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Science News | Science Current Events | Brightsurf | January 16, 2020


Compact broadband acoustic absorber with coherently coupled weak resonances
Recently, the research teams from Tongji University and The Hong Kong Polytechnic University demonstrate that a compact broadband acoustic absorber can be achieved with coherently coupled 'weak resonances' (resonant sound absorbing systems with low absorption peaks).
Math that feels good
Mathematics and science Braille textbooks are expensive and require an enormous effort to produce -- until now.
Why can't Bertrand Might cry? Scientists offer an answer: missing water channels
Scientists at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute have shown that cells from children with NGLY1 deficiency--a rare disorder first described in 2012--lack sufficient water channel proteins called aquaporins.
Less active infants had greater fat accumulation, study finds
Less physical activity for infants below one year of age may lead to more fat accumulation which in turn may predispose them to obesity later in life, suggests a study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
ISSCR statement on ethical standards for stem cell-based embryo models
The ISSCR is updating its Guidelines to respond to recent scientific advances that include the use of pluripotent stem cell (PSC) to create models of early human embryo development (see Stem Cell Reports 14:1-6).
A wearable gas sensor for health and environmental monitoring
A highly sensitive, wearable gas sensor for environmental and human health monitoring may soon become commercially available, according to researchers at Penn State and Northeastern University.
Activation of a distinct genetic pathway can slow the progress of metastatic breast cancer
Activation of the BMP4 signalling pathway presents a new therapeutic strategy to combat metastatic breast cancer, a disease that has shown no reduction in patient mortality over the past 20 years.
Local activism can't be crushed, research finds. At most, it changes target
According to received wisdom, local activism against the establishment of industrial plants follows a cycle, with its highest intensity a short time after mobilization.
'Living fossil' may upend basic tenet of evolutionary theory
A UC San Francisco-led research team has discovered the first conclusive evidence that selection may also occur at the level of the epigenome -- a term that refers to an assortment of chemical ''annotations'' to the genome that determine whether, when and to what extent genes are activated -- and has done so for tens of millions of years.
NASA catches the dissipation of Tropical Cyclone Claudia
Tropical Cyclone Claudia was dissipating in the Southern Indian Ocean when NASA's Terra satellite captured a visible image of storm as it flew overhead in its orbit around the Earth.
Colloidal Quantum Dot Photodetectors can now see further than before
An ICFO study published in Nanoletters reports on the development of a colloidal quantum dot photodetector capable of detecting light in the far infrared.
Older undiagnosed sleep apnea patients need more medical care
Older adults with undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnea seek more health care, according to a study published in the January issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.
Judges deny abortion care to teens
Thirty-seven states require minors to either notify their parents or go before a judge before having an abortion.
Police platform patrols create 'phantom effect' that cuts crime in London Underground
A major experiment introducing proactive policing to Underground platforms finds that short bursts of patrolling create a ''phantom effect'': 97% of the resulting crime reduction was during periods when police weren't actually present.
Pulling the plug on calcium pumps -- potential new treatment strategy for pancreatic cancer
UK scientists have identified a new way to kill pancreatic cancer cells by 'pulling the plug' on the energy generator that fuels calcium pumps on their cell surface.
Neuromuscular organoid: It's contracting!
MDC researchers established a new model to study neuromuscular development and disorders.
Stage is set to develop clinically relevant, senescence-based biomarkers of aging
Biomarkers are essential in order to develop clinically-approved interventions for human aging and age-related diseases.
Mosquitoes engineered to repel dengue virus
An international team of scientists has synthetically engineered mosquitoes that halt the transmission of the dengue virus.
Edible 'security tag' to protect drugs from counterfeit
Purdue University researchers are aiming to stump drug counterfeiters with an edible 'security tag' embedded into medicine.
Death rates plunge in older people with diabetes, but not younger people
New research covering the entire population of Hong Kong shows that while death rates from any cause (all-cause mortality), cardiovascular disease and cancer are plummeting overall and in adults with diabetes aged 45 to 74 years, those in younger adults aged 20 to 44 years are barely changing.
Older ethnic minority adults have fewer close friends
Older adults from ethnic minority groups report having fewer close friends and fewer friends who live locally than older white people, according a new UCL study.
Survivors of firearm violence worse long-term outcomes than motor vehicle crash survivors
A new study led by investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital finds that 6-to-12 months after traumatic injury, rates of chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other poor physical and mental health outcomes were alarmingly high among survivors of firearm violence -- even higher than among survivors who had sustained similar injuries in motor vehicle crashes.
Glimpse into ancient hunting strategies of dragonflies and damselflies
Dragonflies and damselflies are animals that may appear gentle but are, in fact, ancient hunters.
Terrain may help identify habitats that are resilient to the effects of climate change
A new paper in The Condor: Ornithological Applications, published by Oxford University Press, finds that models which use terrain features offer both practical and theoretical advantages in identifying climate resilient habitats for migratory birds whose populations are impacted by climate change.
Sepsis associated with 1 in 5 deaths globally, double previous estimate
Twice as many people as previously believed are dying of sepsis worldwide, according to an analysis published today in The Lancet and announced at the Critical Care Reviews annual meeting in Belfast.
Hookah smoke may be associated with increased risk of blood clots
In a new study conducted in mice, researchers found that tobacco smoke from a hookah caused blood to function abnormally and be more likely to clot and quickly form blood clots.
Nanopore sequencing of African swine fever virus
Researchers from China for the first time utilized the nanopore sequencing technology to obtain the whole genome from a clinical sample of African swine fever virus.
Partnership with China prompts change in care for high-risk type of leukemia
Findings from a collaborative clinical trial have generated key insights into how targeted therapy should be used to treat leukemia driven by the Philadelphia chromosome.
No clear evidence of increase in adolescent suicide after '13 Reasons Why'
Contrary to the findings of a 2019 study that associated the release of the Netflix series '13 Reasons Why' with an increase in monthly suicide rates among adolescent boys, a reanalysis of the data by the Annenberg Public Policy Center finds no evidence of contagion.
Focus on opioids and cannabis in chronic pain media coverage
New Zealand media reports on chronic pain are focusing on treatments involving opioids and cannabis at the expense of best practice non-drug treatments, researchers have found.
How anti-sprawl policies may be harming water quality
Urban growth boundaries are created by governments in an effort to concentrate urban development -- buildings, roads and the utilities that support them -- within a defined area.
New model shows how crop rotation helps combat plant pests
A new computational model shows how different patterns of crop rotation -- planting different crops at different times in the same field -- can impact long-term yield when the crops are threatened by plant pathogens.
A secreted signature of aging cells
Senescent cells undergo an irreversible and permanent arrest of cell division and are hallmarks of both the aging process and multiple chronic diseases.
AI Therapeutics announces that a common LAM-002 mechanism in cancer and neurodegenerative diseases shows antitumor activity in the clinic and hope for ALS
AI Therapeutics has made significant recent progress with its four clinical assets and proprietary Guardian Angel™ algorithm.
Zika virus' key into brain cells ID'd, leveraged to block infection and kill cancer cells
Two different UC San Diego research teams identified the same molecule -- αvβ5 integrin -- as Zika virus' key to brain cell entry.
Walnuts may be good for the gut and help promote heart health
Researchers found that eating walnuts daily as part of a healthy diet was associated with increases in certain bacteria that can help promote health.
Novel protein positioning technique improves functionality of yeast cells
A research team at Kobe University has developed a method of artificially controlling the anchorage position of target proteins in engineered baker's yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae).
Research shows that older patients with untreated sleep apnea need greater medical care
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common and costly medical Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) found that the medical costs are substantially higher among older adults who go untreated for obstructive sleep apnea.
Body's natural signal carriers can help melanoma spread
A new study from Finland sheds fresh light on how melanoma cells interact with other cells via extracellular vesicles they secrete.
'PigeonBot's' feather-level insights push flying bots closer to mimicking birds
Birds fly in a meticulous manner not yet replicable by human-made machines, though two new studies in Science Robotics and Science -- by uncovering more about what gives birds this unparalleled control -- pave the way to flying robots that can maneuver the air as nimbly as birds.
Women in leadership positions face more sexual harassment
Power in the workplace does not stop women's exposure to sexual harassment.
Cells protect themselves against stress by keeping together
For the first time, research shows that the contacts between cells, known as cell adhesion, are essential for cells to survive stress.
Do studies underestimate the prevalence of typhoid?
Blood culture surveillance programs are critical for estimating the prevalence of typhoid and paratyphoid fevers, but cases can be missed when patients don't seek medical care, or seek medical care and don't have a blood culture test.
What's MER? A new way to measure quantum materials
Experimental physicists have combined several measurements of quantum materials into one in their ongoing quest to learn more about manipulating and controlling the behavior of them for possible applications.
The Lancet Digital Health: Real-time flu prediction may be possible using wearable heart rate and sleep tracking devices
The research, published in The Lancet Digital Health journal, demonstrates the potential of data from wearable devices to improve surveillance of infectious disease.
Photoelectrochemical water-splitting efficiency hits 4.5%
Solar-to-fuel conversion offers a promising technology to solve energy problems, yet device performance could be limited by undesired sunlight absorption.
Improved brain chip for precision medicine
The Akay Lab biomedical research team at the University of Houston is reporting an improvement on a microfluidic brain cancer chip previously developed in their lab.
Estrogen may facilitate the growth of liver metastases in non-sex-specific cancers
A study led by Dr. Pnina Brodt shows that the liver immune microenvironment reacts to metastatic cells differently in male and that in female mice and estrogen can indirectly contribute to the growth of metastases.
Bartonella bacteria found in hemangiosarcoma tumors from dogs
Researchers from North Carolina State University have found a very high prevalence of Bartonella bacteria in tumors and tissues - but not blood samples - taken from dogs with hemangiosarcoma, a cancer of the blood vessels.
Quantum physics: Controlled experiment observes self-organized criticality
Researchers from Cologne, Heidelberg, Strasbourg and California have observed important characteristics of complex systems in a lab experiment.
Visualizing molecular patterns of membrane TNF receptors
Whether a sick cell dies, divides, or travels through the body is regulated by a sophisticat-ed interplay of signal molecules and receptors on the cell membrane.
Sleep linked to language skills in neurodevelopmental disorders
New research has discovered that Down's syndrome, Fragile X syndrome and Williams syndrome are all linked to sleep disruption in very young children, and that sleep plays a crucial role in the development of these children's language skills.
Asteroid impact killed dinosaurs while volcanism shaped life in the aftermath
Researchers who analyzed well-preserved ocean drilling and global temperature records have added support to the idea that the primary cause of the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K/Pg) mass extinction was an asteroid impact, rather than extreme volcanism.
Breakthrough on curbing dengue
Scientists from Australia's national science agency, CSIRO, and the University of California San Diego have engineered the first breed of genetically modified mosquitoes resistant to spreading all four types of the dengue virus.
AlphaZero learns to rule the quantum world
The chess world was amazed when the computer algorithm AlphaZero learned, after just four hours on its own, to beat the best chess programs built on human expertise.
Deep learning enables real-time imaging around corners
Researchers have harnessed the power of a type of artificial intelligence known as deep learning to create a new laser-based system that can image around corners in real time.
How decisions unfold in a zebrafish brain
Researchers were able to track the activity of each neuron in the entire brain of zebrafish larvae and reconstruct the unfolding of neuronal events as the animals repeatedly made 'left or right' choices in a behavioral experiment.
Hormone resistance in breast cancer linked to DNA 'rewiring'
Garvan researchers have revealed changes to the 3D arrangement of DNA linked to treatment resistance in ER+ breast cancer.
Study gauges efficacy of drugs against pork tapeworm
Taenia solium -- also called pork tapeworm -- is a parasite which causes disease around the world, particularly in very poor communities with deficient sanitation and where pigs roam free.
Brain imaging may improve diagnosis and treatment of mental health disorders
Brain imaging may one day be used to help diagnose mental health disorders--including depression and anxiety--with greater accuracy, according to a new study conducted in a large sample of youth at the University of Pennsylvania and led by Antonia Kaczkurkin, PhD and Theodore Satterthwaite, MD.
Small change for climate change: Time to increase research funding to save the world
A new study shows that there is a huge disproportion in the level of funding for social science research into the greatest challenge in combating global warming -- how to get individuals and societies to overcome ingrained human habits to make the changes necessary to mitigate climate change.
UTSW researchers uncover new vulnerability in kidney cancer
Qing Zhang, Ph.D., and his colleagues identified a possible way to treat tumors while sparing nearby healthy tissue.
Study uses eye movement test to confirm brain ageing effects
A new study, published in PeerJ, shows how University of Liverpool researchers have used a newly developed eye movement test to improve the understanding of how parts of the brain work.
Lights on for germ-free wound dressings
Infections are a dreaded threat that can have fatal consequences after an operation, in the treatment of wounds, and during tissue engineering.
A technology for embedding data in printed objects
A team from Nara Institute of Science and Technology, composed of Ph.D.
Comparing cancer costs is challenging, despite new price transparency rules
A federal rule that requires hospitals to publicly list standard charges for services and procedures -- the foundation of price transparency -- does not facilitate comparison shopping for a standard radiation treatment for prostate cancer at National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers, according to a study led by University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers.
Most youths surviving opioid overdose not getting timely treatment to avoid recurrence
A study of more than 4 million Medicaid claims records during a recent seven-year period concludes that less than a third of the nearly 3,800 US adolescents and young adults who experienced a nonfatal opioid overdose got timely (within 30 days) follow-up addiction treatment to curb or prevent future misuse and reduce the risk of a second overdose.
The carbon footprint of dinner: How 'green' are fish sticks?
Fish sticks may be a tasty option for dinner, but are they good for the planet?
Study unravels new insights into a Parkinson's disease protein
The new study explores alpha-synuclein's basic properties, with a focus on a section of the protein known as the non-amyloidal component (NAC).
The mysterious, legendary giant squid's genome is revealed
Important clues about the anatomy and evolution of the mysterious giant squid (Architeuthis dux) are revealed through publication of its full genome sequence by a University of Copenhagen-led team that includes scientist Caroline Albertin of the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), Woods Hole.
Antipsychotics associated with increased risk of head, brain injuries in persons with AD
The use of antipsychotics is associated with increased risks of head and brain injuries among persons with Alzheimer's disease, according to a recent study from the University of Eastern Finland.
Engineered mosquitoes cannot be infected with or transmit any dengue virus
Genetically engineered mosquitoes are resistant to multiple types of dengue virus (DENV), according to a study published Jan.
Structual color barcode micromotors for multiplex biosensing
A novel micromotors with obvious structural color was proposed by Professor Yuanjin Zhao, et al.
January Alzheimer's & Dementia highlights: Sleep, race/ethnicity, artificial intelligence
Phase 3 drug trial results on improving sleep for persons living with Alzheimer's disease.
Cancer study may accidentally help researchers create usable blood stem cells
University of Colorado Cancer Center study shows that cancer-causing MLL gene may also push pluripotent stem cells to make hematopoietic stem cells, a strong step in the decades-long effort to make personalizable, durable blood stem cells.
Jumping genes threaten egg cell quality
A woman's supply of eggs is finite, so it is crucial that the quality of their genetic material is ensured.
Machine learning greatly reduces uncertainty in understanding of paleozoic biodiversity
Previous analyses of global paleobiodiversity have been coarsely resolved to roughly 10 million years, obscuring the effects of ecological processes and events that operate at shorter timescales.
Crop residues are a potential source of beneficial microorganisms and biocontrol agents
While studies of the microbiomes (which comprises all the microorganisms, mainly bacteria and fungi) of the phyllosphere and the rhizosphere of plants are important, scientists at INRA believe more attention should be given to the microbiomes of crop residues.
Head/neck cancer diagnosis, time to treatment after ACA Medicaid expansions
Researchers for this observational study examined the association between the expansion of Medicaid coverage in some states after the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed and the diagnosis and treatment of patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC).
Menthol ban could increase health equity
Current policies that include restrictions on the sale of menthol flavored tobacco and nicotine products are less likely to reach those that would benefit from them the most, according to new research from the University of Kentucky's College of Medicine.
Larotrectinib in tumours with NTRK gene fusion: Data are not yet sufficient
Larotrectinib in tumours with NTRK gene fusion: Data are not yet sufficient for derivation of an added benefit The small studies on the histology-independent use of the inhibitor have no controls.
New study identifies potential path forward for brachial plexus injury recovery
The study has identified a strategy that may support the regeneration of nerves affected by the injury.
New hospital-based data contradicts HUD estimates on homelessness
Illinois hospital visits associated with homelessness have tripled since 2011 and conservative estimates of homelessness using hospital-based data exceeded similar estimates from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD.
Action needed to improve poor health and disadvantage in the youth justice system
In the first global review, researchers have examined the health of detained adolescents from 245 peer-reviewed journal articles and review publications.
Microscopy technique reveals cells' 3D ultrastructure in new detail
The method melds the best of super-resolution fluorescence and electron microscopy to show how proteins relate to cells' ultrastructure.
JACEP Open: Vaping emergencies may initially go unrecognized
Diagnosing EVALI--the e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury illness that's recently garnered national attention--can be challenging.
Paleontology: New species of prehistoric scorpion may have been early land explorer
A new species of prehistoric scorpion from the early Siluarian period (approximately 437.5 to 436.5 million years ago) is described in a study in Scientific Reports.
Parents with terminally ill children tend to hide emotional pain from their spouses
A study led by NTU Singapore suggests that Asian parents with terminally ill children found tend to defer discussing their psychological pain with their spouses to protect them from emotional distress.
In death of dinosaurs, it was all about the asteroid -- not volcanoes
Volcanic activity did not play a direct role in the mass extinction event that killed the dinosaurs, according to an international, Yale-led team of researchers.
B cells linked to effective cancer immunotherapy
Cancer patients responded better to immunotherapy and had a better prognosis if their melanoma tumors contained specific clusters of B cells, according to new research from Lund University in Sweden.
Mobile protected areas needed to protect biodiversity in the high seas
As the United Nations rewrites the laws of the high seas, the new document should anticipate emerging technologies that allow protected areas to move as animals migrate or adapt to climate change.
Virtual physical therapy after knee replacement brings similar outcomes, lower costs
A virtual system for in-home physical therapy (PT) provides good outcomes for patients undergoing rehabilitation following total knee arthroplasty (TKA) -- with lower costs than traditional in-person PT, reports a study in the Jan.
Attentiveness and trust are especially effective in combating juvenile crime
The criminologist Professor Klaus Boers (University of Münster) and the sociologist Professor Jost Reinecke (University of Bielefeld) have presented the results of their long-term study 'Crime in the modern city.' The scientists have observed and analyzed the delinquency behavior of around 3,000 young people in German cities for almost 20 years.
POSTECH developed self-assembled artificial microtubule like LEGO building blocks
Professor Kimoon Kim and his research team identified a new hierarchical self-assembly mechanism
Cyanobacteria in water and on land identified as source of methane
Cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, are among the most common organisms on Earth.
Mortality rate is cut in half by a lung rescue team at Massachusetts General
A specialized Lung Rescue Team established to evaluate and treat patients with obesity receiving mechanical ventilation due to acute respiratory failure has significantly reduced the risk of mortality
New method detects toxin exposure from harmful algal blooms in human urine
A newly developed method can detect even low-dose human exposure to microcystins and nodularin in human urine.
Pretty with a twist
Nanoscience can arrange minute molecular entities into nanometric patterns in an orderly manner using self-assembly protocols.
Detecting and mitigating network attacks with a multi-prong approach
To solve a problem, you must first see the problem.
Why we differ in our ability to fight off gut infections
Scientists at EPFL have published two papers showing how genetics affects the ability of different individuals to fight off gut infections.
Progress in unraveling the mystery of the genomics of Parkinson's disease
The International Parkinson Disease Genomics Consortium (IPDGC) has now been in existence for ten years.
Study finds billions of quantum entangled electrons in 'strange metal'
US and Austrian physicists have observed quantum entanglement among 'billions of billions' of flowing electrons in a quantum critical material.
Helping patients prep mind and body for surgery pays off, study suggests
An inexpensive program to help surgery patients get physically and mentally ready for their upcoming operation may help reduce overall costs and get them home faster, according to new research involving hundreds of patients in 21 hospitals.
New optical technique captures real-time dynamics of cement setting
Researchers have developed a nondestructive and noninvasive optical technique that can determine the setting times for various types of cement paste, which is used to bind new and old concrete surfaces.
Fossil is the oldest-known scorpion
Scientists studying fossils collected 35 years ago have identified them as the oldest-known scorpion species, a prehistoric animal from about 437 million years ago.
Are bigger brains better?
When it comes to certain parts of the brain, bigger doesn't necessarily equate to better memory.
A sea monster's genome
The giant squid is an elusive giant, but its secrets are about to be revealed.
Scientists unexpectedly witness wolf puppies play fetch
When it comes to playing a game of fetch, many dogs are naturals.
A new look at 'strange metals'
'Strange metals' could be the key to finally understanding high-temperature superconductors.
Making sense of the self
Interoception is the awareness of our physiological states. But precisely how the brain calculates and reacts to this information remains unclear.
Researchers investigate molecule, VISTA, which keeps immune system quiet against cancer
Researchers led by Dartmouth's and Dartmouth-Hitchcock's Norris Cotton Cancer Center are studying a valuable target in regulating the immune response in cancer and autoimmunity.
New point-of-care diagnostic test may revolutionize early diagnosis of Mediterranean rickettsiosis spotted fever
Rickettsiae are bacteria that cause severe, potentially lethal human infections, including Mediterranean spotted fever (MSF) and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
Low doses of radiation used in medical imaging lead to mutations in cell cultures
Common medical imaging procedures use low doses of radiation that are believed to be safe.
Mix of stress and air pollution may lead to cognitive difficulties in children
Children with elevated exposure to early life stress in the home and elevated prenatal exposure to air pollution exhibited heightened symptoms of attention and thought problems, according to researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and Columbia Psychiatry.
Scientists discover link between ALS genes
Researchers at the University of Malta have discovered a link between diverse genes whose mutation causes the debilitating and fatal human disease known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Physicists design 'super-human' red blood cells to deliver drugs to specific targets
A team of physicists from McMaster University has developed a process to modify red blood cells so they can be used to distribute drugs throughout the body, which could specifically target infections or treat catastrophic diseases such as cancer or Alzheimer's.
Scientists uncover how an explosion of new genes explain the origin of land plants
Scientists have made a significant discovery about the genetic origins of how plants evolved from living in water to land 470 million years ago.
Organized cybercrime -- not your average mafia
Research from Michigan State University is one of the first to identify common attributes of cybercrime networks, revealing how these groups function and work together to cause an estimated $445-600 billion of harm globally per year.
Loss of function in key Y-chromosome genes increases cancer risk in men
A new study by researchers from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), a centre supported by 'la Caixa,' has identified a key biological mechanism that puts men at higher risk of cancer: loss of function in certain genes of the sex-determining Y chromosome, which is present only in men.

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