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Science News | Science Current Events | Brightsurf | February 20, 2020


Researchers identify new biomarkers for diagnosis and prognosis of lung cancer
Applying bioinformatics to resolve biological problems. This is the objective of the research group of the University of Malaga ''BI4NEXT'', which, in one of its latest studies, developed in the Supercomputing and Bioinnovation Center (SCBI) based on biobank samples, has identified new biomarkers for the diagnosis, prognosis and even treatment of lung cancer.
'Stranger Things' associated with public awareness of rare disorder
The actor who plays Dustin Henderson on the popular Netflix series 'Stranger Things' was born with cleidocranial dysplasia (CCD), a rare disorder of which the most prominent features are missing or abnormal growth of the teeth and collarbones.
Social networks reveal dating in blue tits
Blue tits that are already associated in winter are more likely to have young together in the spring.
Colorado river flow dwindles due to loss of reflective snowpack
Due to the disappearance of its sunlight-reflecting seasonal snowpack, the Colorado River Basin is losing more water to evaporation than can be replaced by precipitation, researchers report.
Study shows UV technology raises the standard in disinfecting ORs and medical equipment
Ultraviolet (UV) technology developed by the New York-based firm PurpleSun Inc. eliminates more than 96 percent of pathogens in operating rooms (ORs) and on medical equipment, compared to 38 percent using manual cleaning methods that rely on chemicals to disinfect surfaces, according to a study published this month in the American Journal of Infection Control (AJIC).
A potential new weapon against deadly brain and soft tissue cancers
Researchers at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering have designed a new drug cocktail that kills some types of brain and soft tissue cancers by tricking the cancer cells to behave as if they were starving for their favorite food -- glucose.
New graphene-based metasurface capable of independent amplitude and phase control of light
Researchers described a new strategy of designing metamolecules that incorporates two independently controllable subwavelength meta-atoms.
Researchers identify novel potential combination therapy for childhood brain tumors
Brazilian researchers working in collaboration with Canadian scientists demonstrated that all medulloblastoma tumor subtypes express two stem cell markers: BMI1 and CD133.
Study reveals hidden risks of estuary development for young salmon
A Simon Fraser University-led research team has found significant evidence that human activity in estuaries is impacting juvenile Pacific and Atlantic salmon.
MicroRNA exhibit unexpected function in driving cancer
New research shows that both strands of microRNA cooperate to drive growth and aggressiveness across cancer types, suggesting that these molecules may be more central in deadly cancers than previously thought.
Pill-sized 'heater' could increase accessibility in diagnosing infectious disease
Researchers at the University of Toronto Engineering have developed a tiny 'heater' -- about the size of a pill -- that could allow resource-limited regions around the world to test for infectious diseases without the need for specialized training or costly lab equipment.
Colorectal cancer partner-in-crime identified
A protein that helps colorectal cancer cells spread to other parts of the body could be an effective treatment target.
Gladstone scientists identify new human genes controlling HIV infection
A team of Gladstone Institutes scientists led by Senior Investigator Nevan Krogan, PhD, has been cataloging host proteins that physically bind to virus proteins.
Bumblebees recognize objects through sight and touch, a complex cognitive feat
Demonstrating an unprecedented degree of cognitive complexity in an insect, researchers report that bumblebees are capable of recognizing objects across senses.
18-hour year planet on edge of destruction
Astronomers from the University of Warwick have observed an exoplanet orbiting a star in just over 18 hours, the shortest orbital period ever observed for a planet of its type.
A scaffold at the center of our cellular skeleton
When the cells stop dividing, the centrioles migrate to the plasma membrane and allow the formation of primary and mobile cilia, which are used for the transfer of information and the genesis of movement.
On the trail of cancer stem cells
What goes on inside and between individual cells during the very earliest stages of tumor development?
Want to live longer? Stay in school, study suggests
A multi-institution study led by the Yale School of Medicine and University of Alabama-Birmingham has attempted to tease out the relative impact of two variables most often linked to life expectancy -- race and education -- by combing through data about 5,114 black and white individuals in four US cities.
New study supports the safety of varenicline
A real-world study of over 600,000 adult participants without a history of depression has found that the stop-smoking medication varenicline (marketed as Chantix and Champix) does not appear to be associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular or neuropsychiatric hospitalization compared with nicotine replacement therapy (NRT).
Hate speech dominates social media platform when users want answers on terrorism
People often resort to using hate speech when searching about terrorism on a community social media platform, a study has found.
Iron in brain shows cognitive decline in people with Parkinson's
A cutting-edge MRI technique to detect iron deposits in different brain regions can track declines in thinking, memory and movement in people with Parkinson's disease, finds a new UCL-led study published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry.
Half of transgender youth avoid disclosing gender identity to a health care provider
Researchers surveyed 153 transgender youths receiving gender-affirming care at a specialty clinic, and even in this relatively 'out' population, nearly half reported intentionally hiding their gender identity from a health care provider outside the clinic.
Follow-up study suggests brain stents are safe and effective for reducing recurrent stroke risk
Placing stents in cholesterol-clogged brain arteries may be an option to reduce the risk of a repeat stroke.
New findings: Pacific marine national monuments do not harm fishing industry
The University of Hawaii at Manoa research team analyzed observer records of individual fishing events, logbook summary reports and detailed satellite data on vessel movements.
Single gene cluster loss may contribute to initiation/progression of multiple myeloma
The loss of one copy of the miR15a/miR16-1 gene cluster promoted initiation and progression of multiple myeloma in mice.
Old carbon reservoirs unlikely to cause massive greenhouse gas release
As global temperatures rise, permafrost and methane hydrates -- large reservoirs of ancient carbon -- have the potential to break down, releasing enormous quantities of the potent greenhouse gas methane.
Columbia researchers develop new method to isolate atomic sheets and create new materials
Columbia researchers have invented a new method -- using ultraflat gold films -- to disassemble vdW single crystals layer by layer into monolayers with near-unity yield and with dimensions limited only by bulk crystal sizes.
This study shows how a lack of oxygen during pregnancy can cause schizophrenia
Experiments with rats indicate that brain cells submitted to several forms of hypoxia underwent alterations to their energy production mechanism.
First genetic evidence of resistance in some bats to white-nose syndrome, a devastating fungal disease
A new study from University of Michigan biologists presents the first genetic evidence of resistance in some bats to white-nose syndrome, a deadly fungal disease that has decimated some North American bat populations.
New artificial intelligence algorithm better predicts corn yield
With some reports predicting the precision agriculture market will reach $12.9 billion by 2027, there is an increasing need to develop sophisticated data-analysis solutions that can guide management decisions in real time.
About 8% of West Virginia babies are exposed to alcohol shortly before birth
About 8 percent of West Virginia newborns are exposed to alcohol two to four weeks before birth, according to a new study.
Artificial intelligence yields new antibiotic
Using a machine-learning algorithm, MIT researchers have identified a powerful new antibiotic compound.
Outreach effective for opioid use disorder long-term treatment
Proactive outreach, including knocking on the doors of individuals who recently overdosed on opioids, can be an effective way to engage more people who have opioid use disorder with long-term care, according to researchers at UTHealth.
Bumblebees can experience an object using one sense and later recognize it using another
Researchers at Queen Mary University of London and Macquarie University in Sydney have published new work in the journal Science showing that bumblebees can find objects in the dark they've only seen before.
Old methane sources less important in modern climate warming
The atmospheric release of ancient stores of methane in thawing permafrost or from beneath Arctic ice may not impact future climate warming as strongly as previously believed, a new study finds.
For 'blade runners' taller doesn't necessarily mean faster
The governing body for the Paralympics recently lowered the allowable height for sprinters who use prosthetic legs, or blades, during competition.
Study highlights new strategies for helping children process negative emotions
A recent study of indigenous people in southern Chile challenges Western assumptions about children's emotional capabilities and highlights the value of spending time outdoors to help children regulate their emotions.
DNA from ancient packrat nests helps unpack Earth's past
New work shows how using next-generation DNA sequencing on ancient packrat middens--nests made out of plant material, fragments of insects, bones, fecal matter, and urine--could provide ecological snapshots of Earth's past.
Russian scientists found an effective way to obtain fuel for hydrogen engines
A catalyst is needed for a chemical process that releases hydrogen from an H2O molecule.
Finding new clues to brain cancer treatment
Researchers at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and Cleveland Clinic new discovered a more accurate way to determine the relative life expectancy of glioblastoma victims and identify who could be candidates for experimental clinical drug trials by blending information from Artificial Intelligence (AI)--in this case, computer image analysis of the initial MRI scans taken of brain cancer patients--and genomic research.
The climate and increased extreme weather affect our energy systems
Climate change, with more and more storms and heat waves, also has consequences for our energy supply.
The fat around your arteries may actually keep them healthy
A Michigan State University researcher is adding new evidence to the argument that the fat around our arteries may play an important role in keeping those blood vessels healthy.
New research takes p*** out of incontinence
Millions of people might eventually be spared the embarrassment and extreme isolation caused by wetting themselves, thanks to new research.
How to keep the nucleus clean
RNA turnover in the nuclei of eukaryotic cells is controlled by the RNA exosome aided by numerous cofactors.
Glaucoma care in prison inmates
Data from 82 prison inmates treated in a glaucoma clinic at an academic hospital were used in this observational study to report on how treatment and follow-up, including medication adherence, were are managed.
The Earth formed much faster than previously thought
By measuring iron isotopes, researchers from the University of Copenhagen have shown that our planet originally formed much faster than previously thought.
Cryptographic 'tag of everything' could protect the supply chain
To combat supply chain counterfeiting, which can cost companies billions of dollars annually, MIT researchers have invented a cryptographic ID tag that's small enough to fit on virtually any product and verify its authenticity.
Tools used to study human disease reveal coral disease risk factors
In a study published in Scientific Reports, a team of international researchers led by University of Hawai'i (UH) at Mānoa postdoctoral fellow Jamie Caldwell used a statistical technique typically employed in human epidemiology to determine the ecological risk factors affecting the prevalence of two coral diseases--growth anomalies, abnormalities like coral tumors, and white syndromes, infectious diseases similar to flesh eating bacteria.
Sub-Neptune sized planet validated with the habitable-zone planet finder
A signal originally detected by the Kepler spacecraft has been validated as an exoplanet using the Habitable-zone Planet Finder.
New results on the function of the tumor suppressor HERC protein
The RAF protein could be a therapeutical target to treat the tumor growth in regulated pathways by the p38 protein, according to a new study published in the journal Scientific Reports by a team of experts of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences of the University of Barcelona and the Bellvitge Institute for Biomedical Research (IDIBELL).
Therapeutic cooling effectively targets site of brain injury
Investigators successfully measure brain temperature in newborn babies undergoing therapeutic cooling, showing that the treatment effectively targets the core of the brain.
Lower dose of newer clot-buster may be appropriate for some stroke patients
In a comparison of 0.25mg/kg and 0.40mg/kg doses of the newer and more convenient clot-busting medication tenecteplase, there was no advantage in increasing the dose above 0.25mg/kg in stroke patients who planned to have mechanical clot retrieval.
Paleontology: Tiny prehistoric lizard sheds light on reptile evolution
The discovery of a new species of prehistoric reptile from Germany is reported this week in Scientific Reports.
Study highlights potential need to standardize quality measurement for cardiovascular care
In a new study, a team of BIDMC researchers evaluate how hospitals awarded for high quality cardiovascular care by the AHA/ACC performed under federal value-based programs.
New drug combination restores beta cell function in animal model
In a new study in mice, Helmholtz Zentrum München in collaboration with Novo Nordisk, demonstrated for the first time that a targeted combinatorial drug treatment is able to restore beta cell function, achieve beta cell redifferentiation and therefore potentially open new ways for diabetes remission.
Physics tool helps track cancer cell diversity
A Cornell-led team took a novel, interdisciplinary approach to analyzing the behavior of breast tumor cells by employing a statistical modeling technique more commonly used in physics and economics.
How newborn stars prepare for the birth of planets
An international team of astronomers used two of the most powerful radio telescopes in the world to create more than three hundred images of planet-forming disks around very young stars in the Orion Clouds.
E-cigarette users are exposed to potentially harmful levels of metal linked to DNA damage
Researchers at the University of California, Riverside, have completed a cross-sectional human study that compares biomarkers and metal concentrations in the urine of e-cigarette users, nonsmokers, and cigarette smokers.
Beyond the brim, Sombrero Galaxy's halo suggests turbulent past
These latest Hubble observations of the Sombrero galaxy indicate only a tiny fraction of older, metal-poor stars in the halo, plus an unexpected abundance of metal-rich stars.
10,000 times faster calculations of many-body quantum dynamics possible
How an electron behaves in an atom, or how it moves in a solid, can be predicted precisely with the equations of quantum mechanics.
Clinical trial exposes deadly kidney cancer's Achilles' heel
An experimental drug already shown to be safe and help some patients with clear cell renal cell carcinoma, a deadly form of kidney cancer, effectively disables its molecular target.
Dana-Farber scientists solve long-debated puzzle of how the intestine heals itself
Scientists find that normal intestinal cells 'de-differentiate' en masse into stem cells that generate the cells needed for a healthy intestinal lining.
'Wood' you like to recycle concrete?
Scientists at The University of Tokyo studied a method for recycling unused concrete with wood fibers.
Risk of coronavirus importation in Africa
Egypt, Algeria and Republic of South Africa are the African countries most at risk for coronavirus COVID-19 importation in the continent, due to high air traffic with the contaminated Chinese provinces.
New therapy stops seizures in mouse model of rare childhood epilepsy
SCN8A encephalopathy, a rare form of childhood epilepsy, could be improved with a treatment already approved for other uses.
Researchers show what drives a novel, ordered assembly of alternating peptides
A team of researchers has verified that it is possible to engineer two-layered nanofibers consisting of an ordered row of alternating peptides, and has also determined what makes these peptides automatically assemble into this pattern.
Fossils help identify a lone 'bright spot' in a similar state to coral reefs before human impact
Many Caribbean coral reefs are heavily degraded, yet their pre-human, natural states are often assumed or estimated using space-for-time substitution approaches.
Plant-based relatives of cholesterol could give boost to gene therapy
Gene-infused nanoparticles used for combating disease work better when they include plant-based relatives of cholesterol because their shape and structure help the genes get where they need to be inside cells.
Carrier-assisted differential detection
Hyperscale datacenters have sprung up across the globe rapidly. This generate tremendous demand for high-capacity cost-effective optical communication links that interconnect these datacenters.
New front opened in fight against common cancer driver
Australian researchers have revealed a new vulnerability in lymphomas that are driven by one of the most common cancer-causing changes in cells.
In an Internet vacuum, private securities companies prosper in the 'new wild west'
A 'quiet' revolution in unregulated areas of the internet has led to the emergence of a new private security industry, according to latest research from the University of Portsmouth.
Research team tackles superbug infections with novel therapy
Superbug infections kill 35,000 people in the US annually. A team of researchers has found that a treatment known as AB569 kills pseudomonas aeruginosa in humanized cells in mouse models.
Research shows new drug helps to preserve brain cells for a time after stroke
After 50 years of research and the testing of over 1,000 drugs, there is new hope for preserving brain cells for a time after stroke.
Diversifying traditional forest management to protect forest arthropods
The structure of vegetation and steam distance are important factors to consider in order to protect the biodiversity of forest arthropods, as stated in an article now published in the journal Forest Ecology and Management.
A better pregnancy test for whales
To determine whale pregnancy, researchers have relied on visual cues or hormone tests of blubber collected via darts, but the results were often inconclusive.
More clues for how the monkeyflower got its spots
The monkeyflower, or Mimulus, though possessing a relatively simple genome is able to produce a stunning array of pigmentation patterns.
New discovery has important implications for treating common eye disease
Scientists from Trinity College Dublin have made an important discovery with implications for those living with a common, debilitating eye disease (age-related macular degeneration, AMD) that can cause blindness.
Curing genetic disease in human cells
Scientists from the groups of Hans Clevers (Hubrecht Institute) and Jeffrey Beekman (UMC Utrecht) show for the first time that a newer type of CRISPR, called base-editing, can safely cure cystic fibrosis in stem cells derived from patients.
Researchers develop label-free microscopic techniques to visualize extracellular vesicles
The Biophotonics Imaging Lab at the Beckman Institute, led by Dr.
In killifish: Diapause protects life from normal consequences of aging
Studying the African turquoise killifish, which enters into a suspended state called 'diapause' during dry and unfavorable growing seasons, researchers uncovered mechanisms that allow the arrested fish to be maintained for long periods while being protected from the normal consequences of aging.
Newly discovered immune cell type may be key to improving pancreatic cancer immunotherapy
Current immunotherapies don't work for most people with cancer. Researchers have identified an overlooked immune cell type that may react to targeted therapies to rally a more powerful immune response in more cancer patients.
Let there be 'circadian' light
Researchers publishing in Current Biology describe the science behind creating lighting to make us all happy and productive indoors.
Patients frequently refuse insulin therapy, delaying blood sugar control
Investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital find that more than 40% of patients refuse a physician's recommendation of insulin therapy.
Latino voters in Nevada lean toward Sanders, Biden
Cornell University professor Sergio Garcia-Rios conducted polling of Latino voters in Nevada ahead of the Nevada Caucuses, indicating high levels of Latino voter support for Democrats, most notably for Bernie Sanders.
Newly found bacteria fights climate change, soil pollutants
Cornell University researchers have found a new species of soil bacteria that is particularly adept at breaking down organic matter, including the cancer-causing chemicals that are released when coal, gas, oil and refuse are burned.
Patients most at risk of overdose at the beginning and after end of methadone treatment
A new study, led by RCSI researchers, has found that patients receiving methadone treatment are most at risk of overdosing in the month following the end of methadone treatment and during the first four weeks of treatment.
Fast treatment via mobile stroke unit reduced survivor disability
Stroke patients were more likely to get clot-busting treatment and received it faster if treatment started in a mobile stroke unit, an ambulance specially equipped to provide treatment.
How transient invaders can transform an ecosystem
Study finds microbes can alter an environment dramatically before dying out.
Earliest interbreeding event between ancient human populations discovered
The study documented the earliest known interbreeding event between ancient human populations-- a group known as the 'super-archaics' in Eurasia interbred with a Neanderthal-Denisovan ancestor about 700,000 years ago.
A deep dive into cellular aging
Scientists at Sanford Burnham Prebys and Harvard University have discovered that mitochondria trigger senescence, the sleep-like state of aged cells, through communication with the cell's nucleus--and identified an FDA-approved drug that helped suppress the damaging effects of the condition in cells and mice.
Language disorders as indicators of the diagnosis and progression of Huntington's disease
A study led by Wolfram Hinzen, ICREA research professor with the Department of Translation and Language Sciences, published in Journal of Communication Disorders, shows that the first symptoms of the disease are revealed through linguistic changes in spontaneous speech.
Huge stores of Arctic sea ice likely contributed to past climate cooling
In a new paper, climate scientists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution propose that massive amounts of melting sea ice in the Arctic drained into the North Atlantic and disrupted climate-steering currents, thus playing an important role in causing past abrupt climate change after the last Ice Age, from about 8,000 to 13,000 years ago.
Scientists predict state of matter that can conduct both electricity and energy perfectly
Three scientists from the University of Chicago have run the numbers, and they believe there may be a way to make a material that could conduct both electricity and energy with 100% efficiency--never losing any to heat or friction.
Fifty years of data show new changes in bird migration
A growing body of research shows that birds' spring migration has been getting earlier and earlier in recent decades.
Wearable brain stimulation could safely improve motor function after stroke
A new, non-invasive wearable magnetic device that stimulates the brain to rewire itself is safe and could improve recovery for stroke survivors.
Delivering bad news: 'Patients remember these conversations forever'
Despite known protocols and recommendations on how to break bad news to patients, many physicians report insufficient training about how to conduct these challenging conversations.
Citizen scientists discover a new snail, name it after Greta Thunberg
Participants in a citizen-science expedition in the Ulu Temburong National Park in Brunei, Borneo, named a new snail species after climate activist Greta Thunberg.
Exploring a genome's 3D organization through a social network lens
Computational biologists at Carnegie Mellon University have taken an algorithm used to study social networks, such as Facebook communities, and adapted it to identify how DNA and proteins are interconnected into communities within the cell nucleus.
Psychologists discover secret to achieving goals
Research led by scientists at Queen Mary University of London has provided new insights into why people often make unrealistic plans that are doomed to fail.
Bundled payments have not led to 'cherry-picking' of patients for joint replacement surgery
A pilot program introducing bundled payments for hip and knee replacement (HKR) in Medicare patients hasn't led hospitals to 'cherry-pick' healthier patients at lower risk of complications, reports a study in the February 19, 2020 issue of The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.
Scientists use light to convert fatty acids into alkanes
Researchers led by Prof. WANG Feng at the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (DICP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have reported that photocatalytic decarboxylation is an efficient alternate pathway for converting biomass-derived fatty acids into alkanes under mild conditions of ambient temperature and pressure.
Autism eye scan could lead to early detection
A new eye scan could help identify autism in children years earlier than currently possible.
Getting children to eat their greens? Both parents need to set an example
A positive example set by both the mother and the father promotes the consumption of vegetables, fruit and berries among 3-5-year-old children, according to a new study from the University of Eastern Finland.
Researchers say extended antidepressant use creates physical dependence
Researchers explain symptoms associated with Antidepressant Discontinuation Syndrome and provide a schedule for tapering various classes of antidepressants.
New studies explore how knowledge drives action in climate change decision-making
In several new studies, University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science researcher Katharine Mach and colleagues explore the importance of learning and knowledge in environmental decision-making and the different ways in which scientific knowledge can become more relevant and useful for societies.
Researchers start to understand blood vessels one cell at the time
New surprising knowledge on endothelial cells in a dozen different murine tissues is now available in an open access, user-friendly, database for professionals.
Water reuse could be key for future of hydraulic fracturing
Enough water will come from the ground as a byproduct of oil production from unconventional reservoirs during the coming decades to theoretically counter the need to use fresh water for hydraulic fracturing operations in many of the nation's large oil-producing areas.
Active droplets
Using a mixture of oil droplets and hydrogel, medical active agents can be not only precisely dosed, but also continuously administered over periods of up to several days.
Watching TV helps birds make better food choices
By watching videos of each other eating, blue tits and great tits can learn to avoid foods that taste disgusting and are potentially toxic, a new study has found.
Paying attention to complaints can protect nurses from violence
New UBC research shows, for the first time, a clear link between patient complaints and violence towards nurses.
Study charts rising trend of image-based sexual abuse
This study captures the prevalence of image-based abuse victimisation and perpetration in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
Study shows long-term survival benefit for certain patients with advanced lung cancer
According to the results of a large, global study led by Yale Cancer Center researchers, even a tiny amount of a biomarker known as PD-L1 (programmed death-ligand1) can predict a long-term survival benefit from using pembrolizumab (Keytruda).
Scientists find many gene 'drivers' of cancer, but warn: Don't ignore 'passengers'
A massive analysis of the entire genomes of 2,658 people with 38 different types of cancer has identified mutations in 179 genes and gene regulators as 'drivers' -- variations in DNA sequences that lead to the development of cancer.
Condom nation
Researchers at McMaster University have peered into the most intimate moments of sexually active women and men across Canada to ask if they're using condoms, all in an effort to gather data that could inform decisions around public health and sex education.
Black phosphorous tunnel field-effect transistor as an alternative ultra-low power switch?
Researchers have reported a black phosphorus transistor that can be used as an alternative ultra-low power switch.
New study indicates amino acid may be useful in treating ALS
A naturally occurring amino acid is gaining attention as a possible treatment for ALS following a new study published in the Journal of Neuropathology & Experimental Neurology.
Study shows dietitians are an effective part of weight loss
A new study in the journal Family Practice indicates that intensive behavioral therapy from dietitians may be a very effective ways for older Americans to lose weight.
Origins of immune system mapped, opening doors for new cancer immunotherapies
A first cell atlas of the human thymus gland could lead to new immune therapies to treat cancer and autoimmune diseases.

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