Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 23, 2020
Immune system cells contribute to the invading capacity of brain tumours
An article published in Brain Communications, coordinated by Carlos Barcia, researcher at Institut de Neurociències de la UAB, describes how the immune system facilitates the expansion of tumour cells in the brain.

Multimorbidity leads to general practitioners suffering burnout
The risk of general practitioners (GPs) suffering burnout increases with the number of patients with complex medical histories.

Women with colorectal cancer fare better if they have social support
New research from Kaiser Permanente finds that post-menopausal women with colorectal cancer were more likely to die from their disease or from any cause if they had low social support before diagnosis.

Study reveals missing link in mechanisms underlying fight-or-flight response
Scientists map the molecular cascade behind heart function during fight-or-flight state.

Scientists invent a new method of generating intense short UV vortices
An international group of scientists, including Skoltech Professor Sergey Rykovanov, has found a way to generate intense 'twisted' pulses.

Low-dose aspirin may reduce preterm birth risk among first-time mothers
Daily low-dose aspirin, from as early as the sixth week of pregnancy through the 36th week, may lower the risk for preterm birth among first-time mothers, suggests a study funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Doctors urged to recognize post-antidepressant sexual dysfunction
A psychiatrist specializing in sexual dysfunction caused by antidepressants is calling for greater recognition of the problems that can endure after treatment stops.

Skin-to-skin contact do not improve interaction between mother and preterm infant
Following a premature birth it is important that the parents and the infant quickly establish a good relationship.

Low/no calorie sweeteners can make a useful contribution to public health strategies
A new scientific report, published in Nutrition Research Reviews, gathers the consensus of 17 experts who reviewed during a dedicated workshop the scientific evidence around low/no calorie sweeteners, including in the context of public health recommendations.

Sharp increase in Ningaloo whale shark injuries might be due to boat encounters
Almost one-fifth of the whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) in Western Australia's Ningaloo Reef Marine Park show major scarring or fin amputations, with the number of injured animals increasing in recent years, new research reveals.

Exposure to diesel exhaust particles linked to pneumococcal disease susceptibility
A new study, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, shows that exposure to diesel exhaust particles (DEPs) can increase an individual's susceptibility to pneumococcal disease.

Researchers uncover mechanism for how common gene therapy vectors enter cells
Researchers have identified a novel cellular entry factor for adeno-associated virus vector (AAV) types -- the most commonly used viral vectors for in vivo gene therapy.

Quantum experiments explore power of light for communications, computing
A team of quantum researchers from ORNL have conducted a series of experiments to gain a better understanding of quantum mechanics and pursue advances in quantum networking and quantum computing, which could lead to practical applications in cybersecurity and other areas.

Obesity embargo alert for February 2020 issue
All print, broadcast and online journalists who receive the Obesity embargo alert agree to abide by the embargo and may not publish, post, broadcast or distribute embargoed news releases or details of the embargoed studies before the embargo date and time.

Jewel beetles' sparkle helps them hide in plain sight
Bright colors are often considered an evolutionary tradeoff in the animal kingdom.

Study provides insight on how to minimize the impacts of severe weather on wildlife
Data collected are providing crucial new insights for scientists seeking to minimize the impacts of severe weather and climate change on wildlife.

Revealed an alteration related to the loss of effectiveness of a treatment in lung cancer
Researchers from IJC reveal that non-smoking patients with lung cancer that have an alteration in RB1 and are treated with EGFR inhibitors, acquire resistance to treatment through the mechanism of histopathological transformation, either to non-small cell lung cancer (SCLC) or SLCL combined with a transformation to squamous cell lung cancer.

Scientists discover how a curvy, stomach cancer-causing bacterium maintains its shape
A new study published in eLife shows how a common stomach bacterium is able to keep its corkscrew-like shape as it grows.

Plane travel destroys polar bear habitat
A group of polar bear researchers wants you to do more than worry about the fate of these beautiful animals.

Chinese tariff rate quota policy severely impacted US wheat exports
China has consistently used tariff rate quotas to restrict grain imports, and in 2016 the US launched a complaint to the World Trade Organization (WTO) over China's implementation of tariff rate quotas on wheat, corn and rice.

Engineering: 3D-printed vocal tract reproduces sound of ancient mummy
The sound produced by the vocal tract of a 3,000 year-old Egyptian mummy has been synthesized using CT scans, 3D printing and an electronic larynx.

First treatment for pain using human stem cells a success
Researchers at the University of Sydney have used human stem cells to make pain-killing neurons that provide lasting relief in mice, without side effects, in a single treatment.

Racial discrimination in mortgage market persistent over last four decades
A new Northwestern University analysis finds that racial disparities in the mortgage market suggest that discrimination in loan denial and cost has not declined much over the previous 30 to 40 years, yet discrimination in the housing market has decreased during the same time period.

Liver fibrosis 'off switch' discovered in mice
UC San Diego School of Medicine researchers identified several genetic switches, or transcription factors, that determine whether or not liver cells produce collagen -- providing a new therapeutic target for liver fibrosis.

Weight loss and health improvements with Mediterranean, fasting & paleo diets
There were some weight loss and health benefits for overweight adults who followed the Mediterranean, Intermittent Fasting and Paleo diets, though adherence to the diets dropped off considerably during the one-year study, new University of Otago research shows.

5 major advances in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) treatment
Summary of five impactful studies to be presented at the Crohn's & Colitis Congress, a partnership of the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation and the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA).

Subtle structural features in donated kidneys may predict risk of transplant failure
Mayo Clinic researchers have discovered that subtle structural features in kidneys from living donors that can only be seen with a microscope may predict the risk of transplant failure in recipients.

More autonomy at work reduces the risk of low back pain
A team of psychologists from Technische Universität Dresden, in cooperation with experts from health sciences and the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, has carried out a meta-analysis to identify psychosocial work factors that pose a risk for the development of chronic low back pain (CLBP).

Researchers uncover the genomics of health
A DNA database of thousands of healthy older Australians is set to change how we determine which genes underpin disease.

Hot flashes impair memory performance
If you're having difficulty identifying the right word to express yourself clearly or remembering a story correctly, you may blame menopause.

Warmer, dryer, browner
Climate hazard scientists connect 2018's Four Corners drought directly to human-caused climate change.

Teens with obesity and PCOS have more 'unhealthy' bacteria
Teens with obesity and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have more 'unhealthy' gut bacteria suggesting the microbiome may play a role in the disorder, according to new research published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Study suggests US households waste nearly a third of the food they acquire
American households waste, on average, almost a third of the food they acquire, according to economists, who say this wasted food has an estimated aggregate value of $240 billion annually.

Study identifies top strategies for successful weight loss maintenance
Some of the most effective behaviors and psychological strategies reported by those maintaining their weight loss included choosing healthy food, tracking what you eat and using positive self-talk, according to a Cal Poly study published in Obesity.

Pride and prejudice at high altitude
Tension between Western climbers and Sherpas began over 200 years ago, a new study suggests.

Why cells need acidic lysosomes
Little organs within cells called lysosomes digest unwanted material. And like stomachs, they must be acidic to do so.

Taking aim at gastric cancer
A novel drug, named 'FerriIridium,' can simultaneously help diagnose and treat gastric cancer.

Data from behind enemy lines: How Russia may have used Twitter to seize Crimea
Online discourse by users of social media can provide important clues about the political dispositions of communities.

Stressed-out dust is sharing antibiotic resistance genes
A new Northwestern University study is the first to find that bacteria living in household dust can spread antibiotic resistance genes.

Keeping guns away from potential mass shooters
Researchers from Michigan State University measured the extent to which mass shootings are committed by domestic violence perpetrators, as well as identyifying how they illegally obtain guns, suggesting how firearm restrictions may prevent these tragedies.

Portable device helps doctors diagnose sepsis faster
EPFL researchers have developed a highly sensitive and portable optical biosensor that stands to accelerate the diagnosis of fatal conditions like sepsis.

The easy route the easy way: New chip calculates the shortest distance in an instant
Combinatorial optimization problems are problems that arise in everyday situations, involving the puzzle of determining the shortest route that can be taken between multiple points.

Women-only business groups marginalize and fail to empower members
New research from the University of Edinburgh Business School, Lancaster University Management School and Dublin City University Business School, published in the Journal of Economic Geography, found women-only business networks fail to boost female entrepreneurship and are unable to overcome bigger societal issues that prevent more women from pursuing their own businesses.

Making 'lemonade': Chance observation leads to study of microbial bloom formation
A team from the Microbial Diversity course at the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Mass., studied a brackish, shallow lagoon over time and found it releases hydrogen sulfide, particularly upon physical disturbance, causing blooms of anoxygenic sulfur-oxidizing phototrophs.

URI biologist provides framework for national invasive species policy, implementation
A special issue of the journal Biological Invasions, co-edited by University of Rhode Island ecologist Laura Meyerson and University of Tennessee biologist Daniel Simberloff, provides a pathway to strengthening national policies and implementing strategies for addressing a growing threat to national security - invasive species.

Feel the force: new 'smart' polymer glows brighter when stretched
Scientists from the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) have created a stress-detecting 'smart' polymer that shines brighter when stretched.

How moon jellyfish get about
With their translucent bells, moon jellyfish (Aurelia aurita) move around the oceans in a very efficient way.

Results of long-term study could help identify children at risk of future type 2 diabetes
Researchers at the University of Plymouth and Nestlé have revealed new insights into the factors that predispose children to developing type 2 diabetes in adult life.

New understanding of condensation could lead to better power plant condenser, de-icing materials
For decades, it's been understood that water repellency is needed for surfaces to shed condensation buildup - like the droplets of water that form in power plant condensers to reduce pressure.

High-protein diets boost artery-clogging plaque, mouse study shows
High-protein diets may help people lose weight and build muscle, but a new study in mice suggests they have a down side: They lead to more plaque in the arteries.

A Zika vaccine could save suffering and costs
A new study led by researchers at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy (CUNY SPH) and the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine found that routinely giving the Zika vaccine to women of childbearing age could save money if the risk of Zika is around that of other mosquito-borne diseases like dengue and chikungunya.

West Nile virus triggers brain inflammation by inhibiting protein degradation
West Nile virus (WNV) inhibits autophagy -- an essential system that digests or removes cellular constituents such as proteins -- to induce the aggregation of proteins in infected cells, triggering cell death and brain inflammation (encephalitis), according to Hokkaido University researchers.

NIAID officials discuss novel Coronavirus that recently emerged in China
The new cluster of viral pneumonia cases originating in Wuhan, China, marks the third time in 20 years that a member of the large family of coronaviruses (CoVs) has jumped from animals to humans and sparked an outbreak.

When caregivers need care
People who regularly care for or assist a family member or friend with a health problem or disability are more likely to neglect their own health, particularly by not having insurance or putting off necessary health services due to cost, according to a study published by the American Psychological Association.

Airborne pollution associated with more severe rhinitis symptoms
A team of scientists from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), a research institute supported by 'la Caixa,' has discovered that the nasal symptoms of rhinitis are more severe in people exposed to higher levels of outdoor air pollution.

Largest autism genetics study identifies 102 genes associated with the condition
In the largest genetic sequencing study of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to date, researchers have identified 102 genes associated with risk for autism.

Novel approach to immune system could lead to personalized therapy against sepsis
Two mechanisms could afford an alternative approach to studying and treating severe conditions such as sepsis.

Researchers uncover two-drug combo that halts the growth of cancer cells
UT Southwestern Simmons Cancer Center researchers have discovered a two-drug combo that halts the growth of cancer cells that carry HER2 mutations.

NASA finds wind shear affected new Tropical Cyclone 09S   
Tropical Cyclone 09S formed on Jan. 22, 2020 in the Southern Indian Ocean despite being affected by vertical wind shear, and one day later wind shear caused its demise.

Astronomers detect large amounts of oxygen in ancient star's atmosphere
Astronomers using W. M. Keck Observatory on Maunakea in Hawaii have detected large amounts of oxygen in the atmosphere of one of the oldest and most elementally depleted stars known -- a 'primitive star' scientists call J0815+4729.

How the brain processes rewards
Researchers from HSE University, Skoltech and the University of Toronto analyzed data from 190 fMRI studies and found out that food, sex and money implicate similar brain regions whereas different types of reward favor the left and right hemispheres differently.

ICUs receive higher satisfaction scores for end-of-life care than other hospital units
The research challenges a common belief that dying in the ICU is a less favorable experience than dying elsewhere in the hospital.

Women with PCOS experience poor health and quality of life beyond reproductive years
Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) experience poor health and quality of life into their late forties, according to new research published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Facial paralysis stigma takes emotional toll, especially when acquired later in life
People with facial paralysis are more likely to face depression and anxiety than the general population, especially if the paralysis occurs later in life rather than at birth, according to a recent study.

Will the future's super batteries be made of seawater?
The race is on to develop even more efficient and rechargable batteries for the future.

Living near major roads linked to risk of dementia, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and MS
Living near major roads or highways is linked to higher incidence of dementia, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and multiple sclerosis (MS), suggests new research published this week in the journal Environmental Health.

Special issue: Chemistry for Tomorrow's Earth
Through modern chemistry, we live better. However, as researchers continue to recognize the environmental and health risks associated with the mass production, use and disposal of complex synthetic molecules, a need for safer and more sustainable chemicals has become clear.

Using artificial intelligence to enrich digital maps
A model invented by researchers at MIT and Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) that uses satellite imagery to tag road features in digital maps could help improve GPS navigation.

AJR researchers take step toward automating thyroid cancer triage
An article published ahead-of-print in the April issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR) details how a Stanford University team developed a quantitative framework able to sonographically differentiate between benign and malignant thyroid nodules at a level comparable to that of expert radiologists, which could provide second-opinion malignancy risk estimation to clinicians and ultimately help decrease the number of unnecessary biopsies and surgical procedures.

A proposal to change environmental risk assessment for pesticides
Despite regulatory frameworks designed to prevent environmental damage, pesticide use is still linked to declines in insects, birds and aquatic species, an outcome that raises questions about the efficacy of current regulatory procedures.

Engineered capillaries model traffic in tiny blood vessels
3D microvessels have been created to observe how red blood cells transit ultra-small blood vessels.

New experimental vaccine for African swine fever virus shows promise
Government and academic investigators have developed a vaccine against African swine fever that appears to be far more effective than previously developed vaccines.

Novel communication between intestinal microbes and developing immune cells in the thymus
Researchers discover microbes regulate the development of specialized immune cells in the thymus that play a critical role in mucosal tolerance.

Acetone plus light creates a green jet fuel additive
Take biomass-derived acetone -- common nail polish remover -- use light to upgrade it to higher-mass hydrocarbons, and, voila, you have a domestically generated product that can be blended with conventional jet fuel to fly while providing environmental benefits, creating domestic jobs, securing the nation's global leadership in bioenergy technologies, and improving U.S. energy security.

Scanning system in sperm may control rate of human evolution
Maturing sperm cells turn on most of their genes, not to follow their genetic instructions like normal, but instead to repair DNA before passing it to the next generation, a new study finds.

'To safeguard people from chemical pollution, another approach is warranted'
As many as nine million people (16% of all deaths worldwide) die yearly as a result of air, water and soil pollution.

Oral hormone-blocking drug may help with heavy menstrual bleeding
In women with uterine fibroids, the drug elagolix suppresses ovarian hormone production and prevents heavy menstrual bleeding.

Technique reveals whether models of patient risk are accurate
MIT researchers have developed a method to determine whether a clinical risk model's predictions can be trusted for a given patient.

Unravelling arthropod genomic diversity over 500 million years of evolution
The evolutionary innovations of insects and other arthropods are as numerous as they are wondrous, from terrifying fangs and stingers to exquisitely coloured wings and ingenious feats of engineering.

Snake stem cells used to create venom-producing organoids
Organoids have become an important tool for studying many disease processes and testing potential drugs.

Large marine parks can save sharks from overfishing threat
'No-take' marine reserves -- where fishing is banned -- can reverse the decline in the world's coral reef shark populations caused by overfishing, according to an Australian study.

Global warming could have a negative impact on biodiversity generation processes
An international team led by researchers from Pablo de Olavide University (UPO) and the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM) has carried out research that suggests global warming could have a negative impact on the processes that generate biodiversity.

Researcher looking for clues in the mystery of the Grand Canyon's water supply
Research technician Natalie Jones is the lead author on a paper that looked at how scientists model the vulnerability of karst formations around the Grand Canyon.

Turtle tracking reveals key feeding grounds
Loggerhead turtles feed in the same places year after year - meaning key locations should be protected, researchers say.

Can I mix those chemicals? There's an app for that!
Improperly mixed chemicals cause a shocking number of fires, explosions, and injuries in laboratories, businesses, and homes each year.

Venom-producing snake organoids developed in the lab
A team of scientists from the group of Hans Clevers at the Hubrecht Institute, the Netherlands, has developed a mini-venom glands of various snake species.

For low back pain in older adults, treatment doesn't match guidelines
Many Medicare patients with new episodes of low back pain receive care inconsistent with current guidelines -- including high use of opioids and advanced imaging tests, reports a study in the February issue of Medical Care.

Inspiring STEM careers through a hands-on Everglades microbiome study
A pilot project between researchers at the Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute and biology students from Boca Raton Community High School in Palm Beach County, Florida has culminated in a data report which provides the only known reference microbiome data sets for the Arthur R.

A megalibrary of nanoparticles
Using straightforward chemistry and a mix-and-match, modular strategy, researchers have developed a simple approach that could produce over 65,000 different types of complex nanoparticles.

Scientists highlight potential of exposome research
The genomics revolution has provided powerful insights into genetic risk factors for human disease while also revealing the limits of genetic determinants, which account for only a fraction of total disease risk.

Reelin reverts the main pathological processes related to Alzheimer's and other tauopathy
Promoting the signalling pathway of reelin -an essential extracellular protein for the neuronal migration and synaptic plasticity- could be an effective therapeutical strategy to counterbalance the main cognitive, biochemical and behavioural alterations seen in Alzheimer's and other pathologies associated with Tau protein, as shown in a new study with animal models -published in the journal Progress in Neurobiology.

Researchers expand microchip capability with new 3D inductor technology
Smaller is better when it comes to microchips, researchers said, and by using 3D components on a standardized 2D microchip manufacturing platform, developers can use up to 100 times less chip space.

Bending with the wind, coral spawning linked to ocean environment
A research team from Tohoku University, Ochanomizu University, and the National Institute for Basic Biology have utilized modeling analysis to indicate that environmental factors act as a determinant in the timing of mass spawning.

Revealed: The explosive origin of superluminous supernova SN 2006gy
Providing answers about its curious supreme brightness, researchers say the superluminous supernova SN 2006gy -- one of the brightest stellar explosions ever studied, and discovered in 2006 -- gained its exceptional luster when a normal Type Ia explosion smashed into a surrounding shell of ejected stellar material.

Organoids open window into development of human forebrain
Brain region-specific organoids have allowed researchers to peer inside the complex programming of human forebrain development, a process once inaccessible to molecular study.

Inhibition of p38 reduces the growth of lung tumours
Ángel Nebreda's team has published a study in the journal PNAS reporting the involvement of the protein p38 in the progression of lung cancer.

Predictive touch response mechanism is a step toward a tactile internet
A team of researchers led by Elaine Wong at the University of Melbourne, Australia, developed a method for enhancing haptic feedback experiences in human-to-machine applications that are typical in the Tactile Internet.

Room for complexity? The many players in the coffee agroecosystem
The BioScience Talks podcast features discussions of topical issues related to the biological sciences.

Maglab scientists capture molecular maps of animal tissue with unprecedented detail
Scientists have refined a technique called mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) that translates reams of data into detailed visuals of the molecular makeup of biological samples.

Preventing metastasis by stopping cancer cells from making fat
Olivier Feron, a University of Louvain researcher, studies how cancer spreads through the body via metastasis.

Can a tiny invasive snail help save Latin American coffee?
While conducting fieldwork in Puerto Rico's central mountainous region in 2016, University of Michigan ecologists noticed tiny trails of bright orange snail excrement on the undersurface of coffee leaves afflicted with coffee leaf rust, the crop's most economically important pest.

UW research expands bilingual language program for babies
A study by the University of Washington's Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences (I-LABS) shows that a bilingual language program for babies can reach more families, and instructors, through online training for teachers.

New light shed on damaging impact of infrared and visible rays on skin
New research reveals for the first time that UV combined with visible and infrared light cause damage to the skin and we need to protect our skin against all three to prevent aging.

Study finds many youth living with undiagnosed chronic fatigue syndrome
Most youth living with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) have not been diagnosed, according to a new prevalence study from researchers at DePaul University and Ann & Robert H.

Older refugees have high levels of depression even decades after immigration to Canada
A new study of Canadians aged 45-85, released this week, found that refugees were 70% more likely to suffer from depression than those born in Canada when age, sex and marital status were taken into account -- even decades after immigration.

New insights about the brightest explosions in the Universe
Swedish and Japanese researchers have, after ten years, found an explanation to the peculiar emission lines seen in one of the brightest supernovae ever observed -- SN 2006gy.

How we learn is a quantum-like manner!
It brings people new perspectives on understanding how human brains run.

Wannier90 program becomes community code in major new release
Wannier90--a computer program for generating maximally-localized Wannier functions and using them in the computation of advanced electronic properties of materials--has become a community code with a wide base of contributors over the last few years.

Chemicals in the environment: A focus on mixtures
The real world is marked by multiple stressors, among them cocktails of chemicals.

How old are they? Some non-photosynthetic orchids consist of dead wood
A research team led by Kobe University's Associate Professor SUETSUGU Kenji (of the Graduate School of Science's Department of Biology) has investigated the carbon age in some non-photosynthetic mycoheterotrophic plants.

A new blood component revealed
Does the blood we thought to know so well contain elements that had been undetectable until now?

Predicting the degradation behavior of advanced medical devices
Polymer materials play a vital role in today's medicine. While many applications demand for long-lasting devices, others benefit from materials that disintegrate once their job is done.

University of Ottawa researchers find evidence to explain behavior of slow earthquakes
A team of researchers at the University of Ottawa has made an important breakthrough that will help better understand the origin and behavior of slow earthquakes.

Brilliant iridescence can conceal as well as attract
A new study shows for the first time that the striking iridescent colours seen in some animals increase their chances of survival against predators by acting as a means of camouflage.

Fuel efficient tech may threaten climate, public health
New automotive technology that promises enhanced fuel efficiency may have a serious downside, including significant climate and public health impacts, according to research from the University of Georgia College of Engineering.
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