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Science News | Science Current Events | Brightsurf | February 04, 2020


Grooves hold promise for sophisticated healing
Rice University bioengineers print 3D implants with layered cells destined to become distinct combinations of tissue, like bone and cartilage.
Study paints picture of marijuana use in pregnant women
As marijuana is increasingly being legalized in US states, daily marijuana use among pregnant women is rising, despite evidence that this could harm their babies.
Researchers successfully test coin-sized smart insulin patch, potential diabetes treatment
The study, published in Nature Biomedical Engineering, describes research conducted on mice and pigs.
Building a better breast
Surgeons at UT Southwestern have developed a process to determine the best approach for single breast reconstruction.
U of T researchers discover intricate process of DNA repair in genome stability
An elaborate system of filaments, liquid droplet dynamics and protein connectors enables the repair of some damaged DNA in the nuclei of cells, researchers at the University of Toronto have found.
Study identifies interaction site for serotonin type 3A and RIC-3 chaperone
Serotonin type 3A is a member of the protein superfamily known as pentameric ligand-gated ion channels.
Sweet nanoparticles trick kidney
Researchers engineer tiny particles with sugar molecules to prevent side effect in cancer therapy.
Retina-inspired carbon nitride-based photonic synapses for selective detection of UV light
Researchers at Seoul National University and Inha University in South Korea developed photo-sensitive artificial nerves that emulated functions of a retina by using 2-dimensional carbon nitride (C3N4) nanodot materials.
Medicaid expansion slashed uninsured rates in Diabetes Belt, study finds
The Diabetes Belt is a swath of 644 counties across 15 southeastern states that are stricken with high diabetes rates.
Scientists find RNA affecting skin cancer progression
Researchers at the University of Turku, Turku University Central Hospital, and Western Cancer Center (FICAN West) have discovered a new RNA molecule, PRECSIT, which regulates the growth and invasion of squamous cell carcinoma of the skin.
Fast screening for potential new catalysts
The success of the energy transition depends significantly on efficient electrocatalysts, for instance for fuel cells or the reduction of CO2.
Researchers report progress on molecular data storage system
A Brown University team has shown that they can store and retrieve more than 200 kilobytes of digital image files by encoding the data in mixtures of new custom libraries of small molecules.
Extreme weather conditions can tax urban drainage systems to the max
During a typical Canadian winter, snow accumulation and melt--combined with sudden rainfalls--can lead to bottlenecks in storm drains that can cause flooding.
New thalattosaur species discovered in Southeast Alaska
Scientists at the University of Alaska Fairbanks have identified a new species of thalattosaur, a marine reptile that lived more than 200 million years ago.
Wildfires increase winter snowpack -- but that isn't necessarily a good thing
Wildfires are altering ecosystems globally as they change in frequency, size, and severity.
Feeding bluebirds helps fend off parasites
If you feed the birds in your backyard, you may be doing more than just making sure they have a source of food: you may be helping baby birds give parasites the boot.
Pluto's icy heart makes winds blow
A 'beating heart' of frozen nitrogen controls Pluto's winds and may give rise to features on its surface, according to a new study.
Johns Hopkins physicians propose quality measures to improve medical billing
If you're concerned about rising health care costs and overwhelming medical bills, you're not alone.
Dietary interventions may slow onset of inflammatory and autoimmune disorders
Significantly reducing dietary levels of the amino acid methionine could slow onset and progression of inflammatory and autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis in high-risk individuals, according to findings published today in Cell Metabolism.
Children's mental health is effected by sleep duration
Depression, anxiety, impulsive behaviour and poor cognitive performance in children is effected by the amount of sleep they have researchers from the University of Warwick have found.
Portable device lights the way to better foodborne illness detection
Researchers at Purdue University have been working to develop new technologies to help stop the spread of foodborne illnesses, which kill 3,000 people a year, by detecting them more efficiently.
Southern Illinois' Len Small levee likely to fail even if repaired, study says
Alexander County sits near the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, at the southernmost tip of Illinois.
Public opinion of drugs effectiveness may be too biased
People asked by experts to comment on the effectiveness of new psychiatric drug treatments appear to be unfairly biased even though they declare a conflict of interest, suggests research published online in the journal BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine today.
Sand dunes can 'communicate' with each other
Even though they are inanimate objects, sand dunes can 'communicate' with each other.
Argonne and Washington University scientists unravel mystery of photosynthesis
Scientists solved a critical part of the mystery of photosynthesis, focusing on the initial, ultrafast events through which photosynthetic proteins capture light and use it to initiate a series of electron transfer reactions.
Self-care linked to greater confidence in parents of children with FASD
Children diagnosed with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) -- caused by prenatal alcohol exposure -- often face lifelong developmental, cognitive and behavioral problems.
Heart muscle cells change their energy source during heart regeneration
Researchers from the Hubrecht Institute (KNAW) have found that the muscle cells in the heart of zebrafish change their metabolism during heart regeneration.
A never-before described natural process in soil can convert nitrogen gases into nitrates
This finding is important, not only because it involves a never-before described natural process, but also because the nitrogen in the soil is crucial for global sustainability, as it affects the productivity of the ecosystem and air quality for living organisms, including humans.
Researchers discover method to detect motor-related brain activity
Motor-related brain activity is of great interest to researchers looking to improve neurorehabilitation, and one factor is the suppression of the specific rhythmic activity of neurons within the sensorimotor cortex of the brain.
Genetic variants reduce risk of Alzheimer's disease
A DNA study of over 10,000 people by UCL scientists has identified a class of gene variants that appear to protect against Alzheimer's disease.
Wasps' gut microbes help them -- and their offspring -- survive pesticides
Exposure to the widely used pesticide atrazine leads to heritable changes in the gut microbiome of wasps, finds a study publishing Feb.
Publicly sharing a goal could help you persist after hitting failure
Publicly sharing a goal may help you persist after hitting a failure, but only if you care about what others think of you, according to new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York.
Artificial intelligence 'sees' quantum advantages
Quantum walks are at the heart of modern quantum technologies.
U-M researchers identify unique neuron that computes like a compass
It's 5 p.m. as you leave the parking garage at work, but you realize you have no idea which way to turn to travel home.
Flyception 2.0: New imaging technology tracks complex social behavior
An advanced imaging technology developed at UC San Diego is allowing scientists unprecedented access into brain activities during intricate behaviors.
Red coral effectively recovers in Mediterranean protected areas
Protection measures of the Marine Protected Areas have enable red coral colonies (Corallium rubrum) to recover partially in the Mediterranean Sea, reaching health levels similar to those of the 1980s in Catalonia and of the 1960s in the Ligurian Sea (Northwestern Italy).
Kidney stem cells can be isolated from urine
Researchers from the Institute for Stem Cell Research and Regenerative Medicine (ISRM) at the Medical Faculty of Heinrich Heine University-Duesseldorf under the directorship of Prof.
Gun owners aren't happier, don't sleep better at night
New research challenges claims by special interest groups and popular culture about the personal benefits of gun ownership.
How an immune system regulator shifts the balance of immune cells
Researchers have provided new insight on the role of cyclic AMP (cAMP) in regulating the immune response.
High-tech printing may help eliminate painful shots
Painful hypodermic needles may not be needed in the future to give shots, inject drugs and get blood samples.
Ad spending on toddler milks increased four-fold from 2006 to 2015
Formula companies quadrupled their advertising of toddler milk products over a ten- year period, contributing to a 2.6 times increase in the amount of toddler milk sold, according to a new paper published in Public Health Nutrition from researchers at the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at the University of Connecticut.
Size matters! What drives zoo attendance and how does footfall impact conservation?
Conserving species in the wild remains the gold standard but there is an increasing relevance and importance to the role played by the thousands of zoos and aquariums across the globe in supporting conservation in the wild.
Microbes linked to cancer in threatened California foxes, report Princeton researchers
Microbes are known to affect digestion, mood and overall health, but cancer?
Brain links to embryonic immunity, guiding response of the 'troops' that battle infection
Researchers have discovered that the brains of developing embryos provide signals to a nascent immune system that help it ward off infections and significantly improve the embryo's ability to survive a bacterial challenge.
Chitosan-graft-Polyacrylamide tested as inhibitor of hydrate formation
Currently, 90% of the hydrocarbon resources of the entire continental shelf of Russia are concentrated in the Arctic, including 70% on the shelf of the Barents and Kara Seas.
Study shows advanced colorectal cancers at recommended screening age
A study analyzing LSU Health's Louisiana Tumor Registry and other NCI-designated tumor registry data found that by the time recommended screening for colorectal begins, cancers have already spread in a high percentage of people.
Cuttlefish eat less for lunch when they know there'll be shrimp for dinner
Cuttlefish can rapidly learn from experience and adapt their eating behavior accordingly, a new study has shown.
Is human cooperativity an outcome of competition between cultural groups?
A study by ASU researchers looks at how culture may have fueled our capacity to cooperate with strangers.
Double X-ray vision helps tuberculosis and osteoporosis research
With an X-ray combination technique, scientists have traced nanocarriers for tuberculosis drugs within cells with very high precision.
Peeking at the plumbing of one of the Aleutian's most-active volcanoes
A new approach to analyzing seismic data reveals deep vertical zones of low seismic velocity in the plumbing system underlying Alaska's Cleveland volcano, one of the most-active of the more than 70 Aleutian volcanoes.
Analyzing the differences in antibiotic resistance between the gut and mouth microbiome
The threat of antimicrobial resistance to medication is a global health issue.
New roles for DNA-packaging proteins
IBS scientists made a significant advancement in our understanding of the organization of genomic DNA within the nucleus.
Malaria: Vaccine clinical trial for pregnant women yields promising results
Malaria infection during pregnancy represents a major public health problem in the regions endemic for the disease, substantially increasing the risks to mothers and their unborn children.
All things considered, wooden pallets are more eco-friendly than plastic pallets
Weighing in on a debate that has raged for decades, Penn State researchers, after conducting a series of ultra-detailed comparisons, have declared that shipping pallets made of wood are slightly more environmentally friendly and sustainable than those made of plastic.
'Levitating' proteins could help diagnose opioid abuse, other diseases
Researchers at the Precision Health Program have helped develop a new method called 'magnetic levitation' for detecting the density of proteins in the blood -- a method that could vastly improve the rate at which diseases are detected and diagnosed.
Lasers etch a 'perfect' solar energy absorber
In Light: Science and Applications, University of Rochester researchers demonstrate how laser etching of metallic surfaces creates the ''perfect solar energy absorber.'' This not only enhances energy absorption from sunlight, but also reduces heat dissipation at other wavelengths.
New hope for COPD patients possible with in-home device
In a new paper published Feb. 4 in JAMA, Mayo Clinic researchers describe the benefits of in-home noninvasive ventilation therapy, which includes a type referred to as bilevel positive airway pressure, or BiPAP -- for many patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
New single-cell prenatal blood test can identify genetic abnormalities
Non-invasive prenatal tests (NIPTs) are used for fetal genetic disease screening in pregnant women.
Yale studies suggest new path for reversing type-2 diabetes and liver fibrosis
In a pair of related studies, a team of Yale researchers has found a way to reverse type-2 diabetes and liver fibrosis in mice, and has shown that the underlying processes are conserved in humans.
Herringbone pattern in plant cell walls critical to cell growth
Plant cells tend to grow longer instead of wider due to the alignment of the many layers of cellulose that make up their cell walls, according to a new study that may have implications for biofuels research.
Tiny 'bridges' help particles stick together
Understanding how particles bind together has implications for everything from the likelihood a riverbank will erode to the mechanism by which a drug works in the body.
Scientists find new ways to prevent skin scarring
A new study in Burns & Trauma, published by Oxford University Press, reveals promising new strategies to prevent skin scarring after injuries.
Mood disorders on genetic spectrum
Researchers shed new light on the genetic relationship between three mood disorders associated with depression--major depression and bipolar disorder types 1 and 2, in a new study in the journal Biological Psychiatry, published by Elsevier.
New hydrogels wither while stem cells flourish for tissue repair
Recently, a type of biodegradable hydrogel, dubbed microporous annealed particle (MAP) hydrogel, has gained much attention for its potential to deliver stem cells for body tissue repair.
Neurological disorders are linked to elevated suicide rates
A newly published study in JAMA shows that people with neurological disorders have a 75% higher suicide rate than people with no neurological disorders.
First-of-its-kind hydrogel platform enables on-demand production of medicines, chemicals
A team of chemical engineers has developed a new way to produce medicines and chemicals on demand and preserve them using portable ''biofactories'' embedded in water-based gels called hydrogels.
New research into how peace of mind can influence parents' attitude to vaccines
Research from Bristol University on parents' peace of mind and vaccinations gives us insight that beliefs about vaccines can change, and that peace of mind varies according to different factors.
More than half of US opioid prescriptions for dental procedures exceeded 3-day supply recommendations from CDC 2016 guidelines
Dentists are among top prescribers of opioids in the US, however, whether their opioid prescribing exceeds guidance had not been investigated.
Study links high stillbirth rates worldwide to gender inequality
In the first comprehensive study mapping global patterns of stillbirth rates, University of Saskatchewan (USask) researchers have found that pregnant women who are poor and have lower access to education and employment are more likely to experience a child's death at delivery.
Synthetic mushroom toxin
The death cap mushroom is highly toxic. However, some of its toxins can also be healing: amanitins are potential components for antibody-based cancer treatments.
More pieces of the autism puzzle uncovered
A major international study from the Autism Sequencing Consortium with participation of researchers from the Danish iPSYCH psychiatry project, has recently mapped 102 new autism genes.
Altruistic babies? Study shows infants are willing to give up food, help others
New research by the University of Washington's Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences finds that altruism may begin in infancy.
Radiologists describe coronavirus imaging features
In a special report published today in the journal Radiology, researchers describe CT imaging features that aid in the early detection and diagnosis of Wuhan coronavirus.
Suspect eliminated as a therapeutic target in B cell lymphoma
Australian researchers have narrowed the focus on which survival proteins are important for the survival of B cell lymphomas, eliminating the protein BCL-W from the 'suspect list'.
Deep learning accurately forecasts heat waves, cold spells
Using an advanced form of deep learning, Rice University researchers created a computer system that learned how to accurately predict extreme weather events, like heat waves, up to five days in advance using minimal information about current weather conditions.
Handheld 3D skin printer demonstrates accelerated healing of large, severe burns
A new handheld 3D printer can deposit sheets of skin to cover large burn wounds - and its 'bio ink' can accelerate the healing process.
Researchers reveal target in acute kidney injury prevention
Physician-Scientists and other researchers at Rush University Medical Center, in collaboration with colleagues at other institutions, have revealed a new treatment target that may help change the outcome for patients at risk of AKI.
Save the giants, save the planet
Protecting large animals such as elephants and whales, and large plants like the sequoias, has a disproportionate positive impact on the health of the planet and resilience to climate change.
General anesthesia in cesarean deliveries increases odds of postpartum depression by 54 percent
A new study shows that having general anesthesia in a cesarean delivery is linked with significantly increased odds of severe postpartum depression requiring hospitalization, thoughts of suicide or self-inflicted injury.
How many rare diseases are there?
Dr. Tudor Oprea says a better method for classifying rare diseases will lead to improved patient care.
Does animal size in zoos matter?
Does size matter? New study connects larger charismatic animals, more diverse species, to higher zoo attendance and conservation funding in the wild.
Shelter, safest air intake locations during urban pollution events identified
Roofs and the downwind sides of buildings in street canyons have the lowest levels of particulate matter during a single-source pollution event, according to Penn State researchers.
Researchers say early spread of coronavirus extends far beyond China's quarantine zone
Infectious disease researchers at The University of Texas at Austin and other institutions in Hong Kong, mainland China and France have concluded there is a high probability that the deadly Wuhan coronavirus spread beyond Wuhan and other quarantined cities before Chinese officials were able to put a quarantine in place.
Are neurological disorders associated with increased risk of suicide?
Nearly 40 years of registry data for 7.3 million people living in Denmark were used to examine whether people diagnosed with neurological disorders, including dementia, stroke, epilepsy, Parkinson disease and multiple sclerosis, die by suicide more often than others.
Industry-linked studies more favorable to indoor tanning, Stanford researchers say
Studies of indoor tanning that are financially linked to the industry are significantly more likely to downplay the risks and highlight perceived benefits of indoor tanning than studies without such ties, according to researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
NCRI data shows increase in cancer research funding following five years of growth
Analysis of the NCRI's 18 partner organizations shows that cancer research funders in the UK have increased their collective spend, for the first time spending over £700 million in the year 2018/19.
Overall survival in patients with lung adenocarcinoma harboring 'niche' mutations
Mutations were observed in all genes studied, except c-MET, DDR2, MAP2K1, and RET.
Unlocking the secret of cell regulation
Ribonucleic acids (RNA) ensure that the blueprint in the cell nucleus is translated into vital proteins and that cell functions are regulated.
New quasi-particle discovered: The Pi-ton
New particles are usually only found in huge particle accelerators.
DNA-based nanorobot to fight cancer: New concept proposed by ITMO University researchers
Scientists from ITMO University have come up with the concept of a new drug against cancer: a nanorobot made of DNA fragments, which can potentially be used both to locate and destroy cancer cells (the first concept of such kind to combine the two functions).
How cells respond appropriately in harsh environments arising from global warming
Under severe environmental stresses such as high temperature, dryness and high salination, cells survive by responding appropriately through elaborate mechanisms, according to new cell biology research from the Laboratory of Molecular Genetics at The Institute of Medical Science, the University of Tokyo.
Clostridium perfringens enterotoxin induces claudin-4 to activate YAP in oral squamous cell
Oncotarget Volume 11, Issue 4: Treatment of human oral squamous cell carcinoma cell lines HSC3 and HSC4 with Clostridium perfringens enterotoxin, induced CLDN4 nuclear translocation to enhance epithelial-mesenchymal transition, stemness, cell proliferation, and invasive ability.
'Oldest bamboo' fossil from Eocene Patagonia turns out to be a conifer
A recent examination revealed that Chusquea oxyphylla, a fossilized leafy branch from the early Eocene in Patagonia, which has been widely cited as the oldest bamboo fossil and as evidence for a Gondwanan origin of bamboos is actually a conifer.
New discovery provides hope for improved multiple sclerosis therapies
Scientists from Trinity College Dublin have made an important discovery that could lead to more effective treatments for people living with multiple sclerosis (MS) and other autoimmune diseases such as psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis.
More than half of dental prescriptions for opioids exceed pain-management guidelines
A new study suggests that roughly half of the opioid prescriptions written by dentists in the United States exceed the 3-day supply recommended by federal dental pain-management guidelines.
Almost 10% of NC state students experienced homelessness
A representative survey of undergraduate and graduate students at North Carolina State University finds that almost 10% of students experienced homelessness in the previous year, and more than 14% of students dealt with food insecurity in the previous 30 days.

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