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Science News | Science Current Events | Brightsurf | February 14, 2020


Scientists reveal catalytic mechanism of lovastatin hydrolase
The research team led by Prof. LU Xuefeng from the Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology (QIBEBT), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), revealed the catalytic mechanism and structure-function relationship of the specific and efficient lovastatin hydrolase PcEST.
Algorithms 'consistently' more accurate than people in predicting recidivism, study says
In a study with potentially far-reaching implications for criminal justice in the United States, a team of California researchers has found that algorithms are significantly more accurate than humans in predicting which defendants will later be arrested for a new crime.
How social media makes breakups that much worse
Even those who use Facebook features like unfriending, unfollowing, blocking and Take a Break still experience troubling encounters with ex-partners online, a new study shows.
Mother nature and child development
A world first review of the importance of nature play could transform children's play spaces, supporting investment in city and urban parks, while also delivering important opportunities for children's physical, social and emotional development.
A good blood supply is good for memory
Memory performance and other cognitive abilities benefit from a good blood supply to the brain.
KIST unveils the mystery of van der Waals magnets, a material for future semiconductors
The Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) have announced that their team successfully controlled the magnetic properties of FGT (Fe3GeTe2) in a joint research project with for Basic Science(IBS) team.
Demonstration of world record transmission capacity over a 38-core 3-mode optical fiber
The National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd. and Optoquest Co., Ltd. succeeded in experimental transmission at 10.66 Pb/s, achieving a spectral efficiency of 1158.7 bps/Hz.
Gold nanoclusters: new frontier for developing medication for treatment of Alzheimer's disease
Alzheimer's disease (AD) as the major neurodegenerative disease afflicts over 50 million individuals worldwide without cure.
Breakthrough Listen releases 2 petabytes of data from SETI survey of Milky Way
Breakthrough Listen, based at UC Berkeley, announced its second major release of SETI data: a radio survey of the plane of the Milky Way and the galactic center.
World's first congenital pituitary hypoplasia model developed using patient-derived iPS cells
Researchers at Kobe University's Graduate School of Medicine have developed the world's first congenital pituitary hypoplasia (CPH) model using patient-derived iPS cells.
Bile duct cancer treatment potential boost from tailored medication -- study
Treatment of patients suffering from bile duct cancer could be improved by tailoring medication to the levels of a key protein in people with the disease, according to new research.
Tennessee infants exposed to hepatitis C at birth often not tested for virus
Most Tennessee infants exposed to hepatitis C at birth are not later tested to see if they acquired the virus, according to a study by researchers at Monroe Carell Jr.
Early treatment for PTSD after a disaster has lasting effects
In 1988, a 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck near the northern Armenian city of Spitak.
Research reveals unique reproductive trait for seagrass
New research by a team from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and University of Western Australia reveals that species of the seagrass genus Posidonia have evolved a remarkable adaptation for ocean survival: a winged seed whose shape harnesses the force of underwater currents to hold it on the seafloor for rooting.
Coral reefs: Centuries of human impact
In her AAAS talk, ASU researcher Katie Cramer outlines the evidence of the long-ago human footprints that set the stage for the recent coral reef die-offs we are witnessing today.
Low-cost 'smart' diaper can notify caregiver when it's wet
MIT researchers have developed a ''smart'' diaper embedded with a moisture sensor that can alert a caregiver when a diaper is wet.
New Dartmouth research: Fast food intake leads to weight gain in preschoolers
There is a strong link between the amount of fast food that pre-school age children consume and their likelihood of becoming overweight or obese, according to a new Dartmouth-led study, published in the journal Pediatric Obesity.
A smart jumpsuit provides information on infants' movement and development
A new innovation makes it possible, for the first time, to quantitatively assess children's spontaneous movement in the natural environment.
Vitamin C may shorten ventilation in critically ill patients
Vitamin C administration shortened the duration of mechanical ventilation in critical care patients, but the effect depended on the severity of illness.
Mapping the landscape of citizen science
A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has found that citizen science is reshaping research.
Galactic cosmic rays affect Titan's atmosphere
Planetary scientists using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) revealed the secrets of the atmosphere of Titan, the largest moon of Saturn.
Science snapshots: Dinosaur blood vessels, giant viruses, and antibiotic-building enzymes
Science Snapshots: Dinosaur blood vessels, giant viruses, and antibiotic-building enzymes.
For evolutionary study finds rare bats in decline, CCNY research
A study led by Susan Tsang, a former Fulbright Research Fellow from The City College of New York, reveals dwindling populations and widespread hunting throughout Indonesia and the Philippines of the world's largest bats, known as flying foxes.
Leaking away essential resources isn't wasteful, actually helps cells grow
Experts have been unable to explain why cells from bacteria to humans leak essential chemicals necessary for growth into their environment.
Scientists have identified protein involved in progression of lung cancer and melanoma
Scientists from Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU, Russia), University of Geneva (Switzerland), Minjiang University, and Fuzhou University (China) pointed out WDR74 protein playing an important role in lung cancer and melanoma primary tumors/metastases progression.
A prescription for the pain of rejection: Acetaminophen and forgiveness
A study, published recently in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine may have found an antidote to heartbreak -- forgiveness combined with acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol.
Molecule offers hope for halting Parkinson's
A promising molecule has offered hope for a new treatment that could stop or slow Parkinson's, something no treatment can currently do.
Unraveling mechanisms of ventricular enlargement linked to schizophrenia
Scientists at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital have implicated two microRNAs in the biological processes that underlie the ventricle enlargement observed in models of schizophrenia.
University of Montana researchers study how birds retweet news
Every social network has its fake news. And in animal communication networks, even birds discern the trustworthiness of their neighbors, a study from the University of Montana suggests.
Differences in airway size develop during puberty, new study finds
Sex differences in airway size are not innate, but likely develop because of hormonal changes around puberty, reports a new study by the University of Waterloo.
New findings from the Neotropics suggest contraction of the ITCZ
Research by an international team of scientists led by University of New Mexico Professor Yemane Asmerom suggests contraction of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) during a warming Earth, leading in turn to drying of the Neotropics, including Central America, and aggravating current trends of social unrest and mass migration.
Tiny, erratic protein motor movements revealed
The smallest proteins travel in our cells, completing deeply important tasks to keep our molecular mechanisms moving.
5200-year-old grains in the eastern Altai Mountains redate trans-Eurasian crop exchange
Cereals from the Fertile Crescent and broomcorn millet from northern China spread across the ancient world, integrating into complex farming systems that used crop-rotation cycles enabled by the different ecological regions of origin.
Statewide prevalence of gun ownership tied to police use of lethal force
A new study expands on prior research by examining the impact of the availability of firearms.
Electrons in rapid motion
Researchers observe quantum interferences in real-time using a new extreme ultra-violet light spectroscopy technique.
Underestimated chemical diversity
An international team of researchers has conducted a global review of all registered industrial chemicals: some 350,000 different substances are produced and traded around the world -- well in excess of the 100,000 reached in previous estimates.
NASA finds ex-Tropical Cyclone Uesi's rains affecting New Zealand
Although it is now an 'ex-tropical cyclone,' Uesi continues to generate some moderate rainfall, especially in its southern quadrant as it moves toward New Zealand.
Mayo Clinic study looks at changes in outcomes for coronary revascularization
The most common type of heart disease -- coronary artery disease -- affects 6.7% of adults and accounts for 20% of 2 in 10 deaths of adults under age 65.
Our memory prefers essence over form
What clues does our memory use to connect a current situation to a situation from the past?
Green tea extract combined with exercise reduces fatty liver disease in mice
The combination of green tea extract and exercise reduced the severity of obesity-related fatty liver disease by 75% in mice fed a high-fat diet, according to Penn State researchers, whose recent study may point to a potential health strategy for people.
Cobalt-based catalysts promise to enhance heavy oil extraction
The C-O and C-S bonds break in the side chains of aromatic and alicyclic hydrocarbons.
Solar wind samples suggest new physics of massive solar ejections
A new study led by the University of Hawai'i (UH) at Mānoa has helped refine understanding of the amount of hydrogen, helium and other elements present in violent outbursts from the Sun, and other types of solar 'wind,' a stream of ionized atoms ejected from the Sun.
Longstanding flaw in sensor readings could lead to heating and cooling design errors
Standard comfort measurements used to design heating and cooling systems share a common flaw, according to new research.
Broadband transmission-type coding metasurface for electromagnetic beam forming and scanning
In a recent work, a novel design of broadband and transmission-type digital coding metasurface is proposed by using two types of multi-layer digital particles with different geometrical parameters, which is valid in 8.1-12.5 GHz while satisfies the requirements of 1-bit coding.
Cocoa could bring sweet relief to walking pain for people with peripheral artery disease
Patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD) who consumed a flavanol-rich cocoa beverage three times daily for six months saw significant improvements in their 6-minute walking distance compared to a placebo, in a small, phase II randomized study.
NASA catches the re-birth of zombie tropical cyclone Francisco
The low-pressure area that had once been Tropical Cyclone Francisco has been lingering in the Southern Indian Ocean since Feb.
Computer-generated genomes
Professor Beat Christen, ETH Zurich to speak in the AAAS 2020 session, 'Synthetic Biology: Digital Design of Living Systems.' Christen will describe how computational algorithms paired with chemical DNA synthesis enable digital manufacturing of biological systems up to the size of entire microbial genomes.
Iodide salts stabilise biocatalysts for fuel cells
Contrary to theoretical predictions, oxygen inactivates biocatalysts for energy conversion within a short time, even under a protective film.
WWI helmets protect against shock waves just as well as modern designs
Biomedical engineers have demonstrated that, despite significant advancements in protection from ballistics and blunt impacts, modern military helmets are no better at protecting from shock waves than their World War I counterparts.
Air pollution's tiny particles may trigger nonfatal heart attacks, Yale study finds
A Yale-affiliated scientist finds that even a few hours' exposure to ambient ultrafine particles common in air pollution may potentially trigger a nonfatal heart attack.
Researchers were not right about left brains
The left and right side of the brain are involved in different tasks.
New CRISPR-based tool can probe and control several genetic circuits at once
Stanford researchers have devised a biological tool that can not only detect faulty genetic circuits but also ''debug'' them - like running a patch cord around a computer hardware glitch.
New technologies, strategies expanding search for extraterrestrial life
New technologies that enable new strategies are revitalizing the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), by not only augmenting the traditional search for intelligently-generated radio signals but also allowing searches for other signs of life and technological activity.
Does graphene cause or prevent the corrosion of copper? New study finally settles the debate
Graphene has attracted the interest of researchers in recent years because, despite its apparent anti-corrosive properties, its proximity was seen to increase the corrosion of copper.
CDI laboratory explores pathway to open up blood cancer treatments
The CDI team's findings could ultimately improve cancer treatments for people of advanced age, like that of adult acute myeloid leukemia (AML).
Radiation therapy to heart can worsen fatigue, shortness of breath in cancer patients
Radiation doses to the heart that occur during radiation therapy treatments for lung cancer, breast cancer and lymphoma can increase fatigue, cause difficulty breathing and lower capacity for physical activity in patients with cancer, according to research presented at the American College of Cardiology's Advancing the Cardiovascular Care of the Oncology Patient course.
PSU study finds out-of-network primary care tied to rising ACO costs
Accountable Care Organizations -- or ACOs -- formed for the first time in 2011, designed to combat rising medical costs and provide more coordinated care to Medicare patients.
Key modifier identified in large genetic deletion related to neurodevelopmental disorders
Neurodevelopmental disorders, including schizophrenia and autism, likely result from complex interactions that modify the effects of individual genes, according to new research.
New technology for pathogen detection driven by lasers
Purdue innovators have developed a lanthanide-based assay coupled with a laser that can be used to detect toxins and pathogenic E. coli in food samples, water and a variety of industrial materials.
Producing single photons from a stream of single electrons
Researchers at the University of Cambridge have developed a novel technique for generating single photons, by moving single electrons in a specially designed light-emitting diode (LED).
The Lancet Oncology: Young cancer survivors face higher risk of severe health problems in later life than the general population, study suggests
Cancer survivors who are diagnosed during adolescence or early adulthood (age 15-20 years) are at increased risk of premature death compared to the general population.
Earth's cousins: Upcoming missions to look for 'biosignatures' in exoplanet atmospheres
University of Washington astronomer Victoria Meadows answers questions about characterizing the atmospheres of terrestrial and potentially Earth-like exoplanets, and searching for signs of life on these worlds, ahead of her talk at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting in Seattle.
Advancing an oral drug for pulmonary arterial hypertension
With a protein drug grown in the leaves of lettuce plants, the University of Pennsylvania's Henry Daniell and colleagues hope to provide new treatment options for patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension, a rare but deadly disease.
Major study shows climate change can cause abrupt impacts on dryland ecosystems
A study finds for the first time that as levels of aridity increase due to climate change, abrupt changes are experienced on dryland ecosystems.
DGIST increased the possibility of early diagnosis for neuro-developmental disorders
DGIST identified causes of hypersensitivity accompanied by neurodevelopmental disorder such as autism-spectrum disorder (ASD).
WHO underestimates the spread of the Coronavirus
The coronavirus probably has a stronger ability to spread than the World Health Organization has estimated so far.
TPU researchers discover how to improve safety of nuclear power plants
Researchers at Tomsk Polytechnic University found a method to increase fuel lifetime by 75%.
Deconstructing Schrödinger's cat
So far, many physicists have attempted to explain the problem of quantum superposition, as exemplified by Schrödinger's cat.
Subtle decline in cognition predicts progression to Alzheimer's pathology
Researchers at UC San Diego School of Medicine report that abnormal levels of beta-amyloid plaques in brain predict cognitive decline and higher risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, but also that cognitive performance predicts progression from normal to abnormal levels of beta-amyloid.
Habitat fragmentation imperils Madagascar's large-bodied lemurs
A new study in the American Journal of Primatology highlights the critical need for conservation efforts to protect lemurs on Madagascar.
The catalyst that removes CO2 and produces hydrocarbons
Water is split into hydrogen and oxygen by electrolysis, but if CO2 is also added to the mixture, compounds can be generated to make textiles, diapers and even spirits.
ESO telescope sees surface of dim Betelgeuse
Using ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT), astronomers have captured the unprecedented dimming of Betelgeuse, a red supergiant star in the constellation of Orion.
Double success for University drug resistance research
Swansea University research into the threat posed by antifungal drug resistance has been highlighted in two prestigious international journals.
AI helps predict heart attacks and stroke
Artificial intelligence has been used for the first time to instantly and accurately measure blood flow, in a study led by UCL and Barts Health NHS Trust published in Circulation.
How did dinosaur parents know when their kids had a fever?
How Did Dinosaur Parents Know When Their Kids Had a Fever?
Holstein steers that get hormone implants perform as well as implanted beef cows
Holstein steers that get hormone implants grow faster than those that do not receive the implants, and they get as big as beef cattle breeds, according to Penn State researchers, who say that's good news for dairy farmers struggling to keep their operations financially viable.
Computer simulations visualize how DNA is recognized to convert cells into stem cells
Researchers of the Hubrecht Institute (KNAW - The Netherlands) and the Max Planck Institute in Münster (Germany) have revealed how an essential protein helps to activate genomic DNA during the conversion of regular adult human cells into stem cells.
New guidelines for hepatic failure in the intensive care unit
For critical care specialists, hepatic failure poses complex challenges unlike those of other critical illnesses.
Looking for aliens who might be looking for us
Data from a massive search for cosmic radio emission released Feb 14. by the Breakthrough Listen Initiative has allowed astronomers to look for technological signatures of extraterrestrial civilizations that might be looking for us.
Satellite image data reveals rapid decline of China's intertidal wetlands
Researchers from the school of Geographical Sciences at Guangzhou University have revealed the stark decline of China's intertidal wetlands by studying archives of satellite imaging data.
Catalyst deposition on fragile chips
Researchers at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) and the University of Duisburg-Essen have developed a new method of depositing catalyst particles to tiny electrodes.
Vitamin E effective, safe for fatty liver in HIV patients
A type of fatty liver disease that commonly affects patients with HIV can be safely treated with vitamin E, a McGill-led study has found.
To help wildlife move, researchers map both natural and legal boundaries
Researchers have developed a way to find the path of least resistance in creating wildlife corridors by mapping not only habitat but also the types of legal authority governing the landscape.
UCF researchers develop device that mimics brain cells used for human vision
In a study featured as the cover article appearing today in the journal Science Advances, a UCF research team showed that by combining two promising nanomaterials into a new superstructure, they could create a nanoscale device that mimics the neural pathways of brain cells used for human vision.
Northwestern researcher examines substance use disorders in at-risk youth
Using data from the Northwestern Juvenile Project, Linda Teplin of Northwestern University will examine the persistence and progression of substance use disorders -- including opioid use disorder -- in delinquent youth in a talk at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting in Seattle on Friday, Feb.
New pathogenic mechanism for influenza NS1 protein found
Researchers report the biological effects of influenza protein NS1 binding to RIG-I -- the binding directly quiets the alarm that activates the cellular innate immunity defense against the infection.
Novel formulation permits use of toxin from rattlesnake venom to treat chronic pain
Researchers Butantan Institute succeeded in reducing the toxicity and potentiating the analgesic effect of crotoxin by encapsulating it in nanostructured silica.
Brief bursts, big insights
Researchers at the University of Freiburg use new method to investigate neural oscillations.
Researchers wake monkeys by stimulating 'engine' of consciousness in brain
A small amount of electricity delivered at a specific frequency to a particular point in the brain will snap a monkey out of even deep anesthesia, pointing to a circuit of brain activity key to consciousness and suggesting potential treatments for debilitating brain disorders.

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