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Science News | Science Current Events | Brightsurf | January 15, 2020


UMass Amherst researchers identify new mechanism involved in promoting breast cancer
A new approach to studying the effects of two common chemicals used in cosmetics and sunscreens found they can cause DNA damage in breast cells at surprisingly low concentrations, while the same dose did not harm cells without estrogen receptors.
B-cell enrichment predictive of immunotherapy response in melanoma, sarcoma and kidney cancer
Multiple studies out in Nature indicate that a patient's response to immune checkpoint blockade may depend on B cells located in special structures within the tumor.
Diabolical points in coupled active cavities with quantum emitters
Diabolical points (DPs) introduce ways to study topological phase and peculiar energy dispersion.
Study answers when moderate to late preterm babies go home
'When is my baby going home?' is one of the first questions asked by families of infants admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
With these neurons, extinguishing fear is its own reward
The same neurons responsible for encoding reward also form new memories to suppress fearful ones, according to new research by scientists at The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at MIT.
Beauty sleep could be real, say Body Clock biologists
Biologists from The University of Manchester have explained for the first time why having a good night's sleep really could prepare us for the rigours of the day ahead.
New neutron detector can fit in your pocket
Researchers at Northwestern University and Argonne National Laboratory have developed a new material that opens doors for a new class of neutron detectors.
Heterogeneity of liver cancer cells helps explain tumor progression in patients
Many liver cancer tumors contain a highly diverse set of cells, a phenomenon known as intra-tumor heterogeneity that can significantly affect the rate at which the cancer grows, Mount Sinai researchers report.
How coworkers impact the value of your skills
New research by Harvard's Growth Lab uncovers the importance of teams and coworkers in shaping productivity, earning potential, and stays of employment.
Global team enables child with a fatal genetic disease to recover
A young boy with a rare genetic disease that typically kills within weeks of birth is now 3 years old and in remission thanks to a collaborative effort.
Daily users account for over 80% of all cannabis consumed in Australia
A new study published in the scientific journal Addiction estimates that in Australia between 2007 and 2016, 81% to 85% of all cannabis was consumed by the 16% of all Australian cannabis users who used daily.
'Soil photosynthesis' helps to mitigate environmental pollution
An UCO research group has discovered that the effect from solar radiation produces an exchange of nitrogen gases in soil that allows for sequestering harmful gases and turning them into nitrate.
Is there a second planet orbiting the nearest star to the sun?
An analysis of cyclical changes in the light spectrum emitted by Proxima Centauri, the star closest to the Sun, suggests it may be orbited by a second planet.
Involving family in bipolar care helps children and teens stay healthier, longer
In a UCLA-led study, children and adolescents with a high risk for developing bipolar disorder stayed healthier for longer periods when their family members participated in their psychotherapy sessions.
Are sinking soils in the Everglades related to climate change?
Soils releasing carbon as gas lead to challenges on valuable farmland
Scientists breach brain barriers to attack tumors
The brain is a sort of fortress, equipped with barriers designed to keep out dangerous pathogens.
Plant pigment can significantly reduce blood pressure
A new paper in Nutrition Reviews finds that intake of the flavonoid quercetin can greatly reduce high blood pressure in patients suffering from cardiovascular disease.
NASA, NOAA analyses reveal 2019 second warmest year on record
According to independent analyses by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Earth's global surface temperatures in 2019 were the second warmest since modern recordkeeping began in 1880.
Glimpses of fatherhood found in non-pair-bonding chimps
Although they have no way of identifying their biological fathers, male chimpanzees form intimate bonds with them, a finding that questions the idea of fatherhood in some of humanity's closest relatives, according to a study of wild chimpanzees in Uganda.
Blue light can help heal mild traumatic brain injury
Daily exposure to blue wavelength light each morning helps to re-entrain the circadian rhythm so that people get better, more regular sleep which was translated into improvements in cognitive function, reduced daytime sleepiness and actual brain repair.
Exposure to chemicals in drinking water associated with 5% of annual bladder cancer burden in Europe
Macro study analyzes for the first time the presence and health impact of trihalomethanes in tap water in 26 European Union countries.
Scientists pioneer new generation of semiconductor neutron detector
In a new study, scientists have developed a new type of semiconductor neutron detector that boosts detection rates by reducing the number of steps involved in neutron capture and transduction.
Reconnecting with nature key for sustainability
People who live in more built up areas and spend less free-time in nature are also less likely to take actions that benefit the environment, such as recycling, buying eco-friendly products, and environmental volunteering.
Multimodal genomic analyses predict response to immunotherapy in lung cancer patients
Researchers at Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, the Bloomberg~Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have developed an integrated genomic approach that potentially could help physicians predict which patients with non-small cell lung cancer will respond to therapy with immune checkpoint inhibitors.
A new 'cool' blue 
Throughout history, people have sought vibrant blue pigments. The Egyptians and Babylonians used lapis lazuli 6,000 years ago.
Study: Pig virus is easily transmitted among chickens and turkeys
The first animal study of a pig virus' potential to jump to another species shows that the virus, once introduced to a select group of birds, is easily transmitted to healthy chickens and turkeys.
The mysterious movement of water molecules
Water is all around us and essential for life. Nevertheless, research into its behaviour at the atomic level -- above all how it interacts with surfaces -- is thin on the ground.
Researchers discover novel potential target for drug addiction treatment
New University of Minnesota Medical School research discovers a novel potential target for treating drug addiction through 'the hidden stars of the brain.'
Irrigation alleviates hot extremes
Researchers from ETH Zurich and other universities found evidence that expanding irrigation has dampened anthropogenic warming during hot days, with particularly strong effects over South Asia.
Building materials come alive with help from bacteria
New living building materials can grow and multiply -- and may help to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from infrastructure in the future.
Meningeal lymphatic network: A new avenue in the treatment of brain tumors
Glioblastomas are the most common type of brain tumor, and their prognosis is often highly unfavorable.
Beach-combing Neanderthals dove for shells
A new study suggests that Neanderthals in what is today Italy may have dived into the Mediterranean Sea to collect clam shells.
Discovery reveals how remora fishes know when to hitch a ride aboard their hosts
In findings published in the Journal of the Royal Society Open Science, researchers have detailed the discovery of a tactile-sensory system stowed within the suction disc of remora, believed to enable the fish to acutely sense contact pressure with host surfaces and gauge ocean forces in order to determine when to initiate their attachment, as well as adjust their hold on hosts while traversing long distances.
Immigration and transition: Emerging trends in spina bifida care
In this collection of articles in the Journal of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine (JPRM) experts highlight the emerging trends in spina bifida care in response to challenges faced by spina bifida patients and their physicians due to demographic shifts in age and ethnicity and other societal factors.
Nitrogen-fixing genes could help grow more food using fewer resources
Scientists have transferred a collection of genes into plant-colonizing bacteria that let them draw nitrogen from the air and turn it into ammonia, a natural fertilizer.
Overactive brain waves trigger essential tremor
The source of essential tremor -- involuntary, rhythmic trembling -- has been elusive, but a new study points to abnormal electrical activity in the base of the brain.
Potassium-driven rechargeable batteries: An effort towards a more sustainable environment
Concerns about the scarcity of lithium and other materials necessary in the now-ubiquitous lithium-ion batteries have recently driven many researchers to look for alternatives, such as sodium and potassium.
Toward safer disposal of printed circuit boards 
Printed circuit boards are vital components of modern electronics. However, once they have served their purpose, they are often burned or buried in landfills, polluting the air, soil and water.
NASA infrared data analyzes cloud top temperatures in Tropical Cyclone Claudia
Satellite data of Tropical Cyclone Claudia's cloud top temperatures revealed that the storm was weakening.
Tennessee review: 2% of providers account for 25% of pediatric antibiotic prescriptions
Fewer than 2% of providers accounted for 25% of antibiotic prescriptions for children in Tennessee, with the highest number of prescriptions coming from general pediatricians and those who graduated prior to 2000, according to a study published today in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.
New study on a recently discovered chlorophyll molecule could be key to better solar cells
Photosynthesis, the process by which some organisms convert sunlight into chemical energy, is well known.
New algorithm predicts gestational diabetes
Timely prediction may help prevent the condition using nutritional and lifestyle changes.
Climate change NGOs from rich countries dominate online conversation, study shows
Mass communication professors at the University of Kansas analyzed a year of Twitter activity from nearly 500 climate change NGOs from 79 countries and found those from rich nations were most engaged and had the biggest audience, leaving others at risk of not having their message heard and being left out of the global movement.
Nine researchers receive EMBO Installation Grants to establish independent laboratories
EMBO is pleased to announce that nine life scientists have been selected to receive Installation Grants, which will support them in establishing independent laboratories in the Czech Republic, Poland, Portugal and Turkey.
Scientists explain how leaf apex enhances water drainage
Chinese scientists from the Technical Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have recently shown how the tiny apex structure in plant leaves controls water drainage and confers an evolutionary advantage.
Chemicals between us: Surprising effects of oxytocin on cocaine addiction
Medical University of South Carolina researchers have discovered gender-based differences in response to therapeutic oxytocin treatment in cocaine-addicted individuals with a history of childhood trauma.
Molecular understanding of drug interactions suggests pathway to better malaria treatments
Researchers have for the first time demonstrated what happens at the molecular level when two compounds known to inhibit crystal growth were combined, yielding new insights into malaria treatments and, more broadly, improving the process of drug development.
Study shows lactate may prompt cancer formation
A byproduct of glucose called lactate, used by every cell in the body, may also prompt a mutated cell to become cancerous, according to new research from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.
Black patients have worse outcomes of lower spinal fusion surgery
Black patients undergoing lumbar (lower) spinal fusion surgery have worse outcomes -- including higher complication rates, more hospital days, and higher costs -- compared to white patients, suggests a study in Spine.
Young stem cell donors harbor undetectable mutations linked to disease
A pilot study of 25 donor-recipient pairs reveals that healthy young donors of stem cells harbor previously undetected and potentially disease-causing mutations in their blood stem cells, which were transferred to unrelated recipients of the transplants.
Emotions to help engage school students in learning
Psychology researchers from HSE University have trialed the reliability of a student engagement scale on 537 Russian primary school students.
New assessment of gas locked in ice in European waters
A study led by the University of Southampton has mapped several sites in Europe containing gas hydrate - a relatively clean fuel which could help bridge the gap between fossil fuels and renewables.
Researchers gain control over internal structure of self-assembled composite materials
Composites made from self-assembling inorganic materials are valued for their unique strength and thermal, optical and magnetic properties.
B cells: New allies in sarcoma immunotherapy?
How can we improve and better personalize the treatment of soft tissue sarcomas, these particularly resistant and aggressive forms of cancer?
Probiotic drink could offer new way to combat antibiotic resistance
A probiotic drink could become a promising new weapon in the battle against antibiotic resistant bacteria, after a team of scientists at the University of Birmingham engineered and patented a key genetic element that can tackle the genetic basis of resistance.
Single payer systems likely to save money in US, analysis finds
A single payer healthcare system would save money over time, likely even during the first year of operation, according to nearly two dozen analyses of national and statewide single payer proposals made over the past 30 years.
Spinning quantum dots
A new paper in EPJ B presents a theoretical analysis of electron spins in moving semiconductor quantum dots, showing how these can be controlled by electric fields in a way that suggests they may be usable as information storage and processing components of quantum computers.
Lame sheep adjust their behavior to cope with their condition, says a new study
Using novel sensing technology, experts from the University of Nottingham have found that lame sheep adjust how they carry out certain actives, such as walking, standing or laying down, rather than simply reducing the amount they do.
Research collaboration reveals promising drug candidate for treatment of blood cancers
An international research collaboration between the United States and Australia has revealed a promising new drug which could treat high-risk leukemia.
Astronomers reveal interstellar thread of one of life's building blocks
Phosphorus is an essential element for life as we know it.
New computational screening approach identifies potential solid-state electrolytes
Though researchers have been looking for solid-state electrolytes that could enhance both the safety and performance of lithium-ion batteries for decades, no thoroughly suitable candidate has been found.
American cancer survivors face substantial financial hardship and financial sacrifices
American cancer survivors, particularly those 64 years or younger, faced substantial medical financial hardship and sacrifices in spending, savings, or living situation, according to data from a survey.
New nanoparticle therapy offers potential new treatment for aggressive breast cancer
Researchers developed a new nanoparticle drug formulation that targets a specific receptor on cancer cells, and appears to be more effective than a standard nanoparticle therapy currently on the market to treat metastatic breast cancer.
Good connections key to startup success
The future potential of early stage startups can be assessed by their existing professional relationships, research led by a team at Queen Mary University of London suggests.
Innovative research uncovers mechanism behind epilepsy in Angelman syndrome
First-of-its-kind study led by Duke-NUS Medical School and National Neuroscience Institute (NNI) applies experimental methodology using human neural cells and brain organoids to investigate mechanism underlying epileptic seizures in Angelman syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder.
Pathogenic Alzheimer's disease cascade is activated by faulty norepinephrine signaling
Preclinical experiments have revealed a key missing piece of the Alzheimer's disease puzzle.
Be wary of online probiotic health-benefit claims
A new study cautions that while Google is adept at sorting the most reliable websites to the top of the list, most websites providing information on probiotics are from unreliable commercial sources.
Active asteroid unveils fireball identity
At around 1 a.m. local standard time on April 29, 2017, a fireball flew over Kyoto, Japan.
Certified nurse-midwives lead collaborative care model as solution to obstetrician shortage
Fewer physicians are pursuing careers in obstetrics, in part because of the intense, round-the-clock demands of the job and a high burnout rate.
Sub-national 'climate clubs' could offer key to combating climate change
'Climate clubs' offering membership for sub-national states, in addition to just countries, could speed up progress towards a globally harmonized climate change policy, which in turn offers a way to achieve stronger climate policies in all countries.
Advisers not enough to guarantee a strong retirement
Rui Yao, a nationally recognized expert on retirement savings from the University of Missouri, suggests that employees can't trust that the retirement plan sponsored by their employer is in good hands just because the plan uses an adviser.
Air pollution from oil and gas production sites visible from space
US and European satellites help scientists measure nitrogen dioxide from drilling, production and flaring.
Reinventing the computer: Brain-inspired computing for a post-Moore's Law era
Computing development has seen a consistent doubling of the number of transistors that can fit on a chip.
It's 2020: Time to teach teens 'safe' sexting
Telling youth not to 'sext' doesn't seem to be reducing the prevalence of them sharing nude photos or videos.
Bacteria and sand engineered into living concrete
Cement and concrete haven't changed much as technology in over a hundred years, but researchers in Colorado are revolutionizing building materials by literally bringing them to life.
First randomized clinical trial found no harms from dementia screening in primary care
In the first randomized controlled trial to evaluate pros and cons of population screening for dementia, Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University School of Medicine researchers found no harm, as measured by patient reported depressive and anxiety symptoms, from screening for Alzheimer's disease and related dementia in diverse rural, suburban and urban primary care clinics.
BU and Thai researchers find strengths and gaps in Thailand diabetes care
A new study by researchers from Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) and Chulalongkorn and Mahidol Universities in Bangkok identifies the strengths and weaknesses of diabetes care in Thailand's universal health system.
Texas abortion patients' more likely to attempt to end their pregnancy on their own
Seven percent of Texas abortion patients in the study reported trying to self-manage abortion before coming to a clinic for services.
Whooping cough evolving into a superbug
Whooping cough bacteria are becoming smarter at colonising and feeding off unwitting hosts -- whether they have been vaccinated or not -- strengthening calls for a new vaccine, according to UNSW researchers.
Transparency discovered in crystals with ultrahigh piezoelectricity
Use of an AC rather than a DC electric field can improve the piezoelectric response of a crystal.
Newly created embryo nourishes hope for the survival of the northern white rhino
In December 2019 the team of scientists and conservationists repeated the egg collection from the northern white rhinos in Kenya and was able to create a new embryo over Christmas.
Study of patients on heart pumps debunks myths about categories and outcomes
Findings led by investigators at Brigham and Women's Hospital could lead to a major change in thinking around adjudication of left-ventricular assist devices (LVADs) into discrete categories.
How zebra finches learn to sing
Complex learning processes like speaking or singing follow similar patterns.
Harmful effects of ageism on older persons' health found in 45 countries
In the largest examination to date of the health consequences of ageism, or age-based bias, researchers at the Yale School of Public Health have found evidence that it harms the health of older people in 45 countries and across 5 continents.
Hospital readmission policy did not increase patients' mortality risk
The Obamacare program intended to reduce the risk of patients being readmitted after hospitalizations for heart attacks, heart failure, and pneumonia has not caused an increase in mortality risk for patients in emergency departments or observational units, according to a new report.
New dinosaur discovered in China shows dinosaurs grew up differently from birds
A new species of feathered dinosaur has been discovered in China, and described by American and Chinese authors in The Anatomical Record.
Obesity crisis blamed for a rise in fatty liver disease amongst young adults
One in five young people have fatty liver disease (steatosis), with one in 40 having already developed liver scarring (fibrosis), research published today has found.
Designing better nursing care with robots
Robots are becoming an increasingly important part of human care, according to researchers based in Japan.
Imprinted color patterns
Structural colors appear because the imprinted pattern on a surface changes the wavelengths of light.
Drinking 1% rather than 2% milk accounts for 4.5 years of less aging in adults
A new study shows drinking low-fat milk -- both nonfat and 1% milk -- is significantly associated with less aging in adults.
Researchers identify gene with functional role in aging of eye
Researchers say a gene known to be a biomarker of age plays a key role in age-associated functional and anatomical aging in mouse retinas, a finding that has direct relevance to age-related eye diseases.
Dresden biologists make living sperm glow
By applying a novel method, biologists at TU Dresden have successfully analysed the metabolism of intact tissues of the fruit fly using a label-free microscopy technique.
Slow-motion interplate slip detected in the Nankai Trough near Japan
Japanese researchers used a Global Navigation Satellite System-Acoustic ranging combination technique to detect signals due to slow slip events in the Nankai Trough with seafloor deformations of 5 cm or more and durations on the order of one year.
Study contests use of smoked cannabis in treatment of cocaine addiction
Researchers in Brazil evaluated cocaine and crack addicts undergoing rehabilitation for six months and observed a higher relapse rate and worse cognitive impairment among patients who smoked cannabis to try to mitigate their craving for cocaine.
Study: Women's blood vessels age faster than men's
Many medical experts have long believed that women simply 'catch up' to men in terms of their cardiovascular risk, but new research shows for the first time that women's blood vessels age at a faster rate than men's.
Study challenges concerns over hospital readmission reduction practices
A UT Southwestern study is challenging concerns that a federal health policy enacted in 2012 to reduce hospital readmissions leaves patients more vulnerable.
Decontaminating pesticide-polluted water using engineered nanomaterial and sunlight
Atrazine is one of the most widely used pesticides in North America.
Faster, cheaper tests for myopia possible
The world's most common vision problem myopia or short/near sightedness, which causes damage to the eye and even blindness, just got easier to assess.
Dating a galaxy crash
A single star has provided information about the collision of the Milky Way with the dwarf galaxy Gaia-Enceladus.
After stroke, women and men significantly more likely to have dangerous heart complications
The study demonstrated for the first time that in people with no underlying heart disease, after a stroke they were more than 20 times more likely than those who didn't have a stroke (23-fold in women and 25-fold in men) to have a first-in-life major adverse cardiovascular event.
New study shines light on genetic risk factors for high alcohol intake
A new study, published in Science Advances, identifies genes associated with high alcohol intake.
Alcohol tax reform needed
La Trobe University researchers have found introducing a minimum unit price (MUP) of $1.30 per standard drink across Australia could dramatically reduce alcohol consumption.
Voluntary limit-setting can keep intense online gamblers in check
A new study has shown that, among online gamblers, setting voluntary monetary limits can help players stay in control of their gambling and the most significant effects were seen among intense gamblers.
How cells assemble their skeleton
Microtubules, filamentous structures within the cell, are required for many important processes, including cell division and intracellular transport.
Astronomers discover class of strange objects near our galaxy's enormous black hole
UCLA astronomers have discovered a new class of bizarre objects at the center of our galaxy, not far from the supermassive black hole called Sagittarius A*.
Taking the temperature of dark matter
Warm, cold, just right? Physicists at UC Davis are using gravitational lensing to take the temperature of dark matter, the mysterious substance that makes up about a quarter of our universe.
Mutations in donors' stem cells may cause problems for cancer patients
A new study from Washington University School of Medicine in St.
Studies of membrane vesicles pave the way to innovative treatments of degenerative diseases
Membrane vesicles can become a new therapeutic tool in regenerative medicine and a new class of effective and safe medications.
The colors of the Pachacamac idol, an Inca god, finally revealed
Researchers have shown colors formerly painted on the Pachacamac idol, a 15th century Inca God and oracle.
BPA activates immune response in mice that passes down through generations
Some plastic food and beverage containers still contain bisphenol A (BPA), which can mimic the hormone estrogen.
Animals should use short, fast movements to avoid being located
Most animals need to move, whether this is to seek out food, shelter or a mate.
Gut bacteria hold clues to improving mental health after spinal injury
In a new study, Karim Fouad and his team discovered that rats with spinal injuries experienced changes to their gut bacteria and a rise in anxiety-like behavior.
Male songbirds can't survive on good looks alone, says a new study
Brightly colored male songbirds not only have to attract the female's eye, but also make sure their sperm can last the distance, according to new research.
More interventions follow gastric bypass than gastric sleeve, large study shows
A study involving tens of thousands of bariatric surgery patients found that gastric bypass patients were significantly more likely than gastric sleeve patients to end up back in the hospital in the years following surgery.
Drug epidemic likely 'killing more Americans than we think'
Drug-related deaths in US are likely twice as many as previously thought, according to research from Samuel Preston of the University of Pennsylvania and Dana Glei of Georgetown University.
Managing cannabis use in breastfeeding women
As more states legalize medicinal and recreational cannabis use and increasingly decriminalize cannabis, the risk to the growth and development of breastfeeding infants whose mothers use cannabis becomes a growing public health concern.
Sticky situation inside blood vessels can worsen stroke damage
A stroke appears to create a sticky situation inside the blood vessels of the brain that can worsen damage days, even months later, scientists report.
Using voice analysis to track the wellness of patients with mental illness
A new study finds that an interactive voice application using artificial intelligence is as accurate at tracking the wellbeing of patients being treated for serious mental illness as their own physicians.

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