common diseases.
A simple twist of cell fate
U-M researchers are shedding new light on the ways in which two omnipresent proteins -- p53 and WRD5 -- can influence the fate of stem cells during development, with exciting implications for research and health.
Silica particles may lead to new treatments for obesity and diabetes
Engineered ingestible molecular traps created from mesoporous silica particles (MSPs) introduced to the gut can have an effect on food efficiency and metabolic risk factors.
The targeted LHRH analog AEZS-108 alters expression of genes related to angiogenesis and development
In the present study, the research team investigated AEZS-108 induced cytotoxicity and the altered mRNA expression profile of regulatory factors related to angiogenesis and metastasis in LHRH receptor-positive OCM3 cells.
Slow light to speed up LiDAR sensors development
Quicker is not always better, especially when it comes to a 3D sensor in advanced technology.
Global warming to increase violent crime in the United States
A new study predicts millions of additional violent crimes in coming decades.
Neither fishing tales nor sailor's yarn
An international team led by Robert Arlinghaus from the Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries and the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin have developed a method for combining the empirical knowledge of fishery stakeholders in such a way that the result corresponds to the best scientific understanding.
Cat parasite reduces general anxiety in infected mice, not just fear of feline predators
The cat parasite Toxoplasma gondii is known to cause infected rodents to lose their fear of feline predators, which makes them easier to catch.
Examining changes to FDA approval, regulation of pharmaceuticals over 4 decades
Publicly available and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) data were used in this observational study to describe the number and types of prescription drugs approved from 1983 to 2018 and how the approval process and regulation of drugs changed during this period.
New E. coli-infecting bacteriophage introduced in PHAGE
A new coliphage -- a bacteriophage that infects and can destroy Escherichia coli -- is presented and characterized in PHAGE: Therapy, Applications, and Research, a new peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers launching in early 2020.
Study suggests new strategy for treating advanced, progressing bile duct cancer
A new study led by researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - Arthur G.
Researchers develop tool to identify molecular receptors in worms
Worcester Polytechnic Institute researchers have developed a laboratory tool that could speed up basic research for scientists working with the nematode C. elegans by tagging molecular receptors that are involved in sensing pheromones.
New study finds evidence for reduced brain connections in schizophrenia
Advances in scanning have allowed researchers for the first time to show lower levels of a protein found in the connections between neurons in the living brains of people with schizophrenia.
From smoke going round the world to aerosol levels, NASA observes Australia's bushfires
NASA scientists using data from its NOAA/NASA Suomi NPP satellite, has traced the movement of the smoke coming off the Australian fires across the globe showing that it has circumnavigated the Earth.
The wisdom of crowds: What smart cities can learn from a dead ox and live fish
Antonie J. Jetter, associate professor of Engineering and Technology Management at Portland State University, studied the wisdom of crowds theory.
Analyzing DNA in soil could be an effective way of tracking animals
Genetic material left behind by animals can provide critical clues to aid conservation and research.
A smart way to predict building energy consumption
In a time of aging infrastructure and increasingly smart control of buildings, the ability to predict how buildings use energy -- and how much energy they use -- has remained elusive, until now.
Scientists hope to defeat infections after discovering bacterial espionage
University of Tartu scientists hope create a solution for chronic infections that do not respond to antibiotic treatment after having discovered mechanisms for listening in on sleeping bacteria.
Chronic inflammation may turn skin-protecting antibody into a tumor promoter
One of the skin's defenses against environmental assault can help tumors to grow when skin is exposed to chronic inflammation, finds a study in mice published today in eLife.
Study finds persistent gender gap in medical paper publication
A new study in the journal Family Practice, published by Oxford University Press, shows that there remains a meaningful gender gap between the number of biomedical papers written by women and those written by men.
Conversational difficulties with father affect adolescent health
Conversational difficulties with father after a divorce affects the children's health negatively.
Skin cancer suppressor found by Bath scientists
A promising route to develop new treatments for skin cancer has been identified by the UK's University of Bath scientists, who have found a molecule that suppresses melanoma tumour growth.
Two cancer-causing genes work together to promote metastasis
Cancer-promoting genes MYC and TWIST1 co-opt immune system cells to enable cancer cells to spread, but blocking a key step in this process can help prevent the disease from developing.
Including irregular time intervals improves animal movement studies
Studies of animal movement and behavior--including those addressing disease spread and animal conservation--should monitor animals at both regular and irregular time points to improve understanding of animal movement behavior, according to a new study by Penn State statisticians.
Galactic gamma-ray sources reveal birthplaces of high-energy particles
Nine sources of extremely high-energy gamma rays comprise a new catalog compiled by researchers with the High-Altitude Water Cherenkov (HAWC) Gamma-Ray Observatory.
Hydrogen alarm for remote hydrogen leak detection
Tomsk Polytechnic University jointly with the University of Chemistry and Technology of Prague proposed new sensors based on widely available optical fiber to ensure accurate detection of hydrogen molecules in the air.
Impaired driving -- even once the high wears off
McLean researchers have discovered that recreational marijuana use affects driving ability even when users are not intoxicated.
Sugar changes the chemistry of your brain
The idea of food addiction is a very controversial topic among scientists.
New technology for pre-replenishing lithium for lithium ion supercapacitors
Li3N containing electrode is prepared by a commercially adoptable route, using DMF to homogenate the electrode slurry.
Only 1 in 4 Medicare patients participate in cardiac rehabilitation
Only about 24% of Medicare patients who could receive outpatient cardiac rehabilitation participate in the program.
Clothes last longer and shed fewer microfibers in quicker, cooler washing cycles
First research into impact of wash cycle times shows that shorter, cooler washes: help clothes keep their color and last longer, when compared to warmer, longer cycles; release significantly fewer microfibers into wastewater; significantly reduce color transfer, a major cause of lights and whites becoming duller.
Opening up DNA to delete disease
Protein editorial assistants are clearing the way for cut-and-paste DNA editors, like CRISPR, to access previously inaccessible genes of interest.
What we're learning about the reproductive microbiome
Most research has focused on the oral, skin, and gut microbiomes, but bacteria, viruses, and fungi living within our reproductive systems may also affect sperm quality, fertilization, embryo implantation, and other aspects of conception and reproduction.
University of Ottawa tool to democratize nanopore research
A team of researchers at the University of Ottawa is democratizing entry into the field of nanopore research by offering up a unique tool to accelerate the development of new applications and discoveries.
Animals reduce the symmetry of their markings to improve camouflage
Some forms of camouflage have evolved in animals to exploit a loophole in the way predators perceive their symmetrical markings.
'Coolsculpting' inventors develop new non-surgical method for targeting fat
Researchers are developing a new form 'Coolsculpting' technology that can selectively reduce fat almost anywhere in the body using a safe, injectable ice solution or 'slurry.'
Life Cycle Assessment pinpoints 'sustainability hotspots' in bio-chemical production
New research concerning Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) reveals challenges and opportunities in bio-chemical production.
Cancer surgery: It depends on experience
Patients with colorectal cancer have a greater chance of survival if they are operated in hospitals with a high case load.
Researchers unlock secrets of cell division, define role for protein elevated in cancer
Researchers at Princeton University have successfully recreated a key process involved in cell division in a test tube, uncovering the vital role played by a protein that is elevated in over 25% of all cancers.
How to make it easier to turn plant waste into biofuels
Researchers have developed a new process that could make it much cheaper to produce biofuels such as ethanol from plant waste and reduce reliance on fossil fuels.
Brain blood flow sensor discovery could aid treatments for high blood pressure & dementia
A study led by researchers at UCL has discovered the mechanism that allows the brain to monitor its own blood supply, a finding in rats which may help to find new treatments for human conditions including hypertension (high blood pressure) and dementia.
Memory boost with just one look
HRL Laboratories, LLC, researchers have published results showing that targeted transcranial electrical stimulation during slow-wave sleep can improve metamemories of specific episodes by 20% after only one viewing of the episode, compared to controls.
Elevated leukemia incidence is found in World Trade Center rescue and recovery workers
Responders who worked at the World Trade Center site after the attacks on Sept.
Watching complex molecules at work
A new method of infrared spectroscopy developed at BESSY II makes single-measurement observation and analysis of very fast as well as irreversible reaction mechanisms in molecules feasible for the first time.
No need to dig too deep to find gold!
Why are some porphyry deposits rich in copper while others contain gold?
NASA-NOAA satellite imagery reveals a weaker Tropical Cyclone Claudia
Tropical Storm Claudia now has two factors against it: wind shear and dry air.  NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite provided forecasters with an image of the storm on January 14 as it continued to weaken and move further away from Western Australia.
A quicker answer on cancer, with waits cut from 84 days to 6
A rapid diagnosis center has cut waiting times for patients with non-specific symptoms who may have cancer from 84 days to six, a new study by Swansea University researchers and NHS colleagues has shown.
Siblings of children with intellectual disabilities score high on empathy and closeness
A new Tel Aviv University and University of Haifa study finds that relationships between children and their siblings with intellectual disabilities are more positive than those between typically developing siblings.
Egg trading between hermaphroditic fish: Why would you give when you can just take?
The sex life of hermaphroditic animals is determined by one fundamental question: Who assumes the female role and produces the costly eggs?
Intestine-chip populated with organoids demonstrates superior function vs. organoids alone
Emulate, Inc. published a study in the peer-reviewed journal eLife demonstrating superior human-relevant intestine function of the Duodenum Intestine-Chip populated with organoids, compared to organoids alone.
Sand mining is threatening lives along the Mekong River
It's a resource used in global construction and mined from rivers and coasts across the world.
HIV 'hotspots' not necessarily major drivers of new infections
Areas of high HIV prevalence, known as 'hotspots,' do not necessarily fuel the epidemic in the wider population, say researchers.
Heart-function protein may help muscular dystrophy patients live longer
Rutgers-led discovery may help prevent muscular dystrophy-related heart disease, the leading cause of death in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy
Hyperactive immune system gene causes schizophrenia-like changes in mice
Excessive activity of an immune system gene previously linked to schizophrenia reproduces neural and behavioral aspects of the disease in mice, according to a new study publishing on January 14 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology by Ashley Comer and Alberto Cruz-Martín of Boston University and colleagues.
Robotic gripping mechanism mimics how sea anemones catch prey
Researchers in China demonstrated a robotic gripping mechanism that mimics how a sea anemone catches its prey.
Solving complex problems at the speed of light
Many of the most challenging optimization problems encountered in various disciplines of science and engineering, from biology and drug discovery to routing and scheduling can be reduced to NP-complete problems.
In mice, alcohol dependence results in brain-wide remodeling of functional architecture
Using novel imaging technologies, researchers produce first whole-brain atlas at single-cell resolution, revealing how alcohol addiction and abstinence remodel neural physiology and function in mice.
What keeps couples together
In mammals, pair bonds are very rare, one of the few exceptions being red titi monkeys.
Final images from Cassini spacecraft
Researchers are busy analysing some of the final data sent back from the Cassini spacecraft which has been in orbit around Saturn for more than 13 years until the end of its mission in September 2017.
'Cold Neptune' and two temperate super-Earths found orbiting nearby stars
A 'cold Neptune' and two potentially habitable worlds are part of a cache of five newly discovered exoplanets and eight exoplanet candidates found orbiting nearby red dwarf stars by a team led by Carnegie's Fabo Feng and Paul Butler.
Program decreases stress among parents in low-income diverse populations
Low-income parents reported lower perceived parenting stress and better overall outcomes when parents participated in Parenting Journey, a community-delivered curriculum designed to increase resilience and support nurturing family relationships.
Not so fast: Some batteries can be pushed too far
Fast charge and discharge of some lithium-ion batteries with intentional defects degrades their performance and endurance, according to Rice University engineers.
'Marshmallow test' redux: Children show better self-control when they depend on each other
The researchers say their experiments are the first to show that children are more willing to delay gratification for cooperative reasons than for individual goals.
New research finds ranchers consider diverse factors in managing their land
In a new study published in Rangeland Ecology and Management, Ashley Dayer, an assistant professor in the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation in the College of Natural Resources and Environment at Virginia Tech, explores the diverse factors that influence how ranchers manage their land.
Gut bacteria could guard against Parkinson's, study finds
A common bacteria that boosts digestive health can slow -- and even reverse -- build-up of a protein associated with Parkinson's, new research suggests.
Unfruitful: Eating more produce will not cure, stop prostate cancer
University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers report that patients with prostate cancer assigned to eat seven or more servings of vegetables and fruits daily saw no extra protection from the increased consumption of micronutrients, running contrary to current thought.
Brain model offers new insights into damage caused by stroke and other injuries
A UB researcher has developed a computer model of the human brain that more realistically simulates actual patterns of brain impairment than existing methods.
UC Davis scientists provide novel strategies for parasitic weed control
Parasitic weeds are among the world's most economically damaging agricultural pests.
Study: Blood-clotting protein and blood platelets promote immune evasion, cancer progression
A new study led by researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - Arthur G.

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