Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 12, 2020
Hero proteins are here to save other proteins
Researchers at the University of Tokyo have discovered a new group of proteins, remarkable for their unusual shape and abilities to protect against protein clumps associated with neurodegenerative diseases in lab experiments.

Moving beyond 'defensive medicine'
Study shows removing liability concerns slightly increases C-section procedures during childbirth.

How brain biology promotes starvation in patients with anorexia nervosa
Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine have discovered differences in brain circuitry that contribute to starvation and weight loss in people with anorexia nervosa.

Researchers create focus-free camera with new flat lens
Using a single lens that is about one-thousandth of an inch thick, researchers have created a camera that does not require focusing.

Study examines environmental footprint of california dairy cows over 50 years
Producing a liter of milk in California emits less greenhouse gas and uses less land and water than it did in 1964, according to a recent study from researchers at the University of California, Davis.

A new use for museum fish specimens
This paper suggests using museum specimens to estimate the length-weight relationships of fish that are hard to find alive in their natural environment.

Mayo Clinic research discovers how stem cells repair damage from heart attacks
Mayo Clinic researchers have uncovered stem cell-activated mechanisms of healing after a heart attack.

Evidence clearly favors taxing sugary drinks -- new study
New Zealand should follow the UK and more than 30 other countries in introducing a tax on sugary drinks to tackle obesity and reduce deaths from chronic diseases, leading researchers say.

Rates of at-risk drinking and unhealthy nutrition in Germany vary across regions
Rates of at-risk alcohol consumption are higher in the South and East of Germany, compared to the North and West, according to a study published in the open-access journal BMC Public Health.

Vaping chemical creates toxic ketene gas, RCSI research
A chemical found in some vaping products can produce a highly toxic gas when heated up, according to new research from RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Arrival delayed! Water, carbon and nitrogen were not immediately supplied to Earth
Writing in Nature, Cologne scientists present important new findings regarding the origin of oceans and life on Earth.

HPV infections can be eliminated if both boys and girls are vaccinated
The human papillomavirus (HPV) causes, amongst other diseases, cancer of the cervix and oropharynx.

Corporate social irresponsibility: Which cases are critically reported -- and which aren't?
A new study on media reports about corporate misconduct in five countries shows that reporting or no reporting often depends on interests of the media companies.

New aflatoxin biocontrol product lowers contamination of groundnut and maize in Senegal
Recently a team of plant pathologists have developed an aflatoxin biocontrol product, Aflasafe SN01, for use in Senegal, which includes four atoxigenic isolates native to Senegal and distinct from active ingredients used in other biocontrol products in Africa and elsewhere.

At 8 months, babies already know their grammar
Even before uttering their first words, babies master the grammar basics of their mother tongue.

'Spillway' for electrons could keep lithium metal batteries from catching fire
UC San Diego nanoengineers developed a safety feature that prevents lithium metal batteries from rapidly overheating and catching fire in case of an internal short circuit.

Learning how cancer cells coordinate and collaborate to multiply and metastasize
Researchers from Osaka University and the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology have cultured epithelial-like cancer cells on an artificial substrate and observed their collaborative self-organization into network structures that may function as nutritional conduits and provide vascular access.

Low-dose aspirin linked to reduced liver cancer risk
Among adults at high risk of liver cancer, those who took low-dose aspirin were less likely to develop the disease or to die from liver-related causes.

Novel IR-LEGO system enables single-cell labeling and tracking in zebrafish embryos
A HKUST team has developed a novel optical technique to enable them to label a single hemogenic endothelium cell in a zebrafish embryo and track the cell and its descendants.

Mechanical forces shape animal 'origami' precisely despite 'noise'
Researchers at the RIKEN Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research (BDR) in Japan have identified a new mechanism that helps animals to develop with precise and constant form.

Zoology: Western gorillas may be territorial
Groups of western gorillas may defend the centres of their home ranges against neighbouring groups, a study in Scientific Reports suggests.

Treatment disparities drive worse outcomes for pediatric Black, Hispanic brain cancer pts
Of 1,881 patients under age 19 diagnosed with cancers of the brain and central nervous system between 2000 and 2015, 52 percent of White patients lived five years from diagnosis, whereas only 44 percent of African American patients and 45 percent of Hispanic patients reached a similar milestone.

Study finds gorillas display territorial behavior
Scientists have discovered that gorillas really are territorial -- and their behavior is very similar to our own.

Computer model solves mystery of how gas bubbles build big methane hydrate deposits
New research from The University of Texas at Austin has explained an important mystery about natural gas hydrate formations and, in doing so, advanced scientists' understanding of how gas hydrates could contribute to climate change and energy security.

Ocean acidification impacts oysters' memory of environmental stress
Researchers from the University of Washington School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences have discovered that ocean acidification impacts the ability of some oysters to pass down 'memories' of environmental trauma to their offspring.

What causes an ice age to end?
Research by an international team helps to resolve some of the mystery of why ice ages end by establishing when they end.

A molecular map for the plant sciences
Plants are essential for life on earth. They provide food for essentially all organisms, oxygen for breathing, and they regulate the climate of the planet.

Alcoholism without borders
In some former Soviet bloc countries, men often die early due to alcohol abuse.

'Fossil earthquakes' offer new insight into seismic activity deep below earth's surface
A study led by the University of Plymouth, published in Nature Communications, has shed new light on the mechanisms through which earthquakes are triggered up to 40km beneath the earth's surface

Early blood marker may predict future risk of kidney transplant failure
In a study of kidney transplant recipients, the composition of certain immune cells in the blood 1 year after kidney transplantation was linked with a patient's subsequent risk of kidney transplant failure.

The Lancet Psychiatry: US study reports rate of suicidal ideation in children, and risk and protective factors
Around eight in every 100 children (8.4%; 673/7,994) aged 9-10 years in the USA report suicidal ideation (temporarily or regularly thinking about, considering, or planning suicide), according to a new nationally representative observational study of almost 8,000 children aged 9-10 years in the USA, published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal.

Something in the water
Between 2015 and 2016, Brazil suffered from an epidemic outbreak of the Zika virus, whose infections occurred throughout the country states.

How the historically misunderstood amyloid helps to store memories
For the first time, scientists from the Stowers Institute for Medical Research and collaborators have described the structure of an endogenously sourced, functioning neuronal amyloid at atomic resolution.

New study presents efficient, solution-processed, hybrid tandem solar cells
A recent study, affiliated with South Korea's Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) has developed high?efficiency, solution-processed, hybrid series, tandem photovoltaic devices featuring CQDs and organic bulk heterojunction (BHJ) photoactive materials.

Gold nanoparticles uncover amyloid fibrils
EPFL scientists have developed powerful tools to unmask the diversity of amyloid fibrils, which are associated with Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.

The need for speed
Scientists at the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), Bangalore show that parallel neural pathways that bypass the brain's tight frequency control enable animals to move faster.

Facebook language changes before an emergency hospital visit
A new study published in Nature Scientific Reports reveals that the language people use on Facebook subtly changes before they make a visit to the emergency department (ED).

Hair in 'stress': Analyze with care
Similar to humans, wild animals' reaction to disturbance is accompanied by releasing hormones, such as cortisol.

Separations between earthquakes reveal clear patterns
So far, few studies have explored how the similarity between inter-earthquake times and distances is related to their separation from initial events.

Special report highlights potential therapeutic agents, vaccines for COVID-19
Since the first reports of a new coronavirus disease in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, COVID-19 has spread rapidly across the globe, threatening a pandemic.

Estimating adults at high risk for vision loss, evaluating care use
The estimated number of US adults at high risk for vision loss increased from 2002 to 2017 in this observational study based on national survey data.

Monty Python's silly walk: A gait analysis and wake-up call to peer review inefficiencies
Fifty years ago, Monty Python's famous sketch, 'The Ministry of Silly Walks,' first aired.

Statins starve cancer cells to death
More than 35 million Americans take statin drugs daily to lower their blood cholesterol levels.

Poor physical health a barrier for job seekers with serious mental illness
People with serious mental illness believe their physical health problems rather than psychological health make it difficult for them to find jobs, according to a Rutgers study.

To protect your brain, don't be (too) kind!
Scientists (UNIGE/HUG) demonstrated, through brain imaging and psycho-cognitive evaluations conducted over several years on a community-based cohort of elderly people, that certain personality traits protect brain structures against neuro-degeneration and Alzheimer's disease.

Genes tell a story about diabetic kidney disease
Studying Finnish genes leads to unique revelations about the development of a serious complication of diabetes, and informs an ongoing genomic study of a Singaporean cohort as part of Singapore's Diabetes Study in Nephropathy and other Microvascular Complications (DYNAMO).

Ammonium salts reveal reservoir of 'missing' nitrogen in comets
Substantial amounts of ammonium salts have been identified in the surface material of the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, researchers report, likely revealing the reservoir of nitrogen that was previously thought to be 'missing' in comets.

Cancer: The immune system attacks tumors remotely
How does the immune system act to limit tumor development?

A new record of deglaciations in last million years shows persistent role of obliquity pacing
Over the last million years, small variations in Earth's orbit continued to trigger and terminate global glaciations, throughout and after the Mid-Pleistocene Transition, according to a new study, which presents a novel high-resolution record of the last 11 deglaciations.

New prize-winning research highlights potential of immune intervention in improving regenerative medicine
Joana Neves is the 2019 grand prize winner of the Sartorius & Science Prize for Regenerating Medicine & Cell Therapy, for work in mice that offers a promising approach to improve the outcome of regenerative stem cell-based therapies aimed at delaying age-related degenerative diseases.

Heat and light create new biocompatible microparticles
Biomedical engineers at Duke University have devised a new method for making biocompatible microparticles that uses little more than heat and light and allows them to create never-before-seen shapes for drug delivery, diagnostics and tissue engineering.

Uninsured older adults more likely to be sicker and in need of inpatient care in China
A new study, published this week in the International Journal of Health Services, found that older adults without health insurance in China were 35% less likely to receive needed inpatient care compared to those with job-based health insurance.

Preterm babies are more likely to be diagnosed with reactive attachment disorder
Premature birth, low birth weight, and neonatal intensive care are associated with the risk of being diagnosed with reactive attachment disorder (RAD).

Plant physiology: Safeguarding chloroplasts from sunburn
Intense sunlight damages the chloroplasts that are essential for photosynthesis, and generates toxic products that can lead to cell death.

Racial and ethnic disparities in insurance access impact maternal-infant health
Nearly half of all black, Hispanic, and Indigenous women had discontinuous insurance coverage between preconception and after delivering their babies compared to about a fourth of white women, according to the research in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Facebook users change their language before an emergency hospital visit
The language in Facebook posts becomes less formal and invokes family more often in the lead-up to an emergency room visit.

AMA Manual of Style updates coronavirus nomenclature
The AMA Manual of Style addresses coronavirus (CoV) in section 14.14.3, Virus Nomenclature, which includes information on Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV).

Robots popular with older adults
A new study by psychologists from the University of Jena (Germany) does not confirm that robot skepticism among elder people is often suspected in science.

Environmental DNA in rivers offers new tool for detecting wildlife communities
Ecologists in England and Scotland, collaborating with ecologists Christopher Sutherland and Joseph Drake at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, report this week on a new method of identifying an 'entire community of mammals' -- including elusive and endangered species that are otherwise difficult to monitor -- by collecting DNA from river water.

University of Iowa scientists pinpoint a brain region that stops breathing in pediatric epilepsy
University of Iowa neuroscientists have identified a specific area of the brain involved in the loss of breathing that occurs during a seizure.

Fall precipitation predicts abundance of curly top disease and guides weed management
Transmitted by an insect known as the beet leafhopper, curly top disease is a viral disease affecting many crops, including melons, peppers, sugar beets, and tomatoes.

Misinformation on vaccines readily available online
Parents researching childhood vaccinations online are likely to encounter significant levels of negative information, researchers at the University of Otago, Wellington, have found.

Surgery with anesthesia not linked to indicator of Alzheimer's, Mayo study finds
Older adults who have surgery with general anesthesia may experience a modest acceleration of cognitive decline, even years later.

Banded mongoose study reveals how its environment influences the spread of infectious disease
A new study led by Kathleen Alexander explores the ways that landscapes can influence animal behavior, fostering dynamics that either encourage or limit the spread of infectious diseases.

Perturbation-free studies of single molecules
Researchers of the University of Basel have developed a new method with which individual isolated molecules can be studied precisely -- without destroying the molecule or even influencing its quantum state.

Fruit flies advance research on ACOX1-related neurodegenerative disorders
A study led by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine reports that a hyperactive variant of enzyme ACOX1 produces elevated levels of toxic reactive oxygen species (ROS) and causes a previously unidentified late-onset neurodegenerative disorder.

NASA finds ex-Tropical Cyclone 21S affecting Australia's Pilbara Coast
NASA's Terra satellite passed over the Southern Indian Ocean and provided forecasters with a visible image of Ex-Tropical Cyclone 21S.

JNCCN: Younger cancer survivors far more likely to experience food and financial insecurity
New research from the American Cancer Society in the March 2020 issue of JNCCN -- Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network finds that younger cancer survivors are more likely to experience significant financial strain for food, housing, and monthly bills, even years after diagnosis, than their cancer-free peers.

Rare driver mutations disrupt NOTCH signaling to promote squamous cell carcinoma
Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) -- a group of cancers that affect the the mouth, nose and throat -- is a disease driven by mutations in the NOTCH tumor suppressor signaling pathway, according to a new study.

Wikipedia visits to disease outbreak pages show impact of news media on public attention
During the 2016 Zika outbreak, news exposure appears to have had a far bigger impact than local disease risk on the number of times people visited Zika-related Wikipedia pages in the U.S.

Chasing lithium ions on the move in a fast-charging battery
Atomic distortions emerging in the electrode during operation provide a 'fast lane' for the transport of lithium ions.

Capping out-of-network hospital bills could create big savings
Placing limits on what hospitals can charge for out-of-network care has been proposed by some groups and a few health plans including Medicare Advantage already enforce such caps.

Aerial insect trap network describes life in the skies
Like most invasive species, when the soybean aphid arrived in the Midwest in 2000, it brought none of its natural enemies along for the ride.

Bursts of diversity in the gut microbiota
The diversity of bacteria in the human gut is an important biomarker of health, influences multiple diseases, such as obesity and inflammatory bowel diseases and affects various treatments.

Sound can directly affect balance and lead to risk of falling
Mount Sinai research highlights the need for more hearing checks among groups at high risk for falls.

Healthier and happier without Facebook
Two weeks of 20 minutes less time per day on Facebook: a team of psychologists from Ruhr-Universit├Ąt Bochum (RUB) invited 140 test persons to participate in this experiment.

Bacteria might help other bacteria to tolerate antibiotics better
A new paper by the Dynamical Systems Biology lab at UPF shows that the response by bacteria to antibiotics may depend on other species of bacteria they live with, in such a way that some bacteria may make others more tolerant to antibiotics.

New strategies for managing bowel and bladder dysfunction after spinal cord injury
Two complications have emerged as top priorities for spinal cord injury researchers -- neurogenic bowel and neurogenic bladder.

GARDP partners with Japanese pharmaceutical in pursuit of new antibiotics
The Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP) has today announced an agreement with Daiichi Sankyo for GARDP to access and screen the Daiichi Sankyo chemical library.

Molds damage the lung's protective barrier to spur future asthma attacks
University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers have identified a new way that common Aspergillus molds can induce asthma, by first attacking the protective tissue barrier deep in the lungs.

Protective brain-cell housekeeping mechanism may also regulate sleep
An important biological mechanism that is thought to protect brain cells from neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's may also be involved in regulating sleep, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

The Lancet: Study details first known person-to-person transmission of new coronavirus in the USA
New research published in The Lancet, describes in detail the first locally-transmitted case of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which causes COVID-19, in the USA, from a woman who had recently travelled to China and transmitted the infection to her husband.
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.