Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 10, 2020
Intel processors are still vulnerable to attack
Computer scientists at KU Leuven have once again exposed a security flaw in Intel processors.

Are non-smoking young adults who use e-cigarettes more likely to smoke in the future?
Young people who have tried e-cigarettes but have never smoked before are nearly five times more likely to go on to try smoking, a new study has found.

New clinical trial examines a potential noninvasive solution for overactive bladders
Keck Medicine of USC urologists are launching a clinical trial to evaluate the effectiveness of spinal cord stimulation in patients with an overactive bladder due to neurological conditions, such as a spinal cord injury or stroke, and idiopathic (unknown) causes.

New study confirms value of family meals
A new study published in The Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior (JNEB) builds on years of previous research studies and demonstrates the value of family meals.

Leaf-inspired surface prevents frost formation
By tweaking the texture of any material's surface, researchers experimentally reduced frost formation by up to 60%.

Some domesticated plants ignore beneficial soil microbes
A review by biologists at UC Riverside and Washington State University, Vancouver finds that plant domestication has often had a negative effect on plant microbiomes, making domesticated plants more dependent on fertilizer and other soil amendments than their wild relatives.

Paper sheds light on infant universe and origin of matter
A new study of the QCD axion, conducted to better understand the origin of the universe, has provided insight into some of the most enduring questions in fundamental physics.

Microplastics affect the survival of amphibians and invertebrates in river ecosystems
In collaboration with the National Museum of Natural Sciences (CSIC) in Madrid, the UPV/EHU's Stream Ecology research group has conducted two parallel studies to look at how the larvae of one freshwater amphibian and one invertebrate evolved during 15 days' exposure to microplastics at different concentrations.

Observed: An occultation of a brown dwarf by another
An international team of astronomers in the project SPECULOOS, dedicated to the search for habitable planets, with scientists participating from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) has discovered an eclipse (termed an occultation) in a peculiar brown dwarf formed by two stars orbiting around each other.

Muscle stem cells compiled in 'atlas'
A team of Cornell researchers led by Ben Cosgrove, assistant professor in the Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering, used a new cellular profiling technology to probe and catalog the activity of almost every kind of cell involved in muscle repair.

Modern virtual and augmented reality device can help simulate sight loss
Published today, during World Glaucoma Week 2020, a new study demonstrates how commercially available head mounted displays (HMD) can be used to simulate the day-to-day challenges faced by people with sight loss from glaucoma.

Feeding fusion: hydrogen ice pellets prove effective for fueling fusion plasmas
Injecting pellets of hydrogen ice rather than puffing hydrogen gas improves fusion performance.

Tracking down false parkers in cancer cells
In squamous cell carcinoma, a protein ensures that unneeded proteins are no longer disposed of.

How intermittent fasting changes liver enzymes and helps prevent disease
Research on mice reveals the surprising impact on fat metabolism and the role played by a regulator protein in the liver.

UNM scientists find Earth and Moon not identical oxygen twins
Scientists at The University of New Mexico have found that the Earth and Moon have distinct oxygen compositions and are not identical in oxygen as previously thought according to a new study released today in Nature Geoscience.

Biomass fuels can significantly mitigate global warming
'Every crop we tested had a very significant mitigation capacity despite being grown on very different soils and under natural climate variability,' says Dr.

Fatal overproduction of antibodies
Bone marrow plasma cells produce antibodies. These comprise two long and two short protein chains.

Novel error-correction scheme developed for quantum computers
Experimental quantum computers are plagued with errors. Here Dr Arne Grimsmo from the University of Sydney and colleagues from RMIT and the University of Queensland offer a novel method to reduce errors in a scheme applicable across different types of quantum hardware.

Arming the body's immune cells
Researchers at UC have discovered a previously unknown mechanism that could explain the reason behind decreased immune function in cancer patients and could be a new therapeutic target for immunotherapy for those with head and neck cancers.

Inverse design software automates design process for optical, nanophotonic structures
Stanford University researchers created an inverse design codebase called SPINS that can help researchers explore different design methodologies to find fabricable optical and nanophotonic structures.

Low-dose chest CT leaves DNA intact
The low-dose chest CT scans used in lung cancer screening do not appear to damage human DNA, according to a new study.

APS tip sheet: Understanding the tears of wine
New research explores the fluid dynamics behind a phenomenon known as tears of wine

Climate shifts prompt shrubs and trees to take root in open areas
Wild, treeless landscapes are becoming more wooded as climate change leads to warming temperatures and wetter weather, research suggests.

Study shows CRISPR effectiveness against colitis pathogen
Research at North Carolina State University shows that the CRISPR-Cas system can be used to effectively target and eliminate specific gut bacteria, in this case Clostridioides difficile, the pathogen that causes colitis -- a chronic, degenerative disease of the colon.

Approximating a kernel of truth
Machine learning tasks using very large data sets can be sped up significantly by estimating the kernel function that best describes the data.

Grad student names new treehopper species after Lady Gaga
According to Brendan Morris, a graduate student at the University of Illinois, treehoppers are the wackiest, most astonishing bugs most people have never heard of.

Around 100,000 convicted felons across US likely still own guns, say researchers
Around 100,000 convicted felons across the US still likely own a gun, despite being banned from doing so, concludes the first study of its kind, published online in Injury Prevention.

Inherited arrhythmia in young Finnish Leonbergers under investigation
Inherited malignant ventricular arrhythmia is a fairly common disorder among Finnish Leonbergers under three years of age, with the most severe cases potentially resulting in sudden death.

New research shows children and teens worry about political issues
A new psychological study suggests that children and teens are worried about political issues, though it's unclear that children's and teens' worry is a cause for concern, or that it is interfering with their mental health functioning.

Planet's largest ecosystems collapse faster than previously forecast
New research has shown that large ecosystems such as rainforests and coral reefs can collapse at a significantly faster rate than previously understood.

Columbia study evaluates cervical cancer risks of IUDs
Patients who used copper intrauterine devices were found to have a lower risk of cervical cancer compared to users of the levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system.

Tomosynthesis outperforms digital mammography in five-year study
A new study has found that the advantages of digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) over digital mammography (DM), including increased cancer detection and fewer false positive findings, are maintained over multiple years and rounds of screening.

Knowing more about a virus threat may not satisfy you
People who rate themselves as highly knowledgeable about a new infectious disease threat could also be more likely to believe they don't know enough, a new study suggests.

Chip for liquid biopsy will help to detect prostate cancer
Researchers of Sechenov University together with their colleagues from Australia used the microfluidics technology to develop a device able to isolate cancer cells from urine of patients with prostate cancer.

Higher concentrations of IGF-1 are a probable cause of breast cancer
A growth hormone called insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) is likely to play a role in the development of breast cancer, according to two complementary studies published in Annals of Oncology.

The axion solves three mysteries of the universe
A hypothetical particle called the axion could solve one of physics' great mysteries: the excess of matter over antimatter, or why we're here at all.

Study ties kin selection to host-manipulating behavior in parasites
New research by Texas A&M University biologist Dr. Charles Criscione and collaborators in Canada shows that family ties and traits such as manipulation, sacrifice and selflessness are just as key to survival in parasitic organisms as they are in cognitive species like humans.

More than a nice coating
Researchers at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience (NIN) have shown that specialized aggregates of molecules enwrapping nerve cells in the brain, the perineuronal nets, are crucial for regulating the connections between nerve cells that control motor memories.

Feeding wildlife can disrupt animal social structures
A team of researchers from the University of Georgia and San Diego State University has found that the practice of feeding wildlife could be more detrimental to animals than previously thought.

Baboon mothers carry their dead infant up to 10 days
Baboon mothers living in the wild carry dead infants for up to 10 days, according to a new study led by UCL and Université de Montpellier.

Crosstalk captured between muscles, neural networks in biohybrid machines
A platform designed for coculturing a neurosphere and muscle cells allows scientists to capture the growth of neurons toward muscles to form neuromuscular junctions.

Study: Daily avocado consumption improves attention in persons with overweight, obesity
A diet including daily avocado consumption improves the ability to focus attention in adults whose measurements of height and weight are categorized as overweight or obese, a new randomized control trial found.

Poor sleep in infancy linked to behavioral and emotional problems in toddlers
Disrupted and poor quality sleep in the earliest months of a child's life can be an indicator of depression, anxiety and behavioral problems among toddlers, according to a new study.

Genetic test could pick out 'ultra high risk' bone marrow cancer patients
A new genetic test could help doctors pick out patients with the bone marrow cancer multiple myeloma who are at 'ultra high risk' of their cancer progressing aggressively early on.

Injection strategies are crucial for geothermal projects
The fear of earthquakes is one of the main reasons for reservations about geothermal energy.

Dramatic increase in bowel cancer in young adults in England
There has been a dramatic increase in the incidence of bowel cancer in adults under the age of 50, according to new research from the University of Bristol, UWE Bristol and University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust (UH Bristol).

Scientists categorize neurons by the way the brain jiggles during a heartbeat
The brain jiggles when the heart beats, and now, researchers have found a way to use that motion to better study the differences between types of neurons.

Pain researchers get a common language to describe pain
Pain researchers around the world have agreed to classify pain in the mouth, jaw and face according to the same system.

Amazon rainforest could be gone within a lifetime
Writing in Nature Communications, researchers from Bangor University, Southampton University and The School of Oriental & African Studies, University of London, reveal the speed at which ecosystems of different sizes will disappear, once they have reached a point beyond which they collapse -- transforming into an alternative ecosystem.

Method yielding high rate of D-lactate using cyanobacteria could revolutionize bioplastic production
The utilization of bioproduction to synthesize versatile chemical compounds that are usually derived from oil is vital for both the environment and resource sustainability.

Music shows promise in decreasing delirium in critically ill patients
Mechanically ventilated ICU patients -- more than a million adults annually in the US -- are at increased risk for delirium, which is associated with prolonged ICU stays, higher healthcare costs and increased mortality.

Cancerous tumors, surrounding cells illuminated by new imaging agent
Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have developed a new imaging agent that could let doctors identify not only multiple types of tumors but the surrounding normal cells that the cancer takes over and uses as a shield to protect itself from attempts to destroy it.

Immune cells against Alzheimer's?
German researchers have developed a novel, experimental approach against Alzheimer's.

Toxic masculinity is unsafe...for men
The belief that ''real men'' must be strong, tough and independent may be a detriment to their social needs later in life.

Study reveals rising colorectal cancer rates among young adults
A population-based analysis from England indicates that the incidence of colorectal cancer is increasing rapidly in young adults.

New study presents ion concentrate electrolyte using solvent containing fluorine atoms
A recent study, affiliated with South Korea's Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) has unveiled an ion concentrate electrolyte using a solvent containing fluorine atoms.

Researchers create a new acoustic smart material inspired by shark skin
USC researchers created a new sharkskin-inspired smart material that allows shifts in acoustic transmission on demand using magnets.

Palm oil must be made more sustainable while replacements are made scalable, Bath engineers warn
Efforts to create synthetic replacements for palm oil are still likely to take several years, so immediate attention should be focused on making the existing production process more sustainable, researchers at the University of Bath's Centre for Integrated Bioprocessing Research (CIBR) and Centre for Sustainable Circular Technologies (CSCT) have found.

Self-help groups empower caregivers of children with disabilities
Caregivers in low-income settings will be able to respond to the challenges of bringing up children with disabilities, thanks to a new model created by the University of East Anglia (UEA) and the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI).

New research finds infant cereal consumption is associated with improved nutrient intake
An investigation of infant feeding patterns found infants and toddlers consuming baby cereal, such as rice cereal, had higher intakes of key nutrients of concern, such as calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc and vitamin E.

NREL research boosts stability of perovskites, helps silicon solar cells
A change in chemical composition enabled scientists to boost the longevity and efficiency of a perovskite solar cell developed at the U.S.

A novel biofuel system for hydrogen production from biomass
A recent study, affiliated with South Korea's Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) has presented a new biofuel system that uses lignin found in biomass for the production of hydrogen.

Making more MXene
Researchers at Drexel University and the Materials Research Center in Ukraine have designed a system that can be used to make large quantities of the material while preserving its unique properties.

HKU paleontologists discover solid evidence of formerly elusive abrupt sea-level jump
Meltwater pulses (MWPs) known as abrupt sea-level rise will inevitably affect cities especially those on coastal plains of low elevation.

Wetting property of Li metal with graphite
Compositing two classic anode materials, graphite and Li metal, has shown promising performance to go beyond the traditional Li-ion batteries.

Routine childhood vaccination linked to improved schooling among adults in India
In this study, researchers analyzed levels of schooling attainment in years among adults born during or after the implementation of India's Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) (intervention) compared to adults born before the implementation (control).

Study reveals grasshopper declines associated with declines in quality of prairie grasses
A University of Oklahoma-led study shows that grasshopper numbers have declined over 30% in a Kansas grassland preserve over the past two decades.

IKBFU Physicists keep improving 'smart' composites for biomedical sensors
The new composites are related to the multiferroic-class materials which have mutually controlled magnetic and electric properties.

APS tip sheet: correlating matter's distribution in the universe with gamma rays
Scientists present the first direct cross-correlation between dark matter and gamma ray emissions.

Possible treatment for breast cancer patients could roll out to clinical trial immediately
A worldwide collaborative study involving scientists at the University of Sussex has proposed a new treatment strategy for patients with a rare but aggressive subtype of cancer known as triple negative breast cancer.

Chemists create new artificial enzyme
Rajeev Prabhakar, a computational chemist at the University of Miami, and his collaborators at the University of Michigan have created a novel, synthetic, three-stranded molecule that functions just like a natural metalloenzyme, or an enzyme that contains metal ions.

Study demonstrates how to collect true incidents from head impact sensors in youth sports
A new study from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) shows that head impact sensors can record a large number of false positive impacts during real game play.

Disease-causing virus manipulates crop plants to favor its vector
The virus that causes barley yellow dwarf, the most widespread disease of cereal crops, manipulates its host plant and insect vector to promote its own survival, according to an international team of researchers.

Slime mold simulations used to map dark matter holding universe together
The behavior of one of nature's humblest creatures is helping astronomers probe the largest structures in the universe.

Disturbed retinal gene function underlying canine blindness
A canine study carried out at the University of Helsinki has described a gene variant in the regulatory region of the retina resulting in the abnormal function of retinal genes and, eventually, in the loss of vision in dogs.

Common feed ingredient tested safe in bulls
Cattle feeders choose distillers grains in feedlot diets as an inexpensive alternative to corn and soybean meal.

How plants protect themselves from sun damage
MIT chemists have observed, for the first time, one of the possible mechanisms that have been proposed for how plants dissipate energy when they are exposed to excess sunlight.

Glass transition of spins and orbitals of electrons in a pure crystal
Researchers at Osaka University used computers simulations to show that lattice distortions in magnetic pyrochlore oxide crystals can control the glass transition of its electrons.

Discovered: Why obesity causes high blood pressure -- and potential ways to fix
Researchers have determined precisely how obesity causes high blood pressure and even reversed it in lab models.

What features make text-based counseling effective?
A fascinating new study has shown that the duration of a text-based counseling session, the length of the counselor's messages, and quick response time by the counselor are important factors in determining the impact of counseling.

Astronomers use slime mold model to reveal dark threads of the cosmic web
A computational approach inspired by the growth patterns of a bright yellow slime mold has enabled a team of astronomers and computer scientists at UC Santa Cruz to trace the filaments of the cosmic web that connects galaxies throughout the universe.

How heartbreak and hardship shape growing old
From being raised by an emotionally cold mother to experiencing violence, war and bereavement, difficult life events have a profound effect on our physical and mental wellbeing in later life -- according to new research from the University of East Anglia.

Further evidence shows clinical viability of natural tooth repair method
Over the last five years scientists at King's College London have been investigating a method of stimulating natural tooth repair by activating cells in the tooth to make new dentine.

Education the key to equal parenting rights for same-sex couples
Same-sex marriage may have been given the green (or rainbow) light in many countries around the world, but it appears there are still some entrenched attitudes in society when it comes to same-sex parenting.

New study identifies valuable tool for treating pancreatic cancer patients
Today, new research published in Annals of Surgery from the University of Colorado Department of Surgery at the Anschutz Medical Campus offers a roadmap to new guidelines for physicians in prioritizing treatments for pancreatic cancer and improving outcomes through surgery.

Young sugarcane workers at high risk of kidney function decline
Researchers from the Center for Health, Work and Environment (CHWE) at the Colorado School of Public Health have published a paper in PLoS-ONE, studying the decline in kidney function for young, first-time sugarcane workers in Guatemala.

A possible end to 'forever' chemicals
Synthetic chemicals known as per- and polyfluoroalkyls, or PFAS, contain bonds between carbon and fluorine atoms considered the strongest in organic chemistry.

Noncitizens are undertreated for heart attack, stroke risk factors
A new study published in Circulation, a journal of the American Heart Association, shows that noncitizens in the United States are less likely to receive treatment for cardiovascular disease risk factors when compared with born or naturalized US citizens.

Research shows mangrove conservation can pay for itself in flood protection
The natural coastal defenses provided by mangrove forests reduce annual flooding significantly in critical hotspots around the world.

Demographics linked to choice not to vaccinate children in Texas, study finds
Texans who are college-educated, live in suburban or urban areas, have higher median incomes and are ethnically white are less likely to vaccinate their children, according to analysis by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin.

Cancer cells spread using a copper-binding protein
Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have shown that the Atox1 protein, found in breast cancer cells, participates in the process by which cancer cells metastasise.

Intralipid improves efficacy of chemotherapy treatment
Pairing chemotherapy nanodrugs with a nutritional supplement can lessen devastating side-effects while reducing the amount of the expensive drugs needed to treat cancer according to a study from Carnegie Mellon University and Taiwan's National Health Research Institutes.

Older women with breast cancer may benefit from genetic testing, study suggests
About 1 in 40 postmenopausal women diagnosed with breast cancer before age 65 have cancer-associated mutations in their BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes, according to a Stanford-led study of more than 4,500 participants in the long-running Women's Health Initiative.

To make ultra-black materials that won't weigh things down, consider the butterfly
Some butterflies have ultra-black wings that rival the blackest materials made by humans, using wing scales that are only a fraction as thick.

Case Western Reserve University research finds high rates of trauma exposure, PTSD symptoms for those in drug court
Nearly 94% of defendants in Cuyahoga County drug court have been exposed to trauma and many suffer from symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to a new Case Western Reserve University study.

Leaving your baby to 'cry it out' has no adverse effects on child development
Leaving an infant to 'cry it out' from birth up to 18 months does not adversely affect their behaviour development or attachment, researchers from the University of Warwick have found, they also discovered that those left to cry cried less and for a shorter duration at 18 months of age.

Community factors influence how long you'll live, study shows
While lifestyle choices and genetics go a long way toward predicting longevity, a new study shows that certain community characteristics also play important roles.

Novel blood test points to risk of weight gain and diabetes
The blood test method makes use of machine learning and can be used to predict whether patients will put on weight, unless they change their habits.

The Lancet HIV: Study suggests a second patient has been cured of HIV
A study of the second HIV patient to undergo successful stem cell transplantation from donors with a HIV-resistant gene, finds that there was no active viral infection in the patient's blood 30 months after they stopped anti-retroviral therapy, according to a case report published in The Lancet HIV journal and presented at CROI (Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections).

NIST study uncovers a potential driver of premature solar panel failures
Manufacturers typically guarantee that solar panels will make it past their 25th birthday, however, recent reports indicate that the protective backsheets of many are cracking decades early.

Experts call for more support for parents of children with genetic learning disabilities
Parents of children with genetic conditions that cause learning disabilities are at risk of mental health problems, suggests new research published today in the British Journal of Psychiatry.
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