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Science News | Science Current Events | Brightsurf | February 06, 2020


Studies on mass shootings assess trends, gauge effectiveness, and recommend policies
In the last decade, thousands have been killed as a result of mass violence.
Antioxidant reverses BPD-induced fertility damage in worms
Treatment with a naturally occurring antioxidant, CoQ10, restores many aspects of fertility in C. elegans worms following exposure to BPA Findings offer possible path toward undoing BPA-induced reproductive harms in people Although CoQ10 is available over the counter, it is not yet clear whether the compound could improve human fertility or do so safely
Gaps remain in rural opioid crisis research
Rural areas have been hit hard by the opioid crisis, but few studies have been done to understand how to improve access to treatment and reduce the overdose death rate in these communities, according to a new study by Rutgers University, the University of Michigan, and Wayne State University.
Collaboration lets researchers 'read' proteins for new properties
A collaboration between the McKelvey School of Engineering and St.
How plants are built to be strong and responsive
Researchers have solved the long-standing mystery of how plants control the arrangement of their cellulose fibres.
Key molecular machine in cells pictured in detail for the first time
Scientists at Columbia, UNC-Chapel Hill, and Rockefeller University, in a study published in Science, used biochemical experiments and cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) to determine the atomic structure of a complex assembly of molecules known as the histone mRNA three-prime (3') end-processing machine.
Drones can determine the shape of a room by listening
In a paper publishing next week in the SIAM Journal on Applied Algebra and Geometry, Mireille Boutin and Gregor Kemper attempt to reconstruct the shape of a room using first-order echoes received by four microphones attached to a drone.
Growing new blood vessels could provide new treatment for recovering movement
New research published today in The Journal of Physiology highlights the link between loss of the smallest blood vessels in muscle and difficulties moving and exercising.
Bridging the gap between AI and the clinic
Researchers trained machine learning algorithms on data from more than 62,000 patients with a meningioma.
Stopping onchocerciasis on two sides of a border
Pathogens don't pay attention to international borders, with transmission and endemic areas often stretching between countries.
How hereditary genetic testing results impact breast cancer treatment
Women with early stage breast cancer who test positive for an inherited genetic variant are not always receiving cancer treatment that follows current guidelines, a new study finds.
Finding connections at the surface
How and where receptors touch at the surface of a cell may influence the strength of neuronal connections and contribute to identifying better medical interventions for pain, cancer other diseases.
Physicists find evidence of previously unseen transition in ferroelectrics
Proposed a century ago, inverse transitions seem to contradict the fundamental law that disorder increases with temperature.
Study: Two enzymes control liver damage in NASH
After identifying a molecular pathway that allows nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) to progress into liver cell death, University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers were able to use these pathways to halt further liver damage.
Story tips: Fusion squeeze, global image mapping, computing mental health, Na+ batteries
Story tips: Fusion squeeze, global image mapping, computing mental health and sodium batteries.
Pregnant women in Louisiana at increased risk for homicide
Pooja Mehta, MD, clinical assistant professor of obstetrics & gynecology at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine, was a member of a research team that found 13% of deaths occurring during or up to one year after pregnancy among Louisiana women in 2016-17 were homicides.
How iron carbenes store energy from sunlight -- and why they aren't better at it
Photosensitizers absorb sunlight and pass that energy along to generate electricity or drive chemical reactions.
Deformation of Zealandia, Earth's Hidden continent, linked to forging of the Ring of Fire
Recent seafloor drilling has revealed that the 'hidden continent' of Zealandia -- a region of continental crust twice the size of India submerged beneath the southwest Pacific Ocean -- experienced dramatic elevation changes between about 50 million and 35 million years ago.
Scientists discover how rogue communications between cells lead to leukemia
New research has deciphered how rogue communications in blood stem cells can cause leukemia.
'Watch-and-Wait' strategy could safely replace surgery in more than 20% of rectal cancers
This therapeutic approach is still far from being mainstream practice.
Toxic protein, linked to Alzheimer's and neurodegenerative diseases, exposed in new detail
The protein tau has long been implicated in Alzheimer's and a host of other debilitating brain diseases.
Natural compound in vegetables helps fight fatty liver disease
A new study led by Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientists shows how a natural compound found in cruciferous vegetables can also be used to fight fatty liver disease.
Pregnant women with very high blood pressure face greater heart disease risk
Women with high blood pressure in their first pregnancy have a greater risk of heart attack or cardiovascular death, according to a Rutgers study.
Literature online: Research into reading habits almost in real time
Young people make intensive use of digital networks to read, write and comment on literary texts.
Sharp rise in canine fertility clinics but not always staffed with vets
There has been a sharp rise in the number of specialist canine fertility clinics, according to an investigation published in this week's issue of the Vet Record.
Breathing may change your mind about free will
Is free will just an illusion? For decades, a signal from the brain called the 'readiness potential' has been interpreted to mean that free will may be an illusion.
Graphene mapping 50 times faster
University of Twente researchers added a smart algorithm to the detection, resulting in 'Raman' working at least fifty times faster and making it more 'gentle' to sensitive materials.
For aging patients, one missed doctor's visit can lead to vision loss
Visit adherence plays an important role in outcomes for patients with age-related macular degeneration, a Penn Medicine study found.
What is your risk from smoking? Your network knows!
A new study from researchers at Penn's Annenberg School for Communication found that most people, smokers and non-smokers alike, were nowhere near accurate in their answers to questions about smoking's health effects.
Oh my aching back: Do yoga, tai chi or qigong help?
About 80 percent of Americans will experience low back pain at some point.
Portable lab you plug into your phone can diagnose illnesses like coronavirus
Engineers with the University of Cincinnati have created a tiny portable lab that plugs into your phone, connecting it automatically to your doctor through a custom app UC developed.
UTA study examines potential sources of groundwater contamination in private wells
A study led by environmental researchers at The University of Texas at Arlington suggests a disconnect between the perception of groundwater contamination and the extent to which that contamination is attributable to oil and natural gas extraction.
New method for monitoring residual disease after treatment in children with neuroblastoma
Neuroblastoma is a cancer that affects children, characterized by solid tumors that develop from immature nerve cells.
Humanity's greatest risk: Cascading impacts of climate, biodiversity, food, water crises: scientists
The greatest threat to humanity hides in the potential cascading of impacts of five highly-related, highly-likely risks -- collisions that can amplify effects catastrophically, according to a new survey of 222 leading scientists from 52 countries conducted by Future Earth.
Direct synthesis of azulene continues to reveal alluring properties
Azulene was first synthesized in the 1930s by Placidus Plattner.
East African fish in need of recovery
A study of East African coral reefs has uncovered an unfolding calamity for the region: plummeting fish populations due to overfishing, which in turn could produce widespread food insecurity.
Sugar ants' preference for pee may reduce greenhouse gas emissions
An unlikely penchant for pee is putting a common sugar ant on the map, as new research from the University of South Australia shows their taste for urine could play a role in reducing greenhouse gases.
Researchers study elephants' unique interactions with their dead
Stories of unique and sentient interactions between elephants and their dead are a familiar part of the species' lore, but a comprehensive study of these interactions has been lacking -- until now.
New tool monitors real time mutations in flu
A Rutgers-led team has developed a tool to monitor influenza A virus mutations in real time, which could help virologists learn how to stop viruses from replicating.
When kids face discrimination, their mothers' health may suffer
A new study is the first to suggest that children's exposure to discrimination can harm their mothers' health.
Popularity distance between a restaurant's location and a person's hometown biases ratings
Product reviews and ratings have a strong impact on consumer consideration.
Beyond Goodfellas and The Godfather: the Cosa Nostra families' rise and fall
Since 1979 the Crime and Justice series has presented a review of the latest international research, providing expertise to enhance the work of sociologists, psychologists, criminal lawyers, justice scholars, and political scientists.
Nimotuzumab-cisplatin-radiation versus cisplatin-radiation in HPV negative oropharyngeal cancer
Oncotarget Volume 11, Issue 4: In this study, locally advanced head and neck cancer patients undergoing definitive chemoradiation were randomly allocated to weekly cisplatin - radiation {CRT arm} or nimotuzumab -weekly cisplatin -radiation {NCRT arm}.
What decides the ferromagnetism in the non-encapsulated few-layer CrI3
A recent study demonstrated the layer, polarization and temperature dependence of the Raman features of non-encapsulated 2-5 layer and bulk CrI3, illustrating that the non-encapsulated few-layer and bulk CrI3 are rhombohedral stacking order at low temperature, rather than monoclinic structure.
New online therapy for lingering depression symptoms could fill important gap in care
A pioneering therapy for lingering depressive symptoms developed by U of T psychologist is now available online
Sequencing sewage for antimicrobial resistance surveillance
In this Policy Forum, Frank Aarestrup and Mark Woolhouse advocate for the immediate establishment of a global antimicrobial resistance surveillance system based on the metagenomic sequencing of human sewage.
Researchers recommend early walking in a brace for Achilles tendon rupture
A new study from the University of Oxford and the University of Warwick reveals a breakthrough for sportsmen and women in the treatment of Achilles tendon rupture.
VA's 'Healthy Teaching Kitchens' benefit from holistic approach
Over the next decade, older adults will grow to become 20% of the US population.
Brain tumor surgery that pushes boundaries boosts patients survival
Survival may more than double for adults with glioblastoma, the most common and deadly type of brain tumor, if neurosurgeons remove the surrounding tissue as aggressively as they remove the cancerous core of the tumor.
Steroids could do more harm than good in treating coronavirus
Steroids should be avoided in the treatment of the current novel coronavirus, experts have advised.
Alaska's national forests contribute 48 million salmon a year to state's fishing industry
Alaska's Tongass and Chugach National Forests, which contain some of the world's largest remaining tracts of intact temperate rainforest, contribute an average of 48 million salmon a year to the state's commercial fishing industry, a new USDA Forest Service-led study has found.
All women should be educated after childbirth about high blood pressure
After childbirth, it is not uncommon for women to experience high blood pressure.
Geography, age and anemia shape childhood vaccine responses in Sub-Saharan Africa
Vaccine responses in the developing immune systems of children may depend on factors such as age, location and anemia status, according to a study comparing samples from 1,119 Dutch children to 171 children in sub-Saharan Africa who took part in a malaria vaccine trial.
A study shows growth trends in female homicide victims in Spain spanning over a century
In a groundbreaking study, research carried out between the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) and the University of Lausanne (UNIL, Switzerland) has compiled data on homicide victims in Spain, disaggregated by gender, from 1910 to 2014.
A new learning model to enhance citizen participation
How to teach citizens to become active members of the society?
CRISPR-edited immune cells can survive and thrive after infusion into cancer patients
Genetically edited immune cells can persist, thrive, and function months after a cancer patient receives them.
What interventional radiologists need to know about frostbite and amputation
An ahead-of-print article in the April issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR) reviewing various techniques and clinical management paradigms to treat severe frostbite injuries -- relevant for interventional radiology, especially--showed promising results using both intraarterial and intravenous tissue plasminogen activator to reduce amputation.
Design approach may help fix bias in artificial intelligence
Bias in artificial intelligence is well established. Researchers are now proposing that developers incorporate the concept of 'feminist design thinking' into their process as a way of improving equity -- particularly in the development of software used in hiring.
Molecular 'switch' reverses chronic inflammation and aging
Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have identified a molecular 'switch' that controls the immune machinery responsible for chronic inflammation in the body.
How runaway healthcare costs are a threat to older adults and what to do about it
Empowering Medicare to directly negotiate drug prices, accelerating the adoption of value-based care, using philanthropy as a catalyst for reform and expanding senior-specific models of care are among recommendations for reducing healthcare costs published in a new special report and supplement to the Winter 2019-20 edition of Generations, the journal of the American Society of Aging (ASA).
Water-conducting membrane allows carbon dioxide to transform into fuel more efficiently
Methanol is a versatile and efficient chemical used as fuel in the production of countless products.
Fat-fighting drug discovery
Cancer-fighting compound fights obesity and diabetes.
Experimental fingerprint test can distinguish between those who have taken or handled cocaine
An experimental fingerprint detection approach can identify traces of cocaine on human skin, even after someone has washed their hands -- and the test is also smart enough to tell whether an individual has actually consumed the class A drug, or simply handled it.
'Fluorescent markers' to illuminate cancer begins Phase 3 clinical trials
Purdue-discovered intraoperative molecular imaging used to illuminate and target non-small-cell lung cancer shows improved outcomes for 26% of patients in multi-institutional Phase 2 clinical trial, receives FDA fast track.
NASA satellite finds wind shear adversely affecting tropical storm Francisco
Forecasters use a variety of satellite imagery to understand what is happening in a storm, and sometimes just a visible picture can tell a lot.
Static electricity as strong as lightening can be saved in a battery
Prof. Dong Sung Kim and his joint research team presented a new technology that can increase the amount of power generated by a triboelectric nanogenerator.
Botanical drug is shown to help patients with head and neck cancers
In a UCLA-led phase I clinical trial, a new plant-based drug called APG-157 showed signs of helping patients fight oral and oropharyngeal cancers.
New gene therapy method improves vision in mice with congenital blindness
Mice born blind have shown significant improvement in vision after undergoing a new gene therapy developed by a team of Japanese scientists.
Discovery of genes involved in infertility
A research group from Kumamoto University, Japan has discovered a gene, 'Meiosin', that acts as the switch to turn on meiosis.
Resources and gender competence are needed for science equality measures to be effective
Half of female Spanish researchers believe that being a woman makes your career more difficult.
UNH researchers find synchronization of memory cells critical for learning and forming memories
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire found that the neurons, or memory cells, involved in Pavlovian learning shift their behavior during the learning process and become more synchronized when a memory is formed -- a finding that helps better understand memory mechanisms and provides clues for the development of future therapies for memory-related diseases like dementia, autism and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Researchers develop a roadmap for growth of new solar cells
Materials called perovskites show strong potential for a new generation of solar cells, but they've had trouble gaining traction in a market dominated by silicon-based solar cells.
Half of lupus rashes harbor high levels of bacteria responsible for infections
A new study finds that one side effect of lupus could also make patients with the autoimmune condition more vulnerable to a skin infection, or spreading the infection to others.
Researchers refute fifty-year old doctrine on cell membrane regulation
The cell membrane can be regarded as the boundary between life and non-life.
Trees in the Amazon are time capsules of human history, from culture to colonialism
The annals of human history have been recorded through text, art, and oral tradition.
Marine biology: Whales coordinate deep dives to evade predators
Groups of beaked whales reduce predation risk through extreme diving synchronization, according to a study in Scientific Reports.
Tinder a good example of how people use technology for more than we think
From multilevel marketing to political and health campaigning to promoting local gigs, Tinder users are appropriating the platform for their own purposes.
New robot does superior job sampling blood
In the future, robots could take blood samples, benefiting patients and healthcare workers alike.
Study takes a stand against prolonged sitting
A UCLA study shows classrooms remain overlooked when it comes to the health risks of sitting still for too long.
UCLA research could be step toward lab-grown eggs and sperm to treat infertility
A new study on how and when the precursors to eggs and sperm are formed during development could help pave the way for generating egg and sperm cells in the lab to treat infertility.
Why bumble bees are going extinct in time of 'climate chaos'
Researchers from the University of Ottawa and UCL created a new technique that shows which species will be at risk from climate change, where those risks are most severe, and even suggests things we can do to reduce those risks.
The unchanging viscosity of cells
The only thing that appears to be unchanging in living cells is that they are constantly changing.
Setting up fundamental bases for information metasurface
In recent years, investigations of metasurfaces have been extended from the physical and material sciences to digital and information category.
Mosquitoes seek heat using repurposed ancestral cooling receptor
In a mosquito responsible for transmission of malaria, heat-seeking behavior -- critical to this insect's ability to locate and feed on warm-blooded hosts -- relies on a thermoreceptor that was once focused on heat avoidance (to help the mosquito keep cool).
First phase i clinical trial of CRISPR-edited cells for cancer shows cells safe and durable
Following the first US test of CRISPR gene editing in patients with advanced cancer, researchers report these patients experienced no negative side effects and that the engineered T cells persisted in their bodies -- for months.
Chemical found in drinking water linked to tooth decay in children
Children with higher concentrations of a certain chemical in their blood are more likely to get cavities, according to a new study by West Virginia University School of Dentistry researchers.
Global study maps cancer mutations in large catalogue
Mutations in 38 different types of cancer have been mapped by means of whole genome analysis by an international team of researchers from, amongst others, the University of Copenhagen, Aarhus University, Aarhus University Hospital, and Rigshospitalet.
Scientists create 'Chemical gardens' that can be used as bone substitute materials
A new way of making bone-replacement materials that allows for cells to grow around and inside them has been developed by researchers at the University of Birmingham.
Gaps in cure rate appear linked to race and insurance status for common HPV-related cancer
Largest population-based analysis to date on outcomes for HPV-positive oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) finds significant racial and socioeconomic disparities, according to new research in JNCCN-Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.
Psychology: High volumes of mental health-related tweets associated with crisis referrals
Referrals to two mental healthcare providers in London for patients requiring urgent help were significantly greater on days with a higher than average number of tweets discussing topics around mental health, according to a study published in Scientific Reports.
Words matter when it comes to apparel for people living with disabilitie
Brands should consider the language they use when marketing products to this group of consumers, according to a new study from the University of Missouri.
Microglia regulate forgetting in the adult brain
The ability to forget our memories -- for better or worse -- is dependent on microglia and their inclination to weaken and eliminate the synapses connecting engram neurons, according to a new study in mice.
iPS cells to regulate immune rejection upon transplantation
Scientists suggest a new strategy that uses induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to regulate immune reaction to transplanted tissues.
Religious, moral beliefs may exacerbate concerns about porn addiction
Moral or religious beliefs may lead some people to believe they are addicted to pornography even when their porn use is low or average, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association.
End-of life-care needs will nearly double over the next 30 years, highlighting urgent need for funding
New research at Trinity College Dublin highlights that end-of-life care needs will nearly double over the next 30 years, highlighting urgent need for funding and workforce.
Abnormal bone formation after trauma explained and reversed in mice
New study findings implicate a specific type of immune cell behind heterotopic ossification, or abnormal bone formation and present a possible target for treatment.
Hard times are coming: Brain tissue stiffness is crucial for neurogenesis
In mammalian adult brains, neural stem cells are only present in few specific parts, so called niches.
An invasive flatworm from Argentina, Obama nungara, found across France and Europe
The presence of a new invasive flatworm, named Obama nungara, is reported in France by an international team led by Jean-Lou Justine of ISYEB (Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France).
Majority-minority social-group contact proves negative for the latter
The study, in which the University of Granada participated, was published recently by the journal Nature Human Behavior.
Computer simulation for understanding brain cancer growth
Scientists have developed a computer simulation, BioDynaMo that can be used on standard laptops or desktop computers and provides a software platform which can be used to easily create, run and visualise 3D agent-based biological simulations for brain cancers.
Scientists reveal whole new world of chemistry by stepping indoors
Delphine Farmer and her team at Colorado State University have published their first major study, about bleach cleaning, from HOMEChem, a collaborative experiment with 13 universities that mapped the airborne chemistry of a typical home.
Scientists offer an inkjet printing technology to make compact, flexible battery elements
A group of St. Petersburg scientists has proposed a new method of manufacturing electrodes for lithium-ion batteries that power laptops, smartphones and tablets.
Cancer-causing culprits could be caught by their DNA fingerprints
Researchers from University of California San Diego School of Medicine have defined the most detailed list of genetic fingerprints of DNA-damaging processes that drive cancer development to date.
FEFU scientists developed method to build up functional elements of quantum computers
Scientists from Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU, Vladivostok, Russia), together with colleagues from FEB RAS, China, Hong Kong, and Australia, manufactured ultra-compact bright sources based on IR-emitting mercury telluride (HgTe) quantum dots (QDs), the future functional elements of quantum computers and advanced sensors.
Social media users 'copy' friends' eating habits
Social media users are more likely to eat fruit and veg -- or snack on junk food -- if they think their friends do the same, a new study has found.
Secondary forests provide deforestation buffer for old-growth primary forests
Currently, re-growing forests comprise roughly 21% of previously deforested areas in the Brazilian Amazon.
Enjoying the View? How computer games can help evaluate landscapes
Geographers from Staffordshire University are stepping into the virtual world of computer games to develop exciting new ways of assessing landscapes.Ruth Swetnam, Professor of Applied Geography, has spent years analysing geographical landscapes and determining what features people from different countries find most appealing.
Biomimetic optics: Effective substitute for eyes
Scientists at University of Tyumen (UTMN) have presented a large-scale study of biomimetic optics, liquid elements that effectively imitate eye functions for use in various fields of industry and medicine, as well as in biochemical and biometric analysis.
Wikipedia, a source of information on natural disasters biased towards rich countries
This is the result of a study led by Valerio Lorini, a PhD student on the ICT programme, led by Carlos Castillo, coordinator of the Web Science and Social Computing group, with Javier Rando, a student at UPF doing the bachelor's degree in Mathematical Engineering in Data Science, focusing on flooding as a case study.
Tel Aviv university researchers demonstrate optical backflow of light
Researchers at Tel Aviv University have for the first time demonstrated the backflow of optical light propagating forward.
Easter Island society did not collapse prior to European contact, new research shows
Easter Island society did not collapse prior to European contact and its people continued to build its iconic moai statues for much longer than previously believed, according to a team of researchers including faculty at Binghamton University, State University of New York.
Conflict between ranchers and wildlife intensifies as climate change worsens in Chile
As Chile becomes drier due to climate change, new research has found ranchers are coming into conflict with guanacos who compete for pasture with livestock.
Controllable functional ferroelectric domain walls under piezoresponse microscope
Although ferroelectric bulk materials have excellent photoelectric, piezoelectric and dielectric properties, they could hardly meet the increasing need for integrated, micro-sized and wearable devices.
Tropical trees are living time capsules of human history
Tropical forest trees are the centerpiece of debates on conservation, climate change and carbon sequestration.
NASA sees tropical storm Damien form off Australia's Pilbara coast
The low-pressure area that formed off Australia's Kimberley coast and lingered there for a couple of days has moved west and developed into Tropical Cyclone Damien off the Pilbara coastline.
Engineered living-cell blood vessel provides new insights to progeria
Scientists have developed the most advanced disease model for blood vessels to date and used it to discover a unique role of the endothelium in Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome.
Apps could take up less space on your phone, thanks to new 'streaming' software
New software ''streams'' data and code resources to an app from a cloud server when necessary, allowing the app to use only the space it needs on a phone at any given time.
At least 13% of wastewater treated by Southern Ontario septic systems ends up in streams
The presence of artificial sweeteners has revealed that at least 13 percent of septic system wastewater from rural Southern Ontario homes eventually makes its way into local streams.
Both Sn and Zn single-atoms on CuO catalyst synergistically promote dimethyldichlorosilane synthesis
Single-atom catalysts (SACs) are of great interest because of their maximum atom-utilization efficiency and unique catalytic properties; however, much attention has paid to single-site active components, rarely to catalyst promoters.
Artificial evolution of an industry
A research team has taken a deep dive into the newly emerging domain of 'forward-looking' business strategies that show firms have far more ability to actively influence the future of their markets than once thought.
Recognise and control new variants of the deadly Ebola virus more quickly
Joint press release by the DZIF and Charité. The situation is extraordinary: there have only ever been four declarations of public health emergencies of international concern in the past and now there are two at the same time.
A new approach to calm that angry nose
Eosinophilic chronic rhinosinusitis (ECRS) is a type of airway disease that involves nasal inflammation.
Bleeding may be a sign of bowel cancer not just a side-effect of blood-thinning drugs
Patients who are being treated with blood-thinning drugs for irregular heart beat should always be investigated for bowel cancer if they experience gastrointestinal bleeding, say the authors of a study published in the European Heart Journal.

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